Book Review: Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann

Book: Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann

Published January 2018 by Swoon Reads|304 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the e-book from the library

Series: None

Genre: NA Contemporary

Alice had her whole summer planned. Non-stop all-you-can-eat buffets while marathoning her favorite TV shows (best friends totally included) with the smallest dash of adulting–working at the library to pay her share of the rent. The only thing missing from her perfect plan? Her girlfriend (who ended things when Alice confessed she’s asexual). Alice is done with dating–no thank you, do not pass go, stick a fork in her, done.

But then Alice meets Takumi and she can’t stop thinking about him or the rom com-grade romance feels she did not ask for (uncertainty, butterflies, and swoons, oh my!).

When her blissful summer takes an unexpected turn, and Takumi becomes her knight with a shiny library employee badge (close enough), Alice has to decide if she’s willing to risk their friendship for a love that might not be reciprocated—or understood.

I really liked this one!  I didn’t love, and I was expecting a different story than the one described, but I still really liked it.

I was interested in this one because it features an asexual main character.  It’s rare to see that in a book, and I thought Kann did a great job at describing what it was like for Alice as she had to navigate relationships.  It rang true, and it didn’t define Alice, but it was still a big part of who she was.  It wasn’t something other people understood, particularly the people she dated, and it made me sad that it was something people didn’t understand.  I wasn’t surprised, but it still made me sad that her girlfriend thought Alice didn’t care about her because she didn’t want to have sex her.

I didn’t care for her friend Feenie, and it seemed like Alice was definitely the third wheel.  I don’t know that she necessarily intentionally left Alice out, but she didn’t seem to like that Alice had other people in her life.  And yet, there were a few times were Feenie and Ryan wanted to have a “family” night and then they ended up leaving her to do their own thing.  Feenie seemed all over the place, and it was hard to like her.  The one thing I did like, though, was that Feenie wanting to be a housewife and stay-at-home mom wasn’t seen as a bad thing, and it was the right choice for her.

I did like her friend Ryan and I liked Takumi as well.  Ryan was an awesome friend, and he was there when Feenie wasn’t.  I liked Takumi as well, though he wasn’t one of my favorites.

As for Alice, I loved her interest in interior design and pop culture.  I wasn’t expecting her to want to be an interior designer, but I hope it works out for her.  To be honest, I expected her potential career path be in the library or something with pop culture.  She definitely struggled with what her parents wanted her to do, and I liked seeing her struggle with how to pay for everything once they told her they would stop paying for college because she didn’t want to go to law school.  It felt very real, and it’s something I think a lot of people could relate to.

Characters aside, I had a hard time with Cutie Code.  It comes up a lot, especially at the beginning of the book, and then it sort of fizzles out.  It was odd to me, especially because the scale and what each color means was never clearly defined.  I was expecting a graphic or something, explaining it in more detail, and that never happened.  I would have be fine had it not been in there.

I think I was expecting a different story, and I’m not sure why.  I mean, the blurb isn’t wrong, but I was also bored, and it felt like the book was missing something.  What that is, I honestly have no idea.

That being said, this book seemed more like New Adult than YA to me.  And it was nice reading about a college-aged character that wasn’t completely focused on sex and romance.  There was romance, but there was a nice balance between dating and navigating life on your own.  It’s what I want from NA, and I feel like a book like this is pretty rare.   Or at least uncommon.

4 stars.  I didn’t love this book, obviously, but there were a lot of things I really liked.  It’s definitely worth checking out.

Book Review: A Court Of Frost And Starlight by Sarah J Maas

Book: A Court Of Frost And Starlight by Sarah J Maas

Published May 2018 by Bloomsbury YA|272 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the hardcover from the library

Series: A Court Of Thorns & Roses #3.1

Genre: YA Fantasy

Feyre, Rhys, and their close-knit circle of friends are still busy rebuilding the Night Court and the vastly-changed world beyond. But Winter Solstice is finally near, and with it, a hard-earned reprieve. Yet even the festive atmosphere can’t keep the shadows of the past from looming. As Feyre navigates her first Winter Solstice as High Lady, she finds that those dearest to her have more wounds than she anticipated–scars that will have far-reaching impact on the future of their Court. 

As much as I love this series, I didn’t really love this one as much as I thought I would.  I was so excited for a new book in this series, but this one didn’t work for me.

I think part of it is that I didn’t re-read the series before reading this one, and I had a hard time getting back into this world.  It’s been almost a year since I read the last book in the series and even longer for the first and second books, so of course I don’t remember much of what happened.  It is funny, though, because her novellas are an average length book for most everyone else.

I was confused, too, because I was expecting more of a plot, and I felt like it actually took a while for it to show up. For most of the book, I felt like I was reading random scenes that didn’t really connect to each other.  Especially at first.  Also, while we see a lot between Feyre and Rhys, we also see some of the other characters.

In a way, it felt like it was setting things up for the rest of the series.  ACOMAF felt pretty resolved, and I wondered where the series was headed.  I have the feeling the rest of the books will focus on some of the other characters (Nesta and Cassian, anyone?) and it seems like something else is going to come up.  Hopefully our merry band of awesome people are going to deal with it together.

I did like that Feyre was out and about, and that she was getting back in her art.  I also have two words: drunk decorating.  That was fun to read.  I love her and Rhysand together, and as far as some of the other pairings go…let’s just say that some of them need to get it together.

Tamlin is still Tamlin, and while what he did wasn’t okay, he did seem to lose everything, and that part…it was a little hard to see.  I almost felt bad for him.  Almost.

Oh, and Elain!  Everyone seems to be pushing her towards a relationship.  It was clear to me that she didn’t want a relationship and/or wasn’t ready, and I just wanted her to be left alone about it.

Even though this is bridging books 1-3 and 4-6…I kind of feel like she could have added parts of this book to either ACOMAF or book 4.  I did like seeing the aftermath of the war, and I am curious to see what’s going to happen next.

3 stars.  I liked it, but I didn’t love it.  I wanted to, but I think I would have been just as fine not reading it.

Book Review: Tell Me Something True by Katherine Owen

Book: Tell Me Something True by Katherine Owen

Published December 2015 by Smashwords|428 pages

Where I Got It: I own the e-book

Series: Truth In Lies #3

Genre: NA Contemporary Romance


The star ballerina finally marries the major league baseball player and the truth about Linc and Tally—his being her air and she being his water—becomes clear after the couple finally realize that their love is all that matters.

But that was the first day. The day they said, “I do.” The day the demons seemed to leave them alone, at least, for a little while.

Nevertheless, there were other days, when all the lies of the past and their ways of coping with their fears caught up to them.

And, this is that story.

“If you believe in fairy tales and happy endings,
and you want to stop right here and bask in the wonderment and joy of it all, please do.
If you want to know the rest of our story,
you need to take a deep breath
and tell yourself that everything will be okay,
that everything works out,
and life happens,
and in the end
love is all you need.
Someone has to tell you these things,
just like someone had to tell me.
All I know is that the truth never dies,
and it does set you free, whether you want it to or not.
And in the end? All you have is love.
Love is all there is.”
~ Talia Landon Presley

Man, I really needed to read this book right now.  For whatever reason, I never got around to reading it, even though I loved the first two books in the series.  It was definitely an emotional roller-coaster, with things being great for Tally and Linc for a while.  Until things weren’t okay.  We are talking about Tally and Linc, after all.

I’m not going into spoilers, but there was one particular moment I didn’t see coming.  It was so unexpected, and how much more can two people go through?  They did make it through, of course, and I’m glad their got their HEA.

Things are never easy for them, and their relationship was really put to the test in this book.  In ways that we didn’t see in the previous two books.  Everything they’ve done- every lie they’ve told, every secret they’ve kept really caught up with them, and there was a point where I thought they wouldn’t make it.

My opinion of Linc really changed in this book.  Yes, both he and Tally have issues, and in particular, Tally has a lot of things to work through, but it doesn’t mean that the things Linc did are okay.  He has his own issues he needs to work on, and even though he blames Tally for a lot of things, I think he’s equally to blame.  It does seem like they’re off to a fresh start, though, at the end of the book, so it seems like they managed to work things out just enough that they seem okay.

Tally and Linc are one of those couples who go through a lot and either don’t make it as a couple…or they do.  I’m glad they do, but they’ve had a rocky past that they haven’t completely dealt with.  Part of me was the tiniest bit frustrated that they had to go through so much, and that they still did the same thing of not communicating and spending time with people they shouldn’t, and jumping to conclusions.  But at the same time, they did realize that they had a lot of things that they needed to work on, and that they needed to make themselves better.  My heart broke for them, especially Tally.

I loved the playlist included at the end of the book, which seemed really fitting because each chapter title was a song title.  I don’t know a lot of the songs, but the ones I do know really fit, especially for the chapters they were the title for.  And each chapter had a poem at the beginning, which I also really liked because somehow, they seemed to fit each chapter.  While I don’t normally go for poetry, I liked the ones in the book enough to check out the person who wrote them.

5 stars.  I loved this book, and even though it was an emotional roller-coaster that had me sobbing by the end of it, it was worth seeing how things turned out for Linc and Tally.

Book Review: A Court Of Wings And Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

Book: A Court Of Wings And Ruin by Sarah J Maas

Published May 2017 by Bloomsbury USA Children’s|597 pages

Where I Got It: I own the e-book

Series: A Court Of Thorns And Roses #3

Genre: NA Fantasy

Looming war threatens all Feyre holds dear in the third volume of the #1 New York Times bestselling A Court of Thorns and Roses series.

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit-and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords-and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all.

I really liked ACOMAF!  I was really looking forward to reading this one, and it was one of my most anticipated books for this year.  I really enjoyed the first two, and after the way ACOMAF ended, I knew it was going to be a long wait until I got to read this one.

I really wanted more with Tamlin- I found that part of the book to be disappointing.  I thought it would be a bigger deal than it turned out to be.  I’m not sure how I thought that would go, but it wasn’t what actually happened in the book.  We do, eventually, see Tamlin’s reaction, and as much as I don’t like him, I wanted more from his point of view, especially with Feyre and Rhys.  Maybe I expected her to have to be more…romantically involved with Tamlin? Or that things would somehow go back to the way it was before she went to the Night Court.  I remember feeling like, what on earth is Feyre getting herself into?  There was such a sense of disbelief at the end of the previous book, and…I don’t know where I’m going with this, but I was let down by what happened.  Let’s just go with that.

I am also curious about the rest of the series.  Things are pretty resolved in this book, and I’m wondering if new problems are going to pop up, or if things aren’t as resolved as they seem.  Another thing I’m wondering about is if this series is set in the same world as her Throne Of Glass series.  Because there’s a similar feel to both series, and for some reason, it feels like it’s set in the same world.  If they’re not, that’s cool, but I am curious, so if anyone knows for sure, I’d really like to know.

I feel like I don’t have a lot to say about this installment in the series.  And I’m not as obsessed with this book as I am with the previous two.  I did re-read her Throne Of Glass series right before picking up this book, so maybe I was feeling a little burned out.  There was enough of a gap, that I shouldn’t have felt that way, but maybe there wasn’t enough time after all.  For whatever reason, I don’t feel the same way about this one that I did with the previous two books.

4 stars.  I’m hesitant to give it 4 stars, because I feel like I struggled a little bit to get through this more than I did the rest of the series.  But it did pick up, and even though it’s more 3.5, I figured I’d round up.

Top Ten Tuesday Holiday Gift Guide: Top Ten Books For The YA Lover

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely folks over at The Broke And The Bookish.  Every week, bloggers share their own bookish top ten lists based on the topic of the week.  You can check out Ten Tuesdays here.

Blog Graphic- Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Books For The YA Lover

I generally don’t do gift guides, but I thought it might be fun to do a gift guide for people who love YA!  I definitely tried to do a range of genres and ages- everything from middle grade to older teens, and fantasy to historical fiction to contemporary.

  1. Where The Streets Had No Name by Randa Abdel-Fattah. In general, I would recommend her books but this one made my list because it gives an interesting voice to the Israel-Palestinian conflict. It’s more on the middle grade/younger end of YA spectrum, but still worth reading for people of all ages.
  2. All-American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely. I’m pretty sure I recommend this book a lot, but it deserves the countless mentions! It’s such an important read because I feel like this is a story we see on the news a lot- and we see what it from two very different sides. Recommended for ages 14/15 and up.
  3. Shadowshaper by Daniel Jose Older. This book is perfect for the YA lover in your life. There’s art and Caribbean myths and yet I felt like it was all very normal to see magic and art coming to life. Recommended for ages 14 and up..
  4. George by Alex Gino. This is another book that’s middle grade than YA, but it’s still on my list because I loved Melissa’s story and how wanting to be Charlotte in her school play was the thing that she wanted the most!
  5. A Court Of Thorns And Roses by Sarah J. Maas. I really love this series, and if you’re looking for a great book for the YA Fantasy reader, this is my current choice. It’s fairies and different courts and it’s full of awesome. (I’d say 15/16 and up, age-wise).
  6. Ash by Malinda Lo. This Cinderella re-telling is so under-rated, and it’s great for people who love fairy tale re-tellings. If you’re considering getting this one for a teen in your life, I’d say 15 and up (maybe 14, depends on the teen).
  7. And I Darken by Kiersten White. I love this take on Vlad Dracula. It’s dark, and definitely recommended for 16+ (maybe 15 and up, depending on the teen), but it’s also really good.
  8. Under A Painted Sky by Stacy Lee. This historical fiction novel was one of my favorites from last year, and it’s a Western! And set on the Oregon Trail. I love the friendships that we see in the book, and I definitely recommend it for everyone 14 and up.
  9. Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor. This is another recommendation that’s middle grade or on the lower end of YA. I love the magic in the book, and it’s set in Nigeria, which works really well with the myths and magic we see in the book.
  10. An Ember In The Ashes by Sabaa Tahir. This Roman Empire inspired fantasy is really good! It’s definitely on the dark side, but so worth it. Recommended for ages 15 and up.

Book Review: A Court Of Mist And Fury by Sarah J. Maas

A Court Of Mist And Fury CoverBook: A Court Of Mist And Fury by Sarah J. Maas

Published May 2016 by Bloomsbury USA|640 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the hardcover from the library

Series: A Court Of Thorns And Roses #2

Genre: NA Fantasy

Blog Graphic-What It's About

The #1 New York Times bestselling sequel to Sarah J. Maas’ spellbinding A Court of Thorns and Roses.

Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas’s masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.

Blog Graphic- What I Thought

I really liked A Court Of Mist And Fury!  I like it so much more than A Court Of Thorns And Roses, and it’s going to be a long wait for the next one.

So, Feyre’s deal with Rhysand…I had no idea what to expect with it, but I really liked where it went.  I loved Rhysand in this book (and he was definitely my favorite in ACOTAR), and after reading this book, I am completely sold on him and Feyre.  Rhys and Feyre are equals, and they are on equal ground, much more than Tamlin and Feyre ever were.  Rhysand is supportive and encouraging and better for Feyre than Tamlin ever will be.

Because honestly?  Tamlin is horrible!  Completely horrible…and he seemed like such a different Tamlin in this book, that I couldn’t believe I liked him at first.  I definitely want to go back to read the first one, because I can’t help but wonder if I missed something.  What happened in between ACOTAR and ACOFAM that Tamlin switched personalities?  Was it there, but I didn’t notice, or did he really change that much?  Because how he treated Feyre wasn’t okay, and I don’t care what his reasons were, it wasn’t okay.  And when he came in, all apologetic, because she gone for ages, and he wanted her back?  He doesn’t deserve her, and she can a lot better than a guy who didn’t realize he had a good person.

As much as I like Rhysand and Feyre together- and as much as I think that Rhysand is a better fit for Feyre after everything she’s gone through- I dislike that Tamlin had to change so much just to make Rhys look like the better option.  I think he is in a lot of ways, and I wish that Feyre had gone to Rhys in a different way, because I’m not a fan of how that was done, even though I like the end result.  I guess I have some hesitations about Rhys and Feyre, more than I originally thought.  But overall, I stick with what I said in the above paragraph.

I loved seeing the Night Court, and different it is from the Spring Court.  I hope we get to see more of the different Courts as the series progresses.

Another thing I wanted to talk about is the series, but this book in particular, as a YA book.  For me, it’s more New Adult than YA, and that’s because of the sex scenes.  Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with sex in YA, but in ACOFAM, they’re more detailed than what you typically see in YA, and I’m hesitant to classify it as such.  But it’s not like there’s a New Adult section at the library or the bookstore, and since it’s fantasy (not contemporary romance), that’s probably why shelved in the YA section.  I’d say that it’s probably appropriate for 15 and up.

Now that I have that out of the way, let’s talk about how we see the consequences of everything that happened that happened in the first book.  Things started to make a lot more sense, and that’s because we learned a lot more about what’s going on.

I also loved most of the new characters we see in the book, and they’re all so memorable and distinct and wonderful, and they are just amazing!  They really stand out and I can’t wait to see more of them in the rest of the series.

Blog Graphic- My Rating

4 stars.  I dislike how much Tamlin changed just to make Rhys and Feyre work, even though I love them together.  And even though I like it a lot more than ACOTAR, it wasn’t quite a 5 star read for me.

Book Review: One More Chance by Abbi Glines

One More Chance CoverBook: One More Chance by Abbi Glines

Published September 2014 by Atria Books|272 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the e-book from the library

Series: Chance #2, Rosemary Beach #8

Genre: NA/Contemporary Romance

Blog Graphic-What It's About

The unforgettable story of Grant and Harlow from Take a Chance continues in this brand-new novel in the Rosemary Beach series from #1 New York Times bestselling author Abbi Glines.

She was it. His one. His only. Then he made the mistake of letting her go.

After fighting his way into Harlow Manning’s heart—and revealing a side of himself no one had ever seen before—Grant Carter destroyed his own heart by giving in to his greatest fears and doubts. Months later, he’s stuck in a miserable routine. Work relentlessly. Beg his best friend Rush for news about Harlow. Avoid all other friends. Leave nightly voicemails for Harlow, pleading with her to come back to Rosemary Beach. Fall asleep alone. Repeat.

Miles away, on her brother’s Texas ranch, Harlow can’t bring herself to listen to Grant’s voicemails. Though she wants to be with him, and knows he regrets letting her go, she doesn’t know if she can trust him. When he discovered the truth behind her sheltered upbringing, it shattered their relationship, but the secret she carries now has far greater consequences. Can she risk giving Grant one more chance, or will the gamble ultimately destroy her?

Blog Graphic- What I Thought

Even though I didn’t like the first Harlow/Grant book, I still wanted to see what would happen.  I think I hated this book more than I did the first one.

It’s mostly because Harlow is a selfish idiot.  Even though she has a heart condition AND HAVING A BABY CAN LITERALLY KILL HER, she insists on going through with her pregnancy, even though everyone around her wants her to have an abortion.  I did hate that people were trying to force her to change her mind and get an abortion, because it is her decision, and if she wants to keep a baby that could kill her, it’s her decision, as much as everyone doesn’t like her decision.  I felt like Mase’s mom was the only one who seemed supportive of Harlow’s decision. Grant seemed to come around a little bit but not completely.  At the same time, though, I felt like it was incredibly selfish for Harlow to insist on going through with the pregnancy.

I know it’s Grant’s baby, and she wants the baby, and he made her want things she could never have, but I felt like she cared more about the baby and sacrificing herself for the baby than living.  I felt like she was either too stupid to realize SHE was more important to people than her baby, or she realized it but didn’t care that SHE was important to people and that they didn’t want to lose her.  I don’t understand her decision, and I’ve never had to make that decision, but I also feel like it’s her decision to make…and Grant’s too, being the father.  We never see her talk with Mase or his family about it, and we’re just told what her decision is.  Grant’s opinion doesn’t seem to matter either, and I feel like she doesn’t want to take into account what other people think, because all that matters is what she wants.  Which is true to a point, but…it just bothered me that she didn’t care if she lived or died.

I also hated that Mase called Rush, knowing that he’d tell Grant, who’d go running to find her.  His voice mails were pretty pathetic, and I am utterly clueless as to why Harlow is in love with him, and why she’d give him a chance after everything he did.  And after the way he treated her after finding out about her heart condition. She really should have made him work to get her back.

I did like that Nan donated blood, and I felt like I understood Nan a lot better.  I still don’t completely get why people dislike Nan and why the other characters treat her the way they do, but what she did for Harlow did was really nice. I didn’t like how everyone suspected she was up to something, and unable to do anything nice for anyone.  And that she was trying to manipulate someone or something by donating blood.

The letters Harlow wrote to her unborn child were really morbid, and I didn’t like them at all.  And Harlow thinking she live just based off wanting to be there for her child…hope can go a long way, but again, her pregnancy could very will kill her, and hope can’t overcome that.  Plus, it’s something that she can pass on to her child, so I am having a hard time understanding why she’d want to keep this baby.

Something I thought was weird was her grandma.  Early on in the book, Harlow’s thinking about her grandma (who didn’t believe in abortion), and what her grandma what think if it were Harlow getting an abortion.  And then Kiro mentions her grandma, and wants to know if it’s a religious thing and if it’s something her grandma taught her. I am confused about what religion has to do with it, because someone not wanting an abortion doesn’t necessarily have to be because of religious beliefs.

I get Kiro is trying to understand why she’s not getting an abortion, but that, combined with Harlow’s earlier thoughts of her grandma made me think that her grandma was religious and didn’t believe in abortions.  I don’t understand the emphasis on her grandma’s beliefs when one, grandma isn’t with us anymore. and two, it doesn’t actually go anywhere.  Given it comes up a couple of times, I thought it would have more of a role, and it doesn’t, so I don’t get why it’s brought up.

After giving birth, it takes her a while to open up her eyes, but, of course, she ends up being fine…it seemed like a major cop-out that she ended up being fine.  Other than people freaking out because she insists on having a child, she ends up fine, with nothing other than a coma.  Why have her have this serious heart condition in which having a child could kill her if she’s going to be fine?  It felt manipulative in the last book, like it was there for drama, but it felt extremely, intensely manipulative for her to be fine.  Because Harlow just can’t be pregnant, she has to be pregnant with a serious, life-threatening heart condition and somehow end up okay. Granted, she was in pretty good health, which probably was a factor, and she was high-risk but at the lower end of high-risk, but I wanted more complications with it.

Blog Graphic- My Rating

1 star.  The only thing I liked was Nan donating blood to Harlow, but overall, this was a frustrating book to read.

Book Review: Take A Chance by Abbi Glines

Take A Chance CoverBook: Take A Chance by Abbi Glines

Published February 2014 by Atria Books|228 pages

Where I Got It: I own the e-book

Series: Chance #1, Rosemary Beach #7

Genre: NA/Contemporary RomanceBlog Graphic-What It's About

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Abbi Glines comes the story of Grant, the sexy playboy who first captured readers hearts in Fallen Too Far.

When Harlow Manning’s rocker father goes on tour, he sends her to Rosemary Beach, Florida, to live with her half-sister, Nan. The problem: Nan despises her. Harlow has to keep her head down if she wants to get through the next nine months, which seems easy enough. Until gorgeous Grant Carter walks out of Nan’s room in nothing but his boxer briefs.

Grant made a huge mistake getting involved with a girl with venom in her veins. He’d known about Nan’s reputation, but still he couldn’t resist her. Nothing makes him regret the fling more than meeting Harlow, who sends his pulse racing. Yet Harlow wants nothing to do with a guy who could fall for her wicked half-sister; even if there are no strings between Grant and Nan. Grant is desperate to redeem himself in Harlow’s eyes, but did he ruin his chances before he even met her?

Blog Graphic- What I Thought

Of the Abbi Glines books I’ve read so far (just 2!), Take A Chance was my least favorite.  I wanted to like it more, but there were so many things that frustrated me.  It’s going to be long, because I’m feeling quite rant-y about this book.


I didn’t like him at all!  He claimed that Harlow was really important to them, but I felt like his actions said otherwise.  She lost her virginity to him, and then he goes and sleeps with her half-sister a couple of months later, and continues to do so, even though he says he called her so many times and she never picked up.  She says she never got those calls, so either he’s lying, she is, or someone grabbed her phone and deleted her voice mails and texts and call history (which would be a really shitty thing for someone to do), but who knows what happened there.

Not only that but when she doesn’t want to have anything to do with him because he never called, and she goes out with someone…he has a threesome with two strangers who like pretending they’re twins.  JUST BECAUSE SHE GOES OUT WITH SOMEONE.  And yet, the next morning, he’s a changed man and wants to be with her.

However, his friend dies, and his friend’s girlfriend is, understandably, grieving over the loss of her boyfriend, and he doesn’t want to lose Harlow the way Bethy lost Jace.  I really felt like he was using that as an excuse to not get close to her.  He wants her and she supposedly means everything to him, but he doesn’t want to fight for her or their relationship.  When you add in the fact that he seems like how insecure she is, and how jealous she gets whenever Nan comes up in any capacity…I just don’t get why people like Grant, because in this book, he seems like a horrible person, especially with something that happens to Nan.

First, we have this quote, which irritated the hell out of me:

“If she’s lying, it might be me beating the shit out of her,” I warned him.

And this one:

“She better be telling the truth.”

Are you kidding me?  That made me hate Grant.  I was willing to give him a chance, but after that, no way in hell was he getting one.  He is not a good guy, and the fact he talks about beating Nan if she’s lying makes me hate him so much it’s not even funny.  Yeah, Nan doesn’t seem like the most pleasant person and she’s portrayed as a character that pretty much everyone hates because she’s supposedly this bitter, angry bitch.  But it was frustrating that Granted said/thought the things he did because no one deserves what happened to Nan.  No one.  Really, I felt bad for Nan, because people seem to treat her like crap for no apparent reason.  Whatever she may have done, she doesn’t deserve the things Grant said and might have done.  There is absolutely nothing good about a guy who’s willing to beat someone if she’s lying.


I know we’re supposed to like her, and think she’s this sweet, innocent, fragile girl who needs protecting (especially from Nan), but I didn’t like her either.  In the one scene we see her stand up to/confront Nan, she seemed to handle herself pretty well, so the fact that everyone seemed to think she needed protecting was frustrating.

One, she forgave Grant way too easily and way too much, especially for someone who doesn’t seem to trust people easily because of her father.  Also, do you really want to be with someone who likes your insecurity and thinks it’s hot?  Because if that’s what he likes/is into, he’s a guy you should stay far away from.

Two, this frustrating to read quote, from the beginning of the book:

“I was twenty years old.  It was time I became a real woman and had sex.  I was holding on to my virginity like some grand prize, and I wanted to experience a total connection with another human being.”

Here are my problems with this.  One, I think you’re a real woman regardless of whether you’ve had sex or not. You’re not lesser just because you’re twenty and a virgin.  Two, it sort of sounds like you’re having sex because you’re old enough, and not because you’re actually read, which…it sort of sounds like what’s going on here.  And also having read the entire book, it seems like maybe she wasn’t completely ready.  And three…actually, let’s forget about three, because I tried writing it out, and it sounds completely horrible no matter how I phrase it, so let’s just stick with two.

Three, this other quote:

“I was a slut.  Or trauma made me a slut.  I wasn’t sure…I knew about blowjobs.  I knew women must like it to do it. So I was curious.  But now that I had made him come in my hands and tasted him, I was embarrassed.  I didn’t do things like that.  It wasn’t me.”

There’s a lot more to that quote, but I wanted to highlight the things that really frustrated me.  I did feel bad that she just found out that the mom she thought was dead for years turned out to be alive the entire time.  And finding out about it had to have been hard- and that people handle finding out about stuff like that in all kinds of ways.  But it doesn’t make her a slut, and that she was so hard on herself wasn’t endearing, it was irritating.

And wanting and liking sex doesn’t make you a slut, which is what I got from her thoughts.  Or maybe it was referring to the timing, but still…my thoughts still stand.  Not only that…but…she only starting having sex in the last few months, how she supposed to know if she’s the kind of person who likes blowjobs?  Really, I kind of felt like there’s this underlying thing of good girls do it, but they don’t like it, and you’re not supposed to be the kind of person that does it and likes it.

And her congenital heart defect came out of fucking nowhere.  There was mention of a faint scar on her chest but other than that, I felt like there were no hints that something was up until the last couple chapters.  It felt really manipulative, like it was there just for the drama it would cause.  I get she doesn’t like people knowing because they treat her differently- like she’s sick, which she insists she isn’t because she’s been sick before, and she knows when she’s sick.

Two last things about Harlow: her reaction to what happened to Nan was horrible.  A guy beat Nan, and all she can think about is how she’s going to lose Grant, just because he went with Rush?  That’s insanely selfish, and highlights her insecurities.  Two, I thought she was too insecure about the people Grant’s slept with.  I knows it’s all new for her, and there’s nothing wrong with waiting to have sex at all, but if it’s that big of a problem for her, and it’s something she can’t seem to move past and if she’s going to be jealous and insecure, maybe she shouldn’t be Grant at this point.  In  general, she seems like she has a lot of growing up to do, and a relationship with anybody (but especially Grant) seems like a bad idea right now.

Random Thoughts:

  1. The memorial service for Jace.  His own friends seem to hate that they have to be there, and two of them randomly leave before anything happens.  Only one of them stays, and it’s basically because he has to stay, as the owner of the country club.
  2. Also, the fact that Bethy has to work the event.  Apparently, it occurred to no one to give her the night off so she could attend (which makes me wonder: did she ask to attend and get shot down, or did it not occur to her either?), and apparently no one could be bothered to check up on her to make sure she was okay at any point. Harlow and Blaire seemed to be the only people who remotely cared about Bethy.
  3. Also Grant seems way more concerned about the fact that Bethy lost Jace, and not at all concerned his friend died.  Yet, he doesn’t seem to care about what happens to her.
  4. I assumed it was more of a stand-alone series set within a larger series, but I was wrong.  I wish I had at least finished the Rush/Blaire series because I was confused as hell.  There’s a lot in terms of relationships between the characters and their history together that would have made more sense had I read at least the first few books.  Especially with the Nan stuff that happens…it makes no sense why people treat her the way they do, so the other books would probably explain that.  Thankfully, I don’t care about spoilers, but still, I don’t understand the point of focusing on different couples if I have to read the other books in order to understand what’s going on with the current one.
  5. The weird time jump at the beginning of the book.  We’re randomly jumping around in the first chapter or two and it made the beginning of the book super-confusing and hard to understand.  It wasn’t done well at all.
  6. There was no build-up to a relationship between Harlow and Grant.  Not only that, but it felt like it was more lust than love, and they didn’t do much except have sex or sit quietly next to each other.  There was no substance to their relationship, and the one time we see them go out, Grant is talking to other people (sort of understandable, but why does he abandon Harlow once they get there), and then he just leaves without telling her why he’s leaving.  Naturally, it’s left to someone else to explain, but he stills wants her to trust him. Relationship is a gross overstatement, considering they don’t actually talk to each other or go out to do things together.  Even if they try to talk, it’s usually one-sided, with one of them trying to explain, and the other one not wanting to talk or freaking out about the conversation, which seems like a horrible basis for a relationship. I have no doubt they’ll get their happily ever after even though they are two people who should not be together. At least in this book

Blog Graphic- My Rating

2 stars.  As much as this book frustrated me, I still went through it pretty fast, and for some bizarre reason, I still want to read the previous books in the series, and the next book in the series.  I don’t know that I have any interest in reading the series beyond the next book, but…there is something compelling about the series.

ARC Book Review: False Illusions by A. Cramton

False Illusions CoverBook: False Illusions by A. Cramton

Self-Published in April 2015|222 pages

Where I Got It: I received an e-ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Series: False Illusions #1

Genre: NA Contemporary Romance

Blog Graphic-What It's About

Madison had it all: the wealth, the amazing condo and engaged to the boxing Heavy Weight Champion of the World.
But in reality all she had was loneliness.
Until he showed up.

Yoel’s plan was bulletproof.
Get in and get out, win the title.
He did his homework but not well enough.
He wasn’t prepared for her.

One night changes everything.
One lie blurs the lines.

When the lust and smoke clears will everything just be a false illusion?
Or will it be the biggest fight of all?

Blog Graphic- What I Thought

I absolutely loved this book!  I made the awesome mistake of starting it during my lunch break, and I was not happy when lunch was over because it meant I had to stop reading and go back to work!

I just loved the characters, and more than that, I loved Yoel and Madison together.  I love the chemistry they had, and when I was finished, I was really sad that I was finished, because I wanted to live in their world more.  I understood why Madison stayed with Marcus, but I was so glad when she broke things off with him and went to New York to do her own thing.  And her going to New York was even better once Yoel was involved!  I just love them together, and how they gave each other space, but also seemed to support each other.  They definitely had their ups and downs, but I loved that they worked it out.

Oh, Marcus!  I wasn’t a big fan of Marcus, but I also want to know what his deal is!  And Madison’s mom…even when she was being nice, I had a hard time liking her.  I definitely got the impression Madison’s happiness wasn’t important to her at all, but I’m glad Madison did what was right for her!  And that she and Yoel had such awesome friends (and that Yoel had a pretty cool family, from what I could tell).

Blog Graphic- My Rating

5 stars.  False Illusions really made me wish I read more contemporary romance.  I think I might have to after reading it!  The characters were amazing, and False Illusions was such a hard book to put down.