TITLE: By My Side
AUTHOR: Theresa Troutman
GENRE: Erotica , Comedy , Romance
RELEASE DATE: January 10th
Alicia travels to an exotic land, with hopes to reinvent herself. She moves to Auckland, New Zealand, to heal and escape her unhappy past in America.
Hunter works in a bar to distract himself from the memory of a tragic past. Playing in a local band and resorting to one night stands are his only means for an escape from his reality.
Brought together by circumstance, an unexpected romance blossoms between these two tortured souls. Can being by each other’s side bring them the happiness they are desperate to discover? Or will being together break their fragile trust and lead to more heartache?
***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review and participation in this tour
+++To my YA readers: This is an ADULT book so 18+++
By My Side is a sensual journey into recovering after heartbreak and the beauty of finding love again. Bursting with light and laughter, Theresa Troutman shows that sometimes, when you take a chance, wonderfully unexpected happiness can happen.
- The chemistry is an explosion of heat and steady loss of control as Alicia and Hunter fall deeper into lust and love. Fiery kisses are met with tender touches and passionate lovemaking followed by rough, graphic sex. Each encounter is a new experience in learning control, healing, and in finding themselves again in a cloud of loss and heartache.
- Alicia and Hunter are both flirts. Their playful, perverted banter speaks of attraction on both a physical and emotional level. They tease and tempt each other to the point of no return, falling into each other’s arm with little thought but ecstasy and raw need. Their conversations flow naturally and are sometimes cheesy but adorable. They’re both lovable, thoughtful people and the fact that they are so good has you cheering for their love to grow.
- Alicia was incredibly believable. Her struggle with her hurt and digging through her beliefs to accommodate her new situation is something that the average girl can connect to. The uncertainty of trusting again, of opening your heart and the fear that your significant other will be careless and stomp all over it. Alicia thought she knew what she wanted, but as her heart opens, she discovers that there’s so much more to feel and experience when she doesn’t put limitations on herself and let fear rule her.
- Hunter’s loss is horrible and traumatic. He’s such a cheery, stunning guy that it’s easy to forget that his heart has been mangled and his life altered by a freak tragedy. Hunter is part dom part insatiable Adonis. He’s thoughtful and always concerned with Alicia’s comfort but most importantly, he knows when to push her to achieve blissful joy.
- The secondary characters faded out into the background and while Alicia and Hunter both felt friendship for these people, there wasn’t enough to substantiate these feelings. Tia, Pax, Mick, etc were are interesting characters, especially from a cultural perspective. Learning about the Maori habits and beliefs would have added a little more color to these smaller characters and made the story more cohesive in terms of subplots.
- Some scenes were extremely detailed while others glossed over the imagery. This fluctuation left breathtaking scenery to the imagination and at times was so explicit that it fell flat.
It was a quiet ride home to Parnell. Both of us seemed to be lost in thought. When we pulled into the drive, Hunter turned off the ignition. I opened the passenger door and got out of the car. Hunter grabbed my bag from the back seat and walked me to my flat. I took the bag from him and fished inside to find my key.Placing it in the lock, I turned the key and opened the kitchen door. I wasn’t expecting it, but Hunter followed behind me. I turned around to face him, before I could turn on the kitchen light.
“I had a great day. Thanks for taking me out on the boat.”
“The pleasure was all mine.”
Flirty Hunter was back! The light from the outside lamppost played across his face, making those gorgeous eyes look sexy and dangerous. His hair fell forward over one eye and instinctively, I pushed the hair back behind his ear. I didn’t want to lose the connection I felt gazing into those eyes.Reaching up and taking hold of my wrist, he turned my hand over and gently kissed my palm. My body hummed with excitement. Next thing I knew, his other arm snaked around my waist and pulled me to him. The heat of his body warded off the chill of the night air.
“Where did you come from, Alicia?” he asked in a low sexy voice.
I knew it was a rhetorical question, but I answered anyway. “America.”
With that, his lips were on mine, his body pushing me against the door frame between the kitchen and living room. The kiss was filled with passion and longing. I’m glad he held me in his arms, because my knees would have given out otherwise. My mind went blank and all I could do was enjoy the sensation of his strong, firm lips crushing against mine. A small whimper escaped my mouth and that only seemed to fuel the fire.
His tongue begged for access to my mouth and my lips parted giving him what he wanted. Soon his tongue was dancing with my tongue at a heated frenzied pace. I dropped my handbag and it hit with a thud, its contents spilling on the floor.The magic spell was broken as Hunter backed away. My hand flew up to cover my mouth, my finger tips touching my swollen lips.
“That’s not how just friends kiss,” I murmured, breathless.
His breathing was ragged. Hunter felt it, too. “No, it’s not,” he agreed as he slowly backed toward the kitchen door, his eyes not leaving mine. “Goodnight, Alicia.”
Then he was gone.My knees finally gave out and I slid to the floor, looking at the contents of my spilt purse. What the hell did I get myself into? When I finally got the feeling in my legs back, I stood up and walked over to the kitchen door to lock up for the night.Outside, Hunter was lying on a lounge chair, pensively staring up at the stars. What did that woman, the one he was going to marry, do to him? With a heavy sigh, I locked the kitchen door and climbed the stairs to go to bed. Stripping off my clothes, I dressed in my plaid lounge pants and pink tank top. Pulling the elastic band from my pony tail, my hair fell free, cascading over my shoulders. One more glance out the window confirmed that Hunter had gone inside the house.
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Theresa Troutman lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and their crazy dog, Niko. She loves reading, theatre and traveling. Her books include: My Secret Summer, A Special Connection and the Love’s Great Adventure Series: Life’s What You Make It and Love This Life and London Loves.