Three New Adult Contemporary Romance Mini Reviews:
Selling Scarlett (Love Inc. #1) by Ella James
Falling Into You (Falling 1) by Jasinda Wilder
Escaping Reality (The Secret Life of Amy Bensen) by Lisa Renee Jones
A Mini Review is something I haven’t done before, but I’ve been devouring a lot of New Adult Romances lately and I don’t always have paragraphs of things to say about them. I’ve decided to take these three reviews and put them together since they are all New Adult Contemporary Romances. I may be doing more mini reviews in the future, perhaps doing them more for books I’ve read in the past before blogging.
Selling Scarlett (Love Inc. #1)
by Ella James
Source: Purchased for Kindle
Summary: Elizabeth DeVille doesn't belong at a party like this—one where the gowns cost more than her Camry and cigars run higher than her grad school utility bills. Dragged out of seclusion by her best friend Suri, Elizabeth is merely playing dress-up, rubbing elbows with a crowd that banished her troubled family years ago.
Hunter West is tired. Tired of parties, tired of pretending, and tired of trying to right a wrong that haunts him every day. Bourbon heir and professional poker player by day, by night Hunter is gambling with his life in a high-stakes game of crime and blackmail.
When Elizabeth stumbles into Hunter's den of vices, she's a light in the darkness, a flame in the void. And, just like everything he touches, Hunter mars her in a record time. To rectify the damage done, Elizabeth needs money she doesn't have, and she's come up with a foolproof way to get it.
Follow Elizabeth—code-named Scarlett—to the lush Nevada brothel where she'll auction her virginity and risk the only thing that's not for sale: her heart. The highest bidder is a familiar face, with wicked hands and the devil's mouth. And a secret so dark that it could cost her life.
***RECOMMENDED FOR READERS 17+ DUE TO SEXUALITY AND MATURE LANGUAGE.***
Review: I purchased Selling Scarlett on a whim and decided to jump right into the story. It started out somewhat slow, but I ended up enjoying the storyline quite a bit. It was more suspenseful with an underlying betrayal/murder/mystery kind of plot than I would have expected, so I was pleasantly surprised by that aspect. I loved Elizabeth's character and thought she was wonderful and intelligent. The romance was different and interesting since Elizabeth and Hunter knew each other from the beginning and ran in similar circles. I was expecting a fun and somewhat cliché romance novel, but I ended up getting a well fleshed out story that had me turning the pages rapidly. I will definitely check out more novels by Ella James.
Falling Into You (Falling #1)
by Jasinda Wilder
Source: Purchased for Kindle.
Summary: I wasn't always in love with Colton Calloway; I was in love with his younger brother, Kyle, first. Kyle was my first one true love, my first in every way.
Then, one stormy August night, he died, and the person I was died with him.
Colton didn't teach me how to live. He didn't heal the pain. He didn't make it okay. He taught me how to hurt, how to not be okay, and, eventually, how to let go.
Review: Falling Into You was addictive and steamy. Nell and Kyle’s relationship was sweet, but his death changed Nell completely. She eventually connected with Kyle’s brother, the kind of guy who is rough around the edges. Nell and Colton communicated their feelings a lot through the music they played on the streets and in bars, so fans of playlists in their romances will love Falling Into You because of the all of the lyrics and songs chosen to accompany certain moments. The romance was hot and gritty. I think most people will absolutely love Falling Into You because it’s dark, twisted, sexy, and addictive.
I gave it 3 stars because I’m pretty sure Nell and Colton had just about every issue in the world. Cutting, alcohol abuse, gangs, rape, street fighting, illiteracy, pregnancy, miscarriage, death, father issues, etc. We are talking about two characters from very well to do and loving families. I’m supposed to believe the death of Nell’s first boyfriend and the guilt of falling for his brother is enough to turn a completely wholesome character into the most broken character in all of NA romances? I don’t buy it and just when I figured I’d let everything slide, the author threw more and more issues at me and it just got old. Most people will totally love the book, but it just wasn’t for me. I’m okay with issues and broken people, but I needed more development, more of a reason for their behavior, and perhaps more individual time instead of romance. It felt like the author just made the characters have issues in order for their to be a conflict instead of using those issues to make the characters complex and detailed and realistic. The abundance of issues only ended up making the characters UNbelievable. Also, the first paragraph and the synopsis told me that Kyle dies, but that didn’t happen until 30% into the book. After I got used to the slowness and detail of the beginning, the other 70% of the book was so fast paced that it seemed rushed.
I didn’t love the book, but it was enjoyable and oh-so-hot and I devoured it pretty quickly. Most people really loved the book, so don’t just take my word for it. If you like tons of issues, haunted characters, amazing physical and emotional connections, and a ton of music to cement those connections, Falling Into You is definitely the book for you.
Where to Buy:
Escaping Reality (The Secret Life of Amy Bensen)
by Lisa Renee Jones
Summary: Infinite possibilities….
His touch spirals through me, warm and sweet, wicked and hot. I shouldn’t trust him. I shouldn’t tell him my secrets. But how do I not when he is the reason I breathe? He is what I need.
At the young age of eighteen, tragedy and a dark secret force Lara to flee all she has known and loves to start a new life. Now years later, with a new identity as Amy, she’s finally dared to believe she is forgotten–even if she cannot forget. But just when she lets down her guard down, the ghost’s of her past are quick to punish her, forcing her back on the run.
On a plane, struggling to face the devastation of losing everything again and starting over, Amy meets Liam Stone, a darkly entrancing recluse billionaire, who is also a brilliant, and famous, prodigy architect. A man who knows what he wants and goes after it. And what he wants is Amy. Refusing to take “no” as an answer, he sweeps her into a passionate affair, pushing her to her erotic limits. He wants to possess her. He makes her want to be possessed. Liam demands everything from her, accepting nothing less. But what if she is too devastated by tragedy to know when he wants more than she should give? And what if there is more to Liam than meets the eyes?
Review: Escaping Reality was interesting. Amy was given a warning by her protector that it wasn’t safe for her in New York. Instructions were given and she boarded a plane with a new identity to Denver. And then she met billionaire Liam in the terminal, ended up being seated next to him, and was able to form a connection with him instantly. She can’t trust anyone, but she can’t not trust him for some reason. I liked the mystery of who Amy was and what happened to her that left her running for her life. Who are her protectors, what happened in her past, and can she trust any of the people in new life? Liam was overbearing, but seemed to genuinely care about her without meaning to.
The plot was intriguing, but the book seemed pretty choppy and unbelievable. Too much of the book was focused on Liam and Amy instead of everything else. There was little world building and the decisions Amy made seemed extremely out of character for someone who is used to running and not trusting people. Even if I believed Liam caused her moments of weakness, it still didn’t really fit. The book ended up about Amy and Liam having passionate moments because it didn’t explore all of the plot options available. It was fast paced and genuinely entertaining, but kind of fell flat when it came to being a well fleshed out story.
I’d recommend it to people looking for a hot new NA romance with a bit of mystery and intrigue, but only if they aren’t expecting a thrilling plot aside from the romance. I might read the next book just because of the way it ended and the millions of questions about Amy and the people around her that I have.
Where to Buy:
Labels: Mini Review, New Adult