4.5 stars -- Since I'd had less success with Ms. Keeland's solo works, but GREAT success with her first co-written work, I was curious to see how I'd enjoy this one...it came highly recommended by some bloggers I follow. And I'm here to tell you, I floved it!!! Can I get a woohoo??!! Basically it was everything I loved about Cocky Bastard, so I do believe I just needed to find the right fit with Ms. Keeland's work.
There's just something about the chemistry of the characters, both steamy chemistry and friend chemistry, that just draws me in. I LOVED the way they interacted with one another, the way they were drawn to one another.
Chase had me laughing almost right from the start with his elaborate made up stories. And I found myself intrigued by him and the way you could tell he was immediately affected by Reese. And he just burrowed further into my heart with the way he pursued his feelings for Reese, despite the roadblocks in the way. I could feel his...almost...bewilderment at what he was feeling. And when we finally started to get glimpses into his past, well my heart just broke for him. I fully understood his hangups. So many times the reasons for certain actions in these romances just doesn't feel like enough, but I got it with him, even if I didn't agree with him. And while we didn't get a lot from his POV, I still felt like I got to see inside him enough.
And Reese surprised the heck out of me too. She was a heroine that I could get behind. She had her own tragedies, her own hangups, but she just didn't come across like most romantic heroines. I felt a quiet strength in her. And she was funny, and sassy, and I really appreciated her passion for her work, and her desire to make it on her own. I understood her hangups, even if she broke my heart from time to time. And she was a good balance of being caring and empathic, without being a pushover. I really loved that. I loved the way she often handled advances from guys with almost sweetness and humour. I don't know, she's really hard to describe, and I'm probably doing a crap job of it. But I LIKED her. REALLY liked her. So many times it's easy to fall in love with the heroes, but I fell in love with her too.
And this book had a fabulous secondary cast too! I enjoyed Reese's BFF Jules, Ugly Kitty, and I especially loved both Sam and Anna. They all added something.
And the best part? Ms. Keeland knows how to give good epilogue. Damn, I love good epilogue. I can honestly say that I will definitely be searching out more books by this author in the future, especially those in this vein...vain? Nope definitely vein....more
4 stars -- YAYYYYY!!! After reading my first Vi Keeland novel and being underwhelmed, I was a bit concerned about trying more. But I'd heard so many good things about her more recent novels, and also about these books that she and Penelope Ward have co-written. So I tried a sample, and was absolutely hooked!! This book was everything I was anticipating from these authors, and I was so happy that they worked for me!
This book was happiness and giggle fit inducing! I fell in love with Chance pretty much right from the start, which honestly surprised the heck out of me! He was nothing like I was expecting, especially with a book title of Cocky Bastard. He was this weird mix of a bit of a dick, arrogant, a total smart-ass, cheeky, intuitive, thoughtful, vulnerable, and even sweet. He just...there was a lot to him. And I really loved him. He made me laugh. He intrigued me. He kept me guessing. And in the end he had me rooting for me.
And Aubrey surprised me too!! I was expecting one thing, with her rigidity and uptightness, but there was a lot to her as well. I LOVED the way Chance was able to bring her out of her shell. She was funny, and sassy, and smart, and had such a big heart.
And the two of them together were just gold. The chemistry was amazing, but what I loved is that the whole part one is them getting to know each other and developing a friendship while wanting more. I could read part one over and over again and not get tired of it. I honestly expected one outcome from Las Vegas, but was surprised that it didn't end up that way. Yay for not falling into common tropes!!
Part two shocked the crap out of me from the first page. I DID NOT see that coming. Like at all. I LOVED Chance's persistence, and you really felt how much he cared and how in love he was with Aubrey. Unfortunately I felt like Aubrey let me down here and there in the second part, mostly just with how long it took. I both needed it to take long, b/c it validates her feelings, and I desperately wanted things to get moving forward. I would have appreciated it being tightened up a bit more. I did appreciate that there were moments where we could have had long drawn out miscommunications, and the authors didn't go that way either. THANK YOU. I get so tired of that.
Pixy/Esmeralda Snowflake/Mutton totally stole the show. I loved the bonds that both Aubrey and Chance developed with her.
So yeah, I'm all aboard the fan train now. Definitely will be checking out more of the books co-written by this duo. It was a great mix of fun/crazy with depth/seriousness. And a very satisfying ending. Excuse me while I happy dance....more
2.5 stars -- I read this book in an anthology (inTENse), and I'm thinking it wasn't the best introduction to Ms. Keeland's works. From what I can vibe from reviews, it's got a bit of a different feel, and besides that, earlier works are never the best representations.
This book was just very meh for me. The characters were OK. Not horrible, but not super endearing. I kept getting glimpses of potential sweetness/vulnerability in Jack, and that intrigued me, but it was usually glossed over in favour of the stereotypical alpha behavior. And I'll get this out of the way right now, I'm one of those rare readers who's not actually that big of a fan of alphas. Weird right? *shrugs* What are you gonna do. It's not that I hate them or anything, I just tend not to gravitate towards them. There are always exceptions to that rule, but Jack wasn't an exception for me. Every time he practically peed on Sydney to mark her, I just kind of rolled my eyes. It can be sexy, but it wasn't for me in this case.
This book just felt very much like a lot of books that I've seen out there, and I'm not sure what I was expecting...in fact, looking back on the anthology, it states it's 10 books about 10 alphas, so I wasn't very bright in my choice eh?
So yeah. Super rich hero. Playboy who's very experienced but has never really had a relationship. Heroine has a LOT less experience. Supposed to be a short fling, but of course they fall in love (ish -- no words, just deep connection, neither has ever felt that way about another person). Secrets, shameful past of hero. He's kind of a jerk pushing her away because of it. Heroine feels insecure b/c of other women in his life. You know, the usual.
Steamy scenes were pretty good. I liked that Sydney wasn't too much of a pushover. Her BFF Sienna was pretty sassy and funny.
In the end it wasn't a bad story, it just didn't stand out. And in fact it kind of dragged on longer than I expected, so I got a bit bored. If you love these kinds of stories though, I think you'll enjoy this one...they're just not really for me. And I have no interest in finding out what happens in the next book with Jack and Sydney. Oh well, it was mostly my own fault for not understanding what kind of story this was going to be......more
3.5 stars -- I think I might have enjoyed this one a bit more if I'd had dedicated time to read it, instead of it being broken up in little pieces whenever I had time in between other stuff going on in my life.
That being said, remember how I LOVED #Bae because it was so much more than *just* a huge epilogue?? Well, this one is basically just a huge epilogue. I kept waiting for twists and turns and more character development, and I really didn't get it. We did get a few answers about Hopper's past, but in general I felt underwhelmed...like I wanted more.
And honestly, while I love Hopper and Arrow together, things got a bit overdramatic in their relationship...over the top declarations and stuff like that. And I couldn't help but be a bit uncomfortable with the co-dependency that was their relationship. In some ways I can see how these two damaged characters might form that kind of relationship, but it's not my favourite, if that makes sense.
Now, it was not all over the top and crazy, don't get me wrong. If it was, I wouldn't be rounding up. I do LOVE epilogues, so it was super fun to see them together, loving each other, putting each other first, and actually getting to see the happily ever after. I loved Hopper and Jace's conversation near the beginning, I loved the proposal, I loved Arrow's surprise for Hopper in Las Vegas...well surprises (honeymoon too). I loved the wedding.
I do remember seeing people mention that this was not just an Arrow/Hopper story, so I wasn't completely taken by surprise when their story finished at 70%...I kind of still wanted more, but I was satisfied. And I do remember people mentioning that there is no more Trent and Drew story (though they do have cameos), so I wasn't surprised about that either (though there was a tiny piece of my heart that held out hope for some reason).
And I actually enjoyed Josie and Jace's extra bit of story. I thought they had a bit more to say, and I actually almost got more out of their story than I was expecting. Though their little bit of conflict was resolved fairly quickly in the end, but I still appreciated that we got to see them hit a stumbling block. I loved the proposal, I loved Jace's conversation with Josie's Dad and the way it played out after that, I LOVED the wedding (and seeing Josie get some girlfriends in Rimmel and Ivy, Trent's da bomb), and I thought that the hospital scene at the end was hilarious and a perfect end to their story.
So yeah. I enjoyed it. Just not as much as I was hoping to. Trent and Drew remain my faves, but I'm glad that Ms. Hebert didn't just slap something together for them just because fans were asking. I hope she gets inspired, but I will wait for gold if it comes, and be satisfied if this is all I get if inspiration doesn't strike....more