ARC review: Addicted To You by Renita Pizzitola

Addicted to You by Renita Pizzitola
Series: Port Lucia #1
Rating: ★★★★☆
Links: AmazonGoodreads
Publication Date: August 16, 2016
Source: ARC via Netgalley

In a sweet, sexy novel for fans of Abbi Glines, Monica Murphy, and Christina Lauren, the author of Just a Little Kiss tells the story of two friends who each want more—and the love triangle that’s holding them back.

In the sleepy fishing town of Port Lucia, everyone knows everyone, but Isla Diaz really knows Colby Callahan, with his blue-gray eyes and the tousled brown hair always tucked sexily into his cap. After all, Isla has been crazy about Colby ever since she can remember—even if he treats her like a kid sister. Now, without her best friend, Felicity, around, Isla spots a golden opportunity to take things to the next level . . . or at least wrangle a kiss out of Colby.

By random chance, a tropical storm is headed toward the coast, leaving them stranded together overnight—and there’s nothing to do but drink. As the evening wears on, Isla gets the feeling that her not-so-secret crush may finally release her from the friend zone. With her dreams finally coming true, Isla isn’t about to pump the brakes, but is this just a one-time thing? What if the next morning, she needs more than Colby’s prepared to give?

Little does she know, Colby would like nothing more than a real relationship with Isla. She’s always been the one. But there’s a very good reason he’s been keeping his distance. Someone else loves her too, someone who also means the world to Colby: his brother.

I really love Renita Pizzitola’s books. It all started in August of 2014 when I requested Just a Little Crush on Netgalley. I loved the story, and I quickly got caught up in her writing. It wasn’t long before I was reading Just a Little Flirt, and then Just a Little Kiss. So when I saw a new Port Lucia spinoff series up on Netgalley, it took all of about a half second for me to request Addicted to You. And I enjoyed it quite a bit.

The thing is this: If you give me a series written by an author I enjoy, about a trope that I love, you can’t really go wrong. Friends-to-lovers is my thing, okay. I don’t even care how it happens, as long as it’s realistic. And this book is pretty realistic, at least in my opinion.

Isla and Colby have been friends forever. Unsurprisingly, Isla has developed a pretty substantial crush on Colby. But she’s never going to tell him, because why risk making things awkward and ruining what they have? Well, a stormy night and some drunken dares make it clear that Isla’s feelings aren’t entirely one-sided. But how much of Colby’s reaction is true feelings, and how much is just because of the alcohol? And why does Colby keep pushing Isla away?

I actually really loved both of the main characters in this book. Sure, they were absolutely infuriating at times, but I could totally understand their feelings. And although it was definitely frustrating to see them dancing around the idea of a relationship and just not communicating, I think it was actually pretty realistic for childhood friends who start to think about the possibility of something more.

Misunderstandings, miscommunications, and general angst abound as Isla and Colby try to figure out what’s best for their friendship, their families, and themselves. I can’t wait to see whose story is next in the Port Lucia series.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC.

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It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Renita Pizzitola’s books. I loved Just a Little Crush, the first book in the Crush series, which followed Brinley and Ryder. I equally loved Just a Little Flirt, the second book, which featured Brinley’s roommate, Fallon. And I have to admit, when Just a Little Kiss showed up on Netgalley, I may have squealed a bit (just a bit) with delight that it was all about Brinley’s best friend, Mason. I always liked Mason. And after reading this book, I like him so much more.

Mason’s always been a bit in love with Brinley. It’s no secret. But Brinley is with Ryder, and they’re happy. Mason doesn’t think he’ll ever get over her without some space, so he agrees to help out his uncle by doing manual labor – on a fishing boat, no less – all summer. Mason soon finds that the ocean doesn’t agree with him, but his cute new neighbor, Felicity, sure does. It doesn’t hurt that she gives him some of her family’s super-secret seasickness remedy, either. It’s not long before Mason is head-over-heels for Felicity, and while Felicity sure likes him, he’s not sure he’ll ever break through the walls she’s built around her heart.

Just a Little Kiss was a contender for my favorite book in the series until, near the end, Felicity and Mason had yet another unnecessary misunderstanding. You see, their relationship is really cute and really great until one of them does something that the other misconstrues, and then they have a huge fight and refuse to speak to each other. Which, honestly, is probably realistic. But it was so frustrating, because they’re clearly meant for each other, they’re just really stubborn and proud. The angst was a little over-the-top for me at the end, but I have a pretty low tolerance for it anyway. Someone who’s really into angsty romances would probably love it. The ending, though, was really cute, and probably the best ending so far in the series.

Just a Little Kiss is a very cute, very fluffy, very quick read that I would highly recommend – just as I would highly recommend all the books in this series. I’m not sure if there will be another book coming up, but if there is, I really hope it follows Felicity’s best friend, Isla. I loved her character and hope to see more of her!

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the free copy!

Final rating: ★★★★☆

And here we have the top three books I read in May 2015!

Just a Little Kiss | Renita Pizzitola: I’ve loved all of the books I’ve read by Renita Pizzitola, so it’s no surprise that Just a Little Kiss is on my list of May favorites.  There’s something about her books that feels so lifelike.  This one made me wish that I lived in that tiny beach town and could find someone like Mason.

In the Unlikely Event | Judy Blume: Even after all these years, Judy Blume still has it.  I haven’t posted a review for this gem yet, mostly because I’m still trying to sort out my thoughts.  One quick thing – as someone who lives in New Jersey and has been to Elizabeth several times, it was so weird and also cool to read a book set there.

Beauty Queens | Libba Bray: Put this one on top of my favorite books of all time list.  Libba Bray can do no wrong in my mind, and Beauty Queens is yet another awesome story, just as I’d expect from her.  Somehow she manages to be hilarious while also surreptitiously educating teenage girls on the importance of feminism.

Did any books you read last month stand out?

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Just a Little Flirt is the second book in Renita Pizzitola’s Crush series.  See my review of Just a Little Crush on my blog, or on Goodreads.

Fallon has a bit of a reputation.  You know, that girl who never says no to another drink.  That girl who’s not afraid to go home with a different guy every night.  That girl who prefers a good party over actually going to class.  That reputation is starting to catch up with her as Fallon realizes that her grades are slipping, and if she doesn’t do something big, and soon, she might just flunk out of college.  Her new internship in the pediatric ward of the hospital might be just the thing to get her back on track.  After all, she can’t quite show up hungover to a morning shift with sick kids.  So with the help of a bet that forbids her from hooking up with anyone at work, Fallon starts making an effort to get her life back on track.  The summer internship is only six weeks anyway, and what’s six weeks of celibacy?  …Or so Fallon thinks, until she runs into the hottest guy ever in the stairwell at the hospital.  

Cade is everything Fallon would never go for.  He’s the golden boy, and unlike her, his whole life is on track.  He does well in school, holds a steady job, and volunteers as a therapy dog handler in his spare time.  That’s right, he lets sick kids play with his dog to make them a little happier.  To make matters worse (at least for Fallon and her goal of celibacy), Cade is the most perfect human on the planet.  He’s the most patient, understanding, non-judgmental person she’s ever met.  He’d never go for someone like her, and even if he did, he’s totally off-limits.

Just a Little Flirt is the second book I’ve read by Renita Pizzitola, and I have to say that she’s a very talented author.  She takes your average, typical romance storyline and puts a twist on it with great characters who have great chemistry.  She’s equally good at writing steamy and sweet scenes, and her dialogue is always spot on.  I actually love every character in this series… how rare is that?

One of the things that I’ve loved about both books so far in this series is that the girls keep up with the rest of their lives throughout their new relationships.  In so many books, the characters spend all their time with their significant other, completely ignoring their friends and families, and making the reader question whether they ever leave the house to go to work.  In Just a Little Flirt, just like in Just a Little Crush, the main characters keep up their other friendships.  Fallon still hangs out with Brinley and Mason, Cade regularly spends time with his roommate, and the two of them together hang out with the other people from work.  And, if anything, Fallon throws herself more into her work to prove that she can do her job well regardless of her relationship with a co-worker.

I really enjoyed Just a Little Flirt, and I’m looking forward to reading the third book in the series.  I just hope it features Mason!

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for inviting me to review this book!

Final rating: ★★★★☆

Just a Little Flirt will be released on March 31, 2015.

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Brinley Dawson was perfectly happy without boys or parties, just throwing herself into her schoolwork and hanging out with her best friend Mason. Perfectly happy, at least, until a blast from the past decided to show up at the one party she actually went to. Ryder Briggs ruined Brinley’s whole high school experience. She’d thought they had a connection, and then he threw her under the bus to protect his reputation. He’s the last person she wanted to see at the party. In fact, she’d have been happy never seeing him again. So why can’t she get him out of her head?

Just a Little Crush has a similar plot to many other new adult books – a mysterious person from the heroine’s past shows up, and though they try to deny their attraction, they inevitably end up together. The thing that makes Just a Little Crush stand out from the masses is that it’s actually well-written and believable. Brinley doesn’t drop everything to be with Ryder. She doesn’t forget about her friends in the process. She hangs out with other people, keeps up with her schoolwork, and doesn’t get in over her head. She doesn’t forget her morals. She doesn’t lose who she is when she’s with Ryder.

Both Brinley and Ryder are extremely well-written characters – and so are their friends. Everybody comes across as a distinct character, not just a stereotype or cliche. Their mistakes and misunderstandings are even understandable. And though none of the twists in the book are really surprising, it’s fun to go through them with the characters. Just a Little Crush really is a very well-written book. I’m so impressed with the uncorrected proof that I can’t imagine what the final version will be like!

I hope that Renita Pizzitola is writing a sequel, because I will definitely read it.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the free copy.

Final rating: