Title: September – The Series
Series: Sins of September & When September Ends
Author: Andrea Smith writing as Graysen Blue
Release Date: 11th August, 2015
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age: New Adult
Hosted by Joandisalovebooks
SINS OF SEPTEMBER BOOK ONE IN THE SEPTEMBER SERIES
I’m no angel. I never was. But when Mama left us just short of my fourteenth birthday, any chance of me becoming angelic flew out the window.
My step-father, Jesse, had been the only ‘father-figure’ in my life from the time I was six years-old, but all that came to an end when Mama left. I was sent to live with my grandparents in another state; my half-sister, Scout, remained with Jesse, her daddy. And my world had crashed around me.
Fast-forward four years. I’m almost eighteen and a somewhat normal teenage girl who’s curious about her sexuality, and determined to find someone like my Mama had – but hadn’t appreciated. As luck would have it, my stepfather wants me to spend the summer going into my senior year in Arkansas with them. He needs me to take care of my little sister, Scout over the summer.
Four years have changed both Jesse and me in ways we hadn’t considered. It isn’t long before I encounter the obstacles involved in getting what it is I really want: Jesse Ryan.
Complications follow, and I learn more than I ever anticipated that summer, not only about myself and my sexuality, but also about being true to myself, and putting others that I love first.
ADULT CONTENT. SEXUALLY EXPLICIT
WHEN SEPTEMBER ENDS BOOK TWO IN THE SEPTEMBER SERIES
This book is the sequel to “Sins of September.”
My name is Jesse Ryan. I’m thirty, single (not officially divorced) but that’s a long story. Up until the summer of 2010, I was doing just fine raising my only child, Scout. I’m a construction worker in Fort Smith, AK. But that summer I needed some help with Scout. So that’s when I sent for my 17-year-old stepdaughter—and Scout’s half-sister, September. She has been living with her grandparents in Mississippi ever since her mother—and my estranged wife, Libby, had taken off on all of us years prior.
September turned out to be a very resourceful young woman, effectively ambushing my first budding romance since her mother had left us. But she didn’t stop there. Shortly after her 18th birthday, I found myself inexplicably drawn to her. Yeah, I get that there’s a twelve year age difference, but despite my better judgement and solid resolve, the heart wants what the heart wants.
Up until now, we have kept our relationship discreet, planning our future together. I’m preparing to start my own business, and September is preparing to start her freshman year of college. Then we get . . . the news. And everything we’ve been planning is suddenly and inexplicably torn from us.
After more than five years without a word, my estranged wife, Libby, resurfaces. She had been seriously injured and now suffers from total amnesia. She doesn’t remember any of us.
Now decisions need to be made, and everyone looks to me to be the one to make them. But how can I make a decision that will be in everyone’s best interest?
Mature Content. 18+
Reviewed by Rachel McEwan & Sharon Thérèse Nuttall
Southern drawl, the point of view from a heroine you’d rather not cross with and a leading man too gullible for his own good. The scene is set in Sins of September of which is not only an eye-opener for what is morally wrong, but also makes you sit back and ponder about the fact that love has no limitations regardless of age or status in the family hierarchy. It is obvious to see that the author has gone to great lengths to get her message across to her readers. What would you do when you fall for a person totally unsuitable under circumstances mapped out over a long period of years? A schoolgirl crush comes into the equation as she has no-one to guide her and much to our consternation, the gal in question goes out of her way to get her own way. And does she know how to pull it off. Brilliantly!
Quote: September ~ “He’s perfect for the mission, which I have dubbed: Operation Cherry Picker.”
September. She wasn’t even in her teens when her mother marries a much younger man. And actually, she wasn’t such a bad-ass since she loves her little step-sister unconditionally throughout all the upheavals, most of them of her own making. Forced to go and live with her grandparents, time goes by and decisions are made. The wrong ones we might add. However, at all times we were aware of what was on September’s mind. Going back to her home to look after Scout and help out in the house without a mother figure was like opening Pandora’s box. At one point, we were messaging each other calling her unprintable names, conniving b*tch being one of them. Yes, the author developed her female character to a tee with a capital letter. What caught our attention was September’s hindsight for her years. She’s a good student and helps in every aspect at home. In a nutshell, she make herself indispensable in all ways and very gradually becomes a fledged woman in her own right. And not by who one thinks either!
Quote: Jesse ~ “God, September—I fucking don’t know what the hell got into me.”
Jesse. Logically, we understand how distraught any husband would feel when their wife who they adore abandons the family without any explanation. But he’s made of tough stuff, and pulls himself together as well as he can and gets on with life by working long hours to make a better life for his daughters. Never was he ready for the ‘Jezebel’ of a step-daughter he had and regardless of whether it was all wrong, he succumbs to September’s enchantment. This guy was just too adorable to get irritated with him, but finding out the truth about his ex puts a spanner in the works for both of them.
Quote: Henry, September’s grandfather ~ “It’s sick. September’s too young to know how evil this is and to fully understand the depravity of the situation.”
The epilogue was exactly what we had been waiting for. We found out how Jesse felt about the omnishambles him and his the family were going through. A cliffy, of course, there is. Faultlessly written, Ms. Smith has endeavoured to touch a subject which for most of us, is shocking. By inserting many twists and turns in this read, we were kept on our toes causing us a whole lot of conflictive feelings, one of them being the absence of romance; then again, this is a raw read so don’t expect it to be a bed of roses. Now we’re going to talk about When September Ends. Certainly, the title sounds ominous… nevertheless, being inquisitive as we are, we read on.
Quote: September ~ “My instincts tell me I should refuse him—force him to talk to me in a language that I can understand, but my body has other plans.”
We found the pace of new developments in the second story much more to our liking. We’d learnt in book one that the appearance of someone dear to all the family would put a spanner in the works. This causes a huge set-back in Jesse and September’s relationship, but Jesse is no longer the man he once was, and we have to say that we found the change in him welcoming. Always hardworking, he ventures into the business world and wakes up to the fact that he hadn’t treated September as he should have. Is it too late because September has ideas of her own? She has matured into a beautiful woman, has her own battles to fight… We did find September a little immature in the first book but she grew up immeasurably in book 2 which we made our feelings towards her more sympathetic.
Quote: September ~ “Don’t make me lie to you, Jesse.”
It was refreshing to read both sides of the story in When September ends. Both protagonists try to move on in life and come to terms with the mistakes they’ve made. Mind you, Jesse’s next door neighbour who you’re going to love to hate, is going to go out of her way to complicate matters more. Scout, September’s half-sister is just adorable. We must say she was our favourite character in this series and stole the show on many occasions with her kindness and adaptability for such a young child.
Quote: September ~ “Is speaking the truth blasphemy, Gram? Because there was a time when my dishonesty seemed like a sin.”
In conclusion, we both very much enjoyed this series. In our opinion we think the step father/brother genre is maybe a little over done; however, if this is your kind of read then this series is an excellent choice. Ms Smith can certainly write a very well-constructed story and also her use of grammar is impeccable. We understand from the author that she had no intention of writing the second book, When September Ends, but wow, are we glad she did as September’s and Jesse’s story didn’t feel complete!
SINS OF SEPTEMBER EXCERPT
“You might’ve turned eighteen, but I’m still the adult here. If I wanna sit in my own house and get fucking hammered for once, then by God I will do just that! I don’t need a teenager watching over me. She’s my wife, goddamit!
“And she’s my mother!” I scream. “And she fucking left the both of us! Remember?”
“Hell yes I remember.”
“So that’s it? What? I mean are you gonna go through the rest of your life holding onto something—to someone—whether she’s dead or alive, that makes you feel the way you feel right this damn minute?”
I look into his eyes because I want to hear it from him. I want to know why he feels the need to punish himself for what she did.
He takes another sip of his beer, and shrugs. “Shit, maybe so. Maybe it’s what I deserve for not being enough, and not letting her be enough for herself.”
I have no clue as to what he means by that. I simply throw out a retort for good measure. “That’s weak,” I mumble. “Pathetic and weak.”
I start to get off the couch so that I can get away from his drunken ass. I can take almost anything except self-pity or self-loathing. I’ve no tolerance for it.
His hand clamps around my wrist and I’m jerked back around to face him as he stands, pulling me up against him roughly. “What did you say?” he growls.
“I-I think you’re acting weak,” I mumble, losing a bit of my courage.
He cocks a brow as he studies me intently. “What would you know about love—or life or any of it?”
“Maybe more than you think,” I reply softly, looking up at his beautiful, angry face, meeting his cool gaze with one of my own. Our conflicted eyes lock, and when they do, something passes between us; like a spark or something, and all I can think is that it’s about damn time.
He pulls me closer. I wrap my arms around his strong neck, and tilt my face back a bit to give him ample access because this will happen. I’ve decided that.
He captures my mouth with his roughly—almost savagely, but I don’t care. “Fuck you look so much like her,” he growls, “I need to see if you taste like her too.”
“Do it,” I dare.
“Have you learned your lesson?” he asks.
I moan in response. My mind reverts back to the total pleasure he’s inflicting within my core with each and every thrust.
“We’ve got to be quiet, September. We can’t wake Scout, hear?”
“Are you ready to learn something new, September?”
He placed his hands on each of my shoulders, and gently pressed me down. “On your knees, woman.”
“I’ve missed you, September. You’re not leaving me,” he whispers hoarsely before moving downward, his tongue tracing a hot path across my belly, his fingers plucking at my panties, moving them down over my hips, so that he has full access to my heat.
“Then you’re mine?” he asks, and I can’t think of any better way that he could’ve put that question.
I feel his tongue tracing the shell of my ear, his warm breath caressing my skin. He nips at my lobe, and whispers, “I’ve thought about this all fucking day. About being inside of you, claiming what is mine.”
“Fuck September,” he growls loudly, “Where the hell are your panties?”
“You bastard,” he hisses, standing up as if he’s going to take me on. “What have you done? Seduced my granddaughter? She’s a child for heaven’s sake!”
“How can you say that?” he asks, moving closer to me, “Have I ever treated you like some dirty little secret? I fucking love you! How many times did you hear those words from my mouth?”
And then it’s my turn to flash some anger his way because that’s exactly how he made me feel when he allowed too much time to pass without showing me his love with his actions and not just his words.
I face him squarely. “How many times did you and I go out in public, Jesse? Huh? Out to dinner or to a movie, like the way you treated Casey when you were dating her? Or maybe a weekend getaway, or, hell, maybe just cluing Scout in like you promised months ago? Yeah, you think about that and then tell me how I wasn’t your dirty little secret.”
His eyes flare as he looks at me, leaning forward and placing his coffee mug next to mine on the table. “I’m here to discuss this current situation with you, September. We didn’t get that chance yesterday, with everything happening so quickly.”
“There’s nothing to discuss,” I reply getting up and moving over to the loveseat. I lower myself down next to him and, immediately, I feel my sex clench at his nearness. I need Jesse to not talk. There’s nothing he can say that I want to hear right now–maybe ever. “Mama’s coming home. I always knew you didn’t really belong to me, but she’s not here yet,” I finish, my hands moving to the crotch of his jeans where I can see that he’s got a semi going on. “Let’s fuck, Jesse. It’s our last chance.”
His blue eyes have darkened, and I see his Adam’s apple bob as he swallows, “Baby, that’s not why I’m here,” he argues softly, but he makes no move to remove my hand that is now rubbing the growing bulge in his jeans, and then my fingers pluck at the tip of his cock, and he releases a soft groan. “September…”
“Shh,” I purr, leaning in to him, breathing in his scent, the one that will forever be ingrained in my brain. It’s the smell of soap and a trace of woodsy pine in the mix. It makes my belly tingle, and my eyes are now focused on his mouth, his full sensual lips, and as he flicks his tongue along the bottom one.
Seconds later, we’re melded together in a passionate kiss, both of us hungry for what we know, and what we’ve denied ourselves for too damn long. I won’t deny Jesse this any longer, nor will I deny myself.
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