Review: Falling for Finn by Jackie Ashenden

Falling For FinnFalling For Finn by Jackie Ashenden

141 pp. // Contemp. Romance // Samhain Publishing // Feb. 2013

GOODREADS SUMMARY: When you’ve been burned, the heat of the moment is the scariest place to be.

Six months after a sexual assault, Anna Jameson has decided enough is enough. She’s sick of being a victim, of letting the experience have power over her. She wants her fear of physical intimacy gone, as in now.

In the quest to reclaim her sexuality, she needs a man. A man she trusts absolutely. A man like her best friend, Finn.

Finn Shaw is all about taking risks. He does it every week on his extreme sports TV show. But there’s one boundary he’s never pushed, and that’s his friendship with Anna. When his hyper-intellectual family kicked him to the curb over his dyslexia, Anna stuck by him.

Her request to become friends with benefits throws him for a loop. He can’t deny her anything, but this is a whole different ball game. Once they’re skin to skin, there will be no hiding the fact that he’s loved her for years.

When their chemistry burns out of control, Finn decides he’s the one who’s had enough. It’s time to break out of the friend box—and show Anna that risking her heart is a risk well worth taking. Even if it costs him her friendship.

Jackie Ashenden’s debut release packs a helluva punch!

Even though it took Anna some time to fall for Finn, I fell for him almost immediately. Yes, he’s good looking — okay, he’s hot! — but he’s also extremely patient and thoughtful. What woman wouldn’t want a man who pushed her to be a better person? It’s clear how much he cares for Anna and their relationship made my heart swell — even though they had their explosive moments (boy did they!).

There were times when Anna frustrated the hell out of me and I just wanted to give her a good shake because she was so clueless about how lucky she was to have a guy like Finn. However, it was these same quirks that made her character flawed and three-dimensional. As someone who’d went through a traumatic experience, her willingness and strength to try to take back her life was admirable and I respected her for that.

It’s been a while since a book made me cry, but parts of the story were so emotional that I couldn’t help it — the on-air scene, for example. Even with the waterworks turned on I kept on reading while sniffling. In fact, I didn’t stop reading and in a matter of hours I had finished the entire book!

This is a strong start to Ms. Ashenden’s author career. I can’t wait to see what she comes out with next!

Peek to Pique: Falling for Fin by Jackie Ashenden

In honor of debut author Jackie Ashenden’s first release, today’s Peek to Pique spotlights Falling for Fin, a contemporary romance that features a broken heroine who decides to take back her life… with the help of her gorgeous, surfer-blond friend, Finn.

***

"Falling for Finn" by Jackie AshendenShe didn’t take her gaze from the floor. “I’m kind of scared about this.”

Something clenched hard inside him at the bald honesty of the statement. At the admission.

“That makes two of us.”

Slowly, she lifted her gaze. Met his. “I thought you weren’t scared of anything.”

“I’m scared of disappointing you. Of frightening you.”

She blinked, as if that wasn’t an answer she’d expected. “I guess if you go slow, it’ll be okay.”

Slow. He wasn’t sure if he could do that. Not after so many years of wanting. Wanting and not having. Yet that’s what she needed.

Finn thought for a minute. “Perhaps you need a safe word.”

“A safe word?” A surprised look on her face. “But isn’t that for bondage type of stuff?” And then, surprise giving way to fear. “I don’t want—”

“No, relax. Christ, I’m not thinking that. All I meant was you having a way of letting me know if anything’s getting too much for you.”

One dark brow rose. “Stop doing that isn’t enough for you?”

Finn stared at her, the reality of what they were about to do sinking slowly into him. The reality of what he needed. And what she needed from him.

“No,” he said. “No, it’s not.” 

***

*Swoon* Oh, Finn! Hooked? Head over to the Samhain site for more info as well as an extended excerpt!

Fun on the Slopes

I stumbled across my latest read while searching for a sexy romance set in snow. Living in the South, snow is a rarity, and I figured if I couldn’t make snow angels in real life, I may as well curl up with a book whose snow-capped setting fulfills my winter wonderland desire. Enter Vivian Arend’s  Falling, Freestyle, a story about three best friends — two guys, one girl — who use a winter weekend getaway to take their relationship to the next level.

SYNOPSIS: Dara, Kane and Jack have been the Three Musketeers for years, and while Dara trusts them with her life, lately she’s grown tired of being considered “one of the guys”. Wanting to show them that she’s got moves that extend beyond the slopes and a figure underneath all the snow gear, she decides to seduce them during their annual ski trip. Kane and Jack’s love for Dara has begun to creep beyond “best friend” territory, but don’t want to frighten her off or force her to choose between them. But when Dara proposes that the three of them spend the weekend getting to know each other better, Kane and Jack figure it’s better to share Dara than neither having a chance with her at all. While their relationship may work during their weekend away, the trio must face reality when they return home. Who will Dara choose as her boyfriend and as her boy friend? Can they go back to being friends?

Dara, Jack and Kane’s relationship is unorthodox, to say the least, but I really admired the friendship between the trio. While Kane and Jack are opposites, their love for Dara and respect for the other man feel genuine, which makes it hard to choose a favorite amongst them — and also explains why Dara couldn’t decide between them. Although the story contains sexual encounters that involve all three of them, the scenes are well-written and believable in the sense that the POVs of each character are realistic — i.e., wrought with self-consciousness and worry about the effect it will have on their friendship.

However, there are still parts of the story in which belief needs to be suspended, such as the perfect hotel conditions where there just happens to be an already-heated hot tub awaiting their arrival. But, hey, I read to escape reality, so this was just fine by me. All-in-all, Falling, Freestyle is perfect for a cold night in, and most definitely one that is hot enough to melt the ice caps.

*Click here to read my review and view my star rating on Goodreads.