2

Anya and the Shy Guy: The Secret that Changes Everything

Penguin2.3

Anya and the Shy Guy (Backstage Pass #4)

Goodreads Rating: 3.90 Stars
230 Pages
Entangled: Crush Publishing
Get a copy here!

It’s always the quiet ones…

Anya Anderson doesn’t just need a big break, she needs anybreak. Living on the streets doesn’t leave a girl many options, so when she scores a gig reporting on the Seconds to Juliet tour, she jumps at the chance to earn enough money to sleep somewhere safe. And the paycheck will get bigger – and keep her off the streets for good – if she can dig up dirt on Will Fray, the irritatingly hot “shy guy” of the band.

Problem is, Will Fray isn’t who everyone thinks he is. In fact, he’s not Will at all. Matt, Will’s identical twin, is actually the guy onstage, reluctantly covering for his brother while he’s in rehab. To make matters worse, Matt’s being shadowed by a cute reporter with troubled eyes determined to get the scoop. On him. And he’s having trouble finding the willpower to keep his distance…

But if the secret gets out, it won’t just be his head on a platter – it’ll be the whole band’s.

This Entangled Teen Crush book contains steamy make out scenes, graphic language, and a love story so hot your copy may spontaneously burst into flames. You’ve been warned.

4.75Penguins
Quick Reasons: adorable characters who feel genuine and true; realistic glimpse into the paranoia and trust-issues brought about by living on the streets alone; beautiful look into different types of family—i.e. not blood relations; the cutesy butterflies have returned!; a nod toward the final book in the series; the romance felt more “real” than the last one; loved the huge secret included in this book!

I mean, okay, I’m sure you’re ALL sitting there saying, “But Beth! If you actually stopped long enough to read the book synopsis, you’d have KNOWN what the secret was before going in!” And sure, you have a point. I’m not arguing with you. But… I don’t often read book blurbs before jumping in? No, seriously—if I read the book blurb at all, I read it once…….when I first add it to my “want to read” list. And then I promptly forget everything it said. Because who wants to go into a book already knowing what to expect?! Pffffft, not me!

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Okay. So first things first—these characters are MUCH more sincere and genuine than I found those in Daisy to be, so yay for getting back on track with this series! I mean, I guess I can’t expect all the books to be great, but still. Regardless—I had a ton of fun getting to know “Will” better in this read, although I find it interesting that the author decided to focus on someone aside from the band member for a change. The whole “twins” secret was fun and very reminiscent of The Parent Trap (which is one of my favorite movies, so hey, it worked for me!) I also really loved that it sort of gave this read a completely different tone and mood—Matt, as an outsider, is obviously out of his element, and it was entertaining to see him struggle to keep up with the band the way his brother would have.

 

I also LOVELOVELOVE (and even went so far as to mention this to the hubby last night, in a random fit of oh mah penguins what even is going on?!) that this “secret” seemed led-up to in the last book or so. Because honestly, I had noticed a weird shift in “Will”–I noticed he was more vocal, more…snarky, almost, though I put it down to different authors and maybe a sort of “growth” on his part. I just adoooore that even if this wasn’t the plan to begin with, Suze Winegardner thought outside the box and came up with a pretty awesome explanation for the weird behavioral shift. So so many kudos to her for that…and for still managing to make it fit with the series.

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There’s an awesome look into different types of family going on in this book—because Anya is, for all intents and purposes, on her own. But we still get to see her “family”–in Father Howard, in Natasha, and in Jude, specifically. I really like that the message being portrayed here came through so well—you don’t have to share blood to be family. You don’t have to share a last name to make an unbreakable bond with someone. You don’t have to live with people to be able to count on them, or lean on them, when you need help. There are so many other awesome, poignant morals in this book, it just made me love the read even more.

 

This book put this series back on track for me, and I am SO excited to embark on my journey through the final installment—I can’t wait to see what Nathan and Abby’s story has in store for me and my very butterfly-filled, fluttery heart. If the last four books are any indication, it’s going to be a wild, swoony-ride. I recommend this book (and, who am I kidding, this entire series) to lovers of contemporary romances with a moral punch, adorable and sincere characters, and stories that make a statement or make you think. It’s been quite the ride so far; let’s finish this journey up on a good note!

1

Daisy and the Front Man: Can Anyone Say, “Hello, Brat”

Penguin2.3

Daisy and the Front Man (Backstage Pass, #3)

Goodreads Rating: 3.68 Stars
290 Pages
Entangled: Crush Publishing
Get a copy here!

Hell hath no fury like a fangirl scorned…

When Daisy Morris finds out she’s spending the summer with her dad, bodyguard for Seconds to Juliet—the hottest boy band around—she knows it couldn’t be more perfect. But not because she’s a fan. Oh, no. Because ever since front man Trevin Jacobs completely humiliated her by standing her up for homecoming, Daisy is out for a little revenge. Yup, Trevin Jacobs is goin’ down…

When one of his bandmates bets Trevin he can’t make Daisy—the gorgeous but surprisingly ice-cold daughter of their bodyguard—fall in love with him, it’s a bet he can’t resist. Sure, Daisy won’t give him the time of day for reasons he can’t understand, and her dad’s hell-bent against his little girl spending time with a superstar. But the terms are set, and Trevin is determined to make Daisy fall…hard.

But every front man should know never to trust a girl with a pretty face…

This Entangled Teen Crush book contains adult language, sexual situations, and seriously hot boys. It may cause swoony daydreams involving a certain super-cute front man.

3Penguins
Quick Reasons: is it just me, or is Daisy a huge brat?; the romance didn’t feel genuine; I wasn’t rooting for these two AT ALL; unfortunately, these butterflies were super frustrated; good father/daughter bonding moments; great focus on sibling relationships and Trevin’s family

If I said I enjoyed this installment as much as the last two, I’d be lying through my teeth. This book? Disappointed me. Big time.

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I think the biggest reason for this was Daisy. Now, don’t go tearing my head off here—I did find the idea of a revenge plot entertaining at the start of this read. It promised something different for this series: a new sort of humor, a different spin on the fangirl backstory. A good laugh, if nothing else. BUT. Halfway through the read, Daisy was still whining and moaning and in general being a brat. And while I can get behind a good revenge plot ANY day (I mean, obviously, the well-written and amusing ones)…I cannot even with the bratty girls. This read would have been a lot more fun, if Daisy’s sole purpose throughout wasn’t JUST to get back at the boy who “hurt” her.

 

I also felt as if this particular couple came off less believable than the others we’ve been given so far. Obviously, part of this has to do with the revenge plot/bet portion of the story…but even during those moments where guards were let down and real emotions came into play, it didn’t read as sincere for me. I didn’t get the same type of butterflies from their interactions that I did during the last two books. They just didn’t ever really seem to connect. Or maybe I was so annoyed with Daisy, I couldn’t connect.

 

This was, however, still an entertaining read. I found myself giggling on several occassions, usually around Daisy’s EARLY pranks on Trevin (you know…the innocent ones. The ones that didn’t really hurt anyone) Also, the relationships and bonds between the boys were strong and clearly defined. We saw MUCH more of Nathan and Will in this book, which I loved—it gives me something to look forward to going in to the last few installments. And I loved the focus the author gave to Trevin and his relationships with his family—those moments really helped to make this book, in my opinion.

 

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Overall, this was a cute, amusing book…but I feel Daisy could have been written better. Also, the romance felt a bit too fake for my tastes. I still recommend to lovers of cutesy contemporaries, revenge plots, and movies like She’s All That. If you’re into those things, this is right up your alley!

1

Mia and the Bad Boy: These Butterflies are Dangerous

Penguin2.3

Mia and the Bad Boy (Backstage Pass #2)

Goodreads Rating: 3.67 Stars
220 Pages
Entangled: Crush Publishing
Get a copy here!

This good girl’s about to meet her match…

Ryder Brooks is living the dream—he’s famous, loved by millions of girls, and miserable. All he really wants is to write his own music, not Seconds to Juliet’s sugary sweet pop. In order to do that, though, the “bad boy” of the band will have to play by the rules. And that includes behaving with his new—and super cute—über-good-girl tutor.

Mia Reyes is in fangirl heaven. Tutoring her favorite member of her favorite band? It’s a dream come true…until it turns into a complete nightmare. Ryder is nothing like she thought. He’s crude, arrogant, and pretty much a total jerk. And the worst part? She’s roped into pretending to be his girlfriend so that no one finds out he’s being tutored. Fake kisses, plenty of PDA, and even sharing his hotel room…

But sometimes even the baddest of bad boys needs a little redemption.


4.75Penguins
Quick Reasons: good girl meets bad boy…and they find a wonderful happy medium; super adorable, swoon-worthy romance; awesome dual personal-growth stories; they help each other find themselves, and I love it; more butterfly-inducing feels; complex, well-written characters

Gah. GAAAAAAAH. I’m devouring these, but the feels, man! The feeeeeeeeels! My heart feels a little bit floppy right now, I’m pretty sure the butterflies exploded it…and I can’t say I’d want it any other way.

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This is the second book in the Backstage Pass series, all written by different authors (which is just, let me tell you, AWESOME! I mean, I don’t mind series written by the same author at all…but to have a series written by multiple authors? That’s taking collaborations to a whole new level!)

Once again, this book mostly focuses on our main duo—Mia, the good girl tutor…and Ryder, the “bad boy” of a popular boy band. And these two? Are absolutely adorable. They both learn so much from one another, they both grow exponentially from start to finish…I mean, you can practically SEE the transformations taking place as you read, and it’s amazingly beautiful. But while they are the main two, we do still get to see the rest of the crew pop up. New relationships are forged, mutual respect is found by all… I just really, really adore that while this series picks two characters for each book to really focus on, it doesn’t forget that the other characters also exist. So far, each author has gone out of their way to include the various quirks and bonds formed in such confined, tight quarters.

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Again, the plot is steady—but the read is so, SO quick. I found myself at the 60% mark wondering where the time went, where my heart was headed, where I could find MORE (of course, I still have three books in the series to get through, so I’m set on that front). There is, as always with contemporary romances, angst and drama. There is a lot of self-doubt, a lot of confused emotions, a LOT of nostalgia (for me, at least). But penguins, these books are a ton of fun—and while the characters are, obviously, nowhere close to perfect…they ALWAYS redeem themselves in the end.

There are some more mature, themes running throughout—mostly dealing with premarital sex, underage drinking, and band manager manipulations. No, seriously, the more I learn about LJ, the more I want to bash his face in—he’s such an awful, gross character, I feel SO BAD for these boys working under him. BUT—all these subjects are handled with sensitivity, and each character’s backstory is beautifully integrated into the story and plot.

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I am really, really enjoying this series, and have a feeling I might polish the rest of these books off before I pick up anything else—I’m just really in the mood for contemporary romances, I guess. The butterflies in my stomach demand it. I definitely recommend to lovers of love, all things gushy, and angsty dramatic relationships. Also, loving stories about band members doesn’t hurt either.

6

Aimee and the Heartthrob: Someone Catch Me, I’m Swooning

Penguin2.3

Aimee and the Heartthrob (Backstage Pass #1)

Goodreads Rating: 3.69 Stars
223 Pages
Entangled: Crush Publishing
Get a copy here!

He never noticed her before, but now she’s all he can see…

Miles Carlisle is every teen girl’s fantasy. His rugged good looks and exotic British accent have helped catapult his boy band, Seconds to Juliet, to super-stardom. But after two disastrous and very public breakups, Miles isn’t interested in dating just any girl; he wants The One. And the only girl he’s interested in is not only his best friend’s little sister – and off-limits – but won’t even give him the time of day…

As a kid, Aimee Bingham had a huge thing for Miles…until he made fun of her for always tagging along. Now that she’s outgrown both him and her pigtails, the prospect of spending two weeks on tour with the childhood crush who broke her heart isn’t exactly enticing. Except now Miles seems interested. Very interested. And no matter how hard Aimee tries to resist him, her crush is definitely making a comeback. But everyone knows that falling for a heartthrob is a backstage pass to heartbreak…

– – – – –

4.75Penguins
Quick Reasons: adorable, heart-fluttery romance; ALL THE FEELS EVER; complex, well-written characters; lots of wit and snark and yummy feel-goods; star-crossed lovers, of a sort; great brother/sister relationship; the piano song (both versions!) is literally everything; cute, quirky, quick read; my heart melted

I know, I know…I totally broke my “ARCs only” theme for this month, but give me a break! I made it most of the way through, and caught up pretty quickly. C’mon, guys—I was desperate for something cutesy and butterflies-in-the-stomach inducing. Can you forgive me?!

 

And, ohmah penguins, this book was absolutely adorable! I wasn’t sure, when I picked up this entire series just this morning on Kindle (yeah, yeah, book buying ban?! what even is that?!), that I’d actually like the series. It seems, looking at the goodreads ratings, that people didn’t really LOVE these books. But guuuuuuys…. I! LOVED! THIS! BOOK!

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Like, okay. The characters? Super adorable. I love how snarky, cool, and collected Aimee is. I love how down-to-earth and romantic Miles is. I love?! how much I absolutely loved these characters—particularly their interactions. Their relationship is complicated, and messy, and frustrating from the very beginning. I had a ton of fun watching them go through the stages of “getting to know you again” and finally, blissfully, admitting that perhaps there’s something more there than just a surface-level attraction. Of course, this book is NOT without it’s fair share of drama or angst—hello? They’re teenagers, in love for the first time. There’s going to be drama. Mistakes are going to be made.

 

While the plot doesn’t range high on the “fast-paced” or “action-packed” meter (I mean duh, it’s a romance book, what do you expect?) the read was quick and easy to fall into. My heart literally melted a good half-dozen times, if not more. I absolutely adored certain scenes—particularly those of the forbidden kisses snuck in secluded corners variety. This book took me back to that high school romance feeling—the one you’d give literally anything for. The one that surpassed everything, that took your world over, that made you do things you never thought you could. The nostalgia for me was high during this read, and I loved every minute.

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Overall, this was a cute, snarky read, and I am SO glad I decided to pick it up. I can’t wait to dive into the next book in this series—and probably will be doing so immediately. I recommend to lovers of contemporary romance, “falling for the boy in the band” novels, and forbidden loves. I mean, not to mention, if you’re anything like me, you’ll have butterflies through most of the read. This romance? Swoon-inducing.