All Together (Book 1)

When I snagged this book, I figured I was taking a risk because the combination of college students and romance usually means plenty of angst and immaturity. But when I started reading, I was immediately sucked into the story through the sheer force of personality of the three characters, even before the plot included a hint of a love story. Penelope’s narrative voice was delightful, and Shane and Fletch charmed me with their combination of sweetness and unbridled lust.

Minor spoilers forthcoming: I need to include them in my review because they impact how much I appreciated this book. Not only do we also get to visit Shane and Fletch’s points of view, they are essential because their relationships with Penelope are not the sole focus of the story. This book also includes a lovely “friends to lovers” arc between the boys that even had me cheering for a happily ever after.

Ultimately, this book was sweet and fluffy in all the right ways, even during the steamy sexy bits. Despite their ages, I was never put off by their antics, even during the book’s “dark moment.” This story is a happily ever after worth chasing and enjoying.

Rating: 5 (out of 5) stars. Cross-posted to Amazon and Goodreads.

All At Once (Book 2)

Since I adored the first book in this series (the first I’d read by this author), I immediately snapped up the next. Unfortunately, this book fell short of the high bar set by the first book by so many measures.

The two men read as such clichéd cowboys that I often had trouble telling them apart, even during their point of view sections. The arc of the romance almost worked until it all felt a bit contrived. To make a bad situation worse, the sexy bits were completely unrealistic on multiple levels. I do know that there is an element to suspending disbelief even in contemporary romance, but there are limits.

The individual character arc of the heroine, Bliss, was pretty much the only redeeming feature to this book. Her name might be hokey, but her journey as a person and the final confrontation with her mother were the only parts of the story I genuinely enjoyed.

I might take a chance on other books by this author, but this is one worth skipping for other readers. Unless you REALLY like cowboys.

Rating: 2 (out of 5) stars. Cross-posted to Amazon and Goodreads.

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