Escaping Me by Elizabeth Lee.

17854029Escaping, Book One

402 pages

Published July 3rd 2013

 

After catching her boyfriend stepping out on her, Whitney decides to spend the summer with her mum and sister in the country. Their easygoing, loving ways are so different from life with her rich father and socialite stepmother. Whitney can already begin to feel herself unwind.

When a tattooed stranger rescues her from an embarrassing heatstroke pass out, Whit’s mum is quick to suggest her daughter find this guy and find a way to thank him.

Cole doesn’t think a girl like Whitney could ever go for a guy like him, and is determined to keep her at a distance. But it isn’t long before they are succumbing to the sparks flying between them. They have a whole summer to be together – but maybe one summer isn’t enough.

 

Escaping Me was a very enjoyable read. The drama was never over the top, and the romance plodded along nicely. Plus, the country-style setting really worked for me.

I loved the fact that instead of Whitney’s mum freaking out about some tattooed crew-cut guy bringing her daughter home unconscious, she tells Whitney how ‘yummy’ he was, and suggests that she track him down.

I thought that the dialogue between characters was really engaging, and had me not wanting to put the book down. The characters themselves were great – I really liked them. Cole is definitely a ‘bad boy’ and Whitney is a sorority chick, so they have a nice little opposites attract thing going for them.

By the time I’d turned the last page, everything that stood in the way of their relationship had been resolved. And that’s always good.

This was a nice, light New Adult read. I’m keen to get into the next book, which is about Whitney’s younger sister.

My Rating: 4/5

Goodreads Rating: 3.98/5

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

Crush by Lacey Weatherford.

16045855Crush, Book One

eBook, 332 pages

Published October 20th 2012 by Moonstruck Media

Cami is a good girl but Hunter is not a good boy. He’s new to town, but the rumour mill already has him pegged as a druggie and a player.

Still, Cami can’t deny that she has a crush on him. And it seems like the feeling is reciprocated.

As the two of them hang out and become closer, Hunter wages war with his inner demons. There’s a secret he’s keeping that could destroy their relationship, and he really shouldn’t be putting Cami in that position, but he just can’t help himself.

Meanwhile, there’s another stumbling block in their way – Cami’s best friend, who’s decided that now is the best time to profess his undying love for her. But when she doesn’t return the sentiment, he turns totally, weirdly, crazily jealous and possessive.

 

Crush starts out with both of the leads already crushing on each other, and their relationship moves forward pretty quickly from there. I liked the way this was done because the rest of the novel would have been too rushed if we’d had to watch an initial meeting and all of that before getting to the crushing.

Cami is very likeable. She’s the smart girl who also happens to be like catnip to all the guys – only she doesn’t realise it. Hunter is also likeable as the sweet and smokin’ bad boy who woos her.

Crush is set in high school, so it’s young adult, but it’s closer to the new adult end of the scale then the teenybopper end (the second book is set in college, so I imagine it’s even more new adult-y).

I could kind of see what was going to happen with some things, but it was still exciting to read, plus there was a twist that I didn’t see coming at all. Nothing was revealed too quickly, so it keeps you guessing. I found that as the book went on, the more enjoyable it became. At first, it reminded me of books from the eighties and nineties, like I Know What You Did Last Summer, because the dialogue was kind of dry and proper like it was in those books. But it seemed a lot more natural after a while.

Crush ended up being pretty different then what I expected, but it was also better than I expected. I’m looking forward to continuing on with this series. I just read the blurb for book two, and I am super keen!

My Rating: 4/5

Goodreads Rating: 4.02/5

Beautiful Broken Mess by Kimberly Lauren.

18307792Broken, Book Two

eBook, 238 pages

Published November 9th 2013

Jace has kept a secret from his twin brother Jaxon for a very long time. A secret about a girl with a very tumultuous past with Jax – Audrey. She may have ‘forced’ Jax to marry her because she was pregnant, and then been dumped when it was discovered that the baby wasn’t even his, but there’s more to that story than anyone knows.

It was Jace who first met and became interested in Audrey. And who knows what would have happened if she hadn’t walked into a party and kissed Jaxon, thinking he was his brother? But now, years later and despite all the confusion and heartbreak, Jace and Audrey finally have a chance to be together. But how will Jaxon take the news, when it goes completely against their bro code?

 

Beautiful Broken Mess shows us Audrey’s whole story. Including recounts of the parts of Beautiful Broken Rules where she showed up, telling them from her perspective, which paints them in a totally different colour. So if you read the first book and then thought ‘ugh!’ when you saw that Audrey was the leading lady in the second book don’t worry – she’s not the horrible person you may think she is. As for me, I actually liked the idea of Audrey being redeemed. I’ve always liked that sort of thing in novels.

Audrey is a pretty cool chick. She’s had a hard life, and has only recently really started to become the woman she’s destined to be. She’s growing up, and moving on.

I loved Jace in the first book. He was like a big teddy bear – he reminded me of this guy I grew up with. He still has that big brother thing going on with his mates girlfriends, but when it comes to his own girlfriend, he’s pretty much exactly like Jaxon – possessive and jealous (maybe slightly less so than his bro). I was hoping he’d be different, but I still liked him.

Unlike BB Rules, BB Mess is written from two perspectives – Jace’s and Audrey’s. I quite liked that. It was shorter than it’s predecessor as well. There were similar amounts of graphic content – once again, I found there to be a good balance.

It’s really hard for me to pinpoint my main problem with this book. I feel like it maybe didn’t do Jace and Audrey justice. Their romance was the main focus, but then the story became about the whole group of friends. By the time I finished, it was more about a happy ending for everyone, rather than just the two people it was mainly about. I think that their actions became a little too rushed by that point. The ending was a little too cute for me – sweet to the point of a toothache, you know?

Read this if you enjoyed the first book.

My Rating: 3/5

Goodreads Rating: 4.30/5

Painless by Devon Hartford.

18191219The Story of Samantha Smith, Book Three.

eBook, 547 pages

Published January 30th 2014

Painless concludes the love story of Christos and Samantha.

Christos is fighting for his freedom, and even though Sam could help solve the problem for him, he refuses to let her in.

Meanwhile, Samantha is still in the middle of a war with her parents about the whole art thing – they want her to become an accountant, and have cut off some of their financial support. When she still doesn’t change her major back from art, they add even more pressure to her situation.

And even as Christos and Samantha solve some of their issues, there are more heading their way…

 

Having just finished Painless, I have an overall good feeling about this book. There was a good ending, with plenty of scope for more books surrounding the same cast of characters. I’m hanging out for a book about Tiffany, an old family friend of Christos’ and a current enemy of Samantha. Mostly we only saw her as a total bitch, so it will be interesting to see other facets of her personality.

In my reviews for the previous two novels, I don’t think I ever mentioned Sam’s friends. There is the extravagant Romeo – a young gay man who dresses like a suave vampire. Kimiko, who loves to draw anime and would really like to be an artist, but whose parents want her to be a doctor (unlike Sam, she is actually doing what her parents want, but doesn’t seem to mind so much). Madison, a cool beachy freshman, is Sam’s best friend (her boyfriend, Jake, is also in it a little). The dialogue between all of the friends is very lively, but also very crude (especially when Romeo is around!). There have been a lot of sexual references throughout all three books. A lot!

I so appreciated the fact that there was never a love triangle in this trilogy. There were people who were interested in Christos and Sam respectively but neither of them ever acted on anything. I loved that the author came up with more original causes for conflict.

There was plenty of drama in Painless, but also plenty of happiness. Sam is a completely different woman than the nineteen-year-old girl we met at the beginning of Fearless.

I would recommend this series to fans of cheeky new adult romances.

My Rating: 4/5

Goodreads Rating: 4.29/5

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