Unforeseen Love by Taylor Dawson

If there is just one thing I can be grateful to this book for, it’s making me realize how happy I am to no longer be in high school, and during a time when social media reigns supreme. Although, the flip-side of this is it also made me realize how old I am to be totally flummoxed by the things kids do nowadays. Why, back in my day…!

What’s it About?

Love. Trust. Loyalty. Unforeseen Love is intriguingly dramatic with a shocking twist…

Ever since freshman year at Ocean Shores High, Alex Lovell has been tormented by rich heiress Cynthia Higgs -the most popular girl in school, along with her clique of friends who are known by everyone as “the In Group.” Powerless and miserable, Alex has always envied Cynthia’s popularity and hopelessly crushed on her handsome quarterback boyfriend, Rick McCullin. Now come senior year, Alex finally gets what she wants in the most unexpected way and her perspective drastically changes. Ultimately this influences her to go on an adventure of love that not only changes her life forever, but also puts her in an unthinkable situation of grave danger.

Will Alex be able to handle her new life? And even more, will she manage to keep both herself and her love alive?

First Impressions

The primary pitfall of this book is that it tried too hard to be too many things. From a cautionary high-school tale detailing the torments of bullying, to a passionate romance with a celebrity, finally culminating in a mini-horror story of revenge, it felt as though three very distinct novels were shoved together into one. Sure, the characters were primarily the same from start to finish, and a few details of the initial high-school storyline came back to make a reappearance in our “trapped-in-a-house-with-no-escape” tale at the end, but everything was left feeling far too disjointed rather than a cohesive read. Considering this was a fairly lengthy read at over 400 pages, I almost think the progression of events could have benefitted from being cut down the middle into two books. High school bullying focus for book one, moving on with unexpected celebrity encounter for book two. And I guess, throw in the psychotic revenge story wherever it fits best? Or…honestly maybe just toss it aside entirely. As it stands, there’s too much going on in one read, especially when we realize that all of the events are supposed to have taken place over the span of just under a year.

Reality Presented in Unrealistic Ways

There are some books you read that are so engaging you can’t put them down. Others you find yourself needing to take a break from time to time, putting the book down so you can catch your breath. Whether it be from an overly intense read, or one so steamy that it’s literally too hot to handle. Unfortunately, I regularly found myself having to take a break from this book for another reason: frustration. Many of the scenarios, dialogue, and even the actions of our female lead simply extended too far beyond the realm of believability. This was definitely disappointing seeing as the book really is trying to highlight some crucial issues for discussion, including bullying and escaping toxic relationships. However, the execution of how these important topics were presented is where the let-down came in.

The unbelievable nature of the read starts off pretty immediately, shortly after we discover that Alex is being harshly bullied by a clique of popular high school kids, in particular by the leader of the crew, Cynthia. This torment and torture has been going on for years, yet upon receiving a pool party invite to Cynthia’s house, Alex is willing to show up even while acknowledging that some kind of vicious prank must be behind the invite. When she pulls up to Cynthia’s street to find a bunch of her classmates entering the mansion dressed in their best formal-wear, Alex admits to herself that she’s been duped. Rather than drive home for a quiet night with her true friends, she proceeds to go into the house in her casual pool party attire amidst the rich teens in their flashy tuxes and fancy dresses. She subsequently goes along every step of the way as Cynthia and her minions slowly carry out their excruciatingly obvious plan of humiliating Alex by giving her a hideous makeover, and convincing her put on an ugly dress for an impromptu fashion show for their classmates. It’s possible this slow build was utilized in an attempt to build the suspense of the prank, but instead it kept building the level of frustration as we wonder why Alex would have ever exited her car in the first place, or why our villains never attempted even a little bit to camouflage their dubious intent.

We’re never really provided with a realistic justification or explanation for why she went along with their ministrations, or why they were so intent on making her life miserable, and this is just the teeniest of examples of the countless ways our characters will engage in inexplicable behavior that will only leave you scratching your head in confusion. As the novel progresses we see Alex constantly ignore blatant red flags for avoiding troublesome situations, and also declare her love for men she’s only known for a hot second. In addition, each and every authority figure will push aside concerning issues involving teenagers in a way that makes no sense, wealthy characters will only refer to their large houses as “mansions”, and women are only referred to as “chicks”. The fact we aren’t really presented with any likable characters in the midst of so many outlandish scenarios meant I constantly found myself needing to take a break from this read, and sadly it became increasingly difficult to want to pick it back up again.

*A copy of this book was provided for an honest review*

Series: Stand-alone? This book ends so abruptly, practically mid-scene, that you can’t really tell if there is supposed to be a sequel, or if it was an attempt at an intense ending.

Final impressions: Overall this book just wasn’t my cup of tea, even though there was definite potential for an engaging read highlighting the issues that teenagers encounter nowadays. Unfortunately there were too many story-lines going on, many of which didn’t seem to have any clear resolution. Our characters also found themselves in endless confrontations and scrapes that could have been avoided, or were too unbelievable in their execution that you can’t help but leave feeling frustrated. There were parts of the celebrity romance tale I did enjoy, but it almost felt out of place being book-ended by two other exaggerated plot points.

Smut Level: For a high-school tale there are certainly some steamy and even X-rated adult scenes involved, including a sex tape.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $2.99 Kindle Price. 415 Pages.

Easy by Tammara Webber

Well ladies and gents, I didn’t think it was possible, but I may have just come across a new adult romance that reflects college life in a somewhat realistic light! The good and the bad. I’m talking midterms, doing laundry in the dorms, and having study time interfere with dating. Sadly, even rape. And yet in the midst of all this we still manage to uncover an incredible romance.

What’s it About? 


Rescued by a stranger.
Haunted by a secret
Sometimes, love isn’t easy…

He watched her, but never knew her. Until thanks to a chance encounter, he became her savior…The attraction between them was undeniable. Yet the past he’d worked so hard to overcome, and the future she’d put so much faith in, threatened to tear them apart. Only together could they fight the pain and guilt, face the truth – and find the unexpected power of  love. A groundbreaking novel in the New Adult genre, Easy faces one girl’s struggle to regain the trust she’s lost, find the inner strength to fight back against an attacker, and accept the peace she finds in the arms of a secretive boy.

First Impressions

When this novel opened I immediately had a gut reaction that we’d be dealing with one of those typical college romances that you could guess the progression of from start to finish. We open with a beautiful lead who is leaving a Halloween costume frat party because she spotted her newly ex-boyfriend dancing hot and heavy with some sorority floozy. Alright, let’s just have her run into the dashing lad who will sweep her off her feet already, am I right? Well, I couldn’t have been more wrong. Within this opening scene we are immediately confronted with the oftentimes dark, harsh reality of what can happen at college. Sexual harassment and rape. Thankfully in this particular scenario the rapist was unable to follow through with his despicable actions, as we do have a knight in shining armor come along and beat the ever loving shit out of him.


Little did I know that this moment would come to represent the constant emotional battle I’d experience as a reader for the rest of the book. On the one hand, turmoil and heartache that will make you hold your breath in anticipation, want to read through your fingers in suspense, and feel disgust on behalf of our characters. But then on the other you have an overwhelmingly positive sense of empowerment, true love, friendship, and sisterhood. It seems like a constant back and forth of highs and lows that will keep you on your toes, as well as have you turning the page to discover what comes next. This is also one of those books where I’d find myself thinking about it constantly throughout the day. I always say the sign of a good book is one that keeps your wheels turning even if you’ve put it down!


Blaming the Victim

While the budding romance between Lucas and Jacqueline is obviously an important focus of the novel, the other primary feature is the shocking reality of rape on college campus. Our characters manage to confront and sometimes successfully squander practically every single stereotype and assumption that can be raised when it comes to rape on campus. She was dressed proactively. She walked out to her car alone. He normally seemed so nice. If she wasn’t a virgin, and she went up to his room, what else did she expect? And behind it all the most common, disgusting phrase that can be said when something like this happens: she was just asking for it.


I’m not gonna lie, there were many parts of this novel which were hard to read, and my nostrils definitely flared a time or two as I listened to this on my walk to work. I may have also shook my head back and forth in disgust as you hear all the different ways someone can defend the actions of a rapist while blaming the victim. However, as these misconceptions are brought out into the open, there are a select few important characters, Lucas especially, who raise the most critical thing to remember when it comes to the women and men who survive these ordeals: it wasn’t your fault.


Coming Together to Rise Above

Yes, there are many difficult scenes and confessions related to rape and attempted rape in this novel. But at the same time, it’s an empowering read where we see the strength of our survivors, and the love of their supporters is truly inspiring. There is one scene in particular that I think deserves mention. In it we see a female pledge confess the sad details of her rape by a frat brother to the other members of her sorority. This scene especially shows how almost every member of her sorority blames our victim, and it’s so tragic to think that these excuses are constantly used to silence survivors.


Just when you think all hope is lost, and this criminal will walk free, the sorority president gives an impassioned speech that damn near brought me to tears. “You know what looks bad? A bunch of women who don’t support each other when a guy pulls some shit like this. I’m sick of it. Less than an hour ago, I told D.J. where he could stick his goddamned fraternal reputation…And you’re worried about who’ll look bad if they tell? Screw that…Are we sisters or not?” In addition to the words of support by some of our characters, we also see the highlighted importance of self defense. Again, it provides a sense of empowerment to our female characters by showing that with some proper training it can be possible to ward off an attacker, even if they seem bigger and stronger. After reading this book I am seriously interested in looking up a local self defense class.


A New Romance

Lucas turns out to be Jacqueline’s savior in more ways than one. Not only does he rescue her that fateful night from a would-be attacker, but he helps her move on from her recent breakup. At the outset, Jacqueline only views him as a bad boy rebound, but as they spend more time together she learns that he has a secret sensitive side. He may also be the only person to ever see the true her. The scenes in which Jacqueline allows Lucas to sketch her prove to be particularly insightful. Not to mention hot as hell! That being said, he never pushes her to do anything before she’s ready.


For the most part I really did enjoy the romantic relationship between Lucas and Jacqueline, but that’s not to say it wasn’t without some issues. First and foremost, while Jacqueline knows Lucas as her protector, it turns out he’s also her economics TA. Of course, he chooses to keep this other identity a secret from her, and because he uses his given name of Landon in all his TA related emails to her, she doesn’t find out until rather late in the game that her protector and her TA are one and the same. Now, I must say this little detail is strikingly evident from the very first email exchange, so I couldn’t help but throw a few eye rolls Jacqueline’s way at her naivety.


My biggest issue though would have to be with Jacqueline’s curiosity revolving around Lucas’s past. Something tragic has obviously happened to him, but he chooses to remain close-lipped about the details. After all that these two have been through, from her attack, to him taking things slowly with her, to finally discovering that he’s her TA, you’d think she could have just been a bit more patient with him. After all, they’ve only been kind of dating for a few weeks. Maybe he’s not ready to reveal all of the troubling emotional heartache he’s been through in his youth. But that doesn’t stop Jacqueline from looking into discovering the truth on her own by sidestepping Lucas entirely, and doing a little internet search to uncover all the gruesome details of his mother’s death. I mean, come on girl don’t you know that curiosity killed the cat? You really want it to kill this damn near perfect relationship you have with Lucas???


Series: Contours of the Heart, book 1. I’ll keep reading this series, though I must say I am slightly concerned with the premise of the next book as we just see a continuation of Lucas and Jacqueline’s story. They’ve been through enough at this point, can’t we just let them have their happily every after? What other drama could they possibly encounter?

Should you read it? I was particularly enthralled with the writing of this novel, as we are presented with a story that makes us feel as though we are there with the characters experiencing everything firsthand. It’s not all rainbows and sunshine either. There’s a trying road that Lucas and Jacqueline must traverse, but with each other they discover a love that neither thought was possible. Sure, they make a few mistakes along the way, but we all do silly things when young and in love.

Smut Level: These two have some hot and heavy make out scenes which are pretty detailed. However, they don’t take things too far until pretty late in the book, and I was surprised that we really didn’t get much of any detail for the big event. Some nice over the clothes stuff though for a good portion of the novel.

Get it on Amazon:Click Here. $5.99 Kindle Price. Berkley Publishing. 338 Pages.

Trying Not to Love You by Megan Smith

It always surprises me how many college romance novels pretty much leave out the concept of schoolwork completely.

What’s it About? 


MacKenzie Cahill has dealt with overbearing and overprotective brothers her entire life, making it near impossible to enjoy her teenage years. Having a boyfriend was practically impossible until she met a guy that wasn’t afraid to stand up to them – Dominic. He was sweet, thoughtful, and everything MacKenzie ever wanted in a man. But when they go away to college at Old Dominion University, MacKenzie sees a whole new side of Dominic and begins to wonder if he really is different from every other guy. Her world is turned upside down after a party, and her brothers’ best friend Hunter is the one there to offer her a shoulder to cry on. The chemistry between them is electric, and feelings for each other that have been hidden for years are finally voiced. Is Hunter willing to be disloyal to his best friends in order to be with the one girl he’s always secretly wanted?

First Impressions

Alright, I know it’s something silly to get so upset about, but for some reason I get really peeved when a college romance completely ignores the fact our couple is actually in college. This novel is definitely guilty of it to the nth degree. Now, I get it, writing about going to class and studying for exams isn’t exactly the most thrilling concept to a plot, but come on!! It at least gives a sense of realism to the story. When it comes to this book, I seriously think we only get one mention of MacKenzie going to an actual college class, and I don’t even know if we get the name of the class.


The only other educational mentions we get are MacKenzie’s undergraduate major, and the fact that she made it through her fall semester exams no problem. Beyond that, it’s just a constant slew of parties, relationship drama and weekend trips home. While I’m positive this probably does encapsulate many people’s college experiences, what can I say? Not something I find particularly interesting or relatable. Now, you give me a tale about a couple struggling to keep their relationship on track due to the time commitment of school? That I get. Hell, I’d settle for them just being part of the same damn study group!


A Revealing Synopsis

This novel is sort of divided into 2 main sections. The first deals with MacKenzie going off to college with her long-term high school boyfriend, Dominic. The second half of the novel sees her moving on from her relationship with Dominic to finally explore a relationship with her lifelong crush, Hunter, who also happens to be her brothers’ best friend since childhood. I know what you’re thinking, kind of a spoiler alert isn’t it? After all, if she’s exploring something with Hunter that must mean her relationship with Dominic doesn’t last very long. Well, no spoilers here, as it’s all pretty much laid out and heavily implied as to how things end in the synopsis. Honestly, I wish this aspect had been concealed from us as the audience rather than basically spelling it out from the get-go. It simply would have made for a more intriguing read.



Tales of the Unfaithful

It doesn’t take very long for us to realize that Dominic has been cheating on MacKenzie during the brief time he spent at school without her. OK, maybe a mini-spoiler, but honestly I don’t even care because it’s so blatantly obvious. It seems like every character in the novel knows about Dominic’s wandering eye, save one: MacKenzie. At first you can’t help but think, God how unbelievably naive can she be?! There are just so many moments where he has to explain away a seeming misunderstanding about his presence with another woman that you just wanna shake MacKenzie and tell her to wake up already.


Eventually though, we come to realize that MacKenzie has been paying attention to all the clues, and even suspects that Dominic has been cheating on her. However, she’s been delaying confronting him directly, as she’s trying to latch on to just a small piece of her life back when things were simple and seemingly perfect. Honestly it was kind of a sad admission, and probably the most relatable part of the novel. I’m sure we’ve all experienced moments in life where we’ve tried to avoid change by keeping our eyes shut tight.

closed eyes eyelashes of woman MR#284

From Crush to Reality

The second half of the novel deals with MacKenzie and Hunter finally opening up about their true feelings for each other. This is when the novel hits its sexy stride. Unfortunately, it’s also where I became increasingly frustrated with the progression of the story. For some reason which is never fully explained, MacKenzie’s brothers are entirely opposed to the idea of Hunter and MacKenzie getting together. Now, I can certainly assume some reasons they might be upset, but the only objection which is actually articulated is, “Dude, that’s my sister. Stay away from her!” Such an…eloquent objection.


What’s so frustrating about this aspect of the story though is that it actually results in Hunter and MacKenzie not only arguing about their relationship, but also questioning it. I think I almost would have preferred we learned that Hunter was a womanizer, as it would have provided a more legitimate reason for her brothers to be so ridiculously and vehemently opposed to the idea of them getting together. Not to mention for MacKenzie to question if Hunter is right for her. Personally it made me question if the two were even right for each other considering how much they fought about it.

Series: Love You, book 1. Shockingly, this book ends on a crazy cliffhanger which I always find frustrating. Consider yourself warned!

Should you read it? Not my fav. I had trouble falling in love with any of the characters. MacKenzie comes across as pretty whiny and immature, which was definitely enhanced by the audiobook narrator’s intonations. Almost Valley Girl-esque. As for Hunter, he has his sweet and flirtatious moments, but also a fair number where he’s yelling at MacKenzie for some stupid overblown reason. There’s a crazy plot twist near the end I wasn’t expecting, and that I wasn’t altogether very fond of. Oh well, what can ya do?

Smut Level: We have some sexy moments, including a bathtub scene and an isolated cabin sexy weekend getaway. These two have desired each other for years, and they intend to make their time together count. Until her brothers get all butt hurt of course.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $0.99 Kindle Price. Self-Published. 291 Pages.

Series Banner

Tattered Love by Lola Stark

“Then I went and followed him out to the car like some kind of…Some kind of girl! I was starting to dislike myself. Something needed to change. Soon.” Well…that’s kind of disheartening.

What’s it About?

tattered love

When ex-Special Ops bad-ass Mace walks into Needle’s Kiss tattoo parlour, he never expected to find the girl who would turn his life upside down. Hard as nails Scarlett has been unlucky in love: she’s been burnt, chewed up and spat out. Reluctant to have another relationship, can she keep her wits about her when hot-as-sin Mace walks into her tattoo parlor? Or will he break her down and leave his mark within her ink? What starts out as a little fun, turns into something so much more. Can Scarlett look beyond Mace’s devastating past or will his demons come back to haunt them both?

First Impressions

Scarlett is our main female lead in this novel, and she is supposed to be this tough-as-nails, badass tattoo artist. She doesn’t take any sh*t from anybody. I’m also 100% convinced she has no idea what she wants in life. Case in point: her relationship with Mace. Ok, sidenote real quick, Mace? Mace?! I can honestly say I’ve never met a “Mace” in my entire life. Ok, sidenote over. So Scarlett is initially drawn to Mace because he is the ultimate manly-man alpha male. He doesn’t ask her on a first date, but instead basically orders her on one. And she openly admits she likes his take-charge alpha attitude. To each her own, no judgement.


But then when they actually do go out he has the nerve, nay the audacity!, to go get her a drink without asking her what she wants. Never mind the fact it actually is the type of beer she would have ordered because, you know, he’s been watching her (creep factor of 10), but she was damn near ready to get up and leave at that move alone. Scarlett my dear, I hate to tell you this, but when it comes to alphas you can’t simply date “some” of an alpha. They are alpha in all things, whether it’s telling you he’ll pick you up on Friday, whispering dirty talk in your ear, or getting you a drink. You want an alpha? You’re gonna get one.


Getting all Good Will Hunting Up in Here

When it comes to this novel, “It’s not your fault” is the clear, prevalent theme. I’ll admit, I did like Mace’s character significantly more than Scarlett’s. He has heart, passion, and unfortunately the tendency to blame himself for every possible bump in the road he’s every encountered in life. From getting his former girlfriend knocked up, to the dissolution of their relationship, and the most significant of which is the fact he blames himself for the tragic death of his daughter (none of which were actually his wrongdoing). One of the saddest story accounts I’ve ever listened to! I was practically crying on my walk to work. I seriously need to rethink my tendency to listen to audio books in public.


Communication is Key

That being said, Mace isn’t exactly Mr. Goody Two Shoes perfect either. As a matter of fact, there were times where I found both characters to be a tad…childish? This novel features one of the most ridiculous jump to conclusions I’ve ever heard. Towards the mid-way point of the novel, Mace has already told Scarlett about his crappy and exploitative ex-girlfriend, as well as how his daughter died years before. Then he mentions how he’s going out of town for a few days.


Lo and behold Scarlett comes across him having dinner with said sadistic ex-girlfriend, and she immediately jumps the gun thinking he’s cheating on her. In her mind, there is no other explanation, and she won’t even bother to hear what Mace has to say. When he finally does get the chance to explain the situation away, Mace gets pissed at Scarlett when she asks why he couldn’t have been honest with her. He proceeds to turn things around on Scarlett saying she hasn’t exactly been forthcoming about her own past, so why should he have to share everything with her. Uggggh, seriously? Not ok you guys. When did this turn into an episode of Jerry Springer?!?


Love is Girly

To harken back to the quote at the top of this post, one of the things I didn’t particularly like about Scarlett was that she didn’t really seem to like herself when she was with Mace. Sure, she enjoyed the sexy fun times they had together, and cheese and monkeys were there a lot of them. However, she’s always been tough, and when she’s with Mace she finds herself sort of bending to his will with his alpha tendencies. In spite of this, Scarlett loves him.


At one point she even says it’s sickening how much she loves him. The reason it’s so sickening? Because it makes her act like such a girl. Sooo…being in love with someone is girly? Wanting to spend time with someone is girly? Now, I get the sentiment that is trying to be conveyed here: she’s a badass and she’s suddenly experiencing moments of intimacy with someone else. I just didn’t really enjoy how it almost paints the concept of being in love as a negative thing. Almost like, love?, pff, who needs it? That’s just for squares. Aaaaaand, cue eye roll.


Bette Midler in the Making

As I mentioned earlier, I listened to this as an audio book. I always enjoy when romance novels present us with the dual points of view of both the male and female leads. I will say the male narrator did a fabulous job, especially when relating his sad tale of how his daughter passed. As for the female narrator, she could come off a bit too obnoxious at times. Seeing as how Scarlett is already a rather hot headed character, this additional feature of a somewhat obnoxious voice bordered a fine line of annoyance. This line was even crossed at times, especially whenever Scarlett lamented over acting too “girly”, and the word was said with what can only be described as pure disgust. Also, no joke, this narrator sounded surprisingly similar to Bette Midler. Although I love her to pieces (Hocus Pocus anyone?), it was almost too mature of a voice for a character who is supposed to be a 26 year old tattoo artist.


Series: Needle’s Kiss, book 1. There’s an interesting side story with Scarlett’s best friend who is the feature of book 2. I might consider it.

Should you read it? Personally, I prefer romance novels where our two leads truly bring out the best in each other as they fall in love. I…can’t really say that happens in this novel. Eventually they are able to open up and communicate, but they are also wont to point fingers and place blame when they’re in a snippy mood. At times I really did enjoy how Scarlett refused to take any sh*t from anyone, but there were also quite a number of times where she wasn’t my favorite character to follow. Considering she’s the female lead? Somewhat problematic.

Smut Level: Scarlett and Mace do it in practically every classic sex locale: alleyway, hood of a car, shower, kitchen table…tattoo chair? Meh, why not?!

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $3.99 Kindle Price. Amazon Digital Services LLC. 293 Pages.

Unteachable by Leah Raeder, Eliott Wake

A clear lesson to all the ladies and gents out there: when it comes to sex, don’t lie about your age. Just…don’t.

What’s it About? 


Maise O’Malley just turned eighteen, but she’s felt like a grown-up her entire life. The summer before senior year, she has plans: get into a great film school, convince her mom to go into rehab, and absolutely do not, under any circumstances, screw up her own future. But life has a way of throwing her plans into free-fall.

When Maise meets Evan at a carnival one night, their chemistry is immediate, intense, and short-lived. Which is exactly how she likes it: no strings. But afterward, she can’t get Evan out of her head. He’s taught her that a hookup can be something more. It can be an unexpected connection with someone who truly understands her. Someone who sees beyond her bravado to the scared but strong girl inside. That someone turns out to be her new film class teacher, Mr. Evan Wilke.

Maise and Evan resolve to keep their hands off each other, but the attraction is too much to bear. Together, they’re real and genuine; apart, they’re just actors playing their parts for everyone else. And their masks are slipping. People start to notice. Rumors fly. When the truth comes to light in a shocking way, they may learn they were just playing parts for each other, too.

First Impressions

You guys, I had a lot of problems with this book. It all starts with the first introductions we have of our lead characters. Honestly, not the best. They meet at a summer carnival, which is just so Grease I can’t even help myself (not that that’s a bad thing). As the evening progresses, they both ask the other how old they are. Each has a coy response of “old enough…”. Mkay, here we go. Let’s start with Evan. I’m sorry but if you’re flirting it up with a girl who seems young enough where you find yourself questioning her age, and she comes back with that response?! You turn the other way and run as fast as you can.

finding nemo

For Maise, she knows that Evan is older than her, and that’s what draws her to him in the first place. She’s not interested in having casual sex with someone her own age who will be finished with the act in 24.3 seconds and lament over having to wear a condom. Damn, gives a pretty unfortunate generalization of teenage guys here. Not only does Maise lie about her age (says she’s 21, actually 18) and occupation (says she’s a stripper, actually a high school student), but Evan’s inability to admit what he actually does for a living (high school teacher!!!) could have avoided this whole mess from the start. It doesn’t paint them in a very good light for a first impression.

Daddy Issues

You guessed it! It all comes back to the father figure. Even Maise admits this is why she’s attracted to having casual sex with older men. Maise was abandoned by her father when she was little, and left to live with her drug addicted mother. When it comes to relationships, Maise leaves these older men by the time the night is over so they aren’t the ones to leave her. Phew, that’s a lot of family drama right there! I think this is presented as the primary reason we are supposed to sympathize with Maise’s character. My problem with this is that she has the tendency to treat everyone around her like utter crap, including her best friend. Maise seems desperate to convince herself and others that she’s an adult. She gives off this arrogant persona as though she’s better and smarter than everyone else around her, specifically when it comes to her classmates. However, in my humble opinion this attitude of hers, in addition to her actions with Evan, truly bring her immaturity to the forefront.


After having what she thought would be a one-night stand with Evan, she comes to discover that he is actually her high school film teacher. When they both realize this unfortunate coincidence it doesn’t prevent her from continuing to pursue him. If anything, it spurs her on. When Evan tries to explain that continuing anything with him wouldn’t be good for her, Maise states that he couldn’t possibly do any more damage to her than has already been done. Powerful words, yet nowhere in her speech does she acknowledge the damage this relationship could cause him. Maise believes that the worst case scenario with carrying on this relationship is that he gets fired and she gets kicked out of school. The best case scenario? She literally has no answer. She simply asks herself that question and moves on, even admitting, “This is all to high school for me.” Even when commenting that Evan could get fired was done with a seemingly “oh well!” attitude. It highlights that she’s just thinking of herself in this scenario.


That Being Said!

Now, don’t assume that I forgot about our boy Evan here. This is all a two-way street remember. You wanna talk immaturity, let’s look at Mr. High School Teacher having sex with his student. Come on man!! DANGER ZONE! Not only did you refuse to follow your gut when you thought this girl was too young for you, but then when you found out the truth you really didn’t put up much of a fight when she proceeded to seduce you. From the very start of this novel I kept thinking to myself, “If something happens and you two are discovered I really have no pity.” They even go to a motel together to have sex. God, could this be any more cliche?


There was one statement from Maise that I could actually appreciate, and that was when she questioned how screwed up this guy must be to get mixed up with an 18 year old. Exactly!! But then she goes and ruins it by insisting the two can be discreet about their relationship, and continue having sex. Not only do they go to a motel together in broad daylight, but they also make-out in his classroom during lunch, send each other naughty pics, and she even has him pick her up when she’s drunk at a party with a bunch of her classmates. Discreet? Looks like a vocab lesson might be necessary?

The Immaturity Continues

Maise admits very openly that she was initially drawn to Evan because of his age, then to the fact that he’s her teacher. She constantly refers to him as Mr. Wilke, both when having sex and when thinking of him if they’re apart. The sense of the forbidden was what solidified their relationship. You have to question if she even likes him as a person! After they are almost caught having sex in his classroom by another student, Maise delights at the idea of people knowing about their relationship, yet having no way of proving it. Umm, what?


Evan does make a sad attempt at one point to hold off on continuing their relationship until after she leaves for college, even suggesting she drop out of his class. This causes Maise to become off-the-rails offended. She’s adamant she must stay in his class if she’s going to get into film school, seeing as she needs to create a short film for her final project. Sorry to say this, but I kind of doubt just one film class your senior year is really going to make a difference. Also, if you were really serious about film school you’d probably already have some kind of portfolio built up, and you’d continue making this film even if you had to drop out of the class. As for Evan, have some self control to keep your hands off a student for the rest of the year!

In Conclusion

How the hell are we supposed to view this relationship????? Are we supposed to root for them to have a happily ever after together? My main complaint wasn’t so much about the age difference. We get it, you’re 18, technically it’s legal. My issue was with the ethical dilemma. He’s her teacher; she’s his student. And yet she felt the rules didn’t apply to them, or her in particular. Maise saw herself as better than everyone else, more mature and hardened, so why shouldn’t she be able to pursue a relationship with her teacher? Ugggggghhhhhh! Maise never owns up to her actions. There are seemingly no consequences to having an affair with her teacher, not to mention some of the other stuff she does in this book. At one point, she is even seemingly rewarded for some of her questionable activities.

Head in Hands

They also always seem to be putting on a role/facade when they’re with each other. Pretending to be other people, or acting out something like a scene from a movie. We’re supposed to think this relates to their shared interest in film, but I couldn’t help but question if it demonstrates their entire relationship is just an act. Are they really attracted to who the other person truly is? It seems that whenever they start to uncover something too “real” about the other person they quickly switch to their fake character personas. No joke you guys, the characters annoyed me so much I literally rolled my eyes every…single…time I listened to this audio book. I think I may have actually offended someone on the subway who thought my eye roll was intended for her.


Series: No.

Should you read it? Blarg. To give one positive point to this novel, I will say the author was quite poetic with the writing. However, while the sentences might be strung together eloquently, that wasn’t enough to save what are essentially unlikable characters with no moral compass. Not to mention a pretty boring plot line. I didn’t even get into Maise’s treatment of her best friend, or how we discover Evan has a past that makes my opinion of him even worse. Didn’t know that was possible. All in all, I just could not like either of the main characters, which made for an almost painful read. If anyone out there enjoyed this one, I’d really love to get a discussion going! What am I missing here?

Smut Level: I don’t really wanna go there.

Get it on Amazon:  Click Here. $2.99 Kindle Price. Atria Books. 321 Pages.

Beautifully Broken by Christa Simpson

in jeansWhen it comes to books and movies I try to keep my own self-created rule in mind: go in with low expectations. Personally, I have found that whenever I expect something to be all fantastical and amazeballs, I am ultimately disappointed because it didn’t live up to all the hype. On the other hand if my expectations are low to begin with they’ll have nowhere to go but up. When it comes to Beautifully Broken I kind of broke my own rule. I really enjoyed the first novella in this series, Finding Destiny, and after reading it I couldn’t wait to just dive right into the next one. Therefore, I feel I have myself to blame more than anyone for being slightly disappointed with this book.

To recap the first book, we were introduced to three women who were stranded along the side of the road due to unforeseen car trouble, but they were magically rescued by some dashing hunks on snow mobiles. Va va vroom! That novel mainly focused on the love story between Destiny and Skylar, but there was also some side action taking place between Skylar’s brother, Matty, and Destiny’s friend, Felicia. Although they just met, they weren’t afraid to immediately jump into bed together and stay there for the majority of the weekend. However, things changed rather quickly and dramatically when, at the end of the book, Matty is almost killed when he’s hit by a car and pinned up against another vehicle. Although touch and go for a while, we discover that Matty is going to recover, but we don’t hear what happened as far as him and Felicia were concerned.

And now we enter book two. I was sooooo excited to start this book, mainly because I absolutely adored Matty’s character in the previous novel. He was so funny and care free that I couldn’t wait to read more about him. Unfortunately, yet understandably, after his accident he has become a bit more serious and downtrodden. The doctors believed he would never walk again, and he spends a lot of time in a wheelchair, but after some extensive therapy he can walk at times with the help of a cane. But whatever happened between him and Felicia? As it turns out, nothing. After that almost tragic weekend they broke off all communication, and aren’t reunited until Skylar and Destiny’s wedding, which is the focus of this book.

Although I still enjoyed this book it paled in comparison to the previous novella, and I think the main reason was because it was kind of confusing to understand at times. Firstly, the descriptions of Matty and his wheelchair were kind of hard to follow. I’d be picturing him sitting in his wheelchair, but then in the next scene he’d be walking around with his cane even though it was never mentioned that he stood up, or that he even had a cane to start with. It might seem like a silly thing to get confused about, but Matty’s handicap is a main feature of this novel which leads to many an argument between him and Felicia, so it was pretty important to understand exactly what was going on as far as his wheelchair was concerned.

Another confusing aspect was the plethora of arguments between Matty and Felicia. Frankly, I couldn’t follow a single one. It seems that they are both upset over the fact that what could have been the beginning of an amazing relationship between them was shockingly interrupted by the accident. When they come together at this wedding, he admits that he likes her, he knows she likes him, he says he’s falling for her, that they are in a relationship, that they are a couple, and yet she argues that he is being confusing and that she doesn’t know how he really feels. What the f*&k?! Is she deaf? She would always say he was speaking hypothetically, and seemed to turn every admission of feelings he had for her into an argument. I simply couldn’t understand why. Eventually it comes out that she’s afraid of commitment, and he’s afraid of marriage, but their fights were so difficult to follow that it made it difficult to sympathize with either character.

As I mentioned earlier, Matty’s accident is a prominent feature in Beautifully Broken, but I wish we could have delved a bit deeper into both Matty and Felicia’s reactions to the incident. We learn that although Felicia went to the hospital following the accident, she never made her presence known to Matty, so when he finally came to he was under the impression that she just abandoned him. Although we sort of learn their own inner views regarding what happened that day, they never really discuss those reactions together, or resolve the issues which came about because of it. For instance, when Matty was pinned up against the car he wanted to give up because of all the pain, but it was only because of Felicia’s presence that he fought to hang on. He even compares her to an angel. As for Felicia, she stayed with him the entire time waiting for help to arrive, and never let go of his hand. Yet they never share these details with each other. Instead Felicia will make some hurtful comment about how Matty can’t help at the wedding because he can’t even walk, and he’ll bring up his handicap in a conversation having nothing to do with the accident, accusing Felicia that she could never stand to be with someone as broken as him. Again, it was confusing to follow at times.

Matty and Felicia were pretty hot and heavy in the first book, and although their lovin’ is extremely delayed in this novel with having to wait over 60% before the deed is done, once they finally get there it is all kinds of steamy. Holy snorkelblat do they both like their dirty talk. I almost wish we could have gotten a closer glimpse as to what went down between them in the cabin during the first book. Flashback please! After his accident Matty was always concerned about his ability to perform in the bedroom, but let’s just say that Felicia helps make sure that isn’t an issue. He’s still got it!

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*An ARC of this book was provided by Black Widow Publishing for an honest review*

Series: Destiny series, book 2. Despite the fact that this book didn’t meet my extremely high expectations, I am still excited to read the next one! The third female friend from book one is finally going to get her love story with Matty’s other troubled brother. Hopefully between now and it’s release I can lower my expectations so I don’t end up with the same issue again.

Should you read it? Definitely read Finding Destiny first. It sets up the entire back story between Matty and Felicia which is a definite necessity. It is still a good read, but my biggest piece of advice would be to take your time when reading one of their arguments so you can try and understand the reason behind their quarreling.

Get it on Amazon: It just came out today, so click here to get your own copy!!

Finding Destiny by Christa Simpson

Happy day before Valentine’s Day everyone!! Are you all ready to spend the day with your significant other in a blissful bubble of love? Well, I’m single, so I’ll probably be spending tomorrow watching Oscar nominated movies by myself, and curling up in bed with my Kindle. Oh don’t get me wrong, I’m totally looking forward to it. Seriously! Sort of my idea of the perfect weekend. Anyway, to get you in the Valentine’s Day mood, here’s a great little romantic Valentine’s novella to light your fancy. Enjoy! finding

Honestly, when I first started reading this book I was slightly concerned that I had gotten myself involved in a horror story instead of a romance. It starts off with three young, single women who decide to go away over Valentine’s weekend for a spa trip. On their drive to the spa they get lost in a terrible snow storm which causes their truck to break down. They all decide to get out and walk for help, but one of the ladies sprains her ankle during the journey. Along come three burly men on snowmobiles who take them away to a secluded cabin in the middle of the woods. And cue creepy horror music!

Don’t worry though! This book has nothing to do with pretty women getting hacked to bits by masked villains. Instead, it’s a tale of love between Destiny, one of the women from the broken down truck, and Skylar, one of the snowmobile men who rescued them. Skylar and Destiny are immediately smitten with each other, but they are hesitant at first to act on their desires. Probably because they just met about 35 minutes ago. On the other hand Skylar’s brother Matty, and Destiny’s friend Felicia aren’t afraid to make use of their stranded situation to jump all over each other. Literally. Those two definitely know how to rattle a headboard, and it makes it more and more difficult for Destiny and Skylar to keep their hands off of each other. Although I really enjoyed the lustful exploits blossoming within this tiny cabin, I couldn’t help but feel bad for Natalie, the girl who sprained her ankle. She wears glasses, has a bad injury, and yet no hunky man is interested in sweeping her off her feet. Poor gal.

This book does take place over Valentine’s Day, but thankfully it isn’t filled too cheesily with flowers, boxes of chocolates, hearts and kisses. It’s mainly a weekend sex fest for all involved, except for Natalie of course. That being said, considering the female lead’s name was Destiny, it’s pretty obvious that there was going to be a play on words with her name and their “destiny” to fall in love. I think it happened at least twice, and although each time was extremely cheesy the rest of the book wasn’t too bad. The sex between our characters was oh so wonderfully hot and descriptive. Again, a few headboards were banging, they steamed up some car windows, and there was quite a lot of nylon ripping involved. Personally, I’d be pissed! Do you know how hard it can be to find a good pair of nylons? And then to just have some tattooed man come along with his bulging muscles and start tearing them in the heat of passion and…ok so maybe I wouldn’t mind so much.

I did have one main issue with this book, and that is it was too short! Not just because I liked it so much and wanted more, which I did, but also because Destiny and Skylar basically fall in love over the span of a weekend. I get it, that’s maybe possible, but the two pretty much went from sex bunnies to soul mates in the blink of a snow storm. It was a minor issue I had, but definitely not a deal breaker. There is a pretty big event which happens near the end of the book though that brings them closer together. For such a short novella it’s surprising how much actually takes place plot-wise. Skylar was a delightfully possessive man, and was quick to stake his claim for Destiny over his brother Matty. Although the sex scenes were passionate and fun to read, I think my favorite parts of the book were the interactions between the two brothers. Matty knows how smitten Skylar is with Destiny, so he constantly flirts with her in an attempt to get a rise out of his brother. At one point, Skylar has to go to Matty to ask for condoms, and it is one of the most hilarious scenes in the entire book! Overall, this short novella has a bit of everything: comedy, sex, love, family. A great Valentine’s read!

BWP Book Tours Button*A copy of this book was provided by Black Widow Publishing for review*

Series: The Destiny series, book 1. I can’t wait to read the next book, Beautifully Broken, which continues the love story between Matty and Felicia. And it’s a full-length book which has me super duper excited!

Should you read it? Why not? It’s a quick and steamy read which you can probably finish before going out for Valentine’s Day dinner. Or while you wait for a table in a crowded restaurant.

Smut Level: We’ve got nylon ripping going on here for crying out loud!

Get it on Amazon: Click Here

Underneath it All by Bethany Bazile

Holy mother of all dirty talkers! It’s been a while since I read the first book in this series, Insomnia, so I sort of forgot that our main character Xander is the king, nay the emperor, of dirty talk. He also takes the term “alpha-male” to an all new level, but not necessarily in a good or healthy way. This book definitely had more substance than the last one, and although there was still a decent amount of build up in regards to the plot, there was less of it. I actually enjoyed that there was less build up because it consistently held your interest throughout, whereas nothing really happened in the first book until the last few pages. I’ll tell ya one thing though, the author definitely likes dirty talk and cliffhangers.

Beautiful men looking through window and thinking positivelyBefore we continue on with my review of this book, it might help if we do a recap of book one, just as a reminder. You can also read my review of the first book here. Go ahead. I’ll wait. Dum dee dum. Ok, nice to have you back. So in book one we met Xander, a Hollywood superstar, who had trouble sleeping due to the constant nightmares plaguing him from some mysterious incident in his past. He copes with these nightmares by having sex. Definitely not my go-to remedy after a bad dream, but whatever works for ya! At the urging of one of his lovers, he goes to a sleep therapist, Avery, who has secrets of her own, and the two proceed to bump uglies. Book one ended with a ridiculously amazing cliffhanger that I definitely didn’t see coming, so I was beyond excited to start book two to see how everything plays out. Overall, I think I enjoyed this second book more than the first one, but in regards to how it handled the cliffhanger from Insomnia it was extremely disappointing.

Alright, so I’m gonna spoil the cliffhanger. It turns out that the lover who suggested Xander go see a sleep therapist in the first place was Avery’s foster sister Ellie! Say what?!! Oh, and Ellie is a stripper, unbeknownst to Avery, which is how she and Xander first met. Are there any characters in this book who don’t have a mind-blowing, life-altering secret of some kind!?! At the end of book one Avery was nervous but excited to introduce her beloved foster sister to Xander, and the book ends right when the two meet and Xander realizes who Ellie really is. Enter book two, and I’m already sitting at the edge of my seat to find out what’s gonna happen. A screaming match perhaps? A big reveal that results in a cat fight between Ellie and Avery? Uh, no. Basically, Xander and Ellie pretend that they’ve never met, and the entire situation is sort of swept to the side with no resolution throughout the entire book. Well boo hicky! There was all that intensity and build-up for nothing.

So let’s get to the good stuff shall we? In the first book Xander definitely demonstrated his proficiency in the arts of dirty talk, but the eventual sex between him and Avery was kind of quick and unsatisfying. Well, for me anyway. They seemed plenty satisfied. But cheese and ricecakes did they go at it in this one! He alpha-maled the crap outta her, and she was pretty alpha-female (is that a thing?) herself. He would become a raging fit of jealous testosterone every time another man interacted with her, and Avery would also seethe with resentment whenever another woman attached herself to Xander’s arm. Seriously, the two might as well have just gone ahead and peed on each other to mark their freakin’ territory. It would actually probably be the best solution for them, because I personally know I wouldn’t step near a guy who smelled like piss.

We never really learned much about either character in Insomnia, just that they both had secrets. However, in this book Xander really opens up to Avery about where his nightmares stem from, and we are sort of offered a glimpse as to why he is so possessive and controlling when it comes to women. That being said, we still don’t learn much about Avery, which was extremely annoying. Here is Xander, opening up like he’s on Oprah Winfrey’s couch for crying out loud, and yet Avery remains tight lipped to the very end. Even after the two exchange “I love yous”, she doesn’t share how she ended up in foster care, or how her life was affected because of it. Out with it already woman!

There is another big reveal at the end of this book, which was definitely an OMG moment, but less climactic than the first one. Even though it’s been a while since I finished book one, I remember after reading it I was like, “Holy shit, where’s the next one!”. Now, I’d say I’m mildly intrigued to find out how all of the lies and deception between our various characters will come together in the final installment of the series. You pretty much know it’s gonna blow up in a nasty way.

Series: Sexual Misconduct series, book 2

Should you read it? It’s another short read at only 92 pages, so if you’re bored one afternoon with nothing else to do you could probably read the whole series. Be prepared though that this book was a bit more frustrating than the first, mainly because of Avery.

Smut Level: Soooooooo smutty.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here

Hard to Love by Kendall Ryan

Hard to love? More like hard not to love! This book had some amazing characters, a lot of alpha-male possessiveness, and one of the most adorable meet-cutes ever! Alexa is a young nurse, and she helps Cade who was admitted to the emergency room with a BIG problem. You see, he’s a porn actor whose erection won’t go away because his director gave him a little blue pill on set. I’m telling ya, that’s a romantic coupling for the history books. Or Playboy magazine, either way.

hardCade was undoubtedly my favorite character in this book. He may have a tough exterior, but he’s actually a sweetie-pie who loves his younger sister. Although he’s a porn actor, he’s not a porn star. The only reason he’s decided to get involved in the “industry” is because his little sister has some very expensive health problems. He realizes that by starring in a few films he’ll be able to pay for all of her expenses, and get them out of debt. Aw, what a caring older brother. Is this plot-line completely far-fetched? Absolutely, but I couldn’t help but love it. I really liked that Cade wasn’t some sex-addicted porn star, but rather had an ulterior motive of trying to help his sister, who he was solely responsible for. He’s like a sexy onion, with so many layers to peel away before you are rewarded with his hot bare body and six-pack abs. Aaaaand, I’ve started to drool.

One of my favorite features about wordpress is that you can view the terms that people search for which ultimately lead them to your blog. I figured the top searches would be romance novels, or beach reads, but oh no. The repeating theme that you all seem to search for is jealous alpha male boyfriends who are possessive. Well then, if you all want possessive alpha males then this is definitely the book for you. And also, holy dirty talk! Consider yourself warned that the intimate scenes in this book are hella raunchy. Cade might not be an experienced porn star, but it appears he’s taken a few notes along the way because he is all kinds of a dirty talkin’ expert. It sort of makes the Caribbean look like a winter ski resort. Feeling hot hot hot!

Now, unfortunate erection meeting aside, I really enjoyed the rest of the story going on here as well. I’ve noticed with a lot of romance novels that the hero and heroine undoubtedly have some kind of kerfuffle towards the end of the book, which they ultimately overcome, but the argument in question is often something silly that poses a ridiculous delay to their relationship. I feel like I’m often wont to scream out, “oh get over it already!” But in this book our two lead characters actually have some legitimate reasons to get upset with each other. I mean, Alexa’s family is ridiculously wealthy and they all treat Cade like crap. Might make future Christmas dinners a bit awkward. On the other hand, although Cade and Alexa are dating, he chooses to sleep with other women whom he cares nothing for as part of his job. I could see how both these issues would cause some anxiety and shouting matches.

As you can tell by this point, I really enjoyed this book. That being said, it wasn’t without its faults. Firstly, Cade is able to pay off all his sister’s medical expenses just by starring in about 2 or 3 porn videos. I have a feeling that if he had simply started an online campaign, or Facebook page, he probably would have been able to raise enough money without having to whore out his body. But then he never would have met Alexa, and they wouldn’t have fallen in wuv! Second issue: Alexa watches Cade’s videos online. Multiple times. Over, and over, and over again. That’s just not ok. Other than these minor logistical and icky issues, I couldn’t help but love this book.

Series: No, which is so disappointing! It was such a quick read that I couldn’t put down, and I want more!

Should you read it? Yes, yes, yes. So much alpha-maleness! A perfect beach read. But be prepared for some naughty dirty talk too. I realize it’s not for everyone.

Smut Level: Humina yumina YES! Wonderfully smutty, yet underneath it all it’s surprisingly charming and sweet.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here

Patch Up by Stephanie Witter

I just got off of a roller coaster of emotion!! This book has highs, lows and loopty-loops that will spin you in every direction. When it was done I felt like I could finally take a breath. However, it wasn’t a very long-lasting breath because I thought about this book for days afterwards. patch up

Skye is in her first year of college, and has some…issues. She moved clear across the country to go to college with her long-term boyfriend, but he dumps her after just a week. She keeps to herself, wears baggy clothes, and turns away from most people who try to befriend her. Normally, I would just tell the chica to suck it up and move on already, but when you hear her entire story you feel nothing but compassion. It turns out her boyfriend, Sean, had been abusing her for years, both physically and mentally, and he refuses to leave her alone even though they are broken up. Needless to say, Skye is in the midst of a severe depression. Although she tries to avoid everyone, a young good-looking TA named Duke takes notice of her, as he recognizes the same feelings of helplessness surrounding her which he himself has personal experience with. He is determined to pull her out of her funk, even though he seems deeply rooted in his own. Skye must learn to trust again, Duke must learn to love again, and I must learn where her ex-boyfriend lives so that I can kick his ass!

I was warned before reading “Patch Up” that the romance between Skye and Duke was a pretty slow build, and I’m so happy that I knew ahead of time. Otherwise I probably would have been an angry panda. I usually can’t stand when I have to wait longer than half of the book before the main characters get down and dirty, but I must say that this is one of the few novels where I really didn’t mind. One of the reasons is because it was a deliciously slow build-up with so many yummy details. It was almost like an extended session of foreplay that moved the relationship along at the rate of molasses, or syrup. Ah God, now I want pancakes. Another reason I was happy these two characters didn’t seal the deal early on was because, well..they both had some serious issues to work through! Skye is trying to break free from her ex, and Duke is trying to overcome the death of his high school girlfriend which he feels was his fault. Believe it or not, I think I would have questioned their motives if they had engaged in sex earlier. Waiting until the end of the book allowed them to actually fall in love rather than just release a ridiculous amount of sexual tension.

At times, I had to remind myself not to get frustrated with the actions of the lead characters. Just when Skye would start to open up and make steps in the right direction, Duke would make a trip to his dead girlfriend’s grave-site via depression city, and move his new relationship backwards instead of forwards. In turn, this would cause Skye to lose all confidence, and she’d fall into a new wave of depression right when Duke came out of his. I was also confused that Skye became depressed after her boyfriend dumped her considering he could win a gold medal in the douche-hole Olympics. However, I realized that getting frustrated at Duke and Skye wasn’t fair considering that they were experiencing matters which were completely over my head. I have never gone through depression, nor have I been involved in an abusive relationship. When Skye talked about the ceaseless power which Sean had over her it was something that I personally couldn’t associate with, or necessarily understand. Therefore, I had to constantly say to myself that she wasn’t being flighty in regards to her feelings towards Duke because she was a ninny winny, but rather she was going through an emotional turmoil which none of us should have to go through. Now I don’t condone physical violence or anything, but I can tell you that if I were in this book I would have turned Sean’s balls into a pair of earrings which I could then sell on QVC! He was such a cotton headed ninny muggins! I also question what the hell kind of college these kids are going to. Skye’s classmates would make fun of her name, her clothes, and it just seemed like gossip central. At my college the most we would talk about before class was the 15 page paper we had to write, how much studying we had to do that would interrupt our sleeping habits, and if anybody saw last night’s episode of Lost. Man, remember that show? Such a terrible ending.

This novel was definitely pretty dark for a romance, but I must say I loved how it explored the inner workings of different relationships. From friends to family, and even lovers, whether they be dead or complete assholes. How does one move on from an abusive relationship? Is it ok to fall in love with someone new when you’ve already pledged your love to someone who is no longer with us? It was quite a journey to see both Skye and Duke overcome their past hurts in order to find happiness with each other. However, I must say that one of my favorite characters in the book was Skye’s roommate Kate. No matter how depressed Skye became, and in spite of some of the hurtful things which Skye said to her, Kate always remained by her side. I wish I could say the same of Duke, but honestly I found it rather annoying at times that he vowed to be there for her, and would then retreat when things became too difficult (again, it’s an experience related to depression that I can’t associate with, but it still frustrated me!). Kate on the other hand would give Skye her space when she needed it, but she never went away completely. In my opinion, this book reveals what it is to be a true friend.

*An ARC of this book was provided for an honest review*

Series: Patch Up series, book 1. I must say I am intrigued to read the other books involved in this series, especially the one involving Kate and her new beau. I have a feeling though that I’ll have to prepare myself for another emotional ride!

Should you read it: Consider yourself warned that this book has moments which are dark, violent, and rather depressing. There are scenes which will make your toes curl in delight, but it’s a far cry from the dancing butterfly and kitten endings which most romance novels try and leave you with. This one is more real and imperfect, so you might need to psych yourself up before you tackle it.

Smut Level: Never thought I’d enjoy a slow build so much. Definitely not dirty or naughty smut.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here