Until You by TJ Klune

I am a TJ Klune devotee.

So. Don’t read this book if you haven’t read the first two. If you have read the first two there’s no doubt about you moving on to this one. And if you’re like “But, AR, is this one of those crap author tricks to extend a series unnecessarily and create drama when all is right in the fictional-world?” i can understand your fears. Who hasn’t been burned by a late-series book where the author has clearly given up? This aint that.

In a series about family, self-confidence, fabulousness, friends, growing and finding your place in the world Klune gives us an opportunity to see Paul, Vince and Sandy comfortable in their own skin. I laugh/cried at least 3 times and cry/cried twice. i didn’t one this book to end. Given the opportunity i’d climb into this series to live. One of my favorite trilogies of all time. Here’s hoping you all find your Robo-Cop.<3

Falling Away by Penelope Douglas

I think Penelope Douglas is capable of better. Where she can write bold, awful, wonderful and twisty heroes with layers this felt cliched and half-hearted.

K.C. and Jax have been side-characters in a couple of books. Now it’s their turn. They both have family issues (a personally loathed plot point). And secrets. They’re all bottled up. Nothing here felt new and exciting. A lot of it felt unrealistic and trite. Both characters in a tepid middle-ground when Douglas is so capable of writing the unlikable and making them lovable.

I’ve been reading a lot of bad-good-guy romance lately and thoroughly enjoying it. This just felt like tepidly-annoying and unconfident bad guy. Meh.

Punk 57 by Penelope Douglas

Penelope Douglas doing what she does best – writing romance about some very flawed characters. Douglas doesn’t write about the adorably messed-up (“my wife died in a fire and now I’m a guilt-ridden fireman who will set your panties aflame but can never give you my charred heart.” Damn. That wasn’t bad. Maybe I should start writing this stuff…but I digress). She writes about characters so selfish, twisted, violent or careless that they are truly unlikable. And that’s a lot of the fun in reading her books – at some point you’re prolly gonna be okay with both main characters killing one another in a bizarre duel and Douglas just starting again from scratch.

Synopsis – Misha and Ryan are childhood pen-pals grown into high school. When Misha accidentally meets Ryan he kinda thinks she sucks. So he goes about fixing it – in his own awful way. There are twists. Meanness. Sex. Intrigue. Vile characters. And lots of character growth.

Douglas’s Corrupt is one of my favorite books of all time. I nearly puked reading that thing – and I would do it again in a heartbeat. This book took me about 20% to get into, but once I did I read the remaining 80% in one sitting. I love Douglas’s brand of stomach-churning, eye-rolling, kindle-throwing, hate-love. Can’t wait to see what she does next.

The Last Boss’ Daughter by Sam Mariano

I liked Annabelle. And I liked the idea of Liam. But I didn’t understand Annabelle and Liam.

Short synopsis – Annabelle has mob relations. Liam is a soldier-type-person for a different organization. Their interests are at odds, but they’re kinda into one another.

It wasn’t a deep book or a particularly intense one. Not a tough read. I could kinda get why Annabelle was into Liam, but I still don’t see what drew him to her. Not that she’s awful – just that they had limited interaction. And she was in direct opposition to his interests.

I liked the action. There was some fun drama at the end. However I didn’t get the emotional answers that I wanted.

The Irreparable Series by Sam Mariano

I’m going to review both books in this series bc one makes no sense without the other.

Let’s start this review by saying i’m confused. About a lot of things. Mostly my own feelings. A large percentage of my issue arises because i came to this book straight from Accidental Witness (just the first book – the second book isn’t out yet. DAMNIT!! – that’s an unrelated issue). Accidental Witness had me fucked up as a football bat. I left that book half in love with a very very bad man. And completely unsure that love was justified. I still don’t know who the hero is – and i don’t give a damn. #MateoForever

Anywho, Willow gets kidnapped. Bad things happen. Ethan is involved. And then Willow and Ethan are involved. Nothing is black and white – the grey area of good/bad in all of us is a major theme in this story – one i found enjoyable.

Willow and Ethan don’t make sense to me, but that didn’t detract from the story as much as i thought it would. To say this is an unconventional love story is putting it uber-mildly. Plus Mariano is showing herself to be a true slowburn queen – even while her characters are gettin it on there’s this emotional distance that leaves you waiting for the love. I appreciated that most of the impediments to their relationship came from outside their own heads (one of them was unexpected, dramatic and awsome/awful). I liked Willow for being kinda weird – both in ways you’d anticipate given what happened and others.

At times i wanted to punch both of them in the face (i’m looking at you, Ethan, for like 70% of the second book you freakin indecisive bitch). But the aggravating things they did were reasonable within this created world.

i went into this book hoping for a fix bc i was an addict after Accidental Witness. Instead i got something sweeter, less intense and unexpectedly great in it’s own way. I’m going to check out more by this author while i patiently (seriously, i looked for her email today to send her a desperate plea the second Accidental Witness book – it was ugly and going to involve bribery) for more Mateo. ❤