The Deal

The Deal by Elle Kennedy

4.5-5 Wellsy stars!

“The ice looked so shiny and smooth, until you got close enough to it, and suddenly all the uneven edges and crisscrossed skate marks became visible. That’s me, I guess. Covered with skate marks that nobody ever seems to notice.”

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This is one of those books that really does live up to the hype! We’ve all been seeing this book passed around, and normally I’m skeptical when it’s a book everyone loves because most of the time I end up hating it, but not in this case.

The Deal starts out like your typical new adult romance but it’s so much more. There’s a girl at college who has issues, which are said straight away at the beginning (something I actually liked knowing up front so it wasn’t dragged out as a plot point) and a jock who needs tutoring help. Hannah is a music major and one of the few people acing her ethics test. She has a gigantic crush on a football player who doesn’t know she exists. Garrett is the school star hockey player and just failed his midterm, so he needs Hannah’s help.

So many people have done wonderful reviews and there’s no way I could live up to them, so I’m breaking this down into what I loved about the book, because there really isn’t anything I didn’t like about it.

-The banter. There were so many great one liners disbursed throughout this gem. I was reading them out loud to any of my friends who were in my vicinity. Here’s one example:

“Just out of curiosity,” she says, “after you wake up in the morning, do you admire yourself in the mirror for one hour or two?”
“Two,” I reply cheerfully.
“Do you high five yourself?”
“Of course not.” I smirk. “I kiss each of my biceps and then point to the ceiling and thank the big man upstairs for creating such a perfect male specimen.”

-The writing in general. This book flowed beautifully and I read 66% of it in practically a few hours! Had to force myself to go to bed before continuing on. The author had a sense of humor I just connected with.

“If this was a movie, she’d be the young, ambitious teacher who shows up at the inner city school and inspires the fuckups, and suddenly everyone’s putting down their AKs and picking up their pencils, and the end credits scroll up to announce how all the kids got into Harvard or some shit. Instant Oscar for Hilary Swank.”

-The characters. Many have said that Hannah was annoying at first, but I think I have a pretty high tolerance for annoying females because she didn’t bother me at all. Sure she wasn’t into Garrett when she first met him, but this book and this story wouldn’t be what it is if she had. Garrett liked that she wasn’t a puck slut, and he had to fight to get her to even talk to him. The character development between the two of them was extremely well done.

And Garrett, oh Garrett.

Love him! He’s earned a spot among my book boyfriends!!!

**I would have liked more steam and a bit more angst, but I’m a gigantic angst whore and can eat up giant doses and demand more. So for everyone else this is probably the perfect amount of angst.

Thanks Jasmine for the buddy read! I think we both devoured this too quickly to go super in depth but it was lots of fun 🙂

My parting words to you all:

“Penises!
Sweet Jesus.
Penises everywhere.
Horror slams into me as I register what I’m seeing. Oh God. I’ve stumbled onto a penis convention. Big penises and small penises and fat penises and penis-shaped penises. It doesn’t matter which direction I move my head because everywhere I look I see penises.”

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Cursed

Cursed by Jennifer L. Armentrout

4 Cursed stars!

“You have a soul. You aren’t evil. There’s nothing you can say that will make me think that.”

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Jennifer Armentrout is one of my all time favorite authors. JLA doesn’t write within the typical book formula and marches to the beat of her own drummer, which is refreshing in this day and age of publishing. Whether she is writing young adult, new adult, or thrillers, I have liked or loved everything she’s ever written.Cursed is not exception, coming in at one of her most underrated books, and one I thoroughly enjoyed.

Cursed is the story of teenager Ember. Ember died two years before in a car accident with her dad when her then three year old sister Olivia brought her back from the dead. Olivia wasn’t able to save their father, and their mother seems to have gone into a catatonic shock since then and doesn’t talk to anyone. And the weirdest thing about being brought back from the dead? Any living thing that touches Ember’s skin dies. Plants, animals, and humans. So for two years Ember has lived as the town freak with scars covering her body and doing her best to avoid human interaction.

Suddenly, Ember and her family are abducted by Jonathon Cromwell, a man who claims to have their best interests at heart, and he brings them to a home full of kids with special abilities. It is made clear that Olivia is in fact the only member of the family he wants, and Ember and her mother are expendable. At this house, Ember’s only friend is Hayden, Jonathan’s adopted son. Hayden seems to be the only one on Ember’s team, and she deals daily with the fact that she is in a home where she isn’t wanted.

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Reading a JLA book is a comfort thing for me and even though she’s written a shit ton of books, I’m down to like 2 books I haven’t read by her yet. I’d been putting this book off for a while but decided it was time to give it a shot. I went into this book with fairly low expectations since not many people seem to have read it, and the average Goodreads rating is below a 4.0.

While the character of Ember could be a bit whiny and impulsive sometimes, her struggle was very relatable to readers of this book. I think I can speak for everyone and say we’ve all felt like an outcast at some point in our lives, or even like we didn’t belong somewhere, and this was an issue Ember dealt with every day of her life, and everywhere she went. Constantly second guessing herself, wondering if she even had a soul once she was brought back, not able to have the smallest amount of human contact without fear of hurting someone; I got to say, I’m kind of amazed she didn’t have a breakdown holding herself and her feelings together. To me, this made her strong.

Hayden was such a great book boyfriend. He also proves that JLA has been writing great heroes since the beginning of her published writing career. His faith in Ember was amazing and I kind of wish guys like him existed in my real life world.

“My brain must have felt sorry for me, so it’d created the only type of guy I could touch—a fantasy one.”

There were a few inconsistencies which is why I can’t rate this book a 5. For example, Ember’s change in eye color was never fully explained, and I really would have liked an epilogue to see if certain aspects of Ember’s power worked out or not. Plus, the entire book The Facility was a huge motif and we never even saw it as a reader. But these things did not take away from my enjoyment of the book.

So if you are looking for a fun yet deep young adult paranormal book, this one is for you!

Kaleidoscope Hearts

Kaleidoscope Hearts by Claire Contreras

3.5 stars

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This was a book I was super excited to read and in the end, I just kind of liked it. Claire Contreras is a very talented author, she wrote one of my favorite new adult books titled There is No Light in Darkness, and that book had all of the feels I love to see in a book. Plus it had Cole. If you’ve read that book, you understand.

So going into this:
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Kaleidoscope Hearts is the story of Estelle and Oliver. Oliver is Estelle’s brothers best friend, therefore Estelle is supposed to be off limits. But when Oliver was 19 and she was 16, the two forged a connection that would last throughout the years. That’s all I’m really going to say about the plot, the less you know the better.

I will say, I was a bit disappointed in the romance. I liked the connection the two had in the flashbacks, but their grand romance felt a bit forced. The majority of it they were both dating other people, so it was hard for me to believe they loved each other. And it was hard for me to believe Estelle was crushed when Oliver left for med school because they technically weren’t together, and he made her no promises. Yeah, it sucked that he left, but not to the point where she would cling to what happened years later and throw it back in his face.

Oliver, well, he’s not my favorite guy. I liked him, he seemed sweet but I thought he wasn’t very memorable. Sure he’s cute and he’s got a man-bun, which is sexy 90% of the time. But like I said, the whole relationship felt forced to me. And in the end, I didn’t care if they ended up together or not.

I feel like I’ve done nothing but bash this book and that’s not my intention. I enjoyed reading it, but I guess I hyped it up too much in my head. This book didn’t make me feel like this authors’ other books have before. It’s a sweet, predictable romance that I think lots of readers will enjoy.

PS: I read two different hair colors for Oliver in this book, blond at 59% and brunette at 91%. It drove me frickin crazy!!!

Bad Romeo

Bad Romeo by Leisa Rayven

4.5 stars!

“Sometimes people put up walls, not only to keep people out, but also to see who cares enough to tear them down.”

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So, guess who loved this book when most everyone else didn’t?

Guilty as charged. To be fair, I am a total angst whore and gobbled this book up. Want to know what’s even scarier? For all of the angst this book doles out, I’ve read angstier!

This is the story of Cassie and Ethan, who met when they were young aspiring actors. The book begins in the present, three years after Ethan shattered Cassie’s heart, and the two of them are cast as the leads in a new Broadway play. Ethan, after all of the shit he put Cassie through, is desperate to get her back but Cassie won’t let him back in easy.

This book alternates between the present and the past, giving the reader both sides of Cassie and Ethan. Cassie who in the past was a horny, naive virgin and in the present a jaded and bitter woman. Ethan, a dark storm cloud in the past more closed up than a tight clam shell, and in the present a man who had worked through his issues and wants to be redeemed.

I think one of the reasons I enjoyed this book so much was because I went into it with the absolute lowest expectations. I also read the spoilers ahead of time and knew the ending would be a cliffhanger and many questions would not be answered, so I came into this book prepared. So many people hated or disliked this book, but I still gave it a shot because my local library has a copy. And if it’s free, why not? Well, I’m glad I did. For me, this book was unputdownable.

I will say I did not care for the whiplash, but in order for a guy to redeem himself, he has to be a dick right? Yeah, Ethan was a dick. But, I felt like he really did change by the time he was an adult. I just really wish I knew what horrible thing he did to Cassie BECAUSE THE AUTHOR DIDN’T TELL US IN THIS BOOK!!!

And the other thing I didn’t care for? That vagina slow clapping line. My god I cringed when I read that. I think it was supposed to be funny, but this was me reading it instead:

Anywoo, if you like angst and men trying to make up for their colossal mistakes, this book is the one for you! I’m actually really excited for book 2 and some answers.

The Return Giveaway and Excerpt

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THE RETURN Excerpt:

Shaking my head, I pivoted around and walked down the long hall to my dorm room. As I reached the door, the shiver was at the base of my spine again, dancing its way up until it traveled across my shoulders. My heart turned over heavily and I closed my eyes.

Twice in one day.
Oh God.
I’d never felt this more than once in any span of several days.

Swallowing hard, I wrapped my fingers around the doorknob, battling the urge to turn and scan the hall, because I knew no one would be there.

Dragging in a deep breath, I opened the door and stepped inside the room. My brows flew up, and I forgot about the feeling as I closed the door behind me.

Erin was sprawled on the floor, palms pressed down on a mat, her spandex-covered behind jutting up toward the sky. She turned her head, peering at me from under her armpit.

Her armpit.

“How in the world do you get your neck to bend like that without killing yourself?” I asked.

“Skills, yo.”

Erin did yoga and meditation religiously, saying it helped merge her yin and yang together or something. She’d once told me she had a hell of a mean streak, and contorting herself into painful-looking positions helped keep “good vibrations” around her. Which was strange, because I’d never seen Erin lose her temper in the two years I’d known her.

Erin unfolded herself from some kind of downward dog or upward pony and grinned at me. “Check under the bed.”

Curious, I dropped my bag and stepped over her legs. Bending down, I lifted the bedspread and my eyes grew to the size of saucers when I spotted the bottle. I snatched it up and clutched it to my chest as I whipped toward her. “José!”

Her grin spread into a smile. “The best boyfriend ever.”

THE RETURN Synopsis:

The Fates are cackling their bony asses off…

It’s been a year since Seth made the deal with the gods that pledged his life to them. And so far, the jobs they’ve given him have been violent and bloody–which is kind of all right with him. But now Apollo has something else in mind for Seth. He’s got to play protector while keeping his hands and fingers off, and for someone who really has a problem with restraint, this new assignment might be the most challenging yet.

Josie has no idea what this crazy hot guy’s deal might be, but it’s a good bet that his arrival means the new life she started after leaving home is about to be thrown into an Olympian-sized blender turned up to puree. Either Josie is going insane or a nightmare straight out of ancient myth is gunning for her.

But it might be the unlikely attraction simmering between her and the golden-eyed, secret-keeping Seth that may prove to be the most dangerous thing of all.

Because history has once again been flipped to repeat.

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About Jennifer L. Armentrout:

jla

# 1 NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV.

She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

Links:

Website ** Facebook ** Twitter ** Novel Goodreads ** Author Goodreads

Where Sea Meets Sky

Where Sea Meets Sky by Karina Halle

2 stars

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This is probably the most difficult review I’ve ever written. I want to start off by saying that Karina Halle is one of my all time favorite authors and she will remain on my automatic purchase list because, well, I love her work. I went back and counted, and I’ve read a total of 17 books by Ms. Halle so far, and of those 17 books I rated eleven of them 5 stars, five of them 4 stars, and only one of them 3 stars. I’m making this known before my review so there is no doubt about the fact that I love her and her books. I just didn’t love this one. And that’s okay, because how often do you find an author who can literally make you love not just one, but sixteen of her books?

Where Sea Meets Sky follows the journey across continents of Josh and Gemma. Gemma is from New Zealand and has been traveling through Canada when she meets Josh at a Halloween party. The two ignite a spark almost instantly and have a steamy and hot hook up at the party, which then turns into a night of marathon sex and even more pleasantly unusual, a night of just talking to one another. Both Gemma and Josh find one another easy to talk to and connect with, but the problem is, Gemma flies back to New Zealand the next day.

After Gemma leaves, Josh reflects a lot on his life and what he wants to do with it. Upon hearing good news, Josh quits his job, scrounges up every single penny he has and sets of for New Zealand for an adventure…

I was incredibly excited going into this book. I loved Love in English, and Josh was a character we got a glimpse and who was such an amazing brother to Vera that I couldn’t help but fall for him a little bit before he even got his own book. This book had a really strong start for me and although the characters basically slept together right off the bat, I was intrigued by the two of them. The point at which the book made me come to a screeching halt was when Josh found Gemma in New Zealand. From here on things will not be in spoiler tags so read at your own risk.

****SPOILERS BEWARE!****

[ I was honestly beyond shocked when Josh goes to New Zealand to find out that Gemma has a boyfriend. I know that Gemma and her boyfriend weren’t technically together when she was traveling the North American continent, but I was flabbergasted. Upon returning to NZ, Gemma and her guy were together again, and since she didn’t feel comfortable telling her BF that she slept with Josh, it obviously means it was not an okay thing to do. I don’t really care that her BF was a total douche. I know it wasn’t technically cheating but it was dishonest, especially to Josh who she encouraged to come to NZ.

Then Gemma invites Josh on a road trip with her and her cousin, even though she barely knows him, which prompts her boyfriend to come along. At this point I was wondering where Ms. Halle was going with this. Cue super awkward road trip where Josh has to listen to Gemma have sex with her dick guy. That sucked. But you know what was worse? It was worse when Gemma broke up with her guy and then still wouldn’t get together with Josh again because he made out with her cousin. How freaking hypocritical of her! And so incredibly unfair to Josh!!!

About 75% in was when I stopped rooting for Josh and Gemma as a couple, because I honestly felt he deserved so much better than her. I loved the character of Josh throughout the book, but I couldn’t stand Gemma. And I’m pretty easygoing when it comes to difficult heroines. It also was hard for me to believe that their one night stand was a strong enough connection to keep them fighting for each other because they didn’t really know each other. And to me this was different from Love in English, because so much of that book was Vera and Mateo talking to each other and discussing their lives that they grew to understand and love one another for their faults. Josh and Gemma slept together, talked but it was mentioned after, and then rode in a van but didn’t really talk there either.

Last peeve, and it was pointed out to me by another fellow reader (who shall remain anonymous). The plot of this book was eerily similar to Love in English. Except in this it’s a guy (Josh/Vera) who goes to a foreign country (NZ/Spain) and falls for someone (Gemma/Mateo) who is unavailable because they are currently with someone else. Except for some technicalities, this book was fairly the same as the first book. (hide spoiler)]

So via the Goodreads rating system, I am giving this a 2, because it was just okay to me. I didn’t love it or like it, but I didn’t hate this book. I debated giving this book a 3 for a long time because of fear of the backlash, but in the end I wanted to be honest. I still love Ms. Halle’s work and will continue to read it, but like I stated earlier, this wasn’t the book for me. I still encourage others to read this book and make up their own minds, because things I didn’t like may be something other readers will love. So read more reviews than just mine, read the book and make up your own mind.

ARC provided by publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Three Brothers

Three Brothers by Nicole Williams

3-3.5 stars

“We don’t get to choose how we die, but we get to choose how we live.”

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When Scout was thirteen years old her mother died and she was sent to live with the Armstrong’s. John, the father, and his sons Chase, Chance and Conn. Chase was the big brother she had never had before, Chance was her best friend, and Conn became her teenage obsession. After living with them for five years, Scout ended up fleeing. Now seven years later, John is dying and Scout must return home.

“How could I have been so blinded by one brother that I missed this one? The one.

This book was an exploration of the family dynamic and how different people deal with grief. The Armstrong’s believed there was a curse on them that whatever women they loved died due to a natural accident, and many women already had died that way. Scout as a sister loved them and they loved her back.

I really liked the idea that after choosing the wrong guy for so many years, that Scout came back and fell for the brother who had loved her in secret all along. I did not like the plot that belief in the curse would keep him away.

Why 3 stars? The pacing was pretty slow and while I liked the book, I don’t feel the urge to reread it in the future, and honestly there could have been a bit more romance in this book for me. So if you want a well written family dynamic book, this one is for you.

Bound by Flames

Bound by Flames (Night Prince #3) by Jeaniene Frost
4 Dracul-A stars!

“Love cuts deeper than the sharpest blade, cripples more than shattered bones, and leaves scars that can never fade.”

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Yet another fun and action packed novel by Jeaniene Frost! I will say, I had my doubts about this spin-off series, but Ms. Frost has made me fall in love with Vlad and Leila.

In this third (yet not final) book in the Night Prince series, Leila and Vlad have discovered the existance of a once thought dead enemy. I would write his name in the review, but it’s so damn weird and complicated, I would have to look back into my paperback copy for the spelling and then copy and paste that shit because dude, it’s a weird name. Like souvlaki or something.

Anyways, Leila and Vlad are doing their best to find their enemy before his finds them, but this is easier said than done. I can’t say anymore about the plot without giving it away so I’ll stop while I’m ahead.

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Really loved the development of Leila and Vlad’s relationship in this one. It was a giant lesson in marriage being a give and take situation, and both Vlad and Leila did their best to support the other’s beliefs and actions to some extent. Well, kind of.

“Compromise Lesson One: Pull a dick move, and your dick gets denied. Every woman knew that, and now, so did the vampire sitting next to me.”

I will say, this book was HOT. And by hot, I mean steamy, and the fact that Vlad literally melted stone. Thats 2000+ degrees F!!

I don’t think I’ve said it before, but because I am a giant nerd I’m going to say it now. Did anyone else watch the tv show Angel? You know, the Buffy the Vampire Slayer spinoff? Well there was a character named Gwen who could electrocute people with her skin. Sounds familiar?
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“You are in my soul, and nothing you did before we met or will do in the future can change that.”

Well there’s not much more to say, this is a weird and short review for me. I absolutely enjoyed reading this book, and now I’m kind of pissed that there’s a fourth one out there in the universe. Now just got to wait patiently.

 

The Hooker and the Hermit

The Hooker and the Hermit by L. H. Cosway and Penny Reid

4.25 Bollocks, bitches, and Battlestar Galactica stars!

“I want you free. I want you wild. I want you brave. I want you any way I can get you.”

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***First off I want to clarify something, in the title Hooker does not stand for prostitution, it’s a sports position in rugby! I just wanted to put that out there because when this book started blowing up Goodreads, I honestly thought it was a about a lady of the night.***

Now that that’s cleared up, OMIGOSH THIS BOOK WAS SUCH A FUN READ!!! I adored Six of Hearts by LH Cosway, but I’ve never read anything by Penny Reid (despite her books sitting on my kindle for longer than I’d care to admit). I honestly could not tell that two people wrote this book, it was done so well! Needless to say, this book has lit a fire under my ass to start reading her books asap!

The Hooker and the Hermit is the story of Annie and Ronan. Annie is the secret blogger known as the Socialmedialite. Witty online through her writing, Annie in real life is incredibly socially awkward. She has trouble making eye contact and connecting to other people by talking. One day while out eating, Annie sees a Colin Farrell look alike and snaps a picture of him for her blog. This CF look alike is in fact a famous Irish rugby player who is taking a break from the game for personal issues. In a weird twist of fate, Annie’s PR company picks up Ronan as a client, and pairs Annie and Ronan to clear up his public image.

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At the beginning of the book, I have to say I didn’t care for Ronan all that much. He basically agreed to go along with the PR company mostly because his end goal was to get into Annie’s pants. Romantic right? Well, over time he turned out to be a pretty amazing book boyfriend. His determination to get Annie to open up to him, to give a relationship between the two of them a chance pulled at my heartstrings for the majority of the book. In fact, I love books where the man has to convince the girl to be in a relationship instead of the other way around.

Annie was so endearing. Her past led her to her social insecurities and I just wanted to give the girl a giant hug the entire book. I do think she may have overreacted a bit when it came to Ronan’s actions, and she pushed him away so many times, but I still liked her as a heroine.

I feel like a lot of us who review can relate to Annie very easily. For some reason or another, we all turn to our blogs or Goodreads in order to express ourselves and our opinions on books rather than just talking to other “real life” people. Many of us love our anonymity. Others may not care. But we all know what it’s like to sit in front of a computer screen and let out hearts pour out onto the keyboard.

This book was so freaking funny. There was many a moment where I smiled or laughed out loud (luckily I don’t laugh like Annie or I would have gotten some seriously weird looks directed my way). Here are some of my favorite quotes:

“Thought I won’t object to your calling me Daddy.”
Her eyes got really big then, and I burst out laughing, “I’m joking, Annie; relax. I’m joking”
“Thank God.”
“I know. I think I might have creeped myself out with that one.”

“She said seals sexually assault penguins and deserved to be clubbed. That woman is nuttier than a Snickers bar.”

“For the love of God, don’t ever laugh in public. No one will forgive you for it. You’ll be ridiculed, Ronan will go on an assault spree, and then Ian will have a mental breakdown trying to clean up the mess.”

“I love him more than Sean Connery loves talking about Scottish politics while living in Southern California with a llama.”

A very cute, fun book that I am so glad I read. Thanks to Suzanne (and Jasmine) for the recommendation!!!

Hero

Hero by Samantha Young

4 stars!

“You’re the one real thing in my life right now … You should know I don’t want to let that go.”

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Samantha Young is one of my all time favorite authors. Even when her books aren’t my favorite, I’ve never given her anything less than 4 stars because she delivers the perfect romance books that work for me. Hero follows in the footsteps of her other books as a highly addictive, angst inducing, well written romance.

Alexa Holland grew up believing her dad was a hero. That is, until she was in college when he dropped the bomb on her that he had ruined the lives of another family. On top of that, Alexa’s mother had been his mistress and Alexa was his illegitimate hidden child. Now in her late twenties, Alexa works as a personal assistant for a fashion photographer. One day on set, Alexa comes face to face with the man whose life was ruined by her father, Caine Carraway. Caine becomes furious with Alexa on the set, which results in her boss losing the shoot and Alexa being fired.

In an attempt to make amends, Alexa bombards Caine at his office. Caine has grown up to become a successful businessman despite his horrible past. After she makes an apology, Caine offers Alexa a job, with the intent being clear that he was only doing so in order to make Alexa’s life miserable. Desperate and wanting to prove she wasn’t her father’s daughter, Alexa accepts.

Caine is literally the boss from hell, making Alexa do an insurmountable amount of meaningless and degrading tasks, but Alexa forges on. Soon it becomes clear that the feelings between Caine and Alexa do not contain only hatred, but a surprising amount of lust. Can either one of them overcome their pasts to accept the other?

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I had so much fun reading this book. As I said before, I love this author and how she tells her stories. The amount of angst and emotion mixed in is the perfect amount and was not overwhelming. The push and pull dynamic made this book really fun, I’m used to seeing the guy chasing the girl in Young’s books and not the other way around. It was a bit sad to continually read Alexa getting her hopes up about a real relationship with Caine knowing as the reader that he wasn’t ready yet.

“I’m not your white knight.”

The chemistry with these two characters was off the charts! It’s not normally something I point out, because I prefer angst over steam (yeah I’m weird, I know this already) but this book was pretty darn steamy!! For all of you out there who love steamy scenes, get your fans ready to help cool you off.

This was a 5 star read for me all the way up until about 80%. There were certain thing that I thought was a pretty random addition to the plot and didn’t really make any sense to me, because it came out of nowhere. But the angst in the scenes following those parts were amazing!!! Gah, I ate that shit up.

^^^so 0.5 stars off for that. Another 0.5 stars off for not enough groveling. I WANTED TO SEE SOME HANDS AND KNEES BEGGING FOR ALL OF THE TUG-A-WAR BULLSHIT HE PUT ALEXA THROUGH! But I love groveling, so maybe I’m asking for too much.

“I’m not asking for forever, I’m asking you to stop pushing me away. I’m asking you to be real with me for however long this lasts.”

So while it’s not my favorite Young book, I do have to say that this is the most intricately plotted book she’s come out with so far and it’s great to watch her to continue to grow as a writer with the new work she’s putting out. Alexa and Caine were so well developed and complicated and it just made me love them all the more for it.

“No, you’re no fucking white knight, but you’re what I want.”

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Better When He’s Bold Excerpt and Giveaway

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Better When He’s Bold Giveaway and Excerpt!!!

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About BETTER WHEN HE’S BOLD:

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jay Crownover, comes the second book in a combustible new series, Welcome to the Point, that is sexier, darker, and better than ever.

There’s a difference between a bad boy and a boy who is bad. . . . Welcome to the Point.

In a dark and broken kingdom, a ruler has be fearless to control the streets and the ruthless people who run them. Race Hartman is just bold enough, just smart enough, and just lost enough to wear the crown. Places like The Point will always have bad things and bad people, but the man in control of all that badness can minimize the devastation. Race has a plan, but can he prevent total annihilation without destroying himself?

Brysen Carter has always seen the real Race—a guy too pretty, too smooth, and way too dangerous. Basking in his golden glow is very tempting, but Brysen knows she’ll eventually get burned. She has enough problems without the risky danger and mayhem that comes with a guy like Race. Too bad Brysen faces a threat close to home that might be more dangerous than anything The Point has ever produced.. And the only person interested in keeping her safe is the one man she can’t allow herself to have.

Sometimes being bold is the only way to stay alive. But can she let Race save her life . . . if it means losing herself to him?

mess her up

Excerpt:

I wheeled the Mustang into the compound and watched to make sure the gates swung closed behind us. The security lights flickered on overhead, casting her in an ethereal, bluish glow. Everything about her was refined and pure looking. God, I wanted to mess her up. I wanted my hands in her hair, my marks on her skin, and my taste in her mouth. I wanted her to look as rough as she made me feel on the inside. No one had ever riled me up like that before. Maybe because I was so used to just getting without having to ask, and Brysen never offered that to me. I always had to ask her what the next move was going to be, and her answers often surprised me. She was not a sure bet, and I think the challenge of that made her even more desirable.

“The lengths we go to in order to keep our family safe, to do right by those we love, is often a weighty burden to bear.” I got out of the car and went around to let her out of the passenger side. When I pulled her up, I pressed her back into the side of the car with the full length of my body and bent down so that my mouth hovered enticingly over the plump ridge of hers.

“I would do anything for Dovie, anything. I have done things for her that made me hate the man I had to be in order to do them, but it was in her best interest. I admire you being able to put your own life down and pick up a different one out of loyalty to your sister, but somewhere in there, you need to remember she’s going to have to learn to take care of herself. She’ll eventually have to admit that your parents are fucked and move on with her own life. Dovie found the one person in the world to love who has the ability to insulate her from anything the Point wants to throw at her. Your sister will eventually have to find her stability as well. She won’t need you forever.”

I saw something flare deep in those cerulean eyes, a spark of pain, maybe of realization that I was right, but then it was gone and she was pressing up on her tiptoes and sealing her mouth over mine. I let my hands glide down her sides and fall under her backside. She had the nicest butt on any girl I had ever seen, the nicest body really. There was no end to all her curves and dips, and anywhere my hands decided to land, they were filled with firm and sexy flesh. The brief glimpse I had had of her out of her towel the last time we were this close together had been enough to burn out the image of any other female I might’ve seen naked in the last few years. All I could see was Brysen and her pretty, pale skin, her high breasts with perfectly pink nipples, and her most private of places that were just at elegant and alluring as the rest of her. She was a blond bombshell and I could feel my body urging me to stop playing around and finally seal the deal with her.

About Jay Crownover:

jc

Jay Crownover is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men and The Point series. Like her characters, she is a big fan of tattoos. She loves music and wishes she could be a rock star, but since she has no aptitude for singing or instrument playing, she’ll settle for writing stories with interesting characters that make the reader feel something. She lives in Colorado with her three dogs.

Links:

Website ** Blog ** Facebook ** Twitter

BETTER WHEN HE’S BOLDGoodreads ** Jay Crownover Goodreads

better

Wife Number Seven

Wife Number Seven by Melissa Brown

4.5 stars!

“I deserve a man who will love me, protect me, and cherish me. A man who would climb through my window to give me a way to communicate with him. A man who will put me first.”

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This book was absolutely captivating. I’ve read other books by Melisa Brown, and they were good, sweet romances. Nothing wrong with them, but Wife Number Seven is on a completely different level.

Brinley is the seventh wife of Elder Lehi, a respectable man within her community. Brinley is a part of an extreme group of the Church of LDS who believe that everyone who lives outside of their community is doomed for the fires of hell. Brinley believes in this as well, but harbors secrets about herself that would destroy her family. One day when Brinley is out shopping for the household, she is robbed by a former member of her community. A man not much older than her named Porter. And he didn’t just steal her money, he stole her secrets and she must get them back….

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I don’t know terribly much about the Mormon faith, but I know enough that this depiction is an example of an extreme interpretation of the religion and is (hopefully) not a typical community. Brinley feels out of place among her sister wives but is too naive and afraid to venture out on her own, despite offers of help if she chooses to do so.

The relationship between Brinley and Porter was a little bit too much instalove for my taste, but it’s understandable from a plot efficiency stand point for the characters to grow the way they did. I was surprised that Brinley was fine with pursuing a relationship with Porter, not because she was married, but because he was a drug addict. When you come from an unstable home, most people seek stability, and even Brinley knew she could not always rely on Porter even though they both loved each other. Despite these issues, the love the two characters had was beautiful and I was rooting for them to make it work the entire time I was reading the book.

I loved the subplots among the sister wives and other women in the community, seeing how they all viewed their situation differently and their motivations behind their actions. Aspen was the biggest surprise and my heart swelled with emotion for her towards the end of the book. The eighth wife Rebecca is the most sad example of how harsh this life can be on a person, and how the Elders screwed her up mentally into making bad decisions.

This is one of those books where I almost read it all in one sitting. I had to put it down once, for work of course, and when I got home I fired up my Kindle and finished off the rest of this book. I’d seen this book floating around Goodreads with some of my most trusted book friends and reviewers, and I just have to note the power of this website and its ability to introduce us to new books we never would have heard of before without it. This is the reason we all use this website, to discover new books and further our love of reading.

Anyways, I loved this book, and if any of you see this review and decide to give this book a chance, I hope you love it too.

Better When He’s Bold

Excerpt and giveaway to be posted on February 7th!


Better When He’s Bold (Welcome to the Point #2) by Jay Crownover
4 stars!

“I need you to keep me from turning into something I hate, but I can’t ask you to give yourself to the streets, to this life, if it’s not what you want.”

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Better When He’s Bold is the second book in the Welcome to the Point series. While it is technically a standalone, there is a lot of crossover from the first book so I highly recommend reading that one first.

Brysen is your typical college girl. She goes to school, works, and studies hard. Except for the fact that her home life is falling apart. Her mom is a depressed drunk, her dad appears to be oblivious and Brysen has a sixteen year old sister to take care of. And, it appears Brysen has a stalker.

Race is the King of the Point and former rich boy from the Hill. Collecting bets and loaning money, he’s exactly the kind of guy you stay away from. But Race has had an eye on Brysen for some time, and he can see through her ice queen facade.

After a series of circumstances bring the two together, their chemistry is off the charts and the two decide to make a go of things. But can they fit into each others different worlds?

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The whole premise to the series is the main guys being bad. And yes while they are men who do bad things for a living, I as a reader don’t consider them bad guys. Case in point, they don’t treat the women they love like shit. For the boys from the point, if they love a girl, family or not they’ll do anything not to hurt them. I’ve read so many books where the main guy isn’t “bad” yet I found awful because he treated the main girl horribly. And that’s the relief of reading an author like Jay, is that I can trust her not to disappoint me by giving the reader an nonredeemable asshole that all the girls sigh over.

“I’m glad you’re not absolutely physically perfect, Race. Trying to handle all the obvious perfection is distracting and hard as it is. Knowing there are parts of you that aren’t flawless makes you so much more human.”

I loved the development of Race in this book. In the first book he was mostly in the background, talked about but not seen. In this book we get his perspective of events that went down and justifiable reasons for his previous actions. Race may do bad things, but he doesn’t murder people and he treats his sister and Brysen well. Plus, he’s a hot blonde, what more can a reader want?

Brysen was an interesting character because of how strong she was. She held everything together for her family and worked hard to do it. The stalker plot surrounding her was engaging for me because she wasn’t being stalked based on how pretty she was or a dark obsession, it was literally someone wanting to fuck with her life. And that was some scary shit happening to her.

“Life is a mess. I have someone trying to kill me and you’re right in the thick of a war on the city. What better conditions could you think of to fall in love?”

My only nit-picky thing about this book was Karsen, the sixteen year old sister. She was way too damn perceptive for someone her age, and any time she opened her mouth I honestly couldn’t see her existing in real life. Hopefully she grows up in the series soon because then I would believe the things that came out of her mouth.

I’m crossing my fingers that Booker and Stark get their own books! Hot scarred bodyguard and tattooed computer geek? I can’t decide which one I want more!

ARC kindly provided in exchange for an honest review