Please Remain Calm (This is Not a Test #2) by Courtney Summers
In this gripping sequel to THIS IS NOT A TEST, Rhys and Sloane are headed for a safe haven when they get separated along the way. Rhys is determined to reunite with Sloane until he discovers people who might need him more--people who offer him the closest he'll get to everything he's lost, if they can just hold on long enough.
Rhys thinks he has what it takes to survive and find the girl he lost, but in a world overrun by the dead, there are no guarantees and the next leg of his journey will test him in unimaginable ways ...
(Source: Purchased) ~ Goodreads
My thoughts: You do need to read the first book IMO – & this is novella length (96 pages) but holy shit des it pack an emontional punch! Raw, brutal, heartbreaking and a little traumatizing but a MUST read if you’ve read This is Not a Test!
Breathless (Sea Mist Series) by Jessica Bayliss
A brush with death brings Leah closer to the ghosts she longs to find and throws her into the arms of the troubled scuba instructor who saves her.
Dale, an Operation Enduring Freedom Veteran, is haunted by his own restless spirits. He's on a hunt for forgiveness, and the Caribbean Sea is his hunting ground.
The peace they search for lies in the bond they never suspected they shared.
(Source: copy provided by the author in exchange for a review) ~ Goodreads
My thoughts: This a very short story at 35 pages but manages to be enchanting, bittersweet and a touch magical. I thought this might be a series but then I saw that the author said it was a stand alone. Although everything isn't perfectly tied up by the end of this novella, this particular story arc is and ended on a lovely note. I would look forward to following Leah and Dale's journey if the author ever decided to continue with it.
I Love Him, I Love Him Not (Westgate Prep #2) by Ella Martin
Talia Nicoletti’s life has been turned upside down–and that’s probably an understatement. Her mother goes off on a business trip… and comes back married! Her estranged father wants to be less estranged. And her best friend Jake DeSantos suddenly has a new confidante who Talia doesn’t want to like but kind of does anyway. (Source: ARC provided in exchange for an honest review) ~ Goodreads
My thoughts: I adored the first book, Will the Real Prince Charming Please Standup, of the Westgate Prep series, but this book fell a little flat for me. Martin does an excellent job at portraying teens and their problems in a a realistic, non cliche, way but this particular story felt dragged out in the angst department. For me anyway – I still highly recommend this authors books to teens who no doubt will relate better than I to Talia’s issues.
Losing Romeo by Cindi Madsen
When Rosaline Capulet takes a pill Romeo Montague gave to her in a love letter and goes to the Capulet party to find him, the last place she hopes she’ll end up is jail. Before taking the drugs Romeo gave her, Rosaline had always followed the rules. So she doesn’t understand how her only mistake lands her a one-way trip to Middle of Nowhere, Arkansas. Forced to live with her aunt, the threat of military school hanging over her head, she’s sure she’s ruined her life—all over a boy who disappeared from the party with her cousin Juliet.
Bryson Mercer’s motocross career was destroyed the night he was attacked, his knee shattered. Now he can no longer race, the thing he loved most in the world, and has to walk with the help of a cane. He’s kept to himself for a long time, but then Rosaline moves in next door with her aunt. Even though Bryson’s sure the girl’s trouble, as well as out of his league, he can’t deny his attraction to her… ~ Goodreads
My thoughts: A modern retelling of Romeo and Juliet, from Rosaline’s POV. I loved the romance between Rosaline and Bryson but was less enthused with Romeo. I felt some of the things he did were really bad but not treated as such but luckily that wasn’t the focus. As for the retelling – tbh, I don’t remember more than the very basics of the original so a lot of that was lost on me so I’m not the best person to judge how it stacked up in that regard.
A Hundred Thousand Words by Nyrae Dawn
Tobias Jackson grew up in Coburn, a town where the gay population equaled exactly one: him. Add that to the fact that his dream guy was his best friend's jerky older brother Levi Baxter, and it made hooking up virtually impossible.
Now home from college for winter break, Toby is a different person. He left Coburn for San Francisco, where he wasn't the lone gay guy and the only black kid in town. And yeah, he took advantage of what the city had to offer.
Apparently Toby isn’t the only one who’s changed. Levi’s not acting like the self-centered guy with all the answers that Toby remembers from growing up. Oh and Levi’s realized he's bisexual, which makes things a lot more interesting…
Heading back to college, Toby doesn’t expect to meet up with Levi again, despite him being in med school not far away. A surprise visit from Levi blows that assumption out of the water. As they spend more time together Toby sees Levi as more than just the fantasy. He’s complicated, unsure…he’s real. But if Toby can’t get out of the past and find the words he keeps locked inside himself, he’ll lose his chance at Levi for good.
A gay, new adult, interracial romance. (Source: Purchased) ~ Goodreads
My thoughts: *In love with my best friend’s older brother* trope I’m not sure why I never reviewed this one. Nyrae is an auto buy author and this book made my top books of 2015 list. The writing and romance was beautiful (as usual), a tad heartbreaking with a well earned HEA.