Unspoken by Liz McMullen

I love books sent during college, or at a college. I love all things academia! This probably because for me that time was so filled with great times and great friends. To be quite honest I was lucky to get out of there with a degree, I had so much of a good time. So when this theme in a book I will almost always jump at the chance to read it.

Desiree Chevalier is a French American that is going to school at Mount Holyoke College, an all-women’s liberal art school in Massachusetts. Desiree is there on a demanding academic scholarship. She works two jobs and is dedicated to her studies as a history major. Desiree comes from money, her mother is a very successful corporate raider, but she is controlling and downright mean. Desiree is using college as her chance to break her mother’s hold on her life. She takes no money from her family, and barely takes the time to answer her mother’s phone calls. She has zero time in her life for any distractions, especially love.

Rowan Knight is working her way through college. She takes every job she can get to help her pay the tuition of a private college. She works as handy-woman, fixing anything that she can to make an honest buck. She also has a terrible crush on another history major. Yep you guessed it Desiree Chevalier.

So to me, the premise of this book held a lot or promise. And for the first few chapters I was really intrigued on how this novel would play out. Then other characters began to show up and the book got kind of confusing. Everyone was an Irish butch, super-hot, with great hair. Who was who, became a downright mystery.  The thing about it was none of these new sub-characters were even needed in the story. You had just a bunch of descriptions on people that had no real place in the story. Fine, I can move past that no problem. What threw me was when a character completely changes her tune in an instance. You cannot go from the ice princess, which Desiree was totally set up to be, to sappy in love in an instant. She went from being cold and standoffish to Rowan, to being her girlfriend in literally a chapter. My head spun! It was unfathomable. Then later in the book the same thing happens with her mother, no not falling in love with Rowan, but becoming nice and understanding. WHAT?  It just did not make sense! The story had potential. It just didn’t follow through on what it was set up to be.

2 out of 5 stars

ARC provided by Netgalley & Sapphire Books in exchange for an honest review

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Love on Tap by Karis Walsh

I liked this book, I really did. There was something about it that pulled me in and held my attention. Karis Walsh is an expert in creating interesting characters that often have to face some type of adversity. I love that she gives them strength to persevere in spite of this.

Stacy “Tace” Lomond has a giant chip on her shoulder, Stacy had to become a parent early in life, her mother left her family and forced her to step up to the mother role for her two younger siblings. Gone were the dreams of studying at the collegiate level, she had to work to help her dad keep food on the table. Compound that with the fact that she lives in a quintessential college town, and has to face her “shortcomings” daily. She feels overwhelming unaccomplished because of her lack of a college degree. She has let this feeling rule her life, even though she has accomplished so much in her thirty-something years.

Dr. Berit Katsaros is world renowned archaeologist, (lots of degrees for this one). She is used to living out of a duffle bag in remote places all over the world. She lives for the dig. Berit recently had a life altering accident, when a sinkhole emerged on a dig site in Peru and subsequently caved in on her and another archaeologist. One year of taking it easy after back surgery is the diagnosis, and adjusting to life in a wheelchair. The archaeologist is forced from her adventurous life and settles on teaching at Whitman College for two semesters while in recovery. Enter her meeting & sharing a home with our anti-collegiate Tace Lomond.

My thoughts on this book are relatively straightforward. This is a nice easy romance between two interesting characters. Each character carries around some emotional baggage, but not enough to drag down the story and make need a box of tissues. I liked how these characters drew the best out of each other, and were able to recognize their faults. This is nice, easy, relaxing read.

3.75 stars out of 5

Love on Tap
by Karis Walsh
Link: http://amzn.com/B01ATVGJUE

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Whirlwind Romance by Kris Bryant

Tornadoes scare me to death. The city where I live literally had nine touch down in one day last month. Terrifying! So when Whirlwind Romance by Kris Bryant became available I was super intrigued. I want to read about tornadoes and romance, heck yes I do. So I did, all in one day.

The story is told through the first person perspective, through our main storm chaser & Oklahoma University college professor Tristan “Tris” Stark. Tris spends the majority of the spring and summer months chasing tornadoes across the plains with her BFF, Hunter and her dog, Maddox. So, basically Tris is a bad-ass, super smart, adventure junkie. I mean storm chasing is pretty darn cool, and if you live in tornado alley, you are very thankful for what these gals and guys do.

The other protagonist and romantic lead is Kate Brighten. Kate is a masters student at Oklahoma State (ugh oh rival schools) and is having her turn at storm chasing while on break from her studies. Kate is extremely quiet and very reserved. It takes chapters for Tris to pull even the most basic information from Miss Brighten. Tris on the other hand is an open book, overly talkative and guess what, she is instantly smitten with the beautiful, mysterious Kate. Literally, Kate is described as beautiful time and time again.

So tornadoes are chased, sexy time is made, accidents happen, information gets crossed, makeup sex and voilà we have a love connection that will last the span of time. I loved the premise of this book. I thought it was interesting and fun, and totally different from what is out there in this genre right now. Tornadoes, as scary as they can be, are also wildly fascinating. Incorporate that with romance and you have an interesting story. The problem that I had was Kate needed to be more than beautiful, it took forever to find out her story, and even then it was still pretty thin. Tris and Kate needed to have more dialogue between them in the first half of the book. I needed more than Kate is hot, to know why Tris would be interested and stay interested. Why was Kate interested in Tris? Less sex, more dialogue please!

Overall, this is a short book that is perfect if you need a few hours to escape. You probably will never re-read it but the time you spend with it will be exciting.

3 out of 5 stars

Whirlwind Romance
by Kris Bryant
Link: http://amzn.com/B01ATR903Q

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Stowe Away by Blythe Rippon

Stowe Away by Blythe Rippon was a pleasant surprise. I have never read anything by this author and going into this book I only had the basic premise of the story to go by. I found myself totally into this book, and fascinated by its characters.

So what’s the story about? Samantha “Sam: Latham is a college freshman at Yale and our main character. Yeah, Sam is super genius level smart and has a voracious appetite for learning. She has amazing skills in the science department and is headed to become a medical doctor with a strong desire to do research. Sam has school down, she reads and studies with vigor and college is a chance for her to really unleash her love for learning. This one is one of those college kids who does not freak out every time she had a test (totally unlike myself). What she does not have down is social skills. She is very limited on how to interact with friends and let’s just forget about any type of game with potential ladies.

Natalie is the polar opposite of Sam. She has not known her whole life what she wants to be when she grows up, and she has a “don’t tie me down” attitude about life. She goes through lovers, male and female, at a staggering pace. Natalie also changes majors at Yale at about the same rate. She makes no apologies for this. Natalie is going to have the full on college experience, whether her best friend, Sam likes it or not.
So why does Sam care? Well Sam falls head over heels in love with Natalie on the very early days at Yale, and spends the next 4 years pining away. She for the life at her doesn’t understand why Natalie does not see why they are perfect for each other. It’s actually at times hard to read. I wanted to grab Sam so many times and say “wake-up, she’s just not that into you”, I resorted to shaking my Kindle instead.

Now I’m about to spoil it, so if you are interested in this STOP.
The first part of the book fine, but what really saved it and made me really, really like the book was Maria. Once Sam goes home to Stowe to take care of Eva the book really hits its stride. Sam becomes more that Natalie’s eager beaver. She grew a backbone and has to begin acting like an adult rather that an overly smart petulant child. That romance that develops between Sam and Maria was sweet and endearing. It was what a good romance should be. I had both fingers crossed Sam wouldn’t screw it up by going ass end over Natalie again.

While Natalie totally screwed up by sleeping with Sam, I had to applaud her for knowing that in her heart their “love wasn’t enough. Sam for the life of her could not see that she was in the friend zone. Natalie, while at times an ass, knew that she wasn’t the one for Sam. She totally could have settled, but I thought it took courage to keep looking for her one and send Sam on her way even though it was going to hurt them both. Sam zeroed in on Natalie and until her life got thrown a giant curve ball, she wasn’t going to look for anything else.

You can read again!
I enjoyed that Blythe Rippon could create characters that you at times wanted to smack and other times you wanted to hug. I thought this was a well thought out book, and she gives you enough room to really get into the characters and understand their motivations. Solid book, interesting characters and I would definitely read another book by Ms. Rippon.

4.25 stars out of 5

  • Publisher: Ylva Publishing
  • ylvapublishing.co.uk
Stowe Away
by Blythe Rippon
Link: http://amzn.com/B01ATWTB58

Tricky Wisdom by Camryn Eyde

This is a wonderful, fun read. The characters are complicated and interesting. Olivia is a conundrum, in the most fascinating of ways.

So the story begins introducing us to Darcy. Darcy is a 23 year old college grad on her way to Harvard Medical School. Darcy is also in love with Taylor, her childhood best friend. She has subjected herself to never having a romantic relationship of any kind because of her pining for Taylor. Upon arrival at Harvard, Darcy meets her roommate, Olivia and surprise her new roommate is total nutcase.

Olivia is an interesting character. She makes this book really stand out. She is flawed on so many ways, but you can’t help but like her. She is prickly and sassy, and so challenging to figure out. You have to feel for Darcy having her as a roommate. She is challenging to say the least. Both of the main characters have issues they are working through. In Olivia’s past and Darcy’s inexperience with relationships.

The book really picks up steam and gets turned on its head when BFF Taylor gets a girlfriend back home in Minnesota. Taylor up until Darcy leaving for med school always dated men. Darcy is jealous and doesn’t understand why Taylor chooses to fall for a girl, especially a girl that is not her. So she tells Taylor a little white lie to save some face. What’s the lie you ask? Well that she is dating Olivia of course. Olivia is then cajoled into going along with Darcy’s charade.  I won’t tell you anymore because that would spoil this amazing story. PS, The first kiss is hot. Fire extinguisher please!

The story is well written, clear and concise. You enjoy the twist and turns of their path to true love. The ending is sweet and fits perfectly. Eyde does not rush through the ending. It is well formulated and will have you begging for more I can’t wait till the next book in 2016.

4.25 out of 5 stars

Tricky Wisdom: Year I (The Tricky Series Book 1)
by Camryn Eyde                                                                                                            http://amzn.com/B010VUPEUO