The Mistake by Elle Kennedy

review

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The Mistake

Off Campus #2

Elle Kennedy

2.5stars

Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository


He’s a player in more ways than one…

College junior John Logan can get any girl he wants. For this hockey star, life is a parade of parties and hook-ups, but behind his killer grins and easygoing charm, he hides growing despair about the dead-end road he’ll be forced to walk after graduation. A sexy encounter with freshman Grace Ivers is just the distraction he needs, but when a thoughtless mistake pushes her away, Logan plans to spend his final year proving to her that he’s worth a second chance.

Now he’s going to need to up his game…

After a less than stellar freshman year, Grace is back at Briar University, older, wiser, and so over the arrogant hockey player she nearly handed her V-card to. She’s not a charity case, and she’s not the quiet butterfly she was when they first hooked up. If Logan expects her to roll over and beg like all his other puck bunnies, he can think again. He wants her back? He’ll have to work for it. This time around, she’ll be the one in the driver’s seat…and she plans on driving him wild.

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The Deal didn’t blow me away like I was hoping it would, but I still went into this book expecting to enjoy it.  And again, I was disappointed.  I read the majority of this on the plane and train on my way back from Florida to Baltimore, but I left the last few chapters for the next day.  And I’m not exaggerating when I say that when I went back to it, I had almost completely forgotten what had happened.

I had all the same problems with this book that I did with The Deal.  The Deal at least had a trope that I actually enjoy to fall back on.  The Mistake’s whole plotline was pretty lame.  And again, there was Too. Much. Plot.  Again they get together way before the ending.  I’m not here for that. I mean, getting there was adorable and again, the sex scenes were pretty hot, but it felt like there was even more of the novel left after they got together.

Grace had her weird friend drama which I felt was barely even touched on and I didn’t care about at all and Logan had all the shit with his brother and his dad, which I felt like wrapped up WAY too easily.  And it would be one thing if the drama was effortlessly woven into the plot, but it’s not.  It always seems so forced.  And that epilogue?? There are still 2 more books. I don’t get why she would go that forward when we will probably be seeing these characters again in future books.

I don’t think I mentioned it in my review for The Deal, but I really do love the hockey aspect of these books.  I’m not a big sports fan, but I do really love going to hockey games (Go Capitals!).  I kind of wish that there was more of a focus on hockey.  There seemed to be in The Deal, but in this book it was basically just added on.

I totally see why this book gets so many 5 stars, but it just didn’t do it for me.

The Deal by Elle Kennedy

review

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The Deal

Off Campus #1

Elle Kennedy

3stars

Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository


She’s about to make a deal with the college bad boy…

Hannah Wells has finally found someone who turns her on. But while she might be confident in every other area of her life, she’s carting around a full set of baggage when it comes to sex and seduction. If she wants to get her crush’s attention, she’ll have to step out of her comfort zone and make him take notice…even if it means tutoring the annoying, childish, cocky captain of the hockey team in exchange for a pretend date.

…and it’s going to be oh so good.

All Garrett Graham has ever wanted is to play professional hockey after graduation, but his plummeting GPA is threatening everything he’s worked so hard for. If helping a sarcastic brunette make another guy jealous will help him secure his position on the team, he’s all for it. But when one unexpected kiss leads to the wildest sex of both their lives, it doesn’t take long for Garrett to realize that pretend isn’t going to cut it. Now he just has to convince Hannah that the man she wants looks a lot like him.

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It seems as if everyone and their mother has read and LOVED this book.  All I see are 5 star reviews everywhere so of course, I expected to love it too (stupid, I know).  Sadly, this fell right in the dreaded territory of a 3 for me.  At least I didn’t hate it.

This book is filled with tropes and cliches.  We have the  cocky big man on campus who is basically God’s gift to women, and we have the extremely judgmental, “I’m not like other girls” heroine.  I was actually able to look past all the ridiculous stereotypes and enjoy the actual plot of the novel, for the most part.  And I did actually end up liking Garrett (jury is still out on Hannah).

This book actually lost stars because there is too much plot.  The sex scenes were great and basically all I wanted was a cute, cliched romance where the hot guy helps the shy girl get the guy she wants and they end up falling in love.  And that did happen.  BUT, not how I wanted it to.   It happened way too fast.  They ended up together and there was still like 100 pages left of the book.  What?  Why do I want to read about their lives AFTER they get together?  I’m not here for that.

I’m a firm believer that in most cases, the mind blowing, we’re together sex should happen within the last few pages of the novel.  Otherwise then I get bored when I have to read about their day to day lives.  It’s all about the the chase, the journey. I don’t give a shit what happens when we get there.

And then of course there was the added drama.  I do want a plot in my romance novels, but I don’t want the plot to overtake the romance.  I mean, we have Hannah dealing with the rape that happened 5 years earlier (not a spoiler since she mentions it on the second page and I think it was just used as a plot device) and Garrett with his abusive father and wah woe is me. Stop complaining and have sex.  That’s how I felt reading this. Insensitive? Probably. Do I care? Nope.  It just got a little too angsty for me.

I do feel as if I let my annoyance with how the plot unfolded affect how I rated this (which duh, it should but I still feel bad) so I can totally see myself giving this another try.

 

The Good Girls by Teresa Mummert

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The Good Girls

by Teresa Mummert

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My life was meticulously planned and I refused to deviate from that path. While my peers were partying, I prepared for the future. Then a tragic event destroyed everything and I learned that while I was looking ahead, I forgot to live in the moment. 

Starting over seemed impossible until I met Cara McCarthy, who lived every day like it was her last. She opened my eyes to a world of chaos and disorder. I loved every minute of it. She was also dating Tristan Adams, one of the most gorgeous men I’d ever seen.

The three of us became inseparable. Our parents were oblivious and soon lines became blurred, feelings began to grow, and someone’s heart was going to get broken. I hoped it wasn’t mine.


The synopsis kind of makes it seem as if this book is going to be about a f/f/m love triangle where they are in some sort of polyamorous relationship and that’s not really what happens.  If that’s what you are expecting then you’ll be disappointed just like I was.  Within 20 pages, I considered DNFing it because of the writing but I plowed on hoping it would get better.

It didn’t.

I think i would have enjoyed it enough to give it 3 stars (or at least 2.5) if the writing had just been better. Everything just felt a bit off and the entire plot, especially the ending, was a bit rushed and tied up all too neatly.

An overall gist of the novel:  Ellie’s mother died recently and she was sent to live with her estranged father, David, his girlfriend, Dawn, and a sort of ward, Cara.  Cara is hiding the truth about how she wound up living with David and Dawn from both her boyfriend, Tristian, and Ellie.  Despite this, Ellie and Cara instantly become best friends and very quickly develop into something more.

There are a lot of hot button issues in this book: homophobia, cheating, underage drinking, drug use, sex with minors (I’m hesitant to call it statutory rape because I’m not sure of the statutory rape/age of consent laws in Georgia where the story takes place) and sexual assault.

That’s a lot going on in a relatively short book and nothing was ever really delved into deeply enough.  I have absolutely no problem with underage drinking or drug use (it was pot) in YA/NA and I don’t think that these are issues that really need to be examined but the others? especially the homophobia and the sexual assault?  They are kind of just brushed off and again, rushed through. There wasn’t really a satisfying conclusion to these issues and while I know that that might make it more realistic that’s not what I want in a book.  I wanted justice and what I got was indifference.

The overall romance was sweet-ish even though it involved cheating (again that isn’t a deal breaker for me) but I wanted more. Insta-love is a plague in YA/NA and this suffered more than most.  Within hours they are already best friends/almost more. I wanted more character development between Cara and Ellie both individually and together.  Although a bit more developed than all the other characters, they were still relatively one dimensional and everything I learned about them was told to me. I wanted to see them fall in love but we are kind of just told it happens.

All in all I just wanted more out of this story. I wanted it to be better. I stuck with it and contented to hope that it would get better and lure me in but it just fell flat.  There are so few F/F romances out there and it seems as if there are even less that are worth my time.

Just One More

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Just One More is a weekly feature where I gather the books I have added to my TBR in the past week.

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 1.11.38 PMInto The Dim

by Janet B Taylor

When fragile, sixteen-year-old Hope Walton loses her mom to an earthquake overseas, her secluded world crumbles. Agreeing to spend the summer in Scotland, Hope discovers that her mother was more than a brilliant academic, but also a member of a secret society of time travelers. Trapped in the twelfth century in the age of Eleanor of Aquitaine, Hope has seventy-two hours to rescue her mother and get back to their own time. Along the way, her path collides with that of a mysterious boy who could be vital to her mission . . . or the key to Hope’s undoing.

Time travel. I’m in.
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Beyond the Red

by Ava Jae

Alien queen Kora has a problem as vast as the endless crimson deserts. She’s the first female ruler of her territory in generations, but her people are rioting and call for her violent younger twin brother to take the throne. Despite assassination attempts, a mounting uprising of nomadic human rebels, and pressure to find a mate to help her rule, she’s determined to protect her people from her brother’s would-be tyrannical rule.

Eros is a rebel soldier hated by aliens and human alike for being a half-blood. Yet that doesn’t stop him from defending his people, at least until Kora’s soldiers raze his camp and take him captive. He’s given an ultimatum: be an enslaved bodyguard to Kora, or be executed for his true identity—a secret kept even from him.

When Kora and Eros are framed for the attempted assassination of her betrothed, they flee. Their only chance of survival is to turn themselves in to the high court, where revealing Eros’s secret could mean a swift public execution. But when they uncover a violent plot to end the human insurgency, they must find a way to work together to prevent genocide.

I might take this one off eventually, but for now it sounds interesting.  I mean, I’m sure there will be, but I’m still hoping for no romance between Kora and Eros…I’m not a huge fan of slave/master love stories.

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 1.13.29 PMA Fierce and Subtle Poison

by Samantha Mabry

Everyone knows the legends about the cursed girl–Isabel, the one the senoras whisper about. They say she has green skin and grass for hair, and she feeds on the poisonous plants that fill her family’s Caribbean island garden. Some say she can grant wishes; some say her touch can kill.

Seventeen-year-old Lucas lives on the mainland most of the year but spends summers with his hotel-developer father in Puerto Rico. He’s grown up hearing stories about the cursed girl, and he wants to believe in Isabel and her magic. When letters from Isabel begin mysteriously appearing in his room the same day his new girlfriend disappears, Lucas turns to Isabel for answers–and finds himself lured into her strange and enchanted world. But time is running out for the girl filled with poison, and the more entangled Lucas becomes with Isabel, the less certain he is of escaping with his own life.

I have this ARC. It sounds pretty interesting and I like that it takes place in Puerto Rico.

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Bleeding Earth

by Kaitlin Ward

Lea was in a cemetery when the earth started bleeding. Within twenty-four hours, the blood made international news. All over the world, blood appeared out of the ground, even through concrete, even in water. Then the earth started growing hair and bones.

Lea wants to ignore the blood. She wants to spend time with her new girlfriend, Aracely, in public, if only Aracely wasn’t so afraid of her father. Lea wants to be a regular teen again, but the blood has made her a prisoner in her own home. Fear for her social life turns into fear for her sanity, and Lea must save herself and Aracely whatever way she can.

1. F/F relationship 2. the earth is bleeding?? What is this? Sign me up.
 

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 1.12.47 PMBlack Wolves

by Kate Elliott

An exiled captain returns to help the son of the king who died under his protection in this rich and multi-layered first book in an action-packed new series.

Twenty two years have passed since Kellas, once Captain of the legendary Black Wolves, lost his King and with him his honor. With the King murdered and the Black Wolves disbanded, Kellas lives as an exile far from the palace he once guarded with his life.

Until Marshal Dannarah, sister to the dead King, comes to him with a plea-rejoin the palace guard and save her nephew, King Jehosh, before he meets his father’s fate.

I found this through twitter and apparently women play a pretty big role so I am totally into this. Plus I already have another of Kate Elliot’s books on my TBR so I might as well add some more! 

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 1.12.34 PMPlaying With Matches

by Suri Rosen

When 16-year-old Raina Resnick is expelled from her Manhattan private school, she’s sent to live with her strict aunt-but Raina feels like she’s persona non grata no matter where she goes. Her sister, Leah, blames her for her broken engagement, and she’s a social pariah at her new school. In the tight-knit Jewish community, Raina finds she is good at one thing: matchmaking! As the anonymous “MatchMaven,” Raina sets up hopeless singles desperate to find the One.

Can she find the perfect match for her sister and get back on her good side, or will her secret life catch up with her?

It’s really depressing how many books have Jewish characters especially ones that aren’t about the Holocaust. This is one I really want to see more of in YA. It might not be as important as POC, disabilities or the LGBTQ communities, but the best part is that characters can be all of those things and JEWISH as well:).

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 1.12.10 PMThe Glittering Court

by Richelle Mead

Big and sweeping, spanning the refined palaces of Osfrid to the gold dust and untamed forests of Adoria, The Glittering Court tells the story of Adelaide, an Osfridian countess who poses as her servant to escape an arranged marriage and start a new life in Adoria, the New World. But to do that, she must join the Glittering Court.

Both a school and a business venture, the Glittering Court is designed to transform impoverished girls into upper-class ladies capable of arranging powerful and wealthy marriages in the New World. Adelaide naturally excels in her training and even makes a few friends: the fiery former laundress Tamsin and the beautiful Sirminican refugee Mira. She manages to keep her true identity hidden from all but one: the intriguing Cedric Thorn, son of the wealthy proprietor of the Glittering Court.

When Adelaide discovers that Cedric is hiding a dangerous secret of his own, together, they hatch a scheme to make the best of Adelaide’s deception. Complications soon arise—first, as they cross the treacherous seas from Osfrid to Adoria, and later, when Adelaide catches the attention of a powerful governor.

But no complication will prove quite as daunting as the potent attraction simmering between Adelaide and Cedric. An attraction that, if acted on, would scandalize the Glittering Court and make them both outcasts in wild, vastly uncharted lands.

I’ll probably wait for the reviews on this one as I haven’t read a Richelle Mead book yet.

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 1.12.02 PMCurse of the Cailleach

By Navessa Allen

My life was good. I had a loving family, a thousand acres to roam, and plenty of deer to hunt. What more could a werewolf ask for?

Then my younger brother and twenty three other members of our pack were struck ill by a mysterious wasting sickness. My best friend Casey and I were sent on a recon mission to find out what the local clan of Celts knew about it. Turned out, they knew a hell of a lot more than we bargained for.

Now we’re stuck in the seventeenth century Scottish Highlands, struggling to find some way home. Oh yeah, and there’s a war going on. Everyone’s trying to kill each other. And us.

The good: men in kilts.

The bad: no bazooka to use against the men in kilts.

I guess claws will have to do.

This is a Work in Progress and the first 6 chapters are currently available to read on Navessa Allen’s blog…for FREE.  GO READ IT!!!

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 1.11.52 PMBeastly Bones

by William Ritter

In 1892, New Fiddleham, New England, things are never quite what they seem, especially when Abigail Rook and her eccentric employer R. F. Jackaby are called upon to investigate the supernatural.

First, a vicious species of shape-shifters disguise themselves as a litter of kittens, and a day later, their owner is found murdered with a single mysterious puncture wound. Then in nearby Gad’s Valley, now home to the exiled New Fiddleham police detective Charlie Cane, dinosaur bones from a recent dig mysteriously go missing, and an unidentifiable beast starts attacking animals and people, leaving their mangled bodies behind. Charlie calls on Abigail for help, and soon Abigail and Jackaby are on the hunt for a thief, a monster, and a murderer.

This sequel to Jackaby. It’s on order at my library and I can’t wait to check it out.

I also added 2 historical romances because I am trying to broaden the types of genres I read.

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and

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 Because it takes place in the Hudson Valley region of New York where I am from.