Escape in You

Escape in You (Escape #1) by Rachel Schurig

Publication Date: October 2, 2013

Synopsis:

Zoe Janes’ life sucks. Partying with her friends and vodka is the only way she can cope. It’s the only way thing keeping her from succumbing to her horrible home life.

When Zoe meets bad boy Jet Taylor at a party, she can’t help but be attracted to him. Brooding, muscular, and tattooed, he’s everything Zoe loves in a hook up. And it’s clear to Zoe that Jet’s not the type of guy to fall in love. He’s just like her — looking for a little fun, an escape.

Despite agreeing to keep things casual, things keep getting deeper and deeper between Zoe and Jet. The more time they spend together, the more they worry about the fun ending. Neither one of them is willing to admit they might just want more than “fun.” But both Zoe and Jet are trapped by a pasts that might make a future together impossible.


My rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars


To quote Zoe and Jet, Escape in You was “boring-ass normal”. By that, I don’t mean the book was boring. It wasn’t by any means. I found it to be a fast-paced, easy read. Escape in You was just so typical of a NA romance. You have your two main characters, Zoe and Jet, that are tragically broken. They both have mommy issues, drink to drown their sorrows and avoid romance. Of course, they connect in a way that makes life better for each of them. It’s a pretty standard NA book, right? I was hoping for more. I kept waiting for a “WOW!” moment. I didn’t ever really get it.

I feel bad because all of that sounds negative. I don’t mean for it to sound like the book wasn’t good. It was. The writing was great and I enjoyed reading it. I will probably read the sequel about Ellie and Fred because I’m truly interested in seeing where the characters go. There just wasn’t anything in Escape in You that stood out to me to make it phenomenal. Like I said, it was typical.

I would recommend Escape in You to NA readers that enjoy bad-ass characters falling in love and saving each other in the process.

Other books in this series:

Series Review: The Falling Series by Ginger Scott

This is the first time I’ve reviewed an entire series in one post. I decided to review the Falling series by Ginger Scott this way because I binge read all three books in a row. It seemed easier to put them all in one post together than to make separate ones. Each book in the series is about one of three college roommates: Rowe, Cass and Paige. The novels overlap in time, events and characters. It’s important to read them in order, as each book has a little surprise of its own that would be ruined if you read them out-of-order. So, here we go…


Book 1

 This is Falling 

My rating: 4.5 Stars

Synopsis:

Freshman Rowe Stanton left her depressing existence in Arizona behind to go to college in Oklahoma. She’s hoping the change of scenery will be just what she needs to move on from the tragedy that took over her life more than two years ago.

When Rowe meets All-American baseball player Nate Preeter, she can’t believe he’s interested in her. A guy like him should be interested in the super hot sorority girl type, not quiet Rowe.

Rowe expects him to run when he learns about the scars she carries, but he doesn’t. Instead, for the first time in over two years, Nate makes her want more.


Book 2

 You and Everything After

My rating: 5 stars

Synopsis:

Cass Owens is looking forward to starting college far away from anyone who knows her. She wants to leave her tarnished image behind. No longer will she be the slut that likes to hook up at parties, the girl with MS or the not quite as pretty twin. Cass is ready to be someone new.

Tyson Preeter may not do love, but he has no problem hooking up with chicks. Even his wheelchair doesn’t slow down all the action he gets. His good looks and confidence are all he needs. But meeting Cass may just knock down all of Ty’s defenses and change his outlook on love.


Book 3

 The Girl I Was Before 

My rating: 5 stars

Synopsis:

Paige Owens had plans for her college years. She was going to join a sorority, make popular friends, and have the right boyfriend. Paige accomplished it all but it cost her. Now, she would do anything to make up for the hurt she caused. Paige wants to be the girl Houston Orr sees.

Houston Orr isn’t the typical college student. While other students are partying or playing sports, Houston’s working. He’s doing everything he can to get by. Houston doesn’t have time for a relationship, but he can’t seem to stay away from pretty Paige. He knows beyond her beauty and arrogance, there is something more.


My review:

If you’re a follower of my blog, you probably already know that I adore Ginger Scott‘s writing. She’s usually a 4 to 5 star review for me. So, it should be of no surprise to you that I loved The Falling series. If I had to give the entire series one rating it would be 4.5 stars. 

My favorite thing about this series was the heroes. Nate, Ty and Houston were all very different personalities but the way they supported their girl was awesome. Each one had a moment that almost left me in tears — Nate especially. I loved how sentimental (but still strong) Nate was. I loved how cocky and independent Ty was. I loved how understand Houston was. They just rocked and made the series.

As for the girls, each one had a big issue they were dealing with. While I loved This is Falling, Rowe was the toughest character for me to identify with. I thought she was supposed to the super nice girl, but her judgement of people or certain things didn’t always align with that. Honestly, when I think about it now, that’s probably more true to life since no one is nice 100% of the time. But for the story it felt a little off.

Cass was an interesting character for me. Living in the Pacific Northwest where the incidence of MS is high, I have friends and relatives affected by this disease. While I couldn’t completely relate, I could identify with Cass’ struggle. I loved the way Cass and Tyson talked to each other and could understand each other needed.

After reading The Girl I Was Before, Paige became my favorite female of the series. While she might not have always been the nicest, I enjoyed watching her transition and growth throughout the series.

Another thing I really loved about the series was being able to see the dynamic between Cass and Paige. It was kind of like reading a series that has a book for the girl’s POV and then a book for the guy’s POV, except with sisters. So, you not only got to see their relationships with the guys but with each other. It added so much to the story.

Oh, and I also loved that each book had a little surprise in store for the reader–something I wasn’t quite expecting.

If you’re looking for a good NA series filled with great writing, amazing characters, tons of feelings and sweet college romances the Falling series by Ginger Scott is for you.

Blindness

 Blindness by Ginger Scott

Publication Date: February 23, 2014

Publisher: Ginger Scott

Synopsis:

Charlie Hudson’s childhood was anything but easy. It wasn’t until her senior year of high school that she started to figure out who she was. Then, her father died suddenly and she was alone. Everything Charlie thought she knew about herself was gone.

It wasn’t until Charlie met up and coming lawyer, Trevor, that she could move on. Trevor was everything Charlie needed: stable, dependable, safe…perfect. Charlie knew her life with Trevor would be perfect.

Charlie’s perfect life is threatened when she meets ex-motocross star turned math tutor, Cody. Recovering from a motorcycle injury, Cody is anything but perfect. For some reason, Charlie can’t help but be drawn to him. She makes the conscious decision to avoid Cody and her attraction to him. Charlie knows she belongs with Trevor.

Nothing is ever that easy for Charlie, though; and luck is not on her side. Suddenly, Charlie finds herself face to face with Cody in a situation she never expected. Will she be able to stay away from the one person that “gets” her?


My rating: 4 out of 5 stars


Blindness is one of those tough books to rate and review. It’s going to be hard to explain without giving too much away, but I’ll try.

I love Ginger Scott’s writing. I’m always pulled into her stories. They’re often filled with tough topics and intense situations. Ms. Scott knows how to take those tough situations and make them very relatable to the reader.

In Blindness, Ms. Scott thrusts us into the world of a young woman who thinks she knows what love is. Charlie knows she feels safe and happy with Trevor. She loves him. Charlie also knows she feels a connection to Cody. He’s exactly the opposite of what Charlie’s looking for, but she can’t help be drawn to him when he understands things Trevor doesn’t. It puts Charlie in a position of having to make tough choices about what she needs and wants in her life.

It’s Charlie’s decisions throughout the story that made me question what my rating of Blindness would be. I hated her actions. Everything she did bothered me. She made me feel uncomfortable and angry. It was frustrating because Ms. Scott’s writing was so good that I could empathize with Charlie even though I didn’t like what was going on. How do you rate a book with a main character like that?

Well, I slept on it. I went to my daughter’s soccer games and kept the book in the back of my mind. Then, when I got home, I acknowledged that I don’t have to like everything that goes on in a book for it to be worthy of a high rating. Because when it comes down to it, Blindness made me do something I want all books to do. It made me think and it made me feel. It made me examine my own thoughts on love and relationships. I may not have fallen in love with Charlie, but not all books can be rainbows and unicorns, right?

Would I recommend Blindness? The answer is yes. Readers have to be willing to maybe be uncomfortable at times, but in the end it will pay off. Honestly, I don’t think you can go wrong with a Ginger Scott book.

Deal Breakers

Deal Breakers by Laura Lee

Publication Date: September 1, 2015

Publisher: LAN Fiction LLC.

Synopsis:

Devyn can’t leave college a virgin. She doesn’t want to start her new adult life without feeling like an adult. So, Devyn asks the one person she trusts the most to help her with her little problem: her platonic male best friend.

Riley’s always thought Devyn was hot, but they’ve kept themselves in the friend zone all through college. Riley is shocked when Devyn asks him to help with her little problem. He jumps on the chance to have one night, no-string attached night with her before they go there separate ways.

Now, it’s five years later and Riley can’t stop thinking he made the biggest mistake of his life walking away from his one night with Devyn. He’s decided to find her and make her see how perfect they are for each other. But Devyn and Riley’s one night together has more consequences than Riley imagined.


My rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars


I’ve been trying to figure out how to review Deal Breakers for the past couple of days. I’m a huge fan of friends to lovers books, so I should love this book. It was fun to read, but a couple of things felt off to me.

The first thing was the beginning of the book. While I enjoyed getting a glimpse of the evolution of Riley and Devyn’s friendship, Part One’s division into each year of college was a little too disjointed for me. I think I would have liked them more if they had been flashbacks or maybe just senior year.

Another thing that bothered me was Riley’s reaction to Devyn’s betrayal. There was like one day of anger and that was it. I know he wanted her back, but it didn’t feel realistic that he would forgive her so quickly. I also don’t think Devyn would have dove back into things with Riley that quickly either. I guess what it comes down to is the story was so fast-paced that it didn’t go deep enough for me.

Other than those couple of things, I did really enjoy reading Deal Breakers. I adored Riley. His POV was a lot of fun to read. I actually would have enjoyed the entire book in his POV. I also loved Nathan’s character. He was too cute!

I would recommend Deal Breakers to New Adult readers that enjoy a fun, fast-paced romance without a lot of angst.

**I received an electronic copy of Deal Breakers from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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: