Briefly Romantic (5)

Briefly Romantic (5)Twice in a Blue Moon by Christina Lauren
Published by Gallery Books
Published: October 22, 2019
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three-stars

As an adventurous send-off to her childhood, eighteen-year-old Tate Jones travels with her grandmother from their small town in Northern California to London. But the vacation of a lifetime is wonderfully derailed by the appearance of two charming Vermont farmers: grandfather Luther and his handsome grandson Sam.

Sam and Tate fall hard and fast. For two glorious weeks, the couple share their hopes, dreams, and secrets. Sam admits he suspects his grandfather is dying and that this could be the last trip they take together, and Tate reveals that she is the hidden daughter of one of the biggest film stars in the world—a secret she’s never told anyone before.

But when Tate is exposed by a crush of cameras and reporters, she knows she's been betrayed by the one person she thought she could trust. She is forced to decide whether she will return to her quiet life or embrace being in the public eye. So when Sam reappears in her world more than a decade later, can Tate forgive the past and rekindle the passion they shared on their magical trip abroad? And does she even want to?

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

What to say about Twice in a Blue Moon. I’m not going to lie, I enjoyed this enough and had a mostly fun time reading it, but when I hit about the 75% mark the book took a drastic turn for me and I didn’t love it as much as I originally was. Sam and Tate had a great relationship and I could see their chemistry but the end of this one really threw me for a loop and it took so much away from what I was loving to begin with. Long after I read it I am still wondering what was the point of some of the stuff that went down in the end. I also didn’t love how we didn’t really get to know Tate as Tate and not this actress. I guess in the end this was just not what I expected from the minds of Christina Lauren. It was good, but not the best. Something was missing for me.

Briefly Romantic (5)The Play by Elle Kennedy
Series: Briar U #3
Published: October 7, 2019
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four-stars

A brand-new standalone novel in the New York Times bestselling Briar U series!

What I learned after last year’s distractions cost my hockey team our entire season? No more screwing up. No more screwing, period. As the new team captain, I need a new philosophy: hockey and school now, women later. Which means that I, Hunter Davenport, am officially going celibate…no matter how hard that makes things.

But there’s nothing in the rulebook that says I can’t be friends with a woman. And I won’t lie—my new classmate Demi Davis is one cool chick. Her smart mouth is hot as hell, and so is the rest of her, but the fact that she’s got a boyfriend eliminates the temptation to touch her.

Except three months into our friendship, Demi is single and looking for a rebound.

And she’s making a play for me.

Avoiding her is impossible. We’re paired up on a yearlong school project, but I’m confident I can resist her. We’d never work, anyway. Our backgrounds are too different, our goals aren’t aligned, and her parents hate my guts.

Hooking up is a very bad idea. Now I just have to convince my body—and my heart.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I always get so excited when Elle Kennedy releases a new Briar book. I know that not only will we get new, fun characters, we will get to see some old favorites. But The Play was a little more than that for me. Basically The Play made Hunter my the new Dean(from The Score)! He made me laugh so much with some of the things he said and did I couldn’t help but be reminded of my favorite Elle character, Dean Di Laurentis. And Hunter and Demi together were fire. They had such a great, natural chemistry and I loved how it started with a friendship. With that said, there was a part toward the end that I wasn’t crazy about and seemed a little out of left field and I think there could have been drama added another way. But all in all I loved this one a lot and look forward to more in the Briar universe for sure. FYI, this is a long one so be prepared.

Briefly Romantic (5)Moonlighter by Sarina Bowen
Series: The Company #1
Published by Tuxbury Publishing LLC
Published: October 21, 2019
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four-stars

Only in my family could a professional hockey player earning seven million dollars a year be considered a slacker.

I’m at the height of my athletic career. Yet my arrogant brother is always trying to recruit me into the family business: a global security company so secretive that I don’t even know its name.

Pass, thanks. I don’t need a summer job.

But the jerk ambushes me with a damsel in distress. That damsel is Alex, the competitive, sassy girl I knew when we were kids. Now she’s a drop-dead gorgeous woman in deep trouble.

So guess who’s on a flight to Hawaii?

It’s going to be a long week in paradise. My job is keeping Alex safe, while her job is torturing me with her tiny bikinis. Or maybe we’re torturing each other. It’s all snark and flirting until the threat against Alex gets serious. And this jock must become her major league protector.

Moonlighter is a stand-alone novel. No cliffhangers, no prior experience necessary. Contains: hackers, hockey players, and a hotel room with only one bed.

So far my all time favorite book in the Brooklyn Bruiser universe has been Brooklynaire. I loved that the moment I read and I loved it even more when I read it again. So I was super excited to hear we were getting a book about Alex, a friend of Nate that appeared in Brooklynaire. She had an interesting character arc in Nate’s story so I was curious where that would lead. Well in Moonlighter we find out and let me tell you it was worth the wait. Alex’s journey is amazing and seeing her interact with Bayer was even better. The two of them together definitely brought out sides the other needed to show. They were a fantastic couple that had oodles of chemistry and were a pleasure to read. You could really see their history when they were around each other and I for one loved that, that natural vibe between them. I do think the book was a tad long with some stuff happening that didn’t feel needed, and some stuff I still want answers on (I hope that is to come in more books), but all in all it was a seriously fun read and one I think you need to pick up.

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Review: The Score – Elle Kennedy

Review: The Score – Elle KennedyThe Score by Elle Kennedy
Series: Off Campus #3
Published by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Published: January 11th 2016
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five-stars

He knows how to score, on and off the ice

Allie Hayes is in crisis mode. With graduation looming, she still doesn’t have the first clue about what she's going to do after college. To make matters worse, she’s nursing a broken heart thanks to the end of her longtime relationship. Wild rebound sex is definitely not the solution to her problems, but gorgeous hockey star Dean Di-Laurentis is impossible to resist. Just once, though, because even if her future is uncertain, it sure as heck won’t include the king of one-night stands.

It’ll take more than flashy moves to win her over

Dean always gets what he wants. Girls, grades, girls, recognition, girls…he’s a ladies man, all right, and he’s yet to meet a woman who’s immune to his charms. Until Allie. For one night, the feisty blonde rocked his entire world—and now she wants to be friends? Nope. It’s not over until he says it’s over. Dean is in full-on pursuit, but when life-rocking changes strike, he starts to wonder if maybe it’s time to stop focusing on scoring…and shoot for love.

I was a little uncertain how I was going to feel about The Score. I was a crazy big fan of The Deal. So much a fan that I tell everyone to read it that is looking for a good New Adult book. The Mistake, I liked it. I didn’t love it like book one but I really liked it. So really The Score was in a tough place. It could have gone one of two ways…and it went the way of The Deal. Actually it surpassed The Deal and it is all because of one character…Dean Heyward Di-Laurentis.

The Score was far from lacking action. And I’m not just talking about all the sexy times. There was a real story in it. Dean who was scared of commitment in a sense and Allie who was kind of in love with being committed. These two polar opposites learned from each other and learned about themselves. Add in Allie’s acting and Dean’s hockey playing and rich life style there was definitely plenty to build off of.

Back to good ole Briar University. I honestly never thought I would love a fake college as much as I love this one (okay, I love Cora Cormack’s Rusk University on the same level). There is something so quaint and charming about this school. It is like it is a character in the story. Classes are attended but rarely is the reader brought into one and I love that. I love hearing about Allie going here and Dean going there. I love that they have a local bar they go to because colleges usually do have that one local bar. Honestly I felt like I was in college with them.

Seriously I was in love with Garret in The Deal and didn’t think any boy would come close. And then playboy Dean showed up. He was crass and rude and blunt. He had no shame and didn’t care about anyone knowing anything about his life. He had all the qualities I should hate in a guy and get there was something about him that I just had to love. Honestly the best thing about Dean was his truthfulness. He never hid once from who he was and I respected that and so did Allie when all is said and done.

Oh Allie. Allie was so good for Dean. She didn’t take any of his crap and wasn’t not charmed by his usual lines…well mostly. A girl can only be so strong. What she did though was go after what she wanted even when she questioned how she would be perceived by people. She let go enough just to let a player in a tiny bit and it did a world of good for both of them. Dean could be a jerk but Allie called him on it when she had to and he had to deal with the consequences. Basically they were like the best couple once they worked out their junk.

In the end I surprised myself by loving The Score even more than I loved The Deal. I can’t pin point what it was but there was something there and I’m so happy it was. Everything about it worked for me, even the expected break-up that we all know is coming in a romance/NA. I miss Dean and Allie already. Oh and I’m so ready for Tuck’s book (and Hunter’s too). BRING IT!

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Reviews: The Deal & The Mistake – Elle Kennedy

Reviews: The Deal & The Mistake – Elle KennedyThe Deal by Elle Kennedy
Series: Off Campus #1
Published by Createspace
Published: April 9th 2015
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five-stars


She’s about to make a deal with the college bad boy...

Hannah Wells has finally found someone who turns her on. But while she might be confident in every other area of her life, she’s carting around a full set of baggage when it comes to sex and seduction. If she wants to get her crush’s attention, she’ll have to step out of her comfort zone and make him take notice…even if it means tutoring the annoying, childish, cocky captain of the hockey team in exchange for a pretend date.

...and it’s going to be oh so good.
All Garrett Graham has ever wanted is to play professional hockey after graduation, but his plummeting GPA is threatening everything he’s worked so hard for. If helping a sarcastic brunette make another guy jealous will help him secure his position on the team, he’s all for it. But when one unexpected kiss leads to the wildest sex of both their lives, it doesn’t take long for Garrett to realize that pretend isn’t going to cut it. Now he just has to convince Hannah that the man she wants looks a lot like him.

I came across The Deal completely randomly. I was looking at what friends were reading and saw a lot where reading it. Since I love books with sports and romance I bought it. BEST DECISION I HAVE EVER MADE! I loved loved loved The Deal. It was such a me book and I couldn’t get enough of it.

The Deal is about Hannah Wells and Garrett Graham, two people that couldn’t be more different. Hannah is a smart girl that is not well versed in sex and seduction while Garrett is the hockey player hottie that plays the field and has often one night stands as he refuses to settle down. When Garrett needs Hannah’s help to keep his GPA up so he can play hockey he offers Hannah a deal; she tutors him and he will pretend to date her so her crush will take notice and get jealous. Hannah is reluctant but agrees and before she knows it she is falling for Garrett in a way she never expected.

Hannah and Garrett. Garrett and Hannah. THEY WERE AMAZING TOGETHER. (Yes I broke out the CAPS LOCK for this.) There was something so natural about these two with their opposites attract vibe and their banter and their friendship. Everything just worked for me. They had fun together and were silly. They fought constantly. But there was a natural attraction that builds while they bantered and flirted and tried to pretend nothing was happening between them. It was amazing to see their relationship grow and blossom and for the two of them to stop hiding from what was in front of them. But it was even better to see them both facing their demons. They were there for each other when they needed to be and that is what endeared me to them.

I’m not going to go on and on about every aspect that I loved about this book because you can see from my rating that it was ALL OF THE BOOK! All you need to know is that you have to read it. If you are looking for a fun story with great characters, sexy/witty banter and a solid back story, then you want The Deal. Actually you know what? You want The Deal anyway. A must read for sure.

Reviews: The Deal & The Mistake – Elle KennedyThe Mistake by Elle Kennedy
Series: Off Campus #2
Published by Createspace
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four-stars

He’s a player in more ways than one…
College junior John Logan can get any girl he wants. For this hockey star, life is a parade of parties and hook-ups, but behind his killer grins and easygoing charm, he hides growing despair about the dead-end road he’ll be forced to walk after graduation. A sexy encounter with freshman Grace Ivers is just the distraction he needs, but when a thoughtless mistake pushes her away, Logan plans to spend his final year proving to her that he’s worth a second chance.

Now he’s going to need to up his game…
After a less than stellar freshman year, Grace is back at Briar University, older, wiser, and so over the arrogant hockey player she nearly handed her V-card to. She’s not a charity case, and she’s not the quiet butterfly she was when they first hooked up. If Logan expects her to roll over and beg like all his other puck bunnies, he can think again. He wants her back? He’ll have to work for it. This time around, she’ll be the one in the driver’s seat…and she plans on driving him wild.

The first book in the Off Campus series, The Deal, was crazy addictive. I was sucked into that book from the first page. So when I saw it was a series and The Mistake was book two I preordered immediately. Was it that same as my feelings on The Deal? No. Did I still love it? Absolutely! I may not have loved The Mistake or been as addicted to The Mistake as I was to The Deal, but it was book crack all the same.

The Mistake essentially takes places right after The Deal ends. (To be honest It was hard for me to tell how much time passed between the two books.) The story is about John Logan and Grace Ivers. Logan is a hot shot hockey star that walk around campus like a sports god. While Grace on the other had in a quiet freshman that is a little naïve and keeps to herself. When a chance meeting happens between the two a friendship and immediate sparks start up. But when Logan does something stupid Grace washes her hands of the hot hockey player. Now a year later Logan wants Grace back in his life but Grace doesn’t know if she should let him. She isn’t the same girl she was anymore. With persistence Logan convinces Grace to give him a chance to woo her. But with Grace now running the show just how far will Logan be willing to go to get her back in his life?

There were things I loves about this plot and story and things that I didn’t hate but I wasn’t crazy about. I didn’t love the whole “Logan is in love with Wellsy” story. I just didn’t get that he was that kind of guy from his personality and I didn’t like the choices he made because of that. But I did love his though process on this when Grace was in the picture and then not in the picture. I loved seeing Logan woo Grace because she knew she deserved it and he knew she deserved. And I loved her not being easy to woo back after he screwed up like he did. That was the best part of the story for me.

I love Briar University. I can’t help it. I know it is a made up college but I always like to picture my alma mater when I think about it. It wasn’t even close to the same but the campus feels like it could be similar so my mind goes there. Seriously though there is just something about books that take place on college campuses that makes me wish I was college age again. Then you throw sports into the mix and forget about it.

John Logan. What can I say about John Logan? He is arrogant and knows he can get what he wants but is also charming and adorable and a hot hockey player. What is there not to love? All of that and he is human. He makes mistakes and feels bad about it and has insane crazy emotions that he knows aren’t right. He is real. And Grace was his perfect counterpart. She didn’t really let him get away with anything. She started out naïve but grew and became someone that knew what she was worth. She was strong and just want Logan needed to keep him in his place. Basically I loved them!

In the end I may not have been as addicted as I was to the first book, but I did really love it. I wanted more when all was said and done. It was well written and had a great group of characters. It was everything I hoped for for a follow-up and it made me really look forward to book 3. So book 3, where are you?

 

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