I’m Reading the One Week Girlfriend Series by Monica Murphy

<12345>You know my latest reading trend has been New Adult sports romances . . . I tore through Cora’s Rusk University books, Sarina’s Ivy Years, Kristen Callihan’s Off Campus books. . . and my next logical step was Monica Murphy’s series.

To be honest, as I always am with you, it took me a while to get into book 1. I didn’t feel like I could relate to either character until about halfway through the book. I’m happy to say I persevered and was glad to see improvement in all areas in the subsequent books.

Last night I made it to Four Years Later. I wasn’t sure how I’d like it, but wow! It was my favorite yet, and I just fell totally and absolutely in love with Owen and Chelsea. I couldn’t put it down.

Owen is a flawed character for sure–the younger brother of the female lead from One Week Girlfriend. Owen’s messing with drugs, drinking too much, letting his grades slip and getting suspended from the football team–and lying to his big sister about their no-good mother showing up again in his life. Still, we know Owen cares; he’s struggling to do the right thing, even when it feels way too hard.

As I’ve said here before–girls in college, if you want to get yourself a hot athlete boyfriend, be a tutor. Because once again, that’s how uptight and super-smart Chelsea–a girl with secrets of her own–meets Owen. She knows he’s not what she needs, but that doesn’t matter–because he’s what she wants.

They go through the typical ups and downs, but as always in these books, there’s a healthy realism. Chelsea and Owen struggle with their demons, but ultimately, they realize that they’re stronger together. (Everyone now, say it: awwwwwww . . .)

Now I did discover there is a follow-up book to their story, called Five Days Til You. I’m not sure I can handle it–I don’t like more angst for my people after they’ve made it to their happily-ever-after. But you know I’ll read it anyway.

If you haven’t delved into any of these series, I encourage you to check them out–great writing, awesome stories and amazing characters. What more can you ask?

I’m Reading All Played Out by Cora Carmack

I’ve been waiting for this book for freakin’ ever, so it had major expectations to meet. And it did. Oh, baby, did it.

Nell is Dylan’s roommate (Dylan, female lead of All Broke Down). And anyone reading these books knows that Mateo Torres is the house clown–the one about whom everyone laughs and shakes their heads. He’s also a bit of a manwhore.

Nell on the other hand is focused and driven–school and her career are it for her. After a bad bout of the lonelies, she decides to experiment and try out ‘real’ college life before she graduates. To that end, she makes a list and sets about to check off the items.

Accomplishing this task puts our girl squarely in the path of sexy Torres. . .and he falls hard. How he wins her skittish and reluctant heart is spun sweetly and with earnest realism; we see Nell yearning and pulling back while Torres exercises admirable patience and depth as yet unseen in his character.

I love when an author takes a side character we assume we knew–whom we had stereotyped–and brings him out, makes him 3-D and deep. It’s a good reminder that when we pigeonhole people, we’re doing them and ourselves a disservice.

My one and only complaint about this book is that Stella’s story, which I’ve been waiting impatiently to read, isn’t up for preorder yet. EARLY 2016!!! Gah, I’ll wither away and die before then. (Not really. At least, I hope not.)

If you haven’t read The Rusk University books, RUN and get them all. Right now. Go on, shoo. And read them, and then come back and thank me. ‘Cause I know you will.