Category Archives: Na Romance

Excerpt: Love Strung by Jamie W. Matlock

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LScoverLove Strung
(The Love Series, #2)
By: Jamie W. Matlock
Publisher: Self-Published
Published: Jan. 21, 2015
Genre: New Adult Romance

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Country music hopeful, Kennedy Masters is a leap-before-you-look type of woman. Live in the moment, the here and now. That’s her policy – anything other than that is boring, and she’s never been particularly interested in boring. So, when she makes the irratic decision to join country music’s reigning star, Mick Callahan, on his tour bus after a show, she’s just living right up to her life’s motto.

The only problem? Her snap decision making lands her on the front page news and it’s for less than desireable reasons. Even worse is the fact that Mick decides she’s his next conquest, irratically announcing to the public that they’re engaged.

Her only option? Hiding out at the Callahan Ranch until the storm blows over – a decision that she’s not altogether pleased with, but one that she must follow considering the circumstances. When unexpected sparks fly upon meeting Mick’s mysterious older brother, Griff Callahan, Kennedy’s left sorting through matters of the heart – something that’s not exactly her forte.

And her career? Well, it’s been labeled TBD.

Kennedy must figure out a way to deal with her heart and her career, all while fighting her own feelings and fending off someone else’s.

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Review: More Than Comics by Elizabeth Briggs

22434327More Than Comics
(Chasing the Dream, #2)
By: Elizabeth Briggs
Publisher: Self-Published
Published: Feb. 23, 2015
Genre: New Adult Romance
Rating:
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They’re friends online – but can they be more in real life?

Writer Tara McFadden has been friends with artist and drummer Hector Fernandez for years, long before his band became famous on reality TV – yet they’ve never met in person. They finally have a chance to connect offline when they’re both sent to Comic-Con to promote the graphic novel they collaborated on.

Hector’s secretly been in love with Tara for as long as he can remember, and once they meet, she sees him in a new light. All the years of longing lead to an incredible night of passion after one of his concerts, but neither is sure if their online relationship can translate into a real life romance – or if this will ruin their friendship forever.

Over four crazy days at Comic-Con, Hector and Tara must decide if they want a future together. But when their story seems to be over, it’s up to Hector’s entire band to make sure he and Tara get their happy ending.

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Excerpt: Eleven Weeks by Lauren K. McKellar

21797067Eleven Weeks
(Crazy in Love, #2)
By: Lauren K. McKellar
Publisher: Self-Published
Published: Jan. 28, 2015
Genre: New Adult Romance

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Eleven weeks.

Seven tequila shots.

Five siblings.

Two boys.

One heartbeat.

***

Stacey is good at pretending.

She pretends that the boy she’s in love with doesn’t exist.

She pretends that she’s happy to live and die in this small town.

She pretends that her life is carefree while her best friend’s world crumbles before her very eyes.

But Stacey’s got a secret …

And it’s going to ruin everything.

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Review: Mayhem by Jamie Shaw

22552579Mayhem
(Mayhem, #1)
By: Jamie Shaw
Publisher: Avon
Release Date: Jan. 20, 2015
Genre: New Adult Romance
Rating:
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When college freshman Rowan Michaels meets gorgeous, up-and-coming rock star Adam Everest, she knows a player like him is the last thing she needs after her ex-boyfriend shattered her heart. But she can’t stop thinking about the kiss they shared on his tour bus.

On the first day of school, Rowan is stunned when Adam saunters into her French class. He’s soon failing miserably, and, on a whim, she offers to tutor him. But Adam doesn’t recognize her as a makeup-free, glasses-clad college student—a far cry from the beautiful, mysterious “Peach” he met at his concert.

During a wild weekend on tour with the band, Rowan can’t help falling for the sweet guy buried beneath Adam’s rocker persona. Yet she knows she could never compete with the girls constantly throwing themselves at his feet. She’d just end up hurt … again.

Peach is all Adam thinks about, though, and when Rowan realizes this, she has a decision to make: stay just friends to protect her fragile heart … or reveal the truth about the night they met and admit she’s fallen completely, hopelessly in love with him.

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Review: Remember When by T. Torrest

remember_when4Remember When
(Remember Trilogy, #1)
By: T. Torrest
Publisher: Self-Published
Published: January 1, 2013
Genre: New Adult Romance
Rating:
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Years before Trip Wiley could be seen on movie screens all over the world, he could be seen sitting in the desk behind me in my high school English class.

This was back in 1990, and I cite the year only to avoid dumbfounding you when references to big hair or stretch pants are mentioned. Although, come to think of it, I am from New Jersey, which may serve as explanation enough. We were teenagers then, way back in a time before anyone could even dream he’d turn into the Hollywood commodity that he is today.

In case you live under a rock and don’t know who Trip Wiley is, just know that these days, he’s the actor found at the top of every casting director’s wish list. He’s incredibly talented and insanely gorgeous, the combination of which has made him very rich, very famous and very desirable.

And not just to casting directors, either.

I can’t confirm any of the gossip from his early years out in Tinseltown, but based on what I knew of his life before he was famous, I can tell you that the idea of Girls-Throwing-Themselves-At-Trip is not a new concept.

I should know. I was one of them.

And my life hasn’t been the same since.

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Review: Devoured by Emily Snow

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Review: Echoes of Scotland Street by Samantha Young

20617402Echoes of Scotland Street
(On Dublin Street, #5)
By: Samantha Young
Publisher: NAL
Published: Oct. 7, 2014
Genre: New Adult Romance
Rating:
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Shannon MacLeod has always gone for the wrong type of man. After she drifted from one toxic relationship to the next, her last boyfriend gave her a wakeup call in the worst possible way. With her world shattered, she’s sworn off men—especially those of the bad-boy variety.

Cole Walker is exactly the sort that Shannon wants to avoid—gorgeous, tattooed, charming, and cocky. But his rough exterior hides a good man who’s ready to find “the one.” He’s determined to pull Shannon from her self-imposed solitude and win her heart.

As Shannon opens up in the face of Cole’s steady devotion, the passion between them ignites to blazing levels. But when Shannon’s past comes back to haunt her, her fears may destroy the trust Cole has built between them—and tear them apart for good…

 

1thoughtsShannon has always been into the “bad-boy”. Not the bad-boy appearance but literally the kind of guy you don’t want to be in a relationship with. The ones that cheat on you, abuse you, hit you, she’s dated them all. So when she moves away to start her life over, she’s not too thrilled to have a boss who comes on to her at every corner. Sure they may have met once when they were kids but that is not enough reason to flirt with her at work. Not to mention that Shannon is convinced he’s just another bad-boy to add to her list. However, as she spends time with him and her co-workers, she is brought to the realization that looks can be deceiving.

I will admit that when I first started reading this story I felt a little left out. Every review I read gushed about Cole, but in the beginning of the story, he’s a little too much. I mean, right off the bat he’s flirting with Shannon. Sure, they may have met briefly when they were kids but surely that’s not enough reason to hit on your new employee. He crowded her at every turn and gave her “panty dropping” looks every chance he got. I was getting ready to throw in the towel when I realized that Cole was a character from the second book in the series. So I grabbed a copy of Down London Road and started reading that to familiarize myself with Cole. I will admit that after reading DLR I wasn’t so turned off by Cole anymore. I mean, he was still extremely unprofessional and it wasn’t okay or even remotely “sexy” but I felt like I knew the creep. So to those of you haven’t read DLR, I suggest it before going into this one.

I like that if you are a fan of the series, the author makes sure to bring back all of the characters and secondary characters from those stories. So it’s like a reunion in every book. I have not actually read every book in the series but after reading DLR I was familiar with who they were.

This was a great story that deals a lot with close knit friends and family. There was always some event or gathering taking place to where Cole and Shannon would be brought together. I liked that, for Shannon at least, the romance was slow building. It took her a long while to be able to trust Cole. She’d been burned a lot and was very cautious around guys. Considering the childhood that Cole had, I’m surprised he wasn’t a bit more stand-offish. He wasn’t reserved at all and I thought that a little odd given the abuse he endured from his mother.

I also found that this series seems to be a bit repetitive. Someone jumps to conclusions thinking the worst of the other. So that person backs off and distances themselves from said person. Only to have the other person realize they were wrong and then come graveling back for forgiveness. I’ve only read 3 books for the series but they’ve all followed that theme. I mean Shannon literally looked at EVERY male in this book and thought “player” “bad-boy”… mind you, one of them was gay, the others were happily married and Cole was well, Cole. I just wish there was something different in this story.

Don’t get me wrong, this was still an enjoyable read but you definitely wouldn’t want to go into these reading them back to back like I did with DLR and this one. I loved On Dublin Street but I don’t think I will be continuing with this series.

 

1favequote“That’s how people describe me. ‘Oh, Shannon, you look cute in that picture.’ et cetera. I suppose it’s better than ‘You look like you’ve been pulled through the bushes backwards,’ so I’m not complaining.”

 

 
Previous reviews from On Dublin Street
On Dublin Street
Down London Road

kRISTIN

Review: Down London Road by Samantha Young

16140408Down London Road
(On Dublin Street, #2)
By: Samantha Young
Publisher: NAL
Published: May 7, 2013
Genre: New Adult Romance
Rating:
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It has always been up to Johanna to care for her family, particularly her younger brother, Cole. With an absent father and a useless mother, she’s been making decisions based on what’s best for Cole for as long as she can remember. She even determines what men to date by how much they can provide for her brother and her, not on whatever sparks may—or may not—fly.

But with Cameron MacCabe, the attraction is undeniable. The sexy new bartender at work gives her butterflies every time she looks at him. And for once, Jo is tempted to put her needs first. Cam is just as obsessed with getting to know Jo, but her walls are too solid to let him get close enough to even try.

Then Cam moves into the flat below Jo’s, and their blistering connection becomes impossible to ignore. Especially since Cam is determined to uncover all of Jo’s secrets… even if it means taking apart her defenses piece by piece.

 

1thoughtsJo has taken on the parental responsibilities of both her little brother and her unpredictable alcoholic mother. Joss has been making ends meet since the moment she was old enough to start working. She came to the realization that she can’t support her family on her own and has taken to accepting the advances and dating older, more established gentlemen. She doesn’t ask for money, but they like to spoil her with clothes and jewelry which she accepts. She knows that they will eventually get bored of her and move on, which is when she sells all the riches they bestowed upon her. Which helps pay the bills and puts money away for her little brother’s education. However, she finds herself reevaluating her life when she meets her new neighbor/co-worker, Cameron.

Jo was an interesting character. She’s not a gold digger like previously thought. She doesn’t ask for hand outs and she’s independent from the men she dates. No one knows about her life at home. No one knows about her mother or the fact that she is the sole provider for her little brother. So when Cam comes in the picture, inserting himself into her home life, her world is thrown off kilter.

Cam was one of those characters that you had to warm up to. He’s immediately judgmental towards Jo. He views her as nothing short of a paid whore and isn’t afraid to let his disgust show. However, he himself is dating an older woman. He’s actually dating Jo’s boyfriend’s ex. However, that fact is never really brought to the table. Even though he was extremely supportive of Jo, he did some questionable things. So it was nice that the characters weren’t flawless. They definitely had their “duh” moments.

This was a good story. I read On Dublin Street over a year ago and don’t really remember much from the story, let alone remember Jo. So this is definitely a story you can read as a stand alone. I enjoyed watching the layers of Jo peel page as the story progressed. She wasn’t necessarily complex but she was definitely someone who had a lot going on in her life. Her little brother was a character that popped up a lot in the book. He was kind of the silent brooding voice of reason that knew when to give Jo a push when she needed it. This story just came together really nicely and I’m really looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

 

1favequote“You know, the world will always try to make you into who it wants you to be. People, time, events, they’ll all try to carve away at you and make you think you don’t know who you are. But it doesn’t matter who they try to make you, or what name they try to give you. If you stay true, you can chip off all their machinations and you’re still you underneath it all.”

kRISTIN

Review: Before You Break by Christina Lee

18327082Before You Break
(Between Breaths, #2)
By: Christina Lee
Publisher: Intermix
Published: Feb 18, 2014
Genre: New Adult Contemp Romance
Rating:
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The star catcher of the college baseball team isn’t supposed to have skeletons in his closet. But Daniel Quinn is hiding a guilty past so dark he refuses to let anyone get close. Except there’s something about gorgeous, studious Ella Abrams that goes beyond the electric attraction between them—something that makes him want to open up.

Ella has suffered enough heartache and guilt to fill one of her psychology textbooks, but she keeps that part of herself hidden behind a bubbly exterior. Until she receives an anonymous call while working the suicide helpline and the voice on the other end touches something inside of her that she can’t ignore.

Soon Ella and Quinn’s physical connection heats up, even as their deep and revealing hotline talks intensify. But by the time Ella realizes that her seductive jock and her sensitive caller are the same guy, it might be too late to save him—or to stop herself from falling too far.

1thoughtsElla lost her brother to suicide. Because of that she wants to be a psychologist and works at a suicide hotline. One night she gets a call from a guy who clearly needs someone to talk to. After a few phone calls of talking to each other on the hotline she soon finds herself thinking about him and his situation. Wondering if there is anyway she can get through to him and save his life. She has no idea that the Daniel that is calling the hotline is in fact Quinn and Quinn has no idea that the girl who’s voice allows him to open up about the darkness inside of him is the girl he’s currently pursuing.

This is a great story. I haven’t read the first book in the series but that’s okay. I didn’t feel left out of anything. The story revolves around Quinn and Ella. These two don’t really know each other at first other than the fact that Quinn is Ella’s boyfriend’s frat brother. He’s very quiet and keeps to himself the majority of the time. However, one night after heavily drinking because of her uncaring boyfriend, Ella finds herself face first in the toilet with Quinn holding her hair back. Her boyfriend couldn’t careless about here, and here was someone who didn’t know her at all who was taking care of her. That’s when Quinn and Ella start to form a bond.

There is no insta-love in this story. Sure they are attracted to each other but at first Ella is dating Quinn’s frat brother. So they start out as friends, then later move on to that in between stage after she breaks up with her boyfriend. I liked that there was no drama or crazy love story. Plus, I liked that the author didn’t just write about her characters having guilt over the death of a loved one but she made it so much deeper with adding the suicide hotline. She shined light on something that affects a lot of people.

I may be new to the author’s work but I will definitely be reading more of her novels. I will have to go back and read the first book in the series. I feel like Ella may have been a secondary character in it.

1favequote“I’m not going to kiss you, Ella. Not tonight. And you’re not a girl I want to be easy with.”
kRISTIN

Review: Shatter by Erin McCarthy

18774878Shatter
(True Believers, #4)
By: Erin McCarthy
Publisher: Intermix
Release Date: Sept. 1, 2014
Genre: New Adult Romance
Rating:
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Kylie Warner prides herself on being optimistic, but after finding her best friend in bed with her boyfriend and flunking chemistry, her upbeat attitude has taken a dive. Even an impromptu hook-up with her sexy new chemistry tutor only brightens her mood slightly. After all, it’s not like she’ll ever see the tattooed scholar again…

While he’s a whiz at complex equations, Jonathon Kadisch has trouble when it comes to figuring out women. So when Kylie tells him that she’s pregnant after their night of passion, he’s at a complete loss. He’s prepared to be a good father—unlike his own deadbeat dad—but he’s less prepared to fall for the genuine and alluring blonde bearing his child.

With emotions running high, Kylie wonders if Jonathon’s devotion is out of growing love or looming obligation. And when heartbreak threatens to tear them apart, Jonathon will have to fight for the only girl who’s ever made him feel whole…

 

 
1thoughts
Kyie is flunking Chemistry. So her teacher gives her the email address to a tutor who may be able to help her. She was expecting some geeky looking guy, not the muscular tattooed hunk with glasses. To say there was instant attraction is an understatement. After a night of sex they part ways. Figuring never to see each other again. Except, a few weeks down the road Kylie realizes that she’s pregnant and she decides to keep the baby. However, she has no idea how Jonathan will take the news or if he will even want to be part of the babies life. And thus is the story of Shatter.

I was really interested in the fact that this story revolved around a smart guy and a party girl. The two POV’s were very distinguishable since the author used large scientific words for everything when we were reading Jonathan’s POV. I mean, he couldn’t say/think a sentence without using some random words I’d never heard before. I both liked and disliked it. I mean, he didn’t talk like a normal person at all. It was as if the author had a dictionary in front of her the entire time. I’d have liked it a lot more if the knowledge and wisdom he spews all over the place were a bit more random and spaced out rather than every other sentence.

The drama of this book is the fact that these two don’t know each other at all but are having a baby. They want to have a relationship but they don’t want to jeopardize the amicable relationship they have now if things were to go south. So they do this dance at first of “I want you but I don’t want to be enemies by the time the baby comes” dance. Of course there are some misunderstandings along the way and hormonal imbalances cause unnecessary drama that could have all been avoided had they just talked to each other.

It was an enjoyable read but I did find myself getting bored towards the end. I just felt like a lot of stuff was unnecessary and could have been avoided if they just spoke their feelings and communicated. I mean they were preparing to have a baby together, how much more personal can you get? However, I was kind of hoping that the ending would have been like the ending from The Breakup. Maybe I’m just a pessimist but an ending like that would have made all the useless drama worth it.

 

 

1favequote
“It’s just my creepy science mind at work. I was thinking how bizarre it is that a parasite is growing in you and will eventually explode from your body through an extremely narrow opening, and yet you will both survive.”

 

Previous reviews from True Believers
Believe
kRISTIN