Sunday, March 27, 2016

Book Review: Protecting Her (Teaching Her Book 1) by Georgette Gray

He's more dangerous than she thought.

Violet thought a week or two of embarrassment would be the worst outcome of being dared to hit on Mr. Brennan.

Instead, she got threatening notes and attacked in her back garden.

Mr. Brennan is neck-deep in his problems, and Violet finds herself right in the middle of them. He tries to protect her, but being pushed together ignites a burning tension that only lands them in even hotter water.

As the stakes sky-rocket, Violet and Mr. Brennan are forced to make tough choices one after the other. Can they make it through, or will the pressure tear them apart? 

I love a good romance novel. This genre has been my thing lately and I've read my fair share. If there is one thing that I've discovered it's that I should probably stay away from authors that are British. Weird thing to say, right? I've read tons of books by authors from different countries than the United States. But the problem that you get into is basically a translation issue. Hey, they speak English in the UK and you wouldn't think that there is much difference but there is. And it's not just words or phrases that are different, sometimes it's the way that the sentence is structured with a few extra (or less) words than we would use here in America. There's nothing wrong with that at all ... but a lot of the story can get lost within all of those differences.

There were quite a few typos and I didn't remove a star from my rating for this because I wasn't totally for sure if what I thought was a problem was actually normal within the slightly different version of English that the UK speaks. It is something worth nothing though because all American readers will notice these typos. Some of the typos were spelling, some were where extra words were randomly placed within sentences, almost as if someone cut and pasted and then plugged it into the wrong spot and never corrected it. Kinda like 3/4 of the way through the book, there is a part that says: ************* Write this part later. Really? That needs to be removed. It just doesn't look professional but it also shows that a great editor is worth their weight in gold.

There was also an issue with Mr. Brennan's brother ... he was referred to as Jack, Jed and Jake at three different times within the book. The name Jake was used the most, so I'm assuming that the other names were typos? Maybe Jack, Jed and Jake are all the same name in the UK? Like how Dick, Rich and Rick are the shortened version of Richard? I have no clue. But if you do pick this book up, I'm 89% sure that Jed, Jack and Jake are the same person. Make that 83% sure. 

The bulk of the story was okay ... I liked getting to know Oscar, Violet and her friends. Although, I did find that when Violet was trying to act grownup that she actually came across as more immature and that didn't do any favors for the plot because it slowed things down with temper tantrums and the resulting aftermath of those fits. The student/teacher romance dynamic was interesting. I've read a few student/teacher books that I really enjoyed and I think that I would have enjoyed this one just a little bit more if I was British. That sounds weird, I know. But there is a different pace to books written by British authors. It's just like those old British comedies that I used to watch as a kid. I loved those damn things but a lot of people that just didn't get it ... the humor is a bit more dry and anyway ... I just don't think that I was the right demographic for this one. 

The story chugged along at a nice clip and kept me interested and believe me ... if it hadn't, I would have just put the book down. But even with the typos and the lost in translation moments, I still enjoyed the journey that Oscar and Violet were on and the sometimes dire circumstances that they had to pull themselves out of. 

I think that I might pick up another book by Gray in the future. I will just need to either have the author on speed-dial for some translations (what the hell are crisps ... ) or make friends with someone that has spent a lot of time across the pond.

**UPDATE** I received a message from the author, Ms. Georgette Gray, stating that I had accidentally received an older version of this book. She accidentally sent me a version that had not gone through the full editing phase of her writing. I know that at least the "WRITE THIS PART LATER" portion has been fixed (since she told me) but since I've not seen the rest of the finished copy, I can't say what else has been changed.

* I received this novel in exchange for an honest review *

Available Now

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Book Review: Forgetting August (Lost & Found #1) by J.L. Berg

She can forgive, but can she forget?
Some days, Everly still thinks she sees him. In the food court at the mall, or in a car speeding past as the light changes. It only lasts a second, but when it happens, she slips back to a time when she was ruled-and nearly ruined-by August Kincaid. And it doesn't matter that she's moved on, that she's about to marry another man. In those moments the only thing she can do to regain control is take a deep breath and remind herself that August can't hurt her-because he's in a coma. Except that he's not anymore.

August is awake. With no memories, he sets out to solve the mystery of his lost life. He unearths a photograph of a beautiful redhead named Everly and knows instinctively that she's the key. But when he finds her, the August she describes is more monster than man.

Tortured by the thought of having hurt her, August wants only to become the man Everly deserves. As the new August emerges, Everly glimpses the person she first fell in love with. But can she trust that this August is real? When the final secret of their shared past is revealed, one of them will make a choice that changes their future forever . . .


Oh, how I wanted to love this book. I thought that the blurb sounded like an amazing idea for a book and I couldn't wait to dive into the story. Quite a few friends on Goodreads really enjoyed this one and I was excited to enjoy the ride. But that ride never really came for me. 

I think that my first problem with the book was the characters. Or character, actually. My issue was with Everly. I understood the confusion and anger that consumed her life. I didn't really get how she could be so very angry and then the next second, totally forgiving. This anger had consumed her life for more than two years. That's a long time to just be able to smile and laugh with the man who perpetuated that anger. The author made it very clear that Everly was conflicted, which is understandable. It just seemed too easy for her to gloss over that sometimes. It made Everly not seem consistent. 

But maybe that is what made the story amazing for some people ... that deep-rooted conflict within Everly ... the fight between good and evil and never really having a sure footing on either side. That back and forth was just a little much for me after a certain point. There is only so much that a person can take with the 'I love you/I don't love you' back and forth. It seemed almost cruel, what Everly was doing to the two men in her life. I grew tired of reading about her flip-flopping. I just wanted her to make a decision. 

I can't think of another word or phrase for how the book as a whole made me feel except one phrase that sounds super shitty and condescending ... long winded. There were just a lot of parts that were dragged out and I think that it was at a disservice to the plot when it happened throughout the entire book. I found myself just skimming paragraphs because I just wanted to know what was going to happen next. After the first half of the book, I grew tired of reading what each character was thinking and feeling. Just spit it out and move on, people! When the suspense should have been at an all-time high within the plot, the story grew so lethargic that it just completely negates any suspenseful scene that you may be immersed in. 

I wanted to love this one. Unfortunately, we just didn't mesh. I think that I may pass on this author in the future. If the story was slimmed down a bit and the weird love triangle was not quite as intense, it may have been a good fit with me. Others have enjoyed Forgetting August, so don't take my word for it. Give it a shot and let me know what you think!

* I received this novel in exchange for an honest review *

Available Now

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Book Review: Best Friends With The Billionaire by Coleen Kwan

Cassie Cooper has never been the kind of girl noticed for her looks. But around billionaire Kirk Rochester, her best friend from college, Cassie wishes she could turn just one head—his. So when Kirk asks her to be his pretend girlfriend to thwart another woman's unwanted advances, Cassie embraces the opportunity to prove to him that she does have a feminine side.

Disillusioned by a rough marriage that had an even rougher end, Kirk values friendship more than romance. He’s always had a good thing going with Cassie. But he can’t ignore how sexy she is now playing the role of his girlfriend, and soon he’s fighting a dangerous attraction to her. Even though their time between the sheets is scorching hot, he refuses to take it beyond “friends with benefits.” He’s learned the hard way that loving someone is the first step to destroying his heart, and he won’t risk losing the best person in his life by falling in love with her.

This is my first book by Coleen Kwan. I was pretty excited to get my hands on Best Friends with the Billionaire because the whole billionaire-romance sub-genre has been growing on me. This one was okay ... it didn't knock it out of the park for me but it wasn't the worst thing I've ever read.

From the very first page, Cassie was NOT my favorite leading lady. Unfortunately, the book ended and I was left with the same feelings. This girl may have a tiny shred of tenacity but she was a damn doormat, no matter how you look at it. Her character just rubbed me the wrong way, actually. Cassie is written as this super tall woman whom no one really notices because she's a tomboy. Nothing wrong with being a tomboy! But there is something wrong with the book reading as if this character deserved to be invisible BECAUSE she's a tomboy and 6-foot tall. What? The book never said this outright but it was the feeling that I repeatedly got while reading this book. Cassie also behaved like a victim at times also. Something that seemed out of the blue but on the same note, it seemed right up her character's alley since she let people (everyone she knows) walk all over her. 

Kirk was an okay character. He was nothing to write home about. Actually, before I wrote this review, I had to thumb through the book again to get a handle on who he was. Coming from someone who reviews books a lot ... that's not a good thing. My worst nightmare when reading a book is to have characters that are not memorable. I want characters to haunt my thoughts hours and days after I read them. I want to put the book down and immediately call my best friend to tell her about this amazing book and the awesome characters. That just didn't happen this time. 

The meat of the book wasn't too bad. I enjoyed chemistry between the two characters that I didn't care for. At least there was chemistry and at least the story between Kirk and Cassie was entertaining. I was always excited to see what was going to happen next, I was just always wishing that it was happening to people that I liked, you know? 

I will probably pick up another book by Kwan in the future. The plot of the book was so good that I have hope I just read this one wrong or something and the next book I read by this author will be amazing. I just hope that next time, the characters can hold their own against the plot in order to form an even stronger story.

* I received this novel in exchange for an honest review *

Available: April 25th, 2016
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Book Review: Taming Alaska by Diana Downey

Shane O’Flannery is no Prince Charming.

He is uncouth, uncultured, untrainable.

Damn this man! How dare he humiliate Texas heiress Cynthia Diaz by turning her down, even if she was underage at the time?

When Shane first meets Cyn, his attraction to this frustratingly hot, flirtatious spitfire almost gets him into trouble when he discovers she’s only sixteen. He cannot forget the temptingly sweet taste of this woman-child, so for two years he does his damnedest to avoid this young siren.

Even though Shane’s body was chiseled from granite and Cyn compares every man’s caress to Shane’s panty-melting kiss, she dreams of her true knight in shining armor. So shortly after meeting charismatic, well bred, and breathtakingly handsome Mr. Waits, the perfect man in every way, she marries him. She fully expects a fairytale honeymoon in Bora Bora, Fiji, or Maui. Much to her chagrin, he whisks her off to the Alaskan Interior. When her life is threatened, she must rely on the ill-mannered Shane to survive—a man who has never read the Prince Charming manual.

I obviously read a different book than everyone else who has reviewed this one because my thoughts are polar opposites from what others have said. FYI: This is going to be one of those reviews that is blunt and to the point. It's meant to be constructive even though it may not come across as that at times. I'll be blunt ... I found Taming Alaska to be frustrating, irritating, infuriating, demeaning and all negative -ing adjectives that I just don't have time to list here.

I guess I'll start with the characters. Since this book starts off when Cynthia is a young teenager, I was hoping to see some growth from her but there wasn't one iota of the personal growth I had wished for. She started off as shallow and immature and ended as the same. She acted as a petulant child would throughout the entire novel. She whined and complained at every single turn. Cynthia was a materialistic, spoiled brat and absolutely my least favorite character I've EVER read. Now, I want to explain that least favorite comment ... some characters are meant to be hated and when you do, then it enhances the story but that was not the case with Cynthia. I didn't think that her juvenile behavior added even one smidgen of substance to the plot line. I would like to think that the author wanted us to like her. But that is most definitely NOT how it came across.

And Shane. The leading man that I'll be excited to forget. He had no depth to him. I actually found it a bit disgusting that he was lusting after a young teenage girl. Yes, it should have been something innocent in the story because I'm sure that it's happened in real life but the way that he was written made it come across as creepy and disgusting. Then again, the way that Cynthia was acting like a dog in heat at that young age towards Shane also turned my stomach. It painted a distorted portrait of what young love is. This wasn't sweet, it wasn't innocent and it most definitely wasn't something that will make the reader reminisce about their first love.

Every author writes sex scenes differently. That's a good thing! You should be able to enjoy these moments just like any other significant moment within a romance novel and it should bring an extra dimension to the story. Instead of enjoying them, I dreaded each and every time the characters got in the mood. The scenes were stiff (pun not intended) and uptight. The dirty talk should sound sexy and not juvenile or come off as it is trying too hard. Prime example: Hershey kiss nipple. Really? You've got to be fucking kidding me. In no way is that attractive. The sad part is that the edition of the book that I received did not state that it was an advanced copy, which means that damn phrase is in the final edition. Ugh. Speaking of the sex scenes, they played a much bigger part in the plot than they should have. Let's say you're running for your life in an extremely dangerous location for days ... would you really be thinking about having sex 24/7? I'd sure as hell hope not. It was totally unrealistic and it was a disservice to the plot. It added nothing to the storyline except creating explosive irritation on my part.

The story had 387 things going on. You've got being stranded in the wilderness, copious amounts of sad and strangely worded sex, rabid wolves, vindictive bears, gun toting scary dudes, vicious murders, a shoddy kidnapping, embezzling, theft of furniture, drug dealing and drug lords, gay men posing as straight men, shitty accounting and on and on and on. That is too many damn things going on. If it had been chiseled down to roughly 150 issues in the plot, it would have read easier. It was too difficult to keep up with every little thing that was going on and after a while, I just could care less.

And THEN the blurb for the book states that this is a standalone novel. Standalone means ... it stands alone. And if that were the case, it wouldn't end in a cliffhanger!! A cliffhanger signifies that there is more to come which means it is NOT a standalone. I also take offense to the blurb stating that is a friends to lovers novel. To be friends, the characters have to like each other and they sure as hell didn't read like they liked each other.

Needless to say, this will be the last book that I read by this author. The only reason that this book didn't get one star in my review is because I finished it. I kept hoping that it would redeem itself in the end but it didn't. At. All.

* I received this novel in exchange for an honest review *

Available: April 5th, 2016

Book Review: Undecided by Julianna Keyes

Nora Kincaid has one goal for her second year of college: be invisible. Last year’s all-party-no-study strategy resulted in three failed classes and two criminal charges, and if she messes up again she’ll lose her scholarship. But there’s one problem with her plan for invisibility, and his name is Crosbie Lucas: infamous party king, general hellraiser…and her new roommate’s best friend.

Crosbie’s reckless reputation and well-known sexcapades aren’t part of Nora’s studious new strategy, but as she’s quickly learning, her new plan is also really boring. When Crosbie’s unexpected gestures of friendship pull her head out of her books long enough to see past his cocky veneer, she’s surprised to find a flawed and funny guy beneath it all. The muscles don’t hurt, either.

But as Nora starts to fall for Crosbie, the weight of one of last year’s bad decisions grows even heavier. Because three failing grades and two misdemeanors are nothing compared to the one big secret she’s hiding…


There have been a couple of books by Julianna Keyes that I've been interested in but I've never had the opportunity to pick one up. Until this one! I was really excited to get started on Undecided because I thought that the blurb sounded just amazing. Thankfully, this one delivered and it is one of my favorites for the year!

If I had to describe this book in one word, I would use the word effortless. The flow of the story was completely seamless. It went from one plot point to the next without the reader even noticing. I was completely carried away by the happenings between Crosbie and Nora. The way that Keyes constructed these two characters is what makes me love reading. 

Nora is the bad-girl turned hopeful good-girl. From the very beginning, you'll find yourself cringing at her old ways and then you'll be hoping that she changes her old ways but not too much because if she totally flips away from the dark side, she just might miss her chance with Crosbie. And no one should miss their chance with Crosbie. The chemistry between Crosbie and Nora was amazing. Every interaction was filled with sexual tension and I couldn't help but root for both of them, sometimes for them to be together but sometimes for them to be apart also. 

I just really appreciated how fabulously this book was written. I can only hope that every book that I read for the rest of the year is this amazing. I read this one in about a day and I couldn't put it down. I just had to know what was going to happen next and if Nora was going to make the right decisions. It was very realistic in that sense. I think that most ladies who went to or are in college have had at least a moment of the turmoil that Nora was in ... maybe not to this serious of a degree but something like it. 

Oh! As a side note ... when you pick this one up, remember that the author is Canadian. Does that really matter? No. Unless she's talking about Thanksgiving being on a Monday and you say to yourself, "Pretty sure that Thanksgiving has NEVER been on a Monday." Which is true ... unless you're Canadian. So I apologize for the rude comments I said in my head about someone not knowing that Thanksgiving is always on the fourth Thursday in November.

Anyhow ... great characters, great plot, great author. I'll definitely be picking up more books by Keyes and she's one that I'll keep an eye on in the future because I have no doubt that there will be some more fantastic novels coming from this lady.

* I received this novel in exchange for an honest review *

Available: April 4th, 2016

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Book Review: Fair Play by Tracy A. Ward

Who knew love could bring a playwright so much drama?

Writing three plays for a nationally acclaimed theater in Phair, Texas, was never supposed to put Ashlyn Carter’s inheritance at risk, or make or break her future. And it certainly wasn’t supposed to force her into constant contact with the very guy she’s avoided since her teenage crush-gone-bad days.

Noah Blake. He's Ashlyn’s enemy, for good reason. As her older brother's best friend, he seems hell-bent on interfering with nearly every aspect of her life. So how then does he also seem to be her muse?

When Ashlyn reluctantly agrees to act out scenes with Noah from the play she’s writing in order to trigger her creativity, the spark of passion she’d felt for him as a teenager flares up again. But there's more at stake than just her future as a playwright or the inheritance she never cared about in the first place. Finding out the theater she loves is in danger of closing puts everything she thought she knew and felt about Phair…and the test. Will there be a standing ovation for Ashlyn Carter, playwright, or will the curtain drop on her heart and fade to black?


Fair Play was a sweet romantic read that I devoured in about a day. I believe that this is Tracy A. Ward's first book and if that's the case, I'm excited to have found a new author to follow because this one was great!

I liked the premise of this book from the very beginning but I'll be honest, I was kinda hoping that the play-writing thing would take a backseat to the rest of the novel because I'm just not into plays. Unless it's The Music Man but who doesn't love Gary, Indiana, right?!? Anyway, the play stuff most certainly DOES NOT take a backseat and man, am I ever glad that I didn't get what I want. It would have been a totally different book, a bad book, if Ward didn't write Fair Play the way that she did. 

Laughter was not what I expected from this one, either. There was just this snarkiness between Ashlyn and Noah that was hilarious at times and some of the situations that they found themselves in were rife with sexual tension that neither character wanted to admit and/or act on. That tension just brings a romance novel to a whole new level. I don't want to read a book where the attraction comes easy and then it's all downhill from there. I enjoy the controversy and unsure feelings because that's how it is in real life. Love doesn't come easily for most people and it's just fun to see how things will play out in these fictional situations. 

Nothing left to say unless I want to start divulging secrets and no one wants that! This is a great book for someone who wants an easy romantic read for sitting next to the pool or curled up in your favorite chair. It has characters that will make you laugh, make you angry and make you want to fall in love all over again. I'll definitely be on the lookout for new works by Ward. I think she's one to watch in the coming years. 

* I received this novel in exchange for an honest review *

Available: March 28th, 2016

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Book Review: Before Hadley by J. Nathan

What's worse than a cocky new guy at school? A cocky new guy with a killer body and the attention of every female at school. Hadley can tell the minute she lays eyes on Caynan that he's someone to avoid. He may have looks and charm, but he's also got heartbreak written all over his pretty face.

Unfortunately for Hadley, Caynan has his sights set on her. She's the one girl who doesn't want him. The one girl who's turned off by his charm. The one girl who challenges him like no other. And, though she couldn't possibly know the truth about him, she seems to be the one girl who really sees him.

But with Caynan, things aren't at all what they seem. His secrets have secrets and everything out of his mouth straddles the line between truth and fiction. He knows better than to get involved with anyone, especially with his time limited in the new town, but he just can't seem to get Hadley out of his mind. Too bad for him, secrets never remain secrets for long.

I found J. Nathan last year when I read Since Drew. Which was amazing, by the way and you need to read it or you'll be cursed with reading bad books for a decade. This is a real thing. Believe me. 

Before I gush over this book and the author for a few paragraphs, let's have a moment of silence for this cover. For the love of everything holy, please let every single book from J. Nathan have a cover as amazing as this one. Amen.

I'm starting to see a trend with J. Nathan's books and it's not just the sexy beast on the cover. The characters are amazing and they are ones that will stick with you well into the next book that you're reading. I just loved Hadley from the very first moment I met her. She's so in control and wary of everything around her and when Caynan walks into the picture, she sure as hell wants to make sure he's not the one to shatter that control. I really enjoyed watching their relationship do nothing. Is that a strange thing to say? I think it was just the pursuit that was entertaining to witness. Hadley puts up a fight and it just makes for an interesting back and forth between her and the tenacious Caynan.

There was quite a bit of intrigue that I hadn't expected. And the turmoil that surrounded every page in this book was gripping. I had no idea what was going to happen next. Hell, I think that was one of the biggest pluses in this book. You never were truly sure what (or whom) was going to strike next. And that was just for part one!! You get to part two and all bets are off. I got to part two and it was time for me to play Bad Mom. Bad Mom doesn't strike often but when she does, the kids get ice cream for dinner and Netflix gets turned on so that I can read (mostly) uninterrupted. 

I'm afraid that I've given too much away already but I have so much more to say. Here's the deal ... if you enjoy an amazingly addictive romance novel, J. Nathan is for you. This book is for you. You need to read it. You'll thank me later. So stop reading this and go get it. Pronto.

* I received this novel in exchange for an honest review *

Available Now
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Monday, March 14, 2016

Book Review: Between Dreams (Pendant Series #1) by Cynthia Austin

Sidney Sinclair was living the dream of any eighteen year-old girl…

A handsome rock star boyfriend, a closet full of designer clothes, a limousine service at her beck and call, and a mansion in the hills of Los Angeles.

Even with all that glamour and excitement at her fingertips, she still feels as if she’s been missing something in her life so she decides to leave.

While trying her best to put her dysfunctional romantic relationship aside and tend to her beloved Granny, Sidney unexpectedly stumbles upon an intriguing emerald pendant boxed away in her grandmother’s closet.

Soon she learns it once belonged to her long-lost mother who committed suicide when she was just a baby. Suddenly feeling emotionally connected to the woman who had birthed her, Sidney begins to wear the necklace.

This sends her on a whirlwind journey that alternates between fantasy and reality…

Almost immediately, she starts having dreams linked to the mysterious pendant. As danger begins to seep into her life, Sidney refuses to remove the necklace and instead documents each dream to help her further understand them. However, she soon begins to wonder if they are dreams meant to bond her to a mother whom she never knew?

Or a subconscious warning that threatens her very life?


Ms. Cynthia Austin contacted me a few weeks ago about a read request for this book and while I almost always say no thank you to fantasy novels, this one piqued my interest because the blurb was interesting and it was highly rated by quite a few people. So I just had to get my hands on it to see what all of the fuss was about. Nothing worse than being left out, right?!?

I actually have quite a few thoughts on this one and I'm not totally sure where to start off. I think talking about Sidney first is a good start... here's the deal ... the girl is a doormat. And let's be honest, I just love a flawed character and her being a doormat kind of appealed to me. I was very interested to see where she would go from that first page because surely there would be some growth involved. Unfortunately, Sid didn't change much from the beginning. She is taken advantage of in multiple different ways and it was a little hard to read after a while. I just wanted to take her by the shoulders and shake some sense into this crazy woman. It almost became painful with each page turn because I wanted her to stand up for herself but it never happened. 

The reason that there wasn't much character growth is probably because this book is pretty short and it's part of a series. There was a feeling of escalation from the very beginning and I won't lie, I was uber-irritated when it ended on a cliffhanger. I HATE cliffhangers with a fiery passion. I just hate being left in the lurch. If you don't like cliffhangers, you'll want to wait to pick this one up until the next in the series is out because the bear trap of an ending just snaps shut right in the middle of a scene basically. 

And finally ... the thing that I've been perplexed by since I finished the book. There's a religious aspect that I definitely was not expecting. It took me by surprise, actually. At times, it felt a tad bit preachy and then there were religious debates almost that ... I don't know ... it just didn't do it for me. Don't get me wrong, it's an interesting concept within the book about Adam and Eve and the events surrounding that and what if there was another man for Eve but the almost bible-bashing by Sid and then the preachy moments ... I was ultimately just turned off, I guess. I'm not totally for sure why ... I'm not one of those crazy-religious people, so it didn't offend me at all. I think that at the crux of it my unrest is the fact that it felt like two totally different books being mashed together ... the stuff with Sid and her d-bag rocker and then Sid and her dreams. Maybe the next book in the series is going to tie both of these worlds together and it will be all good. It just didn't feel all good with this one. Too disjointed. I think that I'll need to put this one aside for now and then maybe read it again sometime later. Perhaps a second reading will bring up some different feelings. 

* I received this novel in exchange for an honest review *

Available Now

Book Review: I Am Atlas (Playing God #1) by Ella Emerson

Powerful, wealthy, wildly handsome Atlas has it all: successful company, stunning penthouse, and all the women and fun he could want. But when he meets the brilliant, graceful and mesmerizing Gwen, he is thunderstruck and wants to go to great lengths to have her, even if it means breaking his own rules and baring his secret soul.

When his livelihood is threatened by a competing rival, he must prepare for a corporate battle. But, with Gwen at his side he knows he will not lose.

But, what if she isn’t who he thought she was? What if nothing is as it seems?
Will Atlas lose everything? 

How far is one man willing to go for the woman he loves?

This is the first and probably last book that I will read by Ella Emerson. Crappy way to start a review, huh. Well, it is what it is at this point. I was really excited to read I Am Atlas because I get a kick out of these billionaire romance novels. But this one wasn't like the others that I've read and that can be a good thing. But not when they are different in a non-flattering way, like this one was for me. 

The romance in I Am Atlas was one of those insta-lust type situations. Insta-lust is great and everything but not when the relationship between the insta-lust victims doesn't seem real. I just didn't get any intimacy from the interactions between Atlas and Gwen. Now, I'm not talking about sex. Intimacy can mean a whole host of things to different people but I think that the most important types are intellectual, emotional and, of course, sexual. Atlas and Gwen didn't have any kind of emotional or intellectual connection and let's be honest, the sexual chemistry was ... just okay. Both Gwen and Atlas seemed detached from each other or something. They were just not believable as a couple. 

Speaking of the couple in question, I had issues with each of them individually also. Nothing big but it is worth noting because it paints a larger picture for my review. Gwen was immature. Unless I read incorrectly, she's in her mid-twenties and immaturity shouldn't be an issue with how the author introduces her to you in the beginning of the book. I think the "tickle attack" situation was the most glaringly obvious immaturity issue. I've never known a grown woman to use that phrase unless she's talking to a kiddo and Atlas was obviously not a child. And then Atlas. I wanted to like this man or hate him. I want strong emotions towards a character because that's how I remember them. If they are boring as hell, then I'll just end up passing on the book because I know that it won't keep my attention. Atlas wasn't boring but I never felt like I truly knew him as the leading man. I'm pretty sure that's because about halfway through the book, he turns into this dominating sexual creature. It was out of no where. I just wish that the author had owned that shit and made him that way from the beginning of the book because when he wasn't and then was, it just made the character read as being completely inauthentic. 

The story was okay ... I didn't really get the suspense side of things and that's probably just me. I just think that the suspense was in this weird gray/middle ground where it wasn't super suspenseful but then there was too much suspense to NOT consider it a suspense. I would have liked to see the suspense cranked up a few notches. Again, own that shit. If it's going to be suspense, then it needs to be suspense, you know?

All in all, it was just okay. Not one that I'll read again and it probably ruined me for the author from this point forward, which is a little upsetting. I love finding new authors. I'm in the minority with my rating of I Am Atlas. A lot of people really enjoyed this one. Read a few reviews from others before you totally discount it but it just wasn't for me. 

* I received this book in exchange for an honest review *

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