Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Easy by Tammara Webber

** 5 out of 5 Stars **

**WARNING:  SPOILERS AHEAD**

When Jacqueline follows her longtime boyfriend to the college of his choice, the last thing she expects is a breakup two weeks into Sophomore year.  After two weeks in shock, she wakes up to her new reality:  she's single, attending a state university instead of a music conservatory, ignored by her former circle of friends, and failing a class for the first time in her life. 

Leaving a party alone, Jacqueline is assaulted by her ex's frat brother.  Rescued by a stranger who seems to be in the right place at the right time, she wants nothing more than to forget the attack and that night--but her savior, Lucas, sits on the back row of her econ class, sketching in a notebook and staring at her.  Her friends nominate him to be the perfect rebound.

When her attacker turns stalker, Jacqueline has a choice:  crumple in defeat or learn to fight back.  Lucas remains protective, but he's hiding secrets of his own.  Suddenly appearances are everything, and knowing who to trust is anything but easy.



MY REVIEW...

Ok so I'm a little excited about this book.  It was SO good!  I loved every last messed up second.  The writing was awesome, I fell in love with Lucas and Jacqueline from the first chapter.  This book isn't necessarily about a love story.  I mean it is but it's also about personal growth and the heroine gains it in spades.  She's a scared girl pretty much on her on in the beginning and morphs into a strong independent woman with friends and an incredible guy at the end.  I found this book by searching what to read after Beautiful Disaster.  I was expecting something along those lines but this book isn't like that.  Lucas has his demons but he isn't violent and other than it being a college setting there aren't a lot of similarities in my opinion.  This book deals with a pretty sensitive issue and how a lot of people deal with it.  I was angry at times and I wanted to cry at times.  Society has a long way to go when it comes to rape...a long long way to go.

MY SUMMARY...

Lucas is your typical bad boy.  He's got messy dark hair and blue-gray eyes.  He's lean and cut.  He drives a Harley and he has tattoos everywhere.  Did I mention the lip piercing?  Yeah he's got that too.  He's a good guy and he's been through a horrific past that has left him guilt ridden and scarred.

Jacqueline (not Jackie) plays the upright bass.  She's a bit sarcastic.  We don't get a really clear picture of what she looks like but I see her being small with brown hair and green eyes.  She's fragile after her incident but she becomes a force to be reckoned with in the end.  I loved her...very strong heroine.

We meet Jacqueline at a frat party as she's leaving.  She is attacked from behind by a frat brother of her ex's.  His name is Buck and her ex's name is Kennedy.  The guy holds her down in the truck and Lucas comes from out of nowhere and pulls him off her and then beats him badly.  Lucas then takes her home when she refuses to call the police.

She and Kennedy were high school sweethearts and after 3 years of dating he breaks up with her.  He wants to sow his wild oats...yeah he's a douchebag.  In the process of the break up she looses all her friends aside from her roommate (who I love by the way) and she's failing her econ class because they took it together.  When she finally returns to class she's stunned to learn that Lucas is in the class but she's never noticed him before.  From then on he's everywhere.  He works at the coffee shop, she runs into him a lot.

While being intrigued she also begins talking to a guy online who is her econ tutor.  The conversations are flirty but fimiliar.  Just for the record I saw where this was headed and wasn't even a little surprised.  She never meets the guy for tutoring because of schedule conflicts and only converses with him online.

Enter operation "Long Overdue Bad Boy Phase" in which her best friends decide is exactly what she needs after her breakup.  After a lot of steamy dancing with Lucas at a club they decide he is the perfect candidate.  The problem is once they begin to get to know each other she really begins to like him.  He's an artist and when he wants to sketch her in her dorm things go a little steamy ending in a lot of hot kissing action on her bed.  He's still standoffish and she's still thinking about the ex and her email buddy.

The would be rapist Buck goes from this to stalker.  He's out for revenge and he corners her in a dark hallway and starts nasty rumors.  Once she tells her best friend what actually happened that night, she signs them up for self defense classes.  Surprise surprise...guess who one of the instructors is?  Lucas.

That isn't all she finds out.  Thanks to a buddy in her econ class she also learns that Lucas is her econ tutor.  Those emails told the truth long before it came out.  Too many similarities in their lives.  She doesn't call him on it which I didn't really understand but he explains it later on.  They begin to "date" and then her ex Kennedy enter the picture again.  He's made a mistake, wants to be with her blah, blah.  He's consistent, I'll give him that but that's all he's getting.  When the truth finally comes out about the econ tutor thing they stop seeing each other but since they can't keep their hands off each other it doesn't last long.

Another girl is raped by Buck and she has to call Lucas to figure out what to do.  You see amazing growth here when she finally begins to step forward and refuses to back down when she's mocked, made to look like a liar, and Buck's threats and dirty looks begin to intensify.

We learn about Lucas when she snoops into his past without telling him.  His mother was raped and murdered while he was restrained in his room.  He tore his arms up pretty good trying to get to her and he's riddled with guilt.  It explains why he's so into making sure women can protect themselves.

They finally sleep together and then are pretty much inseparable until he finds out that she knows.  He doesn't take it well and she leaves only to be shoved into her car by Buck with the intentions of finishing what he started.  Only this time she fights back and gets away from him.  When he grabs her and tackles her Lucas shows up.  This is all happening in his front yard.  He realized he had screwed up and was going after her when he sees the struggle.  He almost kills the guy and his professor who lives next door has to pull him off of him.  Once Buck is arrested Lucas takes her upstairs and takes care of her, apologizing profusely.

The epilogue is several months later at Lucas's graduation party.  Buck is serving a 2 years sentence.  She has applied and been accepted to a music school 1200 miles from Lucas and is dreading leaving him.  He accepts a job that is about 30 minutes from her school and plans to move with her so they can be together.  They never say I love you but you don't move 1200 miles away to be with each other without it so...

MY RATING:

It was a great book.  I really enjoyed it.  I give it 5 Stars because it's worth it.  It is officially one to add to my favorite bookshelf.  I'm sure I'll read it again.  Read this book, you won't regret it.  I hate that I'm just now finding it!

My Lucas / Jacqueline
    
Favorite Quotes...

If someone had asked, How does this compare to kissing Kennedy? I would have answered, “Who?”

“Don’t y’all wear those padded Michelin-man suits?”
 “Yes… but those pads don’t block all feeling.” 
“Heh-heh,”

“Even broken clocks are right twice a day.”


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Losing Me, Finding You by C.M. Stunich

** 2 out of 5 Stars **

**WARNING:  SPOILERS AHEAD**

Twenty-One year old Amy Cross's idea of a hot Saturday night is curling up with her favorite book boyfriend and secretly sneaking a bottle of her mother's wine.  That is, until she meets Austin Sparks, the biker boy with a past that burns like fire and a gaze she can't look away from.  Without knowing what she's doing or why she's doing it, Amy ends up on the road with Austin traveling from one city to another while learning things she's only ever read about in romance novels.

At first it seems like Austin is Amy's fantasy come true, but as their journey progresses, she starts to sense that Austin is running away from something.  Amy knows that she'll do whatever it takes to help him find himself.  What she doesn't expect is that she'll lose herself in the process and how good it will feel to be free.

I don't know what it was but this book just wasn't good to me.  The blurb promised me a great book and I just didn't get that.  It was slow until the ending and then rushed to the finish.  I literally just kind of sat there in the end staring at my Kindle.  I have so many unanswered questions.  I almost feel cheated.  I know the story continues in the next book but it's about another couple so I don't really see how it's going to work for me.  I had a hard time connecting with the characters...all of them.  There was never an I love you said, no major talk or anything.  It was just a whole lot of sex, some MC situations I'm still confused about, and not a lot else.  I hate giving negative reviews but there just wasn't anything I really liked about this one...at all.  I feel like I wasted my time...

Austin has sandy blonde hair, brown eyes, tattoos, piercings, a southern drawl and a foul mouth.  He also drives a motorcycle and is a bad boy.  He's 28 and has never been in a relationship.  He's possessive and controlling and very protective.

Amy has blue eyes and brown hair.  She's 21, a bookworm, a preacher's kid and very nieve and inexperienced.  She has extremely overbearing parents who treat her like a child (they unplug her internet connection at night...yeah) and her father believes the best form of punishment is to beat her into submission.  She feels trapped and is dying for her chance to escape.

Amy and Austin meet at a bike show that comes to her town every year.  She's about to enter a bridal store where she takes a second to look at a bike.  He takes her breath the first time she sees him.  When she tries to leave he grabs her arm and asks her out.  He sees something in the girl and knows she's wanting to break free.

There is a girl, Mireya, that Austin has been seeing off and on for 10 years.  She's his bed buddy and throughout the book this woman is a problem.  She's in love with him but he just doesn't see her in that way, especially after he sees Amy for the first time.  When he comes into the store after her it causes WWIII and her dad hits her multiple times.  She sneaks out and meets him at a bar and ends up having sex with him on a pool table.  She's only know the guy for 12 hours mind you but that doesn't seem to matter.



She wants to join the MC and once a video goes viral to all her friends and family in the middle of her cousins wedding she has no choice but to ride off with him on the back of his bike.  They spend a few days getting to know each other and sleeping together.  He's into something heavy with the MC that's not on the up and up and it's causing problems.  Mireya is also causing problems by sending her another video.  They get into a cat fight in the middle of a hotel lobby until Austin ignores Mireya and picks Amy up off the floor and walks away also making a claim on her in the process.

The big secret inside the MC is that Austin robs banks with Kimmi, another member to fund their club.  On the way to do a job they run into some trouble.  The MC prez is out to shut them up permanently.  While fighting for their lives against a rival MC guys go to Austin's hotel room to get Amy only she sees them first and ends up in the room with Mireya and the prez's wife.  The guys break in and attempt to rape and beat them until Austin shows up after receiving help from his brother's during his fight.  He sees red and in the end we don't really know if the prez lived or died but it's assumed that Austin is the new MC prez and he doesn't argue with them but just assumes the role with Amy by his side.  I was left feeling like "What just happened?"



Honestly I never actually saw a love story here.  At one point they both realized they loved each other but they never tell each other.  I'm giving it 2 Stars because I do enjoy reading other books by this author but this isn't a series that I'll continue reading.  If you're looking for a short read about hot biker boys then you might enjoy it.

My Austin / Amy
 

Favorite Quotes:

After all these years of reading about bad boys and alpha males and delicious men with ridiculous names, it's my turn. Mine. Mine. Sorry, Horse; Sorry, Kellan Kyle; Sorry, Ty McCabe; Sorry, Travis Maddox; Sorry, Gideon Cross. But I'm breaking up with all of you.

I guess that's what I get for reading Fifty Shades of Grey a dozen or more times. Naughty, Amy.

I'm going to fall in love with him. I'm going to be head over heels and my stomach is going to hurt every time he walks into a room. I'm going to worry about him whenever he isn't there, and there are going to be times where I'll hate him. Because that's what love is. It's a kaleidoscope of emotions, all sorts of different colors blending together into one.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Pull by Rachel Van Dyken

** 4.5 out of 5 Stars **

**WARNING:  SPOILERS AHEAD**

Jaded rock star, Demetri Daniels, is in Hell--also known as Seaside, Oregon.  Sent to rehab after nearly getting himself killed last year, his record company wants nothing more than for him to lay low, away from the limelight.

Irritated and more alone than he's ever been in his life, Demetri tries desperately to rebuild his shattered reputation a a drug addict and player, which proves to be difficult when he meets Alyssa.  

Alyssa is everything he should stay away from.  She's beautiful, smart, but above all else, she's damaged.  And one thing Demetri has learned is two broken hearts don't equal a whole.  In the end, he has to decide if he can rise above the life he's created in learning from his past mistakes, or fall into the darkness of his choices.

This is a YA book and it deals with love, loss, heartache, recovery, and acceptance.  It's a good book.  It's the second book in the Seaside series.  I have not read book 1 nor do I plan too.  I enjoyed this book and I had trouble putting it down which is unusual since it's YA.  It had a great writing style, I loved the characters and I enjoyed the story line as well.  It's about a rock star struggling to overcome his addiction to drugs and alcohol while falling in love with the girl of his dreams who is also damaged beyond belief. Demetri is hilarious!  I laughed so much with this one.

"I finally understand what love is. It isn't rainbows and butterflies. It isn't always pretty. Sometimes it’s jagged like broken glass, and sometimes it hurts. But love, the type of love that’s real — the love Demetri has shown me — it’s selfless, it’s persistent. Real love pushes your boundaries, it pulls until you snap, and then when you think you can’t take anymore, it’s relentless in its pursuit of your body, soul, and heart.”

Demetri is a rock star who fell in love with a girl in the previous book only to loose her to his brother.  He was in a horrible car accident that almost killed him.  He's also a recovering drug addict and alcoholic.  He's 19, sexy with blonde hair, and can dance and sing.  He's persistent and enduring.  He's funny, beyond sarcastic and has no shame at all.  He's also got tattoos and piercings.

Alyssa is 18 and beautiful.  She has blonde hair and she's short.  She is also extremely sarcastic and has a smart mouth.  She broken angry and hostile.  She was involved in a horrible car accident that took the life of her boyfriend.

It’s cruel, because the minute I was finally okay with being numb to the world — he showed up. My heart wasn't ready to be pieced together again. He did it anyway. My soul wasn't prepared for heartbreak. He broke it anyway. My life wasn't ready to be given to a soul mate. He stole it anyway. Everything has changed — even death. And all because of a boy, who fell in love with a girl.

As part of Demetri's recovery and at the urging of his brother and his brother's girlfriend Nat (who he was in love with when she chose his brother) he takes a job at a taffy store in Seaside.  He hates his job being as he stands out front with a bucket of taffy singing and dancing...just acting a fool really.  He accidentally hits a girl in the back of the head with a piece of ill flying taffy.  It turns out she's the competition from across the street and she's bitter and rude.  He's intrigued.

It's obvious in talking to her that something has happened that has caused her to be a shell of a person but he wants to be around her and he needs a friend.  He decides that she is going to be his new friend and he will do anything to make that happen.  There is an automatic connection between them and they are both drawn to the other, regardless of the fact that neither is in need of this kind of friendship at the moment.

Alyssa was involved in a car accident that took the life of her boyfriend.  His body shielded hers from the impact and he died in her arms.  She lives in a darkness filled with guilt and disgust.  She doesn't want friends, she just want to live her life in total misery.




Once Demetri has decided they are going to be friends he's so persistent that she has no choice but to eventually give in.  It's obvious to everyone but her that "friend" is a relative term and he's perusing her because he's into her.  There is some serious kissing going on between them.  The first kiss happens on the beach after she almost drowns and it's explosive.



He finds out about her accident while hosting a meeting for grief of those who lost a loved one.  She doesn't realize his story isn't that different than his until she pretty much attacks him when he talks to her about it.  She wants to leave because running is easier but he tells her he won't stop trying but she walks away anyway.  We learn that his loss was actually very similar to hers.  He lost his ex girlfriend in an accident after she cheated and got pregnant with his brother.  I'm not a big fan of that guy.  He seems to take a lot of girls away from Demetri.

When he finally takes her on their first date she has a breakdown at the theater and he realizes that she still loves her ex and he can't have her but it will not stop him from trying.  He goes after her and he tells her he needs her and that he's really into her.  Later that night she finally starts packing away the ex's stuff after 2 years of mourning.  She's getting ready to move on.

But what do you do when the very person’s footsteps you hope to follow in is the exact person you want to carry you?

“I want to be your first and your last. I want to be your everything. But I’m willing to wait until you’re ready for this. For this feeling. I want you to memorize it. Memorize life, Alyssa. Because that’s what I want for us. I want for us to live.”

Huge mind blowing moment coming...



We meet Holly in the grief meetings.  She's battling loosing a child due to miscarriage.  I saw something funny about this right away.  We find out really quickly that the baby she lost belonged to Brady, Alyssa's dead ex-boyfriend.  He cheated.  When Demetri finds this out he looses it.  He's torn between telling Alyssa and keeping the secret that he's required to keep because he's the group leader.  He knows he could loose her but he stays quiet giving Holly a chance to tell Alyssa herself.  Sam who is Brady's brother has been in love with Alyssa for 6 years and after a drunken rage at a party later that night he unloads all this on her.  Alyssa is destroyed...even more so when she realizes the Demetri knew.  She slaps him and he choose that moment to tell her that he loves her...worse timing in history!  She walks away from him intending to stay gone.  He has no intention of letting her go and he runs after her and ends up sleeping in the bed holding her all night while she cries.

"Just know that every time you curse me, my answer is I love you. Every time you hit me, my answer is I love you, and every time you close your eyes, I’ll still be loving you.”


The next morning after she talks to Holly she goes after him only to come up on a wreck a mile from where she had hers.  She instantly realizes that the car she is seeing is like Demetri's until he comes up behind her and pulls her into his arms.  She finally admits that she loves him.  They drive to the graveyard where she talks to Brady's tombstone and tells him she's finally letting him go.

It was a good book.  There is no sex in it and the language isn't even that bad.  It was a refreshing read but also tough to take at times.  I recommend this one to anyone who likes a story about love conquering all.  I give it 4.5 stars.  4 stars for the book and .5 a star for his hatred for all things Justin Bieber and One Direction :)  I don't know if I will read the next book.  This book can be read as a stand alone but it would probably be a good idea to read book 1 so you know what's going on since I was confused at times.

My Demetri/Alyssa

  

Favorite Quotes:

I gave up trying to protect my shattered heart. I gave up trying to be strong. Everything — every single wall I had erected was gone, and in its place was her.

“I’m going to fight for her. I’m going to fight every damn day I have breath in my body, and if I die trying than at least I died loving someone with every part of my soul.”


“I saw you staring at me.” 
“Did not!” My nostrils flared. “There’s no way you could see me through the windows from that far away.” 
“So you were staring.”

The five-year-old inside of me was pumping his fist in the air when they said it was okay to touch the octopus.

I groaned. “Panty throwing isn't all it’s cracked out to be.”
“Yeah, pretty sure that’s a lie.” 


“What if by doing the right thing I lose it all?” 
“This isn't about you, Demetri.” 
“No.” I shook my head. “It’s about the girl I fell in love with.