Posted in New Adult, Romance

ARC: True – Erin McCarthy

17332551Synopsis

When Rory Macintosh’s roommates find out that their studious and shy friend has never been with a guy, they decide that, as an act of kindness they’ll help her lose her virginity by hiring confident, tattooed bad boy Tyler Mann to do the job…unbeknownst to Rory.

Tyler knows he’s not good enough for Rory. She’s smart, doctor smart, while he’s barely scraping by at his EMT program, hoping to pull his younger brothers out of the hell their druggy mother has left them in. But he can’t resist taking up her roommates on an opportunity to get to know her better. There’s something about her honesty that keeps him coming back when he knows he shouldn’t…

Torn between common sense and desire, the two find themselves caught up in a passionate relationship. But when Tyler’s broken family threatens to destroy his future, and hers, Rory will need to decide whether to cut her ties to his risky world or follow her heart, no matter what the cost…

4/5 stars

Release Date: 7th May 2013

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My Review

*Thanks to NetGalley and the Publishers for an instant download of True in return for an honest review*

When Rory accidentally lets out that she hasn’t slept with anyone in her 20 years, her roommates Kylie and Jessica decide to help her out. Behind her back. It’s out of kindness as they want her to experience sex, so they decide to hire tattooed, bad boy Tyler Mann to do the job. Will he go through with it?

Tyler Mann has admired Rory from afar. She’s different from all the other girls but he knows he isn’t good for her. He’s barely scraping by his EMT program so he can get his brothers out of the hell hole of his family home, away from his druggy mother. Rory is too smart for him but he cant resist taking up the offer as it’s a way to know her better.

The more time they spend together, the more they are falling for one another. They open up to one another but what happens when Tyler’s family threatens his future. Will Rory stand by him or cut ties? Tyler had always known his not good enough for Rory, but he loves her. Will he fight for her or let her go?

I wrote this on Twitter when I was only a few pages in. I had a slight premise of what True was about, I had just forgotten who the guy was. So when I started reading about Rory’s roommate Jessica sleeping with Tyler, I was like “Hang on” and went back to read the synopsis. Now this is probably a spoiler, although you would have found out a few pages in anyway and been like “Hold up” but, in my opinion, I would NEVER want to sleep with a guy my friend had been getting with. Wouldn’t that just be completely weird?

But once I got over the whole issue of that, it didn’t actually bother me a whole lot throughout the book then. At the start Rory was a bit funny about it and about liking Tyler but it didn’t bother Jessica, seeing as her and her other roommate Kylie hired Tyler to help Rory lose her virginity and it didn’t bother me either.

This is the first book I have read of Erin McCarthy’s and when I saw it on goodreads and read the synopsis, I KNEW I had to get my hands on it. So when NetGalley emailed me saying it was a free download for a day, I jumped at the chance to download it. Seriously guys, you will not be disappointed in True at all. I devoured it, I fell in love with the characters, I smiled, cried, gasped, threw my kindle down. All the usual acts I do with a great book. Although it sounds like a book that has been rehashed many times over, it certainly isn’t like that at all. The book is completely different to every good girl/bad boy college love out there and you would be a fool not to read this.

As mentioned, Tyler is hired to help Rory lose her virginity, unbeknown to her. Tyler used to sleep with Rory’s roommate Jessica and so Rory is hesitant to get to know him, because she does like him but she finds it a bit weird to like him when he is sleeping with Jessica.

But when Jessica tells her that it’s fine, they weren’t together, Rory decides that maybe it’s okay to hang out with him. They both get along and are both helping each other out with their courses. The more time they spend together, they more they are liking one another but when Rory finds out about Tyler being hired to sleep with her, she’s so angry and upset that she lies to her roommates and tell them that she slept with him. She doesn’t want to lose her friends even though they set it up so she keeps quiet about knowing.

After a week of ignoring Tyler, they go back to being friends. One night there is a family emergency at Tyler’s and he takes Rory with him. No one has ever been to his family house, Rory being the first. This is the part where they truly begin their relationship.

But with every relationship comes family drama and although Rory and Tyler seem strong, something happens that tears them apart. It breaks Rory but what can she do? She doesn’t want to talk about it, she tries not to think about it but it’s all she thinks about. When a tragedy occurs on Tyler’s side, she goes to pay her wishes. She still loves him but she knows she can at least live without him, even if it hurts, but when they both talk and Rory walks off, Tyler can let her leave once again. Will she take Tyler back or let him go?

I really, really adored Tyler. From first glances, you would totally say he was a tattooed bad boy, but underneath his exterior he is a caring soul. He’s smart, he’s on the EMT programme and he is definitely family orientated, trying to power through college so he can pull his two brothers from the hell that is their druggy mother. He will do whatever to make sure they are okay and protected, coming to their every need. I truly admired him for this. For loving and protecting his brothers so fiercely that he would do whatever he could for them. He and his older brother both have a tattoo that reads “TRUE”. It is after the four bothers names and that proves that their bond is so strong that nothing will ever break them apart. They will fight together and for one another. I think this part of him is what made me want to be with him and be Rory. To be there for him when things got tough, to befriend his brothers, to be there for him and them. That is exactly what Rory did and you could really see the love Tyler had for Rory, to show her this side of him that no one has ever seen.

I really liked Rory too. Shes not like many young adults we read about in NA. Since her mother’s death at a young age, she’s had insecurities. Her father didn’t know what to do when her mother died and in turn, that meant all the parties she used to get invited to slowly decline until it was just her and her father for company. This is why she is so socially awkward. She’s a virgin and shes socially awkward but her roommates try to get her out of her shell, giving her hugs which is something she is not used to, trying to get her to open up and in turn, she craves the connections now, understanding that she actually likes being hugged or kissed or touched. Shes grown up not having this and now shes got it, she feels loved.

She’s a logical and honest girl, not like most heroines we read about who are so angst-ridden (even though I love those kinds of books) and it was kind of a breath of fresh air to read about Rory and see her grow into herself. Learn to understand that there are guys out there who like her – such a Tyler – who want to spend time with her, who find her interesting. Tyler lets her into his world and she lets him into hers. I think this helped her open up, to show her feelings, to fall in love, to actually talk to her dad about their feelings instead of bypassing them like they always did. She definitely got stronger throughout the book and I really liked that.

It was nice to see their friends and family take a big part in the book too. From both their friends being included a lot, you got to see their story and their personality throughout the book as well as both Tyler and Rory’s families. You got to see into their family background and why they are the way they are. Rory being the socially awkward girl and Tyler being the family orientated guy. It was lovely not to just focus on their relationship, but to add in the family and friends too, making True a wholesome book.

Rory and Tyler both go through a journey. A journey of acceptance, of learning to love, of growing up, but they do it together and alone. I truly enjoyed reading True and Erin McCarthy did an amazing job writing it that I hope you will all pick up your copy when it is out. If you are like me and don’t like the fact that you are going out with the guy your friend was a Fuck Buddy with, then don’t worry, you will completely bypass and forget that part when you see how utterly great Rory and Tyler are together. They bring out the best in each other and share sides that no one else has seen in them. It was pretty awesome to witness this.

So yes, please do read True. You will fall in love with Tyler and his brothers and just want to cuddle them all. I certainly did. Amazing book and I cannot wait to see more of Rory and Tyler in the book instalment which will be Jessica’s book.

Definitely recommend True to all you lovely readers.

Posted in New Adult, Romance

Falling Into You – Jasinda Wilder

17448960Synopsis

I wasn’t always in love with Colton Calloway; I was in love with his younger brother, Kyle, first. Kyle was my first one true love, my first in every way.
Then, one stormy August night, he died, and the person I was died with him.

Colton didn’t teach me how to live. He didn’t heal the pain. He didn’t make it okay. He taught me how to hurt, how to not be okay, and, eventually, how to let go.

5/5 stars
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My review

So you know how I always mention that if a book makes me cry then it’s a great one? Well I full on ugly cried throughout this book, so much so, I had to stop, redo my make-up so I could go to work.

Oh god, Jasinda Wilder completely drew me in with Falling Into You. It didn’t take me long at all to read it because I literally devoured it. I couldn’t get enough. Ms. Wilder had me beaming, then sobbing then feeling every single emotion both Nell and Colt were feeling. The songs, dear god, they set me off and because I was also listening to music on my Ipod, songs that were convenient to that scene appeared and I was a mess. But I did like feeling this way as I’ve said; books that make me sob are great ones.

Nell and Kyle grew up together. Since the moment they were born they have been inseparable and to everyone, it seemed inevitable that one day they would end up together. During one argument, their confusion for how they were looking at each other differently came to light and since that moment, they had been together. From best friends to lovers, it seemed an easy transaction for them both. And it was perfect. As a first love, Jasinda captured what it was all about. From the awkwardness of talking about sex, to the desire they had for one another.

But then, I was on edge, because of the synopsis. I was waiting in suspense of when the death of Kyle would happen. I didn’t like that feeling at all because I was dreading it. Dreading to find out how he would die. And oh god, I cried so much I had to put my kindle down and take a few minutes before I could continue.  My heart broke for both Kyle and Nell.

I instantly loved Kyle. He was the best friend Nell ever had. He was always there for her, making her happy, comforting her when she was sad or upset and he was protective over her. They were both there for each other. When feelings changed for one another, it was inevitable. They grew up together, spent every day together; they knew everything about each other so it was just down to time as to when they would be together.

They were happy-go-lucky, in love with one another, waiting to take the next step all their friends were taking. Shift two years in to the future, and they were the happiest they could have been. Then one night it was all taken from Nell. Kyle was taken from her in the most terrible and perhaps heroic way. He saved her but Nell couldn’t see that. She saw her kill him.

When this scene occurred I, 1. Thanked my stars I wasn’t on the train to work, and 2. Cried my heart out until I just had to shut my kindle down and get some sleep. It was just heartbreaking watching Nell’s reactions and sobs and cries for Kyle, and it just hit my core, the amount of pain they were both feeling, all different types of pain consuming them.

Since that fatal day, Nell was never the same. She didn’t cry anymore, she held all the pain and guilt inside of her, still blamed herself for Kyle’s death and just pottered on in life, having nightmares of that night. She still held on to everything, wanting Kyle back. It choked me up over how she kept all the pain inside and wouldn’t let it out. Kyle was her best friend and boyfriend whom she loved and watching him die that way, I know I would never be the same again.

At the funeral we meet Colton – Kyle’s brother whom Nell has never met. There is this connection between them, they share pain over Kyle but it was more than that. But Nell runs and tries to ignore it. She has just lost Kyle.

When she saw Colton after two years, busking in Central Park, that spark is still there, but so is the pain, for both of them, but more so Nell. Colton can see that and is determined to help her through it. Not to tell her it will all be okay, because it won’t, but just get her to open up, get her to release all the pain and to cry. He sure as hell knows about pain, suffering through his childhood and then the pain he suffered in New York. But he’s dealing with it and tries to help Nell deal with it too.

I loved Colton. Sure he seemed like the tough guy and he was, but he was now reformed. Under all the exterior and the tattoos he was just has broken as Nell, but he found ways to get through it. He was caring, protective and music was his way of speaking. I adored all the music he wrote, they were all heartfelt and had me crying. He wasn’t perfect by any means but he really loved Nell and would do anything to help her through the pain, in turn, helping himself too. His advice and his own past experiences of pain and getting through it were enlightening and truthful. And as I’ve mentioned, they both went through horrific things but together, they were trying to make things okay and less painful.

I liked how things weren’t all rosy and cherries on top, they were both feeling the effects of losing loved ones but together, they made it bearable to live each day and to find love with one another. Even at the end of the book, they were still hurting but being together, falling into each other, they knew they were meant to be and they would always be there, to ease the pain somehow and down the line, maybe erase the pain and just leave the guilt and grief behind and turn it into great memories of lost loved ones.

The sex scenes. Oh heck. Seriously, you’ll be fanning yourself because the chemistry between the two of them is off the scale as is the sex. Colton certainly knows what he is doing and how to bring intense and explosive pleasure to Nell. There’s this overwhelming connection that they both share and it just made the sex between them even hotter. They both know what they want and how to please each other and I just…*sigh* would like a Colton for myself.

Music is a massive factor in this book. The music spoke the emotions that both Nell and Colton are going through. Each song represented what they were feeling, from pain, to love, there was a song for each chapter of their life. And it didn’t help that I was listening to my IPod when I was reading this book and songs relevant to the scenes would play, which in turn made me break down reading the scenes.

Falling Into You, is definitely a Five star book. I loved every second of this book. It’s emotional, but there are parts where I was laughing and smiling despite the theme of the book. You’ll want to hug all the characters, take their pain away too and connect with them, not just through the music but you’ll think about your own losses. Your heart will ache but it will get better, you’ll make it through the book, through Nell and Colton’s journey to try and be okay and in the end, you will be.

You all need to give Falling Into You a read, Jasinda Wilder wrote an AMAZING book!

Posted in Colleen Hoover, New Adult, Romance

Slammed (#1) – Colleen Hoover

13372690Synopsis

Following the unexpected death of her father, 18-year-old Layken is forced to be the rock for both her mother and younger brother. Outwardly, she appears resilient and tenacious, but inwardly, she’s losing hope.
Enter Will Cooper: The attractive, 21-year-old new neighbor with an intriguing passion for slam poetry and a unique sense of humor. Within days of their introduction, Will and Layken form an intense emotional connection, leaving Layken with a renewed sense of hope.
Not long after an intense, heart-stopping first date, they are slammed to the core when a shocking revelation forces their new relationship to a sudden halt. Daily interactions become impossibly painful as they struggle to find a balance between the feelings that pull them together, and the secret that keeps them apart.

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My Review

Three days ago, I was devastated, bitter, and hopeless. Today I woke up feeling happy for the first time in months.

After the sudden death of her father, 18 year old Layken is quite literally forced to be the rock in her family, for her mother and 9 year old brother. With her mother selling their house in Texas, they are uprooted from the house they have lived in all their life, to a smaller house in Michigan and Lake is not happy to be leaving at all. She’s still processing the death of her father, but she needs to act strong for everyone else.

What she didn’t expect to find upon her arrival was a very attractive neighbour in the form of Will Cooper. 21 years old, has a passion for slam poetry and has captured Lake’s attention, much as she has captured his. Within days, they are spending time together and have formed in intense emotional connection, leaving Lake with a feeling that maybe, just maybe she will be okay living here. But after a heart-stopping first date, Monday morning rolls around and shocks them both with the realization of what cannot happen between them both.

Daily encounters are painful, and with both their brothers becoming best friends and spending every second together, it’s becoming harder to keep a balance of being ‘just friends’ to staying away from one another when their feelings for each other keep pulling them back together, no matter how much they try to keep them at bay from the outside world.

I have to admit, I’m not one for poetry. It never has captured my attention and I just hated reading/writing it in school, but Colleen Hoover is the one exception! I have never heard of Slam Poetry but by gosh, the way Will describes how much it means to him plus his Slam poems really had me hooked on his every word, much like it did with Layken. Once I finished the book (1am UK time), I laid in bed, thinking of my own poem – it wasn’t very good, so I think I’ll let Will stick to the writing and performing it, he seems to know much better than me.

I say this with a lot of book that everyone on my Twitter timeline tweets about, but WHY DID I WAIT SO LONG TO READ THIS?! This is the second book I’ve read of Colleen’s and I was as much captivated by Slammed as I was with Hopeless. For avid readers of my reviews, you will know that I LOVE to read forbidden relationships and the forbidden factor of the whole relationship when they both eventfully find out who each other are. And Slammed, in no way, disappointed me.

Lake was super close to her dad, so when he died it was like her whole world fell apart. But she knew she had to be there for her mother and brother, to help them through the heartache too. I think that was one of the reasons she was so resilient in her life. On moving day, she meets her neighbours across the road, Will and his little brother Caulder, who instantly seems to become best friends with her brother Kel.

Upon meeting Will it was love at first sight – for both of them. Will asks Lake on a date, but it’s unlike any date she’s ever been on. They don’t indulge in the obvious ‘do you have a cat etc’ questions and he’s not about to take her to dinner either. Oh no, his plans involved Slamming and Slamming good!

Lake becomes absorbed in the Slam poetry, finding it powerful to hear and she begs Will to do one of his. He obliges and Lake just can’t seem to get enough of this guy. He’s something completely different and she’s fallen. But everything changes on that Monday morning, and her heartbreak over the realisation of who he is has not only shock her, but also Will. What is going to happen?

Will had had to grow up faster in his 21 years of life. He looks after his 9 year old brother Caulder, works his ass off to make sure he can pay his bills, put food on the table and make sure Caulder is okay. They have been through so much in their young lives that they only have each other now. He’s been closed off for years, but something sparks inside of him when he spots his new neighbour and he just has to know who she is.

Will knows this girl has awoken something in him and so he asks Lake out on a date. Of course, Will is different to every other guy and takes her to a club where he recites Slam poetry. Watching Lake’s reaction to the words people are expressing on stage, he’s falling that bit more for her over the fact she’s so affected by it.

Happiness being together has consumed both of them, even if they haven’t known each other long, but when he sees her Monday morning, he’s broken, he doesn’t know why this has happened, and no matter how much he wants Lake, he knows he can’t have her now. Not when it could affect his job and Caulder, who he has to put first.

Although both of them know they can’t be together, no matter how much it hurts seeing each other day in and day out, as well as having brothers who spend every spare minute together, they try to reach a middle ground where they try to be ‘friends’ because of their brothers but it’s getting harder and harder everyday to push their feelings away and act civil. They have to overcome many obstacles throughout the book, and you really do root for them to be together – they belong together. Everyone knows they belong together.

You go through all the emotions too; the fun times, the heartbreak, the tears. It broke my heart that Lake was hurting over knowing that she couldn’t have Will. She literally became obsessed with watching him come home from school, just so she could see a glimpse of him every night. But with so many factors standing in their way, and at times I did get annoyed at Will. Lake was doing so well trying to stay away and Will would just pull her right back in and made her start all over. I became obsessed to get to the end, hoping it was happy one, but although it was, in a way, I still had tears flowing down my face.  It really is such  a powerful book!

All the secondary characters in my eyes weren’t that. They were as much as the story as Will and Lake were. I loved Eddie from the beginning. She was a very bubbly person who embraced Lake on her first day and adopted her into her small group. You find out about Eddie’s past and you come to see that now, where she is, is where she should be. She keeps Lake grounded when everything is going to pot and she really is the best friend Lake could have in her life.

Julia, Lake and Kel’s mother was a wise one. She moves them to Michigan because ‘they have no money’ but Julia is hiding something from her children, which you will find out and it will leave you heartbroken over her news. She really has some great words of wisdom for every character, and she adopts Caulder and Will into their life, which in turn, she treats them both like her own. She forces Lake is ‘man up’ and do the right thing regarding Will, which includes a stage and her poem and you can really see how much Julia is respected in every characters life.  Regardless of her secret, she really was a breath of fresh air.

There are way too many parts of the book to choose from as a favourite, but one that sticks out is at the start of the book, when Lake finds a hairclip from her childhood that her dad gave her. Although it’s dusty and mucky, it holds so many memories of her dad that she just can’t leave it behind in Texas and it means so much to her, even if she doesn’t use it again, she knows that it’s ‘magic’ to her.

Slammed is not just another fluffy book – it speaks to you through Slam poetry, which is so powerful that even as someone who hates poetry, become absorbed in each Slam poem that was expressed on the pages, through each character that got on stage and poured their heart out. It gives you wisdom, it gives you heartache and it gives you love. The power of the words, the poems, the advice and wisdom really stick with you after the finish the book. It kind of gives you hope that one day you will find someone like Will, who will be your own rock and soul mate.

I also have a new book boyfriend in the form of Mr Will Cooper and book little brothers in the form of Caulder and Kel – those two are so sweet, especially when they fell asleep together, with their hands in the shape of a gun. Oh adorable. They are the little troublemakers you definitely would want as your brothers.

If you were like me and either have this book on your kindle, sitting there for months or haven’t grabbed yourself a copy of Slammed (And Point of Retreat – which shall be read tonight) then GET IT NOW! Colleen Hoover drags you into the story until you just have to keep turning pages to know what is going to happen. It’s completely entrancing and I cannot wait to continue Will and Lake’s story in Point of Retreat!!