I was expecting something taboo and delicious, and instead got something so much more meaningful in a way only Nina G. Jones can do! Check out the excerpt and then enter the giveaway!
Author: Nina G. Jones
Genre: Erotic Romance
Release Date: October 1, 2015
I married the right brother.
At least that's what I tell myself at night, when I stare at the ceiling and listen to the rhythm of the grandfather clock down the hall. It never feels like the mere passage of time, but a countdown towards something inevitable.
Bobby Lightly is selfish, irresponsible, and careless. I haven't seen him since the day I married his brother. He slipped out during the wedding reception without a word.
A year later, I heard Bobby was drafted to Korea. He never said goodbye to anyone. Never sent a letter. We had all come to terms with the fact that he was probably dead somewhere, either a victim of the war or its aftermath.
That is, until in the midst of an unrelenting heatwave, he showed up at the doorstep of the house I lived in with his brother.
Everyone thinks I'm cruel. Everyone thinks I should be easy on him. They think I don't understand him. They all think I hate him.
But what no one understands is that it was Bobby who broke my heart.
And I think he’s back to do it again.
I snickered to myself. "He never had a chance. Rory never had a chance." I shook my head in pity for the man I had grown to begrudge. "From the first day of our marriage, he couldn't win because he wasn't you." I spun around, looking to the black forest for a way out, an exit from my tragic dilemma. "I don't know how to fix this. He'll never be you. It's not his fault or our fault. It just is. And for years I resented him for that. I loved you. I loved hating you. I loved loving you. And when you left, I blamed him. It's not fair. None of it is fair. For him. For us." My shouts vanished into the dark night. Just like all my efforts, they meant nothing. "We tried so hard to do the right thing. We sacrificed us for him. And I think it just made things worse. Look at him."
"Stop," Bobby said firmly.
"I was so cold to him. I pushed him away so much. I created that man you see today. Do you think that was the right thing?"
"Stop," Bobby repeated.
My emotions erupted out of me, explosive from years of being crammed into a secret space. Years of secrets I couldn't tell. Of unrequited love. Of a life unfulfilled. Of dreams demolished. I pounded my fist to my chest. "It hurts. It physically hurts to see you every day. You are the first person I think about when I wake up. When I thought you died, I died. Rory was with a corpse."
Bobby stepped closer to me. "Stop it, Lil."
"And you keeping being you and I am trying so hard not to love you." I didn't care anymore about pretending. The threads were ripped and I felt as raw as the festering wound I had dealt with for the past seven years.
"And then you take me dancing and you tell me how you wrote me letters that you never sent and you bring me here. You make it impossible not to love you, dammit.” I thrust a finger in his direction and scowled. “And I hate you for that."
★★★★ 1/2 stars
I love it when a story challenges my preconceived notions. I've always felt like fidelity was black and white. It was one of my harder limits, but not something I avoided reading about. It's just that I always get that horrible sinking feeling when I read about possible cheating. I always get excited when Nina G. Jones mentions she's putting out a new book. I've only read a few of her books but each has been wonderful. When the blurb for Swelter was first revealed I was worried my moral boundaries were going to make it difficult for me to enjoy and relate to this story. I should've known Nina wasn't going to write a simple story and not have underestimated her writing talents.
I don't even know how to describe it. It's the story of a woman who has found herself in an unhappy marriage. She knows things aren't right and that it's not all her fault, but things need to change. She's just not expecting that change to come from the reappearance of someone from her past, someone she thought was just a ghost who haunted her, but now he's back and the pain is once again real. It's the story of a woman finding what she needs to be whole and happy. I found myself unable to condemn or condone Lilly for her actions. It was the same with Bobby. I understood why he disappeared and why he reappeared. I was able to understand both Lilly and Bobby's turmoil.
I really can't say much because this is a book to be experienced. There's just something about this book that makes you think and wonder. It's set in a time that was volatile. Lots of social changes were taking place and roles were changing. I love how many of these changes were shown through out the story, whether it was Lilly being told by her husband Rory that she couldn't work outside the home, or the feelings of many about the Vietnam war. The love story at the heart of this book is gut wrenching. The story is told from Lilly's point of view and I got to experience all of her highs and lows. There were moments when I really liked her and others where I thought she was being reckless. I wanted her to break out of the cage she was stuck in so badly but understood why it was so hard for her.
Nina G. Jones is to be commended. She's written about a subject that is very delicate and I think she handled it perfectly. There's no judgement or recriminations, just a beautiful story that'll leave you astonished and wiping away your tears. It's love story that'll give you hope and break your heart. While the story definitely has heat, it also has emotion, heart, and depth. It's just the story I didn't know I wanted, but the one I needed instead.
*Thank you to the publicist for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for them in any manner.*
Buy The Book
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1KRt3uC
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1122721039
About The Author