Review: Carter Reed by Tijan

Carter Reed
Series: Carter Reed, #1
Author: Tijan
Narrator: Lucy Rivers
Publication Date: April 15, 2014
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Emma decided to skip the gym and went home early. It was the last easy decision she made because she found her roommate being raped by the boyfriend. She had two choices. Call the cops and be killed by his family’s mafia connections or kill him first and hope to survive. There was no choice to her. She killed the bastard first and went to the one person who could protect her: Carter Reed. He’s a weapon for the rivaling mafia family, but he’s also Emma’s secret. Not only was he best friends with her brother, but she’s the reason he became that weapon in the first place.


I’m really shocked to be saying this, but Carter Reed was almost a DNF for me. I’m surprised because up until about two-thirds of the way in, I was wrapped up in the story. I wanted to know what was going to happen to Emma and her friends. Somewhere along the way, I lost interest.

Carter Reed started with the brutal rape of Emma’s friend and her decision to kill the rapist. Not knowing what else to do after, Emma runs to Carter Reed. With his mobster past and her childhood link to him, Carter’s the only person who can help Emma. Emma knows going to Carter will change her life, but she has no idea how much. The minute she approaches him, her chance for freedom is gone.

I feel weird saying this book started strong since it starts with a rape, but it did. It immediately grabbed my attention and made me sympathetic to Emma and her friends. The events at the beginning and everyone’s reactions to them made want to know where the story would go. I felt bad for them all, and really hoped Emma going to Carter would help them.

I enjoyed the tension between Emma and Carter, and was excited to know how their love story would play out. Sadly, Emma and Carter’s relationship never went deep enough for me to understand their love for each other. They had a combined history, but there wasn’t a non-platonic relationship between them before this story takes place. She comes to him for help, he’s super hot and instantly they’re in love. It made no sense to me. They hadn’t seen each other in years. Carter was constantly running off to take care of things. They spent so little time together. I wanted to spend more time getting to watch them fall in love.

The lack of real love story and the weird plot twists that kept popping up started to wear thin for me around that two-thirds finished that I was talking about earlier. I didn’t care enough about the characters or the story to finish it. I pushed myself to finish it so I could honestly review the whole book. I’m a fan of Tijan’s books, but Carter Reed wasn’t for me. I wish the end of the book would have had the same draw as the first half or so of it.

Review: Fallen Crest Home by Tijan

Fallen Crest Home
Series: Fallen Crest High, #6
Author: Tijan
Publication Date: April 17, 2017
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

It’s been years since my mother was in my life.
I healed.
I learned to accept love.
I lived.
That’s all done. She was away, and now she’s back.
I avoided her for a year and a half, but I couldn’t hide anymore.
Mason had an internship in Fallen Crest, so we headed back for the summer.
And when we got there—no one was prepared for what happened.


Yep, I’m still addicted. I’m still obsessively devouring the Fallen Crest High series. Can’t stop. Won’t stop. This series is just too dramatically riveting. I’m pretty amazed by it. I mean, when I first started the series, I couldn’t say I loved the characters. Well, maybe Logan, but the rest of them were too nuts. I was pulled in by the drama, stayed for the drama, and somehow found myself falling in love with every single characters — good and bad. Now, I’m a fan of the fearsome twosome, threesome, and foursome. (That will only make sense if you have read all the books.)

The “Home” in Fallen Crest Home refers to the return of the family to Fallen Crest for the summer. Mason’s interning with his dad’s company, and Sam’s mentally and physically trying to avoid the fact that Analise has returned to town. Since that’s not enough to deal with, the new king of the Roussou scene is looking to settle Budd’s debt with the Kades. What should have been a relaxing summer is shaping up to be more trouble than the fearsome foursome could have predicted.

Fallen Crest Home is one of my favorite books in this series. Things are starting to come full circle for the Fallen Crest family. Mason, Sam and Logan are older now. They’re thinking about the future and making smarter choices. I say thinking because they’ll do anything protect their family.

Sam and Mason’s relationship is in a good place in this book. They have a renewed need for each other, and I loved getting more of their intimate moments again. Their connection felt stronger than ever. Sam still has some mental anguish going on, but she’s able to identify it and attempt to deal with it.

Logan is the same old Logan, but now he’s got a love of his own to fight for. It only adds to his fierce defense of his family. Nate’s the only odd man out, but he’s still there to help out his friends.

Since this is Fallen Crest, the fearsome foursome aren’t the only returning characters. One of my favorite couples, Heather and Channing were back and in on the action. I love those two so much. I would really like a book devoted to them! Several of my least favorite FCA students were also back to wreak havoc. Adam, Becky, Cass, and Kate all made appearances.

With all these characters back in action, you can only imagine all of the drama that could unfold…and it did! I loved the way this part of Sam and Mason’s story was laid out. Of course, the drama was over the top, but it made sense to me. It wasn’t out there crazy. Not all of Sam and Mason’s problems were solved, but some important ones felt more resolved and I can see how this series is headed toward a strong finish. I know how I want the next book to start, and I’m hoping my wish comes true.

If you enjoy dramatic series filled with angst, longing, intense love and a strong sense of family, you really need to read the entire Fallen Crest High series from beginning to end. It’s a wild, addicting ride.

Review: My Roommate’s Girl by Julianna Keyes

My Roommate’s Girl
Author: Julianna Keyes
Publication Date: June 12, 2017
Publisher: Julianna Keyes
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Note: I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

The day a judge gave me the choice between going to prison or going to college was the day I vowed to stop stealing. Never again would I see something beautiful and beyond my means and take it, just because I wanted it. Just because I could.

When I moved in with Jerry, it was with good intentions. I needed a place to live while I got my degree, and he needed a roommate.

Then I saw Aster.

Blond and beautiful, good, pure, sweet, smart…and Jerry’s girlfriend. She was everything I never thought I could have. Except…maybe I can.

So I put a plan into action. Yeah, I’d probably go to hell, but it would be worth it. I wanted Aster. I wanted her yesterday and tomorrow and every possible way.

But you know what they say.

Be careful what you wish for…because you just might get it.


Julianna Keyes is an author I’ve come to love this year. I became a fan of her writing after reading her Burnham College series. I was very excited to get to read her new release, My Roommate’s Girl. From the title, I could tell this was going to be one of those books that was going to have some uncomfortable moments, but I had faith that Keyes could make me fall in love with her story.

I didn’t immediately fall in love with My Roommate’s Girl. It wasn’t the dreaded love triangle that kept me from it. It was the main character, Aiden Shaw. His cocky, tough guy talk didn’t endear him to me. He seemed really scuzzy and I didn’t like his tactics. I think my biggest problem was that his motives weren’t good. Everything was based on his lust. It wasn’t until he and Aster truly started to form a friendship that I could see the good in Aiden, and appreciate him. There was more to him than I thought, and it took until half way through the book to understand that. I wish it would have happened earlier.

Aster wasn’t what I expected at all. I was pleasantly surprised by her when her point of view finally showed up. She was more than the princess Aiden described her to be. I loved her back story and how it affected her feelings for Aiden.

Aster and Aiden had a very unique connection. Their similarities tied them together in a special way. It enhanced their already sizzling chemistry. The more they discovered about each other, the more I liked the story. I wish more time had been spent within their relationship. There was so much build up to it. I only got to experience their relationship for what felt like a minute before a conflict started to ruin things. I wasn’t a fan of the conflict, so that time in the book frustrated me. It did lead a super cute ending, though.

I probably would have given My Roommate’s Girl a higher rating if I had immediately connected with the characters. I liked them, but I never really got the chance to love them. The book was still a lot of fun to read and it was incredibly fast-paced. If you’re looking for a college romance that isn’t centered around sports or normal college students, I would recommend My Roommate’s Girl. It’s different from any college romance I’ve read.

Review: The Silent Waters by Brittainy C. Cherry

The Silent Waters
Series: Elements, #3
Author: Brittainy C. Cherry
Publication Date: September 22, 2106
Publisher: BCherry Books
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Synopsis:

Moments.

Our lives are a collection of moments. Some utterly painful and full of yesterday’s hurts. Some beautifully hopeful and full of tomorrow’s promises.

I’ve had many moments in my lifetime, moments that changed me, challenged me. Moments that scared me and engulfed me. However, the biggest ones—the most heartbreaking and breathtaking ones—all included him.

I was ten years old when I lost my voice. A piece of me was stolen away, and the only person who could truly hear my silence was Brooks Griffin. He was the light during my dark days, the promise of tomorrow, until tragedy found him. Tragedy that eventually drowned him in a sea of memories.

This is the story of a boy and girl who loved each other, but didn’t love themselves. A story of life and death. Of love and broken promises.

Of moments.


Brittainy C. Cherry is an author who was recommended to me a couple of years ago by some Goodreads friends. They knew I would like her emotional tales, and I didn’t let them down. I’ve been slowly reading the Elements series since then, and I was super excited to get The Silent Waters when it was on sale recently. I truly enjoyed reading this book.

The Silent Waters starts out in a very adorable way. Maggie and her father are moving in with her father’s new girlfriend and family. Upon moving in, Maggie meets her new stepbrother’s best friend, Brooks. Maggie immediately takes a liking to Brooks and the story is cuteness overload. Then, something horrible happens and everything is suddenly dark in this story. Even when rays of light seep into Maggie’s life, darkness prevails. Maggie’s only light is Brooks. When Brooks sinks into his own darkness, Maggie will have to find a way to be his light.

Maggie was a character I wasn’t sure I was going to like at first. Just like Brooks, I thought she was kind of annoying. It was perfect since she was a little kid, and little kids can be annoying. As she got older, she became a caring young woman with a lot of problems. I loved her then, but I also wondered where the help she desperately needed was. I don’t know how Maggie was allowed to go on with the way things were as long as she was.

Brooks was an amazing guy. He had such patience and tenderness. His connection with Maggie was utter perfection. I loved that he always tried to do what was best for her and them as a couple. He was my favorite character in this book.

My favorite thing about this book (besides Brooks) was the family dynamic. The Silent Waters showed exactly how each member of Maggie’s family was affected after what happened to her. Each responded in a different way. Their personalities and actions changed with time, just how I would expect them to in real life. There was an honesty to what they were all going through. If I had to pick a favorite character (besides Brooks), it would Maggie’s dad. He filled my heart with hope and love each time he said,

“The world keeps spinning because your heartbeat exists.”

I love that saying so much. I want to start saying it to my daughter every night now. It’s beautiful.

This is the third book I’ve read by Brittainy C. Cherry, and it’s the third book by her that I’ve truly enjoyed. She’s a master at creating stories filled with deep emotions. Every page she writes pulls at my heart-strings. If you like moving romances, I highly suggest you check out this book and series.

Review: Saint Death by Marcus Sedgwick

Saint Death
Author: Marcus Sedgwick
Publication Date: April 25, 2017
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Fiction, Thriller

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

Synopsis:

A propulsive, compelling, and unsparing novel set in the grimly violent world of the human and drug trade on the US-Mexican border.

On the outskirts of Juarez, Arturo scrapes together a living working odd jobs and staying out of sight. But his friend Faustino is in trouble: he’s stolen money from the narcos to smuggle his girlfriend and her baby into the US, and needs Arturo’s help to get it back. To help his friend, Arturo must face the remorseless world of drug and human traffickers that surrounds him, and contend with a murky past.

Hovering over his story is the unsparing divinity Santa Muerte, Saint Death–and the relentless economic and social inequalities that haunt the border between Mexico and its rich northern neighbor. Crafted with poetry and cinematic pace and narrated with cold fury, Saint Death is a provocative tour de force from three-time Printz Award honoree Marcus Sedgwick.


Before I start my review, I would like to thank Kelly @ Here’s to Happy Endings for giving me the chance to read an ARC of Saint Death. We trade books often, and she’s amazing to trade with. She also runs an awesome YA book blog. Make sure to check it out.

Saint Death is the second book I’ve read by Marcus Sedgwick. I read The Ghosts of Heaven right after it was released, and it blew my mind. When I saw Kelly wanted to trade an ARC of his upcoming release, I had to talk her into trading me. I wanted to see if Saint Death with its creepy title and amazing cover would be just as good.

I can’t compare The Ghosts of Heaven with Saint Death. They’re so different. It’s crazy how different they are. Usually an author’s books at least have a similar writing style. These two don’t. They only similarity they have is the slower pace.

Saint Death is a dark book. Very dark. There’s nothing warm and fuzzy about it. It made me feel sad and unsettled. I can’t say I liked it because I didn’t enjoy reading it. Saint Death may have been fictitious, but I can imagine the life described in it is very real.It was eye opening, though. I hurt for the main character, Artutro. His life was not easy or happy.

I’m honestly not sure what else to say. I may not have enjoyed the Saint Death experience, but I do think it is an important book to read and very relative to everything going on in the world today. It’s worth giving a chance. It definitely made me appreciate the life I live.

Review: The Butterfly Project by Emma Scott

The Butterfly Project
Author: Emma Scott
Publication Date: February 28, 2017
Publisher: CreateSpace
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Note: I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

“Where you are is home…”

At age fourteen, Zelda Rossi witnessed the unthinkable, and has spent the last ten years hardening her heart against the guilt and grief. She channels her pain into her art: a dystopian graphic novel where vigilantes travel back in time to stop heinous crimes—like child abduction—before they happen. Zelda pitches her graphic novel to several big-time comic book publishers in New York City, only to have her hopes crash and burn. Circumstances leave her stranded in an unfamiliar city, and in an embarrassing moment of weakness, she meets a guarded young man with a past he’d do anything to change…

Beckett Copeland spent two years in prison for armed robbery, and is now struggling to keep his head above water. A bike messenger by day, he speeds around New York City, riding fast and hard but going nowhere, his criminal record holding him back almost as much as the guilt of his crime.

Zelda and Beckett form a grudging alliance of survival, and in between their stubborn clash of wills, they slowly begin to provide each other with the warmth of forgiveness, healing, and maybe even love. But when Zelda and Beckett come face to face with their pasts, they must choose to hold on to the guilt and regret that bind them, or let go and open their hearts for a shot at happiness.

The Butterfly Project is a novel that reveals the power of forgiveness, and how even the smallest decisions of the heart can—like the flutter of a butterfly’s wings—create currents that strengthen into gale winds, altering the course of a life forever.


The Butterfly Project has been sitting on my Kindle waiting to be read since February. I kept putting off reading it because I knew I was going to be in for an emotional ride. Emma Scott is an amazing author, but she packs a powerful emotional punch in all of her books. I wasn’t sure I was ready for the experience The Butterfly Project was going to give me yet.

I’m so happy I went ahead and started reading it. I loved The Butterfly Project! It was definitely an emotional read, but it immediately drew me and had me invested. I wasn’t willing to put the book down. I stayed up way too late reading it because I needed to know what was going to happen to Zelda and Bennett.

If you haven’t read Emma Scott’s Full Tilt duet, you may not know that Zelda was an employee of Theo’s Las Vegas tattoo shop. She’s decided to branch off on her own, and take her comic book to shop publishers in New York. The reception of her comic book is not what she had hoped, and she has to figure out how to spend more time in New York to make the revisions she needs to it. Zelda refuses to give up on the one thing that may help her entire family heal. A chance encounter with Beckett gives her the possibility to stay in New York.

Beckett isn’t super thrilled to have Zelda around. He’s got his own tragedies and regret to deal with. What begins as a partnership, slowly turns into companionship for Beckett. He realizes maybe he’s not as alone as he thought. His friendship with Zelda is the only thing heating up his cold and dreary days.

The more entwined their lives get, the more Zelda and Beckett want more from each other. Before they can truly fall, let will have to decide if they can let go of the past and live in the future.

Zelda and Beckett were really amazing characters. Both were living their lives by the day, trying to make it through. They were emotionally stunted by things they wished they could change in their pasts. The sadness and guilt connected them, but their different outlooks on each other’s situation brought a strength to their friendship. Zelda knew what Beckett needed and Beckett knew what Zelda needed. Their friendship turning into a romantic relationship was inevitable. They got each other and their chemistry was off the charts. I loved every minute of their romance.

All of the secondary characters were magic. Each brought a little bit of something special to the story. I especially loved Zelda and Beckett’s Italian neighbor lady. She cracked me up! I also loved getting a tiny bit of Theo in this story. I had forgotten how much I missed him.

One thing I thought was super cool in this story was the use of the comic book. I liked the glimpses of it I got to see and how the story created helped Zelda and Beckett heal. It was a cool way to connect two characters.

I don’t know what else to say about The Butterfly Project except that I loved it. I would highly recommend it to new adult romance readers. The healing and love in this story is amazing. I’m so happy I finally read it!!!

Review: Wrong Turn, Right Direction by Elle Casey

Wrong Turn, Right Direction
Series: The Bourbon Street Boys, #4
Author: Elle Casey
Publication Date: May 9, 2017
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense
Note: I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

Synopsis:

Tamika Cleary takes a wrong turn up a one-way street—and straight into Thibault Delacroix’s leg as he steps into the road. But Mika’s in a hurry, and she certainly doesn’t have time for a guy who can’t even look both ways before crossing, even if he does have a cute face, a body to die for, and the darkest, thickest eyelashes she’s ever seen.

Unfortunately for Mika, fate has other ideas. When she’s threatened by her employer, a Russian mafia boss known as “The Thief”, she’s forced to accept Thibault’s help. As the co-owner of the Bourbon Street Boys security firm, he believes he can keep her safe. But Mika has a whole load of trust issues—and the pushier Thibault is about helping, the more stubbornly she tries to resist.

Mika may have taken a wrong turn the day they met, but will she finally let someone steer her in the right direction?


I love Elle Casey’s writing, but The Bourbon Street Boys series has been a little hit or miss for me. Wrong Turn, Right Direction was in the miss category. I wouldn’t say that it was horrible or that I didn’t enjoy reading it, it was just missing something major.

Wrong Turn, Right Direction started out strong.Tamika is trying to get out from under her horribly corrupt boss and ends up in a medical situation that has her turning the wrong way and into Thibault. Thibault wants to do anything he can to help the beautiful and tentative Tamika get on the right side of the law, but first he has to get her to trust him. Tamika’s background and current situation were very interesting and I wanted to know more about them. They made the plot of this story entertaining. I liked how Tamika’s involvement with her boss worked meshed with the Bourbon Street gang.

Where the story lost me was the romance between Tamika and Thibault. I didn’t feel any sort of connection between them at all. I know Thibault was there for Tamika during the most personal experience of her life, but I didn’t feel an emotional connection made at that moment. Nor did I feel one later on as they got to know each other. Tamika was too reserved and kept too much from Thibault. I didn’t understand how he could fall for someone he knew was constantly hiding something. She was so standoff-ish. Their relationship just didn’t make sense to me. I didn’t believe it. That was where this story failed for me. I wanted a stronger relationship for Thibault.

Despite not falling in love with Thibault and Tamika’s relationship, I did enjoy the twists and turns of the story. I also loved seeing the rest of the Bourbon Street gang and hearing what they were up to. So, overall, Wrong Turn, Right Direction was a good read.