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Posts Tagged: Sports & Athletics

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Review: Saving Maverick by Debra Elise

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

Review: Saving Maverick by Debra EliseSaving Maverick by Debra Elise
Series: Outlaws of Baseball,
Published by Bloomsbury on 04 Apr 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Love & Romance, New Adult, Sports & Athletics
Pages: 250
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Pineville, Idaho

First Line(s): Maverick Jansen woke to the sound of a jackhammer tearing down his hotel room door.

If you know me then you know a couple things, namely that I like New Adult and that while I may not be a big sportsing fan in real life I do adore a good sportsing book. With that in mind one would think that SAVING MAVERICK would be a book that is right up my alley. Especially when you toss in a bad boy in need of redemption and the girl hired to save his image. I had hopes for SAVING MAVERICK but sadly this book failed to live up to them. First, SAVING MAVERICK is billed as a New Adult read but for me it came across as a very adult story. If you go just based on age I think it might just squeak in, though to be honest I can’t remember how old these characters were. But they were all pretty settled and established in their careers and that to me just makes this story lean more towards Adult. For me, New Adult is more college and early career, with characters trying to figure out their place in the world.

Another thing that bugged me about SAVING MAVERICK was that it was filled with errors and random head jumping. Some of the errors I could chalk up to reading an ARC but there were just so many that they became hard to ignore. And the head jumping oh my stars it was just bad. One paragraph we’d be in Kelsey’s head in the next Maverick and then a few pages later a whole new POV just for fun. I don’t mind books with alternate POVs but I do like there to be a little structure to them. The constant changing of POV makes it really hard to keep up with the story and it just gives my brain whiplash as I struggle to keep up!  It also didn’t help to endear me to Kelsey and Maverick who are just two very blah, cliched characters that are pretty forgettable. Sorry folks, no heart achy moments here….or at least none that I can remember.

 

Normally I have a really good memory when it comes to books and plots but when I think back on SAVING MAVERICK I mostly get a blank page in my brain and so am very glad for my Goodreads notes because my kindle has totally failed me. (Why oh why is it deleting my highlights and notes?!? *cries*) But memorability aside, Kelsey and Maverick where your pretty standard fare when it comes to romance characters and their story may have been a good one if the plot wasn’t so muddled with those errors mentioned above and the crazy side plot. The subplot was just too much and was more of a distraction than anything else. It was also very predictable. This whole story was pretty predicable. Not to mention repetitive. So very very very very repetitive. And we all know just how much I “love” repetitive dialogue and storylines. *eye roll*

In the end SAVING MAVERICK wasn’t a bad book but it wasn’t good either. It falls somewhere in the middle and was just mediocre for me. SAVING MAVERICK is the start of a series and I’m not sure if I’ll read the other books when they come out. Or at the very least I don’t think I’ll be rushing out to read it.

irishdarkblue

IR - Saving Maverick

Add Act Like It by Lucy Parker 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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Monday, April 11, 2016

Review: Us by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy

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

Review: Us by Sarina Bowen and Elle KennedyUs by Elle Kennedy, Sarina Bowen
Series: Him, Book 2
Also in this series: Him
Published by Self-Published on 08 March 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Health & Daily Living, Love & Romance, New Adult, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Sports & Athletics
Pages: 328
Format: eARC
Source: Publicist
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: The Deal, The Mistake, Him, The Score, The Year We Fell Down, The Year We Hid Away, The Understatement of the Year, Blonde Date, The Shameless Hour, The Fifteenth Minute, Coming in from the Cold, Bittersweet, Steadfast, Rookie Move (Brooklyn Bruisers, #1)

Place(s) Traveled To:  Toronto, Ontario, Canada // Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada // Quebec City, Quebec, Canada // Chicago, Illinois // Nashville, Tennessee // Saint Paul, Minnesota // Dallas, Texas //  San Rafael, California

First Line(s): Vancouver is a beautiful city, but I can’t wait to leave it.

When it came to reading US by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy I was torn. On one hand, I wanted more story for Wes and Jaime after the end of HIM (my review) and on the other I have a severe dislike for direct sequel romances. I really really really don’t like when my happily ever afters are toyed with and so often in a direct sequel there is just unnecessary angst, drama, and pointless breakups. I just don’t see the need to have a story told in 600 pages and two books when authors can always show the beloved couple in cameos in companions if (s)he decides to stay within a certain world for other books. In the end though, my love of Jaime and Wes was bigger than my dislike of sequels so I picked up US and devoured it in quick succession.

US picks up not long after HIM ends and follows Wes and Jaime as they live a mostly closeted life during Wes’s first year playing professional hockey. As you can imagine, this isn’t an easy arrangement for either of them as it makes it difficult to form friendships when you are keeping such big secrets from other people. Where HIM had this magical falling in love quality there was just a little bit too much reality in US. Life isn’t all sunshine and rainbows and relationships can be hard, especially when there is so much strain to keep secret. So you can imagine that there is a lot of angst and drama within the pages of US and while its all very realistic it really hurt my heart at times. And not in the happy gooey way that I love its the sad and depressed sort of heartache and I didn’t want any of that for my boys.

Us Quote

US also introduces the reader to many new secondary characters all of which had a good presence when they were on the page. The biggest of all was Blake who I absolutely did not like at the start of the book. But as he’ll mention to Wes and Jaime, he grows on folks, and its so true because by the end I adored him and hoped that he and Jess (Jaime’s sister) would get a book. Because my of my did those two have some sparks!! I was also glad of Blake by the end because he added in some much needed light and laughter into the story that was a little to real and depressing. US is a good story and I like how it tackled some serious issues in regards to loneliness and depression but it was just a little too real for me to love as much as I did HIM.

While I didn’t love US I was glad that the angst and drama, while a bit much at times, all stemmed from real issues and wasn’t over something silly like most new adult reads. There was no easy fix here, like one character keeping a secret that wouldn’t amount to much if they just talked to their partner. There were real issues and it all worked and fit with the story. I also liked how there was no pointless breakup. Yes, Jaime and Wes hit a rough patch but they work through it and move on until they find their joy once again. Both in life and in each other. Its nice to see a book that shows that couples can survive troubles and come out stronger on the other side. Though my original statement still stands, I hate when my happily ever afters are messed with so while I loved parts of US I would have been happy with cameos in companion reads over a full on story.

irishdarkblue IR - Him

 

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

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

Add Come Back to Me by Mila Gray to Goodreads. (Click here for my review)

three-stars
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Monday, April 4, 2016

Review: Revived by Samantha Towle

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Revived by Samantha TowleRevived by Samantha Towle
Series: Revved, Book 2
Also in this series: Revved
Published by Self-Published on 12 July 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Illnesses & Injuries, Love & Romance, People & Places, People of Color, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Sports & Athletics
Pages: 312
Format: Paperback
Source: Gift
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: Revved

Place(s) Traveled To: Manchester, England // Sao Paulo, Brazil // London, England // Banbury, England // Northampton, England // Budapest, Hungary // Stavelot, Belgium // Monza, Italy // Yas Island, Abu Dhabi

First Line: Two pink lines.

REVIVED by Samantha Towle is the companion book to REVVED (my review) and stars a character that we briefly meet in that book, playboy racer Leandro Silva. Leandro is a rival of Carrick in REVVED but after an incident that happens at the end of that book the two end up becoming really close friends which means several cameos. Leandro’s lady love is a woman named India who is a therapist, a single mum of a teenager and a brother whom I adored. I’m usually not a fan of kids in books but I did like India’s son and how he interacted with all the characters, especially Leandro. Leandro meets India because she is his therapist (*scandalous*) as he deals with some residual PTSD. There is an instant attraction between them but they keep things professional as any sort of relationship is verboten.

I liked how in REVIVED, India and Leandro built up a solid friendship during their therapy sessions and how once they both realized that their feelings were too strong to ignore they broke off the professional portion of it. Giving the formulaic breakup in a romance a whole new twist. They also didn’t become an item right away and spent several months apart as India was afraid that he liked her because she helped heal him and he was respecting her wishes. (Oh sweet, adorable Leandro how I loved you!) Leandro is by far a favorite character of mine even if I didn’t find REVIVED as addicting to read as REVVED. And I think that was because of India and some of the things that happened because of her job. For while a relationship between them is not allowed when they are therapist/patient if that relationship is severed and enough time has passed then they can embark on a romantic path without risk of India losing her licence. At least, here in the US, as I did ask a therapist friend of mine.

Revived Quote

Even though there were things in REVIVED that bugged me, overall, I did like this story. I loved Leandro’s and India’s relationship and thought they had some pretty solid chemistry. I loved how Leandro reacted with pretty much everyone and I just adored this bad boy that was a bit meh on in REVVED. I liked who he became around India and I liked who she became around him. I enjoyed how he interacted with her son and acted as a father figure for in addition to his Uncle Kit. REVIVED was a fast read and I was sad when it was over. I liked this world that Towle created and have missed it since I finished this story.

If you like sexy, redeemable bad boys and the smart sassy women who love them then I think that you’ll like REVIVED. This book can be read separately form REVVED but I think knowing REVVED and Carrick only adds to this book. While REVIVED isn’t a perfect book its makes for a great beach/escapist read. I enjoyed this world and the characters and hope that Towle will write other books with some of the secondary characters. I’d love to see Kit get a happily ever after along with some of the others. Definitely worth picking up.

irishdarkblue

IR - Revived

 

Add Flat Out Sexy by Erin McCarthy to Goodreads.

Add Play by Play by Jaci Burton to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

four-stars
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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Review: The Baller by Vi Keeland

Posted by Irish in 3.5 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: The Baller by Vi KeelandThe Baller by Vi Keeland
Series: Down and Dirty Football,
Published by Self-Published on 18 January 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Love & Romance, Sports & Athletics
Pages: 300
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: New York, New York // Unknown, Texas // Tampa, Florida // Miami, Florida // Unknown, Maryland

First Line(s): My boss was a world-class dick.

THE BALLER by Vi Keeland was one of those books that appeared on my radar when it seemed like everyone I knew was discussing it. Everywhere I turned there were people excited for this book and as I do love a good sportsing themed romance I decided to give it a try. In the end, I had kind of a love/hate relationship with THE BALLER because while I adored the banter of Delilah and Brody there were all these little things that just kept taking me out of the story. And that doesn’t even include the various sportsball things that they got wrong as I missed the bulk of those but I did hear about them from friends.

As I said, I adored Delilah and Brody and those two often had me cracking up. Their chemistry was off the charts and I loved watched them get their flirt on. I liked how they built up a bit of relationship first before jumping in the sack and felt that their story progression was realistic. Even with the crazy baggage the two of them were carrying. Because oy with the poodles did they each have some issues! And with those issues came all these cryptic references…and y’all know how I love those. Delilah’s though were ones that I felt with should have been dealt with a few years prior but we all deal with grief in different ways so I’ll give her a moderate pass but feel like therapy would have done wonders. Brody’s thing though…oy…that’s a horse of different color.

The Baller Quote

With Brody, I adored his relationship with Marlene and the sweet and caring side that we all knew was lurking underneath that cocky bastard. But what I didn’t like was Willow. Not so much her character but that we were suddenly (and oh so randomly) thrust into her POV mid-way through the book. It was jarring and I didn’t like. Her POVs didn’t add to the story. They didn’t make me feel any sort of sympathy for her and I just wanted them to go away. For all they did was to take me out of the story and I didn’t not like that.

THE BALLER was also filled with lots of little continuity issues and while I can sometimes ignore them in an ARC I can’t do that as well in a finished book. And the more they happened the more they took me out of the story. It became harder to just sit and bask in the goodness of Delilah and Brody when this Chinese Water Torture kept happening! Then there was that epilogue. Blergh. I won’t say much but if you’ve heard my rant on epilogues then know it holds true here. And no, I probably still haven’t learned my lesson to not read epilogues.

THE BALLER was my first book by Vi Keeland and while I’m not going to rush out to read her backlist I will read other things by her. While things weren’t perfect in THE BALLER I think that Keeland has promise and even with all the little things that bugged me her story still made my heart ache. I still became invested in the main story that she wrote about and for that she’ll be on my author to watch list.

irishdarkblue

IR - The Baller

 

Add The Perfect Play by Jaci Burton to Goodreads(Click here for my review.)

Add The Score by Elle Kennedy to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

three-half-stars
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Saturday, August 29, 2015

Review: Play On by Michelle Smith

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Review, Young Adult2 Comments

Review: Play On by Michelle SmithPlay On by Michelle Smith
Series: Lewis Creek,
Also in this series: Game On
Published by Spencer Hill on 21 April 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, GLBT, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Sports & Athletics, Young Adult
Pages: 258
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: Game On

Place(s) Traveled To: Lewis Creek, South Carolina //Beaufort, South Carolina

First Line(s): Forget Friday night lights – in Lewis Creek, South Carolina, its baseball or bust three nights a week.

When I first heard of PLAY ON by Michelle Smith I knew that it was a book that I had to read. I am a sucker for a good contemporary romance and the early buzz on this one was high which worried me a bit as well because we all know how hyped up books and I get along. But unlike some of the mega blockbusters out there this was a quiet and steady buzz that really peaked my interest. Then once I picked up PLAY ON I found that I couldn’t put it down. At under 300 pages this was a quick read and a fun way to spend a couple of hours. I liked the world that Smith created and I loved the depth of all of her characters. I also have to admit that I wasn’t prepared for this book to be told in entirely Austin’s POV. I’m used to alternating POVs or a contemporary romance to be told only through the girls eyes so it was kind of refreshing to only see Austin’s side of things.

And oh what a sweetie Austin was! A true southern gentleman through and through who loved his momma and who just dripped southern charm. It was easy to picture someone with a strong southern accent reading this book and I really wish there as an audio version available to do just that. Austin was adorable but not without his flaws. He was sweet and stubborn and like with many other characters I’ve read about there were times when I just wanted to shake him. I loved how he was with Marissa and how they were together as they first became friends and then something a little more than that. I also like how PLAY ON wasn’t just a straight boy meets girl contemporary and how there were deeper issues at play.

Play On Quote

For a small book, PLAY ON contained so much within its pages. Smith crafted an amazing world with an eclectic cast of characters. PLAY ON is  story about baseball and school and depression and friendship. Its about first loves and making mistakes and then learning how to overcome obstacles. Its a book that made me laugh at times but one that also hit me right in the feels. Its a realistic story and I just got lost within its pages. I fell for all of these characters and I’m so happy that we’ll be returning to this world in GAME ON (goodreads) because I hated to let them all go. The summary of this one really doesn’t do it justice for all that there is in this book. Each page reveled something new and that ending…oh it was a good one.

PLAY ON is the sort of book that I’d love to see as a TV Show and its a book that will totally appeal to all those who love and miss Friday Night Lights. This book wasn’t perfect but it hit all the right notes with me at the time that I read it and I’m able to ignore all of its flaws. It gave me those heart achy feelings that I love and stayed with me long after I closed the final page. This is a book that I strongly recommend so if its not on your shelf or ereader yet then you should fix that using the handy dandy links provided above. Then come back here and tell me how much you loved it and how you are longing for Eric’s story too, because really, who doesn’t love a book with a bad boy?

irishdarkblue

IR - Play On

Add First & Then by Emma Mills to Goodreads. (Review coming soon.)

Add On the Fence by Kasie West to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

four-stars
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Sunday, April 26, 2015

Review: The Shameless Hour by Sarina Bowen

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

Review: The Shameless Hour by Sarina BowenThe Shameless Hour by Sarina Bowen
Series: The Ivy Years,
Also in this series: The Year We Fell Down, The Year We Hid Away, The Understatement of the Year, Blonde Date, The Fifteenth Minute
Published by Self-Published on 14 April 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Friendship, Girls & Women, Love & Romance, New Adult, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Sports & Athletics
Pages: 317
Format: eBook
Source: Author
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: The Year We Fell Down, The Year We Hid Away, The Understatement of the Year, Blonde Date, Him, The Fifteenth Minute, Coming in from the Cold, Us, Bittersweet, Steadfast, Rookie Move (Brooklyn Bruisers, #1)

Place(s) Traveled To: Etna, Connecticut // New York, New York

First Line(s): It had been two hours since I blew out twenty candles on the cake Ma made for me, but my ass was still parked at Restaurante Tipico.

The Shameless Hour by Sarina Bowen is the fourth book in her Ivy Years series and is Bella’s story. Bella is a well known secondary character in the series and you learn a bit more about her in The Understatement of the Year (my review) and I was really excited when I heard that she was finally getting her own book. Bella’s love interest is Rafe, a quiet guy who lives in her building and who is an acquaintance of Bella’s. After a bad night for them both they end up sleeping together which is no big deal for Bella but is huge for Rafe because he was a virgin and while he wasn’t saving himself for marriage he would have preferred to be in a more committed relationship. There are then awkward moments between the two as they both misunderstand the other until something happens that shakes Bella to the core and brings her and Rafe closer together.

Oh how my heart ached for Bella in this book and I thought that Rafe was the perfect boy for her. They are both flawed but together they make this perfect whole, that is when they aren’t totally misunderstanding each other. But unlike most books where misunderstandings lead to breakups as the people involved never talk Bella and Rafe only end up closer together. Yes, there are things between them that aren’t said right away but when details are revealed they listen and grow more and more in like with each other. They may have started as casual acquaintances with a one-night stand but over time they become friends and then fall in love.

Shameless Hour Quote

There were a few things that I didn’t like though, like how Bella was sometimes so stubborn that she wouldn’t really listen to Rafe was saying but I loved how he kept trying. Or that there weren’t enough cameos from Graham and Rikker because those two!!  Though I did like the addition of, Lianne, the semi-reclusive neighbor of Bella and who becomes a really good friend to her when Bella allows her to be. Because Bella, for all her spunk and brash behavior has a habit of never letting anyone get to close to her. She’s flirty and fun but she doesn’t get real until life really forces her to take a hard look at herself and she allows herself to trust and let people in. And in the end she’s still flirty, sassy and brash but she’s also so much more because she has people beside her holding her up when she needs it.

If you like new adult romance then I would highly recommend Sarina Bowen’s The Ivy Years series, they are books that just keep getting better with each one. I loved seeing Bella in flashes over the previous books but it wasn’t until The Shameless Hour that you really get to know her in all her complexity. I loved Rafe and I adored the two of them together. This was a real heart-achy book and I hope that we get to see more of these two in the next book in the series because I do hate saying goodbye to them. Though I am sure that this is a couple that I’ll re-visit every so often with a re-read and so even though the story is over it doesn’t really end.

irishdarkblue

IR - Shameless Hour

 

Add Raw Blue by Kirsty Eagar to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Easy by Tammara Webber to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

four-stars
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Sunday, March 22, 2015

Review: Blonde Date by Sarina Bowen

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

Review: Blonde Date by Sarina BowenBlonde Date by Sarina Bowen
Series: The Ivy Years,
Also in this series: The Year We Fell Down, The Year We Hid Away, The Understatement of the Year, The Shameless Hour, The Fifteenth Minute
Published by Self-Published on 06 July 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Love & Romance, New Adult, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Short Story / Novella, Sports & Athletics
Pages: 109
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: The Year We Fell Down, The Year We Hid Away, The Understatement of the Year, 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

First Line(s): With a growing sense of panic, I pawed through the clothes in my narrow little dorm room closet.

Blonde Date by Sarina Bowen is a novella that takes place around the same time as The Year We Hid Away. This novella features Bridger’s neighbor Andy and Scarlet’s roommate Katie. Andy is also known to Scarlet from back home in New Hampshire and she sets them up on a date when Katie needs to bring an athlete to one of her sorority events. Katie will only date athletes, and its also something strongly encouraged by her sorority and her boyfriend broke up with her shortly before the start of the novel. Enter in Andy, a sweet geeky guy that will just make you swoon. He’s the sort of book boyfriend that you wish was a real person as he’s just so genuine and nice.

At the start of the novella, Katie is a bit of a snob but you quickly learn that she’s just a tad bit insecure. She’s a little judgmental at first and looks down a bit on Andy since he plays on the basketball team and not football but over the course of their night together she learns to see beyond the superficial to the sweet guy underneath.

I really enjoyed Blonde Date and read it quickly and my only real complaint was that it wasn’t longer. I think that I would have liked to see these two characters spend more time together and really get to know each other. And also there was so much potential for reader feels to be had. Though there were still some heart warming moments within these pages.

If you have been thinking of checking out Sarina Bowen’s books then Blonde Date might be a good place for you to start. It doesn’t spoil for any of the other books and it can stand pretty well on its one. Its a short read and will give you a good idea on this authors writing style. As I said, I enjoyed this one and continue to enjoy Bowen’s stories.

irishdarkblue

Blonde Date Quote

four-stars
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Thursday, March 12, 2015

Review: The Hook Up by Kristen Callihan

Posted by Irish in 2 Stars, New Adult, Review2 Comments

Review: The Hook Up by Kristen CallihanThe Hook Up by Kristen Callihan
Series: Game On,
Also in this series: The Friend Zone, The Game Plan
Published by Self-Published on 07 September 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Love & Romance, New Adult, Sports & Athletics
Pages: 353
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
two-stars
Also by this author: The Friend Zone, The Game Plan

Place(s) Traveled To: Unnamed, Georgia

First Line(s): I’m late, and its the first day of class.

Its no secret that I have fully embraced the New Adult category of books and am always looking new books in this genre. Not long ago when I mentioned I was looking for something to read several people in my twitter stream recommended to me Kristen Callihan’s The Hook Up. The Hook Up started off rough with me as there was insta-lust and then the male lead was a bit of a jackass and I didn’t find Anna to be very likable either. Characters are the core of any store and while I know that not all main characters are likeable there should be something to them that makes me care about their story. And that never materialized in this book.

Not only were the main characters unlikable but so where many of the secondary characters. I swear if I’d had a print version of this story then I totally would have tossed it across the room. Several times. The characters just made stupid choices and then moped about them. They pinned and angsted and moped when it was their choice to do what they did. When a simple phone call with a real conversation would have cleared everything up quickly. But no, instead they jumped to conclusions, were given poor advice and just annoyed the ever loving crap out of me.

Hook Up Quote

The timeline in this book also didn’t really mesh well with how events played out and I was surprised that when I hit the end of the story that so little time had actually passed from that initial meeting to the grand finale. There were also way to many spelling and other errors for me that should not have been in a finished book which kept pulling me out of the story.

In the end, The Hook Up  wasn’t for me and I am not sure if I’ll read Callihan’s other books in this series either. There was just too much whiny angst and cliches in this story for me. Plus the unlikability of the two main characters just made this one a difficult one to finish. But I did finish it, so there is that. There was some promise to this story and I kept reading it in the hopes that me frustrations with the story would all be worth it in the end. Alas, that never happened.

irishdarkblue

IR - The Hook UP

Add All Broke Down by Cora Carmack to Goodreads (Click here for my review.)

Add Scoring Wilder by RS Grey to Goodreads (Click here for my reivew.)

two-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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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Review: The Year We Fell Down by Sarina Bowen

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

Review: The Year We Fell Down by Sarina BowenThe Year We Fell Down by Sarina Bowen
Series: The Ivy Years,
Also in this series: The Year We Hid Away, The Understatement of the Year, Blonde Date, The Shameless Hour, The Fifteenth Minute
Published by Self-Published on 24 March 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Friends to Lovers, Friendship, Health & Daily Living, Illnesses & Injuries, Love & Romance, New Adult, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Sports & Athletics
Pages: 268
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: 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, Rookie Move (Brooklyn Bruisers, #1)

Place(s) Traveled To: Hartford, Connecticut // Greenwich, Conneticut // Harkness,Conneticut // Etna, Connecticut // Unnamed, Wisconsin

First Line(s): “This looks promising,” my mother said, eyeing the dormitory’s ivy-covered facade.

I first heard about Sarina Bowen when an author friend recommended a title of hers called The Understatement of the Year which is the third book in Bowen’s Ivy League series. As I’ve mentioned a time or two I like to read a series in order and as this author friend also said the others were worth the read I decided to just go ahead and buy the whole lot and started reading the first book, The YEar We Fell Down. The Year We Fell Down is the story of Corey  Callahan and Adam Hartley (called Hartley by friends throughout that you pretty much forget his real name) and takes place over the course of a year at their school, Harkness University (Read: Yale without being Yale). Corey is a Freshman and is starting off school relearning how to walk after a freak Hockey accident several months prior. Hartley is also recovery from a hockey injury but his was the result of male stupidity that leaves him with a broken leg. They are neighbors and are instantly attacted to one another but there are several obstacles in their way. Queue up ALL THE CLICHES!

First there is the biggest hurdle, Hartley has a girlfriend. A long time girlfriend who is pretty and rich and is conviantely away for the semester in France. She is also a royal b*@#& and no one likes her, not even Hartley most of the time, so it often baffled me why he was even with the girl since all he did was point out all the things he disliked about her and the things he did like was that she was pretty and had money. (Head desk. Repeat.) Then there was Corey with her typical heroine hangups of how she’s not pretty enough and the added issue of her handicap which she thinks will prevent her from ever finding love. Especially with Hartley as he is just so handsome and amazing and just perfect in every way. (Head desk. Repeat.) But where Corey bugged me the most was her use of the phrase, hope fairies. It was childish and overdone and I swear my eye started to twitch be the end every time her internal monolgue went there.

For me, The Year We Fell Down, wasn’t a bad book but it wasn’t super great either. There were typos and continutiy errors and random name changes throughout the book. There were some unbelievable bits and the fact that it really just barely didn’t cross the cheating line. Any regular reader knows that cheating is a big bookish turn off with me and has killed a book or two for me. There are books where there is mutal attraction but the one who is taken doesn’t actually cross the line but its a very fine line and there have to be other elements in the story that wow me enough to pull my brain away from fixating that character x is not single. The Year We Fell Down didn’t have enough of those elements and so every time Hartley was focusing thoughts on Corey in a romantic way (and vise versa) I kept yelling at the book “He has a girlfriend!!” It was a frustration and totally took away a star from my rating.

The Year We Fell Down wasn’t a train wreck though and I did really enjoy the secondary characters in the novel and I did like the school setting where it took place. While I think that Bowen’s writing needs a little polish and that this story could use another round of editing or two to clean up some things there is enough promise to it all to keep me reading the next books in the series. Plus, I did already buy them all so there is that as well.

 

irishdarkblue

Year We Fell Down Quote
three-stars
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