Saturday, July 13, 2013

Sexy Summer Saturdays: What Once Was Perfect (Wardham #1) by Zoe York {Review + Giveaway}

Sexy Summer Saturday's is a weekly post we created to share our love of "Adult" books with our fellow readers. 

Participating blogs:

**If you don't care for steamy books or you are under 18, you may not want to continue reading the review below.**

Genre: Adult Contemporary/Erotic Romance
Author: Zoe York
Expected Publication Date: July 1st 2013
Series: Wardham #1

Heading home always stirs up mixed emotions for Laney Calhoun. Twelve years ago she left for graduate school, broken-hearted. She’s found professional success, but positive personal relationships have proved elusive. Running into her ex-boyfriend fans flames she thought long extinguished, and causes a renewed interest in love. Not with Kyle, of course. Never again. But as sparks fly and items of clothing disappear, she scrambles to keep her emotions in check. Kyle Nixon let Laney slip away once. Their chemistry together is undeniable, but steamy sex is not enough to convince her to let him back into her heart. Even if she did trust him again, her medical career is five hundred kilometers away from the hometown that he loves, and the life that he once chose over her. What Once Was Perfect is a short and sexy contemporary romance novel set in Wardham, Ontario, a fictitious small farming community on the shores of Lake Erie.

My Take:
Young sweethearts separated by a misunderstanding find their way back to each other. What Once Was Perfect is a nice steamy romance about two people learning to trust each other again and rediscovering their love.

You all know I am a huge sucker for sweetheart stories and I totally loved this book. Laney Calhoun was hurt deeply by Kyle Nixon 12 years before when he broke things off at the height of their summer fling turned serious relationship. With Kyle being her first real love the breakup has hurt her deeply and left her unable to have serious relationships therefore she chooses casual hookups to protect herself. She hasn't seen Kyle for two years, not since her father's funeral and is dreading the eventual meeting which her mom plays a hand in setting up. When he shows up at her mother's door all the old feelings for him come rushing back to her. One of the things I loved about this story was that once Kyle and Laney see each other again they agree to talk and work things out and go from there. There isn't a build up of "Will they Won't They" because once they settle everything from their past they give their relationship another chance.

I found myself relating to Laney in a really big way. She was hurt deeply by someone she loved very much and has let that keep her from moving forward and finding someone else to love. Her vulnerability was endearing even though she tried to keep her walls in place she still had that inner softie that reminded me of myself. I really appreciated the fact that although she was scared to move forward and kept her emotions locked away she wasn't abrasive and off putting as some female leads tend to be in this situation. Once she and Kyle started seeing each other again she was still weary which is natural but she also remained optimistic and hopeful about everything. She had her moments though where she tried to push Kyle away and had decided for herself that she wouldn't go any farther than sex with him. I honestly didn't know how the story was going to go throughout especially when Laney has to leave and go back to Chicago for work. They agree to visit each other but that doesn't sit well with Kyle for long.

Speaking of Kyle, I have to say he was fantastic. I loved him and found myself reading his parts with a tiny lump in my throat because you get to see what happened all those years ago from his point of view. He has felt hurt and almost betrayed by Laney leaving for college never thinking she would want to get out of their small town and do bigger things. He's always been a small town guy who becomes a teacher and works at the local school teaching 4-6th grade. It was hard watching him relive his hurt from all those years ago because despite how he broke things off, Kyle is a really great guy. He cherishes Laney and treats her with respect. I love reading stories from a guy's perspective because it's interesting and different to see the same events from the other side. While Laney has closed herself off Kyle has tried to find love and had a few relationships that didn't work out though. It was exciting for me to know he never stopped loving Laney which was probably the reason he never made his other relationships work. I loved watching him do whatever it took to show Laney that he wasn't going anywhere and made a real effort to understand her side of their breakup. He wasn't completely perfect though, he had a tendency to stick his foot in his mouth with Laney and say the wrong things at the wrong time.

The romance in this book was well done but the main thing that caught me completely off guard was the heat factor. I had no idea this book was going to get naughty because going by the cover and synopsis I thought this was another mild romance. NOPE! The sex is intense, super hot and plentiful because let's face it, These two had a lot of time to make up for. It doesn't take long for things to go from 0 to 60 with this couple. I think I got to chapter five or six before they were in the sack. Unlike some romance novels where the sex gets a little mundane after a while, that wasn't the case with this couple. By the time they become intimate you know enough of what happened between them and become attached to them and actually want them together so when the "Oh Yes Harder" starts it's gratifying. The chemistry between Laney and Kyle was captured perfectly and knowing how intense it always was for them and how it is between them now was a nice contrast. Where it was just young lovers discovering each other for the first time before, this time it was two people who were familiar with each other but still discovered new things about themselves and the other as they explored. 

Laney's family was a great addition to the story with her sister's crazy workout routine, her mother's scheming and the entire town in her business. Growing up in a small town myself I understand all too well how people can get into your business without you inviting them. Laney and Kyle had enough to worry about without being bombarded with questions about their rekindled love. I may have been worried about what Laney would choose but in the end the author gives you a nice surprise to bring everything together. The love story between these two characters was endearing, funny and sweet and knowing that this is a series I am excited to see who is next in this small Canadian town to find love. What Once Was Perfect was my first Zoe York experience and I will definitely be reading more from her in the future. This was a nice quick read that had great pacing and kept me interested from start to finish. If you love sweetheart stories full of romance, steamy sex and light hearted fun then check this one out as soon as possible.

"You want someone to come home to at the end of the day, even if it’s in the middle of the night and all they do is rub your back for a minute after you stumble to bed. Someone who knows that when you scratch your nose at family dinners, it means you need to be rescued. Someone who can read your moods and bring you wine or chocolate or run you a bath without being asked. You’re ready for sweatpants and watching TV on the couch, and loving every minute of it.” eBook 3%

Kyle groaned as Laney slipped her hand into his open jeans and wrapped her cool fingers around his straining cock. His ass flexed on its own when she slid her hand up and down the shaft, and he barely kept his hips from thrusting into her face. He had loved her mouth on him the other day, and wanted more. He stroked her hair, resisting the urge to wrap his fist around her ponytail. “I can’t wait to be inside you,” he said with a growl. eBook 35%

“I love you so much, Laney Calhoun. I love you here, in Chicago. I love you at the end of a 24 hour shift. I love you in this giant glass building that doesn’t seem to have parking for pickup trucks, and I love you even though you don’t think you have time or space in your life for a relationship.” eBook 83%



About The Author:
For as long as I can remember, I have been a voracious romance reader. In early 2012, I got an idea for a novel. Then another, and another. My Google Drive account exploded with outlines and chunks of text and character bibles. Over Christmas, I started a holiday novella. By the end of January, it was clear I was going to wander past novella length, and the story wasn’t limited to the holiday season. And it wasn’t just one book, anymore – it was also an introduction to a small town, Wardham. Right now I’m hard at work on book no. 2 in the series. The first one, What Once Was Perfect, will be available July 1, 2013. I can’t wait to share Laney and Kyle with you! When I'm not writing, I’m a busy working mom of two young boys, wife to a very understanding soldier, and a sister/friend/neighbour as well.



  1. Meeeeep! Is this the Altoids book?!!?!?! I want this so hard! Rafflecopter is being a PITA, and won't let me enteric so I'll go buy as soon as I remember.

    Great review! I love the quotes!

  2. :) Steamy romance the most recent would have to be - Collide and Pulse oh my !!! Thanks for the wonderful givewway will def be checking out this book !

  3. The cover doesn't look like it would be overly steamy, but sometimes I love that. I like when books take me by surprise!


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