Saturday, June 29, 2013

Blog Tour: ARC Review: Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend (Confessions #2) by Louise Rozett


Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend (Confessions #2)
by Louise Rozett
The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: June 25, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
288 Pages

Rose Zarelli has big plans for sophomore year—everything is going to be different. This year, she’s going to be the talented singer with the killer voice, the fabulous girl with the fashionista best friend, the brainiac who refuses to let Jamie Forta jerk her around...

...but if she’s not careful, she’s also going to be the sister who misses the signals, the daughter who can only think about her own pain, the “good girl” who finds herself in mid-scandal again (because no good deed goes unpunished) and possibly worst of all...the almost-girlfriend.

When all else fails, stop looking for love and go find yourself.



Here's how excited I was (am) about this book: I signed up to review it on my birthday. That's right today I'm twenty-something-or-other and telling you about the wondrous novel that is Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend! Last year, I fell in love with Louise Rozett's debut, Confessions of an Angry Girl. I waited, for what felt like forever, for the sequel to be released. I just knew I would love it. There are just some books that are destined to be loved, and this was one of them. Forgive me--this review is going to be long, personal and emotional because so much of this book, this series really, resonates with me.

What I love about Rozett's work is that it is very realistic, and it deals with subjects that many people want to avoid because they are socially unacceptable and taboo. We see bullying, homophobia, peer pressure, abuse, drug use, alcohol addiction and mental illness. All of these issues are part of our daily lives, whether we face them or not. Rozett is not afraid to acknowledge them, and make you look them straight in the eye. It's gritty. It's fierce. And it'll tear you to shreds.

Beginning just a bit after book one left off, Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend is about Rose Zarelli's sophomore year of high school. She swears she's going to change this year. Good-bye old Rose, hello Rose 2.0. Too bad she's in counseling with her mother, already involved in a scandal, her brother's behavior is out of control and Jamie's returned after an entire summer of not speaking to her. When push comes to shove, Rose has to look past the struggles and decide who she's going to be while letting go of what she can't control, but things are always more difficult than they first seem… 

Rose is a true character. She's realistic, and endearing in her character development. I really connect with Rose because she's everything I was at her age, and in many ways, who I am today: self-conscious, angry, depressed, confused, anxious, heartbroken and stressed. She stuck in situations that she can't control, and that's killing her. She's trying to do the right thing, but it ends up hurting people no matter what she does. I've been in situations so eerily similar to hers that it's almost like I'm reading my own story. I know the feeling of not being heard, of wanting people to understand without you having to shove the truth in someone's face. You never want to do that because that makes you vulnerable and susceptible to pain, or even worse happiness. 

You may be thinking… "What? Why would someone be afraid of being happy?" Because depression isn't rational. Because the minds of (most) teenagers aren't rational. Hell, the minds of (most) adults aren't rational either. Because life isn't rational. Since I was (mis)diagnosed with depression, I've had a constant. I've had a fall back. I've understood that it's not really me getting so angry that I start throwing things and crying because my favorite shirt has a stain on it even though I told my mom to spray it with Shout three different times before she put it in the washer. I was diagnosed with severe depression when I was ten years old. My mom was battling cancer for the second time (she would later beat the disease two more times). My parents were getting divorced. My dad was moving to Arizona. My mom was moving us across the city, forcing me to leave all of the friends I'd grown up with. My grandma had just died. My aunt had just died. Everything in my life was falling apart. So my mom took me to the doctor. He put me on some pills. They sent me to a shrink, who I fought every step of the way. (She wore pantyhose and didn't shave her legs. Who was she to give me advice?) For a long while, things seemed to get better. Then I entered college. I had left the state where I'd had the worst times of my life and now I was living on my own, getting all A's, making friends, meeting guys, experimenting--pretty much just having your average college experience. When I came back for my second semester after winter break, everything fell apart again. This time, I wasn't getting out of bed. I was failing three of my four classes. I wasn't showering. I wasn't sleeping. I either was eating a ton, or not at all. I was crying at the drop of a hat. I was angry all the time. My friends were terrified for me. I was terrified for myself. My two best friends from school took me to the school counseling center where I met with a kind man who informed me that I was not in fact depressed, but suffering from Bi-Polar II Depression disorder, and a whole slew of more minor, but still pretty serious mental illnesses. His recommendation? Withdraw for the semester. Go home. Get help. Return when I'm better. So I did the first two (and a half). I spent four months after that stewing in my own issues and ignoring the world around me. I lost a lot of friends, who didn't understand, who didn't care, or who didn't know at all. Why am I telling you all of this? Because I mean it when I said some people won't allow themselves to be happy, and are too afraid to be themselves. My issues stemmed (mostly) from my illness, but a lot of it has to do with the attitude toward life that I've let myself fall into that started in a depressive state and I continued when I stabilized. As soon as things are working well for me, I sabotage them because I don't trust myself, and I don't trust the people around me--no matter how much they mean to me. I rarely tell people how I really feel. I hide behind sarcasm, anger and books. The only thing I can trust, that I can rely on is my illness. So I lay in bed, and pretend that I'm okay being alone. This is why books are so important to me. This is why books with Big Issues are so important to me and important PERIOD. This is why I appreciate Rozett and I appreciate authors who make them real for everyone and not just those who suffer.

Whew. Let's talk about the actual book now, okay?

Rozett writes another book that's impossible to put down. Much like when starting the first book, I said I was only going to read a few chapters and then go to sleep. Three hours later my body is sore, my eyes are heavy and I can't stop yawning because I read it straight through to the end. The writing is personable and realistic. This is one author who's work you shouldn't miss. She provides a truly wonderful read that will have the audience in the palm of her hands. The plot moves steadily, and never wavered. There was enough happening in the story that it moved well, without being completely ridiculous. This is a drama-filled, angst-ridden, heart-pounding read. I want everyone to read and enjoy this series as much as I do. Books like this are why I read, ladies and gents. It's not only entertaining, but it evokes powerful emotion as well. So, so good.

The way Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend ended is killing me. I am shaky, red-faced and jittery from that experience and I finished almost an hour ago. This book is going to be weighing on my mind for quite some time. I sincerely hope Louise plans to expand the series. This is one that will stay with me always. I'm giving this one five stars, which means I'm definitely recommending it. Everyone should read this! Even if you don't enjoy it, I'm so curious to know what people think of this series!
Thank you to YA Bound for allowing me to join in this tour!
I received an e-copy of this novel from the publisher for my honest opinion and review via Netgalley.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Follow Friday (69)

Feature and Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read!

Q. What is your preferred reading format? Hardcover, e-books, paperback, etc?

A. As much as I love my kindle, nothing beats the feel of reading from an actual book for me. While I used to be strictly a paperback fan I've grown to love the hardbacks. There's just something about curling up with a book, holding the weight in your hands. And come on, who can resist that new book smell?
Whether it be on my iPhone, my iPod touch, or one of my kindles, I prefer to read books on my kindle application lately. Only because it makes it easier to take books everywhere and with it, and I can read in bed with the lights off, snuggled under the covers. But I still buy a lot of physical books, especially when I love a book I've read on my kindle. I love to own my favorites in physical form so if I every want to read a certain part I can just flip to the page, or reread the entire thing.
What format do you prefer?

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

ARC Review: White Trash Beautiful (White Trash Trilogy #1) by Teresa Mummert

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: July 9, 2013
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
240 Pages

A word-of-mouth bestseller that’s captivating readers with its honesty, grit, and headstrong heroine, White Trash Beautiful is a story for anyone who has ever felt trapped in life, cheated by love—and longed for something more . . .

Cass Daniels isn’t waiting for her knight in shining armor. She knows that girls like her don’t get a happily ever after. Not if you live in a trailer with your mom, work at a greasy spoon diner, and get leered at by old men. Maybe that’s why she puts up with Jackson—her poor excuse for a boyfriend, who treats her like dirt. Cass has learned to accept her lot in life. That is, until he walks into her diner. . . .

His name is Tucker White, and he’s different from any man Cass has ever known. Tall, tattooed, and bad-ass gorgeous, he’s the lead singer of the rock band Damaged. From the moment they meet, Tucker sees something in Cass he just can’t shake. Something beautiful. Something haunted. Something special. And he’s determined to find out what it is—if only he can get her to open up and let him in. . . .



There’s a quote that begins the book:

I’m not na├»ve. I know I don’t get the happily ever after. My knight in shining armor took the highway detour around this godforsaken shit hole. I’ve made peace with that. That doesn’t mean I’m going to lie down like a doormat and let every cocky prick in the trailer park have his way with me.


This book was really hard for me. First off, there’s the title: White Trash Beautiful. It really just rubs me the wrong way and I can’t really put my finger on why. I’m pretty sure it has to do with the ‘White Trash’ part. But I shook that feeling off and went ahead with the story.

White Trash Beautiful follows Cass, a girl stuck in a life she can’t get out of. She works as a waitress at a local diner during the day and at night she goes home to her trailer where her boyfriend and mother live. Cass is the sole source of income for this family. Jackson, her boyfriend, is an abusive druggie and her mother is an addict. Both rely heavily on Cass to provide for them.

Tucker is the lead singer of an up and coming band. While on tour, Tucker comes through Cass’s town and ends up at her diner. Sparks fly between them almost instantly and the two become connected, finding different ways to be with each other.

Going back to the opening quote, all Cass does through the entire book is lie down like a doormat and let people have their way with her. Her boyfriend beats her almost on a daily basis, rapes her when he wants sex, takes her money to buy drugs, basically controls her life. And her mother is no better. But instead of getting out, she stays. She lets them control her and belittle her. Instead of leaving for the better world that she wants, she complains. Constantly. Every page was filled with her whining about how horrible her life is and how she’ll never get out.

Enter Tucker, who I initially liked. He really wanted to be the knight in shining armor. He was sweet and kind. He saw how Cass was treated and believed that she deserved more (although I honestly couldn’t see why). He showed her there was more to life than where she was now. But no matter how much he tried to help, she kept going back to Jackson and her mother. Even after she sleeps with Tucker.

And this is where I lost respect for both of them.

Please break up with your boyfriend before sleeping with another man. Shame on you both.

After this, I pretty much gave up on the book. Everything that followed after that read like a horribly predictable soap opera.  From Jackson finding out, to the “dramatic” way that Cass is forced to leave – predictable. The way the author deals with Cass having to leave her mother – WTF? And the ending…


 Completely unbelievable and unrealistic. I do not recommend this pity party.
I received an e-copy of this novel from the publisher for my honest opinion and review via Netgalley.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Teaser Tuesday: Siege and Storm & Brother, Brother

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB over at Should Be Reading!
To participate, all you have to do is:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure what you share doesn't give too much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can ad the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers!

--------------------

"A servant had lit the lamps in the Darkling's chamber. I surveyed the room and let out a breath I hadn't realized I was holding."
Chapter 13, Page 237
Siege and Storm (The Grisha Trilogy #2) by Leigh Bardugo




"Brother really shrank from the old man then. He realized how poorly the senator had known Mem, how little he understood about her deepest heart."
Chapter 16, ARC Page 182


What are you reading this week?

--------------------

Cover Reveal: Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott


Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott
The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: March 2014
Publisher: Scholastic
320 Pages

In a perilous race across the world, having the best Pandora can be the difference between life and death. 

Sixteen-year-old Tella Holloway isn’t happy. Her mother rushed them out of Boston and into a craptastic house nestled in Middle of Nowhere, Montana. To make matters worse, Tella’s brother is sick, and though a dozen doctors can’t determine the cause, her mother is sure Montana’s “fresh air” will help. Now Tella spends her days being homeschooled, and uses her imagination as entertainment.

But when a small blue box appears on her bed, Tella’s world is rocked. Inside the strange package she finds a white ear bud—and after she fits it into place and touches its blinking button—an unknown voice fills her head. Tella is invited to join the Brimstone Bleed, a race across four ecosystems: desert, sea, mountains, jungle. The voice in Tella’s ear explains she has 48 hours to retrieve her Pandora, an animal genetically designed to help her win.

Tella has never been the sporty type; she’s more a cheerleader than an athlete. But despite her mother’s warnings, she’s determined to compete in the race. And she’ll do anything to win, because if Tella is the Brimstone Bleed victor, she'll be granted a specific gift—the cure to save her brother’s life.

FIRE & FLOOD is a teen thriller set in modern day.


Holy crap. Holy. Crap. Look at this cover? I am obsessed. HOW ARE WE SUPPOSED TO WAIT GUYS? I'm sure I am not alone when I say that as soon as pre-orders are available, I will be on this one!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

ARC Review: Ink (Paper Gods #1) by Amanda Sun

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: June 25, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
377 Pages

I looked down at the paper, still touching the tip of my shoe. I reached for it, flipping the page over to look.

Scrawls of ink outlined a drawing of a girl lying on a bench.

A sick feeling started to twist in my stomach, like motion sickness.

And then the girl in the drawing turned her head, and her inky eyes glared straight into mine.


On the heels of a family tragedy, the last thing Katie Greene wants to do is move halfway across the world. Stuck with her aunt in Shizuoka, Japan, Katie feels lost. Alone. She doesn’t know the language, she can barely hold a pair of chopsticks, and she can’t seem to get the hang of taking her shoes off whenever she enters a building.

Then there’s gorgeous but aloof Tomohiro, star of the school’s kendo team. How did he really get the scar on his arm? Katie isn’t prepared for the answer. But when she sees the things he draws start moving, there’s no denying the truth: Tomo has a connection to the ancient gods of Japan, and being near Katie is causing his abilities to spiral out of control. If the wrong people notice, they'll both be targets.

Katie never wanted to move to Japan—now she may not make it out of the country alive.



Recently, I've become obsessed with Japanese culture. I've signed up to take Japanese in the fall, I watch anime and read manga rather than sleep, I eat homemade mochi as much as possible, I read stories of mythology and stare at pictures of the countryside trying to picture myself in them. I'm by no means an expert, but I'm absolutely fascinated and hope to one day travel to Japan and see the rich culture for myself. So when I read the description of Ink, I had the hardest time holding back from requesting. I stayed off it for a few weeks, until one of my friends posted a fantastic review of the book, praising it for all she was worth, and then I got on that like white-on-rice (heh).

Look at that cover? Don't you want to read this? It's gorgeous and eye-catching and actually really fits the content of the novel, which is rare. I played right into it and though I found many faults in the story, I can't help but give it a good rating because the Japanese aspects of the story just tickled me (in a total not weird way). It reads like your favorite (and often typical) manga and anime plots, and since I'm big on both, I was pretty okay with that. 

Katie's mother has died and rather than burden her sick grandparents, she has decided to join her aunt in Japan. There she is the odd-girl-out, noticeable because of her foreign looks and struggle to take on the language. She has few friends, and does not like living there. Enter Tomohiro Yuu, all around bad boy, pride of the kendo team and secret artist. Katie is drawn to Tomo for some inexplicable reason. As the two fall in love and his secrets are revealed, Katie finds that it's more than just her heart that's in danger.

I often felt that the author tried too hard to make Katie seem independent. Katie's character is a contradiction. There are times when she displays a profound strength, standing up for herself and being her own person, then moments later she's meek and shallow in love with Yuu. I mean, in the beginning, she basically stalks the boy until he hangs out with her. Tomohiro, too, is a strange character. If I'm being totally, honest, I'm not too fond of him. There are times when he's almost abusive in his demeanor. He is a stereotypical misunderstood bad boy with a reputation, the only difference is this is set in Japan. Honestly, that is the only thing that make this different. And that's integration of the culture is the only thing I really liked about it, well that and the fact that Tomo blushes if Katie even accidentally grazes him--so adorable. Their dramatic relationship went from interesting to annoying. The setup went pretty well at first, then came the declarations of love (ew, insta-love!) and offering their deaths to save one another. I mean, that's all well and good if it's written maturely, but the presentation was too overdone for my tastes.

The plot moved pretty steadily, that's another reason why it was so difficult to put down. I couldn't find a perfect stopping place and I just wanted to keep reading! The whole idea behind this story--the kami, the drawings, the history of it all was really unique and attention grabbing. It will make the novel a difficult one to forget. That being said, the predictability was an issue for me. The major twists were immediately obvious to me, and that made for a bump in the road. Everything is laid out in front of you in a cliche manner, which makes extremely easy to decipher what's to happen next. But again with the point that though it had it's issues, this book was addicting and I enjoyed it. 

So no, this book was not perfect, at least, not for me. Though I found several faults in the story, I will be continuing for sure. The depiction of the culture and the story overall balanced out with the cheesy romance and cliches enough to make me want more. Sun has intrigued me with Ink and I sincerely look forward to seeing how the rest of the series plays out. Ink is a pretty good read that many are sure to enjoy! 
I received an e-copy of this novel from the publisher for my honest opinion and review via Netgalley.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Blog Tour: Interview, Giveaway & Book Review: Suddenly You (The Jane Austen Academy Series #4) by Cecilia Gray

Today, I'm happy to join the Suddenly You Blog Tour hosted by IMR Blog Tours.
Find the other tour stops here.

Suddenly You (The Jane Austen Academy Series #1) by Cecilia Gray
The  blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: May 7, 2013
Publisher: Gray Life, LLC
128 Pages

Fanny doesn't want to be at The Jane Austen Academy. She intends to lay low until graduation when she can try out for the Olympic track team. She doesn't need friends or love. She only needs her running.

But The Academy is in danger. In an effort to save it, Fanny joins forces with the friends she never knew she wanted. Suddenly, Fanny finds herself center stage in the middle of the Academy's biggest love triangle as the lead in the school play...only this track star can't afford to break a leg.



1. What is the reason behind this series being all retellings Jane Austen titles?

I outlined and drafted  the series without the Jane Austen gimmick, but I happen to really love Austen (I mean…I LURVE Austen) and started to see similarities between the heroines I'd developed and Jane Austen's heroines.  Except hers stand the test of time and mine are just…mine. REGARDLESS…that made me wonder: Iif Jane Austen's heroines all knew each other, would they be friends? Enemies? Once the brain started cranking in that direction there was no shutting it down. That's the problem with brains. They like to think, what if.

2. What is your favorite "classic" novel?

I'm bad at picking favorites because I'm moody and inconstant but the classic book I reread more than any other is Jane Eyre. I'm also a sucker for classic children's books like Heidi and Secret Garden.

3. What your favorite current book trend?

Strong and positive female relationships. I'm not into mean-girl-for-the-sake-of-mean-girl stories. I love books like Code Name Verity where the female relationships are interesting and dynamic.

4. What do you want readers to be left feeling when they finish your books?

It depends on the book - but for The Jane Austen series, I want the reader to feel like they've just hung out with their best friends for an afternoon and are ready for a meal and a nap. Which is pretty much my ideal day.

6. How do you spend your free time?

I'm kind of obsessed with doing things, so it's different every time. Last Saturday, for example, I did archery for a couple hours, hosted a girlfriend's birthday brunch barbecue (so…think barbecue…but we're grilling French Toast instead of burgers), saw Much Ado About Nothing with a different set of girlfriends, went on a dinner date, taught myself Final Cut Pro so I could make a youtube video, and started reading The Fifth Wave.

My free time is usually a mix of reading, trying out something new, some kind of exercise, and my girlfriends. And napping. Lots of napping.

7. Are you currently working on a project? If so, what's it about?

I'm putting the finishes touches on a brand new project. DRAWN is a contemporary young-adult novel about a young spy set to infiltrate a ring of graffiti terrorists in Europe but she ends up seduced by the people she's set to spy on. The chapters are intermixed with comics. I'm nervous about the format but excited for the story.

8. Which of your books has been your favorite to write, and why?

I actually love writing the Jane Austen Academy character of EMMA in every book. Emma is completely self confident, self-important and she' the kind of person who says what you're wishing you could say. Her story is a blast.

9. Which of your heroines do you relate to the best, and why?

Oooh, none of them so far. My heroines tend to be nice and sweet in ways that I'm not and flawed and imperfect in ways that I'm not.

10. What is your writing method, and from where do you draw your inspiration?

I just sit and type whenever I have snippets of time. I have a 9-5 day job and think it's important to make time for a social life, so I tend to sneak in writing in 20-30 minute bouts throughout the day. I'm sure it is 100% NOT the way you are supposed to write, so definitely find another role model for that. 


My inspiration is from whatever is catching my attention. For my current project, DRAWN, I drew inspiration from a variety of things including modern day graffiti, the riots in Egypt and Alias. Hmm…when I put it like that, it sounds insane.

Big thanks to Cecilia for allowing me to pick her brain!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Suddenly You is the perfect addition to this short, sweet and absolutely swoon-worthy series. It has everything a YA romance fan could need: a bit o' drama, a lot of kissing and a mission to save what's dear to them. Cecilia Gray's fourth installment of the Jane Austen Academy series ties in wonderfully with the first four and will leave readers more than ready for book five!

Fanny is stressed. She's constantly busy with keeping up her grades, earning her scholarship and trying to become the next Olympic track star. When she overhears some distressing news about the future of Jane Austen Academy, she, at the urging of her new friends, adds actress to that list. Fanny's junior year at Jasta may not be going as she had planned, but will her newfound friends, and swoony boys make it worth it?

I can definitely relate to Fanny's constant pressure and that is probably one reason it was so easy to fall into this book. She's a flawed, but kind girl who has her heart set on her future and isn't going to let anything get it the way of it. That's extremely admirable in my opinion. Gray has always written female protagonists that instantly likable and Fanny's no different. Tran, too, is a fantastic male lead. He is so good for Fanny, and their relationship made me laugh. I adore Tran. (His tongue ring and tattoos may help that along a bit.) The other character I enjoyed seeing was Josh. If you've read the previous books in this series (which you don't have to, each of these books can be read as a stand-alone), you'd know that Josh isn't the nicest guy. Seeing him in Suddenly You was great because even though he was the antagonist in previous books, Gray gives him a good side, a backstory that makes him relatable. He'll tug at your heartstrings and have you wishing for him to get a happily-ever-after as well!

This is a very short story, but an engaging one nonetheless. It's fun read that will have readers feeling happy and satisfied. The plot moves quickly, but the pace is very steady and never feels rushed. It's simple and oh-so-cute. Though I must say, Suddenly You is by far the sexiest installment yet--what with tongue rings, tattoos, bras and Tran in a towel. 

The wait for book five, Only With You, is too long! I cannot wait to get my hands on it, especially since Emma is my favorite Jane Austen novel! Pick up these books and you'll understand why I adore this author and have read everything she has written. Her stories never fail to hook me, and I am so looking forward to seeing what Gray's writing ability takes her! (Girl's got major talent.)
I received an e-copy of this novel from the author for my honest opinion and review.

Thank you Tabby from IMR Blog Tours and Cecilia Gray for allowing me to partake in this tour!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

ARC Review: The Marriage Merger (Marriage to a Billionaire #4) by Jennifer Probst

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: July 30, 2013
Publisher: Gallery Books
400 Pages

Her sisters have found wedded bliss with their wealthy, wonderful dream men, but not Julietta Conte. She’s stayed on terra firma as top executive of the family’s corporation, La Dolce Famiglia bakery. Work is her passion, and her trendy Milan apartment her sanctuary . . . until Sawyer Wells, a masculine masterpiece in a suit, lures her out of hiding with an irresistible offer: an exclusive partnership with his international chain of boutique hotels.

Julietta’s been burned before—and trusting her brother-in-law’s friend, whose powerful gaze alone has her rethinking the best use of a conference room, is the riskiest proposition. But with a once-in-a- career chance to take the bakery global, will she mix stone-cold business with red-hot seduction?


 

This series is like candy for me. I don't know why, but I really enjoy them. And this installment was no different.

The Marriage Merger follows Julietta Conte and Sawyer Wells. Both have ties to characters from previous books. Julietta is head of her family's very successful bakery chain and she has no time for love. Especially after having failed relationship after failed relationship where she always seems to come off as the frigid, broken one. Sawyer Wells has made quite a name for himself with his uncanny ability to take failing hotels and turn them into 5 star resorts. When he decides he wants to open his own hotel line, he meets with Julietta to discuss a business merger of sorts.

I think that these two may be my favorite couple of the series. I adored Sawyer. He comes off as this cocky, sexual, always gets what he wants type of guy, but through the course of the book you get glimpses of his past and how hard he worked to get to where he is. His relationship with teenage rebel Wolfe is so heartwarming that at times, the two of them almost broke me. He felt the most real to me out of all the leading men that came before him. I was rooting for him the whole time.

Julietta is a force to be reckoned with. She's a successful woman who knows how to hold her own in the business world. Having been pushed aside for being a girl for far too long, she works hard and often sacrifices her social life. I loved watching as Sawyer learned why she cut herself off from relationships and then how he used that information to change her mind and show her how a strong woman like her could be submissive in the bedroom and not appear weak.

And we can't forget Mama Conte. She's just adorable and I kind of love her and her crazy ways.

I'm not sure if this is that last of the series, but I kind of hope that it's not. I would definitely be interested in another book, especially if we can find out more about Wolfe.

 I received an e-copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in return for an honest review.
 
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