chicklit, new adult, romance

Book Review: Eversea by Natasha Boyd

EVERSEA_4
Title: Eversea
Author: Natasha Boyd
Publisher: NPRB
Length: 359 Pages, Ebook
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Chicklit
Rating: 4.5 Folded Pages

Warning: This book has explicit scenes and is not meant for those under 18.

Blurb:
An orphaned, small-town, southern girl, held hostage by responsibility and self-doubt.

A Hollywood A-list mega-star, on the run from his latest scandal and with everything to lose.

A chance encounter that leads to an unlikely arrangement and epic love affair that will change them both forever.

When his co-star and real-life girlfriend is caught cheating on him by the tabloids, A-list hottie, Jack Eversea, finds himself in sleepy Butler Cove, South Carolina. Jack hopes the sultry southern heat in this tiny coastal Lowcountry town will hide him not only from the tabloids and his cheating girlfriend, but his increasingly vapid life and the people who run it. He doesn’t count on meeting Keri Ann Butler.

Keri Ann has relied on herself so long, dealing with her family’s death and the responsibilities of keeping up her family’s historic mansion, that boys and certainly the meager offering of eligible boys in Butler Cove, have never figured into her equation. But fate has other plans. Suddenly face to face with the man who played the movie role of her favorite fictional character, Jack has Keri Ann yearning for everything she has previously avoided … and Jack must decide whether this funny, sassy girl is worth changing his life for, before his mistakes catch up to him.

Review:
I picked up this book because it was free and I was in the mood for romance. I think it’s no secret that I tend not to expect a lot from free romance ebooks but this book packed a punch! I was pretty much flung across a room by how much this book surprised me and I read it in about 4 hours. I couldn’t put it down.

Keri Ann Butler is probably the best female character I have come across in a very long time. She’s strong, independent, and for the most part confident in herself and her abilities. She isn’t afraid to plainly show her emotions no matter how up and down they may be and the best part is she STAYS that way.

The strong characteristics she starts out with she keeps throughout the book. The entrance of a sudden romance doesn’t change who she is. My biggest pet peeve in romance books, romcoms, Korean dramas, and other similar media types is that the woman tends to suddenly become completely dependent of the man she gets involved with. All of her amazing characteristics disappear to show just how “awesome” their love is and how it’s meant to be. This may be a bit of a tangent but I want to make it clear that Keri Ann Butler is amazing and I need more female protagonists like her in basically everything. Though she isn’t without her flaws.

Jack Eversea is also a great character. He’s broken and mysterious and hunky. Pretty much everything you could ask for in a romance novel. But he also has a lot of character and depth outside of the cliche.

If it isn’t obvious, I really loved this book. The side characters were also fantastic and I can’t wait to read the side story about Jazz, Keri Ann’s best friend, because she was also really well written and developed.

My one issue with this story, really, is the writing in certain parts. The explicit scenes were bogged down by using weird words to describe things. I understand the Keri Ann was supposed to be inexperienced and innocent but constantly describing sex using words like apex and center is just not hot. I also found Boyd to overuse cliches like “wet hot heat” and other similar phrases.

The plot was interesting. I normally get bored with romance books because the plot doesn’t carry well but this one worked. So much so that when I finished it I needed to know what happened with the characters so much I bought the rest of the series in a Kindle set. I don’t normally feel the need to read other books in a new adult series but I couldn’t stop myself with this series.

Overall, this was a fantastic read. I hope more people seek out this series because honestly, it’s probably the best new adult book I’ve ever read. The first book in this series is still free on Amazon if you’d like to give it a go.

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new adult, romance

Book Review: Imperfect Chemistry by Mary Frame

Small update about me: Thanks for all the well wishes! I’m feeling much better and to help make up for not posting anything this past week I’m publishing this today. The regular update schedule will be back next week. 😀

Title: Imperfect Chemistry
Author: Mary Frame
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Length: 198, Kindle Book
Genre: New Adult, Romance
Rating: 4.5

Blurb:
Lucy London puts the word genius to shame. Having obtained her PhD in microbiology by the age of twenty, she’s amassed a wealth of knowledge, but one subject still eludes her—people. The pendulum of passions experienced by those around her both confuses and intrigues her, so when she’s offered a grant to study emotion as a pathogen, she jumps on the opportunity.

When her attempts to come up with an actual experiment quickly drop from lackluster to nonexistent, she’s given a choice: figure out how to conduct a groundbreaking study on passion, or lose both the grant and her position at the university. Put on leave until she can crack the perfect proposal, she finds there’s only one way she can study emotions: by experiencing them herself.

Enter Jensen Walker, Lucy’s neighbor and the one person on the planet she finds strangely and maddeningly appealing. Jensen’s life is the stuff of campus legend, messy, emotional, complicated—in short, the perfect starting point for Lucy’s study. When her tenaciousness wears him down and he consents to help her, sparks fly. To her surprise, Lucy finds herself battling with her own emotions, as foreign as they are intense. With the clock ticking on her deadline, Lucy must decide what’s more important: analyzing her passions…or giving in to them?

Review:
I LOVED this book. I heard of it because of Duchess at Duchess Reading and I’m so glad I read her review on it. It was such a light and easy read.

Lucy was such an interesting character. I loved how logical she was about falling in love. I also love how she made friends. She was super intriguing to read. My only qualm is that her character kind of changed toward the end and I think it may have been a bit too big of a leap.

Freya is an amazing side character along with the slew of friends she brings with her. Jensen was a mystery, which was both a good and bad thing. I think he went from mysterious to open book way too quickly.

As for a new adult novel, it didn’t get nearly as graphic as I was sort of expecting. It was refreshing since the romance seemed to be less about physical attraction and more about attraction to the other’s personality.

Fantasy, new adult

Book Review: The Source by J.D. Horn

Hey everyone! This post is officially post 100 on this blog. How awesome is that?? I can’t believe I’ve made 100 posts. This blog was started May 4th, 2015 and in only 4 and a half months I put out 100 posts. Onto the book review!

Title: The Source (Savannah Witching #2)
Author: J.D. Horn
Publisher: 47North
Length: 352, Kindle Book
Genre: New Adult, Fantasy
Rating: 2.5 Folded Pages

To see my review of The Line (Savannah Witching #1) click here.

Blurb:
Graceful trees and historic buildings fill Savannah, Georgia, but beneath the city’s Southern splendor, its supernatural roots run deep. The members of local witch families grace the society pages…when they’re not secretly protecting their magical work from dark forces.

Savannah resident Mercy Taylor may now be in control of the South’s most powerful family of witches, but she’s struggling to master her newfound magic. Pregnant with her first child and still reeling from a heartbreaking betrayal, she just wants to be able to use her supernatural abilities without accidentally destroying dishes or blasting the doors off buildings.

But when Mercy’s long-presumed-dead mother suddenly returns, begging Mercy to keep her presence under wraps, the witch wonders how many secrets her family is hiding…and who she can really trust. And when the danger around her intensifies to deadly levels, Mercy knows she must discover the truth behind her family’s magic—before it destroys her.

Review:
Unfortunately, this novel suffered from sequel syndrome badly! It wasn’t nearly as interesting and well written as The Line. The characters were different than in the original and the plot seemed like a bit of a stretch.

Speaking of the characters, Mercy was SO annoying. I really enjoyed her character in the first book but in this sequel she was flaky at best and downright contradictory of herself in the worst moments. The side characters seemed to have changed personalities as well though not nearly as much as Mercy.

The plot wasn’t paced well. I felt like a lot of nothing happened for a big part of the book. I still enjoyed the majority of the book because Mercy was herself here and there and Mother Jilo was still hilarious. The ending was also well done but it definitely wasn’t as good as The Line and I almost feel like this series would have been better off if The Line was a stand alone.

Fantasy, new adult

Book Review: The Line by J.D. Horn

Title: The Line
Author: J.D. Horn
Publisher: 47North
Length: 298, Kindle Edition
Genre: New Adult, Fantasy
Rating: 4.5 Folded Pages

Blurb:
Savannah is considered a Southern treasure, a city of beauty with a rich, colorful past. Some might even call it magical…
To the uninitiated, Savannah shows only her bright face and genteel manner. Those who know her well, though, can see beyond her colonial trappings and small-city charm to a world where witchcraft is respected, Hoodoo is feared, and spirits linger. Mercy Taylor is all too familiar with the supernatural side of Savannah, being a member of the most powerful family of witches in the South.
Despite being powerless herself, of course.
Having grown up without magic of her own, in the shadow of her talented and charismatic twin sister, Mercy has always thought herself content. But when a series of mishaps—culminating in the death of the Taylor matriarch—leaves a vacuum in the mystical underpinnings of Savannah, she finds herself thrust into a mystery that could shake her family apart…and unleash a darkness the line of Taylor witches has been keeping at bay for generations.

Review:
I found this book on Kindle Unlimited. Actually the whole series is on there which is amazing since I happened to LOVE this book. It could be considered Young Adult but since the main character is 21 and a few of the themes seem a little too adult to be in YA I’m going to put it with NA.

Mercy is one interesting character. She’s loyal almost to a fault but also extremely curious. The book starts off with her giving a “Liar’s tour” and honestly I think it sets an amazing tone for the rest of the book.

I don’t want to get into any of the other characters for fear of spoiling anything, but I loved the way they were presented and the fact that we only had Mercy’s perspective on them. It means that the majority of the plot twists that happened I didn’t see coming at all which was extremely refreshing.

Going more into the plot twists, there are several and only one of them was semi predictable but by the time it happens you’re almost convinced it won’t happen because you thought it would be there sooner.

The only thing I could wish for from this book was more. I wanted more descriptions and explanations. I think certain parts could have been better explained. Basically I think 50 more pages would have been perfect to help flesh the plot, characters, and details out a little better.

new adult, romance

Book Review: Stupid Girl by Cindy Miles

Title: Stupid Girl
Author: Cindy Miles
Publisher: TKA Distribution
Length: 474, Kindle book
Genre: Romance, New Adult
Rating: 4 Folded Pages

Warning: Not for ye youngins under the ripe age of 18.
Trigger: Allusion to rape

Blurb:
Only fools fall in love…

After her senior year of high school leaves behind nothing but heartache, Olivia Beaumont is sure of this: She’s no stupid girl. She sets out for Winston University, promising herself that she will remain focused on her first and only love – astronomy. But all it takes is cocky sophomore Brax Jenkins and an accidental collision with a football, to throw her entire year off course.

A quick-tempered Southie who escaped the inner city streets of Boston to pitch for Winston, Brax is known to play way more fields than just the baseball diamond. So, when his name is drawn to take part in his fraternity’s hazing dare, Brax eagerly accepts the mission to take Olivia’s virginity. But he doesn’t plan on falling hard for the sweet and sassy Texas girl who sees right through his bad-boy persona.

As Olivia and Brax battle their feelings for each other, echoes of the past year begin to surface. A boy who once turned Olivia’s whole world upside down reappears, and “harmless” pranks wreak havoc. Pretty soon the aspiring astronomer is on the verge of revealing her most difficult, heartbreaking secret. All the while, Brax must wrestle with the irrevocable dare, and Olivia struggles against all logic as she does the one thing only a stupid girl would do: fall in love.

Review:
This book had a lot of ups and downs for me. Some parts I absolutely loved. It was snappy and edgy. Other parts dragged and had me wondering when the book would end. Thankfully the ups were more frequent and longer lasting than the downs.

Olivia and Brax, though not entirely believable characters, were consistent in how they acted and really enjoyed that. I couldn’t see them as people in real life but you don’t always need that in a book. Their romance was cute and fiery and had me smiling and crying. Legitimate tears rolling down the face kind of crying (try explaining that to the person sitting next to me on the Metra). Miles is good at touching emotions in her writing.

I know I said the book had ups and downs, what I really means is that the book had a down spot right in the middle where everything was perfect for Olivia and Brax and I thought the author should just end the book there or get one with what might break them apart. I just think that the small period of perfection she wrote on and on about could have been a little shorter so the pacing of the book was better and I probably would have given this book 5 folded pages.

I also really loved the side characters. Each had their own personality (even if a few seemed to ride a stereotype a little too close for comfort) and I enjoyed that Miles put thought into the side characters.

I’m excited to read the sequel and hope it’s just as good or better than this one!

new adult, romance

Book Review: After Math by Denise Grover Swank

Title: After Math
Author: Denise Grover Swank
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Length: 251, Kindle Book
Genre: New Adult, Romance
Rating: 3 Folded Pages

Warning: This book has mature scenes not suitable for those under 18. Ye hath been warned.

Blurb:
Scarlett Goodwin’s world is divided into Before and After.

Before she agreed to tutor Tucker Price, college junior Scarlett was introvert, struggling with her social anxiety disorder and determined to not end up living in a trailer park like her mother and her younger sister. A mathematics major, she goes to her classes, to her job in the tutoring lab, and then hides in the apartment she shares with her friend, Caroline.

After junior Tucker Price, Southern University’s star soccer player enters the equation, her carefully plotted life is thrown off its axis. Tucker’s failing his required College Algebra class. With his eligibility is at risk, the university chancellor dangles an expensive piece of computer software for the math department if Scarlett agrees to privately tutor him. Tucker’s bad boy, womanizer reputation makes Scarlett wary of any contact, let alone spending several hours a week in close proximity.

But from her first encounter, she realizes Tucker isn’t the person everyone else sees. He carries a mountain of secrets which she suspects hold the reason to his self-destructive behavior. But the deeper she delves into the cause of his pain, the deeper she gets sucked into his chaos. Will Scarlett find the happiness she’s looking for, or will she be caught in Tucker’s aftermath?

Review:
As has been the norm recently with New Adult/Romance novels, I liked the first half of this novel but not so much the second half.

I loved how Swank depicts and deals with Scarlett’s anxiety. Mental illness is a difficult subject matter and should be dealt with more in novels. Grover does a great job of showing how Scarlett deals with anxiety, how it affects her and her life and how she overcomes it to hold a normal life.

I also thought the plot was interesting. Math tutor is forced to tutor the university star and partier and finds out there might be more to him than what he presents to people. This remained interesting until about halfway through when instead it became redundant and the two characters kind of melded together to where I couldn’t find two separate personalities.

As for why I didn’t like the second half of the book, although Swank handles anxiety well in the first half she doesn’t at all in the second. Scarlett’s anxiety is magically cured by Tucker in the second half. I don’t agree with the message that having a boyfriend or significant other can magically cure mental illness. I also don’t like the message that she needed a man in her life to make it complete. Still, despite the book’s downfalls, it was an enjoyable read. I just wish the messages sent out were a little different.

new adult, romance

Book Review: Getting Lucky Number Seven by Cindi Madsen

Title: Getting Lucky Number Seven
Author: Cindi Madsen
Publisher: Macmillan
Length: 272, Kindle Book
Genre: New Adult, Romance
Rating: 4 Folded Pages

WARNING!!: This novel is not intended for audiences under 18.

Blurb:
What’s your lucky number?

Lyla Wilder is done being the shy, chemistry nerd extraordinaire. While every other college student is out having fun, Lyla is studying. With her cat. Well, she’s played it “safe” quite enough, thank you. So she creates a “College Bucket List” with item #7 being a night of uninhibited, mind-blowing sex…

But she needs some help from her man-whore best friend.

Hockey player Beck Davenport thought Lyla’s transformation would be subtle. Man, was he wrong. With every item she ticks off, Beck finds himself growing seriously hot for his sweet, brainiac best friend. And if he’s not careful, he’ll end up risking their friendship in order to convince Lyla that he might just be her lucky #7…

Review:
Finally! A New Adult romance I really enjoyed. I didn’t have many problems with this one at all and I really enjoyed the characters. The plot was also super interesting.

I think the biggest factor in me liking this book is that Lyla is a lot like myself. Except when I realized I was kind of missing out on the college experience I shrugged and went back to what Korean Drama I was watching at the moment. Lyla decided to DO something and I kind of envy her for that.

My favorite part of the book honestly was all the lame chemistry jokes Lyla and Beck would make. They made me crack up and grin like crazy. I’m pretty sure the people at my office thought I was crazy.

Their romance also felt very real. All the ups and downs felt like they would happen in life. It didn’t feel staged or unrealistic like some novels I’ve been reading lately.

That being said, I do think some parts dragged a little more than need be and some of the sex scenes felt a little unnecessary like they were just there to fill space. Aside from that I really loved this one and I’m glad I happened upon it.

new adult, romance

Book Review: The Pact by Karina Halle

Title: The Pact
Author: Karina Halle
Publisher: Metal Blonde Books
Length: 379, Kindle Book
Genre: New Adult, Romance
Rating: 2.5 Folded Pages

Warning!: Super steamy bits in this novel not meant for anyone under 18. Please be aware.

Blurb:
It all started with a pinky swear…

Linden McGregor is tall, rugged, and gunslinger handsome; a helicopter pilot with a Scottish brogue and charm to spare. He’s also one of Stephanie Robson’s best friends and has fit into that box for as long as she’s known him.

Beautiful, funny and an ambitious businesswoman (with one hell of an ass), Stephanie Robson is one of Linden McGregor’s best friends and has fit into that box for as long as he’s known her.

But some relationships can’t be boxed, can’t be classified, can’t be tamed.

Back in their mid-twenties and tired of the competitive hit-or-miss dating scene of San Francisco, Steph and Linden made a pact to marry each other if neither one of them were in a serious relationship by the time they hit thirty.

It sounded like fun and games at the time but as the years to thirty tick past and lovers come and go out of their lives, the pact becomes larger than life.

Sex is inevitable. Friendships are tested. Hearts are on the line.

The pact is about to change everything.

Note: due to the dirty talk and sexy times, The Pact is not meant for anyone under the age of 18. All characters in THE PACT are in their thirties, therefore this is NOT a new adult book…even though love can mess you up at any age.

Review:

Okay, so I KNOW that the author (or whoever wrote the blurb) says this isn’t a New Adult novel because they are in their 30s but from the brief time I’ve been reading new adult this definitely reads like one. I feel like it counts because the characters start off as 25 AND they don’t act quite as mature as I feel they should if she was truly trying to market this not as a new adult. Moving on!

I both liked and disliked this novel. I love that fact that it’s a stand alone in a world of series. (I won’t even get started on how sick I am of everything being a series). But I think there were definitely some scenes that should have been cut and some decisions that I didn’t quite agree with.

I ended up skipping/skimming several chapters in the last 100 pages or so because I was so sick of it dragging on. The first 150 pages were amazing. I flew through them. I loved watching the main couple realize their feelings. BUT! Once they were together the super obvious and annoying cliches of tearing them apart was awful.

I did enjoy the last 50 pages so I think it slightly redeemed itself but I can’t give this a high rating since I physically couldn’t force myself to read those chapters. I needed to know how it ended which is the only reason I didn’t DNF it. I think that says a lot.

Although I’m bagging on this book a bit, I did really enjoy it. I’m starting to think that books purely about romance might not be my thing. I love South Korean Romantic dramas so I thought I’d like novels that are similar but I could be wrong. I digress…

I really enjoyed all the characters. They were flawed and real and I loved that about them. Halle has away of making all her characters extremely distinct and I hope to be able to conquer something similar in anything I may end up writing.

Overall an enjoyable and fast read. I really enjoyed the premise and just wish it didn’t get so boring right before the end.

coming of age, new adult, romance

Book Review: Unlit Star by Lindy Zart

unlit star

Title: Unlit Star
Author: Lindy Zart
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Length: 299, Kindle Book
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Coming of Age
Rating: 1 folded page

Blurb:
We are not guaranteed anything, not even this life.

Rivers Young is the popular guy untouchable by reality. He is like a star—bright, consuming, otherworldly. The thing about stars, though, is that they eventually fall, and he is no different.

He falls far and he falls hard.

Delilah Bana is the outcast enshrouded in all of life’s ironies. Alone, in the dark, like dusk as it falls on the world. When Rivers hits the ground, she is the night that catches him. In the darkness, they meld into something beautiful that shines like the sun.

Only, the greater the star is, the shorter its lifespan.

Review:
I’m pretty sure Zart tried just a little too hard to make Delilah a special snowflake and not hard enough to give Rivers a real personality. I have a hard time sugar coating my dislike (or like when that happens) for things and especially for books. I have no qualms in saying I didn’t enjoy this book at all. I actually got about halfway through before deciding that I couldn’t read another word and that I wasn’t enjoying the book in the least.

The plot was interesting enough. Loner girl ends up babysitting cool jock after a horrid accident left him “deformed” and unable to walk well and stuff ensues. Normally I would love a book like this. It screams my name! If only the characters weren’t so annoying. Delilah is all about being herself and doing what she wants when she wants and blah blah blah. Honestly, I was so bored with her straight forward personality when I was only 25% of the way in.

At that point, Rivers’ was still kind of mysterious so I decided to try and stick it out to see if it would get better. But once Rivers wasn’t mysterious he simply didn’t have a personality outside of Delilah. It was frustrating. I kept reading to see if maybe the rest of the plot would work out interestingly because they were together and happy by the 50% mark.

Delilah kept hinting at not living past the summer and her relationship with her mother isn’t good. And for a fraction of a second I was slightly curious about these things. But the way Zart pushed them made me feel less and less curious and more and more annoyed that we didn’t have answers yet.
I think this novel could have made a good novella. I probably would have finished it if it were shorter and we were given answers sooner. But with characters like this and a plot I didn’t have any investment in I dropped it. This novel has pretty great reviews on Amazon so I’m disappointed.

new adult, romance

Book Review: In This Moment by Autumn Doughton

in this moment

Title: In This Moment
Author: Autumn Doughton
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Length: 292, Kindle Book
Genre: Romance, New Adult
Rating: 4.5 Folded Pages

Warning: This book is intended for mature audiences!!

Blurb:
Every moment possesses its own kind of magic…

Aimee Spencer learned the hard way that for some moments, there are no take-backs, no rewinds, no do-overs. A year ago her world imploded and Aimee has been running ever since. She doesn’t want to feel. She doesn’t want to remember. To bury the ghosts that haunt her, she is living a life that has become unrecognizable.

Cole Everly is a golden boy with a cocky smile and an attitude to match. He’s grown accustomed to girls throwing themselves at his feet, but when Aimee trips and literally lands in his lap one afternoon, she’s not at all what he expects. Difficult, damaged, closed-off. If Cole needed to make a list of qualities to avoid in a girl, Aimee would probably match up with every single one of them. He knows that he should stay away but he’s drawn to her in a way that he can’t exactly explain.

In this honest and absorbing story, Aimee and Cole struggle to sort out the thin spaces between loss and love. Ultimately, they will need to learn how to navigate through the pieces of the past if they want to hold on to the future and each other.

Review:
My favorite thing about this book is that Aimee saves herself. Yes, obviously, there is a steamy romance that may or may not help. But Aimee isn’t helpless.

Recently, I’ve noticed that a lot of romance/contemporary novels have the broken girl fall in love with a guy who suddenly fixes all her issues and I honestly cannot stand it. I think the next one I read like that I will DNF the minute I feel it start. I can’t stand that because it’s not how life works. And woman/girls don’t need books to tell them to find a guy and all their problems will be over. They need books that show that they can do it themselves with or without the guy. (okay small rant over).

I have to say the only thing I didn’t enjoy from this book was Cole’s point of view. Doughton switches views throughout the novel and I enjoyed that but sometimes it felt like Doughton was writing what she thought a male should be thinking. I think it played heavily into stereotype here and there and it didn’t feel very authentic as certain points. Other times I really enjoyed it but I think Doughton had a hard time with the male voice not drifting into almost mockery of what she thought a male should sound like.

The steamy parts were definitely steamy. Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It’s my first soiree into New Adult fiction. I’ve been meaning to try it out for ages. (I know technically Saga is New Adult but it’s also a graphic novel so I feel like it doesn’t really count). Anyway, now that I’ve tried the genre I can’t wait to get my hands on more!