ARC Review: How (Not) to Fall in Love-Lisa Brown Roberts

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cooltext1804448395 copySeventeen-year-old Darcy Covington never had to worry about money or where her next shopping spree was coming from. Even her dog ate gourmet. Then one day, Darcy’s car is repossessed from the parking lot of her elite private school. As her father’s business hit the skids, Dad didn’t just skip town, he bailed on his family.

Fortunately, Darcy’s uncle owns a thrift shop where she can hide out from the world. There’s also Lucas, the wickedly hot fix-it guy she can’t stop crushing on, even if she’s not sure they’ll ever get out of the friend zone.

But it’s here among the colorful characters of her uncle’s world that Darcy begins to see something more in herself…if she has the courage to follow it.

cooltext1804472332 copy4/5 Stars

***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via Entangled:Teen

How (not) to Fall in Love is unconventional, contemporary romance at its finest. A sweeping journey of self discovery and empowerment, we learn that change is hard, it’s made of tears and anger, of joy and love, and sometimes it feels as though the future is bleak but it’s through our struggles that we learn to truly live.

PROS:

  • Darcy is brilliant. She takes charge, makes plans, and works diligently to save her family when everything around her is falling to pieces. She takes the brunt of abuse on social media and through her classmates and sometimes she breaks down and cries. Darcy learns to cope and fast. She’s brave. When she’s afraid, she pushes her own insecurities aside quoting the profound words of her father. Lies, mysteries, and hard truths come out but Darcy never loses hope.  Darcy is a little awkward, she fumbles around guys, is a bit of a klutz, and when it comes to matters of the heart, is completely clueless. It’s as infuriating as it is adorable. 
  • There are tons of endearing elements that make this story quirky and creative. The Stonehenge obsession, the salt & pepper shakers, the indie coffee shop and ragtag thrift shop make everything feel personal and inviting.The characters come to life and each have their own wonderfully unique habits.
  • Lucas is a stud. He has a Lancelot complex, a huge heart, and sweltering good looks. He’s flirty and playful, he understands Darcy on a level that is a shade higher than friendship and just as sweet. Their times together are easy and flow with cheesy dialogue. Lucas has a sad past but like Darcy, he’s a fighter. They have both been hurt and can read each other’s emotions and expressions better than anyone else. Lucas helps those he can, is not judgemental and extremely compassionate. A total keeper.
  • Lucas and Darcy together are like hot chocolate. Warm and inviting but sometimes too hot or too cold. It’s only when the time is right that the temperature is perfect. Darcy pushes Lucas’ buttons. She’s headstrong and doesn’t let him help her when he wants to. She wounds his pride and soothes his hurt feelings with her corny jokes. Lucas has a habit of saying the wrong thing and insulting Darcy’s pride but the way he crowds her space one moment and then is so gentle and uncertain the next is mouth-wateringly sexy. 
  • This is a coming of age story to the max. Almost every character is going through something and must search within to find parts of themselves they didn’t know existed. The growth is astounding. Darcy transitions from a young girl without a care in the world to a resilient, beautiful woman. 

CONS:

  • I would have liked to see more of Darcy’s friendships at school. Even her best friend, the drama queen, felt fleeting and abrupt. There were hardly any parts at the school and it made Darcy seem even more alone. The brief encounters were full of hilarious commentary and heart warming interaction but there just wasn’t enough of it.
  • The business aspects and parts with JJ were kind of unbelievable. The disappearance of a major business owner and personality should have been more dire and police-worthy but instead it was more of a shrug. The complete trust they place in JJ without getting more answers from other sources was a little mind boggling especially when it came to finances. 

 If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

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Cover Reveal: Flirting with Love-Clara Stone

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 Flirting with Love (Lovely #1.5)-Clara Stone

Genre: YA Contemporary Romance 15+

Publication Date: March 6, 2015

Cover Designed By: Lindee Robinson Photography

cooltext1889161239 copyHudson Lovelly leads a charmed life-successful career,loving family, beautiful wife. And on the eve of his daughter’s birth, he’s counting his blessings. Life wasn’t always so generous . . .

Seventeen-year-old Blake never expected to fall for the pretentious, golden-haired boy on the opposing debate team. But she soon learns that looks can be deceiving, and not all men exist to disappoint. When a harmless prank starts to turn into something more, she discovers that sometimes, all it takes is a little Hope for love to find it’s way.

The day she walks into his life, exploding on the scene like a firecracker, is the day eighteen-year-old Hudson knows everything is about to change. Quick-witted, Blake is a prankster with a heart of gold, ensnaring him more than any girl ever has. He’ll do anything to be with her, even if it means pretending.

But when danger threatens Blake, he can’t conceal his growing affection. Pretending is no longer an option. They never planned for their friendship to grow into a love story. But it did. This powerful companion to Forever Kinda Love tells the history of Hudson and Blake’s love. Laced with haunting emotion and beautiful sentiment, this is a tale about overcoming even the darkest moments, reminding us all to love more. Give more.

Without regrets.

cooltext1889172435 copyI nod and study each of them, until my glance lands on Golden Boy. I narrow my eyes, glaring at him in the scariest way I can muster. At least, I hope so anyway.

He stares back, the earlier smile completely vanished. He jumps to his feet and saunters forward. I gulp, feeling uncertainty stirring in the pit of my stomach, and my palms sweat from nerves. I don’t know if it’s because of his godly good looks, the fact he’s towering well over six feet on my five foot seven inches height, or because I can’t read his all too calming features, but suddenly, I feel like coming over here wasn’t my best idea.

I watch him as he approaches, slow and confident, like a lion unconcerned by the presence of a cheetah. His pressed, white button-up shirt stretches across his chest, and the loose tie around his neck hangs over his unbuttoned collar. His expression is stoic, but there’s something in his hazel eyes that makes me feel awkward and on display. He doesn’t exactly scream “bad boy,” but I know there’s something in him that sizzles just under the surface, a wildness.

He runs his fingers over his perfectly-combed, golden locks and extends his hand for a handshake, the tendons on his forearm popping below his rolled up sleeve. I stare at his arm and blink.

“Pleasure to meet you,” he says. His voice is incredibly warm, amused.

When I look up at him, his lips stretch wide in a wicked grin that shines right to his eyes. I feel light on my feet, like I’m on cloud nine or something.

“Hudson, Blake. Blake, Hudson,” Hope introduces us, reminding me that we aren’t alone.

“Blake,” Hudson says, like he’s tasting my name on his tongue. “That’s an odd name for a girl. Don’t you think, Hope?”

That brings me back to earth and lands me on my butt—figuratively speaking, of course.

“Hudson!” Hope squeals disapprovingly, backhanding him across his chest.

I glare sharply at him, thinning my lips. “Remember this moment, Golden Boy. Because karma is mighty pissed, and she pays back with interest.”

I don’t give either of them a chance to respond before I pivot and head back toward my teammates.

Wesley meets me halfway and leans down, asking, “What did you say to them? He looks like he got hit by lightning.”

I throw a glance over my shoulder and smile at the stunned expression on Hudson’s face. Good. When I turn back to Wesley, the rest of the team has caught up to us. “It’s time to bring out the big guns. You guys up for it?”

Murmurs fill the air, almost all in agreement, until Wesley speaks.

“We can’t risk getting caught, Blake.”

I grin. “Oh, trust me, there’s no way we’re getting caught.”

Excitement fizzles around us as the team starts tothrow out ideas. Golden Boy and the other stuck-up douche-nuts won’t know what hit them.

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Clara StoneClara Stone lives in the beautiful city of Boise, ID. Unlike what most believe about Idaho, it’s more than a sack full of potatoes. When she’s not writing, you’ll catch Clara reading YA and NA books, mostly romance, and enjoying time with her family. She is a proud CW TV addict.

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