Clover Watson wants more from life than what she can find on her daddy's farm in southern Oregon. Young, smart, and driven, she has a plan and she refuses to be distracted from her goals. After four years at the University of Washington in Seattle, she heads home for the summer with her diploma and an acceptance letter to graduate school at University of Portland. She's sure she’s got things all figured out.
Except for Jake Feldman. He was one of her childhood friends, and she hasn't seen him since she left for college four years ago. This summer he's back in town and all grown up -- sweet, handsome, and completely smitten with Clover.
At first, she thinks a harmless summer fling is the perfect reward for her hard work at school. But as the summer continues and their romance grows, Jake challenges everything she thought she knew about herself and her plans. When the end of summer comes, Clover is forced to evaluate what she really wants, but can she find a way to write Jake into her life?
Clover by Braxton Cole
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I loved this book. It was sweet, sexy, and sad in a couple of places, but it was perfectly paced and written. If you've read anything by Braxton Cole before, then be prepared for something quite different. This is sort of a coming of age story about first love, but it also has a little bit of unrequited love finally returned, and lovers who come from different social backgrounds. Mix that all together, throw in two main characters who don't fit your normal stereotype, and there you go! ****Magic!**** (Although keep in mind that this is still a Braxton Cole book, so the sex scenes that are included are still super H-O-T!)
Clover is 22 and has returned home for the summer after graduation with her Bachelor's Degree. Her dad insisted that she take her old job back as lifeguard at the local pool for one more summer before she heads to graduate school, so that she can hold on to her childhood as long as possible. On her way to the pool one day, her car breaks down and leaves her and her brother, R.J., stranded on the side of the road. When a beat up old pickup truck pulls up next to them, the last person she expects to see is Jake Feldman - the kid who is three years younger than Clover and that is best friends with her little brother (at least during the summers when he came to stay with his Aunt Tammy on the neighboring farm). Except Jake isn't a kid anymore. He has grown up into one hot 19 year old man. What Clover doesn't realize is that Jake has loved her for years, so when she is instantly attracted to him, it is Jake's dream come true. They begin a super sexy summer romance that starts off light and flirty, but quickly becomes something so much more. Jake becomes Clover's protector and champion, and Clover becomes the person that Jake loves more than anyone else in the world. With summer's end fast approaching, Clover has to decide if Jake is the one person worth throwing away all of her carefully laid future plans for, or if he is just a fling that she will get over in time.
I loved both characters of Jake and Clover in this book. They were both so easy to connect with. Clover is not the typical hottie heroine that you usually read about in NA books. She is not indecisive or shallow, and she is not slutty or a major partier. She is actually a very good student who has always been a bookworm, and she has a very detailed plan on how her life is going to progress. And next on the list is leaving at the end of summer to start working on her Master's degree in Portland. However, she is enormously attracted to Jake, and while she may not be a slut, she definitely enjoys the benefits and pleasures of sex. Jake, on the other hand, is a virgin. Also not the typical NA male MC. Jake is sweet, and caring, and considerate. In fact, I'm over halfway in love with him myself. What girl wouldn't be?? But he also has a traumatic past that he is worried will catch up with him one day. He is also head over heels in love with Clover, and because of the shifting POV's in the book, we are able to see what is going on in his head during the book. And all I can say is, Wow! Jake is definitely a one-in-a-million type of guy.
I loved the storyline of this book. There wasn't all of the angsty drama that I typically associate with a New Adult book. There is a conflict that raises its ugly head towards the end of the book, but it is something that Clover and Jake can handle together - not something that is working to tear them apart. Overall, I love, love, loved it, and would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a sweet love story (that also gets super steamy in places)!
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Braxton Cole lives in the Pacific Northwest where she spends most of her time holed up in her office writing stories. When she's not writing, she can be found riding her bike, hiking the fabulous local trails, chasing her kids, or wishing that her thumb was a little more green. She has a bad habit of killing what she tries to grow, but hasn't given up hopes of one day being a successful urban farmer.
Braxton writes erotic romance because romance is the stuff that makes life great, and sex is fun. The two belong together, both in life and in fiction.
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