Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Review: Play by Kylie Scott

Hi all!

It's been a while again!




Author: Kylie Scott
Title: Play
Series: Stage Dive #2
Release date: 25th of March 2014
Reading level: FICTION – ADULT: Romance, Contemporary
Published by: Pan
Pages: 300 in Kindle e-book format
Source: Bought from Amazon.com for Kindle

Summary:

Mal Ericson, drummer for the world famous rock band Stage Dive, needs to clean up his image fast - at least for a little while. Having a good girl on his arm should do the job just fine. But he didn't count on exactly how much fun he could have being with the one right girl.

Anne Rollins has money problems. Big ones. But being paid to play the pretend girlfriend to a demented drummer was never going to be a good idea. No matter how hot he is. She's had her sights set on her male bestie, Reece, for years. And now that she's supposedly taken, he's finally paying attention. If only the chemistry between her and her rock star would stop hitting new heights . . . 

Review:

I loved the first book, it had great humor, sweet swoony moments and overall rocked the rocker romance trope in a way I haven’t yet come across – at the level which left everything else in the dust. This second book focusing now on the out-of-control yet lovable as a naughty puppy drummer and an ordinary yet relatable girl who managed to get the short end of the stick in many aspects of her life till she met the guy would mess up her world even more, but this time not in a bad way.

I most of all appreciated that this book kept up with the quality humor from the first. The dialogue flowed and was full of banter, sexual innuendos and there was more than its fair share of awkwardly hilarious to all-around lol-moments – it all made the book exciting to follow. From the ridiculous how-did-this-come-about moment of Mal and Anne moving in together to the epic bed breaking scene to the supposed pregnancy scenes to to to… the book was filled to the brim with great funny scenes and when adding a dash of angst, misunderstanding and sadness – you have another winner in the rocker romance genre.

Mal and Anne had great chemistry, they just clicked in this wrong but oh so right way, just like David and Evelyn with whom we can catch up in this book as well. But at the same time they weren’t the same recycled couple. Mal and Anne were unique together, but the main essence of a fun, young, sexy yet unlikely couple was there. I also liked how their attraction developed, there was this will-they-or-won’t-they element to it it.

The end got really serious all of a sudden, even though there were subtle hints from early on. The sad turn of events was beneficial in helping the characters grow, but I didn’t entirely like it because it changed the tone of the story, which I was quite fond of till then. It changed at least for me too drastically, but it all went on track again in the end.

Characters:

Mal was a refreshing hero, most definitely an alpha and extremely hot, but he was also so over-the-top, playful, all-over-the-place, a shameless flirt and simply shameless in everything. You couldn’t really fault him with anything or make him accountable for his crazy ways and for all the outrageous things he says and does. He was entirely likable despite being tactless, too careless and doing everything according to his unique pace and understanding, which might not always coincide with everyone else’s. Also, while his hyperactivity and mood changes made him colorful and the person who he was, it was obvious that he needed help, the psychological kind, and his mind wasn’t entirely in the happiest place or knew how to handle issues the least destructive way.

Anne was a sweet, simple and down on her luck. The way she handled Mal was exactly what he needed, gentle yet just and while she did let him let loose in his wacky ways, I loved that she set her foot down when it really mattered in the end with one specific questions at hand, that was awesome and educating all around.

Overall:

Another winner in the Stage Dive series. I’m really surprised and glad that I enjoyed it this much. Now I can more confidently recommend this to anyone interested in rocker romance. You won’t be disappointed! For me… nothing will stand in my way both physically and mentally to take on the third book. Bring it on!

4 stars!

LIIS

Monday, April 7, 2014

Review: See Me by Wendy Higgins

Hi all!

Something for the beginning of the week!




Author: Wendy Higgins
Title: See Me
Release date: 15th of March 2014
Reading level: FICTION – JUVENILE: Romance, YA
Published by: Wendy Higgins
Pages: 315 in Kindle e-book format
Source: Bought from Amazon.com for Kindle

Summary:

While most seventeen-year-old American girls would refuse to let their parents marry them off to a stranger, Robyn Mason dreams of the mysterious McKale in Ireland, wondering how he’ll look and imagining his Irish accent. Prearranged bindings are common for magical families like her own, however when she travels to the whimsical Emerald Isle she discovers there’s more to her betrothal and McKale’s clan than she'd been led to believe.

What starts as an obligatory pairing between Robyn and McKale morphs over time into something they both need. But one giant obstacle stands in the way of their budding romance: a seductive and deadly Fae princess accustomed to getting what she wants—and what she wants is McKale as her plaything. Love, desire, and jealousies collide as Robyn’s family and McKale’s clan must work together to outsmart the powerful Faeries and preserve the only hope left for their ancient bloodlines.

Review:

Hmmm, I don’t know if I would have taken up this book if I had known it was about Leprechauns, I don’t want to be prejudiced, but somehow they don’t really inspire swoony and exciting YA in my mind. But, as always, I should keep my nitpicky thoughts to myself, because who would have thought that Leprechauns can be more or less sexy, in a hippie nature loving and simplistic farm boy way, of course. And while the plot in general tended to veer into basic and slightly dull territory, the characters and romance made up for it.

I certainly applaud this book on being unique with its setting and choice of mythology. Has there been something written on this topic in YA? I can’t recall. Fairies on the other hand are quite common already I think and in regards to them, this book didn’t offer much new or fascinating not yet unexplored, but it’s completely fine since they weren’t the main focus either. I did, however, get heaps of insight into the world of Chaun’s and Irish mythology, but fortunately not too much to have it too technical or tiring. This little world and its tiny inhabitants were nicely showcased and… for some reason I got the image of the Shire when reading about the village and the people there. And that’s quite a lovely image to conjure.

As mentioned, I also liked the romance and the fact that Robyn was certainly the more dominant and forward moving side of this relationship. All due to McKale’s inexperience with women, especially 21st century independent and intelligent women, and his major complex regarding himself, but both of them were extremely endearing in their kind of nerdy and awkward way. The way they moved slowly yet managed to come together in a short time was believably depicted, especially since McKale was an introvert and not overly open with his emotions and Robyn had self-doubt and was insecure in McKale’s affections due to the fairy princess who was out to snag him for herself. I really thought they were a cute couple.

Aspects that didn’t work for me:

I’ve never and will ever like the arranged marriage trope, it’s just so suffocating and medieval, not that it didn’t work in the context of this book, but I still don’t need to like it.

The secondary romance I bet everyone will gobble up since it’s the opposite of Robyn and McKale – bad boy meets fun loving cheerful girl – but it totally rubbed me the wrong way. I won’t spoil anything, but I was deeply annoyed with Cassidy and how she acted (especially being so irresponsible – Rock too, of course). They were like children, it’s all fun and games without any sane thoughts till something goes wrong and then they start to think and act out.

It was also in a way quite a sexual book and I have zero against that, on the contrary, but something about the setting and the temporality of the situation (for Cassidy and Rock) took away from the hotness. Sexuality to that degree and the Leprechaun village didn’t mix well with me – it’s just personal preference here, because there is really nothing wrong with this combination overall.

Characters:

I was really fond of the main couple, both together and apart. Each had their issues, but they didn’t wallow in self-pity for too long a managed to pull themselves together for a sweet slow burn romance. A very likable couple and people.

I also liked Robyn’s parent, they seemed liked a great couple, plus they didn’t sit around and wait, but acted when their daughters were in need. They played a big part in the book, unlike many other YA stories.

Overall:

Never judge a YA by its theme, you can be pleasently surprised if you step out of your comfort zone and take up something different. A cute and fluffy story!

3 stars!

LIIS

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Review: The Shadow Throne by Jennifer A. Nielsen

Hi all!

Something for the weekend!




Title: The Shadow Throne
Release date: 6th of March 2014
Series: The Ascendance Trilogy #3
Reading level: FICTION – JUVENILE: Historical, Adventure, Action
Published by: Scholastic
Pages: 352 in Paperback format 
Source: Bought from the Bookdepository 

Summary:

War has come to Jaron's kingdom.

When Jaron learns that Imogen has been kidnapped, he knows it is up to him to embark on a daring rescue mission. 

With his friends flung far and wide across the land, Jaron undertakes what may be his last journey to save everything and everyone he loves.

But will Jaron still have his throne when the war is over?

Review:

This has been one of my top favorite series since book one and I’m quite picky with my favorites so not everything can reach such heights for me. I was quite exited for the conclusion for this amazing series, but to some degree I was let down. I mean, it’s a well-written book with lots of action, twists and revelations, yet some of the aspects that had me originally praise this series to the skies so much were kind of lost, lessened or took turns that I didn’t enjoy very much.

My main con: All the obstacles and dire situations Jaron found himself in seemed too easy and convenient, the odds weren’t always in his favor yet everything managed to fall in to place too smoothly. Yes, he was street smart and a great strategic thinker, plus reckless and not afraid to take risks – he was one hell of a combination – but still as a reader I knew that nothing overly bad will happen and, however unlikely, there will always be something that helps him out of any hassle he finds himself in. I found him being several steps ahead of others or being able to think up plans for escape or win too easily like it was nothing – and everything more or less worked out in the end. Maybe I’m babbling and talking nonsense, but I don’t know, there was something that bothered me regarding this topic, which is a paradox because this was something I absolutely loved about Jaron in the previous two books.

Another slight con: Jaron had genuinely grown into a noble, resilient and wise king in this book – it was a long journey for him. I appreciate the development from street rat to ruler, but I started to root for and adore him because he was this cunning underdog daredevil with sass and no manners, I just feel that he changed too much, well, in essence he was the same just more regal and aware of his responsibilities, but I wanted my basic and primitive street urchin back! As they say: it’s not you, it’s me. Also, how many beatings and torture can he take!? I was seriously afraid of him permanently and seriously being damaged by what he was forced to go through.

But, I don’t want to only highlight what didn’t work for me, because despite my whining and completely subjective opinion I really liked this book and I think it was an ideal conclusion to the series. All loose ties were wrapped up and I was really left satisfied when closing the book.

The pace of the story was fast, Jaron and the other main players were constantly on the move, here, there and everywhere. The book really flew by. I also liked some of the developments in relationships between the main characters, there were some interesting revelations and get-togethers, some resolved conflicts and final confrontations in the making since book one. 

Characters:

As I’ve already mentioned Jaron is the boss, despite him being too above everyone else intellectually in this book and physically getting too many beatings. He’s the perfect combination of smartass, smart, crazy and kind – a character you can’t help but root for and enjoy reading about. He’s still one of my favorite main characters in YA and I will think back fondly towards him and the series. 

Overall:

Although the least book is my least favorite, it was still a satisfying conclusion to the series. I also confidently recommend this series to everyone, you might be as surprised as I was on how good it actually is and you definitely won’t regret taking it up!

3 stars!

LIIS

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Review and Giveaway! Four Friends by Robyn Carr!

Happy Thursday!

Welcome to my stop at Four Friends by Robyn Carr blog tour! This tour is organized by Little Bird Publicity and by the author. My stop includes the review of the book and a giveaway. Let's start with the review!

 
 
 
Title: Four Friends
Author: Robyn Carr
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Publishing date: 25th of March 2014
Genre: Adult: Literary Fiction, Contemporary
Pages: 352 pages
Source: From the Little Bird Publicity in exchange for an honest review.
 
 


Summary:

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Robyn Carr comes the story of four friends determined to find their stride. Ultimately, they'll discover what it means to be a wife, mother, lover, friend…and most important—your true self.  
Gerri can't decide what's more devastating: learning her rock-solid marriage has big cracks, or the anger she feels as she tries to repair them. Always the anchor for friends and her three angst-ridden teenagers, it's time to look carefully at herself. The journey is more than revealing—it's transforming.

Andy doesn't have a great track record with men, and she's come to believe that a lasting love is out of reach. When she finds herself attracted to her down-to-earth contractor—a man without any of the qualities that usually appeal to her—she questions everything she thought she wanted in life.

Sonja's lifelong pursuit of balance is shattered when her husband declares he's through with her New Age nonsense and walks out. There's no herbal tonic or cleansing ritual that can restore her serenity—or her sanity.

Miraculously, it's BJ, the reserved newcomer to Mill Valley, who steps into their circle and changes everything. The woman with dark secrets opens up to her neighbors, and together they get each other back on track, stronger as individuals and unfaltering as friends.



My review:

There are many reasons why I loved this book!
It's mature.
It deals with realistic conflicts.
It's well written and it is very engaging with characters who deal with problems that are common in real life. Therefore, also easily relatable.
It flows.
It's unoriginal. Yes, I loved it because the story is unoriginal and I will explain later what I mean with that. Bear with me and you won't be disappointed.
It's humorous, sharp and gut-wrenching.
(Just to name few reasons...)

Plot:

Four Friends by Robyn Carr deals with the lives of four friends: Gerri, Andy, Sonja and BJ.

Gerri, whose marriage has always been solid, accidentally finds out, that her husband had an affair for several years ago. She has always been sure on her husband and these news devastate her. She kicks out her husband Phil and besides dealing and explaining the situation to her kids, she also struggles with hormonal changes due to upcoming menopause and it doesn't help, that her friends are facing some serious issues. Gerri has been the anchor for her friends and the fact that she finds about her husband's affair, she suddenly has to learn how to put together the pieces.

Andy has had several relationships and usually with men who do not suit her. The last relationship was with the younger man and after breaking up with him, she founds out, that a man whom you can lean on, might come from a place you don't expect it to come from. She meets a middle-aged man who has average looks, who has not a lot of experience in the sexual explorations... and who yet is the man Andy has missed in her life. He is stable, seemingly boring, but sweet and reliable and very good in bed.

Sonja is a total flower-power-new-age-type of woman who believes in alternative medicine, healthy lifestyles and she takes them to an extreme. When her husband George leaves her from one day to another announcing that he is through with all this weirdness, she loses it... badly.

Likes:

As I mentioned in the beginning of my review, there was a lot to like.

First, I enjoyed tremendously, that Robyn Carr wrote about people who are mature, around 30-50 years old. It's a nice change to read about lives and issues of grown-ups. What made the reading even more compelling were the issues and topics the book dealt with. I have personal experiences with couple of topics touched in the book and I think the author did a great job with describing both the situations and the emotions.

Second, I mentioned, that I like that the plot is unoriginal. And when I say unoriginal, I mean that it deals with real issues of real people and there is nothing new in relationship problems, like cheating, breaking up, finding new love, solving problems, having a breaks-down and I think it was very well written. You recognize things from your own life and you cheer for the characters because you know and understand, what it means. The writing was really really good and the characters both lovable and relatable and that made the reading very engaging. Even thought there was no serious action, it was not a boring reading, it was awesome! It was beautiful, touching, gut-wrenching and funny! The writing absorbs you and makes Four Friends a page turner.

Characters:

Besides the writing, I loved the characters.

Gerri was by far my favorite, even though all 4 women were interesting. Gerri was a woman successful with her professional career, a loving and good friend and a nice person. I loved how the author developed Gerri who was split between the wish to forgive and her anger. I loved how she went extra miles for helping her friends. Gerri is a woman you would love to have as your own friend.

I also liked Gerri's husband Phil. I loved the dynamics between Gerri and Phil and it pained me that he cheated on her, even though it was years ago. I ADORED how Phil worked for getting Gerri back and loved his patience with Gerri. I think they suited, balanced and complimented each other very well.

I think Andy's and Bob's relationship was a cute one. When Gerri and Phil dealt with serious problems, then Andy's and Bob's story is really a cute one compared to the other story. It's a match which doesn't seem to work out, but it does and it does it surprisingly good.


Sonja was probably the character I could least relate to, at least in the beginning of the story. She was beyond weird for me and I could understand why George left her. And then as story developed, I realized how deep in denial Sonja was. I grew on her, a lot.

Generally:

I think the characters and the writing itself were the things which made this book so fascinating to me. Loved it!


5 Flowers!

5 stars.


Thanks goes to Little Bird Publicity for providing me with the review copy!



I will be giving away 1 copy of Four Friends.
Open US only.
Giveaway runs from today, April 3 until April 10.

To participate, please leave a comment by telling me what does the importance of friend mean to you.


Thanks for coming by!
Happy reading!

 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Movie Review: Divergent

Hi all!

A movie review for a change!




Title: Divergent
Director: Neil Burges
Writers: Evan Daugherty (screenplay), Vanessa Taylor (screenplay), Veronica Roth (based on the book Divergent by)
Stars: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Ashley Judd, Kate Winslet
Release date: 21th of March 2014 (USA)
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

Summary:

In a world divided by factions based on virtues, Tris learns she's Divergent and won't fit in. When she discovers a plot to destroy Divergents, Tris and the mysterious Four must find out what makes Divergents dangerous before it's too late.

Review:

I haven’t read the story. Despite hearing so much positive regarding it, I’m still not interested in the plot (or anything dystopian for the matter) enough for me to take up the book. So, a movie is a great alternative for people like me who are curious, but not nearly enough to invest the time in reading. 

Well, I kind of liked the movie, it was more engaging than I though and I was more sucked into the plot than I expected. On the surface, this is a great coming of age tale with decent action, intrigue and plot twist of bigger and smaller size. I also liked the romance, the emphasis is of course on everything else, but I thought it worked well and was sweet, despite it having a somewhat of an insta love-like taste. 

BUT, from the negative side, the more I think about the plot and the whole basis for the fraction system and how incredibly flawed and how many holes there are, then my enjoyment level also decreases. But, I guess, if you don’t get too detailed and don’t want to go in too deep into this world and how it functions then I can’t deny that I had lots of fun watching this and others probably will as well.

Also, the beginning of the movie was somewhat boring, the typical training/fitting in/getting to know the characters period that isn’t anything new in YA, but can get somewhat stale after some time. Nevertheless, in the end when the pace picked up, then oh boy did it pick up. So many things started happening all at once and before I realized, the movie was over. From the other side, I appreciated the length of this movie and the initial detail oriented take, it enabled things to progress and the watcher to understand everything necessary to have the story reach its audience.

The movie didn’t feel rushed. My highlight? The soundtrack! I haven’t in a long time heard such an amazing score. All the songs are spot on with the content of the movie and actually really good songs. Some I already know and was pleasantly surprised to hear them included in this. Also, the way all the music was incorporated to the movie and what was heard in which scene was nicely put together. Everything fit and really enhanced the intended emotion in each scene. And by the time Ellie Goulding started singing in the end, I was more than sold.

Characters:

Needless to say there were some notable names acting in this: Kate Winslet, Ashley Judd, etc. Each of them to me were successful in portraying their characters, but no one really stood out to a higher level (I guess there wasn't much opportunity either). But that’s not always a bad things, what’s important is that I bought them in those roles and that’s that.

I also have to admit that I liked Shailene Woodley and am glad that she was cast instead of some gorgeous skinny young Hollywood beauty. She is, of course, a good-looking girl, but not that conventional and I’d even say she is more cuter than beautiful and, honestly, I actually prefer that more. Tris was, however, slightly dull and your typical special girl in extraordinary circumstances who didn’t really seem all that exceptional – at least to me.

Overall:

I’m in-between giving this a three or four, leaning more towards four. But in the honor of the character Four, I’ll give this a higher rating. But, yes, it’s was a surprisingly good movie and I have to admit I enjoyed it more than The Hunger Games movie that this often gets compared to.

4 stars!

LIIS

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Manga Review: Mars by Fuyumi Soryo - 5 Star Review!

Hi all!

My first manga review here! Yay! :)

To make it short, I'm also moderate reader of manga and since there are lot of great series out there that people may know or have not heard of or even haven't heard of manga, then I thought I'd share some of the series I've read form now on from time to time.




Author: Fuyumi Soryo
Title: Mars
Release period: 2002-2003 (In English)
Volumes: 15
Reading level: FICTION – JUVENILE: Romance, Contemporary
Published by: Tokyopop
Pages: Around 200 pages each volume
Source: Bought from manga shops
Availability: Slim to none, they have been out of print for a long time already and the best bet where to find it are libraries

Summary:

Popular Rei and shy Kira are worlds apart, until one fateful day brings them together. Rei stumbles upon Kira in the harassing hands of her sleazy art teacher and saves the quiet girl from his clutches. And when the jock plants a kiss on a statue of Mars in the studio, Kira finds herself drawn in and even summons up the nerve to ask him to model for her but problems already lurk on the horizon.

Vicious upperclassman Harumi has had her sights set on Rei for a long time, and is not about to let go now.

One of the most popular teen girl manga series in Japan, Mars is a drama that will meet the demand of the growing female comic-reading market.

Review:

This was one of the first manga I’ve ever read and being in the intended target group (and at that time there being no YA fiction in the current sense) it’s no surprise that I loved it to bits. Come on… it had everything my later teenage heart wanted: a hot guy falling in love with a quiet and shy artistic schoolmate, this hunky guy racing motorcycle, getting into fights, being a big flirt, but settling down for this troubled cutesy girl, there was bulling and justice being served, so much baggage and issues to overcome, oh… and angst, glorious painful angst! After rereading it a while ago, it still left me with a happy sigh on my lips when closing the last volume.

Times have of course changed my perspective of some of the aspects of this manga that I didn’t mind or notice during my first read, namely, oh my god, how much can Kira cry! She cries over everything, if she would even cry because of taking out the trash, it wouldn’t surprise me. But yet again, my overly emotional late teenage heart felt her a kindred spirit, because as shamed I am to admit it, I also cried on the drop of a hat and over everything (the most fatal trigger were movies with animals – and it didn’t matter if nothing really bad actually happened to the animal). I now understand that this is quite an overdramatic and over-the-top series and, yes, well… it is as it is, BUT you know what? I don’t care! This series is awesome new adult romance in manga format that was great then and is more than up to the level now, even compared to similar themed and new adult genre books popping out like crazy nowadays.

More on the plot:
Well, as I said there’s a lot of emotion and feelings, pain and past secrets, twists and turns building up the basis of this series. Both Kira and Rei have enough sinister skeletons in their pasts that they wouldn’t want to, but are forced to face sooner or later, the question just stands if they are strong enough to deal and if they are dedicated and bound together tightly enough to remain by each other’s side. Next to past issues, there are circumstance and most of all several selfish, messed up and intruding characters trying to break them apart, mainly because Rei is apparently hot merchandise and everyone is drawn to him for one or another reason and want him for their own egoistic purposes. So, due to there always being some obstacle on the path to happiness for Kira and Rei, the pace is quite fast and there is constantly something looming over the temporary peace time in their relationship. It's definitely never boring during this manga. Plus, there is also humor in this series, it’s not only crying, pain and dark clouds. Rei is a seemingly careless and easygoing wiseass who doesn’t seem very bright at first so there is much fun on his juvenile delinquent persona’s expenses.

This manga isn’t, however, only about the angst, there are also positive topics in the foreground: friendship (from enemies to friends), forgiveness, reconciliation, healing, … there are various values highlighted. Nevertheless, there is also quite a bit of violence, sexual situations and other delicate topics shown and explored, so this is a mange more for the older teens and young adult audiences.

Something about the characters:
There certainly was a lot of psychologically less or extremely wacko people in this. Almost everyone seemed to have some complex, issue, insecurity, or a definite mental disease – it made the cast quite colorful, unpredictable and was the basis of the whole plot. Kira and Rei were the opposites attract couple that I totally bought. There was stuff that annoyed me about them, but I liked them as the main couple.

I also like the art in this. While nothing overly spectacular, it’s clean and clear with less emphasis on background and detail, and more on making characters distinguishable and pleasant looking. Kira is cute as a button, but Rei is most definitely modelly gorgeous with his outgrown blonde hair (yes, a blonde Japanese, deal with it – hair in manga/anime doesn’t really reflect reality, especially the color) long limbs and a pretty face.

P.S: If you’re a romance reading girl and also like motorcycles and racing then this is just what the doctor ordered! There really is a lot of emphasis on racing and the part it plays in Rei’s life, he wants to live and breathe for the racetrack most of the time. The art during competitions is quite excellent and engaging storyline-wise.

Overall:

Since it’s one of my first manga then I feel confident in recommending this to people who haven’t really read manga before, but are interested to try it out. Especially, if those people also enjoy YA or new adult fiction – it has the same basic gist, but simply the format is different, so the transition shouldn’t be too shocking. All in all, this is a great manga series that I still remember clearly and wouldn’t mind rereading it again in the future.

5 stars!

And here are some more covers from the series:

  


  

 


LIIS

Friday, March 28, 2014

Review: Natural Born Charmer by Susan Elizabeth Phillips - 5 Star Review!

Hi all!

Another SEP book, I'm really in the mood for her books lately!




Title: Natural Born Charmer
Release date: 13th of October 2009
Series: Chicago Stars #7
Reading level: FICTION – ADULT: Romance, Contemporary
Published by: HarperCollins e-books
Pages: 400 pages in Kindle e-book format
Source: Bought from Amazon.com for Kindle

Summary:

It wasn't every day a guy saw a headless beaver marching down the side of a road, not even in Chicago Stars quarterback Dean Robillard's larger-than-life world. He slammed on the brakes of his brand-new Aston Martin Vanquish and pulled over in front of her.

The beaver marched right past, her big, flat tail bouncing in the gravel, and her small, sharp nose stuck up in the air. Way up. The beaver looked highly pissed . . .

She was definitely a girl beaver because her beaver head was missing, revealing sweaty, dark hair pulled into a scraggly ponytail. He'd been praying for a little distraction from his own depressing company, so he threw open the door and stepped out onto the shoulder of the Colorado road . . .

Funny, sexy, and touching—Natural Born Charmer is the unforgettable love story of a golden boy who might be losing his luster and a spirited woman who's learned never to depend on anyone but herself. 

Review:

The beginning of this story was epic – it was so incredibly random yet completely brilliant, what a way to get straight into the action already during the first paragraphs. So, you have a gorgeous, rich, successful, albeit, with a lot of baggage, guy peacefully driving in his fancy car for a small vacation … and what does he come across in the middle of nowhere? If your first guess was a beaver, then you were stop on! Well, in reality it was a woman in a beaver costume without the head part, but close enough. And then the laughs start coming. The dialogue was comedy gold and it kept pushing the limits of high class hilarity through the beaver fight, the whole gay topic, and till the newly met couple reached the destination – the farmhouse. From there the comedy took it easier, but compared to any other books I’ve read, it still remained in a class of its own. 

This was an awesome push and pull, I-like-you-but-won’t-admit-it, slow burn, couple attraction denying romance and I absolutely loved it. The fact that Blue doesn’t fall into Dean’s arms as he expects (come on, he’s rich, hunky, famous, fit, jada jada jada, and also subtly obnoxious about that – but not annoyingly so) totally throws him off and so the battle beings. I thought their first night in the hotel was an hilarious display for the fight to come and it showed how Dean didn’t take any prisoners, but Blue just might be steadfast enough to resist him, when in reality she wanted the same as him. Not to mention, Dean and Blue were a really sexy couple with an intriguing air about their relationship, more so than other SEP couples I’ve read about. They were both forces of nature and through banter, snarkyness, denying, sharing pain, and through the undeniable attraction burning brighter day by day, they began to sift closer and closer. And what an exciting journey that was!

Next to the romance, which was my definitely highlight in this story, there were also (as is accustomed to SEP books) quite a colorful cast of secondary characters who all had their parts to play in our hero and heroine finding true happiness. Most of those characters had to do with Dean and is messed up family and difficult childhood and, while his attitude towards his parent I completely understood, I also cheered when they slowly made progress in batching up past scars and trying to make it work. I wasn’t too fond of Riley for some reason, but I guess she was still necessary to the plot.

The only complaint I can think of is that the ending felt rushed and certain actions of the couple left me puzzled, but oh well, I can turn a blind eye to that and enjoy the cake with the other characters in the end of the book. 

Characters:

Dean was a dreamboat and the whole package who had a lot of issues to overcome and people to reconcile with and forgive. He was a smart and sexy guy and fit perfectly with the bohemian and appearance-is-secondary Blue.

Blue was my kind of girl – snarky, opinionated and capable. I would have preferred her to stand up for herself more in regards to her mother, Dean and most definitely that annoying old bat Nita, but her cons also made her vulnerable yet loveable. I was really fond of her as the heroine.

Overall:

One of my definite favorites from SEP. It had all the good stuff she excels at and not much of the bad, so if you can look aside the quite improbable plot, then sit down, relax, get your laughter ready and swoon-meter on for this great SEP masterpiece.



5 stars!

LIIS

Share it

;