Review: Forget You, Ethan by Whitney G.

Forget You, Ethan
Series: Forget You, Ethan, #1
Author: Whitney G.
Publication Date: August 3, 2018
Publisher: WGW Books, LLC
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer…

I’ve hated Rachel Dawson since I was seven years old. My next door neighbor and number one sworn enemy, she’s the reason why almost all of our childhood fights ended with me setting something of hers on fire. (Or, vice versa.)

She snitched on me when I broke curfew.

I snitched on her when she lied about having a boyfriend.

We went back and forth like this throughout high school, both vowing to never talk to each other again when we went off to college.

But that was until she showed up at my apartment during my senior year and asked me for a temporary place to stay. Until I realized just how much between us had changed, and the line I thought we’d never cross became harder and harder to ignore…


If you’re a fan of contemporary romances and haven’t read a book by Whitney G., you’re missing out. She’s an incredibly talented writer who has corned the market on the love-hate relationship. There’s something so special about the way she writes them. She makes you love and hate the characters just as much as they love and hate each other. I don’t know how she manages to it, but it makes for an amazing, fiery romance. That’s exactly what you’ll get with Forget You, Ethan.

Fans of Sincerely, Carter will especially love Forget You, Ethan. It’s similar to that first book in that it starts out with a guy and a girl who have been sworn enemies since they were kids. It shows how their relationship evolves over the years from torment to love. The story is a mixture of their current relationship intermixed with letters spewing hate from their childhood. I loved the way Whitney G. had Ethan and Rachel’s relationship unfold.

Ethan and Rachel had a super funny way of falling for each other. They went from next door neighbors to pen pals to roommates. I enjoyed their banter and all of the ridiculous things they did and said to each other. I loved the way the fought and the way they fell in love. I just really loved their story. It was so fun and totally worth the long wait. I couldn’t be happier with how it all turned out. Now, please, someone tell me Whitney G. is going to write another new adult enemies to lovers book!

Review: The Chase by Elle Kennedy

The Chase
Series: Briar U, #1
Author: Elle Kennedy
Publication Date: August 5, 2018
Genre: New Adult, Sports, Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Everyone says opposites attract. And they must be right, because there’s no logical reason why I’m so drawn to Colin Fitzgerald. I don’t usually go for tattoo-covered, video-gaming, hockey-playing nerd-jocks who think I’m flighty and superficial. His narrow view of me is the first strike against him. It doesn’t help that he’s buddy-buddy with my brother.

And that his best friend has a crush on me.

And that I just moved in with them.

Oh, did I not mention we’re roommates?

I suppose it doesn’t matter. Fitzy has made it clear he’s not interested in me, even though the sparks between us are liable to burn our house down. I’m not the kind of girl who chases after a man, though, and I’m not about to start. I’ve got my hands full dealing with a new school, a sleazy professor, and an uncertain future. So if my sexy brooding roomie wises up and realizes what he’s missing?

He knows where to find me.


The Chase was my most highly anticipated book of the summer. It’s been a LONG time since Elle Kennedy released a book without a co-author, and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. Did it meet the high expectations I had for it? Absolutely. The Chase reminded me exactly why I love Elle Kennedy’s writing so much.

The Chase takes us back to Elle Kennedy’s Briar University where her Off-Campus series was set. The Off-Campus gang gave all graduated. In their wake, they’ve left behind some familiar players to take their place on top of the Briar U hockey team. First up to find love is Fitzy. The heavily tattooed, scruffy man is a quiet guy who doesn’t like to be the center of attention. That’s why it’s so hard for him to come to terms that he’s interested in Summer.

You might recognize the name Summer. Summer is none other than Dean Di Laurentis’ younger sister. We first met her in The Score. She’s beautiful, rich, full of energy and draws everyone’s attention when she enters a room. Summer has just transferred to Briar U, and is Fitzy and friends’ new roommate. That’s a good and bad thing since Summer has been crushing on Fitzy for the past year.

That’s all I’m saying about the plot of this book . I refuse to give anything away. I know you have been waiting on this book as long as I have. I won’t ruin it for you. What I will say is that I loved The Chase. I loved being back in the Briar hockey world. I adored Summer and Fitzy. Their story was cute and built in the best way. I loved getting to know Fitzy’s teammates and roommates, Hunter and Hollis. Summer’s friends were just as special. Brenna was definitely a favorite character of mine. I can’t wait for all these characters to get their own books! The only little thing that could have made this book better would have been an epilogue, but since I know I’ll be seeing more of these characters I’ll forgive Elle Kennedy for not giving me one.

The Chase was everything I hoped it would be. I absolutely loved it. Elle Kennedy has a way of writing that has me so invested in her characters that I can’t stop thinking about them long after I finished reading. I need more of them! The next Brair U book can’t come soon enough!

Here’s an EXCERPT to give you a hint at how much fun The Chase is…

“Dance with me?”

I want to say no.

But I also want to say yes.

I call this the Summer Dilemma—the frustrating, polar reactions this green-eyed, golden-haired goddess sparks in me.

Fuck yes and hell no.

Get naked with her. Run far, far away from her.

“Thanks, but I don’t like to dance.” I’m not lying. Dancing’s the worst.

Besides, when it comes to Summer Di Laurentis, my flight instinct always wins out.

“You’re no fun, Fitzy.” She makes a tsking noise, drawing my gaze to her lips. Full, pink, and glossy, with a tiny mole above the left side of her mouth.

It’s an extremely hot mouth.

Hell, everything about Summer is hot. She’s hands down the best-looking girl in the bar, and every dude in our vicinity is either staring enviously or glowering at me for being with her.

Not that I’m with her. We’re not together. I’m just standing next to her, with two feet of space between us. Which Summer keeps trying to bridge by leaning closer to me.

In her defense, she practically has to scream in my ear for me to hear her over the electronic dance music blasting through the room. I hate EDM, and I don’t like these kinds of bars, the ones with a dance floor and deafening music. Why the subterfuge? Just call your establishment a nightclub, if that’s what you want it to be. The owner of Gunner’s Pub should’ve called this place Gunner’s Club. Then I could’ve turned right around when I saw the sign and spared myself the shattered eardrums.

Not for the first time tonight, I curse my friends for dragging me to Brooklyn for New Year’s Eve. I’d way rather be at home, drinking a beer or two and watching the ball drop on TV. I’m low-key like that.

“You know, they warned me you were a curmudgeon, but I didn’t believe it until now.”

“Who’s they?” I ask suspiciously. “And hey, wait. I’m not a curmudgeon.”

“Hmmm, you’re right—the term is kind of dated. Let’s go with Groucho.”

“Let’s not.”

“No-Fun Police? Is that better?” Her expression is pure innocence. “Seriously, Fitz, what do you have against fun?”

An unwitting smile breaks free. “Got nothing against fun.”

“All right. Then what do you have against me?” she challenges. “Because every time I try talking to you, you run away.”

My smile fades. I shouldn’t be surprised that she’s calling me out in public. We’ve had a whopping total of two encounters, but that’s plenty of time for me to know she’s the type who thrives on drama.

I hate drama.

“Got nothing against you, either.” With a shrug, I ease away from the bar, prepared to do what she’s just accused me of—run.

A frustrated gleam fills her eyes. They’re big and green, the same shade as her older brother Dean’s eyes. And Dean’s the reason I force myself to stay put. He’s a good friend of mine. I can’t be a jackass to his sister, both out of respect for him, and for fear of my well-being. I’ve been on the ice when Dean’s gloves come off. He’s got a mean right hook.

“I mean it,” I say roughly. “I have nothing against you. We’re cool.”

“What? I didn’t hear the last part,” she says over the music.

I dip my mouth toward her ear, and I’m surprised that I barely have to bend my neck. She’s taller than the average chick, five-nine or ten, and since I’m six-two and used to towering over women, I find this refreshing.

“I said we’re cool,” I repeat, but I misjudged the distance between my lips and Summer’s ear. The two collide, and I feel a shiver run up her frame.

I shiver too, because my mouth is way too close to hers. She smells like heaven, some fascinating combo of flowers and jasmine and vanilla and—sandalwood, maybe? A man could get high on that fragrance. And don’t get me started on her dress. White, strapless, short. So short it barely grazes her lower thighs.

God fucking help me.

Review: Rebel Heart by L.K. Farlow

Rebel Heart
Author: L.K. Farlow
Publication Date: July 26, 2018
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Sports

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

She wants to see him get wild and he thinks she needs Jesus.

When AJ Adams is coerced into tutoring Brock Larson, she can’t help but wonder what she’s done to deserve such an epic punishment. He’s the very definition of an All-American good boy—and a total kiss ass. He’s the perfect son, the perfect student, and according to rumor, by far the best golfer the university has ever seen. Puh-lease. If he’s so perfect, why does he need tutoring?

With his British Literature grade circling the drain, Brock knows he needs help. But when he meets his tutor, he can’t believe his friggin’ luck. Abby Jane no longer resembles the childhood best friend he used to play hide and seek with. No, she’s all attitude and pink hair and tattoos. Oh, and she hates him, so that’s a plus.

Brock and AJ couldn’t clash more and antagonizing one another is just too easy. But, as they spend more time together, the lines begin to blur, leading them to realize they have more in common than what meets the eye.

Hate. Lust. Love. They all look the same when you’re in denial, and everyone knows you can’t control your rebel heart.


Rebel Heart is the first book I’ve read by L.K. Farlow. I decided to give it a try after reading a couple of glowing reviews from bloggers I trust. I’m happy I did. Rebel Heart was the type of book I like to read when I’m looking to escape reality. It’s one of those books that’s close to being a little over the top in some aspects, but isn’t too crazy. It was fun and kept me entertained.

The characters in Rebel Hearts had an opposites attract thing going on. AJ and Brock were best friends as children, but went there separate ways in middle school. AJ isn’t happy about being Brock’s tutor, but Brock is excited to have a second chance with feisty AJ. As Brock gets closer to winning AJ’s heart, his obligations threaten to ruin everything.

I liked Brock and AJ. It was cool that Brock was a golfer. You don’t normally see that in sports romances. I also liked that he was a lot sweeter than AJ originally gave him credit for. AJ was a firecracker (to use Brock’s words). She had her own thing going on and she didn’t bend for anyone. I liked how she challenged Brock and wasn’t going to put up with anything. AJ was a strong female character. AJ and Brock were perfect together. They had an amazing chemistry that I loved.

There were a few things that were hard to get past in Rebel Heart. One, the way they talked. I haven’t really heard anyone talk the way they did at times. It felt over the top to me, but maybe I’m just getting too old…Two, I could see the ending coming. Sometimes predictability is nice, but in this case it was too glaringly predictable. I wanted more of a surprising twist. Third, I had a hard time believing Brock would notice the things he did. My husband wouldn’t notice and describe my attire the way Brock did. I can see commenting on how hot a dress is or how pretty AJ looks, but the detail he went into was too much. One last thing I would have liked was more golf. I don’t know much about the sport, and it would have been nice to learn more and see more of Brock in action.

Other than those things, I truly enjoyed reading Rebel Heart. It was light, entertaining read that has me excited to pick up more of L.K. Farlow’s books. I definitely recommend Rebel Heart if you want a new adult romance that’s fun, fast read.

2018 New Adult Reading Challenge Update #7

Hi, guys! This is my first 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 83 NA books so far.

  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

 

  1. finish a seriesVery Twisted Things by Ilsa Madden-Mills
  2. first book by a favorite authorVery Bad Things by Ilsa Madden-Mills
  3. book with only a male POV Taut by J.A. Huss
  4. forbidden romanceMoonshot by Alessandra Torre
  5. book you knew nothing about Sweet Little Lies by Sierra Hill
  6. friendship to love romance Jock Row by Sara Ney
  7. bottom of your TBR The Vincent Boys by Abbi Glines
  8. blue coverRoomies by Christina Lauren
  9. LGBTQ novel Alphas Like Us by Krista & Becca Ritchie
  10. fantasy novel
  11. book with a POC main character From Lukov with Love by Mariana Zapata
  12. book set in winterShooting for the Stars by Sarina Bowen
  13. book about familyBad Boy Brody by Tijan
  14. book with music or artMidnight Blue by L.J. Shen
  15. new to you author All Lined Up by Cora Carmack
  16. book out of your comfort zoneScoring Wilder by R.S. Grey
  17. book with number in the titleWe Were One by Elizabeth Reyes
  18. 2018 release Bad Boy Brody by Tijan
  19. book written by a male authorPenalty by Jacob Chance
  20. first love Breathe by Abbi Glines
  21. enemies to lovers For Crosby by J. Nathan
  22. book that makes you cry Sometimes It Lasts by Abbi Glines
  23. book set in another countryRoyal Ruin by Jessica Peterson
  24. book with multiple POVsThe Coaching Hours by Sara Ney

I’m looking forward to participating in this challenge! If you’re up for joining in, you can sign up here. Be sure to watch for my monthly challenge updates.

Series Review: Losing It by Cora Carmack

Losing It
Series: Losing It, #1
Author: Cora Carmack
Narrator: Phoebe Strole
Publication Date: April 30, 2013
Publisher: HarperAudio
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Virginity.

Bliss Edwards is about to graduate from college and still has hers. Sick of being the only virgin among her friends, she decides the best way to deal with the problem is to lose it as quickly and simply as possible—a one-night stand. But her plan turns out to be anything but simple when she freaks out and leaves a gorgeous guy alone and naked in her bed with an excuse that no one with half a brain would ever believe.

And as if that weren’t embarrassing enough, when she arrives for her first class of her last college semester, she recognizes her new theater professor.

She’d left him naked in her bed about eight hours earlier. . . .

I hadn’t read this book before now because I didn’t think I would like it. I’m not a fan of the whole student-teacher forbidden romance thing. As a parent, those type of romances disturb and concern me. Losing It didn’t bother me, though. Cora Carmack did a very good job of not crossing over a line I couldn’t handle. This student-teacher romance worked for me for a number of reasons.

  • Bliss was a college senior. She was an adult a few years over the age of 18.
  • Garrick wasn’t too much older than her. He had recently graduated from college himself.
  • Bliss and Garrick’s relationship went slow. Based on the title, that seems false. It was truly a very slow burn romance.
  • There weren’t a lot of scenes where I worried they were going to get caught. The ones that were made me laugh. They were actually kind of funny.
  • I also think that listening to the audio version of the book made a difference. It was like being even more in Bliss’ head and feeling her feelings.

All of these things made the student-teacher concept easier on me. It also helped that I loved the writing and the characters. This book really surprised me, and in a good way. I truly wanted Bliss and Garrick to be together.

The only things that bugged me were lack of depth/growth of the characters and the switch from the entire book being in Bliss’ point of view to Garrick’s for the epilogue. I wanted Bliss to learn something more and to get a greater insight into Garrick. As for the narration switch, it was mostly because the narrator. He talked so much faster than the person who did Bliss. It was a shocking change. That wasn’t that big of deal, though. I got used to it. Overall, Losing It was a good classic NA read.


Faking It
Series: Losing It, #2
Author: Cora Carmack
Narrators: Emma Galvin, Dan Bittner
Publication Date: June 4, 2013
Publisher: HarperAudio
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Mackenzie “Max” Miller has a problem. Her parents have arrived in town for a surprise visit, and if they see her dyed hair, tattoos, and piercings, they just might disown her. Even worse, they’re expecting to meet a nice wholesome boyfriend, not a guy named Mace who has a neck tattoo and plays in a band. All her lies are about to come crashing down around her, but then she meets Cade.

Cade moved to Philadelphia to act and to leave his problems behind in Texas. So far though, he’s kept the problems and had very little opportunity to take the stage. When Max approaches him in a coffee shop with a crazy request to pretend to be her boyfriend, he agrees to play the part. But when Cade plays the role a little too well, they’re forced to keep the ruse going. And the more they fake the relationship, the more real it begins to feel.

Review:

Faking It was definitely more my style than Losing It. I really enjoyed this take on the fake relationship trope. I liked Cade in Losing It, and was happy he got a chance at real love. He was slightly broken, but his heartache was nothing compared to Max’s. I loved what Cade was able to bring to Max’s life. It was really sweet.

Faking It felt like a standard new adult romance. It had two broken characters who didn’t realize they were looking for the wrong thing until they found each other. The story had a little angst, but it wasn’t over the top. Faking It is definitely a must read for new adult fans.


Finding It
Series: Losing It, #3
Author: Cora Carmack
Narrators: Soneela Nankani
Publication Date: October 15, 2013
Publisher: HarperAudio
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Sometimes you have to lose yourself to find where you truly belong . . .

Most girls would kill to spend months traveling around Europe after college graduation with no responsibility, no parents, and no-limit credit cards. Kelsey Summers is no exception. She’s having the time of her life . . . or that’s what she keeps telling herself.

It’s a lonely business trying to find out who you are, especially when you’re afraid you won’t like what you discover. No amount of drinking or dancing can chase away Kelsey’s loneliness, but maybe Jackson Hunt can. After a few chance meetings, he convinces her to take a journey of adventure instead of alcohol. With each new city and experience, Kelsey’s mind becomes a little clearer and her heart a little less hers. Jackson helps her unravel her own dreams and desires. But the more she learns about herself, the more Kelsey realizes how little she knows about Jackson.

Review:

Finding It was my least favorite book in the series. It had several things stacked against it. I like books set in countries outside the U.S., but books where a character travels around don’t always work for me. This one did at times, but didn’t at others. I also didn’t immediately fall in love with Kelsey’s character. I didn’t like her or the decisions she made at first. It took me almost until half way though the book to start to be interested in her story. It waswhen she let me in on her secret. Then, I could at least start to understand her. I was seriously considering DNFing the book prior to her revelation. Even after I considered it. I think I just needed more of Kelsey and Jackson sooner. If I would have been reading instead of listening, I honestly would have skimmed to get to the heart of the story faster.

Overall Thoughts:

I had put off reading the Losing It series because I mistakenly thought it wasn’t for me. After reading Cora Carmack’s other NA series, I decided to take my chances. I’m happy I did. The first two books in this series were well worth reading. The last book wasn’t for me, but I’m sure others would enjoy it.

Review: The Hardest Fall by Ella Maise

The Hardest Fall
Author: Ella Maise
Publication Date: April 18, 2018
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Sports

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

The first time you meet someone, you make eye contact. You smile, say hello. Should be simple, if you’re anyone but me. The first time I met Dylan Reed, I found myself making eye contact with a different part of his body. You see, I’m very good at being shy, not to mention extremely well-versed in rambling nonsense and, unfortunately, rather highly skilled at making a fool of myself in front of a guy I’m attracted to.

At the time, I knew nothing about him and thought none of what I said would matter since I’d never speak to him again. Turns out, I was very wrong. He was the star wide receiver of the football team, one of the few players expected to make it into the NFL, and I ended up seeing him all over campus.
I might have also propositioned him, run away from him, attacked him with a cooking utensil…and…uh, maybe I shouldn’t tell you all of it. It’s pretty normal stuff, things you’d expect…from me. Eventually, the time came when I couldn’t hide anymore—not that he’d have let me even if I tried.
Before now, he never knew I was secretly watching him. Now that we see each other every day, he knows when I have a hard time looking away. It doesn’t help that I’m not the most subtle person in the world either.

He smiles at me and tells me he finds me fascinating because of my quirks. I can’t even tell him that I think my heart beats differently whenever he’s around.

He thinks we’re going to be best friends. I think I have a big thing for him, and the more I get to know him, the more I don’t care that I’m not allowed to be his friend, let alone fall for him.

The thing is, that’s exactly what I’m doing—what we’re doing, I think.

Falling.

Hard.


The Hardest Fall has been on my to-read list since it was released back in April. I loved the cover and the blurb. It seemed like a book right up my alley. Knowing it was from the author who also wrote two books I really enjoyed, To Love Jason Thorn and To Hate Adam Connor, made me that much more excited to finally get to read it.

I adored Zoe and Dylan. Zoe was this shy, quirky girl who was embarrassed by just about everything. Seeing her through Dylan’s eyes made me love her more than I already did. Dylan was a refreshing take on the college football star. He was a nice guy who was into monogamy. You don’t see that often in new adult romances. I liked that he was a decent human being from the get go. I also liked what a hard worker he was.

Zoe and Dylan’s relationship was so sweet! It was a slow burn romance in all of the best ways. I got to see their relationship revolve from acquaintances to friends to more in a time that felt real and not rushed. That’s another thing you don’t find often in new adult romances. What I really loved about their relationship was how they treated each other.

Another thing I loved about this book were the other relationships in it. Zoe had some strong friendships and they created some special, memorable moments. Dylan also had great friendships with his team that were spotlighted. All of the supporting characters strengthened Zoe and Dylan separately and together. It was cool.

The Hardest Fall surpassed my expectations. It surprised me with its twists and turns. I wasn’t expecting them! To be honest, Zoe’s secret had me a little stressed out! I was worried things were headed in a direction I wouldn’t like. Ella Maise took this book from average to exceptional with her plot line. It kept me on my toes! I highly recommend reading it if you’re a fan of sports, new adult, or college romances. It was an incredibly well written book.

Series Review: Pucked (Book #’s 4-6) by Helena Hunting

Earlier this month, I posted mini reviews for the first three books in the Pucked series. Today, I’m back with mini reviews for the next three books. You can find my reviews for books 1 – 3 HERE.

Forever Pucked
Series: Pucked, #4
Author: Helena Hunting
Publication Date: March 29, 2016
Publisher: Helena Hunting
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Sports

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Being engaged to Alex Waters, team captain and the highest paid NHL player in the league, is awesome. How could it not be?

In addition to being an amazing hockey player, he’s an incurable romantic with an XL heart, and an XXL hockey stick in his pants. And he knows how to use it. Incredibly, orgasmically well. Alex is the whole package and more. Literally. Like his package is insane. Total world record holder material.

So it makes complete sense that Violet Hall can’t wait to nail him down to the matrimonial mattress and become Mrs. Violet Waters.

It’s so romantic.

Violet is totally stoked to set a date.

Eventually. At some point. Likely before the next millennium. Or when Violet stops getting hives every time someone brings up the wedding, and their mothers stop colluding on stadium sized venues. Whichever comes first.

Review:

Back to beavers, MCs and Area 51. Once again, those terms overshadowed Violet and Alex’s story. This book was a fun addition to their story from book one. I loved the situations they were put in. I liked how they each grew individually and together. I just wish there weren’t so may beaver and MC references.


Pucked Under
Series: Pucked, #5
Author: Helena Hunting
Publication Date: July 7, 2016
Publisher: Ink & Cupcakes, Inc.
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Sports

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Randy Ballistic and Lily LeBlanc are head-over-heels, bed-breakingly, screaming orgasmically in love. But even they have their challenges, mostly outside of the bedroom.

With the off-season coming to a close and the boys gearing up for training camp, one more weekend of fun is the perfect way to welcome the new season.

The entire crew piles into vehicles and drives to Alex and Violet’s Chicago cottage for a few days of relaxation—and hopefully a chance for Randy to shake the anxiety that’s been plaguing him.

Accidental wardrobe malfunctions, typical Violet inspired overshares, and a whole lot of private time round out the perfect weekend getaway.

But the moment they return to the city all of Randy’s angst resurfaces with the arrival of a surprise houseguest.

Review:

I adored this novella. Lucy and Randy are my favorite couple in this series so far. They’re story is so cute and sexy. I liked how Randy’s family added the drama to this book and how it all turned out. My only complaint about this one was I wanted it to be longer!


Pucked Off
Series: Pucked, #5
Author: Helena Hunting
Publication Date: February 21, 2017
Publisher: Ink & Cupcakes, Inc.
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Sports

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

I’m NHL defenseman Lance Romero, AKA Lance “Romance.”

I’m notorious for parties and excess. I have the most penalty minutes in the league. I get into the most fights. I take the most hits. I’m a player on and off the ice. I’m the one women with no inhibitions want.

Not because I like the notoriety, but because I don’t know how to be any other way.

I have secrets. Ones I shared with the wrong person, and she used them against me. Sometimes she still does. I should cut ties. But she makes it difficult, because she’s the kind of bad I deserve.

At least that’s what I believed until someone from my past gets caught up in my present. She’s all the good things in this world. She lights up my dark.

I shouldn’t want her.

But I do.

I should leave her alone.

But I won’t.

Review:

This was my favorite book in the Pucked series. I could really see Helena Hunting’s growth as an author in this one. I adored Lance and I’m so happy he found that special woman for him. He deserved her and to be happy. Their story was so sweet. My only issue with this book was that I felt the evil person in it needed to be dealt with in a harsher, legal way. Other than that, this book was perfection!

Review: In Harmony by Emma Scott

In Harmony
Author: Emma Scott
Publication Date: February 13, 2018
Genre: New Adult, Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
Note: I received this book from NetGalley. This review is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

In Harmony…gives a voice to the voiceless…”

The root of all madness is an unbearable truth…

At seventeen, Willow Holloway’s life was torn apart. The happy, driven girl is gone, and she is left wracked by post-traumatic stress her body remembers even if she does not. When her father suddenly uproots the family from their posh penthouse in New York City to the tiny town of Harmony, Indiana, Willow becomes more untethered and lost under the weight of her secret. On a whim, she auditions for a part in the community theater’s production of Hamlet and unexpectedly wins the role of Ophelia—the girl who is undone by madness, and her love of Hamlet…

Isaac Pearce is from the ‘wrong side of the tracks.’ The town bad boy. Girls pine for his attention and guys are in awe of him. That he’s an acting prodigy only adds to his charisma. Isaac utterly disappears into his characters; the stage is the only place he feels safe from his own traumatic home life. He wants nothing more than to escape to Broadway or Hollywood and leave Harmony behind for good.

No one can play Hamlet but Isaac, and when the director pairs him with Willow in acting class, they clash again and again—neither willing to open their hearts to anyone. But clashing leads to breaking, breaking leads to the spilling of terrible secrets, and soon Isaac and Willow find Shakespeare’s words mirroring their lives. When they are cruelly torn apart, neither know how this play will end—with madness and heartache? Or healing, love, and the discovery of who they are truly meant to be.

In Harmony is a standalone YOUNG ADULT/NEW ADULT love story, and is intended for readers 18 and up. PLEASE NOTE, this book contains sensitive material such as physical abuse, and the aftermath of sexual assault (off the page). Reader discretion is advised.


It’s been a while since I’ve read a book by Emma Scott. I have to admit that I had to wait until I was ready to pick up a book that I knew would be emotionally taxing. Emma Scott’s books always hit me hard. She makes me feel so much, and I knew that In Harmony was going to be one of those books that would bring tears to my eyes. It totally did.

In Harmony is a story about two broken young adults. Willow is not herself. She hasn’t been since her world was changed over a year ago. Willow hopes that moving to Harmony, Indiana will make things easier. Maybe she can get back to the girl she was before. Isaac is the town’s bad boy. He doesn’t mind the title. It keeps people from bothering him while he’s working on getting out-of-town. His one chance to leave his horrible existence behind is his acting. When Willow and Isaac are cast in a play together, they find a comfort in each other and a chance to heal.

This book was so beautiful. I can’t really even come up with the words to explain it. Willow and Isaac had been through some horrid things. I hated that they had been through so much. It made my heart hurt. I loved the comfort and trust they found in each other, and how meeting each other changed their lives for the better. It was just such an incredibly important story.

I know this review is short, but I’m so overwhelmed with the feelings this book gave me. In Harmony was truly a special book. I highly recommend reading it.

Reviews: Kings of Rittenhouse & Shameless King by Maya Hughes

Kings of Rittenhouse – A Shameless King Prequel
Series: Kings of Rittenhouse, #0.5
Author: Maya Hughes
Publication Date: June 11, 2018
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Sports

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Declan and Mak have been at each other’s throats since sophomore year and now it’s time for the party to end all parties for the seniors of Rittenhouse Prep.
What’s the worst that could happen?

Long live the Kings…

Review:

A new college hockey romance? Yes, please. As far as prequels go, this one was epic. It snagged my attention and never let go. It made me pre-order the first full length book in the series, Shameless King. I loved the drama and the introduction to all of the characters. I know I’m in for a fun ride with Mak and Declan. Funny thing, though, I’m almost more interested in finding out what Emmett and Avery’s story is! I have a feeling I’m going to be waiting a few books for that epic saga.


Shameless King
Series: Kings of Rittenhouse, #1
Author: Maya Hughes
Publication Date: June 11, 2018
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Sports

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Declan McAvoy. Voted Biggest Flirt. Highest goal scorer in Kings of Rittenhouse Prep history.
Everyone’s impressed, well except one person…

After a blow out in high school, Makenna Halstead and I were happy to never have to cross paths again. Except life has a way of knocking you straight in the teeth with a puck when you least expect it. She hasn’t just returned to my life, she crashed into it like a wrecking ball…into my college kingdom, into my class, and smack dab into the seat next to mine. My new lab partner to be exact.

For years we hated each other… I may be King on the ice, but she is the Ice Queen. She has no problem calling me out, doesn’t back down, and her piercing blue eyes have me picturing more than than just my arms wrapped around her.

Now we’re stuck with each other and there’s no getting around that fact that we have to work together. My hockey career hangs in the balance. Problem? Oh, yeah.

I can’t deny it. I want her. More than I ever thought I could want a woman. I’ve got one semester–only four months–to convince her everything she thought about me was wrong.

Will my queen let me prove to her I’m the King she can’t live without?

Only one way to find out…

Review:

With the strong start set up in the prequel, it was easy to jump right into Mak and Declan’s book. It was an incredibly fun and addicting enemies to lovers romance. Their bickering and obvious attraction to each other was so entertaining. Once they took the step toward being something more than frenemies, the story took on a sweet and sexy tone. I liked that. I also liked both of their back stories and the emotion they brought to the story line.

I loved everything about this book except for one thing. Mak and Declan were college seniors. I feel like I missed out on three years of fun with them. I was hoping all the books would be set in the college atmosphere, but I know they won’t be. That makes me sad.

Overall, Shameless King (with its prequel) was a great beginning to what’s shaping up to be a fun new adult series. I’m looking forward to reading more about these kings.

Review: Pucked, Pucked Up, & Pucked Over by Helena Hunting

Pucked
Series: Pucked, #1
Author: Helena Hunting
Publication Date: May 3, 2015
Publisher: Helena Hunting
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Sports

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

With a famous NHL player for a step-brother, Violet Hall is well acquainted with the playboy reputation many hockey stars come with. She’s smart enough to steer clear of those hot, well-built boys with unparalleled stamina. That is until she meets the legendary team captain—Alex Waters.

Violet isn’t interested in his pretty, beat-up face, or his rock-hard six-pack abs. But when Alex inadvertently obliterates Violet’s previous misapprehension regarding the inferior intellect of hockey players, he becomes more than just a hot body with a face to match.

In what can only be considered a complete lapse in judgment, Violet finds out just how good Alex is with the hockey stick in his pants. But what starts out as a one-night stand, quickly turns into something more. Post-night of orgasmic magic, Alex starts to call, and text, and e-mail and send extravagant—and quirky—gifts, making him difficult to ignore, and even more difficult not to like.

The problem is, the media portrays Alex as a total player, and Violet doesn’t want to be part of the game.

Review:

I’m not quite sure what to say about Pucked. It wasn’t quite the writing I’m used to from Helena Hunting. I’m guessing that’s because this book was published years before the ones I’ve read. It wasn’t that the writing was bad. I actually really loved the Violet and Alex’s story line. It was mostly Violet. I’m all for quirky characters. They’re usually really fun, but Violet was quirky in more of an irritating way. It was mostly the choice of words used for her. There were WAY too many beaver and MC references. They were funny the first couple of times, but then just got annoying. Overall, I enjoyed this one, but not as much as I could have. I’m still planning on continuing the series.


Pucked Up
Series: Pucked, #2
Author: Helena Hunting
Publication Date: October 25, 2015
Publisher: Helena Hunting
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Sports

Rating: ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Miller “Buck” Butterson has been banging his way through life ever since a puck to the face fixed his messed up front teeth, and he was drafted into the NHL during his first year of college. After five years of deflecting goals on the ice and scoring them with puck bunnies across the Continental US and parts of Canada, Miller is ready for a girlfriend. A real girlfriend of the non-bunny variety. One he takes on dates and doesn’t jump into bed with after five seconds of conversation.

Miller thinks he’s found that woman in his teammate’s sister. Except, unlike Alex Waters, center, team captain and all round nice guy—who happens to be dating his step-sister—Miller’s manwhore reputation is well-earned, and not blown out of proportion by the media. Beyond that minor detail, Miller doesn’t know the first thing about having a girlfriend. But he’s determined to make it happen.

What he doesn’t take into account is the amount of time and effort relationships require, or that constantly letting bunnies take selfies with him to post all over social media isn’t going to win him any points in the boyfriend department. Miller learns—not so quickly—that if he wants to make Sunshine “Sunny” Waters fall for him, he going to have to do a whole lot more than show her his stick skills in the bedroom.

Review:

The words used in Pucked Up were way less annoying than Pucked, but the characters drove me nuts in this one. Miller and Sunny’s story just didn’t work for me. Miller made some dumb decisions and mistakes. I know he had some learning disabilities, but that wasn’t an excuse for putting himself in the positions he did. Sunny, for being as “sweet and innocent” as she was, played way too many games for my liking. I understood her jealousy and her resistance to trusting him, but that whole aspect of the story was dragged out too much for me. In the end, I didn’t truly believe she loved Miller. Pucked Up was just an okay read for me. I’m still continuing the series, and I’m looking forward to Lucy and Randy’s book!


Pucked Over
Series: Pucked, #3
Author: Helena Hunting
Publication Date: January 22, 2016
Publisher: Helena Hunting
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Sports

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Lily LeBlanc isn’t versed in the art of casual sex, but after seven years in an on-again, off-again relationship, she’s definitely willing to give it a shot. And who better to try it with than her best friend’s boyfriend’s best friend? What could possibly go wrong? Nothing at all.

NHL player, Randy Ballistic, lives up to his last name on the ice and in the bedroom. His best friend and teammate has recently given up the puck bunnies and traded them in for a real girlfriend. And she just happens to have a seriously feisty, extra-hot best friend on the rebound. Randy’s more than happy to be Lily’s spring board back into the dating scene.

Casual sex is only casual until those pesky things called emotions get involved. Once that happens, someone’s bound to gets pucked over.

Review:

This series is getting better as it goes along. Pucked Over was less kooky than the first two books. The characters and their dilemmas  were more realistic. I wasn’t much of a fan of Lily or Randy in the first couple of books, but I loved them in this one. They were a really cute couple. I also found Violet, Alex, Miller, and Sunshine’s craziness easier to tolerate as side characters. Oh, and I can’t leave out Daisy. It was so much fun to see Alex and Daisy’s mom through someone else’s eye who had known them forever. I loved reading Pucked Over. It’s made me excited to continue this series!