Tag Archives: Romance

Review | Point of Retreat by Colleen Hoover

Title:  Point of Retreat

Author:  Colleen Hoover

Publish Date:  September 18, 2012

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Website: N/A

Imprint: Atria Books

My Source:  Purchased at BN

My rating:  3 Stars

Layken and Will have proved their love can get them through anything; until someone from Will’s past re-emerges, leaving Layken questioning the very foundation on which their relationship was built. Will is forced to face the ultimate challenge…how to prove his love for a girl who refuses to stop ‘carving pumpkins.’  (Goodreads Summary)

My Review:

This is the second installment to Colleen Hoover’s book Slammed. I couldn’t wait to dive into it – I couldn’t get enough of Lake and Will and I wanted to read what was in store for them in this second book. I have to admit that while the story was still good and the message still the same, I didn’t like this part of the story as much as I liked Slammed. It felt too contrived at times and the drama (especially surrounding whenever Lake and Will would get together) got to be a bit much. I realize this is YA fiction and teenagers eat this up but I just don’t appreciate that kind of drama. That is where believability gets muddied for me.

The characters, Kiersten and Sherry, were quirky, outspoken and just that right amount of sarcastic that made them fun. I enjoyed being introduced to them and learning a little more about them. I especially liked Kiersten, as a 10 year old her maturity was surprising and nicely integrated into the story. It was that type of maturity that I liked in the first book. Kiersten and Sherry were honest and believable. I do wish there was more character development in the two brothers though. I would have loved to read more about what they were going thru and how their new situations were being handled on a more personal level. Overall, this was still a good read and I would definitely recommend it.

Leave a comment

Filed under Reviews

Review | Slammed by Colleen Hoover

Title:  Slammed

Author:  Colleen Hoover

Publish Date:  September 18, 2012

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Website: N/A

Imprint: Atria Books

My Source:  Purchased at BN

My rating: 4 Stars

Following the unexpected death of her father, 18-year-old Layken is forced to be the rock for both her mother and younger brother. Outwardly, she appears resilient and tenacious, but inwardly, she’s losing hope.   Enter Will Cooper: The attractive, 21-year-old new neighbor with an intriguing passion for slam poetry and a unique sense of humor. Within days of their introduction, Will and Layken form an intense emotional connection, leaving Layken with a renewed sense of hope.  Not long after an intense, heart-stopping first date, they are slammed to the core when a shocking revelation forces their new relationship to a sudden halt. Daily interactions become impossibly painful as they struggle to find a balance between the feelings that pull them together, and the secret that keeps them apart.  (Goodreads Summary)

My Review:

YA isn’t typically a genre I enjoy or usually read. At this stage in my life, being a wife and mom, I just don’t relate to these types of stories and won’t typically read them. That being said, I really enjoyed this book. The characters had some depth, were likable, and definitely relatable to readers of most ages. What struck me most was the maturity of both main characters their life experience of losing a parent or both parents made them “grow up” and the writing showed this very well in their interactions with each other, as well as others. As the reader, I appreciated their maturity very much, especially in the wake of a very sensitive issue Lake and Will had to overcome. They handled it very well, better than you would expect an 18 and a 21 year old to handle it.

I found myself crying, laughing, then crying some more. At one point, my kids looked at me and asked their dad, “What’s wrong with mom?”. This story kept me wanting more with each turn of events and I was so glad I had purchased Point of Retreat to continue reading about Lake and Will! This story has such a good message, focusing on doing the right thing. I can’t wait until my daughters are old enough for me to recommend this book to them.

Leave a comment

Filed under Reviews

Review | Love the One You’re With by Emily Giffin

Title: Love the One You’re With

Author:  Emily Giffin

Publish Date: May 13, 2008

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Website: N/A

Imprint: N/A

My Source:  Purchased at Target

My rating: 4 Stars

The New York Times bestselling author of Something Borrowed, Something Blue, and Baby Proof delivers another captivating novel about women and the choices that define them. This is the story for anyone who has ever wondered: How can I truly love the one I’m with when I can’t forget the one who got away?

Ellen and Andy’s first year of marriage doesn’t just seem perfect, it is perfect. There is no question how deep their devotion is, and how naturally they bring out the best in each other. But one fateful afternoon, Ellen runs into Leo for the first time in eight years. Leo, the one who brought out the worst in her. Leo, the one who left her heartbroken with no explanation. Leo, the one she could never quite forget. When his reappearance ignites long-dormant emotions, Ellen begins to question whether the life she’s living is the one she’s meant to live.

Love the One You’re With is a powerful story about one woman at the crossroads of true love and real life.

(Goodreads Summary)

My Review:

I have had this on my shelf for four years and can’t believe I hadn’t read it sooner. This book really resonated with me. While it wasn’t exactly something I went thru when I first got married I remember having some of the same feelings Ellen had regarding an intense love. The wondering what if things ended up differently.  Don’t get me wrong, I love how my life turned out. I just remember a time, early on, wondering about that one person I had an intense relationship with and how it didn’t work out.

Leave a comment

Filed under Reviews

Review | At Last by Jill Shalvis

Title: At Last

Author: Jill Shalvis

Publish Date: July 01, 2012

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Website: N/A

Imprint: Forever

My Source: NetGalley

My rating: 4 Stars

HER LOVE HAS COME ALONG . . .
Amy Michaels loves her new life in Lucky Harbor. A waitress in the local diner, she’s looking forward to her first weekend hike through the mountains. But when a wrong turn takes her off the trail, she finds herself up close and personal with forest ranger Matt Bowers. And even though she’s tempted to kiss that sexy smile right off his face, she won’t make the mistake of getting involved with the town heartthrob.

A former cop whose life went south, Matt doesn’t let anyone get too close. But something about the feisty beauty caught his eye the moment he first saw her in the diner. After a hot night under a starry sky, Matt can’t deny their attraction-or the fact that for the first time in a long time, he feels the stirrings of something more. Now it’s up to Matt to help Amy see that, no matter what is in their past, together they can build a future in Lucky Harbor. (Official Summary)

My Review:

At first I didn’t realize that this was number 5 in the Lucky Harbor series and was a little worried that I hadn’t read the previous books. But, I have to admit that while nice it isn’t necessary to have read the previous books in this series. The author uses each book to describe one out of a group of women who are all friends and who find love in Lucky Harbor. Every woman appears in each book but the story itself relates to only one woman at a time. What I also loved was that the author doesn’t spend a lot of time in the book rehashing who is who, what is what, or why it’s why. Thank you for that! This installment is about Amy, the tough chick who had a rough upbringing and doesn’t trust men easily. She meets Matt, the hot forest ranger, when she gets lost on a hike and he is instantly attracted to her. With some convincing, he gets her to admit she is equally attracted to him and from there the story just gets better. I enjoyed the book and the chemistry between Matt and Amy. If you are looking for a fun, light summer read, this is your series!

Leave a comment

Filed under Reviews

Review | Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

Title: Beautiful Disaster

Author: Jamie McGuire

Publish Date: August 14, 2012

Publisher: Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Website: http://www.jamiemcguire.com/

Imprint: Atria

My Source: NetGalley

My rating: 3.5 Stars

The new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate number of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance from the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University’s Walking One-Night Stand.

Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby needs—and wants—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’s apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match. (Official Summary)

My Review:

This is another coming of age book where the two main characters are in college. Abby is trying to start a new, different life than what she grew up with, Travis is everything she is trying to get away from. The chemistry is undeniable between the two of them and even though Abby says she only wants to be friends, you know this is bound to turn into something more. The bet is fun – not believable at one point but still fun. Hey it’s fiction, you can’t expect everything to totally be believable all the time right? Travis has some control issues, if he were a real life character, I’d be worried about how jealous and angry he gets when Abby dates someone else. Again, I know this is fiction but what worries me is that the audience is clearly young women and I worry that they may think that this type of behavior is acceptable in a boyfriend/lover. I enjoyed reading Abby’s character – she was very relatable, not indecisive to the point you want to shake her or so insecure you just want to slap her. She knows who she is and what she wants. I like when young women are portrayed this way. Travis, he is a bit much with the control/jealousy but he is likeable. Maybe that isn’t a good thing if you want young readers to not confuse ficion with reality. Overall though, I couldn’t put this down. It is a fun, light summer read.

Leave a comment

Filed under Reviews

Review | Effortless by S.C. Stephens

Title: Effortless

Author: S.C. Stephens

Publish Date: February 25, 2012

Publisher: S.C. Stephens

Website: N/A

Imprint: N/A

My Source: Borrowed from a friend

My rating: 2 Stars

A continuation of the novel, Thoughtless…

A lot can happen in a year. You grow, you change, you learn from your mistakes. And Kiera had made a lot of mistakes to learn from. But she had learned, and she was determined to never cause a man pain again, especially the amazing man who currently held her heart. But life offers new challenges for every relationship, and when Kiera’s love is put to the ultimate test, will it come out the other side unscathed?

Love is easy…trust is hard. (Goodreads Summary)

My Review:

I had really hoped this book would be better than the first. It literally took me twelve days to get through it and if you know me, I am not a slow reader at all. Many times I would fall asleep shortly after picking it up. The beginning was so slow. I can’t stand when an author takes 1/3 of the book to get me up to speed with what I missed in the first book. Why did I even read the first one if you were going to retell it in the second? When the story did get interesting, after Kellan left, I couldn’t put it down. My favorite movie is P.S. I Love You and Effortless had a lot of what I love about that movie. But then that was it. The story started getting sappy and you could literally see the pretty pink bow that wrapped up the book getting tied and sprinkled with fairy dust. If there is a third, I will not be reading it. This story could have been told so much better, it is a good story. The writing style just wasn’t believable or relatable for me.

Leave a comment

Filed under Reviews

Review | Thoughtless by S.C. Stephens

Title: Thoughtless

Author: S.C. Stephens

Publish Date: September 3rd, 2011

Publisher: S.C. Stephens, via Smashwords

Website: N/A

Imprint: N/A

My Source: Borrowed from a friend

My rating: 3 Stars

For almost two years now, Kiera’s boyfriend, Denny, has been everything she’s ever wanted: loving, tender and endlessly devoted to her. When they head off to a new city to start their lives together, Denny at his dream job and Kiera at a top-notch university, everything seems perfect. Then an unforeseen obligation forces the happy couple apart.

Feeling lonely, confused, and in need of comfort, Kiera turns to an unexpected source – a local rock star named Kellan Kyle. At first, he’s purely a friend that she can lean on, but as her loneliness grows, so does their relationship. And then one night everything changes…and none of them will ever be the same. (Goodreads Summary)

My Review:

Just finished Thoughtless and I am looking forward to reading the second book in this series but I am hoping it goes beyond what I just read. This is a classic love triangle story but the main character, Keira, got a little annoying. I understood that both guys were great/wonderful in their own way (one guy was safe while the other guy was exciting) and Keira had a tough time deciding between the two. But, some of her back and forth indecisiveness got very tiresome. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the book/story just got a little tired of Keira.

Leave a comment

Filed under Reviews

Review | Gabriel’s Rapture by Sylvain Reynard

Title: Gabriel’s Rapture

Author: Sylvain Reynard

Publish Date: May 22nd 2012

Publisher: Omnific Publishing

Website: N/A

Imprint: N/A

My Source: Borrowed from a friend

My rating: 3.5 Stars

Professor Gabriel Emerson has embarked on a passionate, yet clandestine affair with his former student, Julia Mitchell.

Sequestered on a romantic holiday in Italy, he tutors her in the sensual delights of the body and the rapture of sex. But when they return, their happiness is threatened by conspiring students, academic politics, and a jealous ex-lover.

When Gabriel is confronted by the university administration, will he be forced to share Dante’s fate? Or will he fight to keep Julia, his Beatrice, forever? (Goodreads Summary)

My Review:

I can honestly say, this continuation of Gabriel and Julia’s story was just as sensual and seductive as the first. It was just as – if not a little more romantic BUT it was frustrating more moments than I wanted. (Pun fully intended!) The author’s style and language is very romantic and made for a very pleasurable reading experience. My only complaint, one of the things I really enjoyed in the first book was Gabriel’s personality. When he was being a jerk I found him irresistible, intriguing but in the second book he seemed to be too much of a gentlemen. (I’m trying to not give too much away) I wished the author described some of Gabriel’s sexual frustration more – it would have made him more relatble

Leave a comment

Filed under Reviews

Review | Gabriel’s Inferno by Sylvain Reynard

Title: Gabriel’s Inferno

Author: Sylvain Reynard

Publish Date: April 18, 2011

Publisher: Omnific Publishing

Website: N/A

Imprint: N/A

My Source: Borrowed from a friend

My rating: 3.5 Stars

Enigmatic and sexy, Professor Gabriel Emerson is a well respected Dante specialist by day, but by night he devotes himself to an uninhibited life of pleasure. He uses his notorious good looks and sophisticated charm to gratify his every whim, but is secretly tortured by his dark past and consumed by the profound belief that he is beyond all hope of redemption.

When the sweet and innocent Julia Mitchell enrolls as his graduate student, his attraction and mysterious connection to her not only jeopardizes his career, but sends him on a journey in which his past and his present collide.

An intriguing and sinful exploration of seduction, forbidden love and redemption, “Gabriel’s Inferno” is a captivating and wildly passionate tale of one man’s escape from his own personal hell as he tries to earn the impossible…forgiveness and love.

NB: This book was a semi-finalist for Best Romance in the 2011 Goodreads Choice Awards. (Goodreads Summary)

My Review:

This book definitely had the cookie cutter romance elements: rich, brooding/broken guy, young, virginal 20-something girl, a steamy connection between the two, drama and tension etc. But… the writing was something quite different. The author did an amazing job telling this story and transporting the reader – I WANTED to be wherever Gabriel and Julia were. I WANTED to be Julia. This story was not erotic with the “in your face” sex, it was romantic and sensual – it left something to the imagination and I couldn’t put it down.

Leave a comment

Filed under Reviews