Down the Shore
Livia Chadwick is a photographer by day and a self-proclaimed rock slut by night.
Her dating life is a lackluster parade of evasive jerks and her boss is an unrelenting nightmare of a human being. What else can a girl do but rent a beach house with her girlfriends and blow off a little steam every weekend? But hey, she’s from Jersey. Barhopping down the shore all season is sort of mandatory. All is going according to plan… until she meets Jack.
Jack Tanner is a contractor-turned-musician in a small-town cover band suddenly thrust into the limelight. He’s already had enough of the rock-and-roll lifestyle, and groupies have never been his thing. Then again… there’s a gorgeous brunette in the audience tonight, checking him out with the most incredible green eyes he’s ever seen.
She’s looking for a fling.
He’s looking for forever.
It’s gonna be one helluva summer.
Set in the summer of 1995,Down the Shoretakes the reader on a tour through some of the Jersey shore’s hottest hot spots over one, sleepless, flannel-clad summer. It’s a look back to a time when the music was groundbreaking, the rock clubs were king, and bar bands ruled the world. Read when you’re in the mood for: something light, funny, romantic, beachy, and nostalgic. For ages 18+.
***Not recommended for anyone under the age of 18, and/or any readers who are slut-shamers, guido sympathizers, beach haters or anti-music. Other people who should walk away from this book immediately: Readers who have sticks up their butts regarding offensive language, those who don’t like detailed sex in their stories, idiots who think “Jersey Shore” has anything to do with actual New Jerseyans, and anyone who can’t appreciate pop-culture from the mother-effing nineties.***
Jack’s lips purse together, as if he’s literally trying to bite his tongue. Instead, his eyelids lower to half-mast as he says, “You’re not so tough, you know. You try to put up this big front, but your act is pretty transparent.”
I put a hand to my hip. “What the hell is that supposed to mean? I’m not putting on an act.”
“Sure you are. This whole groupie thing you’ve got going on. I’m not buying it.”
“I wasn’t trying to sell it.”
At that, he cracks a small smile, and it makes me feel more vulnerable than had I been standing there completely naked. You know, kind of like how he almost is.
The thing is, I almost don’t mind being called out by him, since most guys don’t bother to scratch beyond the surface. It’s flattering to think that Jack is intrigued enough to try. Because honestly? I was full of it when I said I wasn’t acting. I’m sort of impressed that he was able to figure me out so soon.
Hell. I haven’t even figured me out yet.
Twenty-something is hard. Trying to discover who you are and who you’re going to be. Some people figure it out early, have it all together. And some people go a little off the deep end and wind up with multiple sex partners, trying to shut out the crushing trauma of trying to find their place in the world.
That’s why his assessment isn’t necessarily a relief. No one likes having their walls torn down, having their shitty reality thrown in their face. I’m sure the unease is playing out on my face as I bite my lip during our awkward silence.
Right now, all I want is to make my escape. “I should bring these down to Monty. He’s going to wonder what’s taking me so long.”
He gives me a long, hard look at that, his lip curling into a dangerous smirk.
“He can wait. I can’t.”
Before I know it, I’m dropping the pans to the floor as he backs me against the wall, his lips crashing down on mine. I want to shove him away, but hot damn. He’s fucking way too good at making me fall to pieces. I kiss him back, because really, what the hell else can I be expected to do?
I smooth my hands up his torso, feeling the muscles of his chest jumping under my palms. I slip my fingers into his hair and part my lips against his, sweeping my tongue inside, his cool, minty taste invading my senses. His insistent lips slant across my own as his hands pull me closer against his length.
Despite my wishes to the contrary, my heart starts beating out of my goddamned chest. It triples in pace when I realize Jack’s is racing, too.
He pulls back to take a much needed breath, shooting those mysterious gray eyes into mine. He runs a finger across my bottom lip, lightly brushing it back and forth. “Your mouth,” his aching voice scratches out. “I could lose myself against these lips.”
My brain tumbles over itself as he comes back in for another kiss, wondering if this means he’s changed his mind about letting me do all sorts of crazy stuff to his peen.
Because I totally will.
Just as soon as he lets me.
I am a Jersey girl. I was the same age as Livia in 1995. Not only are the historical references accurate (Ally McBeal, beer balls, Snackwell cookies, ck one), but the New Jersey-related ones are, too (I miss you, taylor ham, egg and cheese sandwiches!). There is just so much to love about this book. The bonus is that you don’t have to be from New Jersey or be of a certain age to love this book. Carefree summer fun with your friends, crushing on and falling for a hot guy in a band….these themes are universal and easy to relate to.
Livia had her issues, there’s no denying that, but she owns up to it and doesn’t pretend she’s perfect. Jack is almost too good to be true until things hit the skids – then you get to see some of his flaws, too. I liked the color that the supporting cast of characters added, but felt like some of them bled together – I had a hard time keeping Sam, Tess and Isla straight and separate, and felt the same with Jack’s bandmates and his and Livia’s mutual guy friends.
I was a little thrown by the time jump, and the story got a little clumsy for me after that, but because it happens in the last 25% of the book, I can’t elaborate without potentially spoiling things. But the story’s rough patches got worked out and there are happy endings to be had. The book wasn’t perfect, but it hit a lot of high points for me.
T. Torrest is a New Adult fiction writer from the U.S. She has written many books, but prays that only a handful of them will ever see the light of day. Her stories are geared toward readers of any age that know how to enjoy a good laugh and a dreamy romance.
Ms. Torrest was a child of the eighties, but has since traded in her Rubik’s cube for a laptop and her Catholic school uniform for a comfy pair of yoga pants. She likes pina coladas and getting caught in the rain. She’s not much into health food, but she does enjoy talking about herself in the third person.
A lifelong Jersey girl, she currently resides there with her husband and two sons.
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