Review: Crush #1, Just a Little Crush by Renita Pizzitola

22606645Blurb from Goodreads

Brinley Dawson doesn’t drink, she studies—and despite the accusations of her alcoholic mother, she’s still a virgin. But if Brinley’s life is so put together, why is she freaking out to be going to college with the gorgeous, green-eyed jerk she kissed on a stupid dare in high school? Ryder Briggs can have any girl he wants . . . and the rumors say that he does. So why, after publicly embarrassing Brinley four years ago, is he suddenly acting like he’s interested?

Ryder never forgot Brinley. In fact, those perfect seven minutes permanently raised the bar for what a kiss could be. The truth is, Ryder doesn’t dare get too close to anyone. He knows how that worked out for his parents. But when his roommate takes a shot at Brinley, Ryder can’t contain his jealousy. Now he must do the hardest thing he’s ever done: forget about sex and convince Brinley his feelings are real.

Brinley isn’t sure whether she believes Ryder, but for the first time, her body isn’t playing by the rules. Then she discovers that she’s an unwilling part of a cruel game, humiliating her all over again—and Ryder might be to blame. Has Brinley’s little crush turned into a huge mistake . . . or has she found the one guy worth trusting with her heart?

Kindle Edition, 242 pages
Published October 21st 2014 by Flirt/Random House
edition language: English
series: Crush
genre: Contemporary, Romance, New Adult
My Thoughts
There is time when I feel like I have to stop reading New Adult contemporary romance. I don’t remember when the last time I got 4 stars reading. But silly me, I keep thinking that I might find a good one if I keep trying. I got this book from a recommendation after my not-so-good NA contemporary romance, and it is still not-so-good for me.

It has everything I usually read and is so predictable I was questioning the main character, Brinley, for not guessing it. I don’t know whether she’s that clueless or just ignorant or is truly naive. Let’s say she’s a naive-clueless nineteen years old, but what happened with her in the past should be a lesson for her. So it seems she didn’t get her lesson well. It’s so frustrating knowing that your main character falling to the same hole again, even when at the end of the day, it isn’t quite the same hole. But still I want her to get her lesson.

Reading her personality is not-so-good either. She says that she’s shy but she doesn’t seem that shy. I don’t find her shy enough as a shy person. She slut-shaming her roommate while she doesn’t know her at all. She also says that what Ryder did to her 4 years ago made her angry and caused her as an outsider at their school. But the first time she meet him again, she’s weak and all from his gorgeousness. I feel like I want to shout to her and demand her answer of where her anger and hate go? I think four years as an outsider in school is quite a long time to hold grunge, but suddenly it goes nowhere in the first sight at their second meeting. I don’t buy it.

And Ryder, is just typical I’m-not-good-for-you-so-stay-away-from-me-but-I-can’t-stay-away-so-I-keep-knocking-on-your-door kind of guy. His hot and cold attitude is so annoying I want to smack his head and tell him to make up his mind.

All in all, it looks like I’m still searching my perfect NA contemporary romance. And this one is far from it. So the question is, like Adele says, should I give up or should I keep chasing pavement?

Result: 2 out of 5 stars
Reading Challenge:
– GoodReads: Book #15
– YA Buddy Readers’ Corner ♥: Read books I never thought I’ll read

Review: Everything Has Changed by Mia Kayla

24356312Blurb from Goodreads

Imagine finding the love of your life at the age of six.

Bliss Carrington did.

Bliss has known Jimmy Brason since first grade. He took on the role of the big brother Bliss never had, breaking Bliss out of her shy shell, encouraging her to have fun in high school, and pushing her to live her life to the fullest. They have always been friends—until one day, Bliss wanted more. Now seeing women everywhere swooning over Jimmy, head quarterback of the New York Cougars, is enough to drive her to madness.

Jimmy has been in love with Bliss forever, but she doesn’t know and she can never find out. In all the craziness of his fast track to fame and money, Bliss is the one person who has kept him sane. He firmly believes that history repeats itself and with his tainted past, he’s afraid that he’s fated to hurt her if he allows himself to follow his heart.

Bliss has watched Jimmy grow from a boy into a man, and it’s not fair that someone else will get to keep him when she knows in her heart that he only belongs to her.

When they tiptoe on the edge of love, can their friendship remain intact with both of them ignoring the rumblings that’s threatening to explode?

Everything Has Changed is a story of love, loss, and longing for the one you grew up loving.

Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Published February 16th 2015 by MAM Books LLC
edition language: English
genre: Contemporary, Romance, New Adult
My Thoughts
ARC was provided by the author/publisher via NetGalley in exchange for honest review.

This is another case where the book has perfect formula but somehow I just missed it and think that it isn’t the one for me, while it has things I usually like.

So Bliss and Jimmy is best friend for forever. But somewhere along the way, Bliss feels something different. She falls in love with Jimmy while he is a I-don’t-do-relationship kind of guy. As a famous quarterback, of course there are women around her that makes Bliss feel even more insecure of herself.

From the beginning I can sense that this one is an angsty story. I don’t mind angst, I even like it. It’s my guilty pleasure. So I really like first couple chapters. I think it captures Bliss feeling for Jimmy well. I feel bad for her when it seems he doesn’t see her more than a BFF. And I understand her insecurity. At the same time, I know that Jimmy’s feeling is mutual but for some reason he doesn’t want her to know it. This causes problems between them. And it goes on and on and on in more than half of the book.

The thing is I can bear and understand their conflict as it can make the drama to the story, and yes the angst that I like. But if it happens more than I can count and it’s like they are running in circle, it’s frustrating me! Even Bliss feels it too. She tells me herself. There is nothing much in 70% of the story aside that they talking the same things over and over. Reading it is just exhausting.

I also don’t like the way Bliss keeps telling the same things over and over. Not just in the way she describes her feeling, it also when she describes something. She sounds like a song in repeat to me. Jimmy isn’t much better either. He keeps hurting Bliss while he says that he cares for her. If he cares for her, he won’t hurt her all the time and makes her the only one who fights for their love. At this moment, I didn’t know which one I most dislike. Bliss who cannot move on and letting him hurt her for countless time or Jimmy who hurt her in most of the story and doesn’t have a backbone to pursuit their love?

My excitement to Bliss and Jimmy story soon replace with boredom. And when they finally tell each other feeling, I lost my interest and just want to finish it as soon as I can so that I can move on to another book.

Result: 2 out of 5 stars
Reading Challenge:
– GoodReads: Book #14
– YA Buddy Readers’ Corner ♥: Finish all of ARCs (Advance Reader Copy) I have by the end of 2015.

Review: Maybe by Amber L. Johnson

22057891Blurb from GoodReads

Letting go is hard. Admitting you need each other is harder.

Emily Portman loves her job. A writer for Breakout! Magazine, she shadows and showcases up-and-coming bands. When her next assignment takes her to Austin, Texas, she can’t wait to add the city to her map of places she’s visited. Places she’s left without looking back. Her plan is to keep moving on, and the last thing she needs is a man holding her back. She’s not going down that road again.

Tyler Macy is stuck in a rut. Despite his exceptional talent as a musician, he has chosen to take a back seat with his music and let others grab the limelight. Wounded and mistrustful, he doesn’t appreciate his friends’ efforts to bring him back to center stage. Emily comes onto the scene and sees his full potential, but he fights to stay in the shadows, shutting her out before she can add to the scars another woman gave him.

For Tyler to find his music again, he needs to accept the help that Emily and their friends offer. When he discovers that his muse lies underneath Emily’s skin, it is still not enough to keep her from walking away. Neither will admit what they really want until it is too late.

Emily is once again thrown in Tyler’s path when she is assigned to join them on tour. Despite the pain in his past, Tyler sees that she is worth it, even if she’s stolen both his heart and peace of mind. In order for them to be together, they both must discover whether the music and their passion are enough to overcome the obstacles that separate them.

Maybe finding love is worth the risk.

Kindle Edition, 249 pages
Expected publication: February 12th 2015 by The Writer’s Coffee Shop
edition language: English
genre: Contemporary, Romance, New Adult
My Thoughts
ARC was provided by the author/publisher via NetGalley in exchange for honest review.

After Puddle Jumping I have high expectation on this book. That’s why I was so eager to read it and cannot help myself not to request it on NetGalley. I know those two books are different in so many ways, so I shouldn’t compare it but they come from the same author I thought at least I can enjoy it.

Now I can say that I really shouldn’t have any expectation as in the end it didn’t live my expectation and I didn’t quite enjoy it. The story is so cliche, predictable and formulaic I don’t even find any single thing that never told before, mostly in NA stories. I don’t mind cliche and formulaic stories but usually it also has something that can attract me to say that I like it. Not in this case, unfortunately.

I usually like the hate-love relationship but here, I didn’t think so. Emily hates Tyler in the beginning but it soon, like sooner than a blink of an eye, changes to attraction (or should I say lust?) I kind of forget that she hates him in the first place. Emily being a journalist and Tyler a musician should have a conflict of interest. You know when she has to dig deep the skeleton in Tyler’s life and his band while at the same time she’s in a relationship with him. I think it should conflict her feeling but she doesn’t conflicted enough for me. And Tyler doesn’t like when people call him with his first name, Tyler, but why did he introduce himself as Tyler when he met Emily for the first time. I didn’t buy it.

I liked that the story is fast pace but in most of the time it too fast I have a hard time believe in Tyler and Emily relationship. With all of bad past relationship they had, I think at least they need time for their new one. But here it feels like they jump straight to it while they can, though mostly it’s just about sex. Well at least that was what I feel.

All in all, this one is a letdown compare to my first Amber L. Johnson book. But I’m sure it won’t be my last one, because to be honest her other books look as appealing as her two books I’ve read. I just have to read them to know the result, right?

Result: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Reading Challenge:
– GoodReads: Book #9
– YA Buddy Readers’ Corner ♥: Finish all of ARCs (Advance Reader Copy) I have by the end of 2015.
– Popsugar: A book by a female author

Review: The Last Kings of Sark by Rosa Rankin-Gee

18404267Blurb from Goodreads

My name is Jude. And because of Law, Hey and the Obscure, they thought I was a boy.’

Jude is twenty-one when she flies in a private plane to Sark, a tiny carless Channel Island, the last place in Europe to abolish feudalism. She has been hired for the summer to give tuition to a rich local boy called Pip. But when she arrives, the family is unsettling – Pip is awkward, over-literal, and adamant he doesn’t need a tutor, and upstairs, his enigmatic mother Esmé casts a shadow over the house.

Enter Sofi: the family’s holiday cook, a magnetic, mercurial Polish girl with appalling kitchen hygiene, who sings to herself and sleeps naked. When the father of the family goes away on business, Pip’s science lessons are replaced by midday rosé and scallop-smuggling, and summer begins. Soon something surprising starts to touch the three together.

But those strange, golden weeks cannot last forever. Later, in Paris, Normandy and London, they find themselves looking for the moment that changed everything.

Compelling, dark and funny, The Last Kings of Sark is tale of complicated love, only children and missed opportunities, from an extraordinary new writer.

Kindle Edition, 289 pages
Published July 8th 2014 by St. Martin’s Press (first published November 7th 2013)
edition language: English
genre: Contemporary, Adult
My Thoughts
DNF at chapter 12 (30%)

ARC was provided by the author/publisher via NetGalley in exchange for honest review.

The blurb intrigued me to read this book, that’s why I requested it from NetGalley in the first place. Somehow I was kind of wish that I’ll get Jane Eyre-esque story, a beautiful-romantic with mystery kind of story.

Sark island interesting enough with its mysterious vibe. I think the author did a good job describing it. However it was hard for me to connect to the story and the characters. I really tried but up to the end of chapter 12 I still couldn’t care less with both of them. Jude, the main character and narrator of this story described most of everything but I got so little thing about her. Her co-worker, Sofi is an interesting character but I feel like she talked too much and her character overshadows Jude. It made me think why didn’t give her own POV, instead of Jude since I got her story more than Jude. She came to Sark to tutor a boy, Pip, he is supposed to be an interesting character too, but he feels flat to me. It was like he was there just so Jude has someone to tutor while she even rarely tutors him. Esme, Pip’s French mom, she’s the one I thought could make the story more mysterious, but the way Jude describes her make her isn’t mysterious enough for me to know what her story is. And Eddy, Pip’s dad, he disappears a lot from the story I didn’t get much about him.

And there is also something off with the way Jude tells her story. Maybe it’s just me being a reader with English isn’t my first language, maybe it’s because I’m still learning it so I don’t know much about it. But one thing for sure was I have problem reading her story. She likes using ‘later’. It’s kinda kill the element of surprise for me. I think I already know who or what will happen long before it happen or he/she enters the story since she tells me one step forward. Hence when a character enters the story and/or some things finally happened, it didn’t interest me anymore. I also quite difficult to differentiate when and where she talks about something. I feel like she talks about one thing and then in the same paragraph it turns to other thing. I think the flow doesn’t go smoothly.

All in all, I think this book has potential but I just couldn’t connect to it and there weren’t much happened till 30% of the story. To be honest, I tried a few times to pick this book up again and again in a span of 8 months. I feel bad I couldn’t finish it, maybe it just isn’t my cup of tea and it will work differently for other readers.

Result: since I did not finish it, I didn’t give it any star
Reading Challenge:
– GoodReads: Book #6
– YA Buddy Readers’ Corner ♥: Finish all of ARCs (Advance Reader Copy) I have by the end of 2015.
– Popsugar: A book written by an author with your same initial

Review: Reclaiming The Sand #2, Chasing The Tide by A. Meredith Walters

21914535Blurb from GoodReads

Bully and Victim

Friend and Lover

Past and Future

Ellie McCallum and Flynn Hendrick’s story was as painful as it was devastating. But they were able to find within each other an unlikely yet beautiful love. Despite the obstacles that tried to keep them apart.

And together they rose out of the ashes of their tragic history.

Now years after their life changing reunion Ellie is back in Wellston, having just graduated from college and ready to start her future with the man who taught her how to love. However, returning to a town that held so much bitterness and anger was the last place she wanted to start over.

But for Flynn, who is now an art professor at the community college and firmly rooted in the place that gave them their beginning, she’d do just about anything.

Yet it’s difficult building a life when you’ve only just learned how to live.
And love, no matter how strong, doesn’t always conquer all.

Ellie and Flynn must learn how far they are willing to go to stay together. Or whether the ghosts of the past will consume them both.

Because finding a happily ever after is harder than it seems. Particularly when you’re fighting against the one thing that could destroy you.

Yourself.

Kindle Edition, 254 pages
Published December 14th 2014
edition language: English
series: Reclaiming The Sand
genre: Contemporary, Romance, New Adult
My Thoughts
I love Flynn Hendrick and Ellie McCullom I felt like I’m not ready to say goodbye by the time I reach the last page of Reclaiming The Sand. And since then I’ve reread a few times, or just skimmed it to my favorite parts whenever I need to let me out from reading slump. And boy does it work every time. So you can tell how happy I was when I knew there will be another Flynn and Ellie’s story.

This time is mostly about Ellie’s life. I love I got to see more of her past life here, from her childhood to her college life. The author didn’t tell Ellie’s past in much description. It’s only in two or three pages in each chapters but it tells a lot about her. I think that way I can understand her better while at the same time it didn’t overlap the main story, her relationship with Flynn.

Their relationship is still hard, sometimes harder than in previous book. I really like when characters have to struggle and fight hard to get what they want, just like Flynn and Ellie who push their limit to make their relationship works. But I also felt the middle part of the story was a bit drag on and was kinda repetitive. I understand that Flynn needs consistency and routine but when I read the same thing happens I have to say that it was quite annoying and boring. So Ellie doesn’t want to be in Wellstone then her dislikes of her town effects Flynn’s mood. They yell and mad to each other and then she realizes that Flynn is all she needs. I know it means to show how hard they have to work for their relationship, with their own issues. But I think maybe their struggling can be in a different way to avoid the same thing over and over.

I still think that this is a nice story though, more than nice, to be honest. And I still love Flynn and Ellie and am still not ready to say goodbye. That’s how much I love them and their story.

Result: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Reading Challenge:
– GoodReads: Book #3
– YA Buddy Readers’ Corner ♥: Finish at least 5 series I’ve started.
– Popsugar: A book I can finish in a day

Review: Up in the Air #1, In Flight by R.K. Lilley

16134782Blurb from GoodReads

When reserved flight attendant Bianca gets one look at billionaire hotel owner James Cavendish, she loses all of her hard-won composure. For a girl who can easily juggle a tray of champagne flutes at 35,000 feet in three inch heels, she finds herself shockingly weak-kneed from their first encounter. The normally unruffled Bianca can’t seem to look away from his electrifying turquoise gaze. They hold a challenge, and a promise, that she finds impossible to resist, and she is a girl who is used to saying no and meaning it.

Bianca is accustomed to dealing with supermodels and movie stars in her job as a first class flight attendant, but James Cavendish puts them all to shame in the looks department. If only it were just his looks that she found so irresistible about the intimidating man, Bianca could have ignored his attentions. But what tempts her like never before is the dominant pull he seems to have over her from the moment they meet, and the promise of pleasure, and pain, that she reads in his eyes.

Kindle Edition, 263 pages
Published October 20th 2012 by R.K. Lilley
edition language: English
series: Up in the Air
genre: Contemporary, Romance, Adult
My Thoughts
This book is kind of new for me. I never read about BDSM before. Yes it means that I never read Fifty Shades of Grey which some readers say there are lots of similarities with this book. I didn’t even have reason why I picked this book up, except that I was curious about it, to be honest. And after this one, I think I’ll read FSoG sooner just for the sake of my curiosity

As my first experience, I’d say there is nothing new in the story, except that it has lots of BDSM sex scenes and is predictable. I bet you can guess what will happen at the end of book even if you skip the middle of the story. There is insta-actraction between the main characters, Bianca and James, though thank goodness it wasn’t an insta-love. I liked both of them enough to keep reading their story as much as I didn’t quite like their other side. It was kinda hard for me to connect to both of them. James is so moody and selfish I was so annoyed with him. While Bianca is so naive I can’t believe that she is that naive. But I think I can still manage them since their past story was what I mostly interested. And it’s quite good, I think. In a way it made me glue to the book.

But my favorite character here is Bianca’s bestfriend, Stephan. I liked her relationship with him, though at first it was quite hard for me to believe that they don’t have any romantic feeling. In the end, I liked that they have sibling relationship and have each other all of the time.

I think this is an okay book. When I first picked this book up, I never thought I’ll read its sequel, but now, with the way it ended I feel like have to read it.

Result: 2 out of 5 stars
Reading Challenge:
– GoodReads: Book #2
– YA Buddy Readers’ Corner ♥: Books I never thought I’ll read. Book #2
– Popsugar: A book by an author I’ve never read before

Review: The Fowler Sisters #1, Owning Violet by Monica Murphy

22747260Blurb from GoodReads

I’ve moved through life doing what’s expected of me. I’m the middle daughter, the dutiful daughter. The one who braved a vicious attack and survived. The one who devoted herself to her family’s business empire. The one who met an ambitious man and fell in love. We were going to run Fleur Cosmetics together, Zachary and I.

Until he got a promotion and left me in the dust. Maybe it’s for the best, between his disloyalty and his wandering eye. But another man was waiting for me. Wanting me. He too has an overwhelming thirst for success, just like Zachary—perhaps even more so. He’s also ruthless. And mysterious. I know nothing about Ryder McKay beyond that he makes me feel things I’ve never felt before.

One stolen moment, a kiss, a touch . . . and I’m hooked. Ryder’s like a powerful drug, and I’m an addict who doesn’t want to be cured. He tells me his intentions aren’t pure, and I believe him. For once, I don’t care. I’m willing to risk everything just to be with him. Including my heart. My soul.

My everything.

ebook, 400 pages
Published December 2nd 2014 by Bantam
edition language: English
series: The Fowler Sisters
genre: Contemporary, Romance, Adult
My Thoughts:
I liked One Week Girlfriend series I was excited to read Monica Murphy’s latest series, Fowler Sisters with its first book, Owning Violet. I can say I still like her writing but I cannot say the same thing for the story and also the characters.

From the blurb I can tell that I usually like this kind of story. There is nothing new in Ryder and Violet story, I know, and is predictable but I think it makes room for drama and angst, which is my guilty pleasure in contemporary romance. However I didn’t enjoy Ryder and Violet’s story as much as I thought I would.

Ryder uses Violet to make him reach higher position in Violet’s father’s company and to take revenge to Violet’s boyfriend. He keeps telling her that he is mean and is a bad guy with dark past. Problem is I didn’t see and feel it. Yes he uses her for his benefit but so does her boyfriend, Zachary. I’m sure everyone will use her for their benefit, if they have a chance. It doesn’t mean that he is mean, not mean enough for me to tell him that he is mean, at least. And about his dark past? I’ve read lots of that kind of “dark” past before, so yeah his dark past is nothing as dark as I thought he had when I read first chapter.

As for Violet, I’m confused by her personalities. Ryder keeps telling me that she’s shy and in some occasion she indeed seems a shy introvert girl. But then she can do things that are far from her shyness before she backs to her quiet personality. For me, most of the things she does aren’t believable. Maybe she can switch her personalities that easy because of Ryder which she claims change her in so many ways, but still I found it’s hard to believe when she does things that are out of her personalities.

And for the story, there are things that left unclear and feel like it comes out of the blue. Maybe they are meant to be in the sequels but I still feel like they are there just to make me wondering about it and maybe glue to it. While in reality it is kind of an epic fail because it’s just annoying me. And not to mention that the story is so drag on I’m bored most of the time and the ending felt rushed and too easy. I think I’ll still read the sequels though. So I’m waiting for Rose’s story now.
Result: 2 out of 5 stars
Reading Challenge:
– GoodReads: Book #1
– YA Buddy Readers’ Corner ♥: Books I never thought I’ll read. Book #1
– Popsugar: A book with a color in the title