Saturday 21 March 2015

Review ~ Alabama Summer Series by J Daniels

Reviewed by Donna

Book 1 ~ Where I Belong ~ 4 stars!!

Book 2 ~ All I Want ~ 4 stars!!

Book 3 ~ When I Fall ~ 4.5 stars!!

“Love is great when you’re with someone. It’s better when it’s reciprocated. But it fucking sucks when that shit is one-sided.”

I read these books back to back so I thought that it was only fair I reviewed them all at once. J Daniels was a new author to me, I had heard a lot about the “Bama Boys” and as Where I Fall was soon to be released I thought I would save them all up and read them together. I have to say it was hard to cope with all the hotness and male perfection in one dose!!

Each book centres around a different couple and bar Beth who only shows up in book 3, all the other characters are there throughout the series. Where I Belong is Ben and Mia’s story, All I Want is Luke and Tessa’s story and Where I Fall is Reed and Beth’s.

Ben and Tessa are brother and sister and Mia is Tessa’s best friend. As children and teenagers Mia and Tessa were inseparable they were always together, normally at Tessa’s house. Ben was the typical annoying brother and would tease Mia incessantly to the point that Mia absolutely hated him with a passion. As children you don’t really understand how powerful personal jibes can be and how deeply affected the person on the receiving can be and Ben had no idea. What he considered fun was deeply wounding to Mia. Mia had to move away and after nine years of keeping in touch by phone Tessa and Mia are to finally reunite. The only thing that Mia is worried about is meeting Ben again.

The road trip to Tessa was extremely eventful for Mia, determined to keep up with her sex maniac of a best friend Mia decides to lose the V Card on the way. A one night stand, a night of intense sex that Mia could never forget, a morning where she high tailed it out before she could do something she would regret, but this one night stand would leave a lasting impression and what happens when you come face to face with that one night stand and realise that he was once your mortal enemy?

“It was wild perfection. A beautiful chaos. She was my match in the bedroom and I let her slip away without giving me a name.”

I absolutely loved this book, I could picture the panic on both Ben and Mia’s faces as reality dawns on them, what were the chances…but more than that, both were affected in the same way. Now Ben has to prove that he is not the boy he was nine ago and boy has he grown up. 

“The girl I once couldn’t get far enough away from had become the woman I couldn’t get close enough to.”

I felt their connection and I felt the battle that Mia was going through, your heart tells you one thing and your head says another. Ben was perfection, despite his past he was all man now. He rocked his body and he knew how to use it, hence the incredible draw that these two had. However, Ben wanted and needed to prove that what they had was not just sex. Ben was fiercely protective, loyal and he was beautiful on the inside and out. Mia was a beautiful character too, you could see why these two just fit. She was a nurturer, she put everyone first, she was easy to talk to, she listened and she loved.

“The boy I once wished never existed was now the man I wanted to spend every second with.”

Although this was a little insta-love it was believable, these two had known each other for a long time, albeit under very different circumstances. This was more a case of re-connecting, forgiving and forgetting and granting second chances. 

Luke and Tessa’s book was more a case of not communicating, these two seriously needed their heads bashed together at times, miscommunication and trying to keep everything to themselves was no way to operate and these two were the prime example.

“But it feels raw. Luke Evans has opened up another wound inside me. And, right now, I just want to bleed out and die.”

I loved Tessa’s foray into internet dating, this provided for some hilarious scenes which was so needed as at times this book could get quite intense. Luke, I loved him, I really did, but sometimes I could have killed him. I felt so sorry for him at times as we are treated to his past and his present, he has lot on his shoulders and I just wished that he had shared those burdens. I understood why he wanted to keep them to himself at times but when you have a willing partner who wants to help I wanted him to realise he should grab it with both hands.

“Because when you fall in love with someone exactly the way they are, how do you convince yourself they aren’t enough for you?”

Despite how infuriated I was at times I loved their story, these Bama boys are just so damn good even their imperfections make them perfect.

Now Reed, our poor Reed, he had had his heart broken by his teenage sweetheart, so broken was his heart that he was not prepared to even entertain the idea of love ever again. He was determined to keep what was left of his heart intact and so the serial manwhore, one night stand man was born. But even from earlier books you could tell that Reed had a heart, you could tell that this man was easily loveable and you could also tell that Reed had a lot of love to give.

Beth had had a really hard life and after being left all alone she found out that she had an aunt and uncle she never knew she had. With no other options she seeks them out and so her trip to “Bama” begins.

“If you think kissing is the best part of being with a man, then you’ve been with the wrong ones.”

It’s not long before Reed and Beth meet and at last Ben and Luke can get their revenge. Reed had given them so much grief for being “pussy whipped” but our Reed gets a lashing of his own.

“My soul missed her, my body craved her. Sleep evaded me. “I love you . . . I love you.””

I loved Beth with a passion, she was beautiful on the inside and out and despite the crap hand that she had been dealt with she never let it define her. She had a wicked sense of humour and had that sassy attitude with Reed and it is this attitude that Reed needed. She knew that Reed had a back story and she did whatever she needed to help him. If I could hug a character she would be one and after all Beth is a girl after my own heart, her kindle is just as precious to her as mine is to me. 

“Being a lover of books has its perks. There’s always a story waiting to be read. A hero to fall in love with. A heroine to adore.”

I loved that Reed was so passionate, this man knew what he was doing and he was a duuurrrrtttyyy talker, the heat that radiated off the page could have easily combusted my kindle and to say my cheeks flushed would be an understatement.

“All at once, the other imperfections on her skin begin to glow, drawing my attention all over her body. Bite marks on her breasts. Red blotches decorating the line of her neck. Holy shit. I’m all over her.”

I loved that throughout all three books all these men and women play their part, we keep up with all of them and how their lives and relationships progress throughout and it really gels this series together. It felt like I was living there with these guys and girls and they were my best friends. J Daniels manages to envelope you in their life and doesn’t let go until the very last page. You find yourself laughing, swooning, crying, sympathising, empathising but most of all find yourself falling in love with one incredibly amazing group of friends.

““I’m so in love with you I feel like I can’t breathe,” I whisper against her neck, trying to somehow explain the reason behind my sudden discomposure.”

I love this series and now I am even more excited knowing that there are more to come. J Daniels, I hope you can write quickly after overdosing on Bama hotness I am going to need my next fix really really quick.

Buy Links:

Book 1: Where I Belong

Book 2: All I Want

Book 3: When I Fall

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