The Quiet Game is the first book in the Penn Gage series. He is a prose**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
The Quiet Game is the first book in the Penn Gage series. He is a prosecutor turned author, turned detective (kind of). I thought the mystery in the Quiet Game was really compelling, but the audiobook narrator kind of took away from the story. He did about 3 or 4 of the voices well, but all of the other voices sounded comically bad. He could not do a woman's voice at all. And the story is a serious one, so it was distracting. But if you could get past the bad female and secondary character voices, you can't help but get sucked into the story.
There is a decades old civil rights murder in this small southern town. It is a cold case and because of some meddling from a journalist and some help from Penn Gage, the case is about to get re-opened. There are national forces involved and the whole thing gets crazy really quickly. It was a pretty good murder mystery and there was a lot of legal stuff going on. Most of the legal aspects of the story were accurate, but some of the trial parts were a bit sensationalized. But nothing too bad.
The story is very light on the romance (but that might change later in the series) and very heavy on the action. It made for a very fast paced read and the audiobook listening flew by. I listened to the whole thing on a one day car trip. Everyone in the car liked the story and it was engaging enough and interesting to make everyone want to keep listening. I think this would be a better book to read, because the characters were interesting and the mystery was really well done. I didn't really like any of female characters, but there were plenty of male characters to like. If you like action packed murder mysteries with a strong male lead, check out the Penn Gage series.
She Dreamed of Dragons is a young adult book, although I think it woul**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
She Dreamed of Dragons is a young adult book, although I think it would be better in the middle grade market, that creates a lovely new world of witches and mages. I liked the tension between the wiches and the mags because it added to the history behind them. Because they were in a constant feud, we actually learned a lot more about each of the races. There are all different kinds of mages, and one of the rarest of all is the dragon mage. I personally think the mages are more interesting than the witches. They have the power of various creatures living within them.
She Dreamed of Dragons has a main character, but this is more of a book with a cast of characters. I liked the main girl, Trina and a few of the other characters, but for the most part the characters were kind of lackluster. And that was my main problem in this book. No one had any real depth, which is part of the reason that I think this book would work a lot better as a middle grade read. It was more simplistic and the plot was kind of one dimensional. It wasn't bad by any means, but it wasn't overly complex or overly interesting. I liked the idea behind the story a lot and that kept me interested enough to want to finish the book, but it was kind of boring for me throughout.
It felt too young and everything felt too overly happy. There was not enough conflict added into the story to make it appeal to older readers. But I think it would be a hit with readers looking for a younger feeling book. It was age appropriate and fantastical to hold young readers attention. It just wasn't what I was expecting. I thought it would be older feeling and maybe even a bit darker with the mages and even a curse going around. I can see other people really enjoying this fantasy book, but it wasn't what I was expecting and it fell a bit short for me.
Beautiful Collision is the first book in the new adult suspense thrill**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Beautiful Collision is the first book in the new adult suspense thriller series, Desperation. It starts off right in the middle of the action too. The main character is on the run. We don't know from who yet and we don't know any of the details as to why, but you are thrown right in the middle of the action. It certainly was an effective way to draw the reader in. Beautiful Collision is told in dual narrative between Gray and Thane, the guy sent to keep an eye on her. I loved the way T.G. Ayer told the story. It flips back and forth between Gray and Thane, with more chapters from Gray's perspective and also scattered throughout where flashback that gave us details slowly on the who and why Gray was running from.
I really liked both Gray and Thane. Gray is a tough girl, that is very apparent right from the start of the story. And she certainly has not had an easy life, but she never whines and plays the poor me card. She doesn't even make excuses, she just keeps moving forward. It is a very admirable quality for someone her age to have. And I also loved that even though she was escaping, she still wanted to pursue an education. It was risky sure, but it was important to her. I think the more I got to know her the more I liked her and admired her. Thane too. The more he really watched Gray (or Sara) the more he fell for her. And I don't blame him. She is a great girl.
The flashbacks in the story played a huge role in describing the kind of man that Gray was running from. At first, I didn't like the flashbacks. I caught myself skimming them because they are very violent. But as the story went on and I became more and more invested in the characters and plot, I liked the flashbacks more. Because they are basically the sole method for understanding the background and just who this awful man is. Thane is part of the FBI and he wants to take the guy down. I won't tell you what he is involved with because I am not sure if it is supposed to be a secret or not, but it is some pretty heavy stuff. This book is not for the easily offended or faint of heart. It deals with some very dark issues and some awful crimes. But it is an excellent read, and the ending left me dying for the next book. It does end in a cliffhanger, so you should be aware of that, but don't let it deter you. The second book in the desperation series is coming out in early 2015 so you won't have too long of a wait. If you like suspense, thrillers or dark and gritty books, this is a great new adult series for you to check out.
Promise me This is the fourth book in the Between Breaths series. Each book can be read as a standalone, and I have found with this series that this iPromise me This is the fourth book in the Between Breaths series. Each book can be read as a standalone, and I have found with this series that this is really the case. Sometimes you get a mention or a cameo of a character from another one of the books but not very much. They basically all just live in the same city/world, but other than that each book is completely focused on the main characters. Which works out great for people that want to pick and choose which books they want to read or to read them out of order. You won’t be lost at all.
Promise Me This is the story of Nate and Jessie. They both work at the tattoo shop, but on the surface they seem like complete opposites. There were so many things I enjoyed of their dynamic. I liked that at first glance they each didn’t appear to be the kind of person the other would go for. Jessie likes her guys rough around the edges, slim and cut with tats galore. And Nate is anything but that, Jessie thinks that he lives up to her nickname for him after all, which is Square. Nate has always had a crush on Jessie but he keeps people at a distance because he doesn’t trust himself to not turn out like his father. Just the fact that he was so worried about treating women badly made me know that he was nothing like his father. Another thing I liked about the two of them, was that while Nate always kind of had a thing with Jessie, she never thought twice about him that way until she walked in on him with one of his hookups. It was like the veil had been lifted and she saw another side of him.
So much of their boding took place on a short trip they took together. I loved everything about this trip. I loved Jessie’s passion for photography and I really loved how Jessie started to peel back the layers and get to know Nate. It brought me to realize what was my favorite thing about this couple. So much of their connection and communication was nonverbal. She really just got him. It was so clear to see. She could tell when he was getting lost in his head, and she was able to pull him out. I fell in love with their nonverbal dance completely. It made me think- now these two people are perfect for each other.
Just like in Before You Break, Promise Me This deals with a tough issue that may be difficult for some people to read about. It deals with domestic abuse. Nate had a tough childhood, and I really liked that this was address so classily in this book. Therapy was used and Jessie helped Nate along the way too. I loved Jessie and Nate so much. They are each such strong characters on their own and to see them weave themselves into the others life was beautiful. There are no other words for it. Whether you have read all three books or none of them, read Promise Me This. It is a great New Adult Contemporary Romance....more
I have seen a few reviews of Stitching Snow that said the book was good, but not great. That the book didn’t overly impress them. I didn’t see any ofI have seen a few reviews of Stitching Snow that said the book was good, but not great. That the book didn’t overly impress them. I didn’t see any of these reviews until after I was done reading the book, and for that I am glad. I was really surprised. I loved Stitching Snow. I had a few minor glitches with it early on, but I soon got swept up in the story. I absolutely loved that this was a complete story. And you get a really full story packed into this novel. There is non-stop adventure, a very imaginative new world, cool characters, and lots of feeling. Not to mention to get to follow the adventure on page one and have it all wrapped up by the end of the book. Normally fantasies and epic adventures of this scale are 4 or 6 book series, so there was something so satisfying that I got to wrap everything up in this one book.
Snow, or Essie as she prefers to be called, lives on a mining settlement on one of the less prosperous planets. (I think.) I loved the setup of this story. Snow is in hiding and she loves tinkering, or stitching as she calls it, with machinery. The seven dwarfs are drones. But these are special drones that I got the feeling no one else has ever seen in any planet. Essie has managed to infuse personalities into them, and I really loved them. Obviously I loved Dimwit the best, but I think that is partly due to the fact that we got to see him the most. I wish we got to see more of all seven of them throughout the book. Once Essie is off on her “adventure” there are only two dwarfs with her- Dimwit and Cusser. I wanted them to all go.
The world -building in Stitching Snow grew as the story built. At first, I was a little disappointed in the explanation of the worlds. I had a bunch of questions. Things would be said like the fact that she had to dye her hair. And then no further explanation was given. Why did she have to? What was her original hair color? Was it unique? And then there were actual questions about the set of their planets and governments. But soon the story and action starts to boom and as you go on, you get more and more answers and background on the worlds and planets.
I got so wrapped up in Stitching Snow. Like really caught up. I loved R.C. Lewis’ writing. I didn’t want to put this book down. I loved how techy Essie was, and I loved watching how her brain worked. Not to mention the action in this book was intense. There is a full on war going on throughout the story. And plenty of evil queen plotting to give you the fairy tale flair. I liked the romance most at the beginning and the end. The middle was a little murky for me on the romantic front and my feelings were muddled. I Don’t want to say why, but you will very clearly see when you read the book. If you like young adult fantasy, I think Stitching Snow is a must read book. I know there were a lot of middle of the road reviews, but this girl right here loved it.
One Song Away is a standalone new adult romance novel that is perfect f**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
One Song Away is a standalone new adult romance novel that is perfect for people looking for a really sweet friends to lovers/second chance at love type of read. I loved it for all of those reasons. I had a few minor issues with the book, but the overall feel of the story made me happy- which is kind of the whole point. I loved Jake most of all. This guy is a teddy bear if I ever did see one. It was so clear to me from the start that he had real serious feelings for Sophie-Claire. (who I only saw as Claire because that's what Jake called her.)
The book is told entirely from Sophie- Claire's point of view. I found myself wishing for some Jake POV thrown in, but it was easy enough to figure out what he was thinking and feeling, so it never really detracted from the story. I mostly wanted some of his point of view because I liked him more than I liked Claire. I had a hot and cold relationship with Claire. On one hand, she really did grow on me as a character. There are so many things that I did like about her. I loved how loyal she was to her friends. In fact, the friendship between Claire and Sloane was my second favorite part of the story, after Jake himself. I loved how she was not afraid to be her own person and to own the person that she was. That was really inspiring. But that kind of fed into the thing that I didn't like about her. She claimed to absolutely love herself all the time, but she second guessed herself and had a flair for the dramatic a lot. At times, it seemed like you couldn't win with her. Jake was damned if he did, and damned if he didn't.
Jake and Claire start out having a fake relationship to get her momma off her back. And Claire finds herself wanting the real thing with Jake (ummm...hello! who could blame her??!) So she is sad when she doesn't have the real thing, but then when it looks like Jake might really like her, she gets super upset?? I had no idea why, but she totally freaked out. When girls do things like that it bugs me, so Claire and I had an annoyed moment. But she won me back over by the end of the book. I can completely see why people love Sophie-Claire so much. (and they do love her! Just take a look at goodreads.)
One Song Away is really nicely written. It was a lighter read with almost no angst. And Jake is a show stealer. I just want to hug him and make him hang out with me all the time so he can be super sweet to me. He is so considerate. If you are a fan of the sweet new adult romances with swoon-worthy male leads and great secondary characters, One Song away is the book for you.This review was originally posted on Book Briefs...more
Best Man For Hire is the third book in the Front and Center series, but**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Best Man For Hire is the third book in the Front and Center series, but each book is a complete standalone. I still haven't read the first book, Marine for Hire yet, but I have read the second book, Fiancee for Hire. I loved Mac's story and I was really glad to see him pop up again throughout the book. I am obsessed with the Patton brothers. I really love that each of the brothers are named after US generals. Even the sister! My history nerd side geeked out a bit over that.
And then there is Grant himself. Is he for real?? I mean, seriously, how could he ever possibly be hard on himself? He is so unbelievably good to the core. He is a boyscout personified. It was so easy for me to see that he is a way better person than he gives himself credit for. Both Grant and Anna think that if you have made any mistakes at all in your life, then you are not a good person. It was crazy. But watching them together was so much fun. It was nice to see them kind of open the other's eyes to how great they were. Because Grant could easily see how awesome Anna was and vice versa. They just needed to convince themselves to believe it.
Anna's job as a "nontraditional wedding planner" was super cool. She did a paintball wedding a red riding hood wedding and a fairy wedding. I can only imagine the kinds of offbeat things people can come up with, especially with her as a wedding planner helping them out. It seems like such a fun job. Nothing is ever the same as something else you have put together. That makes it exciting for her. I totally get that.
I am such a fan of Tawna Fenske's writing for the Front and Center Series. She knows how to infuse really sweet and steamy romance with humor and so much personality. All of the books in the Lovestruck imprint from Entangled are great because you know you are going to get an easy to read and quick romance that is satisfying. And the Front and Center series is a great one for you to try. If you liked Mac, get ready to fall even more in love with Grant. He is so awesome. Best Man For Hire comes out at the end of December and it is one that you should keep an eye on. Start with this book, start with the first one, it doesn't matter. This series will put a smile on your face.
Love me to Death is the first book in the Adult Paranormal Romance Underveil Series. I loved Love Me To Death. It has everything that I want in a paraLove me to Death is the first book in the Adult Paranormal Romance Underveil Series. I loved Love Me To Death. It has everything that I want in a paranormal…tons of different creatures living in a well developed and planned out world, with magic thrown in and a kicking romance to boot. What more could a girl want. Plus if the romance has a forbidden aspect to it, that is a total bonus! I became kind of obsessed with this book. It felt like it was a little on the longer end, which is not a bad thing….at all. But I didn’t read it in one sitting. So every time I would have to put it down to tend to real life things, I would watch myself gazing longingly at my kindle, or my thoughts would drift back towards the book while I was at work. Love me To Death was not good for my everyday life concentration, but as a book and as a reader, I love that it made me so absorbed in its’ pages.
The basic setup of the world is that there are these enforcers, called Slayers that are meant to protect the Underveil as well as the human world from evil creatures. Vampires are one such evil creature. So when Nikolai is sent to take out a human that will soon embrace her evil side, he feels a strange sense of confliction that only gets worse the longer he is around her. I loved the progression that Nikolai and Elena went through. Everything felt so natural. Nothing was rushed or felt out of place with them. They each battled their own emotions and I thought that even with something that has the potential for insta-love- like a soul bond that formed pretty early on in the book, there was no insta-love. I think I was the most impressed with how Marissa Clarke handled the romance.
There is a so much going on in Love Me To Death. Nikolai and Elena find themselves in the center of a quickly brewing war of the worlds. I was impressed with how much Marissa Clarke fit into this first installment in the Underveil series. I did, however, feel like there was a bit too much going on at the end of the book. It was like a huge cluster of action everywhere you turned. I wish that part was just slowed down a tiny bit and spread out more. But that is my only complaint of the whole story. I am completely obsessed with Nikolai and Elena. I can’t get enough of the two of them. I want the second book right now! Readers of adult paranormal romances and fans of books that feature lots of different creatures, then this is the book for you. You need to read the Underveil series, if you haven’t already. It is one of the good ones!...more
The Undead: Playing for Keeps is the story of a girl that can raise the**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
The Undead: Playing for Keeps is the story of a girl that can raise the dead with a touch. And as an added twist, her family is the owner of the town funeral home. I thought that was a hilarious twist to the story. Because the daughter has no idea that she is the one bringing the dead to life, and the funeral home is getting into all sorts of trouble because the corpses keep going missing! And in a small town word gets around pretty fast.
Lyla was an easy girl to like. I have no idea why she was such a social outcast. She really only had one friend and the other kids at school either avoided her or made fun of her. I thought it was BS. She is a sweetheart, but I guess high school kids don't need a reason to be mean. I felt bad for her, and I totally understood why she was so skittish about everything,. It took her a long time to warm up to Eric, and I really admired that about her.
Eric is a reaper that shows up in town to find out who is raising the dead. What he doesn't expect is Lyla because people are turned into Samaritan (which is what she is) but they aren't already them. She is a special case. (which you will find out about in the story) Lyla is the main character of the story, but it is told in dual narrative between her and Eric, and as an added bonus we got to learn a lot more about his background. I wasn't expecting that at the start of the story and it took a while to dig into his past, but we do get to see glimpses.
I'm not sure if there is going to be another book or not, but it would be kind of cool if there was. The end of the book got really crazy and I would love for someone to kind of rehash all of that in the next book, if there is one. I think there is still a lot the author, Elsie Elmore, can do in this world of reapers and Samaritans. The Undead: Playing for Keeps is an interesting paranormal young adult read. If you are a fan of reaper books, this is a fun take on them that I think you will enjoy.
Books, Blogs and Reality follows four romance book bloggers. It was an**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Books, Blogs and Reality follows four romance book bloggers. It was an interesting setup for a book. It was like reading a high school diary or watching a reality show about my contemporaries. Being a book blogger myself, a lot of the stuff were things and situations that I could directly relate with, but there were also parts of the book that made me want that kind of friendship with fellow bloggers. The four ladies became friends through their similar reading tastes. They commented on the same reviews and started up discussions, which led to a group chat. And they get online and talk to each other every night, about everything. I want that. I have always been a little jealous of the bloggers that make insta friends with other bloggers and become so close and talk all the time. So while I was reading Books, Blogs and Reality, it was really easy to imagine that these were a group of four real bloggers just chatting about books and their lives. It felt more scandalous for me that way. I liked it. :)
What struck me the most was how much these girls lied to each other at first. It shouldn't have surprised me. People do it all the time on facebook and instagram. They only post super happy pictures, and fabulous events and all the great things going on in their lives to make things seem better than they might be. But these four girls were supposed to be really good friends, so I thought they would be more honest with each other. So that kind of bummed me out a bit at first, but the cool part about the book was because it jumps back and forth between each of the girls "real lives" and then their conversations online, you could watch them start to open up more and more with each other as the story went on. That made me happier with their friendships.
I liked the flow of Books, Blogs and Reality. It alternated between each of the four girls, and in between each girls section, there was a nightly group chat between all of the women. It made the book a very quick and easy read and kept you engaged the whole time. I liked some of the girls more than others. Brooke and Lizzie were my favorites and it is very easy for me to say that Rachel was my least favorite. I thought she was a freakin' idiot. And I don't hate on characters too much, but I couldn't stand her. If you have read the book, please let me know because I would love to have a good rant session about her, but I don't want to spoil anything for anyone.
If you are a book blogger, you will get a kick out of this book. The romances are all cute and each have their own issues. They are a little predictable, but when thrown together with the friendship of the bloggers and all of the blog terminology it is a fun read. It felt like I was watching a book blogger reality romance show.
Tess in Boots is a clean new adult contemporary romance. It is a starti**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Tess in Boots is a clean new adult contemporary romance. It is a starting over story, where the main character needs to get away from her current life. Tess lost her job right before she was supposed to get a big promotion and her boyfriend was being all "dud-like". Not wanting to move forward or do much of anything after being together seven years. So when her brother calls her up out of the blue and tells her he needs her help with a vineyard in North Carolina, she figures it will be a bit of a much needed vacation for her. What it ended up being was a fresh start. I love these kinds of books. Where the main character does something completely different with their life. Those are the books that are completely about them finding themselves, or reinventing themselves into the versions they wanted to be in the first place.
Tess in Boots was a really cute read. It has a nice romance in it, even if you don't always know which way it was going to go. I couldn't get enough of Thatcher. His feelings for Tess seemed a little abrupt but he is the kind of sweet genuine guy that can pull that off. I loved all of Tess' marketing ideas for the vineyard. Plus the whole small town vibe feel of the book with all the overly nosey townspeople, were perfect for the book. I love small town settings.
There were times while reading Tess in Boots that I genuinely had no idea which direction the story was going to take. It could have gone any number of ways, and that was part of the appeal. Now when we got down to the end of the book, I did know what I wanted to happen and I still wasn't even sure if it was going to or not. I think I would have been disappointed if it didn't turn out the way I wanted to. I'm not going to say what way that was, or if it happened. But you might be surprised because there is no "good guy" and "bad guy" in Tess in Boots. Logan was a pleasant surprise to me. And Thatcher had so much more going on than I initially thought. Tess is one lucky lady, that is all I will say.
The most satisfying part of the book was not the romance. It was the growth that Tess discovered within herself. I loved the new direction she took her life in. And I would love another book or novella to check in with her and see what she does with it . If you are looking for a really heartwarming and sweet clean new adult/adult romance, check out Tess in Boots.
Icarus was a darker book that I have read in a while. Which is good bec**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Icarus was a darker book that I have read in a while. Which is good because I like to mix it up and raw books dealing with some of the tougher issues always bring out strong emotions in me. I just like to put that out there so that people can be aware of it up front. Because I know, sometimes I need to be ready for a very emotional book, especially one that deals with abuse. Danika Stone uses very descriptive, sometimes bordering on flowery language.
The way that Icarus starts is interesting. The book starts you off with Tess in real time starting at a new school for her first day. And then it goes into a time lapse through her first few months at the school. It was a really effective technique that Danika Stone used because it allowed the reader to get to know Tess quickly. We picked up on facts about her, her life and her background because each of the "time lapses" stops and focuses on a different aspect of Tess or her life. Once she meets Drew and is partnered up with him in her science class, the book goes back to real time storytelling. The rest of the book is told alternating between real time and flashbacks of when Drew and Tess are children. It was interesting because you can put together kind of quickly that they knew each other as kids and they just each went by different names, but what I didn't get was why neither of them remembered the other. I know Tess has blue hair now but Drew couldn't have changed too much. And even if he did, Drew didn't really remember anything about that time, and I have no idea why. It wasn't really ever explained.
I loved the incorporation of the Greek myths into the story through Tess' English class journal. Seeing her thoughts in her journal entries was really emotional for me. Because it was pretty much the only outlet for her emotions and feelings that she used. She is such a closed off and guarded person. You could really tell that through her relationships with Kyle, her best friend, and Drew. Some of the things with Tess' father were hard to read. You wanted to reach out and help her so badly, but it was all part of the raw-ness and power in Icarus. This is a powerful story. I appreciated that about Danika's writing. She conveyed the power through her words. Icarus definitely affected me as a reader and I can see a lot of people really connecting with this story. It is not your run of the mill young adult story and that is so great about it. I wasn't crazy about the ending and I still have no idea why Drew didn't remember parts of his past, but overall the book as a whole resonated with me.
Taken by Storm is a standalone new adult book by Tamara Mataya. I have**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Taken by Storm is a standalone new adult book by Tamara Mataya. I have read another two of Tamara's books, The Best Laid Plans and Just Breathe and I loved both of them. They were hot and steamy and really well developed and everything that I look for in my romance books. I liked Taken by Storm as well, but I didn't love it as much as I loved the other books. It didn't feel as full as they did. That may sound weird, but once I was done, I sat back and thought about what it was that made me feel like this one left me wanting a bit more compared to her other two books. The romance was great. I really liked the characters and the natural disaster element was one that I have not encountered in a lot of books. I came away with the realization that I just wanted more book. It wasn't long enough for me.
Now it may be possible that I am holding this book to a little bit of a high standard because I enjoyed Just Breathe so much, but that is what I have come to expect from Tamara. And Taken by Storm had all the makings of a truly wonderful story, and I really enjoyed reading it. I just wanted like 75-100 more pages. Taken by Storm clocked in at 156 pages, which may really appeal to readers who are looking for a quick romance. I wanted to savor Ryan and Leilani.
But now let's talk about everything that I loved about Taken by Storm. And there was a lot that I loved. I really liked the history between Ryan and Leilani. They knew each other in high school and throughout the story we get little glimpses into their past, which was pretty cool and let me see how much they each changed in that time. And obviously their chemistry together was great. Tamara Mataya knows how to write fantastic romances. She really does.
Another thing I really liked about Taken by Storm, was the actual storm. It was terrifying to watch all of the damage that the flood did. When everyone was in the restaurant and the wall of water came rushing at them, I was genuinely scared. I felt like I was there with them. The writing felt very real, which made the book hard to put down. It also could be why I breezed through this book and wanted more. Because I read it in one sitting.
Taken by Storm is told in dual narrative, which worked really well with the flow of the story. Especially since Ryan is a fireman and so much of the story deals with him dealing with and handling the disaster. It was really nice that this book was a standalone as well. It was good to break up all the series I have been reading lately with a "one and done" book.
Life in the No Dating Zone was like a comedy of errors. It was a matchm**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Life in the No Dating Zone was like a comedy of errors. It was a matchmaking mishap game, a little like the play that they describe in the book- cyrano de bergerac. I thought it was a really cute take on the you start out liking one person and end up with someone else. (i'm sure there is a name for that romance trope, but I don't know what it is.) I really liked the main guy Gray. The main character, Claire, grated on my nerves a bit, but we eventually worked things out. Life in the No Dating Zone is told in dual narrative between Claire and Gray.
Gray really liked Claire's popular friend Lindsey since forever, and he turns to Claire for help. Which Claire is more than happy to do because she doesn't date (because of a pact) and she feels left out by her friends that each have boyfriends. She wants to break Lindsey and her current beau up. This was my problem with Claire. She acted really childish sometimes. Her immaturity and self centered attitude really bugged me for a large part of the first half of the book. And my real problem was that she would have these moments of such nice-ness that I wanted her to be that nice girl more. I wanted that to be who the real Claire was, but I wasn't sure if she was more nice, or more immature. She eventually won me over, but I wouldn't say that I loved her. I liked her.
Gray on the other hand, I adored. He is just the sweetest shy guy ever. I loved how quiet and pensive he was. But the more he was around Claire and her friends the more he came out of his shell. And I also liked reading his point of view chapters because you could see him growing more and more fond of Claire, and it was so funny to try and see when he would finally open his eyes and realize he liked her.
Claire's no dating pact took a while to fully develop the reasoning behind it. I had no idea why she made the pact for most of the book. She gives a surface reason for not dating, but we don't get to the real meat of the issue until later on. I think that was my favorite part of Claire's character- watching her grow and come to terms with her pact and the reason behind it. Life in the No Dating Zone was a cute read. It was fun to watch the slow burn romance blossom between these friends. Claire might get on your nerves a time or two, but she will make up for it in the end.
Adrian Lesson's was a new adult book that felt fresh and different. I t**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Adrian Lesson's was a new adult book that felt fresh and different. I thought it was going to be a girl and popular playing guy dancing around each, leading to an inevitable romance. But there was a whole other element that took me completely by surprise. I loved the added depth from Adrian where Cleo was concerned. It made the story feel fresh and so endearing. But don't worry there is still the URST (unresolved sexual tension) and romance build up that I love in my new adult contemporaries.
Adrian is his college's "sex King". He has a column in the newspaper and he earns his reputation. Cleo is a quiet girl that just so happens to writer her newly signed roommate/author's sex scenes in her books. I think that would be a really fun collaboration by the way. But Cleo is out of inspiration, and in a writing funk. I loved not only Cleo and Adrian, but her roommate is a hoot and a half. I want her to get her own book! I loved how meddling she was with Cleo, and how she pushed Adrian to help her act out some of her scenes- kind of. She didn't make them so the dirty or anything like that, but she did get them pretty close to each other. It was pretty hot and a whole lot of fun. I thought it was a great method of driving the story forward.
But this was not just a fluff read. You really got to know Cleo and Adrian so well. Especially Adrian. The deeper he went in revealing his past, the more I liked him. It is hard not to like him. He seems so genuine and nice, and I thought Cleo gave him way too hard of a time. Even when she realized that he wasn't the shallow guy she thought he was, she sill didn't really let up on him. But Adrian was a gem through it all. They don't make a ton of guys like him. I really enjoyed Adrian Lessons. The writing is sexy, fun and the pacing of the story is great. It felt like a well thought out read, but I easily read it in one setting. I just didn't want to put the book down. I really enjoyed L.A. Rose's characters and romance so I am excited to read her other books. I have James Games sitting in my to be read pile right now, in fact. I think Adrian Lessons is a standalone read, but I am kind of hoping that Cleo's roommate gets her own companion book. If you like fun and steamy college romances, Adrian Lessons is a great book for you to check out.
The Duality Principle is a quick, fun and sexy romance that I enjoyed i**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
The Duality Principle is a quick, fun and sexy romance that I enjoyed immensely. The story centers around Gabby and Conner, who are both in their mid 20s. I think that is the perfect age for new adult books. Gabby is a graduate student writing her thesis, and I loved the way Rebecca Grace Allen actually worked Gabby's thesis into the story. It sounds like a great idea for a thesis first of all (too bad I am not math inclined in the slightest, unless it comes to taxes and estate planning.) , but the even cooler part what how her thesis related to her relationship and journey with Conner. It was my favorite part of the book. Along with the romance, of course.
Gabby and Conner are such an interesting mix. I love the nerdy side along with the more daring. They pull out the good and the bad in the other one. It turned out to be a perfect balance and was a lot of fun to read about. The book is told in dual narrative between Gabby and Conner, which worked out well. We got to see each of their likes and holdups about the relationship. And hearing about their own fantasies in their point of view chapters was also a lot of fun in the story.
The Duality Principle was a very quick read. The length was a little strange. I wasn't sure whether it was just a short quick full length novel, or a longer novella? I tend to wish that it was a bit longer. The characters were fleshed out well and the story flowed nicely, but it was a very quick read. I would have liked some more to the story at points. I never really felt like the story was lacking in any department, it was just over very quickly. Nevertheless, if you like fun and sexy new adult romances, The Duality Principle is one that I think you should check out.
This week is Holiday Novella week at Book Briefs. And it was unintentional. I guess it is just that time of year, and I was craving holiday novellas so much that I booked reviews of two of them for series that I have read and enjoyed, back to back. Yesterday I reviewed This Christmas by Katlyn Duncan, and in the review I talked about how the book surprised me with its' more somber beginning. So I didn't want to get any preconceived notions in my head before reading A Very Grey Christmas. But this book was just what I expected it to be- a fluffy, and cheesy fun holiday romantic read. I love Grey so much, as you can tell from my reviews of the first two books in the series, so I will always jump at a chance to read more about him and all his southern charm. I love any kind of holiday novella, but I think my favorite kind is getting to peek in on characters that I already know and love from a series that I have read. Just like the Kissing Eden series.
A Very Grey Christmas was a quick and super cute read. There is the perfect book for fans of the Kissing Eden series and for lovers of Christmas. There are decorations galore, caroling and Christmas plays. I love that Eden's family goes all out for the holiday. Her mom was hilarious. It makes me want to start decorating for Christmas right now.
I'm not sure if the next book is going to continue to focus on Grey and Eden or if it will shift over to Mason and Taylor, or maybe even a new couple. And I don't even know what I want it to do. I want to see more of Grey, that's for sure. It might be nice to see another couple get the spotlight, but I love Grey and Eden so much that I would love to see them get another book. I guess what I am trying to say is that Mrs. Foster will need to write many more books set in South Padre. I want more!
This Christmas is a follow up novella to the first book in the Thi**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net** 3.5/5
This Christmas is a follow up novella to the first book in the This Summer series, This Summer. I really enjoyed this summer, and I love holiday themed novellas, so I was super excited to get to check in with Hadley and Will for some holiday fun. This Christmas is a super quick read, and it surprised me because it didn't start out the way I expected. At all. I am not going to spoil anything, but I will say that I expected it to be some cute Christmas fluff, but it was a little heavier than that. I ended up loving this more realistic feeling tone. This Christmas wavers between Young Adult and New Adult. I think it ended up on more of the New Adult side.
Hadley and Will have been a couple for a couple of months now and something is up with them. I really liked what Katlyn Duncan did because it is something that I have seen couples do a million times. Girl notices something is up with boy. Girl thinks it has to do with thing "A" (which most of the time is something about Girl). When in actuality boy is upset about thing "B". Or "C", or "D". But you would have no idea at all, because he doesn't say anything. So when This Christmas started, I just kept thinking "What the heck is up with Will??" And that is all you are getting. Read the book and find out for yourself.
I loved how into all things Christmas Hadley was. And I don't blame her at all. If I was in New York City around the holidays, I would be at the Rockefeller center tree all the time too! She was beyond adorable in this book. Her excitement about Christmas was totally infectious and got me in the mood for the holidays.
This Christmas is a perfect follow up to This Summer. I love that it lets you peek back in on Will and Hadley, and I am super excited to see that the This Summer series will continue. I think I can see what the next book will center around. We got a little peak into some of the things coming up for Will and Hadley, and we met a new character so maybe she will make an appearance in the next book as well. If you like holiday novellas and you have read This Summer, This Christmas is a fun follow up read. You should read this one after reading This Summerthough for context on the characters.
Kissing Frogs is a modern day re imagining of the Frog Prince. I will a**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Kissing Frogs is a modern day re imagining of the Frog Prince. I will admit that I have never read the frog prince, and that I didn't even know it was a re-imagining until after I was done reading and I saw the final summary. I know the basic idea, but I am not familiar with the details of the story. I just thought that Kissing Frogs sounded like a cute book. So I can't tell you how close this rendition of the tale was, but I can say that Kissing Frogs was a cute read in a rich and beautiful setting.
The main character from kissing frogs, Jess, is a super brainy girl that wants to go to Berkeley, but you would never be able to tell because she reinvented herself between middle school and high school. She used to be teased a lot, and she went to great lengths to become one of the popular kids. Which was all good and well, but it made me sad that while she was doing this new version of herself that she felt like she had to hide the smart parts about herself. But she made up for it through the story because as time went on, you could see her becoming more and more interested in the things she used to love about learning. She called it letting her nerd out, but I just looked at it as herself re-learning what she loved about her brainy side.
My favorite part of the book was the Panama setting and the golden frogs. I loved learning about them and about the legend and lore that surrounded them. The school trip sounds like a blast. I would love to go on something like that. My girl scout troop in high school did a service trip to Mexico where we not only got to visit the country and explore, but we also did a service project for the community. It is such a rewarding experience and reading Kissing Frogs took me back to that time and those same feelings, which was great.
The romance in Kissing Frogs was cute as well, but I wanted a little more backstory on Jess and Travis. We know that he used to poke fun at her when they were younger and he was easier to read, but I never really knew where she stood on him from before? Did she have a crush on him? Did she never like him like that? I thought it would have been better to have more of their back story established early on. It would have helped me with their current dynamic better, but I still enjoyed reading about Jess. Kissing Frogs will take you to a beautifully rich and exotic setting, and it is a cute story to boot.
By far, my favorite kind of movie is a comedy. Sure, I like other kinds**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
By far, my favorite kind of movie is a comedy. Sure, I like other kinds of movies too, but I always go back to comedies. They have this ability to make me not only feel better- a lot better, but they also allow me to forget my daily stresses for a while. But for some reason, I don't read nearly as many romantic comedy, or flat out humor books. And I have no idea why. I love them. The Extraordinary Life of Lara Craft (Not Croft) is flippin' hilarious. I have not had the pleasure of reading a book by Becky Wicks as of yet, but I have a feeling I will be changing that very soon. I have read a Sarah Alderson book and it was a suspense murder book. It couldn't have been more different than The Extraordinary Life of Lara Craft (Not Croft). It made me really impressed with her range of writing. I loved her suspense just as much as I loved her comedy. I loved the combination of their writing styles. It seemed liked they played off each other really well, and their writing melded flawlessly.
The Extraordinary Life of Lara Craft (Not Croft) was pure irreverent fun. Lara Craft literally travels around the world to try and find her place. And as you can imagine, funny situations follow her everywhere. I think there will be something humorous that almost all readers will enjoy and relate to with Lara Craft. Even though the book starts out with her kind of escaping a breakup, Lara is an eternal optimist. You have to admire her positive spin. She will not let anything get her down, and I loved that about her. This is a girl that I want as my friend. I found myself alternating between laughing out loud and smiling while reading for multiple pages before I even noticed my face had morphed into a smile. This book will leave you in perma smile- and that is never a bad thing in my book.
I loved how many movie and tv references there were. Those are kind of my thing. Plus, the romances in this book are awesomely steamy. Quirky book lovers, look no further. This is your book soul mate. The Extraordinary Life of Lara Craft (Not Croft) is so much fun. Get ready to go on an adventure with Lara that will have you laughing until the last page.