Title – Feels Like the First Time
Author – Marina Adair
Publication Date – April 25, 2017
Series – Destiny Bay #2
In the tradition of New York Times bestselling authors Rachel Gibson, Kristan Higgins, and Jill Shalvis, comes the second book in a funny and charming new small-town contemporary romance series by Marina Adair.
What’s wrong with a little white lie?
There are a lot of things Ali Marshal doesn’t do: pink anything, a day without chocolate, and Hawk, her sister’s ex-husband. Sure, he’s a sexy former NHL star who can make her pulse pound with just a wink. But he belonged to Bridget first. And no matter how long she’s had a crush on him, how great he’s always been to her dad, or that her sister is engaged to someone else now and Ali needs a date to their engagement party, she can’t give in to temptation. Can she?
It’s been years since his disastrous marriage crashed and burned, and Bradley Hawk has finally moved on. So when Bridget blows back into town with her new fiancé, throwing the engagement party of the year, he could care less . . . until Ali tells one little lie that lands him smack dab in a fake relationship. After one promise to be Ali’s date and two of the hottest kisses he’s ever had, Hawk can’t deny how much he wants her. But what happens when this fauxmance starts to feel very, very real?
I fell in love with Destiny Bay almost immediately after diving into the first book of the series. When Marina Adair announced that the next book would be about the elusive other bar owner, I became immediately giddy. Feels Like the First Time is a such a sweet friends to lovers novel that allows readers to escape the everyday stresses and find themselves in a small town, surrounded by people who they’ll grow to love and care about.
“I’m not afraid of going it alone, but that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be nice to have someone I love by my side.”
Ali was a walking contradiction that I simply couldn’t get enough of. She was so strong-willed and tough that I never expected to see the vulnerabilities that Hawk pulled out of her. There were moments of being unsure that every girl could relate to, and it likened me to her. She may have bent metal into beautiful things as a career, but I thought it was the perfect metaphor for her personality; she was strong and unyielding, yet when faced with someone who was willing to work hard enough, she became malleable to the world around her. From the initial moment that readers get a taste of Hawk, I knew that I would be in for a ride. There was some spark he held, something that even through the words on the page, I could feel his warmth and light. He was fiercely loyal to the people and things he loved, and felt like such a genuine person. It was easy to see how these two best friends could easily fall in love with another as time grew on.
“But it was his smile that got her, kick-started her heart. It was warm and a little crooked. And as if there just for her.”
Feels Like the First Time is a light-hearted romance that will sweep readers away into a whimsical, cute story. There were a couple moments that I wanted to experience a deeper connection to the characters, especially given the nature of their tangled relationship. However, the writing was fantastic with witty dialogue and some thought-provoking scenes. I loved the emotions I experienced from the relationships as well as the transformations I watched happen from beginning to end. Overall, Marina Adair has created a heartwarming town with characters I can’t get enough of. My fingers are crossed for more from this series and I’ll definitely be waiting!
Ali nodded because she needed him more than she needed her next breath.
The intensity of her feelings terrified her. They always had. Even at seventeen she knew what she felt went beyond the run-of-the-mill teenage crush. She’d been in love. Sure, it was a young, simple love, but it was love all the same.
Only he’d loved someone else.
So when he married her sister, she did her best to let him go. But no matter how painful it had been for her, and at times the ache was so acute it had been paralyzing, she was never able to set him completely free. Choosing the pain over the loss.
Now he was back, looking at her how she always looked at him, as if he’d never let go, and Ali gave in to the fantasy. Played out the what-ifs she carried with her for over a decade. He’d been hers for so long, she let herself believe that she was his, too.
He was asking for right here, right now—this she knew. Tomorrow, reality would creep in, and everything would go back to the way it was. But tonight, sitting on this beach, overlooking a world bigger than the two of them, Ali wanted to feel what it was like to be loved by the man who owned her heart.
“I want,” she said.
“What do you want, Aliana?” he whispered, the sound of her name on his lips doing crazy things to her. Crazy girly things that made her feel delicate and desirable.
“I want you.” She trailed her hands down his pecs to that flat stomach and lower, loving how his muscles rippled and curled under her touch. “I want you to pamper me so hard I won’t remember how to walk come morning.”
Hawk’s eyes darkened, and his mouth was on hers. Hard and demanding, and just how she’d imagined. There was no warm-up, no testing the waters. He was kissing her as if he knew what he wanted.
And he wanted Aliana.
Their mouths were fused together, her hands gripping his shoulders for purchase, but his fingers were gentle, languidly exploring her face, her neck, the curve of her shoulder, slowly moving down her arm and bringing the wide neckline of her shirt with him.
He never stopped kissing her, but she felt his lashes flutter open, realized that she’d never closed her own. Then his deep brown eyes locked on hers, watching her as they kissed, and it was erotic and unexpected. As she watched him back, she felt his lips curl into a smile. Could feel the dimples on both cheeks come alive under her touch.
“You like to watch,” Hawk growled, and she felt her cheeks flush.
Ali never considered herself a watcher. But Hawk was such a beautiful and commanding man, she’d never been able to look away. Not even now, when her body was begging for release. He was that good—a simple kiss and she was so turned on, she could feel her body shaking.
That smile turned cocky.
“It’s not like I stand there peering through your bedroom window at night,” she said, leaving out that night he was at the bar. His bedroom window during the morning, when he was walking around after a shower. She was more than guilty.
“I’ve peered through yours.”
And to prove he wasn’t the least bit ashamed, he lowered his head and placed an openmouthed kiss on her shoulder, those eyes of his never leaving hers. Not even when he moved lower toward her collarbone, his mouth working her with a softness that took her by surprise and a reverence that made her feel as if she was precious.
Ali wasn’t sure what to do. Hard, challenging, complicated—that was what she was used to. But this was light, simple—too easy to be real. It confused her as much as it terrified her.
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Don’t Miss the Rest of the Series!
Last Kiss of Summer (Destiny Bay #1)
Marina Adair is a #1 National bestselling author of romance novels and holds a Master of Fine arts in creative writing. Along with the Sugar, Georgia series, she is also the author the St. Helena Vineyard series, and her new Heroes of St Helena series. She currently lives with her husband, daughter, and two neurotic cats in Northern California.
As a writer, Marina is devoted to giving her readers contemporary romance where the towns are small, the personalities large, and the romance explosive.