Crossroads

Crossroads by Thomma Lyn Grindstaff

Publication Date: August 8, 2015

Synopsis:

Monie and Rob aren’t just high school sweethearts, they’re childhood sweethearts. They started as best buddies in sixth grade and their friendship quickly turned to love. Monie and Rob have been planning their Life Script together for years:

  1. graduate college
  2. get married
  3. go to law school
  4. start a practice
  5. have kids.

But as college graduation day draws near, Monie’s having second thoughts about the Life Script she’s followed for so long. Monie’s afraid that if she doesn’t at least try her dreams of being a guitarist, she might regret the Life Script she’s chosen — and Rob, too.

Following her dream is harder than it sounds, though. First, she has to come clean with both Rob and her parents. Then, she has to call the number for the guitarist ad she found. She knows she’s good enough to be in the band, Monie just needs to face her fears of losing Rob and the life she’s wanted since she was a child.

Can Monie have both an exciting career and the man she loves?

My rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Crossroads is a novel about a young woman wanting the best of both worlds. She wants her comfortable, loving relationship with the man who’s always been there with and for her. But she also wants to follow her dreams and try something completely new and exciting.

Thomma Lyn Grindstaff did an excellent job at portraying Monie’s emotions. It was very easy to relate to Monie’s confusion over the path her life should take. As much as she loved Rob, she knew following his dreams would mean losing her own. I loved that she didn’t compromise herself for him.

The one part of this story that has been stuck in my head since I finished Crossroads is Rob’s reaction to Monie wanting to be in the band. I actually felt like I could relate to Rob even more than Monie. I mean, why would Rob want Monie to join a band and potentially leave him? Why would he want to her be around a band full of guys she will probably have chemistry with? His frustrations made total sense to me.

So, while I loved that Monie was going to follow her dreams, I hated the position she put Rob in. At first, I thought he was being a jerk. As the story progressed, I started to agree with him. The doubts he shared had me questioning the ending of the story. I also felt like the troubles they were having would have resulted in more tears and emotion than Monie was having. I started to wonder if she really did want to save her relationship. I would have been distracted from finals and losing it.

Crossroads was nicely wrapped up, but it was missing a little something for me. I don’t want to give away the story, so I’ll just say it’s the reaction Rob didn’t have toward a big something toward the end that I didn’t get. Honestly, I see more trouble on the horizon for Rob and Monie. I would be interested in seeing where their story goes from here.

I would recommend Crossroads to New Adult readers who enjoy steamy coming of age stories.

**Thank you to Thomma Lyn Grindstaff for the opportunity to read and honestly review Crossroads.

My Life with the Walter Boys

My Life with the Walter Boys by Ali Novak

Publication Date: March 1, 2014

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Synopsis:

Jackie Howard thought the worst was over after she lost her family in a car accident. She never thought she would be forced the leave the comfort of her New York apartment to live with her mother’s college roommate, Katherine Walter, in Colorado.

To make matters worse, she will be living with twelve boys. (Well, Parker’s a girl, but she might as well be a boy.) Perfectionist Jackie’s always gone to an all girls boarding school. She’s used to uniforms, good grades and no surprises. Nothing could prepare her for the chaos of living with the Walter family. The boys are not only annoying and dirty, but incredibly handsome. Jackie’s going to have to learn how to fit into her new surroundings.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I feel bad saying this since Jackie just lost her parents, but this book was so much fun! I wasn’t expecting that. But, just like Jackie, I couldn’t resist those Walter boys! They were cute, funny and trouble. Their high junks were exactly what I would expect if I had to live with all those boys.

My Life with the Walter Boys wasn’t just fun, though. It also had a great message about living your life in the moment and letting go. I would highly suggest this book to YA readers.

Dare to Rock

Dare to Rock (Dare to Love #7) by Carly Phillips

Publication Date: August 4, 2015

Synopsis: 

With a popular fashion and makeup video blog, no one would know that Avery Dare hates the spotlight. Avery doesn’t need fame or fortune. She’s content to live a quiet life.

Grey Kingston has achieved everything he hoped he would when he left Miami all those years ago. Along with his band, Tangled Royal, Kingston has found fame and fortune. He has everything he ever wanted — except Avery Dare. No matter how many women he has slept with, he can’t get Avery Dare out of his mind. Now that he’s ready to leave the spotlight behind, Grey is hoping they can rekindle their flame.

When Avery receives an invitation to visit Grey at one of his concerts, she’s not sure she should go. Avery still holds a special place in her heart for Grey, and she’s not sure if she’s ready to rip open that wound.

Grey knew getting Avery to believe he was ready to live a normal life would be hard, he just didn’t expect it to be this hard. He knows he hurt her, but he didn’t expect a deranged fan to stalk her. Now, it’s going to take even more to convince her that they’re meant to be.

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

If you’re looking for a fun, steamy romance with a hint of rock and roll, Dare to Rock is for you. I really enjoyed Avery and Grey’s second chance at love story. They had great chemistry together and their relationship was hot, hot, hot!  My favorite part of the story was getting to know more about Avery. Having read all of the previous books in the series, it was cool to finally get her perspective on her father and the rest of the Dare clan.

Like I mentioned before, Dare to Rock is part of a series. It’s best to have read the previous novels in the series before reading Dare to Rock. The Dare family is large and close. Characters and storylines from previous books are mentioned in each book. Just to warn potential readers: Dare to Rock is a contemporary romance, but some novels in the series are erotic romances.

** I received an electronic copy of Dare to Rock from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Other books in the Dare to Love series:

          

Before the Blog #8: Vendetta

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? 

_________________________________________________________________________

Vendetta (Blood for Blood #1) by Catherine Doyle

Publication Date: February 24, 2015

Publisher: Chicken House Ltd.

Synopsis:

Sophie Gracewell is thrown into a dangerous game of revenge when five brothers move into the long abandoned mansion in her neighborhood. Sophie is drawn to one of the brothers, Nicoli. Their families warn them to stay away from each other, but Sophie and Nicoli can’t help falling for each other. As soon as they do, Sophie will be forced to make decisions she didn’t even know existed.

Why did you choose this book?

Vendetta wasn’t what I was expecting it to be. For some reason, I was expecting a vampire story. (It’s not.) What I got was so much more interesting: a modern day Romeo and Juliet story filled with the mob. I was drawn into Sophie’s world and I honestly think this should be the next big series everyone is talking about.

When did you read this book?

In May of 2015, I saw it displayed on a library shelf. I grabbed the opportunity to read it because I had originally seen the book in BookPage magazine and thought it sounded interesting.

Who would you recommend this book to?

Anyone that enjoys a great YA series –especially with forbidden love or mob stories. So far, there are no love triangles or sex. There is some violence.


Check out my other Before the Blog posts here:

Before the Blog #1: Dear Daughter 

Before the Blog #2: There is No Light in Darkness

Before the Blog #3: The Lace Reader

Before the Blog #4: The Beach Trees

Before the Blog #5: The Raven Boys

Before the Blog #6: Waiting on You

Before the Blog #7: A Little Something Different

ARC Review: This Is One Moment

 This Is One Moment by Mila Gray

Publication Date: September 10, 2015

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

Synopsis:

Didi’s always wanted a romance like her parents have, a romance worthy of the movies. She wants the fairytale. Didi thinks she’s found it with Hollywood heartthrob, Zac Ridgemont. He’s everything Didi thinks a man should be.

But then, while completing an internship at a military hospital, she meets Noel Walker. Walker’s wounds aren’t just on the outside, they’re on the inside as well. He’s frustrated as hell and all Didi wants is to be able to help him. Well, help him and jump his bones.

Didi knows she can’t fall for a patient. It would ruin her future career. But she can’t seem to put enough distance between herself and Walker. There’s just something about him that makes her willing to push her boundaries.

Just when Didi and Walker are beginning to act on their feelings for each other, their lives are twisted out of control. It leaves them both wondering whether their relationship is worth fighting for.

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

This Is One Moment had me from the prologue. I had to know how it fit into the story. I would say it drove me continue reading, but that’s not true. The entire story is what drove me to continue reading. I loved it. It was fast-paced and deep.

While Didi’s quest for true love was sweet, it was Walker’s struggles that poked at my heart. He was dealing with so much. I hurt for him. I loved the interactions he had with Sanchez, Jose and Callum. And, of course, Walker and Didi were beyond hot.

This Is One Moment would have been a 5 star book for me had it not been for a couple of scenes toward the end of the book. I don’t want to give anything away, but Didi’s actions made me a little sick. They showed an immaturity I didn’t see from her in the rest of the book. In the end, her actions didn’t seem to matter but I think the book would have been better without them.

Overall, I found This Is One Moment to be an extremely moving book about a veteran recovering from war and finding strength to move on–and love. I loved it and hope other NA readers will as well.

**I received a digital copy of This Is One Moment from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Thrill Me

Thrill Me (Fool’s Gold #18) by Susan Mallery

Publication Date:

Publisher:

Synopsis: 

Maya Farlow left Fool’s Gold and Del Mitchell suddenly to follow her dreams. Ten years later, she’s back in town. It’s her job to promote Fool’s Gold’s new slogan: The Destination for Romance.

Maya’s not the only one back in town. Del’s returned home. After Maya ran away, Del was left to pick up the pieces of his life and heart. He made a name for himself in extreme sports. He’s also Mayor Marsha’s pick to be the celebrity spokesman for the town’s new slogan.

Now, years after she painfully tore apart his life, Maya is forced to work with Del. Luckily, Del doesn’t hold a grudge. In fact, he likes working closely with Maya way more than he should.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

So, for a little background information, Susan Mallery likes to release books in the Fool’s Gold series in groups of three. This summer, she released Hold MeKiss Me and Thrill Me. I didn’t review Hold Me for A Novel Glimpse, but I did read it. To be honest, it wasn’t my favorite Fool’s Gold novel. I liked it, I just wanted more from it. This series has so many amazing books in it and my standard for new Fool’s Gold books is really high. Kiss Me was better. It was really good, but not quite up to my favorite Fool’s Gold novels . (You can read my review for it here.) So, I had really high hopes that Thrill Me would be reminiscent of my favorite Fool’s Gold novels.

It totally was. It was the perfect book for the flight I read it on.  Thrill Me was light and funny. The story was so cute! Both Maya and Del were strong characters on their own, but together they shined. Their chemistry was hot! I loved how they went for their second chance with each other and didn’t let the past get too much in the way. The story was fun to read.

I would definitely suggest Thrill Me to fans of the Fool’s Gold series or anyone that enjoys contemporary romances. Like the rest of the books in the series, there is some carry over of characters but it could be read as a standalone.

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)  Kiss Me (Fool's Gold, #17)

Blurred Lines

Blurred Lines by Lauren Layne

Publication Date: August 25, 2015

Publisher: Loveswept

Synopsis:

Parker Blanton and Ben Olson have been platonic best friends since they met their freshman year of college. It’s a shock to everyone they meet. After all, Parker’s a hot chick and Ben’s extremely handsome. Why wouldn’t they be hooking up? They even live together. Truth is, they’re happy being best friends. Parker’s had a serious boyfriend, Lance, for 5 years and Ben is a self-declared ladies man.

All of that changes when Lance dumps Parker. Now, Parker’s on a quest to find a no-strings-attached hook up. She looks to Ben for advice, but quickly decides she may not be up to casual sex with strangers. But what about casual sex with someone she knows? Someone she trusts–like Ben.

Ben and Parker are determined to keep their friendship the same while having casual sex together. It works great until Lance wants Parker back. Will they still have their friendship when they no longer have sex?

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I have to admit I love friends to lovers stories. There’s just something about two friends who already enjoy and care for each other falling in love. Maybe it’s just the romantic in me, but I find this type of story so sweet.

It was more than just sweet, though. It was steamy. Ben and Parker had major chemistry. (Fans self.) Their connection with each other was off the charts. I honestly can’t believe they waited six years to hook up! How did they not have any sexual tension? I get that Parker had a boyfriend, but there had to be some sort of sparks! 😉

I think New Adult readers will enjoy Blurred Lines. It’s a fun story filled with friendship, love and sex.

Restless Waters

Restless Waters (Left Drowning #2) by Jessica Park

Publication Date: August 26, 2015

Publisher: Flat Finn, Inc.

Synopsis:

Blythe McGuire has finally moved on from the dark past that haunts her. Thanks to her boyfriend Chris and the rest of the Shepherd family, she’s found happiness again. She’s found love and the sense of family she lost.

Her peaceful future doesn’t last long, though. Blythe can tell a storm is brewing in her best friend and Chris’ brother, Sabin. As Sabin begins to pull away from their close friendship, Blythe worries his past may be catching up with him. Blythe wants nothing more than to help Sabin, but will helping him ruin the peacefulness she’s finally found?

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Jessica Park is a book writing genius. Her writing is so emotional and, at times, devastating. She knows how to pull me in and get me all worried about her characters. Then, in the most unique and intriguing way, she makes everything all better. Well, as better as it can ever get for her damaged characters.

When I originally read Left Drowning, I was overwhelmed. I don’t think I had read any other book at the time that left me feeling such, well feelings. There were so many of them: sad, devastated, happy, hopeful. Left Drowning was such an emotional rollercoaster and I absolutely loved it. It’s a book I’ve recommended to most of my friends time and time again.

When I opened my Twitter account on August 27th and saw Tweets about Jessica Park pulling a Beyonce and releasing a sequel to Left Drowning, I immediately went to Amazon and downloaded it. Nothing could have stopped me from reading Restless Waters. I needed to know how some of my favorite characters were doing.

Blythe and the Shepherds seemed okay at first, but then Sabin really started to worry me. He was far from okay. What he was going through scared me. I worried the happiness everyone had finally found was going to blow up in my face. I’m not going to tell you what happens and ruin it, but it was very emotional and sometimes stressful. Don’t worry, there was some happiness, too.

I truly loved Restless Waters. Once again, Jessica Park has written a book that tears me apart and then puts me back together in the best way possible. For that reason, Jessica Park will always be one of my favorite authors. If you haven’t read Left Drowning and Restless Waters (or any of her books, really) you’re missing out.

Other books in this series:

Sweet

Sweet (Contours of the Heart #3) by Tammara Webber

Publication Date: April 27, 2015

Synopsis: 

Sweet is a spinoff of Easy and Breakable from the Contours of the Heart series. It is a standalone novel. While there are a couple of mentions of characters from the first two novels, you won’t feel like you’ve missed anything if you haven’t read them.

Bad boy Boyce Wynn is everything Pearl Torres Frank shouldn’t want. He’s from the wrong side of the tracks and doesn’t care what the world thinks of him. But Pearl wants him. She always has. Pearl knows there’s more to Boyce than the tough guy everyone sees.

Now, Pearl’s home from college for summer. Before she heads off to medical school in the fall, she’s determined to have Boyce. It doesn’t matter what it may cost her.

Boyce has been fighting his obsession with Pearl forever. He’s been waiting in the wings for her to be single. Now, she’s home for the summer and it’s his chance to make his move. Can he prove to her he’s worth taking a chance on a former bad boy?

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Pearl and Boyce’s love story definitely was sweet! I loved how they had been in love with each other for years, but hadn’t really acted on it. Their shared history was a cool aspect to the story. I especially liked how Boyce pushed Pearl to make her own decisions and protected her. He won me over in Breakable, but I adored him even more in Sweet.

There were just a couple of things that held me back from giving Sweet 5 stars. One, all of the flashbacks. While I liked learning their shared history through the flashbacks, there were just too many of them. They overtook the current story at times. Two, I wasn’t 100% sold on the way the story wrapped up. I don’t want to ruin it, but it just seemed a little out there to me. It didn’t ruin the story or anything and I really liked the book. I just would have rather seen something different happen.

Other books in this series:

  

Falling From The Sky

Falling From The Sky (Gravity #2) by Sarina Bowen

Publication Date: August 26, 2015

Note: Falling From The Sky is part of the Unconditional Anthology. Sarina Bowen will be donating her proceeds from the sale of this collection to the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation.

Synopsis:

Doctor Callie Anders doesn’t take risks — especially where her heart is concerned. She’s been burned once and she’s not about to take that risk again. That’s why she’s keeping her distance from the incredibly handsome athlete that has shown up in her emergency room.

Freestyle snowboarder Hank “Hazardous” Lazarus had it all until an accident caused his world to fall apart. Now, he’s stuck in a wheel chair wondering if he’ll ever get back what he lost. The only bright spot in his life is a certain sexy doctor.

When the opportunity to run a new therapy department arises, Callie finds herself in constant contact with the one man that makes her want to take risks. She’s going to have a hard time keeping things professional with the hunky participant who’s determined to make her his.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Falling From The Sky was an incredible love story! Watching uptight Callie slowly lose herself in “Hazardous” Hank was so much fun. And Hank. Oh, Hank. I couldn’t help but feel for his losses. But I loved the way he fought back and ended up embracing his new life.

My favorite part of this story, though; was the way Sarina Bowen spotlighted issues that wheelchair bound men (and women) face daily. She did it with such care and compassion. I honestly felt like I was learning something along with getting a great love story.

Now, if you’ve read The Year We Fell Down by Sarina Bowen, you’re probably saying, “Hey, wait a minute! Didn’t she already write a story about a girl in a wheelchair?” Yes, she did. While some of the same issues were dealt with, the story was completely different and new. If you liked The Year We Fell Down, you’ll like Falling From The Sky, too. But don’t worry, you won’t feel like you’re rereading the same story.

If you’re a contemporary romance reader, I would highly suggest reading Falling From The Sky by Sarina Bowen. It’s the second book in the Gravity series, but can definitely be read as a standalone. There are some references to the characters from Coming In From The Cold, but you don’t have to read it to enjoy book 2. I can’t wait to read Shooting For The Stars!

**I received an ARC of Falling From The Sky in exchange for an honest review.

Other books in this series: