Styled (Piper Lawson)

I have a type. Tall. Blond. Sarcastic. Awkward as hell.

That’s right, my type is me. Because I’m better off spending my time alone than with a guy.

Which doesn’t matter since this month, I’m on an open-ended ticket to LA to find a new boutique for TRAVESTY. Not to find a rebound for the breakup that blew my mind. I’m ready to forget all about dicks.

Too bad Ethan Cameron sinks that dream before I get on the plane.

The SoCal realtor might be my business partner’s older brother, but he’s the wrong guy to help us out. Ethan’s arrogant and self-centred, with a dentist’s wet dream smile and pecs that might have their own hashtag. More girls pass through the backseat of his car than through the doors of our SoHo boutique.

He’s also wrong for me. And the more he thinks he knows me, the more I need to prove he doesn’t.

But I can’t ignore the fact that I need Ethan’s help finding a boutique to put TRAVESTY on the map. And no one knows LA style like Ethan.

I survived private school. Growing up with one parent. Dating a gay guy. I can survive one month with Ethan Cameron.

Right?


As usual, I read this book as a buddy read with Cátia @The Girl Who Read Too Much, so go to her blog in the next few days to read what she thought of this book.

I’ve read a few books by Piper Lawson in this last year, and I’ve enjoyed them all, and while I did like this one, I must confess that it wasn’t quite as good as all the others.

It took me a little while to completely immerse myself in this book, and I found the writing slightly confusing at the beginning, which was weird for me, because I had read the previous book of the series after all… Anyway, while it did get better, it didn’t completely blew me away.

But my main issues reside on the characters. I liked Jordan. It’s rare that we have a girl in romance who is viewed as cold, and isn’t even sure she has the ability to love. But while I really liked her personality and directness, I wish her doubts had been explored a tiny bit more. I actually thought the main conflict of this book would rely on it… silly me.

Ethan… well… I don’t know… it took me a LONG LONG time to warm up to him. He started of as a total douche, and by the end of the book I was still not completely sold?! I don’t know, I just felt like there was something missing there and he wasn’t completely fleshed out.

I did like the slow burn romance and the chemistry between Ethan and Jordan. I loved that this wasn’t insta-anything, and instead the attraction grew from getting to know each other.

There was one issue that created a small conflict that I didn’t see coming, and honestly kind of hated that it did. I didn’t feel like it contributed in any substantial way to the story, and instead brought forth some pretty nasty sides from certain characters. I wasn’t exactly fan of the main conflict either, and I could see it coming miles away.

Ultimatly this was a good romance read, with a well constructed slow burn romance. But I felt like the characters could use a little more dimension, and some conflicts could have been dealt with differently.

I would still recommend it, especially if you’re a fan of Piper Lawson’s writing.

Goodnight, Nic (Marley Jacobs)

2017 NEW ADULT READING CHALLENGE | BOOK set in the summer

Twenty-four-year-old Nicole Fletcher is having a rough summer. The woman who raised her is dying and there’s nothing she can do about it. Nothing but find solace in the forbidden fantasies starring her best friend’s younger brother. Nic knows there are some lines you can never cross – but when it comes to “little” Landon Pike, she kind of already has. She tries to stay away but when your world is falling apart, you can’t help but fall right along with it. Good thing Landon refuses to let her fall alone.


Guys, I have to tell you something… I’m sort of in love with the writing in this book. Also, it won me over with one of the most important things for me in contemporary books: DIALOGUE! The dialogue is smart, fun, fast and witty, and it put a huge smile on my face.

I think the blurb is pretty explicit in terms of the actual story: Nic is a lot lost. Her mother, aka, the woman who raised her, is dying of terminal cancer. And she and her other aunt are doing what they can to keep strong. In the meantime, Landon – her BFF’s little brother – is home for the summer, and is determined to break down Nic’s defenses and make her see how perfect they are for each other.

The relationships in this book were awesome! I was amazed by Nic’s relationship with her aunts, and how much they loved each other, the little ways they showed it. But I also loved Nic’s relationship with every single member of the Pike family. It was clear she belonged there, which made me understand her reluctance to give in to her feelings for Landon. Because she depended so much on those bonds, and what if she lost them?

Nic is a tough character, and it was refreshing to read a girl with such a brazen personality, and at first it was hard for me to really like her, but then I just had to. She was so scared and so uncertain of herself, while being her own person and strong and determined. I found it impossible not to like her.

Landon… I liked the guy, but I sort of wished I had more context in some situations, you know? I loved his determination, and how he was so sure of what he wanted. I also liked how well he knew Nic and not only was able to anticipate her thoughts, but was also always there for her.

I was a bit taken aback by the age difference, at first, but mostly because of the time of their lives they’re at. But that quickly faded, eheh. I really liked the romance, because I love when the romance stems from a strong friendship and a super strong bond, but I felt like there wasn’t enough dialogue between these two. There were some questions about Landon that I wish Nic had talked to him about, for instance the girlfriend that is mention at the time of their first kiss. Just saying, I wish that either that wasn’t an issue, or some talk had happened afterwards – even though this would be hard with how fast Nic ran away from those situations. I also kind of wished that Landon hadn’t said some pretty alpha-male things… though I understood why he did it, it’s just, I wasn’t a fan of the tone, you know?!

But more than the romantic relationships, it was the bonds that Nic had with her mom, aunt and Landon’s mom that truly made this book shine for me. These women were all so supportive of each other, and I fell in love with the way they bantered and interacted.

Overall I truly enjoyed this story and Nic’s journey, even in its painful moments.

I loved the writing and the relationships, and the characters had such depth to them. And I wouldn’t mind reading more about these characters… One thing is for sure, I’ll keep my eye out for Marley Jacobs, because I want to read more books by her.

If you like New Adult contemporary books, with very cool and strong women and an awesome romance, read this one. You won’t be sorry.

Goodbye Paradise (Sarina Bowen)

2017 NEW ADULT READING CHALLENGE | LGBTQ+ Novel

Most people called it a cult. But for twenty years, Josh and Caleb called it home.

In Paradise, there is no television. No fast food. Just long hours of farm work and prayer on a dusty Wyoming ranch, and nights in a crowded bunkhouse. The boys of the Compound are kept far from the sinners’ world.

But Joshua doesn’t need temptation to sin. His whole life, he’s wanted his best friend, Caleb. By day they work side by side. Only when Josh closes his eyes at night can they be together the way he craves.

It can never be. And his survival depends on keeping his terrible desires secret.

Caleb has always protected Josh against the worst of the bullying at the Compound. But he has secrets of his own, and a plan to get away — until it all backfires.

Josh finds himself homeless in a world that doesn’t want him. Can Caleb find him in time? And will they find a place of safety, where he can admit to Josh how he really feels?

Warning: Contains a hot male/male romance, copious instances of taking the Lord’s name in vain, and love against the kitchen counter. This book was previously released under the title: In Front of God & Everyone.

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As usual, I read this book as a buddy read with Cátia @The Girl Who Read Too, so go to her blog in the next few days to read her take on Goodbye Paradise.

Ever since I heard about this book, I’ve been super excited to read it. Why? It’s Sarina Bowen! Enough said! So far, I’ve read quite a few (almost all) of her books, and I loved them all, so yeah, I was ecstatic 😀 .

I really liked this book, and once again, I cried like a baby – which did not surprise Cátia, because like she so eloquently put it “everything makes you cry”… TRUE! But hey, this was painful.

I really liked the writing and the way this book is structured. Goodbye Paradise is told through both perspectives of Josh and Caleb, but it isn’t alternating. Instead we have blocks narrated by Josh and others from Caleb’s POV, which gives an interesting dynamic to the story, as in, we’re not sure at first what’s going on on Caleb’s head, and so on. They also have completely different voices, which I loved, and it went right along with their personalities.

I loved both boys, but mostly Josh. Josh had lived on the compound (a.k.a. CULT) all his life, with very little to no interaction with the real world. His head was messed up. He thought that his likes and his wants were sins. He was plagued between the feeling of happiness and guilt. And my heart broke for this guy. But he also has an amazing character development, and the first time he truly stands up for himself, I had tears in my eyes.

Caleb had a little different background, because even though he had grown up with Josh, he had outside world privileges, so he knew what he was missing, and he knew that there was a better life for them waiting on the outside. Caleb was also more confident and sure of himself.

I liked their relationship a lot. These guys had been in love for all their lives without truly acknowledging that, so it was so good to see how their relationship evolved after they left.

One thing I wasn’t truly expecting but truly liked was the pacing and the time span of the book. The book emcompasses over one year of their lives, and shows how they adapt to the world. Nothing is hurried and everything takes a long time to be achieved, whether a job or the ability to be honest about their feelings to other people. This is also mostly a character driven story, and I loved the growth that both boys did during the book, and the bonds of family, friendship and love they created. I really loved how they achieved a good step on their relationship, and they became more equals. I loved that.

Also, Josh and the kids? ADORABLE!!!

It’s tough for me not to compare this book to Him and Us, because Jamie and Wes have my heart, but I really enjoyed Cable and Josh’s story, though the Him series will forever be my favorite.

One thing to keep in mind is that even though Caleb and Josh left a religious cult, the religious aspects of this book are very minimal. And on the other hand, they sure get to explore all that sexual tension that built up for years and years…

If you’re a fan of Sarina Bowen, and love a good romance, give this one a chance.

Sugar, We’re Going Down (M.H. Soars)

2017 NEW ADULT READING CHALLENGE | BOOK You Knew Nothing About

They say nothing compares to the first kiss. That sentence needs to be amended. Nothing compares to the first kiss from Oliver Best. I knew in the moment our lips touched that the cocky rockstar would be forever imprinted in my mind. I also knew that loving him would be my destruction. And yet, love him I did.

Oliver Best, former rockstar, heir to one of the largest fortunes in Great Britain, and the country’s most infamous bad boy.

Saylor Blue Carter, college drop-out, lead singer of a struggling band, not a penny to her name.

When they met, it was hate at first sight. Oliver was an arrogant ass. Saylor was a cold hearted bitch. These were the thoughts they had for each other. Until that kiss. That life altering, earth shattering, nuclear kiss. They knew what that kiss meant. They knew anything between them would be explosive and without hope for a happily ever after. So they vowed to forget, they tried to stay away. But now with their best friends’ wedding approaching, all bets are off.

*Warning: This book ends on a cliffhanger. The sequel will be published on June 6, 2017


I read this book as a buddy read with Cátia @The Girl Who Read Too. Go to here to read her review of this book.

So guys… see that warning at the end of the blurb? Yeah… it wasn’t a part of Netgalley blurb, which means that I thought this book could be read as a standalone, only to understand almost at the end that NOPE. In fact, Oliver and Saylor’s story will be told in THREE PARTS! Yeah… 3! I have to admit that it didn’t make me love the book more.

While I haven’t read the first book in this series, I did read the novella, Catch You, and I had quite enjoyed the writing, so I was super disappointed that the writing on this novel just didn’t work for me. At all! I felt it was to curt and direct, and it somehow didn’t go that well with the story itself. I just really couldn’t connect with it.

Then there’s the characters. I have to say that I was intrigued by Oliver and Saylor. Clearly they both had some pretty messed up pasts and presents, and there’s more to both of them than meets the eye at first, but while I think the book did a good job letting us get to know Saylor, it just didn’t work on the same level with Oliver. I was intrigued by him, but after the whole book I couldn’t tell you WHO he was.

The plot though, kept me hooked, and more than anything that’s what’s making me want to read the sequels. Because these two characters have chemistry, even if I think that they aren’t completely “whole” yet, and the plot is very interesting and I kind of need to know what will happen next.

So, would I recommend it? Yeah, maybe, but it’s tough to tell without actually knowing the whole story. I don’t mind several books about a single couple, but what I don’t like is feeling like something is being kept from me the whole freaking book. I seriously can’t deal well with that.

With that said, read it if you’re interested. Or if you like me and don’t like the “incomplete” feeling that this book left me with, maybe just wait for the sequels to come out? That’s what I would have done, had I known…

Blog Tour: The Cad and the Co-Ed (L.H. Cosway & Penny Reid)

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The Cad and The Co-Ed, a quirky and sexy romantic comedy from Penny Reid & L.H. Cosway is available now!!


Review:

thecadandthecoed

Keeping a secret this big is going to take lots of balls. Specifically, rugby balls.

THE CAD
Bryan Leech is a cad.
Or, he *was* a cad.
No one is quite certain.

Once the quintessential playboy, Bryan claims he’s done with wild parties and weekend benders. No more one night stands leading to mornings he can’t remember; no more binges and blackouts; no more exploits plastered all over the tabloids and rag sheets. According to Bryan, he’s cleaning up his act.

The only problem is, no one believes him.

THE CO-ED
Eilish Cassidy never thought she’d be a mother at nineteen or still in college at twenty-four. Cut off from every member of her family except her favorite cousin, she’s finally managed put her life back together. Stronger and wiser, Eilish enters her last semester of university determined to stand on her own. Now she just needs to find an internship.

The only problem is, her best option — by far — places her directly in the path of her son’s father, and he doesn’t remember her at all.

THE PLAN
Bryan is determined to prove he’s changed. Eager to settle down with the right woman, he’s got his sights set on the gorgeous redhead who seems terribly familiar.

Eilish is determined to hide her secret. She’ll do anything to keep her child safe, even if that means ignoring her own wishes and desires.

But what happens when Bryan starts to remember? And what will it take for Bryan to convince the girl he forgot that she’s unforgettable?

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(Free In Kindle Unlimited)

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I will admit that when I requested this book I failed to read the blurb. So, I knew nothing about it when I got it except that it was about rugby and people seemed to love this series. This means that I failed to understand that this book contained one of my biggest pet peeves in romances ever… a hidden pregnancy.

But you see that rating right? 4.5 stars! Which means that even though the book included one of my most hated scenarios ever, it was very well handled and in the end, it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the story.

While I had read a book by Penny Reid, this collaboration was totally new to me, and I have to say that it really worked for me. The book is told in the first person, dual POV, and both voices are super distinct and funny, and both show the personalities and their differences perfectly. Reading this one made me want to pick both previous books ASAP.

The story starts 5 years prior to the main timeline, and it starts right off with a morning after, and I have to admit that I was confused for a few pages, but that quickly passed. We see the result of that ONE night and then we go 5 years into the future. This was the part I was super scared about. I’m gonna talk about it because it’s in the blurb, so it’s not really a spoiler. So, after that one night Eilish finds out she’s pregnant, and because Bryan didn’t even remember her the morning after and was a general screw up, she decides to keep her baby a secret. That is, until she comes face to face with him 5 years after, and he’s a in a much better place.

Last year I read a book with a very similar plot: jock + innocent girl, one night, pregnancy, he doesn’t remember and is a drunk, she doesn’t tell him, they end up working together, etc. That book was The Total Package and I honestly didn’t like it much. But The Cad and the Co-Ed took a very similar route and made it enjoyable and funny, and it just made sense.

I loved the characters and the character growth that goes on in this book. Eilish is such a strong and determined person, who has her head on straight and knows her priorities. And Bryan is very self aware and the fact that he fought for the life he has now, really made me like him even more.

The romance made sense! They were cute together, and super hot, and I love that they took their time. And most of all, even though Bryan was all alpha sometimes, he was never extremely possessive and jealous, because he was conscious that he had no right or claim to do that. Also, Patrick? That kid was all kinds of amazing.

The plot and the pacing of the story really worked for me. There were a few misunderstandings along the way, and I wish they had communicated a bit more sometimes, but I overall really liked it.

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So, guys, have you read this series? You should pick this one up at least. I’m a sucker for second chance romances, and big jocks with kids? Yes please! Also, this book is set in IRELAND!!! So, yeah, GO READ IT.


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About the Authors:

Meet Penny Reid:

pennyreidauthorpicPenny Reid is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the Winston Brothers and Knitting in the City series. When she’s not immersed in penning smart romances, Penny works in the biotech industry as a researcher. She’s also a full time mom to three diminutive adults, wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja.

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Meet L.H. Cosway:

lhcoswayauthorpicL.H. Cosway has a BA in English Literature and Greek and Roman Civilisation, and an MA in Postcolonial Literature. She lives in Dublin city. Her inspiration to write comes from music. Her favorite things in life include writing stories, vintage clothing, dark cabaret music, food, musical comedy, and of course, books.

She thinks that imperfect people are the most interesting kind. They tell the best stories.

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Cheater (Rachel Van Dyken)

cheater

Lucas Thorn wasn’t born a cheater. All it took was a single moment — say, a certain disastrous incident on the night before his wedding—and boom. Reputation destroyed forever and always. So now he owns it. He has a lady friend for every night of the week (except Sundays — God’s day and all), and his rules are simple: No commitments. No exceptions.

But a certain smart-mouthed, strawberry blonde vixen is about to blow that all to hell.

Avery Black has never forgiven Lucas for cheating on her sister. And suddenly being forced to work with him is pretty much a nightmare on steroids. Of course, it does afford her the opportunity to make his life as difficult as possible. But no good revenge scheme comes without payback. Because he didn’t become the Lucas Thorn without learning a few things about women.

Now Avery’s lust for vengeance has turned into, well, lust. And if Lucas stops cheating, it’s definitely not because he’s falling in love…


Once again, I read this book as a buddy read with Cátia @The Girl Who Read Too, so go to her blog in the next few days for her review of Cheater.

This is not my first book by Rachel Van Dyken, so I was expecting this to be funny, and holy sh*t, it was! The book is told in dual POV, first person, and while it takes place exclusively in the present, it does have some flashback scenes so we know what happened in Avery and Lucas’ pasts. I really loved the writing on this one, it was hilarious and quick and witty.

I loved both characters right away. Look, I know a lot of people will have issues with connecting with Lucas Thorn because of his past and his lifestyle, it just really didn’t bother me. While what happened in the past was wrong, it was understandable from the start – for me-, and his present didn’t actually make me cringe. Maybe because I actually think that if everyone knows and things are clear from the start, you can’t really call it cheating… Either way, I loved him. He was broken, that much was clear, but he came alive when he was with Avery and those moments were wonderful.

Avery was AWESOME! She was super strong and with an amazing sense of humour and she wasn’t scared to fight for what she wanted. I loved her.

And these two together? All kinds of amazing! The chemistry was very much there, and they always seem to have some sort of fight going on, that made them even hotter. It reminded me a bit of The Matchmaker’s Replacement, which I also loved. Their connection comes from way way back.

The plot was great. Again, some people might have some issues with some parts of the plot, especially from the past, but I understood it and I never actually saw it as wrong. Like I said… I loved it.

For me the only issue was the very short timespan of the book. The whole book happens in about 2 weeks, and some things felt a little too fast and rushed for me. I would have liked to see their feelings and relationship have more time to develop. But keep in mind that these two have known each other since forever, so there is no case of insta-love here. 😀

So, to sum it up, while I think that not everyone will love or even like this book, I still recommend it, because it was a hit for me.

Have you read Cheater? Any thoughts you would like to share?

Be My Hero (Linda Kage)

bemyhero

2017 NEW ADULT READING CHALLENGE | BOOK You can finish in one day

Once upon a time, there was this pampered rich girl who was kind of full of herself. She really only cared about appearances and hiding all her dark, ugly secrets under the guise of an opinionated snob. But then Eva Mercer got pregnant, shot by a psycho, and kicked out of the only home she knew. Now she’s broke, unemployed, and has to start anew with a newborn to raise. But how?

On the other side of town, sexy, tattooed orphan, Patrick Ryan, can’t get a break. He’s out on parole for defending the last damsel in distress while trying to help her support her child, but all he wants is to find his one true love. He knows this woman by scent, smile, and laugh, but he’s never actually met her. He doesn’t even know her name. He just knows she’s the key to fixing everything.

One kind of hero can save you from physical harm. Another can rescue you from a different kind of doom. To reach their dreams, Eva and Pick can save each other. But first, they must open their hearts and learn how to trust.


I have to say that I was a tiny bit scared going into this book, because Eva was not the nicest person in the previous 2 books, and because NA books with children in it are either a hit or a miss, no middle ground. This one was a huge hit for me.

The writing keeps being so good! The story is told in the first person, dual POV, and it works like wonders.

This book starts with heartbreak, because neither Pick or Eva had an easy childhood, but they both persevered and became super strong people. I loved their strength. Now, this book does have an small element of “magic” and you need to suspend your disbelief a little tiny bit, but it’s totally worth it, because it makes the story even better.

I was scared of not loving Eva, who’s Reese’s very pregnant cousin, but I actually loved her since she first appeared on this book, because I understood her actions, why she was so distrusting of people, especially men. But I really liked her, and I loved her journey and her growth. It takes a strong woman to be put in her position and make the best of it, and she did. She turned into an amazing mom to her kids.

And then Pick… Pick is kind of dreamy! He knows the life he’s gonna have, sort of, and when he finally meets Eva, nothing seems to fit into what he thought. But it’s amazing how everything starts to fit in. He’s a great guy, he supports Eva and her kid, he loved his friend’s son like his own, and oh boy… a guy and a baby? Always great!

Then when they’re together it’s amazing. Their connection is strong from the beginning, and it just gets better and better. The way they form their own little family? ADORABLE! The kids are adorable, and Pick and Eva are great as a unit.

I really liked the plot and the pacing, because with two small kids, that could have been tricky, but I thought that was handled very well, and they truly got to know each other before they became more.

There was a bit too much drama towards the end though, and I could have done without some of the elements brought on, but after reading the 2 previous books I kind of knew that the book would have some kind of twist like that. I’m happy that it tied up 3 storylines though, because I really want all of these characters to be super happy.

I highly recommend this one, it’s my second favorite in this series so far, and Pick and Tink are GOALS! The love they show their children?! AMAZING!

Now… small warning (SPOILERS… sort of…): This book includes several mentions of sexual assault and pedophilia, nothing is shown, just mentioned, but still… be warned.

Price of a Kiss (Forbidden Men #1)
To Professor, with Love (Forbidden Men #2)
Be My Hero (Forbidden Men #3)
With Every Heartbeat (Forbidden Men #4)
A Perfect Ten (Forbidden Men #5)
Worth It (Forbidden Men #6)
The Girl’s Got Secrets (Forbidden Men #7)
Priceless (Forbidden Men #8)
Consolation Prize (Forbidden Men #9)