Review: After by Anna Todd

After
Series: After, #1
Author: Anna Todd
Narrator: Elizabeth Louise
Publication Date: October 21, 2014
Publisher: Simon Schuster Audio
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆

Synopsis:

Tessa is a good girl with a sweet, reliable boyfriend back home. She’s got direction, ambition, and a mother who’s intent on keeping her that way.

But she’s barely moved into her freshman dorm when she runs into Hardin. With his tousled brown hair, cocky British accent, tattoos, and lip ring, Hardin is cute and different from what she’s used to.

But he’s also rude—to the point of cruelty, even. For all his attitude, Tessa should hate Hardin. And she does—until she finds herself alone with him in his room. Something about his dark mood grabs her, and when they kiss it ignites within her a passion she’s never known before.

He’ll call her beautiful, then insist he isn’t the one for her and disappear again and again. Despite the reckless way he treats her, Tessa is compelled to dig deeper and find the real Hardin beneath all his lies. He pushes her away again and again, yet every time she pushes back, he only pulls her in deeper.

Tessa already has the perfect boyfriend. So why is she trying so hard to overcome her own hurt pride and Hardin’s prejudice about nice girls like her?

Unless…could this be love?

Now newly revised and expanded, Anna Todd’s After fanfiction racked up 1 billion reads online and captivated readers across the globe. Experience the Internet’s most talked-about book for yourself!

There was the time before Tessa met Hardin, and then there’s everything AFTER … Life will never be the same.


I don’t even know where to begin with this book. I’m not the same after reading it. I’m irritated, exhausted and frustrated. So many people love After. I am not one of those people. Sorry. I was disturbed almost the entire time I was listening to it. I kept thinking I should DNF this book. I honestly can’t believe that I finished it. I’m going to apologize because this review is going to get very rant filled. (Warning: Possible spoilers ahead.)

The relationship between Tessa and Hardin was horrible. Tessa annoyed the heck out of me. She was a naïve, judgmental, and immature young woman. Now, there’s nothing wrong with being naïve or immature, but she needed a reality check. The way Hardin treated her wasn’t okay, yet she kept coming back for more. She had no respect for herself when it came to him. She gave him everything he wanted when all he did was prove he didn’t deserve it. There is no way I could ever see their relationship being healthy. Maybe I would have been more accepting of Tessa’s situation with Hardin if she learned her lesson about emotional abuse and became a stronger, better person from it. That wasn’t part of this story, though. I felt this love story set a horrible example for impressionable young women. (Who are reading/have read this book because it began as One Direction fan fiction on Wattpad!!! Mind. Blown.)

There was nothing to love about Hardin. He may have had issues in his past, but none of them gave him permission to act the way he did. I didn’t find anything attractive about him at all. I would love to say that could have changed if I had his point of view, but I don’t think so. I think it would have made me hate him more. Hardin needed counseling.

Noah’s the only person I felt sorry for in this whole book. Despite being too cozy with Tessa’s mom, he seemed like a genuinely good person. He respected Tessa and her feelings. Noah didn’t deserve to be cheated on or find out the way he did. Tessa should have been honest with him the minute she acted on her feelings for Hardin. It made me dislike her even more.

There are a couple of reasons why I gave After 2 stars. One, I did want to know where this abusive love story was going. Sadly, it was because I was hoping that Tessa would realize what a horrible, unhealthy relationship she was in and move on. Second, the ending. I am so mad at that ending because it was so amazing. I had no plans to read the second book in this series because I absolutely hated this book, but that ending! Ugh! It was the best part of the entire book and now I need to know what happens next! Grrr….

So, surprisingly, I will be reading the second book in this series even though I didn’t like this one. I can only hope the series gets better.

Review: Carter Reed by Tijan

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

Rating: ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

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


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

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

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

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

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

Review: Fallen Crest Forever by Tijan

Fallen Crest Forever
Series: Fallen Crest High, #7
Author: Tijan
Publication Date: May 16, 2017
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Mason Kade is the dream.
He is the promise.
He’s offering what so many would fantasize about, and it’s not that I don’t want it/him/us.
It’s the opposite.
There might be ghosts haunting me, but this man who’s my soulmate is asking me for forever.
How can I say no to someone who already gave me my happily ever after?


Well, this is it. The finale to a dramatic and addicting series. I feel like I’m at a loss of what to say right now. I seriously want to cry because I am done with the final full length Fallen Crest High novel. I know it was probably time for the series to come to an end, but I could read about these characters and their drama forever. I know their lives would continue to be just as fun to follow.

Drama wise, Fallen Crest Forever felt the calmest to me. Don’t get me wrong, there were still many dramatic moments, but they felt more subdued. Emotions wise, it was a different story. Fallen Crest Forever was the most emotionally tormenting book of them all.

Surprisingly, Sam had a lot of self-discovery to do. I loved that she was determined to find herself and her passions outside of her relationship with Mason. Her doubts plagued me, even though I always knew she would be okay. I had faith because Sam had her family and their support, and that was the most important thing.

Mason was a rock in this book. His inner strength was calming for both Sam and me. I appreciated his more mature approach to life this time around. He was still the badass football player, but he became even smarter with his actions than before. I have commented on it in previous reviews, but his protection of Sam and they way he showed his love for her was beautiful.

I can’t say that everything was smooth sailing for Sam and Mason in Fallen Crest Forever. There were moments that made me swoon, but there were also moments that broke my heart. Tears were in my eyes a couple of times. I’m so happy they had Logan, Nate, Taylor and Heather to help support them in their final journey toward forever. I couldn’t have asked for a better ending for them.

The story that began in Fallen Crest High came full circle in Fallen Crest Forever. I’m sad this utterly addictive series is over, but knowing there’s going to at least be another novella in the near future has placated me. I’m happy to know this isn’t the last time I’ll see the characters I’ve grown to love so much.

Review: Bad Penny by Staci Hart

Bad Penny
Author: Staci Hart
Publication Date: June 15, 2017
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Nothing good comes after the third date.

Date three is the crucial point when things get real, which is exactly why I bounce out the door, twiddling my fingers at whatever poor boy I’ve left behind. Because if I stick around, one of three things will happen: he’ll profess his undying love, he’ll get weird and stalky, or I’ll go crazy. Like, Sid and Nancy crazy. Like, chase-him-through-the-streets-begging-him-to-love-me crazy.

Seriously, it’s better for everyone this way.

So when I meet Bodie, I figure it’ll be the same as it ever was. It doesn’t matter that he doesn’t put a single string on me. Doesn’t matter that he’s funny and smart and jacked or that he can play my body like a grand piano. Because even though I’m built for love, love has only carved me up like a Christmas ham.

Resistance is something I can only hang on to for so long, and he has persistence in spades. But my heart isn’t as safe as I want to believe, and neither is his. And the second I ignore my cardinal rule is the second I stand to lose him forever.


I was feeling bogged down by books I have to read when I came across a blog post publicizing Bad Penny for $0.99. It caught my attention, and I impulsively downloaded it. I “threw” all of my have to read books aside and devoured Bad Penny.

Here’s what I want to know. Blogger friends who have read Staci Hart’s books before, why have you not forced me to read one of her books before? Maybe you’ve recommended them to me and I didn’t listen? Either way, I should have been reading her books before now. I loved everything about Hart’s writing style. It was witty, sexy bordering on dirty, and a whole lot of fun. I especially loved how it was written in first person dual point of view. I couldn’t get enough of Bad Penny. I was so into it that I read it in one sitting.

My favorite thing about Bed Penny was the chemistry between the characters. It was some of the hottest chemistry I’ve found in a book. Penny and Bodie set off major sparks from the minute their eyes met. I could feel the heat every time they were together, and I’m not just talking from their intense sexual escapades. Their personalities melded so well together. Penny was a hard, emotionally restrained character. Bodie was a hot geeky guy. But back to those intense sexual escapades. Dang! Those were hot. They had a little bit of a dirty vibe to them that I loved. It’s the first time I remember thinking the sex matched the characters’ personalities. Is that weird?

This book wasn’t all about sex. Well it kind of was, but it was also had character growth and discovery. Penny had a lot to learn about love and herself. Her path of discovery was intense and a little heartbreaking. Her mistakes pulled at my heart, and I loved how Bodie reacted to them. His reactions felt real and right. Everything that happened in their relationship made sense, and I loved how it all turned out.

Bad Penny has made me an instant fan of Staci Hart’s writing. I loved this book so much! I can’t even tell you how much! It’s made me very excited to go back and read more of her novels. I highly recommend Bad Penny to contemporary romance readers who like a little bit of dirty and a whole lot of sexy mixed in with their adorable contemporary romances.

Review: Sweet Summer Love by Sierra Hill

Sweet Summer Love
Series: The Sweetest Thing, #3
Author: Sierra Hill
Publication Date: January 27, 2017
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Sports Romance
Note: I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Logan Everyone’s had a summer crush. One that’s etched into your memories so hard that it leaves an indelible mark, like a scar on your heart. For me, that crush is my first love, Carver Edwards. I met him at fifteen at summer camp, and for three perfect summers, he was mine. Until the blazing heat of the summer sun faded and reality crashed in. Carver went off to college, leaving me trapped in my small farming town, with no way of reaching him and a problem I needed solving. Carver As the senior captain of my college basketball team, all I’ve been focused on the past four years has been playing, school, getting drafted in the NBA, and steering clear of relationships. I didn’t want them. I had nothing to give another girl. I’d given it already. So, I built my rep as a player, and honed my natural ability to charm the pants off girls. It’s what I did. Who I was. Who I am. Until March, when a lay-up during a tournament landed me in an emergency room, under the care of Logan Shaw – my first love. Of all the people I could run into, why did it have to be her? Not only did my face get split wide open, but so did the locks that held the pain I’d attempted to bury for so many years. Now that she’s back in my life, we must face the truth and the consequences of our actions – even if it could destroy us. We must uncover the truths that have kept us shackled from moving forward. That could possibly set us free.


A rating was really hard for me to come up with for this book. It’s the first book I’ve read by Sierra Hill, and I actually loved reading it. The writing was really good, and I immediately fell in love with the characters. Logan and Carver’s story sucked me in right away starting with the foreshadowing in the prologue. I loved the little bit of mystery behind the history of their relationship and the way Logan and Carver came back into each other’s life. That’s where things get a little sticky for me.

I couldn’t keep some big things from staying in the back of my mind for the rest of the book. First, Logan and Carver’s previous relationship was based off being together at summer camp for two weeks a year for three years. They had no contact in between those summers. I honestly couldn’t understand how they were in love back then. Lust and like I get, but love? I just didn’t think their bond could have been as strong as it was. That leads to the second thing that bugged me. There was a major event that split them apart. Both were harboring some bad feelings from it. It only took one brief conversation for them to get over it and jump back into things. I had a hard time believing they could get over the negative feelings they had been keeping inside for five years in one conversation. All their troubles seemed to easily be fixed.

There was one other thing that threw me off a bit. Graduating college senior Carver was into kink. Like really into it. I mean, I guess I could understand it since he became quite the ladies man in college. Experimentation and all. What surprised me was that it didn’t seem to shock Logan. She hadn’t been with him since she was seventeen, yet she was willing to give him everything and anything. It made for some sweet sex scenes, but I have to admit shaking my head in wonderment a couple of times over how easily Logan was up for it. I think I would have been more questioning.

Despite those things, I really did love Sweet Summer Love. It obviously had some issues for me, but they didn’t stop from my enjoyment. I would still recommend reading it. It was a cute second chance romance. I want to go back and read the first two books now.

Review: Fallen Crest Home by Tijan

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

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Review: Fallen Crest Novella Reviews

As you probably know, I’ve been binge reading Tijan’s Fallen Crest High series over the past couple of weeks. I have read the books in order (with the except of the first prequel novella), and have finally made it to the novellas in the middle of the series. Rather than do separate reviews for each Fallen Crest High novella, I am going to do mini reviews for all of them in one post. This includes the first prequel novella as well.


Mason
Series: Fallen Crest High, #0.5

Author: Tijan
Publication Date: June 16, 2014
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Synopsis:

Mason Kade is not known to be nice. He is ruthless, manipulative, and unforgiving. Most will say that he is an a**hole and he is to those that cross him or cross his loved ones. However, he does not want to be who he is. He does not enjoy hurting others, but there is no limit to the lengths he will go to protect himself and his brother.

This is the story of how he came to be and this is why so many love Mason Kade.

My review:

This novella is a prequel to the entire Fallen Crest High series. I didn’t read it prior to starting the series. I’m kind of glad I didn’t. It might have taken away from some of the surprises I got, especially in Fallen Crest Public. Plus, Mason was so angry in this book. I’m happy I got to know him through Sam before reading Mason. I enjoyed the look back at what Mason and what he went through prior to meeting Sam. My favorite part was toward the end when he describes seeing her first the first time. Mason isn’t a novella Mason fans would want to miss.


Fallen Crest Christmas
Series: Fallen Crest High, #5.25
Author: Tijan
Publication Date: December 15, 2015
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

This is a very very short novella consisting of one scene that has three parts, and an additional bonus scene. This was written to be a FREE gift to any Fallen Crest readers! And with that said, Happy Holidays from Tijan.

My review:

This really was a VERY short novella. It was perfect, though. It spotlighted two Christmases for Sam. The first was after Fallen Crest University. Sam has to deal with her mother reappearing and wanting to spend Christmas with her. It was a fun read. My favorite part of this novella, though, was the short scene of the previous Christmas in Boston before Fallen Crest University. I had always wondered about that time for Sam. It was nice to get a glimpse of it.


Logan Kade
Series: Fallen Crest High, #5.5
Author: Tijan
Publication Date: March 28, 2016
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

People think that just because they know my name, my reputation, and my family that they know me. They don’t.

They say I’m a manwhore, but who wouldn’t be with my face and body? They say I’m a partier, and that’s not going to change. They say I’m a fighter, and hell yes I am. F*ck with mine, and I’ll f*ck you back ten times worse.

So, yes. Maybe what they say is true, but that’s not all of me.

I’m loyal to a damned fault. If you earn it, I’ll never leave your side. And when I love, I love hard, but there’s another side to me where it’s dark and painful. That side’s been kept hidden, until her. Taylor saw inside of me, and the second she was there, she owned me.

People think they know me…

…but only she can see me

My review:

Fallen Crest University treated me to Logan Kade’s point of view for a brief moment, and I wanted more. Thank goodness Tijan decided to write this novella about him. Logan Kade was everything I expected him to be. Taylor was a great match for him. I immediately understood why he fell for her, and I loved their dynamic. I could read many more books about their relationship.

My only tiny complaint about this novella was the over the top drama with Jason. I could have done without that story line. Logan and Taylor had enough drama besides of their own. They didn’t need that crazy turn of events.

If you’re a Logan Kade fan club member, you are going to swoon over Logan Kade.