Rock Bottom by Cate Masters

rock bottomBlurb: Can success trap you at Rock Bottom?

For rocker Jet Trently, success means playing the same platinum-selling hits ad nauseum. Philly rock journalist Billie Prescott thrives on covering the latest music releases. When her editor sends her to Malibu to cover Jet’s reality dating show, Rock Bottom, her blog’s success keeps her trapped there. Her life’s at Rock Bottom too, until she hears Jet’s new songs. They touch her heart as his music did when she was fifteen. When Jet touches her heart as well, will the reality show ruin the real thing?

WARNING: No graphic love scenes, some adult language.

 

 

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3 stars

Okay, the title and cover are a bit cliche but the writing was sound.  The story was engrossing for the first third of it but then something happened, or rather something didn’t happen.  Billy’s character stop evolving and her constant internal debate and misunderstanding started to get boring.  The repetition led me to start the process of not-picking.  

Once I lost interest in her character other things started popping up. Billie was too pushy for me. And I found Jet to be arrogant and condescending.  Also, I wasn’t feeling the chemistry.  It didn’t make my toes curl, but rather, made me scratch my head in confusion.  I didn’t see how Jet would have kept trying to be with her when she was so cold to him.  I feel like I didn’t get enough backstory for either character to really care about them. So I wasn’t really invested in them.  

Then without spoiling it, the ending.  ::rolls eyes:: I only finished it because I had invested my time and with 30 pages left I felt I needed too.   So solid 4 star in the beginning ending was a 2 star leaving my review at an overall 3 star.  Too bad, I probably won’t be reading any more from this author.  

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Huntsman’s Prey (Kingdom #7) by Marie Hall

Huntsmans preyBlurb: Rumors abound in Wonderland, of a dark princess named Chrysalis who bears the Moon’s curse. Her beauty is beyond compare, and her madness… even greater than her father’s, The Hatter. Death follows wherever she roams, and Danika—fairy godmother of all villains—knows this task is too great for her to handle on her own. She has no choice but to seek out the one they call Huntsman, his mission is simple: Find the creature, and destroy it.

But nothing is ever so simple in Kingdom. The moment the hunter Aeric steps foot in the mad, twisted realm he’s enveloped in a reality that is neither wholly true nor fantasy. The key, the Cheshire explains, to ending the madness is for one to become mad themselves. The Huntsman has one chance to figure out the riddle before the beauty destroys them all…

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3 stars

This one was okay.  I enjoyed the romance part but the madness was a bit hard to follow and I was turned off by the multiple personalities. I had a hard time thinking he could keep them separate in his head. TBH, I always had a hard time following the stories in Wonderland due to the madness there.  It seems like the journey just goes in circles and nothing really gets accomplished.  Which is exactly how I felt about this one.  

Danica’s story concludes in this one, which was a pleasant surprise for me because I wanted that in the last book.  Some of the things I didn’t like in the last book are addressed here.  

The plot was straightforward, tidy and tied up all loose ends.I’m digging the extended fairy tail series. These are the second generation of fairy tales, the bad guys children.  It’s pretty cool.  I’m a sucker for fairy tale retellings.  I’d definitely recommend for 18 and up as there is some graphic sex scenes here.

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The Vixen and the Vet by Katy Regnery

Blurb:
22888713In this modern-retelling of “Beauty and the Beast,” Savannah Carmichael, betrayed by an unreliable source, returns to her hometown of Danvers, Virginia with her once-promising journalism career in ruins. Given the opportunity to get back in the game by writing a patriotic human interest piece, Savannah turns her attention to the town hermit, Asher Lee, a wounded veteran who returned to Danvers eight years ago, and hasn’t been seen since.

After an IED explosion in Afghanistan took Asher’s hand and disfigured half of his face, he’s lived a quiet life on the outskirts of Danvers where the locals respect his privacy…that is, until Savannah Carmichael comes calling in a borrowed sundress with a plate of homemade brownies. When Asher agrees to be interviewed by Savannah, he starts feeling things for the beautiful reporter that he hasn’t felt in years.

Misfits in small-town Danvers, Savannah and Asher create a bond right away, touching each other’s hearts in ways neither thought possible. When a terrible mistake threatens to drive them apart, they’ll have to decide if the love they found in one another’s arms is strong enough to fight for their hard-won happily ever after.

** Contemporary Romance. Due to profanity, realistically depicted scenes of war and very strong sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18.**

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My Review:
3 stars — I thought now would be the perfect time to finally read Ms. Regnery’s Beauty and the Beast retelling, what with the new movie out…and crap on a cracker, it just didn’t work for me.  It’s so weird, b/c I really enjoy her Blueberry Lane books, but this is now the second of her wildly popular Modern Fairytale stories that I just didn’t connect with.  Quite frankly, this book left me extremely underwhelmed, especially given how outrageously popular it is.

It was so odd, b/c I started this book before bed one night, and just really wasn’t sucked in right away.  I wasn’t too sure about Savannah, and I really wasn’t enamoured with her sister Scarlet, so I put it down and went to sleep.  Then the next day I was reading while exercising, and I was wholly sucked in!!  I was just super excited and thinking “OH!!!  This is what they were talking about!”  I loved the beginnings of Savannah’s relationship with Asher, and how they met, and there was just some magic in their developing friendship and more.  I even highlighted things!  And then I had to do real life things, and when I got back to it today, I was bored.  Like wth?  I can admit that there might be a small mood component to my enjoyment, because I was having a really hard time articulating (even in my own head) what exactly went wrong.  But I’ll give it a try.

On the surface, I really enjoyed the way Ms. Regnery’s chose to portray our Belle and Beast.  I could totally see a reporter from a small town not fitting in, and a veteran with terrible disfigurements feeling ostracized by that same small town.  But I’m not sure I fully bought into their roles…more Savannah than Asher.  I could actually really understand Asher’s backstory and what he went through and how he came to be who he was, and I really felt like he stayed true to his character for much of the book.  And while his actions at the climax were harsh, I could kind of get it even if it made me disappointed.  But Savannah really did NOT act like a reporter.  It was like a character trait that she was just supposed to have that kind of facilitated the plot, but I don’t really feel like I understood much of her.  She uses her past betrayal and disgrace in so many aspects of the story, but I just didn’t know much about what happened, and I just didn’t really feel anything towards her and the decisions she made.  I didn’t empathize with her character nearly as much as I needed to.  I needed something more for me to understand why she would make such a big mistake at the climax, b/c she really came off as selfish, self-serving, and really not very in touch with people’s emotions.  So to say I was disappointed in my Belle would be a bit of an understatement.

And while I enjoyed their initial chemistry and found that spark and magic quite exciting, somewhere along the way I got really bored with it, and wasn’t feeling the steamy scenes…I honestly thought “oh, here they go again.”  I enjoy steamy scenes, but apparently there wasn’t enough keeping me interested in these ones, but that honestly could have been just me.

So the other thing that really didn’t work for me had a lot to do with how this “Southern” town was portrayed.  Are they really like that?  It felt like a stereotype was taken as fact and embellished upon.  It’s not that I don’t understand elements, but I wanted a bit more nuance I guess.  This is not the first time I’ve been insulted by the portrayal of a region that I don’t even live in, so perhaps *I’m* the one who has it wrong.  I don’t know.  But it influenced how I enjoyed Miss Potts (which was sometimes I did, sometimes I really didn’t).  It influenced how little I enjoyed Savannah’s sister Scarlet.  Though honestly, there were many more problems with her.  Both she and her fiance Trent were downright mean.  And I just did NOT buy the turnaround.  I’m glad it was there, I wanted to buy it, but I needed an apology and some humility I guess.  And don’t get me started on the Lance business, and dealing with it in a Southern way.  NOT a fan of that tiny side plot at all, and how it played out.

OK, enough complaining Lenore.  Let’s end with a high note.  I really enjoyed Savannah’s Mother, and the story she told of her relationship with Asher’s Mother.  I really thought it added to the story, and gave depth.  I know she had her own elements of caricature, but I didn’t mind them…maybe because she was kind.  I needed that kindness.

And I really thought the description of Asher’s injuries, and the bits of detail that we saw on how he coped with only one hand, and the look into things that could help him were well placed and added to the story.  It was a really good read for my diversity challenge in that way.

So yeah.  I’m bummed.  I take it really hard when I don’t enjoy a book that’s so highly recommended.  But apparently I’m a special snowflake that just can’t conform.  Oh well.  I’m going to at least give her Hansel and Gretel retelling a try, and if that one doesn’t work either, I’m totally calling it a flatline and sticking with her other series.  Sometimes we’re just not a match.

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Friends Without Benefits (Knitting in the City #2) by Penny Reid

Freinds without benefitsBlurb: There are three things you need to know about Elizabeth Finney: 1) She suffers from severe sarcastic syndrome, especially when she’s unnerved, 2) No one unnerves her like Nico Manganiello, and 3) She knows how to knit.

Elizabeth Finney is almost always right about everything: the musical merits of boy bands are undervalued by society, “benefits” with human Ken dolls are better without friendship, and the sun has set on her once-in-a-lifetime chance for true love. But when Elizabeth’s plans for benefits without friendship are disarmed by the irritatingly charismatic and chauvinistic Nico Manganiello- her former nemesis- she finds herself struggling to maintain the electric fence around her heart while avoiding electrocution or, worse, falling in love.

 

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3 stars

I was let down by this one I’m afraid.  I found Elizabeth contradictory, stubborn, and emotionally stunted.  And not in a charming, witty, sarcastic way.  She claimed to be super honest but habitually lied to herself.  It was frustrating and I got tired of it real fast.

And the male MC! Not really my kind of love interest.  I wasn’t attracted to him in the slightest so I had a hard time taking him seriously.  His past as a bully to her kept coming up and for some reason I just could’t let that go.  He played to love card too early and it came off as creepy than endearing.  Like real creepy.

Everything after that was fruit of the poisonous tree.  There were some funny parts that had me laughing like the panty party and whenever they had their knitting night.  The little girl gave it a bit more even if it felt like a gimic.

The backstory could have been a book in its own right and I would have liked to have had some flashbacks to get a better feel for Nico.  I think that might have helped me to know him on a deeper level.  Other than that, I was underwhelmed.

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Within This Frame by Lindy Zart


27232486Blurb:
 It comes in the mail—a beautiful invitation that promises humiliation and horror. Unless Maggie Smiley, former child celebrity and now overweight recluse, gets her courage and motivation in check, along with her health.

The phone call offering fitness expert Lance Denton a chance to work with Maggie Smiley promises retribution. He messed up a lot as a punk kid on the too-fast road to stardom, and how he treated his co-star never left him. It is that—and a long list of secrets she doesn’t need to know—that has him show up at Maggie’s doorstep.

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Favorite Quote: 

He’d felt compelled, spellbound, as if kissing her was the only thing he knew how to do, and not doing so would be detrimental.

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3 stars

First off, this book was very confusing.  They both had psychological issues but instead of getting help from a professional, they both decided to cope with them in a physical way. That totally through me for a loop.  Like how can you deal with an eating disorder or body dysmorphic disorder by getting a personal trainer?  I was pretty flabbergasted when I read that.

And I didn’t understand why she needed a live-in personal trainer to lose a few pounds.  It just seemed a bit over the top and honestly like a weak reason to get them in each others lives again.

I did enjoy the switch between past and present perspectives and the added POV of Lance from the past was a nice touch.  Although the present chemistry was harder to see and follow because I never really knew how he felt.  His actions didn’t jive with what was implied.  I was confused whenever they had any ‘moments’.  I never truly felt the chemistry between them as adults.  It felt very mental and my mind kept getting pulled out of the story because I kept wondering why they were so focused on their physical appearences.

And I couldn’t relate to the female lead.  She seemed very self-absorbed and emotionally immature.  Everything seemed to be ‘poor me, what am I gonna do’ And she was so stubborn she didn’t even want to take the help that was offered even thought she asked for it in the first place! It just got…tiring to keep reading about.  By the time her character evolved it was too late for me.

I would have loved to have read only about their past.  That would have been a great book. The present just focused on too many little things.

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Taboo For You (Friends to Lovers #1) by Anyta Sunday


34195165Blurb: 
Sam’s freaking out. He’s 30 in three weeks. And what has he done in his twenties? It’s pretty simple math: nothing exciting at all. But hey, he has three weeks right? Maybe that’s just enough time to tick his way through a 20s Must Do List . . .

Luke’s freaking screwed. He’s come out to his family, and his friends. Except there’s a certain someone who doesn’t know yet: his neighbor of 7 years. Who also happens to be his best friend. Who Luke needs to tell the truth, but he just . . . can’t . . . seem to . . .

Jeremy’s freaking over-the-moon. It’s the countdown to his 15th birthday, and his goal is simple. No matter what, he’s going to spend heaps of time with saucy Suzy. But first he needs to get his over-protective, no-girlfriend-’cause-you’ll-get-her-pregnant parents off his back. And what better way than pretending he’s gay?

Sam, Luke, and Jeremy. Three guys who have a lot of history together, and a lot of future too—

—well, if they can sort out their issues, that is.

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3 stars

So it turns out I do NOT like GFY  books.  Who knew? ::shrugs:: This premise was originally intriguing to me but after reading it I found myself not liking it.  Which is a shame because I have loved all her other books.

Sam references the fact that he is not turned on by men. So it’s hard for me (No pun intended) with regards to the believability of the story when it is clear he is hetero.

Also, Luke lied.  Granted it was a lie by omission but that’s a huge deal breaker for me and since I already had one foot out the door so to speak, that was the straw that broke the camels back.  Is that clear as mud for you? LOL

Jeremy’s antics were super funny and very elaborate redeeming the story for the most part in the end.  I also enjoyed how they co-parented him and had open communication.  Even if that part was unbelievable. As a child of divorce and knowing many children of divorce, we all know open communication is like trying to find the Great White Buffalo.

In the end I enjoyed Jeremy’s story and the sex scenes more than Sam and Luke’s love story.  I love me a good sex scene.  Chances are I will continue to read Miss Sundays work because one bad apple doesn’t spoil the bunch IMO.

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Armored by M.A. Wilder

Blurb:

17619234When seventeen-year-old Beckit Wright joins Aaron, a mesmerizing and mysterious knight, on a dangerous adventure to a world that she is destined to save, things get complicated when her safety and heart wind up in jeopardy. As the two struggle to keep their professional relationship from turning personal, Beckit and Aaron begin to wonder how long will they be able to fight both their enemies and their fierce attraction for one another before one of them ends up hurt or worse.

WARNING: This book contains some adult language, violence, and sexual content. Reader and parental discretion is advised.

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My Review:
3 stars — Wellllll…*beep*  I mean seriously.  I am a big ball of torn.  I don’t even know what that means, good start Lenore.

So here’s the thing.  There were two things about the way this book was written that just bugged the crap out of me.  I mean SERIOUSLY drove me batty.  And I will get into them.  And then there were a handful of things that kind of annoyed me, but not horrendously.  And then there were things I loved.  I spent the first half pretty sure that I would just finish the book, give it an OK rating, and move on with my life.  But the problem is that the good things have me compelled!  I want to know where the story goes!  And it ended on a pretty big cliffhanger…sort of…I never know the definition of cliffhangers, but it wasn’t all neat and tidy.  So I’m going to read the next one!  Even though GAH!!  JUST GAH!!!

OK, so let’s get the really bad out of the way and work our way to good.  Bad thing #1: this book was written in what I believe is 3rd person omniscient, and I do NOT read 3rd person omniscient, so I’m not sure exactly, but I don’t think it was done very well.  MOST of the time, and for a good chunk of the beginning it was in 3rd person limited (Beckit’s head), and I was enjoying that.  And then all of a sudden we definitely weren’t in Beckit’s head.  And it confused the crap out of me.  First because I wasn’t entirely sure whose head we were in, or if we were in any head…and it happened sporadically for the rest of the book.  We’d be going along as Beckit, and then wham…something else.  Sometimes I could figure out it was probably Aaron, but other times I just couldn’t tell.  And because it was so sporadic, it was really jarring and I honestly feel like the book would have been better served to stick to Beckit only…I don’t think the switches really added much given how confusing they were.

Bad thing #2: Sort of related, because sometimes when the POV was switching, it would almost be sort of like a narrator, and so the author would continuously switch out Beckit’s name with “the human” or “the poh iverstant”…  It really didn’t fit.  I don’t understand the point of doing that.  It felt like when someone is given the advice to change things up to provide variety, but it just again made me confused about the perspective.

OK, so those were the bads that drove me batty.  Onto the meh things.  1) The pacing was a bit off for me.  I felt like things moved really rapidly at the beginning, but without much explanation, and so I wasn’t invested.  I tried to explain the book to my husband and he laughed because I sounded like a run on sentence (“and then they got to the planet, and then they were attacked, and then they ran to a village…”).  And I didn’t like that the chapters would end with a sort of cliffhanger, but then would not immediately resolve in the next chapter.  Like (and this is not an actual example, b/c I don’t have one handy), she would turn around and scream, but then the next chapter would start off with her lounging hanging with her BFF, and eventually they would explain what made her scream.  It felt like contrived tension.

2) The love triangle was unnecessary in my opinion.  I mean, yes, it’s no secret I don’t like love triangles, but this one really didn’t serve a purpose, or at the very least it should have served a short purpose and been resolved.  (it kind of felt like we were getting into the trope of everyone falls in love with the heroine who thinks she’s an ugly duckling, and that’s just not my fave…especially because I kind of liked that Beckit was not a usual size/shape).

3) Aaron.  He was inconsistent as all heck.  He would have a few swoony moments, but I really didn’t know enough about him to really understand why he was drawn to Beckit, or what he was thinking, or heck, what he was like (which given that the perspective jumped, we could have had more moments in his head to enlighten us)??  And then he would become childishly possessive.  For a thousand year old Knight, he behaved like a child with a temper tantrum too often for me to swoon.  And I just didn’t get the pull that Beckit felt for him.  It felt like a crush and lust, I don’t think I got enough interaction to get where it turned into more.  Heck I don’t understand if they’re even friends.

4) The sex scene didn’t fit the tone of the book.  I’m a proud reader of all levels of steam, from squeaky clean to erotica, but the sex scene was hella explicit for a book that felt more YA than NA.  And for characters that were goofier.  But maybe that was just me (and at least there is a warning in the blurb).

5) Beckit and Tameka (but mostly Beckit) were way too accepting of things.  And for Beckit it was based on some feelings.  If those feelings were then explained to be some magic pull between an erone and his poh iverstant, then I would accept it.  But just because you acknowledge to the reader that she should be more wary/skeptical, but just isn’t, doesn’t really satisfy me.  And what are Tameka’s parents thinking?  And does she not care about them worrying about her?

Damn this review is getting long.  Sorry guys.  THE GOOD!!!  1) THE WORLD!!  Colour me intrigued.  I kind of love that there’s this planet that contains all these supernatural creatures, and that’s just the way it is and everyone just lives together.  It amuses me, I enjoy it.  And I ADORED the way the Knights were added, and how they’re kind of shifter like with their armor being a part of who they are as creatures or something.  Like seriously cool.

2) When the writing was on, I really felt for Beckit and the things she was going through, and she got me in the feels.  It wasn’t consistent, but when it was there it was amazing.

3) The bits of sassy humour!!  Seriously, the characters had me grinning in a number of places.  And I know this is a downside for some readers, but I enjoyed the youthful slang that Tameka and Beckit used.  It just fit their personalities and brought out their teenagerness.  And the games night!  It was a great moment of levity that was sorely needed.

4) Beckit was smart!!!  I ADORED the scene in the council meeting!  I wanted to high five her all over the place!

5) While I wasn’t the biggest fan of the romance, and it was inconsistent, when the chemistry was there I really felt it.

6) The motley crew of friends!!!  Tameka was sassy and pretty funny (though she would probably get on my nerves after a while in real life).  Linnie was an interesting addition, and I hope we see more of her in the future.  I really hope Frost has a lot more secrets to tell, b/c while he’s interesting, he will be even more interesting if there is something to the little hints we see every now and again.  Royce is even intriguing, he’s a nice foil for Meka.  And RAN!!!  Ran is my total favourite.  Love that guy.  I can’t even.

7) Even the smaller secondary characters were intriguing!!! (Denzin, Dozen, Xoe, Hakeen, Gwon)

8) Particularly Atlas!!  I love me a father/son dynamic, and he really added to the story.

9) And I can’t stress this enough, DIVERSITY!!!  A black heroine!!  A hispanic BFF!!  A gay werewolf!!  A bi vampire!!  And even secondary characters were a colourful array of ethnicities.

And this can go in the bad and good: the overarching plot!  It’s intriguing, but it was really shuffled to the background a lot.  I mean, I still don’t understand what the Te-Trad even is, or what they’re going to do, or much about where the whole conflict is going to go.  But nevertheless I’m intrigued!  I want to know!

So there you have it.  Next book has been purchased, about to be started.  We’ll see if I can tolerate the bad enough to enjoy the good for the rest of the series.

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There’s Something About Nik by Sara Hantz

Blurb:
34261193Nik Gustafsson has a secret: He’s not really Nik Gustafsson.

He’s not a spy. He’s not crazy.

He’s just the son and heir to one of the most important families in Europe—one where duty always comes first. And his posh, too-public life is suffocating him. So when he gets the chance to attend boarding school in America, pretending to be an average exchange student is too big of a temptation to pass up.

Then he literally runs into Amber on campus. And she hates him at first sight.

It’s kind of exhilarating to be hated for who he is, not for his family name or his wealth. Maybe if he turns up the charm and turns down the aloof mask he habitually wears, he can win her over. Even though a bad past experience has made her swear off dating this year.

But the more he gets to know her, the more uncomfortable he is keeping things from her. Because Nik Gustafsson has a secret. And it’s a big one.

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains a hot boy who’s the strong and silent type, a studious girl who refuses to believe in fairy-tale romance, and one epic secret that could be disastrous if it comes to light.

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

I’m usually a sucker for royalty undercover stories, but this one fell a little flat for me.  It had all the makings of a great book, but the characters weren’t endearing enough for me to fall in love with them.  Amber has this incredible backstory, but it really didn’t play that much of a part and so seemed superfluous.  And she was kind of mean sometimes to Nik…like it was supposed to be teasing, but I just found it kind of rude.  Like I got what was supposed to be happening, but it just went too far and lacked empathy.  (Her BFF Lauren was kind of rude too quite frankly, and gave some really bad advice at times)

And Nik was so back and forth, I kind of had a hard time figuring him out.  He honestly was kind of arrogant and cold.  And he didn’t just appear that way, it came across in his inner thoughts sometimes too.  Which is not a horrible thing, it can make sense with his upbringing.  But then there would be these quick moments of vulnerability, and I felt them, but they were both so extreme, I just wished there was more in between Nik.  Not sure if I’m making sense.  It just became hard to imagine him as a person because his reactions were so…well, extreme.

Part of this could be just me being out of touch with teenagers and their hormones. There is definitely a bit of that going on.  But I did feel like there could have been more subtlety for both of these characters.

And then, quite frankly, the story just happened really fast.  It was like, no Amber didn’t like him, to all of a sudden she did, to oh look they’re kissing.  I missed the transitions.  And it even ended rather quickly.  And I can’t help but wonder where in the world their relationship is going to go.

So while that all sounds bad, it wasn’t…it was just ok.  It had some cute moments, but I just inevitably wanted more.  And on a strange sidenote, the blurb says he literally runs into her.  He doesn’t.  I hate it when people use literally wrong.  Maybe he did in a previous version?

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Cheater by Rachel Van Dyken

Blurb:

31345293Lucas Thorn wasn’t born a cheater. All it took was a single moment—say, a certain disastrous incident on the night before his wedding—and boom. Reputation destroyed forever and always. So now he owns it. He has a lady friend for every night of the week (except Sundays—God’s day and all), and his rules are simple: No commitments. No exceptions.

But a certain smart-mouthed, strawberry blonde vixen is about to blow that all to hell.

Avery Black has never forgiven Lucas for cheating on her sister. And suddenly being forced to work with him is pretty much a nightmare on steroids. Of course, it does afford her the opportunity to make his life as difficult as possible. But no good revenge scheme comes without payback. Because he didn’t become the Lucas Thorn without learning a few things about women.

Now Avery’s lust for vengeance has turned into, well, lust. And if Lucas stops cheating, it’s definitely not because he’s falling in love…

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

Oh dear.  I’ve had a hot and cold relationship with books written by this author.  I’ve read books that I really loved, but I’ve more often read books that just rubbed me the wrong way.  Strangely, this one wasn’t a full on hate, but it’s just not a Lenore book.  It’s not that I can’t see why people would enjoy it, it just wasn’t a good fit for me.  I have a few other books by this author that I’ll give a shot, but I think I’ll steer away from her normal contemporaries, or romantic comedies, b/c I just don’t think I have that sense of humour.

Oh, and yeah, this was kind of a weird one to request for me b/c cheating is one of my button issues (I just don’t have a good tolerance for cheating in books, and it will likely make me dislike a book), but I thought perhaps in exploring the topic it wouldn’t be too bad.  And actually, the cheating wasn’t the part that really didn’t work for me.  The author didn’t delve as deep into the reasoning as I had hoped, but it still addressed some interesting questions.

So what didn’t work for me?  The humour in this book was cringe-worthy.  I’d been telling my husband about it, and quite honestly the two MCs were just too over the top for me.  So much yelling.  There’s quirky characters, and then there’s these two…particularly Avery.  I cringed through parts of this book.  It was like watching Meet the Parents.  I could understand why people would find it funny, but I just couldn’t.  And quite frankly, I ended the book and I couldn’t help but think that if these people existed in real life, the people surrounding them must be so exhausted.

And the crazy humour kind of got in the way of their chemistry with each other.  There just weren’t enough moments that got to my heart and made me feel for them.  And for *this* particular reader, that was a shame.  I like my humour mixed with more depth I guess.  I would see glimmers, and then one of them would say something outrageous.

Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I didn’t laugh at all in this book, or that I didn’t enjoy parts.  But I just got tired after awhile.  I guess I just do better with moderation.  *shrugs*

Oh, and on a strange side note, the author would use dramatic periods in weird ways.  You know, where someone is trying to emphasize their point and so they break. The. Sentence. Up.  But she would use them in places that didn’t make sense, at least to this reader.  Was I the only one that noticed that?  And mostly in the beginning of the book too.

So yeah.  I can see this book being popular, it just wasn’t the right fit for me.

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Wrong Brother, Right Match by Jennifer Shirk

Blurb:
32613784Matchmaking guru Kennedy Pepperdine’s life is perfect. Perfect job. Perfect friends. Perfect boyfriend. Except…when she gets trapped in an elevator with a handsome stranger, she accidentally confesses a secret: maybe her perfect boyfriend, Justin, isn’t so perfect for her after all. But a matchmaker should be able to successfully match herself, right? Thankfully, she’ll never see the handsome stranger again. Until she heads home with Justin for the holidays and learns that the sexy stranger is none other than Justin’s older brother, Matt.

Matt Ellis is trying to be on his best behavior for his mother—it is Christmas, after all. But when he recognizes the beautiful woman from the elevator—the one he hasn’t been able to stop thinking about for months—his best behavior is being held by a thread. Matt’s always sacrificed for his family, and nothing is more important than their happiness, but the more time he spends around Kennedy, the more he wonders if her supposed “right match” might just be the wrong brother.

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

OK, let me preface this review by saying that I’m not sure why I requested this from NetGalley…the entire premise should have given me a big clue.  Perhaps I was thinking that it was only going to be initial circumstances, but that they would change quickly?  Perhaps I was just going Christmas happy at the time?  But seriously people, cheating is one of my button issues, so why in the world would I request a book whose very PREMISE is based around cheating.  And no, there’s no big physical cheating moment (minus the elevator kiss at the beginning, but she tells Justin about that).  But it’s the emotional cheating.  That counts for me too.  It’s the whole “if you’re this interested in someone else, perhaps you should end your current relationship first or figure out what to fix in it.”  I’m just not a fan.  It’s a personal taste thing, I totally get that, so this review is only going to be useful to others who feel similarly.

So a lot of my meh feelings for this book may be related to that one little (big) issue surrounding the cheating.  I just honestly could NOT fall in love with our couple.  Particularly b/c Kennedy’s relationship with Justin dragged on so fricking long!  I just kept waiting for something to happen with Justin, waiting for the moment it would all blow up, and so I just didn’t get invested.  The chemistry between Matthew and Kennedy was pretty good, but again, I was distracted by the circumstances.

I really did not love Kennedy.  I didn’t dislike her so much as just have no feelings about her whatsoever.  She just rubbed me the wrong way b/c of the decisions she was making in her relationship.  And I didn’t buy how her Mom influenced her relationship hangups.  I get what the author was trying to do there, but it wasn’t enough.  Justin was just so unbelievably wrong, and it was so obvious, that I just couldn’t accept that because of her Mom’s flighty relationships, she would grab hold so tight.

And I could not get a feel for Matthew.  I don’t know if we just didn’t get enough time in his head to get a good feel for who he was or what.  At the very beginning we’re almost given this impression that he’s a playboy, but that didn’t feel quite right you know?  Like a trait that was tacked on.  It’s hard to fall in love with a hero that you just don’t know.  And I just felt like I couldn’t empathize with him at all.

And the ending just really started feeling cheesy to me.  Honestly, at that point I was almost skimming just to see what would happen.  Quite frankly, this was probably more of a 2.5 star, but I’m writing this review off of notes, so I’m going with my initial gut feeling.  I must have enjoyed the few good parts enough to give it that solid 3 stars.  The reality is this wasn’t a bad book, it was just a TERRIBLE fit for me personally.  Oh well.

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