Series: True North #5
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Also in this series: Bittersweet, Fireworks, Heartland
Also by this author: Us, Bittersweet, Rookie Move, Hard Hitter, Pipe Dreams, Brooklynaire, Fireworks, Overnight Sensation, Superfan, Moonlighter, Man Cuffed, Heartland
Sometimes you fall for Mr. Right. And sometimes for Mr. Right Now… May Did you hear the one about the girl who walks into a bar and catches her live-in lover kissing someone else? No? You’re the only one in town who missed it. Luckily Alec is there to wrap me up in strong arms and carry me out the door before things get too ugly. And that’s not all Alec is good at. Our unexpected chemistry makes him the perfect rebound guy. Alec I should know better than to hook up with my rival’s little sister, but the fiery look in May’s eyes really turns my crank. She needs cheering up, and I’m just the guy for the job. It’s not like I’ll fall in love. Not even after a string of scorching hot trysts, and the realization that we’re good at the same things: wild nights and familial disappointment. I don’t do love, never have, never will. So this is the perfect arrangement, for both of us. Nobody would approve, but nobody has to know…
Bowen brings us back to Vermont in Speakeasy. I never thought I would crave Vermont so much! May, our heroine, finds her live in girlfriend kissing another girl. Alec swoops in an rescues her like a true hero! I appreciated the depth that Bowen takes on with these characters. May’s sexuality and alcoholism are topics that play a major role in the story. However, Bowen also knows when to lighten things up too.
May’s struggle with addiction has shaped her and her family. Her family has always handled her with kid gloves for fear they might set her off. May is tired of it all, so the story is not just about her relationship with Alec, but about repairing her relationship with her family. The Shipley’s are great and they provide some levity with their zaniness! May is also not sure that a real relationship with Alec would ever work. She is sure that friends with benefits is all they could be.
Alec is steady a s rock. He is one of those book boyfriends who just makes you swoon. He is so laid back. It was refreshing to have a character who is just kind of going with the flow as an opposite to the heavy emotions that May experienced.
Speakeasy is another stellar entry in Bowen’s True North series and further reminder why Bowen is one of my go to authors!
- POV: dual 1st
- Tears: no
- Trope: addiction, friends with benefits
- Triggers: none
- Series/Standalone: stand alone within an interconnected series
- Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »no « Hide Spoiler
- HEA: View Spoiler »yes « Hide Spoiler
Speakeasy by Sarina Bowen
Someone appears in my peripheral vision. I get half a glance at a lithe body and long hair as a woman appears and then just as quickly retreats.
Wait. Was that…?
I ease my way down the aisle, past the snowboard bags and ski duffels, and then I peer around the corner just in time to spot May Shipley exiting the store.
Several lengthy strides carry me right out the door after her. May has exquisite long legs, so she’s making good time escaping from me across the parking lot. I put two fingers in my mouth and make a cat-call whistle.
May halts midstride. Busted. She turns around and regards me with a sheepish smile.
God, just one smile from her and I feel better already. I raise a finger and beckon. Then I lean against the brick exterior of the shop and wait.
She lifts her chin and walks toward me.
“May Shipley,” I complain as she approaches. “Am I crazy or did you just leave the building to avoid me back there?”
She puts one hand over her pretty eyes and laughs. “Okay, you caught me. Don’t make me feel worse.”
“Do we have a problem, here?” I reach out and tag her hand, then pull her closer to me. We’re toe to toe, though several layers of winter clothing separate us. Still, my whole body hums at the memory of her riding me in my truck. Gawd. So hot. “I get that our lawyer party date got a little crazy.”
“You think?” she squeaks. “I’m so embarrassed.”
“Why? So we had a little spur-of-the-moment sex. You really enjoyed my spur for a moment.”
“Omigod, stop.” May throws her head back and laughs. Her eyes dance, and I’m wearing a giant smile and feeling much more like myself.
“Don’t be embarrassed. I had a lot of fun.” That’s an understatement. I can’t stop thinking about it. Spontaneous truck sex with a long-legged beauty moaning on my dick? That night has made my personal hall of fame.
“Okay. I’ll try.” But the color in her cheeks is unmistakable. It’s cute as fuck.
“Come here.” I pull her into a hug, and she feels terrific against my body. “Let’s not be weird.”
May lifts her face in surprise. “I said that same thing to a good friend once.”
“Did it work?” I whisper because we’re so close together.
“Nope. Still weird.” She grins.
I laugh. And then I kiss her. I don’t even know how it happens. One second I’m just appreciating her smile, and the next second I’m owning it with my mouth.
May lets out a surprised whimper before her mouth softens under mine. I take my time kissing her until her hands spread the two halves of my jacket, finding my chest, gripping my flannel shirt. I need to taste her, so I part her lips with my tongue.
Suddenly my shoulder blades hit the bricks as May presses me up against the wall.
No, ma’am. I’ve just spent five nights imagining a scenario where our next encounter plays out in reverse—with me in charge. So I spin her around and back her up against the wall instead. And for good measure I pin her questing hands in mine, just because I can.
She makes a hungry noise, and I feel it in my balls. And then I dive back into her kisses, one of my thighs between her long legs.
May fights me, if by fighting meyou mean she presses her hips against mine and gives me a nice, dirty grind.
I never liked the Shipleys, but now I realize I was hanging out with the wrong ones.
We lose our minds for several amazing minutes until the door of the ski shop opens suddenly. I take a quick step backward to preserve what’s left of our dignity.
Not that it works. We’re both flushed and panting, and I look like I’m trying to conceal a ski pole in the crotch of my jeans.
The young woman exiting the shop gives us a quizzical look as she bleeps the locks on her car.
“Jesus,” May breathes as we blink at each other.
“I know.” Every part of me is horny now. It’s cold outside, but I’m hot everywhere. My clothes feel constricting. I want to drag May back into my truck and have my way with her again.
“What are we doing?”
“Well, babydoll, we’re dry-humping each other in a parking lot.”
“Alec!” She reaches up, clapping a hand over my mouth. “That was a rhetorical question.”
I nod to show her I understand. But then I stick out my tongue and lick her palm where it’s pressed to my lips.
“Omigod, stop.” She removes her hand and wipes it on my flannel.
“You don’t really want me to. Admit it.”
“No, really I do.” Her embarrassed smile comes back. It’s so fucking cute. “I don’t need to be arrested for indecent exposure.”
“Fair enough. But that’s why you’re going to come over tonight. Late. Like eleven.” I’m supposed to be tending bar until ten and then closing up early, because it’s Sunday night.
“Why do you think? So I can strip you down and lick you all over until you’re screaming my—”
May puts that hand over my mouth again. “Anyone could hear you.”
“Nah,” I say from under her hand. She removes it. “I have brick walls at home. It helps with sound control. So even when my headboard starts to bang while I’m fucking you—”
She tries to cover my mouth again, but this time I catch her hand in midair, because I’m a sex ninja. And I hold it in mine. “Just come over. I’ve been thinking about you all week. Once wasn’t enough.” I lift her palm to my mouth and kiss it tenderly.
“Apparently not.” Her cheeks pink up. “But I really can’t get involved with anyone right now.”
“Duh.” I actually roll my eyes. “I’m your rebound lay. Relationships aren’t my style, and I’m allergic to commitment. So we’ll have exactly the same expectations—some very athletic sex.”
Her lips part on an dreamy expression, but then she snaps them closed again.
“Don’t overthink it, counselor. The judge orders you to his chambers at ten.”