I read a few things this week and thought I would post my reviews here. One review won't be posted until I do my interview with the author in this coming Thursday, so watch out for that!
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
On the advice of MANY of my friends I picked up this book to read as a guilty pleasure. I really am not a reader of contemporary romance as it usually bores me with its predictability. However, I love Jennifer L. Armentrout so much I figured there could be nothing she would write that I would not like. And I was not disappointed. To say that I was surprised at how adult this book was would be an understatement. However, I knew going in that this book would be nothing like her young adult writes (although the same element of sexual tension does float throughout all her work). And this book has everything you want: love, drama, jealousy, tension, and passion.
Blurb from Goodreads:
Madison Daniels has worshipped her brother's best friend since they were kids. Everyone thinks she and Chase Gamble would make the perfect couple, but there are two major flaws in their logic. 1) Chase has sworn off relationships of any kind, and 2) after blurring the line between friends and lovers for one night four years ago, they can't stop bickering.
Forced together for her brother's wedding getaway, Chase and Madison decide to call a truce for the happy couple. Except all bets are off when they're forced to shack up in a tacky 70’s honeymoon suite and survive a multitude of "accidents" as the family tries to prove their "spark" can be used than for more than fighting. That is, if they don't strangle each other first…
First let me begin with the cover. Well, I've seen two. This one is sexy, but the other one is HOT. Holy heck! When you see these covers you have no doubt in your mind what you are getting into that is for sure. So to say the covers do the book justice is totally true. I can say that these are definitely drool worthy in my opinion.
As for the characters, well, I just love little miss Madison. She's sassy and sharp, pretty and witty. She's a 25 year old woman who knows what she wants, but also knows that what she wants is a bit forbidden. While I know she's older, I still feel that angst in her that you get with many YA novels. She's pretty and spunky and has it all tied up in her neat little small package.
And Chase, OH MY. He is, well, HOT HOLY HECK! He's cocky and confident, easy on the eyes, sexy and seductive. And he's smart.If that's not the whole package, what is. But he thinks of himself as something that is no good, tainted by the traits he believes he's inherited from his father. He is completely overprotective of Maddie, treating her many times as if she's his own sister. And yet, this protection is so much more than he ever lets on to her.
The supporting characters really are just that, supporting. You don't get much from them, but I don't think this book is about them at all. As in Fifty Shades of Grey, this book is about the romance between the couple, the commitments they are or are not willing to make, and the outcome of their decisions.
The story line is quite simple: girl has loved boy all her life, boy feels the same but girl doesn't know it, tension rises, misunderstandings happen, and then things come to a pinnacle. I like this type of story line. It's easy to read and you know the outcome will be good. I'm a sucker for a "fairytale" ending for sure. And to watch the struggle of the characters and feel the tensions that arise is really great.
As with all Armentrout's writing, this is very well done. It flows naturally and easily. And there's certainly the right amount of sexual tension to just keep you pushing through to the end. I read this in one sitting in just a few hours. Really, I could not put it down. It was the perfect escape. She had me wanting to smack both characters at times, while at other times she had me wanting to push them together, to run after them and show them what they were missing! I love any book that can pull at my emotions like that.
So this one gets 4 out of 5 for me, only because of the predictability factor and the fact that I was a bit annoyed with how both characters assumed so easily that the other had walked out on them. All in all, I think you need to go out and get yourself a copy of this book and read it, from beginning to end, in one sitting! I highly doubt you will be disappointed.
Roar and Liv: An Under the Never Sky Story by Veronica Rossi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I have to say that I had forgotten how much I really loved Rossi's characters. Reading this short story just gets me even more in the mood for Through The Ever Night! Once I started reading this story, I devoured it. I could not put it down and was done with it in a very short time!
This is the story of Liv and Roar. Yup, before there was Perry and Aria, there was Live and Roar. And there romance is palpable and real, heartbreaking and overwhelming.
Rossi takes us on the journey of their love from Roar's perspective. And let me tell you, I just love Roar. He's funny and spunky, he's loving and kind and he's so endearing you can't help but love him. This story puts your right inside his head. Shows you what he thinks of his relationship with Perry and Live and even Vale. I am reminded of his raw emotion and his protectiveness of those he loves. And Liv, well, she's an independent unto herself. I love that we get this little cut out of who she is because we don't get to meet her in the first book. And my heart just aches for them both as they are abruptly torn apart by Vale (who I can't stand, by the way; didn't like him in Under The Never Sky Either, which I'm sure is not a shocker). And Perry, well, he's still Perry and still yummy. And his friendship with Roar, yup, definitely a Bromance. Which I just love because they are so easy with each other, their friendship has no bounds.
And Rossi's writing, well, it grabs a hold of you right from the very start and pulls you forcefully along for the ride. It's flowing and easy and makes me just want to snuggle up and not let go. My only complaint was that it was not longer! And what an ending. Definitely a cliff hanger. I wonder if we will get to see more about this in the second book.
And even though there is an excerpt of Through the Ever Night at the end, I didn't read it! I don't want to get hooked even more and then have to wait! ACK! NO NO NO, that won't do! LOL!
This story packed an emotional punch that you do not want to miss!
This one gets a shining 5 stars from me! I hope to see more shorts from Rossi as the series progresses!
Tempting the Player by J. Lynn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
So, J. Lynn has done it again. HOLY HAWT HECK this book grabbed me right from the beginning and took me on the roller coaster ride that is the life of any Gamble brother! This installment of The Gamble Brothers was much more erotic and sensual than the first one, I have to say. It definitely left me squirming a la Fifty Shades of Grey. And, boy, was I not expecting that.
Blurb from Goodreads:
Chad Gamble, all-star pitcher for the Nationals, is one of the best players on—and off—the field. And right now, the notorious bad boy wants Bridget Rodgers. But with her lush curves and snappy comebacks, the feisty redhead is the kind of woman a man wants to settle down with…and that’s the last thing Chad needs.
When the paparazzi catch them in a compromising position, Chad’s manager issues an ultimatum: clean up his act or kiss his multi-million dollar contract goodbye. To save his career, his meddling publicist says he'll have to convince everyone Bridget isn’t just his flavor of the week, but his girlfriend.
Being blackmailed into a fake relationship with Chad Gamble isn’t easy, especially when the sizzling physical attraction between them is undeniable. With a month to go on their arranged pretense, it's going to take every ounce of willpower they have not to fall into bed together...or in love
First the cove: WOWSER! That is one hot cover. It pretty much grabbed me, just as the cover to the first book did. And I was for sure feeling it throughout the book. It's sensual and seductive and that pretty much sums up the whole story line of this book!
As for the characters, we are re-introduced to Chase and Maddison, Chad and Chandler in this book. But now we also meet Bridget, Maddie's feisty executive assistant who likes to keep her distance from just about everyone. She's funny and tough. She has her own sense of fashion. She's loyal and witty and knows she's prettier than the average girl, but doesn't think her curvier figure fits what men really want. I love that Lynn took a jump into a woman who is not "perfect." She's curvy and just a bit "overweight." It's great to see this kind of character introduced as a strong woman. She's completely realistic and being a more curvy woman myself, I was really able to connect with her.
Chad, well, what can I say, this Gamble brother certainly thinks highly of himself.I really loved his character much more than Chase. He's a baseball playing player. He can have any woman he wants, and they certainly do throw themselves at him for sure. But he has a hole in him that needs to be filled, even if he doesn't want to admit it at first. He's used to getting what he wants, when he wants it. And his reputation is causing a big stir with his manager and the team. He's sexy, funny and loyal. He has a body to die for and he knows it. And oh what a dirty mind. He certainly has a bit of the Christian Grey ring in this story, which really just kept me wanting more of him!
The supporting cast is just that, the main characters certainly stay at the forefront of this story. And we watch them develop and grow throughout the story.
The storyline centers around the relationship between Bridget and Chad. After a night of passion, where Bridget walks out, the two cross paths unexpectedly. Chad knows what he wants, and that's Bridget, but she doesn't want to get involved. Until one day they are caught on camera as Chad's publicist is trying to remake his image. Now they have to play boyfriend and girlfriend, which neither of them really wants (at least so they say on the outside). But they are totally drawn to each other and J. Lynn does not skimp on the sexual tension between these two. Nor does she skimp on showing us some of their more passionate moments together. Lynn builds and builds and builds until you think you might burst! It's no wonder I could not put this book down and read it in just a few hours (while at work! shhhhh...). As with the first book, Bridget and Chad both completely doubt that the other person wants anything to do with them. They waiver back and forth between wanting each other and feeling they are no good for each other. Lynn builds a sizzling hot romance that keeps you squirming in your seat.
The writing, as always, is flawless. Lynn has a way of making her words flow right off the page and into your brain. It's like your physically connected to what is going on as you absorb every single detail she puts out there. Lynn truly knows how to develop her characters and world so that they don't let you go. She is the queen of sexual tension. I am convinced there is nothing she can't take and make work to her advantage! Lynn is able to break out of the YA genre and grab the adult reader with her erotic twists and turns.
This one gets 5 stars from me. If you are a fan of contemporary romance with some erotic side bars (ok, with a lot of erotic side bars! LOL!) a la Fifty Shades, then run (don't walk) and get this book. There will be no disappointment, I promise you that!