I found Her Best Laid Plans while searching for books set in Ireland. Between the cover, theFind this and other reviews at Ramblings of a Daydreamer.
I found Her Best Laid Plans while searching for books set in Ireland. Between the cover, the ‘Cosmo Red-Hot Reads’ label, and the fact the book is a novella, I was expecting more sex than story. I figured it’d be a quick, sexy read, and while there was some super hot sex in this book (like SUPER HOT OMG), it also had a great plot and fleshed-out characters.
I really liked Jamie and Connor. I sympathized with Jamie and her reasons for visiting Ireland and needing a break from real life. I appreciated that while she and Connor had instant chemistry, it never felt rushed or forced. It can be really hard to find a balance in novellas, and I think McKenna did a fantastic job. It felt like Jamie and Connor actually got to know each other, and while they promised no strings or expectations beyond Jamie’s visit to Ireland, it was easy to root for them and hope they’d find a way to make it work. Then there were the sex scenes. Holy wow. The ‘red-hot reads’ is definitely accurate. I was glad the book wasn’t all sex all the time, but I sure did enjoy Jamie and Connor’s sexytimes!
If you’re looking for a quick, sexy, funny, sweet read I highly recommend Her Best Laid Plans. I thoroughly enjoyed this story from beginning to end....more
After reading and loving four of AJ Pine’s books, I couldn’t wait for The One That Got Away,Find this and other reviews at Ramblings of a Daydreamer.
After reading and loving four of AJ Pine’s books, I couldn’t wait for The One That Got Away, the first in Pine’s new Kingston Ale House series. While all her stories are wonderfully unique, I’ve come to expect a lot of humour, swoons, emotion, and sexiness, and The One That Got Away encompassed all those things.
Brynn and Jamie have been friends forever, but have been secretly in love with each other for the last ten years. I love friends-to-lovers stories, but especially when the friends have a ton of history like these two do. It made for a lot of fun inside jokes, shared memories, and a familiarity that made it easy to root for them. Both characters were well fleshed out and I loved the little personality traits and quirks each of them had, especially Brynn with her love of The Monkees (I went through a HUGE Monkees phase in my early twenties) and her tendency to gesticulate wildly and often end up injuring Jamie. Both characters were passionate, funny, and smart, and I loved getting their story from both perspectives. The cross-country road trip provided a great opportunity for them to explore their feelings for each other and figure out what they wanted, plus learn a few things about themselves in the process. Throughout the story, I did a lot of laughing, some swooning, and I even teared up a few times. There were parts that were so romantic without being over the top or cheesy. With their shared history and the obstacles they faced, it was all believable.
The One That Got Away is another winner from AJ Pine. Whether you’re looking for a friends-to-lovers story, a second chance romance with a twist, a road trip story, or just a super fun contemporary love story, this book is definitely worth picking up....more
When Ms Heger contacted me and asked if I’d be interested in reviewing Without Borders and poFind this and other reviews at Ramblings of a Daydreamer.
When Ms Heger contacted me and asked if I’d be interested in reviewing Without Borders and possibly featuring it on Wanderlust Wednesday, I was intrigued. If you visit my blog often, you’ll know I have a wicked, never-ending case of wanderlust and a desire to travel...but that desire is contained mostly to Canada, Europe, and the US. I’ve never had much interest in visiting Central America, but it’s still fun to travel vicariously, and I'm so glad I accepted Without Borders for review because I loved it.
Annie is a great main character. She’s smart and driven, relatable, and caring. She needs something that will make her med school résumé stand out, so she travels to Nicaragua to join some old friends - native Nicaraguans - on a month-long medical brigade. The month is full of ups and downs, scary situations, and a lot of lessons and growth. Brooding, sexy Felipe makes a great love interest. He’s dedicated and passionate and genuinely wants to help people. The attraction and sexual tension between these two was palpable from the moment they met (which was hilarious, by the way). I loved that they were both pushed outside their comfort zones. Annie was in a new place that’s different from what she’s used to, dealing with situations that are completely out of the norm. It wasn’t easy and she had moments where she wanted to quit - where the things she experienced were almost too much to handle - but she picked herself up every time she fell and she kept going. For Felipe, he had to get over his preconceived notions, judgements, and assumptions, and open his mind to see that not all the ‘volun-tourists’ are going to end up dead weight or making upsetting judgements about the people, places, or conditions. I loved that these two were both flawed - they said and did the wrong things, they jumped to conclusions, they were both stubborn - because it made them and their growth real and believable.
Annie and Felipe weren’t the only great characters; Without Borders was full of wonderful side characters who made the story that much better, from Felipe’s sister Marisol, to Juan the brigade’s dentist, to Phillip one of the ‘volun-tourists’, to the people they met along the way. The characters and the setting were so vivid, I felt like I was right there with them, sleeping in a hammock, trudging through the oppressive heat of the jungle, or being jiggled around in the back of a truck or boat. The story was a real eye opener to the conditions some people live in. Not only poverty, but extreme poverty, little to no electricity or running water, not much food, illness, having to travel a long way to see a doctor. All of these elements made the story so wonderfully unique and different from all the other New Adult I’ve read.
Without Borders is funny, touching, and compelling. These characters and their story will stick with me for a long time. I’ve seen a lot of people say they want more New Adult that breaks the mould - well, this is it. Without Borders is a fantastic debut from Amanda Heger. I can’t wait to see what she has in store for us next....more
RS Grey has been on my radar for awhile now, and while I’ve owned a copy of With ThiFind this and other reviews at Ramblings of a Daydreamer.
RS Grey has been on my radar for awhile now, and while I’ve owned a copy of With This Heart for several months, Chasing Spring was actually the first book of hers I’ve read. Between the beautiful cover and the synopsis, I was intrigued, and I’m glad I’ve finally read one of her books. It won’t be my last!
I liked the way the story was told alternately between Lilah and Chase, and then going back in time, first to when Lilah’s mom was a little girl, and then years later when she was a troubled addict who abandoned her family and made a mess of her life. It was a unique way to give back story and also give insight into Lilah and Chase as they are today at seventeen.
I’m not sure what it was, but there was something that prevented me from truly connecting to this story or its characters. As I was reading, I kept thinking ‘I should be feeling more here - my heart should be breaking, I should be tearing up’, etc., but I never really went past surface emotion while reading. I liked Lilah and Chase, but didn’t connect to them, and found it hard to root for them. There was a part of my heart/brain that knew they should be together - they had shared history, they knew each other well, they’d been through a lot together - but I don’t think there was enough of them together on-page for me to fall for them as a couple. They were barely friends when Lilah came back, then they were, then they couldn’t be together, but then they were anyway, and through it all, we rarely actually saw them together.
Chasing Spring is a story about family, friendship, redemption, and overcoming your demons. While it fell a bit flat for me, I seem to be in the minority, so as always I recommend checking it out for yourself if it seems like something you’d like. I enjoyed Grey’s writing, and will be reading more of her books soon. ...more
Christmas in the Air is my way of thanking the people who have read and enjoyed Something in the Air. I wrote it for fans of Rose and Declan's story wChristmas in the Air is my way of thanking the people who have read and enjoyed Something in the Air. I wrote it for fans of Rose and Declan's story who wanted to know more. It's basically a quick peek at what everyone's up to a couple months after Something in the Air. While I was writing it, I (half) jokingly said to a few friends that the story is 'a love letter to London'. I fulfilled a lifelong dream of visiting London in June 2015 and fell head over heels in love with the city, which is part of why Rose and Declan ended up there. I hope you'll have as much fun reading this short story as I had writing it!...more
ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS ~ 4 stars All I Want For Christmas has all the elements of a great hoFind this and other reviews at Ramblings of a Daydreamer.
ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS ~ 4 stars All I Want For Christmas has all the elements of a great holiday-themed story - it’s sweet, romantic, and heartwarming. It had a great cast of characters, and while certain elements of the plot were predictable, it was still fresh enough that the predictable elements didn’t bother me. It had that wonderful magical feeling I love about Christmas - like anything is possible and miracles really do happen. Plus, it was unexpectedly sexy, which was a nice bonus!
I did have a few issues with the story. It was quite repetitive - Isabella and Jordan’s internal dialogue was the same thing over and over, and a lot of their problems could have been easily resolved if they’d just talked to each other instead of making assumptions. Because of this, the story dragged at times, and I felt my attention (and interest) wandering. I was prepared to give the book 3.5 stars, but the ending - which made me cry like a baby - bumped it up that extra half star. Despite my annoyance with the characters, I did like them for the most part, and the story left me with an overall happy, satisfied feeling.
DREAMING OF A WHITE WEDDING ~ DNF Unfortunately, I couldn’t get into this one. I read three or four chapters and couldn’t concentrate on the story with the way it jumped around from scene to scene and person to person and left out certain details while focusing heavily on things that didn’t seem to matter.
CHRISTMAS EVERY DAY ~ 5 stars This story is the main reason I was interested in Christmas Wish Come True. I’ve read most of Jaimie’s books, and her North Pole Reform School is one of my absolute favourite Christmas stories. When I found out she had a story in this Christmas collection, I couldn’t wait to read it...and I wasn’t disappointed!
Christmas Every Day has Jaimie’s usual humour and charm, but it’s a story unlike any I’ve ever read. It had me grinning and laughing out loud from the beginning. I loved Emma and Nick, and that things weren’t easy for them and they had to work hard to make their relationship possible. Jaimie has this way of writing stories that should seem completely ridiculous, but somehow manage to be believable despite the crazy things that happen. I was completely enchanted by this magical story.
Christmas Every Day is the perfect lighthearted romance for the holiday season. Be prepared to giggle, swoon, and fall in love!...more
Royal Marriage Market is a fun, lighthearted modern fairy tale. I was completelyFind this and other reviews at Ramblings of a Daydreamer.
4 - 4.5 stars
Royal Marriage Market is a fun, lighthearted modern fairy tale. I was completely captivated by this story from beginning to end.
Told alternately between Elsa and Christian, it was nice to get inside both characters’ heads. Their lives were fairly similar - they were destined to rule their respective countries, and their families were manipulative. They cared about their countries and their royal duties, but drew the line when it came to arranged marriage. They both saw their parents’ loveless marriages and wanted more for themselves, not to mention they didn’t want to be part of such an archaic tradition. Both characters were complex and easy to connect with. Their encounters ranged from funny to sweet to sexy to romantic. I loved that they had running jokes from early on in the story. It helped me not only connect to them, but it also made it easy to root for them, because underneath the surface of trying to keep their relationship friendly, it was obvious they were falling for each other.
This is the second book I’ve read lately where instalove was done right. Usually it feels contrived, but Lyons did a great job of making Elsa and Christian’s relationship believable. It was so much fun watching them fall for each other and wondering how they could possibly make things work.
If you’re looking for a book that’ll make you laugh and swoon in equal measure, Royal Marriage Market is a must read. It’s the perfect escape from reality when you want something sweet, light, and enchanting. This was my first Heather Lyons book, but it won’t be my last!...more
I loved the first two books in AJ Pine’s If Only... series, If Only and What If. When I heardFind this and other reviews at Ramblings of a Daydreamer.
I loved the first two books in AJ Pine’s If Only... series, If Only and What If. When I heard there was going to be another book in the series, I was ecstatic. I wanted to know what would happen to these couples I loved so much, plus I’d hoped for a story that involved Miles from the second book. I Do is a beautiful, fitting end to the series, and made me fall for these characters even more.
When I heard I Do was told from multiple points of view, I thought it would get confusing, but it was easy to keep up. Pine took something that could have been a mess and did a brilliant job with it. All the characters had such distinctive stories and personalities, I never got lost. It was actually the perfect way to tell the story, because we got to know the characters so well in the first two books, it was nice to be back inside their heads and see things from each perspective.
One of the things I loved most about this book (and Pine’s other books) was that things weren’t easy for the characters. In If Only and What If, we got to see Noah and Jordan, Griffin and Maggie, and Duncan and Elaina get their happily ever afters, but with I Do we see what comes after the happily ever after. Each couple was madly in love, but they still had struggles and fights and misunderstandings. It was wonderfully realistic, and it made me continue to root for them the way I did in the previous books. I absolutely loved Miles’s story; I adored him in What If, so to get him as a main character instead of a side character was great, and his story was beautiful (and sexy!).
Reading I Do was like being reunited with old friends. It was a perfect ending to a series I’ve thoroughly enjoyed. It was laugh-out-loud funny, romantic, sweet, and full of feels. Noah, Jordan, Griffin, Maggie, Duncan, Elaina, Miles, and Alex will stick with me for a long time to come....more
I wanted to read The Turning Point from the moment I saw the cover and read the word ‘Italy’Find this and other reviews at Ramblings of a Daydreamer.
I wanted to read The Turning Point from the moment I saw the cover and read the word ‘Italy’ in the synopsis. It was one of my most anticipated New Adult books of 2016, and it didn’t disappoint.
Sophia was smart, driven, and knew what she wanted in life. One of the ways I related to her was how focused she was - there have been times in my life where I’ve worked so hard I forgot to have a life. Her reasons for being driven were familiar too; having experienced serious loss several times myself, I know how hard it can be to open your heart or let people in. I enjoyed Sophia’s journey from someone who lived a very rigid, planned life to someone who was willing to take a chance, have some fun, and ultimately open her heart, learn to forgive, learn to love, and learn to truly live.
I love books with running jokes and nicknames, and The Turning Point had both. Sophia and Lucas met in a funny, unexpected way, and it became a running joke through the book, which was so cute and fitting. Their interactions ranged from funny to frustrating to touching to sexy. They had instant chemistry, but I appreciated that things didn’t happen instantly. There was a push and pull between them, and I liked that they waited to have sex while still having super steamy sexytimes. They really got to know each other, and learned some important things about themselves - and each other - in the process.
The Turning Point is a story about the power of love. I really enjoyed Sophia’s relationship with her mom and nonna, and the romance between Sophia and Lucas was so fun to read. There were some truly beautiful moments between them that will stick with me. I loved following them through Italy and watching them fall for each other. If you enjoy NA that will make you laugh, swoon, and think about life and love, I highly recommend The Turning Point....more
The Distance From A to Z is a fun, adorable, romantic debut from Natalie Blitt. It eFind this and other reviews at Ramblings of a Daydreamer.
The Distance From A to Z is a fun, adorable, romantic debut from Natalie Blitt. It encompasses everything I love about contemporary YA - realistic characters, great banter, strong friendships, and a slow burn romance.
This story was really different for a lot of reasons. I’m a sucker for boarding school/dorm-type stories, and I liked that Abby was a high school student who was admitted to an eight-week summer program to become fluent in French so she could potentially go to school in France, a place she’d always been fascinated with. I also liked the baseball element - the fact Abby hated it, and the reasons behind it (her family’s all-consuming obsession led her to not even want to hear about baseball, let alone watch it, discuss it, etc).
I loved the contrast between Abby and Zeke being complete opposites, but Abby and her roommate Alice being so similar they joked about being the same person. In some ways I connected more to Alice than to Abby - her anxiety (holy wow were some of the situations familiar) and her passion for writing. Their connection was one of my favourite parts of the book, and I appreciated that they taught each other some important lessons.
Another thing I loved: the French lessons. Being Canadian and half-French, I should be more fluent than I am, but I’ve always loved the language and I loved Abby’s passion for it. I was also quite impressed with myself that I understood most of what she and Zeke were saying (but I loved that the translation was always included, and in a fun, natural way - extra points for that). I liked how things were different for French Abby and French Zeke compared to their regular, English-speaking selves. They were like different people, their best selves, and they could forget about their differences and the outside world in general.
The Distance From A to Z was such a fun, light book. There were serious, real-life issues, but mostly it was a book that made me grin and giggle. And I won’t lie - I cried at the end. It was just so sweet! I can’t wait for more from Natalie Blitt. ...more