BOOK REVIEW : YOU DESERVE EACH OTHER

Author: Sarah Hogle
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository.
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Genre: Romance; Contemporary Romance.
Release Date: April 7th 2020.


synopsis


When your nemesis also happens to be your fiancé, happily ever after becomes a lot more complicated in this wickedly funny, lovers-to-enemies-to-lovers romantic comedy debut.

Naomi Westfield has the perfect fiancé: Nicholas Rose holds doors open for her, remembers her restaurant orders, and comes from the kind of upstanding society family any bride would love to be a part of. They never fight. They’re preparing for their lavish wedding that’s three months away. And she is miserably and utterly sick of him.

Naomi wants out, but there’s a catch: whoever ends the engagement will have to foot the nonrefundable wedding bill. When Naomi discovers that Nicholas, too, has been feigning contentment, the two of them go head-to-head in a battle of pranks, sabotage, and all-out emotional warfare.

But with the countdown looming to the wedding that may or may not come to pass, Naomi finds her resolve slipping. Because now that they have nothing to lose, they’re finally being themselves–and having fun with the last person they expect: each other.


review

Nicholas and Naomi have been in a relationship for almost 2 years now. But lately, she can’t remember what she saw in him in the first place or how they even met. She feels stuck in a relationship with an impending and doomed wedding with a man who she loves only 18% on a good day.

God knows how long I’d been waiting to read the book. While it did not deliver 100%, it also did not disappoint. My favorite thing about the book was the relationship between Nicholas and Naomi. Theirs is a classic example of what a lack of communication does to a relationship. Hogle kept it very realistic – their fights with each other, the relationship issues they have. Even their reasons for not ending the relationship struck a realistic chord with me.

I liked Naomi. Her insecurities, vulnerability and lack of self-confidence made her a relatable character. Nicholas is perfect by the books. But he is a geek from the inside, with his own insecurities and issues. At the beginning, we are only exposed to his flaws, thanks to Naomi’s narration. But slowly, it becomes clear that neither of them are perfect and they stopped making efforts a long time ago. And as Naomi starts to open up about her frustrations, a bridge is also opened between the two to fix their relationship. At first, it’s all about one-upping each other but before they know it, they are making efforts to be there for each other.

I liked the evolution of Naomi and Nicholas’s relationship. I was delighted with their banter and fights. I specially loved it when Nicholas or Naomi lost their cool. It was hilarious how matter-of-fact Naomi was at first, with her predictions of a divorce in the future and Nicholas’s possible adultery or his multiple marriages in the future. The transition from that to her jealousy at a very real possibility of an affair was very satisfactory to read.

Only thing I would have liked better was knowing where Nicholas’s head is at the beginning of the book. Was he also intent on ending the relationship like Naomi was? Also, there is a part at the end where Nicholas does something uncharacteristic towards his parents. That felt a little off-field to me.

But I really enjoyed this book. It’s by no means perfect but still was a highly satisfying read.


ratings

★★★☆

ARC REVIEW: HOUSE RULES

Author: Ruby Lang
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository .
Publisher: Carina Press
Genre: Romance; Contemporary; Contemporary Romance.
Release Date: February 10th 2020.


synopsis

Seventeen years ago, different dreams pulled Simon Mizrahi and Lana Kuo apart. But when Lana takes a position as a chef back in Manhattan, her apartment search puts her right in her ex-husband’s path. Music teacher Simon is also hunting for a new place to live, and when Lana proposes they be platonic roomies, well…it’s not the worst idea he’s ever heard.

A sunny uptown two-bedroom sounds far more appealing than the cramped, noisy space where he’s currently struggling to work. Still, Simon has seen firsthand that Lana’s a flight risk, so he agrees on a trial basis.

Three months. With strict boundaries.

Living together again feels wonderfully nostalgic, but when the ex-couple’s lingering feelings rise to the surface, the rules go out the window.

Of course, chemistry was never their problem. But while Simon’s career feels back on solid footing, Lana is still sorting out what she wants. With their trial period soon coming to an end, they’ll have to decide if their living arrangement was merely a sexy trip down memory lane or a reunion meant to last.


review

House Rules caught me by surprise. It was a pleasant read, which I honestly had not expected it to be.

I had definitely not expected to like the set-up of how the exes would come to live together. Because, a premise like that is hard to sell. But the author does a stellar job of making the set-up convincing. And she does that in a very effective way of the characters voicing the doubts that the readers might have with the whole arrangement. Of course, the state of the New York real estate helped make it more convincing too.

I had not expected the story to play out the way it did. There were no awkward encounters. That is to say, there was plenty of awkwardness in their interactions, but no silly or used tropes that we usually find in cohabiting romances. I also enjoyed the refreshing absence of any plot-device like jealousy or a third person’s involvement.

The lack of denial was also unexpected. Both Lana and Simon are very conscious of their lingering feelings and attraction towards each other. Simon more than Lana. Both in their forties, they are mature enough to make conscious efforts to not make the arrangement uncomfortable. There is no bitterness or efforts to one-up each other.

I could relate to Lana very much. She quit a career mid-way because she realized her happiness lied elsewhere. She is pragmatic and grounded. Simon, on the other hand, is more ambitious and stubborn. The author does a good job showing us their contrasting personalities through their actions, rather than just telling it to us.

There was no drawn-out angst. The main conflict was also resolved very quickly. A little too quickly if you ask me. It only takes a conversation with an elderly for Simon to realize his mistakes. It felt almost like a cop-out. And while I like that there was not too much focus on their past, I still would have liked a more layered look into their relationship and what led to its derailment in the first place.

Overall, it’s a short and sweet read. The writing is engaging, and the story is believable, aside from the want of a little more depth. I think I’ll definitely read more of this author in the future.


ratings

★★★☆

WEBTOON REVIEW : CHEESE IN THE TRAP

Author: Sun Kki
Links
: LINE (You can read the webtoon here) |  Goodreads
Publisher: Naver
Genre: Young Adult; Contemporary; Romance; Webtoon; Manhwa; Graphic Novel;


synopsis

 


Having returned to college after a year long break, Hong Sul, a hard-working over-achiever, inadvertently got on the wrong side of a suspiciously perfect senior named Yoo Jung.

From then on her life took a turn for the worse and Sul was almost certain it was all Yoo Jung’s doing.

So why is he suddenly acting so friendly a year later?

 


review

So I’m on a reading spree of Webtoons and Mangas these days. So, for those who don’t know – Webtoons are digital graphic novels/comics in Korea. Sort of like Mangas (Japanese graphic novels/comics) and Manhwas (Korean graphic novels/comics), except you read it online. Interestingly, for reasons beyond my grasp, the volumes are called seasons and chapters are episodes. The webtoon has a total of 4 seasons, and 301 episodes.

A little backstory at first. Cheese in the Trap is perhaps the most popular webtoon till now. So popular in fact that it has both a movie and a drama adaptation. But none of them are as good as the webtoon. The drama aired back when the webtoon had not been completed, and although it had a promising start, it went haywire at the end. (The ending was so horrible that the  backlash was also of massive proportions. I watched the drama and the backlash was truly justified.)

Story

Junior year starts off on a weird note for Seol. A department senior she is wary of is suddenly being very friendly and wants to hang out with her. Jung Yoo is the popular senior that everyone wants to be close with. He’s handsome, rich and polite. A model student, he also happens to be the top of the department, and consequently the original contender for a scholarship that ultimately Seol got. He’s the one person girls want and guys want to be. He’s also extremely generous, always being the one paying for drinks and dinners.

But Seol has seen a side of him unlike anybody else. We see through flashbacks, their first meeting which got them off on a wrong foot, the eventual mishaps that keep happening to Seol. From stalkers to sabotage by jealous classmates, nothing went smooth for Seol in her sophomore year, so much so that she wanted to take a gap-year. While Seol has no evidence that Jung was behind it, her instincts tell her that it was him. Are her instincts right or is it just paranoia?

Narration

The narration of the story does wonders in making it even more compelling. Initially, we only see Seol’s point of view. The juxtaposition of the present timeline and her past is very fascinating. At first, we only see things from her perspective. It’s also interesting because we see Jung being the good Samaritan to Seol in the present time, but then we see his cold side in the past. We are left as confused as Seol. But then we see the same flashbacks from the perspective of other characters and the narrative totally changes. It’s even more fascinating in the later stages of the story when we slowly start to see things from Jung’s eyes.

Characters

The characters are the USP of the story. I have never read such complex, layered set of characters together. Characters that start off as minor or insignificant later turn out to become pivotal to the story. And there are many of them. A number of characters from Jung and Seol’s department play major parts.

The main characters are Seol, Jung and Inho. Make no mistake, this is no love triangle. Inho and his sister Inha are two orphans who were taken in by Jung’s father when they were young. Although, they were friends, somethings happened to sour them. Now, Inho and Jung can’t bear each other’s presence. And Inha has become a gold-digger of sorts, leeching off others.


Inho starts getting close to Seol after he returns to the city and sees her closeness with Jung. He’s childish, short-tempered and impulsive. But he has a good heart. His friendship with Seol was one of my favorite things to read. He has his demons, a broken that put a stop to his hopes of being a pianist. But he’s loyal to fault and protective of Seol.

Seol is an interesting protagonist. When we start off, she’s quiet, reticent and unassertive. She easily lets others walk over her. She also has been neglected by her parents in favor of a younger brother. She is smart, determined, observant and hard-working. But as the story progresses, we see her become assertive and and feisty if not a little manipulative thanks to Jung’s influence.

Jung is the most complex character I’ve ever read. He’s a mystery for 90% of the story. One moment, he makes you go ‘Aww’, and the next moment he creeps you out. You will love him but also be wary of him. I thought for a long time that he might be a sociopath. But as the story progressed, it became even more difficult to catalogue him into a box.

 


The characters that I genuinely adored are Bora and Eun Taek, who are the besties of Seol. They are better friends to her than she is to them. The best part about this webtoon is that the characters are all people we see around us. Even Inha who gives an initial impression of being a manipulative gold digger, has layers and layers of complexity. The depth in the delineation of all the characters – major and minor – makes it one of the best work of fiction I’ve read.

 

Setting

Although the story is set on Korea, it’s as relatable as it can get. Anyone who’s gone to college will be able to connect with the characters and the scenarios. Be it the group assignments, the part-time jobs, the competition or the obnoxious senior who always leeches off others’ hard work or the nerd who feels bitter and unappreciated. We’ve all seen it. While Seol gets a little too much of her end of the short stick, it never for a moment feels over the top.

Romance


The evolution of Jung and Seol’s relationship starts from an uncomfortable friendship, to awkward dating phase to a slower and deeper understanding of each other. I won’t deny that there were some instances that I felt that there were toxic elements in their relationship. But those were sort of addressed.  And I liked that while their relationship is a major storyline, it is not always at the forefront. It always comes down to the growth of Seol, Jung, Inho and all the other characters. I also like that there was no tangible love triangle, even though there were shipping wars.

A special mention for Eun Taek and Bora, who have the most adorable romance!

Art

Art is an important component of any graphic fiction. The art is beautiful here too. While it can be a little cartoonist with the expressions at first, but it gets better as the webtoon progresses. The maturity of the characters is visible through the art too as much as the story. I also like how each character has its own features. I’ve read mangas where most characters are drawn with same features, just different hairstyles. But every character has their own unique style. And I appreciated that.

Ending

There are so many arcs in the story which make you want to pull your hair in frustration. But they always culminate on a satisfying note. The ending of the whole story was also very satisfying. Almost every character gets a satisfying resolution.

Hello! Still with me?

I won’t be surprised if you skimmed through my review. It’s LONG, I know. But we’re talking about a 300-episode long webtoon here! All I can say is whoever starts it will have a hard time leaving it incomplete. It’s addictive as hell. Strongly recommended.


ratings

★★

BOOK REVIEW : MARRIAGE ON MADISON AVENUE

Author: Lauren Layne
Series: Central Park Pact # 3
Links
: Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository .
Publisher: Gallery Books
Genre: Contemporary; Romance.
Release Date: January 28th 2020.


synopsis

Marriage on Madison Avenue (Central Park Pact, #3)From New York Times bestselling author Lauren Layne, comes the final installment of the Central Park Pact series, a heartfelt and laugh-out-loud romantic comedy that’s perfect for fans of Sally Thorne and Christina Lauren.

Can guys and girls ever be just friends? According to Audrey Tate and Clarke West, absolutely. After all, they’ve been best friends since childhood without a single romantic entanglement. Clarke is the charming playboy Audrey can always count on, and he knows that the ever-loyal Audrey will never not play along with his strategy for dodging his matchmaking mother—announcing he’s already engaged…to Audrey.

But what starts out as a playful game between two best friends turns into something infinitely more complicated, as just-for-show kisses begin to stir up forbidden feelings. As the faux wedding date looms closer, Audrey and Clarke realize that they can never go back to the way things were, but deep down, do they really want to?


review

This book delivered exactly what I expected it to. No more. No less.

Friends-to-lovers romances are my favorites. This one had another of my favorite tropes of fake-marriages, which was like a cherry on the top for me.

This wasn’t a path-breaking romance. There were some very predictable elements. And yet I loved it. That’s because of Clarke and Audrey. These two characters and their chemistry elevated the romance to the become the most enjoyable read ofthe series for me. I was hoping for exactly that after reading about them in the first two romances. Audrey was the perfect mix of sweet and sassy, while Clarke, the charming hunk with vulnerabilities and insecurities that I expected them to be.

I absolutely adored Audrey and Clarke’s relationship who were completely different people with each other, equally protective and soft for each other, and yet knowing when to keep distance. They were also quite similar in their opinions about each of their love lives too. Clarke feels that he can keep no woman happy. And Audrey considers herself safely doomed for relationships.

She still blames herself for jumping on a serious relationship with a guy who claimed to be separated, without verifying his status for herself. Add to that, guy who she recently dumped after finding his fetishes for videotaping sexual encounters, turns out to have been married. And this gets leaked by gossip sites, making things even worse for this social media influencer.

Clarke is perfectly happy with his life. He has Audrey, who he has claimed as his fiance more than once before to get away from sticky situations. This time when he does to escape his mother pushing his ex back into his life, Audrey suggests that they continue to pretend, to use it to stave off some heat because of the rumors regarding her doomed love life. Except, these reasons get stacked up, and the pretension goes long enough for some complicated feelings to be added to the mix. The evolution of their relationship was beautifully written. The pacing was also tight, with rarely any boring or unnecessary moments. These are characters that I felt personally invested in.

My biggest problem with the story was the conflict and misunderstanding at the end that I saw from a mile away. The climax was just too predictable. And while I could subtract another star for that, I really genuinely loved the main couple a little too much. It’s the perfect read to meet your craving for a cute romance.


ratings

★★★★☆

BOOK REVIEW: DON’T YOU FORGET ABOUT ME

If there’s one thing worse than being fired from the grottiest restaurant in town, it’s coming home early to find your boyfriend in bed with someone else.

Reeling from the indignity of a double dumping on the same day, Georgina snatches at the next job that she’s offered – barmaid in a newly opened pub, which just so happens to run by the boy she fell in love with at school: Lucas McCarthy. And whereas Georgina (voted Most Likely to Succeed in her school yearbook) has done nothing but dead-end jobs in the last twelve years, Lucas has not only grown into a broodingly handsome man, but also has turned into an actual grown-up with a business and a dog along the way.

Meeting Lucas again not only throws Georgina’s rackety present into sharp relief, but also brings a dark secret from her past bubbling to the surface. Only she knows the truth about what happened on the last day of school, and why she’s allowed it to chase her all these years…


review

This book had all the makings of my favorite. The protagonist finds herself hitting rock bottom when we start off. And it’s a beautiful tale of her getting back up on her feet. It also happens to be a second chance romance, a trope I always like when executed well.

The story had me engaged right from the start. I liked Georgina right away too. And she grew to be a character I could relate to on a very deep level. And that rarely happens to me with fictional characters. Georgina also makes for a great strong female character.

A lot of times, I just find authors to have tried too hard with the heroines. Like overdoing it when trying to make them a badass – make them come off as too brash or rude instead? Or making them too much of a pushover at the start to make it easier for readers to root for them. You know what I mean? And I really appreciated how Georgina even in the lowest of her lows, never went all mopey or fell into darkness. She was very much on touch with her life. Georgina is far from perfect. And that makes her character even more relatable.

This story had a solid set of side characters. Georgina’s friends made for an amazing support group. Her family also added an interesting facet to the story. Lucas is a solid guy and makes for a great hero. I really liked the whole equation between Lucas and Georgina, and Georgina’s inner angst about whether Lucas actually can’t remember her or just is acting like it. That was cute! Devlin is another character that was just the coolest!

One thing the author tends to do is go into a lot of details, some of which probably not necessary, but does give us insights into the characters and their history. I might have been bored by all those details had I not found the characters interesting and been invested in their stories. This was my first read by the author, and will not be the last!

There was a part at the very end which I found to be too cheesy to digest. I also wasn’t happy about a certain time gap which I thought was too big. But other than that, I really enjoyed this story a lot.

It’s a heartwarming tale. And relatable. I’m glad I stumbled upon it when I did.


review

★★★★★


BOOK REVIEW : MAKE ME BAD

As Clifton Cove’s resident “king”, he thinks he’s entitled to anyone and anything.

The trouble is, I’ve spent my whole life following the rules and playing it safe. I know what it feels like to be the good girl. I’m the police chief’s daughter and a librarian—for adorable children, no less. My wardrobe consists of colorful sundresses and baggy jeans. I might as well have a Post-it stuck to my forehead that reads: Yup, she’s a virgin.

An all-nighter with a fictional hunk is about as exciting as my life gets, until one day, fate decides to take pity on me and shove me straight into the path of Mr. Off-Limits himself.

Oof.

Just as I suspected, every inch of him promises to be my demise. Up close, he’s tall, menacing, dangerously handsome—the type of man who’s never spent a single moment worrying about the opinions of others. A well-behaved girl would do as she’s told and avoid him at all costs, but I’m overdue for a little rebellion.
No more Friday nights sprawled out on the couch in my comfiest pajamas. No more wishing I had the courage to misbehave.
Everyone thinks Ben is going to ruin me.
They think he’ll chew me up and spit me out.

Well, Ben…go ahead.
Tempt me. Taunt me.
Make me bad.


My favorite kind of romance – slow burn! And burn it did.

Ben and Madison were just too cute. Their growing friendship, flirting, banter, and just that overall chemistry they had going was simply irresistible. I adored Madison. She is my favorite kind of sweet, bubbly, down-to-earth heroine. And Ben was my favorite kind of ‘not-so-nice-guy’. Get my not-so-subtle-reference? You won’t if you aren’t a R.S. Grey fan like me!

I loved the forbidden aspect to Ben and Madison’s romance, with them coming from two different corners of the town, with her father and brother bearing disdain towards anything to do with Ben and his riches. But what I loved the most was the slow and simmering chemistry and tension between the two. The jealousy, the ache, the playing with fire – it was exactly everything I want in my romance reads!

This book might not have been perfect, but it was perfect for my taste. Five fluttering stars from me!


★★★★★


 

BOOK REVIEW : My Favorite Half-Night Stand

Millie Morris has always been one of the guys. A UC Santa Barbara professor, she’s a female-serial-killer expert who’s quick with a deflection joke and terrible at getting personal. And she, just like her four best guy friends and fellow professors, is perma-single.

So when a routine university function turns into a black tie gala, Mille and her circle make a pact that they’ll join an online dating service to find plus-ones for the event. There’s only one hitch: after making the pact, Millie and one of the guys, Reid Campbell, secretly spend the sexiest half-night of their lives together, but mutually decide the friendship would be better off strictly platonic.

But online dating isn’t for the faint of heart. While the guys are inundated with quality matches and potential dates, Millie’s first profile attempt garners nothing but dick pics and creepers. Enter “Catherine”—Millie’s fictional profile persona, in whose make-believe shoes she can be more vulnerable than she’s ever been in person. Soon “Catherine” and Reid strike up a digital pen-pal-ship…but Millie can’t resist temptation in real life, either. Soon, Millie will have to face her worst fear—intimacy—or risk losing her best friend, forever.

Perfect for fans of Roxanne and She’s the Man, Christina Lauren’s latest romantic comedy is full of mistaken identities, hijinks, and a classic love story with a modern twist. Funny and fresh, you’ll want to swipe right on My Favorite Half-Night Stand.


After being absolutely spellbound by her previous release (I still can’t get over Josh and Hazel’s adorableness), I was expecting to be wowed by Christina Lauren’s new release yet again. She’s such a favorite of mine that the expectations are always automatically heightened. But I was let down this time.

There’s a lot to love about My Favorite Half-Night Stand. I loved the friendship of the main group. All the characters had their own quirks. The banter and ribbing between the friends was fun and I could connect with their friendship. I also loved the texts between Millie and Reid. There was depth to it and I could feel the compatibility between them.

But Millie? I had MANY issues with her character. I get why she is the way she is. I also could empathize with her inability to open up. But I just could not understand the motivations behind her actions. She came off as whimsical and not at all in a relatable or adorable way. She totally played with Reid’s emotions. I found her to be emotionally immature but in a way that did not warrant any sympathy from me. I kept shaking my head in disbelief at some of the things she did and just so randomly.

Friends-to-lovers is my favorite trope but it failed to please me this time. Although, I loved the texts between Reid and Millie, I was not 100% convinced by their attraction towards each other. At one point, I wanted to see more of the friends than these two. I think that says a lot when the supporting characters interest you a lot more than the protagonists.

Although, I’m disappointed by the book, I am pleased with the world that the author created and want to see more of the characters. I’m looking forward to seeing the rest of the guys get their own stories. Fingers crossed that they live up to my expectations!


My Rating: ★★★☆☆

Links – Amazon | Goodreads | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble

Book Review : HATE NOTES

It all started with a mysterious blue note sewn into a wedding dress.

Something blue.

I’d gone to sell my own unworn bridal gown at a vintage clothing store. That’s when I found another bride’s “something old.”

Stitched into the lining of a fabulously feathered design was the loveliest message I’d ever read: Thank you for making all of my dreams come true.

The name embossed on the blue stationery: Reed Eastwood, obviously the most romantic man who ever lived. I also discovered he’s the most gorgeous. If only my true-love fantasies had stopped there. Because I’ve since found out something else about Mr. Starry-Eyed.

He’s arrogant, cynical, and demanding. I should know. Thanks to a twist of fate, he’s my new boss. But that’s not going to stop me from discovering the story behind his last love letter. A love letter that did not result in a happily ever after.

But that story is nothing compared to the one unfolding between us. It’s getting hotter, sweeter, and more surprising than anything I could have imagined.

Something new.

But I have no idea how this one is going to end…


I have mixed feelings about this book.

I loved Charlotte and Reed together. They had a great chemistry and even greater banter.

What I didn’t love was how they met. That was just too overdone for my taste and I had a hard time believing the situations. I mean, I can buy that she drunkenly applied to see one of his real estates just out of curiosity. But you’re telling me that an extremely rich and busy guy like Reed would decide to indulge her, even knowing that she doesn’t have the means to buy the house and she was planning to waste his time. All because he wanted to catch her in her lies? Okaaay….

Then after Charlotte gets offended even though she’s the one who lied in the first place, she decides to tell her sob story to a random woman at the washroom. And that woman happens to be Reed’s grandmother who decides to hire Charlotte as an assistant? I’m sorry but that doesn’t fly with me.

I had a very difficult time getting into the story after Charlotte gets hired. Thankfully, I was really bored and decided to continue despite my reservations. I eventually got invested into the story when the main conflict was revealed. Reed’s secret gave the story a new dimension that excited me.

I was disappointed by the execution, though. Now, nothing makes me giddy like a little jealousy to fire the main characters up. But I’ve lost count of how many times we see Reed throw a jealous outburst and then go back to thinking he isn’t good enough for her until the next time he gets jealous. That kind of became a little too repetitive for me.

I wasn’t a fan of Charlotte. I started off liking her. But her actions and decisions, as we proceed with the story, started wearing off on me. I liked Reed but his indecisive and passive-aggressive attitude also got old too quickly.

There were parts of the story that I really enjoyed. I laughed out loud at many parts, and in others, I rolled my eyes. The tension between the characters was amazingly written.

I feel that the authors got carried away and overused some plot devices that took away from the story. And that’s a pity because this would be a 5-star read for me just with a few alterations here and there.


My Rating: ★★★☆☆

Links – Amazon | Goodreads | Barnes & Noble

Book Review: Block Shot by Kennedy Ryan

A STANDALONE second chance, enemies-to-lovers romance set in the cutthroat world of sports management.

They’re two sharks in a fish tank . . .

JARED

If I had a dollar for every time Banner Morales made my heart skip a beat…
The heart everyone assumes is frozen over.
Her anger is…arousing.
Every glare from those fire-spitting eyes, every time she grits her teeth, gets me…well, you know.
If I had a dollar for every time she’s put me in my place, I’d be an even richer man.
I’m a successful sports agent because I assume “no” means you’ll think about it.
I’m sure what you meant to say is “Coming right up.”
They say even rich men don’t always get what they want, but those men don’t know how to play the game. The trick is to keep them guessing.
Take Banner. She assumes she’s winning, but this game?
She doesn’t even know how to play.

BANNER

If I had a dollar for every time Jared Foster broke my heart, I’d have exactly one dollar.
One night. One epic fail. One dollar…and I’m out.
I’ve moved on.
I’ve found success in a field ruled by men.
Anything they can do, I have done better.
They can keep the field while I call the shots, blocking them when I have to.
And Jared has the nerve to think he gets a second chance?
Boy, please. Go sit down. Have several seats.
I’ll just be over here ignoring the man carved from my fantasies with a lust-tipped chisel.
Oh, I didn’t say the struggle wasn’t real.
But I’ve got that one dollar, and Jared won’t have me.


Okay, I’m conflicted about this one. I liked how it started. I liked Jared and Banner. Both of them were great characters. Banner was the strong, no-bullshit, brilliant girl with strict ethical standards. Jared was also brilliant and a no-bullshit guy. But he had a wholly different moral compass when it came to getting what he wanted. Both of them were perfectly matched. In fact, their chemistry was off the charts. I loved every moment of their interactions and conversations.

And yet, I did not like how they went about with their relationship. Some of the decisions they made were very frustrating for me. I just couldn’t be on board with it. And that’s where the disconnect happened between me and these two characters.

Kennedy Ryan can write intense stories, that’s for sure. And she can create build-up to a love story too well. I had no doubts that Jared and Banner were meant for each other. This, more than anything else, made me sad that I could not fully be on board with the direction the story took.

Also, Kennedy Ryan is an author who makes you want to devour every line she writes. That’s why it’s a bit disconcerting when there are sentences in between which are weirdly worded.  Like this one – “I’ve never felt what I did tonight with Jared, but how
can I know what really happened?” Only knowing the context helped me make sense of this line.

Anyways, I guess that’s more of an editing issue more than anything else, but when you’re in the middle of an intense scene and find a sentence that you need to read a couple of times to try to make sense of it, that’s a bit of a bummer.

Long story short, despite its flaws, it still was an intense and interesting read with a strong and badass couple. So if you’re fan of intense adult romances, then you should check this book out.


My Rating: ★★★☆☆

 

Book Review: Someone Else’s Ocean by Kate Stewart

The first time I met Ian Kemp in the sparkling blue waters of St. Thomas, I was six years old and we shared a summer beneath the stars.
The second time I met Ian Kemp, he was a shell of the boy I once knew. Turbulent and infuriating, he refused my friendship at every turn. Like me, he was a casualty of life’s cruelty, but we were planets apart.
We’d both sought refuge on the island, hoping to find our anchor. Instead, we found each other and managed to reclaim our stars…until we both got swept away.


After reading three of her books, I’ve decided that Kate Evans is just not my cup of tea. But hey, I see so much positive feedback and love for her books that it shouldn’t matter that she and I just aren’t meant to be. Right? Riiight?

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