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Published by Samhain Publishing, Ltd. on July 7, 2015
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Jamie Matthews is stuck in a rut. After hitting a wall with her dream career, she’s back in her hometown, living a life as monotonous as swimming laps in the neighborhood pool.
Being surrounded by her perfect brothers is a painful reminder of her failure to launch. The last bonfire of the summer is an ideal way to let off steam, especially when she runs into Dean Trescott, the playboy friend she had one hot-as-hell night with back in high school.
Since the day Dean met Jamie, he’s loved her beauty, talent, and smile that lit up the whole damn block. But dating isn’t an option. She has a bright future ahead of her, and he refuses to chain her to his—helping run the family business that’s barely staying afloat.
A “what-happens-in-Vegas” weekend was supposed to get their craving for each other out of their systems. But neither counted on the past repeating itself, drawing them together in even hotter and dirtier ways and dangling the possibility they might both be able to get exactly what they need…
Warning: A friends-to-lovers twice over story that contains some hot ’n’ heavy kissing in the waves, hair pulling, and a man who knows how to use his hands. It may also feature a few practical jokes—only the fun kind, of course.
We received this book/audiobook for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect our opinion of the book or the content of our review.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs: a theory of human motivation. (Pyramid –bottom to top – Physiological, Safety, Love/Belonging, Esteem, Self-Actualization)
“Life would be a lot easier it people weren’t reaching for some unattainable future all the time.” –Dean.
Jamie Matthews is stuck in a rut. She’s given up her dream of being a fashion designer and has settled for her second best, teaching swimming. She has always lived in the shadows her “perfect” 4 older brothers and always felt left out, alone, taken for granted. “She was the black sheep in a family of overachievers.” The only person that has ever made her feel seen and appreciated was Dean. But there wasn’t anything between her and Dean besides a flirtatious friendship…except for that one unforgettable night in the back bed of Dean’s pickup truck in high school 6 years ago. Jamie can never forget that one drunken encounter, where they both threw “caution to the wind” and gave into their attraction. Unfortunately, the next day, Dean had said it was “a mistake” and said it would never happen again. They both finished high as friends and acted as if nothing had happened. “We still good?” –Dean. Jamie and Dean remained friends since, but now that she’s moved back into town, will that attraction still be there?
“Six years of sexual tension. I think it’s time we did something about it, or it’s going to drive us nuts.” –Jamie.
Dean Trescott is stuck working at his father’s Auto Body shop. He once thought that this would be the best and ideal job for him. But it has now become more of an obligation. He didn’t think there was any other option, “…He thought he had to fall in line and do his duty to his family.” So what if he had a passion for photography? It was just a “hobby”, according to his dad. His dad told him he needed to stick with what was important: “taking on the family business one day”…even if that family business was slowly dying. Now with Jamie back in town, he is realizing that giving up on what you truly want might not be worth it in the end. He always told himself that he pushed Jamie away in high school, after that one night because he knew he wasn’t going anywhere in life. “He could never give her the kind of life she deserved.” –Dean. He didn’t want her and him to end up the way his parents did: falling out of love and eventually divorcing. He wanted her to live a bright life because that’s what she was to him “brightness” in this dull life he was living…even if she wasn’t meant to be his.
“Jamie was the North Star missing from his compass.” –Dean.
But now that she’s back, he is forgetting his reasons for leaving her alone and instead thinking that maybe they could have a future…together.
The maslow’s hierarchy concept was perfect for this book. Dean and Jamie are both basically stuck on the bottom level of the pyramid, unable to reach the next stage. “There’s a pyramid, and all our basic needs make up the bottom—food, water, air, bodily functions…Sex.” –Dean. They basically have that level mastered, but then comes safety, which is the tier that they both begin to fall short on: “…things that make you feel secure like employment, money, family, health.” – Dean. Both of them do not feel secure in their employment, or with money and definitely not with their families. Then there’s Belonging, which is self explanatory, “…having people you can rely on, who you know will be there for you.” –Dean. Jamie, most of all, does not feel like she has ANYONE to rely on. She feels as if she is an outcast in her own family and is a nuisance. That’s why she’s used sarcasm and childish pranks to get her parents and brothers attention ever since she was little. Then comes self esteem: “The esteem level is all about respect, confidence and achievement.” –Dean. Jamie is especially lacking here. She craves someone to see her, which Dean does. They both lack confidence to go after what the careers they want and instead fall back on what is “safe” and expected.
“Last is actualization, where you’ve become the most complete person possible.” – Dean. Two people, that in fact, are striving to get to the top of that pyramid, even without them knowing it, they are actually able to find their footing with each other and are able to achieve the ability of becoming a complete person, with the help of each other. Together they showed each other that they could do so much more, be so much more; all they had to do was do it together.
“He could ground her and she could lift him up. They were perfect for each other.”
This was an adorable “second chance” story. I put second chance in quotations because as you read in my review, Jamie and Dean sort of had a first chance, but it never fully developed and they lingered in the “friend zone”. I loved the playful banter between these two characters and the obliviousness of their love for each other. It was all very cute and sweet book with a mixture of some sexiness *wink*.