“Off the Record” by Sawyer Bennett – a refreshing story of learning to forgive and taking chances

Format: Available for eBook, paperback
Series: book 3 in the Off series
Rated: 16+ for language and sexual scenes
Genre: New Adult/Romance
Goodreads Page: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17852664-off-the-record?bf=2000&from_search=true

The book follows both Ever and Linc. Ever Montgomery is a up and coming news reporter looking to make a name for herself. She gets the idea to interview new hot shot New York Rangers goalie, Linc Caldwell, in efforts to make her mark. But after a misunderstanding and a reporting no-no, Ever finds herself in a situation where she has to follow around Linc for six weeks.

Linc has the reputation at being a ‘ladies man’ and Ever thinks that she witnesses this at a party that she goes to with her friend Emily. Little does she know that the girls that he supposedly hooked up with it were actually lying. Now, Ever has to spend time with him getting ot know the real Linc Caldwell.

Slowly she starts to see that he’s not like she thought he was but is actually a good man. She starts falling for him but she is tries to fight it off as she doesn’t want to get hurt like she did last time. Linc’s feelings for Ever slowly start to develop and grow but he has to overcome her past in order to have a future with her.

This book is not like some of the other romance novels out there. The male lead is usually depicted as this rough around the edges, tough guy who softens when he meets the woman in the story. It’s refreshing to read a story where the guy is not some ladies man. Don’t get me wrong, I am a sucker for a good romance novel where the bad boy changes but its nice to have a story where he’s aleady a ‘good’ guy.

Ever’s struggle with her feelings for Linc were genuine and understandable. Her fiancee had cheated on her with a friend so it make sense that she would be nervous about jumping into another serious relationship but she can’t deny what she feels for Linc. It’s strong and real and he makes her feel things she’s never felt before, even with her fiancee. We’ve all had those moments where we are afraid of living because of the unknown but life is just about taking the leap of faith that everything will work out ok. And all this stems from her father leaving when her mom had cancer.

I did have a problem with how Linc and Ever came to their arrangement. I thought it was just a little too convenient that she had to stay with Linc for 6 weeks while she followed him around. If Bennett had it where she still stayed at her own place. You could have still have the desire effect of them getting to know one another and learning new things about each other just by spending all day together.

This book can be read as a stand-alone even though it’s part of a series. This book did have repeat characters Emily and Nix (from book 2) but you don’t need to read book two to get what’s going on in this book. I personally like series like these because some stories can be better then others and you don’t need to read all of them to get what’s going on.

Overall, this is a good book to read if you are in the mood for a quick, romantic read. Linc and Ever are a beautiful couple and really complete one another. Linc helps Ever grow as a person and learn to forgive and move on while Ever shows Linc what falling in love is like and how powerful it can be.

“Fifty Shades of Grey” Casting Update

With the start of filming for the movie, so does the list of actors that are going to be added to the movie. Last week, we saw the first official take from the movie. Almost the entire main cast has been chosen with only a few people left to cast.

So far here is the cast of the movie:

Dakota Johnson is playing Ana Steele

Jamie Doran is playing Christian

Marcia Gay Harden is playing Dr. Grace Trevelyan Grey

Rita Ora is playing Christian’s sister, Mia

Max Martini is playing Christian’s bodyguard, Jason

Eloise Mumford is playing Ana’s roommate, Kate.

Victor Rasuk is playing Ana’s friend, Jose

Luke Grimes is playing Christian’s brother, Elliott

Jennifer Ehle is playing Ana’s mom

Dylan Neal is playing Ana’s mother’s husband, Bob

Callum Keith Rennie is playing Ray Steele

Still to be cast is Christian’s adoptive father, Carrick and the woman who introduced Christian to BDSM, Elena Lincoln.

Marcia Gay Harden is definitely the biggest name to join the cast so far but they got some relatively known names in Dakota Johnson (who is mainly famous for her 2 famous parents) and Jamie Doran who is a famous model.

The books have a very strong and vocal fan base, whether it is positive or negative. They are anxiously waiting for the first official footage to come out as they wonder how much of the sex will actually make it to the screen.

The story is about a man named Christian Grey who introduces young and naïve Ana Steele to the world of BDSM. They travel down this path as they learn about themselves and confront the demons of Christian’s past.

The movie is set to come out around Valentine’s Day 2015.

as published by on examiner.com

Book of Week – Collide Series by Gail McHugh

This was a short 2- book series but it’s a romance novel that involves a couple that don’t meet under the best of conditions, but is a powerful love story that make you wish it was yours. It follows a woman named Emily Cooper as she meets Gavin Blake after she learns that the man she thought loved her, Dillon Parker, is not that man. This series depicts a couple that is very story book and something that we all want, but it’s the realism of it that really attracted me to this series.

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In this book, we meet Emily Cooper who moves to New York with her boyfriend, Dillon Parker, after her mother dies. While there, she learns that he’s not as sweet and caring as he was when they were in California. Emily meets Dillon’s friend, Gavin, and they become infatuated with one another. They try and stay away from one another but proves to be harder then they thought. They fall in love with one another and it’s so strong that it scares Emily and forces her to stay in an abusive relationship.

From the moment that Gavin and Emily meet, you are rooting for them to get together. Dillon is wrong for Emily and you get that feeling right from the get go. It gets frustrating at times because Emily remains with him just because he was there for her when her mother was dying. I think that we can relate to that kind of situation. Emily didn’t have the best relationship with her mother and since her mother liked Dillon she felt she owed it to her to be with him.

It takes time for her to build up the confidence and strength to leave him, but she didn’t expect to meet Gavin and learn what real love is. She is afraid of her feelings and how powerful they are. She runs away from it to Dillon because Dillon is secure. She knows what she’s getting, despite the fact that he puts her down.

Gavin is described as a ‘playboy’ in the book description, but that’s not how I would describe. Yeah, he had girlfriends and flirted with a lot of girls, but he didn’t do close to what any of the other ‘playboys’ did that were described in other books. He is a really good guy who, like Emily, is afraid of falling in love with someone. But once he meets Emily, he’s willing to take the chance and see what could be.  He works hard to try and make Emily see that he’s the right person for her and sometimes it can get frustrating when it doesn’t work.

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In the 2nd book of the series, Emily must try and deal with the consequences of her actions in the first book. When she is able to get him to forgive her, they begin to build a relationship but something happens that complicates their relationship. Dillon is forced back into their lives and they must try and deal with him until the ‘something’ goes away.

This is more of a happy book then the last one. Gavin and Emily are together and working to build a foundation to their relationship. They are so adorable with one another as you can feel the chemistry jump off the pages. What makes a good romance novel work is the chemistry between the two characters and that’s hard to do with a book. You have to imagine it so it takes a lot more subtle moments to make you feel the love. In this one, it was the banter between the two characters that sold it for me.

As the book progresses, we learn that Emily is pregnant, but we don’t know who the father is, Dillon or Gavin. Gavin once again proves that he’s a real man in love with her as he promises to love the child like it was his own, whether or not he’s the father. With that support, Emily is able to handle Dillon and his attempts to control the pregnancy.

The ending/prologue of the story ties the whole book series together and wraps it up in a nice bow. We get to see their happily ever after as they ride off in the sunset, just like a Romance novel series should end.

Book of the Week – ‘The Beautiful’ series by Christina Lauren

This month, the third book of the Beautiful series by Christina Lauren was released in Beautiful Player. In this series, all the characters are interconnected, but it’s not the same couple in all the books. It reminds me of the book series that Nora Roberts does, at least in that aspect. These books are certainly a lot more graphic and have a lot more explicit scenes that is not suitable for the younger audience.

There is currently three full-length novels and two short novellas, with the third one set to come out 11/19, that interconnect with the three novels. Below is the list of the stories in order and a little bit about them.

The first book, Beautiful Bastard, is about a executive, named Bennett Ryan, who is used to having things his way and a young intern, named Chloe Mills, trying to make a name for herself. They meet and it’s hate at first sight. At least verbally. Physically they can’t keep their hands off one another.

The story has a lot of sex scenes and reading it was a little off putting at the beginning. All the two characters did was talk smack to one another that it felt a little ridiculous that they would start this kind of relationship without having any kind of base.

Next comes the novella Beautiful Bitch. It continues off where Beautiful Bastard ends as the couple having a conversation about their relationship that they didn’t know they were going to have. Its only 143 pages long and should be combined with the first novel, but this way you have to spend an extra $3.99 to read what happens next.

The 2nd full length novel is Beautiful Stranger. It’s about a British playboy named Max Stella who meets and falls immediately for Sara Dillon who is trying to get over her ex-boyfriend who cheated on her. While with Max, she discovers things about her that she didn’t know existed and he brings her to whole new levels of confidence as they fall in love with one another.

After reading this story, I was a little bit reluctant to continue on with the series. The first one had too many sex scenes and this one didn’t have enough connection between the two characters. And when they did have sex, it was all public. There is no private life for them. Granted I am sure there are people like that out there, I just like stories where the characters are a bit more rounded and like different things. These two characters only seemed to like one thing and that was exhibitionism.

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The 2nd novella is called Beautiful Bombshell. The three men of the stories, Max, Bennett, and Will are tearing up Vegas when Max and Bennett try and find their loved ones as they explore the possibilities. It was interesting to see the three men interact with one another. This novella develops the first two relationships a bit more and sets up the third book as we know that Will is going to find his love.

The third book is called Beautiful Player and it follows around playboy Will Sumner who runs into his best friends little sister Hanna Bergstrom after not seeing her for years and sees that she’s not the little girl that he once knew.

Out of all the books and novellas this is my favorite one. The story is developed a lot more and Christina and Lauren did a lot better job at developing Will and Hanna. There wasn’t much to go on with Will, who was introduced in Beautiful Stranger. It was actually this book that got me interested in the series because I enjoyed the mix between the love scenes and the story.

The third novella coming out November 19th is called Beautiful Beginning. We go back to the first couple as we watch as Bennett and Chloe get ready for their wedding. While the story could be argued as a full length story because of its 208 pages. After reading the other stories, I can expect this one to have a lot of the same banter between Bennett and Chloe, especially since they are arguing about their wedding. It’s going to be interesting to see how this one unfolds.
These books are becoming increasingly popular and I wouldn’t be surprised if they continue on with this series in the coming year or they start up another one that is similar to this one. I wouldn’t mind either way.

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