Posts Tagged: Series

Beauty and the Mustache Review

December 6, 2016 Reviews 0 ★★★

Beauty and the Mustache ReviewBeauty and the Mustache (Knitting in the City, #4; Winston Brothers, #0.5) by Penny Reid
Published by Cipher-Naught on August 24th 2014
Pages: 376
Source: Library
Also by this author: Beard Science (Winston Brothers, #3)
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three-stars
There are three things you need to know about Ashley Winston: 1) She has six brothers and they all have beards, 2) She is a reader, and 3) She knows how to knit.
Former beauty queen, Ashley Winston’s preferred coping strategy is escapism. She escaped her Tennessee small town, loathsome father, and six brothers eight years ago. Now she escapes life daily via her Amazon kindle one-click addiction. However, when a family tragedy forces her to return home, Ashley can’t escape the notice of Drew Runous— local Game Warden, reclusive mountain man, bear wrestler, philosopher, and everyone’s favorite guy. Drew’s irksome philosophizing in particular makes Ashley want to run for the skyscrapers, especially since he can’t seem to keep his exasperating opinions— or his soulful poetry, steadfast support, and delightful hands— to himself. Pretty soon the girl who wanted nothing more than the escape of the big city finds she’s lost her heart in small town Tennessee.
This is a full-length novel, can be read as a standalone, and is the fourth book in the 'Knitting in the City' series.

So I’ve never read a book by Penny Reid before, but I’ve heard that her books are seriously hilarious and charming. I wasn’t quite sure where to start, but I decided to start with this one since it sets up the Winston Brothers series. I discovered that this was a fascinating story filled with fantastic and memorable supporting characters. I also thought the romance was really well done. I now definitely understand why Penny Reid is one of the first names people bring up when they mention authors of romantic comedy stories. Though this probably wasn’t my personal favorite in this genre, but I can still understand why people enjoy this author so much and I look forward to reading her other books in the future.

Ashley Winston is a hilarious and fabulous heroine. From the first page, she was just full of personality. She was ridiculously witty with pretty much every comment that she made, and I loved that about her. Ashley is a fun and generally lighthearted character. Though I will admit that I felt like she was a bit on the stuck up side when it comes to her brothers. In the end though, this didn’t end up bothering me too much because her attitude thankfully wasn’t like this throughout the entire story. She was also a strong character and we got to see a more serious side to her as we watched her accept the fact that her beloved mother is dying. I thought she was a great and compelling heroine as a whole.

So our hero is Drew. I thought Drew was extremely amazing and all kinds of swoony. From his first appearance, he continued to shake up Ashley’s world entirely. He was constantly surprising and complicated, which I really enjoyed seeing. He wasn’t a simple character, there were still so many layers to him that Ashley slowly began to uncover. I think one of my favorite things about Drew was how much he obviously cared about Ashley’s brothers and her mom. He was so supportive and comforting to each of them and I loved learning more about his compassion and kindness. Though I thought his character was absolutely awesome, I honestly longed for even more details about his history. I know that the author wanted to focus more on Ashley’s family, but it would been nice to see more of the specifics details about his family and past instead of a basic overview. I just wanted to see even more depth to his character.

Drew and Ashley made a good couple, though they definitely took awhile to get to that place. I thought that Reid was right to make the relationship between them to develop at a reasonably slow pace. They were both dealing with their grief and so neither of them wanted to push anything, though the tension was clear from basically their first interaction. I’m always a fan of the couple forming sort of a friendship or bond before they get into a serious relationship. I think it ultimately makes things more realistic when it’s written this way. So there actually weren’t many sex scenes between them and the ones they did had were rather on the short side. I was honestly expecting it be a bit steamier than it was.

Beauty and the Mustache was a funny and sweet romantic comedy that I’m happy that I read. I honestly adored all six of Ashley’s brothers and I can’t wait to read their stories in the spin-off series that revolves around each of them. Though I thought the characters were very endearing, funny, and filled with charm, there still seemed to be something missing for me. I felt like the plot was very interesting and I related a lot to the grief and loss that the characters felt. I guess maybe my standards in general for romantic comedies might still be set a little too high thanks to Emma Chase’s Sustained, but I just wasn’t completely feeling this one.

three-stars

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The Crown Review

May 4, 2016 Reviews, Young Adult 0 ★★★★

The Crown ReviewThe Crown (The Selection, #5) by Kiera Cass
Published by HarperTeen on May 3rd 2016
Pages: 288
Also by this author: The Heir (The Selection, #4)
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four-stars
When Eadlyn became the first princess of Illéa to hold her own Selection, she didn’t think she would fall in love with any of her thirty-five suitors. She spent the first few weeks of the competition counting down the days until she could send them all home. But as events at the palace force Eadlyn even further into the spotlight, she realizes that she might not be content remaining alone.
Eadlyn still isn’t sure she’ll find the fairytale ending her parents did twenty years ago. But sometimes the heart has a way of surprising you…and soon Eadlyn must make a choice that feels more impossible—and more important—than she ever imagined.

Truthfully, the first three books in The Selection series were pretty much hit or miss for me. I decided to read the fourth book anyway because I heard that the MC was Maxon and America’s daughter. I’m really glad that I gave that book a shot! The Crown is a continuation of The Heir and is the last one in the series officially. I’m still holding out hope that there might be more of an epilogue to this, but I also understand that Kiera Cass likely has other projects that she wants to focus on at this point.

I can happily say that I liked Eadlyn so much more in this book. She was honestly pretty selfish and stuck up in The Heir. She’s totally grown up, some of that unfortunately being forced because of events that happened at the end of book four. Regardless of the circumstances, she still comes out a more mature and likable protagonist. I feel like she really showed her awesome strengths in a way that her mother never did. Sure, she makes plenty of mistakes along the way, but that’s to be expected. 

As far as the love story goes, I can’t really say much about it. If you read the previous book, (which you definitely should have since it’s not a standalone) then you know that Eadlyn has many guys fighting for during her own Selection. At the beginning of the novel, she cuts it down to 6 guys. I was actually really pleased with the direction that Cass took this love story. I HATE love triangles and this totally was, especially because of some events that happened in the last book. However, I will say that the main love interest isn’t unclear like I feared it might be. Some of the sentences were a little TOO romantic to me. Trust me, I’m like the last person to complain about this. But some of it was borderline cheesy, and didn’t fit Eadlyn. This is just my personal opinion about it, I’m sure others will love it. 

The Crown was a well written conclusion to this story. My big complaint is that it didn’t feel wrapped up. The book was very short and I needed like 100+ more pages. I thought it was sweet that we got to see more of the characters from the first three books, but I wanted to get even more from these characters. Besides that, it was an all around fantastic novel. I think longtime fans of this series will be mostly satisfied with how things ended, but they will also likely crave for even more of this addicting story. 

four-stars

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When I’m With You Review

April 26, 2016 Reviews 0 ★★★

When I’m With You ReviewWhen I'm With You (Hope Town, #3) by Harper Sloan
Published by Harper Sloan on April 26th 2016
Pages: 262
Source: Purchased
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three-stars
four-flames
Nate:
It’s nearly impossible to be surrounded by love but not understand it. My parents, my sister, and just about everyone around us has no trouble accepting that love. To give your trust to someone else and believe they would die before hurting you. I’ve witnessed it—I’ve seen the power of it—but I’ve also seen the pain. Because for me, I’ve only loved someone I could never have, and my biggest fear is that by giving her my love, all I would do is ruin her. I should have tried harder, but I’m not sure I can because I only feel complete when I’m with her.
Emberlyn:
The only time I feel like I belong is when he’s near. His infectious smile warms me straight to my bones. Any insecurities I have vanish with just a wink from him. A sliver of his attention makes me feel invincible. But all it took was one drunken night of truths for me to lose everything I had begun to crave. Now, I’m not sure how to move on because I only feel complete when I’m with him.
He said I was too young. I said he was perfect. He said our families wouldn’t understand. I said we could weather any storm. He said he would ruin me. And he was right.

So I’ve been looking forward to this since I first heard about what characters this book would be focusing on. I think Harper Sloan’s books are pretty addicting, though I haven’t absolutely loved them all. However, I always HAVE to read her books just because I’ve gotten rather invested in the characters. I devoured this book extremely quickly, it was an easy read for me. If you’re looking for something with an alpha book boyfriend and plenty of drama, this might be for you. I wasn’t crazy about it because I feel like a lot of the plots were simply recycled from the other books that the author has written instead of providing more creative things. It’s still a decent book that I don’t regret reading, it’s just not my favorite.

The plot is basically: girl has loved boy all her life, boy is a lot older and rejected her. But the boy really had feelings for her too, he just didn’t want to because of what their tight knit families would think. Eventually, boy admits his feelings and wants the girl and fights hard to win her over. Sound familiar? If you’ve read the first book in this series, this specific plot is more or less identical to this, give or take some relatively minor details. I can overlook some similarities because I understand that if you read enough from one author, it’s likely that it will. But I feel like it is different in this case for me. I did like to see more of how close this family is. I also loved that Sloan included four epilogues for us readers. I know I have some mixed responses to the plot, but I do hope that this isn’t the last book in the series. I doubt it will be since there are tons of characters that haven’t gotten a story yet. 

Ember is a fairly good protagonist. I’ll be honest though, she’s not really all that memorable. She does have her moments of being feisty towards Nate when he first pursues her after embarrassing her at his sister’s wedding awhile back. But other than that, she didn’t have much sass or personality away from her boyfriend. I did like seeing her friendships, and I wanted to see even more of that, and also with her sister. The focus on her dad, Maddox, was nice to see, but I feel like other family members should have been featured as well. That’s just me though! 

Let’s be real, Nate isn’t all that different from his father, who was the MC in Sloan’s first Corps Security novel. Despite this, I won’t deny that I still am a sucker for these types of book boyfriends to an extent. I love the fact that once they are together, he’s completely loyal to Ember. I also love it when the guys know what they want and don’t play with the girls feelings. Yes, he was guilty of this when she was younger, but he changes that once he grows up. I enjoy that he’s alpha enough without being totally possessive. Nate definitely has his super swoony moments for sure. 

It’s safe to say that I found things about When I’m With You that I liked and disliked. I’m not a fan of the whole using plots over and over again. But that could be just me. I still think this is a good read if you’re looking for something not overly long or heavy. I do recommend reading the first two books in this series and even some in the Corps Security series as well. These books are based on the children of the characters in that series. All of these are standalones, but I feel like you feel much more emotionally connected to the characters and their personal histories if you read them as well. While not my favorite, this is still a recommended contemporary romance. 

three-stars

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Kiss the Sky Review

April 24, 2016 Reviews 0 ★★★★

Kiss the Sky ReviewKiss the Sky (Calloway Sisters, #1; Addicted, #2.1) by Krista Ritchie, Becca Ritchie
Published by K.B. Ritchie on February 20th 2014
Pages: 442
Source: Purchased
Also by this author: Addicted to You (Addicted, #1), Hothouse Flower (Calloway Sisters, #2; Addicted, #2.2), Thrive (Addicted, #2.5), Addicted After All (Addicted, #3), Fuel the Fire, Long Way Down, Some Kind of Perfect (Calloway Sisters), Addicted to You (Addicted, #1), Hothouse Flower (Calloway Sisters, #2; Addicted, #2.2), Thrive (Addicted, #2.5), Addicted After All (Addicted, #3), Fuel the Fire, Long Way Down
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four-stars
four-half-flames
Virgin. Sex addict. Daredevil. Alcoholic. Smartass … Jackass. Her five friends are about to be filmed. Reality TV, be prepared.
Rose Calloway thought she had everything under control. At twenty-three, she’s a Princeton graduate, an Academic Bowl champion, a fashion designer and the daughter of a Fortune 500 mogul. But with a sex addict as a sister and roommate, nothing comes easy.
After accepting help from a producer, Rose agrees to have her life filmed for a reality television show. The Hollywood exec is her last chance to revive her struggling fashion line, and boundaries begin to blur as she’s forced to make nice with a man who always has his way.
Twenty-four-year-old Connor Cobalt is a guy who bulldozes weak men. He’s confident, smart-as-hell and lives with his equally ambitious girlfriend, Rose Calloway. Connor has to find a way to protect Rose without ruining the show. Or else the producer will get what Connor has always wanted—Rose’s virginity.
This New Adult Romance can be described as Friends meets The Real World. Expect fist fights, drugs, sex of varying degrees, crude humor and competitive alpha males. Definitely for mature readers audiences only.

So I read the first few books in the Addicted series and really enjoyed it, but I was a little hesitant to read this one. I think Rose Calloway and Connor Cobalt are fascinating characters and I wanted to read their story, but I was nervous once I saw that they would be on a reality show like the Real World. I figured that would mean tons and tons of drama, and I wasn’t sure if I wanted that. However, I’m so glad that I decided to read it anyway. Yes, it does have plenty of drama as you would anticipate, but it also has such beautiful character development. You become so invested in each of these characters lives, and you want to stay inside their heads for as long as possible. I do recommend reading the books (at least the first two) in the Addicted series before the Calloway Sisters books though!

The plot involving the reality show is something that I’ve never seen in NA. Based on the description, it’s pretty clear that tons of drama goes down in the house that the Addicted crew plus one are staying in. Rose, Connor, Lo, Lily, Daisy, Ryke, and Scott are all staying in a house together and being filmed, just like Real World or Big Brother. The odd man out is Scott, the show’s producer who comes in the house pretending to be Rose’s ex to stir up trouble. You will want to murder this man for the entire book, trust me. The drama from the show is a lot, but what more did you expect? I figured going in that this plot would be nothing less than total insanity. 

Rose is basically my girl. Some may view her as being more than a little bit intense and uptight, there’s much more to her than that. She’s a smart girl, and she uses that to her advantage. What I like most about her is that she is ALWAYS loyal to her sisters no matter what. Rose does everything she possibly can to help Lily out with her sex addiction. She’s just a thoughtful and incredible person all the way around. Yes, she has her moments where you question what in the world she’s doing. But more often than not, she’s simply a flawed yet awesome character that is very likable. 

On the other hand, Connor is a character that you will likely have some mixed feelings about, but will ultimately love. When he first appeared in Addicted After All, he was so pretentious when he was tutoring Lily. Seeing his point of view makes me love him even more. It’s also clear that he cares about his friends, even if he shows it in weird ways. His bromance with Lo is so amusing and I loved every minute of it. Connor is definitely a know it all, and in the earlier books, he only cared about getting ahead. I’m glad that he’s grown up a great deal in this book. Despite that growth, he still has those hilarious douchebag moments that are amusing enough not to rub you the wrong way. 

Connor and Rose are most likely my favorite couple out of the series/spin-off. I like that they are already an established couple by the time we get to hear their story. They have the least amount of drama in terms of the relationship side of things, and I really loved seeing that. Connor and Rose have quite a few fights, but it’s more like obnoxious banter where they try to outsmart the other. They also speak in French to each other, which is seriously swoony even when what they are saying is far from romantic. They are far from being an average and normal couple, but that’s what is so great about them. 

Ultimately, I enjoyed this book way more than I initially anticipated. I should have never doubted these two authors for a second, they made this plot work. Oh, have I mentioned that this is even steamier than the others? At first, I was rather surprised by this, but it actually makes sense. Anyway, I’ll just say that the sex scenes are so far from being boring or repetitive. Though I love all of these characters for many different reasons, Connor and Rose will always hold a special place in my heart. 

four-stars

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The Score Review

January 15, 2016 Reviews 0 ★★★★★

The Score ReviewThe Score (Off-Campus, #3) by Elle Kennedy
on January 11th, 2016
Source: Purchased
Also by this author: The Deal (Off-Campus, #1), The Mistake (Off-Campus, #2), The Goal (Off-Campus, #4)
Reading Challenges: Contemporary Romance Challenge
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five-stars
five-flames
He knows how to score, on and off the ice
Allie Hayes is in crisis mode. With graduation looming, she still doesn’t have the first clue about what she's going to do after college. To make matters worse, she’s nursing a broken heart thanks to the end of her longtime relationship. Wild rebound sex is definitely not the solution to her problems, but gorgeous hockey star Dean Di-Laurentis is impossible to resist. Just once, though, because even if her future is uncertain, it sure as heck won’t include the king of one-night stands.
It’ll take more than flashy moves to win her over
Dean always gets what he wants. Girls, grades, girls, recognition, girls…he’s a ladies man, all right, and he’s yet to meet a woman who’s immune to his charms. Until Allie. For one night, the feisty blonde rocked his entire world—and now she wants to be friends? Nope. It’s not over until he says it’s over. Dean is in full-on pursuit, but when life-rocking changes strike, he starts to wonder if maybe it’s time to stop focusing on scoring…and shoot for love.

It’s no secret that I’ve been eagerly awaiting the release of the third book in Elle Kennedy’s Off-Campus series. It’s safe to say that this book definitely lived up to all of my expectations. Not only is it my favorite in the series (so far) but one of the best New Adult books I’ve read in a VERY long time. Personally, I recommend reading the first two books before picking up this one. Not only are they awesome college sports novels, but they also contain fabulous supporting characters. Two of those characters that make appearances in the other books are Dean and Allie, who receive their own story here. What makes this book so special is: the low drama, likable characters, steamy scenes, (even more than the other books) and just a well done plot all around.

Fair warning, my review is just going to be me basically fangirling over Dean and The Score as a whole. So I decided to add a little organization here and break it down by going into more detail about why this book was so memorable to me.

1. The dual POV’s felt extremely real to me.

Often in New Adult books, the narration going back and forth between the two main characters doesn’t always feel authentic. However, Elle Kennedy definitely nailed Dean’s voice perfectly. I just loved how clever and real he was from page one. The best example I can think of is when he drops a Twilight reference. Note: Dean’s quotes are in blue while the other quotes belong to his friend Beau. You’ll have to read the book to get the whole context because it’s so funny, but I love this conversation.

“You know Twilight?”

He blinks. “Excuse me?”

“Twilight. The vampire book.”

His wary eyes study my face. “What about it?”

“Okay, so you know how Bella’s blood is extra special? Like how it gives Edward a raging boner every time he’s around her?”

2. More swooning over the beauty that is Dean Di-Laurentis.

Sure, Dean comes off as a total douchebag in the beginning. Therefore, I found his gradual change and incredible development to be amazing. He’s instantly shot up to the top of my favorite book boyfriends list for sure. All I’m saying is that he’ll surprise you with how caring and loving he is to Allie, even early on in the story.

3. The sex is pretty kinky.

From what we saw of Dean in The Deal and The Mistake, we could tell that he was obviously a seriously sexual person. But Allie never really came off as being that way. So it did surprise me that this one was A LOT more kinkier than the other books. Let’s just say that Allie and Dean were never shy about trying different things while having sex. So if you’re into that kind of thing and just want to see sex scenes that aren’t the same thing over and over, you’ll like this.

4. Allie is a badass bitch.

While I’ve already expressed my love for Dean, I haven’t talked much about Allie. She definitely surprised me with how hilarious and headstrong she is. Yes, we saw a glimpse of this side of her before, but I felt like she still managed to exceed all my previous impressions of her. Most of all, I loved how she didn’t take Dean’s shit at any point during the book. She also is a character who is pretty clear about what she wants out of life, which is to be an actress. Not to say that not knowing is a bad thing is real life, but sometimes it becomes a lot of unneeded drama in NA books. I also loved how she was such a loyal friend and a loving and supportive daughter to her father. Allie was an amazing character all across the board!

5. The minimal drama.

The drama here was fairly minimal and actually realistic. I loved this because we had more time to see the pair as a happy and loving couple, which ultimately means more sex scenes.

6. The ending will have you on the edge of the seat.

I’m not saying anything else about it, just be prepared to experience a ton of anger that you have to wait for the next book in the series (which is Tucker’s story) to be released.

There you have it, six reasons why I loved this book. Of course I obviously have many many more, but I figured I’ve rambled on long enough. Basically, I hope that you give this one a read, I’m sure that you’ll fall in love with Dean and Allie’s story just like I did!

five-stars

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BUILT Release Week Blitz: Excerpt + Giveaway

January 5, 2016 Features 0

BUILT - RWB banner

We are so excited to bring you the Release Week Blitz for BUILT by Jay Crownover. BUILT is a Contemporary Romance novel being published by HarperCollins, and it is the 1st full-length novel in The Saints of Denver Series, a spinoff of her New York Times bestselling Marked Men Series. This amazing book is out now so grab your copy today! And be sure to check out the awesome sweepstakes! Info and links below!

 

Amazon US ** iBooks ** Barnes & Noble ** Kobo

 

About BUILT:

From the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men books comes an electrifying new spin-off series,Saints of Denver, featuring all the characters fans have been dying to read about.

Sayer Cole and Zeb Fuller couldn’t be more different. She’s country club and fine-dining, he’s cell-block and sawdust. Sayer spends her days in litigation, while Zeb spends his working with his hands. She’s French silk, he’s all denim and flannel.

Zeb’s wanted the stunning blonde since the moment he laid eyes on her. It doesn’t matter how many smooth moves he makes, the reserved lawyer seems determinedly oblivious to his interest—either that or she doesn’t return it. Sayer is certain the rough, hard, hot-as-hell Zeb could never want someone as closed off and restrained as she is, which is a shame because something tells her he might be the guy to finally melt her icy exterior.

But just as things start to heat up, Zeb is blindsided by a life altering moment from his past. He needs Sayer’s professional help to right a wrong and to save more than himself. He can’t risk what’s at stake just because his attraction to Sayer feels all consuming. But as these opposites dig in for the fight of their lives, battling together to save a family, the steam created when fire and ice collide can no longer be ignored.

 

BUILT - RWB - Teaser 2

 

EXCERPT:

He took a step closer to me and put his finger under my chin so that I had no choice but to look at that darkening green gaze. “You know what is a big deal?”

Without thinking I put my wet hand on the center of his chest and watched as my handprint covered the place where his heart was thudding heavy and strong. He felt so vital and real, like everything I had had my hands on before him was just make-believe.

“What?” My voice came out more of a whisper than anything else.

“We hung out, I bought you dinner, we talked about our families and shit. We shared. This was a date, Sayer. Maybe not the best first date ever but it was still a date, so you know what that means.”

I did? I was still trying to get my head around the fact that it really had been kind of a date when his head lowered toward mine and my lips tickled as his beard got close enough to brush against them.

“It means we went on a date, so now you should absolutely put your hands on my dick…a lot. My gentlemanly tendencies only reach so far and with you they have about reached the end of the line.”

I gulped a little. “Oh.” That sounded like so many different kinds of dangerous and delicious. I had never asked him to be a gentleman, and frankly one of the reasons I was so attracted to him was because he seemed so rugged and untamed by the conventions I was used to and bored to death by.

“Yeah, oh…which I fully intend to make you say over and over again while I’m as deep inside of you as I can get.”

When his mouth settled over mine, it was an entirely different mess I was suddenly worried about. There was going to be no cleaning up the wreckage that was going to be left of my heart and body when this man was done with me and that felt entirely like a great big deal even though I was helpless to stop it. It was one mess I intended to embrace and not apologize for even if that went against everything I had ingrained deep down within the very core of me.

Enter to Win a Trip to the MILE HIGH AUTHOR EVENT from Jay Crownover!

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Fill out the form at https://a.pgtb.me/sVzsRB!

*Alternate entry methods available. See Official Rules.

 

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And don’t miss the previous novella in The Saints of Denver Series!

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LEVELED

Jay Crownover - author picAbout Jay Crownover:

Jay Crownover is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men and The Point series. Like her characters, she is a big fan of tattoos. She loves music and wishes she could be a rock star, but since she has no aptitude for singing or instrument playing, she’ll settle for writing stories with interesting characters that make the reader feel something. She lives in Colorado with her three dogs.

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Blog Tour: Abby and the Cute One Review

November 18, 2015 Blog Tours, Reviews, Young Adult 1 ★★★★½

Blog Tour: Abby and the Cute One Review

Blog Tour: Abby and the Cute One ReviewAbby and the Cute One by Erin Butler
on November 16th 2015
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four-half-stars
He's cute. He's famous. And he could ruin everything...
Every member of Seconds to Juliet has a girlfriend-except for Nathan Strong. Now the band's manager is leaning hard on "The Cute One" to play the role of the band's heartthrob. With the band's sales in decline, it's up to Nathan to keep the fans' fantasy alive.
The plan is to stage a fake relationship and a fake breakup, and then let the fans fight to be the one to mend Nathan's broken heart. Just one problem. There's another girl in the picture-one Nathan can't stay away from. In private, Nathan's stealing kisses with the band's new opening act, Abby Curtis.
If they're caught, no one wins. Abby will be fired, and the band might not recover the success they need to survive. But even with the pressure mounting, Nathan and Abby can't stop themselves from stealing one more touch, one more kiss. And it's only a matter of time before it all falls apart.
This Entangled Teen Crush book is as forbidden as the secret romance it contains! It has hot kisses, graphic language, and extreme misbehaving. DO NOT GET CAUGHT WITH THIS BOOK…unless you want everyone to know you believe in true love.

As you can probably tell from my previous reviews, I have absolutely adored the Backstage Pass series from Entangled Crush. Truthfully, I’ve loved it so much that I’m not at all prepared to let it go. I just think it was such a clever idea to have five different authors write this series revolved around a boy band, with each book focusing on another member’s love story. The last book is from author Erin Butler and she tells the story of the final and youngest member of Seconds to Juliet. Nathan is the only single member left in the band, and he has a lot of pressure placed on him to keep up his cute boy image. I loved Nathan and Abby as individuals and I loved them even more as a couple. This was a beautiful love story and I’m so glad that I read this awesome and memorable series!

In the previous books, the couples had a kind of love/hate relationship at the beginning. There was never REALLY any insta-love going on, though there was tension between Matt and Anya from the beginning. Anyway, Abby and Nathan kiss the first time that they meet. This bothered me a little bit at first just because things seemed to be moving way too fast, but somehow Butler still made this work. Even though they did kiss right away, there was still a lot of things getting in the way of them being together. You couldn’t help but cheer for them as a couple because they were such likable characters on their own. They had a lot in common, they both had an undeniable love for music and I personally loved that mutual bond between them.

I found the business side of the band to be really fascinating. There’s a lot that goes into being on tour and I feel like Butler showed that really well. However, I did find the manager to be extremely irritating honestly, I just craved Nathan to have more freedom regarding his image. Being a teenager alone is already difficult, I can’t even imagine what it would be like being a FAMOUS teenager who’s constantly in the spotlight. I thought Abby was a great character and I really felt how much she wanted to be on the stage. Though I liked her, I felt like there could have been even more exploration with her character. I felt like Nathan’s development was well done, but Abby’s wasn’t as great.

I recommend reading the other books in the series before you pick up this one. Yes, you don’t absolutely have to, but I feel like you’ll have more of an investment in these characters and their stories if you do. I was sad when I hit the last page, but I was completely satisfied with the ending and felt like Butler wrapped everything up in the best way she could.

About the Author

Erin Butler is lucky enough to have two jobs she truly loves. As a librarian, she gets to work with books all day long, and as an author, Erin uses her active imagination to write the kinds of books she loves to read. Young Adult and New Adult books are her favorites, but she especially fangirls over a sigh-worthy romance.

She lives in Central New York with her very understanding husband, a stepson, and doggie BFF, Maxie. Preferring to spend her time indoors reading or writing, she’ll only willingly go outside for chocolate and sunshine—in that order.

Now Erin is going to take over and share her Abby and the Cute One playlist and dreamcast with you guys!

Nathan and Abby are such musical people! Every single one of these songs is in the book. Sing along with them!

Pic

Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay – Otis Redding

Lyric

Joy to the World – Three Dog Night

T Swift

Sparks Fly – Taylor Swift

Long Live

Long Live – Taylor Swift

1234

A Thousand Years – Christina Perri

12345

Time After Time – Cyndi Lauper

Lyrics

Shake it Off – Taylor Swift

Music

Pour Some Sugar on Me – Def Leppard

Nick

Jealous – Nick Jonas

Songs

You Learn – Alanis Morissette

ABBY AND THE CUTE ONE Dream Cast

I started thinking about who to cast as Nathan and Abby before I even started writing the book and I KNOW I have the perfect Nathan. The best part? He can already sing.

Nathan

Does anyone recognize him? It’s Nathan Sykes from a boy band called The Wanted. You might know their songs, I Found You, Chasing the Sun, Glad You Came, and Walks Like Rihanna. They even had a reality show called The Wanted Life. Before you ask, of course I watched the show! I freaking loved it! Nathan is sooooo adorable, has a British accent, and some pipes, too! Check out this live performance from YouTube: https://youtu.be/iRhUoTj6YTg You can watch the whole thing OR skip to 3:00 in and watch the boy sing. A little background info (Because I will never miss an opportunity to gush about boy bands!), the reason why this performance from The Wanted was so special is because Nathan had throat surgery (Scary!), and this was his first show back.

Since The Wanted broke up, Nathan Sykes has gone solo and has a few singles out. Don’t worry, my Nathan will never go solo! 🙂

But, you should check out Nathan Sykes’ new music because he’s a tremendous singer!

Okay, wow, I just fell down a Nathan Sykes YouTube black hole! Let’s get to Abby before I waste the entire day! 🙂

Cast

It’s Caroline from The Vampire Diaries! AKA Candice Accola. This pic of her completely embodies how I pictured Abby in my head. She’s even got her hat on!! And seriously, don’t they make the cutest couple??

Cast Nathan

I’m totally shipping them in real life!

Author Links:

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Giveaway Info: Choice of Backstage Pass Swag Pack or $25 Amazon gift card.

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Book Tour Organized by:

YA Bound Book Tours

four-half-stars

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Until The End Review

November 16, 2015 Reviews 0 ★★★★½

Until The End ReviewUntil the End by Abbi Glines
Published by Simon Pulse on November 17th 2015
Pages: 400
Source: Edelweiss
Also by this author: Until Friday Night (The Field Party, #1), Breathe (Sea Breeze, #1), Because of Low (Sea Breeze, #2), Just for Now (Sea Breeze, #4), Misbehaving (Sea Breeze, #6), Bad for You (Sea Breeze, #7)
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Goodreads
four-half-stars
five-flames

I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The backstory that fans have been clamoring for—how Rock and Trisha fell in love—is the final novel in the Sea Breeze series from New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Abbi Glines.
Trisha Corbin always knew how to hide a bruise. With her momma’s boyfriends unable to keep their hands off her, she had no choice. And as long as it meant the guys wouldn’t go near her little brother, Krit, it was worth it. But her days of dreaming that Prince Charming would ever come rescue her are far, far in the past.
Rock Taylor always had a plan. Through football, he would rise above the life he was born into. A full scholarship to play for a major college team was within his reach—assuming he didn’t let anything get in his way. But scoring a date with the hottest girl in Sea Breeze was proving harder than expected. Trisha Corbin was every man’s walking fantasy, and she wouldn’t even glance his way.
When Rock finally does get Trisha in his truck, it isn’t for a date. It’s because he picks her up on the side of the road, beaten and bruised and trying to get to the local hospital. Before Rock knows it, football is no longer his life. Trisha Corbin is. And he’ll do anything to save her. And keep her.
In addition to Rock and Trisha’s love story, this special conclusion to the Sea Breeze series contains the wrap-up stories of all your favorite Sea Breeze couples: Sadie and Jax, Marcus and Low, Cage and Eva, Preston and Amanda, Jess and Jason, Krit and Blythe, and Dewayne and Sienna. The steamy romance doesn’t stop until the very last page!

So this book has been out since 2014, but Simon Pulse is just now releasing it and I was lucky enough to receive a digital ARC of it so I was excited to finally read it! I have mixed feelings about some of the titles in the Until The End series, but I found the series itself to be addicting reads that I wanted to continue checking out. While these are far from being perfect reads, they are still very much enjoyable. I felt like this was easily the best way to wrap up the series. This might be not only my favorite in the Sea Breeze stories, but my personal favorite of all Abbi Glines’s books to date.

Trisha and Rock are two mature characters that popped up in the previous novels and I was pretty curious to know their back story. Abbi definitely saved one of the best stories for last. Trisha and Rock are by far the most stable couple out of all the couples and had the least amount of drama. Yes, Trisha had a difficult home life, but Rock was insanely supportive of her and he did everything he possibly could to ensure that she got out of the story and moved in with him. That part in particular really melted my heart because it was more obvious how much Rock loved and cared about her. All of the Sea Breeze boys have their swoony moments, but none of them had as many as Rock. He’s an awesome character, and knowing their story helped show why he seems so serious and almost possessive over his girl.

Truthfully, I loved this story so much that I wasn’t ready for it to end. Trisha and Rock are no longer front and center less than halfway through, and I didn’t like that. I feel like they deserved much more time devoted to them considering the fact that every other couple got that. I mean, one character even got two whole books dedicated to his story! Anyway, it did annoy me but it probably happened since they are such a balanced couple, there wasn’t enough drama so I’m glad that the drama was left out and it’s likely that if the story continued, it would get repetitive. So while it did bug me, maybe it was for the best! (I need to get a life)

So what was in the rest of the book? The second half of the book was epilogues for all of the couples. I was expecting maybe a chapter or even less than that since it wasn’t just a few couples, it was seven of them. However, it was quite a few chapters that were broken into sections showing which characters it was focusing on and what book(s) were about them. Personally, I read five of the books, I skipped Cage and Dewayne’s story because both of their books seemed like a lot of drama, plus both ebooks were ridiculously expensive.

Since this is the end of a rather memorable NA series, I decided to make a list of my favorite people and things in Sea Breeze.

Favorite heroine: Jess from Misbehaving

Best book boyfriend: Marcus from Because of Low

Favorite couple: Rock and Trisha

Favorite bad boy: Krit from Bad for You

Best occupation: Jax from Breathe, he was a rock star after all

Girl I wish was my best friend: Blythe from Bad for You

Boy I wish was my best friend: Cage York

Worst occupation: Preston from Just for Now

Favorite female friendship: Amanda and Sadie

Steamiest couple: Amanda and Preston

four-half-stars

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ARC Review: Everything But The Truth

November 15, 2015 Reviews, Young Adult 0 ★★★

ARC Review: Everything But The TruthEverything But the Truth (If Only . . ., #6) by Mandy Hubbard
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens on November 17th 2015
Pages: 288
Source: Netgalley
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three-stars

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

If Only . . . she wasn't pretending to be someone else! The If Only romance line continues in this fun rags-to-riches romance.
Holly Mathews' mom is the new manager of a ritzy retirement home, and they just moved in. But having super-rich retirees as her only neighbors isn't a total bust, because the gorgeous, notorious Malik Buchannan is the grandson of a resident. Just one problem: when they meet, Malik assumes Holly is there to visit her own rich relative. She doesn't correct him, and it probably doesn't matter, because their flirtation could never turn into more than a superficial fling . . . right? But the longer she lives in his privileged world, the deeper Holly falls for Malik, and the harder it is to tell the truth . . . because coming clean might mean losing him.
For anyone who has dreamed of their own Cinderella story, this romance shows that when it comes to true love, the best person to be is yourself!

This is actually the first book in the If Only series that I’ve read. Since reading this one, I’ve read one other one that I wasn’t crazy about, but I look forward to reading more of the series because I do like the general concept. The series centers around the theme of wanting what you can’t have. I’ve heard of several of the previous books besides the other one that I read, (Red Girl, Blue Boy) but just haven’t gotten around to reading them yet. From what I can tell after reading this one, I’d say that this is a cute series for those that just want a light and fun YA romance book to read.

I liked Holly as a character at times, but she did frustrate me. I just wanted to shake her and tell her that it was okay to show Malik who she really is. I found myself just kind of turning the pages and waiting for the moment that all her lies were finally going to come out, because I knew that it was bound to happen at some point. Malik wasn’t the best book boyfriend, but he wasn’t the worst one ever. He wasn’t totally swoony to me, but I did like him and felt like he treated Holly extremely well. He was also surprisingly kind and charitable, despite how wealthy he was, he used his money wisely. He wanted to make a difference in the world and I found that so charming and sweet. It just annoyed me even more when Malik started open up to her and tell her things that he didn’t tell anyone, and you just knew the fallout was going to be even more difficult for him.

Parts of this did feel a bit too Camp Rockish for me. I also couldn’t make much sense of why she’d lie about it in the first place. However, I did understand that she’s a teen girl who was concerned about him potentially judging her. Additionally, I felt like the ending wasn’t realistic to me, it was just lighter and fun, but not all that realistic. Though this is the second book that I’ve reviewed out of the series, I can tell that this was definitely meant to appeal to a younger audience in the YA genre. There is nothing wrong with that, I’ve just discovered that those types of stories don’t always work for me since I’m not big on drama and these seem to center around that.

It’s not a perfect book but I still recommend it if you’re looking for something easy to read and light. Trust me, you’ll fly right through this book. I really enjoyed Mandy Hubbard’s writing and I’m looking forward to checking out the other books/authors in this series. I think it will be a book most appropriate for seventh or eighth graders, and high school students as well. It’s odd to say that this seems to be more for the younger YA readers since Holly is going into college, but it isn’t as mature as some other books in the genre that I’ve read lately. So this isn’t my favorite book, but it still is a cute and fluffy read that is easy to breeze right through.

three-stars
Rating Report
Plot
three-stars
Characters
three-half-stars
Writing
four-stars
Pacing
three-half-stars
Cover
four-stars
Overall: three-stars

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Game On Series Review

November 8, 2015 Reviews 0 ★★★★

Game On Series ReviewThe Hook Up (Game On, #1) by Kristen Callihan
on September 7th, 2014
Pages: 352
Source: Purchased
Also by this author: Idol (VIP, #1), Managed (VIP, #2), The Hot Shot (Game On, #4)
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four-stars
five-flames
The rules: no kissing on the mouth, no staying the night, no telling anyone, and above all… No falling in love
Anna Jones just wants to finish college and figure out her life. Falling for star quarterback Drew Baylor is certainly not on her to do list. Confident and charming, he lives in the limelight and is way too gorgeous for his own good. If only she could ignore his heated stares and stop thinking about doing hot and dirty things with him. Easy, right?
Too bad he’s committed to making her break every rule…
Football has been good to Drew. It’s given him recognition, two National Championships, and the Heisman. But what he really craves is sexy yet prickly Anna Jones. Her cutting humor and blatant disregard for his fame turns him on like nothing else. But there’s one problem: she's shut him down. Completely.
That is until a chance encounter leads to the hottest sex of their lives, along with the possibility of something great. Unfortunately, Anna wants it to remain a hook up. Now it’s up to Drew to tempt her with more: more sex, more satisfaction, more time with him. Until she’s truly hooked. It's a good thing Drew knows all about winning.
All’s fair in love and football…Game on

As I’m sure you can already tell, I love sports romance novels. I particularly love New Adult stories that revolve around football. Sure, some of them have similar plots, but I still find them amazing reads. Plus there hasn’t been a male lead in these books that I haven’t more or less blatantly drooled over. So I’d heard a lot of positive things about the Game On series, so I was anxious to read it. Let me just start off by making it clear that each and every one of these books certainly didn’t let me down. I loved every page of these mesmerizing novels.

The first book in the series is “The Hook Up.” Drew Baylor is the hot quarterback on campus who everyone is obsessed with. From the first page, I was certainly painted a picture of a gorgeous and overconfident boy who was not short on charm. He’s not perfect, but I’d say that he comes extremely close to it. Drew is seriously devoted to Anna, which is always something that I love to see, especially in New Adult novels. It reminded me a lot of Cam Hamilton from the Wait For You books. I know that I literally just made this comparison yesterday in my review of “This Ordinary Life,” but I needed to make it again. Anna did bother me a bit because who wouldn’t want to be with someone as attentive and caring as Drew? However, I did understand her insecurity due to who she was back in high school. She felt like she didn’t measure up against all of the other girls on campus, and felt like everyone was judging her for not being good enough for Drew.

I think that this is a must read for those of you that can’t get enough of the New Adult genre. There’s a ton of steamy sex scenes in this book, but there’s also a really complicated but also a strong and pretty real relationship between two college students who are still trying to figure out who they are.

Game On Series ReviewThe Friend Zone (Game On, #2) by Kristen Callihan
on May 5th, 2015
Also by this author: Idol (VIP, #1), Managed (VIP, #2), The Hot Shot (Game On, #4)
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four-half-stars
four-half-flames

Gray doesn’t make friends with women. He has sex with them. Until Ivy.
The last thing star tight-end Gray Grayson wants to do is drive his agent’s daughter’s bubblegum pink car. But he needs the wheels and she’s studying abroad. Something he explains when she sends him an irate text to let him know exactly how much pain she’ll put him in if he crashes her beloved ride. Before he knows it, Ivy Mackenzie has become his best texting bud. But then Ivy comes home and everything goes haywire. Because the only thing Gray can think of is being with Ivy.
Ivy doesn’t have sex with friends. Especially not with a certain football player. No matter how hot he makes her…
Gray drives Ivy crazy. He’s irreverent, sex on a stick, and completely off limits. Because, Ivy has one golden rule: never get involved with one of her father’s clients. A rule that’s proving harder to keep now that Gray is doing his best to seduce her. Her best friend is fast becoming the most irresistible guy she’s ever met.
Which means Gray is going to have to use all his skills to get himself out of the friend zone and into Ivy’s heart. Game on

I wasn’t sure if I’d love Gray’s story as much as I loved Drew’s. I found myself pleasantly surprised by how fascinated I was by him and Ivy as a couple. Truthfully, Gray and Ivy are one of the best New Adult couples that I’ve ever seen. What made it so special? Well, the gradual buildup between the pair who became friends to being in a relationship was absolutely incredible. The banter and trust that the two have before they even become a couple is unique and unlike most books that I’ve read. I didn’t want this book to ever end really!

Like Drew was with Anna, Gray was also super loyal to Ivy, even when they were just friends. He had even more of a reputation than Drew, which initially made me nervous that he would hook up with some random girl to get over Ivy since they weren’t technically together, but he never did. Ivy is also a compelling character who I really enjoyed from beginning to end. I think Ivy is awesome because she’s totally passionate about football (duh her dad is a sports agent so she grew up around it) and also a bit on the awkward side. She’s ridiculously tall, which makes her dancing not so great, but I thought the dancing scenes between her and Gray were hilarious.

So in short, go read this novel right away! It doesn’t have as much drama as the first book in the series, which I found refreshing. “The Friend Zone” also has many steamy scenes, which is definitely enjoyable. This was a beautifully written novel that made me want to read more and more books in this series.

Game On Series ReviewThe Game Plan (Game On, #3) by Kristen Callihan
on November 1st, 2015
Also by this author: Idol (VIP, #1), Managed (VIP, #2), The Hot Shot (Game On, #4)
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository
Goodreads
five-stars
five-flames

A beard-related dare and one hot-as-hell kiss changes everything.
NFL center Ethan Dexter’s focus has always been on playing football and little else. Except when it comes to one particular woman. The lovely Fiona Mackenzie might not care about his fame, but she’s also never looked at him as anything more than one of her brother-in-law’s best friends. That ends now.
Fi doesn’t know what to make of Dex. The bearded, tattooed, mountain of man-muscle looks more like a biker than a football player. Rumor has it he’s a virgin, but she finds that hard to believe. Because from the moment he decides to turn his quiet intensity on her she’s left weak at the knees and aching to see his famous control fully unleashed.
Fi ought to guard her heart and walk away; they live vastly different lives in separate cities. And Dex is looking for a forever girl. But Dex has upped his game and is using all his considerable charm to convince Fi he's her forever man.
Game On

Can I just start off by saying that Ethan Dexter is basically perfect? I know I already said that Drew Baylor is the perfect one, but Dex comes scary close. I think it’s so adorable that he has been so set on Fiona, even though he’s only been around her a few times. Okay, now that I’m typing that, it seems creepier than it is, but if you read it then you’ll know what I mean! Ethan has always been known as the quiet guy who is a complete beast of a center on the football field. In “The Friend Zone,” Fiona was kind of on the immature side, but she has grown up in the past two years and is just as drawn to Dex as he is to her.

I didn’t connect to Fi like I did with her big sister Ivy, or even how I did with Anna. That might just be me, but I did love how feisty and confident she was. I also liked that at times she had no idea what she wanted out of life, because that’s a VERY real thing. I could probably spend this whole review on Dex alone, but I’ll do my best to not rant all that much. He’s a virgin, which is rare for this genre. Side note: this is only the second one I’ve seen, but I think it’s unique that both of those characters were college (and NFL for Dex) football players. So back to our boy, he just might be my favorite of the three men. Though he’s quiet, he still leaves an impression and he knows that he wants Fiona so he doesn’t hesitate to go for her after several years of pining for her.

I’m not ready for this series to end, but if it did, I’d be satisfied with this incredible book being the final chapter in these characters’ stories. I think you should read the first two novels first, but then definitely check out this one immediately after. You’ll be happy to see more of the familiar characters that we’ve grown acquainted with throughout the series. This is a great book and I’m still not over the greatness that is Ethan Dexter!

four-stars

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