First by M.A. Grant | Review

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a-5

 

 

 

 

 

Maya and Cat have been there for each other through thick and thin, the good and the bad, the laughter and the heartache. But with college graduation on the horizon and real life looming, they find themselves facing an uncertain future: one where not even friendship can save them from confusing choices, bad decisions, and the risks of falling in love.

Maya knows that love only leads to pain, and the best relationships are short—one night short. But after waking up with Jake, her best friend’s older brother, in her bed, suddenly things aren’t as cut and dry. Cat and Jake are close, a tight unit since their parents’ death, and Cat will never forgive her if Jake gets hurt. Jake is a firefighter, and is used to running into flames—not away from them, and Maya can’t seem to resist. But she’s already decided her future, and it’s far away from here. The only way to get what she’s always wanted is to burn every bridge behind her, and destroy the possibility of a future with the one man she may be willing to love.

When Cat Jacobs’s parents died while she was in high school, her brother’s best friend Dallas Miller was there to help pick up the pieces. Several years and a looming college graduation later, Cat’s motorcycle-riding, tattooed knight is about to ride off into the sunset—and leave her in his dust. She only has six days to convince him to fulfil her secret fantasy of having him for her first before he’s gone forever. She’s stubborn and he’s tempted, but this is a battle for more than just some time in the bedroom—it’s a fight for both their futures.


Note: I received this novel via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
First is a New Adult novel by author M.A. Grant. It’s one whole novel broken into two mini novels. The first novella was the rather unconventional relationship of Maya and Jake:

Jake is a young firefighter on the road to career stardom. His personal life revolves around his little sister, Cora, after the untimely death of their parents. However, his self-discipline and extremely strict lifestyle didn’t reward him in the romance department, that is until he finds himself in bed with his sister’s best friend, Maya.

Maya is an anti-relationship, anti-love, childish, college student that has been through a disabling childhood (sarcasm) engendering her anti ways. She hates Jake because he reminds her of her father, who was “awful and controlling” toward her. After her parents divorce she shunned love and refuses to try her luck at love, especially with Jake.

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Special Forces by Brynn Paulin | Review

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Amelia Barker and Keon Munro are about to meet face-to-face for the first time. With F-16 butterflies dive-bombing her belly, she nervously awaits her soldier and the promises he made over the internet. Fresh off deployment, Keon is ready for some one-on-one action with the woman who captured his heart through cyberspace. Too bad she’s not who he thinks she is. Either way, she’d better be ready for his special force. He’s been dreaming of this night for months, and her sweet behind is his.


What can an 18-page book really accomplish, apparently a nice little story. Although it doesn’t include complex characters, or a particularly engaging plot, it still surprised me because it was so condensed. The gist of the story is simple; Amelia Barker has been pretending to be her fickle sister to a military pen pal, Keon Munro, after she completely ditches him. Feeling bad and adventurous, she decides to keep up the charade his entire deployment, until she realizes he want’s to meet her (since they kinda began a relationship) and remembers she’s not her sister.

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The Revenant: A Novel of Revenge by Michael Punke | Review

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Thrilling tale of betrayal and revenge set against the nineteenth-century American frontier, the astonishing story of real-life trapper and frontiersman Hugh Glass
The year is 1823, and the trappers of the Rocky Mountain Fur Company live a brutal frontier life. Hugh Glass is among the company’s finest men, an experienced frontiersman and an expert tracker. But when a scouting mission puts him face-to-face with a grizzly bear, he is viciously mauled and not expected to survive. Two company men are dispatched to stay behind and tend to Glass before he dies. When the men abandon him instead, Glass is driven to survive by one desire: revenge. With shocking grit and determination, Glass sets out, crawling at first, across hundreds of miles of uncharted American frontier. Based on a true story, The Revenant is a remarkable tale of obsession, the human will stretched to its limits, and the lengths that one man will go to for retribution.


* People who’ve watched the movieThe Revenant,  will not be spoiled for the book because it’s very, very different. The concept is the same and the cinematography is very accurate of the setting of the book, however, that’s where the similarities end. Both are great (speaking as a Leo fan), but in their own way.

Being a history enthusiast, this book piqued my interest. Although written American history doesn’t date as far back as European, African or Asian history, it’s quite full. There’s a fascination toward American history because it’s extremely tragic and rich story. A time period rarely mentioned is the American frontier.

The American frontier was a special time. It highlighted a period of pure exploration, expansion and both friendly and hostile relationships between European men and Native Americans. The representation of The Revenant as a western is quite accurate because of the feel of the times and the novel.

Basically, Hugh Glass was a frontiersman and fur trapper: first European men to cross the Great Plains to the Rocky Mountains in search of fur. They traded with Native Americans from whom they learned hunting and trapping skills. (Wikipedia). This wasn’t a very glamorous job. A large portion of the animal pelts collected were in highly populated Native American land – states like Montana, Missouri, South Dakota, etc. These states still have a high Native American population, but they weren’t the minorities in their land during this time. However, the European influence in America was felt by its indigenous people immensely. In consequence, there was tension between the Natives and European trappers and the job was dangerous. Weather and the Native Americans were a big threat to trappers and (according to the novel) it wasn’t unheard of for them to be abducted/invaded and scalped.

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The Martian by Andy Weir | Review

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a-2

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars.

Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there.

After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate the planet while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded on Mars’ surface, completely alone, with no way to signal Earth that he’s alive. And even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone years before a rescue could arrive.

Chances are, though, Mark won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment or plain-old “human error” are much more likely to kill him first.

But Mark’s not ready to quit. Armed with nothing but his ingenuity and his engineering skills—and a gallows sense of humor that proves to be his greatest source of strength–he embarks on a dogged quest to stay alive, using his botany expertise to grow food and even hatching a mad plan to contact NASA back on Earth.

As he overcomes one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next, Mark begins to let himself believe he might make it off the planet alive.

But Mars has plenty of surprises in store for him yet.


Let me begin by commending the adaptation of this novel to the big screen! The Martian (movie) was one of the best book-to-movie adaptations I’ve ever seen – it was wonderfully done.

Now onto the review.

The Martian is a charming book.

Unlike some science fiction novels, The Martian has a great balance of humor to scientific mumbo jumbo. Although there is a great amount of science-talk and mathematical calculations  that can be distracting at first, it gets easier as the novel progresses.

Since it’s easy for a novel centered around a singular character alone on a desolate planet to be quite boring and dreadfully detailed (like A Princess of Mars), it really surprised me how entertaining this story was. However, if I’m being honest, this is largely due to Mark Watney, our protagonist, who is hilarious!

“I am smiling a great smile. The smile of a man who fucked with his car a didn’t break it.” – Mark Watney, The Martian

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His Pretend Baby: 50 Loving States, Oregon (50 Loving States #16) by Theodora Taylor | Review

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★ ★

Are you ready for an alternative alpha like Go Gutierrez???

So I was pretty sure my dead ex-boyfriend’s brother hated me…until he asked me to marry him.

And pretend his brother’s baby—which I’m carrying, BTW—is really his.

So now I’m suddenly the wife of a quirky tech billionaire, and falling in like with him so fast, it’s beginning to feel an awful lot like love. But we both have issues, and there are shadows creeping around the edges of our fledgling relationship. Can two people as different as we are make a pretend relationship real?

Find out if the Freak and the Geek can find their way to a happy ending in this unique standalone interracial romance. Perfect for those who prefer their heroines off-beat and their alphas super geeky. One-click now to discover why real heroes wear glasses!

[Source: Goodreads]


Rodrigo (aka Go) and Nyla

Fun Fact: This book  features some diversity! Nyla is black and Rodirigo (aka Go) is Latino.


Nyla’s pregnant with her dead, ex-boyfriend’s baby.


(Have I mentioned that I ❤ New Girl, especially Coach?!)

Go’s the brother of said brother and he decides to claim the baby as his own in order to spare his family the heartache (?) of knowing that he cheated with Nyla.

I didn’t get this book.

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Wallbanger (Cocktail #1) by Alice Clayton

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A +

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

The first night after Caroline moves into her fantastic new San Francisco apartment, she realizes she’s gaining an intimate knowledge of her new neighbor’s nocturnal adventures. Thanks to paper-thin walls and the guy’s athletic prowess, she can hear not just his bed banging against the wall but the ecstatic response of what seems (as loud night after loud night goes by) like an endless parade of women. And since Caroline is currently on a self-imposed dating hiatus, and her neighbor is clearly lethally attractive to women, she finds her fantasies keep her awake even longer than the noise. So when the wallbanging threatens to literally bounce her out of bed, Caroline, clad in sexual frustration and a pink baby-doll nightie, confronts Simon Parker, her heard-but-never-seen neighbor. The tension between them is as thick as the walls are thin, and the results just as mixed. Suddenly, Caroline is finding she may have discovered a whole new definition of neighborly…


*Disclaimer: this book is outrageously hilarious and will lead to giggling fits, rough chuckles, and boisterous laughter. Read at your own risk.*

Keep this in mind: Caroline hasn’t had an orgasm in a loooooong time.

“I shrugged it off, thinking maybe she just needed a night away, still experiencing a little PTSD from Pizza Parlor Cory.”

Funny is an inadequate word to describe how humorous this book actually was. It’s so rare that a book can make me laugh so hard I cry, but this novel achieved that feat numerous times. Wallbanger follows the lives of two neighbors, Caroline and Simon, as they work their way from enemies, to friends, to lovers.

The first time Caroline meets Simon is through the shaking and banging of her apartment wall. The second time was her banging on his door to keep quite while she’s trying to…do things. After this meeting they hate each other, while also being attracted to each other.

What I loved about this novel was the friendship that they built before anything happens between them. They hate each other and then are forced to be friends after their friends begin dating. But then they realize they have a lot in common and that they’re kinda awesome for each other.

Omigosh, Clive! You have yet to meet the coolest cat ever.

I can’t even explain how much fun it was to read this book! Just read it!

Ballers: His Game (Ballers Series #1) by Blue Saffire

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For Him she was the one from the moment he saw her. He just didn’t know it would be so hard for her to see him, but when she does he takes his chance. He would never regret it, but what he would regret is walking away. Then she appears in his life again and he is floored by all he truly walked away from. It will never happen again, no matter what.

Football had been his life, not anymore and if walking away from it all is what it takes to have her and all that comes with her so be it. He has left it all out on field, now it is time to leave it all at her feet.

Because Tamara is his for keeps!


*Warning: This review will not be like my others. Since this is a New Adult novel, I will have adultish comments about it. For once I’m acting my age :d*

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Normally one-night stand romances don’t interest me; they usually suffer from paucity in both validity and plot since it’s normally about sex alone. In spite of my concerns I jumped off of the proverbial bridge and read Ballers. My reasoning lie mainly with the unfortunate truth that I was in a dry spell in the book department, so I surmised that a quick, cheesy romance novel would get my book mojo back. However, when I finished this novel I was pleasantly surprised.

Ballers is a sweet adult-fiction, sports romance novel featuring a football player theme. The novel goes something like this:

Boy meets girl. Girl tells boy she’s not interested.

Boy doesn’t let that deter him. Girl is like well, he’s not so bad.

*One-night stand ensues*

Boy thinks girl doesn’t really like him – although he likes her tremendously – so he bolts (not so smart hombre)

Girl wakes up to an empty bed – she’s sad. She really liked him.

Girl finds out something that she keeps from boy (dun dun dun, we all know what that is)

*A bunch of years past*

Girls a successful agent, boys a successful football player.

They meet again, however old wounds heal slowly – but not in this case!

They feel like they never broke up, but life keeps finding a way to tear them down.

Girl pulls away, sad and afraid to hurt the man she loves

Boy pushes girl because his love for her exceeds all else

Sometimes football isn’t so forgiving to the body or the mind, just like life.

 

Now, to explain why I wrote the review in this odd fashion, I must be candid:

I read this book in January/February, in consequence this review isn’t the one I wanted to write but I was forced to alter my previous ideas.

Like all books (except Jane Eyre) there’s good and bad material in this novel. Sometimes the writing was off, others the story line seemed stilted, however these things didn’t take away from the strong characters of Tamara and Brad and their love for each other. It also didn’t diminish the sweet moments and the truth, in the sad reality of our worlds views.

 

‘Til Death Do Us Part by Amanda Quick

★ ★ ★ ★

Calista Langley operates an exclusive “introduction” agency in Victorian London, catering to respectable ladies and gentlemen who find themselves alone in the world. But now, a dangerously obsessed individual has begun sending her trinkets and gifts suitable only for those in deepest mourning—a black mirror, a funeral wreath, a ring set with black jet stone. Each is engraved with her initials.
 
Desperate for help and fearing that the police will be of no assistance, Calista turns to Trent Hastings, a reclusive author of popular crime novels. Believing that Calista may be taking advantage of his lonely sister, who has become one of her clients, Trent doesn’t trust her. Scarred by his past, he’s learned to keep his emotions at bay, even as an instant attraction threatens his resolve.
 
But as Trent and Calista comb through files of rejected clients in hopes of identifying her tormentor, it becomes clear that the danger may be coming from Calista’s own secret past—and that only her death will satisfy the stalker…


Note: I received this advanced reader’s copy  via netgalley by Berkley Publishing in exchange for an honest review

I’ve read every single Amanda Quick novel – finding her work at an early age, I  immersed myself into her spitfire heroines and Victorian romance novels that were never cut and dry, but also featured a fun murder mystery (well if you wanna call that fun). Although her novels have a habit of following a similar formula, I can say this novel was not the customary mystery romance novel and I cannot contain my joy!

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As You Breathe Again (The Walker Boys #2) by Molli Moran

As You Breathe Again (The Walker Boys #2)

 D+
★ ★

Delaney Shaw isn’t looking for anything complicated. After her teaching career is put on hold, she decides to spend the summer in Georgia with her best friend. Lanie lives for the here and now, and she isn’t thinking past the end of the summer. She’s never had any problem being unattached, because she learned a long time ago that life is safer that way.

Until Reece Walker decides to change her mind.

Almost a year after his ex-wife’s death, Reece is still reeling from her passing. He’s devoted himself to raising their son and working his family’s farm to keep himself grounded. Reece feels like he’s lost sight of the man he used to be, and he’s not sure how to find his way back.

Everything changes when the woman he’s unsuccessfully tried to forget walks back into his life.

Even though she’s fighting their sizzling chemistry, Lanie is losing the war. But love isn’t always like it is in the movies, and they have real issues. Lanie is terrified Reece’s small town won’t accept their interracial relationship, and she doesn’t know how to let him in.

Lanie has had years to build her defenses, but Reece isn’t the sort to give up without a fight. If he can counter Lanie’s fears with the future only he can offer her, maybe they can both learn to breathe again.


Note: I received this advanced reader’s copy  via netgalley in exchange for an honest review

This book had loads of potential that was totally wasted. It’s a tragedy that I didn’t enjoy this book because it could’ve been a real contribution to the New Adult genre that also featured a multicultural romance,  but the execution wasn’t there. Being part of a series I was skeptical about reading this without reading book one, however the blurb expressed that it could be read as a standalone. I don’t think it should be read without reading book one because I felt disconnected with everything.

I’m guessing there was this foreshadowed romance that developed between Delaney and Reece in book one, however it didn’t translate well. The romance seemed unrealistic and like insta-love, which means it’s cheesy and their connection wasn’t based on anything. Not once did I ever feel like their love wasn’t forced, or like love at all to be quite frank. But this might’ve been because, as I stated previously,  I didn’t read book one, or it could be the one-dimensional characters in the book.

Sometime one-dimensional characters hide in the silhouette of  complexity. Delaney Shaw was that type of character – I couldn’t relate to her. She’s  afraid of commitment because of her past experiences, which she allows define her future. Fun and carefree, no one knows the real Delaney beneath the mask except Reece who has his own demons. These simple truths weren’t the reason I didn’t liker her character, it was the lack of realism. She didn’t feel real to me – her character was supposed to be vibrant and full of life, but she just seemed dull. Again, this could be because I didn’t read book one.

Another issue I had was with the inconsistency. She’s supposed to be this strong woman that’s slowly allowing her weaknesses to show and open-up her heart, but it wasn’t balanced enough. There were times I felt as though I was reading a different character with her mood and attitude changes. After completing this novel I still didn’t understand who she was and what motivated her besides Reece.

Reece wasn’t bad. There’s nothing amazing about him or memorable. Everyone of importance seemed like minor characters and minor characters that don’t add any substance to the book. Let’s just get off the characters.

Plot? Hmm…this book lacked the length needed for a journey of self-discovery, nor was it a straightforward romantic love story. It’s fast-paced and but seemed to drag on FOREVER.

This seemed like the first draft of a really good final product.  I’m just saddened by how much I didn’t like it.

Bad Boy’s Baby by Sosie Frost

280923063.5 stars

★ ★ ★ ★

Star professional quarterback Jack Carson has the worst reputation in the league. He’s arrogant and gorgeous, and if he’s not in bed with a new woman, he’s sleeping off the party in a jail cell.

But now he’s gotten in trouble too many times and needs my help to protect his career. As his publicist, I’ve hidden his dirty exploits and silenced the sexy rumors…but I missed the hottest scandal of the year. Apparently, Jack and I are dating.

When the manwhore lies to the league and claims we’re in a committed relationship, he jeopardizes both our jobs. I can’t trust the tattooed bad boy, but now I’m stuck defending him. I have to make him seem respectable—no matter what.

But his shameful reputation isn’t fixed with a few photos of us on a date. With the league determined to expel him for bad-behavior, Jack has only one option to convince them he’s wholesome, dependable, and responsible.

Jack Carson wants to start a family.

And he’s chosen me to give him the baby.


*Warning: This review will not be like my others, since this is a New Adult novel, I will have adultish comments about it. For once I’m acting my age :d*

Let’s just get this out the way first: Horrible title and terrible blurb.

Now that that’s over, shall we begin?

There was a substantial amount of people who couldn’t even bare the sample, yet along reading the book to completion – I rather enjoyed it. Since I read a fair amount of New Adult novels I switched off my YA mode and switched on my NA mode – this is required – before reading this book. NA novels tend to have seriously cocky and egotistical hero’s that make you want to cut your eyes out from their constant noise of self-praise, and Jack Carson was no different. He’s an egotistical asshole. It’s irrefutable. He parties hard, thinks he’s God’s gift to women, and is a serious manwhore.

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