Series Review: The Sweetest Thing by Sierra Hill

A while back I reviewed two of the books from Sierra Hill’s The Sweetest Thing series. I really enjoyed those two books, and I knew I wanted to go back and read the rest of the series. Last week I finally had time to make that happen.

Sweetness (#1) ★ ★ ★ ★

Sweetness is the story of a privileged college basketball player who falls in love with a girl whose life isn’t so easy. Ainsley has Cade changing his womanizing ways, but his past may come back to ruin their relationship. This book was a classic NA sports romance. I loved the ASU setting (I went there!), and the characters. It was a sweet romance with just the right amount of angst.

Sweet Girl (#2) ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Sweet Girl was my favorite book in this series. Cade’s younger sister Kylah falls for his teammate Van. Things start out with a forbidden crush for Kylah as Van has a long distance girlfriend. When Van is betrayed, Kylah has the opportunity to go for her man. It was just super cute and sweet. It reminded me of first love and all of the things that come with it. I adored both Kylah and Van. (Oh, and Van lived in the same dorm I did in college! Talk about a blast from the past seeing its name in print.)

Sweet Summer Love (#3) ★ ★ ★ ½

This was the first book I read by Sierra Hill back in 2017. It’s about Cade’s roommate/teammate Carver. Carver is quite the ladies man. When he graduates from college and is drafted by the NBA, it returns him to his hometown of Seattle (Hey! I live here! Another reason to love this series!) where he’s reunited with Logan, the girl who broke his heart. I really enjoyed reading this book, but I had some issues with it. You can read my full review here.

Sweet Disaster (#4) ★ ★ ★ ★

Remember Kylah from Sweet Girl? Sweet Disaster is her wild twin sister Kady’s book. Kady takes an impromptu trip to Europe where she ends up stuck in Italy with no funds. She reaches out to Cade who hooks her up with Gavin who is playing basketball there. The two end up traveling together and falling in love. This book was sweet in a different way than Kylah’s book. It was about two people finally finding their person that they fit with. It was also sexier than the other books in the series.

Sweet Little Lies (#5) ★ ★ ★ ½

I read Sweet Little Lies back at the beginning of 2018. It is Ainsley’s best friend Mica and Cady’s roommate Lance’s story. Mica and Lance had insane chemistry. Their love story wasn’t as easy as ones in the prior books. Sierra Hill touched on deeper issues like interracial dating and addiction. I really loved the romance aspect of the story, but I wanted it to go deeper than it did on the addiction front. You can find my full review for this book here.

Thoughts on the entire The Sweetest Thing series:

Despite the ups and downs of the ratings of these books, I loved this series. It was classic NA college sports romance. Sierra Hill is a great writer. She includes just the right amount of angst in her love stories without going overboard. I especially loved this series because it’s set at my alma mater, ASU. I would recommend this series to anyone who enjoys a good new adult romance.

Series Review: Jackson Boys by Jen Frederick

Before I start my reviews for the Jackson Boys series, I need to give you a little background information in case you’re unfamiliar with Jen Frederick’s novels. The Jackson Boys series is a spin-off of the Woodlands series. Nathan and Nick are the offspring of Noah and Grace. Charlotte is the daughter of Bo and AnnMarie. You don’t have to read the Woodlands series prior to reading this book. The older characters show up, but their stories aren’t really revealed in this new series.

The Charlotte Chronicles
Series: Jackson Boys, #1
Author: Jen Frederick
Publication Date: December 8, 2014
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Fiction

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Charlotte Randolph was only fifteen when she fell in love with her best friend’s gorgeous older brother—but she wasn’t foolish enough to hope he could ever love her back. Nate Jackson always viewed her as a pesky kid…until the day she got sick. The one bright spot during her illness? He realized she was all grown up. But just when she allows herself to believe that dreams can come true, Nate disappears from her life, taking her heart with him.

Nate knows he lost more than his best friend when he deserted Charlotte to enlist in the Navy. He thought he was doing the right thing, sparing the girl he loves from the shame and humiliation of his actions. Nine years later, it’s time to right his wrongs. He returns home determined to win back his first love…only to find that Charlotte’s moved on without him.

But if there’s one thing that being a Navy SEAL has taught Nate? Never give up, even when all hope seems lost. And Nate’s never going to give up on Charlotte. Ever.

My Review:

The Charlotte Chronicles is one of those books where I feel like my rating for it doesn’t quite jibe with how much I enjoyed reading it. I loved Charlotte and Nate. Their story was emotional from the start. The writing was great, but the actual story didn’t flow as well as I wanted it to.

My frustration with The Charlotte Chronicles was how the story was set up. The only way I can think to describe it is that it felt like three books in one. It starts out when Nate and Charlotte are seventeen and fifteen. The story surrounding Charlotte’s illness is sad, but also sweet because of Nate. They have such a pure love for each other. It really made me fall in love with both of their characters.

While Charlotte’s fighting her illness, Nate takes off and joins the Navy. This begins what feels like a new book. It’s a bunch of letters from Charlotte to Nate while he’s serving. She writes him for YEARS with no response. Her letters are sweet, desperate, and heartbreaking. I am so angry with Nate throughout this section of the book because I have no clue what he’s thinking and I can’t believe he would abandon someone he loves so much during the hardest time in her life.

Time then fast forwards again. The story changes format again. It’s been nine years since Nate and Charlotte last communicated with each other. (I guess they had a few run ins during that time, so I don’t get why they didn’t talk then?) We’re back to both Nate and Charlotte’s perspectives, and they’re older so they almost feel like different people. Nate finally gets to explain himself. He basically ignored her for a VERY STUPID reason for NINE YEARS. I struggled with the length of time the characters were apart and the flow of the story. I think if it had been shorter this separation and reunion would have been more believable to me. I just couldn’t get over the fact that they both held on for almost a decade. Nate was so lucky Charlotte hadn’t moved on.

I think my issues with The Charlotte Chronicles wouldn’t have been issues if it wasn’t for that nine-year separation. I would have found it more understandable/believable had it been three or even five years. I did like everything else that happened in the story, so that’s why I feel so conflicted. It’s still a book I would recommend. I’m excited to read Nick’s book and get to know him more.

Be Mine
Series: Jackson Boys, #2
Author: Jen Frederick
Publication Date: October 3, 2014
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Fiction

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

At twenty years old, Lainey Wilson has made enough mistakes for a lifetime. She’s gotten herself knocked up by a cruel, uncaring man, lost her home, and found herself outside of a ramshackle bar with a crying baby and a broken purse.

When Nick Jackson, the Mustangs’ new rookie quarterback, swoops in like her savior, all she wants to do is fall into his arms. There’s just one problem… she’s sworn off football players and men for good.

He’s charming, eager, and sexy as hell, but Nick’s not the man for her. No matter what her body says.

Besides, she’s got bigger problems to fix such as how she’s going to feed her child, where she’s going to lay her head, and how to stay hidden from her ex. There’s no room for flirtation, a hand on the small of her back, or even the way he makes her daughter smile.

Nick Jackson isn’t in her plan now or ever.

Right?

My review:

Having read Be Mine immediately following The Charlotte Chronicles had me a little confused. Be Mine is Nate’s brother Nick’s and Charlotte’s friend Lainie’s story. In The Charlotte Chronicles, Lainey and Nick seem to have a frenemies thing going on. They were standoffish with each other, and Nick butted into Lainey’s life in weird ways. It made me expect an enemy to lovers story. That wasn’t what I got at all in this book.

Nick and Lainey actually had a very different start to their friendship/relationship than I was expecting. Nick and Lainey’s friendship actually came before Charlotte and Lainey’s. I didn’t find the animosity between Nick and Lainey that I thought I would. When it did pop up, I didn’t understand it. It was all on Lainey’s part, and didn’t make sense. Nick was nothing but a sweetheart to her when I thought he would have been a jerk at times. It threw me off — especially when the timelines for The Charlotte Chronicles and Be Mine overlapped. I don’t want to go into too much and ruin anything for anyone. If I hadn’t just read The Charlotte Chronicles the little changes might not have been so noticeable.

Despite all the questions that arose from reading the books back to back, I did really love reading Be Mine. It was an entertaining love story. Nick and Lainey were a cute couple with interesting obstacles to overcome. I liked the twists involving Lainey’s baby daddy. I loved Nick and Cassidy’s relationship. It also had a very sweet epilogue. Be Mine probably would have been a 5 star read for me if I hadn’t had so many little questions about the possible discrepancies between it and the first book.

Review: Can’t Text This by Teagan Hunter

Can’t Text This
Author: Teagan Hunter
Publication Date: October 11, 2018
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Fiction
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

“Hi Monty. Wanna see my python?”

That’s how I ended up in the bathroom of some dive bar with a stranger.

Me, Monty Andrews, the quintessential virgin girl next door.

I was so out of my element, but there was no denying our explosive attraction, even via text.

Commence Operation Bang Each Other Out of Our Systems, because that was all it was—unfinished business.

I had no intention of falling back into the sheets with the tattooed, muscly, dirty-in-the-best-kind-of-way single dad over and over again…but I did.

Everything was going great—until we discovered I was his son’s teacher.


Everything I’ve been reading lately has been intense, dark, or emotional. I had been looking for the perfect fluffy love story and hadn’t been able to find the one to lighten my mood — or at least I hadn’t until I picked up Can’t Text This.

Can’t Text This is was so much fun! Robbie and Monty couldn’t be more different. He’s covered in tattoos and swears. She’s prim and proper. Robbie is all about textual innuendos and Monty’s curious but also apprehensive. It’s all fun and games until they fall for each other.

I absolutely loved everything about Can’t Text This. It was so adorable! The banter, whether over text or in person, was hilarious. The things these two came up with to text and talk about made me laugh so much. Robbie and Monty were just so cute. Their relationship had ups and downs, but they weren’t ones that broke me. They were ones that were easily resolved and added to the entertainment value.

Oh, I can’t leave out Xavier! Robbie’s relationship with his son was so sweet. I loved how he parented and how his friends had a part in Xavier’s life. I also liked how Robbie’s ex was dealt with. It made my heart so happy!

As you can tell from this glowing review, I really enjoyed Can’t Text This. It was the perfect contemporary romance to get me out of an emotional book slump. I loved it, and I really hope Teagan Hunter will continue on with this texting series. Maybe a book for Denver? I would read that!

If you’re into fun and fluffy romances, I would definitely recommend picking up Can’t Text This. It’s a standalone, but it has two related novels with several recurring characters. You don’t have to read Let’s Get Textual or I Wanna Text You Up before Can’t Text This. The only reason I would recommend reading them first is so that you don’t miss out on all the fun of those two books. Teagan Hunter does an amazing job hooking readers with hilarious text messages and then making them fall in love with her characters. It’s fun to see the characters again in each book.

Can’t Text This just went live, and it is available to read for FREE in KindleUnlimited. Check out some teasers for the book below.

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Other standalones in this series:

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AUTHOR INFORMATION:

TEAGAN HUNTER is a Missouri-raised gal, but currently lives in North Carolina with her US Marine husband, where she spends her days begging him for a cat. She survives off coffee, pizza, and sarcasm. When she’s not writing, you can find her binge-watching various TV shows, especially Supernatural and One Tree Hill. She enjoys cold weather, buys more paperbacks than she’ll ever read, and never says no to brownies. For more information, please visit www.teaganhunterwrites.com.

AUTHOR LINKS:

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Series Review: Kiss and Make Up by Sara Ney

Kissing in Cars
Series: Kiss and Make Up, #1
Author: Sara Ney
Publication Date: January 26, 2014
Publisher: CreateSpace
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Fiction
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Will she, or won’t she…

Studious and (mostly) sensible, the only thing Molly Wakefield wants to do is get through Senior Year and graduate. Well, that and hit the beach in her spare time. Okay, fine – and go shopping every once in a while for a new dress… (and who could blame her?)

And things are going according to plan – until the day she spies Weston McGrath, handsome star athlete and scholar, spying on her in study hall.

A tad creepy? Maybe.
Thrilling? Absolutely.

You see, Weston McGrath happens to be one guy no one can get close to.

Despite her best efforts to avoid it (because let’s face it – the guy isn’t exactly “boyfriend material”) Mollly and Weston form a friendship.
And more….
Sort of.
But it’s a friendship that comes with a price – because Weston just cannot seem to stop screwing things up. Or saying all the wrong things. Possibly in that order…
And who has time for an 18 year old “fixer-upper” that should know better?
Not Molly.
Or does she?

Review:

Oh my goodness.This book was so dang cute! Molly and Weston were just too adorable. I loved how everything went down between them. All the embarrassing, does he/she or doesn’t he/she like me moments were true the high school crush experience. It was cringe worthy, but sweet. Kissing in Cars was just so much fun to read. I felt like I was back in high school myself. I cannot wait to read the second book in this series!


He Kissed Me First
Series:
Kiss and Make Up, #2
Author: Sara Ney
Publication Date: November 27, 2014
Publisher: CreateSpace
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Fiction
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

“Trust me – If there’s one thing I’m not attracted to, it’s an arrogant, selfish and foul-mouth hockey player. I know what I want, and Matthew Wakefield isn’t it.” – Cecelia Carter

From the first moment they laid eyes on each other, all Cecelia Carter and Matthew Wakefield do is bicker. Fight. Even though he is her roommates brother, Cece just can’t stand the sight of him, and Matthew – well. He could never resist a challenge…

That can’t be a good combination, can it?
But sometimes, love happens when you least expect it.

Review:

I have mixed feelings about He Kissed Me First. On one hand, I loved Cecelia and Matthew’s banter. I loved what an idiot he was when it came to relationships and how everyone could see what he couldn’t. I loved how Molly and Weston from Kissing in Cars fit into the story and all of the new characters.

All of that was a lot of fun, but there were some things I wasn’t a big fan of. I didn’t really get Cecelia nor did I connect with her. She felt like a contradiction. Cecelia seemed liked the chick who didn’t care what she looked like, but then she had this uptight thing going on too. It just didn’t mesh well together. She had a major reaction to something Matthew said, but it wasn’t ever really explained and I didn’t get her reasoning. She just felt like this big mess while you knew what you were getting with Matthew.

Overall, He Kissed Me First was a fun read. I just expected a little more from it.


A Kiss Like This
Series: Kiss and Make Up, #3
Author: Sara Ney
Publication Date: May 31, 2015
Publisher: Sara Ney LLC
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Fiction
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

ABIGAIL DARLINGTON IS AWKWARD…

She will never be “that” girl. You know the one: that girl on campus, confident in her own skin. Always saying the right things. Putting herself out there. Knows how to talk to a guy without stammering.

Nope. Shy but clever, and easily embarrassed, Abby is fine being the wallflower in her circle of outgoing, beautiful friends; she would rather read about a sexy book boyfriend than actually have a live, breathing one.

…BUT CALEB LOCKHART IS WORSE.

Star goaltender for the University’s hockey team, Caleb is quiet and broody, preferring the solitude of his orderly, regimented life. He doesn’t like, or need people—and plans to keep it that way. One more year left of hockey and he’ll be long gone.

AWKWARD NEVER LOOKED SO GOOD.

Both their lives change the day that Abigail falls for Caleb. Well, falls directly on top of him, to be accurate. Because sometimes we don’t settle into love.

We fall there.

Review:

As you can see above, this series so far has been a little hit or miss for me. A Kiss Like This was giant hit for me. I absolutely ADORED this book. Sara Ney’s writing feels more timeless and current in this book. I can really see how her writing evolved to what it is today. I loved it.

A Kiss Like This was awkwardly sweet and romantic. Caleb and Abigail were just too dang cute for words. Neither of them knew what the heck they were doing when it came to a relationship and it was romance gold. I can’t even…I just want to keep going on and on about how freaking adorable and amazing this book was. A Kiss Like This was such a great, classic NA romance. I absolutely loved it!

2018 New Adult Reading Challenge Update #9

Hi, guys! This is my monthly update for the 2018 New Adult Reading Challenge. This challenge was created and is hosted by Cátia @ The Girl Who Read Too Much. I’ve read 101 NA books so far. Here are the books I have read…

  1. We Were One by Elizabeth Reyes
  2. Midnight Blue by L.J. Shen
  3. Very Bad Things by Ilsa Madden-Mills
  4. Very Wicked Beginnings by Ilsa Madden-Mills
  5. Very Wicked Things by Ilsa Madden-Mills
  6. Very Twisted Things by Ilsa Madden-Mills
  7. Moonshot by Alessandra Torre
  8. The Vincent Boys by Abbi Glines
  9. The Vincent Brothers by Abbi Glines
  10. The Coaching Hours by Sara Ney
  11. Scoring Wilder by R.S. Grey
  12. From Lukov with Love by Mariana Zapata
  13. Sweet Little Lies by Sierra Hill
  14. Amber by Elle Casey
  15. Emerald by Elle Casey
  16. The Weight of Life by Whitney Barbetti
  17. The Sounds of Secrets by Whitney Barbetti
  18. Penalty by Jacob Chance
  19. Drive by Jacob Chance
  20. Roomies by Christina Lauren
  21. All Lined Up by Cora Carmack
  22. All Broke Down by Cora Carmack
  23. All Played Out by Cora Carmack
  24. Alphas Like Us by Krista & Becca Ritchie
  25. Hot Stuff by Kim Karr
  26. Long Shot by Kennedy Ryan
  27. Beneath This Mask by Meghan March
  28. Beneath This Ink by Meghan March
  29. Shooting for the Stars by Sarina Bowen
  30. For Crosby by J. Nathan
  31. Professor’s Pet by Alex Wolf
  32. Birthday Girl by Penelope Douglas
  33. Bad Judgment by Meghan March
  34. For Finlay by J. Nathan
  35. Bad Boy Brody by Tijan
  36. Six Feet Under by Whitney Barbetti
  37. I Dare You by Ilsa Madden-Mills
  38. Jock Row by Sara Ney
  39. Bane by L.J. Shen
  40. Studly Period by Sarina Bowen
  41. Breathe by Abbi Glines
  42. Because of Low by Abbi Glines
  43. While It Lasts by Abbi Glines
  44. Just For Now by Abbi Glines
  45. Sometimes It Lasts by Abbi Glines
  46. Bad For You by Abbi Glines
  47. Hold On Tight by Abbi Glines
  48. More Than Words by Mia Sheridan
  49. The Allure of Julian Lefray by R.S. Grey
  50. The Allure of Dean Harper by R.S. Grey
  51. Tethered Souls by Beth Flynn
  52. How to Kill a Rock Star by Tiffanie DeBartolo
  53. Sustain by Tijan
  54. A Wish for Us by Tillie Cole
  55. Misbehaving by Abbi Glines
  56. Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren
  57. Beautiful Bitch by Christina Lauren
  58. Until the End by Abbi Glines
  59. The Upside of Falling by Meghan Quinn
  60. Pucked by Helena Hunting
  61. Losing It by Cora Carmack
  62. Pucked Up by Helena Hunting
  63. Cry Baby by Ginger Scott
  64. Faking It by Cora Carmack
  65. Pucked Over by Helena Hunting
  66. Want You by Jen Frederick
  67. The Downside of Love by Meghan Quinn
  68. Kings of Rittenhouse by Maya Hughes
  69. Shameless King by Maya Hughes
  70. In Harmony by Emma Scott
  71. Forever Pucked by Helena Hunting
  72. Pucked Under by Helena Hunting
  73. Pucked Off by Helena Hunting
  74. Finding It by Cora Carmack
  75. The Hardest Fall by Ella Maise
  76. Tragic by J.A. Huss
  77. Manic by J.A. Huss
  78. Panic by J.A. Huss
  79. Slack by J.A. Huss
  80. Taut by J.A. Huss
  81. Bomb by J.A. Huss
  82. Guns by J.A. Huss
  83. Happily Ever After by J.A. Huss
  84. Rebel Heart by L.K. Farlow
  85. The Chase by Elle Kennedy
  86. Forget You, Ethan by Whitney G.
  87. The Return by Jennifer L. Armentrout
  88. Reckless King by Maya Hughes
  89. I Wanna Text You Up by Teagan Hunter
  90. Kissing in Cars by Sara Ney
  91. He Kissed Me First by Sara Ney
  92. A Kiss Like This by Sara Ney
  93. Things Liars Say by Sara Ney
  94. Things Liars Hide by Sara Ney
  95. Things Liars Fake by Sara Ney
  96. The Sweet Gum Tree by Katherine Allred
  97. Fear Me by B.B. Reid
  98. Fear You by B.B. Reid
  99. Fear Us by B.B. Reid
  100. Breaking Love by B.B. Reid
  101. Fearless by B.B. Reid

Review: Fearless by B.B. Reid

Fearless
Series: Broken Love, #5
Author: B.B. Reid
Publication Date: April 5, 2016
Publisher: B.B. Reid
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Fiction

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Take one last ride with Keiran and Lake and the rest of the Broken Love gang in this fifth and final installment as they face stronger enemies and bigger obstacles while fighting to hold tight to the tattered existence of their love.

When faced with broken love…

Have you ever had the feeling you were a stranger?
Out of reach, I watched and mourned me.
Nothing moved. Breathed. Nothing lived.
I was in an alternate universe.
No longer an innocent.
I had blood on my hands, and I wasn’t even sorry for it.
I was only afraid for Keiran.
Of his reaction when the shock wore off.
It would be an explosion.
Of hurt, anger, and mistrust.
He’d know I lied.
And to him…
The betrayal born of my good intentions is worse than the act of murder.

…will you succumb to fear…

She was supposed to be my light.
The one who saved me from the monster.
But when I looked in her eyes that day, I didn’t see her.
I only saw my father’s killer.

Her love saved me from the monster.
Mine turned her into one.

…or will you be fearless?


I’ve had a love-hate relationship with every book in this series. The mystery / suspense plot that has continued throughout each book has been exceptional. The addictive quality of the writing has been as well. What has bothered me is the abusive relationships and the way they have been depicted. I have a real problem with anyone finding the male characters and / or the way they treat the women their lives worthy of swooning. Everyone in these books needs therapy. That’s made all of the books hard for me to review and rate. I have given them all three stars because that’s how I averaged what I loved with what I hated. You’ll notice this book gets three and a half stars. Here’s why.

I was very impressed with how the plot ended up wrapping up. B.B. Reid crafted a truly exceptional mystery that kept me hanging on. Things finally came full circle and all of the revelations were perfect.

Despite the fact that I don’t truly believe that Lake and Keiran should be together due to the nature of their past relationship, I appreciated the growth they showed individually and together. It did give me hope that maybe they could have a healthy relationship. There were a couple of tender moments that made me question my feelings about Keiran. I have to admit to swooning because they were so perfect for a romance novel. That disturbs me a little, to be honest.

I know this review doesn’t really tell you much, but I don’t want to give anything away. Fearless did a great job of wrapping all of the storylines up. I’m happy to be done with this series because it’s been hard on my heart and conscience. Although, I’m glad B.B. Reid has a book outside this series planned for the supporting characters Jesse, Diana, and Quinton. I’m really curious to see what’s next for those three. Hopefully it’s something a little happier.

Review: Breaking Love by B.B. Reid

Breaking Love
Series: Broken Love, #4
Author: B.B. Reid
Publication Date: November 24, 2015
Publisher: B.B. Reid
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Fiction

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

She’s the girl who got away, but now she’s back…

Four years was all it took.

I told myself I didn’t need friends. I didn’t need family. I sure as fuck didn’t need him.

And you know what?

I was right.

He had been inside of me, coursing through my veins.

So I cut and bled Dash Chambers until I was free.

But the day I returned to Six Forks and was thrown at his feet, I realized I would never forget how it felt to have every inch of him inside me.

…and he’s waiting.

Angel thought if she ran far enough, she’d be free.

What’s mine will always be mine.

This time I do things my way.

* * *

DISCLAIMER: While Breaking Love isn’t dark, the first of the series contains sensitive themes many people aren’t able to swallow. 


Okay. First, I have to comment on that disclaimer above. I disagree with it. Breaking Love IS dark. The themes may not be quite as sensitive as the first three books in the series, but they are still sensitive. The relationship(s) depicted in this book is not healthy.

That being said, the writing and plot other than the relationship is very addictive. It’s what has kept me reading. The mystery / suspense plot continues through each book and is built on. It got even more twisted and interesting in Breaking Love. I loved all of the revelations and how they effected the entire cast of the series.

Back to the relationship aspect of this book… Dash might not be the monster Keiran or Keenan were in the previous books, but he wasn’t a saint. He was manipulative in more ways than one. His relationship with Willow was sweeter than any of the others. Despite a few of his actions, I actually liked Dash a lot. His intentions were a lot purer than his friends’.

I hate to say it, but I am not a fan of Willow after reading this book. I didn’t like how she treated her friendships with Sheldon and Lake. Her whole reason for being absent was just ugh. When Willow did return to town, she made one bad decision after the next. She hid things she didn’t need to hide. I don’t know why she couldn’t trust the people who obviously had her back, but it made me so irritated.

This may sound weird, but my favorite thing about Breaking Love was the end. I wasn’t expecting it and it was an amazing cliffhanger! I was so happy to have the next book ready to read.

Review: Fear Us by B.B. Reid

Fear Us
Series: Broken Love, #3
Author: B.B. Reid
Publication Date: September 22, 2015
Publisher: B.B. Reid
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Fiction

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

KEENAN
It’s been four years since I ran away—from home, my brother, and my maybe father. I created a life free of expectations while pretending I wasn’t being hunted by all of the above. I managed to stay under the radar all this time… or so I thought. When big brother shows up and saves my ass, I’m forced to face everything I left behind, including her.

SHELDON
It’s been four years since I became another statistic. I made a lot of mistakes when it came to Keenan Masters. The first was loving him at all. He took something from me the night he left, and when I told him I still loved him, he told me he’d always hate me. After that, I learned how to be okay… until he came back. Gone was the boy who always knew how to make me laugh, and in his place was a cold, arrogant monster.


I’m completely addicted to the Broken Love series, and yet I’m a little disappointed in the direction it has continued to go. The first two books in the series, Fear Me and Fear You, were great with the exception of Lake and Kieran’s abusive relationship. That relationship made me so mad. I wanted to love them together, but I couldn’t. I was really, really hoping that Keenan and Sheldon’s book was going to be different. Was it? No, not really.

Fear Us takes place four years after Fear You left off. It’s important to have read the first two books prior to Fear Us because a big part of the story is woven around situations that take part in the past. Everything leads up to where Keenan and Sheldon are now. I had a feeling I knew where Keenan and Sheldon’s story was headed — I just didn’t know it was going to be so twisted and maddening.

Keenan pretty much turned himself into a version of Kieran. That made me sad for a couple of reasons. One, I liked who Keenan was for the most part prior to anger taking over his life. He was tough like Kieran, but he had a jovial sweetness to him. I missed that Keenan. I didn’t want mean Keenan. Two, I was done reading about a volatile, abusive relationship. I mean, why do all these guys have to be so abusive? Why can’t they be alpha without the intimidation and forcefulness? The things these brothers have done make me sick to my stomach.

I was proud of Sheldon in so many situations in this book. She didn’t back down to Keenan when it came to some of the most important things. I do wish she wouldn’t have given into Keenan in other ways, but I guess it does show the reader how love can make people stay/put up with situations they shouldn’t.

What surprised me the most in this book was Ken. It wasn’t Ken’s character so much as how Kieran’s relationship with Ken was depicted. I was surprised by how much I liked that part of the story. It made Kieran seem like less of a monster to me. I could almost — not really — forget his past.

My favorite thing about Fear Us was the same thing as the first two books. I loved the mystery/suspense plot that continued. It kept me wondering how everything was going to play out for this group of friends.

So…Plot good. Abusive relationships bad. I know that’s how the whole series is going to be. I should get over the abusive part, but I can’t. I won’t. It’s just too wrong…but I need to know how everything is going to shake out in the end, so I will keep reading.

Review: Fear You by B.B. Reid

Fear You
Series: Broken Love, #2
Author: B.B. Reid
Publication Date: March 11, 2015
Publisher: B.B. Reid
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Fiction

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

What happens when she’s had enough?

Lake Monroe has given in to her childhood tormentor too many times. She knows it, he knows it, and even their enemies know it. When he returned after being found guilty of a crime he didn’t commit—a crime he thought she set him up for, he returned darker than ever, demanding her body and her submission. To survive him, she knew she had to give in to fear once more or suffer the deadly consequences…

But Lake experienced what it was like to submit to the dark and demanding boy who invaded her dreams. Now she’ll experience what it’s like to fight him.

What happens when he wants more?

Keiran Masters has a past that is both shocking and dark. Once enslaved, he now has demons he can’t escape—demons that have followed him for ten years, demons he blames his beautiful obsession for. He promised to make her pay. He promised to make her break…

But after Keiran had conquered her body and tasted her submission, he found a new addiction instead—one he has no intention of giving up.

As secrets unfold,
Identities are revealed,
Danger closes in,
And they both discover what it really means to fear…


Fear You is the second book in the Broken Love series. It begins where the first book, Fear Me, left off. Without reading book one, you won’t understand the plot or the relationship dynamics. Just a warning: This book contains sensitive themes that will be disturbing to some readers. You can check out my review for Fear Me here, if you’re curious.

Like I said above, Fear You continues Lake and Keiran’s story. They’re not on good terms–not that they ever truly were on good terms. Lake has to deal with the fall out for what she’s done to Keiran. He’s back to torment her, but this time she feels she has the power to stand up to him. It is hard because Keiran is relentless. He’s not willing to give Lake up. She’s his obsession.There’s also the matter of Keiran’s past haunting both Lake and Keiran. His demons have shown up, and it puts both of them in danger.

Fear You was a little easier for me to stomach than Fear Me. The abusive relationship between Lake and Keiran was still there, but I got some answers I needed. I now understand why Keiran is the monster he is. I still hate it, but I understand it. Lake stood up for herself as much as she was able to without completely giving in to Kerian, so I appreciated that. There were actually a few loving moments in Fear You that bordered on sweet. I still believe they both need years of counseling and that this book needs a warning about abusive relationships and where to get help if you’re in one. Basically, Keiran and Lake’s messed up relationship was pretty close to what it was in Fear You. It was horrible and no one should live that way.

What was outstanding about Fear You was the writing itself. It was utterly addictive. The story that was wrapped around Keiran and Lake’s twisted love affair was so good. It was suspenseful and kept me wondering how it would all play out. It is the only reason I kept reading this series other than to hope I would get to see Lake and Keiran get some therapy. I couldn’t believe some of the twists B.B. Reid came up with. I loved how the plot wrapped up — with the exception of Sheldon and Keenan’s arc. They moved into dangerous territory. Fear Us, the next book in this series, is theirs and I’m worried it’s going to be another Fear Me / Fear You situation. I don’t know that I can handle another abusive relationship like Lake and Keiran’s. I guess I’ll find out since I’ve already started reading the third book.

Review: The Sweet Gum Tree by Katherine Allred

The Sweet Gum Tree
Author: Katherine Allread
Publication Date: May 12, 2005
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Women’s Fiction, New Adult, Fiction

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Sweet tea, corn bread, and soup beans—everyday fare for eight-year-old Alix French, the precocious darling of a respected southern family. But nothing was ordinary about the day she met ten-year-old Nick Anderson, a boy from the wrong side of town. Armed with only a tin of bee balm and steely determination, Alix treats the raw evidence of a recent beating that mars his back, an act that changes both of their lives forever.

Through childhood disasters and teenage woes they cling together as friendship turns to love. The future looks rosy until the fateful night when Frank Anderson, Nick’s abusive father, is shot to death in his filthy trailer.

Suddenly, Nick is gone—leaving Alix alone, confused and pregnant. For the next fifteen years she wrestles with the pain of Nick’s abandonment, a bad marriage, her family and friends. But finally, she’s starting to get her life back together. Her divorce is almost final, her business is booming, and she’s content if not happy—until the day she looks up and sees Nick standing across the counter. He’s back…and he’s not alone.

Once again Alix is plunged into turmoil and pain as Nick tries to win her love, something she resists with all her strength. Only one thing might break the protective wall she’s built around her emotions—the truth about Frank Anderson’s death. But when that truth comes out and those walls crumble, neither Alix nor Nick is prepared for the emotional explosion that could destroy as well as heal.


The Sweet Gum Tree is not a book that I normally would have picked up. Honestly, the cover and title wouldn’t have appealed to me. Luckily, I read a review of it by Stephanie. Her review made The Sweet Gum Tree sound so interesting. I decided I wanted to read it and requested it from my local library. I’m so happy I did! I ended up really enjoying this book. I didn’t want to put it down. I read it one night, and stayed up super late to finish it.
When I first started reading The Sweet Gum Tree, I wondered what I was getting myself into. While the story was written in my favorite first person narration, it was told straight to me by the main character Alix rather than experiencing it with her. That felt really odd to me. I got used to it and kind of forgot about it. It didn’t ruin the book for me.

I loved the setting of The Sweet Gum Tree. I’m a big fan of books set in the southern United States. This one was even more special with it being set in a small town. I could easily imagine how closely tied together all of the characters were.

I really liked how the story started when Alix was a young girl and grew with her until adulthood. This was done in a great way. I got just enough of her story at important times in her life to understand how she ended up where she was an adult. I loved seeing how her relationship with Nick in all those years changed Alix. I adored Alex and Nick’s love for each other. It was so sweet and it grew from a very special friendship.

What drove me nuts about The Sweet Gum Tree was the lack of communication between the characters. That caused the majority of the problems, and showed just how immature the characters were — even into adulthood. Another thing that was a little frustrating was all the cheating involved in the story. It wasn’t described, so that wasn’t the problem. It was the way that the characters all reacted to it. It seemed like no big deal and was easily forgiven. That was just so odd.

Overall, The Sweet Gum Tree was a surprisingly addictive read. It wasn’t perfect in my eyes, but that didn’t matter. It drew me in, kept my attention, and left me satisfied in the end. If you’re a fan of women’s fiction, books set in the South, or books set in a small town, you might want to give The Sweet Gum Tree a try. It’s a special book.