Saturday, May 31, 2014

Mini Reviews: The First Time We Met, Because of Luke, The Virgin: Revenge

I really loved and enjoyed these books/chapters.  I would love to read more of series/serials they belong to.  I wasn't sure how to write really lengthy reviews for them. Of course I always think that and then my review ends up being four paragraphs or more. Hopefully I'll be able to avoid that.  If not, then oh well. :)

The First Time We Met (Sample Chapter) by Pippa Croft

Rating: ★★★★ stars
Date published: February 13th, 2014
Publisher: Penguin (UK)
Synopsis: The First Time We Met is the first novel in the sizzling new Oxford Blue romance series from Pippa Croft.

Senator's daughter Lauren Cusack is leaving Washington behind for the dreaming spires of Oxford University - and she's ready for a challenge. Now a fully-fledged Master's student, Lauren is determined to make the most of every single minute.

But then she meets Alexander Hunt, and everything changes.

A devastatingly handsome English aristocrat, Alexander is as brooding and enigmatic as they come. Lauren tries to resist his advances, but he has his sights clearly set on the young American, and what Alexander wants, he gets.

Caution soon gives way to mind-blowing passion and Lauren is drawn into Alexander's privileged world of glamour and status. But all that glitters is not gold - for Alexander is a man with a dark past, and desire may not be enough to conquer all else . . .

What I Thought:

Even though the excerpt available was only 25 pages long, I was left wanting more of the book.  I loved meeting Lauren and reveled with her as she celebrated being in a place she'd always wanted to be.  I loved her sense of wonderment at finally being out of the confines of her family and being on her own for the first time.  Of course my interest was piqued by the mention of a scandal she left behind and the hunk with the Hummer who caught her attention (and mine) with his broad shoulders and beautiful backside.

I really do wish the full book had been available to American New Adult readers for review. Teasing me with this chapter is sort of cruel.  Of course there's probably some distribution rights issue with a U.K. book being in the U.S. market or some other legal nonsense. However, that's a talk for another day. (Sorry for the mini-rant, I'm just passionate about books.) 

It is available in e-book and the paperback will be released in the fall.  In the meantime I'm off to get better acquainted with Lauren and Alexander.  The second book in this trilogy is also available now.  Having loved what little I've read and having seen other reviews written for this book, I already know I'm going to be shelling out the big bucks to add it to my keeper bookshelf.  This is Pippa Croft's debut book but she's written some amazing books under the name Phillipa Ashley, so I'm well aware of the quality of books I'll be reading.  Do be sure to check her out!

Purchase links: Amazon US Amazon UK Kobo Google Play

Because of Luke by F.X. Scully

Rating:★★★★ stars
Date published: February 24th, 2014
Synopsis: Three years ago, Shannon was a wild child. Parties, boys. You name it, she did it. But she's changed and the only way to truly turn things around is to finish college and hop on a plane to…anywhere else. Until an unexpected encounter throws her off track.

Sheila’s been covering for her big sister for as long as she can remember. Now it’s her turn. But her rebellious plans don’t include small-town fun. She’s got her eye on something better—a group of budding rock stars and a summer-long tour. 

In the middle of the sisters lands Luke, a determined college student who’s pretty sure he just met his soul mate. But loyalty to his big brother means leaving her behind to go on a three-month tour with his band. Desperate to get over the girl, he soon becomes entranced with the groupie who’s come along for the ride only to find he’ll have to make a tough choice—and not without breaking some hearts along the way.

What I Thought:

This book had me all over the place emotionally.  I don't even know where to start. I liked both Sheila and Shannon.  I did like Shannon more though.  Sheila seemed a little too spoiled in the beginning but my views on her changed.  I even liked Luke and his older brother, even if I thought he was an a-hole a lot of the time.  The biggest thing for me was even though I was mentally screaming at parts during this book, this book reeled me in.  I couldn't stop reading.  When I knew things were going to change between Shannon and Sheila I was heart broken because relationships shouldn't have to change the way they did.  I didn't agree with what Shannon did but she did it for her sister whom she loved so much.  I liked Luke too and my heart broke for him at the end of the book.

So there were parts I didn't like.  Those were ones that clashed with my moral compass.  However, the actions were true to the characters and since the characters didn't know everything, I had to let it go.  The ending of the book was so unexpected I didn't see it coming.  I'm glad there's going to be a second book so I can pick up and see what's going on with everyone.

If you're a fan of lots of drama and don't mind a cliff hanger, than this New Adult book is perfect for you. You're either going to love it or hate it, but you sure won't be able to stop reading it!

Purchase links: Amazon US Amazon UK Kobo

The Virgin: Revenge by J. Dallas

Rating: ★★★★ stars
Date published:November 4th, 2013
Publisher:J. Dallas Books 
Synopsis:I was seventeen when I met Drake Gallagher. Seventeen, naive, foolish…and in love. Or so I thought. That summer, and the months that followed, set the course of my life.

Ten years later, I’m still struggling to put the pieces of me back to together.

It’s time to stop struggling. It’s time to take control…and maybe, it’s time for a little revenge.

He doesn’t have time for naive little virgins?

Well, I’m not naive anymore.

What I Thought:

I must admit I love the revenge theme.  Being scorned as an impressionable teenager must 
have been horrible and the fact that Shannon lost so much more on that one day has left her with horrible nightmares.  I liked how strong and sure she was of herself in the beginning.  

Drake was an enigma.  I wasn't able to really decipher much about him other than the fact he knew Shannon's true identity and wondered what she was about.  I did love the chemistry and heat between them.  It was pretty smoking.

This novella started off strong but handed on a cliffhanger.  The second part is available but I haven't read it yet.  I'm looking forward to seeing if it's as strong as the first part.  I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it.  It is a novella so it's not very long, but it was so good!

Purchase links: Amazon US Amazon UK B&N Nook  Kobo

*Copies of the above books were provided by the publishers via Netgalley.  All opinions are my own and I was not compensated in any manner for them.*

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