Author: Braxton Cole
Clover Watson wants more from life than what she can find on her daddy's farm in southern Oregon. Young, smart, and driven, she has a plan and she refuses to be distracted from her goals. After four years at the University of Washington in Seattle, she heads home for the summer with her diploma and an acceptance letter to graduate school at University of Portland. She's sure she’s got things all figured out.
Except for Jake Feldman. He was one of her childhood friends, and she hasn't seen him since she left for college four years ago. This summer he's back in town and all grown up -- sweet, handsome, and completely smitten with Clover.
At first, she thinks a harmless summer fling is the perfect reward for her hard work at school. But as the summer continues and their romance grows, Jake challenges everything she thought she knew about herself and her plans. When the end of summer comes, Clover is forced to evaluate what she really wants, but can she find a way to write Jake into her life?
I rated Clover FOUR LEAVES!! I've enjoyed the series, "The List" by Braxton Cole and I knew I would love this book!! This was such a sweet book and I fell in love with Jake and Clover right from the start. The story is about Jake and Clover finding true love with each other. The chapters go from the past to the present of the two spending their summers together. This summer they are finding each other. Clover has her life in order with going to back to college to finish her Master's degree, and Jake is just wanting to spend forever with Clover. Overall, I LOVED this book and would highly recommend this book to anyone that is looking for sweet (and a little steamy) love story!
From Jake’s vantage point in the parking lot, it didn’t look like anyone was in his apartment except for Clover. That meant one of two things. Either she’d ignored his request and planned a party for him anyway, and now there was a room full of people crouching behind furniture waiting for their opportunity to yell “Surprise,” or she’d listened when he said all he wanted for his birthday was a quiet evening alone with her. With Clover, he had about a fifty-fifty chance. It could easily go either way, depending upon her mood.
One thing was certain. He couldn’t spend the night lurking in the parking lot. He had to go inside sooner or later. He checked the surrounding cars to see if he recognized any of them one last time, then shut off the car and climbed out. Sometimes he missed his old green Ford, but the used Mazda was better for getting around in the city. He tried to use it as little as possible. A MAX pass was way cheaper than gas and he’d tried to go without a car at all when they’d first moved. The only trouble with that was he ended up borrowing Clover’s car a couple of times a month. She didn’t mind, but he did. And her dad probably would have, too, if he’d known about it.
The light was off in the living room when Jake entered. That was one concession Clover had made. Instead of arguing that she could afford the electric bill, she simply turned off the light when he asked her to. She’d kiss him on the cheek and pat his ass, then go back to whatever she was working on. Eventually, she’d started keeping the lights off when he wasn’t home, too. It was a little thing, but it made him feel like she really got it.
“Clover?” Jake braced himself for the possible birthday surprise ambush, but it never came. He took a couple more steps into the apartment and dropped his backpack on the sofa. “Are you home?”
“In the kitchen.”
Jake followed the sound of her voice and, sure enough, he could see that the light was on in that room. It still took extreme effort to keep from running to her when he got close. If he gave into every impulse he had involving Clover, they’d never leave their bed.
He found her in the kitchen. Her face was smeared with white flour and her clothes had a dusty sheen. A lopsided cake with chocolate frosting sat on the table. She touched a lighter to the “2” and “0” candles on top as he stepped into the room.
“Happy birthday.” Clover smiled and all the noise of life fell away. He no longer cared about the electric bill or the paper he still needed to write or the fact that his boss reminded him a little too much of his dad. All that mattered was Clover and she was standing right in front of him, looking at him like he was the best thing that had ever happened to her. She’d said that to him more than once, but he still didn’t know how to believe it.
“You made me a cake.” Jake kissed her cheek and felt the silk of flour coat his lips. Prior to them moving in together, Clover had never done much cooking. She’d approached learning it the same way that she tackled every new thing in her life, like it was an activity to be conquered, not savored. For all her enthusiasm, though, she still wasn’t very good at it. He didn’t know why he was so surprised that she’d baked for him. That was a totally Clover thing to do.
“Yes, now blow out the candles before wax gets everywhere.” She gestured toward the cake and he couldn’t help but chuckle. He doubted that the wax would make it taste any worse. Still, he did as she said and blew the candles out.
Clover cut him a piece and watched with wide-eyed curiosity as he took a bite. The texture was gritty and he got a pocket of baking powder that made it bitter to the taste. “It’s delicious.”
“Yay! I’ve never baked a cake before. I was worried.”
“It’s perfect. Just like you.” To prove his point, Jake took another bite. He swallowed and licked his lips before leaning in to give Clover a kiss. He didn’t want the flavor lingering on his lips where she could taste it by accident. She didn’t typically eat sweets, so maybe she wouldn’t have a piece and then he’d be able to get away with telling her it was good. “What’s for dinner?”
Clover’s face fell. “I forgot all about dinner.”
“Then I guess I’ll just eat two pieces of cake.” Technically, it was his turn to cook anyway, but Clover had told him not to worry about it that morning as he’d left for class.
“Maybe I could take you out for dinner?”
Jake tried not to stiffen because he understood how much he was asking when he refused to let Clover treat him all the time. Yes, she had the money, but he had his pride. He wanted to earn his own way, not rely on his girlfriend to support him. That meant he couldn’t afford to eat out very often, but he could afford groceries. He wasn’t starving by any means.
Before he could think of a suitable reason to decline, Clover said, “It’s your birthday, Jake. Please?”
The smile she gave him was so sweet and innocent that it reminded him of the moment he fell in love with her. It had been his first summer at his Aunt Tammy’s. He’d been seven and Clover was ten. He couldn’t remember now why she’d smiled at the time, but the feeling of his stomach dropping burned into him. He’d felt it every single time since then. There was no way he could say no.
“Anything you want.” That was the refrain from his life. He would do anything for Clover, even if it meant swallowing his pride now and again and letting her do something for him instead. “Where do you want to go?”
“I don’t care. As long as you’re there, I’m happy.”
Clover left to change her clothes and Jake ate his entire piece of cake while he waited. He hadn’t even bothered to make a wish when he blew out the candles. Clover was his happily ever after and he couldn’t think of a single thing that would make his life better.
Braxton Cole lives in the Pacific Northwest where she spends most of her time holed up in her office writing stories. When she's not writing, she can be found riding her bike, hiking the fabulous local trails, chasing her kids, or wishing that her thumb was a little more green. She has a bad habit of killing what she tries to grow, but hasn't given up hopes of one day being a successful urban farmer.Braxton writes erotic romance because romance is the stuff that makes life great, and sex is fun. The two belong together, both in life and in fiction