Review: Taking Chances by Molly McAdams

15739018Taking Chances
Series: Taking Chances, #1
Author: Molly McAdams
Publication Date: October 12, 2016
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆


Her first year away is turning out to be nearly perfect, but one weekend of giving in to heated passion will change everything.

Eighteen-year-old Harper has grown up under the thumb of her career marine father. Ready to live life her own way and to experience things she’s only ever heard of from the jarheads in her father’s unit, she’s on her way to college at San Diego State University.

Thanks to her new roommate, Harper is introduced to a world of parties, gorgeous guys, family, and emotions. She finds herself being torn in two as she quickly falls in love with both her new boyfriend, Brandon, and her roommate’s brother, Chase. Despite their dangerous looks and histories, both men adore Harper and would do anything for her, including taking a step back if it would mean she’d be happy.

I feel horrible saying this, but I hated this book. Hated it. It really should have been a 1 star review for me. Taking Chances is getting 2 stars for one reason alone:

Molly McAdams can write.

While I hated the story, I still wanted to know what was going to happen. Molly McAdams’ tale twisted and turned so quickly I didn’t know what end was up. It was like watching a train wreck. I couldn’t take my eyes away from it. It made me so mad because I didn’t want to finish reading the book. I was constantly uncomfortable and crabby.

Taking Chances was one of the worst love triangles I’ve ever read. It started out okay. I thought I was really going to like Harper with her military single dad upbringing, but she quickly became someone I loathed. I never once empathized with her. She just wasn’t a good person. What she did throughout the whole story was really immature and wrong. Her lack of guilt was horrible.

Harper wasn’t the only character I couldn’t stand, though. There was something seriously wrong with Chase. You don’t chase after your friend’s woman. I don’t care if you saw her first or love her or whatever. I’m probably going to get flack for saying that because a lot of readers loved his sweet ways, but he should have backed off.

As for Brandon…I never connected with his character. I felt sorry for the guy, but that was about it.

The only character I rooted for at all was Carter. That definitely didn’t turn out the way I had hoped.

The characters weren’t the only thing messed up about this story. All I could do at the end was shake my head. It was all sorts of crazy.

I don’t know if I would recommend this book at all or not. I guess if you don’t mind cheating and love crazy situations, then go for it. I will say that I think Molly McAdams is a skilled writer, and I will try another one of her books in the future.

Review: Author Anonymous by E.K. Blair

29613610-1Author Anonymous
Author: E.K. Blair
Publication Date: August 29, 2016
Genre: Romance, Erotica, Based on a True Story

Rating: Unrated – Explanation in review.


*An intoxicatingly risqué stand-alone book.

She’s an author.
She’s a mother.
She’s a wife.
She’s a fraud, a woman marked and bound by her own deceit.

Experience the astounding tale of how Anonymous battled through a year of scandals and betrayals, how her world fell from its axis with a single choice, and how she lost herself between reality and fantasy.

This is a stand-alone tangled in lust, heartbreak, and contrition.

*Based on a true story.

I’m going to start out by apologizing for this review. It is going to be one giant rant. That can’t be helped, so I’m sorry. I’m also going to warn that if you’re not into books with cheating, this one definitely isn’t for you. The entire focus of Author Anonymous is cheating. There’s nothing happy in it either, so if you’re looking for a dark but uplifting romance this isn’t it.

Let’s start with what I actually liked about this book. E.K. Blair deserves 5 stars for her writing. It’s dark, gritty, and unapologetic. I applaud her for being able to portray the characters the way she did. Their actions and thoughts were hard to read, so they had to be hard to write.

Now for the rant…

I wanted to DNF this book so badly. I basically had to force myself to read it. It was morally disturbing to me. I hated the main character Tori. I hated her thoughts, her actions, her truths. Nothing about what she did was okay. I don’t care what her reasons were. I’m a wife and mother. I’ve been married for 10 years, so I can understand some of her complaints about her marriage but nothing excuses her from the choices she made. I try not to be judgemental, but I’m judging here. She knew what she was doing the entire time. It was intentional. She knew she was hurting everyone around her and did it anyway.

It’s hard to explain my thoughts about the male characters in this “love triangle” without giving too much away, so I’ll keep it simple. I hated Alec. I didn’t trust anything about him. He was just as horrible as Tori. Landon was okay. He wasn’t an innocent bystander, but he wasn’t really malicious either. I understood why he did what he did and I was okay with it for the most part. I also want to point out that Landon said something about 40% in that I really agree with when it comes to cheating.

Obviously, reading Author Anonymous was a struggle for me. I was so looking forward to getting to the end and being able to come to terms with what this book had dealt me. I thought I was getting what I wanted until E.K. Blair did something I was not expecting. I don’t know whether to be pissed off at her or call her a genius. Considering how I felt about the story, I’d probably lean towards pissed off. If I hadn’t been reading this book on my Kindle, I would have thrown it at the wall or, better yet, burnt it!

I seriously hope the real Tori is never revealed. I don’t want to know who she is. I have to admit it took guts for her to ask E.K. Blair to write her story and put it out there. Although, now that I think about it, it seems like an attention-getting scheme.

Ugh. So how do I give Author Anonymous a rating? On one hand, the writing was brilliant. If it wasn’t based on a true story, I might have thought E.K. Blair was super creative for coming up with such a frustrating story and character. I do want to explore her other books. On the other hand, I hated this book the entire time I was reading it (except for maybe one or two chapters) partly because I knew it was based on a true story. I really did want to DNF it. I thought maybe I could come up with a middle ground rating, but I didn’t feel like any rating could properly portray my feelings. I guess that means I’m leaving it unrated. I will say that I’m glad that I was able to borrow this book from the Amazon Prime Kindle Lending Library. I think I would have been angry if I had spent money on a book that was so infuriating.

Review: Carnage: The Story of Us by Leslie Jones

Carnage: The Story of Us
Carnage, #1
Leslie Jones
Publication Date:
February 14, 2014
New Adult, Contemporary Romance


I love him, from the instant I set eyes on him when I was just 11 years old I have loved him and nothing will ever change that, he owns me, he owns my heart and he owns my body and no matter how many lies are told, no matter how many people conspire to keep us apart, despite the fame and the distance, we will find a way.

“Georgia Rae, when we made love you used to cry” … He waits for me to sing my bit. I try to swallow down a sob but I just end up singing through it…
“I said I love you like the stars above, I’ll love you till I die”

Carnage is an edgy coming of age love story that breaks all the rules and transcends the decades. Georgia and Sean’s story will stay with you long after you read the final word.
An emotional, smoking hot, gut wrenching read.

NOTE: This is part #1 of a 2 part story but can be read as a stand alone.

  ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

I’ve been buddy reading books off the Huffington Post’s Oh, You Little Heartbreaker! The Ultimate List of Ugly Cry Novels this year with a group on Goodreads. Each month we pick a different book. This month, we picked Carnage: The Story of Us.

Ugh. I don’t even know where to start with Carnage. Guess I’ll just warn everyone that this review will most likely sound more negative than positive. The writing wasn’t bad, it was just disturbing to me. It’s going to be hard to explain without giving away major spoilers, but I’ll do my best.

I absolutely could not stand the beginning of the book. I was constantly cringing. I’m not a prude, but it was much too sexually charged for an 11-year-old character in the 1980’s. I don’t care how mature Georgia’s body was. An 11-year-old shouldn’t be thinking about sex. When I was 11 (in the late 80’s!), I was not thinking sexual thoughts like Georgia. And the way Sean spoke to her was just as bad. I can remember some of the stuff 13-year-old boys said back then it was nowhere near as sexually forward. I forced myself to keep reading because there were so many great reviews for this book. I had high hopes things would get better.

Luckily, they did. As Georgia and Sean got older, things got a little more appropriate. The addition of Tiger was my favorite part of the story. It made me forget about the rough beginning. But, sadly, that didn’t last long. 🙁 By the time I got to the ending, something that should have shattered me didn’t. I should have been crying, but I wasn’t.

I guess the real problem I have with the book is Sean and Georgia’s relationship. The whole thing disturbed and/or disgusted me. Even when he was being super sweet, I just couldn’t love Sean. And I didn’t like Georgia when she was with him. Just…ugh.

I do have to admit that the ending, while it didn’t break me like it should have, it did leave me curious enough to want to read the next book Carnage: The Story of Me. The fact that I was still willing to read the next installment lead me to give the book 3 stars instead of the 2 stars I was planning on.

So…Would I recommend Carnage? I don’t know. There are a ton of 5 star reviews out there. Maybe this one just wasn’t for me. I would advise that you should skip reading it if you can’t handle vulgar language, a plethora of drug use, cheating, or violence.


Firebird by Jennifer Loring

Publication Date: October 20, 2015

Publisher:  Limitless Publishing, LLC


Stephanie Hartwell is a journalist with something to prove. She knows her way into writing higher profile sports stories is to interview hockey superstar Aleksandr Volynsky.

Bad boy Aleksandr Volynsky is known to be a tough interview. He hates the media and has no problem giving reporters a hard time. But Stephanie has an in with Aleksandr. He’s the boy she once thought she’s marry. If anyone can get Aleksandr to open up, it’s Stephanie.

Aleksandr Volynsky does not give interviews, but he’s being forced into this one. He doesn’t know whether to be pleased Stephanie Hartwell will be interviewing him or mad. He’s wanted nothing more than to see her again, but eight years of silence has done nothing but heighten the rage he feels toward her. It doesn’t help that she’s engaged to another man. She was always supposed to be Aleksandr’s.

Even with all Aleksandr’s rage being aimed at Stephanie, she can’t help feel the chemistry between the two of them. She’s trying to keep things professional, but she’s having a harder and harder time fighting her feelings for him. Stephanie’s supposed to be happily engaged and writing the story of her life. Instead, she’s questioning every decision she’s ever made.

After Aleksandr and Stephanie decide to take things to the next level, their worlds come crashing down on them. Do they have what it takes to come out on top of it all — together?

My rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Okay, so I’m going to get the one negative thing I have to say about Firebird out of the way so that I can sing it’s praises like I really want to do. There is cheating and a lot of womanizing in this book. (If those two things bother you, this book is not for you.) It was disturbing to read about the two main characters having sex with other people — especially when they’re thinking about each other. Ewww. BUT I know this stuff happens in real life, so it won’t make or a break a book for me. Now, on to the fun part!

Besides the cheating part, Firebird was an incredibly good romance. It was fast-paced and action packed. I couldn’t put it down. Something new was always happening and the story was constantly building. I was surprised at the twists and turns that took place. Just when I thought the story might be coming to an end, something else would happen to take the story in a new direction.

I absolutely loved Aleksandr. To be honest, most of the time he was a big fat jerk. But I kind of loved that about him. He didn’t hold back and once I knew why, I appreciated it even more. I don’t want to give too much away, but I felt that his story was an important one. I loved the way his character developed over the entire book.

Stephanie, on the other hand, drove me nuts at times. One minute, she was a smart and tough chick. The next, she made horrible decisions. I liked her, but at times she made it hard to.

Together, Stephanie and Aleksandr were scorching HOT. They couldn’t keep their hands off each other! There was a sweetness between the two of them that I loved — especially from Aleksandr. He was so crude, but he had a secret soft spot when it came to Stephanie. It made me smile a lot.

As for the hockey, I liked that Jennifer Loring included some actual hockey plays and not just the players. It added another great dimension to the story. I don’t know much about hockey, but it seemed realistic enough to me.

I would highly recommend Firebird to adult contemporary romance readers that love sports related romances.

**I received an electronic copy of Firebird in exchange for an honest review.