Tag «one night encounters»

Fresh Fridays: Devious Minds by K F Germaine

Fresh Fridays: On Friday, I review a brand new series (ie. only has one book released so far) to see if the series is worth keeping up with. Here is this week’s offering:

Devious Minds Series

Other books in the series:

booksynopsis

Synopsis for Devious Minds (from Goodreads):
When Sydney Porter transfers to Northern University, she’s ready to put her past behind her. Landing a job on campus as an irreverent radio personality, she uses the anonymity to air all the campus dirty laundry—earning the infamous Sunday Lane more than a few enemies. But her true passion is spinning records, even if Drunk Earl is her biggest fan.

Sydney’s junior year kicks off with the promise to be amazing. Or at least it does until Gray Peters, hotshot quarterback, unexpectedly reenters the scene. His presence threatens to destroy everything she has going, as well as resurrecting a night Sydney never wants to remember or repeat. She’d run away like a coward, but this time she’s determined to stay and fight.

A twisted battle of wit and trickery ensues, with one common goal—vengeance. Sydney and Gray set out to make each other miserable. But misery loves company, and soon, walls are destroyed and truths are revealed that could change their future forever.

*** Contains mature situations and language ***

breakdown

Series: Devious Minds
Author: K F Germaine
# of Books: 1+ (Devious Minds, TBA)
Book Order: Connected
Complete?: No, a sequel book will be published in 2016
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Second Chance, Humour
Heat Rating: really warm
Point of View: First Person, Alternating
Publication Date: April 2015 – ongoing
Source & Format: Read2Review provided by author–eBook  |  Thank you K F Germaine!

disclaimer

thoughts

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

I first saw this book on NetGalley and was about to request it but when I went back it was gone 🙁 Lucky for me, the New Adult reading group on Goodreads that I am a part of had made arrangements with K F Germaine to offer this book for anyone who wanted to review it. I pounced on the chance!

The key word for me in the synopsis was “vengeance”. I’m a sucker for books where people fall in love with their “mortal enemy” and the use of that word “vengeance” filled me with promise. Promise of lots of sexual tension, a mysterious past encounter and lots of drama.

Needless to say, I was stoked to read this one!

What I Liked:

–the Drama–

This book had more going on than just a romance.

All the back and forth hi-jinks kept me entertained even if I didn’t totally like what was done (which I will comment on later). And even moving away from the conflict between the two leads, the subplots were also really interesting! They linked up perfectly with the main story and never took away from the real focus of the book which is essentially the romance and the subsequent character growth. I felt like everything was really balanced when it came to the delivery which made it really easy–and addicting to read.

–Their Past–

Normally, second chance romances aren’t really my thing but this really isn’t your typical second chance romance. I don’t want to give away spoilers, but I loved learning bits and pieces about their previous encounters and seeing how those interactions shaped them into the people we get today. Which leads me to:

–The Character Development–

I will admit, I didn’t like Gray or Sydney when I first met them. They were mean, mean people and they weren’t afraid to show it. But all of that changed the more I read about them.

As you learn more about their individual pasts, their characters start to make more sense to you. You see why Sydney has the attitude she does and why she acts a certain way when it comes to her brother. With Gray, it wasn’t until I learned about their past together that made me understand his character. And once that got revealed, I easily found myself rooting for these characters.

I love a book that can make me change my impression of a character (or two) simply by reading more. I think it shows the strength of the character development in this book.

What I Didn’t Like:

–Some of the Antics–

I thought a lot of the things these two do to each other–in terms of vengeance–were a little extreme. It made them seem cruel, thus enticing my dislike of them. It took me a while to get past that but as I said before, that changed the more I read.

Some were just over the top dramatic which made things very entertaining to read. They were exactly the type of things I expected, it’s just that these crueller ones did some minor damage to my reading entertainment.

–the quickness of the romance–

This is definitely more of a personal quip than anything because I truly did enjoy the romance! It wasn’t apparent to me at the start why these two would like each other because they seemed like polar opposites. However, once again, the more I read the more I saw why these two would work together.

I just thought things escalated rather quickly in terms of their feelings. There was a lot of sexual tension there so I understood why things happened the way that they did, I just personally wanted more. (ie I really enjoyed watching these two and wanted more…so I guess that really isn’t something to complain about)

My Expectations for the Rest of the Series:

I thought this was going to be a standalone but I read on Germaine’s blog that there will be a sequel with a different set of leads. I am super excited to see who these new leads will be and can’t wait to read the next one!

My Rating: 4/5

overall

I really, really enjoyed this one! Devious Minds was a great New Adult book that had me chuckling and swooning as I read. It started a little rocky with this characters but I quickly got absorbed into their world. Very, very entertaining and I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen next!

Read if You Like: New Adult romance, character development, second chances
Avoid if You: don’t like revenge game premises

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Series Review: Crush by Renita Pizzitola

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

Just a Little Crush by Renita Pizzitola | Crush Series

Other books in the series:

Series: Crush
Author: Renita Pizzitola
# of Books: 3 (Just a Little Crush, Just a Little Flirt, Just a Little Kiss)
Book Order: Connected
Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Drama, Contemporary, College
Heat Rating: really warm
Point of View: First Person, Single; Alternating (Just a Little Kiss)

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.**

Yet again, I picked up Just a Little Crush after randomly browsing the new additions on my library’s website. But the synopsis really drew me in: it sounded like a great combo of all my favourite New Adult plot devices and I couldn’t wait to get started.

The synopsis though is a little misleading: I was expecting alternating POV between both characters but instead we just get Brinley’s POV. In the end I think it was a good call just to have the one POV to give the book some mystery regarding Ryder and his actions/past.

Perhaps it is just a byproduct of reading so many New Adult books, but I did find certain plot aspects to be overly predictable and frankly I’m quite embarrassed for Brinley that she didn’t figure it out on her own.  However, even knowing what was going to happen I really enjoyed reading the journey it took to get there. It has quite a few plot elements that layer each other so I found that there was always something happening that captured my attention. Add to that that Ryder and Brinley were great characters and despite their almost insta-connection love, I really liked the relationship they had with each other. I also really liked the other characters we meet and I hope that there will be a few more books in the series because I would definitely read them!

I’m super excited for Just a Little Flirt. It sounds like it will be really interesting based on the character we have already been introduced to plus the synopsis doesn’t seem like anything I have read before which is an added bonus!

updates

–April 16, 2015– Book 2: Just a Little Flirt

Just a Little Flirt was a super sweet read and I totally found a new book boyfriend 😉 It was light-hearted, had great sexual tension and chemistry but also had great character development. I never felt like it dwelled on one thing too long so the plot moved at just the right pace. Some of the drama aspects were a little over the top (mild soap opera antics).  Despite the fact that the romance essentially takes place within 6 weeks, it didn’t really feel like a love-at-first sight situation which I appreciated. I don’t mind quick romances (they just aren’t my favourite thing to read) so long as there is an adequate emotional connection between the characters and in this case there definitely was! I loved watching this couple fall in love and do it sensibly–i.e. they actually communicated and talked about their feelings! *gasp*

I’m looking forward to reading Just a Little Kiss. I completely forgot about this character but I’m excited to read his story 🙂

–October 1, 2015– BOOK 3: JUST A LITTLE Kiss

Because I really enjoyed Just a Little Flirt, I was a little worried about reading Just a Little Kiss. I wasn’t a huge Mason fan in the first book and Cade (Just a Little Flirt) is a hard act to follow.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. While it suffers from some of the same over the top drama (I call it “communication assumption” drama) that is almost soap-opera-y, it still has a great coming of age aspect.

I really feel like this is Felicity’s story more so than Mason’s. I found a lot of the focus was on Felicity learning to become confident in herself more so than Mason coming to grips with his past. Which was fine, but it took me a long time to connect with Felicity since I didn’t particularly like her attitude towards dating and the like. I definitely grew to like her though as her character developed.

The romance is a little fast but I think it is also realistic in how they deal with it. I thought they had a great connection and chemistry so it was fun to watch them fall in love.

Series Rating: 4/5

Just a Little Crush 3.5/5 | Just a Little Flirt 4/5 | Just a Little Kiss 3.5/5

overall

If you enjoy New Adult romances about reunited High School Crushes or layered New Adult romances, this is a great choice. Just a Little Crush and it’s sequels are cute, often swoon-worthy and super quick to read! They aren’t heavy on the sex but have enough sexual tension to keep the sizzle alive! They are perfect for fans of New Adult romance, but don’t want a particularly dark or tragedy filled NA novel.

Read if You Like: coming of age new adult stories, sweet romances
Avoid if You: don’t like unnecessary drama

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Synopsis for Just a Little Crush (from Goodreads):
Good girls stay away from Ryder Briggs . . . or, at least, they try to. In Renita Pizzitola’s emotional novel of heartache and seduction, one college freshman just can’t get enough.

Brinley Dawson doesn’t drink, she studies—and despite the accusations of her alcoholic mother, she’s still a virgin. But if Brinley’s life is so put together, why is she freaking out to be going to college with the gorgeous, green-eyed jerk she kissed on a stupid dare in high school? Ryder Briggs can have any girl he wants . . . and the rumors say that he does. So why, after publicly embarrassing Brinley four years ago, is he suddenly acting like he’s interested?

Ryder never forgot Brinley. In fact, those perfect seven minutes permanently raised the bar for what a kiss could be. The truth is, Ryder doesn’t dare get too close to anyone. He knows how that worked out for his parents. But when his roommate takes a shot at Brinley, Ryder can’t contain his jealousy. Now he must do the hardest thing he’s ever done: forget about sex and convince Brinley his feelings are real.

Brinley isn’t sure whether she believes Ryder, but for the first time, her body isn’t playing by the rules. Then she discovers that she’s an unwilling part of a cruel game, humiliating her all over again—and Ryder might be to blame. Has Brinley’s little crush turned into a huge mistake . . . or has she found the one guy worth trusting with her heart?

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Series Review: On Dublin Street by Samantha Young

book book book6

Series: On Dublin Street
Author: Samantha Young
# of Books: 6 (On Dublin Street, Down London Road, Before Jamaica Lane, Fall From India Place, Echoes of Scotland Street, TBA)

There are novellas: #1.5 Until Fountain Bridge and #2.5 Castle Hill

Book Order: Connected
Complete?: No, book 6 will be published Summer 2015
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Drama, Family, Tragedy, Abuse
Heat Rating: getting hot
Point of View: First Person, Single

Thoughts:

This series has been on my to-read list for a really long time so I pounced when they were available at my library. After a blah start with Samantha Young’s Into the Deep series, I was really excited to see where these books would go because I have heard very good things.

First up is On Dublin Street. I didn’t know what to expect with this book but I was hoping for a cute read with a dash of excitement and sexual tension. Unfortunately I feel like this book didn’t live up to my expectations. I enjoyed reading it but I just didn’t LOVE it.

I’m not sure where things went wrong because I did enjoy the first few chapters. The initial chemistry between Braden and Jocelyn was great but I found it wasn’t enough to carry the book for me. Part of the reason is their character personalities. I had a hard time liking Jocelyn despite her having characteristics I usually love in a heroine like wit and independence. I think she was just too extreme in her independence and that drove me a little nuts. Also, given her past her outlook on life is a little bleak and seeing as that the POV given is only hers, it makes it a sad place to be. As for Braden, I did like him but he was just on that cusp of being too alpha male for my personal tastes. (Read my full review of the novel here)

The plot was also a little lackluster in my opinion. It didn’t really get exciting until the last 50 or so pages. It just seemed to go through the motions and even the little petty drama things weren’t that exciting. It also didn’t help that I liked the relationship between Ellie and Adam a lot more than these two (which is thankfully the focus of the novella Until Fountain Bridge). (Bit of a side note: I have to hand it to Samantha Young for leaving the little tidbits about the next couple in each of the books. It always makes me super eager to get my hands on the next book.)

But I decided not to give up on the series because I really wanted to read Until Fountain Bridge and Down London Road because I liked those characters from On Dublin Street a lot more than I liked Jocelyn. And in the end I’m really glad I stuck with the series.

Until Fountain Bridge is listed as a novella and it’s about half the page length as On Dublin Street. Before reading it I was upset that Ellie and Adam’s story wasn’t going to be longer but once I read it, I realized it was the perfect length. I really liked its delivery which is a series of flashbacks as Ellie reads her diary–you basically get all the great romantic highlights but without all the angsty whining about the partner. It was super cute and super quick so I really liked that.

Down London Road started slow like On Dublin Street. But unlike its predecessor, I felt like the plot got a lot more exciting a lot quicker and didn’t really stop. It was a good blend of romance, drama and we get just enough of a taste of the next two leads that I was really excited to read the next two books. I also liked the tension between the two leads a lot more as well and loved their interaction and connection to each other. Overall, I enjoyed it a lot more though I wish the first 100 pages or so were cut down to make things move a little faster.

Before Jamaica Lane was the perfect length and had a great execution. It wasn’t as “dark” (and by dark I mean depressing) as the previous two novels. It definitely had a serious side to it but I found it a lot more fun to read. I LOVED the male lead in this one and it was everything I expected it to be and a little bit more. I devoured it and it only made me more excited to read Fall from India Place and Echoes of Scotland Street.

In fact, I was so excited to read Fall from India Place that I immediately read it after Before Jamaica Lane despite having other books to read. It was sweet and not what I was totally expecting but I enjoyed reading it. I didn’t love it as much as I wanted or hoped but, I would take it over On Dublin Street any day.

I’m super excited for what I think is the last book the series. This one has been building since Down London Road and I can’t wait to see what is in store!

UPDATED (Nov 9/14): I was super excited to read Echoes of Scotland Street. I think I’ve been anticipating this book since On Dublin Street, even more so since Before Jamaica Lane since we first met Cole. It was great! The story was interesting, the leads were great and it was the perfect length. Those who have been waiting for this book won’t be disappointed. 

Turns out, it isn’t the last in the series! I’m actually really excited that we will be getting at least one more book in this series. Although the next lead is someone we were just introduced to in Echoes of Scotland, I’m intrigued to read about his story and will be looking forward to its release this coming summer.

Conclusion:

These books definitely got better as the series progressed. It feels more like an older New Adult series that borders the line to Adult Contemporary. If you don’t like On Dublin Street, I encourage you not to give up on the series until you read another novel in the series. They get shorter but also better because you get more involved in all the characters lives. Each character is different and I find all their respective stories are different as well. A great contemporary romance series that I finally understand what all the fuss is about.

Rating: 4/5
Would I Recommend this Series to a Friend: Yes, though I would give a warning about On Dublin Street being a bit dry.

Similar Reads: Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren (Beautiful Bastard Series #1); Choosing You by Allie Everhart (Jade Series #1) and Someone to Love by Addison Moore (Someone to Love Series #1)

Synopsis for On Dublin Stree (from Goodreads):
Jocelyn Butler has been hiding from her past for years. But all her secrets are about to be laid bare…

Four years ago, Jocelyn left her tragic past behind in the States and started over in Scotland, burying her grief, ignoring her demons, and forging ahead without attachments. Her solitary life is working well—until she moves into a new apartment on Dublin Street where she meets a man who shakes her carefully guarded world to its core.

Braden Carmichael is used to getting what he wants, and he’s determined to get Jocelyn into his bed. Knowing how skittish she is about entering a relationship, Braden proposes an arrangement that will satisfy their intense attraction without any strings attached.

But after an intrigued Jocelyn accepts, she realizes that Braden won’t be satisfied with just mind-blowing passion. The stubborn Scotsman is intent on truly knowing her… down to the very soul.

Series Review: Misjudged by Sarah Elizabeth

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

Misjudged Series

book2 book3

booksynopsis

Synopsis for Misjudged (from Goodreads):
It was one night.

One night of pure intimacy, with a guy she knew nothing about, that couldn’t have prepared her for the next chapter in her life.

But will it be for better, or for worse?

Eighteen year old Alexis Harper is a smart, attractive and ambitious young woman with great friends, a doting father and a scholarship at one of Washington State’s most prestigious Performing Arts Colleges.

When the mysterious stranger makes his arrival in her life, she’s captivated by him. She’s intrigued by his past and more so by what the future could possibly hold for them.

Meet Brandon Taylor.

A damaged and confused twenty year old who is grieving for the life he once had.

He didn’t think for one moment that he could ever find happiness, and he didn’t want to. He was happy living within the high walls he’d barricaded around himself. It felt safe.

When Alexis and Brandon’s worlds collide, nobody could have prepared them for the emotional rollercoaster they were about to board together.

With love, loss, deceit and betrayal abound, it’s pretty hard to trust even those closest to you, as both Brandon and Alexis are soon to find out.

breakdown

Series: Misjudged
Author: Sarah Elizabeth
# of Books: 3 (Misjudged, Misplaced Trust, Misguided Truths (Pt 1 & 2), Mistaken Hope)
Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Drama, Suspense
Heat Rating: really warm
Point of View: First Person, Single
Publication Dates: July 2013 – October 2014
Source & Format: Own–eBook

thoughts

**This post was originally posted as a Toonie Tuesday review of the first book of the series. It has now been updated to reflect my conclusion to DNF this series. It will not be further updated.**

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

I grabbed this book for free on Amazon one day and I’m glad that I got it for free–not that $1 is a lot to spend on a book though (and I wouldn’t have been super upset if I had paid the $1)–I’m just glad I didn’t pay a lot of money for this book.

My Review:

This book had all the right makings to be an awesome book. A crazy one night stand, a mysterious bad boy and some danger thrown in for the fun of it: lots of potential that is just thrown away on an annoying heroine.

Boy, was Alexis whinny. I really couldn’t stand her and that just taints my impression of the book overall. I just didn’t connect with her and found her to be very immature. Frankly, Brandon deserves better.

I also didn’t know that this book had a sequel so I was completely thrown for a loop when it ended on a cliff-hanger. I will read the sequel because I really want to know what the hell is going on; I just don’t plan on reading it right away. And depending on how Misplaced Trust ends, I will probably grab Misguided Truths since I do like Brandon’s character and want to get his POV on things.

Update (February 13, 2017):

I honestly just don’t care to see what happens next. I’ve totally forgotten about this series!

Series Rating: DNF

Misguided 3/5

overall

If you can get past annoying heroines, then this book is worth a read if you grab it for free. It has a lot of potential, but fails to deliver. Hopefully Misplaced Trust takes the series in the direct it needs to go.

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Series Review: Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Love by Anna Antonia

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 Mad for You (from Goodreads):
I had gone to high school with Gabriel Gordon. Despite his heavenly name and matching beauty, Gabriel was anything but angelic. Rich, spoiled, and far too cynical for his age, he could easily charm the skirt off a prim beauty or a young teacher or two. Gabriel Gordon was mad, bad, and …well, you probably know the rest.

The years hadn’t changed him, despite taking over his father’s company and expanding it into a multinational corporation. Unfortunately, it was just my luck that I found myself working in Gabriel’s building. Although I had managed to avoid him for the better part of a month, a chance encounter in the elevator proved he was still an arrogant man who showed far too much interest in the shape of my mouth and nape of my neck.

From then on, Gabriel bedeviled me, teased me, and more often than not, made me want to throw things at his head. Still, just as in high school, I couldn’t help but see the pain behind his lazy grin and the shadows in his crystalline gaze. When Gabriel confessed his love for me, I should have been the happiest woman in the world. Too bad I couldn’t believe him…

Emma Adams had always considered herself level-headed, even-tempered, and most of all, sane. So how did she become someone who couldn’t seem to push Gabriel Gordon away? No matter how sweet his words could be or how easily passion exploded between them, getting involved with the outrageously wealthy playboy had to be the height of insanity. Given their tumultuous natures and personal demons, there was only way a relationship between them could survive: in madness.

breakdown

Series: Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Love
Author: Anna Antonia
# of Books: 4 (Mad for You, Bad for You, Dangerous for You, All to Love You)
Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Heat Rating: hot (BDSM: light in Bad for You onwards)
Point of View: First Person, Single
Publication Dates: June 2013 – September 2014
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 reflect my conclusion to DNF this series. It will not be further updated.**

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

I picked up this book for super cheap after reading the synopsis. I love stories about reuniting with a high school love who didn’t seem to know you existed–I mean it’s fiction for a reason 🙂 But it promised to be a quick read with a swoon-worthy hero so I quickly moved it up my to-read list.

This book was enjoyable and it did have it’s cute and swoon-worthy moments that I was hoping for. BUT, I did have a few issues with the execution and writing style.

As much as I liked Gab, he didn’t sound like a 25 year old male to me. He talked very old fashioned which threw me considering it is a contemporary, modern read. I guess that is supposed to be part of his appeal but I just felt like it was off for his modern businessman bad boy persona. Maybe he has matured based on what we learn about him in the story but it just didn’t fit or work overly well for me.

My other peeve was the writing flow. One minute we would be in the past and then without an ellipse or noticeable break in the paragraphs we would find ourselves in the present. This confused me and I often had to reread sections to figure out what had happened.

My Expectations for the Rest of the Series:

What happens at the end is something I didn’t see coming and I’m not sure how I feel about it because it ended so abruptly. It definitely left me curious to read the next book but not enough that I would drop everything to read it. I don’t want to give it away but I know I wasn’t expecting that turn and it makes for an interesting twist in a New Adult novel.

updates

–January 8, 2017– Book #2: Bad for You

I was curious to see how they would handle the plot given the ending of the previous book but I ended up torn.
Torn, because I appreciated the honesty of the characters and how they were going to move forward with their relationship (so win); but in the same breath, I easily got tired of the love-dovey, mushy romance (so loss).
I just wanted a little more substance to this story. It really only focused on one aspect and it just seemed to rehash that point over and over…I just found myself so bored and simply not connecting with these characters.

Series Rating: DNF

Mad for You 3/5 | Bad for You 2/5 | Dangerous to You N/A | All to Love You N/A

overall

If you want a quick and simple romance series, this is for you. If you like an alpha male who will do anything for his heroine, this is the book for you. But if you want a little more to your romances, look elsewhere.

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Similar Reads: Fifty Shades of Gray by E.L James (Fifty Shades Trilogy #1)

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