Happy Independence Day!

Happy Fourth of July!!!

In honor of the Independence Day holiday, I’m going to recommend a great NA book with a fun Fourth of July party scene in it: Crushed by Lauren Layne.

Crushed (Redemption, #2)

I absolutely adore Lauren Layne’s writing. Her books are fun and emotionally packed. The Redemption Series is definitely my favorite series she’s written. I’ve read all three books. They can be read in order or each on their own.  Crushed  is the third book in the Redemption Series. It has just the right amount of humor, love and angst.

Other books in this series:

Isn't She Lovely (Redemption, #0.5)   Broken (Redemption, #1)

Grey

 Grey (Fifty Shades, #4)Grey by E.L. James

Publication Date: June 18, 2015

Publisher: Vintage 

Synopsis:

Christian Grey is a man with many secrets. He’s been through things no one should ever have to go through and it’s shaped his adult life. He’s a successful, rich, dominate male — emphasis on the dominate. Christian’s used to getting his way in both business and sex. He doesn’t do love or romance.

When Christian agrees to an interview for a college newspaper, the last thing he expects is to be attracted to the interviewer. Anastasia Steele should annoy him. Instead, she captivates him. He wants her bad. So bad he’s willing to bend his rules and give her a little “more.”

My rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Obviously, Grey is a retelling of Fifty Shades of Grey in Christian’s POV. It’s over 500 pages and walks you through what Christian was thinking when he and Anna met. It covers book one.

I have to admit that when I first started reading Grey I wasn’t that impressed. I found Christian’s self dialogue to be kind of annoying and I didn’t really like him. I started to worry that the magic of the original book was going to be lost after reading this one. What I figured out as I read was that Christian without Ana was a major jerk. Ana brought out the good in him. Once he met Ana, the story was so much better to read because he was so much happier.

I gave Grey 3.5 stars because while I did end up enjoying the book, I didn’t love it. I basically felt like I was rereading Fifty Shades of Grey. There were a few new insights but not enough to really make it different enough to really stand out. It would have been nice to have a few new Christian/Ana scenes that we didn’t see in the trilogy.

That being said, I do think readers that loved the original trilogy will enjoy reading Grey and getting a glimpse into Christian’s inner thoughts.

Other books in this series:

Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, #1)  Fifty Shades Darker (Fifty Shades, #2)  Fifty Shades Freed (Fifty Shades, #3)

Lie to You

Lie to You (Forbidden Trilogy, #2) Lie to You (Forbidden Trilogy #2) by J.C. Valentine

Publication Date: July 7, 2015

Publisher: J.C. Valentine

Synopsis:

Josephine is floored by what she learned that night in the apartment. What she’s discovered about her mystery man has left her debating her sanity and what she wants. Josephine knows she has a decision to make, but which is the right one? While she’s trying to figure out what direction her life should take, old lies threaten to destroy the life she has now.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Lie to You is the second book in the Forbidden Trilogy. In order to have any idea what is going on, you have to read the first book, Dance for MeIt completely sets the stage for Lie to You and has a shocking cliffhanger that ties the two books together. (If you’re interested, you can find my review for Dance for Me here on Goodreads.) Also, both books are for mature audiences only as they’re definitely in the erotic fiction category.

I feel like I’ve been waiting forever to read Lie to Me.  Ever since I finished Dance for Me and its cliffhanger threw me for a loop, I just had to know what Josephine was going to do. Lie to Me did not disappoint. It picked up right where Dance for Me ended. It was fast-paced, intense, scorchingly hot and has some great surprises. Since it’s a trilogy, of course it had another great cliffhanger. I really enjoyed reading it. Now, I’m impatiently waiting for the next book!

You’re probably noticing my review looks a little sparse. Well, that because if I said anything more I would ruin it for anyone that hasn’t read the first book. I wouldn’t want to do that! I think readers that like enjoy erotic romance will really like this series. It’s definitely filled with fun surprises.

Thank you to J.C. Valentine for allowing me to read and honestly review an ARC of Lie to Me.

Other books in this series:

Dance for Me (Forbidden Trilogy, #1)

Tamed

 Tamed (Tangled, #3)Tamed (The Tangled Series #3) by Emma Chase

Publication Date: July 15, 2014

Publisher: Gallery Books

Synopsis:

Matthew is a player, but he’s an honest player. He has no problem letting the women he hooks up with know he’s not interested in more than one night. Well, at least he wasn’t until he met Dee. Dee blew his mind and Matthew wants more than one night with her. Convincing Dee is a lot harder than it sounds, though. Dee’s dealt with her fair share of jerks and isn’t so sure more than one night with Matthew is a good idea. But when phenomenal sex is at stake, Matthew can be pretty persuasive.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Tamed was one of the books I picked up on my trip to Portland’s Powell’s City of Books last weekend. I was drawn to it first by it’s cute cover. When I skimmed the description it sounded like a fun read.

It was totally a fun read. Tamed is written completely in Matthew’s POV and instead of just being what he’s thinking as he’s going through the story, he’s actually telling you the story. His take on relationships and the dating tips on men he hands out made me crack up. It felt like I was being told a story by a male friend.

I really liked Matthew. He was a self-confessed player, but he was also so much more than that. I loved his relationships with his friends and family. Dee was a cool character I would want to be friends with. I loved her craziness. Together they were just so darn adorable.

I would highly suggest Tamed if you’re looking for a fast-paced, fun, steamy read. It’s the third book in The Tangled Series, but it can be read as a standalone novel. I hadn’t read the previous books and it didn’t matter at all. The first two books are another couple in the book, but Tamed takes places concurrently with the first book in the series and it doesn’t really give away much. I’m really looking forward to going back and reading the first two books now. I already have them on hold at the library!

Oh! I almost forgot! I also got a bonus short story at the end of the book called Holy Frigging Matrimony. It’s a novella update to the first book in the series. It was really cute as well.

Other books in this series:

Tangled (Tangled, #1)   Holy Frigging Matrimony: A Tangled Series Short Story (Tangled, #1.5)  Twisted (Tangled, #2)

Sincerely, Carter

Sincerely, Carter Sincerely, Carter by Whitney Gracia Williams

Publication Date: April 29, 2015

Publisher: WGW Books

Synopsis:

Arizona Turner and Carter James have been best friends since 5th 4th grade.They tell each other everything. Arizona knows all about Carter’s sexual exploits and he knows all about her relationships. They would do anything for each other at the drop of a hat.

Over the years, everyone has always assumed they have slept together. How could a guy and a girl possible be just friends? The truth is they have always only been platonic best friends.  And they would never ever cross the line with each other.

Until one night they do. Then, Arizona and Carter are left trying to figure out if they are really just friends or something more.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I love, love, love this book. I love it. Sincerely, Carter was everything I like a book to be. It was funny. It was sweet. It was hot. It brought out the all the “feels”. I adored Arizona and Carter’s relationship. I loved watching their relationship change and all their uncertainty. This book was just so much fun to me. I didn’t want to put it down. I wish I wasn’t finished reading it because I want more!  I am going to have to go through Whitney Gracia William’s back list and read more of her books.

Sincerely, Carter is a New Adult book and for mature readers only. There is sex and alcohol in the story.

Split Second

Split Second (Pivot Point, #2) Split Second (Pivot Point #2)  by Kasie West

Publication Date: February 11, 2014

Publisher: HarperTeen

Synopsis:

In Pivot Point, Addison Coleman was forced to choose between living with her mother in the Compound or her father in the normal world. After Searching for the best potential future, Addie chose to stay with her mom. She can’t believe she chose to stay because this future seriously sucks.

First, her boyfriend used her. Then, her best friend betrayed her. Now, she’s the object of the entire high school’s gossip. Things really couldn’t get any worse.  Luckily, Addie’s going to get a break from it all when she visits her dad for the winter break. She’s hoping everyone will have forgotten her relationship with Duke by the time she returns.

After just a couple of days in Dallas, Addie meets this guy, Trevor. He’s cute, but she can’t help but wonder why she’s so attracted to him. It’s almost like she’s met him before. Addie wants Trevor to like her, too, but it seems like he has something against her.

Back home, Leila can’t help herself and opens the letter Addie gave her before she wiped her memory. Leila needs to learn how to restore memories. She’s not sure how to do that, so she enlists the help of a guy named Connor.

As Addie starts to get to know Trevor, the normal and Compound world start to collide. Leila and Addie are doing everything to they can to get Addie’s memories back, but someone may not want that to happen.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Split Second was an awesome follow up to Pivot Point. It was the same, yet different. Instead of alternating between two potential futures like Pivot Point does, it alternates between Addie and Leila’s POV. When I started reading, I was wondering if I was going to like that. I didn’t really care for Leila in the first book. She didn’t seem like a very good friend by the end. Leila totally redeemed herself in Split Second. What she was willing to do for her best friend was awesome. I also liked seeing more of her relationship with her family. And I loved her interactions with Connor. He was a really great addition to this story.

Reading Addie’s one POV was so much easier in Split Second than it was reading two of them in Pivot Point. I got the Addie I liked in this one. Which was weird considering she picked the potential future I didn’t enjoy reading the first time. It was fun to see how she dealt with meeting Trevor again. I do wish I got a little more Trevor in this book, though. He was such a great character in the first book.

As for the storyline, Split Second was just as interesting as Pivot Point. It started right where Pivot Point left off and kept going. It was faster paced than the first book, but I think that was because you weren’t alternating between potential futures. I honestly couldn’t put it down. I absolutely loved it. I would highly recommend reading it if you liked all or parts of Pivot Point.

Other books in the series:

Pivot Point (Pivot Point, #1)

The Ghost Bride

The Ghost Bride The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo

Publication Date: August 5, 2014

Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks

Synopsis:

One evening, Li Lan’s father comes to her and asks her if she would like to become a ghost bride. Li Lan cannot believe that he would be serious. A ghost bride? In 1893 Malaya, it’s rare for people to arrange a marriage with the dead, but the wealthy Lim family wants Li Lan to marry their recently deceased heir.

Li Lan knows she must consider the ghost marriage to Lim Tian Ching, as it would secure her once wealthy family’s comfort for life. As she thinks about it, she is drawn into the Lim family’s secrets and begins to question the mysterious circumstances behind the death of Lim Tian Ching. Her search leads her into the world of the Chinese afterlife.

My rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

The Ghost Bride is a novel that crosses over many genres. It’s young adult, adult, historical, paranormal, fantasy, romance and mystery all wrapped in one package. I was immediately drawn into the story of Li Lan and the ghost bride proposition. The descriptions were beautiful. I could easily picture the setting in my head. It also had great twists and turns that kept you wanting to read.

My only real problem with The Ghost Bride was the pace of the book. For being such an interesting story with such great twists and turns, it was a really slow read. I had to force myself to continue reading through parts of it. I think the beautiful descriptions I mentioned before might have bogged it down. I mean, I wanted to know what was going to happen. It just took so long to get there. If it wasn’t for the twists in the story, I might not have made it through — which would have been sad since it is a good story.

Overall, I would definitely recommend it to those who like historical fiction and don’t mind a slower pace. The writing really is beautiful and the story is entertaining.

Thank you to the author for the opportunity to read and honestly review The Ghost Bride.

The Mistake

The Mistake (Off-Campus, #2)The Mistake (Off-Campus #2) by Elle Kennedy

Publication Date: April 28, 2015

Publisher: Elle Kennedy

Synopsis:

Briar University hockey player John Logan is living the life — every night’s a party and a chance to hook up with another hot chick. He’s living the life while he can. Logan knows his time for fun is short. He’s got one more year until he graduates and then it’s back to reality.

Freshman Grace Ivers never expected her crush, John Logan, to randomly show up on her dorm room doorstep. And she definitely never expected to mess around with him or that he would want to hang out again. He’s way out of her league. But it did happen and Grace is all ready to hand over her V-card to him — until John proves what a jerk he really is.

John knows he messed up. If he could, he would take it all back. Now, he has to prove to Grace that he can be the guy she wants him to be. But winning Grace’s heart isn’t going to be easy. Grace isn’t a puck bunny and John’s going to have a lot of sucking up to do if he truly wants to win her back.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

If I loved The Deal, then I’m obsessed with The Mistake. It was sooooo good! I truly couldn’t put it down. I even read it while I was curling my hair! (Gotta love reading on a Kindle!)

Elle Kennedy knows how to write her hockey heartthrobs. I didn’t think I would like John as much as I liked Garrett, but I did. I feel funny admitting it, but I loved his cockiness. It was fun to read how sure of himself he was.

To be honest, I was worried about the whole Hannah thing. I was picturing something very awkward that I wasn’t going to want to read. Luckily, that didn’t happen and we got an amazing story in John’s hook up with Grace.

Grace was a great character. Her strength to walk away and take care of herself first was awesome. Books with strong female characters, like Grace, are great examples for readers.

So…Yes, you need to read The Mistake! I don’t think you necessarily have to read The Deal first, but it does reference people and situations from it. And just like The Deal, it’s a NA novel and for mature readers only.

Other books in this series:

The Deal (Off-Campus, #1)

Bright Side

 Bright Side (Bright Side, #1)Bright Side by Kim Holden

Publication Date: July 4, 2014

Publisher: Do Epic, LLC.

Synopsis:

Kate Sedgwick is the epitome of optimism. Nothing seems to get this girl down. Which is a surprise coming from a such tough childhood. Her disposition is so sunny that she’s even earned the nickname “Bright Side” from her best friend, Gus.

Kate is about to fulfill one of her dreams. She’s leaving sunny California to go to college in cold Minnesota. It’s hard leaving her best friend, Gus, and everything she’s known, but Kate has no doubt it’s going to be amazing.

What Kate doesn’t count on is meeting Keller Banks. She’s having a really hard time not falling for him. It’s hard when he’s cute, funny and smart. Kate’s never felt this way before. She’s starting to rethink her no falling in love stance.

The closer Kate and Keller get to each other, the more each worries that the secrets their hiding may ruin everything they have with each other.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars 

EPIC. Kim Holden does epic.

Seriously. Bright Side is one of the best books I’ve read in my entire life. It was incredibly funny, smart and sweet. It was heartbreakingly beautiful. I don’t think I have ever laughed so much or cried so hard reading a book. I haven’t read a book this inspiring since I read Me Before You by Jojo Moyes a couple of years ago. I’ve already purchased it’s sequel, Gus.

I’m not going to say anything more about the story. I think Bright Side is a book best read without knowing too much. What I will say is this:

READ THIS BOOK NOW! 

Oh, and grab a box of tissues while you’re at it. You’re probably going to need them.

Other books in this series:

Gus (Bright Side, #2)