ARC: Foreplay (The Ivy Chronicles #1) by Sophie Jordan

Pub. Date: November 5th, 2013
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Paperback
320 pages

Synopsis 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…

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I heard only praise about Foreplay from some of my favorite YA and New Adult authors. Even still, I was slightly apprehensive. The title alone makes the book seem decidedly more adult than NA, which kind of scared me off. I was also not that excited by the whole stereotypical bad boy/ good girl vibe that the synopsis alluded to. Here comes the huge but – but my pre-judgment was ridiculously wrong. Foreplay represents why I love contemporary novels. This novel has loveable and relatable leads, a swoon worthy romance, and a cast of thoroughly entertaining and developed secondary characters, all in addition to a perfectly paced storyline.

One of the things I loved the most about this novel was how subtly the baggage that Reece and Pepper
bring into their relationship is included. I find that so much of NA is character's learning to move past the extraordinarily damaging things they have experience in the past. Reece and Pepper are in no way unrealistic - they do have definite baggage - but their pasts don’t overshadow, or take precedence over the ridiculously adorable relationship that they are building in the present. I found this lighter approach to be really refreshing. I felt I actually got to really enjoy the characters and their relationship, without constantly wondering when their pasts were going to come back to take a bite out of the good thing they had going.

I definitely prejudged what I expected to be a bad boy/ good girl thing, and what I especially loved about this novel, was that my prejudgment was triumphantly thrown back in my face. These characters are the exact opposite of stereotypical. Reece and Pepper are different and exciting, and their relationship is realistic, while being swoon worthy from the first page. I personally connected with Pepper’s character in a way that I connect with very few characters. Her steadfast belief that she knows exactly what she wants out of life, while actually having no idea what she needs, is something I think a lot of readers are going to relate to. Reece on the other hand threw me for loop. He is pretty much my favorite. I didn't expect to like him anywhere near as much as I did. I am not a fan of the whole "book-boyfriend" thing, but if I were to ever claim a "book-boyfriend", it would without a doubt be Reece. The combined level of cute and sultry that pours from the pages is something you’ll be hard-pressed to find anywhere else. Reece and Pepper’s relationship has become the relationship I'll judge every other against.

This is one of those books, that if you were to hear about the relationship not knowing it was from a book, you'd start believing in things being kismet, and that soul mates do exist. It’s impossible not to fall in love with the characters and their relationship. Cora Carmack, J. Lynn, and Chelsea M. Cameron lovers are going to be clamoring at the bit to get their hands on Foreplay. I cannot wait for Book 2!

Rating 4.5/5

** I received a copy of this novel from the publisher to read and honestly review. I was in no way compensated.