How does a tomboy raised in a house full of men find the sensual woman inside of her? Growing up with a widowed, retired Marine as a father and two older brothers taught Asia to be tough. But how does she stop being one of the guys and learn to find the right one?Finding herself won’t be easy, finding love will be even harder.
Meeting Jay opens Asia’s eyes to the possibility of love and unbelievable sex but can his country club world accept the woman more comfortable in torn jeans and flip flops? Or will she find the love she yearns for in the tattooed arms of her first love, a pro skater who has come back into her life?
With the possibility of new love or closure from a painful first love, finding her path is riddled with uncertainty and discoveries but before she can follow her heart she must first set it free.
I truly felt like I was on the road to self discovery along with Asia. Stirring, hilarious, and unbelievably hot, I couldn’t put it down.
In the beginning of the novel, Asia is contemplating her life and why she feels so out of place in her own skin. She resolves to do something about it and when her gay best friend Nick offers, not for the first time, to give her a makeover, she agrees. Dressed to the nines and coiffed beyond belief she meets Jay while she’s out clubbing with Nick and her best friend Hailey are out clubbing.
Jay is like no one she’s ever been with, he’s refined, comes from money, and has resolved to change his bad boy ways. Asia has always been a tomboy, a surfer, a skater, a runner. After her mom died her father raised her to the best of his abilities and her brothers formed a protective circle around her.
Living with only men hadn’t been the environment for sharing feelings and crying over a bucket of ice cream. I’d been raised to suck it up and keep moving, so that was what I did.
While she and Jay begin to date she realizes just how different they are. She tries to mold herself to fit his life and be the person that she thinks he wants her to be. She fights her natural inclinations to be with him.
Jay made me nervous, and I wasn’t used to feeling like that. I was usually laid-back and easygoing, but when I was around him, I found myself holding back. I was afraid of revealing too much, afraid of showing him something he wouldn’t like.
Then Marcus, her brother Shaun’s best friend and the first love of her life, reenters the picture Asia is torn between the two. She and Marcus have an undeniable spark and she was broken by his callousness after they slept together. She’s determined to show how unaffected she is and flaunt her new look and hot boyfriend.
When it comes down to it Asia needs to find the person that lets her be herself, lets her be free. In order to do that she has to discover who she is.
I’ll admit the beginning of the book had me worried. The prose was a little stilted and there was a lot of telling instead of letting me actually experience the story. It felt awkward and I was beginning to get discouraged. Then this shift happens around the 50/60% mark and then all of the sudden everything felt smooth, more fluid and I’m wondering if that’s because Asia was beginning to feel more like herself or the author was really excited about what she was writing and it showed. Either way, I love, love, love the second half.
Aside from the bits of awkward writing I really enjoyed following Asia as she learns and makes mistakes. There wasn’t a love triangle for me, it was one guy and then the other, so don’t worry about that. There’s a clear difference.
Marcus, Marcus, Marcus. Oh yes. I have a serious thing for bad boys. The moment he was mentioned I knew who I would be rooting for. Good guys are wonderful, but there’s something about the bad ones that just drives me crazy. He was also so sweet.
“Hey.” Marcus cupped my cheek with his rough hand and lifted my face, so I would look at him. “If you wanna be free, Asia, all you have to do is see yourself through my eyes. If you could see how beautiful you are, what an amazing artist you’ve become, how you light up a room just by walking into it, you would realize that you have no reason to keep yourself locked up. You should be proud of who you are, babe. ’Cause you are amazing.”
I don’t want to go into too much detail about the specifics because it’s a wonderful experience to watch it unfold. Suffice it to say that it was so good, even with it’s flaws, that I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning to finish. I cannot wait for Shaun’s story and I’m eager to see how the writer progresses, as well.
Let me also shout out to the fabulous cover. It’s a testament to the fact that eye-catching covers help sell books, because the moment I saw it I knew I would read this one.
“So, what do you wanna do?” I asked with my hands on my hips. I couldn’t seem to wipe the smile off my face. My day just kept getting better and better.
Looking at me, Marcus smiled when he saw my expression, and then his eyes swept over me, stopping at the bottom of my shorts.
“New rule,” he stated as his expression hardened.
“New rule— you need to stop dressing like that when I’m here.”
I wrinkled my nose and glanced down at my pajamas. “What are you talking about? These are my pajamas!” I declared, holding out my arms to display my clothes.
He cocked his eyebrow with a slight smile. “It’s hard enough controlling myself around you, Asia. The last thing I need is you prancing around here in little shorts and tank tops.”
My jaw dropped, and I narrowed my eyes. “I do not prance.”
“The hell you don’t. You might be able to surf like one of the guys, but trust me, you don’t walk like one.”
I rolled my eyes, feeling my cheeks grow warm.
“Don’t you have some kind of muumuu or something? A potato sack?” he asked, smiling up at me.
“Whatever.” I turned toward the kitchen, making sure to sway my hips as I walked away.
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