Tag «Rating: 3/5»

Series Review: Fall Away Penelope Douglas

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

 book2 book2 book3 book3

booksynopsis

Synopsis for Bully (from Goodreads):
My name is Tate. He doesn’t call me that, though. He would never refer to me so informally, if he referred to me at all.

We’re neighbors, and once, we were best friends. But then, one summer, he turned on me and has made it his mission to screw up my life at every opportunity. I’ve been humiliated, shut out, and gossiped about all through high school. His pranks and rumors got more sadistic as time wore on, and I made myself sick trying to hide from him. I worried about what was around every corner and behind every door.

So I left.

I spent a year studying abroad and bathed in the freedom of life without Jared. Now I’m back to finish up high school and get the hell out of here forever. I’m hoping that after a year of breathing room, he’s moved on and forgotten all about me.

But even if he hasn’t changed, I have. I’m not interested in avoiding him or turning the other cheek anymore. We’re going to go head to head, because neither of us wants to back down

breakdown

Series: Fall Away Trilogy
Author: Penelope Douglas
# of Books: 5 (Bully, Until You, Rival, Falling Away, Aflame)

Until You is Jared’s POV companion to Bully.

There are some novellas in between the novels. Full list here

Book Order: Connected but Chronological

Bully, Until You and Aflame follow Jared and Tate’s story; Rival and Falling Away focus on different characters. However, they all follow a chronological order of events.

Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Drama, Contemporary, Dark
Heat Rating: getting Hot
Point of View: First Person (Single POV for Bully & Until You; but Alternate for RivalFalling Away & Aflame)
Publication Dates: February 2014 – April 2015
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:

When I read the synopsis for Bully, I flashed back to my memories of elementary school. The whole idea that boys show that they like you by teasing you. Casual “teasing” is one thing but bullying is another–so while I had a pretty good idea of what was going to happen in this book, I was curious to see what else was at play.

The Plot:

While I found the romance of the book to be predictable, I did enjoy the ride we take getting there. I didn’t find it boring to read because there are some interesting events that happen and make the book more entertaining. I also found it to be pretty mature considering I went into the book thinking about elementary school romances. There isn’t really anything “elementary” about Tate and Jared’s relationship.

The Characters:

Tate is a strong female character and I’m glad that she develops some backbone as the story progresses. However, I often found that she was trying a little too hard to be tough, so it came across as a little over the top. I also didn’t like how easily she was falling in love with Jared. Given their past, I understood where the feelings were coming from but if I was in her shoes, let me tell you that he would have had to work a lot harder to get back into my good graces.

I think what would have helped me get a better grasp on their relationship is getting Jared’s POV as the events unfold. I’m so used to New Adult readings alternating POV between characters that I almost get disappointed when I don’t get both. Fortunately, Until You is Jared’s POV. I haven’t read it yet, but I am really excited to because I’m hoping to get some more insight into this mysterious character.

My Expectations for the Rest of the Series:

I’m really excited to read Rival. It seems like it is going to be really refreshing and Madoc seems like a really interesting character to me. Falling Away also seems really interesting so I will definitely be keeping my eye out for the rest of the series.

updates

–October 25, 2014– Book #1.5: Until You

I finally managed to read Until You and it was everything I wanted to know about Jared. It was the perfect companion novel for Bully. I loved that it wasn’t just a retelling of Bully. It started a little before and ended a little after Bully but the events weren’t just regurgitated for the sake of creating another novel. It was extremely well done and fans of Bully will love reading Until You. I highly recommend that you read it after Bully but before Rival in order to get a fuller reading experience with all the characters.

–October 25, 2014– Book #2: Rival

Rival though, is my favourite of the series! I read it in one sitting and got so sucked into the story. It was packed full of drama and I loved Madoc and Fallon as characters. I enjoyed their relationship a lot more than Jared and Tate’s in Bully (but reading Until You warmed me up to them more). However, I was a little worried at the start of Rival given their past relationship. But as the book progressed, I was rooting for them all the way. I think it helped that we got both characters POV throughout the novel so you got a better grasp on each of them.

I am super excited for Falling Away and have been since I read Until You and figured out which characters were next.

–February 21, 2015– Book #3: Falling Away

Have you ever finished a book where you can’t determine how you actually feel about it? I’m not talking about indifference or the “meh” factor (as I like to call it) where it was just so-so and nothing all that exciting. I’m talking about a book that had its great moments but had not-so-great moments in between–leaving you happy but disappointed all at once? I give those books the “mixed feelings” tag on Goodreads and I create that tag for this book specifically.

I went into this book with high anticipation because I’ve been waiting for this couple since the first book. So I was a little disappointed that this book takes place a few years later but I let it slide because it probably was for the best.

But when I actually saw them together I had to double check I wasn’t rereading Bully because parts felt like a regurgitation of the first book. The heroine seemed super immature despite being 20 and the hero gave me the creeps a bit because he was a little too alpha. Which often made me feel like the relationship bordered on the unhealthy side of things. It was just that the intensity of their relationship, especially when they really had limited interaction before this book, was a little too extreme for me and it made me uncomfortable to read about. Which is why I had mixed feelings: sometimes I loved the couple together (they did have great chemistry) but other times the angst was just too much for me to take.

I also felt like there were too many things going on with these characters lives. Now, I like a lot of things happening in books and I understand that people lead complicated lives but this just seemed a little excessive to me. It kinda felt like the author decided to pile as much tragedy/drama into these character’s lives as possible and it was overwhelming. I really felt like this book was 50 (ebook) pages too long and I would have enjoyed it more without the super packed character pasts.

I’m not sure how I feel about Aflame. I really don’t think it is necessary but I will read it just to finish off the series.

–June 14, 2015– Book #4: Aflame

I was adequately warned about Aflame going into it thanks to the comments below. not that I had high expectations for it before I was told, but I think it helped me be prepared for what I was going to read.

I have mixed feelings about Aflame because I can appreciate what the author was trying to convey (young people make rash decisions). But I felt like Tate and Jared were thrown into a situations that would cause the most drama even if it wasn’t the most logical; and I found that to be frustrating because there really was no reason for the plotline we get. It also made me realize how immature and reckless these two are and how unhealthy their relationship is. I really hope young people reading this series realize this isn’t what a healthy relationship looks like.

Series Rating: 3/5

Bully 4/5 | [Until You] 4/5 | Rival 5/5 | Falling Away 3/5 | Aflame 3/5

overall

This series takes your classic romance story and puts a darker spin on it. I’ve read a lot of New Adult novels but this series standouts because of the relationship between the characters. The classic “dark secret past” isn’t some random event that happened before the characters met their partner–it happened with their partner so the relationship dynamic is completely different. So if you enjoy darker high school/new adult romances, this is a great read to pick up! But it does lose its lustre as the series progresses and the relationships border on the unhealthy.

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Series Review: Revenants by Amy Plum

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 Die for Me (from Goodreads):

In the City of Lights, two star-crossed lovers battle a fate that is destined to tear them apart again and again for eternity.

When Kate Mercier’s parents die in a tragic car accident, she leaves her life–and memories–behind to live with her grandparents in Paris. For Kate, the only way to survive her pain is escaping into the world of books and Parisian art. Until she meets Vincent.

Mysterious, charming, and devastatingly handsome, Vincent threatens to melt the ice around Kate’s guarded heart with just his smile. As she begins to fall in love with Vincent, Kate discovers that he’s a revenant–an undead being whose fate forces him to sacrifice himself over and over again to save the lives of others. Vincent and those like him are bound in a centuries-old war against a group of evil revenants who exist only to murder and betray. Kate soon realizes that if she follows her heart, she may never be safe again.

breakdown

Series: Revenants Trilogy
Author: Amy Plum
# of Books: 3 (Die for Me, Until I Die, If I Should Die)

There is a novella, #2.5 Die For Her

Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Supernatural
Heat Rating: cool
Point of View: First Person, Single
Source & Format: Public Library–eBook & Hardcover

thoughts

I first read Die for Me in the autumn of 2011. It was one of the first eBooks I read and I decided to read it because I thought the cover was really pretty (props to the cover designer on all the books!). While the cover did draw me to the book, I decided to read it because the concept sounded very interesting–quite the spin on an immortal lover I thought.

Die for Me overall didn’t really impress me all that much. Kate irritated me to pieces–while I can understand why she is depressed and a little down about life, I really didn’t see the draw Vincent had to her at all. Actually, Die to Me was so unmemorable to me that I decided to reread it before I started Until I Die. The only thing rereading it did was reaffirm my annoyance with Kate and give me a refresher of what happened–which isn’t a whole lot. These books do get more intricate plots as you continue in the series but overall, Die for Me was the dullest of them all. Not a great start to a series.

I’m a sucker for punishment and it takes a lot for me to stop reading a book. Most of the time I stop a book because of bad grammar, offensive content or just plain stupidity–and because I didn’t run into any of these issues, I picked up Until I Die.

Until I Die was a much better read than Die for Me. The plot begins to pick up, Kate becomes a little less annoying and there’s some more action. There were quite a few twists along the away and I did enjoy learning more about the Revenant world Ms. Plum creates. Easily my favourite book of the series.

I read the novella, Die For Her, before I read If I Should Die. I thought it was a great review of the events that had happened in the books and I enjoyed getting Jule’s perspective. Overall, it helped me understand a bit more about the events in the first book but not enough to make me appreciate or like Die for Me any more than I already did. It also helps explain an event that happens in the last book, but reading it isn’t complete necessary as anyone reading the books can easily put two and two together to understand what happened and why.

Despite the ending of Until I Die, it took me three times to get into this book. If someone from the library looked at my loan history, they would probably think that this was my favourite book of all time based on the amount of times I took it out and extended my loan. And that thought couldn’t be farther from the truth. I think my biggest problem starting this book was my busy schedule and higher interest in other series. It is a long novel (~300 kobo pages which takes me 6 or so hours to read) as well so that doesn’t help its case either. Regardless, this book was a bit of a disappointment. I found it predictable and cliché and I quickly began to dislike Vincent and Kate. I can forgive Vincent for his old fashioned dialect–though no boy in his teens, regardless of how many years he has been “alive,” should call a girl “my love” at the end of every sentence–but Kate talks like she is 10 years older than she actually is and that irritated me. I also thought the ending was a little lackluster–I was falling asleep reading it and then before I knew it I was reading the Acknowledgement page–and truthfully I was expecting more at the end. Also an epilogue would have been awesome.

Series Rating: 4/5

Die For Me 3/5 | Until I Die 4/5 | If I Should Die 3/5

overall

Overall, it was an OK series. If you like books set in Paris, feature “immortal loves” and move at a slower pace, you would probably enjoy this book. But if you are like me and enjoy books with lots of twists, action and swoon-worthy romance, skip this series!

similarreads

  • Hereafter by Tara Hudson (Hereafter Trilogy #1)
  • The Hollow by Jessica Verday (The Hollow Trilogy #1)
  • A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford (A Touch Trilogy #1)

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Series Review: Pretty by M. Leighton

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

Pretty Series

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booksynopsis

Synopsis for All the Pretty Lies (from Goodreads):
“Live, no regrets”

Her…
Sloane Locke has led a sheltered life. However, with a history like hers, she can understand why her brothers and her father want so much to protect her. She has gone along with it for twenty long years, but those days are over. For the girl who never makes promises, Sloane has made a pact with herself that things will change on her twenty-first birthday. So when the clock strikes midnight, Sloane strikes out to spread her wings and break a few rules.

Him…
In addition to inking skin, Hemi Spencer possesses many talents. Controlling himself has never been one of them. It’s never had to be. He’s lived a life of indulgence for as long as he can remember. Right up until tragedy struck. Now, he’s nothing but controlled. He’s a man on a mission, one who will let nothing and no one stand in his way.

Them…
Nothing in their lives could’ve prepared Sloane and Hemi for what they’d find in each other—distraction and obsession, love and possession. But the one thing they can’t find is a future. Neither one has been totally honest. And they’ll soon learn that the devil is in the details. In the details and in the lies.
How far will two people go to live in the now when the now is all they’ve got?

breakdown

Series: Pretty Trilogy
Author: M. Leighton
# of Books: 3 (All the Pretty Lies, All the Pretty Poses, All Things Pretty)

All Things Pretty was published in two parts but can be found as a full novel.

Book Order: Connected
Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Drama, Contemporary, Second Chances (book 2), Suspense (book 3)
Heat Rating: really warm
Point of View: First Person, Alternating
Publication Dates: November 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 include the newest publications in the series.**

My Expectations/Why I Picked it Up:

I’ve read M. Leighton’s Bad Boy Series and while I found that series to be a disappointment overall, I really liked the first book in the series. I felt that it had a lot of potential and I truly did enjoy reading it–I just felt like the series fell apart. So I decided to give this new series a try as it promised to be enjoyable and seemed right up my alley.

The Plot:

Even though I’ve only read one series by Ms. Leighton, I can definitely see that she has a formula when it comes to her New Adult reads. Cue a bad-boy with a heart of gold, an innocent heroine and the heroine’s BFF who is more “experienced” than her in every way. As I read All the Pretty Lies, I definitely saw the parallels to Down to You (Bad Boys #1) but overall, the plots are very different so I didn’t feel like I was reading a complete regurgitation of another book.

When it comes to the plot, I thought it was very predictable. I was hoping for some great twists but I found the book was pretty linear in its progression (no pun intended). Which was fine because I did find it enjoyable despite knowing what would happen next.

The Characters:

Unlike the Bad Boy Series, I liked Sloane as a character (unlike Olivia who would irritate me with her need to rebel for really no reason). It was easy to get a handle on Sloane’s character so I understood why she did what she did throughout the book. Hemi is sweet but he’s nothing new to write home about. I found them to be super cute together and that they had a connection emotionally–which I think is sometimes lacking in this genre–as well as physically.

My Expectations for the Rest of the Series:

I find it interesting that the next book is about Reese and not one of Sloane’s brothers. I think I would have preferred that path instead but I’m interested to see what is going to happen next. What I am happy about it is the conclusion of Hemi and Sloane’s story within this novel and not seeing it dragged out in another book.

updates

–June 22/15– Book 2: All the Pretty Poses

It’s been a year since I read the first book so I didn’t remember much about Reese’s character when I picked this one up. Not that he is a complicated character by any means–he’s your typical rich boy under daddy’s thumb–so I got into the groove of things quickly.

These two characters have a mysterious past and that’s what kept me reading. Because most of this book is just about how much these two want each other, Reese verbalizing how much he wants her and both of them trying not to be the first to fall. It got a little tiring to be honest. And when the drama was introduced, it was much too rushed (and tied up much too neatly) for my personal tastes. Some things surprised me but I felt like they were out of nowhere sometimes; I wish more was done with them.

–June 28/15– Book 3: All Things Pretty Parts 1&2

I was excited to read this hero’s story after being introduced to him the in the first two novels but this one just didn’t WOW me. It is more of a suspense romance novel (which I don’t usually read) similar to Leighton’s Bad Boy Series and it just hit that over the top mark for me. I liked uncovering what the secretive past of the heroine was, and I did like the twists, I just couldn’t get into this story.

I think it was far too long for one thing. Too much exposition and not enough climax…well climax of the plot that is 😉 Leighton split up the final book because the publisher wouldn’t approve the length she really wanted for this story and I kinda see why the publisher wanted a shorter novel. So in the end, not my cup of tea but it wraps up the series nicely.

My Rating: 3/5

overall

These books are great if you want a cute, passionate romance story to pass a couple of hours. They are high in dramatics and have your stereotypical romance characters. However, they are enjoyable reads–they just aren’t overly memorable.

Read if You Like: soap-opera like drama, erotica
Avoid if You: want more twists (at least in the first two novels), want more focus on the drama

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Series Review: Unforgettable You by Beverley Kendall

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

Only for You by Beverley Kendall | Unforgettable You Series

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Series: Unforgettable You
Author: Beverley Kendall
# of Books: 4 (Only for You, All Over You, Always Been You, Forever With You)

Technically, All Over You is a novella and #1.5 of the series but is to be read like a sequel

Complete?: More novels planned
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Drama
Heat Rating: warm
Point of View: First Person, Alternating
Publication Dates: December 2012 – ongoing
Source & Format: Own–eBook

thoughts

My Expectations:

I discovered this series after finding All Over You as a free Kobo eBook and decided to buy Only for You to get the full story. I was really excited to read Only for You because I normally love these type of stories. Much like Mad for You, it promised the meeting of unrequited loves in college and that always provides some reading entertainment. Now you will noticed that I said “normally” because lately I seem to be out of luck with these unrequited high school love stories and this is one I can add to the pile.

Thoughts on Only For You:

It never helps a story when you don’t like one of the main characters and I just didn’t like Olivia. I’m not sure why when I look back at it, but I think it’s because I get the impression that we would never be friends in real life. I just didn’t like her thought process and she seemed really immature. Her problems seemed really petty and while I know that they just left high school, I felt like I was still there with them based on the way they handled things.

Josh was alright. I liked that he was a decent guy and seemed to genuinely like Olivia but again, not the sharpest tool in the shed. His reasoning for not acting on his true feelings felt a little far-fetched and overly dramatic when it didn’t need to be. There is also one scene where I sincerely doubt his intelligence because how did he NOT know that about her?! I have a feeling it would be noticeable and he should be able to put two and two together.

Based on the synopsis you would think that they spend most of the story in Paris, but they actually don’t. So don’t expect to see a lot of action from Paris as most of it takes place in the States. If you want a novel about two people falling in love abroad, read Meant to Be by Lauren Morril instead.

One thing Only for You succeeds in doing is getting me acquainted and excited for the other character’s stories. Truth be told by the end of the book I was mostly reading for updates about Scott, April, Troy and Becca.

Thoughts on All Over You:

After reading Only for You I couldn’t wait to start All Over You because there was just so much buildup. It didn’t disappoint and I really enjoyed this book a lot more than the first one. I just liked the characters more and their past actually made sense and was a lot more realistic which made it more enjoyable. I wish this book was longer and not as rushed near the end as it was.

I’m looking forward to Always Been You and hoping that it will be as enjoyable as All Over You when it comes out.

updates

–February 29, 2016– Book #3: Always Been You

I was really excited to read this one after the little hints we got in the previous book. I’m not usually a fan of romances between BFFs–I hate when they go unrequited and the usually lead to love triangles–but I do enjoy romances where two BFFs are unknowingly in love with each other…such is the case here.

Unfortunately, the “angst” went on a little too long in this one. I wanted more plot besides “he/she doesn’t know” and sabotaged new relationships. I found the synopsis to be very misleading as well. The whole thing about Playboy doesn’t become an issue until 60+% through the book which is when we start to get some drama not of the romantic variety. Just seemed a little late for something that was featured in the synopsis and I wanted to spend more time on the other drama aspects introduced later.

I am, however, very curious for the next novel. Seems like some juicy stuff is about to be revealed and I can’t wait!

–September 13, 2017– Book #4: Forever With You

I was really excited to see how the events would unfold in this novel. We are left in a lot of suspense for Emily’s story at the end of Always Been You and I was eager to uncover the secrets.

It’s an interesting choice to reveal the past right at the start. It begins with a bang and watching the aftermath is intriguing. However, you lose some of the mystery and suspense as the story progresses. I found the middle of the novel to be a little stale since it was them simply rehashing their hurt feelings again and again.

I wanted more interaction and moments where it was reaffirmed to me that they belonged together–not just arguing pack and forth. Yes, they have fabulous physical chemistry together but I needed more “talking” time to prove to me that they were a good fit.

It’s a cute second chance romance and it builds up perfectly for sequels with the introduction of new and interesting characters.

Series Rating: 3/5

Only Been You 3/5 | All Over You 4/5 | Always Been You 3/5 | Forever With You 3/5

overall

These are cute stories but there are a lot better books out there that have a similar plot line. But if you enjoy series that interweave character stories together, try this one out!

Read if You Like: stories about true love, more romance focused
Avoid if You: want more steamy romance scenes

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Synopsis for Only for You (from Goodreads):
College freshman Olivia Montgomery is thrilled at the chance to start over, escape the rumors that plagued her in high school. And she can finally put her juvenile crush, Zachary Pearson, where he belongs–in her past. Then her unrequited love strolls into her French class, shattering Olivia’s newfound peace, and the feelings she’d thought buried for good come rushing back. Now she can’t shake her unwanted attraction to the one guy who can twist her stomach into knots with just a smile…but has never given her the time of day.

Zach’s good looks may have always gotten him his pick of girls, but it’s the star quarterback’s skill on the football field that gives him his pick of the Big Ten colleges. To escape the crushing demands of his win-at-all-costs father, Zach opts for a private university in upstate New York where…his present and past collide. And the one girl he’s always wanted but can’t have–and a class trip to Paris–turn out to be the ultimate game changer that has him breaking every one of his rules.

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Novella Serial Review: Blurred Lines by Breena Wilde

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

Blurred Lines

Series: Blurred Lines / Wrong John Serials
Author: Breena Wilde
# of Books: 8 (See Goodreads for full Reading Order and Titles)
Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Erotica, Romance, Contemporary
Heat Rating: Smokin’

Thoughts:

NOTE: As of August 13, 2013, I have not read Crossed Lines, book #3. I will update this review once I have.

I actually picked up Blurred Lines and Distorted Lines when they were FREE on Amazon. Normally I wouldn’t pay a dollar for a 50 page book but when things are free, I grab them! I also wanted to test out my new Surface tablet’s Kindle Reading App and figured these quick books would do the trick!

That is the one main problem with Blurred Lines–it is was too short. I’m not sure why authors are all following the “serialized” format of releasing books–I guess it is a good way to make some more cash as readers have to pay ~$6 to read the whole series when it would otherwise be listed at $3 or $4. And while I understand why some authors, especially those who are self-publishing, do this, as a reader it pisses me off. I feel like I just get into the story then, BAM! Wait for the next volume to come out in a week. I guess it worked for Charles Dickens back in the day so who am I to criticize? But I wish we could move away from this format–it just causes me to lose interest and is one of my least favourite aspects about the popularity of eReading. This story would make a great novel and I wish that was how it was delivered.

However, despite the shortness of the text, I feel like we get some well-developed characters. Perhaps “developing” is a better word as more about them gets revealed in each volume. I liked Candace as a character overall. She is smart and independent and I find that there is something likeable about her but I’m just not sure what it is exactly. I have a feeling in Crossed Lines I am going to become annoyed with her just because of the way the plot is going–but when all is said and done, I liked her character more than I expected and I liked this book more than I expected. There are a few plot twists along the way that put an interesting spin on things and make me want to read the rest of the series despite the serialization aspect.

I feel like I should mention that this book’s subject matter isn’t for everyone. Despite the label of “New Adult” this book isn’t really what is typically seen in the genre, or at least what a majority of the books contain. It boarders almost on adult erotica but with new-adult aged characters. There is a lot of sex in this book, and not just your regular “vanilla” scenes either but some BDSM scenes that may make some readers uncomfortable. Prostitution is another topic mentioned in the book (in case you don’t catch what “hooking” means in the synopsis below) but I think it is handled in good taste.

Distorted Lines, volume 2, was a nice follow up to Blurred Lines. Again, an interesting twist happens that I think makes the story a bit more exciting though it is again, too short of a book. It is hard to say more without giving away spoilers (because if I did give you a suggestion of what happens, there really is no point in reading the 50 pages is there?) but I enjoyed it, just not as much as Blurred Lines as I feel this book was more of a bridge to the next volume.

Conclusion:

I’m glad I got these books for free from Amazon. I’m not sure if they are worth the dollar because I think I enjoyed them that little bit more because they were a free read–so keep an eye out on Amazon for a sale. Overall, they were a good way to pass the time (and test out my Kindle App on my tablet) and it was nice to read a different type of story not always seen in the New Adult genre. Though it definitely isn’t for everyone–especially those who don’t enjoy really sex-focused reads or serialized stories.

Rating: 3/5

Similar Reads: none come to mind that I have personally read

Synopsis for Blurred Lines (from Goodreads):
*** Cadence lives her life without holding back. She’s all in. Her life is raw, real, and unapologetic. If you aren’t afraid to experience all Cadence has to offer, read this series. ***

Hooking has four important rules.

1. Cash only.
2. Use protection.
3. Carry mace.
4. Don’t fall in love.

Twenty-year-old Cadence is a prostitute and she lives by the rules. They keep her alive and they keep her heart protected. But when she agrees to take one last job to get out from under her pimp, she discovers some of the rules might be worth breaking.

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Series Review: Lost and Found by Nicole Williams

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

Lost and Found by Nicole Williams | Lost and Found Series

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booksynopsis

Synopsis for Lost and Found (from Goodreads):
There’s complicated. And there’s Rowen Sterling.

After numbing pain for the past five years with boys, alcohol, and all-around apathy, she finds herself on a Greyhound bus to nowhere Montana the summer after she graduates high school. Her mom agreed to front the bill to Rowen’s dream art school only if Rowen proves she can work hard and stay out of trouble at Willow Springs Ranch. Cooking breakfast at the crack of dawn for a couple dozen ranch hands and mucking out horse stalls are the last things in the world Rowen wants to spend her summer doing.

Until Jesse Walker saunters into her life wearing a pair of painted-on jeans, a cowboy hat, and a grin that makes something in her chest she’d thought was frozen go boom-boom. Jesse’s like no one else, and certainly nothing like her. He’s the bright and shiny to her dark and jaded.

Rowen knows there’s no happily-ever-after for the golden boy and the rebel girl—happily-right-now is a stretch—so she tries to forget and ignore the boy who makes her feel things she’s not sure she’s ready to feel. But the more she pushes him away, the closer he seems to get. The more she convinces herself she doesn’t care, the harder she falls.

When her dark secrets refuse to stay locked behind the walls she’s kept up for years, Rowen realizes it’s not just everyone else she needs to be honest with. It’s herself.

breakdown

SERIESous’ Top Book Series: Must Read Author
Series: Lost and Found
Author: Nicole Williams
# of Books: 5
Book Order: Lost & Found, Near & Far + Heart & Soul are chronological

Finders Keepers + Losers Weepers are connected but chronological to each other

Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary, coming of age
Heat Rating: warm
Point of View: First Person, Single (Lost & Found, Finders Keepers; Losers Weepers); Alternating (Near & Far)
Publication Dates: May 2013 – June 2015
Source & Format: Own–eBook

thoughts

Nicole William’s book Crash from the Crash Trilogy is what introduced me to the world of New Adult reads, so I think it is safe to say her books will always hold a special place in my heart–and this one is no exception.

Unlike Crash, with Lost and Found we get the outcast girl falling in love with the golden boy. When I first read that in the plot synopsis, I was worried that Lost and Found would just be a retelling of sorts of Crash but with the characters in opposite roles. I’m happy to say that this is not the case, and this book does differ in its plot and characters from the Crash Trilogy wholeheartedly.

I really liked Rowan. She is the classic example of someone who appears strong but internally struggles with herself and I enjoyed watching her grow into herself. This book just really had the “feel-good” attitude about it. There were two moments though when I didn’t like Rowan as much. One was not cluing into the whole Garth-Jesse problem–I think it was fairly obvious so that was a little disappointing because she seemed a little smarter than that. The second moment also deals with that first one. Throughout the whole novel Rowan complains that people always assume things about her without hearing the whole story and then she goes and does the exact same thing to Jesse. I thought it was a little hypocritical but given her jaded character I could see why she might not follow the “treat others like you want to be treated” motto when it comes to others. It just irked me a bit 😉

Jesse was totally swoon-worthy. There isn’t too much to say about him as this novel is really more about Rowan (from what I have read about the synopsis for book 2, I think we will get more about Jesse there) but he is a solid character and I enjoyed his wit an banter with Rowan.

My only real peeve about this book was how fast the “love” happens. I just felt like they didn’t really know each other that well to warrant those feelings so soon, but I do feel like after that point, they work on creating a healthy relationship so I feel like it redeems itself in that respect.

updates

–July 24, 2015– Book 2: Near & Far

This book was your typical romantic sequel. Lots of jealousy inducing situations, relationship questioning and cute moments. And that isn’t a bad thing; I actually think it was mildly realistic given the situation the two find themselves in. But at the same time, it got a little tiring despite being expected. And it really was reminiscent of The Crash Trilogy’s Clash.

–May 16, 2016– Book 3: Finders Keepers

Hmm, I wasn’t overly impressed with this novel. I thought it was really predictable–partly because I guessed most of Garrett’s story thanks to his role in the previous two novels–but it was a lot of clichés wrapped up into a typical New Adult package. There were some unique aspects with Garrett’s character that kept me interested and made me happy I picked it up. But I didn’t fall in love with Garrett like I expected to nor did I really care for his female counterpart.

Not sure what is going to happen in the sequel but I’m a little worried given Near & Far…guess I’ll see!

–May 23, 2016– Book 4: Losers Weepers

The plot for this story really surprised me. It wasn’t your typical romantic sequel in that the relationship wasn’t being tested by some unnecessary love triangle or other stupid, petty reasons (like in Near & Far). Instead, it challenges the characters with a realistic situation that really surprised me. Sure, it had its soap-opera moments BUT I really enjoyed the concept and the test these characters undergo. Definitely the strongest of the series in terms of character development.

–December 10, 2016– Book 5: Heart & Soul

This book was such a disappointment and waste of my time. I almost DNF’d it but decided to skim the rest of the novel to get a general idea of what happens.

This is a continuation of the story arc in Lost & Found (#1) and Near & Far (#2) but takes place after the events of Loser Weepers (#4). Which is fine–it just really isn’t necessary if you ask me. I liked how everything was wrapped up in the respective novels.

The first 30% of the book was Jesse whining about the situation and waxing on and on about Rowan. I get it, it’s cute (I’m a huge Jesse fan) and it helps establish the characters’ feelings to the situation at hand. BUT, nothing was happening?! And I have better things to read than a character lamenting on and on about their love for their significant other–I get it!

This was just a dull book. I think if it was a novella it would have been better.

Series Rating: 3/5

Lost & found 4/5 | Near & Far 3/5 | Finders Keepers 3/5  |  Losers Weepers 4/5  |  Heart & Soul 2/5

overall

A great “feel-good” novel that fans of New Adult will love. It isn’t particularly “steamy” but it is swoon-worthy at times. Oh, and Jesse is a cowboy if that does anything for you 😉 Some books are definitely better than others but their shorter length means you aren’t spending a ton of time reading them.

Read if You Like: slow-burn romances, cowboys, tortured pasts
Avoid if You: want more “heat”; don’t like tough heroines

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Series Review: My Favorite Mistake by Chelsea M. Cameron

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

My Favorite Mistake by Chelsea M. Cameron | My Favorite Mistake Series

 

Series: My Favorite Mistake
Author: Chelsea M. Cameron
# of Books: 2 (My Favorite Mistake, My Sweetest Escape, Our Favorite Days)
Book Order: Connected + Direct Sequel (Our Favorite Days)
Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Tragedy, Romance
Heat Rating: really warm

Thoughts:

PLEASE NOTE: That I have not read the second book in the series, The Sweetest Escape, and have no plans to do so in the near future.

I went into with this book with high hopes and came away a little disappointed. It was super cute but it was a little too much at times.

I didn’t really like Taylor. At first I thought I would like her because she takes no shit from anyone but I often found like it was a little over the top. Because you don’t know Taylor’s secret, you don’t know why she acts the way she does. When you find out, it makes more sense but I still feel like she was a little abrupt with her thoughts and actions. If it was toned down a touch, I would have liked her more.

Hunter was a little too good to be true. Instant-love connection, understanding bad-boy, jaded background and nearly every other stereotypical “hero” aspect. I liked him enough but sometimes I just wanted to roll my eyes a bit at things he did. I would have appreciated a little more character development from his end.

I think that was my main issue with the book–nothing was overly refreshing or new to me. I had read similar stories before that seemed to have a higher level of maturity so this book wasn’t up to that level which left me disappointed.

One thing about this book is that it is only told by Taylor’s POV. The summary gave me the impression that we would be getting to see Hunter’s POV but we don’t. It would have been nice to have had his POV but it was a nice change from the shifting POVs most New Adult reads have.

Conclusion:

I enjoyed the banter between the two of them and it was a super easy and quick read. It was nothing too exciting but it was a nice way to pass the time. Those just starting the genre and don’t want too heavy of a story will like this one.

Rating: 3/5

Similar Reads: Wait for You… by Jennifer L. Armentrout (Wait For You Series #1)

Synopsis for My Favorite Mistake (from Goodreads):
Taylor Caldwell can’t decide if she wants to kiss her new college roommate or punch him.

On the one hand, Hunter Zaccadelli is a handsome, blue-eyed bundle of charm. On the other, he’s a tattooed, guitar-playing bundle of bad boy. Maybe that’s why Taylor’s afraid of falling in love with him, or anyone else. She doesn’t want to get burned, and even though her other roommates adore him, she wants him gone before it’s too late.

Hunter himself has been burned before, but the fact that Taylor calls him out on his crap and has the sexiest laugh ever make him decide maybe love isn’t a lost cause. They make a bet: if she can convince him she truly loves or hates him, he’ll leave the apartment–and leave her alone. The problem is, the more time they spend together, the less she hates him, and the more she moves toward love.

But when the man who holds the key to Taylor’s fear of giving up her heart resurfaces and threatens to wreck everything, she has to decide: trust Hunter with her greatest secret, or do everything in her power to win that bet and drive him away forever.

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