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Posts Tagged: Second Chance Romance

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Review: Rookie Move by Sarina Bowen

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Rookie Move by Sarina BowenRookie Move (Brooklyn Bruisers, #1) by Sarina Bowen
Series: ,
Published by Berkley on September 6th 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Love & Romance, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Sports & Athletics
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: The Year We Fell Down, The Year We Hid Away, The Understatement of the Year, Blonde Date, The Shameless Hour, Him, The Fifteenth Minute, Coming in from the Cold, Us, Bittersweet, Steadfast

Place(s) Traveled To: Brooklyn, New York // Denver, Colorado // Phoenix, Arizona // Dallas, Texas

First Line(s): Cobblestone streets did not pair well with high heels.

Long time readers will know that I am a big fan of Sarina Bowen’s books and I’ve really enjoyed her Ivy Years series. With ROOKIE MOVE, not only does Bowen make the leap from self-published to traditional publishing but she also starts her very first spin off series. We first meet Leo Trevi as a secondary character in the Ivy Years books but don’t learn a ton about him until THE FIFTEENTH MINUTE (my review) when his brother’s story is told. That first sneak peak was enough to have me eager for ROOKIE MOVE which is an adult read set in the same universe as the Ivy Years books only the characters aren’t in college any more. In ROOKIE MOVE, Leo is getting ready to start his first year on a professional NFL team and he’s both excited and nervous as this is everything that he’s ever wanted. Well, except for maybe his high school love, Georgia, who just happens to be the teams PR representative. To make things even more complex, Georgia’s dad is also the new Brooklyn Bruisers coach.

To say that ROOKIE MOVE has a lot going on is an understatement and I think that there are some plot points that could have been avoided. Especially the one where Georgia’s dad was just a complete and utter fuck-tard. Seriously, there was no reason for his attitude towards Leo and he acted more like a 3 year old in the midst of a tantrum than an adult professional. I don’t know why the team’s owner put up with it nor do I understand why Leo never took things up with HR because the man was out of control. That whole story line took away from my enjoyment of this book because there was no basis for it nor was it resolved well. It was just sort there and it didn’t fit in with the story as a whole. Drama for the sake of drama and really took me out of the story.

Rookie Move Quote

The other part of ROOKIE MOVE that was a disappointment was Leo and Georgia’s relationship. It just seemed too easy and there was no angst or drama to it. The only real drama in this book came from Georgia’s dad and so the love story seemed to be a bit forgotten about. Leo and Georgia were apart throughout their college years and then they just seemed to reconnect so quickly without ever fully dealing with their issues. I also didn’t feel any real chemistry between the two and thought that Leo had better chemistry (non-romantic)/storylines with some of his teammates than he did with the love of his life.

I wanted to love ROOKIE MOVE but, for me, this one just fell short of my expectations. I am looking forward to reading more books in this series and am glad that I read the story but it was just an okay read for me, not a great one. I just needed something more in ROOKIE MOVE that never fully materialized and I hope that other books in the series will read better for me as the characters and plots will be more new. As much as I wanted to see Leo and Georgia’s reunion I am now thinking that their story may have been better told as a secondary storyline in another book.

irishdarkblue

IR - Rookie Move

Add Any Man of Mine by Rachel Gibson to Goodreads.

Add Fair Play by Deirdre Martin to Goodreads.

three-stars
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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Review: Steadfast by Sarina Bowen

Posted by Irish in 3.5 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Steadfast by Sarina BowenSteadfast by Sarina Bowen
Series: True North, Book 2
Also in this series: Bittersweet
Published by Self-Published on 12 July 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Health & Daily Living, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues
Pages: 310
Source: Author
Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars
Also by this author: The Year We Fell Down, The Year We Hid Away, The Understatement of the Year, Blonde Date, The Shameless Hour, Him, The Fifteenth Minute, Coming in from the Cold, Us, Bittersweet, Rookie Move (Brooklyn Bruisers, #1)

Place(s) Traveled To: Colebury, Vermont // Montpelier, Vermont // Tuxbury, Vermont

First Line(s): The last time I drove through Colebury, Vermont I sat behind the wheel of a 1972 Porsche 911 restored to mint condition with a sweet new paint job in Aubergine.

STEADFAST by Sarina Bowen is the second book in her True North series and a companion novel to BITTERSWEET (my review.) Its in BITTERSWEET we first meet Jude and learn a little of his backstory but you don’t get the full details of his past until the start of STEADFAST. All that you really know about Jude is that he’s a recovering drug addict and that he spent the last few years in prison. On the Shipley farm he tries to keep to himself as he isn’t used to letting people get close but if you’ve read BITTERSWEET and have met the Shipley clan than you know that Jude was fighting a losing battle. He needs the Shipley’s because Jude is a man who was made to love people even though he hasn’t had the best of luck in finding the right ones to let in.

The Shipley’s aren’t the only ones that Jude learns to love in STEADFAST but we also meet his high school girlfriend, Sophie. The girl he loved above all other, except for maybe his drugs, and the one who he hurt the most when his world came crumbling down. Which means that STEADFAST has one of my favorite tropes, the second chance at love scenario and I just knew I was going to like it. And like STEADFAST I did, I just didn’t love it and I can’t fully put my finger on why. Because I liked Jude, more than I thought I would even, and I liked Sophie and I liked their story but something just seemed a bit off. Perhaps it just seemed a little too fast and that forgiveness came too quick that it didn’t seem real.

Steadfast Quote

There was also the whole subplot plot that while realistic also didn’t fully mesh well in my brain with the story that I was expecting. That and the ending just felt so rushed. I made a goodreads comment during one scene at the end where things just escalated very quickly that I got reader whiplash and thought to myself, what just happened? The events aren’t things that come from out in left field but I just think that it would have worked better in my brain if there were more words leading up to it. But this is just a me thing I am sure because I am an Angelica and I am never satisfied. I also really want Zach’s story and I think my desire for that may have taken away some of my eagerness for STEADFAST.

Overall though, I did enjoy Jude and Sophie’s story and was happy that they found their HEA at last. I was happy to see how Bowen incorporated the Shipley clan into this book because I loved seeing that whole family again. I liked the journey that Jude took because it wasn’t an easy one and it had its up and downs but it was real and raw and an important story to tell. As with all Bowen’s books, STEADFAST is a quick and engrossing read and it is hard to put down once you start. Bowen has a real gift for writing real relationships and I just love the families that she makes in her books. STEADFAST can be read as a standalone but I think that it works better if you first meet the Shipley’s and learn all of their quirky ways in BITTERSWEET.

irishdarkblue

IR - Steadfast

 

Add Lead by Kylie Scott to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Double Full by Kindle Alexander to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

three-half-stars
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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Review: Defending Taylor by Miranda Kenneally

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Review, Young Adult1 Comment

Review: Defending Taylor by Miranda KenneallyDefending Taylor by Miranda Kenneally
Series: Hundred Oaks,
Also in this series: Breathe, Annie, Breathe, Jesse's Girl
Published by Sourcebooks on 05 July 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Girls & Women, Love & Romance, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Sports & Athletics, Young Adult
Pages: 304
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: Breathe, Annie, Breathe, Jesse's Girl

Place(s) Traveled To: Franklin, Tennessee // Murfreesboro, Tennessee // Brentwood, Tenneessee

First Line(s): When I was a little girl, Dad installed a gumball machine in our house.

It’s taken me awhile to come up with the right words to fully express my thoughts on DEFENDING TAYLOR by Miranda Kenneally and even these words don’t seem completely right. DEFENDING TAYLOR is everything that you would expect from a book by Miranda Kenneally but its also so much more. All off Kenneally’s Hundred Oaks books have some sort of theme to them, and not just the various sportsing that is mentioned either. For me, the main theme in DEFENDING TAYLOR is one of second chances. Its about making mistakes and learning to live with the consequences no matter what they are. Its about standing your ground when you think you are right even when telling one simple truth can change everything.

Taylor isn’t always the easiest character to like or even to understand at times but by the end of the book you can’t help but to sympathize with her and the tough choices she makes. What she did might be hard for some to understand but its something that happens all the time. Sometimes you make a tough choice thinking that the consequence won’t be that bad and if they are then you have to live them. I think that Taylor is very brave for what she did because her choice wasn’t an easy one and her family certainly didn’t make it any easier. Even though they could have done so. I really wasn’t a fan of Taylor’s family in this book so was really glad when she reconnected with Ezra as she needed a friendly face around.

Defending Taylor Quote

While at its heart DEFENDING TAYLOR is about making choices it also contains two of my favorite book tropes: second chance at love and friend of a sibling. Ezra is the BFF of Taylor’s brother and once upon a time they almost got together. When you learn their backstory it just makes your heart ache for what could have been. And while things could have been cleared up if the two just talked to each other there was pride and hurt feelings that got in the way. Plus, the timing then may not have been right as both of these characters needed to go through some things  before they were ready for their HEA.

DEFENDING TAYLOR is a book that I found hard to put down once I started it. I may not have always agreed with Taylor and her life choices but I did understand them. In the end, the thing I wanted most from DEFENDING TAYLOR was more. I wanted more story, more Taylor, more Ezra and just more of everything. Keanneally has a gift for writing feel good, heart achy stories and if you are a fan of her words then you don’t want to miss this one. If you haven’t read anything by Keanneally before then DEFENDING TAYLOR might be a good place to start. Its definitely a book that you want on your shelf this summer.

 

irishdarkblue

IR - Defending Taylor

 

Add Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West to Goodreads. (Click here for my review, Click here for Andi’s review)

Add Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen to Goodreads. (Click here for Andi’s review)

four-stars
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Friday, April 29, 2016

Review: Last First Kiss by Lia Riley

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Last First Kiss by Lia RileyLast First Kiss by Lia Riley
Series: Brightwater,
Published by Avon on 23 June 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Love & Romance, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance
Pages: 352
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Brightwater, California

First Line(s): Dear readers, There were so many sweet by worried comments following my divorce announcement.

LAST FIRST KISS by Lia Riley is the first book in a new series that is set in the small town of Brightwater, California. This book involves Annie Carson who has returned home for the first time since high school graduation to heal from her divorce and to prepare the family farm for sale. While home she meets back up with Sawyer, who is her neighbor, her first love, and also her family’s enemy. The two families have been feuding since before most people can remember and so that doesn’t make things easy for this Romeo and Juliet couple. Especially since Sawyer is a big part of why Annie left home in the first place.

When Annie lived in Brightwater she was a bit of a wild child and often the source of town gossip but over the years she’s grown up, married, had a child, and started a popular mommy’s blog to chronicle her perfect life. Only her life isn’t perfect and she’s struggling to keep it all together. She most definitely doesn’t need the added complication of Sawyer coming back into her life and she struggles with him wanting to start fresh.

Last First Kiss Quote

I liked the chemistry between Sawyer and Annie and I adored how Sawyer interacted with Annie’s son. I often don’t like kids in books and LAST FIRST KISS wasn’t an exception to this but it could have been worse. I did think that LAST FIRST KISS was a bit more awkward than it should have been. The dialogue scenes were a bit cringe worthy at times and it didn’t feel like real people were talking.

In terms of steaminess, LAST FIRST KISS is a bit cool and vanilla and there was a crazy escalation to the HEA which ended up being overly cutesy for my tastes. I also thought that all the blog entries were a distraction and I could have done without them. I think by the end of the book I started to skip them all together. Overall, LAST FIRST KISS was just a meh read for me and while I’ll probably read the other books in the series I don’t think I’ll be rushing out to do so.

irishdarkblue

IR - Last First Kiss

 

Add Catching Cameron by Julie Brannagh to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Imaginary Lines by Allison Parr to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

three-stars
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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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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Review: Loving Dallas by Casey Quinn

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

Review: Loving Dallas by Casey QuinnLoving Dallas by Casey Quinn
Series: Neon Dreams, Book 2
Also in this series: Leaving Amarillo, Missing Dixie
Published by William Morrow on 16 June 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Family, Friendship, Love & Romance, Music & Musicians, New Adult, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance
Pages: 296
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: Leaving Amarillo, Missing Dixie

Place(s) Traveled To: Omaha, Nebraska // Atlanta, Georgia // Denver, Colorado // Kansas City, Kansas // Los Angeles, California // Greenville, North Carolina // Charlotte, North Carolina // New Orleans, Louisiana // Dallas, Texas // Nashville, Tennessee // Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

First Line(s): Thirty-six cities blurred by me so quickly I felt like I’d been on a six-week drinking binge.

If I could describe LOVING DALLAS by Casey Quinn in one word I’d say it was predictable. If I had two then it would be predictable and frustrating for LOVING DALLAS was filled with ALL THE CLICHES!!! And they just made my head hurt. On its surface LOVING DALLAS seems like it had everything I’d love in a book for it was a rock star romance and it was also a second chance at love story. But, oh my stars, were these two leads so super frustrating! I knew Dallas was going to be a chore going in just based on how he was in LEAVING AMARILLO (my review) and while I liked him better in this book I still didn’t fall head over heels for him. I also was way way more annoyed with Robyn so any flaws he had kind of paled in comparison.

Where LOVING DALLAS excels over LEAVING AMARILLO is in how it is a dual POV story. I don’t think I would have finished this one if it had been told entirely from Robyn’s POV. She was so quick to make judgement and assumptions and was often the one causing all the drama between her and Dallas. She based a lot of what she did on his high school self as well on what she thought he would do. Even though nothing in his current persona indicated that he would act as she thought. In fact, more often than not how Robyn thought Dallas would react was the exact opposite of how he did react. And I just loved when Dallas finally called Robyn out on all of her crap.

Loving Dallas Quote

I also didn’t agree with many of Robyn’s choices in this book. Not that Dallas was perfect or gets a free pass as he had his douchy moments too. But he wasn’t working under all the same facts as Robyn had as she didn’t show him her full hand. Where Dallas often annoyed me was in his belief that he could only have part of his dream. Like he could date Robyn or be a musician. There was no shades of grey with him it was all black and white and like Robyn he made assumptions on the choices she might make and he often assumed wrong. I hated how these two didn’t seem to know the word compromise and that there was a way for them both to live their dreams and still be together.

As you can imagine, LOVING DALLAS had a lot of unnecessary drama and even a WTF moment (or two) but overall I did like it better than its predecessor. As much as the story and characters annoyed me at times it was still a highly readable book and I read it in about a day. Granted I was also vacationing in Greece at the time so that definitely aided in the amount of free time I had to read. LOVING DALLAS will never be a favorite book of mine but I don’t feel as though my time was wasted for the read of it. And I can see how it will appeal to many who aren’t as tough on books as I am and who don’t mind all that angst. Because there was a lot of angst. Though there could have been more so there is that. At the end of the day only you can decide if LOVING DALLAS is right for you or not and I think that you should give it a go if you have a few hours to give to this story.

irishdarkblue

IR - Loving Dallas

Add Tyler & Stella by Heidi Joy Tretheway to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Rowdy by Jay Crownover to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

three-stars
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Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Mini Review: Lord Dashwood Missed Out by Tessa Dare

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Mini Review: Lord Dashwood Missed Out by Tessa DareLord Dashwood Missed Out by Tessa Dare
Series: Spindle Cove,
Also in this series: A Week to be Wicked
Published by Avon on 08 December 2015
Genres: Adult, Emotions & Feelings, Historical Romance, Love & Romance, Regency, Road Trip, Short Story / Novella
Pages: 144
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: A Week to be Wicked, Romancing the Duke, Say Yes to the Marquess, When a Scot Ties the Knot

Place(s) Traveled To: Hastings, England // Spindle Cove, England // Canterbury, England (19th Century)

First Line(s): By the age of three-and-twenty, Miss Elinora Browning had given up on wedding vows – instead, she made herself a promise.

LORD DASHWOOD MISSED OUT is a novella set in Tessa Dare’s Spindle Cover universe and was a quick, fun story that I enjoyed. As with most of Dare’s books the two leads had some amazing banter and good chemistry. I loved the story of Nora and Dashwood and their scenes often brought a smile to my face. When they weren’t making my heart ache with their backstory. What I didn’t like about LORD DASHWOOD MISSED OUT was how the POV would split and go into other characters from Dare’s Spindle Cove books. Those POVs were distracting and didn’t add anything to the story for me. What I wanted more of in this book was more time spent with Nora and Dash.

LORD DASHWOOD MISSED OUT is a sweet romance and the declaration at the end will just melt your heart. This is a short novella but it feels like a full story. It was fun revisiting Spindle Cove and seeing some of those characters and I hope that we get to see Nora and Dash in the upcoming book, DO YOU WANT TO START A SCANDAL.

 

irishdarkblue

Lord Dashwood Quote
three-stars
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Monday, February 23, 2015

Review: Right of Way by Lauren Barnholdt

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Review, Young Adult0 Comments

Review: Right of Way by Lauren BarnholdtRight of Way by Lauren Barnholdt
Series: Two-Way Street, Book 2
Also in this series: Two-Way Street
Published by Simon Pulse on 09 July 2013
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Friendship, People & Places, Road Trip, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 320
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: Two-Way Street, Through to You

Place(s) Traveled To: Siesta Key, Florida // Greenwich, Connecticut // Sarasota, Florida // Bradenton, Florida // Ocala, Florida // Savannah, Georgia // Richmond Hill, Georgia

First Line(s): I’m a traitor to my generation.

Right of Way by Lauren Barnholdt is a companion book to her story, Two-Way Street (my review) and follows the cousin of Courtney. The two books are very similar in premise that they are almost interchangeable. The only real differences are the names, there is a dog and Jace is driving Peyton home and they are not heading off to college together. They have an existing relationship but unlike Courtney and Jordan theirs is more of a summer time fling but like Jordan, Jace just cuts off all contact without a word leaving Peyton all sorts of heart-broken. These aren’t a grouping of books that you want to read back to back as you’ll just get frustrated at the almost copy & paste of the story. But with some time in between the two the similarities aren’t quite as glaring though still pretty obvious.

Peyton, like Courtney, is a bit of an unlikable character and I just don’t get what Jace sees in her and the reason he had for cutting off all contact was just dumb. With as close as they were supposed to be the fact that he didn’t ask her to explain was just rage inducing. Ugh to the ugh ugh ugh with the pointless breakup!! Nothing frustrates me more than that and this was just made me sigh and roll my eyes.

Right of Way Quote

Overall though, Right of Way, is a quick brain candy type of read and its a good follow-up to an emotionally draining book. Its not a deep story and it doesn’t take long to read which makes it a great pallet cleanser. While I didn’t like Peyton at first she does change during the story and I do cheer for her and Jace’s inevitable coming back together. While this isn’t a book that I will re-read its not one that I feel like I wasted my time on either. Even with all the similarities to Two-Way Street.

irishdarkblue

IR - Right of Way

Add How My Summer Went up in Flames by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Trust the Focus by Megan Erickson to Goodreads (Review coming soon.)

three-stars
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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Review: The Understatement of the Year by Sarina Bowen

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, New Adult, Review1 Comment

Review: The Understatement of the Year by Sarina BowenThe Understatement of the Year by Sarina Bowen
Series: The Ivy Years,
Also in this series: The Year We Fell Down, The Year We Hid Away, Blonde Date, The Shameless Hour, The Fifteenth Minute
Published by Self-Published on 15 Oct 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Friends to Lovers, Friendship, GLBT, Love & Romance, New Adult, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Sports & Athletics
Format: eBook
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: The Year We Fell Down, The Year We Hid Away, Blonde Date, The Shameless Hour, Him, The Fifteenth Minute, Coming in from the Cold, Us, Bittersweet, Steadfast, Rookie Move (Brooklyn Bruisers, #1)

Place(s) Traveled To: Etna, Connecticut // Brattleboro, Vermont // Boston, Massachusetts

First Line(s): In all my favorite movies, when something bad was going to happen, the protagonist usually sensed it.

Internet,

Let me tell you a secret. I only started reading Sarina Bowen’s Ivy Years series to get to this book, The Understatement of the Year. This is the third book in the series and came to me highly recommended by a friend. She said I could probably start the series here with this book but I do like to read my series in order when I can and while I liked the previous books, The Year We Fell Down (my review) and The Year We Hid Away (my review). I didn’t love them although I did really enjoy the novella Blonde Date (review to come) and wish that had been longer. The Understatement of the Year takes place almost concurrently with The Year We Hid Away and follows Michael Graham, the one who takes Bridger’s place on the Harkness hockey team. We quickly learn that Graham has secrets and most revolve around the new player John Rikker, who just happens to be one of the first openly gay hockey players on the collegiate circuit.

The Understatement of the Year is a contemporary romance that will make your heart ache. The angst and the longing and the emotions that Graham and Rikker put you through make you want to turn the pages faster and faster. Its a book filled with friendship and redemption and finding yourself. Its also a book that contains one of my favorite romance tropes, the second chance at love. I do so adore a story where the characters have a back story, an existing relationship and heartache that they need to overcome. It just adds a little something to overall story arc when it is done right and Sarina Bowen does it right.

Understatement of the Year Quote

Of all the books in this series to date, The Understatement of the Year, is my favorite. It hits all the right notes and really tugs on the heart strings. This book made my heart ache and I just loved watching Rikker and Graham come together as they sought their happily ever after. My only real disappointment was that the book had to end as I wasn’t ready to leave these characters behind. I wanted more of their story and more of some of the secondary characters like Rikker’s grandmother and Skippy.

The Understatement of the Year is a wonderful romance story for those that like a good romance. Its a quick read and hard to put down. Its a book that I know that I will re-read on those days when I just need to get lost in a book that I know will make my heart happy. I enjoyed it and I think that you will too.

irishdarkblue

IR- Understatement of Year

Add Trust the Focus by Megan Erickson to Goodreads.

Add Waiting for Ty by Samantha Ann King to Goodreads. (Click here for my review)

four-stars
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Saturday, January 10, 2015

Review: Catching Cameron by Julie Brannagh

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Catching Cameron by Julie BrannaghCatching Cameron by Julie Brannagh
Series: Love and Football,
Also in this series: Blitzing Emily, Rushing Amy, Covering Kendall
Published by Avon on 06 May 2014
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Sports & Athletics
Pages: 400
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: Blitzing Emily, Rushing Amy, Covering Kendall

Place(s) Traveled To: New York, New York // Seattle, Washington // Whidbey Island, Washington

First Line: Zach Anderson was in New York City again, and he wasn’t happy about it.

Catching Cameron is the third book in Julie Brannagh’s Love and Romance series but its only loosely connected to the first two books in the series. There is barely a mention or interaction with the previous characters and the only thing that really connects them is the setting and the fictional football team that Zach plays on. Therefore, this book can almost be looked at as a standalone novel but despite this I really liked how Catching Cameron began. It was just as the story progressed that I got more and more annoyed with the story and the characters. First there was the very annoying assistant that Cameron had and whose attentions could be seen from a mile away and yet at the big reveal everyone was just shocked. This just came across as unrealistic as the assistant was such a complete and total cliche. I really could have done without this character in the book. I did like Zach and Cameron and their second chance at romance and thought that this book could have stood with just that drama alone.

But the thing that bugged me the most with Catching Cameron was how everyone kept harping on Cameron’s weight. She was described as a thin, fit, and an excising loving person yet it seemed as though everyone around her kept telling her she was fat and needed to lose weight. Including a very rude waitress who changed her order from a hamburger to a salad. If I had been reading a print version of this book I totally would have tossed it across the room during this scene. I thought that the vagina obsession in Rushing Amy was bad but this was stomach turning. And it wasn’t just the waitress that harped on her weight but also her boss, her assistant, Zach, and even at times Cameron herself.

Catching Cameron Quote

Then there was the double standards about how Cameron could never move her very popular, high ratings show, to film in Seattle as the main office of the studio was in New York. And yet, didn’t the male lead of Rushing Amy work for that same studio and live in Seattle? So there were many eye rolls at this because how does it work for one but not another. I also hated how Cameron’s boss treated her as if she was just a pretty brainless girl and not he smart hard working, ratings earning person that she was. He belittled her at every turn and dismissed all of her ideas as childish. I don’t know what Cameron put up with it as long as she did as her show stood on its one and she had proven herself time and again just how knowledgeable and smart she was in her field. It really really irked me how she was treated. Though, I did like the realism of it because Cameron is a woman and as much as it galls me women deal with this sort of misogyny every day. Especially in such a male dominated world of sports broadcasting.

Now it might seem as though I didn’t like this book much since I have only focused on the negative and I didn’t mean to start of that way but these are glaring things that really took away from my enjoyment of the story. Overall, I really did like the chemistry between Zach and Cameron and enjoyed reading their story. And if the plot didn’t focus on Cameron’s weight as much as it did I may have rated this one a bit higher. I also felt that so much time was spent on the build up that the ending felt a bit rushed and as a result fell into the trap of telling and not showing. But even with that I still read this one pretty quickly I just didn’t enjoy it as much as the first book, Blitzing Emily, which was filled with this fresh quirkiness that seemed to be missing here.

My thoughts summed up in a gif:

smile shrugh gif

irishdarkblue

 

Irish Recommends - Catching Cameron
three-stars
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