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APRIL FOLLOWER APPRECIATION GIVEAWAY

It’s that time of the month again!! I host a follower appreciation giveaway at the end of each month as an extra thank you to every Book Vigilante Reviews follower for your support. Every comment, like, share, email, book recommendation, etc… I all love and appreciate and it’s just so great to be able to chat with like-minded readers about books!  So for this giveaway, one winner will receive a paperback of their choice from the list provided.

How do I decide what goes on the list? It is a compilation of all the books I’ve read, reviewed, and blogged about each month – it doesn’t matter if I loved the book or disliked the book. The only ones not listed are the few books I may have started and then not finished.

**Note: Some book titles do not have paperback options available. In the event you choose that book, I will gift you an ebook copy instead. If a book hasn’t been released yet, paperback or ebook copy will be delivered on release date.**

He’s a player in more ways than one…

College junior John Logan can get any girl he wants. For this hockey star, life is a parade of parties and hook-ups, but behind his killer grins and easygoing charm, he hides growing despair about the dead-end road he’ll be forced to walk after graduation. A sexy encounter with freshman Grace Ivers is just the distraction he needs, but when a thoughtless mistake pushes her away, Logan plans to spend his final year proving to her that he’s worth a second chance.

Now he’s going to need to up his game…

After a less than stellar freshman year, Grace is back at Briar University, older, wiser, and so over the arrogant hockey player she nearly handed her V-card to. She’s not a charity case, and she’s not the quiet butterfly she was when they first hooked up. If Logan expects her to roll over and beg like all his other puck bunnies, he can think again. He wants her back? He’ll have to workfor it. This time around, she’ll be the one in the driver’s seat…and she plans on driving him wild.

Earlier this year, I read and ADORED book 1 in this series The Deal. It was everything I could ever ask for in a NA romance – fun, entertaining, and truly a breath of fresh air with likable main characters, witty banter that had me grinning from ear to ear, and a believable romance that wasn’t just hinged on a heroine having big boobs or a reformed playboy hero like so many NA books today. Not only did I fall in love with the story and characters, I also found in Elle Kennedy a new author to book stalk and whose writing was so fresh and engaging I couldn’t wait to read more from her, especially this second book in this series. Thus, I’m really sad, disappointed, and quite frankly, a tad bit annoyed that I didn’t love or even like The Mistake much because believe me, I wanted to love it badly.

One of the biggest issues I had with this book was the way the author portrayed college life and the character stupidity that resulted because of such a shallow, inaccurate, and offensive portrayal.

“I’m allowed to hook up. No, I should be hooking up, because that’s what college is all about. Having fun and getting laid and enjoying the fuck out of yourself before you go out in the real world and your life turns to shit.”

I don’t know why I feel so offended by this motto but I do. I think it’s the standard for NA books to have characters with this kind of mentality who treat college like it’s a huge joke. As a college student myself, I don’t find this to be true one bit. Maybe this kind of setting is present for some schools but it’s not a majority and I wish authors would stop portraying colleges like it’s a hotspot for orgies and guys are nothing more than manwhores and girls sluts. Aside from Hannah and Garrett (from book 1) the guys in this book – including Logan – have getting laid at the top of their to do lists and all the girls can’t help but want to get nailed and desperately want to lose their virginity, like the heroine Grace for an example (this is literally the first thought of hers I read).

“I started my freshman year of college as a virgin. I’m beginning to think I’ll be ending it as one too.”

The first couple chapters of this book consisted of Logan moaning over Hannah, him nailing girls, Grace stuttering and wondering if she’ll ever lose her virginity and somehow this is supposed to be considered normal and just pure entertainment value because I mean, it’s college right? *insert sarcasm* And if you’re wondering if colleges in the US are all like the way they’re portrayed in NA books (especially in this book), the answer is NO! I won’t hide that book 1 also touched on this kind of setting, but at least in that book the author didn’t allow her main characters to fall victim to that kind of mentality unlike Logan and Grace here.

To build up on this aspect, the characters also made some really dumb and unbelievable choices that made me scratch my head and go huh. Logan and Grace officially meet in one of the cheesiest ways – him accidentally stumbling upon the wrong dorm room and happens to find her room instead (hmmm okay…). They’re strangers at this point (except Grace has only been fangirling about him for so long and can’t wait to tell her best friend about him ugh) and you’d think that since they don’t know anything about each other they’d chit-chat and that’d be the start of a potential relationship right? Instead, Grace – who knows absolutely nothing about Logan except that he’s HOT – invites him into her dorm and further invites him to watch a movie. And then they proceed to mess around. I’m sorry, but that’s something I find hard to accept considering they are complete STRANGERS at this point and have next to zero interaction.

These problems I mentioned above are all issues for me because of my inability to separate fiction from reality and how easily I’m able to compare & contrast the story setting along with the character age so these things may very well not be issues for anyone else. But for me, these were kinks and hindered me from liking the book from the start.

As the story progressed, I found myself relaxing a bit more as the humor, wit, and golden dialogues I know this author is capable of writing appeared and for a while I enjoyed the story. I liked that even though Logan was pining after his best friend’s girl, he was upfront about it, knew it was wrong, and definitely didn’t act on the attraction. His dedication and love for hockey along with his commitment to his family were admirable qualities and even made me feel for him. And when he made the biggest mistake of his life romance-wise, I liked that he didn’t crumble away and throw his hands up and say whatever. He fought for his girl and got his act together.

Grace…what to say about this chick. Overall, she didn’t leave much an impression on me as a standout heroine who could match the hero. Like I mentioned earlier, the college setting snafu and Grace’s naiveté annoyed me so much and even though she made Logan grovel, there was nothing else about her that stood out. While the author painted a vivid background for Logan (hockey, family), there was nothing on Grace. I mean, when I think about her character my mind’s a blank slate whereas for Logan I feel sympathy, love, annoyance and compassion.

The last quarter of the book took a nosedive for me as obstacles were swiftly cleared away with little development and oh my god…the part where Logan and his dad resolve their issues made me eyes roll. The engaging writing I came to love in book 1 was mostly absent in this book sadly. Once again, it may just be me but I felt the story was more telling than showing. The author tells me Logan and Grace screwed like rabbits. The author tells me time passed. The author tells me this happened while that occurred and it’s so frustrating to read such lackluster writing! The story did make me crack a smile here and there but the thing is, those parts all involved Hannah and/or Garrett. While I love those two dearly, I wanted something about Logan and Grace to make me sigh, swoon, or laugh over. It just didn’t happen for me.

I am definitely in the small minority who feels like this book was a bust so don’t let my one opinion stop you from checking it out. No matter what, The Deal will always remain one of my top favorites but as I have zero interest in the other side characters (not the manwhore Dean, not Logan’s other teammates, not Grace’s backstabbing, drama-creating friend Ramona, etc…) I highly doubt I will continue with this series.

Rating: 2 stars!

An advanced copy was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.