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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

ARC Review: Shaken Not Stirred by Alyssa Rose Ivy

I have never read a book by Alyssa Rose Ivy before, but with what I have heard about her and reading the blurb for this one I knew that I wanted to change that. This book immediately drew me in with the cover and I was really looking forward to reading this one. For the most part, this story was entertaining and enjoyable. There were a lot of things that I liked, especially Maddy's roommates and Colin's sister Carly. However, the blurb for this story in my opinion is completely misleading. I went into this one expecting a love triangle and there wasn't one. As much as there were parts that I enjoyed, I think that going in with the wrong idea about what this story was about really caused me to not like it as much as I could have. I kept waiting for something to happen, and it just didn't.

Maddy is bar-tending while living with her childhood best friend Macon and their friend Brody. After being graduating college only to be rejected from Med School, she is trying to figure out what to do next. She has a crush on Lyle, a singer of a local band who performs every Thursday night at the bar. She is determined to get him to say more than three words to her and to figure out his drink of choice. But then there is Colin the guy she has been turning down repeatedly. After finally seeing that things with Lyle aren't going anywhere, she agrees to go on a date with Colin. From the first date with Colin, he and Maddy have a connection. They begin seeing each other and things are going well, aside from the fact that Colin is a complete workaholic. Between running late and standing Maddy up a few times, Maddy begins to rethink the relationship she and Colin have been forming. Colin is determined to convince Maddy that relationships are worth fighting for and that theirs could be it. But Maddy is not so sure that she can have a future with someone who isn't willing to make her his top priority. Can Maddy and Colin figure out a way to have it all, or will there be too many things standing in their way?

I am confused by Colin's character. There are times that I really loved him, and times that I almost hated him. For as hard as he would try with Maddy by setting up these really romantic dates and as much as he pursued her, you would think he would be willing to make her a priority. But then he would either show up really late or not at all, or flat out leave her while they were in the middle of something. The worst part is that he expected her to understand and get over it as if it wasn't important that he had just blown her off. It just didn't make sense at all what his character was doing and how he was acting. He seemed pretty shady the whole book, and I kept waiting for a big reveal of why he was doing everything and it just fell pretty flat for me. There never really was much that I could see that explained it other than that he was a workaholic committed to being successful with his company. I liked Maddy's character. I thought that it was great that she was willing to take a look at her life when her original plan fell through, and rather than just follow what someone else wanted to do she was willing to figure out what was right for her. There were several times that people made it seem as though being a bartender was lowly and not a good path, but I loved that she didn't apologize for it and was determined to keep doing it if that's what made her happy. I realize that she liked Colin and felt a connection to him, but I do not understand why she continued to put up with his crap. That was what really kept me from loving her character. I just have a hard time connecting with a heroine who becomes/is a doormat for others, especially if it is the hero. I just didn't understand her reasoning for sticking by him and continuously forgiving him. Maddy and Colin had a lot of chemistry together and they worked really well when he was around. But their relationship just didn't seem entirely believable to me after all of the stuff that he pulled.

Overall, this story had a lot of enjoyable moments and I liked it enough to keep reading. I think the highlights for me were Maddy's roommates Macon and Brody as well as Colin's sister Carly. At first I thought that Macon and Maddy should end up together, but as the story went on I think that he is going to be perfect for Carly, and I can't wait to see where that one goes. Carly and Maddy's instant friendship was a lot of fun to read about, and I loved that they hit it off so well. My other problem with this story is that there were several things that I felt were brought up only to be dropped with no further explanation. Maddy's struggles with her parents was a huge deal, and yet she only really interacts with them once. Maddy mistaking Carly for a girl that Colin was dating was never revealed as why she almost didn't give Colin another chance. It was as though several of these things happened just to stir up some drama and angst, but were never really worked out. For me, things should be worked through once they are brought to light like that only with this one that just never happened and it really affected the way that I felt about this story. All in all I would recommend this story if you are a fan of the New Adult genre and go into it realizing that it is not at all what the blurb leads you to believe. If you go into it without expecting a love triangle, I think that you might find this one enjoyable. I did like the story, but I am honestly more excited to see what happens with Macon and Carly as well as Brody than I was about Maddy and Colin. I can't wait to see more of them and where the author takes their characters.

**ARC provided by Inkslinger PR**

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