Saturday, September 27, 2014

Deep Blue (Blue #1) by Jules Barnard with Excerpt, Playlist & Review

First loves, second chances… 

When Cali Morgan kicks off her perfect post-college summer in Lake Tahoe, she has everything she ever wanted: acceptance into a top law program, a gorgeous boyfriend, and an incredible summer planned with her best friend. 

Confident about her place in the world, Cali makes it her mission to be her friend’s wingwoman and help her meet guys. What Cali doesn’t count on is running into Jaeger Lang, one of her older brother’s high school friends, or the sparks that fly when she’s around him. 

Jaeger has changed, and it’s not just the added height and muscle. There’s something about him that’s deep and a little scarred. In spite of the changes, Jaeger becomes a top pick for her friend—if Cali can keep her hands off him. 

But when Cali’s boyfriend dumps her and her carefully laid plans begin to unravel, she finds herself questioning what it is she truly desires. In the midst of doubts about her future, one thing is very clear: she wants Jaeger for her own. The question is, has her friend already fallen for him? 

Deep Blue is book #1 in the Blue Series. 

***This New Adult book is intended for readers over the age of 18 due to adult language, sexual content, and adult situations.***

Jaeger’s warm leg brushes my calf as he reaches for a pole. “You’ve never done this before?”
For a moment, I wonder what he’s talking about. The heat from his leg and the proximity of his body has me thinking of make-out sessions and cheating on boyfriends. Multiple yeses to the former—no to the latter.
Then I remember we’re supposed to be fishing. “No.”
“I’ll bait your hook.”
“Excuse me?” Why does everything he says sound like a pick-up line?
He raises an eyebrow and pulls a wiggling worm from a Styrofoam container. He spears the worm on the end of a hook the size of my pinky.
I throw up a little in my mouth. Why am I here again?
Gen’s boat drifts farther away. I can’t hear anything from them now. 
“Here.” Jaeger holds out the fishing rod with the worm still wiggling on the end. “Press the button on the reel and drop the hook.”
I’m trying to concentrate on his words, but I can’t stop staring at the impaled worm. I gingerly take the reel, holding it so Mr. Worm doesn’t touch me, or get knocked against the side of the boat, adding insult to injury. Lowering the tip of the pole, I let him float on the lake’s surface. Maybe the little guy will get lucky and escape his torture device while Jaeger finishes his instructions.
“After you drop the line, press the release when I tell you.”
Bossy, are we? But I press the button and the line sinks, whistling as it descends. Now the worm is drowning. Fishing cannot be humane.
Jaeger gives the signal and I press the button to stop the reel. I grip the rod as if it were an ax and stare at the end, with no clue what I’m supposed to be waiting for.
Jaeger pulls another worm from the Styrofoam container and I look away. I know what’s about to happen. I can’t watch this one’s fate at the end of Jaeger’s hook.
Why does that bring to mind my own destiny?
At the sound of his line going into the water, I peer over. He locks his reel and reaches for a small cooler he loaded before we boarded. He pulls out a Budweiser and pops the top, passing it.
Cheap beer at five thirty in the morning? I will gladly take said beer and drink it like it is mother’s milk. The carbonation might settle my stomach. At the very least, a light buzz could dim the sexual tension and sense of doom in the air—or make it worse. Jesus, that’s all I need.
If I’m the only one with dirty thoughts, I can deal, but if Jaeger is attracted to me, too . . . we have a problem.
“How will I know when I’ve caught a fish?”
He shushes me and glances over like I’ve been naughty, which I have—in my mind. “You won’t catch a fish if you scare them away,” he whispers.
I lower my voice. “Are you going to tell me how this is done, or what?”
His mouth twitches. Without looking at me, he says, “They nibble.”
A tingle shoots down my chest and past my thighs. I squeeze my legs together. Again with the dirty fishing talk!
“It will feel like a vibration, maybe a few quick tugs. Don’t react right away. Let the fish take a nice bite, then jerk your hook. If you feel more movement, you’ve caught something.”
He pops open a beer for himself and we sit in silence, me chugging my beer and waiting to be nibbled, he as still as a stone two feet away.
After a few minutes, I hold out my hand for another beer and my line vibrates. I don’t react right away, but my rod has all my attention. Taking the second beer he hands me, I wait, sipping carefully and white-knuckling my pole.
Another small jerk and rattle. With his gaze on his own line, Jaeger doesn’t seem to notice.
The next tug from the mysterious creature below the surface has my rod slipping a fraction from my fingers. I lurch the pole up and wind the reel a couple of times to take up the slack. The end jerks like crazy. I’ve caught something for sure.
Spinning the reel with quick, uncontrolled strokes, I fight to bring in the wild animal, my adrenaline kicking up a notch. I’m getting this fishing business now. Woman versus beast!
What exactly is down there? Are there freshwater sharks? Because I think I caught one. This fish is a wily bugger. I’m straining and not making much progress.
Jaeger scoots closer, our arms brushing. I sense when he sets his pole down, his gaze on me. “Need help?”
Before I can answer, the boat dips and my grip loosens on the pole to correct my balance. Jaeger sinks behind me on the bench I’m straddling, his front to my back.
“What are you doing?” I ask.
“Figured you wanted to know how to reel it in.” His deep voice, the light cologne he’s wearing, and the feel of his body against mine has me frozen in place.
I choke. “I think I know how that’s done.”
His hands cover mine and I instantly release the pole, putting my hands in my lap. He draws in the line with quick, efficient strokes, and the fish breaches the surface of the water.
It’s the size of a minnow.
What the hell? I had a dolphin on the end of that line.
I scoot to Jaeger’s previous position as he makes a grab for Mr. Slimy and gently unhooks my fish’s lip. He tosses the minnow overboard, and the little guy arcs and swims away.
“Why’d you throw him back?” I worked hard for that fish, and Mr. Worm sacrificed his life.
“Catch and release. We’re not keeping them, even if you had caught one big enough to eat.” His mouth curves.
Sounds like a guy’s dating motto. “Hey, now. I don’t see a fish on the end of your hook. I guess it takes a delicate touch.”
His eyes dart to my lap and my fingers curled there. A tingly sensation runs down my back, warming my belly. He looks me in the eye. “Feel free to exhibit your delicate touch anytime you like.”
It’s official. Jaeger’s brain is in the gutter too.
Now I’m in trouble.

Deep Blue Playlist
1.      “Don’t You Worry Child (Radio Edition),” Swedish House Mafia
2.      “Demons,” Imagine Dragons
3.      “Cups (Movie Version),” Anna Kendrick
4.      “Keep It to Yourself,” Kacey Musgraves
5.      “Stay (feat. Mikky Ekko),” Rihanna
6.      “I Couldn’t Be Your Friend,” Tegan and Sarah
7.      “Summer Love,” One Direction
8.      “Too Close (Just to Love You),” Playlist AllStarts
9.      “Locked Out of Heaven,” Bruno Mars
10. “It’s Time,” Imagine Dragons
11. “Ho Hey,” The Lumineers
12. “How Come You don’t Want Me?,” Tegan and Sarah
13. “Tell Me a Story,” Phillip Phillips
14. “House of Gold,” Twenty One Pilots
15. “Daylight,” Maroon 5

16. “So Easy,” Phillip Phillips

My Review: 
This was a good read. There were a lot of things that changed from the beginning of the book to the end, but it all worked out. I liked that Cali was pretty flexible and sort of went with the flow of things. I knew from the start that Jaeger would be an interesting, possibly fun complication in what Cali had planned for her future. Things didn't exactly turn out as she had planned, but I think they turned out right. There were a few other complications once Jaeger entered her life that were completely unexpected, but ended up alright. Overall a good flow to the story line and the characters were interesting as well. I can't wait for the next book to see what happens there. 

Find Jules:
Goodreads ~ Amazon 

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