Thursday, 28 September 2017

Review ~ The Learning Hours (How to Date a Douchebag #3) by Sara Ney

He’s not a douchebag;
but that doesn’t stop his friends from
turning him into one.
MY FRIENDS WANT ME TO GET LAID. So much so that they plastered my ugly mug all over campus, in bold printed letters: Are you the lucky lady who’s going to break our roommate’s cherry? Him: socially awkward man with average-sized penis looking for willing sexual partner. You: must have pulse. Text him at: 555-254-5551 The morons can’t even spell. And the texts I’ve been receiving are what wet dreams are made of. But I’m not like these douchebags, no matter how hard they try to turn me into one. THIS ISN’T THE KIND OF ATTENTION I WANT. One text stands out from hundreds. One number I can’t bring myself to block. She seems different. Hotter, even in black and white.   However, after seeing her in person, I know she’s not the girl for me. But my friends won’t let up—they just don't get it. Douchebags or not, there's one thing they'll never understand: GIRLS DON’T WANT ME. Especially her.

My Opinion

I don't get it. 

Seriously, I've reached the end of this book and I really ... don't ... get it. 

It's not what I thought I was getting and I'm really confused at how it was sold to me in the blurb. I was even asked not to give spoilers about certain details and reveal who the characters are, and of course that is fair enough. However, I really have no idea what the big secret was and why it couldn't be mentioned here. 

I just don't get it. 

As you can probably tell, I'm confused by this book. I thought I was getting a book about a douchebag that was going to be intense and gripping. What I got was the complete opposite and if I'm truly honest the relationships began to bore me the more this book went on. 

It started of strong and I liked the premise. For about the first 25% I was hooked. Then I wanted more. I kept waiting for something to happen but it just never arrived. In my opinion the book flat-lined and had no drama or plot twists to keep me hooked. It all felt very tame and just ... boring. The characters lost me and I feel the author diverted from original premise too much. It was as if the characters lost all their personality the more the book went on. And no matter how much I wanted to like both of the leads (I would normally give more details but I'll respect the author's wishes not to name them), I found myself disconnected. They felt two dimensional and I really don't understand what the secrecy is about. Everything was spelled out in the book and obvious from the offset!! 

Saying that, I did force myself to finish the last 20%. I kept hoping for some twist that would pull it back or a climax, but sadly it didn't happen. Hence the confusion. 

Overall, I still don't understand this book. Personally, I believe the blurb doesn't line up with what I read--it felt like a completely different book. It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't what I was expecting so I think that's what had caused most disappointment for me. If you want a sweet romance it might be for you, but if you prefer more drama and spice it might not be. 

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Review ~ Mad Love (Guns & Ink Series #1) by Shana Vanterpool

Title: Mad Love
Series: Guns & Ink Series #1
Author: Shana Vanterpool
Genre: NA Romance/Contemporary
Release Date: September 25, 2017 Publisher: Swoon Romance

She was a disruption he never wanted.
He was everything she distrusted.
Klayton Caldwell owns a tattoo shop in Denver, Colorado, and has seen just about everything and met just about every kind of person. And they all have one thing in common. Ink. 
He isn’t complicated. What you see is what you get. Sex? Always. Relationships? Never. Pleasantries? He doesn’t do that either. Those who can’t handle his mouth get inked elsewhere. Klayton holds everyone at a distance, even his friends. He doesn’t do “close.”
Until Madison ends up in his tattoo parlor, broken, afraid and alone. There’s something about her, and almost immediately, Klayton’s guard drops. Now, everything he knows about himself changes as his life begins to unravel.
Twenty-year-old Madison Hart’s future was taken from her the moment she was abducted from her college campus and held captive by a sicko. After escaping, she flees, running into a stranger. A stranger who shares a similar past. Someone who might be able to help her heal. If she’ll let him. 
Madi comes into Klayton’s life like a storm. She’s beautiful. Pitiful. Dangerous. Her pain runs deep enough that she may never be able to talk about what she’s experienced. Her refusal to talk takes a level of patience Klayton’s not sure he has. 
He must navigate her broken pieces by changing everything he is. Who he’s been all these years won’t work anymore. But Madi fights him, she fights herself. She fights the madness.
She refuses to talk. He can’t control his mouth. She doesn’t want to be touched. He can’t help himself. They don’t want love. Inside this storm, is a love so mad it might destroy them both.
MAD LOVE is book 1 in the Guns & Ink series from Shana Vanterpool. Look for the rest of the Guns & Ink series coming soon from Swoon Romance. 
Book #2 Hard Love - Cat and Brando 
Book #3 Bad Love - Isaiah & Bell

My Opinion

I'm struggling to describe what I feel about this book. On one hand I enjoyed it, but on the other I feel let down.

This is the first book I've read by this author, and I took a chance on it based on the blurb, since the cover hadn't been revealed when I requested an ARC. In part, I'm glad I never saw the cover as there is a very MC vibe about it. Considering I rarely read that trope, I probably wouldn't have glance at the blurb had I seen it, and in fact, I had a hard time remembering the blurb when I saw this cover on my Kindle, cauaing me to wonder what I had signed up for.

Anyway, I found the original email with the blurb, refreshed my memory, and was eager to dive straight in. From the first page this book hooked me. It was intense and it remained that way the entire way through. I felt for both characters. They were broken, flawed, and suffering with their pasts. The author did a good job of breaking Maddison and showing her trauma without giving graphic details of what she went through. Similarly, Klayton was a dark and angry character. Although I didn't understand his backstory that made him like that completely, it made for an interesting combination of emotions.

As the plot progressed, though, I found my attention slipping. And this is why I'm having a hard time deciding what I felt about this book. The book kept me engaged for around 55% but then I kind of became bored of the same emotions and drama happening. I understand that Madi wasn't going to heal overnight, but it began to feel repetitive and lost me a bit.

However, I did think around 80% it was going to win me back. Things started to pick up and I became invested in Madi's story again. Regardless, the events I expected to materialise never did, and in the end, I found myself dissatisfied. I didn't feel the ending matched the level of quality the book started off with. It felt as if the author was rushing to tie up all the loose ends she'd created and it gave a whistle-stop overview of a conclusion rather than something I thought did the book justice. It left the book on a downer.

Overall, I still don't know where my feelings lie about this book. 50% of it is great, the other 50% not so much. I wished it had retained my interest throughout, but most of all I wish the ending had been satisfying so that the book finished on a good note. I guess, overall, it's not a bad read. It isn't an easy one, but the characters are interesting people. I'd say it's worth giving a go if it sounds intriguing to you from the blurb.


Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Review ~ Nineteen Letters by Jodi Perry

Nineteen Letters
eARC received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: August 29th 2017

Publisher: Hachette


Nineteen. There’s something about that number; it not only brought us together, bonding us forever, it also played a hand in tearing us apart.

The nineteenth of January 1996. I’ll never forget it. It was the day we met. I was seven and she was six. It was the day she moved in next door, and the day I developed my first crush on a girl.

Exactly nineteen years later, all my dreams came true when she became my wife. She was the love of my life. My soul mate. My everything. The reason I looked forward to waking up every morning.

Then tragedy struck. Nineteen days after we married, she was in an accident that would change our lives forever. When she woke from her coma, she had no memory of me, of us, of the love we shared.

I was crushed. She was my air, and without her I couldn’t breathe.

The sparkle that once glistened her eyes when she looked at me was gone. To her, now, I was a stranger. I had not only lost my wife, I had lost my best friend.

But I refused to let this tragedy be the end of us. That’s when I started to write her letters, stories of our life. Of when we met. About the happier times, and everything we had experienced together.

What we had was far too beautiful to be forgotten.

My Opinion

If I'm completely honest, I wouldn't have looked twice at this book had I come across it and not read this author before. The cover doesn't appeal to me, and it doesn't look like a romance I'd normally read. I know that's bad to judge a book by its cover, but it happens. Either way, I have read this author before so I looked at the blurb and I wanted to read it immediately.

I'm glad I had read this author before so I looked twice. This was a beautiful story and one that kept me hooked from start to finish. It took me on an emotional journey, and I was surprised by how much more contemporary romance than women's fiction it felt, which was good for me.

I thought the characters were created brilliantly and the author dealt with the trauma and sensitive subjects well. She created a book about two characters who go through a lot and have to rediscover themselves, but they don't give up. I got to watch them fall for each other twice and the bond between them was easily felt.

I also felt for Braxton. I felt his pain and uncertainty. His emotions were believable but I loved his fight. He refused to give up. He loved Jemma and that's all there was too it. Everything about his emotions were raw and well developed.

My only small issue was the ending. While Jemma and Braxton got the ending I wanted, I felt the book had been leading up to a spin off with Lucas. I wanted it to happen, but I was just thrown into the epilogue instead. That element of the book felt a bit rushed and I wanted another book.

Overall, this was a beautifully written book. I'm glad I'd heard of this author and read her previous work so I could take a chance on this. It kept me engaged and I fell in love with the characters.


Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Review ~ Fraternize (Players Game #1) by Rachel Van Dyken

Fraternize (Players Game, #1)
eARC received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: September 12th 2017

Publisher: Skyscape

Emerson just made her dream come true as a professional cheerleader for her favorite pro football team. But even though the plus-size athlete is breaking down boundaries, she still has to contend with the massive rulebook. Carbs? Nope. Chocolate? Definitely not. Still, Emerson loves her curves, and she’ll rock the hell out of this job even if it kills her. Except for one mandate that is easier read than done…

No fraternizing with the players.

Problem one is Miller Quinton: Emerson’s first love, first sex, and the guy who still ignites her daydreams and R-rated fantasies. Thrown back together, Miller and Emerson feel the undeniable pull of passion again, even if the conflict that tore them apart seems insurmountable. Then there’s way-too-sexy Grant Sanchez. He has a serious reputation with the ladies, and when it comes to winning someone he wants, he doesn’t let anyone stand in his way.

Now Emerson is breaking every rule in the manual. But what she doesn’t know is that she’s part of a wicked little game—one that could steal both her dream and her heart.

My Opinion

It's always a good day when I get to start a Rachel Van Dyken book. Seriously, I don't need to read the blurbs anymore; I love her writing and she never fails to make me smile with her guys. Saying that, I did read the blurb for Fraternize and I was a little nervous about whether the love triangle would work for me or whether it would be cliched.

I really shouldn't have worried. I should know this author better by now, since she has yet to disappoint me.

Anyway, Fraternize was a comical read I sped through. It reminded me a bit of her book The Consequences of Loving Colton with more humour and great relationships between a cast of characters. I loved Grant--totally team Grant by the way. He made me chuckle from the first time I met him. He reminded me of an excitable puppy you just want to befriend. And the more I read about him the more I liked him.

I won't ruin the plot by delving into the relationship and what happens. You guys deserve to experience Em's relationships and the paths she takes with the guys on your own so you can make your own mind up about which team you're on. What I will say is the dynamic between the three kept me hooked. Rachel did a good job of avoiding too many cliches and creating relationships that I genuinely believed in and engaged me. I liked all of the characters and can't wait for more.

Overall, I loved this book.  Reading it in the sun was the perfect way to end the day. I also hope there's going to be another because I need that guy's story as soon as possible!


Friday, 1 September 2017

Review ~ Royal Pain (His Royal Hotness, #1) by Tracy Wolff

Royal Pain (His Royal Hotness, #1)
eARC received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: September 19th 2017

Publisher: Loveswept

He’s a womanizer. He’s cocky. He’s not exactly a prince. Only he technically is. Meet your new royal obsession in this addictive novel from New York Times bestselling author Tracy Wolff.

Being rich opens a lot of doors. When you’re rich and royal, those doors lead to a new bedroom every night. I should know. The tabloids call me His Royal Hotness, Prince Kian of Wildemar. Women across the world see me as a naughty fairy tale, an image I’m happy to indulge. As the spare to the heir, I’m the prince with none of the power . . . and all of the perks.

Then my twin brother is kidnapped, and suddenly I’m the one who could be king. The crown chasers start circling—and yet it’s a luscious waitress who catches my eye. With a smart mouth and the curves to back it up, Savannah Breslin is as brazen as I’d expect an American commoner to be.

But Savvy’s not interested in playing Cinderella. As sexy as she is, she’s no stranger to heartbreak. Besides, a nice guy wouldn’t drag her into all the drama that comes along with royalty. Lucky I’m not a nice guy. And, as it turns out, I might not even be her first prince. . . .

My Opinion

After reading Down and Dirty a few months ago I was excited to get to this book and read more from this author. However, while I enjoyed Royal Pain I did have a few issues so it has split my opinion. 

To start with, Royal Pain seemed to have everything I love in a book and be setting up for an interesting read. It has 2 princes, a commoner, suspense, romance, and drama. As ideas, I liked these elements. I also liked Kian. He had a good balance if playboy prince, but also genuine love and concern for his brother. He seemed like a good guy and I liked him 

However, I'm not sure I bought into the whole romance. It started off interestingly enough, but it moved too quickly for my liking and I didn't feel the spark. I also skimmed some of the sex scenes as since I didn't feel the chemistry between the characters they didn't work for me and felt more like padding. 

Moreover, while I liked the idea of this books, I think it had the potential to be more. It felt undeveloped to me. A lot of situations happen behind the scenes or out of sight. It left a lot to be desired for and aided in the disconnect I felt. It's a shame because this could have been a great read and it had the potential. I just felt it lacked in execution. It also led to a swift resolve in the end. Things just happened too fast for me in this book--feelings, plot, ending. It was kind like a whistle stop tour of this world. 

Overall, this is a short easy read. Down and Dirty was a much better read by this author, but this one was okay.  I thought more could be made of it had it been developed more. 


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