October 5, 2015

NEW ADULT MONDAYS: Make It Right (Bowler University #2)

The New Adult genre - their bad boys and big problems and epic loves make them engrossing tales that are so easy to lose yourself in. What's not to love about that? And, now, thanks to the cool chicks at Bewitched Bookworms, we can show these books the love they deserve in a weekly feature - New Adult Mondays.

Make It Right (Bowler University #2), by Megan Erickson
Publish Date: September 9, 2014
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
paperback, borrowed
new adult contemporary romance
To Buy:
Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating: 4.5 STARS

(From Goodreads) Max Payton lives by two rules:
Size and strength win any fight, and never show weakness.

When a rash of assaults sends Bowler University for a tail spin, Max volunteers to help teach a self-defense class. One of the other instructors is the beautiful pixie-faced girl he keeps butting heads with…and who challenges everything he thought he knew.

Lea Travers avoids guys like Max - cocky jocks who assume she's fragile because of a disability caused by a childhood accident. She likes to be in control, and something about being with Max makes her feel anything but. But during the moments he lets his guard down, Lea sees a soul as broken inside as she is outside. Trusting him is a whole other problem...

When the assaults ramp up and hit close to home, Lea and Max must learn, before it’s too late, that true strength can come from vulnerability…and giving in to trust is sometimes the only way to make things right.

I gotta admit - Megan had her work cut out for her with this one. After how he treated both his girlfriend (well, now EX-girlfriend) Kat and his BFF Alec, I wasn't sure there was any way Max could be redeemed. After reading Make It Right, I've learned never to doubt Megan Erickson again. 

At least Max realizes what a jerk he was, and in the beginning of Make It Right, we see him overcompensating for that. He's feeling awkward around Kat and Alec and their friends after what he did, and to keep from being seen as weak or uncomfortable, he's lashing out at all of them. To make matters worse, Max's relationship with his father is awful, and his dad has backed him into a corner where his future is concerned.  It's really no big surprised that Max is as grouchy as he is. 

Lea has a hard time with large and in charge guys like Max. If she only dates men who are more... submissive... she can keep her feelings for them at a minimum. She has a disability that hinders her ability to walk and includes a nasty scar. Some guys get freaked out by that, so the less attached Lea is, the better. I loved Lea. She's a plucky, strong heroine who doesn't take crap from anyone. I loved the scene in the book where Max walks into the self-defense class he was to assist with and discovers that Lea is not an attendee, but rather an instructor. She blew him away and solidified his attraction to her all at once.

I loved watching how Max's and Lea's relationship develops. In the beginning, they don't really like each other much at all. Well, Max likes Lea, but he doesn't want to like her. It's the same for Lea. So, they dance around each other for awhile, neither willing to admit to the attraction they both feel. But, of course, eventually they both give in to it, and the chemistry between these two was off the charts.

I loved the side story of Max's relationship with his brothers and his dad. He's very close with his two older brothers. They feel for him because they know that he doesn't want to work at the family auto garage, but he's too afraid to tell his father that. Max has some things to work out regarding his relationship with his dad, and we see him struggle with that throughout the course of the book.

The threat of the on-campus stalker is an exciting mystery that results in a scary ending. It was a great catalyst for Max's and Lea's story too.

I'm loving the Bowler University series so much. I'm so sad that there's only one book left now. If I had extra hours in the day, I would definitely spend them re-reading this whole series - it just gets better and better.

October 2, 2015

Stacking the Shelves - 10/2

I love seeing everyone's book hauls for the week. It's exciting, and fun and it tells me what sales are still going on. :) And, thanks to Tynga's Reviews, we can do that with Stacking the Shelves! So, you show me mine, and you show me yours.

Digital ARC received for review:


I am so excited for my friend Jana's debut release, Wrong. I have the ARC sitting on my Kindle just waiting for me to finish up my current read so I can snuggle in for a good laugh and some sexy times. I can't wait!

October 1, 2015

AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: Fire Inside (Chaos #2)

Fire Inside (Chaos #2), by Kristen Ashley
Publish Date: June 4, 2013
Publisher: Forever Romance
audiobook, purchased
adult contemporary romance
To Buy:
Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating: 5 STARS

(From Goodreads) Lanie Heron isn't looking for love-no surprise, considering her last serious relationship nearly got her killed. So when Lanie propositions Hop Kincaid, all she wants is one wild night with the hot-as-hell biker who patrols with the Chaos Motorcycle Club . . .

For Hop, Lanie has always been untouchable. She's too polished and too classy for his taste. But when she gives Hop the once-over with her bedroom eyes and offers him a night in paradise, he can't say no. And he doesn't regret it when he finds that Lanie is the best thing that's ever happened to him-in or out of bed. Now the trick will be to convince her of that.

There was one main element to Fire Inside that absolutely MADE this book for me. And his name is Hopper Kincaid. At first, I wasn't sure I would like Hop. By his description, he doesn't sound like the typical guys that do it for me. First off, he has a mustache. Not my thing. Secondly, he wears lots of jewelry - rings, chains around his neck - that sort of thing. Also, not my idea of a hot biker. But... I don't know. I guess it was the essence that was Hopper Kincaid that turned me into a huge fan of his and made me fall in love again with the Chaos MC series. 

Lanie was a bit harder for me to get on board with. I was all for her plan in the beginning. It had been seven years since she and her fiance were caught in a hail of bullets. He died; she didn't. Lanie didn't want another relationship, but a round of hot sex with a biker she's had her eye on for a really long time? Yes please. And, initially, Hop was on board too. A hot chick who wouldn't press for a second date is a dream come true, especially for a man with relationship baggage of his own. But, for both Lanie and Hopper, that first night stayed with them long after it ended. 

Hop got used to the idea of a relationship LONG before Lanie did. It was one of the reasons it took me longer to warm up to Lanie. How could she NOT want to be with such an amazing man? Here was this guy who was a great dad, a loyal brother to his club mates, a man completely devoted to her and to taking care of her, and a pro at the sexy times. And yet, Lanie balked at something real with him again and again. 

And, Hopper was absolutely determined. He was never pushy in that he made her do things she didn't want to do. No - he made her do things she DID want to do, and he knew it. She was just scared, and understandably so. Hop saw through all that, and it became his mission to pull her out of her self-imposed darkness and into the light with him. 

There was less drama in Fire Inside than there was in Own The Wind. This was mostly a relationship book. There was very little danger and action. It was more about Lanie overcoming the demons of her past and her present in order to have a future with the man who is absolutely perfect for her. And it was about Hop learning that sometimes capitulation is okay and even healthy. 

What I'm coming to see as the hallmarks of the Chaos series was still there, though, despite the lack of drama and angst. The terms of endearment, the clipped language (particularly on Hop's part) the almost babbling inner monologues (particularly on Lanie's part) - they all blend uniquely together to make this interesting story set in a captivating world with intriguing characters. 

Lanie's and Hop's story takes place at the same time as Shy and Tabby's story from Own The Wind, so some of the events, as told from Tabby's or Shy's POV that involved Lanie and Hop were now fleshed out, and that was a lot of fun to read. But, because both stories were taking place at the same time, we saw very little from Shy and Tabby in this book.

Once again, I listened to the audio version of this book, and although it was a different narrator, I still loved it. At first I thought I loved the original narrator more, but as I got used to Kate Russell's higher pitch and slightly different delivery, I grew to love her as much as Angela Starling from Own The Wind.

I can't wait to continue the series, and intend to do so with my next Audible credit. I love how different this series is from most other MC books I've read. I love the relationships that form and how the men stand by their women no matter what.