Review: Stay by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy

Stay
Series: WAGS, #2
Authors: Sarina Bowen, Elle Kennedy
Publication Date: June 20, 2017
Publisher: Rennie Road Books
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Sports Romance
Note: I received an ARC from the authors in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Can you fall in love with someone you’ve never even met?

Hailey Taylor Emery has a hunch that her favorite client at Fetch—an anonymous virtual assistant service—is actually hockey star Matt Eriksson.

Although it’s against the rules for her to check his file, she’s 95% sure she spends at least part of each day texting with her lifelong crush and catering to his every need. Still nursing a wounded heart thanks to her recent breakup, Hailey is perfectly content with some harmless online flirting… until she has to meet her client. Face to face. Cue: utter panic.

Matt Eriksson is no stranger to heartbreak. He’s still not over the destruction of his marriage, and it sucks to be the only guy on the team who knows the truth—that hockey and long-term relationships are a toxic mix. He barely sees his kids, and dealing with his ex makes him feel insane. The only person in his life who seems to understand is someone who won’t show her pretty face.

But it’s nothing that a pair of fourth row hockey seats can’t fix. Hailey can’t resist the offer. Matt can’t resist Hailey. Good thing he doesn’t have to. Fire up the kiss cam!

Warning: Contains rabid hockey fans, misunderstood dick pics, hockey players at the opera and exploding ovaries.


Stay was my #1 anticipated release for 2017. I could not wait to get my hands on this book. Heck, I can never wait to get my hands on any of their books. Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy are my dream team of contemporary romance writing. Their books bring me such joy. I’ve fallen in love with all of their characters, especially those in the Him and WAGS world. I couldn’t wait to get to know Matt Eriksson better and find out what it would take to win his heart.

In Stay, Matt’s still trying to move on from his divorce. He knows it was for the best, but that doesn’t make it any easier to swallow. One thing that has made it easier is Fetch and the virtual assistant from the company who has fulfilled all his needs. Matt can’t stop thinking about her and their computer chats. He would do just about anything to meet her, including give her tickets to his next hockey game.

Luckily for Matt, Hailey Taylor Emery is a huge hockey fan. Specifically, she’s a Matt Erikkson fan. She’s known deep down that her favorite client is Matt, but now that it’s confirmed, Hailey’s not sure what to do. How can she handle Matt’s advances when she can barely utter a word around him?

Once again, Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy have won the game with Stay. I absolutely loved this book! Their writing shined. Matt and HaiIey were amazing characters. I loved the witty banter between them and the rest of the characters. The incredibly funny and sometimes awkward situations they created made laugh constantly.

Matt Eriksson may have been a god in the rink, but he was even more so in life. I can’t get over what a stand up guy he was. He was perfect, but he was pretty dang close. Matt was a guy who put his family first. That, combined with his dominant personality, was super sexy. He had me fanning myself more than I would like to admit.

I adored Hailey Taylor Emery. She was one cool chick. She was smart, determined and real. I loved that Matt terrified her a bit. Hailey’s reaction to Matt was exactly what I think I would be like if I met my celebrity crush. I’m sure I would be a bundle of nerves, too! Another thing I loved about Hailey was her personality. She could hold her own and a relationship wasn’t the only thing she had going for her.

Matt and Hailey’s relationship was full of ups and down, and I loved every minute spent with them. My only complaint about Stay would be that I needed another 500 pages of it. I could have gone on reading about Matt and Hailey forever. Their story was that much fun. I guess I’ll just have to hope there is another WAGS book coming in the near future. I want another book. I need another book. Please, please let them write an O’Conner book! Or a spin-off about Mr. Dick would be fun, too. Heck, I would even read a book about Puddles and Rufus falling in love if these two wrote it! Just give me more books from my dream team!

Review: Fallen Crest University by Tijan

Fallen Crest University
Series: Fallen Crest High, #5
Author: Tijan
Narrators:  Graham Halstead, Saskia Maarleveld
Publication Date: December 8, 2015
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Synopsis:

Samantha, Mason, and Logan are all together and united with one common enemy: Park Sebastian, the king of fraternity douchebags. With professional football scouts eyeing his every move, Mason Kade has to walk the line for the first time in his life. Any move he makes against Sebastian has to be perfect and under the radar. One mistake, and his career is over. Sebastian has other plans. Mason’s career isn’t his target-not even close. Wanting to destroy Mason completely, Sebastian knows that he must hit him where it hurts the most: Samantha, who doesn’t give a rat’s ass that she’s the target. Sam is bound and determined to protect Mason herself, no matter the cost, but what if the cost is beyond her imagination? What if this time, the villain wins?


If you’ve been keeping up with my reviews recently, you’ve probably noticed I’m majorly bingeing on the Fallen Crest University series. Tijan has created a series so addicting and drama filled that I can’t put it down. I wouldn’t say the books are perfect, but they weave a tale so complex and fascinating that perfection doesn’t really matter.

Fallen Crest University is the next stage in the fearsome foursome’s life. No longer are Sam and Logan stuck in Fallen Crest while Mason and Nate are at college. All four of them are now at the same college. It’s a blessing and a curse for Mason. He loves have his family back at his side, but he worries about their safety. If his battle with Park Sebastian was simmering last year, this year it’s boiling. Mason wants to protect Sam and Logan, but they have other ideas. Both of them are willing to do anything to protect Mason from Park.

I absolutely loved having the family back together in this book! The Fallen Crest world just didn’t feel right with them separated by distance. Sam, Mason, Logan, and Nate feed off of each other and that makes for so many fun moments. I also liked the place Sam and Mason were in. There were still secrets, but Sam seemed to be back to holding her own. Her mental state was so much better in this book.

One of my favorite things about this book was that Logan got his own point a view for a couple of chapters! It was just as awesome as when Mason’s point of view showed up in book 3. I’ve always loved his cocky demeanor, but it was even more fun hearing it from his point of view. Logan rocked! I’m so excited to read his novella soon!

Now for my least favorite things about this book. I hate to say it, but Fallen Crest University is the weakest book in the series so far. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy it — I totally did. I mean, I listened to it non-stop. It’s just that it was missing some of the things I’ve loved about the series in the past. It was also really over the top in the drama department. That’s saying a lot because this series is nothing but drama.

This book was missing so many things for me. I wanted more of some of the old characters. I wish at least one horrible person from one of Sam’s high schools had shown up at her college. I also wish Heather had gone to school with her. She visited for a second, but I still missed her presence in this book. Speaking of Heather, I really wanted to know more about her hook up with Logan. They had such chemistry, and I’m sad I only got to hear a tiny bit about it. Another thing I missed was Sam’s running addiction. I know that’s crazy because it has annoyed me in the past books, but I thought there would be more involving her track scholarship. And, finally, I missed the Mason-Sam sexy times. They were alluded to, but in the previous books I got more details. I was surprised that they weren’t more prevalent now that it’s a college romance instead of a high school one? I would say maybe they cooled off after being together so long, but that wasn’t it.

As for the over the top drama, I had a hard time buying into one major twist at the end. It helped with Park’s demise, but was too out there for me. I still don’t know what to make of it.

Overall, Fallen Crest University was another addicting read. I loved seeing Mason and Sam in a new phase in their lives. I’m excited for what’s to come in the rest of the series. I’m sad that I won’t be able to listen to the rest of the series because I have fallen in love with the narrators, but I don’t think they’re out in Audible yet. I’ll have to make do with reading them. 😉

Review: My Roommate’s Girl by Julianna Keyes

My Roommate’s Girl
Author: Julianna Keyes
Publication Date: June 12, 2017
Publisher: Julianna Keyes
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Note: I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

The day a judge gave me the choice between going to prison or going to college was the day I vowed to stop stealing. Never again would I see something beautiful and beyond my means and take it, just because I wanted it. Just because I could.

When I moved in with Jerry, it was with good intentions. I needed a place to live while I got my degree, and he needed a roommate.

Then I saw Aster.

Blond and beautiful, good, pure, sweet, smart…and Jerry’s girlfriend. She was everything I never thought I could have. Except…maybe I can.

So I put a plan into action. Yeah, I’d probably go to hell, but it would be worth it. I wanted Aster. I wanted her yesterday and tomorrow and every possible way.

But you know what they say.

Be careful what you wish for…because you just might get it.


Julianna Keyes is an author I’ve come to love this year. I became a fan of her writing after reading her Burnham College series. I was very excited to get to read her new release, My Roommate’s Girl. From the title, I could tell this was going to be one of those books that was going to have some uncomfortable moments, but I had faith that Keyes could make me fall in love with her story.

I didn’t immediately fall in love with My Roommate’s Girl. It wasn’t the dreaded love triangle that kept me from it. It was the main character, Aiden Shaw. His cocky, tough guy talk didn’t endear him to me. He seemed really scuzzy and I didn’t like his tactics. I think my biggest problem was that his motives weren’t good. Everything was based on his lust. It wasn’t until he and Aster truly started to form a friendship that I could see the good in Aiden, and appreciate him. There was more to him than I thought, and it took until half way through the book to understand that. I wish it would have happened earlier.

Aster wasn’t what I expected at all. I was pleasantly surprised by her when her point of view finally showed up. She was more than the princess Aiden described her to be. I loved her back story and how it affected her feelings for Aiden.

Aster and Aiden had a very unique connection. Their similarities tied them together in a special way. It enhanced their already sizzling chemistry. The more they discovered about each other, the more I liked the story. I wish more time had been spent within their relationship. There was so much build up to it. I only got to experience their relationship for what felt like a minute before a conflict started to ruin things. I wasn’t a fan of the conflict, so that time in the book frustrated me. It did lead a super cute ending, though.

I probably would have given My Roommate’s Girl a higher rating if I had immediately connected with the characters. I liked them, but I never really got the chance to love them. The book was still a lot of fun to read and it was incredibly fast-paced. If you’re looking for a college romance that isn’t centered around sports or normal college students, I would recommend My Roommate’s Girl. It’s different from any college romance I’ve read.

Review: Fallen Fourth Down by Tijan

Fallen Fourth Down
Series: Fallen Crest High, #4
Author: Tijan
Narrators:  Saskia Maarleveld, Graham Halstead
Publication Date: January 13, 2015
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Synopsis:

My mother tried to destroy me. She doesn’t exist to me anymore and my father, the one who raised me and the biological one, are both works in progress. The only two people that I can trust are Mason and Logan, and they’re the two people who I could lose. It won’t happen. I won’t let it. No matter the truth, no matter who loves me, I won’t let anything or anyone come between us.
They’re my world. They’re my life.
They’re my family.


Surprise! (Not really.) I’m back with another Fallen Crest High audiobook review! I’m flying through these books. I can’t help it. The story has me so committed. I need to hurry up and finish all of the books so I can get back to real life!

Fallen Fourth Down was a weird transition book. Sam’s in Fallen Crest and Mason’s three hours away at college.The distance hasn’t lessened their love for each other, but it’s made it easier to keep things from each other. Sam’s trying hide the fact that she knows Logan’s in love with her. Avoiding the awkward conversations has made her tension and she hates keeping things from both of her boys. Mason’s keeping things to himself to avoid feeding Sam’s fears. They’re together, but living separate lives. When someone from Sam’s past ends up in Fallen Crest, things get even tougher.

Like I said, this was a weird transition book. Mason and Sam are apart most of the book, so I didn’t get to feast on their interactions. I missed them together. I love the intensity of their relationship. I guess it did make their times together that much more explosive, but I wanted more of the fearsome twosome and threesome.

Instead of basking in Sam and Mason’s relationship, I was stuck living through Sam’s fear of Logan’s love for her. There was so much uncomfortable tension between Sam and Logan. I worried a lot about how that was all going to play out. Sam was also dealing with a guy from her past who had a renewed crush on her. I really liked this part of the story. It was kind of sweet, and felt like it helped me get to know Sam before the Kades a little better. I liked the guy. That was probably because I knew he didn’t stand a chance next to the Mason Kade.

As for Mason, he was in a whole new world. His being at the bottom of the totem pole was cool. He had to prove himself for once, and I liked that. He was still Mason Kade, so he wasn’t an underling for long but it was fun to see him not in charge. I loved meeting all of Mason’s new football buddies and the camaraderie they shared. I even loved meeting Mason’s new nemesis, Park. I can tell their rivalry is going to amp up the drama of Mason and Sam’s college experience.

A couple of things surprised me in Fallen Fourth Down. One surprise was Nate. The Kade brothers’ relationship with him changed a bit, and I wasn’t expecting that. It made me a little sad, but I liked how it all ended up resolving itself. The second surprise was Marissa. I wasn’t quite expecting her to be as crazy as she was. I ended up hating her after this book.

Overall, I enjoyed Fallen Fourth Down. It did a good job answering some questions I had about both Sam and Mason’s pasts. It also finally cleared up Logan’s feelings about Sam. At times, it felt like a filler novella since Sam and Mason were apart, but it ended up doing a great job setting up things for Fallen Crest University.

Review: Fallen Crest Public by Tijan

Fallen Crest Public
Series: Fallen Crest High, #3
Author: Tijan
Narrators: Saskia Maarleveld, Graham Halstead
Publication Date: October 6, 2014
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Sam’s first day at Fallen Crest Public doesn’t go well. Some girls want to be her. Some girls want to destroy her. And some just don’t like her. All in all, despite being protected by Mason and Logan, it’s still only the strong survive. Sam will not only have to survive, she needs to learn how to conquer too, but there’s another battle growing. Things are about to come to a disastrous end between the towns, Roussou and Fallen Crest. Sam’s other main dilemma? Keeping Mason and Logan from getting arrested or hospitalized.


I am utterly addicted to the Fallen Crest High series.  It’s on my mind all of the time. Last night, I couldn’t sleep because I was worrying about Sam. She’s a freaking book character! What is wrong with me? I can’t stop listening to this series. I’m only pausing listening right now to write this review.

In Fallen Crest Public, Sam’s just beginning to navigate the halls of Fallen Crest Public High School. It’s different from Fallen Crest Academy, but some thing are still the same. There are still mean, horrible girls who run the school. Girls who want Mason and Logan to themselves. Girls who will do anything and everything to make sure Sam goes away. The girls aren’t Sam’s only problem, though. There’s also a Roussou/Fallen Crest rivalry making things tense for them. Sam is worried that Mason and Logan may go up against Bud and Brett. She couldn’t stand to lose her family if something bad were to happen, so Sam’s keeping secrets.

Holy crap! We FINALLY get Mason’s point of view in this book!!! It’s what I’ve been dying for after reading the first two books. I loved being inside of Mason’s head and finally understanding why he does some of the stuff he does. I didn’t always like or agree with his actions, but knowing his thoughts made my opinion of him soar. My only teeny tiny complaint about Mason has to do with the audio book version of this story. I was so used to the female narrator doing Mason’s voice that I had a hard time adjusting to the male narrator for Mason. His voice didn’t sound deep enough to me. I actually kind of like the female narrator’s version of Mason better.

Sam was Sam. She was strong and weak all at the same time. Sam had strength when dealing with the mean girls of her new school and anyone who threatened her family. She wasn’t quite as strong when it came to the guys. Her weakness was in her worries about losing Mason and Logan. Those worries and her rampant sexual desire for Mason consumed her this entire book. Despite that, Sam continued to grow and mature in this installment.

In this book, we see less of the Academy students. A few pop up here and there, but they’re mostly in the background. Sam still has Heather by her side, but we get to meet a whole bunch of new people. Most of them aren’t very nice. They were a great addition for the drama, but I hated them right along with Sam. They were horrible people. My favorite new addition was Melinda, Mark’s mom. Her warmth and acceptance of Sam added a nice touch. I can’t wait to see where Sam’s relationship goes with her in the future.

Fallen Crest Public is my favorite book in this series so far. I loved where Tijan took Sam, Mason and Logan in it. There was such a rawness to their feelings. Everything that happened propelled the story along, and gave me new insights. It was so much fun to listen to!

The Fallen Crest series keeps getting better and better as the story goes on. I never imagined there were so many different dramatic high school situations Sam, Mason and Logan could get into. I love it! But I am scared where the next book may be going…I’m off to listen to it now!

Review: Fallen Crest Family by Tijan

Fallen Crest Family
Series: Fallen Crest High, #2
Author: Tijan
Narrator:  Saskia Maarleveld

Publication Date: September 15, 2014
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Synopsis:

Samantha and Mason are together. Everyone knows it. But not everyone is dealing with it. While Mason is ready to give them all the middle finger, there’s one who is not going away: her mother. Threats are issued. Ultimatums are given. Even blackmail is used. But only Samantha can put a stop to Analise. However, when a trauma from her past is triggered, she may not have the courage or strength to do what’s needed. And if she doesn’t, Mason’s future could be destroyed.


I was going to wait for my library hold on Fallen Crest Family to come available, but I just couldn’t. I had to buy the Kindle book and add the Audible option because I needed to know what happened next in the Kade/Stratton family saga. I’m so addicted to this series already that it’s not even funny.

Fallen Crest Family is the second book in the Fallen Crest High series. It begins immediately following Fallen Crest High, and continues Sam’s story. Sam and Mason have been forced to reveal their relationship to everyone. No one is excited about them being together. (Well, except Logan and maybe Nate.) The person taking their relationship the worst is Sam’s mother. Analise is willing to do everything and anything to keep Sam and Mason apart. Sam knows she’s the only person who can put Analise in her place, but her mother is crazy and conniving. Poor Sam isn’t sure she has what it takes to stand up to her mother.

Okay, so first I need to tell you that Sam’s annoying man-ish voice from the first audio book did not appear in the Fallen Crest Family audio book. (Or maybe I just didn’t notice it?) Sam sounded like a normal girl the entire time. Well, at least her voice sounded normal. Sam’s not exactly normal.

Sam changed a bit in this book. She lost some of the hard edge she had in Fallen Crest High. She was a little bit more whiny and more sullen due to the new memories and living situation she was facing. That didn’t really bother me. I felt like Sam’s evolution throughout the story made sense, and that she’ll continue to grow throughout the series. What did still bug me was her obsessive running. Did no one in her life find all this running to be a problem? Three and four-hour runs until she’s collapsing seems extreme. The only thing positive about it (maybe) is the possibility of a track scholarship. Oh, and I have to mention her obsessive lusting after Mason, too. I wish I would have kept a tally of how many times she mentioned she was wet. It felt like she said it at least once a chapter. I’m probably wrong, but it felt like it was mentioned a few too many times. I get it, girl. Your body melts for him. Not that I’m complaining about all the sexy times. I would never complain about that! 😉

I still don’t know what’s going on in Mason’s head, but I don’t care. He’s such a rock for Sam. I love what he’s willing to do for her. Same with Logan. He’s like a big brother and best friend all wrapped into one. He loves Sam in his own way, and I love the words and humor he brings to every situation. I even found myself liking Mason and Logan’s buddy Nate in this book. He surprised me with how much he was willing to go to bat for Sam. The four of them are like one big family.

All of the friends and nemeses were back to add to the fun of this story. Sam’s main problem wasn’t with her friends this time, but with her mom. That lady was bat$#!t crazy. I loved everything that was revealed about her in this book. Sam also made some new friends. Heather and the Manny’s gang were amazing! I enjoyed what they brought to the story, and I can only imagine how they’re going to influence things in the next book.

Fallen Crest Family was just as much fun to listen to as Fallen Crest High. I can’t tell you enough how obsessed I am with this series. I am going to continue to binge listen to it until I finish all of the books. I’ve fallen in love with Sam, Mason and Logan. I want to know how their story ends.

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Books From The NA Genre That I’ve Recently Added To My TBR List

Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is Ten Book from the New Adult Genre That I’ve Recently Added to My TBR List. You can click on the cover to be taken to the Goodreads page. Pretty self-explanatory, so here we go.


1. Fraternize (Players Game, #1)
Rachel Van Dyken

2. Forget You, Ethan
Whitney G.

3. Royally Endowed (Royally, #3)
Emma Chase

4. Damaged Like Us (Like Us, #1)
Krista & Becca Ritchie

5. Sugar & Gold
Emma Scott

6. Rocked Up
Karina Halle & Scott MacKenzie

7. The Last Guy
Ilsa Madden-Mills & Tia Louise

8. The Foxe & The Hound
R.S. Grey

9. Roommates with Benefits
Nicole Williams

10. My Roommate’s Girl
Julianna Keyes