Genre: New Adult

Review: Friends with Benefits by Hazel Kelly

Posted December 21, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Friends with Benefits by Hazel KellyReviewer: Rowena
Friends with Benefits (Beta Brothers #2) by Hazel Kelly
Series: Beta Brothers #2
Also in this series: My Best Friend's Ex (Beta Brothers #1)
Publisher: Hazel Kelly
Publication Date: August 8, 2018
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: New Adult
Pages: 442
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Carter's been crazy about Nina since the first time he saw her emerald eyes, but his fratastic reputation landed him in the friend zone before he even had a chance to say, "How you doin'?"

So when Nina suggests they become friends with benefits, he can't believe his luck.

After all, once he's gotten in her pants, winning her heart should be easy... right?

**This is a full-length, standalone romance novel with no cliffhanger, no cheating, and a heart-swelling HEA.

Friends with Benefits is the second book in Hazel Kelly’s Beta Brothers series and the story picks up right after the first book ends. It features Zoey’s roommate and Logan’s best friend as they fall in love with each other while trying very hard not to.

Nina is the pretty girl that all the boys try to hook up with so she’s no stranger to hot guys wanting to bang her. Unfortunately, she’s also no stranger to hot guys breaking her heart. Needless to say, she’s over hot guys and the heartbreak they bring her.

Carter is a hot guy who has been crushing on Nina since he first laid eyes on her. She won’t give him the time of day but because his best friend is dating her roommate, they’re around each other a lot so they become friends even though Carter hasn’t given up hope of changing their status to …more than friends. After a night of hanging out, Nina is set to walk back to her dorm room but she’s tired and Carter is tired but doesn’t want her to walk home by herself so he offers up his bed for her to crash on and he promises to drive her home in the morning. She ends up agreeing and before either of them know what’s what, they’re having a lot of sleepovers and they’ve fallen into a friends with benefits relationship that they keep from everyone.

This book was just as good as I hoped it would be after meeting both Carter and Nina in the first Beta Brothers book. I adored both of them and loved seeing them grow together in love. It was really cute to see Carter crushing hard on Nina and striking out at every turn. It was also really cute to see how much he grows to love her over the course of their romance. It was fun, it was sweet and also a little angsty. I wasn’t expecting the angst but welcomed it.

As much as I enjoyed Carter and Nina, they also frustrated me with different things but in the end, I completely adored them and was happy with the ending. I need to read more Hazel Kelly. She’s great. I definitely recommend this book if you’re in the mood for a fun romance between two friends. This was a good one.

Grade: 4 out of 5

Beta Brothers

four-stars


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Review: My Best Friend’s Ex by Hazel Kelly

Posted December 20, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: My Best Friend’s Ex by Hazel KellyReviewer: Rowena
My Best Friend's Ex (Beta Brothers #1) by Hazel Kelly
Series: Beta Brothers #1
Also in this series: Friends with Benefits (Beta Brothers #2)
Publisher: Hazel Kelly
Publication Date: June 8, 2018
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: New Adult
Pages: 420
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three-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

I’ve always been good at sharing. You have to be when you grow up in a family like mine. But I never wanted to share Logan.

From the moment I saw him, my skin prickled and my insides burned, as if I’d found something I hadn’t realized I was looking for.

Unfortunately, I had to keep that to myself since, like all the kids my parents brought home, he was considered family from the moment he took a seat at our table. So from that day on, I did everything I could to force a familial bond.

Piper didn’t have to, though. She noticed immediately how special he was, and it wasn’t long before she was caring for him in a way I couldn’t, a way I wasn’t ready for.

A way that made me insanely jealous.

Night after night, I’d watch her leave my house and sneak over to the annex above our garage to visit him, and I’d stare at the small, curtain-covered window until my eyes burned with tears.

I wanted to be happy for them. After all, Piper and I had been best friends since I was six, and she was so content with him… at least, in the beginning. But it was hard because their relationship taught me that I wasn’t as good at sharing as I thought. I just never cared about anything enough to want it all to myself before.

Until Logan.

Not that I held it against them that they got together. I know better than anyone that you can’t help who you love. You can only help who knows about it.

And since he’ll always be off-limits, there’s no point in sharing my secret.

It doesn’t matter if my body screams for his touch whenever we cross paths.

It doesn’t matter that my heart swells to six times its normal size at the mere thought of that handsome loner’s shy smile.

It doesn’t matter if I think I could love him better than she did.

Because Logan Jones and I are never going to happen.

*This standalone contemporary romance features forbidden love, yummy fratboys, and warm fuzzies galore. Ridiculously happy ending guaranteed! Enjoy!

While browsing for titles to check out from Kindle Unlimited, this series caught my eye. I’m a fan of New Adult books, I’m a fan of the whole best friend’s ex trope so I thought that this would be a good fit for what I was in the mood for. I didn’t pay too much attention to the fact that they shared adopted parents but that didn’t even bother me in this book so it’s really a non-issue for me.

So this book starts off with our heroine, Zoey, moving into her dorm room to start her freshman year in college. She’ll be going to the same college as Logan, the guy that her adopted parents took in a couple of years ago. Logan hasn’t really been around but she’s been aware of him ever since he came to stay above the garage. He left for school early, claiming that he had summer stuff to do but really, he just needed to get away from his attraction to Zoey. They both spent a great deal of time trying to not be around each other out of respect to their adopted parents so in an effort to do that, Logan hooks up with Zoey’s best friend Piper. That relationship blows up and Logan goes away to college.

Fast forward to now, Zoey is now at the same college as Logan and Adopted Dad asks Logan to keep an eye on Zoey. That kind of job is just waiting for all kinds of shenanigans to go down. They are both attracted to each other, they’re both single, and they live close by with no obstacles in their way. What could possibly happen?

Everything can happen, that’s what.

Zoey and Logan definitely had great chemistry but their immaturity throughout most of the book got on my nerves so I didn’t LOVE this book. The book is a solid romance and when they finally get over themselves and their issues, I was happy for them but mostly, I just wanted to move on to the next book between their friends. Also? The title makes it seem like the conflict in this book was about the main character falling in love with her best friend’s ex and the real conflict was about them having the same adopted parents. They spent more time, especially on Logan’s end, trying to get past that then Logan and Piper’s old relationship.

Still, this was a fast read that kept my attention throughout. I was completely sold on the next book by the time I finished this one so I jumped right in. This isn’t the perfect romance but it’s still an enjoyable one with characters that you’ll want to be friends with.

Grade: 3 out of 5

Beta Brothers

three-stars


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Review: Kissing Madeline by Lex Martin

Posted November 6, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Kissing Madeline by Lex MartinReviewer: Rowena
Kissing Madeline (Dearest, #3) by Lex Martin
Series: Dearest #3
Also in this series: Dearest Clementine (Dearest, #1), Finding Dandelion (Dearest, #2)
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: April 26, 2015
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: New Adult
Pages: 260
Length: 9 hours, 53 minutes
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three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

What’s the worst thing about wanting a sexy NFL football player? Everyone else wants him, too.

After catching my boyfriend getting deep-throated by a skanky cage girl, I’ve learned my lesson – never date a professional athlete. Never. Besides, I have more important things to worry about, like not blowing my shot to make it as a broadcast reporter. I won’t let anything get in my way, not even the new “it boy” of the NFL and my hot-as-hell neighbor.

What's the worst thing about getting death glares from his new neighbor? It doesn't make him want her any less.

I’ve worked my ass off to make it to the pros. The last thing I need is the complication of a relationship, especially since my last one was a total train wreck. But I can’t stop thinking about the feisty girl next door with the smart mouth. And I’d love nothing more than to show her what to do with that mouth.

Friends with benefits might be the best idea he’s ever had. Or the worst

Kissing Madeline is a companion novel to DEAREST CLEMENTINE and FINDING DANDELION. Each book is a stand-alone.

Kissing Madeline is the last book in the Dearest series by Lex Martin and it was by far my favorite book in the entire series. It follows Clem’s cheating ex-boyfriend Daren as he gets his life together and falls for Clem’s friend Madeline.

Madeline needs to find a place to stay because she caught her boyfriend cheating on her in their home and she wants out pronto. When she moves in with her friend, she finds out that another cheater, someone who hurt one of her friends lives next door and she’s not exactly thrilled about that. She’s really not thrilled that at work, she’s being forced into doing little sports segments with her next door neighbor and avoiding him is extra hard now. Things take a turn when they start getting closer and Madeline starts hating Daren less. They start spending time together but can’t be public about their relationship because Madeline would lose her job if they’re caught. It doesn’t stop them from seeing each other and it doesn’t stop them from falling for each other but it does make it hard on both of them.

This is my favorite book in the series. I wasn’t prepared to like Daren as much as I did. I knew that he was sorry for everything that went down with Clem and I know that he still felt guilt over his part in all of that so I didn’t exactly hate him but I didn’t know that I would come to love him so much either. Seeing him fall head over heels for the girl that couldn’t be with him was a lot of fun and it was sweet and I enjoyed seeing him and Madeline grown closer together in love. Their bond was evident in the way that they were with each other and I loved that no matter how hesitant Madeline was, he wasn’t. He was all in with her from beginning to end and even when he was being a complete bonehead about things that he should have been upfront about with Madeline, I didn’t hate him. I understood his actions even though I wanted to smack some sense into him.

Like the previous books in this series, there was a lot going on in this one. There was all of the stuff that Daren was dealing with, his family issues, his role on his team while in his rookie season, and everything that came with Madeline. There was everything that Madeline was going through as well. Her job, her last relationship, her trust issues when it came to another professional athlete taking residence in her head and her heart. So Lex Martin had a lot to tackle in this story but I thought she handled the load really well.

The romance between Daren and Madeline felt real and it was a lot of fun to be apart of. I loved seeing them grow together, get struck down and then fight to be together again. I was completely gripped in what was going on and I also carried some anxiety knowing what was to come but pushing through all of that to get through the story. Daren does a lot of growing and so does Madeline. Seeing them fight through the barriers to be together and coming out strong made the ending so much more satisfying for me and I really enjoyed this one. I definitely recommend.

Grade: 4 out of 5

Dearest Series

three-half-stars


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Review: Finding Dandelion by Lex Martin

Posted November 5, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Finding Dandelion by Lex MartinReviewer: Rowena
Finding Dandelion (Dearest, #2) by Lex Martin
Series: Dearest #2
Also in this series: Dearest Clementine (Dearest, #1), Kissing Madeline (Dearest, #3)
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: July 11, 2014
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: New Adult
Pages: 310
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three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

When soccer all-star Jax Avery collides with Dani Hart on his twenty-first birthday, their connection is instantaneous and explosive. For the first time in years, Jax isn’t interested in his usual hit-it and quit-it approach.

But Dani knows better. Allowing herself a night to be carefree and feel the intensity of their attraction won’t change anything when it comes to dealing with a player. So when Jax doesn’t recognize Dani the next time he sees her, it shouldn’t be a total shock. The fact that he’s her new roommate's brother? That’s a shock.

Dani doesn’t regret that night with Jax, just the need to lie about it. Since her roommate has made it clear what she thinks about her brother’s “type” of girl, the last thing Dani wants is to admit what happened.

Jax knows he’s walking a fine line on the soccer team. One more misstep and he’s off the roster, his plans to go pro be damned. Except he can’t seem to care. About anything… except for the one girl who keeps invading his dreams.

Despite Jax’s fuzzy memory of his hot hookup with his sister’s friend, he can’t stay away from her, even if it means breaking his own rules. But there are bigger forces at work–realities that can end Dani’s college career and lies that can tear them apart.

Jax realizes what he’s losing if Dani walks away, but will he sacrifice his future to be with her? And will she let him if he does?

FINDING DANDELION, the second book in the Dearest series, is a stand-alone novel. This New Adult romance is recommended for readers 18+ due to mature content.

Finding Dandelion is the second book in Lex Martin’s Dearest series and it follows Clem’s brother Jax and Clem’s roommate Dani as they journey toward that happily for now, that is a must in contemporary New Adult romances.

Jax and Dani met at Clem’s party and had a one night stand. Dani didn’t know that Jax was her roommates brother and Jax didn’t know that Dani lives with his sister but when they meet again, Dani is disappointed that Jax doesn’t remember her but figures it’s probably for the best since Clem doesn’t want her brother messing with her roommates and her friends so Dani brushes this off even though it stings. But now that Jax and Dani are acquainted, they’re thrown in each other’s way time after time after time and what started off as a tiny white lie to keep the peace is starting to feel like betrayal but hell if Dani knows how to come out from under it.

There’s a lot going on in this book and I thought that Martin did a great job of pulling the reader deeper and deeper into Jax and Dani’s lives. They’re both a little bent from their pasts and that plays into certain things that happen between the two of them and I thought Martin handled all of that pretty well even though I wanted to punch Jax in his stupid junk repeatedly.

These books are a lot deeper than the pretty pastel covers would have you believe but I really enjoyed the writing style and thought the pacing worked well for this particular story. I couldn’t put the book down, even when I was so rip-roaring pissed off at Jax and Dani. I was invested in what they were both going through and I wanted to see how they worked their issues out. I’m happy to say that Lex Martin had and kept my attention from the minute I started this book and I was satisfied with the outcome of their story. I really enjoyed the way that it all came together.

Overall, this was a great addition to the Dearest series and I can’t wait to start the next book, Kiss Madeline because I think I know who Madeline is and I can’t believe I’m looking forward to reading Darrin’s book considering what I know of him from the first book. He shouldn’t be this interesting to me…but he is.

Anyway, this book gets a 3.5 out of 5 from me. I enjoyed it more than Dearest Clem.

Dearest Series

three-half-stars


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Review: Dearest Clementine by Lex Martin

Posted October 24, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Review: Dearest Clementine by Lex MartinReviewer: Rowena
Dearest Clementine (Dearest, #1) by Lex Martin
Series: Dearest #1
Also in this series: Finding Dandelion (Dearest, #2), Kissing Madeline (Dearest, #3)
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: July 14, 2014
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: New Adult
Pages: 368
Add It: Goodreads
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three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Twenty-year-old Clementine Avery doesn't mind being called bitchy and closed off. It's safe, and after being burned by her high school sweetheart and stalked by a professor her freshman year of college, safe sounds pretty damn good.

Her number one rule for survival? No dating. That is until she accidentally signs up for a romance writing class and needs material for her latest assignment. Sexy RA Gavin Murphy is more than happy to play the part of book boyfriend to help Clem find some inspiration, even if that means making out...in the name of research, of course.

As Gavin and Clem grow closer, they get entangled in the mystery surrounding a missing Boston University student, and Clem unwittingly becomes a possible target. Gavin tries to show Clem she can handle falling in love again, but she knows she has to be careful because her heart’s at stake…and maybe even her life.

DEAREST CLEMENTINE is a stand-alone with two companion novels. Look for book 2, FINDING DANDELION, on July 11, 2014. This contemporary New Adult romance is recommended for readers 18+ due to mature content.

Dearest Clementine is the first book in Lex Martin’s Dearest series and it follows Clementine as she lets go of the past and moves on to the future with Gavin. Clementine is an undercover YA author who is struggling to write her next book and needs to get it written and make some money before her next tuition check is due. She’s on her own trying to pay for college and she does that by writing books. Past hurts have turned her into a cold woman who has neither the time or the inclination for relationships. She has too much to do and too much to lose to waste her time on guys that will end up just hurting her anyway. When she meets Gavin Murphy, he changes the way she is and the way that she sees her future and personally, I was glad he came along.

Clem was not an easy person to like in the beginning of this book. I have never been a fan of people lashing out at innocent bystanders when they’re hurting or making the people you meet or are in your life pay for the crimes of other people. There’s a difference between protecting yourself and being a total brat to people who haven’t done anything to you to warrant the brattiness. Clem came off as bitchy and I wasn’t a fan of that. Poor Gavin didn’t know what he was battling day in and day out with this girl but he liked her and he put up with it so that he could get to know her. So that he can understand her.

I really did like how Clem came into her own and really grew into herself. She learned a lot from her past and man, what a past it was that by the time the end came around, I was happy for her. I still thought she was a brat in the beginning, but I understood what motivated her and I even respected the life she made for herself. She was really strong, had to be strong for herself because nobody else was going to be and I respected and even admired her for that.

The romance between her and Gavin was probably the highlight of the book for me. I loved how determined Gavin was to win her over and I loved how comfortable Clem was with him…even though there were some immature shenanigans with Gavin’s ex, I loved how they handled everything together. So while I wasn’t cool with some of Clem’s behavior in the beginning, I thought Lex Martin wrote a great story of two young people falling in love and overcoming the obstacles in their lives. It was a quick but fun read and I was interested enough in the second book that I jumped right in.

Grade: 3.25 out of 5

Dearest Series

three-half-stars


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