Monday, February 27, 2017

{Book Review} This is Reckless by Kennedy Fox

This is Reckless by Kennedy Fox
Published: February 28th, 2017
Series: The Checkmate Duet #3
Source: Received in exchange for an honest review
Genre: Contemporary, Romance

Drew Fisher is the type of guy every girl wants.
Noble police officer by day, charming prince by night.
He has no idea the effect he has on women, especially me—his little sister’s best friend.

I’m the blonde Southern belle who lives up to the cliché, except I have my own quirks. I’m smart as a whip, can change my own oil, and recite The Pledge of Allegiance backward, but he doesn’t see that girl.

It’d be easier to forget him if he wasn’t my roommate and if the first thing I saw in the morning wasn't his shirtless body covered in tattoos. I’ve crushed on him since the day we met, but he’s made it perfectly clear where we stand. Just friends.

I know I need to move on and accept that his feelings will never be mutual, but every day he smiles at me, I’m left dreaming of what if.

He has girl issues, and I’ve got a crush I can’t deny.
We’re friends, but I want more.

One drunken hookup leaves us with much more than a platonic friendship. Pretending it never happened proves to be more difficult than anticipated.

A crazy ex-girlfriend, a dangerous war of stolen glances, and passionate kisses leads to the most reckless battle yet. I won’t be a pawn in his game, but I’ll play by his rules if it will show him I’m the one worth breaking them for.

Checkmate, Prince Charming.

Checkmate: This is War and This is Love were some of by favorite reads of 2016, but honestly, Checkmate: This is Reckless blew them out of the water (which is absolutely mind-blowing since I LOVED them both)!  I was really struggling this month with a HUGE reading slump, but this book pulled me from the pits of despair.  I was absolutely captivated and entranced by this story!  I can not recommend these book enough.  If you love contemporary romance books, go pick these up!

It is a huge accomplishment to be able to take a very used, but loved romance troupe and make it fun and unique.  I am always worried going into books that follow a very popular story line, which this book has two (friends to lovers & best friends brother romance), because they always seem predictable.  But this is ANYTHING but predictable, which I should have known from the end of This is War!  I will warn readers that this book does end on a cliffhanger, but the next book, This is Effortless, comes out soon!

The writing in this book was superb!  It was fast-paced, exciting and flowed effortlessly.  It is written in first person, alternating POV's between Drew and Courtney, which is my favorite writing style.  Although this book is full of emotion and heart, it also cracked me up SO many times.  I loved the texts/emails between Viola and Courtney!  They were hilarious and made me want to be their best friend too!  I also LOVED the humorous dialogue that Courtney dished up.  She was one of my favorite parts from the previous books and she did not disappoint!    

I love the relationship between these characters!  The friendship between Viola and Courtney is so genuine and cute.  I also liked the bromance between Drew and Travis.  I think showing the relationships the main characters have with others helps to make them more real and well-rounded.  I also loved getting to see a little expansion on Viola and Travis' relationship.  I loved that they both rooted for their friends to be together and helped to 'push' them along!

The romance in this book was amazing!  I did not think that I could fall in love more than I did with Travis and Viola, but Drew and Courtney stole my heart.  It was one of my most absolute favorite things about this book.  Drew was PERFECT!  All the sweet gestures he would do for Courtney literally made my heart melt into a puddle.  I loved that Drew and Courtney started as best friends and it evolved into more.  The fact that they already did 'couple' things, like watching movies and going to get ice cream, only helped show their chemistry even more.

These books are absolutely amazing and I love every bit of them!  I can not wait to read the sequel to this book, This is Effortless, because that ending blew my mind!  These books are so addictive, fun, full of drama and angst.  I highly recommend this book, but I recommend starting from the beginning and picking up This is War first to get the best reading experience and not spoil the previous books.


“It feels like forever was meant to happen with him and after fighting the urge, he finally came to his senses, and I don't ever want to break away."

Also check out some Kennedy Fox's other books below!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

{Book Review} Flow by Kennedy Ryan

Flow by Kennedy Ryan
Published: February 25th, 2017
Series: Prequel
Source: Received in exchange for an honest review
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, NA
Pages: 130

In 8 years, Marlon James will be one of the brightest rising stars in the music industry.
Bristol Gray will be his tough, no-nonsense manager.
But when they first meet, she's a college student finding her way in the world,
and he's an artist determined to make his way in it.
From completely different worlds,
all the things that should separate them only draw them closer.
It's a beautiful beginning, but where will the story end?

FLOW is the prequel chronicling the week of magical days and nights that will haunt Grip & Bristol for years to come.

GRIP is the full-length conclusion of their story.

I can’t even begin to tell you how happy I was when I found out that Grip and Bristol would be getting their own books!  Readers were introduced to Grip and Bristol in the Soul series, but I never could get enough of them.  Hints were given about a deeper connection between these two characters, but it was never expanded on…until now! 

I won’t lie, Bristol was not my favorite person in the Soul series, but I was intrigued by her.  Although she always came off as cold and distant, I could always tell there was a complexity to her character that readers were not seeing.  Flow showed a younger Bristol, one who had not snapped her walls up and barricaded her heart.

Grip was amazing in the Soul series and is one of the reasons I could not wait to get my hands on these books!  I loved how honest and real he always was.  One of the reasons I loved Grip was because he always held out hope that Bristol would come around.  I found it so enduring that he cared about and believed in his feelings for her so much.  It was also great to see how they met and read it from the beginning!

I loved the hard topics that were brought up in this book.  It shed some light on what readers can expect in Grip.  This was definitely a topic that I have little education on and was happy to be schooled from a different perspective.  These are topics that are in the news today and need to be addressed, but sometimes are hard for people to talk about.  I am glad that this book crossed that threshold to make it okay to be naïve and ask questions about how other cultures/races may perceive events.

I think this was a great setup for Grip and I hope that this book reaches far because the topics are something that needs to be discussed more openly.  I will say that Flow and Grip can be read as standalones, but I recommend reading the Soul series first.  If you don’t, it will spoil things from that series and trust me, you want to read that series!


“There are too few perfect moments in this life.  Far too few of us get them, but I am privileged to have this one with this man.”

Make sure to pick up the continuation of Grip & Bristol’s story in Grip!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

{Book Review} Stepbrother Dearest by Penelope Ward

Stepbrother Dearest By Penelope Ward
Published: September 23rd, 2014
Series: Standalone
Source: Purchased
Genre: Contemporary, Romance

You’re not supposed to want the one who torments you.

When my stepbrother, Elec, came to live with us my senior year, I wasn’t prepared for how much of a jerk he’d be.

I hated that he took it out on me because he didn’t want to be here.
I hated that he brought girls from our high school back to his room.
But what I hated the most was the unwanted way my body reacted to him.

At first, I thought all he had going for him were his rock-hard tattooed abs and chiseled face. Then, things started changing between us, and it all came to a head one night.

Just as quickly as he’d come into my life, he was gone back to California.

It had been years since I’d seen Elec.

When tragedy struck our family, I’d have to face him again.

And holy hell, the teenager who made me crazy was now a man that drove me insane.

I had a feeling my heart was about to get broken again.

This book defiantly gave me all the feels!  I was not expecting a short, quick, fun read to literally tear my heart out!  I have never read anything by Penelope Ward before, but she has a huge fan base and now I am part of it!  I love forbidden romance books, but I am still a little wherry about stepbrother romances.  This is my second and I think that I am slowly changing my mind about these types of books.  It was amazing!

Ward’s writing was phenomenal!  It flowed effortlessly and painted a very vivid image in my mind.  I would not say that this book is very fast-paced, but it did keep me interested throughout the story.  I constantly kept pushing myself to read because I needed to know how it was going to end.  The only thing that I did not enjoy with the writing was at the end, about the last 75%, a lot of the book is recapped in Elec’s POV.  It made sense of why it was happening, but a lot of it was just a re-hash of what readers already knew.  I would not have minded it so much if we would have gotten more new information, but a lot of it was just Elec’s internal dialogue and it did drag some.

I L-O-V-E-D the characters in this book!  I loved reading from Greta’s POV.  She was very relatable, which made the heartbreak she suffered that much worse.  When reading those scenes, it almost felt as though I was going through my past heartbreak again.  I could feel her pain and my heart was literally hurting for her.  And Elec was amazing!  I liked his mysterious, dark past.  He is one of those characters that are hard on the outside, but warm and soft on the inside.  The secondary characters were also great and helped push the story forward.

The romance in this book was really the driving force behind it.  It is a taboo subject to have a relationship with your stepbrother, but Ward was able to write it amazingly.  Also, I know a lot of readers HATE cheating in books, but there is absolutely NO cheating…well physically anyway.  I know some people might consider cheating to be emotional as well, which I guess this would defiantly have.  I felt so bad for Greta and Elec because their connection was very apparent.  I rooted for them to be together and had my heart break several times throughout this book, but ultimately, was very satisfied with the ending.

I LOVED this book and really want to read more of Penelope Ward’s writing.  Ward’s writing was able to pull emotions from me that both broke my heart and made me giddy with joy.  I would recommend this book to readers who enjoy forbidden romance and angsty reads.  I will defiantly be picking up Neighbor Dearest as soon as I can!


“It may seem strange, but I quietly thanked Randy for what he had given me.  In life, he led me to my one true love.  In death, he made it possible to find her again.”

Also check out some of Penelope Ward’s other books below.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

{Book Review} Pure by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Pure by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Published: April 3rd, 2012 by Spencer Hill Press
Series: Covenant #2
Source: Bought
Genre: YA, Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 329

There is need. And then there is Fate. Being destined to become some kind of supernatural electrical outlet isn't exactly awesome--especially when Alexandria's other half is everywhere she goes. Seth's in her training room, outside her classes, and keeps showing up in her bedroom--so not cool. Their connection does have some benefits, like staving off her nightmares of the tragic showdown with her mother, but it has no effect on what Alex feels for the forbidden, pure-blooded Aiden. Or what he will do--and sacrifice--for her. When daimons infiltrate the Covenants and attack students, the gods send furies--lesser gods determined to eradicate any threat to the Covenants and to the gods, and that includes the Apollyon--and Alex. And if that and hordes of aether-sucking monsters didn't blow bad enough, a mysterious threat seems willing to do anything to neutralize Seth, even if that means forcing Alex into servitude--or killing her. When the gods are involved, some decisions can never, ever be undone.

This was a great second installment in the Covenant series and I am really excited to see where this series takes me in future books.  It is fast-paced and full of excitement.  I feel like I could fly through these books, but I am trying to pace myself so that I won’t suffer from an extreme book hangover. 

The writing was great…pretty much on par with the rest of what Armentrout writes.  Her books always read really fast and keep readers engaged until the very end.  I think that Armentrout really excelled at writing the action scenes in this book.  I also really enjoyed the way that the dialogue was written…it was very natural.  I feel like the dialogue has a big part in developing the relationships between characters.  I loved to see the friendship between Alex and Caleb…their ramblings seemed genuine and something that teenagers would say.

I thought that the plot defiantly became more intricate in this book.  However, I did find some of the events predictable…especially the end.  There was one twist thrown in there that did blow me away (and broke my heart).  This book really spent a lot of time building mystery around the counsel and solidifying character relationships.  I am looking forward to picking up Deity, the third book in this series to see which direction the plot will develop.

The relationships in this book defiantly became deeper.  The relationship between Alex and Aiden became more angsty and complicated.  The relationship between Alex and Seth surprisingly deepened in a way I never expected.  I have to say, I really like the dynamic between Alex and Seth and I found myself rooting for this coupling more than the one with Aiden.  I thought the banter between these two was very funny and I loved that Seth was protective and seemed to care for Alex.

I feel like a big turn off for some readers will be the love triangle, which became very apparent in this book and I feel will continue into the next.  I have a feeling of who Alex ends up with (as I am sure a lot of readers do) so I am interested to see how relationship dynamics shift in the next book.  The romance is a big part of the plot, so I don’t think that readers who hate love triangles would like this book.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and cannot wait to read the next.  Anyone who has read and liked Armentrout’s other books will enjoy this series as well.  However, I would suggest buying the whole series up front because you are going to want to devour all the books, one right after the other.


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