Foreplay: The Ivy Chronicles
by Sophie Jordan
Published by William Morrow
Genre: new adult lit
Thanks to TLC Book Tours for the preview
Let’s say there is a guy you have loved – LOVED – forever. He represents everything you want: stability, family, success. He is the embodiment of your life’s dreams. And let’s say that you and your obsession wind up at the same college. (Okay, by “wind up,” I mean you made sure you got accepted to the same school he was attending.) You have your chance, right? You can go for it!
But let’s also say that your obsession is the older brother of your best friend, and he looks at you like you’re his little sister. You can’t quite go for it if there is no interest on his part.
So what do you do?
You could throw yourself in front of him and hope for the best. Or you could make sure he sees you for the sexual creature you desperately want to be.
Pepper finds herself in just this very situation. She has loved best friend Lila’s brother Hunter for years. And now they’re both at the same college, so it would seem that she has a chance. But Pepper is still a virgin (which for some reason is presented as almost a character flaw), and she is convinced that Hunter will never see her as anything other than Lila’s pesky sidekick. Her roommate Emerson says that Pepper needs to sex it up, but how? Pepper has no idea, so she does what all resourceful college students do: she gets a tutor.
In this case, the tutor is Reece who is … well … HOT. He works as a bartender for a local watering hole that Emerson likes to frequent, and he also happens to have met Pepper previously, when he helped her with some car trouble. Even better? He’s interested. And he’s willing to help Pepper connect with her inner vixen.
Sure. You know exactly where this is headed, and you would be correct. Sometimes such transparency works against a book, but in this case, it enhances our enjoyment.
Pepper is not always likable. In fact, sometimes she is so annoying that you wonder why Reece bothers. She is set on Hunter, even as she develops feelings for her tutor. She begins to think that Reece may be the guy for her, but Reece isn’t part of her plan.
For his part, Reece is a bit mysterious, a bit intriguing, and a whole lot gorgeous. We wait anxiously for him to rock that headboard with Pepper, and the longer she puts it off, the less I liked her. Like Pepper, Reece has a Background. His family is not nearly as rock solid and perfect as Hunter’s, and that’s part of Pepper’s issue with him. She desperately wants stability. Her own family life was fraught with tension and uncertainty, and Hunter represents an escape from that. Reece, I am sad to say, represents a return.
Sophie Jordan creates characters who entertain us and whom we care about. We really want all of these people – Emerson, as well as the other roommate Georgia too – to get what they want, whatever that may be. Reece is almost heartbreakingly lovely. The scene in which he comes to Pepper and says he can’t stay away from her? It’s hot, yes, but it’s touching. We find ourselves hoping that Pepper will not reject him.
While this may appear to be Young Adult on the surface, it is very much a New Adult book. There are some sexy times here (thank you, Reece), and they are graphic enough that you do not want a fourteen-year-old reading this one.