Review// Egomaniac by Vi Keeland

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Author: Vi Keeland
Series: Standalone
Genre: New Adult/ Romance
Release Date: January 16, 2017
Book Length:  322 pages 
Publisher: Everafter Romance
Review: 4/5

Goodreads Synopsis:

The night I met Drew Jagger, he’d just broken into my new Park Avenue office. I dialed 9-1-1 before proceeding to attack him with my fancy new Krav Maga skills.  He quickly restrained me, then chuckled, finding my attempted assault amusing.

Of course, my intruder had to be arrogant. Only, turned out, he wasn’t an intruder at all.

Drew was the rightful occupant of my new office. He’d been on vacation while his posh space was renovated. Which was how a scammer got away with leasing me office space that wasn’t really available for rent. I was swindled out of ten grand.

The next day, after hours at the police station, Drew took pity on me and made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. In exchange for answering his phones while his secretary was out, he’d let me stay until I found a new place. I probably should have acted grateful and kept my mouth shut when I overheard the advice he was spewing to his clients. But I couldn’t help giving him a piece of my mind. I never expected my body to react every time we argued. Especially when that was all we seemed to be able to do.

The two of us were complete opposites. Drew was a bitter, angry, gorgeous-as-all-hell destroyer of relationships. And my job was to help people save their marriages. The only thing the two of us had in common was the space we were sharing. And an attraction that was getting harder to deny by the day.

My Review:

Don’t judge a book by its cover. Or do, I guess? I don’t know. What I do know though is that this book was great.  At the beginning, I was genuinely toying with the idea of giving it a 2/5, but the story improved so much that I had to raise it, which I was shocked about because that does not happen too often.

I loved the chemistry between Drew and Emerie, and I especially enjoyed that it was built up over a long period of time before anything actually happened.  Judging by the cover, I thought something would happen between them a lot sooner than it did, but I liked the suspense that came from waiting. Although there was a sense of sexual tension that the other probably noticed, you could tell that their feelings were still somewhat a mystery to the other for a while, and it was fun to experience how that played out. The characters also felt true to their ages—late 20s/ early 30s—which, to me, is important and made them seem more real.

Drew in particular really surprised me. When you see the title of Egomaniac, your first thought is that he’s going to be a dick, for lack of a better word. However, I think the word ‘egomaniac’ only applied to Drew as he was a victim of circumstances that sort of made him that way. He wasn’t perfect (perfect doesn’t exist anyways), but he did have good intentions with Emerie and you could tell that he truly fell for her which gave me such a soft spot for him. It also helped that I saw my personality in Emerie, so I really wanted things to work out for her. I won’t go into the details to avoid possible spoilers, but the book was about more than just the relationship between the two though, which was nice as it added dimension to the story.

10/10 would recommend if you’re a fan of New Adult. I laughed out loud and said ‘oh my god’ too many times to count, so I really can’t wait to give more Vi Keeland books a read in the future!

Has anyone read this or other good New Adult books? Any and all recommendations are welcome 🙂

– Catherine


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Review// The Twelve Dates of Christmas by Lisa Dickenson

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Author: Lisa Dickenson
Series: Standalone
Genre: Romance
Release Date: October 22, 2015
Book Length:  384 pages 
Publisher: Sphere
Review: 1/5

Goodreads Synopsis:

At thirty, Claudia’s life is stale and the romance with long-term boyfriend, Seth, has disappeared. Determined to inject some festive spark back into their love life, Claudia and Seth go on their first date in a very long time. But when the night ends in disaster, Claudia suddenly finds herself facing life – and Christmas – alone.

Life alone is exciting, scary and full of soon-forgotten exercise regimes and ill-advised attempts at crafting sexy underwear. It’s also filling up with dates, surprisingly. With best friends Penny and Nick at her side, a surplus of festive markets, mulled wine and Christmas tunes, Claudia attempts to face all this change with gusto. One thing’s for certain: this year, Christmas is going to be very different . . .

This is the story of Claudia and her twelve dates of Christmas. Hilarious, uplifting and romantic, it’s a story about losing love, finding love, and discovering what’s been there all along. Expect Christmas sparkle, butterflies-in-your-stomach romance and a lot of very funny moments in The Twelve Dates of Christmas.

My Review:

Oh my. Where do I even begin with this? The synopsis makes it sound kind of cute, but you could probably tell by my rating that this was not the book for me. Before I get into the bits I didn’t like, I will mention a few of the things I did:

The cover: it’s really pretty, and I always get sucked into the pretty covers.
It felt festive: I wanted to read a holiday-themed book, and I thought this delivered really well in giving me that vibe.
Claudia had a Friends poster in her childhood bedroom: do I even need to explain this?
The dedication at the front: the author thanked herself in the dedication which I thought was kind of funny.

Unfortunately, that is a much shorter list of things I thought were good about it than I had hoped to give it. Mainly, the thing that I didn’t like was how dramatic and far-fetched the scenarios in this book were. Claudia has just broken it off with her boyfriend of 5 years – a man who, just hours before their disastrous date that ended things, she was so into trying to impress to give him the best night ever. The part in the synopsis about ‘life alone being so exciting’ actually makes me laugh because she didn’t have a life alone after him??? It was literally ONE DAY. I completely understand that everyone grieves the end of a relationship differently, but I find it really hard to believe that like a day or two after, she was able to go on a date with someone new so effortlessly. Basically, her reasoning for this was that she kind of wanted to ‘spite’ Seth because she had seen him with someone new the night they called it off, and I found that to be very childish. Although Seth was awful, I really wanted to root for Claudia to find better, but that became difficult when she was so petty, annoying, gullible, immature, and just plain stupid. I really don’t think that she was in the right head space to go on one date, let alone twelve, so I really didn’t feel any sort of desire to watch her find love.

It felt like the author was forcing the timeline to move so fast because she could only fit the Christmas narrative within the one month of December. This is just a personal preference, but I enjoy more of a slow burn when it comes to books with romance in them; I would rather the author build up tension for like, 200 pages with narrative that makes me question where the relationship will go, rather than it being so predictable and outwardly cheesy. Speaking of cheesiness, there were many scenes in this book that reminded me so much of those Lifetime movies with the bad acting. I just cringed through so many scenes and felt way too much second hand embarrassment to allow myself to enjoy it.

The book wasn’t completely awful; it just was not my cup of tea. If you like predictability, cheesiness, and exaggerated drama, you might like this, but it just was not for me.

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