Review: Twisted Palace by Erin Watt

Reviewed by Joanna

We’re back with Reed and Ella, and he’s been arrested for…

Wait! Book two ended in a cliff hanger so don’t read on if you fancy this series. It’s full of over privileged teenagers being awful to one another, a poor girl thrust into a family of five hot brothers, and broken homes aplenty.

Back to it. Reed is arrested for the crime perpetrated at the end of book two. A murder of someone close to the family. He says it wasn’t him, but Ella has a tiny slither of doubt. She hates thinking it, but can’t deny what she saw. He had blood on his shirt and a pretty strong motive. [Read more…]

Review: Paper Princess by Erin Watt

Reviewed by Joanna

Ah, books with families of brothers really are my downfall. I can’t remember why, but I was put off reading this series last year, despite the excellence of the co-authors (Erin Watt is Elle Kennedy and Jen Frederick). I think I read that it was Young Adult, but I wouldn’t recommend this for teens. Although the protagonists are high school students, it has detailed scenes of stripping, drugs, sexual assault, non-consensual and consensual and sex, so I’d shelve it in the New Adult category.

The story is told from the point of view of Ella Harper, an orphan who is struggling to get by and supporting herself by the trade her mother excelled at – stripping. Her mum died and Ella is forging her signature in order to continue going to school. She’s pragmatic, street wise and sassy. Imagine her fear when a strange, well-dressed man arrives at her school claiming to be her guardian, and when she runs, he finds her and kidnaps her. [Read more…]

Review: Full Measures by Rebecca Yarros

Reviewed by Joanna

This is a military-flavored romance, with the college-age protagonists putting it firmly in the NA category. Ember Howard is our heroine, and we open the story to the death of her father, an army doctor. She answers the door from the knock of death, and her and her family are devastated by the loss. It’s what every military family dreads, and it’s happened to them.

It’s smack bang in the holiday season, and it’s Ember’s birthday too. Dashing out in a mad panic to the store to pick up a cake to distract her younger brother, she bumps into Josh Walker, a guy she had a crush on as a teenager in high school. Josh was a bad boy, but is now her younger brother’s hockey coach, his own hockey career ended by injury. He’s upset by the news about her dad too. [Read more…]

Review: The Sweetest Burn by Jeaniene Frost

Reviewed by Jen

I read the first book in this series, but when I picked up this second installment in the Broken Destiny trilogy, I could not remember a single thing that happened. That’s what happens when a publisher takes a three years pause between books. Even as I continued to read here, very few of the details came back to me. The good news is, Jeanine Frost does such a great job of filling in the blanks, even a brand new reader could jump into this book and understand what’s going on.

The biggest things you need to know are as follows: Ivy and Adrian are destined for tragedy. She is the last Davidian. He’s the last in their long line of betrayers. And betray her he did in book 1. Now he wants to make amends. The two of them are in love, but Ivy doesn’t trust him not to fulfill his destiny again. Meanwhile, Adrian will do anything to win her back. [Read more…]

Review: Love Rewritten by J. Saman

Reviewed by Joanna

Here’s another college NA tale for your delectation, with the trope of brother’s best friend as our hostile hero. Do you like this kind of guy? I do, as long as there’s good reason for the grumps, and they make up for it with Big Love by the end of the book.

Abby lives at the edge of campus in a three bedroom apartment with Aubrey, her twin. She’s ‘edgy’ in that she wears punky clothes, dyes streaks in her hair and has tattoos, and she has no idea that Aubrey’s best friend, Xander, is totally into her.

Now Xander is of course lovely to look at, but he’s a miserable fellow and frequently mean to Abby. Abby has no idea why. She just knows it hurts and she thinks he hates her. [Read more…]

Review: How Not To Fall by Emily Foster

Reviewed by Joanna

Here’s a smart NA story for your delectation, with a focus on sexual exploration between Annie, our narrator, an undergraduate in medicine, and Charles, the man of her fantasies – a 4-years-older postdoc at her research lab, with blond good looks and a side dish of attachment disorder. Well.

At the beginning of the tale, earnest Annie is gearing up to ask Charles for a sexual relationship. She thinks they have A Thing, and despite being inexperienced, wants to explore that before she goes off to Boston for eight years of medical school. She is whip smart but doesn’t see herself as pretty, so is nervous he’ll refuse. [Read more…]

Review: Stupid Girl by Cindy Miles

Reviewed by Joanna

Do you ever get the feeling you’ve read a book before? Maybe it’s because this sort of story is right up my alley, it was both familiar and reassuringly good. This is a new adult college romance, and our heroes are Olivia and Braxton. She’s a Texas ranch girl, he’s a bad boy from Boston, complete with tattoos, scars and a thick accent. Scahs. Ahhcent.  

They meet on her first day at college when he bowls her over – literally – then unapologetically kisses her before helping her up. Swaggering Brax has quite the reputation, and Olivia is warned off him a number of times, but she can’t withstand his charm as he dogs her steps. [Read more…]

Review: How to Date a Douchebag: The Failing Hours by Sara Ney

Reviewed by Joanna

Zeke (Ezekiel) Daniels is a douchebag. Unlike Oz, the douchebag in book one of this new adult series, Zeke’s quality of douchiness comes more from his terrible attitude problems, rather than screwing around. He’s such a sour puss.

“My parents must have known from the beginning that I was going to be a sinner—that’s why it sounds like they named me after two books of the Bible. Lord knows I’m no saint.”

So it’s no surprise when mousy scared Violet, who is assigned to tutor him, takes one looks and runs a mile. She’s not alone in her reaction. Everyone dislikes the guy. Women sleep with him for his incredible looks and body, and for his face being on billboards around campus as he’s such a hot wrestling stud, but they hate him otherwise. His friends don’t much like him either, nor does his team, and his coach has had it. [Read more…]

Review: How to Date a Douchebag: The Studying Hours by Sara Ney

Reviewed by Joanna

Jameson wears cardigan and pearls, particularly when she goes to the campus library. This way, she won’t get hit on by douchebags. Also, she likes cardigans. Who doesn’t?

The crew of douchebags in the corner, that’s who. One, Oz, gets bet $500 by his wrestling team cronies that he can’t get the virginal-looking girl to kiss him. [Read more…]

Review: Undeclared by Julianna Keyes

Reviewed by Joanna

Kellan 2.0 is the star of this tale. In book one of the Burnham College series, he’s the super-popular and super-slutty housemate of Nora, and best friend to Crosbie, the hero and heroine of that tale (oh, how I love Crosbie). Kellan got gonorrhoea, and had to track down all his previous sexual partners to inform them and find the source. He’s not exactly the hottest proposition for a hero in his own right, but this funny and easygoing guy appealed to me then, and I was excited to read his story.

Kellan’s about to start his third year at Burnham college, and has returned home to small town Avilla for a few days at the end of the summer to see his family. There, he bumps into his childhood friend and enemy, Andi. [Read more…]