Author: Karina Halle
Publisher: Karina Halle
Published: November 16, 2016
Genre: Romance, Adult, New Adult, Contemporary
They say when life closes one door, another one opens.
This door happens to lead to paradise.
And a man I can never, ever have.
Still grieving the loss of her sister who died two years ago, the last thing Veronica “Ronnie” Locke needed was to lose her job at one of Chicago’s finest restaurants and have to move back in with her parents. So when a window of opportunity opens for her – running a kitchen at a small Hawaiian hotel – she’d be crazy not to take it.
The only problem is, the man running the hotel drives her crazy:
It doesn’t matter that he’s got dark brown eyes, a tall, muscular build that’s sculpted from daily surfing sessions, and a deep Australian accent that makes your toes curl.
What does matter is that he’s a grump.
Kind of an asshole, too.
And gets under Ronnie’s skin like no one else.
But the more time Ronnie spends on the island of Kauai, falling in love with the lush land and its carefree lifestyle, the closer she gets to Logan. And the closer she gets to Logan, the more she realizes she may have pegged him all wrong. Maybe it’s the hot, steamy jungles or the invigorating ocean air, but soon their relationship becomes utterly intoxicating.
There’s just one major catch.
The two of them together would incite a scandal neither Ronnie, nor her family, would ever recover from.
Forbidden, Illicit, off-limits – sometimes the heat is worth surrendering to, even if you get burned.
Note: this is a standalone novel, unrelated to any previous books. It does NOT contain cheating of any kind.
“Because I should have been with you, Ronnie. It’s always been you.”
Heat Wave is my second Karina Halle read. Although I loved some of its parts, it fell short of my expectations. It didn’t wow me as much as Smut did.
Veronica “Ronnie” Locke became attracted to Logan Shephard when they met at a fundraising event which was hosted by her mom. With their instant connection, they’re supposed to start going out and fall in love. It didn’t happen, though. Because Logan’s attention shifted to her sister Juliet right when he saw her for the first time. Eventually, Logan and Juliet dated and got married. Now seven years later, Juliet’s already dead and Ronnie and Logan reunited in Hawaii– the place where Logan’s hotel is located and where Ronnie is going to work as the hotel’s chef.
I loved that there was an angst. Angst is good. However, the forbidden love story didn’t quite amaze me because the characters lacked some depth. I wasn’t also convinced when it comes to Logan’s feelings to Ronnie. How come he married Juliet but deep down inside he’s in love with Ronnie? His reason was too shallow and I didn’t buy it.
The pacing of the book was also a let-down for me. It was too slow and too many scenes that are unnecessary should’ve never been included.
It’s good that the book promised a mild entertainment in the first few chapters but it kinda lost its momentum in the second half with Ronnie and Logan’s romantic development moving a little too fast.
The thing that somehow made this book redeemable was the writing of Karina Halle which was hands down beautiful and poetic. I loved how it was written with an air of melancholy. The setting was also beyond captivating. For me, this book is a really great summer read. You can read this when you’re staying on a tropical island, sipping a mojito or something. This was a good angsty romance book as a whole, but it wasn’t as spectacular as I expected. I believe there are a lot of Karina Halle’s books that are better than this. For now, Smut remains my favorite.
“There are moments in your life, people in your life, that when they cross your path and meet your eye, you know.”
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Addicted to You
Author: Renita Pizzitola
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept Flirt
Date of Publication: November 1, 2016
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
In a sweet, sexy novel for fans of Abbi Glines, Monica Murphy, and Christina Lauren, the author of Just a Little Kiss tells the story of two friends who each want more—and the love triangle that’s holding them back.
In the sleepy fishing town of Port Lucia, everyone knows everyone, but Isla Diaz really knows Colby Callahan, with his blue-gray eyes and the tousled brown hair always tucked sexily into his cap. After all, Isla has been crazy about Colby ever since she can remember—even if he treats her like a kid sister. Now, without her best friend, Felicity, around, Isla spots a golden opportunity to take things to the next level . . . or at least wrangle a kiss out of Colby.
By random chance, a tropical storm is headed toward the coast, leaving them stranded together overnight—and there’s nothing to do but drink. As the evening wears on, Isla gets the feeling that her not-so-secret crush may finally release her from the friend zone. With her dreams finally coming true, Isla isn’t about to pump the brakes, but is this just a one-time thing? What if the next morning, she needs more than Colby’s prepared to give?
Little does she know, Colby would like nothing more than a real relationship with Isla. She’s always been the one. But there’s a very good reason he’s been keeping his distance. Someone else loves her too, someone who also means the world to Colby: his brother.
Praise for the novels of Renita Pizzitola
“Brinley and Ryder are the perfect combination of sweet and hot. They’ll have you pulling for second chances.”—USA Today bestselling author Lisa Desrochers, on Just a Little Crush
“Be prepared to swoon hard over Ryder in Just a Little Crush,Renita Pizzitola’s impressive New Adult debut. Brinley and Ryder are drawn together in an almost hypnotic way and I couldn’t help but be mesmerized by the utterly sexy, sweet, romantic, and scorching moments between them. I loved it!”—Christina Lee, author of the Between Breaths series, on Just a Little Crush
“In the tradition of new adults everywhere, Felicity and Mason stumble through their new relationship as it transitions from a summer sweetness to autumnal angst . . . [with] charming secondary relationships and [a] beautifully detailed setting.”—Publishers Weekly, on Just a Little Kiss
“But truth be told, I’d never get enough of Colby, because I was completely and hopelessly addicted to him.”
Wow, this book just wormed its way under my skin. It’s a sweet friends-to-lovers story that kind of reminds me of Jenny Han’s The Summer I Turned Pretty and Abbi Glines’Rosemary Beach series.
“Just friends. As in no benefits.”
Addicted to You follows the main characters Colby Callahan and Isla Diaz. Growing up in a fishing town of Port Lucia, they are best of friends since childhood. Now that they’re grown-ups, Isla realizes that she’s falling in love with Colby. Unfortunately, Colby doesn’t seem to feel the same way about her and he only sees her as a friend and nothing more. But one drunken night, these two dare each other to hook up which ends up in bed and a whole new level of awkwardness.
What can I say? I have a penchant for friends-to-lovers tropes so this explains my fascination for this book. The concept and the story itself may be cliché in some places but it honestly didn’t fail to turn my heart into a big puddle of mush.
Colby and Isla’s relationship was so interesting. I loved how they started off as friends. The romantic development was not forced or anything, and the chemistry was very palpable. All throughout the book I found myself rooting for them and begging them to get it together and profess their feelings because they’re clearly tormenting themselves.
Both characters were also likeable. Colby… Colby… Colby… Book boyfriend alert, ladies. And Isla– well, she is one perfect and not annoying character. I loved the way she cares for her grandmom and for the people around her.
Another thing that I loved about this book was Colby’s brother Landon. He is all kinds of swoon-worthy and adorable. (I wish the next book is going to be about him.:) )
Maybe I just needed a little bit of angst and a touch of unpredictability to make this book really spectacular but otherwise, I have no issues with the author’s writing. I haven’t read anything written by Renita Pizzitola prior to this book but after reading Addicted to You, I was awed. The author writes beautifully and her style suits my preference.
This was a beautiful summer romance book as a whole. The setting was perfect and the story was packed with all the sweet goodness that a contemporary reader craves. If you are a fan of Abbi Glines and Jenny Han, consider this book as your next read. 🙂
“And I totally won the girl.”
I shook my head. “You didn’t win me, Colby. You’ve always had me. There was no way to lose.”
(An ARC was sent to me by Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept Flirt and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.)
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(The Royals #2)
Author: Erin Watt (Pseudonym) Elle Kennedy, Jen Frederick
Publisher: Timeout LLC
Published: July 25, 2016
Genre: Romance, New Adult, Young Adult, Contemporary
These Royals will ruin you…
From wharf fights and school brawls to crumbling lives inside glittery mansions, one guy tries to save himself.
Reed Royal has it all—looks, status, money. The girls at his elite prep school line up to date him, the guys want to be him, but Reed never gave a damn about anyone but his family until Ella Harper walked into his life.
What started off as burning resentment and the need to make his father’s new ward suffer turned into something else entirely—keep Ella close. Keep Ella safe. But when one foolish mistake drives her out of Reed’s arms and brings chaos to the Royal household, Reed’s entire world begins to fall apart around him.
Ella doesn’t want him anymore. She says they’ll only destroy each other.
She might be right.
Secrets. Betrayal. Enemies. It’s like nothing Reed has ever dealt with before, and if he’s going to win back his princess, he’ll need to prove himself Royally worthy.
“He told me to stay away.
He told me I didn’t belong.
If only I’d listened to him.”
I’ve been warned, but I didn’t listen and now I’m royally ruined and in dire need of the third book. Hats off to these amazing authors Elle Kennedy and Jen Frederick A.K.A. Erin Watt for this brilliant sequel!
I cannot properly formulate a thought, but this sequel was done in a very classy fashion and I absolutely loved it!
Broken Prince begins when Reed Royal searched for Ella Harper after she left the Royal mansion. It took the Royal family two weeks to get her back. When their girl was finally home thanks to Callum Royal’s endless connections, things started to become more interesting, or rather, more twisted, in the Royal house. This time, Brooke (the witch in Paper Princess), is the one in control because she has the upper hand. She manipulated Reed through her stupid blackmail scheme. Meanwhile, Ella’s love-hate feelings toward Reed and her growing affection to the Royal family also confused her. Secrets and revelations soon came out bit by bit which made Ella’s stay in the mansion all the more dramatic.
“She wants me to know it’s over, but we both know it’s not.”
I just loved how intoxicating this sequel was for me. There was absolutely nothing that I disliked. The plot was very impressive and the pacing was fast it kept me gripped from start to finish. It was also enriched with character development. In Paper Princess, Reed was so hesitant to fight for Ella and show her how he felt, but in this book, he gave it all. I loved how he fight those bullies at Astor Park just to prove a point to never mess with ‘his girl’. HIS GIRL.
“From before we even met, she was mine and I was hers. I fought it too long, but I’m giving in now. I’m all in now.”
And as usual, Ella was badass. This girl doesn’t stop impressing me with her ability to dodge those stupid remarks from Jordan and the rest of the people in bully town. Favorite scene: Ella vs. Jordan match.
And those TWISTS. Omg there were twists and juicy parts thrown in this book! How could these authors do such surprises like the ones they cooked here?
“My instincts had screamed at me that she was trouble. My instincts were wrong. She wasn’t trouble. I was. Still am.”
The romance, on the other hand, was very enticing. Reed and Ella continue to swoon me with their chemistry and cheesy dialogues. There was certainly a romantic development here which really pleases me. And my, don’t even get me started on those kissing and make-out scenes.
All in all, Broken Prince was the best sequel. So well-written. I loved the way those twists surprised me and the overall goodness of the book. Now if you haven’t read this sequel yet, take this warning. Prepare for a cliffhanger that will ruin you!
“Nothing’s really changed between us. We’re still sparring, still circling each other like well-matched opponents, but we’re there, in the ring, together. And that’s all that matters.”
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