Eye Candy (Jessica Lemmon)

Jacqueline: As an adult woman–and the vice president of a marketing firm — I shouldn’t be waiting by my office window to ogle the mystery man who jogs by every morning at 11:45. Sure, he’s a gorgeous, perfect specimen of the human race, but I can’t bring myself to hit on a total stranger. However, my best friend-slash-colleague Vince Carson thinks I should do more than talk to the guy. In fact, he’s borderline obsessive about “getting me laid.” (His words.) But the more time we spend together, the more it’s clear: The one I’m falling for is Vince. 

Vince: Jackie Butler’s got it bad for some pompous, over-pumped A-hole who struts his stuff past her window. That doesn’t bother me. I know she deserves nice things. What does bother me is that she friend-zoned me big-time last year, so I can’t ask her out myself. But what if I set her up with Mr. Steroids? Then, when he breaks her heart, I can swoop in and save her like the nice guy I am. Everything’s going according to plan . . . until we share a ridiculously epic kiss. And suddenly anything is possible.

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

So… I’m not very sure how to review this book. This was my first book by Jessica Lemmon, and I have to say that I really really liked her writing and her style. The writing was hilarious at points, and I thought it flowed well and was super enjoyable. To be 100% honest, it was the most enjoyable thing about this book.

With that said, while I thought the book started strong, around the halfway mark, it went down and down and down, and never came up again. I ended up not liking either of the 2 main characters. Jackie and Vince were just infuriating.

The lack of communication, the games, the assumptions, BAHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!! Just NO! They were supposed to be best friends, but they spend the whole book not being fully honest with each other about how they feel. And while I understood the fears and trepidations behind their “logic”, it just didn’t make a good story, it was tiring and repetitive, and I hated it.

The best character in the book ended up being Davis, which makes me slightly hopeful about his upcoming book, which is already sitting on my kindle.

So, while I truly loved the writing and the humour, I ended up not liking the characters all that much, and finding the plot and storyline infuriating. 

Have you read this book? What are your thoughts on it?

The Perfectly Imperfect Match (Kendra C. Highley)

Pitcher Dylan Dennings has his future all mapped out: make the minors straight out of high school, work his way up the farm system, and get called up to the majors by the time he’s twenty-three. The Plan has been his sole focus for years, and if making his dreams come true means instituting a strict “no girls” policy, so be it. 

Lucy Foster, needlepoint ninja, big sister to an aspiring pitcher, and chicken advocate, likes a little mayhem. So what if she gets lost taking her brother to baseball camp…at her own high school? The pitching coach, some hotshot high school player, obviously thinks she’s a hot mess. Too bad he’s cute, because he’s so not her type.

Problem is, they keep running into each other, and every interaction sparks hotter than the last. But with Dylan’s future on the line, he has to decide whether some rules are made to be broken…

Disclaimer: This book contains a crazy night of moonlit skinny-dipping, a combustible crush, and kisses swoony enough to unwind even the most Type A athlete.

I think I’ve outgrown most YA entangled romances… or maybe I’m not in the right mood at the moment? But the fact is, I couldn’t quite maintain any interest in this book, and it took me a lot to go through it.

I’ve now read several books by this author and I quite enjoyed them, so I enjoyed the writing on this one too. It just didn’t quite grip me. I did like how different the two characters felt, but I thought something was missing there, and I couldn’t quite connect with either Dylan or Lucy. They were plenty different though and their voices were distinct and I appreciated that.

The romance just really came out of nowhere though. Like I said, they were complete opposites in term of personalities, so I was excited that they didn’t get along at first, the chemistry was there and the spark too. But after that first clash, they gave in right away to their attraction and everything was very mild from then on, and extremely fast. WAY WAY TOO FAST.

I did enjoy the role of Lucy’s little brother, Otis, he had a big personality and he was so funny. But overall the book felt very meh to me, with a plot that left way too much to be desired, characters not 100% formed, and a romance that could have been great, but just didn’t get there.

I’m sorry I didn’t enjoy this one more… if you’ve liked the series so far, I do hope the book works better for you than it did for me.

Noteworthy (Riley Redgate)

It’s the start of Jordan Sun’s junior year at the Kensington-Blaine Boarding School for the Performing Arts. Unfortunately, she’s an Alto 2, which — in the musical theatre world — is sort of like being a vulture in the wild: She has a spot in the ecosystem, but nobody’s falling over themselves to express their appreciation. So it’s no surprise when she gets shut out of the fall musical for the third year straight.

Then the school gets a mass email: A spot has opened up in the Sharpshooters, Kensington’s elite a cappella octet. Worshiped … revered … all male. Desperate to prove herself, Jordan auditions in her most convincing drag, and it turns out that Jordan Sun, Tenor 1, is exactly what the Sharps are looking for.

Guys guys guys, I finally finished Noteworthy!!! I have to say that I really enjoyed this book, even though it took me about one month to get over it.

I really liked the writing, it was funny and witty, and I really liked Jordan’s voice. But the pacing was a bit off at the beginning for me. The book moved just a tiny bit too slow in those first few chapters. But then the pacing got right, and I flew through the book, and it was immensely enjoyable.

I couldn’t completely connect with Jordan, but I appreciated how she thought about the issues she was involved in, and how her behaviour could affect some important things, and I thought she grew up a LOT during the story, and I loved that.

But my favorite part was the relationships between Jordan and the boys, and the boys between themselves. I kind of wanted more of that. I wanted to know a bit more about all of them and see how they ended up.

I thought it was commendable the way the author dealt with all the sexuality related questions within this book, and I loved the racial diversity.

I thought the plot would be a bit MORE, you know? Everything was going great, but I found the whole reveal a bit anticlimactic, and I kind of wish that a couple of elements weren’t there. But either way, I loved the love and support between the characters, and that’s what drove this book for me.

There is a slight romantic element on this book, and I loved that it didn’t overpower the story, and the relationship was just so cute and sweet. It was awesome.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book, and I would highly recommend it.

The Lesson Plan (Charlotte Penn Clark)

The Nerd and the Geek.

When Noah’s passion for classics lands him in a pilot class called Extra Credit for students in trouble he gets more than he bargained for — like Holly, the geeky girl he’s been crushing on who becomes his partner and friend.

Holly’s passion for computers almost got her suspended but at least she got Noah out of it. He’s her best friend — and if he wants more she has no clue.

Together they come up with a lesson plan to help Noah get his head out of his books and Holly get her eyes off a computer screen. But it turns out there’s plenty more to learn from each other. And even the best laid plans….

Extra Credit is a New Adult series that takes place on a college campus and puts three unlikely couples together to see what happens. Each novella is in dual point-of-view with a happy ending that can be read as a standalone, though they’re better together…! The series includes sexy times that are only meant for readers over 18.

I read this book as a buddy read with Cátia @The Girl Who Read Too, so keep your eyes open for her take on this book.

So… this book… I’m not even sure how to review it, to be honest. Let me start by saying that I wasn’t blown away by it, not at all, but it wasn’t a bad book. It was just very meh.

The writing was ok, but the author overused exclamations, which for me to be saying that means something, because I use exclamations a lot. Still, the writing was funny, the book was told in dual POV and the voices were distinct.

My main issue with this book was that I truly didn’t connect with the characters. I thought they both had some serious potential, but they fell a bit too short. Still, I liked Noah enough, he was cute and such a great person and an amazing friend. I wish he had stood up for himself a bit better. And Holly… I don’t know, I liked her, she was hilarious, but she was so clueless… and I’m still not sure why she did some of the stuff she did, and her indecisions.

This was also my issue with the plot, or the lack of it. While I thought that Holly and Noah were cute together, I hated how indecisive she was about her life, but more than anything, I felt we don’t see any growth at all. By the end, I knew she had grown, but I didn’t see it. And their relationship development just didn’t feel organic to me. Some of the events of the book also didn’t make that much sense in my opinion.

Because of these issues, I wasn’t able to rate this book higher than 3 stars, and I’m honestly not curious at all to read the remaining two books of this series. Still, this was a fast and funny book, and I can see a lot of people having a great time with it.

Flame in the Mist (Renee Ahdieh)

The only daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has always known she’d been raised for one purpose and one purpose only: to marry. Never mind her cunning, which rivals that of her twin brother, Kenshin, or her skills as an accomplished alchemist. Since Mariko was not born a boy, her fate was sealed the moment she drew her first breath.

So, at just seventeen years old, Mariko is sent to the imperial palace to meet her betrothed, a man she did not choose, for the very first time. But the journey is cut short when Mariko’s convoy is viciously attacked by the Black Clan, a dangerous group of bandits who’ve been hired to kill Mariko before she reaches the palace.

The lone survivor, Mariko narrowly escapes to the woods, where she plots her revenge. Dressed as a peasant boy, she sets out to infiltrate the Black Clan and hunt down those responsible for the target on her back. Once she’s within their ranks, though, Mariko finds for the first time she’s appreciated for her intellect and abilities. She even finds herself falling in love — a love that will force her to question everything she’s ever known about her family, her purpose, and her deepest desires.

I’m so glad I was approved for this book on Netgalley! I loved The Wrath and the Dawn duology, so even though I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this one, I knew the writing would be fantastic, and I was so right about that.

This book is told through several perspectives, but the main one is definitly Mariko’s perspective. As this was an ARC, I found it confusing when the POVs changed, because I had no indication or tab letting me know that the change was happening. Still, Ahdieh did a great job with the different voices, even though the book is told in the third person.

I will admit that it took me a little bit to really get into this story, because I found the beginning of the book sort of slow, and I’m still slightly confused about some of the events of this book. With that said, I did fall in love with the story pretty easily, and I honestly just needed the second book STAT, so my questions would be answered right away. Seriously guys, I need to know some things urgently.

The characters are amazing, I loved Mariko and her strength and determination, and how much she grew to accept herself through this book. Okami and all the Black Can were such a nice surprise. And Yumi! I love Yumi and I want to see much more of her in the following books. Some characters surprised me in a positive way, while I’m still on the fence about some of them, but I do have high hopes for Kenshin.

There were so many twists, and the one thing that bothered me was the lack of answers. This is a book that clearly does not stand on its own, and the second one will be imperative to answer some MAJOR things in the plot, so yeah… I need book 2. The romance is sweet and amazing, and it doesn’t take away from the story, it adds to it. There is such a great amount of respect between the two, and I’m a fan, I SHIP IT!

Guys, if you haven’t read this one yet, do it now.
It’s detailed and intricate and beautiful, with a kick-ass Japanese girl as the main character.
Also, you know this is sort of based on Mulan, right? So, read it.

Cheater’s Regret (Rachel Van Dyken)


Cheater’s Regret, an all-new sexy standalone from #1 New York Times Bestseller Rachel Van Dyken is available now on Amazon & Free in Kindle Unlimited!!

Cheater’s Regret by Rachel Van Dyken
Release Date: May 23rd
Genre: Contemporary Romance

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Rachel Van Dyken returns with a smoking-hot story about the satisfaction of plotting revenge on your ex — until he turns your world upside down again.

Austin Rogers’s dreams of domestic bliss involved watching Netflix and eating hot dogs with the love of her life. But then he cheated on her. And dumped her — as if the whole thing was her fault. To maintain her pride and restore her sanity, she decides to get revenge. It feels immensely satisfying to plot her ex’s downfall — but so does kissing him.

Thatch Holloway, a plastic surgeon straight out of residency, knows he ruined the best thing that ever happened to him. But not all cheaters are created equal. He got himself into this messed-up situation — true — but he has his reasons for what happened, and he’d do it all again to protect Austin.

He’s not over her. And she’s not over him.

Austin wants closure, but since Thatch refuses to give it to her, she takes matters into her own hands. She needs to write a human-interest piece for her MBA, so she demands the full plastic-surgery experience. Sparks fly as they’re forced to work together. But Thatch isn’t afraid to play dirty in return. And he’s still hiding something — something that has the power to destroy not only Austin but their second chance at finding forever…


I read this book as a buddy read with Cátia @The Girl Who Read Too, go to her blog today to read her review of this book. You can also see my review of the first book of this series, Cheater, here.

There’s one thing I have to say about this book, and it is that it’s hilarious. RVD has a way with the words, and manages to write the most amazingly fun books. This one was no exception, and hey, it takes a lot to make some of the behaviours in this book funny.

I honestly liked the characters, but I didn’t fall in love with either of them, and I think that’s what I missed in this book, that connection. I liked Thatch and Austin, I liked their vulnerability and their various sides, but I needed a bit more from them.


I felt like the romance was way too fast, which was something I thought in the first book already. And the whole revenge plot thing was not my favorite thing, and it made me think a little less of Lucas and Avery, the main characters from book 1. It still bothers me the way they talk about Lucas “cheating ways” and that both of them were so willing to embark on Austin’s crazy plans.

But while I thought the romance happened way too fast, there’s no denying that these character are great together and have great chemistry, and they has some funny and amazing to read moments.

Overall, this was a very entertaining book, and a super fast read. But I still couldn’t totally connect with the characters and I found the plot a little bit over the top. Either way, I love RVD’s writing, so I’m eagerly awaiting for her next book.


“You want to do this right now?” He was still whispering as he slowly extended his large perfect surgeon’s hands out to the spider, and suddenly, I realized how this would end.

The spider would bite him.

Thatch’s bite would get infected.

And he wouldn’t be able to do his job.

Or pay off his student loans.

Leaving him in debt.

On the street.



Thatch was going to die.

“Wait!” I slowly lowered my body to the floor. Fear pounded in my ears as I held out my hands and Charlie lumbered onto my palms. It tickled. It would be nice if I weren’t so terrified of spiders.

Shaking, I walked over to the bucket and gently set him inside, this time, right side up so Thatch could transport him later. Just as I pulled my hands away, something sharp dug into my skin.

“Mother fu—”

Thatch grabbed me just before I collapsed against the floor, hands shaking and pain searing through my right thumb.

Before I knew what was happening, Thatch was carrying me over to the couch. Soft pillows met my back as he grabbed my thumb and held it close to his face.

“Am I going to die?” I whimpered. “Because the Discovery Channel [PS1] said tarantula bites feel like bee stings—they’re liars from the pit of hell!”

Thatch narrowed his eyes at the puffy red mark and then slowly dropped my hand to my side. “You’ll live.”

“Well, that’s encouraging. Don’t I at least get a sticker? A sucker? For saving your life?”

“You?” He chuckled and joined me on the couch. “Saved my life by getting bit by a tarantula?”

“Keep up!” Talking was at least distracting me from the throbbing pain. At least it had dulled a bit, though the fact that I had spider venom in my hand made me cringe. “If it bit you, you wouldn’t be able to do your job.”

He seemed thoughtful. “You mean I’d finally get a vacation where I’m allowed to sleep for longer than three hours?”

“Well, when you put it that way,” I grumbled, and tried to cross my arm, then hissed as pain exploded down my hand.

He grabbed it again. “At least the venom is weak, it’s really just the puncture wound from the spider’s fangs that causes the swelling.”

“Well, that’s disappointing on so many levels. I save your life and I don’t even get to turn into Spider-Man.”

“Tough luck, maybe next time.” He winked.

It was nice.

Sitting with him on the couch.

My legs on his lap.

My eyes focused on his mouth.

Abort! Abort!

I quickly looked away but not fast enough—he caught me staring where I shouldn’t have been staring, and I felt like a complete loser for still lusting after him the way I was.

What was it about Thatch?

Other than everything?

He was brilliant. Hardworking. Gorgeous. And he fought spiders on behalf of a girl he’d dumped.

Damn it.

“This leads nowhere,” he said in a hollow voice. “You understand that, right?”

It was like he’d just handed me the world’s happiest balloon and then popped it with a giant needle.

I was utterly defeated and deflated.

Even though I knew going into this there was no hope of us getting back together, I’d officially turned into that sad, pathetic clinger.

I’d always made fun of “those girls.”

And now “that girl” stared back at me in my own stupid mirror.

I let out a long sigh and nodded slowly. “This is strictly business, Thatch. You know how important this class is to me, how important getting my MBA is to me.”

He looked away, his jaw clenched. “Parents still MIA for the most part?”

I nodded.

“And the reelection, I imagine your dad wants you to join his mayoral campaign again?”

A sick feeling grew in the pit of my stomach.

To my parents, I was a trophy. Something shiny and pretty they could trot out to gain votes from families who appreciated their having taken time out of their busy lives to sire a child.

Granted, I knew my parents loved me.

They just loved me in their own way—the only way they knew how.

“I have to graduate,” I stressed again. “The job market’s fierce out there, and an MBA will help with that. The sooner I graduate, the sooner I can start my own life away from all of this.” I lifted my hands into the air.

This just happened to be a mansion.

A huge mansion.

With three interconnected swimming pools.

A tennis court.

Two movie rooms.

And a bowling alley.

I think I’d prefer anything but this. If I could choose to live in a dump with my parents and we’d be a family or I could have a mansion and scarcely see them.

I’d choose the dump every time.

“I’ll do my best to help you.” He lifted my legs off his lap. “But first, we ride.”

I blushed. I couldn’t help it.

“You can’t do that anymore,” he whispered, his blue eyes piercing. “You can’t blush when I say things like that.”


He muttered a curse and walked away. I could have sworn he adjusted himself near the door, but I was too busy hiding behind the couch to fully commit to ogling him.

“Where’s your bike?” he called over his shoulder before turning around.

“In the garage. It’s kind of dark now, though, let’s ride tomorrow after work.” I totally said it without stuttering or blushing.

“Fine.” He looked exhausted.

“Don’t forget the spider.” I pointed at the bucket. “And don’t let it loose in nature. We can’t have that bastard procreating with another, smaller spider and creating zombie spider babies that take over the world.”

He just stared at me like I’d lost my mind.

And then shook his head as a smile played across his face. “You’re entertaining, I’ll give you that.”

“I’ll take that as a compliment, thank you.”

“It was meant to be one.”

We froze, both of us smiling at each other.

“Sleep,” I whispered. “You’ve got a busy day tomorrow.”

“Yup.” He gripped the bucket in one hand; the muscles in his forearm flexed. “Take some ibuprofen and ice the spider bite. If you feel any muscle weakness or tightness in your chest, let me know and I’ll prescribe you something.”

“Ah, the power of the pen.”

He rolled his eyes and waved with his free hand. “See you tomorrow morning at eight, Austin.” He hesitated in the doorway. “Be sure to wear something work-appropriate.”

“Oh, so you want me to wear a bike uniform?”

He flipped me off and quietly shut the door against my laughter.


Now Available on Amazon & Free in Kindle Unlimited!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | GoodReads

Meet the Author:

RVDAuthorPicRachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. When she’s not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor.

She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband, adorable son, and two snoring boxers! She loves to hear from readers!


Facebook | Website | Newsletter | Instagram |Twitter | Amazon | Goodreads | Rachel’s Rockin’ Readers

The Butterfly Project (Emma Scott)

2017 NEW ADULT READING CHALLENGE | Book based on its cover

“Where you are is home…”

At age fourteen, Zelda Rossi witnessed the unthinkable, and has spent the last ten years hardening her heart against the guilt and grief. She channels her pain into her art: a dystopian graphic novel where vigilantes travel back in time to stop heinous crimes — like child abduction — before they happen. Zelda pitches her graphic novel to several big-time comic book publishers in New York City, only to have her hopes crash and burn. Circumstances leave her stranded in an unfamiliar city, and in an embarrassing moment of weakness, she meets a guarded young man with a past he’d do anything to change…

Beckett Copeland spent two years in prison for armed robbery, and is now struggling to keep his head above water. A bike messenger by day, he speeds around New York City, riding fast and hard but going nowhere, his criminal record holding him back almost as much as the guilt of his crime.

Zelda and Beckett form a grudging alliance of survival, and in between their stubborn clash of wills, they slowly begin to provide each other with the warmth of forgiveness, healing, and maybe even love. But when Zelda and Beckett come face to face with their pasts, they must choose to hold on to the guilt and regret that bind them, or let go and open their hearts for a shot at happiness.

The Butterfly Project is a novel that reveals the power of forgiveness, and how even the smallest decisions of the heart can — like the flutter of a butterfly’s wings — create currents that strengthen into gale winds, altering the course of a life forever.

This book is a masterpiece! Another hidden gem. I cannot believe I had it for a few months on my Netgalley shelf without picking it up. What’s wrong with me?!?!?!?!

I absolutely loved this book. The writing is gorgeous, and it made me want to read more books by Emma Scott STAT! I loved the style. The book is told in the third person, and in dual POV, and I adored the different voices and the subtle beauty of the writing. My only small issue with the writing was the alternating of the tense if the verbs, mainly in the beginning of the book, but I think that is mostly an issue of editing that has probably been solved by now.

Both main characters are beyond amazing. Zelda and Beckett were just such great, lonely and sad people, who deserved all the good things in the world, because they had such amazing hearts. Zelda was trying to find a way to cope with what happened in her past, not allowing herself to see how anything that happened was not her fault. While Beckett believed that he had no right to happiness, because of what he did. They help each other see that they deserved forgiveness and acceptance. They deserved happiness. All the happiness in the world EVER.

The romance is a slow burn, and I thought it was perfect how they became friends, then partners, and only then just more. They both needed time to come to terms with how they felt for each other, so the pacing was PERFECT!

I found the plot pretty amazing too. I loved how it focused so much on the growth and acceptance of both Zelda and Beckett, because I love character driven books.

Overall, I loved pretty much everything about this book. The secondary characters are also pretty epic, and I loved the graphic novel aspect of the book, and how Beck and Zel find the perfect way to intertwine their lives in it.

I loved loved loved this book, so you guys should DEFINITELY pick it up. SOON! It’s that good!

Something I Need (Lena Lowe)

Jonte Williamson has a dream: become Nashville’s next big star. Finding herself unexpectedly homeless hot off the plane wasn’t part of her grand plan.

Cash Bellini is a simple man: he loves his twin sister, Dolly, hates country music, and stays far away from anything more complicated than that.

When Jonte stumbles into Cash’s bar, helping out the homeless country music wannabe is the last thing on his agenda. Pity someone forgot to send the memo to his too-big heart and meddling twin. Throw in a pair of baby blue cowboy boots, a pool table and a splash of tequila, and these two are set to ignite in a hot sexy mess! Will either of their hearts survive the tug-o-war between what they want and what they need?

This was yet another book from Netgalley that I’ve had for ages, and the time has arrived 😀 !

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect in the beginning, but I ended up enjoying this book more than I thought I would initially. The writing wasn’t totally my cup of tea, as the book is told in the third person, and even though it is told through dual POV, I wasn’t always sure which POV I was actually reading at some points.

I liked Jonte and Cash as characters, there was depth to both of them, and they did have chemistry. There’s also some great character growth and some great friendships within this book.

My main issues were the plot and the pacing. I liked the romance in the book, and the musical element of the plot. But the main conflict happens a bit early, and it takes a long time to get through it. More than anything, I really hated those last 15% of the book is Cash trying and failing to solve the problem, especially because his attempts were so dumb! That really threw me off, because these characters were not having a conversation about what plagued them, and that’s what they truly needed.

The book also dragged a lot in the beginning and then again at the last portion, so the pace was weird, unfortunately.

Overall, it was an enjoyable read, and it still made me want to pick up the following book, to see where these characters are 🙂 .

Seeking Mansfield (Kate Watson)

Sixteen-year-old Finley Price has perfected two things: how to direct a world-class production, and how to fly way, way under the radar. The only person who ever seems to notice Finley is her best friend and godparents’ son, Oliver Bertram. Since Finley moved in with her godparents after the death of her father, she and Oliver have grown close. If Finley could just take Oliver’s constant encouragement to heart and step out of the shadows, she’d finally chase her dream of joining the prestigious Mansfield Theater. But when teen movie stars Emma and Harlan Crawford move across the street from the Bertrams, they shake up Finley and Oliver’s stable friendship. As Emma and Oliver grow closer, Finley realizes that Harlan’s attention is shifting to her. She discovers she might have feelings for him too. Or, is she only interested in Harlan because Oliver is taken? Finley doesn’t want to be won, and she doesn’t want to see Oliver with anyone else. To claim Oliver’s heart — and keep her own — she’ll have to find the courage to do what she fears most: step into the spotlight.

I read this book as a buddy read with Cátia @The Girl Who Read Too, go to her blog in the next few days to read her review of this book, which I’m already warning you, will be slightly more flattering than mine.

You know when you are reading something with the most amazing reviews, and all you can think is “WTF? Did they read the same thing as me?!”. That’s how I felt about this book. I was excited to read it because it had some amazing reviews on goodreads, also, it’s a Jane Austen retelling, so what could go wrong, right? Well, for me, almost everything.

The redeeming quality of this book was the great writing. I have to say that Kate Watson sure has her way with words and she made the writing great on this one. However, the story and the characters just didn’t live up to it.

I have to admit that Mansfield Park is probably my least favorite of Austen’s stories, though I haven’t read the book yet, only saw the adaptation on the TV. But while the story works in that setting, I didn’t think it worked at all in the modern world.

The characters were all flawed, and I could have been on board with it, but they weren’t at all likable. I felt some sympathy for Finley and Oliver, and that was it. I HATED everyone else.

Finley felt like such a weak character, and I while I understand that she was broken from her past experiences, she still subjected herself to way too much abuse. She had no voice, and she allowed people to speak for her, in all areas of her life. I mean, by 90% of this book, she was still allowing herself to be stepped on by people who she supposedly loved and loved her back. And while I appreciate that she grew a lot and took charge of her life throughout this book, it still happened more because of other’s people’s influences, than her own will.

Oliver was my favorite character of the bunch, and I felt like he truly wanted Fin to find her own way, instead of constantly fighting her battles for her. But the thing is, he still fought her battles way too many times, and he neglected her big time when he got a girlfriend. And while I understood his reasoning behind being with Emma, I still thought it could have been dialed down a bit.

I hated Emma and Harlan, and yet, their feelings were sincere and they were super important to make Finley come out of her shell. They were still pretty horrible human beings, and the fact that Finley and Oliver were in relationships with these two characters, made me a bit sick.

I’m gonna drop some situations in the book that didn’t make any sense to me and that I honestly hated, ok? So, a bit of SPOILERS ahead…

  • Finley sees Harlan and Juliette kissing. Juliette had a boyfriend at that point, which was not Harlan. And yet, after this Finley gives him a chance and FALLS IN LOVE with him. HOW? Their relationship felt way too physical for me. She hated that he smothered her opinions. And yet, she loves him?!
  • Her godfather, Oliver’s dad, opens his eyes by the end, and makes sure that Fin is happy and has everything she needs. And yet, for 2 years she was treated horribly. She only had hand-me-down clothes, she didn’t have a proper phone, she sacrificed all her time to do whatever they wanted. And this might have not been so bad, if not for the fact that they were filthy rich, and he made sure he told her how “lucky” she was for what they gave her.
  • Tate, Oliver’s older brother, technically likes and treats Finley like family. But has no problems waking her up drunk at 4 am, so she can pack for him. Or almost kiss her at some point. Those things are not addressed, especially the fact that he was always hitting on her and making his moves.
  • By the end of the book, I still wasn’t sure if Harlan was just that stupid, or if the author didn’t know the difference between Portuguese and Spanish…
  • Harlan blames the fact that he cheated on Finley on… FINLEY! Yep, his excuse was that it was her fault because she wasn’t there. Her thoughts?! “He might have a point”… WTF?!
  • I had a tough time buying the whole thing about Finley’s past. Liam, her older brother, was almost 18 by the time their dad passed away, and I found it kind of unbelievable that he would let their mom abuse her like that and not say something before. The whole story would have made much more sense to me if she was an only child.
  • Oliver offers the spot of someone working hard and proving themselves to go on a mission with him, to his girlfriend Emma, who had no interest in the work whatsoever. That felt so cheap and wrong for me.

Overall I really disliked this book. The writing was great though, and it was the only reason I kept reading it. That and the fact that Cátia wasn’t allowing me to give up on it. So, it was not my thing at all, and I honestly don’t understand all the raving reviews, but hey, to each its own…

Hot Shot (Kelly Jamieson)

A former Navy SEAL and current bad boy bar owner learns to trust a free spirit in this steamy novel of unexpected romance from the bestselling author of Body Shot and the Heller Brothers series.

Marco Solis knows that if he gets too close to people they disappear. His parents were deported back to Mexico when he was fourteen, his fiancée married someone else while he was in the military, and now his business partner’s spending more time with his girl than with Marco. For better or worse, that’s how Marco meets Carrie Garner. She’s legitimately model-hot. She’s also a nut — a wild, artsy, unapproachable nut. So why is Marco so interested in cracking her shell?

Although Carrie Garner is a natural in front of the camera, her dream is to make it as a photographer. Soon she’ll be heading to Spain for design school, and she’ll miss her best friend, Hayden, like crazy. She’ll even miss Hayden’s boyfriend, Beck — but she won’t miss Beck’s partner, Marco. Bossy, brooding, and annoyingly sexy, Marco really pushes her buttons, though he obviously wouldn’t mind pushing her buttons in an up-against-the-wall, hard-and-fast kind of way. The craziest part is, if Carrie lets him do that, well . . . she may never want to leave.

I read this book as a buddy read with Cátia @The Girl Who Read Too, so go to here to check out her review of this book.

I‘ve now read several books by Kelly Jamieson, and she hasn’t disappointed me yet 🙂 . This book is told in dual POV, third person, and while third person is not my favorite thing in romance books, Kelly Jamieson does a great work with it, and she manages to give unique voices to her characters.

I really liked Carrie and Marco, and I loved how they were so similar in some ways. They valued the same things, they both wanted to be valued by the people they loved the most, and they wanted to feel like they belonged. I really liked that they started out as sort of enemies, but they dropped that pretense pretty easily and admit their attraction.

The romance evolves pretty slowly, even with the strong attraction between them. But they take their time to know each other better, and they spend a lot of time with each other, talking, having fun, being with family. I really liked how ingrained they were in each other’s lives. I also really liked the character development in this book. Both character grow a lot, and they make each other better.

Cátia mentioned this, and I agree 100%, that I love how involved and important friends and family are in this book.

Either way, this ended up being a super great read and it made me want to pick up the first book in the series ASAP.

Have you guys read this one? Thoughts?