And another title to add to the NetGalley November Challenge
I’m still in that “unsure” category when it comes to NA books: I’ve seen really good and really bad, and often I find that the characters are far more immature than their age would suggest. Sophie Jordan has managed to give her characters in this story maturity that is beyond a hormonal teen and created characters that although damaged are working to rectify their issues.
It starts, however, with an overused trope and love triangle, with two damsel in distress issues that tended to drag the plot into familiar territory and almost mask the quality written into the characterizations. Fortunately, those early issues resolved themselves quickly, and the plot becomes a very sweet story with characters who are often working double time to prove themselves different from their reputations, often to good effect.
Pepper is determined to avoid all of the mistakes she has seen others make, and has set out a foolproof plan (insert laugh of the knowing here) to avoid entanglements and distractions as she works toward bettering herself and her life. With some misguided advice from her roommate on how to catch the man she has lusted after from afar, she takes a chance on the bad-boy.
Reece is tattooed, and a ladies man, but not nearly to the extent that some credit him with. Dealing with his own trust and relationship issues, he is not averse to Pepper’s attentions, but he also is surprised when emotions intrude, and the safety he feels with her results in his opening up beyond what he is comfortable with.
While these two have a plan, neither expects their plans will intersect and open to include something more than a moment. Jordan manages to give these characters depth and moments of vulnerability that are as unexpected as they are clever and unique. Neither wastes energy on what might have been: yes they have regrets, but their goals propel them forward and move them TO something, rather than sitting and whinging. Secondary characters are mostly well-developed, if some are more typical to typecasting, they each have something unique and special to offer that fits them into the story in a way that works and keeps the reader intrigued. Far more than what I expected, this sweet and slightly spicy story has something for the romance fan in all of us.
Author: Sophie Jordan
Published by: William Morrow
Source: Publisher Via Edelweiss
Before she goes after the life she’s always wanted, she’s about to find the one she needs.
Pepper has been hopelessly in love with her best friend’s brother, Hunter, for like ever. He’s the key to everything she’s always craved: security, stability, family. But she needs Hunter to notice her as more than just a friend. Even though she’s kissed exactly one guy, she has just the plan to go from novice to rock star in the bedroom—take a few pointers from someone who knows what he’s doing.
Her college roommates have the perfect teacher in mind. But bartender Reece is nothing like the player Pepper expects. Yes, he’s beyond gorgeous, but he’s also dangerous, deep—with a troubled past. Soon what started as lessons in attraction are turning both their worlds around, and showing just what can happen when you go past foreplay and get to what’s real...
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher Via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.