Posted in New Adult, Suspense

Breathe Into Me – Amanda Stone

16222687Synopsis Eighteen year-old Kelsey Rien is more than ready to leave her past behind her. Wanting nothing more than to walk into a room without everyone knowing the horrific details of an event that changed her life six years ago, she vows to concentrate on school and make something of herself. But then she meets Kane Riley – the local bad boy. Kane’s reputation is far from perfect, but is there more to him than what everyone else sees? Kelsey soon learns that you can’t run from your past, no matter how hard you try. When her nightmares find her once again, Kelsey must find the courage to face the demons that have been haunting her and save the people she loves most. 4 / 5 Stars add-to-goodreads-button3 ——————————————————–
My Review

Six years ago, something horrific happened in Kelsey Rien’s life. It changed her world upside down and changed who she was. As it would anyone who went through what she did.

For those six years, she has wanted nothing more than to just walk into a room and not have people know her history. Now eighteen, she and her best friend Jesse leave their small town behind and leave for college, away to a state where no one knows her and she can try to leave the past behind.

She never expected to meet Kane Riley, the resident bad boy. His reputation is anything but perfect yet there is more to him that meets the eye that has Kelsey intrigued by him. He’s nothing like his bad boy persona, yet everything still thinks he is. Has Kane really changed? He has some demons he’s fighting too.

Still battling her demons and her nightmares, Kelsey realizes she can’t run from the past, but opening up to Kane is the first step. But when her demon’s come to haunt her, she must face up to them and save the people she loves the most.

I had been waiting months for Breathe Into Me to be released. When I saw the cover on Goodreads it was an instant add to my TBR list and bad boys and tattoos and piercings always get my vote. The synopsis made me want to read it too. I like a bit of mystery wrapped up in books, so I really wanted to know what Kelsey’s past was so I had some theories.

I read this book over two days – mainly because I had to go to inductions for my new job, but I really did not want to put it down. I was hooked with the plot, with the characters and just with the book in general. Amanda Stone developed the story nicely, along with the characters, which you see journey throughout the book into better versions of themselves – due to being in love and growing up over the weeks. She has me laughing, smiling, crying and kindle throwing (throughout certain events throughout the book which frustrated me and of course, had me panicking over what was going to happen).

Although there are many books with the same storyline, it was a cute read with college characters falling in love, dealing with heartbreak with a terrible past added into the mix, but overall, I really did enjoy the book!

We first meet Kelsey when she is moving into her college dorm with her best friend Jessie. It’s a chance at a fresh start away from her past. We don’t find out until a few chapters in but there are hints about what happened to her those six years ago that changed her from the out-going little girl she was to a shy and reserved teenager. She has gone through so much. She feel guilty and although it wasn’t her fault, she harbours this guilt always.

One trip to get some lunch and everything changes. She catches eyes with a pair of grey eyes and from then she can’t stop thinking of them. It helps that the guy is friends with the guy her best friend is seeing later that night.

After that night, Kane and Kelsey become friends. They spend every day together, hanging out, doing work, generally becoming best friends until one night when it all changes. Kane has never seen Kelsey in anything dressy so when the four of them head to the club he works out, he’s stunned. Kelsey is simply stunning and Kane can’t hold back his feelings for her anymore. She’s consumed his every thought and he wants her.

Things are going great for Kane and Kelsey. They have both bared their souls to each other, they love one another greatly and spend all their time together until one night, everything goes wrong and Kelsey gets her heart broken even when it wasn’t Kane’s fault.

Battling heartbreak, even more drama occurs for Kelsey and when it’s a battle of life or death for her and her loved ones, she will do whatever she can to make sure they live.

Kelsey was a delicate character in the beginning. You could see the guilt pouring off her, for what, we did not know yet. She was shy to an extent; she didn’t like ‘putting herself’ out there even though she wanted to be the girl she used to be. You really do feel sorry for Kelsey. Her past has overtaken her life – throwing nightmares at her during the night at times, so she relives that one moment that changed her.

But throughout the book, we see her change; her friendship with Jessie and her friendship with Kane are both factors of this change. We see her turn back into the girl she was, the strong, playful, loving girl. We see her open up her past to Kane which took courage and trust. We see her think of the ‘best’ parts of her past which in turns makes her get a tattoo in memory of that one memory she tells us about. (Hint, it’s on the book cover)

I applaud Kelsey for the journey she took throughout this book. She learned to trust, learned to open up and learned to love and be loved. Although she still harboured the guilt, in time she began to realize that none of what happened was her fault. She has a strength to her that took over her in the end and although that was the past that made me panicky, I am glad that she let go of her past for good and did what she did. So kudos Kelsey.

Now Kane. Before he met Kelsey he had a rep. Love ‘em and leave ‘em rep. But this was his way of dealing with the guilt he had racked up inside of him too. Then one day he just flipped and decided he didn’t want to be that way anymore. Didn’t want to drink, do drug or sleep with numerous women whom he didn’t give a rat’s ass about.

He really didn’t have a bad boy rep if I’m being honest. He was the sweetest guy around. He changed himself for the better, even if he was protective around Kelsey; it was due to never feeling this way before. All these feelings he had, they were new to him and it was pretty lush to watch him fall in love with Kelsey. To want to be the one for her. He’s had his struggles too, he has guilt over his past too, but he bears his past to Kelsey too and in turn, they learn to trust and try to not let their demon’s get to them.

I love that Kelsey and Kane both let one another in. Their relationship was cute and I loved the trust and love they had for one another. It was instant, their attraction was undeniable and it was just perfect for them to be with each other. It was sweet and the things Kane told Kelsey, I just wanted to sweep him up into a hug and keep him for myself, plus I wanted to kiss his lips! Pierced lip is hot…I should know, I used to have my lip pierced 😉

I have to say, my favourite part was when they first had sex. I know, I know, but it was like the perfect scene. It was the perfect time for them to consummate their relationship (HAHA) and it was all Kelsey’s doing, Kane didn’t pressure her or anything and he was so careful and loving with her that he made it that much special for her. I was smiling like an idiot over that scene. I just loved the connection they had and the love for one another for them to take it to the next level.

Although there are quite a few questions that I would love to have answered, I am still giving this book 4 stars. I did enjoy it and I love a tattooed boy, as you should all know by now. If you are looking for a cute college romance, with broken characters with a past that they eventually try to get over together, then Breath Into Me is the book for you.

Mentioned above, I love the bald, tattooed drummer that is Jesse. Growing up with a drunk of a father who used to beat him until Jesse was old enough to fight back, protecting Emmie along with his band mates was the only thing that mattered. Making sure she was safe, especially when the band became famous. Nothing mattered more than Emmie.

Jesse really is a brilliant character. He loves unconditionally, hes strong yet he’s gentle, hes confident and cocky but he never really uses his famous status, more content on being grounded and just basking in the love that all this band mates and Emmie share together.

As everyone in the band, he has a past. He’s never really had anyone who he has felt ‘more’ with apart from Emmie, but he’s just her best friend, so when he hears and meets Layla for the first time, its like a shock to the system. He can’t get this girl out of his head. He just needs her, needs to be with her and have her. It was so nice to see Jesse this way; to find someone who he wants to be with, to pursue romantically because he and Layla had this sizzling chemistry right from the start. As much as she told herself to stay away, she couldn’t, and Jesse was adamant on having her. Their pull just overtook them both and they just had to be together.

I loved how he (and the group) took Layla’s sisters under their wings, treating them with care and love. It was perfect to see this band, who love music and don’t care for the famous status to embrace three new characters into their dynamic and love them unconditionally too.

Jesse really would do anything to make Layla happy – even when they had a tipping point during parts of the book – but in the end, Jesse loved Layla with everything. You will find out just how much throughout the book ;).

Posted in Romance, YA

ARC: Hooked (Hooked #1) – Liz Fichera

12369649Synopsis

When Native American Fredricka ‘Fred’ Oday is invited to become the only girl on the school’s golf team, she can’t say no. This is an opportunity to shine, win a scholarship and go to university, something no one in her family has done.

But Fred’s presence on the team isn’t exactly welcome — especially not to rich golden boy Ryan Berenger, whose best friend was kicked off the team to make a spot for Fred.

But there’s no denying that things are happening between the girl with the killer swing and the boy with the killer smile…

GET HOOKED ON A GIRL NAMED FRED.

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

My Review

All Fred Oday wants to do is play golf. It gets her away from her house and into a zone for a few hours. When she’s spotted by her high school coach for the golf team and he offers her a place, she accepts. Little does she know, someone is going to get kicked off for her to take his place and that someone is Seth, Ryan’s best friend.

Ryan Berenger isn’t happy at all that his friend got kicked off the team in favour for a girl, but the more he sees Fred play golf and the more time they spend together, it’s clear that she’s more than amazing at golf and there’s no denying that something is happening between them, something neither of them saw coming.

I really enjoyed reading this book. Writing about two characters from completely different sides of the woods yet they have many things in common from their dysfunctional families to their love of Golf. I never thought I’d ever read a YA about golf, especially a girl being consumed by the sport but I really loved reading about the sport, as I’m not a massive golf fan at all, but Liz made it seem so interesting that I couldn’t put the book down. The alternating POV’s truly made the story come alive as well, getting an insight into both Ryan and Fred’s thoughts and feelings about one another; their voices were prominent and I felt connected to both of the characters. I also loved the Indian culture in this book. In a way, this book reminded me of Shut Up and Kiss Me by Christie Craig with the Indian culture and it made me really interested in learning more about the culture.

Fredricka – or Fred as she’d rather be called is from the Rez, the Indian community where they are all a close knit family. She practices golf every day as it’s a way out from being at home where her mum drinks all the time. She’s never had any golfing lessons, she self-taught herself but anyone who watches her can see she is amazing, and that’s actually what Coach says about her. So much so, he offers her a place on the golf team – but little does she know that someone has to be kicked off in order for her to have a place. As much as being petrified that she’s the only girl on the team, all she wants to do is play golf, and that’s exactly what she does.

I found her to be a strong girl, especially when comments were being passed about her but she held her ground and tried not to let them get to her. She was also confused over liking Ryan but in a way, it seemed to be her destiny to be with him. That’s how I thought about it anyway. Being the only girl on the team especially with her being from a different culture to them, the boys just didn’t know how to act or what to say, but it seemed once they got used to her and began winning they began to see her as a teammate and not the ‘Indian girl’ on a boys golf team. I loved watching her overcome all the obstacles that were placed in her way until she finally found herself, her true self and it genuinely made me happy that everything was coming into place.

Ryan is the popular kid at school. He’s the top golfer on the team and goes to all the parties. When his friend Seth, is kicked off the golf team in favour of Fred, Seth isn’t happy at all, and plans his revenge to get her kicked off. You can instantly see that although Ryan isn’t happy that a girl is on team and replaced Seth, he isn’t happy about being involved in the revenge at all. Throughout the book you see Ryan grow up and become into himself. You can see he’s conflicted about Fred. He’s gone from never seeing her around to seeing her everywhere he goes and he’s confused over his feelings for her. Getting to know her, it’s obvious that he really likes her but people keep messing with his head and getting in the way of them being together properly.

I loved his chapters when Seth was being batshit crazy over Fred and Ryan was there to beat him down – it showed his true feelings for Fred and I just loved him for that. He’s not without his douchery, but he does condone himself and tries to fix everything he’s done wrong. It really does make him think about himself and how he doesn’t want to be like everyone else – at least that is what I got from his character. Whether you feel that too, well, you’ll have to read it and analyse him yourself.

Their journey is not without struggles but throughout their diversions – when they are apart – it seems that neither of them can catch a break. Revenge from Seth was delivered plenty of times, Gwyneth completely got on my nerves with her lying and jealousy and everything that should have been an easy road for Ryan and Fred was just blown up because of the drama caused by people who were happy at all about an ‘Indian chick’ changing everything. But I did like the ending, as I do with many books. Everything seemed to work out perfectly, even if everything wasn’t completely worked out – Seth – but they overcame everything thrown at them, and I was grateful that Liz let them catch a break.

This book is more than just a romance, sporty book – it’s about fighting for your dream, no matter how hard it may be and also overcoming your stereotype – changing people’s perceptions of you. As a Native American, Fred is used to all sorts of comments thrown her way but she tries to be strong and ignore them, never forgetting her roots and never being embarrassed about them. She is proud of where she’s from and who she is. It was great to see a character embracing her culture and never forgetting it. It shows how wrong it is to discriminate against other people when you don’t even know them.

This book is out on the 1st February and I would like to thank NetGalley for providing me with an ARC copy of this book. I’m going to be super cheesy now but it definitely had me ‘Hooked’ right until the end. Make sure to grab your copy when it comes out. As I’ve said, I’m not a fan of golf but added with the drama and romance, the Indian blessings and prayers and you’ve got yourself a great book!

Posted in Romance, YA

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight – Jennifer E. Smith

Synopsis

Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan’s life. Having missed her flight, she’s stuck at JFK airport and late to her father’s second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon-to-be stepmother Hadley’s never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport’s cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he’s British, and he’s sitting in her row.

A long night on the plane passes in the blink of an eye, and Hadley and Oliver lose track of each other in the airport chaos upon arrival. Can fate intervene to bring them together once more?

Quirks of timing play out in this romantic and cinematic novel about family connections, second chances, and first loves. Set over a twenty-four-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver’s story will make you believe that true love finds you when you’re least expecting it.

———————————————————————————————————————————————————-

My Review

Love at first sight has always intrigued me. Can people actually fall in love with a glance to each other or is that just classified as lust?

Hadley is off to London for her dad’s second marriage to a woman who she has never met and will also be seeing her father for the first time in a year – minus telephone calls. She’s not exactly ecstatic to be going and would rather stay home than fly across the pond to be a bridesmaid.

4 minutes late for her flight and Hadley is stuck in JFK for another 3 hours, to wait for the next flight to London. As a claustrophobic, this is her idea of hell, being around people and in cramp spaces, but then she meets Oliver, a British boy studying in America and they begin to talk. More excitingly, he’s sat in her row on the plane.

After a long night on the plane, all different topics of conversation floating between the two, moments of sleeping on each other’s shoulder, fleeting looks, and Oliver keeping Hadley’s mind off being confined in a tiny space, the time has passed and it’s time to land and part ways after a perfect flight of being together.

As Hadley and Oliver are forced to go separate ways through customs, reaching the other side with the chaos of people everywhere, she waits for Oliver but she loses him and she has no more time to wait as she’s already going to be late for her Dad’s wedding. Will they ever meet again?

It’s set over a period of 24 hours, but my god, it seems so much longer, probably because so much is happening in this book and so many emotions are conveyed by all the characters. It really is a story with ups and downs, with a few tears included on some parts – from me of course.

It’s about family’s coming together again, a simple meeting turning into someone more for both Oliver and Hadley and both joy and sadness wrapped in both their stories.

It was such a nice little love story to read and especially as over the course of the book, Oliver hadn’t told Hadley what he was studying and researchng and he kept giving her false answers, but when you find out, you can’t help but laugh as its completely adapted into the story.

A totally fluffy love story that you wish would happen to you someday.