Freitag, 30. Juni 2017

A Promise Ignited - Anissa Garcia

Title: A Promise Ignited
Author: Anissa Garcia
Rating: 3/5

Thanks to NetGalley and AG Romance Reads LLC for letting me receive a digital copy of this book.
Jaime Caldwell had the perfect life with her husband and son. Or so she thought. Over time, the stress of everyday life put a strain on her perfect marriage. The intimacy she once had with her husband is long gone—an intimacy she craves.

What she doesn’t expect, is for that craving to be reignited by an unexpected gentleman with an easy going smile. His flirtatious words fuel her, making her feel wanted, and lighting the passion within her.

But not everything is as it seems...
In the light of a new day, Jaime hopes she can use that passion to reignite her marriage.

Maybe I should read more novellas. At least with them, the story's never dragged or forced. Instead, the author focused on a short plot, on important conversations and the right words. Also, novellas are perfect if you're not in the mood or a phase to read a full length novel. That way, you can think to yourself, 'Yay, I finished a book' without it actually being a big one.

Anyway... I figured out how A Promise Ignited would end right away. I couldn't picture it any other way, so I wasn't surprised when I read the last few pages. But still... This novella was really good! As mentioned before, Anissa Garcia focused on the important issue with this one - no unnecessary friends that make an appearance, no angry parents at a Christmas dinner - it was all about Jaime and how unhappy she feels in her marriage. I immediately felt sorry for her and it was refreshing to read about marriage problems instead of the good old strangers-to-lovers romances or the new-neighbour-and-he-is-hot thing (we had that in A Promise Kept already). Also, there is a son involved, which makes things a lot more complicated and complex. Why doesn't she just divorce Dean? Well, that's a good question, but I think while reading her point of view, you'll understand why. Anissa Garcia describes Jaime's love for her husband sweetly.

Then there's a time hop and Jaime meets someone in a bar. Though she feels terrible, she puts all thoughts of the consequences aside and decides to go after him. And whew! Those scenes were really hot. Without them being cheap, which is important. There's a thin line between a romance novel (or novella) and a porn. This novella isn't the second option, it's just very sexy. You couldn't even feel bad about what Jaime was doing, because you could feel the passion while reading those sexy scenes. Of course, there was a tiny voice in the back of your head nagging at you that what she was doing was wrong, but then you'd read on and on and you just wouldn't care.

This novella can be read in less than an hour, so if you have got some spare time, I suggest you read it. Especially if you have read A Promise Kept or A Promise Made. I think it's the perfect addition to the series.

Samstag, 17. Juni 2017

My Roommate's Girl - Julianna Keyes

Title: My Roommate's Girl
Author: Julianna Keyes
Rating: 2.5/5

Thanks to NetGalley and Weapenry Co-Op for letting me receive a digital copy of this book before it official release date.
The day a judge gave me the choice between going to prison or going to college was the day I vowed to stop stealing. Never again would I see something beautiful and beyond my means and take it, just because I wanted it. Just because I could.

When I moved in with Jerry, it was with good intentions. I needed a place to live while I got my degree, and he needed a roommate.

Then I saw Aster.

Blond and beautiful, good, pure, sweet, smart…and Jerry’s girlfriend. She was everything I never thought I could have. Except…maybe I can.

So I put a plan into action. Yeah, I’d probably go to hell, but it would be worth it. I wanted Aster. I wanted her yesterday and tomorrow and every possible way.

But you know what they say.

Be careful what you wish for…because you just might get it.

I tried. I really did. But no matter how many pages I read and told myself to enjoy the story, I didn't feel the connection. These days, I seem to like those college romances that include falling in love with a roommate. And while this book started out okay and kept me reading further, I fastly came to the conclusion that the plot was rushed. The title doesn't match the story for about 85% of the book. After these first 15% the characters dealt with problems that us readers didn't know about. These problems came out of the blue. Aster turned out to be everything I didn't expect, like she changed within the blink of an eye. Of course, you can say it's because we got to know her better, but the change didn't appeal to me. I liked her better before, even though she was described as that typical innocent college girl most readers are tired of by now. But it seemed fitting for her. Until the author decided it didn't.

So, My Roommate's Girl isn't even about getting the girl, as I hoped, because I like a little forth-and-back before the characters realize they're actually in love with each other. I didn't spot a real motive behind the story to keep going further. As I said, suddenly Aster and Aidan had problems no one even thought of and that's what kept the story alive. But I didn't like reading about either of their problems and to be honest, I couldn't even stand the two of them most of the time. Aidan did a terrible thing in the beginning, just to get in Aster's pants and Aster... Just no. It's like what draws these two together is lust. And lust only. And maybe the common history, but that shouldn't be reason to fall in love. And I didn't get the impression that they did fall in love.

I can't imagine any guy being like Jerry. Well, except for the cheating part, maybe. Jerry is Aster's boyfriend, the one Aidan wants to steal Aster from. And his roommate. It's hard picturing him as something else than a nerd and a hopeless romantic, a true soul, too, maybe. But then he goes out with Aidan and his friends and his morals fly overboard. I didn't know who I wanted to slap afterwards, Jerry or Aidan. Probably both. To me, this part was rushed like mad and was the easy way for the author to find a way to end things between Jerry and Aster. As if cheating is the only thing that might make a couple break up. Also, it was the only mistake in their relationship and of course, something as major as this will end with them breaking up, but Aidan didn't even get to see other bad parts of his roommate's relationship. They didn't exist.

This review is going to be one of my shortest ones. That's simply because I can't find anything else to mention. My Roommate's Girl wasn't the worst book I read, but I expected something different, something more emotional maybe, because Aidan and Aster sure as hell were flat as paper. I read another book written by the author a year ago, called Undecided and remember liking that one much better.

Montag, 5. Juni 2017

Into Your Arms (Squad Stories #01) - Chelsea M. Cameron

Title: Into Your Arms (Squad Stories #01)
Author: Chelsea M. Cameron
Rating: 3 - 3.5/5

Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for letting me receive a digital copy of this book before its official release date.
Freya has secrets she doesn’t intend to share. Not with her new friends on the cheerleading squad at Maine State University, and certainly not with sexy lumberjack-look-alike Rhett. Just because sparks flew between them at a bar one night doesn’t mean he gets to know why she transferred to MSU. When Freya dares Rhett to come to cheerleading practice, she never expects to see the dark-haired lumberjack again.

Except Rhett is the last person to turn down a dare, especially when it comes from a pixie-sized blonde. When Rhett wows the squad and becomes Freya’s stunt partner, his hands come far too close for comfort. But as Freya and Rhett’s hot post-practice sessions bring them closer, she risks her secrets being revealed. Can Freya chance exposing who she really is to the guy who wasn’t supposed to win her heart?

I read a book written by Chelsea M. Cameron a few years ago and always wanted to read another one, because I really like her style, but never had the chance to. When I saw this title up on NetGalley, I finally decided now was the time to read a second book by the author. And while I didn't enjoy it as much as My Favourite Mistake, I still liked it.

It's refreshing to read about a cheerleader who's not a total bitch. Chelsea M. Cameron said so herself, so I can say it out loud too. And also, I liked the idea of a 'popular' guy joining the squad. Of course, his motives weren't the best ones, he was only after Freya, but Rhett's still a good guy, you can see that the further you read. He's a sweetheart. And Freya wasn't... So naturally, I liked him better than her.

I didn't like the way the two of them met, to be honest. In a bar. That's so chliché, but hey, the have to meet somehow, right? So I'm not judging here. Or not too hard, anyway. And then later I was just mad at Freya for being... Well, her. It's not the first time I'm reading about a girl character with trust issues and I totally see her point, but Rhett's literally being the best version of himself and she takes it all for granted. What kind of guy would keep up with that? Well, Rhett... Because he's such a good guy. Totally underrated in my opinion anyway. You'd think his name is an unusual one and he liked to go out with his best mate, but he's still super duper cute and hasn't got a single bad bone in his body. While Freya's basically built of bad bones. Gah. Obvious much that I didn't like her?! Sure, there have been worse characters than her and she needs to be the way she was in order for their story to work, but still... My complaining about this is just proof of how much that book actually got under my skin.

So, why the low rating? I don't even think it's that low. Compared to the other Chelsea M. Cameron book I have read, it didn't meet up my expectations. So, that's one reason. Freya is obviously reason number two (and three and four...). And I think that's about it. Everything else was... Sweet. It didn't sweep me off my feet, but I never wanted to quit on Into Your Arms or throw it aside and start another book. I was looking forward to reading about the change in Freya and about how she'd finally come to her senses. And... Before I forget it. I totally enjoyed reading about Mia. In my opinion, she isn't mentioned often enough. She's Freya's best friend and doesn't live in Maine, but I could tell I'd love her. And her parents, too. Can we get a story about her too, please?

Sure enough, I'm gonna read book two in this series, as well, although I don't think I'll like any of the female leads and Rhett can't be topped.

Last Semester - Corine Mekaouche

Title: Last Semester
Author: Corine Mekaouche
Rating: 3 - 3.5/5

Thanks to NetGalley and Xpresso Book Tours for letting me receive a digital copy of this book.
When Johanna ‘Jo’ Gold, witty college life blogger and senior at Rutan University, decides to move in with three male strangers her last semester of school, her life unexpectedly turns upside down. While dealing with her new roommates, A.J., the pompous rich kid who feels trapped in following his father’s footsteps; Rob, the prematurely engaged former womanizer who tries to force Jo out of the house at all costs; and Drew, the 21-year-old virgin genius whose encounters with women have been more than limited, Jo learns that change isn't always easy and it's up to her to learn how to survive the remainder of her time at Rutan the best that she can. Along with searching for her missing mother, figuring out a clever way to pay for school tuition on her own, and dealing with the childish pranks brought on by a certain roommate, Jo’s issues seem more complicated than the average 21-year-old. Can Jo endure the dramatic perils of college while planning for life after graduation?

Alright, I'm reading a lot of negative reviews for this book right now and I seriously can't find a reason why people would hate it so much... Sure, my rating isn't the best one either, but we'll come to that later. There's no need for reviewers to start getting mean. I just don't understand it.

Last Semester is told in four different point of views, which is a lot. I never thought I'd actually enjoy reading four different voices so much, but the author managed great. Without even looking at who was telling the chapter, you could always tell. The characters had their own voices that couldn't be misunderstood for another. There's Johanna - Jo -, who's probably one of the strongest female leads, I think. She seems like she's so self assured and knows exactly what she wants in life. Of course, the reader gets taught otherwise during the story, but still... And then there's my fave character, Drew, the ultimate nerd and even nerdier than anyone else I've ever read about. He's so adorable. Also, he's the only one who gets a little romance in the book, so I loved reading his parts. A.J. is a typical rich kid, thinking he's God's gift to women or something and Rob's... Well, I thought he's an asshole. That incident that happened to him - the joke Jo played on him - served him right. I couldn't stand him, though he grew on me, as well.

You'd think it's super hard to keep track of all these characters' lives. Basically, I don't know how the author wants to manage writing other books, because Jo, Drew, A.J. and Rob all had their own life, their own problems and everything you can possibly read about in other books, all topics, have been used for them. They all get their own stories, none of these character is boring in the least and I admire the author for achieving that.

Of course, it takes some time after Jo moves in with the boys until they're bonding a friendship. But seriously, I loved these guys together, which is probably why I think this book has got one of the best college friendships in it. The way A.J. costantly tried to hit on Jo, the way Jo and Rob hate each other's guts in the beginning and Drew's funny comments... Everything about them was great. They were perfect for each other and I was a little shocked when I realized it was only that... Friendship.

And that's why my rating is "low". I missed some romance, I didn't like the way this book started with a hospital scene (but I was glad when later in the book, the scene wasn't repeated but dealt as read already) and sure enough, the short blog posts by Johanna were fun and totally important for the further story of her future life, but I never really looked forwar to reading them and I can't even blame the author for that, so I might be mean to still write about this, but it just wasn't for me. Yet, I thought it was great for the characters to find themselves. I mean, that's what this age is about and the author captured that great, captured their dreams, passion and wishes very well. So I would definitely recommend this to anyone who isn't bothered by a little less romance than usual, but wants to have a fun time while reading.