Top Ten Books On Our Fall TBR

Top Ten Tuesday
(Images link to Goodreads, Titles link to Amazon)

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish in which you make a list of ten to do with a certain topic.  This week’s topic is “Books On My Fall TBR List.”

Curly Carla’s Top Ten:

Since it isn’t specified if these books need to be published in a certain season, I chose mostly series because I tend to finish them up at the end of the year so I can start fresh on new ones next year.

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  1. Us by Sarina Bowen.  I’ve been meaning to finish this one. I loved the first one.
  2. How to Seduce a Band Geek by Cassie Mae.  I was recently gifted the first one and I will most likely finish the series before winter.
  3. How to Hook a Bookworm by Cassie Mae.  Again, I will be finishing this series before winter.
  4. The Big O (The Virgin Dairies) by H.J. Bellus.  A fellow blogger recommended this book to me and the blurb looks good.
  5. Shroud of Lies by Nancy Straight.  I loved the first two books and I’m trying to finish up some series  before the end of the year.
  6. Untouchable Darkness by Rachel Van Dyken.  I’m a huge fan of RVD and the first book was very good.
  7. The Player and the Pixie by L.H. Cosway and Penny Reid.  Love this story and these authors.
  8. When Ash Falls by Rachel Van Dyken.  Again, I am trying to finish up some series.
  9. Burnt Devotion by Rebecca Ethington.  Do I need to say it again?  Series catch up.
  10. Logan Kade by Tijan.  He is my favorite character and I have been sitting on this book for a while now.

Lenoreo’s Top Ten:

It feels really late to be doing a Fall TBR for some reason.  I feel like Fall starts at the beginning of September, but that could be because of my Canadianness.  I looked back at our Top Ten Books On Our Spring TBR and it turns out I read 9 out of the 10!  Woop woop!  I did better than I thought I did.  Let’s see how I do with the Fall TBR.

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  1. #Bae by Cambria Hebert — I am currently in the middle of a Hashtag series reread to get back into this world so that I can be a sad panda when it’s finally all over.  So far I’ve managed to squeeze in the first 3 books in between other ARC commitments.
  2. Broken Records by Cassie Mae and Tessa Marie — THIS CAME OUT LIKE SUNDAY!!!  I mean, I think its technical anticipated release day was yesterday, but I of course stalked Amazon waiting for it to be available.  Can’t wait to read this one, I just have to figure out when I’m going to fit it in!!
  3. Rainbows and Raindrops by Kelley Lynn and Jenny S. Morris — This is the Read-A-Thon book for September in one of the fan groups I’m in.  Of course we’re having the discussion on it tomorrow, so I’m going to have to speed read like a boss.  I hate when I forget deadlines.
  4. Summerlypse by Gerardo Delgadillo — So it’s currently Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15th to October 15th, and I wanted to get in at least one Hispanic-ish book during this time.  I saw this book for free, and since it contains a Hispanic heroine, and has a hispanic author, I thought it would be a good fit.
  5. Possess by Gretchen McNeil — I just got this one from Curly Carla for my birthday, and since it has a spooky feel to it I thought I would read it in October to celebrate Halloween.  I try to fit in some spooky books near Halloween, but I’m not sure I’ll have much time this year b/c I went NetGalley crazy…  Also need some rec’s for good mild horror books.
  6. Chasing Truth by Julie Cross — And so we get to my NetGalley queue, of which I am about to be behind.  This book came out today, and so I need to get on this one right quick.
  7. Lured In by Laura Drewry — Another book that came out today on my NetGalley queue.  *sigh*  It’s the second book in the series.  I was on the fence with the first book, but I’m really curious about these two characters…can’t wait to see what happens in their story.
  8. License to Shift by Kathy Lyons — At least this one doesn’t come out til next week.  I seem to request majority contemporary romances, so I thought I’d shake things up, and I will admit that cover called to me.
  9. To Love and to Cherish by Lauren Layne — I am SO CURIOUS about this final book in the series!!  Alexis intrigues me to no end, I have no idea how I’m going to fall in love with her.  Logan on the other hand, I see no problems falling in love with.
  10. East of Redemption by Molly E. Lee — I received an ARC of this in the summer, and with everything that happened in my personal life, this fell by the wayside.  I need to get this read and reviewed this fall!  Especially because I just bought the next one in the series too…gotta love 99 cent deals.

So those are the books on our Fall TBR!  I wonder if we’ll actually get to all 10 this time?  How about you guys?  What books are you planning on reading this Fall?  Oh, and if you have some *mild* horror book suggestions, please feel free to pass them along!

Anywhere You Are by Elisabeth Barrett

Blurb:
28473715As the daughter of a music legend, Grace Davingham knows all too well what it’s like to be burned by the media’s glare. Now all she wants is to be left to do her painting and conservation work in peace, with no intention of returning to the spotlight. But after she sprains her ankle hiking and a handsome real-estate mogul comes to her rescue, Grace once again finds herself in the public eye.

Sexy, successful, and averse to any attachments, Marcus Colby thrives on rigid discipline in order to manage both his real-estate investment company and his personal life. Marc has no time for fun, and no patience for crazy. Which is why meeting Grace—and inheriting an enormous Great Dane who won’t listen to a word he says—has turned Marc’s carefully constructed world upside down.

Only when Grace and Marc square off over a local controversy do they realize how different they really are. But if opposites attract, their love is destined to bind them together—forever.

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My Review:
3 stars — I received a free copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review/opinion.

This is a book I probably would have enjoyed a lot more a few years ago, but I think I’m just not as in the mood for these days.  I knew it was probably a stretch when I requested it, but it felt like a good solid romance so I went for it.  I might also just not be in the right frame of mind for it right now, but I read it because it’s release was this week and I wanted to be timely.

Anyways, so basically it was an OK read for me.  It was kind of slow and I was slow to like both characters.  When they say Marc is stuffy, they really mean it.  He just did not endear himself at the beginning when he first meets Grace.  And Grace just didn’t feel like she had much substance either.  Now as we got further into the novel, we definitely got to see a lot more to both characters.  I was sucked into it eventually, and began to enjoy the story a bit more.  Big Blue, the Great Dane, definitely helped with that for both characters…I’m an animal lover, and he was a great animal character that brought the best out of both characters.  I became more intrigued by who Grace was and the unique struggles she dealt with because of her famous family.  I really felt for her at times.  And there was a bit more depth to Marc, and I felt sorry for the man he had become and loved seeing his joy hanging out with Grace.  The problem, inherently, is that the growth didn’t always stick for these characters.  I wasn’t happy with the choices Grace made in the end, but I was mostly unhappy with Marc for flip flopping all the time.  I didn’t end up buying his resolution AT ALL.  It was sudden, and felt forced.

Their chemistry was a strange thing for me as well.  It felt really forced at the beginning.  Then they would have some amazing scenes where I really felt it between them.  And then strangely it ended feeling kind of forced again.

I don’t know if it was me and the breaks I took while reading the book just disrupted the flow *that* much, but it was a strange read.  It started off slow and I was tempted to DNF (not that it was that bad, but I know I have so many books on my plate that I wasn’t sure it was worth my time)…then I got sucked in and even cried at one point…then I ended it feeling super meh.  So yeah.  I probably wouldn’t read more from this author, b/c I just don’t think this is my style anymore.  It’s weird when we change as readers, isn’t it?

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Haven (War of the Princes #1) by A.R. Ivanovich

havenBlurb: From missing socks to missing people, nothing could remain hidden from seventeen year-old Katelyn Kestrel for long, but after locating a forbidden passage out of her isolated country, Haven, she discovers for the first time that there are some things that should never be found. Outside the safety of her homeland’s borders, Katelyn meets Rune, a young soldier who will die without her immediate aid. She never considered that helping him would lead to her capture. While being held prisoner by the handsome Lord Dylan Axton, she learns that the outside world is rife with war and controlled by people with extraordinary powers. It becomes clear that there was a very good reason the founders of Haven locked their people away from the rest of the world. The depth of her peril reaches a fever pitch when a ruthless Commander wants Katelyn dead. Her only hope is to return to Haven, but can she survive long enough to find her home?

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5 Stars

First off, can I say I liked the other cover better.

This book was so gloriously awesome I don’t know how I have never heard of this author before.  This book is classified as steampunk and while it has elements of that sub-genre, it wasn’t the main focus of the book like other steampunk’s I have read before.  I would classify this book as being a dual genre for that reason.

But it was glorious!  From the world building to the abilities everyone had, the differences between the nations and the push and pull of the emotions!  Everything was lined up so perfectly and just collided into this amazing read.  It has already crept up the ranks to become one of my favorite books.

I think the detail the author puts into each character is what really won me over.  I love character depth and this book has it in spades!  Each character is completely different and unique.  They all have something to offer to the story as a whole and there are no token characters.

The love that blossoms in a time of war always gets me so much harder because its felt so deeply.  I just love this book and can’t wait to see what the other books have in store for me

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Anti-Stepbrother by Tijan

anti-stepbrotherBlurb: He told me to settle.
He asked what was wrong with me.
He called me an easy target.
That was within minutes when I first met Caden Banks.
I labeled him an *sshole, but he was more than that. Arrogant. Smug. Alpha.

He was also to-die-for gorgeous, and my stepbrother’s fraternity brother.

Okay, yes I was a little naive, a tad bit socially awkward, and the smallest amount of stalker-ish, but if Caden Banks thought he could tell me what to do, he had another thing coming.

I came to college with daydreams about being with my stepbrother, but what if I fell for the anti-stepbrother instead?

 

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5 Stars

I really liked this book.  It was better that Fallen Crest series in my opinion.  It seemed to be more polished and less choppy.  The friendship between Caden and Summer blossomed naturally and didn’t feel forced. It wasn’t attraction at first sight either.  They were just genuinely hanging out with each other.  It was very cool to experience.

Summer came off as incredibly naive in the beginning.  I like how she realized it and was able to adapt and learn as the story progressed.  I found her friends a bit catty and shallow though.  This book didn’t have as much depth as I usually enjoy, but it was still good.

Caden was the strong silent type, and once he let you in, you were part of a small group he trusted.  He kept a very tight circle, a fact that was not lost on Summer.  She knew he didn’t let anyone in and while she didn’t know what she did to deserve his trust, she didn’t abuse the power he gave her.  Honestly, I thought of them as Forest and Jenny. They were like peas and carrots.

Kevin (stepbrother) is a straight up a-hole of the highest caliber.  However, I think he has the most growth throughout this book.

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Fallen Crest High (Fallen Crest High #1) by Tijan

fallen-crest-highBlurb:  Mason and Logan Kade are two brothers who did their own thing. They were rich and expected to attend her school, Fallen Crest Academy. They chose public school and now Samantha has to live with them. The problem is that she doesn’t care at all: about them, about her friends, about her cheating boyfriend, or even about her parent’s divorce. But maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe change is a good thing.

This book contains adult/mature young adult situations.

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4 stars

OMG, this book has so much teenage angst in it that it kinda hurt to read.  I mean, I love this book, don’t get me wrong.  It’s just that everything happened so fast and a lot of the communication was done via looks.  There wasn’t a whole lot of actual talking, I think that’s what kept me from giving it 5 stars.

It was like everyone was a mind reader in this book.  His look said this, her look said that. I don’t know about you, but I have never had so many looks mean so much in such a short time.  If you can look past the ‘looks’  haha, see what I did there?  This book was very good.

I mean, sure some bits are confusing because the plot shifts quickly (or is nonexistent), but once you realize its about Sam’s life and not a single experience, it all becomes easier to swallow.  I was drawn to the teenage drama and angst immediately. It’s wholly unrealistic, but that’s one of the things that I liked about it.  The things that happen in Fallen Crest would never happen in a ‘real’ high school.

Also, it was very much internal.  A lot of feelings being felt.  All the action that happen is just surface shit, like decoys from what is going on in Sam’s effed up life.  Not of it means anything, some people would have a problem with that.  And generally, I would to, but this book for some reason, I like….A Lot.  And I don’t know why!!!!!

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A Cutthroat Business (A Savannah Martin Mystery #1) by Jenna Bennett

a-cutthrat-businessBlurb: Everyone has warned new-minted realtor Savannah Martin that real estate is a cutthroat business. But Savannah doesn’t think she’s supposed to take the warning literally … until an early morning phone call sends her to an empty house on the ‘bad’ side of town, where she finds herself standing over the butchered body of a competitor, face to face with the boy her mother always warned her about.

Rafe Collier is six feet three inches of testosterone and trouble; tall, dark, and dangerous, with a murky past and no future—not the kind of guy a perfect Southern Belle should want to tangle with. In any way. But wherever Savannah turns, there he is, and making no bones about what he wants from her.

Now Savannah must figure out who killed real estate queen Brenda Puckett, make a success of her new career, and avoid getting killed—or kissed—by Rafe, all before the money in her savings account runs out and she has to go back to selling make-up at the mall.

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4 Stars

This blurb is misleading for me.  For instance, the  “making no bones about what he wants from her.” is wrong.  Maybe I’m dense but it didn’t seem he wanted anything from her. Actually it seemed he was indifferent to her.   And she made it very clear from the beginning that she wasn’t into him.  They both seemed very cordial to each other, I never felt any goosebumps from their interactions and she was dating someone else during their meetings anyway.  So that knocked a star off right away since its classified as a romance.

Other than that, this book was a pretty quick read for me.  A clean NA Mystery that was very fun to read and solve.  OK, so I never figured out the whodunit, having to wait till the end and see.  But its the journey my friends, the journey!

I really enjoyed how flawlessly Savannah was able to get info out of people.  It didn’t seem forced or awkward. Her southern belle charm was so over the top as to be funny to me. She was so ridiculously polite and very demure, but it was intentional.  Therefore her going out of her comfort and investigating this murder on her own was pretty neat to experience with her.

Rafe was no one special to me, I actually got annoyed with him pretty early on. His flirtations were half hearted and incomplete to me.  It was like he was just doing it for the attention.  Trying to get under her skin for the sake of getting under her skin.  Which turns me right off.  He did take helping her seriously, which I appreciated.

All in all, I wouldn’t classify this as a romance in the slightest, but its a great mystery.

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Wilder by Rebecca Yarros

Blurb:
31677595He’s Paxton Wilder.

Twenty-two-year-old, tattooed, smoking-hot leader of the Renegades.

Five time X Games medalist.

The world is his playground—especially this year—and for the next nine months I’m stuck as his tutor on the Study at Sea program.

He’s too busy staging worldwide stunts for his documentary to get to class.

But if I can’t get him to take academics seriously, I’ll lose my scholarship…if I don’t lose my heart first.

Six unlikely friends on a nine-month cruise with the Study at Sea program will learn that chemistry is more than a subject and the best lessons aren’t taught in the classroom…but in the heart.

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My Review:
3.5 stars — I received a free copy in exchange for an honest and unbiased review/opinion.

Truthfully I think this book is actually a 4 star for normal me, but I haven’t had normal me this week.  I’ve had sleep-deprived, headache riddled me.  So I had a HELL of a time concentrating on this book.  I just couldn’t get sucked in, I kept having to reread passages.  I should have set the book aside truthfully, but then what would I have done?  I don’t know what to do without reading…

This book brought so much of what I love about Rebecca Yarros books…  Super sexy book boys, strong but damaged characters all around, a wee bit of angst (though angst that I can tolerate as a non-angst-loving reader), and a heap full of sass.  And this particular series is bringing some fantastic sports elements, a truly awesome travel-around-the-world vibe that has me wanting to visit so many sites, and even a bit of a suspense/mystery element.

Characters are definitely where Ms. Yarros excels, and I truly did enjoy both Paxton and Leah.  I will admit one shameful secret though: I’m not a huge “alpha guy” fan.  I’m not NOT a fan, I mean, I don’t mind them…but I don’t seek them out and go ga-ga over them either.  But Paxton was definitely a good example of alpha…he was strong, and a leader, but beneath his bit of damage he had a good heart and a sensitivity.  And I loved the way he fell for Leah.  Definite *swoon* points there.  I wasn’t always impressed with the way he pushed Leah to try such extreme things, even if it was under the guise of her wanting to get over her fears.  As someone who is deathly afraid of heights, I just can’t believe how many times Leah embraced what would have me puking and shaking and crying in a corner.  The zip line, sure…the parasailing, well ok…  But in Greece?  Nope.  Nope nope nope….

Leah was an intriguing character as well, and my heart just felt for her and what she went through in her past…seriously ACHED.  I was worried it would be kept secret for too long, but I was satisfied with how that bit was revealed.  She is such a strong character in some ways.  And I loved the growth we saw in her and how she didn’t try to change Pax too much, even if the stuff he did scared her.

I had a few niggles with this book.  I enjoyed the action and suspense parts, but for some reason the second time Leah was put into a near death situation because of the bad guy, I was a little disappointed when it was yet again reminiscent of her past.  I really loved the first time and what it brought back to her and how she dealt with it…I was blown away and felt it really added.  The second instance felt too repetitive.  But this could be just a me thing.  It’s hard to discuss without ruining things.

My other niggle was the sort of secrets that were kept.  There was the mystery, and that was fine (and kept me on the edge of my seat and totally caught off guard when it was solved).  It was the Landon stuff and some of the Nick stuff that was vaguely referred to, but kept secret from the reader for longer than I had anticipated.  Maybe it was that there were two secrets PLUS the mystery PLUS how long it took to find out about Leah’s past…but it was one too many for me.  I don’t think it would have hurt the story or the pacing to have let the readers in on it a little earlier.  I mean, I did make some guesses on 2 of them, but yeah…again, probably just another me thing.

And thus we come to the end of the review.  Like I said, I really did enjoy so much of this.  Oh, I forgot to mention chemistry — definitely had that in spades.  My problem was a concentration one, and until I read this book again, I couldn’t tell you if it was truly just me and my state of mind, or if there were problems with pacing.  But I will say I truly believe it was me in this particular case.  And I will add that the ending totally sucked me in and had me wanting to keep reading, and now I cannot wait for the next books.  Ohhhhh, and also, from pretty early on I knew I was going to want the next books, so the secondary characters definitely sucked me in…

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The Thirteenth Chance by Amy Matayo

the-13th-chanceBlurb:  Baseball star Will Vandergriff knows any number of women who would happily pretend to be his girlfriend. In a last-ditch effort to restore his good standing with his team’s higher-ups, he enlists the help of his neurotic, goody-goody neighbor. Schoolteacher Olivia Pratt might be a bit quirky and a bit of a loner, but she’s a lot more inviting than she knows. Will hopes that bringing her to his next game might revamp his reckless reputation and help get his career back on track. The only problem? The plan works a little too well. Not only do the higher-ups love Olivia, but Will plays his best game yet. Suddenly his losing streak is a thing of the past, and Olivia is his new good-luck charm. Will feels anything but lucky.

After years of keeping the world at bay, Olivia Pratt is pulling off the ultimate performance—not only reluctantly posing as Will’s girlfriend but also insisting that she’s oblivious to his major-league appeal. But she can only lie to herself for so long. Being by Will’s side feels good. Really good. Maybe it’s finally time to make a pitch for everything she really wants—and to find out just how exhilarating love can be.

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Favorite Quotes:

“You might think you’re cute and all, but baseball players aren’t my thing.  Especially not you.” With those words, I’m looking at what used to be that skyrocketing ego lying in small chunks all around my feet.  I consider stepping on them myself just to watch the way they flatten.  It makes me think of pancakes, but suddenly I’m not at all hungry.  

“And what are you smiling at? Stop smiling at me.”  Really, it’s unnerving, like he can see inside my mind and he’s discovered a secret he still hasn’t shared with me.  I don’t like people knowing things about me when I don’t know them first.  

My voice is a quiet, loud, a simmering pan of water, a violent explosion in a downtown skyscraper.  I feel everything at once, and nothing at all. 

Her touch feels like fire.  I’m glad she keeps going, because it turns out I love getting burned. 

There’s something nice about knowing someone would maim another individual for you.  That’s real friendship.  

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5 Stars

Wow, I’m so shocked with all the quote worthy sections in this book.  Seriously, I have way more quotes but I can’t fit them all!  This author was excellent with metaphors and dialogue and internal emoting. Just everything in this book was awesome. If I had to pick one thing that wasn’t, it would be the suspense of their first kiss damn near killed me dead! But well worth the wait.

This book was interesting because the romance built very slowly but it never really got boring for me.  It just took a bit longer to get to where it was going.  Almost no kissing, but lots of… I don’t want to say foreplay cause there wasn’t that.  I guess flirting would be the next closest descriptor.  That sounds weird but that’s the only way I can really explain it.

Olivia’s internal monologue was a bit long winded yet it held my attention.  I didn’t think I was gonna like this book as much as I did.  I thought she was clinical at one point but the author never clarified if she had an anxiety/OCD order so I don’t know.  I think my tastes are changing.

Will’s character was a bit tropey and I don’t think I found out what exactly attracted him to her in the first place,(she just seemed crazy to him) it seemed a bunch of little things.  Not like one big thing.   I felt his character was overshadowed by Olivia’s intense personality IMO.

This is a great NA clean romance if that’s your bag.  Which is just one of the bags I like to peek into from time to time.

I received this book from Netgalley for an honest review. 

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Remember Jamie Baker (Jamie Baker #3) by Kelly Oram

30334744Blurb: Plagued by memory loss, Jamie Baker searches high and low for the answers to who she is, where she comes from, and why she’s able to do things other humans can’t. A not-so-simple task when she’s hiding from the people responsible for her amnesia—an evil scientific research company that wants to capture her at any cost.

When Jamie’s quest for the truth reveals a devastating betrayal from the one person she thought she could trust, she’s forced to team up with a secret military organization in order to ensure her safety and stop Visticorp’s horrific human experimenting once and for all.

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3 Stars

::sigh::  I don’t know why but this last book just kinda went……blah for me.  I mean it was a lot faster with regards to the story line but the content was just…eh.

The supporting characters were amazing in this book, they provided me with some much needed contrast to Jamie’s personality.  The story line was great, all the loose ends were ties up with no loopholes that I could find.  But for some reason, I can’t stand Jamie herself anymore.

She is too trusting and naive. Stubborn and unwilling to compromise in any aspect which makes her seem super childish to me.  I get that she has amnesia and is having a hard time  dealing but that doesn’t excuse her behavior.  She treats everyone like they owe her something and when things go wrong she doesn’t want to accept blame and own her faults.

On the contrary side, she also cares WAY too much what others think and is constantly trying to people please.  But it’s like you nothing is good enough for her.  I don’t know why I can’t stand her, I really really want to like her but I . just. don’t.   Also, why is her hair and eye color different than what it describes in the book.  I don’t understand why that was changed.

Maybe I’m being nit-picky and looking for things I didn’t like.  I’m just glad I finished the series.

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Rookie Move by Sarina Bowen

Blurb:
27190530.jpgThe first novel in a sexy new series featuring the hockey players of the Brooklyn Bruisers and the women who win their hearts—from the USA Today bestselling author of the Ivy Years series.

In high school they were the perfect couple—until the day Georgia left Leo in the cold…

Hockey player Leo Trevi has spent the last six years trying to do two things: get over the girl who broke his heart, and succeed in the NHL. But on the first day he’s called up to the newly franchised Brooklyn Bruisers, Leo gets checked on both sides, first by the team’s coach—who has a long simmering grudge, and then by the Bruisers’ sexy, icy publicist—his former girlfriend Georgia Worthington.

Saying goodbye to Leo was one of the hardest things Georgia ever had to do—and saying hello again isn’t much easier. Georgia is determined to keep their relationship strictly professional, but when a press conference microphone catches Leo declaring his feelings for her, things get really personal, really fast….

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My Review:
3.5 stars — I received a free copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review/opinion.

So I ended this one at about a 4 star, but of course, yet again, with things bothering me.  But they were pretty mild in the grand scheme of things.  All in all it was a pretty solid second chance romance with great sexy hockey heroes.  Definitely can’t wait for more in the series.

Going to address the things that AREN’T spoilery first, and then go on to spoilery stuff so people can avoid that and still get something out of this review.  I’m not a HUGE second chance romance reader, because I absolutely ADORE the falling in love aspect of romance.  So that was a small downside to this story…but at the same time I absolutely loved that there wasn’t some “when will they fall in love” part to it — because they were STILL in love with one another.  It was just that you get to watch them sort of fight to be together now.  Particularly you get to watch sweet Leo fight for Georgia, like he couldn’t in the past.

And Leo was a huge source of love for me in this book.  He was so sweet, and just GOOD you know?  He was such a good man, always trying to do the right thing, and really working hard at everything in his life…from his relationships, to his hockey career.  Georgia had some good points, but it wasn’t a full on girl crush for me.  She made some choices that I didn’t agree with, that are kind of common in romance novels.  So it made me sigh in disappointment, but didn’t surprise me necessarily.  I loved how much Leo enjoyed being beaten by her…I loved her competitive streak and what it brought to their relationship.  I just would have liked a bit more depth to her somehow…or maybe it was more just that she wasn’t necessarily *my* kind of girl, so I was never going to fall super in love with her.

LOVED so many of the secondary characters.  I’m super excited to see the sneak peak at the next book, but was a bit dismayed it wasn’t Becca and Nate.  I’m already shipping them so hard.  I hope I’m not wrong about that.  I’m already really in love with Silas and hope he gets a book someday as well.

LOVED all the hockey stuff, really made it a true sports romance.  And the steamy bits were on point, really felt the chemistry between the characters.

I felt like there were a few little threads that were dropped as the story went on…bits that were mentioned but then didn’t come into play.  Like the hot mic incident, and what Leo said…I was surprised that she didn’t want to know if it was true.  And she mentioned seeing him with another girl shortly after they broke up.  I was surprised we never learned more about it since it obviously solidified her position.  And one other thing I’ll address further down…

From here on out things will be a bit spoilery, particularly if you haven’t read The Fifteenth Minute from Sarina Bowen’s Ivy Years series…it’s kind of unavoidable if I want to talk about what bugged me, so you have been warned.  As we know from that previous book, Georgia was raped when she was a teenager, and it began the demise of her and Leo’s relationship at that time.  What was strange to me was how much the rape didn’t play as much of a factor in Georgia’s development as I would expect.  I mean, we’re told that she’s changed a lot since she was a teenager, and being faced with Leo again, she realizes how much she’s isolated herself and particularly stepped away from romantic relationships.  But apparently she’s gone to a lot of counseling and taken Tae Kwon Do, and really all of that happens in the past, and we don’t see a lot of effects from the rape in our storyline.  I just find it odd to place something in the past that doesn’t really have an effect on the story…but then again it did, but just not for Georgia.  I’m not saying it’s necessarily a bad thing.  Some rape victims *do* in fact cope with it and move on.  Everyone is different and handles things differently.  I just found it odd from a story choice perspective if that makes sense.  Even though she hadn’t been intimate since the incident, she had no flashbacks or struggles whatsoever becoming intimate with Leo.

And here’s where it was weird to me.  It DID play a factor for Leo.  And I actually really LOVED that.  I loved seeing *his* struggles, because we often forget how a crime like that will affect all those around the victim as well.  So that part was done SUPER well, and I LOVED it.  BUT.  I found it weird that the story only dealt with the hero’s fall out, not really much at all with the heroines.  It was just odd to me.

I also did NOT enjoy the father/coach aspect.  It was dragged out too long, and was just a miscommunication.  The fact that he was allowed to behave to badly for so long before anyone said anything was not believable to me.

And the final thread that was dropped is that a big part of why she dumped him was that he thwarted her advances after the rape.  They NEVER end up talking about that and clearing the air about that.  I was disappointed, because it was what led to her decision, and I wanted them to work that out.

So yeah.  As you can see, mixed bag.  Things that bugged me, but if I took it on a straight romance aspect I really enjoyed it.  So I’ll still round up, b/c I go with my gut.  I think I just like watching myself talk it all out.

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