A new sexy standalone romance by New York Times bestselling author Melissa Foster.
Eight months is a long damn time to have the hots for a woman who keeps a guy at arm’s length. But Crystal Moon is no ordinary woman. She’s a sinfully sexy, sass-mouthed badass, and the subject of Bear Whiskey’s midnight fantasies. She’s also one of his closest friends.
Just when Crystal thinks she has her life under control, scorching-hot, possessive, aggressive, and fiercely loyal Bear pushes all her sexual buttons, relentless in his pursuit to make her his.
The more Bear pushes, the hotter their passion burns, unearthing memories for Crystal that are best kept buried. But there’s no stopping the collision of her past and present, catapulting the two lovers down an emotional and sexually charged road that has them questioning all they thought they knew about themselves.
Honestly, it was very hard for me to get into the beginning and could only read pages at a time. For those of you who have never been touched by sexual assault, I hope that you never will and Crystal’s personal struggle will be just another part to the story. But to those who have experienced such, it can be difficult to read. Foster portrays Crystal’s PTSD so well, that reading it was like reliving it all over again. At times, I had to put the book down and walk away to collect myself before I could return. To say that it was anxiety inducing is putting it mildly.
That being said, Truly, Madly Whiskey is a well written, well developed story that Foster brings her signature skill and style to. The characters are more like living breathing people rather than constructed characters and I found myself thoroughly invested in the HEA. At times, I found Bear overbearing and wished he would just back off. If Crystal hadn’t liked him, some of his actions/words would have been way out of line. As someone who values personal space, this was aggravating. That being said, he was also one of the most thoughtful, caring heroes I have read for a long time. I appreciated his depth and wished there were more heroes like him
Overall, I enjoyed this novel. It ran me through a gambit of emotions, some I wasn’t ready for. That being said, it isn’t your typical bad boy romance, and, despite their ridiculous names, the lead characters were worth investment. If you are looking for a contemporary novel with heart, look no further.
“Really, Bear. I can drop you at your place before I go to the fabric shop.” Crystal started the car, feeling more in control than she had inside the shop. She hated the way she’d frozen up when things had gotten hot between them. She wanted him. After putting herself through three years of therapy, dealing with not only the trauma of the attack, but the bullshit with her mother and the loss of her father, she was sure she could handle anything. She’d dated other guys since she’d left college without issue. Why did it have to be different with the only guy she wanted to be close to? It pissed her off that her past still owned a piece of her, and she needed to get over it before Bear got fed up and walked away for good.
“I have to go to the store anyway.” He flashed one of his smiles. “We might as well go together.”
“You need to go to the fabric store?” she said flatly, knowing he was bullshitting her. She realized her car smelled different, cleaner. The seats were shiny, the dashboard dust free. “Did you clean my car?”
“Detailed it,” he said casually, as if he did this type of thing every day. For all she knew, he did. “Changed your oil, topped off your fluids. You really need to do those things every three thousand miles.” He touched the doll hanging from her rearview mirror. “I dusted off this, too, even though I’m a little worried that it’s a voodoo doll.”
She wasn’t about to tell him it was a worry doll that she loved more than life itself.
“Bear.” She couldn’t suppress her smile about the voodoo doll as she drove toward the store. “You really need to stop acting like you have to take care of me. I appreciate you handling the inspection, which I’m paying you for, by the way. But you don’t have to do all these things for me. I already like who you are.” Even if I have a hard time showing it.
“I know you do,” he said, as cocky as ever.
Why is that such a turn-on?
“I didn’t do it to get your attention. Shit, six three, two thirty.” He flexed his biceps and winked. “You’re sitting next to Peaceful Harbor gold, baby. I’ve got your attention.”
She couldn’t suppress a laugh. “That you do, and probably half the women in this town.”
He kept her laughing the whole way to the fabric store, and it was just what she needed. It really had been a long day. They’d hosted three parties, and one of the mothers was just about the most obnoxious woman on earth. She’d pushed her daughter toward pink frilly outfits for the first half hour, when all the little cutie had wanted was to dress up as a skateboard princess. Gemma realized Crystal was going to strangle the wench, and she’d calmly suggested the woman head down to Jazzy Joe’s for coffee. The rest of her day hadn’t been much better. Plus, she’d spent the morning overthinking everything about her relationship with Bear, which was probably why she’d freaked out when she’d really been dying to kiss him.
She parked in front of the fabric store. There were some things that just didn’t fit in the world as Crystal knew it, and Bear Whiskey clad in a tight black T-shirt that said Whiskey Bro’s across his massive chest, a pair of snug, low-slung black jeans, and leather boots strutting into Jennilyn’s Fabric was on the top of the list.
She pulled her list from her bag as his eyes coasted over the store. What was he thinking, coming with her? That was dedication she could not ignore. The epitome of commitment.
That is Bear.
She toyed with that as he draped his arm over her shoulder. She wondered what had taken him so long. She’d expected him to do it the second she’d stepped from the car, but he was probably in shock that they were actually going to a fabric store. She smiled to herself as he leaned closer and rubbed his nose along her cheek.
“Can I help you?” she asked with a laugh.
“You smell like jelly beans, and I happen to have a thing for sugary goodness.”
“You can’t seriously have that good a sense of smell.”
He pressed an unexpected, and deliciously warm, kiss to her cheek and reached into her purse, withdrawing a bag of jelly beans. “Hoarding? Or were we going to hide these later in your body and let me find them?” He moved his mouth beside her ear and whispered, “Blindfolded. With my hands tied behind my back.”
He nudged her deeper into the store. Holy crap. She’d stopped walking. Was she breathing? And was that a thing? Blindfolded? Hands tied behind his back? Oh, the control that would give her. She’d be at no risk of being overpowered. But would she want that much control? She imagined herself lying naked on her bed, watching as his greedy mouth moved over her breasts, down her belly, and she felt herself go damp.
No, no, no.
Ice cream. Ice baths. Cow poop!
Her body continued vibrating from the inside out. This was bad. Really, really bad. Like a virus she couldn’t shake. She needed an anti-Bear pill. Stat!