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Posts Tagged: Sports: Soccer

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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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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Monday, August 25, 2014

Review: Scoring Wilder by R.S. Grey

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, New Adult, Review5 Comments

Review: Scoring Wilder by R.S. GreyScoring Wilder by R.S. Grey
Published by Self-Published on 15 June 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Friendship, New Adult, Sports & Athletics
Pages: 356
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: With This Heart

Place(s) Taveled to: Los Angeles, California // Malibu, California

First Line(s): Cheat on me once, shame on him. Cheat on me twice…what the actual fuck is going on?

I first heard about Scoring Wilder by R.S. Grey from a friend and it sounded like it would be right up me alley. I do love me some sport themed romances especially when there is an aspect of forbidden love to it as well. Kinsley is a rising star in the soccer world and has been recruited to a top school in California and Liam Wilder is a bad boy soccer star…who just happens to be her coach. The attraction between the two is instant as is the edict that they aren’t allowed to date because of their roles on the filed. There is much torture and push and pull and the aches of the heart are huge. I just loved these two together and thought that their relationship was very realistically portrayed. I also loved the secondary characters of Becca and Penn and totally think that Grey wasted an opportunity to have a spin off book staring them.

There were things that I felt were a bit implausable though but maybe its just because I don’t really follow professional soccer. But I found it odd that Liam was constantly stalked by paparazzi and that he was always doing interviews on talk shows and things. And I also found it weird that Kinsley had to report to school 3 months early for soccer practice but again I wasn’t an athlete in college so maybe that was normal. So those aspects took me out of the story a bit as they just never rang true but the rest of the book? That I loved.

Well, with the exception of Tara who was such an evil character that I really wanted to punch her in the face. But what I did like about her was that she added a realistic conflict between Liam and Kinsley and it wasn’t a crazy made up thing that existed in the mind of one of them. All too often in contemporary stories there is this pointless drama/conflict that splits up the characters and it usually results from a lack of communication. There is no point to it all and its something that is easily solved when they finally speak about it but for whatever reason a big formula plot point in stories is that the hero and heroine need to break up before they find their HFN. *le sigh* Its a plot point that I can do without. But here in Scoring Wilder the conflict isn’t pointless and the breakup is so heart wrenchingly real that my heart aches just thinking about it.

Scoring Wilder is a fun read and I got so lost in the story that once I started reading I couldn’t stop. I am so excited to check out other books from RS Grey and have already purchased another title from her that I hope to get to soon. If you like a good romance, especially if you like the sport trope then this is a book for you. I don’t think you’ll regret it, I know I didn’t.

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A favorite quote from Scoring Wilder:

“If only we actually were in Harry Potter. I’d totally Crucio her ass. Yeah, that’s right, I’d use one of the Unforgivable Curses. Come at me, Ministry of Magic.”

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irishdarkblue

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scoring wilder quote
four-stars
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