Title: The Ex Trials
Author: Heather Topham Wood
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Rating: 5 STARS!
(it’s underlined, you know its serious)
Title: The Ex Trials
Author: Heather Topham Wood
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Rating: 5 STARS!
(it’s underlined, you know its serious)
Authors: Meghan Quinn and Jessica Prince
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Rating: 3.5 Stars
I make my living as a hustler, and I’m great at it.
I don’t have a single tell and I use that to my advantage to manipulate any situation.
I’ve always known what a person is about to do before they’ve even decided.
That is, until I met Penelope.
I can’t get a read on her, and what’s worse, she doesn’t want anything to do with me.
Which only makes me want her more.
Now I’m in for the hardest hustle of my life.
Somehow I have to convince her she belongs with me.
Good thing I’m always up for a challenge.
Hustler is a book which has left me on the fence, I liked it but I also found I wasn’t a fan of bits as well. Firstly I did like Meghan Quinn and Jessica Prince’s incorporation of popular culture references such as the New Girl reference which Scott and Penelope/ Nell have when he quotes Winston’s ‘Shame, Shame. I know your name’. I’m a big fan of New Girl so I gave the books props for this, it also incorporated with the modern America – Las Vegas setting and drove home that these characters are in their twenties.
Something I wasn’t a fan off was the pacing of this book, I found it to be very skittish – it seemed to jump from one thing to another and as a whole I found that the book lacked build up between Penelope and Gavin. There wasn’t that tension there for me. One example in the book which I would use to show how the book was a bit jumpy was when Nell is about to leave Gavin’s apartment crying because Graham mentions how much Gavin sleeps with other Waitresses, so we begin to see her experience feelings of hurt, questioning if she is just another one of those girls. But then suddenly everything’s OK, she seems to forget all about that in response to Gavin saying he likes her. To me I think this part was a bit unrealistic, I would have liked for the authors to approach this with a bit more detail, perhaps spending some more time on their being conflict between the two as then that may have built up some more tension.
Hustler Alternates POV between Gavin and Penelope, which allows us to get a stronger grasp on the story as we get to experience both protagonist’s thoughts and emotions. This is something I like from a New Adult Romance Book because then I feel like I get a fully rounded reading experience. In terms of the characters themselves, I almost felt like they switched roles. This book doesn’t include stereotypical male characters who are the 100% masculine, ‘I get what I want’ types they are more feminine and in touch with their feelings whereas other books within this genre seem to have men who are hiding from their feelings. Penelope’s character on the other hand takes on a somewhat masculine role, one that you would stereotype as being masculine in the very least as she is a little closed off and wary of emotions. She is also feisty and she knows what she likes and doesn’t like.
Scott is actually a prime example of how the male characters are not stereotypical males as he is described as being extremely muscly but he also bonds with Nell over New Girl and he constantly wants to talk about feelings and talk to the other guys about relationships. This is a character we don’t necessarily ever see in other N/A Romances, it is a new experience for me as it is usually the female characters presented like this.
I would give Hustler 3.5 stars, this book just fell a bit short for me. I think with a little bit more detail and tension build up between the characters I would of enjoyed it a lot more, I was a fan of the gambling context and Penelope playing a Gymnast wanting to reach her goals as it was something I haven’t read before. This, alongside the subversion of the typical gender roles did make the book have some unique elements. However it did just fall short on the tension and romantic build up.
Goodreads – Book Page | Goodreads – Jessica Prince Author| Goodreads – Meghan Quinn Author
Driven Series by K. Bromberg| 5 Stars | New Adult Romance
Summary for book one:
From New York Times Best-Selling Author K. Bromberg comes an unforgettable series about lust, love, redemption, and healing…
Our paths should never have crossed.
Colton Donavan was arrogant, exuded that bad boy vibe, and embodied everything I never wanted. And yet all it took was one night, one hallway, and one stolen kiss for me to know I hated him and desired him instantly.
My heart was healing. His soul was damaged. But with one bid, one little boy, and one carnival date, I couldn’t walk away and he wouldn’t let me in.
This is our story. Our fight. Our perfectly imperfect love.
This post is dedicated as a mini review for the first two books in the Driven series by K. Bromberg; Driven and Fueled.
Driven is something that you are either going to love or your going to hate, thats what goodreads is telling me anyway. Some people absolutely loved it, [hi friends] whilst others couldn’t even finish it. It’s all down to opinion, some have said that it can be cliche at times but I honestly thoroughly enjoyed my reading experience. I was looking for a romance novel and I got one!
Ultimately I am loving this series so much and I wish I had started it sooner. Don’t worry i’m kicking myself as I type this for not doing so. I am currently on book 3 which I plan on racing through [is that a pun for a book about racing… I think so] because I just can’t put it down.
Firstly this was my first reading experience with K. Bromberg’s work and I had no trouble falling into the story and finding myself hooked. So much so I was glad I had downloaded the next two so I could start them once I had finished the first, I must mention that they do end on sort of cliff hangers therefore you are left dangling in suspense and you will want to have the others close by to read on.
Colton and Rylee are our two protagonists and each of them are very complex, both characters have been through traumatic experiences in the past and they must work on healing themselves in these books. Book one, Driven is more focused on Rylee’s journey to heal herself and lose her own guilt and blame. Whilst Book 2, Fueled goes into Colton’s background more and we learn about his traumatic childhood and what has resulted in him hating the idea of love and hiding behind the many women.
This series has basically driven me to a big emotional rollarcoaster, I have laughed, cried and become frustrated. The frustration is from Colton, as his many exes all verbally attack Rylee in someway or insult her, he never seems to notice as he is on the opposite side of the room busy. I found myself mentally shouting, where the heck is Colton?! I wish he would just come back and notice what is going on, then he might understand why Rylee is acting the way she is.
I hate Tawny… for those who have read this series you will understand. She is absolutely psychotic, thinking she can be so manipulative and just hang in the background waiting to take Colton again… erm…
As a whole Driven is a series that deals with so much more than simple romance, you have Rylee who is ultimately suffering from survivors guilt and flashbacks from her past and Colton an abuse survivor, runaway who was adopted. There are so many levels to this story therefore you are kept on your toes wondering what will happen next. Which is something I really enjoy, I like the unpredictable nature of a book. I don’t like being able to second guess an ending.
5 Wonderful Stars for me…. I must be off to read the third book now. Big things are happening…
Let me know if you have read this series in the comments, I would love to discuss your thoughts on it and see what you guys thought! Also what do you guys think about the title for this post? I read Becca’s @Beccaandbooks blog post about Originality and it really struck a cord with me. I want to try make my posts stand out a little more by making new titles, throwing bits of me and my personality into my posts so let me know what you think.
Goodreads – Driven | Goodreads- Fueled.
Author: Kylie Scott
Genre: N/A Romance
Rating: 4 Stars
The last thing Vaughan Hewson expects to find when he returns to his childhood home is a broken hearted bride in his shower, let alone the drama and chaos that comes with her.
Lydia Green doesn’t know whether to burn down the church or sit and cry in a corner. Discovering the love of your life is having an affair on your wedding day is bad enough. Finding out it’s with his best man is another thing all together. She narrowly escapes tying the knot and meets Vaughan only hours later.
Vaughan is the exact opposite of the picture perfect, respected businessman she thought she’d marry. This former musician-turned-bartender is rough around the edges and unsettled. But she already tried Mr. Right and discovered he’s all wrong-maybe it’s time to give Mr. Right Now a chance.
Dirty is the first book in the Dive Bar series by Kylie Scott, New York Time Bestselling Author. Like many of my other recent reads, this was my first experience with Kylie Scott as an author and I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this book.
Dirty is a fast paced, light hearted romance novel that took me no time to finish reading, it is definitely a book I would recommend for those looking for something easy to get into, a book to wind down with.
Firstly when I say the book is fast paced, I truly mean that things move very quickly for Lydia and Vaughn. Although this fast pace doesn’t hinder the story to a large extent, the introduction Lydia has to Vaughn means they already know somewhat intimate details of each other lives. I mean Vaughn finding Lydia in his bath in her wedding dress having just ran out of her wedding and through his bedroom window surely means they are ahead in the getting to know each other scale… a little bit at least.
I decided to rate Dirty 4 stars because I had hoped for the pace to slow down so we could experience certain elements to the story in more detail, for example Lydia’s fiance is revealed to be gay (this isn’t a spoiler because it is in the books summary ) which his father pays Lydia generously to hide from the press in order to save their reputation. Yet he then jets off onto the honeymoon he was meant to have with Lydia with his best man/lover… Then we don’t seem to hear anything else about what happens next, I had hoped for more of a conflict or more detail regarding this element to the story however it almost felt like it was brushed under the carpet whilst Vaughn and Lydia took center stage.
Despite having felt like the story could of been more developed and detailed in some instances I did still thoroughly enjoy Dirty, I liked Vaughn and Lydia’s relationship. I liked how despite having just met he took her under his wing and protected her knowing she had been manipulated and used by the people she thought loved her. As you can probably work out in places the story felt like it lacked something, it picked up in others especially in the personal relationship blossoming between our two protagonists.
One to check out for those who are fans of light hearted, easy to read New Adult Romances
Goodreads – Dirty | Goodreads: Kylie Scott Author Page
A little note from me…
As of today I have 2 weeks until my last exam then I shall be free for summer and you know what that means? I shall be free to read!
Yaaay I have so many books on my TBR which I hope to tackle, obviously I will also have my reading list for third year to tackle as well as my job but I will have more time to dedicate to my blog and keeping up to date 🙂
Are you currently taking exams too? Let me know in the comments how your getting on or when you finish. What are your plans for summer?
Title: Waking Olivia
Author: Elizabeth O’ Roark
Rating: 4.5 Stars
“That girl isn’t just trouble of the not-a-team-player, not-a-reliable-runner variety. She’s trouble of the devious, manipulative, too-f***ing-hot-for-her-own good variety. She’s the kind of girl who causes trouble merely by existing, and then makes sure to cause more.
And the last thing I need right now is more trouble.”
A failing farm.
His father’s debt.
And a struggling college track team.
Will Langstrom has too many responsibilities, and the last thing he needs is Olivia Finnegan, a beautiful but troubled new transfer student.
A smart mouth.
A strong right hook.
And a secret that could destroy her.
Olivia is her own worst enemy, with a past she can’t seem to escape, and the last person she wants help from is a cocky track coach she can never seem to please.
Refusing to be pushed away, Will is determined to save her.
And determined to resist an attraction that could destroy them both.
Waking Olivia was introduced to me by 2 different bloggers; My Tiny Obsessions and The Girl Who Read Too Much. They each have reviews of this book also up on their blogs so be sure to check them out as their reviews are what intrigued me to give this book a read myself.
Waking Olivia is my first experience with Elizabeth O’Roark as an author and I had no trouble getting into her writing style and falling into the story, in-fact I was hooked on the story from the beginning and I wanted to continuously read to find out what was going to happen next.
Firstly I think the most notable element to this book is Elizabeth’s incorporation of issues such as PTSD, Survivors Guilt and other psychological issues such as memory repression. I found these elements to the story very interesting as it added another dimension to Olivia’s character and having studied Psychology for my A-levels and GCSE’s I found it very interesting to see these in a fictional story. Olivia suffers from PTSD, at first we are introduced to this element from her sleep-running at night, ending up with no shoes, her feet battered and bruised and herself in the middle of nowhere. It isn’t until further into the novel we establish that she is in-fact suffering from PTSD, not simply an extended version of sleep walking. Later on in the book we also establish that she has repressed some traumatic childhood memories that are triggered by a visit from the police and the discovery of human remains.
The discovery of human remains is what begins Olivia’s Survivors Guilt, for those remains are of a relative.This discovery shows how this story is more than just a romance, it has elements of mystery tied to it. As a reader we are constantly questioning the novel, firstly we are wondering why Olivia runs in her sleep, what is she running from? then we begin to question what really happened in her childhood. As the reality sets in that Olivia had suffered in the past, it wasn’t surprising to find myself feeling sympathy and sadness for her. Elizabeth O’Roark’s writing allows you to get close to her characters and you feel emotional for them.
Alongside this element to the story, Elizabeth also incorporates a will they – wont they relationship through Will and Olivia’s characters.Olivia is Will’s newest student to coach running, therefore this is almost a forbidden relationship. This added a tension to the novel as they fought off there feelings for one another and as a reader you begin to question if anything would happen between the couple.
As you can see I decided to rate Waking Olivia 4.5 stars, I couldn’t rate a full 5 stars because I was left a little disappointed by the ending. I felt like it was almost a little rushed for me, I would of liked to read more about Olivia’s father and later on how Olivia begins to work on her own fears. However overall this story was a lovely easy read, the use of psychology topics sets the book apart from other romance novels and adds more to the overall story.
Definitely one to check out if you are interesting in a romance book that offers a little more than boy meets girl.
Goodreads – Waking Olivia | Goodreads – Elizabeth O’Roark |Amazon – Waking Olivia
Gideon Cross. Falling in love with him was the easiest thing I’ve ever done. It happened instantly. Completely. Irrevocably.
Marrying him was a dream come true. Staying married to him is the fight of my life. Love transforms. Ours is both a refuge from the storm and the most violent of tempests. Two damaged souls entwined as one.
We have bared our deepest, ugliest secrets to one another. Gideon is the mirror that reflects all my flaws … and all the beauty I couldn’t see. He has given me everything. Now, I must prove I can be the rock, the shelter for him that he is for me. Together, we could stand against those who work so viciously to come between us.
But our greatest battle may lie within the very vows that give us strength. Committing to love was only the beginning. Fighting for it will either set us free … or break us apart.
One With You is the 5th and final book in the Crossfire series by Sylvia Day and Boy Oh Boy have I been waiting for this. I began reading the Crossfire series a few years ago, after finishing 50 Shades of Grey by E.L James, Amazon recommend I purchase it and I owe my gratitude to Amazon for introducing me to such a wonderful series. I have loved each and every book in this series and I can’t believe it is over.
It is a bittersweet feeling…
Firstly if you are new to this series then none of these books can be read as a standalone, they each follow on from one another therefore you need to start from the beginning. But don’t let this put you off because I actually re-read the first four books before reading One With You in a matter of days, they are easy to get into and you will be hooked from the beginning.
If you are a fan of the 50 shades of Grey trilogy then you will see similarities but they are also remarkably different, the Crossfire series spans over a shorter time period therefore there is more detail packed into these books without quickly jumping from one moment to the next. The Crossfire series also incorporates a lot of heavy content, such as child abuse, rape and emotional trauma. As the story develops we get to see Eva and Gideon embark on a truly emotional journey together and as a reader I myself felt sympathy for them which Sylvia Day as an author, has to pat herself on the back for. She managed to create so many emotions from me as a reader out of this series, she did a fantastic job engaging me and no doubt so many others into the world of Gideon Cross.
When reading some series, there is usually a weak link somewhere. A book that isn’t quite up to par as the rest of the books but for me this wasn’t the case for the Crossfire Series, I have felt fully intrigued as to what would happen next as well as feeling engaged throughout. Just as you think finally things are looking up for Gideon and Eva, something crawls out of the past and things take a turn again. This is one of the many things I love about this series, its ability to keep me engaged, interested and shock me. I never knew what to expect and considering I have read the first 4 books in particular 3 times now and I still feel as intrigued and excited says a lot about the series. It doesn’t matter if you read them over and over again, you won’t get bored.
One thing I have to say about this final book was I was ever so slightly disappointed but as you notice this isn’t reflected in the rating because I gave it 5 stars. Why? Well because it isn’t anything actually to do with the book itself, its my own wishes. Like anybodies favourite series, you don’t want it to end. I wanted to carry on reading and hear about Eva and Gideon beginning to work together or starting a family. Therefore my little disappointed feeling was simply that, my hope that the ending wouldn’t really ever come.
Perhaps somewhere in the future Sylvia Day may write a little snippet of what could of happened next? That or I will scour the internet for fan-fiction to see what wonderful creative writers have come up with!
Now as previously mentioned I decided to rate One With You 5 stars, I decided this based on how easily I got into the book, how it kept me engaged throughout as well as how I felt it to have kept up with the previous 4 books. One With You is just as romance and action packed as the first 4 books, it has continuously kept its pace throughout each novel and One With You also had the ability to shock me. The ending of this book which I won’t reveal because nobody likes a spoiler sue, was something I never saw coming and the secrets that were revealed were equally just as shocking, this wasn’t something that was hinted at or you could decipher for yourself. It truly comes from nowhere, one minute everything is fine and the next your wondering what the heck just happened!
Now as I mentioned I personally wished the ending had more so I could read on and on, realistically I also have to mention how wonderful the ending is to the story itself. After 5 books of drama and hope for contentment for this couple it is absolutely wonderful to finally have a happy ending, to see them content with each other and able to move forward with their lives and embark on new journeys.
In terms of writing style, Sylvia Day embarks on a unique writing technique for One With You, she firstly uses alternative points of view from Gideon to Eva to present a well rounded story. As readers we get to see a larger picture through the eyes of both protagonists, we get to experience their feelings as well as their hopes. Additionally to this, the nightmares which are a large part to the story as they haunt both protagonists are also shown, through either Gideon or Eva’s perspectives when ever they experience a nightmare Sylvia Day incorporates there dream and nightmare into the story. Presented in italics so we can decipher that this isn’t reality, we are able to read the harrowing memories they each faced and the fears they have. This added another element to the reading experience of the book because we were able to be taken into the past and understand what happened to both Gideon and Eva, this also makes us feel sympathy for the characters on a stronger level.
Finally I just want to reference the series as a whole, I commend Sylvia Day on her incorporation of the deeper subject issues such as rape and abuse. She did not just simply graze upon these subjects either they are weaved throughout the story and they play a large part in both protagonists lives. The series does not touch upon the events happening but rather how Gideon and Eva both suffered as children and as adults the series shows how emotionally scared they still are. This is shown through the therapy moments as well as the nightmares they each experience. As well as this Cary is another character who is an abuse survivor. The series shows the long journey they face to try and gain their lives back and their attempts to take back their happiness which was stolen from them, as each book ends you see how they are able to do this in some way or other or we see moments they are knocked back.
Furthermore the reality of these books is also something that kept me so interested and ultimately why I love them, the world of Gideon Cross is of that of a billionaire but it is easy to be drawn into his world, when Chris Senior finds out about Gideon’s Abuse he handles it in a way which I would expect to be very realistic, Gideon’s exchanges with his mother are also what I expect to be realistic.There is no rush for resolution and it is not forced upon the story as it strives for a happy ending, instead not everything is resolved. Like life, not everything will be perfect and this series touches upon that perfectly.
I am so sad to see the end to this series, Sylvia Day is truly a wonderful writer therefore I definitely have to check out her other work. Its sad to have to say goodbye to Gideon and Eva knowing there won’t be another book regarding them but there story has been heartbreaking and beautiful at the same time. It’s strange how emotionally attached you can get to characters in a book, Bared with you was released in 2012 so you can imagine that this series has been a part of my life for 4 years. That’s a long time!
However as you may know the rights for this book series were acquired by Lionsgate for a television series. I believe this was in 2013, I hope that one day this is used. I would love to see Gideon and Eva’s story on screen.
Have you read this series? Let me know your thoughts in the comments, I would love to discuss this with you!
Get To Know The Author:
Sylvia Day (aka S. J. Day and Livia Dare) is the #1 New York Times and #1 international bestselling author of over 20 award-winning novels sold in more than 40 countries. She is a #1 bestselling author in 28 countries, with tens of millions of copies of her books in print. Her Crossfire series has been optioned for television by Lionsgate. Visit her atwww.sylviaday.com, Facebook.com/AuthorSylviaDay and on Twitter @SylDay.
Goodreads – One With You | Goodreads – Sylvia Day | Book Depository – FREE WORLDWIDE DELIVERY| Sylvia Day.com
My Favourite Mistake – Chelsea Cameron
Summary: Goodreads – My Favorite Mistake
Taylor Caldwell can’t decide if she wants to kiss her new college roommate or punch him.
On the one hand, Hunter Zaccadelli is a handsome, blue-eyed bundle of charm. On the other, he’s a tattooed, guitar-playing bundle of bad boy. Maybe that’s why Taylor’s afraid of falling in love with him, or anyone else. She doesn’t want to get burned, so she needs him gone before it’s too late.
Hunter himself has been burned before, but Taylor’s sexy laugh and refusal to let him get away with anything make her irresistible. Determined not to be kicked out of her life without a fight, Hunter proposes a bet: if she can convince him she truly loves or hates him, he’ll leave the apartment–and leave her alone. The problem is, the more time they spend together, the less she hates him, and the more she moves toward love.
But when the man behind Taylor’s fear of giving up her heart resurfaces, she has to decide: trust Hunter with her greatest secret, or do everything in her power to win that bet and drive him away forever.
I came across My Favourite Mistake whilst looking through Goodreads for my next read, after reading the blurb I was rather intrigued however I was left disappointed. Whilst I was interested in the storyline of the college setting featuring Hunter and Taylor becoming room-mates and falling for one another, I ended up not a fan of Taylor’s Character. Now firstly I must mention that the book considers a traumatic event from Taylors past which we could blame for her behaviour now but she was too violent for my liking, firstly she was so angry about Hunter being in the flat. But why would that be so surprising and unlikely when there co-ed dorms? Just didn’t make sense.
The next interaction between them follows Taylor punching Hunter in the face and kneeing him in the groin, following that she is continuously threatening violence. Whilst one or two times in a somewhat sarcastic manner could seem funny in their bantering with one another it just became too much and I started disliking her character massively. I really wasn’t a fan on her constantly threatening violence and wanting to punch him especially as it wasn’t shown to be an abusive relationship on their part. Hunter merely stood there and took it, accepting it was just in her character whereas if this was a male character presented I can almost guarantee it would be a violent relationship whereas Taylor punching Hunter is played down so much.
It’s interesting to compare Taylor to Hunter, because he is also traumatized after the death of his parents but he is the polar opposite of Taylor. He is considerate and kind, continuously cooking whereas I don’t actually think she did anything for him other than comfort him or wake him up after a nightmare.
Considering all my negativity towards this book, I have to mention a positive. I liked Chelsea M. Cameron’s attempt to add diversity to her story, Mase’s little sister Harper has Cerebal Palsy and is in a wheelchair, Taylor is a survivor and Hunter is now an orphan.
My Favourite Mistake was my first experience with Chelsea. M Cameron as an author and after my experience with this book I would still say I would try her other work. Whilst this one may have been a flop for me, I could find her other work great. There wasn’t anything wrong with her writing style much rather just the lack of story line or interesting content within.
Overall I would give this book 1.5/ 2 stars, I’m stuck between the two because of the incorporation of the deeper issues into the ending of the book. It did add a little something but overall I was unimpressed, the pacing of the book was rather slow and I felt like nothing really happened between the couple? Taylor just seemed like an abusive person.
Goodreads -My Favourite Mistake| Goodreads -Chelsea M. Cameron
What’s your favourite New Adult Romance featuring a college setting?
DESTROY ME by Shana Vanterpool
Bach lives his life with honesty and without restraints, happy to be known as a sexy as all hell, unapologetic asshole.
When he drinks, he drinks hard.
When he wants a woman, he makes sure she knows it.
When he opens his mouth, it’s either to piss someone off or to turn someone on.
You can normally find him with one hand on a bottle and one hand on a woman, trying to forget his past.
Harley Evans is a twenty-one-year-old year old college student. She’s a good girl who fell hard for Dylan, who’d promised her forever. But Dylan, Bach’s best buddy, lied.
He enlisted in the Army, crushing Harley with equal parts anger and sadness. She’d already lost her father to that choice. Heartbroken, she falls back into depression.
Stuck in Crystal Gulf all summer with little to do, Harley needs a distraction. Enter Bach, sexy as f*#ck distraction, ready and willing.
Dylan’s not all bad though. Before he left, he asked Bach to watch out for Harley, knowing she’d never go for a guy like Bach. She’s too good for him. Too good for anyone.
But Dylan was wrong. He never should have left them together. Bach is there to pick up the pieces Dylan left behind. Soon pieces aren’t enough. He wants more, needs more Harley.
DESTROY ME is book one in the New Adult Romance Crystal Gulf series and it is also my first experience with Shana Vanterpool as an author. Firstly her writing style was easy to get into and the story was very enticing, continuously making me want to read on to find out what was going to happen next.
This book is described as being dark, sexy, heart-breaking and intoxicating and I agree with this description. Bach is a bad boy who Harley initially hates, she doesn’t like his player behaviour and she thinks he is all round just bad news and a bad influence on Dylan. At first glance Bach and Harley seem like polar opposites, there is no chance they could begin to like one another or ever work towards a romantic relationship but as the story develops we understand that they are more alike than we realise.
In terms of characters, Shana Vanterpool incorporated Bach as a truly flawed character. His childhood has molded him into an insecure boy fighting the demons of his nightmares and hiding behind his cocky, overly confident exterior. In order to deal with the trauma of his past he drinks excess amounts of alcohol, takes drugs (as well as sells them) and sleeps with excess women. I really liked this element to the story as it provided deeper issues for the book, Bach is ultimately attempting to deal with his nightmares and his past. His relationship with Harley is more than just romance, she is ultimately acting like a savior for him to get off his destructive path. Harley doesn’t want Bach’s past to define who he is.
I have to say I was not a fan of Dylan, he is only really present in the beginning of the story and the end but he falls from grace, he presented himself to Harley as being this stand up great guy but in the end it was all lies. Dylan however does play into the shocking elements to the story as his secrets are revealed.
In terms of Harley, I liked her character but at times I found her to be overly judgmental and naive, especially in the beginning of the book. She thinks Dylan walks on water and that Bach has always been the bad seed dragging him down and making him act in a certain way but boy was she wrong. [There is a somewhat moral to this story that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, outside appearances can easily fool you…]
POV: Alternates between Harley and Bach
Overall I think DESTROY ME was a great romance read, I loved the bad boy – good girl relationship developing and the books constant tension throughout. It is truly a will they – wont they relationship as Bach is initially meant to just be looking out for Harley as a favor for Dylan but soon that changes. I would give DESTROY ME a total of 3 stars, whilst I enjoyed the story and had no trouble getting into it the ending is somewhat abrupt. Initially the pacing of the novel was great, I felt like everything happened in a correct amount of time without rushing or dragging out particular moments. But the ending felt rather rushed, I wish there was a little more time spent on Dylan’s return and the actual emotions which surrounding those moments. The ending’s content is a-lot as Dylan’s big secret is revealed and arrives into the picture, Dylan comes home from Afghanistan and then they announce their relationship to him and it’s all dealt with in a very short amount of time. There is no real resolution between Dylan and Harley at the end but I wasn’t really effected by the lack of resolution, the fact they don’t become friends again adds to the reality of the situation because would she really forgive him? I doubt it.
Goodreads – Author – Shana Vanterpool | Goodreads – Book Page | Amazon UK – DESTROY ME | Amazon US – DESTROY ME
Goodreads – I don’t care what my cousin says; I am not the queen of impossible relationships. I mean, just because my last boyfriend tried to kill me and left a bit of a scar on my neck, then forced me to move across the country and legally change my name to Reese Randall to escape him, does not mean—
Oh, who am I kidding? For a freshman in college, I have to have the worst dating track record ever.
It’s no wonder love is the last thing on my mind when Mason Lowe enters my life. But the chemistry between us is like bam! Our connection defies logic. And he’s just so freaking hot. Being around him makes me feel more alive than I’ve ever felt before. I even like bickering with him. He could be my soul mate…except for one teeny tiny glitch.
He’s a gigolo.
Boy, do I know how to pick them.
Price of a Kiss is the first book in Linda Kage’s Forbidden Men series and it is also my first experience with her as an author and as a whole I found her writing style easy to get into and I didn’t have any trouble getting into the story.
As soon as I had read the synopsis for this book I became very intrigued because I haven’t read any other books with a protagonist who is an abuse survivor, therefore this set the book apart from my usual reads and added an interesting element to the story. Reese survived her ex boyfriend Jeremy, but only barely after he attempted to kill her. Now she has had to change her whole life plans and move to her Auntie and Uncles place whilst attending a community college. Firstly it’s worth noting that her Aunt and Uncle aren’t present in the story, they are merely mentioned. I think it would of been really interesting if the story incorporated Reese’s initial move to her new home so we could experience her just after her abuse. That way we could of also seen how she developed as a character.
Another element which I found really interesting was how Mason’s little sister had Cerebral Palsy therefore she was in a wheelchair and required some assistance/care. I have to take a moment to applaud Linda’s diverse characters in her book, it thoroughly sets it apart from many other romance novels with the inclusion of a disabled character and an abuse victim. Reese also (despite having any experience) becomes babysitter/ temporary carer for Mason’s sister which reminded me a lot of Me Before You by JoJo Moyes, simply because they both entered the lives of the character suffering from a disability and made them happy again. Ultimately changing their lives on a big scale.
I rated Price of a Kiss 3.5 stars because I was disappointed by the lack of Jeremy in the book, despite their being a sense of tension throughout as you wonder when or if he will ever enter the novel there isn’t really much focused on him. Furthermore I would of liked if the reveal of Reese’s past came from herself, rather than another character. This element and the ending in fact seemed a little rushed to me.
Despite this the book made me laugh on numerous occasions and the fact that Mason is a Gigalo is unlike anything I have read before. It did add something to the story as he is simply doing it for pure sacrifice for his family.
In terms of characters, I didn’t really have any trouble liking Mason or Reese I found them both to be very likable. Eva however… boy oh boy was she annoying.
Eva is cousin to Reese and throughout she is rude, snobby and acts like she is being a good cousin to Reese by trying to warn her off Mason or by warning him off. I mean one or two times its not too bad but it seemed to happen so often I felt myself wanting to shout ‘oh just shut up Eva’.
Goodreads – Price of a Kiss | Goodreads – Linda Kage
Thanks for reading! 🙂
Today’s post is going to be a little different, I decided to group together 3 books which I have recently read and pool them together to make a short review post about each of them. The books I have read are 3:AM Kisses by Addison Moore, Before Hadley by J.Nathan and Tempting The Best Man by J.Lynn.
Each of these books have mixed reviews, but I find that’s always the case with New Adult Romance books. At the end of the day you’re either going to love it or hate it and whilst some people find some aspects of the dialogue too cringey I find them great. I managed to get through each of these books within a night or an afternoon therefore they were perfect light hearted easy –breezy reads, books which didn’t require too many emotions but I would feel great having picked it up. There’s nothing like finishing a day off with a light romance novel after spending hours working on numerous essays and reading books on hard subject matters such as sexual abuse and murder.
A common criticism for new adult romance novels is that they don’t follow an actual storyline, its just focused on the sexual element of it but each of these books actually have a purpose in their stories. There is tension between the two protagonists and a problem to be solved in order for there to be a happily ever after (if there is one).
Each of these books are similar in the sense that they alternate between the male and female characters point of view, therefore allowing for a well-balanced story as we can experience the thoughts and emotions of each side of the blossoming relationship. We can see the tension developing further on either end and we can also see a reasoning behind an action.
3:AM Kisses – Addison Moore
Goodreads – 3:AM Kisses| Goodreads – Addison Moore
3:AM Kisses is my first experience with Addison Moore and similarly to my experience reading J.Nathan’s Before Hadley. I had no trouble slipping into the setting of the book and Addison’s writing style itself is perfectly descriptive to set the scene without becoming overboard on mundane description. My only real issue with my reading of 3:AM Kisses is that I wish it had been longer.
One thing which I really enjoyed about 3:AM kisses as well as its story content/theme of the brothers best friend falling for his friends little sister was the twist ending. WOW, boy did that hit me out of nowhere, I loved this element to the story as it was really unpredictable however this is also one thing which I didn’t really like about the book. The Twist ending features a character who just pops up every now and again throughout the book, she isn’t really that prominent and with the ending being wholly focused on her I think it would have been really interesting if the book delved into this character a little more by having her partake in a few more ‘stalkerish’ activities, things that would of elicited a sense of fear, mystery and further tension to the book.
In terms of characters, I really liked Bryson and Baya. Although I can understand some people may dislike Bryson’s character as he keeps a tally chart of how many women he has slept with as sort of a competition with Baya’s brother. Whilst this may make some readers hate Bryson, Addison Moore incorporates why Bryson has acted like this into the novel. She explains his past and history which have resulted in him acting like a man whore which was a great addition to the book.
Tempting The Best Man – J. Lynn
Goodreads – Tempting The Best Man| Goodreads- Jennifer Armentrout
J. Lynn is the pseudonym of Jennifer. L. Armentrout, author of the amazing Young Adult Book series LUX. I am familiar with her work and have read a number of her New Adult Romance books in the past such as Frigid. I find her writing style to be really easy to get into and she has the ability to keep me hooked throughout whilst transporting me to which ever world she has created whether it be one of a fantasy nature for her LUX series or a setting focused on reality for her romance novels.
Unlike her other romance books such as Frigid, I didn’t enjoy Tempting the Best Man as much as I thought I would. I liked it but I didn’t love it. Hence the 3 star rating… this is because everything moved a little too fast for me, the moments which Chase and Madison were sprung together such as getting lock in the wine cellar moved really fast and in turn the sexual relationship was introduced to the novel really quickly. I would of liked for the book to be of a slower pace, allowing for more moments to build between Madison and Chase. Ultimately creating tension between the two whilst simultaneously creating a will they – wont they dynamic to the book.
Whilst the fast pace was slightly off for me, one aspect which I really enjoyed was the theme of the book.The theme of the brothers best friend and friends little sister as this automatically creates feelings of tension as you wonder if the brother will be accepting or not. It was evident throughout what the feelings were of Chase and Madison and the book follows their journey to finally act upon their feelings, the consequences revolving their actions and the moments in which they are too proud to admit their true feelings.
Before Hadley – J. Nathan
Goodreads – Before Hadley| Goodreads – J. Nathan
Before Hadley was my first experience with J.Nathan as an author and I had no trouble getting into the setting in which he has created. In-fact the high school environment is easy to relate to as it features the standard social clique groups, although I have to say I did find the book to be somewhat predictable.
Before Hadley applies a different outlook into the standard romance genre through it’s incorporation of the criminal aspect. Caynan is a thief, but this is what his father has molded him into, therefore the story offers more than just the romantic journey which Hadley and Caynan embark on. It also offers Caynan’s own journey to get off the path he has been set, whether that path lands him in jail or takes him to college.
One aspect I really enjoyed about Before Hadley was being able to see the difference in the family structure of the two protagonists, Hadley’s parents are very much present and have her best interests at heart whereas Caynan’s father creates him to be a criminal. This was really interesting to see the direct contrasts in the characters backgrounds.
One aspect of this book which I didn’t enjoy was the ending where we experience a 3 year time shift, I found this to be rather abrupt. Now I realise this may be more realistic in terms of the law but I felt like this shift meant we missed out on something, an interaction perhaps between Caynan and Hadley. It would of been nice to experience some of their lives directly after what happened that night (I’m not going to be a spoiler sue and ruin a big reveal), whereas the event happened then suddenly 3 years had passed and ultimately the characters whole lives had changed.
Well that’s it folks!
Let me know in the comments What your favourite New Adult Romance book is, I appreciate any recommendations you may have as i’m always looking for a new book to check out!