Infinity + One

Infinity + One by Amy Harmon

Publication Date: June 8, 2014

Publisher: Amy Harmon

Synopsis:

Bonnie Rae Shelby is done. She’s done being a country superstar. She’s done doing what’s she’s told. But mostly, Bonnie is done with living. Bonnie Rae’s made her choice, chosen her actions, but a chance meeting will change the course of her life forever.

Finn Clyde may not have much to live for, but he wants the chance to live. He knows helping Bonnie Rae will ruin his chance of a normal life. He knows he should walk away. He just can’t do it.

Together, Bonnie Rae and Finn embark on the journey of a lifetime. The journey will change their lives forever.


My rating: 5 out of 5 stars


The first thing I have to say (to myself) is why haven’t I read any of Amy Harmon’s books before? Friends had told me how amazing they were. I just hadn’t picked one up. That was a giant mistake.

Infinity + One was a very cleverly written book. I don’t want to say too much about the plot because there are so many neat little surprises in store for the reader. I will say the story was very entertaining, heartbreaking, funny and hopeful. I absolutely loved the complex characters Ms. Harmon created in Bonnie Rae and Finn.

I would highly recommend Infinity + One to anyone who loves an amazing NA contemporary read. It is going on my list of favorite books to recommend. (Sorry, I’m sure there are going to be a lot of Amy Harmon reviews from me in the near future.) I’m not sure if it’s still on sale, but I was lucky to get it for $.99 on an Amazon deal.

The Shameless Hour

The Shameless Hour (The Ivy Years #4) by Sarina Bowen

Publication Date: April 12, 2015

Publisher: Rennie Road Books

Synopsis:

As Harkness men’s hockey team manager, it’s Bella’s job to take care of the hockey players. She knows she does her job well–maybe a little too well in some people’s eyes. It’s no secret she has spent time out of practice with some of the players. Bella’s not embarrassed, though. Sex is something she likes. She’s good at it and she has no desire to complicate things with a relationship. So, why does a one night stand with her hot neighbor, Rafe, make her second guess herself?

Rafe always thought he would lose his virginity to someone he loved. His teen mother and strict Catholic upbringing had him waiting for the right time and person. Rafe never thought he’d lose his virginity in a drunken hook-up with his sexy neighbor. He can’t help but feel guilty about their one-night stand.

Then, Rafe comes to Bella’s aid when she needs it the most. Bella doesn’t want Rafe’s help but she has no choice but accept it — and maybe him as well.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I’m a big fan of Sarina Bowen’s The Ivy Years series. Ms. Bowen has a way of taking issues or problems facing today’s young adults and weaving amazing stories around them. I always end a book in this series feeling like I’ve either learned something new or gained a different insight than I had before.

The Shameless Hour had the same effect on me. It was way more than just another New Adult romance. It dealt with a very relevant issue in today’s American society: slut shaming. I felt Ms. Bowen did an amazing job tackling this particular issue. Through Bella, Ms. Bowen put slut shaming in terms readers could identify with.

I also liked how Rafe’s thoughts and feelings around his virginity were addressed. It’s very rare in book to have a male virgin in their late teens or early twenties. It was a refreshing point of view.

Not only did I like the messages and information The Shameless Hour was delivering, but I loved the romance and chemistry between Bella and Rafe. There was a sweetness between them that was adorable.

I would highly recommend the entire The Ivy Years series, including The Shameless Hour. Sarina Bowen’s writing is excellent, the stories are full of fun and sweet moments, and I always end up learning something new.

Other books in this series:

  

  The Fifteenth Minute

Going Long

 Going Long (Waiting #2) by Ginger Scott

Publication Date: September 25, 2013

Publisher: Ginger Scott

Synopsis:

High school sweethearts Reed and Nolan have been through many ups and downs in their relationship. College is no different — especially when they’re at schools two hours apart. Can Reed and Nolan make their love last? Or will football, school or misunderstandings ruin any chance they have of happily ever after?

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I had to jump right into Going Long the minute I finished Waiting on the Sidelines. I couldn’t help myself. I was curious to see where Reed and Nolan’s relationship was going next. They had been through so many ups and downs.

From the start, Going Long had me on pins and needles. Even though things started out happy enough, I was worried for Reed and Nolan. I knew it was only so long before something drove a wedge between them.

I was totally right, too. Going Long was filled was just as much drama as Waiting on the Sidelines. It was heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time. That probably sounds impossible, but it’s the only way I can think of to describe it.

It sucked watching Nolan’s insecurities get the best of her. I understood, but her strength in Waiting on the Sidelines was something I really admired. I was sad things were harder for her this time around. Reed, though — Reed made me love him. I wasn’t so sure I liked him after the first book, but he definitely redeemed himself in my eyes in this one.

Going Long was an outstanding coming of age romance. I would highly suggest this series and any of Ginger Scott’s books. She’s quickly becoming one of my go-to authors.

Other books in this series:

More Than Forever

 More Than Forever (More Than #4) by Jay McLean

Publication Date: July 11, 2014

Synopsis:

Lucy and Cameron have been it for each other since they were fourteen. Their love  has never wavered. It’s always been about forever for them. But, sometimes, forever isn’t enough.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

More Than Forever started out as a cute coming of age romance. It was more along the lines of a sweet YA contemporary romance. Cameron was the perfect friend and boyfriend that would do anything for Lucy. I loved the interactions between the young lovebirds and their parents. They were so funny and adorable.

Then, slowly, Lucy and Cameron’s relationship matured along with them and More Than Forever  became a beautiful New Adult romance. While it was still sweet and incredibly funny, there was now the angst and a sexual relationship as well.

Lucy and Cam’s sexual relationship was one of my favorite parts of the story. In the beginning, it felt honest and true to real life. As time went by, it was sexy and funny — just like it was reading about them in previous books.

As for the angst, at times I wanted to yell at Cam for being so blind and at Lucy for not truly seeing Cam. I ached for them as they dealt with the problems they faced. I wanted them to make it. The love they shared was so special.

Obviously, I loved More Than Forever. I thought More Than This was my favorite in the series, but More Than Forever stole its place in my heart. It was sweet, funny, steamy and most of all emotionally loaded.

I would highly suggest reading More Than Forever and the entire More Than series. I loved the way all of the books tied together and that I got to see not just the romances bloom but the friendships as well. I can’t wait for the next book More Than Enough to come out. I hope it’s Heidi and Dylan’s story!

Other books in this series:

Blonde Date

Blonde Date (The Ivy Years #2.5) by Sarina Bowen

Publication Date: July 6, 2014

Publisher: Rennie Road Books

Synopsis:

Freshman Katie Vickery does not want to go to her sorority’s party. She knows she’s in for the most humiliating experience of her life. Her football player ex-boyfriend and his friends are going to be there. Katie knows they will be laughing behind her back.

Katie can’t miss the party, though. There are unwritten rules. She has to go. She has to bring an upperclassman. He has to be an athlete. Luckily, her roommate set her up with a blinde date.

Andrew Baschnagel isn’t the typical jock. The basketball player is tall and lanky. He’s also a nice guy. He’s watched Katie in his art history class all semester, hoping for a chance to win her heart. Now, he’s got one date with her, one chance to show her what she’s missing.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I love The Ivy Years seriesBlonde Date was the perfect addition to it. It was cute and funny. I couldn’t help but fall in love with Andrew. I knew he was a good guy after meeting him in The Year We Hid Away, but I didn’t expect to love him this much.

My only complaint about Blonde Date is that it was a novella. I wanted more Andrew and Katie! They were just too cute! I can’t wait to read more of this amazing series.

Other books in The Ivy Years series:

   

More Than Her

More Than Her (More Than #2) by Jay McLean

Publication Date: November 18, 2013

Synopsis: 

Logan Matthews thought he made the right decision walking away from her. Turns out he was wrong. Now, he’s stuck chasing her and trying to prove he’s worthy of her love.

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

My summary and review are both going to be a little sparse on this one. I don’t want to give too much away in case anyone is thinking about reading this series but hasn’t read More Than This yet.

More Than Her begins where More Than This left off. This time, the story revolves around Logan. It alternates between the present and the summer before they all started college at UNC.  We get to learn more about Logan’s past and his relationships with both Jake and Mikayla.

While I really enjoyed More Than Her, it wasn’t quite as good as More Than This. I think it was the execution of the time jumps. They just weren’t as smooth as I would have liked them to be. At times, I felt a little lost in the past stories.

I did love the twists and turns the story took, though. It wasn’t what I expected at all. And rude, playboy Logan from More Than This wasn’t who I thought he would be either. I didn’t love him quite as much as Jake, but it was close!

More Than Her ended with more of a cliffhanger than More Than This did. Instead of book 3 being about a different couple, it will continue Logan’s story from More Than Her. I’m excited to continue the series and see where it goes!

Other books in this series:

Sincerely, Arizona

Sincerely, Arizona (Sincerely, Carter #1.5) by Whitney Gracia Williams

Publication Date: September 10, 2015

Publisher: WGW Books

Synopsis:

Sincerely, Arizona is an epilogue to Sincerely, Carter. It is FREE, but you must read Sincerely, Carter first.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I absolutely loved Sincerely, Carter when I read it a few months ago. It’s another one of those best friends to lovers stories that I adore. Sincerely, Arizona is a continuation of Carter and Arizona’s story and picks up where the first book left off. It was the perfect ending to Carter and Arizona’s story. It was short, but had all the things fans of the first book loved. It’s definitely worth reading if you liked the first book.

Other books in this series:

More Than This

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

Publication Date: July 10, 2013

Synopsis:

Mikayla’s prom night should have been the best night of her life. Instead, it turned into a nightmare she never could have imagined. Her entire world was turned upside down in one night.

The one bright light in it all is Jake. She may have just met him but he immediately becomes her everything. Jake is her safe place, her home. As their feelings for each other and physical chemistry grow, Mikayla must choose between keeping her heart safe or accepting the love she desperately wants.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

A week or so ago, I read Jay McLean’s Kick Push. I enjoyed it, but I wasn’t overly impressed. There was just a little something missing to make it amazing. So when one of my Goodreads groups suggested a buddy read of More Than This, I hesitated a little. I decided to see if I could borrow it from the Amazon Prime Lending Library before joining in. It was available, so I decided to go ahead and download it.

I am sooooo glad I did. More Than This was incredible! It brought out so many emotions! It was heartbreaking at times, yet it made me laugh, too. There was also amazing chemistry between Mikayla and Jake.

Mikayla was a little annoying at times, though. I get what she was going through, so I tried not to let her decisions get to me. Her emotions added some great angst to the story. I just hated some of the stuff she was putting Jake through.

Because Jake. Jake. That guy was all sorts of awesome. I have decided to declare him my new book boyfriend. I loved him that much!

I have to admit I went ahead and downloaded the rest of the More Than series as soon as I finished More Than This. I couldn’t help myself. The ending left me needing to know what was going to happen next! It wasn’t quite a cliffhanger, but it was close.

I would tell anyone that likes a good, angsty New Adult romance to read More Than This. It brings out all of the “feels.”

Just a warning: I’m probably going to be reviewing the books in this series one right after another. I’ve chucked my TBR list to the side for now and am plunging into the series. I’m that wrapped up in the story. 😉

Other books in this series:

ARC Review: Paper Hearts

Paper Hearts (Hearts #2) by Claire Contreras

Publication Date: September 9, 2015

Synopsis:

It’s been six years since Jensen broke Mia’s heart and in turn broke his own. Now, he has a chance to make things right. He has a chance to prove they are still meant for each other. Jensen’s going to do everything in his power to get back the love of his life.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Shortly after its release, Colleen Hoover posted a picture of the cover of Kaleidoscope Hearts on her Facebook page telling her fans to read it. I was looking for something to read and since I admire CoHo, I decided to give it a try. I absolutely loved the book. It started me on a Claire Contreras reading frenzy. I went on to read four of her books in a row.

I had no idea Ms. Contreras was coming out with a sequel to Kaleidoscope Hearts. When I randomly saw the novella Torn Hearts on Amazon, I freaked out. I couldn’t believe I was getting Mia’s story! I read it and was disappointed that it was just a build up to Paper Hearts. I loved it and I wanted to know where Mia and Jenson’s story was going so bad. I didn’t want to wait!

Luckily, I didn’t have to wait to long. I follow Claire Contreras on Goodreads and got a notification there was a group dedicated to her works forming. I joined and not too long after was given the opportunity to request an ARC of Paper Hearts. I was elated when it showed up on my Kindle! I started reading it right away.

The first half of Paper Hearts was hard for me to read. Gone was the Mia I fell in love with in Torn Hearts. It was uncomfortable to be trapped in her post-Jensen head. I understood her thoughts, feelings and reactions. It’s hard to move on from someone you have loved so deeply. It just wasn’t as fun to read as I was expecting. It honestly felt like I was going through it myself.

It wasn’t until Mia started to let her guard down and let the feelings she was holding onto go that I truly became addicted to the story. I was surprised by how much empathy I felt toward Jensen. I wasn’t expecting that. I loved the way he tried to win Mia back. And even though it was hard to read, I love that Mia took the time to examine her feelings.

Paper Hearts was a beautifully written second chance romance. NA and contemporary romance readers who enjoy heartbreaking tales of love will enjoy this one. It definitely brings out all of the feels.

Just a quick note: You must at least read Torn Hearts prior to reading Paper Hearts . It’s a prequel novella and it will give you the history behind Mia and Jensen. It’s amazing!

**Thank you to the author for allowing me the opportunity to read and honestly review Paper Hearts.

Other books in this series:

 

Crossroads

Crossroads by Thomma Lyn Grindstaff

Publication Date: August 8, 2015

Synopsis:

Monie and Rob aren’t just high school sweethearts, they’re childhood sweethearts. They started as best buddies in sixth grade and their friendship quickly turned to love. Monie and Rob have been planning their Life Script together for years:

  1. graduate college
  2. get married
  3. go to law school
  4. start a practice
  5. have kids.

But as college graduation day draws near, Monie’s having second thoughts about the Life Script she’s followed for so long. Monie’s afraid that if she doesn’t at least try her dreams of being a guitarist, she might regret the Life Script she’s chosen — and Rob, too.

Following her dream is harder than it sounds, though. First, she has to come clean with both Rob and her parents. Then, she has to call the number for the guitarist ad she found. She knows she’s good enough to be in the band, Monie just needs to face her fears of losing Rob and the life she’s wanted since she was a child.

Can Monie have both an exciting career and the man she loves?

My rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Crossroads is a novel about a young woman wanting the best of both worlds. She wants her comfortable, loving relationship with the man who’s always been there with and for her. But she also wants to follow her dreams and try something completely new and exciting.

Thomma Lyn Grindstaff did an excellent job at portraying Monie’s emotions. It was very easy to relate to Monie’s confusion over the path her life should take. As much as she loved Rob, she knew following his dreams would mean losing her own. I loved that she didn’t compromise herself for him.

The one part of this story that has been stuck in my head since I finished Crossroads is Rob’s reaction to Monie wanting to be in the band. I actually felt like I could relate to Rob even more than Monie. I mean, why would Rob want Monie to join a band and potentially leave him? Why would he want to her be around a band full of guys she will probably have chemistry with? His frustrations made total sense to me.

So, while I loved that Monie was going to follow her dreams, I hated the position she put Rob in. At first, I thought he was being a jerk. As the story progressed, I started to agree with him. The doubts he shared had me questioning the ending of the story. I also felt like the troubles they were having would have resulted in more tears and emotion than Monie was having. I started to wonder if she really did want to save her relationship. I would have been distracted from finals and losing it.

Crossroads was nicely wrapped up, but it was missing a little something for me. I don’t want to give away the story, so I’ll just say it’s the reaction Rob didn’t have toward a big something toward the end that I didn’t get. Honestly, I see more trouble on the horizon for Rob and Monie. I would be interested in seeing where their story goes from here.

I would recommend Crossroads to New Adult readers who enjoy steamy coming of age stories.

**Thank you to Thomma Lyn Grindstaff for the opportunity to read and honestly review Crossroads.