by Anne Holster
GENRE: New Adult Contemporary Romance
It began with a drunken kiss, a furtive but passionate grope atop a pile of discarded winter coats. Downstairs, the party raged on, but all Jess hears is the pounding of her heart as Finn Evans – the guy she had fantasized about for God-knows-how long – ran his hands along her body. It isn’t until Finn staggers from the dark room that Jess realizes she has not only lost her virginity, but her underwear as well. Things only get worse when she sees Finn again and realizes he doesn’t even know it was her in the bedroom that night! She heads to the Jersey Shore with her best friend, hoping a summer of fun will heal her broken heart.
Finn awakes with a colossal hangover and a pair of girl’s underwear jammed in his pocket. It’s not the first time he’s had sex at a party, but it is the first time he doesn’t know the girl’s identity. Thinking he’ll never see her again he heads to the Jersey Shore for a summer of sun, sand and sex.
While down at the shore, Jess and Finn find themselves thrown together time and time again, eventually forging an unlikely friendship. By the time Finn realizes he’s fallen for her, Jess is with someone else. Will Finn be able to convince Jess that he is the one for her, or will his bad boy reputation haunt him forever?
“Um, just water,” I answered, distracted as I followed her voice into the kitchen. I rounded the corner and stopped dead in my tracks. The door of the fridge was open and Jess was bent over as she looked inside. The white dress rode up, revealing a long, lean stretch of tanned hamstring. For a delicious moment I drank in the sight, then quickly averted my eyes when she turned around. If she noticed me staring, she didn’t say anything.
She tossed me the bottle of water but her aim was way off and it hit me in the side of the head, then tumbled to the floor.
“Ooh, sorry,” she said, putting her fingers to her mouth, then she rushed over like she might’ve caused me some permanent damage or something.
As if on cue, we both started laughing again. I don’t know why because it wasn’t that funny, or wouldn’t have been if we weren’t drunk off our asses and recovering from a night with Minnie Mouse and Goofy.
Jess started moving her fingers through my hair to see if I was okay, which I knew was silly but enjoyed it all the same. Satisfied that I wasn’t mortally wounded, she let her hand drop and was about to step back when I grabbed her hand. The two of us froze, and I stared into her big, laughing hazel eyes, then before I had a chance to think about what I was doing my lips were locked on hers. In an instant my free hand was tangled in her hair, pulling her closer so her body was flush up against mine. There was a fleeting moment of response, then all too soon I felt two hands forcibly push against my chest, causing me to stumble a half-step backwards. Feeling breathless, we just stared at each other like two deer in the headlights.
“You need to leave,” she said finally as she pointed toward the door.
“Go, Finn,” she stated again, only this time her tone was laced with anger.
I backed up, still staring at her and still breathing heavily. When I got to the door I tried to speak again, but she quickly cut me off. Once both feet were firmly planted on the front step I turned, but as I did the door slammed loudly in my face.
What the fuck just happened?
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Anne Holster resides in Northern New Jersey with her husband and two children. When she’s not writing she enjoys spending time with her family, playing tennis and reading angsty romance novels. She is currently working on her third novel.
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3.75 out of 5 stars
Finished by Anne Holster is a new adult romance that centers around a group of friends who are sharing a memorable summer on the Jersey Shore. They are at various stages of their journey to adulthood but joined by their determination to balance work and the desire to party enthusiastically and enjoy their summer. Jess makes some unwise decisions while under the influence, but manages to get past most of the repercussions and learns to guard her heart. Finn has an easygoing and carefree attitude toward booze, girls, and his job, but this summer is going to be lifechanging for him, in ways he least suspects!
This new adult contemporary romance gave plenty of warning in the blurb of what kind of angst- and drama-filled story this was going to be, and it definitely delivered. I was reminded why I didn’t appreciate the reality show of this ilk, because that has never been a lifestyle I really understood. I think this story would be most appreciated by those who like folks who are prone to drama, questionable decisions, and getting into situations by being either deliberately blind to danger or pretty obtuse about what is going on around them.
I think the author did a good job of portraying the slippery slope one can find oneself on through insecurity, loyalty (mistaken or not), naivete, and inaction, but wow, I am not sure I would have wanted most of these people as my ‘friends’ when I was that age. There are fascinating twists and horribly embarrassing situations but I think that there is also a nice message about living life long enough to grow up a bit and that there’s a way to survive almost everything (including one’s parents, lol). Some of the resolution was a little too pat for my tastes, and I have my concerns that many of these characters need to learn how to communicate, but overall, I think a lot of the events were portrayed in a realistic fashion. There are a few technical issues that need to be smoothed out a bit, but overall this was an engaging new adult story that will undoubtedly appeal to fans of the genre.
A copy of this title was provided to me for review