2.5 stars -- Hmmmm.... Well, I'm not opposed to student/teacher taboo stories...but there was just something about this one that didn't work for me. A2.5 stars -- Hmmmm.... Well, I'm not opposed to student/teacher taboo stories...but there was just something about this one that didn't work for me. And that something would be Mateo. He creeped me out. I guess I wasn't expecting that level of dysfunction in the relationship, which is probably my own fault...I mean, it is a student/teacher relationship. But I guess I'm a hearts and flowers kind of girl, and I just can't get behind a relationship that is so....well, dysfunctional. How do you fall in love with a guy who (to me) was basically a stalker? Their entire first sexual encounter left me feeling wrong...so how do you come back from that? I guess I just couldn't empathize, b/c no amount of hot sex is worth the way Mateo initially treated her...it just felt like choice was taken away. And yeah, I know there's a lot of internal thoughts from Shannon about all of this, but I guess I just couldn't vibe with her, so I only saw it from my perspective, not hers. Again, probably more a me problem than a book problem.
Truthfully, the story kept me on my toes. I knew a lot was going to go on, and not everything was at it seems, but in the end I had some designs on where I wanted the story to go, and that's not where it went. Which is not the authors fault, the story just did not meet my expectations. I ended up falling more so for Sunday/Danny, and was hoping that she would realize the dysfunction in her relationship with Mateo and seek out something healthier. I almost DNF'd the book, and maybe I should have since it just wasn't a good match. But there were a lot of the other things that were happening in Shannon's life that were compelling to me (mainly her home life), and I wanted to see how that all worked out. So there were good moments...enough of them to round up instead of down, but just not enough to save it for me. *shrugs*...more
4.5 stars -- OK, this book was just a big bowl of fangirl awesome. I love epilogues. I love the happily ever after times. So this book fulfilled all o4.5 stars -- OK, this book was just a big bowl of fangirl awesome. I love epilogues. I love the happily ever after times. So this book fulfilled all of that for me, and gave me a whole hell of a lot more. So it's not *just* all happiness and roses, there was a lot of plot and strife mixed in too. But it was definitely heavy on the happy (and I know not everyone is like me and loves that).
You know what else this book gave me? A second shot at what happened at the end of book 5 with Braeden and Zach (which I'm going to guess if you're reading this review you've read the previous books, otherwise spoilers for book 5). I had an ethical problem with how Braeden handled Zach being trapped in the car, and it was nice to have them go back to it in this book and have it not be as simple a decision (b/c it would be the kind of thing that would haunt a person). And in the end, I was satisfied with the way it all played out. Even though he would have made the same decision, I was glad that it wasn't just easy for him, I'm glad that it weighed on him b/c while it was a human decision to make, it was still a life being taken. And they really stressed the part about how he would have died if he had helped Zach, so it puts it into perspective.
Like I said, there were definitely still problems that the family faced (particularly with Robert), but it was mostly a book about them settling into their lives and figuring out their futures. I will admit, a lot of it was a bit over the top and out there as far as realism goes, but it was the kind of out there that I secretly want to happen and believe happens with friends, so I was totally ok with it. It was like a love letter to fans, and this fan totes appreciated it. The characters were still all true to who they were, and we got to enjoy the aspects of each of them that we love so much. And seeing them together as a family just makes me smile so much.
I think it ended perfectly....any more books and it would have been too much. This way you just want to go back and reread sometime later and enjoy their story all over again. And it's not like we won't get glimpses of all of them in the spinoff series, which I am seriously looking forward to!! So thanks Ms. Hebert for giving me another fandom. It had it's ups and downs, but it maintained a place in my heart throughout....more
3.5 stars -- There was so much I still loved about this book, but there were a few choices that the characters made along the way that I just can't ab3.5 stars -- There was so much I still loved about this book, but there were a few choices that the characters made along the way that I just can't abide by, so it took me out of my enjoyment a bit.
I appreciated all the struggles that Ivy and Braeden were going through, and I especially thought that the portrayal of Ivy's confusion and symptoms of PTSD from the rape were very realistic (and horrifying and heart wrenching). I can't even imagine what it was like to have your body remembering things that your mind cannot, and having no context for why you're reacting the way you are.
I thought Braeden's struggle with his Dad was put off and just sort of a small aside. I don't know what more could have been done, but it just felt very unimportant when it seemed more important in previous books. And Braeden's decision not to tell Ivy didn't sit right with me....ESPECIALLY as he's watching her get confused by her reactions. I just couldn't ever get behind that decision of his, and I still don't understand why he made it. I would want my significant other to be able to heal, and how can she heal when she doesn't know it happened? So that was choice #1 I couldn't get behind. So it kind of made me have a lack of empathy towards Braeden. I mean, I know it was hard keeping the secret, but when you think it's the wrong choice, it's hard to feel bad for him.
I do love a lot of the rest of Ivy and Braeden's relationship. They're really adorable together, and despite my other feelings, I could feel how much Braeden loved her and hurt for her. And I forgot to mention this in my previous review, but Braeden loving sprinkles pretty much kills me. LOVE it.
The Zach stuff was weird. I haven't decided how I feel about being in his head. I had problems with my suspension of disbelief in certain parts of this book, and I guess part of that was in what happened with him. (view spoiler)[I guess I just don't get why they would let such a violent offender out for the holidays without notifying the victims at the very least. (hide spoiler)]
(view spoiler)[The final nail in the coffin that made me round down instead of up was with the climax. a) why does nobody ever call the police or call for other help? When Braeden finds out about Zach from Missy, I would have immediately called in reinforcements in case I couldn't get there fast enough. And as SOON as I saw the store ransacked, I would have called the police and THEN gone after her. And b) I'm one of those weird people that doesn't believe in killing anyone for ANY reason no matter how bad they are, and I really feel like it can be damaging on the soul, so I didn't like that Braeden made a choice in Zach's death. I would have preferred if he just couldn't make it there to help him in time, and they were happy he was dead, not that he made the choice to let him die. It's a personal thing. (hide spoiler)]
So it had lots of goodness, but there were just a few things that made it difficult for me to enjoy it as much as the rest of the series. Still looking forward to #Heart though.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I got it right!!! I just knew that there was chemistry between Braeden and Ivy...you could just feel it in their bickering.
Damn, I stayed up late readI got it right!!! I just knew that there was chemistry between Braeden and Ivy...you could just feel it in their bickering.
Damn, I stayed up late reading this book and for once didn't get up to write my review right away, so this review is going to suffer....I KNOW BETTER!
I will admit that this book started off a bit slower.... I mean yeah, we did get some sexy times right away, but I found the internal dialogue (particularly in Ivy's head) could be a bit repetitive. It just felt like the book went over some of the same things more than once (like Ivy's thoughts about herself wrt Zach, and her guilt over Braeden). Now, I guess I could see her repeatedly thinking about these things and having them bother her, but in book form it just kind of took something away from the story...like maybe it would have been better if it was just written with a bit more variety or something.
But that's honestly the only major thing that bothered me with this book. I enjoyed Ivy and Braeden's story. They both had a lot more going on behind the scenes than I would have anticipated. I really appreciated Ivy's vulnerability and insecurity -- it really fit her character and gave her that extra dimension. My heart broke for her with how she felt about Zach using her. You could really see how it weighed down on her. And Braeden's family history broke my heart too. It really explained a lot about why he is the way he is. There were some moments between him and Rimmel that just got me right in the feels. But in the end it was the chemistry between the two of them that really sucked me in...you could feel how much they were drawn to each other, but how conflicted that made them.
I'm still trying to wrap my head around the climax with the BuzzBoss. Makes me want to go back to the old books and look through the chapter beginnings and try to see some clues. I'm curious to see how the rest of the revelations are going to play out in the next book. I'm looking forward to more good coupledom between Braeden and Ivy...I've loved how the subsequent books worked out for Romeo and Rimmel and want all of that goodness for B & Ivy too....
So in the end I wasn't quite as enraptured as Rimeo (as my husband has started to call them), but definitely still has me sucked into the series and ready for more....more
4.5 stars -- Yup, still #RomeoAndRimmel4Eva over here.... Just another fantastic book in this series. Everything I loved from the first 2 books are he4.5 stars -- Yup, still #RomeoAndRimmel4Eva over here.... Just another fantastic book in this series. Everything I loved from the first 2 books are here in spades -- great main characters that I adore, amazing chemistry between them, and fabulous secondary characters to put the cherry on top. And the plot (you know, the thing that's probably most important to normal people) was suspenseful and only slightly over the top....but I'm actually one of those people that doesn't mind that at all. Give me all the drama and crazy situations, and I'm right on board.
The book dives right in from the end of #Hater, and just when you think our two stars can't catch a break, another wrench gets thrown at them. But we still get lots of delicious coupledom in the in between moments.
LOVED how sassy and strong Rimmel can be sometimes...especially towards Romeo. She's not a doormat character whatsoever. And while I'm usually more of a beta male kind of girl, I will admit that Romeo makes me swoon with the way he loves Rimmel with his whole heart.
Seriously can't wait to read Braeden's story....that boy just kills me. I have some theories on where it's going, so I'm excited to see if I'm right.
And the #HappilyEverAfter? Perfection. Will be interesting to see what the rest of the stories in the series are about now........more
4.5 stars -- DUDES!!! I am so glad my hubby convinced me to go forth and buy the rest of the books in this series -- he was right again (there you go4.5 stars -- DUDES!!! I am so glad my hubby convinced me to go forth and buy the rest of the books in this series -- he was right again (there you go baby, twice in a row, written in perpetuity). This book was just as good as the first one, only suffering from a more abrupt ending and losing half a star b/c I didn't see that coming. But you can bet your buns I went out and bought the next one!!
I am becoming a total fangirl for this series. I just LOVE LOVE LOVE Romeo and Rimmel together. I don't even know if I can articulate why, but they just make me laugh and smile, and they're not perfect, but that kind of makes them perfect too -- b/c they still have their fights and their own stubborn moments. And the chemistry is seriously off the charts!! If this was a movie, it'd be one I watched over and over again just to *sigh* over the lovey stuff.
Occasionally the drama with Zach came across more crazy than I was expecting, but that just kept me at the edge of my seat to see what he was going to try to pull off next. I'm seriously sitting on pins and needles about where this series is going!!
As usual, Braeden was a charmer. So excited to hear he gets his own book. I loved how his relationship with Rimmel developed in this one (sistas before mistas!). And I'm still really appreciating Ivy's role in Rimmel's life. And I totally enjoyed the developments with the parental units in this one...it was very believable and despite Romeo's Mom's flaws, I really liked both of them.
I stayed up way too late last night after starting this one late (again), and I foresee another late night tonight.... Time for #Player! (even if I can't help but say "pound player" instead of "hashtag player" -- am I the only one?)...more
This was a solid m/m erotica for me.... Great chemistry between Jeremy and Owen, seriously fantastic steamy scenes....and we get into the action almosThis was a solid m/m erotica for me.... Great chemistry between Jeremy and Owen, seriously fantastic steamy scenes....and we get into the action almost immediately. And it wasn't just straight sex, there's a lot of heart in this little read too. You could really feel the struggle Jeremy was going through with his heart's desire being presented to him but without knowing how it will end up. And not only that, you get just a brief glimpse into his past, so you feel how much he loves the Finn family and how important they and their approval are to him. Gives just that little bit more dimension than in some eroticas. And of course we got to know just enough about the secondary characters and the glimpses of their stories that it makes you curious about their books as well....more
Well, my husband was right -- he helped me pick out this book to read next, and it was exactly what I was needing. I've read similar stories before, aWell, my husband was right -- he helped me pick out this book to read next, and it was exactly what I was needing. I've read similar stories before, and I come back to them time and time again b/c I guess I just love the idea of a nerdy girl bringing a hot popular guy to his knees. And this book seriously delivered on that promise and more.
Rimmel was a fantastic heroine -- vulnerable, a bit damaged, and awkward as can be. I loved her clutziness and the snorting laughter at sometimes inappropriate times. My heart ached for her and you could tell right from the beginning that there was more to her story, more to why she is the way she is. Basically, she was perfection for me.
I was a little more skeptical about how much I was going to love Romeo, but he quickly sucks you into his vortex despite his charm and popularity. You really got to see that there was more to him as well, even if it was sometimes a familiar story (popular guy not sure who likes him for just him).
But it was the two characters together that basically made the pages fly by. And I really mean that...I started this before bed last night and had to reprimand myself to go to sleep around 1:30, when all I really wanted to do was stay up and continue devouring it. But they were just so adorable together -- you could really see how they fit together and brought each other what they were needing. And their chemistry was off the charts....seriously, that first kiss??? Yes please!!!
As you can see, characters are where it's at for me, and this book had a solid cast of secondary characters that popped in. Loved Romeo's friendship with Braeden -- you could see that he was really there for him. I liked the way Braeden saw Rimmel too. And it was nice to see Rimmel make friends with Ivy and Missy too -- and to have them be genuine friends too.
Totally looking forward to reading more of Rimmel and Romeo in the next book. I am definitely hooked, and can't believe it took me so long to get into this series!!!...more
A perfect start to my holiday reading season, this book had everything I love about a good Christmas read -- adorable characters (A MUST), that littleA perfect start to my holiday reading season, this book had everything I love about a good Christmas read -- adorable characters (A MUST), that little bit of Christmas magic, and a sweet romance. And in this case, a little bit of steam to go with my romance. :)
The characters on their own were both adorable, but it was their interactions with each other where they really shined. Even seeing them both get all flustered and excited about seeing one another was just...squeeze your heart goodness, you know? Seriously, Jenna was a sweetheart who had a good dose of sass in her. And Sawyer was EVERYTHING. Shy, bashful, super dry witted, stubborn, and obviously sexy. But it was the shy and sweet parts that got me. Every time he turned red in the face I swooned. And their playful moments together? I just wanted to eat them up.... Whether it was playing Scrabble, or making that first move, they were just so adorable together.
And it was all wrapped up with a heartwarming little bit of Christmas family goodness (mostly between Jenna and her Dad) that had me tearing up while reading out in public. Don't mind me, sappy reader alert......more
3.5 stars -- OK, I was unprepared for the *real* magical part to this story, and it kind of threw me off. I was expecting a straight contemporary roma3.5 stars -- OK, I was unprepared for the *real* magical part to this story, and it kind of threw me off. I was expecting a straight contemporary romance, and I got something a bit more whimsical than that. So I was as skeptical as Molly was about her legacy, and I think that tainted my read a bit. I still really enjoyed a lot of this short story, but because it was a short story it suffered from the usual -- fast romance, not enough time to get to know characters, that sort of thing. I didn't really get a chance to feel that chemistry -- though that kiss under the mistletoe?? Pure magic.
Did really love the reindeer though....but what's not to love about reindeer?...more
4.5 stars -- consider me thoroughly entertained. I've read one other Emma Chase book, and just like with that one, I was thoroughly taken in by the au4.5 stars -- consider me thoroughly entertained. I've read one other Emma Chase book, and just like with that one, I was thoroughly taken in by the authentic male POV. She writes characters that are a strange conflict of not so likeable, but emminently likeable at the same time. Which of course doesn't make sense...but basically Jake had so many surface traits that I personally don't find so appealing -- he's short tempered, so kind of a jerk, and he's a bit of a womanizer....wait, what's the definition of a womanizer? Basically he uses and discards women with no remorse. Though at least he's honest about it. So that's sort of who we meet at the beginning. But it quickly becomes easy to see that there's more to him than those surface traits.
I LOVED his relationship with the Judge. It's our first real taste of who Jake really is inside. And while he tries to push it down, you could see his reluctance to take on the Senator's abuse case...even if he tried to tell himself it was all just a game to win.
The story of course comes into its own when we meet the children and Chelsea. I was worried I wouldn't believe Jake's transformation, but I really did -- probably because it was rather slow and confusing for him...he really tried to hold on to his old self for as long as possible, but Chelsea managed to just burrow herself into his heart. And he was HILARIOUS with those kids...you could really feel when he started to care for them, despite his best efforts not to.
Normally I'm not much of a fan of children in romance stories...it's just a personal taste thing, but so often I find they are unrealistic or too cutesy for me. Ms. Chase dodges those pitfalls like a champ, and does a fabulous job of making the children an important part of this story. I also fell in love with the secondary characters of Brent, Stanton and Sofia in this one....makes me want to read their books as well.
Jake really is the winner in this story though. It's his voice that was so effortless to read. Ms. Chase marries humour and heart perfectly, and I will definitely be reading more of her in the future.
Small sidenote: A tiny little detail ended up bothering me more than it should...probably b/c it's one of my button issues. I *hated* that he drove after getting drunk, and there were no consequences or even a mention of it from Chelsea. Given the circumstances of the parents death, and his apparent love of the law, it felt out of character for him. In the end it's why I rounded down instead of up. And yes, I do realize that's a stupid thing to be so upset over, but it's my review, I do what I want! ;)...more
3.5 stars -- I don't know, I think I'm suffering from book hangover and this book got the short shrift. I just found that it took me a long time to be3.5 stars -- I don't know, I think I'm suffering from book hangover and this book got the short shrift. I just found that it took me a long time to become engaged with the characters and the story. So it *might* have a slower start...or it could be just me.
In the end neither Luc nor Ava were particular stand-outs for me. They each had their great moments, and there was depth in both of their characters where I did feel for them. I could have used a bit more with Ava...in some scenes I really felt her alienation from her family, but in others it felt like it wasn't as intrinsic to her character. But honestly, at this point I'm having a hard time figuring out what was just my own perceptions based on mood, kwim? I felt like we were shown more and more of Luc's inner struggles until it culminated in parts of the climax, so it felt more....real I guess, and less like a literary device.
The chemistry was pretty good between them, but again I was just missing that something extra that I usually find in Ms. Layne's novels. All the right elements were there, but I just wasn't as absorbed as I usually find myself.
In the end the standout for me was the relationships between Luc and his family, particularly the delicious bantering...and PARTICULARLY with Nonna. Nonna was da bomb. Plain and simple. That lady seriously killed me, and turned an ok story into an almost standout. She has me contemplating rounding up instead of down, that's how awesome she is....more