Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Discussion Post: Books about Sports

First of all, I'd like to apologize for the lack of posts recently. As some of you know, I recently underwent my 6th or 7th back procedure and I've been sort of laying low for a few days. It takes a while to bounce back from them occasionally and I'm not recovering as well as I would have hoped. So, hopefully now that I'm feeling a bit better, I can get back to regularly posting and chatting with y'all!

Today, I'm going with another discussion post. I recently received a Netgalley book about soccer and I was beyond pumped. I grew up playing the game and even played in college so I'm a big fan. Soccer is somewhat a black horse in America still and every time I can get my hands on something that positively portrays the beautiful game, I'm on it. I don't discriminate. I love lots of sports and I'm just as eager to read something about basketball or hockey as I am about soccer. 

But this one was a disappointment to say the least. The game writing was awkward and forced and it was boring in the style. I get that soccer is a back and forth game but this sort of killed it. "And they ran up the pitch, and back down, passing and crossing the ball." Congratulations, you've just described every game of soccer ever. 

Not every sports book is like that though and I do have some that I really enjoyed. Tangerine has always been one of my favorites, mostly because it deals with some pretty messed up stuff and a goalkeeper. 

We're pretty interesting players and you think more would be written about goalies. We spend a lot of time standing in goal thinking and then we're asked to do stupidly crazy stuff for the sake of a game. I think it would be a good story. But we don't get any respect to begin with so maybe I'm deluding myself thinking that someone besides a keeper would want to write about a keeper.

The Secretary of Defense, ladies and gentlemen

Anyways, does anybody else read sports books? Do you know any good ones? 

I find that a lot of them are filled with cliches and unrealistic expectations of what certain age groups are able to do. I hate it when I read a book about sports where nobody is trying to improve since they are already the best at what they do. I want to find the gems though. So if you have any recommendations, send them my way!

Until next time...

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Discussion Post: Bookstores and the Temptation Problem

I love bookstores. I absolutely do. The feeling you get when you walk in and you get the sensory overload of the smell of the books, the look of the cover designs, and the feel of new pristine books in your hands. I could spend hundreds of dollars in one trip, given the opportunity.

Which is why I don't go that often. I can't. I would have absolutely no money left. I am already out of room on the bookshelves. I have kept most of my school books with all of my notes in them from 5th grade on and people love to give me books as presents. Not that I'm complaining in any way.

I'm an impulse buyer and I can't be trusted with my own debit card. If it has a pretty cover, an interesting blurb and especially, if it is discounted, it is mine. This leads to a big problem though...

Last weekend, my fiance came to town and he wanted to go to the bookstore for some investing books. Knowing myself, I didn't even bring my purse. But there I was, browsing the discounted section and I found something with a pretty cover and a thick binding. Taylor bought it for me (what a good man) and it is now sitting on my bedside table waiting for me to tackle it.

Here's the problem: It's the fifth book in a series. So now I'm going to read all of the others just so I can read the one he bought me. Once again, not complaining.

But does anybody else have this problem of low impulse control in bookstores? This isn't the first time it has happened for me. I have so many second and third books in a series because I was drawn in by a cover. This has been at least partially mitigated for me by having a kindle and planning out my purchases in advance. 

But I can't be trusted in bookstores. I'm not a responsible adult. I'm a little kid in a candy store with no real supervision.

I'm sure a lot of you guys have this problem but what is your strategy for book stores? Do you have a plan and go in for one or two books or is it a free for all for what catches your eye?

Monday, April 20, 2015

Book Review: A Desperate Fortune by Susanna Kearsley

Susanna Kearsley has done it again. And it's beautiful and wonderful and all the good things about a book that makes you keep coming back to it over and over. 

Susanna Kearsley is an auto-buy author for me. When a new book of hers comes out, I try to pick it up as quickly as possible and usually devour it in an afternoon. All of her books blend the past and the present in such a way that you feel like you are stepping into the shoes of the characters and experiencing everything that they do.

I'm going to go ahead and tell you...I hate this cover. I feel like it is a cop out. In the book, the outfits and settings are so perfectly described so at least the cover could have incorporated something like that. Instead, it is a generic woman looking at a generic bridge with a sepia tone over it. I understand that it can be difficult to get the right feel for a cover and get exactly what you want but I wanted something more than this.

A Desperate Fortune follows the growth of two women: Sara, an English who struggles with the day to day challenges of living with Asperger's in a society that increasingly demands extroversion and conformity and Mary, a young woman who grew up in France during the Jacobite revolution and finds herself at the center of a covert operation that goes bad quickly.

I absolutely adored Sara. She wants desperately to be normal and she goes with the "Fake it till you make it" mentality when dealing with others. She quit her most recent job because it forced her to work with others instead of working alone which she prefers. After she is given a cipher to crack, Sara is invited to work for an author who has found a very curious diary. The diary is that of Mary Dundas and is written entirely in code. It is supposed to depict the life of an ordinary girl in France but instead, it's the story of a great adventure.

Mary Dundas starts her story by wanting to move back with her family after an invitation from her brother. But her brother has other plans and sends her to be a tool in trying to protect a fugitive from England that is a sympathizer to the Jacobite cause. Mary tries to play her role perfectly but things quickly go south and she finds herself traversing the country with a quiet and intimidating Scotsman, a charming Englishman, and a chaperon. Their journey is perilous and forces Mary to abandon her ideals of living a peaceful life with her brother's family and stand up for herself.

The romances are lovely in this book.

Sara always pushes away her love interests and is content with being solitary for the rest of her life. She has accepted it and it's okay. Then she meets Luc Sabran who sneaks through the cracks in the walls she has built. He is patient and kind which is exactly what she needs in her life. Sara wants calm and steady and that is what he offers.

And Hugh MacPherson...

I have to say that he is my favorite hero that Kearsley has written so far. Yes, he bumped Rob off the top. He is so wonderfully written, it is amazing. Hugh is cold, removed, strong, stubborn, and all of the things you want/don't want in a damaged man. He just wants to keep everybody safe and do his job but the close quarters between Hugh and Mary force them to try to get along and help each other. Mary is originally terrified of him but it grows to respect and admiration in such a natural way that it is perfectly believable.

The historical aspects of this book are on point, as per usual. This author loves this particular period in French and Scottish history and has done a great job of tying in the history with the romance. The outfits are period appropriate, the manner of speaking, and she obviously does her research. I love well planned books. They make my heart soar.

Characters from the author's other novels make cameos which is fun in many ways. I like seeing that all the stories are tied together in some way. However, it can get a bit tiring. You have to remember their stories and make those connections and sometimes it can be annoying.

There are 3 reasons that this isn't a 5 star book for me:

1) The cover - not relevant to anything. Just a sepia tone of a pretty girl.

2) The ending for Sara was too abrupt and I hated how it concluded way before Mary's story.

3) The beginning was a bit slow. It was like the story had to gear up a bit before it got going. But if you're patient, it's entirely worth it.

So yeah...another wonderful book from this author. It's such a fine and lovely thing that I couldn't even find gifs for it.

I'm still basking in book afterglow here.

Friday, April 17, 2015

The Friday 56 (4)

This is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Freda at Freda's Voice.  This is a fun and simple meme, just follow the rules! It's a great way to connect with bloggers and share new or favorite books with them.
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
(If you have to improvise, that's ok.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it)
*Add your name to the link up at Freda's Voice

In honor of Suzanne Johnson's new book coming out on the 21st, this week's Friday 56 comes from the first book in her Sentinels of New Orleans series, Royal Street

DJ is a young wizard living in New Orleans with her mentor and protector, Gerry. When Hurricane Katrina storms through, everything is turned on its head and all hell breaks loose. It is up to DJ and her new sexy partner Alex to set things right and prevent a war between good and evil. They are out to protect both the magical world and the delicate reviving New Orleans that is still reeling from the destruction on the hurricane.

"I sat in the Pathfinder on Magazine Street after a junk-food run, drumming my fingers impatiently while stewing over my new position in the Elder's doghouse. After his phone call, Alex had told me Willem Zrakovi was furious at me for summoning Marie Laveau on my own. Then Elder Zrakovi called and told me himself. He was deeply disappointed in my insistence on taking things into my own hands. That stung. 

You'd think the Elders would appreciate knowing a bigger conspiracy might be afoot, one that went beyond a missing sentinel, some voodoo symbols, and an angry pirate. But no. I had disappointed them. Deeply."

I really do love these books and Pirate's Alley (book #4) is looking like it will be really good. Suzanne Johnson is one of my auto-buy authors and I'm looking forward to this next installment. Her characters are sassy, snarky, tough and incredibly sarcastic.

Hopefully I have gotten someone interested in this! Has anybody else read this series? What did you think?

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Book Review: Here Be Sexist Vampires by Suzanne Wright

Recommended to me by the lovely Melissa over at Ever So Mela.

I'm sorry Melissa, I tried. Vampire books are still not my thing. It was an enjoyable read but not one that I will be revisiting in the future. It's not that they give me the creeps but I guess part of my mind is screaming at me while I'm reading saying "Vampires are dead! That limits their sex appeal!"

Here Be Sexist Vampires is about a young vampire named Sara who has extraordinary gifts. She has been basically enslaved since her "birth" and is given a chance to escape from that life and make a name for herself in the army of the Grand High Master Vampire. But she is a low ranking Svent√© vampire and is looked down on by the beautiful Keja vamps and the strong Pagoris. Sara is out to prove herself in this world of sexist (but undeniably sexy) alpha males and show that everybody, no matter the station of their birth, can be a leader with enough determination and spunk.

I'm going to start off with the cover. It bothers me. So much. It looks like someone tried to render a girl and failed miserably. 

It doesn't match the feel of the book and it looks plain to my eyes. I do like that the electric whip was included (which is one of Sara's powers) but it isn't enough to save it in my mind. It looks like it was done too quickly without enough thought put into it.

I'm still struggling with what actually bothered me about this book. Vampire books that don't depict them as creatures of the night with an unhealthy relationship with blood disappoint me. I feel like part of the reason why vampires could be so interesting as main characters is because of their moral struggle with relying on cognizant beings for their survival. The other option I really enjoy is the manipulative, cruel, but engaging vampire like the ones in The Casquette Girls. Vampires are something to be feared for me but that didn't really happen in this book.

This definitely followed the path of the sexy vampire. Sara is beautiful and attractive and from the very first moment she and Jarrod lay eyes on each other, they want to jump each others bones. Which is fine. No insta-love here.

Jarrod is a Pagori vampire and that makes his strong beyond belief and gives him incredible powers. He doesn't think that Sara can handle all of these men and be a commander to them. He challenges her to take control of the group they are supposed to lead together and assumes that she will never be able to actually help them master their abilities. But she does. And he can't handle it. He likes to fight with Sara to annoy her but he also gets a thrill out of it. Jarrod knows he wants her but doesn't realize how bad for a long time.
“Whether she realised it yet or not, this betting stuff and the constant conflict between us was foreplay.”
Alright, so this is a bit of a girl power book, which is awesome. I love reading about strong women who can handle anything that is put in front of them. Sara is handling twice the derision and scorn because she is not only female but also a low ranking vampire that is considered too tame. But she is unique and pretty and perfect and already has a handle on every gift that she has been given.

I wish we had gotten to see her work harder to control her powers. She starts off perfect and the only character growth she exhibits during the entire book was learning to love again. It's a big thing but when you're about to be attacked by an army of vampires, it shouldn't be a priority.

But all of this being said, it's not a bad book. The secondary characters are fun, engaging, and add a little bit of fun to the book. It's not all about sex and fighting. There isn't excessive amounts of blood and gore like some vampire books have where everybody is always attached to the neck of someone else and making horrendous gulping noises. 

Fletcher is the secretary for both Jarrod and Sara and is the best friend that anybody could ask for. He's honest, straightforward, and amazingly sassy. 
"What? Who? Oh you mean that cross between a whippet and a witch. Personally, I don't know how he can shag something that looks like its just escaped from Azkaban."
He was honestly one of my favorite characters in the book, simply because you know that all he does all day is put up with their sexual tension laden arguments and sit at his desk and plot ways to get them together. 

Another supporting character that stole my heart is Evan, who is Jarrod's brother. He is all charm and smiles. I liked that he wasn't after Sara and was honest with himself throughout the book. Evan knows what he wants and nobody is going to distract him from it. He's still a good friend in the long run and adds a bit of tension between the brothers when Jarrod's caveman tendencies crop up.

The sexy scenes were entertaining at first but they got a little bit repetitive. Both Sara and Jarrod are experienced so there is none of that wilting virgin stuff going on here and they have heat between them. But every time they get together, it follows the same pattern. Sara is sexy. Jarrod is possessive. Jarrod has a thing for dirty talk and being the dominant one. It's fun and had some heat but I got bored with it rather quickly. Jarrod only has one trick and he uses it constantly. Jarrod needs to go read a couple of Cosmos because I would think electrocuting your partner's naughty bits would get a bit tiresome after a while. 

Post vampire sex?

Vampire sex scenes have bothered me for a long time because they don't make sense to me. In most books, vampires are dead. They don't have a heartbeat. Their blood is pretty much useless. So how are they able to get *ahem* excited? It doesn't work physiologically to me and maybe they explained it at some point during the book but I didn't catch it. In addition, if they are dead, then why do they have a thing for each other's blood? Wouldn't it be rotten? I keep imagining them drinking sludge out of each other and it isn't good. Rather gross actually. Even though their blood is clean and it seems that they do have a pulse in this book, it still just doesn't work for me.

This book is a romance at heart and the vampire stuff almost seems to be a secondary thing. The author could have picked being wizards or shifters or werewolves and I feel like the plot wouldn't have changed all that much. The powers made things interesting but it somewhat ignored the standard canon for vampires and strayed dangerously close to Twilight

I want my vampires to be evil or at least fighting against being evil. They're dead already. They have nothing to lose. They can do whatever they want, right? Or maybe they should have problems with subsisting off of the blood of living cognizant humans. Even if they are willing and able, I feel like at least one vampire would have issues with it. 

I guess in the end, I was expecting drama, danger, and conflict and while that's present in the book, it wasn't the way I like it. I love reading about personal struggles of right and wrong. This book was mainly romance with a sprinkling of political and military drama. So if you are reading it for that reason, it's a fun book. If you're looking for more than that, this is a bit of a disappointment.

So 2.5 stars from me. I don't like sexy vampire books and this was no exception. I'm trying to get over it but this one just didn't do it for me. 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Book Review: The Deepest Cut by J.A. Templeton

I really need to stop rating books right after I read them. I find that I am often too generous with the ones I truly disliked and later bump them down a star.

The Deepest Cut could have been great. It was an interesting idea that was held back by the writing style and the characterization of the leads. It's not often in a book where you end up truly disliking the main characters but that happened for me with this one. The characters, plot, setting, conflict, and conclusion were all remarkably lackluster.

Riley Williams and her family have moved to Scotland to escape their past. Her mother died in a car accident and ever since then, Riley has been able to see spirits of those who have passed on. So the obvious logical conclusion is to move to a place where history/bloodshed/ghosts/legends are thick on the ground and this poor girl will be tormented. Her brother and father don't believe that she sees ghosts but still, that's a bit of a dick move.

So they move into a haunted inn in the haunted countryside of Scotland where everybody is going to get along and stay out of trouble. This is where Riley encounters Ian McKinnon, a young Scottish lad that was killed around 200 years ago.

Ian is the stereotypical Scottish man we see in every book written about the Highlands. He's tall, handsome with a stunning and sweet personality but the desire to protects his loved ones. As soon as he finds out that Riley can see him, he sticks close by her, desperate to talk to someone who can hear him.

Ian catches Riley cutting herself as a way of releasing the pent up anger, frustration, and hurt of being without her mother. She's sick of being medicated and treated but is still dealing with her past. And that's when everything goes downhill.

Because Ian isn't the only spirit sticking around. There is another ghost roaming around and this one isn't nearly as charming and has a thing for homicide. Riley is determined to save Ian from his eternal wandering but that puts her in danger from being cursed or whatever herself.

The idea is good with this book. The execution is excessively awful.

Riley learns everything about ghosts through Google, a couple of books, and the crazy old ladies in the neighborhood. None of which is actually effective. They really make things worse.

There is little to no consistency about the ghosts, meaning that the author basically ignored all of the standards for ghostliness (non-tangible, mysterious, not able to talk, being tied to one place, creepy as fuck) and fits her ghosts to her standards. Ghosts are able to fly through walls but Riley is able to kiss and cuddle them?

Riley is a whiner too.

I get that you're working through your mother's death and it's difficult but stop acting like such a martyr and step up a little bit. The cutting felt like it was added on as a schtick and it never felt genuine. Her brother and her father lost someone too and it felt like they were just so incredibly done with her.

The town they move into must be the Scottish version of Hollywood because everybody there is fucking gorgeous apparently.

Except the bad guys. Because bad guys can't be pretty ever. (Except Hiddleston. Exception to every rule) The important people are pretty. It was just so over the top cliched that it made me want to throw something. A bunch of teenagers running wild, drinking, partying, and being incredibly stupid with little parental supervision. Is this the YA Paranormal version of every high school teen movie made?

And finally, the romance...

It felt stupid and fake. There are better ways to do ghostly boyfriends and this was the worst rendition of it I've ever seen. The whole point of falling in love with a ghost is that you can't fucking touch them or have any sort of physical relationship. It's supposed to torture you. That never happened in this book. The only inconvenient part of him being a ghost is that he would lost energy. They nearly had ghostly sex which would have been awfully convenient since he couldn't get you pregnant. (OMG Ghost babies)

So yeah...don't waste your time or your money. I got the box set of the series but for the first time, I'm deleting something from my kindle library. It's not worth keeping.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Book Review: Dream Student by J.J. DiBenedetto

Ok, fuck it.

DNF at 27%.

I pride myself on being able to finish all of the books I start, mostly out of sheer stubbornness. I hate to admit defeat. But this book did it. I can't read another page.

Sara is having dreams that she doesn't think are hers. She meets a guy that is in her dreams and falls madly in love with him instantly. He is able to cure her nightmares and stop her screaming just by being near and everything is all cheery.

First of all...

Dreams don't make sense most of the time. If I have a dream about a person, I assume that I've seen them before and my brain is putting them into a dream. Hell, I have dreams about Dumbledore doing the "Crank Dat" dance in the Great Hall after the muggleborns figure out how to set up magical speakers but that doesn't mean I'm going to freak out if I hear the song again. I never assume that they are premonitions or the guy that is fucking fantasizing about me in a mini skirt in my dream is actually doing so.

That would make you insane.

Secondly, I hate insta-love. Instant attraction is real. Instant love? No. Instant trust? No. She hasn't had a boyfriend in a long time and Sara pretty much just jumps into bed with Brian immediately.

Her best friend, Beth, barely even tries to say it is a bad idea. My friends would be tying me down and saying "What the actual fuck?" And Brian is majorly creepy. Staring at her during a party? Dreaming about her in a cheerleading outfit? Being in love with her right away? She doesn't act like a good friend, just someone that is tired of dealing with her roommate's crap. They get all cuddly and supportive and then doesn't try to warn her off.

Adding onto it, it is so fucking stereotypical and cliched it isn't even funny. Hot best friend, check. Scary dreams, check. Hot guy changes her life and saves her, check. Puts on a dress and is magically the hottest thing on two legs, check. It reads like a bad 90's teen movie and I was rolling my eyes so hard that I could see my brain.

All of this book is just a big NO for me.

The writing is juvenile and silly. It's excessively dated (although I can appreciate the calling each others dorm rooms instead of cell phones) and I felt like it was an adult book written by a 13 year old. It's like watching an old tv show where everything is "rad" and "totally awesome".

I get that it's supposed to be paranormal or fantasy or whatever but it just isn't punching that ticket for me. It seems like a book about a girl who thinks she can see the future in her dreams but is really just batshit crazy. If there is a big twist at the end where she is in an insane asylum and all of it is just a delusion, that might make the book slightly more interesting but I'm not going to stick around and find out.

In conclusion:

1) Weird dream logic

2) Insta-love

3) Shitty enabling annoying too-hot-to-handle best friend

4) Nothing new. All annoying tropes.

Over it. The book wins. I'm so done.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Book Review: Risking Ruin by Mae Wood

I was given this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.

I don't often do this, but I'm going to start with the blurb from Goodreads:
Marisa Tanner's most important client, multi-billion dollar family-owned Brannon Company, has been sued by nine of its employees for sexual harassment. Marisa is a pro at handling sexual harassment allegations, but will she be able to handle the CEO's prodigal son as well as she can handle the lawsuits?
Clients are off-limits and Marisa could lose her law license and livelihood, but Memphis playboy Trip keeps making strong plays for her. Their attraction is undeniable and chemistry electric. Can she have her career and Trip, too, or will she have to choose?
A steamy debut novel by Mae Wood, "Risking Ruin" is a standalone novel that blends the styles of chick-lit and steamy contemporary romance to create a world filled with strong characters in the lush environment of Memphis, Tennessee.
Risking Ruin by Mae Wood was a great, fun read and it was one of the books that got me out of my reading slump. The characters have real personality and this isn't just one of those books where the main character can't love her man because reasons. There is a real worry in their relationship and it avoids all of the major pitfalls of modern romance novels.

I love the cover (obviously, since it is my favorite color) and I am usually not a fan of drawn covers. This one was well done and relates to the story line of the book. It isn't just two generic people holding onto each other or almost kissing like every Nicholas Sparks book written. It's cute and eye catching to me.

Marisa is a strong woman who stands on her own two feet, running her law firm, and being very good at it.
She loves her job and loves being the boss but when her biggest client's representative retires, she finds her world shaken up. Marisa strives to be professional and respected, keeping her clients at an appropriate distance. It's amazing how one man can change all of that.

Trip Brannon is one hell of a man, after all, and he is hard to put in the box that the rest of her clients reside in. He won't let her put him in that box and he is not shy about his affections. Marisa sees him as an entitled playboy with no real focus in life. He seems to drift around and the only reason he is working at his new position is that he will one day inherit the company.
Trip isn't some aggressive dominant alpha male, which was awesome. Don't get me wrong, I love my cavemen but it was refreshing to encounter a male lead who isn't shoving his love interest up against the wall and claiming her as his property. He is respectful and charming like all properly raised Southern men should be. He is a gentleman with a naughty side. He is the man you take home to meet your mother and grandmother who will stay after to help you with the dishes. He is your dinner party guest. He is your plus one at your friend's wedding. Trip is the gentleman in the streets but a freak in the sheets. 

Do you know how rare that is? Yes, Southern men have a reputation for all of this but for them to actually achieve this is beyond rare. He isn't a perfect man but he is genuine and that's what makes him a compelling character.

I know this is a weird thing to fixate on, but I have to mention it. In so many books, especially romance novels, the main characters are fit beyond imagination but you never actually witness them maintaining their shape. I loved that both Marisa and Trip were active. You want to stay healthy? Good. Work for it. Marisa is a runner. Trip is a cyclist. 

Thank you, Mae Wood, for making realistic characters that know the meaning of hard work and the benefits of staying active. They aren't staying in shape by shagging all hours of the night and that's wonderful. Nobody just *gets* a six pack. Those are earned and it sucks getting there.

But onto the story, now that I've gone on about the characters.

Being a lawyer is tough and it can only be made tougher by having a ridiculously hot client. Client/Lawyer relationships are off limits though and Marisa doesn't want to lose a client over a pretty face. There is real danger here to her career. What would the professional world think about her dropping a multi-million dollar client just so she can go at it with the CEO's son? It could potentially ruin her. Especially with the case she is dealing with.

The company has been hit with a string of sexual harassment cases over the past few months and with a big company, that's not all that uncommon. What is strange is the man who is the latest of being accused. Sure, he's a bit of a flirt but nothing as extreme as the case is alleging. Marisa's radar is up and with the help of her assistant, she finds out that this case is a lot bigger than she imagined. It goes a lot further than sexual harassment cases at work. I certainly didn't expect the outcome!

I loved that Marisa didn't do everything on her own. She asks for help from her friends and family and gets it. She knows that she isn't all powerful and she can't do it all so she relies on others. This isn't a rogue lawyer that don't need no stinking assistance. This is a big deal and she is overwhelmingly professional. She keeps the personal drama out of her work life which is where it belongs. There was more to this book than just romance and I was just as eager to find out about the lawsuits as I was to learn more about Trip and Marisa.

Their relationship, while it seems a bit like insta-love at the beginning, takes some time to develop. Trip is definitely the pursuer but Marisa doesn't let him push her around. He gives her the space she needs to think it over but he also doesn't let her forget him. Trip makes sure that he is at the front of her mind and is very successful at it. I loved the restaurant scenes. So incredibly hot. I'd be freaking out if my man did that to me and nowhere near as composed as Marisa was. I mean, hot damn.

I even liked the fights that the characters had. They are incredibly realistic. I can see how some people would think Marisa is overreacting in some situations but you know what? I'd probably do the same thing. I'd react the exact same way except probably hold onto my anger for longer. Marisa has the right to be upset and confused in these situations and Trip doesn't just get out scot free.

So overall, a good romantic story and well written as well! The characters are realistic and you find yourself cheering for them.
There are emotions, conflict, attraction, lust (definitely) and consequences. There is a real story to go with a charming romance and I loved that it was set in Memphis which can be a fun city. The landmarks and descriptions were great and I could definitely picture myself there although I was somewhat disappointed that there was no mention of Central Barbecue. I mean...come on. That place is effing magical. And Gus's. Those two are just as iconic as the Rendezvous.

Anyways...4/5 stars. I enjoyed it thoroughly. :-)