Dirty Little Mistake (Dirty #2) by Amber Rides

dirty little mistakeBlurb: At eighteen, Brenna Cooper turned her back on her boyfriend-hopping, drug-addicted mother. She fought her way from poverty and heartache into a life she’s proud to lead. Now twenty-two, Brenna has four years of hard work behind her and a bright future ahead of her. She’s careful and cautious and keeps her nose clean. Always. Or almost always anyway.

Five weeks ago, Brenna received some news that hit her hard and she slipped from the straight-and-narrow path.

It was just one mistake.
One party.
One too many shots of tequila.
One little one-night stand with her muscle-for-brains neighbor, Ian.
And it’s behind her.

Or it would be if it weren’t for the teeny, tiny matter of the positive pregnancy test.

Now, Brenna is terrified of following in her mother’s footsteps. She needs to tell Ian about the baby. Soon. And she needs help finding a way to do it.

Ridley James has a shady, crappy decision filled past. He’s the first to admit that the ages of thirteen to seventeen were nothing to be proud of. He bounced from foster home to foster home, girl to girl, and fake I.D. to fake I.D. Five years ago, though, his terminally ill aunt took him in and helped him turn his life around. Before she died, she made him promise a few things. Ridley would stay on the clean path she’d led him to. He’d stay out of trouble. Most importantly, though, he’d look out for her son – his cousin – Ian.

He was doing well.
Until he and Ian moved into his new house a month and half ago and they met his pretty, sweet – and drunk – neighbor.

Ridley knows his only choice is to pretend Brenna has no effect on him. Especially since she came flying out of Ian’s room the morning after their housewarming party, begging him to forget he ever saw her.

He was doing fine with that, too.
Until Brenna came asking for his help – in becoming Ian’s girlfriend.

Now, Ridley is trying to keep his hands and his feelings to himself, struggling to understand why a girl like Brenna is interested in his cousin at all, and fighting to keep his promises to his aunt.

The closer Brenna gets to Ridley, the farther she gets from making her confession to Ian. The more Ridley gets to know Brenna, the less control he has.

Both are keeping secrets. And neither is prepared for the truth.

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5 stars

Even with the unbelievably of the intentional misunderstandings going on ALL over this book for suspenseful purposes, I really loved it.  The author would throw in those deliberate misunderstandings and I would get ready to throw the book, then….she would retreat just a smidgen, giving me a taste of the romance I so wanted to see.  Thereby pulling my attention back in and making me want to finish the book.  

Well played Amber Rides, well played indeed.  

Brenna was so young and naive.  I felt great pity for her, and not in a good way.  I mean, it was expected she had no idea what she was doing since she had no mother figure in her life to teach her, but I don’t think she gave the other people in her life enough credit personally.  She made up for her lack of knowledge in these types of situations by giving in to her uhm…baser desires.  She was a super cute horn dog trying to force a square peg in a round hole and she failed, quite hilariously.  The dialogue in this book is fricking fantastic by the way. And quite possibly saved me from DNF’ing this book on more than one occasion.  

Ridley, man this dude was all kinds of hotness.  Smart, vulnerable, strong, patient, understanding, loyal to his family and did I mention he bakes!  Yes, please!  He was a bit of a glutton for punishment but I’ll be damned if his weakness for helping Brenna didn’t just push right over the edge in love with him.  

I had no idea this was the second in the series and now I want to go back and read the first one.  I’m a fan and will certainly keep my eye out for more books by this author in the future.  

Curly Carla_small

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The Art of Hiding by Amanda Prowse

Blurb:

The Art of HidingWhat would you do if you learned that the life you lived was a lie?

Nina McCarrick lives the perfect life, until her husband, Finn, is killed in a car accident and everything Nina thought she could rely on unravels.

Alone, bereft and faced with a mountain of debt, Nina quickly loses her life of luxury and she begins to question whether she ever really knew the man she married. Forced to move out of her family home, Nina returns to the rundown Southampton council estate—and the sister—she thought she had left far behind.

But Nina can’t let herself be overwhelmed—her boys need her. To save them, and herself, she will have to do what her husband discouraged for so long: pursue a career of her own. Torn between the life she thought she knew and the reality she now faces, Nina finally must learn what it means to take control of her life.

Netgalley

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DNF

This book was a bit disappointing.  I wanted to like it, but I had to start skimming.  And I RARELY skim. I had to stop at 30%. It was frankly too depressing and I just didn’t care what happened to the characters anymore.

I felt the hopelessness, guilt and despair were overdone and focused on too much.  We get it, she was blindsided.  It was the focus of the story for more of the book than it should have been. by the time she put on your big girl pants and dealt with things I had already lost interest.  I found her to be a weak female lead and therefore could not find myself to have any sympathy for her.  Her children were not people I found myself caring about either.  They didn’t have much in the way of layers.  It was mediocre IMO. Sorry if that sounds harsh, but I just didn’t like it.

I was given this book in exchange for an honest/unbiased opinion.

Curly Carla_small

The Man I Love (The Fish Tales #1) by Suanne Laqueur

tmilBlurb: The man is Erik “Fish” Fiskare, a student of technical theatre at a Philadelphia university. At twenty-two, he is the lover and soul mate of Daisy Bianco, a beautiful and talented ballerina. His best friend is William Kaeger, Daisy’s charismatic, free-spirited partner.

While deeply in love with Daisy and astonished by their physical passion, Erik is equally confused and fascinated by Will’s bisexuality. Still, he implicitly trusts Will with his thoughts and fears, and relies on Will to always be between Daisy and a ten-foot drop to the floor.

When Will embarks on a disastrous affair with a dancer named James Dow, it pushes Erik’s tolerance and trust to the limit. But rejection pushes James over the edge of sanity, taking Will and Daisy with him and leaving Erik in the ruins. The young stagehand soon discovers that in the face of heartache, grief and betrayal, love is not always enough to make you stay. And sometimes, it’s the only thing that can bring you back.

Spanning fifteen years and following a man’s thrilling emotional journey back to the truth of himself, Laqueur’s debut novel explores the complexities of sexual passion, the dark side of devotion and the futility of running from one’s past. The Man I Love is an epic tale of love and forgiveness that will linger long after the last page is turned.

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Favorite Quotes:

Erik sank in his seat and moodily drank his soda, feeling like a slice of Wonder Bread in a basket of croissants.

She wasn’t the first girl to ask him questions about his father’s side of the family. But other girls’ questions always felt like birds pecking at him, wearing him down or tearing him open. Daisy’s curiosity was soft on his skin. She was a beautiful china cup on a table, quietly asking to be filled. And little by little, Erik was tipping over and pouring out.

 
Even the phrase “making love” had morphed out of context. Lately he was struck by the literal idea of making love. Not just a sexual expression but a creation-ary one. As if with each conversation, each shared experience and each time their bodies came together, they were assembling something larger. Adding bit by bit onto some magnificent structure. A cathedral within their private universe.

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5 Stars

I’d like to start this review off by saying, I’ve been following Suanne for a while now and feel I can speak to her in this manner.  Whether she likes it or not.

Fuck you Suanne!!!! You broke my heart! Then put it back together.

I just….I’m sad, but happy and I don’t know what to do now.  I feel all broken up inside and I need a minute to gather my thoughts.  This woman can write y’all! Her dialogue, her descriptions and her metaphors are just perfection!  It was subtle and conspicuous all at the same time.  She wrote so eloquently that it seemed real.  I believed it could happen.

At first I had no idea where the story was going, but it was interesting enough for me to keep reading. Once I got to 45 percent I knew I was in for one hell of a heartbreaking ride. I cried, so many times. Sometimes I would just hover at the chin wobbly stage for long periods of time not knowing what was gonna happen, but knowing I would hurt by the end of it.

I wanted to comfort Erik one minute, then slap him the next.  And Daisy!  She tried so hard to make it right, she never gave up.  They both went through so much and I’m afraid to read the next one.  I’m not ready yet.  I need some recovery time.

Oh, just fucking read it already!

Curly Carla_small