Ana Belle never wanted anything more than to hang up her apron, jump on her Vespa and ride off into the sunset, leaving Sugartown in the dust.Elijah Cade never wanted anything more than a hot meal, a side of hot arse and a soft place to lay his head at night where he could forget about his past.But you know what they say about wanting: you always want what you can’t have.Nineteen year-old virgin Ana is about to discover that’s not quite true because a six foot three, hotter than hell, tattooed, Aussie sex god just rode into town. He’s had a taste of her pie and he wants more– no really, Ana bakes pies for a living, get your mind out of the gutter.She’d be willing to hand over everything tied up in a big red bow, there’s just one problem; Elijah has secrets dirtier than last week’s underwear. Secrets that won’t just break Ana’s heart, but put her life at risk, too. When those secrets come to light, their relationship is pushed to breaking point.Add to that a psychotic nympho best friend, an overbearing father, a cuter than humanly possible kid brother, a wanton womanizing cousin, the ex from hell and more pies than you could poke a ... err ... stick ... at.And you thought small towns were boring.
Where to start….? Ok. First of all, browsing through Facebook one night, I happened upon a teaser for this book. I asked my blogging partner in crime if she had seen/heard of it or gotten a review request for it. Nope. Oh my….doing something I have never done, I decided what the heck, and messaged the author directly letting her know that I needed her book. I had to read this! The teaser captured my interest and the synopsis piqued my curiosity. I needed to read this book….and the ever sweet Carmen sent me the link to sign up for the tour and her book, and I will just say this; I am so very thankful I went after it. This book was a wonderful, heartfelt emotional read.
The synopsis alone will leave you wanting more….it sure did for me. I opened it up after everyone went to bed, thinking I could start this little read quietly and enjoy some downtime….well, darnit! I laughed so hard (quietly to myself, of course!) the first few chapters, I was shaking the bed! My poor husband was trying to get some sleep, and here I am just giggling and waking him up every few minutes. I ended up telling him that I better put the book down because I was going to keep laughing…..so after a few more giggles, I went to sleep. If a book made me smile and giggle that much in the very beginning, I knew I was in for a treat!
You see, Holly, Ana’s best friend who has NO filter on her mouth whatsoever, caused the majority of my giggles in the beginning. The inner dialogue of the characters was a treat too….it just all around made me giggle, but it also had its very sexy, very HOT side to it too. It was a well-rounded book that made you enjoy reading it.
Ana and Elijah have a very comical start to their relationship (again, thanks to Holly), but Elijah wants to turn it serious and is very determined to do so. He is very sexy, very swoony, and oh-so-hot. He tries to be a good boy, he visits Ana every day at the pie shop, chats her up and goes back to work. They end up out at a pool hall one night, and the comments turn rather hot very quickly.
“When I do finally get you naked beneath me—and trust me, it’s not a question of if, but when—I’m going to make sure you haven’t so much as looked at a drink. I want you to remember everything I do with my hands and my lips and my tongue.” ~Elijah
This just begins the very sexy and HOT buildup of sexual tension and red-hot, panty melting make-out sessions. Elijah has a way with his hands AND his mouth…..mmm mmm good!
I stare at the ceiling and wonder what the hell I’ve done, and what I’m going to do now. It doesn’t matter which way I look at it: when it comes to Ana Belle, I’m completely fucking screwed. ~Elijah
Ana is a very sassy girl, but has a bad reputation around town because of a very jealous ex. He is a jerk….and he will get his, I promise you that. Remember, what comes around goes around…right? Well, we get to see the other side of sexy swoony Elijah….a very protective and serious side of him as well. He makes sure that Ana is very protected from the ex and makes sure he does everything he can to keep her safe, even taunting the ex at the pool hall with a very sexy make out session (*melts*)…..that is until his past catches up with them. A very dangerous past.
After the run-in with his past, there is a HUGE dividing wedge between Ana and Elijah that hurts them both….emotionally, mentally and physically. Ana pulls away, thinking she can’t handle being around him anymore because of the hurt he caused her and the pain she is now going through. They end up splitting up and Ana gets into some trouble of her own…..very bad, mentally scarring trouble. This touches on a heavy subject and one that made me cringe. It was emotionally challenging to read this part of the story and I love that it was told with heart and emotion that we got to feel as well. Elijah goes to defend her….and I have more respect for him after doing what he did than ever before. He pays the price for his little “action”, but I love what he did….vigilante justice isn’t always the right thing, but I agree with this one.
After MONTHS of denying their still very strong and heavy attraction for each other, one very hot and very erotic scene of Elijah being caught in a ‘compromising’ situation made them both realize there is still something there….but Ana still fought it as hard as she could. Oh man….I think I read this part with a blush and flushed face and biting my finger!! It was a panty-melter!!! I promise….oh man, it was SOO hot!!! A very small teaser, because if I tell you more, you will miss the emotion and fragile love that surrounds it. But their actions surrounding this interaction say a lot about their feelings….
“You drive me fucking crazy, you know that?”
“The feeling’s mutual, Cade.”
Oh my gosh….re-reading this part is making me squirm!! I think it was the HOTTEST part in the book!!!!
But with Ana still fighting the truth that her heart and her head are warring about, Elijah is determined to make her see it….and his patience works out for his benefit, even though she is still trying to fight it.
“Bullshit! The only reason we aren’t together right now is because you’re too fucking stubborn to admit how you feel, because it might mean being hurt again. Well guess what, baby girl, life is all about hurt. From the day we’re born to the day we die, we fucking hurt and we cry and we pick ourselves up and, if we’re really lucky, we have people to help us pick up the fucking pieces.” ~Elijah
Elijah is full of deep wisdom….he has learned and lived through it. I really enjoyed this story and feel that it was well written and made you feel the emotions from the characters.
I give this story 4.5 emotionally tormented stars. --> I’m seeing this quite a bit lately. Thank you, Carmen, for trusting me with your ‘book baby’!
About the Author:
Carmen Jenner is a thirty-something author, doctor, pilot and CIA agent.
She's also a compulsive, flagrant prevaricator who gets to make things up for a living.
While Sugartown may not technically exist, Carmen grew up in a small Australian town just like it, and just like her characters, she always longed for something more. They didn't have an Elijah Cade, though. If they did, you can be sure she would have never left.
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