Monday, February 4, 2019

January's Mini Reviews

This post should be subtitled A Bunch of the Kindle Unlimited Books I Read Before My Subscription Ran Out.

I had a 3-month subscription to Kindle Unlimited that I got for a 99¢ deal in November. My subscription expired on February 1, and I decided not to renew for $9.99 per month. So I spent a lot of January trying to read as many KU books as possible! I've posted reviews of some already; these are ones I didn't want to give full-blown, normal reviews to, but I also wanted to document in some way. So here ya go ... no waiting until the end of the year this time around!

#Awestruck by Sariah Wilson

I've now read and enjoyed all three of Wilson's #Lovestruck books. This one would be my second favorite. I absolutely loved the chemistry between Ashton and Evan, and I loved how Ashton's sister kept pushing her towards Evan, even though she knew their history.

One thing I appreciate about Wilson's books is that at least one of the main characters is waiting until marriage to have sex—which means I never have to worry that I'll turn the page and find a sex scene! I did think that Evan's reasoning for remaining abstinent was a bit weak, and I'm surprised he didn't cave: he wasn't particularly religious, and he didn't seem to have any convictions about sex before marriage, but he was honoring his (dead) mom's wish. I guess that could be motivation enough, but in the heat of the moment, would it really hold? I mean, it did hold, but was it that realistic? (I appreciated the portrayal of abstinence in #Starstruck much more—like Evan, the main character didn't have religious beliefs that kept her from sleeping around, but she did have some well thought out reasoning as to why she wanted to wait. Much more than "my mom who died over ten years ago wanted me to wait.")

I did absolutely love Evan—the way he apologized for his part in Ashton's bullying and his protectiveness towards her after they met as adults. Ashton's boss was perhaps a little too over the top evil, and Ashton's hesitation to tell Evan the truth ended up bordering on ridiculous. But overall, this was a really enjoyable read that I couldn't put down! 3-1/2 stars.

Note: This is one of those books that looks edgier than it is. That seems to be a trend in clean (non-religious) fiction lately. The covers look almost identical to the covers of "sexy books." Here's one way to tell (though it's not foolproof)—if the man on the cover is wearing a shirt that is at least mostly buttoned up, then the book is probably on the tame side.

Risking It All by Cami Checketts

After reading Her Billionaire Boss Fake Fiance (my review), I really wanted to read Bridger Hawk's story. But this book ended up being nothing like I'd anticipated, and it totally turned me off. I think a large part of it is that I didn't like Bridger very much. His nickname for Ava (Ava Baby) made me cringe every single time I read it, and his excuse for why he kissed another girl in high school was so stupid and immature. (Yes, teenage boys are immature, but anyone with half a brain could've recognized that his actions would drive Ava away.)

Then we have the "suspense" aspect of the novel. The bad guy (or was he really bad?) was definitely crazy, and the whole thing was just so unbelievable to me. It did move Bridger and Ava from pining to a real relationship, but I just didn't buy the way it happened.

I finished the book, and I'm still not sure why. I know from experience that Cami Checketts is a good writer, but this book was a big letdown. 1-1/2 stars.

Her Crazy Rich Fake Fiance by Jennifer Youngblood

I really enjoyed this story! I loved how Haven and Wyatt got to know each other, and her relationship with his family members was sweet, too. I didn't really sense the chemistry between the two, though—it was a nice story but not a swoony romance.

I did get tired of Haven's constant inner battle about telling Wyatt the truth, but I appreciated the way the truth finally came out. And I could've completely done without the inn/treasure hunt subplot: that stretched credulity more than anything else in the novel. I also have to mention that the title technically fits, but just barely. A different title would've worked much better.

Ultimately, though, this book is a totally Hallmark movie waiting to happen, and I would love to see the story played out on screen! 4 stars.

If the Summer Lasted Forever by Shari L. Tapscott

For the most part, this is a super cute YA romance. I loved the chemistry between Lacey and Landon, and I really enjoyed her interactions with his family. The romance—and the fake relationship-turned-real aspect of it—had a slow burn quality that I enjoyed. I didn't love Lacey's reaction to her mom's love life (it's not like her dad died two or three years ago; he'd been gone ELEVEN years), and I thought the wrap-up was a little too quick, but overall, I enjoyed it. 3-1/2 stars.

Have you read any of these KU titles? What did you think? Also, even though I decided not to renew my membership, I do get to pick one KU title per month through the Kindle Owner's Lending Library, so if you know of a great KU book, please let me know!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I borrowed all of these books and chose to review them. The opinions expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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