Andrew Beckwith has already devoted his life to one girl—and as far as he’s concerned, she’s all he needs. The rough-around-the-edges bad boy left his reckless ways behind six years ago when his daughter Bell was born. To the female population’s dismay, he’s unapologetically single. When Bell’s mother walked out on them years ago, he vowed never to let another woman close enough to hurt them again.
Amelia Van Ecken isn’t just another woman. She’s an independent, smart, and savvy businesswoman who doesn’t have time for sex, much less love. In the midst of a drawn-out, bitter divorce, all she wants is to bury herself in work. But when sharp-tongued Amelia and stubborn Andrew cross paths, sparks fly—and burn. Two things are obvious in an instant: they want each other, and they’re from different worlds. It’s the perfect formula for an off-the-charts one-night stand. After all, it’s not as if opposites ever attract.
The First Taste, a standalone spin-off of the Slip of the Tongue.
Some books are just good. They are well written, you like or at least understand and believe the characters, the situations seem real. And then there are books that you silence your phone because the alert keeps bothering you, books where when your significant other says they may have to work late you tell them it is totally fine (which you NEVER do) because you want to read. And then there is this book...and I don't have words. Go to the moon, alone. If this is not an option, find a quiet room. Read this in one sitting. Your heart will be in your throat, you are not going to want to put it down. And, there are places where you will NOT be willing to even discuss putting it down.
This book had it all. Stories about single fathers, at least in my opinion, can be really good or they can get bogged down in the parenting story so completely that they lose the romance and the adult relationship. The adult relationship appeared in this and wow was it HOT. At one point, I thought my Kindle was going to go up in flames. It and I survived, but just barely.
In this case, Jessica Hawkins makes this not a story about a single father, but about a man who is a father. Let me explain what I mean. Yes, Andrew has a daughter. But this is not all he is, it is not what defines him, but rather a part of who he is, to his core, and while Bell matters in the story, she is allowed to be a part of his life, a part of who he is. Does that make sense? I guess what I am trying to say is one of the things that drew me to Andrew, and to Bell, is that they were whole people, they were a part of a unit but also people alone.
Amelia was great. I loved her independence and her imperfections. I loved that she was nuanced. Yes, she was being petty about the divorce, I love her strength, her willingness to not let Reggie take everything from her, even if she had to hold on with the tips of her fingers. I love that she let Andrew show her that there were other things she could love, other things that she could value. And, I love that ultimately it was her choice to move forward in a new direction. I was occasionally a little frustrated with her, well with both of them, but I could see why they were afraid.
I loved that they became more afraid the more they started to realize how much they each cared. I also loved the scene where the author puts Andrew in a position of having to trust himself, to trust Amelia, to trust what he believes in his heart and to behave accordingly even though his actions and what she tells him to do are different. It is not possible to tell more without spoiling, but I loved this scene. It is probably one of my favorites in the whole book.
There was a lot of angst, a lot of push and pull, a lot of togetherness and doubt both from Andrew and Amelia. Andrew figured out first that he wanted more with her, but ironically he is the last one to really open up, to let her in.
I loved the last part of the book, as you get to see the "next" in the story. There is also an epilogue, which I enjoyed, but I loved seeing them in the next part of their journey, it was worth the angst. It is a credit to the author that the pacing was strong even during the push and pull. Hawkins never lets you get too annoyed with Andrew or Amelia, yes there are points of frustration, but she never lets you get to the point where you are so frustrated you are done. And this is quite a talent.
I also loved the scene that is referenced by the title…and the idea that the first taste is what got them where they are now. I loved the couple of times it is referenced in the story, that it is always clear that they know…whether they admit it or not, that it was a first and not an only.
This one goes on my list of books I will read again.
Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31121852-the-first-taste?from_search=true
About the Author
Jessica Hawkins grew up between the purple mountains and under the endless sun of Palm Springs, California. She studied international business at Arizona State University and has also lived in Costa Rica and New York City. To her, the most intriguing fiction is forbidden, and that’s what you’ll find in her stories. Currently, she resides wherever her head lands, which is often the unexpected (but warm) keyboard of her trusty MacBook.
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jessicahawkinsauthor/Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6889902.Jessica_Hawkins