Friday, May 29, 2015

Mini Reviews - The Hook Up & The Friend Zone by Kristen Callihan

Title: The Hook Up (Game On #1)
Author: Kristen Callihan
Publisher: Self-Published
Release Date: September 7, 2014
Source: Purchased
Buy the Book: Amazon / B&N / Indigo
The rules: no kissing on the mouth, no staying the night, no telling anyone, and above all…No falling in love.

Anna Jones just wants to finish college and figure out her life. Falling for star quarterback Drew Baylor is certainly not on her to do list. Confident and charming, he lives in the limelight and is way too gorgeous for his own good. If only she could ignore his heated stares and stop thinking about doing hot and dirty things with him. Easy right?

Too bad he’s committed to making her break every rule…

Football has been good to Drew. It’s given him recognition, two National Championships, and the Heisman. But what he really craves is sexy yet prickly Anna Jones. Her cutting humor and blatant disregard for his fame turns him on like nothing else. But there’s one problem: she’s shut him down Completely.

That is until a chance encounter leads to the hottest sex of their lives, along with the possibility of something great. Unfortunately, Anna wants it to remain a hook up. Now it’s up to Drew to tempt her with more: more sex, more satisfaction, more time with him. Until she’s truly hooked. It’s a good thing Drew knows all about winning.

All’s fair in love and football…Game on.

At the same time that I heard about The Deal (which I reviewed earlier this week), I also heard about Kristen Callihan’s The Hook Up. And much like with The Deal, everyone seemed to be raving about The Hook Up so I knew I had to read it. And so I did. And no surprise there, I loved it.

So. Drew Baylor. Can someone please point me in the direction of where I might find myself one of those. Because, for real, I need one in my life. I’m not gonna lie, I fell for Drew pretty hard while I was reading The Hook Up. I mean, it was kind of hard not to. Because apparently, when it comes to boys in books, I have a major soft spot when it comes to athletes, especially football players. And I’m not even that much of a football fan in real life, so why I have that soft spot, I don’t know. But that’s not the point right now. The point is that I freaking loved Drew Baylor. And just as much as I loved him, I loved Anna. And as you might have guessed I freaking ADORED the romance between these two. And it was HOT. And stuff started getting hot, pretty damn fast and I loved it. But it wasn’t and didn’t feel like insta-love. In fact, I’m pretty sure Anna didn’t like Drew all that much at first. But I loved their relationship and the way it developed over the course of the story. It was great and I don’t really know how to describe it other than saying it was awesome and great and fantastic (and other similar adjectives). 

So yeah, Kristen Callihan’s The Hook Up was fantastic. If you love romance, NA and football and you haven’t read this book, GET ON THAT. Seriously. If you like all those things, The Hook-Up is sure to be a major hit with you.

'Title: The Friend Zone (Game On #2)
Author: Kristen Callihan
Publisher: Self-Published
Release Date: May 5, 2015
Source: Purchased
Buy the Book: Amazon / B&N / Indigo
Gary doesn’t make friends with women. He has sex with them. Until Ivy.

The last thing star tight-end Gray Grayson wants to do is drive his agent’s daughter’s bubblegum pink car. But he needs the wheels and she’s studying abroad. Something he explains when she sends him an irate text to let him know exactly how much pain she’ll put him in if he crashes her beloved ride. Before he knows it, Ivy Mackenzie has become his best texting bud. But then Ivy comes home and everything goes haywire. Because the only thing Gray can think of is being with Ivy.

Ivy doesn’t have sex with friends. Especially not with a certain football player. No matter how hot he makes her…

Gary drives Ivy crazy. He’s irreverent, sex on a stick, and completely off limits. Because, Ivy has one golden rule: never get involved with one of her father’s clients. A rule that’s proving harder to keep now that Gray is doing his best to seduce her. Her best friend is fast becoming the most irresistible guy she’s ever met.

Which means Gray is going to have to use all his skills to get himself out of the friend zone and into Ivy’s heart. Game on.

If I thought I loved The Hook Up, I ADORED The Friend Zone. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Anna and Drew and their story. But it was nothing compared to how I felt reading all about Gray and Ivy.

I knew from the moment that I read the opening text message exchange between Gray and Ivy that I would love The Friend Zone. For starters, I’m a sucker for any story where the love interests are really good friends before becoming more. And Kristen Callihan didn’t disappoint me with her version of this trope. I had seen Gray in The Hook Up and he came across as this giant goofball. And that’s one aspect of who he was. But that’s not the reason I loved him. I loved Gray because of everything else I found out about him while reading The Friend Zone. He was so much more than a hotshot football player who had goofball tendencies. He just didn’t know how to be those other things while also being the hotshot football player. And that’s where Ivy came in and I can’t even begin to explain how much I loved Ivy. As the daughter of a sports agent and former professional basketball player, let’s just say that she was a little wary of high level athletes. And understandably so at the end of the day. But I loved that she was willing to give Gray a chance, even if she wasn’t sure about him. And like I’ve already said, I loved the fact that Gray and Ivy basically became best friends before they took it to the next level. The chemistry between them leapt off the page even when they were just friends and I was just smiling the whole time I was reading. And then they took things beyond friendship and my heart couldn’t handle all the happy and all the feels. So The Friend Zone? I adored it.

I will read all the books about all the football players especially if they’re written by Kristen Callihan, because it’s pretty much impossible for me not to fall for the boys she writes. Now I’ll just sit here and wait for Fiona and Dex’s story. But it’s going the wait until the fall is going to be tough.

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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider

Title: Extraordinary Means
Author: Robyn Schneider
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: May 26, 2015
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo
From the author of The Beginning of Everything: two teens with a deadly disease fall in love on the brink of a cure.

At seventeen-overachieving Lane finds himself at Latham House, a sanatorium for teens suffering from an incurable strain of tuberculosis. Part hospital and part boarding school, Latham is a place of endless rules and confusing rituals, where it’s easier to fail breakfast that it is to flunk French.

There, Lane encountered a girl he knew years ago. Instead of the shy loner he remembers, Sadie has transformed. At Latham, she is sarcastic, fearless, and utterly compelling. Her friends, a group of eccentric troublemakers, fascinate Lane, who has never stepped out of bounds his whole life. And as he gradually becomes one of them, Sadie shows him their secrets: how to steal internet, how to sneak into town, and how to disable the med sensors they must wear at all times.

But there are consequences to having secrets, particularly at Latham House. And as Lane and Sadie begin to fall in love and their group begins to fall sicker, their insular world threatens to come crashing down. Told in alternating points of view, Extraordinary Means is a darkly funny story about doomed friendships, first love, and the rare miracle of second chances.

Robyn Schneider’s debut, The Beginning of Everything, was one of my favourite reads when it came out in 2013. So Extraordinary Means was pretty high on my list of 2015 books I was anticipating. And this touching and heartbreaking story completely lived up to my expectations. 

Lane has spent the first seventeen years of his life planning for his future, always striving to be the best to ensure that his future is set. What Lane never planned for was becoming infected with an incurable strain of tuberculosis and being sent to a sanatorium for teens as a result. When he gets to Latham House, Lane quickly realizes that things are completely different and goes from always being at the top of his class to not understanding most of what is happening around him. But there is one upside to Latham House: Sadie. But Sadie isn’t the same girl Lane knew from summer camp when they were thirteen. At Latham, Sadie is part of a group of friends determined to push all the boundaries the sanatorium imposes on them. Lane is immediately drawn to Sadie and her friends, wanting, for once, to feel like part of the group. Before long, Lane and Sadie begin to fall in love while everyone around them continues to get sicker, and their world threatens to come crashing down around them. But what if second chances and a cure are possible?

Based on the emotional wringer I was put through while reading The Beginning of Everything, I was prepared for Robyn Schneider to basically break my heart with Extraordinary Means. I mean, this is a story about teens being sent away to boarding school-like institutions because they need to be quarantined. Sounds like the perfect premise for a happily ever after. Or not. But even knowing that going in, and having seen some of my friends’ reactions upon finishing the book, I still don’t think I was fully prepared for what this book did to me. This story started out sort of quiet. Or as quietly as a story about teens with an incurable illness can start. But then it sort of crept up on me. Though I don’t know that “crept up” is necessarily the right way to put it because I had a pretty good idea that this was going to happen to me while reading. Before too long, I was completely sucked into the story, with the characters worming their way into my heart and there was very little I could do about it. And that’s when I started worrying about what Extraordinary Means was going to do to my heart by that time I finished it. So when the punches started coming it was painful, but it was such a beautifully written story that it didn’t hurt too much. That doesn’t still mean I wasn’t bawling by the time I finished the book. Because I totally was. The last couple chapters were pretty hard to read through all the tears. But that’s what Lane, Sadie and their friends will do to you.

Robyn Schneider knows how write characters that leap off the page. This is something I loved about her debut, and I loved it again with Extraordinary Means. Even the characters who weren’t constantly at the forefront of the story felt real and fully formed. They all had something that defined them and made them feel that much more real while I was reading. Obviously this was true of Lane and Sadie. And I loved both of them and both of them had an interesting arc throughout the story. For Lane, it was finally feeling like he was part of something and living his life as opposed to just doing what was expected of him, while for Sadie it was about accepting that her life would continue even once she was able to leave Latham House. And that meant they were great for each other. Sadie helped Lane live his life instead of just achieve the next goal and he was able to make her see everything they could be outside the walls of Latham. Seeing them together made my heart happy but also caused me to worry a lot about what Robyn Schneider had in store for them and how my heart would react to that. And everything I felt about Lane and Sadie, I also felt about Nick, Marina and Charlie, the rest of their crew. Together, those five were responsible for a lot of tears. But in a way, it was really worth it to get to read their story.

Robyn Schneider wrote an absolutely beautiful, and at times heartbreaking, story in Extraordinary Means. Despite being about teens with tuberculosis, this story is not about sickness and death. It’s about living and what to do when life decides to give you a second chance.

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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Mini Reviews - The Deal & The Mistake by Elle Kennedy

Title: The Deal (Off-Campus #1)
Author: Elle Kennedy
Publisher: Self-Published
Release Date: February 24, 2015
Source: Purchased
Buy the Book: Amazon / B&N / Indigo
She’s about to make a deal with the college bad boy…

Hannah Wells has finally found someone who turns her on. But while she might be confident in every other area of her life, she’s carting around a full set of baggage when it comes to sex and seduction. If she wants to get her crush’s attention, she’ll have to step out of her comfort zone, and make him take notice…even if it means tutoring the annoying, childish, cocky captain of the hockey team in exchange for a pretend date.

…and it’s going to be oh so good.

All Garrett Graham has ever wanted is to play professional hockey after graduation, but his plummeting GPA is threatening everything he’s worked so hard for. If helping a sarcastic brunette make another guy jealous will help him secure his position on the team, he’s all for it. But when one expected kiss leads to the wildest sex of both their lives, it doesn’t take long for Garrett to realize that pretend isn’t going to cut it. Now he just has to convince Hannah that the man she wants looks a lot like him.

Every so often, I hear a about a book so much that I just have to read it. Even if I know next to nothing about it and it wasn’t on my radar until everyone started talking to me about it. That was what happened with Elle Kennedy’s The Deal. I went from not knowing it existed one day, to telling everyone I knew to read it the next because it was just that good.

As much as I’ve been reading about football players lately, I hadn’t yet read a story about hockey players, where sports-themed NA was concerned. After reading The Deal, let me just say that I am sold on hockey players if they’re anything like Garrett Graham was. Because, guys, for real, you all need to meet the amazingness that is Garrett Graham. I don’t really know how to put him into words other than to say that he was probably one of my favourite boys I’ve read about in the last little while. And don’t even get me about Hannah. She was just so adorably charming and I loved her, plain and simple. So Hannah and Garrett together? There were moments when I couldn’t handle all the adorableness. Like that was a thing that happened. They were just too adorable. The whole time I was reading The Deal I just kind of had this goofy smile on my face, I just couldn’t help it. I loved this story, a whole lot more than I ever thought I would and I couldn’t be more thankful to whoever it was that put this book on my radar.

Do I really need to say that if you love NA and adorable romance you should read Elle Kennedy’s The Deal? I feel like it should be implied based on all the gushing about the book I just did. But in case you need me to say: if you love NA do yourself a favour and read The Deal because I can pretty much guarantee you won’t regret it.

Title: The Mistake (Off-Campus #2)
Author: Elle Kennedy
Publisher: Self-Published
Release Date: April 28, 2015
Source: Purchased
Buy the Book: Amazon / B&N / Indigo
He’s a player in more ways than one…

College junior John Logan can get any girl he wants. For this hockey star, life is a parade of parties and hook-ups, but behind his killer grins and easygoing charm, he hides growing despair about the dad-end road he’ll be forced to walk after graduation. A sexy encounter with freshman Grace Ivers is just the distraction he needs, but when a thoughtless mistake pushes her away, Logan plans to spend his final year proving to her that he’s worth a second chance.

…now he’s going to need to up his game.

After a less than stellar freshman year, Grace is back at Briar University, older, wiser, and so over the arrogant hockey player she nearly handed her V-card to. She’s not a charity case, and she’s not the quiet butterfly she was when they first hooked up. If Logan expects her to roll over and beg like all his other puck bunnies, he can think again. He wants her back? He’ll have to work for it. This time around, she’ll be the one in the driver’s seat…and she plans on driving him wild.

As much as I loved The Deal, I was worried that The Mistake wouldn’t possibly be able to live up to everything I had built it up to potentially be in my mind. I mean, how could anything possibly top the adorableness that was Hannah and Garrett. I really shouldn’t have worried because Grace and Logan were just as freaking adorable as the other two.

This whole review could basically be me gushing about Logan and complaining about the fact that no hot hockey player ever came by my dorm room by mistake when I was in university. Because The Mistake certainly made me wish that would have happened. I mean, my university had a hockey team, what happened to Grace could TOTALLY have happened to me. Except probably not, but in my head it could have, okay. And whoever would have shown up would have been the real, live embodiment of Logan. That’s just how it would go down in my head. Anyways, that’s all to say that I loved Logan just as much as I loved Garrett in the first book. Whenever I had seen him in The Deal I could clearly tell that there was something going on with him but I just didn’t know what. So it was really great to find out all about him in The Mistake. And it was especially great to see him do a lot of that with Grace. And I loved Grace. After what initially happened with her and Logan, she wasn’t afraid to make him work for it. She stood up for herself and that made me love her that much more. And I’m not going to lie, some of what she made Logan do was completely ridiculous but oh so enjoyable to read. So moral of the story, I loved Grace and Logan.

The Mistake was just as great as I had hoped it would be and it made for a great follow-up to The Deal. If I’m being honest, I could keep reading about the guys on this hockey team forever. But for now I’ll just be sitting here waiting for Dean’s story because that’s bound to be an entertaining one.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Behind the Scenes by Dahlia Adler

Title: Behind the Scenes (Daylight Falls #1)
Author: Dahlia Adler
Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary
Release Date: June 24, 2014
Source: Purchased
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo
High school senior Ally Duncan’s best friend may be the Vanessa Park — star of TV’s hottest new teen drama — but Ally’s not interested in following in her BFF’s Hollywood footsteps. In fact, the only thing Ally’s ever really wanted is to go to Columbia and study abroad in Paris. But when her father’s mounting medical bills threaten to stop her dream in its tracks, Ally nabs a position as Van’s on-set assistant to get the cash she needs.

Spending the extra time with Van turns out to be fun, and getting to know her sexy co-star Liam is an added bonus. But when the actors’ publicist arranges for Van and Liam to “date” for the tabloids just after he and Ally share their first kiss, Ally will have to decide exactly what role she’s capable of playing in their world of make believe. If she can’t play by Hollywood’s rules, she may lose her best friend, her dream future, and her first shot at love.

Guys I love stories set in Hollywood. For real. All you need to tell me about a book is that it’s set in Holly or some part of it takes place in the TV and movie world and I am willing to read it. So why it took me so long to finally read Dahlia Adler’s Behind the Scenes, I will never know. But I am so, so happy that I finally did. 

Despite being best friends with an actress, Ally has never had any desire to lead the kind of life her best friend Vanessa does. The last thing Ally wants is to have paparazzi following her around and be recognized everywhere she goes. What Ally really wants is to move to New York to study at Columbia and study abroad in Paris. And she was on track for doing just that before her dad got sick and the medical bills meant her parents had to dip into her college fund. To make her dream happen, Ally is forced to take a job as her best friend’s on-set assistant. Getting to spend extra time with Vanessa isn’t too bad, and neither is getting to spend time with Liam, her co-star. And finding out just how much she has in common with Liam is even better. Until Vanessa and Liam’s publicist decides the two of them need to “date” to generate buzz for their new TV show. Can Ally be okay with seeing her best friend and her boyfriend kiss even if she knows it’s not real? If she can’t, Ally will be losing her best friend, her first chance at love and her dream future. 

Guys. How did I not read this book sooner? Late last year, I read Dahlia Adler’s NA debut, Last Will and Testament, and absolutely loved it so I don’t know why it took me so long to pick up her YA debut. I mean, really. This book has my name written all over it. This is a contemporary romance set in Hollywood with awesome best friends and swoony actors. It could not have been a more perfect book for me. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise at all that I loved Behind the Scenes and read it in a day. This story completely sucked me in. Sure, I was a sucker for the Hollywood aspect, but I also really loved reading about the friendship between Ally and Vanessa. There needs to be more awesome female friendships in YA, even if they aren’t the sole focus of the story. The one in Behind the Scenes made me wish for that kind of friendship (paparazzi and fake relationships, aside) and whenever there were scenes with Ally and Vanessa just being great friends it put a smile on my face. It should also go without saying that the romance was great. I mean, it wasn’t exactly smooth sailing considering one half of the couple had to pretend to date the other half’s best friend. Things got messy, but that’s how relationships are so it felt real the whole time I was reading. And the fact that Ally and Liam were totally adorable together didn’t exactly hurt either. 

Right from page one, I loved Ally. Despite the fact that her best friend was a famous actress, she didn’t ever see herself as being in her shadow and I LOVED that. She was her own person outside her friendship with Vanessa and she was driven and had a determination that I really admired. I mean, this girl was willing to do what it takes to make her dreams happen. But what I loved about Ally was that I also got to see her more vulnerable side while I was reading. There were moments where she questioned everything, both in terms of her future and with what was going to happen to her dad. But I would be lying if I didn’t say that most of all I loved seeing her being all adorable and couple-y with Liam. And Liam wasn’t entirely who I thought he was going to be. It’s not like I expected him to just be a stereotypical actor-type, but he was so much more than I thought. And of course that just made me love him so much more. I loved how he just got to be Liam, teenage guy, with Ally and she didn’t expect him to be any more than that. And I really loved who that was. And I just loved Ally and Liam, that’s all there is to it. I will also say that what I got to see of Vanessa and Josh has made me plenty excited to read their story in Under the Lights.

Dahlia Adler’s Behind the Scenes was such a “me” kind of book and I loved every minute I spent reading it. This was the perfect contemporary romance and the Holly setting was just an added bonus. And I can’t wait to read more of this story in Under the Lights!

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Monday, May 25, 2015

Bone Deep by Kim O'Brien

Title: Bone Deep
Author: Kim O'Brien
Publisher: SpencerHill Contemporary
Release Date: May 19, 2015
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo
When Paige Patterson travels to Arizona to spend the summer with her archeologist father, she expects answers. Why did her parents divorce? Why did her father choose his career over family? She doesn’t expect to be reunited with her best friend Emily Linton, a girl she has always admired and secretly wanted to emulate, or to find herself falling for the project manager’s son, Jalen Yazzi.

But the summer takes a terrible turn when Emily vanishes. As the police struggle for answers, Paige sets out to find the truth.

The search takes Paige from Cliffside ruins of prehistoric Native Americans to the Navajo Nation to the horrifying possibility that the answer is much closer to home. Emily, it turns out, was not the only one good at hiding things.

Her father has no alibi of the night Emily disappeared. An intern with the motive insists he’s innocent. And Jalen has some secrets of his own.

Old bones might not be the only things buried in the ruins. As Paige digs deeper into Emily’s disappearance, she realizes that uncovering the truth may cost her everything—even her life.

I love stories with suspense and mystery, I just don’t tend to read them as often as I watch them on TV. But when I find out about one that interests me, I’m usually all over it. And that’s how I found myself reading Bone Deep by Kim O’Brien and getting sucked into the mystery.

Paige isn’t looking forward to spending the summer in Arizona on an archeological dig with her father. After he chose his career over her and her mother and moved across the country, Paige wants some answers about what exactly went down during her parents’ divorce. But her dad isn’t really ready and willing to give her the answers she wants. Instead, Paige is reunited with Emily, and to find herself falling for Jalen, the project manager’s son. Paige’s summer is shaping up to not be so bad after all. But then Emily disappears and everyone starts blaming everyone, especially Paige’s father who doesn’t have an alibi for the night Emily disappeared. Paige is trying to figure out what happened to her friend, but in the process she’s discovering more than she bargained for.

When it comes to my TV viewing habit, I watch a lot of TV shows that include an element of mystery or suspense. It wouldn’t be exaggerating to say that at least half of what I watch falls in that category. So, yeah, I love mystery and suspense. But when it comes to my reading choices, I find that I don’t read as much mystery and suspense. It’s not because I like it any less in book form, I just don’t gravitate to the books as much as I gravitate to the TV shows. But every so often, I will pick a book up that falls in that category, and that’s how I found myself reading Kim O’Brien’s Bone Deep. I was intrigued by the premise, about how archeology would play into the story and into the greater mystery. And it definitely turned out to be an interesting story. I loved hearing about the history of the site where they dig was taking place and seeing how that history fit into the greater mystery that was at the heart of the story. And on the topic of that mystery, I had some guesses as to who was responsible for Emily’s disappearance but I was never able to see it coming completely. And I loved that! So often, I’m able to guess the twists before they happen, but this time I didn’t figure it out until it was pretty much all laid out in front of me.

As much as I enjoyed Paige as a character by the end of the novel, I didn’t really think much of her at first. I could understand her being upset about her parents’ divorce and being forced to spend the summer with her father when all she really wanted to do was stay home with her mom, but it just felt like she complained a lot. But that eventually worked itself out, when Paige reluctantly accepted her faith for the summer and started spending time with Emily. And thinking that maybe she should do something about the feelings she may or may not have had for Jalen. But then Emily disappeared and Paige pretty much felt at a loss. But at the same time, she became determined to figure out what happened to her friend and I respect that. And I liked seeing her struggle with what to do with the information she was finding out, especially where her dad was concerned. Generally speaking, I really enjoyed seeing Paige’s evolution over the course of the story. She went from being this really closed off, angry person, to someone who was okay with letting other people in again and was willing to give a second chance to her father.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading Kim O’Brien’s Bone Deep. If you’re looking for a book where the mystery will keep you guessing with a good dose of history thrown in, then this is the book for you.

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Saturday, May 23, 2015

Book Expo America 2015

Unless you've been living under a rock in the book community, you probably know that BEA is happening next week in NYC. This will be my third year attending and I couldn't be more excited. If you're going to be there too, let me know because I would LOVE to meet you. It's always exciting to finally meet people I've been talking to online and it helps me put a face to the Twitter handle. 

So here are a few places you might find me while at BEA:

Top 5 signing lines you are likely to see me in:

1. Firewalker by Josephine Angelini (Thursday)
2. Truly Madly Famously (Thursday)
3. Under the Lights by Dahlia Adler (Friday)
4. A Step Toward Falling (Friday)
5. Royal Wedding (Friday)

I will be going to a number of events outside of BEA-proper as well, including Teen Author Carnival on Tuesday night. Otherwise, I'll just be hanging around NYC trying to get in as much time in the city as possible before I leave to go home.

So if you see me, come say hi! I promise I'm a friendly person...I may just end up talking your ear off because I talk a lot. 

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Friday, May 22, 2015

Galgorithm by Aaron Karo

Title: Galgorithm
Author: Aaron Karo
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: May 5, 2015
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo
A romantic comedy about high school, heartbreak, and having all the answers.

What if the secrets of dating and love were revealed in one simple formula? That’s the tantalizing proposition highs school senior Shane Chambliss offers the hopeless and hapless guys who come to him for relationship advice.

After the girl of his dreams breaks his heart, Shane devises a mysterious formula called the Galgorithm and establishes himself as the resident dating guru at Kingsview High School. But his attempts to master the art of romance go outrageously awry.

As Shane tries to navigate the ensuing drama, he must follow his heart, abandon all the rules, and ignore his own advice in a quest for true love. What he discovers, no formula could ever predict…

A formula that helps the less socially adept talk to girls? Sign me up! But for real, the moment I heard about the premise of Aaron Karo’s Galgorithm, it got added to my TBR. It just had the potential to be so much fun. And, spoiler alert, it totally was.

After getting his heartbroken as a freshman, Shane Chambliss made it his mission to find away to help others avoid the kind of heartbreak he felt. And so Shane became an observer, gathering all the information he could about girls so that he could better understand them and uncover the secrets to dating and romance. Fast-forward four years and Shane is now the dating expert of Kingsview High School. Guys come to him when they want help getting the girl of their dreams, and Shane helps them get the girl. Though he might be an expert at helping other guys find romance, his own love life is growing more and more complicated. Maybe it’s time Shane starts following his own advice.

From the moment I heard about Aaron Karon’s Galgorithm, I was curious about reading it. The premise of the book sounded like it had the potential to be a lot of fun and like it could lead to some interesting situations. I mean, a high school senior takes it upon himself to basically coach the less socially adept guys in his school so that they can get girlfriends. I mean, what could possibly go wrong with that? If you’re thinking “everything,” you’re on the right track. This story was entertaining to say the very least. It was full of awkward situations and humorous moment that often had me smiling, if not actually laughing. And the best part of it all is that it was told from a guy’s perspective. I love books that are from guys’ perspectives but there never seem to be that many of them. When I find out about one, I tend to snatch it up right away. And I wasn’t disappointed with Galgorithm, both with the perspective it was told from and the story itself. Of course, though, a lot of that had to do with Shane.

I really enjoyed reading this story from Shane’s perspective. It was interesting to see him help all these guys by building up their confidence so they would be able to talk to girls they otherwise thought of as unapproachable. And really, Shane’s advice could have helped anyone who just needed a little boost of confidence. What I found interesting about Shane while reading was that as great as he was at giving advice to other people, he wasn’t all that great when it came to figuring out his own love life. I’m not saying I enjoyed seeing him struggle, but it made him come across as more real and showed that even so-called “experts” aren’t always what they claim. Which brings me to Jak. I loved that Jak wasn’t the “typical” female love interest you tend to see in books told from a guy’s perspective (namely the cool and unattainable girl). And I loved that her relationship with Shane was first and foremost an awesome friendship. I really enjoyed seeing the constant back and forth between the two of them and reminded me of my own relationship with my best friend (even if our relationship never evolved beyond friendship and he’s now happily married). So Shane and Jak were adorable and I really liked them.

Aaron Karo’s Galgorithm was a cute and fun story. I highly enjoyed reading this story and would recommend it to anyone who’s looking for something a little different from your typical light and fun contemporary story. 

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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry

Title: Nowhere But Here (Thunder Road #1)
Author: Katie McGarry
Publisher: HarlequinTEEN
Release Date: May 26, 2015
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo
An unforgettable new series from acclaimed author Katie McGarry about taking risks, opening your heart and ending up in a place you never imagined possible.

Seventeen-year-old Emily likes her life the way it is: doting parents, good friends, good school in a safe neighborhood. Sure, she’s curious about her biological father—the one who chose life in a motorcycle club, the Reign of Terror, over being a parent—but that doesn’t mean she wants to be a part of his world. But when a reluctant visit turns to an extended summer vacation among relatives she never knew she had, one thing becomes clear, nothing is what it seems. Not the club, not her secret-keeping father and not Oz, a guy with suck-me-in blue eyes who can help her understand them both.

Oz wants one thing: to join the Reign of Terror. They’re good guys. They protect people. They’re…family. And while Emily—the gorgeous and sheltered daughter of the club’s most respected member—is in town, he’s gonna prove it to her. So when her father asks him to keep her safe from a rival club with a score to settle, Oz knows it’s his shot at his dream. What he doesn’t count on is that Emily just might turn that dream upside down.

No one wants them to be together. But sometimes the right person is the one you least expect, and the road you fear the most is the one that leads you home.

Over the last few years, Katie McGarry has easily become one of my favourite authors. Anything she writes, I will happily read and it is almost guaranteed to become a favourite book. I was so excited when she announced her new series, and I absolutely loved the first book, Nowhere But Here.

Emily has been perfectly happy with the life she’s led so far. She has good friends, goes to a good school and has parents who take care of her. She’s always wondered about her biological motorcycle club member father, but she has never had a particular desire to see what his world is like. She’s happy sticking to their annual visits and leaving it at that. When Emily is forced to spend her summer vacation with her biological father’s family, she discovers that everything she was told might not have been the truth. Spending time with her relatives and the motorcycle club, Emily ends up with more questions than answer. And the one person willing to give her some answers is Oz, the boy her father has assigned to watch over her. Oz can’t fail when it comes to keeping Emily safe. If he does, he’s never going to become a member of the Reign of Terror, the motorcycle club that is his family. Looking out for Emily shouldn’t be too difficult, except she’s dead set on finding answers to her questions and Oz can only resist her for so long.

I can’t even begin explain how much I love Katie McGarry and her books. Ever since I stayed up way too late reading Pushing the Limits, I’ve been absolutely hooked. Anything she writes, I will read. Literally. When she announced her new Thunder Road series, I immediately wanted to read it. I was intrigued by the idea of a story set in the world of motorcycle clubs. It definitely sounded new and different. So to say I was excited at the idea of reading Nowhere But Here would be a major understatement. When I finally got a copy of the book in my hands, I literally dropped everything and read it right then and there. I couldn’t have put the book down if I had tried. The story drew me in right away. I became curious about everything that was happening, finding out about how everything worked in the motorcycle club, and, you know, the romance that was waiting to happen between Emily and Oz. But I’ll get to them momentarily. The story in Nowhere But Here was just engrossing and it got me even more excited about the Thunder Road series. I’ve already gotten so attached to the characters, and I can’t wait to see what happens to them in the next books.

Oh man. I absolutely loved Emily and Oz. Emily had clearly lived a very sheltered life so it was interesting, and at times even entertaining, to see her dropped into the world of motorcycle clubs. She was so out of her depth, but at the same time she was doing her best to make it seem like she was comfortable in her new environment. And I loved seeing her growth over the course of the story. I loved seeing her find her place with this family she hadn’t known for most of her life because she finally saw that they cared about her, even if they often didn’t show it in the most traditional ways. And I loved that Oz was there to help guide her through it all. Though granted at first, Oz wasn’t exactly excited at the prospect of having to spend his summer basically babysitting Emily. But even when he wasn’t particularly nice to Emily, I already loved Oz. I loved his loyalty to his family and the motorcycle club, I loved that he was ready to do just about anything for the people he cared about. And I loved how much he grew to care about, and love, Emily. And Oz and Emily together? Well they just made me happy. Beyond just Emily and Oz, I loved so many of the other characters in Nowhere But Here. With all of Katie McGarry’s books, the secondary characters are always just as great as the main ones. And as I’ve already said, I’ve already gotten so attached to people like Chevy, Razor and Violet and I can’t wait to read all of their stories. 

I wasn’t surprised in the least when I read Katie McGarry’s Nowhere But Here and completely fell in love with the story and its characters. I loved every single page of this book and I can’t wait to see where McGarry takes the characters and the story next.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Blog Tour - Bone Deep by Kim O'Brien - Character Interview + Giveaway

Today I'm taking part in the blog tour for Kim O'Brien's Bone Deep. If you're in the mood for a suspenseful story, then this is the book for you. To give you a little more insight into the story, I've had the pleasure of interviewing its main character, Paige. Keep reading to see what she had to say, to find out more about the book, and for a chance to win a copy of the book.

Your father is a famous archeologist so you’ve always been around archaeology. What do you love most about it?

Paige: Archeologists are obsessed with the prehistory of mankind and I guess I am too. Did you know that 99 percent of mankind’s development occurred within the prehistoric cultures, yet there are no written records? So it’s really exciting to bring something out of the earth that has been buried for hundreds of years and study it, try to figure out what it meant to the people who used it. 

Do you see yourself following in your father’s footsteps and becoming an archaeologist yourself?

Paige: Yes, but I’d like to become an anthropologic archaeologist. This would not only let me get involved with the site excavation but also let me study how past societies lived and explore more deeply the cultural aspects of things. Folklores, legends, and myths all fascinate me.

When you were little you made up stories for you and Emily as part of the game you played. How did you come up with all those elaborate stories?

Paige: Creating the stories was easy. All I had to do was think of something really scary and dangerous—something that our parents would have forbidden us from doing if they knew about it. The idea was to scare ourselves silly. We were looking for ways to break into the world of the supernatural and we believed that fear held a special kind of power. If we were frightened enough, we would have enough “power” to cut through that very thin veil we believed separated us from the dead.

What was your favourite story you ever made up?

Paige: I guess the one about the Caymans—dangerous beasts who were half-coyote and half-human. They were sort of like werewolves and came out after dark. They wandered the dearest looking for souls to steal so they could become human again. These Caymans possessed extraordinary powers that could be ours if we could lock eyes with them at night. Emily and I spent hours learning to imitate a coyote’s howl perfectly so we could try to call them to us. 

What three things should people know before reading yours story?

Paige: That the truth is not always what you think it is.
That Indiana Jones is a very skewed image of an archaeologist.
That ghosts are real—I’ve seen them.

About the book
When Paige Patterson travels to Arizona to spend the summer with her archeologist father, she expects answers. Why did her parents divorce? Why did her father choose his career over family? She doesn’t expect to be reunited with her best friend Emily Linton, a girl she has always admired and secretly wanted to emulate, or to find herself falling for the project manager’s son, Jalen Yazzi.

But the summer takes a turn when Emily vanishes. As the police struggle for answers, Paige sets out to find the truth.

The search takes Paige from the Cliffside ruins of prehistoric Native Americans to the Navajo Nation to the horrifying possibility that the answer is much closer to home. Emily, it turns out, was not the only one good at hiding things.

Her father has no alibi for the night Emily disappeared. An intern with the motive insists he’s innocent. And Jalen has some secrets of his own.

Old bones might not be the only things buried in the ruins. As Paige digs deeper into Emily’s disappearance, she realizes that uncovering the truth may cost her everything. 

About the author 
Kim O’Brien grew up in an old Victorian house in Bronxville, NY. Her mother loved telling her bedtime stories, especially ones about the ghost in their attic. Kim not only believed the house was haunted but also fell in love with books and the art of storytelling.

At Emory University in Atlanta, Kim earned a B.A. in psychology. She then attained a M.F.A. in writing from Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, NY. She worked for many years as a writer, editor and speechwriter for IBM before becoming a full time fiction writer. She lives in Texas with her husband, daughters, and four-legged friend Daisy.

Kim is the author of eight inspirational romances and seven non-fiction children’s books. She loves to hear from her readers and can be found on her website, Facebook and Twitter.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Center Ice by Cate Cameron

Title: Center Ice (Corrigan Falls Raiders #1)
Author: Cate Cameron
Publisher: Entangled Crush
Release Date: May 19, 2015
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / B&N / Indigo
The hometown hockey hero won’t know what hit him…

Karen Webber is in small-town hell. After her mother’s death, she moved to Corrigan Falls to live with strangers—her dad and his perfect, shiny new family—and there doesn’t seem to be room for a city girl with a chip on her shoulder. The only person who makes her feel like a real human being is Tyler MacDonald.

But Karen isn’t interested in starting something with a player. And that’s all she keeps hearing about Tyler. 

Corona Falls is a hockey town, and Tyler’s the star player. But the vicelike pressure from his father and his agent are sending him dangerously close to the edge. All people see is hockey—except Karen. Now they’ve managed to find something in each other that they both desperately need. And for the first time, Tyler is playing for keeps…

I never thought this would happen, but I’m starting to run out of ways to describe all the fun and happy contemporary books I’ve been reading. But with summer finally being here, fun and happy contemporaries are basically all I’m reading (not that I don’t read contemporaries the rest of the year). So I guess I’ll just say this: Cate Cameron’s Center Ice was an adorable and fun and just what I was looking for.

Karen has always been a city girl and the last thing she wanted to do was leave her city home. But following her mother’s death, she’s forced to move to Corrigan Falls to live with the father she doesn’t know and his perfect family. Needless to say, Karen is less than happy about the situation. The only upside to this small town is Tyler MacDonald, the boy Karen meets on her morning runs. Tyler is the star of the Corrigan Falls hockey team. And as much as Tyler loves the game, the pressure from his father and his agent is starting to eat away at him and make him question if he even wants to be a professional hockey player. His whole life revolves around hockey, but when Karen comes into his life, hockey is the last thing she cares about. To her, it doesn’t matter that Tyler is a star hockey player, she just likes Tyler for who he is. Soon, they discover that they might just be exactly what the other one needs.

I’m a sucker for sports romances, but there doesn’t seem to be as many of them in YA as there are in NA. Or maybe I’m just not as aware of the YA ones. All that to say that when I find out about one, it automatically gets added to my TBR. And that’s how Cate Cameron’s Center Ice found itself in my hands. Well, that and the fact that it was also from a new Entangled imprint that specializes in adorable contemporary romances. Can you say Emilie book? Because it totally was. Center Ice was exactly the read I hoped it would be. But it also went a little deeper than I thought it would. It wasn’t all about the romance and the cuteness that were Karen and Tyler. It also dealt with the idea of grief and finding your place in a new family, as well as the incredible pressures that can be put on teenage athletes. So it was nice to read a story that wasn’t entirely focused on the romance. Though don’t get me wrong, the romance was there and I loved every minute of it. But the story was more than that and that’s what made me really enjoy it as much as I did.

Karen hasn’t exactly had it easy as of late. She just lost her mom and was forced to move in with a family she doesn’t know, even if she’s related to them. If I were in her shoes, I’m not sure I would behave in a much better way. Not that her behaviour was bad, she just had a bit of an attitude toward her new family. But it was great over the course of the story to see her start to adjust to her new life and come to terms with what was happening. Even seeing her start to open to her stepmom. Actually, that’s a relationship I wish had been explored more, but I’ll take what I got. The person Karen was able to be the most herself around though was Tyler. Tyler wasn’t entirely who I thought he was going to be. Honestly, I kind of expected him to be a bit of a stereotypical big-shot, egotistical athlete. But that’s not who Tyler was. Sure, he was aware of the fact that he was a skilled hockey player, but he didn’t let it get to his head. In fact, he was constantly doubting his ability. And with so much of his life (read: all of it) revolving around hockey, it was great to see him be with someone like Karen who couldn’t care less that he was this big hockey player. And Karen and Tyler together were kind of great.

Cate Cameron’s Center Ice was a great sports-themed read. I loved the romance in the story and I’m curious to see what’s going to happen next. I can’t wait to read about some of the other boys on the team!

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Monday, May 18, 2015

Mia and the Bad Boy by Lisa Burstein

Title: Mia and the Bad Boy (Backstage Pass #2)
Author: Lisa Burstein
Publisher: Entangled Crush
Release Date: May 19, 2015
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / B&N / Indigo
This good girl’s about to meet her match…

Ryder Brooks is living the dream—he’s famous, loved by millions of girls, and miserable. All he really wants is to write his own music, not Seconds to Juliet’s sugary sweet pop. In order to do that, though, the “bad boy” of the band will have to play by the rules. And that includes behaving with his new—and super cute—über-good-girl tutor.

Mia Reyes is in fangirl heaven. Tutoring her favorite member of her favorite band? It’s a dream come true…until it turns into a complete nightmare. Ryder is nothing like she thought. He’s crude, arrogant, and pretty much a total jerk. And the worst part? She’s roped into pretending to be his girlfriend so that no one finds out he’s being tutored. Fake kisses, plenty of PDA, and even sharing his hotel room…

But sometimes even the baddest of bad boys needs a little redemption.

So boy bands. Have I mentioned I have always been a sucker for them? As I kid, I had Backstreet Boys stuff all over my room. Now I have every single One Direction album on my iPod. So a contemporary series about the members of a popular boy band? You can bet I will be all over that. Lisa Burstein’s Mia and the Bad Boy was the second in that series and I can officially say that I enjoyed it just as much as the first one.

From the outside, Ryder Brooks looks like he’s living the dream. As a member of the most popular boy band on the planet, he’s loved by fans everywhere and gets to do what he wants for living. Except being part of Seconds to Juliet isn’t exactly what Ryder wants to be doing. Sure, he wants to be a musician, but what he really wants is to go to Berklee and study to become a serious musician who can write his own music. But in order to do that, Ryder has to get his GED. Except he can’t seem to keep a tutor for more than a day. That’s where Mia Reyes comes in. The only way Mia will be able to afford college is if she agrees to tutor her favorite member of her favorite boy band. It should be easy enough. But Ryder isn’t like Mia expected. At all. But after all, Ryder is known as the Bad Boy of Seconds to Juliet. As Mia quickly finds out, though, a bad boy isn’t always what he seems.

About a month ago, I read the first book in the Backstage Pass series, Aimee and the Heartthrob and it was a total me book. And it got me excited at the prospect of an entire series of books about the different members of a boy band. And it left me wanting to find out about the rest of the boys in the band. And that’s where Lisa Burstein’s Mia and the Bad Boy came in. Much like I did with the first book, I just sped through Mia and the Bad Boy. I couldn’t seem to flip the pages fast enough. But at the same time, I wanted to find a way to make the story last longer because I couldn’t really get enough of it. The romance between Mia and Ryder exactly what I had hoped it would be. These two were so different but at the same time perfect for each other, and I’ll get to that in a moment. Once again, I loved the boy band aspect of the story. With seeing things from Ryder’s perspective, I got to see the less glamorous sides of it, how being in a hugely popular boy band might not be all it’s cracked up to be when you’re on the outside looking in. In light of that, I’m even more curious about the rest of the books in this series.

Mia was the definition of adorable and naive. But I don’t mean that in an insulting way at all. She’s just had a really strict upbringing and hasn’t really done much outside of school and studying. So when she gets dropped in the middle of a boy band arena tour to tutor the so-called “bad boy” in the band. So yeah, Mia is a little out of her depth, but I really liked seeing her come into her own and discover what the world has to offer outside of school and studying. And Ryder was a pretty good teacher as far as being a little more “bad” went. But here’s the thing about Ryder, when I read Aimee and the Heartthrob, he didn’t exactly make a great impression. In fact, he made a pretty bad one. But first impressions aren’t always everything. Because the Ryder I got to know in this book, was someone I ended up liking. A lot. I mean, Ryder had a bad boy reputation for a reason, but he was also a whole lot more than just that reputation. So him and Mia together were great. Where he taught her to loosen up, she was able to teach him to trust people again. And did I mention that their romance was adorable?

I absolutely enjoyed Lisa Burstein’s Mia and the Bad Boy. Though written by a different author, it was a great follow-up to Aimee and the Heartthrob and made me even more excited about this boy band-centric series. I honestly, can’t wait to find out more about the rest of the band and see what the other authors are going to do with the story.

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Friday, May 15, 2015

All Played Out Bucket List Tour - 5 Things to Do Before Graduating College

Today I have the pleasure of being part of a very special tour for Cora Carmack's amazing All Played Out (to find out more of what I thought about the book, check out my review). If you've read the book, you know that lists, bucket lists in particular, play an important part in the story. After all, if Nell hadn't decided to make a list of normal college things to experience, she probably wouldn't have met Torres and there wouldn't be a story. And so in honor of Nell's list, myself and other members of Cora's Street Team are sharing our own lists.

And keeping with All Played Out, here are five things (I think) you should do before graduating college.

1. Go to a big sports game. Especially if your school is known for a particular sport.

The school I went to has the best college basketball team in Canada, having won the national championship 11 times in the last 13 years. So they're a pretty big deal as far as college sports go in Canada. But in four years of attending the school, I didn't go to a single one of their games. And honestly, it's one of my biggest regrets. I don't know why I never went to a game. It always looked like everyone who went to games had a fantastic time and school spirit was definitely high. Nothing's stopping me from going to a game. I still live in the same town I went to school. But it wouldn't be the same. So if your school is a BIG DEAL in a sport, then do better than I did and GO TO A GAME.

2. Join a club/committee/group/etc. Get involved, basically.

As obvious, or even cliché, as it might sound, the best way to meet new people is to get involved in SOMETHING. Sure, you can meet people in your classes, but it's not the same as meeting people through a club/committee/group that focuses on a common interest. I didn't really get involved in much of anything in my first two years of school. But my third year, through my job (I was statistics tutor, in case any of you were curious. And yes I know that makes me sound like a total nerd but I've learned to embrace it) I met some of the best people. After two years of doing nothing beyond just going to class, I finally found people who were like me and finally started coming out of my shell some more. And those people ended up being the people I hung out with the most in school. It gave me a place to go when I had downtime on campus between classes. And parties with all those people are some of my best memories (let's just say we were the study hard, party harder type).

3. Attend a big social event/party.

I feel like this one is kind of vague, but also not. I went to my fair share of parties while I was in college (see parts of #2) but those parties were always with people I knew either through work or because they were at a friend's house. What I'm talking about here is large scale social events: think homecoming parties, tailgating, frat/sorority parties or pub crawls. Those I never actually went to. The closest I came was going to my school's annual Charity Ball in my sophomore year. And it was a lot of fun. Looking back, it makes me wish I had gone to more of those types of events. You meet people you wouldn't otherwise come across and since alcohol is typically involved, everyone is always more friendly than they would be in other circumstances (I'm a friendly person when I'm sober, but I'm sure I'm not the only one who becomes VERY friendly when she drinks). 

4. Try one thing that's outside your comfort zone.

This could literally be ANYTHING. But looking back on my four years in school, I can't really say that I did anything that was outside my comfort zone. It's not that I didn't go out or was particularly sheltered. I just didn't really push myself. Looking back now, I can't necessarily point to one thing that's outside my comfort zone that I wish I had done. But at the same time, I feel like there are some things I missed out on, some things I should have said "yes" to instead of passing. So do better than I did and do something that's outside your comfort zone at least once. You never know what might come of it.

5. Take part in school tradition.

So the town I live in has two pretty big universities. As you might guess, there is some serious rivalry between the two. To the point that we have a not so friendly and politically correct song about our rival school. When you sign up for Frosh Week your freshman year, the first thing you learn is that song. And then you spend the rest of that week singing that song. Loudly. I haven't sung the song since my own freshman year and I can still remember it all (not that is was particularly complicated, but still). So that was sort of our tradition at my school. And though I didn't really have anything against our rival school (a lot of my friends currently go to that school, for that matter) it was just great to have this thing bringing us all together when we were all new at the school. So if your school has a tradition, take part in it. It might seem silly at the time, but it's probably also something that will stick with you.

So those are five things I think you should do before graduating from college. These are based on my own experiences (though I did have to ask for suggestions from friends who are actually still in college) so they might not apply to everyone. Do you have anything you would add to this list? If so let me know in the comments, I'd love to hear what you would add to the list!

About All Played Out
Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iTunes
First person in her family to go to college? CHECK.
Straight A’s? CHECK.
On track to graduate early? CHECK.
Social life? …yeah, about that…

With just a few weeks until she graduates, Antonella DeLuca’s beginning to worry that maybe she hasn’t had the full college experience. (Okay…Scratch that. She knows she hasn’t had the full college experience.)

So Nell does what a smart, dedicated girl like herself does best. She makes a “to do” list of normal college activities.

Item #1? Hook up with a jock.

Rusk University wide receiver Mateo Torres practically wrote the playbook for normal college living. When he’s not on the field, he excels at partying, girls, and more partying. As long as he keeps things light and easy, it’s impossible to get hurt…again. But something about the quiet, shy, sexy-as-hell Nell gets under his skin, and when he learn about her list, he makes it his mission to help her complete it.

Torres is the definition of confident (And sexy. And wild), and he opens up a side of Nell that she’s never known. But as they begin to check off each crazy, exciting, normal item, Nell finds that her frivolous list leads to something more serious than she bargained for. And while Torres is used to taking risks on the field, he has to decide if he’s willing to take the chance when it’s more than just a game.

Together they will have to decide if what they have is just part of the experiment or a chance at something real.

About Cora Carmack
Cora Carmack is a twenty-something New York Times bestselling author who likes to write about twenty-something characters. She's done a multitude of things in her life-- boring jobs (like working retail), Fun jobs (like working in a theatre), stressful jobs (like teaching), and dream jobs (like writing). She now splits her time between Austin, TX and New York City and spends her days writing, traveling, and spending way too much time on the internet. In her books, you can expect to find humor, heart, and a whole lot of awkward. Because let’s face it . . . awkward people need love, too.

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