Thursday, August 4, 2016

Release Blitz Excerpt & Review: The First Taste - Jessica Hawkins

Title: The First Taste
Series: Slip of the Tongue #2
Author: Jessica Hawkins
Genre: Contemporary Romance
 Release Date: August 4, 2016


Andrew Beckwith has already devoted his life to one girl—and as far as he’s concerned, she’s all he needs. The rough-around-the-edges bad boy left his reckless ways behind six years ago when his daughter Bell was born. To the female population’s dismay, he’s unapologetically single. When Bell’s mother walked out on them years ago, he vowed never to let another woman close enough to hurt them again.

Amelia Van Ecken isn’t just another woman. She’s an independent, smart, and savvy businesswoman who doesn’t have time for sex, much less love. In the midst of a drawn-out, bitter divorce, all she wants is to bury herself in work. But when sharp-tongued Amelia and stubborn Andrew cross paths, sparks fly—and burn. Two things are obvious in an instant: they want each other, and they’re from different worlds. It’s the perfect formula for an off-the-charts one-night stand. After all, it’s not as if opposites ever attract.

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5 Stars

Writing a review for a novel where I really just want to use single word adjectives, like gorgeous, romantic, wonderful is so hard, because all those words should really be convincing enough when you hear Jessica Hawkins has a new novel out. 

Andrew Beckwith doesn't want the weekend off, he never wants to be away from his princess Bell, but he knows that at some point she needs to learn to be away from him. Without plans for his time away he certainly doesn't put finding a one night stand in a city he despises at the top of his list, but that changes when he sees Amelia Van Ecken. Amelia is everything Andrew is not, she's put together, a savvy business woman, and a city girl through and through. What could a one night stand with her hot body hurt? They aren't ever going to get along in any other way or so they think. When Andrew and Amelia start pushing the limits of just how long a one night stand can go they find themselves tangled in emotions. 

I want to undo her, mess up her perfect hair, chase away in the tension in her muscles, smear her makeup.

The First Taste made me fall in lust, fall in love, and fall into a pile of emotions. Like Slip of the Tongue, The First Taste is a beautifully written story about two individuals trying to find their way through the muddled up world of love. In this case, opposites attract is a perfect description of main characters Andrew Beckwith and Amelia Van Ecken. Told in dual POV, we get to know the slightly broody, handsome father Andrew and the snooty, gorgeous businesswoman Amelia. They are an unlikely pair, in fact no one even considered pairing them together, but they bring out the best in each other. 

"Sexier." I sigh and look into his eyes. My resolve melts. "It makes you sexier."

I am so incredibly impressed with how well Jessica wrote Andrew as a single father. There was a possibility of him being too fatherly, or possible not a good enough father, but he was perfect. The love for his daughter, Bell, was very apparent from start to finish and played a huge role in Amelia and Andrew figuring out their feelings. Amelia had so much baggage to work though, I hated her at first, and I really did only expect a one night stand, but what sort of book would that be? She grows on you, just like their one night stand becomes something more, she becomes more than her role as just Sadie's boss. We get past the superficial meetings we had with both characters from Slip of the Tongue and get to know their backgrounds, their hurts, and their dreams and desires. The way they challenged one another made them a perfect fit. 

"She loves Beauty and the Beast. So how about we go back to your place and I'll play the beast, you be the beauty, some inanimate objects sing, and then we fuck. That's how the fairy tale goes, right?"

It goes without saying that this book is off the charts hot. The chemistry between these two is palpable and while they don't make sense to anyone else, when it comes to their private time they fit like puzzle pieces. Not just sexually either, though the smut scenes are definitely some of my favorite. Their dialogue is emotional and very expressive of who they are; as they open up and let go of their masks we find that without words they share more as well. When it comes to the bedroom, Andrew is all alpha and though she doesn't like to admit it, Amelia really is his perfect match. They work through their emotional baggage with personal bath tub talks and incredibly hot dirty love.

He knows about me. We're damaged, our edges ragged, but is that why they seem to fit together?

When it comes to one night stands and no strings attached, Andrew and Amelia break every rule in the hook up book. Thank goodness too, because I could not get enough of them. The First Taste is the perfect combination of serious, humorous, and smutty paired with an excellent ensemble of characters. You do not have to read Slip of the Tongue first, but as a die-hard Jessica Hawkins fan and a very biased Andrew Beckwith fangirl, I think you should.

I want it. But with someone like her, it's a long-term game. It always was, I just didn't know I wanted to play.


“What’re your plans tonight?”

She scoffs. “It’s Friday night. What aren’t my plans? I have drinks with friends in an hour, then a late dinner, and who knows after that.”

“Cancel them.”

She gapes at me. “Cancel my plans? Why would I?”

“Come out with me. Sadie says there’s a place around here with great pizza.”

She laughs, tilting her head and exposing the smooth column of her throat. “First, I don’t eat carbs, so there’s no way you’re getting me to do anything with the promise of pizza. Second, I just told you—I don’t date.”

“And neither do I.”

“Then why are you asking me out?” she asks.

“Because despite what you may think, I am a gentleman, and it’s only good manners to buy you dinner first.”

“First?” she asks, wrinkling her nose. “What’s second?”

We stare at each other. I let her figure it out on her own. It’s rare to meet a woman like me, someone who truly has no interest in finding a partner. I’ve heard that claim from enough girls to know when they’re bullshitting me, and unless Amelia is a Grade-A con artist, she definitely isn’t looking to get serious.

When she understands, the wrinkles on her forehead ease, and she parts her lips. I answer with a knowing smile. Suggesting sex within half an hour of meeting someone might normally get me slapped, but I get the feeling Amelia appreciates a more direct approach.

“I don’t date,” I say, “but I’m still a man with eyes.”

She makes no secret of looking me up and down. “You’re not my type either,” she warns. “I like men who carry a briefcase and see a barber regularly.”

I run my hand through my black hair, which I know is too long. “How’s that working out for you?”

She narrows her eyes. “Fine. Perfect.”

“I have some tattoos too,” I say. “And ride a motorcycle. Since that’s normally how I get most girls, I suppose those are turn-offs for you.”

“They are,” she says immediately, straightening her shoulders. “I’ve never understood the appeal of a bad boy.”

“Then tonight, we’re a match made in heaven, aren’t we? It shouldn’t be hard for either of us to say goodbye afterward.”

She bats her eyelashes a few times, not because she’s flirting but because she’s thinking. Considering. Which means it’s basically a done deal. I’ve never gotten this far with a girl only to have her walk away. “Why even bother with dinner?” she asks.

I take a moment to study her, her shoulder-length, perfectly coifed blonde hair. Her defined red lips that look like a heart when pursed, which is often. Yeah, based on the fact that I’m noticing details—something I try not to do anymore—I know I’m feeling her tonight. Most guys would jump at the opportunity to skip the small talk, but that doesn’t really appeal to me. I like women, always have. Just because Shana fucked me in the head doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate them. Doesn’t mean I don’t want to spend time around them—just so long’s it’s surface stuff.

I don’t want to scare her off by suggesting I might want to have a conversation with her, so I just shrug. “Because I’m starving.”

“I’m not hungry.”

“Indulge me then. I need my energy.”

“For what?” she asks.

I arch an eyebrow at her. I’ll definitely need my energy for a night with her.

She reads my expression and her cheeks redden. “Oh.”

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Author Bio

Jessica Hawkins grew up between the purple mountains and under the endless sun of Palm Springs, California. She studied international business at Arizona State University and has also lived in Costa Rica and New York City. To her, the most intriguing fiction is forbidden, and that's what you'll find in her stories. Currently, she resides wherever her head lands, which is often the unexpected (but warm) keyboard of her trusty MacBook.

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