Genre: New Adult

Review: The Chase by Elle Kennedy

Posted September 6, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: The Chase by Elle KennedyReviewer: Holly
The Chase (Briar U, #1) by Elle Kennedy
Series: Briar U #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: August 6, 2018
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: New Adult
Pages: 377
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Goodreads
three-stars

Everyone says opposites attract. And they must be right, because there’s no logical reason why I’m so drawn to Colin Fitzgerald. I don’t usually go for tattoo-covered, video-gaming, hockey-playing nerd-jocks who think I’m flighty and superficial. His narrow view of me is the first strike against him. It doesn’t help that he’s buddy-buddy with my brother.

And that his best friend has a crush on me.

And that I just moved in with them.

Oh, did I not mention we’re roommates?

I suppose it doesn’t matter. Fitzy has made it clear he’s not interested in me, even though the sparks between us are liable to burn our house down. I’m not the kind of girl who chases after a man, though, and I’m not about to start. I’ve got my hands full dealing with a new school, a sleazy professor, and an uncertain future. So if my sexy brooding roomie wises up and realizes what he’s missing?

He knows where to find me.

The Chase is the latest contemporary new adult release by Elle Kennedy. I’ve been dying for Elle Kennedy to return to this world. I loved the Off-Campus series and I was so excited when I saw she was releasing Summer and Fitzy’s book. Although we met Fitzy in the Off-Campus series, this stands alone just fine.

Summer has been crushing on Collin Fitzgerald for a few months. A New Years Eve party gives her the perfect chance to see if their chemistry is everything she thinks it’ll be. When things go awry, she ends up kissing another hockey player, Hunter, instead. Her living plans fall through a couple weeks before she’s supposed to start at Briar U, and she ends up rooming with Fitzy, Hunter and one other guy, so things get pretty complicated. She and Fitzy are still dancing around each other, but Hunter makes it clear he’s interested..and how. Summer wants to like Hunter, but unfortunately it’s Fitz who has her attention.

Fitzy really wants Summer, but he doesn’t want to want her. He’s a quiet introvert, and someone like Summer who is always in the spotlight just isn’t for him. He keeps saying and doing the wrong thing with her, but somehow he can’t seem to stay away. When push comes to shove, can he stand his ground and be with someone like Summer? Or is it too late for them?

I really wanted to like this story. I went into it with high expectations, but in the end I was left feeling like the book was unfinished. There were too many open threads and unresolved plot-lines. More, I really disliked the love-triangle between Hunter, Summer and Fitz. I feel like Summer spent the majority of the book leading Hunter on, while Fitz lied about how the way was clear because he didn’t want her. The first time I read the book, I was glad Summer and Fitz got together, but I read it a second time and I couldn’t get over how poorly they both treated Hunter. As a friend, teammate and roommate, he deserved more from them.

I also felt like the sleazy professor bit was unfinished. Or maybe the final resolution was just unsatisfactory. I wish we’d seen the fallout of that on page. I also wish we’d seen more than just a lame apology from her adviser.

In terms of the romance, I really enjoyed Summer and Fitz together. The push-pull of their relationship was wonderfully done. I loved how different they were, yet how compatible for all that. I really liked that Fitz was a nerdy introvert. I also really liked Summer. Her ADHD was explained well, and I loved that she and her family were so close. The conversations between her and her parents had me cracking up. My heart also broke for her as she struggled with her self-confidence about her smarts. She was a confident woman in many aspects of her life, but the inferiority she felt because of her ADHD came across so well, my heart really went out to her. There’s so great humor in this book, too. Fitz and Summer kept getting interrupted during sex and I laughed out loud a couple times over it.

While I loved parts Fitz and Summer’s romance, the way they handled things with Hunter, coupled with the unfinished feel of other parts, sullied the story overall. Without that, I’d probably have given it a 4. As it is, I have to go with:

3.0 out of 5

Even so, I am looking forward to the next book in the series.

Briar U

three-stars


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Summer Reading Challenge Review: The Deal by Elle Kennedy

Posted August 22, 2018 by Casee in Reviews | 4 Comments

Summer Reading Challenge Review: The Deal by Elle KennedyReviewer: Casee
The Deal (Off-Campus, #1) by Elle Kennedy
Series: Off-Campus #1
Also in this series: The Deal (Off-Campus, #1), The Deal (Off-Campus, #1), The Mistake (Off-Campus, #2), The Mistake (Off-Campus, #2), The Score (Off-Campus, #3), The Score (Off-Campus, #3), The Goal (Off-Campus, #4)
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: April 9, 2015
Point-of-View: First
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Pages: 330
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Goodreads
five-stars

She's about to make a deal with the college bad boy...

Hannah Wells has finally found someone who turns her on. But while she might be confident in every other area of her life, she's carting around a full set of baggage when it comes to sex and seduction. If she wants to get her crush's attention, she'll have to step out of her comfort zone and make him take notice...even if it means tutoring the annoying, childish, cocky captain of the hockey team in exchange for a pretend date.

...and it's going to be oh so good

All Garrett Graham has ever wanted is to play professional hockey after graduation, but his plummeting GPA is threatening everything he's worked so hard for. If helping a sarcastic brunette make another guy jealous will help him secure his position on the team, he's all for it. But when one unexpected kiss leads to the wildest sex of both their lives, it doesn't take long for Garrett to realize that pretend isn't going to cut it. Now he just has to convince Hannah that the man she wants looks a lot like him.

This book was fucking amazing. Ah-maze-ing. That’s right. Amazing.

I didn’t have high hopes after reading The Year We Hid Away. I should have had faith in Elle Kennedy though. Why? Because she’s Elle Fucking Kennedy. That woman knows how to write a book. I’m not usually into this “New Adult” crap, but after reading this book, I plan to continue to read every single thing that she has written thus far.

Garrett Graham is a star hockey player. He’s also misunderstood. No, he really is. Everyone sees him as the son of a Stanley Cup winner. They don’t understand how much his abusive childhood has affected him. Hell, even Garrett doesn’t fully understand how it has affected his every day life. That is until Hannah Wells comes into his life.

Garrett only needs Hannah to tutor him. If he doesn’t pull up his grade in Ethics, he will be suspended from the hockey team. Only Hannah tells him no, which shocks Garrett to no end. She isn’t impressed by him, him status or, well, him. At all. So he makes her a deal. He will help her get the guy she’s crushing on if she helps him bring his grade up. Win-win. Until he starts falling for her.

Hannah has her own demons. When she was fifteen, she was drugged and raped at a party. What came after is only the stuff of nightmares. She’s mostly dealt with everything, but she still has a little problem when it comes to sex. She can’t have an orgasm. After a few weeks of studying with Garrett and a seriously hot kiss, Hannah propositions Garrett. Which sounds sleazy, but it was anything but.

These two were just made for each other. Garrett comes to the realization that hockey isn’t everything. Hannah realizes how wrong she was about Garrett. He’s not just some dumb jock. This book is so damn funny. I was sitting on the beach, literally laughing my ass off and people were looking at me like I was insane. I didn’t care. I was enjoying the book too much. Any author that can make me laugh like that is a keeper in my book. So thank you, Elle Kennedy. I haven’t enjoyed a book this much in a long time.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Off-Campus

five-stars


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Review: Forget You, Ethan by Whitney G

Posted August 14, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Forget You, Ethan by Whitney GReviewer: Rowena
Forget You, Ethan by Whitney G.
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: August 2, 2018
Point-of-View: First
Genres: New Adult
Pages: 228
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Goodreads
three-half-stars

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer...

I've hated Rachel Dawson since I was seven years old. My next door neighbor and number one sworn enemy, she's the reason why almost all of our childhood fights ended with me setting something of hers on fire. (Or, vice versa.)

She snitched on me when I broke curfew.

I snitched on her when she lied about having a boyfriend.

We went back and forth like this throughout high school, both vowing to never talk to each other again when we went off to college.

But that was until she showed up at my apartment during my senior year and asked me for a temporary place to stay. Until I realized just how much between us had changed, and the line I thought we'd never cross became harder and harder to ignore...

**This is a standalone friends (to enemies) to lovers romance**

I feel like I’ve been waiting on this book for forever but boy was I glad to jump right into it right when I got it for review. I really enjoyed the last NA book that I read by Whitney G (Sincerely, Carter) so I knew that I had to get this one as soon as I could. This was super fast to read and while it was enjoyable, it was too much like Sincerely Carter IMO.

I mean sure, there are slight differences in that Ethan and Rachel hate each other growing up. They seem to really hate each other still but I didn’t completely buy it because why would they continue their letter writing for so long if they really hated each other? They were hate best friends and that was that. When Rachel goes away to college on board a ship, she and Ethan stay in touch through letters written by hand and Ethan kept track of where Rachel’s ship was in port so that he can send his letters to the right places. So, hate each other? Yeah right. I don’t think anyone goes to that much trouble for someone they hate.

Anyway, so it’s the start of their senior year in college and Rachel is done with college abroad. She’s going to finish up her college career on land and far, far away from a ship. When her housing situation falls through, she needs to find a new place to stay and that’s when she’s brought into Ethan’s vicinity again. Ethan, the boy next door that used to torment her throughout elementary, middle and high school. The boy that got on her nerves so much that she jumped at the chance to move far away from him and board a ship for college.

Ethan isn’t happy about the situation either. He comes home to find out that his roommate burned their house down so they have to move and the house that they’re moving into is bigger and cost more so they need a roommate and this is where the worst blast from his past shows up in the form of Rachel Dawson.

So, of course, they become roommates and of course, things get interesting and I found that while I enjoyed this book, it didn’t have the magic that Sincerely Carter had for me. Sure, I enjoyed Ethan and Rachel finding common ground with each other and I really enjoyed when they finally got together but something was missing to make me completely love it. Maybe it was how much they reminded me of Carter and Arizona (being best friends who didn’t see each other like that until they do) but with a lot more fighting?? I don’t know.

Whitney G did write an engaging book for them though. It didn’t take me long to read, the story was really easy to fall into but I guess because I kept comparing this one to Sincerely Carter, my enjoyment of the book as a whole suffered some. Still, it was a solid read.

Grade: 3.75 out of 5

three-half-stars


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Summer Reading Challenge Review: The Year We Hid Away by Sarina Bowen

Posted July 25, 2018 by Casee in Reviews | 6 Comments

Summer Reading Challenge Review: The Year We Hid Away by Sarina BowenReviewer: Casee
The Year We Hid Away (The Ivy Years, #2) by Sarina Bowen
Series: The Ivy Years #2
Also in this series: The Year We Hid Away (The Ivy Years, #2), Blonde Date (The Ivy Years, #2.5), The Year We Fell Down (The Ivy Years, #1), The Understatement of the Year (The Ivy Years, #3), The Shameless Hour (The Ivy Years, #4), The Fifteenth Minute (The Ivy Years, #5), The Fifteenth Minute (The Ivy Years, #5)
Publisher: Rennie Road Books
Publication Date: June 1, 2014
Point-of-View: First
Genres: New Adult
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Goodreads
three-half-stars

She’s hiding something big. He’s hiding someone small.

Scarlet Crowley’s life was torn apart the day father was arrested for unspeakable crimes. Now the shock has worn off, but not the horror.

It’s a safe bet that Scarlet is the only first year at Harkness College who had to sneak past TV news trucks parked on her front lawn just to leave town. But college will be Scarlet’s fresh start. Clutching a shiny new student ID — with a newly minted name on it — she leaves it all behind. Even if it means lying to the boy she’s falling for.

Bridger McCaulley is a varsity hockey star known for being a player both on and off the ice. But a sobering family crisis takes that all away. Protecting his sister means a precarious living arrangement and constant deception. The only bright spot in his week is the few stolen hours he spends with Scarlet.

The two form a tentative relationship based on the understanding that some things must always be held back. But when grim developments threaten them both, going it alone just won’t work anymore. And if they can’t learn to trust one another now, the families who let them down will take everything they’ve struggled to keep.

I’m just going to put this out there from the jump…I didn’t enjoy this book. It just wasn’t my cup of tea. It was too sweet, for lack of a better word. At first the college thing really pulled me out of the book because my kid is going to college in 29 days (less by the time you read this review). I just kept imagining my own kid in these characters places and it was laughable. So that kept distracting me. The first person was surprisingly easy to read. By now I’m on my third book and third FP person book of the challenge and it’s a breeze. Moving on…

Scarlett Crowley formerly known as Shannon Ellis has escaped hell to go to college. During her junior year in high school horrific allegations begin coming out against her father when a boy in a neighboring town commits suicide and leaves a note detailing his abuse at her father’s hands. Then Shannon’s life comes to a screeching halt. All her friends desert her, she loses her position as the starting goalie on the hockey team, and basically becomes a pariah at her school. When the time comes to go to college, she embraces it.

Now known as Scarlett, she is thrilled with her new life where no one knows her or her past. She even meets someone. Bridger McCaulley seems to have secrets of his own, but Scarlett doesn’t begrudge him that. She obviously has secrets of her own. They begin a sweet romance that is tempered by responsibility on both parts.

Bridger has all the feels for Scarlett but his secret is about three feet tall and attends elementary school. He’s breaking all the rules by having her live in his dorm, but there is nothing else to do as he had to take Lucy out of their mother’s house. He is walking a tightrope and Scarlett is the only escape he has from the insanity that his life has become. The his separate lives collide.

Scarlett thinks she’s doing a pretty good job keeping everything separate, then her two worlds collide. So I did admire these two for what they were going through, but I had a hard time with a few things. Like if Scarlett wanted to not be known, why did she only go two hours away from home? How long did Bridger thing he could get away with having Lucy at his dorm? I’ve seen a dorm and he’s lucky he lasted that long. It’s crazy. The romance was sweet, it really was. Bridger’s absolute devotion to Lucy was so sweet. Everything was sweet, sweet, sweet. Unfortunately sweet doesn’t do it for me these days.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

The Ivy Years

three-half-stars


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Review: The Hookup by Erin McCarthy

Posted May 9, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: The Hookup by Erin McCarthyReviewer: Rowena
The Hookup (Jordan Brothers, #1) by Erin McCarthy
Series: Jordan Brothers #1
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept
Publication Date: May 8th, 2018
Point-of-View: First Person
Genres: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Pages: 255
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Goodreads
four-stars

Is there an equation for the perfect hookup? Turns out it’s a lot more complicated than one plus one. . . .

Sophie: Numbers are my comfort zone, which explains why my sex life is a big fat zero. Then again, if I’m smart enough to earn a PhD, why can’t I calculate a way to get a guy into bed, just to see what all the fuss is about? With my prima donna sister, Bella, getting married in Maine, I figure her wedding is the perfect opportunity for my little experiment. And Cain Jordan seems hot enough—he’s certainly drunk enough—to show me what I’ve been missing. Judging by the body of evidence, it’s a lot. . . .

Cain:

Being stuck in the same town as my lying SOB twin brother, Christian—who may or may not be the father of the son I’m not allowed to see—is a hell of a reason to drink myself silly after the lobster boat docks each day. Any port in a storm. . . . But Sophie’s different. She doesn’t play around. And she’s becoming a habit I don’t want to break. Because the smartest woman I’ve ever met is also the sexiest—and the only one who makes me want to change.

Don’t miss Bella and Christian’s story in The Breakup!

The Hookup is the first book in Erin McCarthy’s new Jordan Brothers series and it follows the first Jordan Brother, Cain.

Cain spends his days on the water at work as a lobster fisherman and his nights in the bars, getting himself super drunk so that he can forget his brother’s betrayal. He’s an alcoholic for sure but he doesn’t care because drinking makes him forget that the little boy he thought might be his son is actually his nephew because his twin brother slept with his girlfriend. It’s a betrayal that he hasn’t gotten over and I couldn’t say I didn’t understand what drove him to forget. How could you not? So when Cain is in the bar, getting his drink on, he meets Sophie and man does she help him forget.

Sophie is in town for her sister’s wedding and she’s on a mission to get rid of her virginity because it’s become a thing and she wants to get rid of it. She wasn’t waiting for Mr. Right. She just got caught up in school and learning that she never took the time to let loose and lose it. So the time is now and when the guy in the bar that her body zeroes in on accepts her invitation, she thinks she’ll just bang it out and they’ll go their separate ways but what started as a one night stand ends up being a vacation fling and then they do the inevitable and fall in love thing.

Seeing the romance between Sophie and Cain go from hookup buddies to okay, just one more time to many more times after that and not being able to walk away from each other was fun. I enjoyed seeing them together and I really liked that Sophie could be her nerdy, logic before anything else self with Cain and it was okay. Cain liked her just the way that she was and that was great. On the other hand, Sophie didn’t pry too much into Cain’s life even when he spent most of the time that they were together, drunk. So that was a bone of contention that is dealt with and I thought McCarthy did a great job of writing that part of the story into the conflict.

The whole thing with Cain’s twin brother wasn’t really dealt with in this book so I’m hoping that we get more from that in Christian’s book because I’m mighty curious about how Christian ended up betraying his twin brother. Cain is so pissed off at Christian and we see it, I need to find out what that whole deal is before I can even contemplate forgiving Christian so I’m all aboard for reading the next one.

This was a really quick read that I read in one sitting and it was a lot of fun. Sure, the hero is an alcoholic and does a lot of sloppy things over the course of the story but things work themselves out and he does right by Sophie in the end which made me happy. I was left with a whole lot of questions that I’m sure we’ll get answers to in the next book so I’m hooked.

Grade: 4 out of 5

Jordan Brothers

four-stars


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