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.

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:

Waiting on the Sidelines

Waiting on the Sidelines (Waiting #1) by Ginger Scott

Publications Date: November 13, 2103

Publisher: Ginger Scott

Synopsis:

Nolan Lennox’s boyish name fits her. She’s a tomboy at heart, her clothing choices filled with boys’ soccer shorts, sports logo tees and knee socks. Nolan was happy being who she was until her freshman year of high school. Then, a couple of devastating comments changes it all. Now, Nolan’s changing her style and trying to catch the eye of the most popular boy at Coolridge High without losing too much of herself.

Reed Johnson is following in his father and older brother’s footsteps. He’s quarterback of the Coolridge High School football team with college scouts watching from the sidelines. He’s got a hot, older girlfriend and his dad’s rich. There’s not much else Reed could ask for. He’s got it all.

Then, Reed meets Lennox. She’s nothing like the girls he’s dated before. He doesn’t understand why he’s drawn to her, but he can’t help but be. Reed wants to be the best person he can for Lennox. He’s just not sure he can avoid breaking her heart.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I stayed up until 1:00 am reading this book. I got up in the morning and continued reading this book. I have not put this down except to sleep. I couldn’t.

The story consumed me. There was so much going on! I can’t believe how many different issues Ginger Scott was able to work into one book! Waiting on the Sidelines was a rollercoaster of emotions and events from the beginning to end.

Through it all, Nolan Lennox shined. She started out a self-conscious tomboy but quickly matured into a girl who knew herself and what was worth fighting for. The way she treated herself and others was special. Ginger Scott made her true to herself from beginning to end. Sometimes, I think that’s missing in YA books.

I have to admit I didn’t always like Reed. I’m still not even sure if I like him after finishing the book. I’m not sure if his sweet moments with Nolan were enough. But his actions and reactions to life felt real. In some ways, he reminded me of boys I dated in high school or college.

Oh, and I just have to say that I loved the Arizona setting. I went to ASU and it felt like taking a trip back in time. I remember those desert bonfire parties and the heat. It made me smile a lot while reading this book.

Waiting on the Sidelines was spectacular. It is going on my list of favorite books. Once again, Ginger Scott has emotionally levelled me. I feel a huge book hangover coming on. Luckily, I have the next Waiting book ready to read.

Other books in this series:

More Than Forever

 More Than Forever (More Than #4) by Jay McLean

Publication Date: July 11, 2014

Synopsis:

Lucy and Cameron have been it for each other since they were fourteen. Their love  has never wavered. It’s always been about forever for them. But, sometimes, forever isn’t enough.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

More Than Forever started out as a cute coming of age romance. It was more along the lines of a sweet YA contemporary romance. Cameron was the perfect friend and boyfriend that would do anything for Lucy. I loved the interactions between the young lovebirds and their parents. They were so funny and adorable.

Then, slowly, Lucy and Cameron’s relationship matured along with them and More Than Forever  became a beautiful New Adult romance. While it was still sweet and incredibly funny, there was now the angst and a sexual relationship as well.

Lucy and Cam’s sexual relationship was one of my favorite parts of the story. In the beginning, it felt honest and true to real life. As time went by, it was sexy and funny — just like it was reading about them in previous books.

As for the angst, at times I wanted to yell at Cam for being so blind and at Lucy for not truly seeing Cam. I ached for them as they dealt with the problems they faced. I wanted them to make it. The love they shared was so special.

Obviously, I loved More Than Forever. I thought More Than This was my favorite in the series, but More Than Forever stole its place in my heart. It was sweet, funny, steamy and most of all emotionally loaded.

I would highly suggest reading More Than Forever and the entire More Than series. I loved the way all of the books tied together and that I got to see not just the romances bloom but the friendships as well. I can’t wait for the next book More Than Enough to come out. I hope it’s Heidi and Dylan’s story!

Other books in this series:

More Than Him

More Than Him (More Than #3) by Jay McLean

Published: January 27, 2014

Synopsis: 

Logan Matthews’ deepest fears have come true. His past has ruined his future. It’s taken away his happiness. It’s taken her away.

Once again, he knows he’s going to have to fight to get her back. It’s going to take everything he’s got to show her that he’s worthy.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

This is a harder review to write. I don’t want to give too much away for people that haven’t read the first two books in the series yet. So here’s my limited review:

Holy moly. If I liked Logan in More Than Her, I freakin’ loved him in More Than Him. I felt like I finally truly got to know him.

I absolutely loved More Than Him. It was so emotional. I couldn’t put it down. There were just so many ups and downs. I had to devote myself to reading in one sitting simply because I had to know that everything was going end up.

Once again, the end of this story ties into the next book. No worries, though. It’s not a cliffhanger for Logan again. It’s a completely new story. I can’t wait to start it!

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:

   

More Than Her

More Than Her (More Than #2) by Jay McLean

Publication Date: November 18, 2013

Synopsis: 

Logan Matthews thought he made the right decision walking away from her. Turns out he was wrong. Now, he’s stuck chasing her and trying to prove he’s worthy of her love.

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

My summary and review are both going to be a little sparse on this one. I don’t want to give too much away in case anyone is thinking about reading this series but hasn’t read More Than This yet.

More Than Her begins where More Than This left off. This time, the story revolves around Logan. It alternates between the present and the summer before they all started college at UNC.  We get to learn more about Logan’s past and his relationships with both Jake and Mikayla.

While I really enjoyed More Than Her, it wasn’t quite as good as More Than This. I think it was the execution of the time jumps. They just weren’t as smooth as I would have liked them to be. At times, I felt a little lost in the past stories.

I did love the twists and turns the story took, though. It wasn’t what I expected at all. And rude, playboy Logan from More Than This wasn’t who I thought he would be either. I didn’t love him quite as much as Jake, but it was close!

More Than Her ended with more of a cliffhanger than More Than This did. Instead of book 3 being about a different couple, it will continue Logan’s story from More Than Her. I’m excited to continue the series and see where it goes!

Other books in this 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:

One Night With You

 One Night with You (Fatal #0.5) by Marie Force

Publication Date: June 1, 2015

Publisher: HTJB, Inc.

Synopsis:

Police officer Sam Holland meets Nick Cappuano at a party. Their attraction to each other is off the charts, so they decide to leave to have a private party of their own.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

One Night with You is a novella that gives readers of the Fatal series a look at how Nick and Sam met. Series lovers will not be disappointed. It’s classic Sam and Nick. Their interactions are funny and their sex scenes steamy. It’s pretty short (I read it in about 45 minutes while walking on the treadmill.) and sweet.

Other books in this series: