Tag «Unrequited BFF Love for Lead»

Single Sundays: Blind Trust by Peiri Ann

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 Blind Trust (from Goodreads):
*For mature readers 18+*
Loving someone has never been so deadly.

Valerie Harper has one assignment, one mission. Assassinate her mark and everyone he loves. But what happens when she finds that she loves him too?

Her instructions are simple; do not fraternize with your target, observe at a distance, and never engage with the enemy. However, as things take an unexpected turn in Val’s world, these simple instructions begin to change.

Refusing to be a puppet, Kyle Shultz walks away from his old life and settles into the college routine. But the life of a student is more difficult than he imagined. Making friends and attending parties are as foreign a concept as showing a target mercy.

The lines between the state of the job and the affairs of the heart are blurred as Valerie and Kyle’s worlds collide.
With a maze of enemies and hit lists to navigate, will these two young adversaries proceed wide-eyed and alone into the fray? Or will they blindly trust the feelings they can no longer ignore?

breakdown

Author: Peiri Ann
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Suspense, Dark
Heat Rating: really warm
Point of View: First Person, Alternating
Publication Date: September 24, 2015
Source & Format: New Adult Book Club RIRI provided by author–eBook  |  Thank you Peiri Ann!

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thoughts

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

I like reading romances that don’t follow the traditional path. Sure, it’s great to read about a boy and girl who fall in love while away at university but what if their situation was a little more...extreme? And I’m not talking crazy ex-partners who just can’t seem to let go. I mean, what if one of these people has been sent to kill the other?

Intriguing right? Though definitely not everyone’s cup of tea.

I love stories where enemies fall in love and having an assassin fall in love with her mark is a perfect example of this. Sure, it’s a tad cliché but it is entertaining. So, I when presented the opportunity to read this book I snatched it up! I couldn’t wait for the fun and danger to begin.

The Concept:

If you are expecting some light hearted novel, I would look elsewhere. These are assassins who don’t mind killing people for money or for a purpose. If anyone has watched Kingsmen (or read the graphic novel) I find the tone is similar (in terms that it is normal for these characters to pursue this path) in the sense that these people are pretty nonchalant about killing other people. However, it isn’t at all espionage based or witty in its humour.

The Plot:

This book didn’t start off where I thought it was going to. When I first started, I had assumed it would be told solely from Val’s POV and Kyle’s past would be a bit of a mystery. I also thought we would be joining Val at the start of her mission. Turns out, we get both Kyle and Val’s POV which is A-ok and honestly, removes the predictability of the book regarding Kyle’s past.

We are also thrust into the end of Val’s mission when everything starts to fall apart. Which kind-of sucks because it takes away from the character and plot development I was expecting to see. Val’s opinion of Kyle has been well established before the reader even enters the scene, taking away from the romantic development that I wanted to see unfold.

The shit has also hit the fan and that accelerates everything at a pace that doesn’t really work for me. I like books that hit the ground running but I just felt lost trying to understand these characters AND what was happening plot wise. I still really don’t understand what did actually happen even after finishing the book…

That does have its positives though. What I thought was going to be a predictable novel turned out to be rather unpredictable, keeping me glued to my Kobo to find out what was going to happen next. So even if I didn’t understand what happened, it kept my attention in the hopes that I would eventually understand.

The Characters:

Regardless of what these characters may or may not do for a living, I had a hard time totally connecting with them. Part of the issue was simply trying to understand their thought process and coming up empty every time.

I’ll start with Kyle. I personally have a soft-spot for the suave jackass character but he was just a little too much for me. He seemed to be two extremes. One minute he would be a nice guy and then in the next he was a complete ass who was crude and heartless. And I suppose to a certain extent it worked for his character and made sense the more I read but my initial impression of him didn’t really seem to improve as I read.

As for Val, I wanted a little more from her. I feel like a lot more could have been done with her character but she just felt very underdeveloped to me–especially given all that happens to her. It felt all over the place to me and I didn’t like that. And when we did get some of that vulnerability, it arrived way past the point of me really caring.

The Romance:

I really struggled to see how these romance worked.  I understood why these two were drawn together in theory but in practice, there was more to be desired. Part of the issue is that Val’s feelings are already developed before the book starts. I just didn’t see what she saw in Kyle and that caused me not to see how their relationship would evolve. Kyle’s feelings were a little more obvious because the reader gets to see him establish a relationship with Val. But then again, my jackass impression of him stopped me from totally getting on board with the romance and he was all over the place emotionally as well. So overall, the romance fell flat for me.

The Spin-off:

There is going to be a spin-off with one of the side characters but that is going to be a pass for me. I didn’t particularly like him and I’m really not sure what to expect from his story.

My Rating: 2/5

overall

This book just needed some polish because I think all the right ideas were there. It just flopped all over the place and never seemed to be consistent. Cool premise but poor execution (and that pun was totally intended).

Read if You Like: unconventional romances, unconventional characters
Avoid if You: don’t like assassins, want a more straight-forward read

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Single Sundays: Chancing on You by Melinda Ellen

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 Chancing on You (from Goodreads):
Hope Andrews has been trying to find her place in the world for the past seventeen years, but being an orphan and getting shipped from home to home hasn’t always made it easy. Between her current foster carers who are to busy getting high to the bullies at school who make her life hell, Hope finds solitude in her music. She’s silently counting down the days until she turns eighteen and can finally make her escape once and for all, but what she doesn’t count on is the new guy Jaxon Broad turning her plans upside down.

After leaving the city behind which was tainted with his past, Jaxon moved to live with his brother. He needed to escape the memories that haunted his dreams and swore him off relationships. So when he lays eyes on the intriguing brunette Hope, he’s not prepared for the feelings that keep stirring within.

But will their second chance at happiness be destroyed when their pasts won’t let them go?

breakdown

Author: Melinda Ellen
Genre: New Adult/Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Heat Rating: really warm
Point of View: First Person, Alternating
Publication Date: May 2014
Source & Format: Provided by Author–eBook

disclaimer

thoughts

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

This was the second book I received from my New Adult Goodread’s Group’s Read2Review program. I picked it because it promised to have characters with great back stories and some steamy sexual tension…and I wasn’t disappointed!

The Plot:

I was immediately hooked into this story. There was a great balance between the romance and personal growth of each lead and it moved at the perfect pace. While I’ve read characters with similar situations, I never got bored with this story. Sure, I got annoyed at your typical “assuming” situations but hey, that’s the joy of reading a contemporary romance 😉 I never felt like there was too much going on but there was definitely enough to keep things moving.

This is one of those New Adult stories that takes place in high school so that is important to note but I would definitely classify it as New Adult. However, you still have your typical high school drama situations, like the “super popular” chick flirting with the lead, etc. But I felt like the character development and the main situations they find themselves in were quite mature so that balanced everything out.

The Characters:

I enjoyed watching Hope and Jaxon develop not only their romantic relationship, but their personal growth as well. I really grew to like these two as individuals, even if they did frustrate me at times with their “assumptions”.

I found the secondary characters were slightly cliched but most secondary characters are. They did their job supporting the plot but not getting in the way or becoming the focus when they shouldn’t. Great character execution.

The Romance:

If you love sexual tension like I do, you will like this book! I thought there was great chemistry between Hope and Jaxon even when I wasn’t totally sold on them being together emotionally. I just felt like they really hadn’t interacted more than appreciating each other’s bodies when they first start having deeper feelings. I’m not denying the importance of physical chemistry, I’m just saying I didn’t totally understand where these feelings were coming from immediately based on the limited interaction they had. But that definitely improved as the story continued and I saw them interact more. I definitely became a fan as I continued to read–and as I said, their chemistry was great.

I do have to say though that the romance was often very cheesy and it kind-of took away from the realistic edge of this book. Some of the lines Jaxon said had me rolling my eyes but they  really weren’t that common when all was said and done.

My Rating: 3.5/5

overall

If you want a New Adult read that straddles the line between realistic and dramatic, this is the one for you! It definitely deals with some very real themes but at the same time it does have a dramatic flare with the high school drama. I will definitely be looking out for more of Melinda’s books in the future!

Read if You Like: hate to love you relationships, jaded characters, high school new adult stories
Avoid if You: don’t like high school drama, don’t like communication assumption situations

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Series Review: Sea Breeze by Abbi Glines

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

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SERIESous’ Top Book Series: Favourite Author, Favourite New Adult Series 2014 (Honourable Mention)
Series: Sea Breeze Series
Author: Abbi Glines
# of Books:9 (See full list here)
Book Order: Connected*

While each book focuses on a new pair of leads, the exception is Books 3 (While It Lasts) and 5 (Sometimes It Lasts) that focus on the same leads.

Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Drama
Heat Rating: really warm (books 1-3); getting hot (books 4-9)
Point of View: First Person, Alternating

Thoughts:

Ever done something when you know you shouldn’t? I sure have and this series is one of them. When I was planning my Christmas Holiday reads following my exams, I had planned to only read the Kobo purchases that have been sitting on my Kobo for ages and froze all my holds at the library to do so. But, when I checked the latest additions to my library’s eBook section and saw that all of the books in this series were newly added AND available to check out, I seized the opportunity and snagged them while I could! What was a couple of days spending on this series really in the grand scheme of things 😛

I’m glad I did! I basically read a book a day with this series. I really enjoyed reading this series and it was addicting in the sense that I really became attached to all the characters. Without reading the synopsis for each book, I cheated and found out what character would be the star of each book so that when I read one book I would pay attention to that character and that made me super excited to see what was in store next for this great cast of characters.

This series is one that straddles the line between Young Adult and New Adult. I’ve read posts where Abbi Glines herself classifies it as Young Adult as it is less steamier that her New Adult reads; but I myself would say it is more New Adult than Young Adult. While it is less steamier than her other New Adult series, Rosemary Beach, it is definitely steamier than any Young Adult read I have ever read. Sex is more than eluded to in this series but it isn’t as descriptive as Glines’ other works. But I found it got a little more descriptive as the series progressed.

Speaking of Rosemary Beach, this series is very similar. It reminds me of the teenage/younger version of Rosemary Beach in that the characters are all jaded in their own ways but everything is toned down compared to the Rosemary Beach series. The male leads aren’t full out alpha males, the sexual content is quite tame and most of the characters are quite a bit younger (though they do get older as the series progresses). This series also isn’t as drama heavy as Rosemary Beach and the character relationships and events don’t overlap as much as Rosemary Beach. So I think it goes without saying that if you enjoy one, you will enjoy the other!

My only “peeve” about this series is that some of the romances were of the “insta-connection” variety. Not all of them were like that (4 come to mind that weren’t) but it can be a little bit of a turn off if that isn’t your cup of tea. I find that they do expand upon the initial physical attraction so you warm up to the relationship by the end but I think it is important to mention just in case.

FUN FACT: While it Lasts is going to be made into a movie! Details can be found here!

Conclusion:

Another great New Adult series by Abbi Glines! If you love the Rosemary Beach series or just New Adult reads in general, this is a great one to pick up!

Rating: 4/5
Would I Recommend this Series to a Friend: Yes

Similar Reads: Fallen too Far by Abbi Glines (Rosemary Beach Series #1); Just a Little Crush by Renita Pizzitola (Crush Series #1) and Wanted by Kelly Elliot (Wanted Series #1)

Synopsis for Breathe (from Goodreads):
Sadie White’s summer job isn’t going to be on the beach life-guarding or working at rental booths like most kids her age. With her single mother’s increasing pregnancy and refusal to work, Sadie has to take over her mother’s job as a domestic servant for one of the wealthy summer families on a nearby island.

When the family arrives at their summer getaway, Sadie is surprised to learn that the owner of the house is Jax Stone, one of the hottest teen rockers in the world. If Sadie hadn’t spent her life raising her mother and taking care of the house she might have been normal enough to be excited about working for a rock star.

Even though Sadie isn’t impressed by Jax’s fame, he is drawn to her. Everything about Sadie fascinates Jax but he fights his attraction. Relationships never work in his world and as badly as he wants Sadie, he believes she deserves more. By the end of the summer, Jax discovers he can’t breathe without Sadie.

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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