Review: Nine Million Minutes by Leigh Ann Lane

27974959Title: Nine Million Minutes

Author: Leigh Ann Lane

Publication Date: November 11, 2015

Publisher: CreateSpace

Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult

Goodreads Synopsis:

Twenty-six years is long enough to be a wallflower. Armed with a new auburn hair color and a lime green Jeep that screams “look at me,” Kricket Taylor steps outside her shy comfort zone.

Jay Hunter has a successful career as a speaker, capturing audiences by rolling up his sleeve and baring a jagged scar that signifies the biggest mistake of his life…making a promise he couldn’t keep.

With a coast-to-coast supply of willing and beautiful conference attendees, he has no desire for a relationship. But an encounter with a shy redhead triggers something deep. Now, the only way to make up for his long ago broken promise is to protect her from himself.

Nine Million Minutes, a contemporary romance novel, will resonate with anyone who has picked themselves up, brushed off the dirt, and awkwardly stumbled towards a new beginning.


3.5 / 5 Stars


Nine Million Minutes is a complex story about two people fighting their attraction to each other due to a combined pasts that still haunt them.

At sixteen, Jayson saw himself as the older brother and protector of his eight-year-old neighbor, Krissy. When the unspeakable happens, Krissy is torn away from Jay and their neighborhood. Jay feels it’s his fault because he didn’t do enough to protect her. Being so young, Krissy has no memory of that horrible night.

Flash forward seventeen years. Kricket (aka Krissy) returns to her Oklahoma hometown and meets gorgeous Jay(son) at Starbucks. Neither realize they know each other. When something brings their connection to light, they realize they can’t act on their attraction to each other — no matter how much they want each other.

Nine Million Minutes is a hard book for me to rate. It was fast-paced and kept my attention the entire time. I was invested in the story and loved the push-pull thing Jay and Kricket had going on. I enjoyed the slow-burn of their romance. It was a really great book on it’s way to a five star review– until it got to almost the end. That’s when things started to unravel for me.

Remember that slow-burn romance I just mentioned? Well, once they decided to act on their attraction, the slow-burn turned into steaming hot. It felt like the last couple chapters of the book were all sex. I have no problem with sex in books, but it felt out of place for the characters to get it on that much in one night. Or maybe it was just the way Jay bragged about it to his family. (Do his mom and dad really want hear about that?!?)

Then, there was the epilogue. Instead of wrapping things up nicely, it added unnecessarily to the story. I honestly didn’t see the point of it.

My biggest problem with Nine Million Minutes, thoughwas Jay’s secret. I couldn’t stand Tara’s part in it all. There had to be a better, less disgusting reason for Jay to keep them apart. Although, I do have to admit I loved the resolution to the issue.

Oh, and I almost forgot! I love the meaning behind the title of the book!

New Adult readers who enjoy complicated love stories filled with angst and secrets will enjoy Nine Million Minutes.

 

 

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Review: The Year We Fell Apart by Emily Martin

22449806Title: The Year We Fell Apart

Author: Emily Martin

Publication Date: January 26, 2016

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance

Goodreads Synopsis:

In the tradition of Sarah Dessen, this powerful debut novel is a compelling portrait of a young girl coping with her mother’s cancer as she figures out how to learn from—and fix—her past.

Few things come as naturally to Harper as epic mistakes. In the past year she was kicked off the swim team, earned a reputation as Carson High’s easiest hook-up, and officially became the black sheep of her family. But her worst mistake was destroying her relationship with her best friend, Declan.

Now, after two semesters of silence, Declan is home from boarding school for the summer. Everything about him is different—he’s taller, stronger…more handsome. Harper has changed, too, especially in the wake of her mom’s cancer diagnosis.

While Declan wants nothing to do with Harper, he’s still Declan, her Declan, and the only person she wants to talk to about what’s really going on. But he’s also the one person she’s lost the right to seek comfort from.

As their mutual friends and shared histories draw them together again, Harper and Declan must decide which parts of their past are still salvageable, and which parts they’ll have to let go of once and for all.

In this honest and affecting tale of friendship and first love, Emily Martin brings to vivid life the trials and struggles of high school and the ability to learn from past mistakes over the course of one steamy North Carolina summer.


4.5 / 5 Stars


The Year We Fell Apart is a coming of age romance about a soon-to-be high school senior, Harper Sloan. Harper earned a bad reputation last year after an encounter in the school pool. Her actions got her kicked off the swim team. The past year has been tough and it looks like this summer will be no different. Her mom has been diagnosed with breast cancer and her best friend turned boyfriend turned ex-boyfriend, Declan, is back from boarding school.

Harper knows her relationship with Declan is over, but she can’t help the feelings she has when he’s around. She wants nothing more than to repair their relationship, but Declan obviously wants nothing to do with her. So Harper does what she’s done best this past year, she lets the rumors surrounding her define her.

The Year We Fell Apart broke my heart over and over again. It did it slowly, throughout the entire book. Each major revelation crushed me and made me see each character in a different light. They were constantly evolving, as were their relationships with each other.

Harper was a tough character to like. Honestly, I wanted to give her a good shake! The way she let her bad reputation define her and how she used it to cope with life was frustrating. I hated how she became what her harassers said about her. Her way of coping hurt her more than it helped her, and it was painful to read. I wanted her to dig herself out of the hole she was creating, but she had no desire to do so.

Harper’s relationship with Declan and it’s demise was sad and, at times, mysterious. She obviously blamed herself, but as the story unfolded I could see that Declan wasn’t as perfect as Harper made him out to be. The back and forth of their friendship/relationship during the summer made things harder for her. Like many teenage girls, she was basing her life and her self-confidence around a boy.

What really broke my heart, though, was the last fourth of the book. Even after she began to work through her problems with Declan, she continued to put herself in bad situations. And when she finally stood up for herself, it was kind of too late. Her actions exploded in her face. It was really sad because truly wasn’t a horrible person.

Here’s the thing about The Year We Fell Apart, though. No matter how frustrated with Harper I was, I couldn’t put the book down. I loved it. It was so beautifully written and filled with emotion. Even when I hated a character, I loved them. I wanted to see them overcome their problems and be happy.

I can’t believe this is Emily Martin’s debut novel. I’m incredibly excited to see what comes next. (I would love a follow up to The Year We Fell Apart or a second book about Chris.)

 

Review: Living with Regret by Lisa De Jong

18808092Living with Regret (Rains #3)

Author: Lisa De Jong

Publication Date: October 7, 2014

Publisher: Lisa De Jong

Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance

Goodreads Synopsis:

I had my whole life mapped out. Perfect guy. Perfect friends. Everything was exactly the way I wanted it.

That was until that night–the one I can’t remember. It’s all my fault, and now the memories are all I have left of him. Of us.

My guilt drowns me until Sam Shea steps back into my life and helps me to the surface. He slowly opens my heart and crawls deep inside before I even realize what’s happening. I know I don’t deserve him.

While I’m trying to get used to my new life, pieces of that night slowly start to come back to me. Lies and secrets shatter everything I thought I knew.

Maybe I’m not the only one living with regret.


5 / 5 Stars


Living with Regret is the third book in the Rains series. It can be read as a standalone novel, but there are some cute nods to the first two books in the series. It’s Rachel’s story.

In Living with Regret, Rachel is doing just that. In one night, her perfect future was shattered. She’s lost her boyfriend and her closest friends. Rachel can’t remember how it all happened, but she knows her life will never be the same.

While she’s trying to come to terms with the heartache life has dealt her, one person shows up to help her through the pain. Sam. He was her neighbor, the childhood friend she could always count on when she needed to escape. She hasn’t spoken to him much since she was fifteen and started dating Cory, but knowing he’s here to support her is what’s getting her through the day.

As Rachel begins to get stronger, memories begin to surface. The more she remembers, the more she realizes she might not be the only one responsible for what happened the night her life changed forever.

After meeting Rachel in After the Rain, I wasn’t sure what I thought of her. She seemed like the beautiful girl that let her boyfriend walk all over her. I wondered who she really was. In Living with Regret, I saw the strength that she had.

Rachel was dealing with so much in this book. She was completely devastated and I felt so bad for her. She had no clue how her life had taken such a drastic turn and blamed herself. I loved how Sam helped her through it all and was her support system. The “bad boy” wasn’t bad at all. He was so sweet.

I loved the way Rachel was in the dark almost the entire time — even if I could guess most of what happened. I liked finding out bits and pieces as I went along. I also loved the little gems Lisa De Jong sprinkled in from When it Rains.

The best part of the book was the message, though. Living with Regret was about accepting responsibility and learning to forgive yourself and others. Those are two very important things to learn while you’re growing up and maturing.

Review: F*ck Love by Tarryn Fisher

25828204F*uck Love

Author: Tarryn Fisher

Publication Date: December 31, 2015

Publisher: Tarryn Fisher

Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance

Goodreads Synopsis:

Helena Conway has fallen in love.
Unwillingly. Unwittingly.
But not unprovoked.
Kit Isley is everything she’s not—unstructured, untethered, and not even a little bit careful.
It could all be so beautiful … if he wasn’t dating her best friend.
Helena must defy her heart, do the right thing, and think of others.
Until she doesn’t.


5 / 5 Stars


I know what you’re thinking. Why would you want to read yet another contemporary romance about a love triangle? It’s a trope you’re so tired of reading. It’s been overdone.

The answer is simple:

Tarryn Fisher wrote it. 

Since Tarryn Fisher wrote it, you can be guaranteed it’s not your average love triangle. It’s far from it.

F*uck Love is witty and funny. It’s painful and awkward. It’s strange and surprisingly touching. It fills you with hope and then rips your heart out before you can turn the page. The writing is phenomenal. The story is addictive. You’ll be quoting it long after you’ve finished reading it.

If that’s not enough praise, the setting of Port Townsand, WA is magically beautiful. The little tidbits about Washington are fun and true. (Well, at least for a fellow Washingtonian!) The characters are raw and incredibly complex.

Honestly, I could go on and on about F*ck Love. Just take my advice and read it yourself.

 

Before the Blog: Little Bee by Chris Cleave

pablo

Before the Blog is a weekly blog meme hosted by Karis Jacobstein over @ YA Litwit. It’s an opportunity to showcase books a blogger read and loved prior to starting their blog .  I love this idea because there are so many amazing books I haven’t reviewed on A Novel Glimpse because I read them a long time ago. The only rules to this meme are to answer the following questions about the book chosen to review:

  • Why did you choose this book? 
  • When did you read this book? 
  • Who would you recommend this book to? 

Little Bee by Chris Cleave

Publication Date: January 1, 2008

Publisher: Simon & Schuster 

Goodreads Synopsis:

Little Bee, a young Nigerian refugee, has just been released from the British immigration detention center where she has been held under horrific conditions for the past two years, after narrowly escaping a traumatic fate in her homeland of Nigeria. Alone in a foreign country, without a family member, friend, or pound to call her own, she seeks out the only English person she knows. Sarah is a posh young mother and magazine editor with whom Little Bee shares a dark and tumultuous past.

They first met on a beach in Nigeria, where Sarah was vacationing with her husband, Andrew, in an effort to save their marriage after an affair, and their brief encounter has haunted each woman for two years. Now together, they face a disturbing past and an uncertain future with the help of Sarah’s four-year-old son, Charlie, who refuses to take off his Batman costume. A sense of humor and an unflinching moral compass allow each woman, and the reader, to believe that even in the face of unspeakable odds, humanity can prevail.


My rating: 5 out of 5 stars


Why did you choose this book? 

I remember the back of the cover saying the less you knew about the story the better. It was true. The way the story unfolded was very different and cool at the time I read it. I also remember describing it to my mom and she told me it sounded horrible. It wasn’t, though.

 When did you read this book? 

2008 or 2009, I think. It was BGR (before I was on Goodreads).

Who would you recommend this book to?

Adult readers that enjoy a darker story.

Review: A Winter Wedding by Brenda Novak

A Winter Wedding (Whiskey Creek #9) by Brenda Novak

Publication Date: October 27, 2015

Publisher: Mira

Synopsis:

Kyle Houseman has given up on love. He’s already married and divorced the wrong woman once. He also knows he’ll never find anyone that compares to his ex-girlfriend, Olivia. Kyle knows it’s his fault they didn’t end up together, but the fact that she married his step-brother is still raw. It makes family dinner tons of fun.

Country music sensation Lourdes Bennett came to Whiskey Creek to escape the spotlight and work on her new album. She was supposed to be spending the Christmas holiday squirreled away in Whiskey Creek with her fiance Derrick. Instead, she’s here alone dealing with the possibility that Derrick might not be as loyal to her as she thought.

When Lourdes can’t get her rental’s furnace to work, she calls her landlord, Kyle. As Lourdes and Kyle begin to get to know each other and become friends, they both notice a spark. But will Lourdes be willing to give up Nashville for a quieter kind of life in Whiskey Creek?


My rating: 5 out of 5 stars


Whiskey Creek is one of my favorite contemporary romance series. I love the group of friends Brenda Novak has created the series around. I’m always curious to find out which friend is the next to fall in love and who it will be with.

I was excited when I learned we were finally getting Kyle’s story in A Winter Wedding. I’ve been waiting to see inside his head ever since I read Olivia and Brandon’s story in When We Touch. Since Kyle’s been (not so secretly) in love with Olivia the entire series, I wondered what kind of woman would be able to capture his attention.

Brenda Novak couldn’t have created a better character than Lourdes to win Kyle’s heart. She was strong and independent — everything Kyle needed in a woman after dealing with his ex Noelle. I loved the connection they had and how protective of Lourdes Kyle was.

Since I mentioned Noelle, I have to say I absolutely loved her part in this story. It was fun to get a glimpse into her head and see what she’s been thinking the entire time she’s been pining after the ex-husband who is in love with her sister.

Kyle’s story was everything I was hoping it would be. A Winter Wedding was the perfect Christmas-time contemporary romance  read. It was fun, fast-paced and included all of the Whiskey Creek characters I’ve grown to love. If you love contemporary romance series, I would highly recommend the Whiskey Creek series and A Winter Wedding.

Other books in this series:

        

Before the Blog: This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper

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Before the Blog is a weekly blog meme hosted by Karis Jacobstein over @ YA Litwit. It’s an opportunity to showcase books a blogger read and loved prior to starting their blog .  I love this idea because there are so many amazing books I haven’t reviewed on A Novel Glimpse because I read them a long time ago. The only rules to this meme are to answer the following questions about the book chosen to review:

  • Why did you choose this book? 
  • When did you read this book? 
  • Who would you recommend this book to? 

This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper

Publication Date: August 6, 2009

Publisher: Orion

Goodreads Synopsis:

The death of Judd Foxman’s father marks the first time that the entire Foxman family—including Judd’s mother, brothers, and sister—have been together in years. Conspicuously absent: Judd’s wife, Jen, whose fourteen-month affair with Judd’s radio-shock-jock boss has recently become painfully public.

Simultaneously mourning the death of his father and the demise of his marriage, Judd joins the rest of the Foxmans as they reluctantly submit to their patriarch’s dying request: to spend the seven days following the funeral together. In the same house. Like a family.

As the week quickly spins out of control, longstanding grudges resurface, secrets are revealed, and old passions reawakened. For Judd, it’s a weeklong attempt to make sense of the mess his life has become while trying in vain not to get sucked into the regressive battles of his madly dysfunctional family. All of which would be hard enough without the bomb Jen dropped the day Judd’s father died: She’s pregnant.

This Is Where I Leave You is Jonathan Tropper’s most accomplished work to date, a riotously funny, emotionally raw novel about love, marriage, divorce, family, and the ties that bind—whether we like it or not.


My rating: 5 out of 5 stars


Why did you choose this book? 

I remember thinking it was pretty hilarious when I read it. I thought they did a pretty good job on the movie version released last year, but (of course) the book was better.

 When did you read this book? 

2009 or 2010. I’m not sure exactly. I picked it up at Borders Books when it was on the new(er) releases shelf.

Who would you recommend this book to?

Adults that enjoy a good, comical book.