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Series Review: The Bet by Rachel Van Dyken

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

booksynopsis

Synopsis for The Bet (from Goodreads):

“I have a proposition for you.” Kacey should have run the minute those words left Seattle millionaire Jake Titus’s mouth. It’s been years since Kacey’s seen her childhood friend Jake, but the minute Jake mentions his ill grandmother, Kacey is ready to do anything for the sweet old woman. And if that means pretending they’re engaged for her sake-so be it.

But Kacey wasn’t counting on Jake’s older brother Travis still being there. She calls him “Satan” for a reason: she’s never forgotten the way he teased and taunted her. Yet when they meet again, Travis’s gorgeous smile is a direct hit to her heart . . . and Kacey’s more confused than ever. As the days pass, only one thing starts to become alarmingly clear-she never should have accepted Jake’s deal . . .

breakdown

SERIESous’ Top Picks: Must Read Author
Series: The Bet
Author: Van Dyken
# of Books: 3 (The Bet, The Wager, The Dare)
Book Order: Connected (but chronological events)
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Humour
Heat Rating: really warm
Point of View: Third Person, Multiple (The Bet); Alternating
Publication Dates: March 2013 – July 2014
Source & Format: Own & Public Library–eBook

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NOTE: I only read The Bet (#1) and The Dare (#3). I DNF’d The Wager at 14%. Find out why below.

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

I’ve really enjoyed Rachel Van Dyken’s previous series in the past and I’ve had this one marked on my TBR forever. I only had the first book on my eReader and that’s why it was selected for my #ShelfLove Challenge for 2017.

I didn’t know entirely what to expect going into The Bet. It gets a few polarizing reviews on Goodreads but I went in with an open mind and the need to be entertained.

The Plot:

As whole, this series is about a meddling Grandmother who wants her grandsons to get their heads out of their butts and get married to the “ones that got away”. Grandma Nadine is an over the top character as are her antics. Her meddling isn’t a huge focus in The Bet (#1) but it does become a huge part of the latter two novels.

This results in some mixed feelings for me in terms of the plot. I enjoyed The Bet as Nadine is more of the filter-less Grandmother who inserts a comment or two along the way. But her interference in the next two novels is very hit or miss. Most of the time I enjoyed the concept of the second chance romance but not the execution–mainly Nadine’s manipulation–of the plot. It takes everything to this over-dramatic level that I wasn’t a fan of.

The Characters:

I think these characters really make it or break it for the readers. They aren’t the most mature out there and I wouldn’t say that all of them are completely likable either. I think I was just in the right mood for tolerating some of these characters when I read the books.

Case and point: Kacey. I really struggled with her because she does some down-right awful things to Travis when they are kids. I’m talking full out bullying the boy to the point where I’m shocked he turned out as nice as he did. But she does have these moments where she comes across as a genuinely nice girl (now that she’s older) so it was hard to pinpoint my exact feelings on her.

I think if you don’t take them all so seriously and focus on the silly things that happen along the way, you can enjoy this novel without loving the characters. (But I understand that is a hard thing to do in a romance novel–case and point why I DNF’d Book #2 The Wager).

The Romance:

These are all second chance stories that happen quickly (usually within a week or two), reestablishing this connection from the past. We only get a few flashbacks to the past so it was hard to convince me that all these characters were a great match. The connections of the leads in The Wager and The Dare just seemed so superficial to me because their past was a shared night of lust.

Why I DNF’d The Wager (#2) at 14%:

I was actually pretty excited to start this one because I love a good “player redemption story”. But the immaturity of these characters irritated me to no ends. Their opening chapters just seemed so ridiculous to me and I couldn’t get into.

Series Rating: 3/5

The Bet 4.5/5 | The Wager DNF| The Dare 2.5/5

overall

I think if you enjoy stories that don’t take themselves too seriously and can get past somewhat mature characters, you will enjoy this series. However, Rachel Van Dyken writes much (much) better romance novels so perhaps try Ruin or The Matchmaker’s Playbook instead.

Read if You Like: over the top drama, quick second chance romances
Avoid if You: dislike immature characters, struggle with humour in novels

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DNF Series Review: Falling by Jasinda Wilder

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

booksynopsis

Synopsis for Falling Into You (from Goodreads):
I wasn’t always in love with Colton Calloway; I was in love with his younger brother, Kyle, first. Kyle was my first one true love, my first in every way.

Then, one stormy August night, he died, and the person I was died with him.

Colton didn’t teach me how to live. He didn’t heal the pain. He didn’t make it okay. He taught me how to hurt, how to not be okay, and, eventually, how to let go.

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SERIESous’ Top Picks: Disappointment 2016
Series: Falling
Author: Jasinda Wilder
# of Books: 5 (Falling Into You, Falling Into Us, Falling Under, Falling Away, Falling for Colton)
Book Order: Connected
Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Drama
Heat Rating: N/A
Point of View: First Person, Alternating
Publication Dates: March 2013 – January 2016
Source & Format: Own–eBook

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Disclaimer: I stopped reading Falling Into You (Book 1) at 39%. Find out why below…

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

I picked up Falling Into You years ago for my Kobo when I first got into the New Adult genre. I was looking forward to reading it but the topic of death was one I was rarely in the mood for. So I put it off for years but continued to buy the sequels for the day I finally got around to the series.

I actually read Wilder’s Stripped Series before I read this one. I had really mixed feelings of it as a whole and I was a little skeptical starting Falling Into You when I pulled it for my Rock My TBR challenge. But, I tried my best to go in with an open mind and give Falling Into You a far chance.

What I Didn’t Like:

–The Immaturity = Dramatics–

Falling Into You starts with Kyle and Nell’s story–something I wasn’t entirely expecting but understand. However, because they are in high school, the petty drama was just a little too much for me to handle. Even worse was that Nell knew she was being melodramatic about certain things but continued on anyways.

So while I could cut them some slack because of their ages and I understand the more rushed nature of those “prequel-esque” chapters in order to set the tone of the story–I just got off on the wrong foot with those characters, resulting in me getting slightly annoyed by their behaviour and simply not caring what happened to them.

–The Romance–

It wasn’t the circumstances of the relationship that were off-putting, rather it was the almost “insta-love” vibe I got from Colton that really nailed the coffin closed on this series. I believe that connections between people can happen in a moment but this was just too much for me to swallow when I wasn’t loving everything that I had seen previously. I just didn’t enjoy the more implied, innate nature of the romance.

Will I Finish It?

Sigh…I bought the next two books in the series shortly after I bought the first one just because I got a really good deal. I hate having books unfinished that I’ve purchased but even the idea of skimming Falling Into You while trapped on a train for an hour wasn’t even appealing to me. Maybe later this year I’ll force myself to read a chapter a day or something while reading something else…

Series Rating: DNF

Falling Into You DNF | Falling Into Us N/A | Falling Under N/A | Falling Away N/A | Falling for Colton N/A

overall

This series wasn’t my cup of tea and I think if I had read some more reviews before buying a majority of the series, I would have known that. Perhaps one day I’ll power through them all just to get them finished on my Kobo but not at this time.

Read if You Like: dramatics, insta-love
Avoid if You: if you want more mature characters

similarreads

  • More than This by Jay McLean (More Series #1)
  • Find You in the Dark by A Meredith Walters (Find You in the Dark Series #1)
  • Hold on Tight by Abbi Glines (Sea Breeze Series #8)

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Series Review: Real by Katy Evans

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

book book book6

booksynopsis

Synopsis for Real (from Goodreads):
A fallen boxer.
A woman with a broken dream.
A competition…
He even makes me forget my name. One night was all it took, and I forgot everything and anything except the sexy fighter in the ring who sets my mind ablaze and my body on fire with wanting…
Remington Tate is the strongest, most confusing man I’ve ever met in my life.
He’s the star of the dangerous underground fighting circuit, and I’m drawn to him as I’ve never been drawn to anything in my life. I forget who I am, what I want, with just one look from him. When he’s near, I need to remind myself that I am strong–but he is stronger. And now it’s my job to keep his body working like a perfect machine, his taut muscles primed and ready to break the bones of his next opponents . . .
But the one he’s most threatening to, now, is me.
I want him. I want him without fear. Without reservations.
If only I knew for sure what it is that he wants from me?

breakdown

Series: Real
Author: Katy Evans
# of Books: 6 (Real, Mine, Remy, Rogue, Ripped, Book 6)
Book Order: Real and Mine are Chronological, Remy is the alternate POV sequel to Real the rest of the series is Connected
Complete?: No, Book 6, will be published Fall 2015
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Sports, Drama
Heat Rating: hot
Point of View: First Person, Single (Real, Mine, Remy); Alternate (Rogue, Ripped)Publication Dates: April 2013 – ongoing
Source & Format: Public Library–eBook

thoughts

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

Real is one of those books that has been haunting me on my Kobo account’s recommendation list since it was published. And while I was intrigued by it and all the positive reviews my Goodreads’ friends had given it, I simply can’t afford to shell out $10 a book to read the series. So when my library got copies of the book, I immediately added my name to the hold list.

I knew that the males were going to be top alpha dogs before I even started and while that usually doesn’t appeal to me, I was going to keep an open mind. I also figured these books were going to be more erotica than contemporary romance so I didn’t expect thrilling, complex plot lines either.

How to Phrase this…

My feelings on Real (both as a book and as a series) are mixed and I can understand why some people might give it an extremely low rating after reading it while others love it. In all honesty, I was enjoying it until I started to write this review (because I was writing this as I was reading it) and after I creeped some of the reviews on Goodreads to see what others thought of it. Reading this book after I did that was like when you notice someone’s bad habit for the first time and then that is all you can notice in the future.

I found that all the books in this series were kinda like that: the more I thought about them, the more I disliked them. It was weird because when I started to read the book, I was really enjoying it. But when I returned to reading it later, I didn’t like it that much and the same can be said for the subsequent times I picked up these books. There are two reasons I think this happened to me: 1) is the development of the heroines; and 2) the repetitiveness of the writing. And they both go hand in hand at times.

The Plot:

So, the plot isn’t really anything stellar, especially in Real. They definitely improve in the subsequent novels where we get some more “suspense” romance plot lines but for the most part, these books are just the heroines describing the virility of their men.

Yup, you read that right: virility.

The entire first half of Real is literally Brooke describing how the primal instincts in her are attracted to the “virile” man Remy is (It’s the same situation in the other books as well, though the page count is a little less). Honestly: there is a paragraph describing how the “female” in her wants to “mate” with Remy because she wants his genetics for her babies–I kid you not. And while the scientist in me appreciates that fact that this is a true human reaction, it just seemed a little over the top to me.

Personally, I could have done without all the redundant descriptions of how Remy turns her on–I got it after the first two times thank you. Brooke uses the worst words possible to describe their sexual encounters and often repeats them numerous times within a paragraph. Some are just hilarious to me and even now I have a silly grin on my face because I can’t believe that anyone would refer to their private parts like that.

But it also seems to dampen the flow of the book because you will be getting narration about where they are and then suddenly, BAM–Brooke’s describing how hot Remy makes her for two pages before BAM–you get shoved back into the actual scene narration. This gets better in the sequel books but they definitely have the same vibe.

It’s a shame because Remy’s story is actually interesting and it kinda takes a backseat to Brooke’s descriptions of his eight-pack. Same in the other books with the other leads. And when we do get the drama, it is over the top and a tad ridiculous but I guess that is the consequence of fiction.

The Characters:

I really struggled with these heroines. Heroines really make or break a series for me. I think it’s because I am a female so I can easily put myself in their shoes as opposed to a male character. And I’ll be honest: the primal alpha male heroes we get in this series really do nothing for me but I came into this series knowing that I wouldn’t particularly love them so it didn’t necessarily bother me.

What bothered me was that Brooke has the maturity of a 16 year old fangirl–which means she has very little. Even when we switch narrators in the other books in the series, I found that the delivery was much the same. The heroines become those immature girls who don’t see their self-worth without a man in their lives. And as soon as they do find their partner, they get immediately clingy. Basically, it’s the grown woman’s condition of Bella-Swan-I-can’t-live-without-him syndrome and it is just plain annoying. (Though to be fair, Pandora’s story, Ripped, doesn’t completely fall into this scenario.)

The Romance:

As I said before, these are basically books about acting on your lust. Two of the three couples have an insta-connection type of romance; the exception is Ripped where it is a second chance romance. I appreciated that one a lot more than the other two in that respect.

What I did love was the chemistry and the sexual tension. That is definitely one nice thing about insta-love stories because there is always so much frustration and close encounters before the big consummation.

My Expectations for the Rest of the Series:

I really have no idea who the next story in the series is about though I have a pretty good guess. I’ll read it just for the sake of finishing this series but it’s not high on my “have to read it now!” list.

Fun Fact:

Before I read Real I never knew that “scent” could be used as a verb–and after reading it 10 times as a verb I understand why: it’s annoying and awkward!

My Rating: 3/5

overall

I’m not sure what everyone else was reading but I don’t think I read the same thing. If you don’t mind clingy heroines, alpha males and over the top dramatics with lots of sex scenes, this is a good series for you! It just didn’t live up to the expectations I had in place and I found that I felt more frustrated than happy when reading these books.

Read if You Like: alpha males, over dramatics, lots of sex
Avoid if You: can’t tolerate petty heroines, crude language

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DNF Review: Until I Met You by Jaimie Roberts

Single Sundays: While this blog may be focused on reviewing book series as a whole, we can’t forget about the good ole’ standalone novel! On Sundays, I will review a novel that is considered to be a standalone novel. Here is this week’s offering:

Synopsis for Until I Met You (from Goodreads):
What happens when the worlds of two tortured souls collide?

Angelina Bradshaw has always believed that she does not need a man in her life. That’s what she has been telling herself her entire adult life. She feels worlds apart from her family’s dreams for her to meet a man, settle down, and have babies. She certainly can’t be doing that because love just gets in the way. She has a ‘go to’ guy and that’s enough for her.

Living in rural Cornwall, she is bored and in desperate need of adventure, so when a family friend offers her a job in London, there’s no hesitation. She expected adventure, she expected a new start, but what she didn’t expect was to meet a man who would turn her life upside-down. Seth Jacobs is hot, sexy, and can’t understand why Angelina doesn’t want him. No one has ever said no to Seth Jacobs—in fact—they all fall at his feet.

Seth pursues her relentlessly and Angelina fights him at every corner. He is the only man who has ever affected her, and the need to run from him is immense. However, Seth is not one to give up so easily. He soon finds himself on a mission, determined to win her heart.

Unfortunately for Angelina, all is not well when her past and present collide after receiving some unwelcoming and frightening news from home. She feels desperate and alone, but most of all, she feels she has to push Seth away before it’s too late.

To make matters worse, a catastrophic secret from the past is revealed, threatening to destroy the one thing, Angelina finally holds dear to her heart.

Review:

PLEASE NOTE: That I only read until the end of Chapter 6 (page 91) for this book and did not finish it prior to publishing this review. Find out why below…

I got this book as an Amazon Freebie one day and decided to read it right away because of the positive reviews on Goodreads and the synopsis captured my attention (also, I needed a standalone novel for my blog post this week). But once I was 50 pages in I started to wonder if I was reading the same thing as everyone else…

I can get past the slightly sloppy writing and editing errors when reading a book, especially ones that I get for free on Amazon because they are mostly self-published. And that was my plan going into this book after reading the reviews. However, I can’t get past slow plot lines and annoying heroines. I almost enacted my 50 page rule but decided to give the book the benefit of the doubt because we hadn’t met Seth yet (yes, that’s how slow the book is) and I had hoped he was going to save the book.

He didn’t…

And the reason is Angelina. Of course every man in the world is attracted to her and I have no idea why. For a 26 year old woman she acts like she’s 15 at times. Perhaps I expected her to be more mature considering “her secret from the past” but I was very disappointed in her as a character. I just didn’t like her at all and because the book is told solely from her POV it irritated me beyond belief. Lots of other reviews said she was “funny”–again, I fail to see how. I laugh at everything and I never laughed at anything she said/did. I just didn’t like her.

As I mentioned before, the book was slow. Certain plot points weren’t needed. For example the first chapter could have been greatly reduced to get the same message across and get into the thick of things. Because from what I’ve read from others’ reviews, there were some great twists along the way. I just wish we got that momentum earlier in the book because I probably would have stuck it out if we did.

Conclusion:

As of this moment, I don’t have any plans to finish this book. I was 1/3 of the way through when I stopped reading and I really don’t feel like I missed out on anything as I write this review. Just poor execution and nothing original (from what I read) in terms of contemporary romance. Pass.

Rating: 1/5
Would I Recommend this Book to a Friend: Hell no.

Shorthand Stats:
Genre: Contemporary, Romances, Drama, Chick Lit
Recommended for: 18+
Heat Rating: really warm
Point of View: First Person, Single
SERIESous’ Top Book Series: Worst Reads 2014
Similar Reads: Reflect Me by K. B. Webb (Reflect Me Series #1) and Chosen Heart by Ann Stewart (Hart Series #1)

Series Review: Forbidden Men by Linda Kage

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:

Price of a Kiss by Linda Kage | Forbidden Men Series

Series: Forbidden Men
Author: Linda Kage
# of Books: 8 (View Full List Here)
Book Order:Connected
Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Drama, Witty (?)
Heat Rating: really warm
Point of View: First Person

Thoughts:

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started reading this book. In theory, it had everything I like in a New Adult read: a past filled with drama; an interesting spin on the relationship–and, added bonus, humour. But in the end, I think that is what made this book a disappointment.

Part of the issue is Reese–she just wasn’t what I expected and because the story is only told from her perspective, it dampens the reading experience. If I had to use three words to describe her I would use: immature, hypocritical and odd.

Knowing what I knew about her past, I expected her to be timid and a little damaged from her past. Perhaps it is a stereotype from the genre, but most heroines who go through a past like hers aren’t very confident and suffer from their ordeal in some sort of way and that was what I was expecting with Reese. However, Reese is a little odd in that she makes light of the situation and seems to have no long-term problems from her situation. And while I can appreciate the fact that she doesn’t let her past get her down, it rubbed me the wrong way because, to me, it felt like they were making the situation seem less serious than it actually is. Not everyone will feel that way to be sure but it set a tone for me that I couldn’t shake off as I read the book.

I also felt like I was reading a book with characters set in high school. My word, if I have to listen to Reese refer to Mason as “Hotness” one more time I think I might scream. I assume that most of Reese’s thoughts were an attempt at humour but they just seemed petty to me. The lack of maturity of the characters again knocked this book down a notch for me. This also explains why I found Reese to be slightly hypocritical because she was heavily influenced by Eva yet would get angry when people were influenced by others. I just felt her character was a little all over the place at times and would have appreciated some consistency.

As for the plot, it felt a little prolonged. The book could have easily been 50 or so pages shorter and not have suffered. I liked watching Reese and Mason interact and I liked that not everything was physical between them and they got to know each other. I personally feel like Mason was too good for Reese but I did warm up to Reese slightly by the end.

Conclusion:

I won’t be going out of my way to read To Professor, with Love anytime soon. Maybe if I can find a cheap copy I’ll consider it but for now, this series is a pass for me. Some people might enjoy the “quirky” character that is Reese but others might find their patience tested by her and find this book a disappointment like me.

Rating: 2.5/5

Similar Reads: Nothing comes to mind immediately.

Synopsis for Price of a Kiss (from Goodreads):
I don’t care what my cousin says; I am not the queen of impossible relationships. I mean, just because my last boyfriend tried to kill me and left a bit of a scar on my neck, then forced me to move across the country and legally change my name to Reese Randall to escape him, does not mean—

Oh, who am I kidding? For a freshman in college, I have to have the worst dating track record ever.

It’s no wonder love is the last thing on my mind when Mason Lowe enters my life. But the chemistry between us is like bam! Our connection defies logic. And he’s just so freaking hot. Being around him makes me feel more alive than I’ve ever felt before. I even like bickering with him. He could be my soul mate…except for one teeny tiny glitch.

He’s a gigolo.

Boy, do I know how to pick them.

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Series Review: Frigid by J. Lynn

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

Frigid by J. Lynn | Frigid Series

booksynopsis

Synopsis for Frigid (from Goodreads):
For twenty-one-year-old Sydney, being in love with Kyler isn’t anything new. They’d been best friends ever since he pushed her down on the playground and she made him eat a mud pie. Somewhere over the years, she fell for him and fell hard. The big problem with that? Kyler puts the ‘man’ in man-whore. He’s never stayed with a girl longer than a few nights, and with it being their last year in college, Syd doesn’t want to risk their friendship by declaring her love.

Kyler has always put Syd on a pedestal that was too high for him to reach. To him, she’s perfect and she’s everything. But the feelings he has for her, he’s always hidden away or focused on any other female. After all, Kyler will always be the poor boy from the wrong side of tracks, and Syd will always be the one girl he can never have.

But when they’re stranded together at a posh ski resort due to a massive Nor’easter, there’s nothing stopping their red-hot feelings for each other from coming to the surface. Can their friendship survive the attraction? Better yet, can they survive at all? Because as the snow falls, someone is stalking them, and this ski trip may be a life-changer in more ways than one.

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SERIESous’ Top Book Series: Must Read Author (Jennifer L. Armentrout or J. Lynn)
Series: Frigid
Author: J. Lynn (Pen name of Jennifer L. Armentrout)
# of Books: 2 (Frigid, Scorched)
Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Suspense
Heat Rating: really warm
Point of View: First Person, Alternating
Publication Dates: July 2013 – June 2015
Source & Format: Own & Public Library–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’ve reached the point in my reading that when Jennifer L. Armentrout writes something, I read it regardless of the genre. While I’ve never read any of her adult literature, I did read her first New Adult read Wait for You… which I absolutely loved. Because I had read the extremely mature Wait For You novel before I read this one, I went into this book thinking I would get the same type of read. Only I didn’t.

This book takes on more of a romantic suspense New Adult spin instead of a drama/tragedy filled plot. Which is absolutely fine because I love her other romantic-suspense series like Obsidian that has a similar feel to it; but I often felt like this series’ characters were immature. While reading I go the impression that Sydney was just out of high school and not 21 years old like she is supposed to be. I think I also take a bit of personal offence to this because I am the same age as Sydney and I know very few people (at least I like to thing so) who act like high schoolers in their fourth year of university like she does.

Like most friends who are secretly in love with each other, Syd and Kyler’s problems steam from a lack of communication and assuming what the other one thinks. This can either be cute or annoying and in this book it tended more towards annoying. Which is why the suspense part really added to this story. Without it, I think I wouldn’t have enjoyed this book that much.

updates

–January 2, 2018– Book #2: Scorched

**I DNF’d this book at 26% (Start of Chapter 6)**

I just couldn’t get onboard with these two. Which is very disappointing because the “hate to love you” trope is one of my favourites. However, the immaturity of these two fizzled out the chemistry for me pretty quickly. The scenes between them just seemed awkward and I couldn’t get into the story.

I also felt like there wasn’t much of a plot besides these two making eyes at each other. There is a lot of promise for character development but I’m not sure if it would have got the adequate amount of screen time I would have liked it to get.

This was just a dud for me.

Series Rating: DNF

Frigid 3.5/5 | Scorched DNF

overall

This series just never found its footing. The immature characters dampens the romance and the plot line seems to be all over the place. Not my favourite of Armentrout’s work by a long shot.

Read if You Like: quick romance reads, lighter reads
Avoid if You: dislike immature characters

similarreads

  • Touch of Eden by Jessie M.

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Series Review: Wanted by Kelly Elliot

Series: Wanted
Author: Kelly Elliot
# of Books: 3 4 (Wanted, Saved, Faithful, Cherished)

There is a novella that takes place between Faithful and Cherished called Believe

Complete?: No, Faithful will be released in August 2013 Yes, but spin-off series are in the works
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Abuse
Heat Rating: hot

Thoughts:

This is one of those series that has a extremely high rating on Goodreads and I have no idea why. I bought Wanted and Saved because the rating on Goodreads was so high and the plot of Wanted intrigued me–I haven’t really read any books where the heroine falls in love with her older brother’s best friend so I wanted (no pun intended) to see what it was like. I also like reading as many books in the series as close together as I possibly can so I decided to buy Saved as well. It also didn’t hurt that the books were under $3 with my coupons from Kobo.

The first book in the series Wanted reminded me a lot of This Beautiful Thing by Amanda Heath (Young Love Series #1) I had read just a few weeks ago and did not enjoy all that much. Basically, I didn’t like This Beautiful Thing because of the lack of maturity in the characters and it is the same case here. Based on the synopsis I was expecting a much more mature story in Wanted seeing as Ellie has been abused by her mother. By no means did I expect her to be confident but I didn’t expect her to be so juvenile in her thoughts and action. I had hoped Gunner would be a tad more mature as he is 3 years older but he is just as bad, if not worse. Even her older brother, Jefferson needed a good smack on the head at times. As I said in the review of This Beautiful Love it is as if someone wrote this book after watching too many teen drama series on TV and thinking “this is what teenagers are like!” and unless I come from another planet, that isn’t what most teenagers are like.

I hate insta-love connection stories and that is what we get here. I probably would have stopped reading it if I just borrowed this book from the library but seeing as I did buy it, I decided to finish it. I believe I developed a tolerance to the writing after a while so I did manage to finish. I didn’t particularly care for Ellie or Gunner at all throughout the story. I actually feel like their story is a side-story and most of the plot focuses on Jeff and Ari–even though they have their own book, Saved which is the next in the series. I think I would have enjoyed Wanted more in theory if we lost the Jeff and Ari saga and had a more solid (actually, ANY) plot for Ellie and Gunner.

Saved follows a similar path as Wanted in that Ari and Jeff are the main focus, but we also get side-stories about Gunner & Eli and Josh & Heather. Again, I would have appreciated separate books dedicated to each couple instead of little hints here and there. As they currently stand, it makes the books really long and I feel like I am reading two different books as the same time.

As for the book itself, I enjoyed Saved a touch more. Once I got past the occasional grammar mistake and lack of quotation marks, I thought the story overall was better handled. While it still was a little over the top, there were parts that I thought were more realistic to the story that made it more interesting.

UPDATED (Jan 27/14): After having Faithful on my Kobo for months I finally got around to reading it (part of my goal for the month of January to finish 5 series I had previously started).

I actually really enjoyed this book — way more than I expected. I think part of the reason was that this book seemed a touch more mature than the others considering the events these two characters go through. I also think that splitting up the story amongst the various couples we have been introduced to at this point and not having just one main plot really helped: I didn’t become overwhelmed with the stupidity and naivety of these characters. (Which is ironic because I had complained about the multiple plot lines before in the previous novels in this review :P).

When I bought Faithful, I didn’t realize that there were actually 4 books to this series. When I finished Faithful, I was glad there were 4 because I was excited to see and learn more about the next set of characters. Unfortunately, Cherished dropped the ball for me. I just felt like it was filled with double-standards, over the top drama and an annoying heroine which I didn’t like too much. It was just meh but again, I am somehow roped into seeing where the next two spin-off series go–damn!

Conclusion:

I probably would have stopped reading it if I just borrowed these book from the library but seeing as I did buy them, I decided to finish. Definitely not my favourite books that I have read this year but somehow I got a little attached to the last two characters that will be in book 3 and I will probably end up reading the 3rd one just to have some closure. Otherwise, it is not my cup of tea that I would pass on if I could do it again. *UPDATED* I still would probably pass on this series–there is nothing really outstanding about this series other than the naivety of the characters and the crazy amount of ways to say “I love you”.

Rating: 2.5/5

Similar Reads: This Beautiful Thing by Amanda Heath (Young Love Series, #1)

Synopsis for Wanted (from Goodreads):
Verbally abused by her mother for years, 18 year old Ellie Johnson always believed she would never be loved or wanted by anyone. She focused all of her attention on her grades and getting into the University of Texas to start a new life away from her mother.
The last thing Ellie expected was to fall in love with Gunner Mathews, a starting linebacker for the University of Texas football team and not to mention, her brothers best friend.
Gunner only had two passions in life, football and his grandfather’s ranch, until he falls for his best friends little sister. He will stop at nothing to show Ellie how much he wants her, even if it means he has to move faster than she would like.
Gunner knows they are meant to be together forever, but Ellie keeps denying her feelings out of fear of being hurt again. Every time he gets close to winning her love, something pushes her away again. Will Ellie ever be able to let go of the past and let him into her heart and will Gunner be patient enough to wait for her?
What will it take for them to realize they are all each other have ever WANTED?

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

Similar Reads:

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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