Review: After We Fell (After, #3), by Anna Todd

After We Fell (After #3)After We Fell by Anna Todd
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Like the first two books in the series, ‘After We Fell’ was completely consuming. Although the back and forth drama between Hardin and Tessa gets to be very irritating, I can’t seem to turn away from it. It’s like I’m stuck in an abusive relationship with this couple. I know it isn’t healthy. I know I should remove myself from the situation…but I just can’t do it. After all, maybe they’ll change.

Picking up where ‘After We Collided’ left off, Tessa’s father has reappeared in her life. Only, her father is not the man that she remembered from her childhood. He is homeless and has some serious addiction issues.

While Tessa wants to give her father a chance, Hardin cautions her against it. Hardin is an ass all of the time, but I really thought that he took it to a whole new level when her father was introduced. I couldn’t believe how incredibly insensitive and cruel he was. Even though he was absolutely correct to be concerned, he responded in a manner that showed absolutely no regard for Tessa’s feelings. I couldn’t believe some of the things he said about her father to her. Of course, like always, Tessa gets over it like it was hardly a blip on her radar.

More than the first two books, Hardin’s own issues with addiction were very apparent. Interestingly, the author seemed to avoid addressing this issue head on. I kept waiting for some sort of intervention, but it never really happened. I guess there was already enough drama in this story without tackling Hardin’s drinking problem.

This book also features plenty of fighting, breaking up and making up between Hardin and Tessa. If you expected Hardin and Tessa to settle down and start acting like a mature, committed couple, prepare to be disappointed. ‘After We Fell’ is full of the same angst-filled cycle of jealousy, acting out and game playing that were in previous books. Betrayals are around every corner and there is no shortage of drama.

From disastrous family vacations, to secrets, there is plenty of deceit to go around. Zed is back on scene again, playing a big role in the tension between Hardin and Tessa. Of course, he is only involved because Tessa pulled him in again. Meanwhile, there are more revelations about Tessa’s “friends”. I swear, they never learn their lessons!

Like the first two books, this book ends with a huge upset. If I ever thought that I would have the strength to quit this dysfunctional couple, the ending sucked me right back in. I absolutely had to see where the next book would lead.

I love to hate, and hate to love, this series! It is like watching a bad train wreck in slow motion. You know it’s going to be a disaster, but you just can’t turn away.

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Review: Black Swan Affair, by K. L. Kreig

Black Swan AffairBlack Swan Affair by K.L. Kreig
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When I started ‘Black Swan Affair’, I anticipated a steamy love affair and a fair amount of angst. I had absolutely no idea that this book would gut me the way it did. This book ripped my heart out! Several days later, I’m still trying to get ahold of my emotions and come to terms with what this book made me feel.

The story centers on Maverick DeSoto, who is marrying her childhood best-friend, Kael. Only, Maverick isn’t in love with Kael. She’s in love with his older brother, Killian.

After an intense opening scene with Maverick and Killian arguing on the day of her wedding, I knew that I was in for a hell of a ride with this book. Killian is trying to stop Maverick from going through with her wedding to his brother and she is determined to marry Kael to spite Killian. It was like watching a bad train wreck in slow motion.

For most of this book, my heart broke for Kael. He was so in love with Maverick and she just couldn’t see past her love for Killian to appreciate what she had in front of her all the time. Kael truly did have enough love for both of them.

In contrast, I despised Killian until about 85% through. He seemed to want to have his cake and eat it too. He had married Maverick’s sister, Jillian, without so much as an explanation, leaving Maverick brokenhearted. I doubted the sincerity of his feelings for Maverick right from the start. After all, who would do that if they really loved somebody?

Then, there is Maverick. Jilted by Killian, she sets out to do the same thing to him that he did to her…marry his sibling. Only, she actually claims to love Kael, even if she isn’t in love with him. Kind of cruel, if you ask me. All the while, she pines over Killian.

The longer Kael and Maverick are married, the more he begins to creep his way into her heart. Slowly, she begins to fall in love with her husband. She is determined to push Killian out of her mind and Kael is eager to help her make that happen.

However, there are some big secrets being kept from Maverick. When they come to light, everything will change. Suddenly, the reasons for Killian’s shocking marriage will be explained. The betrayal and lies run deep. Everyone except for Maverick seems to be in on it. She has to decide whether she can get past this deception at all.

I loved every painful moment of this story. It broke my heart, but I couldn’t get enough of it. I wanted to scream and throw a tantrum so many times while reading this one. In the end, I came to a place of acceptance with the decisions that were made. Yet, I can’t say that I felt content with the ending.

I don’t think that there was any way for this to work out with a perfect happy ending. It just wasn’t that kind of story. I understood why Maverick made the decisions that she did and think it was the right one…but it still hurt so much. This one definitely got me in the feels. I highly recommend any book that can make you feel the way that this one does.

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Review: The Room Mate (Roommates, #1), by Kendall Ryan

The Room MateThe Room Mate by Kendall Ryan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

***I was provided an ARC of this book in exchange for honest feedback.***

If you’re in the mood for something heartwarming and fun, ‘The Room Mate’ is a fantastic choice. It was just the kind of light-hearted, sweet story that I needed to balance out all of the darker stories that I usually gravitate toward. It was a sentimental, feel-good romance that was highly enjoyable.

I have to admit that I was a little skeptical after reading the blurb. The idea of Cannon being some sex-god that women became obsessed with after getting a taste of what he could do between the sheets was a little far-fetched for me. My response was something along the lines of “Oh, please!”

That being said, I’m glad that I didn’t let that initial impression scare me away. This ended up being a great book. I found myself laughing at the sexually-charged banter between Cannon and Paige. It was just such a fun read.

The story begins with Cannon being evicted from his apartment after an incident with his crazy ex-girlfriend. A busy medical student, he doesn’t have the time to find another apartment. Since he’ll likely be moving in two short months to begin a residency, he can’t commit to a new lease either.

Paige is the best friend of Cannon’s sister. When she is contacted by her best friend, who asks her to let Cannon stay with her for awhile, Paige reluctantly agrees. She has known Cannon since they were children and is willing to sacrifice a couple of months of comfort to help out her bestie.

Only, Cannon is no longer the nerdy boy that Paige remembers from her childhood. He has grown into a sexy, successful man that she can’t keep her eyes off of. The sexual chemistry between the two is off the charts right from the start. A few chance encounters only serve to heighten the sexual tension between the two.

It doesn’t take long for their curiosity and lust to win out. It was bound to happen and it did. If they thought that their attraction was something that would wane once they got a taste, they were wrong.

Despite their intense chemistry and the “rightness” of them together, there is plenty of reasons whey these two should not be together. Paige’s friendship with Cannon’s sister is a huge deterrent. Cannon’s career is another. The two decide to keep their relationship casual and hidden.

When a series of tragic events unfold, their relationship is put to the test. Emotions run high and the poor decisions pile up. In no time at all, whatever they had been building seems to have disintegrated.

This book is a standalone that is part of the ‘Roommates’ series. All in all, I thought that this was a fantastic read. It was fun and light-hearted. This is one to save for a day when you need a unicorns and rainbows kind of story. Ms. Ryan delivers the emotional connection and angst that you need, as well as a HEA that will leave you feeling satisfied.

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