Bully by Penelope Douglas

Bully

By Penelope Douglas

★★★★

My name is Tate. He doesn’t call me that, though. He would never refer to me so informally, if he referred to me at all.

We’re neighbors, and once, we were best friends. But then, one summer, he turned on me and has made it his mission to screw up my life at every opportunity. I’ve been humiliated, shut out, and gossiped about all through high school. His pranks and rumors got more sadistic as time wore on, and I made myself sick trying to hide from him. I worried about what was around every corner and behind every door.

So I left.

I spent a year studying abroad and bathed in the freedom of life without Jared. Now I’m back to finish up high school and get the hell out of here forever. I’m hoping that after a year of breathing room, he’s moved on and forgotten all about me.

But even if he hasn’t changed, I have. I’m not interested in avoiding him or turning the other cheek anymore. We’re going to go head to head, because neither of us wants to back down.

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I am not sure how I feel about this book.  I have to be honest, I truly enjoyed reading it, it evoked so many different emotions from me I couldn’t put it down.  However I feel like I should not have found it as enjoyable as I did simply for the fact that the love story in this book is essentially between a bully and his victim.

This isn’t just a matter of miscommunication and misunderstandings between the two characters.  This isn’t the story of boy who simply teases  a girl and then they fall in love.  This is the story of a guy who comes home from spending the summer with his estranged father a completely different person.  His best friend, the girl next door has no clue why he now hates her.  They no longer spend time together or talk and if they do it’s him being a jerk to her.  Rumors are started at school, boys treat her like trash and most of the girls whisper behind her back.  She is the victim of pranks and public ridicule and has hardly any friends.

What makes it even worse is the fact that not only is he tormenting her but also his best friend Madoc, who doesn’t even know why he does it.  There are many times that Madoc goes above and beyond simple teasing and pranks and skirts into sexual harassment.  The upside of it is when Madoc does cross that line she seems to grow a backbone and makes it clear it’s not acceptable (between a broken nose and a good swift kick to his manhood) she at least is not a complete pushover.

Tate finally standing up for herself makes her feel as if she is turning into a bully herself, I am sorry but I totally disagreed with her.  I was glad she stood up for herself, even when it got a little physical because frankly it needed to be done.  People needed to see she was not some weak, pitiful, lesser individual.  I actually thought there were times when she should have been even tougher and not backed down.

As for finding out the reasons behind the bullying I am not sure that it was enough to justify or excuse it in my book.  I couldn’t really understand where Jared was coming from in that regard but it didn’t necessarily take away from the book.  I still found myself completely immersed in it and I am definitely anxious to read the next one and see it from Jared’s POV.  I think it will give me a better idea of why Jared chose to Bully Tate in the way he did.  After reading the first chapter on the authors Goodreads page I am anxious for the next book.

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To find out more about author Penelope Douglas check out her Facebook page here.

 

To purchase a copy of Bully at: ➸ Amazon

 

The Love Game

The Love Game  By Emma Hart ★★★★☆

The Love Game
By Emma Hart
★★★★☆

A New York Times and USA Today bestseller!

His challenge? Make her fall in love with him.
Her challenge? Play the player.
Until life changes the rules of the game.

Maddie Stevens hated Braden Carter on sight. Arrogant, egotistical, and the playboy of the University of California, Berkeley, he’s everything her brother Pearce has taught her to despise. So why, when the girls challenge her to play the player, doesn’t she say no? She doesn’t know either.

A Player

Braden wanted fiery little Maddie the second he laid eyes on her – and he’d do anything to have her, hence why he’s agreed to make her fall in love with him. After all, it’s the only way he’ll get what he wants. Sex.

A Game

But, as Braden discovers, there’s more to the girl from Brooklyn than he ever imagined – and he can’t help but care about the broken girl behind those pretty green eyes.

Maddie finds Braden isn’t just a walking erection – he actually has feelings. He can be sweet, funny and his good looks don’t exactly hurt. That means trouble – but when her brother Pearce turns up in Berkeley begging for her help, she realises Braden and Pearce aren’t so alike anymore.

And maybe, just maybe, they’re exactly what each other needs.

Braden and Maddie

So I am going to have to give this one 4 stars!  This was a fun read.  I can not wait for more from this series!

Breaking The Wrong

Breaking The Wrong
By Calia Read
★★★★☆

 

“Everyone has a weakness. You just have to look.”

The second book in the Sloan Brother’s Series by Calia Read is finally out. If you read book 1 Every Which Way you remember meeting Emilia. You also probably remember that feeling that she was not what she seemed, she was up to something, just not certain exactly what that was. I know I  was terrified of how that would affect Severine and Thayer so it was hard for me to imagine myself liking her. Of course that is what a good author is great at; completely changing your perspective when it comes to the stories they create based on the specific circumstances and events they allow you to see.

The Blurb:  
Emilia Wentworth would do anything for her sister.

For three years, Emilia has lived in the past, feeling her sister’s pain and hating those who are to blame, including one of the Sloan brothers.

Finally, she has had enough. The only way to be free is to create a Burn List with all the people who have ever hurt her sister.

As she crosses each name off, she gets closer and closer to her final target. But, things aren’t always as they seem.

Loyalties are tested.

Boundaries are crossed.

And the truth is revealed

Emilia is a complicated character, although the story is told from her POV (alternated with Macsen) I had a hard time really liking her at first.  I wasn’t quite sure why, maybe because I wasn’t completely sure what her plans for Macsen actually were.  The author hints at what was done to her sister but really keeps you in the dark for most of the book (there are a few surprises and twists closer to the end) which makes me unable to fully connect with Emilia’s anger and need for revenge.  Somewhere along the way and again I am not sure where, I finally felt the connection to Emilia and realized I liked her after all.

Tosha heaves a sigh and pats me on my knee. “Whatever you’re after … just take it, Emilia.” She walks over to my desk and unzips my makeup bag. “You can be fierce when you want to be.”

“You think so?”

Cocking her hip to the side, she points my lip liner at me. “I know so. You’re like broken glass.”  

“Broken glass?” I give her a strange look.  

“You’re intense. It’s unexpected and makes everyone jump.”  

“I hope I cut a few people,” I reply dryly.  

Pulling out my compact she looks at her face and nods at her reflection. “You will.”

Macsen Sloan who we met in the first book was a character I already liked but I have to say I really fell in love with him in the story.  We get to see a much deeper side to him.  We begin to understand that even after all of the mistakes he has made he is still deep down a good person.  He has many layers that most aren’t able to see, yet he and Emilia are so similar that they really fit together.

It’s the quiet people you need to watch out for. And that’s one of reasons why I’m sitting here, asking for advice. Macsen is quiet. Just like me. His mind is running at top speed. I can barely focus around him.

There are a lot of secrets in this book and although you may think you have them figured out the author has come out with a way to surprise you.  It’s not as simple or cut and dry as it may seem and that is what I really loved about it.  I would have loved to get more of Severine and Thayer though.  There just wasn’t enough interaction with them as I would have liked but this wasn’t their story so I guess it makes sense.

I am looking forward to the rest of the books in the series.  I am really anxious to find out more about the remaining Sloan brother and I hope we get to see more of a family dynamic as well.  I also am happy to see that Calia Read has listed a book about Thayer and Macsen’s friend Chris is in the works.

I definitely recommend this book, especially if you loved the first book!

Every Which Way!

Every Which Way (Sloan Brothers, #1)Every Which Way by Calia Read
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Everything in life came down to choices. It was always a general thought that the larger decisions held greater consequences, but if you really thought about it, so did the small ones.

Severine Blake has seen far too many friends taken down in the crossfires of dating. She devises a precise course of action to protect her heart. The plan is working very well…until she meets Thayer and Macsen.
When the Sloan brothers come into her life, nothing is the same.

Thayer is self-possessed, arrogant and used to getting what he wants. Being near him leaves Severine unsteady and shaken. He makes her question everything.
Macsen contradicts his brother in every way. His calm personality captivates her. Severine is drawn to him instantly.
But Severine quickly discovers that when you want something, that want can turn wicked. Giving in is not always easy, especially when your heart refuses to give up the fight.

What little illusion of love Severine has is soon destroyed. Every option is broken, and the protection she has built around her heart instantly crumbles.

There’s just no right way with the Sloan brothers.


Wow so how do I feel about this book? Damn, I could not put it down. I was supposed to be preparing for in-laws coming for Thanksgiving and instead I huddled on a chair in my kitchen trying desperately to finish this book before I could even begin to think about something as dreadful as cleaning.

I am not sure if I can possibly wait until the next book comes out. I need it now!
I don’t think I have ever been this anxious to read a sequel in my life. I am already feeling like I might stalk Calia’s blog until she posts something about the next book other than that fantastic cover.

Okay so my thoughts are this: I friggin’ loved this book! It’s hilarious yet there is a seriousness to the story as well. It’s a love triangle (which I love as always) but I pretty much knew who I wanted her to be with at the beginning and then completely changed my mind towards the half way point.

Severine is funny, sarcastic, overly confident and a bit cocky. She has absolutely no idea what love is really about. She has commitment and trust issues and at times is a very complicated character, I found myself loving her and not liking her. She confused me sometimes with her way of thinking but at other times I got where she was coming from.

Thayer: There is more to him than Severine believes at first.

“Not bad? The hot Calvin Klein models we taped in our lockers in high school were not bad.” Lily inclined her head in Thayer’s direction. “That’s look-at-the-sky-and-scream, ‘Thank you God,’ as loud as you can!” – Lily

They are way too much alike and both are too stubborn for their own good.

“The ego on the two of you is enough to make the windows shatter. So you’re in Severine-land, and he’s chilling in all his hot dude glory. You are like two magnets repelling each other. The magnetic field is too much.” – Lily

Macsen: Severine is drawn to him. He has the ability to make her feel calm and she believes that he is what she needs.

Since yesterday, her mind kept replaying her encounter with the Sloan brothers. She wasn’t going to encourage a conversation with Thayer Sloan. She knew his game and had no interest in playing it. But Macsen Sloan, he might be a different story.

The Sloan Brothers take sibling rivalry to whole new level. They can not stand each other and Severine is torn between the two. Unfortunately the discord in their relationship is a secret Severine tries on numerous occasions to discover but can never get to the bottom of until after she finds herself feeling as if she is ripping them further apart.

To me this was not just a story about Sverine making a choice between two brothers and the consequences but it is also a story of self discovery. Severine has to figure out a lot about herself when she is dealing with these two guys. She has to rethink the way she views relationships and love and learn that you never really can know someone by looking at them and going with preconceived notions. People are complicated and just because they appear one way to the outside world does not mean that’s who they truly are.

Severine also realizes that sometimes you have to just trust, you may get your heat broken in the process but you can’t let that break you and give up.


Wow! I Can Not Wait!

Cover of the next Sloan Brothers book!

Bouquet Toss

Bouquet Toss (Love of My Life #1)Bouquet Toss by Melissa Brown
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ever since Daphne Harper graduated from college, all of her friends have fallen in love, become engaged and walked down the aisle. Be it a blessing or a curse, Daphne (a hopeless romantic and perpetual single girl) catches the bouquet at every single wedding she attends.

Daphne’s love life is a mess. Her first love, Mayson, haunts her heart and keeps her from pursuing happiness with any man who comes along. As she struggles to move on from the one who got away, Daphne wonders if she will ever break her curse and find her happily ever after. (Amazon)


I was lucky to get this book for free on Amazon. I had read so many positive reviews on it I was anxious to read it. Unfortunately though I find myself on the fence about this particular book. While there were so many enjoyable parts of this story there were also so many that I felt dragged on and/or went to slow.

Daphne finds herself still thinking of the man who broke her heart in college five years ago. She has never fully gotten over him and can’t even begin to move on with anyone else when she can’t stop comparing them to Mayson. Her friends and family worry for her, they just want her to be happy and to meet the man who can finally make her forget about Mayson.

Just when she has begun to tell herself it is time to move on who should show up at her bestfriends wedding?

Mayson has come back into Daphne’s life and he seems determined to start over. What once was all Daphne could ever hope for has now become a reality and yet she isn’t sure if she can actually forget the past long enough to put it behind her and fully trust Mayson. Too much has happened and she is not sure things have actually changed.

While Daphne is trying to sort out her feelings for Mayson tragedy strikes and everything Daphne thought she knew is called into question. She’ll have to start on a new journey to find love but can she put her past love behind her to do it?

This story has so much potential. Unfortunately I just got tired of some of it. I found myself skimming pages and wishing it would move along quicker. At other times I found myself engrossed in the love story.

It is hilarious at times, emotional at others. There are times I absolutely love Daphne and times in which I can’t stand her. At times I had no idea where this story was going but I have to say I loved the end, it brought this from a 3 star to a 4 star read for me.

Disastrous!

After struggling with the loss of yet another person so dear to her heart, Mia Sullivan, transforms her frustration and loneliness, into focusing on her future career. As the top of her class at Harvard Law, she’s nervous and excited, when given the opportunity of a summer extern position at one of the top firms in Boston. Her new boss is young, extraordinarily handsome, and the successful, Marcus DeLuca. Slowly she begins to fall for him, but as she caves in to his charms, she begins to discover he is keeping something from her.

Marcus DeLuca is living two lives: one that involves his successful career and the other that could potentially ruin his entire reputation. Every day is a stressful and hectic environment with his busy schedule. His secret could jeopardize not only his life but everyone he loves.That’s why he has no extra room for a serious, romantic relationship, but after meeting Mia he cannot resist her. She is innocent, humble, and pure, the total opposite of him. She distracts him from all of his deep, dark secrets. He knows once Mia finds out the things he has done and who he truly is, she will never want to look at him again. Deep down he knows he must stay away but he can’t.

Mia and Marcus are heading down a path of love, lies, heart break and betrayal. Can their love conquer all or will it end?

Disastrous by E.L. Montes

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

One of the best books I have read lately, I LOVED IT!

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this one because there weren’t any reviews out yet when I purchased it from Amazon. I was actually drawn to it by the cover, I’m not sure why but it appealed to me. It’s so simple yet the young woman is simply beautiful and perfect for the character (the eyes are gorgeous).

I was pretty much hooked from the first sentence. My imagination was in overdrive after reading the prologue. It set the story up perfectly:

“My thoughts were uncontrollable. I was trying to make it all go away, and I pounded my fists against my temples, but all that managed to do was inflict additional pain. Why me? My chest felt tight, and it was so hard to breathe I was hyperventilating. After a few minutes of taking long deep breaths, I was able to control the airflow through my lungs. Then it all came back to me: the day I met HIM.”

I won’t go into the synopsis of the storyline because in all honesty I am afraid that I will give away too much, not that the entire story is a mystery but I do not want to give away any of the development of Mia and Marcus’ relationship. What I will say is that this is a story of a young woman who falls in love with a man who truly loves her but has so many secrets that it may be impossible for them to ever have a completely deep, honest and lasting relationship.

“I couldn’t help but think that in just over four months we’d been through so much more than most couples who’d put in years into their relationship. Being with Marcus DeLuca was draining, frustrating, confusing, and extraordinary all at the same time. It didn’t make sense. Our relationship didn’t make sense! We both had our issues, and two wrongs surely did not make a right.”

These two are faced with so many trials and tribulations because of who Marcus is and the life he leads and everything comes to a head when his biggest and darkest secret is discovered. Throughout almost the entire book we are waiting for the betrayal that leads up to what happens in the prologue and I am not going to lie I had my theories of the circumstances from pretty early on. I kept waiting for it to happen and when it did I was so anxious to see how Mia would handle it that I wanted the book to end but at the same time wished it wouldn’t.

“Unable to breathe, unable to think, unable to make sense of anything, I smacked him. I was so angry with him. It hurt me to know this entire time he was lying. Everything, every emotion I felt, every single pain I dealt with since we met, I took it out on him at this very moment. Balling my fist, I swung at him, and continued to punch him over and over, hitting his face, his chest, and his shoulders— anywhere that was visible. Dropping to my knees inches away from him, I continued to pound on his chest, and he let me. He didn’t move, didn’t try to get away, and didn’t even flinch. It was as if he knew he deserved every inch of the pain.”

This is another one of these stories with the guy who you know is “Bad” but you just can’t help falling in love with him and saying “So what? I love him anyway and I don’t care if I shouldn’t”. Marcus may do bad things, very bad things but I don’t think I would have been able to give him up. He’s sexy, gorgeous, smart and strong. He’s dangerous and yet you are able to see he has an extraordinary heart when it comes to those he loves, especially Mia.

“I’m scared.” I confessed. I was afraid— afraid if I caved in I would set myself up for failure. Letting out a deep breath, he pressed his forehead down to mine. With his eyes closed, he whispered, “That’s what love is … It’s scary not knowing what’s expected, but I know it’ll be the best frightening love we’ve ever had.”

As for Mia, I love that the author did not write her as the cliche. She was beautiful and smart and strong as well. She stood up to Marcus and when she needed to walk away she did. So many times I think to myself why doesn’t the MC just say “screw this!” and walk away. She should be stronger and not let this guy drag her down. Or the MC will seem too whiny or irritating. Not this time, I actually could relate to her behaviors and I liked her.

That pissed me the hell off. I took in a deep breath and blurted out everything without thinking twice. “Fuck you! You want to know who I am, Marcus. Well here it goes! I am temperamental, over-sensitive, and outspoken. I’m honest! I cry at stupid love movies, and I’m a sucker for a romantic novel. I don’t allow people to walk all over me, I have trust issues, and I have insecurities. I’ve slept with four men in my entire life! And the one thing I don’t do is take shit from men who try to act like they’re better than me as if they don’t have any hidden skeletons! I’m not keeping shit hidden, how ‘bout you? You can fuck off. I’ll find my own way home. Have a nice fucking life!”

This is a great start to a new series and I absolutely can not wait to read the next book. I want to know what happens to Marcus and Mia and I am hoping that we get to really see more of Marcus’ brother Jimmy as well as Mia’s best friend and roommate Jeremy.