Book: Upper Hand
Series: Cedar Tree #5
Author: Freya Barker
Cover Designed: Margreet Asselbergs
Model: Alfie Gordillo
Photographer: Reggie Deanching of R+M Photography
Hosted By: Francessca’s Romance Reviews
The only one Beth Franklin allows herself to rely on is Beth, and so far that has served her well. Just when her son disappears after dropping his little guy off on her doorstep, her life seems to spiral out of control. For the first time ever, fearing for his safety, the fiercely independent waitress is forced to be on the receiving end of a helping hand. That’s not easy for her, especially since the shovel-sized hand belongs to a man whose approach has run hot and cold the last year, leaving her feeling off balance. With a steady and commanding force, he exposes her softer side, while doing everything he can to keep her and those close to her safe.
**Due to some content of a sexually explicit nature, this book is recommended for a mature audience only.**
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Review by: Erin
I fall more in love with this series with each book I read. I love that the author is able to create characters that are so relatable. I love that they are so “real”. The emotions were high in this story. Beth and Clint have been dancing around each other for a year. Clint is determined to clear the air and make her see that she belongs with him. After Clint gets hurt helping Joe and Naomi, Beth realizes that she has been cheating herself by not acting on her attraction to him. I loved the addition of Jeb, Clint’s brother. I also loved the addition of Beth’s grandson, Max. The whole group rallies around Beth when the sh*t hits the fan with her son. Clint and Beth light the pages on fire. The author does such a great job with the descriptions and details that it feels like I was in the story right along with them. I laughed and cried with these two characters. Their story is absolutely beautiful. I am so looking forward to the next book
Review by: Leeann
This is Clint & Beth’s story & what a story it is!!
If you have read the other books in this series you will know who Clint is & probably already formed an opinion of him, I did.
He is nothing like I thought, he actually is a big surprise!!
Then there is Beth.. She is a fierce, independent tough cookie with a heart of gold. Put Clint & Beth together and it is literally a perfect match.. Clint
just needs to convince Beth of that. They come together due to a traumatic event & not they just need to work out a balance so they can stay together.
Their story is not an easy one but it’s a damn good one!!
Freya Barker has written these two complex characters beautifully. They are both completely full of faults & some of the things they say & do to each other
will have you laughing out loud. But don’t be fooled, underneath it all they both have huge insecurities & both need to learn to trust again.
The change in both Clint & Beth from start to finish is nothing short of amazing. They literally do a complete turn around from the people they are at the
beginning of the story. They don’t just grow and learn to live together as a couple but they grow within themselves. Their journey is full of drama and trauma
just like the rest of the Cedar Tree crew but it is also full of complete acceptance, trust, love and loyalty.
Again, this book by Freya Barker will have you wanting to read straight through from start to finish & make you feel like you know these characters because they
are so easy to connect with. I hope she continues to write more of this series because I would really, really like to read Malachi’s story next!!
EXCERPT for reading:
I watch her puttering around the kitchen wondering whether I should call her on the strange mood she’s been in since she got home. It’s not even nine-thirty yet, by all accounts early for a Saturday night and what better way to spend it than try and make some headway with this stubborn woman.
“You okay, Beth? You’ve been a bit off since you got home from the diner, is it that time of the month?”
With a clatter the spoon she was holding to scoop coffee grinds drops to the counter and I realize in that moment I probably just fucked up again.
Damn that woman can look angry.
“I just meant that you seemed a bit off, like you weren’t feeling well or something.” I struggle to recover but once unleashed, there is no escaping the wrath of Beth.
“I’m off and so being a woman it must be my time of the month? Un-fucking-believable! You are such a Neanderthal, Clint. What do you call it when a guy is ‘off’, huh? Oh wait, that’s right, men stronger than that, right? Not bothered by ‘little’ things that would affect only us ‘fragile’ women?” The sarcasm is dripping off and before I have a chance to throw up a defense, she’s back in action, the coffee spoon clutched in her hand, waving around like a weapon. “For your information, buster, I haven’t had a period since the doctor removed my chicken coop twelve years ago!”
I swear I try to follow what she’s saying and I think I’m doing okay until she brings up a chicken coop. Confused I shake my head and repeat it back to her.
For a minute I think the dramatic eye roll is all I’ll get for an answer, when in reality she’s just gathering steam. Fucked up as it may be, it makes me harder than steel to see her all riled up. My cock is straining behind my zipper to the point of serious self-mutilation.
“Oh. Em. Gee. Yes Clint. Chicken coop. The works. The baby factory. I had a hysterectomy, you baboon!”
Okay, sue me, but all I can think right now is the promise of sliding into her without the barrier of a condom between us. Fuck yeah.
What Others Are Saying
I just took a wonderful trip back to Cedar Tree. Freya Barker is a brilliant, creative, and freaking amazing writer. I love her stories. I love her characters. She delivers another great addition to the series. ~ Goodreads Review
This is my second Freya Barker book and I loved it! Her writing style is so down to earth and it’s a refreshing change from all the fluffy stories I come across. Her characters are just people, not glamour dolls. ~ Goodreads Review
The suspense plot line is well thought out and paced. Love this series and am anxious to read more from this author. ~ Goodreads Review
I love the excellent mix of romance, humor, and mystery that is woven through the book. A page turner from beginning to end. Definitely recommend! ~ Goodreads Review
About The Author
Freya Barker craved reading about 'real' people, those who are perhaps less than perfect, but just as deserving of romance, hot monkey sex and some thrills and chills in their lives – So she decided to write about them. Always creative, from an early age on she danced and sang, doodled, created, cooked, baked, quilted and crafted. Her latest creative outlets were influenced by an ever-present love for reading. First through blogging, then cover art and design, and finally writing. Born and raised in the Netherlands, she packed her two toddlers, and eight suitcases filled with toys to move to Canada. No stranger to new beginnings, she thrives on them. With the kids grown and out in the world, Freya is at the ‘prime’ of her life. The body might be a bit ramshackle, but the spirit is high and as adventurous as ever. Something you may see reflected here and there in some of her heroines.... none of who will likely be wilting flowers.
CEDAR TREE Sales Links:
Slim To None (#1)
Hundred To One (#2)
Against Me (#3)
Also by Freya Barker:
”FROM DUST”A Standalone Dark Emotional Romance Novel
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