Love and Vandalism. Laurie Boyle Crompton. 2017. 366 pages. Sourcefire Books. [Source: ARC provided courtesy of NetGalley.] They had me at graffiti. They kept me with this heartbreaking/uplifting story. Rory is the town’s secret vandal. She’s been tagging lions under the cover of night, somehow dodging the watchful eye of her sergeant father who’s forbidden her from art. She’s remained anonymous until Hayes catches her one evening, but instead of turning her in, he turns her into his own personal tour guide. It’s definitely blackmail, but Rory sees an opportunity to complete her magnum opus – painting a lion on top of the town’s water tower. This is definitely a compelling story that tackles several sensitive topics. Hayes is recovering from an addiction, so it’s quite interesting to see how how he comes to terms with the damage he’s done to others near him and how he tries to put his life back together in a new place. Rory initially seems like an angsty teenager who just wants to rebel for the sake of being combative. Her fractured relationship with her suspicious father and near idol-worship of her artist mother factor prominently. It’s not immediately clear why her father is so adamant…
My Kind of Crazy. Robein Reul. 2016. 338 pages. Sourebooks Fire. [Source: ARC provided courtesy of NetGalley.] This book has a lot with it. From the normal teenage angst to the tough realities of life’s unpredictability, My Kind of Crazy is an honest – yet sometimes hilarious – glimpse into teenage life. It starts off interesting enough – Hank wants to WOW his crush, Amanda, with an unforgettable prom-prosal. He can’t possibly show her how much his heart is aflame for her without sparklers spelling out “prom” on her front lawn. Too bad it doesn’t go quite as he plans, and he nearly torches her house in the process. Luckily, the quiet, slightly quirky girl-next-door (or at least across the street), Peyton comes to his rescue, which sets in motion a story that’s as heartbreaking as it is endearing.
Unexpected Love. Casey Clipper. 2014. 213 pages. Amazon Digital Publishing. [Source: ARC provided courtesy of The Book Gurus.] Unexpected Love is the second installment in Clipper’s “Love Series.” As far as I can tell, the series revolves around a group of cousins in the Millen family. Close-knit to a fault, the family is filled with ex-military alpha males who protect the women in their families at all costs. This book in particular focuses on Ryan Millen, a playboy whose life is turned upside down when he unexpectedly becomes a father overnight. Financially strapped Lynn enters his life and the two find a seemingly mutually beneficial arrangement around the care of his son newborn son Brady. I think this is a great book for readers who enjoy romances filled with Alpha males and/or military-types. Every single man in this book is imposing and aggressive, bordering on overbearing. The women in the book seem to enjoy that so it works. But if that’s not your thing … Unexpected Love may not suit your fancy. Regardless of personality type, the guys in the book mean well and Clipper does a good job of pairing them with women who balance them out and in some cases go toe-to-toe with them….
Always Yours. Kari March. 2014. Amazon Digital Publishing. 281 pages. [Source: ARC provided courtesy of The Book Gurus.] I’m pretty excited to be taking part in a blog tour for Kari March’s latest release, Always Yours, her second release of 2014. Always Yours is a standalone sequel to March’s debut novel, Promise Me Always. I tend to prefer starting interrelated books with the first in the “series,” so I felt it was necessary to start with Promise Me Always. I was extremely impressed at her ability to ensure that Always Yours could stand on its own merits as it interwove the characters and events from the first book. Always Yours centers on Cam and Cara, two young adults who’ve had their fair share of heartache at the hands of their family and romantic partners. For Cara, when the going gets tough, the people in her life leave. Cam, on the other hand, cannot keep genuine women in his life. When they meet, neither is at a place in their life where they want to welcome any serious attachment. Too bad their bodies (and later hearts) don’t seem to understand that. From the start, the two have undeniable chemistry, which leads to heated exchanges, both verbally and physically.