Some Sort of Love by Melanie Harlow

I thought there were a lot of nice things about this book. I enjoy Melanie Harlow’s writing – her characters have a very human vibe. And a hero with a kid was cool – especially since it felt well-done.

Essentially – Levi and Jillian run into each other at a wedding. Sparks. They pursue a relationship, but Levi is a single dad who doesn’t know how to combine his kid and love.

The story flowed. The writing is decent. The characters were likable. I enjoyed that the problem was a realistic one. Oddly, I felt like the story had way too much sex. I was into Levi and Jillian for their personalities – they didn’t need to be constantly humping like porn stars. It diminished the connection I felt for them.

All in all a solid story. Sweet. Predictable. But with characters that made it worth the read.

End of Day by Jewel Ann

Like most readers I read to escape. My life isn’t crap, but it’s nice to step away from the work-kid-chores-routine and do something for me. Frequently this issue is finding balance in my book. I don’t want to read about the mundane, but something in the book has to connect with me. Otherwise the reading is purely academic.

I’m giving this book 5 stars bc Jewel Ann excelled at writing a book that took me away with characters that felt so real. You read those blurbs “He’s broken. She’s shattered. Can two destroyed souls heal one another?” And then you read it – and he’s a narcissist and she’s a moron. The entire book ends up being about total creepos who need therapy – and should not be in a relationship.

But Jewel Ann did it right. My synopsis will be shallow – there’s too much to spoil. Basically Jack and Jill are twins who need to make some life changes. They end up in hiding – struggling to fit into their new world. This book focused on Jill. How she got to where she is, and what she’s going to do about it.

The book was funny. And really sad. Sometimes it felt like my guts were going through a paper shredder. But I loved every moment. I didn’t even wanna take pee breaks with this one. I loved all the characters. I think that’s going to lead to some serious heartbreak down the road for me – and I’m amped for it.

Side notes – the first 30% of the book it seems weird as hell. Do not give up. It all makes sense (and the book is weird as hell – it grows on you). And reading one book is just opening the door. You’re gonna need to read the rest (like I’m fixin to do this evening). It’s a commitment, but one I fully expect to pay off.

Where I Belong by J Daniels

We’re gonna call this 2.5 stars. There were parts of this book that I enjoyed, but overall it was over the top.

Synopsis – Mia is going to spend the summer with her BFF. She stops at a bar on the way to lose her virginity (!?!?!??). Meets a dude. He’s perfect. Except it’s her BFF’s brother who she hated when they were kids.

I love a story with a chase. I’m generally bored in books once the couple gets together. And this book had great chase. Mia makes ole boy work for it. And he’s actually pretty nice (and kind of a weird, dirty-talking pervert). Anyhow. He’s not awful, and he goes after the woman.

My issue is the grandiosity. Of course he doesn’t have a normal penis – it’s a giant penis. And the night she loses her virginity? 5 orgasms. As. If. Lot of tropes are trotted out. The insta-love is like being run over by a cement truck. And every good is insanely good – every bad is absolute disaster. This really wouldn’t have been a bad book if things went from a 10 to a 2 at a few points. As is it’s sort of jacked up romantic hyperbole.

Tapping the Billionaire by Max Monroe

Split. Personality. Disorder.

First off – this is my first “billionaire” book. I’ve judged about a zillion books by their cover and refused to read anything with that in the title. But this one had good reviews, and there were mentions of it being light and funny. So i figured i’d give it a shot.

i LURVED the first 20% of this book. Like OMG! (*snort*) It was light and irreverent and funny. I was quickly pulled in, and in several instances i chuckled out loud. And then, suddenly, my silly funky read turned into a steaming pile of mush. What the heck?!?!

The jerky motions from anal sex jokes to insta-love where too much. I like a sweet book, but this case out of left field and was ridiculous. I read for an escape, but i like some connection to reality. Single Georgie was great! Sarcastic and sassy. Relationship Georgie was like microwaved oatmeal – kinda bland and gooey.

Still, i give it props bc i finished the book with only moderate skimming. The story is simple – overly nice billionaire fella falls for spunky foul-mouthed chick. Awkward ensues. Had this book been a little less insta-love and slightly less treacly i think i’d be in love with it forever. I’m the queen of rom-coms, but gushy men make me uncomfortable. I’ll take KA’s Dax over a man spewing “baby”s any day. Still, it was better than i expected, and i’m tempted to read the next book in the series (just a little scared i’m gonna fall into another gushy pile of fluff).

Where One Goes by BN Toler

So – not at all what I was expecting, but I ended up enjoying it!

Synopsis – Charlotte sees dead people who need help. Ike is a dead person who needs help. They bond. Except the help Ike needs is with his (living) brother – George. And Charlotte and George have a connection as well.

I thought it would be a little more intense. A little more woo-woo. But basically it was just really sweet.

Charlotte was (mostly) likable. And Ike was the shit. Everyone else was okay.

My biggest issue – the pacing was weird as hell. Wayyyyyyy too much stuff happened in 2 days for this to have any vibe of legitimacy. And Charlotte moved too fast and came on too strong. No one does that kinda stuff after a week without being slapped with a restraining order. I also felt the writing was a little stilted and blunt.

Overall it was a sweet emotional getaway. I read the entire book in one sitting. And by 50% I was invested enough to forgive it its flaws. It took me a while to read this one, but I’m glad I read it when I did. It fit nicely in my current head space.

Puck Buddies by Tara Brown

4 stars. NA romance(ish)

Wow. Holy wow!

Okay. Gonna attempt to string together some coherent thoughts and call it a review.

First and foremost, I love reading Tara Brown. She’s different, and I dig it.

Second, kudos to a book for taking me out of my head. With the pending GRE and work craziness added to my already full plate I really needed a mental break. I knew it would take a hell of a book to give me a break from my monkey mind.

I guess, technically, this was a romance. Sort of. But it felt more like a modern coming of age story. Sami is a wealthy socialite. Not the cute glamorous kind generally found in these books. She’s an asshole. And her anger and frustration and shittiness felt real. I loved this book bc I loved Sami. Matt, the “hero,” is also rich, but plays hockey. Sami has issues. Matt makes judgments. They struggle through the entire book. And the ending…was something else.

The pleasure in the book came from watching Sami break apart and piece herself together. She’s an unapologetic train wreck. But a really likable one. I think if I’d read the synopsis I wouldn’t have read this book. But I picked it up bc I adored the first one and really enjoy this author. There are flaws sure. But for a light read it was engrossing. I identified with Sami. And I liked how she was more of a focus than the relationship. (But, seriously, that ending though…)

Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling

This was Harry’s first brush with adult. It has serious problems and some big reveals. Malfoy and Snape make me so angry – I’d like to bang their heads together for the satisfying noise.

Tallies –
Cried – three times – once from sadness, once from happiness and once from anger
Rage – at one point in the middle I thought the kindle was gonna die

I love this book. It’s darker. It begins paving the way for a lot of rough stuff. But it also introduces us to some fabulous characters. And Harry is more relatable as he ages – sweeter somehow.

I think that Harry Potter is not the strongest character in literature. But he’s the perfect vehicle for his supporting cast. And I don’t think there’s a stronger group of characters in any book – anywhere.

Tomorrow I’ll start book 4. That’s the real beginning of the emotional roller coaster.