Bedmates (American Royalty #1), by Nichole Chase
Publish Date: October 4, 2016
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Format: ARC, provided by the publisher and Inkslinger PR
Genre: new adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Rating: 5 STARS
(Synopsis) Everyone makes mistakes, especially in college. But when you’re the daughter of the President of the United States, any little slip up is a huge embarrassment. Maddie McGuire’s latest error in judgment lands her in police custody, giving the press a field day. Agreeing to do community service as penance and to restore her tattered reputation, Maddie never dreams incredibly good looking but extremely annoying vice president’s son, Jake Simmon, will be along for the ride.
Recently returning from Afghanistan with a life-altering injury, Jake is wrestling with his own demons. He doesn’t have the time or patience to deal with the likes of Maddie. They’re like oil and water and every time they’re together, it’s combustible. But there’s a thin line between love and hate, and it’s not long before their fiery arguments give way to infinitely sexier encounters.
When Jake receives devastating news about the last remaining member of his unit, the darkness he’s resisted for so long begins to overwhelm him. Scared to let anyone close, he pushes Maddie away. But she isn’t about to give up on Jake that easily. Maddie’s fallen for him, and she’ll do anything to keep him from the edge as they both discover that love is a battlefield and there are some fights you just can’t lose.
Maddie is the first daughter, and she's being forced to pair up with the veep's son on a community service project in an effort to improve her image. She and Jake have never gotten along, but his time in Afghanistan seems to have changed him. Now, they get along REALLY well. But, Jake's not dealing so well with his time in combat, and Maddie doesn't know if she has what he needs to get through it.
But something had changed; and not just his extremities. There was a darkness behind his eyes that made my heart ache, despite his pompous attitude. I'd seen it on the news when he had first returned to the States and was sad to see it still lurking deep down.Nichole's ability to write witty and funny dialog and strong female heroines shines in Bedmates. Maddie and Jake have this awesome comfortable relationship that is based on a mutual understanding and dislike of being in the political public eye. They snipe at each other and joke around and they are so frikkin' CUTE. I was cheering for them from the very beginning, especially since it seems like they are only every truly themselves when they're together.
Jake's symptoms of PTSD start to peek through here and there, and every time they did, it broke my heart a little bit more. I think my favorite part about Bedmates is the careful time and attention Nichole Chase brought to our men and women in the military and what they all go through both during and after their service to our country. She treated this delicately and with care and respect. Jake's situation is heartbreaking, and his time now at home is hard. His challenges aren't glazed over or given an easy out.
Maddie and Jake try to navigate the early stages of a relationship in a very unconventional situation. They're both very much in the public eye. Maddie is having to deal with Jake's horrible mother and Jake's trying to keep a lid on his PTSD. Yet, it's obvious they have amazing chemistry. It also helps that both of them are quite the dirty talkers. They are so, so good together and so obviously made for one another.
"You've ruined me, Maddie." His voice was ragged with emotion as he looked up at me. "No one will ever compare to how you make me feel. No one could compare to you."I would be remiss if I didn't mention the appearance of our favorite Nichole Chase couple. Alex and Samantha don't just make a cameo appearance in Bedmates - we see them quite a bit, actually. And, it was so great to see them together and happy and in context with Jake and Maddie's story.
I'm already dying to know who the second book will be about in this series. Jake's sister Caro, perhaps? And, anyway, it doesn't really matter - I'll buy it in a heartbeat no matter what.
“I’ll be done in a minute.” He looked down at me and smiled softly. “I’m glad you’re here.”
“Yeah? Why’s that?”
“You’re just so easy to be around.” He shrugged as if that summed up the whole world but I had no idea what it meant.
“And… . . . that’s a good thing?.” I frowned up at him. He gave me butterflies and I stumbled over everything I said but he thought I was easy to be around.
He stepped closer and I found myself nose to chest. His fingers tilted my chin up and his lips fluttered over mine. I let my palm rest on his skin where I could feel his heart beating rapidly. He didn’t touch me except for the fingers on my chin and his lips on mine.
When he stepped back, his brown eyes were dark. “It’s a good thing.”
Before I could think to ask anything else, he was gone, taking the stairs two at a time. My fingers drifted up to my lips and I stared at where he had just been, the remote in my other hand forgotten.
I’d never been kissed like that before; with so much tenderness and awe.
Nichole lives in Georgia with her husband, energetic daughter, two rescue dogs, Sulcata tortoise, and two cats. When not writing, you may find her reading, painting, crafting, or chasing her daughter around the house while making monster noises.
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