Tag «unrequited love»

Fresh Fridays: Touch Me Not (Manwhore #1) by Apryl Baker

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:

Manwhore Series

Other books in the series:

booksynopsis

Synopsis for Touch Me Not (from Goodreads):
A past tragedy has left Lily Holmes burdened with a devastating secret…

Since the death of her twin sister, Lily can’t bear to be touched. Not accidentally, not casually…and certainly not intimately. This makes it impossible for her to confess to her best friend Adam Roberts that she’s in love with him. She can’t give him the sort of relationship he needs, so she watches in silence while he plans his wedding with someone else.

Enter Nikoli Kinkaid, the campus manwhore…

Nikoli is a self-proclaimed connoisseur of women, and he wants to add Lily to his list of conquests, but she wants nothing to do with him—until he makes her an offer she can’t refuse. He’ll teach her to enjoy human contact again, giving her a chance to win over Adam, while Nikoli uses all his considerable charm to seduce her.

But Lily raises the stakes…

Lily loves cars. Her late father was a racer, and she grew up under the hood of a car and on the racetrack. Nikoli has a limited edition 1970 Plymouth Barracuda she covets, so she informs him the terms of their deal also require he not sleep with anyone for six months. If he does, she’ll win the car. If she surrenders and ends up in his bed, his beloved ’Cuda is his to keep.

In an intricate dance of control and surrender, a reluctant friendship becomes something more. Lily begins to crave things she never believed she could, and Nikoli realizes there is more at stake than his reputation.

If Lily overcomes her phobia, will she crave Adam’s touch as she’s starting to crave Nikoli’s? Or will she only find pleasure from the touch of a semi-reformed manwhore?

breakdown

Series: Manwhore
Author: Apryl Baker
# of Books: 1+ (Touch Me Not)
Book Order: Unsure
Complete?: No, this is the first of a series
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Heat Rating: warm
Point of View: Third Person, Alternating
Publication Date: September 2015 – ongoing
Source & Format: Author–eARC (Read It, Review It Program)

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thoughts

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

I told myself I wasn’t going to pick up anymore review copies for the month of January but I couldn’t resist the temptation of reading this one when I read the synopsis for Touch Me Not. It has some of my favourite New Adult tropes like:

  • Taming a playboy
  • A dating/learning to love arrangement
  • A bet
  • An interesting character tick

Needless to say, I was SO IN!

What I Liked:

–The Characters–

I was worried that Lily would be some goody-two-shoes virgin who would be nothing but an airhead (ie lacks personality or substance). Harsh, but a combination that is A) boring and B) slightly over-done. So I was SO HAPPY when Lily turned out to be nothing like I had worried she would be. She had a great back story and seemed to have a solid head on her shoulders. It was great to watch her develop as a character and person as the novel progressed.

The same can be said for Nikoli. He too had a lot of substance to his character. I liked their complexity as people and it added to the story in a fantastic way.

–The Romance–

It’s been a long time (ok, only a few books ago) since I’ve found a couple that I truly felt were a fantastic match for each other. Not only do Lily and Nikoli have a lot in common in terms of interests and hobbies but even their personalities complimented each other so well. In other words: their emotional connection to each other was just as strong as their physical, if not stronger. It was so easy to fall in love with them as they fell in love with each other–an absolute pleasure to watch!

What I Didn’t Like:

–The Inevitable “Communication Assumption”–

Perhaps a bit of a spoiler but one that is definitely expected with this type of story. I had hoped that these two would escape that inevitable plot device–and for a while it looked promising–but alas, they too were susceptible.

–Trying too Hard to have a more Complex plotline–

I have a feeling that one of the particular plot lines is going to be the focus of a sequel book, so I can understand why it was added and I can overlook it.

However, at times, I felt like things were randomly thrown in for more drama. They seemed to come from nowhere and it really threw me off. I was THIS CLOSE to giving this book a 5/5 but the random bits deterred me from that. I’m sure that those devices worked for most readers but for me, I just wanted that little bit of polish or even some insinuation earlier in the story about what was to come. I’m all for a good surprise but I feel like some of these “twists” should have been alluded to earlier.

My Expectations for the Rest of the Series:

I really have no idea who the next book with be about though I have my suspicions. I will definitely be keeping my eye out for it regardless!

My Rating: 4.5/5

Touch Me Not 4/5 | Book 2 TBP

overall

I was really impressed with Touch Me Not. It had great characters and a solid story! If you enjoy New Adult romances, this is a great new series to get into!

Read if You Like: New Adult romances, stories about playboys,
Avoid if You: dislike arrangement/bet storylines, want more spice

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Series Review: Worldwalker by Josephine Angelini

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

Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini | The Worldwalker Series

booksynopsis

Synopsis for Trial by Fire (from Goodreads):
This world is trying to kill Lily Proctor. Her life-threatening allergies keep her from enjoying experiences that others in her hometown of Salem take for granted, which is why she is determined to enjoy her first high school party with her best friend and longtime crush, Tristan. But after a humiliating incident in front of half her graduating class, Lily wishes she could just disappear.

Suddenly, Lily is in a different Salem—one overrun with horrifying creatures and ruled by powerful women called Crucibles. Strongest and cruelest of them all is Lillian . . . Lily’s other self in this alternate universe.

What makes Lily weak at home is what makes her extraordinary in New Salem. In this confusing world, Lily is torn between responsibilities she can’t hope to shoulder alone and a love she never expected.

breakdown

Series: The Worldwalker Trilogy
Author: Josephine Angelini
# of Books: 3 (Trial by Fire, Firewalker, Traitor’s Pyre)

There is a novella that is an alternate POV for a scene in Trial by Fire called Rowan

Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Witches, Magic
Heat Rating: warm but suggestive content
Point of View: Third Person, Multiple
Source & Format: Public library–eBook; Hardcover (Firewalker)

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:

When I first stumbled upon Trial by Fire, I had marked it as a pass on my Goodreads account. I’m not sure why when I look back at it other than the fact that it features witches and I rarely enjoy witch-focused books. I also think it was because the synopsis made me think about an anime I watched as a teen called .hack//sign. The show follows a set of video game characters that also have alternate “real-world” lives; where one character is, coincidentally, sick in the real world but is of course fine in the game. All I know is that it confused me on so many levels and I still have no clue what the ultimate meaning of the show was .

So I think the alternate universe part of this book turned me off because my less than great experiences with them. However, I stumbled upon a review where this book was given a stellar review so I decided “why not?”. Plus, my library had one last available copy online right after I made that impulsive decision so I figured that was a sign that I had to read this book…

The Concept/World:

In addition, having read Claudia Grey’s A Thousand Pieces of You novel a week or so before I read Trial by Fire made me more receptive to reading a book with alternate dimensions because I really loved A Thousand Pieces of You (ATPOY) and more importantly, it was executed very well. So I went in with a more positive attitude when it came to reading this book.

The difference between the execution of ATPOY and Trial by Fire is that the narrator explains how alternate dimensions work early in ATPOY whereas in Trial by Fire the reader learns as the heroine learns–which I think works for each respective story and adds another level to the reading experience. ATPOY focuses on chasing someone through alternate dimensions to solve a mystery and as such, the reader needs to know how everything works early on to enjoy the journey. Trial by Fire is also focused on a mystery of sorts, but because the heroine doesn’t understand the world she is now in, she learns as she goes and in turn, the reader must do the same.

The world Lily finds herself in is pretty cool. I think my inner science geek enjoyed how the witch-craft was more science based than “magic” based. The world really reminded me of the anime/manga Full Metal Alchemist where they use elemental science for various purposes in a world that is almost medieval but has little touches of the modern world here and there; which is really interesting to read about. So I didn’t mind learning as I was going and even enjoyed learning about this world as I went (which is why I gave it the .5 rating I did because I really loved this aspect).

The Plot:

What did “bother” me about this book was I wanted more focus on why Lily was brought into the world. Character and world building is great and all, but it serves a larger purpose by contributing to the plot. And I felt like Trial by Fire spent a little too much time on all this background building and not enough on figuring out why Lily was there. It reminded more of an adventure/journey story at times because of this aspect. It definitely picks up near the end, but by the halfway point I was ready to have the larger plot become the main focus of the story. In other words: this book moved slowly to me and in turn, I wasn’t able to really get into the story. If the eBook was 30 pages shorter, I think I wouldn’t have had this problem so much. (It took me a lot longer to read this book than it usually does)

The Characters:

Lily wasn’t all that exciting to me as a heroine. But the cast does its job well. I like that there is a villain that you can easily dislike.

The Romance:

As for the romance, it definitely didn’t go the way I expected and it didn’t play as huge of a role as I expected either. So if you are looking for a romance-driven book, this isn’t it!

My Expectations for the Rest of the Series:

I’m interested in seeing where this series is going to go because the last few chapters are where things started to get my attention. I don’t mind slower inaugural books that build up so long as the sequel delivers and I kind of get the vibe that this second book will deliver now that the plot is going somewhere–so I look forward to reading Firewalker in September but I’m not exactly counting down the days until its release either.

updates

–September 3, 2015– Book 1.5: Rowan

I completely forgot that Rowan was going to get his own POV short story until I saw it at my library. I actually really enjoyed it. I thought it brought a fresh perspective to the story. It’s been so long since I’ve read Trial by Fire that I don’t remember all the particulars so it was hard to recall all the details. Considering it was only a couple of pages long, I thought it did a good job getting the point across and recreating the scene. All and all, a good novella to read after Trial by Fire.

–December 4, 206– Book 2: Firewalker

Disclaimer: I stopped reading Firewalker at 26% (90/352). Find out why below…

I really wasn’t sure what to expect with this sequel but what we got wasn’t what I had hoped for.

It was so boring! There were some promising little tidbits at the start but they get pushed to the side to focus on some monotonous day-to-day stuff. And I get it, you needed to establish the circumstances these characters find themselves in; but make it a little more worth my while.

Nothing was happening and I didn’t want to wait around for a great cliffhanger ending to make me feel compelled to read the 3rd and final novel.

My Rating: DNF

Trial by Fire 3/5 | Firewalker DNF | Witch’s Pyre N/A

overall

I did enjoy reading this book and I could see why lots of people like it. But if you are like me and want a faster-paced book that doesn’t focus solely on character building, this series might not be your cup of tea. Those who enjoy lots of character development and world building at a slower pace will love this series!

Read if You Like: slower stories, world-building, alternate dimensions
Avoid if You: dislike slow stories, want more romance, want more action

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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: 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

  book3 book3

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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