ARC review: The Perfectly Imperfect Match by Kendra C. Highley

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Rising high school seniors Dylan and Lucy are polar opposites. Dylan is laser-focused on his future career as a professional baseball player. His plan is to play for a minor league team straight out of high school, and he has no time for college, girls, or his family’s opinions on the matter. Lucy, on the other hand, is a free spirit. Since her dad is deployed and her mom is sick, she does take on a lot of responsibility for her little brother and their family business, but she likes to go with the flow rather than plan out every minute detail of her life.

With no sense of direction, Lucy ends up getting her little brother Otis to his first day of baseball camp a little late. This makes quite the negative impression on ultra-rigid, type-A coach Dylan. Lucy can feel his disdain pouring out at her, and she will not stand for his attitude. The two butt heads when they run into each other at the lake that night, but neither can deny the mutual attraction bubbling beneath their interactions.

So, I’m not really sure how to feel about this one. The premise was fine, and I do love a good “opposites attract” story, but there was just something a little off with the writing. I’m going to set aside the plethora of typos in this ARC (I’m used to this with some publishers, but never Entangled, so I’m not sure what was going on there) and focus on the actual development and behavior of these characters instead.

I’m all for more mature characters in young adult novels. I get so frustrated when kids who are supposed to be seventeen or eighteen years old act like they’re twelve, but there’s gotta be a happy medium here. This book reads more like new adult than young adult, so I had a lot of trouble believing that these kids were supposed to be in high school. Somehow, they’re both very experienced and very smooth when it comes to flirting and dating. (Definitely smoother than me, and I’m in my late 20’s!) They go skinny dipping, they make out in diner parking lots, they text each other about “getting horizontal” – they’re not even seniors yet! When I was their age, I panicked over going to a school dance with a boy! Maybe this is how high school is these days. I think I’m getting old.

Another sign that I’m old is the fact that I constantly rolled my eyes at Dylan throughout this entire book. I mean, don’t get me wrong. He’s a good kid. He’s smart and he’s driven, but his insistence on going straight to the minor leagues out of high school rubbed me the wrong way. He was rude to anybody who mentioned that maybe he might want to have a backup plan, so everybody just entertained his delusional idea that he was some baseball god that could make a career of playing ball straight out of high school. Okay, you’re the best guy on your high school team and you’re coaching a summer baseball camp for nine-year-olds. So are probably hundreds of other kids across the country. Listen to some rational suggestions about your future, please.

I also thought that the author was a little harsh on Lucy. She’s only seventeen years old, so why does she need to have so much responsibility? She takes care of her sick mom, acts like a surrogate mother to her nine-year-old brother, runs a sewing shop, teaches sewing classes, does commission work, helps out at her best friend’s farm, and teaches a really repressed teenage boy to let loose. She never has a minute to herself in this book, and I felt so bad for her. All I wanted was for her to be able to take a breather without something awful happening.

I didn’t love this book as much as I thought I would, but it was still a quick, enjoyable read. I knew that the author’s name sounded familiar when I requested this title, but it only clicked for me a little bit ago that I’ve had The Bad Boy Bargain on my TBR for ages. One of these days, I’ll head over to Amazon to see where it all began.

Final rating: ★★★☆☆

I received a free advance copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

The Perfectly Imperfect Match releases on July 10, 2017.

Book blitz: Damaged Like Us by Krista & Becca Ritchie

Don’t miss Damaged Like Us (Like Us #1) by Krista & Becca Ritchie! I couldn’t be more excited to jump into the life of Maximoff Hale, son of beloved Addicted characters Lily and Loren Hale.  It feels like I’ve been anticipating this release forever, and the day is finally here!

Publication Date: June 27, 2017
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Purchase: Amazon | iBooks

Don’t date your bodyguard. It was the one rule he had to break. Maximoff Hale is a force of nature. A ship unwilling to be steered. Headstrong, resilient, and wholly responsible — the twenty-two-year-old alpha billionaire can handle his unconventional life. By noon, lunch can turn into a mob of screaming fans. By two, his face is all over the internet. Born into one of the most famous families in the country, his celebrity status began at birth. He is certified American royalty. When he’s assigned a new 24/7 bodyguard, he comes face-to-face with the worst case scenario: being attached to the tattooed, MMA-trained, Yale graduate who’s known for “going rogue” in the security team — and who fills 1/3 of Maximoff’s sexual fantasies. Twenty-seven-year-old Farrow Keene has one job: protect Maximoff Hale. Flirting, dating, and hot sex falls far, far out of the boundary of his bodyguard duties and into “termination” territory. But when feelings surface, protecting the sexy-as-sin, stubborn celebrity becomes increasingly complicated. Together, boundaries blur, and being exposed could mean catastrophic consequences for both.

About Krista & Becca Ritchie



Krista & Becca Ritchie are New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors and identical twins—one a science nerd, the other a comic book geek—but with their shared passion for writing, they combined their mental powers as kids and have never stopped telling stories. Now in their early twenties, they write about other twenty-somethings navigating through life, college, and romance. They love superheroes, flawed characters, and soul mate love. They are the New Adult authors of the Addicted series and Calloway Sisters spin-off series, and you can find them on almost every social media, frolicking around like wannabe unicorns.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Newsletter


Enter to win a $50 Amazon gift card and signed copy of Damaged Like Us!



Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten of 2017 (So Far)

I haven’t done a Top Ten Tuesday in forever, and today’s Monday, but I have something special lined up for tomorrow and I loved this week’s theme! So here we have it: my top ten books of 2017 (this far).  2017 has been a great year as far as books go.  I gave nine of these five stars and one was a high four. Read on for my top picks for the first half of 2017.


Infini // Operation Prom Date


Anything You Can Do // Arm Candy // My Lady Jane


Madly // Catch and Release


The Hate U Give // If I Was Your Girl // We Should All Be Feminists

So far, what are your standout books of 2017?

ARC review: Storming the Castle by Arianna Hart

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Sam Castleton is one of America’s greatest rock musicians, and he’s completely lost himself in the rockstar lifestyle.  Terrified that he’s well on his way to alcoholism, and in an attempt to get his muse back, he checks himself into an out of the way hunting lodge/bed and breakfast for some peace and quiet.

The bed and breakfast is run by Faith Adams, a young single mother doing the best she can.  Her husband died before she even knew that she was pregnant, so she’s used to doing things on her own.  She’s lonely, but her daughter is her priority and no sexy rock star is going to change that.

Can Sam and Faith put their fears and misgivings aside to give into their mutual attraction?

This book left me feeling very… indifferent.  It’s not that it’s a bad book, it just wasn’t amazing.  It follows the standard contemporary romance plotline and pacing, although there are a couple of twists thrown in to keep us on our toes.  None of this is necessarily bad, but it didn’t make for the most exciting book.

There were some things that threw me off, like the former in-laws suing for custody.  What was the point of it? They’d never wanted anything to do with Piper before, and even during the custody battle, they didn’t seem to care about much aside from just winning.  I had hoped that their motivations might be made clear at the end, but the brief answer we got seemed half-hearted and underdeveloped.  The whole plot line just seemed to be there to prove that Faith was A Good Person™ despite everything that had happened to her.

And, brief spoiler ahead

Can we talk about her dead husband for a second?  Like, yes, it was awful that he cheated on her and I myself could never set that aside and carry on with a relationship.  But, #1, he’s dead, and #2, of all the ways to be cheated on, I feel like the reveal here was kind of weird.  Matthew was quite literally coerced into sleeping with his boss to further his career.  I suppose he consented, but is it really consent if your job is on the line?  It doesn’t matter that he’s male and his boss was female, it’s still disgusting and wrong.  Whatever his boss said about “In my circles, that’s vanilla” doesn’t make it right.  I don’t care what kind of circles you run in.  I don’t care if sexual assault is the most common, most normal thing where you come from.  It is absolutely 100% wrong for someone in a position of power to use that power to garner sexual favors from someone who reports to them.  Even after finding out that Matthew literally wanted no part in these sexual encounters, he’s still vilified.  I feel like I came away from that revelation with a different impression than I was supposed to because honestly, I just felt bad for the guy.

Anyway.  I also thought it was kind of weird that Faith was so adamantly against casual sex and then she was just flinging herself at Sam.  I mean, good for you, Faith, I’m glad that you’re finally getting back out there after five years or whatever of celibacy.  Clearly, I have no problem with reading about sex (I mean, look at my recent reviews), but there was no transition.  It’s just like one minute she’s super anti-sex, and the next she’s like, “Wait, how many condoms do we have left?” The sex scenes were pretty hot, though, so I can’t say it’s really something to complain about.

I also thought that the ending wrapped up a little too neatly and quickly for my liking, but overall, I did like the characters (particularly Sam) and I appreciated the strong female friendships that constantly figured into the plot.  This book was, more than anything else, very readable and I really did fly through it.  Piper was the cutest and I loved how much she loved Sam. He was adorable with her as well, and much like in real life, I like the guys in my books to be good with kids.

If you’re into books about rock stars looking to settle down, you’re sure to enjoy this one.

Final rating: somewhere between 2.5 and 3 stars

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC!

ARC review: Lies Jane Austen Told Me by Julie Wright

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It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.

We’ve all heard those words, right?  When my high school English class read Pride & Prejudice, I’m willing to bet that nearly every girl in the room swooned over Mr. Darcy.  It only got worse when we watched the movie – BBC version, of course – that left me and all my friends (and a likely greater chunk of our class) absolutely smitten with Colin Firth.  Unfortunately, my infatuation with Jane Austen’s characters faded away at the end of high school.  In general, I’m not a re-reader.  I don’t go back and revisit former literary loves.

But Emma Pierce is that person. She is absolutely in love with everything about Jane Austen.  The books. The quotes. The men. And despite reading these books countless times, she has trouble finding her own hero.  Though she’s currently dating a very wealthy single man, she finds that Blake Hampton is more interested in getting into her bed than getting into her heart.  After a weekend that she thinks will end in a proposal ends in heartache, Emma is driven home by Lucas, Blake’s brother.

Lucas is a fantastic character. He is everything that Emma’s looking for, and he’s not afraid of commitment.  The problem is his blind devotion to his brother.  Because Emma dated Blake, and because Blake is still not over her, Lucas steps aside and actually pushes Emma and Blake back together. Fate has other plans, though, when Lucas ends up being the new consultant at Emma’s job.

There’s a lot of back-and-forth between the two, with plenty of misunderstandings and avoidable arguments.  This is really my only complaint about this book – a bit less unnecessary angst, and it could have easily been five stars.  I loved Lucas, I loved Emma, and I loved how real their lives seemed.  Julie Wright is definitely an author to watch.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC!

Final rating: ★★★★☆