Author: Sophie Jordan
Publication: William Morrow Paperbacks (November 5, 2013)
Description: 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 the perfect 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 and deep—with a troubled past. Soon what started as a lesson in attraction is turning both their worlds upside down, and showing them just what can happen when you go past foreplay and get to what's real. . . .
My Thoughts: FOREPLAY is a novel that fits nicely into the New Adult genre. Pepper has had a goal for years to win the affections of her best friend's older brother Hunter. Hunter represents everything she has always wanted in her life - a close, happy family; a handsome, polite man. Her own family was pretty dysfunctional. She was dragged from place to place by her drug-addicted mother until she was eleven. She spent a lot of time hidden in closets and bathrooms while her mother "entertained" various men. When one of the men came near to abusing her at age eleven, her mother decided she couldn't protect her any more and dropped her off to live with her grandmother. She was raised by her grandmother in an old people's home. It seems natural that she would fall in love with Hunter and Hunter's family.
Pepper has moved on to college - the same college Hunter is attending - and, now that Hunter has broken up with his long-term girlfriend, she has decided to take her opportunity to make him see her as something other than his sister's best friend. That is where Reese comes in. Her roommates have been telling her about this hot bartender at a local joint. Pepper decides to ask him to teach her how to be with a man. After all, she has been waiting for Hunter all her life and has only kissed one guy.
Reese isn't quite what Pepper thought. He is certainly hot. But he is also kind and caring and protective. His childhood was almost as dysfunctional as hers. His mother died of a medicine overdose when he was eight, leaving him with a foul-mouthed, verbally abusive father and a younger brother to raise. After the father has an accident that leaves him a paraplegic, Reese drops out of college to run the bar which has been in the family for 50 years.
Reese and Pepper have a great relationship but it takes way too long for pepper to realize that what she is doing with Reese is love not practice.
This was a quick read. I enjoyed the characters and the romance but wished that Pepper would have had her realization about which man was right for her faster. I think she hurt Reese way more than she needed to and more than most men would tolerate.
"Hey." He reached across the table and covered my hand with his own. "It's going to work out. You'll see. You'll get your guy."I got this ARC through Amazon Vine. You can buy your copy here.
My heart clenched a little at his words. Suddenly I wasn't so sure who that guy was anymore.