Current Contests/Announcements

The story of the Orange Cake Click here to find out more.


Check out the NKOTB Book Tag Meme Here!

Having trouble leaving a comment? If you have trouble commenting then please click on the refresh button, this usually fixes the issue. I also use comment moderation for new commenters to the blog.

Posts Tagged: Sports

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Review: Changing the Game by Jaci Burton

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Review: Changing the Game by Jaci BurtonChanging the Game by Jaci Burton
Series: Play by Play, Book 2
Also in this series: The Perfect Play, Taking a Shot
Published by Berkley Books on 02 August 2011
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Pages: 299
Format: Paperback
Source: Library
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: The Perfect Play, Taking a Shot

Place(s) Traveled to: Palm Beach, Florida // St. Louis, Missouri // New York, New York

First Line(s): Gavin Riley knew Elizabeth Darnell had been avoiding him for the past several months.

If I am honest, I have to admit that I really wasn’t looking forward to reading Changing the Game by Jaci Burton and I almost skipped this book entirely. The reason for this was my intense dislike of the main character, Elizabeth who was a major player in the first book in the series, The Perfect Play (my review). Elizabeth was kind of a b!tch in that book and she did everything she could to break up Tara and Mick. She also thought that one of her main jobs as a sports agent was to have her clients be seen with any and every celebrity she could find hanging on their arm and to just party party party. Whereas as most other books I’ve read and tv shows watched have shown the sports agents trying to get their clients to settle down and not party as much. This was just a small part of her personality that I just wasn’t a fan of but I also dislike reading books out of order so decided to suck it up and give this a go.

Changing the Game picks up several months after The Perfect Play ends and Elizabeth has been avoiding Gavin (who is Mick’s younger brother) after Mick fired her and she kissed Gavin. As with, The Perfect Play, the sex scenes start almost immediately and occurred in high frequency and almost to the point of overshadowing the main story. Throughout the book I was still annoyed with Elizabeth though not as much as I was in The Perfect Play.  In Changing the Game, we get to see events through Elizabeth’s eyes and as such we do get to see a bit of her vulnerability. This helps in identifying with her a bit more than seeing her through the eyes of others. The saving grace of this book though was Gavin. He was the opposite of Elizabeth and shows that the old maxim of opposites attract holds true. But they aren’t so opposite that they don’t find common interests outside of the bedroom.

Gavin’s personality was also more genuine and real and just plain more likeable. Which was the opposite of his brother Mick who was a complete and utter a$$ in this book. Its a good thing that he didn’t have all that many scenes in this book or I may have had to go back and revise my review of The Perfect Play and follow up on my first impression of his character. Mick was abrasive and verbally abusive to Elizabeth. Harassing her and calling her names and trying to drive a wedge between her and Gavin. The exact thing that Elizabeth did to him (minus the name calling of Tara) and that he got so bent out of shape over in the first place. In this book Mick often came across as entitled and bratty and just generally unlikable. This did help in softening my opinion of Elizabeth as we did mostly see her through Mick’s eyes in The Perfect Play.

I liked the person that Elizabeth became when she was with Gavin. She was looser and less uptight and more genuine and real. Gavin was a likeable hero and I hope to see more of him in future books. He was honest and funny and just always felt real. In the end, I did like Changing the Game but I didn’t love it. This book won’t be a favorite of mine but I am glad that I didn’t skip it. I liked the introduction to Jenna and I look forward to her story as a result of this one.

irishdarkblue

three-stars
Divider

Monday, January 6, 2014

Review: Fighting Love by Abby Niles

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Fighting Love by Abby NilesFighting Love by Abby Niles
Series: Love to the Extreme, Book 2
Published by Entangled Publishing on 31 December 2013
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Goodreads
four-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Atlanta, Georgia

First Line(s): What the hell did he give a woman for Valentine’s Day when he no longer had connections?

Fighting Love by Abby Niles is the second book in her Love to the Extreme series of which I haven’t read the first book yet. Normally I don’t like to read series books out of order, even when the series are more like companion novels and not direct sequels, but in this case I made an exception. There was just something about the write up about Fighting Love that intrigued me. However, when I first started to read it I wasn’t sold. I can’t tell you how many times I read the opening paragraphs before putting the book aside. That is until this past Friday evening when my apartment complex lost power.

With no tv to distract me, I grabbed my kindle paperwhite and snuggled up under the covers and didn’t stop reading until around 1 am when the power came back on. I then turned off the lights which I though I had turned off and thought for 1/2 a second about going to sleep before grabbing my kindle again and continuing my read of Fighting Love until I hit the end of the book. So for me, Fight Love was a book that I just had to give myself time to read without distractions.

I enjoyed the two main characters, Julie Rogers and Tommy Sparks, and the classic friends to lover story that was Fighting Love. Julie and Tommy have known each other for years and while Julie has always had a thing for Tommy he, in typical romance story fashion, had no clue. But things start to change when Tommy has to live with Julie after his house burns down. Its the living in close quarters and seeing her date someone that he can’t intimidate that he begins to realize that he has feelings for her too. For, Tommy is an MMA fighter and all the story book cliches that go along with that.

If I’m honest, I am a bit over MMA fighters and Tattoo artists and that cliched bad boy that seems to be a constant in contemporary romances these days. Only Tommy wasn’t your typical bad boy. Yes he dated around a lot but he wasn’t necessarily a bad guy even if he did let a bit of fame go to his head. In the end though it wasn’t Tommy’s career that bugged me but how he kept running so hot and cold on Julie. It was confusing and a bit mean and as with so many other books all could have been avoided if he and Julie just sat down and had an honest conversation.

Tommy wasn’t alone in this, Julie really needed to speak up more and be more honest as well. But even with her silence and misunderstandings she wasn’t a passive heroine. She was strong and feisty and I did like how she tried to move on and didn’t just pine away for something she didn’t think she could have. I liked how she and Tommy interacted and I also really liked the secondary characters of Brody and Mac. I wish they’d been in the books more and I hope that we get to see more of them in the future.

Fighting Love isn’t a perfect story and it does suffer from some very stereotypical things but it was a quick read as well as an entertaining one. It made me laugh and it also gave me those heart achy moments that I adore. The speech at the end while it did make me roll my eyes a bit was also sweet and the moment when I really fell for Tommy. This is also the time when it was very late and long past my bedtime but I could have easily stayed up longer if there had been more pages to read.

Fighting Love was my first Abby Niles book but I am definitely going to be looking for her other books and I may already have Extreme Love, the first book in this series on my ereader as I type this up. If you are looking for a fun contemporary romance then I would recommend giving this one a try.

irishdarkblue

four-stars
Divider

Monday, September 16, 2013

Review: Knowing the Score by Kat Latham

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Adult, Review2 Comments

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Review: Knowing the Score by Kat LathamKnowing the Score by Kat Latham
Series: London Legends,
Also in this series: Playing it Close
Published by Carina Press on 05 August 2013
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Pages: 228
Format: eARC
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: Playing it Close

 

Place(s) Traveled to: London, England

First Line(s): Spencer Bailey was ready to light up the world – and any Aussies who crossed his path in the next eighty minutes.

London Legends Series Order
Book 1: Knowing the Score
Book 2: Playing it Close (20 April 2014)
Book 3: Untitled

I don’t know what it is about sports themed books but for whatever reason I am drawn to them like a moth to the flame. When I first saw the title, Knowing the Score by Kat Latham, I thought that it would be about soccer but I was wrong about that. Turns out this book was about rugby and it was set in one of my favorite cities in the world, London. This story was told from both Spencer and Caitlyn, both of whom are looking for a short term fling and nothing serious. So you just know that things are going to get all sorts of complicated.

They meet when Caitlyn helps Spencer’s dad who has a heart attack while walking around London one morning. There is an instant attraction but there is a catch, Spencer doesn’t do relationships of any kind during the rugby season and Caitlyn is a virgin who’d rather not be anymore on a short term work visa in London. Caitlyn has some serious hangups with men, and justifiably so, as well as a huge chip on her shoulder. I am amazed that Spencer didn’t chuck this girl to the curb a dozen times over as she always jumps to the worst case scenario.

When she ends up pregnant, things change dramatically and just as when you think these two might find their HEA, Caitlyn’s friend reveals something about Spencer’s past that has Caitlyn running. Again. Rather than look at the actions of the man she knows and all good heart he has. Rather than do something sensible like talk to him she flies off the handle believing all the worst based on the word of a tabloid report and an event that happened several years prior. I seriously just wanted to smack this girl on the head a dozen times over. Caitlyn just wasn’t very likable most of the time and as I said above I don’t see why Spencer stuck around.

This was a fast-paced story and while I liked the premise I just wasn’t head over heels in love with it. The ending was a little unrealistic and it can be hard to fully enjoy a story when one of the characters sets your teeth on edge. I do think that this is the start of a promising series and I look forward to reading more about these London Legends.

three-stars
Divider

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Review: Second Impact by David and Perri Klass

Posted by Irish in Review2 Comments

Title: Second Impact (Goodreads)
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Source: Publisher
Publication Date: 06 Aug 13
Series or Standalone: Standalone
ISBN: 0374379963
Format: Ebook (ARC)
Pages: 288

The authors on the web:
David Klass – Blog
David Klass – Twitter

Perri Klass – Official Site

Perri Klass – Blog

Perri Klass – Twitter

Place(s) Traveled to: Kendall, New Jersey

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

First Line: On game day, I usually wake up early and lie in bed thinking things over.

A few years ago I fell in love with a TV show called Friday Night Lights which on the surface is a total not me kind of show. FNL, as its often refered as, was a show that revolved around the coach of a Texas football team and various players. If you know me then you know I’m not a huge sports fanatic. I like all the New England sports teams I should and I like to go to live games but I’m not one to just sit on my couch and watch a game. I tend to call myself a social fan in that I’m more into a game when in a social setting among friends. So the fact that I watch and liked this football-centric show was an abnormality. 

But love it I did and when I read the description for Second Impact by David and Perri Klass I was hoping for a book that would recapture some of that same magic that I found in FNL. What I wasn’t expecting was for this entire book to be told in a dual POV using blog posts and emails to tell the story. As you know I love multiple POV stories and I am even a champion of stories told in non-traditional ways. So I settled in and expected to love this book it had all the right qualities to be a huge success with me.  

Second Impact never quite lived up to its promise though. It lacked the heart and emotion that exuded every episode of FNL. The blog format is normally something that I love but in this case it just added a crazy amount of distance between the reader and the characters. I never connected with them. There was just a wall between the story being told and what I read. And while this story didn’t take long to read I never cared about anything that was going on. 

There was also supposed to be this big crazy background story involving Jerry and while we get it told to us in bits and pieces you realize that he never faced any severe consequences for what he did. This story feeds into the philosophy that start sports players can pretty much get away with anything and still come out smelling like roses and I didn’t like that message. Kendall was also this whiny girl who meant well and she faced more consequences when trying to highlight a serious issue in her school than Jerry did and what he did was far worse. And while I know things like this happen in American high schools every day it doesn’t make it any more right. 

Second Impact was a book with a message and its one that the authors used Kendall to preach about and try to brow beat into the reader. I don’t mind message books but this one was a bit over the top and seemed to follow a personal agenda and not highlight any big world issues. I wasn’t thrilled with this book but I did read it until the end. I kept hoping that there would be some bigger message or that the story would miraculously turn good. But that never happened. If you want a great football story then watch Friday Night Lights as this is not a book that I can recommend.

People who liked this book better than I did

Books in the Moonlight – “I thoroughly enjoyed Second Impact. I enjoyed it for the story and for the characters. You don’t need to be a football fan to appreciate this book. It’s definitely one of the best YA books I’ve read this year.”

Divider

Monday, November 28, 2011

Raw Blue by Kirsty Eager

Posted by Irish in Uncategorized5 Comments

Source: Purchased
Publication Date: 29 June 2009
Series or Standalone: Standalone
ISBN: 0143011456
Format: ebook
Pages: 274
Websites:
Kirsty Eager – Twitter
Place(s) Traveled to: Sydney, Australia
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
First Line: Friday morning. I’m heading down to the break, feeling antsy because I slept in.

I am not a fan of surfing. I had an ex once that was boarderline obsessed (which is kinda funny since we don’t have a ton of surfing in the northeast) and was always threatening to take me. I never saw the point and assumed that I’d somehow get myself killed. So when I first heard about Raw Blue by Kirsty Eagar I dismissed as a surfing book and thought it wasn’t for me. But to call Raw Blue a book about surfing is to do it a HUGE disservice as it is so much more than that.
Raw Blue is told from the point of view of Carly, a 19 year old chef-of sorts, who has arranged her work schedule so she can surf all day. She has a kooky upstairs neighbor named Hannah who just won’t leave her alone and soon a friend in Danny a teen boy with Synesthesia. Since leaving Uni, Carly has tried to distance herself from people but isn’t having much luck. She is this beautiful, broken girl that you just want to hug and tell her that it will be ok. And then there is Ryan….oh dear reader here is a swoon worthy male character for you…Ryan is this quiet surfer that finally makes Carly start to notice people around her. From the moment they meet there is a tension between them that simply leaps off the page. There is just so much emotion written into this book that its impossible not to feel everything that Carly is feeling.
I was hooked on this book from page one. I absorbed all of its words and almost cried when I reached the end and had no more story. I kept trying to turn the page on my ereader begging it to yield more story. But alas, more story wasn’t to come. Though the characters didn’t leave my head. They all stuck inside it and even as I write this my mind is swirling with ideas on where they all go from the place where Kirsty left them. That’s not something that I can say about a lot of books out there. 
I find it so hard to put into words all that I feel about this book. I loved all of the characters and the story was like Mary Poppins (nearly perfect in every way). I was engrossed and time passed without notice. I laughed and I cried. My heart broke and it was healed. This is a total heartachy book and one that I know I’ll be reading over and over. I am always sure that with each re-reading that I’ll still lament and rail that there are no more pages. If I had a physical copy of the book it would be tossed across the room for failing to yield up more words. If you haven’t read this book yet I strongly urge to do all that you can to get a copy into your possession. Its just so amazing and I think that everyone should read it.
Divider

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The ABCs of Kissing Boys by Tina Ferraro

Posted by Irish in Uncategorized4 Comments

Source: Purchased
Publication Date: 13 Jan 2009
Series or Standalone: Standalone
ISBN: 0385735820
Format: Paperback
Pages: 224
Websites:
Tina Ferraro – Twitter
Place(s) Traveled to: DeGroot, Minnesota
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
First Line: “You’re late.”
The ABC’s of Kissing Boys by Tina Ferraro is a very quick read and was a nice change from all the series paranormal stories that seem to be flooding the market these days. The story centers around Parker who is have a rough start to her Junior year being one of only 2 girls who didn’t move up to the varsity soccer team so she’s stuck playing with the freshman. And as a result her friends from the team start to distance themselves from her, making mean jokes at her expense and generally acting a bit more like bullies than friends. But Parker has a plan, she plans on getting a hot guy and recent graduate to kiss her at the school fair, paying lots of money for the privilege. Not only will it up her cool status but she’ll raise so much money for the team that the Coach will have to move her up to varsity.
The only problem is….Parker has never been kissed. 
Enter in her next door neighbor, Tristan, a boy who is tall, good looking and while just a few months younger by a cruel twist of the school enrolling policies is a freshman in her school. Which makes him decidedly off limits if Parker has any hopes of regaining her popularity. Only Tristan knows how to kiss and offers to teach her what he knows. What follows is a light hearted read about discovering what matters most to you.
Parker is a fun character and a girl that many can relate to. She struggles with  her high school identity where status is everything and if you date the wrong boy then you can find yourself at the bottom of the social ladder. The ABC’s of Kissing Boys is full of some laugh out loud moments as well as a few that will make your heart ache. Its a great coming of age story and a great way to spend a few hours on a summer afternoon. This is a book that I would recommend and an author that I will definitely be looking forward to reading more of.
Divider

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock (Audio)

Posted by Irish in Uncategorized0 Comments

Publisher: Listening Library (Audio); Graphia (Paperback)
Publication Date: 23 May 2006
ISBN: 0739335472 (audio), 0618863354 (Paperback)
Format: Audio
Pages: 274
Audio Length: 5 discs (~ 6 hrs)
Narrator: Natalie Moore

Websites:
Catherine Gilbert Murdock – Official Site

Natalie Moore – GoodReads

Place(s) Traveled to: Red Bend, Wisconsin

Rating: 4 of 5 star

When you don’t talk, there’s a lot of stuff that ends up not getting said.

Harsh words indeed, from Brian Nelson of all people. But, D. J. can’t help admitting, maybe he’s right.

When you don’t talk, there’s a lot of stuff that ends up not getting said.

Stuff like why her best friend, Amber, isn’t so friendly anymore. Or why her little brother, Curtis, never opens his mouth. Why her mom has two jobs and a big secret. Why her college-football-star brothers won’t even call home. Why her dad would go ballistic if she tried out for the high school football team herself. And why Brian is so, so out of her league.

When you don’t talk, there’s a lot of stuff that ends up not getting said.

Welcome to the summer that fifteen-year-old D. J. Schwenk of Red Bend, Wisconsin, learns to talk, and ends up having an awful lot of stuff to say.

Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock is one of those books my book bully kept badgering me to read. So on her suggestion I went out and bought the paperback. However, that wasn’t good enough for her….to truly appreciate the greatness of this book I needed to listen to it on audio. Never one to go against my book bully I immediately placed the audio version on hold at my local library. A few days later I was able to pop the first disc into my car radio and I was soon whisked away to Red Bend, Wisconsin by the mesmerizing voice of Natalie Moore.

Dairy Queen isn’t a fast paced story its slow and mellowing and a nice change from the speed of every day life. DJ is such a relatable character I loved getting to know her. There is mystery trying to figure out the events that occurred to cause the split that divided her family. I also admired her courage in making the decision to try out for the football team. When I was in high school there was a girl who wanted to try out for the team, coming from a town where football is everything and watching the uproar that followed when she wanted to try out. So I could picture clearly the struggle that DJ went through…which wasn’t as big a deal as I thought it might become. Dairy Queen was a fun story and enjoyed the time that I spent listening to it. I really need to start The Off Season so that I can find out what’s next for DJ, her budding romance and re-connecting with her best friend. Dairy Queen was a great book to listen to on audio I really enjoyed Moore’s narration and think I might have to check out some other books that she’s narrated.

Divider