Mending Michael by J. P. Grider | Review

Description from Goodreads:
There is a fine line between love and hate.

When bartender Mick Ross first sees Holy Buchanan walk into Donny’s Bar, his heart comes to a halt. That is, until she serves him her fake ID and reveals her true nature when she’s declined her drink.

Holly thinks Mick is an ass, and she has no clue why he can’t stand her. Though, she does enjoy looking at his ass.

So, when Donny hires Holly to waitress at his bar, she must either deal with Mick’s hatred toward her or give him a taste of his own medicine.

Tensions are high. Comments are made. Hearts are hurt. But if there really is a fine line between love and hate, then Mick and Holly must decide on which side they stand.

Mick dislikes Holly, he really can’t stand her, and the whole fake ID incident is, to me, a rather ridiculous reason to dislike someone. Aside from the hatred, Mick has a lot going on in his life, and we’re thrown straight in the deep end in Chapter 1. Mick’s sister Charity is a drug addict, and she’s failing rather spectacularly to look after her three year old daughter. Trying to avoid Kenna being taken away into social services, Mick takes her into temporary custody. But his lifestyle isn’t suited to having a little girl. He works late nights as a bartender, he lives above a bar, and he has an alcohol problem. So really, he does not have his life together at all, and social services see that and take Kenna away. Not that unexpected if you ask me.
Holly, to the outside world, appears to have her life together a lot more than Mick. She’s from a rich family and at college doing finance. Turns out that’s her daddy’s choice and she actually hates finance and numbers. Holly certainly talks the talk, she’s sarcastic and sassy, giving as good as she gets, but she can’t stand up to her father. It became a little tedious after a while listening to her complaining on and on about being forced into a path she does not want to take. 
Mending Michael was a good book, it was just predictable. Straight off it’s clear that Holly’s going to end up wanting to study social services and that Mick’s got a drinking problem that needs to be sorted out before he can go anywhere in life. The story was pleasant, but it wasn’t very groundbreaking.
The relationship that developed between Holly and Mick was sweet, she helped him with the custody battle, but he pushed her away, wanting to wait until he had his life together because he wouldn’t be able to give her everything. Again, listening to the same ‘if you’ll wait’ speech became rather monotonous, as did Holly panicking about ‘that other woman’. Sometimes it felt like drama for dramas sake.
Mending Michael was a good book, it broke no barriers and has a tendency to be predictable, I’d recommend it for a holiday read when you want a nice pleasant book.
Have you read Mending Michael? Let me know what you thought in the comments!
‘Mending Michael’ by J. P. Grider
3 Stars

Whatever Life Throws At You by Julie Cross | Review

Description from Goodreads:
Life loves a good curveball…

Seventeen-year-old Annie Lucas’s life is completely upended the moment her dad returns to the major leagues as the new pitching coach for the Kansas City Royals. Now she’s living in Missouri (too cold), attending an all-girls school (no boys), and navigating the strange world of professional sports. But Annie has dreams of her own – most of which involve placing first at every track meet… and one starring the Royals’ super-hot rookie pitcher.

But nineteen-year-old Jason Brody is completely, utterly, and totally off-limits. Besides, her dad would kill them both several times over. Not to mention Brody has something of a past, and his fan club is filled with C-cupped models, not smart-mouthed high school “brats” who can run the pants off every player on the team. Annie has enough on her plate without taking their friendship to the next level. That last thing she should be doing is falling in love.

But baseball isn’t just a game. It’s life. And sometimes, it can break your heart…

Straight away I liked Whatever Life Throws At You, it’s funny and just generally enjoyable.
Annie gets herself into some really awkward situations, for example interviewing a gorgeous and nearly-naked player in the dressing room. And there’s so much sass in that interview. I loved her straight away.

The sass doesn’t stop there, Annie becomes friends with Lenny, the number one player’s daughter. She has her own family issues, and an idiot for a brother. Lenny takes Annie into her world and they quickly become best friends.

Annie starts to crush on Brody pretty quickly, he is hanging round her house practicing with her dad after all, so it’s only natural! The two year age gap poses a threat though, she worries that he sees her as a little sister, worse than the friend zone for sure! I really liked that the age gap was so small and that they were both still teenagers, it made the whole crushing on each other a lot more believable.

That’s right, I said crushing on each other! He likes her back. But he’s a respectable guy, and he really likes her dad. Which means he doesn’t want to jeopardise his relationship with him by dating his daughter. And I don’t blame him, because Annie’s did is incredible, well, apart from the whole wife thing. He’s super protective and supportive of his little girl, who he raised basically all on his own.

I mentioned in the first impression review that I (thankfully) found Annie to be rather mature. After finishing the book I can happily say that that opinion stood true. Although there were moments of immaturity, these could be overlooked as they really did not predominate.

I really loved Whatever Life Throws At You, the fact that I barely understood the baseball terminology had no affect (don’t judge, I’m English). I liked that Julie Cross made Annie athletic too, she wasn’t a pathetic Jason Brody fangirl, or a shopaholic spending her daddy’s money (I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with those types of characters, it just really wouldn’t have worked in this novel). Although Annie may beg to differ.

No, I’m a Jason Brody groupie. That’s even worse than mentally unstable.”

Have you read Whatever Life Throws At You? Let me know what you thought in the comments!

‘Whatever Life Throws At You’ by Julie Cross
5 Stars

First Impression Friday | Whatever Life Throws At You by Julie Cross

First Impression Friday is a weekly feature created here at Alexandra Florence Books. I’ve been finding that what I think about a book changes a lot from beginning to end, so I thought it would be really fun to share my first impressions of a book, and hopefully read yours too! If you want to join in all you have to do is link your First Impression Friday in the linky, grab the picture, and make sure you link back to me!

I discovered Whatever Life Throws At You through the Contemporary YA Reading Challenge group on Goodreads, which seems to be where I’m finding all my books at the moment! If you’ve been reading my blog for a while then you’ll know that I love books set in America, it’s officially a thing. I would love to go to college in America, preferably in the south, and relive all the YA and New Adult books that have melted my heart. But that won’t be happening anytime soon, so instead I live vicariously through fiction. I also have a sweet spot for male characters (American, of course) that play sport. No sport in particular, I’m happy with American football, baseball, basketball, ice hockey and football/soccer. 
The cover of Whatever Life Throws At You caught my eye first, the couple in muted greys with the pop of yellow in the title is gorgeous and very YA (if that even makes sense). I looked the book up and bought it immediately. I’m not kidding, the time between reading about the book on Goodreads and purchasing on my Kindle was seconds. It sounded so perfect and so me.
Annie lives her dad and her grams, her mom walked out on them yet keeps on walking back in whenever she sniffs success. Annie’s dad gets a job as coach for a baseball team and she meets nineteen year-old Jason Brody, a new pitcher for her dad’s team. She’s seventeen, and from what I’ve read so far she seems mature and I love her. Jason is obviously gorgeous, six-feet, tan, muscular, and cocky. You can’t have a YA or New Adult male that isn’t cocky, it just wouldn’t be right.
Annie’s dad is adorable, he’s so protective of his little girl which is super super sweet. He’s the ultimate no-one’s touching my daughter kind of guy. I can’t wait to see how their daddy-daughter relationship develops as Jason and Annie get closer!
Whatever Life Throws At You is pretty damn funny, I’ve been laughing out loud quite a bit while reading this, not always the best when you’re on a bus full of people. 
I’m definitely going to keep on reading Whatever Life Throws At You, I can’t wait to start reading it again!
What are you currently reading? Let me know in the comments!


All I Want (Alabama Summer #2) by J. Daniels | Review

Description from Goodreads:
Luke Evan is a heartbreaker.
I didn’t want to give mine to him. Not when he kept me out.
He gave me enough, just enough to make me fall in love with him. I say this to convince myself. But I know the truth.
I would’ve fallen in love with him at a distance.
Handing my heart over to Luke was the easiest thing I’ve ever done. I was naive when I wished for more, when I hoped he wanted the same things I did.
I try to hate him. I try to forget him.
But it’s not that easy.
Love is a ruthless bitch, and I’m her latest victim.

Tessa Kelly is a man-eater.
When she sets her sights on you, she doesn’t just consume your heart, she goes for your soul.
What we had was perfect, real, and all I would ever want.
But she destroyed it.
She destroyed us.
I try to hate her. I try to forget her.
But it’s not that easy.
Love is for people who have hope, and I have none.

All I Want was featured in my first ever First Impression Friday right here! I really enjoyed what I’d read of All I Want when I shared my first impressions, and I can happily say that things only got better. I made no secret of how much I loved Where I Belong, the first book in the series and All I Want followed on perfectly from the POVs of Tessa and Luke. 
I liked Tessa straight away, she was brilliant in Where I Belong so it was only natural that she’d continue to amuse in the sequel. Luke is a slightly different story, he was so frustrating! He clearly loves Tessa, yet keeps insisting he hates her, all while dangling a plethora of women in front of her. Of course he hates it when she tries to do the same thing, and intervenes because he wants to and he’s a man. Luke’s open about the fact that he doesn’t feel he can handle a relationship, especially not the part where you open up, share your life with another person and rely on them for support. But he’ll happily sleep with her exclusively. Of course
Tessa wants way more than just sleeping with Luke, she wants the whole package. He leaves her heartbroken time and again after leading her on. While reading All I Want I was (and still am) listening to Taylor Swift’s new album like crazy! It’s basically been on repeat since Christmas. I was listening to Blank Space and one of the lines just instantly jumped out at as being perfect for All I Want
“Boys only want love if it’s torture”
I’m sorry, but that’s the perfect fit for All I Want in my opinion! It seemed to me that Luke obviously didn’t want to have a relationship with Tessa, but still wanted her close, torturing the hell out of her!
There was lots of tension and drama in All I Want, making for a very entertaining read. I have no issues with the book at all, I loved it and I’m so happy that it didn’t follow so many sequels and ruin the experience of the series for me.
I think it’s pretty clear that I loved All I Want. Let me know what you thought of it if you’ve read it, and if you haven’t I’d love to know your thoughts too!
‘All I Want (Alabama Summer #2)’ by J. Daniels
5 Stars

I Need You by Jane Lark | Review

Description from Goodreads:

Guilt can eat away at you, but love can cut like a knife…

Lusting after his best friend’s girlfriend is a cliche Billy knows well – it’s the tightrope he’s walked for years.
But now Jason and Lindy have broken up and Billy can’t but be there for the girl he’s from afar for so long. She’s hurting.

Fighting to find a road to the future, Lindy’s heart hurts. She’s trying to escape the truth, but Billy keeps making her face it – and it’s ugly. How can she keep living when everything is made of glass and it keeps shattering?

Her one constant is Billy. Only, rebound isn’t his style and when Lindy starts to see him in a different light, he just can’t trust her. He’s no one’s second best.
It took me a while to finish I Need You, I started it before Christmas but sadly it got forgotten about in the excitement and festivities. During my daily train journeys I discovered the Kindle App, the perfect way to read when you’re commuting, especially, if like me you have no room in your bag for a Kindle.
I didn’t particularly like the characters in I Need You, and I didn’t particularly dislike them either. For me they were very bog-standard characters, although Lindy was definitely a more interesting and complex character.
The time changes in I Need You were often very sudden and jumpy. I was reading and on minute they were just getting back from their holiday and then it was two months later. This mainly happened towards the end of the book and left me wondering if Jane Lark was trying to squeeze more in.

Have you read I Need You? Let me know what you thought in the comments!

‘I Need You’ by Jane Lark
3 Stars

Standing By (A Knight’s Tale #2) by Claudia Y. Burgoa | Review

Description from Goodreads:
Mitch Knight

 1. Loves a good challenge
2. Never turns his back on a dare
3. Loves to create nicknames
4. Nobody cooks better than him
5. Doesn’t believe in love

When Parker Welsh sells Mitch Knight his organic restaurant, Willows, he not only gives Mitch ownership; but everything entangled with it. Including the annoying pastry chef who supplies the muffins and cupcakes.

Hayley Roth-Welsh

1. Loves To-Do Lists and Five-Year Plans
2. Has her dream job of baking sweets
3. Always tries to make others happy
4. Never seems to succeed with her family
5. Is still a virgin, waiting for love

Hayley played by her mother’s rules for the first eighteen years of her life, instead of heading to college as her family expected, she rebelled and opened a bakery, Pieces of Heaven. Her family expects her to fail and head back to school and their wish may come true once Parker sells his restaurant to the handsome, arrogant Mitchel Knight. It’s either join forces with him or lose her dream.
This is a book that would have been perfect for First Impression Friday! This book was a whole load of confusing at the beginning. Seriously, talk about a crazy, messed-up family! I honestly couldn’t keep track of who everyone in Hayley’s family was, there definitely needs to be a family tree at the front of the book!
Hayley comes from a very rich family in New York, but she’s not the average rich girl spending daddy’s money. She broken away from the family expectations and opened her own bakery, being an independent woman, although that doesn’t stop her family butting in and adding their thoughts on how she should run her life. I really liked this independent side to Hayley, it really made her an interesting character, especially with the hidden vulnerability she keeps concealed as it slowly wares away at her.
In Standing By the chapters alternate between Hayley and Mitch’s POVs. I really liked Hayley’s chapters, although honestly Mitch’s did nothing for me. I felt like I gained absolutely nothing from his chapters. He’s a nice enough character, I just preferred reading about him in Hayley’s chapters rather than through his own. Maybe this all stems from the fact that a lot of the time I couldn’t differentiate between the two chapters and was completely unaware of who’s POV I was reading. In my opinion there needs to be a change in the narrative tone and the language used to distinguish between the characters. Yeah, there is a name at the beginning of each chapter, but a lot of the time I was reading on my Kindle App in the wee hours as I travelled on the train.
Standing By is a sequel, I never read the first book, but I don’t feel that I missed out on anything or that my enjoyment of the Standing By was affected. That’s why, in my opinion, you really don’t need to read the first one in order to enjoy Standing By.
One thing that bugged me throughout reading was this question — what is Mitch’s accent? There are references to him having a British accent but it was never outright stated. I would have really liked it to be a lot clearer. Other than that small issue I really liked Mitch, he sounded gorgeous (as most fictional men do) and he was so adorable and sweet behind the cocky and teasing persona.
I ended up really enjoying Standing By, it was perfect to read during my morning and evening train journeys. Have you read Standing By? Let me know what you think of it in the comments! 
‘Standing By (A Knight’s Tale #2)’ by Claudia Y. Burgoa
4 Stars

Roomies by Lindy Zart | Review

Description from Goodreads:

Graham Malone is my roommate, my personal eye candy, the reason I get up in the morning smiling (that could be from the illicit dreams I have about him too, I suppose. Let’s move on). He’s also beautiful to look at, but his heart is where his true beauty lies. Take away the exterior and the interior still shines.

I love him. I mean, I’m pretty sure I do, having never been in love before. Anyway, it seems legit.

And now his brother Blake is here, and, well, he’s the complete opposite of Graham. Sarcastic, brooding, and totally available. But he’s leaving soon, and Graham’s the one I want. I shouldn’t have to remind myself of this, right? I wouldn’t have to if Blake would quit looking at me like I’m something yummy and he’s starving.

Here’s a toast to roomies; the ones you should never fall in love with. Or something.

I’m going to put it out there straight away that I liked Blake a whole lot more than Graham (when I was writing this I referred to him as ‘the other guy’ cause I just couldn’t remember his name, I think that tells you a lot). And seeing as Kennedy ends up with Graham I think that says a lot about how I felt about the book. Blake is definitely the type of character that I like and gravitate towards, he’s the ultimate bad boy, tall, dark, handsome and troubled. What more does a girl want? Apparently Kennedy didn’t agree, her long time love for Graham outweighed any potential in the Blake-Kennedy department. 
I’m not sure how I felt about Kennedy, I pretty much hated her as soon as I started reading. The first few pages really didn’t do it for me and I actually felt a little disappointed. I carried on regardless, cause that’s the kind of gal I am, and I eventually warmed to Kennedy. She’s an in your face character, boisterous and sarcastic. Apparently she has an ugly nose, she makes quite a big deal about hating it, yet it’s only mentioned that one time. Kennedy is a classic case of a girl with daddy issues, in her case her daddy didn’t know how to show his love for a daughter so just pretended she was his son. This was probably meant to add depth to her character, honestly though I found it annoying and predictable. Blake and Graham had a whole lot more depth to their characters, which we eventually learn about as they both open up to Kennedy. 
I wasn’t too bothered by the ending of Roomies, I would like to read more of Blake as he was the only character I can honestly say I liked. 
Have you read Roomies? Let me know what you thought in the comments! As always I’d love you to follow me on Bloglovin’
‘Roomies’ by Lindy Zart
3 Srars