Tease (The Ivy Chronicles)
William Morrow / May 27, 2014 / $13.99 print, $2.99 digital
A born flirt and good-time party girl, Emerson has never had a problem finding a willing guy. She’s always chosen her hook-ups carefully, and she's never broken her three cardinal rules:
Never let them see the real you.
Never fall in love.
Always leave them begging for more.
Then comes Shaw. A hotty from the wrong side of the tracks, he’s immune to her flirtatious banter and come-hither smile. After rescuing her from a disastrous night at a biker bar, he doesn’t even try to take her to bed—he calls her a tease and sends her home instead. Unable to resist a challenge, or forget the sexy dark-eyed bad-boy biker, she vows to bring him to his knees.
But instead of making Shaw beg, she finds herself craving him. For the first time in her life, she’s throwing out her rulebook. Suddenly, she’s the one panting for a guy she can’t control. A guy who won’t settle for anything less than the real Emerson, who forces her to do things she’s never imagined, including facing a past she thought she'd buried.
A guy who just might leave her wanting more . . .
With Tease, the second release in the painstakingly honest series The Ivy Chronicles, Sophie Jordan gives us two people who aren't what they seem. By the end of Foreplay, we may feel we have a fairly strong grasp on Emerson, the resident wild child party girl who celebrates her sexuality and makes no apologies for it. But the truth is much less definable, and turning expectations on their head is what Jordan's New Adult books are becoming known for.
As for Shaw, he's an older, bad boy biker completely out of Emerson's usual target of eligible males, and of course this is the very thing that makes him stand out. But he's also a former Marine, who's experienced elements of life much more profound than the peers who make up her dating pool. Surprisingly sensitive and protective, when he encounters Emerson well outside of the usual haunts she struts around in, they still come together like oil and water.
“Look, princess,” he began, all mockery gone, his tone indicating that he had finished playing.
Princess? Affronted, I squared back my shoulders.
“You're alone and drunk in a place you have no business being,” he went on to say. “Right now there's a dozen guys watching you, trying to figure out the easiest way to get you on your back.”
I blinked, my stomach rebelling. I looked out at the room again, seeing the faces, the eyes. He was right. Several were looking our way. Assessing me.
He added, “You're like a pack of wolves in this place.”
Yeah. That pretty much summed up how I felt. Not an alien feeling. I'd felt that way before. And I'd vowed never to feel that vulnerable again.
And yet here I was.
“And you're not a wolf, right?”
“Don't worry. I'm not into princesses. Drunk or sober.”
But this isn't an enemies-to-lovers story. Even though Shaw's been to war and back, it's Emerson who is truly hardened. But of all the guys she's been with, Shaw seems to be the one she both wants more of and wants to avoid because he's not only different, but different with her. It's refreshing that Emerson isn't what she seems. To know that sometimes a character has hidden behind their own front a little too well. She's not as liberated as she leads us to believe, and he's not the controlling alpha we might think he is. But he is the one person who finally draws her out.
“Go ahead,” he whispered in a lethally soft voice. “Pretend I don't get to you.”
He cocked his head sideways, studying me like I was some bug beneath a microscope. “You know what I think?”
I shook my head. “I don't care.”
He continued as if I hadn't spoken, and suddenly his hand was there, inching along the inside of my thigh. I gasped, incredibly turned on despite the voice in my head telling me to stop him. My body knew him and responded, arching under him.
His deep voice rippled across my skin. “I think that deep inside you're dying for someone like me. You've been waiting for a guy to come along and shake up your world and touch you the way you've been aching to be touched.” His fingers rubbed against the damp crotch of my panties. “Do things to you that all your pretty college boys can't do.”
Once again, this series lives up to its title; Emerson is a tease, but not because it's a game for her. And the sex scenes both tantalize and satisfy, building on each other expertly. This is a setting where the young cast of characters have more baggage by the age of twenty than many experience by middle age. And Shaw and Emerson are so not what they seem that we can't know what to expect from heroine-to-be Georgia, just that it won't be anything we expect.
Learn more or pre-order a copy of Tease (The Ivy Chronicles) by Sophie Jordan, available May 27, 2014:
Tiffany Tyer is a writer and editor who loves reading and analyzing all things romance. She also works as a vocalist, a tutor, and a non-profit ministry assistant, and she loves it that way. Her book reviews can be found at Happy Endings Reviews, a blog she co-founded.