Review: The Other Side of Summer by Elyse Douglas

The Other Side of SummerTitle: The Other Side of Summer
Author: Elyse Douglas
Series: stamdalone
Rating: 3.5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Joanna Halloran, a best selling writer and astrologer, lives in a beach house overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. After a violent storm, she roams the beach, glances seaward and spots a man clinging to a piece of wreckage, being tossed helplessly. She dives in and pulls him safely. Robert Zachary Harrison is from a wealthy, political family. As he slowly recovers from a private plane crash, he and Joanna fall in love and spend passionate and secluded weeks together. But because of family duty, Robert departs, not knowing Joanna is pregnant.

Twenty five years later, Senator Robert Harrison is running for President of the United States. In the midst of a contentious presidential campaign, Joanna’s daughter, who has a passion to expose secrets, seeks revenge on her father she has never met.

She meets and falls in love with her father’s adopted son. As secrets emerge, Joanna and Robert meet again and confront the past and present. Robert confesses a secret that Joanna had never known. Now, on the world stage, they struggle to keep their families and careers from destruction.

My Review:
he Other Side of Summer is a decent read and it will appeal to those who enjoy contemporary women’s fiction.

I really enjoyed the writing style and it’s clear from the high-quality prose and very professional editing and formatting that the authors know what they are doing. The words flowed easily on the page and the descriptive text was beautiful. Pacing was good and it kept me engaged from start to finish.

I completely fell in love with Joanna’s beach house – please can I live there? I could vividly picture it in my minds eye and it truly was a little piece of heaven on Earth.

This story is told in three different parts. One the one hand I liked how it was structured, but it did hamper my ability to really connect with the characters on an emotional level. Apart from Joanna and Robert, we don’t see enough of the other characters to form a bond. I felt the book could have been a bit longer and allowed the reader more opportunity to get to know the characters and observe more character development.

My favorite part of the book was the first part. While Joanna and Robert fall for each other straight away, I felt it, believed in it, and was totally caught up in the whole tragic nature of their love. It’s clear from the book description that it’s not going to be a happy-ever-after type scenario so I knew heartache was just around the corner.

Robert was afraid of turning into his father but unfortunately that’s exactly what happened. I hated how he treated Maya and by the end of the book I was really quite disgusted with him.

Joanna lost some points too as the story progressed. Maya clearly needed her to stand up for her, to fight the wealthy, powerful Harrison family to acknowledge her, but Joanna did the complete opposite. As a woman and a mother Joanna’s treatment of her daughter appalled me.

Matt is a sweetheart and while I was rooting for him and Maya, it all happened way too fast. It would have been more believable if their romance had stretched out for a month or two before becoming serious and before it came out in the open.

Overall though, this was a decent read; largely due to the excellent writing and interesting storyline. With a little bit of fleshing out I think this could be a very accomplished piece of work.

Actual Rating: 3.5 stars.

I received an advance copy of this book via Lola’s Blog Tours in exchange for my honest review. Many thanks to the author for the opportunity to read and review their work.

Elyse DouglasAbout the Author:
Elyse Douglas is the pen name for the married writing team Elyse Parmentier and Douglas Pennington. Elyse grew up near the sea, roaming the beaches, reading and writing stories and poetry, receiving a degree in English Literature. She has enjoyed careers as an English teacher, an actress and a speech-language pathologist. Douglas has been a musician, a graphic designer and an equity trader.

Elyse Douglas, have completed seven novels: The Summer Diary, Christmas for Juliet, Wanting Rita, Christmas Ever After, The Christmas Town, The Christmas Diary and The Other Side of Summer.

You can find and contact Elyse here:
Website
Blog
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads


Lola's Blog Tours

Book Blitz: 3volve by Josefiena Guteirrez

3volve banner
This is my stop during the book blitz for 3volve by Josefina Gutierrez. This book blitz is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The book blitz runs from 6 till 12 July, you can view the complete blitz schedule on the website of Lola’s Blog Tours.
This blitz features 3volve and another book by this author: The Shadow of Loss. Both books can be read as standalones although the characters from The Shadow of Loss make a small cameo appearance in 3volve. I share two excerpts with you today, one for each book.

3volve cover3volve
By Josefina Gutierrez
Genre: Realistic Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Multicultural
Age category: New Adult
Release Date: July 14, 2015

Blurb:
From author Josefina Gutierrez, of “The Shadow of Loss”, comes a new New-Adult contemporary love story.
I thought my life began when I graduated high school and moved far, far away—okay three hours away. But I was wrong. My life didn’t start until it almost ended.
I’m Cristal Escobedo, twenty-two years old and a former wild child who favors tequila far too much. But that all changed when life happened, and I ended up being responsible for my younger brothers. To top it all off, I think I’m falling in love with my best friend—dammit.
This is my not-so-happy story of how I grew up and got my shit together. My story isn’t filled with a bunch of pretty analogies or hyperboles. The people are real, the hurt is deep, and the love is complicated. People are flawed in the ways that matter; it’s what makes us human.

You can find 3volve on Goodreads

You can buy 3volve here:
Amazon

Excerpt:
I’ve never claimed to have it all together. I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. I was roaming through life high and excited for the unexpected. I love my family, my parents, my brothers, my friends, but their love was never enough to save me from myself. My self-destructive way, how I always kept ruining the best things I didn’t know I even had.
My story isn’t filled with morality. It doesn’t have some intriguing message about love, and life. Shit, it’s a mess. I’m a mess. I’m not here to tell you what should be important—we all have different values. I’m not here to tell you about responsibility. Hell, if you finish reading my story and gain insight, then more power to you!
I thought my life began when I graduated high school and moved far, far away—okay three hours away. But I was wrong. My life didn’t start until it almost ended.
I’m Cristal Escobedo a twenty-two year old, former wild child, and this is my not-so-happy story of how I grew up and got my shit together. It isn’t filled with a bunch of pretty analogies or hyperboles. The people are real, the hurt runs deep, and the love is complicated. People are flawed in the ways that matter; it’s what makes us human. If you want a sugarcoated story, look to someone other than me.

The Shadow of LossThe Shadows of Loss
By Josefina Gutierrez
Genre: Realistic Fiction, Multicultural, Romance
Age category: Young Adult

Blurb:
Evelyn Gonzalez keeps losing people, which is always hard, but has she lost something much more? Has she lost her soul? Evelyn has a nervous breakdown and is institutionalized, after months of sorrow and pain she is thrust back into the world. The world of teenage angst and Calculus. Can she trust people again? Especially after hurtful assumptions and judgments made her miss her junior year of high school. Evelyn is just trying to heal what she lost and graduate from high school.

You can find Shadow of Loss on Goodreads

You can buy Shadow of Loss here:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Kobo

excerpt
“I sense you have lost something precious, yourself.”
“That doesn’t make any sense. How can I lose myself, I’m right here,” I point to myself for the desired effect.
“One can lose thyself, and have their shell remain. It is what we call Susto.”
“What is Susto?”
“You have lost your soul mijita,” she leans forward and grabs my hands.
I can’t control my laughter, but seeing the look of horror on her face calms me right down. “You’re actually serious? My soul? Lost?”
“It is a very serious matter. If left for too long, you may never be complete. You will remain in limbo. You must let me help you.”
“I don’t believe in any of this.”
“You pull at your left sleeve, sí. You suffered an accident, a trauma?” she grabs my arm.
“My sister told you,” I pull back, “It doesn’t prove anything.”
“Aye no. Your sister didn’t tell me anything. I know.”
“How?”
“When you come in to buy the locket. I saw you are lost. That’s why I asked your sister to allow you to work here. I help.”

Author Photo JosefinaAbout the Author:
Josefina Gutierrez is a Young Adult eBook author, who resides in San Antonio. Josefina writes Young Adult Multicultural, Sci-Fi, and Fantasy literature in her free time when she’s not embarking on adventures with her son and gnomes Fitzgerald and Bartholomew. Her current projects in the works are a Fantasy dystopian series, a Mystery-Thriller eBook, and New-Adult Contemporary Romance.

You can find and contact Josefina here:
Website
Facebook
Goodreads
Pinterest

There is a tour wide giveaway for the book blitz of 3volve. These are the prizes you can win:
– 2 amazon gift cards of 20$
– A designed box including: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan, a signed paperback of The shadow of Loss by Josefina Gutierrez, 2 Bookmarks, Silk decorative flowers, Photo frame and a Notebook Potpourri bag (US Only) – see picture, books not show

Designed Box

Enter the giveaway for a chance to win:
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Lola's Blog Tours

Blog Tour: When Faults Collide by Claire Granger

When Faults Collide banner
This is my stop during the blog tour for When Faults Collide. This blog tour is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The blog tour runs from 1 till 14 July, you can view the complete tour schedule on the website of Lola’s Blog Tours. For my stop the author has written a tens list about her ten favourite books!

When Faults Collide CoverWhen Faults Collide (Faultlines #1)
By Claire Granger
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age category: New Adult
Release Date: July 1, 2015

Blurb:
Asha is a 23 year old graphic designer and blogger living in Richmond VA with a dark past. She grew up in India in a brothel where her mother was a prostitute and came to America to live with her father when she was 13. 10 years later and while she has survived, she lives her life under a strict set of rules and lives fairly sheltered in order to protect herself. Her most important rule: never get involved romantically.

Then she meets Blake, a 25 year old music venue owner with an equally dark past. From their first encounter, Asha finds it difficult to follow her own rules and can’t deny the connection between the two of them.

Can Asha overcome her demons to go beyond surviving to thriving and will Blake be the perfect broken piece to the puzzle of her heart?

You can find When Faults Collide on Goodreads

You can buy When Faults Collide here:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble

Top Ten Favorite Books

  1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
    Jane Eyre was essentially my first taste of romance in unfortunate situations. I absolutely loved the story the first time, and I love it the same each time I re-read.
  2. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
    Speak was the first time I read a book from a rape victims perspective and a brief taste of PTSD. I was 15 when I read it and I remember that it took me a while to “recover” after I finished. It’s one of those that sticks with you.
  3. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
    Back in my teenage years, I very much related to this book. Yes, it may be cliché to relate to the angsty YA novel in those years, but truthfully this book made me feel like I wasn’t alone. Like if someone could write about what it felt like to be invisible, then surely I wasn’t the only one who felt that way.
  4. Adopting the Hurt Child by Gregory Keck
    Nope, not fiction, but this book changed the way I parented so it absolutely makes the list of favorites. Anyone considering adoption or just interested in parenting a trauma victim needs to read this book.
  5. The Consequences Series by Aleatha Romig
    This entire series is so amazing, and I was hooked from start to finish. Aleatha takes you on a journey of love and hate and trust and betrayal. This series is a WILD RIDE but makes you stop and think and is a screw-with-your-mind-but-in-a-good-way type of series. 😉
  6. Tangled by Emma Chase
    Tangled was a pee-you-pants-while-snort-laughing kind of book. I’m fairly certain that my husband thought I was going through a bought of temporary insanity while I was reading this one.
  7. The Vampire Diaries Series by LJ Smith
    This series was like my Bible in my middle school and high school days. I have re-read it at least a dozen times and even still, it’s a favorite. I honestly believe this is among the best vampire YA books out there.
  8. On Dublin Street by Samantha Young
    This was a really sweet and funny romance that I loved from start to finish. The character descriptions are extremely vivid and you truly feel like you know and have a relationship with all of them- the main characters and the supporting ones.
  9. Oh The Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss
    I read this one to my kids all the time, and it was given to me as a graduation present. I *still* cry when I read it, thus it must be counted as a favorite. 🙂

  10. Monster in the Dark Series by Pepper Winters
    Tears of Tess (the first of the series) will blow your mind with twists and turns but by Twisted Together (the last of the series) I was so completely in love with Q and Tess. This is BY FAR my favorite dark erotic romance.

Claire GrangerAbout the Author:
Claire grew up in Texas, but her family moved to Virginia in 2001. She now resides in Richmond with her husband, 4 children (2 sets of twins!), and their fur babies.

She blogs over at The Granger Bunch and has her first novel releasing this summer! “When Faults Collide” is a contemporary romance, the first of the “Faultlines” series! She is already working on book two of the series as well as a non fiction and a few other exciting projects!

She is passionate about racial identity and equality issues, foster care, adoption, and non-profits that work to help victims of sexual assault and trafficking.

She is shamelessly addicted to romance, erotica, dark/twisted/taboo, smutty, sexy, anti-hero, flawed hero, controlling, mind blowing books! Basically everything that would make her mother cry. 😉

She loves hearing from her readers- it keeps her going! Thank you so much for all of your continued support! <3 You can find and contact Claire here: - Website
Blog
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Instagram

There is a tour wide giveaway for the blog tour of When Faults Collide. These are the prizes you can win:
– a signed copy of When Faults Collide by Claire Granger
– a $25 Amazon gift card

For a chance to win enter the rafflecopter below:
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Lola's Blog Tours

Review Fall With Me (Wait for You #4) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Fall with MeTitle: Fall with Me
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout/ J Lynn
Series: Wait for You #4
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Eleven months ago, bartender and weird-shirt-wearing extraordinaire Roxy and Officer Reece Anders had a one night stand. Well, kind of. She’s been in love with him since she was fifteen, and he wishes that night they shared never happened. She’s sworn him off forever, but the past and future collide, forcing her to rely on the one man who broke her heart not once, but twice.

Her best friend since birth has been in a long-term care facility since he became a victim of a hate crime years ago, and the person who put him in there is out of prison and wanting to make amends with him and Roxy. She’s not sure she has room for forgiveness in her and when she begins to receive frightening messages and is on the receiving end of escalating violence, she thinks she knows who is to blame. The man who already destroyed one life already.

But Reece isn’t convinced. The threats are too personal, and even if Roxy doesn’t believe him, he’s not willing to let anyone hurt her. Including himself. He’s already messed up more than once when it comes to Roxy and he’s not going to let history repeat itself.

My Review:
So, Wow. This book is just…WOW. Did I mention how WOW this book is!!

As predicted, I stayed up all night reading this and now I feel like I need match-sticks to keep my eyes open. But it was so worth it.

This book is perfection on a page. I loved it in it’s entirety. I loved the writing, characters, plot and pacing. There is really nothing I can fault about it.

The writing: Breath-stealing and inspiring as usual. I absolutely adore Jennifer’s writing style and I devour everything she writes.

The characters: I already liked Roxy and Reece from ‘Stay With Me’ and it was great getting under the hood and understanding more about their lives. I really love how Jennifer writes her male characters. They are usually quite snarky and moody, hot as hell, strong and protective of their women. But they also see the strength in their girls and give them the freedom to express that, and there is always a little bit of emotional vulnerability due to something in their background. What I love is that they are able to express that and discuss it with their partners (sometimes it takes a while) but it’s a level of emotional maturity that I see in the current generation of men. I really feel Jennifer has captured the essence of the modern man (sorry for the cheesy line which I know sounds like I’ve ripped it straight from a men’s cologne advert, and maybe subconsciously I did!)

Reece portrays all those traits and he’s a really decent guy. So easy to fall in love with. Roxy has been in love with him since she was 15 and she has never let anyone else get close to her. She is dealing with the aftermath of a traumatic event which essentially robbed her of her best friend and the guilt is threatening to destroy the future she should have. Reece is trying to encourage her to follow her heart and pursue her passion but Roxy is so caught up in guilt and fear that she is struggling to find her true path. This part of the plot really connected with me as I’m on a similar journey myself, and it’s both exciting and terrifying at the same time! I could relate and I felt it was very well written. In summary, Roxy is an easy character to like and I was rooting for her the whole way.

Pacing: Spot-on. This book is a real page-turner and I didn’t put it down until it was finished (I tried several times but I just couldn’t do it.)

Plot: Anyone that follows my reviews knows that I love a strong romance theme mixed in with the fantasy/adventure/suspense and this book delivered by the bucket load. I adored how the romance played out in this one. Jennifer usually teases us with a lot of to-ing and fro-ing but not so much here and I enjoyed how we got to see Reece and Roxy get together and gel as a couple. The suspense plot-line was awesome and it kept me guessing the whole way through. I had the culprit sussed fairly early on but then Jennifer threw out a few curve-balls and I kept changing my mind. It all culminates in a fairly explosive scene at the end and I was totally gripped.

I also loved that we got to see the couples from all the other books – this is the one thing that helps me stay engaged with this series, as I’m always curious to see what’s going on with the others, in particular, Cam & Avery, Calla & Jax.

All in all this was a fantastic read. Epic. JLA at her very best. Highly Recommended.

Review Stay With Me (Wait For You #3) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Stay with MeTitle: Stay With Me
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout/ J Lynn
Series: Wait For You #3
Rating: 4.5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
At 21, Calla hasn’t done a lot of things. She’s never been kissed, never seen the ocean, never gone to an amusement park. But growing up, she witnessed some things no child ever should. She still carries the physical and emotional scars of living with a strung-out mother, Mona—secrets she keeps from everyone, including her close circle of college friends.

But the safe cocoon Calla has carefully built is shattered when she discovers her mom has stolen her college money and run up a huge credit card debt in her name. Now, Calla has to go back to the small town she thought she’d left behind and clean up her mom’s mess again. Of course, when she arrives at her mother’s bar, Mona is nowhere to be found. Instead, six feet of hotness named Jackson James is pouring drinks and keeping the place humming.

Sexy and intense, Jax is in Calla’s business from the moment they meet, giving her a job and helping her search for Mona. And the way he looks at her makes it clear he wants to get horizontal . . . and maybe something more. Before Calla can let him get close, though, she’s got to deal with the pain of the past—and some very bad guys out to mess her up if she doesn’t give them her mom.

My Review:
I didn’t really like ‘Be with Me’ so I was a bit antsy starting ‘Stay with Me’, but I needn’t have been because I loved it.

I really warmed to both Calla and Jax, and I loved how he was so protective of her and so accepting of all the baggage she came with. Not only that, he helped her deal with her demons and start feeling her worth.

Calla has a ton of insecurity as a result of all the scars she has from a childhood fire. In the main I felt this was really well written, though I felt Calla gave up the DermaBlend too quick. For someone who has been plastering herself in make-up (to hide a prominent facial scar)to give it up after only two weeks of knowing Jax was a bit unreal.He was very accepting of her scars, but didn’t pander to her insecurities and he helped her be brave. I loved him for that.

We get to see a good bit of Tess and Jase, Cam and Avery, which I loved. I’m also intrigued to read Roxy’s story next, as she appears to be a character with many layers.

The only part I was frustrated over was Aimee, with two e’s and one i. I wanted to bitch-slap her so bad, and couldn’t understand why Jax just didn’t tell her he was with Calla and get rid of her. Instead he allows her paw at him, and allows her into his home in the early hours of the morning. I cringed reading the scene where Cam & Avery, and Tess & Jase arrive into the bar to see Aimee all over Jax. I really felt Calla’s embarrassment and I wanted to throttle Jax for letting her down so badly. When Calla rightly got upset, he couldn’t understand it and threw her inexperience back in her face. I didn’t like that aspect to his behavior, and it felt out of character for him. He did that a few times when she got upset, and it was insulting to her intelligence. Just because she’s inexperienced doesn’t mean he has a right to belittle her feelings. I felt he was way out of line.

But he redeemed himself in the last few scenes, where he told her how he felt in front of her friends. Epic. “I fell for you before you even knew my name” he says at one point and I almost cried.

The story is evenly paced, and another classic JLA page-turner. Tons of swoon-worthy romance, witty dialogue and there’s plenty of the hot’n’heavy stuff too. Superbly written as usual. Highly Recommended.

Review: Know Your Heart by Tracey Alvarez

Know Your HeartTitle: Know Your Heart
Author: Tracey Alvarez
Series: Far North #2
Rating: 5 Stars
Genres: Contemporary Adult Romance

Links:

Blurb:
He is the one she couldn’t remember. She is the one he couldn’t forget…

After being unexpectedly kicked off a movie set, her part given to a younger actress, Savannah Payne flees to her holiday house in Bounty Bay. There, in her little hideaway managed for her by her older cousin, she’ll be able to lick her wounds privately, and prepare for an audition of a lifetime in L.A. Only her cousin has rented the place out to an old friend for the next month. A friend whose knowledge of the law means she has no easy way to evict her stop-the-heart sexy tenant. He tempts her, challenges her, and sees to the heart of who she is with knowing ice-blue eyes.

Glen Cooper has woken up and smelled the decaying roses. Working in his father’s law firm is murder on his creative heart. A month in New Zealand’s sub-tropical Far North without the distraction of family and work is what he needs to finally complete writing the book he’s worked on for years. He hadn’t anticipated the woman who’d haunted his university days arriving on his doorstep, demanding her house back. But the distraction of her close by must stop. With a literary agent’s deadline approaching, he has to ignore his growing attraction to Savannah or his dream may never become a reality.

Something about Glen stirs Savannah’s blood and the slippery memories of a quiet young man she glimpsed in the background of her tumultuous teenage years begin to return. But how can they make the sacrifice love requires when she has one foot out the door—ready to walk away from him a second time?

My Review:
Know Your Heart is another amazing read from Tracey Alvarez and I’m happy to bring you my review today as it’s the official publication date. Happy Release Day Tracey 🙂

This book really appealed to my creative side as both leads are involved in the arts.

Savannah Payne is an accomplished actress who is going through a bit of a rough patch. Having lost a coveted part in favour of a younger model, she decides to lick her wounds at her newly-acquired holiday home in Bounty Bay. It’s only when she arrives that she remembers her cousin Nate has already rented the place to one of his old college buddies.

Glen Cooper was pushed into the family law practice though it’s not what his heart craves. At this point he is fed up with his life. A literary agent has expressed interest in a work of fiction he’s been penning for a few years so he takes time out of the rat race to focus on completing the book, in the hopes of pursuing his dream as a full-time writer. Now, I can totally empathise because I recently made a similar decision myself, so I was intrigued to read this story.

Glen is an obnoxious ass at the start and I really didn’t like his attitude towards his landlady. I was totally Team Sav. But as the story unfolds we learn there is history between the two, although Sav doesn’t actually remember. I quickly got on board the Team Glav train, and by the midway point I was rooting for them as a couple.

The addition of Glen’s teenage nephew Tom added depth to the story and how both mains related to him was heart-warming. Tom is dealing with self-confidence issues in part due to a fragile relationship with his father and the consequence of his parents recent separation. I enjoyed his character enormously.

We also catch glimpses of Lauren, Nate and Drew who featured in the first Far North series and I love when series do this. It’s always great to catch up with other familiar characters.

As is typical of Tracey’s writing style, both main characters are complex, with their fair share of flaws, though they experience personal growth as the story develops. Beautifully crafted. Fantastic dialog between them as well, with plenty of humour, and a healthy dose of romantic moments.

There is absolutely nothing I can fault in this book. I loved all of it – the writing, world building, characterisation, plot and pacing.

In summary: Another captivating read from the very talented Tracey Alvarez.

This review will feature on my blog on release day. http://myyanabookobsession.com

I received an ARC from the author in exchange for my honest review.

Review Be With Me (Wait for Me #2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Be with MeTitle: Be With Me
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout/ J Lynn
Series: Wait for Me #2
Rating: 3 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Teresa Hamilton is having a rough year—she’s in love with her big brother’s best friend, but he hasn’t spoken to her since they shared a truly amazing, mind-blowing, change-your-life kiss. She got out of a terrible relationship. And now an injury is threatening to end her dance career for good. It’s time for Plan B – college. And maybe a chance to convince Jase that what they have together is real.

Jase Winstead has a huge secret that he’s not telling anyone. Especially not his best friend’s incredibly beautiful sister. Even though he and Teresa shared the hottest kiss of his life, he knows that his responsibilities must take priority. He certainly doesn’t have time for a relationship. But it doesn’t help that all he can think about kissing the one girl who could ruin everything for him.

As they’re thrown together more and more, Jase and Tess can’t keep denying their feelings for each other. But a familiar danger looms and tragedy strikes. As the campus recovers, the star-crossed couple must decide what they’re willing to risk to be together, and what they’re willing to lose if they’re not…

My Review:
I really enjoyed Wait for You and Trust in Me, and even though I knew Be with Me wasn’t a story centered on Cam and Avery I was eager to read it. I’ve been fan-girling about JLA for the last few months, so it pains me to write this review because I was very frustrated with this book.

I’ll talk about what I liked first. The writing as ever is superb. I loved that we got to see Cam and Avery some more and those scenes lifted the story for me. We were introduced to Calla and I like her, which is good considering I know the next book is a story about her life. At first I wasn’t sure if I was going to like a series that didn’t center on the same main character all the time, but I have to admit that I’m loving that aspect of it now. Not only do we get to see other characters, we’re still kept connected with the original characters, so bonus points for that.

I liked Teresa/Tess as an MC, though I wanted to slap her on many occasions for being such a bloody doormat. Now I can understand it to a point given her past, but the amount of times Jase kicks her to the kerb,and she willingly takes him back was ridiculous.

Onto Jase. I quite liked the sound of him in Wait for You but I hated him in this book. He’s a total douche for the way he treats Tess, blowing hot and cold on a near daily basis! I get that he has issues, but that’s no excuse for the way he treats a girl that he professes to care about. Quite literally, he made me want to hurl. He also seemed so arrogant about his looks and his ability to attract women who he never even kisses – oh please, give me a break. Though to be honest it’s what they say about hookers, and if the shoe fits…..

The scene where they finally got together properly made my blood boil. I actually felt like throwing the book at the wall, but I persevered, the whole time thinking WTF? in my head. I don’t want to give too much away, but he’s dumped Tess again, she has a near-death experience and then he’s all up in her and she lets him!! Previously he is all like ” it has to be the right time to do it” and now he couldn’t care less about that. Uugghh.

I felt this plot was very weak. I predicted everything that happened, and I mean everything. So there were no surprises to add to the anticipation.

Overall I was disappointed with this book, but because I absolutely adore Jennifer I’m giving it three stars. I won’t be rereading this one.

Review Trust in Me (Wait for You #1.5) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Trust in MeTitle: Trust in Me
Author: Jennifer Armentrout/ J Lynn
Series: Wait for You #1.5
Rating: 4.5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
From the NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author of WAIT FOR YOU, this is the story of Cam and Avery’s sizzling romance as you’ve never seen it before, told exclusively from Cam’s perspective…

Cameron Hamilton is used to getting what he wants, especially when it comes to women. But when Avery Morgansten comes crashing into his life – literally – he finally meets the one person who can resist his soulful baby blues. But Cam’s not ready to give up – he can’t get this feisty and intriguing girl out of his head.

Avery has secrets, secrets that keep her from admitting the feelings Cam knows she has for him. What will it take to help him break down her barriers and gain her trust? Or will he be shut out of Avery’s life, losing his first real shot at the kind of love that lasts forever?

My Review:
This is Wait For You from Cam’s perspective, and I loved it. He’s even more sweet and endearing, if that’s possible. It never felt boring, even though we’re reliving some of the same events. We also get a few new scenes which weren’t in Wait For You.

I didn’t like that Cam calls Avery ‘sweetheart’ publicly and I don’t like that he calls her ‘Shortcake’ in private, after Strawberry Shortcake. That’s just insulting, and again, doesn’t feel natural for Cam to say this in my opinion.

All in all I loved it though. Another fantastic read from writing powerhouse JLA.

Review: Hide your Heart (Far North #1) by Tracey Alvarez

Hide Your Heart TA

Title: Hide Your Heart
Author: Tracey Alvarez
Series: Far North
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Genres: Contemporary Adult Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Love will bring them together. Distrust will tear them apart…

Alexandra Lauren Knight has reinvented herself in the safety of her rural New Zealand hometown to become Lauren Taylor. She’s cut all ties with her past as a former model whose ex-husband turned out to be ruthless in both the boardroom and the bedroom. While Alexandra allowed other’s expectations to propel her into the spotlight, Lauren prefers the safety of anonymity; restoring classic cars with her brother, and snuggling with her four-year-old son.

Nate Fraser, a burned-out photojournalist, plans to fix up the property next door to Lauren and sell it as a celebrity retreat. Always on the move, Nate is only comfortable with short-term assignments and even shorter-term relationships. But it’s not just his buyer’s tight deadline or that the restoration is far beyond his expertise which turns a short-term project into an ordeal. Nate’s plan of travelling the globe is in jeopardy—created by the intensity of his growing feelings for Lauren and her little boy.

As the sparks of passion ignite between them it reawakens Nate’s long forgotten dream of having a home and family. Lauren must find a way to trust Nate not only with her secrets, but with her heart—before her safe haven is exposed and she can no longer hide in the shadows.

My Review:

This is book one in Tracey’s new Far North series and as a massive fan of her Due South series I was really looking forward to getting stuck into this book.

Hide Your Heart tells the story of Lauren and Nate. Lauren is an ex-model hiding from a troubled, dark past. She will do everything to protect her young son Drew, including ignoring her growing attraction to hot newcomer Nate.

Nate is a photojournalist who has purchased the nearby house as an investment. Taking time out from his busy career, he plans on fixing up the house and selling it to a developer who intends to use it as a celebrity retreat.

Lauren, naturally, isn’t happy about his plans as she is desperately trying to shield herself and her son from that world. As their paths intertwine, she finds it harder and harder to deny her feelings for him. The attraction is mutual and Nate is also trying to avoid giving into his heart. Nate’s plan for the future is to travel the world taking photos and he has never entertained notions of tying himself down. Until Lauren.

As the story progresses both Lauren and Nate are on a journey of self-discovery. Learning to trust in themselves and each other is a challenge they embark on together.

This book is written in Tracey’s usual enthralling style and the words flow beautifully on the page. The setting is again a small rural community but it’s evocative and visual and I found myself wishing I lived there. Sigh  🙂 The characters are complex and well written and I was definitely rooting for Lauren the whole way through. Her son Drew is an adorable character and so desperately in need of a father-figure. I was hoping that Nate wouldn’t let him down.

The only slight issue I had with this book was I felt the pacing was a little slow in the first third. However, thereafter I was drawn in and it galloped along at a great pace.

If you are a fan of Tracey Alvarez’ Due South series, or you like well-written contemporary adult romance, then I highly recommend this book.

Review Wait For You (Wait For You #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Wait For YouTitle: Wait for You
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout/ J Lynn
Series: Wait for You #1
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Some things are worth waiting for…

Traveling thousands of miles from home to enter college is the only way nineteen-year-old Avery Morgansten can escape what happened at the Halloween party five years ago—an event that forever changed her life. All she needs to do is make it to her classes on time, make sure the bracelet on her left wrist stays in place, not draw any attention to herself, and maybe—please God—make a few friends, because surely that would be a nice change of pace. The one thing she didn’t need and never planned on was capturing the attention of the one guy who could shatter the precarious future she’s building for herself.

Some things are worth experiencing…

Cameron Hamilton is six feet and three inches of swoon-worthy hotness, complete with a pair of striking blue eyes and a remarkable ability to make her want things she believed were irrevocably stolen from her. She knows she needs to stay away from him, but Cam is freaking everywhere, with his charm, his witty banter, and that damn dimple that’s just so… so lickable. Getting involved with him is dangerous, but when ignoring the simmering tension that sparks whenever they are around each other becomes impossible, he brings out a side of her she never knew existed.

Some things should never be kept quiet…

But when Avery starts receiving threatening emails and phone calls forcing her to face a past she wants silenced, she’s has no other choice but to acknowledge that someone is refusing to allow her to let go of that night when everything changed. When the devastating truth comes out, will she resurface this time with one less scar? And can Cam be there to help her or will he be dragged down with her?

And some things are worth fighting for…

My Review:
Avery is desperate to escape her past, and her neglectful parents, so she enrolls in college in West Virgina. Sweet and innocent, she’s still struggling to deal with the events from five years ago that irrevocably changed her life forever.

She literally bumps head-first into Cam Hamilton on Day 1, and they both feel an instant attraction. Initially weary of him, due to his player reputation, she comes to enjoy his company and has to fend off his near-daily requests to take her out. Cam was so sweet in the way he did this, and the protective manner he displayed towards Avery.

It’s very obvious what happened to her, but we don’t hear the full story until the latter part of the book. We also find out that Cam is harboring his own secret, and he’s scared that Avery will take off running for the hills when she finds out.

The romance plays out like a lot of JLA romances – constant flirtations, near brushes, getting together and falling out etc, but ultimately they end up together and you can see how perfect they are for each other.

The themes are quite dark in this novel, it’s definitely not for young teens. I thought Jennifer handled the traumatic event that Avery experienced very delicately, and the emotions she experienced were very real. I could totally imagine how she would feel the way she felt, and her fear of intimacy was completely understandable. I loved how Cam was so patient, and so willing to wait for her until she was ready. Always willing to put her needs above his own. Her parents on the other hand, made me want to hurl.

As usual I raced through this :)And I loved it. I’ve always felt that Jennifer writes romance so well, now I can add sex to the list.

The only thing I didn’t like was how Cam called Avery sweetheart all the time. Now this is kinda signature Jennifer. Daemon called Kat Kitten, Seth called Alex Angel etc. To me ‘sweetheart’ is something a sleazy old bloke says, not a hot young stud-muffin. It just felt so unnatural for Cam to call her this. It’s my only gripe though, and it’s really minor.

Jennifer has been quoted as saying she writes books very quickly – I believe she wrote this in 20 days. I’m in awe of her talent. As a writer I wish I could deliver such quality so quickly. I’m holding out hope that she’ll master the art of writing a book a day so that I constantly have a JLA book in my hand. That would be the stuff dreams are made of!! (Laughing at my own cheesiness!)