Review: The Play (Elle Kennedy)

The Play
Series: Briar U, #3
Author: Elle Kennedy
Publication Date: October 7, 2019
Publisher: Elle Kennedy, Inc.
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Sports
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

A brand-new standalone novel in the New York Times bestselling Briar U series!

What I learned after last year’s distractions cost my hockey team our entire season? No more screwing up. No more screwing, period. As the new team captain, I need a new philosophy: hockey and school now, women later. Which means that I, Hunter Davenport, am officially going celibate…no matter how hard that makes things.

But there’s nothing in the rulebook that says I can’t be friends with a woman. And I won’t lie—my new classmate Demi Davis is one cool chick. Her smart mouth is hot as hell, and so is the rest of her, but the fact that she’s got a boyfriend eliminates the temptation to touch her.

Except three months into our friendship, Demi is single and looking for a rebound.

And she’s making a play for me.

Avoiding her is impossible. We’re paired up on a yearlong school project, but I’m confident I can resist her. We’d never work, anyway. Our backgrounds are too different, our goals aren’t aligned, and her parents hate my guts.

Hooking up is a very bad idea. Now I just have to convince my body—and my heart.


I am happy to report to you that The Play, my most highly anticipated release for the fall of 2019, was as fantastic as I had hoped. It was everything I have come to expect from Elle Kennedy and the Briar U series. Hunter’s book was actually even better than I was expecting!

Hunter, Hunter, Hunter…The poor guy had some not so great moments in this series up until this book. Things didn’t go his way, and in order to turn things around he took a vow of self-imposed celibacy. Despite some of his past actions, he was a good guy. Hunter did his best to be a good leader and teammate. His friendship game was on point. I already loved his character, but I respected him more after reading this book. He grew so much.

Demi (like semi) was a great surprise. I immediately loved her character and all her spunk. She was a hot Latina who had everything going for her. Demi was smart, nice, and sassy. I loved her values and attitude. She wasn’t a tomboy, but she had a fun camaraderie with the guys. Plus, she had great taste in TV shows. Demi was the total package, really.

Based on the blurb, you can probably tell this isn’t exactly your typical love story. Demi has that boyfriend, Nico, when the book starts. She and Hunter aren’t immediately falling in love. You might be wondering if this was weird or uncomfortable considering we should want Demi and Hunter together, right? It wasn’t. Elle Kennedy did an amazing job writing this story in a way that doesn’t make you cringe because there is another man in Demi’s life to start with.

As for Demi and Hunter’s relationship, things unfolded as they might in real life. They started out as class partners and developed a cool platonic friendship. The banter between them was FABULOUS. Everything that happened in this story and between them built in a way that made Demi and Hunter’s eventual romantic relationship all the more special. I just really loved them together whether it was as friends or lovers.

I can’t leave the hockey team out of this review. If you’re a fan of this series or Off-Campus, you’re going to love seeing some of your favorite players. You’re also going to love some of the newer Briar hockey teammates. The dynamics between all the teammates were on point and hilarious. I now have a special place in my heart for Pablo.

You know how sometimes you want to start re-reading a book the second you finish it? Well, that’s how I felt about The Play. There’s just something about Elle Kennedy’s writing and this series that makes me not want to let go of it. It happened with the Off-Campus series and now it’s happened with its spin-off series Briar U. I cannot get enough of the Briar setting, the hockey players, the amazing women they fall for, and all of their stories. I know this is the end of Briar U for now, but I hope Elle Kennedy will continue the series or write another spin-off. I think Connor and Matt need stories. I’m also still wishing for a Hollis and Rupi book, too. I would even take a novella about them.

Series Review: Marked Men series (Jay Crownover)

A couple of years ago, I went to a book signing in Seattle. Jay Crownover was one of the authors who I knew would be there, so I picked up her book Leveled an read it. It took me a couple of years to return to her books. I don’t know why. I started with the rest of the Saints of Denver series and loved it so much I knew I had to go back to read the Marked Men series. I finally did and here are my mini reviews for each book.

Marked Men by Jay Crownover
Publisher: Harper Collins

Rule, Book 1 – ★ ★ ★ ★

Why did I wait so long to read this series? If all of the books are this good, I’m going to be so mad at myself! I loved Rule and Shaw. Their chemistry was electric whether they were enemies or lovers. I loved Shaw’s strong, steady support of Rule when it came to his family. I loved what Rule learned about Shaw throughout the book. What I didn’t love was all the examples of Rule’s previous womanizing ways. It wasn’t that bad, but I could have done without the initial introduction to it. I guess it made sense for the story, though. Overall, a great start to the series.

Jet, Book 2 – ★ ★ ★ ★

Jet was your typical rocker on the outside. He was tattooed, pierced, and had women hanging all over him. Jet was anything but the typical rocker on the outside. The dude shied away from the spotlight and was really a one woman guy. That woman just happened to be college student Ayden. Ayden is not looking for a bad boy rocker. She’s trying to keep her life on the straight and narrow. Jet doesn’t fit that picture, but their chemistry says differently. I liked Jet and Ayden. The outside of their relationship was hard and gritty. The inside was sweet. This was another strong romance by Crownover.

Rome, Book 3 – ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

After reading Rule and Jet, I was dying to read Rome and Cora’s story. Their story was my favorite so far in this series. I loved how tiny punk rock Cora brought big ex-soldier Rome to his knees. It was such a sweet story of healing. Things moved pretty quickly between them, but it didn’t feel like insta-love. It felt natural. My only complaint as that it didn’t really feel like Cora and Rome got an ending. The end of this book mostly set up for Nash.

Nash, Book 4 – ★ ★ ★

Nash is my least favorite book in this series. I loved Nash and his story, but Saint annoyed the crap out of me. I get what Jay Crownover was doing with her character, but it got really hard to read at times. Nash was the only reason I liked this book at all.

Rowdy, Book 5 – ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Rowdy and Salem are tied with Cora and Rome for my favorite Marked Men couple. I was super excited to read their book because I did things backward and read the Saints of Denver series first. The fourth book in that series has ties to this one, and I loved getting parts of the story I didn’t know. Plus, Rowdy and Salem are just too perfect together.

Asa, Book 6 – ★ ★ ★ ★

Rowdy was a really hard book to follow up. Asa wasn’t exactly my favorite character, but he had grown on my over the series. I liked his reformed bad guy to Royal’s cop. Royal was also not necessarily my favorite character, but as I got to understand her thoughts I liked her more. Overall, this was a good addition to the series and it would have gotten me excited to continue onto the next series if I hadn’t already read it.

Review: The Dugout (Meghan Quinn)

The Dugout
Author: Meghan Quinn
Publication Date: September 19, 2019
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Sports

Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Let me ask you a question:

If someone is vying for your spot on a team and just so happens to injure you during practice, would you believe it was on purpose?

Word around campus is . . . it was no accident.

That injury has cost me everything; my starting position, my junior year—and the draft. Now, I’m a senior fresh off recovery, struggling to find my groove, until the day I run into a nervous, fidgety, girl with freckles, in the dining hall.

They call Milly Potter The Baseball Whisperer, The Diamond Wizard, and The Epitome of All Knowledge. She believes in baseball. She breathes it. She’s the queen of an infamous dynasty, but no one actually knows who she really is, and she plans to keep it that way.

One mishap in the panini line, one miscommunication in the weight room, and many failed attempts at an apology equal up to one solid truth — Milly Potter never wants to speak to me again — no matter how good my forearms look.

Little do we both know, she’s about to become more than just my fairy ballmother.


If you’re looking for a new adult romance that’s low on agnst, step right up to The Dugout. The Dugout is a college baseball romance. Carson Stone is a second baseman who is trying to claw his way from injury to drafted in his senior year of college. Milly Potter is a baseball fan. She’s not a groupie, but a woman who knows everything there is to know about the sport. When Carson needs help with his swing, Milly steps in and the rest…Well, you just have to read it for yourself. It’s so stinking funny and cute.

My favorite thing about The Dugout was Milly. She was this adorable tomboy-ish young woman. Baseball was her thing and she didn’t let anyone’s opinions about that sway her. Milly worked hard towards her goals. She was also hilariously awkward. Certain people made her nervous and it was so funny to watch her struggle for composure. There was this time with a cookie that had me roaring with laughter. I simply adored Milly. She made the book.

Carson wasn’t all that bad either. I really liked how he saw beneath Milly’s awkwardness and layers of clothes. The way he pursued Milly was so sweet. I couldn’t do anything but like him after that.

Carson and Milly’s romance was smooth sailing for the most part. Actually, it wasn’t really smooth sailing for them — things were awkward (see Milly above) and unclear for them, but smooth reading for me. Their relationship was so much fun to read. Yes, there was some drama. This is a romance novel after all, but it was low on the angst. That made it feel light even when things were getting stressful.

The only thing I would have liked to see more of was the end of the story. Everything wrapped up so quickly. I wanted more time with Carson and Milly. Maybe that’s just selfish of me, but I loved them so much. I needed more of what their HEA looked like because I absolutely loved their road to love.

Bravo, Ms. Quinn. Bravo. I hope there is more to come in this baseball world. I would love a book about each Potter brother, please.

Review: Sinful Like Us (Krista & Becca Ritchie)

Sinful Like Us
Series: Like Us
Authors: Krista & Becca Ritchie
Publication Date: Septemeber 10, 2019
Publisher: K.B. Ritchie
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

HOW CAN IT BE WRONG
IF IT FEELS SO GOOD

Dating an American princess comes with a massive amount of baggage–all of which I’m willing to carry strapped on my back in quicksand and through seven hells. But Jane Cobalt’s baggage, I’m unprepared for. It comes in the form of her five equally famous and notoriously hard-to-please brothers.

I want Jane.
Completely.
Unconditionally.

But when there’s a trip scheduled that I can’t be a part of, I only have one option. It’s immoral.
Something I’d never consider until now.

But, hell, there’s got to be some perks to being a twin. So I’m doing it. I’m switching places with my brother.

Done and done.

It should have been easy.

There were little consequences.

Until the storm hit.

The Like Us series is a true series, one continuous timeline, that follows a family of wealthy celebrities and the people that protect them. It must be read in the following order:


The Like Us Series Reading Order:
1. Damaged Like Us (Maximoff & Farrow)
2. Lovers Like Us (Maximoff & Farrow)
3. Alphas Like Us (Maximoff & Farrow)
4. Tangled Like Us (Jane & Thatcher)
5. Sinful Like Us (Jane & Thatcher)


I have to admit I was a little hesitant when I started this book. I blame it on the ending of Tangled Like Us and that Tony jerk. (You know who I’m talking about if you read that book.) His part in the story left me with some icky feelings about what was coming next. Things worked out better than I thought, though. Tony was an issue, but he didn’t make the story as uncomfortable as I was expecting.

Sinful Like Us was all about Jane and Thatcher solidifying their bond and relationship. I really liked how emotions were dealt with and how their relationship evolved as they began to speak their minds and delve deeper into their feelings for each other. It was all so sweet.

That makes things sound easy. They weren’t. Jane and Thatcher had a whole bunch of junk to deal with — and I’m not talking about their relationship. There were family things, Tony things, other bodyguard things, celebrity status things… a lot of things going on. I liked how they leaned on each other during those times because they were crazy times. It almost reminded me of that book in the Addicted/Calloway series where they went on that trip during filming… It was that dramatic. All the drama was fun (well, most of it was fun) and highly entertaining.

When I was done reading this book, I was sad it was over. I wanted more of these two and their families. You would think 511 pages would be enough, but it wasn’t. Luckily, I don’t have to wait all that long to see this gang again. I’m looking forward to the big wedding coming up!

Review: Jock Road (Sara Ney)

Jock Road
Series: Jock Hard, #3
Author: Sara Ney
Publication Date: September 5, 2019
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult, Sports
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

EAT. SLEEP. FOOTBALL.

Those are Jackson Jennings, Jr’s three mantras . His entire life, he’s been a trained athlete with only one end-game: the Pro’s. No girls. No parties. No alcohol.

EAT. SLEEP. FOOTBALL.

Repeat.

Every Friday night, Triple J cruises the strip on campus, bored, lonely and conditioned not to party. But the night he meets Charlotte Edmonds on the side of the road, he wonders if his three mantras will ever be enough.

BIG. DUMB. JOCK.

Charlie has no time for Jackson’s antics. Not when he’s stealing her food or teases her to no end, making her tingle in all the right places. But if she’s ever going to have a boyfriend, she’d choose one who isn’t a Neanderthal. One with manners and actual time to spend with her. Not a hulking man-child who cruises the strip at night, in his Big. Dumb. Truck.


Cute. There isn’t a word to better describe Jock Road. It’s a cute college romance between a big, dumb jock and a girl who wants nothing to do with him. Or at least that’s how it starts out. Jackson (or Triple J as he’s sometimes called) isn’t all that dumb. He’s actually sweet and has Southern charm to boot. Charlotte (or Charlie as her friends call her) just thinks Jackson’s an oaf until she gets to know him. Jock Road is really all about Jackson and Charlotte getting to know each other, dealing with their preconceived notions and pasts, and falling in love.

I loved Charlotte and Jackson. They had some great almost enemy type banter going on at first. Then things started to get cute with some fun text messages. In the end, there was a very sweet and slightly deep love story. The progression of their relationship felt normal and not at all instant. I loved that about it.

I really love what Sara Ney has done with this Jock Hard series. Every book, including this one, is super cute and funny. There’s little drama and no angst. The entire series is pure fun. I loved this addition to the series.

Available HERE:Amazon
Free in KU

Meet the Author:
 
Sara Ney is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the How to Date a Douchebag series, and is best known for her sexy, laugh-out-loud New Adult romances. Among her favorite vices, she includes: iced latte’s, historical architecture and well-placed sarcasm. She lives in the Midwest, collects vintage books, art, loves flea markets, and fancies herself British. 
 
For a list of cities/venues Sara will be signing at, or to purchase signed books, please visit her website at www.authorsaraney.com
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Review: I Hate You (Ilsa Madden-Mills)

I HATE YOU BLOG TOUR BANNER.jpg

I Hate You
Author: Ilsa Madden-Mills
Publication Date: August 20, 2019
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult, Sports
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

There’s a fine line between I hate you and I want you.
Once you cross it, there’s no going back.

Blaze Townsend: I hate you.
Charisma Rossi: I hate you more.

She’s been expecting this ever since their latest showdown. She had good reason.

Hottest guy she’s ever seen.
Former fling.
Dumped her in front of all her friends.
At her own party.

So no, she’s not about to forgive and forget just because he sits next to her in class. He thinks all he has to do is turn on those baby blues, and she’ll melt right back into his arms. Please. She’d be crazy to let this cocky player affect her again. (Tell that to her body.)

Charisma Rossi.
Nerd girl with a dash of bad.
The one who got under his skin.
The one he cut loose.

Blaze knows she’s the riskiest prospect at Waylon University, but none of the interchangeable girls he hooks up with have ever made him feel the way she did. There’s absolutely no way he can have the girl and the game.

So why can’t he stop trying to win her back?

Can this wide receiver score the girl or will he make the biggest fumble of his life?


I Hate You wrapped two tropes into one. It was both an enemies to lovers and second chance romance. Charisma and Blaze had a thing for three weeks last semester. Charisma thought it might have turned into a relationship (despite her rules to prevent one) until Blaze publicly dumped her at her sorority’s party. Charisma was devastated and still hasn’t quite recovered from the humiliation when the new semester starts. She’s turned that embarrassment into hate. Blaze may have been the one to break up with Charisma (for his own “good” reasons), but seeing her again makes him question his decisions. He hates her for the way she makes him feel. Seeing each other again promises a big explosion between the two.

There were so many things I loved about this book. First, the writing. Ilsa Madden-Mills is gifted in mixing just the right amount of drama and angst into a college romance. In this book, she actually went lighter in that area. I appreciated that because it gave the story a more lighthearted feel than some of her others.

Another thing I loved was the characters. Charisma was this feisty young woman who had lost her confidence in the breakup. I loved seeing her fight to get it back. It was easy to relate to her feelings after being dumped and the way she compared herself to other girls. Blaze knew he was a big shot on campus due to his football player status, but he had insecurities as well. His broke my heart. At first, they both had valid reasons for not being in a relationship. I liked that they had a common issue with different reasoning. I liked how they had to work out their issues together. Plus, they had amazing chemistry.

It’s always fun to see characters from previous books in a series, and a bunch showed up in this one. I liked that I could remember them and catch up, but they didn’t take up a lot of time and you wouldn’t miss anything if you hadn’t read the first couple of books. My favorite returning character had to be Vampire Bill. (A parrot, not a real vampire.) He brought his touch of humor with him and made me laugh.

The English series used to be my favorite by Ilsa Madden-Mills, but I Hate You has now dethroned it. This book was new adult college romance magic. I loved everything about it.

Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2KF0tWN
Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/IHateYou

Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2ZhXn09

About Ilsa Madden-Mills

Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and USA Today best-selling author Ilsa Madden-Mills is best known for her angsty new adult romances and romantic comedies. Eight of her eleven novels have placed in the Amazon Top 10 Best-seller List: Dirty English #1; Fake Fiancée and I Dare You #2; I Bet You, Filthy English, and Very Bad Things #6; Boyfriend Bargain #8; The Last Guy, her collaboration with Tia Louise, #4. A former high school English teacher, she adores all things Pride and Prejudice, and of course, Mr. Darcy is her ultimate hero. She’s addicted to frothy coffee beverages, cheesy magnets, and any book featuring unicorns and sword-wielding females. Feel free to stalk her online. . Ilsa head shot-2

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Review: Crew Princess (Tijan)

Crew Princess
Series: Crew, #2
Author: Tijan
Publication Date: August 19, 2019
Genre: New Adult, Fiction, Contemporary, Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Being crew is walking between two worlds.
One world is normal: Prom. Parties. College.
Those are the concerns they worry about.

In our world, we deal with other situations.
Cops. Drugs. Brawling.
That’s a typical day for us.

But what if it wasn’t?

What if there came a day when you stopped?
When you considered letting your enemies win?
When you didn’t fight back?
When you chose a different path?

First I lost my family. Then I got the Wolf Crew.
I couldn’t lose them too.

But what happens when Cross, Zellman, and Jordan keep going…
…and I don’t?


I thought I knew what I was getting into before started reading Crew Princess. I did, but I also didn’t. Crew Princess was everything Crew was, but it was also more. Tijan was so smart in the way she put this story together. Even when I thought I knew what was going on, I didn’t. The twists in this book were epic. The crew drama was non-stop.

I was truly blown away by Bren’s character development in this second book. Once she started acknowledging her feelings and what was going on inside of her, she became even more powerful. It changed the way she thought and acted. I loved how that extended to her relationships with everyone. I loved how Bren getting to know herself better made her relationship with Cross stronger. Their relationship is a big part in this series, but it’s not the main thing. I loved how everything happening around them made them stronger as a couple. I also enjoyed how it changed her family dynamics with Channing and Heather a bit.

The one thing I wish this book had was Cross’s point of view. He had some stuff going on, and I would have loved to have known what was going through his mind. I mean, the story was still amazing without it. It just would have added to the fun.

This review doesn’t feel very smooth to me, but I’m blaming it on Tijan. She wrapped things up at the end of this book, but she also blew Bren’s story wide open. I’m still contemplating all of the things that could be coming in Crew 3. And that’s how a master storyteller does it, people!

Crew Princess Giveaways: http://www.tijansbooks.com/giveaways.html

Review: The Guy on the Right (Kate Stewart)

The Guy on the Right
Author: Kate Stewart
Publication Date: July 25, 2019
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Strike One-My mother named me Theodore after her favorite chipmunk.

Not cool, Mom.

I‘ve spent most of my life answering to Teddy, because I couldn’t make Theo work.

Except for here. College. The place where all bets are off, and I’ve managed to redeem myself.
There’s only one problem, my new roommate, Troy, is football royalty and looks like he stepped off the set of an Abercrombie shoot.

Doesn’t matter, I cook a mean breakfast for his panty parade, and we get along well.
And anyway, this year I got the girl. And she’s perfect.

That’s right. Theodore Houseman, former band geek, now marching band rock star has finally landed the girl of his dreams.

Everything is perfect.

That is, until Troy takes a good look at her.

I’m not going down without a fight. As a matter of fact, I’m not going down at all. As glorious as these days may be for my all-star roommate, Laney is my end game.

I may not know much about play strategy, but I’ve been the good guy my whole life. I’ve been listening and I know exactly what women want. Framed in a picture standing next to me, Troy may seem like Mr. Perfect, but he’s underestimating the guy on the right.

Spoiler alert: In this story, the underdog is going to win.


You know what The Guy on the Right made me think? I miss the romantic comedy movies of the 80’s and 90’s. This book could easily have been a current day romantic comedy movie. It should be because it had everything one of those movies back in the day had. It was so freaking adorable and swoon worthy that I can barely stand it. Reading it made me so happy. Why? Get ready for some serious gushing!

I have only read one other Kate Stewart book and while I thought it was okay, I didn’t search out any of her other books. When I saw the title and cover for The Guy on the Right, I was intrigued. I read the blurb and thought I might want to read it. Then, I read a friend’s review and knew I had to read it. I’m so glad I did because it was so hilarious and sweet and cute.

Theo was fabulous. Who wouldn’t root for an underdog as fantastic as him. He may not have the body or looks his football playing, womanizing roommate has, but Theo doesn’t need those things when he has that awesome personality. Theo was a decent human being, and that’s what made him shine. Band geek does not equal nerd in this equation.

Laney was a hilarious hot mess. She was kind of all over the place in the best ways. She shocked and surprised me as much as she did Theo. One of the things I liked best about her was her ability to look past people’s outer appearances to find out what was inside them. Her self-imposed Batman ban helped that, but I think she would have done that anyways.

Theo and Laney’s relationship had the best start. Their tight friendship was incredibly fun. Attraction always simmered beneath the surface, but I loved that they really got to know each other before they acted on any of it. Everything they experienced together gave this romance a deeper feel. No instant love here.

*LOVE TRIANGLE SPOILER* There was a love triangle that wasn’t truly a love triangle. Troy, Theo’s meathead roommate is mentioned in the blurb. It makes it seem like there could be a love triangle, but not to worry — there isn’t really one. Troy does have a part in things, but “the underdog is going to win.”

I could probably go on an on spouting off things I loved about this book, but I think I’m going to stop here with specifics and just say one more thing. You need to read The Guy on the Right NOW!

Review: Drummer Girl (Ginger Scott)

Drummer Girl
Author: Ginger Scott
Publication Date:
Genre: Mature Young Adult, New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Fiction
Note: This review is for an ARC from WordSmith Publicity and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

He was the words.
She was the rhythm.
Together, the told one hell of a story.

Drummer Girl is a mature YA/New Adult romance by Ginger Scott. This book
features garage bands, drug use, sexual situations, and honest talk
about mental health. Full blurb to come.


I like to read Ginger Scott’s books because I never know what she’s going to throw at me. Each book is something new and completely different. Her writing is always amazing, but it’s her stories that hit me hard.

Drummer Girl surprised me in more than one way. I knew it was going to be about music, but I didn’t realize it was going to deal with mental health. The combination of the two made for an explosive story. I liked the narrative Ginger Scott created around it. Some parts were brutally honest, while others almost secretive. There were things I didn’t see coming, but probably should have.

I have to admit that while I really liked Drummer Girl, I wasn’t 100% sold on Jesse and Arizona’s relationship. I wasn’t sure whether or not it was a healthy relationship for either of them. I was surprised by how accepting their parents were of it. That being said, I loved how they communicated. They didn’t hold back. Plus, they truly supported each other.

One of my favorite things about Drummer Girl were the friendships. Ari and her best friend reminded me a bit of the relationship I had with one of my closest growing up. We were different in some of the same ways, but had that same close connection. I also really liked Jesse’s friendship with Rag. Rag had Jesse’s back when others wouldn’t have.

Another great thing about this book was that both Jesse and Arizona’s parents were involved. Since this story was in Arizona’s POV, we mostly saw her parents. I didn’t like how they were at first. I understood their protectiveness, but thought they were a little too overbearing. By the end, they had won me over — especially her dad.

Drummer Girl is one of those books I like even more the longer I think about it. When I was wrapped up in the story, I felt a little off-balance and not sure what to think about it. Having finished it, I know that was the genius of Ginger Scott’s writing. She made me feel Arizona’s feelings and I didn’t always realize it right away.

EXCERPT:

Drummer Girl, Copyright Ginger Scott 2019

“That’s the first time I’ve played that song. I like it. We should add it to our set,” he says, pulling the strap from around his neck before setting his guitar at the foot of his bed. “What do you think?”

He twists so our knees are touching and our shoulders are squared.
“I think you’re a showoff, one. And two…I totally think we should close with that at our gig. People love retro shit like that at shows.” I don’t really know what people like at shows because the only kinds I’ve ever been to have been for high school marching nerds or jazz geeks. I probably don’t even deserve to utter the word gig yet. I’m a gig virgin. I do know movies, though, and if this life was a movie, our band would close with that.
Jesse’s eyes linger on my face, making me warm.
“Okay then,” he says, finally. “And I’m not a showoff.”
His lips pucker with his smirk and mine follow suit until a laugh seeps through.
“You so are!” I shove at him playfully, and his hands wrap around my wrists and shove back gently but don’t let go.
“No, I’m a great example. That’s a totally different thing,” he says, pulling me toward his chest until my fingertips meet the hard surface of his pecs under a well-worn white T-shirt.
“I’m pretty sure it’s just a synonym for showoff how you’re using it. In fact, now you’re just being arrogant!” I gripe back through laughter, a wry smile playing at one side of my mouth. Jesse remains quiet, though. His head leaned a tick to the right. My lips vibrate with this sudden change in atmosphere, and without even helping myself, I bite my bottom lip. There is just enough light in the room to see these small things we’re doing, these…signs. At least, I’m giving a sign. I hope I’m not imagining Jesse’s.
At least three full breaths pass between us without words. I count mine, and I guess how many he takes because really, I can’t see much beyond the dark centers of his eyes and the top curl of his lip. I wait for him. Even though I’m dizzy and happy and excited, I don’t want to be eager and desperate. I wait for him to move closer…to do something.
I wish for him.
“Would it be okay if I kissed you now?”

About the Author:

Ginger Scott is an Amazon-bestselling and Goodreads Choice Award-nominated author of several young and new adult romances, including Waiting on the Sidelines, Going Long, Blindness, How We Deal With Gravity, This Is Falling, You and Everything After, The Girl I Was Before, Wild Reckless, Wicked Restless, In Your Dreams, The Hard Count, Hold My Breath, and A Boy Like You.

A sucker for a good romance, Ginger’s other passion is sports, and she often blends the two in her stories. (She’s also a sucker for a hot quarterback, catcher, pitcher, point guard…the list goes on.) Ginger has been writing and editing for newspapers, magazines and blogs for more than 15 years. She has told the stories of Olympians, politicians, actors, scientists, cowboys, criminals and towns. For more on her and her work, visit her website at http://www.littlemisswrite.com.

When she’s not writing, the odds are high that she’s somewhere near a baseball diamond, either watching her son field pop flies like Bryce Harper or cheering on her favorite baseball team, the Arizona Diamondbacks. Ginger lives in Arizona and is married to her college sweetheart whom she met at ASU (fork ’em, Devils).

Social Media Links:
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/GingerScottAuthor
Twitter: @TheGingerScott
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Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/GingerScott
Website: http://www.littlemisswrite.com

Review: The Rebel of Raleigh High (Callie Hart)

The Rebel of Raleigh High
Series: Raleigh Rebels, #1
Author: Callie Hart
Publication Date: April 27, 2019
Genre: Mature Young Adult, New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

* The Rebel of Raleigh High is the first book in the Raleigh Rebels Series. Please be advised, this book comes with a trigger warning. Intended for readers 17+ *

Silver

Hit me.
Kick me.
Hurt me.
Hate me.

There’s nothing that the students of Raleigh High can do to Silver Parisi anymore. Over the past year, she’s had to endure more pain and suffering than most people are asked to bear in their lifetimes. She’s a pariah, an outcast, a ghost. She’s also never been one to take shit lying down, though…despite what half the football team might say.

With only one hundred and sixty-eight days left of the school year, it won’t be long until graduation, and Silver’s planning on skipping town and leaving Raleigh firmly in her rearview mirror…

Until he comes along…

Alex

Orphan.
Degenerate.
Reprobate.
Deviant.
Alex Moretti’s earned most of his labels, and he’s not ashamed of a single one of them. He’ll earn far worse before he’s finished with his new found ‘friends’ at Raleigh High. Having spent years being ground down under the boot heel of society, it’s time for a little payback. And if exacting revenge upon the heads of the Raleigh elite means he can also help the beautiful girl who hovers in the shadows, then that’s all for the better.

Oil and water. Fire and ice. The differences between Silver and Alex are broader than any chasm. To reach one another, they must take a leap of faith and fall into the divide.

And falling?

Nothing good ever came from falling.


Ever since I finished the Fallen Crest High series I have been looking for a book that gives me the same combination of drama and feels. While I have found ones that capture the same level of drama, I haven’t found one that captured the feels. The Rebel of Raleigh High is the first one that’s not only captured all of the drama, but also the feels.

Silver is the girl who was once at the top of the popularity chain, but now is considered dirt at her high school thanks to the friends she once reigned with. She terrified every day she goes to school. Silver’s perfected keeping her head down until new bad boy Alex comes to town. Alex sees her in a way she doesn’t want anyone to.

I think this was supposed to be kind of a bully romance, but it wasn’t at all. It was actually a really sweet story about a girl who has been through hell and is trying to make through each day until she can get out-of-town. She’s in a lot of emotional pain, so she doesn’t realize just how strong she is. Alex is the one who shows Silver she’s got more backbone than she knew. He’s got problems of his own, but that doesn’t stop him from taking on hers. Silver and Alex have this really sweet romance.

The Rebel of Raleigh High isn’t all sweetness, though. There is a TON of drama. It’s peppered throughout the story. Some of it was typical high school popularity stuff. Much of it was much more than that. There is more than one situation that could be a possible trigger for someone. There’s a least two different ones. The last one came out of nowhere and shocked the heck out of me. It’s pretty timely with the state of the some things, but it also was hard to read. I was very surprised the author chose to go this direction. It felt more like shock and awe than a learning moment, which bugged me a bit. This book would have been at least 4 stars for me without that whole thing.

Overall, I did enjoy reading this one. I got swept away in the emotions and story. I am glad the author has decided to give us a second book about these characters. I wish it would hurry up and get here!