Posted in Book Tours, Emma Hart, New Adult, Romance

BOOK TOUR: The Love Game (#1)- Emma Hart

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HELLLLLLLO!

Today is my stop on Emma Hart’s The Love Game book tour and I shall be giving you my review of this amazingly brilliant book.

If you click on the banner, it will take you to the GoodReads page of The Love Game for you to add to your TBR list 😉

So without further ado, here is my review 🙂

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17341522Synopsis

His challenge? Make her fall in love with him.

Her challenge? Play the player.

Until life changes the rules of the game.

Maddie Stevens hated Braden Carter on sight. Arrogant, egotistical, and the playboy of the University of California, Berkeley, he’s everything her brother Pearce has taught her to despise. So why, when the girls challenge her to play the player, doesn’t she say no? She doesn’t know either.

Braden wanted fiery little Maddie the second he laid eyes on her – and he’d do anything to have her, hence why he’s agreed to make her fall in love with him. After all, it’s the only way he’ll get what he wants. Sex.

But, as Braden discovers, there’s more to the girl from Brooklyn than he ever imagined – and he can’t help but care about the broken girl behind those pretty green eyes.

Maddie finds Braden isn’t just a walking erection – he actually has feelings. He can be sweet, funny and his good looks don’t exactly hurt. That means trouble – but when her brother Pearce turns up in Berkeley begging for her help, she realises Braden and Pearce aren’t so alike anymore.

And maybe, just maybe, they’re exactly what each other needs.

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My Review

The Love Game is about Braden and Maddie. They have only been in university for a couple of weeks, but Braden already has a reputation for leading girls on, sleeping with them then dumping them straight after. But it doesn’t stop them coming back for more.

He’s everything Maddie hates.

So one night at the guy’s frat house party, and after watching girls ogle at Braden, the girls challenge Maddie to stop the playboy antics and make Braden fall in love with her in a month. Sleep with him then dump him. Getting a taste of his own medicine. She reluctantly agrees.

Over the other side of the room, Braden is watching Maddie and he’s wanted her in his bed for weeks. His friends also challenge him to make her fall in love with him in a month, and sleep with her then dump her. He also agrees.

What neither of them anticipated was that the more time they spend together, the more they share with each other, the more the rules of the game are being blurred from just being a game to win, to falling in love with one another.

But what happens when it’s all out in the open? They both played the game, they both hurt one another but can they get past that and be together once more…for real this time though?

The first page. THE very first page and I knew that I couldn’t put The Love Game down. The first book I read of Emma Hart’s was Never Forget and when I read the synopsis for this one of Goodreads, well, I just had to get this book in my life asap. Receiving an Advanced Copy to review as part of the book tour, I gobbled it up in less than 24 hours. Seriously, that is how hooked I was because I needed to know how it ended. If it did, indeed, end badly or happily. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book based on a story like this. Where a girl plays the player to get him to fall in love, have sex than dump him and a boy plays to get her to fall in love, have sex then dump her. They pretty much are playing the same game, but they are both are oblivious to it.  I loved this concept and desperately needed to finish the book as soon as I started it.

Emma’s writing style is flawless. The Love Game had me captivated from the first page. It was of pure brilliance and I was feeling all sorts of emotions throughout the book. Happiness, sadness, anger. It had me laughing, crying, shaking my kindle at the pair of them, wanting them to stop with the games and confess. Confess the game they were playing, confess how they both ended up falling for one another. Books that evoke such emotion, in my eyes, are the best kind.

Maddie is a great character. She moved to California from Brooklyn for school. That and to try and start afresh from the pain in her past. But no matter where you go, the past has a way of following you in some way. She was such a strong person, determined not to let Braden get to her, to hump and dump him, hurt him, like he has done with so many people. She truly hated everything he stood for as he reminded her of her brother. But throughout the book, you find out that although shes a strong character, she is also vulnerable, still in pain over the distress of her past and the present, in the form of her brother’s presence. I really liked the fact that although she was playing Braden, she seemed to trust him enough to tell him about her past and her fears. I felt that was so brave of her to do that.

Over the course of the book, she blossoms. She blossoms from someone who was mildly timid, not wanting to get drunk or swear, as it reminded her of her past, to someone who was out-going, who tried not to let her past define her. She grew more confident in herself and the game/her feelings to realizing that Braden isn’t like her brother at all. They are nothing alike and being scared of that fact was nothing but a blip because Braden was always there for her, through everything that happened. Throughout her pain, her feelings were pure. And the game just made her realize that she needed to let someone love her; let someone into her life and trust them.

Braden had me going in round-a-bouts. We first meet him, he’s flirty, cocky, the playboy of the university and he wants Maddie in his bed badly. When he wants something badly, he always gets it. At times I hated what he was doing. He was very clear with his feelings over the game but then I thought about how I liked Maddie but she was doing the exact same thing to him. Hypercritical? Yes, but I made myself believe she was doing it to stop him sleeping around and he was only doing it for a shag. Then at other times I completely loved him. He was realizing just how hard playing this game was. It truly was a dilemma but one I bloody loved reading.

It really was a bad and forth love/hate with Braden but he showed the true Braden. That there is more to him that his status. He’s caring, protective, funny and will do anything for his friends. I wanted to hate him near the end, but I just couldn’t. He wore his heartbreak on his sleeve and I just needed everything to be okay, for him to stop the moping around and win back the love of his life. Although the game started off as a game, it truly was a face for both of them because everything they did with one another, that was pure.

I love, love, love dual POVS. Especially in this book and what it is all about. Playing a game. It was brilliant to get into both Maddie and Braden’s heads and see exactly how they were both playing each other and completely oblivious to one another’s games. How they both thought they had one another wrapped round their fingers. But I also liked how you went through a journey with both characters in the POV. Following them down a path of realizing this wasn’t a game anymore and their feelings for one another were changing but they had to keep the feelings inside and keep up an appearance for their friends. I thoroughly enjoyed their journeys into the unknown, into wanting more from each other than what they initially thought they wanted.

I pretty much fell in love from the word ‘get go’ with Kay, Lila and Megan. HOLY CRAP, these girls are amazing. The lines they come out with, ohhh, they had me in stitches, so much so, I was highlighting every single line I loved from them. They are funny, sarcastic, and supportive and their closeness was lovely to see. To watch they be there for one another, especially Maddie when family and Braden problems arise. They are the kind of friends that I would love to have (and I do, to some extent). They are pure brilliance.

I’m going to share a few lines that I LOVED and had me laughing so hard:

Lila: “Knock knock on your cock”
Kay: “Lurking outside girls’ dorms isn’t a good look for you.” And “You have a stalker down here” (About Braden)
Megan: “The way to Braden’s heart is through his dick.”

That is all you are getting, because seriously, you have to find and read these lines by yourself. They were just a little teaser as to what you’ll expect from these girls!

The love Game from me gets 5 stars. I was like a fish getting caught in the waters. I fell for this book hook, line and sinker. It’s a journey of love, game playing, heartbreak, trust and growing up. You see each character grow up in their own way; you see how love conquers all even when you don’t want it to and that the two people who just wanted to play one another, are really the two people who are meant to be together.

I DEFINITELY recommend The Love Game.

Posted in Romance

Don’t You Forget About Me – Alexandra Potter

Synopsis

After a bad break up, doesn’t every girl want the same things?

* For her ex-boyfriend to stay single forever…
* Or maybe emigrate, to a remote, uninhabited island?
* Better still, that she’d never met him in the first place!

But what if one of those wishes came true?

Tess is heartbroken when Seb breaks up with her and can’t help blaming herself. If only she’d done things differently. If only she could make right all her regrets… But she can’t. It’s over. She has to forget about him. Drunk and upset on New Year’s Eve she wishes she’d never met him.

But when she wakes up to discover this dream has come true, she realises she has a chance. To do it all over again. And to get it right this time…

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My Review

HEY, look guys! I’ve actually reviewed a ChickLit after books and books of smut. It’s actually felt good to get my mind off sex for a while and just delve into fluffy love with a happy ending!

Tess is left heartbroken when her boyfriend Seb dumps her. It’s been two months, one week and three days since they have been apart and she thinks and misses him every single day; asking herself What If’s.

Its New Years Eve and Tess, after deleting Seb off Facebook and feeling sorry for herself after reading all the happy Facebook status’ from her friends, she goes to a party with her flatmate and makes a wish that she had never met Seb, so she doesn’t have to deal with the pain of being so in love with him but not having him.

I really did sympathize with Tess at the beginning. Missing someone who you still love is definitely one of the worst emotions to overtake us. It’s true what she said – you can be fine one minute, not thinking about him to all of a sudden your thoughts are overtaken with thinking of him and your relationship with what ifs?

Tess wakes up the next morning with a dirty, tequila hangover and sets about making it right. Spotting Seb in the local starbucks and him looking straight through her catches her off guard and rushing home, she tells Fiona about who she just saw to have Fiona tell her she doesn’t know a Seb. This happens with her Mother and Grandfather too and Tess is confused over how they can forget him – they were together for a year!

But it all makes sense when she remembers what happened New Years Eve and now, she’s going on another ‘first date’ with Seb at the very same pub they went to the first time around. What on earth is going to happen? Is the relationship going to end the same way it did previous, or will Tess make changes along the way?

I have to say, Tess was such a character. I loved reading about her. I understood her reasoning for wanting to make sure everything was perfect the second time around – she loved Seb and wanted to be with him but to fake being herself just so she could have Seb wasn’t the best way to go about it. But to be fair, she did see what she was doing down the line and made it all right in the end. She spent so long wanting to be with Seb, that she completely missed what was right in front of her.

Many may disagree, but I wasn’t so fond of Seb. Although he sounds really hot; he’s American, exercises, has a great job and great teeth, I just wasn’t feeling him although we do share a love of Star Wars! Tess makes him out to be a saint; but I really didn’t warm to him at all. I was eagerly anticipating Fergus’s return every page because I REALLY LIKED HIM! He was a confident Irish man, but he did have a vulnerable side to him and he was so nice to Tess; they had a great friendship which you saw evolve throughout the book.

The other characters I really loved were her grandfather – he’s the type of grandparent you want – fun, loud, doesn’t seem to have grown up – just a fantastic addition to the book. Her boss Sir Richard – he really seemed to help Tess out, especially as bitchy Wendy was, well a bitch to her all the time and Fiona, her flatmate. Although she did annoy me at times, trying to be someone she wasn’t, she was always there for Tess and Tess was always there for her. A perfect  friendship.

The storyline was a great factor to the book. I have never read anything along these lines before.

So I pose, if you could redo your last relationship, would you? I don’t think I would at all. I go by the motto ‘Everything happens for a reason’ and someone out there, is the right guy for me, so why waste looking back on the past when you should be concentrating on the present.

Other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The synopsis instantly drew me in and I loved reading Tess’s story. The ending was perfect too, and the one line I absolutely loved at the end was “Don’t we have a date? ‘Next New Years Eve, my sofa or yours?’”

Posted in Romance, YA

Bound Together – Eliza Jane

Synopsis

Seventeen-year-old Zoey needs an escape from some personal drama, like her mom’s depression and taking care of her four younger siblings. She finds the perfect distraction in a frenemies-with-benefits arrangement with irritatingly hot football captain, Matt, during their class trip to Paris. There’s no chance of falling for someone whose only ambition in life is to stay in their hick town and one day take over his parent’s tire store. But far from home and personal responsibilities, his cocky grin and easy attitude start to grow on her as they explore the seductive city of Paris together.

Once they’re back at home, Zoey finds herself texting him for a secret rendezvous whenever she needs an escape. Though she’s been explicitly clear she’s using him for one thing, whenever Matt picks her up, he acts more like it’s a date-date rather than a backseat playdate –making sure she has eaten, or stopping to color with her little sister before they go out. Despite her best efforts at keeping their arrangement physical only, Zoey begins to realize – with fear and disgust – that she’s falling for him. When things fall apart with her mom, letting Matt see her real life takes more courage than she has – but if she’s brave enough to let him, he might be just the one person who can help.

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My Review

Zoe doesn’t lead a normal lifestyle. With a dad that works all the time, a depressed mother and four young siblings, she’s more of a mother to them than a sister as she does everything for them. At the end of the day, she is absolutely knackered and that’s why she can’t wait to go to Paris, to see how they cope without her at home.

Matt is the popular jock, the captain of the football team, he’s rich, had a popular girlfriend, whom he dumps and goes to all the parties. Thing is he’s faking being happy but feels like he has to keep up this cheery persona around everyone; at home and at school.

Zoey and Matt are both hiding behind a facade. They both have things happening in their life’s that they don’t want anyone to know about and that’s why Paris is an escape for them both.

They both get partnered up on the trip to Paris, to do an assignment together and Zoey isn’t happy about it at all. Zoey is a goth girl, more into keeping to herself and Matt is a popular jock, known by everyone. They have nothing in common. But in Paris they both get to know each other and they both feel at ease being together; they don’t have to act fake.

Sticking together throughout the trip, they form their own little bubble; just the two of them. They both feel something spending time together, hence the frenemies-with-benefits, but they know everything must return to how it was before Paris when they fly home.

Except things don’t change, minus Zoey trying to ignore Matt when they get back, he slowly worms his way into her life, no matter how much she tries to stop it. She doesn’t want to fall in love with someone who wants to stay in their town, when she wants to get far away.

So they make a deal. Secret meetups to hook up and when Zoey wants to stop it, Matt tells her they can have one phone call each then they can stop all contact. Can they really stay away from each other though?

I loved both the characters of Matt and Zoey. They seemed so different yet so in tune with one another. Matt suffers from migraines and Zoey turns into mother mode to help him out whereas Matt is so kind and lovely to her siblings, even going as far to help her mother out.

It was a breath of fresh air to see someone like Matt admitting he doesn’t want the popular status that he has to keep up, trying to be happy when he’s clearly not and it doesn’t feel like him at all.

Zoey doesn’t like anyone seeing the real her – someone who keeps the family running – so it takes courage for her to let Matt see that side of her, especially as he witnesses it firsthand. But she accepts his help even though she wants to be the strong one.

They both show their weak sides to one another, Matt with the migraines and telling Zoey about his brother’s death and Zoey with her family. It was really nice to read them help each other out and be tormented over their feelings for one another, finally succumbing to them later on.

The only problem was the ending. I felt that Eliza could have added a few more chapters to their journey but then maybe it was the perfect way to end it. Other than that, I did enjoy this book. It gave me a few laughs in places and a few gasps and squeals. All in all, a great read to pass the day.