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.

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Bookit #14: Bailey & The Bad Boy

Title: Bailey & The Bad Boy (Scandalous Series #1)
Author: R. Linda
Publication Date: November 7, 2017
Format: Ebook (Kindle Unlimited)

Grade: B

I enjoyed this book.  It was a bit cliché in some ways but it didn’t make me want to throw it out the window.  It was cute, and the characters were developed enough that I cared to find out what happened.

The main plot is that Bailey, a 17-year-old high school student, has recently been dumped by her seemingly perfect boyfriend.  During a road trip planned before the breakup, she finds her boyfriend making out with her seemingly perfect best friend.  Obviously Chace & Christina were not as perfect as Bailey thought.

Along comes Ryder, a boy who used to be Chace’s best friend.  He offers to be her fake boyfriend to piss her ex off.  She eventually accepts, and finds herself re-evaluating a lot of people in her life, including herself.   As always, hijinks and drama ensue.

My main issues with this novel were the setting inconsistencies.  At one point it is mentioned that it is based in California.  However, the main characters have a 2 month “summer” vacation over Christmas.  Given the Author is in fact from Australia, it makes more sense to pretend I just never saw the mention of California.  I also don’t see how teenagers can just disappear from school as much as these kids seem to.  Cutting out of their classes with seemingly no consequences for that.  The one character leaves for a month.  At my high school, you’d be risking being held back and repeating the grade.

I also think that is a bit idealistic, but that’s okay.  I plan on reading the next book, Indie & The brothers Best Friend next.  We will see if it continues to be enjoyable.  I did not have that experience with the Holiday HIgh series I started to read/review earlier this year (hence why only one got reviewed in the end).

Bookit Review: My Fake Valentine

Title: My Fake Valentine (Holiday High Series #1)

Author: Kellie McAllen

Bookit # 12

Publication date January 17, 2018
Format: Kindle Unlimited Ebook

This was another find via the Kindle Unlimited. I have tended to avoid Teen romance for awhile because I got stuck with a few bad ones in the past that promoted some really bad ideals as far as relationships go. But I figured I would give this series a chance.

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Bookit Review: The Last in Love

Title: The Last in Love  (Book 5 in the Ardent Springs series)

Author: Terri Osburn
Release date: 2017
Medium:  E-book (Kindle Unlimited)

My grade:  B

I believe this is the last book in the series, though the end of it hints that if the author could make it a six book series if she wanted to.  This one focuses on Abby Williams, a widow of two years who ends up falling for a man five years younger than her – and someone she used to babysit back in high school. Justin Donovan is recently home after having lost his job, his fiancée and best friend. Both Abby and Justin have some issues to work through.

The book in general is good.  The pacing is a little off, but not so much that it really bothered me.  It was a nice lazy morning read.  Some of the accessory characters (such as Justin’s former fiancée and best friend) are a bit flat as well.  It did well to tie up some loose ends from previous books in the series, as well as tie up overall arcs (such as the Ruby Theater, and Carrie’s women’s shelter).

I did like the theme of women discovering themselves, and building each other up.  Other then Victoria, most of the women in this novel are friends or at least friendly towards each other.  Sometimes when you pick up novels (and definitely tv shows) there is this inclination to make cat fights or have a love triangle where the two women don’t get along because they are fighting over a guy.  This novel stays free of that for the most part.

So if you enjoy low-key romances, I can recommend this book.  Terri Osburn in general is a good author and I have enjoyed both the series that I have read from her.  Many of her novels are available on Kindle Unlimited if you subscribe to that service.

Bookit Review: Mr Darcy’s Mail-Order Bride

Title: Mr. Darcy’s Mail-Order Bride
Author: J. Dawn King
Publication: November 24, 2016 (Kindle/Kindle Unlimited edition)
Grade: C

This variation novel was alright.  I didn’t want to throw it out the window.  It just wasn’t something that made me want to ignore the clock and keep reading.  In this particular variation, Darcy and Bingley have become landowners in Oregon, seeking wives from the east due to a lack of possible wives in the West.  Darcy writes the letters for Bingley to Jane, the niece of an acquaintance of theirs, Mr. Gardner.  Elizabeth responds for Jane, and the two fall in love through the letters, not realising that they weren’t speaking with the real Jane/Bingley.   Thus awkwardness when the two arrive to be married (Darcy deciding at last minute to marry the sister).

This reads almost like vengeance fanfic.  Like Ms. King wanted to see characters she thought less of punished in some way.  Caroline is pretty much out of the picture right away, and Lydia barely spends any time before whisking away with Wickham (who keeps getting fired, and barely talks to Elizabeth).  Meanwhile Elizabeth and Jane remain the optimum examples of virtue and good nature.

So in a sense, it was like all the characters were more pushed towards the good/bad guy roles then they were in the original.  Poor Denny, the first-nameless soldier who makes the unfortunate decision to be friends with Wickham in the original book, now has become Wickham’s second hand man, possibly starting a fire at Bingley’s ranch.  Mr. Bennet turns out to just sit in his study and do nothing while his remaining children run close to starving. I must admit this is the first time where I’ve read a book and fault for the awkward marriage between the elder Bennets is placed on Mr. Bennet instead of just assuming he was dealing with a nutsy wife.

Although I did find the implication of Lydia/Colonel Fitzwilliam (who in this novel isn’t a colonel but crime lawyer) an intriguing idea.

Its an alright novel if you can’t get enough of Jane Austen variations, but nothing I’d put on my “read again later” list.

Bookit Review: Her Hopes and Dreams

Title: Her Hopes and Dreams
Author:  Terri Osburn
Publication: November 15, 2016  (Kindle/Kindle Unlimted Edition)
Grade: B-

Please note:  This novel contains references to PTSD and other trauma-induced psychological issues  (One character has PTSD from military related events, another from being abused by their spouse).  If you feel triggered by this, please skip this book.  

I was a bit underwhelmed by this addition to the series.  Carrie Farmer’s story has been a back plot along most of the first three books.  In the first book we are introduced to her as Spencer’s ex-wife, who is being abused by her second husband.  In the second and third books she is adjusting to being a widow, a single mother, and being free from abuse.  In the last book in particular, she starts to focus on helping others who are in similar situation by creating a shelter for the area with Haleigh and her mother.

In this book, we get her point of view and see how she is adjusting.  She seems to have settled into her life, but she is determined, sometimes against her own safety, to help other women.   She meets her next door neighbor, Nathan, who happens to be an old childhood friend of her late husband.  They get off to an awkward start due to Nate not knowing what had gone on while he had been away at war.  There is also the aspect that both of them have trauma-induced psychological issues that they have to deal with.

The story is enjoyable, although it seems at times to be overly optimistic.  I do like the fact that Ms Osburn brings up the idea that people with PTSD and other trauma-induced psychological disorders can find a happy life.  The idea that it can be relived by finding “the one” seems a little misleading because it puts a lot of pressure on the significant other, but considering this is a romance novel, and the concept that love heals everything is a trope we all tend to find/write into these books.

There is a fifth book in this series, but it won’t be released till May 2017, so look for it under the ‘bookit 2017’ tag on this blog or the Terri Osburn tag.