The Opposite of You by Rachel Higginson | Release Day

OOYcover

This beautiful book is released today!

I spoke about this book in a Wishlist Wednesday post in February, which you can read here. I explained why I was so excited to read The Opposite of You in this post, and today you can grab your hands on it and start reading! I was fortunate enough to be sent an ARC by Rachel for review, and I’m currently reading and really enjoying the book! Expect a review soon!

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Truly, Madly, Greekly by Mandy Baggot | Review

I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, this does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review in any way.
Published: 22nd May 2015
Description from Goodreads:

Sun, sea and a sexy stranger – a whole lot of fun just got a lot more complicated.

Capable, confident and career-driven, Ellen had her dream job and a marriage proposal from her boyfriend Ross. Life was good, her future set. Until it wasn’t and everything fell apart…

Whisked off to the beautiful island of Corfu to plan her sister Lacey’s big, fat, Greek wedding, Ellen is hoping some time out will help her clear her head and heal her heart. But letting go of her past is not going to be easy.

With Lacey in full on Bridezilla mode, Ellen is soon distracted from her own problems. And when the all-inclusive hotel treats on offer at Blue Vue include one gorgeous, brooding Adonis – Yan – Ellen finds him difficult to resist.

But Ellen isn’t looking for love or lust, or anything involving too much ouzo… or is she?

Truly, Madly, Greekly was featured in last week’s First Impression Friday post, which you can read here to find out what I first thought of this book.
My relationship with Truly, Madly, Greekly was very much turbulent and changing. One minute I loved it and the next I couldn’t stand Ellen.
I think it’s now safe to say that I didn’t really like Ellen, she was a pushover and a wet lettuce. Her ex stole thousands of pounds from her account that her mother left to her when she died, and she didn’t report it to the police or tell her family, who could have actually helped her. And why did she do this I hear you ask, pride, apparently. A load of rubbish if you ask me. Then there was also the fact that she avoided answering the phone when her work called her, she was worried about some woman, although her fears on that were, honestly confusing and pointless. She was also scared that they’d found out she’d embezzled thousands of pounds from her ex’s company. I actually found this act of fraud to be a redeeming quality, although giving it all away to charity was a bit too goody-two-shoes.
So Ellen wasn’t my favourite character, and I was worried for a while that Truly, Madly, Greekly was a lost cause, but then Yan. I really liked him, he redeemed Ellen, so thank you Mandy Baggot for making Yan the way you did, he was lovely.

Yan is originally from Bulgaria, he left after some serious stuff went down between him and the head of the mafia. So he’s earning money working in the hotel to pay for his dream of opening a childcare facility where he can teach local children. Let’s just take a minute to appreciate just how darn sweet that is! He’s a huge guy, with ridiculous muscles and he wants to work with children. That’s only the beginning of the Yan cuteness. I’m not a fan of over the top accents or dialect in character’s speech, if someone starts sprouting ridiculous Scottish terms that no one in the history of Scotland have ever said, well it can get very annoying and is a big book turn off. So with Yan being Bulgarian there was definitely the opportunity for Mandy Baggot to fall into said category. I am very relieved to say that that wasn’t the case. Sure, Yan had stilted English, but this was shown through sentences that were not quite correct, rather than words taken from dialect. Mandy Baggot’s use of these sentences that weren’t quite right made Yan seem even sweeter, and really served to emphasise the humour between Ellen and Yan.

Ellen goes on holiday with her little sister Lacey. She’s the baby of the family and treated accordingly. She’s also engaged, although she didn’t wear her ring and she kept flirting with the staff. Lacey irritated Ellen, sure she loved the hell out of her, but she was definitely the annoying little sister. Their dad made it Ellen’s responsibility to look after Lacey and make sure she always did the right thing, which was clearly not her job. I actually really liked Lacey, she did act spoilt from time to time, but I found the fact that she was dealing with her engagement, and more specifically whether or not she actually wanted to get married was a good enough excuse.

I can definitely imagine reading Truly, Madly, Greekly while sat in front of the swimming pool or sea while on holiday. It’s definitely the perfect summer holiday companion.

Have you read Truly, Madly, Greekly? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

‘Truly, Madly, Greekly’ by Mandy Baggot
4 Stars

First Impression Friday | The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski

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!

The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski
I’ve only just started and I’m in love all over again. I say again because The Winer’s Curse blew me away, it was my stand-out novel of 2014. Kestrel and Arin are the perfect couple, they didn’t quite get together, but the build up was oh so sweet and INCREDIBLE!
I’m pretty sure I sat with my jaw touching the floor after I finished The Winner’s Curse, just wanting to know how they were going to get together! Because, let’s face it, Kestrel and Arin are about as far from being a couple at the end of the first book as possible. And I still don’t know what’s going to happen.

So far The Winner’s Crime lives up to my expectations and the first book. So that’s a big deal, how often do you start the second or third book in a series just to be completely underwhelmed? Marie Rutkoski is continuing to blow me away.

The writing is once again incredible, I love the world building and the character descriptions. There has been some serious swoonage and I’m only 37% into the book!

I could go on and on about my love for Kestrel and Arin, because I do love them. They just need to finally get together, but how?!

I am going to devour The Winner’s Crime, so expect a review early next week.

What are you currently reading? Leave me a link below!

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Mini Reviews | Texas Secrets | Neanderthal Seeks Human | Someone Else’s Fairytale

I’ve read three books this past week that didn’t hit the mark, I realised that I didn’t have enough to say about them for individual reviews, so I pulled them all together in one post! So here’s my thoughts on the three books that left me disappointed and still in need of my next good book fix!

This book was so underwhelming and disappointing. I expected so much more, I love me some Texas, the State’s in the name for crying out loud! I had such high expectations! It’s not that Texas Secrets was bad, just very disappointing.

Maddie is a top chef from New York City and Boone is born and bred Texan with a weird past, although even after reading I still don’t get why his past was such a mystery. Drama for dramas sake if you ask me. Obviously the two of them were going to fall for each other, there was no doubt. It just seemed to take SO LONG for it to happen. There’s only so much describing of hotness a girl can take before boredom sets in. I read this book pretty quickly, and honestly that wasn’t from enjoyment. I was having a bad with it and just wanted it to stop.

‘Texas Secrets: The Gallaghers of Morning Star’ by Jean Brashear
2 Stars

I enjoyed Neanderthal Seeks Human most of the time, but it was quite hard to connect to Janie. There’s no way to describe her narrative tone other than stiff. She clearly has a very unique and quirky character which I got and appreciated, I just think that writing could have been a lot less sterile. I thought that the writing was purely like this to fit in with Janie’s character, but then the prologue was in the POV of Quinn, and it was exactly the same. There needs to be variation! I want to know that I’m reading from a different characters POV, it should be reflected in the style of writing!
Aside from my issue with the tone and style of the writing I liked the story, it was slightly predictable but I could put up with it for a quick romantic read. I liked Quinn more when Janie was talking about him, although he did order for her quite a lot which is a big no-no. I’m quite capable of ordering my own food, thank you very much.
‘Neanderthal Seeks Human’ by Penny Reid
3 Stars


Someone Else’s Fairytale by E. M. Tippetts

Someone Else’s Fairytale took me quite a while to finish, 20 days to be precise. It didn’t take that long because I wan’t enjoying, it’s because I got Red Queen and couldn’t stop myself from diving right in! (Find out what I thought of it in my review!)

Basically, Chloe is your average American student who’s been seriously injured as a child after her brother attempted to murder her, you know, just average stuff. Then there’s Jason, the hot movie star from the same town. Obviously he falls for her immediately and she turns him down because she’s not about that life. No problems with that, she doesn’t want the fame and crazy lifestyle, which I understand.

Problems started arising when she turned him down and friend zoned him, then immediately started going out with her best friend. She took this relationship pretty seriously, but from what I could tell it only lasted for a day (maybe more, I was reading this on the train at ridiculous o’clock in the morning). So why did she take it so bad? Get a grip and get your self a movie star!

She (eventually) did get herself a movie star, but honestly, the relationship moved very fast and quickly took a very unneeded turn for the worse.

‘Someone Else’s Fairytale’ by E. M. Tippetts
3 Stars

I think it’s pretty clear that I’ve had a run of bad luck with books recently, has anyone else been experiencing this, being let down by your books? I’d love to hear what you have to say, let me know in the comments!

Top Ten Tuesday | Top Ten Things I Dislike When It Comes To Romance In Books

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

As soon as I saw this weeks topic I knew I’d have a lot to say. Turns out I was right, 10 point were not enough so I sneaked in an eleventh. I got so carried away writing about the things I dislike about romance in books that I completely forgot that I could write about what I like. This is a list of the 11 things I dislike when it comes to romance in books.

11. Cliche And Unoriginal
Is it too much to ask for books to be different? It’s such a disappointment when you practically read the same story three times, with only changing names evidence that no, you’re not going crazy, you did pick up another book, it just happens to be very, very unoriginal.
And there’s also the cliche. The ridiculous chat up lines, the unrealistic first date, the gorgeous guy picking the shy girl that doesn’t mix with the ‘cool’ crowd. Give me a break, and give me something original.

10. Style Of Writing
This links in with number six, when the author focusses so much on something else (prolific sex scenes) that they compromise the quality and style of writing. So often books can seem amateurish when they try and put as many loves scenes in as possible, move away from the thesaurus to describe his eyes, hair, teeth and whatever else is beautiful and write about something a little bit more meaningful.

9. Not Being Open Or Honest
How many times have I read book where the guy and the gal love each other but think that the feeling isn’t mutual. Too many to count. You read one or two and think it’s quite cute, then you read a hundred more of the same infuriating thing and it isn’t looking so cute anymore.
If you love them, tell them. I don’t want to have to read your moaning, whining and doubts. Save it for the sequel.
8. Stop Being Individuals
I love when two characters that are perfect for each other get together. I don’t love when they become one person and the entire book is ‘oh my gosh he’s so fantastic and beautiful and I love him’. No. Just no. Get out, see your friends. Remove yourself from his presence for more than five minutes. Be who you were before you started dating him, not the lovesick fool that has no sense of identity. Put yourself first, cause he’s usually a d****e.

7. Extremely Needy Females
Put down the phone, stop texting every two seconds and get off his Facebook page. You can exist without him by your side every second of the day. It’s not going to be the end of your life if he has one night with the boys. Stop demanding everything from him and be cool. He doesn’t want a lovesick fan, he wants a partner. Man up and be one.

6. Too Many Sex Scenes
If I wanted to read that kind of stuff then I’d buy Fifty Shades Of Grey.
I’m not a prude or anything, it’s just that sometimes it really isn’t needed yet authors chuck it in anyway. It’s even worse when basically every other is full of explicit (and often graphic) detail. I end up skipping huge chunks because there is no end to the sex scenes.
5. Overly Possessive Men
I quite like male characters that are protective and get jealous. Not off the scale stalk his lady to make sure no one’s hitting on his woman, just puff out his chest and wrap his arm around her kind of guys. I always remember reading the Twilight series and hating Edward so much (he fell into the former category), especially when he actually REMOVED part of Bella’s engine so she couldn’t drive to see Jacob! I hated him from that moment on. There’s also the guy that gets mad at his girlfriend when she talks to other guys, or even smiles (platonically) at another guy. I don’t like that either, if you can check out other woman left right and centre then she can say thank you to a man who lets her on the bus first. Basically, there’s a line that really shouldn’t be crossed.

4. Forgiving When They Shouldn’t 
I’m not talking idle little things like forgetting to put the toilet seat down, I mean cheating, hitting and being downright horrible. I’ve read a few books this past year where something from this list has happened, sometimes the female goes all crazy and dumps them on the spot, and others they make up excuses and forgive the a**hole. And there’s always a good guy hanging around in the background, waiting for his chance to show her that he loves her and will be good to her. Yet it always takes them until the end of the book to realise, and we end up with 100 pages of an awful boyfriend.

3.Getting Back Together When They Shouldn’t
This follows on from the previous point. So they finally see the light and dump the idiot, and everything’s going well. But then they do something stupid. They get back together. Why, oh why? He/she are clearly not right for you, your not happy when you’re with them, they cheated, whatever the reason for breaking up with them you need to stay true to yourself and STAY AWAY! Take a tip from TayTay, and never ever get back together.

And I thought I’d add the video for good measure.

2. Putting Up With C**p
Basically when a guy is awful, not just once or twice, but repetitively. And the girls do nothing. They just sit back and accept the way they are spoken to, the pathetic excuses and lies. Why do authors write characters like this? Characters with no backbone that clearly don’t respect themselves. This may sound odd but I don’t respect characters that put up with c**p, and usually I also don’t like them. I’m not talking about guys that are jerks once or twice, I’m talking repeat offenders. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
1. INSTA LOVE. 
One thing that will put me off a book instantly. It’s irritating and unbelievable. Why do authors think it’s okay? It’s really, really not. There is no way you could meet a guy and after 2 whole minutes of knowing him be certain that he’s the one you’re going to spend the rest of your life with. It doesn’t work like that. What the characters should be thinking is ‘he’s pretty hot, in fact he’s gorgeous he gives Benedict Cumberbatch a run for his money’ (let’s get real for a moment, a boy who gives Benedict Cumberbatch a run for his money is a very special boy indeed). What they should not be thinking is ‘oh wow, I’ve met my soulmate. This is the man I will grow old with, we’ll be together forever and I don’t care what anyone else thinks. I wonder what his name is.’ THAT IS NOT OKAY! 
This has been one of the funnest posts to write! I absolutely adored writing about all the things that really bug me in the romance genre. I loved it so much that I started texting my friend all about it so we could rant all about it together.

If you’ve also done Top Ten Tuesday this week then let me know in the comments! I’d love to see what you had to say about romance in books!

The Boy Next Door by Katie Van Ark | Review

Description from Goodreads:
Maddy Spier has been in love with the boy next door forever. As his figure skating partner she spends time in his arms every day. But she’s also seen his arms around other girls — lots of other girls.

Gabe can’t imagine skating with anyone but Maddy, and together they have a real chance at winning some serious gold medals. So, he’s determined to keep thinking of her like a sister. After all, he’s never had a romantic relationship that lasted for more than two weeks.

But when their coach assigns a new romantic skating program, everything changes. Will this be the big break that Maddy’s been hoping for or the big breakup that Gabe has always feared?

My feelings towards The Boy Next Door were very much a roller coaster, one minute I was loving it and the next I was left feeling disappointed. The Boy Next Door was featured in my First Impression Friday, which you can check out here.
I never really fell for Gabe, so it was mainly during his chapters that I wasn’t feeling it. He was nice enough, but ask any teacher and they’d tell you to go and grab a thesaurus and find a better word. 
So maybe I didn’t love Gabe, but the ice skating? Got to say I loved it! I always watch the figure skating whenever it’s on the TV and especially during the Olympics, so I was reading The Boy Next Door reminiscing over my childhood dream of becoming a figure skater. Sad to say it’s not a dream that was meant to be. 
I really liked Mad, she’s determined and focussed on her dream of becoming a figure skating champion, and which also happens to be a relationship with Gabe both on and off the ice. She really had to persevere to win Gabe over to her way of thinking, not because he didn’t like her in that way, but because he didn’t want to ruin their partnership. I can’t make my mind up whether I think this is sweet or selfish.
I actually felt quite sorry for Mad, she had a lot going on in her life, lots of things to think about and process, not to mention worry about! Gabe was a good friend to Maddy, and I think redeemed himself a little bit in that way. 
The Boy Next Door was an enjoyable YA romance. The figure skating backdrop to the novel was definitely interesting and not something I can say I’ve read before! Have you read The Boy Next Door? Let me know what you thought in the comments!
‘The Boy Next Door’ by Katie Van Ark
4 Stars

First Impression Friday | Someone Else’s Fairytale by E. M. Tippetts

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 whole lot from beginning to end, so I thought it would be really fun to share with you my first impressions on 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!

Someone Else’s Fairytale by E. M. Tippetts
I saw this book featured on a post listing loads of cheap Kindle books, I looked it up and sure enough it was free. That, and the Hollywood romance were all I needed to download it.
The book starts with Chloe and her two friends on their way to be extras on a Hollywood movie, set in their university campus. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that the gorgeous Hollywood actor, also from the small town in Albuquerque, is going to fall for Chloe. 
I’m about a quarter through the book now and I’m unsure of whether or not I like Jason (said Hollywood actor). He seems a little too smooth and pushy. I don’t know how to explain it, to me something just seems off about him. Maybe that has something to do with the fact that Chloe isn’t into the Hollywood rich and famous scene.
As she so gracefully puts it, 
“I could see why millions of women found him dreamy. I just found him odd. He was too perfect looking.”
That, along with the rest of Chloe’s narrative has put me off him a little bit. But you never know, by the end of the book I might be singing his praises.
I don’t know about you, but if a gorgeous man, celebrity or not, started contacting me and getting his flirt on then I’d probably swoon a little, or maybe a lot. For Chloe there is no swooning. Not only is there no swooning on her part the dialogue is really dry, and not in a good way. There’s no humour or life, it’s dead.

I’m hoping that Someone Else’s Fairytale will pick up in the dialogue front, I’ll definitely keep reading it, and you never know, I may just end up falling for Jason after all!

What are you currently reading? Leave your link below!

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