Posted in New Adult

Choose Us – Caylie Marcoe

Final Cover Round 2Synopsis

Riley Logan and Travis Grayson have been best friends for the last fifteen years. She would do anything for him, go anywhere for him…and she has, countless times. Except now. Now he’s asking for too much. Their friendship has reached a breaking point and she doesn’t know how to go back. But as Travis’ personal assistant, Riley spends her every waking moment by his side. 

When a fractured ankle puts Travis’ BMX career on hold he’s given more downtime than he knows what to do with. Always one for excitement, he agrees to become the bachelor on a televised dating show, but only if Riley goes in undercover to help weed through the girls. 

What was supposed to be eight weeks of freedom has turned into eight weeks of hell surrounded by desperate girls all vying for Travis’ attention. He promised her the show would be smooth sailing. He promised he would listen to her advice on which girls should be eliminated. But now he’s breaking those promises and getting way too close to the girl Riley despises the most. 

She shouldn’t care. Except she does. Much to her surprise there is one girl she wants Travis to choose…

Her. 

Will she get what she wants, or will Riley lose her best friend along with getting her heart broken on national television?

4.5 out of 5 stars

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My Review

I stumbled across Choose Us whilst browsing Amazon for new books to download. Spotting the hand holding cover, I had to know what the book was about. A famous BMX’er, his best friend as his PA, a Bachelor type reality dating show and a lot of confusion, jealousy and love mixed all together. Yupp, I had to get this book into my life asap.

It’s safe to say I literally devoured this book, from front to back. I started it on my journey to work and by the time night fell, I was crying, smiling and in love with everything Travis and Riley. Caylie has a writing style that wins you over. You cant stop reading no matter what (I was on edge all throughout work wanting to get back to Travis and Riley) and I had so many emotions, feeling what Riley was feeling, my heart twinging and breaking and sighing at every page.

You will hang on to every page, especially when there are girls competing and fighting for Travis’ attention, none of them knowing that Riley is undercover and reporting back to Travis about them. Friends to lover stories are always my favourite, mainly because of the deep connection they characters have and Travis and Riley are no different.

Choose Us is about Travis and Riley. They have been best friends r 15 years and spend every day together – Riley being Travis’ PA. When an injury forces Travis to rest for 8 weeks, he gets a proposition for be on a dating show. He has one condition to agreeing though, that Riley is one of the girls and reports back to him on the girls. Riley is pissed but she agrees after some hard work.

But as the show goes on and the girls are dwindling, there is one girl who is just out to get Travis for his status and that doesnt go down well at all with Riley. Travis isn’t listening to her and her feelings for him are coming on strong. Now she wants him to pick her but what does Travis do?

Will this cause 15 years of friendship down the drain along with a broken heart of national TV or will Travis pick Riley after all?

I truly loved Riley. She is the type of girl who doesnt have many girl friends but that doesnt seem to bother her. She has Travis and that is enough for her. She’s not the girly type either, but as long as she has her coffee in the morning she can deal with anything. Riley can banter, she can keep up with Travis and she always there for him throughout everything. Not just as his PA but his best friend too. So when he’s injured and his only condition for going on the dating show is if Riley gets to be one of the girls, I could understand her fear, her anguish over being surround by girls wanting Travis’ attention. In one way, she doesnt have any girl friends and isn’t good being friends with girls and secondly, deep down, unconsciously, she was afraid that A) she might loose him to a girl from the show and B) Fall in love with him and C) the girls would find out who she really was.

I enjoyed watching all these feelings rush over Riley though. From actually seeing herself as a ‘girl’ for the first time, feeling like she actually is a beautiful girl and dressing like one too. I liked her friendship with Taylor, one of the girls on the dating show and I liked how close they became. It wasn’t like a competition for them. It didn’t matter who ‘got’ Travis, they actually formed a fully-fledge friendship and I love that Riley had a girlfriend like Taylor. But most of all, seeing Riley’s feelings for Travis creep up on her. Really seeing him for the first time gave her confused feelings for him and I know just how she feels feeling her for best friend. But mix in the other girls, the confusion over what was happening between them and jealousy she felt when he went on one-on-one dates, its enough to push anyone over the edge especially after her birthday in the house and what came after that.

You slowly saw Riley fall for Travis, watched her actually begin to fight in the dating show, fight for Travis even through the pain of carrying on the show and him going off on ‘dates’ still. I felt the uneasiness, the pain of witnessing and hearing about the dates, the fear of losing and loving her best friend and then the heartbreak – god that sucked me right up. How she came undone and the pain shot through my heart whilst I was reading about her walking away. God, I even felt the awkwardness and the heartbreak at the end too, but yano what, I also felt the lightness and the love and the cage being ripped from Riley (and my heart) and I felt the radiating love that both Travis and Riley have for one another.

I told Caylie on Twitter that I want my own Travis. I really really do. There is just something about him that draws you right in and he wont let you go. Travis is sweet and caring and is boisterous – well he is a BMX’er, and he adores his best friend Riley, whom he will do whatever for. When an injury stops him for a few weeks, he becomes the main focus on a reality TV show, along with the help of Riley. He wants her to wig out the bad nuts so he gets the best girl in the end. You know everyone will end up loving him, he’s cheeky and flirty and smirky all wrapped into one and you know you will love him too.

He’s considerate and you know that, like Riley, deep down he has got to have thought about them as more than friends, so to me, it was no surprise when something happened. You watch their relationship change, you see Travis start to confuse himself over Riley, despite her being the one for him and then you watch their banter slow down, watch the drama unfold between them and it hurts to see Travis still go on dates. But fair play to him, he never backs out of contracts and although I wanted him to, I understood why he didn’t, even if it did end up hurting Riley and him and breaking both their hearts.

At times you will want to wring his bloody neck. You will shake your head at him for not listening to Riley, to not believing her when she told him about a certain young lady and shout at him for how he handled everything. But you will cry at the ending, at how much you want them to be together, at how much you need Travis to explain his action and you know, know you will forgive him because what he tells Riley? I wanted to jump into the book and hug him tight and make him say the words to me.

I truly loved reading Choose Us. It’s so refreshing from other books I have read recently. It sucked me in, had me feeling every emotion and I felt connected to Riley and her growing feelings for her best friend but most of all? This is a book I need to buy in paperback and have it on my bookshelf.

Posted in Romance

The Kissing Coach – Mimi Strong

17182006Synopsis

Feather Hilborn is a style and dating coach. Despite what you may have heard, she is not a “kissing coach.”

Devin Nelson is confident and suave, not the kind of guy you’d guess has never kissed a girl. He’s cute, too, which is making it even more difficult for Feather to resist trying to kiss him.

Her first attempt sends him running. The second attempt doesn’t go much better. But you know what they say … third time’s the charm.

Coaching Devin is fun. The only problem is, once Devin “graduates,” some other girl will be benefiting from his new-found kissing skills.

3.5 / 5 stars

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My Review

Feather Hilborn is in no way a ‘kissing coach.’ Her job is a style and dating coach and she does a damn good job at it.

When Devin Nelson gets in contact, the confident and sauve guy has a little problem. He’s never kissed a girl before. And at 22, he wants to rectify his phobia. And he wants Feather to help him out.

It doesn’t help the fact that he’s cute and Feather is attracted to him, but she tries to stay professional and help him out.

Her first attempt makes him run away, the second isn’t that much better, but the third time…well it goes too well.

But what happens when Devin ‘graduates’ and some other girl gets the benefit of kissing him?

The Kissing Coach is a fairly quick and light read. I picked it because I wanted something fun to read and from the synopsis, it sounded like a great short book to pass a few hours with…okay, like an hour and a half, but you know me by now, I get sucked into good books and need to finish them asap.

This is the first book I have read by Mimi Strong and it won’t be the last. I actually have For You on my kindle too, which will be getting a read very soon. Ms. Strong had me laughing, swooning, crying, frustrated and over all enjoying every page of her book. Her writing is easy-going and will have you turning the pages wanting to know more about the story. Never once did I put the book down – I read it straight through, wanting to get to know what was going to happen next.

The Kissing Coach is about Feather Hillborn. She’s a style and dating coach, who gets paid for helping people out who come to her. She gets paid to dish out advice that could be given for free, but you’re more likely to listen to someone if you pay them…right?

Then along comes Devin, her new client and all of a sudden she feels this attraction to him. He’s confident and good looking but he has a phobia. He’s never kissed anyone and he wants to change that. He wants to be able to not be scared to kiss a girl so he comes to Feather for help.

Feather tries to keep her attraction to herself whilst helping Devin. But it’s obvious that there is chemistry between them as well as their fun banter between them both.

Feather has a rule that she won’t start a relationship when coaching a client, although she really wants a relationship or something with Devin.  But she is perfectly find with coaching Devin on kissing, if it means she gets his lips on hers. But as she tries to ease him into the whole kissing situation, things get a little out of hand and he flies.

This happens another time after but the third time is the lucky charm. But then what happens when Devin isn’t so scared to kiss anyone anymore?

Feather is 22, she hasn’t been in a relationship in a long time and this never really bothered her. She was doing well with her job, liked dishing out advice and helping other people get into relationships but then Devin arrived and it changed her whole perception on everything. She wanted a relationship, she wanted a guy to call her own and she wanted to be loved.

Feather to me, seemed old beyond her years, maybe due to what happened in her past (You’ll find out). She was cocky, and knew how to banter along with Devin. But you could see her vulnerable side as well, the side where she is still a 22 year old woman who can be upset, who can make mistakes and sit in front of the TV with ice-cream and your pjs wallowing in self-pity. Despite the shortness of the book, you do see her journey. Journey through keeping her secret from her mother, see her bond with her mother, see her feel all these emotions she has hidden away, see her grow up and fall in love. I really like Feather as a character.

Devin is also 22. He’s a manager at this parent’s hotel. Hes confident, he’s cocky and cheeky but he’ also has a phobia of kissing. He doesn’t know what it’s stemmed from though but he gets anxious over it. This is why he wants Feather to help him. I really liked Devin. You could see just how afraid he was to kiss, how much he really wanted to though, and I could understand his freak-outs the first two times when he ran from Feather, yet he kept coming back. He was determined to get over this fear. Once he kissed Feather, he was like a different man, like a weight had been lifted and he couldn’t stop once he started. Wanting to take it all the way – ahum.

You do find out what made him have this phobia and I felt so sorry for him but I just couldn’t understand why he pushed Feather away. They could have saved the pain of not being together all those months if they had just spoken about it.

But of course, there is a HEA – well they should be or I wouldn’t be reading it haha. It was a great ending, one which had me giggly and pretty much summed up their fun and bantery relationship.

There are some sex scenes involved in this book. They aren’t heavy but they do notch up the steam factor a smidge. Their first time is funny – it was to me. I didn’t know if it was believable though (You’ll understand) but then maybe it was? Oh I don’t know but you can see how much they like one another; their chemistry and need for one another, especially the last sex scene where I was swooning over what Devin was saying to Feather. So sweet!!

Okay, now my favourite scene. I have to say it’s a part where they were role-playing in Feather’s house. When they were helping Devin and they pretended they were on a date and Feather was showing him around the house. Just the start of the role-playing had me chuckling and it was a perfect playing field to make Devin relaxed and kiss Feather whenever he wanted to without feeling anxious.

So if you are looking for a fluffy, fun and funny (Ooo alliteration ;)) book, then The Kissing Coach is definitely the book for you. You will love Devin, you will love Feather and generally, you will love this book too!