There are a few things here that would have normally irked the crap out of me, but because I love this author so much, I was able to overlook them and really enjoy this story.
Here’s what went right:
Adorable hero Maverick is freakin’ adorable. He’s good and honorable and works so hard for the people he loves. What he’s willing to do for his sister is nothing short of awesome. Does he always make the most sensible choices? No. He’s a desperate kid. OF COURSE he’s not always sensible. But that just makes him more relatable. He’s also cocky without being an a-hole, confident without being smug, and sexy without being insufferable. He was a PERFECT new adult romance hero as far as I’m concerned.
First of all, the beginning is GREAT. I was able to overlook the fact that the hero advertising for a blind reader is more than a little odd. I figured there was a good reason for it, and that he wasn’t a deranged serial killer who liked to keep blind girls in a pit in his basement before wearing their heads around like hats or something. (Good news: the hero wasn’t a serial killer. Bad news: there wasn’t really any good reason for the man to hire a blind female reader. He was both literate and sighted, so...yeah. No clue.) Once I overlooked that, the first half of the story was super intriguing, and I was SURE this was going to be a 5-star read. But somewhere around the halfway point, things got...weird.
This was TOTALLY not what I was expecting. After reading about Bane inScandalous,I was prepared for a sexy surf bum, and while Bane WAS a sexy surf bum, he was much, much more than that. So, so much more. Honestly? I’m still having a little bit of a book hangover from this one, mostly because of how much MORE Bane was than what I was expecting. Gah!
First of all, Bane’s an anti-hero with a twist or two (or ten). Like all of the Hotholes, Bane is confident and magnetic and powerful. He’s also a jerk with loose morals. (Super loose) But underneath all of that (and the beard and tattoos and attitude) is a pretty freakin’ awesome romantic hero who is just as broken and in need of repair as his heroine, Jesse.
Full disclosure,The End Zonewas originally part of theTeam Playeranthology that was published last year. But, in this version, there’s an extended epilogue and a glimpse at an upcoming LJ Shen series that are totally worth the price of admission and make this one worth a reread.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. LJ Shen has a superpower. She creates alpha male characters that I would absolutely loathe in the hands of any other author, but in her books, I end up adoring them.
Publication date:2/28/2018 Kindle Unlimited: No Cliffhanger:No
Kella Campbell is a new-to-me author, and I always get really excited before I read anything from a new-to-me author. You just can’t have too many 1-click authors, you know? But I almost always tone down my excitement right away. Hope is a dangerous, dangerous thing, y’all, and I’ve been let down more times than I care to count by new-to-me authors. I’m pleased to say thatRock Star’s Heartdidn’t let me down. Was it perfect? No. I had a few gripes. But overall, I’m glad I gave it a chance.
LJ Shen is magic. There’s really just no other way to describe her writing. Her phrasing is totally unique. You won’t find anyone else in romance land who writes the way she does. It’s almost...poetic. I wish I had a better word for it, but I’m in no way poetic, so y’all will just have to take my word for it on this one, m’kay?
I have trouble finding rockstar romances that I enjoy. I mean, sure, there have been a few,but for the most part, all the cliches you find in rockstar stories tend to annoy the crap out of me.
Publication date:01/17/2018 Kindle Unlimited:Yes Cliffhanger:I dunno, I don’t care
Ugh. I was duped again. Deceived by good reviews, a good cover, and a good blurb. When will I learn that these things don’t always add up to a book I’m going to enjoy? Hell, this one didn't even add up to one I could finish. But I won’t waste anymore time whining. Here are the many, many, many things that irked me about this one:
If you’re an Elizabeth Reyes fan (like I am), you probably readThe Girl In The Mirror, which is a kind of twisty, psychological romantic suspense read. (It’s also really awesome, but I digress...)We Were Onetells the story from the hero’s (Nico) point of view. A lot of times, retellings from the male POV don’t work out (I'm looking at you,Darker) But fortunately, this isn’t one of those times.We Were Onesomehow manages to be a completely different story thanThe Girl In The Mirror,in the best possible ways.
I’ll admit something, y’all. I was a little hesitant to read this book. Not because I didn’t like the previous books in the series, but because I liked themtoomuch. I mean, how could any other hero ever stand up to the yummy awesomeness that was Landon Lucas Maxfield, who was, quite possibly, the best book boyfriend who ever, well, boyfriended? After readingSweet, though, I’m proud to say that my hesitation was unwarranted and that Boyce does a mighty fine job of book boyfriending all on his own.
Rockstar romances are usually a tough sell to me. I mean, sure, there are tons of authors who do a great job with them, but so many others (*cough*Picture Perfect* cough*)trip over tropes I absolutely loathe and force me to tag them as DNFs, allocating them to the What Not to Read shelf for life.But when it comes to a Scarlett Cole book, I don’t read blurbs or look at covers anymore. I just 1-click, because she’s never let me down.Nikan Rebuiltwas no different.
I’ll start off by saying I’m a big fan of this author. Her stories are always just the right blend of angsty, romantic, sexy, and sweet.Spideris no different.
Now, I’ve been pretty vocal about being over the whole rockstar and stepbrother tropes, but I think it’s a credit to the author’s engaging writing style that in this book, I totally didn’t mind the use of several tropes I normally hate. In the hands of a less talented author, I probably would have DNF’d this one. But as it stands, I found it highly enjoyable.
This book is the worst kind of DNF. It’s the kind of DNF you go into absolutely SURE the book is going to be good. How can it not be? The cover is good, the blurb is good, the writing as you crack the book open is good. How could it possibly go wrong? And that’s when the suck creeps over you, insidiously, like a bad smell you can’t quite identify or locate, invading your happy little reading space until you’re forced to admit that you’ve picked up a bad read and have wasted hours of your life you’ll never get back. It’s the bad book in a good book’s clothing, if you will.
I’ve thought long and hard about this, and I believe that one word adequately sums up my feelings about the entire book.
Seriously, just...ugh. I might have to wear an eye patch from now on because I think I pulled a muscle in my right eye from too much eye rolling while reading. (My left eye is a little sore, too, but I don’t think I can pull off two eye patches. Making the one look good will be challenge enough. I definitely won’t look as good as Daryl Hannah inKill Billno matter what I do. But I digress…)
Title:Waiting for Wyatt Author:SD Hendrickson Publication date:01/12/2016 Kindle Unlimited:Yes Cliffhanger:No Rating:5 out of 5
This one was a re-read for me. In fact, you might remember seeing it on our list of slow-burn romance recommendations some time ago. But then it occurred to me that I’d never written a review of this little gem, which is a travesty. So, here I am, to tell y’all how great this book is.
At the beginning of the book, you meet Wyatt, a grumpy, antisocial recluse who seems to prefer the company of dogs to people. Right away, I’m thinking: this is my ideal man. If he also loves Game of Thrones, doughnuts, and obscure movie references, screw Emma! This guy’s mine.