Nose in a Book Reviews: Star Crossed by Kele Moon

Star Crossed (Battered Hearts, #2)Star Crossed by Kele Moon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Star Crossed takes up right after Defying the Odds ends. It’s the story of Romeo, the UFC fighter who lost to Clay Powers in the previous book. Even though he lost the fight, he ended up becoming a part of the Garnet town family when he stood up to Melody’s abusive Ex and saved her life. Clay’s lifelong friend Jules has always been attracted to Clay’s arch nemesis Romeo, but never had the chance to act on it until he saves the day.

She invites him to dinner while Clay is still recovering in the Hospital in Vegas and the pair fall into bed and into a suddenly secretive relationship. Even thought the two have an intense connection, they are hesitant to come forward as a public couple.

The story weaves around their secrecy and eventually their public outing. I really like the way Kele Moon writes her stories and especially enjoy how she weaves the plots from Defying the Odds into this story.

This story, while is related to the previous one, does’t have to be read as a sequel. The story can be read as a stand alone.

A quick, steamy and engaging read.

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Nose in a Book Reviews: The Best of Us by Sarah Pekkanen

The Best of UsThe Best of Us by Sarah Pekkanen

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Best of Us is a tale about a group of four college friends who are all invited to their millionaire friend’s birthday party. They’re being flown on a private jet to the caribbean to a mansion with their own personal chef. What could possibly go wrong, right?

Each of the friends see this is a luxurious vacation that they might otherwise not be privileged to go on ever again. Each person is carrying their own weight of the world. Between marriage stresses, breakups and just the disillusionment of adulthood weighing on them. They feel like this is their chance to relive their youth, when in fact it really just makes these issues stick out like a sore thumb.

The story has a Big Chill sort of feel to it, but unlike that movie, this story really moved at a glacial speed for me. It felt lumbering and slow and I had a really hard time relating to any of the characters – instead I found them all a bit annoying and unlikable.

If you are looking for an ensemble story with a bit of angst and issues relating to the challenges of adulthood and all the responsibilities that go along with it, then check it out.

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Nose in a Book Reviews: The Sea of Tranquility by @KatjaMillay

The Sea of TranquilityThe Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Genre: New Adult/Mature Y/A

five-stars

Perfection. 

This book. I’m not exactly sure how to describe it and do it the justice it deserves. The story revolves around Nastya, a broken and mysterious girl who comes to live with her Aunt to escape the scrutiny in her hometown. She arrives in skintight black clothes, stiletto heels and a whole lot of ‘black shit’ caked round her eyes. She’s dressed to make a statement, one more like a streetwalker than a seventeen year old girl.

Then there’s Drew and Josh, a pair of best friends who some how end up befriending Nastya. Drew is the resident player, leaving a trail of girls in his wake. Meanwhile Josh thinks he’s the kiss of death. At seventeen, he’s watched his whole family die around him, leaving him alone, bitter and reclusive.

The story is told in alternating viewpoints between Josh and Nastya. I love how the story is revealed slowly, like peeling back the layers of an onion. Millay does such a great job keeping us in suspense, but not boring us to death while doing it. The characters are complex and flawed, oh how flawed they all are. But it is in these flaws that you find their fragility and love them all the more, no matter how many mistakes they seem to make.

Did I mention Josh? Bad-ass, loner Josh who is one of the swooniest boys around?

He slowly goes from disliking Nastya to suddenly finding her inexplicably wrapped around every nook and cranny of his life. And it is a lovely thing to behold.

(The quotes are mildly spoilerish – so skip ahead to below the quotes for the rest)

I know at that moment what he’s given me and it’s not a chair. It’s an invitation, a welcome, the knowledge that I am accepted here. He hasn’t given me a place to sit, but a place to belong.

Just so you know,” he mimics me, “I would chop that table up and use it for firewood before I would ever choose anything over you.” It’s a ridiculous thing to say, but he nails me with those eyes, making sure I know he’s serious…

I’m not sure how long we sit in Josh’s truck, holding hands surrounded by darkness and unspoken regrets. But it’s long enough to know that there are no stories or secrets in the world worth holding onto more than his hand

 

I stayed up just about all night reading this book, and I have a feeling I may need to reread it again, just to catch some of the nuances I missed being in a bit of a sleepless haze.

This is one of the best books I’ve read in quite some time. A wonderful debut from an author I can’t wait to see what she writes next.

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Nose in a Book Reviews: A Fine Romance by Christi Barth

A Fine Romance (Aisle Bound Trilogy, #2)A Fine Romance by Christi Barth

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A Fine Romance was exactly what you’d expect in a romance novel, it was sweet and fluffy with a minimal amount of angst.

Mira has been given the chance of a lifetime by her good friend Ivy. She’s been asked to help open and run Ivy’s new store, A Fine Romance. After a miserable last few years and a string of failed business endeavors she’s thankful for any help she can get. She moves to Chicago and is supposed to be met at the airport by one of Ivy’s friends, Sam. Mira is forced to maneuver her way through the El system and finally makes it to her new apartment a soaked mess. Sam appears, hardly remembering his obligation and ends up with cocktail thrown in his face.

When Mira shows up to her first day on the job, she is forced to accept the fact that Sam is the neighbor next door who owns a favorite local bakery. The two are attracted to each other and once they finally get over their first impression feud, things move along quickly. There is one catch to the whole thing. Sam is a complete mamma’s boy. Of course there is a reason behind his need to attend to his mother’s every whim, but in pure Romance novel form his flaw is a bit overblown.

All in all, if you’re looking for a quick beach read, this one is a pretty good one.

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Nose in a Book Reviews: Seven-Night Stand by Nicole Helm

Seven-Night StandSeven-Night Stand by Nicole Helm

My rating: 3 1/2 of 5 stars

Genre: Romance

This was a cute, quick read.

Livvy is a location scout for a reality show production team. She travels to Demo, Kansas thinking that the Harrington family hangar just might be her next reality locale. Instead of finding a willing participant in Nate Harrington, she finds a man just trying to keep his business and family together.

Livvy and Nate are immediately attracted to one another, and realizing Livvy is headed back to LA in seven days, they decide to make the most of their time together – hence, the Seven-Night Stand.

The two are both from dysfunctional families, making their coupling even more difficult for them to take seriously. The story revolves around Livvy trying to get Nate to agree to the show, and Nate showing Livvy all the different reasons why there was no way in hell he could ever do the show and come through it with his family’s pride intact.

This was a short, sweet and cute sort of book. Enjoyable, and mostly fluff.

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Nose in a Book Reviews: Morning, Noon and Night

Morning, Noon and Night: Erotica for CouplesMorning, Noon and Night: Erotica for Couples by Alison Tyler

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In our current world of fast paced, instant gratification and short attention spans, this book definitely fits that niche of reader.

The anthology is filled with stories of a wide range of kinks and partners telling the tale that the sport of sex can be played at any time of the day.

I particularly enjoyed Kat Watson’s surprising twist of a nooner. It was extremely well written with a plot that could have been expanded into a full length story.

This was a fun romp of short, smut-filled stories. If you like variety and quick simple plots, this is a book for you.

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Nose in a Book Reviews: Rules are for Breaking by Imelda Evans

Rules Are For BreakingRules Are For Breaking by Imelda Evans

My rating: 2 1/2 of 5 stars

Genre: Romance

This book was one of those predictable and overly cliched romance books.

The story weaves itself around Jo, a tough woman who only gives any guy she goes out with, three strikes. This helps her to keep every man she’s ever met at arm’s distance. She complains about how alone she is, yet is a complete commitment-phobe. Jo’s best friend asks her if she’d mind letting Declan stay with her for a while. Not seeing any harm in helping out a friend in need, she accepts. What she never anticipated was inviting a man who wouldn’t shy away from her impenetrable barricade around her heart. He instead proclaimed his love for her and began to woo her in earnest.

I’m sorry… wha? You just met the girl and find her so fetching you’re going to tell her you love her before you even get to know her? Perhaps there’s something in the water in Australia that makes Jo so completely amazing that she causes men to immediately fall at her feet in love.

Cra-zy

I found Jo to be completely unlikable and Declan should have run far, far away from her crazy know-it-all assumptions. Then Declan – well, professing your love for a chick moments after you meet her? Yeah, go sell your crazy somewhere else. WHY do romance writers do this? IT DOESN’T HAPPEN IN REAL LIFE! Perhaps love at first sight, but you don’t SAY it until you at least go out on a date with the girl.

I just found it all a bit too far fetched. The writing wasn’t bad, but the main character was a bit too assuming, and annoying, one of my least favorite characteristics in people, especially in novels.

Just a mediocre read for me, I’m afraid.

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