Reading Party Girl by Rachel Hollis is the most fun I’ve had while reading in a LONG time! There were just so many fantastic aspects of this book that...moreReading Party Girl by Rachel Hollis is the most fun I’ve had while reading in a LONG time! There were just so many fantastic aspects of this book that all worked so well together and made me adore it to absolute pieces. The characters, the parties, the horrible bosses, and the quirky best friends; they all were what made this book cute, quirky, and a definite favorite!
Landon was an extremely likeable character from the very first page! While she was a way more girlie than I could ever dream of being, I couldn’t help but connecting with her as a character on so many levels. She was ready to embrace this new, exciting life in Hollywood and nothing was going to stand in her way. Her outlook on life (before the evil boss!) was so positive and enthusiastic; it definitely made me smile! Once Landon reaches Hollywood and is introduced the crazy, hectic, harsh reality that happens only when you are an intern for an assistant of an assistant of Selah Smith THE PARTY PLANNER, she gets nervous and a little overwhelmed, yes, but that confidence and determination to make something special out of her life never faltered. I really loved and appreciated Landon as a character for that very reason!
Landon also seemed like such a real, honest, genuine character and I think that’s why I fell so head over heels for this story. She is this fantastic mix of all of my favorite personality traits: sure she is confident but she has moments of insecurity, nervousness and fear. She is girlie and bubbly which means she is mistaken as a “dumb blonde” a lot but she is smart and savvy in all the best ways. She has quite a few setbacks personally and professionally but she also has a lot of great moments too in which she was really able to show how she grew as a person! By the end of this story, I just felt like I knew her not as a character but as a friend!
Another one of my favorite parts of this book were the other characters! There was such a crazy, quirky cast of characters each bringing their own something special to the story! Landon’s roommate, Max was hilarious even if she didn’t mean to be. Max is this tough girl with a bit of an attitude (and scowling) problem but seeing her friendship with Landon grow, was one of my favorite parts! Landon’s co-workers (the ones that weren’t evil and horrible!) like Taylor and Miko, were such a pleasant surprise. Not only did they add humor to the book but they were rooting Landon on the whole time and I loved them for that!
This book also contained some romance; an unexpected but sweet, adorable, lovely romance all the same! Landon first meets the handsome, rich, and successful Brody Ashton while choking on a muffin in an elevator. From that moment on, Landon and Brody’s interactions are awkward at best. She feels like she’s out of his league and he pegs her wrong from the beginning. This is my favorite type of romance though because they start off in a tense place with their relationship but we got to see that transform to acceptance of one another, the start of their fragile (but still intact) friendship, and finally blossom into full-on love. It was slow-building and sweet in all of the best ways!
While I ADORED this book for all of these reasons and more, there is one particular aspect I cannot fail to mention; IT, the book, not just the character, was so real, genuine, and fun! I was SO glad I read about the author before going into this book because knowing a little more about Rachel and all of the awesome things that she as done in her career so far, made this book seem even more authentic to me! She has (or at least I suspect she has!) gone through a lot of what Landon went through; from the internship, to the horrible boss, to the exciting parties, and finally to starting her own party planning business.
This is a book I have been pushing onto people before I even finished reading and it is a book that I will be pushing onto people for a long time! I adored the characters, the relationships between them, and the party planning aspect but more than that, I love the good feeling I got when I read this book. It is fun, delightful, adorable and I honestly cannot suggest this one enough!(less)
This book was such a fascinating, beautiful story that includes a unique twist on Greek Mythology, a love story that made me swoon more than I should...moreThis book was such a fascinating, beautiful story that includes a unique twist on Greek Mythology, a love story that made me swoon more than I should probably admit to, and a girl’s quest to overcome the crappy hands that life keeps dealing her.
Medusa, or at least the version of Medusa in this story, was a character I loved from the very first few pages. As the story went on, she changed from not only a character that I loved, but also a character that I was rooting for and learned to appreciate more and more. At the beginning, she is this scared, lonely girl who was forced into a wretched life on an isolated island. The only rumor that proves to be true concerning Medusa is her hideous appearance and eyes that can turn people to stone. Otherwise she is a caring, sweet, compassionate person. She lets only two people into her life not because she prefers to be alone but because she worries for their safety in her presence. The first of her friends is Mikkos, an old sailor who happens to be blind and therefore immune to Medusa’s curse. The other is Hermes, you know THE GREEK GOD HERMES, who becomes Medusa’s closest friend after years and years (and by “years and years” I do in fact mean “thousands”) of slowly chipping down the wall Medusa has built around herself.
It is within these first few chapters of the book, the chapters in which we are introduced to the real Medusa, not the one of myths and legends, and meet the few people she lets into her life, that I first fell hard for this story and for Heather’s writing. I knew early on that I would adore any outcome of this story because it was already so different from any other Greek retelling I have ever heard about before. Mix that with the manner in which Heather tells this story and you have something that is just beautiful and incredibly unique.
While I loved meeting Medusa and reading about her friendship between Mikkos and Hermes, this story doesn’t really begin until Hermes petitions for the reversal of Medusa’s curse. From that moment on, the book was an emotional roller coaster for sure, but an emotional roller coaster I would not change a single second of. Medusa goes from what she considers herself as, a monster, to a practically normal girl. She goes from a person totally closed off from the rest of the world to a girl surrounded by not only people, but Gods and Goddesses! This transition and all of the changes that Medusa goes through cause an onslaught of emotions which I thought were written and handled very realistically, or I guess as realistic as you can get in a Greek mythology retelling. She has struggles, moments of intense feelings of grief and confusion, moments where she wishes she were alone on her island again. But then there are moments where she opens up a little more, lets more and more people in, and then finally begins to embrace this second chance she was given.
During this transition period for Medusa, we are introduced to several characters that you thought you know about before. For instance, Hades and Persephone. Did you know that they enjoy throwing parties (okay, this one mostly belongs to Persephone), know each others coffee preferences, and how to make each other smile on a regular basis? And what about Aphrodite? Did you know she enjoys shopping, is the kindest person you could ever meet, and is incredibly loyal to those she cares about? We also get to see a whole lot more of Hermes and oh my, that God is as dreamy as you can imagine a Greek God being. He is fiercely loyal and protective of Medusa, he cares for her whether she is half reptile or totally normal, and he can be this mix of understanding, totally goofy, and super sweet. This twist that Heather puts on these Greek Gods and Goddesses is so much different from the stories already out there and I love The Deep End of the Sea even more for it.
It wouldn’t be a story about Greek Gods and Goddesses without a little bit of romance, now would it? I am going to start off by saying that the romance in this story is my ultimate favorite kind of romance. It is one of those romances that start off as friendship. Learning each others like and dislikes, knowing one another inside and out, being supportive and kind when the other needs it most. And then that friendship oh so slowly and delicately blossoms into something more. It blossoms and blooms and causes all the feels because you want it so bad and saw it coming from a mile away but were excited beyond words for it anyways. Yes, this book includes this kind of romance and no I am not going to spill the beans on just who it is but rest assured, you will fall in love, you will swoon, and you will root for this couple just as much as I did.
If I were to list out the reasons why I loved this book, we would be here all day long. And as much as I love your company, I am sure you don’t have the time for that. So because of that, let me be short, sweet, and to the point: this book is brilliant. Heather’s writing is beautiful, the story she crafted is unique in all of the best ways, and the journey Medusa takes from page one until the very end, is a journey you will not want to stop reading.(less)
I am so happy to report that Wolves At The Door, the second book in the Shapes of Autumn series is just as, if not more, exciting as the first book, M...moreI am so happy to report that Wolves At The Door, the second book in the Shapes of Autumn series is just as, if not more, exciting as the first book, My Wolf's Bane. I loved the first book because it was paranormal mixed with thrilling mixed with romance. I enjoy all three separately but I adore when all three are found together in one book. When it comes to Wolves At The Door though, there was even more paranormal, even more thrilling moments, and even more romance which made me over-the-moon ecstatic.
I was a bit worried going into this that I wouldn't remember all of the details from the first book considering it has been nearly a year since I read it. I was only a few pages into this story when I realized I had absolutely nothing to worry about. Not only does Veronica do a pretty great job of catching people up on the story, but she does it in a way that doesn't make it seem like a history lesson. I loved reading certain passages and being like, "Yes! I remember that from My Wolf's Bane!"
One of my favorite parts about this story and probably part of the reason I was able to catch up on the story so fast, is that it picked up almost exactly where it left off. Like mere seconds, minutes, perhaps hours, after the last book ended. It caused for a seamless flow between one story and another and I really appreciated that. There were no black holes in the story of these characters!
Since the story started from where the last one left off, that meant for the first time I got to experience Zack and Autumn together. As an actual couple! I absolutely adore these two characters separately AND together. They are both so realistic despite their werewolf/shape-shifting tendencies and I couldn't help but get sucked right back into their relationship. Autumn is this strong, opinionated girl but at the same time she had moments she is scared and insecure (I mean hello I would be too if I found out I was a shape-shifter and my boyfriend was a werewolf!). This made her seem that much more real to me. As for Zack, he is about as swoon-worthy as they come. He is just as scared and confused as Autumn, considering their relationship is wrong on so many levels in the shape-shifting community and he is also dealing with an ailing mother, but despite all of that, he is Autumn's rock. He stays strong when she begins to crumble and he pushes her to be her best. Like I said, totally swoon-worthy.
Now I can't say much as far as plot is concerned because I just don't want to give too much away, but it is so full of twists and turns that all left me flipping through the pages. In a manner much like the previous book, as soon as it answered one question (or I think it answered one question), ten more would pop up. I felt like I learned a lot more or at least thought of a number of theories concerning the many mysteries surrounding Zack, Autumn, their relationship, and the Werewolf & Shape-Shifting community, but as this series as taught me so far, what I think to be true is not always the case.
This story left me smiling. Confused and perhaps a bit too concerned with the fate of the Shape-shifting & Werewolf world as well as two awesome main characters, but definitely still smiling. Like I said, I love Autumn, I love Zack, I love their family and friends, I love the world Veronica has created, I love it all. This series has it all for me; a romance that makes me grin and melts my heart at the same time, an interesting and refreshing paranormal world (which can get really hard to find as far as werewolves are concerned!), and a whole lot of tension and mystery to keep me flipping the pages. If you are looking for a book that has all of this, I definitely suggest picking up this series!(less)
This book has totally stolen my heart. I was expecting to enjoy Violet and Zach’s story but I was not expecting to fall in love with their past, their...moreThis book has totally stolen my heart. I was expecting to enjoy Violet and Zach’s story but I was not expecting to fall in love with their past, their fallout, their pain, and their reunion. Playing For Love At Deep Haven proved to be a fantastic book full of genuine characters and a love story I can only hope for.
When we first meet Zach and Violet, it has been 9 hard, long, heartbreaking years since they have last seen each other. Life hasn’t gone quite the way either expected. Zach, a musical prodigy who graduated from Julliard finds himself writing crap music for heavy metal bands and occasionally playing gigs as a fill in guitarist instead of writing the beautiful music his past love knew he was capable of. Violet finds herself alone, grieving the death of her long-time boyfriend, and desperately trying to work over her writer’s block to produce a book for her publisher she isn’t even passionate about. Long are the days she used to spend writing beautiful poetry with a deep meaning.
Both seeking a reprieve from the strain of their daily lives, they both end up in Maine and by a strange twist of events, staying at the same house. This is where the story really starts to take off. For years, 9 to be exact, Violet and Zach have lived their own separate lives but each longing for one another, longing for the passion, companionship, rightness, and love they held, and still hold for each other after all these years.
I absolutely loved how Katy wrote this story. Her writing was beautiful, yes, but beyond that, she allowed us to get to know two character how they are today and get a glimpse at who they used to be. I loved how effortlessly this story flipped between memories of the past and things that were happening in the here and now. How Zach used to be and who he is today, and the same for Violet. Zach is this broken-hearted rockstar wishing desperately he could go back 9 years and tell the girl he loved exactly how she felt and Violet is this broken-hearted, scared, sheltered woman an almost exact opposite of the easy-going, free-spirited young girl she used to be before her heart was shattered 9 years ago.
Fate brought these two back together and I adored watching it all play out during their stay at Deep Haven. Everything from Violet’s obvious hurt and anger over the way Zach left her so long ago. Zach’s regret and desperate attempts to show Violet just how much he cares, how much he’s always cared for her. Over the course of two weeks, you watch a broken, shattered mess of a relationship, change and blossom into something so genuine and beautiful.
Maybe it was because music played a huge part or maybe it was the poetry and song lyrics that scattered some of the pages of this book. Or maybe it was because I could see a little of myself in both Zach and Violet. Or maybe it was because I wish for a love as passionate and lasting as Zach and Violet’s, a love that was tested time and time again but still stood strong. Whatever the reason may be, I loved this book. I loved it from the very first page to the very end. I loved seeing Zach and Violet as young college students, making the leap from friends to something more. I loved seeing how 9 years spent living a life away from one another changed them in more ways than one. I loved seeing how when together again, they found their way back to who they used to be. And I certainly loved how they each learned from one another; learned to trust, open up, and love again.
If you are looking for a solid love story with two fantastic characters, a beautiful Maine setting, and lovely writing that will have you flipping from page to page as fast as you possibly can, than I definitely suggest you pick up Playing For Love At Deep Haven by Katy Regnery. It is most definitely worth the read.(less)
I See London by Chanel Cleeton is a fantastic example of a well-written New Adult book. It had all the parts I like best about NA; the well, new adult...moreI See London by Chanel Cleeton is a fantastic example of a well-written New Adult book. It had all the parts I like best about NA; the well, new adult characters, a bit of romance, and a whole lot of self discovery. Becoming an adult is a scary thing that includes growing up, making decisions, and making even more mistakes. All of the characters, not just the main character, in this book were facing their newly found adulthood and all in different ways. I loved feeling like I was a part of this group of friends as they embraced the good and the bad parts of growing up while living in London.
The main character, Maggie was enjoyable yes, but what I liked about her was the fact that she was incredibly normal. I don’t mean any of this in a bad way but she wasn’t extraordinary, or at least in the beginning; she was an average girl from an average town in the U.S. She had a few friends from high school but never really fit in there. Her home life was good but her mother left and her father was never around leaving her grandparents to care for her. She went to school, worked hard to get good grades but really that was about it. Whether it was intentional or not, Maggie being this normal, typical girl, made this story totally work for me. Even though there was nothing super duper extra special about her, she still got the chance to travel all the way to London to go to school, she was able to go on these fun, exotic trips, meet people from all over the world, and experience all sorts of awesome things. It made me believe that me or my friend, my sister, or really any other normal girl out there could experience something like Maggie’s story too. I especially loved watching Maggie blossom throughout this book. She starts off so quiet and shy but with the help of her new friends, she soon learns to come out of her shell.
Maggie’s experience was a whirlwind, one I am still trying to wrap my head around. She got to explore London on her free time, she was able to travel to Venice and Paris, she partied in hot new night clubs. and hung out with people from Lebanon, Paris, and Nigeria. To say I was a little jealous of her is a bit of an understatement. I loved this aspect of the story because through Chanel’s writing, I felt like I was right there with her characters. The imagery was beautiful and even though I have never been to these exciting places outside of my dreams, I truly felt like I was there.
I absolutely adored the characters we met throughout the book. All of Maggie’s friends are coming from different walks of life. Fleur is this stuck-up, beautiful rich girl. But the more you get to know her, the more you learn she is really a great friend once she lets you in. Mya is funny and supportive but underneath the brave face, she is struggling through parental issues. And Samir, well where to even begin with him. Maggie says a few times in the book that he is hard to figure out and honestly, that couldn’t be more accurate. On the outside he is this hot, rich player but as him and Maggie slowly get closer, the more you see that there is more to Samir than his sly grin and effortless shrug. Maggie and all of her friends couldn’t be more different from one another but I appreciated and grew to love them
It wouldn’t be a story about a girl figuring herself out in a new, exciting city without a little romance, right? Maggie and Samir have an attraction to one another from their very first meeting but it is an attraction that Maggie tries to fight with all that she has. Despite her best efforts though, Maggie and Samir always seem to find a way to each other time and time again. Samir makes a pass at Maggie, Maggie gets embarrassed and/or angry, she says something sassy to him, he counters back, there may or may not be kissing involved. Rinse, wash, repeat. The banter and back and forth between these two was so much fun and it had me wishing for more of it. While I loved that their relationship was filled with fun moments, there were a lot of hard moments too. They both are fantastic at pushing one another away, they both know how to push buttons, and they both know when to walk away from something truly great. Despite all of this though, I absolutely adored that they didn’t have a picture perfect relationship. It, pretty much like everything else about this book, seemed very real to me.
I See London by Chanel Cleeton was an adventure of a book. The setting was brilliantly written and it made me feel like I was the one taking classes in London and vacationing in places like Paris for spring break. The relationships and friendships that were created between the well-developed characters were very realistic and Chanel wrote it in a way that made me feel like I was part of their little group too. This book was definitely an enjoyable read and I cannot wait to see where the next book takes Maggie, Samir, and all of their friends!(less)
Going into this book, I knew I would have a hard time with it. Not because it sounded bad. Quite the opposite actually. This book sounded amazing but...moreGoing into this book, I knew I would have a hard time with it. Not because it sounded bad. Quite the opposite actually. This book sounded amazing but I knew when it came to the subject matter it would strike a chord with me. In the end, this book took me on the emotional roller coaster I was expecting and then some.
After my best friend was in a car accident that left her in the hospital with a severe brain injury, there were several moments that I worried how life would be different when things got back to normal. Little did I know that at the time, things would never get back to normal, we just had to find and create ourselves a new normal. Having this life experience, I felt like I could really connect with all of the characters in The One Left Behind. Like all the characters involved in this book, the normal they were used to, the normal in which Addison and Colin were engaged and ready to be married, a normal in which a random group of people became a big group of friends because of two people, well, that normal just didn’t exist anymore.
This story crumbled my heart in so many ways. I have never been so conflicted over characters and their relationship before. I can usually go into a story picking out the guy I want to root for and then smiling like I just won a trophy at the end of the book when the MC ends up with that guy. For this story, I went through so many phases. There were several phases in which I wanted to hug Colin. The guy was obviously heartbroken considering he fiance didn’t remember him. There were probably even more instances that I was insanely irritated with Addison for hurting Colin over and over again. And then there were moments where I felt so guilty because I remembered that it is not her fault she can’t remember and she is just living her life the best way she could. There were moments I swooned for Colin and probably and equal amount of moments in which I swooned for Pierce. So now that I am finished with this book, you can probably understand why I still don’t know where my feelings are with the whole thing.
I may not be able to tell you exactly how I feel about the characters and how the story ended up but I can tell you this: this book is definitely worth the read because for every moment that will hurt your heart and piss you off, there are even more moments you will smile. You will be cheering both Addison and Colin on as they move forward with their life. You will smile when funny things happen with Addison and Colin’s friends because at some point in the story, it’s like they become your friends too. And maybe you will read this book and your response will be totally different from mine. Maybe you will be Team Colin or Team Pierce, or maybe you will even be Team Addison but I really think you need to read this to decide for yourself.
I know this review is really just a jumbled mess of words but I think that’s maybe because after reading this book, my thoughts and feelings for all things The One Left Behind are a jumbled mess too. I don’t know how I feel about Colin, or Pierce, or Addison but I do know that overall, I loved this book. I loved that it made me feel everything that was good, bad, ugly, and everywhere else in between. It’s in your best interest to give this one a read so you can perhaps decide for yourself. And also, because it’s pretty amazing!(less)
Kiss Me At Midnight by Diane Alberts was the absolutely PERFECT book to read right before we all ring in the new year! I’ve come to know and love Dian...moreKiss Me At Midnight by Diane Alberts was the absolutely PERFECT book to read right before we all ring in the new year! I’ve come to know and love Diane’s books for what they are: quick, hot books that have a whole lot of swooning and heart packed into a little punch.
Ashley was a great main character! Since this story is definitely on the shorter side, we don’t have the luxury of getting an in-depth history of all of the characters but despite that, I felt like I really got to know Ashley. I learned that she was driven, hardworking, and would do anything for those she cares about. I also learned that after getting her heart-broken by her best friend and crush in high school, she has moved on to do bigger and better things. Well that is until she finds herself back in town at the same time as said high school ex-best-friend-and-crush and is once again reminded of the pain he caused.
One thing I loved in particular about this book is that it’s told in dual points-of-view. This really helps push the story along as well as helping to introduce you to yet another main character. Ethan Pierce isn’t the same awkward, nerdy boy he used to be. All grown up, uber successful, and all sorts of attractive, Ethan wants nothing more than to make it through his visit at home and then bolt at the first available opportunity. While looking for a distraction in the town’s local bar, Ethan spots an Ashley look-alike who just so happens to be well, Ashley, but all grown up.
This here is where the story really begins! Ashley, who has so “moved on” from Ethan (a lie she tells herself) and Ethan who has so “moved on” from the pain he suffered at the hands of bullying in high school (you guessed it, another lie) both decide they should just sleep together, have some sexy time, just once, and get it out of their system; give themselves some closure of sorts. But of course that is not the way it works out. Because there is a whole lot of history between these two and also these tricky things called feelings, lust, and love. I really liked that while neither character really thought their relationship would move on and both fought so hard to resist when it actually did become more, I could see it coming from a mile away. I could see the attraction but most importantly the feelings between these two and it had me rooting for them the whole time.
Trying to get over the past is hard but trying to get over the past while also trying to work your way through the present is even tougher. Ethan and Ashley learned this struggle pretty fast when it came time for them to decide what exactly they were going to do with this relationship of theirs. Ethan couldn’t come back home to the very town that caused him so much pain and Ashley couldn’t leave town since she just moved there to help her mom out. This here is where my one and only irritation with the story lies. Both characters have a valid, somewhat reasonable option should they choose to stay together. However, both were too stubborn to give in. I may or may not have yelled at fictional characters at this point in the story. They oh so obviously wanted to be together but neither one wanted to be the first person to make a move.
Despite this small setback, Ethan and Ashley’s story is a good one. A hot one full of sexy times, quite a few laughs, and a lot more heart than I expected from it but a good story nonetheless. If you are looking for a quick read full of these very things, then I definitely suggest you pick yourself up a copy of Kiss Me At Midnight just on time for the New Year!(less)
Sweet Nothing by Mia Henry was such a sweet, sweet surprise. I found myself totally engrossed in Elliot’s story as she starts her new life in Miami an...moreSweet Nothing by Mia Henry was such a sweet, sweet surprise. I found myself totally engrossed in Elliot’s story as she starts her new life in Miami and tries to forget all the trouble and hurt from her past in New York.
When we first meet Elliot, there is obviously something troubling that has happened in her past. At first it was what really grabbed my attention in this book because it was like this big mystery I was constantly trying to figure out. Little snippets would sneak out and I felt like I got a little closer to finding out what pushed her away from her life in New York but it was never quite enough to get the full story. While this is what initially stole my attention, it got a bit old after a while. The other characters we were introduced to and certain things going on with Elliot and the oh-so-swoon-worthy Mr. Luke Poulos, soon stole the limelight and I just wanted to know Elliot’s full story without all of the waiting and guessing. Despite this supersmall irritation, I fell in love with Elliot and just about every character in this book!
Elliot is obviously hurt and struggling when we are first introduced to her. Life is not going her way and hasn’t been for a long, long time but she is trying to make it better for herself. After basically dropping her old life at the New York borderline and picking up a new one before she reached Miami, Elliot is virtually unrecognizable. I found her move to be so very brave. She left her sister who happens to be her best friend, she left her safe and comfortable (for the most part) lifestyle and she moved to a place where she didn’t know anyone, had to get a new job, and was faced with some real-life struggles. I loved how she was this sweet, determined person but she was also this closed-off, scared person. She wasn’t totally perfect and she wasn’t totally broken, just somewhere in between and it was so refreshing. I loved that I got to see her at her worse and I also got to see her as she made it to her best.
Elliot’s plan is to just coast through her new life in Miami. Don’t get too attached, just make a living, get her act together and move on. She can’t afford for anyone to recognize her let alone find out about just what she left behind in New York. But as the case often goes in stories like this, her plans soon change. Elliot meets the gorgeous Luke at a work party and there is definitely an attraction there. Despite the physical attraction, these two connect on a deeper, very believable level. Luke lost a lot at a young age and Elliot lost a lot just recently. This commonality allows Elliot to connect with him despite her best efforts. She finds that it’s hard to stay away from someone so understanding (and also really hot because let’s face it, that doesn’t hurt!).
I LOVED Luke as a character. He was so sweet and attentive and also just there for Elliot whenever she needed him. There were many times during this book that Elliot would catch herself getting too caught up in Luke and would try to push herself away or build a wall between them but Luke knocked them all down. Someone please tell me how you don’t swoon over something like that? Perhaps what I loved even more about Luke was his honesty and humor. He was so believable as a character and these traits made him all the more believable.
While Elliot and Luke are obviously the two characters I became the most in love with, Elliot’s roommates were also quite awesome. Waverly and Gwen were hilarious roommates. At first I was kind of leery of both of them but as the story went on, I learned to love and appreciate each of them as they were; sort of flawed, a little bit mysterious, not entirely trustworthy but when it came down to it, they were exceptional new friends to Elliot.
This story ended really odd for me. The story was going good, then it was going great, and I was loving the twists and turns, the ups and downs, but then at the end it just stopped. It definitely leaves room for a sequel of some sort but I feel like it could have been rounded out just a bit more at the end of this one. A fan of cliff-hangers, Kate is not. Despite this minor setback at the end, I LOVED everything about this story. There were moments where I giggled and moments that made my heart hurt. There were characters I loved and characters that added a little something special to this story. But above all there was a great love story mixed in with a great real-life story in which Elliot comes to terms with her past and learns to embrace her future. I definitely, definitely recommend this book!(less)
This cute story is a perfect way to start off the holiday season!
I was excited to see that this story was told through two points of view. When you ar...moreThis cute story is a perfect way to start off the holiday season!
I was excited to see that this story was told through two points of view. When you are reading a novella, it is a HUGE plus if an author can get you to connect to their characters quickly. The switching points of view definitely helped in this case.
I really liked reading from Jamey’s point of view. He was such a genuinely good guy and that was really refreshing to see. He also showed some growth from the start of the story to the end which I totally didn’t expect in this shorter read. At first he is a bit lonely, not all that interested in the holidays but that all changes after he meets Heather.
Heather is an equally genuine, sweet character. Where Jamey is a bit hesitant to celebrate the holidays, Heather is all about it. Making the children’s ward where she works as a nurse extra special during the holiday season is one of her favorite things to do.
I liked the connection between these two; it was easy, simple, and fun. Some of the wording was a bit awkward in this story (Solar Plexus was used quite a bit. It was just…weird), and some of the things said made this book a bit cheesier than it needed to be but otherwise I really enjoyed it. If you need a quick boost to get you into the holiday mood, this just might be the one for you!(less)
This novella was totally adorable! Through funny and witty writing, author Wendy Sparrow made me fall for this story in just a short amount of time. M...moreThis novella was totally adorable! Through funny and witty writing, author Wendy Sparrow made me fall for this story in just a short amount of time. My biggest complaint about it? I wish it were longer!
Remy is this free-spirited young woman. Even though life is hard at times for her, she has this overall upbeat, fun personality. Her voice was realistic, hilarious, sarcastic at times, goofy at others, and such a joy to read.
Owen on the other hand, not so much. He is a businessman who follows a schedule to a T. He likes things in order (preferably list form) and sort of gets freaked out if they aren’t. Even though he comes off as this control freak sort of guy, there were moments in this story in which he really surprised me. He would crack a joke or do something totally unexpected that made me think differently of him.
My favorite part about this book is that these two obviously have a connection even if this connection makes no sense. I guess what they say about opposites attract really rings true in this story. Their personalities are so different but in a way, they really compliment each other.
There were a lot of giggles and even some swoon in this short and sweet story. I say if you are looking for a quick laugh and a quick romance, you’d definitely want to check this one out!(less)
Rena is sassy and fun, Riker is a bit moody but also swoon-worthy, and while their story was short, it was still a great read!
Rena’s personality made...moreRena is sassy and fun, Riker is a bit moody but also swoon-worthy, and while their story was short, it was still a great read!
Rena’s personality made this book. She was feisty, snarky, and hilarious. She has this way of saying and doing things that just totally entertained me.
Riker wasn’t so easy to like at the beginning but in a way that is totally understandable. He is recently released from the military due to losing his leg. He is not only learning to deal with his injury but he is also struggling with being out of the military.
Riker has received enough pity stares to last him a lifetime. When Rena let’s him have it despite his noticing his physical state, he becomes interested to say the least. One of the best parts of this story was these two started off has near enemies, progressed to acquaintances, slid into friendship, and non-surprisingly, that developed into romance. I loved that L.S. Murphy was able to develop these two characters and their relationship so much in a little bit of time.
Even though I so wish this was a full-length novel so I could immerse myself in more Riker and Rena, I am still happy with how this story turned out. Definitely worth a read!(less)
What an intensely fun, steamy book! I knew going into this book that I would enjoy it but what I wasn’t quite expecting was how much. Lisa created a m...moreWhat an intensely fun, steamy book! I knew going into this book that I would enjoy it but what I wasn’t quite expecting was how much. Lisa created a main character I could connect with on a book nerd level, envy over on a “she is totally in like/lust/love with a coffee-making-word-writing-hunk” level, and appreciate on a “she is a real-imperfectly-perfect-flawed person” level. On top of this obviously awesome main character, the story line is relevant, something I could totally picture, and full of little twists and turns that life so often brings on.
Candy…err, I mean Candice was truly a gem of a main character. I am not lying when I say I sort of have a woman-fictional-character crush on her. She is just so real and genuine. I loved that she had moments of doubt and insecurity because seriously, who doesn’t? But then she would get totally kick-ass and be confident and fearless in moments that would have previously rendered her petrified. I ADORED that her personality was constant but she, as a person, was growing and molding into a fiercer (more fierce?) version of herself throughout the story.
At the beginning of this book, Candice is struggling to find a balance from her real life in which she is a creative writing grad student and her secret life in which she is Candy, an up and coming writer of smexy, saucy books. Let me take a quick moment here to say just how much I love, love, LOVE the idea behind this book. Not everyone is a closeted erotic writer, but I do feel that most people have a part of themselves they keep hidden, afraid of what everyone else will think. This general idea told in a not-so-general way was awesomely genius and I applaud Lisa for that! Now back to your previously scheduled review….: As the story goes on, the lines between her two separate lives start to blur and this is where the new and improved version of Candice starts to appear. I loved when this happened because it allowed her to open herself up to James the sexy barista (more on him later), stand up for herself to her jerk of a boss (even if he is sort of good-looking and also sort of a former crush), and finally, it allowed her to really think about the writer and person she wanted to be.
There through Candice’s transformation was James. This sweet, funny, understanding, hot mass of a man is the one person who pushes Candice to be the best version of herself while also threatening her future by being well, one of her students. I will admit, this particular storyline is still a bit tough for me to grasp. HOWEVER, I thought Lisa wrote it in a way that made me think about and question my beliefs on the subject. While I’m still a tad unsure how I feel about the issue as a whole, I was not deterred from loving the freaking heck out of James and Candice’s relationship. He understands what scares her while also pushing her to face her fears. He knows their situation is fragile at best but still tries to make light of it by getting her candy apples (Get it? Because she is his sort-of teacher? I giggled endlessly through that scene…). Even though there are jokes, a HUGE unavoidable issue between them, and a big physical attraction, it’s the simple chemistry and understanding between them that made their relationship really work.
Sneaking Candy had ALL of the things I love and appreciate about New Adult. It was more than the romance (even if that part did play quite an awesome role); it was about finding out who you are and who you want to be; it was about learning to stand up for yourself and following your dreams, whatever they may be. I loved watching Candice grow from a girl a little confused and a whole lot conflicted on who exactly she wants to be to a woman with confidence, drive, a dash of sassy, and of course a hot, new boyfriend that I may or may not still be drooling over.
If you couldn’t pick it up during my review, than I am going to take this time right now to urge you to buy this book. You will laugh, maybe cringe, possibly sigh, and definitely swoon!(less)
Goodness gracious you guys, I freaking loved the guts out of this book. Chelsea Fine has a way of crafting a story that is as honest as it is beautifu...moreGoodness gracious you guys, I freaking loved the guts out of this book. Chelsea Fine has a way of crafting a story that is as honest as it is beautiful, as heartbreaking as it is hopeful, and as snort-inducing as it is tear-creating. In the pages of this book I fell in love with the characters, their past, their present, and everything else in between
When it comes to main characters, Pixie was as perfectly imperfect as they come. Her personality was so freaking realistic that I kept hoping she were a real person so I could be best friends with her. It was easy to see from the first few chapters that Pixie had faced something tragic making her a little more closed off than normal. Her heartbreak was evident for sure but what I loved most is that Chelsea made her a fun and enjoyable character despite all the sadness that surrounds Pixie and her past. She would go off on these long and rambly tangents when she was stressed or embarrassed, the little quirks she thought to herself or even spoke out loud were hilarious, her way of interacting with Levi (i.e. blowing the fuse while he was doing something) had me laughing the whole time, and the way she carries herself was just so very enjoyable and made her one of my all-time favorite female MC’s.
When it comes to Levi, I loved him just as much as Pixie but for different reasons. While Pixie has this hilarious, quirky personality that helps to hide the pain she carries, Levi wears his pain and guilt like someone would wear their clothes. My heart went out to this guy because I could tell just how broken he was over what happened between him and Pixie in the past. Like Pixie though, Chelsea wrote Levi has an incredibly enjoyable character despite the darkness and sadness that surrounds him. I love that he was such a guy in this book. He was territorial and protective of Pixie but not in a creepy way, more of a “I really, really, REALLY care about you” way. He was also very sweet and caring even if it didn’t always come across that way. Seeing the way he took care of Pixie in the past and the subtle ways he tries to do the same for her in the present made me realize just how great of a guy he truly was.
The book would be pretty great if it was ONLY about Pixie and Levi but Chelsea added in characters like Jenna, Pixie’s best friend, Zack, Levi’s best friend, and Ellen, Pixie’s aunt who happens to be hers and Levi’s boss, and this book went from pretty great, to absolutely, positively AMAZING. If you know anything at all about me, you know I lurrrve me some fantastically written secondary characters who could pretty much have a book written all about them. Well it is my pleasure to tell you that Best Kind of Broken is chop-full of them. Jenna is this feisty, hard-ass, but also super supportive best friend and I absolutely love the fact that she is there for Pixie but also doesn’t push Pixie to share about her past until she’s ready. And then there’s Zack who I absolutely ADORED. Chelsea, if you are reading this, could you please make a book, a novella, even just a teaser devoted entirely to him? Zack was really freaking hilarious but not in a in-your-face-cracking-jokes-non-stop way but more in a wacky-and-quirky-where-does-he-come-up-with-this-shizz way. He is definitely the humor that Levi needs in his life and I loved that he pushed him to be more than his past. And then we get to Ellen who, you guessed it, I LOVED. Pixie and Levi are each lost after the tragedy that occurred in their past but Ellen and her Inn soon become their safe haven, their new home, the place they reconnect. I love Ellen for her constant strength and the support she offers each character. For different reasons, Levi and Pixie are missing a mother figure in their lives at the moment and Ellen fills that void for them.
So what’s better than a book full of ah-freaking-mazing characters? A book that has great writing to connect all of these characters. You guys, if these characters don’t draw you in (which they undoubtedly will, BTW), then Chelsea’s writing will do the trick. It was flawless, beautiful, hilarious, heartbreaking, and genuine. I felt like the characters were real-life people dealing with real-life situations. I felt like the past these characters had together and the way Chelsea wove it with the things that are happening during the present was done seamlessly. And finally, Pixie and Levi’s story while it has it moments of tragedy and heartbreak, definitely left me with a happy, tingly, gushy, I-want-to-hug-the-guts-out-of-both-of-them feeling.
If you read any NA book this year, do yourself a favor and make sure it’s Best Kind of Broken.(less)
Do you ever come across a book that totally knocks you off your feet? A book that you never saw coming, one that totally blows you away with how insan...moreDo you ever come across a book that totally knocks you off your feet? A book that you never saw coming, one that totally blows you away with how insanely beautiful it is? 99 Days of Laney MacGuire is that very book for me.
From the very first page of this book I was hooked. Rachel’s writing captured me with how simplistic, honest in the most humorous way, and so very real. I felt like I was right there with Laney as she embarked on a summer spent at her dad’s resort. Laney was easy to connect to from the very beginning. Not only was she funny, but she was also flawed in the best ways possible; the ways that make her complex and human. She had these absolutely wonderful moments throughout the book where she was wild and crazy with her friends, alone and sad while reflecting over the traumas she faced this past year, intense and passionate about her running, being awkward around a really hot guy on more than one occasion, getting drunk and making mistakes a time or two, learning to be happy again and falling in love, running away when things got tough. See all of these things happened throughout the book and while some of them aren’t exactly the best, they all worked so well together to make Laney, well Laney.
Even though this story is laced with humor and lighthearted moments, it became clear to me that there was some pretty dark and heavy things lurking in the background. Throughout the whole course of the book Laney struggles to come to terms with something that happened to her a year ago and has caused great pain. While I found it pretty easy to guess what happened to her, it didn’t make it any easier when Laney finally opened up about it. Like I said, it was like I made a friend while reading this book so it was also like watching a friend grieving and dealing with more pain than one person should have to encounter.
There, helping Laney through a tough time in her life is an absolutely PERFECT set of secondary characters. I adore when authors have the ability to not only write complex main characters but can also write secondary characters who have their own sets of issues and layers. Laney’s best friends, Rory and Karissa were so well-written. Even though you don’t get in their heads quite as much as Laney, you still learn so much about these characters over the course of the book. You learn that Rory is passionate about his music, a little quirky, and incredibly loyal to his best friends. You also learn that Karissa is wild and crazy but also harboring some pretty heavy issues of her own. Seeing these three best friends interact together was like a breath of fresh air. They fought, they had fun, they supported one another but most importantly they were a fantastically written set of friends.
Throughout the story we also get to meet Laney’s dad, Craig and his fiance/wife Angie. These two characters were all I could hope for in supportive, fun parents even if I did have one little issue. But to describe this issue I need to backtrack a bit. Laney’s mom is always quick to marry, quick to divorce, and quick to marry again. Laney’s dad was among the first few husbands. The part that I had an issue was, was the fact that Laney was only introduced to her fathers about 5 years before the story took place. While I get the purpose of this, I feel like it could have been handled just a tad clearer. It took me a while to realize that when Laney said “dad” or “Craig” she was in fact talking about the same person. In fact the reasons behind her meeting her dad so late in life were just kind of brushed over and not until the last half of the book. Despite this small issue, I LOVED the support Craig gave to Laney. He was always there for her, caring and loving, no questions asked. It was nice to see a parent just be there for their child.
This book review wouldn’t be complete without mentioning a very important character and an even more important relationship. Weston is the definition of swoon and Laney is not immune to the spell he casts. He is gorgeous, has an accent (irresistible, I know), he reads all the time (even if the fact that he dog-ears his pages is a bit of downfall), he is a great listener, but to Laney the most important thing is that he only sees her for who she is, not the girl she used to be and most certainly the girl she isn’t now. When I say I loved these two together, that is an understatement. There is a connection between these two from the very beginning. They both fight it for their own reasons but to no avail. When they are together though they just get one another. Sure they fight and get caught up in the moment. It’s also no secret that they both come with their slew of personal demons but that’s something they help each other with. It was nice to see the changes they brought out in one another.
When I say you need to read this book, I mean you REALLY need to read this book. Rachel Bateman wrote such a heartfelt story that is full of a little bit of humor and heartache, a real portrayal on friendship and family, and a romance that will melt your heart. 99 Days of Laney MacGuire is a book you're going to want to pick up!(less)
Jay Crownover has won me over yet again with another marked man who I would so want to keep for myself if I wasn’t so in love with his story with a ce...moreJay Crownover has won me over yet again with another marked man who I would so want to keep for myself if I wasn’t so in love with his story with a certain significant other. What I’ve come to love and adore about Jay’s writing is that she creates these vibrant, real, honest characters that you can’t help fall in love with, flaws and all. She weaves together these stories that I simply can’t get enough of. Rome proved to be everything I love about Jay’s books and so much more!
Cora is a spitfire of a character that I was DYING to get inside the head of. We met her in the previous two books and I adored how feisty she was. She’s this pint-sized girl but what she lacks in size she makes up for in attitude and an unbreakable protectiveness of her friends. Cora is there for her friends no questions asked. When they need a shoulder to lean on, they lean on her. When they need someone to tell it like it is, she’s that person for them. As much as I loved what she did for these people who I have come to consider friends (even if they are fictional), I couldn’t help but wonder who was there to take care of Cora. She is independent but almost to a fault. She takes care of everyone else but she refuses to get hurt again by letting someone get close enough to really take care of her.
Rome, in most ways, seems like he is the exact opposite of Cora, but it is his independence and his tendency to push people away so they aren’t able to help him, that truly make them kindred spirits. When Rome was deployed, a shit-storm of pain and heartache hit is family and hit it hard. Then when he returned home, he was not only forced to deal with the things that happened and what he saw overseas but also everything that happened with his family. He was a flat-out mess, understandably so, but underneath it all, I could still see slivers of the man he used to be and the man he wants to become. Rome Archer despite all of his faults, is an incredible person. He tries to do the right thing, he keeps pushing ahead even if he takes a few steps backwards every now and then, but above all of that, he is passionate of those he cares about.
On the outside these two are nothing alike. Cora is like a little punk-rock, pixie princess covered in tattoos and Rome is this strong, tough fighter dealing with enough pain to last him a lifetime. On the inside though, these two are the same or at least similar enough to be able to really understand each other. I loved this relationship. No seriously, I LOVED these two together so much it almost hurt to read. Cora and Rome complimented each other in the best ways possible, in the ways that don’t make them perfect but make them better. Cora learned to open up and really allow someone in, Rome learned to lean on someone and move on with his life, and they both learned to fall in love.
Cora and Rome’s story took on more twists and turns than I thought or even expected it to. There were ups and downs, there were moments that made me tear up despite my best efforts not to and then in the next second, I would be giggling like a little school girl over something that happened in the book. I loved that on top of Rome and Cora’s story, I was able to see all of my favorite characters again and catch up on what’s been happening in their lives even if their book is technically done.
Take my word for it and read this book. Well first make sure you’ve read Rule and Jet, but once you’ve done that, READ THIS BOOK. I’ve come to love each and every marked man for who they are, good and bad and I’ve also come to love the women that make them a better version of themselves. Jay’s stories have heart, they have this fierceness to them that draws you in, and they have this special spark that make them one of my all-time favorite stories to read.(less)
I did not know it was possible for a book to be this absolutely freaking adorable. From the title alone I was hooked by this book. It is safe to assum...moreI did not know it was possible for a book to be this absolutely freaking adorable. From the title alone I was hooked by this book. It is safe to assume I am a fan of Disney movies; the princesses, the princes, and all of the happily-ever-afters despite how realistic they may or may not seem (depending on who you are). Even though the title grabbed my attention right off the get-go, it was what was inside the book that made me fall in love with this story. Cindi Madsen’s effortless humor mixed with the hilarious Disney character case studies and two quirky, real characters who totally stole my heart are all just why I fell in love with Cinderella Screwed Me Over.
Darby is a character everyone and I do mean EVERYONE can relate to in some way. While Darby’s outlook on love is harsh to say the least, I can understand why she feels the way she feels. Despite her negative views on love, Darby is an insanely enjoyable character. I adored her sense of humor and the way that her personality shone through in every situation. As funny as she was what I perhaps loved the most about Darby was the fact that she was flawed. She is cynical, quick to judge, and can be a bit harsh at times and while these aren’t necessarily the most admirable qualities, they are all qualities we possess in some capacity. Mix all of these personality traits together and you have one hilarious, quick-witted, AND realistic main character.
Darby has been heartbroken one too many times so she builds these walls to prevent it from happening again. Darby’s walls in question come in the form of case studies of past relationships. The mere idea of case studies comparing past relationships to Disney princes is absolutely GENIUS. Scattered throughout the book we get to learn about Darby’s past boyfriends and the effect they had on her and while doing so we got to learn a little more about Darby.
Flash-forward to the present and Darby has all but given up on finding her happy ending but one guy in particular would like nothing more than to prove her long. Book nerds beware, there will be swooning involved. Jake IS Prince Charming incarnate. He is sweet, funny, and most importantly he gets Darby. She does everything in her power to push him away but he doesn’t ever give in. He knows Darby comes with a lot of baggage and he as a lot of scars to work his way through but this only makes him fight harder for Darby. Like Darby, Jake comes with his flaws: he LOVES his sports, he can get pretty intense when it comes to work, and proven by his determination to win Darby’s heart, he can also be a bit stubborn. But also like Darby, it is all of these qualities that make me love Jake more.
Even though these two main characters totally stole the show, I couldn’t miss the chance to bring up all of the other characters that make an appearance in this book. Darby’s best friend, Stephanie is the voice of reason…even if Darby doesn’t always listen. Throughout the story, Stephanie is preparing for her wedding so it’s safe to say she’s pro-HEA. It was nice to see that someone was there slowly nudging Darby away from her cynical beliefs. I also loved learning about Darby’s family and their history. Her twin step-brothers, while their time in the book was fairly frequent, certainly made an impact in two different ways.
I guess to sum it all about, this book was a giant ball of adorableness. And I mean this in the BEST way possible. Darby in all of her cynical romantic beliefs, Jake in all of his charming glory, and the non-stop humor that flew off the pages of this book made it one romance you do not want to miss. Especially if you too have been screwed over by Cinderella.(less)
Raine Thomas has yet again impressed me with her Contemporary Romance writing abilities. Sierra and Evan’s story was a story filled with a little bit...moreRaine Thomas has yet again impressed me with her Contemporary Romance writing abilities. Sierra and Evan’s story was a story filled with a little bit of darkness, a little bit of healing, and a little bit of love and compassion.
Evan was a difficult character to really grasp at the begging. Since the story is told through dual points of view, I would see the way he treated Sierra through her eyes which wasn’t always all that great and then switch over to Evan’s point of view and witness the reasons behind his actions which didn’t necessary excuse his actions but at least give me some insight into the real Evan. Despite the gruff, distant attitude he has at the beginning of Meant For Her, the more time Evan spends with Sierra, the more we are able to see how much pain he carries around with him. Right along with Sierra, I took the simple joys of every little piece of progress that Evan made; haring a piece of his past, hanging out with his friends, smiling every now and then.
Sierra is the definition of a carefree, easygoing, free spirit. Everything about this character was truly good. She was passionate about everything she cared about from her photography, to her family, to her friends, and to even complete strangers. I just appreciated how easy of a character she was to love. As Evan’s neighbor and also being the niece of his professional baseball team’s manager, Sierra decides she is just the person to break down Evan’s walls and get to the root of his pain and despair. And considering this character has enough love and caring within her to put the rest of us to shame, she is the perfect option.
Reading about Evan by himself was enjoyable but not without struggles. Reading about Sierra by herself was inspiring and touching. But reading about the two of them together was a completely different story. I LOVED the connection these two had. Sierra knew Evan harbored deep pain before she ever even spoke to him. On the flip side, Evan has been lost for a long time but even more so during the past year but Sierra changes something for him. It is because of her he can finally begin to heal, learn to trust and care for others, and even open up about himself. I also love that this relationship was not without struggles. Sierra pushes Evan too far, Evan pushes Sierra away. Evan allows Sierra to get too close and then he closes off out of fear. But despite all of the problems that their relationship faced, there was enough romance, compassion, and natural chemistry between these two to make it all worth the read.
On top of all this other greatness that Raine has going on in the story, she also went and added in two of my favorite characters from her previous NA contemporary book, For Everly. That’s right people, Cole and Everly are in this book. And I don’t mean in a “Oh we passed a cute couple on a street” way but “Oh Cole is friends with Evan and Everly is friends with Sierra” way. I just adored the fact that even though their book is over, their story wasn’t. I can’t share much more about their parts in the story in fear that I’ll spoil it for you but I will let you know that it made my heart oh so happy.
I could go all day talking about all the things I love about this book but what you really know is that Raine makes it oh so easy to read her books. Her characters are ones I love, the struggles they go through are ones that hurt my heart, but in the end, the changes they make and the struggles that they overcome make it worth it!
And now, because Raine and I are allll about music over here, she’s put together an Ah-Mazing book playlist for all you awesome book lovers! Take a listen below and read all about how the specific songs play a part in the book!(less)
When I read the first book in the University of Branton series, This Love, I was introduced to two characters I was dying to know more about. It just...moreWhen I read the first book in the University of Branton series, This Love, I was introduced to two characters I was dying to know more about. It just so happens that I was not alone! I am thanking the book Gods and Goddesses today because Nazarea thought these two characters deserved their own book as well and thus Beautiful Broken was born…err published.
We first meet Dane and Scout in This Love. With that being said, these two books can definitely be enjoyed separately but for the full effect, I do think you should read that one first. Anyways, moving on…in This Love you get little glimpses of just who Dane and Scout are and what their relationship appears to be. And then you start Beautiful Broken and Nazarea shows us that there is so much more to these two characters hiding behind the surface.
This particular book starts off sometime after This Love ends. Scout is just getting out of rehab and Dane is there to take care of her just like always. It is easy to tell that Scout has had a troubled, troubled life. From drugs to many failed stints in rehab, to a life of partying and recklessness, and of course that one tragic night long ago that started it all. Even though Scout has tried and failed in the past to stay clean, she really means it this time and she works hard to stay away from drugs despite how hard it is for her. In this book she struggled with her addiction and deep scars from her past…a lot, but that never stopped her from trying to stay clean. Even though she saw herself as this broken person, I couldn’t help but think the opposite, that she was a strong, determined character. What I appreciated most about Scout, even more than her determination and strength, was the fact that she was so very human. She made mistakes, she struggled, she had moments in this book were she was almost at the breaking point. As crazy is it sounds for those things to be my favorite part, it is the truth. Nazarea has such a talent for writing characters that are flawed in the best way possible.
Now here I am going on and on about Scout. And as great of a character as she is, I cannot forget about the one and only Dane. Let me start off by saying I HATED him in This Love. Okay, maybe that is a bit of an exaggeration but he dumped coffee on Avery. It’s hard to forget something like that! Despite my initial feelings regarding Dane, I couldn’t help but fall for him in this book. The same fierce protectiveness he has over his best friend, Atticus in This Love, is perhaps shadowed by his feelings for Scout in Beautiful Broken. I love, love, loved how much he clearly cares for her and how much he wants to protect her from the pain of her past. Dane proved to be as strong of a character as Scout. We learn that he is perhaps just as broken as she is but instead of turning to drugs now, he turns to women to cope with the loss of his mother and sister. Watching him support and take care of Scout during her time of need while also dealing with his own demons definitely redeemed him for me and made me almost totally forget the whole dumping of the coffee incident.
The connection between these two was undeniably strong. Dane and Scout have known each other practically their entire lives. Dane has been almost like a second big brother to Scout and considering the fact that he was there to pick up the pieces every time she crumbled apart, you could even say he was much more than a big brother figure to her, he was more like her hero. Dane is just as loyal as he is protective towards his best friend. Seeing how torn he is between his growing feelings for Scout in the not-so-little-sister-way and his promise to Atticus that he would keep Scout safe only solidified that. With a whole lifetime of memories between them and of course Atticus, it would seem like a romance between these two is unlikely. But they each harbor such deep feeling for one another that when the romance does show up, it really shows up. It is no secret that my favorite types of romance is the “I really like you and we shouldn’t be together but we’re going to be anyway” kind and Nazarea hit it head on with these two. I could practically feel their passion for one another through the buttons on my nook.
I adored Scout as a character, adored Dane as a character, and of course adored the history between them. And as much as I adored the romance and sexy times between them as well, I wish this story focused a little less than that and a little more on the underlying, deeper issues in the book. I LOVED that Nazarea focused on addiction and I LOVE that she also focused on rape. I thought she handled both topics, which can both be touchy, with such great care but it still felt a bit unfinished for me. The ending came somewhat abruptly and there was a whole lot going on in the last few chapters so perhaps that’s why I am feeling this way but at the same time, Dane’s issues with his father are left unresolved, Scout, drug free, yes, still has what I am assuming are tons of pent-up feelings after facing her rapist, and then there’s the whole Atticus finding out about them thing that still seemed unfinished to me. The story is great regardless, I just wish a few of those things were addressed a bit more in the last few chapters of the book.
Beautiful Broken proved to be yet another great NA book by Nazarea Andrews. I didn’t think it would be possible but I fell for Dane and Scout’s story just a bit more than Atticus and Avery’s. I appreciated that there was a past between these two. Knowing each other and being there for one another for so many years allowed for a greater level of understanding between them. I loved the romance that built between Dane and Scout but even more, I loved that these two seemingly broken characters were there for one another when they each needed it most. If you read and loved This Love then you need to do yourself a favor and pick up Beautiful Broken real soon!(less)