Blue and Eddie have been friends for over 10 years. Ten years of working side by side. Ten years of games, laughter and tears. Ten years of denial and want. When a close call shakes their world, they can no longer keep those feelings boxed up.
Ten years is a long time to know each other. Within hours of having met they both made a choice to ignore their sexual attraction and build a friendship instead. Lovers have come and gone from both their lives but their friendship has endured even as it has been tested over the years.
Blue grew up in a series of group and foster homes since the sudden accidental death of her parents when she was 6 years old. Life on the move has made her a minimalist. She resists attachments to places, people and things. She keeps a spartan apartment & keeps most people at distance, investing in only a few close friends, Eddie being the most important one.
Eddie is rarely alone. His easy smiles and seductive charms means he is always in demand. No sooner does he break up with one woman, that another is looking to take her place. Sex and romance has always come easily to Eddie, but his relationships are short and fleeting never moving beyond casual. But outside of his brother the most important person in his life has always been Blue even if he has taken her for granted. Seeing Blue's body fly across the payment after being hit by motorcycle made him realize how empty his life would be without Blue. But breaking down 10 years of habits and walls is not easy especially when Blue is terrified of losing everything they have together if it goes wrong.
This novel hit all my emotional buttons. I've wanted Blue and Eddie's story since they first appeared in Satisfaction. They interacted in such fun affectionate ways that like Maggie I wanted to know their story, the why behind their are they or aren't they vibe.
The story starts off with a bang, and I loved how Mayberry let the repercussions and emotions build over time. Their story stretches out over months and months, and I loved that. Both Eddie and Blue have serious feelings they need to work through and I would have not believed in the story unless they had the time to sort through and evaluate their feelings. Even as Blue drags her feet and resists Eddie's determined assault on her heart even when surrendering to her physical need for him over the months it takes for them get together, the book never drags.
I loved the journey Mayberry crafted because none of it was easy. I loved that while their sexual chemistry is off the charts, they struggle to read each other emotionally. One of the most painful and real scenes for me in the book happens early on. Eddie has bullied Blue into staying at his house during her recovery. Blue, emotionally raw doesn't want to be there because she feels like an emotional mess. Eddie goes all out to make her feel comfortable in his home, to show her how much she means to him, but he still screws up because he hasn't quite realized that he can't do that, and let other women walk into his life and steal his attention. He didn't do anything to intentionally hurt Blue, but it does and Blue can't watch it happen anymore, not till she has her feelings under control. That moment is wake up call to both of them. For Eddie it makes him realize that his feeling for Blue go beyond her being his best-friend, and for Blue that she loves him to much to lose him over her feelings so she needs to bottle them back up. That conflict is central to the rest of the novel. I love heroes in hot-pursuit and Eddie is fantastic in the role. The depth of his commitment to pursuing Blue surprises everyone in their life. I loved that he had to overcome his own feelings of insecurity about his inexperience at relationships before being able to confront Blue about her own. He doesn't do everything right, Blue is infuriating at times in her resistance but every bit of it felt real.
In Anticipation, Mayberry crafts a passionate & genuine emotional journey through friendship, sexual tension and love for Blue and Eddie that was worth waiting for.
I received a review copy of Anticipation from Ms. Mayberry.