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Series: Bend or Break

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Review: Nothing Like Paris by Amy Jo Cousins

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, New Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Nothing Like Paris by Amy Jo CousinsNothing Like Paris by Amy Jo Cousins
Series: Bend or Break, Book 2
Also in this series: Off Campus
Published by Samhain Publishing on 03 March 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Friends to Lovers, Friendship, GLBT, Love & Romance, New Adult, People of Color, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues
Pages: 249
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: Off Campus

Place(s) Traveled To: Colchester Falls, Iowa // Carlisle, Massachusetts

First Line(s): The girl whose nonstop monologue about intersectionality and film had kept him company for eleven hundred miles – from the East Coast all the way to the cornfields of Iowa – kicked him to the vurb in the pre-dawn hours, duffel bag at his feet, banjo case strapped across his back.

NOTHING LIKE PARIS is the second book in Amy Jo Cousins’s Bend or Break series and stars a secondary character from the first book, Jake. Jake was a bit of a bully in the last book and despite the reasons he thought he had the school has a low tolerance for bullies and he’s put on probation and might be kicked out. As a result he heads back to the small town where he is from feeling as though all his hopes and dreams are over and not sure where he will go from there. When he returns home he runs into his old boyfriend, Miguel. The two have some issues to work out but from the moment that their paths cross again there is chemistry. For the most part I liked their relationship and story better than OFF CAMPUS (my review) but I still had some issues with it.

Most especially with all the derogatory comments about Community Colleges. Miguel is a small business owner taking classes to get a degree and Jake kind of shits all over that. Jake thinks it would be better for Miguel to go to his big fancy school and that it was the only way for Miguel to live his dreams. But it seemed like Miguel was living his dream and that the only thing that was missing was someone to love and share that with. It seriously went up my butt sideways though all the horrible comments made on Community Colleges. Community Colleges can make for a great stepping stone to a four year college and they have some tougher and more challenging curriculums than some four year universities. Credits and that Associates degree are also transferable so I hated the implication that NOTHING LIKE PARIS gave that they weren’t, that the time Miguel spent at a Community College was wasted and he’d have to start from scratch at a four year university if he transferred to one. *hulk smash*

Nothing Like Paris Quote

My issues with how Cousins deals with Community Colleges aside, and when I strip away my ragey feelings, I did enjoy NOTHING LIKE PARIS. I have always had a soft spot for second chance romance stories and NOTHING LIKE PARIS did hit all the right notes there. I loved traveling though Jake and Miguel’s journey as their story made my heart ache. I was cheering for them all the way through to their happily ever after. Though I do wish that there had been a little bit more from that ending which felt a little inconclusive to me. Although maybe we’ll get mentions of Jake and Miguel in other books in this series so I’ll have to read them to find out.

I don’t think that NOTHING LIKE PARIS will ever be a total fan favorite for me but it was a quick read and kept me entertained on the plane ride home from Greece. Its a good brain candy sort of read that would make a good beach or crappy weather read. I liked how Cousins redeemed Jake from the first book and how he made amends for his actions. I always do enjoy a good redemption story because the characters are always so much stronger in the end. I enjoyed the bond that regrew between Miguel and Jake and they are characters that I will miss now that their book is over so I do hope that we see them again, some how, as the series progresses.

 

 

irishdarkblue

IR - Nothing Like Paris

 

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

Add Love Me Tenor by Annabeth Albert to Goodreads (Click here for my review.)

three-stars
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Thursday, February 11, 2016

Review: Off Campus by Amy Jo Cousins

Posted by Irish in 3.5 Stars, New Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Off Campus by Amy Jo CousinsOff Campus by Amy Jo Cousins
Series: Bend or Break,
Also in this series: Nothing Like Paris
Published by Samhain Publishing on 30 December 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, GLBT, Love & Romance, New Adult, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues
Pages: 317
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars
Also by this author: Nothing Like Paris

Place(s) Traveled To: Boston, Massachusetts // Carlisle, Massachusetts

First Line(s): His bed was missing.

I forget how I first heard of OFF CAMPUS by Amy Jo Cousins but I do recall being drawn to it because it was an opposites attract story. OFF CAMPUS is the story of Reese and Tom who are both unexpectedly sharing a dorm room at their elite college in Western Massachusetts. Tom is mostly just looking for a place to crash as he finishes up his degree after taking some time off due to a scandal that left him broke and his father in jail. Reese is openly gay and was bullied the previous year and thought that he’d be getting a single for this year in school. What’s worse is that Tom is a former jock and as Reese’s bullies were jocks they don’t get off on the right foot. What Reese doesn’t realize is that Tom is bisexual and doesn’t mind that Reese is gay, in fact, he likes his new roommate more than he wants to admit.

Off Campus Quote

OFF CAMPUS is a slow burn romance with a lot of push and pull between Reese and Tom. Reese, while attracted to Tom, decides the best way to deal with a potential homophobic jock roommate is to flaunt his flings in front of him. I do love a good slow burn story and Tom and Reese really made me smile. Even if I wanted to shake them at times because initially Reese could be such an asshole to Tom. But I did love watching the two of them come together and form a bond of friendship and then of something more. I also enjoyed most of the secondary characters in this book, especially Cash, who just brought a lot of humor into every scene that he was in. Tom was a little overly paranoid for my tastes and that aspect of his character did get old. I much preferred him when he became more comfortable in his own skin.

OFF CAMPUS was a quick read that I enjoyed a lot though the third person narration was a little off putting. The POV would shift to focus on both Tom and Reese but more time was spent with Tom and I wish that it had been a more even split. The third person narration also acted like a wall between the reader and the characters and so you don’t get them as well as you might otherwise. This story also got a little choppy and uneven at the end and there are some events that happened that left me shaking my head in confusion as they seemed to come out of nowhere. Overall though, I did enjoy this story and I liked Amy Jo Cousins’s writing enough that I am curious to check out more titles by her.

irishdarkblue

IR - Off Campus

Add The Understatement of the Year by Sarina Bowen to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Treble Maker by Annabeth Albert to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

three-half-stars
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