Tag Archives: Contemporary Romance

Some Like It Wild by: M. Leighton

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I wonder if I am becoming more critical of books, or if I really am just not liking a lot of what I read as much as I used to? Yesterday, I finished a book by another author that I usually really enjoy, and I was under-impressed. This seems to be a common occurrence lately, and that makes me sad. The latest book to do this to me was Some Like It Wild by: M. Leighton.

Here is the Goodreads description:

Some Like It Wild by M Leighton

First was The Wild Ones. Now, the next book in M. Leighton’s Wild Ones series…

How far will a good girl go for the bad boy she loves?

Laney Holt is a preacher’s daughter. A good girl. Her only goal was to get married, have babies, and live happily ever after, just like her parents. Only that didn’t happen. The two people closest to her betrayed her, and Laney’s dreams came crashing down. Now she’s left with an empty space she doesn’t know how to fill. Until she meets Jake Theopolis, a daredevil with a death wish who has heartbreaker written all over him.

Jake has no interest in thinking beyond the here and now. All he wants out of life is the next rush, the next “feel-good” thing to keep his mind off the pain of his past. His latest rush? Showing Laney there’s more to life than being a good girl—and that going bad can be so much fun. Her only concern now is how she can ever hope to satisfy the wild side of a boy like Jake. She’s looking forward to trying. And so is Jake.

I enjoyed this book well enough, but it did not wow me.

I am really not sure how I feel about Laney and Jake. In some ways, I really liked them together. Laney was really shy and afraid to do anything even remotely naughty. Jake definitely helped to bring her out of her shell and helped her to be more open to new things. However, it bothered me that Jake’s whole motivation at the beginning was “corrupting the preacher’s daughter.” I don’t know, that’s just a little iffy to me. I can understand the appeal in that story line, but I am not really sure what I think about it.

Then there was Jake’s big “secret” and the reason why he refused to get close to someone. I won’t say what it was, but I really don’t think as an adult that he should still be carrying around all that guilt, because he had to know what his dad said wasn’t true. I know things from childhood greatly impact who a person turns into, but he was smart enough to be able to see things differently. And what father would ever say that to their 8-year-old child even if they were heartbroken? That was just despicable.

I did enjoy watching things build between Laney and Jake, and I thought that, by the end, the two of them were really sweet together. I think all of the Shane stuff could have been avoided had Laney just told her parents the truth, but then we wouldn’t have had the plot device needed to bring her and Jake back together, so whatever.

Oh, and Laney’s father, the preacher, was a bit too judgmental, holier-than-thou for my taste. I really think that if anyone would be giving Jake the benefit of the doubt, it should be the town preacher, but he seemed worse than anyone. That kind of bugged me, too.

3.5 Stars

Want to read the book yourself to see what you think? Find it on Amazon here.

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Four Years Later by: Monica Murphy

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You know what’s the worst? Being super excited for a book to be released only to be disappointed when you actually read it. This happened to me with Four Years Later by: Monica Murphy.

Four Years Later by Monica MurphyHere is the description from Goodreads:

Owen’s story

New Adult bestselling author Monica Murphy winds up her sensational series with this sexy story of two college kids with nothing in common but a bunch of baggage and a burning attraction.

Over. That about sums up everything in my life. Suspended from my college football team and forced to cut back my hours at The District bar because of my crappy grades, I can’t keep turning to my sister, Fable, and her pro-football playing husband, Drew, to bail me out. I just can’t seem to find my own way. Weed and sex are irresistible temptations—and it’s messed up that I secretly hand over money to our junkie mom. A tutor is the last thing I want right now—until I get a look at her.

Chelsea is not my type at all. She’s smart and totally shy. I’m pretty sure she’s even a virgin. But when she gives me the once over with those piercing blue eyes, I’m really over. But in a different way. I won’t deny her ass is killer, but it’s her brain and the way she seems to crave love—like no one’s ever given her any—that make me want her more than any girl I’ve ever met. But what would someone as seemingly together as her ever see in a screwed up guy like me?

This book was a disappointment for me. I didn’t hate it, but I definitely did not love it either. The writing was good, and the characters were well developed, but this book just didn’t do it for me, and it took me a while to figure out why.

Eventually I figured out that it was because I honestly do not think Owen and Chelsea will last. I am just like Chelsea, and I don’t mean that in a “she is so relatable” type of way because honestly, for most people, she is probably not a particularly relatable character, but for me, she was. Skipped a grade? Check. Incredibly socially awkward? Check. Can’t string a sentence together in front of a cute guy? Check. And because I understand her, I don’t think her and Owen will work. In fact, I don’t see the appeal in Owen at all. First of all, he is Fable’s little brother who we first met as a 14 year old, so that’s weird to begin with, and he is supposed to be this dark, sexy, brooding character, but to me, he was just a whiny drug addict who had every opportunity in the world to turn his life around and wasn’t. That’s not to say that he didn’t have his moments, he did, just not enough of them for me to really love his character.

People always say that opposites attract, and that is true up to a point. However, relationships without strong foundations and mutual interests will not last. Owen and Chelsea have absolutely zero in common. At one point one of them, I think it was Chelsea, thought something along the lines of “we only talk about school and flirt and I am falling in love.” If you only talk about the classes you are tutoring him in or flirt with him, do you even know anything about him? What is his favorite food? Favorite color? Favorite TV show? His major? This doesn’t sound like a strong foundation to me, but I could be alone on that one.

The other thing that bothered me was that this book didn’t feel like it ended, more like it was just over. When the last chapter of a book, especially one that is the last book in a series, is “One Year Later,” I expect it to tell me all about what the characters are up to, what they are planning, and give me an overall warm fuzzy feeling about everyone I met during the series. That is not what happened. Instead I got: “We don’t know what we’re doing” and “We’re in love, so we don’t need a plan.” Umm… No. That is not how it works, and there is no way Chelsea would actually be okay with that.

Despite what this rant of negativity would have you believe, I did not hate this book. However, it definitely fell way short for me.

3 Stars

If you want to check this book out for yourself, because honestly I am probably in the minority here, you can find it on Amazon here.

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Playing With Her Heart by: Lauren Blakely

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I was very excited for the release of Lauren Blakely’s new book Playing With Her Heart. I loved her other books, and I could not wait to read this one too. Please, keep in mind that her books are not YA and should not be read by anyone under 17.

Playing With Her Heart by Lauren BlakelyHere is the main part of the book’s description:

Twenty-three year old rising theatre star Jill McCormick has built a life out of pretending. Pretending she’s happy, pretending she’s not haunted by the dark secret that shattered her world six years ago. But then she comes face to face with her new director — sexy, sophisticated, jealous, all-alpha, dirty-talking Davis Milo. He tries to resist the actress he’s cast, but the attraction between them is too powerful, and soon their private rehearsals spiral into new, forbidden territory. The connection, the chemistry is undeniable, and it hits them anywhere, and everywhere — in the theater, on the piano, in the limo, in the restaurant…But the tragedy in Jill’s past stands between them. Davis has walls too, so they can either face their fears together, or risk the most intense love, sex and passion either has ever felt…

You can read the full thing over at Goodreads. I cut out the racy quotes because I try to keep my posts on the clean side in case any younger readers stumble across them.

I really wanted to love this book because I am a huge fan of Lauren Blakely’s other books, but I had just enough problems with this book that I can’t give it the coveted 5-star rating.

I liked the premise of this story. It had a little of that forbidden romance feel without being some terribly inappropriate situation. This made it hot without the awkward. I also liked how their lives somewhat mirrored the play and that they were able to use it to learn and grow together.

Davis was awesome. He was kind of the perfect mix of things. He was athletic yet artsy, smart, thoughtful and pretty much any other positive adjective you could come up with, but at the same time he wasn’t perfect. He had been hurt in the past and had trust issues. He struggled at times to find the right balance in his life, and there were other little things about him that made him more believable.

I have mixed feelings about Jill. She was not what I was expecting. There were times when I would really like her and connect with her as a character, but then there were also times when she would annoy me a lot. She spent so much time trying to force a situation that she shouldn’t have. I understand why she did, but it still bothered me.

I wish Patrick would have had a little more personality. It would have made my above complaint less relevant. Seriously, he was one of the flattest characters I have read in a while.

I did like getting the tie-ins to Ms. Blakely’s other books. We got to see glimpses of the couples from all of her other books.

However, by the same token, I was kind of annoyed that we didn’t see more of Jill’s friends, especially Kat. Sure they had a couple of quick scenes together, but they live together. I would have liked to see more bonding time. Especially at the end when Jill is doing her confessions. I think Kat deserved to hear the truth and that it would have been cleansing for Jill to be able to unload on her best friend. After all, that’s what best friends are there for.

So in conclusion, while there were plenty of things about this book that I liked, I did have some issues with it.

4 Stars

To purchase your own copy of Playing with her Heart from Amazon, go here.

Thank you for reading my review! To stay up-to-date on all of my reviews, please like me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, friend/follow me on Goodreads and/or follow my blog! Happy reading!

Smash Into You by: Shelly Crane

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Shelly Crane is one of my very favorite authors, so every time she releases a new book, I snap it up right away. Yesterday she released Smash Into You and I one-clicked as soon as a saw it.

Here is the description from Goodreads:

Smash Into You by Shelly Crane

Jude has spent the whole twenty one years of his life running. From what, he wasn’t quite sure. His mother tried to keep him safe; a low profile, a constant move on the horizon, a week’s pay always stashed away. She tried to instill in him that he was special somehow, though would never elaborate. He never felt different. He was so completely normal and vanilla that he wondered if it had all been in her head. But then she was murdered and all he saw was a running silhouette of a man as his mother said three final words to him. Three words that changed his whole being. 

Never stop running…

Now he’s semi-settled into a big town. The college is huge and easy to blend into. It’s been three months since he had to move because ‘Biloxi’, as he calls the man who killed his mother, found him once more. 

Then Marley, an eighteen year old girl who is as infuriating as she is blissfully ignorant of her gorgeousness, smashes into his car with hers. Then smashes into his life as he realizes that whatever it is he has that Biloxi wants, she has it, too. And now, they’re after them both.

I LOVED this book! Shelly Crane is such a ridiculously amazing writer. I love her stuff and this book seriously did not disappoint.

This book is clean, and believe me, nothing is missed. Shelly’s writing is flawless, and doesn’t need any cheap tricks to cover up. Marley and Jude have real relationship building. There was no insta-love. Everything between them felt real.

Another thing I loved was that this book was that it did not follow the traditional story lines that I read every day. The base story was unique, and tons of things happened that I did not see coming at all, but I can’t tell you what they were because this is a story that needs to be experienced without spoilers. just know that it will keep you guessing all the way through. It was also unique in that most books seem to either a) have a love triangle or b) have the characters get together and them have some huge blow-up where they break up and then get back together in the last chapter. I loved that this was another classic Shelly Crane book where neither of those things happen. Her characters work together. They are partners and equals and the COMMUNICATE! It’s a shame that that is such a novel concept in books, but it is. When things happened, Jude and Marley would discuss is. They didn’t keep secrets out of some misguided attempt to protect each other. It was such a refreshing change, and it’s kind of sad to me that characters who talk to each other isn’t the norm.

I will say that it is necessary to go into this book with some willing suspension of disbelief. the situation is a bit on the fantastic side, but it is done so beautifully that the story never crosses into the realm of the ridiculous. It is a delicate balance, and it is spot on.

Oh, and you should also know that the whole book is written in Jude’s POV. This doesn’t really make a difference, but it did add a different dynamic to the reading experience. Just thought you should know.

I don’t really know if this review makes any sense. I feel like my ideas are kind of swimming around in my mind and not translating well. I guess you just really need to know that this book is fantastic, and you should read it.

5 super glittery excited stars!!!

To experience the awesomeness for yourself, you can buy Smash Into You from Amazon here.

Thank you for reading my incoherent rambling. 🙂 I would love it so much if you would please take a minute to like my Facebook page, follow me on Twitter, friend/follow me on Goodreads and/or follow this blog! Happy reading!

The Redemption of Callie and Kayden by: Jessica Sorensen

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I am a big fan of Jessica Sorensen, and especially like her New Adult Contemporary novels, so I had to start reading The Redemption of Callie and Kayden as soon as my pre-order got delivered. The cliffhanger at the end of The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden was killer, and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the sequel.

The Redemption of Callie and Kayden by Jessica SorensenHere is the Goodreads description:

The dark secret Kayden has kept hidden for years is out. Worse, he’s facing charges for battery. The only way he stands a chance against the charges is if Callie speaks up, something he’ll never ask her to do.

Callie knows Kayden is going back to his dark place and desperately wants to save him. But saving him means admitting her secrets aloud. Callie and Kayden are stronger than they think, especially when they’re together. Together they move forward, face their demons, and finally start to heal from their traumatic pasts.

I have kind of mixed feelings about this book. Before I continue, I should warn you that this will likely be slightly spoilery. I will do my best to keep the spoilers out, but I make no promises. Continue at your own risk.

For starters, I wasn’t totally satisfied with the ending. Sure Callie and Kayden got their “redemption,” but there really was no justice. I looked, and according to Goodreads, Callie and Kayden will be getting one more story after Luke’s, so I am hoping this changes, but for now, I am kind of disappointed. I thought this was supposed to be the resolution of Callie and Kayden’s story, and in my mind, it really wasn’t.

Next, I thought this book kind of glanced over the hard issues. It seemed like most of the book was about them running away rather than dealing with it. In the first book, we saw every gory detail. the book was dealing with heavy stuff, and it didn’t really hold back. This time around, I felt like the whole book was about everything except them dealing with their issues. Looking back, i felt like there was more filler than facing the issues and being real. I guess that was kind of the point. They were working up the courage to face things, but once they did, it was over. i guess the pacing was just kind of off for me.

I am definitely looking forward to Luke’s book. I want to know what is going on in his head. This book gave us just enough to draw me in.

I think Seth is awesome, of course, but I would really like to meet Greyson. They talk about him, but we never really see him. I hope that changes in the future.

Overall, I did enjoy this book, but like I said, the pacing was off for me, and things were not resolved as much as I would have wanted. Hopefully, that will change in the future story.

4 Stars

To buy The Redemption of Callie of Kayden from Amazon go here.

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