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Friday, March 21, 2014

Beyond Me By Jennifer Probst

A Review By Wendy
4 Sex on the Beach, Tasty, Steamy  Stars
 * * * *

Beyond Me by Jennifer Probst is part of the Sex on the Beach group of quick novels which all reference each other. They follow 3 best friends; women who are in college, all searching to have some fun during Spring Break in Key West. Each of these novellas can be read alone, in different order or in the order with this being the second.

In this story we have Quinn, the focused, organized, hard working student. She never cuts loose as she expects herself to do what needs to be done. Having survived an alcoholic father, Quinn is now studying to be a rehab specialist and works a couple of jobs while doing it.  She is there to have that break her girlfriends encouraged... to have a fling... enjoy the moment and then go back to Chicago to finish school.

Both of her friends are doing their spring Quinn goes to a house pool party she learned of from a flyer. As she is checking out the mansion... seeing bodies in all degrees of dress and undress.... she spots a gorgeous guy across the way checking her out. She knows she is ok in her mind... not a 10 but not a 2 either. He on the other hand is something... built but not bulky, dark hair, light blue eyes and staring not just at her but through her. She is startled by it and turns away.

James Hunt is not having it... he is not losing the vision. He is annoyed she turned away from him... his friends tease him... goading him about not having his charm and way with the ladies anymore... words are said back and forth... pride is at stake and a bet is made... James is pushed to the mental wall and it is either put up or shut up... he get's art lessons with a painter whom he worships if he beds her in the week... if not he loses his prized, one of a kind motorcycle. 

We learn he is the one the house belongs to...he has a history of always doing these parties for spring break. His circle of friends expect him to provide all of the entertainment and fund their fun... because that is what he does...what is always expected of him. His parents expected him to join the company business... be everything they needed to look good with their peers... James, though, wanted to pursue painting. He was never encouraged to be the real artist he dreams of being... he hides these feelings and plays the carefree playboy.

He tracks Quinn down and they start up a conversation... things are going well for James as they both are attracted to each other... until she finds out he is the owner of the house from one of his friends... you see, Quinn has a hardcore rule... no lying of any kind... her father would lie... promising things to her and then because he would be drunk... never come through. She learned how to protect herself and this was the only way.

As the story goes, her friends convince her to hear him out. She does and the romance blossoms for both. She feels for him and encourages him to really be himself and paint. He starts to have real feeling for her and tells the guys the bet is off.

While there romance continues with the ticking time bomb of the bet in the background, there are other things happening on Key West. Women are being drugged and we hear about it from the other characters.

This is a strong story of obligations .... when is it time for people to live for themselves and not others.... when is it time to cut friendships which are actually not friendships at all....

I liked the way everything worked... it was a sweet story with steam and ideas; it worked as part of this series.

A gifted copy was provided by author/publisher for an honest review.
Jennifer Probst wrote her first book at twelve years old. She bound it in a folder, read it to her classmates, and hasn’t stopped writing since. She took a short hiatus to get married, get pregnant, buy a house, get pregnant again, pursue a master’s in English Literature, and rescue two shelter dogs. Now she is writing again.

She is the NYT and USA Today bestselling author of The Marriage Bargain. She is published both erotic and sexy contemporary romance with Entangled, Decadent, Red Sage and TWRP. She has also written a children's book, Buffy and the Carrot, co-written with her twelve year old niece, along with a short story, "A Life Worth Living." Visit her website for more info!

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