Prude

PrudePrude by Hilaria Alexander

Publication Date: January 13, 2015

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Synopsis:

Prudence Clearwater is a best-selling young adult author. She writes “clean” novels. Prudence has never wanted to change her writing style by adding more to her novels, but times are changing and now her publishing company is urging her to do just that. Instead, Prudence cuts ties with them. Luckily, she has Ben in her corner. Ben’s an old college aquaintance and book agent.

As Prudence begins working on her new novel with Ben, they start to develop a flirty friendship. Prudence wants to keep things professional, but she’s no sure how long she can fight their chemistry.

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Prude is a cute romance with several hot, steamy scenes. I liked novelist-agent aspect of the story. It also had a great twist. But there were a couple things about this book that bothered me.

First, I had a hard time connecting with the main character, Prudence. She was just so negative at the beginning and, honestly, kind of a prude. Not that being a prude is a bad thing, but she kept saying how she hated being called a prude and wasn’t one. Then, she would say something or act prudish. I do think Prudence developed into a better character as the story went on. Her relationship with Ben really helped.

Second, and most importantly, the dialogue between all of the characters drove me nuts at times. The dialogue was very formal. There weren’t very many contractions while the characters were speaking. They didn’t sound like anyone between the ages of 20-40 that I know. It really bothered me at first. By the end, I could kind of ignore it.

It’s funny; I was going to list another thing that bothered me. It was about Prudence’s new story and how it sounded exactly like something Colleen Hoover had previously done. But when I read Hilaria Alexander’s Acknowledgements and her thank you to Colleen Hoover, I decided it as probably her way of tipping her hat to Ms. Hoover’s amazing ideas.

Overall, I thought Prude was a good love story. I’ve seen a lot of 4 or 5 star reviews out there, so maybe it’s one that other readers enjoyed more than I did. I probably would have rated it higher had the dialogue not bogged it down so much.

Thank you to Hilaria Alexander for the opportunity to read and honestly review Prude.

Kiss Me

Kiss Me (Fool's Gold, #17) Kiss Me (Fool’s Gold #17) by Susan Mallery

Publication Date: June 30, 2015

Publisher: HQN Books

Synopsis:

Phoebe Kitzke is a fixer. She fixes things for people. Clients, friends, boyfriends. They’ve all benefited from Phoebe’s kindness.

Phoebe’s latest gift of kindness is costing her big. Not only is she suspended from her real estate job, but she’s in jeopardy of losing it all together. So, Phoebe’s come to the decision that she’s not going to be a doormat anymore. No more favors. Well, except for one last one. She’s going to join her best friend, Maya, at her family ranch in Fool’s Gold. She’s been promised there will be plenty of hunky scenery.

Zane Nicholson is not happy that he’s stuck leading a cattle drive for some tourists, but he’s determined to teach his half-brother a lesson. The last thing stubborn Zane expects to happen on the cattle drive is to fall for sweet Phoebe. He knows he should fight his longings for her, but it’s pretty hard when just seeing her makes his day brighter.

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Fool’s Gold novels are always fun to read. You can read them in order or as standalone novels. There are some overlapping characters in each book, but not enough to bother you if you haven’t read one of the previous novels. I actually started the series in the middle and then caught up with the beginning books later. There are so many and they have been written for years, so it’s easy to get them from the library. My library even had the majority of them in a digital format.

So, having read all of the previous seventeen Fool’s Gold novels and all its novellas, I was a little nervous about reading Kiss Me. It pains me to admit it, but Hold Me (Fool’s Gold #16) wasn’t one of my favorite Fool’s Gold novels. It just didn’t have enough of a love story for me. The background stories of the characters were amazing; I just wanted more of the love birds together. I was worried maybe the series was going to start to fizzle for me.

I was happy to find that was not the case. Kiss Me was a fun cowboy romance. I say cowboy because the majority of it is set on the cattle drive in Fool’s Gold. Phoebe was a hoot. I loved her relationship with the animals. She was a little too sweet for me at times, but grumpy Zane definitely rounded her out. The sexual tension between them was hot.

I also enjoyed all of the supporting characters’ stories. They were unique and added a lot to the entire cattle drive experience. I do wish there would have been more of the town of Fool’s Gold in it. It always makes for cool and interesting storylines.

I’m very happy Kiss Me brought back my love for the Fool’s Gold series. It’s a series I’d highly recommend to contemporary romance readers that like a series with an interesting setting and characters.

Other books and novellas in this series (in order):

Chasing Perfect (Fool's Gold, #1) Almost Perfect (Fool's Gold, #2) Sister of the Bride (Fool's Gold, #2.5)  Finding Perfect (Fool's Gold, #3)  Only Mine (Fool's Gold #4)  Only Yours (Fool's Gold, #5)  Only His (Fool's Gold, #6)  Only Us (Fool's Gold, #6.1) Almost Summer: A Fool's Gold Novella (Fool's Gold, #6.2)   Summer Days (Fool's Gold, #7)  Summer Nights (Fool's Gold, #8)  All Summer Long (Fool's Gold, #9)  A Fool's Gold Christmas (Fool's Gold, #9.5)  Halfway There (Fool's Gold, #9.75)  Just One Kiss (Fool's Gold, #10)  Two of a Kind (Fool's Gold, #11)  Three Little Words (Fool's Gold, #12)  Christmas on 4th Street: Yours for Christmas  When We Met (Fool's Gold, #13)  Before We Kiss (Fool's Gold, #14)  Until We Touch (Fool's Gold, #15)  Yours for Christmas (Fool's Gold, #15.5)  Hold Me (Fool's Gold, #16)

Under the Influence

Under the InfluenceUnder the Influence by L.B. Simmons

Publication Date: May 10, 2015

Publisher: CreateSpace

Synopsis:

Spencer Locke has been in love with Dalton Greer since she was twelve. She’s been saving herself for him, but at almost eighteen, she’s starting to give up hope. Dalton has loved Spencer just as long, but he doesn’t want to drag her down into his complicated life. His willpower is put to the test when Spencer says yes to a date with another guy. When Spencer finally gets the reaction from Dalton she wants, things couldn’t be better.

Until they’re not. When Dalton breaks her heart, Spencer is left confused and angry. She has no choice but to move on.
Dalton’s doing what he has to do to be a better person–even if it means leaving the one person he loves behind for a while. He just hopes Spencer will still love him when he returns to her life.

My rating: 3.5 stars out of 5 stars

I really enjoyed Dalton and Spencer’s immediate connection as young adults. Their histories were very interesting. I liked the connection they had with each other. The relationships they had with their best friends also added a nice touch to the story.

The plot was very original. I definitely wasn’t expecting a romantic suspense story from reading the back of the book. I was surprised at how intense the story was.

What I didn’t really care for was the pace and set up of Under the Influence. I felt like rather than break it into five years, it would have been smoother if it all happened in one year or if the book was more evenly distributed between before and after. 73% of the book was before and 27% was after. There was a huge set up for a small amount of conclusion. I didn’t mind that the storyline was intense, but the slower pace of the story kept the tenseness of the story dragging on. It kind of stressed me out. I also thought Spencer forgave Dalton too easily. I don’t care how much you love someone, five years of being angry isn’t going to evaporate in one evening.

Those things aside, I did think the story was good. I would suggest Under the Influence to New Adult readers that like romantic suspense novels.

Before the Blog #1: Dear Daughter

Before the Blog is a weekly blog meme hosted by Karis Jacobstein over @ YA Litwit. It’s an opportunity to showcase books a blogger read and loved prior to starting their blog .  I love this idea because there are so many amazing books I haven’t reviewed on A Novel Glimpse because I read them a long time ago. The only rules to this meme are to answer the following questions about the book chosen to review:

  • Why did you choose this book? 
  • When did you read this book? 
  • Who would you recommend this book to? 

Dear Daughter

Dear Daughter by Elizabeth Little

Publication Date: July 31, 2014

Publisher: Viking

Synopsis:

After spending ten years in prison for the murder of her mother, socialite Janie Jenkins is being released on a technicality. Janie is going to use her new found freedom to figure out what exactly happened the night of her mother’s death. Janie has no memory of that night. Did she really kill her mother?

While Janie’s looking for the truth, she’s also trying to hide from the media. Everyone is convinced she got away with murder and they’re waiting for her to make a mistake.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Why did you choose this book? 

I’ve been seeing a lot of press lately for The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. It’s been hailed as the next Gone Girl. I liked it, but if you asked me, Dear Daughter was the next Gone Girl.  Dear Daughter was a fast paced, addictive thriller. I couldn’t put it down. Janie was snarky and fun to read (think Paris Hilton with a smart and sassy tongue). The twists and turns kept me guessing and wanting to know more. I absolutely loved it. I don’t think nearly enough people have heard of or read it.

When did you read this book?

I just happened to win a copy of Dear Daughter from Goodreads and Viking Books at the end July of 2014. I read it in two days. It was right after I finished reading Gone Girl. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect.

Who would you recommend this book to? 

It’s definitely a thriller for those that loved Gone Girl, In the Woods, The Weight of Blood, and Girl on the Train.

I Want You to Want Me

I Want You to Want Me (Rock Star Romance, #2) I Want You to Want Me (Rock Star Romance #2) by Erika Kelly

Publication Date: July 7, 2015

Publisher: Berkley

Synopsis:

Bassist Derek Valencia and his bandmates have finally hit it big. Not only has their record been selling like hotcakes, they’ve been playing amazing shows in amazing places. Touring is starting to take its toll on the band, though. Not only are they exhausted from all the late night partying, but the media is looking for any sensational slip up they can find. All it takes is one picture of Derek with a bunch of naked groupies to mess things up. Next thing he knows, he’s been assigned a baby-sitter he doesn’t want for the remainder of the tour.

It’s Violet Davies’ job to ‘mind’ people. She’s built a successful business helping the rich sober up and get their lives back together. Her one policy is no musicians. It’s a policy she’s willing to break when a friend calls begging for help with the band. Violet can’t say no to the money; it’s enough to pay off the mortgage on her farm. Three months and it will all be hers.

What Derek and Violet don’t expect is to fall for each other. They come from such different worlds and are headed in opposite directions. While Violet strives to keep things professional, Derek is doing everything he can to get her to give them a chance.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Last January, I was really lucky and won You Really Got Me (Rock Star Romance #1) from a Goodreads Giveaway. It was my first romance by Erika Kelly and I thought it was such a cute read. The characters were really cool and fun. I was looking forward to seeing which guy was going to fall in love next.

I Want You to Want Me was just as adorable as the first book. Derek and Violet had great chemistry. Violet was both strong and vulnerable. The way she handled the guys was fun to read. Derek definitely had the swoon factor–he is a rock star after all. But I liked how the author also showed us his insecurities.

It was also interesting to see how the band responded to their new found fame and the obstacles they had to tackle due to it. It wasn’t necessarily a unique storyline, but it felt true to what could happen in real life. (I’m not a rock star, so I’m just guessing!)

I Want You to Want Me can be read as a standalone or as part of the series. There are references to a couple from the first book, but nothing that would make things confusing. I would highly suggest it to readers that love a good rock star romance or contemporary romance readers in general.

Other books in this series:

You Really Got Me (Rock Star Romance, #1)

Top Ten Tuesday: The Last Ten Books That Came Into My Possession (bought, library, review copies)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s feature is The Last Ten Books That Came Into My Possession (bought, library, review copies). This fun list might give you a hint at some of my upcoming reviews.

1. Kiss Me by Susan Mallery

Kiss Me (Fool's Gold, #17)

2. Second Chance Summer by Jill Shalvis

Second Chance Summer (Cedar Ridge, #1)

3. I Want You to Want Me by Erika Kelly

I Want You to Want Me (Rock Star Romance, #2)

4. The Mistake I Made by Paula Daly

The Mistake I Made

5. Ugly Cry: An Anthology by AE Woodward, Brenda Rothert, Erika Ashby, JM LaRocca, Kathryn Perez, M.E. Carter, Missy Johnson, Stacey Grice, Murphy Rae

Ugly Cry: An Anthology

6. All of It by Kim Holden

All of It

7. Run You Down by Julia Dahl

Run You Down

8. A Stone in the Sea by A.L. Jackson

A Stone in the Sea (Bleeding Stars, #1)

9. Remember When by T. Torrest

Remember When (Remember Trilogy, #1)

10. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Thirteen Reasons Why

 What’s the last book that came into your possession? Feel free to leave the name and author in the comment section!

Second Chance Summer

Second Chance Summer (Cedar Ridge, #1) Second Chance Summer (Cedar Ridge #1) by Jill Shalvis

Publication Date: June 30, 2015

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Synopsis:

When Lily Danville left Cedar Ridge 10 years ago, she never thought she would return. Cedar Ridge holds too many bad memories. But now Lily’s lost her job and the only place willing to hire her is a salon in her hometown. So she’s back and doing everything she can to avoid running into her teenage crush, Aidan Kincaid.

Aidan Kincaid’s one regret is letting Lily Danville go without a fight. Now, she’s back in town and he’s going to do anything he can to convince her to give him a second chance.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I was excited when I heard that Jill Shalvis was coming out with a new contemporary romance series. I really enjoyed reading her Lucky Harbor, Animal Magnetism and The Wilder series. She’s one of my go-to contemporary romance authors. I’m pretty much guaranteed to enjoy one of her books.

Second Chance Summer was no different. The Colorado mountain setting was beautiful and the possibilities for it in future novels are endless. I enjoyed Lily’s storyline and how more and more about what she went through was revealed as the story progressed. Her relationship with Aidan was funny and adorable.

My favorite part of Second Chance Summer, though, was Aidan Kincaid. Jill Shalvis creates the best male characters. They’re always equal parts strong, compassionate and badass. I love how they don’t become wimps when they fall in love. I also loved Aiden’s entire family. Their interactions with each other were hilarious. They also all had cool backstories that I can’t wait to read about in future novels.

If you’re looking for a fun summer contemporary romance read, you can’t go wrong with Second Chance Summer.

ARC Review: The Mistake I Made

The Mistake I MadeThe Mistake I Made by Paula Daly

Publication Date: September 8, 2015

Publisher: Grove Press

Synopsis:

Roz is a struggling single mother. Her ex cheated on her and their debt is slowly crushing her. She’s doing everything she can to pay the rent and keep food on the table, but it’s not enough. Roz has two weeks until she and her son, George, are out on the street.

Then, she meets wealthy Scott Elias at her sister’s house. Scott approaches Roz with an offer. He wants one night with her and he’s willing to pay her a lot of money to do it. Roz really doesn’t want to. Scott’s a married man. It goes against everything Roz stands for…and yet, she knows she has to say yes. There’s no other way.

But nothing is as simple as it seems and soon Roz is regretting her decision. Things are spinning out of control and all Roz can do is try to prevent any more damage.

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

I liked The Mistake I Made, but I didn’t love it. It started out extremely slow and gloomy. A lot of pages were spent describing the sad state of Roz’s life. It was depressing. I understand that it had to be like that for her decisions to make sense, but it didn’t necessarily make me want to keep reading.

It also took a long time for the story to build. It wasn’t until about 3/4 of the way through that things started to really happen and the pace picked up. The first part of the book felt more like a drama than a thriller. I wish the entire book would have been as fast paced and interesting as the last fourth of the book because the twists and turns in the story were great. If the entire book would have been like the last fourth of the book, it would have been a 5 star book for me.

Thank you to Grove Press and Paula Daly for the opportunity to read and honestly review an ARC of The Mistake I Made.

More Happy Than Not Tag

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A big thank you to Giselle @ HARDWORKBOULEVARD for tagging me and giving me the opportunity to complete the “More Happy Than Not” tag. It’s another fun one.

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The I Am More Happy Than Not Tag was created by Shelumiel @ Bookish and Awesome but was originally made in response to the “What makes you #MoreHappyThanNot?” question inspired by Adam Silvera’s upcoming debut More Happy Than Not.  You basically highlight ways you’ve been able to express happiness from the things—big and small—in your life.

These are the three simple rules for doing this tag:

(1) Answer the question “What makes you more happy than not?

2) Link back to this post to the person who tagged you (or the original creator of this tag)

(3) Have FUN. You can add your links below, as well!

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I Am More Happy Than Not surrounded by my family. Whether it’s my own little family, my extended family or my husband’s, it always makes me feel loved.

    

I Am More Happy Than Not watching my daughter participate in anything active. She loves sports and gives them her all. Her favorite right now is soccer and I’m proud to admit I’m a soccer mom. She also wants to be on American Ninja Warrior when she grows up. She’s been working on getting her dad to build her a course in the backyard, but we don’t think our neighbors would approve.

I Am More Happy Than Not when I get to hang out with my two best friends. As we’ve gotten older and had careers and families, getting together isn’t as easy as it used to be. I wish we were back in the days when we were able to hang out daily and have slumber parties, but life changes. Any chance I get to hang out with my girls is guaranteed fun.

I Am More Happy Than Not camping and boating in the summer with our friends and camping buddies. It’s always an adventure. We’ve seen friends in our camping group come and go, but the six of us always have a great time.

      

I Am More Happy Than Not when reading a book. (Duh!) I have always loved to read. I’m always looking for the next book that is going to make me feel something.

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I Am More Happy Than Not listening to music from the 1980’s. I have loved listening and dancing to it since I was 18 years old going to a Seattle 18 and over club called DV8. The infectious beats and choruses make me smile. It can make a bad mood good. I would love to list a favorite song from the 80’s, but there are just too many.

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I Am More Happy Than Not when watching a really funny movie. My favorite funny movies right now are Pitch Perfect and Pitch Perfect 2. Rebel Wilson just knows how to make me laugh!

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Here is who I tag:

Kelly @ Here’s to Happy Endings

Alyssa @ Seals of Approval Books

Skylee @ The Night Girl

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

 Me and Earl and the Dying GirlMe and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

Publication Date: March 1, 2012

Publisher: Amulet Books

Synopsis:

Greg Gaines’ life has just been turned upside down by his own mother. Greg has spent his entire high school career trying to fly under the radar. He’s neither unpopular nor popular. Greg has his best friend Earl and that’s all he needs. It’s taken him a lot of time and energy to reach this status and his mother ruins it all with her one request: rekindle an old friendship with Rachel because she has leukemia.

Greg’s not sure about being friends with Rachel. First, she hates him. Second, how do you cheer up someone who is dying? But his mom’s not giving up, so he’s forced to spend time with Rachel. Soon, it’s not only Greg visiting Rachel but Earl, too. They confide in her about the top-secret films they have been making. When Rachel decides to give up her fight against cancer, Earl and Greg set out to make her one final movie. Making this final movie will teach them more than they ever thought possible.

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

I want to say I absolutely loved Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, but I didn’t. I was really surprised about that. I’ve been hearing about this book forever and since a movie version is coming out, I expected it to be exceptional. It was good. If it hadn’t made me laugh at times, it would have been just okay.

The story is narrated by Greg. It’s him writing a book about his experience with ill Rachel. It starts with him explaining his role in his high school social hierarchy. He gives you a lot of past social history. I kept wondering why. It wasn’t that it wasn’t interesting, it just didn’t seem to be going anywhere at the time. It took a long time to get to the actual Rachel part of the story and to see where all the history was leading. I was starting to get bored.

Earl saved the story in my opinion. He was incredibly funny. He made Greg funny. Their conversations could be kind of vulgar at times, but they definitely made me laugh. If it weren’t for their interactions, I don’t think I would have liked the book. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but Me and Earl and the Dying Girl might be one of those rare books that makes a better movie than book.