Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Blog Tour Review & Giveaway: CLOVER by Braxton Cole


by: Braxton Cole

A New Adult Contemporary novel


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?


“I don’t remember you being like this before.”
“What do you mean?” Jake stared at her mouth and licked his lips. The end of his question dropped off like he forgot he was speaking somewhere in the middle.
“All handsome and charming. You rescued me twice today.” She tried to figure out how to say what she really meant. “The last time we really saw each other, you tried to throw grasshoppers in my hair.” That wasn’t entirely accurate. He hadn’t done that since they were kids, like nine or ten, but she couldn’t think of a better way to explain the difference between who she thought he was in the past and who he was proving to be that day.
“Grasshoppers, huh? That’s the only thing you remember?” Jake asked. He wasn’t full-on pouting, but he was definitely upset.
“No, I remember a lot more. But my point is, you’ve always been the kid next door. I’m having a hard time matching that up with…this.” She gestured toward him, hoping he’d understand what she meant. He relaxed and smiled all sexy.
“Well, I remember you being exactly like this.” Jake leaned closer with every word. When he finished speaking, their lips were close enough that she could feel his words against her skin.
Her eyes slipped shut and she held her breath without really meaning to. Jake was going to kiss her and she wanted to remember the moment. She waited for what felt like forever, but was probably only a few seconds, and then she felt the soft, tentative brush of his lips against hers.
He pulled back far enough to say, “Is this okay?” His hot breath puffed over her skin as he spoke and bumps rose in the wake. 
She set the bottle and sandwich on the table and wrapped her arm around his neck to pull him in close. They were already kissing again when she answered, “More than okay.” Her answer was muffled into his mouth.
It’d been far too long since Clover had been kissed, since she’d felt the gentle yet insistent touch of a tongue against her own, but she was absolutely certain it had never felt this good before. Yes, Jake kissed in a way that made her feel wanted--that part was pretty standard--but beneath the desire, there was restraint. She could feel him holding himself back with every swipe of his tongue, with the way he rested his fingers against her face but didn’t pull her in tighter. 
By this point, her ex would have had her laid out flat on the table with his body on top of hers and his hand halfway down her pants. At the time, she’d enjoyed his urgency, but this was different. Jake was letting her decide, letting her dictate the speed of their kiss, and the trust and sensuality of it made her head swim.
She pulled away with a gasp. “Wow.” She reached for him again, her fingers playing with the loose curls at the base of his skull. He slanted his mouth over hers just right until she was pulling at him. She lay back on the table and drew him with her, kissing him greedily, demanding that he let go of his reserve and kiss her the way he wanted.


Star Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Heat Rating: SCORCHING (and sweetly innocent at the same time)

Braxton Cole is one of those writers that can truly write anything!  I LOVED Clover!  It was VERY different from her previous novellas (which I love in all their dirty, sexy, hot goodness).  Clover is a book that reminds you of what it felt like to fall in love for the first time, the anxiousness, the confusion, the sweetness and the romance of that love all really shined in this book.  This story has a sweet, almost innocence to it while at the same time delivering a good heat level and an INCREDIBLE story about two people seeing each other in a new way one summer day.

Jake and Clover, what a great pair!  Braxton Cole does many things well, but my favorite thing about her writing is how real and approachable her characters are.  She created such an easy story to fall into and swim around it, that is was really hard to leave these characters at the end (I would LOVE to see a novella or another book about what happens after the last pages of this story).  Jake, is  a nineteen year old who has always been in love with the girl next door (over the summer).  Every year he is just a friend of Clover's brother, until this summer, when something sparks and Clover finally takes notice of Jake.  Clover is the "older" woman at twenty-two, who is home only for the summer before she leaves again for school.  She isn't looking for anything but to work, have fun stay focused on her goal of graduate school in the fall.  Then she sees Jake again after four years and the sparks fly.  I really liked that Clover didn't get hung up on the age difference and both characters really stayed true to themselves and didn't have to change to be with each other.  My only critique is that I wish we could have seen more of Jake's background when he wasn't on the farm in the summer and I felt like there was more going on with Clover's dad than was explained (small nosey quirk of mine to have to know everything).

I love stories about unrequited love finally getting their chance and this story about it is done very well!  Clover is a beautiful story about two young people discovering this new "grown up" version of each other and learning how love can sneak in when you least expect it.   There is no angst, no crazy drama and no chaotic emotional roller coaster for the reader to get throw around in, with Clover you get to witness Jake and Clover take their time falling into love and taking that step from friends to lovers.  Don't get me wrong, as romantic and sweet as this book is, we are still reading a Braxton Cole novel so there is delicious tension and sexual creativity to steam up your Kindle!  

Braxton Cole knocks another one out of the park.  Clover grabbed me by the heart, kept the pacing perfect and made my heart sigh with pleasure.  There are no too many New Adult books out now that I can personally relate to (and I am fine with that) but Clover let me remember those great summer romances, those feelings, those butterflies and that wonderful sense of just being in love (and it was fun to travel down memory lane with Jake and Clover).  I really, really enjoyed this book and if you are looking for a fantastic story with great characters that will leave you wanting summer to never end, then 1-click this book today!  You can never go wrong buying a Braxton Cole book, she is my automatically-buy-as-soon-as-I-can-author (and she should be yours too).  Enjoy the last bits of summer with Clover and Jake.

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Meet the Author:

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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