Author: Haleigh Lovell
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance (Recommended for 18+ due to language and sexual content)
Published: October 4, 2013, 290 pages
Her brother's best friend. A sexual bucket list. An erotic love story.
Vivian Sorenson is in a verbally abusive relationship. When her boyfriend, Brody, calls her "frigid" and "boring ol' vanilla," Vivian finally ends the toxic relationship and embarks on a journey of sexual self-discovery.
Liam Sykes has known Vivian all his life. She's his best friend's little sister and she's always been off-limits. When he happens upon Vivian's sexual bucket list, he crosses that forbidden line. Soon it becomes more than just sex as Liam picks up every jagged little shard of Vivian's shattered heart and pieces it back together, replacing it with a piece of his own.
** This is book 1 in a two-part series
Unable to meet his gaze, I picked up my fork and pushed the food around the plate in a circle. “He accused me of sleeping with you.” I inhaled sharply. “And he called me frigid again.” I paused and took a swig of wine to cover my distress. “Sometimes I can’t help but wonder … if I wasn’t so frigid in bed, he wouldn’t have needed to find it elsewhere.”
I heard Liam exhale. “Don’t do that, Viv.”
As I fiddled with the stem of the wineglass, I forced myself to meet his gaze. “Do what?”
“Doubt yourself. Blame yourself. Don’t do that.” His voice was nothing but kind. There was no hint of condescension in it.
I tried to speak, failed, so I drank some more wine.
“Listen.” Liam set his fork on the table. “If a girl is frigid, it is usually because the way she is treated outside of bed has left her frigid.”
“But there has to be something wrong with me. I mean, what twenty-two-year-old has never experienced the Big O? You know, I can be a little uptight, even high-strung at times. So really, it could just be me.”
“It’s not you,” Liam said firmly. “Don’t let Brody mess with your head. Do you know that about ten percent of women have never experienced an orgasm? And most women aren’t able to climax with intercourse alone. They need other sorts of …” He paused, seemingly to search for the word. “Stimulation.”
The word made a blush rise on my neck and throat.
Liam leaned back in his chair and regarded me steadily. “And from what it sounds like, Brody is a fucking moron. No guy should ever expect you to function with the predictability of a machine. And if he does, then he should just have sex with his car.”
I smothered a giggle. “So I take it you’ve had plenty of experience helping girls reach the pinnacle of sexual passion.”
His lips turned upward in a semi-grin. “Not really.”
“C’mon,” I teased, swirling the wine in my glass. “What about all those Jessicas you dated? Jessica Neal, Jessica Cena, Jessica Long, Jessica Alba?”
He let out a dismissive laugh. “I never dated Jessica Alba.”
As I forked a mouthful of ravioli, I pointed out, “You had the biggest crush on her, though.”
He didn’t deny it. “Me and every other guy I knew.”
I arched an eyebrow. “So did you love all the other Jessicas?”
He shrugged. “Truthfully, I don’t think I even knew what love was back then.”
I eyed him curiously. “Do you know now?”
He shoveled in a bite, chewed then swallowed. “I think I may have some idea.”
I leaned back in my chair and ran a fingertip around the rim of my wineglass. “What do you think love should feel like? Fireworks? Crazy intense, mad passion?”
The look he gave me was long and considering. He lifted his glass and took a swig before answering. “I think a slow burning candle produces more warmth and light than a brief explosion.”
We stared at each other as his words hung in the air between us. “With Brody …” I spoke into the silence. “It was crazy intense. I met him in college my freshman year. And right from the start, we had instant fireworks … the brief explosions you were just talking about. He pretty much swept me off my feet, and I kind of jumped off the diving board into the deep end.”
Liam had a deep and intent expression on his face as he listened to me.
His eyes were open and accepting. Nonjudgmental.
When I finished, he grew quiet for a moment. Then he said, “I think the idea that love must be crazy intense all the time is what keeps people from being satisfied with the normal, boring day-to-day love. The sort of quiet love that is tucked away in the corner instead of shouted from the rooftops. That kind of simple day-to-day love … that quiet love, it might seem dull to others. But for me—” He gave a short shrug— “that’s love.”
An expert at the art of procrastination, Haleigh is easily distracted by food and can often be found snacking on Flamin' Hot Cheetos, Pringles, Kit Kat bars, Toblerones and sushi.
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