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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 me you 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?”

“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.”

 

 

Actual rating 3.5 ☆

This is a mixed bag of I don’t know, I really love it and well why I feel as if something is missing. I love Ms. Bowen’s work especially the True North Series but I really did see how this was going to work. In the end it did but it felt one sided sometimes.

Characters & Chemistry.

May Shipley is the apparent black sheep of the family. Okay so none of her life choices have been ideal but she has picked herself back up time and time again. Now a lawyer she is trying to live up to everyone’s expectations. The only one’s she needs to fulfil are her own. She comes from a big interfering we mean well family and as the middle child as fell short between the older and younger siblings.

I really liked May, she is strong, she is open with her bi sexuality, and she has fights each day to keep her sobriety. There were times she needed to pull up her big girl panties and I feel as if that didn’t quite happen.

Alec Rossi bar owner of the Gin Mill, the life of any party since he’s been a teenager is trying to keep his business but he needs money to invest. But at every turn he is being cut off. He within the Rossi family is also the middle child although as a middle child you can get away with more I think it still sucks to be the middle child.

I think I liked Alec more although he was open about his benefits with the beer distributor Chelsea and he was a right coward when it came to being honest with Chelsea. Dick move Alec. He tells May that is only being a rebound but then he changes the rules. But what he really needed to start was being a bar owner and not a bartender. He dropped the ball on so many things.

When it comes to the chemistry this is where it gets fickle for me. They have chemistry and I feel as if Alec was more into the relationship then May. Whereas she was wide open for women she was so closed off for dating men and although it was because of her ex. It doesn’t matter what gender even f/f can have shitty relationships. As May has experienced with her now girlfriend cheating on her.

We get to see most of the characters of the previous books which is always a bonus.

Writing, Plot & Pace.

Ms. Bowen has the knack for taking difficult topics and making them work. Showing the pitfalls that can come. What the life on an addict can be like and what families think what they are doing is helping but it isn’t. She gives you RL situations, the good, the bad and the ugly. That is what I need in a read.

I love the world building here ever since I read book one I have been captivated with Vermont. It’s like coming home. Sarina has a subtlety to her writing that kept me interested all the way through the book. I know what was going to happen to these truly unique characters. They are flawed they aren’t perfect. They are real. Hell, they could be some of my friends.

I wanted some closure with her ex that just felt so open ended. There was a confrontation but as adults you’d think that they’d sit down and give each other closure. Maybe that is just me though. Another thing that should have been addressed is the crush that she has always had on Lark. It was mentioned a couple of times throughout the book and that at the end I felt it was just brushed under the carpet.

Verdict.
I love the True North Series and I would love to see more of Vermont. I never thought that there would be 5 books in the series. Although this one is a mixed bag for me I still like it. It’s not my favourite but it is solid and a series that I can only recommend.