Can’t Stay Away by Lilly Avalon

cant stay awayBlurb: Piper Winchester is fresh out of college. With only three weeks until her father remarries and five weeks until her first business venture launches, she’s got her hands full. She certainly doesn’t need any distractions to get in the way of building the future her father’s always wanted for her. But when a familiar boy with bright green eyes walks back into her life, she’s thrown for a loop.

Four years ago, Chase MacKenzie left for college without looking back. He didn’t mean to disturb the peace then, and he definitely doesn’t want to do that now. Once he lays his eyes on Piper again, there’s no way he can leave without fixing what went wrong in the past. Although she’s more determined than ever to push him away, he still manages to get under her skin. Regardless of what happens between them, there’s one thing that will always be standing in their way…

He’s about to become her stepbrother.

scr2557-proj697-a-kindle-logo-w-rgb-lg

images

3 stars

I do love me some step love! This one was different in the fact that the male MC was NOT an alpha, which was lovely.  He was a bit of a beta boy.  And while this story had the ‘traditional’ sex scenes, it was tempered with deep emotion.

One of my favorite things about this story is that they were friends in the beginning, not enemies. This really stood out because anyone who reads these types of stories knows they are mostly enemies to lovers.

I also like how the parents were more present in this book. Being aware and involved in the family.  Plus they were both out of the house and living on their own.  These may seem like little nuances but added all up helped to create a vibrant background that really sucked me in.

This was a quick read that I really enjoyed.

Curly Carla_small

Bound by Brenda Rothert

Blurb:
18943370College senior Kate Camden has learned to adapt – to her last year of school, to the promise of motherhood, to the fact that she’s doing it all alone. But just when she’s learned to adjust, heartache threatens to break her apart.

Pro hockey player Jason “Ryke” Ryker has it all: adoring fans, a promising career, and a beautiful wife. But when his seemingly perfect life is shaken by tragedy, he’s left questioning whether having it all is ever more than an illusion.

When circumstance brings Kate and Ryke together, they discover they don’t have to hurt alone. Bound by a grief that haunts them both, they must rely on one another to survive heartbreak. But that grief is more powerful than they realize, and the tie that binds them together may ultimately tear them apart.

images     scr2557-proj697-a-kindle-logo-w-rgb-lg

My Review:
3 stars — Picky Lenore strikes again!!!  Dude, this is getting annoying.

OK, first things first, I honestly interpreted the first paragraph of the blurb to mean one thing, and in the prologue we find out something completely different.  I thought she was going to be a single mother.  So I had to do a bit of a context switch.  Not a big deal, but I had been anticipating a certain type of read so it threw me.

Let’s start positive!  Things I loved.  I really enjoyed the grief support group sessions.  Both just from a general perspective of seeing people struggling through grief, and how it has its ups and downs and is a constant struggle.  While I never went to any groups like this, I think many people don’t realize just what grief does to people…and everyone adjusts differently.  I also enjoyed the way Ryke and Kate were able to admit to some of their fears in the group, and sort of tell the other person in a safer space.  It allowed them to understand some challenges that they might have kept to themselves without that weird veneer.  I really loved how Ms. Rothert tackled grief and especially Kate’s story, which may not be obvious to many people, but it’s very real and heartbreaking.  I also really enjoyed the connection that Ryke and Kate had because of their shared grief.  I didn’t feel like it was forced or contrived, and there were moments where (particularly) Ryke was there for Kate that were just perfect — like the moment on the dock when they were camping.

I LOVED Ryke’s patience at times.  And how hard he tried to do the right thing for Kate and not rush her, but still convey his desires.  And he was pretty hilarious at times.  I even enjoyed his comradery with his fellow hockey players, particularly Luke.  And the bits of hockey we did get were fantastic, making this a true sports romance because we actually got to see the sport being played.  And that moment at the charity event where Kate was talking about hockey fights was gold, I LOVED it!  Made me laugh.  And I adored the interactions Kate had with her Mom, and the games night with her Mom and Dale.

BUT.  Unfortunately there’s a but.  There were a million little things that bugged me and kept me from truly enjoying this story.  Kate wasn’t a terrible character, but other than her grief, I found I didn’t really enjoy her.  The hot and cold stuff went on a bit too long for it to be understandable.  I just didn’t see the growth in her I wanted to, so I didn’t understand what changed when things between her and Ryke FINALLY progressed.  And I wasn’t all that impressed with a psychology major who was so opposed to counselling…you would think she would be less dismissive of it.

And there was a lack of consistency at times.  Almost like the author made some decisions to change up the story, but didn’t go back and smooth out the beginning.  Like the first impression we’re given of Mags is a LOT different from our final impression of her.  And I’m kind of bummed that there really wasn’t ANYTHING redeemable about her, I think I would have appreciated the story more if she hadn’t been somewhat villified.  Ryke could still have not had the same kind of love as for Kate without making Mags a bitch.  And Kate wasn’t necessarily consistent either.  She starts off being kind of jealous like Mags, but then it was like that didn’t work so then suddenly she wasn’t.  Or it was explained away by other things.  I couldn’t quite get a grasp on who she was.

And the believability of parts of the story didn’t work for me.  Like, even if Kate is opposed to sex, what about other non-pregnancy-inducing intimate activities?  Or does she just feel as though it’s a floodgate that once opened would lead there?  And moving in together???  Where did she sleep?  How did that work??  I don’t understand.  And after the confession about his parents and family and how bummed he was, she still reacted like that to the present?  Sucks.  And people in relationships really play that kissing game??  Really?  Didn’t like that at all.

*sigh*  OK, I probably have more to say, but I’m going to stop there.  I think I enjoyed the first half more b/c I assumed that the development would happen faster, and when it kept not happening, I started to lose my mojo.  I don’t mind having obstacles, but leaving them to the very end doesn’t make the transition as believable.  And I didn’t even get good steamy times to make up for it.  I don’t know what to do about this author now, b/c I LOVED her most recent book.  I don’t want to read anymore Kate and Ryke, that’s for sure.  I can’t decide what to do.  Maybe I’ll watch for future books, maybe it’s that she’s developed a lot more over time and I prefer her writing now.  We’ll see.

Lenoreo_small

The Baby Bombshell by Victoria James

Blurb:
34455448Lily Cookson has a few rules for the New Year, the most important being don’t fall for Jack Bailey. The gorgeous, rugged man returned with a new look and a determination to win her back, catching her off guard. After a forbidden night in his arms, she vows never to let it happen again. But when morning sickness kicks in a few weeks later, Lily realizes staying away from Jack just got a whole lot harder.

Jack Bailey left Shadow Creek behind five years ago when his world imploded around him, knowing it would be best for everyone if he was gone…including Lily. It took him a long time to get his life back on track and grow into the kind of man she needs him to be. Now he’s determined to prove to Lily that he’s back for good and ready to commit, but the secrets she’s holding onto are nothing compared to the bombshell he drops…

images     scr2557-proj697-a-kindle-logo-w-rgb-lg

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

OK, am I just confused?  Or misremembering?  But wasn’t Lily like super shy in the first book?  Damn, I might have to go look it up, b/c it’s killing me.  Well Lily was definitely not shy in this one.  She really didn’t feel like the girl I remembered at all, but perhaps it’s how other people see Lily versus how she sees herself?  I’m not sure.  Not saying she wasn’t an interesting character, she just wasn’t what I was anticipating and looking forward to, and so I probably didn’t connect with her as well.

This book was a solid romance, I just felt like I was left wanting a bit.  Like it didn’t give me the same emotional impact as the first book.  But it might just be the mood I’m in.  It’s like it had all these potentially gut wrenching circumstances, but I just wasn’t connecting with the characters and their grief as much.  Maybe b/c we didn’t really get flashbacks?  Maybe I just wanted more?  I don’t know.  It’s not like we didn’t get told how Jack was having a hard time coping and there was the whole beard thing.  That was heartbreaking…but at the same time, I didn’t really feel it as much as I expected.

Part of my problem with this book is that it was a very fast read, which can be nice and devoury…but I also kind of felt like things moved at a very fast pace and didn’t give me enough time to understand the depths of emotions of either character.  I *think* I got a bit more from Lily.  But given that Jack left, I guess I kind of wanted to know what finally made him come back.  What helped him get through his grief?  What was different, what changed?  Why could he suddenly deal now?  Maybe it’s because I’m someone who struggles with depression, the fact that his obvious emotional problems weren’t really addressed, and what he did to work through his grief was just kind of glossed over, it was just very unsatisfying for me.  And quite frankly, I was NOT impressed with the extra tidbit we learned about him wrt Lily’s secret, and I felt like the letters weren’t enough.  I needed more.  Maybe I’m just being picky and greedy.

I was also not super into the climax.  That seemed kind of over the top.  Maybe I’m cynical?  I don’t know.  I’m also not huge on the whole faith and signs thing, but that’s 100% a personal taste thing.

So yeah.  I enjoyed myself, but definitely not nearly as much as the first book.  That one just felt like so much more.  I can’t decide if I’ll try to catch Gwen’s book.  Part of me is intrigued, but I’m not sure if I’m invested enough.  I guess time will tell.

Lenoreo_small

Geekerella by Ashley Poston

Blurb:
33224718Cinderella goes to the con in this fandom-fueled twist on the classic fairy tale.

 
Geek girl Elle Wittimer lives and breathes Starfield, the classic sci-fi series she grew up watching with her late father. So when she sees a cosplay contest for a new Starfield movie, she has to enter. The prize? An invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball, and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. With savings from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck (and her dad’s old costume), Elle’s determined to win…unless her stepsisters get there first.

Teen actor Darien Freeman used to live for cons—before he was famous. Now they’re nothing but autographs and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Carmindor is all he’s ever wanted, but the Starfield fandom has written him off as just another dumb heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, Darien feels more and more like a fake—until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise.

Part romance, part love letter to nerd culture, and all totally adorbs, Geekerella is a fairy tale for anyone who believes in the magic of fandom.

images     scr2557-proj697-a-kindle-logo-w-rgb-lg

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

This one left me a bit conflicted.  I am a self-professed geek, and really enjoyed all the geek references in this book (whether quotes or nods to real life fandoms, or just the overall feel of BEING in a fandom).  That was honestly the highlight of the book for me, b/c I really do love the whole world of nerd culture (even if I’m not the type to cosplay or go to cons).  And on the whole I was definitely entertained by this book, and don’t regret reading it, I was just a bit disappointed b/c it was missing some magic.

For me, characters are what make or break a story, and I just didn’t end up loving EITHER of our main characters.  Which is not to say I disliked them!!  I just didn’t love them.  And I kind of need to love at least one of them for me to really enjoy a story.  They both felt a bit weak and with less dimension than I would have liked.  I needed more from both of them.

Elle has a rather tragic childhood and current situation (consistent with the Cinderella tale), but I didn’t end up really feeling much empathy for her.  I didn’t really get a feel for her emotions on any of the events that shaped her.  She felt kind of flat.  I can’t even tell you why, what did I need to make it…just…more…  But I didn’t really *feel* her grief.  I didn’t feel her loneliness, or what did she feel after whatever happened the previous summer?  And I couldn’t vibe with how socially inept she was that it took her so long to understand when Sage was reaching out to her.  It felt…forced?  I don’t know, I’m probably mucking this all up.  She just wasn’t that interesting I guess.  Like she had some of the building blocks there, but never went anywhere with them.  She wanted to be a scriptwriter, but she had stopped writing (other than on her blog)?  How was that going to work out?

And Darien.  OK, I am all for a beta boy, but a beta boy still has to have some inner strength, you know?  Some quality that makes you root for him.  His development and backbone took entirely too long to come around.  Why was he so reluctant to take his career into his own hands?  Why did he let Mark boss him around like that?  Was he just apathetic?  I guess I can kind of see it based on things that had happened in his past, but it wasn’t enough to make me really get behind him.  Did he even like acting??

And for goodness sake, what race was he?  Was he Indian?  The only reason I would guess that is because he’s not a white-washed pick for Carmindor, and the previous actor’s last name was Singh.  Why bother having that element and not go into it?  I can’t even call this book diverse, b/c it’s NEVER EXPLORED.  What was it like to be a different race celebrity heartthrob?  Was he half?  ANYTHING!  JUST GIVE ME SOMETHING!  Or don’t make it an element at all!  That, apparently, really annoyed me.

And honestly, the chemistry between Elle and Darien wasn’t really there besides a bit of a friendship.  I didn’t really buy that development.  From the messages we saw, I’m not sure what drew them together.  I could have used a bit more.  Even when they finally interacted in person, they were both so distracted by other things, I didn’t get the magic I was looking for until the ball.  Bummer.

And in the end I was unsatisfied with the evil characters.  They were kind of caricatures.  And Catherine was abusive as heck, so I didn’t get a satisfactory resolution with her.  I guess it was realistic in some ways, but still unsatisfying.  Chloe’s was a bit better, but again, she was a stereotypical mean girl.  No depth there.  And I wasn’t always happy with how things happened along the way to stick with the plot (like bringing the costume back to the house, hiding the tickets in the house).  Not to mention the whole selling the house thing.  If it was left to Elle, then how can Catherine sell it?  Is there no law there?

Sage and Calliope were bright spots in terms of secondary characters.  I felt bad for both of them because Elle really took a long time to give them a chance.  But I liked that they each had more depth to their characters.  On the other side, I enjoyed Gail and Lonny, but felt like there could have been even more from them…I wanted more anyways.

So yeah.  That all reads like a bummer review.  But it’s really just me ruminating on why this book missed the mark between an entertaining read and a life-changing read.  If you enjoy nerd culture though, I think you will love all the nods in this one.  In the end it was a book with a LOT of potential that just failed to live up to it for me.

Lenoreo_small

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.

 

 

scr2557-proj697-a-kindle-logo-w-rgb-lg

images

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.  

Curly Carla_small

 

 

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…

scr2557-proj697-a-kindle-logo-w-rgb-lg

images

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.

Curly Carla_small

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.**

images     scr2557-proj697-a-kindle-logo-w-rgb-lg

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.

Lenoreo_small

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.

 

scr2557-proj697-a-kindle-logo-w-rgb-lg

images

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.

Curly Carla_small

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.

scr2557-proj697-a-kindle-logo-w-rgb-lg

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.

images

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.

Curly Carla_small

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.

scr2557-proj697-a-kindle-logo-w-rgb-lg

images

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.

Curly Carla_small