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review 2018-06-24 22:03
The Mistake - Elle Kennedy

This definitely does not pack the punch of The Deal, but is told in the same breezy, quick, engaging and frankly realistic style (speaking of the banter/conversation here). I also don't think it has the humor. I don't love comparing within series, I don't think it's fair. I just did it though, and I'll stand by that.

 

Frankly, I like these two characters backstories and conflicts far better than I like the predecessors because it felt more fresh, and in a lot of ways they weren't fixated like the way the characters in the prior novel. It features another sweet and open hero who basically just wants love.

 

So, why deduct a star-ish you ask? Grace. I thought she was realistic in a college freshman, kind of insecure way, but she flipped so quickly in her assertiveness,  it was annoying. And in the final conflict at the tail end of the book, I cannot be convinced that her behavior was sensitive or in any regard in character for her. I didn't get a great sense of her. She was shy and wasn't, she was sensitive but wasn't. 

 

That said, I enjoy this series more than nearly any NA, and it is tops for hockey. In some respects, I liked the pacing of this book better-and it shows another college couple getting to their happy ending in a very different way with a very different start. (And my eyes do get wet at one point, man, what the hell is happening to me)

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text 2018-06-13 10:18
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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-04-25 01:13
No cheating, but some OW
The Deal (Off-Campus Book 1) - Elle Kennedy

Update November 5th Adding warnings for my friends who expect not only faithful hero but 0% OW activity. Look my warnings at the end of my original review. This is important because this is a book that I recommend all the time to readers who like me hate cheating
4.5 solid stars, rounded because this is a great New adult read, FREE OF CHEATING, barely any slutshaming and the hero is just adorable. I've found a new book boyfriend!


Devin Paisley as Garrett!



description

Thank you so much my friends of the safety gang for giving me information of this book. I was about to pass on this one because the author is the same of that rape fest, disloyal hero fest, antiromantic sex-scenes called Paper princess. I can't believe this is from the same author. Where one book seems to be pro-rape, and is 100% inappropiate for a "YA romance" audience, this book was sexy, romantic, funny, smart (for the most part), realistic from the point of view of an abuse survivor and her strugles, full of anti-rape messages, (almost)free of slutshaming, mature but still addictive in spite of the lack of drama and it was definetely a joy to read. In short the word I'm really looking for to describe this book is AWESOME!

Garrett is the ideal book-boyfriend if you were looking for one. He manages to be a tortured soul, manwhore without being a cheater or a disgustingly abusive guy! He was so manly and sweet at the same time. And the best is that he had a very funny side. I laughed so much with his wit and his charm. I love him so much that I got pissed of at Hannah for taking a stupid decision later that hurt him so much, but other than that I didn't have problems with this book.


description

All starts when Hannah, an abuse survivor and an "almost-non-TSTL" heroine (TSTL=too stupid to live) agrees to tutor Garrett in exchange of him helping her to get the attention of her crush. I say almost non TSTL because what I noticed from the two Elle Kennedy books I've read is that her heroines are strong for the first part of the book and later they become obedient and go along with the crap others put on them. For 70% of the book I was like "This is going to be a 6 stars" and it wasn't until the end that I had problems with Hannah because [ she looses her spunk or more like Elle Kennedy makes her lose her spunk. She lets herself be blackmailed and intimated by Garret's father. I wouldn't have even agreed to talk to that horrible man (he beats his wife and beat Garret when he was a kid), but she does it because "otherwise she wouldn't be able to concentrate in work" and then it's obvious that this man wouldn't retire financial support from Garret. I wouldn't have fallen for that, I would have put that man in his place, and even if I had believe his lies, I would have talked to Garret first rather than hurt him. There were so many ways the separation could have gone withouth her turning in a TSTL girl. Not only that. She doesn't talk about this to her friends, and then she lets herself be convinced into talking to a traitorous girl who treated her badly in the past during a recital. I wouldn't have talked to that bitch, but in the same recital Hannah is too agreable to this girl and too cold to her friends (hide spoiler)] but I still would prefer to root for Hannah 100000000 times over Ella, the heroine from the other Kennedy book I read. At least Hannah managed to be FUNNY, AND SMART FOR 80% of the book, she didn't slut-shame and she didn't let Garrett set the tone of the relationship or ordered her around. I love that in heroines.

Another thing that I love about this book is that sometimes you find adult fiction/erotica marketed as New adult reads, but there's barely any references to college life, to coming of age journeys and to trying to find your place while you're studying. Example of this would be At any price by Breana Audrey. It's labeled NA, but in reality it's more adult/erotica/romantic suspense. I love New adult, I love to see the struggles of people reaching adulthood but not quite there yet. This book is new adult featuring college life, full of college/coming of age situations and in my opinion a must read of the genre.

The romance builds slowly betweent these two, but it's not completely free of insta-love. I think it has the right rhythm for you to root for these two to be together, it's fast in a way but still you get to know them really well before anything happens. I enjoyed so much that. This book reminds me a lot of Beautiful disaster with the difference that Garrett never considers cheating throughout the customary separation of the couple that happens in all NA reads. Hannah considers cheating, though! But at the end nothing horrible happens and we get our HEA and closure. No cliffhanger here.

I'm recommending this to romance readers who like me hate TSTLness, cheating heroes, slut shamming and "adult" characters acting like teens. It's been a while since a contemporary romance impressed but The Deal surprised me in a good way, just when I was about to give up on the erotic romance genre.

WARNINGS
There is OW activity twice. Once the same day H talks h for the first time and another when she's still crushing in another guy but she's slowly falling for hero. I didn't mind. My hard limit is when that happens after our couple kiss for the first time. [ In this book OW happens when they were only strangers and later friends and it wasn't detailed. The first time is fade to black, the second time is a little more visual, I could picture the scene but rather than upsetting me I laughed at it because it was awkward the way Hannah caught him. It didnt' bother me other than I wish Hannah had refused to change their appointment. However, since a lot of my friends hate OW activity and one even didn't finish the book because these scenes I added the warning. I'd say also that I haven't read book 2 but I DNF book 3 because OW activity was too detailed for my taste but that's another free of cheating book, just be careful 

Source: www.goodreads.com/review/show/1266425072
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review 2018-04-18 22:34
"Big Vamp On Campus - Half-Moon Hollow 5.5" by Molly Harper - fun novella for fans of the Hollow
Big Vamp on Campus - Molly Harper

Visiting Half-Moon Hollow is a guilty pleasure that I indulge in when I'm looking for an éclair read: a lightning flash of escapist fun that is light and simple but packed with good things.

 

"Big Vamp On Campus" is a mini-éclair, a novella in the Half-Moon Hollow series, that focuses on Ophelia, one of my favourite characters, and captures her during a period of transition.

 

In previous books, Ophelia, a 400-year-old vampire who looks sixteen and wears a Hello Kitty backpack, has been the Big Bad: a power-hungry bureaucrat with a lethal temper and a reputation for spectacular acts of violence.

 

"Big Vamp On Campus" follows on from Ophelia's dastardly deeds in "The Dangers Of Dating A Rebound Vampire". Ophelia has lost her powerbase and is being punished by being sent to college "to engage in a normal college experience" so that she can demonstrate that she can control her homicidal impulses.

 

What follows is a pleasant slice of college life in which Ophelia gets to try out being normal by doing exotic things like making friends with nice people who have no agenda that she has to worry about or respond to. True, Ophelia still unleashes violence on her annoying vampire roommate but no actual torture is involved and the roommate really is unpleasant.

 

Ophelia was always more than a self-serving, paranoid, manipulative predator. With her blood-mate and her sister, she is capable of demonstrating passionate loyalty and her own peculiar brand of affection. What makes this book work is seeing Ophelia explore that side of herself and expand the radius of the circle that contains US rather than THEM.

 

This is a fun book for the fans but not the right place to start. If you're new to Half-Moon Hollow, I recommend that you go back to "Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs" and take the journey from the beginning.

 

I recommend the audiobook version, read with skill by Amanda Ronconi. Click on the SooundCloud link below to hear a sample.

 

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review 2018-03-12 07:10
Blog Tour w/Review - Off Campus Set-Up
 
 
Title: Off-Campus Setup
Author: Maria Vickers
Genre: M/M College Romance
Release Date: March 7, 2018
 
 
 
 
 
Levi Cox left it all behind to go to school in California, but nothing could prepare him for what he discovers when he gets there. Between the university screwing up his living arrangements, the weird meddling old woman who runs the boarding house, and the fellow student who instantly catches his eye, life in Cali is more than he expected, and he isn’t sure he’s ready for any of it. College was supposed to be an adventure, but this might be more than Levi can handle. 
 
Nathan Orion wants to have fun. That’s what he lives for and it's exactly what his college years are supposed to be about. He’s happy with living the single life and being carefree…that is until the new student at his grandmother’s boarding house crashes into his life. Now he’s been recruited to show the new guy around, and if Nathan has his way, it won't be just on-campus.
 
Will there be more, or is this only an illusion? Two men thrown together, not expecting anything, but possibly finding so much more than an off-campus setup.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
“This book was very enjoyable!” - Under Covers Book Blog
 
“Such a fantastic book!” - Goodreads Review
 
“If you love M/M stories, you will love this one.” - Cranky - The Book Curmudgeon 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Prologue
 
Levi
 
I remembered everything very clearly. The first time we met, our first kiss, the first time we were discovered in the same bed by a nosey grandmother with bright yellow hair, and then the fallout when I realized everything was nothing more than a wishful fantasy that was never supposed to come true. 
 
And now I as scanned this room to make sure nothing got left behind, I realized how much I’d changed and how far I’d come. My imaginary world exploded, leaving me shell shocked and pissed off. 
 
This wasn’t the first time I’d fallen prey to feelings, wasn’t the first time I’d been hurt, but it would be the last. 
 
I took a step out of the room and closed the door behind me. This part of my life was now over, and a new one had just begun. 
 
 
***
 
Nathan
 
Life as I knew it had disappeared. Poof. Gone without a trace. And any other of those sayings people tended to overuse. 
 
It was my own fault really. I should have expected it, should have seen it coming, but I hadn’t. And now everything had changed. Good or bad. I didn’t know yet. Should I be thanking her or blaming her? Both maybe? 
 
As I closed the door on the small space I’d called my bedroom for the past few years, I realized for the first time I didn’t know what I was going to do or what would happen tomorrow…and oddly enough, that thrilled me.
 
 
 
 
 
Off-Campus SetupOff-Campus Setup by Maria Vickers
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Levi is finally getting to pursue his dream. He has arrived at college with a plan. Until he finds he may not be able to live where he thought. Now he has to hurry or go back home.

Nathan knows it is time to grow up. He has not looked forward to living the life his parents have chosen. He wants to choose his future. When he and Levi crash into one another it is a jaw dropping, eye opener. Will the secrets come out and change the course?

Sweet and tender, this story starts out slow and picks up steam. These characters are learning to become the young adults they know they can be. What they find is they can be stronger as a team. Navigating emotions are always hard, it helps to have someone in your corner.




***This early copy was given in exchange for an honest review.

View all my reviews
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Maria Vickers currently lives in St. Louis, MO with her pug, Spencer Tracy. She has always had a passion for writing and after she became disabled in 2010, she decided to use writing as her escape. She believes that life is about what you make of it. You have to live it to the fullest no matter the circumstances.
 
From a young age, she has always loved books and even dreamed of being an author when she was younger. Growing up in the Navy, she used to weave tales for her siblings and her friends about anything and everything. And when she wasn't creating her own stories, she had a book in her hand. They transported her to another world. She hopes that with her books, her readers have the same experience and that they can relate to her characters. 
 
Getting sick changed her life forever, but it also opened doors for her that she thought would always be out of reach.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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