Mini Reviews: The Studying Hours & The Failing Hours by Sara Ney

The Studying Hours
Series: How to Date a Douchebag, #1
Author: Sara Ney
Publication Date: September 13, 2016
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Sports

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

CRUDE. ARROGANT. A**HOLE.
No doubt about it, Sebastian ‘Oz’ Osborne is the university’s most celebrated student athlete—and possibly the biggest douchebag. A walking, talking cliché, he has a filthy mouth, a fantastic body, and doesn’t give a sh*t about what you or anyone else thinks.

SMART. CLASSY. CONSERVATIVE.
Make no mistake, Jameson Clarke may be the university’s most diligent student—but she is no prude. Spending most of her time in the hallowed halls of the library, James is wary of pervs, jocks, and douchebags—and Oz Osborne is all three.

She’s smart, sarcastic—and not what he expected.

…EVERY DOUCHBAG HAS HIS WEAKNESS.

He wants to be friends.
He wants to spend time with her.
He wants to drive her crazy.

He wants…

Her.


I accidentally started reading this series with the third book instead of the first. I loved The Learning Hours, so I decided to go back and start at the beginning of the series.

Oz Osborne was a huge douche. His thoughts were all about women, their bodies, and what he could do with them. I didn’t think there could be a nice guy under all that frat house mentality, but luckily there was. All it took was meeting the right woman to turn him around. Uptight Jameson was the perfect woman for the job. She made Oz work for a relationship with her. I loved every moment of that.

The Studying Hours wasn’t quite as good as The Learning Hours, but I still really enjoyed it. There was even a big twist that shocked me. I didn’t see it coming, and I liked the direction it moved the story. Overall, The Studying Hours was a great college romance.



The Failing Hours
Series: How to Date a Douchebag, #2
Author: Sara Ney
Publication Date: January 31, 2017
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Sports

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Zeke Daniels isn’t just a douchebag; he’s an a**hole.

A total and complete jerk, Zeke keeps people at a distance. He has no interest in relationships—most a**holes don’t.

Dating?
Being part of a couple? Nope. Not for him.

He’s never given any thought to what he wants in a girlfriend, because he’s never had any intention of having one. Shit, he barely has a relationship with his family, and they’re related; his own friends don’t even like him.

So why does he keep thinking about Violet DeLuca?
Sweet, quiet Violet—his opposite in every sense of the word.
The light to his dark, even her damn name sounds like rays of sunshine and happiness and shit.

And that pisses him off, too.


Oh, boy. Zeke Daniels was a guy with extreme anger issues. He had built up so many walls around himself. Zeke wasn’t nice to anyone…Until Violet. Heck, he wasn’t even nice to her that often. Somehow, Violet saw the best in Zeke. That made Zeke attempt to be a better person. Without her, I would have chucked this book across the room.

The Failing Hours was a frustrating but good read. I loved how much both characters developed in this story, and how they became whole from each other’s love.



My overall thoughts on this series? It was a fun read. The How to Date a Douchebag series gets better with each new book. (#3 is my favorite book so far!) I can’t wait to see what’s next!

Review: Man Hands by Sarina Bowen & Tanya Eby

Man Hands
Series: Man Hands, #1
Authors: Sarina Bowen,Tanya Eby
Publication Date: December 11, 2017
Publisher: Rennie Roads Books
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

He puts the “screw” in screwball comedy…

BRYNN

At thirty-four, I’m reeling from a divorce. I don’t want to party or try to move on. I just want to stay home and post a new recipe on my blog: Brynn’s Dips and Balls.

But my friends aren’t having it. Get out there again, they say. It will be fun, they say. I’m still taking a hard pass.

Free designer cocktails, they say. And that’s a game-changer.

Too bad my ex shows up with his new arm candy. That’s when I lose my mind. But when my besties dare me to leap on the first single man I see, they don’t expect me to actually go through with it.

TOM

All I need right now is some peace and quiet while my home renovation TV show is on hiatus. But when a curvy woman in a red wrap dress charges me like she’s a gymnast about to mount my high bar, all I can do is brace myself and catch her. What follows is the hottest experience of my adult life.

I want a repeat, but my flying Cinderella disappears immediately afterward. She doesn’t leave a glass slipper, either—just a pair of panties with chocolate bunnies printed on them.

But I will find her.


Utterly delightful. That’s how I would describe Man Hands. It was such a fun read. I lost count of how many times it had me laughing out loud. It was filled with humorous characters, an outrageous storyline, and a swoon worthy love story. I couldn’t get enough of it. I didn’t want to put it down. It was just so entertaining!

Brynn and Tom were amazing. I loved everything about them from their crazy hang ups to their witty conversations. I could feel their connection from the minute they met. I loved how much they appreciated the little things about each other. Plus, they shared an intense chemistry. Every moment they were together shined.

The main characters weren’t the only entertaining people in Man Hands. Both Brynn and Tom’s friends made an impression on me. When I learned there would be more books to this series, I was so excited! I can’t wait to see what the gang gets up to.

In my opinion, Sarina Bowen can do no wrong. I love her novels. I’m not really familiar with Tanya Elby, but she couldn’t have picked a better co-author than Sarina Bowen. Together, these two have come up with an amazing start to an incredibly fun series. Contemporary romance fans won’t want to miss Man Hands.

Blog Tour: Darkness Matters by Jay McLean

Blog Tour

Title: Darkness Matters

Author: Jay McLean

Released: June 26, 2017

 

 

PURCHASE LINKS

 

 

BLURB
It’s the same old story, really.
Good versus evil.
Heroes versus villains.
Light versus dark.
For two years, college freshman Noah Morgan lived his life somewhere in the middle, fighting darkness and light, always searching for answers to a single question:
Why, Noah, why?
The same three words keep him up at night, struggling for air while gripping a plastic cylinder containing white pills to match the white label with his name printed in ink as deep and dark as his memories—memories that turned him into a recluse.
A shut-in.
An introvert.
Luckily for him, that’s not how the girl next door sees him.

 

 

REVIEW

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

I’m sort of at a loss of what to tell you about Darkness Matters. The blurb only gives you a peek at what this book is about. It doesn’t even give you a whole peek, only half a peek. There’s so much more to this story than the blurb even hints at. I want to tell you so much about it, but I refuse to give anything away. I’m only going to give you the bare bones here.

Jay McLean is a writer who always surprises me. I’m never exactly sure what I’m in for when I begin one of her novels. I definitely didn’t expect what Darkness Matters delivered. It was brilliantly written (which I expected because, come on, it’s Jay McLean I’m talking about here). The story was told in three different points of view, and alternated between past and present. Bits and pieces of the characters’ past and current situation were dealt out slowly throughout the story. I thought I knew where the characters were coming from or where they were headed, but I was always missing something due to those pieces. It made for amazingly shocking moments.

The main characters, Noah and Andromeda (Andie), were beautifully broken. Both had a darkness in their past that clouded their present. Each was fighting for life in a different way. Their meeting wreaked havoc in their lives. Noah and Andie’s  attraction to each other threatened the stability each strove for. Darkness Matters wasn’t exactly their loves story, but how knowing each other changed their lives for the better.

I know I mentioned a third point of view above, but I’m going to let you discover that person on your own. I was surprised by the point of view, and it shaped the story in a way I never would have expected. It still leaves me with a lot of questions.

Heck, the whole book leaves me with questions. I’m not sure if Jay McLean means for “The End” to be the end for these characters, but I hope not. There is so much more I’m dying to know! I am 99.9% positive that everyone who reads this book will feel that way. There were so many revelations made toward the end, my head was spinning. I didn’t get all the answers I wanted. I need more!

Darkness Matters was an addicted read that I loved. It was gritty and raw, but surprisingly sweet and inspiring. If you’re a fan of new adult novels and haven’t read a book by Jay McLean book yet, you’re missing out. I’ve read all but one of her novels and highly recommend all of them, especially Darkness Matters.

 

GIVEAWAY
Enter to win a signed paperback of Darkness Matters, a $20 Amazon Gift Card or a $10 Amazon Gift Card.

 

AUTHOR BIO
Jay McLean is an international best-selling author and full-time reader, writer of New Adult Romance, and most of all, procrastinator. When she’s not doing any of those things, she can be found running after her two little boys, playing house and binge watching Netflix.
She writes what she loves to read, which are books that can make her laugh, make her hurt and make her feel.
Jay lives in the suburbs of Melbourne, Australia, in a forever half-done home where music is loud and laughter is louder.

 

Review: Bad Princess by Julianna Keyes

Bad Princess
Author: Julianna Keyes
Publication Date: November 27, 2017
Publisher: Julianna Keyes
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Note: I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Notorious for leaping off roofs, maiming foreign royals, and that twerking incident, Brinley Cantrella of Estau is nobody’s definition of a good princess. She’s fearless and bold, not good and gracious. And after a lifetime of being told she’s unfit to be queen, wearing the crown and helping to usher Estau into a new era is the one dream she’s never dared chase.

But when her older sister abdicates the throne, all Brinley has to do to inherit the role is not twerk, not maim anybody, and definitely not get caught fooling around topless with Prince Finn, her childhood crush, the only man she’s ever loved…and her sister’s former future husband.

Finn embodies the definition of good. Tall and handsome, serious and honorable, he always does the right thing—including agreeing to marry his ex’s sister to cover up this latest scandal. Brinley has fallen down stairs, broken teeth and broken bones, but this is the first time her heart has ever been broken. She now has the crown and the prince, and on the surface, life is good—but is being married to a man everyone swears could never love her back good enough?


I don’t always read princess stories, but when I do they’re by a trusted author. I had faith that Julianna Keyes could make me fall in love with her bad princess, and she totally did! Bad Princess was delightfully fun.

Princess Brinley wasn’t a horrible person, she was just a young woman who acted on her impulses. Sometimes they were good, most of the time they didn’t work out so well for her. Hence, her nickname Bad Princess. I loved that no matter what, Brinley stood true to who she was.

Prince Finn came across a little stuffy, but there was more hidden beneath his rule following exterior. I was surprised by how much I ended up loving him. All of the moments between Finn and Brinley were special and sweet. I didn’t expect their story to be what it was, and I loved that.

Another thing I loved were all of the side characters. They were all so animated. I could easily imagine them in my heads. The one that ended up shocking me the most was Princess Elle. I didn’t expect her at all. I’m hoping we get a story about her some day.

Bad Princess was a fun, fast-paced read filled with a lot of tenderness and little bit of sexiness. It would be a good starting point for those mature enough to advance from YA to NA royalty.

Cover Reveal: Behind the Bars by Brittainy C. Cherry

CRbccherry.jpg

Behind the Bars, the first standalone in the all-new Music Street Series from Brittainy C. Cherry is coming December 7th!

Behind the Bars Wrap.png

Behind the Bars by Brittainy C. Cherry

Release Date: December 7th, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Cover Designer: Kandi Steiner

Photographer: Perrywinkle Photographer

When I first met Jasmine Greene, she came in as raindrops.

I was the awkward musician, and she was the high school queen.

The only things we had in common were our music and our loneliness.

Something in her eyes told me her smile wasn’t always the truth.

Something in her voice gave me a hope I always wished to find.

And in a flash, she was gone.

Years later, she was standing in front of me on a street in New Orleans.

She was different, but so was I. Life made us colder. Harder. Isolated.

Caged.

Even though we were different, the broken pieces of me recognized the sadness in her.

Now she was back, and I wouldn’t make the mistake of letting her go again.

When I first met Jasmine Greene, she came in as raindrops.

When we met again, she was the darkest storm.

Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2vZ2rYx

About the Author:

Hi! I’m Brittainy! Join me as we travel through my mind as a Romance Author. This includes such things as my random thoughts, tricks, tips, things I’m learning, things I’m re-learning, things I’m forgetting, and my weird ways of crafting stories.

Connect with Brittainy:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BrittainyCherryAuthor/

Twitter: @BrittainyCherry

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Review: Ninja Girl by Cookie O’Gorman

Ninja Girl
Author: Cookie O’Gorman
Publication Date: March 30, 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Snow-Soon Lee kicks ass–literally. She teaches at her family-owned martial arts gym, The Academy, and cares more about training to be the next Bruce Lee than hooking up. In fact, Snow’s never even been kissed. But when Girls Night rolls around, Snow decides to prove to her friends (and herself) that she’s not just some boring tomboy. Impulsively, she kisses a hot stranger and even manages to escape his two security guards.

One stolen kiss…

Ash Stryker’s senior year sucks. His politician father pulled him out of Chariot High, separating him from his championship-winning soccer team. Now he’s stuck at a prissy private school with no friends, no team and no chance of being scouted. On top of that, thanks to the death threats his dad’s received, Ash has a security tail aka professional babysitters. When the mystery girl from the movies shows up at his school, rappelling from the rafters, Ash knows one thing: he won’t let her get away again.

One interesting job proposition…

After a seemingly random attack, Ash’s mother surprises everyone. She hires Snow to be Ash’s personal bodyguard until after the election. But can Snow’s kick-ass skills hold up against the rising threats to Ash’s family? More importantly, can Ash convince his ninja girl to screw ethics and kiss him again?

Opposites attract in this YA romance where a smooth talker meets his match in the tough girl who (literally) sweeps him off his feet. Moral of the story:

Sometimes even bad boys need a bodyguard.


I adored Ninja Girl. I adored it so much. I thought I might considering I loved Cookie O’Gorman’s Adorkable, but I loved it even more than that book. Ninja Girl was one of those books that made me happy the entire time I was reading it. It was so cute!

Ninja Girl is a book I will want my daughter to read when she’s older because of how Snow’s character was portrayed. It’s how every female character should be portrayed. Snow was physically and mentally strong, and she was super smart. She had her insecurities just like all teenage girls, but Snow knew those things weren’t what was important at the end of the day. I loved that Snow was the hero of the story.

Another cool thing about Snow was that she was Korean. I don’t know much about the Korean culture, so I can’t say whether it was a good representation or not, but I liked how it was included in everything from food to family to language. It was cool to see how Snow’s life experiences compared to Ash’s.

Ash was your typical YA love interest. He gets bonus points, though. Ash may have wanted to be “the man” and save his woman at times, but he also respected the fact that she could save herself. He was able to let go of what society might suggest is what should be or happen, and let Snow guide him. It made their relationship equal. I loved it.

Snow’s character was my favorite part of this book, but the plot was a close second. I loved the mystery behind it (even though I could guess who it was). It was fun how Snow and her mom worked into that. I also liked how it set up Snow and Ash’s relationship.

I can’t get over how stinking cute Ninja Girl was! Seriously, everything about it was cute. It was exactly what I’m looking for when I reach for a YA contemporary romance. Ninja Girl has officially cemented Cookie O’Gorman as one of my go-to YA authors. You need to read it!

Review: Killman Creek by Rachel Caine

Killman Creek
Series: Stillhouse Lake, #2
Author: Rachel Caine
Publication Date: December 12, 2017
Publisher: Thomas and Mercer
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Every time Gwen closed her eyes, she saw him in her nightmares. Now her eyes are open, and he’s not going away.

Gwen Proctor won the battle to save her kids from her ex-husband, serial killer Melvin Royal, and his league of psychotic accomplices. But the war isn’t over. Not since Melvin broke out of prison. Not since she received a chilling text…

You’re not safe anywhere now.

Her refuge at Stillhouse Lake has become a trap. Gwen leaves her children in the protective custody of a fortified, well-armed neighbor. Now, with the help of Sam Cade, brother of one of Melvin’s victims, Gwen is going hunting. She’s learned how from one of the sickest killers alive.

But what she’s up against is beyond anything she feared—a sophisticated and savage mind game calculated to destroy her. As trust beyond her small circle of friends begins to vanish, Gwen has only fury and vengeance to believe in as she closes in on her prey. And sure as the night, one of them will die.


Killman Creek was one of my most anticipated releases of the winter. The end of Stillhouse Lake promised the mystery and suspense would go on. I couldn’t wait to find out what was next for Gwen, her children, Sam and Melvin.

Tension ran high in Killman Creek. I was constantly on the edge of my seat, and slightly uncomfortable the entire time waiting for something horrible to happen. I feared for all of the characters. My fears didn’t stop me from reading this gem of a thriller, though. I couldn’t put Killman Creek down. It was just as fast paced as Stillhouse Lake, but the stakes were higher. Rachel Caine kept the twists and turns coming right up until the very end.

One of my favorite things about Killman Creek was how the relationships between the characters were constantly changing. No one was ever one hundred percent sure about anyone. The relationships really helped drive the story, especially the slightly awkward relationship between Sam and Gwen.

Killman Creek was the perfect follow-up, and a stand out thriller all on its own. I absolutely loved it. If you loved Stillhouse Lake, this book will exceed your expectations. Be ready for some surprises!