The Friend Zone – Sariah Wilson

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Author: Sariah Wilson
Release day:  June 11th 2019
Pages: 304

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Disgraced college quarterback Logan Hunt was on his way to NFL stardom when he messed up big-time. Now the Texas star player with a bad temper has a new option: Seattle’s EOL College—as in End of the Line, to his fellow misfit recruits. It’s Logan’s last chance. If he can follow the rules. No parties, no fighting, no swearing, and oh, no dating the coach’s daughter, Jess. Simple. Yeah, right. For Logan, there has never been a rule he’s more tempted to break.

The deal is “just friends.” The pretty, confident, and fiercely smart math whiz is fine with pizza, tutoring, and keeping Logan in line. But the closer Jess gets, the more receptive she is to his warm heart and spirit—not to mention his irresistible off-field passes. With defenses down, they’re both heading into the danger zone.

It’s more than thrilling. It’s love. It’s also a game changer that could sideline Logan’s NFL goals—and more important, a future with Jess. But dreams are worth fighting for, right?

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

One of these days I will finally understand what makes a New Adult book be classified as such. I would have said this book would be on that genre, but every source I have checked considers this book just Contemporary Romance. In the end, it’s not that important; except for tidy shelves. In any case, here we go with The Friend Zone!!

This book follows the adventures of Logan Hunt, a college student and football player who has been kicked off his former team for bad behaviour. He ends in en EOL College, where he will be given a second and last chance. There he meets Jess, the witty and fun daughter of his current coach. They become almost insta-friends and it could develop much more further if it wasn’t for a tiny detail: the coach doesn’t allow his players to have dates under penalty of expulsion…

If you  told me a couple of years ago that I would enjoy so much the several Sport Romance books I have read lately, I would have thinked you were crazy or talking with the wrong person. I’m not a sports guy. Like, not at all. But I guess I enjoy the healthy banter these books usually have. The Friend Zone is no exception. The most remarkable characteristic of this story is the dynamic between Logan and Jess. It is beautifully written. A slow dance that takes us through all the stages from funny flirtation to mindblowing friendship and an equally sweet and hot romance. No rush. No crazy displays of love. Every step has the utmost respect for the characters and their situations, which makes everything much more realistic.

In case it is not clear, I’m in love with the characters of this book. Jess is the usual woman you find in this kind of books: independent, smart and not an easy prey. What makes her more special is the fact that she remains like that way longer than other female characters in similar books. And Logan… *sigh*. When I started the book the first thing that came to my mind was: I smell a book boyfriend. My first impression was spot on! I’m not going to say he is perfect, because there are a couple of situations that made me frown; but he is pretty close: good humored, funny, honest, loyal, hard-working and, surprie, surprise, a full package hottie. in the previous book I read, I met the worst kind of cocky. Logan, on the other hand, is the perfect kind. So with these two, I really enjoyed the romance between them. Playful, charismatic, sweet… And man… those kisses… they were really hot. The undeniable power of keeping it simple. No need of sex to sell the readers their connection.

Not everything shines under the sun, though. The book has also a couple of things that I don’t like that much. The most obvious one are the coach’s rules. More precisely, the one against dating. Why? I know there is an explanation, but it’s crazy. It’s putting all the young men of this world in the same box and listening to no reason. It’s the same rule used to introduce a bit of drama in the story and in my opinion it is a bit weak. But, I must also admit that the author does a superb job to apply this rule to Logan’s situation. The problem is that Logan is not the only one in the team… With such crazy regulations it is a wonder there is a team at all!!

The other big issue for me is Ben. If this guy were a real contender for Jess’ heart, the story would have been even better. I mean, since the first time we meet the The Bentastic Poet, we know there is zero chemistry. I have a hard time believing that Jess doesn’t realize that way sooner. I also don’t like how quickly the poor guy is belittle by Logan. I admit that Ben is a self-centered jerk, but we don’t get to know that after much later in the book. So, all that mockery about his looks and choices in life feels too much like bullying for my taste.

By the way, I should have skipped the epilogue. The aftertaste of the book would have been much better.

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2019 – Book Gallery

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Co-Ed – Rachel Van Dyken

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Author: Rachel Van Dyken
Pages: 248

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Four guys.

Constant moaning.

And a revolving door across the college suite I somehow ended up in because my first name is Shawn.

They don’t discriminate. Girls. Guys. Grandmas. Plants (okay maybe not plants) all walks of life stroll in stressed to the brim, and leave so satisfied I’m wondering what sort of talents lie behind that door.

My roommate calls them the pleasure ponies.

But the rest of the college campus?

They just call them the new face of Wingmen Inc. A paid for relationship service that makes big promises.

Breakup? They’ll glue you back together again.

Depressed? They have the magic pill.

Lonely? Just spend a few minutes while they rub you down and you’ll forget all about it.

And broken hearts? Well, that’s their specialty. They’ll fix you.

For a price…

I swore I wouldn’t get involved.

But apparently they like a challenge, and a girl who doesn’t put up with their BS is basically like waving a red flag in front of a bull.

They. All. Charged.

But one holds my attention above the rest.

Knox Tate looks like a Viking — and getting pillaged is starting to look more appealing by the day. Though he’s hiding something — all of them are. And the closer I get. The more I realize that some things are left better in the past.

I haven’t posted it here, but at the end of the blurb the author says clearly this is kind of a reverse harem book. The “kind of” part is the key, because there is nothing remotely similar to a reverse harem story. It’s just a young woman having four male friends. That is called friendship, not reverse harem… So I must say I felt a bit cheated when the book didn’t display a ménage or two…

In this book we meet Shawn, a student who has just gone through a hard break-up and asked for a transfer to another University. Due to her masculine name, she is stuck in a room with a man (Slater) and, in the opposite door, are the infamous interns of Wingmen, Inc.: Knox, Finn and Leo. The three of them show an inmediate interest for Shawn, but it is Knox the one who is feeling a stronger pull towards her. Slater is not happy about their interest in his new roommate, but no one cares to air the secrets they are hiding from Shawn.

I forgot this book was a spin-off of the famous saga Wingmen Inc. I know it is just right there in the blurb, but I didn’t re-read it when I chose this story to be my “C” of the ABC Challenge I’m following. Otherwise, I would have read the other two books before. But, I can declare this book works fine as a standalone. There is no need about previous knowledge of the Wingmen to understand Co-Ed. The several little facts that are explained by the guys are more than enough to get the reader ready to enjoy the story.

And enjoyment I had. At least at the beginning. Sadly, my level of enjoyment was downhill pretty fast after the first chapters. The good thing I can say about this book is that the pace is perfect and it’s easy to read. It also has some good sense of humor and several gooofy moments that make the book lighter, but there was a constant murmur in my head while reading the book telling me there was something terribly wrong. There was sometinhg that was eating away my good time with the book. Sadly, that thing is not other than the three guys selling their services.

They were fun for a couple of chapters. A bunch of hunks hell-bent in mastering the dance of courting and in making their partners have the best possible time. It is a nice thought, but the author takes it too far. They are SO good, they have the walkthrough so well studied that there is not a sliver of spontaneity in their actions. Everything is perfectly calculated to assure maximum enjoyment. But while the clients and Shawn were riding the peak of their pleasure; I, as a reader, was trying to hold a yawn… and failing. The spark of getting to know the buttons to push is never lit, because the guys don’t need it. For them there is no exploration or uncharted territory. Everything is mapped and perfectly geolocated, with times of arrival and exact periods of stay… Their rotation may grant them perfect scores, but it lacks emotion.

But that is not the worst part. I guess it must be nice to have three hotties covering all your needs in a daily basis, but it goes way beyond that. More often than not, Shawn is treated as a delicate porcelain adornment incapable of taking care of herself and without the proper skills to even feed by her own means… When they don’t allow her to eat her own junk food or put a drink in her mouth I just wanted to scream. And don’t get me started about the constant shoulder massages everytime she encounters them. Those guys know no boundaries and it’s not OK. I felt uncomfortable more than once while reading. And it pissed me off that Shawn doesn’t fight it back as she was supposed to.

The story itself is not bad. The secrets are unraveled little by little and you can even be a bit empathetic about the protective behaviour of the guys (which is the least of their issues…). What I didn’t like was the ending itself. It’s a bit messy and I’m still trying to make sense of it. How did she know that Shawn was going to be at the party? Is she alkways ready to provoke an overdose? Was the friend of Shawn an accomplish? How did the guys put all the pieces together suddenly? And are you kidding me about the ghost? It was a mess that exploded in just a couple of chapters.

I don’t sound happy, because I am a bit disappointed with it. But even though there are several annoying issues with the book, I will insist on its easiness to read. A nice light reading to kill time, but nothing more.

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2019 – Book Gallery

I Wanna Text You Up – Teagan Hunter

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Author: Teagan Hunter
Series: Texting #2

Pages: 300

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ROOMMATE WANTED
Chicks or dudes welcome!

Looking for a new roomie? I have a place for you! Like your music loud? I own headphones. Enjoy having late-night guests over? Again, headphones. Want someone to help pay the bills? Do the dishes? Take out the trash? You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours (metaphorically, of course).

Check us out, getting along already.

Must be able to pay first and last month’s rent up front.
Must be okay with Breakfast & Beats.
No dogs.
No trying to sleep with me.
Two bedrooms. One bathroom.
$350/month plus electricity.

If interested, email ineedarobin@gmail.com.
P.S. Wiener pics sent directly to my grandmother. Don’t do that crap to her.

First book of the year!! Actually, my intention was for this one to be last of the past year, but life sometimes doesn’t want to follow my plans. I’m not going to lie. This is an awesome book to start a new year. Teagan Hunter doesn’t disappoint, even though I haven’t loved it as much as the first book of this saga.

This time the story focuses on Delia’s roomante, Zoe. Due to the fact that her best friend is moving out to live with Zach (who wouldn’t!!!), she is in need of a new roommate. So she has the happy idea to create a notice to pin it in a common board. You know, the one that you can touch… not the virtual copy that is used nowadays. And who is behind the perfect answer for the notice? No other than Delia’s ex-boyfriend: Caleb. They start flirting right away, but the relationship has two obstacles: Zoe’s fear of angering her best friend and Caleb’s mysterious past.

I have read this whole book with a huge smile from ear to ear. I love the easiness among the characters and all the witty banter. It makes them so much more lovable and approachable. Not to mention all the good laughs I have had following these crazy characters. I guess it lacks more of the surreal sense of humor of Zach and Delia (although there is good dosis of it) and it lays more heavily in the sexual innuendos. Luckily, Teagan is master at those and that kind of exchanges doesn’t make me cringe.

The author’s style makes me so comfortable reading the book. I find myself feeling extra-good and happy when I enter in the Text universe. That atmosphere helps a lot to fell in love with the characters. Especially Caleb. He is so dreamy. Aside from the obvious (Zoe killed me everytime she commented on the abdominal muscles… cruel woman!!), the guy can cook. And I mean really cook. He is also very attentive most of the time, responsible, a good listener and SO charming. I was on my toes dreading the other shoe dropping. That moment where the author would reveal some dark secret about the perfect guy that would break Zoe’s heart (I was more concerned about mine, though)… But in the end, his secret wasn’t that bad.

And maybe it’s in that part were the book feels a bit short. I missed more drama or a better developed one. Part of the issue is trying to make us believe that Delia would be pissed if Zoe dates Caleb. I mean, we have already met that girl. Zoe could have an orgy with all her best friend’s former lovers and Delia wouldn’t bat an eye. In my opinion, those doubts of Zoe should have been resolved sooner. The mysterious past of Caleb is also not such a big deal. I was expecting something that would put the relationship in danger and that would blemish Caleb’s perfect record (and give my heart a rest!!), but in the end his past is not really the issue.

There are still two more books on the Texting saga. Two more books to enjoy these crazy and fun characters. I’m going to miss them once it is over. I will have to try other books by Teagan Hunter to see if I will find the same magic. By the way, I’m glad that these books have finally been grouped in a saga of stand-alone books. It helps a lot to read them in order.

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2019 – Book Gallery

Let’s Get Textual – Teagan Hunter

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Author: Teagan Hunter
Series: Texting #1

Pages: 272

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A wrong number is supposed to be just that–a wrong number.

Delete. Done.

Do not continue to text. Do not flirt.

A wrong number shouldn’t be the first person on your mind in the morning, or the last at night…and you’re definitely not supposed to talk them into buying a baby goat.

Because that would be weird.

When Zach Hastings and I get into a wrong-number mix-up, we don’t follow the rules. We keep texting and flirting, because he’s wicked funny and perfectly nerdy and a wonderful distraction.

I’m not looking for love, and Zach definitely had the wrong number.

But maybe…

Maybe he’s the right guy.

Have you ever finished a book and wished there were some kind of big brother reality show about its characters just because you can have enough of them? In Delia’s words: how much pizza is too much pizza? There is not such thing as too much pizza!! That’s how I feel about this book. If there were an extended version about 200.000 billion pages long I would still crave more. Yes, I have loved every single word of this book.

The story of this book is told from the point of view of Delia, a college student that one day receives a call from un unknown number. The person calling was Zach, an app developer who wanted to contact a client but has a wrong number. After the first weird conversation, they start texting each other. Little by little (or not so slow) their friendship turns into a romance.

The blurb itself is nothing out of the ordinary. Nothing that caught my attetion there (except the goat!!). Besides, according to Goodreads (and I will trust them) this is a New Adult book… genre that doesn’t make me very happy if I’m being honest. But the reviews about how funny it is convinced me to give it a chance. My initial scepticism became absolute love in a matter of pages. Is it weird if I say that more than a book I consider it a friend? Too creepy? Honestly, I have no word to express how happy this book has made me feel!!

Out of the question, the sense of humour is one of the best I have read in my life. The nerd jokes, the never ending banter, the witty retorts, the adorable cockiness of Zach… Everything put a smile on my face and, very often, made me laugh hard. It felt SOOOOOOOOO good. All the good guys characters (which are all except one) have earned a special place in my memories as a reader. They are a bunch that I would love to consider friends… even though they follow a really crappy diet. Someone must explain me how Zach keeps in shape eating SO bad!!

The story is sweet and the author takes her time with the best part of the Romance genre: the couple getting to know each other. It’s usually the funniest part of those books and most writers tend to rush through it. But not in this one. Small steps but sure ones. The relationship that is built between Delia and Zach is lovely and really well written. An absolute pleasure to follow them in their best and worst moments. I’m going to miss them so much!!

The book is perfect, but it would have been heavenly if some of the chapters were told from the point of view of Zach. Don’t get me wrong, Delia is awesome, but sometimes I was dying to know what was going on in Zach’s head. I would have loved some chapters from his point of view after the goatnap to really enjoy his reaction, but I guess I will have to use my own imagination :).

As I said before, the worst part of this book is that is finite. Even though this is a standalone, there is a similar book by Teagan Hunter to tell the story of Delia’s best friend, Zoe. A third one will be published later this year, but I still don’t know the main characters for that one. I guess Delia and Zach will make a cameo or two in those books, so it’s not the end. I wonder why the author doesn’t group those books in a saga. It would help many readers to read them in order.

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2018 – Book Gallery

The Rivalry – Nikki Sloane

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Author: Nikki Sloane
Pages: 352

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This tight end is at the top of his game.

He’s good with his hands, even better with his sexy mouth, and the best at making me forget my own name. His—ahem—stats are perfect.

But I can’t fall for him.

He might be everything I want, all rolled into a glorious package of gridiron god, but there’s one teeny-tiny problem. The vile, loathsome team I’ve spent my entire life hating—my beloved school’s arch-rival?

This guy is their star player.

According to many people over Goodreads, this book is New Adult, but after reading it, I don’t think that’s the case. At least, it’s nothing similar to other New Adult books I have read. Which it’s a good thing, because that genre hasn’t given me much joy.

This story is about Kayla, a cheerleader for the Ohio State University football team, and Jay, the star player of the Michigan team. The problem, those teams are the nemesis of each other. There is a lot of hate between them. Kayla is a fanatic supporter of her team, so falling in love with a Michigan player makes her uneasy. The story is about getting over that rivalry and just enjoy themselves as human beings. At least that is what the author tries to do.

I must admit I’m not a sports fan, so maybe I don’t understand Kayla’s behaviour defending her team. It’s not just that she thinks OSU is the greatest ever (as every fan should), she also hates with an annoying passion everything Michigan. Not only the football team. The whole Universitty, the colours, the people… It’s crazy!! And so wrong!! Her mother is even worse, though. Everytime Kayla and Jay had a fight about the rivalry, I wanted to scream (well, I screamed a lot actually): “Get over it, you idiot!!“. I couldn’t believe she was about to sacrifice something good in her life just because their football interests were unaligned. She was even incapable of answering the question: “Who do you love more? Jay or the Ohio team?“.

Along most of the book, Jay is presented as the levelheaded one. The adult that claims the rivalry is stupid and they shoud look beyond that to forge a strong relationship. I was digging that. Tall, handsome, hot, nice, funny and also smart. Almost the perfect combo!! And Kayla was about to dispose of him due to her football preferences!! Buuuut, by the end of the book Jay shows his true colours. Yes, he doesn’t care about the rivalry between the two teams. But I think the real reason behind that is that Jay believes that the Michigan team is so superior that calling Ohio a rival is crazy. When he loses his playbook, the mask is dropped. Once the Michigan team is in danger, Jay doesn’t care for anything else and becomes a pretty mean person. In just one chapter he loses a lot of points for my list of book boyfriends. You could have been great, Jay. Just shut up and be pretty the next time.

Even though the rivalry was driving me crazy, I must admit it is also the reason this book is a lot of fun. I was laughing hard very often. The banter among the may characters of the book is the best part of the story. So, thumbs up for Nikki. Writing a fun book is not an easy task!!

What I didn’t like was the ending. The rivalry was such a big issue during the whole book, that I don’t understand how it becomes forgotten smoke in the last chapter. Not only is fast and confusing, it happens during The Match. That dreadful encounter of Michigan vs Ohio… The same match that should have brought Kayla and Jay appart for a long time. At least, that would have made more sense. Instead of that, they become closer together. Kayla even cheers the last play of Jay. The one that gave the win to Michigan… Where the hell is the real Kayla?? They got their happy ending too fast if you ask me.

It’s my first Nikki Sloane’s book, but I will check more by her. I like the style of this book. A nice surprise that was very enjoyable.

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2018 – Book Gallery