A Love Discovered by Ella Jade tells the story of Cali and Carter. Cali is a laid-back bar owner who lives life by the seat of her pants. Sometimes this works well for her and sometimes it gets her into trouble, like financially with her bar. Carter, on the other hand, is a methodical professor who likes order and planning. He is on sabbatical in the small town where Cali lives while he works on a book and decides if he wants to return to his position following a personal tragedy.
When Cali shows up at his door to deliver some books he ordered, the reclusive professor at first accuses her of trespassing, but neither miss the sparks that fly between the two of them and he can’t stop thinking of her. When she comes around again, he is much more welcoming and the two almost end up making love. The physical attraction continues to draw them together.
I enjoyed this book, but there were a few things that pulled me from the story. For example, the author seemed to feel the need to explain why the characters did/said the things they did. Sometimes this kind of clarification is needed, but the excessive amount of it in this book distracted me from the meat of the story and had me skimming. Also, on occasion, what the author told me the characters did wasn’t backed up by the actions in the story. For instance, throughout the whole book it was asserted that Cali had to persistently pursue Carter to make a relationship work. Yet there was very little evidence of this (aside from Cali pushing him to open up about his past, which doesn’t take much prodding). There were also several week or longer time gaps. Sometimes this doesn’t bother me in a story, but in this case, I kept feeling like I missed things.
I really liked Cali and Carter as characters and was rooting for their happy ending. I’m a sucker for hot intellectuals! Ms. Jade avoided making Cali seem flaky, which I’ve seen happen when the character is a free spirit. Instead, you see her good heart and optimism. There were some wonderful dialogue sequences and tender moments between Carter and Cali that show the growing love between them. I do wish the author would have spent more time showing the push and pull between the characters. They are such opposites that I expected to see more conflict between them.
Although I was never as fully captivated as I’d like to be, there are many nice moments. I give this book three cat kisses.
Local bar owner Cali Tate has always been trendy, easy-going, and impulsive. She isn’t afraid to take chances, but her carefree attitude may have put her restaurant in jeopardy. Her failing business is beginning to take a toll on her, both mentally and financially. When her best friend asks her to do a favor and take some books to the town’s reclusive professor Cali welcomes the distraction. To her surprise, the sexy professor is nothing like she had pictured him.
Dr. Carter Stavros wants to be left alone. He’s set in his ways and doesn’t want to be bothered with the outside world. Wanting to escape the demons of his recent past, he moved to Steeple, taking a sabbatical from his teaching job to write a book. He wasn’t prepared for the spunky, persistent bar owner to invade his life. But the more she pushes, the more intrigued he becomes.
Neither one of them expected to find any common ground, much less fall in love. What happens when an OCD professor collides with a risk-taking woman who won’t take ‘no’ for an answer?
Content Warning: contains graphic sex and mature content
After lunch, another hour of conversation, and a long swim, Cali lounged on the chair by the pool. Her shoulder-length blonde hair dried naturally and curled at the ends. Carter watched as she closed her eyes and enjoyed the afternoon sun. Her tanned skin glistened with sunscreen and her tiny bikini was almost dry. He wondered how many hours of intense workouts created a body like hers.
“Are you admiring me again?” she asked with her eyes still closed.
“How many tattoos do you have?”
“Wouldn’t you like to know?” She giggled.
As improper as it was, he couldn’t take his gaze away from her right nipple. The evidence straining against her damp bikini indicated a piercing of some sort. He’d never been more fascinated by anyone before. Throughout the years he’d seen quite a few attractive young women on campus, but he never acted on impulse when it came to students, no matter how tempting. Cali wasn’t a student. She was a quirky, attractive woman who was very much in touch with her sexuality. She turned him on. He wanted to explore with her.
He sat on the edge of the lounge chair, taking her right ankle into his hand. “Here.” He outlined the small butterfly that permanently marked her skin.
“That’s one.” She opened her eyes when he trailed his hand up her leg and to her hip.
It had been years since he had pursued a woman. He’d gotten married when he was twenty-four and stayed faithful through the whole fourteen years of that turbulent relationship.
“Two.” He swept his fingers over the pink-and-purple-colored rose petals sprinkled along her hip.
He took her hand in his and examined more rose petals on the inside of her wrist. “Do they hold significance?” He traced his fingertips over the tattoo, indulging in her smooth skin beneath his touch. The way her flesh prickled in response instigated his actions.
“I like roses.” She sat up, placed her legs across his lap, and leaned closer to his face. “My mother had the most beautiful rose bushes in our backyard.” She pushed her hair to the side and tilted her neck. “Four.”
“It’s exquisite,” he mumbled as he took in the ivy that started at her collarbone and flowed down the back of her shoulder blade.
“I wouldn’t have pegged you for a man who likes ink on his woman.”
“I’m not usually.” He ran his thumb from the start of the tattoo to where it ended on her back. He wanted to feel every inch of her forbidden flesh. She shivered when he stopped. “It goes back to those boundaries you don’t have.”
Reaching out, she placed her palm on his cheek, directing him closer to her lips. “The question is…” She brushed her mouth against his chin. “Do you have enough for both of us?”
Ella Jade has been writing for as long as she can remember. As a child, she often had a notebook and pen with her, and now as an adult, the laptop is never far. The plots and dialogue have always played out in her head, but she never knew what to do with them. That all changed when she discovered the eBook industry. She started penning novels at a rapid pace and now she can’t be stopped.
Ella resides in New Jersey with her husband and two young boys. When she’s not chasing after her kids, she’s busy writing, attending PTO meetings, kickboxing, and scrapbooking. She hopes you’ll get lost in her words.