All posts by vblawnola

Author, Reader, Reviewer

On Dublin Street (On Dublin Street Series Book 1) – Samantha Young

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Contemporary romance set in Scotland

Blurb:

A women hiding from her past has all of her secrets laid bare in this New York Times and USA Today bestselling sensation that enraptured readers everywhere…

Braden Carmichael is used to getting what he wants, and he’s determined to get Jocelyn into his bed. He knows she has a past, one that has made her skittish about getting into a relationship, so he proposes an arrangement that will satisfy their intense attraction without any strings attached.

But after an intrigued Jocelyn accepts, Braden decides he won’t be satisfied with just mind-blowing passion. The stubborn Scotsman is intent on truly knowing her…down to the very soul.


Jocelyn “Joss” doesn’t do relationships. She doesn’t talk about her past with even her best friend and never lets anyone get too close. Braden and Joss have immediate sexual chemistry, but Joss won’t do a relationship. Braden agrees to a friends with benefits deal… or does he?

I liked this a lot. I do like bossy caveman alpha males, especially when they are sweet and treat their woman right. So I was very happy with Braden. I liked Jocelyn too. She was complex, strong, and weak at the same time. But her weakness was understandable. She had stuffed down the grief from losing her family when she was 14 and never dealt with it. It takes amazing strength of will to compartmentalize like that and even more to unpack it later. Sometimes you have to do what you have to do to survive. And sometimes you need a bossy person to push you into dealing with your baggage and overcoming it.

We get Joss’ backstory in little hints along the way, making us curious. The novel was fast paced, an easy, enjoyable read. There was a good amount of humor throughout. I loved how snarky Joss could be.

This is set in Edinburgh, Scotland. I’ve been there a few times and loved all the details about the city that were sprinkled throughout.

This contains many graphic sex scenes, which were hot. No complaints

Frequent foul language. I thought it was hilarious when Joss cursed in her mind.


Grammar:

The first review on Goodreads was from October 2012. I believe it shows up first because it has the most likes. It talks about the terrible grammar in this. Since I can’t read books with grammar that bad, I read part of the sample on Amazon. This book has clearly been edited and proofread since 2012. It looks like it was originally self-published but was picked up by Berkley and reprinted in 2019. This is the version I am reviewing.

1st person past tense from Joss (Jocelyn).

“Alright” is not a word. This has become a pet peeve of mine. It’s “all right” – two words!

Mom/Dad should be capitalized like a proper name when not her mom, his mom, and so on.

When the dialogue continues from the same person into a new paragraph, you need an open quotation mark on that second paragraph to indicate they are still speaking but not a closing quotation mark at the end of the first paragraph. The open quote is often missing here.

There should be a comma before, right? This is just like yes, no, yeah, and others. Yes, I get that. No, that’s not it. Yeah, okay. And when you end with a question, it needs a question mark, okay?

Text messages were not consistently formatted. The first set was in italics, but later sets weren’t.

Other than these issues, I found 15 errors, which isn’t bad.

415 pages. $1.99 on Amazon.

Fallen Crest Series – Tijan

A high school to college soap opera romance series

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Fallen Crest High – Book 1

This is a guilty pleasure read. It’s a soap opera, a group of characters that Jerry Springer would jump at. The parents in this are terrible! They go from outright abusive to just not there. The teenagers are always having raging parties, setting things on fire, and fighting. Someone is always out to get them. These novels are mostly about catty, backstabbing, jealous people trying to hurt the three main characters – Sam, Mason, and Logan. Tons of teen angst. It’s so much drama that I have to forcibly suspend my disbelief and just let the telenovela happen. Embrace the crazy, and it is very amusing. There is a lot of humor in this, most of it coming from Logan.

I do like that Mason is a good guy to Sam. He is a complex character, good to her but can be manipulative and a jerk. But at least he is honest about it.

Sam’s character starts off numb. Sam doesn’t care about anything. She seems to take everything in stride, being bored by all the teenage angst and drama around her. She is angry with her parents about their split and says so to both of them, but she doesn’t lash out. She just goes running to escape. I didn’t like that Sam’s character changed in the second book. She got weak for a while.

Logan is a slut, but he is also honest about that and so funny that I can’t hate him for it.

This series is complete now and ends in a HEA.

This contains sex scenes, but they aren’t graphic. We know what happened, but it’s not as detailed as I usually see. The C and P words are not used. Instead, it is something like, “He was in me.” The scenes get a bit more descriptive in the latter books when the characters are in college.

The entire series is in 1st person past tense. The first two books are all from Sam. In the rest of the series, we get some chapters from Mason too. We get a chapter from Logan in Book 5 (University). Logan Kade has chapters from both Logan and Taylor.

There are a ton of errors in the first book including wrong words and missing words. It’s not often enough to give me headaches but stretching it. The grammar gets better as the series goes on. I also felt that the plots got better as Tijan matured as an author over the series.



Fallen Crest Family – Book 2

Another soap opera. I didn’t think this was as good as the first. The abuse stuff was brought up out of nowhere, and I didn’t like how Sam’s character got weak.

In the second book, Sam is suddenly suffering PTSD from something her mom did when Sam was eleven. It never came up in the first book. It seems like Sam’s character was changed to conform to the desired plot. Because she stood up to her mother in the first book. Sam told her mother that their relationship was over, done, that she wished she hadn’t been born to her mother. She also said she would move out as soon as she turned 18. And Sam does have the option of going to live with David, who fought for shared custody. It also seems very strange that Becky and Lydia would have suddenly abandoned Sam in the intervening time period when they had sworn loyalty to her at the end of the last book. I’m not buying it. Then the stuff about Sam being arrested as a runaway weeks before her 18th birthday and Mason possibly being charged with statutory rape was far from the legal facts. The changes are too stark, and I felt they were done to facilitate the desired plot here.


Fallen Crest Public – Book 3

The soap opera continues… This story is all about the mean girls and the queen bee going down, just like getting hit by a bus. But again, it’s a guilty pleasure. Very cliche story line about a spurned girl who launches attacks on Sam because she wants Mason.


Favorite Quote:

…Malinda. She always had a quick retort for Logan, and when there was a lull in conversation, she’d grill Mark on his love life. He was mortified when she suggested getting a vibrator for his girl. “Mom!” he cried out. She shrugged. “You’re not a virgin, and I’m promoting her pleasure as well. The girl will enjoy it a lot more. They don’t always, you know.” She scanned the rest of the table. “I’m sure you two bucks think you’re the stud for all those does,” she remembered me and amended, “well maybe just you and Logan, but I’m telling you. Girls fake it eighty percent of the time.”

That opened a whole new channel of adoration from Logan. He wanted to know it all.

The rest of the conversation was a question and answer forum from Logan while Mark looked ready to throw up. I even caught Mason listening intently to her. He told me later that he’d be stupid to pass up information like that.


Fallen Fourth Down – Book 4

There would be so much less drama if they communicated with each other. Can’t have that!

I like the screenshot of the texts.

I’m glad Sam has grown more of a backbone. In Fallen Crest Family, she got too weak for me.

Wow. I know this is a soap opera, but I keep getting shocked when it goes to that level. Hahaha There was a huge error in that near the start, Sam thought, “Maybe it was time I tried drinking. Everyone else seemed to enjoy it.” But she had been drunk so many times in the first three books! This was ridiculous. Alcohol was not new to her!


Fallen Crest University – Book 5

Mason is keeping secrets from Sam. Sam is keeping secrets from Mason. They are both trying to protect each other. If there aren’t any secrets, there can’t be any drama! 😂


Fallen Crest Christmas

This is a Fallen Crest extra set right after University and before Logan Kade.

It is in 3rd person past tense.


Logan Kade – Book 5.5

We all know Logan is a slut and sometimes a man-whore, but I read this because of how funny he is! Oh yeah, do you know the difference? Sluts are just promiscuous, lacking respect for their own bodies. Man-whores make the women pay in some way, hurting them. I don’t slut-shame. I’m not a fan of it, but whatever floats your boat. I just don’t like reading about characters who are so casual about sex because it’s a turn off for me. I really hate man-whores. They are bad people.

This was good, more fun, less of a soap opera. I really liked it until what happened near the end. Then I was disgusted! I have to knock at least a star off for Logan being far too much of a slut / manwhore.

Favorite Quote: “I’m Logan Motherfucking Kade. I’d switch classes, too. I mean, shit. If I were a chick? I’d be all over me. I couldn’t keep myself away from me.” He let out a whistle. “Bring out the handcuffs and bullwhips. We’re going the BDSM route.”


Fallen Crest Home – Book 6

Near the beginning, everyone is worried about Sam and Mason being at a Roussou event, and they are always surrounded by people acting as bodyguards. Then the group lets Mason and Sam walk off alone to leave. It makes no sense that everyone would be worried at the beginning of the night and then let them leave alone. Stupid characters! 🙁

Home ends on a cliffhanger that is so soap opera.

Favorite Quotes:

“Good thing I’m Logan Kade. I mean, come on. If I wasn’t the #sexmachine, I might’ve felt a little self-conscious.” His eyes grew thoughtful. “I’d never noticed how ripped he is. I think he needs to cut back on some of his training. He’s lean cuisine now. Does it hurt? When you’re bumping and grinding against him? Do all those hard muscles give you road rash or something?”

He smirked. “You’re calling me the dumbass when you’re the one who needs to be reminded how to eat. Put it in and chew—unless it’s Mason’s dick. Don’t chew then. Please, don’t chew. I don’t want to take my brother to the emergency room for that.”


Fallen Crest Forever – Book 7

The conclusion of the series with a HEA.


Malik (Carter Brother Series Book 1) – Lisa Helen Gray

Bullied damsel in distress gets rescued by hot guy

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Harlow’s parents were murdered, and she has to move to her grandmother’s house in a new town. The five Carter brothers live with their grandfather, next door to Harlow’s grandma. On the first day of school, Harlow makes an enemy of Davis, a bully. Malik Carter and his brothers protect Harlow from this creep. Harlow is also bullied by a girl in school.

I thought this was a bully romance at first, but it’s not. The bully is a bad guy that Harlow is definitely not going to fall in love with.

I was disappointed with how weak Harlow was. I know she had just lost her parents, but she had been bullied at her old school before they died. I really wish Harlow would have stood up and fought back more against Davis. She is bit too damsel in distress for me. Knee him in the balls, scream, scratch, tear his eyes out, anything! I wanted her to stand up to the girls more as well. She is also down on herself, thinking she is plain, when it becomes clear that she is actually beautiful. I loved the secondary characters of the girls, Denny and Charlie. They were much stronger and fought back against bullying.

Malik was great! No complaints there.

Harlow’s grandma is hilarious. She loves to pull pranks and make the grandkids feel uncomfortable. She was a big part of the humor in this book.

The pacing was good. It was a fast read. So one star for story/writing, one for Malik, and one for Harlow’s grandma!

Two of Malik’s brothers, Max and Mason, are man-whores. They each have books in this series, and I’m not excited about reading theirs. I was cautious, so I started reading the sample on Amazon of next book, Mason. There are many more errors in that one! Just reading the first few pages, I saw several issues. Malik needed another proofread, but it looks like Mason didn’t get any. A quick peek at the next one, Myles, revealed the same issues. So I won’t be continuing with this series.


Trigger warning – there is a rape scene.

There are a few graphic sex scenes.

No cheating.

Contains foul language.

1st person present tense, from Harlow except for one chapter from Malik.

This is written in British English.

Errors: 27 (missing periods, extra commas, missing/wrong words, the first letter of a sentence not being capitalized)


Favorite Quotes:

(Harlow walks in on one of Malik’s brothers taking a shower, and Malik runs in to see why she screamed…)

I want to roll my eyes at him, but I’m too embarrassed to move or to reopen my eyes. His penis was there; right there, in full view. My first live penis and it’s a complete stranger’s. I never wanted my first penis sighting to be like this. Just thinking about it has my cheeks heating.

“Come on, Harlow,” Malik orders, snapping me out of my penis trance. I let him drag me quietly out of the bathroom and into his room before I whirl around on him, my anger finally surfacing now that I’m safely away from the penis.

“How could you!’’ we say at the same time, both of us glaring at each other.

“No, how could you? How dare you remove my clothes while I’m unconscious. How could you do that to me? Did you get a good look?” I snap sarcastically as I move myself closer to him. “Did you? I can’t believe this. Not only does a boy see me naked—half-naked anyway—for the first time, but I’m also unconscious through it. Then, to top that shit list, I see my very first penis. A very fucking frightening one. They’re big, Malik. Fucking big,” I cry out, feeling hysterical.


Malik: “My first thought in the morning is no longer about an upcoming race, or my boner, but you. It’s always about you—and my boner.”


Malik (Joan is Harlow’s grandma): “Joan warned—okay, threatened me, that if I got dirt on her carpet, she was going to castrate me. I love my dick, babe, and Joan keeps threatening it.”


Joan: “Don’t go,” she groans. “I need some advice on other things too. Like, do you think I should get some Viagra? I’m known to go all night.”


(Joan and Mark, Malik’s grandfather, get caught making out on the sofa…)

I mumble, before turning to Grams. “Say goodnight, then get to bed. If I don’t hear the door shut—with Mark on the other side—I won’t be pleased, Grams.”

“Shush, child. It’s not like you haven’t got Malik upstairs,” she tells me like a sulking teenager.

She does have a point.

“Yes, but we’re kids. You’re adults. You shouldn’t be fondling on the sofa at your age,” I defend. “Say goodnight, then go to sleep.”

Walking up the stairs, I can’t help but grimace when I hear Grams asking when they can fondle again.

Jesus, pass me a bucket.


Triple Play: A Sports Reverse Harem Romance – Cassie Cole

Baseball reverse harem romance

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Natalie is hired on as the assistant pitching coach for a major league baseball team. Raphael and Joel are pitchers. Darryl plays first base and is a star hitter.

I actually like baseball, so this was much more my speed. The many baseball details and the suspense in the game descriptions were terrific. It was a great story about baseball as well as a romance. The sex scenes were hot, and there was a good amount of humor in this.

The only thing I didn’t like was how quickly Natalie fell into bed with Raphael. This happens early on, so it’s not a spoiler. It felt like a cheesy porno set up like the hot guy delivering a pizza and suddenly they are having sex. I wasn’t a fan. I definitely wanted more chemistry in their interactions and getting to know one another before they had sex. But the novel got much better from there!

There is a cute little bonus epilogue chapter online set 15 years later.

SAFE – no cheating, Other People drama, love triangles, or non or dubious consent.

Graphic sex scenes both one-on-one and group. No touching between the men.

Occasional foul language.

1st person past tense from Natalie and all three guys.

There are some unnecessary dialogue tags, but not so many as to detract from the pacing.

Alright is not a word, it’s all right. Mom/Dad should be capitalized like a proper name. Aside from that, I only found 8 errors, so this is very well edited.

The Good Guys series – Jamie Schlosser

If you need a break from overused cliches, angst, evil villains, or tearjerkers, dip into this series!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I read the first book, Trucker, a long time ago. I remember at the time thinking I would save these for when I needed a break from angst and difficult reads. I really needed that break after The Sainthood series! I’d been in gangland with murder and raunchy sex for too long. I needed something nice and sweet. So I binged the rest of the series. It was just what I needed. They are all so cute! I had plenty of laugh out loud moments.

They are feel-good reads without being over the top or sugary. They are like real vanilla, not the cheap imitation stuff, with deep notes of true flavor. When I’ve been having a lot of Rocky Road and other complicated or sour flavors, it’s just so refreshing to savor something so genuine and real. If you need a break from overused cliches, angst, evil villains, or tearjerkers, dip into this series!

They are all SAFE – NO: cheating, sex scenes with Other People, love triangles, abuse, non or dubious consent, or cliffhangers! They do contain occasional foul language and graphic sex scenes, which are very hot. These are emotional. People make love in these books.

I especially love that the author turns cliches around. A familiar situation comes up, but the characters react to it in a different, usually saner, way.

Each book is written in 1st person past tense with about half the chapters from each of the two main characters.

They are all very well edited. I only found a few errors in each.

Alright is not a word! It’s all right. I swear!


1. Trucker

Travis picks Angel up when she starts to hitchhike across the country.

This was so frigging cute. It’s a light-hearted, feel-good read. I loved that both the leads are virgins. Travis’ horror date stories were hilarious. I laughed out loud several times while reading this.

The only thing I didn’t like was the OW drama. It was just another woman that wanted Travis, mean girl stuff, no touching at all between H and OW. Very cliche, but at least it was over quickly!

Angel was naive and far too trusting, but she’s very young (17/18). It’s nice to see that life hadn’t beaten that out of her already.


2. Dancer

Brielle “Ellie” and Colton were best friends as children until Colton moved away when they were seven years old. Now in their early twenties, Brielle is a cage dancer in a nightclub. Her clothes stay on. She is a single mother, having gotten pregnant as a senior in high school. We met Colton in Trucker. He is Travis’ roommate and also a mechanic like Travis. Colton has been having erectile dysfunction, performance anxiety. But that magically clears up when he sees a certain cage dancer performing, and he has to meet her.

They aren’t virgins in this one, but they haven’t been promiscuous either.

Colton’s autocorrect texts are hilarious! I’ve been to webpages that list these things and laughed so much, so it’s like having one of those sprinkled throughout. He talked about wanting to get his phone fixed, and I yelled, “No! No fixing Colton’s phone!” And Brielle’s kid is fabulously funny as well.


Favorite Quotes:

“Did you ever think maybe you just didn’t like her? I mean, maybe your dick knew better than you,” he joked, making light of the situation.


Me: My dad is a nympho gopher.

Travis: Hahaha.

Me: Dammit! A nosy gossip.


Me: Where spank tits tomorrow?

Ellie: Are you talking dirty to me?


Unfortunately, I got mixed results. Apparently when your internet search contains ‘giant balls’ you need to be prepared for anything.


3. Dropout

Mackenna is a reclusive song writer who recently moved next door to Beverly, the fantastic old lady that we first met in Trucker. Beverly is Jimmy’s grandmother. He moves in with her for the summer after failing his first year of college.

If I have to choose, this is my favorite. There is so much humor in this. We have Beverly, where all my favorite quotes below come from. Then there is Sweet Pea, the cussing parrot who poops everywhere. And finally we have Jimmy himself with his tightie camouflage underwear.

Mackenna had an abusive boyfriend in high school and stayed away from men after that. She isn’t interested in dating anyone, but Jimmy is hard to resist. I loved how their relationship slowly progressed, starting with just holding hands. It was very realistic and just what Mackenna needed. So sweet!


Favorite Quotes:

Beverly Louise Johnson was the coolest motherfucking lady in the entire world. She was brutally honest, didn’t take anyone’s crap, and swore like a sailor. On more than one occasion, my parents had said they thought I inherited my wild streak from her.


“Rule number two,” she continued. “No hanky panky in the hot tub. I’ve never broken that rule and neither will you.”

I made a face. “Grandma. No offense, but gross.”


“Well I’ll be damned, Jimmy,” she said, looking misty-eyed. Then she motioned toward my chest again. “What about the piercings? Did that hurt?” Looking down at her housecoat, she added, “Maybe I should get some.”

A rude sound escaped at the awful suggestion. “Grandma… no. God, no.”

“Seriously. I think Ernie might like it.”

Mortified, I ran a hand over my face. “Please stop talking.”


Jimmy, I’m shacking up at Ernie’s for the night. Be nice to Sweet Pea and give him a peanut. There’s a bag in the pantry. P.S. Don’t you dare tease me about doing the walk of shame in the morning. -Grandma


4. Outcast

Ezra is Jimmy’s little brother, whom we met in Dropout, and Kayla is his classmate. The story starts at the end of their senior year in high school. Ezra is a little overweight and walks with a limp. He has been bullied and teased his entire life. Kayla is very interestingly mixed race and always gets asked, “What are you?” It turns out they have both been crushing on each other for a long time.

They are both virgins in this.

I loved Ezra’s service dog, Pierre. He wasn’t comic relief. He’s a very serious fellow with a job to do! There is still a lot of humor in this. Kayla was adopted by a gay couple, and they are hilarious.


Favorite Quote:

Clearly, she’d been both afraid and impressed by my size. I knew I wasn’t small down there. It wasn’t something I ever flaunted, because my dick wasn’t anyone’s business. Except Kayla’s. It could be her business anytime she wanted it to be.


5. Magic Man

We met Jay and Casey briefly in Dropout. Casey was 16 and knocked up by Mackenna’s psycho ex. Jay got busted for meth dealing that night of the fight. Jay is just recently out of jail and doesn’t think he is worthy of Casey and her son, Gus. Casey is an adult now and concentrating on taking care of her son.

This one had more angst and sadness in it but not too much. It’s not a tearjerker. Still a feel-good story with a HEA. We have a case of a character being an idiot, but it at least it didn’t go on too long, and there was no cheating or OP involved.

Gus was a very cute and funny toddler. I loved that they let him play with jewelry and wear princess dresses since that’s what he wanted. They didn’t judge or worry, even in their thoughts. Kids want they want, and it doesn’t have to be traditionally gender-assigned toys and clothes. Gus might change his tastes as he gets older, and he might not. Either is fine. He might grow up to up be straight, gay, or anything in between, and all of that is fine. They are letting him be who he is and not worrying about it, which is very refreshing in a novel.


Favorite Quotes:

I had a lot of nicknames for my little dude. Buddy. Bud. Bubbie goo. Mister buddy goo goobie goo man. Sometimes I got a little obnoxious with it—I even had made-up theme songs just for him.

Jay: Not having anything to contribute to a conversation about birthing large objects, I stuffed my hands in my pockets while they went into some of the nitty gritty details of labor.

“I brought you a funnel cake,” he announced, clearly pleased with himself. As he should be. If I hadn’t already been planning to jump his bones, I certainly would’ve been now.


The Sainthood : A Dark High School Romance (The Complete Series) – Siobhan Davis

Dark, reverse harem, high school, organized crime, romance

Rating: 3 out of 5.

There is a ton of sex in these books! It’s very long, and it has a lot of story too. But the sex to story ratio is much higher than I usually see. Harlow could be a nymphomaniac, so it’s good she has four guys to keep up with her. I mean there is sexually confident, and then there is, “I draw the line at full-on prostitution, but most everything else is fair game.” It’s downright raunchy. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of it is hot, but some of it was a bit much for me, mostly the hate sex. And I regularly read and enjoy novels with graphic sexual content.

The beginning of this is a bully story but make that a gang, as in large criminal organization, bullying the girl. The whole backstory for this novel is disgusting. I hate that all the teens treat sex so casually, completely separating it from emotions. It’s difficult to get past all this. If this were me, I would have gotten the hell out of there, moved to a different country or something.

The gang stuff and what the guys do to Harlow in the beginning was crazy. I was having trouble suspending disbelief. Harlow’s superhero level skill set, strength, and attitude in the face of all this was stretching credibility. It’s like all the main characters are a trained army. Death means nothing to them. Natural born killers.

By Chapter 18 of the first book, I was feeling like this was going to be too long. I was waiting for something to actually happen. By Chapter 26, 22% into the box set, I’d had enough of the hate sex and was still waiting for something to happen. I had to take a break and read something else. I am glad I went back to this because it got much better, but I can see a lot of readers dropping out at or before this point. When I got back into it, things really started to happen in the story, and the sex scenes got very hot. By the end, I was happy I had read this. But I can only give it 3 stars. I liked Surviving Amber Springs so much better!

It’s got an HEA with a cute bonus novella at the end.

1st person present tense, mostly from Harlow, but with a smattering of chapters from each of the guys.

This is well edited. I only found 9 errors.



Favorite Quotes:

Harlow: I have zero desire to live in my own twisted romance novel.

“They built the facility in the middle of Mantiss Forest and—”

“The Sainthood sure is obsessed with forests,” I interject.

“It’s ideal burial ground,” Saint replies, glancing at me as he steers the Land Rover out onto the highway. “Perfect for disposing of enemies and annoying girls who interrupt people midsentence.”

“I think I got pregnant just watching that,” Caz jokes.

“I was so tempted to slice off his dick,” I admit. “Like, I seriously had to talk myself off that ledge.”

Caz chuckles. “You couldn’t deprive us of that sight. When you chop his cock off, I want a front-row seat.”

I lean back for a knuckle touch. “Deal, dude. Wouldn’t want to deprive you of such quality entertainment.” “


Clearwater University: The Complete Series: An Enemies-to-Lovers Romance – Eva Ashwood

Reverse harem doesn’t occur to them for quite a while!

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Emma became best friends with three boys her sophomore year of high school. In her junior year, they turned on her and became her bullies. She and her father moved away but are back in town two years later. Emma starts college, and her tormentors are there and still hating her.

This one was different for several reasons:

1. The hate part of this hate to love goes on for quite a while, well into the second book. I’m more accustomed to the hate part ending much sooner, so that was a twist. And we still get sex scenes while the hate is still strong. So if you like hate sex, you’ll enjoy this.

2. The reverse harem or menage relationship idea doesn’t occur to the group for quite a while. In most of these, the characters are aware of the possibility from the start. Sometimes they know people in poly relationships. Sometimes at least one of the characters has read books like we are reading right now. But in Clearwater, they don’t realize it is a thing for quite a while and then don’t think it would work because –

3. The guys are competitive, jealous, and angry at each other for most of this. They have been best friends forever, but their relationship has been beaten down by what they have done to Emma. Most of the time, the guys are a team from the start. So I liked they we got some unusual twists here!

The writing was very good. It is long with the three novels together, but it was fast paced. I liked the characters, that the guys all had distinct personalities, and that they all grew over the course of the story.

I didn’t like that Trent’s reason for turning on Emma is immature. We know what it is early on, so I don’t think this is a spoiler. Trent thinks Emma told his father that they saw Trent’s mom kissing Emma’s dad. And this results in his parents getting divorced. By the time I was 16/17, I knew that marriages are complicated, and cheating is a symptom of greater issues. Trent’s anger at this small thing, even if true, seemed like an 8-10 year old’s perspective. And then, he gets even angrier when he finds out that Emma introduced his mother to her father at a school event. Why hadn’t Emma and the guys all introduced their parents around when they were still friends in high school? It seems very weird that their parents would let them hang out so much and be best friends without ever meeting their parents. We only see Emma’s dad and Trent’s mom, but they don’t seem like disconnected, neglectful parents. These are the type of parents that I believe would have insisted on meeting the parents of their kid’s friends. Even if not, they are treating the introduction of their parents as something unusual. Especially when the parents are at the same school event, you just would introduce them. So I had a difficult time suspending disbelief for this.

Another complaint I have is more difficult to talk about without spoilers. It’s the total 180 of a character that came out of nowhere. It felt like we didn’t get any lead in to this, like we suddenly need a villain, so we’ll change this character completely. I would have preferred more detail on the character and on their past actions, which would make this turnaround more natural and believable.

Because of these two things, I can only give this three stars. But if they won’t bother you as much as they did me, and you mostly want the hot sex scenes, you may enjoy this more than I did.

Contains many graphic sex scenes. Some are one-on-one and some are group. There is no cheating, scenes with Other People, or Other People drama. There is no non or dubious consent. So this is SAFE. No trigger warnings. Contains foul language. It is well edited. I found 5 little errors.

Fostering Hope (Silver Lining Book 1) – Amanda Perry

New adult clean reverse harem

Rating: 4 out of 5.

After shuffling from one bad foster home to another, Parker is finally taken in by a good family. They have seven sons. Five of them are older than Parker.

This was a clean reverse harem romance, which I’ve never run into before. There is kissing but just that, no more. I really liked it. It was sweet and a fast read. There was no insta-love. Feelings built slowly. It had some good humor in it, especially with the character of Austyn.

1st person present tense from Parker and the guys.

I found 24 errors. A lot of them were weird like the first letter at the start of a sentence not being capitalized. Word should fix that on its own.

There is some foul language in this.

Surviving Amber Springs: A Stand-alone Contemporary Romance – Siobhan Davis

High school to college reverse harem romance with crazy feels!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Blaire moved in the middle of her senior year of high school to a new town after her twin brother died. Before school starts, she meets three amazing and hot guys. They had been best friends forever and almost immediately all want her.

I loved this. 5 stars because I would read it again. It was extremely written making for a fast read even though it was pretty long. It needed every word. Things were revealed at the right times along the way, and I don’t want to give any spoilers. Blaire has gone through hell and continues to do so. The story is dramatic but feels real, not like a soap opera. It’s a story of emotions, good ones, bad ones, and complicated ones.

The characters were complicated and felt real as well. I loved Shaznay, the sister of one of the guys, and she provided some much-needed humor. The sex scenes were hot and added to the story. The story is amazing. I’d never thought about the families of the instigators of these crimes and what hell it must be for them.

Warnings: This contains references to gun crimes, rape, suicide, and self-harm. Nothing bad happens between the main characters, no non or dubious consent. There are several graphic sex scenes. All are one-on-one, no group sex.

1st person present tense from Blaire. Midway through we get sections from the guys. This was very well edited. I only found 8 errors.

Trick Me Twice: An Enemies to Lovers High School Bully Romance – Becca Steele

Hot British high school bully romance

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Carter is a king of the school. Raine is keeping herself hidden away. She seemed weak at first, but she slowly comes out of her shell and becomes strong. I was happy with her by the end. Carter had to mature and get stronger as well. I liked both of these characters because they had flaws and grew as the story progressed. I also liked many of the secondary characters.

The writing was choppy and uncomfortable at first but quickly got better for me. It was a quick read. I wasn’t bored anywhere. I liked it a lot but didn’t love it, so four stars.

This contains three graphic sex scenes, so there is much more story than sex. There is quite a bit of foul language.

1st person past tense from Carter and Raine.

This book is well edited. It is written in British English. Only 8 errors interrupted me.