Sadie Hunt isn’t perfect—but her husband is. Nathan Hunt has her coffee waiting every morning. He holds her hand until the last second. He worships the Manhattan sidewalk she walks on. Until one day, he just…stops. And Sadie finds herself in the last place she ever expected to be. Lonely in her marriage.When rugged and sexy Finn Cohen moves into the apartment across the hall, he and Sadie share an immediate spark. Finn reveals dreams for a different life. Sadie wants to save her marriage. Their secrets should keep them apart, not ignite a blistering affair. But while Sadie’s marriage runs colder by the day, she and Finn burn hotter.
Her husband doesn’t want her anymore. The man next door would give up everything to have her.
He squeezes me closer. Moves his hand up and down my bicep. “You’re shivering.”
The driver looks at us in the rearview mirror. “You guys are a cute couple.”
“Thanks,” I say.
Finn arches an eyebrow, pleased—because she thinks we’re together, or because I didn’t correct her? I don’t even want to correct her. I’ve missed the look she’s giving us, the one a woman makes when she’s more envious than jealous. I get it all the time with Nathan. That feeling, coupled with the heater blasting from the front seat, leaves me slightly woozy.
We’re just like actors in a movie, I tell myself. This isn’t real. It doesn’t count. After a few minutes, the urgency to get warm lessens, and the door opens to another less pressing, but still basic need. Because that’s how my arousal feels—essential. The more it’s ignored, the fiercer it grows. I snuggle into his side. All it takes is his hand on my upper thigh to invite an assault of graphic fantasies. Finn shoving me down on the backseat because he can’t control himself anymore. Thrusting his fingers under the hem of my dress to find me ready for him. The lower half of my body aches with sudden demands.
“Some of those photos we just took were for me,” he whispers in my ear. He couldn’t have chosen a worse moment to tease me. My legs are jelly-like. “Does that make you mad?”
I check to see if the driver is paying attention. She must know I’m married. How can something so vital and concrete in my life be hidden? “What if I say yes?” I ask.
“I’ll delete them. If you’re sure it doesn’t . . . turn you on.”
I try not to pant. “Why would it?”
“Imagining me looking at them later.”
I turn my head. Our mouths are a breath apart. One more inch, and they’ll touch. Again. Those lips are the color of sunburnt rock but whisper soft. We’ve done it once. Would one more kiss hurt? I can’t stop the image of him looking at me, my exposed, white throat on his computer, his cock in a firm fist. It should disgust me. It makes my panties damp instead.
“No response necessary,” he says as the car pulls up to the curb. “I can read it on your face.”
Jenn’s Star Rating: 4.5 Stars
Foreplay with him is the space between us, the things we haven’t said, the admission we haven’t made.
Slip of the Tongue by Jessica Hawkins is a naughty, forbidden romance standalone story. This story focuses on Sadie Hunt and is told solely from her POV. Sadie is married to Nathan Hunt but things between them are strained and there are more questions than answers between them. During this difficult time in her marriage she finds comfort in her sexy new neighbor, Finn Cohen.
Jessica Hawkins found her niche when she decided to pen forbidden romance. She’s the kind of author that likes to push boundaries and raise questions and it’s one of the many reasons I admire her skill. Her writing is great but it’s also more than just your standard stories. She writes about things that activate the mind and cause you to think beyond the words on the page in a way that flows with the story.
Sadie Hunt is not relationship material. Her husband has been holding her hand since the start of their relationship. He’s good at compromising, showing his love and other things you need to learn to make a relationship work. Sadie shows her love through cooking for Nate and her affections in the bedroom. But what happens when the one whose good in a relationship shuts down? Nate isn’t the person he once was and Sadie doesn’t know what to do or how to handle things.
Nate has been the perfect husband. He’s patient, attentive, and understanding. Until he’s not. His change is sudden and the view we see of him in the book isn’t of this ideal husband. It’s of a man struggling and shutting his wife out.
Finn Cohen is an artist. He’s in the middle of uprooting and overhauling his life when he moves into the apartment across from Sadie and Nate. He makes his intentions clear and his intentions are that he wants Sadie and he doesn’t think Nate is good for her. He’s optimistic and tempting and exactly what Sadie wants but doesn’t need in a time when her relationship is struggling.
Obviously this book has a lot of grey area. Our leading lady is already married and her pursuer is not her husband. You’ve got to be okay with characters who make mistakes and unintentionally (and maybe even intentionally) hurt one another whether on purpose or a casualty of the circumstance. This story isn’t all romantic chase and sweet romance. I don’t know that it would be Jessica Hawkins if it was.
I’d like to take a minute to discuss the POV. As I said before this story was told completely from Sadie’s POV. The lack of male POV made it hard to decide who to root for and the circumstances with Nate (his avoidance) made it even harder because you don’t have a good read on him. We aren’t privy to their inner thoughts and feelings so it’s hard to get a good read on who is right for Sadie when we only have her view point and she’s so confused on how she feels and what is going on. Also during the story Nate is angry and distant. We only know about his caring and sweet side from what Sadie tells us so it is a little difficult to see him as anything but distant and maybe even neglectful of his wife.
Through the words and the story there is an underlying concept of the “idea of perfection.” Striving for it. Holding people accountable for the idea of it. Keeping up the appearance of it. It gets you thinking about your own life and also how these things affect the character’s decisions and mindsets. Perfection is impossible… yet the idea of it factors into so much of what happens to these characters.
Slip of the Tongue is not your average boy meets girl story. It’s jammed with emotion, steam, and difficult decisions. Sadie, Nate, and Finn all make a lot of mistakes. People get hurt and families might not come through the other side intact. Jessica Hawkins is never one to shy away from taboo subjects or complicated story-lines and that’s what makes her shine bright.
Dottie’s Star Rating: 3.5 Stars
I’ve never read any of Jessica Hawkins’ book before, although my blog partner-in-crime, Jenn, is pretty familiar with her work. When we were each asked to please review her upcoming Slip of the Tongue, we were both happy to give it a go.
I was intrigued by the book from the very first page – Sadie (our leading lady and the first-person voice of the entire book) is puzzled by several things. First, her new neighbor greets her by saying, “Hello again.” Hmm, she’s confused by this because she doesn’t recall meeting him. And her husband, Nate, has been acting strangely to her lately. As in, turning into a man she does not recognize.
I could understand her confusion about Nate. He has been the perfect mate for the past seven years; two while dating and five blissfully married years. He spoils her, always watching out for ways to make things easier for her and always anticipating her needs even before she realizes she needs something. But lately, well, all this has changed. He’s become standoffish, aloof, distant, and cold toward her. And it was out of the blue – suddenly one day he just began to treat her differently; and that differently was all sorts of bad.
Now, I’m going to stop right here and say a few words. We all have stuff from our pasts that come up from time to time while reading a book and this might very well be one of mine. To me, a man who begins to behave this way is committing emotional abuse, especially when he will not verbalize why he is behaving in such a way. I’m very biased against this type of behavior due to my own, personal, experience. So because of this, I cannot say I felt much in the way of respect for Nate’s character.
And then there’s Sadie. She’s desperate to know why Nate’s giving her the cold-shoulder. As she fixates on trying to find a solution to this perplexing situation and comes up empty-handed each and every time. Whenever she tries to confront him about why he’s acting like this – treating her with an almost contempt – he refuses to engage and just tells her he’s working things out in his head and to basically leave him alone until he gets to the point of wanting to talk about it. This girl tried everything she could think of to get him to talk with her to no avail.
I’m not saying that blissfully going through life with a husband who anticipates your every need and basically taking it for granted is a good thing; but he has treated her like this for a very long time. We all become accustomed to the ways we interact with everyone in our lives and Sadie was no exception. I can only imagine how confusing it would be to suddenly be living with a grouchy, almost silent spouse who makes it clear they’re mad at you for a mystery reason would be.
Then there’s Finn. He’s the new neighbor across the hall and he pretty gorgeous. He’s smart, he’s sexy, and he makes it clear from day one that he’s very attracted to Sadie. When he learns she’s married to Nate, this seems to bother him in a way that seemed particular to me, but he quickly becomes the person Sadie can confide in about her confusion and hurt feelings regarding Nate’s behavior…
…It’s past six, and Nathan [Nate] isn’t home. I lean back against the door. After a warm, easy evening with Finn, I can’t help acutely feeling the cold distance Nathan has put between us. Finn may be alone in a new apartment, but right now, I’m alone in my marriage. It’s a first for me. I recognized the loneliness on Finn’s face just now because I feel it too….
Now, I’m not a fan of affairs (and if you’ll notice, this is not a spoiler, it is mentioned in the synopsis), but Nate left Sadie wide-open to be open to this kind, amazing man’s desire to spend time with her.
I have to say I liked Finn. I liked the fact that he was willing to lay everything on the line to be with Sadie. He was kind to her and listened to her well. He was only willing to take what she was willing to give. Yes, pursuing a married woman is wrong, but all is not as it seems. There were circumstances prior to his moving into his new apartment that created a bit of a loop-hole with these two.
But here’s why I eventually gave this book 3.5 stars. This book pissed me off at times. I didn’t like what anybody in the entire book did a lot of the time. I didn’t like the fact that Sadie was wishy-washy. I didn’t like how Nate behaved. And as much as I liked Finn, he ultimately did something wrong as well. Nobody’s intention throughout this entire story were good; each of them had an agenda that was not congruent with their behaviors. And this made me want to slap each and every one of them.
And even down to the very end of the book, I wasn’t sure which way it would go. So in some ways, this is good. It kept me guessing. But I guess a big part of the problem was, I didn’t really know which “couple” to stand behind and root for. And although things being up in the air until the end (as long as they are eventually resolved) is fine with me, I still enjoy knowing what I would like to see happen in the end. With this book, I honestly didn’t know what I wanted, but this was not surprising, Sadie didn’t seem to know what she wanted by the end of it either. And then, suddenly, she did know what she wanted and the other guy was left surprised and saddened and this irritated me. It feels like she led everyone on and that’s not cool when it comes to relationships where the heart is most definitely engaged.
So, in any case, this book pulled me in at the very beginning and kept me guessing and interested until the end. That is a big plus. But maybe it’s just me, but I felt like the end could have been resolved in a way that might have been less baffling to me. I would have liked knowing she absolutely made the right decision and I’m not completely sure whether or not this happened. I might need to think on this some more. But because of this feeling, and not knowing who to root for, it just wasn’t a book that made me put it down at the end, sigh with happiness, and be happy with the ending. And that my friends, is the reason I think this book is engaging and entertaining, but also frustrating at the same time.
As I mentioned above, we all bring our own personal experiences into reading each and every book we consume, and I believe my own personal experiences may very well have affected my feelings for this story but I guess I’ll never know for sure. This might be a story where your own personal experiences will make you glad you read it, it might speak strongly to you and that’s awesome. But when it spoke to me in particular, it left me feeling a bit let down and wishing the ending could have come about in a slightly different manner (not necessarily how it ended – that’s fine with me, I think I would have preferred the story get to the same point in another manner). But then there’s the beauty – variety in different stories lets us all find our favorites and this may very well become one of yours!
Jessica Hawkins grew up between the purple mountains and under the endless sun of Palm Springs, California. She studied international business at Arizona State University and has also lived in Costa Rica and New York City. To her, the most intriguing fiction is forbidden, and that’s what you’ll find in her stories. Currently, she resides wherever her head lands, which is often the unexpected (but warm) keyboard of her trusty MacBook.