Audiobook Review: This is War by Kennedy Fox

Title: This is War
Author: Kennedy Fox
Series: Checkmate Duet #1
Publisher: Audible Audio
Publication date: October 3, 2016
Length: 8 hrs and 54 mins
Source: Purchased
Summary (via Goodreads): Coming from a new duo of bestselling authors, The Checkmate Duet

 

*An enemies to lovers romance*

 

Travis King is the worst kind of asshole.
He taunts me for being a good girl and mocks my high standards.
He’s cruel, crass, and has enough confidence to last two lifetimes.
And I hate him.

 

It wouldn’t matter so much if he were avoidable.

 

But considering he’s my older brother’s best friend and roommate, I see him more than I’d ever want to.

 

His sculpted abs and gorgeous eyes are a waste on such an egotistical man, which makes me hate him even more.

 

Even though I’ve had a crush on him since I was ten, the feelings weren’t mutual and he’s always made that very clear.

 

He’s always loved getting under my skin and one night against my better judgment, I let him in my bed.

 

I’ve succumbed to his manwhore ways, but that doesn’t change a thing.

 

Because the King is about to get played at his own game—and lose.

 

Checkmate.

 

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This was pretty good. Travis was kind of a dick for like at least half the book, and made me a little uncomfortable with his words and actions. But nevertheless, I enjoyed the audiobook for the most part, so it’s getting 4 stars. I can’t give it 5, because of the issues with Travis.

 

The narrator was good, and I found myself smiling and laughing quite a bit while listening. Forewarning: this is kind of a scandalous book. And by kind of, I mean it is! It’s definitely for a mature audience. I enjoyed Viola for the most part, and even Travis eventually. My mind was super undecided about him for a while though. But I definitely think it helped that it was dual POV; that way we got to see inside his head, to see what he was thinking/feeling. Otherwise I might have straight up hated him for like 60%+ of the book. Sorry, not sorry.

 

That ending though! I was kind of expecting it, but I was still like what the crap when it happened. Get ready for a cliffhanger, everyone! It definitely made me want to read the second book ASAP. I think I’ll listen to the audiobook again. And to discuss the other characters, I’ll say that I really liked Courtney, and even Drew. They’re secondary characters right now, but I can’t wait to see more from them. Finally, can I just gush about how amazing the cover is? Hello handsome!

 

Book Review: Scoring Wilder by R.S. Grey

Title: Scoring Wilder
Author: R.S. Grey
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Publication date: June 26, 2014
Pages: 410
Source: Borrowed
Summary (via Goodreads): What started out as a joke— seduce Coach Wilder—soon became a goal she had to score.

 

With Olympic tryouts on the horizon, the last thing nineteen-year-old Kinsley Bryant needs to add to her plate is Liam Wilder. He’s a professional soccer player, America’s favorite bad-boy, and has all the qualities of a skilled panty-dropper.

 

• A face that makes girls weep – check.
• Abs that can shred Parmesan cheese (the expensive kind) – check.
• Enough confidence to shift the earth’s gravitational pull – double check.

 

Not to mention Liam is strictly off limits . Forbidden. Her coaches have made that perfectly clear. (i.e. “Score with Coach Wilder anywhere other than the field and you’ll be cut from the team faster than you can count his tattoos.”) But that just makes him all the more enticing…Besides, Kinsley’s already counted the visible ones, and she is not one to leave a project unfinished.

 

Kinsley tries to play the game her way as they navigate through forbidden territory, but Liam is determined to teach her a whole new definition for the term “team bonding.”

 

A fun & sexy New Adult Romance (age 17+)

 

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This book was really good! I enjoy it when the guy does quite a bit of the chasing. I’m giving it 5 stars because it made me laugh…and also because Liam is super freaking adorable.

 

The book was pretty good pacing wise. I didn’t feel like anything was slow, or unnecessary. Kinsley did a little too much overthinking though. I don’t remember the last time I laughed this much while reading a book, so major props for that aspect. Yes, some of it was over the top ridiculous, but it was still hilarious. I also really liked how just because there were relationships going on, friendships didn’t suffer. They were still a priority.

 

Kinsley was a pretty good main character. There were a couple instances she annoyed me, but I tried to put myself in her shoes in those situations to understand her a little better. Becca was hilarious, and a great friend. I really enjoyed Emily’s character; I felt like she’d be the person I’d probably befriend out of all these characters. She’s more shy and mellow than the others. 

 

Now for the boys. Penn was adorable…for the most part. I think he’d be a great book boyfriend, but the main focus of the book is Liam, and I can see why. I want to marry Mr. Wilder right now haha. He was so thoughtful, sexy, and when he decided he wanted something, he went all in. I could keep listing like a million reasons why I love Liam, but you have to read to find out more about him. Honestly, he’s one of the really good guys. For so many freaking reasons.

 

One thing that made the book a little less enjoyable was the fact that the editing service that was used missed things here and there. Typos, misuse of apostrophes, indenting complete paragraphs instead of the first line, inconsistencies, etc. Most people might not notice these things, but they made me pause, and pulled me out of the story when I came across them. But I still loved the book, so I highly recommend people read it. I know this author has written quite a few books, so I can’t wait to see if any of the other male love interests live up to Liam Wilder…

 

Book Review: Broken Prince by Erin Watt

Title: Broken Prince
Author: Erin Watt
Series: The Royals #2
Publisher: Everafter Romance
Publication date: July 25, 2016
Pages: 370
Source: Borrowed
Summary (via Goodreads):  From wharf fights and school brawls to crumbling lives inside glittery mansions, one guy tries to save himself. 

 

THESE ROYALS WILL RUIN YOU…

 

Reed Royal has it all—looks, status, money. The girls at his elite prep school line up to date him, the guys want to be him, but Reed never gave a damn about anyone but his family until Ella Harper walked into his life.

 

What started off as burning resentment and the need to make his father’s new ward suffer turned into something else entirely—keep Ella close. Keep Ella safe. But when one foolish mistake drives her out of Reed’s arms and brings chaos to the Royal household, Reed’s entire world begins to fall apart around him.

 

Ella doesn’t want him anymore. She says they’ll only destroy each other.

 

SHE MIGHT BE RIGHT.

 

Secrets. Betrayal. Enemies. It’s like nothing Reed has ever dealt with before, and if he’s going to win back his princess, he’ll need to prove himself Royally worthy.

 

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I liked this one a lot better than book 1. It was nice being able to see inside Reed’s head, to get his perspective. It endeared him to me even more. I finished this book in pretty much 2 days, because I couldn’t put it down. I’m giving it 4 out of 5 stars.

 

So once again there’s D-R-A-M-A, but for the most part, it felt mostly less dramatic than book 1 to me. Some people might find this one a little boring compared to book 1, but I enjoyed it. The ending was over the top what the heck is going on though. Like I can’t even with the twists and turns. It made me want book 3 right away though, so that’s good. Unfortunately my library doesn’t have this series, so I had to get them with an interlibrary loan. So I’m not sure if I should request book 3 as an interlibrary loan, or just buy the books eventually. A decision for another time.

 

Reed is amazing, although Easton is still my favorite Royal. I liked Callum a lot more in this book. There were some cute lines, but I didn’t keep track because I didn’t want to give any spoilers. Overall, this was a fast, enjoyable read. But I really don’t know how I feel about the last couple surprises at the end of the book, especially the last one. Guess I have to read the next book before I can make a final conclusion.

 

Book Review: Thoughtless by S.C. Stephens

Title: Thoughtless
Author: S.C. Stephens
Series: Thoughtless #1
Publisher: CreateSpace
Publication date: June 11, 2011
Pages: 530
Source: Purchased
Summary (via Goodreads): 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.

 

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So obviously there’s cheating, and a love triangle based on the summary. If you’re not okay with that, walk away now. This book wasn’t a favorite by any means, but it wasn’t completely terrible. I debated the rating for a while before deciding on 3.5 stars.

 

I picked up the entire series from my local used bookstore because my friend Jessica was dying to read these books. I hadn’t heard of them before, but the ratings were pretty positive (4.12 stars overall) and the summary sounded interesting. And I have to say that once you get over the overly descriptive beginning (and I mean OVERLY), this gets so much better. I think the author could cut out at least half of the first 100-150 pages, and this would be so much better. I nearly put it down a couple times and returned the series, because it was so hard to get through the beginning.

 

Kiera kind of drove me a little crazy with all her back and forth melodrama. Girl needed to make up her mind. I seriously loved Kellan’s character…well at least like 98% of the time. If you’ve read this book, you’ll probably know what instances I’m talking about where I was like whoa hold up. Denny was pretty sweet, but he just wasn’t my cup of tea (inside reference kinda haha). Honestly, Kellan’s pretty much the only reason I kept reading. Sorry, not sorry. Although I did like some of the other band members, and Kiera’s friends too.

 

The last half of the book was so much more interesting. I alternated between on the edge of my seat excitement, rage, sadness (yes, I shed some tears), swooning, etc. The ending was a nice fit after all the buildup, and as much as I almost stopped reading after the boringly long beginning, I can’t wait for book two. I want to see what happens next in the story. In fact…I’m about to go check the summary for the next book on Goodreads as soon as I post this. Thankfully I have book two (and three and four), so I can continue reading whenever I’m so inclined.

 

There were some cute lines, but I didn’t write them down since I was focused on just finishing this beast of a book. It wasn’t a bad read, especially after that beginning. Give it a try if you don’t mind cheating, love triangles, or description galore.

 

Sunday Street Team: Internet Famous by Danika Stone Review + Giveaway

Sunday Street Team

 

Welcome to the Sunday Street Team! I received an eARC of this book in exchange for a honest review. This book was pretty good overall *swoons for Laurent*. I gave it 4 out of 5 stars.

 

Title: Internet Famous
Author:
Danika Stone
Publisher:
Swoon Reads
Publication date:
June 6, 2017
Summary (via Goodreads): High school senior and internet sensation Madison Nakama seems to have it all: a happy family, good grades, and a massive online following for her pop-culture blog. But when her mother suddenly abandons the family, Madi finds herself struggling to keep up with all of her commitments.

 

Fandom to the rescue! As her online fans band together to help, an online/offline flirtation sparks with Laurent, a French exchange student. Their internet romance—played out in the comments section of her MadLibs blog—attracts the attention of an internet troll who threatens the separation of Madi’s real and online personas. With her carefully constructed life unraveling, Madi must uncover the hacker’s identity before he can do any more damage, or risk losing the people she loves the most… Laurent included.

 

Pre-order Links: Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK) | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository


 

 

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I signed up for the Sunday Street Team for Danika’s last YA book, so I had to sign up for this one. As I stated in my review of her last book, I’m a huge believer in fandoms. And while this book was less fandom-y, I still really enjoyed it. I received a copy from Netgalley to review, and ended up giving this book 4 out of 5 stars.

 

One thing I should mention off the bat is the kinship I felt with Madi. I have a hard time interacting with people outside of the internet as well, at least initially. I am very introverted and I don’t open up until I really know someone. So yay for a main character I can relate to. And let me just say that I fully appreciated Laurent and his French self. *drools* Such a fine specimen of YA/NA male goodness. He’s going on my book boyfriend list.

 

Before I go any further into what I loved about Laurent, and some other characters, let me just say that I really disliked Madi’s mother, and an authority figure who I’ll refer to as She Who Must Not Be Named. The authority figure was kind of an evil witch, and Madi’s mother needed to get her head out of her butt in my opinion. Gross image, but so true. I’m kind of glad she was MIA throughout most of the book. #sorrynotsorry

 

Madi’s sister, Sarah, was a great secondary character. I loved how Madi interacted with her most of the time, and how they helped one another (mostly Madi helping Sarah, but Sarah came through for Madi in her time of need against the troll). Speaking of the troll, I pretty much knew who it was from the moment they started trolling. Not sure if everyone else who read this is in the same boat, or if I’m just a great guesser. I’m curious to know. So the big reveal was more of an affirmation of my suspicions. I always want to be surprised by books, and it rarely happens.

 

Okay, so lets talk about Laurent. He’s gorgeous, geeky, artistic, and speaks French at random times. I had to translate like a quarter of what he said, but seriously, I want someone to speak French to me all day, every day. He’s beyond perfect, the whole package. The flirtation between Madi and Laurent is half the reason why I couldn’t put the book down. There were some serious sparks between these two. And to kind of get off topic, but not really, I liked how Madi’s dad encouraged her to be with Laurent. He knew that Laurent made Madi happy, and he wanted her to have something that kept a smile on her face. Yay Madi’s dad! His parenting (later in the book) made up for her disaster of a mom.

 

I didn’t keep track of any lines, because the ones I wanted to save were mostly French…and kind of gave things away. Just read the book so you can swoon over Laurent too!

 

Final note: Another great book from Danika. Also, in case anyone is confused by the YA/NA tags, I think the subject matter is within the YA category. But with Madi being 18, and Laurent being in college, they’re NA aged. I can’t wait to see what Danika comes up with next. P.S. The ending of this book is seriously swoony.

 

 


 

about the author

 

Danika Stone is an author, artist, and educator who discovered a passion for writing fiction while in the throes of her Masters thesis. A self-declared bibliophile, Danika now writes novels for both teens (All the Feels and Internet Famous) and adults (Edge of Wild and Intaglio). When not writing, Danika can be found hiking in the Rockies, planning grand adventures, and spending far too much time online. She lives with her husband, three sons, and a houseful of imaginary characters in a windy corner of Alberta, Canada.

 

Ms. Stone is represented by Morty Mint of Mint Literary Agency.

 

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June SST: All the Feels by Danika Stone Review + Giveaway

Sunday Street Team

 

Welcome to the Sunday Street Team! I received an eARC of this book in exchange for a honest review. This book was really good. I gave it 4 out of 5 stars.

 

All the FeelsTitle: All the Feels
Author: Danika Stone
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Publication date:
June 7, 2016
Summary (via Goodreads): College freshman Liv is more than just a fangirl: The Starveil movies are her life… So, when her favorite character, Captain Matt Spartan, is killed off at the end of the last movie, Liv Just. Can’t. Deal.

 

Tired of sitting in her room sobbing, Liv decides to launch an online campaign to bring her beloved hero back to life. With the help of her best friend, Xander, actor and steampunk cosplayer extraordinaire, she creates #SpartanSurvived, a campaign to ignite the fandom. But as her online life succeeds beyond her wildest dreams, Liv is forced to balance that with the pressures of school, her mother’s disapproval, and her (mostly nonexistent and entirely traumatic) romantic life. A trip to DragonCon with Xander might be exactly what she needs to figure out what she really wants.

 


 

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I’m glad I signed up to read this book for the Sunday Street Team. I’m a huge believer in fandoms (Harry Potter, Hunger Games, Grisha, etc.), so I was super excited to see a book that focused on a fandom like All the Feels did. I received a copy from Netgalley to review, and ended up giving this book 4 out of 5 stars.

 

So obviously, one of my favorite things about the book was the fandom aspect! Duh. I think a lot of people can appreciate Liv’s devotion to Starveil. She can be a little obsessed at times, but what true fan isn’t kind of obsessed with their fandom? *waits for a response* All fans are kind of obsessed with their fandoms, you say? Yes, you’re correct.

 

Besides the fandom aspect, I felt a kinship with Liv over her anxiety over social situations, like dating and group gatherings, and her need to stay under the radar by doing things like dressing casually instead of wearing things that drew attention to her. I kind of feel like Liv could be my long lost twin.

 

Xander was another great character. Not really a book boyfriend for me, because he’s not really my kind of guy, but I thought he was adorable still. Because his real life is all about cosplaying, I was a little iffy about his appeal at first. But he’s a great best friend to Liv, which is the most important thing. He’s pretty sweet too, so yay for Xander! I kind of hated Liv’s mom, and her mom’s boyfriend. They were such downers in the book, and I felt like the mom listened to her boyfriend way too much, and not enough to Liv. Liv’s mom had a change of heart right at the end of the book, but I don’t really buy it. I’m sure she’ll go back to hating Liv being in the fandom.

 

Some of the minor characters in the book were pretty interesting, like the online fandom people Liv finally met at DragonCon. One thing I really liked was that the book including texts and social media because that’s so relevant in our society nowadays. I would suggest getting a physical, versus ebook, copy of the book if possible for that reason. While I don’t think I’d ever be part of the Starveil fandom, I can appreciate everyone’s love and dedication to it. The ending was pretty good, but there some things that I felt were unresolved by the end of the book, and the second to last chapter felt kind of off/rushed. For the story to get to that point and not focus on it a little more felt like a letdown.

 

Final note: A great read for anyone who loves a fandom of their own. I think a lot of people could relate to Liv’s story.

 

4 stars

 


 

about the author

 

Danika Stone is an author, artist, and educator who discovered a passion for writing fiction while in the throes of her Masters thesis. A self-declared bibliophile, Danika now writes novels for both adults (The Intaglio Series and Ctrl Z) and teens (All the Feels). When not writing, Danika can be found hiking in the Rockies, planning grand adventures, and spending far too much time online. She lives with her husband, three sons, and a houseful of imaginary characters in a windy corner of Alberta, Canada.

 

Ms. Stone is represented by Morty Mint of Mint Literary Agency.

 


 

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ARC Review: Frosh: First Blush by Mónica B. Wagner

First Blush

Title: Frosh: First Blush
Author: Mónica B. Wagner
Series: Frosh #1
Publisher: The Studio/ Paper Lantern Lit
Publication date: October 20, 2015
Pages: 307
Source: Netgalley
Summary (via Goodreads): During welcome week at Hillson University, the FROSH will hit the fan.

 

Type-A aspiring journalist Ellie plans to take freshman year by storm. But hell-bent on breaking a huge on-campus scandal, she risks becoming one herself—and getting the mysterious, heart-melting QB in serious trouble.

 

Grant, star quarterback and charismatic chick-magnet, is hiding a life-altering secret. The last thing he needs is an overeager (absolutely adorable) journalist asking questions. He’s got a reputation to protect.

 

High-society legacy student Devon is ready to catch the football hottie of her dreams. If the tabloids feature her with the “it” boy on her arm, her tainted past will be buried—or so she thinks.

 

Charlie, pre-med, is done being the sweet and funny geek that girls like Devon ignore. But if he tries to impress her with a new edgy, spontaneous attitude, will his heart end up in the emergency room?

 

FROSH intertwines the stories of Ellie, Grant, Devon, and Charlie in Mónica B. Wagner’s sexy NA debut series, about falling in love and falling apart.

 

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I thought this book was pretty well done. I’m not usually a huge fan of multiple POVs, but Mónica did a great job with the different characters. It was a bit predictable though, so I didn’t love it completely. I ended up giving this 4 out of 5 stars. Thanks Netgalley for giving me a copy in exchange for a honest review.

 

I really loved the two guys, Grant and Charlie. Usually I’m more in tune with the girls, what with being a girl myself, but I felt like the guys were better in this book. Devon was a biatch during most of the book and Ellie was cute, but she was also a little annoying at times. And I wanted to shake her during parts to make her realize how stupid she was being. This book is a pretty quick read, and I can’t wait for the next book to come out, especially with that cliffhanger ending that leaves readers wanting more. I’m not sure I’ll survive another year without finding out what happens next.

 

I loved the pairings in this book. I was rooting for them the entire time, and I’m glad the couples I wanted to get together ended up together. I thought there was a bit too much drama maybe, but it made the book more interesting to read, so it was fine by me. I really liked the romantic parts of the book, like Grant’s note to Ellie, etc. So cute!

 

A couple of my favorite lines were: “His mom’s usual saying popped into his mind: ‘The hard-to-get girls are hard to get for a reason, Granty.'” and “Pencils don’t get pregnant ’cause they wear rubbers on their ends.”

 

Final note: A cute NA romance read. I already purchased my ebook copy, and can’t wait to read the next book in the series. Is it 2016 yet?

4 stars

ARC Review: When the Stars Align by Jeanette Grey

When the Stars Align

Title: When the Stars Align
Author: Jeanette Grey
Publisher: Forever Yours
Publication date: September 1, 2015
Pages: 384
Source: Netgalley
Summary (via Goodreads): Their passion burned hotter than the stars . . .

 

For Josephine “Jo” Kramer, nothing has ever been easy. When she earns a summer internship in Puerto Rico, working at one of the world’s preeminent scientific facilities, she’ll let nothing distract her. Not her own insecurities, not the arrogant scientists, and definitely not her tall, chiseled research partner, Adam.

 

For Adam McCay, physics is simple-it’s women who are complicated. Especially brilliant, beautiful ones like Jo. From the moment they meet, he can feel the heat smoldering deep beneath her icy exterior. And Adam knows just what it will take to make Jo melt . . .

 

Under the endless stars of a tropical sky, Jo and Adam indulge their every desire. But as their internship comes to an end, their perfect island paradise is threatened. Was their time together a summer fling? Or is their passion hot enough to last the long winter nights?

 

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This was my first time reading anything by this author. I really liked this book and ended up giving it 5 out of 5 stars. I’m so glad Netgalley approved my request for this eARC in exchange for a honest review.

 

One of the best things about the book was the setting. I loved that it was set in a foreign locale i.e. beautiful Puerto Rico. We got to see a little of it throughout the book, and it made me want to visit. I haven’t read a ton of New Adult books, but I loved that this one wasn’t set in college. It was something different, which is always a good thing.

 

Jo is a hard-working, closed off from the world character, but I didn’t have a hard time liking her. I think she’s still likable because we learn why she is the way she is; you can’t really blame her for pushing people away after what she’s gone through. She works so hard to be the best, and I think that’s admirable. She’s closed off because of her past, but really she’s just another young woman who has been hurt but really hopes for someone to connect with, someone to love her.

 

Even though the students are there to work, they still let loose and have some fun. Some of my favorite scenes are when they’re on field trips, or just hanging out at their houses in the evenings. We don’t get a whole lot of time with the secondary characters, but what we do get is pretty awesome. I really like Carol a lot, and Heather too. I don’t think I really disliked anyone except maybe someone’s father (if you’ve read the book, you know who I’m talking about).

 

Adam is amazing. I loved his character and added him to my book boyfriend list on Goodreads. He’s sweet, gorgeous, and smart. The list of his good qualities could go on and on, but I’ll leave it at three so I don’t gush too much. Jo and Adam seem like such opposites, so maybe that’s why the initial attraction is so intense. It’s cliché, but opposites do attract. I felt myself falling for Adam as I read, wishing he was actually real. Grey did a great job with the interactions between all the characters, especially between Jo and Adam.

 

I’m usually not a huge fan of dual POV, but Grey was really good at showing both sides of the story, at doing both a male and female perspective on a budding romance that might fizzle out at the end of the summer.

 

There were some great lines. A couple of my favorites were: “So many of her assumptions about him had been wrong, but he still gave off such a vanilla vibe.” and “And for a moment–one incredible moment–her chest cracked open, and she felt like she was just like those stars.”

 

Final note: This was an amazing book. If you’re interested in reading something that’s New Adult, or finding a fantastic book in general to add to your TBR list, I’d recommend adding this one. I’ll definitely be checking out Grey’s other books.

5 stars