Goodreads   Amazon

I think I’m probably the only person in the world who read Faking It without reading Losing It. I’m here to tell you that it works: we’re provided with plenty of background information, and I never felt like I was in the dark.

I accidentally bought this one when I got a sale alert. I didn’t realize it was the second in a series, but I figured since it features different characters, I wouldn’t be missing too much. Anyway, I’m glad that I read it. I finished it in just a couple hours on a day off. It’s my first book by Cora Carmack, and I can definitely call myself a fan of hers now!

In Faking It, musician Max is at a coffee shop with her new boyfriend Mace when she gets a call from her parents. They’re in town! They want to meet her and her boyfriend in five minutes! Oh no! Max has kept up a conservative charade around her uptight parents for years. They don’t know about her tattoos, her piercings, or the fact that she’s currently dating a less-than-desirable character. She can hide her tattoos and piercings with no problem, but what about the boyfriend? She sends Mace home and propositions a studious-looking guy at a nearby table. Pretend to be her boyfriend for a day. How hard can that be?

It turns out that Cade is getting his MFA in theatre. He’s the perfect man for the job. Max refers to him as “Golden Boy” because he’s just so perfect. He’s her parents’ dream, and things couldn’t be going any better. Even Max finds herself developing a serious attraction to him. The problem: can their fake relationship survive their very real connection?

I loved this book so much, but it also frustrated me to no end. One of my least favorite things in a romance is when the characters are clearly perfect for each other, but they find stupid, petty things to get in the way of their happiness.

That’s exactly what happens in this book.

As Max says, “I push people away.”
As Cade says, “I let people go.”

When Cade and Max are together, everything is perfect. He pushes her to be a better person, to stand up for herself, to face her fears. She makes him a little more of a risk taker, inspires him to focus a little less on perfection.

And their chemistry. Their chemistry is amazing. Are all of Cora Carmack’s books like this? I might have to go on a shopping spree…

Overall, this book was great. I probably would have rated it five stars if not for the several frustrating scenes where they separate. Definitely recommended for fans of new adult and romance.

Final rating: ★★★★☆

March 2016

image

You may remember A Study in Charlotte because it appeared on a previous list of mine regarding most anticipated releases for the first part of 2016.  Well, it’s still on my list, and it’s finally coming out next month!

Kindred Spirits is being released as part of World Book Day UK, but I’m hoping that it will be made available somehow throughout the rest of the world.  I’ve read everything Rainbow Rowell has published, and I don’t want to miss this one!

   Goodreads   Amazon

As with many of my romance reads recently, I got this one free on Amazon.  I was unaware that it’s part of a series, but I think it does just fine as a standalone.

In this story, Isabelle has just liberated herself from her cheating, controlling, stifling boyfriend.  Over the years, he’s not only controlled everything she does, but he’s also taken control of her bank accounts and assets.  As she drives away from the house they’d shared, she’s surprised (but not really) that she’s pulled over and arrested for driving a stolen vehicle.  Luckily, her longtime attraction-from-afar Gabriel is there to save the day, being the brother of the police officer who arrested her.  Gabe helps explain the misunderstanding, and once the charges are dropped, offers Isabelle a safe place to stay while she sorts out her life.

Soooo sweet, right?

Not really.

You see, Isabelle has just gotten out of the most awful, suffocating relationship you could possibly imagine.  Lance was everything you don’t look for in a man, and I had trouble understanding why Isabelle was with him to begin with.  But, setting that aside for a moment, it’s clear that she needs some time to herself to think.  In fact, she herself says this on multiple occasions.

But then she does the complete opposite, hopping into his guest bedroom, jumping into a relationship with him, letting him do the same thing Lance had done.

Yes, Lance was a villain.  But I am not so clear on the idea that Gabe isn’t.  Gabe is a man who obsessed over Isabelle from afar.  Even when he had other women on his arm, he thought about her.  She’s the only woman who can complete him.  Look at the description – “Gabe yearns to possess Isabelle.”  And Isabelle, despite everything she just went through, goes for this.  From one stifling relationship to another.

And who even is Isabelle?  She has no real personality traits aside from submission.  Her single hobby is her former job: interior design.  But is she even good at that?  She’s given one opportunity to show her stuff, and abandons it at the prospect of having sex with Gabe.  There’s nothing to her as a character, and so I found it very hard to sympathize with her.

The relationship between the two is not believable when it starts, and it’s still not believable when the book ends.  I’m not a huge fan of instalove in any case, but it was completely overdone here.  They’re both with other people as the book begins, but like 15% in and they’re going to die if they’re not together.

In short: I didn’t feel the connection.  I didn’t like the characters.  There wasn’t really a plot aside from Gabe and Isabelle trying to have as much sex as possible.

This book isn’t bad, but it’s far from great.

Final rating: 

★★☆☆☆

I’m abandoning the idea of carefully planning out what I’m going to read.  It always fails.  I only ended up reading one of the books I listed on my last book queue, so here we have three books I’ve currently checked out from the library.  Three books that I will almost certainly finish.  (Three books that it would be really unusual for me not to finish.)  Three very different books.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown // Outsider in the White House // Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares

What are you planning on reading next?