Rush (The Boys of RDA #1) by Megan Matthews – Review by Ashleigh Whitwell

Rush (The Boys of RDA, #1)Rush by Megan Matthews
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Rush is the first in the ‘Boys of RDA’ series by Megan Matthews. Written in first person, we see the story from Aspen’s POV, which I felt really enabled me to connect with her character. This was my first read of this author’s work and I absolutely loved it!

After completing grad school, Aspen is starting a new chapter of her life in San Francisco. She has a new job, new apartment and a solid life-plan; she thinks she has everything under control. A control is exactly what comes with the lease on her new home, along with a list of ridiculous rules she has to follow. Alongside this, her best friend requires support through a nasty break-up, all while sticking to her plan of having no new relationships for the first year in this new city. Everything seems do-able, apart from the last past. Why can’t she seem to control her feelings every time her new neighbour is around? Hot, smart and always around when she needs someone, Finn is like her own personal hero. With a geeky-yet-hot-as-hell style, this video-gamer is not included in Aspen’s life-plan. But while he seems to get more perfect by the day, can Aspen trust he is who he says he is? Or is Finn playing her, just like he plays one of his games?

I’ll go right ahead and say it: I LOVED THIS BOOK. I only stopped reading this book for sleep, and that was because I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer. I really could not get enough of Aspen, Finn and their relationship. Aspen is one of my favourite I have read this year. She is a strong, independent female lead and I just adore reading these characters. She also had a really interesting backstory and her relationship with her brother, Ben, was one of the highlights of the story for me. Her relationship with her friends was also something that stood out, as so often with romance novels the girl is so in love with her hero, she forgets all about her friends! Yes, I know this happens in real life too, but I just hate to think of people doing this! Aspen was not one of these people, and that only added to her likeability. She felt real, believable and someone I desperately want to be friends with (if we ignore that fact that she doesn’t actually exist).

And I think her character was balanced perfectly with Finn’s. My favourite thing about him? He is not your stereotypical hot-guy hero. He is a video-game playing, computer obsessed geek; and I love this (I realise I love a lot things about Rush). He is totally not what you expect from a romance-story, and this makes the book so unique. While it makes me sad that this is so unusual (I want more geeky heroes!), it’s also what makes Rush so special and enjoyable to read.

Along with these fantastic and well-written characters (supporting ones like Ben, Marissa and Trey included), the story has a brilliant plot; there are some shocking revelations, so be prepared! I also want to do a special shout-out to Jake the driver, as I think he is a majorly underestimated character; I want more Jake! Overall, I really cannot recommend Rush enough. I will definitely be reading the rest of the Boys of RDA series, and urge others to read them too. Thanks to the author for such a fun read!

Review by @ashleighw

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An Unexpected Home (Cedarville #1) by Bree Kraemer – Review by Ashleigh Whitwell

An Unexpected Home (Cedarville #1)An Unexpected Home by Bree Kraemer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An Unexpected Home is the first book in the Cedarville series by Bree Kraemer. Written in third person, each chapter alternates between the story’s main characters, Leah and Brandon, giving the reader a well-developed and in-depth novel.

The story follows Leah as she moves in with her best friends, Carly and Melanie, to start her new life in Cedarville. Leaving behind her traumatic past is what Leah hopes to do, after her father and uncle’s lies destroyed her life in New York.; trying to convince people that she didn’t know they were stealing their client’s money is proving to be impossible. What Leah didn’t expect to find in Cedarville was Brandon, especially not half-naked and answering the door of her new home. Unable to deny her attraction toward him, Leah makes a bold move, only to be shot down. Realising what a mistake he had made, Brandon seeks out Leah and quickly the two form an intense bond. But their relationship is threatened by someone from Leah’s past; someone who is set on getting revenge. And the timing couldn’t be worse. Leah, Carly and Melanie are getting ready for the opening of their dance school, while her friends are having their own battles with boys. Cedarville felt like Leah’s perfect home, but are Brandon and her friends enough to keep her safe from her past?

Leah and Brandon have so much chemistry, which is evident from their first meeting. Although their relationship is intense and moves really fast, they are so perfect together and I loved that they got together so soon. This allows us to see more of their relationship, how it develops over the course of the story and how strong their bond is when they are faced with difficult situations. The friendship between Leah, Carly and Melanie is one all girls dream of, and reading their interactions was so much fun. Leah has to rely on them for support during her dramatic ordeal, but they are struggling with their own problems in their personal and professional life.

This book covers a variety of different issues, but all are executed really well. From the serious ones, to the more fun, Bree Kraemer has created a really coherent and enjoyable story. I loved the time that was spent on creating such wonderful relationships between the characters, and any reader would struggle not to find themselves completely involved in their lives. Knowing there will be more in this series stops me from being upset that this one is over! This was my first read of Bree Kraemer’s work, but it definitely won’t be my last.

Review  by @ashleighw

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