Bookit Review # 18: My Best Friend’s Ex

Title: My Best Friend’s Ex
Author: Hazel Kelly
Publication Date: June 8, 2018
Format: Ebook (Kindle Unlimited)
Grade: C

This book was not horrible, but it was pretty underwhelming.  There was very little plot, most of which sets up a possible series.  None of the characters were particularly developed past the main two, and some significant parts of the back story were never really brought closure.  Perhaps that will happen in the books that follow.    I’m assuming this is the start of a series as it is listed as “Beta Brothers #1”.

The premise of the book is that Zoey and Logan are adopted siblings.  Their parents have adopted several children over the years (and continue to adopt).  Logan was adopted as a sixteen year old while Zoey was much younger when she was adopted.  Therefore she feels more like they are her parents while he sees them as parent-figures.  Oddly enough this is not their awkward obstacle.

Apparently for them, it’s the fact that Logan dated Zoey’s life-long best friend.  There is a back story there but it’s unevenly reveled and the two main characters never really directly talk about it.  They don’t really let it affect them long either.  The romance is pretty much developed pre-story.  This story is just how they ended up actually hooking up.

I feel this is one of those books that perhaps will be better once a sequel is out.  Perhaps things were left vague to be developed in another segment.  I’m not sure if I will read the next book or not.  I tend to prefer plot and development over simple hook up stories.  However if you like uncomplicated (despite the background) love stories it might appeal to you.

As I said, it was not horrible, but I feel like It could have used more space devoted to developing the characters and the background story then to the love scenes.  It reads more as an early dating to their first time story rather than a romance.  For being their big “obstacle” Piper doesn’t show up very often and is underdeveloped as a character.  This feels like a rough draft to a longer story and I hope the rest of the series helps develop the background characters and setting.

Bookit #17: Kenzie & The Guy Next Door

Title: Kenzie and the Guy Next Door (Scandelous #4)
Author: R. Linda
Publication Date: May 29, 2018
Format:  Ebook (Kindle Unlimited)
Grade: B.

In the fourth book of the Scandalous series (Find them at Book One Book Two or Book Three), we are focused on Kenzie, the twin sister of Ryder from Book One.  She is now 23, and her son Cole is five.  She lives on her own in a apartment near her mother and Brother, and is going to school to become a nurse.  However her life gets pushed a bit off the rails when Chace, the bad guy from Book One, shows up once again.   Chace wants to see his son, which would be alright if he wasn’t doing it creeper Stalker style.

In the last book we were introduced to Harper’s brother Jeremy, who has recently gotten out of prison after he accidently ran over a child when he was 17.   This story explores more the backstory of Harper and Jeremy’s childhood and what happened the night Jeremy went to prison.  Jeremy also gets to act like the white knight for Kenzie when Chace goes too far.

This romance seems a little fast, but it also moves the background plots further.  It has some interesting aspects that I did not expect.  However listing them here would be rather spoilery so I won’t.

Not the strongest in the series (I still feel that might have been book one), but still an enjoyable read.  I do find the publication schedule a little interesting.  She seems to publishing a book every two months or so, less then between book 3 and this one.  In fact according to GOodreads (which is where I get my data from) its only been a month.  Which makes me wonder if we will see book #5 sometime this month. The next book is about Brody and Audrey, minor characters in the last three books.   According to a recent Q&A the author is working on book #6.  I hope the fast pace won’t make the quality suffer.

Bookit #16: Harper & The One Night Stand

Title:  Harper and the One Night Stand
Author:  R. Linda
Publication Date: April 10, 2018
Format:  Ebook (Kindle Unlimited)
Grade: B-

This is the third review of the books in R. Linda’s Scandalous series.  (Book One and Two are reviewed previously).  In this book we get the point of views of Nate and Harper.  Nate is the older brother of Book 2’s leading lady, Indie.  Harper was a guest at the wedding, and Kenzie (sister of Book 1’s Ryder)’s best friend.  She also happens to be the ex-girlfriend of Nate’s cousin Brody.

Nate & Harper have a one-night stand at the wedding, and then for three months keep showing up at each other’s houses, having a string of one-night-stands.  Harper finally ends it when she realises that they are perhaps not as stringless as they had begun.

I have to admit I found Brody’s part in this story puzzling.  In this book he is written as being still a bit in love with Harper, yet in the previous book he was pretty much brushing the relationship off as something in the past and that they were just friends.  So it seems a little weird that in the six months that seemed to have passed since Book 2 that Brody suddenly is persuing her again.

Like the others I enjoyed this as a light and fluffy romance.  The angst was there, but almost brushed over.  I wouldn’t call this book very deep or meaty, but it was a fun way to wile the afternoon away.

I do like that this book has carried over some of the background plot points of the previous books.  Johnny and Julie, the two restaurant owners who helped Ryder when he needed it are woven through the book as they are Harper’s Aunt and Uncle.  The other two couples from Book 1 & 2 are developed more in these books as they return from college.

The couples tend to prefer having odd nicknames for each other.  I felt that the use of Friend here just seemed a bit weird.  I can’t say exactly why, so maybe its just a personal preference.

Bookit #14: Bailey & The Bad Boy

Title: Bailey & The Bad Boy (Scandalous Series #1)
Author: R. Linda
Publication Date: November 7, 2017
Format: Ebook (Kindle Unlimited)

Grade: B

I enjoyed this book.  It was a bit cliché in some ways but it didn’t make me want to throw it out the window.  It was cute, and the characters were developed enough that I cared to find out what happened.

The main plot is that Bailey, a 17-year-old high school student, has recently been dumped by her seemingly perfect boyfriend.  During a road trip planned before the breakup, she finds her boyfriend making out with her seemingly perfect best friend.  Obviously Chace & Christina were not as perfect as Bailey thought.

Along comes Ryder, a boy who used to be Chace’s best friend.  He offers to be her fake boyfriend to piss her ex off.  She eventually accepts, and finds herself re-evaluating a lot of people in her life, including herself.   As always, hijinks and drama ensue.

My main issues with this novel were the setting inconsistencies.  At one point it is mentioned that it is based in California.  However, the main characters have a 2 month “summer” vacation over Christmas.  Given the Author is in fact from Australia, it makes more sense to pretend I just never saw the mention of California.  I also don’t see how teenagers can just disappear from school as much as these kids seem to.  Cutting out of their classes with seemingly no consequences for that.  The one character leaves for a month.  At my high school, you’d be risking being held back and repeating the grade.

I also think that is a bit idealistic, but that’s okay.  I plan on reading the next book, Indie & The brothers Best Friend next.  We will see if it continues to be enjoyable.  I did not have that experience with the Holiday HIgh series I started to read/review earlier this year (hence why only one got reviewed in the end).

Bookit Review: My Fake Valentine

Title: My Fake Valentine (Holiday High Series #1)

Author: Kellie McAllen

Bookit # 12

Publication date January 17, 2018
Format: Kindle Unlimited Ebook

This was another find via the Kindle Unlimited. I have tended to avoid Teen romance for awhile because I got stuck with a few bad ones in the past that promoted some really bad ideals as far as relationships go. But I figured I would give this series a chance.

Continue reading “Bookit Review: My Fake Valentine”

Bookit Review: The Last in Love

Title: The Last in Love  (Book 5 in the Ardent Springs series)

Author: Terri Osburn
Release date: 2017
Medium:  E-book (Kindle Unlimited)

My grade:  B

I believe this is the last book in the series, though the end of it hints that if the author could make it a six book series if she wanted to.  This one focuses on Abby Williams, a widow of two years who ends up falling for a man five years younger than her – and someone she used to babysit back in high school. Justin Donovan is recently home after having lost his job, his fiancée and best friend. Both Abby and Justin have some issues to work through.

The book in general is good.  The pacing is a little off, but not so much that it really bothered me.  It was a nice lazy morning read.  Some of the accessory characters (such as Justin’s former fiancée and best friend) are a bit flat as well.  It did well to tie up some loose ends from previous books in the series, as well as tie up overall arcs (such as the Ruby Theater, and Carrie’s women’s shelter).

I did like the theme of women discovering themselves, and building each other up.  Other then Victoria, most of the women in this novel are friends or at least friendly towards each other.  Sometimes when you pick up novels (and definitely tv shows) there is this inclination to make cat fights or have a love triangle where the two women don’t get along because they are fighting over a guy.  This novel stays free of that for the most part.

So if you enjoy low-key romances, I can recommend this book.  Terri Osburn in general is a good author and I have enjoyed both the series that I have read from her.  Many of her novels are available on Kindle Unlimited if you subscribe to that service.

Bookit Review: Mr Darcy’s Mail-Order Bride

Title: Mr. Darcy’s Mail-Order Bride
Author: J. Dawn King
Publication: November 24, 2016 (Kindle/Kindle Unlimited edition)
Grade: C

This variation novel was alright.  I didn’t want to throw it out the window.  It just wasn’t something that made me want to ignore the clock and keep reading.  In this particular variation, Darcy and Bingley have become landowners in Oregon, seeking wives from the east due to a lack of possible wives in the West.  Darcy writes the letters for Bingley to Jane, the niece of an acquaintance of theirs, Mr. Gardner.  Elizabeth responds for Jane, and the two fall in love through the letters, not realising that they weren’t speaking with the real Jane/Bingley.   Thus awkwardness when the two arrive to be married (Darcy deciding at last minute to marry the sister).

This reads almost like vengeance fanfic.  Like Ms. King wanted to see characters she thought less of punished in some way.  Caroline is pretty much out of the picture right away, and Lydia barely spends any time before whisking away with Wickham (who keeps getting fired, and barely talks to Elizabeth).  Meanwhile Elizabeth and Jane remain the optimum examples of virtue and good nature.

So in a sense, it was like all the characters were more pushed towards the good/bad guy roles then they were in the original.  Poor Denny, the first-nameless soldier who makes the unfortunate decision to be friends with Wickham in the original book, now has become Wickham’s second hand man, possibly starting a fire at Bingley’s ranch.  Mr. Bennet turns out to just sit in his study and do nothing while his remaining children run close to starving. I must admit this is the first time where I’ve read a book and fault for the awkward marriage between the elder Bennets is placed on Mr. Bennet instead of just assuming he was dealing with a nutsy wife.

Although I did find the implication of Lydia/Colonel Fitzwilliam (who in this novel isn’t a colonel but crime lawyer) an intriguing idea.

Its an alright novel if you can’t get enough of Jane Austen variations, but nothing I’d put on my “read again later” list.

Bookit Review: Her Hopes and Dreams

Title: Her Hopes and Dreams
Author:  Terri Osburn
Publication: November 15, 2016  (Kindle/Kindle Unlimted Edition)
Grade: B-

Please note:  This novel contains references to PTSD and other trauma-induced psychological issues  (One character has PTSD from military related events, another from being abused by their spouse).  If you feel triggered by this, please skip this book.  

I was a bit underwhelmed by this addition to the series.  Carrie Farmer’s story has been a back plot along most of the first three books.  In the first book we are introduced to her as Spencer’s ex-wife, who is being abused by her second husband.  In the second and third books she is adjusting to being a widow, a single mother, and being free from abuse.  In the last book in particular, she starts to focus on helping others who are in similar situation by creating a shelter for the area with Haleigh and her mother.

In this book, we get her point of view and see how she is adjusting.  She seems to have settled into her life, but she is determined, sometimes against her own safety, to help other women.   She meets her next door neighbor, Nathan, who happens to be an old childhood friend of her late husband.  They get off to an awkward start due to Nate not knowing what had gone on while he had been away at war.  There is also the aspect that both of them have trauma-induced psychological issues that they have to deal with.

The story is enjoyable, although it seems at times to be overly optimistic.  I do like the fact that Ms Osburn brings up the idea that people with PTSD and other trauma-induced psychological disorders can find a happy life.  The idea that it can be relived by finding “the one” seems a little misleading because it puts a lot of pressure on the significant other, but considering this is a romance novel, and the concept that love heals everything is a trope we all tend to find/write into these books.

There is a fifth book in this series, but it won’t be released till May 2017, so look for it under the ‘bookit 2017’ tag on this blog or the Terri Osburn tag.

 

Bookit Review: My One & Only

Title: My One & Only
Author: Terri Osburn
Publication: May 17, 2016 (Kindle Edition/Unlimited Edition)
Grade:  B

This is the third book in Ms Osburn’s Ardent Springs Series, and I reviewed the first two books earlier when I was doing my reviews on Bubblews.  Sadly since that website is down I can’t link back to those reviews, but I enjoyed the first two books and was happy to see that she had two more books (and one in the works) for this series.

In this particular one, we go to one of my favorite romance novel cliches – old friends who finally notice one another as something more than friends.  Although in this case its more they notice they might be able to take the chance more than just notice one another.   It also has a focus on a few issues.  Haleigh, the main female character, is a recovering alcoholic with relationship issues with her mother, Meredith, who has some issues of her own to overcome over the course of this novel.  Abby, the sister of Cooper (the main male character in this novel) is dealing with grief after the death of her husband and it affects the various characters in different way.  And a side plot involving a young mother trying to find her own family with the help of Haleigh, Copper and Abby and their Ardent Springs friends.

This book was enjoyable.  My only issue was the fact that sometimes the issues seemed circular.  Instead of movie along, it just repeated itself. Which I suppose, given the obstacles involved is just the way things work but sometimes It felt like we had just had this scene already.  That is why I gave it a B.   It also made Haleigh have objections to various things and then have her not explain why or it disappears later in the novel and nothing is said as to why she changed her mind.

My next bookit review is the fourth book in this series, Her Hope and Dreams which should be posted on Wednesday.  I am looking forward to the yet unpublished 5th book, which is Abby’s story, which may fill in some of the blanks of this story.