Tag: New Adult

Throwback Thursday: The Year We Fell Down by Sarina Bowen

Posted April 18, 2019 by Rowena in Books, Features, Reviews | 8 Comments

Each week, I’ll be writing a review for an oldie but goodie that I’ve read through again to see if these books are holding up for me. I’m a different person than I was when I read these books, older and wiser (at least I hope) so I’m curious to see if books that I used to love can stand the test of time. Throwback Thursday: The Year We Fell Down by Sarina BowenThe Year We Fell Down
by Sarina Bowen
Series: The Ivy Years #1
Published by Indie Published, Rennie Road Books on March 21, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Point of View:Alternating First Person
Pages: 268
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Add It: Goodreads
four-stars
Reading Challenges:2019 GoodReads Challenge

The sport she loves is out of reach. The boy she loves has someone else. What now?

She expected to start Harkness College as a varsity ice hockey player. But a serious accident means that Corey Callahan will start school in a wheelchair instead.

Across the hall, in the other handicapped-accessible dorm room, lives the too-delicious-to-be real Adam Hartley, another would-be hockey star with his leg broken in two places. He's way out of Corey's league.

Also, he's taken.

Nevertheless, an unlikely alliance blooms between Corey and Hartley in the "gimp ghetto" of McHerrin Hall. Over tequila, perilously balanced dining hall trays, and video games, the two cope with disappointments that nobody else understands.

They're just friends, of course, until one night when things fall apart. Or fall together. All Corey knows is that she's falling. Hard.

But will Hartley set aside his trophy girl to love someone as broken as Corey? If he won't, she will need to find the courage to make a life for herself at Harkness—one which does not revolve around the sport she can no longer play, or the brown-eyed boy who's afraid to love her back.

When Sarina Bowen put these books on Kindle Unlimited, I had no plans to re-read them but I kept seeing this series mentioned everywhere so when I left my kindle at home one day, I downloaded these books onto my Kindle Library and read them on my computer at work. I have no regrets either because I absolutely adored my re-read of this series. Sarina Bowen tackles such heavy themes in each of these books and just like the last time I read these books, I loved them. It had been such a long time since I read this book and with each reading, my love for both Adam Hartley and Corey Callahan grows and grows. Sarina Bowen does such a good job of writing young love and she handles the immaturity and growth between her New Adult characters so well. I hang on every word, every single time and it was no different this go around. Corey Callahan starts her freshman year in college in a wheelchair. A really bad accident cut her playing days short and she’s got to work really hard to get back on her feet again. All of her plans for college are out and she’s trying to make the most of it but it’s hard and when she meets Adam Hartley, who is injured himself and living in the dorm across the hall, things get a lot harder for her because of course she develops a crush on him and of course he’s already got a girlfriend. Adam Hartley is on the injured list and can’t play hockey until he’s all healed up. He’s on crutches and getting around is hard so he’s parked in the “gimp ghetto” of McHerrin Hall and he strikes up a friendship with his wheelchair-bound neighbor, Callahan. There’s a lot of things he can’t do these days so spending time with Corey keeps his spirits high. The more time that they spend together, the closer they get and before Hartley knows what’s what, he’s got a decision to make. Stay with his girlfriend or lose out on Callahan. There’s a lot going on in this book. Both Corey and Hartley are working through their own personal issues so this book was heavy on character development, which I’m always down for. On top of them trying to figure out how to maneuver around campus and just get around town, they’re also falling for each other. Callahan falls first and she’s rocking that unrequited crush pretty hard for a long time. So long, in fact, that I wanted to strangle Hartley for taking so long to make up his damn mind. I still thought that he took entirely too long to break up with his girlfriend but in the end, I still loved the hell out of him. I loved the hell out of both of these characters and was super thrilled that they finally got their happy ending in the end. Sarina Bowen writes college romances so well and I think I’ll be reading these books over and over again because I love them that much. They’re not perfect but they’re still pretty freaking awesome. If you haven’t read this series, I highly recommend them.
Final Grade
4.25 out of 5
The Ivy Years Series
four-stars

8 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Buddy Review: The Assist by Rebecca Jenshak

Posted February 14, 2019 by Rowena in Books, Reviews | 0 Comments

Buddy Review: The Assist by Rebecca JenshakThe Assist
by Rebecca Jenshak
Series: Smart Jocks #1
Published by Rebecca Jenshak on November 5, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Point of View:Alternating First Person
Pages: 270
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Add It: Goodreads
three-stars
Reading Challenges:2019 GoodReads Challenge

You know those stories where the smart girl tutors the dumb jock? This isn't it.

Blair What's the probability of insulting the one guy on campus I need to help me pass statistics? If I knew, I wouldn't be standing in front of Wes Reynolds begging him to tutor me.

Basketball player, sexy, arrogant, always sleeping through class... these are the things I knew about him. What I didn't know is that he is a seriously smart jock.

Wes What's the best way to get rid of the peppy and unrelenting girl that keeps asking me to tutor her? If I knew, I wouldn't be staring at her tan legs and attempting to teach her statistics.

Sorority girl, fine as f**k, determined, ball buster... these are the things I knew about her. What I didn't know is that she is all the things I didn't realize I wanted or needed.

Or that one semester with her would change everything.

The Assist is the first book in the Smart Jock’s series by Rebecca Jenshak. The Smart Jocks series is a set of New Adult romances that feature really smart jocks from Valley University in Arizona and the women they fall madly in love with. First up is Wes Reynolds, the starting point guard for the Valley University’s Men’s Basketball team and the girl from his statistics class, Blair Olson. Blair needs to get an A in her statistics class but after receiving a bad grade on her first test, she knows that she needs help. When she comes across Wes Reynolds grade, she fumbles her way into getting him to tutor her. Wes is not a fan of her assumption that just because he’s a jock, he couldn’t possibly have passed the test without help but it becomes fun seeing her genuinely sorry for her assumptions and before he knows what is what, he’s helping her with her classwork. Rowena: Now, I will admit that I was really hyped for this book because it featured a basketball hero. I’m from L.A. and L.A. is a basketball town so for me, this romance appealed to my inner basketball-loving heart. I really wish there were more basketball romances out there but I’ll take what I can get and while I really enjoyed the basketball aspect of this romance, there was something missing to make me completely love it. What did you think, Ames? Ames: I have to agree with you – I liked seeing basketball instead of hockey or football being the featured sport in this NA novel. And I was looking forward to the switch up of having a nerdy jock be the one to tutor someone. And this book had some promise but something just didn’t click for me. I liked Wes but Blair’s character was hard for me to grasp. Rowena: Yeah, I had trouble with Blair’s character as well. I was really mad at David for his shenanigans and I guess I was a bit disappointed that Blair let Wes save her from that. I wish she would have saved herself, stood up for herself and really let him have it. She didn’t do anything about anything involving him, Wes did and that bummed me out. She was so quick to help everyone else but she wouldn’t even help herself. There were also chunks of the book that moved slow. Like, I knew that what we were reading was leading somewhere but I struggled with staying in the story. It was just too easy for me to put the book down and do other things. I will say that I enjoyed the bromance between Wes and Z. I thought that was great. They genuinely cared for each other and when Z tells Wes that he didn’t care about anything but seeing if his friend was okay, I was super happy. I thought Wes handled his big hurdle so badly but I understood it and I got where he was coming from, I just wish that like Blair, he would have stepped up and shown the heart that he talked so much about with Blair in the beginning. I thought that whole thing was stupid. You don’t quit on your team because you’re hurt. You don’t stop being part of a team because you can’t play anymore. You find other ways to help your team and the way that he didn’t get in trouble for ditching games and practices? I thought that was completely dumb. Being around a lot of college athletes, who have been hurt with season-ending injuries, I just don’t see someone completely checking out the way that Wes did. That was another thing that messed with my enjoyment of the book. There were no consequences for Wes’ actions and that annoyed me. There were no consequences from his coach, no consequences from his teammates and that just didn’t make sense. Anyway, so Joel is getting his story next and I’m mighty curious about who his heroine is going to be. Do you think it’s someone new or…Gabby? I’m low key hoping it’s Gabby and I’m also wondering if Z is going to get a book now that he’s no longer a student at Valley University. Hmm. Are you planning on reading the rest of the books? Ames: Oh yes! That whole thing with David was so…such a let down! Especially in this day and age, for someone to so willingly remain a victim? And that website? If people knew about it how come it wasn’t reported before? She really should have stood up for herself. I felt like all the extra work she was doing for him was just swept under the rug too. I mean, I can understand why someone wouldn’t say something but this is fiction and this would have been a great opportunity to show some strength in a character instead of relying on a guy to confront that douche. I feel like there was a lot of telling with this book and not a lot of showing. So that’s where I felt a disconnect with the story. I liked the friendship Wes had with his roommates and especially Z as well. But like you said, the way he disconnected after his injury was something that true teammates and friends would have confronted him about. They would have dragged his ass to the gym and games. They wouldn’t have let him stay in his funk as long as they did. See Z had a moment when he looked at Gabby so that’s who I see pairing up in a subsequent book. And I would read Z’s book. I think he’s an interesting character. Especially as he goes pro. I’m not really interested in Joel’s story though. All right. This was Jenshak’s debut book and although there were some issues with it, overall it was ok. I’m giving it a 3 out of 5. What about you? Rowena: I did see the moment you’re talking about, I just didn’t think Z would be getting a book since he’s not going to be going to the college anymore. Maybe I’m wrong though. Maybe Joel’s girl will be the girl that he tutors in Spanish. I’d like to read Joel’s book. I liked the way that he stepped up and went to his Dad to try to help Blair out with the whole website thing. That showed promise for me. But yeah, as far as this is concerned. There was a lot of promise and I enjoyed the friendships but overall, it was just an okay reading experience for me too.
Final Grades
Ames: 3 out of 5 Rowena: 3 out of 5
three-stars

0 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Review: The Chase by Elle Kennedy

Posted August 10, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 6 Comments

Review: The Chase by Elle KennedyThe Chase
by Elle Kennedy
Series: Briar U #1
Published by Elle Kennedy on August 4, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Point of View:Alternating First Person
Pages: 378
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add It: Goodreads
four-stars

A sexy standalone novel from New York Times and international bestselling author Elle Kennedy

Everyone says opposites attract. And they must be right, because there’s no logical reason why I’m so drawn to Colin Fitzgerald. I don’t usually go for tattoo-covered, video-gaming, hockey-playing nerd-jocks who think I’m flighty and superficial. His narrow view of me is the first strike against him. It doesn’t help that he’s buddy-buddy with my brother.

And that his best friend has a crush on me.

And that I just moved in with them.

Oh, did I not mention we’re roommates?

I suppose it doesn’t matter. Fitzy has made it clear he’s not interested in me, even though the sparks between us are liable to burn our house down. I’m not the kind of girl who chases after a man, though, and I’m not about to start. I’ve got my hands full dealing with a new school, a sleazy professor, and an uncertain future. So if my sexy brooding roomie wises up and realizes what he’s missing?

He knows where to find me.

The Chase kicks off the Off-Campus spin-off series, Briar U and it features some familiar characters in Summer Hayward-Di Laurentis and Colin Fitzgerald. We first meet Summer in her brother’s book, The Score. Summer comes to visit her brother Dean at school and takes one look at Fitzy and she wants him. She’s carried a huge ol’ crush on Fitzy around with her ever since and when she transfers from Brown to Briar, things get really interesting for her. Fitzy is attracted to Summer, of course he is but he can’t go there because 1) She’s Dean’s sister and 2) She’s the exact opposite of everything he is and everything he has no interest in being. She’s outgoing and social where he’s more reserved and more comfortable alone and at home. Sure, he’s a hockey player and he does go out from time to time, but he really loves the quiet that comes from being alone with his art and video games. Things really get going for them when Summer moves in with Fitzy and the rest of his roommates at the Off-Campus house. She needs a place to stay and they need a roommate so win-win right? Hahaha, oh the drama that comes with Summer moving in. The shenanigans that these two get into was so much fun. Elle Kennedy does what she does best with this book. She brings together two characters in a way that will have you itching to keep turning the pages. There’s a lot of charm, a lot of OMG that didn’t just happen moments along with characters that will make you laugh and cheer for as you keep reading. Summer was probably my favorite part of the book even though I did come to love Fitzy but I really enjoyed getting to know Summer because she seemed to be a lot of fun in Dean’s book and that was brought to the front of the class in this one. I loved how strong she was despite being so insecure about her learning disability. Having a daughter who has a learning disability, it made me appreciate Summer’s drive and her willingness to do whatever it took to stay on top of her course studies. I also really enjoyed how she didn’t let Fitzy get away with the shit that he tried to pull with her. Her friendship with Brenna was another thing that I absolutely loved about her. She seriously rocked and even though I thought she led Hunter on for a little bit, I still really liked her. This week’s book boyfriend is definitely Colin Fitzgerald. As pissed off as he made me, I still loved the hell out of him and his love for Summer. There were times when I wanted to punch him in the junk but as the story continued, my love for him to started to shine through. I loved how he got his shit together and really fell into being Summer’s boyfriend. He was smart and he was a guy trying to be good and failing miserably but I liked that he did work to turn things around. This is who I pictured as Fitzy because I love me some Josh from Younger and he fits the image that I have of Colin Fitzgerald. The tats, the good looks, I can definitely see it.
I’m really looking forward to the other books in this series, especially the next book, The Risk. Brenna completely won me over in this book and I cannot wait to see her get her happily ever after. I sincerely hope that her love ends up being Harvard guy because I’m so here for all of the heckling she’ll be doing at his games and the sparks flew all over whenever they were around each other…seriously, their story would be so epic. He’s the star of the rival team, she’s the daughter to the coach of his rival team…they’re supposed to hate each other and yet, they fall in love instead. Who wouldn’t want that story??? Anyway, back to The Chase, this book had all of Elle Kennedy’s trademark humor and sexy story time that I enjoy but there were things that I didn’t care for (the whole thing with Hunter, the way that things were handled with the professor and assistant dean then all of the douche behavior from Fitzy). Still, it was a solid effort and I ended up enjoying the book so I’m planted firmly in the I can’t wait for the next book to come out camp. If you enjoy contemporary NA with compelling characters and a steamy romance then you’ll definitely enjoy this one.
Final Grade
4 out of 5
Buy the Book
AMAZON || BARNES & NOBLE || GOOGLE BOOKS || KOBO
Briar U Series
four-stars

6 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Book Review: Suddenly Forbidden by Ella Fields

Posted April 11, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Book Review: Suddenly Forbidden by Ella FieldsSudden Forbidden
by Ella Fields
Series: Gray Springs University #1
Published by Ella Fields on January 24th, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Point of View:Alternating First Person
Pages: 295
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Buy It: Amazon
Add It: Goodreads
four-half-stars

I thought he'd always be mine,even when I was forced to say goodbye.

We were never meant to let go, but it happened anyway. Too bad I didn’t know someone was waiting to take my place, or I would've held on a lot tighter.

Two years later, we were exactly where we'd always planned to be. I'd kept my promise.He'd forgotten all about his. Not only had he moved on, but the person he'd moved on with was my best friend, leaving me to begin college with a broken heart.

I guess this is the part where I’m supposed to tell you some other guy stepped in, repaired my shattered pieces, and made me smile again.

This isn't that kind of story.

My heart might have been broken, but it refused to fall out of love.

WARNING: this book contains cheating.

This book was brought to my attention by my friend Ames who blogs over at Bookish Ames. She really enjoyed this one and as she was describing it, it sounded like something I would enjoy as well. So I started the book just as soon as I could and I finished it rather quickly. I should preface this review by warning you that there is cheating in this book and though I’m not normally a fan of that kind of things in my romances, it wasn’t a deal breaker for me in this book. Quinn and Daisy have been best friends since they were kids. When they were of age for their friendship to blossom into something more, they went there without second thoughts. They were young, they were in love and right before Daisy turns 16, her parents move her to the next state over and her blossoming relationship with Quinn suffers a huge blow. Promises that they made to each other are thrown into question and it’s two years later, Daisy shows up for her freshman year at Gray Springs University hoping that she runs into Quinn again and that they can try to get back to where they were when they lived next door to each other. For a while, Daisy doesn’t see Quinn at all but when she finally does, her heart is shattered into a million pieces because Quinn isn’t alone anymore. He has a girlfriend and that girlfriend used to be Daisy’s other best friend, Alexis so the betrayal is strong but Daisy isn’t the only person who is shocked. Quinn hasn’t seen Daisy in years and he wasn’t prepared for the feelings that would storm him when he finally does see her again. Once they finally see each other, they see each other everywhere. Quinn and Alexa are in love now and Daisy tries to stay away because she’s hurt, she’s angry at the both of them and she’s still in love with Quinn. No amount of staying away helps because he’s had her heart since she was a little girl and that’s not going to change. So this is a second chance romance set at Gray Springs University and every time that Quinn sees Daisy, the past rushes back to him and bombards him with feelings that he’s having trouble controlling. He wants to do right by Alexis but even Alexis knows about him and Daisy. She was there through all of it. He’s screwed any way that he looks at it because the more that he sees Daisy around, the stronger their bond becomes and trying to outrun something that is in his blood isn’t going to last. Seeing Quinn and Daisy interact with each other and trying to find a new normal was angsty and so full of promise that when they inevitably come together, I was disappointed but I was also not surprised. Quinn tries his best to try to make things right and Daisy suffers from so much guilt and I thought that Ella Fields handled this complicated mess in a way that made me feel for everyone involved. The story is well written and the emotions I felt were real and I just could not stop reading. In the end, this book turned me inside out and it ended the way that it was supposed to end. I’m anxious for the next book and have every faith that Toby and Pippa’s story will be just as angsty and good as this one was.
Gray Springs University Series
Bittersweet Always releases sometime this year and I’m so here for it.
Final Rating
4 out of 5
four-half-stars

2 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Book Review: Jockblocked by Jen Frederick

Posted April 4, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 6 Comments

Book Review: Jockblocked by Jen FrederickJockblocked
by Jen Frederick
Series: Gridiron #2
Also in this series: Played
Published by Jen Frederick on February 11th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Point of View:Alternating First Person
Pages: 496
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Buy It: Amazon|Barnes & Noble
Add It: Goodreads
four-half-stars

She’s always played it safe…

College junior Lucy Washington abides by one rule—avoid risk at all costs. She’s cautious in every aspect of her life, from her health, to her mock trial team, to the boring guys she dates. When a brash, gorgeous jock walks into the campus coffee shop and turns his flirt on, Lucy is stunned by the force of attraction. For the first time ever, she’s willing to step out of her comfort zone, but can she really trust the guy who’s determined to sweep her off her feet?

He’s always played around…

Entering his last year of college eligibility, linebacker Matthew "Matty" Iverson has the team captaincy in his sights. And it’s his for the taking, if he can convince his quarterback Ace Anderson to give up the starting position. Luckily, Matty already has an edge—the hottie he’s lusting over just happens to be Ace’s childhood best friend. Getting Lucy on his side and in his bed? Hell yeah. Matty is more than confident he can have both, but when he falls hard for Lucy, it’s time for a new game plan: convince the woman of his dreams that she’s not sleeping with the enemy.

It’s been ages since I’ve read this book but it was our book club book of the month for March, so I dug it out and read all about Matty Iverson falling in love with Lucy Washington again. I loved my re-read of this book. It was like coming home after a long day at work. I really enjoyed the chemistry, the romance and the dialogue between Matty and Luce. So, Matty Iverson is about to be a senior in college and he’s low key over the party scene. He just won the national championship and like a champ does, he parties like there’s no tomorrow to celebrate his team’s achievement with his team and things get a lot out of hand. He’s all partied out and hooking up with random strangers all the time is getting old so instead of continuing the party, he starts hanging out by himself and hitting the books. He meets Lucy Washington and when she rejects him, he’s thrown for a loop. Matty doesn’t get rejected but there’s a first time for everything and it figures that the girl that finally interests him doesn’t return the interest. Matty turns up the charm as he tries to get Lucy to go out with him. Lucy isn’t having it. She made a promise to her best friend J.R. “Ace” Anderson that she would steer clear of his football teammates and he promised to steer clear of all of her friends. Matty is persistent and Lucy is starting to cave because Matty is starting to show signs that he is a lot more than the person she thought he was and she likes who she is getting to know. The romance between Matty and Lucy was a fun one. I loved seeing them flirt with each other, wear each other down and then come together like a giant ball of lust. They were such a fun couple and I loved how protective Matty was over Lucy and I loved how loyal Lucy was even when she was stuck in between Matt and Ace. There was a lot going on in this book and I loved being a part of all of it. Matt and Lucy were fun, Hammer, Sutton and Charity and the rest of the guys on the football team, they were all great. The diabetic stuff with Lucy rang true and got the approval from my book club. There are a few diabetics in our club and they were impressed with the author’s knowledge and the way that it’s treated in the story. It was a part of Lucy’s life, the same way that it’s a part of theirs. It’s not entirely who they are but it’s a big part of their lives and they all thought that Frederick handled it all quite nicely. Matt was our favorite thing about the book. He was a good, solid hero who wasn’t perfect and didn’t try to be. He was in love and let himself be in love. We connected with him as a person and with the stuff he was dealing with. Between the captaincy, the whole drama with Ace and then his budding relationship with Lucy, the way that he was with everyone completely won us over. Lucy was strong and she was fun but most importantly, she was normal. Everyone would be able to see a little bit of themselves in Lucy and the way that she was in all aspects of her life was a lot of fun to read because she was complicated but she was real. I can’t say enough good things about this book except Ace. Ace was such a shitty person. A shitty friend. A shitty teammate and we took a vote at book club and not a lot of people are interested in reading Ace’s book, haha. Poor guy. But this book? It gets a high recommendation from me because I loved the book, the characters, this world and the romance. You won’t be sorry if you pick this one up. It’s a damn good book.
Gridiron Series
Rating
4.75 out of 5
four-half-stars

6 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,