Don’t Look Back

Don’t Look Back by Jennifer Armentrout

Official rating for this book: 4 out of 5 stars.

I enjoyed this change of pace from Jennifer Armentrout (which I will refer to as JLA in this review). I adore JLA, I love her Lux and Covenant series, her new book White Hot Kiss, and all of her New Adult books. I just didn’t love this one.

I’m getting ahead of myself. Don’t Look Back is the story of Samantha, a girl who finds herself on a road with no memory as to how she got there, or even who she is. Samantha had to be told her own name in the hospital, where she met her parents (AWKWARD!). Apparently, Samantha had gone missing four days before she was found, along with her best friend Cassie, who has yet to be found. As Samantha gets reacquainted with her old life, she finds she does not like the girl she used to be. The old Samantha was Queen B of her high school and a terrorizing bitch, but new Samantha is not like this at all and is horrified when learning about her atrocious past behavior. On top of all of this, Samantha gets the paranoid feeling she’s being followed, and when mysterious notes begin to appear warning her about her memories, it becomes clear that remembering the past may lead to the ending of Samantha’s future.

What I liked about the book: I never really knew who the mysterious killer was. JLA did a fantastic job of casting doubt at all of the side characters and as the reader, I never knew who to trust. Samantha’s struggle to determine whether or not her past defines who she is in the present was also wonderful. I liked the idea of her getting a second chance to make amends and to become a better person, despite having to overcome some pretty awful circumstances which got her there (like the memory loss). I also liked Carson as the romantic interest, but I miss me some cocky arrogant love interest like JLA usually writes.

What I didn’t like: Maybe it’s because I hold a high standard to all of JLA’s work, being that she’s one of my favorite authors, but I kind of expected more from this book. It felt like something was missing. For me, I think it was that lack of the author’s sense of humor that I adore in all of her other books. Granted this was a more serious subject, but a little more lightness added in might have been better.

Overall, I still really liked this book. A great change of pace for the author, switching to mystery and thriller instead of paranormal romance. Bravo JLA!

Advertisements

Sweet Peril by Wendy Higgins

Sweet Peril (The Sweet Trilogy Book 2) by Wendy Higgins

I have a new fan crush on Wendy Higgins! This was such a fun YA read, and I must read the third book ASAP!

The first half of this book is spent on plot development, which was wonderful. The first book centered mostly about Anna and her relationship with people around her, so it was nice to see the plot moving in a solid direction. Here in book two, Anna has discovered a prophecy that changes everything in the realm of the Nephilim, and with the help of her father and fellow nephilim Kopano, she sets out to fulfill it. Anna and Kopano travel the globe searching for allies in the possible future battle for good, and face many dangers while they do so.

I loved the friendship that built between Anna and Kopano. Kopano is a great guy trying to overcome his demons, literally. As a side character he had great presence and as a reader I’d like to know more about the mystery that is Kopano. Zania was also a great side character, her story sad and tragic, but the author gives us tidbits of hope for a happy future for her.

The scenes with Kaidan! Holy friggin hell they were beautifully written!! I just soaked up all of the lusting and angst between them and enjoyed. Ms. Higgins writes my kind of romance angst and I loved every minute of it. Kaidan developed quite a bit in this book, his search to be a better man showed real depth and conviction.

Overall, this book was riveting and much more developed than the first one. I look forward to reading the final installment and finding out what happens to all my favorite characters when it is released later this month! 4.5 out of 5 stars for this book.

My casting:

sweet peril review photo

Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins

Sweet Evil (The Sweet Trilogy #1) by Wendy Higgins

Such an entertaining YA read! Anna is a sweet Southern girl who has lived a sheltered life. She’s the school goody-goody, yet she is harboring some interesting secrets. Anna has the ability to read people’s feelings, whether they are sad, fearful, happy, in love, she can see it all. Anna also has a myriad of other abilities, like super hearing and smell. Anna knows she is different and doesn’t tell anyone, thinking she is alone. That is, until she meets Kaidan, the mega attractive drummer of the band Lascivious. Kaidan has the same abilities as Anna, and he has answers to all of her questions. But Kaidan is a bad boy to the heart, and Anna knows she should stay away from him, but she can’t.

Okay, at first, I didn’t like this book. Anna seemed like too much of a darn goody-two-shoes and it was driving me nuts. Things that were fairly obvious to the reader, were not obvious to Anna and this irked me because any girl with a bit of common sense would not be this clueless and innocent. For example, I couldn’t believe that Anna went to a party thinking some boys’ parents were going to be there to supervise. I mean, really? Anyways, I kept reading and I loved Anna’s development from innocent victim into a strong girl willing to fight to survive. It’s a long book, roughly 450 pages, so it took about 50-75 pages in for me to actually like Anna, so I’m glad I stuck with it.

Once the ball got rolling on the plot, I devoured this book. Anna searches for answers to her parentage and what that means for her future, something lots of teens deal with even if they aren’t orphans like Anna. The theme of the influence parents have on their children is a strong one in this book. So are the themes of survival and being true to yourself. I loved the concept of fighting what you were chosen to be and to turn your back on that and be your own person.

And Kaidan. Witty, sexy, infuriating Kaidan was an awesome love interest. I thought it was hilarious that his job was literally so seduce girls and have sex with them. Props to Wendy Higgins for creating a romantic conflict for the main characters! Being the Son of Lust, and the responsibilities of that job, I wonder what this means for his and Anna’s future. I guess I’ll have to read the other books and find out!

Anyways, 4 out of 5 stars because it was entertaining and enjoyable, but not a perfect 5 out of 5 for me.

 

Take A Chance by Abbi Glines

Take A Chance by Abbi Glines (Chances #1, Rosemary Beach #6)

3.75 star rating!

I enjoyed this book by Ms. Glines a lot more than I usually enjoy her books. While most people are huge Rosemary Beach or Sea Breeze fans, these series are my guilty pleasures.

Take A Chance is the story of Grant and Harlow, Rush’s brother and Nan’s sister. While this is the first book in the series with these two as the main characters, they previously met a couple of books ago. Grant used to be in a friends with benefits scenario with Harlow’s bitchy half sister, which is the main dilemma for these two throughout the book. Harlow finds it difficult to be with anyone who had some sort of feelings for Nan (which is understandable because Nan is a raging bitch, who after this book proves, will never change). Despite this, the attraction between the two grow and forms into a new love for the both of them.

Total guilty pleasure read, there isn’t much quality to this book, but it was fun while it lasted.

And there’s totally a cliffhanger at the end, which for most reader’s sucked, but I actually kind of liked it. Shook things up a bit and actually made me want to read the next book.

Note: I recommend reading all of the Rosemary Beach books before reading this one. I made the mistake of skipping the book before it, Simple Perfection, and was totally screwed because a character had died in that book, and it was spoiled for me in this one. So, to all who pay attention, start with Fallen Too Far and continue on from there.

 

Play by Kylie Scott

Play (Stave Dive #2) by Kylie Scott

I. FREAKING. ADORED. THIS. BOOK!!!!!!!!!!

For those of you who haven’t caught onto the Stave Dive series, starting with the brilliant first book Lick, and get on it now!!! Warning, this review will be told mostly in quotes because I could never replicate the awesomeness that is Ms. Scott’s writing style.

Play is the story of Mal, the playful drummer of Stage Dive, and Anne, the charming and cute girl who works in a book shop. The story starts when Anne is screwed over by a friend who basically steals a bunch of money (not literally) and leaves Anne in the dust, causing Anne to face imminent eviction. After meeting Mal at a party, and a slightly infuriating conversation, Anne finds Mal moved into her apartment the next day, and a proposal she cannot turn down. Mal will front Anne the money and live with her, and she will pretend to be his girlfriend (for somewhat mysterious reasons).So we’ve all heard this plot before right? Whatever. Ms. Scott puts a creative spin on an old idea and truly makes it her own.

Why did I love this book? I had a giant freaking smile on my face the entire time I was reading it. The banter between Anne and Mal is hilarious, and their chemistry even better. Here are a series of quotes from the book to prove my point:

“We start fucking and you’ll be all ‘Oh Mal, I never dreamed such ecstasy was possible. I cannot live without you. Fuck me, Mal. Pleeeeease.'”

“His gaze rested on a young woman browsing in the True Crime section. You’d have thought he’d have enough sense to turn away when she picked up a book on female serial killers, but no.”

“What do I taste like?” “Well like honey and cream and… I dunno, bread?” I scrunched up my nose. “Bread?” “Yes, sexy bread that I could eat all the time because you are so delicious and full of whole grain goodness.”

“It would be beautiful, pumpkin. There’d be little angels, and birdies and you know… all just hanging around watching. Perverts.”

While this book had it’s funny side, it also had serious moments that gave me all the feels. Anne accepted Mal for who he and never expected him to be anything more than what he was. In return, Mal wanted to build something with Anne and did his best to make her happy.

“Don’t have sad eyes, Anne. I can’t fucking stand it when you’re sad.”

“You’re good for me. You take me any mood I come in. I don’t have to be always happy or on around you. You roll with any shit I say and give as good as you get. You don’t let me push you around if it doesn’t suit you and you haven’t asked me to buy you a fucking thing.”

So, needless to say Kylie Scott is now on my mental list of author to automatically buy their books.

Why not a full 5 stars? The story felt a bit unfinished, I would have liked to know what Anne is doing with her life, kind of like how Evelyn decided to keep working in hers and figure stuff out. Maybe it was my late night reading and I missed it, but Anne’s path in life (the parts not including Mal) seemed a bit vague.

Also, and everyone please put the pitchforks down when I say this, but for me, this is what I expected from the Sinners on Tour series. This series blows that one out of the water. (Please don’t attack me! I still love the Sinners).

Coming Home

Coming Home by Priscilla Glenn

Where to start with this one… We all know the Mona Lisa right? While I admire the effort it took to create it, I recognize that it’s a great piece of work, but for me, it does not hold the wow factor that it does for other people. That’s what this book was for me. Now I’m not saying this book is the Mona Lisa of New Adult romances novels. I’m just saying I recognize the effort the author made writing this book, I think it’s beautifully written and very well developed, but it really is just not the book for me, personally.

Basic plot: Leah and Danny have a chance meeting and form a strong and almost instant connection between the two of them. Both have a past that haunts them, and it is brought forth for the both of them to deal with. Yet again, this is a book I’ve read where knowing less about the plot enhances the experience as a whole for the reader, so I will not give too much plot summary here today.

What did I like about the book? For one, Danny, the love interest. It’s a nice change up to read a book without an aggressive alpha male who is way too demanding. Danny is kind and thoughtful but not in any way the “nice guy who finishes last” stereotype. Danny is loyal and puts a lot of thought into whether or not he wants to mix his life with Leah’s. As I said, the book was very well written and for me more along the lines of what a fiction writer is and not the writing we’ve come to expect from the romance and new adult genres. This book was also fairly free of angst, so those who do not like it, this is the book for you.

What I didn’t like… The pacing. It was way too slow for my liking and while it suited the book it didn’t suit me. I found myself skimming the book during major parts and not caring enough to go back and thoroughly read it.

I do recommend that other people who are interested in this book to try it, my opinion is just one of many, and many people seem to adore and love this book. Myself, I liked it but didn’t love it. Also, check out Back to You by the author, that’s my favorite work by her so far.