Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Book Review: Before by Nicola Marsh

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By:  Nicola Marsh
Published:  Dec. 2, 2013
Source:  Author
Mature Content:  18 & Up

GR's Summary:

Good girls finish last? Screw that.

Being a small town girl isn’t so bad. Unless Mom’s the town joke and I’ve spent my entire life shying away from her flamboyance. College in Las Vegas should be so much cooler. But it’s not. Bad things happen. Real bad.

So when my brother Reid offers me an all-expenses paid vacation to Australia for a month, I am so there. Discounting the deadly snakes on the outback cattle station, I should be safe. 
Until I meet Jack.

Jack defines bad boy and then some. He’s big, buffed, bronzed, and hotter than any guy I’ve ever met. His sexy Aussie accent makes me melt. And the guy can cook.

But he’s my brother’s new bestie and he lives on the other side of the world. There’s no future for us.
Is there?

Burlesque Bombshells Series:

My Take on this Journey:

Before, by Nicola Marsh, was a refreshing story, full of banter, and one hot Auzzie to top it off!!!  The story is about Jess and Reid Harper.  Jess is in her freshman year at UNLV.  She is sweet, gullible, and always does the right thing.  Jess is a braniac, with curves in all the right places, and subtle to say the least.  She wants to be the person that always fades into the background.  Jess is getting ready for finals with her study partner, Dave, when he starts giving off someone red flag alarms in his comments to Jess, but she just doesn't read them.  She has never had any reason to think anything bad about this nerd, so she lets the comments fall where they may.  In an alarming twist, she goes to a party and follows him into a bedroom, because he wants to show her something.  While in there, he tries to attack her and calls her all kinds of awful things.  She gets the best of him, and luckily escapes with her V-Card intact.

Reid is Jess' older brother.  He is a powerful politician, young, handsome, and too busy building his career to worry about dating.  Since he doesn't have anyone to take with him to Australia for the summer, he invites his only sister, Jess, to go with him to the outback for a month with all the expenses paid.  Jess has nothing to do for the summer, and wants to forget the episode with Dave so she says she will go with him.  These two siblings have a mutual respect for each other.  Their father left when they were young, and their mother is a flamboyant, in your face woman, that Jess doesn't relate to as mother material.  Reid and Jess just have each other and they like it that way.

Jack McVeigh is from the foster system.  He has been trudged through home after home, and never felt like he belonged anywhere.  He resembles the famous, Chris Hemsworth, dark, tanned, gorgeous, with a tinge of bad boy!  He has finally decided to become a better person, and stop having faceless sex with people he doesn't know.  He was like the walking dead without any purpose or love in his life.  He felt like he had lost his soul until he came to work at the Cooweer in the Down under four months ago.  Mrs. Gee, the head cook had become like a surrogate mum to him.  She took him under her wing and taught him everything she knew about cooking.  He had become an extraordinary cook with culinary talents.  He wanted to be done with drifting from job to job and town to town.  He had no formal education to speak of and felt he would never amount to anything.

Once Reid and Jess come to the ranch, Jack is immediately attracted to Jess, but he thinks she is, "Cashmere and Pearls," and he has no business thinking of her since they were so far apart socio-economically.  Why would she look at him anyway?  Reid and Jack hit it off well, and Reid gets Jack a position as an apprentice at a Michelin-starred chef in Sydney, so he can build himself a career.  Jack can't believe someone would put themselves out there for him.  He wants Reid to be proud of him.  Throughout the stay, Jess and Jack have an undeniable attraction to one another, but Jack always plays off everything he feels for Jess.  There are stolen glances, a hot shower scene, sexual bantering, and an out of body experience on a one on one camping trip that will have you gasping for air. 

I found myself smiling, laughing, getting a bit frustrated for Jess and Jack, and heartbroken for the walls that Jack had built so high, he just couldn't quite let them fall.  Ms. Marsh's descriptions of the outback were so visually breathtaking it made me want to go see the sunset for myself.  I loved every second of this fast paced, utterly fascinating couple, and Jess' escapades to get Jack in the sack.  This was a wonderful story of falling in love, and I look forward to the sequel in this series to see if love can conquer all!

I give, Before, by Nicola Marsh, 4 Love Springs Eternal Stars!!!

My Favorite Quotes:

" 'I won't mention it again if you stop looking at me like that.'  'Like what?'  He crossed the small herb garden to stand close, as he leaned in to murmur in my ear.  'Like you want to do more than look.'  His warm breath fanned my cheek and I sighed, my body alternating between tingling and flushing.  I liked having him this close to me, liked the way he made me feel.  Jack made me feel like I could do anything and not be sorry."  (Kindle Loc-632)


"I nuzzled her neck, inhaling her soft lilac fragrance.  God it was so evocative.  So Jess. Sweet and elegant.  Subtly sexy. I wanted her more than ever.  'I like my independence.  I learned pretty early on to depend on no one but myself.' He paused, and his frown cleared.  'But I have to say, having you with me, has made this time pretty special."
(Kindle Loc-1353)


"The letter crinkled in my pocket as I stood, a testament to the young woman who'd stolen my heart without trying. I couldn't comprehend someone could care for me that much let alone want to give up everything to be with me.  I was a drifter bum with no ties to anyone or any place.  Jess was in her first year at uni with so many options.  I was blue collar.  She was cashmere and pearls.  But none of that mattered to her and that's what humbled me the most:  that she saw past my tough outer shell and believed in the real me."  (Kindle Loc-1500)


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About Nicola Marsh:

USA TODAY bestselling author Nicola Marsh writes flirty fiction with flair for adults and riveting, eerie stories for young adults.

Based in Melbourne, she has published 45 books and sold over 5 million copies worldwide. She writes contemporary romances for Harlequin Mills & Boon, Entangled Publishing and is self-published. Her first indie release, Crazy Love, was a 2012 ARRA (Australian Romance Readers Award) finalist. BANISH, a thriller with Harlequin Teen Australia, is her young adult debut (August 2013), closely followed by the release of a paranormal YA series starting with Scion of the Sun (Month9Books, November 2013)

She's also a Waldenbooks and Bookscan bestseller, a 2013 National Readers' Choice Award and RBY (Romantic Book of the Year) winner, a multi-finalist for awards including the Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award, RBY, HOLT Medallion, Booksellers' Best Award, Golden Quill, Laurel Wreath, More than Magic and has won several CataRomance Reviewers' Choice Awards. 

A physiotherapist for thirteen years, she now adores writing full time, chasing after her two little heroes, barracking loudly for her North Melbourne Kangaroos footy team and her favourite, curling up with a good book!


  1. Love the premise, the quotes you've shared and your review. Awesome job, Ro!

  2. I love the quotes, and this sounds like such a great series. Wonderful review.

  3. I haven't read Before yet, but this is actually a prequel to Brash which is the rest of Jack and Jess's story, which I have read. I loved Brash and am so glad to see Before is getting good reviews. I was curious when I read Brash about what had happened between them and am looking forward to finding out! Thanks Lindy for the great review!


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