Book Review: Not Just Friends by Jay Northcote

20626492I mean seriously, based off the cover alone…they are clearly more than friends. Remember than one time in college when you and your best friend got drunk and decided to experiment? Well, that’s basically the plot of Not Just Friends. Luckily, Northcote added more to the story and I really enjoyed the journey of the MC’s (although it was primarily just sweet with little surprises). I was also a huge fan of Friends and there’s a big Ross and Rachel dynamic, so I think that’s also why I loved the book.

So we start off with Lewis arriving at his new college in Bristol (the story takes place in London btw) and he moves into his new flat. He meets three of his new roommates right away, Dean, Rob, and Andreas. Don’t worry, you don’t need to remember their names right now, although they are great additions to the story. Anyways, they’re all sitting around eating pizza and getting to know each other and they are all fairly nice guys. Lewis is pretty excited that they are all hitting it off because it’s his first time away from home and he left behind his best mate (remember, London) Paul and his now ex-girlfriend. He is single and ready to mingle.

2 hours later because his mom’s car broke down, the 5th flatmate, Max arrives. There is something about Max that Lewis is immediately drawn to. Is it his slender frame? Dyed blonde hair? Earrings? His beautiful pale green eyes? His arse? No…it must be friendship! Well, it turns out, Max is gay, totally out and proud. Then maybe it isn’t friendship Lewis feeling…

The more time they spend together, the more Lewis finds himself attracted to Max. This makes him question everything! Like his relationship with Paul, and his relationship with his ex. To try and diffuse his feelings for Max, Lewis starts talking to one of the girls in his class, Amanda. They decide to have study sessions together and let it go from there. At the same time, Max is hooking up with someone from the LGBT group, Bruno.

Lewis is of course jealous of Max’s new relationship and after a horrible date with Amanda, he admits that he might be gay. He also confesses his feeling towards Max. Amanda is super supportive, and gives him advice while staying a good friend. As luck would have it, Max and Bruno break up because Bruno misunderstood what exclusive meant. So Lewis finds himself comforting Max and thanks to a few drinks, one thing lead to another and badda bing badda boom!

Now what? Do they forget that ever happened? Do they stay just friends? So, like I said, there are no surprises…picture Lewis now as Ross and Max as Rachel. Will they? Won’t they? Were they on a break? So many questions that need answered! If you need some angst-light reading, then this book is for you. Especially if you loved the Ross/Rachel tension in Friends. Sorry, Friends is very popular here in Brazil, and I just watched like a mini marathon of it, so it’s fresh on my mind.

When I was at sixth form college, I used to play for blowjobs with one of my mates, but I’m assuming you’re not down for that.

5/5 stars

~Eddie

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Dirty Little Secrets by LIliana Hart

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I recently met Liliana and was a shamed to say that I had never read any of her books but I soon rectified that and read Dirty Little Secrets.

Jaye Graves, an ER doctor, has recently returned home to Bloody Mary Virginia following the death of her parents in a suspicious car accident. Not much happens in Bloody Mary except for gossip and games of poker and as she settles into the family mortuary business when a friend of hers is found murdered. Jack Lawson, the town sheriff and best friend of Jaye, is on scene and suspects the husband of the murdered woman, as it was common knowledge that he was an abusive spouse.

A famous writer shows up just after the murder to do some research for a new book and he shadows Jaye in order to gain information about violent deaths. While Jaye eventually lets him follow her around and the two strike up a romance.

More murders take place and each of the dead have secrets that are coming to the surface. Fingers get pointed and tempers flair as each body is found.

Wild theories about who the murderer is float around, frenzied gossip abounds in the small town and each person has their own ideas of what could be going on.

To be honest I can usually suss out who the killer is but this book kept me guessing right until the end and even then! This is a twisty, windy book in that way. It also struck the right balance of romance and mystery. I am glad to have met Liliana and have found a new author to enjoy reading and can’t wait to start the other two books in this series!

 

5/5 stars

Crash

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Book Review: Mud Vein by Tarryn Fisher

18246727 Some books get lots of hype. I try to avoid those books usually but I’m weak, I can’t help it! Especially when those books are hyped by a lot of people I follow. Mud Vein is a book that got a lot of hype about how great the book was, so I decided I had to check it out.

The book seemed to me to be separated into 3 sections – the first of which is that novelist Senna Richards wakes up, locked in a house, in the middle of nowhere. With her is an old friend, Isaac. They have no idea where they are or why they are there. The house is well stocked with food and clothing in their correct sizes but that’s about it. They linger there trying to figure out what’s going on but get nowhere and soon weeks and months pass by. There are many parts of this section that is kind of a mind f*ck.

The second section is a flashback of how Senna and Isaac know each other. Technically they aren’t really friends – they used to be something but not friends per se. Senna was raped a few years before the kidnapping took place and Isaac was the one who came along right after it took place and brought her to the hospital. Senna is also diagnosed with breast cancer almost immediately after and Isaac happens to be an oncological surgeon. She asks him to be her surgeon and he ends up becoming more and pretty much is her life line that entire year or so even though she tries to push him away the entire time.

The third section attempts to bring the first two sections together. Which seemed to be a pretty insurmountable task to me because the first two sections had such a huge disconnect to each other. I really enjoy a good psychological thriller and that’s what I was thinking I was getting going into this and even still when I was in the midst of the first section. But I found nothing all that thrilling about the book. I was vaguely wondering why Senna and Isaac were kidnapped but that was completely squashed by section 2. I thought that the second section would give us character development and insight into the two victims of this crime and their actions while in this bizarre house. But if anything, all the second section did was make me dislike the characters more and more and not care what happened to them.

The clincher of the book is the bizarre ending. I do not understand what that mess of an ending was about. It didn’t make sense to me and I felt like it was jumbled up – as if there were pieces from 3 different books.

Maybe I fell for all of the hype that this book got, I’m guessing that’s partly true. But overall I was just really not a fan of this one.

2 Stars

~Melinda

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Then and Always by Dani Atkins

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Rachel and her friends are celebrating one last time together before they all go their separate ways off to university when a tragic accident happens shattering Rachel’s life forever.

5 years later she goes back to her hometown to attend her best friends wedding when tragedy strikes her again in a freak accident leaving her wondering what is going on and what has happen to her. Life seems to be giving her a second chance at things and to find the happiness she deserves.

I want to say more but to do so would give away a bit too much away plot wise. I read this book in a day and a half and wanted to know what happens and it kept me guessing for about ¾ of the book before I sorta figured things out. There is a lot of emotion in this book, a lot of pain but eventually happiness. I wasn’t sure at first where this book was going as it was a bit of a rollercoaster of events and twists that keep you hooked and wanting to keep reading.

If you liked the movie Sliding Doors then this is the book for you.

ARC provided by Netgalley

5/5 stars

Crash

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Book Review: This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper

6224935 I found this book on one of those lists of “Books you need to Read before the Film”. It looked vaguely interesting so I got on the holds list at the library and waited. The plot seemed semi-interesting, although complicated – Judd Foxman’s father just died and he is heading home to sit shiva with his 2 brothers and sister. Meanwhile, he’s also dealing with his ex-wife who cheated on him with his boss and just announced that she’s pregnant.

Unsurprisingly, as the 7 days of shiva passes, the drama gets higher and higher between all of the players. The siblings are all coupled up and bring their own issues, both past and current. Judd in particular is trying to deal with his life pretty much falling apart around him.

I just didn’t like most of this book. Almost every character in it seemed to fit into a nice little Hollywood box – as if the author was writing it specifically to get it optioned for a film. One of Judd’s sisters-in-law is so desperate to get pregnant that she literally decided to jump Judd at one point because his sperm is “interchangeable” with his brothers. He has a kooky mother who is very in touch with emotions, a stressed out sister whose husband is too into his job – they all fit into nice little boxes. Everyone seems to reveal their true emotions at just the right moment in a nice and neat (yet kind of messy) way.

There was also extensive descriptions that were all looking down the author’s nose at people. How dare people be old and have wrinkles, or be overweight? I thought at first this was just me grabbing at certain things but no this was repetitive and unnecessary for the story.

This is one book that I should have skipped and went straight to the movie. Justin Bateman, Tina Fey and Dax Shephard – all of whom I love star in it so I’ll give it a chance and see if they can inject some heart into it because the book was severely lacking in that area.

2 Stars

~Melinda

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Cover Reveal: Tied by Emma Chase

imageIsn’t the cover gorgeous? I can’t wait to read this book, which will be released on Oct. 7, 2014. ~Vi

SUMMARY
In the fourth sexy romance by the New York Times bestselling author of Tangled

and Twisted, Drew and Kate can’t wait to tie the knot—if they can survive the pre-
wedding festivities.

For most of my life, I never imagined I’d get married. But Kate did the impossible: she changed me. I think we can all agree I was pretty frigging awesome before, but now I’m even better.

The road to this day wasn’t all rainbows and boners. There were mistakes and
misunderstandings worthy of a Greek tragedy. But Kate and I made it through with our inexhaustible lust, boundless admiration, and everlasting love for one another intact.

That being said, there were some unexpected incidents in Vegas last weekend that could have been a problem. It was kind of…my final test.

I know what you’re thinking—what the hell did you do this time? Relax. Let’s not judge, or call for my castration, until you’ve heard the whole story.

And hold on tight, because you’re in for a wild ride. Did you expect anything less?

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Book Review: The Unwanted by Jeffrey Ricker

5199022I really enjoyed The Unwanted, it was basically the gayified version of Percy Jackson. Despite some major clichés that occur, I found myself engrossed in the story; but then again, I’m a sucker for mythology. This is an unusually short review for me, but I didn’t want to have to write “SPOILER ALERT” over and over. If you want to know more about the story, you’re going to just have to read it.

The story starts off with Jamie, a skinny, short, gay sixteen year old. He is the only out kid in his high school, is constantly being bullied. His main bully is Billy, the school jock, who torments him every chance he gets. But today, Billy steps up his game and punches Jamie in the face. So Jamie leaves the school without permission and heads home. Waiting for him when he gets home is his mom, which is a surprise considering she’s supposed to be dead. Oh and there’s also a winged horse in the backyard.

Well it turns out that his dad had lied to him and his mom was never dead, she’s just an Amazon. Yes, Amazon, as in the mythological warrior women. His mom explains, that since he was born a boy, he had been left with his dad to raise. But now she has returned because there’s a crisis at hand and a prophecy says Jamie might be the only one that can save her people.

So, Jamie and his best friend Sarah band together with Billy to help his mother. Why Billy, you ask. Well, this is m m romance and foes becoming lovers should have been a given. Will they be able to save an ancient race? You might have doubts, but don’t worry, our little Jamie does acquire some skills and becomes a semi-good fighter. He didn’t just leave everything to his brute, Billy.

Considering the story is about the Amazons, you’d expect the action of the story to be the primary focus, especially with things like spiteful gods and prophecies. But the story is pretty low-key. It still moves along though, Jamie had a great narrative and a wonderful sense of humor. We all know how much I love a wicked sense of humor. Plus, it was obvious the story was just building towards something epic. And luckily, Ricker didn’t disappoint! I was struggling on who to trust through the book, and Ricker hit me with some major reveals at the end that I didn’t see coming.

Like I said, there weren’t a whole lot of epic fights, but that didn’t bother me. I liked the book regardless. And even with the “chosen one to save” prophecy that I’m familiar with (I read comic books), I found The Unwanted delightful. Somehow, the clichés just worked for me in this one. Plus the ending was perfectly bittersweet. I hate not giving you all more, but

Like putting handcuffs on an Amazon.

5/5 stars

~Eddie

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