Before Hadley by J. Nathan

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Title: Before Hadley

Series: Stand-Alone

Author: J. Nathan

Format: Kindle E-book

Published: 2016

Rating: 5166151661516615166151661half

Summary: What’s worse than a cocky new guy at school? A cocky new guy with a killer body and the attention of every female at school. Hadley can tell the minute she lays eyes on Caynan that he’s someone to avoid. He may have looks and charm, but he’s also got heartbreak written all over his pretty face.

Unfortunately for Hadley, Caynan has his sights set on her. She’s the one girl who doesn’t want him. The one girl who’s turned off by his charm. The one girl who challenges him like no other. And, though she couldn’t possibly know the truth about him, she seems to be the one girl who really sees him.

But with Caynan, things aren’t at all what they seem. His secrets have secrets and everything out of his mouth straddles the line between truth and fiction. He knows better than to get involved with anyone, especially with his time limited in the new town, but he just can’t seem to get Hadley out of his mind. Too bad for him, secrets never remain secrets for long

Review

I just finished reading a book that was classified as a romance but unfortunately just didn’t cut it. It was forced and the characters were always fighting. The romance was pretty much non-existent. Thank goodness Before Hadley was different. Before Hadley is a great story for anyone looking for a good New Adult book with a slightly different plot than the typical ones. It has the typical swoon and angst [which let’s face it, is what I’m looking for when I’m reading these books]. It is funny and witty and the characters are extremely well developed. It pays more attention to the romance between the characters than the main characters’ separate lives, through there are plenty of scenes that give you a glimpse into each of their lives without the other so you don’t feel like their relationship is being shoved down your throat.

Caynan is the new kid, hailing from “rainy London” and who has girls swarming him from the minute he shows up. But nothing is as it seems. He’s grown up with only his father and unfortunately the two don’t have the best relationship. No spoilers, but for a good part of the book all I wanted to do was shake the shit out of him. I do like that the author didn’t make him the typical lead with dark hair and blue eyes. It ended up making him more memorable.

Hadley was also more memorable than the typical lead because while she was described similarly to the leads from multiple New Adult books, she was also described as being fairly popular with the guys [something that most authors tend to shy away from]. She only hangs out with a small group but it is hinted that she’s had her fair share of boyfriends. Obviously she’s not as much of a loner as she appears. She’s also an artist, a fact that plays a big part in her decision to give Caynan a chance. She’s strong too, not shying away from what needs to be done, and I was so proud of her.

The two of them together are the most adorable couple, which is partly why I wanted to shake Caynan so bad, between his cocky attitude and her feisty sarcasm they were a great match. And, spoiler alert, they get their happy ending, which is really all that matters in the end.

** I received this book in exchange for honest review on NetGalley **

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Hopeless Vows by Rachael Duncan

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Title: Hopeless Vows

Series: Stand-Alone

Author: Rachael Duncan

Format: Kindle E-book

Published: 2016

Rating:  51661516615166151661

Summary: It was a modern take on an arranged marriage that was supposed to lead to my happily ever after. The rules were simple:

1. Marry a complete stranger chosen for you by professionals.
2. Live together as man and wife for eight weeks while cameras record your every move.
3. Make a decision to stay together or get a divorce.

Call me crazy, but I had complete faith in the process, until I saw who was waiting for me at the end of the aisle.

Austin James has never met me, but that doesn’t mean I don’t know him. With no other choice, I say my vows and pray I can make it through the next eight weeks. Then I’ll leave. What connects us is my best kept secret, and I’ll protect it at all costs even if that means walking away from the only person I’ve ever cared about.

Review:

“I miss you. Three small words. Individually, they’re meaningless. Strung together, they cripple me.”

The first time I found this book on GoodReads I scrolled through some of the reviews and found one where another author claimed that she was a fan of a show with a similar premise and I remember thinking the premise isn’t similar… it is exactly the same. I believe the only difference [aside from names, including the name of the show] is that there were four couples instead of three. Did this make me not want to read it? Hell no. I wanted to read it more. I happen to like Married at First Sight and the reviews didn’t say that the book sucked so I went for it.

Thank god I did. I found myself enjoying this even more than the show.

In Married at First Sight you get to see three couples who have never met before and know nothing about each other meet for the first time as they are getting married. You get to see the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to them trying to figure out how to make a marriage work with a complete stranger.

In Hopeless Vows you get to see all of that which is being filmed for the show in the book, First Comes Marriage, and also everything behind the scenes which of course is where all the fun stuff happens. Jillian and Austin are matched together by the experts because they have similar backgrounds and because they fit well together personality wise. The only problem? Jillian seems… withdrawn. You might be too though if you find out that your new husband has something to do with your past that you never want him to find out. It’s only eight weeks though. Surely she can make it through without him finding out about her past. This book was full of ups and downs, a lot of steam, a fair amount of jealousy, and enough angst to bring it all together.

All in all I really liked this book. I really like the premise of getting married to a complete stranger through a program that seems to work [instead of it simply being arranged by parents for connections]. I would probably read it again if I was looking for a sweet guy and angsty plot and some well rounded characters.