Hurts to Love You (Alisha Rai)

Being bad never felt so good, in the third novel in Alisha Rai’s sexy Forbidden Hearts series!

Well-behaved women don’t lust after men who love to misbehave.

Heiress Evangeline Chandler knows how to keep a secret… like her life-long crush on the tattooed hottie who just happens to be her big brother’s friend. She’s a Chandler, after all, and Chandlers don’t hook up with the help. Then again, they also don’t disobey their fathers and quit their respectable jobs, so good-girl rules may no longer apply.

Gabriel Hunter hides the pain of his past behind a smile, but he can’t hide his sudden attraction to his friend’s sheltered little sister. Eve is far too sweet to accept anything less than forever and there’s no chance of a future between the son of a housekeeper and the town’s resident princess.

When a wedding party forces Eve and Gabe into tight quarters, keeping their hands off each other will be as hard as keeping their clothes on. The need that draws them together is stronger than the forces that should shove them apart… but their sparks may not survive the explosion when long-buried secrets are finally unearthed.

Hey guys. I feel like I’ve been failing on blogging. I haven’t been writing posts as much as I think I should, but I’ve just been so tired and so lazy!

Either way, let’s start this review. I requested this book on Edelweiss because Lisa, Nick and Ari were raving about this author, so when I saw the book for request, I jumped on it. I have to say that I should have read the other 2 books on the series first, because I felt like a lot of info was being thrown at me. But I was able to understand everything, which speaks volumes about the writing.

You guys know I’m not the biggest fan of 3rd person, but I enjoyed the style, and the fact that it was told in dual POV, even though it was not told on my favorite way (1st person). I liked the voices, and I enjoyed the characters as well. Here I felt like I could have used more info, and background, but both Eve and Gabe had enough character development, and I did enjoy their growing relationship, that evolved the same way as their personal growth and romantic relationship.

I really really liked all the dynamics and the connections between the 2 main families, and that, combined with the secrecy vibe that the book had going on, made me really enjoy it, and made me want to pick up the rest of the series.

Have you read this series? And this book? What were your thoughts?

The Total Package (Stephanie Evanovich)


Star quarterback, first-round draft-pick, and heartthrob Tyson Palmer has made a name for himself with his spectacular moves. When the head coach of the Austin Mavericks refuses to let him waste his million-dollar arm, Tyson makes a Hail Mary pass at redemption and succeeds with everyone . . . except Dani, whose negative comments about his performance draw high ratings and spectacular notices of her own.

Dani can’t forgive Tyson’s transgressions or forget the sizzling history the two of them shared in college, a passionate love Tyson casually threw away. And even more infuriating, he doesn’t realize that the bombshell with huge ratings is the cute girl whose heart he once broke. 

But can a woman trying to claw her way to the top and a quarterback who knows all about rock bottom make it to the Super Bowl without destroying each other? And what will happen when Tyson—riding high now that he’s revived his career—realizes he needs to make an even more important comeback with Dani? Can he make some spectacular moves to get past her defenses—or will she sideline him for good?

I usually love sports romances, but I have to admit that this one just wasn’t for me.

First of all I had some problems with the writing. This book is written in omniscient third person and while it was fun to read for some chapters, it became confusing and not very enticing later on.

In the first chapter we see Tyson and Dani hookup, after she had tutored him a few years back. Tyson was a terrible point of his life, an addict, about to lose his job and with a lot of scandals surrounding him. Somehow, Dani believes she can fix him, so she decides to sleep with him, in hopes that from just that, he’ll turn his life around. Obviously things don’t turn out that way, at all.

The book then follows Tyson road to sobriety, which was quite interesting to read, but utterly slow and it provided nothing to the romance development. We spend the first third of the book learning how deep Tyson has fallen and how he has risen… rehab, training, eating, making friends… it’s a kind of boring exposition his day to day life for a few months. Then he get’s back to the team and the book jumps ahead 4 years. I was ok with the time jump, but all that came before should have been shortened.

When the time jumps, we finally get another look at Dani. Well, let’s just say that her hookup over 4 years before had consequences, and while building her reporting career – which she does because she somehow wants to get near Tyson, she got mad at him because Tyson didn’t recognized her and accidentally uttered some words of animosity towards him. When they end up working on the same place, it’s clear that she’s still has feelings for the guy, and they end up becoming close in the process…

As I said, I had a lot of problems with this one. Apart from the writing style, which irked me at times, the dialog, especially between Dani and Tyson, was cringeworthy. I mean, who says “I could love you” after not seeing someone for years?

Then there’s the characters… while I appreciated Tyson, I couldn’t bring myself to like Dani. This is a girl who at 19 decided she was in love with a guy, which is ok, but almost 10 years later, and without that much contact, she was still very much in love with him. Then she did something that is on my “shit” list, and while I understood it at first, I couldn’t stand it after they got closer again.

Ultimately the pacing was off, the writing style was not my favorite and the main couple lacked something… and said the most weird things to each other… I didn’t love it, but it’s not that it’s bad, you know? Just OK…

An Infinite Number of Parallel Universes (Randy Ribay)

As their senior year approaches, four diverse friends joined by their weekly Dungeons & Dragons game struggle to figure out real life. Archie’s trying to cope with the lingering effects of his parents’ divorce, Mari’s considering an opportunity to contact her biological mother, Dante’s working up the courage to come out to his friends, and Sam’s clinging to a failing relationship. The four eventually embark on a cross-country road trip in an attempt to solve–or to avoid–their problems.  

Told in the narrative style of Akira Kurosawa’s RASHOMAN, AN INFINITE NUMBER OF PARALLEL UNIVERSES is at turns geeky, funny, and lyrical as it tells a story about that time in life when friends need each other to become more than just people that hang out.

Pub Date: October 16th 2015 by Merit Press

I received an eArc from the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

This book is written in a very interesting way… for about 40/50% of the book, we follow the exact same week from the perspective of our 4 main characters: Archie, Mari, Dante and Sam. I found this so interesting, it was amazing to read what each of them thought about the exact same event and situation.

For the rest of the book, the narrative is a bit more complicated and there is some alternation between the POVs, though it sometimes takes a bit to actually understand which view you’re getting at a time. I guess it’s some kind of  third person omniscient narrator thing, though I’m still not sure (sorry). Although this is the part where the story actually gets interesting like hell, with all our characters together in the same space, it’s the one that I found harder to read.

“If only leveling up in real life were as simple as in a game. Complete a few quests. Gain some experience. Develop special abilities.”

About the characters… This is definitely the most diverse group of characters in the book that I’ve ever read. And their problems? WOW! I have to admit that the only character that I didn’t connect with was Sam, although I understood his problem, he was just being a prick for most of the book… This book deals with such important themes though, sexuality, homophobia, adoption, racism, religious beliefs, cancer, heartbreak, …, wow, right? A lot of important and heavy themes for an YA book.

The plot, I really liked the concept and idea of it. They all embark on this giant road-trip for Sam, but really because they’re all running away from something. They eventually stop running and become better friends in the process, the kind of friends that are worth having.

I had a couple of problems with this book…

I struggled a bit with the alternating POVs in the second half of the book, but nothing major.

That road-trip was crazy! EVERYTHING that could go wrong did, which while amazing in terms of plot, wasn’t really believable…

I also had a tiny problem with the fact that we don’t actually get any resolution to any of their problems and struggles. SPOILERS! When the book ends, we only know that Sam finally woke up and realized that Sarah was not good for him, and Archie and Mari are together, but we don’t know what will happen between Archie and his dad, whether Mari will contact her birth mother, or if her mom will beat cancer, we have no idea what it’s waiting for Dante when he gets back home… And I wanted to know!

All in all, it was a good read, and I would highly recommend it. 🙂

Rating: 3.8 Stars