Mini-reviews of New Adult and Romance novels that I enjoyed
Have I ever mentioned that I’m a big fan of stories where two best friends fall in love? While the idea of an instant connection with someone is deeply romantic, there’s something about finally realizing that the right person may have been right in front of you all along that always tugs at my heartstrings. Which is very much the case here. (And it will also make you want to fan yourself because aside from being romantic, there are some hot times taking place too.) Parker Blanton and Ben Olsen have been best friends since they met during her freshmen year of college and even now, six years later, they’ve remain platonic, as close as ever and even share an apartment. Parker is in a seriously relationship and Ben continues to hook up with a new woman every night. Despite everyone’s questioning and protestations, they’ve proved that men and women can just be friends. Or so they thought. Then Parker’s boyfriend unceremoniously dumps her and she initially turns to Ben for comfort and to be her wingman as she tries to get back into dating. Then they decide to add a “friends with benefits” layer to their situation for the first time ever and both are pretty blown away from how amazing it is between them. And not just the sex. It’s the whole arrangement and what begins to further develop in and out of bed. I couldn’t put the book down as I waited (occasionally wanteing to reach in and shake these two) as they fumbled through the realization that what they have is very, very real.
Do I recommend? Very much so! I got the rec from Miranda Kenneally did not steer me wrong. It’s a fun, sexy and sweet read.
[Publisher: Entangled Publishing | Pub. Date: 7/29/15 | Genre: NA]
Written on my Heart was another NA recommendation I got and while I was pleasantly surprised by it in some ways, it didn’t quite hook me the way I had hoped. Ashlyn Daniels was kicked out of her home six months ago but not before her abusive stepfather broke one of her ribs and set almost all her belongings on fire. She’s trying to move on but it’s hard to shake the years of verbal abuse, which shows in her daily nervous tics. When a new friend takes her to get an old tattoo covered up, the tattoo artist she meets, Lane Garrett, unnerves her. He’s hot, direct and kind of a jerk. But during the night they meet, a little bit a sass and later a lot of her vulnerability comes out and he’s drawn to both sides of her. He has his own baggage to contend with though so he’s not exactly looking for a relationship. He’s all about putting his family first and doesn’t want Ashlyn getting in the way of that. But inevitably, they’re drawn together by attraction and other circumstances. I liked how their pasts were different from the typical NA and how much it affected their every day lives. I thought that and the slow way they get to know each other was pretty realistic. But I don’t know. It’s hard to put my finger on it but something was missing. Like I just didn’t feel an emotional connection to them or their story aside from wanting them to get a happy ending (which I almost always want!).
Do I recommend? It was a quick read and I did like it! It just wasn’t a favorite. But if you’re intrigued by the story, it’s worth checking out.
I am enjoying all these McGregor men romances that Karina Halle has been coming up with! While The Pact remains my favorite (I have a soft spot for besties-turned-more romances), The Play is a close second. It’s got twice the amount of sexy times than its predecessors while having more of an emotional side to it, which surprised me. This time around we’re getting Kayla Moore’s story and I related to her in ways I didn’t expect. Although, by and large, we’re completely differently people. She’s known for her feisty, man-eating ways, which was never a problem until her two best friends, Stephanie and Nicola, end up with Linden and Bram McGregor. She decides to take a break from casual dating but of course, this is when she meets the McGregor’s hot, brooding, rugby playing cousin Lachlan and there is no stopping that attraction. But it’s hard to read Lachlan since he’s so private but little by little, we catch glimpses of reciprocation until one night, everything that’s been building up comes to a head. Chemistry-wise and emotional connection wise. That moment is the start of a powerful romance between these two. The next obvious question is what are they going to do when he goes back home to Edinburgh? Does Kayla stay or go with him? Should he stay? That may be the plot point driving the story forward but I think the decision for both of them is more internal. Lachlan has a lot more going than anyone could possibly realize. He’s got a dark past, struggle-filled present but a good heart underneath it all. Whereas Kayla is trying to figure out what she wants to do with her life and dealing with some family issues of her own (the scenes with her mom may have ripped my heart out).
Do I recommend? I do! There’s passionate love, family love and self love all thrown into this book so if you’re in the mood for one or all of the above, check this out.
Did you read and enjoy these books as much as I did?
Or do you have any NA or romance recs for me?
Let me know in the comments!