Monday, February 24, 2014

Book Review: Between Us (Sex on the Beach Series) by Jen McLaughlin

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Between Us
Sex on the Beach Series
By:  Jen McLaughlin
Release Date:  March 4, 2014
Mature Content:  18 & Up
Source:  Publisher

GR's Summary:

I’m just a girl…

I’m a famous country star who’s spent her life cultivating a good girl persona to avoid bad press, but I’ve reached my limit. I’m going away for spring break with my two best friends from college, and we’ve vowed to spend the vacation seeking out fun in the sun—along with some hot, no-strings-attached sex. The only thing I needed was the perfect guy, and then I met Austin Murphy. He might be totally wrong for me, but the tattooed bad boy is hard to resist. When I’m in his arms, everything just feels right.

And I’m just a guy…

I’m just a bartender who lives in Key West, stuck in an endless cycle of boredom. But then Mackenzie Forbes, America’s Sweetheart herself, comes up to me and looks at me with those bright green eyes…and everything changes. She acts like she’s just a normal girl and I’m just a normal guy, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. My past isn’t pretty, you know. I did what I had to do to survive, and she’d run if she learned the truth about my darkness. But with her, I’m finally realizing what it’s like to be alive. To laugh, live, and be happy.

All good things must come to an end…

Sex on the Beach Series:

Lindy's Thoughts:

Between Us by, Jen McLaughlin, was such a great Novella!  At first when I began reading it, I had some concerns.  The two main characters, MacKenzie (Mac) and Austin jumped right into sex right away, and while the sex was hot, and continued quite frequently, I was sad to see that I didn't really feel any connection to the character's whatsoever, because the characters hadn't been developed.  Then, I thought, "Well this is a novella, she probably doesn't have the time needed to develop the characters."  However, I was in for a major surprise!!!  While Mac and Austin's relationship began being all about sex, things changed swiftly.  They began a friendship, shared their darkest secrets, and had a lot in common, including their love of music, and dark childhoods.  

Mac, a famous country singer, known as "America's Sweet Heart," decides to take her best friend's, Quinn and Cassie, on an all expensive paid vacation to Key West Florida, for Spring Break!  The three girls have made a promise to Mac and each other, to live it up, and have a spring fling.  They all go there separate ways to have their own adventure, but meet up once in a while to touch base.  Mac does her very best to disguise herself by dying her blond hair brown, and wearing a large hat.  When she see's Austin, the dangerous, and gorgeous bartender, she knows he is the "one," that she wants to lose her virginity to, and have a fling with!  She's happy when Austin doesn't recognize her as the famous country singer, and these two instantly share an intense attraction to one another.  However, both Austin and Mac, have their secrets, and when they come out, they may destroy what started out as a fling, but has developed in to so much more.

Ms. McLaughlin, made the most of her 160 pages!  She developed her characters, gave them depth, multiple layers, and really brought them to life.  I started to feel that much needed connection with the two main characters, and the sex scenes became that much hotter, once the emotional connection was developed between Mac and Austin, and then by myself to the main characters! Between Us was an excellent novella, and one that I would recommend!  Ms. McLaughlin has set the bar pretty high, and I'm hoping that the other two novella's, Beyond Me by Jennifer Probst, and Before You by Jenna Bennett will measure up!

My Rating:

I give Between Us, by Jen McLaughlin 3.5  Explosive, Sexy, and Addictive Stars!  I am looking forward to reading Quinn's story, Beyond Me, and Cassie's story, Before You!  The great thing about this series is all three novella's are stand alone books that can be read in any order!  Are you looking for a fun, steamy, and fast paced romance, but don't have much time for a long story?  Then, I suggest that you read Between Us!  It has fun in the sun, in Key West, Florida, a sexy and drool worthy bad boy, and a cute little story line!

My Favorite Quotes:

"Right here, right now, life was sweet.  But nothing that felt this good lasted long.  For once, I wanted to believe it could, though.  Wanted to believe that a girl like her could want me, and actually be happy with me at her side indefinitely.  I wanted to believe in fairy tales, unicorns, shiny, happy shit that made no sense in the real world."  (eARC, Loc. 1381)


"I wrote you a song, and I was going to sing it to you like I said I would last night, but I changed my mind.  Instead, I'm going to tell you this: I want to love you."  (eARC, Loc. 1691)


The Way Ria See's It
Between Us was a fun read. The main characters are to die for Austin and Mackenzie. Steal the show! Mackenzie makes a promise to have fun and be normal for a change. She is wanting to escape her life and live a carefree normal one during her break. Cue the mega hot super sexy brooding bartender. Yep, ladies his name is Austin. From the moment these two meet sparks fly. Of course there are secrets!  Austin has quite the doozie of mega secrets. This is a great flirty and fun read to enjoy one sunny afternoon on your back porch. 

B-right, the days that lay ahead of these girls hold promise.
E-xcitement, Mackenzie is on the prowl and she is determined to find her “guy.”
T-ruth, Austin will give Mackenzie the opportunity to change her mind.
W-hisked, Mackenzie doesn’t understand what is happening to her all she knows is Austin has everything to do with it.
E-asy and breezy, was there promise but it feels like much more has happened.
E-vade, all Mackenzie wants is privacy but it seems the sharks are approaching.
N-ervous, so many words were spoken surrounded by so much betrayal Mackenzie pushes away her heart.

U-nknown, everything stands against them and everyone knows how hard things will be but it would be harder never knowing what could be.
S-imple, distance and circumstances have not been ideal but most always a tiny 4 letter word make the impossible possible. 

This was a fun read, full of super sexy scenes. The characters interactions were smooth and it almost felt like I was in Key West along with our cast of characters. Since this is a novella its a super quick read but loaded with emotions and stories of heart brake. These two characters will show you what it is to fall hard and fast. This was like a mini modern day fairytale. 

My Rating

3.5 Key West, Sex on the Beach, Tattoo’s, Snorkeling, House Party, TMZ, Paparazzi, Cowboy Hat, Pizza Dinner, Summer Tour, Love filled stars. For an enjoyable afternoon with a fun little romance I recommend this book. 

Book Teaser:

Courtesy of Ms. McLaughlin's Website

She took a deep breath, all shaky, and tilted her head back so she could look up at me. “A-Austin?”
I pressed against her, showing her how badly I wanted her. I lowered my head and stopped when my lips were barely touching her ear. “This isn’t about saving me from myself, or even about changing my life. It’s about you and me having some fun, remember?”
She nodded frantically, her nails digging into my shoulders. “Y-Yes. I remember.”
“Good.” I nibbled on the side of her neck, just hard enough to sting. “Now here’s how it’s going to be. If you still want me tomorrow, I’ll make you come so many times you’ll never be able to look at a bed…or a beach, if that’s what you want, without thinking about me. But not till tomorrow.”

About Jen McLaughlin:

Jen McLaughlin is a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. She writes steamy, bestselling New Adult books for the young and young at heart. Her first release, Out Of Line, came out September 10, 2013. It hit both lists within the first week of release. She also writes bestselling Contemporary Romance under the pen name Diane Alberts. She is represented by Louise Fury at The Bent Agency.


  1. Novellas are so tricky. I've had some I never connected with, and others I loved immensely. I'm glad you both liked this one, despite the lack of connection. Great review!

  2. Thanks Andrea! Actually I did connect with this one, it just took a little time. Thanks for stopping by :)


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