Title: Natural Love
Author: S. Celi
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: December 9, 2014
Design: Berto Designs
My whole life, I wanted one thing: to be the perfect son.
Growing up, I did everything my father required. Straight A's in school. Perfect manners. I forced myself to live up to his standards--standards that pushed the Chadwick family name to the highest rungs of society. Over the years, we climbed so high that my father hoped we’d never fall.
If only he’d been right. With each successful year, the Chadwick family skeletons grew bolder and darker. Each member of my family had something to hide. Every lie threatened to undo us. The secret Avery Jackson and I shared was the worst one of all.
She was the one person I shouldn’t love--the one person I couldn’t love. But I did. I loved Avery Jackson. I wanted her, even though a romance with her threatened everything. It all felt so natural.
And that was exactly the problem.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Everyone in the Chadwick house is supposed to be perfect. This has been repeatedly drilled into Spencer's head since he was a child. Years of pressure and secrets are starting to become unbearable and Spencer's struggles to figure out how to move forward when mistakes aren't allowed, and what he wants most in the world, he absolutely can't have.
There is definitely some mild taboo action going on here between Spencer and Avery who are step-siblings. They have grown up together, which adds a bit more to the taboo. It was easy to feel the tension between Avery and Spencer as well as the pressure both faced in the household. I think the author did a great job of helping the reader understand the level of discomfort and weight of the expectations that was carried around by both Avery and Spencer. My main complaint, is that the story felt a little underdeveloped and the pacing seemed a little fast. This easily could have been a longer book where we really get to dig into both main characters and see how their lives are impacted by their choices. I did stay engaged in this story throughout, and I would read more by this author in the future.
*An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review
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“You look beautiful tonight,” I said.
“Thank you. I hoped you’d like this dress.”
We stopped walking just under the trellis, next to a corner of the house. From here, we couldn’t see the rest of the party, but we could hear everything. Hundreds of people stood just a few feet away from us, and they’d come looking for us soon. We had commitments and expectations to fulfill, but at that moment, my eyes and my attention were on her.
“Did you wear it just for me?” I said.
“Yes,” she said under her breath. “Just for you. I do everything just for you –”
My mouth covered hers in a rough, intense kiss. I gripped her face with one hand and the small of her back with the other, crushing her to me in a split second of passion that didn’t have any boundaries, a passion that broke every rule, and defied everything that made sense in my life. My tongue twisted and shoved against hers and she opened her body beneath me as our kisses deepened. Before long, I forced us against the ivy wall of the house, and there we were, locked together in a moment that somehow we’d claimed as ours and ours alone.
I only broke the kiss when she moaned against my mouth. Something about the sound made me remember where we were. Who I was. What we were doing. How wrong it all was from the standpoint of everything I had ever been taught. No. We couldn’t do this. No. No. No.
Someone might see.
Above us, inside the house, a light in the study flipped on and I heard two voices. Had they seen us already?
“I’m sorry,” I said as I forced our lips apart. I took an immediate step away from her, but it did little to calm us both. Her breath came out hard and fast, a series of quick pants, as if she hadn’t wanted to breathe while we kissed.
And I don’t know what unsettled me more: the kissing or the look of extreme pleasure she had on her face.
“I am . . . I’m . . . I should go.” I said.
Without another word, I turned and disappeared down the pathway, leaving her alone against the ivy.
About The Author
Journalist. Novelist. Broadcaster. Blogger.
An overactive imagination has always served Sara Celi well. Starting from age 10, with an epic tale about a soldier during the Civil War, Sara has made creating stories her life’s work.
After graduating cum laude from Western Kentucky University in 2004 with a degree in Broadcast News and History, Sara Celi started her decade-long career in broadcast journalism at TV stations in Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Ohio.
Her love of the written word came to fruition with the publishing of her first novel, The Undesirable, in 2013 and has since published The Palms and Prince Charming.
Born in New Orleans and having lived all over the United States, Sara Celi now calls the Greater Cincinnati area home. In her spare time, she likes to read, shop, travel, run, volunteer with the Junior League, serve on the board of Wesley Community Services, and work with Cooperative for Education, a non-profit providing educational opportunities for the children of Guatemala.
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