Playing with Trouble by Joya Ryan | Spoiler Free Review.

Title: Playing with Trouble by Joya Ryanplaying with trouble.png
Genre: New Adult Romance
Publisher: Montlake Romance

*Copy provided by Netgalley*

Synopsis

Recently divorced, Laura Baughman is taking her life back. After a decade away, she’s returning to Yachats, Oregon—the small town she couldn’t wait to leave after graduation—to take over her late mother’s beloved flower shop. Yet once she arrives, Laura discovers the store has been neglected and her father has partnered in construction with Jake Lock. The once-scrawny high school band geek is now successful—and irresistibly sexy—and set to inherit her family’s business. That is, unless Laura can prove in the next thirty days that she has what it takes to run the company.

Despite the heat between Jake and Laura, romance is out of the question. After her last disastrous relationship, Laura has sworn off men—especially one bent on crushing her dreams. That’s just fine with Jake, who thinks the gorgeous blonde is a pain in the neck…though admittedly one he’d like to put his lips all over.

Jake has a proposal to mix business with pleasure. But when a deal goes south, Laura is ready to pack up and skip town all over again. Does he have what it takes to convince her to stay?

Continue reading “Playing with Trouble by Joya Ryan | Spoiler Free Review.”

Play by Piper Lawson

Title: Play by Piper Lawsonplay

Genre: New Adult Romance

Rating: 4 Stars

**Netgalley provided copy for honest review**

Synopsis:

I’m Payton Blake. A successful, balanced twenty-something girl living the dream.

OK. So it’s a big-ass lie.

I could be all of those things. If I had friends outside of work. And if I didn’t mainline watermelon slushies like they were a food group. It wouldn’t hurt if I’d had sex in the last year, either. (My best friend insists Jorge the Nightstand Boyfriend doesn’t count.)

But when you know where you’re headed, who needs to enjoy the ride? Even if part of me longed for a little between-the-sheets adventure, Max Donovan would be the last guy I’d call.

Sure, he made the indie video game that broke the internet. His eyebrow piercing’s sexy, in an ‘are-you-in-a-band?’ way, and fighting with him gets me off faster than Jorge on bezerker mode. But he’s arrogant. Presumptuous. Colder than a cactus and twice as prickly.

None of it changes the fact that I crave Max Donovan like a watermelon slushy on a hot summer day.

I should ignore him. But I can’t, because he just became my biggest client. And whether he’ll admit it or not, he needs me even more than I need him.

Game on, Max Donovan.

Continue reading “Play by Piper Lawson”

The Strongest Steel by Scarlett Cole Review

Title: The Strongest Steel by Scarlett Colethe strongest steel.png

Genre: New Adult Romance

Publisher: St. Martins Press

**E-ARC received via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review**

Synopsis

2016 RITA Finalist for Best First Book and Best Romantic Suspense!

Harper Connelly never expected to find herself outside of a tattoo parlor at one in the morning, summoning the nerve to take back her past. She’s determined to forget her old life and is looking for an artist who can tattoo over the scars on her back.

Trent Andrews, local legend and owner of the Second Circle tattoo studio, has his own reasons for specializing in inking over scars. And in spite of her mysterious past and the difficult road ahead, he quickly realizes that Harper is funny, smart, and-under her ridiculously oversized clothing and SPF 100 sunscreen-totally hot. He’s happy to take on the challenge of designing a meaningful and deadly full-back tattoo for her.

But when cryptic messages start appearing on Harper’s phone, strange deliveries arrive at her door, and Second Circle is vandalized, Harper is convinced that her ex-boyfriend has tracked her down, and worse, that he knows about Trent. Running was the only thing that saved her last time, but now that she’s started to put down roots in Miami, she’ll have to decide if she can finally fight back instead.

Continue reading “The Strongest Steel by Scarlett Cole Review”

The One where the Bad Boy Neighbour saves the Girl next door.

Title: Rooter by Teiran SmithROOTER.png

Genre: Contemporary Romance – New Adult

Rating: 4 Stars

Synopsis: 

Sophie doesn’t care what anyone says—she wants Rooter. Labeled by the local news as a “vicious criminal,” he is the very image of one. But the tattoos, muscles , and brooding countenance only manage to intensify her interest in him.

After Rooter saves her from a pair of dangerous thugs, Sophie begins to see the man behind the visage. Regardless of the past he brings with him, and the dangerous secrets she can tell he is hiding, Sophie believes Rooter is a good man—one who will protect her with his very life.

Swept into a passionate love affair, Sophie realizes that while Rooter isn’t as evil as everyone believes him to be, being with him isn’t as easy and perfect as she envisioned. When his ex “friend with benefits” refuses to stay out of their lives, she demands he take action. Rooter refuses to cut his ex-lover completely out of his life, and Sophie isn’t sure she can accept the status quo.

When the same ex makes the accusation of a brutal crime, Sophie and Rooter’s relationship is left reeling. Will they be able to come back from the edge of the precipice they find themselves on… or will their love end before they ever even have the chance to savor it?

Continue reading “The One where the Bad Boy Neighbour saves the Girl next door.”

College, Crime, Romance and Running!

Title: Chased Part 1 + 229996047.jpg

Author: Piper Lawson

Genre: NA Contemporary Romance

Rating: 4 Stars

*ARC received via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

Summary

Being a twenty-one-year-old screw-up has its perks. I can sleepwalk through class, drink all day and nail anything that walks.

Easy f#$%*ing peasy.

Sure, I used to be the fastest guy at Fielding College. I’ve broken more track records than anyone on the West Coast. But my life as an athlete feels like a different universe. A different Chase Owens.

Since my world fell apart last year, all I want is to be left the hell alone.

Ariel Hastings isn’t just a wrench in that plan, she’s a bomb. The quiet girl shows up out of nowhere and suddenly our fates are tied together. She wants to run with me, learn from me, even live with me…

Basically everything but f*ck me.

Now I’m spending too much time around her. I’m craving something she won’t give me and I sure as hell can’t ask for.

Because we’ve both got pasts that aren’t ready to let go. Even if I can survive hers, I know we can’t outrun mine.

Review

Chased is a book split into two parts, part 1 is where you’re thinking this is going to be a light hearted bubbly new adult romance where two strangers, become friends then ultimately fall in love… [also throw in a lot of tension and angst] Part 2 is the book that throws you through the loop and the book takes a whole new turn. No longer is this just a romance, we have a character in prison, family drama and crime.

I really liked the complex characters featured in Chased, Chase himself is hard to decipher as he first comes off as a giant ass. He fits the model for the rude playboy, but as the story progresses we realise he isn’t actually like his hard exterior and there is more to him. Ariel and Chase both need each other in different ways, this is first established through their running connection where both characters primarily only need each other to help one another with their running – speed/timing and just to stay on the team. As the story progresses they begin to rely on each other in more ways, it’s also worth noting that the story isn’t an instant fall in love tale. There is true tension build up and you are waiting to see what will happen next between the pair.

Piper Lawson also plays around with some interesting plot choices which I haven’t experienced before such as Ariel being stuck in her dead mother’s shadow, I liked the incorporation of the stalkers and her over protective father. However I wish the stalker element was played into a little bit more, whilst the story features an Alternative POV it is more leaned towards Chase and his story rather than Ariel so that’s where the focus is continuously leading too.

Whilst the Alternative POV may lean favorably to Chase, the book begins to make up for the disappointment of missing more focus on Ariel with its ability to withdraw emotions from you as a reader. I found myself both shocked, laughing and basically wondering what the heck was going on and about to happen next. It’s definitely hard to predict, so it keeps you on your toes!

chased 2.jpg

Overall I enjoyed my reading experience of Chased by Piper Lawson, this was my first experience with her as a writer and I had no trouble getting into the story, the book itself was fast paced and a quick read. It is worth remembering that the book is split in TWO parts therefore you may wish to  have Part 2 handy as the book ends with a cliff hanger of sorts and you will want to start the next one to see what happens with Ariel and Chase and how their story ends. Luckily Netgalley kindly sent me both parts so I didn’t have to go through the pain of waiting to find out more!

Let me know in the comments if when reading a New Adult Romance do you prefer an instant love relationship or a tension filled build up? 

 


Useful Links : Goodreads – Chased Part 1 | Chased – Part 2 | Piper Lawson

Hustler.

Title: HustlerHustler

Authors: Meghan Quinn and Jessica Prince

Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance

Rating: 3.5 Stars

*E-Arc provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

 

Book Summary:

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.

Review:

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.

Characters

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.

Overall Rating

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.

mortal

Useful Links

Goodreads – Book Page | Goodreads – Jessica Prince AuthorGoodreads – Meghan Quinn Author

Waking Olivia – Elizabeth O’Roark

Title: Waking Oliviawaking.jpg

Author: Elizabeth O’ Roark

Rating: 4.5 Stars

*E-BOOK copy received via Net galley for an honest review*

Summary: Goodreads

“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.

mortal

Review:

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. 

 

 

mortal

Useful Links:

Goodreads – Waking Olivia | Goodreads – Elizabeth O’Roark |Amazon – Waking Olivia