RSS Feed

Tag Archives: UST (Unresolved Sexual Tension)

Screwed, by Kendall Ryan

Screwed__________________________________________________

I have one rule: Don’t shit where you eat.

Several of the women in the condo complex I own would love some one-on-one playtime, and why wouldn’t they? I’m young, fit, attractive, and loaded. Not to mention I’m packing a sizable bulge below the belt. It’s a combination that drops panties on a regular basis.

Yay, me, right?

But my cock, troublemaker that he is, has been confined to my trousers by my business partner. A concession I agreed to, and one that’s never been hard to enforce until Emery moves in across the hall. She’s smart, young, determined, and sexy as hell. I want a taste. I won’t stop until I’m buried deep inside the succulent new-in-town brunette.

After being warned about my past, she does her best to steer clear, but I’m about to show her that underneath it all, I’m a guy with a heart of gold and a cock of steel.

My name is Hayden Oliver, and this is my story.

SCREWED is standalone romantic comedy by New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author Kendall Ryan.

__________________________________________________

“I’m screwed – completely and utterly screwed. And not in the fun way.”

Mmmm. I guess I would give it 2.5 stars. I actually started by giving it 3 stars but if I follow the rating on GR, then my feelings about this book equal 2, but I think just 2 stars is a little harsh.

“Fuck. Why did we wait so long to do that?”
(…)
“Because we’re friends?” I suggest helpfully.
“Right. Totally. I’d say now we’re more like best friends.”
“Besties.” I almost choke on the word. Why is my heart clenching in my chest?”

What to say about Screwed. Well, for one, this book is that it’s an easy read. It’s short, sweet and light. Now, it won’t win any awards for originality, but it serves its purpose, which is to entertain. And it did entertain me.

“What are we doing?” I ask him, not meaning for it to sound like a plea.
“Being friends,” he replies. His breath puffs over my lips, and I almost shiver. “Why do you ask?”
“Because friends don’t usually get erections for each other, do they?” I retort without any real force, bumping my hip into the large ridge in his shorts. Friends also don’t get soaking -wet panties, for that matter.”

Hayden and Emery were fun together and I liked that they didn’t fall in bed right away. And I enjoyed the banter between them a lot.

“Her gaze drops to the front of my pants. “I have a big dick ahead of me,” she says, and her cheeks flame bright red. “I mean a big day. Day,” she repeats.”

But I have to say, it didn’t exactly make my heart beat faster. A lot of things about this book made me think of the word flat. I know, it probably doesn’t make much sense. I’ll explain:

– Emery and Hayden, even though they were enjoyable characters ended up being a little paper thin for me. Emery’s funny, but I don’t have the feeling that I know her, what kind of person she is. I know that she likes to work and that she is intelligent. She likes yoga. She’s a vegetarian and had lousy boyfriends. But that doesn’t tell me what kind of person she is.
Same thing for Hayden, but in his case, I feel like I know even less. He’s good with kids, loves his family, had a relationship that ended badly and he has a 9 inch cock and knows where the G spot is. But that’s pretty much it.
I couldn’t, for the life of me, tell you what kind of characters they are. I can’t gush over them, because even after reading a book that focuses on those two, I still feel like I don’t know them.

“I’m not looking for something deeper. I have a luxury condo in the heart of the Hollywood Hills, drive a new BMW, and possess a nine-inch cock.”

– Like I said, I was entertained and I enjoyed the sexual tension between Hayden and Emery, but…I don’t know, the fact that I wasn’t rooting for them, that I wasn’t frustrated when Hayden messed up or scared that Emery wouldn’t forgive him easily, or the fact that my heartbeat stayed flat when Emery was heartbroken or when Hayden finally told her why he acted like a douche, it all left me feeling a little blah about the story and the book. I never felt like I was being sucked into the story or like I was a part of it.

“You broke up with a girl for farting?”
“Indeed,” I confirm.
“That wasn’t love, then.”
“How do you know?”
Hudson shakes his head. “Because when you’re in love, and your woman feels comfortable enough to do that in front of you, you’ll think it’s cute.”

There were sweet moments like when Hayden is with his family or when he realizes his in love with Emery; but again, it felt more like I was seeing things happen from a distance, not like I was living it. I felt very detached from all that was happening. Which is, I think, why my ticker didn’t really going crazy when things went south or when Hayden and Emery finally got over their hang-ups and gave in to their attraction for each other.

“There’s no way I’m letting her go… After all, I’ll never find another girl with cuter farts.”

It kind of sad because I can’t say that I didn’t like this book, but the fact that I felt so detached from it disappoints me. I wish the story would have made me care more, would have gotten me more involved into the story and the characters’ lives. But it didn’t. So even though it’s far from being bad, it’s not exactly good either. I hope Kendal Ryan will do better with the spin-off novella of Screwed, Monster Prick. I’m actually curious about what’s cooking between Hudson and Gracie.

“How’s your sister?” he asks out of the blue.(…)
I shrug. “Gracie’s Gracie.”
(…) Hudson nods once, effectively ending that weird conversation. Okay then.”

Advertisements

Cocky Bastard, by Penelope Ward & Vi Keeland

Cocky Bastard_________________________________________________

From New York Times Bestselling authors Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward, comes a sexy new standalone novel.

He was someone who belonged in my wildest fantasies instead of a rest stop in the middle of Nebraska.

A sexy, cocky, Australian named Chance was the last person I expected to run into on my cross-country drive.

When my car broke down, we made a deal. Next thing I knew, we were traveling together, spending sexually-tense nights in hotels and taking unplanned detours.

My ordinary road trip turned into the adventure of a lifetime. It was all fun and games until things got intense.

I wanted him, but Chance wouldn’t make a move. I thought he wanted me too, but something was holding him back.

I wasn’t supposed to fall for the cocky bastard, especially when I knew we’d be going our separate ways.

All good things must come to an end, right?

Except our ending was one I didn’t see coming.
_________________________________________________

“What’s C.B. stand for anyway?”
“Those are my initials.”
“Let me guess…Cocky Bastard.”

I know this book has been kind of a big deal since it came out and that everybody’s still raving about it, but I have to say, I don’t see why.

Sure I enjoyed reading it. It was fun and sweet with a dash of angst in it and it was a quick read. But Cocky Bastard didn’t exactly knocked my socks off either.

“A single minute can change an entire life.

I liked how Chance and Aubrey met even though I though Chance was a bit of an asshole and didn’t make the best of first impression on me. But I liked how they met and the adventure they went on. That was fun and quirky and original. I liked the tension between those two and how it kept building and how they clicked once they actually started talking to each other.

Sometimes, it takes losing everything to make you realize what you really need.

And I have to say, I was curious about what was keeping Chance from making an actual move on Aubrey when it was clear they both wanted each other bad.

But I’ll admit, Aubrey wasn’t my favorite character. Sure she had her moments and was funny and cute at times, but I never really related to her in the first part of the book. I just never connected with her so I guess that kept me from really getting into the story. But I think the fact that the book has two parts and that both Aubrey and Chance get to tell it separately saved the book for me.

When Chance took the lead of the story, that’s when I got more into it. I liked seeing things through his eyes and finally have his side of the story. And I enjoyed finally knowing what impression Aubrey left on him before they went their separate ways.

“I love you, Aubrey. Can’t you see that? I am head over heels in fucking love with you. I love you more than anything in this entire world. When I look into your eyes, I don’t just see you, I see my children. Hell, I see an entire farm of children and deaf, dumb and blind goats. I see my entire future. Without you, I see nothing. Nothing.”

Basically, the second part of the book was about Chance groveling and winning Aubrey over. And I liked it. I liked how resourceful and tenacious he was and the things he did to show Aubrey he was sincere and how he felt and had felt all along. Chance does very good and effective groveling. He had already made a good impression on me with his wicked mind, dirty mouth and and teasing ways, but that second part totally won me over!

“He had the most phenomenal ass. I wanted to bite it.”

But again, at some point Aubrey started annoying me. Big time. I don’t mind making a guy work for your forgiveness, especially in regard to what Chance did and how he left things with Aubrey. He definitely had some groveling to do. But it was also clear (once he explained it to Aubrey) that he didn’t mean to leave things like that between them when he left and that he didn’t have much of a choice. So when Aubrey started “being difficult”, she kind of disappointed me.

“Sometimes, those who put up the biggest shields are those who are protecting the biggest hearts.”

I get she had trouble trusting him again and that the decision wasn’t easy on her because of the state of hers and Chance’s situation, but at some point it became very clear that she knew what was the right thing to do (by her and by Chance too) and it seemed to me like she just kept him hanging and somehow, was playing with Chance’s feelings. And I really didn’t like that.

“If you let something go and it doesn’t come back to you, it was never really yours to begin with.”

That being said, all is well that ends well and she redeemed herself in my eyes. Now, I know I’ve mostly talked about all the things that didn’t work for me and that it might not really sell this book to you, but there was also a lot of good in it too.

“Care to take a little detour before darkness falls?” 
“Sure. I’d be up for that? What did you have in mind?”
“Somewhere rock hard and deep” he winked.
Well, that piqued my curiosity.”

Like I said, the way Chance and Aubrey fall for each other was great. The road trip they go on was one of the best things in the book and it was full of funny, sweet and heartfelt moments that I really enjoyed. I loved and hated the part that happens in Vegas, but it’s also one of the best moments in the book. The road trip was full of sexual tension between Chance and Aubrey and you know how much I appreciate good old sexual tension. But the second part of the book was when I actually fell for Chance and it was pretty dang good too.

You want to sin with me princess?”… Did I ever

So like I said, even though this book didn’t knock my socks off like it seems to be the case for most people that read it, I still had a great time reading it and really enjoyed it. It’s the perfect book for a weekend read and it should leave you with a feel-good vibe.

Confess, by Colleen Hoover

Confess_______________________________________________

Auburn Reed has her entire life mapped out. Her goals are in sight and there’s no room for mistakes. But when she walks into a Dallas art studio in search of a job, she doesn’t expect to find a deep attraction to the enigmatic artist who works there, Owen Gentry.

For once, Auburn takes a risk and puts her heart in control, only to discover Owen is keeping major secrets from coming out. The magnitude of his past threatens to destroy everything important to Auburn, and the only way to get her life back on track is to cut Owen out of it.

The last thing Owen wants is to lose Auburn, but he can’t seem to convince her that truth is sometimes as subjective as art. All he would have to do to save their relationship is confess. But in this case, the confession could be much more destructive than the actual sin…

_______________________________________________

That could be fate, you know.

OMG!
She did it again. Colleen Hoover gutted me with her book. I literally just finished reading Confess and I just know I’m in for a big ass book hangover, pretty much like I always do after reading one of her books.

Seriously, I know it took me some time before I picked up one of CoHo’s books and Maybe Someday to make me realize what an idiots I’d been not to have picked it up before, but if you’ve never read one of Colleen Hoovers book or aren’t sure Confess is the book for you, then I’m here to tell you to just give it a chance. It is beyond worth it!

“Some secrets should never turn into confessions. I know that better than anyone.”

CoHo has a talent for writing amazingly touching and loving characters and to weave a plot. With Confess I found myself in the same situation I was while reading Maybe Someday, which is that I was rooting for the characters to do the right thing, even though the right thing was so wrong (I think you’ll only getting this one if you’ve read either Maybe Someday or Confess).

“There are people you meet and get to know, and then there are people you meet and already know.”

Her stories have so much heart and make you feel so much it’s not even funny. Before I started this book, I had to pep talk myself (I say that in the best possible way) because I knew I was in for a roller-coaster of emotions and feelings. Auburn and Owen were amazing characters. So strong and selfless and you know, they just felt real. I know they’re fictional and that this story is made up, but I swear they felt so true to me. And I love that every time I read one of her books I feel that way about her characters.

I’m afraid if I listen to my heart once, I’ll never figure out how to ignore it again.

I laughed, I screamed at my book because I was so mad at Trey and Lydia and how unfair and cruel they were to Auburn and Owen. I was also repulsed by Trey most of the book because he is such an asshole. What he did and said to both Auburn and Owen made me want to crawl into the book and strangle him.

No one deserves you like I do.
No one sees you like I do.
No one understands you the way I do.
No one makes your heart beat like I do. He presses his palm against my heart.And no one else deserves to be inside you if they can’t get there through here first.

I swooned at Owen’s sweet, tender, kind and charming ways, I smiled because of the connection between Auburn and him and how they just clicked and I fell in love with them (but mostly with him).
Owen was just a good guy you know. He was just good and good to Auburn and I liked that about him, that he was genuinely a good guy. I just wanted Auburn to be with him because they were so good together and for each other and I was sooooo mad when the circumstances made it so they just couldn’t. But I loved what he was willing and ready to do for Auburn’s well-being. You just know he is good for her and her for him and I was frustrated that life (and some assholes) wouldn’t let them just be together.

“Sometimes we don’t get second chances, Owen. Sometimes things just end.”
He winces. “We didn’t even get a first chance.”

This book is a bundle of feelings and emotions and it can not leave you cold. Be it because of the story it tells or the confessions that are written in it that are at times funny, sad, happy and repulsive. To think they are all true confessions from people out there in the world makes this book even more special and real. At least it did for me. I felt the same way I feel when I read thePost Secrets books.
Even without knowing the people who wrote those confessions (because the confessions you read in this book are confessions coming from CoHo’s readers, so they’re all true), you just can’t help but feel for them, be touched by what you read. At some point, you just connect. And it’s exactly what happens with this story and its characters. You just connect with them and you feel for them.

It’s amazing how much distance one truth can create between two people.

I won’t tell you much about the story, its characters and what happens in it. I know it goes against the purpose of a review for some people, but I went into this story blind (which is something I do sometimes but mostly something I do with CoHo’s books) and I think I enjoyed it more because of it so I won’t spoil the story for other people.
I just want to say that you should have faith in this book and in its author because both are amazing.

Selflessness. It should be the basis of every relationship. If a person truly cares about you, they’ll get more pleasure from the way they make you feel, rather than the way you make them feel.

One last thing before I go, you should definitely check out the art and the artist that contributed to this book. Danny O’Connor (aka DOC) has an incredible talent and is definitely worth checking out. Anyway, Google is your friend so I’m sure you can find his work without my help, but here are two of his paintings (appearing in the book) that are my favorites:

girl confess

I'll love you forever even when I can't

I’ll love you forever. Even when I can’t.

Moonlight on Nightingale Way (On Dublin Street #6), by Samantha Young

Moonlight on Nightingale Way______________________________________________

Logan from Echoes of Scotland Street is back with his own smoldering story, as the New York Times bestselling On Dublin Street series returns…

Logan spent two years paying for the mistakes he made. Now, he’s ready to start over. He has a great apartment, a good job, and plenty of women to distract him from his past. And one woman who is driving him to distraction…

Grace escaped her manipulative family by moving to a new city. Her new life, made to suit her own needs, is almost perfect. All she needs to do is find her Mr. Right-or at least figure out a way to ignore her irresistible yet annoying womanizer of a neighbor.

Grace is determined to have nothing to do with Logan until a life-changing surprise slowly begins turning the wild heartbreaker into exactly the kind of strong, stable man she’s been searching for. Only just when she begins to give into his charms, her own messy past threatens to derail everything they’ve worked to build…

Last book in the Series
______________________________________________

“No man alive loves a woman as much as I love you. I never thought I would feel this way about anyone. I didn’t think it existed. Not for me.”

I hate that this series is coming to an end. I understand that it’s time and Samantha Young already gifted us with over six great books and stories and characters, but this series and its characters have a very special place on my bookshelf and in my heart and it’s hard to realize that this is coming to an end.

This book sort of built up for me. What I mean is that it was a book that slowly (but surely) won the reader over. It wasn’t the kind of books that swallowed me in from the first page to spit me out at the last one. It was more like getting into a bathtub filled with lukewarm water and slowly and gradually feeling the water get warmer and warmer. In a way, it was a little bit like some people fall in love, slowly, without even realizing when it happened.

“I told you I don’t do casual sex.”
“Grace, there is nothing fucking casual about how I feel about you.”

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t a 100% sold on this book when I started it. Before I started it I was all pumped up because it was another book in the ODS series that I was going to read, because it was Logan’s story too and also because I wanted to savor it because as mentioned in the synopsis, it is the last book in the series.

So I was a little surprised (and not really in a good way) when I realized that the first part of the book, the part where Logan and Grace meet and bicker at each other from their respective thresholds, didn’t feel like I was reading a Samantha Young’s book but more like a parody of it. It’s strange really, because everything was there for it to feel like another one of her books, but it just didn’t.

“Are you always this deliberately irritating?” I huffed, mirroring his stance by crossing my arms over my chest.
To my surprise, this caused Logan’s lips to twitch, and his eyes started dancing with humor. “I only seem to irritate you.” He cocked his head to the side. “I wonder why that is.”
“Because,” I whined, my head lolling with exasperation and tiredness, “I’m sleep deprived, and it’s all your fault, you bloody wretched manwhore.”
“Well, this is a whole other side to you. It’s quite unpleasant. I may have to speak to the landlord about it. I can’t take this kind of abuse.”
My head jerked upright and I glowered at him. “I swear if you don’t start taking this seriously I will push you down those stairs.”
“Now you’re threatening my life.” He tsked. “That won’t do at all.”

The way Grace spoke at the beginning of the book was, I think, the reason I felt that way. Let’s just say she had a bit of a stick up her arse and you could hear it when she spoke. So here I was, already seeing this last book in a beloved series go to shit. Let’s just say I wasn’t in a good head space. But then, the book took a life of its own and it started feeling more like an ODS book.

“I can’t walk away from you even if I wanted to. And I don’t want to. You are reality and sweet oblivion wrapped up in one annoyingly argumentative, always-bloody-right, classy, gorgeous-as-f*ck package.”

Grace became more….normal (for a lack of a better word) at Logan’s contact and I started sensing their connection. I have to say, Logan was a bit of an asshole with her at the beginning so I liked getting to know the real him with Grace.
I liked their connection even though it felt like it was brought up a little more clumsily than usual. But once they found their balance, so did the book and that’s when I really started enjoying myself.

“The things I’m going to do to you, babe. I’m going to make you mine, every single piece of you.”

I loved the tension between Grace and Logan. I loved how Logan turned to Grace when he was lost or needed help with his situation and how Grace just got him and never judged him for who he was and what he did (except for that bit at the beginning of course).

“Logan MacLeod is the least likely candidate for boyfriendhood of any man in the entire world.”

Logan at the beginning of the book is a total manwhore. He pretty much has a new girl in his bed every night of the week, and let’s just say that the neighbors know about it.  But I liked how he so completely changed his ways when he had to and how he finally let Grace in. I loved how protective he was and seeing him being clueless about how and what to do in his situation was sometimes quite comical. It was also great to see him relate on Grace and look to her in those times. I loved their connection and the team they made. And how I loved Logan’s determination when he went after Grace.

“Taking in their expressions, I just knew it.
Logan had enlisted them.
The bugger.
“Oh dear God.” I let my head fall back as if in supplication to an unmerciful deity. “Why me?”
Joss snorted. “Yeah, doesn’t it suck when gorgeous, funny, loyal Scotsmen fall in love with us?”

This book was full of funny and very emotional moments, be it between Grace and Logan but also because of the other characters in the series. It’s probably the one series where you feel this sense of togetherness, belonging and family. At least it is the one series for me.

The family Samantha Young created with and for those characters is amazing and I can only wish to find this for myself. I’m not sure I ever mentioned it in one of my reviews before, but the family in this series is one of the many things I love about those books. And when you read them, I just couldn’t help but feel like I was part of this big crazy family that are the Nichols, Carmichael, Sutherland, Mac Cabe, Sawyer, D’Alessandro, Walker and MacLeod.
Along with everyone of the characters in this series, it’s this family that I keep with me in my mind and my heart when I think of On Dublin Street.

I loved what Samantha did at the end of her book. To give her readers a last peek into each of our beloved couples’ lives was a great idea but also a great gift. I loved that last chapter of Moonlight on Nightingale Way. It left me feeling all warm and happy and now I have a silly grin stuck on my face and I want to hug every person I see.

“There are moments in life that change us irreparably. Sometimes those moments are grand and dramatic, tragic or beautiful in their intensity. Sometimes those moments are quiet and small like footsteps fading behind a closed door. The subtlety of those moments can sometimes camouflage their impact and sometimes the impact is felt profoundly, but the quietness of the moment is lost on everyone else around you adding loneliness to the equation.”

I’ve been following this series and its author since I first accidentally found and read On Dublin Street back in 2012, while I was looking for a book taking place in Ireland and got fooled by its title. I’m glad that happened because it made me discover a great author and amazing characters and stories.
Like I said, I hate that this series is coming to an end. I feel like when I finished highschool. I was happy because it was summer and I was starting something new after that, but I also knew that it was the end of something big. It’s weird to be feeling so much for books and characters but I’m sure I’m not the only one feeling so strongly about fictional characters (or books in general) so I’m not too embarrassed to be feeling like this.

So, to conclude, thank you Samantha Young for On Dublin Street and all the beautiful people and stories you created. I hope (and wish…. and pray…. and beg) that you have more in store for us readers 😉

Echoes of Scotland Street (On Dublin Street #5), by Samantha Young

Echoes of Scotland Street______________________________________________

Shannon MacLeod has always gone for the wrong type of man. After she drifted from one toxic relationship to the next, her last boyfriend gave her a wakeup call in the worst possible way. With her world shattered, she’s sworn off men—especially those of the bad-boy variety.

Cole Walker is exactly the sort that Shannon wants to avoid—gorgeous, tattooed, charming, and cocky. But his rough exterior hides a good man who’s ready to find “the one.” He’s determined to pull Shannon from her self-imposed solitude and win her heart.

As Shannon opens up in the face of Cole’s steady devotion, the passion between them ignites to blazing levels. But when Shannon’s past comes back to haunt her, her fears may destroy the trust Cole has built between them—and tear them apart for good…

______________________________________________

“Cole Walker. Cole freaking Walker. All grown-up. And he was my new manager. I was so screwed.”

Arg! I’m all over the place right now. Cole and Shannon’s story just blew my mind!

I loved reading about Cole finding his woman and Shannon was just perfect for him. I loved how they met and their instant connection.

“There’s nothing between us.”
The gloom disappeared from Cole’s eyes and the gold seemed to flare as heat entered them. “Nothing but a shitload of chemistry I’ve wanted to explore since we first met.”

As usual, Samantha put me through an emotional wringer again. After On Dublin Street, Echoes of Scotland Street is the second book in this series that I read so fast! I could not put this book down.

“I’m scared of you, Cole Walker. I’m scared you’ll hurt me or I’ll hurt you…yet I have no intention of turning back. I’m throwing myself off this cliff, consequences be damned.”

Cole and Shannon’s love story sucked me in from the first line until I turned the last page. I was so sucked into the book that I actually faked a headache so I would be left alone to read in peace and not have to be stuck in a social situation that was keeping me from reading. Yep, that’s how good and into it I was. Just sayin’…

“…Cole Walker represented everything wrong with my life and the choices I’d made thus far.”

Shannon was a great heroine. She was strong and sweet and fierce but vulnerable to. I loved watching her find herself again and realize what was good for her. And I loved seeing Cole support her and love her through all this.

“You’re worth every bad thing that’s ever happened to me, because going through them led me to you.”

Cole turned out to be a great male character and a great man (how could he not when he was surrounded by such role models as Braden, Adam, Cameron, Nate and Marco).

“He’s spent his formative years surrounded by men incapable of restraint when it comes to flirting outrageously with their wives. Each one of them … is a cocky, arrogant, overconfident bugger.” (…) “But you won’t find men who are more loyal or loving to their wives.”

I love Samantha Young’s male characters. They’re all charismatic, cocky, romantic, alpha, sexy and so loyal. She writes her heroes so well, I just love these men. And I know it’s bad to play favorites but I especially love Braden, Nate and Cole.

“What are you doing to me, Shannon?”
My breath caught. Finally, I whispered, “Exactly what you’re doing to me.”

I loved that Cole was both badass and boyish, sweet and arrogant and oh my Gosh, the man can be all kinds of hot and bossy in the bedroom…and outside said bedroom too! I swear he had me all hot and bothered more than once while I read. And even though I found this book to have less steamy scenes in it than the other books in this series, it didn’t bother me because it was no less intense and it fit with the book.

“I’m going to f*ck every bad memory of those unworthy gits out of you, even if it takes me a lifetime. Starting tonight.”

What I liked most about him was that he is a good guy. Sure he looks like a bad boy, but truly, he was a good guy at heart, so loyal and protective of the ones he loves. I really loved him in this book. I loved watching what kind of man Cole had become through the series and the relationship he built with Shannon.

“I get you don’t trust me and I get why, but I want you to give me the chance to change that. I think there’s something here that’s worth the effort.”

This book was another amazing read, full of heart and beautifully written. I loved it and I’m so glad to have finally read Cole’s story, but the sad thing is, even though I did enjoy Echoes of Scotland Street and am looking forward to Shannon’s brother, Logan’s story, I just can’t help remembering that this amazing series is coming to an end very soon.

Fall From India Place (On Dublin Street #4), by Samantha Young

Fall From India Place______________________________________________

The New York Times bestselling author of On Dublin Street and Down London Road returns with a story about letting go of the past and learning to trust in the future…

When Hannah Nichols last saw Marco D’Alessandro, five long years ago, he broke her heart. The bad boy with a hidden sweet side was the only guy Hannah ever loved—and the only man she’s ever been with. After one intense night of giving into temptation, Marco took off, leaving Scotland and Hannah behind. Shattered by the consequences of their night together, Hannah has never truly moved on.

Leaving Hannah was the biggest mistake of Marco’s life, something he has deeply regretted for years. So when fate reunites them, he refuses to let her go without a fight. Determined to make her his, Marco pursues Hannah, reminding her of all the reasons they’re meant to be together.

But just when Marco thinks they’re committed to a future together, Hannah makes a discovery that unearths the secret pain she’s been hiding from him, a secret that could tear them apart before they have a real chance to start over again…

______________________________________________

“When we were kids, I was in love with you … That never went away, Hannah.” He rested his forehead against mine. “And now that I know you again, I’m even more in love with you.”

Samantha Young’s books have become an instant one-click buy for me and Hannah’s book was one I was curious to read. Since we met her in On Dublin Street as a teenager, her character was one I sort of related to, mainly because like Joss and Olivia, she was sort of a book nerd. So I was glad to get my hands on her book and to get to know the woman she had become and to finally meet the boy in her life.

“Friends, my ass,” Joss grunted … “The sexual tension between you two is off the charts.” Her grin turned smug. “Reminds me of me and Mr Carmichael.”

What I really enjoyed with this book was finally putting a name and a personality on the mystery boy that was mentioned by Hannah in Before Jamaica Lane. And I loved hers and Marco’s story. It was full of drama and angst, but also very sweet, especially when Hannah takes us back to the time where she and Marco got to know and fall for each other.

“I’m in love with you. There is no one else for me and I don’t know how I know, but I do know that there never will be.”

I loved her as a teenager and how she just went after what she wanted even though she seemed to me like this quiet girl. I loved that she proved me wrong and that I was able to see another side of her in this book.

Hannah in this book is a young teacher and I thought it fit her well. I liked how passionate she was about her work and her students. I could relate to her situation, having been in her shoes myself and I loved being able to relate to what she was describing. Two of her students really touched me and as I followed them through Hannah, I really got to care for them as much as Hannah did.

I very much enjoyed this story and how Hannah and Marco fell for each other. I loved being able to go back and witness those special moments between them, to feel the mounting tension as the two of them slowly but steadily developed strong feelings for each other. I loved getting to know Marco and where he was coming from and his story.

“I’m your best friend. You’ve just forgotten. My fault, I know. I can help you remember.”

Marco’s character was great. As a teenager and as a man, he made me fall for him and the force of his feelings for Hannah. And boy, he said stuff that had me fanning myself and my knees buckling. Seriously though, Samantha Young just knows what to make her male characters say so that it’s both sweet and hot.

“I’m not going to hide that I want to get to know who you are now. I’m also not going to hide the fact that I think you’re still the classiest, most fucking beautiful woman I’ve ever seen, or the fact that I remember the taste of you and it still makes me hard.”

The way he fought for her and to earn her trust and love again was just great and I loved how determined and obstinate he was. That made me laugh on more than one occasion and I loved that it drove Hannah crazy. I also loved that all the women in the family were rooting for Marco when Hannah wasn’t and that they let him ambush her.

“You’re stalking me?”
“I prefer to call it ‘actively pursing you.”

And I also loved the friendship between Hannah and Cole and their connection to each other as friends. I wasn’t expecting it, or at the very least I expected something non-platonic happening between those two, but the fact that their friendship was a true one, without ambiguity about how they felt for each other was refreshingly surprising and welcomed. That’s something I loved about Hannah and Cole and about the book.

“I’d felt lost for a long time after he left. It had taken a while to find my strength and independence again. It had meant hardening my heart and creating little locked doors in my soul so that only the people I trusted implicitly could ever make it inside to touch it.”

Now, if I think about the structure of the book, I felt like it had two parts. Or more like two Hannahs. There was the Hannah before Marco, this funny, happy, daring girl who goes after what she wants and isn’t afraid to show her feelings to the people she loves. And there was the Hannah after Marco. Still sweet and lovely, but…scarred. The Hannah after Marco put a distance between herself and well, pretty much everybody, even her family and friends.

And when you finally know what happened to her after Marco left, you understand why she would do that, but while I read, I felt like this distance she was putting between her and her family, I felt it too as a reader. It was like I knew the “Young Hannah”, and even though I also knew the “Old Hannah”, I just felt a distance from her. It’s hard and a little weird to explain so I won’t keep on trying to explain it, but I think you’ll feel it too when you read the book.

“I don’t care if you’ve changed. I don’t care who you are now. I don’t need or want your explanations because what you did, you didn’t do it to me, you did it to that girl you left behind. And I’m not her anymore. You made certain of that. She might have needed answers and an apology, but me…I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

There was one thing that bothered me a little while reading though. I really liked Hannah’s character throughout the book but at some point, her attitude in general but toward Marco kind of disappointed me.

I got that she was hurt and that her scars from the past were holding her back, that she was scared to get hurt again and all, but the way she was hurting both Marco and herself (deliberately, I might add) actually surprised me, coming from her. I really didn’t expect her to be this kind of person.

I understood and liked the kind of person she was when she met Marco. I also understood the kind of person she became after what she went through and they fell apart all those years ago, and even then, through all the holding back and secrets she kept from him and her family and friends I still liked her because I could see where she was coming from even though I didn’t agree with what she was doing. But her behavior toward Marco after everything was said and there were no more secrets between them disappointed me because it was clear that she was hurting Marco (and herself) even though she was able not to.

I want to protect you, I want you to know that for me there’s no one else like you. That you make my universe turn.”

But apart from that bit in the story, I loved all of it. Even though this book is a little darker than the others in the series, it was a very emotional book, sort of a roller-coaster with some very funny moments and I’m thinking about the Crazy Clan that is Hannah’s family and the little monsters that were added to it. Here’s a sample:

“Beth, eat your greens. They’re good for you. Come on, eat your peas.”
“I don’t want to,” she whined, and we turned to watch her push her plate back. “They’re little fuckers.”

****

“Are you Hannah’s boyfriend?”
Marco’s reply was, “Nope. She won’t let me be.”
Beth had immediately turned her cute look of consternation on me. “That’s really rude, Hannah.”

****

“Marriage is about leverage?”
“Yes.” Every single married person at the table answered.”

… some truly sweet ones when I ooowed and got all mushy and stuff and some truly heartbreaking chapters that had me trying to swallow the big lump that suddenly got stuck in my throat and trying to read through the stupid tears that were filling my eyes.

“You were this precious, beautiful gift that came into my life when I needed it the most.”

As usual, Samantha Young did wonders. Every time I pick the new book in the ODS series, it’s like snuggling under a fluffy, warm, familiar blanket. I love going back to this world and getting to read about those amazing characters. It’s a feeling I don’t get tired of and I’m always looking forward for the next book. And since we’re talking about, and it’s one I’m sooooo excited and looking forward to read, I just couldn’t help myself and conclude with this…

“Cole: “One day you’ll meet someone you can stand to commit to, and I’ll meet someone who isn’t batshit crazy.”
Hannah: “Oh, you dreamer you.”

The Pact, by Karina Halle

The Pact______________________________________________
It all started with a pinky swear…

Linden McGregor is tall, rugged, and gunslinger handsome; a helicopter pilot with a Scottish brogue and charm to spare. He’s also one of Stephanie Robson’s best friends and has fit into that box for as long as she’s known him.

But some relationships can’t be boxed, can’t be classified, can’t be tamed.

Back in their mid-twenties and tired of the competitive hit-or-miss dating scene of San Francisco, Steph and Linden made a pact to marry each other if neither one of them are in a serious relationship by the time they hit thirty.

It sounds like fun and games but as the years to thirty tick past and lovers come and go out of their lives, the pact becomes larger than life.
Sex is inevitable. Friendships are tested. Hearts are on the line.

The pact is about to change everything.
______________________________________________

“Nine years. I’ve been waiting nine years for this. Nine years to finally have you the way I’ve always needed you.”

I’m actually a little sad to say this but I expected more from this book. Not that I didn’t enjoy it, because as a whole, I did. But I can’t say that The Pact by Karina Halle blew me away like the other she wrote did.

“If neither of us are in a serious relationship by the time we are both thirty,” he says, looking at me so dead in the eye that I can’t help but hold my breath, “then we agree to marry each other. Agree?”
I find my voice. “Agree.”

Now I know this book was different from the stuff she usually writes so I didn’t go into it thinking I would get exactly what I was used to read by her. And the subject matter is actually one of my favorite plot settings. But even though there were definitely stuff that did it for me in this book, at the end of it, I wasn’t blown away, even though I enjoyed it.

“The two of you in a marriage? World’s pickiest woman with the world’s biggest manwhore? Yeah, have fun with that.”

I was on board with a lot of things starting this book. I was on board with the whole pact thing. I was on board with the friends falling for each other too. And I was definitely on board for the sex between said two friends falling for each other. What I wasn’t on board for was the drama my dear Linden created that could have been avoided and that kind of spoiled things for me.

“Don’t act like you haven’t been thinking about that kiss every single day since it happened. Don’t pretend you haven’t thought once about what it would be like to do it again. To do more.”

I liked Steph and Linden as characters. Sure they irritated me too because they were so stubborn in their friendship, but I liked them. I loved their connection and how even though they were hot for each other, most of all, they were friends. That’s truly something I like reading about. Two people having an actual connection and friendship as the foundation for their feelings. And that’s what Linden and Steph have in this book.

“That was real. That was something. Tell me you felt something, that you felt what I felt.”
“What did you feel?” I whisper.
He runs a thumb across my lips. “I felt you. The you I’ve always wanted.”

Sure they don’t realize it right away, and once they do they keep denying it with all their might (that’s kind of the downside of friendship growing into something more) which actually annoyed me at some point in the book because their denial of their feelings for each other (or should I say, someone’s denial of their feelings) almost ruined everything here, but (thank God) they eventually see the light!

“He grins at me. I wish he wouldn’t. Sometimes his smile rips the air from my lungs. It’s not an exaggeration. It’s messy, violent and abrupt and I wish it wouldn’t happen because, fuck it, I like breathing.”

It was hard sometimes being in Steph’s shoes. Seeing her lust and then love Linden from afar, with everything it entails. I felt sorry for her, especially when their respective partners got between the two of them, or when they tried to move on from their feelings for each other but just couldn’t. Thankfully, it wasn’t too angsty for me, just enough to make me tell them through my Kindle to just stop making themselves miserable and just be together finally!

“I want her to realize we’re both not with the people we should be. And if she already knows that, I want her to know it’s not too late.”

It was actually the back and forth between Linden and Steph that annoyed me. The fact that they had the worst timing ever in their relationships was irritating in and of itself because they spend half the book being with other people when all they want is to be together. But what really displeased me about this book was the useless drama and heartache Linden forced on himself and Steph out of some stupid and misplaced loyalty to his jealous and immature friend. Here were my thoughts on the matter at the time:

“You fucking idiot Linden! You just told each other you’re in love and just because James McFuckface wakes up 9 years too late you’re bowing out!!!!!! You’re as much of a fuck face as he is then!!!! Bros before hos doesn’t fucking work when love is involved!!!!!”

It’s that part of the book I have in mind when I talk about the difference between this book and Karina’s other work. I’m not used to finding unnecessary drama in her books, so I had a hard time with the bullshit Linden created here.

“This is huge, isn’t it?”
He cocks his head and grins, nodding his head. “Well, the ladies seem to think so.”
I roll my eyes… “I’m serious,” I tell him. “One minute we’re just friends and the next…”
“The next I’m kissing you. And I realize I’ve been a fool for not doing it sooner.”

His constant fear of hurting James and of losing Steph got old, especially when one minute he said stuff like “I love her and  I want to be with her and nothing can stop me from being with her”, and the next he was “sacrificing” himself for his so called buddy. The almost love triangle didn’t help things either here but anyway.

Something that didn’t change though from other books by Karina was the quality of her writing. As always, this woman shows her talent with words. And let’s just say that the sexy bits in this book were really well written too.

“Then again, my head is usually always inappropriate. It’s like a Pinterest page of hot, barely dressed men 24/7 up in there.”

I just wish the plot would have followed. But truly, apart from the fact that those two had the worst timing ever and that Linden screwed up (very badly), the book was good and after the agonizing moments where the characters lost their way, the ending was really sweet and made it all better. The secondary character (even James once he apologized for the bullshit) were cool and entertaining, and sometimes so nice to hate (I’m thinking Linden’s evil girlfriend here).

Now, even though this book wasn’t my favorite by Karina Halle, I’m actually looking forward to getting to know Linden’s brother and his story with Steph’s friend in The Offer. I don’t know why but it already sounds inappropriate enough for me 😉

%d bloggers like this: