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: No Bad Days by J. Sterling

No Bad Days
Series: The Fisher Brothers, #1
Author: J. Sterling
Publication Date: January 9, 2017
Publisher: J. Sterling
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Nick Fisher is State’s most eligible bachelor—confident, creative, and driven—and is completely aware that every girl he knows is trying to land him. But Nick is more than the marketing genius everyone sees on the outside. In fact, his life is far more complicated than anyone suspects . . . even his own brothers.

Jess Michaelson knows she shouldn’t want Nick like all the other girls do, but she’s crazy about him anyway. How could anyone resist those charms? When he focuses his attention on her, she has no idea what she’s truly in for.

Sometimes love is hard.
But it’s worth the fight.


I couldn’t resist reading J. Sterling’s new release, No Bad Days, after reading the book blurb. It just sounded so fun and cute. I can confirm it was just that, with the tiniest amount of angst built-in.

What I liked about No Bad Days was the connection I felt to the characters and their relationship. It was so easy to relate to Jess. Her thoughts were mirror images of some I had in some of my earliest relationships. Those moments of feeling that she somehow attracted a guy who is way out of her league were priceless. I also related to how quickly Jess was to understand Nick and to forgive him. Her character had flaws that are abundant in young women and I appreciated that — even when I wanted to give her a bunch of not so nice advice.

Nick was a giant idiot. If he hadn’t had his own point of view, I wouldn’t have liked him at all. He could be such a jerk. Nick’s lucky I could understand his thoughts and forgive him because he did some incredibly stupid things. Nick was much sweeter than he seemed and his feelings for Jess won me over.

Nick and Jess’ (Anyone else think New Girl when I put those names together?) relationship wasn’t smooth. It had the ups and downs that most college relationships have. Nick and Jess were both finding their ways as adults and learning how to be together. It was very normal and sweet. Their interactions with each other were so cute. But this is a book, so it also had some crazy and cheesy things going on. I loved every minute of the drama. It made No Bad Days a little bit more exciting to read.

The only thing I could have done without in No Bad Days was the insta-relationship. The minute they connected with each other they DTR’d and it just didn’t feel natural. I would have liked a little more build up to couple status. A little more “are we or aren’t we a couple” would have been nice and natural.

I am so happy No Bad Days the beginning of a new series. After meeting Nick’s bar owning brothers, I am dying to learn more about them! They have such personality. I can only imagine how exciting their stories are going to be.

No Bad Days was a cute, sexy and dramatically entertaining new adult novel. It was a fun reading experience you won’t want to miss.

Review: Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally

16045306Title: Breathe, Annie, Breathe

Series: Hundred Oaks

Author: Miranda Kenneally

Publication Date: July 15, 2014

Publisher: Sourcefire Books

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance

Goodreads Synopsis:

Annie hates running. No matter how far she jogs, she can’t escape the guilt that if she hadn’t broken up with Kyle, he might still be alive. So to honor his memory, she starts preparing for the marathon he intended to race.

But the training is even more grueling than Annie could have imagined. Despite her coaching, she’s at war with her body, her mind—and her heart. With every mile that athletic Jeremiah cheers her on, she grows more conflicted. She wants to run into his arms…and sprint in the opposite direction. For Annie, opening up to love again may be even more of a challenge than crossing the finish line.

“Breathe, Annie, Breathe is an emotional, heartfelt, and beautiful story about finding yourself after loss and learning to love. It gave me so many feels. Her best book yet.” — Jennifer Armentrout, New York Times bestselling author of Wait for You


 

★ ★ ★ ★ ★


 

The books I’ve read where running is a major part of the story fall into two categories: boring or amazing. Breathe, Annie, Breathe was one of the amazing ones.

What’s so wonderful about Breathe, Annie, Breathe is the realness of story and characters. I loved Annie. Her reaction to the loss of Kyle is what I would expect from a real life teenager in a similar situation. She’s lost the most important person in her life, the one she saw forever with, and she’s not sure how to move on from that. Annie feels guilty for having a future beyond Kyle. Her negative feelings rise to the surface when she’s dealing with her family, the ones who love her best. The only way she can think of to deal with it is to finish the marathon Kyle never got to. I enjoyed the way Annie was able to find herself again with help from Jeremiah, her friends and her family. They let her be who she needed to be and supported her when she needed it most.

Jeremiah was a really cool male love interest. His addiction to extreme sports and the adrenaline rush they gave him added another cool aspect to the story. It made Annie deal with her deepest fears. His witty banter with Annie was so much fun to read.

I also loved the supporting characters. Jeremiah’s family was hilarious. I skipped ahead a couple of books in this series after reading Catching Jordan and Stealing Parker, so Breathe, Annie, Breathe made me want to go back and read Matt’s story.

As for the running aspect of the book…The way each chapter revolved around where Annie was in her training schedule was interesting. I felt like I was learning something about training for a marathon and what it takes. It also helped show the progression of Annie’s life without Kyle, her new relationship with Jeremiah and how she evolved as a person over time. What could have been boring actually made the book fly by.

If you’re looking for a fun, uplifting YA book to read, I would highly recommend Breathe, Annie, Breathe or any other of Miranda Kenneally’s Hundred Oaks novels. The writing is exceptional and I always finish feeling happier than I was before I started reading.

 

Series Review: The Falling Series by Ginger Scott

This is the first time I’ve reviewed an entire series in one post. I decided to review the Falling series by Ginger Scott this way because I binge read all three books in a row. It seemed easier to put them all in one post together than to make separate ones. Each book in the series is about one of three college roommates: Rowe, Cass and Paige. The novels overlap in time, events and characters. It’s important to read them in order, as each book has a little surprise of its own that would be ruined if you read them out-of-order. So, here we go…


Book 1

 This is Falling 

My rating: 4.5 Stars

Synopsis:

Freshman Rowe Stanton left her depressing existence in Arizona behind to go to college in Oklahoma. She’s hoping the change of scenery will be just what she needs to move on from the tragedy that took over her life more than two years ago.

When Rowe meets All-American baseball player Nate Preeter, she can’t believe he’s interested in her. A guy like him should be interested in the super hot sorority girl type, not quiet Rowe.

Rowe expects him to run when he learns about the scars she carries, but he doesn’t. Instead, for the first time in over two years, Nate makes her want more.


Book 2

 You and Everything After

My rating: 5 stars

Synopsis:

Cass Owens is looking forward to starting college far away from anyone who knows her. She wants to leave her tarnished image behind. No longer will she be the slut that likes to hook up at parties, the girl with MS or the not quite as pretty twin. Cass is ready to be someone new.

Tyson Preeter may not do love, but he has no problem hooking up with chicks. Even his wheelchair doesn’t slow down all the action he gets. His good looks and confidence are all he needs. But meeting Cass may just knock down all of Ty’s defenses and change his outlook on love.


Book 3

 The Girl I Was Before 

My rating: 5 stars

Synopsis:

Paige Owens had plans for her college years. She was going to join a sorority, make popular friends, and have the right boyfriend. Paige accomplished it all but it cost her. Now, she would do anything to make up for the hurt she caused. Paige wants to be the girl Houston Orr sees.

Houston Orr isn’t the typical college student. While other students are partying or playing sports, Houston’s working. He’s doing everything he can to get by. Houston doesn’t have time for a relationship, but he can’t seem to stay away from pretty Paige. He knows beyond her beauty and arrogance, there is something more.


My review:

If you’re a follower of my blog, you probably already know that I adore Ginger Scott‘s writing. She’s usually a 4 to 5 star review for me. So, it should be of no surprise to you that I loved The Falling series. If I had to give the entire series one rating it would be 4.5 stars. 

My favorite thing about this series was the heroes. Nate, Ty and Houston were all very different personalities but the way they supported their girl was awesome. Each one had a moment that almost left me in tears — Nate especially. I loved how sentimental (but still strong) Nate was. I loved how cocky and independent Ty was. I loved how understand Houston was. They just rocked and made the series.

As for the girls, each one had a big issue they were dealing with. While I loved This is Falling, Rowe was the toughest character for me to identify with. I thought she was supposed to the super nice girl, but her judgement of people or certain things didn’t always align with that. Honestly, when I think about it now, that’s probably more true to life since no one is nice 100% of the time. But for the story it felt a little off.

Cass was an interesting character for me. Living in the Pacific Northwest where the incidence of MS is high, I have friends and relatives affected by this disease. While I couldn’t completely relate, I could identify with Cass’ struggle. I loved the way Cass and Tyson talked to each other and could understand each other needed.

After reading The Girl I Was Before, Paige became my favorite female of the series. While she might not have always been the nicest, I enjoyed watching her transition and growth throughout the series.

Another thing I really loved about the series was being able to see the dynamic between Cass and Paige. It was kind of like reading a series that has a book for the girl’s POV and then a book for the guy’s POV, except with sisters. So, you not only got to see their relationships with the guys but with each other. It added so much to the story.

Oh, and I also loved that each book had a little surprise in store for the reader–something I wasn’t quite expecting.

If you’re looking for a good NA series filled with great writing, amazing characters, tons of feelings and sweet college romances the Falling series by Ginger Scott is for you.

The Hazards of Skinny Dipping

The Hazards of Skinny Dipping (Hazards #1) by Alyssa Rose Ivy

Publication Date: May 17, 2013

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Synopsis:

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I’ve been reading a lot of emotionally intense books lately. They’ve been amazing, but they have left me in a bit of a funk. When I was trying to decide what to read next, I wanted something that was just fun. I went through the list of books I’ve recently downloaded on my Kindle and picked The Hazards of Skinny Dipping. It sounded like the perfect book to change my mood.

It was. The Hazards of Skinny Dipping was fun and fast-paced. I loved watching the main character, Juliet, trying to figure out if the boy she had crushed on her entire life was really the one she wanted. I also liked the letters between Juliet and her cousin, Amy, at the beginning of each chapter. They added an extra dimension to the story. There were also a couple of great little twists in the story that I didn’t see coming.

Another thing I really liked about The Hazards of Skinny Dipping was the portrayal of Dylan. He was jealous, possessive and a tad bit crazy. Why would I like that? Well,I feel like young adult women are generally the ones described that way. Maybe I’m wrong. I don’t know. I just feel like there are a lot crazy ex-girlfriend characters and not very many crazy ex-boyfriend ones. It was just something different.

I would recommend The Hazards of Skinny Dipping to NA readers looking for a fun college romance. I’m definitely going to be reading more of the Hazards series from Ashley Rose Ivy.

Other books in this series: