Author: Sophie Jordan
Release Date: 11/5/2013
How I got a copy of the book: I was granted access through an ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review
Summary From GoodReads:
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…
What Did I Think?
What did I think about this book? I actually read it amoung a week long spree of adult fiction (usually I try to alternate between YA and Adult when I read for reviews) – but this week in particular I had a spree of GREAT books – this being one of them. I can admit when I first started reading it, I thought the idea Pepper had this crazy crush and that she was trying to use someone else to gain experience was a little….insane… But at the same time being a girl, I could in some way fathom how someone may think this is a good idea – and then we meet Reece. Reece is dark and haunted, and beautiful from Sophie Jordan’s awesome portrayl with words. Pepper just didn’t know what to do with a guy like this. The heat betweeen them even in the begining crackled off the page – always leaving me wanting more. I can hoenstly say the first time he took her to his room, I almost fainted just reading the hotness of it all. I know the story is similar, bad boy with bad reputation – good girl who doesn’t know better but wants a little taste of the bad boy world – but I still thought it took on it’s own twist. I like that Pepper really saw Reece even from the start, even though it scared her pants off. Then we throw Hunter into the story. I really wanted to like Hunter, but from the moment Reece came into the picture, in my heart that was the person for Pepper (no matter what Pepper wanted) – guess that would have made me a pretty crappy friend right?
Anyway, so here is the good girl with the bad boy – who commences to teach her all she needs to know to make the guy of her dreams want her – which is really kind of messed up, but again the moments are so HOT. All I can say about this is that Reece is smarter than he lets on throught out the entire book – he takes what she offers but I know he knew more from even the begining and being that he was willing to take her crappy offer – made my heart stutter even more. I started to really worry about Recce’s feelings – especially after that scene in the pizza place. But woudln’t you know it, what guy doesn’t want what he can’t have (age old story here too, right?) and all of a sudden Peppper has everything she “wants” – and this is where the torture kind of started for me, I was utterlly decided that it was Reece not Hunter who deserved her – and I rooted ruthlessly for him, so you can mark me Team Reece here… and the rest is history since you will have to read the book – will Pepper choose the safe choice with Hunter or will she take the big leap and give Reece and happiness a chance?
Starting with Pepper I’ll admit right out that she had it rough growing up and this really makes me understand her hesitancy with the opposite sex – in many ways. It also really explains her lure to the “safeness” of Hunter and his perfect family. It’s the only normal she ever knew. So when Reece comes screeching into her life full force and full of his own problems, of course she will run for the hills. While Pepper thinks she isn’t strong and her survival is only built on her taking the safe route, which she has built in her head with Hunter, I actually saw a lot of strength in her – I thought she was incredibly brave to continue with her life, although carefully, and not crumble from all she had been through. After reading her story you will understand more, but for me – the fact she was even walking and going through life (albeit a little unlively) showed how brave she really was. The fact that Reece understood where she was coming from and saw her braveness too just gave him another point in my book. Hunter, while he did care about her deeply, you could tell he never really understood what was beneath the surface from her life before she knew him… I enjoyed seeing Pepper grow and learn to live in this book, not just exist.
Reece, oh Reece — what can I say? Reece absoultely came from a rough situation – and one run in with his father showed exactly why. When he poured his heart and his story to Pepper, my heart hurt for him… This guy had been through so much and yet, just like Pepper – he kept going. He even went as far as to deny himself something that would make him happy because he felt he didn’t deserve it – now I know in any psychological sense this makes him…not so well – but for the story I think it showed how good of a person he was. Him letting Pepper in was amazing to watch – seeing him grow in this novel and accept that he deserved better made me root for him even more. He just like Pepper was so much stronger than he gave himself credit for.
Hunter, Mr. Perfect. I don’t dislike Hunter and he actually seemed like a totally stand up guy. I’m not completely sure why he had no interest in Pepper until he saw her with Reece since they knew each other for a long time, but who knows.. I do know from what I saw he was a gentleman and a good person – Unfortunately during his part of the book, we really only saw what Pepper ws thinking.. I am glad she got her chance to be with him, no matter what happens that I may or may not agree with – but this was part of her journey. In the end, the last scene or one of the last to be exact – he won my heart over too – he really is a stand up guy. I liked that Jordan didn’t write scummy guys in this book – what’s better than having 2 amazing but different guys in love with you?
The other characters –
Reece’s brother and Pepper’s best friend both played pretty significant roles in the book, and because this is the first in a series – I feel like we will see more of all of them as it continues, and I am personally super excited about that – hearing the other stories. I “think” the next story may be about Pepper’s room mate and I think that will be something interesting to read and it’s absolutely on my watch list –
Post Book Re-Cap
Overall I give this book a 4/5 stars. I really enjoyed the characters, the writing and the storyline. It’s the first in the series and I can honestly say that I will want to read the other parts of the series as they come out. I have not read anything by Sophie Jordan before but I will be checking more stuff out that she writes for sure. The one thing I can say here is that I wish I could see things from Reece’s mind – i’m so spoiled seeing things from both sides in so many books, that now I miss out when I can’t understand what a guy or whomever is thinking that’s the other part of the story. In some points, the same goes for Hunter. I think this book for me is a re-read because I was so entranced with the story round number one I could have missed some of the better points, and I certianly wouldn’t mind going back over some of the steamier moments (HOT!). I really think I’m starting to enjoy this new new adult genre. So in the end, it’s an amazing story of growth for Reece and Pepper – and also about Hunter realizing what he wanted all along was right under his nose. Like I said before, what is better than having 2 amazing guys in totally different ways in love with you – well the only thing I can think of is that you have to choose – so what will Pepper do?
I hope you enjoyed my review and will get the book – I’ll post the pre-order link above and don’t forget it hits shelves on 11/5 (not too far away). I want to thank Sophie Jordan for allowing me to review this early – it was my pelasure! And I hope to hear some of your comments too, espeically when you can read it for yourselves —