Sexy & Bittersweet Coming of Age in Sophie Jordan’s FOREPLAY

Published by William Morrow Publishing Genres: New Adult, Romance
Source: Edelweiss



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.

The Ivy Chronicles

By Sophie Jordan
William Morrow Paperbacks/HARPER COLLINS
On Sale: 11/5/2013
Formats: Trade PB | eBook 304 pages

E-galley received unsolicited from publisher for review. No remuneration was exchanged and, except as noted, all opinions presented herein are my own.

Sophie Jordan Online: Website



This is essentially a coming of age story, filled with bittersweet tang of being a college girl and a local guy who have both grown up with difficult circumstances.

Not at all well-off, Pepper has never dated and is studious. Her good study habits and hard work have helped her get to a good school. It starts with her sounding like she thinks of herself as heavy and unattractive – but she isn’t. And of course she is really beautiful, if inexperienced.  She’s maybe a little like Bella in Twilight with too much hair, shapeless clothes, no makeup,…

Pepper’s suitemates are not terribly well-developed characters – they provide a spectrum of sexual constancy and experience. One “dates” a lot (or talks a good game) and one is in a steady relationship. One is brash and the other is kind and more serious   The main male character in the story, Reece  is the somewhat angry young man. . He is almost typical but with a tenacious streak. I could see him being played by Alex Pettyfer. The secondary male character is Hunter, who Pepper has loved for many years. Or is it the idea of Hunter she loves?

What is going to happen is obvious from the beginning of their relationship. But then, you know,  I wasn’t sure if it would.  Would the author break the mold and not do the expected?  I wasn’t sure;  I figured a cliffhanger was probably the way it would go.  But, we do get a resolution in this first book in the Ivy Chronicles, but there was a point where I wasn’t sure what direction the story might take.

It was a nice read and edgy, even in its predictability. The situations were interesting and somewhat different than I have seen recently,. There are a few scenes that I really enjoyed, and the tale of sexual discovery brought back memories of how that felt so very long ago – scared, embarrassed, nervous.

What I thought was different in the story was the idea of Pepper having this goal that you know isn’t really going to get her what she wants. She wants life to be the way she thought she wanted it to be, but accepting that the dream is not what you really want or need is a hard lesson.  It’s like if you want to be a doctor as you grow up: you study hard, take all the sciences, volunteer at a hospital, even apply to med school.  But deep down there’s a feeling that you really want to teach school and that being a doctor will make you miserable. It’s hard to accept it and a lot of people don’t. Consequently, they are not happy or fulfilled on some level.  They may be completely competent, but maybe even at a subconscious level they feel that “what if?”

I would say this is in the line of a fable with a sexy streak. It was very competently written with a compelling story line. If you like New Adult coming of age, with a little sex and a lot of teen-type angst then this is for you.


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