Stay With Me by Elyssa Patrick (With Me series, #1)

Stay With Me Cover

Stay With Me Cover (Releases August 30, 2013)

Okay, here’s the thing. I SHOULD get on a pretentious soapbox about how this novel wasn’t very intellectual and had far too much sex, but the thing is…I kind of liked it. I’m not in the appropriate age group for “New Adult” and I hated the one other New Adult book I read with a fiery passion, but something made me want to read this one. And I found it entertaining in a mindless, blue sky kind of way.

THE PLOT: Hailey Bloom was a child star who became a provocative music star and movie actress as a teen (think Britney or Miley). But now that she’s 18, she’s ditched her stage mom for college so she can discover what SHE wants to do with her own life. She’s afraid of never being able to make real friends because of her stardom, but that changes when she meets Caleb Fox, his family, and his friends. Hailey begins to open up and trust other people, even while she’s afraid her scumbag of a mother will reveal something she’s managed to keep from the press thus far. She just knows that if Caleb learns her secret, it will destroy their relationship.

MY TWO CENTS: Caleb is pretty much a Mary Sue of a boyfriend; he’s absolutely perfect and never does one wrong thing. It’s totally unrealistic, but within the parameters of the novel, this is really the only kind of boyfriend Hailey would be able to handle. One wrong step from him and she would have pulled right back into her shell. So while there’s very little conflict between the characters, it seems…okay. Hailey’s secret is pretty predictable, the reader is given a big ol’ hint early on anyway.

PARENT WARNING: This emerging category of “New Adult” is aimed at older teens and people in their early 20s; older than the young adult category, but still about young people. If your young teen wants to read this, be aware that the sex scenes are pretty darn hot. I don’t read erotica, but I bet this is close without containing bondage, etc. Also, there’s plenty of underage drinking.

BOTTOM LINE: I feel that this was a very guilty pleasure book for me. I didn’t LOVE it, but I did ENJOY it. I enjoyed it enough to follow the gang into the next two “With Me” books in the series.

TEACUP RATING: I give it about three-and-three-quarters teacups. I’m sure people in the target age group will call it the most romantic thing they’ve ever read and give it 100 million stars.

Note: Review is based on an ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Winds of Salem (Beauchamps #3) by Melissa de la Cruz

WInds of Salem Front Cover (Hyperon)

WInds of Salem Front Cover (Hyperion)

When I first starting reading Melissa de la Cruz’s Blue Bloods series, I was really drawn in. Since the Beauchamp (or Witches of East End) series was connected to Blue Bloods, only aimed at adults, I was eager to read it. But by the time I got to the final Blue Bloods novel, I felt the series had run out of steam, and I feel that way about this series as well.
THE PLOT: in this installment, Freya Beauchamp is stuck in 1692 Salem without her memory. Her parents and sister Ingrid are working in the present to get her back. Ingrid is still dating Matt, but it’s slow moving. Freddy’s marriage hits the rocks while he frets about who framed him.

MY TWO CENTS: I really liked the first book, The Witches of East End, which rotated among Joanna, Ingrid, and Freya ‘s points of view. I just don’t think the addition of Freddie helped, or Norman, or the pixies. It just kind of devolved into a muddle. I also think the “trapped in the past” storyline didn’t really contribute much to the overall story arc. I wonder if my interest in the Norse gods aspect diminished, though, because when I think of Thor or especially Loki, I think of this:

(Marvel/Disney)

(Marvel/Disney)

TEACUP RATING: I give this book two-and-a-half teacups. It’s okay, it’s readable, but if it’s the finale to the series, it’s disappointing. I’m also not sure I would pick up another title in the series if one was published. However, I am going to check out Melissa de la Cruz’s next novel, Frozen, which is being published in September. I want to see if this new series captures me like her earlier books did.

Note: Review is based on an ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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