Find your next favorite audiobook

Become a member today and listen free for 30 days
Foreplay: The Ivy Chronicles Book 1

Foreplay: The Ivy Chronicles Book 1

Written by Sophie Jordan

Narrated by Kim McKean


Foreplay: The Ivy Chronicles Book 1

Written by Sophie Jordan

Narrated by Kim McKean

ratings:
4.5/5 (35 ratings)
Length:
9 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Nov 5, 2013
ISBN:
9780062293237
Format:
Audiobook

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. . . .

Publisher:
Released:
Nov 5, 2013
ISBN:
9780062293237
Format:
Audiobook


About the author

Sophie Jordan grew up in the Texas hill country where she wove fantasies of dragons, warriors, and princesses. A former high school English teacher, she’s a New York Times, USA Today, and international best-selling author of over thirty novels, including The Me I Meant to Be and Kissing Lessons. She now lives in Houston with her family. When she’s not writing, she spends her time overloading on caffeine (lattes preferred), talking plotlines with anyone who will listen (including her kids), and cramming her DVR with true-crime and reality TV shows. sophiejordan.net Twitter: @SoVerySophie Instagram: @sosophiejordan

Related to Foreplay

Related Audiobooks

Reviews

What people think about Foreplay

4.5
35 ratings / 27 Reviews
What did you think?
Rating: 0 out of 5 stars

Reader reviews

  • (4/5)
    This review and more can be read on my blog here: The Muses Circle3.5-4 starsMy Review: If you are one of my blog followers then I apologize for sounding like a broken record. Lately I've been coming across books that aren't so easy to rate. FOREPLAY by Sophie Jordan falls somewhere between a 3.5-4 star rating. On the one hand, it's a story we've heard over and over again in the ever popular NA genre: Inexperienced virgin (Pepper) wants a guy (Hunter) that she thinks is out of her league. Slutty/promiscuous friend (Emerson) convinces her to find someone that will help her gain the sexual experience she needs in order to win over the guy. Virgin doesn't count on falling for the "tutor" (Reece) that agrees to teach her foreplay. On the other hand, the author somehow uses the timeworn formula to create a story that in some aspect feels fresh and original.There are quite a few elements that Jordan uses to set this book apart from the rest. With stories focusing on the good girl trying to go after the guy she thinks is the best for her rather than the actual guy that is, there lacks a certain depth. But in FOREPLAY, the author gives our heroine, Pepper, a psychological reason for setting her sights on Hunter Montgomery due to her troubled childhood past. Hunter is her best friend's older brother. During her teenage years, Pepper would spend many days and evenings at the Montgomery's. Blinded by the yearning for the "perfect home life" that she experienced at their home, she thinks being with Hunter is the key to happily ever after.Let's face it, ladies. In stories like these, a hero can either make or break a book. Thank the gods Sophie Jordan knows how to write a hunky male lead! At first I was a little nervous when I came to realize FOREPLAY was strictly going to be in Pepper's POV. I guess I've been getting spoiled with authors writing dual perspectives. After all, I'm the type of gal that likes getting into the heads of "bad boy" characters. But I had nothing to worry about. Jordan used it to her advantage. Reece turned out to be this very sexy, mysterious, strong/silent type. Since we are only able to see Reece through Pepper, I was drawn to him just as much as she was, because I felt like I was experiencing her curiosity and excitement, right alongside her.Even though we never got a chance to see things through Reece's eyes, I found him a very intriguing character. First and foremost, there is a bit of a twist in his actual identity (which has something to do with his younger brother) that I didn't see coming. My lips are sealed since I don't want to spoil anything, but it was nice that the book synopsis didn't give away everything which quite frequently happens. Aside from that, Reece is a young man with the weight of the world on his shoulders. At 23 years old, he has experienced the loss of a mother, an abusive, alcoholic father that blames him for his current state of handicap, owns and runs the family bar (which is where Pepper meets him), all while trying to raise his wild 17-18 year old younger brother Logan. And because of this heap of responsibility, he quite college. I guess what I liked about Reece is the fact that there is a realistic quality to his character. I'm all for characters that are given shitty circumstances and turn things around for the better. Now that everyone knows I liked both Pepper and Reece, you're probably wondering about their chemistry. OFF THE FREAKIN' CHARTS! Jordan definitely knows how to build sexual tension. And once we get to the foreplay...oh, yeah, HOT HOT HOT. That first scene where Reece drags Pepper through the back of the bar, up the stairs to his apartment...the things he says and does to her...*fans self* Yeah, definitely worth the build up.The trouble I had with the story actually starts once Pepper finally decides to go all the way with Reece. Reece has an apartment above the bar which gives them total privacy, yet where do they finally do the deed??? At her dorm/apartment which she shares with 2 other people! I was disappointed because this is not the first book I've read where the girl loses her virginity at her dorm (some examples would be True by Erin McCarthy, My Favorite Mistake by Chelsea M. Cameron). I get this is a NA book where most of the characters are in their college years, so it does make sense that sexual situations would happen at a dorm. But come on! Think a little outside the box! Especially since Reece has his own place!From that point on, the story started to turn pretty generic for me. The "big thing" that happens at the end of the story felt too contrived. I can't say much more or else I'll be in spoiler territory.FOREPLAY was a pleasurable read and Sophie Jordan deserves a pat on the back for creating a relatively fresh story out of a tired old formula. While the plot does fall a little flat somewhere in the middle to the end of the book, the author's strength is in her characters. I really enjoyed Pepper and Reece. FOREPLAY is the 1st novel in the Ivy Chronicles, so I definitely look forward to seeing what characters Jordan writes about next.Mia @ The Muses Circle
  • (2/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    For more reviews, gifs, Cover Snark and more, visit A Reader of Fictions.Actual rating: 1.5 starsWell, here I am again. I fell for the hype and came out a black sheep. As much as I don’t like the existence of New Adult as a classification, I am totally up for books about people transitioning into adulthood. As such, I keep hoping that the age classification will produce books that will actually cover that time of life and its issues, rather than just being a garden variety romance novel that makes sure to indulge in every trope possible. Foreplay is not that book. There’s nothing original or out of the standard NA package here.I should have known better. I admit that freely. If only I read book blurbs, I wouldn’t have trusted the hype, because experience has told me that characters named things like Pepper and Reece in a contemporary novel will never end well. The heroine, Pepper, is a virgin in her sophomore year of college. She studies hard and disdains partying. Though she attends a prestigious ivy college, she’s had a hard knock life, basically raised at her grandmother’s retirement village.Pepper annoys me greatly. For one thing, I don’t like the virgin-shaming that happens towards her character. Her friends Emerson and Georgia encourage her to get out there, and approve of her scheme to hook up with a random guy before making a move for the guy she actually wants. Meanwhile, all the girls subtly slut shame one another. Now, I don’t mind the occasional “skank” between friends, as long as everyone knows it’s a joke and the love is obvious, but these characters are so flat. They’re nothing but vehicles of slut-shaming and virgin-shaming. That is not okay.Is it too much to ask for the friends in new adult novels to actually be friends? I’m all for sex in novels and in life, but only if the people involved truly want to have it and understand the choices they’re making. Friendship isn’t urging your friend to hook up with some playboy she doesn’t know just so she can check off some list and be more appealing to the guy she actually wants. This premise is so creepy and uncomfortable. I could see it if Hunter, Pepper’s dream man, hadn’t just become available, but why go after someone else when the target is in her sights? Plus, the “friends” completely disappear as soon as the romance starts up. They’re around only to push Pepper to go out to the bars, drink alcohol, and dress sexier.The writing in the book is passable, but incredibly cliched. The attempts at banter fall flat, due to the lack of a real personality in the characters. The romantic lines are hackneyed. The descriptions of sex gave me major deja vu to the repetitive descriptions from the romance novels I read obsessively when I was a teen.Mostly, Foreplay isn’t terrible. It’s tepid. It’s unoriginal. It’s exactly the same as a hundred other books. Where romance novels have the chance to really shine is in the characterization. The reason to care about the outcome isn’t the plot or the world building; it’s the ship, and to care about a ship, you need to not only care about the love interests but also feel a connection between them. For me, that connection needs to be more than just sexual, which, sadly, this doesn’t seem to be.Where I am giving some points to this book is Reece. He’s actually a nice guy. He has tats and piercings, but he’s not remotely a bad boy. He’s sweet and respectful of Pepper’s boundaries. While he is aggressive, he never tries to force her into anything. When he feels jealous, he usually keeps that to himself, since he knows he and Pepper aren’t in a relationship, but, if he lashes out, he apologizes sincerely. As NA heroes go, he’s a pretty good one.However, they really just didn’t have anything but a sexual connection. Rather than discussing their interests or anything, they do trade their stories of why they’re broken. Because of course they’re both broken from childhood abuse, since otherwise this couldn’t be a new adult novel, right? “You’re broken? Me too! Obviously we’re perfect together. And now we never need therapy because of the healing powers of simultaneous orgasms.” No, genre. No.Like the attempts at dark pasts, the love triangle is also half-assed. There’s no attempt made to show why Pepper was so into Hunter, and she’s so obviously bored by him (even she knows this), but she drags the stupid thing out for about a month. And then THAT ENDING: Pepper’s been dating Hunter because Reece isn’t safe enough, despite his stable job and being a nice guy. While babysitting one night, the house catches on fire totally randomly. Pepper saves the two girls and then goes back to the dog. Of course, she stalls out on the way back out with the dog, but Reece arrives to carry out, because I guess his Pepper senses were sneezing. As she passes out following the dramatic rescue, she barely manages to squeeze out “Love. You.” Then, in the hospital, she redeclares her love and they get together. Hunter comes in, sees them holding hands, and is totally cool with it and not bothered that she cheated on him. What do you do once you’ve survived a fire, cheated on your boyfriend and gotten your HEA? YOU GO TO DISNEY WORLD. No, really, that’s how the book ends. My brain, it melts a little.If the standard new adult romance formula works for you, that’s great. You will love this. It’s frankly not my thing, and I thought the dialog and characterization was much better in the self pub offerings by Lyla Payne and Gennifer Albin.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (5/5)
    4.5 stars

    I try to rate things on a scale within their genres, and this is just really an excellent example of how New Adult can be done well.

    Great friendships among women, sexiness that isn't awkward or dumb, and really complex, lovely characters. Review to come. I loved this book.
  • (4/5)
    Foreplay was everything I was looking for. Something about the mysterious bartender gets me every time. I loved the protagonist and I didn't even mine that it was kind of a stereotypical new adult plot - everything about Foreplay really worked for me. Read it one sitting :)
  • (5/5)
    Foreplay was my first venture into the New Adult genre. I knew Sophie Jordan would be the perfect author to help make it an enjoyable experience. I'm 100% certain she can't write a book I won't love.Foreplay was a fun read. The chemistry between Pepper and Reece was off the charts. The scenes when he was ill. Oh. My. Goodness. I ate it up.I absolutely adored Pepper's personality. I wasn't sure if the premise, virgin wanting to hook up with hot guy to impress crush, could be pulled off sans cheesiness. Thankfully it was!Reece was everything I want in a love interest. All surly bad boy on the outside, but oozing with sweetness underneath the tough exterior. Oh how I loved him. He has a great story, and I'm so glad I was able to experience it.Sophie Jordan is a romance novel writing goddess. I couldn't put this one down and can't wait for the next.
  • (4/5)
    What you wish for may not be what is right for you. Nineteen and never had sex... Pepper is ready for someone to train her in the art of love. This is an enjoyable story.
  • (4/5)
    I rarely take the time to read new adult as I don't want to be teased with tidbit of sensuality and that seems to be most NAs on the market at the moment. Ms Jordan is by no means a tease. She builds the relationship with you slowly, draws you in, and then just when you can't quite take anymore waiting, she gives you everything you could have wanted and more.

    This book is well written, smart, snarky and portrays a real sense of the characters. My only complaint is the use of a device that is becoming all too common. (I won't share due to spoilers). I am so tired of seeing this in books. I know it happens in real life but I want to escape in a book not be brought down by the reality of the harsh lessons our world shows us.

    An EXCELLENT book and the steamiest, of romance even in the full on adult genre, I have read in awhile
  • (5/5)
    I received this as an Early Review book, and it completely surprised me! I loved the characters and find myself still thinking about them a few months after reading it. The chemistry between Pepper and Reese was adorable. These characters make stupid mistakes throughout the book, but I found them to be believable based on their individual backgrounds. Many times when reading books, I find the idiotic things the characters do to be unbelievable and only for the purpose of the story. It was a very sweet read, and I wish it hadn't ended.
  • (5/5)
    I don't normally go for romance novels but I really enjoyed this one.

    Pepper has been in love with her best friend's brother Hunter since they were kids. He embodies all that she has ever wanted and needed: safety and normalcy. Now that she has a chance with him, she feels she needs to get some experience under her belt before she can go for him. She instead pursues a tall, dark, and handsome bartender, just to help her to learn foreplay, and you know the rest.

    I loved the story and the chemistry between the characters. Even though it is somewhat predictable, it still pulled me in and I couldn't put it down. 4.5 stars.
  • (4/5)
    Sophie Jordan writes a humor filled book about a college girl named Pepper who has no dating experience whatsoever who's head over heels in love with Hunter, her best friends brother. Afraid of not being experienced, Pepper goes on the hunt for a guy to teach her a thing or two about foreplay. What she doesn't know however is that feelings for someone show up in the most unexpected places. I highly recommend this book.
  • (5/5)
    I've read all of Sophie Jordan's novels - both Adult and Young Adult - so it's no surprise that I loved this NA novel of hers as well!Usually when the girl is pining over another guy, or using a guy for other reasons, I hate the girl. But somehow Sophie Jordan ended up making me like Pepper. She wasn't too whiny, she realized her attraction for Reece, and even when she got her wish to date Hunter, she understood that there was no spark between them. And Reece. Oh wow. Can I have my own Reece, please?I'm glad I got to read this book and now I want to own my own copy of it, so I will probably end up buying it very soon in paperback! Loved this novel and CANNOT WAIT for the rest in the series!
  • (4/5)
    Pepper has loved her best friend's brother, Hunter, for years, but he has never really noticed her in that way. While at college she finds out that he is finally single and she hopes to attract his attention since they go to college in the same city. Pepper's friends are convinced that she needs to "learn" a few things about guys and who better to teach her than the hot bartender at the local college bar? You see, Pepper has little to no experience with men; in fact, she has barely even kissed one. Reece, the bartender, has a reputation for being incredible with women, so her roommates hope to hook these two up. Pepper finally connects with Reece and things unfold as planned, but she can't deny that she is attracted to him even more than she should be. Reece has a troubled past and Pepper knows she should stay away from him, but they have a connection that is stronger than just a casual relationship. When Hunter finally notices Pepper, she must make a tough decision. Sophie Jordan's first new adult novel, Foreplay, is a fun and frothy read. Despite the fact that the plot is familiar, Jordan keeps readers entertained.Pepper is a character that feels familiar in Foreplay. A lot of writers are following the formula of a virginal girl meets bad boy and learns a few things about life, relationships, and sex. We have seen this before and I will admit it has been played out, but the difference here is that Jordan, author of Firelight, is a fantastic writer. So although Pepper feels familiar simply because we have read about so many characters just like her, Jordan brings that special something. I like that Pepper has a troubled and complicated background, which initially sparked her attraction to Hunter as his family life is the polar opposite of Pepper's. She isn't just a one dimensional character and has an interesting back story that she must deal with in Foreplay.Reece is also the kind of bad-boy that I really love reading about. He also has a lot of baggage, a strange home life, and a lot of responsibilities. Reading about their relationship progressing and unfolding was one of the best aspects of Foreplay. There is no doubt that Reece and Pepper have chemistry. The setting of college is one that I really liked and one of the best aspects of Foreplay. I love college life and Jordan portrayed it perfectly. Another aspect of Foreplay that I enjoyed was the fact that Pepper had two good girlfriends and I like seeing that in New Adult literature. It doesn't always have to be all about the guy.So, even though there were a few familiar conflicts in Foreplay and a few cheesy moments, I'd say this is an amusing read with some sexytimes and interesting characters. It didn't "wow" me as I was hoping, but was an entertaining read nonetheless.
  • (4/5)
    The innocent, naive and studious Pepper has always wanted what she never had. She wants the typical home and family, and she sees her best friend's brother, Hunter, as the personification of all her childhood dreams. The problem is..Hunter has had a girlfriend for the last few years and he doesn't see her as more than a sister. The story begins when Pepper receives a call from her best friend, letting her know that Hunter is finally single. Pepper realizes this is her chance to blossom into a beauty to catch Hunter's attention. She needs experience, but most of all, she needs someone to teach her. Enter Reece, resident bad boy bartender, notoriously known for his indiscriminate pick of bed partners. Nice girl meets bad boy. They start messing around, with Reece vowing to teach her the art of foreplay, yet abstaining from the complete deed. He turns out to be a gentleman with a reputation for single-minded determination in running his father's bar. The epitome of the troubled, dark hero with a good heart. The playboy rep actually belongs to his younger brother. Pepper realizes this and falls for him, yet she is unable to let go of her idea of Hunter and the family she could have. The triangle begins and Pepper is finally able to learn to accept herself, her past, and love who she wants to love rather than who she feels she SHOULD love.What I found most appealing about this story is that..the hero did not dwell or go on a tangent about how she's too good for him. It seems a rather small, unimportant detail, but for some reason it struck me. I was waiting for him to pull something like, and realized I liked it more that he didn't. They were temporarily apart only because she refused to see their potential, not because he pushed her away. And that's where I feel this story shined. Yes, it's typical in that there is a bad boy and a good, smart girl. However, the story wasn't framed by him feeling socially or monetarily inept compared to her, but by her being blinded by a naive sense of needing perfection.I enjoyed this book and look forward to more NA novels by Jordan. Though having read her other historical books, the elemental, heart-tugging hurt/jealousy faced by her main characters was notably muted in this one. Still a great read nonetheless.
  • (5/5)
    As an avid reader of new adult novels, I was pleased to win Foreplay by Sophie Jordan. Pepper has been in love with Hunter since she first met him when she was twelve years old. Hunter's family is perfect and Pepper desires to become Hunter's significant other and become part of the family. The problem is that Hunter has had a steady girlfriend for a couple of years. When Pepper finds out that Hunter is single again, she decides that she needs more experience with a guy to be the best girlfriend for Hunter. Enter Reece. Once Pepper sees him serving up drinks at the local bar, she knows he is the one to help her learn about foreplay, and Reece, thank the gods, takes her up on her offer. As Pepper and Reece continue to learn from each other and heal from dark things in their pasts, both begin to feel a pull towards each other. Thankfully, Ms. Jordan provides a lovely ending to this great new adult novel. I look forward to more in this series!
  • (4/5)
    This lovely new adult romance kept me up half of the night! I couldn't rest until I'd read all of Pepper's saucy adventures!Pepper is a strong heroine with mountains of self respect. I love that she never settles. Instead, Pepper bravely goes after what she wants and deserves. I cheered as Pepper boldly pursued the very best "experience" a girl can get her eagerly studious hands on, Reece.Reece is a super sexy heart-stopper. He's a commanding sex-pert with a heart of gold. With mounting desire he accepts the conditions of Pepper's proposition. But, lines begin to blur as their connection and chemistry becomes undeniable. Lucky for Pepper, Reece sets his heart on her.Foreplay is a feel-good and youthful New Adult romance and a refreshing shift from other NA titles laden with angst and overly aggressive males. And it sizzles! Foreplay is loaded with deliciously intense and passionate moments. While not overly detailed or lengthy, Foreplay's steamy bits are just spicy enough to suit the blossoming innocence and goodness of the characters to perfection.This was such a fun read. I look forward to the release ofTEASE (The Ivy Chronicles, #2), the next book in this great new NA series!ARC graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
  • (3/5)
    I didn't really know what to expect with this book. It had components of young adult but the characters where in college and it was more adult than YA. However, it didn't really feel like a romance to me because the characters seemed young. I've read other books with college aged characters (even college aged characters with little experience) but they just seemed more mature than this group. After seeming some other literature on this, it seems like this is a new genre called New Adult. Anyway, this was an enjoyable story with awkward characters that had a little bit of development but not as much as you would see in other genres. I enjoyed it while I read it but won't pick up other books in this series.
  • (5/5)
    I was given this book in exchange for an honest review.HOT!! This is a great book with endearing characters. I started the book and did not move from my couch until I finished it. I was fully engrossed in the antics of the leading characters. I look forward to reading more from this author.
  • (4/5)
    See more of my reviews here at my blog: Take Me Away...When I found out that Sophie Jordan was writing a New Adult novel, I was super excited. I knew she wrote adult novels, so her NA would more than likely be reallllly good! And I was right. Sophie Jordan did not disappoint."'There is more to a relationship than just sex." "Yes, but a relationship sure is better when the sex is good."pg. 73I'll be honest. when I first found read the synopsis, I wasn't exactly thrilled. I thought it was a weird concept. I thought she was going to be doing different hook-ups until her roommates found her "the perfect teacher." It wasn't exactly something I would have wanted to read. But then I saw the reviews start coming in and saw that that wasn't the case at all. It got me excited for it all over again. And then, the book trailer came out. And let me just tell you, that book trailer made me put this to the very top of my TBR. I NEEDED to know who this Reece was."'What did you tell them? His breath fanned from my lips. "That you're staying the night with me."pg. 105And then I finally met Pepper and Reece. With Pepper, I HATED her name. (Sorry I just couldn't get over that.) And a lot of the things she did. Maybe it's just me, but I didn't like the fact that she was so scary. But at the same time, I understood it. She was so innocent and didn't know how to go for what she wanted. I wanted her from the very beginning to leave Hunter alone because I felt like he was just there. The first time Reece asked why it HAD to be Hunter and she couldn't answer, I just felt like she was stupid for still pursuing it. And then at the part where she first chose, I thought that was just crazy. By then it was obvious what they felt for each other and she still chose to fight it. Even with all that happened to her, I thought she was nuts to still push him away. But I understood that too. She was just scared. Which is why I loved Emerson. She was the exact opposite and just what Pepper needed to bring her out of her shell. They had a great friendship."'I glanced down and winced at the white cotton panties with tiny yellow kittens on them."pg. 132And then there's Reece. OMG he was super hot. He had a pierced eyebrow, tattoos, and muscles on top of muscles from what I'm picturing in my head (along with what I saw on the book trailer). And he always knew exactly what to say. Whether to get Pepper all hot and steamy or just to make her feel wanted. And what I loved the most about him, HE WASN'T THE STEREOTYPICAL MAN WHORE that's in ALLLLLL of NA. I really enjoyed that he was really just a normal guy and all he wanted was a normal relationship. His character was more than just the embodiment of sex. He had a bit of a dark past as well. And when the situation finally arose in the book, I hated that I had to see it. I wanted nothing more than to make him understand that it wasn't his fault."'Even sick, he was seducing me. He probably didn't even realize it. It's just what he did. Who he was. How he affected me."pg. 145As for the romance, it was exiting and super hot. Of course since she's "learning" foreplay, its a slow burning romance between the two of them. And every time they're together, it only gets hotter. I'm not exactly sure how they avoided it for so long, but in the end, when they finally got to it, it definitely set their worlds on fire."'It was as though my body lived and breathed for this. For him."pg. 181This was a book that I was anticipating for a long time. And although I had some discrepancies, I'm so glad I decided to look past them. Pepper and Reece are wonderful characters and Foreplay will definitely leave you wanting more. Pun intended.
  • (4/5)
    This was fantastic. While I am not altogether a fan of the whole "new adult" genre, I am all about some Sophie Jordan, so of course I had to jump on this. I am happy to say I was not disappointed. I felt like I could totally relate to Pepper and I have a complete crush on Reece. Can't wait for the next publication from Ms. Jordan. It's sure to be a winner!

    Thanks to Edelweiss and HarperCollins for the advanced reader copy for review.
  • (4/5)
    I LOVE Reece. He's completely fantastic & the stuff fantasies are made of. Rawr.
  • (4/5)
    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.
  • (5/5)
    good read
  • (4/5)
    I started reading Foreplay late on a Tuesday night, and finished it Wednesday morning. I could not put it down.
    I absolutely love Pepper and Reece. Both are so completely damaged, but they both have to put some things aside to figure out who they are. Pepper changed so much throughout this book. Just because you make a plan, doesn’t mean that’s how it’s going to work out. I love how protective Reece is. He’s also strong, and determined.
    The smexy scenes were great. It was fun seeing Pepper’s reactions to Reece. I like how she was able to open up to him when she couldn’t with her friends. The things that Pepper went through made me hurt for her. The same went for Reece. I do like that while there were some dark things that happened that overall the storyline was still fun.
    Foreplay is a fast paced read that you won’t want to put down.
  • (5/5)
    Sophie Jordan’s Foreplay: The Ivy Chronicles was a sweet and romantic book. Once I started reading it, I did not want to put it down! I liked that the fictional college setting and bar scene came across as very realistic. The characters are well developed for a New Adult romance novel. It’s a perfect story to escape into.The main character, Pepper, was shy, nice and inexperienced. With a name like “Pepper” she was also a little bit quirky. She let her outgoing and bold friend, Emerson, talk her into going to a local dive bar in search of a hookup. Pepper has been in love with Emerson’s older brother, Hunter. She has planned out their future in her head. Unfortunately, Hunter does not seem to be aware of this plan as he has been in a long-term relationship for a while. Pepper is very inexperienced and feels that she needs more experience before Hunter will take her seriously. Things turn around for Pepper as Hunter and his girlfriend break up and Reece, the hot bartender, seems to be interested in her. Then she is torn as to what she wants from a relationship. Does she want to take a risk or play it safe?Reece is the opposite of what Pepper has been looking for. Reece has piercings and tattoos and comes across as the stereotypical bad boy. Pepper decides she was Reece to be the one to give her foreplay “lessons.” Pepper and Hunter start to develop a more-than-friends relationship, but the spark that she has with Reece puts a dent in her future plans. As Pepper and Reece strengthen their relationship, their sizzling chemistry is impossible to ignore. The author builds a great connection between her characters that goes beyond just physical attraction.This is a great book for the 18 and over crowd. I recommend it to those who want a quick read, well developed characters, a college setting and a hot romance. Jordan’s writing is realistic, with a good sense of humor. Once you start reading, you won’t be able to put it down.
  • (4/5)
    Pepper—perpetually dubbed a "nice girl"—knows exactly what she wants. She wants a place to call home, a stable marriage, two-point-five children, and a white picket fence. Intelligent, kind, and newly single Hunter, whom she's loved from afar ever since her adolescence, can provide all these things—if she can even get him to notice her. But that's the thing with nice girls... they typically go unnoticed, especially the plain-Jane wallflower V-I-R-G-I-N-S like her. To get Hunter to fall for her, she needs a game plan: she needs to tease out her inner bombshell. But in order to do that, she'll need experience, and at her level of desperation, she'll look anywhere to get it.Pepper's search for a purely physical relationship, particularly with her lack of experience and sexual maturity, in order to achieve the idealistically domestic life she's always wanted, creates a complicated jumble of a romance story—a not-quite love triangle, with a few fatefully belated realizations tangled in. This is an entertaining twist on the typical We Agreed to be Fück Buddies But Ended Up Falling In Love and the Honey, It Was You All Along! plots, but you can't really expect it to knock anyone's socks off.The biggest thing that contributed to my enjoyment of this novel was the emotional depth within both Pepper and Reece. I'm not talking about the troubled pasts trope here, because I really felt it wasn't necessary to the development of the book, but rather, the reluctance and self-control both characters are forced to demonstrate when thrown into their sticky situation. Reece's mysterious, bad-boy-with-exceptional-morals vibe will make you want to probe him and get to know him, and Pepper's insistence on having Hunter while simultaneously falling for Reece, is a painful and conflicting issue.Jordan's characters are intricate and very lifelike—that, I can't complain about—but Pepper as a whole, I had a problem with. As kind-hearted and easy to sympathize with as she is, for her age and circumstance, she seems like a loser—and not the adorable, klutzy kind of loser either, but a complete and utter square. I know that makes me sound like a turbobitch, but her lack of social awareness (about everything and anything, not just with sex!) and very not-cute naïveté are so exasperating. She's a genuine, determined person, I'll give her that, but she's the kind of girl who doesn't understand sarcasm and innuendos, or is deluded enough to actually believe that one guy will give her everything she's ever wanted but never had (happiness, a perfect family, a large house, etc.). AND she's foolish enough to refuse Reece, who's right there in front of her practically ripping his heart open for her to use, because she's so fixated on this dream she's had. I accepted her as the narrator, but really had trouble liking or even relating to her.Reece, as with most NA heroes, is absolutely delicious—the kind of guy girls lose their heads over. Despite the fact that he seems perfect (has icy blue eyes and a flawless body; is a soccer-player-turned-bartender, as well as sex god), what readers learn of him beneath the surface is what will really made me swoon. Tall, dark, and troubled fans, you will go wild with this bad boy—such a catch!Pros: REECE! Holy fück // Pepper's initial mortification with Reece is hilarious // All the characters are well written; I'm intrigued by Pepper's friends because they seem so two-dimensional, but I'm sure they each have their own stories (possible future books in the series??) // Great writing that flows smoothly and steadily // Easy, mindless read // Pepper and Reece make an unexpectedly good pair // Contemporary college settingCons: Predictable // Unimaginative storyline: "Average girl and super hunk fall in love in an initially no-strings-attached relationship"—doesn't this scream contemporary romance? // Pepper is a consistent narrator, but an aggravating character // Hunter didn't seem that great to begin with; Pepper's "love" for him is unconvincingVerdict: While the familiar synopsis of Sophie Jordan's debut contemporary romance didn't get my hopes up for a completely exceptional or mind-blowing read to begin with, I couldn't help but be charmed by her effortless, intriguing execution of the overrated plot. The cast of lively characters, steamy chemistry, and entertaining, endearingly awkward relationship that only comes with the college experience—or rather, college inexperience—make Foreplay a breezy, party-like new adult novel, but Pepper's encounters with intimacy of an unwarranted connection, as well as release from repression to confront true desires, both add depth and complexity. I wouldn't call this an urgent must-read, but it's definitely a promising start to an exciting new university-set romance series.Rating: 7 out of 10 hearts (4 stars): Not perfect, but overall enjoyable; borrow, don't buy! Source: Complimentary copy provided by publisher via tour publicist in exchange for an honest and unbiased review (thank you, Harper Collins and TLC!).
  • (4/5)
    Foreplay by Sophie JordanARC received from William Morrow via LibraryThingAvailable: November 5, 2013Reviewed by: Middle Sis JennThe Sisters Say: Reece, Reece, He’s Our Man, If He Can’t Do it..Wait, HE CAN! (He really, really can!)Sophie Jordan makes me miss my college days!! I just loved dorm life and going out trying to scope out the hot bartenders, and Sophie brought all that right back with her sexy NA, Foreplay. Sexy and dangerous bartenderBFF’s hot, older brotherFriends who love to be the wingmanThis story has all the goods for a great, entertaining read. But, it’s not all fun and games. Behind the sexy wit and steamy scenes, there is a story of a girl and guy who both hold guilt and secrets.Pepper is the quiet, shy “nice girl” who has a hard time cuddling up to guys. She’s been in love with her best friend’s brother for as long as she can remember, and when he suddenly becomes available, she realizes she is oh-so-no-experienced in boy/girl relations. The answer to her problems? A little lesson in foreplay by the local hottie bartender, Reece. I liked Pepper for the most part, although at times I felt like her reactions were unrealistic. She is a girl who has only ever had one kiss, and most girls like that, presented with a hot guy who is truly caring, would fall head of heels for him. Pepper seems to be able to approach these “lessons” way to cavalierly than I think is realistic. Other than that, I enjoyed her character, and I understand why she was so convinced that Hunter is the guy for her.Reece had me from the moment he helped with Pepper’s car troubles. The piercing and tattoo just screamed “bad boy,” but he had this seriousness to him that made him charming and cuddly right along with the danger. I loved that he knew what Pepper wanted going in, but he kept trying to win her over. It just made me say, “Awww,” over and over again. Plus, the boy knows how to make a girl fall all over herself. Sophie did a great job bringing the minor characters to life, too. I just loved Emerson, one of Pepper’s college friends. She’s so dauntless and confident, and she wanted so much to help Pepper be more comfortable around guys. She’s just the kind of girl that everyone wants to meet at college—someone that will always have your back, but will also push you out of your comfort zone in a good way. I can’t wait for her story!The romance was great, and the steamy scenes will make you want to read them all over again. The only complaint I have is that the climax of the book seemed to be rushed. I wanted more emotion in their connection, but it just seemed more Wham Bam to me. I wish this would have been played out a little more so we could see the feeling beneath the fear and affection.This is a great read, and fans of NA will definitely want to check it out!
  • (4/5)
    Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales.Quick & Dirty: Great sexy book with relatable characters, steamy romance, and a good life lesson. I would recommend it for any fans of new adult contemporary reads.Opening Sentence: ALL MY LIFE I knew what I wanted.The Review: Pepper has always known what she wanted in life. First she wanted to be nothing like her mother, who was a drunk and abandoned her when she was a child. Second she wanted Hunter, her best friends older brother. He is everything she has always wanted, but until very recently he has had a girlfriend. Now is Pepper’s chance to make a move, but she has very little experience when it comes to guys. She has only kissed one boy and it was a long time ago. Her friends convince her that she needs someone to show her the ropes and they have the perfect boy in mind.Reece works at one of the local bars that all the college kids go to. He is hot, sexy, and very experienced. Perfect for Pepper to get some practice in before she goes for the real prize. But Reece turns out to be a lot more than just a pretty face with a hot body. With his troubled past and kind heart, he becomes so much more than just a practice run. Pepper has always known what she wanted, but now she’s not so sure her dreams of being with Hunter are what she wants in reality.Pepper is a sweet girl that I found myself easily connecting with. She has a sad troubled past, but she hasn’t let that stop her from getting what she wants. She is in her second year of college where she has decided to hopefully get a degree that will allow her to work with children. Ever since she was twelve years old she has been madly in love with her best friends older brother, so her dating experience is very limited. One of my favorite qualities of Peppers’ is that she is very honest, even when things are awkward or uncomfortable she still tries to tell the truth. I really respected that about her. She has a hesitant side to her personality because of her upbringing, and at times she runs instead of letting people in. It was fun getting to experience all of Peppers’ firsts with her, it made her easier to relate too. She was a fun character that I ended up really liking.Reece is totally yummy and easy to fall for. Not only is he completely gorgeous, he is sweet, great with kids, and loyal. He turns out to be so different from the player Pepper first thought him to be. He has some sad secrets from his past that have made him the man he is today. He is so adorable with Pepper. The patient and gentleness he expresses towards her while she gets experience is very endearing. I love that he encourages Pepper to try new things, and he never pressures her to do anything she doesn’t want. I loved watching their romance unfold throughout the pages. Pretty much everything about Reece was perfectly done, he is a totally swoon worthy guy.This was a very fast, enjoyable read for me. From the moment I picked it up, I flew right through it without taking any breaks. I thought that the idea was unique and fun. Surprisingly, there were a few plot twists that I wasn’t expecting. Which for me was a big plus; in most contemporary books it is really hard to surprise me. I loved the whole cast of characters and I am really hoping that with the rest of the series we get to know some of the secondary characters stories better. The romance was steamy and full of yummy goodness. I have read some YA books written by Sophie Jordan, but this is the first New Adult I have read by her. She has a wonderful engaging writing style that always seems to captivate me. I am a huge fan of hers and I am excited to see where she goes with the next book in the series. I would highly recommend this book to fans of NA contemporary novels, it won’t disappoint.Notable Scene:I reminded myself that I would not be hooking up with anyone tonight . . . especially a bartender with a reputation for swapping DNA with the entire female population of Dartford. Thanks, but no. I couldn’t imagine myself with someone so undiscriminating. I had standards. There was no way I could contemplate messing around with someone like that. Even if it was to gain some much-needed experience to win over Hunter.And then I saw him.The air froze in my lungs. He stepped up in front of the two girls, bracing his arms against the bar top. I heard his voice, low and deep, over the steady drone of the bar. “What can I get for you?”I gawked, unable to blink. I had an unobstructed view of him in the space between the girls. The blood rushed in my ears, and suddenly it was last night all over again and I was on a lonely stretch of country road, the acrid smoke of my overheating car filling my nostrils as I stared at his familiar face. That dark blond hair cut close to his head. The tall, lean body that had bent over the engine of my car less than twenty-four hours ago. I could see him even more clearly now, but I hadn’t been mistaken in my initial assessment. He was hot. His jaw square and strong. His features like something chiseled from marble. There was a shadowy hint of stubble on his face, and his eyes were so piercing a blue they looked almost silver.He looked just a few years older than me. I could see that now. It was probably just the way he held himself. Experienced. Capable. He wore a well-worn cotton T-shirt with MULVANEY’S stretched across one of his impressive pecs. Dimly I wondered if his shirt looked as soft as it felt? If his chest was as solid?The girls were tittering like seventh-graders now. Gawking at him, too. I felt like someone sucker punched me. My rescuer. My bartender. Mulvaney’s man-whore. One and the same.FTC Advisory: William Morrow/Harper Collins provided me with a copy of Foreplay. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.