Publisher: Jen Frederick

Review: Downed by Jen Frederick

Posted December 1, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Review: Downed by Jen FrederickReviewer: Rowena
Downed by Jen Frederick
Series: Gridiron #3
Also in this series: Jock Blocked
Published by Self-Published, Jen Frederick
Publication Date: December 1, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Pages: 300
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-half-stars

He’s the guy no one likes…

Despite winning two national championships, JR “Ace” Anderson was sent packing from his old school after losing the trust of his coach. At Southern U, he has a second chance to prove that his college legacy isn’t endless debauchery and selfishness. But his reputation precedes him, and his teammates offer a chilly welcome in the locker room. The one person who is willing to accept him is the very woman he should stay away from—his new coach’s daughter.

She’s the girl everyone loves…

Bryant Johnson’s only goal in life is to make others happy, even at her own expense. One look at her father’s new star quarterback, and she knows that Ace is her next project. With a reputation for being a “jerk whisperer”, Bryant has spent her last three years at college reforming sorry behavior and turning bad boys into the best boyfriends ever. In Ace, though, she’s met with surly resistance and a sizzling attraction she doesn’t expect. Fixing this wounded warrior will be her biggest challenge yet. Not falling for him will be even harder.

Between her big heart and his damaged one, a battle is ensuing. In this game of love, every defense will crumble.

Downed is the third book in Jen Frederick’s Gridiron series and it follows, Ace Anderson’s book. If you read the last book in this series, Jock Blocked then odds are, you weren’t a fan of Ace’s. With good reason, of course. Ace was an asshole. He did his best friend dirty and with friends like him, who needs enemies, am I right? 🙂

It’s a new year and for Ace Anderson, a new school as well. Ace transferred from Western to Southern and his new coach is hoping that he can lead the team to a championship and that’s what Ace plans to do. Ace has been at Southern for a few weeks now and hasn’t made any friends. He’s got two roommates that don’t include him in their plans, he hasn’t developed any relationships with any of his other teammates and he knows it’s because he’s an asshole. At a party, a girl named Bryant approaches him and before he knows what is what, she’s claimed his as her boyfriend and he just kind of falls in with her. It’s funny because she’s the girl that everyone loves and he’s the guy that nobody likes. Perfect pairing, right? 🙂 Things really take off after Bryant claims Ace and I’m happy to say that this book hit me in all the right places because I loved the heck out of this book.

So Ace’s main focus is playing football. He knows that he probably won’t be playing professional football so he’s focusing on making the most of his time playing football now. He’s not connecting with his receivers and any of his other teammates on and off the field and while they’re pulling wins out of their hats, the team chemistry still needs a lot of work.

Bryant is the coach’s daughter and when Ace finds out about that (all after the fact), he’s not interested in starting up a relationship with her. He’s been there, done that and he’s got a whole lot of regrets where that is concerned. He’s done with all of the drama from Western. He wants to start fresh here and while he never planned on going the girlfriend route (he likes sex, of course), the more time that he spends with Bryant, the more he likes her.

I really like Jen Frederick’s writing style. She writes realistic college romances that just hits me with all of the feels. I love her dialogue. It’s not cheesy. It’s not over the top. It’s just right for the characters and their age groups. I’m always drawn to her characters and it wasn’t any different in this one. Ace and Bryant were great characters that really leaped off the pages. Their personalities shined bright and I really fell in with everything going on. From Ace’s Dad’s shenanigans to Bryant’s issues with the her sister and all of that, I was right there with them through it all.

I really enjoyed getting to know Bryant. I thought she was a compelling character. I really connected with the way that loved to help others. She was genuinely caring and I adored the way that she grew to love Ace, in all of his asshole-ish ways. I really loved how loyal she was to Ace as well. Her attitude toward everyone from Western had me grinning because first and foremost, she was Ace’s girl.

Another thing that I really loved about this book was how Ace was redeemed without changing his personality completely. He was still the same asshole, just better. He was Ace 2.0 and by the end of the book, I had forgiven him for everything from before and still thought he was low key a jerk but I loved that he was Bryant’s asshole. They were cute and I’m curious to see who gets their story told next. This was a great addition to the Gridiron series. I loved the characters, the new ones, the old ones and I’m excited for more. Kudos to Jen Frederick for writing another winner for me. 🙂

Grade: 4.75 out of 5

four-half-stars

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Review: Unraveled by Jen Frederick

Posted February 15, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Unraveled by Jen FrederickReviewer: Rowena
Unraveled by Jen Frederick
Series: Woodlands #3
Also in this series: Undeclared, Unraveled, Unspoken, Unrequited
Published by Jen Frederick
Publication Date: January 20th 2014
Genres: Romance, Contemporary, New Adult
Pages: 280
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

From the USA Today Bestselling Author Jen Frederick comes another sexy romance in the Woodlands series.

Twenty-five-year-old Sgt. Gray Phillips is at a crossroads in his life: stay in the Marine Corps or get out and learn to be a civilian? He’s got forty-five days of leave to make up his mind but the people in his life aren’t making the decision any easier. His dad wants him to get out; his grandfather wants him to stay in. And his growing feelings for Sam Anderson are wreaking havoc with his heart…and his mind. He believes relationships get ruined when a Marine goes on deployment. So now he’s got an even harder decision to make: take a chance on Sam or leave love behind and give his all to the Marines.

Twenty-two year old Samantha Anderson lost her husband to an IED in Afghanistan just two months after their vows. Two years later, Sam is full of regrets—that she didn’t move with her husband to Alaska; that she allowed her friends to drift away; that she hasn’t taken many chances in life. Now, she’s met Gray and taking a risk on this Marine could be her one opportunity to feel alive and in love again. But how can she risk her heart on another military man who could share the same tragic fate as her husband?

Unraveled is the third book in the Woodlands series and it was another enjoyable story. I’ve been reading a lot of Frederick books lately and I’m really enjoying everything that I’m reading so I’m hoping she doesn’t ever stop writing fantastic books.

This book follows Noah and Bo’s Marine brother Gray as he figures out his life and where his life goes from here. He’s at a crossroads and he’s trying to figure out if he’s going to stay in the Marines and re-enlist or get out and figure something else out. He’s got some leave time so he takes off for the Woodlands to think things through. He wasn’t expecting Sam Anderson though.

Sam Anderson lost her husband to the war two years ago and she wants to move on with her life. She’s done waiting for Will to come home, she’s done playing the grieving widow so when she meets Gray Phillips, she starts to feel again. She feels alive and the more time she spends with him, the more she comes into her own.

I enjoyed Gray’s character before Unraveled so I was pretty excited to finally dig into his own book. I was not disappointed in his story. There were times when I wanted to kick him in the nuts for being a jackass. He wasn’t the perfect hero who did all of the right things and made all the right decisions but I didn’t even care, when all was said and done, I adored him. He was a great hero to Sam and he more than made up for his boneheadedness. I loved that he had Bo and Noah to steer him in the right direction where his relationship with Sam was concerned. I will say that after I read the first love scene between Gray and Sam, I texted Ames and told her that I wanted to bang Gray because ….HOT DAMN! He put it down for Sam. Haha.

There were times when I wanted to shake some sense into Sam as well but I think overall, their imperfections made me like them both even more. Their stories and their romance was fun and perfect for what I was in the mood for. I loved, loved, LOVED the way that Gray was trying to win Sam back and I just love how their love for each other came around. It was a fun romance with an emotional pull as well and I enjoyed it.

I definitely recommend.

4 out of 5

Reading Order:

Undeclared
Unspoken
Unraveled
Unrequited

four-stars

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Review: The Charlotte Chronicles by Jen Frederick

Posted February 10, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: The Charlotte Chronicles by Jen FrederickReviewer: Rowena
The Charlotte Chronicles by Jen Frederick
Series: Jackson Boys #1
Published by Jen Frederick
Publication Date: December 11th 2014
Genres: Romance, Contemporary
Pages: 350
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Charlotte and Nathan were supposed to be forever. They grew up together. Their families were intertwined. Charlotte was Nathan's first love. Nathan was Charlotte's first everything.

Until they weren't.

How do you hold on to the person you know in your heart you are supposed to be with when everything and everyone in the universe is telling you it's over?

How many times does a heart break?

When is enough…..enough?

How long is forever?

What a treat this book turned out to be.

This book follows Nathan Jackson and Charlotte Randolph on their long ass love story. Nathan and Charlotte grew up together. Their parents are best friends (fans of the Woodlands series will love this little tid bit. Noah and Grace from Undeclared are Nate’s parents and Bo and AM from Unspoken are Charlotte’s parents) and Noah’s younger brother Nick is Charlotte’s best friend but Noah…Noah’s always been Charlotte’s protector. A job that he took seriously. Normal kids are sheltered from the world by their parents but not Charlotte. Charlotte is sheltered from everything by the Jackson boys. Her life has revolved around the Jackson boys and she doesn’t know a life without them in it.

While Nick was the brother she never had, Nate was completely different. Her heart has always belonged to the older Jackson brother. She’s never had brotherly feelings for Nathan and she knows that they belong together.

It took Nathan a little longer to come around where Charlotte was concerned but once his feelings become known, the devotion that Nathan has for Charlotte is on one hand beautiful but on the other hand, it’s really heart breaking. The devotion isn’t one way either. Charlotte was just as faithful to Nathan as he was to her but there was a whole lot of drama that came between them.

High school mean girls and then there was time and distance, you name it, it came between Charlotte and Nathan. Mostly, it was Nathan though. He was what came between the two of them and while I understood where he was coming from, while my heart broke for him and everything that he went through, at the same time I wanted to strangle his ol’ stubborn ass.

The angst was pretty high in this one and I’m chalking that up to the way that Frederick wrote this story (it was released as a serial, chapter after chapter through her newsletter and on her author blog) but while there were times aplenty that I thought my eyes were going to roll all the way to China, I couldn’t stop reading this one. I was completely wrapped up in Nate and Charlotte’s world. It helped that the characters were old favorites of mine from the Woodlands series but I enjoyed Charlie’s friend Lainey and Reese and then Nate’s Navy SEAL buddies.

My heart broke multiple times while reading this book but the end more than made up for all that madness for me. I enjoyed all of the drama and the shenanigans. I enjoyed seeing Bo and AM, Noah and Grace again and I loved the parents they all grew up to be. sigh This book has made me anxious to continue Lainey’s List (Nate’s brother Nick’s story) that Frederick is releasing as a serial the same way that this story was released.

Overall, this was a great story. It was entertaining and it was emotionally draining but oh so worth the read.

Reading Order:

The Charlotte Chronicles
Lainey’s List

Grade: 4 out of 5

four-stars

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Review: Sacked by Jen Frederick

Posted September 7, 2015 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Sacked by Jen FrederickReviewer: Rowena
Sacked by Jen Frederick
Series: Gridiron #1
Also in this series: Jock Blocked
Published by Jen Frederick
Publication Date: September 6th 2015
Genres: Romance, Contemporary, New Adult
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-half-stars

What he wants he gets...

Knox Masters is a quarterback's worst nightmare. Warrior. Champion.

And...virgin.

Knox knows what he wants--and he gets it. All American Football player? Check. NFL pros scouting him? Check. Now, he's set his sight on two things. The national title. And Ellie Campbell. Sure, she's the sister of his fellow teammate, but that's not going to stop him. Especially not when he’s convinced Ellie is the one.

...but he's never met her before.

But Ellie isn't as sure. She's trying to start a new life and she's not interested in a relationship...with anyone. Beside it's not just her cardinal rule of never dating her brother's teammates that keeps her away, but Ellie has a dark secret that would jeopardize everything Knox is pursuing.

Knox has no intention of losing. Ellie has no intention of giving in.

I hadn’t heard of this book before getting it for review but I’m all about sports romances and contemporary NA’s so I was all about reading this one. I’m so glad that I did because Jen Frederick brought the heat with this one. At every turn, I was hit with the feels and I even had to put the book down because I thought I was going to burst out of my body, I was so anxious about what was going on in the story.

Eliot Campbell, Ellie for short wasn’t dealt a good parents card. They were pretty terrible parents to both her and her brother Jack so for as long as she can remember, they’ve always had each other’s backs. Jack took care of Ellie and Ellie took care of Jack. That followed them to college, where they both attend the same University. There isn’t a thing that they wouldn’t do for each other and you see Ellie struggle with the things she did to help Jack succeed. Things Jack didn’t know about. Things that started with her mother blackmailing her to do. You see, Jack has trouble learning things. He’s a whiz with math but really struggles with English and History. So Ellie helps him…without his knowledge. She feels guilty about it because she wants him to get help for his learning disability but she’s too chicken to approach him again about getting tested so she continues to do what she can to make sure he can play football.

Knox Masters is the big man on campus. He’s on the football team and he’s a beast on the field. There isn’t a Quarterback that isn’t scared of getting sacked by Masters and he’s got big plans for the NFL. He’s been so busy keeping his eye on the NFL prize that he’s keep distractions at bay and that’s the reason he’s a junior in college and still a virgin. He’s never met a girl that he wanted to lose his virginity to until he meets his teammates sister, Ellie Campbell. Soon, the guy that turned down every girl that tried to hook up with him is in pursuit of the one girl that won’t give him the time of day.

It’s not that Ellie isn’t attracted to him. She’s still smarting from the last time she dated one of her brothers teammates and hasn’t finished feeling guilty about everything that happened after that disastrous relationship.

It doesn’t stop Knox from pursuing her though. He knows that she wants him just as much as he wants her and he’s not about to walk away from her, especially since he knows that she’s the one. The way he knows she’s the one??? The test that he conducts with his brother??? Hilarious.

This book was a good one. From beginning to end, I was wrapped up in what was going on. I really came to love both Knox and Ellie. I loved seeing them fall for each other and even though I wanted to smack some sense into Ellie in the beginning, when she finally gets her shit together and lets herself be with Knox, I was so glad. They were good together. They were true partners and their romance steamed up my iPad good. The chemistry between the two of them was scorching and I loved it all.

I’m crossing my fingers and hoping against hope that there will be more books in this series. I’m really hoping that Jack gets a book. Hammer, Ace and Matty too. And Ty, of course. Ty’s got to have his turn testing his girl. But I really, really want Jack’s book. Jack and Riley? Ty and Riley? I’m not sure who I want Riley with yet but I want her to get a book too and I want her with either Jack or Ty.

There was much to like in this book. It’s filled with lots of love, loyalty and strong friendships. It’s a book that had me laughing one minute, cheering the next and then choked up the minute after that. Frederick weaved a great story about two people coming together in love and doing what they must to stay together. The cast of characters were fantastic additions and that’s why I want a book for every single one of them. They were that awesome. You should pick this book up. This was definitely one of Frederick’s best releases yet. Prepare to be hit with all of the feels and love every minute of it.

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

This book is available from Jen Frederick. You can purchase it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

four-half-stars

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Review: Unspoken by Jen Frederick

Posted September 22, 2014 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Unspoken by Jen FrederickReviewer: Holly
Unspoken by Jen Frederick
Series: Woodlands #2
Also in this series: Undeclared, Unraveled, Unraveled, Unrequited
Published by Jen Frederick
Publication Date: September 16th 2013
Genres: Fiction, Romance, General, Contemporary, Coming of Age
Pages: 312
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-half-stars

 Whore. Slut. Typhoid Mary. 
I’ve been called all these at Central College. One drunken night, one act of irresponsible behavior, and my reputation was ruined. Guys labeled me as easy and girls shied away. To cope, I stayed away from Central social life and away from Central men, so why is it that my new biology lab partner is so irresistible to me?
He’s everything I shouldn’t want. A former Marine involved in illegal fighting with a quick trigger temper and an easy smile for all the women. His fists aren’t the danger to me, though, it’s his charm. He’s sliding his way into my heart and I’m afraid that he’s going to be the one to break me.
Impulsive. Unthinking. Hot tempered.
I allow instinct to rule my behavior. If it feels good, do it, has been my motto because if I spend too much time thinking, I’ll begin to remember exactly where I came from. At Central College, I’ve got fighting and I’ve got women and I thought I was satisfied until I met her.
She’s everything I didn’t realize I wanted and the more time I spend with her, the more I want her. But she’s been hurt too much in the past and I don’t want to be the one to break her. I know I should walk away, but I just can’t.

This is the second book in Frederick’s Woodlands series. I had some problems with Undeclared, the first book, that I feel were cleared up in this book. Though it isn’t perfect, it was a solid read with emotionally compelling characters.

AnneMarie (AM) had a fun first few months at college. Then she had sex with the wrong boy and turned down an even worse one, and her life has been hell ever since. Central College is smaller than many high schools, which means the same kind of ridiculous cliques and dramas exist there. She expected a different experience when she signed up for the school. Now she lives off campus and mostly keeps to herself or her best friends, to keep from being harassed by the lacrosse team.

When Bo signs them up as partners in science, she’s leery of him. He has a bad reputation and she isn’t interested in being harassed by someone new. But Bo isn’t what she expected. He’s kind, compassionate and caring. All her preconceived notions are blown out of the water the more time they spend together. Lucky for her he isn’t looking for a relationship, because she won’t settle for less and Bo isn’t good for her heart.

Bo has been kind of skating by since he left the Marine Corps. He followed his best friend Noah to college, but he gets his kicks in the underground fights he participates in.  He doesn’t generally do relationships, but the more time he spends with AM, the more he rethinks his stance on them. She’s independent and fierce..and just a little bit broken. Which means they have a lot more in common than she thinks.

These two are…pretty freaking awesome. I loved how they each found something in the other they didn’t even realize they were missing. Bo struggles with a fear he’ll turn abusive like his alcoholic father. AM calms him and brings forth a protective streak he didn’t realize he had. Bo is refreshingly light-hearted most of the time. He had his dark, broody moments, but his interactions with AM were mostly light-hearted and sweet. They had a great rapport and their sarcastic and witty responses to each other spoke to me on a level we probably shouldn’t discuss.

There’s no doubt AM was damaged by what happened to her. More because she felt like she couldn’t trust her judgement, I think, than the actual experience (though the way she was treated by the lacrosse team was pretty horrible). Still, I had to admire her for working hard to get over it. I really like how Frederick dealt with the issue of AM being bullied. She really came into her own as the novel progressed and I like how the situation was dealt with at the end.

Frederick built a college setting that was believable and easy to imagine. I felt like I was there with AM and Bo. I did struggle with how juvenile the actions of the students were, though. At times it felt more like high school than college.

The real draw here, despite the great world-building, is the relationship between AM and Bo. The friendship they developed was solid, which made their fall into love so much sweeter. They faced their demons together, but grew individually. I loved them.

4.5 out of 5

four-half-stars

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