ARC Review: Jessica Sorensen–The Forever of Ella and Micha

The Secrets Series:

Book 2:

The Forever of Ella and Micha: Ella and Micah

 

The Forever of Ella and Micha (The Secret, #2)

 

Purchase on Amazon:  Jessica Sorensen – The Forever of Ella and Micha

Expected publication: May 28th 2013 by Forever

Summary:

From Goodreads.com

Ella and Micha have survived tragedy and heartbreak. When they’re together, anything seems possible. But now they are thousands of miles apart, and managing their long distance relationship will put their love to the test.

Ella is back at school, trying hard not worry so much about her future. But with her father in and out of rehab, she’s having a hard time making it through the days. All she wants is Micha by her side, but she refuses to let her problems get in the way of his dreams.

Micha spends his days touring the country with his band, but deep down he knows something is missing. Being away from Ella is harder than he thought it would be. He wants her closer to him-needs her with him. But he won’t ask her to leave college, just to be with him.

The few moments they do spend together are intense and passionate, but it only makes it more difficult when they have to part. They know they want to be together, but is wanting something enough to get them to their forever?

Review:

Since reading THE SECRET OF ELLA AND MICHA I was dying for a copy of the next book! The publication date kept getting pushed back and it seemed like it was never going to come out and then BAM they moved it up! So of course I was stalking and I mean stalking NetGalley like several times a day for a copy to get uploaded and when it finally was I could not WAIT to get home from work to start it. So with such high expectations did it live up to the first book? ABSO-F’N-LUTLY! Maybe it was even better…

As with the first book this was a highly emotional tale. I have to admit something super embarrassing about reading this book. So I was on the treadmill at the gym reading and we got to this part where Ella is telling Micha something deeply emotional to her and I seriously started crying right there on the treadmill at the gym for everyone to see! Embarrassing much too just start crying while in the middle of a work out. Thankfully it was late and mostly empty haha! There were several moments with these two that had me crying or on the verge of it. There’s this letter and I couldn’t help myself with that one. The journey in this book is just as much about Elle and Micha finding their way together as it is finding their way separately as individuals. They both have to take a personal walk through their own demons before they can truly come together. Oh and can I mention just how much more sexy times there are in this book then there was in the first. These two know how to get it on! I think I had to fan myself off a few times. OOOOWWWWEEEEEE!!!!!!!

What I LOVED about this book is how seriously Jessica Sorensen takes mental illness. There is no easy patch or fix for this battle and it is a battle for the rest of your life. My bestest friend in the whole world is bipolar with anxiety disorder. We lived together for 4 years in college so I know how hard it can be from watching her. The endless misdiagnoses’, mood swings, trying different medications until you find one that doesn’t F with your mind, moods, or body. It’s serious and Sorensen treated it as such and for that I commend her. She didn’t take the easy way out.

As a New Adult title I’d have to say this series sticks out from the pack. Yes, the characters have issues, serious ones that they have to overcome but unlike a lot of New Adult they characters aren’t super angsty and acting all stupid using their past as excuses to be asses, or bitchy females that no one wants to be around. To me Sorensen is a stand out author in this genre and in just in general. She is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. Oh and I cannot freak’n wait for Ethan and Lila!

*This book was provided to me through NetGalley for an honest review. No other compensation was provided.

Rating: 5 Romanticals

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Review: Bella Andre–The look of Love

The Sullivans Series:

Book 1:

The Look of Love: Chase Sullivan and Chloe Peterson

 

The Look of Love (The Sullivans, #1)

 

Purchase on Amazon: Bella Andre – The Look of Love: The Sullivans, Book 1 (Contemporary Romance)

Summary:

With THE LOOK OF LOVE, bestselling author Bella Andre introduces you the Sullivan family. In this fun and emotional contemporary romance series, when a Sullivan bad boy falls…he falls hard. And it’s forever.

Chloe Peterson is having a bad night. A really bad night. The large bruise on her cheek can attest to that. And when her car skids off the side of a wet country road straight into a ditch, she’s convinced even the gorgeous guy who rescues her in the middle of the rain storm must be too good to be true. Or is he?

As a successful photographer who frequently travels around the world, Chase Sullivan has his pick of beautiful women, and whenever he’s home in San Francisco, one of his seven siblings is usually up for causing a little fun trouble. Chase thinks his life is great just as it is—until the night he finds Chloe and her totaled car on the side of the road in Napa Valley. Not only has he never met anyone so lovely, both inside and out, but he quickly realizes she has much bigger problems than her damaged car. Soon, he is willing to move mountains to love—and protect—her, but will she let him?

Chloe vows never to make the mistake of trusting a man again. Only, with every loving look Chase gives her—and every sinfully sweet caress—as the attraction between them sparks and sizzles, she can’t help but wonder if she’s met the only exception. And although Chase didn’t realize his life was going to change forever in an instant, amazingly, he isn’t the least bit interested in fighting that change. Instead, he’s gearing up for a different fight altogether…for Chloe’s heart.

Review:

I really wanted to love this book; it had the makings of a book that I would adore. Sadly, I did not end up loving this book, in the end I just kind of liked it. There is great potential for the the Sullivan’s in general. They are a warm loving family with 8 interesting characters, so I see good things for the series. Chase is one of the more elder Sullivans he is a successful, sexy man and I did enjoy his character. He was not afraid to fall, to entrust his heart. He knew when he found something worth keeping and went with it. He threw his all into it. I just wish that the romance between Chase and Chloe was more believable. We had a total insta-love vibe going on here. I could have bought it from Chase’s end maybe, but I definitely didn’t feel it from Chloe’s end. She was standoffish most of the book and just coming out of an abusive relationship. She didn’t want to be romanced, but she couldn’t hold back her lust.

The first half of the book was a lot of talking, Chase trying to get closer and Chloe holding him off. The second half Chloe gives into the attraction and from then on, it’s a whole lot of sexy times. Pretty much the entire second half is sexy times with not much more to go on. It really made it hard for me to truly feel the love, oh I felt the lust, but the love was a hard sell for me. So in the end it just kind of fell flat for me. I didn’t dislike this book, but it is one of my favs. I will look to the rest of the Sullivan’s it should be an interesting series.

Rating:

3.5 Romanticals

*This book was provided to me through NetGalley for an honest review. No other compensation was provided.

Review: Rebecca Zanetti – Against the Wall

Maverick Montana Series:

Book 1:

Against the Wall: Jake Lodge and Sophie Smith

 

Against the Wall (Maverick Montana, #1)

 

Purchase on Amazon:

Rebecca Zanetti – Against the Wall

Summary:

From Goodreads.com

Never challenge a cowboy in the courtroom…

Surveying the proposed site for a high-end golf course should have been a breeze for spunky Landscape Architect Sophie Smith. But when this born-and-bred city girl is suddenly—and quite literally—swept off her feet by a sexy cowboy on horseback, she realizes that the country life has some serious (and seriously steamy!) possibilities. That is, until she finds out exactly who her smokin’-hot wrangler really is.

Cowboy and Tribal lawyer Jack Lodge is desperately trying to block the development. And if that means playing hardball—and being every inch the shark lawyer—so be it. But Sophie is a distraction he didn’t expect. A distraction that makes his blood burn.

Two different worlds. Two opposing sides. And when they finally give into the exquisite temptation, the consequences will shake the foundations of both of their lives…

Review:

I have read Rebecca Zanetti before. She writes a great paranormal series, that I have been reading for a while. When I saw that she had a contemporary out and about cowboys; I had to give it a whirl. I’m really glad I gave it a chance. Like so many others I’m a sucker for a cowboy, but I’m also a sucker for a hot Native American (usually in a historical) so I’m really glad she didn’t screw this up! LOL

From the beginning to the end I was absorbed in this book. I could not put it down, it was steamy as all get out but it also had a plot. And the plot was pretty decent. It had a few cliché moments but overall, the story had me just as absorbed as the steamy elements. For Jake and Sophie the sparks start flying almost immediately, Jake literally sweeps her off her feet when he scoops her up while riding on horseback rather than running her over. When they discover they are on opposite sides of a court battle, that should have cooled things off, but instead the flames just increased until there was no other option than combusting in each other’s arms. They had great chemistry and a fun push pull thing going on. As it also turns out Jake likes to call the shots in the courtroom and out of it too! *wink wink*

This book also had great side characters. All of Jake siblings showed up quite a bit and they are getting set up for their own stories, which I cannot wait for! So, if you were thinking about giving this one a try but were on the fence, I definitely recommend it!

Enjoy!

Rating:

4.5 Romanticals

 

*I received this title courtesy of NetGalley for an honest review. No other compensation was provided.

Dawn also reviewed this title. You can view her review HERE

Review: Jessica Sorensen – The Secret of Ella and Micha

The Secrets Series:

Book 1:

The Secret of Ella and Micha: Ella and Micah

The Secret of Ella and Micha (The Secret, #1)

Purchase Book on Amazon: Jessica Sorensen – The Secret of Ella and Micha

Summary:

From Goodreads.com

Ella and Micha have been best friends since they were kids. But one tragic night shatters their friendship and their lives forever.

Ella used to be a rule-breaker with fiery attitude who wore her heart on her sleeve. But she left everything behind when she went to college and transformed into someone that follows the rules, keeps everything together, and hides all her problems. But now it’s summer break and she has nowhere else to go but home.

Ella fears everything she worked so hard to bury might resurface, especially with Micha living right next door. If Micha tries to tempt the old her back, she knows that it will be hard to resist.

Micha is sexy, smart, confident, and can get under Ella’s skin like no one else can. He knows everything about her, including her darkest secrets. And he’s determined to bring his best friend, and the girl he loves back, no matter what it takes.

Review:

So I actually read this book twice in the matter of about a week. I had originally given the book a 4 rating but since I read it twice in a week it obviously had an “It” factor that I hadn’t accounted for. I just couldn’t let Ella and Micha go from my mind, they just kept lingering there not letting me move on. I tried starting over books, but Ella and Micha wouldn’t let me. Ever since I’ve read this book, I’ve been stalking Amazon to see if the second book has been posted yet. The publication date is past due so I figure any day now it should go up, but so far, my stalking has not produced book 2. Doesn’t Jessica Sorensen, know I need it like a caffeine addict needs coffee? I’m not even sure why this book got such a firm hold on me but it’s holding on for dear life.

This book falls in the “New Adult category. Which is a genre I’m not that big of a fan of, it seems like a lot of these books just have one dimensional angsty, spoiled, acting out and just making bad decisions for no reason characters. With this book Jessica Sorensen, writes characters that are pretty realistic, complex and not annoying! All of the characters have some emotional baggage and are products of their upbringing but they are trying to get past that. Ella is our more emotionally scarred character in this book. Her father is an alcoholic and her mother emotionally unstable. The only stable thing she had growing up with Micah her next door neighbor and best friend and even now that friendship is starting to blur and change. Because she basically had no supervision her life was spiraling out of control, then she witnesses something no kid should ever have to see, ever. One night her life spins so far out of control she knows she has to change her life. (See a character that is trying to grow). So she runs off leaving everyone and everything behind and changes everything about herself down to her very clothes, she goes from out of control to a very controlled existence. That is until she returns home eight months later. She returns home and everything is the same yet at the same time different. There is one person that she cannot put off and that is Micah. Her rock of old is changing all the rules and suddenly her controlled existence is starting to crumble. I really liked Ella once she started finding herself again. You feel for her and the traumatic events of her life. I really liked how she is trying to get her life together. She could have easily have just let herself keep on spiraling down a path you don’t want to see anyone go down. She may have taken the control a bit far but you can in no way dislike her for it. By the end of the book she seems to find a sort of happy medium where she can still be parts of the old but hold on to the good new pieces as well. Besides her inner turmoil with dealing with previous events she has Micah to deal with. Micah changing all of the rules on her creates a whole other turmoil that she has a hard time dealing with, but really its inevitable. There is only so long anyone can resist Micah.

I loved Micah! He really came to life in this book, when he was throwing one of his charming grins I could easily picture the look on his face. There is no resisting Micah; you don’t even have a chance. He is a man that knows what he wants and is willing to go after it. His dedication to Ella is inspiring. Eight months earlier she left with no word and he never gave up looking for her. When Ella left it was like a piece of him was missing, he just wants his best friend back and is willing to comb the entire country looking for her. Eight months later when he sees Ella and it’s like she is a zombie he is determined to show her that his old friend wasn’t all that bad and there are parts worth saving. So we know that Micah is a loyal friend and a pretty alright guy, who has looked out to Ella pretty much their entire lives; but he is also a talented musican “with dreams of going on the road” and he works on cars. The cars he works on are old muscle cars, which in themselves are sexy as hell, so a hot sexy guy that works on them that is also a musician makes for one irresistible combination. Micah is pretty easy going in general, but he is not without his own issues. When the one thing that has haunted him tries to return he doesn’t quite know how to deal with it. He can’t turn to Ella, she has all of her own shit going on, but he tries to deal with it on his own and is not very successful in that endeavor. His pain about breaks your heart; because you know how strong he is so you don’t want to see him like that. As it turns out Ella can handle his problems as well as her own better than we would have thought..

This story pulls you in right from the start and doesn’t let you go until the end or in my case even after you have finished and have tried to move on. The story is touching and the characters even more so. They each have their own issues that they try to deal with as best as they can and just try to make it through life even as it keeps dumping on them. These characters are not giving up and get along pretty admirably. In addition to Ella and Micah we have Ethan and Lila. Ethan is Micah’s best male friend and it is hinted that he has a troubled past of his own, but he is a pretty rock solid dude. He is a good friend to Micah and remains supportive in any way that Micah needs him. I really liked Ethan as well. He is totally someone I would hang with and probably have a crush on is I was 10 years younger. LOL! Lila is Ella’s roommate and unlike our other characters she comes from a wealthy family, but she has issues of her own. Her family does not seem the most supportive and she basically refuses to go home, and would rather hang with Ella “on the other side of the tracks”. At first you see her as a bit spoiled but she has hidden depths and is more life knowledgeable than anyone gives her credit for in the beginning. Lila and Ethan end up forming an unexpected friendship.

I actually think this book would make a decent movie. I rarely if ever say that, but it’s something I would watch. We have life lessons, muscle cars and racing, dickhead townies, traumatic events, an aspiring musician, parties and good times. This was a completely entertaining and engaging book that I think would translate to film fairly well. I would definitely recommend this book to readers, even if you are like me and tend to stay away from the “New Adult” genre I think you would still enjoy this book, I know I did!

Rating:

5 Romanticals

Amanda Sig Red

Rachel Gibson – Not Another Bad Date

Writer Friends Series:
Book 4:
Not Another Bad Date: Zach Zematis and Adele Harris
 
Summary:
For three years Adele has had nothing but bad dates! Normally sane and nice guys turn in utter freaks by the end of the date. Adele has seriously come to the conclusion she is cursed! One night Adele finds herself reflecting on relationships past in particular one; her first love Zach Zematis UT’s star quarterback and later one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history.  He broke her heart when he told her that his ex-girlfriend was pregnant and he had to do the right thing.  In the middle of Adele’s reflections her very pregnant sister calls to tell Adele that she is leaving her cheating husband and is moving back to Cedar Creek, Texas; where the girls grew up. She asks Adele to come help her for a weeks. The last thing Adele wants to do is go back to the place where she had so many miserable memories but her sister needs her. When her sister is hospitalized Adele’s couple of weeks just turned into a minimum of four months.  When Adele goes to pick up her niece the last person she expects to see is Zach, looking better than she remembered and she remembered him looking pretty darned good. When Zach comes back from a run the last person he expected to see in his driveway is Adele whom he remembers very fondly from his last year of college before his late wife Devon announced she was pregnant and irrevocably changed his life. Devon has been dead 3 years and Zach couldn’t uproot his daughter so he stayed in Cedar Creek and now coached high school football. Life is pretty good; except his sex life which has been non-existant in the last 3 years, but now Adele is in town looking better than he remembered and he remembered her looking pretty darned good! Too bad she looks at him like he’s worst than gum on the bottom of her shoe…
Review:
This is my second favorite book of the series. I like the dynamic between Adele and Zach, there is sexual attract yet she resists Zach. Zach isn’t used to chasing any woman; they tend to fall in his lap. The chase does Zach some good.  But the attraction is intense despite the history between the two.  Zach has some deep seeded trust issues, which is understandable considering his late wife who was the same girl that made Adele’s life miserable when they were growing up.  These two have a lot of individual issues to overcome and it’s not looking like they will be able to do so, will they be able to get their heads right or will they let another opportunity pass them by?
Rating:
4.5 Orchids out of 5

Nora Roberts – Born In Ice

Born In Sisters Trilogy:
Book 2:
Born in Ice: Brianna Concannon and Grayson Thane
 
Summary:
Brianna is the second daughter to the Concannon’s, she was born of duty and church. Brianna is nothing if not dutiful. All of her life she has been at her mother’s beck and call.  Finally, due to Maggie’s success as a glass artist, Brianna has some space from her overbearing mother.  Brianna now runs a successful B&B and finds much satisfaction from that life, her house is always filled with people just as she likes it, but she can’t help but feel a little bit lonely and she longs for a family of her own but accepts that will likely never happen. Her one chance left 10 years earlier. Grayson Thane is a bestselling author and a gypsy. He never stays in one place too long, he lives by living in the now, not thinking of yesterday or tomorrow.  On a whim he decides to stay at Brianna’s B&B for the next couple of months while he is writing his book. What he doesn’t count on is the incredible pull to the land and especially to his beautiful land lady. The attraction between the two is instant and it is fierce, but Grayson is a man that will never stay in one place, and Brianna is firmly planted in her home, something between these two can never work, or can it?
Review:
Brianna is calm cool and collected, she knows what is expected of her and she does not deviate from that. After the heart break from the man that left her right before their wedding, Brianna wraps herself in ice that few men could ever penetrate. Good thing Gray is no ordinary man, he’s that guy that walks into a bar and makes friends with everyone, the guy you can’t help but like. But you know that anything with his is temporary, but man while it lasts there is nothing better! Gray is instantly likeable, and it’s no wonder Brianna falls for him. Brianna gives Gray, everything he thought he never wanted, but the pull to her is something he can’t stop.  You hope these two can work it out despite their differences but it just doesn’t look good, their lives are too different and it doesn’t seem like they can overcome that hurdle. Brianna can’t leave and Gray can’t stay.
Rating:
4.5 orchids out of 5

Nora Roberts – Born in Fire

Born In Sisters Trilogy:

Book 1:
Born In Fire: Margaret Mary Concannon and Rogan Sweeny

 
Summary:
Maggie was born in a flash of fire and passion between two people who found that they were not suited for each other. Beliefs in church and tradition keep those two together to the misery of all involved.  That flash of passion and misery shaped Maggie into what she is today: a passionate, stubborn, hard headed, very talented glass artist. Maggies lives simply on her families land next to her sister in the West Counties of Ireland. Rogan as the head of Worldwide Industries and Worldwide Galleries see brilliance when he first sees M.M. Concannon’s work, he knows that he wants her exclusively for Worldwide, now if he can only get her to agree. Maggie doesn’t want what Rogan is offering, but she needs it. With Rogan all of her dreams can come true (especially the one of getting her mother out of her sisters house), but she doesn’t have to like it.

Review:
I adore this book; it’s my favorite of the series. I don’t know how many times I have read it.  Maggie is hot headed and bad tempered most of the time, but she is a woman that knows what she wants and for now she wants Rogan. She is all fire, passion and temper and take Rogan on a wild ride. Rogan is Maggie’s opposite, cool, calm, and controlled. But with Maggie he finds all that control slipping through his fingers. The passion and conflicts between these two will keep you entertained from beginning to end. The subplot dealing with Maggie’s family is heartbreaking. Growing up as Maggie did is enough to break your heart, knowing that you weren’t wanted and because of you two lives were ruined is a hard knowledge to grow up with.  It’s no wonder Maggie is a hardcore commitment phob. But Rogan is so good for her; steady, sure, her rock, someone to count on. He’s the calm to her storm.

Rating:
5 orchids out of 5