December ARC Reviews: The Pretenders and Blitzed

Posted February 10, 2020 / Book Reviews / 2 Comments

I received this book for free (hey, thanks!) in exchange for an honest review. I promise that this does NOT affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. For real.

December ARC Reviews: The Pretenders and BlitzedThe Pretenders by Rebecca Hanover
Series: The Similars #2
Genres: Young Adult, Sci-Fi
Published by Sourcebooks on December 10, 2019
Also by this author: The Similars
Format: eARC (416 pages) • Source: Publisher
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In this conclusion to The Similars duology, Emma must figure out who she really is, decide between two boys with the same face, and stop a dangerous plan based on revenge.

Emma is still reeling from the events of her junior year at Darkwood. Not only is her best friend, Oliver, shockingly alive, but the boy she loves—his Similar, Levi—is still on the island where he grew up, stranded with his deranged creator.

More importantly, she is grappling with who she really is. Emma can't accept the hard truths she learned last year and refuses to share her secrets with anyone, isolating herself from her friends and Ollie.

But when more of the Similars' creator's plot is revealed, Emma and her friends will have to try to stop him from putting a plan into motion that could destroy everyone she loves.

I read THE SIMILARS super early, months before it came out, so I feel like I’ve been waiting for the sequel forever. I was soooo addicted to it and I’m pretty sure read it in one sitting. I think reading the first one so quickly and being super addicted meant that I overlooked some things with my rating?

The writing here in THE PRETENDERS wasn’t particularly great and I definitely noticed it this time around because I read it much slower. It was moderately addicting when I really got going and pushed myself to read it though. I mostly enjoyed it but the writing and internal dialogue of the main character, Emma, got super repetitive.

There was a love triangle, which I saw coming based on the ending of the previous book. I don’t mind them if they make sense and this sort of did, but it was also super weird. She was stuck between Ollie, her best friend from childhood, and his clone, Levi. So, basically the same dude with different personalities. Again, I could SEE the reason for its existence and how the two guys were different from each other, despite the clone stuff, but it annoyed me a lot.

The ending was absolutely batshit and unexpected, so that took it to a different level! I’m not sure those twists were necessary (some things seemed like twists for the sake of them and not because they made the book better). Overall, I’m glad I read this duo.

I received this book for free (hey, thanks!) in exchange for an honest review. I promise that this does NOT affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. For real.

December ARC Reviews: The Pretenders and BlitzedBlitzed by Alexa Martin
Series: Playbook #3
Genres: Adult, Contemporary
Published by Penguin on December 3, 2019
Also by this author: Intercepted, Fumbled
Format: eARC (323 pages) • Source: Publisher
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Maxwell has finally met an opponent that he can't best in this new football romance from the author of Fumbled.
According to Brynn Larson, Maxwell Lewis is more trouble than he's worth. She doesn't care if he's a football god with a rock-hard body that brings most women to their knees. After an encounter that ends poorly, she's not interested in giving him a second chance. The last thing Brynn expects is for him to turn up at her bar months later, hat in hand. It doesn't matter if he brings more customers to her business--she's still not going on a date with him.
Maxwell knows he made a mistake. He'd been waiting to make his move on Brynn since the day he laid eyes on her and he was finally ready to go for it until he screwed up. He wishes he could tell her the truth about what happened that night, but he just can't. He can't tell anyone, so he'll make amends and hope she'll forgive him.
Brynn's not like other women, though. Playing for the Mustangs doesn't impress her and gifts make her scoff. Max will have to bring his A game if he hopes to win her over.

I’ve enjoyed the Playbook series so far so I was excited to read what I thinkkk is the final book (?) in the companion series. I’ve always enjoyed sports-related romance books and obviously football is my favorite to read about! This series has followed the Denver Mustangs (lol) and some of the hilarious and excellent women that have fallen for them. Alexa Martin is the wife of a former football player so she really knows what she’s talking about, which I super appreciate.

The overall story of Brynn getting over some commitment issues, running HERS like a badass, and falling for Max was really well-done. They had some insane chemistry, especially once she finally let herself like him! The other Lady Mustangs were front-and-center here and I was really happy about that as well. Vonnie is still the greatest. I loved Brynn’s relationship with her father, coworkers, and other ladies from previous books. The book got off to an unecessary start when Maxwell causes a scene (to put it mildly) in her bar and honestly it was not needed in any way. It made me not like him right away so it took me a while to rationalize who he actually is as a person?

I read Chelsea’s review on Goodreads briefly before starting this one (my bad, I usually wait until after!) and it made me nervous. I too haven’t *loved* the endings of the previous two books so I was concerned that I wouldn’t enjoy this one’s ending either, like Chelsea. I was definitely right about that, unfortunately. I don’t want to specifically spoil anything so I’ll keep it vague, but avoid the rest of this paragraph if you want to go into it completely blind. Basically, Brynn decides to jump to conclusions and immediately trust an untrustworthy person, despite the fact that Maxwell gave her no reason NOT to trust him (and a lot of reasons to NOT trust the other person). It really pissed me off for the final 10% of the book and left a bad taste in my mouth.

I will say the actual ending (epilogue) was lovely and brought back all of the ladies from previous books. I think the author has a bit of an issue with trying to make the books’ endings a little different and unexpected, which hinders them. They’re pretty perfect without the nonsense and surprises at the end. Overall, still would certainly recommend this series!

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