Posts Tagged: college

Off Campus by Amy Jo Cousins – Review

September 21, 2015 Review 0 ★★★★½

Off Campus by Amy Jo Cousins – ReviewRelease Date: December 30, 2014
Title: Off Campus
Series: Bend or Break #1
Author: Amy Jo Cousins
Pages: 317
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Source: Owned
From the Publisher: Everyone’s got secrets. Some are just harder to hide.

With his father’s ponzi scheme assets frozen, Tom Worthington believes finishing college is impossible unless he can pay his own way. After months sleeping in his car and gypsy-cabbing for cash, he’s ready to do just that.

But his new, older-student housing comes with an unapologetically gay roommate. Tom doesn’t ask why Reese Anders has been separated from the rest of the student population. He’s just happy to be sleeping in a bed.

Reese isn’t about to share his brutal story with his gruff new roommate. You’ve seen one homophobic jock, you’ve seen ’em all. He plans to drag every twink on campus into his bed until Tom moves out. But soon it becomes clear Tom isn’t budging.

Tom isn’t going to let some late-night sex noise scare him off, especially when it’s turning him on. But he doesn’t want any drama either. He’ll keep his hands, if not his eyes, to himself. Boundaries have a way of blurring when you start sharing truths, though. And if Tom and Reese cross too many lines, they may need to find out just how far they can bend…before they break.

Warning: This book contains cranky roommates who vacillate between lashing out and licking, some male/male voyeurism, emotional baggage that neither guy wants to unpack, and the definitive proof that sound carries in college housing.
4.5 Stars

I’m going to be honest here, at the risk of sounding like a terrible person.

I’d never really read m/m romance before. I did read a novella by Amy Jo a while back, but that’s been my only experience with this particular genre. I always assumed that I’d never enjoy reading about two men falling in love and getting their rocks off.

But I was so, so wrong.

As is typical for me when I follow the author of a book I find myself falling into, my reaction to the book is best told through my tweets to the author:

I’m guessing a lot of that doesn’t make sense to those of you who haven’t read the book… but I couldn’t stop grinning like crazy and telling Amy Jo just how much I adored her characters.

Tom and Reese were both very broken characters – but not in a way that made me want to turn from them. It wasn’t over the top; it was really rather realistic. Humans are usually broken in some way. And sometimes relationships that try to navigate that wreckage are hard and wonderful.

And those sex scenes I thought I wouldn’t enjoy? Hot, hot, hot, hot, hot.

Time to go read the next one!

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My Sweetest Escape by Chelsea M. Cameron – Review

January 10, 2014 Review 0 ★★★★★

My Sweetest Escape by Chelsea M. Cameron – Review

My Sweetest Escape by Chelsea M. Cameron – ReviewRelease Date: January 28, 2014
Title: My Sweetest Escape
Series: My Favorite Mistake #2
Author: Chelsea Cameron
Pages: 384
Publisher: Harlequin HQN
Source: NetGalley
Available: Barnes and Noble | Kobo | iBookstore | The Book Depository | Powell's
From the Publisher: The past will always find you.

Jos Archer was the girl with the perfect life; until the night it all came crashing down around her. Now, nine months later, she still hasn't begun to pick up the pieces. Even transferring to a new college and living under the watchful eye of her older sister, Renee, isn't enough to help her feel normal again.

And then she meets Dusty Sharp. For reasons Jos can't begin to fathom, the newly reformed campus bad boy seems determined to draw her out of her shell. And if she's not careful, his knowing green eyes and wicked smile will make her feel things she's no longer sure she deserves.

But even as Dusty coaxes Jos to open up about the past, he's hiding secrets of his own. Secrets about the night her old life fell apart. When the truth is finally revealed, will it bring them closer together;or tear them apart for good?
5 Stars

It’s no secret that Chelsea M. Cameron is one of my favorite romance authors. She hits it out of the park every single time.

But this one – this one is my favorite so far. It touched me in a way that the others haven’t because the characters were more broken, but still able to find redemption.

Jos was my kind of girl. Even though it annoyed me to no end that she held all of her secrets so tightly inside, I loved her.

And Dusty – well he just made me swoon. I’m pretty sure there are no real college boys like that.

It was also great to see the whole gang again from My Favorite Mistake. It’s always fun to see worlds collide and paths intersect in series like these, where each story is of a different person’s life rather than a continuation of a single plot. The world feels fuller, richer when we get to experience it this way.

New Adult exploded onto the scene in 2013, and it wasn’t always good. But Chelsea M. Cameron found her footing quickly and set the bar very very high. I can’t wait to read more!

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Roomies by Sara Zarr & Tara Altebrando – Review

December 18, 2013 Review 0 ★★★★

Roomies by Sara Zarr & Tara Altebrando – ReviewRelease Date: December 24, 2013
Title: Roomies
Author: Sara Zarr, Tara Altebrando
Pages: 288
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Source: NetGalley
Available: Barnes and Noble | Kobo | iBookstore | The Book Depository | Powell's
From the Publisher: It's time to meet your new roomie.

When East Coast native Elizabeth receives her freshman-year roommate assignment, she shoots off an e-mail to coordinate the basics: television, microwave, mini-fridge. That first note to San Franciscan Lauren sparks a series of e-mails that alters the landscape of each girl's summer -- and raises questions about how two girls who are so different will ever share a dorm room.

As the countdown to college begins, life at home becomes increasingly complex. With family relationships and childhood friendships strained by change, it suddenly seems that the only people Elizabeth and Lauren can rely on are the complicated new boys in their lives . . . and each other. Even though they've never met.

National Book Award finalist Sara Zarr and acclaimed author Tara Altebrando join forces for a novel about growing up, leaving home, and getting that one fateful e-mail that assigns your college roommate.
4 Stars

I have to be honest with you. I don’t know why I decided that I should read this book. While I do sometimes read Contemporary YA, it’s not very often. And I don’t always enjoy it when I do.

But Roomies was getting a little bit of buzz on Twitter. And the cover is reminiscent of a comic book. And then… Netgalley offered it to me for free. It was a goddamn trifecta. How was I supposed to turn it down after that? So I downloaded it. And then it sat in my Kindle library for weeks (if not months) before I finally got around to reading it.

And then something strange happened.

I found myself liking a book in which I couldn’t really relate to either of the main characters.

Elizabeth (EB) and Lauren were randomly assigned as college roommates for their freshman year. This book covers the summer before college, as the two build a fledgling friendship over email. Lauren is the oldest of 6 kids and has never really had the “sibling” experience, because she’s always been an extra parent in the house. She’s anxiously awaiting the day she can leave and finally get some peace. EB is an only child whose parents are divorced (and she’s estranged from her dad… who is gay). She also discovers that her mom is dating a married man, who turns out to be the father of her new boyfriend.

Not really relatable.

And usually, not relating to the characters would throw up a huge wall between me and the story, but in this case it didn’t. The book was so well written that I could still experience what the girls did and have empathy for them without completely sharing their emotions or thought processes. Though I will admit – EB and I do have one thing in common. We both have one heck of a temper. Even when it’s irrational for it to flare.

Roomies was worth the read, and I recommend it if you like coming of age stories that focus more on the journey than the romance or the drama (though don’t get me wrong – this book was chock full of drama).

What Others Are Saying:

  • Beauty and the ReadsI would recommend this book to anyone that enjoys a fun story, a light read, or someone that is at this stage in their life. 
  • My Guilty ObsessionThis was a great story about two very different people coming together, growing up and learning about themselves as much as about each other. 
  • My Fiction NookIn the hands of a teenager who could commiserate with them, this book would find a perfect home. In the hands of a middle-aged mom who’s over the whining of teenagers about how hard their lives are – well, let’s be nice and say it was wasted on me.

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