ARC Review: Crazy Pucking Love by Cindi Madsen

Crazy Pucking Love (Taking Shots, #3)

Crazy Pucking Love
(Taking Shots #3)
Author: Cindi Madsen
Publisher: Entangled: Embrace
Date of Publication: November 7, 2016
Genre: Romance, New Adult, Contemporary

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Synopsis new

I just met the girl of my dreams.

Megan Davenport is funny and smart, and she’s as much of an insomniac as I am. She’s also my team captain’s little sister, which I only found out after our passionate kiss.

Megan is completely off-limits—her brother makes that very clear—and I know better than to think I can keep a relationship going during hockey season anyway. But that doesn’t mean we can’t be late-night friends, right?

The only problem is, love makes you do crazy things, like breaking all the rules.

my thoughts new

“I saw you, I wanted you, and I ignored everything else. I knew I was crossing a line I shouldn’t, but crossing it felt so damn good.”

Another potentially lovable NA sports romance that was well-written but unfortunately suffered a number of flaws.

We met Megan Davenport in Getting Lucky Number Seven as Beck’s little sister who was quite a rebel that time. Now she is already a freshman at Boston College and is about to have an exciting college life with the help of her “Fresh Start Checklist” that contains all her goals. In a college drunken party, she meets a gorgeous guy named Dane Kowalski and sort of forms an instant friendship with him. She doesn’t know that Dane is actually an ice hockey star and a co-player of her brother, which is quite a conflict since Beck is such a protective brother and she’s already attracted with Dane. Plus, Dane seems to feel the same way, too.

You know what’s the obvious similarity of this book to the previous books of this series? The characters, the storyline, the dramas.. same old same old. It’s the repetitive idea by which the male lead carries heavier baggage, thus he cannot give his “all” to the heroine because he’s not capable enough to give it. Ugh.

What’s with these hockey men and their never ending issues?

Now onto the good side.

I still found this book swoon-worthy despite my complaints. I felt the strong connection shared by the characters as well as the angst. Both characters were okay. I thought Dane was such a hot mess but he was a sweet person with a soft heart nonetheless. The sexy scenes, on the other hand, were burning hawt. There was certainly a chemistry between Dane and Megan and for that, I was at least happy. You just have to prepare for that cheesy ending though.

All in all, it was an okay read. Just another typical college sports romance with cliché tropes such as friends-to-lovers and friends-with-benefits. I wasn’t completely drawn but I think other readers may find this book enjoyable and may love it more than I did.

(An ARC was provided to me by Entangled: Embrace and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.)

Rating:

3 Stars

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Review: Lead by Kylie Scott

Lead (Stage Dive, #3)

Lead
(Stage Dive #3)
Author: Kylie Scott
Publisher: Macmillan Australia
Published: July 29, 2014
Genre: Romance, New Adult, Adult, Contemporary

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Synopsis new

Stay up all night with the sexy rockers in Stage Dive, the epic New Adult series from New York Times bestselling author Kylie Scott, author of Lick and Play.

As the lead singer of Stage Dive, Jimmy is used to getting whatever he wants, whenever he wants it, whether it’s booze, drugs, or women. However, when a PR disaster serves as a wake-up call about his life and lands him in rehab, he finds himself with Lena, a new assistant to keep him out of trouble.

Lena’s not willing to take any crap from the sexy rocker and is determined to keep their relationship completely professional, despite their sizzling chemistry. But when Jimmy pushes her too far and Lena leaves, he realizes that he may just have lost the best thing that ever happened to him.

my thoughts new

“God damn mother-f*cking rock stars.”

I honestly didn’t think I would love Jimmy Ferris because he was such a douche in the previous books. But my oh my. This book totally changed my opinion and feelings for him.

James Dylan “Jimmy” Ferris, Stage Dive’s lead singer, is a difficult man to understand. He comes full of baggage. Spoiled, vain, and sensitive, the way he manages his issues changed when Lena Morrissey came into his life as his personal live-in assistant. Lena is a different girl. She doesn’t put up with Jimmy’s crap, thus they were like a cat and a dog who are always at clash with each other. But because they seriously have this strange connection between them and a chemistry that is so apparent, Lena slowly became infatuated with him. However, relationship is not in Jimmy’s vocabulary so she has to hide her feelings.

“Whatever he might be, Jimmy Ferris was special and complicated, beautiful and beastly, all rolled into one.”

I loved how their relationship had no insta-love. The build-up was done so well and it was packed with sexual tension and frustration. lol. I especially loved their banters and those parts where Jimmy tried so hard to control his jealousy each time Lena is with another guy. You can expect to find a push and pull kind of romance here which I found really entertaining. All throughout the book, all I was ever hoping for was for them to say those magic words and finally be together as a couple.

I guess what truly made this book stand out was the way Jimmy’s character was fleshed out and how his family issues were highlighted. I finally understood why he’s acting like a jerk. It’s because of this book that I realized he’s more than just a tortured hero. He’s a man who’s also capable to care for someone as good as Lena. Another thing that made me appreciate this book was Lena’s patience to Jimmy and her acceptance to his issues. It was quite remarkable. I just wished this book highlighted Jimmy’s performance on stage. I would have loved to see him singing on stage together with his bandmates. Also, I wished the resolution to their conflict wasn’t that rushed.

All in all, Lead was a knock-my-socks-off kind of book. There was certainly A LOT to love about it. Definitely one of the entertaining and wonderfully written sequels ever!

“Love came in all sorts of shapes and size, but if it wasn’t based upon doing what was right for the one you loved, then what was it worth, really?”

Rating:

4 stars

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Review: Sempre by J.M. Darhower

 Sempre (Forever, #1)

Sempre
(Sempre #1)
Author: J.M. Darhower
Publisher: Gallery Books
Published: February 25, 2014
Genre: Young Adult, New Adult, Dark, Romance Contemporary, Suspense
My Rating:

5 stars new

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Synopsis new

THIS IS A STORY ABOUT SACRIFICE… DEATH… LOVE… FREEDOM. THIS IS A STORY ABOUT FOREVER.

Haven Antonelli and Carmine DeMarco grew up under vastly different circumstances. Haven, a second-generation slave, was isolated in the middle of the desert, her days full of hard work and terrifying abuse. Carmine, born into a wealthy Mafia family, lived a life of privilege and excess. Now, a twist of fate causes their worlds to collide. Entangled in a web of secrets and lies, they learn that while different on the surface, they have more in common than anyone would think. In a world full of chaos, where money and power rule, Haven and Carmine yearn to break free, but a string of events that began before either of them were born threatens to destroy them instead.

Murder and betrayal are a way of life, and nothing comes without a price-especially not freedom. But how much will they have to sacrifice? Can they escape their pasts? And, most of all, what does it mean to be free?

my thoughts new

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(Buddyreading this book with my lovely sis Eunice)

“When love strikes someone like lightning, so powerful and intense it can’t be denied. It’s beautiful and messy, cracking a chest open and spilling their soul out for the world to see. It turns a person inside out, and there’s no going back from it.”

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I believe this is one of the best books written so far.

Sempre is yet another masterpiece where J.M. Darhower uses a dark theme as a plot device for a YA/NA romantic genre.

The story centered around Haven who grew up as a slave under the Antonelli family. She was about to escape and ask for help when she stumbled upon Dr. Vincent DeMarco who brought her to his home and basically gave her shelter. In return, she was also to work as his slave– with restrictions and certain rules to never get out of the house or open any code inside. In her new home she met the notorious bad boy Carmin DeMarco, a Mafia prince who has the entire world under his fingertips. What soon blossomed between them was an unexpected love which eventually became a complication to their situation where danger continues to threaten them and heavy decisions matter.

I loved the concept of this book and the exquisite romance of two young people who fell in love against seemingly impossible odds. I expected it to be something different, something that I’m used to in a Mafia romance, but I was surprised by its uniqueness. The writing of J.M. Darhower and the ardent tone she used gave me a plethora of different emotions.

She was quiet, running her fingers across his abs and tracing his scars with her fingertips. “How about we just be Haven and Carmine? We don’t know the ending, but we can always hope for the best.”

“I like that,” he said. “Besides, there’s a reason we don’t know how a story ends.”

“Why?”

“Because it doesn’t.”

Carmine and Haven’s love story was one of a kind. I absolutely loved their exchange of lines and the way their cheesy yet heart-warming conversations moved me. It also helped a lot that Carmine was such a cocky, sarcastic, yet very passionate and sweet guy. Just a heads up, this guy is extremely jealous and possessive but I admit to myself that I didn’t have any problem with him being that way because well, who am I to complain? His character was defined so perfectly and I just could’t do anything but SWOON.

“You were brought to me for a reason, for us to save each other. Because you weren’t the only one needing to be saved, Haven. I was drowning, and you rescued me.”

At first I did have a little problem with the pacing. The book, I admit, did drag out too long. BUT! I realized when I got to Chapters 40 and beyond that those dragging scenes were a necessity. They were like spices that made the whole book entirely meaningful and dramatic. If the story did not finish with a BOOM, and if the story didn’t have that beautifulclimax, then I’d probably resent its slow-pacing but then I loved how the overall story turned out so it didn’t become a problem with me.

There were many places Carmine would go back to, many things he would have done differently, but one thing he wouldn’t take back was what he had done to save her.

As a whole, this book was a real surprise. The drama, the sentiments, the dilemma, and even the slow-burn flaw that the author managed to convey were so overwhelming and thought-provoking. I cried a lot of times as I went through its pages (How could an author do that to me?) and I experienced a great deal of adrenaline-rush after reading those action scenes in the near-end. It was just so good!!!

To those who love heavy drama and romance with action-packed scenarios, you definitely should read this book. I cannot be alone in this, guys! I have to get you to read and experience the beauty of this book, too!

Their love existed, despite everything else, and it was the love that would go on forever. The moment was etched in time, transcending the constraints put on them by life..

Rating:

5 stars new

Buy this book at:

READ ALL MY REVIEWS HERE

xo pearl

Review: Killing Sarai by J.A. Redmerski

Killing Sarai (In the Company of Killers, #1)

Killing Sarai
(In the Company of Killers #1)
Author: J.A. Redmerski
Publisher: J.A. Redmerski
Published: June 18, 2013
Genre: New Adult, Dark, Romance, Contemporary, Suspense
My Rating:

5 stars new

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Synopsis new

From the author of the New York Times, USA Today & Wall Street Journal bestselling novel, THE EDGE OF NEVER, comes a story of passion and survival…

Sarai was only fourteen when her mother uprooted her to live in Mexico with a notorious drug lord. Over time she forgot what it was like to live a normal life, but she never let go of her hope to escape the compound where she has been held for the past nine years.

Victor is a cold-blooded assassin who, like Sarai, has known only death and violence since he was a young boy. When Victor arrives at the compound to collect details and payment for a hit, Sarai sees him as her only opportunity for escape. But things don’t go as planned and instead of finding transport back to Tucson, she finds herself free from one dangerous man and caught in the clutches of another.

While on the run, Victor strays from his primal nature as he succumbs to his conscience and resolves to help Sarai. As they grow closer, he finds himself willing to risk everything to keep her alive; even his relationship with his devoted brother and liaison, Niklas, who now like everyone else wants Sarai dead.

As Victor and Sarai slowly build a trust, the differences between them seem to lessen, and an unlikely attraction intensifies. But Victor’s brutal skills and experience may not be enough in the end to save her, as the power she unknowingly holds over him may ultimately be what gets her killed.

my thoughts new

I would like to thank my dear friend sis Bea for introducing this book to me. (Click her name to read her awesome review!) This book was a roller coaster experience for me!

I didn’t know that J.A. Redmerski could write something as strong and powerful as this book! Killing Sarai was overloaded with action and lots and lots of it!

In this book, we meet Sarai who grew up in a violent environment ever since her mom gave her to a Mexican drug lord named Javier when she was 14. For years, she became a slave to Javier and was trying to find ways to get out of that cruel world. When suddenly she met Victor who had a transaction with Javier, she decided to grab the opportunity to escape and ask for his help.

I’ve read the author’s previous works and although they’re also NA, they’re very different to this. Killing Sarai is dark and twisted with 95% violence on it. What I loved about this book was how it basically gripped me and had my attention all throughout. All the chapters and the scenes were terrifying and they gave me adrenaline rush. There were no dull moments because in every chapter, there seemed to be an upcoming surprise which was of course, delivered smoothly.

What even amazed me were the characters. Holy Moly. Victor is such a great male lead and everyone should meet this man! He’s such a perfect character for a dark novel. Strong, very dependable, and one who doesn’t fear anything… not even killing. Whenever he pulls such quick action stunts, I always find myself gasping and questioning, “How the heck did he do that?”

I also loved Sarai. I loved her character development when she became stronger each day: from being a scared and paranoid woman. She turned out to be a badass who no longer fears killing and being killed! There were scenes involving Sarai that made me clap my hands because damn, not all heroines can pull off those things!

I also didn’t expect myself to swoon when it comes to the romantic aspect of this book. The sexual tension between Victor and Sarai offered so much feels! It was HOT! I can’t even.

The ending was totally good and although it was sort of a cliffy, still it gave me goosebumps because of how promising it appealed to me. It made me want to instantly grab the second book which I’ll definitely be reading soon!

If you are comfortable with this kind of book, and if you are a fan of this author, I’m very certain you will enjoy it as much as I did. It was, as a whole, a very well-written and adrenaline-pulling dark contemporary romance book!

“In the end, you can only trust yourself.”

Rating:

5 stars new

Buy this book at:

READ ALL MY REVIEWS HERE

xo pearl

Review: Sex Love Repeat by Alessandra Torre

Sex Love Repeat

Sex Love Repeat
Author: Alessandra Torre
Publisher: Alessandra Torre
Published: March 10, 2015
Genre: Adult, New Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Erotica
My Rating:

5 stars new

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Synopsis new

I love two men. I screw two men. I am in a relationship with them both, and they are both aware there is another. That is all they need to know, that is all I let them know. They don’t need to know a name; they don’t need to know anything but that they are not alone in my heart.

They have accepted the situation. Stewart, because his life is too busy for the sort of obligations that are required in a relationship. Paul, because he loves me too much to tell me no. And because my sexual appetite is such that one man has trouble keeping up.

So we exist, two parallel relationships, each running their own course, with no need for intersection or conflict. It works for us, for them, and for me. I don’t expect it to be a long-term situation. I know there is an expiration date on the easy perfection of our lives.

I should have paid more attention, should have looked around and noticed the woman who watched it all. She sat in the background and waited, tried to figure me out. Saw my two relationships, the love between us, and the moment that it all fell apart.

She hates me.
I don’t even know she exists.
She loves them. I love them.
And they love me.

EVERYTHING else hangs in the balance.

my thoughts new

(Recommended for 18+ y.o. readers)

“The heart is stubborn. It holds onto love despite what sense and emotion tells it. And it is often, in the battle of those three, the most brilliant of all.”

ALL PRAISES TO THIS BOOK!!!

It’s my first Alessandra Torre read and I loved it to bits and pieces! After listening to its audiobook, I found myself vowing to devour more of Alessandra’s books because her writing style is simply delightful and intense!

There are so many twists and surprises in this book and I’m afraid that I might accidentally reveal a spoiler so I’m not going to give a glimpse of its synopsis. Let me just tell you that the storyline of this book is absolutely unique and well-crafted! From the beginning to the end, I found myself totally compelled because of its strong voice. There’s emotional depth, enough angst, great characterization, and beautiful narration…. ALL ROLLED INTO ONE. (Oops, and there are hot and smexy scenes.*winks)

I’d say this is one of the best books I’ve experienced so far this year and I’m glad I found another gem. It’s one of those books that will leave an impact to a reader after finishing it. And my, my emotions were all over the place. And THE ENDING! It was a total winner and it was done neatly and strongly and with an air of surprise that left me gasping.

I would highly recommended this to every New Adult reader. This book is not-to-be-missed!

Rating:

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xo pearl

Review: Never Never: Part Three by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher

Never Never: Part Three (Never Never, #3)

Never Never: Part Three
(Never Never #3)
Author: Colleen Hoover, Tarryn Fisher
Publisher: Colleen Hoover, Tarryn Fisher
Published: January 19, 2016
Genre: Young Adult, New Adult, Contemporary, Mystery, Fantasy, Paranormal
My Rating:

3 stars new

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Synopsis new

New York Times bestselling authors Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher are back with the much-anticipated final installment in the Never Never novella series.
Together, Silas Nash and Charlize Wynwood must look deeper into the past to find out who they were and who they want to be. With time ticking down, the couple are in a race to find the answers they need before they lose everything. Can they regain what they once had? And will it restore who they once were?

my thoughts new

“I could spend every day getting to know you all over again, Charlie, and I don’t think I’d get sick of it.”

When I started reading this finale of Never Never series, I’ve already decided to rate it either 4 or 5 stars. That moment when you’re confident enough that the final book will give you the grandest, most surreal surprise. (Guess we all deserve that after those series of cliffhanger endings..) I must say my expectations were too high on this because I’ve enjoyed the first and the second book real hard! (Part 1 – 4/5 stars; Part 2 – 5/5 stars).

The first half of the book hooked me big time! The thrill of getting closer to finding out the mystery behind Silas and Charlie’s amnesia was overwhelming and so were the series of events which were getting edgier as the chapters went by. I swear I got a lot going on on my mind and I was forming way too many theories, trying to figure out the dreaded truth! And BAAAM! The anticipated plot twist. Wait, is that even a plot twist?

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In my opinion, it’s just an explanation. Nothing really exciting and I couldn’t bring myself to consider it a twist. It’s painful to say this but I was significantly less impressed with the revelation I’ve been freaking out over the months. There was this huge revelation about Charlie’s dad though, but… Is that it? After all? Ugh.

I guess the only thing that does not make this book a total let-down was of course, the beautiful and powerful writing of Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher. The story was a quick, fast-paced read and there were no boring parts all throughout the book. The romance also got me on my feels on a lot of levels. I guess those were the factors that held me together.

(Some beautiful quotes I’ve highlighted, by the way. 🙂

“I don’t see anything ever happening in this life that could make me not want you all over my skin.”

 

“I love you. Enough to camouflage you into my skin.”

 

“Fate is the magnetic pull of our souls toward the people, places, and things we belong with.”

 

“We can’t take back who we’ve been in the past, Charlie. But we can control who we are in the present.”

Overall, Never Never: Part Three was good, but I wasn’t really wowed. It could be an epic finale if there was a better twist. It really lacked the freak-me-out factor. But well… it wasn’t really that bad at all since the ending and the epilogue were great and the questions were answered in the end.

“Never stop. Never forget.”

Rating:

3 stars new

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xo pearl

 

Review: November 9 by Colleen Hoover

November 9 by Colleen Hoover

November 9
Author: Colleen Hoover
Publisher: Atria Books
Published: November 10, 2015
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Drama
My Rating:

5 stars new

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Synopsis new

Beloved #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover returns with an unforgettable love story between a writer and his unexpected muse.

Fallon meets Ben, an aspiring novelist, the day before her scheduled cross-country move. Their untimely attraction leads them to spend Fallon’s last day in L.A. together, and her eventful life becomes the creative inspiration Ben has always sought for his novel. Over time and amidst the various relationships and tribulations of their own separate lives, they continue to meet on the same date every year. Until one day Fallon becomes unsure if Ben has been telling her the truth or fabricating a perfect reality for the sake of the ultimate plot twist.

my thoughts new

November 9 by Colleen Hoover

“You left with my soul in your fists and my heart in your teeth, and I don’t want either of them back.”

Colleen Hoover, what did you just do to my heart? You just turned me into a crying mess! Now I’m in a full on sob fest.

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I don’t think this review of mine can give justice to this amazing novel but let me just tell you that November 9 is simply beautiful! And beautiful does not even begin to describe it. It’s BOOK-WORTHY. The kind of book that will hook you, consume you, and OWN you from the very beginning up to end.

November 9 begins when Fallon O’Neil and Ben Kessler met at a restaurant in Los Angeles on the 9th of November. Despite having an instant connection with each other, Fallon thought that she’s not yet ready to fall in love and commit herself into a relationship, thus she told Ben that she’ll start dating him only when she reach the age of 23– which will be five years after their first meeting. Before she moved to New York, they both decided to meet once a year– same place, same date– November 9.

So I thought that was just all about it. And I was wrong. Because there were too many things that happened in this book and the PLOT was done in an outrageous and intricate manner. That’s how I know that Colleen Hoover once again did a great job– when she was able to make me pause and contemplate about the series of events in the story.

“When you find love, you take it. You grab it with both hands and you do everything in your power not to let it go. You can’t just walk away from it and expect it to linger until you’re ready for it.

What especially made me love the book were the main characters. Ben and Fallon are well fleshed-out characters. Ben especially. This man. I appreciate Ben’s character because it’s so easy to connect with him. He has a way words that can melt one’s heart. Not to mention what a damn hot writer he is. And Fallon– although I had some issues with her inconsistency, I grew to love her as I began to see how she became a fairly strong and well-developed character from being weak. And well, she’s a book lover and that makes her still a likeable character.

“One of the things I always try to remind myself is that everyone has scars. A lot of them even worse than mine. The only difference is that mine are visible and most people’s aren’t.”

The romance is one of the book’s greatest strengths. Ben and Fallon’s story was poignant and heart-wrenching. All throughout the story I found myself getting scared as to what was going to happen. I got so into the book and I became really nervous because anything could happen. And wow, just when you think it can’t get anymore emotional or heartbreaking, the greatest PLOT TWIST OF ALL PLOT TWISTS happened and then that’s it. I was destroyed. My heart was shattered into a million different pieces. You did it all over again, Colleen Hoover!

It took four years for me to fall in love with him. It only took four pages to stop.

Colleen Hoover’s writing style once again dumbfounded me. It never really gets old to be honest. But I guess I appreciate her more in this book. Her writing here separates November 9 from all the contemporary books I’ve read and even from her previous books, because the concept is unique and amazing. The whole premise and the story itself completely stole my heart, made me smile, fall in love, drown in tears, and reflect the messages behind. I LOVE NOVEMBER 9!Simply one of a kind. It’s now a new favorite of mine– one I will never forget for a very long time!

She’s not the kind of girl you choose your battles for. She’s the kind of girl you fight to the death for.

P.S. Listen to “High Hopes” by Kodaline when you read this book. The feels!

Rating:

5 stars new

Buy this book at:

READ ALL MY REVIEWS HERE

xo pearl