Review: Nate (Tijan)

Nate
Author: Tijan
Publication Date: February 9, 2021
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Nate Monson was gorgeous, obnoxiously wealthy, and a player.
He was also the person who could destroy my world with a single decision.

I walked into that bar looking for him.
He saw me. I saw him.
The chemistry sizzled between us, but no.

I hated Nate Monson.
I hated him with everything in me, even though my body did not.
It didn’t matter.

Nothing I wanted mattered.
He thought I wanted to get laid.
What I wanted was for him to disappear.

But first, I had to tell him that he had a daughter.


If you’re a fan of the Fallen Crest High series, Nate is a book you have been waiting a long time for. Or at least I have been. I’ve always been curious about Mason and Logan’s best friend. He went through some STUFF with them and I was curious what went on in his mind. I also wanted him to find a love like Mason and Sam or Logan and Taylor. To say I was excited to get Nate would be an understatement. Did Nate live up to my expectations? That’s a harder question to answer than it should be.

Reading Nate was exciting. I loved where Tijan took the drama. It wasn’t what I expected. There was a family feud like in the other Fallen Crest High books, but it wasn’t with Nate’s family. It all revolved around his daughter and the mother’s side of the family. It wasn’t the same old drama and I appreciated that. Things were handled in a more grown up way, too. It was nice to see the maturity of Tijan’s original characters as they are now adults.

Tijan says in the back of the book that Nate took a long time to speak to her.  This comment resonated with me thinking back on this book. To be completely honest, Nate didn’t have the emotional pull of Mason, Logan, or any of the other guys from Fallen Crest High related books. I loved that he felt an instant love for his daughter and how his love for the person he falls for developed over time. I enjoyed (as always) the comradery between Nate, Mason, and Logan. The moments between Nate and his friends were where his character seemed to flesh out the most. There was something missing, though. I think part of that is that Nate drops us into his adult life. He’s grown up and we get some talk of his teenage years, but I think I needed a little something from that time to tie who he was into who he is now. I guess I’ve always just wondered what was going on with him inside his head and I didn’t get as much as I wanted with that. What I did get was a look into who Nate became. I liked adult Nate.

As for that love interest… I’m not telling. I know there will be some spoilers on who she is, so you can get them elsewhere. I liked her for the most part. She wasn’t what I was expecting. There were some weird vibes that I won’t explain and didn’t love, but her story combined with Nate’s worked for me. They had an instant chemistry and I enjoyed the build up of their relationship.

Nate’s daughter was super cute. For those who don’t like kids in books — she didn’t overwhelm the story. She fit right in at the right moments. I liked how her addition to Nate’s life changed his outlook.

I want to go back and comment on the whole friendship aspect of this book. There were a lot of moments with Mason and Logan and the others, but they didn’t take over Nate’s story. They added to it. We got the fun, the humor, the bada$$ery, and the SBC — basically everything you would want to see from them all together. Those moments were priceless and made me hope that we’ll get more novellas or books about these characters in the future. Heck, I’m still holding out hope for a Matteo/Grace book.

My overall thoughts on Nate are that I liked reading it a lot. I don’t know how other fans of the original series are going to feel about this book, but I thought it was fun and unique enough while staying within the FCH feel. I wouldn’t say I fell head over heels for it, but it was addictive. There a couple of cringe worthy things, but they didn’t break the book for me. Anyways. I liked it. I would rate it somewhere between 3.5 and 4 stars.

WWW Wednesday: February 17, 2020

WWW Wednesday is hosted by Taking on a World of Words.

WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

The last book I read was an ARC of Hot Stuff by Max Monroe.

WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

I’m reading an ARC of The Insiders by Tijan. I buddy read it with Kayla over at Books and Blends. She’s the one who got me reading Tijan originally. .

WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

Next up is The Things We Leave Unfinished by Rebecca Yarros.

Top Ten Tuesday: Mardis Gras Inspired Book Covers

Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is:

Mardis Gras Inspired Book Covers
ie: Purple/Yellow/Green 

1. Undercover Bromance
Author: Lyssa Kay Adams

2. Love at First
Author: Kate Clayton

3. Maybe This Time
Author: Kasie West

4. Well Played
Author: Jen DeLuca

5. Light Me Up
Author: Karla Sorensen

6. In a Holidaze
Authors: Christina Lauren

7. Hate the Player
Authors: Max Monroe

8. Frenemies
Author: Emma Hart

9. Must Love Dogs…and Hockey
Author: Kelly Jamieson

10. Anxious People
Author: Fredrik Backman

Series Review: Moo U (World of True North)

Good morning! I have something fun to share with you today. It’s a series review for the first series in Sarina Bowen’s World of True North. All three books are available TODAY! Get ready for some college hockey romance fun!

Blindsided
Series: Moo U, #1
Author: Victoria Denault
Publication Date: February 15, 2020
Publisher: Heart Eyes Press
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Sports Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

My thoughts: 

 I already found a new favorite author for 2021! Blindsided was a great introduction to Victoria Denault’s writing. I loved absolutely every minute of this book. The enemies to more trope was on point. The tension between Maggie and Tate was off the charts. I loved the whole neighbors who hate each other thing that was going on with their entire families and how to trickled down to them.  Once all that hate ignited in chemistry, POOF! FIRE! Maggie and Tate were just as much fun in lust and love as in hate. Plus, there were so many laughs to be had. Blindsided was exactly the type of enemies to more romance that I love. It was also a strong debut of a new world and series created by Sarina Bowen. I was impressed how easily the writing matched with Bowen’s own. I can’t wait to read more from Denault and the rest of this series.

Add to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3omh4Qh
Pre-Order: https://geni.us/AmazonBlindsided
Moo U Hockey: https://hearteyespress.com/wotn#/moo-u-hockey/

Slapshot
Series: Moo U, #2
Author: Rebecca Jenshak
Publication Date: February 15, 2020
Publisher: Heart Eyes Press
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Sports Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

My thoughts:

Slapshot was the main reason I wanted to read the Moo U series. I love Rebecca Jenshak’s NA sports romances and this one was every bit as good as her others. Kaitlyn and Lex won my heart right very quickly. They initially seemed like an odd combination together. She was a couple of years older, (maybe) wiser, and trying to avoid everything hockey until she ends up as the team manager. Lex was new to Moo U, trying to find his place on the team, and all about hockey. Despite feeling like an unlikely couple to me at first, their chemistry couldn’t have been any stronger. Kaitlyn and Lex’s personalities became bigger, brighter when they were together. I loved the progression of their relationship, that fiery chemistry, and they way helped each other find their way. It was an adorably fun romance. I also loved seeing some other favorite characters from this series again. Slapshot was another hit for me in the Moo U series.

Add to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/2VFqM4b
Pre-Order: https://geni.us/AmazonSlapshot
Moo U Hockey: https://hearteyespress.com/wotn#/moo-u-hockey/

Holdout
Series: Moo U, #3
Author: Jaqueline Snowe
Publication Date: February 15, 2020
Publisher: Heart Eyes Press
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Sports Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

My thoughts:

I have another new author to love! What was most impressive about Holdout was the insane chemistry Ryann and Daniel had. I could feel their sizzle coming off the page. It wasn’t just the physical chemistry I felt, but the emotional connection was well. These were two people who held everything close to them and found the one person who got them. I loved that. Not to mention the way they ended up as roommates and what that meant for both of them was so much fun! Holdout was a fantastic addition to this series.

Add to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/2JD9qSZ
Pre-Order: https://geni.us/AmazonHoldout
Share this page: https://hearteyespress.com/wotn#/moo-u-hockey/

Overall thoughts on the series:

WOOHOO! We’re 3 for 3 for 5 stars in this series. That’s so awesome! A lot of time these “worlds” authors create don’t work for me, but this one totally did. All of the books were standalones, but they easily tied together. Each author had their own writing style, but they all meshed so well that you felt like it was one author writing a series. That author very well could have been Sarina Bowen herself. That’s how well written they were. I hope there will be more books in this series coming. I would love it if they were written by these three authors.

Review: Five Ways to Fall Out of Love (Emily Martin)

Five Ways to Fall Out of Love
Author: Emily Martin
Publication Date: March 16, 2021
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Genre: Young Adult, Fiction, Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ 

Synopsis:

This whip-smart rom-com explores the risks and rewards of letting love in, for fans of Jennifer E. Smith, Julie Buxbaum, and Sandhya Menon.

How do I hate thee? Let me count the ways…

Aubrey Cash learned the hard way not to rely on love. After all, Webster Casey, the new boy next door she’d been falling for all summer, stood her up at homecoming in front of everyone with no explanation. Proving her theory that love never lasts seems easy when she’s faced with parents whose marriage is falling apart and a best friend who thinks every boy she dates is “the one.” But when sparks fly with a boy who turns out to be Webster’s cousin, and then Webster himself becomes her lab partner for the rest of senior year, Aubrey finds her theory—and her commitment to stay single—put to the test.

As she navigates the breakdown of her family, the consequences her cynicism has on her relationship with her best friend, and her own confusing but undeniable feelings for Webster, Aubrey has to ask herself: What really happened the night Webster stood her up? And if there are five ways to fall out of love…could there perhaps be even more ways to fall back in?


I have been waiting for another book from Emily Martin since I fell in love with The Year We Fell Apart. I was so excited to read Five Ways to Fall Out of Love when I downloaded it. I put off reading it for a bit because YA contemporaries just hadn’t been hitting the right note with me. I’m happy to report that Five Ways to Fall Out of Love got me back into the swing of reading them.

Emily Martin’s writing was as engaging as I remember it being. I was immediately pulled into Aubrey’s life. She seemed like a normal teenage girl. She wasn’t the “special snowflake” we see sometimes in YA fiction.  Aubrey had real life insecurities navigating high school friends, cliques, and boys. She also had family problems that I believe many teenagers will be able to relate to. There was a lot of hurt she had to deal with in all of that. I liked how Martin portrayed it all.

As for the romance… Well, it had its love triangle moments. You might have guessed that from the blurb. Aubrey used to like Webster, now she likes his cousin Holland. Being with Holland led to being around Webster more than normal and drug up old feelings. Normally, I’m not a fan of love triangles. I didn’t mind this one because it didn’t always feel like one, and there wasn’t any overlap between Aubrey being with either of the guys (no cheating). What I didn’t like was that Webster and Holland were cousins. That did bug me. At least they weren’t brothers, I guess.

A little more about the guys since I won’t be giving away how things go down or end up. Webster was not my favorite guy. I knew, from reading countless romances, that his rudeness had to be related to something Aubrey was unaware of. I could tell her cared for her and liked her despite his actions. That being said, he made some poor decisions that drove me nuts. Holland was a great guy from the start. He’s a character you can’t help but like because he’s just so dang decent. He treated Aubrey well, better than Webster. Holland had some flaws of his own in relation to Aubrey.

Oh! One of my favorite things was the friendship aspect of the book. Aubrey had to navigate both a long-term and a new-found friendship. I really loved how everything went down in terms of both and what Aubrey learned from them.

Another thing I should mention is that this book is about seniors in high school. It is on the mature side of things when it comes to the YA genre. There is some sexual content, alcohol, and partying.

It’s hard to talk about some of my feelings about this book without giving things away. It was well written, but I think some readers are going to have a problem with Aubrey’s decisions and maybe even the ending. I kind of wanted it to either go a different direction than it did or for an epilogue. I vacillated between 3.5 and 4 stars as a rating, and ended up going with 4 because it was so well written, held my attention, and had me genuinely rooting for Aubrey to find her way through her senior year of high school.

Review: The Idea of You (Robinne Lee)

The Idea of You
Author/Narrator: Robinne Lee

Publication Date: June 13, 2017
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Solène Marchand, the thirty-nine-year-old owner of an art gallery in Los Angeles, is reluctant to take her daughter, Isabelle, to meet her favorite boy band. But since her divorce, she’s more eager than ever to be close to Isabelle. The last thing Solène expects is to make a connection with one of the members of the world-famous August Moon. But Hayes Campbell is clever, winning, confident, and posh, and the attraction is immediate. That he is all of twenty years old further complicates things.

What begins as a series of clandestine trysts quickly evolves into a passionate and genuine relationship. It is a journey that spans continents as Solène and Hayes navigate each other’s worlds: from stadium tours to international art fairs to secluded hideaways in Paris and Miami. For Solène, it is a reclaiming of self, as well as a rediscovery of happiness and love. When Solène and Hayes’ romance becomes a viral sensation, and both she and her daughter become the target of rabid fans and an insatiable media, Solène must face how her romantic life has impacted the lives of those she cares about most. 


Robinne Lee is a talented author. Her words and sentences were beautiful without being flowery. There was this tone that carried throughout the entire book. I don’t know how to explain it other to say that it made me feel everything Solène was feeling. Lee is also a talented narrator. Her voice was Solène’s voice. She brought her character to life in the best way.

As for the story… Well, it’s about an almost 40 year old divorcee who meets a 20 year old boyband member when she takes her daughter backstage at his concert. Solène and Hayes embark on a clandestine affair that is somehow both sultry and sweet. Hiding things from her loved ones and the world isn’t easy, and Solène has to deal with what that means for herself and those closest to her. There are a lot of uncomfortable emotions and choices to be made. I couldn’t help but love Solène and Hayes despite their flaws. Solène’s POV is the only one in the book, and I kind of wanted Hayes’ too, but this book was more powerful with just Solène’s.

I want to say more about my thoughts and feelings, but I don’t want to give anything else about this book away. I guess I’ll wrap up with a couple of things. 1. That ending. If you have read this book, you know what I mean. Can I get a book from that point in Hayes’ POV? 2. In some ways, this is a romance. In other ways, it’s not. I wouldn’t want to slap the women’s fiction tag on it because that is not what it feels like to me. The Idea of You crosses over genre boundaries for me with its tone and subject matter.

WWW Wednesday: February 10, 2021

WWW Wednesday is hosted by Taking on a World of Words.

WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

The last book I read was an ARC of Sweetheart (Busy Bean, #1) by Sarah Mayberry. It’s part of Sarina Bowen’s World of True North.

WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

I’m reading one of my most highly anticipated books of 2021:  Nate by Tijan. If you’re familiar with Tijan’s Fallen Crest High series, you know who Nate is and why finally having this book is so exciting.

WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

I’ll be headed back to the Busy Bean series with book #2, Cowboy by L.B. Dunbar.

Cover Reveal: Candy Colored Sky (Ginger Scott)

Hi, guys! Check out this GORGEOUS cover (and blurb!) reveal from Ginger Scott!

candy colored sky
Author: ginger scott
release date: february 26, 2021

Blurb:
Jonah Wydner has been in love with his neighbor Eleanor Trombley for years. He has watched her life play out from the sidelines—homecoming dances, football parties, and first dates. Her life seemed easy…simple… The complete opposite of his own.

But when Eleanor’s younger sister goes missing and the national media sets up camp in the middle of their street, the girl with the seemingly perfect life shows up in Jonah’s garage in search of a place to hide from the hurt and chaos. What begins as one night becomes many filled with unexpected surprises and unveiling, healing truths about Jonah’s own messy past.

Soon, Jonah gets to know the real Eleanor, and discover all the ways they’re the same. Friendship blossoms into more, plans turn into promises, and hopes and dreams become shared under the warm glow of the fading Midwestern sunsets. But how far can a kiss under a candy-colored sky take them? And what happens when the clouds close in?

Add it to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/56553619-ccs

PREORDER:
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08VTTWXLP/
BN: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w?ean=2940162507444

Top Ten Tuesday: 20 Lovable Contemporary Romance Novels Released in 2020

Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is:

Valentine’s Day/Love Freebie

I’m being lame and not coming up with something super cool. Sorry. Instead you’re getting:

20 Lovable Contemporary Romance Novels Released in 2020

Here are 20 of the many romances novels that I fell in love with in 2020. All of these were written last year. Now, in no particular order…

1. The Reality of Everything
Author: Rebecca Yarros

2. The F List
Author: Alessandra Torre

3. See Me After Class
Author: Meghan Quinn

3. Not My Romeo
Author: Ilsa Madden-Mills

4. Smitten
Author: Lauren Rowe

5. Rifts & Refrains
Author: Devney Perry

6. Muses & Melodies
Author: Rebecca Yarros

7. The Right Player
Author: Kandi Steiner

8. The Match
Author: Sarah Adams

9. Jock Blocked
Author: Pippa Grant

10. Best Friends Don’t Kiss
Authors: Max Monroe

11. Game Changer
Author: Kelly Jamieson

12. The Roommate
Author: Rosie Danan

13. Focused
Author: Karla Sorensen

14. Sweet Spot
Author: Rebecca Jenshak

15. Varsity Rulebreaker
Author: Ginger Scott

16. Always a Bridesmaid
Author: Cindi Madsen

17. Loverboy
Author: Sarina Bowen

18. One Moment Please
Author: Amy Daws

19. Yours to Keep
Author: Lauren Layne

20. Sorrow
Author: Tiffanie DeBartolo

Honestly, I could have kept going. I had such a good year reading romances. I have a bunch of other favorites.

Review: With You All the Way (Cynthia Hand)

With You All the Way
Author: Cynthia Hand
Publication Date: March 30, 2021
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Fiction
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

A Forever for a new generation. Fans of Sarah Dessen , Jenny Han, and Nina LaCour will devour this exploration of family relationships, romantic relationships, and everything in between from New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Hand.

Ada’s sick of being the invisible good girl in her family. She’s just caught her boyfriend cheating on her after she said she wasn’t ready for sex, and she’s had it up to here with her perfect, beautiful older sister trying to give her advice, especially when that advice includes staying a virgin until she’s truly in love.

But all of that pales in comparison to what Ada discovers when her mom drags them to Hawaii for an annual surgeons’ conference: her mom is having an affair. Just like that, Ada’s whole world comes crashing down, all because it seems like no one can stop themselves from falling into bed with people they shouldn’t.

So Ada decides it’s time for her to do just that, and get sex over with. But what she thinks is one of her best laid plans doesn’t actually leave room for the truth: That feelings, romantic or not, always get in the way.


The How and the Why was one of my favorite books I read in 2019. I loved Cynthia Hand’s writing style, so I couldn’t wait to read With You All the Way.  These two books have proven to me that Hand is a master of creating and writing complex family dramas. She tackles family dynamics in a fascinating way. This book was completely different than the first one I had read, but just as important and addictive.

With You All the Way was like driving by a car crash. Maybe that’s not the best description because it wasn’t brutal or sad. It was more just drama I couldn’t take my eyes away from. It reminded me of a really good MTV teenage TV drama. Ada, the main character, is on a family trip to Hawaii after having broken up with her no good, cheating ex. Her feelings are all over the place. She’s fighting with her perfect sister and discovers her mom is having an affair. Everything is a mess and Ada’s trying to work through it all. Somehow, having sex for the first time is the answer.

I’m going to cut right to the chase: sex. It’s one of the biggest topics woven through With You All the Way.  Ada is considering having it or not having it throughout the entire book. You can imagine all the possible scenarios going through Ada’s mind. Should she or shouldn’t she have it? I appreciated all of her inner dialog and questions in relations to what her body versus mind was telling her. I also appreciated the way it was dealt with and the conversations it opened up. It was a very positively written view of what having sex with or without love could mean.

I mentioned the family dynamics before. That’s the other big topic in this book. There’s so much going on between all of the family members. There is talking, arguing, keeping secrets… Each and every family member (besides sweet, little Abby) has their own thing going on. I liked the way each interaction created something to further Ada’s choices throughout the story.

I don’t know what else to say about this book. I enjoyed it so much — even the awkward moments when I wanted to shield my eyes. I loved the non-stop drama. I guessed where the story was headed, but that didn’t bug me because the journey to get there was so entertaining. Plus, I liked all the messages it dealt.