Bookit Review: Christina & the Rebel Affair

 Title:  Christina and the Rebel Affair (Book 6 of the Scandalous Series)
Author: R. Linda
Publication:  October 16th 2018 217 pages
Edition:  Kindle (via Kindle Unlimited)
Genre:  Romance
Rating:  C
Bookit 2009 #3

Previously reviewed:  Bailey | Indie | Kenzie | Harper | Audrey

Oddly enough, this story actually does Audrey a better job then the book she starred in.  We see more of the after effects of her trauma, and how those around her help her deal with it.  The leading lady of this novel is Christina, however, who is a call back from Bailey’s novel.  In Bailey’s novel, Christina had been her best friend who betrayed her by sleeping with Bailey’s boyfriend Chace and then being completely horrible to her. 

This book brings her back as supposedly having grown up and become a better person.  She meets Bennett over spring Vacation and the two hit it off only to find out that Christina is Bennett’s teacher after taking over for Bailey when the later is going on Maternity leave.  The problem with this book, beyond being a little weird with the teacher/student thing is that it almost seems like the author can’t decide if Christina is supposed to be likable or not.  Bennett on the other hand seems almost too good.  He’s made out to be the perfect friend and perfect “boyfriend” material.  In the end I don’t really find myself interested in either of them, more interested in the already established characters, particularly Bailey and Ryder who were in the first book.  Audrey and Bennett’s relationship is basically in a weird status where they are best friends but also perhaps a bit codependent and perhaps not healthy for any of their other relationships.

The book also alludes to the return of the villain of the series Chace in a future book.   My guess is Jack might be the next leading character for the series, but we will see.  Nothing has popped up so far so it looks to be still in production.

My final grade is C.  I feel this book could have had a bit more depth to it, and it could have gone further then just the last couple chapters in showing how Christina had changed.  Also, there is references to things that aren’t really fleshed out that perhaps could have been to make Christina’s motivations more clear. 

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Bookit Review: Audrey & The Hero Upstairs

Title: Audrey and the Hero Upstairs (Scandalous Series #5)
Author: R. Linda
Publication Date: July 31st 2018 216 pages
Edition: Kindle (Via Kindle Unlimited)
Genre: Romance
Bookit 2009 #2

Rating: C+

(previously reviewed: Bailey | Indie | Kenzie | Harper )

This is one of the series I think I always imagine I liked better when I see a new book comes out and I end up reading it and realising it wasn’t as good. In this book, the focus changes to Audrey, the woman who in a previous book Nate & Brody saved from a devastating house fire that killed her family. Audrey has a lot of issues to deal with which is apparently is something that disappears once you have a boyfriend. I imagine that was not what the author intended to get across (given what I have read in the next book) but I feel like Audrey’s book should have dealt more with her helping herself by getting help for her issues rather then the awkward relationship with Brody.

I did not hate this book. It was a light read, and I didn’t find anything particularly bad to complain about other then it focusing more on the idea of the relationship solving things. But this a romance, so I’m going to excuse it for the moment. I do have to admit that given Audrey’s age and her trauma, some of the other character reactions seem a little unbelievable. Like her foster parents being okay with everything. But this novel is only 216 pages, so perhaps the length is part of the reason some of this wasn’t developed more.

But then again, the next book in the series is about A student/teacher relationship (he’s 18 at least). I think perhaps it is time to either end the series or focus on the couples already in the series.

Also maybe just retcon the fact that it takes place in California, because over the course of the series it was clear the author was not from California. Or the United States. This story has people handing an 18 year old a glass of wine like its no big deal (which I honestly agree with, but its against the law in the US). I’ve read a bit of the next book and it has someone offering a 18 year old free beer as an incentive to work at his establishment, which would probably cause him to lose his license to sell liquor. (I’m not entirely sure about CA’s laws but its likely). Had it not expressed in the first book that it was California It probably wouldn’t throw me so much when I read it. It’s not necessarily something that would stop me from reading but it stops the flow when I do read it.

So my end assessment is that it was okay – but not going on my greatest hits list.

Bookit Review 19: Beautiful Player

Title:  Beautiful Player (Book 3 of the Beautiful Bastard Series)
Author: Christina Lauren
Genre: Romance/Adult
Publication Date: May 29, 2018  (reissued – original date is 2013)
My Grade: B
Format: Paperback

I was pleasantly surprised by this novel.  It uses the Friends to lovers trope, but feels natural and not awkward in its pacing. It was a nice change from some of the romance novels I’ve been reading this year that have really awkward pacing or decide to forego a natural feeling plot for more sex scenes.

This book is adult, and has descriptive love scenes so I don’t recommend this for younger readers.   However I don’t feel the love scenes override the character development and plot progression (what little plot there actually is) which as I said I’ve been finding happening a lot in this genre.  The minor characters aren’t really developed well, but I found out afterwards this is part of a book series so perhaps its assumed that we are aware of the characters already.  I feel a little development would have been nice since this series is built on being interconnected novels that you can read individually and not as a series. I’m a bit weary having found out the first book is a revitalized Twilight fanfic (those haven’t turned out to be good reads for me because I never liked Twilight that much to begin with) but I’m willing to give it a chance.

This is the third book in the series, so I might read the other ones since I found this one enjoyable and not overdone.    I did find the summary given in some of the advertising was a bit much. The whole “My Fair Lady” comparison is a little thing. I think I might have enjoyed more of the main couple without a focus on each other but then again this is in fact a romance novel so it goes with the genre.  My perfect book however would blend a good plot with good romance.

My final grade is a B-.  I enjoyed it, but it could be better.  Again, it is descriptive so it’s not for younger readers.  I may or may not read the other books in the series to get a better sense of Christina Lauren’s writing.  I’ll probably skip the first book though.  I also feel it could have used a more supportive backlot to frame the romance part of it.

Bookit Review # 18: My Best Friend’s Ex

Title: My Best Friend’s Ex
Author: Hazel Kelly
Publication Date: June 8, 2018
Format: Ebook (Kindle Unlimited)
Grade: C

This book was not horrible, but it was pretty underwhelming.  There was very little plot, most of which sets up a possible series.  None of the characters were particularly developed past the main two, and some significant parts of the back story were never really brought closure.  Perhaps that will happen in the books that follow.    I’m assuming this is the start of a series as it is listed as “Beta Brothers #1”.

The premise of the book is that Zoey and Logan are adopted siblings.  Their parents have adopted several children over the years (and continue to adopt).  Logan was adopted as a sixteen year old while Zoey was much younger when she was adopted.  Therefore she feels more like they are her parents while he sees them as parent-figures.  Oddly enough this is not their awkward obstacle.

Apparently for them, it’s the fact that Logan dated Zoey’s life-long best friend.  There is a back story there but it’s unevenly reveled and the two main characters never really directly talk about it.  They don’t really let it affect them long either.  The romance is pretty much developed pre-story.  This story is just how they ended up actually hooking up.

I feel this is one of those books that perhaps will be better once a sequel is out.  Perhaps things were left vague to be developed in another segment.  I’m not sure if I will read the next book or not.  I tend to prefer plot and development over simple hook up stories.  However if you like uncomplicated (despite the background) love stories it might appeal to you.

As I said, it was not horrible, but I feel like It could have used more space devoted to developing the characters and the background story then to the love scenes.  It reads more as an early dating to their first time story rather than a romance.  For being their big “obstacle” Piper doesn’t show up very often and is underdeveloped as a character.  This feels like a rough draft to a longer story and I hope the rest of the series helps develop the background characters and setting.

Bookit #17: Kenzie & The Guy Next Door

Title: Kenzie and the Guy Next Door (Scandelous #4)
Author: R. Linda
Publication Date: May 29, 2018
Format:  Ebook (Kindle Unlimited)
Grade: B.

In the fourth book of the Scandalous series (Find them at Book One Book Two or Book Three), we are focused on Kenzie, the twin sister of Ryder from Book One.  She is now 23, and her son Cole is five.  She lives on her own in a apartment near her mother and Brother, and is going to school to become a nurse.  However her life gets pushed a bit off the rails when Chace, the bad guy from Book One, shows up once again.   Chace wants to see his son, which would be alright if he wasn’t doing it creeper Stalker style.

In the last book we were introduced to Harper’s brother Jeremy, who has recently gotten out of prison after he accidently ran over a child when he was 17.   This story explores more the backstory of Harper and Jeremy’s childhood and what happened the night Jeremy went to prison.  Jeremy also gets to act like the white knight for Kenzie when Chace goes too far.

This romance seems a little fast, but it also moves the background plots further.  It has some interesting aspects that I did not expect.  However listing them here would be rather spoilery so I won’t.

Not the strongest in the series (I still feel that might have been book one), but still an enjoyable read.  I do find the publication schedule a little interesting.  She seems to publishing a book every two months or so, less then between book 3 and this one.  In fact according to GOodreads (which is where I get my data from) its only been a month.  Which makes me wonder if we will see book #5 sometime this month. The next book is about Brody and Audrey, minor characters in the last three books.   According to a recent Q&A the author is working on book #6.  I hope the fast pace won’t make the quality suffer.

Bookit #16: Harper & The One Night Stand

Title:  Harper and the One Night Stand
Author:  R. Linda
Publication Date: April 10, 2018
Format:  Ebook (Kindle Unlimited)
Grade: B-

This is the third review of the books in R. Linda’s Scandalous series.  (Book One and Two are reviewed previously).  In this book we get the point of views of Nate and Harper.  Nate is the older brother of Book 2’s leading lady, Indie.  Harper was a guest at the wedding, and Kenzie (sister of Book 1’s Ryder)’s best friend.  She also happens to be the ex-girlfriend of Nate’s cousin Brody.

Nate & Harper have a one-night stand at the wedding, and then for three months keep showing up at each other’s houses, having a string of one-night-stands.  Harper finally ends it when she realises that they are perhaps not as stringless as they had begun.

I have to admit I found Brody’s part in this story puzzling.  In this book he is written as being still a bit in love with Harper, yet in the previous book he was pretty much brushing the relationship off as something in the past and that they were just friends.  So it seems a little weird that in the six months that seemed to have passed since Book 2 that Brody suddenly is persuing her again.

Like the others I enjoyed this as a light and fluffy romance.  The angst was there, but almost brushed over.  I wouldn’t call this book very deep or meaty, but it was a fun way to wile the afternoon away.

I do like that this book has carried over some of the background plot points of the previous books.  Johnny and Julie, the two restaurant owners who helped Ryder when he needed it are woven through the book as they are Harper’s Aunt and Uncle.  The other two couples from Book 1 & 2 are developed more in these books as they return from college.

The couples tend to prefer having odd nicknames for each other.  I felt that the use of Friend here just seemed a bit weird.  I can’t say exactly why, so maybe its just a personal preference.

Bookit #15: Indie & The Brother’s Best Friend

Title:  Indie & The Brother’s Best Friend (Scandalous # 2)
Author:  R Linda
Publication Date: January 30, 2018
Format:  EBook (Kindle Unlimited)
Grade:  B-

This is the second in a series by R.Linda called The Scandalous series (although I’m not entirely sure how any of these stories are particularly scandalous…).  The first book was about Bailey during her last year in high school.  In the second book, the author turns to Bailey’s best friend Indie as she deals with her long abiding crush on her brother’s best friend.

The author also takes a POV turn, this time deciding to do it from both the POV of Indie, but also Lincoln, her love interest.  In Bailey’s book (which I reviewed here) it was solely in Bailey’s POV.  The characters are also aged up 3 years and are in their final year of college.

I found this book just as enjoyable as the first one.  The author seems to slip more into Australian terms more oftne in this book, but unlike the first book she never mentions the setting country so Its easier to just assume its in Australia.

I will admit that I found Jack’s play acting a bit much at times.  I find the “Oh, don’t worry, he’s gay” plot a bit overused.  At least in this story Jack remains gay, unlike a book I read a few years ago that had a surprise twist that somehow the supposedly gay best friend had fallen for the main girl (The novel was a bit of a train wreck to be honest and I can’t remember the title).

There is also a bit where the happily ever after came (which I’m all for) but I found it less satisfying because there were issues the two had that they never seemed to discuss and seemed automatically resolved because they were suddenly together.

This story does incorperate more of the minor characters of the first book, even though The POV has changed.  Kenzie, Ryder’s sister returns, as does Indie’s brother Nate.  I’ve read both of them and shall be reviewing them soon.

I think it has a bit of the idealism of the first book, which may or may not be a good thing going forward.