Tag «bad boys»

Series Review: Three Irish Brothers by Joanna Mazurkiewicz

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

Other Books in the Series:
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Series: Three Irish Brothers
Author: Joanna Mazurkiewicz
# of Books: 3 (Beautiful Pain, book 2, book 3)
Book Order: Connected
Complete?: Unknown
Genre: New Adult, Mature, Emotional, British
Heat Rating: warm
Point of View: Third Person

Thoughts on Beautiful Pain:

I actually got this book for free one day for both my Kobo and Kindle. Since then it has gone up in price but I wouldn’t have been overly upset if I had paid the two dollars for it.

I think it is important to highlight the fact that this book is British. It’s written by a British author so it has that style of writing we aren’t completely used to this side of the pond. It tends to be very proper, not as many contractions in the sentences and not much slang–it almost comes across as mechanical to readers who typically read North American literature. Because I read a lot more North American books than British, it always throws me for a bit of a loop but I do read quite a few British novels so I easily get accustomed to that.

So it could easily be a product of the book being British in origin or maybe people in British are super mature: but I just found the dialogue to be a little awkward and overly mature for the age of the characters. I’m the same age as Sophia and no one I know talks like she does so I found that hard to accept at times. But given her past I wouldn’t be surprised if she is just that next level of maturity.

Out of all the freebie books that I have, I choose to read this one because the concept it really cool and different from other books out there. I mean, Harry is the ultimate bad boy and the element of Sophia being his probation officer is something I have never encountered before. It’s an interesting spin on things I think it is executed fairly well all things considered.

Unfortunately, I didn’t really understand Sophia and Harry’s relationship and how it worked between them. Their relationship is essentially built on lust and the “unspoken” connection between them. I don’t particularly care for these “unspoken”/love-at-first-sight-deal stories so I really didn’t get how they worked together or why they liked each other. I supposed it improved as we went but I never really got it to be honest–which is a shame because I really wanted to love them together.

I want to really stress that this book can be very dark at times. Although it is told through a 3rd person narration, there are times when we get a first person POV from Sophia when she describes her past. Nothing is really held back which I both appreciate and find uncomfortable at the same time. I find it’s hard to read in the mind of someone who has an abusive or depression filled past because it can be very dark and very emotional. On this regard, the book really excelled at conveying those feelings. It made Sophia seem very real and more than just a character in the book.

Conclusion:

Overall, this book didn’t really float my boat. I liked it and can appreciate it; but not enough to watch out for the rest of the series. I’m not particularly interested in the next set of characters but I’m not so turned off of the idea of picking the sequel up if it happens to be free on Amazon again. For those who want a darker New Adult read, this is a solid choice; especially if you like Ireland 😉

Rating: 2.5/5

Similar Reads: Release Me by J. Kenner (Stark Trilogy #1)

Synopsis for Beautiful Pain (from Goodreads):

My decisions were always wrong. I needed to get away from London, I wanted to start from scratch in Belfast, escape from the life that I didn’t want.

Working for Probation Service for the whole summer was going to give me the experience that I needed. I always felt much better when I could help people whose lives were shattered.

My parents told me that I wasn’t ready and I wouldn’t make it through but I was determined to show them that the past was behind me.

I had three months to forget about my bad memories, about the pain and my scars. Then I run straight into him, throwing it all to the wind, falling into a trap of love and lust.

Harry O’Donaghue was a local offender. At our first meeting he gave me the impression that he didn’t care about what I had to say and didn’t want to be evaluated by a stupid young girl like me.

Harry wasn’t an easy subject, either when it came to straight forward conversation about his future or about the crimes that he had committed.

Harry had a secret and everything suddenly became complicated. He was bad to be around, bad for me in every respect, but I still allowed him take me to paradise…

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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

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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.

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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

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**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: 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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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?

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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

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**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.

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–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: The Bad Boys 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:

Series: The Bad Boys
Author: M. Leighton
# of Books: 3 (Down to You, Up to Me, Everything for Us)
Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Suspense
Heat Rating: really warm (Down to You); hot (Up to Me & Everything for Us)

Thoughts:

It’s no secret I dislike love triangles so why I decided to read Down to You is a little bit of a mystery to me considering the lead is torn between two brothers’ affections. But I went into this book with a good idea of what I suspected was going on and I really wanted to see if I was right.

This series is nice change from the common New Adult plot of taming a bad boy player with love as it is mostly a suspense series, especially in Up to Me and Everything for Us. Down to You follows more of the New Adult formula of a girl meeting a handsome rich boy who tries to sweep her off her feet but by the end of the book we learn what is really going on and that’s when the plot shifts to one of suspense.

Turns out my hypothesis was wrong but I was happy to be wrong because I really like the plot twist that we get at the end. I was super excited to read Up to Me but by the time I got there, I was really disappointed.

Part of the problem was the way the plot unfolds. It wasn’t nearly as suspenseful as I expected and I just felt let down. There was so much potential at the end of Down to You that was lost in Up to Me. Disappointing and meh are the two words I would use to describe the plot in Up to Me.

The other part of the problem is Olivia. I found her tolerable in Down to You but by the time I started reading Up to Me I was ready to hurt her. Her immaturity about the whole situation really irritated me and was uncalled for. I’m all for female independence in a relationship but her actions were just plain idiotic and juvenile. I find it hard to read a book when the lead irritates me like that and that really caused me to dislike this book.

Which is why I was excited to read Everything for Us because it focuses on two different characters we have gotten a taste of in the previous two books and that taste was enough to make me want to finish this series despite my disappointment in Up to Me. Unfortunately, this was another disappointment–just not as much as Up to Me. While I enjoyed the little twists, I found it hard to like these two at times. I was satisfied with the way it ended but I didn’t like it as much as I had thought or hoped.

Conclusion:

After all is said and done, I think I could have avoid this series and still have been happy with my life. These books were nice ways to pass the time I suppose, but I didn’t enjoy them as much as the other books I put aside to read these three. They showed a lot of promise but just couldn’t deliver in the ways I expected.

Rating: 3/5

Similar Reads: Nothing comes to mind at the moment…

Synopsis for Down to You (from Goodreads):
The scorching tale of one girl, two brothers and a love triangle…that’s not. Olivia Townsend is nothing special. She’s just a girl working her way through college so she can return home to help her father run his business. She’s determined not to be the second woman in his life to abandon him, even if it means putting her own life on hold. To Olivia, it’s clear what she must do. Plain and simple. Black and white. But clear becomes complicated when she meets Cash and Nash Davenport. They’re brothers. Twins.

Cash is everything she’s always wanted in a guy. He’s a dangerous, sexy bad boy who wants her in his bed at any cost. He turns her insides to mush and, with just one kiss, makes her forget why he’s no good for her. Nash is everything she’s ever needed in a guy. He’s successful, responsible and intensely passionate. But he’s taken. Very taken, by none other than Marissa, Liv’s rich, beautiful cousin. That doesn’t stop Olivia from melting every time he looks at her, though. With just one touch, he makes her forget why they can never be together.

Black and white turns to shades of gray when Olivia discovers the boys are hiding something, something that should make her run as far and as fast as she can. But it’s too late to run. Olivia’s already involved. And in love. With both of them. Both brothers make her heart tremble. Both brothers set her body on fire. She wants them both. And they want her. How will she ever choose between them?

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Series Review: The White Rabbit Chronicles by Gena Showalter

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Series: White Rabbit Chronicles
Author: Gena Showalter
# of Books: 3  4 (Alice in Zombieland, Through the Zombie Glass, …)
Complete?: No, A Mad Zombie Party will be released September 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Heat Rating: really warm *Spicy YA*

Thoughts:

Alice in Wonderland isn’t my favourite book or movie ever. It’s ok but I’ve always found it a little odd and I struggled to read the original book. I never bothered picking up Through the Looking Glass because I just couldn’t handle another round of weirdness. I like odd stories as much as the next girl, but Lewis Carroll is just that little too much over the edge for me. So I think it’s obvious to say that a retelling of Alice wasn’t too appealing to me. But what was appealing to me was “zombies”. My exposure so zombies isn’t that great to be honest. I don’t watch or read The Walking Dead but zombies are a paranormal creature that have always fascinated me so I decided to give this book a shot. Plus they seemed like a lot of fun in Shaun of the Dead 😉

I’m really glad that I did grab this series because I enjoyed both books immensely. They are filled with romance, paranormal creatures, action and feature smart AND mature high school students. I know that last part is a little shocking and it shocked me when I read Alice in Zombieland too.

First, I’ll start with Alice. I really liked her as a heroine. She was strong, brave and while she does suffer from lead-heroine sacrifice syndrome (ie she always has to be the one to save everyone even if it risks herself) I didn’t find it overly annoying. I think it helped that she seemed very mature for her age as did her companions in the book.

The maturity of all the teenagers really stood out to me in this book. This book is definitely for the older young adult crowd, especially Through the Zombie Glass. There are lot of more sexual situations present in these books that often get glazed over in other books–if they are even brought up at all. I would almost classify this book as New Adult except for the fact that all the leads are in high school. (Though when they have normal conversations, they do seem a little odd but I chalk that up to being a parallel to the original Alice in Wonderland with all its oddness)

Speaking of sexual situations, most of those happen to be courtesy of Cole. He is every young adult bad boy fantasy wrapped up into one. I really, really liked his character. I thought he was funny, tough and charming all at once. He has great character development throughout the series as do the other characters. I have to say that by book 2, I was just as invested in the secondary characters as I was in Alice and Cole.

I think what I like most about these books is the layers involved. The romance between Alice and Cole (and the other characters) is one of the main aspects I love but the paranormal aspect of everything is really interesting. While each book has its own plot that begins and ends within that book, there are aspects we learn about the zombie world that carry into the next books that keep you coming back. It goes without saying that these books are non-stop action and something is always going on that causes you to never want to put the book down.

Through the Zombie Glass was even better than Alice in Zombieland in my opinion. So many things came together in this book that I just couldn’t put it down. I didn’t know what was going to happen and what I love about Ms Showalter’s writing is that she isn’t afraid to go places you think she isn’t going to go. Both books have a lot of shocking reveals but Through the Zombieglass went in a direction I wasn’t expecting and one I am super excited to see where it goes in the next book, The Queen of Zombie Hearts.

UPDATED (November 14/14): The Queen of Zombie Hearts was a great way to end the series. It was action-packed, featured lots of twists and turns and was a lot of fun to read. Again, this series went in a direction I wasn’t expecting and I loved the unpredictability. Fans of the series will be happy with how it all wraps up!

Conclusion:

You don’t need to be a fan of Alice in Wonderland or even know the basics to enjoy these books. If you like paranormal action series with bad boy heroes and strong female heroines, grab these two books!

Rating: 4.5/5

Similar Reads: Starling by Lesley Livingston (Starling Trilogy #1)

Synopsis for Alice in Zombieland (from Goodreads):
She won’t rest until she’s sent every walking corpse back to its grave. Forever.

Had anyone told Alice Bell that her entire life would change course between one heartbeat and the next, she would have laughed. From blissful to tragic, innocent to ruined? Please. But that’s all it took. One heartbeat. A blink, a breath, a second, and everything she knew and loved was gone.

Her father was right. The monsters are real….

To avenge her family, Ali must learn to fight the undead. To survive, she must learn to trust the baddest of the bad boys, Cole Holland. But Cole has secrets of his own, and if Ali isn’t careful, those secrets might just prove to be more dangerous than the zombies….

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Series Review: Beautiful by Jamie McGuire

Series: Beautiful

There is a spin-off series called the Maddox Brothers

Author: Jamie McGuire
# of Books: 2 (Beautiful Disaster, Walking Disaster)

There are 2 novellas: Mrs. Maddox (#1.5) & A Beautiful Wedding (#2.5)

Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Heat Rating: really warm

Thoughts:

NOTE: As of July 19th, I have not read Walking Disaster. Once I have, I will update this posting.

I read Beautiful Disaster immediately after finishing Taking Chances by Molly McAdams and I think that affected my review of this series. The books are very similar in some initial plot points–especially with a hero in the underground fight world and a heroine with a poor relationship with her father (but I mean “Daddy-issues” are nothing new in these types of books)–and in how the “sequel” is a retelling from the hero’s POV of the first book’s events. And because I didn’t overly enjoy Taking Chances and because they were similar, I think I enjoyed this book more than I would usually because I wasn’t as annoyed with the characters as I was in the similar Taking Chances story.

Where Beautiful Disaster differs is that the characters are a little stronger and less annoying. There also isn’t a love triangle where a girl is torn between two boys that she loves–though there is a bit of a “love triangle” in this book but I feel it is mostly one-sided. I liked Abby as a character though sometimes I didn’t get her thoughts/actions. She is very stubborn and I found that to be frustrating. But if she wasn’t so stubborn, we probably wouldn’t have a novel at all so c’est la vie 😛 I was also expecting a bigger and darker “secret past” based on the synopsis but it didn’t really meet those expectations. Travis was a little over the top for me, but I don’t have to date him so that’s A-ok with me 😛 but his alpha male ways could really put off a reader if they don’t like the possessive alpha hero.

I liked the relationship between Abby and Travis. What I really respected were the times when Abby could recognize when the relationship wasn’t going in a healthy direction and she wanted to take it slower because everything does happen so fast at the start. But for the most part, I could see why they liked each other and I appreciate the fact that they got to know each other on a personal level before they jumped into bed together (though Travis moved really fast!).

Overall, I really liked this book. There were a few times a chuckled to myself from the wit and there were some extremely adorable moments between Abby and Travis.

I read on the author’s site that they are planning on making this into a movie. I’m not sure how I feel about it, but I will probably end up watching it anyway for curiosity’s sake. I think it will be hard to do based on the possessiveness of the relationship (because it isn’t that healthy) but if they can make Fifty Shades a movie, then you can definitely do this one!

I’m looking forward to reading Walking Disaster. I’m starting to notice the trend of having the follow-up novel as the alternate POV for the main characters but as I haven’t really read any, I can’t comment any further on it. I think it is a great idea because I do like having alternate POVs in my New Adult reads–it just helps getting the perspective of the character and better understand their actions/reactions.

I will update this post once I get my hands on Walking Disaster!

Conclusion:

A really cute and fast read. I had a hard time putting this book down! I could definitely see why some people might not like it because Travis is very alpha male and Abby can be extremely stubborn. The writing is nothing fabulous but the story is very addicting for some reason. I’m looking forward to Walking Disaster and whatever spin-off novels come our way.

Rating: 4/5

Similar Reads: Taking Chances by Molly McAdams (Taking Chances, #1), Broken at Love by Lyla Payne (Whitman University, #1) and If You Stay by Courtney Cole (Beautifully Broken, #1)

Synopsis for Beautiful Disaster (from Goodreads):
INTENSE. DANGEROUS. ADDICTIVE.

Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate number of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance from the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University’s Walking One-Night Stand.

Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby wants—and needs—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’s apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match