Friday, 27 September 2013

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Braxton Cole's "Clover."

The Hopeless Romantics Book Blog are pleased to be a part of the Blog Tour for Braxton Cole's "Clover."
(Giveaway at bottom of post)

Amazon UK:


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?

Blog Tour Review: Surj Harvey

If you're looking for your next beach read then Braxton Cole's "Clover" could quite possibly be it. Although it touches on a couple of very serious subject matters (abuse and sexual harassment), these do not form the basis of the story. 

This book is a love story and for Jake, his love for Clover had spanned years, for Clover, she was just after a summer time fling, someone to keep her occupied until she went back to college in Portland. Never in a million years would she have put that someone as Jake, the little, gangly boy who would come visit his aunt each summer and who had befriended her younger brother RJ. Yup, it seemed that Jake had grown up into quite a hottie and the three year age gap between them seemed very insignificant all of a sudden (lol):

Damn this girl was sexier than ever. Why she'd decided to pay attention to Jake 
when she'd been oblivious to him before was a complete unknown. 

For Jake this was so much more than fling though:

He'd fallen helplessly in love with her when he was still too young to know what love really was. But they'd been kids and what does a kid know about true love? 

I was really surprised at the role reversal in this book. I'm so used to seeing  vulnerable, innocent, even a little naive female leads, that seeing the male take on this character definitely made me do a double take. It was Jake who seemed a little inexperienced in life. He seemed innocent to a degree but also quite vulnerable but I think that was mainly due to his home life and his pig of a father. He hadn't had the best upbringing and the initial chapter where he was dropped off at his aunts house for the first time as a child was heart breaking to read. 

Jake had taken a shine to Clover from a very early age and as the years went by, it soon developed into a crush which then developed into full blown love. He'd wanted her for as long as he could remember and now he finally had her. It was so cute to read. Because the book was told from both the past and the present, I was able to see how this affection had developed over time and it was adorable to read at times.  All the little things he did just so she'd notice him: 

He ran back and returned the candy bar to the shelf. He wasn't about to explain that he 
put it back on the off chance that she'd actually notice him if his muscles were bigger. 
He'd start working out with the set of free weights that his aunt had kept in the 
basement as soon as he got back to her place. 

I knew this fling was never going to remain a just that and from quite early on in the summer, I could see Clover's feelings growing. Jake was so kind, caring and most definitely protective of his lady but Clover... she felt she was old enough to deal with what life had to throw at her, including her pervy boss. In terms of sex, Jake had wanted to save himself for someone special. He wasn't looking for HEA but he wanted to make sure he was in love. Clover was definitely more experienced in this field and took the lead when it came to their sexual encounters, never rushing him but more, teaching him. For some reason, there were times where I still saw Jake as really young, where although he was a man (a very good looking one at that), his innocence shone through which made me feel like he was much younger than he actually was. 

This was a light hearted, cute, young love, love story which was easy to read. It could be read in one sitting which is exactly what I did on my holiday sat on the beach. My one bug bare is that it was told in third person and for me, this took away some of that connection I get from my characters and the story line.

There were a couple of moments where my heart hurt, especially Jake's initial summer at his aunts and also, reading about his home life, but overall, it was an enjoyable love story with a HEA. 

"I'm asking for you Jake. I'm asking for the way you make me feel, like I really matter. 
You see me. Not my daddy's money. Not test scores. Me. And I don't ever want to give that up."

I have rated "Clover" 3 Hearts

"Clover" Playlist:

Philip Phillips – Home

Katy Perry – Teenage Dream

Erika Badu - Four Leaf Clover

Dar Williams - Summer Child

Colby Caillat - Brighter than the Sun

Author Bio:

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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