Synopsis from Goodreads
Good girls finish last? Screw that.
Being a small town girl isn’t so bad. Unless Mom’s the town joke and I’ve spent my entire life shying away from her flamboyance. College in Las Vegas should be so much cooler. But it’s not. Bad things happen. Real bad.
So when my brother Reid offers me an all-expenses paid vacation to Australia for a month, I am so there. Discounting the deadly snakes on the outback cattle station, I should be safe.
Until I meet Jack.
Jack defines bad boy and then some. He’s big, buffed, bronzed, and hotter than any guy I’ve ever met. His sexy Aussie accent makes me melt. And the guy can cook.
But he’s my brother’s new bestie and he lives on the other side of the world. There’s no future for us.
Don’t you just love stories that introduce to characters and set the scene for future books in the series. Before is exactly that sort of book, while it is the first book in the series, it has the feel of a prequel. Setting the scene and introducing the characters. Focussing on Jack and Jess, the quintessential good girl, bad boy.
Jess has always shied away from attention in order to be the complete opposite of her brash mother. While Jack is a product of the foster system, never believing himself good enough to dream of a better life. that is until their paths cross when Jess is taken on a business trip with her politician brother to Australia.
Jack is already jaded at 20, while Jess is naive and innocent. While their lives have been very different up to this point both recognise something in the other that draws them at a deep level. While Jack is determined to reform and be the good guy in this situation, Jess is equally determined to sow some wild oats while she is away. neither foresee the connection they share. I loved the interactions between Jack and Jess, some utterly romantic, others a little steamy but always utterly comfortable with the other. Something neither of them have previously experienced.
While I could understand Jack’s reticence to be a holiday fling for Jess, it also broke my heart at his lack of self-worth. The position he holds within the ranch and the belief other people have in him, for the first time in his life, was heart warming to witness. However, it is also one of the factors for keeping his relationship with Jess on a purely platonic level. The toll this takes on Jess’s self-confidence adds another level of emotion to the story.
With every page I was willing Jack to be honest with Jess and ultimately himself regarding his feelings to her. I was so invested in the characters by 50% through the book that I knew I would have to get the second book to continue with Jack and Jess. Their relationship is just that addictive Be on the look out for my review of Brash to find out more about Jack and Jess.