Always Been You

Always Been You (Unforgettable You #3) by Beverly Kendall

Publication Date: October 15, 2015

Publisher: Season Publishing LLC

Synopsis:

Troy and April have been best friends since they were in kindergarten. They have always done everything together. They even chose to go to the same college. People always assume they’re “friends with benefits,” but their relationship has always been strictly platonic.

Until it isn’t.

When Troy chalks up their amazing night together to a drunken mistake, April is devastated. She’s had a secret crush on Troy since she was sixteen. So April puts all her efforts into getting over Troy.

Just when April thinks she ready to move on, Troy suddenly wants more. It should be April’s dream come true. But as soon as Troy reveals his feelings, his world comes crashing down and takes April’s with it.

Now, April’s stuck making a decision she really doesn’t want to have to make. Can she stomach posing nude for Playboy in order to help out her family? And if she does, will it ruin her relationship with Troy?


My rating: 5 out of 5 stars


I stumbled onto Beverley Kendall’s NA novella The Trap  (Trapped #0.5) back when it came out in 2014. I was instantly addicted to the story and characters Beverley Kendall created. Once I was done reading it, I couldn’t wait for the next book to come out. From there, I went on to finish that series and pick up the related Unforgettable You series. I have loved each book in this series and have been (im)patiently waiting for the release of Always Been You. It was definitely worth the wait!

Always Been You is one of my favorite kinds of romances: best friends to lovers. There’s just something so sweet about two best friends falling for each other. I mean, what relationship could be more perfect?

I loved the main characters in this story. April was the model that could have had anyone, but was so insecure when it came to Troy. She would rather ignore her own feelings than lose him as a friend. Troy was in total denial about his feelings. Yeah, his best friend was hot. No, he didn’t like any of her boyfriends, but they just weren’t good enough for her. He wasn’t into her at all. Right…

Not only did I love the characters but their story! April and Troy were so much fun and hot together! Even when they weren’t “together”, the chemistry they had impacted every scene. I couldn’t put the book down. I was sad when it was over — once again I’m stuck waiting for the next book in the series. (I’m hoping the wait won’t be so long this time!)

If you’re looking for a fun friends to lovers NA read, I would highly suggest this one. There are some characters from previous books in this series, but I think it could be read as a standalone. I would also recommend other books in this series and the Trapped series. The Trap is FREE on Amazon and Only for You is $0.99! So, it’s the perfect time to try out both series!

Other books in this series:

 

Related series:

 

ARC Review: Shatterproof

shatterproof cover Shatterproof by K.K. Weil

Publication Date: October 28, 2015

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press, Inc

Synopsis:

Sculptor Griffin Stone may look just like his father, but that’s where the similarities will end — if he has anything to say about it.

Griffin’s watched his mother live with his father’s physical abuse for years. He knows what the statistics say. He’s more likely to become an abuser since his father’s one. So, Griffin’s going to avoid a relationship at all costs. He’s not willing to put a woman he loves at risk.

That’s why when Griffin meets aspiring photographer, Frankie Moore, he knows he should walk away. There’s something about Frankie that draws him to her, something he’s afraid may wake the beast inside him.

Aspiring photographer Frankie Moore knows she’s more impulsive than she should be. She makes decisions without weighing the consequences. Things don’t always turn out the way she hopes, but she can always see the positive in situations and people.

Frankie sees the positive in Griffin Stone from the moment she meets him. She just needs to help Griffin to see it, too.


My rating: 5 out of 5 stars


I love when books grab my attention from the very first sentence or paragraph. It’s amazing when just those few words have me wondering what will happen before I get to the words “The End.” Shatterproof was one of the rare books that did just that.

Shatterproof started out strong and never once faltered. From the beginning, I loved Griffin but feared for him. Would he become an abuser? Would he be able to handle a relationship with Frankie? Could he come to terms with his childhood? What would be the straw that broke the camel’s back? He seemed to be moments from combustion at all times.

And then there was Frankie. She may have judged herself to be a flake, but I only saw a sweet young woman who wanted to see the best in everything and everyone. She certainly only the saw the best in Griffin. I kept wondering what she was really getting herself into. I hoped it was a good thing, but I was scared for her, too! I didn’t know what K.K. Weil had in store for readers. Was she giving us a happily ever after or a cautionary tale?

It was all so intense!!! I was on edge the entire time wondering how things were going to end for Griffin and Frankie. They were both so broken in their own ways. I wanted them to become whole together.

I’m not going to tell you how it all plays out because I don’t want to ruin the story for anyone. I’m just going to say that I think K.K. Weil did an amazing job portraying a young man trying to break the cycle of abuse. The story felt raw and real. I would highly suggest Shatterproof to readers looking for an intense NA contemporary romance with real life issues.

**I was provided an ARC of Shatterproof by the author in exchange for an honest review.

ARC Review: The Fifteenth Minute by @SarinaBowen

The Fifteenth MinuteThe Fifteenth Minute (The Ivy Years #5) by Sarina Bowen

Publication Date: October 13, 2015

Author’s Summary:

Just because she’s famous doesn’t mean she’s happy.

Freshman Lianne Challice is known to millions of fans as Princess Vindi. But sometimes a silver screen sorceress just wants to hang up her wand, tell her manager to shove it, and become a normal college student. Too bad that’s harder than it looks.

She’s never lived a normal life. She hasn’t been to school since kindergarten. And getting close to anyone is just too risky — the last boy she kissed sold the story to a British tabloid.

But she can’t resist trying to get close to Daniel “DJ” Trevi, the hot, broody guy who spins tunes for hockey games in the arena. Something’s haunting his dark eyes, and she needs to know more.

DJ’s genius is for expressing the mood of the crowd with a ten second song snippet. With just a click and a fade, he can spread hope, pathos or elation among six thousand screaming fans.

Too bad his college career is about to experience the same quick fade-out as one of his songs. He can’t get close to Lianne, and he can’t tell her why. And the fact that she seems to like him at all? Incredible.

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My rating: 5 out of 5 stars


When you see the cover or read the summary of The Fifteenth Minute, you might think you’re getting just another typical New Adult romance filled with angst. You would be totally wrong.

That’s one of the things I love about Sarina Bowen’s The Ivy Years series. Each book is a New Adult romance but you also get a special story dealing with an issue that is relevant to today’s college age adults. It’s those stories that set books like The Fifteenth Minute apart from other NA reads.

In The Fifteenth Minute, Lianne is dealing with the pressures of growing up in Hollywood. She wants to make the transition from child to adult actress without giving up too much of herself. Lianne also wants to be a typical college student, which is near impossible when everyone knows who she is.While this isn’t something most people are going to relate with, it’s easy to relate with the part of Lianne that wants someone to be interested in her for her, not who she’s supposed to be or looks like. I think we all want to be loved for who we are on the inside.

What really stood out about The Fifteenth Minute, though; was DJ’s story. I don’t want to give anything away, so I’m just going to say I think it’s very relevant to college culture today. I also liked the message it sent about believing in yourself, fighting for what’s right and the truth.

As for the romance aspect of the story — Dang, it was cute! I couldn’t help but sigh dreamily every time DJ called Lianne “smalls.” It was so adorable! I also loved the way he wanted to protect her.

I absolutely loved The Fifteenth Minute. If you’re looking for a sweet college romance filled with real life issues, this one is for you.

**I received an electronic copy of The Fifteenth Minute from the author in exchange for an honest review. For more about the book, check out an excerpt below and links to pre-order/purchase The Fifteenth Minute.

Excerpt from The Fifteenth Minute:

Lianne Challice is chatting me up.

As I fetch the pizza I ordered from the window, I try to decide whether or not I’m going insane. Maybe all the stress in my life has finally cracked me.

But no. When I deposit the pie on a table, her big eyes cut from the jukebox over to me, before darting away again. She is so freaking cute and so feminine that it’s making me crazy. Her mouth is like a little red candy that I’m dying to taste. And who has teeth that straight? She intimidates the fuck out of me, to be honest.

I make another trip to the pizza counter for paper plates and napkins. Usually we just grab slices off the tray like animals. But tonight I’m trying to be classy. The idea makes me snicker to myself. As if. Impressing Lianne Challice isn’t something I’m capable of. But I’m having fun trying. And there hasn’t been a whole lot of fun in this year for me. So that’s something.

Years from now I’ll look back on this night and laugh. Guys, did I ever tell you about the time I chatted up a movie star? I mean, my father is still telling people about the time he sat one table over from Tina Fey at Nobu.

Lianne sneaks another glance in my direction and I beckon to her. “Have a slice?” If she wants one, now is the time. In a minute my brother and his teammates will fall on the pizza like seagulls.

“Thank you. I guess I should. I didn’t make it to the dining hall tonight.”

“Your enthusiasm for Capri’s pizza overwhelms me,” I tease. “Aren’t you a fan?”

She slides a slice onto a paper plate, considering the question. “Pizza is like a nineties hit. Pretty good, especially if that’s all there is and you’re hungry.”

My own slice stops halfway to my mouth and I laugh. “Seriously?”

“What?”

“I don’t know if we can be friends,” I say before taking a bite.

“Because I don’t love pizza?

I shake my head. “Who doesn’t love pizza? It’s, like, a basic human desire.” I cram a bite into my mouth to prove my point. Smooth, right?

She bites her bottom lip, and I realize I’d rather have that for dinner. “It’s okay. But it’s mostly just something you eat when you’re in a hurry or need to feed a crowd on the cheap.”

“Ah, I see,” I say when I can speak again. “The problem is that you haven’t had any great pizza. You’re a freshman, right? You don’t know all the glory that is Harkness pizza. Have you been to Gino’s Apizza?”

Lianne shakes her head. “I don’t think so.”

“She doesn’t think so,” I scoff. “Baby, if you’d had great pizza, you’d remember.” And now I sound like a real perv, but Lianne Challice is smiling at me, watching me with her big doe eyes, and I feel it like a drug. “They make everything from scratch. Even the sausage. We’ll go together, so I can prove my point.”

Annnd I think I just asked a movie star out on a date. Here comes the crash and burn.

First her eyes widen just a smidge. Then two pink spots appear on her face, one on either cheekbone. “Well, it would be a shame to live in this town and never know its true pizza greatness.”

I replay that sentence in my head and realize that she didn’t turn me down. “True,” I agree. “Do you think Thursday would be a night to experience pizza Nirvana?” I’m overselling the hell out of Gino’s now, but it’s working for me.

She gives me a serious frown, and I’m hoping she’s not busy on Thursday. Because I have back-to-back hockey games to DJ on Friday andSaturday. “Thursday it is. I shall prepare to be amazed.”

​You can pre-order The Fifteenth Hour NOW! !:

Amazon – iTunes – Barnes & Noble – Kobo

Other books in this series:

  

  

Before the Blog #13: Confess

Before the Blog is a weekly blog meme hosted by Karis Jacobstein over @ YA Litwit. It’s an opportunity to showcase books a blogger read and loved prior to starting their blog .  I love this idea because there are so many amazing books I haven’t reviewed on A Novel Glimpse because I read them a long time ago. The only rules to this meme are to answer the following questions about the book chosen to review:

  • Why did you choose this book? 
  • When did you read this book? 
  • Who would you recommend this book to? 

 Confess by Colleen Hoover

Publication Date: March 10, 2015

Publisher: Atria

Goodreads Synopsis: 

Auburn Reed has her entire life mapped out. Her goals are in sight and there’s no room for mistakes. But when she walks into a Dallas art studio in search of a job, she doesn’t expect to find a deep attraction to the enigmatic artist who works there, Owen Gentry.

For once, Auburn takes a risk and puts her heart in control, only to discover Owen is keeping major secrets from coming out. The magnitude of his past threatens to destroy everything important to Auburn, and the only way to get her life back on track is to cut Owen out of it.

The last thing Owen wants is to lose Auburn, but he can’t seem to convince her that truth is sometimes as subjective as art. All he would have to do to save their relationship is confess. But in this case, the confession could be much more destructive than the actual sin…


My rating: 5 out of 5 stars


Why did you choose this book? 

I haven’t reviewed a novel by Colleen Hoover because I read them all prior to beginning A Novel Glimpse. I don’t even know how to adequately express why you should pick up any Collen Not only is Colleen Hoover an amazing writer, but her stories are just…so cool. And emotional. She had my heart hooked from the prologue with Confess. I absolutely loved the (real life) confessions and Owen’s paintings aspect of the story. It was so unique and interesting. (I really wish I would have bought the paperback instead of the Kindle version so I could see them in color while I was reading.) And the ending –perfect! I feel like I could go on and on about Confess. I won’t, though, because I really think it’s one that the less you know going into it, the more fun it is to read.

When did you read this book? 

Honestly? The minute it came out.

Who would you recommend this book to?

Mature readers that enjoy a unique contemporary romance.

A Stone in the Sea

A Stone in the Sea (Bleeding Stars #1) by A.L. Jackson

Publication Date: February 21, 2015

Synopsis:

Sebastian “Baz” Stone lives in deep despair. His only break from his troubled life is when he steps on stage as the lead singer for his band, Sunder.

When Baz is faced with assault charges, he’s forced to take a break from touring and hide out in Savannah, Georgia. One night, Baz walks into a local bar called Charlie’s. He’s just there for a drink, but what he finds is so much more. It’s more than he deserves.

Waitress Shea Bentley has given up a lot to live her small town life. She’s always been happy with her man-less life. Or she was until Baz walked into her bar. Now, Shea’s fighting the attraction she feels for a man she doesn’t know. A man she knows could break her heart.

Baz and Shea can’t seem to stay away from each other. There’s a chemistry between them that neither can deny. But each holds a secret that has the power to destroy them both.


My rating: 4 stars


I’ve had A Stone in the Sea on my bookshelf and TBR list since early this summer. I meant to read it several times, but it got pushed down the list thanks to library books, NetGalley requests and Goodreads Giveaway books.  Last week I put it on my WWW Wednesdays posts in hopes it would inspire me to finally read it. It worked. I read it this weekend between soccer tournament games.

Honestly, what sets A Stone in the Sea apart from other New Adult novels is the writing. It’s simply beautiful. It’s almost lyrical. The whole thing could be a song or maybe a poem. It was very nice to read. What could have been a pretty typical New Adult romance had an extra wow factor because of the writing.

It was also a quick read that I didn’t want to put down. I read most of it in one evening. I liked the chemistry between Shea and Baz. The tension between the two of them was palpable. Once again, I’m crediting the amazing writing.

The only thing that drove me a little crazy was the cliffhanger. Luckily, the second book in the series is already out so I don’t have to wait long to find out what’s next. If it wasn’t already out, I think I would be a little frustrated!

I truly enjoyed A Stone in the Sea . I think New Adult romance readers will love A.L. Jackson’s writing style.

Other books in the series:

Escape in You

Escape in You (Escape #1) by Rachel Schurig

Publication Date: October 2, 2013

Synopsis:

Zoe Janes’ life sucks. Partying with her friends and vodka is the only way she can cope. It’s the only way thing keeping her from succumbing to her horrible home life.

When Zoe meets bad boy Jet Taylor at a party, she can’t help but be attracted to him. Brooding, muscular, and tattooed, he’s everything Zoe loves in a hook up. And it’s clear to Zoe that Jet’s not the type of guy to fall in love. He’s just like her — looking for a little fun, an escape.

Despite agreeing to keep things casual, things keep getting deeper and deeper between Zoe and Jet. The more time they spend together, the more they worry about the fun ending. Neither one of them is willing to admit they might just want more than “fun.” But both Zoe and Jet are trapped by a pasts that might make a future together impossible.


My rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars


To quote Zoe and Jet, Escape in You was “boring-ass normal”. By that, I don’t mean the book was boring. It wasn’t by any means. I found it to be a fast-paced, easy read. Escape in You was just so typical of a NA romance. You have your two main characters, Zoe and Jet, that are tragically broken. They both have mommy issues, drink to drown their sorrows and avoid romance. Of course, they connect in a way that makes life better for each of them. It’s a pretty standard NA book, right? I was hoping for more. I kept waiting for a “WOW!” moment. I didn’t ever really get it.

I feel bad because all of that sounds negative. I don’t mean for it to sound like the book wasn’t good. It was. The writing was great and I enjoyed reading it. I will probably read the sequel about Ellie and Fred because I’m truly interested in seeing where the characters go. There just wasn’t anything in Escape in You that stood out to me to make it phenomenal. Like I said, it was typical.

I would recommend Escape in You to NA readers that enjoy bad-ass characters falling in love and saving each other in the process.

Other books in this series:

Series Review: The Falling Series by Ginger Scott

This is the first time I’ve reviewed an entire series in one post. I decided to review the Falling series by Ginger Scott this way because I binge read all three books in a row. It seemed easier to put them all in one post together than to make separate ones. Each book in the series is about one of three college roommates: Rowe, Cass and Paige. The novels overlap in time, events and characters. It’s important to read them in order, as each book has a little surprise of its own that would be ruined if you read them out-of-order. So, here we go…


Book 1

 This is Falling 

My rating: 4.5 Stars

Synopsis:

Freshman Rowe Stanton left her depressing existence in Arizona behind to go to college in Oklahoma. She’s hoping the change of scenery will be just what she needs to move on from the tragedy that took over her life more than two years ago.

When Rowe meets All-American baseball player Nate Preeter, she can’t believe he’s interested in her. A guy like him should be interested in the super hot sorority girl type, not quiet Rowe.

Rowe expects him to run when he learns about the scars she carries, but he doesn’t. Instead, for the first time in over two years, Nate makes her want more.


Book 2

 You and Everything After

My rating: 5 stars

Synopsis:

Cass Owens is looking forward to starting college far away from anyone who knows her. She wants to leave her tarnished image behind. No longer will she be the slut that likes to hook up at parties, the girl with MS or the not quite as pretty twin. Cass is ready to be someone new.

Tyson Preeter may not do love, but he has no problem hooking up with chicks. Even his wheelchair doesn’t slow down all the action he gets. His good looks and confidence are all he needs. But meeting Cass may just knock down all of Ty’s defenses and change his outlook on love.


Book 3

 The Girl I Was Before 

My rating: 5 stars

Synopsis:

Paige Owens had plans for her college years. She was going to join a sorority, make popular friends, and have the right boyfriend. Paige accomplished it all but it cost her. Now, she would do anything to make up for the hurt she caused. Paige wants to be the girl Houston Orr sees.

Houston Orr isn’t the typical college student. While other students are partying or playing sports, Houston’s working. He’s doing everything he can to get by. Houston doesn’t have time for a relationship, but he can’t seem to stay away from pretty Paige. He knows beyond her beauty and arrogance, there is something more.


My review:

If you’re a follower of my blog, you probably already know that I adore Ginger Scott‘s writing. She’s usually a 4 to 5 star review for me. So, it should be of no surprise to you that I loved The Falling series. If I had to give the entire series one rating it would be 4.5 stars. 

My favorite thing about this series was the heroes. Nate, Ty and Houston were all very different personalities but the way they supported their girl was awesome. Each one had a moment that almost left me in tears — Nate especially. I loved how sentimental (but still strong) Nate was. I loved how cocky and independent Ty was. I loved how understand Houston was. They just rocked and made the series.

As for the girls, each one had a big issue they were dealing with. While I loved This is Falling, Rowe was the toughest character for me to identify with. I thought she was supposed to the super nice girl, but her judgement of people or certain things didn’t always align with that. Honestly, when I think about it now, that’s probably more true to life since no one is nice 100% of the time. But for the story it felt a little off.

Cass was an interesting character for me. Living in the Pacific Northwest where the incidence of MS is high, I have friends and relatives affected by this disease. While I couldn’t completely relate, I could identify with Cass’ struggle. I loved the way Cass and Tyson talked to each other and could understand each other needed.

After reading The Girl I Was Before, Paige became my favorite female of the series. While she might not have always been the nicest, I enjoyed watching her transition and growth throughout the series.

Another thing I really loved about the series was being able to see the dynamic between Cass and Paige. It was kind of like reading a series that has a book for the girl’s POV and then a book for the guy’s POV, except with sisters. So, you not only got to see their relationships with the guys but with each other. It added so much to the story.

Oh, and I also loved that each book had a little surprise in store for the reader–something I wasn’t quite expecting.

If you’re looking for a good NA series filled with great writing, amazing characters, tons of feelings and sweet college romances the Falling series by Ginger Scott is for you.

Heart-Shaped Hack

Heart-Shaped Hack (Kate & Ian #1) by Tracey Garvis Graves

Publication Date: August 25, 2015

Synopsis:

Ex-lawyer Kate Watts is worried her struggling food pantry won’t make it through the winter. When a large donation from an unknown benefactor is delivered, Kate is shocked and thankful. She makes it her mission to find out who her anonymous donor is.

When Kate finally catches Ian, she can’t believe he’s a hacker. Kate doesn’t want anything to do with the seedy things Ian does, but she can’t help wanting to know more about him. The more she gets to know him, the more Kate likes him. But as Kate and Ian get closer, so do Ian’s enemies.


My rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars


Heart-Shaped Hack is the first book I’ve read by Tracey Garvis Graves but it definitely won’t be the last. There was so many cool things about this book.

I’ve never read a book about hacking before. I don’t know much about the subject other than what I occasionally catch on the news. Heart-Shaped Hack was filled with information I didn’t know before. I felt like I was learning along with getting a great romance.

As for that great romance, it was so much fun! I loved the way Kate and Ian met. Their bickering was cute and funny. Ian made me laugh so many times. He was hilarious! I totally get why Kate couldn’t stay away.

The only tiny complaint I have is it was pretty predictable. Even though I adored Ian and Kate’s love story, I could see where it was headed the entire time. I would have liked a little surprise.

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books To Read If You Like Author Colleen Hoover’s Books

Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly feature created at The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is Ten Books To Read If You Like This Super Popular Book/Author. I know it’s probably going to be a popular choice, but I’m going with Ten Books To Read If You Like Author Colleen Hoover’s Books.

I love the way Colleen Hoover’s books make me feel. Every time I read one of her books, my heart is broken and put back together in the most amazing ways. The books/authors I’ve chosen on this list all do the same thing. I feel blessed to have found all of these authors and their beautiful books.

I’ve included the book blurb for each book from Goodreads, in case anyone is interested in knowing what each book is about.


 1. Falling Into You (Falling #1) by Jasinda Wilder

I wasn’t always in love with Colton Calloway; I was in love with his younger brother, Kyle, first. Kyle was my first one true love, my first in every way.

Then, one stormy August night, he died, and

the person I was died with him.

Colton didn’t teach me how to live. He didn’t heal the pain. He didn’t make it okay. He taught me how to hurt, how to not be okay, and, eventually, how to let go.

 2. Sincerely, Carter by Whitney G.

Just friends.
We’re just friends.
No, really. She’s just my best friend…

Arizona Turner has been my best friend since fourth grade, even when we “hated” each other. We’ve been there for one another through first kisses, first “times,” and we’ve been each other’s constant when good relationships turned bad. (We even went to colleges that were minutes away from each other…)

Throughout the years, and despite what anyone says, we’ve never crossed the line.

Never thought about it.
Never wanted to.

Until one night changed everything.
At least, it should’ve …

Just friends.
We’re just friends.
I’m only saying this until I figure out if she’s still “just” my best friend…

 3. Kaleidoscope Hearts (Hearts #1) by Claire Contreras

He was my older brother’s best friend.
He was never supposed to be mine.
I thought we would get it out of our system and move on.

One of us did.
One of us left.

Now he’s back, looking at me like he wants to devour me. And all those feelings I’d turned into anger are brewing into something else, something that terrifies me.
He broke my heart last time.
This time he’ll obliterate it.

 4. Archer’s Voice by Mia Sheridan

When Bree Prescott arrives in the sleepy, lakeside town of Pelion, Maine, she hopes against hope that this is the place where she will finally find the peace she so desperately seeks. On her first day there, her life collides with Archer Hale, an isolated man who holds a secret agony of his own. A man no one else sees.

Archer’s Voice is the story of a woman chained to the memory of one horrifying night and the man whose love is the key to her freedom. It is the story of a silent man who lives with an excruciating wound and the woman who helps him find his voice. It is the story of suffering, fate, and the transformative power of love.

 5. Wild Reckless by Ginger Scott

Kensington Worth had a vision for her senior year. It involved her best friends, her posh private school in downtown Chicago and time alone with her piano until her audition was perfected, a guaranteed ticket into the best music programs in the world.

Instead, a nightmare took over.

It didn’t happen all at once, but her life unraveled quickly—a tiny thread that evil somehow kept pulling until everything precious was taken from her. She was suddenly living miles away from her old life, trapped in an existence she didn’t choose—one determined to destroy her from the inside, leaving only hate and anger behind. It didn’t help that her neighbor, the one whose eyes held danger, was enjoying every second of her fall.

Owen Harper was trouble, his heart wild and his past the kind that’s spoken about in whispers. And somehow, his path was always intertwined with Kensington’s, every interaction crushing her, ruining her hope for any future better than her now. Sometimes, though, what everyone warns is trouble, is exactly what the heart needs. Owen Harper was consumed with darkness, and it held onto his soul for years. When Kensington looked at him, she saw a boy who’d gotten good at taking others down when they threatened his carefully balanced life. But the more she looked, the more she saw other things too—good things…things to admire.

Things…to love. Things that made her want to be reckless.

And those things…they were the scariest of all.

 6. The Year We Fell Down (The Ivy Years #1) by Sarina Bowen

She expected to start Harkness College as a varsity ice hockey player. But a serious accident means that Corey Callahan will start school in a wheelchair instead.

Across the hall, in the other handicapped-accessible dorm room, lives the too-delicious-to-be real Adam Hartley, another would-be hockey star with his leg broken in two places. He’s way out of Corey’s league.

Also, he’s taken.

Nevertheless, an unlikely alliance blooms between Corey and Hartley in the “gimp ghetto” of McHerrin Hall. Over tequila, perilously balanced dining hall trays, and video games, the two cope with disappointments that nobody else understands.

They’re just friends, of course, until one night when things fall apart. Or fall together. All Corey knows is that she’s falling. Hard.

But will Hartley set aside his trophy girl to love someone as broken as Corey? If he won’t, she will need to find the courage to make a life for herself at Harkness — one which does not revolve around the sport she can no longer play, or the brown-eyed boy who’s afraid to love her back.

 7. Broken (Redemption #1) by Lauren Layne

When Olivia Middleton abandons the glamour of Park Avenue for a remote, coastal town in Maine, everyone assumes she’s being the kind do-gooder she’s always been. But Olivia has a secret: helping an injured war veteran reenter society isn’t about charity—it’s about penance. Only, Olivia’s client isn’t the grateful elderly man she’s expecting. Instead, he’s a brooding twenty-four-year-old who has no intention of being Olivia’s path to redemption . . . and whose smoldering gaze and forbidden touch might be her undoing.

Paul Langdon doesn’t need a mirror to show him he’s no longer the hotshot quarterback he was before the war. He knows he’s ugly—inside and out. He’ll do anything to stay in self-imposed exile, even accept his father’s ultimatum that Paul tolerate the newest caretaker for three months or lose his inheritance. But Paul doesn’t count on the beautiful twenty-two-year-old who makes him long for things that he can never have. And the more she slips past his defenses, the more keeping his distance is impossible.

Now Paul and Olivia have to decide: Will they help each other heal? Or are they forever broken?

 8. Left Drowning by Jessica Park

Weighted down by the loss of her parents, Blythe McGuire struggles to keep her head above water as she trudges through her last year at Matthews College. Then a chance meeting sends Blythe crashing into something she doesn’t expect—an undeniable attraction to a dark-haired senior named Chris Shepherd, whose past may be even more complicated than her own. As their relationship deepens, Chris pulls Blythe out of the stupor she’s been in since the night a fire took half her family. She begins to heal, and even, haltingly, to love this guy who helps her find new paths to pleasure and self-discovery. But as Blythe moves into calmer waters, she realizes Chris is the one still strangled by his family’s traumatic history. As dark currents threaten to pull him under, Blythe may be the only person who can keep him from drowning.

 9. More Than This (More Than #1) by Jay McLean

When Mikayla imagined her prom night, she envisioned a fairy-tale evening full of romance. So when betrayal and tragedy come in quick succession, Mikayla is completely destroyed. Suddenly, everything she loved and everyone she relied on are tragically, irrevocably gone.

Jake, a handsome boy she just met, happens to witness her loss. With no one to turn to, Mikayla is forced to depend on this near stranger and his family, and he in turn is determined to take care of her. But Mikayla—thrust into adulthood with no one to guide her—is desperate to contain her grief and hide what she considers to be her weakness. Mikayla and Jake both want more, but despite their growing closeness and intense chemistry, she tries to keep her distance and protect her heart. As he does everything in his power to win her trust, Mikayla must choose between remaining alone and safe or letting love in.

 10. Bright Side by Kim Holden

Secrets.
Everyone has one.
Some are bigger than others.
And when secrets are revealed,
Some will heal you …
And some will end you.

Kate Sedgwick’s life has been anything but typical. She’s endured hardship and tragedy, but throughout it all she remains happy and optimistic (there’s a reason her best friend Gus calls her Bright Side). Kate is strong-willed, funny, smart, and musically gifted. She’s also never believed in love. So when Kate leaves San Diego to attend college in the small town of Grant, Minnesota, the last thing she expects is to fall in love with Keller Banks.

They both feel it.
But they each have a reason to fight it.
They each have a secret.

And when secrets are revealed,
Some will heal you …
And some will end you.


Are there any other books/authors you would add to this list?

Blindness

 Blindness by Ginger Scott

Publication Date: February 23, 2014

Publisher: Ginger Scott

Synopsis:

Charlie Hudson’s childhood was anything but easy. It wasn’t until her senior year of high school that she started to figure out who she was. Then, her father died suddenly and she was alone. Everything Charlie thought she knew about herself was gone.

It wasn’t until Charlie met up and coming lawyer, Trevor, that she could move on. Trevor was everything Charlie needed: stable, dependable, safe…perfect. Charlie knew her life with Trevor would be perfect.

Charlie’s perfect life is threatened when she meets ex-motocross star turned math tutor, Cody. Recovering from a motorcycle injury, Cody is anything but perfect. For some reason, Charlie can’t help but be drawn to him. She makes the conscious decision to avoid Cody and her attraction to him. Charlie knows she belongs with Trevor.

Nothing is ever that easy for Charlie, though; and luck is not on her side. Suddenly, Charlie finds herself face to face with Cody in a situation she never expected. Will she be able to stay away from the one person that “gets” her?


My rating: 4 out of 5 stars


Blindness is one of those tough books to rate and review. It’s going to be hard to explain without giving too much away, but I’ll try.

I love Ginger Scott’s writing. I’m always pulled into her stories. They’re often filled with tough topics and intense situations. Ms. Scott knows how to take those tough situations and make them very relatable to the reader.

In Blindness, Ms. Scott thrusts us into the world of a young woman who thinks she knows what love is. Charlie knows she feels safe and happy with Trevor. She loves him. Charlie also knows she feels a connection to Cody. He’s exactly the opposite of what Charlie’s looking for, but she can’t help be drawn to him when he understands things Trevor doesn’t. It puts Charlie in a position of having to make tough choices about what she needs and wants in her life.

It’s Charlie’s decisions throughout the story that made me question what my rating of Blindness would be. I hated her actions. Everything she did bothered me. She made me feel uncomfortable and angry. It was frustrating because Ms. Scott’s writing was so good that I could empathize with Charlie even though I didn’t like what was going on. How do you rate a book with a main character like that?

Well, I slept on it. I went to my daughter’s soccer games and kept the book in the back of my mind. Then, when I got home, I acknowledged that I don’t have to like everything that goes on in a book for it to be worthy of a high rating. Because when it comes down to it, Blindness made me do something I want all books to do. It made me think and it made me feel. It made me examine my own thoughts on love and relationships. I may not have fallen in love with Charlie, but not all books can be rainbows and unicorns, right?

Would I recommend Blindness? The answer is yes. Readers have to be willing to maybe be uncomfortable at times, but in the end it will pay off. Honestly, I don’t think you can go wrong with a Ginger Scott book.