20 September 2016

Book Review: Aced (Blocked, #2) by Jennifer Lane

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Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US 

Format: Kindle
Publishers: Psyched Publishing
Published: 2nd December 2015
Pages: 280
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Sports Romance
Main Characters: Maddie, Alejandro
Date Read: 30th August - 6th September 2016

Rating Given:

Synopsis:
Volleyball wonder Lucia Ramirez found her love match in Blockeddespite the glaring political spotlight aimed on her family. InAced, the second book in Jennifer Lane’s Blocked series, it could be her brother Alejandro’s turn to get lucky in love. 
Medical student Alejandro’s hot Latin looks get him plenty of attention, but his deep faith and admiration for his father keep him on a righteous path, with no time for something as frivolous as love. He strives to do the right thing—study diligently, take care of his siblings, represent the family well—so why does he feel so unfulfilled? 
Enter Lucia’s friend and teammate Maddie Brooks, who shines at blocking the ball and acing the serve. Too bad this graduating senior isn’t so confident about her life off the court. Her longtime boyfriend has just bailed on her, and med school applications loom large. Oh, and a nerve-wracking tryout for Team USA also approaches. 
Maddie meets Alejandro when he visits Lucia at school, and she’s soon drawn to his sharp mind. Alejandro is similarly intrigued by Maddie’s talent and strength. But will personal biases and family politics smother the slow burn of their attraction? Unless Maddie can learn to believe in herself, and Alejandro can become his own man, their kindling romance hardly stands a chance.
Will either of them be bold enough to try something new? Find out in this emotion-rich story that refuses to shy away from life’s hardest questions. Because love is worth the risk.

I received a review copy from the author Jennifer Lane in exchange for an honest review.

I don't feel as though the cover as got any better since the first book and I would actually go as far as saying it's worse as I just don't like the guy used as he just doesn't scream Alejandro so it doesn't work for me.

I was a bit nervous going into this book even though Jennifer Lane did say that this book wasn't mainly focused on American politics and I should've had more faith as I felt the politics wasn't as heavily involved. There was some politics involved but it felt easier to follow this time around and what I enjoyed was the different opinions and the banter used was a great addition that I was surprised that I even liked as I didn't in the first book and I think that it was because of the banter as it gave it a more light hearted feel to it. Like Blocked, Aced also had some hard hitting issues tackled and again was done in a sensitive way. I liked the way in which depression was tackled in Aced as I don't feel like it's tackled enough in any kind of media so this made a change. The only thing I didn't like about this book was how quickly the relationship evolved and in the beginning I didn't really believe in them as a couple but the further I went into the book the more I warmed to them as a couple and it was refreshing that what normally happens towards the end of a contemporary book never happened which was a huge plus in my eyes. I liked that Aced wasn't predictable towards the end as I never saw what happened towards the end to happen it was the edge of my seat stuff. As for the ending I felt this was a much better ending that Blocked so I was happy about that.

I had mixed feelings about all characters before I started this book but a lot of my opinions changed throughout this book. Maddie I liked in Blocked so I was looking forward to reading her story and I was surprised with how different she seemed in this book compared to Blocked but this wasn't in a bad way as she had a lot to deal with in her past as well as her present. Maddie is such a caring person and I was always rooting for her to get her happy ever after. Alejandro I was a bit nervous about as I didn't really like him in book one and even in the beginning I didn't think that was going to change but in the end I really liked him. I loved that we got to see a bit more of Alejandro's Dad and I was very much surprised at how much I liked him. I was also surprised at how Lucia took a certain thing that happened as I thought she would've been happier than what she was but I felt she was a bit selfish.

Overall, this book was better than the first and now I'm really excited to read Mateo's story.

11 September 2016

Book Review: The One Real Thing (Hart's Boardwalk, #1) by Samantha Young

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Format: Kindle
Publishers: Piatkus Books
Published: 1st September 2016
Pages: 400
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance, 
Main Characters: Jessica, Cooper
Date Read: 16th August - 29th August 2016

Rating Given:

Synopsis:
Welcome to Hartwell, a quiet seaside escape where uncovering old secrets could lead one woman to discover the meaning of a love that lasts…
While Doctor Jessica Huntington engages with the inmates at the women’s correctional facility where she works, she’s always careful to avoid emotional attachments in her personal life. Loss and betrayal taught her that lesson long ago. But when she comes across a set of old love letters in the prison’s library and visits the picturesque town of Hartwell to deliver them to their intended recipient, she finds herself unable to resist the town’s charm—and her attraction to the sexy owner of a local bar proves equally hard to deny.
Since his divorce from his unfaithful ex-wife, Cooper Lawson has focused on what really matters: his family and the boardwalk pub they’ve owned for generations. But the first time Jessica steps into his bar, Cooper is beyond tempted to risk his heart on her. Yet as their attraction grows hotter and Jessica remains stubbornly closed off, he begins to realize it will take more than just passion to convince her there’s only one real thing in life worth fighting for…

 I received a review copy from netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I'm in two minds about this cover as I love the romantic look of it as well as the colours used but on the other hand it just looks like every other romance cover that I've read so it doesn't really stand out but it is better than the American cover.

When I first started this book I was quite intrigued and sounded like it was going to be a bit different but that didn't last very long as it did become predictable. I think it was the middle part of the story that dragged the rating down as I was bored nothing was really happening and we didn't find out what Jessica's secret was until closer to the end which annoyed me as it was just dragged out for much longer than necessary. I liked the relationship between the two main characters as they weren't in love from the get go yes they where attracted to one another but I felt they grew together through out the book. The end really picked up but it was a little bit predictable but I didn't mind that too much as I have come to except that 9 out of 10 times in contemporary books it's going to happen. The ending was good as it cleared up Jessica and Cooper's story but left it wide open for other characters.

I was actually surprised with the characters in this book as they were both not what I was expecting and sometimes it wasn't in a good way. With Cooper I thought he would be closed off towards Jessica but I felt he wasn't it just wasn't what I was expecting but I liked that about him. He was so understanding and I'm surprised he held out on pushing Jessica until the end. Jessica I would have thought would've been a stronger character than she was as she was so secretive even to us the reader we never knew her darkest secret until the end which was when I was able to understand her a bit better.

Overall, this isn't my favourite book written by Samantha Young but I'm hoping the series will get better.

1 September 2016

Books of August

August was my slowest reading month I've ever done but it was a busy month personally for me as I had a job interview which I was successful and have now started so it's now eaten up my reading time. Plus it was also my sisters birthday so I just haven't had the time to read and I can't see that getting any better next month as I have got extra hours at work and it's my birthday.

Here's what I got through in August:


  • Blocked (Blocked, #1) by Jennifer Lane - 3.5/5
  • Miracle on 5th Avenue (From Manhattan with Love, #3) by Sarah Morgan - 5/5
  • The One Real Thing (Hart's Boardwalk, #1) by Samantha Young - 3.5/5

And the book of the month goes too...

Miracle on 5th Avenue (From Manhattan with Love, #3) 
by Sarah Morgan

Synopsis:
It will take a Christmas miracle for two very different souls to find each other in this perfectly festive fairy tale of New York! Hopeless romantic Eva Jordan loves everything about Christmas. She might be spending the holidays alone this year, but when she's given an opportunity to house-sit a spectacular penthouse on Fifth Avenue, she leaps at the chance. What better place to celebrate than in snow-kissed Manhattan? What she didn't expect was to find the penthouse still occupied by its gorgeous—and mysterious—owner. Bestselling crime writer Lucas Blade is having the nightmare before Christmas. With a deadline and the anniversary of his wife's death looming, he's isolated himself in his penthouse with only his grief for company. He wants no interruptions, no decorations and he certainly doesn't appreciate being distracted by his beautiful, bubbly new housekeeper. But when the blizzard of the century leaves Eva snowbound in his apartment, Lucas starts to open up to the magic she brings…This Christmas, is Lucas finally ready to trust that happily-ever-afters do exist?

I loved every minute of this book and I would highly recommend this to anyone who loves a good romcom.

Books Received in July
 
I received these paperbacks from the publishers and I'm very much looking forward to reading them both.

  
 
Just a few of my netgalley books.



What's your book of the month?

29 August 2016

Book Review: Miracle on 5th Avenue (From Manhattan with Love, #3) by Sarah Morgan

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Format: Kindle
Publishers: HQN Books
Published: 29th November 2016
Pages: 384
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance, 
Main Characters: Eva, Lucas
Date Read: 8th August - 15th August 2016

Rating Given:

Synopsis:
It will take a Christmas miracle for two very different souls to find each other in this perfectly festive fairy tale of New York! 
Hopeless romantic Eva Jordan loves everything about Christmas. She might be spending the holidays alone this year, but when she's given an opportunity to house-sit a spectacular penthouse on Fifth Avenue, she leaps at the chance. What better place to celebrate than in snow-kissed Manhattan? What she didn't expect was to find the penthouse still occupied by its gorgeous—and mysterious—owner. 
Bestselling crime writer Lucas Blade is having the nightmare before Christmas. With a deadline and the anniversary of his wife's death looming, he's isolated himself in his penthouse with only his grief for company. He wants no interruptions, no decorations and he certainly doesn't appreciate being distracted by his beautiful, bubbly new housekeeper. But when the blizzard of the century leaves Eva snowbound in his apartment, Lucas starts to open up to the magic she brings…This Christmas, is Lucas finally ready to trust that happily-ever-afters do exist?

 I received a review copy from netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I'm not the biggest fan of the covers for this particular series but I do think they have slightly improved as they went along and if I had to pick one that I liked the most this one would be the one I would choose. I like the Christmasy feel to the book which is in keeping with the book. 

From the moment I started this series I was the most excited about reading Eva's book and I'm so glad it lived up to my expectations. I loved every minute of this book from the very beginning to the last word there was just nothing that I didn't enjoy about this book. What I really loved about this book was the connection between the two main characters as even when they where just friends they were good together. Yes, there was moments when Lucas didn't want to acknowledge any kind of feelings he had for Eva but I could still tell there was something there. It wasn't just about love it was also about loss and how people deal with their loss which was a sad part of the story but how everything was written I didn't mind the sadness as it was balanced out with the light heartedness. I loved the ending to this story and the three friends and I hope that there will be a spin off from this series as I'm not ready to say goodbye.

I loved every character with only one new character I knew I already loved these characters but I wasn't sure I was going to love Lucas as much as the others but thankfully I did. He did have his moments but that was understandable with what had happened with him in the past so it was easy to forgive him especially when we see how he treats Eva (well most of the time). Eva has always been my favourite character in this series as she comes across as such a sweet person that would do anything for anyone and I felt so sorry for her with the loss of someone close to her as well as her just wanting to be loved. It was nice to have a bit of a catch up with the previous main characters I just wish they where in it a bit more than what they where.

Overall, I adored this book and it is hands down my favourite of the series.

13 August 2016

Book Review: Blocked (Blocked, #1) by Jennifer Lane

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Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US 

Format: Kindle
Publishers: Psyched Publishing
Published: 21st October 2014
Pages: 300
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Sports Romance
Main Characters: Lucia, Dane
Date Read: 2nd August - 7th August 2016

Rating Given:

Synopsis:
College freshman Lucia Ramirez has a secret crush on Dane Monroe. He’s a tall drink of water — blond, brash, and one hell of a volleyball player. ¡Híjole! Lucia hopes her volleyball scholarship to his school will make him notice her.
Too bad what’s noticeable is Dane’s obvious hatred for Lucia. Her family’s politics contradict everything he stands for. And politics are front and center in both their families. Dane’s mother is about to face Lucia’s father in the race for US President. 
When Secret Service throws them together, Dane can’t deny his frustrating attraction to Lucia’s athletic curves and sweet faith in the world. Amid the intense pressure of college athletics and presidential politics, can opposites not just attract, but overcome overwhelming odds to be together? Or do their differences block their match from the start?

I received a review copy from netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I'm not overly excited about this cover as I do think it looks a little plain and I don't think it stands out over any other sports book covers that I've seen. Having said that it is giving us an idea of what the book is about with the use of the volleyball.

When I first started this book I wasn't quite sure that I was going to enjoy this book as it was hard to get over certain things that was said/done. I've now read a few sports romance novels and this is the first time reading about volleyball which was a refreshing change as it's also a new sport to me yet I was able to understand all the terminology. The whole politics side of the story annoyed me a bit as I just couldn't get my head around plus it just dragged the story out. The romance side of the story was not as believable as I would've liked as I didn't like how Dane was with Lucia for most of the first half of the book. In the second half of the book he was a lot sweeter to her as he was able to help her and look out for her. I felt they were better friends than anything else plus I don't feel as though we got an ending to their story so I hope we get to see more from them in upcoming books. As well as sports and romance this book had also had issues being tackled such as eating disorder which I don't feel as though its tackled nearly enough. The ending kind of annoyed me as I know the next book is not focused on these two and the way in which it did end made me feel that there was another chapter to come but there never was.

I had a bit of a love hate relationship with most of the characters as they all had good and bad moments except for Maddie which is actually a good thing as she has her story told next. Lucia started off a bit annoying as she was too soft with Dane as I just wanted her snap back at him more than what she did do. I felt sorry for her with all her issues as you can actually see where she's coming from and you could see her struggle throughout the book not just one section which felt realistic as she wasn't magically fixed straight away it took longer than that. Dane like I said before he annoyed me in the way he treated Lucia in the beginning as to me it was just not nice and I don't why she would forgive him even if he did change how treated her through the course. Dane had his issues that he also needed to deal with but by the end I did warm to him because of those issues and how he tackled them.

Overall, a good start to this series that I am looking forward to continuing on with it I would just like less politics involved in the series.

8 August 2016

Book Review: The Secret Fire (The Alchemist Chronicles, #1) by C.J. Daugherty & Carina Rozenfeld

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Format: Kindle
Publishers: Atom
Published: 3rd September 2015
Pages: 424
Genre: YA, Paranormal, Fantasy 
Main Characters: Taylor, Sacha
Date Read: 23rd July - 1st August 2016

Rating Given:

Synopsis:French teen Sacha Winters can't die. He can throw himself off a roof, be stabbed, even shot, and he will always survive. Until the day when history and ancient enmities dictate that he must die. Worse still, his death will trigger something awful. Something deadly. And that day is closing in.
Taylor Montclair is a normal English girl, hanging out with her friends and studying for exams, until she starts shorting out the lights with her brain. She’s also the only person on earth who can save Sacha.
There’s only one problem: the two of them have never met. They live hundreds of miles apart and powerful forces will stop at nothing to keep them apart.
They have eight weeks to find each other.
Will they survive long enough to save the world?


I received a review copy from netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

This cover is a bit different to the covers I've seen around at the moment so for me this one stands out because it's different. I love the colours used in this cover especially the fire looking part of it as my eye is drawn straight to the title of book, plus with the use of fire it's in keeping with the story.

I wasn't quite sure I was going to like this one when I first started this book as things was happening in the first chapter that annoyed me but after I got over that it really started to get better and better. At certain moments I was hooked so much so I didn't want to put it down. It was about halfway through when for me it stalled a bit but again once I got over that bit it was back to it's thrilling stuff again. There wasn't very much romance involved in the story but there was a bit of attraction there so I can see there's bound to be more to come in the future books. Even though there wasn't really any romance involved with the two main characters I did love their friendship and how they grew closer and closer with each other. I loved the whole paranormal side of the story as it was a little different to the normal paranormal books that I've read before. I felt the ending was good as it was left open for the rest of the series but it wasn't a huge cliff-hanger which makes a refreshing change.

I liked the characters but I do think they grew into stronger characters the further I went into the book. Taylor started of a little bit too perfect for my liking but by the end that didn't feel like the case which made her a bit more likeable and realistic. In the first chapter I didn't think I was going to like Sacha but after that little blip I really started to warm up to him.

Overall, this was a good start to this series and I'm very excited to see where things are going to go next.