Dear Jane by Kendall Ryan

Dear Jane  
 Title: Dear Jane
 Author: Kendall Ryan
 Release Date: October 15, 2018
I broke her heart ten years ago and left town.

She hates me, and rightly so. It doesn’t matter that the rest of the country loves me, that I’m a starting quarterback with a multimillion-dollar contract. Because when I look in the mirror, all I see is a failure who was too young—and too afraid—to fight for what I wanted.

But I’m not that guy anymore, and all I need is one shot to convince her.


He has no idea what happened after he left. And now I’m supposed to work alongside him like we don’t have this huge, messy history?

But I’m older now, wiser, and I won’t let anything stand in my way of doing a good job for this league. Not even one overpaid, arrogant player who thinks we’re going to kiss and make up.

News flash, buddy: I am over you.

I've been a fan of Kendall Ryan's books for years now - Hard to Love remains one of my favorite romance books ever - so it was kind of a no-brainer that I would want to read Dear Jane. Add in the fact that I'm a sucker for second chance romance... there was no way that this book would not be on the top of my TBR!

The story is pretty straightforward - Jane and Weston were high school sweethearts, and when Weston went off to college, he found himself overwhelmed with all the pressure of being a collegiate athlete, and maintaining his grades. Jane and Weston soon ended up breaking up, and ten years on, they find themselves working together. Jane is the assistant manager for the Hawks, while Weston is the team's starting quarterback. From the beginning, it was clear that they were in two completely different places with regards to what happened between them in the past - Jane is set on avoiding Weston as much as possible, while Weston doesn't really understand why Jane is bitter... when she was the one who broke up with him in the first place.

Dun dun dun!

At first, given all the uncertainty between Weston and Jane, I assumed that Dear Jane would be an angst-filled read. But it wasn't. It really wasn't. I found Dear Jane to be a light, relaxing read, and I was glad that it focused on the the growth and the development of the relationship between our main characters, instead of being focused on what happened in the past. Every time there would be a chance for the book to take an angsty turn, the characters would sit down and talk to each other, and explain why they did what they did. How refreshing! I am all for books about moving forward instead of being stuck in the past.

Now, let's talk about our main characters. I adored Jane! I love her relationship with her parents, and her best friend Alex. I love how career-focused she was, and how there was no drama because of her working in what is perceived as a "man's world". She's good at what she does, period. No questions asked. I also like that there also wasn't an issue with her dad being the coach of the team - her skills and capabilities stand for themselves.

I love how Ryan portrayed Weston in this book. He may be one of the best quarterbacks in the league, but he's just like you and me. Weston has his own uncertainties and insecurities, and while I'm not really fond of some of the decisions that he made, I understood them. I understood where he was coming from. I like how we readers were able to experience and feel how Ryan's character developed, and how he matured since he last saw Jane ten years ago.

All in all, Dear Jane was a very enjoyable read. (It also introduced to us the hero of Kendall's next book and I CANNOT WAIT for its release!!!) The story was very fast-paced; the characters well-developed; and I have to emphasize that this book was very low angst. I LOVE low angst romance books! Once again, Kendall Ryan doesn't disappoint!

Rating: 4 Stars 

[Release Day Launch and Teaser] Blind Kiss by Renee Carlino

Blind Kiss
   Title: Blind Kiss
   Author: Renee Carlino
   Publisher: Atria Books
   Release Date: August 14, 2018
   Renee Around the WebWebsite | Facebook 
Penny spends her afternoons sitting outside a sandwich shop, surrounded by ghosts. Fourteen years ago, this shop was her childhood dance studio... Now she’s a suburban housewife, dreading the moment her son departs for MIT, leaving her with an impeccably decorated McMansion and a failing marriage. She had her chance at wild, stars-in-her-eyes happiness, but that was a lifetime ago. After The Kiss. Before The Decision.

The Kiss was soulful. Magical. Earth-shattering, And it was all for a free gift card. Asked to participate in a psych study that posed the question, “Can you have sexual chemistry without knowing what the other person looks like?” Penny agreed to be blindfolded, make polite conversation with a total stranger, and kiss him. She never expected The Kiss to change her life forever and introduce her to Gavin: tattooed, gorgeous, and spontaneous enough to ask her out seconds after the blindfolds came off.

For a year, they danced between friendship and romance—until Penny made The Decision that forced them to settle for friendship. Now, fourteen years later, both of their lives are about to radically change—and it’s his turn to decide what will become of their once-in-a-lifetime connection.


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Read an excerpt below:

[Cover Reveal] Only a Breath Apart by Katie McGarry

If you're following me either on my blog or on twitter, you know how big a fan I am of Katie McGarry. I adored her Pushing the Limits series, and her Thunder Road series is one of my favorite series EVER. I also loved Say You'll Remember Me. Basically, what Katie writes, I love, so when I was offered the chance to reveal the cover of Katie's newest book, how can I not?

And guys. YOU GUYS. Look at how gorgeous this cover is!!! I squealed so loud when I received the email with the cover - I cannot get enough of it! And like all of Katie's other books, I'm sure Only a Breath Apart will feature realistically portrayed teens and an engrossing plot. Why is January 2019 so far away... I already know for sure that this book will be one of my favorites of 2019!

   Title: Only a Breath Apart
   Author: Katie McGarry
   Publisher: Tor Teen
   Release Date: January 22, 2019
   B-A-M | Barnes and Noble | iBooks  
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Jesse dreams of working the land that’s been in his family forever. But he’s cursed to lose everything he loves most.

Scarlett is desperate to escape her “charmed” life. But leaving a small town is easier said than done.

Despite their history of heartbreak, when Jesse sees a way they can work together to each get what they want, Scarlett can’t say no. Each midnight meeting between Jesse and Scarlett will push them to confront their secrets and their feelings for each other.

Would you dare to defy destiny? Are our destinies written in stone? Do we become nothing more than the self-fulfilling prophesies of other people's opinions? Or can we dare to become who we believe we were born to be?
“A gorgeous, heartfelt journey of redemption and love” (Wendy Higgins), ONLY A BREATH APART is a young adult contemporary novel from critically acclaimed Katie McGarry.
“Haunting, authentic, and ultimately hopeful” (Tammara Webber), ONLY A BREATH APART will be available on all retailers on January 22, 2019!  
“Gritty and real, Only a Breath Apart is a story of hope conjured from pain, strength drawn from innocence, and love earned from self-respect. Beautiful, poignant, and fierce.”
―Kristen Simmons, critically acclaimed author of the Article 5 series
So, what do you think of the cover? Do you love it as much as I do? And what do you think of the synopsis? Doesn't it sound amazing? Let me know what you think!

We May Be Halfway Through the Year, but Hey, There's Always Time for New Beginnings

Hmmm. This is weird. I feel like I've already 'written' dozens of blog posts in my head, but this would be the first time in months that I actually sit down in front of a laptop and write. Looking back to January and the beginning of a new year, the first thing I thought about was this blog and what I want to happen to it. As funny as it sounds, given that I haven't posted regularly for a long time, I never actually lost the desire to blog and to write. What to post has never been the problem; it's the actual sitting down and writing that has been the issue. I'm pretty sure that I've talked about it here before, but I am terrible at managing my time. There have been a number of weekends wherein I would plan to blog, but what instead happens is that I would sleep and rest because I was too tired. Rinse and repeat. And again. And again. I'm writing this post on the second week of June instead of the first weekend of the year, and while I'm a little disappointed in myself, I'm just happy that I'm actually blogging again. It's hard to explain just how serious I am about this comeback, but I am.

Things have changed a bit since the last time I was here. I used to devour YA books - I read at least three to four a week - but that number has dwindled to a paltry three or four a month. This doesn't mean that I don't read that often anymore though - I'm still the same girl who has trouble sleeping if I don't finish at least one book a day. It's just that the genre of books that I usually read has changed. Now, I read one to two romance novels a day, and I couldn't be happier. I never quite realized just how much I missed reading about heroines going through the same things I do; and I never really realized just how much happily-ever-afters give me strength, courage, and most importantly, hope.

Hope. If I were to be honest, one of the reasons why I haven't been having the best of years is because I haven't been as hopeful as I was before. I stopped being hopeful towards my career and the future. I was satisfied to simply coast along, and all of these just isn't me. I've always been a go-getter. I've always been positive; I've always been hopeful. Reading romance made me feel hope again, and not just because of the happily-ever-afters, and not necessarily about the romantic relationship aspect of all of it. Reading about heroines who go through the same things as me, and then emerge victorious on the other side, continuously make me realize that I can do the same. Maybe things don't happen the way I thought they would, but that's okay. I just have to relax, regroup, and soldier on. And I have to do all of these with hope.

Reading romance brought hope back to me. And I couldn't be more thankful.

So what happens now?

I know that this post makes it seem like I'm saying goodbye to reading and blogging about YA, but that's not the case. I can never say goodbye to YA - reading and blogging about YA brought so many good books to my attention, and I've made so many lifelong friends. I will always have a soft spot for YA Contemporaries, and there are also a lot of upcoming YA Fantasy books I'm excited for. Saying goodbye to YA will never happen. Moving forward, what I'll do is shift the focus of my blog from YA and New Adult to Romance, YA, NA, discussion posts, a weekly meme, and more posts about me. More posts about what I'm doing, and maybe even my travels, and all the random things in between. I've always wanted to make my blog more personal, and this seems like the perfect time to do it.

2018 marks Defiantly Deviant's sixth year in the interwebs, and if you're reading this, I want to say thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. Thank you for sticking around. Thank you for still listening. If you're a new follower, hey, despite everything, thank you for giving me a chance. To all of you, just... thank you. Thank of you for being a part of my life for the last six years. I hope you all are a part of my life for the next six years too. The next few months are probably going to be tough with me reacquainting myself with blogging, but I honestly couldn't be more excited to see what else I can do, and what else is in store for me.

So this time, believe me when I say that I'm in for the long haul. I'm back!