Saturday, June 8, 2013

Weekly Winners

Below is a list of all of the winners from the past week.

It Had to Be You by Jill Shalvis

Arrested by Love by Virna DePaul

Desire by Design by Paula Altenburg

The "What If" Guy by Brooke Moss

Captive by KM Fawcett

Book of Choice from Beverley Oakley

All winners have been notified via email. Thank you to everyone that stopped by and entered. =)

ARC Review: Runes by Ednah Walters

Runes is the first novel in Ednah Walter’s Runes series. Being a young adult urban fantasy novel I was a little hesitant to pick this title up seeing how the synopsis appeared far too similar to the many recently released books in this genre. But, after the first few pages I was hooked and after finishing it, so thankful that I gave this story a chance.

One thing that stood out at the beginning of this story was our leading lady, Raine Cooper, was written with seemingly more maturity than the rest of her friends and classmates. I feel this worked for the story as she was still in the process of dealing with her feelings surrounding her missing father. Her mother working crazy hours to keep the family business afloat often leaving her home alone to care for herself. Anyone dealing with family issues of this sort would tend to age rather quickly, and her focus on her schoolwork and favorite extra-curricular activities as a means of coping was very believable.

Out of the blue Raine meets her new neighbor Torin. Handsome, mysterious, amusingly arrogant, and an immediate thorn in her side from that point on. From their first meeting she can’t deny that there’s something about him that pulls her towards him, calls to her, but he is a stranger and her trust is hard won. Though, try as she might to keep her distance Raine is quickly drawn into a world of magic, danger, and hidden secrets from her own past that will forever leave her life changed.

This story had a mostly even pace and kept me reaching for the next page. Lots of twists and turns, and a little Norse mythology that added originality to the main plot line. Raine and Torin’s relationship grew throughout the book and it was a joy to watch them recognize and come to terms with the feelings they had for each other. Enough angst added to get you more than a little frustrated at the two for fighting what they wanted from each other, but more than enough to take them out of insta-love territory and little enough that the story did not drag and leave you wanting to give up on them altogether.

I really liked the fact that this story was set in my own backyard, so to speak. Just outside of Portland, Oregon, and one scene in particular taking place at Multnomah Falls which is one of my favorite places to visit on a warm summer day. The relationships Raine has with her mother and two best friends were well written and added a lot of depth in the story, as well as Raine’s character growth in general. It was nice to see them brought along for the ride, and always there for their friend.

I found this book to be an enjoyable read. The ending was not to my particular taste, quite a cliffhanger, but did create a need for me to pick up the second installment in this series upon its release. The writing was well done and I truly found myself wanting to know what comes next for these two characters that I grew to care about. If you enjoy a sweet young adult romance sprinkled with a little magic and myth I suggest you check this one out.

**ARC provided by NetGalley**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | Barnes & Noble |

Feature and Giveaway: Being Me by Lisa Renee Jones

Fascinated by the dark fantasies in the journals she’s discovered, and the two men who have now found a place in her life, Sara McMillan finds herself torn between her new life and her past. Now, more than ever, Sara identifies with the missing journal writer, Rebecca, and is certain that something sinister has happened.

In the arms of the sexy, tormented artist Chris Merit, Sara seeks answers about Rebecca and ends up discovering things about herself she never knew existed. Chris forces Sara to reconsider who she is and what she truly wants from life, but his dark desires threaten to tear them apart. Her boss, Mark Compton, offers her the shelter to understand just what those needs mean to her, and what they might have meant to Rebecca—but can she trust him to lead her to a final conclusion to Rebecca’s story?

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository |

Feature and Giveaway: One Sweet Ride by Jaci Burton

To get what you want you have to move fast.

Gray Preston was born into money, but he's built his racing empire on hard work and muscle. Now, with millions of fans, his senator father sends one of his aides, Evelyn Hill, to elicit Gray's help in garnering votes for his upcoming national election. Gray wants nothing to do with his estranged father's campaign, but Evelyn can be pretty persuasive. She's willing to learn about racing, and maybe even get a little dirty.

Evelyn's number-one goal is politics, which makes working with Gray difficult, because his only passion is fast cars. As she and Gray spend time together, he teaches her about the sport he loves, and she learns a lot about the man behind the wheel. The more she learns, the more she wants him. But any desire that threatens to derail the carefully laid plans for her future is a dangerous one.

With the passion Gray and Evelyn share running hotter than either imagined, one of them is going to have to compromise, or run the risk of losing more than their hearts. them, and the way he figures it, what better therapy is there than sex? Now all he has to do is convince the woman with the power to make the call.

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository |

Friday, June 7, 2013

Review: Between The Sheets by Julie Prestsater

I only really started BETWEEN THE SHEETS, book #2 in Julie Prestsater’s Against the Wall series, because I’m a series completionist and I hate not knowing how things end. I’d been only lukewarm about AGAINST THE WALL but had been thoroughly entertained by Melissa, so I was intrigued to read her story. BETWEEN THE SHEETS picks up right where AGAINST THE WALL left off, so this is definitely a series where reading the books in order is highly recommended, especially since so much of the groundwork for the characters is laid in book #1.

I was expecting some more of the same irreverent, foul-mouthed, feels-kind-of-like-high-school-fanfiction lighthearted fun of book #1, but BETWEEN THE SHEETS reads like a completely different book written by an adult for adults. It’s less of a The Hangover-esque romp and more of a straight-up contemporary romance of the I’ve-secretly-been-in-love-with-you-half-my-life persuasion, and it’s astonishing just how much more polished Ms. Prestsater’s writing has become in the intervening time between books whilst retaining that characteristic realness and humour that made it appealing in the first place. Heroine Melissa and BFF Shelly actually behave like adults rather than immature teenagers (though they still have the occasional hilarious gangsta moment that will have you laughing out loud), and the sisterhood between them feels much more heartwarming and real when I’m not tempted to call for an adult to chaperone the two of them or put them in a time-out. This newfound maturity doesn’t detract from what made Melissa such a great character in AGAINST THE WALL that she stole the show: she’s still hilarious and kicks ass, but we get to see a softer, more vulnerable side that adds emotional depth. Like previous hero Matt, Tyler is almost too perfect, but he does put his foot in it enough times in his relationship with Melissa to make him relatable and make you root for the two of them and their inevitable HEA (and wish they would just TALK to each other instead of making incorrect assumptions). Though that bit at the end? Sweet, but way too public for my tastes.

The narrative is again in the first person from Melissa’s point of view, though with the added twist that some chapters are told from Shelly’s perspective. While perhaps a bit odd initially, it really works because we not only get a glimpse of what life is like after the HEA for Shelly and Matt, but we get insight into Tyler’s view of his relationship with Melissa and the issues surrounding it, and what it’s like for Shelly to be caught in the middle having to play best friend and little sister when both parties are keeping secrets. Not to mention the fact that there are definitely things about your siblings’ sex lives that you don’t want to know! The sex is much more frequent and steamier than in AGAINST THE WALL, though not particularly explicit, and is essentially the only time(s) Tyler & Melissa communicate openly. The action takes place mostly away from school, so there’s more of a focus on the dynamics of Tyler & Melissa’s relationship and the issue of distance than on the Carver High community, though Ms. Prestsater does include enough of home-wrecker Summer to set up the next book in the series.

Overall, I enjoyed BETWEEN THE SHEETS more than AGAINST THE WALL. It’s equally laugh-out-loud funny and cute with just the right amount of drama to make it interesting, though much more polished. The shorter length also works in its favour: short enough to be read in one sitting but long enough to provide a complete story without dragging. A fun, sweet addition to the series, and definitely recommended if you enjoyed book #1.

**Copy provided by Author's Taproom**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | Barnes & Noble |

Guest Post with Author Kathy Lyons and Giveaway

Today I would like to welcome author Kathy Lyons to RFTC. Kathy is currently on tour promoting her newest release, Dream Nights with the CEO and has stopped by to chat. Please give Kathy a warm welcome.

Kathy Lyons is the fun, contemporary side of USA Today Bestselling author Jade Lee. She loves sassy romance with lots of laughter and sex. Spice is the variety of life, right? Okay, so maybe two kids, two cats, two pennames, and writing over 40 books has messed with her mind, but she still keeps having fun. And in her new Dream Nights series couples share erotic dreams that lead to a sizzling reality. Check her out at Or hang out with her sexy historical half, Jade Lee. Titled heroes with dark secrets are Jade’s passion. Especially when they fall for women who add more than just spice to their lives.

Places to find Kathy: 
| Site | Blog | Facebook | Twitter

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Review: When Honey Got Married by Kimberly Lang, Anna Cleary, Kelly Hunter, and Ally Blake

I have always had sort of a love/hate relationship with anthologies. They are either hit or miss for me. I love them for giving us a chance to give every character a chance to have their story told, and yet sometimes the stories are just too short. When Honey Got Married is centered around the wedding of Honey and Brent, and their various friends and family members and is comprised of 4 novellas.

Grace Felt the Heat - Kimberly Lang

In Grace Felt the Heat we meet Grace and Beau. Grace steps in to be Honey's wedding planner after the original wedding planner runs off with a groom in one of her weddings. Grace wasn't the most popular of girls in high school and when the chance came to asking her crush Beau out, she took it and wound up being completely embarrassed. Coming back in town and facing Beau is not something she is looking forward to. At first he doesn't realize who she is, but once he does the sparks start to fly. As they work together for Honey's wedding (he being the caterer and owning the wedding site and her being the planner) their relationship begins to grow. I had a hard time really believing in the feelings that these two shared. It just seemed impossible to me that they would develop that strong of a connection in the little amount of time that they had.

Eve Met Her Match - Anna Cleary

In Eve Met Her Match we meet Eve and Rainer. Eve was once the assistant to groom Brent and Rainer is Brent's distant cousin. Eve believes that Brent is it for her, and comes back to town with one goal in tell Brent how she feels and hopefully win him over. After telling Rainer of her plans to get Brent alone, he agrees to help her out by distracting Honey. But he will only help her if she agrees to kiss him! What starts out as a kiss quickly turns into more and Eve is no longer thinking of Brent for her future. Even though these characters developed strong feelings very quickly, I really enjoyed their story. Their story was sexy and hot, with a ton of chemistry!

Nina Tempted the Lord - Kelly Hunter

In Nina Tempted the Lord we get to see the story of Honey's little sister Nina and Nina's friend Alex. Nina left town seven years before and joined a circus in order to pursue her passion for dance and escape the life her parents have always tried to push her towards. Knowing that she needs some support, Alexander her friend and coworker agrees to accompany her as her plus one. He intends to finally win her over and convince her that there is more between them than just friendship. As they travel to the wedding and spend more time together, it becomes clear that she feels more than friendship for Alex as well. I felt like this story was probably the best of the anthology. It was the most believable because they had know each other and been friends for years.

Pippa Bared All - Ally Blake

The last book, Pippa Bared All centers around Honey's good friend Pippa, who also happens to be Brent's Ex Girlfriend, and Brent's brother Griffin. Pippa left town the night of graduation after turning down Brent's proposal. Griffin was a large part of her decision deny Brent and leave. From the first moment they met, Griffin and Pippa had been attracted to each other. Due to age and Pippa being with Brent nothing happened until the night she left. When everyone attending starts to spread a rumor that Pippa is there to wreck the wedding, Griffin comes to her rescue. As they attend the wedding together, the old attraction resurfaces and Griffin refuses to let her leave him again. I really enjoyed this story because I found the characters to have a genuine chemistry and feelings that had been around for years even if they hadn't been shown.


Overall, this was a quick fun read. I would have liked these stories to have been a little more developed, as it was hard for me to truly get into the relationships and characters in such a quick amount of time. I did however enjoy each of the stories, and I loved how they all led up to Honey and Brent's wedding.

**Copy provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | Barnes & Noble |

Feature and Giveaway: Wounded Angel by Stacy Gail

Book three in The Earth Angels

A descendant of the Angel of Vengeance, Nate da Luca was gifted with an uncanny ability to find things. It made his job as a detective a breeze—until he learned the hard way that some things should remain hidden. After that, his powers vanished, along with his belief in himself. Which is going to make tracking down Gabriella Littlefield for his latest client a challenge.

Personal trainer Ella Little paid a hefty price for her life—now all she wants is to live it in peace. Then a sexy hulk of a man turns up in her gym, reigniting desires she thought she'd left behind along with her real name and hair color.

Desires she can't deny even after she discovers Nate's no stranger to her dark past.

Before he can convince her the attraction is mutual, Nate's going to have to earn Ella's trust. But a demon is playing for keeps in the world of humans, using Ella as bait, and the last thing they have is time…

Purchase: | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | All Romance | Kobo |

Guest Post with Author Marie Treanor and Giveaway

Today I would like to welcome back to RFTC, author Marie Treanor  Marie is celebrating the recent release of her book, Blood Descent and has stopped by to chat. Please give Marie a warm welcome.

Award winning author Marie Treanor lives in Scotland with her eccentric husband and three much-too-smart children. Having grown bored with city life, she resides these days in a picturesque village by the sea where she is lucky enough to enjoy herself avoiding housework and writing sensual stories of paranormal romance and fantasy.

Marie has published nearly forty ebooks with small presses, (Samhain Publishing, Ellora's Cave, Changeling Press and The Wild Rose Press), including a former Kindle bestseller, Killing Joe. Blood on Silk: an Awakened by Blood novel, was her New York debut with NAL. She is now self-publishing three new paranormal series.

Places to find Marie:

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

ARC Review: Kissing the Maid of Honor by Robin Bielman

I have never read a book by Robin Bielman before, but after reading the blurb I knew I had to read this one. This book definitely did not disappoint and I really enjoyed reading Sela and Luke's Story. I found this story to be sweet and romantic and filled with extremely likable characters. I felt like I was drawn into the story immediately and not only connected to Luke and Sela, but also to the supporting characters as well.

Luke is a sports photographer who left their small town of Cascade to make a name for himself and pursue his love of action. When he returns to Cascade for the wedding of his little sister Vanessa, he is brought face to face with Sela, his little sister's best friend. Sela also happens to be his best friend's little sister, and although they once shared a kiss in a kissing booth that rocked his world, he has always considered her off limits. In order to not let on how he felt at the time, he reacted as a typical teenager would and horribly embarrassed Sela. Sela wants nothing to do with Luke and agrees to put aside her dislike for him in order to be the best maid of honor she can be for Vanessa, but as Luke and Sela are thrown together more and more for wedding plans, neither one of them can fight the attraction they feel.

I really loved how Luke and Sela had known each other most of their lives, and it wasn't your typical enemies to lovers type of story. The chemistry was off the charts even though the love scenes were only alluded to. I really loved seeing Luke and Sela both grow as individuals and as a couple. This story was a fast read for me as I didn't want to put it down. The author did a wonderful job of telling a complete and in depth story, and I will be looking forward to more stories from her in the future.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo |

Guest Post with Author Robin Bielman and Giveaway

Today I would like to welcome back to the blog author Robin Bielman. Robin is celebrating the recent release of her book, Kissing the Maid of Honor and has stopped by to chat and share a little quiz with us. Please give Robin a warm welcome.

Robin Bielman lives in Southern California, a bike ride away from the ocean if she’s feeling really adventurous. She loves books and baking and running on the treadmill while watching her favorite TV shows. When she’s not reading or writing her next story, she’s spending time with her high school sweetheart husband and two sons, most likely watching, playing, or discussing baseball. She drives too fast, drinks too much caffeine, and if every day were Cupcake Day, she’d be a happy camper! She loves to connect with readers.

Places to find Robin:
| Site | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads |

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

ARC Review: You're The One by Robin Kaye

I’m a sucker for a bad boy gone good—it’s a trope that works in any genre and never fails to give me the warm fuzzies. Robin Kaye’s new ‘Bad Boys of Red Hook’ contemporary series sounded like just the thing: a trio of formerly-delinquent foster kids turned to the straight and narrow by a hard-nosed ex-cop combined with Ms. Kaye’s trademark balanced mix of angst, humour, and sexy times, and excellent descriptions that bring Brooklyn to life. YOU’RE THE ONE is technically book #2 in the series, but it can be read as a standalone. Overall, it was an enjoyable read—which I liked more than book #1, BACK TO YOU, where the characters blew a bit too hot and cold about each other for my liking—that is very much a Robin Kaye book but is not my favourite of hers. I really enjoyed the characters and the small-town-within-a-big-city community feel but found the way the protagonists (particularly the hero) overcame their issues too rapid and pat to be truly believable, which kept this from being a great read for me.

For me, contemporary romance is primarily about the characters. I took to Logan Blaise—chemist extraordinaire and former street gang member turned Stanford graduate and renowned vintner—immediately. He has abandonment issues stemming from childhood, is convinced he is incapable of strong emotions, and has spent his adult life trying to overcome his humble beginnings. He’s trapped in a relationship that’s little more than a business transaction and is doing little more than going through the motions of living when he’s called back from the sun-gilded vineyards of Napa Valley to gritty Red Hook to help care for his ailing foster father (Pete) and the new foster kid Pete has taken in. It takes being back in his old neighbourhood, surrounded by friends and family (old and new) for him to realise just how shallow and empty his life has become, and just how much of a farce his Napa country club persona is. Meeting Nicki—the ten-year-old kid dumped by her mother on Pete’s doorstep in whom he sees so much of his younger self—and sexy chef Skye Maxwell shows him just how strongly and deeply he can actually feel, as he falls head-over-heels for both immediately. This is where the major problem was for me: ex-fiance√© Payton is an overdone caricature of the spoilt daddy’s little rich girl and the way he cuts off that relationship when he meets Skye borders on asshole-ish. Logan’s transition from ‘unfeeling automaton’ to ‘forever after’ is almost instantaneous and doesn’t feel realistic given the emotional baggage and hang-ups that are such an integral part of his character.

Skye Maxwell is the youngest (and only girl) in a family of wealthy, overbearing restaurateurs who’s spent her entire life being bossed around by her older brothers. She wants nothing more than to run her own kitchen but is constantly relegated to dealing with the business end of her brothers’ restaurants and only occasionally allowed to play in their kitchens. When she finally makes a stand and decides to make her own way in the foodie world, she quits the family enterprise, leaves her trappings of wealth behind in San Francisco, and finds herself the new head chef of Pete’s restaurant in gritty Red Hook, Brooklyn with a ready-made apartment, dog, and nosy group of friends. The attraction between Logan and Skye is instantaneous and scorching, but she’s hell-bent on not getting involved with a man who is not only her boss, but also temporary and formerly engaged to a perfect plastic socialite. I really liked how Skye is a ‘real’ woman: she’s a chef, she enjoys food, and she makes no apologies for it. She’s also a very cheap drunk and adorably embarrassed that everyone in Red Hook knows about (and butts into) her love life, which makes her very relatable. While Logan falls a bit too fast, hard, and deep, and is sure he wants to spend the rest of his life with her from the get-go, Skye has a major case of not-good-enough syndrome and runs the second the going gets tough, which makes for a great relationship dynamic between the two. I enjoyed watching Logan (and Nicki) coax her from behind her walls to overcome her insecurities, and found her development as a character more believable than Logan’s—even if her ‘not-good-enough’ hang-ups did grate on me a bit.

There’s also an enjoyable cast of secondary characters that add a touch of humour and multidimensionality to both the hero and heroine and the community of Red Hook: the ridiculously loveable dogs, D.O.G. and Pepperoni; Pete, the patriarch of the ragtag family who galvanizes his sons into action when they’re being idiots; Nicki, the loveable foster child of undetermined parentage; Rocki and Patrice, the dynamic duo who know about (and stick their noses into) everything in Red Hook—especially others’ love lives; and Slater, the mysterious third brother (and hero of book #3) who’s a complete wanker to Skye from the second he steps on the page.

YOU’RE THE ONE was a pleasant read, a fun combination of light foodie and small-town family romance, though not my favourite Robin Kaye book. I enjoyed the cast of characters and the setting but had some issues with pacing and believability.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository |

Feature: Carry Your Heart by Audrey Bell

Champion skier Pippa Baker lost everything in the avalanche: her boyfriend, his best friend, and her will to win. After a year of grief, she returns to competition.

She finds more than buried memories and steep slopes in Utah. She finds Hunter Dawson, a heartbreaking daredevil with the gold medals to prove it. And she finds that his reputation doesn't stop her from falling hard, and that her heart might not be as broken as she once believed.

But, Hunter has scars and memories too—scars that make him believe falling in love might hurt too much, scars that make him run.

Pippa knows how much love hurts when it's gone. Will she stop herself before she's in too deep? Or will she let herself fall?

Purchase: | Amazon | Barnes & Noble |

Monday, June 3, 2013

ARC Review: Any Duchess Will Do by Tessa Dare

Wow! Tessa Dare has done it again! Any Duchess Will Do is one of her very best. It was breaking my heart to know that this is the final installment in the Spindle Cove series. The only thing that would make it more tolerable would be a fantastic ending. She did it. I laughed, I cried, I loved it.

The Duchess of Halford is beyond frustrated. Her only child, Griffin, has gone into some kind of funk and refuses to marry. In desperation she kidnaps him to Spindle Cove and orders him to choose one of the ladies to marry. Just to thwart her, Griffin chooses Pauline Sims, the barmaid. Griffin and Pauline make a pact for one week in which she will do everything she can to dissuade his mother and he will give her one thousand pounds in return. Can the elder duchess turn Pauline into a duchess in one week? Can Pauline and Griffin fight their growing attraction to each other? What is Griffin’s secret that makes him so sad?

Tessa Dare is in rare form in this Pygmalion story. Delicious characters, laugh-out-loud dialogue, a real loving relationship -- it’s all there. Sometimes when something touches me emotionally I feel it almost like a pain. This happened several times in Any Duchess Will Do because I was so deeply enmeshed in Griffin and Pauline’s story. Tessa Dare is a masterful storyteller. She let out all the stops with this one and I loved every word. Even the title is perfect. I am so sorry to say goodbye to Spindle Cove, but I can’t wait to see what Tessa Dare will do next. Any Duchess Will Do is one of the best books I have read in a long time. DO NOT miss this wonderful story!

**ARC provided by Edelweiss**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository |

Guest Post with Author Callie Hutton and Giveaway

Today I would like to welcome author Callie Hutton to RFTC. Callie is celebrating the recent release of her book, The Elusive Wife and has stopped by to chat. Please give Callie a warm welcome.

Callie has been making up stories since elementary school, and writing gave her a way to turn off the voices in her head. After having a number of articles and interviews published in newspapers and magazines, she took on what she’d always dreamed of. Writing that book. She currently has a number of both historical and contemporary romance books published.

She currently lives in Oklahoma with her husband and adult children who move in and out with alarming regularity. Add three rescue dogs and the household is complete—and full. She enjoys hearing from her readers, and would love to have you visit her.

Places to find Callie:

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Review: Against the Wall by Julie Prestsater

I have to admit that I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I started reading this book. I’d heard some really good things and some less-than-stellar things about Julie Prestsater’s indie Against the Wall series, and having read book #1—AGAINST THE WALL—I can understand why it’s polarizing. I’m still not really sure how I feel about the book/series myself.

The narrative is in the first person, which—with a few exceptions—is generally a sure-fire way to turn me off a book. But the style works for the story, since we are meant to experience everything through the eyes of heroine Shelly Gelson, and getting her take on everything is hilarious. Shelly is a thirtysomething English teacher at Carver High, recently dumped by her fianc√©/lover of 10+ years and fellow teacher for another colleague, and still pining for him despite the fact that he is an absolute wanker. Matt Fuller (aka ‘Matty’ to Shelly, which drove me nuts—it makes him sound like a four-year-old!) is the way-too-perfect man and friend who’s been in love with Shelly for years and is so convinced that it’s now their turn for a HEA that he sends Shelly out on dates with other men during their ‘non-relationship’ to cement her feelings for him. The man is so ridiculously laid back about everything that I was sorely tempted to check him for a pulse several times. Then there’s fellow English teacher and BFF Melissa Cruz with the cheating soon-to-be-ex-husband, the hots for Shelly’s brother (the tale of book #2), and the conviction that Shelly needs a man—specifically, the uber-hotness that is Matt—to get over her ex.

The three of them together are hilarious, and the banter and teasing between all of them and the countless pop culture references and nods to the profession of teaching are fun and show the author knows what it’s like to teach high school and how high schoolers behave. But for three thirtysomething adults and professionals, the way they behave inside and outside of school is incredibly immature—I seriously felt like they should have been in high school rather than teaching it. The Against the Wall series is an adult crossover/spinoff with the YA Double Threat series Ms. Prestsater writes (which I have not read), and AGAINST THE WALL definitely read like it was written for (sometimes even by) high schoolers, but with sex and a lot of cussing. Reading about the happenings at Carver High felt kind of like watching reality television: nothing of import really happens, but it’s a fun ride and you find yourself wanting to know what’s next. Therein lies the appeal: it’s essentially a sort-of-R-rated romantic comedy in print—irreverent, immature, lighthearted, and relatable. The characters feel like real people, if sometimes too one-dimensional, and I’d kill for a Matt of my own and Mel as my trash-talking BFF. There’s the friends-to-lovers trope, the in-love-with-my-younger-sibling’s-friend trope, and the other-woman-who’s-(probably)-not-really-a-home-wrecker trope. And who doesn’t want to revisit high school without having to actually relive it and see the other (teacher) side? Instant guilty pleasure!

AGAINST THE WALL is a quick, laugh-out-loud funny, and cute read—not stellar in my opinion, but not bad (though I did find the attitude turnabout from hatred to friendship with the ex and his new squeeze Summer to be completely unbelievable). Being a notorious series reader with an overwhelming need to see how things end, I will be checking out the other books in the series for Mel’s and Summer’s stories—but they probably won’t be at the top of my TBR queue.

**Copy provided by Author's Taproom**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | Barnes & Noble |