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Bookish and Sweet Reads

I love to read. It's always been my solace, and though the themes and covers may have changed, the excitement of immersing myself in the pages of a book has never diminished! So here's the chance to get into my thoughts and rambles; my loves and misses; and meet the books that make me soar :)

Currently reading

Bad Things (Tristan & Danika, #1)
R.K. Lilley
Walking Disaster
Jamie McGuire
Frigid - J Lynn 2.5 stars

I honestly hate not giving this a higher rating. That said, I couldn't connect with this love story (especially towards the end), which is a shame because it started out really good.
Found - Alyssa Rose Ivy This last installment of the Crescent Chronicles was good, though I will admit that I was hoping for a bit more. The beginning was sweet and I liked how we got to see some romantic moments with Levi and Allie. The whole cave scene was incredibly sweet and when Levi told Allie about the dream he'd had about her, my heart just fell a little bit more for him

That said, my biggest problem with this book was Allie. I hated how she was always quick to get mad at Levi (even if only temporary) and how she distrusted Levi's love for her. I mean, come one, after three books filled of a guy like Levi, swoon-worthy, sweet and totally devoted to his love, I found myself frustrated that Allie kept on with that line of thought.
Stiil, I did like her and Levi's relationship, and all the the banter and sweet moments they shared. I especially liked they never let their problems fester. Still, I wished Allie could have trusted Levi more at times.

The twist in the book was nice, but a little underplayed (as was some of the paranormal aspect), though I did enjoy how the author resolved everything towards the end. I especially liked how the last 30% of the book kept me on the edge and even caused to tear up. My only other compliant is that for a book that references sex a lot (and when I mean a lot, I mean even grandma was talking about it), the actual steamy moments weren't up to par which was a bit of a shame.

Still, characters like Jared and Levi did me in with this book. I honestly loved when either of these two was on scene. Also the camaraderie Owen, Jared, Hailey, Levi and Allie shared was really fun to read about (the pancake scene was hilarious). All in all, it''s a good book with a sweet romance! I might read the next Pteron's series this author has coming out just to get a bit more of Jared :)
Shine Not Burn - Elle Casey 4.5 stars

Loved this one. It was funny, sweet romantic and just the kind of light-hearted read I needed after a couple of heavy books. Though the plot line sounds cheesy, it was executed in a great way, making me not only root for this couple but also keeping me powering through the pages. Andie was a bit dense at times, but I loved that she had Mack, her strong-willed cowboy, to reel her into line! Mack's family was also the best, making this an overall good read :)
Bully (Fall Away, #1) - Penelope Douglas 4.5 stars

Kind of surprised this a debut.

I picked this up a while ago, when it was free, thinking that yeah, I'd get it but probably never read it. Needless to say, when I started seeing all these good reviews pop up, I knew I had to bump it up my list and get to it.

This book is addicting and fast-paced, and the writing really flows! From the get go, when Jared first embarrasses Tate at the party, I was enthralled. Really, if you've ever heard the expression of not being able to look away when a train's about to crash then this book is the embodiment of it. Tate and Jared constantly clash and as much as you want to hate Jared for his treatment of her, I at least couldn't find it in my heart to do so. There was something about Jared throughout the whole book that called to me (and made me want him to redeem himself) and at the ends of it I loved his character Also, I think it really helps that we only hear about some of the nastier things Jared did to Tate, rather than reading about them. It made it a lot easier for me to forgive his character though I could at the same time understand why Tate hesitated as much as she did His excuse for why he treated Tate left me wanting for a bit more, but it didn't spoil the story for me. In all honesty, Jared is a bad boy, and not the kind that turns their ways around at the first sight of the heroine. He's stubborn and closed off and while he cares about Tate, he has to deal with some emotional things first before he can try and be with her.

Tate was another awesome character. Though scared (and rightly so) at the beginning, she learns and refuses to let anyone treat her less than what she is. At times those actions got a little out of hand but then again, the girl had been through enough. Her relationship with Jared was threaded the line between love and hate, but the electricity that ran when these two got together made you see that maybe it wasn't such a thin line.

All in all, I really like this story and can't wait for the next one (which is Madoc's story, who to me was hilarious in this book!). The only thing I didn't much enjoy was the ending of this book The whole sex tape thing felt kind of off and rushed at the same time. I also instantly knew someone else had framed Jared (and who'd done it), but was disappointed that the thought didn't even cross Tate's mind. The implications of what this might do to any person's future where kind of brushed off but then again this is fiction.
Hopeless (Hopeless, #1) - Colleen Hoover There are no words to describe how I felt about this book except to say there really is a beauty in truth, even when it's this raw. Honestly, Colleen Hoover blew me out of the water with this one! I was put off reading it initially because a lot of other reviewers made it sound intense and depressing, which in all honesty is so far from the truth. This book is awesome and real. Both the writing and the story flowed in a way that was surprising, given the fact of both its length and originally self-published status, which only makes me that much more happy to have found a gem like this! Sky and Holder are two of the best characters whose journey I've had the delight to read. Yes, it wasn't always a smooth one, but I cried and laughed and swooned and was overall so happy when everything was done and said. This to me is a definite must read, even if it's only to see all the beautiful things Dean Holder can say!

“You wanted to lick my face the first time you saw me? Is that usually what you do when you’re attracted to guys?”

I shake my head. “Not your face, your dimple. And no. You’re the only guy I’ve ever had the urge to lick.”

He smiles at me confidently. “Good. Because you’re the only girl I’ve ever had the urge to love.”

Search Me - Katie Ashley A nice, fun, yet somewhat unrealistic summer read. Still, the romance was cute and the treasure hunting had its exciting parts.
Down London Road - Samantha Young After reading [b:On Dublin Street|15760001|On Dublin Street (On Dublin Street, #1)|Samantha Young|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1358249908s/15760001.jpg|21459719] and [b:Until Fountain Bridge|17665083|Until Fountain Bridge (On Dublin Street, #1.6)|Samantha Young|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1363894173s/17665083.jpg|24657968], I was more than ready to devour whatever else Samantha Young decided to publish as part of this series. The characters, the setting, the banter, everything about those books had me wanting to get to this one....except when I read it was about Jo, Joss' co-worker (now turned friend) from Club 39 who to my memory was a bit of gold-digger. Man do I love to be wrong sometimes!

To be honest, the first 30% of the book was kind of slow, so I struggled to stick to it. What did keep me coming back was Jo. She was such a surprise and I enjoyed her character better than Joss. What Jo displays to the world, a somewhat fake gold-digger is all a facade. Truth is that she dates rich guys to gain a sense of economical security that will in part help her provide for her younger brother Cole (since their parents are two "gems"). Crashing in on her world and calling her on all her bull is sexy scotishman, Cameron MacCabe and wow did he give Braden Carmichael a run for his money! Cam is brash and rough around the edges, and the sexual chemistry between those two was electric. At first he treats Jo incredibly harsh, being quick to judge her. Still, Jo holds her own against him, and once he realizes he's wrong, I loved how Cam was man enough to admit his mistake and make up for it, showing how sweet and utterly adorable he can be (only with her of course).

I think I loved this one just a bit more than On Dublin Street simply because of Jo and Cameron. Jo was strong and her devotion to her younger brother was more than admirable. At the same time, though she had a long list of hang ups, she handled them a lot better than Joss. I also liked how Cam always demanded Jo be honest with him because that helped them avoid a lot of the classical misunderstandings. At the end if it all the relationship between these two was raw, honest and quite beautiful to see unfold. It was fun to also visit some older characters such as Braden, Joss, Adam, Ellie and the Nichols clan. Based on this and some newer characters we were introduced to, I can't wait to see what else Samantha Young is able to do with this series!
Limits - Steph Campbell, Liz Reinhardt Okay, so I got this as part of a summer solstice sale the authors we're having, and at 0.99 cents, this was definitely a steal!

This is the third installment in the Length series (though I haven't read the previous two) and it seems like a standalone since It was pretty easy to understand without much reference to the previous books. The general gist is that Adam Abramowitz is a grad student working on his thesis. That said, he has limited time on his student visa and is about to be deported. Enter Genevieve Rodriguez, whom Adam is tutoring. Though she might seem flimsy or careless, Genevieve is dealing with a lot of emotional toil and is a little lost a the beginning of the book. She proposes to Adam to try and solve his problem, but what starts out as a sham can quickly become the truth.

I loved this story as honestly the perfect beach (which is where I'm at right now) or summer read. The story had great pacing, and though many problems arose, there wasn't the usual angst that you see acompany this genre (which was a nice change). My favorite part of course was the characters. Though Adam seems like a geek, he has just enough Alpha in him to make me swoon and be nicely suprised at the same time. He honestly has feelings for Gen at the beginning, and though everything has to be put on fastfoward, he always shows how deep his feelings are for her in every action he takes. Genevieve was also a fun character, though she could get annoying at times. She's kind of stuck at a place in her life, her gaze set on a door that's closed without mananging to see all the open windows around her. Even so, she quickly develops feeling for Adam, and though they both muddle their way through a couple of things, the end result was beutiful and left me with an extremely satisfied feeling. Now I'm more than interested to read Whit and Deo's story!
The Forever of Ella and Micha - Jessica Sorensen More like a 3.5 but I'm rounding up because I love these two, even if I couldn't connect at times with their story.
Four Summers - Nyrae Dawn Okay, so this is my third Nyrae Dawn book and I'm really loving her writing. She brings characters to life in a way that so relatable and I love how she can dominate writing in a male's voice.

When I first heard about Four Summers, I knew I had to read it. The book didn't dissapoint. Though it started out rather slow, it picked up a couple of chapters in and then I couldn't let the story go. The way Nyrae Dawn plays it out - four summers, each alternating the POV - sounded interesting but played out beautifully. The end of each summer always made me cry when they had to say goodbye and though we only got to see their summers, these characters felt different each time in accord to how they were growing up.

Nate and Charlotte's love story was different than the typical YA. We got to see how these two fell in love over four years and how they first had to learn how to stand on their own before they could stand for each other. Nathaniel Chase was great! He was sweet and flirty and I loved how he accepted Charlotte for who she was. His nickname for her was also so cute! Charlotte Gates was a bit of an insecure tomboy, but she was also a dreamer. She grew the most in the story and with Nate's love and acceptance, she was able to see beyond what everybody else envisioned for her.

Okay, now unto the few things I didn't like:

-Though I'm not one to gripe about this, some of the blatant grammer mistakes were hard to ignore especially when I had to re-read some sentences to understand them better. Considering this hasn't been the case with other Nyrae Dawn books I've read, I'm not sure what happened here.

-The plot twist I had no problem that Alec and Brandon were seeing each other, I actually suspected it. What seemed unrealistic was how things escalated at the end of the third summer. Between Alec and Brandon refusing to man up and Nathaniel just throwing out his trust for Charlotte out the window, I was a bit miffed about how the fourth summer was affected because of this. Even so, I loved that Charlotte and Nathaniel got past things and were able to get their HEA

All in all, the book was very good. The characters and setting felt so real to me that I actually missed them once it was over. Charlotte and Nate's love story was a sweet one and definitely a good summer read!

Lost and Found - Nicole  Williams “Every morning we get a chance to be different. A chance to change. A chance to be better. Your past is your past. Leave it there. Get on with the future part, honey.”

This was my first Nicole Williams book and I've got to say that I'll definitely be adding some of her other books to my to-read pile.

The general gist is that Rowen Sterling has to spend a summer on the Walker ranch "proving" herself before her mom agrees to fund art school. Rowen, though her appearance might suggest otherwise, is not a rude or bad person, she's just resigned...resigned to the cards she's been dealt with, while at the same time, also dealing with her own inner demons. On her first day there she meets ranch hand Jesse Walker...and talk about yummy cowboys! He's the ranch golden boy but he also sees Rowen, for who she is and not what others see. Although with a few secrets of his own, Jesse makes Rowen see that love and second chances can always be freely given.

Okay so this book had a slow start for me but once I got hooked I literally took my IPad with me everywhere to try and see what would happen next. This story isn't silly or easy. Rowen has a really twisted view of herself and it was sometimes difficult to read through her decision making. Still, from day one the Walker family believes in her (especially Rose and Jesse) and eventually, so does Rowen. The love story was also pretty awesome. From the get go Jesse is charming and persistant, two things that endeared me quite quickly to him. With a lot of patience, he forces his way through Rowen's defenses and helps heal her soul. Though these two have wome pretty steamy moments, I like that they took the time to get to know each other and enjoy simple things, such as kissing, especially considering how Rowen had been treated before. The Walker family was also a gem, and a stark contrast to Rowen's mom. All in all, this story really stuck with me, even once it was over. I'm glad there is a second book coming through because I cried through that ending (happy tears) and really need to know more about these two before I'm satisfied. Really glad I got to read this!
On Dublin Street (On Dublin Street, #1) - Samantha Young Okay so this book was sort of a surprise for me.

I read this on a whim. Books that are somewhat over-hyped (like this one) make me weary just because those can go either way for me. Still, it kept popping up practically everywhere and when I saw it in a lot of people's yearly favorites I decided to give it a try. Being rather skeptical (especially after seeing some of the reviews) I decided to start and give myself until 10% before I gave up on it and moved on. To say that when I did stop (at around 25%) it was only to go to class, later head home, sit on my bed and devour this until the end, says a lot about how badly I misjudged this book.

I get the hype now! As a contemporary romance novel, this is really good. Granted, if you don't like romance novels (which I tend to gravitate towards) or the alpha males that may come with them (which I love) than this will not be at all your cup of tea; but it was definitely mine.

The book starts out rather fast, with a quick prologue that gives the reader a good understanding of why Jocelyn Butler has...well...let's just say the Berlin Wall has nothing on this one. After an incredibly tragic past, Jocelyn has locked down all emotion and pushed away any deeply personal relationships. Little does she know that on the day she moves into a flat on Dublin Street, she meets not one, but two people who will break down those walls and show Jocelyn how to trust and love again.

Braden and Ellie Carmichael are both such awesome characters, but Braden just takes the cake. He's intense, broody and super swoon-worthy. I love how he knows just what to say and how to perfectly deal with Jocelyn (and cut through some of her bullshit), proving that he's the right guy for her. The scene where they're in the kitchen, after Jocelyn breaks up with Braden and he admits he slept with someone else (though it's all a lie) just to get her some emotion out of her was not only hilarious but proved he knew her better than herself I loved how Braden never gave up on Jocelyn even when she kept pushing him away and how he promised to just keep coming back.

Jocelyn really deserved a swift quick in the head more than a couple of times (which she did get from a few people, aka. her therapist). It was frustrating to see her victimize herself most times, but knowing what she'd been through, I don't know if I would have handled things any better. Her friendship with Ellie (her roommate) was so sweet and it proved that opposites do mesh and people can grow. Also, Ellie's burgeoning romance with Adam was a sweet touch and a nice off-set to Jocelyn and Braden's story.

All in all, the writing was superb!It was nice to see a love story where the couple grows into love rather than just let things become only an instant lust kind of thing. I loved that the story was so compelling that I couldn't bear to put this down. It wrung out laughter and tears from me (which makes it an instant winner in my book) but left me with an incredibly satisfied feeling at the end. To me, this is a definite must read :D

On the Shortness of Life (Penguin Great Ideas)

On the Shortness of Life (Penguin Great Ideas) - Lucius Annaeus Seneca,  John W. Basore Read this for a class. Suffice to say, I agree with some things and disagree with others. It is more than obvious that Seneca's Estoicism was bleeding through and coloring his general opinion on the situation.
The Only Exception - Magan Vernon He really got me. He tried to make me a better person even when I was reluctant. He really was my exception to every rule. - Monica Remy

How I pictured Trey ;)

I got this earc from Magan Vernon in exchange for an honest review .

4.5 stars

Okay so when I heard about this book coming out a couple of months ago, I was pretty excited. This new adult genre has lately been really appealing to me and it's always fun to see the different kinds of stories authors can contribute to it. Between the awesome cover and talk of a governor's son, I was sold!

The general gist of the situation is that liberal Monica Remy just transferred universities. Since all the dorms are already filled up, she has to rent an apartment with a new roommate. Moving in, she finds out that none other than the governor's son, a governor whose conservative politics have affected Monica in a negative way, Trey Chapman is her new next door neighbor.

To be honest, in the beginning I wasn't sure about these two. Monica practically insulted Trey when she realized who he was and even so, Trey just kept pursuing her over and over. They kept bumping into each other (classes, coffee shop, library, you name it) and no matter what Monica said to him, Trey just seemed relentless. All the while, the only thing they seemed capable of doing was argue about politics. At first I couldn't see the chemistry, yet as I kept reading, things just seemed to click. Monica has some serious issues that slowly are revealed throughout the book (though I had my suspicions early on) and while Trey might look like some cookie cutter preppy boy, he really does have a heart of gold (and those crisp white shirts he wore were hot!). I loved how sweetly he pursued Monica, and how he honestly didn't want to change anything about her (even if he did think she was a "bleeding heart liberal").

Even so, as their relationship progresses, they have to face not only each others personal issues, but the fact that they're both at opposing spectrums on their political views (and as Political Science majors, trust me, this is a big thing). To be honest, I'm not a fan of politics and in the beginning of the book, I was afraid this would become a reason for me not to enjoy the book. I'm glad to say that this was not the case. Yes, the politics are there, but both views are well presented and it didn't overpower other parts of the story, mainly the love story.

Though Monica had her moments of stubbornness (that were frustrating!), I liked that she was rational and learned to work through her problems. I also liked how she and Trey just seemed to better each other and she never tried to push Trey away. Also, a lot of times New Adult authors give us these too perfect to be true, hot as sin guys; and as sexy as Trey was (in my mind) he still had his blatant faults. Yet it was refreshing to see him admit them and how in the end he and Monica could both come to a mid-point in not only their political views but in their relationship as well. The love between Trey and Monica was refreshing, and really reminiscent of the kind of relationship we all might like to have. Their love made them both grow in my eyes.

All in all,this a great New Adult book. It has wit, and sexy and funny, but also deals with some heavy subject matter (which honestly never felt like a trope). The epilogue was also incredibly sweet! The politics added a different side to things and kept the story interesting. Definitely a fun must read!
Play with Me - Kristen Proby Favorite one so far in the series.

Will Montgomery is by far my favorite male in the series. To be honest, I wasn't quite sure know I kept coming back to the With Me Series, but I've now realized that though at times it can be unrealistic, they are great reads and sweet love stories that get me out of my head and help me relax after a difficult day, without being harlequin or trashy. Definitely want to read Caleb's (and I suspect Bryanna's) story.
Under The Mistletoe With Me (With Me In Seattle, #1.5) - Kristen Proby More like a 3.5

Its a short in length but I loved Isaac and how he soothed Stacy's insecurities!