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Single Sundays: Touch of Eden by Jessie M.

Synopsis (from Goodreads.com):
I’m Joshua… 25 years old and full of myself.
I hang out with my like minded pals, obsessed with sex and hooking as many girls as I can…

Until one day, one fateful day, I go too far and commit a dreadful sin.
My whole life collapses around me. I don’t want to be me anymore.
I start to change and the next thing I know my whole world stops spinning when I fall in love.

But she says she doesn’t want me. Because of who and what I am and my track record…
You see she knows me. She knows me better than anyone else because she just so happens to be my best friend… This is my story. Our story.

Review:

I actually got this book from Kindle for free near the end of August. The cover and plot premise intrigued me enough to pick it up despite it only being 130 pages long. The page number is an important thing to note because I tend to avoid novellas whenever possible (unless they are a part of a series as a side-story/bridging story) because I find I don’t like how quickly the plot progresses and I find I just end up unsatisfied.

After reading this book, I am a bit unsatisfied. I felt like it had started a little too slowly and then it ended rather suddenly (read: no epilogue). I just couldn’t get into this book and when I finally did, it ended.

Josh was a hard character to like. At first, I thought he was a complete moron when it came to the English language; and then I realized that this book was set in the UK and not the United States like I assumed. Once I sorted that out it went a lot better. But Josh’s character itself was hard to get a firm grasp on. The book is only told from his POV and as a girl, I find it hard to connect with a guy’s mind at times. I’m all for the reformed playboy characters (they are my guilty pleasure) but I didn’t find anything redeemable about him (though he got a bit better near the end).

Overall, I felt like the plot was missing a few dots in the flow. You can really divide the plot into two sets: the romance and Josh’s everyday life. The romance happens quickly and rather unexpectedly. It was literally a BAM moment and he knew he was always in love with Eden. I really didn’t get it so that threw me for a bit. Though I really did like the two of them together and I wish we got to see more of that in the book. The rest of the plot again just felt like it was lacking something. I think part of the problem was everything just starts and ends so quickly that there is a lot that doesn’t reach its full potential. I also kept expecting some twists and turns but they never came so that left me disappointed.

Conclusion:

As a free book, this was a good book. Nothing overly fantastic but I enjoyed reading it. I just wish it was a bit longer and had a more developed plot because all the dots were there, they just needed to be strung together. Would I pay the $3 on Amazon that it is listed at now? Probably not but I wouldn’t discount books from this author in the future if they were the right price.

Rating: 2.5/5

Shorthand Stats:
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Drama
Recommended for: 18+
Similar Reads: Frigid by J. Lynn

Series Review: Sweet by Wendy Higgins

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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Synopsis for Sweet Evil (from Goodreads):

Embrace the Forbidden

What if there were teens whose lives literally depended on being bad influences?

This is the reality for sons and daughters of fallen angels.

Tenderhearted Southern girl Anna Whitt was born with the sixth sense to see and feel emotions of other people. She’s aware of a struggle within herself, an inexplicable pull toward danger, but it isn’t until she turns sixteen and meets the alluring Kaidan Rowe that she discovers her terrifying heritage and her willpower is put to the test. He’s the boy your daddy warned you about. If only someone had warned Anna.

Forced to face her destiny, will Anna embrace her halo or her horns?

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SERIESous’ Top Book Series: Best Reads of 2013, Sad to See Go Series 2014
Series: Sweet Trilogy
Author: Wendy Higgins
# of Books: 3 (Sweet Evil, Sweet Peril, Sweet Reckoning)

There is a Book #4: Sweet Temptation. It is an Alternate POV Novel to the series

Book Order: Chronological (Alternate POV: Sweet Temptation)
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Angels, Romance, Paranormal
Heat Rating: really warm *spicy YA*
Point of View: First Person, Single
Publication Dates: May 2012 – September 2015
Source & Format: Public Library–eBook

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My Expectations:

When my library finally got these books in, I jumped for joy! Being a student, I can’t afford to buy every book that I desperately want to read (which is a lot if you could see the list I have) so I wait and wait until the library gets it. Thankfully, with eBook collections, the libraries my way seem to be getting more and more books at a faster rate and I couldn’t be more grateful.

Despite being really excited to read Sweet Evil, I was also really hesitant. Normally, I enjoy angel-themed young adult books but lately, I have read a few “duds” that seem to be rehashes of other books I have already read. However, after reading the summary for Sweet Evil, I was intrigued by the plot but I wasn’t sure what else to expect.

The Concept:

I have to say, Sweet Evil kind of blew me away! I wasn’t expecting to like this book as much as I did and I literally devoured it in a day. Overall, the book was refreshing when it could have been very stale. The concept of Nephilim who have to do bad things was really neat and it kept me interested in what was happening. The world of guardian angels, demons and Nephilim was straightforward so it was easy to understand but had enough to it that kept me reading.

The Plot:

Each book starts a little slow but it isn’t long before you find yourself enraptured with the characters, plot and world. New twists and secrets are revealed as you go and help add to the story. By the time I was halfway through, I couldn’t put these books down!

I will say that the finale wasn’t as action packed as I had anticipated but it does a great job of bringing the series to a close so I can’t complain all that much!

The Characters:

I also genuinely liked Anna. It could have been really iffy because totally “virtuous” characters can get very annoying, very fast but I liked seeing her struggle with her true nature and feelings. I really admired and respected her when all was said and done which was great.  I went into Sweet Peril (#2) with the worry that I would end up hating Anna by the end of it due to her “good-girl” character but I find she has enough relateable flaws that I only ended up loving her character more

The Romance:

And I really liked the relationship between Anna and Kaiden and how it develops throughout the story. To be truthful, I really love that relationship and it is a major reason why I loved these books so much.

updates

–March 3, 2018– Book #4: Sweet Temptation **DNF’d at 35%**

Unfortunately, due to time constraints I had to DNF this book. I was enjoying getting Kaidan’s POV a lot. He’s one of my favourite male characters in YA ever. So it was cool to reminisce with him and see his perspective on the events of the previous novels.

That being said, I would have enjoyed this novel a lot more if I read it right after reading the original trilogy. It doesn’t get overly descriptive in terms of events and therefore it relies on the readers ability to remember what happened in the original novels. It’s been so long for me that I’m a little foggy on all the details (though I could have read this recap before) so I probably didn’t enjoy it (or appreciate it) as much as I could have. So I highly recommend reading Sweet Temptation right after finishing Sweet Reckoning.

Series Rating: 4/5

Sweet Evil 5/5 | Sweet Peril 4/5| Sweet Reckoning 4/5 | Sweet Temptation DNF

overall

One of the best Young Adult series I have read in a long time. It isn’t a fluffy, teen soap-opera read. It’s a touch darker, a touch steamier and much more mature than most Young Adult reads out there. While it isn’t a fighting action-packed story, it has enough action and events at a great pace that entice you to keep reading. Filled with a great romance, awesome characters and a unique plotline, this is a must-read series for fans of paranormal YA reads! Be prepared to spend all day reading these!

Read if You Like: older YA stories, angels, romance
Avoid if You: dislike YA paranormal

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Single Sundays: Heartless by Catou Martine


Synopsis (from Goodreads.com):

Heather Redmond spent three years hiding from the world, her innocence lost and faith shattered.

She’s mastered the art of forgetting the past. Now she’s ready to face the future. College is on the horizon, and she’s enjoying a quiet summer in LA.

The last thing she’s prepared for is a hot guy jumping into her convertible while she’s stopped at a traffic light.

Josh Hansen is Heather’s opposite. He’s fearless and sexy, racing through life on his motorcycle. And he always takes a leap when Fate gives him a wink. He can’t resist the wide-eyed, pretty blonde who seems afraid of the world.

Josh is determined to push Heather’s boundaries, body and soul. She’s afraid of her awakening feelings, and wants to take things one step at a time, but Josh isn’t used to driving in the slow lane, and soon they are speeding into passion and love.

When their darkest secrets come to light, Heather and Josh are forced to confront the painful past and either find forgiveness, or lose their love forever.

Review:

I picked this book up for free one afternoon from the Kindle Store. I am obsessed with New Adult reads so when I see a free one, I grab it. And this one was quite the surprise!

I really enjoyed this book! I’m always skeptical when books are free because they are often riddled with spelling and grammar mistakes but this one wasn’t. There was the occasional word missing from a sentence or a typo here and there but nothing that made me frustrated–they all just seemed like harmless, unintentional typos. It wasn’t the greatest book ever but I liked the story and I easily got hooked. I only planned to read a chapter or two in the morning and then ended up spending the whole morning reading it!

Part of the reason I got hooked was the mystery to the characters. Both have secretive pasts that slowly get revealed as you read. I also liked what the backstories were. I haven’t read a book that focused on that specific type of situation (without giving anything away I will say it does talk about religion and faith) before so I thought it was really refreshing to read and I think it was done tastefully (meaning it wasn’t trying to shove a specific viewpoint down your throat or was offensive in anyway). I will warn potential readers that there is some heavy subject matter in this novel that not everyone will feel comfortable reading so it might not be for everyone.

The main reason why I didn’t give this book 4 out of 5 stars was because of the plot timeline. Things just happen WAY too fast in this book. It’s basically an insta-love connection and everything happens within the span of 2 weeks. I think I would have an easier time believing everything if it happened over the span of a few months instead.

I also think this timespan hurt my impression of Heather. After reading the book, I’m not sure how I feel about her. Overall, I think her character delivery wasn’t as strong as it could be. She always seemed to appear one way then as another on the next page. I could cut her some slack given her past but given the timeline I just felt like we didn’t connect some of the dots on her character composition.  Same goes with Josh. They both just lacked that little bit more to their characters and I think if the book was a tad longer and had a longer timeline, this issue would be solved.

Conclusion:

A refreshing New Adult read that was super cute and quick. I recommend it for those who adore love at first sight stories and seeing love heal people. But warning, it does deal with subject matter that might be uncomfortable for some readers (such as abuse and religion).

Rating: 3.5/5

Shorthand Stats:
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Recommended for:17+
Similar Reads: Crash by Nicole Williams (Crash Trilogy, #1)

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

Series Review: Taking Chances by Molly McAdams

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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Synopsis for Taking Chances (from Goodreads):
Her first year away is turning out to be nearly perfect, but one weekend of giving in to heated passion will change everything.

Eighteen-year-old Harper has grown up under the thumb of her career marine father. Ready to live life her own way and to experience things she’s only ever heard of from the jarheads in her father’s unit, she’s on her way to college at San Diego State University.

Thanks to her new roommate, Harper is introduced to a world of parties, gorgeous guys, family, and emotions. She finds herself being torn in two as she quickly falls in love with both her new boyfriend, Brandon, and her roommate’s brother, Chase. Despite their dangerous looks and histories, both men adore Harper and would do anything for her, including taking a step back if it would mean she’d be happy.

breakdown

Series: Taking Chances
Author: Molly McAdams
# of Books: 3 (Taking Chances, Stealing Harper, Trusting Liam)
Book Order: Connected

Stealing Harper is an alternate retelling of Taking Chances. Trusting Liam is a sequel to Taking Chances with a different set of leads.

Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Love Triangles
Heat Rating: really warm
Point of View: First Person, Single
Publication Dates: October 2012 – June 2015
Source & Format: Public Library–eBook

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PLEASE NOTE: That I have decided not to continue on with the series. Read my rant why below…

I won’t lie, I went into reading Taking Chances with low expectations. As you may or may not know from reading my other posts, I seriously dislike love triangles in novels and because the entire premise of this book is based on a love triangle, I didn’t expect much. The only reason I was even convinced to read this book was because of the high Goodreads rating and some reviews I found on the site.

I’m not sure how I feel about this book overall–I guess “meh” is probably the best word. Harper annoys the bejesus out of me–that much I know. I can get past the innocent military brat routine–that makes sense to me because of how her family life is described in the novel–but otherwise I just don’t get her.

What I don’t get is how or why all the sudden men are trying to get with her?!

It’s like one instance she is some normal girl and then BAM! Total boy magnet! She’s in college for one week and suddenly she has two alpha males banging down her door to get with her. She doesn’t even have to speak to the one and he is at her feet! I tell you, if my college experience was anything like that, I wouldn’t be blogging or spending so much time reading my novels and watching TV…by myself! I’m not sure why this bothered me so much as it is a common occurrence in New Adult reads; but I think it is mostly because I just don’t get Harper’s appeal to the opposite sex.

My biggest peeve is with Chase–he literally talks (“talks” is being generous, more like they take jabs at each other) to her for two minutes and he falls instantly in love with her. And not just, “I have to sleep with you” love, like soul mate-your-my-one-and-only love. I will say though that they do develop an actual relationship after a little while so that helps a bit but not by much.

But wait! Let’s not forget the token male BFF who has always loved her and desperately wants to be with her! Yup, that is right, it isn’t just a love triangle but a love square–UGH! Completely unnecessary and predictable.

I just don’t get love triangles and how Harper deals with Chase, despite her feelings and relationship with Brandon baffles me–it’s like the elevator doesn’t reach the top floor for her. I just didn’t see how the dots connected for her and how one minute she could be incredibly immature and then in the next be spewing mature lessons on life.

What isn’t predictable is the one plot twist we get about a halfway through the book. I was so shocked, I had to reread the last five pages to make sure I didn’t skip a chapter. I applaud McAdams for taking that turn, but what I didn’t like were all the actions that followed.

BUT, enough of my rant 😛 Overall, the book was slow and I think it could have lost about 50 pages and got the point across. There were a few grammatical errors (such as incorrect tenses) but nothing to rip your hair out over.

Stealing Harper is a retelling of Taking Chances, but told from Chase’s view. I will read it when my hold comes in from the library as I am curious and hoping for some more insight about what makes Harper this amazing girl, but I am not counting down the days until I get it.

I will update my review once I read it.  

Since posting this review, I have decided not to continue on with this series and will therefore not be reading the remaining novels in the series.

Series Rating: 2/5

Taking Chances 2/5 | [Stealing Harper] N/A | Trusting Liam N/A

overall

I wasn’t expecting to like this book, so I am not surprised that I didn’t. I can appreciate some of the twists McAdams throw out there, the book just didn’t do much for me. Avoid if you hate love triangles, but pick it up if you do!

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

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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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Series Review: Whitman University by Lyla Payne

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

Broken at Love by Lyla Payne | Whitman University

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booksynopsis

Synopsis for Broken at Love (from Goodreads):
When a knee injury ends twenty-year-old Quinn Rowland’s pro tennis career, he’s not only dumped by his hot Russian girlfriend but ordered to attend college by his disinterested billionaire father. A rich kid who’s not used to being disappointed by life, Quinn and his sociopathic half-brother Sebastian create a frat house game intended to treat girls how they see them—as simple game pieces to be manipulated for their pleasure.

College sophomore Emilie Swanson knows Quinn’s reputation—after all, he did send one of her sorority sisters into therapy earlier in the semester—but the game and his charm bring them closer together and soon she starts to believe there’s more to Quinn than people think.

But what if the more is something darker than a game of toying with emotions and breaking hearts?

Quinn and Emilie might be falling for each other, but there are secrets he’s not ready to tell—and lifestyle changes he’s reluctant to make. She willingly stepped on the court, but if Emilie finds out she started out as nothing as a pawn in Quinn and Sebastian’s twisted game, she might never forgive him.

To his surprise, Quinn finds that he might finally care about someone more than he cares about himself…even if that means letting Emilie walk away for good.

breakdown

Series: Whitman University
Author: Lyla Payne
# of Books: 5 (Full Series Order Here)
Book Order: Connected
Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Heat Rating: Toasty
Point of View: First Person, Alternating & Single
Publication Dates: March 2013 – November 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 Thoughts on Broken at Love:

I was really excited to read this book. I don’t know what it is, but I love stories about people falling “accidentally” in love and with this one, there seemed to be a darker element to it so that really drew me in.

Unfortunately, while I really liked this book, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would. It wasn’t as dark as I thought it was going to be–I think I was hoping for a Cruel Intentions kind of book–so that was a little disappointing as that is NOT what we get. It focused more on them trying to become a couple and Emilie helping Quinn deal with his issues (though there is a bit about Emilie with hers) than their past or the twisted brother Sebastain.

Another thing that didn’t really do it for me was Emilie. I find Emilie is a character that confuses me as I think parts of her thought/action processes conflict with each other. She knows Quinn’s reputation and saw her roommate fall apart from a relationship with him but she still plays right into his hands. She even says at one point that the whole thing seemed planned yet still she flirts and kisses him, and then seems surprised when she learns the truth :S From how she acted in the first two chapters (leading up to meeting Quinn) I guess I just assumed she would be a different, smarter character than what we were given. Other than that, she was a nice girl who really cared about Quinn despite everything that happens.

I really liked Quinn’s character though. I understand where he was coming from and it was apparent to me why he liked Emilie as a person. I enjoyed his POV chapters. I think you see Quinn deal with his past more so than Emilie and I liked that aspect of the book. The hopeless romantic in me likes to read about stories where love heals 😛

To focus on the writing of the book, I really liked the delivery of the POVs. I find that when we have two POV characters we often get alternating chapters between the two, where one picks up where the other left off. Here, we got alternating chapters but you might have Quinn’s POV for chapter 5-7 and then Emilie’s for 7-10. I liked this change and I think it helped the story flow better. I also think the writing was pretty mature as well (ie. they didn’t sound like they were in high school) and the story wraps up nicely within this book.

The next book in the series, By Referral Only, we get to see Emilie’s best friend Ruby fall in love. From the little doses of Ruby we get in Broken at Love I’m looking forward to reading it and am hoping that the love triangle hinted at in the synopsis isn’t actually going to be a real one!

updates

–September 3, 2018– Book #2: By Referral Only

**I DNF’d this at 18% (start of Chapter 5)**

I actually liked Ruby when we met her in Broken at Love? Wow, I surprised myself by I immediately disliked her by the end of Chapter 1 in this instalment…

Ruby was just a little much for me as a narrator. Some of her thoughts are a little rude; she isn’t the most mature person and she has an overall negative energy about her. But perhaps her worst aspect is that she’s SUPER hypocritical: she judges people while not wanting to be judged (example: premise of the referral service); and for being upset that guys only want sex when that’s all she wants too. It hurt me a little to be stuck inside her brain because her logic isn’t always the most sound…

I’m all for embracing female sexuality and I love that Ruby isn’t afraid to get what she wants in that respect. The premise of the referral service is what kept this book on my TBR for years. It’s an interesting one and I love the double-standard aspect of it. That wouldn’t fly at all if it was girls that were the subject of critic. But not much is done with that (and from what I gather from other readers, it really doesn’t later on in the book) and I think that’s a shame because it would be a great conversation (especially with the #metoo movement).

Series Rating: DNF

Broken at Love 4/5 | By Referral Only DNF

overall

If you like melodramatics and wish-washy characters OR want a guilty pleasure read, this might be the series for you!

Read if You Like: drama, steamy romances
Avoid if You: need strong characters

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Series Review: Games by Nyrae Dawn

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

Charade by Nyrae Dawn | Games Series

 

SERIESous’ Top Picks: Must Read Author
Series: Games
Author: Nyrae Dawn
# of Books: 3 (Charade, Façade, Masquerade)
Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Heat Rating: Really Warm
Point of View: First Person, Alternating
Publication Dates: October 2012 – January 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.**

I was really excited to read this book. Despite my hate of predictable books, I really enjoy romance books where people accidentally fall in love while “playing a game.” Weird, I know, but I think in the New Adult genre when this happens you really see the connection between the two people (in most cases!). It’s not just the sex or physical attraction between them because they actually talk to and get to know each other and from there, love develops. It makes the relationship that touch more realistic to me and let’s me enjoy the story that much more.

This book started off on shaky ground initially for me because it seemed to me that it was going to be a little “high school-y”. The drama between Cheyenne and her ex-boyfriend could have been really juvenile–and to a degree it was–but once you get past that (just a few chapters in) it starts to get deeper into the characters and their past and becomes much more mature. (Also, no love triangle!)

The story with Colt’s mom broke my heart. I did cry because it was very well done and made you feel what Colt was feeling. I really liked Colt because he was relatable and understandable. You could clearly see why he was struggling. Same with Cheyenne’s story. She started off a little weak in her convictions but she really grows into a strong, independent woman. Everything was well connected and I really enjoyed that.

I really don’t have anything negative to say about this book only that I didn’t like how quickly they switched from a fake relationship of holding hands to “friends-with-benefits”. It just seemed a little out of character for Cheyenne given her background story but it’s not an absolute deal breaker for me–and given the circumstances they find themselves in, I let it slide.

To end on a positive note: one thing I really liked about this book is that Colt and Cheyenne’s story ends in Charade. The next book is about Colt’s friend Adrian who appears throughout the book enough that I am excited to see what his story is.

updates

–May 24, 2014– Book #2: Façade

This was such a refreshing read for me!

I really liked the story and I loved the characters! I simply devoured it and I really didn’t know how everything was going to go down. I loved the moments we get with characters of the past and I really fell in love with the new set as well.

I’m super excited for Masquerade and can’t wait to finally read it!

–November 19, 2016– Book #3: Masquerade

Gah! Nyrae Dawn has made me believe in soulmates with these two!

This is what I want to see in a romance: two people who compliment each other so well that is is simply a blast to watch them fall for each other!

Yes, they had great physical chemistry; the sexual tension was off the charts from the start. But at the same time, it was a slow burn type of romance. One that took its time and made it 100% believable.

And the character development! Perfection! Watching these two come to terms with their pasts was a beautiful thing to see. You don’t get any unnecessary drama in this plot at all. It sticks to the story of two people finding love when they never thought they could.

This book was just awesome! Exactly what I wanted and what I needed to read.

Series Rating: 4.5/5

Charade 4/5 | Facade 4/5 | Masquerade 5/5

overall

This is one of those character centered series that you will fall in love with. It’s amazing how quickly you get attached to them. I definitely shed some tears in each of these novels! It’s a great series for anyone who doesn’t want all the unnecessary, soap-opera-esque drama New Adult stories often have.

Read if You Like: character development, new adult romances
Avoid if You: want lots of drama

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booksynopsis

Synopsis for Charade (from Goodreads):
Nineteen-year-old Cheyenne tries to portray the perfect life to mask the memories of her past. Walking in on her boyfriend with another woman her freshman year in college threatens that picture of perfection.

Twenty-one-year-old Colt never wanted college and never expected to amount to anything, but when his mom’s dying wish is for him to get his degree, he has no choice but to pretend it’s what he wants too.

Cheyenne needs a fake boyfriend to get back at her ex and Colt needs cash to take care of his mom, so they strike a deal that helps them both. But what if Cheyenne’s past isn’t what she thought? Soon they’re trading one charade for another—losing themselves in each other to forget about their pain. The more they play their game, the more it becomes the only thing they have that feels real.

Both Cheyenne and Colt know life is never easy, but neither of them expect the tragedy that threatens to end their charade and rip them apart forever.

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Series Review: Young Love by Amanda Heath

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

This Beautiful Thing | Young Love Series

 book2 book2 book2

Series: Young Love
Author: Amanda Heath
# of Books: 4 (This Beautiful Thing, Fire in Her Eyes, Norma Jean, Wrong Kind of Love)
Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Drama, Romance, Forbidden Love
Heat Rating: really warm

Thoughts on This Beautiful Thing:

Disclaimer: I stopped reading this series after This Beautiful Thing. Find out why below…

I nearly put this book down after the first chapter (which is 3 pages on my Kobo) for three main reasons:

  1. the characters
  2. the story
  3. the writing itself.

Let’s start with the characters. The book alternates between Teagan and Delcan first person POV. When I read Teagan’s POV, I feel like I am killing brain cells. She is not what I enjoy in a leading lady and if she was a person in my real life, I would avoid her at all costs. I’m not even sure how to describe what it is that irks me about her. She is just one of those characters I can’t stand. I guess it’s because she seems to be a bit of a drama queen and lacks logic in her actions. She gets angry without hearing the full story and assumes something else and then goes, “you’re right I never thought of it like that, I’m sorry”. She flips sides like a coin and it’s not something I enjoy in my characters. Delcan’s POV is slightly better to read so I enjoy the break that happens when I read his story.

Which brings me to the story. It’s stereotypical and because the characters are very immature it comes across as juvenile. It felt like I was reading a story about high school seniors from 90210 and not about college students because all the issues were really petty. The best way I can think to describe the story is as a soap-opera–which I don’t mind watching on TV, but I don’t enjoy reading about it. It takes things to extreme levels–levels that don’t need to be reached in order to make this story enjoyable.

I think the reason this book came across as juvenile is due to the writing. It’s not the best writing I have had to read and (this sounds awful but) it seems to me like a teenager wrote this after watching too many soap-operas. And there were A TON of grammatical and spelling errors. When I read eBooks, I let the occasional typo slide by–I mean it happens–but these are obvious mistakes that everyone learns in grade school (“to” instead of “two”; “its” instead of “it’s”; no commas; using the completely wrong word; etc.). (Which is a problem I see with eBooks as anyone can self-publish books and sell them online without getting someone to edit it). I think part of the reason I only continued to read this book was to see how many errors I could find (FYI, I lost count). Needless to say, the constant errors really turned me off this book.

The next book in the series, Wrong Kind of Love features a new set of characters as the leads but are characters we are introduced to in This Beautiful Thing. I don’t think I am going to pick this one up because it seems to be about a love triangle. I already hate love triangles and I’m not a fan of the first book so it just seems like a no-brainer to avoid book 2 at all costs. Not even the many hints near the end of this book will tempt me to see what actually goes down in the sequel.

Conclusion:

This is one of the worst books I have read all year. I’m glad I only spent a dollar on it, otherwise, I would be getting a refund. It had an interesting concept but failed to deliver.

Rating: 1/5

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Synopsis for This Beautiful Thing (from Goodreads):
Teagan Harper doesn’t have much experience with guys. Her twin brothers have made sure of that. Until one night at a college party she gives them the slip, finding herself in the arms of the most amazing guy she has ever met. Now she’s on a mission to find him since she ran from his bed. And forgot to ask his name…

Declan Sage has had control over his entire life. But that is all about to change when the girl who ran out of his bed turns his life upside down. She is about to throw that control out the window. But he’s pretty sure that’s a good thing seeing as she stole his heart…

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Series Review: Crash by Nicole Williams

SERIESous’ Top Book Series: A top New Adult Read
Series: Crash Trilogy
Author: Nicole Williams
# of Books: 3 (Crash, Clash, Crush)
Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Sports, Romance, Contemporary
Heat Rating: Crash & Clash: warm ; Crush: Really Warm

Thoughts:

This series will forever hold a special place in my heart as it is the first New Adult read I have ever picked up and I credit it with introducing me to the genre. It’s a great series and a great way to get a feel for the New Adult genre but without all the sex that seems to accompany some books in the genre (there isn’t very much in the first two books).

I went into Crash with very low expectations. It was my plan when I started it to finish it ASAP so I could start another book but I quickly got into the story and finished it super quickly anyways 😛 I think the book summary for Crash is a little deceiving (it’s posted at the end of the blog post FYI). I went into this book thinking it was going to be your typical bad boy-good girl relationship but it wasn’t. I also thought it was going to focus more on Lucy’s dancing but it doesn’t–which is a good thing in my opinion, dance isn’t really my thing to read about. There isn’t a ridiculous plot that the characters go through, it’s more focused on how their pasts effect their futures but that is what I liked about the story.

Throughout the series, I had a love-hate relationship with Jude and Lucy, the main characters.

I’ll start with Jude. You could tell her adored Lucy so I liked that. In Crash, he reminded a lot of a young Christian Grey minus the need to dominate his woman (ie no BDSM). He is very possessive which is really attractive and I know that makes girls swoon but it is also scary because it could have been too much. Actually, at some points in the book I felt like the relationship bordered on unhealthy (it’s actually alluded to in later books which I thought was ironic). My mind often drifted to another book I had read this year, The Taming by Teresa Toten, where a teen relationship turns into an abusive one. I really feared that this was going to happen here but I’m glad it didn’t.

I think part of the reason it didn’t border on unhealthy was because of Lucy–which is why I liked her. She was a strong character who was also independent and intelligent enough to realize when Jude needed to turn it down a notch. She freely expresses her thoughts on his actions and makes sure she is heard by him as well. Though sometimes I found her to be a little contradictory in what she said/did so that caused me to like her a little less as the books went on. But to her credit, she does grow considerably as the series progresses so that is nice to see.

Which is another thing I like about this series: it’s relatable to its readers. A majority of what Lucy and Jude go through, especially once they reach college, is something that a majority of young adults go through. The series was definitely a more realistic New Adult series than what I am used to reading which is refreshing.

Clash was great. I read it in a day–which sucked because I had to wait 4 months for Crush. Crush was great also. I always get worried with romance trilogies that follow the same two characters because often times the story gets dragged out and the last book ends up being disappointing. I am happy to say that wasn’t the case here. Crush was a fantastic end to the series.

Conclusion:

For those just starting out in the New Adult world, this is a great bridge to reach there! For those who want a less “sex-focused” New adult read, grab this! Or if you just want to read about a couple growing individually while within a relationship, check this out!

Rating: 4.5/5

Similar Reads: The Perfect Game (Perfect Game Series) by J. Sterling

Synopsis for Crash (from Goodreads):
Jude Ryder and Lucy Larson are this generation’s Romeo and Juliet: Explosive. Sizzling. Tragic.

A steamy summer encounter with bad boy Jude means trouble for Lucy. Her sights are set on becoming a ballerina, and she won’t let anything get in her way . . . except Jude.

He’s got a rap sheet, dangerous mood swings, and a name that’s been sighed, shouted, and cursed by who knows how many girls.

Jude’s a cancer, the kind of guy who’s fated to ruin the lives of girls like Lucy—and he tells her so.

But as rumors run rampant and reputations are destroyed, Lucy’s not listening to Jude’s warning. Is tragedy waiting in the wings? This racy romance is hot, hot, hot!