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: First & Then by Emma Mills

First & Then
Author: Emma Mills
Publication Date: October 13, 2015
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Sports Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Devon Tennyson wouldn’t change a thing. She’s happy watching Friday night games from the bleachers, silently crushing on best friend Cas, and blissfully ignoring the future after high school. But the universe has other plans. It delivers Devon’s cousin Foster, an unrepentant social outlier with a surprising talent for football, and the obnoxiously superior and maddeningly attractive star running back, Ezra, right where she doesn’t want them – first into her P.E. class and then into every other aspect of her life.


First & Then came out almost two years ago. What took me so long to read it? I don’t have a good answer, but evidently finding it for sale on Book Outlet was what finally made it happen. That’s sad because First & Then is such a great book. I loved every minute of this adorable coming of age story.

Devon is a character that just about any teenager can relate to. First, she’s got the whole avoiding the future thing down to a science. The future’s scary to think about until you can actually picture it. Second, who hasn’t crushed on a friend of the opposite sex? We always think we’re good at hiding it, but it’s never the case. Poor Devon’s crush on Cas was pretty classic. Third, who doesn’t have a relationship with their sibling where one moment they’re completely embarrassed by them and the next their standing up for them? I loved how of Devon I could see in my past self. She was such a fun main character.

Devon wasn’t the only remarkable character in First & Then. Every character was special. That’s one of the things I love most about Emma Mills’ novels. She makes the side characters shine. They all have so much personality and stand out. They become as important to the reader as the main character. My favorite Emma Mills’ character will always be Frank Sanger from This Adventure Ends, but Jordan and Foster from this book are both close runners-up. Jordan because he kind of had a Frank Sanger thing going on, and Foster because he was one of the good guys. I was going to stop there, but I can’t leave out Ezra. I loved that guy and his quiet persona.

Everything about First & Then made me happy. It was one of those YA coming of age stories that’s perfect for when you need a little sunshine in your life. I absolutely adored it and highly recommend it. It would be the perfect summer read.

Mini Reviews: Royally Matched, Ready to Fall, Kiss Me in New York

Good morning! Today, I’m going to be doing mini reviews for some of the books I’ve been reading lately. Enjoy!


Royally Matched
Series: Royally, #2
Author: Emma Chase
Publication Date: February 21, 2017
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Narrators: Shane East, Andi Arndt
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Some men are born responsible, some men have responsibility thrust upon them. Henry John Edgar Thomas Pembrook, Prince of Wessco, just got the motherlode of all responsibility dumped in his regal lap.

He’s not handling it well.

Hoping to force her grandson to rise to the occasion, Queen Lenora goes on a much-needed safari holiday—and when the Queen’s away, the Prince will play. After a chance meeting with an American television producer, Henry finally makes a decision all on his own:

Welcome to Matched: Royal Edition.

A reality TV dating game show featuring twenty of the world’s most beautiful blue bloods gathered in the same castle. Only one will win the diamond tiara, only one will capture the handsome prince’s heart.

While Henry revels in the sexy, raunchy antics of the contestants as they fight, literally, for his affection, it’s the quiet, bespectacled girl in the corner—with the voice of an angel and a body that would tempt a saint—who catches his eye.

The more Henry gets to know Sarah Mirabelle Zinnia Von Titebottum, the more enamored he becomes of her simple beauty, her strength, her kind spirit…and her naughty sense of humor.

But Rome wasn’t built in a day—and irresponsible royals aren’t reformed overnight.

As he endeavors to right his wrongs, old words take on whole new meanings for the dashing Prince. Words like, Duty, Honor and most of all—Love.

My review:

Royally Matched might just be my favorite Emma Chase book yet! I absolutely loved this book! The story was amazing. The whole romance reality show was clever and hilarious. All of the characters were so entertaining. I think listening to it made it added even more fun. I adored the narrators’ accents. They brought the story to life. I couldn’t stop listening to it. I was mad when my daughter got home from school and I had to turn it off — I couldn’t let her listen to Henry’s obscene thoughts! Royally Matched was an outstanding romantic comedy filled with tons of great surprises. It’s a book contemporary romance fans aren’t going to want to miss.


Ready to Fall
Series: Wingmen, #1
Author: Daisy Prescott
Publication Date: December 14, 2013
Publisher: Daisy Prescott
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Tall, dark, and handsome is an understatement when it comes to John Day. With rugged good looks, his ever present plaid shirt, and a dog named Babe, John is a modern alpha male lumberjack.

After his favorite neighbor rents out her beach cabin for the winter, John finds himself playing fireman and tour guide to Diane Watson, a beautiful brunette with her own messy past and recent battle scars.

Will he be ready to fall in love? Or will he go back to his old, flirty ways?

Hold onto your heart as John Day tells his story in this male POV contemporary adult romance/romantic comedy.

Ready to Fall is the first novel in the Wingmen series, a spin-off from Modern Love Stories. Each book is a standalone with no cliffhanger.

My review: 

Ready to Fall underwhelmed me. It’s not that it wasn’t a good book. It just didn’t have enough drama or make me feel much. The plot could have been very emotionally investing, but it lacked ups and downs. The character’s big emotional scars didn’t pack any punch. John was the only narrator of the story, and he was pretty bland. The story felt real enough, but maybe that was the problem. It felt like someone’s ordinary life, and I was expecting more.


Kiss Me in New York
Author: Catherine Rider
Publication Date: October 3, 2017
Publisher: Kids Can Press
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
Note: I received an ARC from the publisher via Goodreads.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Synopsis:

It’s Christmas Eve at JFK in NYC.

Charlotte is a British student, waiting for a flight home after the worst semester of her life. Anthony is a native New Yorker, surprising his girlfriend at the airport after three months apart. Charlotte has just been dumped, and Anthony is about to be dumped, right in the middle of the holiday crowd.

Charlotte’s flight is canceled when a blizzard blows in, and Anthony can’t bear to go home. So, they set out into the city together, clutching a book Charlotte picks up in the airport gift shop: Ten Easy Steps for Getting Over Your Ex. For this one night, they’ll focus on healing their broken hearts … together.

Step-by-step, the two struggle to put the past behind them. But the snow is so enchanting, and the holiday lights are so beguiling, that soon their shared misery gives way to something else. Soon, they’re not only over their exes — they’re falling for each other.

Then a subway ride splits them up by mistake. Will they reunite before Charlotte’s flight leaves New York forever?

My review:

At just 200 pages, Kiss Me in New York was a quick and cute read. Charlotte and Anthony are are struggling with their own respective breakups when they randomly meet at the airport on Christmas Eve. The two decide to try to get over their exes by completing the steps in Charlotte’s book. The experiences they have trying to complete the steps bring the two strangers closer together than they expected. I thought this was a fun holiday story, but if you’re not into insta-love, you might want to skip this book as almost the entire book takes place in one night. I would have loved this to have been a longer story. I was interested in knowing what came next for Charlotte and Anthony.

Review: Coming Up for Air by Miranda Kenneally

Coming Up for Air
Series: Hundred Oaks
Author: Miranda Kenneally
Publication Date: July 4, 2017
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Sports Romance
Note: I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Swim. Eat. Shower. School. Snack. Swim. Swim. Swim. Dinner. Homework. Bed. Repeat.

All of Maggie’s focus and free time is spent swimming. She’s not only striving to earn scholarships—she’s training to qualify for the Olympics. It helps that her best friend, Levi, is also on the team and cheers her on. But Levi’s already earned an Olympic try out, so she feels even more pressure to succeed. And it’s not until Maggie’s away on a college visit that she realizes how much of the “typical” high school experience she’s missed by being in the pool.

Not one to shy away from a challenge, Maggie decides to squeeze the most out of her senior year. First up? Making out with a guy. And Levi could be the perfect candidate. After all, they already spend a lot of time together. But as Maggie slowly starts to uncover new feelings for Levi, how much is she willing to lose to win?


Miranda Kenneally is one of the YA authors whose books I cannot get enough of. I love the way she tackles tough teenage topics. I was very excited to have the chance to read an ARC of her upcoming release, Coming Up for AirComing Up for Air tackles a couple of different teenage issues. One is how to deal with competition and self-confidence in sports. The other is hooking up.

In Coming Up for Air, Maggie is a dedicated swimmer. Her life runs around getting her closer to her Olympic dream. She’s missed out on a lot of high school experiences, but that hasn’t mattered because she’s had her best friend, Levi, by her side. It isn’t until Maggie goes to visit her dream college that she realizes she might be missing some really important things while she’s training. The most important to her — how to hook up with guys. It’s been a while since her last kiss, and Maggie’s ready to experience more kisses and maybe more than just kisses. The problem is, Maggie doesn’t have anyone to kiss.

The only person Maggie can think of to help her with her problem is Levi. He’s had lots of practice and she trusts him. Levi’s not so sure about Maggie’s idea, but he doesn’t like the idea of her hooking up with some random guy. All Maggie needs to do is convince Levi that hooking up won’t make things awkward between them. But Maggie’s never hooked up with anyone before, and soon she starts to understand what Levi meant by awkward.

Coming Up for Air has a great message about competing against yourself and not worrying about everyone else. That part was really inspiring, but what stood out more for me in this book was how it talked about the culture of hooking up. I liked the way it dealt with it. Things are so different these days than when I was a teenager. There’s definitely a more carefree attitude when it comes to sex, but there’s also still a lot of slut-shaming. I liked how Maggie wanted to experiment and be ready for college hook ups, but didn’t want to do anything that would tarnish her good girl image. Her idea to turn to her best friend, Levi, for help was smart in a way. She went to someone she trusted for help. Now, I would have preferred she didn’t have to look for someone, that she was already in love with someone and wanted to take things further for that reason, but I know that’s not always real life. I loved how Miranda Kenneally approached the whole topic, and the myriad of feelings she had both Maggie and Levi go through. Their feelings felt genuine, and everything went down exactly as it should have. Maggie and Levi’s ever-changing relationship was exactly what I would have expected it to be in real life.

If you’re a fan of the Hundred Oaks series, you will love Coming Up for Air. It’s just as fun and well-written as the rest of the series. It does an amazing job of showcasing what it takes to be an elite athlete, while also taking a closer look at today’s hook up culture. I loved every minute of it.

Review: Dr. OB by Max Monroe

Dr. OB
Series: St. Luke’s Docuseries, #1
Author: Max Monroe
Publication Date: April 25, 2017
Publisher: Max Monroe LLC
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

It’s just a docuseries about your career as an OB/GYN, they said.
It won’t interrupt your life during or after filming, they said.
It is a great opportunity for the hospital and your practice, they said.

Well, they—the television executives who seem intent on ruining my career and personal life with a fair number of creative liberties—lied.
Now I’m stuck dealing with the consequences of believing them.

Instead of being known as Dr. Will Cummings, Head of Obstetrics and Gynecology at St. Luke’s Hospital, I’m now being called Dr. Obscene.

What devotion I’d hoped to earn in respect, I’ve instead received in patients flashing me seductive smiles and flirtatious winks during their exams.

How’s a guy supposed to convince the most perfect woman he’s ever met that he’s not as much of an idiot in real life as he appears to be on camera?

With all of the show’s side effects taking root like parasites, it’s going to take a lot to persuade Melody Marco to be anything more than my new nurse.
But I can’t get her out of my head.

I want her.

Good thing I’ve never been one to back away from a challenge…

Get ready, Melody.

The doctor is in.


My favorite romantic comedy series of all time is Max Monroe’s Billionaires Bad Boys. The entire series was hilarious. I couldn’t get enough of the characters and their relationships. I was sad to see that series end. Luckily, the ladies are back with a spin-off series. The St. Luke’s Docuseries series may be about new characters, but those new characters are well-connected to the old. 😉 In fact, the man who put the Dr. in Dr. OB is none other than Georgia’s brother, Will!

Will Cummings never imagined staring in a docuseries about being an obstetrician would have a negative impact on his career. Instead of showing what a great doctor Will is, it makes him look like a sleazy womanizer. Not that the ladies care. They’re all about having the sexy doctor up in their lady parts. But Will doesn’t want to be up in their parts. He would rather be up in his new nurse, Melody Marco’s. It’s going to take a lot for Will to convince Melody he’s more than Dr. OBscene.

I cannot tell you how much I loved this book. It was like hanging out with old friends. All of Max Monroe’s amazing humor and hilarious situations were back. I don’t know how these ladies come up with the stuff they do, but it had my stomach hurting from laughing so much. Dr. OB was so much fun to read.

Melody and Will’s relationship was slightly scandalous and oh so entertaining. It was one of those naughty office romances where they spent a lot of time trying not to get caught. Every sexual moment between them was beyond hot. They also had some very sweet moments that brought them closer together. I couldn’t get enough of their relationship.

One of my favorite things about Dr. OB were all of the amazing side characters. I got to catch up with all of the Billionaire Bad Boys  characters through their interactions with Melody and Will. I was so happy to get more Thatch and Cassie. There can never be enough Thatch and Cassie. I also loved all of the new hospital related staff I got to meet. They were quirky, gossipy and entertaining. I’m really hoping some of them will make appearances with the other doctors in the docuseries because they’re too good to go to character heaven.

If you like a good romantic comedy, you MUST read Dr. OB. It’s hilarious, sexy and you won’t regret it. It can be read without having read the Billionaires Bad Boys, but I highly recommend reading that series too.

Review: Finding You by Jo Watson

Finding You
Series: Destination Love, #3
Author: Jo Watson
Publication Date: May 2, 2017
Publisher: Forever
Genre: Contemporary Romance

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Synopsis:

When you go to Greece to meet your family but end up making out with your smokin’ hot tour guide #sorrynotsorry

Being adopted never made Jane Smith feel unloved, just unlike the rest of her family. As her twenty-fifth birthday approaches, she is struck by an overwhelming longing to finally find her place in the world. So in a very un-Jane-like move, she books a last-minute ticket to Greece to find her birth father and the real Jane. All she knows about him is it that he was a tour guide named Dimitri. Armed with this knowledge and several surprise boxes of condoms from her mom (not embarrassing at all), Jane takes off.

Within minutes of landing she makes two important discoveries. First, everyone in Greece is named Dimitri, and second, fate might be playing a sick joke on her when a sexy tour guide called Dimitri comes to fetch her from the airport. He offers to help Jane with her search—if she’ll go on an adventure with him. Stable Jane would never risk a steamy vacation romance. But real Jane might finally be ready to listen to her heart. Will Jane find her biological father, or will she end up finding something else entirely?


Review:

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

I’ve been a fan of Jo Watson’s Destination Love series ever since I read the first book, Burning Moon. She has a way of taking you both on a physical and emotional journey in her books. Each book brings to life another gorgeous setting and wonderful woman. I love that these women are friends looking for themselves, but each one’s life and destination is very different. The characters’ journeys to finding themselves and love are filled with so many fun and awkward moments.

Jane is as plain as her name. She’s completely okay with that until her next birthday starts to sneak up on her. All of a sudden, Jane’s in a tizzy. Nothing seems right until she sees a tour sign advertising a trip to Greece. Soon, Jane’s on her way there to look for the birth father she’s never met. His name is Dimitri and he’s a local tour guide.

Nothing goes as planned when Jane arrives in Greece. Instead of meeting her father, Jane meets a completely different tour guide named Dimitri. This Dimitri is the most gorgeous man Jane’s ever met. Soon, he’s helping Jane look for her father and herself.

Finding You felt a little different from the first two novels in the Destination Love series. It was more serious, not quite as over the top funny. That wasn’t a bad thing. Finding You dealt with some very serious emotions regarding being adopted and Jane not knowing who she was. It’s a very real situation. Jo Watson mentions in her acknowledgements that she’s adopted and has felt these very real emotions. I am also adopted, and could relate to what Jane was going through. I’ve always been secure in my adopted family, but there are moments growing up where you have to deal with who you are compared to your adopted family. Jo Watson did an outstanding job translating these feelings and needs into Jane’s story. Jane had a lot of fun and interesting thing happen along her journey, but nothing was as important as her coming to terms with who she was. I really loved that part of the book.

Don’t worry, there was still a ton of humorous moments in this romance. Jane had a knack for being in the wrong place at the wrong time for silly things to happen to her. I loved how Dimitri was always there, right by her side, making Jane comfortable. They had such a sweet dynamic between them. I loved how easily their relationship fell together. It was perfect.

Finding You was a great addition to the Destination Love series. I absolutely loved it, and I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series. (I’m really hoping it’s Stormy-Rain’s story!) If you’re a fan of contemporary romance filled with beautiful settings, humorous moments and sweet romances, you really need to read this series!


Excerpt:

He stepped toward me. My heart stopped pumping. He leaned in close and pulled my hand from behind my back and placed his card in the center of my palm. My nerve endings prickled and the hair on the back of my neck stood up.

“Just in case.” He repeated the words and they sounded so loaded.

In case what? In case I decided to lose all common sense, judgment, control, my mind (although that was already up for debate) and call you for a midnight beach romp. I’ll be sure to bring my watch so I can take note of how long it takes you to make me start screaming your name in wild ecstasy…Oh God, that sounded good!

I took a large step back. He took a large step forward. Back. Forward. Then he leaned in again. Holy Crap! He was coming in for that double-cheek kiss again and I wasn’t sure I’d be able to remain cool and calm and controlled this time. Only he didn’t. He did something far, far more odd and unsettling. He pulled my sunglasses off, placed them in the same hand as the card and then closed my fingers around them. He squeezed my hand closed while looking into my eyes in a way that rattled me to my very core.

My head started spinning and suddenly I felt a tad unsteady. I hoped to hell that I wasn’t about to be knocked off my feet by my raging hormones and fall into his arms. He gave my hand one last squeeze, and then… he was gone!

What the hell did that mean? You can’t just take off a person’s glasses, put them in their hands, stare into their eyes meaningfully and then mysteriously walk away without saying a word. What the hell was he playing at?

And why was it so hard to keep myself from falling for it?


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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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Release Day Review & Giveaway: Joy Ride by Lauren Blakely

From #1 NYT Bestselling author Lauren Blakely, comes a steamy new standalone rivals-to-lovers romance…

JOY RIDE!

 Now available on all retailers!Get ready for the ride of your life, and grab your copy today!

✮✮✮ JOY RIDE is here! Grab your copy today! ✮✮✮

From the #1 New York Times Bestselling author of FULL PACKAGE and BIG ROCK, comes a hot & hilarious new standalone romantic comedy…

Let’s be honest, ladies. A good man is a lot like the perfect car. You want a hot body, an engine that purrs, and superior performance under the hood…for the best joy ride of your life.

I’m at your service. Ready to go all night long.

But then a wildly sexy brunette appears in my life and throws a wrench in all my plans. She’s fiery, she’s talented, she’s gorgeous, and I’d really like to know what makes her engine hum.

Henley also happens to be my biggest rival, and now we’re forced to work together every day on the most important custom car build of my career. The trouble is I can’t quite figure out if she wants to kick me in the lug nuts or beg me to give her a good, hard fuel injection. Until one night that question is answered on the hood of a sports car when she calls out my name three times. And we can’t seem to put on the brakes.

If sleeping with the enemy is a bad idea, how much more dangerous would it be to fall in love with her?

You can find this sexy standalone romantic comedy available across all retailers now!

Amazon US Amazon UK Amazon CA Amazon AU

iBooks Barnes & Noble Kobo Google Play Amazon Paperback


✦The audiobook will be narrated by Sebastian York! Link coming soon!


My Review: 

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

When I read the blurb for Joy Ride, I was excited to see that Lauren Blakely was going to tackle two of my favorite relationship tropes: enemies to lovers and a second chance romance. There’s something so fun about two people who already know and dislike each other falling in love. I knew Lauren Blakely would do these tropes justice with her humor and wit.

In Joy Ride, Max is pleasantly surprised when he runs into Henley at a car show. Henley may be talented, fiery and his new competition, but she’s also still just as gorgeous as she was when he fired her all of those years ago. When Max and Henley are forced to work together on a project, their love-hate relationship sparks into a sexy mess.

Lauren Blakely put a really fun spin on the enemies to lovers relationship. Joy Ride was funny, sexy, and sweet. The writing was just as amazing as always, and the characters were easy to fall in love with.

I like that all of Lauren Blakely’s cocky male narrators have different personalities. They don’t all sound the same, which is a feat after writing so many of them. Max was as cocky as the rest of them, but his thoughts and actions didn’t go overboard. He respected women and wanted to do right by them. I loved how this transitioned to his feelings about Henley. He’d went with his gut years ago when it came to her, but it had backfired on him in the present. Max knew he would have to win Henley’s trust, and I loved how he did it.

I also loved getting to know Henley a bit from her lists of things to do. They gave a little bit of insight into what her character was thinking. They were also fun.

Max and Henley had the perfect amount of sexual tension. Their frustration with each other translated well into their desire. Combined with their love for cars, their sexual attraction made for some very interesting and hot moments.

The only thing that kept me from giving this book 5 stars was the ending. I wasn’t completely sold on the way things wrapped up. I won’t say too much about it, just that I wasn’t sure Henley’s character would have been so excited about how things turned out. She was so independent. I thought she would want to fix things her own way, on her own terms.

Joy Ride was a joy to read. I loved what Lauren Blakely did with this enemies to lovers second chance romance. I highly recommend it and the entire series of connected standalone novels to anyone who enjoys lots of laughs and smiles while reading romances.

Excerpt:

I point to the guy behind the glass. “You want Peter’s number?”

“I don’t know. Do you think he likes piňa coladas and making love in the rain?”

For a flash second, a burst of wildfire curls through my veins. It feels like white-hot jealousy. Which is ridiculous since she’s not making love to Peter.

Or me, for that matter, obviously.

I fight off the envy with a full dose of sarcasm. “Have you ever noticed you never have a good pair of headphones when you need them?”

She huffs. “Message received. I’ll just shut up and read a book.” She reaches for her phone on the seat, but accidentally knocks it to the floor of the car. I lean down to pick it up, and when I hand it to her I see her playlist.

Nena’s “99 Luftballoons.”

The Go-Go’s “Vacation.”

Madonna’s “Like a Virgin.”

I smirk. That’s too fucking adorable. “You like bubblegum pop?”

Her cheeks go red. “There’s nothing wrong with bubblegum pop,” she says as she tries to grab her phone from my hand.

I. Can’t. Resist.

I don’t know what comes over me, but I’m pretty damn sure it’s the way this girl needles me. It’s her French maid routine. It’s her pushing all my buttons. It’s the way she detests me.

I hold her phone behind my head.

“Max,” she says, in a perfect plea. God, it’s hot. I can hear her saying it in bed.

I feign surprise. “Oh, did you want your phone back, tiger?”

Her eyes widen when I use that word. Frankly, I’m surprised I said it. But she is a tiger, especially right now as she leans across the seat, reaching for it.

Damn, I’m an asshole. And yet, I can’t seem to stop playing keep-away with her phone, jamming it far behind me so that it hits the side of the car. She lunges for it, thrusting her arm out, but only hitting my forearm.

She swats me. “Give it to me.”

My brain short-circuits. She would sound hot saying that bent over the bed.

Then in a flurry, she unbuckles her seat belt and lunges at me.

Foul play indeed.

She’s on me. She’s fucking on me. She climbs, stretching high, her tits near my motherfucking face, so help me God. They are saggy, drooping, ugly breasts.

Except they’re not.

They’re perfect. Lush, ripe.

Like her sweet perfume scent. Like her cinnamon breath that flutters across my cheek as she rises higher. As she reaches, her T-shirt rides up, revealing a sliver of her stomach.

I’ve never seen anything so sexy in my life.

I don’t move. I don’t breathe.

I simply try not to grow more aroused. But then she wraps one hand around my wrist and pries the phone with the other as her breasts smash against my eyes.

Man down.

“If I was going to place a bet on an author to consistently deliver a FANTASTIC romance time and time again, I would put all my money on Lauren Blakely. She always writes amazing comedic romances—they are sexy, entertaining and always original. Consider me a fangirl.”

~Mary, Harlequin Junkie

 

“At some points during my read, I would have to remind myself to breathe. I was so utterly consumed with what I was reading, with the compelling chemistry between Henley and Max . . . The S. E. X. Was. Soooooo HOTT. I’d argue it was Blakely’s best writing by far.”

~Jess at joandisalovebooks

 

“The dynamic between Max and Henley is addictive, and the story line in Joy Ride was down right juicy! I can’t wait for you to read it.”

~Angie, Angie & Jessica’s Dreamy Reads

 

Add it to Goodreads here!

http://bit.ly/2bUfoME

And don’t miss Lauren Blakely’s other standalone Romantic Comedies!

BIG ROCK
MISTER O
WELL HUNG
FULL PACKAGE

✮✮✮Enter to win this amazing JOY RIDE GIVEAWAY!✮✮✮

Celebrate the release of JOY RIDE with this amazing giveaway!

The JOY RIDE giveaway is filled with:

Kate Spade Patton Leather Tote and Kate Spade Desktop Planner ($325 value)

$50 Gift Card to Bath and Body Works

$50 Gift Card to Amazon

http://laurenblakely.com/joyridereleaseweekgiveaway/

 

About Lauren Blakely:

A #1 New York Times Bestselling author, Lauren Blakely is known for her contemporary romance style that’s hot, sweet and sexy. She lives in California with her family and has plotted entire novels while walking her dogs. With fourteen New York Times bestsellers, her titles have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Lists more than seventy-five times, and she’s sold more than 1.5 million books. In May she’ll release JOY RIDE, a standalone romantic comedy. To receive an email when Lauren releases a new book, sign up for her newsletter! laurenblakely.com/newsletter

 

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