Before (Burlesque Bombshells #1) - Nicola Marsh

Before - Nicola Marsh

Sadly this have been a disappointment. It started up quite nice, didn't know where it's going, only thing I knew is this is a prequel to the Burlesque Bombshells series which has 2 books in it. 


Reid offers his little sis a vacation in Australia with him. He is in for a business trip and since it's "plus one" and his life is too damn busy to have a girl friend he offers the ticket to his sister. Jess comes eagerly. She doesn't have plans for the summer and having a really bad experience in the last day of the semester makes her want to get away a little even more. 


Arriving at the Australian house which hosts them they meet Jack. Reid thinks he's a great guy and becomes friends with him, even offering him an opportunity he can't possibly say no to. But with Jess, well, with her it's different.. from the second they meet there is a dead attraction from both of them. Too bad for Jess, Jack decided about a week before he is NOT doing any more meaningless sex, he wants to make an "honest man" out of himself. He is sick with the way he lived and wants a change. He had a hard life, being in foster families from the age of 6 and having been traveling around and doing what job he found from the age of 16 (= for the last 4 years). To add to that, sleeping with Jess also means betraying Reid's trust and he doesn't want to do that. 


So basically the main story is of Jess trying to hit it off with Jack and him turning her down. Thinking about his side of the story - I get him. I totally get every freaking decision he made. He knows that sleeping with her (especially since she's a virgin) will only hurt her, she has a month and then she leaves and that's it and he is also determined to change his life so sleeping with her because he can, she wants to - only means getting back to his "old ways". 


When I think of Jess I have one very particular scene in my head. Have you seen "Who framed Roger Rabbit"? there's this scene where all the toons gets crazy and Jessica Rabbit (notice the name!) looks half crazed and says "A MAN!" and hurries to devour, well, devour someone, I don't recall who :D But anyhow that's how I see Jess, as a VERY desperate girl who is willing to embarrass herself to death so Jack would sleep with her. I don't think there is anything more turn OFF as a desperate person. If he doesn't want to sleep with her he won't. Making him do it because that's what SHE wants is just, well, childish. Yeah, he wants to sleep with her as well, but he has his reasons, why can't she respect that? 


This has been a short novella, about 160 pages so it's an easy read. I started off liking it, but as Jess became more and more desperate and Jack became more "real" to me, and I got his struggle more I realized I'm just waiting for this one to end.. I already got that he will stick to what he feels is right (and I agree with him) and I thought that the way he ended things was the absolute right way.


I'm not sure if I want to read the rest of the series though I probably will since it's taking place ten years after this one. I wonder who much Jess is going to change / mature. Because what I read in the summary of Brash suggest that we'll have more chasing by Jess and even if she got the moves now I'm not sure I'm up to it, or up to it YET.