Review for Seth & Greyson (The Coincidence #7) by Jessica Sorensen

Seth & Greyson by Jessica Sorensen

TITLE: Seth & Greyson
SERIES: The Coincidence #7
AUTHOR: Jessica Sorensen
PUBLISHER: Independent
PAGES: 300 pages
SOURCE: Via Author
RATING: 4 bows

Seth has been betrayed by everyone he cares about and he can’t hang around after such an event. Early summer semester at college is his best option and so off he goes to college he goes. It really was a great decision for him because he meets Callie and they become fast friends. Bonding over the shitty ways of the world. The fall semester starts and he meets Greyson. Greyson is everything he could want, but after all the betrayal, Seth hesitates to really be with Greyson. With Callie’s encouragement, Seth knows he is going to have to get over his fears and make the commitment leap, if he can just leave his fears behind.

I think I speak for everyone when I say that this is novel I have been waiting for. I love Callie, Kayden, Violet, and Luke a lot, but Seth was a favorite character of mine from the very start. Seth’s character is just what we expect. He’s smart and sweet and so concerned about Callie that it melts my heart even more. He is so scared of the past repeating itself that he has trouble moving on. The decision to be open about his life choices in public is a hard one when he knows it’s not all going to be rainbows and sunshine. There are many stupid and close-minded people in the world, something Seth knows first hand. It’s an infuriating thing because the world has come so far in accepting homosexuality and yet there are so many out there who think they have the right to judge and call it wrong. What’s so hard to understand about love being love? Beyond that, it’s nobody’s business who anyone else decides to be with! Sorry, mini-rant over. It’s just a touchy subject for me.

I loved Greyson already, but it was interesting to get more of him. I loved being about to see inside his head. He’s smart and strong and comes from an incredible family. Greyson has more or less lived the dream for a boy coming out. He’s parents were very supportive and his hometown wasn’t as closed-minded about it. He has no horrors in his past like Seth does. Even so, he is incredibly understanding of Seth’s fears and goes out of his way to try to help assuage them. He’s exactly the type of guy Seth deserves.

What I loved about this was not only finally getting to see through Seth’s eyes, but also getting to see more of the rest of The Coincidence cast. I’m very character driven and Sorensen excels at creating an entire cast of people that I love and want to see more of. I don’t know how she does it, but she never fails to make me care about her perfectly flawed characters…even the ones I despise, like Delilah from the Nova series.

Seth and Greyson’s relationship progresses at a reasonable pace, but was a bit hot and cold. Seth has every right and reason to be cautious, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t want to shake him a time or two for being so stupid. Even though Greyson wasn’t happy about it, he was understanding and would have been happy to keep things quiet if that was what Seth needed. I know that Seth’s reasons for avoiding a relationship were deeper than normal fear, but it still bugged me…a lot. I’ve never been a fan of that on again off again thing, so it always bugs me even if there is a logical reason for it.

I was a little worried when I started this that it would spoil me for some of the rest of the series. I’ve only read the first three and I was apprehensive about skipping three books to read this one, but I’m happy to report that it spoils nothing. I do recommend that you at least read The Coincidence Of Callie & Kayden before this or it will spoil that storyline, but I don’t think it will have an impact the rest of the series.

This novel is exactly what I was hoping for when I heard about the possibility of a storyline for my favorite side character. It’s smart and sweet and not overly dramatic. It has the romantic moments we were all imagining as we read The Coincidence, but with enough conflict to really feel like a well-rounded story.

****Thank you to Jessica Sorensen for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review****

4 bows
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Review for Flat-Out Celeste (Flat-Out Love #2) by Jessica Park

Flat-Out Celeste by Jessica Park

TITLE: Flat-Out Celeste
SERIES: Flat-Out Love #2
AUTHOR: Jessica Park
NARRATOR: Tavia Gilbert
PUBLICATION DATE: May 22, 2014 / January 28, 2015
PUBLISHER: Independent / Flat Finn, Inc
PAGES: 336 pages / 8 hours 43 minutes
FORMAT: Audiobook
SOURCE: Review copy via Wordsmith Publicity
RATING: 5 bows

Celeste Watkins finds high school to be the most trying part of her life. Every day she is surrounded by people who don’t know her and don’t really care to. She is surrounded by people who don’t really care about getting a education as much as they care about getting through this phase. The fact that she speaks a little differently and has very little social finesse doesn’t help matters any. She is certain that if she can just make it to college, everything will be different. Kids in college are more educational focused, right? Then a chance encounter with a college sophomore offers up a bit of hope. Justin Milano is just as odd as she is and with each responded email, he pulls her a little more out of her solitude. Together they might be able to save not only each other, but two other people who mean the world to Celeste.

I loved Celeste immediately. She’s so smart and dedicated and I can definitely relate to the low people skills dilemma, though maybe not on such an extreme level. Beyond being majorly intelligent, Celeste is also sweet and kind and more lonely than she’d care to admit. Her little quirks are what quickly endeared me to her. I love her aversion to contractions and the love of research. It’s really hard not to empathize with her in many moments because she is forced to keep up a charade of being socially accepted at school to prevent her parents and brother from worrying over her, but she’s really an outcast. Who wants to be friends with the girl who throws off the grading curve? The one who does so ridiculously well on the class presentations that no one else will even come close to that level of success? No one and therein lies the problem. Once she receives that first email from Justin, watching her banter back and forth and attempt to ease some of his obvious distress for how his emails are turning out, I feel a bit in love with this girl. She’s awesome, just as she is, and the thought that the world wants her to change infuriates me.

I was head over heels for Justin almost immediately. He’s the perfect match for Celeste. He’s a better at interacting with people, but he’s over-energized and that leads to many an awkward moment. He’s smart and so very sweet. He goes out of his way to make her feel comfortable and she does the same for him. There is a great scene with spilled sodas that just melted my heart. Just trust me on this, k? He’s awesome.

This is one of those novels that you read (or listen to, in my case) and absolutely adore but can’t seem to articulate why exactly you love it. It’s intelligent and witty and cute and emotional and heart-breaking and all the feels! Portraying a character like Celeste is a very thin line to walk and Park pulls it off flawlessly. From the moment I started listening, I was hooked. I wanted more of Celeste and Matty and Justin and the whole world Park has created for us. I have not yet read Flat-Out Love or Flat-Out Matt yet, but I desperately want to at this point. This novel can definitely stand on it’s own, but I think the ending will have a bit more meaning for those who read the previous novels. It was still sob-inducingly romantic from my perspective, so I can’t imagine how much more powerful I would have felt if I was even more attached to Matt and Julie.

Speaking of Matt, can I have a brother who is so devoted to me? I mean, seriously, this guy goes through hell to make Celeste’s life more bearable and I love him for it. He’s a big part of why I want to read FOL. I’m even more excited now that I know exactly how his relationship with Julie will end up.

I had relatively high expectations when I started this. I have heard/read great things about this series (and about Park’s writing in general) and I was dying to see what all the fuss was about. I can honestly say I wasn’t disappointed. This novel is one I will be recommending to everyone I know because it’s perfect, absolutely perfect. I wish I could lay it out in more detail for you than that, but I just can’t. If you like contemporary YA romances with a touch of heart-break and an ending so imperfectly perfect that it makes you cry, then this is what you want to pick up.

Audio notes:
Tavia Gilbert was the perfect Celeste. I’m just a little worried about how I’ll react to her in other novels because she just seems so perfectly Celeste that I might have trouble believing her as anyone else. I hope that isn’t the case because she’s pretty awesome. She has a great voice with good pronunciation and timing. She gives you just enough time to absorb what she has laid before you before continuing on with the story without being overly slow. I know Audible allows you to speed up or slow down your narrator but I just don’t like to do that. I like to listen at the pace the narrator sets. I also think the narrator feels a bit choppy when using those features so I avoid them. Regardless, Tavia was great and I’ll definitely be checking out more of her work in the future!

****Thank you to Wordsmith Publicity and Jessica Park for providing me with an audio copy in exchange for an honest review****

5 bows
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Review for Unbeautiful (Unbeautiful #1) by Jessica Sorensen

Unbeautiful by Jessica Sorensen

TITLE: Unbeautiful
SERIES: Unbeautiful #1
AUTHOR: Jessica Sorensen
PUBLICATION DATE: December 23, 2014
PUBLISHER: Independent
PAGES: 300 pages
FORMAT: ebook
SOURCE: Purchased
RATING: 5 bows

Emery’s was raised to be the perfect daughter. Pretty and obedient, she knows better to ever question her parents or act anything less than perfect in public. Now, at 18, she is leaving for college, against her families wishes. She’s not going far, a mere hour away, but the freedom is enough to see that the world she has been raised in is drastically different than the outside world. Ryler looks like the typical bad boy. He’s tattooed and pierced and plays the strong silent card pretty well. That’s pretty easy for a mute guy to do. Society has labeled him as dangerous and he is determined to get away from that label and start over. Step 1? College far from home. And then he bumps into Emery and the connection is immediate. She dumps shredded paper on his head and the few tidbits he read astound him. It’s like she is writing directly to him. As the two are drawn together, will their pasts tear them apart or will they fight to stay together?

Emery was entirely astonishing. This girl has been abused for her entire life and she never even realized that there was any other way. There are loving parents out there who don’t strap their kid to their beds each night?
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It’s a shocking concept, I know. It’s hard for someone like me to really imagine a life like that, but Sorensen does her usual amazing job of putting me in Emery’s mind. She walks a fine line of raging against the abuse of her life and feeling honor-bound to keep her families secrets. Her fear is completely understandable. Her crazy family is definitely capable of killing her should she spill their secrets, but you just want to see her escape this life. Her attraction to Ryler is immediate. He’s her opposite in so many ways, but they have so much in common. Also, the fact that this girl has never listened to music just flabbergasts me. No music? Nothing? No stupid pop phase? No epic moment of realization when you listen to your first great rock song?
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The torture is bad enough. The emotional conditioning and the meds and forcing her to be with someone she really has no interest in, but to deny that simple pleasure? I have no words. I cannot fathom people this cruel and I hope to hell I never meet anyone like them. If I have one aim as a parent, it’s to be nothing like them.

Ryler’s past isn’t much better. Bounced from foster home to foster home until he gets sent to juvie for something that is misconstrued by everyone. But that’s in the past and he can’t change that. He can look to the future and do whatever necessary to ensure a better one. If that means being an informant and having to do things he doesn’t like to get there, then so be it. You have to give the boy props for his dedication to that end. Living with a record, especially one proclaiming you are violent, is far from easy. Even though Emery’s past is much worse, you can’t help but sympathize with him. He just tries to do what is right and help those he cares for and gets punished in return. He knows getting close to Emery is something he should avoid. The life he leads right now, it’s not on he would want her involved in, but those words and the haunted look in her eyes makes it impossible to stay away.

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I totally didn’t realize this was The Coincidence adjacent. I kinda felt like a moron because I didn’t realize this even after reading scenes containing both Violet & Luke.
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I know, I’m the lowest form of stupid. It wasn’t until Greyson and Seth showed up that the light bulb clicked on. Seth? Greyson? OH! Violet! Luke! I haven’t yet finished The Coincidence series, but I’m glad to see you guys will work it out…eventually.

At this point, I wholly believe that it is impossible for Jessica Sorensen to write a story I won’t love. She’s a master of the contemporary romance/new adult genre. She knows exactly how to reel you in and then hit you where it hurts. Especially with cliffhangers. I am very happy I never tried to read this before I got my grabby hands on the sequel because that ending was not good. In fact, had I not already had book 2, this might have gotten demoted a star. But, I did have the sequel and I recommend you do as well before attempting this story. I finished this on my kindle and immediately pulled up the next book. There was no waiting period or allowing the fact that it was already 1 in the morning to prevent me from finding out what happens next.

This novel is exactly what I’ve come to expect from Jessica Sorensen, which is awesome. Unbeautiful lives up to it’s title. It’s raw and ugly and heart-breaking, but beautiful anyway. Ryler & Emery have a lot to overcome before they can really be together, but it’s worth it in the end. Trust me, I’ve already finished the next book and they make it to their happily ever after. What more could you ask for?

5 bows
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Review for Untamed (Unbeautiful #2) by Jessica Sorensen

Untamed by Jessica Sorensen

TITLE: Untamed
SERIES: Unbeautiful #2
AUTHOR: Jessica Sorensen
PUBLICATION DATE: February 27, 2015
PUBLISHER: Independent
PAGES: 296 pages
SOURCE: Via Author
RATING: 5 bows

In Unbeautiful, Emery tried to escape her family’s boundaries. She moved out and went away for college. Unfortunately, since she refuses to return home, her family has brought their rules and restrictions to her. The ex-boyfriend reappears with strict family orders that she will date him and the one guy she thought she could trust has betrayed her more than anyone. Ryler is her new bodyguard and the fact that he has been working for her father this entire time just breaks her heart. She was out on her own and her family still manages to control every part of her life. Her father has a creepy way of knowing exactly what is going on in her life and now she knows why. Ryler has been reporting back to him with her every move. But Ryler didn’t betray her as much as she thinks and he has no choice but to follow her father’s orders. The sooner he finds that gold information that the feds are looking for and can get out of this situation, the better. But the more he sees the abuse they put on Emery, the more he knows he needs to find a way to get her out of this life as well. Can they both escape their pasts or will it continue to haunt them?

Emery and Ryler are pretty much the same characters we fell in love with in Unbeautiful. We get to see a little more of Emery’s crazy side and a lot more of her worries now that the secrets are out in the open, but she’s still that girl who has been abused by her family in unbelievable ways. Ryler is much more tortured here because he’s new “job” requires him to lie to Emery and the tension between them is killing him. Gone is that easy way they had with each other before the truth was known. Gone were are the days when Emery would confide in him. She sees him as the enemy now and he is desperate to change that.

This is definitely not one of those books you can jump into without reading the first one. If you don’t read Unbeautiful first, you’ll be confused beyond belief. This series has quite a bit more mystery and suspense than I’m used to with Sorensen, but she wears it well. Unbeautiful left us with so many unanswered questions and Untamed does it’s best to answer most of them. We finally find out what really happened with Emery’s brother and how her father is so all-knowing when it comes to her new life. We do (eventually) get to see things heat up again between Ryler and Emery. That doesn’t happen for a while. It takes a lot for Emery to trust Ryler again, after what feels like the ultimate betrayal.

I was a little surprised to learn that this was just a duology. I’ve come to expect much longer series from her and I worried a little that she wouldn’t be able to condense everything that needed to be covered into just two books. That worry was stupid of me. I should know by now that Sorensen is capable of writing goal that she sets her mind to and this is no exception. Though I was still left with a question or two, I was completely satisfied with this story. I now genuinely hope that Ryler and Emery don’t get another story because that would mean more turmoil for them and they deserve some peace and quiet.

This is one of those series that you spend your weekend hiding in your house to finish reading because you have to know what happens next. I read Untamed in a single day. I stayed super late Saturday night to finish Unbeautiful and get quite a ways into Untamed before collapsing from exhaustion. I got up the next morning and immediately pick it back up to keep going. I am not a fast reader, so for me to finish something in a single day is an accomplishment and that only happens with things I truly cannot put down. I should surprise no one, least of all me, that it happened here because Sorensen knows how to write exactly what I like to read. She’s truly a master of her craft and I bow down to her brillance. Emery and Ryler’s story is heartbreaking, almost to that Nova & Quinton level, and you cannot help but feel for them and hope that they get the best ending possible. And they do get it, so what more could you want? You get suspense, mystery, tension, romance, and an happy ending?

****Thank you to Jessica Sorensen for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review****

5 bows
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Blog Tour – Rebound (Boomerang #2) by Noelle August (& Giveaway)

Rebound by Noelle August
TITLE: Rebound
SERIES: Boomerang #2
AUTHOR: Noelle August (AKA Veronica Rossi & Lorin Oberweger)
PUBLICATION DATE: February 10, 2015
PUBLISHER: William Morrow Paperbacks
PAGES: 288 pages
SOURCE: Publisher via Edelweiss
RATING: 4 bows
BUY LINKS: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indie Bound
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At Boomerang, one night can change everything…

Noelle August has taken the New Adult genre by storm, and readers can’t wait to see what chaos, confusion, and connections arise at the Boomerang offices next.

Adam Blackwood has it all. At twenty-three, he’s fabulously wealthy, Ryan Gosling-hot and at the top of his game in the business world. His life is perfect, until a scandal from his past resurfaces and threatens to knock the tech wunderkind down and throw his company, Boomerang, a hook-up site for millennials, into chaos.

Alison Quick, the twenty-one-year-old daughter of a business tycoon—and the very ex-girlfriend of Boomerang’s former intern, Ethan—has a problem of her own. After nearly flunking out in her senior year of college, she has one chance to redeem herself to her father by proving that she deserves a place in his corporate empire. That means spearheading her father’s plan to sink big money into Adam’s company and launch it into the stratosphere—provided Adam has no skeletons in his closet.

When the two meet, their sizzling chemistry makes it tough to keep things strictly professional. But when Alison discovers Adam’s secret, she knows she should bring it right to her father, who’ll leverage it for his own gain and use it to ruin Adam. The only problem: she’s falling for Adam—hard.

Will earning her father’s approval come at the price of losing her first real love? Or can Adam and Alison leave behind past mistakes and conquer the world—together?


Ali laughs. Her gaze feels like sunshine on my back, but I don’t turn around. I pull my wetsuit up to my waist, adjusting myself so I’m comfortable. The cool Neoprene layer feels familiar and my body responds, my heart thumping hard, anticipation rushing through my veins. The prospect of the ocean always does this to me. This has nothing to do with the girl behind me.


Ali’s voice is close. Turning, I almost bump into her.

Her wetsuit is all the way on, which is good. And terrible.

“What’s up?” I ask.

She smells like suntan oil and peaches. This close, I see that her cheeks are turning slightly pink from the sun. With her hair pulled back, no makeup, and the wetsuit covering her completely, she looks better than she has all week at the office. Better than she did in the Catwoman costume. There’s something powerful about her now. The way her slender legs are planted firmly on the swaying boat, like she’s not trying at all. She’s at home on the water. This from an admitted equestrian. I can only imagine what she’s like with her horses.

“Sorry, but . . .” She smiles and points at her back. “My zipper’s jammed.” She turns around and pulls her ponytail up. “Can you help me out?”

“Sure. You want this on, right? Just want to be sure.”

I can’t see her face, but I know she’s smiling. “Yes. On please.”

I allow myself a moment to enjoy the way she looks right in front of me. Then I take the zipper leash, letting my knuckles drift over her back, just above the knot of her bikini.

If I weren’t completely focused on her, I’d have missed the way she curls slightly toward me.

Focus, Blackwood. Zip the wetsuit up.


Question: What do you get when friends pen a story with heart, plenty of laughs, and toe-curling kissing scenes? Answer: Noelle August, the pseudonym for renowned editor and award-winning writer Lorin Oberweger and New York Times bestselling YA author Veronica Rossi, the masterminds behind the Boomerang series. You can visit them at, @Noelle_August,


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Adam Blackwood has everything he could have dreamed of and more. He has looks, money, and a very successful business. Now, he needs capital to start up a new production company and that means convincing a rich and powerful man to had over the money. At task that should be simple. But it’s anything but when he sends his daughter, Alison, to do his dirty work. The more time he spends with her, the more he wants to open up about his past, but he doesn’t quiet trust her and he knows that a relationship with her will ruin his chances at an investment from her father. As for Alison, she’s just trying to make up for past mistakes and prove her worth to her father. She has one task to accomplish, get close to Adam and find out what he’s hiding. But the more time she spends with him, the more she doesn’t want to find the dirt for her father. She’s oh so very curious about Adam’s past, but she doesn’t want to hand it for her father on a platter. Can their romance overcome their issues or is their relationship doomed to fail?

I loved (LOVED) Boomerang, so I was hell bent on getting my hands on this book. I honestly didn’t care which characters this story followed, as long as I got more of that Noelle August magic. And I can’t say that I was disappointed!

Adam is the same character I remember from Boomerang, but obviously we get more depth from him here. He has that whole tortured past thing going on. He’s not interesting in relationships, just causal hookups, and he is always upfront with that information. The love of his life died and he sees no point in trying again for anything more than physical needs. That was an interesting view point. It’s one I’m seeing a lot of lately, but I still find it a bit fascinating. Anyway, the thing I liked best about Adam was his dedication to his company and his employees. It’s not just about building it up to be better so he can make more money, it’s also about these people who depend on him for their livelihood. He works hard to make sure things go right and he built Boomerang from nothing. This company is his baby and he will do whatever necessary to protect it. He’s unwanted attraction to Alison and the desire for more than just a hookup was hilarious to watch. He fights it, but we all know he’ll give in. This is, after all, a romance novel.

Alison was a character you weren’t meant to love instantly. She’s Ethan’s ex, you know, the one that cheated on him and broke his heart? I immediately didn’t like her. It doesn’t matter that Ethan has found someone much better for him in Mia, there were better ways to handle a breakup, if that is what she wanted, than the method she used. I am not a fan of cheaters. I don’t buy that bullshit line about not being able to help yourself. Maybe I’ve just never been swept away by passion, but I don’t find that to be an excuse. You an adult and you are in control of your actions. You know what the consequences for something like that will be. Beyond that, Alison does grow on you somewhat. She is in a bad situation, with a bully for a father and a pushover for a mother. She wants a better life for herself, but due to her father’s wealth, she’s used to a certain way of living and knows that a life away from her family wouldn’t afford her those luxuries. She’s not being snobby about it, but she doesn’t have the first clue on how to support herself and make a life of her own. When she meets Adam and starts to realize that maybe she’d like to find out, that’s when I started liking her. The moment when she starts thinking for herself and not just following Daddy’s orders.

My only problem with this was what happens after they get together. I can’t say exactly, but let’s just say things don’t go perfect right off the bat and I didn’t like the way either character handled that. Both jumped to conclusions and ran off, leading to irreversible consequences. I don’t know if that is a problem for me writing-wise because the author(s) led the characters that way, or if it’s a problem with the characters because that is what they would have done anyway, but regardless, it still bothered me. Beyond that, the writing and plot were almost as good as the first one.

I don’t believe this is quite the same level of awesome Boomerang was, but it’s a close second. I think I connected to the characters a bit more in Boomerang, but that is something I cannot control or predict. Either way, it’s the perfect follow up novel, giving us everything we’d expect in a sequel. You get decent characters, amusing antics, just the right amount of smut, and that happily ever after that we all crave. What more can you ask for?

****Thank you to William Morrow Paperbacks for providing me with an eARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review****

4 bows
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Blog Tour for After Us (Before & After #2) by Amber Hart (& Giveaway)

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After us by Amber Hart
TITLE: After Us
SERIES: Before & After #2
AUTHOR: Amber Hart
PUBLICATION DATE: December 30, 2014
PAGES: 368 pages
SOURCE: Blog Tour via NetGalley
RATING: 4 bows
BUY LINKS: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo

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“Beautiful, lyrical writing and a dangerously suspenseful plot. . .an unforgettable novel that readers will love.” –Lucy Connors, author of The Lonesome Young

Sometimes secrets kill. Maybe slowly, maybe painfully. Maybe all at once.

Melissa smiles. She flirts. She jokes. But she never shows her scars. Eight months after tragedy ripped her from her closest friend, Melissa is broken. Inside her grows a tumor, fed by grief, rage, and the painful memory of a single forbidden kiss.

Javier has scars of his own: a bullet wound, and the memory of a cousin shot in the heart. Life in the States was supposed to be a new beginning, but a boy obsessed by vengeance has no time for the American dream. To honor his familia, Javier joins the gang who set up his cousin’s murder. The entrance price is blood. Death is the only escape.

These two broken souls could make each other whole again–or be shattered forever.

Our time will come. And we’ll be ready.


Amber Hart grew up in Orlando, Florida and Atlanta, Georgia. She now resides on the Florida coastline with family. When unable to find a book, she can be found writing, daydreaming, or with her toes in the sand. She’s the author of BEFORE YOU, AFTER US, UNTIL YOU FIND ME, and sequel to UNTIL YOU FIND ME (untitled as of yet). Represented by Beth Miller of Writers House.

Contact Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | GoodReads

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Melissa is a flirt. The entire world is aware of this. What the entire world is not aware of is what she hides behind that flirty persona. They don’t know how broken and scarred she is. They don’t know the pain she’s suffered and what it’ll take to recover from the blow the world has dealt her. Javier is also scarred. He escaped from a life in Cuba without being forced into a gang, but that is exactly what he’ll do now. It’s been 8 months since MS-13 ratted Diego out and got him killed. In that time, Javier has made a decision. He’ll do whatever is necessary to find Wink, the asshole who is responsible for Diego’s death and take him out. Nothing else matters. To do this, he’ll need to talk to Diego’s girl, Faith, who witnessed his death. To get to Faith, he’ll need to befriend Melissa. What he doesn’t expect is his attraction to flair up so quickly and with such force. Can they make it work?

Melissa was a character I loved in Before You. She was always watching out for Faith and supporting her when she needed it. That made this so much harder because Faith has ran off. She left because she couldn’t take Diego’s death and now she’s not answering Melissa’s calls. Right when Melissa needs her, Faith has shut her off. Leaving Melissa to deal with her problems alone. It’s not that she blames Faith, but she needs her best friend. Those of us who read Before You, we know why Faith is avoiding Melissa. We know the truth Faith is hiding, but that doesn’t make this any less heartbreaking. Melissa is hard not to sympathize with. What she is going through is traumatizing and she just carries on like nothing is wrong. She gets up and goes to work and tries to take care of her debts.

Javier was a character I was on the fence about. On one hand, he has lost his best friend and that is hard to take. On the other, he is a damned moron. How is taking out Wink going to solve anything? Diego will still be dead. It won’t bring him back and it won’t bring you closure. It’ll just get you enlisted in a gang with the naive assumption you can get out with no consequences. His one shining point is his loyalty to his family.

His family, by the way, astounded me. The idea that any one woman would willing submit herself to the trauma of giving birth to 12 children is just crazy. Not to mention how much it costs to raise that many children. 12 mouths to feed plus Mom and Dad? How do you do that? The thought of the extra expense of a single child sends me into a mini-panic attack, much less 12. Beyond that, the pure racism and sexist nature of the household infuriated me. Javier’s mom flat out refuses to allow any of her children to date anyone who is not Latina. She will not accept a white girl or a black girl or a Native American or anyone but a Hispanic girl for her sons. Period. That is appalling. People have the right to love who they love, period. Love doesn’t know age (though relationships with a big age gap do kinda weird me out) or race or gender. The other thing is the fact that the girls are all pushed into the role of care-giver. It is the daughters responsibility to take care of the boys. Excuse me? Do we not live in the 21st century? Javier’s mom needs a serious reality check. Though the girls don’t seem to complain, I was floored by the role they were pushed into. What if the girls don’t want to cook and clean and serve the food? What if the girls want to play soccer instead? What if one of the boys wants to learn to cook? What is wrong with that?!?!?

This novel a great sequel to the first, though it doesn’t quite live up to the awesomeness that was Faith and Diego. I think that may have been because I wasn’t as big of a Javier fan as I was a Diego fan. It might also be because I know that everything Javier was doing was in vain. There is no reason to do these things. Plus, I think it’s incredibly stupid to believe there will be no consequences for joining a gang. To truly believe that you can join a gang and expect to get out without putting your family and friends at risk is fucking idiotic.

Besides being appalled with his family and not loving Javier quiet as much as I did Diego, this was a wonderful novel. Melissa and Javier have just enough tension to keep you begging for more. It’s a novel that is hard to put down, even when you are disagreeing with what the characters are doing. I recommend it to anyone who likes contemporary YA or fans of Simon Elkekes Perfect Chemistry series.

****Thank you to K Teen for providing me with an eARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review****

4 bows

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Review for Lila & Ethan: Forever And Always (The Secret #4.5) by Jessica Sorensen

Lila & Ethan: Forever & Always by Jessica Sorensen

TITLE: Lila & Ethan: Forever And Always
SERIES: The Secret #4.5
AUTHOR: Jessica Sorensen
PUBLICATION DATE: December 24, 2013
PUBLISHER: Forever Yours
PAGES: 87 pages
SOURCE: Publisher via NetGalley
RATING: 5 bows

Lila wants Ethan to be with her forever. Everything is better with him next to her. But Ethan has serious commitment issues and though she knows he loves her, she’s not sure he’s in this for the long haul with her. Ethan loves Lila more than anyone else in his life, but he’s terrified that they’ll end up like his parents, screaming at each other for not wanting the same things. He loves Lila too much to put her through that, but it’s clear that she needs some reassurance and he’s not so sure he knows how to give it to her. Can they figure out what their future holds or are they more short-term than either of them ever anticipated?

Lila and Ethan are the same characters we know and love from the first four novels. There isn’t really anything new added to them here that we didn’t already know. Lila has issues with her parents and a past drug addiction. Ethan has serious issues with commitment. Here we get a glimpse of that road trip they’ve been planning and it’s priceless. Preppy, perfect Lila on a road trip where the next bathroom break is questionable, much less the next opportunity to shower? Like I said, priceless. She copes better than you’d expect, but it’s still amusing to watch. For Ethan’s part, well, he’s just as fascinating as ever. He’s no Micha…in fact, he’s Micha’s opposite in a lot of ways, but he’s still a Sorensen male and, therefore, incredibly swoon-worthy.

As with most novellas, this is fast-paced and too the point. Somehow, though, Sorensen manages to completely draw you in for a mere 85 page novella. For those 85 pages, all you care about is how Ethan and Lila are going to solve their problems. It usually takes a bit longer for me to become enraptured in a novel. I may be biased because I adore this series and all it’s characters, but still, it’s addictive. You have to know what Ethan is going to do to reassure Lila that he isn’t going anywhere.

What you really need to know is that if you loved The Temptation Of Lila & Ethan, you’ll love this additional glimpse into their heads. If you haven’t read The Temptation yet, I suggest you do that first. I don’t know how much sense this makes going in blind. Either way, I’m always floored by Sorensen’s ability to never let me down. I’ve yet to read a book by her that I didn’t love and this is no exception!

****Thank you to Forever Yours for providing me with an eARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review****

5 bows
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Review for Before We Fall (Beautifully Broken #3) by Courtney Cole

Before We Fall by Courtney Cole

TITLE: Before We Fall
SERIES: Beautifully Broken #3
AUTHOR: Courtney Cole
NARRATOR: Shannon Gunn & Bunny Warren
PUBLICATION DATE: December 3, 2013 (book) / November 4, 2014 (audio)
PUBLISHER: Forever (Grand Central Publishing) (book) / Hachette Audio (audio)
PAGES: 336 pages / 11 hours & 50 minutes
FORMAT: eARC / Audiobook
SOURCE: Publisher via NetGalley / Purchased from Audible
RATING: 2 bows

Dominic Kinkaide is a world famous actor. He’s very good and it’s mostly due to the fact that he likes to bury himself in his roles. A tragic accident in high school has haunted him for his entire adult life and acting helps him forget. Acting and fulfilling his dark fantasies. Jacey Vincent is just trying to make it by until she can finish her business degree. After that, she’ll be home free, but until then, she’s stuck working as a waitress for a catering company in a skimpy outfit. That is until she and Dominic are thrown together for a possession charge even though both claim the weed wasn’t theirs. Regardless of their guilt, they are both stuck with community service hours at Joe’s. The two hate each other and then respect each other and then something more. But can Dom escape his demons enough to make things work with Jacey or is his life as doomed as he believes?

I’ll go ahead and get this out of the way now. SPOILERS AHEAD. I REPEAT, THIS REVIEW WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS. I’ve been trying to do spoiler free reviews, but I can’t do that with books that severely irritate me and, sadly, this book did just that. So, knowing that there are SPOILERS AHEAD, you may proceed.

Dominic was a character that didn’t annoy me instantly, but the more I learned, the more I disliked him. To be fair, I’m not a huge fan of the Alpha Male character. He’s a dick and his logic over why he won’t fornicate is stupid. I just wanted to shake him. Then, we finally learn about his past and what happened with Emma and I wanted to fucking shot him.
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I get the undeniable rage that comes with the knowledge that you’re girlfriend and best friend got drunk and got it on. That’s fine and they both deserve to be shunned for such behavior. That reaction I was fine with. The next one, not so much. Emma realizes that she is pregnant as a result of that night and Dom flips shit and demands an abortion. The first issue I have with that is a very controversial one. I don’t believe in abortions. The whole right to choose thing is bullshit. You had a choice, to have sex or not. Period. You chose to have sex, knowing that no method of birth control is 100% effective. That was your choice. Now that is done and a human being is growing within you. I know there are extenuating circumstances sometimes and that’s fine, but that is how I feel regardless. Even with that, you are so sure that there is no possibility this child is yours? Condoms are not 100%. That baby could very well be yours and you are demanding it be murdered. I would have been sympathetic towards him due to his situation, but that it is too much. You were right, jackass, you are partly to blame for Emma’s suicide. There is a good possibility that she would have done it anyway because she couldn’t live with her mistake, but we’ll never know.

I wasn’t anymore in love with Jacey. She’s better than Dom, but not so much so that I can see her as a role model for him to emulate. Then there was the whole Brand thing. It’s obvious he’s in love with her and she knows it, but she just doesn’t feel that way about him.
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That’s all I really need for her, one massive eye roll gif. Everything she does gets that reaction from me. Her comments on her job and how she needs it.
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Her knowledge that there is more to Dom and her need to “help” him.
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Every single thing about her just rubbed me the wrong way.

Brand is probably the only character I liked out of the whole novel. He was nice and normal and went out of his way to help Jacey. She doesn’t really deserve it, but he’s dedication is admirable all the same. I generally like the nice guys who never win. I want them to win, even if I like the asshole or two on occasion.

This has a love triangle and characters I hate. I’ll have to emphasis again how important characters are to me. If I don’t like them, the probability of me enjoying the novel are slim. And these characters were not for me. It just wasn’t the novel for me. I do, however, plan to read the others in this series. This series is about Jacey’s family/friends and the next novel is about Brand, so I’m all for that! I am really disappointed in this. I really enjoyed Cole’s Dante’s Girl and had high hopes for getting to read this, but, as I keep saying, it just wasn’t for me. Dominic’s character irritated the fuck out of me and there was no getting around that.

I really enjoyed Shannon’s voice, but Bunny irked me. This is probably because of the source material as I know a narrator can only work with what they are given, but still, she bugged me. They had good pacing, though, and brought me through the story well enough. I’m not overly talented at commenting on audio yet, but I’m working on it! Shannon did a decent job of differentiating between characters, but Bunny didn’t. It’s obvious she tries, but I still had a difficult time determining who was talking.

****Thank you to Forever (Grand Central Publishing) for providing me with an eARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review****

2 bows
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Review for The Ever After Of Ella & Micha (The Secret #4) by Jessica Sorensen

The Ever After Of Ella & Micha by Jessica Sorensen

TITLE: The Ever After Of Ella & Micha
SERIES: The Secret #4
AUTHOR: Jessica Sorensen
PUBLICATION DATE: December 3, 2013 / December 2, 2014
PUBLISHER: Forever / Hachette Audio
PAGES: 272 pages / 7 hours and 2 minutes
SOURCE: Publisher via NetGalley / Purchased
RATING: 5 bows

Ella’s life is finally going well. She has moved past most of her issues and has learned how to breathe through her problems. Then a box shows up containing her mom’s old journal and suddenly she isn’t so sure she can have her happily ever after. How can she live out that reality if she’s never seen what it looks like? Micha will always be there for Ella, but he’s been offered an opportunity to go on tour that he isn’t sure he can say no to. He can’t leave Ella behind and he isn’t sure she’d want to pack up and hit the road for three months. Faced with the reality of balancing their dreams with their fears, can Ella & Micha make things work or will their relationship finally fall to pieces?

There isn’t much new to say about either Ella or Micha. They are both the same characters we remember and love. Ella is the same sweet, fiesty girl. She just has a better handle on her issues. She’s moved on enough to not spend every waking hour thinking about her past, even though things do pop up occasionally. And then there’s Micha. He just might be my favorite male character, ever. He’s so fucking devoted to Ella that you can’t help but love the guy. He’s sweet and caring and determined to help Ella through whatever she is going through. I really don’t have words for him. He’s perfect. He is the perfect book boyfriend. He’s hot, he sings, he plays guitar, he is so fucking in love with Ella that it hurts. He’s just perfect, okay?

This lives up to Sorensen’s previous works. It’s just the right level of heartbreaking and uplifting. Ella & Micha have been through quite enough, so I was a little nervous to start this because I didn’t want to see them put through anymore drama. They’ve had enough problems. For all of you worried about that particular problem, fear not! This is Sorensen’s least traumatic novel (at least that I’ve read thus far). No epic breakups or terrible revelations or spirals in unimaginable depression. Just Ella & Micha working towards making their wedding happen. And it was absolutely perfect. This is exactly what you want to see for Ella & Micha, a future with just enough imperfections to make it believable, but still perfect.

All you really need to know is that this is the novel for Ella & Micha you have been waiting for. Sorensen manages to write a novel that is even better than it’s predecessors, which is a feat because I love The Secret Of Ella & Micha. Even though you thought the pair got their happily ever afters at the end of The Secret and The Forever, here they really do get that picturesque ending that we all dream about. I hope their future is filled with many happy days.

****Thank you to Forever for providing me with an eARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review****

5 bows
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Review for The Temptation Of Lila & Ethan (The Secret #3) by Jessica Sorensen

The Temptation Of Lila & Ethan by Jessica Sorensen

TITLE: The Temptation Of Lila & Ethan
SERIES: The Secret #3
AUTHOR: Jessica Sorensen
PUBLICATION DATE: October 22, 2013
PAGES: 400 pages
SOURCE: Purchased
RATING: 5 bows

Everyone believes Lila Summers has the perfect life. She is a very pretty girl with rich parents who always has a smile on her face. That is exactly what she wants you to think. Beneath that facade, though, Lila is a very troubled girl. Her life has recently started spirally out of control, more than normal. When she hits the bottom, only one guy is there for her. One guy who drags her ass out of the places she shouldn’t be. That guy is Ethan Gregory. Ethan has sworn to never love again. His first love went way wrong and that put him on the path to no strings attached hook-ups and friendship for his lifetime. That’s what Lila is, a friend. She can’t be more. He won’t let her. But the more he fights his attraction, the hotter it burns, and soon it’s too much to fight. Can they make things work or will things end in disaster.

Damn. I thought I knew Lila & Ethan pretty well from their parts in the two previous Ella & Micha books. I was wrong. I knew they had damaged past. That’s pretty much a given because Sorensen likes her main character’s twisted, but I wasn’t expecting it to be so bad for Lila. I wasn’t expecting Lila to have a drug habit or a set of parents that are the biggest assholes on the planet. This novel proves that sometimes mental abuse is worse than physical abuse. Lila had it so rough and drugs/drinking are the only way she knows how to cope. Those habits cost money, though, and that’s something she doesn’t have anymore. Daddy cut her off since she refuses to come home and play the role he puts her in. She doesn’t have any skills to really get a job on and she’s having to sneak out her windows to avoid the landlord because she’s so behind on rent. She genuinely believes there is no way out for her. And she refuses to try to get help. She won’t even tell Ella about it, even though Ella is her best friend. She doesn’t want to drag Ella into her shit when Ella just got her stuff together. The only one who is there for her is Ethan. Non-judging, sweet, helpful Ethan. The nice guy who acts tough.

Ethan, in typical Sorensen fashion, has a bad past that he blames himself for. It’s funny because when you think about Sorensen’s hero’s as a unit, they have so much in common and you’d think we’d be sick of hearing basically the same story over and over again, but we’re not. She writes it in a way that they all feel unique and different. Anyway, Ethan is that sweet guy underneath the bad boy exterior that reminds me a lot of Micha. It’s no wonder the two are best friends, they are so similar, even though Ethan does his best to hide it. I feel bad about his first experience with love. It went so wrong, but there was nothing he could have really done to prevent it, which he realizes eventually. Still, I had the urge to slap him in the head a few times to knock some sense into him.
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He’s just so damn stubborn! We’ve all got issues, dude, but you’ve got to get over them because avoiding shit isn’t living. On my list of Sorensen heroes, her rates third….forth….Quinton…Kayden…Luke….Okay, I don’t know exactly where he rates, but it’s below Micha! Micha is still my favorite.

Lila and Ethan’s journey is a bit difficult for me to read. I really thought they’d be a lighter read on the drama end than the rest of the characters because they seemed to be less damaged than any of the others.
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I am just floored by that. This novel was great, right up to Sorensen’s normal level of awesome, but I’m still sad that Lila & Ethan couldn’t have better pasts. Or at least handle it better. Lila with the drugs was just shocking as hell. The way her mom handled the school situation was also appalling. Woman, you should have been outraged, not hassling your daughter. The really sad thing is that there are real people out there in this world like Lila’s parents. Real people who abuse their children and don’t think twice about it. What is the point of having a kid if that is how you are going to treat them? I’m the first to admit that I’m iffy on the subject of having kids, but I know one thing for sure, I’ll do a damn sight better than that.

As for writing and plot, well, it’s Jessica Sorensen, so really, what is there to say? She’s fantastic. She knows how to hook my so I don’t want to stop reading. She knows exactly where to place the twists and turns to keep me begging for me. She knows exactly where to stab the needle to cause the most pain, both for me and the characters. She’s sadistic and it’s amazing. Speaking of sadistic, even though Lila & Ethan’s story ends rather well, she manages to throw in a Ella & Micha cliffhanger, so be prepared for that.

Lila & Ethan’s story is all you’d expect it to be and so much more. As I said, Sorensen, really knows how to bring you pain, something I should have learned by now. This novel is as heartbreaking as the rest of her NA works, but she makes it (mostly) all better by the end. We get that happily ever after that we rarely see in a set of character’s first novel. Typically, that moment doesn’t really happen until the second (sometimes the third) novel for that particular set of characters. It’s all you could want in a new adult romance, so get to reading!

5 bows
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