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Jessica Beckett was all set to study abroad in France when she came down with mono. She was hospitalized, and her doctor advised her parents to keep her home, thereby crushing her dreams. She wasn’t enrolled in classes at home, so she’s stuck with an inadvertent gap year and in desperate need of a job. Luckily, Jessica’s Aunt Marnie comes to the rescue. As a talent agent in Hollywood, she had no problem finding Jessica a job as Jack McAlister’s personal assistant. Of course, Jack McAlister is the biggest jerk Jessica’s ever met, accusing her of spying on him from the minute they meet.

But it’s not long before Jessica starts to see the real Jack. Not the one who’s perpetually in the tabloids, with rumors flying about which girl he’s currently sleeping with. Not the one who punches paparazzi in the face. But the real Jack, who is sweet and funny and loves his pet pig. The real Jack is really lovable, but could he ever reciprocate those feelings for a regular girl like her?

I’d have to say that the best thing about this book is Jessica. She’s a real person, just another girl that you might meet on campus. She just needs a job, and she’s willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done, be it walking a pig, sorting compost, or getting rid of paparazzi. She’s spunky, too, not putting up with any of Jack’s rude, condescending behavior.

I also appreciated that when Jessica did start to fall for Jack, she did it realistically. (Sure, it did happen pretty quickly, but that’s the norm with NA books, so I’m not too bothered.) She knew that romantic feelings might jeopardize her job, so she kept it to herself. She did get jealous of his love scenes with beautiful women and the fact that the tabloids like to speculate about who he’s dating. If there’s any believable way for a regular girl to fall in love with a movie star, this was it.

Finally, I just want to talk about the romance. This one builds very slowly. We don’t even see Jessica and Jack get together until about 90%. Even then, there are insinuations, but no explicit love scenes. I never know what I’m going to get when it comes to NA. Some are chaste (like this one) and some are borderline erotica, so I figured I’d put right out there in my review – this is a very tame love story, appropriate for teenagers and up.

This book was a nice surprise. It’s a light, fluffy read that’s almost guaranteed to boost your mood. I’ll be watching for future books from Stacy Wise.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the free copy! 

Final rating: ★★★★☆

Test your luck with Goodreads First Reads, where there’s one copy available through February 5!

For my 2016 reading challenge, I’m crossing off #23: a book that is published in 2016.

I’ve finally revived Wishlist Wednesday, and what better way than looking at the first books I ever marked as TBR on Goodreads?  I’ve been wanting to read these books for years (some of them I even forgot about, it’s been so long), so it’s about time I get a copy!

What’s been on your list forever?

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is all about books recently added to my TBR.  I’m kind of stingy about adding books to my TBR, because if I’m not, then all of a sudden it’s 3,000 books long and I don’t remember what any of them are about and I get really overwhelmed. So I usually wait to see how the reviews look, see if any of my favorite bloggers have enjoyed it, and see if it still appeals to me a couple weeks or months later before I add it.  Books on my TBR are books that I fully intent to purchase or borrow.

There is a certain, uh, questionable cover in the mix, so I’m putting the whole thing under a read more.

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– Passenger by Alexandra Bracken
– Underwater by Marisa Reichardt
– P.S. I Like You by Kasie West

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The Mistake and The Score by Elle Kennedy

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A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro
– Big Rock by Lauren Blakely

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Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan
– Arrows by Melissa Gorzelanczyk
– The Air He Breathes by Brittainy C. Cherry

What books are on your radar right now?

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So here’s the story. Way back in 2013, I had a bunch of Audible credits built up and no idea what to do with them. On impulse, I got books 1-5 of The Mortal Instruments. I really liked the first three, but the fourth was so awful that I couldn’t bring myself to start the fifth. Fast forward two and a half years, and I dusted it off my (virtual) shelf and gave it a listen. And here’s the thing. It’s better than City of Fallen Angels, but it does’t hold a candle to the first three.

So, what happens in this book? Honestly, I’m not really sure. It’s 535 pages (or 17 hours) of mostly filler. Greater demon Lillith bound Jace to Sebastian/Jonathan, and he’s now 100% willing to participate in nefarious deeds. Of course, no earthly spell or weapon or anything really can separate them, so the other characters do a bunch of really stupid stuff in an attempt to help their friend. Meanwhile, Alec is freaking out because Magnus is immortal and he is not, and now he’s not only worried about who came before him, but also who will come after him, to the point where he actually considers stealing Magnus’s immortality. Simon flits around being the perfect best friend to Clary and sort of boyfriend to Isabelle, while also being reckless and selfless to the point of being unbelievable. Maya and Jordan also have some sort of romance going on, which takes up a lot of this book for being a relatively minor plot point. There’s also a fairly disturbing side plot of Sebastian/Jonathan developing feelings for his sister, and really, this series needs to calm down with the incest.

It’s kind of a mess. But it’s a better mess than City of Fallen Angels, it was at least entertaining, and it left me wondering what will happen in City of Heavenly Fire, so I guess I’ll continue on. (Although I’ll try to get that one from the library, because I don’t want to spend any more of my money on this series.)

If you’re reading this series, do yourself a favor and stop at book three. However, if you feel a burning desire to carry on, let me reassure you that at least book five is better than book four.

Final rating: ★★★☆☆

Have you seen my new TBR page?  I just got it ready to help me with my new, revamped Killing the TBR, which is coming back soon!  I’ve broken down all of the books in my possession that qualify… based on Goodreads, at least.  One of these days, I’ll also venture around my house to see what I haven’t bothered shelving yet, and I’m sure the list will triple.  But for now, it’s a good start, and I’m curious which book you think I should tackle first!