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Currently Browsing: New Adult
Jun
15

Listen Up! #Audiobook Review: The Goal by Elle Kennedy

Listen Up! #Audiobook Review: The Goal by Elle Kennedy Welcome to my weekly feature that focuses on audiobooks. It’s time to… Audiobook review: The Goal Author: Elle Kennedy Narrator: Susannah Jones & Andrew Eiden Audio Speed: 1.25x & 1.5x Series: Off-Campus #4 Genre: NA Contemporary Romance Source: purchased After the pregnancy bombshell delivered at the end of the previous book, The Goal actually goes back a bit in time and begins when Tucker and Sabrina first meet. Readers/listeners relive certain scenes and moments from the The Score, with a new perspective and focus, as well as several new scenes. Tucker is probably the most likable, easy-going guy we’ve met thus far in Ms. Kennedy’s Off-Campus series. He’s genuine, and while he’s easy on the eyes, he’s not all about scoring with the ladies. When he first lays eyes on Sabrina, he senses she is something special. I adore everything about this guy. He’s nearly perfect and has the patience of a saint. He never takes his eye off the end goal of making Sabrina his, but he allows the ebb and flow of life to take its course along the way. On the other hand, all we knew about Sabrina before this book is that she is Dean’s educational nemesis, and his perception is that she is a cold-hearted bitch. Ms. Kennedy removes that mantle from Sabrina immediately, by showing us Sabrina’s deplorable home life and the motivations behind her desire to achieve perfection at Briarwood. I fell for Sabrina’s flawed character hard. She’s driven and sometimes too focused, but she has a heart of gold underneath the layers of protection she’s built. Sabrina and Tucker make a great couple. There is insta-lust and sexual chemistry big time, creating an immediate interest in the pair. I like that they have time to fall a bit for one another before the baby news comes. I also appreciate that there are several ups and downs. It’s very realistic with a happy ending. While I enjoyed their story, and I’m thankful to finally have Tuck’s book, I was overwhelmed by the amount of focus on the pregnancy/baby storyline. Don’t misunderstand, Ms. Kennedy does an amazing job with the baby storyline; she didn’t sugar coat what it’s like to be pregnant and have a child. She also didn’t minimize the impacts on the parents’ lives and their relationship. However, it’s too much baby for me. I am just not a fan of baby-romances. Generally, the narration is good; better than book 3, but still not as great as the first...
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May
31

Review: Lessons in Losing It by Jessica Peterson

Review: Lessons in Losing It by Jessica Peterson Lessons in Losing It Author: Jessica Peterson Reviewer: VampBard Rating: A What I’m Talking About: I’m not even going to pretend I’m confused by how awesome Jessica Peterson’s Lessons in Losing It was. It was fabulous. The fourth title in the Study Abroad series is—like the other books—able to be read as a standalone (although I suggest reading them in order because there are characters mentioned from previous titles and they make a bigger impact if you’ve read them). There’s a special place for authors who write books about hot soccer players. Choirs of angels sing there and inspire them to write more books. I’m super sad this is the last Study Abroad title, but the back matter said there MIGHT be a spin-off series. **crosses all the things** I really like Ms. Peterson’s voice and the way she tells a story. The first person, present tense, POV is well-done and doesn’t irritate my soul. She remains solidly in one POV—even though they alternate—in each section. And, it’s truly great to get perspective from both main characters. Rachel is an ambitious woman who knows what she wants from life—professionally. It’s easy to choose what we want to do in life, but who we want to be is a little more difficult. The biggest question is who we want to spend our lives with, sometimes. When the brain overrides the heart? Well, that gets messy. My takeaway from Rachel’s character: don’t let anyone tell you who—or what—to be. It sucks way less that way. Fred? OMG. Be.Still.My.Heart. He’s such a sweetheart! I fell for him almost immediately. The way he was so honest with himself—and Rachel—instantly endeared him to me. Mostly because I want to believe I can be as authentic as he is. Fred is a great character because of his brutal honesty. Sometimes, it really sucks—if one reads to see truth—but it’s all good. He’s a true introvert and it isn’t often we see them accurately portrayed. I loved Fred and Rachel. There was something comfortable and unpretentious about them. Natural. Neither felt the need to be someone they weren’t when they were together. THEY were refreshing. And get a fire extinguisher, because they.are.hot! I look forward to reading more by Ms. Peterson in the future, and have thoroughly enjoyed her Study Abroad series. While all four titles can stand alone, I think they’re best read in order. The first title of the series, Spanish Lessons, is available...
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Nov
17

Listen Up! #Audiobook Review: The Score by Elle Kennedy

Listen Up! #Audiobook Review: The Score by Elle Kennedy Welcome to my weekly feature that focuses on audiobooks. It’s time to… Audiobook review: The Score Author: Elle Kennedy Narrator: Savannah Peachwood & Andrew Eiden Audio Speed: 1.25x Series: Off-Campus #3 Genre: NA Contemporary Romance Source: purchased Allie Hayes has had it with her on-again-off-again boyfriend, Sean, and finally breaks it off for good. With her past behavior of giving into Sean’s apologies, she turns to best friend Hannah for help staying away from Sean that first weekend. Unfortunately, Hannah is out of town with her boyfriend, but they insist she hideout at Garrett’s house with his roommates. Hockey stud and all-around player Dean Di-Laurentis knows his best friend’s girlfriend’s best friend Allie is off limits when she shows up looking for a place to hide from the temptation of getting back together with her ex. But isn’t rebound sex the best thing for getting over an ex? However, now that he’s been with Allie, he can’t shake her out of his system. Having absolutely loved the first two books in Ms. Kennedy’s Off-Campus series, I was chomping at the bit waiting for The Score to finally make it to Audible. Although she changed her narrator for this one, overall, the wait was worth it. Ms. Kennedy has a knack for telling humorous, heartfelt stories that make me both laugh and cry. Allie and Dean are well matched. They are both so passionate, and with the freedom of labeling their relationship a fling, they explore each other in open and honest ways. However, they keep the fling a secret, which leads to some hilarious moments, and it places pressure on the pair which I feel helps the relationship in the long run. And while there is a lot of exploration, the pair grows close because of a developing friendship which bolsters each other in surprising ways. While there were times that the overall story was a little predictable, I didn’t care. I was so wrapped up in Dean and Allie’s story that I just listened and enjoyed. I laughed out loud and I got teary eyed. It’s just fun, high-quality storytelling. And I appreciate that the book is really about two young people trying to figure out who they want to be, and be okay with the fact it may not be what they were planning all along. I was disappointed that Lorelei Avalon was replaced as the sole narrator for the series. Savannah Peachwood & Andrew Eiden hold their own and do a respectable...
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Sep
27

Review: The Goal by Elle Kennedy

Review: The Goal by Elle Kennedy The Goal Author: Elle Kennedy Reviewer: Nima Rating: A What I’m Talking About: Everyone who has followed the Off-Campus series knows about the huge bomb dropped at the end of book three, The Score. With the biggest of all spoilers already out there, where did Kennedy have to go?  Everyone already hated Sabrina James; how do you make her sympathetic?  Everyone already loved gentle, pink-aproned John Tucker; how do you hoist someone like Sabrina on him and justify it? Leave it to the skill of Elle Kennedy to make it work.  I think she knew right where this story was going way back in book one, The Deal. The timeline in The Goal overlaps The Score, Dean and Allie’s story, running nearly parallel and up to the point of the epilogue in book two, The Mistake.  Significant details in that installment are significant in this one as well, we just get to see them from other perspectives. The expansion gives more depth to both books. In The Goal, we learn about Sabrina’s motives and how her life has shaped the person who has had venomous interactions with Dean.  She becomes sympathetic as soon as we see her in her home environment. The reader is rooting for her before she knows it.  Like Tucker who sees through her hard shell of independence, we know she’s hiding a soft, vulnerable interior.  In fact, I wanted to tell Dean, who is my least favorite of the four roommates, to pull his head out.  Given his stellar fall into stupidity in The Score, he’s the last person who should be passing judgement on others. Thankfully, she has Tucker. John Tucker.  Sigh.  Up until this book, Tucker has mostly been a peripheral character.  Gingers have not typically been written as the erotic hottie so if your imagination needs a little help, just Google images of Seth Fornea or Matthias Panitz. Better yet, check out Thomas Knights Red Hot Exhibition.  Then add the patience of Job and southern accent. How did this Texas born southern gentleman, who loves his mother and respects women, end up with an ice hockey scholarship in Massachusetts? What on Earth does he see in Sabrina James?  We get answers to these questions and more. If there’s anything that Kennedy does well, it’s to write authentic emotions.  She always gets that spot on. Of course she does it with her trademark humor.  Kennedy seems to have a hilarious understanding that penises...
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Mar
25

Review: Dark Wild Night by Christina Lauren

Review: Dark Wild Night by Christina Lauren Dark Wild Night Author: Christina Lauren Reviewer: Jen Twimom My Rating: A- What I’m Talking About: Oliver and Lola have been best of friends for eight months, ever since they were briefly married in a wild night in Vegas. However, unlike their friends, Oliver and Lola never consummated their relationship, and have remained strictly in the friend zone. Lola is consumed by her work: becoming a NYT best seller / graphic novelist sensation overnight, her book is now in the process of being made into a movie. Oliver’s newly opened comic book shop is wildly popular, and he works every day. Their friends all see how perfect they are for each other, but Lola and Oliver are both scared of messing up the friendship to push for more. Dark Wild Night is the third book in the Wild Seasons series by Christina Lauren. Although the book is a standalone romance, we meet Oliver and Lola in the first book, and I think seeing them in the previous books helps define their backgrounds and makes for a stronger history. As the book opens, we witness how much their mutual bond means to both, and how much each loves the other. The unrequited love is so overwhelming, that I am swept up in their secret desires as much as the characters are. The authors are masters at building up the emotional and sexual tension, and I literally felt like I was going to explode before these two finally fell into that first kiss. Oliver is an amazing man: he’s patient and gentle. He wants what is best for Lola, even if it means sacrificing his own feelings. So that moment, when he first senses the change in Lola, is so exciting, I imagine him like a dog with its tail wagging, watching his owner come home. The love inside of him wants to burst out, and he can barely contain it. And it is so overwhelming that Lola nearly drowns in her feelings. She’s terrified of being like her mom, who abandoned her and her dad, and she’s scared of losing Oliver forever. Her fear is tangible, but it is equal to the power of her love. In the end, I loved Lola and Oliver’s story, but I wanted more. There was so much overwhelming emotion at the beginning of the book, but then it got lost in Lola’s desperate crazed life. And I get where Oliver was coming from, but...
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Mar
24

Review: Dirty Rowdy Thing by Christina Lauren

Review: Dirty Rowdy Thing by Christina Lauren Dirty Rowdy Thing Author: Christina Lauren Reviewer: Jen Twimom My Rating: A+ What I’m Talking About: Harlow Vega is having a bad day. After a less than memorable one-night-stand, being awakened by said boy’s mother at 6:00 am, and then running into her ex-husband (of 12 hours), Finn at Starbucks, she finds out her mother has stage 3 breast cancer. Needing to take the edge off her life and forget her troubles, she reengages with Finn for some mind-blowing sex. The problem is, she can’t get Finn, the sexy Canadian fisherman, out of her head. Finn Roberts thought he knew Harlow, with her rich parents and larger-than-life persona. He didn’t mind being her sexual distraction until he started to know the real Harlow. Now he’s falling for her and doesn’t know what to do. Dirty Rowdy Thing is intense! I absolutely love Harlow and Finn, both individually and together. They compliment one another so well, and it’s heartbreaking when they both realize it and chose to step back. Neither is ready to deal with the overwhelming emotions that begin to surface as they spend more and more time together, both in the bedroom and out. And WOW! in the bedroom, the pair are smoking hot! Their sex is incredible: hot, naughty, and powerful. Of all the books, I think Dirty Rowdy Thing has the most intense and detailed sex scenes of the series. But it’s not sex just for the sake of sex, regardless of what the pair thinks. The scenes provide windows into the characters’ hearts and souls. They are literally laid bare to the other. As much as I used to dislike the alternating first person POVs, I am now a fan when it’s done right, and in this series, it is done right. I realized after the fact (and even while reading the first book), that I missed it terribly with Mia and Ansel’s story. I love knowing that the guy is falling as hard as the girl. I love getting his prospective on the relationship and the sex. It makes the book so much more fulfilling. Another thing I love about this series, and Dirty Rowdy Thing in particular, is how the authors don’t rise to a quick climax (pun intended) and ending. The conflict builds over time, and the characters are given space to think, react, and resolve the issues without feeling rushed. It’s wonderful storytelling. And the romance is made better for it....
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Mar
23

Review + Blog Tour: Trailer Trash by Marie Sexton

Review + Blog Tour: Trailer Trash by Marie Sexton From the author: Hello, everybody! I’m Marie Sexton, and I’m here today to tell you about my New Adult novel, Trailer Trash. Trailer Trash is a sweet coming-of-age story about two high school seniors: Cody, who’s dirt poor and literally lives on the wrong side of the tracks, and Nate, the preppy new kid in town. It’s set in the fictional town of Warren, Wyoming, in the mid-1980s. It’s full of angst and 80s pop culture references, and I promise, it has a happy ending. 🙂 Trailer Trash Author: Marie Sexton Reviewer: B. Rating: A- B.’s Review: Set in the miserable wasteland that is Warren, Wyoming in 1986, Trailer Trash is the “coming-of-age”/ “coming out” story of two young men who somehow manage to find love despite the world around them trying its best to tear them apart. Aside from the inevitable death of the town itself, the entire narrative is filled with stark descriptions of joblessness and poverty, and the frustration and misplaced blame that comes from struggling against the immovable boundaries of the established financial and social order. All of which makes for compelling, but not frivolous, reading. Of the two main characters, Nate was definitely “easier” for me to read about. He’s naïve, affluent (by Warren standards, to be sure), resentful, and lonely. Far from being a bad person, though, he’s just hurt and a little shiny. It takes him a while to accept that “the rules” that applied in Austin, Texas, do not apply in his new home… and he gets just about everything wrong. Still, his desire to hang out with the self-described “pariah” of the school, rather than the popular kids he resembles in clothing labels only, made me like him very early in the story. Cody Lawrence, on the other hand, could never be accused of being shiny. Stripped of any dreams he may have had for himself early and often, he’s already been through too much, seen too much, at the age of seventeen. As the only acknowledged gay student in a small high school full of the most vicious kinds of cliques, he really can’t catch a break. This, combined with his situation at home, makes Cody a genuine outcast. Yet, he has a truly good heart, despite everything, and I adored him. One of the ways in which I think Trailer Trash excels is in the author’s ability to add vivid details to nearly everything. From the pervasive reek...
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Mar
17

Reviews: Sweet Filthy Boy + Sweet Filthy Morning After by Christina Lauren

Reviews: Sweet Filthy Boy + Sweet Filthy Morning After by Christina Lauren Sweet Filthy Boy Sweet Filthy Morning After Author: Christina Lauren Reviewer: Jen Twimom What I’m Talking About: Sweet Filthy Boy (Wild Seasons #1) Having recently listened to and LOVING the audiobook of Wicked Sexy Liar (WSL), the fourth book in Christina Lauren’s NA series about recent UCSD grads, I found myself compelled to get more of these characters and their stories. So I decided to pick up the first book, Sweet Filthy Boy, on my kindle, and I’m so glad that I did. Having started with the fourth book in the series, I was already familiar with main couple featured in Sweet Filthy Boy. However, I didn’t know their history and story, other than a few small details, so no spoilers to ruin the enjoyment of the journey. Mia and Ansel have a whirlwind, lust-driven weekend in Vegas, which leads to her following him to Paris for the summer. But the trip over isn’t romantic in the least (and is in fact, one of the most laughable, horrible situations), and there is a huge strain between the pair once they arrive at Ansel’s home. In fact, the awkwardness is horrifying at times and my heart hurts for the pair. However, the couple learns to share and open up though cos-play and scenes, which leads to some uber sexy moments. Their romance is exquisite: equal parts lust, heartache, and love. While I thought I knew what would be the major bump in the road, I was still surprised when it happened, leading my heart to fall to pieces along with Mia’s. The authors are skilled at sharing deep emotions without telling or preaching. The one thing that threw me a bit and surprised me is that the story was only shared from the first person POV of the book’s heroine, Mia. This is because the few NA titles I’ve read, along with a book in this series (WSL), are shared from the alternating first person POVs of the hero and heroine. I have to admit that after all my harping on why I don’t necessarily care for the alternating first person POVs, I missed it! I wanted to hear from Ansel – I wanted to know he was falling as hard as Mia, I wanted to know why he shares and doesn’t share what he did (although in hindsight, the twist wouldn’t have had as big of an impact if we’d known this!) In the end, I adored Mia and...
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Mar
10

Listen Up! #Audiobook Review: Wicked Sexy Liar by Christina Lauren

Listen Up! #Audiobook Review: Wicked Sexy Liar by Christina Lauren Welcome to my weekly feature that focuses on audiobooks. It’s time to… Audiobook Review: Wicked Sexy Liar Author: Christina Lauren Narrators: Deacon Lee & Olivia Song Audio Speed: 1.25x Series: Wild Seasons #4 Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult Source: Simon & Schuster Audio London loves her carefree life, surfer by day and bartender by night. She knows how to flirt and smile, but never lets anyone close. She understands heartache after spending her college years with her sweetheart, only to find out he’d been cheating on her almost the entire time. She knows Luke is NOT the guy for her, but maybe one night of passionate sex will help scratch a certain itch. Luke is every girl’s fantasy and enjoys sharing himself with most every girl that asks. But when he meets London and takes her home for one night, something inside changes, and he realizes he wants more. Now he has to find a way to prove to London that he’s worth a second or third look. I picked up Wicked Sexy Liar, the fourth title in the Wild Seasons New Adult series, for review without having read or listened to the previous three titles, and it completely worked. Although Luke and London may have shown up in previous books, their story is very much standalone (and honestly doesn’t spoil any of the earlier books either). However, now that I’ve finished this book, I can’t wait to go back and read the other three stories! Luke and London’s romance is probably one of my all-time favorites. They share an instant lust and their sexual chemistry is off the charts. I found it both interesting and a bit of a let down (at first) that the initial two or three sexual experiences where shared solely from Luke’s POV. I liked his explicit attention to details and loved how much the experience of having sex with London moved him; how emotional he was. However, I wanted to know what she was thinking and experiencing. Then when we finally did have a sexy scene from London’s POV, I found it not as satisfactory because she worked at keeping distance between herself and Luke. The authors expertly convey each character’s emotions and moods with each encounter. Watching this couple fall in love was utterly enjoyable. Their path was not easy, yet the tale flowed so perfectly. Luke is amazingly romantic. They way he loves London. The way he romances her and is so worried she doesn’t love...
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Jan
28

Listen Up! #Audiobook Review: The Mistake by Elle Kennedy

Listen Up! #Audiobook Review: The Mistake by Elle Kennedy Welcome to my weekly feature that focuses on audiobooks. It’s time to… Audiobook review: The Mistake Author: Elle Kennedy Narrator: Lorelei Avalon Audio Speed: 1.25x Series: Off-Campus #2 Genre: NA Contemporary Romance Source: purchased After devouring the first Off-Campus title, I couldn’t wait to start The Mistake. This time around, the story focuses on Briar College junior, John Logan, aka Logan. Watching is best friend Garrett fall in love with the perfect woman (The Deal) has been difficult for Logan because he wants Hannah for himself. He can’t shake his desire for his best friend’s girl and tries to forgot about her by non-stop drinking and hook-ups. But one night, in his efforts to escape Hannah and Garrett, Logan ends up mistakenly at freshman Grace Iver’s dorm door. Grace is a successful freshman at Briar, but now that the school year is almost over, she realizes that she’s not really done much socially her first year at college. She’s still hanging out with her complete opposite high school BFF, letting Ramona dictate Grace’s social calendar. So when the hottest guy on campus, hockey stud John Logan, shows up at her door, Grace decides to throw caution to the wind and invite him inside. The Mistake is another wonderful first love/forever love NA story from Ms. Kennedy. While Logan and Grace appear to be complete opposites, their individuality and uniqueness fit together like two puzzle pieces. They share scorching chemistry, even though Grace is a virgin and Logan is a player. And this is the start of their initial issues. When Logan realizes that he’s “using” Grace to “forget about Hannah,” he tries to do the right thing, which just blows up in his face. Cue summer vacation and months apart. When school starts back up in the fall, Grace is a changed woman. She’s still the wonderful, quirky individual from the previous year, but she’s realized that she needs to branch out on her own and make new friends. However, Logan isn’t willing to give up on Grace, and let’s just say, the lengths he goes to get her to go on a date with him are laugh-out-loud funny. Logan is a bit confused at times, but he’s adorably sweet and genuine. It just takes him a while to figure things out. The story evolves slowly as the pair comes together without preconceived notions or past relationship baggage. I adored watching each push and pull, bringing out the best in the other. Although these are...
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