Tag Archives: College

Sugar Rush (Sugar Bowl # 2)

By Sawyer Bennett

BR Sugar Rush

Synopsis

After posing as an escort for the Sugar Bowl online dating service, Sela Halstead is looking for one thing: payback. She’s closing in on the site’s heartless founder, Jonathon Townsend, and she needs Beckett North, Townsend’s business partner and her lover, by her side. She’d thought that their intimate nights together had forged an unbreakable bond, but after a shocking betrayal, Sela begins to doubt the brilliant bad boy. When push comes to shove, can she trust Beck to do the right thing?
 
Now that he understands the truth, Beck will stop at nothing to secure the reckoning Sela deserves. But between his desire for her and his disgust for JT, Beck doesn’t exactly have a lot of control over his emotional state. Left with no other choice, he must summon all his discipline to maintain JT’s trust and pretend that they’re still friends. But how far will Beck go to prove his loyalty to Sela? He nearly lost her once. To keep her, Beck might have to kill for her.
 
Note: Sugar Rush ends on a cliffhanger. Sela and Beck’s story concludes in Sugar Free!

Review

Sawyer Bennett has done it again; SUGAR RUSH had me hooked from beginning to end.  I read this in one sitting because it was just that good.

We continue on from where SUGAR DADDY ended, with Sela laying broken on the floor outside of Beck’s apartment after confessing her secret to him…and Beck calling her a liar.  Despite the rough start, Beck and Sela find themselves back on solid ground fairly quickly, and that’s all because Beck realises his mistake and makes amends immediately.  He owns up to his actions, both to Sela and to her father, and he apologises for them.  No excuses, just an apology and a promise to never do it again.  He truly is a great guy.  But when he hears the entire story from Sela, a little bit if darkness invades his heart and he becomes desperate to make JT pay for his crimes.  While both would happily kill him in a heartbeat if they could get away with it, they know they have to play this smart, and with some outside help, a plan is put into action to get JT out of the Sugar Bowl and into the hands of the police.

Usually I find the second book in a trilogy to be a bit boring and mostly filler, but that’s so not the case with SUGAR RUSH.  A few shocking and scandalous secrets are revealed in this story, and I have a feeling more are yet to come.  I was on the edge of my seat from the moment Beck and Sela came up with their plan to take JT down, praying that their plan wouldn’t backfire and blow up in their faces.  And don’t even get me started on that ending, which had my heart racing trying to figure out what the hell was going to happen.  SUGAR RUSH is told in dual POVs and is part of a trilogy, so it can’t be read as a stand-alone.  As with SUGAR DADDY, SUGAR RUSH ends with a doozy of a cliffhanger that will have you begging for the third and final book, SUGAR FREE, which comes out on October 11.  Where this story will take me next, I have no idea, but I’m sure looking forward to the ride.

Please note: This book talks about rape which may be a trigger for some readers.

Sugar Rush (Sugar Bowl # 2)

My Rating:  5 Hearts

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Sugar Bowl Series

Rounding Third

By Michelle Lynn

BR Rounding Third

Synopsis

I was destined for stardom. 
From the age of seven, I was an all-star. 
Parents praised me, coaches worshipped me. 
As I got older, girls begged for me. 
I was Beltline’s baseball God, guaranteed to put this small town on the map. 

Then, after one night, that future vanished. 

The legend was laid to rest. 
I gave up my scholarship. 
I fled from Beltline. 
I left the girl behind. 

Now, I’m back.

Review

ROUNDING THIRD was the first novel I’ve read from Michelle Lynn, and I’m sad to say I didn’t enjoy it.  I didn’t realise this was going to be a college/young adult romance when I read the synopsis, and for me, college romances can be really hit and miss.  I did finish the story, but I struggled to get into it for a few reasons.  I often found the behaviour of the characters to be a bit childish and petty; there was a lot of drama, a lot of pushing and pulling, catfights over boys, bitchiness between teammates, and games played by Crosby and Ella to make the other jealous.  Sometimes I couldn’t make sense of the conversations and sometimes I felt the conversations were choppy.  The details about “that night” aren’t explained until the 44% mark, but up until then it felt like it was alluded to in every second thought Crosby and Ella had, and that became annoying pretty fast.  Finally, I was quite disturbed by the scene where the baseball team uses a cutout of a naked woman, throwing balls at her breasts and vagina to settle bets.  I could be wrong, but I just can’t see a coach or team getting away with that kind of thing in this day and age.

ROUNDING THIRD is told in dual POVs and appears to be a stand-alone, although I do feel that the story was left open for some of Crosby’s teammates to get their own stories.  The story is a second-chance romance that  finished with forgiveness and a HEA for Crosby and Ella.

Rounding Third

My Rating:  2 Hearts

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Filthy Foreign Exchange # 2

By S.E. Hall & Angela Graham

BR Filthy Foreign Exchange 2

Synopsis

The conclusion to Echo and Kingston’s story. 

When Echo Kelly is invited on a backpacking trip throughout the UK, she jumps at the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, refusing to let one fleeting past exchange stop her. 

At least, that’s what she’s convinced herself of, until the moment she sees him again. It’s not the one-time “run-in” she was expecting, and therefore prepared to handle. 

Instead, it’s an announcement she never saw coming…he’s the tour guide. 

She’s got no backup plan for that. 

Kingston knew what it meant the moment Echo accepted the offer. And when he lays eyes on her, standing in his childhood home, her fate is sealed forever. There’s not a damn thing that will stop him from finally claiming what’s always been his. 

Her. 

Not everyone gets a second chance—and Kingston Hawthorne sure as hell isn’t going to let his slip away.

Review

I bought FILTHY FOREIGN EXCHANGE # 2 as soon as I finished book 1, because it ended in a cliffhanger and I wanted to see how Kingston & Echo’s story ended.  Why was Kingston framed?  Why did he leave so suddenly?  Why didn’t he defend himself?  I thought I’d get answers to those questions in this book, so I was disappointed to get to the end and realise that no, I wouldn’t be getting those answers.  We never found out why Kingston was framed or if the real perpetrators were ever punished, and I hate loose threads like that.  Instead, the book starts about a year later with Echo on her way to the UK for a backpacking adventure provided by Kingston’s mother’s charitable foundation.  Echo is still hung up on Kingston, but she denies it to herself and anyone that will listen, and Kingston is determined to win her back, but she’s angry and refuses to listen to anything he has to say.  This is what makes up most of the story.

While I was able to read this in pretty much one sitting, I found I didn’t enjoy it as much as the previous book.  I can’t really describe it, but it’s like there was a huge switch between books 1 and 2, and I just couldn’t wrap my head around it.  When Kingston fled the US, Echo’s parents hated him, but flash forward a year and they seem to like him, but they’ve never explained their change of feelings to Echo.  In book 1, Kingston’s father is made out to be a mean SOB, but when we meet him here, he’s really very nice and clearly loves his son.  Echo seemed very mature for her age in book 1, but acts a little childish in this book.  As I said, I can’t really explain it, but it’s almost like nothing was the same, if that makes sense.  The story isn’t terrible, but this was not the conclusion I was looking for, although it does come with a HEA.  This is book 2 in a duet about Kingston and Echo, so it can’t be read as a stand-alone.  I think Echo’s brother might get his own book, but I don’t think I’ll be reading it.

Filthy Foreign Exchange # 2

My Rating:  3 Hearts

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Filthy Foreign Exchange Series

Filthy Foreign Exchange # 1

By S.E. Hall & Angela Graham

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Synopsis

Echo Kelly is loyal to her studies, family, and aerial artistry. She has no time for or interest in anything else, and is heartbroken when her oldest brother, Sebastian, gets accepted to a study-abroad program— exchanging places with cocky, not-at-all-shy foreign exchange student Kingston Hawthorne. 

Kingston Hawthorne had the life every twenty-year-old guy dreams of— endless cash, easy women, and fast cars— until his father ripped it all away, shipping him off to the States and placing him temptingly close to the underage virgin who fascinates him in the most challenging of ways. 

With Kingston’s bedroom just a connecting bathroom away from Echo’s, the chemistry between them is even more enticing than the notes he leaves for her on the shower door. 

How long can you pretend you’re just friends?

Review

Sometimes it’s nice to sit down with a book that you can just relax with and enjoy, and FILTHY FOREIGN EXCHANGE # 1 was that book.  The story and its characters aren’t complex, and I didn’t have to worry about remembering every little detail for possible future reference.  It was just a light and easy read.

Echo is a seventeen year old virgin who’s upset that her older brother, Sebastian, has left for England to study abroad for the twelve months.  She’s even more upset that they’re getting an exchange student of their own and that he’ll be living with them.  She wants to hate Kingston on principle, but after they “meet”, there’s something about him that calls to her.  She tries to deny it, but that’s hard to do when he focuses all his charm directly at her.  Echo is a loner and comes across as much older than her age most of the time.  She’s intelligent and has a very quick wit that she uses against Kingston often.  I don’t think we’re told Kingston’s age, but he is in college.  He’s cheeky and very playful, and the biggest flirt you’ll ever meet.  It’s his flirting that causes tension between them, but that’s just one of the many problems that keeps them apart.

FILTHY FOREIGN EXCHANGE # 1 is told in Echo’s POV only and is the first book in a duet about Kingston and Echo.  I would classify this story as being YA.  Despite the title, there is absolutely nothing filthy about what goes on in this book.  What does that mean?  That means there was no sex.  Zero.  Zilch.  Nada.  As an Australian, I had no problem deciphering Kingston’s slang, but I can imagine that not everyone would be able to follow it so easily.  As I said before, this book was light and easy, which was not a good thing when it came to the cliffhanger, which I thought was a little weak.  Will we find out why Kingston was set up and get a reasonable explanation as to why he was sent back to England so soon?  I guess I’ll have to read book 2 to find out.

Filthy Foreign Exchange # 1

My Rating:  4 Hearts

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Filthy Foreign Exchange Series

Royal Date (The Royals Of Monterra # 1)

By Sariah Wilson

BR Royal Date

Synopsis

This Cinderella didn’t plan on a prince . . .

Kat MacTaggart is a girl who has a plan for everything—including her holiday ski trip to Monterra with her best friend. Everything is going according to plan until she finds herself careening out of control down a mountainside and being rescued by a guy who looks like Superman’s hotter Italian cousin. 

HRH Prince Nico is intrigued by the woman he saved on the slopes and her refusal to date him. He offers Kat a deal—let him show her his country and he’ll pay her to write articles that will help Monterra’s tourism industry. Kat agrees, but given her past and lingering distrust of men, she has one condition—absolutely no kissing.

Thanks to the claims of a jealous British noblewoman and the schemes of a meddling paparazzo, Kat’s rule doesn’t seem to be a problem at first. But the more Kat gets to know Nico and the people around him, the harder it is to remember her keep-your-distance plan. Should she stick to it or risk everything for a chance at happily ever after?

Review

What was it with European men?  American guys didn’t give me the time of day.  But over here I was like some kind of dude catnip.

You know, I honestly don’t think I’ve ever read a book like this before; one that is an honest-to-God fairytale.  Girl meets Boy.  Girl tries to deny attraction.  Girl finds out that Boy is a prince who wants to take her to his castle and make her his future queen.  Sigh.

I really liked both Kat and Nico.  Their chemistry was amazing and the romance was sweet.  Kat is a twenty-four year old virgin who has never even been kissed.  She’s waiting for marriage before giving herself fully to a man, but there’s another reason why she’s never been intimate with a man.  She’s intelligent and beyond kind, but she’s not had an easy life and she’s a little naive when it comes to relationships and therefore reacts badly in certain situations.  I liked her right from the start when she kept brushing off Nico when they first met.  Nico.  Oh Nico.  If only you were a real man I’d come looking for you in a heartbeat.  Handsome, charming, loyal, rich and future king, he’s also very sweet and he always tells the truth.  What’s not to like?  There were so many things he said in this book that made me swoon that it was hard to pick out just three of my favourite quotes.

“You have only to tell me what dragons need slaying, and I will see to their quick deaths.”

“Why did you come up to me at the lodge?”
“Every other woman in the lobby was preening and made up with fake hair and fake…other body parts and there you sat, uncaring if anyone even noticed you.  You were fresh, natural, and obviously intelligent, and I wanted to talk to you.”

“From the moment we met I knew I would fall in love with you.”

ROYAL DATE is told only in Kat’s POV (from memory) and comes with a HEA.  This is the beginning of a new series from Sariah Wilson and each book will contain a new love interest for each of the three royal brothers.  This book is definitely a fairytale in that there is no sex anywhere within.  Not even behind closed doors.  Was I waiting and hoping for a love scene?  Yes.  Yes I was.  But the story was enjoyable despite it not having a single one.  I will be putting the next two books in this series on my TBR list.

Royal Date (The Royals Of Monterra # 1)

My Rating:   4 Hearts

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The Royals Of Monterra Series

Kyland

By Mia Sheridan

BR Kyland

Synopsis

Dirt poor. Hillbilly. Backwoods hick. Mountain folk. 

Tenleigh Falyn struggles each day to survive in a small, poverty-stricken, coal mining town where she lives with her sister and mentally ill mother. Her dream of winning the college scholarship given to one student by the local coal company and escaping the harshness of her life, keeps her going. 

Kyland Barrett lives in the hills, too, and has worked tirelessly—through near starvation, through deep loneliness, against all odds—to win the Tyton Coal Scholarship and leave the town that is full of so much pain. 

They’re both determined not to form any attachments, but one moment changes everything. What happens when only one person gets to win? When only one person gets to leave? And what happens to the one left behind? 

Kyland is a story of desperation and hope, loss and sacrifice, pain and forgiveness, but ultimately, a story of deep and unending love. 

Review

When it came to you, I noticed everything.  I fell halfway in love with you before we ever spoke a word.

What an amazing and heartfelt story about love and sacrifice.  Kyland and Tenleigh have grown up dirt poor, both knowing too well the feelings of deep hunger, ill-fitting clothes, and the desperation to leave their town behind for a better life.  They are very mature for their age, and that’s not surprising given all they’ve endured.  When they should be competing against each other for the scholarship, they instead support each other in a way that is truly admirable.  Both of them have so little to give, but willingly give up what little they do have to help others in need.  These are two kids who will sacrifice their own dreams for those they love.  Both characters are very likeable, as individuals and as a couple, but Kyland definitely steals the show.

You know a book is really good when you have to put it down just to take a moment to think about what you’ve just read.  This happened to me several times while reading KYLAND.  I enjoyed the buildup to the conflict, especially when I thought the story was going to go down one path, only for it to take me down a path I didn’t see anywhere on the map.  While the story is very deep and meaningful throughout, it did have a few moments of ease where Kyland and Tenleigh could simply enjoy themselves, and my favourite scenes were the ones where they debated books.

“Are they fighting or having a book club?”
“I’m unclear.  Looks like foreplay to me.”

KYLAND takes place over a ten year period, with 65% of the story taking place when Kyland and Tenleigh were just seventeen years old.  Then it flashes forward four years later, with the epilogue taking place six more years after that.  For the most part, I would consider this a YA novel, but it could also be considered a NA novel.  I’m not usually a fan of YA because I generally find them to be filled to the brim with tedious teenaged drama.  But I really enjoyed KYLAND because, despite being only seventeen for most of the story, the problems Kyland and Tenleigh faced and dealt with everyday were serious and life changing.  Their problems are not ones that anyone⎯⎯child, teen or adult⎯⎯should ever have to face, but sadly do.  KYLAND is told in dual POVs and can be read as a stand-alone.

Kyland

My Rating:  5 Hearts

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Searching For Harmony (Boston Love # 1)

By Kelly Elliott

BR Searching For Harmony

Synopsis

Firefighter and first responder Preston Ward thought he had grown immune to the job’s emotional burns. But when he goes out on a particularly tragic call, he realizes that some scenes are too devastating to forget. And yet, if it weren’t for that terrible night, he never would have met the woman who makes him want to risk his heart.
 
More than once, Harmony Banks has watched her perfectly ordered world torn apart by fate. Now she’s finding out that what she lost wasn’t as perfect as she thought—and it’s tearing her apart. The only thing that keeps her going is the kindness of a stranger: the firefighter who saved her life the night everything changed.
 
Preston isn’t like the men who have come before. For one thing, he’s far more genuine. And the love Harmony feels growing between them is almost too intense for her wounded soul. But if she and Preston can push past heartbreak, they’ll find that something incredible awaits in each other’s arms.

Review

So after experiencing a bit of a book funk in June, I’ve been blessed with some amazing reads in July, and SEARCHING FOR HARMONY is another book I’m adding to that list.  Make sure to have your tissues handy when you start because you will need them.  Without trying to give anything away, Harmony endures quite a lot in this book and the worst is experienced in the first few chapters.

With everything she’s suffered⎯and all before she’s twenty-one⎯you can’t help but feel awful for Harmony.  All she has left in the world is her older brother, Jake, and her new friendship with Preston, that over time turns into love.  While she has moments where she breaks down, and rightly so, I loved the moments where her strength shined through.  Preston is definitely book boyfriend material.  Firstly, he’s a firefighter.  Secondly, he’s a genuinely nice guy.  It was so easy to fall in love with him, especially after the non-date he planned for Harmony, which was thoughtful, romantic, sweet and funny.  That day was totally swoon worthy.

Opening up the passenger side door, I smiled as I pushed a piece of hair behind Harmony’s ear.  Smiling, she opened her eyes and I knew in that moment I was done for.  Yep.  I’m totally fucked.

SEARCHING FOR HARMONY is a story that will have you experiencing a wide range of emotions.  It’s sad and emotional as you see Harmony suffer, but it’s also beautiful when you see her fall in love with Preston.  I thought the story flowed really well and that the romance between Preston and Harmony moved at a realistic pace.  The only thing that bothered me was the occasional skips in time that came without notice; the characters don’t mention how much time has passed until several paragraphs into the chapter, and by then I found myself feeling confused, like I was missing something.  It’s not a major thing, but just something that niggled at me enough to make it worth mentioning.  SEARCHING FOR HARMONY is told in dual POVs, appears to be a stand-alone and comes with a beautiful HEA.

I don’t think I’ll ever get used to the way her touch makes my stomach drop.  I’ve never had that happen with any girl I’ve ever dated.

Searching For Harmony (Boston Love # 1)

My Rating:  5 Hearts

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Filthy English

By Ilsa Madden-Mills

I28800089

Synopsis

**THIS IS A STAND ALONE BOOK**

A smokin’ hot British player…
A jilted girl…
One night of mistaken identity…

Two weeks before her wedding, Remi Montague’s fiancé drops her faster than a drunken sorority girl in stilettos. Armed with her best friend and a bottle of tequila, she hops a plane to London to drown her sorrows before fall semester begins at Whitman University.

She didn’t plan on attending a masquerade party.

She sure didn’t plan on waking up next to the British bad boy who broke her heart three years ago—the devastatingly handsome and naked Dax Blay. Furthermore, she has no clue how they acquired matching tattoos.

Once back at Whitman together, they endeavor to pretend they never had their night of unbridled passion in London.

But that’s damn hard to do when you live in the same house…

One night. Two damaged hearts. The passion of a lifetime.

*A modern love story inspired by Romeo and Juliet*

**no one dies in the writing of this novel**

Review

Dax and Remi, two characters with serious history that affects Remi both physically and emotionally, although Dax is not fully aware until later on in the story which helps explain Remi and her inner demons.  The moment when Dax realises was one of my favourite parts of this story.

The friends Dax and Remi had around them was one of my favourite components of the story. Remi’s relationship with her brother, her best friend Lulu (love the name!) and then of course Remi’s ex fiancee who provides the drama.

I loved how they returned to college and once again were thrown back closer together, it definitely provided for some emotional scenes which I really enjoyed.

This flowed fast for me and it was great to see Declan and Elizabeth from Dirty English, although not linked I would recommend reading their story first.

Remi’s ex fiancee was definitely a character who is a filthy swine and so glad he gets put in his place.

Filthy English

My Rating:  4 Hearts

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Fallen Fourth Down (Fallen Crest High #4)

By Tijan

20351509

Synopsis

My mother tried to destroy me. She doesn’t exist to me anymore and my father, the one who raised me and the biological one, are both works in progress. The only two people that I can trust are Mason and Logan, and they’re the two people who I could lose. It won’t happen. I won’t let it. No matter the truth, no matter who loves me, I won’t let anything or anyone come between us.
They’re my world. They’re my life.
They’re my family

Review

Fallen Fourth Down made me fall further in love with Logan, I felt for him, we saw his emotional side especially with his misunderstanding of Sam’s withdrawal from hanging out and also how he missed Mason.

It was interesting to see how the power dynamic changed at Fallen Crest Public with Mason gone and how Sam finds her feet with the athletic department and I also really enjoyed her running and how it helped her cope.

Favourite parts in book 4 –

  • finding out the connection and history between Tate and Marissa and the OMG moment at the end of book 3.
  • Sam finally having a mother figure with her dad’s new partner who provided great humorous moments especially in her banter with Logan and also her son too.
  • Nate, Mason and Logan banding together in the end against a new threat – cannot wait for Fallen Crest University.

This is one of my all time favourite series – onto Book 5.

Fallen Fourth Down (Fallen Crest High #4)

My Rating: 5 Hearts

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To Save a Mate (VonBrandt Family #1)

By Krystal Shannan

23881203

Synopsis

A chance he never thought he’d have comes at a price he never wanted her to pay

What do you do when everything you thought was real turns out to be a lie? How do you pick yourself up and move on? Move past the pain?

Kara McClure is living the perfect life. A great boyfriend, supportive loving parents, and a full ride to John McAdams University on a scholarship. What could go wrong? But something always does. When tragedy hits, you’re supposed to be able to count on those closest to you for support. Kara turns to the love of her life, Vincent Harris, only to find him supporting the nether lips of her sorority sister.

Luke VonBrandt is a business college student with a secret no one can know. When an accident threatens the life of an innocent girl he’s secretly loved since high school, he risks everything to give her a second chance on life, even exposing the truth about what he is. The blue-eyed beauty haunts his dreams and her scent is all he can think about.

Luke’s wolf insists he find a way to claim her as his own.

But Kara’s broken heart will fight him every step of the way.

Review

Love me some beautiful passionate hot sex between an alpha man who is just sex on a stick being Luke and the shattered Kara who has been Luke’s infatuation for years and his obvious mate.  The way he just became her saviour and barrier to the outside world during one of the most traumatic times in her life just captured my heart and I simply devoured this story – just what I needed.

God I loved the connection these two characters had along with the family interwoven to help Kara deal with her loss.  This is a fast paced story but still had an so much emotion and great drama that flowed well and had supporting characters whom will obviously be in the next few books and I am really looking forward to reading them too.

The VonBrandt family are so supportive and I really became quite enamoured with Luke & Noah’s parents who provided support to Luke but also especially to Kara.  Looking forward to reading Noah’s  story next and I think there are more people in this town that know about the werewolves and I think Kara’s parents also knew more than what they ever told her.

I hope I get to see more of Luke and Kara in the next few books.  I also really loved the tattoos around the wrists as the first part of their mating bond and how most matings I have read required a bite during sex yet I loved the difference in how Luke and Kara’s mating was finally secured.

Luke saved his mate Kara in both body and soul.

To Save a Mate (VonBrandt Family #1)

My Rating: 4 Hearts

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