ARC review: The Summer Before Forever by Melissa Chambers

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Let’s get one thing out in the open right away. At the start of this book, Chloe is almost raped by a boy she has a huge crush on. She doesn’t feel like she can tell anybody about what happened. She doesn’t want her friends to know because she doesn’t want them to tell his friends. She doesn’t want to make a whole thing out of it. She just wants it to go away. She never wants to see this boy again, so heading down to Florida to spend the summer with her estranged father, his new fiancee, and her soon-to-be stepbrother seems like a great escape. The fact that her best friend can tag along makes it even better.

Chloe’s dad is as awkward as ever. He doesn’t really know how to talk to her now that she’s growing up, so he pretty much ignores her. She’s also harboring a little bit of resentment for him just up and leaving her for his new family. The saving grace is Landon, her future stepbrother.

Landon is cute. He’s respectful. He’s protective of Chloe. He’s exactly the kind of person she needs to be around after everything she’s been through. And the things she’s feeling for him aren’t appropriate for someone who’s going to be her stepbrother soon. So she tries to pretend that she’s not affected by him. Jenna, her best friend, sees through that in a second.

Meanwhile, Landon is dealing with his own problems. He likes that Chloe looks at him like he can do no wrong, so he doesn’t want her to know his biggest secret. (I’ll be purposely vague here so I don’t ruin it for you. It’s nothing bad, I promise.) He also knows that he should stay away from Chloe, but he can’t help feeling a connection with her.

Okay, so this book was really cute. I thought that Melissa Chambers dealt with the whole issue of the attraction between Chloe and Landon really well. This book wouldn’t have worked if Chloe was close with her father. I was happy to find that they didn’t know each other at all going in. I think there’s a fine line when writing a book like this about teenagers, and Chambers stayed on the right side of it.

A few things that kept me from giving this book a full five stars: I thought that the attempted rape was kind of glossed over. It’s kind of like Chloe goes through this really traumatic experience, and then it’s mentioned a couple times but never really dealt with. I was also a little creeped out by the age of the characters. I didn’t think that they really acted like teenagers, so I was always a little shocked when I was reminded of their age (like when they talk about going back to high school or looking for colleges). Maybe I’m just getting old.

All in all, I really enjoyed this book! It’s a cute, fast read that’s perfect for summer.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC!

Final rating: ★★★★☆

Sale alert: Off the Hook by Laura Drewry

For a limited time, Laura Drewry’s Off the Hook is only 99¢!

Laura Drewry is one of my favorite authors, and you couldn’t pick a better book to curl up with this dreary holiday weekend.  You can also see what all the hype is about before Lured In releases in a few weeks!

Get it on Amazon here.

Book review: Royal Rock by B.B. Hamel

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Bryce just is your normal college student, just trying to get through life and finish up her nursing degree with as little drama as possible.  Then she finds out that her family once ruled Starkland, an obscure European country that she’s never even heard of before.  Suddenly, her family is receiving an invitation to Starkland and the king is trying to marry her and produce an heir as soon as possible!  It’s definitely not the summer vacation she expected.

Christophe Werner von Brunhild the Third, Prince of the Lowlands and the Right King of Starkland (aka Trip) was never meant to be king. No, that honor belonged to his older brother, Leopold.  But Leo was killed while fighting some rebels, and Trip was pulled out of his carefree life of partying and thrust into a position he never wanted or expected, the new king of a country that’s starting to rebel against the very idea of a monarchy.

First things first, this book is completely over the top.  The author herself says it in the blurb.  And it helps to know this going in, because this book is not at all serious.  If you’re expecting some kind of amazing political commentary or some beautiful relationship development, you’re in the wrong place.  This is the kind of book you read for fun.

Trip is a cocky jerk with a filthy mouth, and at first, Bryce wants nothing to do with him.  But then she decides to give him a chance and learns that Trip is more than meets the eye.  Still, the majority of the book is spent inside their heads or inside their beds, and there’s not a whole lot of plot or dialogue aside from that.

Normally I really enjoy Hamel’s books, but this one was just okay for me.  It’s fairly predictable and even the steamy scenes got a little monotonous after awhile.  Still, it’s a fun story and I’d recommend it for someone looking for an easy escape from reality.

Final rating: ★★★☆☆