review · romance

Review | All I Want by J. Daniels

All I Want (Alabama Summer #2)

by J. Daniels

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Luke Evans is a heartbreaker.
I didn’t want to give mine to him. Not when he kept me out.
He gave me enough, just enough to make me fall in love with him. I say this to convince myself. But I know the truth.
I would’ve fallen in love with him at a distance.
Handing my heart over to Luke was the easiest thing I’ve ever done. I was naive when I wished for more, when I hoped he wanted the same things I did.
I try to hate him. I try to forget him.
But it’s not that easy.
Love is a ruthless bitch, and I’m her latest victim.
Tessa Kelly is a man-eater.
When she sets her sights on you, she doesn’t just consume your heart, she goes for your soul.
What we had was perfect, real, and all I would ever want.
But she destroyed it.
She destroyed us.
I try to hate her. I try to forget her.
But it’s not that easy.
Love is for people who have hope, and I have none.


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Why did it take me so long to read this?

I have no idea. I do know I wish I started reading this series earlier. I’m totally addicted and floating around heaven somewhere, because the Alabama Summer series is everything. I’d rather be reading the next book than sitting here writing this review. These BAMA boys make this world a little brighter, with their little drama and humorous antics.

In All I Want, we delve right into Luke and Tessa’s complex story.

Tessa is Ben’s sister; Luke is Ben’s best friend and partner. When we’re introduced into this amazing world in Ruxton, Alabama, Luke and Tessa are already a couple in Where I Belong. But after bouts of miscommunication, Tessa leaves. While her reasons might be considered an over exaggeration, she isn’t willing to spend more time with someone who isn’t interested in eventually settling down. No matter how much she loves Luke.

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

Time jump: one year later.

Neither one has moved forward. Luke is sleeping with anything that breathes in an attempt to fill a void and defuse all anger towards Tessa. Meanwhile, Tessa is experiencing her own level of anger. Combined with feeling awfully jealous and extremely horny, she’s desperate to find a suitable replacement. With not much luck, she turns towards online dating.

Ruxton is small and sharing the same friends makes maintaining distance difficult for the former love-birds.

“I hate that I can’t hate you enough to forget you.”

Despite the distance and seething anger this couple maintains, they still share this inexplicable connection and intense passion. It is downright delicious, especially when paired with that delightful angst and spouts of drama J. Daniels loves to throw in!

I never would have expected such an in-depth character beneath the fun loving, confident, laidback Luke Evans. Who knew a seeming easy going person would have emotional barriers constructed after a bitter, troubled past to create a complex character?

I let her in as much as I can, and it has to be enough because that’s all I can give her.

Tessa Kelly is an interesting character as well. Sometimes her actions would come across as childish and immature (hence four stars rather than five). However, I understand her vulnerability is a by-product of an uncertain future with Luke, as well as a level of anger and unhappiness towards her interest.

I do love that our main characters perception of love is juxtaposed. Where Luke is closed off, not willing to attempt anything more because what he has is comfortable, Tessa is open-minded and prepared to embrace her feelings with open arms. It creates an interesting dynamic throughout the entire story.

As always, J. Daniels’ writing is fantastic and entertaining. I was thrilled that we witnessed more of Ben and Mia, watching their relationship as it continues to blossom and shape itself into something more beautiful. Sir Nolan is always a wonderful treat, too!

contemporary · review · romance

Review | Where I Belong by J. Daniels

Where I Belong (Alabama Summer #1)

by J. Daniels

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When Mia Corelli returns to Alabama for a summer of fun with her childhood best friend, Tessa, there’s only one thing keeping her on edge. One person that she’d do anything to avoid.

Benjamin Kelly. World’s biggest dickhead.

Mia hates him with a fury and has no desire to ever see him again. When she decides to start her summer off with a bang and finally give away her v-card, she unknowingly hands it over to the one guy that excelled at making her life miserable, learning a valuable lesson in the process.

Always get the name of the guy you’re going home with.

Ben can’t get the girl he spent one night with out of his head. When she leaves him the next morning, he thinks he’ll never see her again. Until he sees her lounging by the pool with his sister.

Mia is determined to hate Ben, even though she can’t forget him.

Ben is determined to prove he’s not the same guy he used to be.

What happens when the one person you wish never existed becomes the one person you can’t imagine being without?


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I remember reading Sweet Addiction and Sweet Possession back in 2014 (I feel old), making me fall in love with J. Daniels’ writing and the characters she creates.

Back then… I don’t even know what happened, but I didn’t continue reading more of J. Daniels, that’s for certain. I regret not picking her newest series then up.

Now, four years later, I finally understand why everyone loves Ben, Mia and Nolan, because I love them as well! In short, Ben is an enticing, dirty man; Mia is sassy and Nolan is sweet. Where I Belong is everything light, fluffy and wholesome.

“This is where I belong. Wherever you are. Always.”

Before spending the entire summer with Tessa in Alabama, Mia has this great idea of losing her virginity to some stranger.

When Mia finds the perfect candidate, she doesn’t realise the handsome stranger is Benjamin Kelly, the reason for Mia’s miserable childhood and her best friend’s older brother.

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

Ben and Mia have complete opposite reactions when they meet each other again.

She hates him with a passion, but he can’t stay away from the woman who occupies his mind. Ben wants more than one night, but Mia is ready to ignore her childhood tormentor, no matter how good he makes her feel.

Where I Belong is a romantic comedy chick flick (my favourite kind of film) in paperback form. I love it, from the conventional drama, to sassy as hell heroine and the cheesiest scenes ever written. I needed this, especially the tattooed single dad beauty that is Benjamin Kelly, after some less than stellar recent reads.

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