Once again, Cora Carmack has reminded me why I love her books so much. All Broke Down is the second book in the Rusk University series and t...more4.5 stars!
Once again, Cora Carmack has reminded me why I love her books so much. All Broke Down is the second book in the Rusk University series and to say that Silas really wasn’t a favorite character in book 1 would be an understatement. By the time I turned the last page of this book, I was on the Silas bandwagon with pom poms and a ‘Silas Is #1’ foam finger.
In All Broke Down, we meet Dylan. Dylan hasn’t exactly had the perfect life, though looking at things for her now, you’d never guess. She’s a supporter of lost causes now, and her current one has landed her in jail. Surprisingly… or not surprisingly, this is where she meets Silas.
Silas himself is a bit of a lost cause. The only thing he knows is football and trouble, and he’s banking on one to keep him away from the other. When a he finds himself in a bit of trouble because of his anger issues, and football is taken away from him, he is determined to get back the one and only thing he cares about.
As you might have guessed from my comments above, you can probably tell I wasn’t expecting to care all that much for Silas, especially after some of the things he did in book 1, but I found that I really cared about him by the end of this book. Carmack does an amazing job telling his story, and making readers connect with him. The boy is so damn cocky and full of himself, usually two things that drive me nuts. But honestly, it totally worked for him because he’s actually charming and holy sex on legs you guys. *fans self*
While I really liked Silas as a character, I pretty much loved Dylan. Her early life wasn’t easy … and in some aspects neither is her current life. The expectations her family has of her are somewhat ridiculous and because of her history, she’s become a bit of a fixer of things… and it’s apparent to her that Silas needs her help. What I loved most about Dylan was this… she never let Silas walk all over her. To be honest, I was waiting for it to happen. His personality is so big and in your face and she’s a bit shyer and definitely more timid… at least she appeared to be! I loved that she stood up for her beliefs and she stood up for Silas to his roommates and she never let him railroad her into anything.
Like Cora’s other stories, the pacing and flow of the story are really well-done and her writing is some of my favorite in the new adult genre. I can always count on her for a story that will keep me turning pages and characters that I will fall in love with.
If you haven’t started the Rusk University series, definitely grab book 1 so you’re ready for book 2 when it arrives! You won’t be disappointed and I’m definitely looking forward to whatever Cora has coming next!
Thank you to Edelweiss & William Morrow for the advanced copy in exchange for an honest review. (less)
I’m a huge fan of Lyla Payne… and for good reason. She writes stories that are captivating, fun, and sexy! This is the second in the Low Country serie...moreI’m a huge fan of Lyla Payne… and for good reason. She writes stories that are captivating, fun, and sexy! This is the second in the Low Country series and just like the first, I absolutely loved it.
Gracie, our heroine, is still seeing ghosts and it seems to be causing more trouble for her than anything else going on in her life. She had hoped that once Anne Bonny’s ghost had moved on, she would be able to start fixing her own problems instead of everyone else’s. Like working on her relationships with her childhood friends, or helping her cousin Amelia come to terms with the things she has had to deal with or maybe… just maybe, take the next step with the handsome and charming mayor Beauregard Drayton.
Unfortunately, ghosts have horrible timing and the appearance of Glinda Davis’ ghost in Gracie’s life creates more issues than simply finding out who killed her.
Once again, Payne gives us a well-written, wonderfully paced story, and I for one couldn’t put it down. Her characters are so well developed… even the not so alive ones. And I absolutely love Gracie. She’s a little bit lost personally, but underneath that you can see that she’s independent and stubborn, loyal and an amazing friend and she’s funny! And Beau… *swoon*. As much as Gracie tries to get him to see that she just isn’t who he should be pursuing a relationship with, he pushes back and shows her why he is.
But at the heart of this story, we have another mystery. Who killed Glinda, and why… and what secrets was she hiding, and while you definitely get hints along the way, the story unravels at a perfect pace. And where she leaves you with this installment will have you begging for the next in the series, that’s for sure.
I can’t wait to see what we get next from Lyla Payne, and this series has so much on the horizon, from our mystery ghost, to Mrs. LaBadie, to Beau and even Gracie’s own issues, I’m excited for more.
I can count on Payne for an amazing story, wonderful characters and yes, some sexy swoon and romance. If you haven’t picked up this series yet, definitely give it a try! (less)
I’m going to just straight out say it. I love romance. I love swoony guys. And I love LOVE!!! I was first introduced to the words of Kendra Leigh Cast...moreI’m going to just straight out say it. I love romance. I love swoony guys. And I love LOVE!!! I was first introduced to the words of Kendra Leigh Castle in the form of a PNR series and when I saw that she had a contemporary romance coming out, I knew I had to get my hands on it.
In For the Longest Time, we meet Sam. Sam’s had a rough go of things lately and she’s headed back to her small hometown to figure out where she goes next. Sam has never considered the town of Harvest Cove home even though that’s where she grew up. The whole place holds a lot of bad memories of being teased and bullied just because she didn’t fit the mold of what people considered normal.
Upon her arrival at her mom’s house, she encounters a kitten who claims her as his own… quickly followed by Jake, the guy who crushed her when she was younger. Jake has had things pretty good for most of his life. He was the popular jock in high school with a pretty girlfriend and friends who he’s stuck with over the years. Now he’s the town vet with his own house and a rambunctious dog, he's still well known and well liked around town. When he comes face to face with Sam he’s reminded of the friendship he had pursued when they were younger … and the way he treated her in the end.
This is something of a second chance story. While these two never really made it to a relationship when they were younger, there were definitely feelings. And the big question for Sam is whether or not she can move past the hurt she experienced at Jake’s hands…. Because he’s interested in her now and he’s determined not to let his friends influence him this time.
The romance here is sweet and sexy and the characters are fun and I really enjoyed getting to know each of them. Both Jake and Sam were likable and it was so fun getting to see them reconnect and build trust in each other.
If you’re a fan of Jill Shalvis or Kristen Higgins you’re going to want to pick this book up… definitely reminiscent of The Lucky Harbor series … and that’s good news for me because with that series ending and this one starting, I won’t have to go on a hunt to find my contemporary romance fix… Kendra Leigh Castle and the Harvest Cove Crew are definitely on my ‘must read’ list from here on out.
Thank you to Penguin for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest thoughts! (less)
As Long As You Love me is book 2 in Ann Aguirre’s foray into the New Adult genre, and once again, I liked but didn’t love this installment.
We met our...moreAs Long As You Love me is book 2 in Ann Aguirre’s foray into the New Adult genre, and once again, I liked but didn’t love this installment.
We met our main characters briefly in book 1. Lauren has just moved back to Sharon, Nebraska. You might remember her as Nadia’s roommate in I Want It That Way, and I knew when we met her that her story would include Rob, Nadia’s brother.
College just wasn’t working for Lauren. She knows what she wants and she’s determined to get it, but she can do it from home… and by home she means Sharon, the small town she grew up in.
For ages she’s had a crush on her best friend, Nadia’s brother, and even though he’s got a girlfriend she’s not willing to pass on the opportunity to get to know him better and work on a possible friendship with him.
Rob’s kind of been written off as unintelligent by those around him, so he’s never really expected much of himself. He never pursued college because what good would it do when he’d just end back up in Sharon working construction. The one thing he’s doing for himself though is flipping a house.
Lauren jumps at the opportunity to help Rob in anyway that she can, whether it’s sanding or painting she’s up for the chance to get to know him better. When she sees what he can do, she decides to help Rob in the one way she can… by building him a website and posting ‘how to’ videos. She’s positive with his good looks plenty of people will watch, and once they watch, they’ll see how amazing he actually is!
When Rob and his girlfriend break up though, it doesn’t take long for their friendship to escalate into something more, and Robs videos are garnering the attention of people they never expected.
So here’s the thing. I actually really like the stories that we’re getting in this series… I really do. I think I’m struggling more with the connections among the characters. I’m just not feeling that zap when they’re together. You know, the one that makes me cheer for them, and fall for them. I like them well enough, I just don’t love them.
I do have to say I really loved Rob as a character – he’s different than your typical hero for sure, and I liked that aspect of him. And I even liked Lauren. She’s smart, she’s decisive and I love when we get to meet intelligent female characters.
I do feel like the end of the book felt very rushed to me. I disliked (immensely) the drama that caused the separation of these two. I just felt like Rob fell for it a bit too easily, especially after the way their relationship progressed so wonderfully.
I did like the added side story of Lauren’s mom in this one, and I do have to say that I’m really looking forward to Max’s story next. I’m incredibly intrigued by him!
Overall, this series is a wonderful addition to the new adult genre – not as heavy as some of the books you’ll find in this genre, but I really like that we’re getting some that aren’t all angst, angst, angst. I wouldn’t put this among my all-time favorites, but I like them! I’ll definitely be waiting to hear all about Max in book 3!
Thanks to Harlequin and Netgalley for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest thoughts! (less)
I am a fan of Katee Robert and when I saw this title I knew I had to grab it! If you’ve read Katee’s contribution to the Wedding Dare Series, then you...moreI am a fan of Katee Robert and when I saw this title I knew I had to grab it! If you’ve read Katee’s contribution to the Wedding Dare Series, then you might recognize the names of our main characters in Meeting His Match.
First we have Addison St. Clair. She’s Regan’s friend, and she’s a matchmaker. She’s grown up believing in sole mates and that everyone only gets one perfect match in their life… and she had hers. So she gets that thrill of relationship firsts vicariously through her clients, and she’s successful!
Regan convinces Addison that she is needed to save her husband Brock’s older brother from a life filled with only work. So she is off to Tennessee.
Caine McNeil has spent his entire life trying to live up to the expectations that his father has laid out for him. We learned a bit about those in Seducing the Bridesmaid, but we find out all the dirty details in Meeting His Match. Caine is unhappy though, he’s not sure he’s doing what he’s loved, but his problem is that he isn’t sure what else he likes to do. He spends all his time at his office and with no one to go home to that’s easy to do and it’s possible he’s spent more nights on his office couch than in his own bed.
When Addison storms into his office demanding he start figuring out what he wants out of his life he’s prepared to send her away. But he can’t deny the chemistry that blooms between them and Roberts does an amazing job building the tension between these two.
And Caine… I don’t know what it is about this man, because I never thought I’d swoon over a well-placed “darlin” but he sure worked for me. From his initial stubbornness to his realizations about his feelings and coming to terms with them, as well as his own self-discovery, I really found myself falling for him right along with Addison.
No matter how much she denied it. And even though her feelings about sole mates frustrated me a bit, I was happy to see her make a few realizations of her own.
Robert has created a light, fun story with plenty of heat and swoon. If you’re looking for a quick, sexy read, make sure you grab this one as soon as it arrives.
Thank you to Entangled for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest thoughts. (less)
New Adult from Jeaniene Frost!! Count me in! Yes, that was my initial reaction when I heard about this new series. I’m a huge fan of her Night Huntres...moreNew Adult from Jeaniene Frost!! Count me in! Yes, that was my initial reaction when I heard about this new series. I’m a huge fan of her Night Huntress series so I knew I was going to give this a try, and I’m glad I did.
Ivy has always had strange visions… she never thought they were anything but hallucinations. But when her sister goes missing, she finds that everything she thought was true, really isn’t, and now her sister is trapped in a parallel demon realm and she will do anything to save her.
Even learn to trust the one person who actually believes her … and just happens to be bound the one person who is destined to betray her. Adrian certainly doesn’t support the people who raised and trained him, but he’s convinced that the past will repeat itself with him betraying Ivy in a devastating way. But for now, they have to work together to find a relic that will save her sister. But along the way, feelings become entwined and the fight to stay away from each other becomes even harder.
Plus… Ivy has her own destiny and eventually it will have them on opposite sides of a war that could doom the world as we know it. I have to say that while I enjoyed this first book, I didn’t love it for a couple of reasons. That’s not to say that won’t read on… in fact, I’m actually looking forward to book 2 a bit more now because most of the groundwork is laid here in the first, and I think (I hope!) that many of the issues between Adrian and Ivy are now out in the open and we’ll see them work through them going forward.
So my hangups… I really, really struggled with the information withholding on Adrian’s part. He knew the full story, but refuses to answer Ivy’s questions or give her any clue as to the full picture of what is really happening. The best example I can give is the mirrors, and when you read this, you’ll know why. And yes, I get that that is part of moving the plot along, but I think it really just frustrated me. That’s not to say that the pacing on the plot is off… On the contrary, I thought the storyline was paced really well, and I never really felt a lag while reading. Instead, I think it was used in a way that made me feel as lost as Ivy, and I don’t think it was necessary, mostly because I had guessed what happened with the mirrors along the way.
The worldbuilding was a little flimsy for me too. I felt like from the very beginning of the story, we’re thrust into the action of the story, without much to build on and the small details we get along the way really weren’t sufficient. The head Angel who comes and goes never really felt like much of a character to me and I never really connected with our main characters either. I liked Ivy and Adrian… but I didn’t love them. I didn’t get that connection that pulls me into their story and makes me cheer and cringe and cry for them and for the most part when I read, I need that.
My review makes this sound like it was all bad, but you can see by my rating that it wasn’t. The story itself is filled with action and the story itself is interesting to me… and yes, we even get a bit of steam here in book 1. I am definitely going to be reading book 2 when it arrives so definitely check this one out and let me know what you thought once you’re done!
Thank you to Harlequin for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest thoughts. (less)
I’ve been waiting patiently for this book for what seems like forever. When I saw it at BEA I flailed and then found myself waiting in a line I wasn’t...moreI’ve been waiting patiently for this book for what seems like forever. When I saw it at BEA I flailed and then found myself waiting in a line I wasn’t expecting to be in just so I could get it into my greedy hands.
This is the final book in the All Souls Trilogy and ultimately when I turned the last page I was happy with the story Deb Harkness gave us readers and fans.
There is very little I can tell you about this installment without spoiling this for you, so I’m going to keep this short and sweet and slightly vague – no details – sorry!
Let me just tell you up front what I took a star away for… I felt like there was a lot in this book that could have been omitted. I’m not going to get into specifics, and I guess the more I think about it, the previous books were probably similar so It’s not a horrible surprise that it was here as well, but I felt that there were just some things that really slowed the pace of the story for me.
Aside from that, one of my other major complaints over the entire series has been the vast number of characters in this story and I find it hard to keep straight who is who, especially if they are peripheral characters. While for the most part this book didn’t introduce us to anyone new, I still struggled a bit in remembering who was who.
Since there was such a big break between the release of book 2 and book 3 I struggled a bit to remember where I we had been left, so my biggest recommendation would be to go back and read the last few chapters of Shadow of Night before starting this one... Then dive in!!
Let me just tell you though, once I did get sucked back into Matthew and Diana’s lives I was completely entranced with the story again. Harkness weaves an amazing and captivating story filled with action and adventure, love and romance and memorable characters that will have you wishing this wasn’t really the end.
If you’re looking for something that will have you turning pages as fast as you can, wondering if these amazing characters will get their HEA and yet swooning at the love story being shared, this series is for you. *flail for every single time Matthew calls Diana ‘Mon Coeur’*
Thank you so much to Penguin for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest thoughts. (less)
I LOVED Samanthe Beck's Private Practice, so when I saw her name on this upcoming title I knew I had to read it and so I ended up reading th...more4.5 stars
I LOVED Samanthe Beck's Private Practice, so when I saw her name on this upcoming title I knew I had to read it and so I ended up reading this series a bit out of order... The first novella in the Wedding Dare Series was a 5 star read for me, and Samanthe’s contribution lived up to my expectations!
Best Man With Benefits introduces us to Sophie, Colton’s shy sister. She’s never been big on socializing and her brother’s wedding week seems to be ALL socializing. From dance classes to scavenger hunts she’s determined to shed her old persona and get out there and meet and interact with everyone … that is until she’s faced with the reality of the situation.
Little does she know, her brother decided he was going to make sure she doesn’t hide in her room all week either. Enlisting the help of his best man and one of his best friends, Logan McCade, Colt asks him to keep an eye on Sophie. But Logan isn’t expecting to like Sophie as much as he does and the favor Colt asked ends up opening his eyes about a few things in his personal life … things he’s determined to change for the right girl.
I adored Sophie… she’s a little bit awkward, a little bit self-conscious and a little bit just like each and every one of us. It really makes relating to her so easy and I think that is what makes her so likable. I loved that while she wasn’t 100% secure in how she viewed herself, she was definitely trying to see the positive changes she had made.
And good lord Logan. That man won my heart. His determination to get Sophie to see herself like he sees her… *swoon*. I mean… the bathroom scene…
“Watch closely, so there’s no fucking way you can miss how indisputable beautiful you are, because I don’t intend to argue about this again. The next time I tell you you’re gorgeous, you’re going to say, ‘Damn right I am.’”
And then there was this…
“Hold them. Support them. Do as I say, because you’re only going to fuck me harder from here on out. Now –“ he gave her backside a quick swat – “get this sweet little ass moving, I didn’t tell you to stop.”
Oh... I didn’t mention that Logan is a talker… well, get ready, because holy crap.
“You need me to strip you naked, bend you over my bed, and slide my cock inside you until you forget what it feels like not to have me filling you. And once you’ve come so hard you can’t stand, you need me to flip you around, hike your legs over my shoulders, and do it again, head-on, until you scream loud enough to have management banging on the door.”
So yeah… the chemistry between these two was really well done, and as usual Beck does an amazing job writing some amazingly sexy, steamy scenes.
If you’re looking for something with tons of heat, a well-written story, and characters you’ll enjoy finding out more about, definitely pick this one up on its release date! Obviously you don’t need to read these books in order to enjoy them, but in all honestly, there’s no reason not to. Entangled has brought together some of my favorite authors here and I am incredibly excited to get to the rest in this series.
Thank you to Entangled for the advance copy in exchange for my honest thoughts! (less)
When I heard Ann Aguirre was writing a New Adult I was incredibly excited. I love her writing and I always get excited when a favorite author tries a...moreWhen I heard Ann Aguirre was writing a New Adult I was incredibly excited. I love her writing and I always get excited when a favorite author tries a new genre.
I Want It That Way, yes I hope you’re singing the BSB song now too… introduces us to Nadia Conrad. Nadia and her three roommates are moving in to apartment 2B but it’s not going to be all fun and parties. She has big dreams and she’s determined to be successful. She’s taking a full class load and working part time and doing a student teaching practicum so she barely has time to relax, let alone date.
Ty, or Daniel Tyler, has his own problems… he works full-time and takes night classes all while being a single father to a 4 year old son, Sam. The arrival of 4 college kids upstairs isn’t his idea of a good thing. But he can’t seem to get Nadia out of his mind, no matter how bad an idea it would be to start any kind of relationship with her.
I love the premise of this and a single father doing everything he can for his son for sure makes me swoon, but for me, this story fell a bit flat.
I never really felt the chemistry between Ty and Nadia that I had hoped for. To be honest, for Nadia, who has never been in a serious relationship, I feel like she dove into her love for Ty a bit too early and with no real basis for her feelings except a few stolen moments together while chatting on a patio. So yeah… insta-love.
I liked the addition of some of the roommate induced drama… it actually provided the better parts of the story for me, and I’m really interested in Max specifically. He is intriguing and I really found his story the most interesting, even though there was only a little bit of it shared here.
Overall, I enjoyed this... it was a quick read, and while it didn't blow me away, I think If you’re looking for a good start to a new series in the new adult genre this could be it. Aside from continually humming the song that this title is borrowed from, I will definitely be reading book 2 in this series when it arrives. (less)
I’ve been so excited for this book you guys! The cover is what pulled me in, but the summary is what sold me!
Kai has a secret… she has the ability to...moreI’ve been so excited for this book you guys! The cover is what pulled me in, but the summary is what sold me!
Kai has a secret… she has the ability to manipulate the threads of time. But she isn’t supposed to possess any kind of magic, only one person should have that ability. Abandoned when she was 8, she was found by Reev and they’ve adopted each other assuming the roles of brother and sister. Neither of them know where her power comes from, and she can’t remember anything from the time before she was found but they both know she has to stay hidden.
The only person Kai considers a friend is Avan. He’s the shopkeepers son and he has a reputation that both intrigues and frightens her.
But then her brother disappears and she’s determined to find him, because the only thing that could keep him away from her is trouble, and she’ll do anything she can to get him back. Kai and Avan have to find the fabled Black Rider even if that means leaving the city and possibly dying along the way.
Okay, so if world building is your thing, then you are going to love this story. Lee does an amazing job of building the world that Kai exists in and it was easy to imagine the Labyrinth that these people are trying to survive in. We get a great explanation of how the world came to be, and where it’s at now and I loved it.
Let’s talk about the characters. I actually really enjoyed Kai – she is the kind of heroine that you definitely want to cheer for. I will say this… she’s a bit naïve. Sure she’s a bit tougher than the typical 17 year old girl, but she definitely needs to realize she can’t do everything herself. I felt at times that her impulsiveness really put not only her at risk, but Avan too, and she never really looked at the whole picture before doing things and I really just wanted her to stop and think. And why why why did she have to keep bringing up Avan’s past. Here’s the thing… I loved Avan. Even with the dodgy past I thought he was a wonderful character and the perfect complement to Kai. You also know very quickly once they leave the city that he’s hiding something… and I ended up being a bit off base on my guess, so kudos to Lee for not making it as apparent as I thought.
Where the first half the book had some excellent world building, I have to admit that once they head outside of the city I felt that part of the story lacked. I didn’t feel like I had a clear understanding of where they were and how it came to be. That said, I was still on board with this story. I just wanted a bit more information on where they ended up and the characters that they encounter there.
This story revolves a lot around magic, but I felt like we only saw tiny bits of it. I wanted a bit more, especially from Kai. I wanted her to explore her talents more and I wanted to get a clearer understanding of what she could do.
The biggest question I got when I finished this from people who saw that I had read it was “is there a love-triangle” and this is where it gets kind of hard to define. No. there is absolutely no triangle in this book. Could I see one eventually happening – maybe. I know that’s not an answer, but I can’t honestly tell you anything else without ruining this ending. And what an ending it was. A TON of things are revealed in the last quarter or so of this book. It was almost too much and the end was a bit frustrating as a reader because of where Lee takes the story. There is definitely a bit of a twist that you won’t see coming and you’re either going to love it or hate it.
I definitely think that this is a great start to what could be an amazing series and I’m absolutely looking forward to seeing what Lee does with this story, and where she takes us in book 2. If you’re a fan of fantasy and magic… characters you can ship (*sigh Kai & Aven *) and a unique story, you’ll definitely want to give this a chance!
Thank you to Skyscape for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest thoughts.(less)
So, this was my first book in the ‘Bluebonnet’ series . I liked it well enough, but to be honest, I just didn’t love it.
Brenna is the unpredictable,...moreSo, this was my first book in the ‘Bluebonnet’ series . I liked it well enough, but to be honest, I just didn’t love it.
Brenna is the unpredictable, free-spirit and Grant… well, he’s not. He’s straight-laced and still mourning the death of his wife from five years ago. When Grant’s family shows up for an extended visit, and the pressure is immediately on him to move on, Brenna does the only thing she can think of. Pretend to be his girlfriend.
I don’t know if it’s because I didn’t read the previous novels in this series, because it’s possible, but I didn’t really feel any kind of connection for either Grant or Brenna here. By the end of the book they just felt so flat to me, and that’s even when all the secrets are revealed.
For Brenna, I guess I ultimately understood her issues… but I don’t know if it 100% made sense to me. (view spoiler)[ I get that the hoarding made her feel like she didn’t want to keep things… but why the aversion to relationships? That is what I just couldn’t grasp when everything was explained (hide spoiler)]
For Grant… I don’t know, I guess for still mourning his wife as much as he apparently did, I felt like he just jumped into bed with Brenna without a second thought. Add in the fact that after the first time they sleep together he’s pushing for a commitment… and It just didn’t really work for me.
That said, Clare does a great job with the chemistry between these two. There are some definite steamy and hot moments in this book! There are of course, the misunderstandings and the making up and it’s definitely a bit predictable, but it works for a lighthearted romance. For the most part, this was a cute read, and I can definitely see where this series will expand.
If you’re looking for a new series with a small town feel, and some definite steam, check out the Bluebonnet Series. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)