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Search tags: smart-girls-swoony-boys
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review 2014-02-17 05:38
Misbehaving
Misbehaving - Tiffany Reisz

I love Tiffany Reisz, and I loved this loose reimagining of Much Ado About Nothing. After spending over a year in her Original Sinners world, this was a fun change of pace from the floggers & clergy of the Eighth Circle :) And I mean that in the best possible way. Beatriz, Ben, and their supporting cast of characters are wonderful - with dialogue and a story arc that's as smart (& funny) as the sex is hot. I shelved this under Smart Smut because it's just that - it's high quality, sex-positive erotica from a gifted writer and story-teller. And by sex positive I mean that both Bea & Ben are are confident in themselves and with each other. They find no shame in their bodies or what they are doing together, and they COMMUNICATE about all of it.

 

It's a rare find an erotic novel with solid storyline in addition to engaging characters and really well-written sex scenes. I'd read anything Tiffany wrote, and look forward to whatever she offers us next.

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review 2014-02-13 06:31
Best Kind of Broken
Best Kind of Broken - Chelsea Fine

3.5 Stars.

Best Kind of Broken hits all the typical New Adult benchmarks: brooding, damaged main characters with tragic pasts. Peppy-yet-intuitive sidekicks who attempt to be the voice of truth. Missing &/or inattentive parents. Main characters who are so damaged & angsty that they're rendered completely indecisive about their futures - which leaves them loads of time to run into one another in various stages of dress, all the while working up the courage to just talk about the tragedy from their past. And of course, this all builds much unresolved sexual tension. Oh the UST! And the angst. So very much of both of these!

Which would lead anyone reading this review to think I didn't like the book - which is completely wrong. I tore through Pixie & Levi's story in a day & a half dying to know what their Big! Secret! Past! was all about & just how they were going to resolve all that sexual tension. The writing is higher-quality than many others I've read in the New Adult genre, and Fine does a nice job with the alternating viewpoint. She reveals the Big Tragic Past later than most NAs, which worked well for me and I found that I really liked and rooted for both of the main characters. Pixie wasn't a doormat or a Mary Sue, and while she was, in effect, waiting for her hero to come along, it fit with the specific plot & her history with Levi & didn't make her come across as weak. And oh the swoons. Many many swoons to Levi. 

The main issue I had with Best Kind of Broken: the ending wrapped up entirely too neatly and much too quickly. Fine did a nice job with pacing right up to the very end. Even after the Big Reveal midway through, her pacing didn't fall flat. It felt like a big letdown after the steady build-up she created though out the novel.

All in all a nice read. As a sucker for angst & UST & steamy resolution, I enjoyed it a lot & will put the next one on my TBR list. Would make a great summer/beach read. Fans of Colleen Hoover, Huntley Fitzpatrick, and Tammara Webber will enjoy this book.

*ARC provided via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

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review 2014-02-03 20:06
Staking His Claim
Staking His Claim (A Line of Duty Novel) (Entangled Brazen) - Tessa Bailey

I think I've read too much BDSM (both good AND bad) to really get behind the premise of this book. I really liked Matt & Lucy, but Matt's "I like it rough, but that makes me bad" schtick is rather old. It's not like he's looking for a dungeon & someone to dress in head to toe latex... he just has strong dominant tendencies in bed & needs to figure out that doesn't make him bad. Lucy is a strong, self-aware female who knows what she wants. She can handle it. And she likes it... a lot.  But of course Matt's self-flagellation gets in the way. I guess I'd rather have seen him be a hard-core dom looking for a partner & coming to terms with his needs rather than what we saw in this story. I really liked Lucy a lot though, and when they did hit the sheets, there was some nice dirty-talk. Dialogue felt awkward in places & I guess I just didn't love this as much as I loved a couple of Bailey's previous books. 

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review 2014-01-26 07:10
Making Faces
Making Faces - Amy Harmon

Making Faces was a really nice surprise in terms of the New Adult genre (which seems to be 90% eye-rolling melodrama) as well as the fact that it's self-published. Despite some predictable elements to the plot, Making Faces was a lovely read. The story unfolds in pieces, building Fern, Ambrose, and Bailey's entertwined pasts until we're in the present and everything comes to a head. The prose was sometimes flat, and there was some telling-not-showing, but then there were moments - and passages - that were really profound & poignant. What Ms. Harmon lacks in prose she makes up for by creating well-rounded characters and building the plot in careful layers. So much NA is heavy on relationship angst and drama, but Making Faces was all about longing & growing up & the heartbreak of life & moving forward. 


"I've loved you since you quoted Hamlet like you understood him, since you said you loved ferris wheels more than roller coasters because life shouldn't be lived at full speed, but in anticipation and appreciation."

“She decided she would just be a fairy because she liked the option of flying without the responsibility of saving the world.”

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review 2013-12-09 03:07
Truly
Truly - Ruthie Knox

I really love Ruthie Knox's stories. They're smart, well-written, and generally have well-developed characters. For me, her novels are like a chick-flick, in that I know there will be a happy resolution, but I still find myself getting caught up in the meet-cute, angst/UST-development, and angst/UST-resolution. And Truly doesn't disappoint. May and Ben are engaging, with snappy dialogue and build an interesting relationship as they solve their own personal issues. Overall, it's a fun "fluff-with-substance" read, and was the perfect anecdote between some heavier fare I was reading in December. It was also nice that it wasn't just novella length, but a fully-fleshed out story rather than a quick "half hour sitcom" read.

“It was easy to love your idea of someone - to fall hard for their very best self. The question was whether, once you had to spend some time living with their worst self, you could bear to be with them anymore.” 

*read on Wattpad

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