More Than Anything by T.T. Kove

22692567

Grade: A
Hotness Level: Inferno
Kink Level: No Kink
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult, m/m
Series: More Than Anything #1
Published: 9/24/14
Reviewed by Anne
238 pages

Jorgen sees a young man outside his home who looks a little off. When Jorgen approaches him, the young man falls to the sidewalk in a seizure.  Jorgen takes the sleeping man into his house after the seizure is over and looks after him.  The next morning he learns that the young man, Geir, is just 16, and living alone off an on when his single parent father works at an off shore job.  Though Jorgen is attracted to Geir, he feels it’s inappropriate, both because of Geir’s age and Jorgen’s inability to have a relationship.

After that night, Jorgen and Geir don’t expect to see each other again, but they do.  And this leads to Geir seeking out Jorgen’s friendship.  Geir turns 17, which is the age of consent in Norway, and he and Jorgen (22) start a platonic friendship.  Soon Geir learns he’s not the only one with problems.  Geir has a couple seizures per month, and Jorgen constantly battles anxiety attacks.

This story unfolds so deliciously slowly, I just loved it!  I wanted to have issues that Geir was so young, but I just couldn’t.  He was mature beyond his years, and only looking for a friend.  Jorgen came across as young for his age, and they truly have a long friendship before moving on to more.

Jorgen, who initially didn’t think he would be capable of even a friendship, finds himself wanting to do more and be more than he has been for the last several years.  He understands Geir’s loneliness because he feels it too, and he starts to realize his life is better with friends in it.  He and Geir also have bodies that betray them with seizures and panic attacks.  They have so much in common and you just root for them to get to a place where they can have a relationship!

On top of the wonderfulness that is Jorgen and Geir, the story is set in Norway, which was really interesting.  There were a lot of small differences from American life, but not so many that it was confusing.  I do really want to go to a theater that serves popcorn and bacon chips — that sounds awesome!  Jorgen and Geir also have make some fun friends who liven up the book.

I highly recommend this book!  It was a joy to read and I’ll be looking for more by this author.  I’m putting it on my Best of 2014 list!

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The Year We Fell Down by Sarina Bowen

20896313
Grade: A
Hotness Level: Ember
Kink Level: No Kink
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult
Series: The Ivy Years #1
Published: 3/24/14
Reviewed by Anne
193 pages

Corey should have been starting college on the hockey team.  Instead she’s starting in a wheelchair, hoping she might walk again some day, knowing the hockey is not in her future.  Her wheelchair means she’s been placed in the sparsely populated “gimp dorm” instead of one of the many large and not-handicapped-friendly dorms most freshman stay in.  Luckily for her, she got assigned an awesome random roommate, and the guy across the hall is Adam Hartley.

Hartley is a hockey player whose having a year off from the sport after breaking his leg in two places.  He and Corey become good friends as they limp and roll around campus.  They help each other work through issues big and small and start to wonder if their friendship might turn into something more.  Hartley doesn’t feel ready to leave his high class girl friend, yet, though, and Corey feels like Hartley is way out of her league.

Let me start by saying, in general, I don’t read New Adult books, and this is one.  I heard some good buzz, and specifically read a review by Jane at DearAuthor.com and decided to give this story a try.  I’m so glad I did!

My main complaints against New Adult romance in general are 1.) too much angst  2.) my inability to relate to characters.  I found Corey and Hartley to be relatable, and for all their issues, they were surprisingly low angst characters.  It certainly takes place in college, and in a college atmosphere.  It’s socially nothing like my geek experience was, but I know a lot of people who had experiences like those in the story, so that’s believable to me.

Corey is such a strong character.  She’s not perfect, and she makes some poor choices, but her attitude toward life is one of soldiering on.  She doesn’t just hope that better days are coming, but she makes the most of where she is right now.  Hartley is pretty messed up emotionally, and his friendship with Corey helps him to see things more clearly.

Without ruining things, I want to say that when Corey hits a major sad point in her life, I was impressed with how she handled things.  She made choices to improve her life.  She mourned her losses, and with the help of her friends, she moved on.  That kind of maturity was very relatable.

I also felt like the author did a great job explaining why Hartley was making the choices he was.  You could feel his confusion that his choices weren’t leading him toward happiness, and see him struggle to make changes that would.

I highly recommend this book.  It’s got great characters and a wonderful story.  It’s going on my best of 2014 list!  In fact, it might be the best book I’ve read this year so far.  How about you?  What’s your best book so far?

Sheltered by Charlotte Stein

Sheltered
Grade-C
Hotness Level-Inferno
Kink Level-No Kink
Genre-Contemporary
Reviewed by Kay
162 pages

Evie is a girl who has endured living with her abusive, religious nutcase father and her emotionally and mentally checked out mother. She attends a Bible college and tries to be a good girl. She sees herself as fat and too naive. She has these desires to be a normal young woman but lacks the nerve, in the beginning, to really do it.

Van is a punk, at least that’s how Evie sees him at first. He is kind of an artsy guy. He’s really tall, hairy and tattooed. He smokes pot and hangs out with the guy who lives next door to Evie. He notices the shy, reserved girl next door to his friend. As time goes on they talk and a relationship develops. We find out later that he has some money he got from his grandparent that he uses for college and rent.

This is my first book by Charlotte stein and I liked it. It kind of read almost YA except for the sex scenes. They were sweet but explicit. You could really feel the vulnerability of both lead characters. The innocence was precious. The love story touching if a bit rushed. It was short and sweet. I will definitely read more by this author. Thanks to Anne for mentioning this author.