Review: Last Semester by Corine Mekaouche

Last Semester
Author: Corine Mekaouche
Publication Date: April 21, 2017
Publisher: Corine Mekaouche
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary
Note: I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Synopsis:

When Johanna ‘Jo’ Gold, witty college life blogger and senior at Rutan University, decides to move in with three male strangers her last semester of school, her life unexpectedly turns upside down. While dealing with her new roommates, A.J., the pompous rich kid who feels trapped in following his father’s footsteps; Rob, the prematurely engaged former womanizer who tries to force Jo out of the house at all costs; and Drew, the 21-year-old virgin genius whose encounters with women have been more than limited, Jo learns that change isn’t always easy and it’s up to her to learn how to survive the remainder of her time at Rutan the best that she can. Along with searching for her missing mother, figuring out a clever way to pay for school tuition on her own, and dealing with the childish pranks brought on by a certain roommate, Jo’s issues seem more complicated than the average 21-year-old. Can Jo endure the dramatic perils of college while planning for life after graduation?


When I started reading Last Semester, I was expecting it to be a lot like other books I’ve read where a girl or guy moves in with roommates of the opposite sex and falls for one of them. That wasn’t the story line for Last Semester. Last Semester wasn’t a romance, but a mature coming of age story.

In Last Semester, Jo decides she’s ready to make some big changes in her life for her last semester in college. Her first big change is moving out of the dorms. She rents a room in a house close to campus where her new roommates are three guys. The first guy, A.J., is a rich, womanizing manwhore. The second, Rob, is a major prick who proposed to the girlfriend he keeps cheating one. The final roommate is Drew. Drew talks like Sheldon Cooper and has kept his virginity in tact almost as long. Jo thinks she’s prepared to live with three guys, but she had no idea how challenging it would be — especially when her boyfriend Chris isn’t exactly excited about the arrangement. The longer Jo and the boys live together, the more they begin to learn from each other. Each roommate is graduating at the end of the semester, and each has something big to discover before then.

Like I said, this book wasn’t a romance novel. It was a story about four young adults finding their way into adulthood. Each character had a romantic or sexual relationship going on in the story, but those relationships weren’t the main focus. The main focus was on the four roommates’ relationships with each other and the things they discovered about themselves as they prepared for adulthood. I have to admit that I would have loved for Jo to have fallen for one of her roommates, but I respected that she didn’t. It made Last Semester stand out from other new adult novels. It was truly about the connections they made and the friendships they developed.

I really enjoyed the way Last Semester was told. It was written in first person and each of the four roommates narrated. Each voice was distinctive and had so much character. I loved Jo, A.J., Rob and Drew so much! There were also blog posts written by Jo sprinkled throughout the book. I understood their value to Jo’s prospective career as a writer, but there was only one or two entries that stood out to me. They were just an added extra to me.

My favorite thing about this book had to be the hilarious antics that took place. There were so many great moments that had me laughing out loud. Let’s just say there were several times I was happy I wasn’t a roommate at “Menstrual Mansion”. I’m not sure I could have handled everything that went down in that house. It sure made for an entertaining story.

The only big issue I had with Last Semester was the ending. To be more specific, the very end. It felt abrupt. I turned the page and couldn’t believe there wasn’t more. The author left the reader hanging when she could have resolved an important part of the story line. It made me wonder if there would be a sequel, but a sequel would be odd since all the characters are moving on separately with their lives after college.

If you’re looking for a new adult novel that’s not all about romance, Last Semester would be the one to read. It was fun, fresh and contained a ton of character growth.

Review: Cheater by Rachel Van Dyken

Cheater
Series: Curious Liaisons, #1
Author: Rachel Van Dyken
Publication Date: February 28, 2017
Publisher: Skyskape
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Note: I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Synopsis:

Lucas Thorn wasn’t born a cheater. All it took was a single moment—say, a certain disastrous incident on the night before his wedding—and boom. Reputation destroyed forever and always. So now he owns it. He has a lady friend for every night of the week (except Sundays—God’s day and all), and his rules are simple: No commitments. No exceptions.

But a certain smart-mouthed, strawberry blonde vixen is about to blow that all to hell.

Avery Black has never forgiven Lucas for cheating on her sister. And suddenly being forced to work with him is pretty much a nightmare on steroids. Of course, it does afford her the opportunity to make his life as difficult as possible. But no good revenge scheme comes without payback. Because he didn’t become the Lucas Thorn without learning a few things about women.

Now Avery’s lust for vengeance has turned into, well, lust. And if Lucas stops cheating, it’s definitely not because he’s falling in love…


Cheater is one of those books people are probably either going to love or hate. It’s title alone is a testament to what’s to come in this romance. But don’t write Cheater off simply because cheating is a turnoff for you. It’s one of those stories that can’t quite be judged by that trigger.

Lucas Thorne has come to terms with the fact that he’s a cheater. To avoid making the horrible mistake he made ruining his own wedding, he’s come up with a system that works for him to avoid hurting yet another unsuspecting woman. Things are going great until his ex-fiancee’s younger sister turns out to be his newest employee. Being around Avery again reminds Lucas of what once was and what might possibly could be.

I have to admit that when I first started Cheater I was a lot turned off by Lucas Thorne and his hoard of women. Imagining my hero with a bunch of women isn’t exactly something I like to do. There were little sparks of hope for Lucas Thorne, though; so I kept reading. I’m happy I did because there were so many pieces to the Lucas Thorne puzzle that were revealed that reshaped the way I saw him. I didn’t find him to be the perfect hero, but one that was ultimately good underneath all of his flaws.

Avery was a little shocking to me. I didn’t really get her attraction to Lucas at first. I expected the hate and rudeness she doled out, but wasn’t ready for that to morph into something completely opposite. I had to keep reminding me that people fall in love with the siblings’ exes all the time.

What made me end up falling in love with Lucas and Avery’s relationship was the way their separate and combined histories were shared piece by piece. Once I had the whole picture, it was easy to see how perfect they were for each other. I loved how their relationship ended up playing out and every little bit of craziness that happened along the way.

I’ve always enjoyed Rachel Van Dyken’s books, but I have to give her extra props for making fall in love with a cheater. If that doesn’t prove what a talented writer she is, I don’t know what would. I can’t wait to read the next book in this series. I can only imagine how Rachel Van Dyken is going to redeem the next cheater.

Launch Day Blitz Review & Excerpt: Almost a Bride by Jo Watson

**Newly revised and expanded, Wattpad sensation Jo Watson’s ALMOST A BRIDE is now available in print for the first time!**


Title: ALMOST A BRIDE
Author: Jo Watson
Series: Destination Love, #2
On Sale: January 31, 2017
Publisher: Forever
Trade Paperback: $14.99 USD
eBook: $4.99 USD
Add to Goodreads

Synopsis:

Annie knows life isn’t always fair. Sometimes you win. Sometimes you lose. Sometimes you get mistaken for a crazed intruder when you come home early and find your boyfriend wearing nipple clamps with a coworker on the night you thought he was going to propose to you.

The important thing is to move on, and for Annie that means treating herself to a tropical vacation. But when she runs into her ex and his new woman staying at the same resort, reason is washed out to sea. Caught off guard, Annie pretends she’s with Chris, a cute screenwriter she meets on the beach. With his own writing blocked, Chris is happy to help Annie craft a story to save face. Soon Annie isn’t just getting over her ex, she’s getting under Chris. As her fictional feelings grow increasingly real, Annie has to decide if she’s ready to risk her heart on a new relationship.

Review:

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Note: I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

About six months ago, I was asked if I would like to participate in the blog tour for Jo Watson’s romance novel Burning Moon (Destination Love, #1). Saying yes was one of the best book decisions I’ve ever made because it introduced me to Jo Watson’s brilliant writing and witty humor. I loved every moment of reading Burning Moon, and when the option to be part of the blog tour for Almost a Bride (Destination Love, #2) came about, I said yes without hesitation.

Almost a Bride follows Annie as she tries to mend the heart her cheating ex-boyfriend broke. When her ex-boyfriend, Trevv, and his new girlfriend show up at the same resort Annie’s vacationing at, she’s forced to take desperate measures to show she’s happily moved on. Annie introduces them to her new fake-boyfriend, a man she’s just met. Luckily for Annie, Chris is looking for some writing inspiration and is willing to join the charade. The longer Annie and Chris play boyfriend and girlfriend, the closer the more their relationship starts to feel less fake and more real.

Once again, Jo Watson has crafted a hilariously heartwarming romance. I love how she’s able to take a character from heartbreak and bring them full circle through self-discovery. Her characters may be hurt, but they’re not down for the count. They always find their true selves and the things in life they’re made for. It’s so refreshing!

I fell in love with Annie Anne the minute I began reading her story. She was so awesome, and I identified with her brokenhearted madness. (I kind of feel like the author modeled her after me in my early 20’s, but I probably shouldn’t be admitting that!) I mean, who hasn’t played up their lives in front of an ex? Annie pulled off what we all wish we could have at some point in our lives.

Chris was the perfect guy for Annie to meet. He was sexy in a cute, goofy way. I loved the instant connection and joking nature Annie and Chris had. It made their quick decent into love feel possible. They were so perfect together, and the chemistry between them was palpable. Every minute of their romance was adorable.

I probably shouldn’t love the villains in this story, but were just too dang perfect. Trevv and Tess were something else. Seriously, I laughed so hard at their antics.

If you love contemporary romances and haven’t yet met Jo Watson’s novels, you’re missing out. She’s quickly become one of my favorite contemporary romance writers. I highly recommend both Burning Moon and Almost a Bride.

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EXCERPT:

I knew something was wrong the second I walked up to my front door.

Call it intuition. Call it a sixth sense. But I just knew.

I blame the shoes. The shoes were undoubtedly the cause of all the

problems that day. It was the shoes’ fault that I came home early, and

the shoes’ fault I was fired.

I suppose I can’t blame the shoes for making me late, though—

that was the alarm clock’s fault for rudely deciding not to do its job.

And when I finally realized, through the thick haze of sleepiness,

that it hadn’t gone off, it was too late. I was already late for work.

And when I say work, I mean my brand-new job—job of my

dreams—as a fashion assistant at Glamorous Girl mag.

I’d just made a total career change, leaving behind a successful job

as a stylist in advertising to pursue a job in the magazine industry. It

was early days, so I was still desperately trying to impress by being

perfect, polite, and oh so obliging. Whether it was the request for

the latte to be served at 97.7 degrees with no sugar, soy milk froth,

and a sprinkling of organic cocoa powder flown in directly from

the foothills of the Andes. Or whether it was for the jasmine-and-lavender-

scented candles to be burned in the office for exactly ten

minutes before my boss arrived—that was me.

Little Miss Annie Obliging.

Because let’s face it, the word assistant is just a glammed-up euphemism

for slave. But I was ambitious and determined, so when I

realized I wouldn’t be able to attend to the scented candles, or fetch

the latte, I panicked. So much so, that I left the house without the

said troublemaking, life-ruining, world-annihilating shoes.

Let’s take a moment to talk about the shoes. They weren’t

ordinary shoes, oh no, they were none other than the just-off-the-

Paris-catwalk-and-not-for-sale-to-mere-mortals-yet Christian Louboutins.

They also happened to be the centerpieces for that day’s

shoot.

The same rushed panic that had caused me to forget the shoes in

the first place had also left me with barely enough time to scrape my

hair back into a casual bun and slip on a creased T-shirt and pair of

jeans from my floor.

The latter is a bigger sin than you think. Because where I

work, wearing anything other than the most fashionable apparel

is sacrilege. People practically throw holy water at you and start

wailing in Latin for fear that you’ve been possessed by the demon

of bad fashion. In fact, a real demon possession, complete with a

backward-rolling head and the ability to speak in tongues, would

be preferable to the demon of last season’s handbag and Crocs

sandals.

So when I finally got to work, underdressed, out of breath, without

the shoes, and over an hour late, I was in serious trouble.

My boss was throwing a hissy fit, due to lack of flowery scents in

her office, and her personal assistant Cedric was in the throes of an

overly dramatic caffeine withdrawal, due to lack of latte.

And it kept getting worse.

Two hours later the panicky fashion director summoned the

Louboutins. Those shoes had been troublemakers from the start. It

had been an absolute trauma getting them in the first place. They’d

been flown into South Africa late the previous night, and I’d been

tasked with collecting them. Everyone was holding their collective

breath for the grand arrival. So when I was forced to confess to their

absence…well, you can only imagine.

When lunch finally arrived, I jumped into my car and sped home.

I had exactly one hour to get in and out before the photo shoot, more

than enough time.

I pulled into my driveway at breakneck speed, ran for the front

door, slipped my house keys into the lock, and turned—

But…

Something made me stop.

Something told me not to go inside.

Something was very wrong.

I looked around nervously. Everything seemed normal. Peter

across the road was blasting his TV as usual, the ratbag Chihuahua

from number 45 was running up and down the garden perimeter

yapping at an unseen force, and Mildred, my neighbor, was outside

watering her hydrangeas.

So why was I hesitating?

I took a deep breath and inched the door open.

Nothing looked out of place.

Everything was exactly the way I’d left it.

Yet everything felt wrong.

I slunk down the hallway toward the kitchen, where I knew I’d

find the shoes perched next to the coffeepot. But once inside, I was

hit by a terribly eerie sensation…someone was in the house. A shiver

licked the length of my spine when my suspicions were confirmed.

Creeeeaaakkk…A noise was coming from my bedroom directly

above me.

Shit, shit, shit, there was an intruder in the house!

I launched myself at the cutlery drawer, grabbing the largest knife

I could find while simultaneously dialing the police and still managing

to hold on to the shoes for dear life.

“Police! Help, there’s an intruder in my house. Forty-Seven Mendelssohn

Road, Oaklands. Quick.”

Now what? I’d never been in a situation like this before. What

was the correct protocol? Should I hide, evacuate the house, attack

the intruder, scream loudly? Or perhaps a combination of the above?

I thought for a second before deciding to get the fuck out of there!

But just as I had one foot safely installed outside the front door, I

heard another noise. This time it was different. It was…

It sounded like…

My blood ran cold.

But it couldn’t be. Trevv was at work. Trevv had a very important

day in court, he told me. His client’s final hearing was today. Right

now, in fact. I’d called him from my office about an hour ago and

he’d told me he was in court.

He was in court, dammit!

I started climbing the stairs.

More noises.

Two voices?

But that was impossible…wasn’t it?

The noises grew louder and louder the farther up the stairs I

went. I’m not really sure at what point I knew what the noises were

or knew what I was going to see when I opened the door. But I just

knew.

It’s one thing walking in on your boyfriend having sex with another

woman, but it’s another thing entirely walking in on him the

second the other woman is coming. She was facing the door but was

bouncing up and down so vigorously that her face was a blur. And

then suddenly her body stiffened, she threw her head back, opened

her mouth, and let out a high-pitched wail. As if that wasn’t self explanatory

enough, she decided to toss in a few words for good

measure.

“Yes, Trevvy, yes. Oh my God, oh my God, oh Trevvy. Harder!

Ah, ah, ah.” Pant, pant, pant “I’m coming!” *Long high-pitched

scream*

Now…there were several things wrong with this picture, aside

from the obvious. Firstly, who the hell screams like that in bed? No

one does! Sex is not so good that you have to break the sound barrier

with your squealing dolphin sounds. Secondly, what the hell was

she wearing? She was clad in some kind of leathery studded number

that looked like it had been worn by one of the Village People. And

to make matters worse, Trevv was blindfolded with the tie that I had

bought him two Christmases ago and…OH MY GOD…were those,

were those…nipple clamps?

I felt sick to my stomach.

And thirdly, who was this mystery woman without an ounce of cellulite,

without the slightest smidge of fat, and with boobs that seemed

to defy all known natural laws of gravity and motion? Which

woman can be that damn perfect…

…and then her features came into focus and the answer dawned

on me.

Tess.

Tess Blackman.

My boyfriend’s “coworker.” The woman I’d invited into

my home on several occasions for dinner. The woman that I always

phoned when I couldn’t get hold of Trevv, because I knew they

were probably together working on a case, tired and exhausted and

burning the midnight oil when they’d rather be at home with their

significant others. She had a fiancé after all.

Poor overworked Trevv and Tess.

God, I was naive.

But the show didn’t end there. Tess’s eyes were still closed when

Trevv started making some delightful grunting-moaning-squeaking

sounds. He’d never made sounds like that with me before. His sweaty

hands reached up and grabbed at her hungrily.

Faster.

Harder.

Loud, long moan.

I was frozen. It’s hard to know what to do when you watch your

partner of two years with his penis somewhere you wouldn’t even

like to imagine, let alone witness in full blinding daylight.

Once all their postcoital panting had tapered off, Tess opened her

eyes and saw me standing in the doorway. The look on her face was

indescribable. Shock and horror and fear all at the same time. And

then she opened her mouth and screamed.

Trevv then turned his head toward the door and whipped off his

blindfold. Our eyes locked and then he did something truly bizarre.

Unexpected. He grabbed Tess by the hand and dragged her to the

other side of the bed.

“Anne, please…you don’t want to do this.” Trevv threw his hands

in the air defensively. He looked terrified. She was bleating hysterically

by this stage.

What was going on? Wasn’t I the jilted one? Wasn’t I the one

that was supposed to be upset? I started walking toward them, which

seemed to only make matters worse.

“Anne, please. Please.” He seemed to be begging now. “Think

about what you’re doing. I know this is bad, but this isn’t the way to

handle it. Please don’t do this.”

Things happened pretty quickly after that. Suddenly, the room

was filled with armed police officers. I was about to tell them they

could all go home, when Trevv cut me off.

“She has a knife. She’s going to kill us!” he shouted, pointing at me.

What knife? I glanced at my hands, and that’s when I realized I

was still holding the large knife, and it was pointed in their direction.

I quickly turned to explain. “I wasn’t going to—”

“Ma’am…” One of the police officers cut me off and started creeping

toward me as if I was a feral pit bull that hadn’t eaten in a week.

“Put down your weapon.”

“I swear, this isn’t what you think, I was just trying to—”

BAM! Face on floor, handcuffs around wrists.

Three really painful things happened at that point: One, the knife

slipped and cut the entire length of my palm. Two, some of my

newly acquired, gorgeous nails snapped off. And three, the crystal-encrusted,

six-inch heel of the priceless Louboutin snapped off,

rolled across the floor lifelessly, and disappeared under the bed.

 

THE DESTINATION LOVE SERIES:

BURNING MOON, #1
ALMOST A BRIDE, #2
FINDING YOU, #3

Series Page on Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jo Watson is an award-winning writer of romantic comedies. Burning Moon won a Watty Award in 2014. Jo is an Adidas addict and a Depeche Mode devotee.

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Blog Tour Review: Corrupt Me by Jillian Quinn


Corrupt Me

Series: Philly Corruption, #1
Author: Jillian Quinn
Publication Date: January 17, 2017
Goodreads

Purchase Links:
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Synopsis:

Izzie Rinaldi has everything going for her. All she has to do is make it through her senior year of college, and then she’ll be off to law school, one step closer to assuming her position at the head of her family’s empire. After a chance encounter with the campus bad boy, Izzie can’t get him out of her head.

Luca Marchese, the smooth-talking son of the most notorious man in Philadelphia, is used to getting what he wants. He hasn’t forgotten the girl he knew as a child, and now that he has Izzie’s attention, Luca will stop at nothing to have her.

Luca’s defiance of the law turns Izzie on more than she cares to admit. She wants Luca to corrupt her in every way possible, despite his reputation as the king of one-night stands. Their attraction is undeniable, but their desire for one another isn’t enough for Izzie to overlook visits from federal agents and the potential ruin of her family.

Linked to Luca and a criminal underworld, Izzie discovers she’s more like him than she thought. But a future with Luca could mean swapping her diamond bracelets for a pair of handcuffs.

*Corrupt Me is a standalone novel that is the first book in the Philly Corruption series.

Review:

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Note: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an unbiased review.

Corrupt Me is a novel by one of my fellow bloggers, Jillian from Rant and Rave About Books. I love her blog, so I was very excited to read her novel. I was especially interested because it fell into my favorite romance genre, new adult.

I was very impressed with Jillian’s writing in Corrupt Me. Corrupt Me was a romance filled with deep layers. It wasn’t all about Izzie and Luca getting in bed together. Each had their own issues to deal with. The way their histories and futures overlapped was well done. Not all bloggers would be able to make the switch to writer so easily and well.

Izzie was a fierce character who had complete confidence in herself. She knew she had everything going to for herself, and she wasn’t afraid to stand up for what she wanted. Izzie had a plan for her life and she was doing everything she could to stick to it. Her only “fault” was giving into her attraction to Luca. The connection they shared was too hard to break…if even she had truly wanted to break it.

Luca was a typical fraternity womanizer — until he reconnected with the one woman he couldn’t live with out. He was willing to do anything to get her to let go with him. He wasn’t perfect, but he tried to be the perfect guy for Izzie.

Izzie and Luca’s relationship was a volatile one. There was a lot of “were they going to do this thing or weren’t they” throughout the story. It gave their relationship a slow burn feel, and cemented their bond to each other. There was only one moment in the story I was surprised their bond could survive. I wouldn’t have been as forgiving or lenient as Izzie was, not matter what their relationship status was. I didn’t quite believe her subdued reaction.

My favorite part of Corrupt Me was the game of cat and mouse that Izzie played with Luca before she was ready to give in to her feelings. Her hot and cold attitude was so much fun to read. I loved her feisty attitude when she turned it at the male members of the population. It was so much fun to read.

Corrupt Me was an interesting and fun multi-layered romance. Readers who are looking for a fun romance that delves into the mob life and family obligations are sure to be entertained by Corrupt Me.

About the Author:

Jillian Quinn was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and currently lives in sunny Cape Coral, Florida where she still pretends it’s okay to drink hot chocolate and curl up on the couch with a good book, even when it’s ninety degrees outside. From an early age, writing and storytelling have been her passion. In her spare time, she loves creating fictional worlds and living inside the minds of her characters as well as reading, art, and watching basketball and hockey.

Jillian is also a successful book blogger, dubbed by her followers as The Queen of Rants after making her blog, Rant and Rave About Books, a popular destination in the bookish community because of her honesty and passion for books.

Corrupt Me is her first novel with other young adult and new adult titles to follow.

Stalker Links
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Review: Taking Chances by Molly McAdams

15739018Taking Chances
Series: Taking Chances, #1
Author: Molly McAdams
Publication Date: October 12, 2016
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆

Synopsis:

Her first year away is turning out to be nearly perfect, but one weekend of giving in to heated passion will change everything.

Eighteen-year-old Harper has grown up under the thumb of her career marine father. Ready to live life her own way and to experience things she’s only ever heard of from the jarheads in her father’s unit, she’s on her way to college at San Diego State University.

Thanks to her new roommate, Harper is introduced to a world of parties, gorgeous guys, family, and emotions. She finds herself being torn in two as she quickly falls in love with both her new boyfriend, Brandon, and her roommate’s brother, Chase. Despite their dangerous looks and histories, both men adore Harper and would do anything for her, including taking a step back if it would mean she’d be happy.


I feel horrible saying this, but I hated this book. Hated it. It really should have been a 1 star review for me. Taking Chances is getting 2 stars for one reason alone:

Molly McAdams can write.

While I hated the story, I still wanted to know what was going to happen. Molly McAdams’ tale twisted and turned so quickly I didn’t know what end was up. It was like watching a train wreck. I couldn’t take my eyes away from it. It made me so mad because I didn’t want to finish reading the book. I was constantly uncomfortable and crabby.

Taking Chances was one of the worst love triangles I’ve ever read. It started out okay. I thought I was really going to like Harper with her military single dad upbringing, but she quickly became someone I loathed. I never once empathized with her. She just wasn’t a good person. What she did throughout the whole story was really immature and wrong. Her lack of guilt was horrible.

Harper wasn’t the only character I couldn’t stand, though. There was something seriously wrong with Chase. You don’t chase after your friend’s woman. I don’t care if you saw her first or love her or whatever. I’m probably going to get flack for saying that because a lot of readers loved his sweet ways, but he should have backed off.

As for Brandon…I never connected with his character. I felt sorry for the guy, but that was about it.

The only character I rooted for at all was Carter. That definitely didn’t turn out the way I had hoped.

The characters weren’t the only thing messed up about this story. All I could do at the end was shake my head. It was all sorts of crazy.

I don’t know if I would recommend this book at all or not. I guess if you don’t mind cheating and love crazy situations, then go for it. I will say that I think Molly McAdams is a skilled writer, and I will try another one of her books in the future.

Review: Author Anonymous by E.K. Blair

29613610-1Author Anonymous
Author: E.K. Blair
Publication Date: August 29, 2016
Genre: Romance, Erotica, Based on a True Story

Rating: Unrated – Explanation in review.

Synopsis:

*An intoxicatingly risqué stand-alone book.

She’s an author.
She’s a mother.
She’s a wife.
She’s a fraud, a woman marked and bound by her own deceit.

Experience the astounding tale of how Anonymous battled through a year of scandals and betrayals, how her world fell from its axis with a single choice, and how she lost herself between reality and fantasy.

This is a stand-alone tangled in lust, heartbreak, and contrition.

*Based on a true story.


I’m going to start out by apologizing for this review. It is going to be one giant rant. That can’t be helped, so I’m sorry. I’m also going to warn that if you’re not into books with cheating, this one definitely isn’t for you. The entire focus of Author Anonymous is cheating. There’s nothing happy in it either, so if you’re looking for a dark but uplifting romance this isn’t it.

Let’s start with what I actually liked about this book. E.K. Blair deserves 5 stars for her writing. It’s dark, gritty, and unapologetic. I applaud her for being able to portray the characters the way she did. Their actions and thoughts were hard to read, so they had to be hard to write.

Now for the rant…

I wanted to DNF this book so badly. I basically had to force myself to read it. It was morally disturbing to me. I hated the main character Tori. I hated her thoughts, her actions, her truths. Nothing about what she did was okay. I don’t care what her reasons were. I’m a wife and mother. I’ve been married for 10 years, so I can understand some of her complaints about her marriage but nothing excuses her from the choices she made. I try not to be judgemental, but I’m judging here. She knew what she was doing the entire time. It was intentional. She knew she was hurting everyone around her and did it anyway.

It’s hard to explain my thoughts about the male characters in this “love triangle” without giving too much away, so I’ll keep it simple. I hated Alec. I didn’t trust anything about him. He was just as horrible as Tori. Landon was okay. He wasn’t an innocent bystander, but he wasn’t really malicious either. I understood why he did what he did and I was okay with it for the most part. I also want to point out that Landon said something about 40% in that I really agree with when it comes to cheating.

Obviously, reading Author Anonymous was a struggle for me. I was so looking forward to getting to the end and being able to come to terms with what this book had dealt me. I thought I was getting what I wanted until E.K. Blair did something I was not expecting. I don’t know whether to be pissed off at her or call her a genius. Considering how I felt about the story, I’d probably lean towards pissed off. If I hadn’t been reading this book on my Kindle, I would have thrown it at the wall or, better yet, burnt it!

I seriously hope the real Tori is never revealed. I don’t want to know who she is. I have to admit it took guts for her to ask E.K. Blair to write her story and put it out there. Although, now that I think about it, it seems like an attention-getting scheme.

Ugh. So how do I give Author Anonymous a rating? On one hand, the writing was brilliant. If it wasn’t based on a true story, I might have thought E.K. Blair was super creative for coming up with such a frustrating story and character. I do want to explore her other books. On the other hand, I hated this book the entire time I was reading it (except for maybe one or two chapters) partly because I knew it was based on a true story. I really did want to DNF it. I thought maybe I could come up with a middle ground rating, but I didn’t feel like any rating could properly portray my feelings. I guess that means I’m leaving it unrated. I will say that I’m glad that I was able to borrow this book from the Amazon Prime Kindle Lending Library. I think I would have been angry if I had spent money on a book that was so infuriating.

Review: Swelter by Nina G. Jones

Swelter
Author:
Nina G. Jones
Publication Date: January 1, 2015
Genre: Historical Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Synopsis:

I married the right brother.

At least that’s what I tell myself at night, when I stare at the ceiling and listen to the rhythm of the grandfather clock down the hall. It never feels like the mere passage of time, but a countdown towards something inevitable.

Bobby Lightly is selfish, irresponsible, and careless. I haven’t seen him since the day I married his brother. He slipped out during the wedding reception without a word.

A year later, I heard Bobby was drafted to Korea. He never said goodbye. Never sent a letter. We had all come to terms with the fact that he was probably dead somewhere, either a victim of the war or its aftermath.

That is, until in the midst of an unrelenting heatwave, he showed up at the doorstep of the house I lived in with his brother.

Everyone thinks I’m cruel. Everyone thinks I should be easy on him. They think I don’t understand him. They all think I hate him.

But what no one understands is that it was Bobby who broke my heart.

And I think he’s back to do it again.


This year I’ve been buddy reading through The Huffington Post’s Oh, You Little Heartbreaker! The Ultimate List of Ugly Cry Novels with some Goodreads friends. We’re tackling one each month and this month’s pick was Swelter.

Swelter takes place in 1950’s and is told from Lilly Lightly’s point of view. Lilly is an unhappy housewife trying make it through the sweltering summer months of 1957. Life with her childhood sweetheart Rory is nothing like she thought it would be. There’s a friction between the two that the rising summer heat is exacerbating. The return of Rory’s “dead” brother Bobby only makes things worse.

On the surface, it would seem that Lilly hates Bobby. He left Rory and Lilly when they needed him the most. But deep down, there’s more to Lilly’s anger than anyone knows. When Bobby left, he took the happiest pieces of her with him. His return from has only confirmed to Lilly what she always knew: She married the wrong Lightly. Now, Lilly is forced once again to choose between the two brothers who love her.

Swelter was a bit of a surprise to me. I didn’t realize that it was a historical romance before I started it. I really enjoyed the time frame of the story and how it shaped the love triangle between Lilly and the Lightly brothers. I was surprised at how sexy parts of it were for the era. I just imagined all sexual relationships were more demure in that time. Guess I was wrong. 😉

Another thing I really enjoyed about this book was the way the story was written. I didn’t like that the love triangle was between two brothers or that it involved cheating, but I thought the author made the choice of who to root for easy. One brother always outshone the other. I also loved the twists and turns I wasn’t expecting near the end.

Overall, Swelter was a really good book. The writing was exceptional and the storyline was addicting. I read the entire book in one day. I would recommend Swelter to readers who enjoy a heart wrenching historical romance and don’t mind cheating.