Book Review – Dating You / Hating You by Christina Lauren

datingyouhatingyou
TITLE: 
Dating You / Hating You
AUTHOR: Christina Lauren
PAGES:  350 pages
PUBLISHED: June 6th 2017
PUBLISHER: Gallery Books
GENRE: New Adult, Romance, Office Romance, Book Boyfriend, Strong-minded Heroine

MY RATING: 5/5 birds
rating-5-birdnew
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SUMMARY:

Carter and Evie meet at a Halloween party and immediately sparks fly. Before they can even begin to explore their total attraction to each other, their competing firms are merged and now they are not only working together but vying for the same position under the same boss.

Evie is fiercely competitive and won’t back down from a challenge, while Carter can’t help but try to please everyone, including their mutual sexist boss. What could have formed into an easy and amazing relationship between Evie and Carter has now turned into an all out war as they try to out do one another.

But it is worth it? Evie and Carter can’t decide if it is better loving or hating each other…

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MY REVIEW:

I absolutely loved this!

The attraction between Evie and Carter is immediate and so believable. I loved them. They are both Hollywood agents and incredibly busy. Their relationship is just beginning when their firms join and they must not only work together but actually compete for their bosses praises and the same position.

I haven’t championed this strongly behind a couple for such a long time!

I really loved Evie’s POV the most. Carter was very sweet but getting into Evie’s head was just so interesting. I love how passionate she is about her career.

The novel also deals with sexism in the work place and I thought it was very well done. It was nice seeing Carter coming to realisations, like the fact that Evie had to work twice as hard as her male counterparts just to be in the same position. I couldn’t believe what a complete and utter sexist asshole their boss was but the ending is perfect.

Overall I can’t recommend this enough! I give it 4.5 stars (not fully 5 stars, only because I am not sure if I would re-read this anytime soon). If you are in the mood for a romance with a good plot and some intelligence then I suggest you give this a try!

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Book Review – The One Real Thing (Hart’s Boardwalk #1) by Samantha Young

theonerealthing
TITLE: 
The One Real Thing (Hart’s Boardwalk #1)
AUTHOR: Samantha Young
PAGES:  382 pages
PUBLISHED: September 6th 2016
PUBLISHER: Berkley
GENRE: New Adult, Romance, Sweet, Book Boyfriend

MY RATING: 4/5 birds
rating-4-birdnew
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SUMMARY:

Doctor Jessica Huntington needs a change of scenery. While working at a women’s correctional facility she stumbles upon old love letters from a previous inmate that were never delivered and they touch her deeply. She vows to deliver them to the intended recipient and finds herself in the coastal town of Hartwell.

While searching for the letter’s intended reader, she meets the local bar owner who is undeniably sexy.

Cooper Lawson is divorced and focusing on his business but when Jessica steps into his bar he wants to figure out who this enigmatic doctor is and how he can get her to risk everything and let him into her heart.

 

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MY REVIEW:

I really love Samantha Young’s novels and I re-read On Dublin Street every few months when I feel like a good love story. I think one of Young’s biggest strengths is creating really loveable and believable female protagonists and this story was no expectation. Jessica was very interesting as she works as a doctor for female inmates in prison. One shift she discovers letters from a previous imamate who died and the letters touch her heart. She seeks out the man who never received the letters in a small seaside town called Hartwell.

Although I am not a small town girl (I love big cities), Hartwell just seemed like the most charming and idyllic place, I can see why Jessica wanted to live there!

Cooper was incredibly attractive, I don’t know how Young does it. She always writes the perfect man and the first sexy scene between Jessica and Cooper was so hot…*phew*

I think the only issues I had with the entire novel was it felt a bit slow at times because there was a lot going on. There were many side characters…Bailey (her new best friend) Sam (The shy bookstore owner), Cooper’s sister (I think her name was Kat), Cooper’s ex-wife Dana, Vaughn, and then there was the whole plot about the Devlin family, as well as the plot about the letters. It was a bit too much and some of the plots I wasn’t really interested in.

I am very excited to see what happens in Every Little Thing with Bailey, Tom and Vaughn. I thought the interacts between Bailey and Vaughn were hilarious so I can’t wait to see what happens between them!

 

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Book Review -Us (Him #2)

us

TITLE: Us (Him #2)
AUTHOR: Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy
PAGES:  328 pages
PUBLISHED: March 8th, 2016
PUBLISHER: Rennie Road Books
GENRE: New Adult, Romance, Friends to Lovers.

MY RATING: 5/5 birds

Rating - 5 Bird

SUMMARY:

This is the continuation of the Him series. Ryan Wesley is now in the NHL and having an amazing rookie season. Not only is his career taking off but the rest of his life is perfect as well, because he gets to come home to Jamie Canning every night. Having his best friend turned boyfriend at his side he feels unstoppable. The only problem is no one knows just how happy he is because no one in the media or on his team knows he in a relationship or even gay. Jamie wants to be supportive but he hates the secrecy and hiding everything and isn’t sure how long he can take the pressure.

When secrets begin to unravel when Wes’ teammate moves to the same apartment as Wes and Jamie, can they make things work and keep hiding the truth from the world or will their perfect private bubble burst?

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MY REVIEW:

“Love is friendship set on fire.”

Wes and Jamie are my favourite book couple, hands down. I wish their story would never end…or at least there was one more book after this! I just loved this so much. It was very similar to the first novel; well written, hilarious, emotional, and very steamy. The dialogue was amazing as per usual. Here is a sample of some of the lines:

Eh. There’s no way Blake made that connection. He’s probably over there wondering whether he’d be more likely to encounter a seventeen-foot velociraptor on a beach or in the mountains.

I’ve missed the warm-ups and make it to my seat just at the end of the national anthem. I’m quite proficient at “O Canada” these days. Had to learn the lyrics for my juniors team. The coach can’t just stand there and mouth “watermelon watermelon watermelon” like an asshole.

The drama was perfect as well. There was some miscommunication and issues with Jamie’s health but everything was believable and it didn’t ever make me frustrated like lots of melodrama does in NA books. I even got a bit emotional when Wes called Cindy and called her “Mom”. Ugh, that just made me die a little inside with happiness. Also, the romance did take a back seat in this novel compared to the first one, as Wes and Jamie have more problems than ever before but I didn’t mind it. All the steamy scenes were perfectly placed and I didn’t feel like I was missing out on anything.

I also loved all the talk about Canada, being a Canadian myself. I haven’t ever lived in Toronto (I am from the west coast) but I have many friends who do and it was cool reading about Canada in a popular book because usually novels are American focused and even Canadian writers write in American cities.

I especially loved when Jamie was complaining about the cold Toronto winters and wind chill and not wanting to leave his apartment.
I feel ya Jamie.

And when the authors used the term “gong show” I nearly died. I think it is a common word in the states but it originated in the Canadian junior hockey culture. I know it’s such a small thing but this kind of attention to detail makes me really appreciate Bowen and Kennedy.

Seriously, my only complaint is I wish there were more books with Wes and Jamie! I am pretty darn excited to read the spin-off series, starting with Good Boy (WAGs, #1) which stars Jamie’s sister Jess and Blake. I love both of them, especially Blake, so I think it will a great read and I am sure it will include moments with Wes and Jamie so I am really looking forward to that!

Some people were complaining that they wanted (view spoiler) but I am super happy to have a full novel by Bowen and Kennedy because they seriously can do no wrong!

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Book Review -Him

him

TITLE: Him
AUTHOR: Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy
PAGES:  360 pages
PUBLISHED: July 28th 2015
PUBLISHER: Rennie Road Books
GENRE: New Adult, Romance, Friends to Lovers.

MY RATING: 5/5 birds

Rating - 5 Bird

SUMMARY:

Jamie Canning and Ryan Wesley have been best friends until a friendly competition turned into something more and Wes cut Jamie out of his life.Pushing the boundaries of their friendship was Wes’ goal but afterwards he regrets his actions.

Four years later after no contact, Wes is ready to apologise to Jamie, his very straight friend, who he is now facing off on the ice with their respective college teams. One look at Jamie though and Wes’ resolutions come to a stand still. His feelings have never changed but does Jamie feel the same way?

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MY REVIEW:

“I can’t fucking do this again. I can’t let myself want him or get my hopes up about the two of us. He’s my friend. He’ll always be my friend and nothing more.”

Jamie and Wes make such an adorable couple! I loved them right off the bat. The novel starts with flashbacks to one pivotal night between the two former best friends when they attended hockey camp that changes their friendship. Wes can’t deal with what happens and stops talking to Jamie. Years later, after they both graduate college and are looking towards joining the NHL, they see each other again. A friendship is rekindled but other feelings rise up that aren’t so easy to define…
This was quite the steamy read and I really enjoyed it!! It’s definitely a new favourite.
I can really see Elle Kennedy shine through in this novel with all the witty and funny dialogue and I loved it! For example:

“I’m attracted to women, no doubt about it.
I’m also attracted to men, apparently. Wonderful.
Complicated fellow, my dick.”

Anything to get my Kennedy fix after The Deal series haha. She seriously has a way with words though and makes men sound so realistic and age-appropriate. I don’t know how she does it! It really makes the entire novel though because I really haven’t read many M/M novels but usually they have a serious case of “chicks with dicks”, meaning the male characters all sound like the female author.

The chemistry between Wes and Jamie was off the chart. I was rooting for them from beginning to end. They treated each other so well, with love and respect but could easily banter and they obviously loved spending time together. even when they were younger and just best friends. These are my favourite stories, the friends that become lovers. I think this would be the perfect introduction to someone who was interested in m/m and had never read any before.

I seriously love this book. Even little things like what Cindy (Jamie’s mom) buys Jamie and Wes coffee mugs that say “HIS” & “HIS”:

“Mom!” Jess hollers. “The point of labeled mugs is so that they can tell them apart! You should have done their initials.”
“But then that wouldn’t amuse me,” his mother explains, grinning.

I also thought the discussion between Wes and Jamie regarding porn and what is expected of gay men was very well done. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be, on top of coming out to your friends and family, to even understand how to together with someone since you may not have a lot to reference in your day to day life. I mean porn for men and women is quite awful and unrealistic as well but as least in terms of a relationship you have many examples – generally your parents are m/w, friends, and everything you see on TV. Also sex ed classes when you are a teenager, as least when I was in school, did not discuss being gay all or how any of that worked.

And lastly I just LOVED the ending and I was really glad that the novel didn’t end after [after they finally decided to commit to each other (hide spoiler)]. I really like that the authors showed us their evolving relationship and what’s to come next. I also just love Jamie’s family.

Also, just a side note but did anyone else forget that Wes’ first name was actually Ryan? Haha maybe it was just me but he was referred to as Wes so much that I thought Ryan was his last name!

SO excited to read the next book Us (Him #2)!!

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