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Publisher: Harlequin

Friday, January 6, 2017

Review: Off Base by Annabeth Albert

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Off Base by Annabeth AlbertOff Base (Out of Uniform, #1) by Annabeth Albert
Published by Carina Press on January 9th 2017
Genres: Adult, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Friends to Lovers, GLBT, Love & Romance, Contemporary Romance, Social Issues, War & Military
Pages: 304
Source: Netgalley
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: Treble Maker, Status Update, Love Me Tenor, Beta Test

Place(s) Traveled To: West Hollywood, California // Coronado, California // San Diego, California

First Line(s): “What do you mean they’re not coming?” Zack tried hard to sound like the badass navy SEAL he was now.

OFF BASE is the newest release from a new favorite author of mine, Annabeth Albert. I’ve been devouring everything she’s written and so was very excited to get my hands on this one. Especially since its a spin off of her #gaymers series which I adored. We first meet the main characters in OFF BASE, in CONNECTION ERROR (review coming soon) and Zack seems even more up tight than he was when we first meet him. Its a good thing that Pike worms his way into his life because he is Zack’s opposite in many ways and the two of them really work well together.

OFF BASE is filled to the brim of heart achy feels because Zack is just so tortured about who he really is. He’s been brainwashed since he was young that being gay was wrong and he’s faced nothing but homophobia since which has made it hard to be comfortable in his own skin. Things start to change when he is roomed with Ryan in the VA hospital and he starts to see another side to what he thought he always knew. I loved all the moments between Zack and Pike and the cameos of Ryan and Josiah. They all just made my heart sing. What I didn’t like was the homophobia that ran rampant throughout the book. It just made my skin crawl whenever Zack’s teammates said something or when Zack talked to his parents.

Overall though, I really enjoyed the relationship between Pike and Zack. I do wish that Zack was a little more comfortable in who he was but I understood it. I also liked watching Pike come into his own as he found his grove in teaching. I liked that he learned that sometimes the unexpected path could lead to something even better than what he dreamed was possible. And once Pike and Zack started to put their difference aside this story because a favorite enemies to lovers story. There was just so much tension between Pike and Zack that I couldn’t stop turning the pages in order to see how they would reach their happily ever after.

I find that Annabeth Albert really excels at writing a feel good story that often packs a punch to the emotions. Her characters are real and raw and they are all so uniquely drawn. Every story she tells does follow a certain path but there is always a fresh spin that keeps me coming back for more. The are quick, engrossing reads that I just suck up when I get my hands on one. I lose track of time until I hit the final page and then I am sad because I can’t read the story for the first time again. If you are a fan of MM Romances then you really want to give Annabeth Albert a try.

Add Just Drive by L.A. Witt to Goodreads. (Review coming soon.)

Add Him by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

four-stars
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Friday, June 24, 2016

Review: In Her Defense by Juliana Keyes

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: In Her Defense by Juliana KeyesIn Her Defense by Juliana Keyes
Series: Time Served, Book 2
Published by Carina Press on 05 Sept 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Love & Romance
Pages: 272
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Chicago, Illinois // Los Angeles, California

First Line(s): Whoever said it was lonely at the top was wrong.

At first glance, IN HER DEFENSE by Juliana Keyes seemed like it would be the perfect book for me. Strong, intelligent heroine meets her match in a techy guy who helps her to unwind. Caitlin is a high powered attorney who is an uber control freak with a huge chip on her shoulder and she’s one of the most unlikable heroines that I’ve ever read. She is mean to everyone and seems to love looking down her nose at people, including our hero who has the misfortune to have to shut off all her corporate access when she makes a mistake is forced to take a vacation. First off, I think the whole scenario is completely unrealistic and I don’t think that she’d be punished to the extent she was in the real world when she’s one of the firms top lawyers. Though, I do know, that in the real world she’d delegate some of these more menial tasks to underlings and so such a thing wouldn’t have happened.

But we aren’t in the real world. We’re in a romance novel so I can accept a certain level of unrealisticness. But I just couldn’t get behind Caitlin as there was nothing redeemable about her. She did go through some character growth throughout the book and I liked her by the end but it was a definite struggle and I almost DNF’d the book a few times because I couldn’t stand her. I did like Eli, at first, but it seemed the better being human that Caitlin got the worse he became. He was such an asshole by the end that I really didn’t want these two to be together. They just didn’t seem to mesh, at all. It also didn’t help that most of their issues resulted from a failure to communicate and how they over-reacted as a result from misconceptions.

About the only thing that IN HER DEFENSE had going for it was that it was a quick read. Buy oy…it was a struggle. The writing was decent enough and I will probably check out Keyes’s other books but I just couldn’t really get over how poorly written these characters were. They were mismatched and lacked chemistry and everything just seemed so forced. IN HER DEFENSE was a book that just wasn’t for me but I do know many people who loved it so definitely give it a try if you like a beauty meets the beast story, where the beast in this case was Caitlin.

irishdarkblue

IR - In Her Defense

Add Down for the Count by Christine Bell to Goodreads. (Review coming soon)

Add Playing to Close by Kat Latham to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

three-stars
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Friday, June 17, 2016

Review: Act Like It by Lucy Parker

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Act Like It by Lucy ParkerAct Like It Published by Carina Press on 30 Nov 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Love & Romance, Performing Arts
Pages: 199
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
four-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: London, England // Upper Bidford, England

First Line(s): Almost every night, between nine and ten past, Lainie Graham passionately kissed her ex-boyfriend. She was then gruesomely dead by ten o’clock, stabbed through the neck by a jealous rival.

I forget who first told me to read ACT LIKE IT by Lucy Parker but I do know that I saw mention of the book on Twitter (or was it Instagram?). But when I read the synopsis I knew that I had to check this book out as it contained a few of my favorite tropes and had the added bonus of being set in one of my favorite cities, London. ACT LIKE IT focuses on Lainie Graham and Richard Troy who are co-staring in a London play. Lainie is new(ish) to the stage but Richard is a well know star and he’s having a bit of a PR problem. The theatre company then decides it’d be a grand idea if Richard and Lainie pretend to date saying it’ll be a win-win for all. Richard’s image is improved by Lainie’s good girl influence, she becomes more well known, and the theatre sells seats. What could go wrong?

Initially, Lainie and Richard do not like each other. But the sparks totally fly off the page between them. They have a chemistry that can’t be denied and I loved watching their journey. ACT LIKE IT is a total emotional roller coaster that had me laughing one moment and near tears as my heart broke in the next. This book was a total heartachey read and I devoured it! Once I started reading it I couldn’t stop until I hit the last page and then I was sad because it was over. The feelings ACT LIKE IT made me feel were raw and real and *sighs* just so very wonderful!!

Act Like It Quote

 

I loved Parker’s writing style and I am sad that she’s a debut author because I can’t bounce over and read a huge back list of titles. Instead I have to wait with eager anticipation for her next book, PRETTY FACE, which is expected out later this Fall. I also loved how this book was set in a theatre and how Richard was this grumpy gus of an actor who comes around as he falls for Lainie. I do so adore my grumpy heroes especially those that resist falling in love because it makes their fall so much sweeter. And another thing I loved about ACT LIKE IT…no pointless breakup!! As per the romance book trope there is drama, angst and a parting of the ways and while I hated that there was a parting it was real, hard on the heart, and I loved how Lainie and Richard reacted.

ACT LIKE IT is one of those books I wish I could read again for the first time. Its a book that I know I’ll re-read and love every time. Its just a fun filled story and such a quick read that its sure to delight all the romance book readers who read my blog. It is filled with strong, smart characters with witty dialogue along with with sexy moments that positively sizzle off the page. As I’ve said there is a ton of chemistry and great banter between Lainie and Richard and they are a couple that readers are bound to love. For me, ACT LIKE IT, hit all the right notes at just the right time and just by writing this review I already want to pick this one up for a re-read. Its just that fun and enjoyable. So do yourself a favor and buy this one today!

 

irishdarkblue

IR - Act Like It 

Add All Note Long by Annabeth Albert to Goodreads (Review coming soon)

Add Accidentally Married on Purpose to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

four-stars
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Thursday, May 19, 2016

Review: Beta Test by Annabeth Alberts

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, New Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Beta Test by Annabeth AlbertsBeta Test by Annabeth Albert
Series: Gaymers, Book 2
Also in this series: Status Update
Published by Carina Press on 30 May 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, GLBT, Love & Romance, New Adult, People of Color, Road Trip, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues
Pages: 178
Format: eARC
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: Treble Maker, Status Update, Love Me Tenor, Off Base (Out of Uniform, #1)

Place(s) Traveled To: Santa Monica, California // Los Angeles, California // Seattle, Washington // Weed, California // Eugene, Oregon // Glendale, California // Pasadena, California // Unknown, New Jersey

First Line(s): Tristan read the manual.

In BETA TEST, the newest book in Annabeth Alberts Gaymers series, Ravi and Tristan are co-workers and the total opposite of the other. Where Ravi is bold and fearless surrounded by chaos and people Tristan is muted and more focus on his lists and spreadsheets than the world around him. But despite how different they are Ravi and Tristan are drawn to each other time and time again. While there are times that their differences cause conflict, especially as they wage an inner war trying to deny the attraction, they compliment each other. They just need to find some common ground and stop letting their differences get in the way of all that makes these two perfect for each other.

The conflict between Ravi and Tristan in BETA TEST is such an epic journey (both literal and internal) that its sure to delight many a reader. For BETA TEST includes one of my favorite tropes….a road trip. Oh how real people become when they find themselves trapped in such close quarters for days on end. You can’t hid and you can’t just walk away (at least not easily) and at the end you’ll either be really close to the person in the car with you or never want to speak to them again. Luckily for us, Tristan and Ravi, find their way to each other. They learn to admire the difference they see in the other, to compliment it, and are just so tender with each other at times they just make your heart melt.

Beta Test Quote

There is definite conflict between the two men and as with 99.9% of romances, Ravi and Tristan go through a separation as real world difficulties throw some stumbling blocks on the path to their happily ever after. But all the pain of that is worth it for that super delightful ending. And, as a reader, you just know that Ravi and Tristan come out stronger for those road bumps which help build the foundation of their forever love. BETA TEST is a slow build romance and I just loved reading how these two came together. I do love a slow build as those sort of romances seem to burn brighter by the time the last page is turned.

BETA TEST is a quick read and its so easy to get lost within its pages. Its not perfect, the ending seemed a little rushed and I would have liked a few more pages to really round things out a bit. But overall, BETA TEST hit all the right notes for me. It made my heart ache and made me sigh with happiness as Ravi and Tristan worked through all their issues in order to find love and happiness in each other. Its a sweet romance and I think that if your reading tastes in any way align with mine that I think you’ll like this one.

irishdarkblue

IR - Beta Test

 

Add Tied to Trouble by Megan Erickson to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Love Lessons by Heidi Cullinan to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

four-stars
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Monday, May 9, 2016

Review: Pairing Off by Elizabeth Harmon

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Pairing Off by Elizabeth HarmonPairing Off by Elizabeth Harmon
Series: Red Hot Russians,
Published by Carina Press on 02 February 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Love & Romance, People & Places, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Sports & Athletics
Pages: 250
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Amsterdam, Netherlands // Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada // Moscow, Russia // Lake Shosha, Russia // Lake Placid, New York // Saint Petersburg, Russia // Sweetspire, Georgia

First Line(s): They spilled out of the Mellow Yellow, loud and laughing.

I always enjoy a good sports themed romance and so was excited to stumble on PAIRING OFF by Elizabeth Harmon as it involves pairs figure skating. Growing up I’d watch figure skating competitions all the time and so was eager to get a wee glimpse into this world. Add that to the Russian setting and I thought that this was a book that I’d really love. In the end though, PAIRING OFF was just a so-so read for me and it failed to live up to my expectations. I liked the main characters, Anton and Carrie, well enough but there wasn’t a ton of spark between them. Not to mention that for a good 60% of the story Anton had a girlfriend!! Then the last 40% is them faking a relationship until its no long fake and just no no no!

Of the two leads, I liked Anton better than Carrie though he stayed in his relationship far longer than her should have since he was attracted to Carrie and didn’t seem to care for his GF all that much. Carrie on the other hand was a bit spineless and often annoying. She never defended herself when the scandal happened and just seemed to let people walk all over her. Granted when you learn of her terrible parents you can kind of understand why and she does go through some character growth just not enough.

Pairing Off Quote

I also think that these too spent too much time thinking about an event that happened seven years previously and not enough time actually talking about the now. And as I mentioned above there wasn’t a ton of chemistry between them. There wasn’t anything about their story that had me longing for them to get together. In fact, I spent much of book yelling at Carrie to grow a backbone and for Anton to break up with his toxic girlfriend. I think I only managed to finish this one because it was so short a read and I did like the ice skating part of it.

Overall though, PAIRING OFF was just a meh read for me and I am not sure if I’ll read the others in the series. Especially since the premise of book 2 seems like its the heros job to break the heroine and her fiance up…on reality tv. Um….no thank you! So while this series may not be for me I did like Harmon’s writing and do think that I’ll keep an eye on her to see what she write next. I just hope she moves away from these cheating story lines and just sticks with two characters falling in love and not have anyone potentially get hurt in the process.

 

irishdarkblue

IR - Pairing Off

 

Add Playing It Close by Kat Latham to Goodreads. (Click here for my review)

Add Saving Maverick by Debra Elisa to Goodreads. (Review coming soon)

three-stars
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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Review: Status Update by Annabeth Albert

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, New Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Status Update by Annabeth AlbertStatus Update by Annabeth Albert
Series: Gaymers,
Also in this series: Beta Test
Published by Carina Press on 07 Dec 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, GLBT, New Adult, People & Places, Road Trip, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues
Pages: 189
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: Treble Maker, Love Me Tenor, Beta Test, Off Base (Out of Uniform, #1)

Place(s) Traveled To: Torrey, Utah // Denver, Colorado // Santa Monica, California // Landview, Texas // Grand Junction, Colorado // Moab, Utah

First Line(s): Noah knew the dog was trouble as soon as he and Ulysses entered the campground’s off-leash dog area.

STATUS UPDATE by Annabeth Albert was the first book of hers that I read after hearing about it from my friend Memory on Instagram. She and I often have similar tastes in books so when she says a story ‘blew her away’ then I know its something that I have to read. Like Albert’s TREMBLE MAKER (my review), STATUS UPDATE involves a hero who is conflicted in showing his sexuality. Like Lucas, Noah lives in a very conservative town and he teaches at a conservative school and he feels guilt about acting on the feelings he has for other men. Good thing for him a tornado by the name of Adrian crosses his path and shakes up all that he thought he knew.

Adrian is like an atom and is this little bundle of energy but more importantly he’s out, open, and very interested in shy Noah. He and Noah meet at a campground when Adrian’s fling of the month abandons him and takes off in the RV they rented. Noah being the sweetheart he is takes Noah in and then offers to drive him to his destination. Sparks fly almost immediately and I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough to see how things would play out between these two.

Status Update Quote

I loved the chemistry that Noah and Adrian shared and I loved how they built up a friendship even as they were falling for each other. These boys made my heart ache over the course of their journey to their happily ever after but y’all know how much I love those moments! As with TREBLE MAKER, the ending of STATUS UPDATE is a little cutesy but I wouldn’t trade that journey for anything. STATUS UPDATE is a short book, weighing in at only 189 pages, but it feels longer.

Albert has a gift at writing a tight story that makes it easy to get lost in. Its because of STATUS UPDATE that I went looking for more books by her and found TREBLE MAKER and its sequel LOVE ME TENOR (review coming soon) and I look forward to reading her other back list titles as well. Albert writes a good romance with great main characters and I can’t wait to see what she has in store for her Gaymers series.

irishdarkblue

IR - Status Update

Add There You Stand by Christina Lee to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Focus on Me by Megan Erickson to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

four-stars
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Friday, May 22, 2015

Review: Heat Exchange by Shannon Stacey

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Heat Exchange by Shannon StaceyHeat Exchange by Shannon Stacey
Series: ,
Published by Carina Press on 25 August 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Family, Friends to Lovers, Friendship, Love & Romance, Parents, Police or Firemen
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: All He Ever Needed, Snowbound with the CEO

Place(s) Traveled To: Boston, Massachusetts // Concord, New Hampshire

First Line(s): Lydia Kincaid could pull a pint of Guinness so perfect her Irish ancestors would weep tears of appreciation, but fine dining? Forget about it.

If you are looking for a fun romantic story then you really can’t go wrong with a Shannon Stacey book and that’s exactly what you get in her newest Heat ExchangeHeat Exchange is the start of a new series involving firemen in Boston and this book stars Lydia Kincaid and Aidan Hunt. Lydia has been leaving far, far away (or so the dialogue/text make it appear) in New Hampshire and she’s called home to help run the family sports bar and local fireman hangout when her sister has marital troubles. On her return she finds instant attraction with fireman, Aidan Hunt but there are obstacles. The first being she was married to a fireman in the past and she’s so not doing that again and Aidan is also her younger brother’s BFF.

Falling for the friend of a sibling is one of my favorite tropes so I was really looking forward to this one. And while I did enjoy Aidan’s and Lydia’s relationship with her brother I never really felt the chemistry between them as a couple. Lydia had this HUGE chip on her shoulder and she was always throwing things in Aidan’s face that had nothing to do with him. She was also hung up on the idea that if she didn’t flee back to New Hampshire than she was stuck. As if all the family drama and her issues with her dad just magically disappeared once she crossed the border. Plus Lydia ran so hot and cold when it came to Aidan that it was a wonder that he pursued her at all.

Heat Exchange Quote

Then there was the subplot romance between Lydia’s sister and her fireman husband. Normally I hate this little subromances as they tend to take away from the main story but in this case I preferred those moments over Lydia’s story as I liked those characters better. Although, I did want to shake those two characters as they were just so passive at times and really needed to just sit down and talk to one another. I’m so not a fan of plots that revolve around a lack of communication.

In the end, while Heat Exchange was a quick read it left me feeling a bit meh. The lack of chemistry between the main couple just made it hard to get into this book although I did like the world and the family dynamics. So while I didn’t fall head over heels in love with this one I do plan on checking out future books in this series in the hopes that I like those characters better.

irishdarkblue

IR - Heat Exchange

Add Flat-Out Sexy by Erin McCarthy to Goodreads.

Add Just One Night by Lauren Layne to Goodreads. (Click here for my review)

three-stars
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Friday, October 3, 2014

Review: Fanning the Flames by Victoria Dahl

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Fanning the Flames by Victoria DahlFanning the Flames by Victoria Dahl
Series: Jackson: Girls' Night Out,
Published by Harlequin on 01 July 2014
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Friends to Lovers, Girls & Women, Love & Romance, Police or Firemen, Short Story / Novella
Pages: 151
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Jackson, Wyoming

First Line(s): Firefighters. The bane of her existence.

Victoria Dahl is an author that many romance fans I know have been telling me that I should read and while I’ve purchased a few of her books I just hadn’t gotten around to one of her stories. Then I was wandering through the BPL eLibrary catalog and stumbled on her novella, Fanning the Flames, which is a prequel to a new series by her. Fanning the Flames is the sort of book I’m drawn to as it has one of my favorite tropes, friends to lovers and the hot model on the cover didn’t hurt either. This story is your classic tale of librarian and the hot fireman next door and it was a quick read but it lacked something for me. Lauren and Jake have known each other for years, he is her ex-husbands best friend and she was also good friends with Jake’s late wife. While there is an attraction between each they both put on various mental blocks for why they can’t be together.

Until one night that changes.

Fanning the Flames is a quick read and I read it shortly after I downloaded it and in the end it left me a little frustrated as it just felt so unfinished. This is the danger that many a novella falls into because there just isn’t enough time to develop the characters or the world. I didn’t really buy the romance between Lauren and Jake and Lauren often rubbed me the wrong way. I did like Jake but we just didn’t get to know him enough to form any deep connection with him or Lauren. Then of course there was that pointless conflict that managed to find its way into this story. And we all know how much I like those. With a novella the addition of this pointless conflict just takes away from the limited number of pages to tell this story and so it makes it a little less real.

While I didn’t love Fanning the Flames I did like Dahl’s writing and do plan on checking out some of her other books. If you are a fan of Victoria Dahl then be sure to let me know which book of hers I should check out next!

irishdarkblue

Fanning the Flames Quote

three-stars
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Monday, September 22, 2014

Review: I Want it That Way by Ann Aguirre

Posted by Irish in 2 Stars, Blog Tour, New Adult, Review1 Comment

Review: I Want it That Way by Ann AguirreI Want it That Way by Ann Aguirre
Series: 2B Trilogy,
Published by Harlequin on 26 August 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Friendship, Love & Romance, New Adult, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
two-stars
Also by this author: The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things

Place(s) Traveled To: Mount Albion, Michigan // Ann Arbor, Michigan // Sharon, Nebraska

First Line(s):  There’s always a meet-cute, right?

 

I first became familiar with Ann Aguirre when I read her young adult series, Razorland, which I really enjoyed and so was excited to try her New Adult Contemporary titled, I Want it That Way. (A title that is impossible to say without getting the Backstreet Boys song stuck in your head.) Unlike her YA series, I Want it That Way was a book that frustrated me on many levels. First there was the insta-love of the two main characters, Nadia and Tyler. Oh how I dislike insta-love in books. I get that its a tool that’s used as a way to accelerate a story but I always feel as though something is lost when there is no time given for a relationship to build over the course of a story. Then there was just how Nadia would seem to over react at the littlest of things. Tyler would tell her maybe and she’d cry for days as if her entire world had just collapsed. The reactions just never seemed to match up with the actions that were happening.

The language of I Want it That Way was also a bit off and was overly flowery, using a dozen words where only 5 might be needed. And then there were all the times when Nadia would use phrases that were inconsistent with a normal 21 year old. At least, a character outside of a John Green novel. A phrase that particularly stuck out at me was when Nadia used the phrase “exquisitely taken” during one of the sexy times scenes and it just pulled me out of the story as its something out of a bad 80s romance novel involving a much older character. This overly flowery way of thinking and many of Nadia’s other mannerisms just made it so hard to connect with her character in any meaningful way.

Tyler was also hard to connect with as he often came across as stiff and two-dimensional. There were many times when reading I Want it That Way that it was also told from Tyler’s POV as then maybe he would have seemed like a more realistic person. As it was he only really seemed to exist in a very superficial sense. He’d ignore Nadia when his son was around, not even saying hello, because that might let someone get too close or give his son the wrong idea. Say what now? The man had no friends and while I get that its hard for a single dad to keep up with the lifestyle of his friends when his son was born its not outside the realm of possibility that he would have made other friendships over the years. Heck, there are teenagers who end up as young parents and while they can’t go out and party every night they still have friends to hang out with and occasionally help with the child. Especially when you stay in the same town that you grew up in.

For me, I Want it That Way, was just one frustration after another and I could go on and on with all the different things that bugged me. But I think that you get the point that this book wasn’t a book for me and at this time I don’t have plans on continuing this series. But I will not give up on Ann Aguirre’s stories as I did love her debut YA series and I look forward to reading her next YA book, Mortal Danger.

irishdarkblue

I Want it That Way Quote

People who liked this book better than I did:

What a Nerd Girl Says – “The story of Nadia and Ty is really beautiful, and I think I loved it so much because of the involvement of Ty’s child. It was hard enough dealing with the complications of Nadia and Ty trying to make their romance work, but throwing in the addition of a child just throws everything through a loop.”

Bittersweet Book Love – “I Want It That Way took me by surprise in a couple of different ways. There is real depth to these characters, each contributing something to the story. Furthemore, there’s just something about this book that urges you to turn the pages.”

Stuck in Books – “I Want It That Way hit me right in the heart, and I loved it. The writing made me feel, the characters made me love, and the romance made me swoon.”

two-stars
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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Review: Playing It Close by Kat Latham

Posted by Irish in 3.5 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Playing It Close by Kat LathamPlaying it Close by Kat Latham
Series: London Legends
Also in this series: Knowing the Score
Published by Carina Press on 14 April 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Love & Romance, People & Places, Sports & Athletics
Pages: 230
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars
Also by this author: Knowing the Score

Place(s) Traveled To: Unknown, Venezuela // London, England

First Line(s): Warm seawater sliding over naked. That’s how Tess wanted to end her second night in Venezuela.

Playing it Close by Kat Latham is the second book in her London Legends team which is an English Rugby team. This story involves Liam, who we first meet in Knowing the Scoreand Tess, a new character. At the start of the book both Tess and Liam are in Venezuela, each trying to escape real life issues that are waiting for them back in England. The two meet and have an instant connection but both start out lying to the other which never ends well in a romance novel. Because the truth does come out along with several misunderstandings tossed in just for fun. Though despite these self-made obstacles Tess and Liam do have real chemistry on the page and its hard not to fight for them as they work their way to a HEA.

What is missing from Playing it Close is any real crossover with the first book, Knowing the Score, as Liam and Spencer are supposed to be best friends. This lack of Spencer is made all the more glaring with how often the other London Legends players appear on the page. It was also a little confusing trying to figure out the timeline from when the first book ended and where this one begins and I probably spent more time than I should have trying to connect the dots.

Overall, Playing it Close, was your average contemporary romance filled with the usual sorts of cliches. It was filled with a fun cast of secondary characters and I did enjoy the humor that Liam’s teammates brought to the story. I also enjoyed Liam and Tess’s interactions when they weren’t being stupid and letting a lack of communication get between them. Sometimes I really wish that you could reach into a book and knock some sense into the various characters. Playing it Close was a quick and engaging read and I look forward to the next book in the series, Tempting the Player.

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Playing it Close Quote

three-half-stars
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