Lovin' los libros

A book blog dedicated to young adult and new adult novels

Mini Reviews: Suddenly One Summer by Julie James, Vicious Cycle by Katie Ashley, After the War by Jessica Scott

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Suddenly One Summer
    by: Julie James

Publication Date: June 2, 2015
Publisher: Jove
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: Adult
Source: Physical ARC received via the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Page Count: 304 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N
My Rating: 4/5 stars

From the New York Times bestselling author of It Happened One Wedding comes a novel about a man and a woman whose summer is about to get very, very steamy…

Divorce lawyer Victoria Slade has seen enough unhappy endings to swear off marriage forever. That doesn't mean she's opposed to casual dating—just not with her cocky new neighbor, who is as gorgeous and tempting as he is off-limits. But once she agrees to take on his sister's case, she's as determined to win as ever—even if that means teaming up with Ford…

Investigative journalist Ford Dixon is bent on finding the man who got his sister pregnant and left her high and dry. He's willing to partner with Victoria, despite the fact that the beautiful brunette gets under his skin like no other woman. He might not be looking to settle down, but there's no denying the scorching attraction between them. Still, the more time he spends with Victoria, the more he realizes that the one woman as skeptical about love as he is might be the only woman he could really fall for…

This was my first Julie James book, but after reading and enjoying this one so much, it will definitely not be my last! I am excited to go back and reread about some of the couples that were mentioned in this book. I really liked both Ford and Victoria. Things do not get off to a very good start between them because of some miscommunication on her side, but I do love a good enemies to lovers story!
Ford and Victoria are next door neighbors and Victoria gets the wrong idea about the extremely good looking guy next door. Having seen him with multiple different women, Victoria makes the only assumption she can: he's a womanizer and she's not interested in becoming another conquest.
Victoria is very independent- she's had no other choice. Having grown up with a father who cheated on her mother and abandoned them, she had been left to deal with the fallout. Therefore, Victoria doesn't place much stock in lasting long-term relationships. Ford himself isn't looking for a relationship either, simply wanting to just have fun and live life as it comes. He also has felt the sting of abandonment as Victoria has, with his father being an alcoholic and presenting two very different faces in his life. Once the two are paired to work together to help Ford's sister, the sparks fly and both Victoria and Ford find themselves enjoying each others' company and the no-strings relationship attached. However, both are too stubborn to admit their true feelings for one another, once that relationship starts to feel too real.
I liked how much story we got with this one. Watching Ford and Victoria help Nicole was one of my favorite parts, aside from their romance. I was engaged from the get-go and wanted to see these two overcome their hang ups and find true love.

Vicious Cycle (Vicious Cycle #1)
    by: Katie Ashley

Publication Date: June 2, 2015
Publisher: NAL Trade
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: Adult
Source: Physical ARC received via the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Page Count: 336 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N
My Rating: 4/5 stars

New York Times bestselling author Katie Ashley revs up the danger and sexual tension in her brand-new Vicious Cycle romance series.

Deacon Malloy’s life is dedicated to the Hell’s Raiders motorcycle club. Tough, hard, and fast with his fists, he serves the group as sergeant at arms. But his devil-may-care approach to life is thrown for a loop when the five-year-old daughter he never knew existed lands on the club steps.

Alexandra Evans is devoted to all her students—but there’s always been something about Willow Malloy that tugs at her heart. There’s an aura of sadness about her, a girl in need of all the love Alexandra can give. When Willow stops coming to school, Alexandra’s search leads to a clubhouse full of bikers…and a father hell-bent on keeping his daughter always within sight.

The moment Deacon sees Alexandra, he has to have her in his bed—and he’s never met a woman yet who couldn’t be persuaded. No matter how attracted she is to Deacon, Alexandra refuses to be just another conquest. But it’s Deacon himself who could be seduced—into a brighter future for himself, his daughter, and the woman he’s falling for against all odds.

This was also my first Katie Ashley book and when I saw the review opportunity arise, I couldn't pass it up. Motorcycle clubs intrigue me and I loved the premise behind this one. I will say this book isn't for the faint of heart, though. It's definitely a rougher and tougher book and while I didn't jive with everything that was going on, I did still really enjoy it. I liked the romance between Deacon and Alex, even though there were a couple of physical instances between them that made me cringe. Deacon could be very hot-headed and he is definitely an act first, think later kind of guy. He is fiercely loyal and protective of his own though and once Alex joins that inner circle, things definitely heat up between them.
I loved Willow too. She is too cute for words and has been through so much in just 5 years. Her attachment to Alex was really sweet and it really melted my heart to see her open up to her. I also really enjoyed Deacon's brothers, Rev and Bishop, and I am super excited for both of their books. Rev has a softer, tender side and I really liked seeing that contrast between him and Deacon. Bishop is the playboy and isn't taken very seriously, which bothers him a bit. I am looking forward to seeing where Ashley takes both of their stories.
Overall, I did enjoy this one, even though some of the content was a bit hard to swallow. The Raiders do not tolerate disloyalty or other rival clubs encroaching on their territory, which has caused some serious animosity and tension. Amidst that tension, we see the bonds that tie these people together and they are not ones to be reckoned with.

After the War (Homefront #2)
   by: Jessica Scott

Publication Date: May 5, 2015
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: Adult
Source: e-ARC provided via the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Page Count: 350 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N
My Rating: 4/5 stars

The second book in the emotional new Homefront series from USA Today Bestselling author Jessica Scott

A terrible loss…

Captain Sarah Anders lost her husband to the Iraq war and has nearly lost the career she loves. Sent to Fort Hood, she only wants to do her job and take care of the daughter she’s raising on her own. She never counted on running straight into a memory she’d tried to forget.

A love he never forgot...

Captain Sean Nichols never got over Sarah. He simply tried to forget her amidst the war and the chaos of combat. But when she’s assigned to investigate his unit, he comes face to face with the woman no war or any amount of time could make him forget.

A dark secret…

As Sarah gets closer to the truth, Sean must accept that actions he took during the war may end the tentative love building between them. And even if Sarah can forgive him, Sean may never be able to forgive himself.

Being a big fan of Jessica Scott's military romances, I knew I would have to give this one a go. I love second chance romances, so it was a no brainer I had to read it. The romance in this one takes a back seat to the actual storyline though. This didn't bother me because I was so engrossed in what was happening and seeing Sean and Sarah deal with the aftermath of a fight between soldiers. Still, what we do get of Sarah and Sean is really well done and I liked the slow building nature of their relationship.
Sarah and Sean have quite the past together and even though time has passed, they still remember the hurt they caused one another when they ended. Now, Sarah has been widowed by a good man whom she loved dearly and now has a daughter to care for. Sarah is hesitant to start something with Sean, as she feels it would be a betrayal to her late husband's memory. She has so much on her plate as it is, with dealing with her confusing feelings for Sean, being a single career mom, and dealing with an unforgiving supervisor. Sean is no different, with both of the fighting men being in his unit. It is hard for him to step back and look at the situation clearly, as he has served downrange with both, and one of which has been with him through some pretty dark times.
These last few books by Scott have been so enlightening as to what goes on between deployments and what it's like to be back on base, trying to acclimate. They are also incredibly heartbreaking, as some of them do not acclimate well and their drinking and drug use really become huge problems for them and their ability to do what is necessary for their jobs.
While the romance in this one is more on the subtle side, I did really like seeing Sarah and Sean find their way back to one another and giving the other some much needed hope that they can move forward and be happy.

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  1. OHHHH Vicious Cycle definitely caught my attention! I love MC books that tackle the darker aspects of it. I think that one needs to go on my TBR. Great reviews!

  2. I've never read Julie James either, but I think I should look into her books. This one seems like a lot of fun and I Just cannot get enough contemporary romance lately.

  3. Great mini reviews, lady! I looooved Suddenly One Summer (I think it might be my favorite of hers) but I highly recommend starting with her US Attorney series next. Almost every single one of those is amazing!
    Jessica Scott's books seem like really tough reads but emotionally fulfilling. Maybe one of these days I'll check them out!

  4. Love your mini reviews! I need to check out suddenly one summer! I like the sound of it -- I haven't read anything by her before actually!


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