Tuesday 16 May 2017

Review ~ The Contest (The Contest #1) and Waiting to Lose (The Contest #2) by Dawn L Chiletz

The Contest (The Contest #1)

Book Description:

When college student Madi Ryan wins a contest she didn't enter, she reluctantly accepts a weekend date with gorgeous singer/songwriter Jake Morgan. Determined to find something wrong with him, Madi sets out to prove he's not all he appears to be.

Haunted by mistakes, Jake Morgan lives with a past that prevents him from having a future... until Madi Ryan walks into his life. As his walls and his rules slowly crumble around him, Madi makes him doubt everything he thought he knew. Her desire to find something wrong with him fuels his interest in her. It doesn't hurt that she's beautiful, feisty and keeps him guessing.

As the weekend turns into something more long term, Madi finds herself drawn into his world and his charm. From harmless flirting, to denied passion, no matter how much Jake tries to push her away, he ends up pulling her in. And as Madi tries to put him together, he unknowingly tears her apart.

Contests don't always have a winner and a loser. Sometimes love takes all.

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Waiting to Lose (The Contest #2)

Book Description:

What happens when you win a love you don’t think you deserve?

Long distance relationships are tough and there are two sides to every story. No one knows that better than Jake Morgan and Madi Ryan. It’s not just about falling in love; it’s about staying together when everything in the world wants to tear you apart. 

When Madi’s attacker is released on bail, Jake decides he’ll to everything in his power to protect the woman he loves, even if that means keeping secrets. Strange emails and photos appear on Madi’s computer, warning her that Jake is not what he seems. Madi’s faith in him begins to waver, especially when Jake becomes linked to beautiful actress, Allison Gregory. Although he promises there is nothing between them, outside forces push Madi’s trust in him to the breaking point. 

Jake is willing to move heaven and earth to prove to Madi just how much she means to him. But when everything in their lives comes crashing down, will Madi be able to trust her heart or will she lose the only man she’s ever really loved?

Can two people stay together when one of them is always waiting to lose?

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Our Review:

Reviewed by Donna 

The Contest (The Contest #1) ~ 3.5 stars
Waiting to Lose (The Contest #2) ~ 4 stars

“She walked into his life in a contest and now he had to compete with his heart and his head to keep her away.”

So, I can now say I have read every single Dawn L Chiletz book, I started with The Fabulist, then read Confessions of a Carpool Captive and have worked backwards to this authors debut books, The Contest and its sequel, Waiting to Lose.

“You’re my steak, too.”

One thing that was abundantly clear while reading these two books is that Dawn L Chiletz’s writing has improved significantly in her later releases, but the trademark voice that I fell in love with though is ever present in this series. The Contest in particular actually screamed debut in so far as there was a lot of superfluous content and I felt that it could have been edited and trimmed a little further. But, I didn’t really care or mind because I had got so involved with this story and the characters that their day to day shenanigans became entertaining and enjoyable to read.

“With you, there are corners and edges that don’t seem to fit together.  Your pieces are worn and twisted by time and hands that thought them to be damaged beyond repair.  But I can see that’s not true.  You just need the right hands and the right amount of patience to put the picture back in place.  I’m not giving up.  Solving your puzzle is the key to your heart.  You should know that I plan on finding every piece until I put your broken heart back together.”

Madi is an A star student who works hard, studies harder and wants to succeed. Madi not only studies the human psyche she can read people too…like a book and this has led to many a potential relationship being over before it has even begun. Her opinion on the opposite sex isn’t fantastic but she is not closed off to the idea of romance either, she just hasn’t met anyone she has connected with or trusts. Madi though was adorable with a capital A, she is super cute, honest and has a fantastic sense of humour, her work ethic is fantastic and everyone loves her.

“With that he had given her his soul.”

Madi has a best friend called Kendra and Kendra spots a contest to spend the weekend with the one and only Jake Morgan. Jake Morgan is in a band that these two girls idolise and so Kendra enters her…and she wins.

“Jake has been amazing to me.  He’s kind, thoughtful, compassionate, sincere, appreciative and humble.  I’ve never met anyone like him and I’m sure I never will again.”

Jake Morgan was a sweet as Madi, he was adorable and this is why it was easy to become engrossed in their story. Jake is a workaholic though, he lives, eats and breathes music and has very little time for anything else, hence the no girlfriend…even if he does find one, they up and leave because no one wants to be second best. I loved the people that Jake surrounded himself with (bar one), this group of characters were a family united in their music not blood but the loyalty to each other was admirable and inspiring.

“I read somewhere that you shouldn’t be afraid to change because even though you may have lost something that was good, you may have gained something even better.”

So Madi meets Jake, Jake meets Madi and the rest is history, but boy does Dawn L Chiletz make you wait for the inevitable. The push and pull at times was as frustrating as hell, but totally understandable as these two navigate foreign waters to both of them. Madi is still in college, Jake is a successful rock star, one lives in Chicago, one in LA…it may as well have been the other side of the world. On paper, these two had nothing in common, total opposites, chalk and cheese and yet together…they just worked. Madi brought out the best in Jake and Jake gave Madi that confidence and belief that she was lacking.

“Doubt is like a disease. It creeps into your blood when you least expect it and feeds off the darkness inside you, causing you to bleed inwardly and crushing all reason.”

The path of true love never runs smooth especially when played out in the public eye and these two have a lot of hurdles to jump, speed bumps to navigate and curve balls to dodge. It seems love wants to test them and boy does it do just that.

“You have so much to give.  I hope you find it someday.  I love you, Jake, and I always will.  You are free.”

While this read is sweet and swoony it was a little predictable, but the way the author delivered it made it just as entertaining. The connection that I had to the characters was on point and even I shed a few tears as these two find their feet. The banter and dialogue was fantastic and as ever Dawn L Chiletz’s ever present humour was never too far away. The relationship between Madi and Kendra was beautiful and their interactions brought me to tears of laughter many times. Friendships like these are to be treasured and Dawn L Chiletz certainly brought these characters to life.

“You mean his chopstick touched food that your chopstick touched?  It’s liked you swapped spit.  He might as well have kissed you.”

I adored this duet, inhaled it in one and a half days and couldn’t put it down. It totally threw off my reading schedule but was well worth the time spent. While it does have some great plot twists that certainly got my blood pumping in ire on the whole this was a cute romance and one that was a joy to read. Loved it.

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