Only When It’s Us by Chloe Liese Review | Enemies-to-Lovers Sports Romance If You Like Them Lumberjacks

51975973. sy475 Only When It’s Us
Author: Chloe Liese
Release Date: April 1, 2020
Publisher: Amazon
Get it Here: Amazon (Free on Kindle Unlimited!)

Synopsis:
Prepare for an emotional rollercoaster brimming with laughter, tears, and slow-burn sexiness in this new adult romance that tackles the vulnerability of love with humor and heart.

Ryder

Ever since she sat next to me in class and gave me death eyes, Willa Sutter’s been on my shit list. Why she hates me, I don’t know. What I do know is that Willa is the kind of chaos I don’t need in my tidy life. She’s the next generation of women’s soccer. Wild hair, wilder eyes. Bee-stung lips that should be illegal. And a temper that makes the devil seem friendly.

She’s a thorn in my side, a menacing, cantankerous, pain-in-the-ass who’s turned our Business Mathematics course into a goddamn gladiator arena. I’ll leave this war zone unscathed, coming out on top…And if I have my way with that crazy-haired, ball-busting hellion, that will be in more than one sense of the word. 

Willa

Rather than give me the lecture notes I missed like every other instructor I’ve had, my asshole professor tells me to get them from the silent, surly flannel-wearing mountain man sitting next to me in class. Well, I tried. And what did I get from Ryder Bergman? Ignored. What a complete lumbersexual neanderthal. Mangy beard and mangier hair. Frayed ball cap that hides his eyes. And a stubborn refusal to acknowledge my existence.

I’ve battled men before, but with Ryder, it’s war. I’ll get those notes and crack that Sasquatch nut if it’s the last thing I do, then I’ll have him at my mercy. Victory will have never tasted so sweet.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

I thought this book was sweet, and cute! When I first read the blurb I was like “ehh” but then Nick from The Infinite Limits of Love said she was enjoying it, so I had to get it on Kindle Unlimited. Thanks for the recommendation, Nick! Another aspect that made me curious about the story was how Ryder was deaf, which I don’t see in romance books. (Note: I chose to describe him as “deaf” because the book didn’t give indication of him being in the Deaf community.) That leads to some miscommunication in the beginning of the story which sets off his and Willa’s antagonistic yet flirtatious relationship. If you like college romances with fiery dialogue filled with snark and underlying sexual tension, I think you’ll enjoy this one!

I drive Willa nuts with my blunt delivery, my pragmatic outlook, my dry, needling teases. And Willa’s a temperamental pain in my ass. She makes fun of my flannel shirts, she provokes me almost constantly. She ribs me for my gruffness, then jabs me the moment I show her my soft side. Continue reading “Only When It’s Us by Chloe Liese Review | Enemies-to-Lovers Sports Romance If You Like Them Lumberjacks”

Book Review: Downed by Jen Frederick (Gridiron #3)

Downed
Author: Jen Frederick
Series: Gridiron #3
Release Date: December 1, 2016
Publisher: Self-Published
Get it Here: Only $3.99 on Amazon Kindle!

Synopsis:

He’s the guy no one likes…

Despite winning two national championships, JR “Ace” Anderson was sent packing from his old school after losing the trust of his coach. At Southern U, he has a second chance to prove that his college legacy isn’t endless debauchery and selfishness. But his reputation precedes him, and his teammates offer a chilly welcome in the locker room. The one person who is willing to accept him is the very woman he should stay away from—his new coach’s daughter.

She’s the girl everyone loves…

Bryant Johnson’s only goal in life is to make others happy, even at her own expense. One look at her father’s new star quarterback, and she knows that Ace is her next project. With a reputation for being a “jerk whisperer”, Bryant has spent her last three years at college reforming sorry behavior and turning bad boys into the best boyfriends ever. In Ace, though, she’s met with surly resistance and a sizzling attraction she doesn’t expect. Fixing this wounded warrior will be her biggest challenge yet. Not falling for him will be even harder.

Between her big heart and his damaged one, a battle is ensuing. In this game of love, every defense will crumble.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

I’ve been following this series since the first book Sacked and have thoroughly enjoyed all the books, even though I’m not the biggest football fan. The teamwork and camaraderie between players is a great add-on to the central romance that happens between the characters in these books. Downed is my favorite of the series so far! There’s something about a story of redemption or reformation that just makes me sigh in happiness. I love the exploration of Ace’s past and how Bryant dealt with her grief for her sister. I think that their characters were much more easy to empathize with than the previous couples, which made their relationship very sweet and easy to read and enjoy. Continue reading “Book Review: Downed by Jen Frederick (Gridiron #3)”

Book Review: Summer Skin by Kirsty Eager

Summer Skin
Author: Kirsty Eager
Release Date: February 1, 2016
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Get it Here: Book Depository

Synopsis:

Jess Gordon is out for revenge. Last year the jocks from Knights College tried to shame her best friend. This year she and a hand-picked college girl gang are going to get even.

The lesson: don’t mess with Unity girls.

The target: Blondie, a typical Knights stud, arrogant, cold . . . and smart enough to keep up with Jess.

A neo-riot grrl with a penchant for fanning the flames meets a rugby-playing sexist pig – sworn enemies or two people who happen to find each other when they’re at their most vulnerable?

It’s all Girl meets Boy, Girl steals from Boy, seduces Boy, ties Boy to a chair and burns Boy’s stuff. Just your typical love story.

A searingly honest and achingly funny story about love and sex amid the hotbed of university colleges by the award-winning author of Raw Blue.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Biggest of thanks to Jeann from Happy Indulgence for the signed copy! Sending all my love! ❤

I think all females, no matter what their age group (but especially the ones transitioning from teen to adult) have to pick this book up! It’s not only a romance between two people caught on opposing forces of a competition, but considers the patriarchal and misogynistic tendencies that are unfortunately common in society – addressing them in feminist ways through the strong-willed main character, Jess. On the cover of the book Summer Skin is likened to “a feminist love story,” and that description could not be more apt. Eagar tackles issues that are seen commonly today, with a message underlying the relationship that is progressing in the story.

Continue reading “Book Review: Summer Skin by Kirsty Eager”

Series Review: Dearest by Lex Martin

I’d just like to start these reviews off by saying that this series is by far one of my favorites in the genre of New Adult. I’m constantly on the look-out for ones similar to these, because they’re just what I’m looking for when reading NA: great characterizations, superb romances, and a hint of angst that provides an actually compelling climax. I always say NA books are my guilty reads, but I felt no shame reading this wonderful series.

22351498Dearest Clementine
Author: Lex Martin
Series: Dearest #1
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Synopsis:

Twenty-year-old Clementine Avery doesn’t mind being called bitchy and closed off. It’s safe, and after being burned by her high school sweetheart and stalked by a professor her freshman year of college, safe sounds pretty damn good.

Her number one rule for survival? No dating. That is until she accidentally signs up for a romance writing class and needs material for her latest assignment. Sexy RA Gavin Murphy is more than happy to play the part of book boyfriend to help Clem find some inspiration, even if that means making out…in the name of research, of course.

As Gavin and Clem grow closer, they get entangled in the mystery surrounding a missing Boston University student, and Clem unwittingly becomes a possible target. Gavin tries to show Clem she can handle falling in love again, but she knows she has to be careful because her heart’s at stake…and maybe even her life.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

The Good:

– Clementine was a character you could really empathize with. Shit’s happened to her, but she gets back up every time.

– Gavin. Just Gavin. Give me one in my life. The relationship progression was also nicely done – especially when you consider Clementine’s non-trusting character.

– Their friends were so supportive and lively that you can’t help but smile at their antics. 🙂

The Not-So-Good:

– While I appreciate the whole stalker situation, it also annoyed me because hellloooo? Me wants more romance. It was fine though, in the long run (some leeway was made since it provided angst for our main couple). And surprisingly interesting.

– The familial aspects could have been touched upon a bit more. They were always hinted upon, but never confronted directly.

Overall:

Definitely recommended for New Adult readers and the ones venturing into this genre (like me)! The characters were all pretty great and unique in their own way. The romance was adorableee; I only wish there were more of it instead of the whole situation with Prof. Stalker. Other than that, it was just delightful!


20630331Finding Dandelion
Author: Lex Martin
Series: Dearest #2
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Synopsis:

When soccer all-star Jax Avery collides with Dani Hart on his twenty-first birthday, their connection is instantaneous and explosive. For the first time in years, Jax isn’t interested in his usual hit-it and quit-it approach.

But Dani knows better. Allowing herself a night to be carefree and feel the intensity of their attraction won’t change anything when it comes to dealing with a player. So when Jax doesn’t recognize Dani the next time he sees her, it shouldn’t be a total shock. The fact that he’s her new roommate’s brother? That’s a shock.

Dani doesn’t regret that night with Jax, just the need to lie about it. Since her roommate has made it clear what she thinks about her brother’s “type” of girl, the last thing Dani wants is to admit what happened.

Jax knows he’s walking a fine line on the soccer team. One more misstep and he’s off the roster, his plans to go pro be damned. Except he can’t seem to care. About anything… except for the one girl who keeps invading his dreams.

Despite Jax’s fuzzy memory of his hot hookup with his sister’s friend, he can’t stay away from her, even if it means breaking his own rules. But there are bigger forces at work–realities that can end Dani’s college career and lies that can tear them apart.

Jax realizes what he’s losing if Dani walks away, but will he sacrifice his future to be with her? And will she let him if he does?

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

So sweet!

As all the other books in the series, Martin delivers yet another adorable and heartfelt NA about two people who find their way in the world. This series also has some of the best writing that I’ve ever read in the NA genre, too. It’s not filled with awkward prose and mundane descriptions, nor does it have blunt statements that gloss over events and are filled with no emotion. Something about it just clicks with me, which is why I enjoy Martin’s books so much.

As much as I loved the interaction between the two characters and their friends, the realistic aspect made it much too unbelievable for it to truly resonate. As a light and fluffy read however, it definitely hit the spot. We first begin the book with Dani trying to do things about of the norm. You know the drill: having a one-night stand, getting a tattoo, etc. While I found that trite, it was quite endearing to her character. My problem with it was the fact that after meeting Jax, the list and her self-discovery was put into the background for the romance. We see in their interactions her sticking up for herself, which yes, shows growth, but it was just not pushed away in favor of the hot soccer player who shows up and starts heading head over heels in love with Dani.

Jax, on the other hand, was whipped so hard. It was the type of transition that was like “I hit on a three girls and had sex with another” in one day to “I couldn’t do anything because this girl’s eyes were stuck in my head.” Again, it’s highly romantic but also almost sickeningly so. Yah, I love my romance, but it was so quick on his end despite his playboy ways. Not that I minded per se, but it could’ve been nice to have seen more of a gradual growth on his part.

The latter half, as always, was riddled with unspoken misunderstandings that usually frustrates me. I expect it from NA books so much that at this point I’m pretty apathetic haha. But still, be aware of that.

Despite these problems, Finding Dandelion was a delightful addition to the Dearest series, which has become one of my top NA series of all time. The witty characters, heart-stopping romance, and surprisingly suspenseful turn of events make it stand out from the others out there.


20632298Kissing Madeline
Author: Lex Martin
Series: Dearest #3
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Synopsis:

What’s the worst thing about wanting a sexy NFL football player? Everyone else wants him, too.

After catching my boyfriend getting deep-throated by a skanky cage girl, I’ve learned my lesson – never date a professional athlete. Never. Besides, I have more important things to worry about, like not blowing my shot to make it as a broadcast reporter. I won’t let anything get in my way, not even the new “it boy” of the NFL and my hot-as-hell neighbor.

What’s the worst thing about getting death glares from his new neighbor? It doesn’t make him want her any less.

I’ve worked my ass off to make it to the pros. The last thing I need is the complication of a relationship, especially since my last one was a total train wreck. But I can’t stop thinking about the feisty girl next door with the smart mouth. And I’d love nothing more than to show her what to do with that mouth.

Friends with benefits might be the best idea he’s ever had. Or the worst.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Finishing this book felt like someone sliced open my chest and took out my guts and replaced it with the stuffing you find for stuffed animals and rainbows and heart emojis and chocolate and just made me feel all the warmth and fuzzies. IT WAS SO. GOOD.

Okay first of all, apologies in advance for skipping the first book to the third. The thing is, I spent the majority of the first book in this series, Dearest Clementine, disliking one of the main characters in this book: Daren. He cheated on Clementine during high school and although that situation resolves itself towards the end of Dearest Clementine, I still wasn’t sold on his character. So I skipped the second to see how he would redeem himself.

And oh boy, did he redeem himself.

Geez, his interactions with Madeline are so spot-on, so sweet, so soothing that I kept clutching my chest because of emotion overload. I love how he presents a facade on the football field, but is pretty sensitive on the inside. I love seeing more of his character, and delving into what exactly occured during those years in high school when he and Clementine’s relationship kinda dissolved. I came into the book unconvinced that I would like this dude, and I finished the book sighing in contentment.

Madeline was his perfect counterpart in so many ways. Their chemistry was literally leaping off the pages and she is just amazing. In the beginning of the book we see Maddie get cheated on with her boyfriend, so she gets some trust issues. Then she meets Daren and BAM they’re just PERFECT for each other (and they knows it) and they get in a whole friends-with-benefit situation. But… we all know how those turn out, right? ;))

Once their relationship becomes something more, I could not get enough of this couple. And seeing the couples from the previous books just made my heart warm even more. I like how Martin also adds a bit of suspense (in this case, the mysterious hacker) in her books too. They’re totally not the main focus, but also create some situations for the characters that make them realize what their feelings really are.

So readers of NA, I totally recommend you to pick up this series if you haven’t already. The couples are so heartwarming to read about, and the individual characters are also so great by themselves. Love love love them all.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-4star

Elle Kennedy – The Deal (Off-Campus #1)

24504048The Deal
Author: Elle Kennedy
Series: Off-Campus
Release Date: February 24, 2015
Get it here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:
She’s about to make a deal with the college bad boy… Hannah Wells has finally found someone who turns her on. But while she might be confident in every other area of her life, she’s carting around a full set of baggage when it comes to sex and seduction. If she wants to get her crush’s attention, she’ll have to step out of her comfort zone and make him take notice… even if it means tutoring the annoying, childish, cocky captain of the hockey team in exchange for a pretend date.…and it’s going to be oh so good.

All Garrett Graham has ever wanted is to play professional hockey after graduation, but his plummeting GPA is threatening everything he’s worked so hard for. If helping a sarcastic brunette make another guy jealous will help him secure his position on the team, he’s all for it. But when one unexpected kiss leads to the wildest sex of both their lives, it doesn’t take long for Garrett to realize that pretend isn’t going to cut it. Now he just has to convince Hannah that the man she wants looks a lot like him.


*Ahem* So usually you don’t really see me reading books with, ah, ripped chests on the cover. But hey, I’ve been getting curious about the New Adult genre, so I thought I’d check some out and see what the fuss is about. (Shout out to Melissa for the awesome recommendations!)

When I finished this book, all I could think of was the amount of in it. Like, that’s literally all it is. A feel-good type of read that makes people think that college is the bomb and everyone gets hooked up with everyone hot in the end.

Our main character, Hannah, is the stereotypical unique girl (damn, that oxymoron) that isn’t like anyone else.

I’ve noticed she doesn’t wear designer clothing or preppy getups like most of the females at this school, or the trashy party clothes you see on Greek Row and at the campus bars on weekends.

She’s a music major and is invisible until the day Garret Graham pays attention to her. Garret is the captain of the infallible hockey team on campus and your stereotypical playboy. They go through the stereotypical relationship of tutor/friends to lovers to something more. Despite its predictableness, I enjoyed the transition. Garret certainly had lusty thoughts when first noticing Hannah but they were pretty good friends before becoming lovers. (When your NA romance development is done better than YA, for shame.) No insta-love in this house, and I’m actually a little surprised, because, YA KNOW, the cover is literally a guy’s chest. Not even face! Just his chest. For all we know, all the books in the series could be the same chest!

Although it was enjoyable to read (as much as I dislike character tropes, HEAs always get to me), points are knocked for particular cliches. Ah – large phalluses being one. Bigger doesn’t mean better, guys. It’s like communism: while it sounds good on paper, it certainly isn’t as good in reality. Dumb misunderstanding at the end. (Which I saw like miles away.) And all the attractive people in the book! Like, not everyone in sports teams are hot, guys.

I feel like these kind of books make college seem way better than it actually is. Over-glorification of what happens in college. But hey, what do I know? I mean, maybe the chances of getting a hot, nice, sweet, thoughtful but dick-headed sports player who’s great at sex is easier than one might expect.

While I don’t have plans on rereading this anytime soon, it was certainly enjoyable while reading.

Sometimes people sneak up on you and suddenly you don’t know how you ever lived without them. How you went about your day and hung out with your friends and fucked other people without having this one important person in your life.