Review: One Reckless Summer by Toni Blake

Format: E-bookonerecklesssummer
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Destiny, Book 1
Publisher: Avon
Hero: Mick Brody
Heroine: Jenny Tolliver
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: June 1, 2009
Started On: January 17, 2011
Finished On: January 20, 2011

I have heard so many great things about the Destiny series by Toni Blake. When the latest book in the series was released this month and I saw the rave reviews the book received, I was determined that I would start on the Destiny series sometime soon and indulge. And indulge is what I did in this sultry and sinful summer romance that Ms. Blake brings to life with her vivid characterization and so very hot and tastefully done love scenes that a girl can’t help but salivate over from the  very beginning. Set in the small town of Destiny, Ohio, One Reckless Summer is a romance that exactly lives up to its title.

31 year old Jenny Tolliver returns back to her hometown after she obtains a divorce from her cheating husband who labels her as a 21st century June Cleaver. Jenny whose father Walter Tolliver is the police chief of Destiny and her mother Judy Tolliver who had been the one person in town everyone could count on in times of crisis who had died from cancer when Jenny had been 13 years old had certainly contributed towards Jenny becoming the good girl she has always been. Never one to break a rule except for the one her father had imposed on her on crossing the Blue Valley Lake alone, Jenny is tired of being labeled as nice and good by all those she knows. When she walks in on Terrence, her husband and the only man she had ever been with making out with her 21 year student teacher, it just breaks something inside of Jenny to know that Terrence finds her lacking and passionless though he had never voiced his discontentment before. Returning to Destiny had been her way of getting things into perspective and her hideaway to lick her wounds in private. What she doesn’t bargain on is running into the big, bad Mick Brody who all the good girls had stayed away from and nevertheless dreamed about and for Mick to rock her world in ways she never even imagined.

34 year old Mick Brody is the younger son of the Brody bunch whom the whole town of Destiny had always labeled as being the bad seeds in their otherwise quaint town. Growing up with two parents who had always been violent and had resented their children Wayne and Mick for their presence, neither Mick nor Wayne had ever known anything gentle or kind in their lives. Naturally Wayne had run in the bad crowds which Mick had taken to as well because he simply worshiped the ground his elder brother walked on. But the final straw had been when Wayne had been sent to prison for armed robbery which had made Mick take stock of his life and make things turn around. Leaving Destiny and starting work as a bricklayer and stonemason in Cincinnati had been Mick’s way of making something out of himself. But Mick quits everything and returns  back to his dreaded home to help his brother die after Wayne breaks out of prison after being diagnosed with a brain tumor with leukemia of the untreatable kind.

It is when Jenny’s restlessness after 2 days of returning home that has her trudging towards the hill on the Brody’s property to look at the stars as Jenny has a love for astronomy that she comes across an all grown up and a much more lethal version of Mick Brody. Having always been aware of Mick even when she had been 16 and Mick 19 years old, Jenny can’t say no to the lethal brand of passion that Mick unleashes in her; the good girl of Destiny. Sweaty and hot sex in the sweltering woods surrounding Mick’s property stuns Jenny so much that she is at a loss as to what to do about it. It certainly doesn’t help her curious nature when Mick refuses to let her on his property guarding  a secret so possessively that all Jenny’s instincts are on red-alert where Mick is concerned. But even that doesn’t stop her from indulging in off-the charts sex of the wall banging variety with Mick who sets all her senses afire. Mick is far from being untouched by at last tasting what has always been forbidden for him. Jenny touches something deep inside of him with her kindness and the raw passion that is unleashed every single time he touches her certainly makes things complicated for a man who doesn’t do long-term. The farthest thing on Jenny’s mind when she begins her one reckless summer affair with Mick is giving her heart, body and soul to a man who is as unlike from her as night and day. But the heart wants what it wants and before long Jenny is at war with herself on whether to give all of herself to Mick, a fight which she loses in such a delicious and heartwarming manner.

I liked:

  1. Mick Brody. Oh my God! The guy just oozes sexuality with his mere presence and heats things up to unbearable levels with Jenny. His character is such an oddly endearing mix; a man who wants to scare Jenny off with his bad and wolfish nature but unbearably drawn towards all the good qualities in Jenny as a moth towards flame. I loved me some Mick and he has a tendency to creep into my thoughts at the oddest moments and incite a shiver of the illicit kind a time or two. The best kind of yummy hero Mick really is! ^_^
  2. Jenny Tolliver. She is such an endearing and a heartwarming heroine. A woman who gave up her dreams to be with the man she got married to, Jenny doesn’t let her heartbreak and betrayal by her ex-husband color her feelings for Mick who is so very different from Terrence. And I just absolutely loved how Jenny found herself in the story, how she slowly changed into a woman who was aware of her lethal brand of charm and just adored how she took care of Mick when he needed it the most. Jenny is the kind of heroine who regardless of all the obstacles that stands in her way of true love nevertheless has the strength and courage to take the leap which makes her one of the most likable heroines.
  3. I loved how the small town life of Destiny didn’t interfere with the fiery passion and heartwarming romance of this novel. Sometimes it happens that when an author starts off a series with small town life involved in it, they tend to spend so much time developing the characters of the town that romance and the connection between the hero and heroine take a backseat till they are done. I loved how from the very beginning Jenny and Mick set the pages afire and continued to do so throughout the book. And Ms. Blake kept up the small town life at just the right level for a romance such as this one!
  4. This story played with all my emotions in such a good way. My heart went thud, thud, thud each and every single time Mick came into the picture. And it just broke my heart to read about Wayne and what Mick and Wayne both go through during the last moments of  Wayne’s life. Though those moments were heartbreaking, the thing that drew me in was the fact that there was a light at the end of the tunnel, joy to be found later and a happily ever after that just left me breathless at the very end.
  5. I just loved the side characters in this story as it unfolded. Sue Ann with her wonderfully quirky nature makes for one of the best characters in this book. I laughed out loud many a time reading the conversations that takes place between Sue Ann and Jenny which brings to mind how much fun I used to have with my best friend before she took off to work in a foreign country. And Jenny’s conversations with Miss Ellie; definitely a highlight of the novel.
  6. And oh good Lord! The love scenes – some of the hottest I have come across in a contemporary romance. And so realistically and vividly done that they tend to creep into my thoughts now and then. Toni Blake surely knows her stuff! ^_^
  7. Toni Blake’s writing style! I just flat-out love it!

Dislikes: Absolutely NONE!

Favorite Quotes

Again she wrestled, trying to get free even though she knew she couldn’t – and that was the dark temptation of the fight. It made everything okay as long as she tried to resist right? As long as she let both of them know she wasn’t the sort of girl who just have in to a stranger in the woods without a struggle.
A
little struggle, anyway.
Because when he spun her around, still holding tight to her, she ended up with her back pressed to his chest, her bottom plastered to his erection, her breath coming heated and labored, she lost the will to struggle anymore. He just felt too good. Too hard. Too everything. She let him hold her there, let him make her feel . . . captured, hot, ready.

She hadn’t been planning to have sex with him again anyway, but after being reminded that he was keeping some big, bad secret from her on his side of the lake – it was out of question.
“And did any of those things stop you in the woods?” Sue Ann asked.
Jenny replied pointing a threatening finger at her friend. “I was in a bad mood and he pissed me off.”
“And you really taught him a lesson by riding him to orgasm the way you did.”
Jenny let her mouth drop open and her eyes go wide. “Stop it already.”

She didn’t answer – too busy trembling inside. Her whole body ached for him. How had she gotten back in this position – aching for Mick Brody?
You asked him to dance, that’s how! Oh brother, she couldn’t believe she’d done that.
But she had. And now he was leaning forward, tentatively, as slowly as any boy on a first date, lowering his mouth to hers.
She sank into his kiss readily – there was no stopping it.

He never meant to kiss her, either, but before he knew it, his mouth was on hers, and her lips were so soft – everything on her was soft. He went hard in the space of a heartbeat as she kissed him back, kissed him back even now, even knowing his darkest secrets – and that made him kiss her even more hungrily.
Oh God – he needed her – bad. He hated admitting that to himself, but he knew it – he needed her now, to take all the rotten stuff away.
Shit, he’d let that happen too fast, way too fast – he wasn’t a guy who got attached to women often – but this was different. This was about slaking the pain, about finding a way to feel good when everything around him was bad. And Jenny made him feel damn good.

Recommended for:

  1. Fans of sinfully hot and good contemporary romances. You won’t be disappointed to read this one.
  2. Fans of Toni Blake who haven’t read the Destiny series yet. This book promises the start of a very good contemporary romance series which I am 100% convinced wouldn’t steer me wrong.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | BooksOnBoard | Kobo

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