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New Adult

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The Wall of Winnipeg and Me

by Mariana Zapata
Genres: Chick Lit, New Adult, Romance
Format: E-Book

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Vanessa Mazur knows she’s doing the right thing. She shouldn’t feel bad for quitting. Being an assistant/housekeeper/fairy godmother to the top defensive end in the National Football Organization was always supposed to be temporary. She has plans and none of them include washing extra-large underwear longer than necessary.

But when Aiden Graves shows up at her door wanting her to come back, she’s beyond shocked.

For two years, the man known as The Wall of Winnipeg couldn’t even find it in him to tell her good morning or congratulate her on her birthday. Now? He’s asking for the unthinkable.

What do you say to the man who is used to getting everything he wants?


“I don’t know,” I stuttered, “Do you love me?”
His gaze was so intent the entire world seemed to stop. “You tell me. I never stop thinking about you. I worry about you all the time. Every beautiful thing I see reminds me of you. I can’t finish my practices in Colorado with out wishing you were around,” he said in a steady tone. “You tell me what I feel.”

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What did I think:

This is a slow burn romance story. If you are wanting immediate gratification and a love connection, then this is not the book for you. 

I wouldn’t normally pick up a slow burn love story, because I am impatient and want a happy ending from the get go! This story had the perfect pacing from “oh I am giving up on these two” to “Yaaaaaaaay they are making progress”.

The romance didn’t really start until about 63% through the book. That was when the first ‘moment‘ happened. Then it was all on from there! I loved the banter and dialogue Aiden and Vanessa had with each other. It was funny, witty and snarky all at the same time.

I was cheering for them as they each grew as people and started to become more than friends. It was quite a large sized book for a romance, but I read it all in one sitting. I couldn’t put it down.

The writing style is very thorough. The author has an amazing attention to detail, any questions I had while reading were quickly answered. She leaves nothing to the imagination, which was quite refreshing.


Likes:

  • The book is downright funny!
  • The molesting fan scene was hilarious
  • Aiden is extremely over protective and overbearing from the get go
    • I love this because you know he is going to turn into a softy at some stage
  • I picture Aiden as a hotter Gronk 
  • The way Aiden tells the receptionist that Vanessa is his wife was amazing!
    • But MUFFIN…nobody likes to be called muffin…ever
  • The halloween scene was sooooooooo cute.
    • I am not a Dragon Ball Z girl, I am a Pokemon girl
  • That thunder scene
    • OMG! This was about 63% into the book and is the first real moment that sets the rest of their relationship in motion. More of these scenes please.
  • Zac is the perfect best friend and room-mate. He is funny, good looking, supportive, loyal and everything a girl could ask for. He is like an older brother figure to Vanessa.
    • If there was a sequel, I would want it to be all about Zac. 
  • The moment when Aiden finally admits how much he knows about Vanessa was a moment I had been waiting for from the beginning. We get hints that he is really attentive and since he doesn’t talk much…ever, then we know he is surely observant. He didn’t me down.
  • Goofy smile is permanently plastered on my face when Aiden and Vanessa talk to each other
  • The kneading of her muscles…lord help me! 
  • HE HAS A NIGHTLIGHT FOR HER IN HIS ROOM *CUDDLES THE BOOK WITH HAPPINESS*
  • Aiden is always there when it counts
  • Silly questions for the win!

Dislikes:

  • Why is he such a dickhead in the beginning?
    • He was so damn hard to like 
  • Those child abuse scenes are so hard to read. I wanted to reach through the pages and shake some sense into Vanessa’s mother and sisters. The writing being so thorough meant that those scenes were written with such raw emotion and detail. The scene that hit me the hardest was the closet scene.
  • Cain – not sure about him, he is to interested and creepy
  • It was so obvious he was thinking past 5 years. Vanessa kept putting her foot in it and after awhile this was getting really annoying
  • TREVOR 
  • I felt like there was no need for kids to be introduced. I get that it is nice to see that their relationship progressed but you wrote this beautifully slow burning romance only to rush it at the finish. It was far too cliche and I would have preferred it to be taken back a step and hinted at a baby bump or buying a crib.

“I need a friend—I need you.”

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Football:

This is centered around Aiden Graves being this amazing football player. Although he is a football player and the book talks about games, training’s, teams and the process of being drafted it didn’t seem as authentic as I had hoped. Obviously the book is ultimately about love story between Vanessa and Aiden, I would have loved if they did include more of the football.

This year I really got into watching Football and I was excited that I would know all the terminology and references, but they were so surface. I wanted a bit more!


“It was right then, in that instant, that I realized I might be a little in love with Aiden. Not in a way that was anything like the easy crush I had on him in the past, but different. So, so different.”

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Ramblings:

What would your price be to marry someone that in turns means your committing a felony? I would totally marry for student loan debts and a house, hell I would marry for the student loan debts! 

I am a real fan of this book troupe. I love the boss/worker type romance. Especially because they Boss is usually quite dominating and then has to let his guard down.

Why in these books do they always make the woman so afraid to use the male love interests money. They would tell you no or not let you have access if they were worried. Drives me nuts!

I wanted more football.


Dream Casting:

Capture

Rating Report
Plot
four-half-stars
Characters
four-half-stars
Writing
four-stars
Pacing
four-stars
Cover
four-stars
Overall: four-stars

I’ll Meet You There

I’ll Meet You ThereI'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios
Published by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) on February 3rd 2015
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Pages: 388
Format: E-Book
Goodreads
four-half-stars

If seventeen-year-old Skylar Evans were a typical Creek View girl, her future would involve a double-wide trailer, a baby on her hip, and the graveyard shift at Taco Bell. But after graduation, the only thing standing between straightedge Skylar and art school are three minimum-wage months of summer. Skylar can taste the freedom—that is, until her mother loses her job and everything starts coming apart. Torn between her dreams and the people she loves, Skylar realizes everything she’s ever worked for is on the line.
Nineteen-year-old Josh Mitchell had a different ticket out of Creek View: the Marines. But after his leg is blown off in Afghanistan, he returns home, a shell of the cocksure boy he used to be. What brings Skylar and Josh together is working at the Paradise—a quirky motel off California’s dusty Highway 99. Despite their differences, their shared isolation turns into an unexpected friendship and soon, something deeper.

I love a stand alone book! Sometimes I just want to read a book and close the door on the characters and hopefully feel happy and satisfied with the ending. I picked this book up because the cover stood out and I had seen it photographed on tons of bookstagram accounts.

I love picking up a book without really knowing what it is about. I am super glad I hadn’t read the blurb because everything that happened was unexpected and exciting. I thoroughly enjoyed the book. It wasn’t by any means a bubblegum pop romance novel (I am always expecting this generic turned out formula). It was gritty, raw and emotionally charged. It dealt with death, grief, alcoholism, PTSD, life after war and growing up in a small town with bigger aspirations.

The two main characters  Skylar Evans & Josh Mitchell are the most amazing ‘real’ characters you could ask for. I loved them together and also loved them apart. I could have followed both their story lines happily even without the end result. They both dealt with real life issues in ways that made you think, feel, wonder and admire.

There were definitely parts throughout the book where I was losing interest, however something would always happen to lure me back in. Even though some might feel certain aspects of the book were far fetched, I would beg to differ. Coming for a family riddled with mental illness and alcoholism, this book was a brilliant read.

There weren’t any plot twists or moments that shocked me, it was just a real contemporary romance from start to finish. I look forward to more to come from this author.


“He was the parts of the day where I smiled.”


Likes:

  • I love POV novels where each character has a chapter. I really enjoying hearing each characters perspective
  • The story was realistic – Yay!
    • There is nothing worse than a book claiming to be contemporary and then having themes, characters and plot lines that seem too far fetched
  • Dylan
    • She is such a good friend. Even though her two best friends find the small town life stifling and uninspiring, she does the best she can for her child and supports her friends in their endeavors
  • I loved that Sky was into creating collages
    • I couldn’t visualise any of the work she described
  • Sky was just good and pure! 
  • The money in the letter box, the dedication to Josh, the no drinking (not giving into peer pressure), working her butt off and wanting more for her life and for her Mum. She was such a role model. 
  • Marge
    • Her story about her son was heartbreaking and eye opening! 
  • Josh
    • He does so many dumb boy things! Yet he is real, honest and I mean come on, hes a Marine. He is selfless and I just couldn’t get enough of him.

Dislikes:

  • When the characters make really stupid decisions…Josh I am talking about you!
  • Blake really annoyed me for roughly the first two thirds of the book
  • Skye’s mum was so insanely frustrating – You don’t deserve the title Mum
    • On the plus side, I enjoyed the real world view/situation on what it would be like to live with an alcoholic mother
  • Billy was made out to be a bad guy and I actively despised him, yet we didn’t get a lot of insight into why we hate him
  • I got over them both putting up barriers, by the end I was getting to the point where I didn’t care if they didn’t end up together.
  • Chris
    • I could have just erased all of this characters interactions and been happy. He was whiny and annoying. I just couldn’t connect with his unrequited love and behaviour. I also kept thinking his character came across as gay and it was all just a mess really.

“If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be?” I opened my mouth to say San Francisco or maybe Madrid—somewhere exotic. But what came out was, “Here. Right here.”


2

3

 

four-half-stars
Rating Report
Plot
four-stars
Characters
four-half-stars
Writing
four-half-stars
Pacing
four-stars
Cover
four-half-stars
Overall: four-stars

With This Heart

With This HeartWith This Heart by R.S. Grey
Published by Createspace on April 6th 2014
Genres: Romance, New Adult, Contemporary
Pages: 318
Format: E-Book
Goodreads
three-half-stars

If someone had told me a year ago that I was about to fall in love, go on an epic road trip, ride a Triceratops, sing on a bar, and lose my virginity, I would have assumed they were on drugs.
Well, that is, until I met Beckham.
Beck was mostly to blame for my recklessness. Gorgeous, clever, undeniably charming Beck barreled into my life as if it were his mission to make sure I never took living for granted. He showed me that there were no boundaries, rules were for the spineless, and a kiss was supposed to happen when I least expected.
Beck was the plot twist that took me by surprise. Two months before I met him, death was knocking at my door. I'd all but given up my last scrap of hope when suddenly, I was given a second chance at life. This time around, I wasn't going to let it slip through my fingers.
We set out on a road trip with nothing to lose and no guarantees of tomorrow.
Our road trip was about young, reckless love.
The kind of love that burns bright.
The kind of love that no road-map could bring me back from.
**Recommended for ages 17+ due to language and sexual situations.**

Sick girl + Mysterious boy = Steamy road trip

This book was not at all what I was expecting. I read the blurb (well the first few sentences…I should have read the entire thing) and thought I was going to get some ‘Fault in Our Stars’ contemporary romance. This book is definitely not that, it is a steamy new adult story, full of explicit scenes!

The cover is beautiful, this is originally what drew me to the book – plus I had read ‘Scoring Wilder’ which I absolutely loved. 

Beck is this quirky, non conforming, sweetheart with a desire to break out of the mold he has built from himself. Abbey is this young, naive, sheltered smart ass that wants to explore the world and live up to the heart she has been given. Together they have this smart-ass, sweet, hormone charged relationship.

“He was a handsome guy in a baseball cap and I was a cynical girl picking out an urn.”


“So you’re a stalker?” I asked with a hard stare.

He smirked, a knees-turning-to jelly kind of smirk. “I prefer gravitationally linked to your presence.”

2


Loves:

  • It is funny
  • The story for the most part felt realistic
  • I liked the character development. You saw Abbey grow in confidence and character throughut the story
  • I really enjoyed Beck’s character. He had this carefree personality and confidence – He didn’t care what others thought about him!
  • I loved the beginning of the book the most. There was element of mystery that each character had more story to tell but they weren’t ready to open up yet. The story didn’t feel rushed and I was just enjoying learning more as the plot unfolded – normally in situations like that, I would want to speed read to get the answers
  • Love the title and the cover!
  • That grand gesture at the end – corny and beautiful 

Dislikes:

  • Originally I had written a note in my phone to say I was impressed that there wasn’t any overplayed cliches and then towards the end of the book it got cheesy and way to predictable. It felt like any other story I had read about a sick girl
  • Abbey’s self consciousness got annoying. Her banter was brilliant, I just kept getting frustrated in her lack of belief in herself
  • I am all for swearing in a book if it adds to the plot or depth of characters, but dropping the ‘C bomb’ is just never going to be acceptable in my books. It is an ugly word that makes me shudder when I hear or read it

I can’t give this book higher than a 3.5 because it just didn’t stand out from any other New Adult story I have read. It’s such a shame because I was loving the first third of the book. I thought it was going to be cool and quirky with something unexpected, but alas, I was wrong. I don’t really know where I envisioned the story going but for once I was really hoping to be surprised. I did enjoy the grand gesture at the end and I was proud of the growth both characters made, but to get a 4 or even a 5 for me you need to leave me feeling something…anything.

1


“Love will make you reckless. It can drag out parts of you that common sense and fear usually keep hidden away. Because love is selfless and selfish.”

three-half-stars
Rating Report
Plot
four-stars
Characters
three-half-stars
Writing
three-half-stars
Pacing
four-stars
Cover
five-stars
Overall: four-stars