Let your hair down, Caroline, they said. It’ll be fun, they said.
I know I’ve closed myself off in a major way in the past year, ever since “the incident” where I messed up my life completely. It’s past time I try to live again or just give up completely. But this is quite possibly the craziest thing I’ve ever done. In a last ditch effort to invigorate myself, I’m standing outside Oren Tenning’s bedroom, I just peeled off the sexiest pair of underwear I own, and my hand is already raised to knock. My brother would disown me for doing anything with his best friend, and he’d probably kill Oren. But if I play my cards right, no one will ever know about this. Not even Ten.
Maybe after tonight, I’ll finally get over this stupid, irrational crush I hate having on the biggest jerk I’ve ever met. Or maybe I’ll just end up falling for him even harder. Maybe I’ll discover there’s so much more to my crude, carefree hunk than meets the eye.
Linda grew up on a dairy farm in the Midwest as the youngest of eight children. Now she lives in Kansas with her husband, daughter, and nine cuckoo clocks. Her life’s been blessed with lots of people to learn from and love. Writing’s always been a major part of her world, and she is so happy to finally share some of her stories with other romance lovers.
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The entire notion was crazy. I would never in a million years actually go through such a thing.
An hour later, thousands of voices in my head shrieked. “For the love of God, Caroline. What’re you doing?”
“Shh,” I hissed at the annoying shits. “I’m doing this.”
I slipped inside the front door to Quinn, Oren, and Zoey’s apartment. If anyone caught me, I already had an excuse handy. I was here to see Zoey. To talk important girl stuff. Yeah. That sounded good. And I really would talk to her if I was caught…about the fact that I’d lost my ever-loving mind!
Pausing at the beginning of the hall, I took a moment to bolster my nerve. Oren’s bedroom was the first door on the right. Only ten feet away. Drawing in a deep breath, I started to step forward when an idea hit me. Scrambling, I reached under my skirt for the panties I’d raced home to change into, and I peeled them down my legs.
I know, I know. They were the nicest underwear I owned. Why was I taking them off before he could even see the goods? Well, probably because, if we stayed in the dark like we were supposed to, he’d never see them anyway. And tonight, I just wanted to be bold and promiscuous. If I was really going to do this, I was going to do it right.
Pantyless, I stopped in front of his door and lifted my palm, but instead of knocking, I set my fingers against the wood. He was on the other side of this door, waiting for me.
Okay, fine, waiting for some other girl. But if I knocked and went inside, it’d be me he took.
A thrill raced up my spine, and butterflies danced in my stomach.
The title could only have been more apt if it was named A Perfect Five for the rating I’m giving it. Linda Kage provides a naughtily sassy and sweet story, filled with heartfelt moments, laugh out loud dialogue and inner monologues from both points of view laced with a beautiful swoony romance.
Oren Tenning restarted his life when he went to college. He left behind his hometown and with it his heartbreaking past, hiding it behind a revolving door of casual flings. Through the years he’s only allowed himself to care for a select few guy friends.
“Women gutted you. They either said shit that tore out your self-confidence, or they got hurt when you should’ve been able to protect them, which left you so broken you wished you were dead. I tried to stay away from all of that “feelings” shit when it came to women.”
When he meets his best friend’s younger sister and is completely entranced by her, he immediately distances himself from her any way he can think of. Not only to protect his heart but also to safeguard his relationship with Noel Gamble, the friend he considers a brother.
“…nothing about Caroline has ever been easy. That’s the curious thing about temptation. It festers and grows. You feed that bitch enough and she morphs into craving, and then craving turns into obsession. Pretty soon, nothing in your life is as important as that one thing you want but can’t have…
So, this is my Pathetic Loser’s confession: I am Oren Tenning, and I have fallen. Hard.
Caroline is a very strong and determined young woman who goes after what she wants. And she wants Ten. No matter that he’s turned her down… twice. No matter how much she can get from him. So when opportunity presents itself, she’s not one to let it slip, especially if no one except her will be the wiser. Not. Even. Ten! Sound interesting in its improbability?
Full review now posted
“The sweetest part of the whole idea was that I could have exactly what I wanted, and the immature chauvinist pig who pissed me off as much as he turned me on would go away absolutely clueless.” ~ Caroline
But by doing so, she sets a chain of sexy, fun, twisty events in motion that will eventually bring light to their mutual attraction and connection and force them to examine how they truly feel about each other. Leading to a beautiful secret love affair which everyone but her brother knows about.
Oren Tenning is a manwhore in love and I don’t think I’ve ever cheered more for a guy to find his happy zip code in Loveville. He’s hilariously crass and completely unrepentant about it. His potty mouth never stopped his heart from being the strong possessive, protective and tender man Casey needed and Linda Kage does a wonderful job of revealing his transformation.
I fell hard for this smart, unfiltered, incorrigible man with an incredibly big, caring heart that made my insides melt. His unrestrained and lighthearted honesty was so relatable. Is it also because the harder they are to get, the harder and truer they fall? I don’t know if it’s a general rule, but it’s certainly true for Ten.
“I’m not going anywhere without you… My heart wouldn’t be in it if you weren’t there.” I clutched her face and looked deep into her eyes. “You jump, I jump. Right, Rose?”
Caroline was Ten’s perfect match. Even though young and a bit reckless, she’s strong, mature and with a “dirty-minded heart” just perfect for this hilariously charming man slut.
“She was hands down the most entertaining, dynamic, devious, beautiful, amazing woman I’d ever met. If I wasn’t already crazy in love with her, I would’ve fallen in that very moment.
She knew how to draw him out with wit as sharp as his. Giving us great verbal sparring that was like foreplay that fed their attraction, which blossomed into a beautiful relationship.
“What’re you saying? That I deserve this because you want me as much as I want you? Impossible. No one could want someone else this much. No one could fucking crave another this much.” ~ Ten
Re-reading my notes and highlights just makes me want to re-read this story repeatedly. I’m finding it hard to decide which is the most swoony line in the book, the most sweet affectionate one, the one that made my tablet protector go up in smoke or the one that almost caused me to spill my coffee all over from laughing. So as you can tell the review turned out a bit longish and I didn’t even mention “Zoey and Quinn—or Zwinn” or Caroline’s little brothers!
The story has a great pace and a smooth flowing plot that had me completely engaged. I did not want to put it down or have it end. The book made me smile continuously, swoon, fan myself and cry. It’s sweet and sexy and now I feel I missed out by not reading about the wonderful characters between book one and this one. I can’t wait for Linda’s next books in this forbidden men series.