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.

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:

          

How We Deal with Gravity

How We Deal with GravityHow We Deal with Gravity by Ginger Scott

Publication Date: June 11, 2014

Publisher: Ginger Scott

Synopsis:

Nothing in Avery Abbot’s life has gone as planned. She dropped out of college to get married and have a baby. Then, her husband left her without a backward glance when their one-year-old son, Max, was diagnosed with autism.

Now, Avery plans her days around Max’s needs. What she wouldn’t give for someone to share her joys and pains with. But Avery knows her chance at love has passed. Or at least she thinks it has until Mason Street saunters back into town.

Mason’s spent the last five years on the road with his band, living his dream–until it all came crashing down. With a dropped record contract and nowhere else to go, he ends up back where his love for music began: the Abbot house.

While Mason’s rediscovering his love for music, he’s also learning about the kind of person he is. He thought he and Avery were friends, but her reception of him is less than friendly. Can he prove to her that he’s changed?

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

How We Deal with Gravity is the first book I’ve ever read by Ginger Scott. A friend on Goodreads suggested it for a buddy read and since I always like the books the people in the group suggest, I decided to join in. I’m so happy I did!

How We Deal with Gravity sucked me in from the Prologue. It had me close to tears. I do not have a child with autism, but I do have a nephew with it. I could totally picture my sister-in-law as Avery. The selflessness Ginger Scott gives Avery is the same selflessness I see in my sister-in-law.  It made me love Avery’s character even more.

And Mason. Oh, Mason. What a special guy. He may just be my new favorite book boyfriend. Mason starts out as kind of a jerk, but I loved the way he tackled learning that he wasn’t all that. The way treats not just Avery but the entire Abbot family warmed my heart.

The writing and storyline were spectacular. Mason and Avery’s chemistry was hot! There were even a couple of things I didn’t see coming in the story. I honestly don’t have even one complaint about it.

How We Deal with Gravity has cemented Ginger Scott’s place as one of my favorite go-to authors.  I can’t wait to read another one of her novels.

Five Flavors of Dumb

Five Flavors of DumbFive Flavors of Dumb by Antony John

Publication Date: November 11, 2010

Publisher: Speak

Synopsis:

North Seattle High School senior Piper is known for being smart. What she isn’t known for being is popular. So when she’s presented with the challenge to get her high schools popular band a paying gig, she accepts. There’s only one problem: Piper’s deaf. Can she manage a band without actually being able to hear them? No one but Piper seems to think so. She’ll just have to prove them wrong.

My rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

I’ve read a few books with deaf characters and Five Flavors of Dumb is definitely one of my favorites. I loved how the author portrayed Piper. She felt real to me. She was strong and witty, but definitely had her teenage issues.

Piper’s family dynamic was amazing. The problems she was having with her parents were so tough and I couldn’t help but empathize with both sides. I loved her relationship with her brother, Finn. He was one of my favorite characters in the book.

The band characters were a lot of fun. I liked how each of them had their own issues and that I got to really get to know them. I especially loved Ed.

Being from the greater Seattle-Tacoma area, the musical journey through Seattle’s famous musicians was extremely cool. I loved how The Showbox and a daily talk show (think New Day) were incorporated into the story.

Five Flavors of Dumb is a book I would highly recommend to readers looking for a great YA rock star novel with a lot of heart. There’s no sex, drugs or violence. There is school skipping, forgery and going against parents’ wishes.