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Not at First

(Not at First #1)

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  174 ratings  ·  68 reviews
Falling for two men at the same time was something Angel Mabbott never expected to happen.

Leaving a past full of pain and loss in California, Angel is determined to make something of her life when she starts college in Minneapolis. But life takes a turn when she finds herself torn between Kevin and Roman.

Kevin Hawken is a domineering man who forces himself into Angel's lif
Paperback, 220 pages
Published July 19th 2013 by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform (first published July 15th 2013)
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3.63  · 
Rating details
 ·  174 ratings  ·  68 reviews

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Aug 20, 2013 rated it liked it
ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review <3

One girl, two guys...what's gonna come out of this?

One hell of a fight, that's for sure.

If not for some inconsistencies in the story development like who, where and when, it could be a brilliant book. Overall, I liked the twists and turns and scheming but really hated the main female character. She's just so immature and generally indecisive.

What rubbed me the wrong way all along was Angel's tendency to get involved with the wrong
Yvette ~ Nose Stuck in a Book
Why do girls who find themselves at the center of a love triangle act so stupid? Seriously, I’ve read so many novels lately where a girl somehow finds herself torn between two guys, stringing along either one or both of them as she attempts to make up her mind. It’s particularly frustrating to read about these heroines, wishing I could slap some sense into them before the problem explodes in their face, which it always does. When I read the blurb for Not at First by Phalla S. Rios, which noted t ...more
I got a message from the author asking if I would like to read and review their book. I read the synopsis and said sure. I will admit though I was not going into this positive that I would like it. Because if you have read my review on another love triangle you know that I am kind of not feeling them. BUT that being said I did enjoy this one more than I thought I would. There is so much that I didn't honestly know what was going to happen.

Okay so, the beginning...that completely threw me. I was
April Merriman
Jul 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Intriguing from the very beginning! Angel had a rough life and after losing her father she tries to take her own life, feeling as if she has no one left to love her. Little does she know there is a mystery man irrevocable in love with her, but that was warned to stay away from her by her father. Without Dad in the picture he comes to help heal her, only she doesn't know him. She is transferred to Minneapolis to start over, begin college, and move forward. Her mystery man has came to town as well ...more
Roses Book Blog
Jul 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, 5-stars
Two men, one girl caught in the middle, a love triangle unlike any other. Just when you think you've read it all, Phalla introduces us to two men who are commanding and will do anything to get the woman they love. Angel tried to kill herself two years ago. She blames herself for the death of her father and finally it's too much to bare anymore. Left in a coma at the hospital, the only family that comes to visit her is her uncle and a mysterious man. The rest of her family didn't come they still ...more
Monique Machuca-Austin
Jul 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
**JUST BOOKED received an ARC for an honest review**

NOT AT FIRST begins with Angel Mabbott at the hospital after attempting to burrow her sorrows by trying to take her life for feeling guilty about her father’s passing. Not only does she feel guilty about her father’s death, but her mother and siblings also blame her for his death too. Angel slips in a coma only visited by her uncle and a mystery man, the men discuss her future in which her uncle decides to send her to Minneapolis when she recov
❀ Crystal ✿ -
Jun 05, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arc-s, 2013-read-list
*ARC provided by Author for Honest Review*
Left with a few days to torment myself over the happenings in this book I can’t help but be angry. I’ll admit I was sucked in. The writing wasn’t the best but the characters were interesting and the story kept moving at an acceptable pace. But about 75% and all hell broke loose. Literally. I can’t even explain how confused I became and at a point when most questions are answered all I got was more and more uncertainty. Basically it left me feeling pissed
Jul 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Interesting right from the start. Completely not what I expected but in a good way. Phew, that was some roller coaster ride I didn't want to get off.
Angel Mabbott's is from California where life is anything short of happiness. Moving to Minneapolis two years after trying to commit suicide Angel sets out to leave behind her past full of loss & pain. Determined to make something of her life she decides to enroll in college. But life has a different plan set out for her. She never expected t
Jesey ~ Schmexy GIrl~
Aug 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
OK…let me be honest for a minute. When I first started reading Not At First I was having a difficult time with it. I had a rough time understanding the story, it was a little choppy for me HOWEVER…as the story continued I was dragged in and I couldn’t get enough! This was definitely a 4 star read for me. And of course I have a major book hangover and Phalla is still writing the follow-up

Angel is starting her life over, new city and new school. She is leaving her past behind her but she cannot s
Chelly Peeler
Feb 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
*3.5 Stars*

Angel Mabbott is a broken soul who finds herself moving to Minneapolis to start a new life. Her plan is to lie to everyone about her past and start completely over, which proves to be easier said than done, especially when she meets not one, but two guys, who are interested in her. She is reminded daily of her past, how long can she hide it from them? She also knows she can’t keep both of the guys, but she doesn’t want to hurt either one. Which will she choose?

Option number 1 – Kevin
Jul 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
*Review done for Swoon Worthy Books!*

If you are looking for a story that grabs you from the first page and has you turned on, surprised, confused, and wondering what will happen next…. Then this is the book for you!!!
This is the story of Angel Mabbott. She has a past full of pain and loss in California, but when her Uncle sends her to Minneapolis for college she is determined to make something of her life. Angel feels like she has no one left in her life that loves her and has major guilt issues
Aug 21, 2013 rated it liked it
I was given this book for an honest review.
When the book opens up, Angel is in the hospital after trying to commit suicide. A young man enters the hospital and speaks with her Uncle about what has happened. You don't know who this man is, but you get the sense that he is in love with her.
In the first chapter, Angel is in college. (I was very confused as to the span of time that had happened between the prologue and the first chapter.) Angel arrives at her new apartment and meet her new roommat
Winding Stairs Book Blog
When I read the prologue I was instantly captivated. Here is a girl who has had something major happen to her and she handled it the wrong way. The prologue is told by an unknown male. He sits by her side while she's in a coma, he loves her. Who is he you ask? Well we'll get to that part, or I should say if you read the book, you'll get to that part. I will not let that secret out of the bag.

Angel is off to start her life in another city, she is starting over and trying to move on from her past.
Michelle Bowman  / We Love Kink .com
4.5 stars

This book had me hooked from the prologue. I honestly couldn’t put it down and had I not actually had to go to work I would’ve probably finished it in one sitting. This story had great characters that had me either laughing, swooning or wanting to throw my Kindle at the wall. Yep this book put me through the ringer, but it was sooooo worth it.
So let’s start with Angel. Angel oh Angel at times I wanted to shake her and tell her WTF!! I could understand her conflicted feelings between Kev
Jul 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
I have been waiting to read this for a few months now. I helped Phalla with her cover reveal for this book back in August and have been patiently awaiting it's release. And boy was it ever a great book! For her first time out, Phella did a wonderful job of keeping my attention and hooking me into this emotionally charged story. Like an new author, there are things that could be improved upon. I would have like to have seen a little more character development with most of the main players. But th ...more
Sugar and Spice Book Reviews
I have to be honest, I wasn't quite sure about this one.....of course I love a good triangle but it just didn't grab me at first and I had a hard time connecting but around 30 % the hooks were sunk in and I was hooked! I couldn't wait to see what happened in the story and it had a great plot twist that I didn't see coming. 3.5 stars.

Angel has not had the easiest life and after losing her father, she feels even more lost. Feeling hopeless, she makes the decision to try and end her own life. After
Rebeka Duran
Feb 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
***ARC Provided by Author for Honest Review***


Not At First drawled me in right away!! I am a sucker for love triangles. This book had all the angst, mystery, steaminess, and love I look for in a book.

Angel is starting college and has a mysterious past.
She meets Kevin right away. He hes a hunky tattoo man. (Who can resist those types ;))

"You're way too bitchy to be an Angel"

He also has some mystery to him.

I was so lost in this story i COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN. (neglected major
United Indie Book Blog
Feb 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
I was very intrigued by the blurb for this book and was excited to read it. I love reading new authors and watching them grow as authors. Not at First is the first book I have read by Rios.

The book is centered around Angel and how she is basically in love with two men: Roman and Kevin. I really loved Kevin. He was kind and very mysterious which made me like him even more. I was never sure what he would do next and he seemed to really genuinely care about Angel. I like male characters that are s
Jul 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
A very impressive debut novel for Phalla Rios!!! Once again, I went into this book without reading the synopsis and loved every bit of this book.

“Nothing ever comes easy loving Angel.”

Angel moves to Minneapolis after some a rough patch in her life. While she is there, she finds herself falling in love with two men. She loves both men and each one affects her differently. Kevin is her college lab partner always helping her study and trying to make sure that doesn’t miss out on the college life.
Crystal Marie
Aug 17, 2013 rated it liked it
3.5 Stars from me!

There have been few books that I have read that have left me completely confused after reading the story. I am unsure if that is a good thing, or a bad thing, but in the case of this book, it was a bad thing. While I did enjoy the plot line itself, there were some parts of it where I was left scratching my head trying to figure out what had happened.

Angel’s character I have mixed emotions about because she is your typical weak woman. I feel sorry saying that, but that’s my opin
Amanda Munes
Aug 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
******* ARC received in exchange for HONEST review *******

Overall i enjoyed this book. What i love are the men... WOW HOT! Ok, well i love the men up until the end anyways.

Angel our main character has issues with the passing of her father and places blame on herself for his death. After moving states she ends up in college and meets not one but two hotties! I think i need to go to her school :). What frustrated me was how they talked to her. I was like 'oh hell no' a lot. Maybe she thought she
Feb 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Received an ARC from author for an honest review. I felt this could have been a tremendous book, but I admit there were times I was confused. Read this twice and found I had more questions than answers.

The lead female...Angel seems very immature and naive. She has a tragic backstory but we never find out what this is. She is hated by most of her family..why?
Kevin..really like Kevin...but what is his age. Is he a stalker. How is he in all her classes? How is he connected to Roman? Is he a part of
Aug 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
I'm not entirely sure what to say about this book. Its a love triangle between Angel Mabbott, Roman Conti, and Kevin Hawken which is based in Minneapolis. Though this book caught my eye and I couldn't put it down because I couldn't wait to see what happens next, I was totally confused after reading the Epilogue and the Prologue. Angel is tormented by the death of her father and when she moves to attend college she finds herself being lab partners with Kevin who seems to be utterly smitten with h ...more
May 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Angel is trying a fresh start. Her family hates her and blames her for her father's death. She wants to go where no one will know her. No one will hate her. She'll start out going to college and end up where?

She meets Kevin on her first day of class. He's gorgeous, cocky, and a puzzle to be figured out. He's also becoming one of her best friends. He wants more, but can she give it to him?

While at the bus stop she sees Roman Conti. First she mistakes him for a homeless man with the looks of a God
Sep 02, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013, first-reads
I had a difficult time rating this book, but in the end I went with a three because although I liked it a lot, I had some issues with it.

What I liked: I liked the basic story line and thought the author took the story line to several good places and kept the reader intrigued. I loved Kevin's character and what you found out about his youth. This was a debut novel and the author was able to weave an intense story with lots of secrets and rollercoaster emotions.

What bothered me: The ending wasn't
Oct 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
I must admit, I got sucked into this story right away, so I was excited!

Although I liked Angel's character, I found her a bit confusing as to how she could reflect on most of her past but yet other important things she didn't remember, and why? I wish we would have delved a little more into her past, her family, etc. It was almost like she had two personalities…soft spoken and scared to bitchy and confident.

I kind of liked the love triangle that she had going. Of course, I am all about team Ke
Mar 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing

*****(5) Stars

If you like Romance with a hint of suspense then this book is for you!!!

Meet Angel Mabbott moving to Minnesota from her trouble home in California to start her new life was what she needed. Knowing in her heart that she didn't deserved love she decided to focus on school, or so she thought. When life has an unexpected twist to her life Angel must decide which path to take. But falling in love with two gorgeous men was not one of them.

Kevin Hawken was a gorgeous man with a huge sec
Renee W. Tyler,  Battery Operated Book Blog
Hmmmm where to begin. When I finally was able get focused on this book it really pulled me in. The hurt and turmoil that Angel goes through is heart breaking. She finds herself in love with two completely different men who are so much alike yet totally different in so many ways. The hardest thing is for Angel to learn to love herself before she can completely love someone else. As her relationship with Roman progresses she finds out things that leave her questioning being with him, but can she t ...more
Jacqueline's Reads
Aug 22, 2013 marked it as considering
Shelves: arc
Sounds steamy ; )

Falling for two men at the same time was something Angel Mabbott never expected to happen.

Leaving a past full of pain and loss in California, Angel is determined to make something of her life when she starts college in Minneapolis. But life takes a turn when she finds herself torn between Kevin and Roman.

Kevin Hawken is a domineering man who forces himself into Angel's life and changes everything she thought she knew. But how much can he be trusted when he is so secretive abou
*ARC copy provided by the author for an honest review*

This story is about a girl named Angel. Due to the loss of a family member she is left with no family. She decides one faithful day that life is no longer worth living. This sends her with no place to live and no family to be there for her. She meets two guys who are head over heels for her. As this story unwinds it shows a darker history of the two guys who are a part of her new life. This is a sad story that will keep you hooked into the st
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Phalla S. Rios lives in California with her husband, a daughter and two goofy pit bulls. She loves to read and write while drinking her favorite tea, Joy, from Starbucks. During her spare time, she is usually at the movies or looking for the next best place to eat. She often refers to herself as a foodie. Her novels are Not at First and the sequel, Always at First. She is currently writing the las ...more

Other books in the series

Not at First (2 books)
  • Always at First (Not at First, #2)