The Perfect Game by J Sterling.

15783307The Perfect Game, Book One

eBook, 379 pages

Published October 1st 2012

Cassie is a junior in college. She spent her first two years back home at a community college to save money, but now she’s at a big college with her best friend and loves it. When she meets Jack Carter – the baseball hero of her school – she is instantly repulsed by his man-whore ways. He, however, feels the complete opposite way, and pursues her relentlessly until she goes out with him.

Fast forward a little bit, and Jack has turned a new page. He has given up spending time with all other women and is falling in love with Cassie.

Both have trust issues, and have little experience with relationships, but they tread carefully, and try to build a solid relationship together. But it will be a truly rocky road indeed, especially when Jack’s professional baseball career is just around the corner, meaning they will have to work extra hard while being apart from each other…

 

First of all, I loved the way that the romance was written. It was sweet and unrushed. It was nice. Then some other stuff happens. Woah. Imagine you are wandering around a beautiful garden, enjoying the view, relishing the scent of flowers with your eyes closed and then – WHAM! – you run into a tree! You grasp your pounding head with your hands and stumble around a bit before – THUNK! – you run into another tree! And then another one! Time passes, you are still in terrible pain, so someone just shoves a band-aid onto your throbbing noggin, claiming that it is all fixed. It is not all fixed! The pain is still there! A band-aid is not enough to heal this! That, for me, is what this book was like: Pleasant beginning, shocking dramatic conflict, and a reconciliation that didn’t sit well with me. I mean, really? I know that you’ve had time to think about this, but you aren’t going to make them work a bit harder? What happened to your trust issues? (It’s so hard for me to keep the details vague – I really want to rant…)

Having said that, I did enjoy this book. And I will continue on with the next one. I kind of care about these characters and want to see what’s going to happen to them. (I don’t think the storm has fully passed yet…) I liked the way it was written, too. The graphic stuff was done well and kept in moderation, which I always appreciate.

Read this is you like dramatic new adult romances with sporty twists.

My Rating: 3.5/5

Goodreads Rating: 4.02/5

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Reckless by Devon Hartford.

18189224The Story of Samantha Smith, Book Two

eBook, 385 pages

Published October 8th, 2013

Reckless continues the romance of Samantha and Christos (Adonis).

Sam has decided to change her major to Art, but when she tells her parents they totally flip, but still manage to find a way to use the situation to their advantage. Suddenly, Samantha has to fight a whole harder for her dreams.

Christos is very busy with his painting, and is making a good name for himself in the art world. But there’s something he has been hiding from Sam, something that has the capacity to ruin their future together.

 

Reckless tackles the part of a relationship that a lot of books probably don’t show: what happens when the honeymoon phase ends. Though they love each other very much, real life is calling and Christos and Sam have to answer. They have less time for each other and have to find ways to deal with that.

The tone is more mature than in Fearless – Sam has grown up a lot. There’s also a lot more graphic content (!). The plot is very loose, and single events are explored in great detail.

Samantha has matured a lot, and her confidence is much higher in this book. She’s finally finding the pluck to stand up to her controlling parents and chase her dreams.

Christos writes from his point of view at times throughout the book, and we get to enjoy the fact that he really is a one-woman man now. He continues to give dreamy soliloquies to Samantha that speak volumes of his undying love. He is very dramatic and comfortable in his own skin – totally confident. But you also see his darker side…

Reckless was a good follow up to Fearless, and sets up the next book really well. I can’t wait to get stuck into Painless!

My Rating: 4/5

Goodreads Rating: 4.26/5

Fearless by Devon Hartford.

18132789The Story of Samantha Smith, Book One

Kindle Edition, 381 pages
Published July 26th 2013 by Devon Hartford

Samantha Smith is running away from her old life. Back in DC, she was a total goth, still suffering from a tragedy that had happened two years earlier. Now, in her first year at college in San Diego, she plans to put all of that behind her. She’s got a new wardrobe and a new attitude.

When a towering god of a man hops off his motorbike and rescues Sam from a road-rager who was probably about to punch her lights out, she is grateful, but figures she’ll never see him again. Until, lo and behold, there is he at her college.

Adonis is a bad boy and a player. He’s the sort of guy that her parents would freak out about. They are sensible, and want her to be an accountant because it will be a stable future for her. They don’t care that Sam is into drawing, and dreams of focusing on art. But Adonis does.

Sam knows he is off-limits, but she can’t help liking him. Nor can she completely keep her past troubles in the past.

 

I found Fearless really refreshing. I don’t know if I was just in a good mood when I started reading it, but I couldn’t stop snickering. Samantha has a really honest and funny voice. The tone of the book is still a bit high school-ish, at least to begin with. But remember that this is only Sam’s first year at college.

The romance between Adonis and Sam is a bit different to what I’ve seen before. Sure, there’s a bad boy trope, but something about it seems original to me.

Sometimes Sam is a bit whiny. And she can be very insecure and jealous. She’s probably pretty realistic, actually. Plus, she matures as the book goes on. And as for Adonis – he is your classic cocky bad boy on the outside, but once you get to know him you see how different he is, and how much he cares about Sam. Also, when they fought, he didn’t get angry, or run away and get all proud (I’ve seen that in a lot of New Adult novels!), he just stayed and they worked it out. It was really nice.

I’m definitely going to be continuing with this series. I’m intrigued as to where it’s going to go.

My Rating: 4/5

Goodreads Rating: 3.92/5

 

Beautiful Broken Rules by Kimberly Lauren.

17729712Broken, Book One

eBook, 375 pages

Published May 13th 2013

Emerson (that’s Em to you, thanks) knows that she is the school slut. She likes guys, and guys like her. But she never wants to get into a relationship, or get married, ever. So she has three simple rules:

1) Never sleep with a guy a friend has feelings for.

2) Never sleep with a guy who has a girlfriend.

3) Never sleep with a guy more than three times.

She had no problem sticking to these rules, until Jaxon showed up, that is.

He’s the best friend of her best friend who recently moved with his brother from Texas. He’s stunningly hot, an amazing football player, and he lives next door. Plus, he seems to get her.

Em looks forward to being with Jaxon, thrice and no more. But soon everything gets complicated. She likes him too much, and although he respects her three main rules, he keeps finding ways to sneak around her unspoken rules. With Jaxon, Em can be Emerson – someone so different from the image everyone has of her.

Is it time for Em to finally put away her rules and become someone’s girlfriend? Is her heart capable of such a thing?

 

I have this habit of buying a lot of indie ebooks all at once and then just forgetting what they’re about. So I have to look them up again when I’m figuring out what to read next. I was checking out Beautiful Broken Rules on Goodreads, and it has a lot of really good reviews. I can definitely see why – It was really good.

I feel like there was a really good balance when it came to the graphic stuff, like sex and swearing. It was there, but it wasn’t in your face or over the top. I liked that. Also, although there was drama, it wasn’t too crazy, either. Plus, there were heaps of really cute moments. The dialogue wasn’t too cheesy and there were some sweet romantic gestures.

I love Emerson. She’s so different from me, but I could still relate to her. And Jaxon was a swoon-worthy male lead, but maybe a little too possessive. I actually loved his twin brother Jace best of all – he’s such a sweetie (I hope he’s in the limelight of the next book). Quinn and Cole, Em’s best friends, are really cool too. Together, the five of them make up a tight group of friends.

You see Em grow and change throughout this novel. She matures and figures out how to be whole again. She is the way she is because of a tragedy in her past. She has to try to move past her pain before she can truly let anyone in.

If you’re a fan of college New Adult romance, then give this one a go.

My Rating: 4/5

Goodreads Rating: 4.27/5

The Love Game by Emma Hart.

17341522-1

Book One in The Love Game series.

321 pages

Published March 29th 2013 by Emma Hart

Maddie is the gorgeous unattached girl from Brooklyn. Braden is the definitive player/man whore. Maddie and her friends decide that someone needs to teach Braden a lesson – they want Maddie to make him fall in love with her and then dump him. She hates him deeply but agrees for some reason that even she isn’t privy to. Braden and his friends bet that Bray should try to get Maddie to fall for and have sex with him within a certain time frame. He thinks she’s completely hot, so has no problem trying to get into her pants. They each have a month to complete their task. Meanwhile, Maddie’s got family issues – like the fact that her loser brother is asking for money again.

What happens if Maddie and Bray fall in love for real?

What I liked about The Love Game: *There weren’t issues/troubled pasts/etc from both main characters, and Maddie’s family issues weren’t treated like some massive secret – sometimes I feel like all the drama gets a bit much in these type of novels, so it was good to not have too much ‘troubled past’ stuff going on. *The old ‘bet to get the girl/guy’ plot is an oldie but a goldie, so no complaints from me on the storyline. *I liked reading from both Maddie and Braden’s point of view – I usually like this style in any book!

What I didn’t like about The Love Game: *So many unnecessary f-bombs – I might know a few people who swear every second sentence or so, but in this book it’s practically the entire cast! They need to wash their mouths out with soap! *Sometimes the writing style seemed a little unsophisticated. *I hated the way that Braden always calls Maddie ‘angel’ – right from the beginning! I was like, Excuse Me, but she has a name, would you mind using it? I guess I am not such a big fan of pet names (once my sister sent me a text that was meant for her husband and she called him this cutesie pet name – I pretty much gagged. So not my thing!). *The other thing I don’t get in this string of good-girl-gets-the-bad-boy/mega-player type novels that I have been reading, is how there’s always a guy that every single girl seems to be going on heat for. I mean, really? Are there guys that hot and alluring out there that girls will turn on each other to get a piece of them? I’ve known really good looking guys, but girls don’t act like it’s mating season around them. I don’t know, it just bugs me.

I know my list of stuff I didn’t like is much longer than the list of stuff that I did like, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy The Love Game. It’s certainly one of the more forgettable new adult books out there, but it’s an alright read. I think that I’m intrigued enough to go on and read one of the other couple’s stories in the next installment of the series.

My rating: 3/5

Goodreads rating: 4.04/5

Redesigned by Denise Grover Swank.

17788557Book Two in the Off the Subject series.

294 pages

Published June 10th 2013 by Createspace

Fashion major Caroline has a plan for her life: find a man to marry who will make plenty of money to support her so that she or her future children are never wanting for anything. She comes from a very poor family and never wants to feel the hunger or longing that comes with being destitute again.

Unfortunately, she is already in her senior year and all the men that she dates are completely wrong for her (and sometimes they’re real idiots, too). When she meets Reed Pendergraft the attraction is immediate – they drive each other crazy, and not only in the good way! He is pompous and argumentative, and Caroline can’t help but argue back. They are most definitely hot for each other – but Reed is a math major who wants to become a college professor and therefore won’t make much money. He doesn’t fit Caroline’s criteria for the perfect man at all.

Meanwhile, Caroline has been chosen to be on the committee for the college’s fashion show. And guess who else is there as a facilitator? Reed Pendergraft, as well as his sweet little sister who Caroline can’t help but like. How long can Reed and Caroline really last without succumbing to their attraction? Does she need to reevaluate her plans for the future?

 

Redesigned is kind of the opposite of After Math. Rather than spending ages getting to know each other before anything physical happens like Scarlett and Tucker did, Reed and Caroline pretty much get straight to the physical stuff. Also, since we already knew a bit of Caroline’s back story from After Math, that leaves Reed to be the cagey one. You can tell he’s hiding something straight away, and you don’t get answers until close to the end of the book.

Caroline’s point of view is a lot easier to read from than Scarlett’s. Sometimes while reading After Math, I’d find myself sighing and getting a bit distracted, but Redesigned is much more fun and better paced. Also, (I keep comparing the two novels, but I can’t help it) the physical stuff in After Math seemed kind of … passionless. But Redesigned handled that side of things much better.

Reed’s big reveal was good in theory, but thinking back, I wasn’t sure if the character it pertained to acted appropriately throughout the novel. Then again, everyone reacts to things differently, so how should I know?

All in all, this was a very enjoyable and readable novel. If you read After Math and thought ‘I’m not going there again!’, try this anyway because it is very different.

My rating: 3.5/5

Goodreads rating: 4.25/5

After Math by Denise Grover Swank.

17270349

First book in the Off the Subject series.

250 pages

Published March 12th 2013 by Createspace

Scarlett is an introverted math major with social anxiety issues. She is in her third year at Southern University and has her heart set on working for the CIA. She works at the math tutoring lab a couple of days a week, and is asked to privately tutor Tucker Price – the golden soccer guy. She knew of Tucker before she was semi-forced into tutoring him, everyone did, but she only knew of the bad boy, ladykiller, sports god persona he puts on display. Right from the first time they meet, Scarlett treats Tucker like any other person – something that he is not used to but can’t get enough of.

Scarlett continues to tutor Tucker, while they slowly start to trust each other more and reveal more about themselves – both have troubled pasts that haunt them and shape who they are. But as close as they get, Scarlett can’t quite believe that anything romantic will ever come of it – she thinks she’s too broken to ever be loved.

 

Scarlett is such a serious, shy, anxious kind of chick. She thinks through everything, and constantly explains how she’s feeling and why she’s feeling that way. I know she’s a left brainer, but reading from her point of view felt a little dry or bland sometimes. I think that if this was the first Denise Grover Swank book that I had read, I may not have gone on to read more. But since I’ve read Twenty-eight and a Half Wishes, I know that not all of her books are like that. I guess it’s a good thing that she stayed so true to Scarlett’s personality.

The romance is very slow building. Tucker and Scarlett have a lot of personal issues that they need to work through first. But even when the romantic side of things kick off, it’s a little underwhelming and rushed. After they got together, there were moments when I was like, ‘huh?’ I just didn’t get the strange way that the pair were acting. But once again, they are both new at relationships, so there you go.

All in all, it was a pretty good read. It’s certainly not one of the best new adult novels out there, but I am interested enough to read the next book, which is from Scarlett’s roommate/best friend Caroline’s point of view.

My rating: 3/5

Goodreads rating: 3.83/5