Review: Hashtag #1, #Nerd by Cambria Hebert

23286422Blurb from Goodreads

Two people from completely different worlds are about to be thrown together…

In more ways than one.

She wants to keep her scholarship. He wants to stay on the team. An awkward alliance doesn’t even begin to cover Rimmel and Romeo’s relationship.

But that’s about to change.

It starts with a dare. An initiation. A challenge.

Quickly, it turns into more. But when you’re a victim of your status, there is no room for anything real. The rules are clear and simple.

Stick to your circle.

And never fall in love with anyone on the outside.

Kindle Edition
Published November 1st 2014 by Cambria Hebert Books, LLC
edition language: English
series: Hashtag
genre: Contemporary, Romance, New Adult
My Thoughts
I liked this kind of story. And it’s been a while since I read an engaging popular jock whose falls in love with a nerd story.

Actually there’s nothing new in Romeo and Rimmel’s story. I bet you can guess it just by reading its blurb. And yet I can still enjoy it. They story might not an original one, far from it, but it was so engaging I couldn’t stop reading it. It was one sitting kind of book.

I really liked Romeo and Rimmel and other supporting characters. Both Romeo and Rimmel are lovable in their own way. I usually don’t like clumsy kind of heroine, but reading Rimmel clumsiness was just so adorable I found myself smiling and giggling over her while I liked Romeo because he doesn’t play like a bad boy kind of hero. I’m taking a break from them now, so it was so nice reading a good popular jock whose falls in love with a clumsy nerd girl story. As for other supporting characters, Ivy, I liked that she isn’t the typical jealousy girl who wants to get herself with the hero. I think she’s a good friend for Rimmel. And for Missy, I didn’t know her well as she doesn’t have much role here, but am curious of her relationship with Breaden, Romeo’s bestfriend. I’m also looking forward for Breaden’s story in #Selfie. I just hope I don’t have to wait too long till I get his story, though I can’t wait for another Romeo and Rimmel’s stories. And I wish Missy and Breaden’s relationship last longer than just in here. Yes, it means I want them to be together in Breaden’s story 🙂

I also enjoyed one teeny tiny thing that the author put in the story, the BuzzFeed kind of notification that she put at the beginning of every chapter. It’s entertaining and made me felt like reading really notifications. However I think there’s one inconsistency between chapter 20 and 21’s BuzzFeed notification. It might be a little thing that I can ignore but it was kinda bother me, to be honest. And I didn’t quite satisfy with the ending. I felt like it ended abruptly and in a rush. I still liked it, though. And looking forward for book 2.

Result: 3 out of 5 stars
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Review: Sweet Home by Tillie Cole

18105011Blurb from Goodreads

At age twenty, Molly Shakespeare knows a lot.

She knows Descartes and Kant.

She knows academia and Oxford.

She knows that the people who love you leave you.

She knows how to be alone.

But when Molly leaves England’s grey skies behind to start a new life at the University of Alabama, she finds that she has a lot to learn — she didn’t know a summer could be so hot, she didn’t know students could be so intimidating, and she certainly didn’t know just how much the folks of Alabama love their football.

When a chance encounter with notorious star quarterback, Romeo Prince, leaves her unable to think of anything but his chocolate-brown eyes, dirty-blond hair and perfect physique, Molly soon realises that her quiet, solitary life is about to dramatically change forever…

Kindle Edition, 401 pages
Published October 13th 2013
edition language: English
series: Sweet Home
genre: Contemporary, Romance, New Adult
My Thoughts
First part of the book is quite boring and I was annoyed with the heroine, Molly. She keeps misunderstand Rome, her love interest, and it makes their relationship works in a pattern. They are attracted to each other, make out, Rome is trapped at the wrong place in a wrong time, Molly caught him in the act, misunderstand it, blame Rome for it and run away, he explains to her she takes it the wrong way and he swear that he only has his eyes and mind for her, they forget it and make out. And then the pattern repeats again a couple times. But second part is a bit interesting. It has more stories, though Molly still likes to run away since it’s her defend mechanism.

This book reminded me of Dangerous to Know & Love  which I didn’t like, but thankfully Rome and Molly’s story is slightly better than Daniel and Lisanne’s story. The main part that reminded me was in the way Rome acts and thinks. He’s one caveman guy regarding of Molly. Other guy couldn’t even stare at her, unless they don’t mind being punch by him. I don’t have problem with alpha hero but if he lets his emotion changes easily it makes him dangerous to other characters, I don’t like it. Being alpha doesn’t mean he has to have unstable emotion.

I couldn’t help but laugh. “Mm-hmm! And why, Romeo, do you want to help me write notes again?” He lost his playful smile, the same flash of vulnerability that I saw spread across his face yesterday dulled his beautiful features, and he crossed his arms defensively. “You don’t want me here? I’ll go if I’m gettin’ in your way. I don’t wanna be where I’m not wanted.”

I shook my head, ready to argue, and he shuffled forward until he held me captive with his tall, broad body.
“Say you get me, Mol?”
“Rome, I—”
I groaned.A clenched fist hit the shelves behind, causing stacks of boxes to crash loudly to the floor. “You’re not runnin’. YOU GET ME???.

So yeah…I didn’t like reading Rome takes Molly’s words wrongly because it mostly makes him mad and hurt her, emotionally. With his possessive attitude, his moodiness and Molly’s defend mechanism I think they have an unhealthy relationship. I’m sure Molly disagrees with me, though, since they are in love in a very short time. Yes, they are fall in another insta-love pattern, just like most of NA books I read.

I liked that Molly is different from Lisanne. So it’s just Rome that actually reminded me of Dangerous of Know and Love and for that I’m happy. She has more backbone than Lisanne, especially regarding of Rome moodiness. She can say no and refuse him when she disagrees with him. And she knows what she wants and her priorities, though in the end she also compromise with Rome’s needs.

I think this book is quite interesting and has the kind of story that I like. I like reading good girl/good boy falls in love with bad boy/bad girl with problems on their way as the ingredients. But it also has things I don’t like. So 2 stars for me.

Result: 2 out of 5 stars

Review: Sea Breeze #9, Until The End by Abbi Glines

22606008Blurb from Goodreads

The backstory that fans have been clamoring for—how Rock and Trisha fell in love—is the final installment in the Sea Breeze series from New York Times bestselling author Abbi Glines. And don’t miss the sizzling Epilogue, where Abbi wraps up all the Sea Breeze couples’ stories!

Trisha Corbin always knew how to hide a bruise. With her momma’s boyfriends unable to keep their hands off of her, she had no choice. And as long as it meant the guys wouldn’t go near her little brother, Krit, it was worth it. But her days of dreaming that Prince Charming would ever come rescue her are far, far in the past.

Rock Taylor always had a plan. Through football, he would rise above the life he was born into. A full ride to play for a major college team was within his reach—assuming he didn’t let anything get in his way. But scoring a date with the hottest girl in Sea Breeze was proving harder than expected. Trisha Corbin was every man’s walking fantasy, and she wouldn’t even glance his way.

When Rock finally does get Trisha in his truck, it isn’t for a date. It’s because he picks her up on the side of the road, beaten and bruised and walking to the local hospital. Before Rock knows it, football is no longer his life. Trisha Corbin is. And he’ll do anything to save her. And keep her.

In addition to Rock and Trisha’s love story, this special novel contains the wrap-up stories of all your favorite Sea Breeze couples: Sadie and Jax, Marcus and Low, Cage and Eva, Preston and Amanda, Jess and Jason, Krit and Blythe, and Dewayne and Sienna.

Kindle Edition, 271 pages
Published October 28th 2014 by Simon Pluse (first published October 14th 2014)
edition language: English
series: Sea Breeze
genre: Contemporary, Romance, New Adult
My Thoughts
When I knew this book is the last one of Sea Breeze series, I was kinda looking forward to it. I can’t wait to finish the series so I can start a new one. And I think Trish and Rock being the last one is suitable as they seem more mature than any other couple, maybe it was because they are the first couple who married among the characters. And then I heard that the book is also contains other characters story which I also looking forward since I’m still curious of their present life.

What surprised me was I didn’t expect other characters from previous books have as big story as in this book. I thought they will only appear in a glimpse in the Taylors’ story. But what I got was a bunch of novellas about Jax and Sadie, Marcus and Low, Preston and Amanda, Jason and Jess, Krit and Blythe, Dewayne and Sienna, and Cage and Eva. So all of Sea Breeze heroes and heroines got to tell their story after their happily ever after book.

At first I was excited to read it, but then after 4 novellas I didn’t think that way anymore. They are similar to each other and always end up with the same thing. It’s like their drama in it is just a way for them have a make-up sex. So I got to read about 1) misunderstanding in Jax and Sadie novella (which I admit that it was kinda good drama in the beginning but reading how easy it is solved changed my mind) and Preston and Amanda (their misunderstanding was quite good, I think. At least I was more enjoyed it than Jax and Sadie’s). 2) Insecurity in Jason and Jess and Krit and Blythe novella. Jess’s insecurity is still the same as in her own book, Misbehaving. It was just with different setting while Krit’s insecurity is understandable. But it feels like it was there so that there is conflict in their relationship because it was kinda overshadowed by another story from other minor characters, a story that I found quite interesting (and might be a new series from the author).

And then the (supposed to be) main part of this book, Rock and Trisha’s story. At the beginning it was good. I was excited but I soon lost my interest because Rock is just like any other heroes in Sea Breeze. After 8 books, they are just the same with different name. All of them are bad boy who are tamed by good girls, well…except in Jess and Jason’s case. I don’t mind reading bad boy story, I like it, to be honest. But if I have to read it in each book, I’m kinda bored too, you know. I found there are at least three good boys in the series, I liked them all (Jeremy, Cam and Davey) but they are either just a friend or a third wheel for Sea Breeze heroes and heroine. So they are only there just to be the hero’s punching bag or just so they realize that they love the heroines.

I just realized that reading Sea Breeze series is like watching Beverly Hills 90210. Everyone sleeps with everyone. This rule didn’t apply for the heroines, though, since they are good-naïve kind of heroines, except Jess. And it’s okay calling a woman a slut because she sleeps around while the heroine doesn’t mind sleeping with her hero though he slept with most women in Sea Breeze. And finally, I’ve made it! I finished the series! Yay!

Result: 2 out of 5 stars

Review: Sea Breeze #8, Hold On Tight by Abbi Glines

18870150Blurb from Goodreads

Six years ago, Dewayne Falco’s life changed. He lost someone he never expected to lose. Resigned to punish himself for something he felt he could have prevented, he goes through life without getting too close to anyone.

What he didn’t expect was for the girl across the street to move back home and remind him of what they both lost: Dewayne’s younger brother Dustin. However, when a miniature version of Dustin opens the door to greet him, Dewayne realizes he might not have lost everything after all.

Sienna Roy loved Dustin Falco most of her life. He was the boy next door, the high school basketball star and her best friend. But when his life was cut short, she realized he left a part of himself behind.

Now, she’s back in Sea Breeze, thankful to have a home for her and Dustin’s son, but not sure if she can ever forgive the people across the street who abandoned her when she needed them the most — The Falcos.

Betrayal, lies, and forbidden attraction might end Dewayne and Sienna’s story before it’s even begun.

ebook, 288 pages
Published June 3rd 2014 by Simon Pulse
edition language: English
series: Sea Breeze
genre: Contemporary, Romance, New Adult
My Thoughts
I think this book supposed to be good if I compare it to other previous books in the series, especially the last three. It has drama I usually like from romance story. Not to mention that I liked the way it was written, in flashback to tell Sienna and Dewayne past and present life. It also didn’t have (much) similarity with previous book. Well…at least not as much as other books. I only recognized one sentence that really similar with Bad For You. So yeah, I think it is better, much better than the last three previous books.

However I still found things that I didn’t quite like. It mostly about one thing that I think is important to the story, aside the story itself. It’s the characters, Sienna and Dewayne. Sienna, despite her independence and strong personalities, she’s one insecure woman. I get that she didn’t have much under her protective parents, but she take care of her son by herself when she’s a child herself. I thought she can pass the insecurity regarding of what people, especially what Dewayne thought about her. But she keeps it to herself to the point that she prefer to be hungry because she doesn’t want Dewayne thinks that she doesn’t pretty anymore. As my eight books from Abbi Glines, I know that her heroes tend to be an alpha kind of hero. They are territorial and possessive they won’t even let people stare at their heroine. At one point I didn’t (quite) mind of this kind of heroes. But now I feel like it’s time for me to call it enough. Dewayne, just like Marcus, Preston, and Krit, is also possessive. And Sienna likes it which I just didn’t get it.

I had never seen him in a relationship with a female. Which was a shame because the territorial thing he did and the way he called me baby was pretty amazing. Even in his barbarian way he made me felt special. He was good at that.

Did he think everything should be handle with violence? And why was that so incredibly hot? I needed to seek mental help. Violence was not sexy. Even if Dewayne’s muscles flexed when he was just talking about a fight.

Damn right girl! Violence isn’t sexy, moreover when he twisted your arm and made it bruised and hurt you. But why did you keep thinking it’s sexy just because he has muscles, and all?

And Dewayne, he keeps saying that he’s bad for her and doesn’t do relationship but at the same time he can’t keep his hand off her. I think I can bear reading it one or two times but am just enough when it keeps happen so many times. His push and pull attitude to Sienna is frustrating me. And once she tells him that she wants to be with him, he jumps right away toward her. It just doesn’t suit with his personalities that he keeps telling me on and on.

I’m so glad this is the last two books of the series. I just can’t wait to finish it.

Result: 2 out of 5 stars

Review: Off The Map #3, Inside Out by Lia Riley

20805727Blurb from Goodreads

Book #3 in the OFF THE MAP series
New Adult Contemporary Romance

When Talia first moved from California to Australia to study abroad, she never dreamed she’d find the love of her life. Bran understands her like no one ever has before. And despite the numerous challenges they’ve faced, they’ve always managed to figure out how to stay together. But this time they’ll face their toughest hurdle yet. Is their love strong enough to keep them together?

Kindle Edition, 244 pages
Published December 2nd 2014 by Forever
edition language: English
series: Off The Map
genre: Contemporary, Romance, New Adult
My Thoughts
ARC was provided by the author/publisher via NetGalley in exchange for honest review.
As the final book of Off The Map series, I think it wasn’t as engaging as the previous books. Most of the time I felt it was too slow and got distracted easy by other things, unlike when I read Upside Down and Sideswiped. And one thing that I really looking forward since Upside Down which I kinda wish will describe more doesn’t happen here. It’s Talia’s OCD. Since book 1 I really liked reading her OCD because somehow I can relate to and it was so believable I want her to feel better from it. But her anxiety here doesn’t even explain more than in Sideswiped.

Yet, if I see it from different angle, I think Talia finally can overcome (?) it slowly but surely with Bran’s help, of course. That was what made me love them even more. Their relationship is so strong and they trust each other. There is nothing can shake their feeling. I just love how they help each other and always know what they need from one and another.

“You matter so much. And what you feel, matters to me.”

description
One thing that I didn’t quite like was a feeling that each chapter has similar pattern. It’s kinda repetitive for me. It’s like Talia and Bran’s problems take turn in each chapter. So here I read one chapter about Talia’s issue and Bran tries to help her and then she gets her confidence back in a couple chapters. After that it’s time for Bran to face his problem with Talia convincing him that he’s a worthy man. Just like in Talia’s problem, it needs a few chapters till he gains his confidence back. Then the pattern goes back to Talia before it makes a circle to Bran’s problem again. It happens over and over till the last chapter.

I still think it’s an enjoyable ending, though. Not all of Talia and Bran’s problem are solved completely, some of them are left unsolved. But it is what happens in real life, right? You live your life and solve your problems one at the time and if you have someone along the way, like Bran for Talia and Talia for Bran, then you’re so lucky.

Result: 3 out of 5 stars

Review: Beneath Beautiful by Allison Rushby

18886367Blurb from Goodreads

When a handsome stranger approaches Cassie Tavington in Paris’s beautiful Père Lachaise cemetery, she has no idea who he is. It doesn’t take long to find out. A whispered name from a passerby shocks her into the realisation that it’s Cameron Callahan, high-profile modern artist, who she’s busy showing around the cemetery.

Mortified, Cassie runs, but Cameron soon tracks her down. He’s intent on having Cassie sit for him, but Cassie isn’t sure. His provocative sculptures are often in the media, which isn’t somewhere that Cassie, the daughter of a politician, should be.

But there’s no denying the attraction between the pair, and Cassie soon finds herself in a strange whirlwind of a relationship. Between Paris, London and New York, Cassie finds sitting for an artist isn’t as simple as it seems. There’s much to contend with—including Cameron’s ex-girlfriend, Plum, her own father, and her new love interest, James.

With the clock ticking down to the opening of Cameron’s new exhibition, Cassie must struggle to decide just how much of herself she can give over to Cameron and his sculpture while still remaining whole.

ebook
Published November 1st 2014
edition language: English
genre: Contemporary, Romance, New Adult
My Thoughts
ARC was provided by the author/publisher via NetGalley in exchange for honest review.

To be honest, as my first book from Allison Rushby, I didn’t expect much to this book. I don’t know her writing style or what she usually writes. The cover and the blurb that were intrigued me to request it on NetGalley. And when I saw that it is a New Adult book, I thought that it is like any other New Adult books I’ve read. You know with characters whose have baggage, a hero who needs to be rescued, a naive heroine and an insta-love.

I even think there is an insta-love when I reach 4% of the story, just because the main character, Cassie told me that she has an instant attraction with the hero, Cameron. And boy did she have it and lust over him for most of the time along the story. I have to admit, though, that I didn’t quite like it. Reading her having an instant attraction and lusting over Cameron was quite annoying. I think it didn’t suit with her personalities well. When she met him for the first time, she told me she always takes herself carefully to not be exposed by the media because of her father’s job. So when she decided to sit for him and willingly moved to New York only days after meeting him, it seems so careless and so-not her. At least the Cassie she told me about at the beginning of the story.

And then there are other characters that somehow intertwine Cassie and Cameron’s life it seems too coincidence. Hence I didn’t buy it. I mean it is like Alys, Plum and James suddenly in New York just because Cassie is there, though Alys was there in the first place. But still their connection is hard to believe, for me, at least.

However, the more I read the more I understand what Cassie’s trying to tell. And all of my thoughts when I started reading this book were just a glimpse of the story. And my prejudice of this book, about it being as cliche as any other new adult books was wrong. I’m glad the author can show me that I was wrong and there is more to her story, Cassie’s story, than the blurb and its label, being a new adult book, tell me.

I really liked the way it’s written. I’m not an artistic person. I mostly don’t understand the meaning of painting, moreover sculpture. But here, I get it, I understand what Cameron trying to say through his works. It left me wondering whether his works are purely the author’s idea because they are amazing.

Although at the beginning I didn’t quite like Cassie, I cannot help to not love her in the end. She grows up throughout the story and reading her character development was so relieving. I also liked other characters, especially Cassie’s older sister and her husband, Jo and Jeremy, they are really funny. All of the characters play their role well.

I think there is no better title for this book than Beneath Beautiful. It describes the story perfectly. You have to read this book, with its layers to understand it well.

Result: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Review: Star-Crossed #6, The Relentless Warrior by Rachel Higginson

18461614Blurb from Goodreads

Jericho Bentley is disillusioned by life. He feels lost in a world of peace and restless in a time threatened by war. He has given up on love, forgotten how to trust others and decided a lifetime of bachelorhood is all that remains for him.

Olivia Taylor was struggling to find her way in a human world. Now taken from the only life she’s ever known and changed on a molecular level, she is more lost than ever. With her sister struggling to survive the after effects of one of Dmitri Terletov’s experiments, Olivia sets off with Jericho to find a cure for both herself and her sister.

Together, Jericho and Olivia find more than vengeance and answers, they find a deep friendship that might teach them both to trust again. Maybe even to love again. As long as they can both put the hurt of their past behind them for good.

ebook
Published January 30th 2014 by Rachel Higginson via Smashwords (first published January 27th 2014)
edition language: English
series: Star-Crossed
genre: Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
My Thoughts
When I started reading Star-Crossed series years ago I never thought that it will be one long series. I thought it will only tell Kiran and Eden story. And I was happy they ended the way I liked. But then there was another one, another story with a (old) new evil antagonist. And just like any other series I’ve already started I couldn’t not to read the rest even when I felt like it was enough for me. And the fact that it was Avalon’s story I was more than willing to read with a hope that it will be the end of the series. But I was wrong, the story hasn’t finished yet and there will be another books with another characters’ story in the future. So here I am reading book 6 about Avalon’s bestfriend and Eden’s ex-boyfriend, Jericho.

Although Jericho had big part in Kiran-Eden story, especially in book 2, 3, and 4, I didn’t pay much attention to him since it was so obvious that Eden will choose Kiran eventually. He was just a “bump in the road” in their relationship. Now it’s time to tell his story and give him his heroine.
I liked that he has someone who can give him his happy ending, Olivia. The story is (seems) more interesting when Olivia isn’t from his circle. She’s a pure human who is turned into immortal through an experiment. At this point, I was still eager to read it. However the more I read the more I lost my interest to this book. Both Jericho and Olivia tend to tell me the same things over and over. I think they are telling than showing kind of characters. And they more interest to each other than the evil antagonist while at the same time they are so eager to have revenge to Terletov, the antagonist.

I also think most of everything that happen with Olivia and other characters are too easy. She can (sort of) handle her power in only two days in one training with Jericho. Even Eden couldn’t do it while everyone says that Eden is so powerful. There are also lots of coincidences things happen for their own convenience. Hence I couldn’t buy it. As for their relationship, it was just hard for me to feel their chemistry. It was good they have time to know each other and didn’t fall in an insta-love, things I usually love from romance story, but they hot and cold relationship while they are secretly admire each other is quite frustrating me.

It still has surprises at the end of the story, though, which I liked it. However it couldn’t make me think that the story is less boring. But I think I’m still going to read other sequels in the future to see all of the character have their happy ending.

Result: 2.5 out of 5 stars