Tag «in love with the neighbour»

Series Review: Irresistible by Stella Rhys

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

booksynopsis

Synopsis for Sweet Spot (from Goodreads):

I’ll be the first to admit that I live at extremes. After going ten years locked in what felt like a dysfunctional marriage, I’m now decidedly boy-free. In nearly three years I’ve had no boyfriends, no flings, no dates and no sex. For the sake of my dream career, the sacrifice has been easy.

At least it was.

Until he came along.

Lukas Hendricks. He’s rude, gorgeous, arrogant – a stone-carved wall of muscle and distraction. He’s everything I know to avoid but there’s no avoiding your next-door neighbor. Oh yeah. The man now lives three steps from me and to make matters worse, he crashed into my life while I was relaxed in the tub – mortifying to say the least and it went something like this: I was exposed. He looked. He laughed.

And then I locked myself out.

In short, Lukas Hendricks was trouble from the start. And me?

I was – for the first time in years – about to be screwed.

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SERIESous’ Top Picks: Must Watch Author 2018
Series: Irresistible
Author: Stella Rhys
# of Books: 4 (Sweet Spot, Bad Boss, Dirty Deeds, Hothead)
Book Order: Connected
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Heat Rating: Hot
Point of View: First Person, Alternating
Publication Dates: March 2017 – February 2018
Source & Format: Public Library–Audiobook; Hidden Gems–eARC (Hothead only)

Copy provided: Hothead (Book #4)

thoughts

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

I actually read this series a little out of order by picking up Book #4, Hothead as a review copy. Little did I know that I had already marked Books 1 & 2 on my library’s audiobook collection to read so it was a happy coincidence. I ended up loving Hothead so I couldn’t wait to see this series from the beginning!

The Plot:

After loving Hothead (Book #4) for its great blend of romantic chemistry and drama, I have to say I was a little disappointed in Sweet Spot (Book #1) when I got around to reading it. It just seemed like every contemporary romance novel I’ve read with a similar premise (in love with the neighbour). But, it did a great job introducing the rest of the cast so I was excited for the remaining sequels.

I find each book gets stronger with plots as the series grows. We start getting more original stories and better balance between character development, romance and drama. There were definitely things I could have done without in some of the books (like obvious communication assumptions, etc) but for the most part, I was able to overlook them and I found they got less and less as the series progressed.

The Characters:

With the exception of Lucas and Leah in Sweet Spot (#1), I loved all the characters in this series. It wasn’t that I had something against those two, I just felt like they are the most underdeveloped in the series. Everyone else has great backstories and has some great growth as a result in their individual stories.

But everyone as an ensemble has fantastic chemistry so it was fun to see them interwoven through everyone’s story.

The Romance:

I felt like the sexual chemistry between the characters improved in the sequels as well. Again, I think that goes hand-in-hand with strong character development and allowing the reader to get to know the characters to their core. Everyone was a great match for each other and it showed throughout the many obstacles they faced.

My Audiobook Experience (Books #1-3):

The audiobooks started a little rough for me with Sweet Spot (#1). I found the female narrator had a choppiness to her voice that irritated me but went away when I increased the speed. So I was a little nervous when I saw it was the same narrating duo for the other two novels. But I found that they changed up their presentation in the subsequent novels so it wasn’t a reoccurring issue.

Series Rating: 4/5

Sweet Spot 3/5 | Bad Boss 4/5 | Dirty Deeds 5/5 | Hothead 5/5

overall

This was a series that only improved as we spent longer with this ensemble cast of characters. If you enjoy sexy romances with great pairings and drama, you’ll definitely enjoy this! Stella Rhys has made it onto my “authors to watch” list thanks to this fun series!

Read if You Like: contemporary romance, sexual tension
Avoid if You: dislike romances
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Series Review: Rixton Falls by Winter Renshaw

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

booksynopsis

Synopsis for Royal (from Goodreads):
His name is Royal, but he’s no prince charming. He’s not even a prince – though you could say I loved him once upon a time.

He was my older brother’s best friend.

Growing up, he sat at our dinner table every Sunday, teased me mercilessly, and pretended I annoyed him.

When I was old enough, he took me on my first date.

Royal taught me how to drive. Escorted me to my junior prom. Gave me my first kiss…amongst other things. He was my first taste of toe-curling, all-consuming, can’t-sleep love.

We had our whole lives ahead of us. There was never anyone else for me but him.

And then he disappeared. No letter. No explanation. Not even a goodbye.

My sisters and brother never forgave him, and my parents forbade me from speaking his name in our house ever again. For all intents and purposes, we were to pretend Royal Lockhart never existed.

I’ve spent the last seven years trying in vain to forget my first love, but just when I think I’ve finally moved on, guess who’s back in town?

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Series: Rixton Falls

This series crosses over with the Amato Brothers Series in Priceless.

Author: Winter Renshaw
# of Books: 3 (Royal, Bachelor, Filthy)
Book Order: Connected
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Drama
Heat Rating: really warm
Point of View: First Person, Alternating
Publication Dates: February – June 2016
Source & Format: Own & Kindle Unlimited–eBook

thoughts

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

I bought Royal after seeing it listed as an Amazon Bestseller one day when I was browsing the freebie section. Of course, the cover drew me in but the synopsis listed one of my favourite romantic tropes: in love with brother’s BFF. Forbidden love is my kryptonite! Especially when it is a second chance romance that promises a juicy secret for why these two have been separated for all these years!

The Plot:

My only peeve with the drama of this series was how quickly certain things are resolved. The drama isn’t overly complex but even then, I felt like things don’t get expanded upon enough and things are finished nearly as soon as they are introduced.

Especially in Royal where there has been 7 years of bad tension and feelings; certain plot points seemed to be brushed over and not expanded upon. I just expected these characters to have a bit more of a grudge or at the very least, some damaged feelings that need more than a handshake to fully resolve.

But on a positive note, it was nice to have straightforward–and understandable–drama. I didn’t feel like anything was added just for shock factor nor did things come out of left field. Everything follows a nice progression even if its resolution wasn’t for me.

The Characters:

I feel like Royal has the best characters in terms of uncovering their many layers. We actually get to learn more about these two because of their backstory together at the start of the book. I just felt like I knew these two better than the rest of the leads in the other novels.

For the most part, we just scratch the surface with the other leads. And you know what, it works for their stories for the most part. I would have liked a little more elaboration but I was satisfied with what we were given.

The Romance:

Royal I think had the best romance because they already had an established relationship. It was easy to see why these two liked each other. It was the same situation with Filthy as well.

The reason I downgraded Bachelor to a 3/5 was because the romance was almost insta-love. I just needed to a little more to convince me these two got each other on a deeper level because everything happens so fast.

Series Rating: 4/5

Royal 4/5 | Bachelor 3/5 | Filthy 4/5

overall

If you want a quick and romantic read with just the right amount of drama and likeable characters, this trilogy makes for the perfect weekend series read to binge on!

Read if You Like: forbidden romance, new adult romance, drama
Avoid if You: dislike drama
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Series Review: Broken by Kimberly Lauren

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

booksynopsis

Synopsis for Beautiful Broken Rules (from Goodreads):
The most valuable lesson Emerson Moore ever learned was from her parents: Never get too attached to someone else. That’s why this hard-partying college student plays by her own code of bedroom conduct, refusing to stay with the same guy for too long. She gets all the pleasure of having a good time without the messiness of a relationship.. So what if frat house–hopping has earned her a certain reputation around campus? At least no one gets hurt this way—especially her.

When ridiculously gorgeous Jaxon Riley moves in next door, Emerson’s not sure how long her vow against emotional intimacy can last. Jaxon’s tattoo, muscles, and sexy voice make him tempting, but he also seems to really understand her…until his jealous ex-girlfriend and Emerson’s life-changing discovery about her parents get thrown into the mix. After everything she’s been through, can Emerson handle a real relationship? Or will breaking her rules just lead to a broken heart?

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Series: Broken Trilogy
Author: Kimberly Lauren
# of Books: 3 (Beautiful Broken Rules, Beautiful Broken Mess, Beautiful Broken Promises)
Book Order: Connected
Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Drama, Contemporary, Romance
Heat Rating: really warm
Point of View: First Person, Alternating
Publication Dates: May 2013 – May 2014
Source & Format: Own–eBook

thoughts

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

I don’t recall how this one crossed my path but it was either through Kobo or Goodreads when I first started exploring the New Adult genre.

I was excited to read a story about a “female player” in Beautiful Broken Rules. While I enjoy bad guys becoming good, I really wanted to see what would happen when the roles were reversed.

The Plot:

Unfortunately, Beautiful Broken Rules (BBR) was a disappointment. I found the story to be needlessly overdramatic. I just didn’t enjoy the execution at all and the maturity of the characters was lacking as well. I didn’t appreciate how their matters were handled–I would have liked for these characters to get some professional therapy instead of how it resolves.

Because I didn’t enjoy BBR, I wasn’t going to pick up Beautiful Broken Mess (BBM). But when I read who the leads were going to be, I just had to pick it up. There was a deeper story here and I couldn’t wait to uncover it. The first half of BBM was great, I loved the character backgrounds and their story. The context it provides for BBR was fantastic. However, the last half seemed to run into the same problems as BBR and it lost its momentum for me.

I feel like things just resolve too easily in this series and I like a little more friction in my conflict. Surprising, because I found things to be overdramatic most of the time. I just didn’t want things to be resolved so easily when they were so over-emphasized throughout.

After I read BBM, I wasn’t going to pick up Beautiful Broken Promises (BBP). While intrigued about Lane’s story, I wasn’t sure if  wanted to read his story given my experience with the previous 2 novels. But when I had my Kindle Unlimited Trial, it was an available title and so I figured, why not? I’m really glad I did because I LOVED it! The story was unlike anything I had read and I thought it was by far the strongest novel of the trilogy.

The Characters:

All these characters lacked a maturity I feel (well, not so much in BBP). I can’t describe what it is exactly but their attitudes remind me of characters on a CW teen drama. They approach things in the most over dramatic way possible and just do stupid things with no real consequences. It just rubbed me the wrong way.

Though I have to give a shout out to Audrey–I thought she was the best composed when it came to her character story and she was by far the most consistent in her actions. And I never thought I would say that after she is introduced in BBR.

The Romance:

The romances were cute but lacked the substance I want in my romances. Things happen quickly and seemed to be superficial or via some insta/subconscious connection that I wanted elaborated on.

Series Rating: 3/5

Beautiful Broken Rules 2.5/5 | Beautiful Broken Mess 3/5 | Beautiful Broken Promises 5/5

overall

While cute and quick, there are much strong New Adult stories out their with similar elements. But maybe just pick up Beautiful Broken Promises if you are intrigued by this series.

Read if You Like: new adult, over-dramatic
Avoid if You: dislike immature characters

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Single Sundays: Play Me by Katie McCoy

Single Sundays: While this blog may be focused on reviewing book series as a whole, we can’t forget about the good ole’ standalone novel! On Sundays, I will review a novel that is considered to be a standalone novel. Here is this week’s offering:

Synopsis for Play Me (from Goodreads):

Recipe For:
A Roll In The Hay Hot Crossed Buns Love

Ingredients:

1 Chef (equal parts sexy and carefree)
1 Pianist (equal parts uptight and endearing)
1/8 inch of drywall between their apartments
2 opinions on everything

Combine all ingredients, mix vigorously, and be prepared for an explosion of heat.

Pianist Ella Thomas is training for the competition of her life. Finally in an apartment of her own, she can practice from dawn till dusk.
But she didn’t bet on the sexy and frustrating neighbor keeping her up all night – even if he does cook like a maestro and kiss like it’s his job.

Jake Matson is living his dream as Head Chef at one of the most popular restaurants in San Francisco. He’s easy going, flirtatious and not looking for love. He didn’t expect to be completely distracted by the girl next door, whose buttoned-up appearance hides the seductive firecracker underneath.

What happens when opposites attract? As their tension fires up, can they create a new kind of music together or will everything boil over?

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SERIESous’ Top Picks: Must Read Author
Author: Katie McCoy
Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Humour
Heat Rating: hot
Point of View: First Person, Alternating
Publication Date: January 27, 2016
Source & Format: Author–eARC | Thank you so much Katie McCoy!

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thoughts

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

When I was asked if I would be interesting in reading Katie McCoy’s latest novel, I literally jumped for the chance. I really enjoyed her debut novel Game On for its sexual tension and its plot development. I quickly put her on my radar for authors to watch once I finished. It was just so much fun to read and when I saw what the synopsis would be for this new novel, I figured this one would be even better than its predecessor!

The Plot:

What I liked about the plot for this novel was it was equal parts romance and character development. It really is about Jake and Ella falling in love but I liked how their romance didn’t take away from their individual character growth. Their relationship is a catalyst for their own personal story and that made it a lot of fun to read. If you want a book that will give you positive vibes, this is one for you!

The Characters:

Ella was a very interesting character and one I grew to truly like the more I read. I thought her growth was fantastic as a character. I liked that she didn’t loose herself in her relationship with Jake. Like I said before, their relationship is more of a catalyst to make positive changes in their lives without becoming solely dependent upon a consuming need to be with the other person.

Both Jake and Ella had great back stories and flaws so it made them relatable and made you want to root for them. Jake is also a super sweet guy who could honestly cook for me any time; especially if it’s brownies!

I loved the fact that Jake has a best friend who is a girl and that it is completely platonic! I wish more books had these platonic friendships. Not all best friends are in love with each other and I hate books that perpetuate that. So not the case here!

The Romance:

This one was brimming with sexual tension but also had a strong emotional development. These two just complimented each other so well and I liked how they brought out the best of each other and challenged each other to change their perceptions of things. As I said before, they didn’t have this consuming need to be with each other at all times or lose themselves to who they were as people. It was so much fun to watch them fall in love.

My Rating: 5/5

overall

Simple put: I loved this novel from start to finish. It was everything I thought it was going to be: a sweet romance, strong characters and lots of sexual tension. I also failed to mention that it had its funny moments too. Honestly, you can’t go wrong with this one if you enjoy fun adult contemporary romances.

Read if You Like: Adult contemporary romances, fun/quick reads
Avoid if You: want more drama, want a tragedy

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Series Review: 2B by Ann Aguirre

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

Series: 2B Trilogy
Author: Ann Aguirre
# of Books:3 (I Want it That Way, As Long as You Love Me, The Shape of My Heart)
Book Order: Connected
Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Heat Rating: warm
Point of View: First Person, Single

Thoughts:

I love the Backstreet Boys–so as soon as I saw the title “I Want it That Way”, I broke out into song and choreographed dance–just kidding! But I did start humming along to the song soon after…and do so every time I read the title…

Anyways, I decided to pick up the book because the plot synopsis was interesting enough and has a premise I don’t often read. But I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect given the reviews on Goodreads (FYI it has a rating of 3.67 from ~1500 readers which isn’t stellar) so I was a bit skeptical when I started it.

I Want it That Way was cute, but I also found it a little boring. There really wasn’t a plot other than Nadia pining away at a guy she falls in love with after sparsely talking to him for a week. And when she isn’t pining away for Daniel “Ty” Tyler, she is describing her work and school work which I don’t particularly want to read about when I pick up a romance novel. So while I appreciated that this book was more realistic than it was dramatic, I just needed something to add a little dash of excitement to it. It also didn’t help that I was expecting to get an alternate POV from Ty given the synopsis. I think it would have kept things interesting because by the midway point I was a little bored with the book and found myself skimming some sections to get to the end.

As for the characters, they were an interesting cast. Nadia was alright. I appreciated the fact that she wasn’t your typical innocent virgin heroine despite her younger age (same with the other heroines in the series). And I liked the relationship she develops with Ty despite the rushed “love at first sight” aspect to it.

So even though I didn’t love I Want it That Way, I decided to read the next two books in the series given that the characters they are about intrigued me in the inaugural book. Probably the most interesting thing to happen in I Want it That Way had to do with these secondary characters so I figured their books should be a tad more exciting.

But they really weren’t. Again, the rest of the series is one of those slow romance novels where we get to see every trivial moment of the heroine & hero’s day. I prefer a little more drama in my novels–especially when I am trying to plow through a long list of books from the library. Often times it felt like a bit of a chore to get through the slower parts of the book–which is a shame because it isn’t an awful book by any means. Shape of my Heart had a little more excitement to it because of some family drama but I still had to read parts at a time over the course of a few days (I average a book every two days but this one took me 5) to get through it all without falling asleep.

Conclusion:

I was going to try to come up with some pun about this series not being what I wanted and “I want it that way” but I couldn’t come up with anything creative. If you enjoy slower romance novels where love heals, this is a great series for you. I prefer a little more drama in my books which is why I didn’t rate it as high.

Rating: 3/5
Would I Recommend this Series to a Friend: No

Similar Reads: Keep Her by Faith Andrews (Grayson Siblings Series #1) and Foreplay by Sophie Jordan (Ivy Chronicles Trilogy #1)

Synopsis for I Want it That Way (from Goodreads):
Nadia Conrad has big dreams, and she’s determined to make them come true—for her parents’ sake as well as her own. But between maintaining her college scholarship and working at the local day care to support herself, she barely has time to think, let alone date. Then she moves into a new apartment and meets the taciturn yet irresistible guy in 1B….

Daniel Tyler has grown up too fast. Becoming a single dad at twenty turned his life upside down—and brought him heartache he can’t risk again. Now, as he raises his four-year-old son while balancing a full-time construction management job and night classes, a social life is out of the question. The last thing he wants is for four noisy students to move into the apartment upstairs. But one night, Nadia’s and Ty’s paths cross, and soon they can’t stay away from each other.

The timing is all wrong—but love happens when it happens. And you can’t know what you truly need until you stand to lose it.

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Series Review: Wait for You by J. Lynn

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

Wait for You by J. Lynn | Wait for You Series

book4 book5 book6

booksynopsis

Synopsis for Wait for You (from Goodreads):

Some things are worth waiting for…

Traveling thousands of miles from home to enter college is the only way nineteen-year-old Avery Morgansten can escape what happened at the Halloween party five years ago—an event that forever changed her life. All she needs to do is make it to her classes on time, make sure the bracelet on her left wrist stays in place, not draw any attention to herself, and maybe—please God—make a few friends, because surely that would be a nice change of pace. The one thing she didn’t need and never planned on was capturing the attention of the one guy who could shatter the precarious future she’s building for herself.

Some things are worth experiencing…

Cameron Hamilton is six feet and three inches of swoon-worthy hotness, complete with a pair of striking blue eyes and a remarkable ability to make her want things she believed were irrevocably stolen from her. She knows she needs to stay away from him, but Cam is freaking everywhere, with his charm, his witty banter, and that damn dimple that’s just so… so lickable. Getting involved with him is dangerous, but when ignoring the simmering tension that sparks whenever they are around each other becomes impossible, he brings out a side of her she never knew existed.

Some things should never be kept quiet…

But when Avery starts receiving threatening emails and phone calls forcing her to face a past she wants silenced, she’s has no other choice but to acknowledge that someone is refusing to allow her to let go of that night when everything changed. When the devastating truth comes out, will she resurface this time with one less scar? And can Cam be there to help her or will he be dragged down with her?

And some things are worth fighting for…

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SERIESous’ Top Book Series: Must Read Author
Series: Wait for You
Author: J. Lynn (aka Jennifer L. Armentrout)
# of Books: 6 (Full List Here)

There are also novellas. Find the full reading order here.

Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Mature Subject Matter
Heat Rating: hot
Point of View: First Person, Single
Publication Dates: Februrary 2013 – November 2016
Source & Format: Own–eBook

thoughts

**This post was originally posted as a Fresh Friday review of the first book of the series. It has now been updated to include the newest publications in the series.**

Why I Picked It Up / My Expectations:

Jennifer L. Armentrout is a must read author for me. I’ve loved her paranormal Young Adult reads so I was stoked when I learned she was writing a New Adult book.

My Thoughts on Wait for You:

I read Wait For You when I was in a New Adult genre obsession phase (ie, I was basically reading only New Adult books for a solid two weeks) and it came out as one of my favourite reads.

The relationship between Cameron and Avery was great. I really liked both of them as characters and I could see their connection. I liked that both had issues to work through but they did so in a healthy way. I can’t stress how important the “healthy” bit is to me because sometimes I feel like books give people the idea it is completely normal to have crazy-passion filled and often obsessive relationships–especially in a genre that is attempting to be “realistic”–I just think it is important to remember it is fiction and most relationships in real life are not like that. Luckily, that isn’t the case here so I digress 😉

But I do have to say this book does a great job handling the subject matter that it brings up. This part was handled in an extremely mature way and isn’t something that is discussed often in New Adult reads. I also felt like it was realistic in how the characters deal with it and feel so I really respect that about this book–so kudos!

My Expectations for the Rest of the Series:

I’m really excited to read the next book and even though it isn’t a direct sequel of Avery’s story, I have enough clues from this book to get me excited for the sequel!

updates

–July 15, 2018– Book #1.5: Trust In Me

Clearly it has been 5 years since I read the first book in the series and my thoughts on Armentrout’s work greatly differ now. I find her writing to be formulaic now but I did remember enjoying this book and how refreshing it was to her other works so I was optimistic going into this.

Considering this is an Alternate POV retelling of Wait for You, this was the perfect way to reorient myself with this series. Somewhere in my head I labelled this as a novella–it’s not, it’s a full blown novel. Which is fine, but it wasn’t the quicker read I was expecting.

Since it has been 5 years since I read the first book, I don’t know how much is repeat and rehashing vs how much is fresh material. But when I was halfway through, I found myself getting bored because I did know how it all ended. Perhaps, I would have gotten more out of this if I read it closer to Wait For You or even alternated chapters? Or maybe I just got bored of Cam? I think I liked him as a bit more of a mystery personally and spending that much time in his head didn’t do it for me.

–September 4, 2018– Book #2: Be With Me

**DNF’d at 30% (start of Chapter 10)**

This is just so boring! Nothing really new here. And I don’t feel the chemistry between these two at all–which is a shame because I felt it in the other book. Maybe if we had Jase’s POV I wouldn’t feel that way? Also, the lack of maturity (from both leads) is irking me. I do like the about violence against women aspect but I wish it was elaborated on more.

This is where I part ways with this series…

Series Rating: DNF

Wait for You 4/5 | [Trust in Me 3/5] | Be With Me DNF

overall

When I read the first novel 5 years ago, it was one of the first in the NA genre and I was a pretty loyal JLA fan. But I’ve grown tired of her formulaic writing over the years and I’ve frankly read a lot more impressive novels in this genre since so I’m not going out of my way to recommend this series to anyone except diehard JLA fans.

Read if You Like: mature subject matter, new adult romance
Avoid if You: a lighter read, dislike JLA’s writing style

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