Wednesday, April 9, 2014

ARC Review: On the Floor by Jennifer LaCross

General information:
Title: On the Floor
Author: Jennifer LaCross
Release date: April 2014
Genre: New Adult Romance
Series?: First in a series about band members, can be read as a stand alone.
Ending: HEA
Pages: 245

Blurb: Rachel Harris has been closed off since high school, when her mother passed away. Worrying about her family has made her own happiness her second priority.
Jake Price has had family issues of his own, leaving him incapable of having anything more than a physical relationship.
When Rachel meets Jake on the dance floor, sparks fly. Fires burn. Their worlds change. 
And then he walks away with no more than a thank you...
Through a twist of fate, they are brought back together when Jake shows up the next day as Rachel’s new co-worker. They reluctantly decide to put aside their attraction for each other so they can work as friends
But when that attraction becomes something more, will Rachel and Jake be able to figure out how to work together, be together, and open up to each other? Or will their old issues be something that destroys everything they have built?

Meet Rachel,  a student at a Music and Art school, who has not had a boyfriend for a while. She's been through quite a lot in her life and you follow her through most of the book. I liked Rachel. She's not a holy virgin, but not slutty either. She takes responsilibity and she takes great care of the kids on her floor. I've never heard of Resident Adivsors or Academic Mentors before, but that could just be because we don't have them here in the Netherlands. Rachel is passionate about (teaching) music and helping the younger 'kids'. Her AM - Ty - is horrible and after he makes the millionth mistake, he is fired. I'm very glad that he wasn't her love interest, because he was awful and the prospect of having him for the whole book didn't exactly fill me with joy. But thank god, he isn't! 

"He would be my perfect boyfriend, except for the fact that he already has one."  

Rachel and her best friend Jenna go out dancing. Once, there Rachel has a wonderful dance with the mysterious hot 'Mike'.....and I was hooked. Sadly, he walks away and you're left wondering when they'll meet up again. You don't have to wait very long, because 'Mike' turns out to be none other than Jake, the new AM who'll live across the hall from her. What follows is their wonderful story. I won't tell you anything else about the story beyond that, so you can experience it for yourself.

Jake was an interesting character. I loved him at some points in the book and could slap him silly in other moments. He's hot and seems to care about Rachel and he does have his funny and sexy moments. He hasn't had a very easy life either and it's interesting to watch him grow throughout the book. I liked his personality and what he does and plans to in life. He seems perfect in some ways, but flawed in others - which I love. I'm not a fan of the typical perfect guy or the big manwhoring asshole. He's perfectly balanced and I'm sure other readers beside myself will love him too.

The book contains a few entertaining and great secondary characters. I love Jenna - Rachel's best friend. She was funny, supportive and very um.. vocal about sex. She's Rachel's family away from home and I mostly enjoyed their exchanges a lot. There are also Jake's band mates who make interesting characters and I also really enjoyed Rachel's and Jake's family (well.. for the most part).

Why not 5 hearts?
I had some trouble getting into the story in the beginning. I struggled a bit to get used to the writing style in the beginning and it just took me a while before I really 'felt' the story. But I got used to it or the writing changed a bit after the first chapter, since I was hooked from chapter 2. I'm not entirely sure why that is. Maybe I just really didn't like Ty or I just had to get used to Rachels' 'voice in the beginning'. It's only a minor thing though, since I really loved the rest. So if you feel yourself struggling a little in the beginning, do yourself a favor and just read on a little, because I'm sure that you'll all be hooked from chapter 2.

I really enjoyed this book and I stayed up very very well, early ^^ to finish it. The characters feel real and I loved being a witness to the love story of Rachel and Jake. It was fun, sexy and emotional. It has a HEA ending and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys NA books and doesn't might a lot of steamy and sexy scenes - that are at times quite explicit. The book is mostly told from the POV from Rachel, with a little bit from the POV of Jake at the end. I'm looking forward to reading the books about the other band members - they seemed like an interesting group of guys. I'm especially looking forward to Nate's story.

*ARC kindly provided by the author in exchange for beta read and an honest review*

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

ARC Review: Breathe Into Me by Sara Fawkes

General information:
Title: Breathe Into Me
Author: Sara Fawkes
Publisher: St. Martin's Press 
Genre: New Adult
Series?: Stand alone
Ending: HEA
Pages: 288

Blurb: How did my life get so broken?  It’s a question Lacey St. James asks herself every day.  Stuck raising her little brother in a trailer park while she works a dead end job at a grocery store, she has a stalker exboyfriend, a bad reputation, and no way out.
And then, she meets Everett, who changes her entire existence.

Everett is an outsider who’s housesitting his family’s mansion off the coast, and for reasons Lacey can’t understand, he’s completely transfixed by her. He seems determined to show her that life can offer more than she’d ever hoped for, if only she believes in herself.  She desperately yearns to trust him, but what happens when she finds out that everything he’s told her is a lie?

I feel like I must warn you. I don't mean to sound like the Lemony Snicket books - but this book is most definitely not a feel good book. It's ugly and difficult and pretty much highlights everyone's greatest character flaws. Does that make it a bad book? No.

"“You seem eager to get rid of me.” “Maybe.” There was no conviction in the word. It had been a long time since I’d just talked to a boy like this, and it was nicer than I cared to admit. Most were after only one thing, which made the game old and depressing. Everett had come to my rescue in the bar, however, something that deserved more than the cold shoulder. Unfortunately, old habits die hard.
“Why?” He lifted one arm and took a dramatic sniff. “Do I smell?”"
Lacey hasn't had the most easiest life. After her father died she, her mother and 4 year old brother moved into her grandmothers trailer at a trailer park. She has a horrible relationship with her grandmother and her mother is nothing but a useless drunk. A slew of horrible and even more terrible guys have come and gone in the last couple of years and when we first meet Lacey in chapter 1, she is with the worst of them all; Macon.

The first two chapters are very troubling and didn't make me feel very good. Honestly, I wanted to smack Lacey with all the rotten salmon in the world. Why in the world would you even want to be with a guy like that? During one of the outbursts from Macon, she meets Everett.

Everett is an interesting character. He seems decent, but I was suspicious of him and thought he may not be all who he seems to be. You'll have to read it yourself to find out if I was right. Overall, I liked Everett, but I do think that Sara Fawkes wants to have the exremely horrible and abusive a-holes in one corner and the perfect can do no wrong love interest in the other corner. A lot of the guys in this book are massive jerks and Everett just seems to be a little too perfect during most of the book. Understandebly, Lacey has trust issues and has a hard time trusting that Everett is not out to use and hurt her. I think the idea is that we as readers MUST understand that he really is trustworthy and that's why it's all a little too much of the goodness. It makes Everett appear less than human and that was one of the things that bothered me.
"“you’re a tough nut to crack.” I gave him a bemused stare. Pot, meet kettle."
Lacey herself was an interesting main character. I struggled with her sometimes - as the beginning is not the only time I'd liked to have slapped her silly. She doesn't really make the best choices in life. But she does have a very hard day to day life - having to do it all on her own. She also has some issues from her past that she hasn't really worked through. She seemes a bit overly dramatic at times and I just found that I sometimes had a hard time connecting to Lacey. It was nice to see her take steps to try and better her life.

This book has some nice secondary characters. Horrible people like Macon and former friend Ashley and nice people like Clare, Trent, Cherise and Andrew.

The writing style of the book is perfectly fine, and for the most part I liked reading it. It got better as the story moved along, but I never reached a level of loving it. I'm not entirely sure if it's due to the characters, the setting of the story itself. I don't mind some struggles or darkness in my books, but this book really is chock-full of them and sometimes it felt like the story was drowning a bit in all the misery.

Overall, I liked reading this book and I think that readers who love new adult books and don't mind a bit - well.. a lot - of darkness to their story will love this book.

“Never be ashamed to go your own path. Sure as hell ain’t easy. I’ll tell you that, but it makes life worth living.” 

Monday, March 24, 2014

ARC Review: If only by A. J. Pine

General information:
Title: If Only
Author: A.J. Pine (Amy Pine)
Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC (Embrace)
Release Date: March 24th 2014
Pages: 250
 photo add-to-goodreads-button31_zps5f93c0ab.pngGenre: New Adult
Series?: Stand Alone
Ending: HEA

Blurb: It's been two years since twenty-year-old Jordan had a boyfriend—which means it's been forever since she, well, you know. But now she’s off to spend her junior year in Aberdeen, Scotland, the perfect place to stop waiting for Mr. Right and just enjoy Mr. Right Now.

Sexy, sweet (and possible player) Griffin may be her perfect, no-strings-attached match. He’s fun, gorgeous, and makes her laugh. So why can’t she stop thinking about Noah who, minutes after being trapped together outside the train’s loo, kisses Jordan like she’s never been kissed before? Never mind his impossible blue eyes, his weathered, annotated copy of The Great Gatsby (total English-major porn)…oh, and his girlfriend.

Jordan knows everything this year has an expiration date. Aberdeen is supposed to be about fun rather than waiting for life to happen. But E. M. Forster, Shakespeare, and mistletoe on Valentine’s Day make her reconsider what love is and how far she’s willing to go for the right guy.

"There is a little known truth that a two-year dry spell can earn a girl her virginity back" 
The story starts with Jordan on a train to Scotland for a semester abroad. I really liked that this book takes place in Europe for once. You jump right into the story and honestly, I was hooked from the start.
I liked Jordan. She seems normal and down to earth and it was fun to see her struggle to talk to boys and to try and open herself up a little more.
“I regain my composure, ready for my wittiest retort. “I’ll keep that in mind.” Or, maybe I’ll opt for not even close to witty…”
Anyhoo, back to the train. Just as she is settling in for a long ride, she suddenly get's company from 'man whore' Griffin. Conversation and jokes fly around and I really liked Griffin. He truly is who he says he is, is honest and doesn't play games with anybody - including Jordan herself. Jordan is happy with her newly found company. But then she needs to go to the bathroom and literally runs into other hottie, Noah.
The way it's written, you could really feel the chemistry between them and the scene that they meet is probably one of my favorite scenes from the book. Personally, I was on team Noah from the start.

Jordan is sent to Scotland with some advice from her best friend Sam:
“Picture this year like an alternate reality. A parallel universe. Your instinct has always been to wait, to be careful, to be sure. You don’t have time for that in Scotland. You only have time to enjoy, to live. See what it would be like to go against your instinct. Live a little, Brooks. You might enjoy it.” 
And that is exactly what she sets out to do. I'm not going to say anything more about the plot as I don't want to ruin it. But I'll guarantee you, after a very short period of time you will be in love with both Noah and Griffin.

This book is a debut novel for author Amy Pine and what a debut it is! I really enjoyed this book. The setting is different from most NAs, the writing is good and witty, the characters are well-rounded but not perfect. The book does involve a certain amount of heart ache and does hold great potential to make you cry. It's isn't a perfect love story. It's story about people who make very real mistakes. One thing I loved about this book is that neither of them has some deep dark past that they are running away from and when they meet each other everything is fixed - it's just a story about regular people who are growing up and finding their true self. The book is moderately sexy and leans to angsty for a large part of the story.

The secondary characters in this book were nice. I liked Jordan's roommate - Elaina. Though they did seem to immediately jump into a friendship that's like they've known each other since birth and sometimes she was a bit too 'hard on' Jordan for my taste. There's also Samm her best friend from back home, who doesn't really feature in the book outside of the occasional phone call.

All in all, it was a really entertaining read and definitely a book I would recommend to any reader who enjoys NA books. This was one of my favorite books from the genre I've read so far. I'm just a sucker for these stories that don't evolve around abuse or death or other things that most NA books seem to contain and have a happy ending. If you do to, than this is a must-read!

Friday, March 14, 2014

ARC review: He's Come Undone by Theresa Weir

20815572General information
Title: He's come undone
Author: Theresa Weir
Publisher: Belfry Press
Genre: New adult
Series?: Stand alone
Ending?: HEA
Pages: 214

Blurb: Penniless and behind on rent, college student and once famous child actress Ellie Barlow takes on the role of a lifetime when she's hired by a group of young women to break the heart of the campus player who cruelly dumped them. 

Transformed from slob slacker to jaw-dropping beauty, Ellie is dressed, styled, bleached and waxed, her chunky glasses exchanged for violet contacts. Along with physical prepping, she's coached on Julian's obsessions, which include long-distance running, Doctor Who, and J.D. Salinger. 

In no time, Julian is in pursuit of his custom-made next victim, but when Ellie goes off script and begins to fall for her target the newest broken heart in this risky game could be her own.

 photo add-to-goodreads-button31_zps5f93c0ab.png

"So what's the job? An ad? Something for school?" All three girls lean forward. All three girls looked over their shoulder, back at me, then whispered: "We want you to break someone's heart."

Thats how Ellie get's roped into this and how the story really begins. She's not had an easy life and is need of serious money when she decides to take te job. It reminded me a lot of John Tucker must die for the first few chapters. But it's really not. This book is a bit of a wolf in sheep clothes. I was expecting a sweet fluffly romance novel like for example the love game by Emma Hart (Review). Instead, what you get is a story about two very broken people - one more broken than the other - who find each other and make each other better. 

Ellie was an interesting character with an interesting background. She's down to earth and unsure of herself. She takes the job because she needs the money. It's very obvious from the start that she'll fall in love with Julian (aside from it being said in the blurb). I mostly liked her, but she just didn't really feel like a normal person to me. She seemed like she could only live in this world created by Theresa Weir. I had a hard time connecting to her and I was glad when the chapters from Julian's POV came around. I liked Julian. He's hard a hard life and I liked following his story. I haven't read too many books where the guy is one with the most baggage and it was interesting to read about. Though, like with Ellie, I wasn't in love with him as a character either. 
""Once I realized I couldn't quit thinking about him, and once I realized I had a major crush on a guy who had sex with girls and then discarded them, I wanted out. I wanted to meet him with my real self so I could have sex and be discarded. No, wait""
Why 3 stars?
I think the biggest problem I had with the book is that it deals with serious issues, but it somehow never really got up close and personal with these characters. You watch them go through this little love story of theirs and I don't really feel connected to them or their story. It keeps feeling like you're looking through a window at them, but you're not right there with them. That takes a bit chunk out of my emotional response to this book and makes it hard for me to love it. Another thing that I wasn't too thrilled about is the speed in the novel. Some things seem very rushed and you jump from one thing to the next. In some books that works, but I feel like this book would benefit from a little more pacing and slowing down. I personally love a little build up to certain events, but that doesn't really happen in this book. I think it's the least angsty book I've read in this genre. Also the ending felt a bit rushed, but you'll have to read it for yourself to find out :).

I did enjoy reading this book and I liked it. It just never took it over the hill and made me love it. That's not to say that you won't. I think you'll really like this book if you're intested in characters who are damaged goods, a fast pace, difficult topics and little romance.

*ARC kindly provided by Belfire Press/Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

Monday, March 10, 2014

Darkside Sun (Mortal Machine #1) by Jocelyn Adams (ARC)

20806102Blurb: Addison Beckett tries hard to pretend she’s normal, but she’s far from it. Since she was six years old, she’s seen the world around her unraveling, as if someone is pulling a thread from a sweater and it’s all slowly coming undone. When she ignores it, it goes away, so that’s what she does. 
Enter her arrogant-but-hot professor Asher Green. He knows all about her special brand of crazy. In fact, he might be just as nuts as she is. Asher insists that the dead from a parallel dimension are trying to possess the living in this one. And since Addison seems to be the only one who can see these “wraiths,” she just might be the key to saving the world.
Addison wants nothing to do with Asher or his secret society, The Mortal Machine. But as their animosity grows, she finds it harder and harder to ignore the chemistry between them. And when she discovers that Machine laws forbid her from touching him, she realizes that’s all she wants to do.
Stop the wraiths. Break the rules. Save the world. All in a day’s work.
Normal was overrated, anyway.

General information:
Title: Darkside Sun
Author: Jocelyn Adams
Genre: New Adult/Paranormal Romance
Publication date: March 10 2014
Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC
Pages: 291
Ending: Cliffhanger
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"Curiosity killed the cat and, maybe soon, the Addison" 

The blurb of the book interested me a lot since it's very different from other PNR books I've read so far. This is the first book I've read by author Jocelyn Adams and it's the first book of a trilogy with the next book - Midnight Dawn - being published in September 2014.

It took me a little while to get into the book in the beginning. This was mainly due to the fact that you get thrown into the story right away and I found it a tad difficult to get a feel for Addison - the main character in the book - and what exactly 'it' was that was happening to her. It felt a little bit ADDish, since it felt very rushed, hyperactive and jumpy. But once everything was a little clearer I was mostly hooked.

Addison - the heroine - is a timid girl who remains mostly unseen by everyone around her. She has always been drawn to old things and has seen the world literally unravel around her. For a large part, I really liked Addison. The only thing that bothered me a little bit about her, was the inconsisentency with her character. She is described throughout the book as a timid little rabbit who has to grow some balls and man up. But I didn't really see that in her. Yes, she grows into her powers and gets more secure, but she never let them walk all over her to begin with - so that didn't make much sense to me.

" What would Green have done if he'd discovered something had invaded his lecture hall from a black hole in his wall? Find some way to insult it, no doubt"

Enter the hot arrogant professor - Asher Green. I wondered if I would like him, since he really was an a-hole in the beginning. But he's interesting enough and eases up on her a little eventually. He's very closed off and a mystery to Addison - who he not so lovingly calls 'plaid'. Asher is an interesting character and I'm excited to read more about him in the next book. He's arrogant, cruel, mean, hot, sexy, sweet when he absolutely has to be and swoon worthy.

" "You're not weak, and I don't.... why do you have to be so ... so ... goddammit, I'm going straight to hell if I ever die." His lips covered mine before I even saw him coming."

The book also envolves several secondary characters - some of which get more 'screen time' than others. I really liked Sophia and Remy. They were sweet and funny and a great asset to the story. Sophia is a very colorful, honest and good friend to Addison and I created Remy in my mind as a big, sweet and funny huge teddy bear. I wasn't a fan of some of the others, such as Kat - whom I hated. But I'm pretty sure you're supposed to hate her for now.

I think the writing itself was a lot better in the second half of the book. The beginning was very rushed and jumpy and also a tad too descriptive for my taste.But the writing gradually improved and by the last 40% my rating went up from a 3.5 to 4 hearts out of 5.

"Back there in the woods, I actually started to imagine we could have a life together while we fight this war. Once I finally had you within reach, it became so much harder to keep my hands off you."

Overall, I ended up really enjoying this book and I really liked the original take on the genre. It managed to suprised me at certain points and the ending - which is absolutely devastating - left me wanting more. It's not easy to suprise me with plot twist, but this book succeeded where others have failed - which is a major plus for me.
I'm sad that it's a cliffhanger and that I have to wait several months to find out how the story continues. I am planning to read the next book in the series and I'm curious to see where Jocelyn Adams will take this adventure, as it seems like it's only beginning.

I won't give anything away about the rest the plot, so if you want to find out what exactly is happening to Addison, who she turns out to be and the role of Asher in her story, you should really read the book - which is out tomorrow March 10 2014.

I'd recommend this book to readers who enjoy NA/PNR and are looking for a fresh take on the genre.

* ARC kindly provided by Entangled Publishing, LLC/Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

First Netgalley ARC and some upcomping reviews.

Hi everyone! 

I've just got approved for my first ARC from Netgalley! Yay

It's Breathe Into Me by Sara Fawkes.

Blurb: How did my life get so broken?  

It’s a question Lacey St. James asks herself every day.  Stuck raising her little brother in a trailer park while she works a dead end job at a grocery store, she has a stalker exboyfriend, a bad reputation, and no way out. 

And then, she meets Everett, who changes her entire existence.

Everett is an outsider who’s housesitting his family’s mansion off the coast, and for reasons Lacey can’t understand, he’s completely transfixed by her. He seems determined to show her that life can offer more than she’d ever hoped for, if only she believes in herself.  She desperately yearns to trust him, but what happens when she finds out that everything he’s told her is a lie? 

I think it sounds interesting! Let's hope it is :)

Some general information:
Genre: NA
207 p

Release date: April 8th 2014

Be on the look out for my review!

I also recently read: 
University has had me swamped this week, but I read them and loved them! So expect reviews on those as well in the next few days.

Greetings, Cécile

Cover reveal The beautiful Ashes, a new series by Jeaniene Frost

TBA cover 2 I've recently become a big fan of Jeaniene Frost's Night huntress series and she has recently revealed the cover of her new book! 
I love the cover and the story sounds interesting as well. Here's the blurb:

 In a world of shadows, anything is possible. Except escaping your fate. 

Ever since she was a child, Ivy has been gripped by visions of strange realms just beyond her own. But when her sister goes missing, Ivy discovers the truth is far worse—her hallucinations are real, and her sister is trapped in a parallel realm. The one person who believes her is the dangerously attractive guy who’s bound by an ancient legacy to betray her.
Adrian might have turned his back on those who raised him, but that doesn’t mean he can change his fate…no matter how strong a pull he feels toward Ivy. Together they search for the powerful relic that can save her sister, but Adrian knows what Ivy doesn’t: that every step brings Ivy closer to the truth about her own destiny, and a war that could doom the world. Sooner or later, it will be Ivy on one side, Adrian on the other, and nothing but ashes in between…

Sounds good doesn't it? Combine that with  her ability to write amazingly strong female characters and extremely swoon worthy men and this series is already a must read!
It's being published on August 26th 2014. 

You can read more about this book and see Jeaniene Frost's own casting for her main characters here.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Second Chance Boyfriend by Monica Murphy (One Week Girlfrriend Quartet #2)


4/5 Hearts

I really enjoyed this book. Fable and Drew were still very much the same people as the first book and I still really liked them. Though in the beginning, you'll want to slap Drew silly.

I enjoyed reading about them meeting again and how everything evolved from there on out. The book contains a few shocking twists, that actually suprised me when they happened so that was a nice suprise, since you can mostly spot them from a mile away.

Fable and drew still had lots of chemistry and you'll be looking for a fan on multiple occasions. The book is also written in dual POV and I liked both of them equally.

If you're looking for a new book series in the new adult genre, you should surely give this series a chance!

One Week Girlfriend by Monica Murphy (One Week Girlfriend Quartet #1)


4/5 Hearts

I wasn't really sure what to think of this book going in, but I ended up really liking it and I immediately started the second book after I finished this one.

I liked Fable, she was strong, sarcastic, honest and went after what she wanted. She comes from a troubled home - with an alcoholic mother - and jumps at the chance to make 3 grand to pretend to be Drew's girlfriend for a week. I liked the POV of Drew as well and I found myself entertained throughout the entire book and I was sad when the book ended and how it ended.

The writing is good and you can really feel the chemistry between Drew and Fable. One 'revelation' in the book was a little gross - well I thought it was anyway. Though it wasn't much of a suprise with all the hints in the story. But I guess some might not like this book because of this 'development'. It was a more original take on how these two characters got so damaged than most books have, so I was generally pleased with it.

It was a really enjoyable read and I'd recommend it to everyone who loves New adult books. 

The Love Game by Emma Hart (The Game #1)


 4/5 Hearts

I really enjoyed this book. It wasn't really what I was expecting. The story in itself was kind of predictable as I did expect, but I'm suprised I liked it as much as I did.

Maddie is a good character. I liked her. She's a strong, confident person and I enjoyed reading from her perspective. Meet Braden, I'm not sure why they can never pick normal names... though I'm not American, so maybe it is over there? Anyhoo, Braden is the typical sleep around with everything that moves kind of guy. I enjoyed his perspective as well, it seemed more genuine than some of the other dual POV books out there.

She plays the player and he tries to date the girl to get into her pants. Of course they find out that the real fun is in playing the game in stead of the result. But it didn't bother me at all. I liked reading how this story continued. I won't give away how 'the game' ends though!

The writing is good and entertaining. I liked all the characters - which include all of their friends. I like how they stick up for Maddie and protect her from her past. I also found it refreshing that Braden didn't have some sort of secret past that has left him damaged as well.

I'd recommend this book to everyone who enjoys new adult books and is looking for a nice fun read. This book doesn't end on a cliffhanger. The next book is about two of their friends.

 Read in December 2013