I hovered around 4-4.5 stars for this, and then I remembered Todd Johnson. 5 stars.
This book is just so good!!! Josh is like the perfect guy. So sweetI hovered around 4-4.5 stars for this, and then I remembered Todd Johnson. 5 stars.
This book is just so good!!! Josh is like the perfect guy. So sweet, so humble, so kind, so gorgeous. But I have a real soft spot for Nick. Oh Nick, I love you! I'll admit, I didn't really get him at first. I didn't really understand what he was doing and what he was all about. But the arc he goes through! I loved seeing him grow and change and embrace love and become a better person. So romantic. I really believe in these two.
And the epilogue - gah! I died.
Go read this book. I'm-a go read that epilogue again......more
Gosh dang it!!!!! I have officially concluded that this writer just isn't for me, at least not on his own, and I had determined not to continue with tGosh dang it!!!!! I have officially concluded that this writer just isn't for me, at least not on his own, and I had determined not to continue with this series. But there's no way I can resist this.
I liked this, but it didn't blow me away. It was cute, but I didn't ever feel the spark between the characters. I mean, I was told it was there. Many,I liked this, but it didn't blow me away. It was cute, but I didn't ever feel the spark between the characters. I mean, I was told it was there. Many, many, many times. But I didn't ever really feel it. But otherwise, it was a nice story....more
The plot was thin, not entirely believable. There was no discernible chemistry between the MCs. I just did not care about anything hapSo.... yeah, no.
The plot was thin, not entirely believable. There was no discernible chemistry between the MCs. I just did not care about anything happening in this book. The only saving grace was that it was short, so I was able to plod through pretty quickly.
(view spoiler)[And how freaking stupid were Chandler and Mark, having sex in the garage where there were cameras everywhere and just assuming that they were off? Seriously? Especially when they were put there by a TV crew filming a reality show. I think you pretty much have to assume that the cameras are always on. They are so dumb. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
4.5 stars. I really freakin' liked this book. I totally related to Walker and his professional frustration. He and Cameron were adorable together. I l4.5 stars. I really freakin' liked this book. I totally related to Walker and his professional frustration. He and Cameron were adorable together. I loved that they couldn't stand to be apart from each other. I love that even though we weren't supposed to like Walker's ex, we were still shown a three-dimensional view of why their relationship didn't work. It wasn't "my ex is a supervillain" - we got to see that Walker made mistakes too. I love the symmetry of how Cameron made the exact opposite decision than Walker did at the same age, but they were both mistakes. Because there's no rule for what you're supposed to do - you have to make your own path.
I just really liked these characters and really felt invested in seeing them work things out. And the story outside the romance was something that really struck home for me. I've been struggling a lot lately with my "career" and trying to figure out what I want to do and what happiness looks like. This book was very tailored to me right now....more
This book was so cute! It's not perfect -- although I find that I'm super picky these days, so others may disagree with me. But despite imperfections,This book was so cute! It's not perfect -- although I find that I'm super picky these days, so others may disagree with me. But despite imperfections, I enjoyed it because the characters were super adorable.
Relatively low angst. This is a good comfort read if you're looking for something sweet. ...more
So I don't have any personal experience with addiction or substance abuse, so I really can't speak foThis isn't a romance, it's a love story.
So I don't have any personal experience with addiction or substance abuse, so I really can't speak for the accuracy of this novel. However, I do have personal experience with the subject matter of Nicola Haken's last book and she NAILED it, and I have no reason to believe she didn't do the same here. (view spoiler)[Although if we're being super honest, I think Dylan's recovery was a little too "easy". But this is a novel, not a memoir. (hide spoiler)]
My heart broke for Dylan about a million times. His story was so compelling. He's definitely the star of this book and his arc is just... If you like redemption stories, if you like watching your hero earn their happy ending, and if you want to bawl your way through a book, then this one's for you.
The love story is very secondary here. There's not a lot of heat or passion. There are smexy times but I skipped over them mostly. The love is in Cameron's support and commitment. His belief in Dylan. His sacrifice, and his forgiveness. And yet he was very real too, the way he wondered sometimes if he was strong enough to do it. And the way he wasn't always what Dylan needed, and they both were able to recognize and accept that.
This is just a beautifully written story about a very beautiful person who has had a really tough time with life, but works hard to get the second chance he so richly deserves. I think we can all relate to that in one way or another. Highly recommended.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
MJ used to be an auto-buy for me. Her books just always hit all the exact right notes for me. They were always pretty much perfect.
I still liked thisMJ used to be an auto-buy for me. Her books just always hit all the exact right notes for me. They were always pretty much perfect.
I still liked this book. But it didn't hit all those notes, unfortunately.
*It was actually maybe a little too smooshy for me. I like sweet and romantic, but I think this was too high on the sugar meter.
*Reece was a very bland character. I never connected with him, never understood why Angus was into him, etc. He was just sort of there.
*The road trip aspect of this book: So, the road trip was really what the book was about. The romance was kind of secondary. Which was fine. But I would say it was only about 75% successful. There were a lot of times where the descriptions of the places they visited and the people they met were interesting. But there were also a lot of times where it was like, "I don't care--can we move this along?" For example, there was a scene when they were in New Orleans where they stopped for lunch at some cafe and basically all that scene was about was that the guy who owned the cafe was hot and gay. So pointless. I can only assume that maybe that guy is a character from a previous book I never read? So Easter egg for people who liked that book, I guess, but I thought it was dumb. There were a lot of little things like that. And there was a LOT of "and then they went back to the hotel for a nap and a shower". I don't care about your nap, guys.
Bottom line: Pleasant, enjoyable little story but some skimming is required....more
Off the charts chemistry Believable family drama Likeable characters Did I me4.5 stars. Rounding up due to peer pressure.
This book was a winner.
√Off the charts chemistry √ Believable family drama √Likeable characters √Did I mention the chemistry?
I loved the first book in the series, but I've been so picky lately, I really worried this one wouldn't measure up. I need not have been concerned. It gave me all the feelz.
These authors really bring out the best in each other. Definitely
Bottom line: Read this book!
(view spoiler)[I'm guessing future stories for Garvy and Cherrycakes, and possibly John Connolly? He'll be a tough sell, I did NOT like him. Although I don't think what Dominic did to him was very cool. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
The premise sounded like something I would love. I love "the virgin and the whore" type of stories. The straight-lSo I guess I'm in the minority here.
The premise sounded like something I would love. I love "the virgin and the whore" type of stories. The straight-laced Catholic boy with the big bad biker dude? Sign me up.
But I was probably never going to love this book. The anti-Christian sentiments in it made me uncomfortable. David's brother and his wife are Satanists and they name their baby Beelzebub. I try to be open minded and this alone wouldn't have ruined a book for me, but I admit to not enjoying those characters very much. It also bugged me a little that David was so straight-laced he wore a purity ring, but then he would go home and jerk off. That's not how chastity works, guys. (Not saying David wouldn't jerk off, just that he should have felt guilty about it because you're definitely not supposed to.) This book was also a little on the dirty side for my tastes. Some of you love books with tons of raunchy sex, but I kind of got over that after the first couple of years reading this genre. It doesn't really do much for me anymore.
So for those reasons, this book probably wasn't for me anyway.
But the reason I DNF'd is not because of the story or the characters. It was because of the writing.
It's not good, you guys. I hate to say that because I know there are a lot of K.A. Merikan fans out there, but the dialogue reads like it was written by someone who is not a native English speaker.* And the writing itself is sloppy. Lots of run-on sentences, things that needed to be cut, tightened up, re-worded. Formatting problems. There were lots of scenes were David and Raja text, and sometimes the texts were italicized and sometimes they weren't, no rhyme or reason to it at all.
I think self-publishing is a viable route. I don't automatically dismiss a book because it's self-published. But a lot of self-pubbing authors are cutting corners and I think that's a disservice to the genre. Even worse is the legions of fans who either don't notice or don't care. If we as readers don't demand a minimum standard of quality, then we're going to continue to get subpar books. I mean, if you can get away with writing a story that's less than your best, and you can sell hundreds of copies without ever paying for an editor or a proof-reader, then why wouldn't you?
I'm not cool with that. If you expect people to pay for your work, then you should make sure that work is the best you can possibly give them. And I'm not even necessarily saying that paying for a professional editor is essential. But if you're not going to do that, then you better have several alpha and beta readers helping you to polish it. You can't just scribble out a book and then say "ta-da!" (Except that you can, because like I said, most readers apparently don't care.)**
DNF at 60%.
*I see now that this writing team are Polish. I'm not saying that ESL speakers shouldn't write in English, or set their stories in English speaking countries. Just that if you're going to write in your non-native language, then get a native speaker to go over it for you and help you with the dialogue.
**Please note that this review is not directed at any one particular author. This is a trend I'm noticing and this is the venue I chose to air my frustration. I do not intend this review to be in any way disrespectful toward the authors of this particular book. It is not directed specifically at them....more
I really liked the first book in this series and was very much looking forward to this one. I don't know why it took me so long to get to it. It was eI really liked the first book in this series and was very much looking forward to this one. I don't know why it took me so long to get to it. It was everything I was hoping it would be! Tristan and Ravi are adorable. Plenty of feels here.
This was one of those sneaky sneakster books that starts out great, and you're like "Oh my gosh, I'm going to love this." And then around 11%, right wThis was one of those sneaky sneakster books that starts out great, and you're like "Oh my gosh, I'm going to love this." And then around 11%, right where the kindle sample ends and you've paid your money, everything goes off the rails.
This isn't a bad book. I stuck with it and it sort of pulled itself back together in the second half. I ultimately gave it three stars. But the first half (after the good start) was kind of a hot mess.
My main issue and what ruined the book for me was the casual mysogyny. Jonas is one of those super fun characters in m/m who doesn't want to be gay so he has a lot of sex with girls. And it's mentioned over and over and over and over how easy it is for him to manipulate girls for sex. And they're never called "girls' in the text - always chicks. Chicks are dumb, chicks are easy, etc. Jonas seems to have this idea that he needs to treat Tate better than his previous sexual encounters because he's a guy - like somehow it's okay to treat girls like shit? Because they didn't mean anything? Because they were just chicks? That's the impression I got. And of course, the old m/m classic of girls being terrible at giving head. Every guy should be gay, amiright?
I tried to go back and highlight a bunch of examples of the above but it was harder than I thought it was going to be so no quotes for you. Sorry. But I'm not the only one who noticed it. Please see Sara Beth's review - she says it better than I can.
I am so sick of this overall disrespect for women in the m/m genre. Maybe if this book were an anomaly I might not have noticed it as much but it is so prevalent, I've become ultra-sensitive to it.
Otherwise, it was an okay book. It was chock full of cliches - Jonas's rich asshole father, Jonas acting like a douche because he doesn't want to be gay, etc. And the scene where Jonas and Tate got together is confusing AF. It takes place over one night but spans several chapters, and they go back and forth between every possible thought and emotion until you're like... huh?
Oh, and of course the one Hispanic character has to drop random Spanish words into his speech just so's you don't forget. 'Cause that's what Hispanic people do, right?
But there's also some cute, and some sweet, and the nice aunt/mom figure. (Although how come in m/m, every mom is like 70 years old and spawned directly from an old timey TV show? The people I know with kids that age are in their 40s. That's young. This lady has a 17 year old daughter, but her name is Doris. Doris.)
I did actually enjoy it toward the end. Three stars. ...more
The kindle sample was decent. It seems like it could go either way, and I love dogs and kids. But based on other revieThese notes are 99% just for me:
The kindle sample was decent. It seems like it could go either way, and I love dogs and kids. But based on other reviews it looks like it's probably pretty dull. Open to changing my mind if someone I trust gives it a raving review....more
Boring. Once the initial conflict is resolved, which happens pretty early, it's like... what now? I just wasn't interested in what happened after thatBoring. Once the initial conflict is resolved, which happens pretty early, it's like... what now? I just wasn't interested in what happened after that. The writing is too over-the-top for me. Like, everything isn't the biggest deal ever, you know?
I need to stay away from Nyrae Dawn. I read one YA book by her a couple years ago that I really enjoyed so I keep thinking "maybe this one will be better" but everything I've read by her since that first one has been disappointing....more
This series just isn't for me. And I mean that literally - I am not the target audience for this series, and I need to just accept that. As liberal asThis series just isn't for me. And I mean that literally - I am not the target audience for this series, and I need to just accept that. As liberal as I may be, as much as I like some good smut from time to time, as rainbow-flag-waving as I am, at my core I'm a very traditional girl. I don't like casual sex. I don't like dirty, raunchy sex. I don't like swinging or sex parties or open relationships. I very strongly believe that sex should be special. It should be within the bonds of a committed relationship. It should be an expression of love and commitment, not just a fun thing to do with your body. I know that's not a popular viewpoint these days, but that's my belief. And so this book was not for me.
And I knew that going in - if you read my review of the previous book, I specifically said I was probably done with the series. So picking this one up was a mistake. My bad, y'all.
That said, I'm giving it three stars, not one or two. I did like it. Parts of it, anyway. It wasn't so bad. But this time I'm done for real. I'm not doing it again.
It started out being one of the better books I've read this year. For the first time in I can't even remember how long, I was readingWhat did I think?
It started out being one of the better books I've read this year. For the first time in I can't even remember how long, I was reading a book I didn't want to put down.
I don't feel like it continued being as engrossing as it started, but it stayed good. I enjoyed it a lot.
There were some parts in the middle where it dragged a bit, and there were times I didn't really understand what the conflict was. Jodi would get upset, or Rupert would get upset and I didn't always understand what they were upset about. It was a little confusing in places. But it came together in the end and ended well. Recommended.
(view spoiler)[I especially appreciated that they were able to rebuild their relationship even though Jodi never did recover his memory. In some ways he was the same guy, in other ways he changed quite a bit, but their love never went away and they were able to roll with the punches and find a way to accept that things wouldn't ever be the same, but they were still together and that's all that mattered. That was awesome. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more