Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Hung Up by Kristen Tracy

book cover of Hung Up by Kristen Tracy

Title: Hung Up
Author: Kristen Tracy
Release date: March 4, 2014
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 288
Source: Edelweiss/Publisher
Reading level: YA

Can you fall in love with a voice? This witty romance, told entirely through phone calls, chronicles the tale of a wrong number gone right.

It all started with a wrong number. The voicemails Lucy left on James’s phone were meant for someone else—someone who used to have James’s digits. But then when James finally answers and the two start to talk, a unique bond forms between the two teens.

Gradually Lucy and James begin to understand each other on a deeper level than anyone else in their lives. But when James wants to meet in person, Lucy is strangely resistant. And when her secret is revealed, he’ll understand why…

For some reason, I keep reading Kristen Tracy’s books even though I never really love them. There’s nothing bad about them but there is just something that always keeps me from loving them. That was once again the case with Hung Up.

Hung Up is an adorable story told in phone calls and phone messages. It’s a really nifty idea but it caused some problems with the story and the characters. A lot of the time it felt like I was missing something, like there were gaps in time where things happened and I just wasn’t present for them. I also never felt like I connected to the characters because it was a hard way to present a back-story of any kind. Lucy and James were cute together, at least when it came to their phone calls, but I never felt like I got to know either of them.

The story was really fast-paced though. Almost like reading a book written in verse, Hung Up can be read in just a few short hours, if it even takes that long. It’s captivating enough that readers will be entertained throughout and you won’t want to stop reading once you start it. There is a bit of a mystery surrounding Lucy’s past but that really didn’t matter to me. It almost seemed like an afterthought to the story. It was unexpected and I didn’t see it coming at all, that’s for sure.

The romance was more cutesy than anything else. There wasn’t really any chemistry between Lucy and James but that was mainly just because you never get the chance to see them interact in person. I understand that it wouldn’t have worked with the style of writing but I never felt like they would have worked together based on phone calls alone.

Overall, Hung Up was another mediocre read from Kristen Tracy. However, it was pretty cute and it’s definitely a quick read so maybe give it a shot. It’d probably appeal a lot more to younger readers.

What others are saying about Hung Up:

Anna Reads’ review: “Still, if you want a quickie read, something cute and simple and entertaining that will take your mind off of things for a few hours, this one will absolutely do the trick.”

The YA Kitten’s review: “If you’re looking for something to get started on epistolary YA with, go pick up Moriarty’s books and this one while you’re at it.”  

Queen Ella Bee Reads’ review: “All in all, the emotional support Lucy and James provide for each other is truly heartwarming.” 

Other reviews for this author:
A Field Guide for Heartbreakers by Kristen Tracy
Lost It by Kristen Tracy

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Secret Diamond Sisters (The Secret Diamond Sisters #1) by Michelle Madow

book cover of The Secret Diamond Sisters by Michelle Madow

Title: The Secret Diamond Sisters (The Secret Diamond Sisters #1)
Author: Michelle Madow
Release date: February 25, 2014
Publisher: HarlequinTeen
Pages: 382
Source: Netgalley/Publisher
Reading level: YA

Savannah. Courtney. Peyton.

The three sisters grew up not knowing their father and not quite catching a break. But it looks like their luck is about to change when they find out the secret identity of their long-lost dad—a billionaire Las Vegas hotel owner who wants them to come live in a gorgeous penthouse hotel suite. Suddenly the Strip’s most exclusive clubs are all-access, and with an unlimited credit card each, it should be easier than ever to fit right in. But in a town full of secrets and illusion, fitting in is nothing compared to finding out the truth about their past.

I really had high hopes for The Secret Diamond Sisters. The premise was awesome and I had heard pretty good things about Michelle Madow’s previous series. Surprisingly enough, there were very few things I actually liked about The Secret Diamond Sisters.
The characters were the worst I’ve read about in quite some time. All three of the sisters were horrible. They were all severely flawed and I couldn’t get past their flaws. Savannah was horribly naïve and oblivious. All she cared about was money, boys, and clothes. Courtney was too perfect to be true. She was smart, funny, and kind. The perfect daughter, by all accounts. Then there was Peyton, the smart mouthed, bitchy daughter who did everything she could to piss off her dad. I hated all three of them. And then, once the guys enter the picture, things got even worse. I don’t even want to get into that though.
There was some sort of mystery regarding why Adrian sent the girls away but sadly that mystery was not solved in the course of the first book in this series. I’m really curious what the mystery is but not curious enough to continue with this series. I have no idea why it wasn’t revealed in this book but I guess that wouldn’t leave much to draw readers to the next book.
The romances were all cheesy and predictable. There was no chemistry between any of the couples. Savannah pretty much just threw herself at Damon and he pretended to like her so he could hook up with her. Peyton slept with someone on the first night and then was heartbroken when he didn’t want anything to do with her. Courtney fell for her soon to be stepbrother and made that pretty public. All of the “relationships” were fake and everyone seemed to have an ulterior motive.
Overall, The Secret Diamond Sisters is one that I would recommend passing on. This book had almost no redeeming qualities and I won’t be continuing with this series.
What others are saying about The Secret Diamond Sisters:
Miss Literati’s review: “I am looking forward to the sequel, since the last book left off with a month of summer vacation and a whole school year left.”

Once Upon A Twilight’s review: The Secret Diamond Sisters are sure to find themselves in much more drama in Michelle Madow’s next book Diamonds in the Rough.” 

Bookish’s review: Overall, I enjoyed The Secret Diamond sisters.” 

Series:
The Secret Diamond Sisters (#1)
Diamons in the Rough (#2)
Untitled (#3)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg

book cover of Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg

Title: Better Off Friends
Author: Elizabeth Eulberg
Release date: February 25, 2014
Publisher: Point
Pages: 288
Source: Netgalley/Publisher
Reading level: YA

WHEN HARRY MET SALLY . . . for teens, from romantic comedy star Elizabeth Eulberg.

For Macallan and Levi, it was friends at first sight. Everyone says guys and girls can’t be just friends, but these two are. They hang out after school, share tons of inside jokes, their families are super close, and Levi even starts dating one of Macallan’s friends. They are platonic and happy that way.

Eventually they realize they’re best friends — which wouldn’t be so bad if they didn’t keep getting in each other’s way. Guys won’t ask Macallan out because they think she’s with Levi, and Levi spends too much time joking around with Macallan, and maybe not enough time with his date. They can’t help but wonder . . . are they more than friends or are they better off without making it even more complicated?

From romantic comedy superstar Elizabeth Eulberg comes a fresh, fun examination of a question for the ages: Can guys and girls ever really be just friends? Or are they always one fight away from not speaking again — and one kiss away from true love?

It’s become pretty hard to impress me with contemporary novels lately.  I read so many of them that the stories and things just stop being unique.  That was so not the case with Better Off Friends.  I’ve been a fan of Elizabeth Eulberg since her debut novel but I’m pretty sure I have a new favorite from her.
Macallan and Levi have an odd relationship.  It’s clear from the start that they really are just friends.  The book shows how they meet and how they become friends as well as how that friendship develops over the years.  They go through boyfriends and girlfriends and no matter what, they are always there for each other.  They stand by each other through thick and thin and they have one of the best friendships I’ve read about in a long time.  They get each others jokes, they like the same things, and they never tire of each others company.  
The chemistry between them wasn’t always there but it was easy to see that they would be good together.  As they grew older though, things started to change between them and they definitely started to see a change in how they felt about each other.  The chemistry between them was very real.  Their relationship was so comfortable that they were able to be themselves with each other.  I didn’t think it had to necessarily go in a romantic way but it definitely worked for them.
The story itself was very cutesy but that’s what I was hoping for.  Macallan and Levi both realize (at different times) how they feel about each other and what happens after that was pretty hilarious.  Their timing never seems to be right.  One of them is always managing to screw things up royally.  There were a lot of more serious moments in the story but it helped balance out the funny parts.  I never felt like it was too serious or too light hearted.  There were some times when I really just wanted to hit both Macallan and Levi though.  It took them a while to see things that were right in front of their faces.
Overall, Elizabeth Eulberg has written another wonderful young adult contemporary novel that I highly recommend.  If you haven’t read anything by her yet, start with this one!
What others are saying about Better Off Friends:
Eve’s Fan Garden’s review: All in all, this was another great book from Eulberg and really, everyone should read it!” 

Reading Teen’s review: BETTER OFF FRIENDS was such an adorable story.” 

Confessions of a Book Addict’s review: So, if you are a fan of the Pacey/Joey type of romance where they are best friends first and if you are like me and are a huge fan of When Harry Met Sally, then you must check out Better Off Friends.” 

Other reviews for this author:
Friday, February 7, 2014

First Line Friday Review: Year of Mistaken Discoveries by Eileen Cook

book cover of Year of Mistaken Discoveries by Eileen Cook

Title: Year of Mistaken Discoveries
Author: Eileen Cook
Release date: January 27, 2014
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 272
Source: Edelweiss/Publisher
Reading level: YA

As first graders, Avery and Nora bonded over a special trait they shared—they were both adopted.

Years later, Avery is smart, popular, and on the cheerleading squad, while Nora spends her time on the fringes of school society, wearing black, reading esoteric poetry, and listening to obscure music. They never interact…until the night Nora approaches Avery at a party, saying it’s urgent. She tells Avery that she thought she found her birth mom—but it turned out to be a cruel lie. Avery feels for Nora, but returns to her friends at the party.

Then Avery learns that Nora overdosed on pills. Left to cope with Nora’s loss and questioning her own actions, Avery decides to honor her friend by launching a search for her own birth mother. Aided by Brody, a friend of Nora’s who is also looking for a way to respect Nora’s legacy, Avery embarks on an emotional quest. But what she’s really seeking might go far deeper than just genetics…

Year of Mistaken Discoveries is a fun contemporary read from Eileen Cook.  There are some more serious undertones which I enjoyed but mainly it was a book that I found to be supremely cute.  
Avery and Nora aren’t really friends by the time the book starts.  They have drifted apart over the years with Avery becoming the popular cheerleader and Nora becoming a loner.  However, that doesn’t mean Nora’s death doesn’t profoundly affect Avery.  It comes as a shock to her that Nora would take her own life and Avery feels a lot of guilt over the fact that she wasn’t there for Nora at the end.  This guilt leads her to decide to find her birth mom in honor of Nora, along with the help of Nora’s only other friend, Brody.
Admittedly the guilt about Nora was only part of the reason that Avery decided to start searching for her birth mom.  She had some other motives that were not very pure.  Avery was decidedly selfish.  Everything she did, she did for herself.  Sure she’d make it seem like she was doing it for someone else or some greater purpose but it truly was all about her in the end.  I really didn’t like Avery for most of the book because of this.  However, the other characters helped make up for my dislike of Avery.  First there was Brody.  He was a little mysterious but it didn’t take long for me to warm up to him.  He was a great guy.  Then there were Avery’s adoptive parents.  They were the perfect parents.  They played a huge role in the story and I loved reading a YA book with a parental presence.  Avery’s friends, Lydia and Shannon, were pretty good too although they were a little shallow.
The story was really fast-paced.  There was nothing really special about it but I enjoyed it.  Avery and Brody spend most of the book searching down Avery’s real mom and it was fun to see how they went about getting their information.  It read a little bit like a mystery.  It was a little predictable but I didn’t really think that was a bad thing in this case.
Overall, Year of Mistaken Discoveries is a wonderfully quick contemporary read.  It’s perfect for a rainy day and it will definitely leave you with a smile on your face.
What others are saying about Year of Mistaken Discoveries:
Adventures in Reading’s review: It was a truly great read but I just wish that the ending hadn’t felt so unfinished.” 
Other reviews for this author:
Want to know what other books were up for First Line Friday?

#1 – I was probably the first kid ever excited for summer to be over. – Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg

#2 – There are rumors the day Emily Beam arrives at the Amherst School for Girls–in January, halfway through her junior year. – And We Stay by Jenny Hubbard

#3 – “You dropped something.” – Bright Before Sunrise by Tiffany Schmidt

#4 – Nadia and I scramble down the hill at the edge of school property right as the morning’s final late bell rings behind us. – Me Since You by Laura Wiess
Monday, February 3, 2014

DNF Review: Never Too Late (Flirt #2) by A. Destiny and Rhonda Helms

book cover of Never Too Late by A. Destiny and Rhonda Helms

Title: Never Too Late (Flirt #2)
Author: A. Destiny, Rhonda Helms
Release date: February 4, 2014
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 240
Source: Edelweiss
Reading level: YA

Can acting in love lead to the real thing? This standalone addition to the Flirt series is sweet, fresh, and clean.

Abbey couldn’t be more excited. The end of the school year is coming, as is the annual sophomore class renaissance faire…and the headlining theatrical performance, where Abbey will be starring as a lead. There’s only one problem: her costar, Jason Hardy.

Everyone else might think Jason is perfect, but Abbey knows the truth. She remembers what he did at the school dance, and she knows he’s a total jerk.

But during the daily rehearsals, Abbey starts to see a side to Jason she hadn’t noticed before…and he might not be as bad as she thought. Each day she’s falling for him just a little bit more, and she thinks maybe Jason feels the same.

Or maybe he’s a better actor than Abbey could have guessed.

Never Too Late looked like a fun read and I was really in the mood for one of those. I quickly came to realize though that Never Too Late was not the book for me.
This is going to be a really short review because I didn’t make it very far into Never Too Late. Never Too Late will appeal to a younger crowd. It’s a simple story with a very simple writing style. A little too simple, if you ask me. There was nothing special about the story, the characters, the writing, or the romance. I kept wanting something to happen that would keep me interested but nothing ever did.
The characters were also really immature. Abbey hates Jason for some really dumb reason that I can’t even remember. When they both get the romantic leads in a play, Abbey can barely move past her hatred to work with them. Then of course she starts to see another side of Jason but this is only after she finds out that her best friend likes Jason. There is nothing but immature drama all throughout this book and I just had to stop reading.
Overall, Never Too Late is not a good choice for older readers of YA. It’s not a bad book, it’s just a little too immature.
Series:
Lessons in Love (#1)
Never Too Late (#2)
Friday, January 24, 2014

DNF Review: Sneaking Candy by Lisa Burstein

book cover of Sneaking Candy by Lisa Burstein

Title: Sneaking Candy
Author: Lisa Burstein
Release date: December 9, 2013
Publisher: Entangled Embrace
Source: Netgalley
Reading level: NA

All I ever wanted was to make a name for myself as Candice Salinas, creative writing grad student at the University of Miami. Of course, secretly I already have made a name for myself: as Candy Sloane, self-published erotic romance writer. Though thrilled that my books are selling and I have actual fans, if anyone at UM found out, I could lose my scholarship…and the respect of my faculty advisor, grade-A-asshole Professor Dylan.

Enter James Walker, super-hot local barista and—surprise!—my student. Even though I know a relationship is totally off-limits, I can’t stop myself from sneaking around with James, taking a few cues from my own erotic writing…if you catch my drift. Candy’s showing her stripes for the first time in my real life, and I’ve never had so much fun. But when the sugar high fades, can my secrets stay under wraps?

Sneaking Candy by Lisa Burstein was an impulse request on Netgalley and I quickly came to regret that request. I knew right from the start that Sneaking Candy was not going to be a book for me but I made myself stick it out for a while and see how it went.
Candice (Candy) is an erotica writer as well as a creative writing grad student. She sells her erotica work to make money to pay for her schooling but she hides her erotica career from everyone because she’s embarrassed by it. Things work for her until she meets James who is not only her love interest but also her student. Oops. That part reminded me a bit of Losing It but it was not done nearly as well this time. Candice went to dinner with James knowing he was her student, got drunk, blacked out, and had sex with him. Classy. Really, that was where the book totally lost all interest to me. I gave up after that.
Overall, Sneaking Candy did nothing for me. The characters, the writing, the story, it was mediocre at best. I gave up about 30% through and I don’t regret that at all. I’d say pass on this one.
What others are saying about Sneaking Candy:
Harlequin Junkie’s review: “Overall, Sneaking Candy by Lisa Burstein is a fun story with a lovable heroine and an interesting story which keeps you hooked throughout.”

Writing My Own Fairy Tale’s review: “Sneaking Candy is adorable and sexy and fun.”

Actin’ Up With Books’ review: ” If you are looking for something funny, fresh, smart, and sexy, then this is the book for you!”

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Anything To Have You by Paige Harbison

book cover of Anything To Have You by Paige Harbison

Title: Anything To Have You
Author: Paige Harbison
Release date: January 28, 2014
Publisher: HarlequinTeen
Pages: 304
Source: Netgalley
Reading level: YA

Nothing should come between best friends, not even boys. ESPECIALLY not boys.

Natalie and Brooke have had each other’s backs forever. Natalie is the quiet one, college bound and happy to stay home and watch old movies. Brooke is the movie—the life of every party, the girl everyone wants to be.

Then it happens—one crazy night that Natalie can’t remember and Brooke’s boyfriend, Aiden, can’t forget. Suddenly there’s a question mark in Natalie and Brooke’s friendship that tests everything they thought they knew about each other and has both girls discovering what true friendship really means.

I was a huge fan of Paige Harbison’s debut novel, Here Lies Bridget. Because of that, I expected quite a bit from Anything To Have You. Sadly, I was a bit let down. I enjoyed the story but it really was nothing special and I had quite a few problems with it.
My biggest issue with Anything to Have You was the dynamics of the friendship between Brooke and Natalie. They really don’t seem to like each other. They have very little in common and it almost seemed like they were competing with each other. Add a boy into that mix and things just get crazy. Aiden is the new kid in town and Natalie likes him from the start. Brooke doesn’t really care either way but she’s supposed to help Natalie get him. Instead, she starts dating him. Things just went downhill from there. And I’m not justifying what Natalie and Aiden did but they were supposed to be together from the start. It was bound to happen.
The summary doesn’t do justice to the story though. Something happens one night that Natalie and Aiden don’t remember but the consequences of that night are really far reaching. Not only do Natalie and Aiden’s lives start to spiral after that, so does Brookes. Even if they don’t know what exactly happened, they know that things are changing in all of their relationships. It was interesting to see how the decisions of two people affect not just them but all the people around them as well.
Things kind of came to a head a little too abruptly at the end of the book. There was a lot of build up and a lot of things leading to the big revelation but it all happened so close to the end that I felt like readers can’t really see all the ramifications of their actions. Things tied up a little too nicely too. Sure, I was happy for Natalie, Aiden, Brooke, and their friends but I wanted to see something a little more realistic. Maybe that’s just me though.
Overall, Anything To Have You just didn’t live up to my expectations. I enjoyed it and I think other readers will too but just don’t expect too much from it.

What others are saying about Anything To Have You:

Bookworm Blogger’s review: “I honestly think the author took her finger off the pulse on this one and therefore it just didn’t seem quite accurate.”

Ashley Loves Books’ review: “Obviously, Anything To Have You wasn’t quite the book for me.”

Electively Paige’s review: “I love the way the author gracefully touches on some pretty strong themes, and this book was about as real as you can get.”

Other reviews for this author:
Here Lies Bridget by Paige Harbison

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Over You by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus

book cover of Over You by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus

Title: Over You
Author: Emma McLaughlin, Nicola Kraus
Release date: August 21, 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 304
Source: Publisher
Reading level: YA

After the grand explosion of her relationship, seventeen-year-old Max Scott developed what every girl in the history of the world has been waiting for: a way to get over being dumped. Now Max is the go-to guru for heartbroken high-school girls all over NYC. But when her ex unexpectedly shows up in her neighborhood, Max’s carefully controlled world starts to unravel. With her clients’ hearts hanging in the balance, Max will have to do the seemingly impossible: get over him once and for all.

I am sad to say that Over You is probably one of the most disappointing books I have read this year.  Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus’ books have gotten so many rave reviews that I expected to adore this one.  Sadly I was severely let down and I found myself trying so hard to get through the book without giving up.
Max is a hard girl to like.  She has this company where she helps girls get over their exes but she has yet to get over her own.  She is this huge hypocrite who falls all over her ex as soon as he comes back into the picture.  And honestly when it comes down to it there is nothing spectacular about her ex.  He’s an asshole who does whatever his daddy tells him to and Max deserves so much better.  For some reason she can’t see that and she treats a truly good guy horribly.  She made one bad choice after another and she never seemed to learn from things.  She also had nearly no personality which didn’t help things.
The guys in the book were actually the only interesting characters.  Ben, Zach, and even Hugo were more interesting to me than Max and the girls she supposedly helps move on.  Ben is a lovable idiot who doesn’t know how to handle girls.  His inner commentary is rather funny and helps move the story along.  Zach is Max’s best friend who is a very flamboyant gay guy.  (Is it just me or do there seem to be a lot of flamboyant gay best friends in YA these days?)  He’s a bit of a goofball but he’s a total sweetheart and he’s super funny.  Even Hugo had more personality than Max.  He’s was a total jerk but he knew who he was and what he wanted.  I can’t say the same for Max.
As for the writing it was just dull.  From the very start I knew that I wouldn’t enjoy the writing but I hoped that the story would be enough to capture my interest.  Sadly neither improved throughout the book.  The writing was very descriptive and heavy.  The story was slow and rather predictable.  I read through the book rather quickly but that was only because I wanted to be done with it.  
Overall, Over You is one book that I wouldn’t really recommend.  If you enjoyed Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus’ previous books then this one may be for you but otherwise I suggest passing on this one.
What others are saying about Over You:
Sash & Em’s review: “If you’re looking for a fluffy, one-day read – pick this one up!”

Buried in Books’ review: “All in all, Over You is a fun break up and fall in love all over again book.”

Dark Faerie Tales’ review: “Fun, light hearted read with a cute protagonist and a fun premise.” 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Believe (True Believers #3) by Erin McCarthy

book cover of Believe by Erin McCarthy

Title: Believe (True Believers #3)
Author: Erin McCarthy
Release date: January 21, 2014
Publisher: InterMix
Source: Netgalley
Reading level: NA

Robin used to be a party girl… until she got black out drunk and woke up in bed with her best friend’s boyfriend. Now she’s faced with being THAT girl, and couldn’t be more disgusted with herself. She can’t even tell her friends the reason for her sudden sobriety and she avoids everyone until she meets Phoenix—quiet, tattooed, and different in every way that’s good and oh, so bad…

Phoenix is two days out of jail when he meets Robin at his cousin’s house, and he knows that he has no business talking to her, but he’s drawn to her quiet demeanor, sweet smile, and artistic talent. She doesn’t care that he’s done time, or that he only has five bucks to his name, and she supports his goal to be a tattoo artist.

But Phoenix knows Robin has a secret, and that it’s a naïve dream to believe that his record won’t catch up with them at some point. Though neither is prepared for the explosive result when the past collides with the present…

Believe, the third book in the True Believers series, is a fabulous addition to this new adult series. The stories in these books are nothing too spectacular but I find myself hooked all the same.
Believe is the story of Robin. Robin’s story got started in the previous book, Sweet, but that was just the beginning. Her life has changed drastically since that time. She’s a different person now. I didn’t like Robin in the previous books but that definitely changed with Believe. She was no longer a selfish party girl who only wanted to hook up and drink. She matured and realized that she couldn’t continue living her life that way. Phoenix helped her with that. After spending some time in jail, Phoenix is rather mature for his age. He hasn’t had an easy life and he’s not looking for a relationship. That doesn’t matter when he meets Robin. They immediately hit it off as friends and they go from there.
Robin and Phoenix’s relationship was a little unusual but it worked. They were good for each other. They were able to be honest with each other and they talked about anything and everything. They kind of moved a little fast for me but I still liked them. I wouldn’t advise getting a tattoo of your new girlfriends face but hey, whatever works. That was really one of the only irrational things about their relationship though.
The characters from the previous two books all make appearances in Believe, even the ones that I would rather have not seen. The friendships are as strong as before but they are tested throughout this book, some maybe beyond repair. Honestly, the friendships are what make these books so great. Even if the Mann brothers are related, they still don’t have to be as close as they are. It’s easy to see the love between everyone. That’s what keeps me coming back to these books although the steamy romances don’t hurt either.
Overall, Believe is a fast read that is thoroughly enjoyable. If you’re a new adult fan, I’d definitely recommend this series.
What others are saying about Believe: 
A Novel Idea’s review: “I’m glad I took a chance with this book, because I fell in love with Phoenix and Robin’s story.”

Series:
True (#1)
Sweet (#2)
Believe (#3)
Shatter (#4) – June 17, 2014

Monday, January 13, 2014

Sweet (True Believers #2) by Erin McCarthy

book cover of Sweet by Erin McCarthy

Title: Sweet (True Believers #2)
Author: Erin McCarthy
Release date: October 15, 2013
Publisher: InterMix
Pages: 257
Source: Netgalley
Reading level: NA

Jessica Sweet thought going away to college would finally make her free of her parents’ constant judgments and insistence she play chastity club role model for their church events, but if anything, the freedom has made her realize she can’t go home and be a hypocrite anymore. Tired of dodging their questions, she stays at school over the summer and lands in an unexpected crash pad: Riley Mann’s house.

Sarcastic, cocky, and full of opinions, Riley is also sexy personified with tattoos and biceps earned from working as a roofer all day. Not the right guy for her even if Jessica was looking for a relationship, which she is definitely not. But Jessica knows that Riley hides the burden of having to raise his younger brothers behind that grin and as she helps him get his house in order for a custody hearing, they begin to fall hard for each other, and she is forced to question what she’s hiding herself.

Jessica has never had a problem getting naked with a guy, but when it comes to showing Riley how she truly feels inside, her fear of rejection may just ruin the best thing—the best guy—to ever happen to her…

Sweet, the second book in the True Believers series, is a great addition to the new adult genre.  This is one of my favorite series’ in the genre so far. 
Riley and Jess have undeniable chemistry even if they are always at each others throats.  They have a very fun banter going between them and it’s easy to see that they are attracted to each other.  Their relationship starts off differently than most and I enjoyed that about them.  There was no insta-love with these two even if they were instantly attracted to each other.
Riley is older than most love interests, even in NA.  I actually really liked that about him because it gave him a bit more maturity.  He was a smart guy (even though he did some dumb things) and he balanced Jess’ relative immaturity.  Jess wasn’t annoyingly immature but she worried about some really dumb things and did things that she knew were stupid.  However, I still liked her.  She was someone I could easily see myself being friends with.  
The story was pretty much just a romance but there was more about the Mann family from the first book.  Riley is 25 years old and capable of taking care of his family but he hasn’t been given legal custody of his youngest brother yet.  With Jess’ help, Riley has to get the house looking like a home so the social worker won’t take him away.  Other than that though there really wasn’t a lot going on.  Luckily, the romance between Riley and Jess is rocky enough to keep readers entertained.  
Overall, Sweet is a really fun read that sets things up perfectly for the next book in the series.  This one makes for a great rainy day read.
What others are saying about Sweet:
Smexy Books’ review: “Sweet is a sexy, romantic, emotional coming of age new adult that uses a different approach to the defining romance than the usual NA offerings.” 
Dark Faerie Tales’ review: “Even with its flaws, Sweet was still a good read for me.” 
Steamy Guys After Dark’s review: “Sweet had everything I love about New Adult–snarky girl, hot guy, and problems that are realistic for someone in their age group.”
Series:
Sweet (#2)
Believe (#3) – January 21, 2014
Shatter (#4) – June 17, 2014