A MONSTER LIKE ME by Pamela Sparkman

Heart of Darkness series #2

HELLO STRANGER by Lisa Kleypas

The Ravenels series #4

THE BUTTERFLY PROJECT by Emma Scott

Companion to the Full Tilt series

MEMPHIS by Ginger Scott

A standalone sports romance

UNWRITTEN by Jen Frederick

Woodlands series #5

Cross My Heart by L.H. Cosway

Hearts series #5.75

MOONSHADOW by Thea Harrison

Moonshadow series #1

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Review: One Day in December by Josie Silver


A love story about what happens after you meet, or rather, don't meet the one.



Synopsis

Laurie is pretty sure love at first sight doesn't exist anywhere but the movies. But then, through a misted-up bus window one snowy December day, she sees a man who she knows instantly is the one. Their eyes meet, there's a moment of pure magic...and then her bus drives away.

Certain they're fated to find each other again, Laurie spends a year scanning every bus stop and cafe in London for him. But she doesn't find him, not when it matters anyway. Instead they "reunite" at a Christmas party, when her best friend Sarah giddily introduces her new boyfriend to Laurie. It's Jack, the man from the bus. It would be.

What follows for Laurie, Sarah and Jack is ten years of friendship, heartbreak, missed opportunities, roads not taken, and destinies reconsidered. One Day in December is a joyous, heartwarming and immensely moving love story to escape into and a reminder that fate takes inexplicable turns along the route to happiness.



Purchase Links


ABOUT THE AUTHOR


JOSIE SILVER is an unashamed romantic who met her husband when she stepped on his foot on his twenty-first birthday. She lives with him, her two young sons, and their cats in a little town in England called Wolverhampton.

Follow her: Facebook | Twitter


REVIEW


One Day in December
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Title: One Day in December
Series: Standalone
Author: Josie Silver
Release date: October 16, 2018
Cliffhanger: No



The potential angst in this book, combined with the beautiful illustrated cover were the biggest drawing points when I spotted One Day in December. I've never read a book by this author before, but the total package being presented was appealing to me in every way, so I had to have it. Based on the blurb, I knew I was taking a risk because it seemed to be a bit of a love triangle, and honestly I avoid those books like the plague. Not to say I could never read one that I'd like, but from my experience, the vast majority are not enjoyable so I don't fight the odds. However, my curiosity got the better of me, and I went all in. Thankfully, I can say with all honesty that though that trope is present in the first half, it's not the overwhelming feel of the book. Not at all. I would describe this story as more of a friends to lovers trope, minus the lovers. And that's probably what ended up being the biggest disappointment.

Love at first sight is the other trope that can be found in the story. This is another one that doesn't always work for me, but if the author can sell it to me, my squishy romantic heart will happily beat double time. Realistically, it is a little far-fetched that a woman locks eyes with a man outside while sitting on a bus, and hears a metaphorical choir of angels singing true love. I'm not sure it felt completely genuine to me at that point, but it did seem as if she had a massive crush at first sight. And I won't deny that was exciting and a little bit exhilarating to feel the giddiness she experienced.

For months, Laurie daydreamed about fate bringing them together again, fall into each other's arms, and live happily ever after. I didn't ever feel that Jack felt the same, probably because from the moment she set eyes on him again, he was very happily in a committed relationship with Sarah. If you can believe that someone can be in love with two people at the same time, perhaps it's possible. Maybe Jack did love her at first sight, and loved her with the same intensity he loved Sarah. I just didn't feel it. Which in turn, made me not care too much about the fact that they were separated and unable to be together. They were pushed firmly in the friend zone, that friendship grew over time, and Laurie eventually had to let go of her idealistic dream she had when she briefly spotted him first. In fact, it was actually their friendship over time that made me believe more than anything that they could eventually be more if not for their circumstances.

From the very start, it seemed as if Jack and Laurie were fated to remain friends. As we're led through the ups and downs of his relationship with Sarah and Laurie, it was almost like walking through a minefield with them. There's a wistful feeling from both, as if they have a "what if" thought in the back of their minds. But really, how could it ever go anywhere? After four long years of sustaining a serious relationship, Jack and Sarah split up, but now the friend code comes into play! Throughout the years, I didn't feel much romantic angst. And unfortunately that's what I was going into this looking for. It's very hard to feel romantic angst and a tangible connection between two people who are making a valiant effort to be happy with other people. Over and over, for a decade. Poor choices are made, and there are hurt feelings all around with the trio, but did I root for them to get together? Not really.

It would have greatly changed my feelings if less detail were put into this couple's relationships with other people, and we were given more page time seeing Jack and Laurie together. I felt shorted on their actual romance. The end is undeniably rom-com perfect and movie worthy. But it was all too little, too late, for this reader. I struggled between a rating of a two and three. Two is my overall feel for the romance and the characters, and yet there is an addictive quality about the book that held me captive. I flew through its 400 pages almost in one sitting, and the humor was especially noteworthy. I would definitely read another by this author, but it was clear by the end that while I was entertained and intrigued, this time around I was not charmed by the romance.


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Saturday, October 13, 2018

Review: The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter by Hazel Gaynor




FROM THE BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF THE GIRL WHO CAME HOME AND THE GIRL FROM THE SAVOY COMES A NOVEL INSPIRED BY THE EXTRAORDINARY STORY OF A REMARKABLE YOUNG WOMAN.



Synopsis

“They call me a heroine, but I am not deserving of such accolades. I am just an ordinary young woman who did her duty.”

1838: Northumberland, England. Longstone Lighthouse on the Farne Islands has been Grace Darling’s home for all of her twenty-two years. When she and her father rescue shipwreck survivors in a furious storm, Grace becomes celebrated throughout England, the subject of poems, ballads, and plays. But far more precious than her unsought fame is the friendship that develops between Grace and a visiting artist. Just as George Emmerson captures Grace with his brushes, she in turn captures his heart.

1938: Newport, Rhode Island. Nineteen-years-old and pregnant, Matilda Emmerson has been sent away from Ireland in disgrace. She is to stay with Harriet, a reclusive relative and assistant lighthouse keeper, until her baby is born. A discarded, half-finished portrait opens a window into Matilda’s family history. As a deadly hurricane approaches, two women, living a century apart, will be linked forever by their instinctive acts of courage and love.




Purchase Links
HarperCollins: https://bit.ly/2OmkLUs




ABOUT THE AUTHOR



Hazel Gaynor is a New York Times bestselling, award-winning historical novelist, who lives in County Kildare, Ireland with her husband and two children. Her 2014 debut historical novel The Girl Who Came Home—A Novel of the Titanic hit the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists, and went on to win the 2015 Historical Novel of the Year award from the Romantic Novelists’ Association in London. Her second novel A Memory of Violets, was also a New York Times bestseller, and her third, The Girl from The Savoy was an Irish Times and Globe & Mail bestseller, and finalist for the 2016 Irish Book Awards. Her releases in 2017 – The Cottingley Secret and Last Christmas in Paris (co-written with Heather Webb) both hit the Canadian Globe & Mail bestseller list.

All Hazel’s novels have been received to critical-acclaim and have been translated into eight foreign languages to date. Hazel is represented by Michelle Brower at Aevitas Creative, New York.

Follow her: Pinterest | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter


REVIEW


The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Title: The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter
Series: Standalone
Author: Hazel Gaynor
Release date: October 9, 2018
Cliffhanger: No
Publisher: William Morrow


    Like a curious child pushing open doors to rooms they are forbidden to enter, I tug on the distant threads that connect me to them, determined to unravel the tangled knots of the past so that I can find the place where their story ends, and mine begins.

This was my very first Hazel Gaynor book, and I absolutely loved her writing style. A lot of historical fiction begins a bit dry and takes time to engage me, but Gaynor's storytelling feels effortless from the start. Her immersive seaside landscapes are brought to life in vivid detail, from the briny air to the white capped waves crashing on the shore. As these two women leave their footprints on the sand, you walk right beside them as their courage and strength are challenged. The story is told in two timelines, one hundred years apart. The biggest draw was the female centric duo-plotline, highlighting women living in very different time periods but connected through common life experiences. Love, loss, and finding your path in life.

In 1838, we are introduced to Grace Darling, a real life heroine who lived at Longstone Lighthouse in England with her family. Gaynor blends fact and fiction seamlessly, creating a hint of a mysterious romance underneath the story of her heroic rescue. When the S.S. Forfarshire wrecks during a bad storm, Grace and her father succeed in a daring rescue that lands her in every newspaper immediately afterwards. We experience her range of emotions through this troubling attention, none of which are happy. She is a humble woman who revels in the simplicity of her life, in the solitude and duty that comes with running the lighthouse with her father. The devastation and loss of the survivors haunt her, most especially Sarah, the woman who suffered more loss than any human should ever have to endure. Through Sarah, a surprising kinship is discovered which will test the direction she has chosen for her life.

1938 tells the story of Matilda Emmerson, a young woman sent to a distant relative's home in Rhode Island after finding herself pregnant, unwed, and disgraced. In the first few transitions to her POV, I was a little resentful of having to leave Grace's pages, but eventually I was equally invested in both. Matilda's story was increasingly investing as she not only uncovered her ties to the past, but uncovered truths long buried that would eventually rock her to her core. Matilda was a woman who was simply looking for love and attention in the wrong places after being ignored and stifled by her parents. She'd never felt acceptance or knew what it was like to be seen. She never felt as if she had the freedom to express herself, but prickly Harriet gives her a safe place to start choosing a life on her own terms. I really enjoyed seeing their relationship grow, especially as Harriet's own heartbreak is revealed. Their relationship is a rocky one that needs a lot of patience and care. In the end, they found something together that they each so desperately needed. Love, family, and purpose.

This book gently takes you through a lot of heartbreaks. Even though there was quite a bit of loss, it somehow never felt depressing. Gaynor conveys it in a way that felt inspiring and empowering. Highlighting the resilience of the human spirit, and honoring the many women who have been brave enough to fill such a dangerous profession. She skillfully twined both timelines together in a way that made the fictional aspects feel organic with the history. For some reason, it didn't make me as emotional as I would have expected, and I couldn't really pinpoint why. However, I was fascinated to learn more about Grace Darling, and I fell in love with the author's beautiful way with words. I look forward to reading more from her in the future.


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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Blog Tour with Giveaway: Ever Lonely by Kimberly Lauren




Title: Ever Lonely 
Author: Kimberly Lauren 
Genre: New Adult/ Contemporary Romance 
Release Date: October 9, 2018 
Cover Designer: Kimberly Lauren 





Ever James is a platinum-selling rock star, who has purposely made a reputation for herself as the industry’s favorite wild girl. She’s been photographed partying hard and dating the hottest actors. She’s been caught in the middle of numerous wardrobe malfunctions and frequents the covers of gossip magazines with scandalous rumors of rehab, affairs and pregnancies. Only some are true.
She sings their songs. She poses for their pictures. She wears their clothes.
Until Rhett…
Rhett Grayson has one of the most sought-after spots in the New York subway system to play his music. Travelers fill his guitar case with enough money to pay his bills and buy a round of drinks for his friends every week. He has his own apartment in Manhattan. Who cares if he can touch the walls with his arms stretched out wide? It’s his.
When Rhett is unexpectedly asked to join Ever’s band as lead guitarist, will Ever be able to cope with a new bandmate who’s as infuriating as he is tempting? Can she show him it’s okay to step out of his comfort zone while he teaches her a thing or two along the way about staying true to herself?

Purchase: 
Amazon US: http://a.co/d/7jJzot0 
Amazon UK: http://amzn.eu/d/6zL7fna 
BN: https://goo.gl/jwp7Sw 
Kobo: https://goo.gl/YM6gcU 
iBooks: https://goo.gl/4tQiew









USA Today Bestselling author Kimberly Lauren started out life as an avid reader. Inspired to challenge the more traditional relationship roles she came across while reading romances, she decided to write the scintillating and celebrated new adult series Broken. Then went on to write the Ever James Band series. She currently resides in Texas with her husband and their sons.






Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Review: The Devil's Thief by Lisa Maxwell



In this spellbinding sequel to the New York Times bestselling The Last Magician, Esta and Harte set off on a cross-country chase through time to steal back the elemental stones they need to save the future of magic.





Synopsis

Hunt the Stones.
Beware the Thief.
Avenge the Past.

Esta’s parents were murdered. Her life was stolen. And everything she knew about magic was a lie. She thought the Book of Mysteries held the key to freeing the Mageus from the Order’s grasp, but the danger within its pages was greater than she ever imagined.

Now the Book’s furious power lives inside Harte. If he can’t control it, it will rip apart the world to get its revenge, and it will use Esta to do it.

To bind the power, Esta and Harte must track down four elemental stones scattered across the continent. But the world outside the city is like nothing they expected. There are Mageus beyond the Brink not willing to live in the shadows—and the Order isn’t alone in its mission to crush them.

In St. Louis, the extravagant World’s Fair hides the first stone, but an old enemy is out for revenge and a new enemy is emerging. And back in New York, Viola and Jianyu must defeat a traitor in a city on the verge of chaos.

As past and future collide, time is running out to rewrite history—even for a time-traveling thief.




Purchase Links



Start the series with The Last Magician!


The Last Magician


Stop the Magician. Steal the book. Save the future.

In modern-day New York, magic is all but extinct. The remaining few who have an affinity for magic—the Mageus—live in the shadows, hiding who they are. Any Mageus who enters Manhattan becomes trapped by the Brink, a dark energy barrier that confines them to the island. Crossing it means losing their power—and often their lives.

Esta is a talented thief, and she’s been raised to steal magical artifacts from the sinister Order that created the Brink. With her innate ability to manipulate time, Esta can pilfer from the past, collecting these artifacts before the Order even realizes she’s there. And all of Esta’s training has been for one final job: traveling back to 1902 to steal an ancient book containing the secrets of the Order—and the Brink—before the Magician can destroy it and doom the Mageus to a hopeless future.

But Old New York is a dangerous world ruled by ruthless gangs and secret societies, a world where the very air crackles with magic. Nothing is as it seems, including the Magician himself. And for Esta to save her future, she may have to betray everyone in the past.




ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Lisa Maxwell is the New York Times Best-Selling author of THE LAST MAGICIAN. Also of UNHOOKED, SWEET UNREST, and GATHERING DEEP. When she's not writing books, she teaches English at a local college. She lives near DC with her very patient husband and two not-so patient boys.

Follow her: Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram 


REVIEW

The Devil's Thief (The Last Magician, #2)
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Title: The Devil's Thief
Series: The Last Magician #2
Author: Lisa Maxwell
Release date: October 9, 2018
Cliffhanger: Yes


    At her side stood the Magician. Once he had been her enemy. Always he had been her equal. Now he was her ally, and she had risked every thing to come back for him.

After reading and loving The Last Magician this year, I couldn't have been more excited about getting an arc of the second in the series. Book one ends in quite the cliffhanger, so obviously I was eager and excited to continue with Esta and Harte's incredible adventure.

Fantasy lovers will find so much to love about this series. Lisa Maxwell knows how to pack in the action at a nail biting pace, and plenty of suspenseful, pulse pounding moments. The unpredictable twists are sure to keep you hanging on until the very end, because you know that at some point she's going to deliver a jaw dropper. But the biggest draw for me? The time travel trope. Add magic into that scenario, and I am one happy reader. This series has all the ingredients for my perfect happy place, but it didn't all come together as well as I was hoping this time around. I was still a solid and enjoyable read for the most part, but I did have some frustrations that took away from my enjoyment.

We take off right where we left off at the end of The Last Magician. Esta and Harte have succeeded in their heist at Khafre Hall, and now must make it past the Brink and collect the five artifacts that were sent into safekeeping. Or at least, that was the plan at the time. But we all know that plans don't seem to work out so well for this pair, and it was never more evident than in this installment. The Ars Arcana book holds power and knowledge that would be cataclysmic if it falls back into the wrong Sundren's hands. Unfortunately, Harte has unwillingly transferred the energy or power inside himself, and this causes some monumental challenges for the pair.

    The dark choir merged into a single voice, one that was speaking in a language he should not have recognized but understood nonetheless. A single word that held untold meaning. Soon.

There are two alternating timelines: 1902 & 1904. But we get a ton, and I really mean a TON of POV switches and new characters. Jianyu and Viola were not in the forefront of the story in the previous book, but they definitely shared the spotlight here, feeling much less like secondary characters. Jianyu is tasked with keeping Cela safe, as well as stopping Logan from reaching Nibsy with invaluable information. All this while keeping out of the hands of those who betrayed Dolph, and the ever sinister Order. Jack has a strong ascension into power, as well as the new leader of the Devil's Own. Viola places herself into the Five Pointers' gang, at her brother's mercy in order to gain information and bide her time. She will find a new love interest as she plots to destroy the Order by whatever means necessary.

1904 introduces us to a whole new set of challenges, created by a chain reaction of mishaps with Esta and Harte. The Anistasi anarchists have now entered the scene, and their intentions are murky at best. It takes some time to decide if they are friend or foe. Ruth, Maggie, and Lucas are new intriguing characters that have their own score to settle, and the appearance of Harte and Esta may be an interference they couldn't have anticipated. Everyone is on their guard, watching their backs and holding their cards close to their chest.

    True power was the ability to bend others to your will while they thought the bending was their own idea.

Here's the thing: the world building quality Ms. Maxwell produces here is notable, and her ability to keep a time travel plot free from holes is truly impressive. BUT...the length. The length of this book was problematic. I'm not one to complain about a book being too long, especially a fantasy. In this case, the book started out strong, but slowly deteriorated in pace. I would describe the middle chunk of this book as stagnant. There was little to no progression with the characters, it was simply hopping from one character to another at a frenetic speed where they never seemed to achieve any of their goals or noticeably move things forward.

Failure after failure kept occurring, bad luck following everyone like a black cloud ready to unleash a storm. After a certain point I started to become frustrated at how little success had been gained. In fact, they were worse off in every regard than when they started. Like there was a lot of filler content simply to fill time or set up the next book. Yes, Harte did finally understand more about the power inside the book and himself, and what they were up against. But in regards to their original mission at the start, it seemed to all crumble like a house of cards.

Esta and Harte had some hints of a romance brewing in book one, and I was really looking forward to seeing that develop more. There was constant back and forth between them, a lot of repetitious internal pining or a moment of weakness, followed by a surge of the darkness inside of him, and then retreat. It never produced any change in their relationship, any chance for romance was slimmer than ever before. Viola's love interest had considerable development in comparison, with the promise of even further growth. I have to say, I was more than a little surprised that she was falling for someone so soon after grieving that deeply for Tilly, but it was at least not an insta-love situation.

In the end, while there were no inconsistencies, my main issue was the pacing and progression. It held my attention in parts, but there were long lags were I struggled and my attention wandered. My favorite things about this part was seeing more depth from Viola and Jianyu. Their past and present were fully fleshed out, and it endeared me to both of them so much more. As always, I loved the Mageus and their many varied talents, as well as the time travel and how it potentially influenced the course of the future. We didn't leave off in the most positive of places, so I'm anticipating that it's still going to take a lengthy conclusion to wrap the series up. I'll be really interested to see how she brings everything to a close with all of the new information brought to light.


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Monday, October 8, 2018

Review: Fight or Flight by Samantha Young


A series of chance encounters leads to a sizzling new romance from the New York Times bestselling author of the On Dublin Street series. 


Synopsis

The universe is conspiring against Ava Breevort. As if flying back to Phoenix to bury a childhood friend wasn't hell enough, a cloud of volcanic ash traveling from overseas delayed her flight back home to Boston. Her last ditch attempt to salvage the trip was thwarted by an arrogant Scotsman, Caleb Scott, who steals a first class seat out from under her. Then over the course of their journey home, their antagonism somehow lands them in bed for the steamiest layover Ava's ever had. And that's all it was--until Caleb shows up on her doorstep.

When pure chance pulls Ava back into Caleb's orbit, he proposes they enjoy their physical connection while he's stranded in Boston. Ava agrees, knowing her heart's in no danger since a) she barely likes Caleb and b) his existence in her life is temporary. Not long thereafter Ava realizes she's made a terrible error because as it turns out Caleb Scott isn't quite so unlikeable after all. When his stay in Boston becomes permanent, Ava must decide whether to fight her feelings for him or give into them. But even if she does decide to risk her heart on Caleb, there is no guarantee her stubborn Scot will want to risk his heart on her....



PURCHASE LINKS
Google Play – http://bit.ly/2HMQquM
BooksAMillion – http://bit.ly/2ElvARC
Amazon UK – http://amzn.to/2HMVAqG


REVIEW


Fight or FlightFight or Flight by Samantha Young
My rating: 2 of 5 stars


Release date: October 9, 2018
Cliffhanger: No
Publisher: Berkley

I had such high hopes for this book, and I genuinely thought I was going to love it when I started. Sadly, I left the book feeling nothing but angry and disappointed. There were so many things that didn't work for me, and the first one being where it all started: their one-night stand. Let's think about this a minute. If you encounter a man on a flight who is unbearably rude to you and makes you furious...how then do you go from that to that same night wanting to sleep with him?

    I tried to remember how only a few hours ago I didn't even like this guy. But that was hard to remember when he was so yummy and Scottish and talking to me in that accent.

They were both snapping and insulting each other on the flight and not a fun bantering sort of way. From their first interaction, their hate was mutual and fierce. If it was just a misunderstanding or a bad first impression, that's one thing. But no...he's consistently ill-mannered and selfish throughout the book. Her initial reaction towards him is understandable because she had just come from a very emotionally and physically draining funeral. Her patience was at an all-time low. What was his excuse? She dresses in high end clothes and she's well put together, so clearly she's a carbon copy of his despicable ex-fiancé. He continues with this unfair judgement of her during their short term affair while he's in town.

“You’re not my type. Your hair, your makeup, your clothes, your attitude. You’re too beautiful and you know it. And yet I’m desperate to have you again.” I glowered, hating him and hating that my body was still hot and flushed and needy for him even after he’d said that to me. “I hate you.” His jaw clenched, fire flashed in his eyes, and he growled, “Good.”

Honestly I was keeping an open mind throughout this, but as they really got into their casual sex arrangement, it became glaringly clear that she was putting herself in a really unhealthy situation for herself. As her past is revealed about the total lack of love from her parents, and the way her ex betrayed her, I was sad for Ava. All of the important people in her life (with the exception of her current best friend) have caused her to believe that she is nothing but a beautiful, empty shell. Pretty to look at, but nothing of substance on the inside. And here she is with this man who only reinforces that belief by wanting nothing from her beyond her body.

    When I looked back on it, he never complimented me on anything but my face and body. He never told me I was smart or funny or kind. He’d always just whispered in my ear about how beautiful and sexy I was, how he loved my eyes, my smile, my legs, my ass. You get the picture. I’d just been so eager for the affection that I’d never noticed his preoccupation with my appearance.

He's a coward. To the extent that he had to retreat at the first sign of any warm feelings towards each other because she might get ideas about what it meant. He only reluctantly agreed to add friends into their benefits after she tried to tell him she was done with him, knowing it was unhealthy. They can be friends, as long as she understood that it didn't mean anything. This is a theme through the book: it doesn't mean anything.

That brings up one of the scenes I hated most. After the constant we are just sex mantra, he goes back home. They were never exclusive. He never contacted her while he was gone, and six weeks later when he suddenly reappears, he expects to pick up where they left off. Imagine his distaste when he finds out that she can't see him for sex the next night because she has a date. He treats her coldly and blows up, asking if she's had sex with the other guy. This, coming from the man who doesn't want her. BUT NO ONE ELSE CAN HAVE HER! She needs to pine away and wait for him to return. Pining in a sexual haze, not an emotional one, because that would be bad and scary. Of course, addicted to his talents in bed, she rushes to his place to tell him that she wants to now be exclusive friends with benefits.  After being gratified she didn't go on the date, he immediately bends her over the couch for sex, and makes her feel so worthless that she starts crying. At this point, I was so extremely frustrated and mad!! Why? Why is she giving this person so much of herself, fighting so hard to hold onto someone who doesn't have the courage to face his feelings or show her that SHE MATTERS? I love angst as much as the next person, this angst is created from her getting hurt over and over by him.

After she finally gets him to open up to her about his past, he can't deal with that so he:

1) Ghosts her like the total coward he is, which makes her run to him in needy desperation to tell him that she loves him.

2) Protects himself rather than treating her with care. He hurt her in the cruelest way possible, saying exactly what will break her the most. All that mattered is making her go away.

I was holding out on judgement until his past was revealed, which to be honest, it took quite a long time because he didn't want to share anything of himself with her. After learning what it was, I was left very confused as to why this was supposed to excuse how he treated her from beginning to end.

The one thing that I loved and adored was Ava and Harper's beautiful friendship. It was an emotional bond between the two of them that really hit me right in the feels. Their complete and utter support for one another, their understanding and unconditional love made me tear up on more than one occasion. I wish I could have felt that for Ava and Caleb, but some books are not for you, and this is clearly one of them.

When it comes down to it, I just don't find this type of hero appealing, and he pushed every single button I have that turns me off. I know many people go for hate sex, douchebags, and friends with benefits, but there wasn't anything about this story I found to be romantic or loving. Many things made me uncomfortable about their non-relationship, including the underlying message in her acceptance of his behavior. That we can accept rude, offensive, hurtful behavior if they're hot and good in bed. Even at the very end after his epic mistreatment of her, she never made him work for her to get her back. This didn't sit right with me at all.

Some books of Samantha Young's have been an enthusiastic five stars for me, and others were just the opposite. There seems to be no in between with me for this author. Unfortunately, this one was a miss. I do seem to be in the minority for the most part, so take this for what it's worth. Simply one small fish's opinion in a big ocean of reviewers.


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