Release Blitz REVIEW: Hate to Love You by Tijan

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Hate to Love You, an all-new standalone from New York Times Bestseller Tijan is LIVE!

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Hate to Love You by Tijan
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Publication Date: August 28th

Rule #1: No hot guys.

It might sound ridiculous. I get it. It kind of is, but college was supposed to be my sanctuary. It was my place to start over. The rumors, the whispers, and the jealousy I endured through high school would all be gone.

No one would know me at college.

Rule #2: No drama.

I’d major in pre-law. I’d make a few loyal friends. Everything would be easy breezy. No one was going to use me or hurt me. I wouldn’t let them.

Rule #3: New year. New place. New me.

Right?

Wrong.

And all because of Shay Coleman.

Football captain and quarterback, he was the big guy on campus. The cocky guy in my political science class with a smirk. I hated him on sight . . .

. . . and he was about to break all my rules.

TIJAN-HTLY-AN KU

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My Review:

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½
Note: I received an ARC from Social Butterfly PR in exchange for an unbiased review.

Tijan is an author I recently started reading. I love her books set in high school or college. There’s something in them I connect with and they take me back to that time in life. I’m not sure if it’s the drama of that time or the new relationships that are formed during it. It’s probably a little bit of both. Either way, I felt that connection when reading Hate to Love You.

Hate to Love You is college freshman Kennedy Clarke’s story. Kennedy is happy to be leaving high school and her hometown behind. She’s done with drama of mean girls and cocky guys. Kennedy’s goals this year are to study and avoid any unnecessary drama. It’s easily done until her first day of class when Shay Coleman walks in the door. The quarterback is everything Kennedy should avoid, but can’t. Shay’s determined to make Kennedy part of his inner circle — whether she hates him or not.

I’ve enjoyed several of Tijan’s previous books, but this might just be my new favorite. I loved Kennedy and her standoffish personality. She had good reasons behind everything she did, even if her actions seemed drastic and borderline nuts. I loved her hesitancy to get involved with Shay, and the way she proclaimed she “hated” him. I also loved that Shay could see the real Kennedy, and knew there was something more behind her hatred of him. He pushed her in a good way. There relationships was so sweet and supportive.

There were only a couple things that disappointed me during Hate to Love You. One, I missed not getting Shay’s point of view. While I enjoyed the story told in solely in Kennedy’s voice, it would have been nice to have Shay’s, too. It could have brought another great dimension to the story. Second, this book was a 5 star read until Phoebe happened. She made the drama feel a little too crazy and almost repetitive. She came out of nowhere and her storyline was pretty out there. I didn’t feel it was needed.

Hate to Love You was a very entertaining and humorous love story.The characters were so much fun, and many of the supporting characters deserve their own books. I hope Tijan will make this book into a series.

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About Tijan:

Tijan is a New York Times Bestselling author that writes suspenseful and unpredictable novels. Her characters are strong, intense, and gut-wrenchingly real with a little bit of sass on the side. Tijan began writing later in life and once she started, she was hooked. She’s written multi-bestsellers including the Carter Reed Series, the Fallen Crest Series, and the Broken and Screwed Series among others. She is currently writing a new YA series along with so many more from north Minnesota where she lives with a man she couldn’t be without and an English Cocker she adores.

To find what to read next of hers, go to www.tijansbooks.com.

WALL STREET JOURNAL, NEW YORK TIMES, AND USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR

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Review: After Ever Happy by Anna Todd

After Ever Happy
Series: After, #4
Author: Anna Todd
Publication Date: February 24, 2015
Publisher: Gallery Books
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, New Adult

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Tessa and Hardin have defied all the odds, but will their fairy tale ending be turned on its head? AFTER EVER HAPPY…Life will never be the same. #HESSA

It’s never been all rainbows and sunshine for Tessa and Hardin, but each new challenge they’ve faced has only made their passionate bond stronger and stronger. But when a revelation about the past shakes Hardin’s inpenetrable façade to the core—and then Tessa suffers a tragedy—will they stick together again, or be torn apart?

As the shocking truth about each of their families emerges, it’s clear the two lovers are not so different from each other. Tessa is no longer the sweet, simple, good girl she was when she met Hardin—any more than he is the cruel, moody boy she fell so hard for. Tessa understands all the troubling emotions brewing beneath Hardin’s exterior, and she knows she’s the only one who can calm him when he erupts. He needs her.

But the more layers of his past come to light, the darker he grows, and the harder he pushes Tessa—and everyone else in his life—away. Tessa’s not sure if she really can save him—not without sacrificing herself. She refuses to go down without a fight. But who is she fighting for—Hardin or herself?


I liked this book. I can’t believe I’m saying that after my feelings for the previous books in this series. The only thing that’s kept me reading is Anna Todd’s knack for creating cliffhangers that I can’t resist. I’ve hated Tessa and Hardin’s abusive relationship for so long. I honestly can’t believe After Ever Happy had me changing my tune. I actually wanted Tessa and Hardin together in this book! Say what?

I wish Anna Todd would have written this book sooner in the series. After Ever Happy had everything I have wanted from this series in it. Tessa, Hardin and their relationship went places I wish they would have gone a lot sooner. If this somehow had been the second book in the series, things would have been so much better for me!

Tessa finally got a clue. She realized what everyone has known about her relationship with Hardin from the moment they met. I was proud of the growth she made in this book. Tessa finally made the changes she needed to make to change the cycle of her life. The changes Tessa made forced Hardin to confront his faults.

Hardin… Another thing I can’t believe I’m saying, but Hardin wowed me. He redeemed himself in ways I thought would never happen. Hardin did everything in his power to make himself a better person. He won me over, and I would have never ever expected that to happen. I have hated him for so long that I can’t even understand how I can love him now, but I do. Well, just in this book.

Tessa and Hardin’s relationship came full circle in After Ever Happy. It was just as drama filled as the rest of the series, but the drama felt less crazy and more productive. Everything that happened was for a reason and pushed Tessa and Hardin to the place they needed to be. Nothing felt completely unnecessary. (Well, except for Zed. He’s always unnecessary in my book). I was surprised at how much angst I felt, and how I longed for Tessa and Hardin to reach a happy place.

My only big complaint is that the last 25% of this books had way too many time jumps. I felt like an important time frame was skipped in the first two year jump. I liked some of the other jumps, but overall I was left with a lot of questions.

I’m happy I kept reading this series because this book was its salvation in my eyes. It dealt with Tessa and Hardin’s abusive relationship in a more positive way, and was able to show how long it can take to change an unhealthy pattern. I also have to say that Anna Todd’s writing has grown so much from the beginning to the end of this series. I am happy to say that I am finally excited to read more of her books. (Yes, that means I’ll be reading Before and Landon’s books.)

Review: After We Fell by Anna Todd

After We Fell
Series: After
Author: Anna Todd
Publication Date: December 30, 2014
Publisher: Gallery Books
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, New Adult

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

Synopsis:

Tessa and Hardin’s love was complicated before. Now it’s more confusing than ever. AFTER WE FELL…Life will never be the same. #HESSA

Just as Tessa makes the biggest decision of her life, everything changes. Revelations about first her family, and then Hardin’s, throw everything they knew before in doubt and makes their hard-won future together more difficult to claim.

Tessa’s life begins to come unglued. Nothing is what she thought it was. Not her friends. Not her family. The one person she should be able to rely on, Hardin, is furious when he discovers the massive secret she’s been keeping. And rather than being understanding, he turns to sabotage.

Tessa knows Hardin loves her and will do anything to protect her, but there’s a difference between loving someone and being able to have them in your life. This cycle of jealousy, unpredictable anger, and forgiveness is exhausting. She’s never felt so intensely for anyone, so exhilarated by someone’s kiss—but is the irrepressible heat between her and Hardin worth all the drama? Love used to be enough to hold them together. But if Tessa follows her heart now, will it be…the end?


In my review for After We Collided (After, #2), I said I didn’t want to continue this series but would because I had to know what crazy stuff Anna Todd could possibly come up with in the rest of the series. I couldn’t think of any crazier situations than she had already written. I mean, how much drama can one couple go through. Evidently, a lot because After We Fell continued the crazy.

Tessa and Hardin’s relationship continued to go through constant emotional upheaval. Their relationship sprung to abusive heights that disgusted me. I have said it in my previous reviews and I’ll say it again, Hardin needs psychological help. He is one messed up jerk. (And that’s putting it lightly.) Anna Todd gives us all these reasons why Hardin is the way he is, but it’s no excuse for how he treats Tessa. I was proud that he came to a couple of realizations in this book, but it didn’t rehabilitate him at all.

I was proud of Tessa a few times in this book. She’s began to realize things as well, and she did a better job of sticking up for herself. Tessa made some good decisions, but she has given Hardin too many chances. I still wish she would find a true knight in shining armor who wouldn’t treat her the way Hardin does. I was happy that she finally understood that Zed wasn’t her friend and how she ended up handling it.

There were several surprises in this book. Most I saw coming, but a couple shocked me. I was left wondering how Tessa and Hardin could know so many horrible people. I don’t think I’ve met this many horrible people in my lifetime. Maybe I have. I could be wrong. I just want to know where all the normal people are in their lives? Well, I guess they do have Landon, Karen and Kimberly.

I hate to say it, but I think the After series is starting to grow on me. Well, parts of it are at least. I know the series won’t end how I want it to, but I can curious to see how it all wraps up. So, yes, I will be reading the other books in this series.

Review: Beast by Elizabeth Reyes

Beast
Series: Boyle Heights, #2
Author: Elizabeth Reyes
Publication Date: August 4, 2017
Genre: Romance, Suspense, Contemporary, New Adult

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Synopsis:

She holds the power to tame the Beast . . .

or unleash him if he lets her in.

This close to turning his life around and just months away from the end of his probation, all Leo has to do is keep his inner demons in check.

But the Beast within is about to be reawakened.

One interview was all it was supposed to be. An interview with the daunting felon in the work-release program that leaves Allison breathless with anticipation for their next encounter.

Despite the risks of becoming involved, neither is able to fight the inexplicable draw they’re feeling.

Life keeps throwing them back together until the fateful night they stop fighting the inevitable and give into their desires. Suddenly, Leo has even more to look forward to in his new life.

Until his violent past catches up to him.

With the stakes infinitely higher now that Allison may also be at risk, the dormant Beast deep inside Leo threatens to unleash, ruining all the progress he’s made—worst of all any future with Allison.

My Review:

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

I have to admit that I wasn’t sure if Beast was going to be a book I would enjoy. Ali wasn’t one of my favorite characters when I read Lila (Boyle Heights, #1). I wasn’t fond of the disregard Ali had for her own safety in that book. Beast did a very good job of making me like and understand Ali. It overlapped the time frame of Lila and gave me new insight of Ali’s motivations and her falling for Beast.

Ali is one of the softest female character Reyes has written. She was young and sweet. Her insecurities about her body made her very easy to relate to. Ali was timid when it came to men, but also wasn’t afraid to go after what she wanted. It made her relationship with Beast pretty perfect. Beast was the typical Elizabeth Reyes alpha male. He was hard, older, and reluctant to corrupt Ali. He knew the most important thing was to keep Ali safe. I loved how their relationship built throughout the book, and developed into something really special.

I’m not a big romantic suspense fan, but I enjoyed the suspense created in Beast. It wasn’t over the top. It gradually increased throughout the book. Some of the twists in the story I expected, some caught me off guard. I liked how everything played out in the end. It wasn’t what I was expecting. That was a good thing.

Beast was a great addition to the Boyle Heights series. It had almost everything I want from an Elizabeth Reyes romance. (I did kind of miss a kick ass female character.) Beast was a fun read, and it made me excited for the next book in the series.

If you like diverse characters, alpha males, strong women and lots of fun drama, I highly recommend Beast or any other of Elizabeth Reyes’ novels.

Excerpt:

Reaching the room in question, Leo walked over to the car parked in front of the window and pretended to fumble with invisible keys at the door. He glanced up and saw the two figures move about in the room. That was when he got a glimpse of the other person—a much shorter person—who had long hair. There was a light on in the background possibly to the bathroom or hallway just outside the bathroom. The long-haired person’s body moved just so it was silhouetted by the light.

If Leo hadn’t been so obsessed with that ass and those curves he may not have been so sure it was her. The buzzing in his ears began even as he started toward the door, but only grew louder when both figures moved onto the bed. Fuck knocking. As soon as he was close enough, he kicked the door with the bottom of his foot as hard as he could. “Allison, you in there?”

Reviews: Checkmate: This is War / Checkmate: This is Love by Kennedy Fox

Checkmate: This is War
Series: Travis & Viola, #1
Author: Kennedy Fox
Publication Date: October 3, 2016
Publisher: Kennedy Fox Books LLC
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, New Adult

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Synopsis:

*An enemies to lovers romance*

Travis King is the worst kind of asshole.
He taunts me for being a good girl and mocks my high standards.
He’s cruel, crass, and has enough confidence to last two lifetimes.
And I hate him.

It wouldn’t matter so much if he were avoidable.

But considering he’s my older brother’s best friend and roommate, I see him more than I’d ever want to.

His sculpted abs and gorgeous eyes are a waste on such an egotistical man, which makes me hate him even more.

Even though I’ve had a crush on him since I was ten, the feelings weren’t mutual and he’s always made that very clear.

He’s always loved getting under my skin and one night against my better judgment, I let him in my bed.

I’ve succumbed to his manwhore ways, but that doesn’t change a thing.

Because the King is about to get played at his own game—and lose.

Checkmate.


Last month, I subscribed to The Bookworm Box. In my box was Kennedy Fox’s Checkmate: This is War. I was excited because this enemies to lovers story sounded right up my alley. It pretty much was.

Checkmate: This is War was incredibly well written. I could feel the hatred and longing rolling off the pages of this book. The banter was extremely witty and sexy. It fit well with the characters and their personalities. I was so happy this book was written in first person dual point of view because I’m not sure I would have liked either character if I hadn’t gotten in their heads. They were both a lot a little crazy.

Viola was your standard nerdy academic. She loved school, books and Harry Potter. She wasn’t completely nerdy, though. Viola was hotter than she knew. All the guys were dying to get a piece of her. (Kind of cliché, but it worked.) Luckily, her older cop brother could keep them away. I loved her cheeky attitude and the fire with which she hated to love Travis. I just wish there had more behind her hate of him. When I finally found out why she hated him, I hate to say it, I thought it was a little lame. It made her seem immature.

Travis was a cocky womanizer. He wasn’t nice. He wasn’t sweet. Honestly, there wasn’t really much to like about him other than his relationship with Viola. He had horrible extracurricular activities (if you know what I mean). Even though they were setting up the story, they weren’t that fun to read when I wanted him with Viola. He was way hotter with Viola.

Viola and Travis’ chemistry was so far off the charts. Heck, I could only imagine how uncomfortable she was after all their nights together. He put her body through the ringer. It was fun to read, but Viola was probably singing Ariana Grande’s Side to Side when she was walking to class.

Even though this book wasn’t exactly perfect in every way, I still enjoyed reading it. I flew through it. The cliffhanger ending left me wanting more and ensured that I immediately downloaded book two to read.


Checkmate: This is Love
Series: Travis & Viola, #2
Author: Kennedy Fox
Publication Date: December 13, 2016
Publisher: Kennedy Fox Books LLC
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, New Adult

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Synopis:

Viola Fisher is the epitome of perfection.
She despises my one-night stands and mocks my less-than-classy habits.
She’s smart, beautiful, and too good to be true.
And I want her.

If she were anyone else, I’d have made my move years ago, but considering she’s my best friend’s little sister, she’s always been off-limits. Not to mention how much she loathes my very existence.

Hating me is her religion, but needing her is mine. Her sexy curves and filthy smart mouth make me want her even more, and I’m more determined than ever to change her mind.

I’ll prove I’m done playing games.
But until then, we’ll continue to play by her rules.
Viola Fisher may have won the battle, but the war isn’t over yet.

Checkmate, princess.


Checkmate: This is Love was full of so much drama! I couldn’t even believe where the cliffhanger led! There were so many crazy surprises waiting in this book. I didn’t expect half the things that took place.

I was way more invested in Travis and Viola’s relationship in this book than I was while reading the first book. That’s because once Travis became a one woman man, he was dedicated to Viola. I was amazed at how loving he was towards her. Their relationship developed into this really cute and sexy thing. I didn’t expect it to be so sweet. They still had their friction filled banter, but there was a noticeable tenderness between them.

Travis wasn’t the only one who surprised me. Viola completely shocked me a couple of times. I wasn’t expecting some of the choices she made. They frustrated me a bit, and I didn’t think they were fair. I guess they did make the story more interesting, though.

The secondary characters really shined in Checkmate: This is Love. Kayla and Courtney were such good friends to Viola. Courtney was hilarious, too. I loved her unnoticed obsession with Drew. He was so cute and clueless.  If I didn’t already know these characters were getting books of their own, I would be begging for them.

Overall, Checkmate: This is Love was a good conclusion to Travis and Viola’s story. Their relationship grew and changed throughout this book, and I loved where they ended up.

Review: In Pieces by Danielle Pearl

In Pieces
Series: Something More, #2
Author: Danielle Pearl
Publication Date: October 10, 2017
Publisher: Forever
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, New Adult
Note: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Synopsis:

Three years ago she was left in pieces . . . Most college freshmen love the newfound freedom of living on campus, but none of them craves it like Beth Caplan. One ill-fated night when she was fifteen left her locked in a posh prison of private tutors. It’s for the best, everyone said, and maybe it was. But after years of hard work and healing, the one person who never thought of her as broken could be the one to break her all over again. And Beth can’t seem to stay away now any more than she could all those years ago. As soon as David March learned his best friend’s little sister was enrolling at his school, he promised to look after her, and promised himself he’d keep a safe distance. But the sweet little girl he’d grown up with has transformed into a gorgeous young woman, and she’s attracting attention from people she shouldn’t-like the ex who nearly destroyed her and a strange new student with a disturbing habit of showing up wherever Beth goes. But for David, the most troubling discovery is realizing that he doesn’t just want Beth to be safe. He wants her to be his.


In Pieces is the first book I’ve read by Danielle Pearl. I really enjoyed her writing style. She told the story in first person dual points of view. That’s my favorite type of narration because it allows me to connect deeply with the characters. She also threw in some chapters set in the past that helped show how the characters had matured over the years.

My favorite thing about In Pieces was Beth and David’s relationship. David was Beth’s older brother’s best friend. He was supposed to be her protector at college due to her weaknesses, but Beth was constantly pushing his boundaries. She didn’t want to be seen as a little girl any longer. They both were harboring secret feelings for each other. I loved the way their relationship progressed from friendship to lovers.

The only problem I had with this book was that there was almost too much going on in it. Both characters had secrets in their pasts. That probably would have been enough to keep the story going on its own, but there was also a ton of other drama. There was the new stranger, David’s frat friends, and a surprise twist toward the end. It was entertaining for sure, but just too much at times. I just wanted to focus on the love birds.

Overall, In Pieces was a fun, quick read. It had everything I would expect from a new adult romance and more. I liked Danielle Pearl’s writing style so much that I would definitely pick up another of her novels. I would like to read the first book in this series.

Review: For Forester by J. Nathan

For Forester
Series: For You, #2
Author: J. Nathan
Publication Date: July 19, 2017
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, New Adult, Sports
Note: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Trace
I’m Alabama’s star wide receiver. I’ve got mad skills on and off the field, and it’s no secret I’m heading into the draft after the upcoming season. But I’m home for the summer to make some cash before my senior year. Being back under my parents’ roof isn’t the ideal situation, but the moment I see Marin, the star of my adolescent fantasies, I know it’s about to get interesting. She may not have noticed me back then, but I’ve got a feeling it’s just a matter of time before she lets me turn those fantasies into reality.

Marin
The last time I saw Trace Forester he was just a kid tearing up the neighborhood on his skateboard. That was when I was foolish enough to think I had the perfect husband and the perfect life. But now my life is in shambles and Trace is back, all grown up, hot as hell, and exuding major confidence. It would be so easy to fall for his good looks and undeniable charm. So easy to let him into my life. Too bad I learned the hard way that nothing worth having ever comes easy.


For Forester is the first book I’ve read by J. Nathan. I was impressed with her writing. I easily connected with her characters and believed in their relationship. That was amazing because I never expected to find a nineteen year old guy falling in love with an almost thirty year old single mother believable. I expected the attraction, but didn’t expect the love.

Trace was a special young man. I loved the way he loved Marin and her son. He was at the height of his college football career with everything going for him. Trace had a multitude of women at his beck and call, but he only wanted Marin. His loyalty to Marin and her son was exceptional considering the distance between their locations.

What Marin went through was tough. Not only did she have to deal with the fallout from the demise of her marriage, but the attention of dating a much younger man. She was constantly being judged while trying to do what was best for her son and herself. I loved how strong of a person she was. Her relationship with Trace only made her stronger and gave her a new outlook. That was so cool.

Trace and Marin’s relationships was filled with so many ups and downs. Everything they went through together and apart made me love them together more. I was totally invested in their relationship. I loved the little family they made.

Reading For Forester has made me a fan of J. Nathan. It’s also made me want to go back and read the first book in the For You series. I would love to know more about those characters! Finlay and Caden seemed like such special characters.

If you’re looking for a new adult romance that’s outside the normal college sports romance, I highly recommend For Forester. I loved the older woman, younger man dynamic.