REVIEW: Aligned: Volume 1 by Ella Miles

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

PLOT:

He’s an arrogant complication.
I don’t care if Landon Davis has sold millions of records. I don’t care that his damn crooked grin makes my panties wet.
I can’t want him.
I should be mourning, but I can’t. I just need him gone. Then I can align the chaos floating in my head.
——
She has a f*cking boyfriend.
I’ve seen the picture of them together. But Alex Blakely still wants me. And who am I not to oblige when her body is begging for me?
I need one night to own her body.
I should be focused on getting my career out of the gutter. I’ll take one night first. Then I’ll be gone.

SPOILERS ALERT!!!!

WOW!! Just WOW!
This book blew my mind completely!! I almost don’t have word to describe how much I enjoyed it and how hung I’m on the story! I can’t wait to read Aligned: Volume 2.

I got hook since the beginning – I couldn’t stop reading and I finished it within hours of starting it. The first chapters helped me to get into Alexa and Landon’s frame of mind. I got to know that something happened to her and she lost something (and someone) important but we readers don’t get to much details and we start forming questions such as: why did she move to LA? Why isn’t she giving her full name?

Alexa come across as a very affected person – with self-esteem issues that are more than understandable considering she has scars all over her, she’s missing part of her leg and she has panic attacks very frequently. She keeps referring about herself as a monster, word that we keep reading between the lines not only from her, but also from Landon; he feels like a monster too.

But really, Landon just behaves as any rock star would: cocky, arrogant an with a huge ego. We see some of his “monster” side in the way he treats Caroline, but other than that he’s just another Justin Bieber. But while the books moves forward, we get to see Landon the guy, not the singer. He takes his time with Alex; he’s not jumping her or invading her (at least not after the first time in her house). And even if his intention aren’t the purest, I gave him points for being patient with her.

We get really good turns on the events during the chapters, like when we see Landon in the club and think nothing happen when in reality her already knows Alex is married but he goes after her anyway. This kind of spins keep us readers really interested.

Its also amazing how Ella Miles gives us pieces of Alexa’s story at the beginning of each chapter. At the end I came back to all of them and read them in order and understood better what was going on. We also get lyrics of Landon’s songs to Alex. This helped a lot to developed the characters emotional state and the motivation for their actions.

And wow! At the last chapter, the author left us in a cliff! Alexa is full of mystery: What’s going on with her mom? Is Ethan dead? Why is she lying to Landon? What is she hiding?

So, I can only give 5 enormous stars to this book and run to read the second and untangle the mess I’m in now!

Happy reading,
Trish 🗯

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REVIEW: To Have and to Hold (The Wedding Belles #1) by Lauren Layne

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PLOT:

“Discovering her fiancé is an international con man just moments before they exchange vows devastates celebrity wedding planner Brooke Baldwin’s business—and breaks her heart. Now a pariah in Los Angeles, she seeks a fresh start in New York City and thinks she’s found it with her first bridal client, a sweet—if slightly spoiled—hotel heiress. Then she meets the uptight businessman who’s holding the purse strings.Seth Tyler wishes he could write a blank check and be done with his sister Maya’s fancy-pants wedding. Unfortunately, micromanaging the event is his only chance at proving Maya’s fiancé is a liar. Standing directly in his way is the stunning blonde wedding planner whose practiced smiles and sassy comebacks both irritate and arouse him. He needs Brooke’s help. But can he persuade a wedding planner on a comeback mission to unplan a wedding? And more importantly, how will he convince her that the wedding she should be planning… is theirs?”

SPOILERS ALERT!!!

As usual, Lauren Layne didn’t disappoint with her new book “To have and to Hold”. This is the perfect reading if you are looking for an engaging story with a happy ending!
Lauren always manages to list her characters’ issues in a way we understand them and hurt for them. And, at the end, you definitely feel closure for their situations.

In this case, Brooke and Seth were both burn by past relationships. But while Seth was extremely realistic, maybe to the point of pessimist, Brooke always saw the glass half full. She believed in happy endings still, after being left alone in the altar by her con man past fiancé.

Her optimism was contagious and, even if I was glad she understood she couldn’t avoid pain because she couldn’t move forward, I really liked that she chose to see the happy and beautiful things in life instead of focusing in the mistakes and bad experiences. It’s easy to be a victim when this kind of things happen and she refused to be one.

Then when she fell for Seth, she knew he wasn’t a prince charming – he was a moody, cranky and extremely controlling man. But she fell for him nonetheless. The best part was that, at the end, Seth was still the same. He didn’t make any promises to change which was the most realistic outcome for this story. We love people as they are, we cannot expect them to change.

So, bravo Lauren!
Once again you made me fall in love with your tale.
Can’t wait for the next book, “For better or for Worse” on August 30th!

Happy reading,
Trish 🗯

REVIEW: Moonshot by Alessandra Torre

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⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
PLOT:
Baseball isn’t supposed to be a game of life and death… 

The summer that Chase Stern entered my life, I was seventeen. The daughter of a legend, the Yankees were my family, their stadium my home, their dugout my workplace. My focus was on the game. Chase… he started out as a distraction. A distraction with sex appeal poured into every inch of his six foot frame. A distraction who played like a god and partied like a devil. 


I tried to stay away. 

I couldn’t.
Then, the team started losing. 

Women started dying. 
And everything in my world broke apart.
 

SPOILERS ALERT!

There’s been a while since a book got me completely caught and I’m not anticipating what’s going to happen at the end. Most of the time I have a pretty good idea of how the story is going to end. No with Moonshot. Alessandra Torre made sure us readers couldn’t know how Ty’s story ended. I spent most of the book afraid of what I was going to find in the next chapter and thinking that probably Tyler was going to die or that Chase was going to cheat and leave her. Or that Tobey was the actual killer. Thousands of scenarios that weren’t real. I was absolutely surprised with the outcome and the final chapters and as a fan girl (in my case, soccer) I could relate to Ty’s feelings all the time.

Now, in truly spoiler’s form, the story starts as a teenage dream – Chase Stern was going to play in the Yankees and Tyler, ball girl and pitcher’s daughter, couldn’t believe her luck. I think how would feel if I had the chance to be close to David Beckham and understand her perfectly. What she doesn’t know is that Chase is not a golden boy, but a damage guy with a drug addiction and bad attitude.

I really liked the fact that we could hear Chase point of view in some of the moments because, otherwise, I would have hated him from word one (I mean, he’s inhaling cocaine and sleeping with a teammate’s wife!). He was trouble but Ty’s sweetness and innocence saved him from himself.

Then, the whole “I sleep with other man because you left me” part was really frustrating, but then again, Tyler is a fresh 18 years older by then and she clearly didn’t have enough experience to handle the situation. And besides, if my boyfriend (or whatever they were at that point) came out of my room, after we share a moment, to consume cocaine with other girls instead of talking to me, I would have gone drown myself in alcohol too. The sex part was just a consequence of that.

Apart from that, Ty and Chase’s relationship was gorgeous! Pure teenage love on her side and false expectations on his part. He though she was pure and virginal because she was 18 and she was going to forgive him for everything he did. She though he was a knight in shinning armor and was going to come back for her after he left. Then 4 years forward, full lives formed, he comes back expecting to find her the same – and yes, Tyler still loves him, but I think is great she wants to spare her husband the pain. If Chase wanted her, he had to wait! She even said so at some point! This was great because she’s not a little girl anymore and she cannot leave everything behind just because he decided it was time to reach out.

In the end, I never would have guessed a journalist was the killer and that it was because he was in love with Tobey. I though it was going to be Tobey himself for most part of the book, so it was nice how it turned out. And I didn’t feel bad because Tobey was cheating on Tyler because she was in love with someone else all that time too. So, perfect ending for all the characters.

Five moonshot stars to this book! 😉
Trish 🗯

REVIEW: One Night with a Hero (The Hero #2) by Laura Kaye


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⭐️⭐️⭐️ ½
PLOT:
He wants just one night…
After growing up with an abusive, alcoholic father, Army Special Forces Sgt. Brady Scott vowed never to marry or have kids. Sent stateside to get his head on straight—and his anger in check—Brady’s looking for a distraction. He finds it in his beautiful new neighbor’s one-night-only offer for hot sex, but her ability to make him forget is addictive. Suddenly, Brady’s not so sure he can stay away.
…what they need is each other.
Orphaned as a child, community center director Joss Daniels swore she’d never put herself in a position to be left behind again, but she can’t deny herself one sizzling night with the sexy soldier who makes her laugh and kisses her senseless. When Joss discovers she’s pregnant, Brady’s rejection leaves her feeling abandoned. Now, they must overcome their fears before they lose the love and security they’ve found in each other, but can they let go of the past to create a future together?

SPOILERS ALERT!
I’ve read a couple of books with unwanted pregnancies on the story this past week. I don’t know if it’s the universe sending me a sign or something, hahahah. But joke aside, I think everything that has landed in my hands lately has the same subject on its pages.
In every final I can only think about the fact that these books are truly optimistic about the outcome. But then again, they’re suppose to be fiction. In real life, no one is so happy about these situations and everyone tends to be frustrated at the end.

Having said that, I have to take part of this book, One Night with a Hero, out of my judgmental analysis. Because in this case in particular Brady, the father, reacted as I expected any man to react to this situation. Like a jerk – I know, I don’t have much esteem for the male kind, but sadly this proves to be true in real life. He pushed Joss away of selfish reasons and only came back when he was sure he would stay and stick around no matter what.
This made the story so much believable for me.

So, I’ll give 3.5 stars to it 😉

Happy reading,
Trish 🗯

REVIEW: Her Forbidden Hero (The Hero #1) by Laura Kaye

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⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
PLOT:
She’s always been off-limits…
Former Army Special Forces Sgt. Marco Vieri has never thought of Alyssa Scott as more than his best friend’s little sister, but her return home changes that…and challenges him to keep his war-borne demons at bay. Marco’s not the same person he was back when he protected Alyssa from her abusive father, and he’s not about to let her see the mess he’s become.
…but now she’s all grown up.
When Alyssa takes a job at the bar where Marco works, her carefree smiles wreak havoc on his resolve to bury his feelings. How can he protect her when he can’t stop thinking about her in his bed? But Alyssa’s not looking for protection—not anymore. Now that she’s back in his life, she’s determined to heal her forbidden hero, one touch at a time…

SPOILER ALERT!
 
What a lovely story!
That’s the general idea this book left me with – not the typical “she’s my best friend little sister and I can’t have her”.  Their issues where legit and the reasons why they avoid each other part of the book were solid.

One of the things I liked the most was the fact that it was a pretty straight forward story – non undercurrent intentions or big secrets to uncover. The characters basically say what they mean (if they could jajaj) and act as they want.

Alyssa was a emotionally scarred girl that grew to fast and was forced to be independent and solved her own life by her own. And then Marco was physically scarred and emotionally unattached to himself; his guilt and shame were like a rope cutting through his throat.

At the end, both of them understood that they could fix each other if they sticked together.

The only thing I could phantom was the fact that, if they were so close to each other back in the day, why hadn’t they keep in contact after he came back from war. I know he came back damaged but she could have call or something.

Anyway, four stars to this lovely story!
Now moving to the next!!

Happy reading,
Trish 🗯


REVIEW: Fall with Me (Wait for You #4) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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⭐️⭐️⭐️½
PLOT:
Eleven months ago, bartender and weird-shirt-wearing extraordinaire Roxy and Officer Reece Anders had a one night stand. Well, kind of. She’s been in love with him since she was fifteen, and he wishes that night they shared never happened. She’s sworn him off forever, but the past and future collide, forcing her to rely on the one man who broke her heart not once, but twice.
Her best friend since birth has been in a long-term care facility since he became a victim of a hate crime years ago, and the person who put him in there is out of prison and wanting to make amends with him and Roxy. She’s not sure she has room for forgiveness in her and when she begins to receive frightening messages and is on the receiving end of escalating violence, she thinks she knows who is to blame. The man who already destroyed one life already.
But Reece isn’t convinced. The threats are too personal, and even if Roxy doesn’t believe him, he’s not willing to let anyone hurt her. Including himself. He’s already messed up more than once when it comes to Roxy and he’s not going to let history repeat itself.


SPOILER ALERT!

There are so many things I like about this series. One is the different subjects it touches, situations that happen in real life and it could happen to anyone. The second thing is the female character, some scared, some fragile, some strong but all of them determined. And third, and probably the most important, is the way these books make me feel; they can take me to relate to the situation and to suffer as if I was another character in the story.
 
Fall with me wasn’t any different from the 3 books before, except in the last category. For some reason, I couldn’t relate with this story as strongly as I did with the past ones. I couldn’t feel empathic with Roxy and I wasn’t as interested in Reece as I should (I mean, hot cop and all).

I certainly loved what Charlie’s character represented to the story – the gay friend that suffers because he’s parents don’t approve and because of the bullies. But I got the feeling that I could have known more about Charlie and i didn’t – I understand that it was painful for Roxy to think about him, but I’ve loved to get to know Charlie through her memories of him.

I also loved the moral struggle of Henry – and I did know from page one he wasn’t the stalker. He made a mistake and he owned it and for me that’s worth it of an apology. I also understood why Roxy didn’t want him around, but at the end it was good she listened to him.

Everything around the stalker gave me the creeps, so I think that was a good sign. I though it was Dean for the most part of the book but then, when we got introduce to Kip, he certainly looks suspicious. Totally freaked out about the photo-while-sleeping thing too! I would have run to my parents’ house as soon as weird things started to happen. But I get how Roxy could think it was her or a ghost around her house.

But finally, what disappointed me a little bit was Reece. Because Roxy was a girl with issues, but she was real – she had her crush, she had her pain and she had her pleasures. Reece, on the other hand, was an arrogant fool that, in my opinion, was taking the safe bet with the girls who’s been in love with him forever. Situations like the “lie” about their drunk night prove this statement. You are a guy, you know the girl’s been in love with you since forever and you were drunk and made a pass on her, or maybe she made the pass, but you have to know the next morning that you cannot be a jackass about the situation; you cannot ignore the girl and you cannot assume if you don’t ask. So, from my perspective, the “lie” was much his fault as it was hers. And I say “lie” with quotation marks because it wasn’t a big deal at all.

Anyway, I’ll give this book 3.5 stars and move forward with the series!
Happy reading!

Trish 🗯
 

REVIEW: Stay with Me (Wait for You #3) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
PLOT:
At 21, Calla hasn’t done a lot of things. She’s never been kissed, never seen the ocean, never gone to an amusement park. But growing up, she witnessed some things no child ever should. She still carries the physical and emotional scars of living with a strung-out mother, Mona—secrets she keeps from everyone, including her close circle of college friends.
But the safe cocoon Calla has carefully built is shattered when she discovers her mom has stolen her college money and run up a huge credit card debt in her name. Now, Calla has to go back to the small town she thought she’d left behind and clean up her mom’s mess again. Of course, when she arrives at her mother’s bar, Mona is nowhere to be found. Instead, six feet of hotness named Jackson James is pouring drinks and keeping the place humming.
Sexy and intense, Jax is in Calla’s business from the moment they meet, giving her a job and helping her search for Mona. And the way he looks at her makes it clear he wants to get horizontal . . . and maybe something more. Before Calla can let him get close, though, she’s got to deal with the pain of the past—and some very bad guys out to mess her up if she doesn’t give them her mom.

SPOILERS ALERT!

Definitely my favorite book of this series so far!
So much emotion and tension and the constant mystery of what’s going to happen next is the perfect combination that kept me hooked through the entire book.

And really, this is what love stories are made of – Jax was just awesome, I don’t have enough words to describe how much I liked him as a character and as a man. Even thou he’s not physically my type, the way he behaved towards Calla was just epic. Truly sweet, caring and committed. Even the last part when he confessed he knew about her before he met her, a situation that could have been creepy,  was romantic and sweet. He was the perfect hero for this novel. He was exactly what Calle needed so I’m beyond please with outcome of the story.

Calla was also great, considering all the things she lived and her lack of experience in the world. She was clueless of what was going on around her most of the times, but it was clear it was because she was naive and not stupid. And even when she was being stupid, she figured it out by herself and would tell us she was acting dumb.

Maybe the only thing I didn’t find completely necessary to the story was Calla’s friends involvement (meaning Teresa, Jase, Cam and Avery) but I understand it was the author’s way to keep the thread to the previous stories. But, I mean, couldn’t Teresa and Jase lived separated from Cam and Avery. At some point it was as if I was watching an episode of friends. But, again, I get it was to keep the characters involved in the overall story of the series.

Next story follows Roxy and Reece and I was really intrigued by what’s going on with them in Stay with me, so another positive point to J. Lynn for introduce this characters and their relationship with so much appeal 😉

So, five stars to this book!!!

Trish 🗯


REVIEW: Be with Me (Wait for You #2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
PLOT:
Teresa Hamilton is having a rough year—she’s in love with her big brother’s best friend, but he hasn’t spoken to her since they shared a truly amazing, mind-blowing, change-your-life kiss. She got out of a terrible relationship. And now an injury is threatening to end her dance career for good. It’s time for Plan B – college. And maybe a chance to convince Jase that what they have together is real.

Jase Winstead has a huge secret that he’s not telling anyone. Especially not his best friend’s incredibly beautiful sister. Even though he and Teresa shared the hottest kiss of his life, he knows that his responsibilities must take priority. He certainly doesn’t have time for a relationship. But it doesn’t help that all he can think about kissing the one girl who could ruin everything for him.
As they’re thrown together more and more, Jase and Tess can’t keep denying their feelings for each other. But a familiar danger looms and tragedy strikes. As the campus recovers, the star-crossed couple must decide what they’re willing to risk to be together, and what they’re willing to lose if they’re not…

SPOILER ALERT!

This author really has a talent to make me feel everything her characters are feeling and for that I can actually forgive some of the mistakes this story has.
I had more or less the same feeling that with the first book –  Wait for you – but I applaud the fact that J. Lynn wants to touch really emotional and uncomfortable subjects such as women abuse. Sometimes we don’t realize how close we are to these situations until it hit us in the face.

And when I  say mistakes before I don’t mean mistakes in a literacy sense. I mean in a personal sense. I’ll list some of them in details:

1. The fact that Teresa is in love with a guy who ignored her for a year – I know that happens to us women when we are young and I forgive her for that but then, after everything that happens between them and everything Jase knows about her past, he goes and ignores her again. I felt it was also a way of abuse, of not physical then emotional abuse. He knows she loves him and still messes with her feelings with his hot&cold actions.


2. Then is the fact that Teresa was injured more or less the whole book and Jase is pushing her to do physical activities that I’m pretty sure you cannot do when you have a knee injury, like riding a horse for example. Even after she was almost bitten to death by Erik, he goes and fucks her just after leaving the hospital. I mean, really?? She has bruises and a concussion, for God’s sake!

3. Third, there’s Cam who almost killed a guy the last time he messed with Teresa but who was to preoccupied with Avery to care if Jase was being a dick or not. He had this whole tantrum when I found out and then, when it was the time to make a move because Jase was behaving as an idiot, he goes and takes Jase’s side. Not cool Came!

Anyway, it sounds as if i didn’t enjoyed but I actually did. Like I said, J Lynn’s books somehow move me and for me that’s one of the most important qualities a book should have.

I loved the fact that even if Teresa lost her dream and her capacity to achieve her goals, she still fought to get something good out of her situation. She found peace in the present and started to create something new for herself. That’s a great lesson for real life! Because, as sad as it sounds, is more common than the happily ever after.

Now moving to the third book of the Series – Stay with me.
Happy reading!


Trish 🗯

REVIEW: Wait for You (Wait for You #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ PLOT: 
Some things are worth waiting for…
Traveling thousands of miles from home to enter college is the only way nineteen-year-old Avery Morgansten can escape what happened at the Halloween party five years ago—an event that forever changed her life. All she needs to do is make it to her classes on time, make sure the bracelet on her left wrist stays in place, not draw any attention to herself, and maybe—please God—make a few friends, because surely that would be a nice change of pace. The one thing she didn’t need and never planned on was capturing the attention of the one guy who could shatter the precarious future she’s building for herself.
 

Some things are worth experiencing…
Cameron Hamilton is six feet and three inches of swoon-worthy hotness, complete with a pair of striking blue eyes and a remarkable ability to make her want things she believed were irrevocably stolen from her. She knows she needs to stay away from him, but Cam is freaking everywhere, with his charm, his witty banter, and that damn dimple that’s just so… so lickable. Getting involved with him is dangerous, but when ignoring the simmering tension that sparks whenever they are around each other becomes impossible, he brings out a side of her she never knew existed.

Some things should never be kept quiet…

But when Avery starts receiving threatening emails and phone calls forcing her to face a past she wants silenced, she’s has no other choice but to acknowledge that someone is refusing to allow her to let go of that night when everything changed. When the devastating truth comes out, will she resurface this time with one less scar? And can Cam be there to help her or will he be dragged down with her?

And some things are worth fighting for…

 

SPOILER ALERT!
 
I’ve read mixed reviews about this book so I wasn’t sure how to start my own review. When I finished the book, I felt happy and complete. Like the circle was closed. I’m pretty sure that’s the idea of every book, specially a romantic one, so great job J. Lynn.

At first I wanted to rank it with 5 stars and then, after reading some of the less positive reviews, I wanted to rank it with 2 stars but I got to think about what this book is really about and here’s what I figured out:

This book is a YA/NA novel, so the idea is to appeal to a new generation that have hope that fairy tales and epic love stories are on their way. If you see this story through that perspective, it serves its propose perfectly. And why shouldn’t we believe in love in the beginning of our lives?

So, these thoughts got this book into the high part of the ranking again. Because there wasn’t a single time when I didn’t feel hope or love and, yes, even if at some point the characters start to act stupid or stereotype, they are also college students and 20 years older, so they are entitle to.
 
Anyway, once in a while I like to read YA books because they are so bright and full of promises and, even if Avery’s story is kind of depressing, she turned her life around and learned how to believe in herself and other again.

So overall, I give 4 stars to this book and, yes, I will be reading the sequels as well! 🙂

Trish 🗯