SynopsisClover 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?
She was sitting on the front steps when he pulled up, clearly showered and wearing a light summer dress instead of the skirt and tank top she’d had on earlier.
Clover smiled softly when she got in. “You came back.” She sounded as uncertain, yet hopeful, about things as he felt.
“Of course.” He kissed her cheek like she’d kissed his earlier and wished he had the nerve to move his mouth just a little to the side. That was all it would take to touch his lips to hers. Instead, he pulled back and shifted into drive.
She settled into the middle seat right next to him with the length of her thigh pressed up against his. He much preferred to have her sit there than all the way over on the passenger side.
He tried to sound casual, but he could feel his face flush with heat as he said, “I threw together some food in case we get hungry.”
“That’s sweet, thank you.” She stretched up and kissed his cheek. For one stuttering, suffocating, perfect moment, her lips touched his skin. His eyes drifted shut and held perfectly still. So far, their exchanges had been relatively chaste, but he felt something shift inside him with that kiss. His crush was moving far too quickly into something solid and his chest swelled with fear and hope.
She lingered there for several seconds, close enough for him to feel the whisper of her breath against his skin. When she finally pulled away, he stayed in that position, stunned immobile by her closeness. She squeezed his leg, kissed his cheek again, quickly this time, then pulled away completely. “So, where are we going?”
He jerked into motion, embarrassed by his reaction. But what else could he expect? When a girl like Clover got close enough for him to smell the subtle fragrance of her shampoo and the lingering chlorine on her skin from the pool, well, something like that would always affect him. And this time it wasn’t just a girl like Clover; it was Clover herself. The crush he’d been cultivating for as long as he could remember had grown exponentially since he’d picked her up earlier that day.
He cleared his throat as he pulled out of the parking lot. “I have no idea. Where do you want to go?”
“Head south, toward the river.”
“You got it.”
Instead of holding her hand this time, Jake settled his arm around Clover’s shoulder. As he pulled onto the highway, she rested her hand on his leg. Unlike before, she didn’t play with his inseam. Rather, she let her hand lie in one place, low by his knee, with her fingers curled around the inside. It was for the best, he knew. The distraction of her hand sliding high up on his thigh while driving was simply too much to ignore. He’d nearly wrapped his truck around a pole while trying to corner on the way into town earlier. He didn’t need a repeat event. Still, he missed the feel of her hand exploring. If he could figure out a way to say it without sounding like an asshole, he’d tell her that she was welcome to touch him whenever and however she wanted. The fear that she might actually take him up on it was enough to keep him silent.
For now, though, he was happy simply to drive down the road with her sitting next to him.
Clover was a sweet story about Clover Watson and Jake Feldman. It was about a boy’s crush that spanned years and turned into a man’s love. There was uniqueness with the way it was written, that I enjoyed very much.
It starts present day and Clover’s car has broken down while she’s driving to work. It’s hot and she’s already late. Jake sees them walking and offers a ride. Clover doesn’t recognize him, even though she saw him every summer for the last 12 years. He’s grown up and filled out. He’s also turned out to be very good looking. So what’s wrong with wanting to have a little fun with him for the summer before she has to go back to school.
Jake can’t believe that she’s finally noticed him. He’s been hoping she would see him for more than just a boy and a friend of her brother’s for a long time. And she definitely noticed that he was more than a boy while sitting close to him in his truck! He wants to spend time with Clover and allow her to get to know him. In the beginning, she’s all for getting to know him but I’d say more in the biblical sense. But Jake’s love for Clover means more to him than a romp in his front seat. He has no experience, but Clover is more than happy to show him the ropes.
What I enjoyed about this story was how each chapter was presented. From present day it went to when Jake was first dropped off at his aunt’s house for the summer 12 years prior. And each time it moved up a year, with their present day journey in between. You learn of Jake’s thoughts as a boy when he spends time with Clover and her brother. She may not have paid much attention to him but he was always aware of her. He was always willing to do what it took to make her happy and it didn’t change as he got older.
But, there are decisions that need to be made as Clover is getting ready to move back to school. She has big goals and can’t let them go just because she is falling for Jake. Her dad would never allow it. The good thing is, something happens with Clover and it shows Clover’s dad just what kind of man Jake has grown into. I loved watching them grow up and grow together. I give this sweet love story 4/5 stars!
About the Author
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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