Review: The Learning Hours by Sara Ney

The Learning Hours
Series: How to Date a Douchebag
Author: Sara Ney
Publication Date: September 26, 2017
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Sports

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

He’s not a douchebag; but that doesn’t stop his friends from turning him into one.

MY FRIENDS WANT ME TO GET LAID.

So much so that they plastered my ugly mug all over campus, in bold printed letters:

Are you the lucky lady who’s going to break our roommate’s cherry?
Him: socially awkward man with average-sized penis looking for willing sexual partner. You: must have a pulse. He will reciprakate with oral. Text him at: 555-254-5551

The morons can’t even spell. And the texts I’ve been receiving are what wet dreams are made of. But I’m not like these douchebags, no matter how hard they try to turn me into one.

THIS ISN’T THE KIND OF ATTENTION I WANT.

One text stands out from hundreds. One number I can’t bring myself to block. She seems different. Hotter, even in black and white.

However, after seeing her in person, I know she’s not the girl for me. But my friends won’t let up–they just don’t get it. Douchebags or not, there’s one thing they’ll never understand: GIRLS DON’T WANT ME.

Especially her.


Oh my goodness. This book was just too dang cute!

When I started reading The Learning Hours, I didn’t realize it was the third book in the How to Date a Douchebag series. I got the blue and light green covers mixed up and started this book first. I was about 16% in by the time I figured out, but I decided it didn’t matter because I already loved the story and characters so much.

Despite the name of the series, Rhett is not a douchebag. In fact, he’s a very standup guy. Rhett’s smart, nice, and a talented wrestler. One would think he could possibly be a little full of himself, but he wasn’t. Rhett was convinced he wasn’t good-looking and a hot girl wouldn’t be interested in him. His low self-confidence was kind of cute. It was nice to read about a guy with a few hangups. Usually it’s the girl who is not so sure of herself.

Laurel didn’t have that problem. The girl had confidence in spades. She actually could have been the douchebag in the beginning of the story. I wasn’t really impressed with her until she started connecting with Rhett. Her attraction to him was eye-opening to her. The thing I loved most about her was her persistence when it came to Rhett, and how she was the one to make most of the moves. I don’t find that often in college romances.

Laurel and Rhett’s relationship built nice and slowly. I loved reading their thoughts and insecurities as they navigated their feelings for each other. There were so many sweet and funny moments. I was surprised by how funny this story was! I loved the chapter headers and how they related to what was happening in it. They were perfect!

I couldn’t get enough of this love story! It was adorable and I loved that it was about two great people. I am so excited to go back and read the first two books in the series!

Reviews: A Holiday for the Books & From the Beginning by Mignon Mykel

A Holiday for the Books
Series: Prescott Family, #2.5
Author: Mignon Mykel
Publication Date: December 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

This holiday season is not so merry and bright…

San Diego’s favorite hockey family is going home for Christmas—and the last minute change to travel plans is only the beginning of the holiday mess.

Caleb and Sydney Prescott have been the face of happy, but this season has the facade crashing down. What once was perfect, was challenged by the loss of their daughter—and life hasn’t been the same since.

Porter and Asher Prescott have adjusted to life with twins—or so Porter thought. He’s come home one too many times to his wife’s exhaustion, though, and quickly learns that the only thing going well was his wife’s ability to hide things from him.

As for Jonny Prescott…he’s just everyone’s favorite uncle.

Can going home for Christmas be what these hockey boys need? Or will this be the holiday that goes down in the books as worst Christmas ever?

* A Holiday for the Books is meant to be read before From the Beginning. It is not recommended to be read as a standalone.


The blurb starts out by mentioning that not everything is merry and bright with the Prescott family. Man, do I wish I had read the blurb before I jumped into reading A Holiday for the Books! I love Mignon Mykel’s writing so much that I didn’t stop to read the blurb before starting the book, and that made the book shock me a bit. I wasn’t expecting the beginning to be such a downer.

Life was at a hard stage for some of the Prescotts. Caleb and Sidney were still trying to get back on track from the death of little Bri, and it was taking a toll on their relationship. Asher was trying to be the perfect mother to her twins, and Porter was trying to get her to let go a little. Jonny wishes he were in a different place in his life. Noah and Ryleigh are getting their kids together for Christmas while hiding a secret. It was all kind of sad.

Mignon Mykel did an excellent job making the Prescotts’ journeys feel real. It was a little painful for the characters at first, but Christmas (luckily) was a turning point for all of them. Being back in Wisconsin put everything in perspective and I loved how the story ended. Fans of the series will like being back with their favorite hockey family at the holidays.



From the Beginning
Series: Prescott Family, #2.75
Author: Mignon Mykel
Publication Date: November 28, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Before the Prescott name became big in the hockey world, there was just Noah Prescott, fighting for a spot on an NHL roster. Never did he imagine a simple note from a shy fan would speed up his world.
Join Noah on his recollection of the years he had with the love of his life—before the NHL contract, before the kids, before going back home.

This is Noah and Ryleigh from the beginning.


From the Beginning was a novella about the Prescott family matriarchs, Noah and Ryleigh. I loved learning how they met and fell in love through Noah’s eyes. He reminisced about all the important moments in their lives. It was so sweet!… And it was a little sad. There were many moments where I found tears in my eyes.

From the Beginning was a very emotional read. I would highly recommend it to readers who love the Prescott Family series.

Review: So Over You by Kate Meader

So Over You
Series: Chicago Rebels, #2
Author: Kate Meader
Publication Date: December 4, 2017
Publisher: Pocket Star
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Sports
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Three estranged sisters struggle to sustain their late father’s failing hockey franchise in Kate Meader’s sizzling Chicago Rebels series. In this second entry, middle sister Isobel is at a crossroads in her personal and professional lives. But both are about to get a significant boost with the addition of a domineering Russian powerhouse to the Rebels….

Isobel Chase knows hockey. She played NCAA, won Olympic silver, and made it thirty-seven minutes into the new National Women’s Hockey League before an injury sidelined her dreams. Those who can’t, coach, and a position as a skating consultant to her late father’s hockey franchise, the Chicago Rebels, seems like a perfect fit. Until she’s assigned her first job: the man who skated into her heart as a teen and relieved her of her pesky virginity. These days, left-winger Vadim Petrov is known as the Czar of Pleasure, a magnet for puck bunnies and the tabloids alike. But back then… let’s just say his inability to sink the puck left Isobel frustratingly scoreless.

Vadim has a first name that means “ruler,” and it doesn’t stop at his birth certificate. He dominates on the ice, the practice rink, and in the backseat of a limo. But a knee injury has produced a bad year, and bad years in the NHL don’t go unrewarded. His penance? To be traded to a troubled team where his personal coach is Isobel Chase, the woman who drove him wild years ago when they were hormonal teens. But apparently the feeling was not entirely mutual.

That Vadim might have failed to give Isobel the pleasure that was her right is intolerable, and he plans to make it up to her—one bone-melting orgasm at a time. After all, no player can perfect his game without a helluva lot of practice…


Earlier this year, I read the first book in the Chicago Rebels series. I liked Irresistible You, but so much of it was a setting up the Chase family drama for books to come. I felt like Harper and Remy’s relationship took a back seat, and I didn’t connect to them as much as I wanted. I finished that book wondering if Isobel’s story would feel the same way.

It didn’t. Isobel and Vadim’s story felt more like their own. There wasn’t as much family drama, and what there was fit into their lives. It made it easier to connect with them and their love story — which I adored.

Isobel and Vadim had a lot in common. They were both in love with playing hockey, both had previous injuries, and both were strong-willed. The first two things bonded them. The third had the potential to destroy them. Every interaction between them was passionate. I never thought coaching someone in drill could be fiery, but I was wrong. I loved how their shared hockey experiences connected them.

The sisters weren’t quite as involved in this story, but the moments they were together were magic. Instead of bonding, they had moved onto a deeper relationship. They were there for advice and friendship. It wasn’t such a struggle for them anymore. I liked that.

I also liked Vadim’s family dynamic. It was almost as scandalous as the Chase family. His relationship with his sister was so sweet. (Can she grow up and get her own book?)

Overall, So Over You was a fun second chance romance. It moved the Chase family onto a new time in their hockey owning career while spotlighting a special relationship.

Mini Reviews: The Law of Moses and The Song of David by Amy Harmon

The Law of Moses
Series: The Law of Moses, #1
Author: Amy Harmon
Publication Date: November 27, 2014
Publisher: Amy Harmon
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Paranormal

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

If I tell you right up front, right in the beginning that I lost him, it will be easier for you to bear. You will know it’s coming, and it will hurt. But you’ll be able to prepare.

Someone found him in a laundry basket at the Quick Wash, wrapped in a towel, a few hours old and close to death. They called him Baby Moses when they shared his story on the ten o’clock news – the little baby left in a basket at a dingy Laundromat, born to a crack addict and expected to have all sorts of problems. I imagined the crack baby, Moses, having a giant crack that ran down his body, like he’d been broken at birth. I knew that wasn’t what the term meant, but the image stuck in my mind. Maybe the fact that he was broken drew me to him from the start.

It all happened before I was born, and by the time I met Moses and my mom told me all about him, the story was old news and nobody wanted anything to do with him. People love babies, even sick babies. Even crack babies. But babies grow up to be kids, and kids grow up to be teenagers. Nobody wants a messed up teenager.

And Moses was messed up. Moses was a law unto himself. But he was also strange and exotic and beautiful. To be with him would change my life in ways I could never have imagined. Maybe I should have stayed away. Maybe I should have listened. My mother warned me. Even Moses warned me. But I didn’t stay away.

And so begins a story of pain and promise, of heartache and healing, of life and death. A story of before and after, of new beginnings and never-endings. But most of all…a love story.


The only way to describe Amy Harmon’s writing is the word beautiful. Everything about it is beautiful. The way she puts words together is so dang gorgeous. The stories she crafts with those words are just as beautiful. I’m always amazed at how brilliant and touching her words and stories are.

That’s exactly how I felt when reading The Law of Moses. I was constantly amazed. The book wasn’t what I was expecting at all. I could see some of the plot coming, but there were also moments when I was shocked.

Moses was definitely “a law unto himself”. I wasn’t always happy with him, but he amazed me. Same with Georgia. She was a fire that couldn’t be put out. She had spunk and grit. Their love for each other was raw and unconditional. Their story wasn’t easy, but it was magical.

I loved every moment of reading this book. I wish I hadn’t waited so long to read it.



The Song of David
Series: The Law of Moses, #2
Author: Amy Harmon
Publication Date: June 13, 2015
Publisher: Amy Harmon
Genre: Romance, Contemporary

Rating:★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

She said I was like a song. Her favorite song. A song isn’t something you can see. It’s something you feel, something you move to, something that disappears after the last note is played.

I won my first fight when I was eleven years old, and I’ve been throwing punches ever since. Fighting is the purest, truest, most elemental thing there is. Some people describe heaven as a sea of unending white. Where choirs sing and loved ones await. But for me, heaven was something else. It sounded like the bell at the beginning of a round, it tasted like adrenaline, it burned like sweat in my eyes and fire in my belly. It looked like the blur of screaming crowds and an opponent who wanted my blood.

For me, heaven was the octagon.

Until I met Millie, and heaven became something different. I became something different. I knew I loved her when I watched her stand perfectly still in the middle of a crowded room, people swarming, buzzing, slipping around her, her straight dancer’s posture unyielding, her chin high, her hands loose at her sides. No one seemed to see her at all, except for the few who squeezed past her, tossing exasperated looks at her unsmiling face. When they realized she wasn’t normal, they hurried away. Why was it that no one saw her, yet she was the first thing I saw?

If heaven was the octagon, then she was my angel at the center of it all, the girl with the power to take me down and lift me up again. The girl I wanted to fight for, the girl I wanted to claim. The girl who taught me that sometimes the biggest heroes go unsung and the most important battles are the ones we don’t think we can win.


Once again, Amy Harmon has surprised me. The Song of David wasn’t what I was expecting at all. It’s narrated partly by Moses with David telling some of his own story from afar. At first, I wasn’t so sure about this set up. Once I got into the story, I found I really loved it. In fact, I loved the entire story. The way David tells about falling in love with Millie and everything they went through was so special.

I loved the way Moses added to the story. He brought a completely different aspect to it. His was a connection to David by friendship. Their relationship was tight and special. His emotions made the story even more special.

Everything about this book was just so good…until the end. At the end, I felt like I had missed something big. I needed one more piece of information that I didn’t get. That’s okay, though. I still loved The Song of David. Anyone who has read The Law of Moses will love getting to know David better.

Review: After the Game by Abbi Glines

After the Game
Series: The Field Party, #3
Author: Abbi Glines
Publication Date: August 22, 2017
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Sports

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Two years ago, Riley Young fled from Lawton, Alabama. After accusing the oldest Lawton son, Rhett, of rape, everyone called her a liar and she had no option but to leave. Now she’s back, but she’s not at Lawton High finishing up her senior year. She’s at home raising the little girl that no one believed was Rhett’s.

Rhett is off at college living the life he was afraid he’d lose with Riley’s accusation, so Riley agrees to move back to Lawton so she and her parents could take care of her grandmother, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s. But the town still hasn’t forgotten their hate for her, and she hasn’t forgotten the way they turned on her when she needed them most.

When town golden boy Brady Higgens finds Riley and her daughter, Bryony, stranded on the side of the road in a storm, he pulls over and gives them a ride. Not because he cares about Riley, of course, but because of the kid.

But after the simple car ride, he begins to question everything he thought he knew. Could Brady believe Riley and risk losing everything?


In the last Field Party novel, Under the Lights, I felt bad for Brady. He was on the losing end of a love triangle. I was excited to learn After the Game was going to be his story and chance at love. What made me even more excited was that Brady’s love interest was going to be Riley. I liked what I learned of her in book two, and was excited to get to know her character better.

After the Game wasn’t simply a love story. It was a story about growing up. For Brady, that meant dealing with the harsh realities that some things in life might not be what they seem. The things Brady had to deal with were a slap in the face to a boy who had lived a charmed life. For Riley, After the Game was a story of redemption and moving on. She had been falsely accused of lying and lost all of her friends in that moment. Now, she was getting a chance at not only friendship, but love.

I loved that Riley and Brady first found friendship. They rekindled their relationship just when they both needed it. They were a support system for each other that no one else could have been. I loved that Brady wasn’t put off by Riley’s teenage motherhood. In fact, it was just the opposite. Riley’s determination and dedication to her daughter impressed him. That was very mature for a high school senior. I also loved that Riley was willing to forgive Brady and those who had thought poorly of her. The peace she offered Brady in his time of need was special. I loved that all of this lead to a romantic relationship between the two of them.

After the Game was a great addition to The Field Party series. Brady and Riley’s story was one I really enjoyed reading. I hope there are more books to come in the series.

Review: Bountiful by Sarina Bowen

Bountiful
Series: True North, #4
Author: Sarina Bowen
Publication Date: October 20, 2017
Publisher: Rennie Road Books
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Sports
Note: I received an ARC from Nina Bocci PR in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

No last names. No life stories. Those were the rules.

Once upon a time a cocky, copper-haired tourist sauntered into Zara’s bar. And even though she knew better, Zara indulged in a cure for the small-town blues. It was supposed to be an uncomplicated fling—a few sizzling weeks before he went back to his life, and she moved on.

Until an accidental pregnancy changed her life.

Two years later, she’s made peace with the notion that Dave No-Last-Name will never be found. Until one summer day when he walks into her coffee shop, leveling her with the same hot smile that always renders her defenseless.

Dave Beringer has never forgotten the intense month he spent with prickly Zara. Their nights together were the first true intimacy he’d ever experienced. But the discovery of his child is the shock of a lifetime, and his ugly past puts relationships and family out of reach.

Or does it? Vermont’s countryside has a way of nurturing even tortured souls. The fields and the orchards—and hard won love—are Bountiful.


Oh my goodness! If you’re a fan of Sarina Bowen, you’re in for a treat. Bountiful is amazing! It has everything I have loved from past True North novels. There’s Sarina Bowen’s outstanding writing, the beautiful Vermont setting, the Shipleys and their farm, and the Mountain Goat bar just to name a few. Most importantly, there’s Zara.

I’ve been waiting for Zara’s story since I met her in Bittersweet. I finally get the tough bartender’s story, and it couldn’t have been a more perfect one! Sarina Bowen gave us something so cool. Not only was Bountiful True North novel, but it was a crossover with her Brooklyn Bruisers series!

If you’re like me, you might not have remembered Dave Beringer all that much from the Brooklyn Bruisers books. You’re going to love him!!! He’s got that hot hockey player thing going for him, plus a whole lot more. Sarina Bowen couldn’t have come up with a better match for a woman like Zara who is determined to make it on her own.

The whole book was just so sweet. I loved the accidental pregnancy and the way it shaped Zara and Dave’s lives. Their moments with their daughter, Nicole, made me so happy. I couldn’t get enough of Bountiful. I’m sorry I’m finished with it because I really want more of it! Guess I’ll just be sitting here twiddling my thumbs waiting for the next True North or Brooklyn Bruisers novel. Can I get a Benito book? Or one about Bess and Castro?

Review: Played by Jen Frederick

Played
Series: Gridiron, #4
Author: Jen Frederick
Publication Date: October 6, 2017
Publisher: Pear Tree LLC
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Sports, New Adult

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

She’s been playing it close…

Ara Martin and college football star Ty Masters have been best friends since the first day of school when Ty literally ran her over. She fell for him immediately, but having lived under the shadow of her famous father, she knows a relationship with irresistible Ty would only end in heartbreak. For four years, she’s kept her feelings hidden. But one drunken encounter weeks before graduation is about to expose Ara’s biggest secret and destroy her most treasured relationship.

He’s been playing for keeps…

Ty is about to be drafted into the NFL, but his personal life is a mess. He’s got an agent he doesn’t like, a brother who can’t stop offering his opinion, and a beautiful woman he craves but can’t have. He can fire his agent and ignore his brother, but he’s not sure what to do about Ara. Ty’s been able to run down every quarterback he’s faced, but his sexy, stubborn best friend keeps slipping through his fingers.

Luckily, he’s not one for giving up, and once he gets his hands on her, he’s never letting go.


Finally! Ty’s book! I know you’re just as excited as I am. I have been waiting for Ty’s story ever since I met him in Sacked. Everything I learned about Knox Master’s twin from that book and the ones that followed had me wondering what lucky gal was going to be able to pass the twin test.

Jen Frederick didn’t disappoint! She had the perfect gal for Ty: his best friend, Ara. Ara and Ty were those best friends who are secretly into each other but refuse to tell each other because they don’t want to lose their best friend. They had amazing chemistry, but most of all, they had an amazing friendship. Ara and Ty got each other in a really special way. I loved every minute of their story. It was so much fun!

The only tiny complaint I have about Played was that it wrapped up a lot more quickly than I wanted it to. I wanted more time with Ara and Ty as a couple. That might just be me being needy, but I can’t help it. Those two were just so great together. I needed more!

If you’re a fan of this series, you do not want to miss Played. You will love it! If you haven’t read any of the Gridiron books, I highly suggest you do. Start at the beginning with Sacked and work your way to Played. You won’t regret it.

I’m really, really hoping Jen Frederick continues this series and that Played is not the end. (Hint hint, Ms. Frederick!)