Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Releases for the Second Half of 2020

Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is:

Today’s topic is :

 Most Anticipated Releases for the Second Half of 2020

1. Heart Bones
Author: Colleen Hoover

2. Midnight Sun
Author: Stephenie Meyer

3. Always Crew
Author: Tijan

4. Well Played
Author: Jen DeLuca

5. Lies & Lullabies
Author: Sarina Bowen

6. The Wreckage of Us
Author: Brittainy C. Cherry

7. Wild Like Us
Author: Krista & Becca Ritchie

8. Muses and Melodies
Author: Rebecca Yarros

9. Snapped
Author: Alexa Martin

10. Blacklisted
Author: Jay Crownover

Review: Charming Like Us

Charming Like Us
Series: Like Us, #7
Authors: Krista & Becca Ritchie
Publication Date: June 23, 2020
Publisher: K.B. Ritchie
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, LGBTQ+

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

As the hottest bodyguard on Security Force Omega, Oscar Oliveira has no trouble finding a warm body at any odd hour. But he’s ready for more.

And for the first time in this ex-pro boxer’s life, he just got rejected. For a kiss.

Oscar’s friends warned him not to fall for the straight guy, but flirty, sexy-as-hell Jack Highland made that difficult. Now Jack has Oscar’s sweater. His belt. His bandana. And Oscar seriously wants them back.

As for Jack – well, Jack wants a lot of things.

But for the first time in this confident filmmaker’s life, he’s absolutely 100%… confused. Add another ultra-complication in a sea of complicated: Enter Charlie Cobalt.

The enigmatic famous one that Oscar is sworn to protect wants his own show, and he’s asked Jack to film it. A Charlie-centric docuseries will force Oscar & Jack to share the same air again.

Option 1: Ignore each other.
Option 2: Flirt, aw yeah. And act like the rejection never happened.
Option 3: Confront each other about the rejected kiss.

With options on the table and their romantic lives unsettled, both Jack & Oscar are concerned about why Charlie wants his own show. And the longer filming lasts, the more tumultuous their personal & professional worlds become.

Chaos reigns when you’re around the Cobalts, and Jack & Oscar are swept up among the most destructive one.


Finally! Another Like Us book. The wait hasn’t been that long, but it felt like years for some reason. I missed being in the midst of the Hale-Meadows-Cobalt family drama. I was so excited to read this one and here are my thoughts now that I have…

What I loved:

  • Krista & Becca Ritchie’s writing. It always feels a bit like coming home.
  • Getting to know both Oscar and Jack better. Jack was probably my biggest surprise. I think it’s because I can remember not liking him when he first dropped into the Hale-Meadows-Cobalt world. He’s proven himself over the span of many books, but this book made me love his character even more.
  • How Jack’s change of feelings and exploration of self went. How his family and friends supported him.
  • Oscar and Jack as a couple. Very cute.
  • Seeing so many favorite characters. It was especially fun to get some hints at what’s to come in the next three books.
  • Charlie could have been part of that last bullet, but he deserves his own. I felt like I learned the most about him in this book than I have over the last six. If I wanted a book about him before, I want it even more now.

What I wasn’t so sure about:

  • There is one part of this book that felt like it maybe should have taken place somewhere like Las Vegas instead of New York. It was kind of thrown in and was a big surprise, but I wasn’t sure that I was 100% behind it.
  • It felt a little weird that this book wasn’t about a Hale, Meadows, or Cobalt clan member. I didn’t mind much because Charlie was so present and Oscar and Jack are so prevalent throughout the entire series, but it did give the book a little bit of a different feel.

Overall feelings? It was a fun ride. I am excited to find out what’s next in this world. Bring on book 8!

Mid Year Freak Out Tag 2020

Well, June is almost over. It’s been a crazy 202o so far. What better way to celebrate(?) the first half of the year than with the MID YEAR FREAK OUT TAG?

BEST BOOK YOU’VE READ YET IN 2020

It was really hard to pick a favorite of 2020 so far. I have read many good books, but I’m going with You’d Be Mine because I feel like it made me the happiest when I looked back at all my books read this year. We all know we need happiness right now.

BEST SEQUEL YOU’VE READ SO FAR IN 2020

Since sequels continue a story, I’m going with Destructive. I’ve been waiting a long time for answers and my mind was blown.

NEW RELEASE YOU HAVEN’T READ YET BUT WANT TO

I love Kennedy Ryan’s books and I can’t wait to finally get to this one.

MOST ANTICIPATED RELEASE FOR THE SECOND HALF OF THE YEAR

Can I just say all of them? So many of my favorite authors are releasing new books in the next six months. I can’t even handle it! I chose Hands Down because it’s the newest addition to my TBR.

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT

The format of this book just killed it for me.

BIGGEST SURPRISE

The Sun Down Motel is a book I chose for BOTM when I accidentally forgot to cancel it. It sat on my shelf for months until I was in a mood to read something thriller like. I was surprised by how much I loved it.

FAVORITE NEW AUTHOR

This is tough. It’s a three way tie between Rebecca Jenshak, Karla Sorensen, and Kristen Callihan. These are the books that I first read by them that made me want more.

NEWEST FICTIONAL CRUSH

I don’t do fictional crushes, but my newest favorite male character is Maddox Paige from The Change Up.

NEWEST FAVORITE CHARACTER

Mackenzie’s brand of crazy cracked me up. I loved her.

BOOK THAT MADE YOU CRY

I’m pretty sure I shed a tear with this one. I haven’t really picked up books I know are going to be sad this year.

BOOK THAT MADE YOU HAPPY

The F List was just a fun reading experience with the right amount and kind of drama.

FAVORITE BOOK TO FILM ADAPTATION

I don’t think I’ve seen a new one this year. I’m trying to remember. We did watch the entire Hunger Games movie series, Crazy Rich Asians, and Ready Player One for a second time. So those?

MOST BEAUTIFUL BOOK YOU’VE BOUGHT THIS YEAR

Like cover or story? We’ll go cover. Chanel Cleeton’s are always my favorite.

WHAT BOOKS DO YOU NEED TO READ BY THE END OF THE YEAR

So, so many! Like I said above, there are so many new releases coming that I want to read.

Mini Reviews: Faked, Taking His Shot, Trying to Score, & Get a Life, Chloe Brown

Happy Friday! Today, I have some short reviews to share with you for the books I have been reading the past couple of weeks.

Faked
Author: Karla Sorensen
Publication Date: June 16, 2020
Publisher: Dutch Girl Publishing, LLC
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Sports

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Every action has a consequence, and Claire Ward knows it. And yet, even knowing that her decision to swap places with her identical twin sister, Lia, for a night could be disastrous, she still does it.

Why?

Because it will give her an evening with the man she’s been crushing on for years, Lia’s best friend, Finn.

Miss Straight A Student has thought through all the angles, and knows the risk is worth it. And everything would have been fine, if Finn had been the one to show up at her door.

But it wasn’t.

Bauer Davis— Finn’s half brother and his exact opposite in just about every definable category is the one waiting for her instead. A professional snowboarder, Bauer is covered in ink, full of attitude, and has a chip on his shoulder the size of Mt. Olympus. The kind of bad boy that Claire has never been attracted to before.

Now the good girl is with the wrong brother for a night, and when the consequence is that they have to pretend to be together for an event, it’s nothing she could have predicted. But maybe, just maybe, what makes Bauer so bad, is exactly what Claire needs.

My thoughts:

Karla Sorensen is an author whose books I tried and fell in love with earlier this year. Faked was a little insta-lovey, but I could not have cared less about that because it was so freaking cute! I loved Claire and Bauer together. They seemed liked opposites, but got each other in the most sincere way. The way their families wove into the story was perfect. I had such a great time reading this book! It might just be my new favorite of Sorensen’s!


Get a Life, Chloe Brown
Series: The Brown Sisters, #1
Author: Talia Hibbert
Publication Date: November 5, 2019
Publisher: Avon
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Chloe Brown is a chronically ill computer geek with a goal, a plan, and a list. After almost—but not quite—dying, she’s come up with seven directives to help her “Get a Life”, and she’s already completed the first: finally moving out of her glamorous family’s mansion. The next items?

• Enjoy a drunken night out.
• Ride a motorcycle.
• Go camping.
• Have meaningless but thoroughly enjoyable sex.
• Travel the world with nothing but hand luggage.
• And… do something bad.

But it’s not easy being bad, even when you’ve written step-by-step guidelines on how to do it correctly. What Chloe needs is a teacher, and she knows just the man for the job.

Redford ‘Red’ Morgan is a handyman with tattoos, a motorcycle, and more sex appeal than ten-thousand Hollywood heartthrobs. He’s also an artist who paints at night and hides his work in the light of day, which Chloe knows because she spies on him occasionally. Just the teeniest, tiniest bit.

But when she enlists Red in her mission to rebel, she learns things about him that no spy session could teach her. Like why he clearly resents Chloe’s wealthy background. And why he never shows his art to anyone. And what really lies beneath his rough exterior…

My thoughts:

I had a love-hate relationship with this book. I loved the banter between Chloe and Red. Their enemies to lovers thing was super cute. I loved how Chloe’s disability was written. What I had a harder time with was the pace of the story or how the story unfolded, I guess. I had to push myself to keep reading even when I liked the romance that was happening.


Taking His Shot
Series: Hot Jocks, #7
Author: Kendall Ryan
Publication Date: June 5, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Sports

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

She says she doesn’t date players.

She swears up and down that she’ll never handle my stick.

We’ll see about that, sweetheart.

When I win the pleasure of Harper’s company at a charity auction, I get exactly one date—one shot to win over the gorgeous and feisty brunette.

Game on. I play hard, and I love a challenge.

But just when I think I’ve finally carved out my shot . . . a huge secret implodes around us, threatening everything we’ve built.

The bestselling Hot Jocks series is back with one last stand-alone novel. If you like sexy, confident men who know how to handle a stick (on and off the ice), and smart women who are strong enough to keep all those big egos in check, this series is perfect for you! Each book features a brand new couple to fall in love with.

My thoughts:

I had high expectations for this book because I have come to love Jordie’s character over the series. I wasn’t a huge fan of Harper. She was so closed off, and I knew from the moment the book started what was going to happen. I guess I wanted Jordie’s book to be a little more like Landon’s since they were the younger guys. This book was lacking something that one had. It was a quick, fun read still.


Trying to Score
Series: Hot Jocks, #3
Author: Kendall Ryan
Publication Date: November 12, 2019
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Sports

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Teddy King excels at many things. Playing hockey. Check. Scoring on and off the ice. Check. Being stupidly attractive … Double check.

I knew him way back when. Before he was the guy everyone wanted a piece of, he was just a rebellious college co-ed and one of my more energetic study partners.

But secrets have a way of getting out, and a steamy encounter from our college days (that we probably shouldn’t have filmed) is about to cause a major scandal. Unless we can work together to stop it.

Teddy’s no stranger to hard work … but the thing he wants most?

Is me.

Note: This high-heat standalone is chock-full of scorching banter and steamy good times. He’s a testosterone-dripping hockey player who wants a second chance. She’s a tough as nails attorney intent on making partner. Loads of hot banter. No cliffhanger. Enjoy!

Your favorite hot jocks are back with an all new stand-alone novel. If you like sexy, confident men who know how to handle a stick (on and off the ice), and smart women who are strong enough to keep all those big egos in check, this series of athlete romances is perfect for you!

My thoughts:

Obviously, I’m reading this series out of order depending on when my library holds come in. Not a big deal at all, but I was super excited for this one because of the hints about this couple in some of the upcoming books. I really loved Sara and Teddy’s romance. Their history made this book extra fun, and I adored how their friendship easily transitioned to more. This was one of the books that is on my list of favorites for this series.

Review: Want You to Want Me (Lorelei James)

Want You to Want Me
Series: Want Me, #2
Author: Lorelei James
Publication Date: August 4, 2020
Publisher: Berkley Books
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Sports
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

The new sexy contemporary romance in New York Times bestselling author Lorelei James’s Want You series, set in Minneapolis-St. Paul.

Hockey player Gabriella “Gabi” Welk spent her life in pursuit of championships, but she has little to show for it besides dusty trophies and second-place medals. Now her career consists of several part-time jobs to make ends meet. When Gabi gets a chance at her dream job, she swallows her pride and asks her nemesis–smart, sexy and savvy Nolan Lund–for help.

Since being named future CEO of Lund Industries, Nolan has tried hard to overcome his reputation as a fun-loving playboy and ladies’ man. For the first time ever, he’s more focused on the company than his personal life. He spends his free time at the ice rink his brother owns, cheering on his niece at her hockey games…and watching Gabriella Welk, the superstar athlete and assistant coach who gets under his skin in a way he can’t ignore. He’s shocked when Gabi agrees to trade a favor for a favor.

They have little in common besides their mutual mistrust, but between family crises and sibling rivalries, Nolan and Gabi realize they want to be more than just friends–much more.


Want You to Want Me is a book I wanted to read simply because I have read the first book in this series and the entire related series. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know the Lund family, and wanted to spend some more time with them.

This book was a great read. It was a slow burn in a lot of ways. The  romance built slowly. The characters spent a lot of time getting to know each other as their relationship developed. Nolan and Gabi were kind of an unlikely couple. He was into fashion and business, while she was into hockey and coaching. They didn’t have the best or even correct impression of who the other was at first, but they once they figured each other out, they were perfect together. It was a super sweet relationship that I loved.

The plot also built slowly throughout the book. There were a couple of tiny hints at what was to come, especially for Nolan. What was a little unsettling was how the major problem was kind of just dumped on me all at once. I had to think hard back to those tiny hints to put some of it together. I had a hard time coming to terms with the side characters acted. I liked how things played out for Nolan and Gabi, but the rest I’m still trying to wrap my head around. I’m not sure if I loved that or not.

There were a few other great things about this book that I want to spotlight. I loved that Gabi was the athlete in this book. She was a great female sports role model. I also liked the inclusion of LGBTQ+ characters and events. Everything Nolan did to support the community was done with the best intentions. The other thing I liked was the way Nolan’s mom and brother interacted with both him and Gabi.

Overall, Want You to Want Me was a great contemporary sports romance. I enjoyed the low amount of drama and the sweetness of the romance.

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday Turns 10!

Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is:

Today’s topic is :

Top Ten Tuesday Turns 10!

Today, I’m giving you a list of 10 of my  past Top Ten Tuesday lists that I had the most fun creating.

Enjoy!

1. Ten Books to Help You Transition from YA to NA Romance

2. Favorite Books Released in the Last Ten Years

3. Top Ten Wow Endings

4. Ten Books I Would Give Theme Songs To

5. Best Character Names

6. Ten Ed Sheeran Songs that Need to be Turned Into a Romance Novel

7. Ten Characters I’d Name a Dog After

8. Titles That Would Make Good Band Names

9. Top Ten Books I Wish Had Frank Sanger in Them

10. Twenty Romance Series to Binge On

Series Review: Game On (Kristen Callihan)

 I picked up The Hook Up by Kristen Callihan because I needed the first book in a series by an author I hadn’t read yet for the New to Me Author Summer Challenge. When I did that, I had no idea it would turn into a binge read. Thanks to the challenge, I have found a new sports romance author to love. Here are my mini reviews for each book in the series.


The Hook Up (Book 1) ★ ★ ★ ★

I really enjoyed Drew and Anna’s story. He was a cocky football player looking for more. She was a girl who didn’t see herself as the bombshell she was and didn’t want a relationship. They had great chemistry. I do have to say that at times this book felt a little long, but the pay off was well worth it.

The Friend Zone (Book 2) ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Wow. I’m impressed. This is one of my new favorite friends to lovers books. Between the texts and the chemistry, I was sold. I loved Ivy and Gray together. This will be my favorite book in the series, I just know it.

The Game Plan (Book 3) ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Did I say The Friend Zone would be my favorite? Well, The Game Plan surpassed it.  I loved Dex and Fiona just as much as I loved Ivy and Gray. Dex and Fiona surpassed them based on their chemistry and emotional connection, though. That emotional connection was something else.

The Hot Shot (Book 4) ★ ★ ★ ★

Don’t let the 4 stars fool you. I enjoyed this book almost as much as the last two. When it comes to rating it, I felt like I had to give it less because it was missing something the last two had. Not sure what it was because I loved Finn and Chess. The way they started out as friends was cute. Their relationship drama didn’t seem to be as big as the past three books, which I was thankful for, but it was there. It was a great addition to the series.

Conclusions?

I really hope we get more books in the Game On series and soon. I loved every minute I spent binging this football romance series. I see a ton of possibilities in this football world for future stories.

Review: Summer Fling Anthology

Summer Fling Anthology
Authors: Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward, L.J. Shen, Willow Winters, Helena Hunting, R.S. Grey, Sarina Bowen
Publication Date: June 8, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ¼

Synopsis:

For a Good Time Call by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward

Ever see For a good time call scribbled on the bathroom wall of a bar? Sure you have. Ever wonder what would happen if you had a few too many drinks and actually called the number? Well now you don’t have to wonder anymore, because I’ll tell you… It blows up in your face when you suddenly realize who Mr. Good Time is.

Eternal Sunshine by L.J. Shen

Adam Mackay is my brother’s best friend, turned Hollywood heartthrob, who is now my brand new, infuriating boss.

Sounds complicated? You have no idea…

Stay Right Here with Me by Willow Winters

I can’t tell you how many mistakes I’ve made sitting in this very spot in this small town bar. Watching the iron doors swing closed as the broad-shouldered man who just walked in sits across from me, I already know he’s on that list of, “I shouldn’t have done that…”

Damsel Dude in Distress by Helena Hunting

I thought I was helping a damsel in distress. Turns out my damsel was actually a hot dude with some bad luck. It started with a broken down car and ended with a gross motel, an indoor campout and a set of Kama Sutra sheets.

The Beach R.S. Grey

I’m not supposed to be on vacation with my best friend’s older brother. I’ve wanted him for so long, and now we’re unexpectedly alone in a tropical paradise. Naturally, I packed a lot of bikinis, but I should have brought armor if I want to have any hope of surviving my week away with Noah Martin…or should I say, Dr. Martin.

Lucky Shot by Sarina Bowen

Rookie sports agent Bess Beringer gets a real education on the night of her first glitzy New York business dinner. But the things she learns have nothing to do with roster rules or contract negotiation. Luckily, rookie hockey player Mark “Tank” Tankiewicz is a pro-level teacher…


Here is a mini review for each book in this FREE anthology.

For a Good Time Call by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward – This was one of the shining stars in this anthology. It was the epitome of a summer romance. There was the beach, hilarious moments, and a flirty romance. I really enjoyed it.

Eternal Sunshine by L.J. Shen – This was the short story that brought the book down for me. It didn’t feel summery at all. It felt depressing. I don’t know what the dude was thinking in the beginning, but it completely killed the story for me from the get-go. Eternal Sunshine is just another example of why I think I have grown out of L.J. Shen’s current writing style.

Stay Right Here with Me by Willow Winters – I loved Stay Right Here with Me. I would have loved for this to have been a full length novel or even just longer. I wanted to spend more time with this couple.

Damsel Dude in Distress by Helena Hunting – This was another gem that had me laughing. I loved these characters and their story. I would have read more of it.  It took me a while to figure out how the characters in this story relate to other characters in Hunting’s books, but once I did I was even more sold on this short story.

The Beach R.S. Grey – I was sad when this one was over. I really wanted more just so I could keep reading about this couple. It was so much fun. It had a summer vacation resort vibe that I loved. I would be on board for Grey to turn it into a full length novel.

Lucky Shot by Sarina Bowen – Lucky Shot was the reason I picked up this anthology, and it did not disappoint. I loved getting one more look at Bess and Tank’s relationship. They’re such a fun couple and have amazing chemistry. It was basically a prologue to Sure Shot.

Review: The Player Next Door (K.A. Tucker)

The Player Next Door
Author: K.A. Tucker
Publication Date: June 14, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

From the international bestselling author of The Simple Wild and Ten Tiny Breaths comes a new second-chance, hate-to-love romance.

Scarlet Reed has returned to Polson Falls, convinced that twelve years away is long enough to shed her humiliating childhood identity as the town harlot’s daughter. With a teaching job secured and an adorable fixer-upper to call home, things in her life are finally looking up.

That is, until she finds out that Shane Beckett lives next door.

Shane Beckett, the handsome and charismatic high school star quarterback who smashed her heart. The lying, cheating player who was supposed to be long gone, living the pro football dream and fooling women into thinking he’s Prince Charming. Shane Beckett, who is as attractive as ever and flashing his dimples at her as if he has done no wrong.

Scarlet makes it abundantly clear that old wounds have not been forgotten. Neighbors they may be, but friends they most certainly are not. She won’t allow herself to fall for the single father and firefighter again, no matter how many apologies he offers, how many times he rushes to her aid, or how hard he makes her heart pound.

But as she spends more time with him, she begins to fear that maybe she’s wrong. Maybe Shane has changed.

And maybe this time she’s the one playing herself—out of a chance at true happiness.


The Player Next Door was a fun escape. It was a cute second chance romance. Scarlett was heartbroken after Shane broke up with her in high school. Now, years later, she’s back living in her hometown living next door to him. He’s determined to win her back, and Scarlett is determined to stay away from him. That doesn’t last long, and Scarlett discovers the feelings she had in high school might not be as far behind her as she thought.

I loved how lighthearted this book felt compared to some other of Tucker’s books.  The sweetness of Scarlett and Shane’s takes center stage. Their romance felt fun and natural. There was some deep stuff going on at times, but it never felt like too much. It also helped that there were so humorous moments with Scarlett’s friends. It was exactly what I needed in these heavy times. I’m hoping Tucker will make this a series and give Justine a book. I would LOVE to see her with Dean!

Download today or read for free in Kindle Unlimited!
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2B2QTuD
Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/ThePlayerNextDoorKAT
Goodreads: https://bit.ly/2YJOXRC

Review: The Dare (Elle Kennedy)

The Dare
Series: Briar U, #4
Author: Elle Kennedy
Publication Date: June 16, 2020
Genre: New Adult, Sports, Romance, Contemporary
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

College was supposed to be my chance to get over my ugly-duckling complex and spread my wings. Instead, I wound up in a sorority full of mean girls. I already have a hard time fitting in, so when my Kappa Chi sisters issue the challenge, I can’t say no.

The dare: seduce the hottest new hockey player in the junior class.

Conor Edwards is a regular at Greek Row parties…and in Greek Row sorority beds. He’s the one you fall for before you learn that guys like him don’t give girls like me a second glance. Except Mr. Popular throws me for a loop—rather than laughing in my face, he does me a solid by letting me take him upstairs to pretend we’re getting busy.

Even crazier, now he wants to keep pretending. Turns out Conor loves games, and he thinks it’s fun to pull the wool over my frenemies’ eyes.

But resisting his easy charm and surfer-boy hotness is darn near impossible. Though I’m realizing there’s much more to Conor’s story than his fan club can see.

And the longer this silly ruse goes on, the greater the danger of it all blowing up in my face.


Elle Kennedy is one of my favorite authors and, while I eagerly anticipate every one of her new releases, I also hold her to a high standard when it comes to her books. With every new release, I’m holding my breath hoping she’s going to knock it out of the park. She’s always done that for me, and continued to do that with The Dare.

The Dare was one of those super swoony new adult sports romances. It had just the right amount of sports moments, teammate camaraderie, character chemistry, and character backstories to create problems. What really stood out in The Dare, though, were the characters themselves. Taylor and Conor were characters that were easy to love.

Taylor is one of my favorite Elle Kennedy characters ever. She is perfectly imperfect. She gets in her own way a lot. Taylor is a bigger girl. She has body issues that she lets crossover to every aspect of her life. The way they are portrayed resonated with me. I would have been able to identify with her as a college student, and I’m able to relate as an adult, too.

Conor also got added to my list of favorite characters. He was nicer than I was expecting from the get-go. I mean super nice. He was still a cocky hockey player, but he had layers and some deep insecurities of his own. I loved what his relationship with Taylor did for both of them.

That relationship…sigh. It was so sweet. I loved the pace at which everything progressed between them. The trust they built in each other was what I would expect in a real relationship, so to see it on the page was cool. Everything they went through together matured them from college kids to adults. I just really loved them as a couple.

What else can I say? As with all the other Briar U and Off Campus books, we get to see more of some of our favorite characters. They had special roles in this book, and it was fun to see them again. Other than that, I guess you’re just going to have to read The Dare for yourself. Trust me, you are going to want to! It was one of my favorites in this series.

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