If you’re looking for a quick, fun read with just the right amount of drama and a whole lot of sexiness on the side, then don’t miss out on Jen McLaughlin’s BETWEEN US. It’s part of the three book novella series called SEX ON THE BEACH. Each novella is a standalone but all three books are set in the same world and are centered on the spring break escapades of three friends.
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
I’m just a girl…
I’m a famous country star who’s spent her life cultivating a good girl persona to avoid bad press, but I’ve reached my limit. I’m going away for spring break with my two best friends from college, and we’ve vowed to spend the vacation seeking out fun in the sun—along with some hot, no-strings-attached sex. The only thing I needed was the perfect guy, and then I met Austin Murphy. He might be totally wrong for me, but the tattooed bad boy is hard to resist. When I’m in his arms, everything just feels right.
And I’m just a guy…
I’m just a bartender who lives in Key West, stuck in an endless cycle of boredom. But then Mackenzie Forbes, America’s Sweetheart herself, comes up to me and looks at me with those bright green eyes…and everything changes. She acts like she’s just a normal girl and I’m just a normal guy, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. My past isn’t pretty, you know. I did what I had to do to survive, and she’d run if she learned the truth about my darkness. But with her, I’m finally realizing what it’s like to be alive. To laugh, live, and be happy.
All good things must come to an end...
BETWEEN US tells the story of Mackenzie Forbes, otherwise known as America’s Sweetheart, the hottest young star in the country music biz. Desperate for a break from the A-list lifestyle and the way her name is splashed across every tabloid in the nation, Mac and her two friends set out to Key West, Florida to spend a week of pure unadulterated fun under the sun. Of course, FUN also meant meeting some hot guys while they’re at it.
With her hair dyed and not a dash of make-up on her face, Mackenzie is barely recognizable as a national singing sensation and is determined to find a guy who would take her up on her offer of no-strings attached week of fun. She does not have the greatest track record when it comes to men so finding a spring fling seemed like a daunting order. She’s been burned before and she’s confident she won’t get burned again… after all, what’s a week of no strings attached fun in the life of Mackenzie Forbes?
From the very beginning, I loved how Mac and Austin come from very different walks of life. It made me wonder how something between them can actually work. I think Jen McLaughlin handled the story well without making the characters come off as naïve and disillusioned. She was able to inject into her characters just the right hint of cynicism, making the story more believable. Readers can relate to the characters. I totally identified with Mackenzie. I may not be a national singing sensation but I’ve had my share of failures when it comes to matters of the heart. Like mac, I can’t help but be skeptical of my future relationships. I admired Mac for throwing caution to the wind and taking a chance on Austin. The fact that the characters found their happy ending despite of all the shit in their lives made BETWEEN US an absolute must read for hopeless romantic schmucks like me.
Even though the general feel of the book is lighthearted, breezy, and fun, there were still some really steamy scenes. The chemistry between them is delicious! I also liked how both main characters were walking contradictions. Who would’ve thought that Mac, America’s Sweetheart, had an inner vixen just itching to come out? And Austin, this tatted up bad boy with a criminal record? Behind the tough exterior he wears is a good man just forced to deal with a lot of shit in his young life and he dealt with it the best he can.
BETWEEN US spices things up with just the right amount of drama to make things interesting. But generally, it’s an enjoyable book that will leave you with all the feels of a love gone so damn right. After reading BETWEEN US, I can definitely say that I’ll be reading the other two books in the series.