Monday, July 13, 2015

Book Spotlight for The Hierarchy of Needs by Rebecca Grace Allen (Review)

As a reader who loves the theme of friends to lovers I found myself drawn to this read where the characters are so much more than what they seem.  Keep reading to get a tantalizing taste of The Hierarchy of Needs by Rebecca Grace Allen, along with my impressions of it, and then add it to your bookshelf!

Jamie Matthews is stuck in a rut. After hitting a wall with her dream career, she’s back in her hometown, living a life as monotonous as swimming laps in the neighborhood pool.
Being surrounded by her perfect brothers is a painful reminder of her failure to launch. The last bonfire of the summer is an ideal way to let off steam, especially when she runs into Dean Trescott, the playboy friend she had one hot-as-hell night with back in high school.
Since the day Dean met Jamie, he’s loved her beauty, talent, and smile that lit up the whole damn block. But dating isn’t an option. She has a bright future ahead of her, and he refuses to chain her to his—helping run the family business that’s barely staying afloat.
A “what-happens-in-Vegas” weekend was supposed to get their craving for each other out of their systems. But neither counted on the past repeating itself, drawing them together in even hotter and dirtier ways and dangling the possibility they might both be able to get exactly what they need...
Warning: A friends-to-lovers twice over story that contains some hot ’n’ heavy kissing in the waves, hair pulling, and a man who knows how to use his hands. It may also feature a few practical jokes—only the fun kind, of course.


“Who are we hanging out with tonight?”
Krissy’s question yanked Jamie back into the present.
“Just my friends,” she replied, hoping her blasé expression would mask the restless energy pumping through her. “Three guys I grew up with and have known forever.”
The soft hisses and sizzling pops of the bonfire guided her toward where Dean and her friends were sitting. They made a semi-circle by the lifeguard stand she’d spent the summer perched on, a plume of smoke between them spiraling up toward the sky.
Jamie gripped the peeling white wood and swung her body around it, throwing herself into a grand entrance.
“Hello, boys.”
Dean had the mouth of an open beer bottle by his lips, but paused when he saw her, his lips curling up into a smirk. His chin was masked by the day’s worth of stubble he always seemed to have. His crop of dirty blond hair was cut close on the sides but longer in the front, a few slightly mussed strands hanging down low over his eyes. Every inch of him said confident and relaxed, from his ever-present work boots to the swirling lines of ink that wound like ivy from his wrist to his neck.
He was sex incarnate, a wolf on the prowl in a black T-shirt and jeans.
“Jamie Matthews. My favorite girl.”
“Oh, I’m still your favorite, huh?”
She was no more his favorite than the last piece of ass he’d hooked up with, but she liked the nickname nonetheless. She also liked the way his gaze swooped from her face to her breasts and back up again. It was part of the game they played, one she wanted to lose herself in tonight.
He grinned. “Of course.”
“Good to know.” Jamie dropped to the sand by his side, kicked off her flip-flops and stretched out her legs. “I guess that means I’m entitled to your beer.”
She snagged his bottle from his fingertips and took a deep, icy swallow.
“Oh, go right ahead.” Dean’s voice oozed with sarcasm, but there was humor behind it. He nodded to Krissy.



Fans of the friends to lovers trope will find themselves drawn to this tale of two lost souls who finally find themselves, and a HEA, once they finally give in to what their hearts truly want.  It's a rocky journey though full of angst, wit, humor, and lots of steamy interludes as these two friends battle their inner demons to start living their lives for themselves.

Jamie comes from a family of overachievers where she's always felt lacking. She has dreams but they never seem to come to fruition.  Being funny and playing practical jokes hides the pain these inadequacies cost her but she can't hide from her friend Dean.  For years he's been the one she can lean on, the one who understands, as he too deals with familial expectations.  Theirs is a complex relationship though as they're attracted to each other, and have almost crossed that line, but fear their friendship will be ruined if they commit to something deeper.  I liked Jamie and found her easy to relate to.  Though she was at her lowest point at the start of the story you could see her gaining strength as the story progressed.  While I enjoyed her humor too I saw it for what it was...a defense mechanism.  Her interactions with Dean were playful, with witty banter, and teeming with sexual tension that had me constantly rooting for them to admit the truth.

Dean isn't the usual sexy player you see in New Adult books as he has heart, a caring heart left bruised by fate that had me wanting to hug him.  He's also loyal to family which has him working at the family business despite his own dreams.  He's good with Jamie giving her support where he can but his own inner demons have him thinking he's not good enough for her which has their relationship arriving at a defining moment.  As she's had enough of their push/pull relationship he suggests a weekend in Vegas to burn out their sexual attraction.  Things end up being so much more than steamy sex though as deep conversations lead to emotional truths that have them finally giving in to what they've always wanted.

Though this is the second installment in the Portland Rebels series it can definitely be read on its own.  It's a quick read with a nice flow, steamy interactions, and characters you care about.  Though I got frustrated by the push/pull of their relationship I was still rooting for Jamie and Dean every step of the way as they both pushed each other towards a fulfilling HEA.  This is my first time reading this author but it won't be my last as she shows real talent!

My rating for this is a B+

*I got this book from the author for review in exchange for my honest opinion.


Rebecca Grace Allen writes kinky new adult and hot contemporary BDSM romance. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a double concentration in Creative Writing and Literary Comparison, as well as a Master of Science in Elementary Education, both of which seemed like good ideas at the time. After stumbling through careers in entertainment, publishing, law and teaching, she’s returned to her first love: writing. A self-admitted caffeine addict and gym rat, she currently lives in upstate New York with her husband, two parakeets, and a cat with a very unusual foot fetish.

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