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Review: Third Degree

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Third Degree
Third Degree by Julie Cross
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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Perfect. This is the perfect young adult, coming of age book. The balance between funny, sweet and sexy, touching and heartrending is one of the best I’ve read. It’s Doogie Houser M.D. meets Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory meets E.R. all rolled up in the female form of Isabel Jenkins.

Third Degree grabbed me from the first word, the first character actually, and never let go. Julie Cross’ writing style had me laughing in my ass off, feeling so much for Izzy and Marsh, I was hot and bothered, swooning and crying. Their story kept me up at the wee hours of the night.

At the tender age of eighteen, her extraordinary mind granted her a license to practice medicine. Her lack of emotional and social development put her career on hold. She hashes a “weird plan to be normal.” Deciding to have a regular college experience under the pretense of being Izzy Jenkins, normal eighteen year old she meets perfect looking and charming Marshall Collins. Their instant chemistry and banter had me smiling.

“Let’s get you moved in, Isabel.”
“Izzy,”
I correct him… “thanks for helping, Marshall.”
He stares at my hand before deciding to shake it. “Marsh.”
“You name tag says Marshall.”
“And your registration says Isabel.”

I fell in like with both of them immediately. Her completely inadequate actions and comments delivered in a factual, non emotional monotone at the very worst possible moments had me in hysterics. But I also felt her misery and sorrow, because despite her astonishing intellect she knew she was lacking and wasn’t confident she could fix it.

Marshall is magnetic. His endearing personality shone through with an easy going nature and thoughtfulness. He knew Izzy’s secret and plan and actively sought to help her. Case in point: “Izzy’s educational to do list,” made up by him with the help of his younger sisters, awww right? We get to meet them later on, together with his parents and older brother and witness the great relationship with his very supportive family. But he’s hiding something from Izzy. Something that could potentially shatter the emotional connections they’ve made or bring them closer together.

Even though there was an on the spot attraction, their relationship isn’t rushed. I enjoyed them getting to know each other and slowing finding out that they were good for one another. Especially when their back and forth got cute, playful and even nerdy.

“Was the weak attempt at hitting me with a shoe a movement or responsiveness? With many species, the mating process starts with a little squabble. Are you trying to create offspring with me Izzy?”

Besides the book’s wonderful pace, plot and character development, the debunking of medical myths via Twitter by Izzy was great entertainment hilarious.

There was a moment when Izzy felt empty and lonely. At the end of the book I felt the complete opposite, filled with the warm fuzzies and close with two new book friends. This book definitely goes to my favorites and must read young adult.

5 HUGE stars

Note: I was given an ARC of this book for an honest review from Netgalley. The excerpts are from that copy.

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Review: My French Vanilla

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My French Vanilla
My French Vanilla by D.L. Kelly
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A sweet and delightful story of two people that find themselves later in life.

I really want to congratulate D.K. for having the idea and courage to write about and older an couple. It’s refreshing, especially when most of what you see is New Adult.

My French vanilla is about recently divorced Suzy, who in her fifties is planning to enjoy her life and freedom. When she enrolls in a cooking class with her best friend/aunt Jackie, she discovers freedom is for the birds because Suzy and her incredibly attractive teacher Robert, fit together like puzzle pieces from the start.

It is charming and enjoyable insta-lust and love connection between the two. But there are certain things like total trust, I personally don’t give to someone I’ve known for a handful of days. Additionally, I felt Suzy’s reactions were adolescent in a fuck it! YOLO (You only live once) kind of way, that clash with my idea that the older we are the more mature and wiser get. So I had trouble relating with her character.

May be it’s because I still have a few years to go. I do hope that I am that lucky when I get older, especially regarding the sex drive. These two had lots of it and were creative to boot.

Robert was perfectly perfect, perhaps a bit too much in order to be believable. But one can dream.

This book is perfect if you’re in the mood for a light, cute and sexy read. It’s not a short story or novella but it’s short enough to be read in one or two sittings during your weekend.

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Review: Full Measures

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Full Measures
Full Measures by Rebecca Yarros
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.5 -4 stars

This book was sweet, tender and provided a swoon worthy hockey player! It is 100% New Adult so it was sexy but not over-the top smutty like other NA titles out there.

A story about acceptance and the strength we need to overcome fears and change our life plans, so real and true love can ultimately be embraced.

December is sweet young girl in college. She has her life planned out: a gorgeous boyfriend who she wants to marry, a career path in art, everything is planned out to the last detail. She is on summer break when the dreadful knock on the door comes to shatter her family. Her Dad is in the military and he is DOA. She swears she will not end up like her Mom and grows a bitter distaste for the military.

Enter, Josh Walker, hockey player and coach o pewee league, were December’s little brother plays. He was popular in high school and December had a huge crush on him, along with many other girls. He enters her life in that sad moment and becomes her “whatever”.

Josh was utterly sweet; December ends up as his next door neighbor and they go back and forth until she gives. They fall for each other hard but things are not easy when December finds out Josh was keeping something very important from her.

“Please fight for this, Ember. We are worth the fight. I love you, and that’s something I’ve never said to any girl. I love you more than hockey, or the air I breathe. You love me, too!”

December has to overcome her fears and accept what’s in front of her. I sometimes felt she was a little immature, but I got her, I understood her. She took long enough to accept Josh without reservations.

The writing was very good, it kept me interested until near the end were I had the unnerving urge to slap ember and skim pages to very end 
I will read more from this author. Hopefully we will get a book on Jagger!! Yum!

“Just let me love you, December, because I can’t stop anyways. I’ve been at your mercy since I was eighteen.”

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Review: On the Fly

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On the Fly
On the Fly by Catherine Gayle
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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Trust. Can we function as individuals and as a society without it? On the fly is a gripping story about a woman trying to trust a man in a world that has only let her down and a man trying to trust himself in order to get and hold on to what he wants.

Catherine has a way of writing that will pull you into her characters’ lives from the start. She deals with a very real although difficult subject that had me fighting back tears of anger, frustration, understanding of a mother’s need to protect her children and regrettably being powerless to do so sometimes.

She writes characters that are very relatable and a story that has just the right pace with a very real development of a relationship between two people that are good for each other.

Rachel and Brenden meet while he fights to keep his place on the team and Rachel to keep her family afloat.

I fell in love with Brenden’s gentle and not so gentle persuasion and determination to be part of Rachel’s life and achieve his professional goals. I understood Rachel’s reluctance to let go of her fears and admired her strength and resolve to give her kids the best life possible.

I wanted her to trust me. I wanted her to believe that she and her kids were safe with me. I wanted to kiss away all the tension and fear keeping her from letting me in ~Brenden

“People in my life have always let me down, hey break their promises, they push me away when I need help, or they become something far worse than I even imagined. It’s what I expect, so I don’t know what to do with you. I keep waiting on you to be like everyone else.” ~ Rachel

You can’t help but fall in love with the secondary chars, from Rachel’s kids, Brenden’s family (who made me laughing hysterically with their matchmaking antics), all the players and their wives and kids, and especially Babs.

The story is filled with action packed excitement during the incredibly well described games. It feels like you’re skating and playing right along these amazing athletes. It’s great even if you’re not a hockey connoisseur like me.

The book is written in dual points of view, so you get a better understanding of both character’s mindset. It could be read as a standalone, but I strongly suggest it be read in order after Breakaway.

I can’t wait for the Seduced by the Game release. Which is an anthology of hockey romance novellas. Proceeds for a year will be donated to Hockey Fights Cancer and guess who Catherine’s novella is about? YES non other than Jamie Babcock and Katie Weber.

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Review: Destroyed

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Destroyed
Destroyed by Pepper Winters
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is hard book to rate and review. Why?

Probably the way implausibility and reality crash during the development of the story.

I understand perfectly that this is a Pepper Winters book. Having said that, I know I am going to read a much darker story, with a very tortured/damaged hero, who ultimately “heals” to the extent he can actually heal, thanks to Love, sex, BJ, orgasms, understanding and determination provided by a unique, strong woman who will not cower. Therefore, the story is borderline dark-romance/science fiction/psychological thriller with a dose of sad and sappy.

If I review and rate this book strictly a dark/contemporary romance, I would not give it more than 3 stars. Why? Probably the way things happen in the beginning, the whole “encounter” between the main characters and their dialogue was redundant and truth be told, somewhat ridiculous. But, if we take the whole picture into consideration and, understand from the beginning that you will be reading something that is pure and utter fiction with pretty implausible scenarios, the you’re good to go and FEEL, really feel the book and the emotions it provides. In this case, it is definitely a 4 star read!

I don’t want to provide a summary of the book because I don’t like giving away important details. Pepper Winters slowly uncovers truths and past events during chapters, and she warns the reader that things eventually fall apart (as they should). But in the end things do get better!

Obsidian/Roan Fox is very, very damaged (I don’t want to say psychotic) but underneath he want’s to be normal. He’s conditioned to kill and that conditioning hunts him every day of his life. This is the part I consider kind of sci-fy; truth be told, with his background, what he really needed was a psych ward and medications, lots and lots of therapy (years), love and probably that way he could lead a “normal” life. But since we live in fiction fantasy land, all he needed was love, sex, love and more love, a strong will and … I can’t say but you need to read the epilogue.

Kill.
Sever.
Bleed.
Devour.

Hazel was a walking, talking contradiction. I kind of got her, but sometimes I just didn’t understand her decisions. She learned a lot, and finally she understood how to help Roan and what he needed. Her journey was full of bumpy rides and, she had to put up with being in danger constantly. She was also damaged, more that we knew at the beginning and she was also a lost soul, grieving before her time.

The story was worth it; I loved the dark side of it, and the story behind Roan’s past. I also loved the emotions it bring while reading; I literally wept like a baby during certain events and I was relieved and joyful in the end.

If you are looking for something different and, you can stomach mild dub/con, and somewhat graphic violence this is a story you will like!

“She thought she could fix me, and I wanted her to. Too bad it would never have a happy ending.”

“I’m not a Ghost. Not anymore. I’m just a man searching for a way to be human again.”

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Review: Bad Things

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Bad Things
Bad Things by R.K. Lilley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars Buying Link: http://amzn.to/1f4y16u

A great and emotionally charged book by a very talented author. R.K. Lilley does not disappoint and Bad Things is anything but! It’s a great read even if you don’t know about Tristka (yes, that’s my name for Tristan and Danika) from the Up in the Air series. But it’s even better for us that do.

The book starts out fun, sexy and charming with two characters that are difficult not to love.

Tristan has dimples people! Need I say more? Yes? Ok, he is a sex on a stick rocker, tattoos included. He cooks and bakes, is seriously competitive and is oh so kind and considerate.

Danika is a saucy, sarcastic knock out, who’s not afraid to dish out shit when needed but totally in control of herself unless she’s on a dance floor.

Inevitably the story turns to passion but not before it gives us a sweet, heartwarming feeling. Because while fighting to not give into their obvious attraction, Tristan and Danika find they are their perfect match.

“Don’t kiss me,” I told him, my voice a breathless rasp.
“Mean it,” he said, crowding me into the cornor of the pool. He tilted my chin up with his finger.
“I can’t,” I gasped.

R.K. Also does a wonderful job at giving us a bittersweet ending that leaves us wanting more.

I look forward to continuing Tristka’s love affair, wanting answers to big and small questions, hoping achingly for a happily ever after and let’s not forget, to read more of great supporting characters like James and Frankie.

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Review: Lana

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Lana
Lana by R.K. Lilley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars Buying Link: http://amzn.to/1nUfrVj

After reading about James and Bianca and truly linking their story I was eager to know more about the other characters that were introduced to us.

Getting to know Lana and Akira, about their back story and how they got they’re happily ever after have been on my top to-read list.
With Lana’s book I got exactly what I wanted. It just wasn’t what I was expecting.

I don’t want to spoil anyone so I’ll just say that both Lana’s mouth and mushiness, and Akira’s reaction as opposed to take action personality were different from what I imagined.

I’m really looking forward to Bad Things 🙂

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