Release Date: July 21, 2015
Pages: 242 (Paperback)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
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Jake and Andrea met once. When Andrea was in college, Jake came with her brother Ben who was visiting on leave from a deployment in Afghanistan. Now, years later, Jake gets a job in Ben’s home town to be close to his best friend. He hadn’t counted on Andrea. The attraction he’d felt then was still there. And this time he wasn’t headed back to a war zone where he could very well be killed.
Andrea is drawn to the man who calls Ben brother. Something about him speaks to her, but she’s not sure what. She falls into things head first, but when something makes her question how fast things are going she slams on the breaks. Can the two of them figure out what’s going on with them before it’s too late?
I have been reading Melissa Stevens' books since her very first one, Change. I have watched her grow as an author and turn her work from good to amazing. This book is one example of amazing.
The setup: Ben and Jake, best friends, are deployed in Afghanistan, but come home for leave. Jake joins Ben on the visit, going back to Ben's home town. There Jake meets Andrea for the first time. But that was it. Nothing happens.
Fast forward a few years and Ben is getting married, so Jake is there for it. Of course he happens to run into Andrea, and the spark is there from the get go. Jake is pretty forward in what he wants and makes bold moves I was not too sure about. Kind of struck me off guard. But Andrea is right there along for the ride.
They hide their relationship from Ben, for fear of how Andrea's big brother would react. He had always been the domineering big brother, chasing away anyone who came too close to his baby sister. Now, it's different because it's his best friend hooking up with his baby sister. Intense thoughts ran through my mind.
About the same time, Andrea is dealing with thoughts put there by an 'innocent' conversation. Is this what she wants? Is she ready? Isn't this going too fast? And on top of that, Ben adds to it by telling Andrea about Jake's past. It is all too much for Andrea, but how does she deal with it? She slams on the brakes, locks the doors, and refuses to answer her phone.
I wanted to strangle her and ask, "Why are you listening to other people?? FOLLOW YOUR HEART!" Okay, I may have actually yelled at her while reading. A few times. Now you have to read it to see what happens. How Ben reacts, how Andrea deals with her relationship, and how Jake reacts to everything also.
Now for the parts I wasn't so sure about. Out of no where, Jake has a nickname for Andrea. I, of course, see where the nickname comes from, but there was no lead up to it. He just suddenly calls her by the nickname one day, no explanation as to why, and from then on, that's her nickname. I feel there needed to be a line of explanation like, "****," Jake says, using the name he has come to calling her. Something of the sort.
And then the end of the book moved a bit too fast and left me wanting a little more. I'm not sure what I wanted, since it's all there, but I needed a bit more of something. Is there going to be another book later where I get that bit more of the same characters? I don't know. I am thinking this is a standalone. But if there is another, I'm reading it for sure!!
**I received an ARC from the author in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. While the story remains the same, some details may have been added that I didn't read, which lead to my review.**
About the Author
Born and raised in Arizona, Melissa has spent her entire life living across the southern half of the state. She's found that, along with her husband and three children, she prefers the small towns and rural life to feeling packed into a city.
She started reading at a very young age, and her love for series started early, as the first real books she remembers reading is the Boxcar Children series by Gertrude Chandler Warner. Through the years she's found that there's little she won't read, and her tastes vary from westerns, to romance, to sci-fi / fantasy and Horror.
She's been writing since 2009, and published since 2012. She enjoys nearly every minute of the experience.