180 Seconds

180 Seconds by Jessica Park

4 cried my eyes out stars

“It’s going to hurt until it doesn’t anymore.”

180 seconds is about a college junior Allison. After sixteen years of being tossed around the foster care system, unwanted, she was adopted by her father. Now years later in college, she still lacks social skills and would prefer to spend her time studying or in her room. While talking a walk one day, she gets roped into a social experiment where two people stare into each others eyes for 180 seconds, no breaks. The person she does this with is another college junior named Esben, and the experience has a profound effect on the both of them.

“We are engaged in a form of intimacy that scares the absolute hell out of me. It’s as if there is a weight on my chest that I want to shove off, and I’ve never been this terrified before.
Or this whole and hopeful and connected.
My body starts to tremble. I want more of what I’m feeling, and I also want none of it.”

I went into blind and it was wonderful! It was on the sweeter side and more emotional than I usually like my books, but I still really enjoyed it all the same. I love heroines that aren’t the norm, and Allison wormed her way into my heart very early on in the book. This is a story not just about love, but friendship, family and kindness to others. But what I loved most actually was this was a new adult college read: I really missed reading that kind of book, it feels like no one is writing them anymore.

Anyways, if you are up for an intensely emotional novel, this book is the one for you! I really liked it and look forward to more that Park has to offer readers in the future.

“You can’t reach what’s in front of you until you let go of what’s behind you.”


How to Date A Douchebag: The Failing Hours

How to Date a Douchebag: The Failing Hours by Sarah Ney

5 stars!

“Not everyone has a broken wing that needs mending, Violet. Maybe this guy isn’t worthy of your special brand of caring.”

Zeke Daniels isn’t just a douchebag; he’s an a**hole.

^^^From the blurb itself, this man was a D. I. C. K. But oh, how when you peel back the layers you see what he truly was.

While I read and enjoyed the first book in this series, The Studying Hours, I went into this book with literally no expectations. And it completely blew me away. I mean, immediately after reading I went online and ordered a paperback, that’s how much I loved it!

The Failing Hours is about Zeke and Violet. Zeke is the grump jerk on the wrestling team who needs to be tutored. His bad attitude has gotten him into hot water with his coach, and coach begins making Zeke jump through hoops to remain on the team. Violet is the timid tutor who spends her time in the library. When she first meets Zeke she’s so unbelievably intimidated by him and the dark cloud surrounding him, she doesn’t want to be his tutor. But the more time they spend together, they both see there is more behind what they look like on the outside.

“He swears too much.
He isn’t nice.
He isn’t sweet.
He isn’t kind.
Or generous with words. Or affection.
But he’s reliable. Dependable. And he was there for me.”

This was a book I picked up as a side piece. Yup that’s really as bad as it sounds. It’s the book i chose to read in situations where it was inappropriate to read paperbacks or kindles in front of others. I was sneak reading it on my phone/ipad. The first 20% was actually pretty slow for me, and Zeke was SUCH AN ASSHOLE I didn’t know if I would like it. I mean, he was a special brand of mean. BUT once I got about halfway this lovely book was no longer a side piece but my top choice and I devoured the last half of it.

Asshole heroes are always hard for me to like, because they never seem to be regretful or tend to walk all over the heroine. But that’s not the case here. Zeke was damaged from a childhood of neglect, and my heart friggin BLED for him the entire book. I legit just wanted to give him a giant hug the entire book. And Violet, though she may be quiet and stutter, she is no one’s doormat. I admired her resilience and strength with all she faced in her life, and the fact that she was firm in the fact that whomever she ended up with respected her.

An emotional read, I found myself sighing, laughing, and tearing up when reading this book. Sarah Ney placed herself among my auto-buy authors with this book. Woman stepped up her game with this book and I find myself in awe of her talent. I am so excited for the next book!!!

“But you’re not jaded—not like me. I’m a beautiful mess. You’re just beautiful.”

The Goal

The Goal by Elle Kennedy

4 stars!

“He’s sweet and earnest and clearly has money, whereas I’m bitchy and stressed and live in the gutter.”

So if you haven’t read The Score, my review will have minor spoilers. The Goal is the story of Tucker and Sabrina. We’ve met both in the previous book, Sabrina was portrayed as a raving bitch and Tucker has always been the strong and silent type. The two have an unexpected night of passion, and Tucker is itching for more.

But Sabrina has home issues and life goals that don’t make room for a normal relationship, and she has no interested in dragging Tucker down into the gutter with her. So when an a surprise hits the two of them. Tucker wants to step up but cannot break through all of Sabrina’s walls.

“I’m not the girl for John Tucker and I never will be.”

I really enjoyed this newest book from Elle Kennedy. I think a lot of people won’t like the heroine, but she really didn’t bug me at all. I empathized with her situation and I understood her insecurities based on the horrible way she was raised and the unconditional love missing from her upbringing. Tucker was fantastic, as well all knew he would be. Many a reader will fall for him and make him their next book boyfriend. He was perfect!

The pacing was something that could have been better, the beginning was very slow and then picked up near the middle. If you read The Score this book follows some of the timeline of events in that book and it felt a little bit like a rehash at some points. But I also loved getting to know what was happening with Sabrina and Tucker when none of the characters had noticed it was happening.

The sex scenes between Tucker and Sabrina were hot! I did not expect that from him, his confidence and appeal. I guess it’s true that nice guys are great in the sack! Because Tucker blew me away!! And for the situation that Sabrina ended up in, she picked exactly the right guy because he was there for her and he knew when to back off. Do I wish he was mine? Hell yes! Am I aware he’s fictional? Unfortunately I do have that small level of sanity intact.

Elle Kennedy delivers a great romantic story that readers will love! I cannot wait to see what else she brings to the table in the future.

“You’re not alone. And you’re not dragging anyone down. I’m here with you, Sabrina. Every step of the way.”

ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review


#Nerd by Cambria Hebert

4 stars!

“No one wanted to deal with damaged. It made them uncomfortable.”

#Nerd is the comedic story of Rimmel and Romeo. When Rimmel is told she is supposed to tutor the star football player and campus star Romeo, she’s not exactly thrilled. Rimmel blends into the background as much as she can, hiding behind her long hair and her baggy clothing. When Romeo meets Rimmel, he’s not impressed and doesn’t take her seriously. On top of that, Romeo is rushing a frat, one that is ruthless. And they now want him to sleep with Rimmel as a part of his initiation.

“You asked me why I’m here,” he murmured, leaning in so he was so close his lips brushed mine as he spoke. “This is why I’m here, Rimmel. Can’t you feel it too?”

I really enjoyed this book. It may be predictable, sweet and a little bit cliché, but it all WORKED. Rimmel is a character I fell in love with, her insecurities, her feelings of loneliness, and then watching her bloom into a beautiful young lady. Rimmel’s transformation was my favorite part of the book. Romeo ended up being a great hero, he didn’t get off to a great start with me, but by the end of the book I was rooting for him.

If you are looking for a great break from reality, this is the book for you. I cannot wait to read the rest of the books in this series, as this one was so much fun.

“When did everything get so damn complicated?”
“When your life became about more than just football.”
“You sound like Yoda.”
“It’s the beer.”

A Perfect Ten

A Perfect Ten by Linda Kage

3.75 stars!

“I was supposed to go with you, wherever you went. We’re a team. You told me once that I had to have a place. Well, I finally figured out where it is. It’s with you.”

A Perfect Ten is the fifth book in the Forbidden Men series. Oren “Ten” Tenning is the college manwhore that no one takes seriously. Caroline is the little sister of Ten’s best friend Noel (the hero of book 2 in the series). There’s always been an attraction between the two of them, but Ten puts up barriers because he doesn’t want to destroy his relationship with his best friend. One day Caroline hatches a totally crazy scheme involving Ten, and he doesn’t even know it.

“What the fuck have you done to me Caroline? … Why couldn’t I stay away from you? … Why can’t I get enough of you? … What do I want to own every fucking piece of you?”

To be completely honest, this was potentially gonna be another wildcard book for me. I almost didn’t finish this book. I know I know, I hide from the tomatoes being thrown my way, but the first 50% I really wasn’t connecting. LUCKILY I pushed and kept reading and ended up thoroughly enjoying by the end. Ten won me over and pushed his way into my heart.

Like I said before this book was really slow at the beginning, like really slow. But once Caroline and Ten stopped messing around and started dealing with the realities of their relationship I really started to enjoy this book. I love angsty stories, be it caused by romance or otherwise and the tension and issues they faced as a couple, I ate it up like the freaky angst whore I am. I’m glad I dipped my feet back into this series because I loved the first two books and cannot wait to continue reading the rest.

“How can I help you through this? What can I do to ease your pain, because I swear to God, I’ll do anything.”
Absolutely anything.
She set her hand on her heart and looked up at me, her eyes filled with so much emotion, I swear, some of it overflowed, spilling into me. “Just love me,” she whispered.
“I do,” I promised.”

Sincerely Carter

Sincerely Carter by Whitney G

4 stars!

“Some people come into your life for a reason, some a season, and some a lifetime.”

Carter and Arizona have been best friends since the fourth grade, and have remained besties all through college. Despite many people making suggestions that they are more, the two deny any romantic feelings for the other. And then one day, something changes. The two wake up and realize they find each other attractive and they embark on a secretive sexual affair. As time goes by they both recognize that the attraction goes deeper, it could be love. But can both of them admit it?

“I recently had sex with someone who might’ve ruined me for all others.”

Friends to lovers trope really isn’t my thing, mostly because I am a firm believer that men and women CAN be friends without romance involved. BUT I do realize this is just a trope, and it’s fiction so I let my reservations on the subject go and enjoyed the ride. This is a book that many of my friends loved and has been sitting on my kindle forever, so I am glad that I took a chance and read it (much later than most) and really liked this gem of a story.

The actual romance took a little bit longer to start than I expected but once it did, it was hot! Whitney G didn’t write no vanilla romance, and it was that little bit extra in those scenes that really sets this book apart from other friends to lovers romances. Reading this makes me want to read lots more by Whitney G in the future! Friendship, love, sex and angst all made for a book you don’t want to miss out on.

PS: I loved that all of the chapter titles were Taylor Swift songs, was a nice little touch.

“You belong to me, Ari, and you always will…
You’re more than ‘just’ my best friend, and I never want to be ‘just friends’ again.”

All Lined Up

All Lined Up by Cora Carmack

2.75-3 stars

“God, do they make WD-40 for flirting? Because I am rusty.”

All Lined Up is the story of Dallas, a dance major and Carson, a football player. Both meet at a college party, Dallas not knowing Carson is on the team, and Carson not knowing that Dallas is the daughter of his new football coach. They begin to spend time together, forming a friendship but holding romantic feelings for each other at the same time.

“I don’t know that dancing fixes anything. I don’t feel magically happy because of it. My problems don’t disappear when the music ends. But I understand life better when I dance, and understanding is half the fight of surviving.”

Rusk University is a series I’ve been meaning to read, and now that three books are out I decided to dive in. Plus my local library has it, and who can deny a free book? This was more like a YA story than an NA one. Yes it was a little bit more racy than a YA book, but barely. I found I couldn’t really relate to either of the characters in this book and maybe that’s why I didn’t love it. Regardless the story in this fell flat for me. I kind of liked it, but I wasn’t invested in it, or in what would happen to the characters.

Cora’s other series I rated in this order:
Losing It: 3 stars
Faking It: 4 stars
Finding It: 5 stars

So based on the above written I am totally willing to keep reading this series, as this author has proven I can like, really like, and love her work.

“I’ve spent too much time pretending, too much time on the outside, too much time feeling spineless. This time… I’m going after what I want.”

The Fifteenth Minute

The Fifteenth Minute (Ivy Years #5) by Sarina Bowen

5 stars!

“The only time I feel like myself is when I am with you.”

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First off, a HUGE thank you to Wendy who helped get me this arc. You ended my suffering!! Muah!

The fifth book in the Ivy Years series, this book can techincally be read as a standalone, but so many of the characters from the first four books appear that I highly recommend reading them in order. Plus they’re awesome so you should read them anyway.

The Fifteenth Minute is the story of Lianne and DJ. We met Lianne in the previous book, she is the Hollywood star roommate to Bella who spends most of her college life in class or shut in her dorm room playing video games. DJ is the well, DJ for the hockey team and brother of one of the players. The two have always had a mutual attraction between them, but Lianne is nowhere near brave enough to act on it.

After being together for many hockey team events, DJ finally asks out Lianne. But DJ has mistakes from his past coming back to haunt his future, and his days at Harkness are limited. Lianne is dealing with the agent from hell promoting her to due nude scenes and more uncomfortable things, but not supporting her endeavors to break out into new roles. Can these two break past their issues and come together?

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I am so beyond thrilled that Lianne got her own book! The previous book she was so closed off from everyone around her, I’m glad she was able to make new friends and experience new things. DJ was the perfect guy for her, he was sweet without being cheesy, and he genuinely like Lianne for her as a person and not who she was on screen.

I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but I will say my heart went out to DJ in this book for the struggle he went through. It wasn’t an easy or fair situation that he was in but he handled it to the best of his abilities.

Lianne and DJ together were magic, low angst, no bullshit (at least in my opinion) and a huge helping of romance cheese free (my favorite!!). They supported each other the way couples should, they accepted the other for who they were and kept the drama to the minimum… what more could you want from an NA college romance?

Anyways, I adore Sarina Bowen and will read anything she writes. The Ivy Years series is one of the most addictive I’ve read in a long time and I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone!

ARC kindly provided by author in exchange for an honest review


Heat (Elements of Chemistry #2) by Penny Reid

5 Barnacle stars!

“We can’t change the past. But we can change how much importance we allow it to have over our future.”

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OMFG THE SHIT IS BANANAS- B-A-N-A-N-A-S!!!! Loved it!!!!!!

Okay over here just freaking out a little. By my reaction and rating I bet you can tell I loved this book (and I did). WHY DID I WAIT SO LONG TO READ THIS SERIES?????

Okay okay I’ll calm down a bit, I promise. For now.

Heat picks up where Attraction left off with Martin and Kaitlyn resolving a misunderstanding and then going about their business while on the island on spring break. As the two of them get to know each other in what Kaitlyn calls relationship boot camp, things are beginning to heat up between the two of them. Both have barriers built, but the other does their best to knock them down. And pretty soon feelings of attraction develop into something deeper.

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First off, I love stories where the guy pursues the reluctant girl. Most romances involve a girl somewhat taming the playboy and for once it’s nice to see the guy doing the work. Plus, being a nerdy girl myself, it struck close to my heart that Martin went after the nerdy girl with barriers and he went after her hard.

“I like you because you are Kaitlyn—genuine, beautiful, brilliant, amazing Kaitlyn—not because you’re Kaitlyn Parker. And I’m in love with you because I can’t help myself.”

Now for my favorite part of the book. THE ANGST. I basically eat angst for all my meals (including second breakfast, first lunch and predinner).
This is what I look like eating angst:

For realz yo.

While this book still had its comedic moments, the tone turned a bit more serious as it went on because it delved into the issues surrounding Kaitlyn and Martin’s lives. Martin has a real dick of a father, like the type of people who should be forever stuck in torture lands where they hear fingernails on the chalkboard sounds 24/7.

Kaitlyn struggles with believing that Martin really wants her for her and that this relationship could be real. The two seem to be on different wavelengths at times with Martin at full speed ahead and Kaitlyn dropping her anchor to slow down. I have to agree with her on many of the issues Martin was moving too fast, but his heart was in the right place.

“I’m not trying to hurt you. I just want us to be—”
“Smart,” he finished for me, his resentful gaze softening as it moved over my face. ” I know. You always want to be smart and do the right thing. But the problem is, Parker… I just want you.”

Having only read 2 Penny Reid books before this series, and enjoying but not loving them, I can say for sure with this series I am a convert. Thanks again to Dee, Jasmine and Sharon for the series recommendation! You ladies rock!

And thanks to Jas from The Reading Escapade Book Blog for fielding all my texts LMAO!
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Attraction (Elements of Chemistry #1) by Penny Reid

4.5 synonym stars!

“Is a chameleon a coward because it can change its color? No. It’s evolved and awesome.”

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Okay at first I was kicking myself for not having read this sooner, but after the cliffhanger that was the ending boy am I glad that I waited until this series was finished! I can jump right into the next book! And also, a small shout out to Dee, Jasmine and Sharon, all three of whom recommended me this series at one point. I really was listening! I mean 3 recs people, that’s pretty promising. I will give each of you credit for every book (Dee first because she rec’d it first).

THIS WAS THE PERFECT BOOK TO SUIT MY MOOD! Like seriously. After DNFing my last book I needed something that could hold my attention and this book was it! I honestly was giggling and laughing out loud while reading this.

“You’ll have to read the book, and don’t interrupt me. It’s distracting enough looking at you. You’ve already derailed my brain train with your face several times.”

Attraction drops us right at the beginning of the story of Parker and Martin. The two are lab partners and one day when hiding in the closet of the chem lab, Parker overhears two people plotting against her very hot lab partner Martin. In an attempt to warn him, she finds out that he’s been attracted to her the entire time they’ve worked together. A girl who likes to blend in Parker wears baggy clothes and does her best to fade in the background, but somehow rich guy playboy sees Parker for who she really is, and wants more.

Soon Martin has coerced her onto a Spring Break trip where Parker is swept up into a whirlwind of new emotions and experiences. But can she really let herself fall for the mysterious bad guy Martin?

“He was so handsome I felt like filing a civil lawsuit against his parents, claiming punitive damages, pain and suffering to my psyche.”

Penny Reid’s author voice is one of the best ones out there. She manages to write seemingly real characters and adds a layer of humor to it all. I loved Parker’s inner thoughts and her reactions to all of her new scenarios, it easily put a gigantic smile on my face.

I also liked the mysterious Martin and want to learn more about him and his motivations. He seems to genuinely like our heroine and goes after what he wants. For a shorter novel a lot of good stuff was crammed in and I cannot wait to read the next book! (When I should be writing my thesis *wah wah*)

“I will die happy here, today, in this spot,” she sighed. “In your puddle of lust.”
“Leave my puddle of lust alone. Get your own puddle.”

Purchase on Amazon

The Shameless Hour

The Shameless Hour (The Ivy Years #4) by Sarina Bowen

5 stars!

“It’s hard to admit you’re just in someone’s periphery when you imagined you were closer to the center of their world.”

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Sarina Bowen just keeps getting better and better! The Shameless Hour is the story of Bella and Rafe. Bella is the free loving college senior and manager of the hockey team. She loves sex and isn’t afraid to admit it. Rafe is a sophomore on the verge of losing his virginity to his girlfriend, until the break up on the same night of the sleep together plan. Bella and Rafe live in the same dorm, and when Bella finds a distraught Rafe, she gets drunk with him. One thing leads to another and the two spend an explosive evening together. But the next morning Rafe panics, and leaves Bella wondering what went wrong.

As the school year passes the two remain friends and grow closer. Until a horrible night wrecks Bella and rips away her confidence, and Rafe is the one to pick up the pieces.

“You’re not okay. And I’m the one who noticed.”

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Sarina Bowen has found a forever fan in me. I basically binge read this entire series so far and cannot wait for the 5th book about Lianne. Also, I have a gigantic soft spot for any romances where the woman is the one that’s more experienced and the guy isn’t. If I have to read one more goddamn NA romance where the virginal girl sleeps with the bad boy I am going to blow my brains out. It’s refreshing to read a new take on genre, and without feeding into stereotype of virginal college girls.

I loved Bella as a heroine. She lived her life and didn’t give a crap what others thought. And yet there was this beautiful vulnerable side to her that remained below the surface. Reading her ordeal brought tears to my eyes, and her strength was one of my favorite things about her.

Rafe, well I’m not normally one for the Latin guys, but I was sold on him! I loved that he was a GOOD guy, and not always super alpha, but it didn’t mean being nice made him weak. It made him a catch. He was thoughtful of others, cared for those he loved, and worked hard for what he wanted.

I’ve said before that it must be right place right time, because I loved this series. It may not be for everyone, but it worked for me. Kicking myself for not having read it sooner. By the way this is the fourth book in a series and CAN be read as a standalone novel.

Purchase on Amazon

The Understatement of the Year

The Understatement of the Year (The Ivy Years #3) by Sarina Bowen

4.5 stars!

“Getting along together was never the problem with you and me. We’re both easy. It’s just the rest of the world that’s hard.”

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This series keeps getting better and better! The Understatement of the Year is a male/male romance about hockey players Rikker and Graham. This story parallels the second story, following the same timeline but not connecting all too often. When Rikker and Graham were in middle school they were best friends. Entering into high school their feelings developed into something more. The two were headed down a romantic road until a horrible incident separated them, leaving one beaten and broken and the other paralyzed with fear.

“There weren’t any time-outs, though. Not in life, and not in hockey.”

Now about 5 years later Graham is on the hockey team for his school Harkness and a new player just came on board… Rikker. The two haven’t seen each other in years, and for Graham who is deeply in the closet, it’s a full system shock. Rikker was outed at his last deeply conservative college and transferred to Harkness when he was pulled from his other hockey team. Rikker just wants to play hockey and move on with his life, out in the open.

As the year goes on Graham and Rikker confront each other and their buried feelings. Rikker has finally become comfortable with himself, but Graham is spiralling down a dark path and it might be up to Rikker to save him.

“We’d been so close all those years ago. My subconscious just couldn’t get over the idea that we weren’t anymore.”

I think I read this series at exactly the right time. I haven’t read a new adult series that I wanted to devour all at once, and here I am binge reading this one. M/M is one of my favorite genres and this book blended NA with MM perfectly. For those of you hardcore MM fans out there, this one may be a little too sweet, but I loved it. It had the perfect amount of angst for me (buckets full) and Graham’s struggle with who he was is what made this book so special. Yes some gay men struggle with who they are, but Graham was given the worst dose of reality of what could happen at a very young age and it scarred him and fucked him up for a while.

“It turns out that trying to ignore somebody is about the most, exhausting thing in the world.”

One of the more interesting side characters was Skippy and I loved his sass. Especially the scene with him and Rikker’s mom. That one had me literally laughing out loud in public.

I was absorbed in this book from the very first page, I loved seeing the romance play out and how the complications and issues were dealt with. You would think that now, in our time people would be more open minded, but that’s not the case and it makes me sad. Love is love. It’s beautiful. And it’s that simple to me.

So if I haven’t convinced you yet, please go out and read this series.

The Year We Hid Away

The Year We Hid Away (The Ivy Years #2) by Sarina Bowen

4 stars!

“My trick is understanding that there aren’t any tricks. You just have to wade through each moment as it comes.”

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The Year We Hid Away is the second book in the Ivy Years series and it focuses on Scarlet and former college hockey player Bridger. Scarlet is a freshman and is escaping a horrid home and Bridger is a joint student pursuing his undergraduate and masters degrees at the same time. They meet in class, begin to hand out and become friends.

Scarlet is hiding who she is from everyone. After a high profile case on her father is made extremely public, she spent the last year being shunned by her friends and her community and is excited to start a new life in a new city with a new name. Bridgeris trying to maintain a low profile while secretly raising his younger sister because their mother is addicted to drugs. Both Bridger and Scarlet have miles of issues, but the two find comfort and love in each other.

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So I’m at the point where I am a bit shell-shocked that this series isn’t wildly successful. I can see now why Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy teamed up to write a book together because their writing style and story format is very similar.

The best part of this book for me was it was very much the characters’ own book. Yes characters from the previous book were there, but their presence didn’t overwhelm the story, it enhanced it. Both characters underwent so many trials and tribulations but they stuck together for the most part and relied on each other for support and comfort, what the majority of couples should do when times get hard. Lots of sweet heartfelt moments between Scarlet and Bridger, along with Bridger’s younger sister Lucy.

“Thank you, Scarlet”.
“For what? For being your Tuesday and Thursday girl?”
“For all seven days. Because I think of you on all of them.”

I also felt the depiction of college life was fairly accurate in this book. No weird drama where everyone knew everything about each other, no wild parties every night. Basically a lot of stereotypes were missing or not overdone and it read like a true college experience (or at least like mine).

The reason this is not a 5? Well, I’ve been noticing a trend in Bowen’s books where not everything is resolved, and while I know that’s life, it’d be nice to know the complete HEA of all of the characters. So far these first two books felt like they were cut off before the story is over. But we’ll see with the other books how it plays out.

I recommend for all of you Elle Kennedy fans out there! Low drama and low angst for those of you who hate those kinds of things.

Last Will and Testament

Last Will and Testament by Dahlia Adler

4 stars!

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I’m actually kind of bewildered that this book isn’t more popular. It’s a new adult gem!

Last Will and Testament is about college student Lizzie who just found out that her parents both died in a tragic accident leaving her as the guardian over her two little brothers. Lizzie moves her brothers up to college with her, but finds she is falling behind in her classes and asks her history TA to help tutor her. Thus, romance! Just kidding, but the two fall into a friendship and very soon feelings spark up.

I really liked the banter between Lizzie and Connor. He was the perfect “nerdy” good guy that Lizzie needed and Lizzie seemed to be Connor’s dream girl and self confidence booster. There was a little bit of whiplash on his end from not being able to make up his mind about dating Lizzie, but when he made up his mind, he stuck to his guns.

The best part of this book was watching Lizzie get her shit together, stepping up and becoming an adult for her younger brothers, despite being only eighteen. Not many people would have done this and Lizzie gets mad respect for stepping up to the plate and committing to taking care of her brothers.

My problems with this book include Lizzie’s lack of grief. I mean, maybe we didn’t really see her process it enough, but at times I felt it was glossed over. There were also a few moments like this (I exaggerate in the pic) but it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the book:

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Plus, the two brothers weren’t developed very well at all. There’s so much more to that part of the story that wasn’t included. And the ending wrapped up a bit too fast and nice to be realistic but oh well, it is fiction after all.

Overall a very fun new adult book that many will enjoy.

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:

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.”