Review: The Good Girls’ Guide to Bad Boys, by Katie Hart

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Part of a series? No.

Category: New Adult.

Genre: Contemporary with some romance and suspense.

Publisher: Carina.

Pages: 304

Blurb:

There’s nothing better than a bad boy…

When feisty break dancer Andrea left for university, she thought she was ready to step into the real world. But she wasn’t prepared for meeting her new neighbour, Hunter.

Arrogant, dangerous and a bit too sexy, Hunter’s everything Andrea knows she should resist…and can’t.

But when she gets swept up into Hunter’s dark, mysterious family, it seems that falling for a seductive rebel might not be all it’s cracked up to be. Is this good girl really ready to take on a bad boy?

Wattpad sensation Katie Hart is the queen of bad boys! Her debut, The Good Girl’s Guide to Bad Boys, is perfect for fans of Kirsty Moseley.

 

ADD IT TO GOODREADS

 

REVIEW:

I received this book via Netgalley for an honest review.

I’ve never heard of this author before and apparently this story was very popular on Wattpad. While I can see why many readers enjoyed this novel, I can’t help but be disappointed.

As any readers I hate writing negative reviews, but I really didn’t enjoy this book for many reasons.

I can see that the author has the talent to write even though I do think it needs to mature some. There are some dialogues that aren’t flowing that well, some descriptions break the rhythm, but I’m sure the author will mature very soon in her writing.

The things that truly bothered me while reading this book and that made me consider not finishing it is the lack of maturity of the characters. Granted, they’re still young since Andy is just starting college, but honestly the lack of emotions, lack of depth is quite maddening. If only it was a silly, funny and light story with some chick lit vibes it would have been alright, but this story is supposed to be darker even though the characters add a comic relief now and then.

I couldn’t understand the characters, even the secondary ones. In my opinion the characterizations are not complete, not polished. In the end, I couldn’t relate to the characters, couldn’t follow their thought process and I couldn’t feel for them.

Also, the plot itself is very much all over the place. Seriously. There are contradictory things happening, some stuff are not understandable because not introduced or dealt properly. Moreover, the author doesn’t spend enough time on the issues and the consequences to better feel for the characters and actually connect with them.

In turn, I couldn’t buy for one second in Hunter and Andy’s attraction and love. Some convos made me smile, I’m not going to lie, but overall I focused on what was not working instead of what was working.

If I’m being honest, there’s not one good thing I can find about the plot. That’s not very usual for me. I’m pretty sure most readers will not feel the same way, so don’t mind me.

In the end, I think I’m not the right reader for this book. Maybe I’m getting too old, maybe I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to read this novel.

Too bad because there are many elements present in this book to make a fabulous story. The execution is lacking for me, unfortunately.

RATING:

1.5 to 20140103-095135.jpg

Review: I Want It That Way, by Ann Aguirre

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Part of a series? Yes.

Cliffhanger? No.

Category: New Adult.

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Harlequin HQN

Pages: 352

Blurb:

Nadia Conrad has big dreams, and she’s determined to make them come true—for her parents’ sake as well as her own. But between maintaining her college scholarship and working at the local day care to support herself, she barely has time to think, let alone date. Then she moves into a new apartment and meets the taciturn yet irresistible guy in 1B….

Daniel Tyler has grown up too fast. Becoming a single dad at twenty turned his life upside down—and brought him heartache he can’t risk again. Now, as he raises his four-year-old son while balancing a full-time construction management job and night classes, a social life is out of the question. The last thing he wants is for four noisy students to move into the apartment upstairs. But one night, Nadia’s and Ty’s paths cross, and soon they can’t stay away from each other.

The timing is all wrong—but love happens when it happens. And you can’t know what you truly need until you stand to lose it.

 

ADD IT TO GOODREADS

 

REVIEW:

I received this book via Netgalley for an honest review.

It’s the first time I’ve read a book written by Ann Aguire, but I’m pretty sure it’ll not be the last! This first installment in the 2B Trilogy won me over.

Nadia and Ty are characters I loved reading about and Nadia’s POV is very well-written even if I think a few things are a little bit too slow and too much descriptive, but I get the contemplative parts and they fit very well the mood of the story when things were getting tough between her and Ty.

It’s not often that I read so grown-up NA Contemporary Romance novels and that’s probably why I enjoyed this one so much. The romance isn’t easy, the characters are responsible and not just driven by their hormones and lust. No, it’s much more than that.

The plot is probably slow if you’re expecting some epic story, but I think it’s perfect for the characters and for the tone of the book. The author depicts life, real life, while using fiction and a pure love to do so. As you can see, I’m currently gushing. 😉

But that doesn’t mean I don’t think some things couldn’t have been improved! The last few chapters before the ending could have been more showing rather than telling. I get the author’s intention and it’s fairly well-done because I could feel Nadia’s pain, but I would have loved to see it more somehow. I don’t want to spoil you so I can’t exactly explain further.

To be honest, I think that’s the only thing negative I can write right now. I love the secondary characters, I love the dynamic between Nadia’s roommates, I love the author’s writing, I love Ty’s son and what he brings to the story, I love the struggles any students would feel shown…

In fact, I’m looking forward to reading the next installments because I’m dying to see Lauren’s story with Nadia’s brother, but also Max’s story in the last installment. I hope to enjoy these other two books as much as this first installment. 🙂

This book is different from what you can find in NA contemporary romance novels and for me it’s a good thing. The book isn’t all about lust even though there are a couple of hot scenes, the book isn’t all about broken characters, but about young men and women trying to be adults and dealing with questions and fears regarding their future while not overlooking their responsibilities. This story rings true.

If you’re looking for something hot and full of angst with a fast paced plot, then this book is probably not for you. But if you’re looking for a novel that is truthful and sweet, then this one could be for you.

What do you think if Ty? I’m quite taken by him and his son is rather cute.

 

RATING:

4.5 to 20131028-173205.jpg

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Review: Caught Looking, by Meghan Quinn

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Part of a series? Yes.

Cliffhanger? Not really, but it’s obvious the story continues.

Category: Adult.

Genre: Contemporary Romance.

Self-published.

Pages: 365.

Blurb: 

**NEW EDITION**
(This book has been freshly formatted and edited 8/10/2014)

“What a fantastic concept for a book, think soap opera, without the dramatic stares before commercials.”

“SHIT hits the fan, betrayal comes in the biggest of forms, new friendships bloom, love finds its way back, and grief sneaks up on us like the devil in disguise!”

Things are starting to heat up in Atlanta, or at least in Jane’s celibate life of two years. On the two year anniversary of her nasty split between her and her ex, Jane’s friends, Molly – class “A” filthy mouth – and Albert – flamboyant dresser extraordinaire – decide it’s high time Jane drops the conservative persona, let loose and start to have some fun once again.

Brady Matthews, Atlanta Braves first baseman and well known through the media as Atlanta’s gigolo, thought he was just taking his new teammate, Michael Banks, out on the town. Little did he know Michael’s friend from college, Jane, was going to show up at their table and turn his world upside down.

When Brady meets Jane, he is instantly attracted to Jane’s innocence and inner sex kitten but the last thing she wants is to be thrown into another relationship with such a publicly known man-whore especially after her heart was broken so devastatingly. Brady makes it his mission to win Jane over and make her see him as the man he actually is, not the way the media perceives him. But it is not that simple. Wedding plans, spring training, ex’s, old college friends, the paparazzi and gossip magazines seem to keep getting in the way of Brady’s goal to earn Jane’s heart.

Caught Looking goes through the love lives of Jane, Brady and their group of friends fighting the hardships of cheating, trusting, losing love and trying to find it once again. In one of America’s hottest cities, the gang heats up the sheets while their lives entangle together causing heartache, suffering through loss and finding love….hopefully.

 

ADD IT TO GOODREADS

 

REVIEW:

I received this book via Netgalley for an honest review.

This first installment in the Hot-Lanta series has me wondering what I think about it and what I can possibly write to express my reading experience. As weird as it sounds, I don’t know. Not really that is.

On the one hand, I really didn’t like it. I’m not a fan of multiple POVs in books. More than 2 and I’m annoyed because I can’t actually get fully invested in all characters. Here, there are more than 2 POVs and while it’s well-done, I’m far from a fan. For more than half of the book I wondered every couple of pages if I would finish reading this book or not. (But I did finish it obviously).

On the other hand, I enjoyed a little bit more the last part of the book. I wouldn’t go as far as writing that I had a really good time, but I wasn’t antagonizing the book and the characters as much anymore. In fact, I think I started reading much faster then.

I really thought I would fall for this book and the characters. The premise sounded good and I heard great things about this novel so I was eager to read it. Maybe that’s why I’m so disappointed. I was probably waiting for too much and for something completely different.

The characters while distracting and fun at times, are still pretty clichés and for adults acted very immature for my taste. That bothers me because in a way I think the author didn’t go deep enough when it comes to the characterization or even regarding the emotions. Not until the very end in one scene at least.

Most of the time I found the characters acting like teens and while it could be endearing sometimes, here it was just maddening for me. It’s probably just me because I know many readers don’t feel the same at all. I’m the odd one out here.

The plot itself is very common and some scenes were too repetitive for my taste. The whole thing with Michael was going around and around and even Jane’s internal musings were going back to stating the same thing in the exact same sentence several times. Since I was reading the book quickly I picked it right away and since this book didn’t win me over I couldn’t look past it, as ridiculous as it is.

Though, I like Brady’s soft side and Molly made me laugh sometimes. I guess there’s always that.
Albert while great is the kind of character I see way too much in books these days.

Honestly, I think this book has everything to make of something wonderful, but it fell short for me. The twists with Laney and George weren’t well-introduced and not that greatly exploited, the hang-ups Jane felt were overcome in a weird way that didn’t make me feel for her.

I can see the potential, I can see why so many readers love this book and I can see the author’s talent and that’s why I’m rating this book 3 to 3.5 stars, but I didn’t have a good time as I was expecting it. If there’s one sentence I should write now that I’m finished, it would be this:

While I don’t like the multiple POVs and the plot didn’t blow my mind, it’s a sweet story with funny and outright silly moments between friends and lovers.

What do you think of Brady? Luke? Michael?

 

RATING:

3 to 3.5.

Review: Unstoppable, by Melody Grace

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Part of a series? Yes.

Cliffhanger? No.

Category: New Adult.

Genre: Contemporary Romance.

Self-published.

Pages: 218

Blurb:

A secret scar…

Tegan Callahan has sworn off bad boys for good. Growing up on tour with her rock star brother, she knows first-hand the damage they can do. She’s looking for a nice, safe, stable guy – until a chance encounter with a devastatingly sexy stranger makes her question everything she thought she wanted.

A troubled soul…

Ryland James arrives in Beachwood Bay on the run from his mistakes. He knows he’s the last thing Tegan needs, but somehow, he can’t stay away. There’s something about her fierce beauty that draws him in – and makes him vow to protect her, whatever the cost.

A passionate destiny…

Their bond is undeniable; the stakes, higher than ever. But the past won’t stay gone forever, and soon, Ryland must make the ultimate choice: will he risk everything he treasures in the world, or keep Tegan safe – and sacrifice her love forever?

*This book contains adult situations and explicit content. 17+*

 

ADD IT TO GOODREADS

 

REVIEW:

 

I received this book via Netgalley for an honest review.

While this book is the fifth in the Beachwood Bay series, it can be read as a standalone. I haven’t read any of the other books yet, but I didn’t have any issues as I think the author made an amazing job at introducing characters.

I really enjoyed reading this book. It flows well, the characters are enticing and the plot while common works well. I do think some things don’t work as perfectly as they could have, but the good far outweigh the “bad’’.

Let me get started on what I really enjoyed in this book.

The characters. I love the characters and not just the main characters in this book. I also love the little glimpses of Tegan’s brothers and I absolutely adore Ryland’s sister. They all bring something to the story, a real atmosphere that makes it more wholesome in a way.

I love Tegan and Ryland’s past, their issues and hangups. I often love and fell for broken characters because I love “seeing’’ how they overcome everything, how they push through and build a real life. Tegan and Ryland do this in this book. They overcome their past, put it at rest to better focus on their future.

I also love the author’s writing style. It’s not often that I think the dialogues flow effortlessly, that the descriptions serve a purpose to better enhance the emotions. I can only praise the author.

Now you’re probably wondering what I don’t love. There are a few things and you’re probably going to think I’m being contradictory. I will try to explain as best why I’m not rating this book even higher than I already am.

While I love the characters, I think the main characters could have been even more fleshed out, not with descriptions, but with their emotions. We first see Tegan very broken, but I think she lets her past go almost too easily in this book. I know she’s already on her way to getting better, but still. Sometimes I felt off about it because I would have loved to see more doubts, even if Ryland overwhelmed her. I think there the characterization is a little bit weak. Just slightly.
Ryland is amazing, but I would have loved to see more of his struggles regarding his mother. There, I think the plot is lacking something. Maybe a hundred more pages would have been for the best because there are lots of possibilities that could have been even more explored. For example, the ending is too rushed in my opinion, almost too easy.

The plot while simple enough and classic in a way, is a little slow at times while sometimes things are pretty rushed. More build up, more time spend on the issues would have been perfect.

But I’m being very picky here. You know, when you really enjoyed a book, you tend to want even more to make it as perfect as possible according to your opinion. I could have been head over heels, but I’m still pretty enamored with this book still. 😉

I will read the other books in this series. Definitely.

What do you think of Ryland? Who is your favorite book boyfriend in this series?

 

RATING:

4

Review: Charming the Outback, by Leesa Bow

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Part of a series? Yes, but it can be read as a standalone.

Cliffhanger? No.

Category: It’s qualified as a New Adult book, but I think it can be qualified as an Adult novel.

Genre: Contemporary with Romance.

Publisher: Destiny Romance.

Pages: 276

Blurb:

When jaded city girl Maddy McIntyre packs up and leaves Adelaide for a new job in the country, it’s not only a chance at a fresh start. Six months ago, the first guy she’d ever loved shattered her heart before moving home to Broken Hill. Deep down inside, Maddy is hoping that living in the same town will give her an opportunity to prove to Luke that she’s one temptation he can’t resist.

But when she arrives in Broken Hill, Luke White is not the same guy she knew in the city. And it soon seems very clear that he doesn’t want her there. Although Maddy settles in quickly, excelling at work and partying with her new friends, she can’t understand why Luke is remaining so distant. Particularly when all her instincts are telling her that they’re meant to be together – and that he feels the same burning attraction.

As Maddy learns more about Luke’s family and background, she begins to understand that his mixed messages are caused by balancing what’s expected of him with what he really wants. Maddy gave Luke her heart long ago and, despite their differences, she knows she’ll only ever be happy with her hot country boy. But how can she convince him that she’s the risk he needs to take?

 

ADD IT TO GOODREADS

 

REVIEW:

I received this book via Netgalley for an honest review.

When I heard about this book, the blurb made me want to read it. I was expecting a sweet romance, something set in a small town and I was sure I would immediately connect with the characters. Unfortunately, it took me a long time to feel something for Maddy and Luke, and even then it was only half what I was expecting to feel.

I’m going to start with what I enjoyed. I like that the story takes place in Australia. It’s a nice change and while some lingo threw me off at first, I enjoyed this little glimpse into the Australian country. Mind you, I would have loved to see even more of the small town, feel more that difference between Maddy’s city life and the new life she’s trying to build now in the country.

I love some of the secondary characters, for example I’m very much intrigued and taken by Zane. His story should be quite great, or at least that’s how I feel right now. The other friends such as Kristen, Steele, Max and the others make an interesting group and I would have loved to see more details of their dynamic. I think the author should have went all out to show us how tight knit they are and it would have better anchored the small town vibe.

I enjoy the idea of the struggle between Luke, the country boy/man and Maddy, the city girl/woman. That’s always a nice thing and it’s obvious what type of struggles and twists it can bring in a story, but I think it’s not enough explored. It’s told to us, it’s supposedly shown, but unfortunately I couldn’t feel for Maddy. I never connected and I never truly understood Luke as I should have. In fact, for a long time I antagonized him, even when he was supposedly sweet, even when he was right.

It’s not often that I really don’t connect with characters and I can’t explain it. Maybe it’s because the romance isn’t very believable in a way. I can get their attachment, I get the attraction and lingering lust between them, but I never felt their love, never felt their pain, fears and hurt. So, yes I never fully connected with the main characters and I didn’t have as much a good time reading this book as I was expecting. I didn’t feel.

But, maybe it’s because I had other expectations.

The writing style itself is pretty good for this type of story, but I do think that the first few chapters are weak and the dialogues don’t flow all that well. Also, it’s probably because Luke’s introduction is not exactly that great. I don’t mind when the male character comes across as a jerk at first, but here I couldn’t understand his motivations, even later on. Not even now, to be honest. I lack empathy I guess.

But I do think this story is great for readers looking for a story not heavy on the romance, a story taking place in a small town, a story also about friendships. If you want something light and easy to read, then maybe this one is for you.

What do you think of Luke? Am I the only one not feeling anything for him?

 

RATING:

3

Review: Rock Addiction, by Nalini Singh

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Part of a series? Yes.

Cliffhanger? No.

Category: Adult.

Genre: Contemporary Romance. (several sex scenes).

Self-published.

Pages: 356.

Blurb:

A bad boy wrapped in a sexy, muscled, grown-up package might be worth a little risk…

Molly Webster has always followed the rules. After an ugly scandal tore apart her childhood and made her the focus of the media’s harsh spotlight, she vowed to live an ordinary life. No fame. No impropriety. No pain. Then she meets Zachary Fox, a tattooed bad boy rocker with a voice like whiskey and sin, and a touch that could become an addiction.

A one-night stand with the hottest rock star on the planet, that’s all it was meant to be…

Fox promises scorching heat and dangerous pleasure, coaxing Molly to extend their one-night stand into a one-month fling. After that, he’ll be gone forever, his life never again intersecting with her own. Sex and sin and sensual indulgence, all with an expiration date. No ties, no regrets. Too late, Molly realizes it isn’t only her body that’s become addicted to Fox, but her heart…

 

ADD IT TO GOODREADS

 

REVIEW:

I received this book via Netgalley for an honest review.

Once in a while I’m left unsure when it comes to how to rate a book. It’s not often, but sometimes I have mixed feelings and it’s difficult to explain what didn’t work for me in a book. This one is one of those books.

I love reading rock star romance novels. I more often than not love these books, have fun reading the romance unfolding quite often between a rock god and a girl who is basically nobody. I mean, if done correctly it’s great.

But Rock Addiction isn’t the addiction I was expecting and the way the plot is built, the narration and even the writing didn’t blow my mind. I enjoyed some parts, had fun and loved reading about the band’s dynamic, but the “bad’’ is outweighing the good for me. But keep in mind that I did “enjoy” this book, just not to the point of wanting to read the next ones in the series or not to the point of remembering this book in a few months.

Since this book is the first one in a series, but can be read as a standalone because apparently the next ones will be focusing on the other band members, I think some things are not well-introduced in the plot. You can see some stories intertwining regarding the other band members, but in the end the lack of info regarding them while still supposedly teasing to read their stories later on is not something that worked on me. Actually it made me roll my eyes when I realized that it was used and done several times throughout the novel. At first I thought it was a misshap. I like it when in a series stories are intertwined somehow, but here since the plot itself isn’t that thrilling and nothing significant happens it bothered me. A lot.

I know it’s harsh to state that nothing really happens, but to a certain extent it’s true. Fox and Molly’s relationship was never really threatened, their romantic involvement evolved in such a way that in my opinion there’s not build up and it’s almost like insta-love. Even their insta-lust wasn’t all that convincing in my opinion.
Also, I don’t like it when several scenes are happening off page and merely mentioned in passing when it’s obvious that it’s rather important. The first example that comes to my mind it’s the meaning behind one of Fox’s tattoo. (Don’t worry, it’s not a spoiler).

Then there’s also the fact that I think that the characters’ background isn’t used that well. It’s fractured and I think Molly blurted things a little too easily. In the end, I think the emotional side of this story could have been a wonderful tool to use to bring that love story to epic proportion and in the end the emotion is not much present, sometimes even lacking to instead leave much more room to the lust between Fox and Molly, lust that didn’t pick my interest as I was expecting it to.

Also, sometimes some dialogues don’t strike me as natural. Mostly in the first half of the book. Is it because I needed to warm up some more to the characters? Maybe. I’m not sure.

In the end, maybe I’m disappointed because I had a lot of expectation for this book, but it’s not a Rock Romance I’m particularly fond of.

Though, I think Noah and Abe’s stories have some potential. Will I read these installments? Right now I’m really not sure, but nothing is set in stone. 😉

What do you think of Fox?

 

RATING:

2.5 to 3 (I hesitated rating it 2 stars).

Review: Knocked Out, by Ty Langston

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Part of a series? No.

Category: Adult.

Genre: Supposedly Contemporary Romance, but I think it’s a Contemporary and not a romance.

Publisher: Solo Publishing.

Pages: 82.

Blurb:

Fresh out of Grad School, Hayley Monroe gets the chance of a lifetime when her boss gives her the opportunity to produce and host a reality series on finding MMA’s “Next Great Hope”.
Enter former MMA contender Evan Bates. His sudden re-appearance into the sport after a mysterious five year absence not only raises eyebrows, but also temps both in and out of the Octagon.
Can Hayley keep everything in check? Or will she be Knocked Out?

 

ADD IT TO GOODREADS

 

REVIEW:

I received this book via Netgalley for an honest review.

While I enjoy reading novellas, this one is a complete miss for me. I’m really sorry for writing a negative review, but I’m going to try and explain why I’m disappointed and why I’m rating this book so low.

First thing that got to me after reading a couple of pages it’s the writing style. The voice of the story is very passive. I like descriptions and narrative parts in books, but here it’s not helping the rhythm of the story and it doesn’t actually help the characterization. And before you ask, it’s not because the story is written in third person, but because there’s almost no real feelings exposed aside from the relationship between Evan and his daughter. Even that I couldn’t fully feel to be honest.

While this novel is written in third person, there’s two POVs, from Hayley and from Evan, but unfortunately I couldn’t feel/see the difference between the two. Everything is pretty flat in my opinion and the plot doesn’t help.

I was so into this story after I had a look at the blurb. It seemed pretty interesting and since I love MMA novels, I was sure that it would be a great read. In the end my enthusiasm died pretty fast.

Why? That’s the second thing that turned me off pretty fast. The plot.

While there is everything to build a wonderful story in the genre, nothing is fully used. Everything is just skimmed over without actually delving into and in the end it feels much more like a resumé of a novel and not like a tight plotted novella. That’s a shame and it actually makes me feel rather frustrated.

You have the whole “twist’’ with Evan’s ex-wife/mother of his daughter and yet nothing is explained and nothing actually happens. NOTHING!

You have a wonderful idea with a reality TV show about MMA fighters and yet we see NOTHING.

You have a “forbidden’’ attraction between Hayley, the host of the TV show, and Evan, the MMA fighter contestant, and we see basically NOTHING. There’s a sex scene coming from nowhere and that’s all. I don’t get it.

I still have no idea of who the characters are, what their fears are, what their dreams are or even what would have been the consequences if something wrong happened.

Since it’s a novella, I think it’s important to have a tight plot, a good idea of who the characters are without wasting pages and you need to see real voices to carry a novella and the story. I miss everything here.

The only thing I enjoyed a little it’s Evan interacting with his daughter.

I’m really sorry for this review, but I’m trying to explain how I feel after finishing this novella. I truly think this story could have been wonderful, but unfortunately it’s a miss for me.

 

RATING:

 

1.5 to 20140103-095135.jpg