The Hazards of Skinny Dipping

The Hazards of Skinny Dipping (Hazards #1) by Alyssa Rose Ivy

Publication Date: May 17, 2013

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Synopsis:

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I’ve been reading a lot of emotionally intense books lately. They’ve been amazing, but they have left me in a bit of a funk. When I was trying to decide what to read next, I wanted something that was just fun. I went through the list of books I’ve recently downloaded on my Kindle and picked The Hazards of Skinny Dipping. It sounded like the perfect book to change my mood.

It was. The Hazards of Skinny Dipping was fun and fast-paced. I loved watching the main character, Juliet, trying to figure out if the boy she had crushed on her entire life was really the one she wanted. I also liked the letters between Juliet and her cousin, Amy, at the beginning of each chapter. They added an extra dimension to the story. There were also a couple of great little twists in the story that I didn’t see coming.

Another thing I really liked about The Hazards of Skinny Dipping was the portrayal of Dylan. He was jealous, possessive and a tad bit crazy. Why would I like that? Well,I feel like young adult women are generally the ones described that way. Maybe I’m wrong. I don’t know. I just feel like there are a lot crazy ex-girlfriend characters and not very many crazy ex-boyfriend ones. It was just something different.

I would recommend The Hazards of Skinny Dipping to NA readers looking for a fun college romance. I’m definitely going to be reading more of the Hazards series from Ashley Rose Ivy.

Other books in this series:

   

ARC Review: Luxe

Luxe by Ashley Antoinette

Publication Date: September 8, 2015

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Synopsis:

Bleu Montclair’s life has been anything but easy growing up in Flint, Michigan. At eighteen, she’s seen and done things that no kid should have. Lucky for her, Bleu has a chance to get out of Michigan and go to college at her dream school, UCLA.

But living her dream is way harder than Bleu expected. Her partial scholarship doesn’t cover enough of her costs. She’s struggling and the only way out is to take an opportunity her roommate gives her to make a lot of money fast. The opportunity will either be her saving grace or her downfall.

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

I’ve been sitting here trying to think of how to rate and review Luxe. It’s a hard one for me because while I didn’t enjoy the story, the writing was excellent. The book was fast-paced and had my attention from the first paragraph of the prologue. It felt real, raw and gritty.

I want to say it was too dark for me, but that can’t be the case. I’ve read books that are way darker and enjoyed them. I think it was more the hopelessness of the book. It started off with druggie parents, two deaths and a mention of a previous rape. That was all in the first 40 pages. It didn’t slow down from there. Horrendous situation after situation kept pushing Bleu down. Even things that should have been happy like college or a new amazing boyfriend were riddled with devastation. I didn’t see how things could get better. And just when I was starting to get my hopes up — BAM! Cliffhanger.

While there was nothing wrong with Luxe, I can’t say I enjoyed reading it. I needed a little sunlight in the darkness. So, I guess I just have to be honest and say it wasn’t the book for me.

Don’t let that deter you from reading it. Like I said, the writing was very realistic. If you’re a fan of complex characters dealing with drug addiction, violent crimes, etc. this might be the book for you.

**Thank you to Goodreads and St. Martin’s Griffin for the opportunity to read and honestly review an ARC of Luxe.

The Shameless Hour

The Shameless Hour (The Ivy Years #4) by Sarina Bowen

Publication Date: April 12, 2015

Publisher: Rennie Road Books

Synopsis:

As Harkness men’s hockey team manager, it’s Bella’s job to take care of the hockey players. She knows she does her job well–maybe a little too well in some people’s eyes. It’s no secret she has spent time out of practice with some of the players. Bella’s not embarrassed, though. Sex is something she likes. She’s good at it and she has no desire to complicate things with a relationship. So, why does a one night stand with her hot neighbor, Rafe, make her second guess herself?

Rafe always thought he would lose his virginity to someone he loved. His teen mother and strict Catholic upbringing had him waiting for the right time and person. Rafe never thought he’d lose his virginity in a drunken hook-up with his sexy neighbor. He can’t help but feel guilty about their one-night stand.

Then, Rafe comes to Bella’s aid when she needs it the most. Bella doesn’t want Rafe’s help but she has no choice but accept it — and maybe him as well.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I’m a big fan of Sarina Bowen’s The Ivy Years series. Ms. Bowen has a way of taking issues or problems facing today’s young adults and weaving amazing stories around them. I always end a book in this series feeling like I’ve either learned something new or gained a different insight than I had before.

The Shameless Hour had the same effect on me. It was way more than just another New Adult romance. It dealt with a very relevant issue in today’s American society: slut shaming. I felt Ms. Bowen did an amazing job tackling this particular issue. Through Bella, Ms. Bowen put slut shaming in terms readers could identify with.

I also liked how Rafe’s thoughts and feelings around his virginity were addressed. It’s very rare in book to have a male virgin in their late teens or early twenties. It was a refreshing point of view.

Not only did I like the messages and information The Shameless Hour was delivering, but I loved the romance and chemistry between Bella and Rafe. There was a sweetness between them that was adorable.

I would highly recommend the entire The Ivy Years series, including The Shameless Hour. Sarina Bowen’s writing is excellent, the stories are full of fun and sweet moments, and I always end up learning something new.

Other books in this series:

  

  The Fifteenth Minute

Tempt Me Like This

Tempt Me Like This (The Morrisons #2) by Bella Andre

Publication Date: August 19, 2015

Publisher: Oak Press, LLC

Synopsis:

College student Ashley Emmit is going on tour with her secret rock star crush. Too bad it’s just for a college research project. If she’s lucky the project will get her into the most prestigious business school in the country. There’s no way she’s going to mess up her chance by Drew see her crushing on him.

Drew Morrison might have made a promise he can’t keep. When Ashley’s professor father asked him to take his daughter on tour, he also asked Drew to make sure Ashley made it home pure and unharmed by the crazy rock star world. While he knows he can keep her safe, he’s not so sure he can keep his hands off her. Drew could have anyone in the world, but all he wants is sweet, innocent Ashley.

Will their attraction for each other be too much to keep their promises to a man they both respect, Ashley’s father?

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Tempt Me Like This was just the book I needed for my book hangover. It was a light NA contemporary romance filled with sweet moments. Drew was the cool but down to earth rock star we all like to imagine. Ashley was the not-so-nerdy beautiful smart girl we all want to be. Their attraction was instant and their chemistry hot.

I probably would have given Tempt Me Like This 5 stars if I hadn’t read Bella Andre’s other contemporary rock star romance, From This Moment On (The Sullivan’s #2)From This Moment On is my favorite Bella Andre novel and one of my favorite rock star romances. Tempt Me Like This was really good, but it just wasn’t From This Moment On amazing.

I would recommend Tempt Me Like This to NA readers who like a sweet rock star romance without a lot of drama. It is part of a series but can be read as a standalone.

Other books in this series”

Going Long

 Going Long (Waiting #2) by Ginger Scott

Publication Date: September 25, 2013

Publisher: Ginger Scott

Synopsis:

High school sweethearts Reed and Nolan have been through many ups and downs in their relationship. College is no different — especially when they’re at schools two hours apart. Can Reed and Nolan make their love last? Or will football, school or misunderstandings ruin any chance they have of happily ever after?

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I had to jump right into Going Long the minute I finished Waiting on the Sidelines. I couldn’t help myself. I was curious to see where Reed and Nolan’s relationship was going next. They had been through so many ups and downs.

From the start, Going Long had me on pins and needles. Even though things started out happy enough, I was worried for Reed and Nolan. I knew it was only so long before something drove a wedge between them.

I was totally right, too. Going Long was filled was just as much drama as Waiting on the Sidelines. It was heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time. That probably sounds impossible, but it’s the only way I can think of to describe it.

It sucked watching Nolan’s insecurities get the best of her. I understood, but her strength in Waiting on the Sidelines was something I really admired. I was sad things were harder for her this time around. Reed, though — Reed made me love him. I wasn’t so sure I liked him after the first book, but he definitely redeemed himself in my eyes in this one.

Going Long was an outstanding coming of age romance. I would highly suggest this series and any of Ginger Scott’s books. She’s quickly becoming one of my go-to authors.

Other books in this series:

Blonde Date

Blonde Date (The Ivy Years #2.5) by Sarina Bowen

Publication Date: July 6, 2014

Publisher: Rennie Road Books

Synopsis:

Freshman Katie Vickery does not want to go to her sorority’s party. She knows she’s in for the most humiliating experience of her life. Her football player ex-boyfriend and his friends are going to be there. Katie knows they will be laughing behind her back.

Katie can’t miss the party, though. There are unwritten rules. She has to go. She has to bring an upperclassman. He has to be an athlete. Luckily, her roommate set her up with a blinde date.

Andrew Baschnagel isn’t the typical jock. The basketball player is tall and lanky. He’s also a nice guy. He’s watched Katie in his art history class all semester, hoping for a chance to win her heart. Now, he’s got one date with her, one chance to show her what she’s missing.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I love The Ivy Years seriesBlonde Date was the perfect addition to it. It was cute and funny. I couldn’t help but fall in love with Andrew. I knew he was a good guy after meeting him in The Year We Hid Away, but I didn’t expect to love him this much.

My only complaint about Blonde Date is that it was a novella. I wanted more Andrew and Katie! They were just too cute! I can’t wait to read more of this amazing series.

Other books in The Ivy Years series:

   

Sincerely, Arizona

Sincerely, Arizona (Sincerely, Carter #1.5) by Whitney Gracia Williams

Publication Date: September 10, 2015

Publisher: WGW Books

Synopsis:

Sincerely, Arizona is an epilogue to Sincerely, Carter. It is FREE, but you must read Sincerely, Carter first.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I absolutely loved Sincerely, Carter when I read it a few months ago. It’s another one of those best friends to lovers stories that I adore. Sincerely, Arizona is a continuation of Carter and Arizona’s story and picks up where the first book left off. It was the perfect ending to Carter and Arizona’s story. It was short, but had all the things fans of the first book loved. It’s definitely worth reading if you liked the first book.

Other books in this series: