Mini Reviews #5 – Wild Aces series by Chanel Cleeton

I started the Wild Aces series on a whim. For some reason I don’t read a ton of military. Honestly I’m not sure why because I love the idea/ concept of them and I have generally loved the ones I have read. Maybe I don’t read a lot of them because they don’t stand out to me? I’m really not sure.  But when I came across the description for Fly With Me and the library happened to have a copy I figured it was meant to be so I started the series and once again I wasn’t disappointed. Did I love all 3 books equally? No. But I really did enjoy all three of them as a whole story putting all the pieces together.

 

Mini Reviews #5 – Wild Aces series by Chanel CleetonFly with Me by Chanel Cleeton
Published by Berkley
on May 3rd 2016
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon, Goodreads

From the author of the Capital Confessions Novels comes the first in the steamy Wild Aces Romance series.

U.S. Air Force fighter pilot Noah Miller—call sign Burn—loves nothing more than flying hard and fast. When he meets a gorgeous and sassy woman while partying in Las Vegas, he immediately locks on to her.

Jordan Callahan owns a thriving clothing boutique, but her love life is far less successful. Her luck changes when six feet, two inches of sexy swagger asks her to dance and turns her world upside down.

One scorching weekend becomes an undeniable chemistry that they can’t leave in Vegas. But the long distance relationship and their different lives threaten to ground their romance. And when the dangers of Noah’s job become all too real, Jordan learns being with a fighter pilot means risking it all for a shot at love…

I am a sucker for a Vegas weekend/one night stand story. I don’t know why, but I love them (especially if there is a drunken marriage, not this book, but in general). So Fly With Me was destined to rate high with me and it did. There was just something about Noah and Jordan’s story and their chemistry. You felt it right away and it never went away. I think about I loved about them the most was how adult they were about everything. They really talked things through and didn’t just fly off the handle. More romance books could use that. But really I loved their story and I loved how it all unfolded in the end.

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Mini Reviews #5 – Wild Aces series by Chanel CleetonInto the Blue by Chanel Cleeton
Published by Berkley
Format: Paperback
Source: Borrowed
Amazon, Goodreads

Eric Jansen—call sign Thor—loves nothing more than pushing his F-16 to the limit. Returning home to South Carolina after a tragic loss, he hopes to fix the mistake he made long ago, when he chose the Air Force over his fiancée.

Becca Madison isn’t quick to welcome Thor back. She can’t forget how he shattered her heart. But Thor won’t give up once he’s set his sights on what he wants—and he wants Becca.

Thor shows Becca that he’s no longer the impulsive boy he used to be, and Becca finds herself irresistibly drawn to him. But will Thor be able to walk away from his dream of flying the F-16 for their love or does his heart belong to the sky?

I wasn’t as in love with Into the Blue as I was with Fly With Me. Don’t get me wrong, I thought it was fun and a good read, but I wasn’t as in love with Eric and Becca’s story. I loved Eric and his story. I loved how he was affected so much by something that happened in Fly With Me. It was Becca that I struggled with. There was something about her that just didn’t make me love her. I did love them together because I do love a good second chance, rekindled relationship story, but something was just a tad off. Still more than just liked it, but I think I just wanted more.

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Mini Reviews #5 – Wild Aces series by Chanel CleetonOn Broken Wings by Chanel Cleeton
Published by Berkley Books
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon, Goodreads

A year after losing her husband, Joker, the squadron commander of the Wild Aces, Dani Peterson gets an offer from his best friend, Alex “Easy” Rogers, to help fix up her house. Dani accepts, and their friendship grows—along with an undeniable attraction.

Racked by guilt for loving his best friend’s widow, Easy’s caught between what he wants and can’t have. Until one night everything changes, and the woman who’s always held his heart ends up in his arms. Yet as Easy leaves for his next deployment, he and Dani are torn between their feelings and their loyalty to Joker’s memory.

But when Dani discovers something that sends them both into a spin, the conflicted lovers must overcome the past to navigate a future together…

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

On Broken Wings was the book I wanted to read most in the Wild Aces series. As soon as I met Easy in Fly With Me and saw the chemistry he had with Dani I wanted to see their story. I knew it wouldn’t be simple based on circumstances, but I really wanted to see what was there for them. On Broken Wings did exactly that and more. I was pretty much an emotional wreck the whole book and I have never been happier. Just thinking about Dani and Easy and their relationship makes me smile and breaks my heart. It was everything I wanted their story to be and so much more. Truthfully I don’t want to say too much because I don’t want to give anything away, but this was by far my favorite of the series.

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Review: In Real Life – Jessica Love

Review: In Real Life – Jessica LoveIn Real Life by Jessica Love
Published by St. Martin's Griffin
on March 1st 2016
Format: Hardcover
Source: Borrowed
Amazon, Goodreads

Hannah Cho and Nick Cooper have been best friends since 8th grade. They talk for hours on the phone, regularly shower each other with presents, and know everything there is to know about one another.

There's just one problem: Hannah and Nick have never actually met.

Hannah has spent her entire life doing what she's supposed to, but when her senior year spring break plans get ruined by a rule-breaker, she decides to break a rule or two herself. She impulsively decides to road trip to Las Vegas, her older sister and BFF in tow, to surprise Nick and finally declare her more-than-friend feelings for him.

Hannah's surprise romantic gesture backfires when she gets to Vegas and finds out that Nick has been keeping some major secrets. Hannah knows the real Nick can't be that different from the online Nick she knows and loves, but now she only has night in Sin City to figure out what her feelings for Nick really are, all while discovering how life can change when you break the rules every now and then.

I admit after reading 8% of In Real Life I was not all that excited about it. I was told by Gail that I would love it but I wasn’t all that into it. I started it on a Friday and didn’t pick it up again until the following Tuesday and I dreaded doing it. Well that Tuesday? I read the other 92% and Gail was right (I hate giving her reasons to gloat), I did love it. It gave me so many feels and once I really got into it I couldn’t stop until I knew if Nick and Hannah would or wouldn’t.

Truth…when I’m told I will love a book because it is Anna and the French Kiss-like, I tend to not want to read the book. I mean you can’t really touch my love of Anna in the contemporary world. But In Real Life really was Anna-like. It had an “Eiffel Tower” type scene, it had the maybe best friends to more, it had a girl out of her comfort zone, it even had a height situation. It had all the things I loved about Anna but with different characters in different settings. Truly there was no way I was not loving this book.

I guess what I loved the most about In Real Life (besides the friends to more troupe and the Vegas setting) was the characters. They really brought life to the story. When I first started I though Hannah was very immature, but as I read more I realized she was just scared to do something against the normal. She was scared to be crazy and out of control so she lived by rules and strict-ish parents. She ran away from problems and trouble. So now, she wasn’t immature, she was just scared to want something else out of life like many of us are. And Hannah and Nick? They were a thing of beauty. They had that awkward teen thing down perfectly not to mention the meeting someone you’ve talked to for years for the first time. I seriously just loved them. And I loved everything that was included in their story as well.

In the end this book was pretty amazing! Was it perfect like I think Anna and the French Kiss is? Nope. But it was darn near close. I really did love just about everything about it and I can say with 100% certainty if you are an Anna fan, you will too!

*check out my giveaway on Twitter to win a Kindle copy! US only and goes until 7/11/16 at 8am EST.

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Review: Summer Skin – Kirsty Eager

Review: Summer Skin – Kirsty EagerSummer Skin by Kirsty Eagar
Published by Allen & Unwin
on February 1st 2016
Format: Paperback
Source: Borrowed
Goodreads

Jess Gordon is out for revenge. Last year the jocks from Knights College tried to shame her best friend. This year she and a hand-picked college girl gang are going to get even.

The lesson: don't mess with Unity girls.

The target: Blondie, a typical Knights stud, arrogant, cold . . . and smart enough to keep up with Jess.

A neo-riot grrl with a penchant for fanning the flames meets a rugby-playing sexist pig - sworn enemies or two people who happen to find each other when they're at their most vulnerable?

It's all Girl meets Boy, Girl steals from Boy, seduces Boy, ties Boy to a chair and burns Boy's stuff. Just your typical love story.

I’m not going to mince words here. I honestly don’t know how I felt about Summer Skin. I do know that I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t love it either. There were parts of this book that I smiled and laughed at and enjoyed. But there were parts that I didn’t like and parts that I didn’t quite understand. It was a mixed bag for me and I’m not sure why that is. I don’t know if it was the POV it was written in, if something was lost in translation (it’s and Australian book), or if I just didn’t connect with the story and the characters.

What I can tell you is that I liked some of the back and forth with Jess and Mitch. When they were just talking and being snarky that was some of my favorite parts. I also liked when they were sweet to one another. But I struggled with the in between with the two of them. And I struggled a lot with Jess as a person. I never really got a sense of who she was and I hated her generalization of people. That really bugged me. She was judgmental of a whole group of people because of some bad eggs. That didn’t fly with me at all (not to mention one scene early in the book that made me feel icky). I get where she was coming from because when a friend is hurt our backs go up, but I didn’t understand her entirely.

I guess when it comes down to it I didn’t click with this book as much as I hoped which made me sad because I loved the author’s other book I read. Something just felt off when I was reading it, like we didn’t mesh. But like I said I didn’t hate it either. What I can tell you is that many others have loved it so I suggest giving it a try and deciding on your own if it is a book for you.

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Mini Reviews #1

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Mini Reviews #1All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
Published by Knopf
on January 6th 2015
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon, Goodreads

Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him. 

Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death. 

When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink. 

This is an intense, gripping novel perfect for fans of Jay Asher, Rainbow Rowell, John Green, Gayle Forman, and Jenny Downham from a talented new voice in YA, Jennifer Niven.

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

Review

I’m the black sheep of the group with All the Bright Places. I know many many people loved this book, but I just couldn’t connect to it myself. I don’t know what it was but I didn’t cry or feel even the tiniest bit emotionally invested in Theodore and Violet’s story which made me sad. Honestly I kept having this feeling as I read that I would have loved Theodore and Violet in another book. There was something off putting to me about the humor added to a book that really was a very serious subject and because of that I never got myself fully invested in the lives of these characters. I guess I can see why people would love it, maybe, but sadly I wasn’t one of those people.

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Mini Reviews #1Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen
Published by Viking Juvenile
Format: ARC
Source: Borrowed
Amazon, Goodreads

Peyton, Sydney's charismatic older brother, has always been the star of the family, receiving the lion's share of their parents' attention and—lately—concern. When Peyton's increasingly reckless behavior culminates in an accident, a drunk driving conviction, and a jail sentence, Sydney is cast adrift, searching for her place in the family and the world. When everyone else is so worried about Peyton, is she the only one concerned about the victim of the accident?Enter the Chathams, a warm, chaotic family who run a pizza parlor, play bluegrass on weekends, and pitch in to care for their mother, who has multiple sclerosis. Here Sydney experiences unquestioning acceptance. And here she meets Mac, gentle, watchful, and protective, who makes Sydney feel seen, really seen, for the first time.The uber-popular Sarah Dessen explores her signature themes of family, self-discovery, and change in her twelfth novel, sure to delight her legions of fans.

Review

I struggled with Saint Anything. After I finished I initially gave it 3.5 stars but the more I let the book settle and marinate I realized that I didn’t like it really. I mean I liked parts of it but as I started to think about it the parts I didn’t like really started to gnaw at me and they became the focus of the book more than what I did like. Honestly I hated the parents, was mildly in like with Sydney and okay about Mac. I didn’t see the chemistry between Sydney and Mac the more I thought about it and I HATED the part with Sydney’s brother’s friend that was beyond creepy. The way the whole situation was handled with him really left a bad taste in my mouth which made it hard as a Dessen fan to really like this one which made me sad. I wish I could talk about the things I did enjoy but sadly I just can’t. This just wasn’t a book for me.

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Mini Reviews #1Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Published by Balzer + Bray
Format: ARC
Source: Borrowed
Amazon, Goodreads

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

Review

Another book that I was the black sheep on. I don’t know if this was one of those books that is too hyped so when I read it is fell flatter than expected or if it was just a book that I wasn’t impressed with. Honestly I can see what people love about it. Simon and Blue’s emails are awesome and I LOVED the last 40 pages of the book. But I felt I was constantly waiting for the wow moment that made everyone fall in love. And truthfully I never got it. Like I said the last 40 pages were awesome, but I wanted more of that awesome. I wanted to know what happened after and I wanted Martin to have to face consequences for his actions but I never got that. In the end I liked it but I didn’t love it.

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Mini Reviews #1Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
Published by Balzer + Bray
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Amazon, Goodreads

The romance of Beauty and the Beast meets the adventure of Graceling in a dazzling fantasy novel about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.

For fans of bestselling An Ember in the Ashes and A Court of Thorns and Roses, this gorgeously written debut infuses the classic fairy tale with glittering magic, a feisty heroine, and a romance sure to take your breath away.

Betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom, Nyx has always known that her fate was to marry him, kill him, and free her people from his tyranny. But on her seventeenth birthday when she moves into his castle high on the kingdom's mountaintop, nothing is what she expected—particularly her charming and beguiling new husband. Nyx knows she must save her homeland at all costs, yet she can't resist the pull of her sworn enemy—who's gotten in her way by stealing her heart.

Review

I think I had one problem reading this book which made me not love it as much as I expected. That problem is A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. The reason that was a problem was because I read that first and I’m insanely in love with that book because of that I kept comparing Cruel Beauty to it which I know is not fair, but I couldn’t help it. Instead of getting wrapped up in the story of the Gentle Lord and Nyx I kept thinking about Maas’s world as it made reading this one hard. I mean don’t get me wrong they are different books, but they are based off of the same fairytale. I did like Nyx and the Gentle Lord’s relationship so that made reading the book easy. And even though I figured out what was happening really really early, I enjoyed the back story too. I guess when it comes down to it, it is a “It’s not you, it’s me” kind of problem. But I would definitely say to try this one. And I’m looking forward to Crimson Bound too as I like how Hodge writes stories.

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Review: The Fine Art of Pretending – Rachel Harris

Review: The Fine Art of Pretending – Rachel HarrisThe Fine Art of Pretending by Rachel Harris
Published by Spencer Hill Contemporary
Format: ARC
Source: Borrowed
Amazon, Goodreads

According to the guys at Fairfield Academy, there are two types of girls: the kind you hook up with, and the kind you're friends with. Seventeen-year-old Alyssa Reed is the second type. And she hates it. With just one year left to change her rank, she devises a plan to become the first type by homecoming, and she sets her sights on the perfect date-Justin Carter, Fairfield Academy's biggest hottie and most notorious player.

With 57 days until the dance, Aly launches Operation Sex Appeal and sheds her tomboy image. The only thing left is for Justin actually to notice her. Enter best friend Brandon Taylor, the school's second biggest hottie, and now Aly's pretend boyfriend. With his help, elevating from funny friend to tempting vixen is only a matter of time.

But when everything goes according to plan, the inevitable break up leaves their friendship in shambles, and Aly and Brandon with feelings they can't explain. And the fake couple discovers pretending can sometimes cost you the one thing you never expected to want.

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If I say it once I will say it 100 times, I love friendship into love books. I’m drawn to them for some reason. When I see one I need to read it almost immediately. I don’t know if it is the tension, the flirting that happens or the fighting of the feelings, but these books are some of my favorites to read. So when I heard about Rachel Harris’ newest The Fine Art of Pretending I knew it was a must read for me.

The story is about Aly, a high school senior that is desperate to look like more than she is. She has always been the friend to guys, the confidant, but now she wants them to look at her like they want her. She is just tired of being the friend. Hatching a plan to change her tomboy clothes into more form fitting girly stuff leads Aly to her best friend Brandon, one of the hottest guys in school and her best friend. Figuring the only way for guys to see her as more a hook-up than a relationship she needs to play the part, or at least pretend. When Brandon agrees to “hook-up” with her the lines between friendship become muddled and feelings get hurt. With their friendship on the line Aly and Brandon have to figure out just where their hearts and heads lie.

So cute! Just cute, cute, cute! I loved Aly and Brandon so much. And I love that I got to see inside both of their heads with a duel POV. It was perfectly awesome. I wanted to smack the two of them a lot of the time as their communication was terrible, but I got where they were coming from. And I think we have all been an Aly at some point in our life and even a Brandon to some extent. You never want things to change or to lose yourself to someone, but sometimes those things are inevitable and it was fun to see these two struggle with that. And this book benefited greatly with the duel POV.

The only reason I didn’t rate it higher was some of my confusion on Justin. First he was super sleazy. He would leer at Aly and this gross way. It creeped me out. And then he would be all sweet to her and understanding. I didn’t get which was the real Justin. And he was a pretty big part of the book for me to be that confused by him. I’m hoping this was done for book two purposes, but without knowing for sure it turned me off some. But besides Justin the other side characters were great. Gaby, Drew, Kara and Carlos were the perfect sidekicks. They were supportive but also truthful which I liked. And Aly’s little sister was adorable.

The Fine Art of Pretending was pretty much the perfect book at the perfect time for me. I had just come off reading a fantasy before reading this and I needed to be swooned. Harris definitely did not disappoint. It was fun and flirty and adorable. I could have used a little more kissing in it though. HA. Seriously though it is one that I would definitely recommend if you are looking for a fun contemporary read.

 

 

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