Jess has always been the perfect daughter, perfect student, perfect...everything. So perfect that it's boring as hell, and she knows it's time to break out of her risk-free life. Thinking it's time to cut loose a little, she accepts an invitation to a party, never suspecting her friend's ulterior motives. What happens has her second-guessing everything, doubting herself, and in dire need of an escape. So when her brother offers a vacation in the Australian outback, who is she to say no?
Jack is the epitome of the loner bad boy with a heart of gold. He's slept his way across the east coast, finally lucking into a ranch hand slash cook job, where he doesn't intend to stay long. It's just another stop on the endless road he hasn't quite figured out yet. Tired of having no direction and nothing but empty sex, he's longing for everything the ranch's newly arrived guests have to offer. Instant chemistry.
Unfortunately, Jack is all about doing the right thing, and Jess isn't making it easy on him. They only have a few weeks together before she flies back to the other side of the world, and their foreplay in the form of verbal sparring has him wound up tight. It doesn't help that Reid, Jess's older brother, implicitly trusts Jack to take care of her. And when he offers Jack a chance at a career, a chance to finally make something of himself? As tempting as Jess is, Jack just can't bring himself to betray Reid that way.
I wish I'd known this book was part of a series when I'd started it. I thought I was going to get the whole story in one sitting, and with an author as accomplished as this one, I knew it'd be good...better than good. Without giving anything away, I do want to say this: count on getting the next book in the series immediately. While Before is a great read, you're going to want the whole story, and that won't happen unless you spring for Brash. Oh, and while I'm at it, why is the chick on the cover blonde?
Awesome read! Really, it's exactly what short romance novels should be. There's incredible chemistry from the get-go, and both the main characters have enough depth that you'll be instantly rooting for both of them -- not to mention anxiously waiting for them to finally combust! While the setting for the story is mostly in Australia, I didn't feel like the author was hurling Aussie-isms at me, and I had no trouble falling for the conflicted couple. Long story short, I'm off to read the next book before the anticipation kills me!