Review: Off the Hook by Laura Drewry

17th Oct 2016 Rubi @ Gone with the Words 2016, Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge, Reviews, Reviews by Rubi

Review: Off the Hook by Laura DrewryOff the Hook by Laura Drewry
Series: Fishing for Trouble #1
Published by Loveswept
Pub Date: April 12th 2016
Pages: 242
Format: eBook | Source: Purchased
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Buy the book! | Goodreads
3.5 Stars

Welcome to The Buoys, a West Coast haven where love comes in with the tide. Perfect for readers of Jill Shalvis and Susan Mallery, the Fishing for Trouble series features three unforgettable brothers—each of whom is a great catch.
 
Major league pitcher Liam O’Donnell knows his best days are probably behind him, but that doesn’t mean he’s ready to retire and become a fishing guide. Still, after all the time he’s spent chasing his dreams, he owes it to his brothers to pull his weight around the lodge. The Buoys is their father’s legacy, and they can’t let some developer take it from them. The one snag Liam isn’t counting on is a blast from the past: his ex-wife.
 
The moment Kate Hadley steps out of the seaplane, she knows this assignment is going to be trickier than she thought. She has to persuade the owners to sell—and one of them is Liam O’Donnell. Ten years ago, she made the biggest mistake of her life when she married Liam during a fling in Vegas. Now he’s her only lifeline in the middle of nowhere. Kate’s trying to keep things cool, but Liam reminds her of the scorching few nights they spent together—and tempts her to make new memories that are just as steamy as the old.

Off the Hook is the first in the Fishing for Trouble series. In it, we are introduced to a tight knit family that owns and operates a fishing resort off the West coast of Canada. This first book gave us the second-chance romance of Kate and Liam. They are ex husband and wife whom have not seen each other since their brief Vegas marriage ended 10 years ago! These two really pulled at my heart strings because you could equally feel their attraction and their reservations with each other. Neither came from the ideal childhood, but they both worked hard to turn into the adults they are now. Kate wasn’t the fragile damsel that female leads are often portrayed as and I admired her so much for her strength and self-love!

As for the setting, The Buoys, easily made it to one of my top 5 favorite fictional places! I’m almost positive this is my first book set in Canada and I was not disappointed. The seclusion sounded heavenly and its lack of luxury only made it that much more appealing. I can’t wait to get more of this place, these characters, and their stories!

My problem with Off the Hook was with its pacing. It seemed to really drag at times and I felt bored on more than one occasion. The last couple of chapters were a lot better paced so I’m hoping the slow start was just due to the author getting more comfortable with the story line she was creating.

Laura Drewry did an amazing job at making each character stand out. Those characters were easily what captured me the most from this story. I fell in love with them as a whole, but each one had something special that made me like them as an individual. I’m really looking forward to reading Finn & Ronan’s books and seeing this group develop as a whole!

 

Rubi @ Gone with the Words

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Review: The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

12th Oct 2016 Morgan @ Gone with the Words 2016, Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge, Reviews, Reviews by Morgan

Review: The Hating Game by Sally ThorneThe Hating Game by Sally Thorne
Published by William Morrow
Pub Date: August 9th 2016
Pages: 384
Format: eBook | Source: Purchased
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Buy the book! | Goodreads
5 Stars

Debut author Sally Thorne bursts on the scene with a hilarious and sexy workplace comedy all about that thin, fine line between hate and love.

Nemesis (n.) 1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome.
2) A person’s undoing
3) Joshua Templeman

Lucy Hutton has always been certain that the nice girl can get the corner office. She’s charming and accommodating and prides herself on being loved by everyone at Bexley & Gamin. Everyone except for coldly efficient, impeccably attired, physically intimidating Joshua Templeman. And the feeling is mutual.

Trapped in a shared office together 40 (OK, 50 or 60) hours a week, they’ve become entrenched in an addictive, ridiculous never-ending game of one-upmanship. There’s the Staring Game. The Mirror Game. The HR Game. Lucy can’t let Joshua beat her at anything—especially when a huge new promotion goes up for the taking.

If Lucy wins this game, she’ll be Joshua’s boss. If she loses, she’ll resign. So why is she suddenly having steamy dreams about Joshua, and dressing for work like she’s got a hot date? After a perfectly innocent elevator ride ends with an earth shattering kiss, Lucy starts to wonder whether she’s got Joshua Templeman all wrong.

Maybe Lucy Hutton doesn’t hate Joshua Templeman. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.

I’m so glad I decided to buy The Hating Game after seeing friends talk about it online because I loved it SO MUCH! I haven’t stopped thinking about the book since I finished!! From the opening chapter, I was enchanted by Lucy’s voice- she was so hilarious but real and I was giggling out loud on the bus, which I rarely do.

The publishing house setting was great, as were the office dynamics and oh my gosh, from the get go you just fall in love with Lucy and Josh and their silly office games. They hate each other soooo muchhhh (wink wink), like genuinely seem to hate each other and get under each other’s skin, that you know it’s going to be great when they stop hating each other.

The secondary characters are fleshed out well enough (loved Helene!), and Lucy and Josh could have been total caricatures but they’re not. She has quirks but she’s not a “quirky girl”. She overthinks everything and collects Smurf figures and misses her family, but she’s intelligent and reaching for her dreams. Josh could have been the stereotypical macho guy with a tender heart but he was so much more than that. He hides his shyness and insecurities with bravado, but he’s such a good person underneath that asshole layer. He’ll really surprise you, in a good way.

I also loved that the drama was believable and not that over the top. Family drama, mild dating drama, office drama, etc. There was some miscommunication but it was always resolved quickly. It helped that Josh knew Lucy really well, including her tendency to freak out in a very I Love Lucy sort of way, so a scene that could have been frustrating (her deciding that stopping by was stupid and she’s going to leave) was turned into something humorous: “Stop. Sit down. I’m making you some tea.” I swear I died when he made Lucy a sandwich, wrapped her in a cozy blanket, and watched ER reruns on the couch with her. Just because. Before anything physical really happens.

One of the best quotes is Lucy monologuing how she realizes that Josh is dangling his upturned hand on the couch like seeds to a skittish chicken (her being the chicken); he knows she needs to go slow (even if she doesn’t want to) and it’s honestly adorable. I loved watching their relationship thaw from enemies to coworkers to friends to Or Something- you’ll get that when you read the book!

This is one of those books that is predictable but you love all the individual elements so much that you don’t care. It’s very well written, from the voice to the characterization to the romantic scenes. And I loooooove the taking care of someone when they’re sick trope, like in You’ve Got Mail! Eep! Delirious medicine talk is almost as good as drunk talk, as far as unfiltered thoughts go ;)

The Hating Game is a pure rom-com and such a delight to read. It reminded me of Sophie Kinsella books but I think I loved it even better. I can’t believe it’s a debut and I can’t wait to read whatever Sally Thorne writes next. It was absolutely hilarious, really really adorable and sweet, and so sexy. One of my favorite books of the year for sure. (I’ve already reread THG since I wrote my review. Take that for what you will!)

 

Morgan @ Gone with the Words

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Review: Kings or Pawns by J.J. Sherwood + Giveaway!

8th Aug 2016 Lety @ Gone with the Words 2016, Giveaways, Reviews, Reviews by Lety

Review: Kings or Pawns by J.J. Sherwood + Giveaway!Kings or Pawns by J.J. Sherwood
Series: Steps of Power #1, The Kings #1
Published by Silver Helm
Pub Date: October 1st 2015
Pages: 383
Format: eBook | Source: Author
Genres: Fantasy
Buy the book! | Goodreads
5 Stars

The first book in JJ Sherwood's Steps of Power epic fantasy series. The Kings, Book I: Kings or Pawns is a political intrigue that spirals into an action and adventure series as the final events unfold.

8,994 P.E.—The elven city of Elvorium has become corrupted to the core by politics. With his father dead and the Royal Schism at his back, Prince Hairem ascends the throne as king of the elven world on Sevrigel. Young and bold, Hairem is determined to undo the council’s power, but the brutal murders by an assassin loosed within the city threaten to undermine the king’s ambitions.

As corruption and death threaten to tear Elvorium apart from within, the warlord Saebellus threatens the city from without, laying siege to Sevrigel’s eastern capital. With the elven world crumbling around him, Hairem finds himself in a dangerous political balance between peace and all out war.

This was such an incredible story and start to this high fantasy series. This story had multiple narrators, each telling their story from their own perspective and sometimes taking you into a different part of the map (which is included in the book btw). The tale was gripping, emotional and sucked you into every character’s trials and tribulations. Each character was introduced to you in a way that didn’t have your head spinning like other epic fantasy novels I have read. The pacing of the story was just right, and the world building was one of my favorite parts of this first book. There were some clear good/bad guys from the start that you loved/hated and some plot twists towards the end that I didn’t foresee.

J.J. Sherwood has a great way of describing surroundings and characters that is rich but not overbearing. The images easily manifested in my mind so vividly. All the while I kept thinking what a great movie this would make! J.J. also has an interactive world map on her Steps of Power website that is pretty awesome, and character content coming soon ( I can’t wait! :D).

General Jikum and King Hariem were likeable characters from the start and are our main storytellers in the beginning. The city of Elvorium, which King Hairem has inherited, is being corrupted by those that sit on the council, each an appointed representative of a different elven race. The king soon finds that he holds no real power and the council holds the real control (those jerks!). Meanwhile, their city is at war with Saebellus, a relentless and extremely powerful warlord (with a scary, huge dragon/beast thing). And though General Jikum is a worthy opponent and has been successful in recent battles, there seems to be no end to the fighting and death toll. King Hariem schemes to try and take power back from the council but there is also an assassin loose who has been targeting the Council of Elves, and his efforts seem to only backfire. This story is full of back-stabbing, treachery, heartbreak and mysteries that have yet to unravel themselves. What is that thing in the ice?! Who is this Sellemar character really?! I MUST KNOW!

I enjoyed this book immensely and plan on continuing to read this series. If you are a fan of high fantasy novels go pick this one up immediately!

Giveaway

(This giveaway is run by the author. We are not responsible for choosing or notifying winners, or for the prizes you’re to receive.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Lety @ Gone with the Words

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Review: Choose Us by Caylie Marcoe

18th Jul 2016 Rubi @ Gone with the Words 2016, Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge, Reviews, Reviews by Rubi

Review: Choose Us by Caylie MarcoeChoose Us by Caylie Marcoe
Series: Xtreme Bachelor #1
Published by Author
Pub Date: April 4th 2014
Pages: 264
Format: eBook | Source: Gifted
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Buy the book! | Goodreads
3 Stars

Riley Logan and Travis Grayson have been best friends for the last fifteen years. She would do anything for him, go anywhere for him...and she has, countless times. Except now. Now he's asking for too much. Their friendship has reached a breaking point and she doesn't know how to go back. But as Travis' personal assistant, Riley spends her every waking moment by his side. When a fractured ankle puts Travis' BMX career on hold he's given more downtime than he knows what to do with. Always one for excitement, he agrees to become the bachelor on a televised dating show, but only if Riley goes in undercover to help weed through the girls. What was supposed to be eight weeks of freedom has turned into eight weeks of hell surrounded by desperate girls all vying for Travis' attention. He promised her the show would be smooth sailing. He promised he would listen to her advice on which girls should be eliminated. But now he's breaking those promises and getting way too close to the girl Riley despises the most. She shouldn't care. Except she does. Much to her surprise there is one girl she wants Travis to choose... Her. Will she get what she wants, or will Riley lose her best friend along with getting her heart broken on national television?

As y’all know, I love a good “from friendship to dating” tale! That combined with The Bachelor – well it was a good read! I’m a huge fan of friends to lovers because there’s so much more history between the characters. Nothing feels forced or “insta” and that causes for a stronger and more believable connection.

This is the story of Travis, a pro bmx rider, and Riley, his best friend of 15 years and his personal assistant. While taking a break from riding, Travis is offered to star as a bachelor in a new reality tv show. He’ll only accept the offer if Riley comes along and helps him weed out the bad girls. Riley reluctantly agrees and in doing so she not only joins Travis, but goes undercover as one of the contestants vying for Travis’ love. In that process, the dynamic between our two main characters begins to shift and they are left trying to figure out what to do about their feelings since, as the old saying goes, the show must go on.

I felt for Riley because she had the tough job of having to balance being honest with Travis about the girls without coming off as petty to viewers. When the show ended, her life would still be impacted by what the audience thought of her. As feelings began to emerge it really threw the course of the show for a spin and, as a viewer, I would’ve totally been rooting her! I like that the author had Riley build the onscreen friendships she did because it added to the plot and kept Choose Us from being solely based on the love story. The friendships were strong and that kept me wondering how those friendships would hold up when the girls found out who Riley really was.

One of my favorite things about Caylie Marcoe‘s writing style was her detailed description of scenes! She truly did an amazing job at describing in great detail the different settings and it really helped to visualize the story as it was happening.

My pet peeve with Choose Us was with Riley’s character and how difficult she could be at times. I understood the predicament she was in, but the tantrums she’d throw just seemed a bit much at times. Granted, I could never go through the process of a tv show like The Bachelor, but if I somehow found myself in her situation then I would have placed more trust in my bestfriend.

All in all, this was a good quick read and I think those that would enjoy it most are my fellow  The Bachelor fans. This concept of having someone on the inside really peaked my interest! There are SO many times when us viewers get to see the true colors of contestants and it’s mind boggling how the bachelor/bachelorette continues to keep them around. A season with this kind of a twist would be super interesting to watch!

 

Rubi @ Gone with the Words

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Bitsy Words: Dating Sarah Cooper by Siera Maley

15th Jul 2016 Morgan @ Gone with the Words 2016, Bitsy Words, Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge, Reviews, Reviews by Morgan

Bitsy Words: Dating Sarah Cooper by Siera Maley

Bitsy Words: Dating Sarah Cooper by Siera MaleyDating Sarah Cooper by Siera Maley
Published by Author
Pub Date: July 30th 2014
Pages: 242
Format: eBook | Source: Purchased
Genres: Contemporary, LGBT, Romance, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
5 Stars

Katie Hammontree and Sarah Cooper have been best friends since the 2nd grade. Katie's welcoming, tight-knit family is a convenient substitute for Sarah when her distant parents aren't around, and Sarah's abrasive, goal-oriented personality gels well with Katie's more laid-back approach to life.
But when a misunderstanding leads to the two of them being mistaken for a couple and Sarah uses the situation to her advantage, Katie finds herself on a roller coaster ride of ambiguous sexuality and confusing feelings. How far will Sarah go to keep up the charade, and why does kissing her make Katie feel more alive than kissing her ex-boyfriend Austin ever did? And how will their new circle of gay friends react when the truth comes out?

This is the kind of fluff I’m always looking for! I read Dating Sarah Cooper in about 4 hours and I really loved it. First of all, Katie and Sarah are extremely likeable despite the very unlikeable fake dating scenario they find themselves in at the start of the book. I loved their voices (especially Sarah) and I really liked the other characters as well. Not all of them were super fleshed out but there’s a good bit of “more than meets the eye” going on.

 

I also adored Katie’s parents and how close and supportive they were of her. One of my favorite scenes is when they reassure her they’ve always “known” about Katie because Katie isn’t even sure what she knows about herself! It was very sweet, but also kind of hilarious and a good turning point. Their quarterly family date night was such a fun idea too!

Not being LGBT myself (but knowing this book comes highly recommended from people who are), I thought Dating Sarah Cooper did a really wonderful job of exploring sexuality, prejudice, and how that all gets confused and fits into high school life. I loved watching Katie’s journey especially, the way she explained and sorted through her feelings, and gosh, this book was just CUTE ok!?! And had some very swoony kissing and really nice friendships. I totally loved it.

 

 

Morgan @ Gone with the Words

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Review: The Summer After You And Me by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski

11th Jul 2016 Morgan @ Gone with the Words 2016, Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge, Reviews, Reviews by Morgan

Review: The Summer After You And Me by Jennifer Salvato DoktorskiThe Summer After You and Me by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski
Published by Sourcebooks Fire
Pub Date: May 5th 2015
Pages: 306
Format: eBook | Source: Purchased
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Goodreads
4 Stars

Will it be a summer of fresh starts or second chances?

For Lucy, the Jersey Shore isn't just the perfect summer escape, it's home. As a local girl, she knows not to get attached to the tourists. They breeze in during Memorial Day weekend, crowding her costal town and stealing moonlit kisses, only to pack up their beach umbrellas and empty promises on Labor Day. Still, she can't help but crush on charming Connor Malloy. His family spends every summer next door, and she longs for their friendship to turn into something deeper.

Then Superstorm Sandy sweeps up the coast, bringing Lucy and Connor together for a few intense hours. Except nothing is the same in the wake of the storm, and Lucy is left to pick up the pieces of her broken heart and her broken home. Time may heal all wounds, but with Memorial Day approaching and Connor returning, Lucy's summer is sure to be filled with fireworks.

The Summer After You and Me was such a delightful way to kick off the summer! I really enjoyed it. I grew up 5 minutes from the Jersey Shore myself, about an hour north of the town the book is set in, and it brought back all of these beach memories :)

The book takes place not long after Superstorm Sandy ravaged the East Coast in 2012, so there is definitely a somber tone throughout that’s balanced by the feeling of hope in the air. The town is rebuilding, everyone’s working to get back on their feet; it’s not without setbacks, but Seaside Park is getting there.

I really liked Lucy a lot; her interest in marine life and her academic drive coupled with her love of her hometown was refreshing! I loved her inner monologue, her love of the ocean, and her varied interests. I also loved her relationships with the people in her life. There was a lot of drama, included love triangles, but it felt like very realistic teenage drama. The ache of having seasonal friends, fighting with your parents, growing pains within your friend group, feeling replaced, realizing that you and your boyfriend might not have been meant to be more than best friends, competing with your sibling, and all the other stress that goes along with being in high school.

The thing I liked most is that everyone has these moments where they realize people make mistakes. And it takes work to get relationships back on track but it was refreshing to see them apologize to each other, to be mature and really work on their friendships.

Sometimes the dialogue was cheesy and oh gosh years of missed opportunities is the worst, but the romance was also very sweet although I can’t say I shipped anything very much. I did like Connor and the shared history between him and Lucy. Sometimes the flashbacks got confusing and I couldn’t tell whether I was reading about present day or not.

Overall I would definitely recommend this book to contemporary fans. It wasn’t earth-shattering but I could feel the ocean breeze and smell the boardwalk food. It has a unique New Jersey flavor mixed with summer romance and real relationships between family and friends, which was very appealing.

Have you read TSAYAM yet? What other summer books do you love? And have you ever been “down the shore”? Let me know in the comments!

 

Morgan @ Gone with the Words

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Review: The Moment of Letting Go by J.A. Redmerski

15th Jun 2016 Rubi @ Gone with the Words 2016, Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge, Reviews, Reviews by Rubi

Review: The Moment of Letting Go by J.A. RedmerskiThe Moment of Letting Go by J.A. Redmerski
Published by Forever
Pub Date: August 11th 2015
Pages: 432
Format: eBook | Source: Gifted
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Buy the book! | Goodreads
2.5 Stars

Sienna Murphy never does anything without a plan. And so far her plans have been working. Right after college, she got a prestigious job and gained the stability she'd always craved-until work takes her to the sun-drenched shores of Oahu and places her in the path of sexy surfer Luke Everett. For the first time, she lets her heart take control. Drawn to his carefree charm, she makes a spontaneous and very un-Sienna-like decision to drop everything and stay in Hawaii for two more weeks.

Luke lives fast and wild. When he meets Sienna, he's convinced that some no-strings-attached fun is just what she needs. As their nights quickly turn from playful to passionate, Luke can't deny the deep connection he feels. But there's a reason Luke doesn't do long-term. He can't promise Sienna forever, when the enormity of his past has shown him just how fragile the future can be . . .

This story is told from the alternating POVs of Sienna, a 22 yr old successful event coordinator from California, and Luke, a 24 year old surfer/thrill seeker living in Hawaii. The two meet while Sienna is working a wedding in Oahu, Hawaii! I’ve been wanting to travel to Hawaii for what seems like forever now so I was really excited to read all about it!

After meeting Luke, Sienna knows that just a couple of hours is not nearly enough time and she makes the decision to cash in on her saved up vacation time. She decides to stay an extra 2 weeks and make the most out of her time getting to know Luke better.

Side Note: Coincidentally, right before I started reading this book I had been obsessing over the Investigation Discovery channel so I could’ve sworn Sienna’s body was going to wash up on shore and a big murder mystery would ensue! ha ha

Spoiler Alert: No such murder occurs and Sienna lives!

I was able to extremely relate to their love story because I too have dated the guy I met while on vacation and extended my visit! Having said that, I couldn’t really connect to the characters themselves. Sienna seemed to only value herself by the size of her bank account and few things put me off in a person more than that. As for Luke, I didn’t really get what the big deal was with him being a thrill seeker. That part of the plot was heavily played up and it just didn’t seem like anything too crazy. He was skydiving, for God’s sake, not jumping off a plane while wearing a Target grocery bag for a parachute.

I honestly think I would’ve enjoyed The Moment of Letting Go a lot more if it hadn’t dragged on for so long with nothing really happening. However, if you’re the kind of reader that likes tons of detail than this might be a cute contemporary that you’d enjoy!

 

Rubi @ Gone with the Words

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Review: The Opportunist by Tarryn Fisher

23rd Mar 2016 Tamara @ Gone with the Words 2016, Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge, Reviews, Reviews by Tamara

Review: The Opportunist by Tarryn FisherThe Opportunist by Tarryn Fisher
Series: Love Me with Lies #1
Published by Author
Pub Date: November 14th 2011
Pages: 278
Format: eBook | Source: Purchased
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Buy the book! | Goodreads
4.5 Stars

Olivia Kaspen has just discovered that her ex-boyfriend, Caleb Drake, has lost his memory. With an already lousy reputation for taking advantage of situations, Olivia must decide how far she is willing to go to get Caleb back. Wrestling to keep her true identity and their sordid past under wraps, Olivia’s greatest obstacle is Caleb’s wicked, new girlfriend; Leah Smith. It is a race to the finish as these two vipers engage in a vicious tug of war to possess a man who no longer remembers them. But, soon enough Olivia must face the consequences of her lies, and in the process discover that sometimes love falls short of redemption.

Olivia and Caleb, these two are just one crazy and toxic couple. They both do some pretty extreme things in the name of love. Olivia and Caleb meet in college and their twisted story just spirals on from there. It’s hard to talk about details because there are so many twists and turns in this book that really shouldn’t be spoiled.

Olivia goes to extremes to get Caleb back and keep him. After their relationship ends, Olivia feel like she is getting another chance when she sees Caleb in a music store one day and he doesn’t seem to recognize her. She could tell him the truth or she could stick to her scheming ways and try to make things right with him again. Obviously, she chooses not to tell the truth and just go with it. Olivia is definitely complicated, she loves Caleb but she screws things up left and right.

Now lets talk about Caleb, he blames Olivia for a lot of things when he is equally guilty, if not a little more. I can’t say too much about what he does without giving things away, but let’s just say Olivia is not the only manipulative one. I had a problem with Caleb, he’s so quick to blame everything on Olivia but he’s not perfect at all. He made a lot of mistakes in their relationship and instead of owning it he just seems too pass the blame on to Olivia. He’s a pretty shady character himself.

Another major player in this book is Leah, she’s Caleb’s current girlfriend when he gets amnesia.  She is even more manipulative than Olivia and down right evil at times, it seems like Caleb has a type. She is not just sitting around letting Olivia have Caleb, she is fighting for him, and she’s fighting dirty. By the end of the book you just want her gone.

I’ve seen a lot of ranting about the ending of this book but I thought it was fitting. It was exactly how I thought these two would end up. It may not make everyone happy but I think it’s realistic.

Olivia and Caleb are not perfect, it’s hard to even tell if they’re good people. This isn’t a classic love story, sometimes it’s hard to root for them and it’s definitely not a fairytale. The Opportunist is a unique take on a love story where the two main characters are crazy about each other, but have no clue how to make things right.

 

 

About Tarryn Fisher

Tarryn Fisher

Tarryn Fisher is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of five novels, and is currently working on two more (Marrow and the second installment of Never Never). She is the co-founder of Clothed Caption, a fashion blog she runs with her friend, Madison Seidler. Tarryn resides in the Seattle area with her family. She loves rainy days, Coke, and thinks Instagram is the new Facebook. Tarryn is represented by Amy Tannenbaum of the Jane Rotrosen Agency.

Tamara @ Gone with the Words

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Bitsy Words: The Deal by Elle Kennedy

6th Nov 2015 Morgan @ Gone with the Words 2015, Bitsy Words, Reviews, Reviews by Morgan, Tunes for Books

Bitsy Words: The Deal by Elle Kennedy

Bitsy Words: The Deal by Elle KennedyThe Deal by Elle Kennedy
Series: Off-Campus #1
Published by Author
Pub Date: February 24th 2015
Pages: 358
Format: eBook | Source: Purchased
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Buy the book! | Goodreads

She’s about to make a deal with the college bad boy...

Hannah Wells has finally found someone who turns her on. But while she might be confident in every other area of her life, she’s carting around a full set of baggage when it comes to sex and seduction. If she wants to get her crush’s attention, she’ll have to step out of her comfort zone and make him take notice…even if it means tutoring the annoying, childish, cocky captain of the hockey team in exchange for a pretend date.

...and it’s going to be oh so good.

All Garrett Graham has ever wanted is to play professional hockey after graduation, but his plummeting GPA is threatening everything he’s worked so hard for. If helping a sarcastic brunette make another guy jealous will help him secure his position on the team, he’s all for it. But when one unexpected kiss leads to the wildest sex of both their lives, it doesn’t take long for Garrett to realize that pretend isn’t going to cut it. Now he just has to convince Hannah that the man she wants looks a lot like him.

I’ve only recently gotten into New Adult books and The Deal was recommended to me by quite a few people. Good news because I super loved this book! It was hot and funny and had just the right amount of reality and drama; it felt real, like I could picture being at college with these people. Plus sports!!! It was a really fun book with all the tropes that I love: fake dating, slow burn romance and best of all, hate to love by way of a tentative friendship AKA my kryptonite! Parts of the book were more serious than I anticipated but it didn’t feel exploitive or drama for the sake of drama, which was good. Also ONE DIRECTION REFERENCES. So here for that haha :)

 

 

Besides TOTALLY loving Garrett (oh my god) and Hannah, I love that they communicated like adults. It didn’t take half a book to resolve an argument, it took a few pages. So refreshing. They had the most amazing chemistry and I loved how they bantered with each other. And hot damn was this book super sexual sexy. Oh my godddd. Like, my face was burning while I was reading but I loved it haha. I also loved Garrett’s friends, I’m so glad there will be companion books! I also read The Mistake and loved that too ;)

 

 

Morgan @ Gone with the Words

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Review: Every Wrong Reason by Rachel Higginson

4th Nov 2015 Rubi @ Gone with the Words 2015, Reviews, Reviews by Rubi

Review: Every Wrong Reason by Rachel HigginsonEvery Wrong Reason by Rachel Higginson
Published by Reckless Siren Publishing
Pub Date: September 22nd 2015
Pages: 292
Format: eBook | Source: Purchased
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Buy the book! | Goodreads
4 Stars

First comes love.

Then comes marriage.

Then comes the... really nasty divorce.

Kate Carter thought she married her soul mate. She thought she had her happily ever after. But seven years into Kate's marriage, she realizes that her husband Nick is not what she wanted. He's selfish, he's oblivious and he doesn't love her anymore.

Maybe she doesn't love him anymore either.

Divorce is the only option if either of them wants to find happiness.

Kate and Nick thought they knew what they wanted, but neither is prepared for the heartache that separating will bring them. The journey they embark on is not the freedom they wished for, but a painful look at the people they've become.

At the end of it, Kate has to decide if this is really the life she wants or if maybe there's a way to salvage her broken heart.

“I thought back and tried to remember the last time he looked at me, really looked at me, and couldn’t remember. When was the last time he saw me? When was the last time we hadn’t been fighting long enough for his clear blue eyes to look into mine and a make a real connection? It had been years. Maybe he had never seen me.” -Kate

Every Wrong Reason is a story about making tough decisions and starting over. In it, we meet Kate and Nick who have been married for 7 years and are experiencing a terrible case of the infamous “seven-year itch”. Kate has the stable career of being a teacher while Nick has opted out of the adult life to play on a band with his friends.

This story starts off on the verge of yet another argument at bedtime where Katie is feeling simply fed up. She’s had a long day while Nick has had enough free time to go for a run and have a beer with his buddies. Walking into a wet bathroom floor, for what seems like the millionth time, was the last thing Kate needed. One thing leads to another and before the night is over, the “D” word has been thrown out and Nick is sleeping on the couch.

This book takes place over the period of one school year and is told entirely from Kate’s perspective. We’ve all had that breakup where you find yourself on the fence going back and forth. Nobody can make a decision as hard as divorcing your spouse without second guessing your choice, contradicting your words with your actions, breaking down, or thinking about backing down at least once. Reading a character’s thoughts as they are going through every thought process and emotion can be frustrating at times, but the author does such a great job. She keeps Kate’s character very human throughout the entire process and that’s what made this story totally realistic for me.

Most of the books we read start with two people who meet and run into some trouble when they are dating, but before the book is over they figure things out and the book finishes shortly after vows are exchanged. What made this story so different is that in it we get the aftermath. We don’t just get a look a few months after marriage, but a whole 7 years down the line when the newlywed stage has well worn off!

When I first read the plot I didn’t know how I would feel about it. For me, marriage is a once in a lifetime kind of thing and I didn’t know if having such a strong opinion on the matter would make me too biased. I’m glad I didn’t let that hold me back! I was actually on board with the idea from very early on. Although I have a strong opinion on marriage and divorce, I also am a firm believer in the fact that life is too short to be spent anything but happy. Within the first chapter it is clear how miserable Kate and Nick are and how much they bring out the worst in each other.

“We might be good people separately, but we were monsters together.” -Kate 

When we hear about two people getting divorced our minds instantly assume something drastic: “Someone must have cheated!” or “They must have been abusive!” The majority of the time we are way off and it’s just two people who have fallen out of love and over time have only drifted further apart. I loved that  Rachel Higginson kept things very simple here. They are splitting up because of the little things. Kate is simply tired of Nick not aspiring to have a stable job that can help her with the bills. She’s tired of him forgetting to clean the toothpaste off the sink and leaving the milk out. She’s tired of getting her soaks soaking on a wet bathroom floor because he forgot, yet again, to clean up after himself. Hell, I got tired of hearing Kate whine about him only 7 pages in so I can’t imagine being in her shoes wet socks (hehe) for 7 years. She feels like the spark is long gone and their marriage is not moving forward. The years are passing her by and she just doesn’t want to see herself dealing with this for yet another year. It’s all the little things piled into one big thing that has broken the camel’s back and that only made this book even more realistic.

I really enjoyed seeing these characters and their dynamic evolve as time passed and I was very happy with the ending they each received. Also, I think this is a book I would turn to if I was to ever find myself in their situation.

Rubi @ Gone with the Words

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Review: Changing Forever by Lisa De Jong

24th Aug 2015 Rubi @ Gone with the Words 2015, Reviews, Reviews by Rubi

Review: Changing Forever by Lisa De JongChanging Forever by Lisa De Jong
Series: Rains #2
Published by Author
Pub Date: June 24th 2014
Pages: 286
Format: eBook | Source: Purchased
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
2 Stars

I’ve always let my past dictate my future, letting it paint a picture of exactly what I don’t want to be. Where I don’t want to end up.

Drake Chambers is as arrogant as I am stubborn. A college quarterback, a national star. I thought he was just another one of those guys … the type every girl should stay away from, but he’s carrying more than the weight of the football team on his shoulders.

He unravels the feelings and beliefs I’ve held onto for so long. 

I thought we had it all figured out. Two people who’d finally found their happily ever after, but the past always has a way of sneaking into the present.

With one decision, everything changes … forever.

This Rains series is made up of three companion novels & one novella; each book follows one of three friends. This second book gives us the story of Emery (Kate’s roommate from book 1) & Drake and is told in alternating POVs between these two main characters as they cross that familiar line from hate to love.

Emery is meant to portray a strong female protagonist who is determined to have a bright future no matter how much work it takes. She’s never been the party girl, so skipping college parties in order to study is no big deal.

Drake  is the star quarterback who is counting on going pro to set himself up for a prosperous future. He’s not a fan of the distractions (girls and the parties), but he’d rather do that then be caught in a library.

They both come from a less than ideal family situation, but the main thing these two have in common is how stubborn they are and this caused major frustration for me as the reader! Usually, when crossing the line between hate/love, the characters waver a bit which causes an interesting plot. These two, on the other hand, grabbed that “line” and decided to play jump rope with it! I mean, seriously! There was so much back and forth that it just felt completely unhealthy. As a reader, you want to root for a happy ending, but if this was a real life situation I would’ve told both parties it was best to call it quits. These two had such great banter the first third of the book so the foundation of their relationship was really set nicely, but the constant fighting drained their story. The “twist” in the final chapters also caused for a rushed ending.

Another thing I had a problem with were the inconsistencies. There were quite a few scenes in this second book that were changed from the novella, After the Rain, which was book 1.5 in the series. Ex: In After the Rain, Cory is the person who invites Drake to the party and Beau isn’t too happy about it. That same scene in Changing Forever, Beau is the one who invites Drake and they actually seem like pretty close friends.

The one part of the story I did enjoy was the friendship between Emery and Kate! I’ve always loved a good friendship where there is no drama. The two are genuinely there for each other and it made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside! It also felt really good to see Kate getting along so well after everything she went through in When it Rains.

After having enjoyed book 1, When it Rains, so much, this was really a let down. Luckily, these are companion novels so they can also be read as standalone. I still really recommend reading book 1!

 

Rubi @ Gone with the Words

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Review: When It Rains by Lisa De Jong

17th Aug 2015 Rubi @ Gone with the Words 2015, Reviews, Reviews by Rubi

Review: When It Rains by Lisa De JongWhen It Rains by Lisa De Jong
Series: Rains #1
Published by Author
Pub Date: September 25th 2013
Pages: 337
Format: eBook | Source: Purchased
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
4.5 Stars

One night changed my life forever.

Beau Bennett has been my best friend since I can remember. He was my first crush before everything came crashing down, and now he wants more, but it's more than I can give him. Things are different now. I wish I could tell him why, but I can't.

I haven’t told anyone.

I never knew how much I really needed him until the day he left for college, and I was completely alone.

Then one day, Asher Hunt rides into town with his dark, captivating eyes and cocky grin. He doesn't care who I used to be, he's simply breathing life into what’s left. People warn me to stay away from him, but he helps me forget the pain that has held me hostage for so long; something I thought was impossible before he walked into my life.

I’ve been hurt.

I’ve been saved.

And I’ve found hope.

I thought my story was written that night, but now I know it was only a new beginning. Until one secret turns my world upside down…

Again.

I randomly ran across When It Rains by scrolling on Goodreads and there was just something about the cover that caught my eye! After reading the book description I just knew I had to read it asap! My tbr is pretty long but I moved it to the top of my list and I’m very glad to have done so. This is a story that I needed to read. Every now and then it’s good to read a book that completely grabs you by the heart & makes you feel & When It Rains did just that.

This is a story about a 19 year old girl, Kate, who has graduated high school but has decided to stay home and work in the town’s diner instead of going off to college like everyone else. Something horrible has happened to Kate & she has spent the last two years keeping it a secret. In doing so, she has pushed away everyone except for her mom & her bestfriend & first crush, Beau.

Timing has never been right for Beau & Kate; he’s now confessed his love for her, but Kate isn’t whole enough to handle a relationship with him or anyone.. or so she thinks. Beau is willing to give her space while he’s away in college & wait for Kate to be ready, but neither of them were counting on a new guy entering the picture! Asher Hunt wasn’t expecting anything more than fries & a shake when he walked into the diner, but there’s just something about the waitress with the green eyes & now, Kate isn’t the only one with a secret.

It wouldn’t be fair of me to not warn you so here goes nothing: When It Rains isn’t the kind of book that eases you into a plot. You are thrown into it as soon as you open the cover! I had to take a minute to gather my thoughts after having just read the prologue. The writing style is fantastic! We get the deep stuff thrown at us from page 1 and then, as the story develops, we are taken back in time and slowly given more details. Lisa De Jong also did an amazing job at character development and at some point I just decided I was gonna root for both Beau AND Asher! Lol crazy, but true! In the end, I think it was a perfect ending and I felt proud of Kate for how far she had come.

My reasons for this book not having been a full 5 stars will be part of this spoiler section, but I only recommend reading them after having read the book.  I really enjoyed Kate & Beau’s friendship from the beginning! I’m a total sucker for best friends that cross over to a relationship, so I was really rooting for them. Having said that, Asher made it really hard not to root for him as well! I appreciated the way he didn’t care to push for answers but instead just wanted to get close to Kate. View Spoiler » I think the author did a great job at breaking our hearts just enough to keep us reading.  A box of tissues later, I am happy with the ending & am more emotionally prepared for the next book in the series!

I hadn’t heard any buzz for this book, but have any of you read it before? If so, what were your thoughts on it? Let me know in the comments below!

 

Rubi @ Gone with the Words

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Giveaway: The Seventh Miss Hatfield by Anna Caltabiano

10th Aug 2015 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2015, Giveaways

Giveaway: The Seventh Miss Hatfield by Anna Caltabiano

Giveaway: The Seventh Miss Hatfield by Anna CaltabianoThe Seventh Miss Hatfield by Anna Caltabiano
Series: Seventh Miss Hatfield #1
Published by Epic Reads Impulse
Pub Date: August 11th 2015
Pages: 304
Format: eBook | Source: Publisher
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads

Romantic and action packed, The Seventh Miss Hatfield is a 300-page novel about a young girl with the ability to travel through time—and the secret she must protect. With an epic romance that cannot be stopped by the bounds of time, as well as deeper questions regarding immortality, The Seventh Miss Hatfield is the beginning of a series perfect for fans of love stories such as The Time Traveler's Wife as well as historical fiction with a fantastical twist like The Diviners by Libba Bray.

As a child, Cynthia was lured into the home of her mysterious neighbor, Miss Hatfield. There, Miss Hatfield tells her they are both part of a long line of immortal women able to travel through time. But this gift might be more of a curse, and it comes with a price. Cynthia is beginning to lose herself: she is becoming the next Miss Hatfield.

But before the process goes too far, Cynthia must travel back in time to turn-of-the-century New York and steal a painting. This picture might provide a clue to the whereabouts of the source of immortality, a clue that must remain hidden from the world.

Her assignment isn't as easy as it appears, especially when Cynthia meets an attractive yet sullen boy named Henley. As their friendship grows into something stronger, Cynthia is hesitant to leave. But how can she stay with the boy she cares for when she must return to her own time before the time travel has a fatal effect on her body? And would she rather stay and die in love or leave and live alone?

And who is the mysterious stranger who shadows her from place to place? A hunter for the secret of immortality—or someone who has already found it?

Epic Reads Impulse is a digital imprint focused on young adult short stories and novellas, with new releases the first Tuesday of each month.

Today on the blog I have the pleasure of offering you a fun giveaway! YAY! Suck it, Monday! The winner will get a code for a digital download of this book.

Anna Caltabiano released her first novel “All That Is Red” in 2013, and now her sophomore novel and the first of a trilogy, titled “The Seventh Miss Hatfield” is being published in the US on August 11th, 2015 by HarperCollins Epic Reads Impulse division. The novel was first available in the UK all last summer and garnered attention from the likes of BBC News, The Guardian, Company magazine, and Sugarscape, to name a few.

What the press had to say about “The Seventh Miss Hatfield”in the UK:

“22 Awesome New Summer Reads By FAB Female Authors” – Company Magazine

“With time travel, nineteenth century New York, a mysterious portrait and unrequited love, The Seventh Miss Hatfield is a book you are not going to want to miss out on this summer.”  – Sugarscape.com

“With The Seventh Miss Hatfield Anna Caltabiano shows clearly that she has some great writing skill in the making.The Seventh Miss Hatfield has a unique creativity to it; both the idea and the enchanting writing style.” – The Book Plank

“The Seventh Miss Hatfield” follows Cynthia, a young girl who isn’t entirely happy with her life, comfortable though it is. So when her mysterious neighbor Miss Hatfield asked her in for a chat and a drink, Cynthia said yes. Miss Hatfield is immortal, and now, thanks to a drop of water from the Fountain of Youth, Cynthia is as well. But this gift might be more of a curse, and it comes with a price. It was a decision that was to change everything. Cynthia must travel back in time to turn-of-the-century New York and steal a painting, a picture which might provide a clue to the whereabouts of the source of immortality. A clue which must remain hidden from the world. On her journey, she discovers forbidden love, mystery, and the true secrets of her immortality.

Get Social with Anna Caltabiano

Official Website | Facebook | Twitter

 

Giveaway

ebook of The Seventh Miss Hatfield by Anna Caltabiano

 

 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Bitsy Words: Last Will and Testament by Dahlia Adler

6th Jul 2015 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2015, Bitsy Words, ContemporaryRomance2015, Reviews, Reviews by Jess, Tunes for Books

Bitsy Words: Last Will and Testament by Dahlia AdlerLast Will and Testament by Dahlia Adler
Series: Radleigh University #1
Published by Author
Pub Date: December 9th 2014
Pages: 414
Format: eBook | Source: Gifted
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Buy the book! | Goodreads
4 Stars

Lizzie Brandt was valedictorian of her high school class, but at Radleigh University, all she's acing are partying and hooking up with the wrong guys. But all that changes when her parents are killed in a tragic accident, making her guardian to her two younger brothers. To keep them out of foster care, she'll have to fix up her image, her life, and her GPA—fast. Too bad the only person on campus she can go to for help is her humorless, pedantic Byzantine History TA, Connor Lawson, who isn't exactly Lizzie's biggest fan.

But Connor surprises her. Not only is he a great tutor, but he’s also a pretty great babysitter. And chauffeur. And listener. And he understands exactly what it’s like to be on your own before you're ready. Before long, Lizzie realizes having a responsible-adult type around has its perks... and that she'd like to do some rather irresponsible (but considerably adult) things with him as well. Good thing he's not the kind of guy who'd ever reciprocate.

Until he does.

Until they turn into far more than teacher and student.

Until the relationship that helped put their lives back together threatens everything they both have left.

So while I was sitting around wondering how I’d write my review of Last Will and Testament, this song came on. It instantly caught my attention because it fit Lizzie and Connor. The lyrics are exactly what they felt for each other, the music is sexy like them, and the feel is warm and romantic at is core. So if you’re looking for the feel of this book, here you have it…

 

 

Song: “Fallingforyou” by The 1975

What time you coming down?
We started losing light.
I’ll never make it right
If you don’t want me around,
I’m so excited for the night,
All we need’s my bike and your enormous house
You said some day we might
When I’m closer to your height
‘Til then we’ll knock around, endlessly
You’re all I need

Don’t you see me now?
I think I’m falling, I’m falling for you,
Don’t you need me?
I, I think I’m falling, I’m falling for you,
And on this night and in this light,
I think I’m falling, I’m falling for you
Maybe you’ll change your mind
I think I’m falling, I think I’m falling

I’m caught on your coat again
You said, “Oh, no, it’s fine,”
I read between the lines
And touched your leg again, again
I’ll take you one day at a time,
Soon you will be mine,
Oh but I want you now (I want you now)
When the smoke is in your eyes,
You look so alive,
Do you fancy sitting down with me? Maybe?

You’re all I need
According to your heart,
My place is not deliberate,
Feeling of your arms
I don’t wanna be your friend,
I wanna kiss your neck

Don’t you see me?
I, I think I’m falling, I’m falling for you
Don’t you need me?
I, I think I’m falling, I’m falling for you
And on this night and in this light
I think I’m falling, I’m falling for you
Maybe you’ll change your mind

 

 

 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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“This Lullaby Is Only A Few Words” | Revisiting My Favorite Sarah Dessen Novel + Giveaway!

29th Jun 2015 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2015, ContemporaryRomance2015, ReRead2015, Reviews, Reviews by Jess, Sarah Dessen Week, Tunes for Books

“This Lullaby Is Only A Few Words” | Revisiting My Favorite Sarah Dessen Novel + Giveaway!This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen
Published by Speak
Pub Date: March 8th 2004
Pages: 345
Format: eBook | Source: Purchased
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
5 Stars

She’s got it all figured out.

Or does she? When it comes to relationships, Remy’s got a whole set of rules.

Never get too serious. Never let him break your heart. And never, ever date a musician.

But then Remy meets Dexter, and the rules don’t seem to apply anymore.

Could it be that she’s starting to understand what all those love songs are about?

This Lullaby is my favorite Sarah Dessen novel because I’ve always seen parts of my high school self in high school Remy.

On the surface Remy treats love very cynically. She sees her mother’s failed marriages as proof that all relationships end, so she likes to keep things clean and easy by putting a timetable on her own.

Enter Dexter, who literally crashes into her life when he plops down next her and opens with a “Hey.” She’s never sure why Dexter is different from all the others when he’s what she’s always had rules against, but it really opens her up and lets her softer side show.

And Dexter. Oh, man, I just love him. I have a whole post on him (and most all the other Sarah Dessen boys) so be sure to check that out!

Remy has a great group of friends. I loved that while they each had their issues, they never brought each other down, even when they would poke fun at one another. They were all supportive in their own ways.

There are so many moments in this book where my heart just swelled and times when it just broke but it was all worth it in the end. Remy may not be everyone’s favorite cup of tea, but I think she grows so much, and for that reason I love her best. And well, we all know I love Dexter best too. :)

And because I’m going to see Dashboard Confessional this Thursday, I’ve been listening to them non-stop, so when this song came on, I immediately turned it up because all of a sudden something clicked… it’s the perfect Dexter & Remy song! Let me know what you think…

 

Giveaway

 

 

 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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