Sunday, February 18, 2018

{Book Review} After We Collided by Anna Todd

After We Collided by Anna Todd
Published: November 25, 2014
Series: After #2
Source: Purchased
Genre: NA Contemporary Romance

Tessa has everything to lose. Hardin has nothing to lose…except her. AFTER WE COLLIDED…Life will never be the same.

After a tumultuous beginning to their relationship, Tessa and Hardin were on the path to making things work. Tessa knew Hardin could be cruel, but when a bombshell revelation is dropped about the origins of their relationship—and Hardin’s mysterious past—Tessa is beside herself.

Hardin will always be…Hardin. But is he really the deep, thoughtful guy Tessa fell madly in love with despite his angry exterior—or has he been a stranger all along? She wishes she could walk away. It’s just not that easy. Not with the memory of passionate nights spent in his arms. His electric touch. His hungry kisses.

Still, Tessa’s not sure she can endure one more broken promise. She put so much on hold for Hardin—school, friends, her mom, a relationship with a guy who really loved her, and now possibly even a promising new career. She needs to move forward with her life.

Hardin knows he made a mistake, possibly the biggest one of his life. He’s not going down without a fight. But can he change?Will he change…for love?

Alright, I am going to start this review off completely honest.  I read this book about 5 months ago and am just now getting to writing this review because of pregnancy morning sickness.  I thought about not writing this review since it has been such a long time, but I personally like to look back at what I thought of books so I thought I could write something.  It might not be the most detailed, but considering this book is VERY similar to book one, it’s not like I will miss much.

The writing in this book was about as good as book one.  It was simplistic and easy to read, but this book did DRAG on and on and on.  It was literally almost the exact same as After.  They fought, they made up, they fought, they made up.  I know a lot of readers have a problem with this romanticizing a toxic relationship and I have to agree.  However, I look at this as a warning of what you don’t want in a relationship.  I was literally tired just from reading it and I wasn’t even involved. 

I will say that I enjoyed reading Harden’s POV in this book and it did give some insight into his character, however, I am not sure if that made me like him any more than I did in the first.  His self-destructive behavior got somewhat exhausting and his sad history didn’t make up for his actions as much as I felt like it did in the first book.  I am all about having to overcome the situations that are out of your control, but there comes a point where you have to look in the mirror and realize that YOU are making the same mistakes over and over again, which of course gets the same results.  I just found myself feeling a little less understanding of his situation as I did in the first book.

And Tessa.  She has got to by one of my most hated female protagonists.  She is a naïve doormat that allows herself to be used and abused.  Of course, a lot of the situations she gets herself in are of her own making.  She seemed to have matured a tiny (and I mean TINY) amount from book one.  She seemed to be a little more assertive, but unfortunately, she always seemed to bend when Haden gave her his puppy dog eyes which would end with her in the same situation only a few chapters later.

I think that one of the best qualities of this book is that it does show what a toxic relationship looks like.  Harden is controlling and continues to hurt Tessa, but then somehow gets Tessa to take him back over and over agin.  Tessa constantly blames Harden’s actions on his damaged childhood and rarely makes him take responsibility for his own actions.  They are co-dependent on each other, self destructive and have the mentality that they can’t live without one another.  It shows how an individual can get snared into someone’s web and how hard it is to finally realize that the relationship is not good for either person involved and then to make the choice to walk away.  However, I think that some readers may not look at the story the same way and see it as romantic or an epic love story.

Now, I bet you are wondering why my rating of 3 stars.  Like I mentioned above, I looked at this story more of a cautionary one, which kind of made me a bit more tolerant of the behavior from the characters and the romance.  And of course, this book, just like the first, was addictive.  It was like a train wreck that you just could not turn away from.  You almost got addicted to seeing these characters crash and burn.  A little bit of me wanted to see if Tessa and Harden would mature.  I am still on the fence if I will continue on.  I have all the books, but the next one is SOOOOO big!  If I have to read more of what I have already experience, I might end up throwing all the books into a wood chipper and putting them out of their misery. 


Friday, February 16, 2018

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

{Favorites} 2017 Reads

 (in no particular order)

Born Sinner by S.L. Jennings

It Ain't Me, Babe by Tillie Cole

A Player for a Princess by Tia Louise
Grip by Kennedy Ryan
This is Reckless by Kennedy Fox

Fake Fiancee by Ilsa Madden-Mills

Commander in Chief by Katy Evans

A Vow of Thorns by R. Scarlett
Vicious by L.J. Shen

Just an Illusion EP by D. Kelly

Wilder by Rebecca Yarros

Fallen Heir by Erin Watt 

Trust by Kylie Scott

Edge of Brotherhood by Molly E. Lee

When It's Real by Erin Watt

What I Need by J. Daniels

Sunday, February 11, 2018

{Book Review} Thoughtless by S.C. Stephens

Thoughless by S.C. Stephens
Published: August 16, 2012
Series: Thoughtless #1
Source: Purchased
Genre: Contemporary, Rock Star Romance

For almost two years now, Kiera's boyfriend, Denny, has been everything she's ever wanted: loving, tender and endlessly devoted to her. When they head off to a new city to start their lives together, Denny at his dream job and Kiera at a top-notch university, everything seems perfect. Then an unforeseen obligation forces the happy couple apart.

Feeling lonely, confused, and in need of comfort, Kiera turns to an unexpected source – a local rock star named Kellan Kyle. At first, he's purely a friend that she can lean on, but as her loneliness grows, so does their relationship. And then one night everything changes...and none of them will ever be the same.

This book has been on my TBR for forever!  I have always heard about how absolutely amazing this series is within the blogging universe and I have a weakness for rock star romances, so I was VERY excited to pick this one up.  This book was great, but I would not categorize it as one of my all-time favorite reads.  It was addictive, fun and full of drama, but there were things that got under my skin.  I will save some of you time from reading the rest of this review, if you have any problems with blatant cheating; this book is FULL of it.  If you are still interested or even a bit curious, you can continue reading.

The writing was great.  It was simplistic and flowed very well, making this a fast read.  One complaint I did have was the abundance of the descriptive word blush.  I swear that Kiera’s, the main protagonist, main reaction to every experience she has or anyone talking to her is to blush.  She must have spent at least 1/3 of this book blushing over something.  Also, some of the situations did seem a bit redundant.  It allowed readers to really get to know that characters and get invested in the story, but I think that it could have been cut down a little.

The characters in this book were interesting, complicated and deep, but they were also frustrating and extremely selfish.  I will say that a lot of readers will have a problem with Kiera.  Her choices in this book are beyond repulsive.  The only way I could get away without absolutely hating her is that she is young and naïve.  Also, there are a lot of people in this world who remind me of Kiera.  I can only hope that as I continue on with this series, she grows and really repents for her actions.  Denny, Kiera’s boyfriend, was great.  I am glad that his character was given depth instead of just being used as a plot device.  He had a personality and although I REALLY liked him, he was portrayed as perfect.  He was inhumanly perfect, which also made Kiera’s actions that much worse.  My favorite character was Kellan.  At first he rubbed me the wrong way, but he slowly creeped his way into my heart.  He was complex and damaged.  I really want to see how his history will play in the future installments in this series.  And weirdly, I did not absolutely hate him for his actions with Kiera.  I don’t know if it was because I liked his character or because Kiera’s actions was far worse, but I still found Kellan charming and charismatic.

So the romance in this book was…intense.  It was definitely full of angst and drama.  I found myself addicted by the romance even though my morals told me to be disgusted by it.  I was very mortified by Kiera’s actions, but I won’t deny the chemistry between Kiera and Kellan.  The problem was, I also really liked the relationship between Kiera and Denny as well.  I think the author did a really good job of making readers really pulled between these two relationships.  Overall, I really hope that  can find some redeeming qualites within the romance in the next installment. 

I did really like this read even though I had SO many problems with the romances and characters.  It was addictive and I just could not put it down.  I will be finishing the series and am interested to see that now that some of the problems I had with book one are solved, if I will like the characters more.  I don’t think this book is for everyone, but I think that some people will really love it (obviously!).


“I liked constant.  I liked safe.  It was one of the reasons Denny and I clicked so well.  He was  a cooling lake: supportive, refreshing, and, most of all, never changing.  Kellan…Kellan was fire: passionate, emotional, and searing to the core”

Also check out the other books by S.C. Stephens below!

Sunday, February 4, 2018

{Book Review} The Evolution of Us by D. Kelly

The Evolution of Us by D. Kelly
Published: October 11, 2017
Series: Standalone
Source: Received in exchange for an honest review
Genre: Contemporary Romance

They say most people meet the person they will marry while in high school. Balancing one another perfectly, Holly Ryan and Declan James were together through most of college—until their relationship blew up, leaving Declan with more questions than answers.

For the past two years, Declan has tried everything he can think of to earn Holly’s forgiveness, but even if he manages to help her let go of the past and give them another chance at happiness, she still has a secret. Not to mention, she can’t get over the revolving door of women he seems to have coming in and out of his apartment.

Declan is desperate to prove to Holly she’s the one for him and isn’t above using his celebrity status or enlisting the help of their friends to win her back.
All’s fair in love and war, right?

D. Kelly is the author of one of my all-time favorite series (The Illusion series).  Her writing sucks readers in, captivating them from page one.  I really enjoyed reading The Evolution of Us, but it was a lot different from the previous series I had fallen in love with by her.  This was a light-hearted, second chance romance that did talk about some difficult topics, but was definitely more fluffy compared to her precious books (which is not a bad thing).

D. Kelly’s writing was amazing as always.  This story alternates perspectives and between past and present tense.  I really enjoyed this aspect because it allowed the “big” secret to be played out until the end of the book until it was finally revealed.  I will say that I was disappointed about the “big” reveal of why these characters split.  It just did not make sense in my mind.  However, there was some other revelations that did shock me and make up for the previous actions from some of the characters.

I really liked the main female protagonist, Holly.  She was relatable and seemed like “just your average girl”.  I also loved her relationships with the secondary characters because she came off as genuine, loving and protective.  I did struggle with Holly’s love interest, Declan.  One moment I loved him and the next I was pulling out my hair by his actions.  Some of his behavior confused me from whom I believed that he was and I had a hard time connecting fully with him because of that.  The secondary characters were wonderful and made this story dynamic and full of fun and laughs.

The romance was really great.  I loved both the romance from the past and the present.  Getting to see how Holly and Declan met and fell in love really made me root for them in the present tense.  I also really enjoyed seeing them reconnect when they were older and after all the turbulent events that shook them as a couple.  It was great that they both were able to lean and depend on each other in some of their hardest experiences.

Overall, I think that this book would be a great romance for readers who are just being introduced to romance reads or anyone who prefers something a bit more light-hearted.  If you prefer something a bit more heavy on the emotion romance, I ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY recommend The Illusion series by D. Kelly.  I literally can’t recommend that series enough (even if it means I need to add it into other reviews I write)!  It is gut-wrenching, all-consuming and addicting!


Also check out the other books by D. Kelly below!

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