Book Review – Dating You / Hating You by Christina Lauren

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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
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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 – Obsession by Calista Fox

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TITLE: 
Obsession (Bayfront Billionaires #4)
AUTHOR: Calista Fox
PAGES:  332 pages
PUBLISHED: Published June 6th, 2017
PUBLISHER: St. Martin’s Press
GENRE: New Adult, Romance, Menage, Billionaire Trope Genre, Novella

MY RATING: 4/5 birds
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SUMMARY:

Roxy Shea is on the mend after an abusive relationship and is hiding out in Bayford. She doesn’t expect to catch the eye of not only one sexy bachelor but two! Even though she has sworn off all men she can’t just resist their sinful ways. Nick Faulkner and Hunter Valens used to be best friends until Hunter vanished for a few years and suddenly came back, vying for Roxy’s attention. Roxy is interested in both men, but who will truly capture her heart?

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MY REVIEW:

Another sexy ménage from Calista Fox! I was lucky enough to receive The Billionaires from Netgalley a while back and I was very impressed with Fox’s writing skills and ability to spin a hot scene! This novella is no exception.

The benefit of this short novel was that the hot scenes were quick and plentiful, but I didn’t like this as much as The Billionaires. I like a little more length to really get to know the characters and set up a story without insta-love/lust.

If you are looking for a quick and sexy read definitely pick this up! I didn’t feel like I was missing out on anything by starting on the 4th novel of the series.

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Book Review – Beautifully Broken by Laura Lee

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TITLE: Beautifully Broken
AUTHOR: Laura Lee
PAGES:  326 pages
PUBLISHED: November 15th 2016
PUBLISHER: LAN Fiction LLC
GENRE: New Adult, Romance, Forbidden Romance

MY RATING: 4/5 birds
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SUMMARY:

The story begins with our heroine Kat, drinking in a seedy bar on her 18th birthday when she meets Gavin. Or “Sparkles” as Kat dubbed him. We learn quickly that Kat has had a tough life. She has been in the foster system since she was a kid, never knew her dad, and has a heroin-addicted mother who is barely present in her life. Tonight she is trying to forget her problems and Gavin seems like the perfect distraction. Their attraction to one another is off the charts and neither of them can deny it.

Kat goes home with him and lies about her age and turns every question he asks –like what she does for work – into a game so he barely knows anything about her. Imagine his surprise when a few days later she is sitting in his classroom and Gavin a.k.a. Sparkles is also Mr. Cooper her English teacher! They both try to deny their attraction and know their situation is wrong even though he didn’t know she was in high school and she is eighteen, but fighting their feelings is harder than they thought.

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MY REVIEW:

When I first saw this book and all the 5 star reviews I was a little skeptical. The premise of a forbidden romance between teacher and student isn’t something I normally find appealing to read but something compelled me to pick this up and I am glad I did! This book definitely goes down as a guilty pleasure read.

Kat was really an amazing character. Life threw her so many curve balls and she took everything in stride. She was even more mature than Gavin in certain parts of the novel. And even though parts of her were broken, Gavin’s constant reassurance of telling her she is worthy of love and respect helped her feel whole again. It was such a feel good novel in that aspect even though there was a ton of seriously dark drama. This was definitely more real than I thought it would be from the blurb, which was a good thing. The dialogue was very well written as well. Their flirty banter was cute and believable and Kat and her friends acted and talked like real eighteen year olds.

I also liked the non-judgemental aspect of stripping in the novel. Kat described most of her coworkers as being college students just trying to earn a quick buck so they can advance in life. We find that some of the girls that have worked there have gone on to be doctors, lawyers, veterinarians etc. Although I think this is not the case for many strip joints, I think it is still a good lesson that you shouldn’t judge someone for where their life leads them.

I know some readers have a hard rule with cheating and I think this may blur the line….Just a forewarning but (view spoiler). Decide what you will about that. I didn’t mind but I know others consider once the two main characters have had any kind of physical contact another woman/man in the picture is unacceptable.

I was also really frustrated with the ending. I could completely understand Kat’s POV and why she chose what she did but Gavin really had no excuse.

Overall this was a really interesting and angsty read. If you are looking for serious drama but with a HEA then this is the book for you! Thank you Netgalley, LAN Fiction LLC, and the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) for providing this novel in exchange for an honest review!

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Book Review – Thirst by Jacquelyn Frank

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TITLE: Thirst (The Energy Vampires #1)
AUTHOR: Jacquelyn Frank
PAGES:  279 pages
EXPECTED PUBLICATION: January 17th 2017
PUBLISHER: Loveswept
GENRE: Paranormal Romance, Adult, Vampires

MY RATING: 3/5 birds
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SUMMARY:

Our story begins when Renee Holden, a tough cop in New York City, is called to investigate a murder. The only witness claims that the perpetrator is a vampire and when she explains the body they find two puncture marks on the victim’s neck. Slightly disturbed by this information Renee goes with the angle of someone who is a delusional vampire-fanatic who pretends he actually is one. Because vampires don’t exist.

But of course they do because Rafe DaSilva is an energy vampire who feeds off of human’s energy instead of blood and he is currently stalking Renee. He knows who killed the victim and he has to make sure Renee is safe and also doesn’t come to discover that vampires are real as she investigates the murder.

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MY REVIEW:

I just could not connect with this novel. I’ll admit that I had to skim read quite a bit near the end just to finish. The dialogue between Renee and Rafe was so stilted and unnatural. At first I thought maybe the author was trying to make Rafe sound formal because he was so old but it just did not work for me. And Renee didn’t seem to stay true to her character many times in the novel. We establish right away that she is a tough detective that has a strong attitude but then she does so many shy and fearful things later on in the novel that had me scratching my head.

The romance was sweet once they got to know each other better but the insta-love at the end was a bit much. Yes, they had been through a lot together in such a short period of time but it was still plain ol’ insta-love.

The crime/mystery aspect to the story was fairly interesting but the origin story had me rolling my eyes. It is definitely original but it was quite silly. Even the whole idea of e-vamps that don’t actually drink blood, but drink energy, was a bit much for me.

Overall it was an okay read but I won’t be continuing the series. I normally love paranormal/urban-fantasy novel so I would still recommend this to other that love that genre but this just did not work for me!

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Book Review – P.S. I Like You by Kasie West

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TITLE: P.S I Like You
AUTHOR: Kasie West
PAGES:  330 pages
EXPECTED PUBLICATION: July 26th 2016
PUBLISHER: Point
GENRE: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary

MY RATING: 4/5 birds
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SUMMARY:

Our story starts off with Lily, an aspiring songwriter, trying to balance her friends, school, and her chaotic family. She wants to enter a songwriting competition but isn’t completely confident in herself. While in her most hated class, chemistry, she sees a note under her desk and starts writing letters to an unknown student who shares her unique taste in music and they both reveal personal issues in their life. When Lily finds out the writer is male she starts falling for the mysterious student and wonders who it could be.

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MY REVIEW:

This is the second book I have read by Kasie West and I completely understand why she has such a following. This book was super adorable and absolutely perfect for Romance Week on Goodreads.

The guy writing the notes to Lily is very predictable from the beginning which was a bit of a letdown but thankfully the author doesn’t make us “guess” for long and soon Lily must face the real person against the person she imagined writing the letter.

It was a really cute novel and I absolutely loved Lily’s crazy family. I feel like they really made the novel. Her parents were funny with their little competitions, her little brothers were adorable but also realistically written, and their pet rabbit just puts a massively adorable bow on the entire thing.

It had a lot of clichés and wasn’t a unique plot but I like the idea of not judging someone until you really know them. People are complex, and while I don’t condone bullies at all, sometimes people act out for a reason.

The only thing that really made it lose one star was that I did not like the ending. It seemed very abrupt. I wish we could have found out if Lily won the songwriting contest. Her relationship also doesn’t really have a HEA and it felt like a cliffhanger.

Overall it was perfect for Romance Week and definitely a fluffy feel-good read!

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ARC Book Review -Big Mushy Happy Lump (Sarah’s Scribbles)

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TITLE: Big Mushy Happy Lump (Sarah’s Scribbles)
AUTHOR: Sarah Andersen
PAGES:  128 pages
EXPECTED PUBLICATION: March 7th, 2016
PUBLISHER: Andrews McMeel Publishing
GENRE: Graphic Novel/Comic Book, Humor, Non-Fiction

MY RATING: 5/5 birds
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MY REVIEW:

I received this as an ebook and I’m so curious if this will have that same velour fuzzy stuff on the cover that the first novel had. That stuff was the best.

Much like the first comic book of Sarah’s Scribbles, I feel like all introverts need to read this. Sarah Andersen is so relatable it’s mind-blowing. Even things that don’t have to do with being introvert or having social anxiety were relatable to me. Like how she always steals her boyfriend’s clothes (hmm big sweaters) and the panel that describes all the alternative things a boyfriend brings to the relationship (I checked off each one). It feels like Sarah Andersen knows you personally, which makes me happy because it reminds me that even if I often feel alone in this world there are many people who do think/act like me.

Even though there were a few panels that were very similar to previous ones I felt like the entire book was more inspiring than the last. I loved all of the female friendship positivity.

And I might be an outlier here but I think I like this one better than her first book. Maybe just marginally as I gave them both 5 stars. Sarah you can do no wrong!

P.S. I would also like to know how some girls have beautiful hair after four days of not washing. I’m definitely the second-day = gross hair type person. No amount of dry shampoo can tame these locks.

*ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

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ARC Book Review – A Long Walk Home by Piper Landen

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TITLE: A Long Walk Home
AUTHOR: Piper Landen
PAGES:  166 pages
EXPECTED PUBLICATION: December 27th 2016
PUBLISHER: Patchwork Press
GENRE: New Adult, Romance, Animals

MY RATING: 3/5 birds

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SUMMARY:

For Romance Week on Goodreads I decided to pick up this cute short novel from NetGalley. The story started off with Casey finding a stray dog in a park and deciding to take him home. Casey has no experience with dogs and is very unsure. She contacts a rescue agency and works with them to find a home for the stray dog that they end up calling Baloo. Casey decides, with her roommate’s consent, that she will foster Baloo until he finds a permanent home.

Casey goes back to the park to hand out flyers if anyways knows Baloo and meets a gorgeous runner named Charlie. She keeps running into him until he asks her out. It’s a cute (somewhat cliché) meet cute.

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MY REVIEW:

Overall the novel is exactly what you expect. It is only 160 pages long (ebook) and very adorable, with lots of little antics by Baloo and insta-love.

I didn’t really enjoy the writing as I found it a bit disjointed and too formal. There were massive walls of text just explaining Casey’s day and what the dog was going in too much detail that had no action or dialogue to break it up.

The dialogue between Casey and Charlie was also a bit awkward. I didn’t understand some of the “jokes” and conversations they had. For example when she first texted Charlie he asked if she had any dietary restrictions (which I assume to mean vegan or something) and she answers “Once upon a time, I did the paleo thing, back when I was exercising for fun, like a maniac (no offense). But I got past it. All food is good food as far as I’m concerned.”

Huh? Why does she say ‘no offense’? Is it because she always sees him running and assumes he is an exercising maniac? Because she used the word maniac? This was just an example of many dialogues that I did not understand in this novel.

I thought Charlie and Casey’s first date was actually really cute but unfortunately I didn’t actually like Charlie at all. He seemed to have quite the temper and I didn’t like how he got mad so fast and didn’t hear Casey out. I didn’t actually get a sense of a HEA here which is bit disappointing, especially in a romance novel.

Because this novel was so short it suffered because I don’t recall Casey every talking about what she did for work/school and she seemed to either be hanging out with Baloo at home, with Charlie, watching Netflix and it seemed really unrealistic. Charlie’s occupation wasn’t mentioned either. I felt like I really didn’t to know the characters well at all.

Overall, despites its flaws this was a very quick and cute read. Perfect for Romance Week on Goodreads!

*ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

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