Monthly Wrap-Ups: March 2018

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Hey guys! March was an interesting month filled with a lot of highs and lows. I mostly blame the lows on the weather. We got so much snow in NYC and I'm so over this nasty weather. This Caribbean girl needs some sunshine in her life and SOON! On the flip side, I got to visit my blogger friend, Nick. She took me around Philly and I ate a lot of yummy food. We also saw Love, Simon and it was adorable! I gotta say, Philly is a lot prettier than NYC. I think I was also bitten by the travel bug because now I want to visit some other states and see what's good on the other coast. Hopefully I can make that happen this year.

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I read a total of 16 books this month and listened to 3 books! That's right, your girl is officially hooked on audiobooks. I was looking for a way to read more backlist books at a faster rate so I can clean up my TBR and I think audiobooks are my answer. Anyways, March was another mixed month where books were either hit or miss. My favorite reads for this month are Second Chance Charmer, In Harmony, Two Wedding Crashers, and Long Shot.  

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I've been dying to read these authors for a while now so I'm going to pick up their new releases to get things started.

Hey y'all!! How is it already about to be April!? It's crazy how fast this year is already starting to fly by!! This has been a pretty meh month for me, I was expecting some good things to happen but nope lmao. I don't get too personal with you all on here because I know you come for the books lol, but this year has been pretty frustrating for me because I've been struggling to find a job. It really and truly blows my mind how jobs want you to have so much experience but you can't even get anything that can even give you any. There have been so many moments where I thought something was finally going to come through only to have the door closed in my face. Needless to say all the stress and frustration has started taking a small toll on my reading life and put me in a slump/rut, but I've got my fingers crossed that April will hopefully get better for me so I can get my life together.

 I only got to one book this month (from what I can remember haha), and that was In Harmony by my fave Emma Scott. As always this was a hit for me, so even though it's just one book, I'm happy it was at least a good one.

Tbh I really want and need to focus on some recent releases that I've yet to get to because ya girl is so behind!! 



We have decided to put The New Romantics on a hiatus for a few months as both of us are busy with our personal lives so we're just going to take a break from blogging to recharge and hopefully we'll be back soon! 

Thank you to everyone for me so damn supportive from the beginning, we really and truly appreciate it, and we can't wait to hop back in the swing of things again soon!!

In Harmony || Book Review

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Title: In Harmony
Author: Emma Scott
Publication Date: February 13, 2018
Publisher: Trillian
Links: Goodreads || Amazon 

Ari's Rating: ★★
Britt's Rating: ★★.25

Synopsis via Goodreads: "In a voice to the voiceless..."

The root of all madness is an unbearable truth…

At seventeen, Willow Holloway’s life was torn apart. The happy, driven girl is gone, and she is left wracked by post-traumatic stress her body remembers even if she does not. When her father suddenly uproots the family from their posh penthouse in New York City to the tiny town of Harmony, Indiana, Willow becomes more untethered and lost under the weight of her secret. On a whim, she auditions for a part in the community theater’s production of Hamlet and unexpectedly wins the role of Ophelia—the girl who is undone by madness, and her love of Hamlet…

Isaac Pearce is from the ‘wrong side of the tracks.’ The town bad boy. Girls pine for his attention and guys are in awe of him. That he’s an acting prodigy only adds to his charisma. Isaac utterly disappears into his characters; the stage is the only place he feels safe from his own traumatic home life. He wants nothing more than to escape to Broadway or Hollywood and leave Harmony behind for good.

No one can play Hamlet but Isaac, and when the director pairs him with Willow in acting class, they clash again and again—neither willing to open their hearts to anyone. But clashing leads to breaking, breaking leads to the spilling of terrible secrets, and soon Isaac and Willow find Shakespeare’s words mirroring their lives. When they are cruelly torn apart, neither know how this play will end—with madness and heartache? Or healing, love, and the discovery of who they are truly meant to be.

In Harmony is a standalone YOUNG ADULT/NEW ADULT love story, and is intended for readers 18 and up. PLEASE NOTE, this book contains sensitive material such as physical abuse, and the aftermath of sexual assault (off the page). Reader discretion is advised.


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ARI: I didn't read the blurb before picking up In Harmony so I had no idea what this book was going to be about but having read Emma Scott's novels before, I knew I was in for an emotional roller coaster of a ride. After reading the dedication, I knew that In Harmony would be much different than Scott's previous books. It would be a story that would stay with me long after I read the last page.

BRITT: Emma Scott is an author that I had finally read for the first time last year, and after reading one of her books I instantly feel in love with her writing and story telling and she shot to the top of my faves list. Having a few books of hers read under my belt I've come to know that no matter what I read from her, I know that the story and characters will subtly come and pack a punch and as usual In Harmony was no different.

ARI: In Harmony is a story about two broken souls finding their voice through art. Emma Scott has taken a story line that I've read numerous times before, put her own creative spin on it and has crafted a story that utterly ruined me! I gotta say that the integration of the play Hamlet throughout this book was pretty damn unique and unexpected. Truthfully, I was never a fan of Hamlet but using it as a backdrop intensified this story. I loved how the play and this story kind of mirrored one another and how Hamlet and Ophelia's relationship was similar to Willow and Isaac's relationship. All these little details just brought more depth to story. As for the romance, it has Emma Scott's signature slow-burn written all over it. This story is about survivors so it's less about swoon-worthy moments and more about healing. I liked the fact that the romance wasn't used as a way to "save" either of these characters, but rather both Willow and Isaac provided each other with the support they needed in order open up and work through their fears. Their relationship felt authentic and I loved it.       

BRITT: As I mentioned above Emma Scott knows how to create characters and story-lines that pack a punch in a very subtle way. You start off thinking you're reading a typical romance book but the more you read the more the feels creep onto you. You get so invested and and connected to it all which always makes for such a gripping story. In In Harmony we follow two lonely souls that are just trying to make it through each day. Each day is a day spent trying to survive and stay afloat despite everything going on around them. Willow and Isaac are seemingly the complete opposites on the outside, but on the inside there is so much that they can relate to. Thanks to a local play in town for Hamlet, these two end up having to spend a good amount of time together going over lines, but they unexpectedly get to know one another as well on a deeper level. The way that Scott was able to weave together parts of Hamlet with parts of the story and characters was unlike anything I think I've read before and I loved reading it. It made this read super unique and brought something a bit more to the overall story. The things both Willow and Isaac endured made them both damaged but their tentative friendship helped them both feel the support they may have felt lacking before, and it let them come to terms on ways they could have a better future. Like Ari has mentioned, this isn't a story about how love can "heal" or "save" someone from something but more like how friendship and support can create a framework for something stronger, and show that love can still be possible even if you felt like it never could've been before.

ARI: My heart broke completely for Willow Holloway. After being sexually assaulted, Willow has become a shell of herself and she struggles to cope with the aftermath. It also doesn't help that her parents aren't there for her emotionally. When her father announces that they will be moving due to his job, she uses the opportunity to find herself again and no longer live in the fear. Watching Willow struggle and break down was not easy. There was so much raw emotions on the page and I had to take break so I could cry my eyes out before continuing. But the pain was worth it because to see her build herself back up and find her voice to speak her truth was everything. Even if you haven't been where Willow has been, you will feel her pain, understand it and maybe even relate to it. 

BRITT: Willow's story is one that a lot can relate to unfortunately. After being sexually assaulted she's only a shell of her former self now. Gone is the confident girl from NY that was outgoing in her actions. Now she's retreated into herself and keeping her assault hidden is starting to take a bigger and bigger tole on her. And her parents lack of care beyond the superficial isn't helping. When her dad announces they'll be moving to a much smaller town she's beyond ready to pack up and start over away from it all. Her story is truly heartbreaking and one that will make readers feel very emotional. Her story is also one that so many are facing right now. Scott shows the raw truth of how power, male power specifically can make it harder for women to come forward and speak up. So many times you hear people asking why someone who was abused didn't speak sooner, or you hear a survivor of abuse telling their story and saying how they waited so long because the abuser had more power or influence than them. That is really shown in this book and although it is utterly shitty, it's the hard truth that is in our society today. Watching Willow heal and speak her heart out through a simple play is so powerful. The more she found her voice in acting the more she started to find her voice again in her real life. She slowly took her life back after her abuser took it, and she proved that although it may be so damn hard at first, it is possible to have life again.

ARI:  When we first met Isaac Pearce, I wasn't quite sure what to make of him. He's not a man of many words, but his silence speaks volume. His family fell apart after his mother passed away and in a sense, so did he. He too has to find his voice again and he does so while on stage. That is where he bears his truth. I'll admit, it took me a while to warm up to Isaac, but once I did I realized that Willow isn't the only survivor in this story—Isaac is one too. It was in that moment that a switch flipped and I fell in love with Isaac's character and I just wanted him to find his own happiness. 
BRITT: Issac was dealt is own hardships in life, and is still dealing with them when he's introduced in the story. He's slow to open up to anyone and because of his home life he faces a ton of scrutiny from the small town. But when he gets on stage it's all forgotten. Instead of being the bad guy with no money that lives on the wrong side of town he's whoever he wants to be on stage. When he's performing in front of an audience they don't talk about the bruises he would get at the hands of his father, or bring up his mother's death. It was all about his performance in those moments if even for a little bit. He was never expecting to find a friend in Willow or even love for that matter because he was only focused on leaving the town for good and become an actor. Willow comes along and shows him that you can find beauty in anything, whether it be the new girl that's just has lost and damaged as he is, or in the town that once made him want to flee with no looking back.

ARI: In the blurb (which I read went back and read after I finished, lol) it states "In a voice to the voiceless..." and Emma Scott did just that! Willow's story is a powerful, emotional and impactful read and one that is so relevant considering all that is going on in today's society. I don't think I will ever get tired of praising Emma Scott for all her words and if you do decide to pick this book up, have all the tissues handy because you're gonna need them! 

BRITT: In Harmony brought me what I've come to expect from Emma's writing so far. A deeply emotional story-line, with gripping characters that will stay with you even after finishing. The subject matter of this one is so important, especially at this time, because it brings to light something that so many are quick to dismiss. Even though it can be such an ugly situation, this book still shows that there is beauty and strength in falling to your lowest point, getting back up again, and proving that your voice, your soul, and that YOU matter. No matter if you're already an Emma Scott fan or not, without a doubt you will fall in love with this book and remember it long after you've read the last page.

WWW Wednesday: March 21, 2018

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Hey Guys!
WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words. Simply answer the following questions: 
 What have you recently finished reading?
 What are you currently reading?
 What do you think you’ll read next?

Sin with Me by J.A. Huss & Jonathan McClain

ARI: This is the first book in the Original Sin series and while I liked J.A. Huss' writing, I didn't think it meshed well with Jonathan's writing. I'm hoping things have a better flow in the next book.   

BRITT: Long Shot

Hurts to Love You by Alisha Rai

ARI: I'm slowly making my way through the final book in the Forbidden Hearts series and so far I'm loving it!


BRITT: Dropped

Long Shot by Kennedy Ryan

ARI: I'm ready for Kennedy Ryan to snatch my soul.


What are you all reading this week? Leave us your links down below!

Wedding Shenanigans, Alpha Males & Sin City || Mini Reviews

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“Happily ever after. That's what my world revolves around and yet, I struggle to find one myself.”
Two Wedding Crashers is the second book in the Dating by Numbers series and by far Meghan Quinn's most hilarious book to date. Fair warning, don't read this book while consuming any foods or liquids because you might choke from laughing too much. I should also like to note that while this book can be read as a standalone, I still suggest picking up the first book in this series because you're not gonna wanna miss out on the shenanigans in that book.

Two Wedding Crashers is a romance about two people who've been guarded from love for so long that once it's standing in front of them, they're not quite sure what to do next. I was a little hesitant going into this book because truth be told, I wasn't a big fan of Beck Wilder's character in Three Blind Dates. He was kind of a playboy with a secret past and I thought he would continue to play games in this sequel, but he surprised me so much! I ended up falling so hard for Beck and I think once I got a better understanding for why he was so guarded, I let his previous behavior slide. He is a genuine softie and I loved how he was willing to do whatever to takes to win Rylee's heart. While I loved Beck, it took me a really long time to feel the same way about Rylee Ryan. She's a hilarious character and I loved that she was a romance writer, but I just couldn't connect with until the end. I was also expecting her secret to be a little more...dramatic, considering the way she was acting and all. 

I wanna give some love to the secondary characters in this book. Beck and Rylee's friends are a riot and there were times I couldn't breathe because I was laughing too hard from their dialogue. I am dying, and I mean DYING to read the next book in this series. I need to know how the fuck Hayden became someone's baby daddy and I'm also hoping to catch up with the boys from the Binghampton series.
“I know and he knows that what we share is greater and stronger than whatever the world has to throw at us. We won't end here.
The Like Us series and I got off on a rocky start but along the way the series has somewhat grown on me. I'm not completely sold on the series yet, but I'm still sticking around to see what happens to the mini Hales, Cobalts and Meadows. Also, I'm a sucker for drama and I swear this series is just like Keeping Up with the Kardashians but in book form.  

Alphas Like Us picks up right where Lovers Like Us left off as Moffy and Farrow's relationship is now out in the public eye and everyone and they mama wants to throw in their two cents about it. I'm just gonna get this out of the way and say that the main reason why I'm still not loving this series is because of Moffy. I've come to accept that our personalities are polar opposites and we will never connect. However, I am starting to like Farrow more. I think he's good for Moffy's ego. He grounds him and it's why they make a good match. 

Besides the nosy ass public getting in between Moffy and Farrow's relationship, we see Farrow making tough decisions about his future and what career path he wants to take. I wish we could've focused more on that aspect of the story instead of all the fame drama. I loved the fact that we got see more of the younger kids in this book! They are so freakin' sassy, it was adorable! So Moffy and Farrow's love story has come to an end (for now) and I'm so ready to move on the Jane's book. I've been waiting over a year for Jane's book so it better live up to all my expectations! 

“He is everything I need tonight. Like...salvation. He's my fucking salvation.”
I am a huge fan of J.A. Huss' dark romances but I wasn't quite sure what to expect with her newest release. Collaborations are always a hit or miss with me and while I'm willing to give new-to-me authors the benefit of the doubt, sometimes I just can't connect with their way of storytelling.

Sin With Me is an erotica romance about two broken souls trying to find their way in the city of sin. Tyler is haunted by demons from the past and he just wishes he could fix all his past mistakes. Maddie is a stripper who can't seem to get her life together. The pair end up meeting one night and their lives are forever changed. 

The main reason why I didn't enjoy this book as much as I would've liked is because I wasn't a fan of McClain's writing. It was a bit over the top and all the capitalization in the dialogue was just unnecessary. The plot was all over the place and it's because of all the secrets that both Tyler and Maddie are hiding but I felt like things could've gone smoother. The romance isn't really a romance just yet, it's just all lust right now but considering there are three more books to go, I'm sure things will start to develop more between these two in the next book. I'm still going to pick up the sequel because that cliffhanger has me hooked and I need to know what is going to happen next!

WWW Wednesday: March 14, 2018

No comments:

Hey Guys!
WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words. Simply answer the following questions: 
 What have you recently finished reading?
 What are you currently reading?
 What do you think you’ll read next?

In Harmony by Emma Scott

ARI: Emma Scott sure knows how to bring the tears because her latest release had me crying my eyes out.    

Two Wedding Crashers by Meghan Quinn

ARI: I finally started this one and I'm already laughing my ass off. The heroine is a total mess but I love it!

Alphas Like Us by Krista & Becca Ritchie

ARI: I can't wait to see what happens to Moffy and Farrow now that their relationship is out in the public eye. There's gonna be a lot of drama that's for sure!

What are you all reading this week? Leave us your links down below!