Lessons in Losing It (Jessica Peterson)

I swore I’d keep things platonic with the studly soccer player I met in Madrid…until we ended up naked together on his living room floor #Screwed #PunIntended 

Just friends… 

That’s all soccer star Fred Ohr wants to be with Rachel Collins, the American student he meets at party in his adopted hometown of Madrid. He’s looking for the real deal — someone who’ll stick around Spain for more than a semester — so he resolves to keep her at arm’s length. Even if she is sexy as hell. Smart. And as crazy about sports as he is.

But friends don’t kiss. They don’t do sleepovers. And they definitely don’t get rug burn from having the best sex ever on the living room carpet.

Fred and Rachel’s connection is instant. Intense. He loves to cook breakfast for her. She loves it when he cooks wearing nothing but his glasses.

Only Rachel’s got a dream internship waiting for her back in the states. And Fred is lining up a contract worth millions to stay in Madrid. They’re playing with fire to keep seeing each other like this. But how can they resist when the sex is so great — really, really freaking great — and the fun they have together is even better?

I have to admit that I was a bit scared for this book, and maybe that’s why I didn’t start it right away when I got it – that, and the fact that I had another million books to read. Either way, the first book of this series was okay for me, I enjoyed Spanish Lessons, but I had a few issues with it. But then I LOVED book 2 of this series, Lessons in Gravity. I ended up not reading the third book, Lessons in Letting Go, but I will admit that I wasn’t truly excited for that one, and I read some mixed reviews. While I ended up sort of enjoying this book, I have to say that it wasn’t the hit I was expecting. I had a lot of issues with it, especially in terms of plot, story and characters.

But I’m going to start with the writing. I enjoyed it, but I felt it wasn’t as good as in book 2. In fact, I found it repetitive, and I truly feel like it would benefit greatly from another round of editing. This book is told in dual POV, which is a plus, but unfortunately I didn’t feel like Rachel and Fred’s voices were THAT different.

I had the same issues with the characters themselves, they just read like basically the same person, at different stages of their lives, and I don’t know… I just couldn’t quite connect with them? I loved them at first, and I really liked how determined they were, but then their whole relationship just made me like them a little bit less, if that makes any sense at all.

And the relationship itself is where this book lost me a bit. I thought they were super cute at first, and they obviously had some great connection and chemistry, see the part where I said they’re basically the same person. However, I felt like their relationship was way way too fast for my liking. The whole relationship takes place in the space of 3 weeks, and I felt like something was slightly off with the timeline.

Another thing that bothered me highly on this book was the use of football (soccer) in it, because I felt like Jessica is missing some major points on the sport, and I’m not even an expert on it. But I’ve lived with it for almost 33 years, and I know that the nr 7 is usually worn by the most influential player on the team, and the dude is usually a forward or a midfielder… never a defenseman, at least not in Madrid. The same way the nr 1 is always used by the goalkeeper.

I mean… this is on wikipedia, regarding number 7: “7 is often associated with effective and profitable wingers or second strikers.

Fred was supposed to be a defenseman, right? That’s what’s said, and still, his nr is 7 and he scores a lot of goals… unlikely. Also, not so believable that a kid his age would have reached such a big place on the team so young, especially a team like Madrid, at the position he supposedly played.

I’m going to drop a few slight spoilers here, so be warned…

I get that they were super into each other, and they were supportive and so on, but I hated how willing both of them were to make their relationship the priority. Then they don’t, and Rachel heads back, which I felt was the logic thing to do, but I didn’t like how they handled that either. Six months later, they were still not handling it well, and what happens next was total bullshit in my book.

I hated the resolution! While I appreciated the fact that the girl didn’t sacrifice her potential career for the dude, it was silly, because she had a POTENTIAL career, while he had one already. I thought that after her SUMMER internship in the US, they could have found a way for her to work anywhere in Europe, and to finish her studies there and do what she loved. I would be okay with him leaving Madrid, supposedly the best team in the world, and going anywhere else in Europe, but not going to play for the United States. I’m sorry, but just a huge NO to that. The league is not competitive, and while it’s growing, it is still light years away from most European countries. The author mentions how Beckham went to play there, and he did, but he made that move by the end of his career, when he wouldn’t quite get a good spot in Europe anymore, and that’s a huge difference.

I don’t know, while I appreciate the whole “put live before work” stuff, and the fact that he was the one giving up anything, I felt like he could have been resolved way better, with neither of them giving up their dreams. Because for as much as Fred said he was happy in the US and with his new position as a captain – another thing that I don’t think was quite grasped in the football worldI as a football watcher wasn’t convinced. AT ALL.

Overall, this book just quite didn’t do it for me. I had some of the same issues I had with the first book of the series, but somehow, the issues seemed bigger on this one. The story and the characters were just a bit off, which was a shame.

I was excited to see so many things I love on the story, like Harry Potter, or Madrid, or football, but by the end of it, I thought neither of those things were used properly. I mean, I was told so many times how bit of a Harry Potter geek Fred was, but he had only read 2,5 books by that point. Am I being silly and picky? Probably yeah. The same way that german Fred speaking very british words didn’t quite work for me. I don’t know…

I seriously hope you all enjoy this book way more than I did, because unfortunately it just didn’t work for me on a deeper level.

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Books Set Outside the US

top 10 tuesday

Hello, welcome back to another Tuesday. Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is:

Ten Books Set Outside The US (I don’t know about you but sooo much of what I read is set in the US and I love finding new recs of stuff set outside of it!)

YA is probably the worst to find books outside the US (or UK), so I added a few NA books to the mix.


Top Ten Tuesday: Recent 5 Star Reads

top 10 tuesday

Hello, welcome back to another Tuesday. Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is:

Ten Of My Most Recent 5 Star Reads (Or Ten Of The Best Books I’ve Read Recently if you don’t 5 star stuff…or you could do 5 of my latest five star reads & five of my most disappointing or 1 star reads)

Well, I do 5 Star books… a lot. I don’t give away full 5 stars easily, but I do rate a lot of books between 4.5 and 5 stars. That’s what I’m showing today: my last ten favorite reads, a.k.a., books I have 4.5 to 5 stars.

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Lessons in Gravity (Jessica Peterson)


Maddie Lucas is only looking for a one night stand…

While studying in Spain for her semester abroad, Maddie hopes to escape the drama surrounding her parents’ divorce—a divorce she may or may not have caused—while researching Spanish architecture for her thesis. And if she hooks up with hot Madrileños along the way? All the better. 

But handsome Spaniard Javier Montoya wants so much more. 

Guitarist Javier is ready to set aside his rock star ways and settle down for good with his gorgeous ex-girlfriend. But after a one night stand with sexy, passionate Maddie blossoms into genuine friendship, he begins to wonder if Maddie might be the forever girl he’s looking for. 

Too bad Maddie believes forever is more fiction than fairy tale. Can Javier prove to her that fairy tales exist? Or is Maddie right to think she doesn’t deserve happily ever after?

LESSONS IN GRAVITY is a New Adult romance, suitable for mature audiences.

I while back I read and reviewed the first book in this series, Spanish Lessons, and although I enjoyed it, I had some problems with it. But I was still very curious about the second book in this series, so when Jessica Peterson asked me if I was willing to read and review Lessons in Gravity, I jumped at the chance. And oh my, I’m so glad I did! Lessons in Gravity is such a step up from Spanish Lessons!

I found the writing much smoother in this book, funnier, sexier, all around better. Then there’s the fact that this book has dual POV!!!! I’m a sucker for dual POV. It was something that was seriously missing in the first book, but it kind of made sense that it wasn’t present, because Rafa’s english was not that good, and he didn’t really have a problem. But here, oh my, here we get both Maddie and Javier’s POVs and it’s seriously epic.

The characters are also much more complex this time around. Maddie is struggling with her parents’ divorce, and now we finally learn why: her father has made her feel guilty for it, and I can’t even begin to understand how devastating that is. So she thinks she’s not worthy of being loved, and that she’s a mess (which she kind of is), so she keeps having meaningless one night stands, which don’t help her feel any better. Javier is tired of women pursuing his star-self, and he wants to settle down with someone that likes him for him.

I had some problems with Maddie in Spanish Lessons, but not here. If you don’t count the fact that I wanted to push her towards Javier, because come on girl, how could you stay away? Javier on the other hand was perfect! Well, he did mess up, and he lost his temper, but who wouldn’t, right? He was still very excellent and very handsome-hot.

The romance was swoon-worthy really, and much slower than I thought it would be. I really enjoyed to read about how their relationship developed and how everything progressed :D. The dual POV gives us quite different perspectives of their feelings and how they both deal with them and it added so much to the story.

By the way, the sexy scenes in this one are super super steamy!!!!!

I have to talk about Leo, because Leo is a riot :D. His very fragmented and very very bad english made me laugh each time he opened his mouth.

This instalment left me completely satisfied and I really loved these 2 characters and their love story. Now I’m curious for next book, I’m so excited to read about Laura and Rhys :D.

P.S.: Can we talk for a minute about how gorgeous these covers are? I mean, the first was was beautiful, but this one? WOW!!!

P.S.2: How funny is it that the main characters keep having surnames right out of Pride and Prejudice? First Bingley, now Lucas…

Spanish Lessons (Jessica Peterson)


Vivian Bingley has big plans for her semester abroad in Spain… 

Along with her BFF, Maddie, Vivian hopes to indulge her inner Art History nerd by visiting the best museums in the world. She also wants to tackle more practical concerns — like a less than stellar GPA in her major, Economics — with the help of a Spanish tutor.

But falling for her studly Spanish tutor definitely isn’t one of them.

Madrileño Rafa Montoya is the stuff study abroad dreams are made of: super studly and super smart. He also happens to be super into Vivian. With his wicked dancing skills and his passion for the arts, he tempts her to throw caution to the wind and live out her wildest dreams. 

Only problem? Maddie wants Rafa, too, and Vivian promised herself she’d never settle for second best again…not after a hookup-gone-awry last semester left her heartbroken. Is it best for Vivian to protect her heart at all costs? Or is letting Rafa in worth the risk?

First of all I would like to say that some of the feelings at the beginning of the book felt familiar to me. I never did the Erasmus program during my undergrad years, but during my Masters I relocated to Barcelona to do the practical component of it, and stayed for roughly 6 months. I was never as lost as Vivian feels though, because even though I didn’t dominate the Spanish language, I always understood it – Portuguese people mostly understand spanish quite well. But still, it’s a daunting feeling, to not feel at home… I know, because I felt it again when I moved again to Barcelona a little over 3 years ago.

Also, I freaking love this cover!!!

Now, onto the book itself. I really liked the writing. It was fun and easy and Vivian was mostly a fun narrator. Obviously, because I do understand spanish SUPER well, I sometimes found it too much to have the translation after every spanish phrase uttered, but I do understand its presence. I did have a couple of moments where I totally went “OK, I’m pretty sure that’s not right”, like Venga con dios” being translated as “Go with God”… nope, it’s Vaya, because “Venga” means “come” and not “go”. Or “Quiero ser contigo”… again nope… the right ways would be “quiero estar contigo”, I know that in english the verb TO BE is used for a lot of things, but for us the verb SER and ESTAR mean different things, though they both translate to TO BE.

The thing that, well, didn’t bothered me, but I just couldn’t quite see it, it was the descriptions of the spanish people and certain habits. Well, maybe I’m just living in the wrong part of Spain, but the way that the spanish people are described? Not exactly what I see everyday. Now, I can totally blame the city here, I’ve only been to Madrid once and back then I wasn’t actually looking (really looking), but here in Barcelona? Nope. I don’t see it.

Other thing that kind of bothered me was the coffee. Wow Cristina, nitpicking much? Well, I am! Because coffee is very important for my survival and the coffee here sucks. With that said, and especially in the center of Madrid, it is quite easy to find coffee chains like Starbucks that not only serve all kinds of coffee, but they all have to-go cups. I know, because in my first day in the city I located a bunch of them. Also, not that I get out much, but I usually see people drinking way more bear than red wine…

Ok, I’m done! Now onto the story :D. I liked the fact that it dealt with Vivian finding her true passion and what she wants to do with her life. I also understand her unwillingness to keep having flings and to find The One, though I thought that at 20, and with very little experience under her belt, it was a bit TOO important for her, if that makes any sense.

I liked how she slowly decided to make the choices that were best for her, and stop focusing on what she should be doing. Still, her road there was a bit unnerving at times. I was frustrated with this girl for most of the book!

Rafa, on the other hand, was a delight to read. I loved his broken english. And how friendly he was to everyone. And how patient he was with Vivian… though, let’s be honest, that had to be hard.

I could have done with the weird sort of love triangle. It was weird! It’s worth noting that Rafa is NEVER interested in Maddie though. I thought that both Viv and Mads were in the wrong, but honestly? Mostly Maddie! She got under my skin. True that Vivian should have been honest about her feelings for Rafa, but Maddie KNEW (and she admits that she knew) that her best friend had feelings for this guy, and still she made a move on him. Not right!

I was super happy about the last 20% of the book. I liked the resolution of the story a lot. That, Raffa, and Vivian’s sense of humour while narrating it, totally did the book for me. I’m excited about the next story of the series, which will be about Maddie, even though I had a lot of problems with her character during this book.