Genre: Coming of Age

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Moment of Impact – Karen Stivali – 5 stars

January 6, 2015 Read in 2014, Sent 0

I received this book for free from the Author . This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Moment of Impact – Karen Stivali – 5 starsMoment of Impact Published by Dreamspinner on January 7, 2015
Genres: Coming of Age
Pages: 110
Source: the Author
Moment of Impact (Moments in Time Book 1)<img src="http://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=booaholano0c-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B00RO1Z6ZC" target="_blank">Buy on Amazon
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five-stars

Outside Collin Fitzpatrick’s dorm room is a dangerous place. Beyond his door the students of his small, conservative college think he’s straight, as does his Catholic family who'd disown him if they learned the truth. Inside, he’s safe with his incredibly sexy roommate Tanner D’Amico. Their room makes a perfect place to hide away and fall in love. The moment they cross the line from roommates to lovers, Collin becomes caught between their heavenly passionate encounters and the hellish reality that someone might find out and destroy everything. Tanner's not used to being so confined, and wants to show the world how much he loves Collin. But Collin’s not sure he’s ready for the impact stepping outside will make.

I admit to being a fan of Karen Stivali’s work and of her as a person.  I have had the chance to spend time with her at both RT and RAGT which makes me even happier to read the work she produces.  She’s a lovely lady with a matching introvert’s soul that means we both love to hide rather than be out in large groups.  She’s starting something new and I’ve been lucky enough to read this before it hits the rest of you…

This is a very honest read about a young man finally being able to have something he craved but was (is) afraid to completely embrace.  You see Collin is gay and in his very traditional Catholic family this is the highest level of sin you could ever commit.  He struggles with trying to be the straight guy everyone expects but wanting to find love with his roommate, Tanner.  He thinks that Tanner is straight I mean he’s all over his girlfriend so why would he be bi or gay???  When he discovers that Tanner wants him we don’t see an instant “I’m here and I’m queer” moment but we get a true struggle as he opens up to his needs.  He’s so wound up and repressed it was heartbreaking to read but I loved how we saw him struggle to express his needs and be ok with them.  He’s got a lot to learn about life but seeing him try was powerful.

Tanner is the perfect offset to Collin’s uptight and scared persona.  He’s open and yet not blatant about his sexuality but he was lucky enough to have family that is more open to other lifestyles so it made it a bit easier for him.  He also is very patient with Collin as he understands that not only are we dealing with a virgin to most sexual activities but we are also dealing with a man who has been taught his whole life that who he is at his core is vile and disgusting.  I appreciated that he was patient but I also adored him for pushing to have something real with Collin that isn’t hidden.  He’s a good guy who really does adore his Collin but is not willing to be completely hidden from those around them.

This is not an easy read in a lot of respects and seeing the confrontation with Collin’s mom was heartbreaking but needed.  I liked that Karen didn’t make this one easy but kept it honest in the way the struggle plays out.  I look forward to seeing more of this pair and watching as both men work towards each other.

 

In honor of this start to a new series I am going to give away two Nook or Kindle copies to readers of this post.  To enter just tell me the last great book you’ve read or just say “Hi” to Karen.  Also please tell me Nook or Kindle.

This contest is not sponsored by Karen but by me to support this new series.  Entries must be in by January 9, 2015 at 11:59 pm CT.

five-stars

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Virgin – Radhika Sanghani – 3 stars

August 25, 2014 Berkley Trade, NetGalley, Read in 2014 0

I received this book for free from NetGalley.com . This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Virgin – Radhika Sanghani – 3 starsVirgin by Radhika Sanghani
Published by Penguin on 2014-08-05
Genres: Coming of Age, Contemporary Women, Fiction, General, New Adult, Romance
Pages: 304
Source: NetGalley.com
Virgin<img src="http://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=booaholano0c-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B00HFXK46U" target="_blank">Buy on Amazon
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three-stars

For those who grew up on Judy Blume—and graduated to Lena Dunham—a “hilarious”* debut... “Bridget Jones and Carrie Bradshaw, meet your wisecracking, vagina obsessed match. Sanghani's debut is a hilarious, irreverent look at smart-alecky, painfully self-concious, 21-year-old Ellie's relentless mission to rectify a disasterous first attempt at performing oral sex, get deflowered, find the perfect Brazilian wax, avoid her tradition-bound Greek mother's nagging, graduate summa cum laude, be a writer, and fit in...This story for millennials is a wonderful blend of modern agnst with old-fashioned sweetness.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review) “Even Bridget Jones’s Diary could take a page from this novel.

I really struggled to get to the halfway point in this book but that is where I started to actually like it so please be prepared for a very, very slow start.

Ellie is obsessed with the fact that she hasn’t turned in her V-plates and yet others around her seem to have had no issues with losing theirs.  She’s now 21 and convinced that if she just got rid of that pesky virginity she would magically fit in.  I found myself getting frustrated with her whining at the beginning of this book about how out of place she was and how much of her sex life, or lack of one, was due to an incident when she was 17.  I admit to cheering her BFF on when she finally let loose on Ellie with stop the whole “wah wah wah” thing and live your life.  I got that she was awkward but as someone who didn’t lose hers until she was 19 I couldn’t seem to be that sympathetic to this obsession.

Where the story made me enjoy it was with the many insane circumstances she ends up in as she tries to figure things out…

  1. The slipping in her BFFs one night stand’s cum in the tub… *snort*
  2. The experience with shaving down there and getting nicks that ummmmmm aren’t too comfy later… *giggles*
  3. The experience with getting waxed..  *I admit to smothering laughter here as damn that was funny*
  4. The experience with when she finally loses her V plates..  *yeah all of us have been there and had the momentary this is what people crave??? Really???*
  5. The experience buying condoms for the first time… *truly this can be embarrassing if you happen to work for the main drug store in town and it is the only place within walking distance of your apartment plus you don’t have a car*
  6. Computer volume getting stuck when watching a porno so she could learn how to give a BJ and handjob… *seriously this is what headphones are for*
  7. And this was my favorite part…. Mom walking in on Ellie using her computer to check out down there post wax…. *almost choked on the Diet Dew I was drinking*

Overall this is a slow story but the moments above made me laugh and while it was a tough read I’m glad I stuck with it.  I think there are some decent things to take away from this story and the main one to me is…

Be yourself!!!  Until you finally get comfortable with yourself and who you are (flaws and all) you’ll never be happy!  It doesn’t take a man, perfect hair, perfect clothes, perfect body, etc to have a great life…  It takes a sense of self and accepting that you might not be everyone’s cup of tea but you are just fine on your own two feet!

 

Special thanks to NetGalley.com and the team at Penguin for giving me the chance to read this.  I’m glad I did even if it took me so long to do so!

three-stars

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Play – Kylie Scott – 5 Stars

April 8, 2014 Purchased 0

Play – Kylie Scott – 5 StarsPlay by Kylie Scott
Published by St. Martin's Griffin on 2014-03-25
Genres: Coming of Age, Contemporary, Erotica, Fiction, Romance
Pages: 304
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon
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five-stars

Kylie Scott returns with the highly anticipated follow-up to international bestseller Lick.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. Mal doesn’t plan on this temporary fix becoming permanent, but he didn’t count on finding the one right girl. Anne Rollins never thought she’d ever meet the rock god who plastered her teenage bedroom walls—especially not under these circumstances. Anne has money problems. Big ones. But being paid to play the pretend girlfriend to a wild life-of-the-party drummer couldn’t end well. No matter how hot he is. Or could it?

Be prepared to laugh when you read this story as Mal has some of the funniest lines and most outrageous thoughts that just spill forth from his lips at the most inappropriate moments.  All is not rosy on his path to love but he lucks out and finds the perfect woman for his insanity which in turn leads to the most stable relationship his unexpected lover has ever had.

We meet Anne in a really bad place with a roommate that has taken off with not only furniture but without bothering to pay back past due rent or providing any sort of notice.  As Anne lives paycheck to paycheck it hits her rather hard and this is a woman who is used to everything being difficult but she always soldiers on to make the best of a bad situation.  Her only constant is her love for her sister and her male friend who she wouldn’t mind having as something more if he wasn’t such a man whore.  She’s basically allowed herself to become a doormat because of her innate need to please and help people but a chance encounter at a party she’s persuaded to go to puts her in the path of Mal.  He pushes her buttons and she ends up not only finding her inner strength she also finds her sense of self again. As she gets pulled in to his orbit she discovers the man behind the image and finds out that they are a lot alike in their tendency to push people away to handle things on their own.  I loved how she didn’t put up with his crap and while she didn’t have a backbone before they met she found one rather quickly where he was concerned.  She is a great counter to his manic personality but he pushes her to expand her horizons and not take being second best.  He pushes her to finally believe in herself and her own worth which was painful but needed.

Mal… sweet adorably inappropriate Mal… I loved him in the last book but seeing him on his own made me laugh but also made me cry for him.  He meets Anne and decides without telling her that he’s moving in.  He’s overheard her troubles and he needs help from her to show that he’s in a relationship.  The reasons he needs this aren’t explained until later in the book and he’s pretty adamant that this is to be a surface thing only but as he spends more time with Anne things don’t work out the way he thought.  He’s pushed to be more open with her but even as he fights her we see that he really does want her but his secret is eating him alive.  I won’t reveal the secret but as you see more of his interactions with Anne and the band you get to see a man that really is hurting but covers everything with jokes and antics.  His moments with Anne in both the bedroom and outside of it were not only humorous but heartwarming as his inner sweetness is exposed.  He’s vulnerable with her as neither expected to find love or home in this faux relationship but when push comes to shove the heart speaks volumes.  My heart broke with him as things began to unravel and come out but where he ends up was worth the journey.

I can’t wait to see more of this series and hope that Ben’s HEA is who I think it is… (not saying but would be awesome in a lot of respects).  Jimmy is next and dude he and Lena should definitely spark!!

five-stars

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Ruined – Jus Accardo – 4 stars

January 8, 2014 Entangled Publishing, Read in 2014, Sent 0

I received this book for free from the publisher . This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Ruined – Jus Accardo – 4 starsRuined by Jus Accardo
Published by Embrace, Entangled Publishing, Macmillan on 2013-12-30
Genres: Coming of Age, Fiction, General, Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 340
Format: eBook
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon
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four-stars

Hell is looking for a way to break loose...Jax lost the genetic lottery. Descended from Cain, the world's first murderer, he's plagued by a curse that demands violence in exchange for his happiness. He left everything behind, including the girl he loved, but thriving on the pain of others is lonely… And it's killing him.After a series of heartbreaking losses, Samantha put rubber to pavement and headed for college as fast as her clunker could carry her. But she can't outrun her problems. When an attack at school drives her back home, she's thrown into the path of a past—and a guy—she's been trying to forget.Sam strains Jax's control over his darkness, but running isn't an option this time. Someone—or, something—followed her home from school: a ruthless monster with a twisted plan centuries in the making. Forced together to survive, and fighting an attraction that could destroy them both, Jax and Sam must stop a killer bent on revenge.

I was lucky enough to receive a copy of this from Entangled Embrace and I have to say I was rather impressed by the world that Jus has created.  I cannot wait to see more of how this all plays out and hope that our pair gets the happiness they deserve.

Sam is not having a good day, week, month, year…  She’s unhappy with the way her life is playing out and when a man she thought gone forever suddenly appears in town she just wants to tell the world to stop and let her off.  She’s forced to confront him on a lot of levels but also finally gets to understand what his issues have been for years and, in some respects, gets a bit of closure on the hurt that has been her entire life to this point.  I liked that she was strong and independent but was willing to listen to others even if she didn’t want to lean on anyone.  She loves our hero deeply and I liked that she pushed him to really tell her the truth even if it was unbelievable.  What she does at a pivotal moment is really testament to how much she really knows about him and the level of trust it showed was phenomenal.

Jax is such a tortured soul.  As you find out more about the hell he has lived with his entire life you cannot help but want to soothe him in any way possible.  He loves Sam but knows that all he would bring to her is pain and destruction but he can’t help but be drawn back to her time and time again.  He keeps his distance but he’s been guarding her in his own way for years.  When he gets pulled back into her life he is tormented by being so close to the one thing he knows he can’t have.  His life has been nothing but misery and torture unless he’s around her but around her leads to pain and a different kind of torture.  I loved his willingness to sacrifice everything to keep his brother safe but hope that he will get a chance to be truly happy at one point in his life.  He’s such a great soul stuck in a terrible situation.

I hope you give this one a try as it was very well done and I can’t wait for more stories about Jax and Sam.  Thanks again to Entangled for giving me the chance to read this and while you gave this to me for review you did not color the review in any way.

four-stars

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