Five years ago, high school sweethearts Ivy and Blake’s relationship imploded and both their lives were changed forever. Ivy became a rock star and Blake lost not only his dreams of a successful NFL career, but his reputation. Ivy’s angry song about their breakup, called “Size Matters”; hit the top of the charts and Blake became a national laughingstock. He’s salvaged his career and returned to Rosewood to be the high school football coach, regaining his status as town hero and leading the boys to the state championships.
When a tornado whips through town and destroys the high school gymnasium and stadium, a committee is formed to help rebuild and plan some charity fundraisers. Blake’s grandmother requests that Ivy return to Rosewood for the events. Forced back together for the good of their hometown and their careers, Ivy and Blake have no choice but to put aside their differences, stop running from their pasts, and finally face the music.
FACING THE MUSIC
by Andrea Laurence
Published September 15th 2014
God must be rewarding him for his patience. That had to be the answer. There was no other reason why he would trip over a scenario this sweet. Ivy was outside wearing nothing but a pair of bikini bottoms and a frown.
Blake killed the engine and slowly pulled his boat up to the dock. He tied it up, taking careful steps to secure his baby and make Ivy wait as long as humanly possible. From what he could see, she wasn’t going anywhere, even if she wanted to.
He climbed onto the dock and strolled causally over to the Hudson cabin with his hands thrust into his pockets. Taking his time, Blake soaked in every delicious detail, from Ivy’s irritated scowl to the full globes of her breasts pressed beneath her inadequate hands. He’d never been so jealous of a pair of hands in his life.
His jeans tightened uncomfortably as his inspection ran over her mostly bare body. He was frankly surprised by the reaction. Not because she wasn’t a beautiful and sexy woman—she was; that was a given—but because his dick had a deep, abiding hatred of Ivy. So did the rest of him, but it was his penis that had become the center of national attention for being woefully inadequate. At the moment, however, he had ample evidence to the contrary.
Ivy pressed her hands against Blake’s shoulders, pushing him gently until he was lying back on the blanket.
“What are you doing?” he asked.
“Whatever I want to.”
Blake arched his eyebrow at her, but he didn’t complain. He held perfectly still as her nimble fingers moved down the front of his shirt, undoing each button and exposing the expanse of skin beneath it. Her palms ran over his skin, relishing the feel of his chest hair tickling her hands. She leaned forward, letting her tongue glide along his collarbone, and then she crept down his body to the button of his jeans.
“Your hair tickles,” he said.
Ivy gathered up the long, wavy strands of her hair into one hand and swept them over her shoulder. “Do you want me to stop?”
“Not on your life,” he said between tightly gritted teeth as her fingertips brushed the edge of his waistband.
“That’s what I thought,” she said with a smile. “Now, stop complaining.”
Ivy settled between his legs, resting on her knees as she unbuttoned his jeans. She tugged at his back pockets, pulling his jeans down the length of his legs and throwing them out of her way. She moved back over him doing the same with his underwear, which thankfully, this time, were a pair of charcoal-gray boxers. They slid easily out of her way, leaving nothing between her and her goal.
She leisurely traveled back up his legs. Her fingertips gently brushed along the puckered pink scars of his calf and across his kneecap. By the time she reached his upper thigh, he was nearly trembling. Ivy wasn’t sure if it was with anticipation, emotion, or pain.
His hand reached out and snatched her wrist as she moved higher. “This hardly seems fair,” he said. “You’re wearing entirely too much clothing for me to be wearing so little.”
“Who’s doing this? You or me?”
Blake acquiesced and released her hand. He crossed his arms behind his head, giving himself an excellent vantage point for overseeing her activities. “You are, ma’am.”
“That’s right. Now are you going to keep critiquing everything I do, or do I need to put something in your mouth to shut you up?”
A wicked grin crossed Blake’s face as he looked at her. “May I offer a suggestion?”
“I have several ideas of my own,” she said.
FACING THE MUSIC by Andrea Laurence is a sweet second chance love story set in the charming small town of Rosewood, Alabama. Home town to popular rock star Ivy Hudson and her first love and high school sweetheart, former NFL quarterback, Blake Chamberlain.
Ivy and Blake dated for four years until Ivy walked in on him wrapped around some cheerleader and refused to speak to him again. Instead she wrote a song about the boy who broke her heart entitled “Size Matter” that shared her disappointment and pain with the world an d launched her singing career. While Blake was humiliated to all their friends, family and the world once the press determined Ivy had written the song about the football star. They both went on to achieve fame although Blake’s was short-lived after a career crushing injury.
The story begins five years later, when after a tornado has wiped out Rosewood’s football stadium and gymnasium, Ivy is asked to come back to town to use her fame and participate in fundraiser activities to restore the school. She is told she’ll be working closely with the school’s football coach, but not that it’s Blake. Blake is also kept in the dark as to the scope of his role until its too late to back out gracefully. They both act as if they are willing to suffer through it but secretly are both feeling the same chemistry they always had together and with no one else.
Ms. Lawrence infuses the story with plenty of comical moments. The scene at the lake house where they see each other again for the first time is hilarious. The nosiness and gossip line of the small town as well as the brotherly teasing between the Chamberlain boys adds to the fun of the story. There’s also the humorous banter between Ivy and Blake as they work out the anger, hurt an d resentment of their past. Even the atttitude of the annoying tabloid reporter comes off in a slightly self-deprecating way. To add a little drama to the story and feed on Ivy’ s insecurities, her old high school rival is there in the middle of it all still trying to lure Blake away and run Ivy off. But in the end love wins out, because hurt as they were neither had stopped loving the other. 3.5 stars
~Complimentary copy downloaded from NetGalley in exchange for a honest review~
About the Author
Andrea Laurence has been a lover of reading and writing stories since she learned to read at a young age. She always dreamed of seeing her work in print and is thrilled to finally be able to share her special blend of sensuality and dry, sarcastic humor with the world.
A dedicated West Coast girl transplanted into the Deep South, she’s working on her own “happily ever after” with her boyfriend and their collection of animals including a Siberian Husky that sheds like nobody’s business.