Review: 218 First Hugs (First #3) by E. L. Todd

Title: 218 First Hugs
Author:  E.L. Todd
Publisher/Year:  CreateSpace Publishing 10/10/17
Length:  292 Pages
Series:  First #3

Overview

He won’t let me date anyone because he’s the biggest cockblock in the world.

He still calls me his wife even though I don’t remember our wedding day.

He said he’ll never give up on me. Not now. Not ever.

Somehow, I forgave him for what he did in the past. But I’m not sure if I can do it again.

But he’s not giving me much choice.

My Thoughts

This summary makes you think that we’re still fairly focused on Bree and Cypress, but this time around we actually get to see a lot more about from Amelia/Ace and even Blade. Their stories really propel this third installment forward, giving us a glimpse into what’s going on in everyone else’s lives.

Bree and Cypress of course continue to be a focus, watching what happened at the end of the last book cause struggles in this book. I have to give Cypress a lot of credit for how much he still stays with Bree even with how she plays with his heart and emotions. Every time he starts to make progress she goes back into her head and messes with him some more. He makes progress, gets Bree into the sense of dating and being a married couple and all of a sudden, her insecurities come up when he sees Vanessa, the woman that Cypress cheated on her with all those years ago and that makes her run. Add to that she learns that Cypress kissed someone (or someone kissed him) after her accident and that causes her to run again, making it impossible for them to be together.

If that roller coaster wasn’t enough, we get to watch Amelia play games. (frankly i like her but not so much here). Evan, her ex-husband finds a way to eke back into her life and into her family, and in a moment of weakness when Amy feels bad for herself because Ace walked away from her, she sleeps with Evan and that muddies the water. Evan thinks that he’s going to have a chance to get back with Amelia, and she even believes that it could be possible. Ace being the amazing guy that he is, he walks away – he doesn’t want to get his heart broken and he doesn’t want to force a family to split so he’s miserable but he also knows that it could be worse.

What happens here is that Amelia is forced to make a decision that will leave someone destroyed, and they go bachelorette style where she has to date both Evan and Ace to help make her choice. I don’t care for this frankly – i think that she’s not being fair to either but who am i to say anything right?

Then there’s Blade. The guy that we don’t know much about since we don’t even really get to see too much of his personality in other books, but at least this is his chance. We finally watch him get smitten with someone, a girl name Celeste who owns a bakery in Carmel, who’s French, sexy, independent and yet only spends some of the year in the US because she’s got family friends and a business in Paris as well. Oh yea and a boyfriend. So you an imagine the mess that this creates when Blade falls for her, realizes that she’s likely going to go back to Paris and then learns that she’s with someone else. He walks away after putting an ultimatum out there and what results is a very sad. Blade.

Where we end this trilogy is a place where we have hope and want to have hope for these friend and we want to see love and romance win out. I don’t know if that’s possible but i think that we can all hope for the silver lining. It seems like it could happen until an accident happens AGAIN and causes another head injury and puts us potentially back to where we started.

You need to read this one to see where this roller coaster lets us off because it’s a wild ride and there isn’t a moment to breathe before another loop comes along. Enjoy!

Review: 325 First Fights (First #2) by E. L. Todd

Title: 325 First Fights
Author:  E.L. Todd
Publisher/Year:  CreateSpace Publishing 9/27/17
Length:  270 Pages
Series:  First #2

Overview

I can’t believe this is real.

I’ve lost years of my life, years of memories.

He tells me we’ve been happily married for years, but I despise him so much that I can’t believe that.

How did he get me to fall in love with him the first time?

And how does he expect to do it a second time?

My Thoughts

at the. end of the first book it seemed like we weren’t going to see a happy ending for anyone, but then all of a sudden, the stubborness that we saw in our mains turns a corner and there’s hope.

Cypress and Bree seem to be on a new trajectory – and she’s giving him a chance – a real chance this time. We spend much of the story watching her change her mindset a bit here, knowing that she doesn’t truly a fully trust him right now, but that she’s willing to give him the time since he seemingly was there for her for eighteen months when he didn’t need to be.

So that story continues and evolves, but in this second book we get to look under the hood at some of the others.

We know of the attraction with Ace and Amelia and how they’ve acted on it, and we see it for what it is. There’s a lot of chemistry there and Amelia wants more but Ace hides behind the notion that he likes to be single because he doesn’t want to watch Evan (Amelia’s ex) come back and try to win her over. Amy says that will never happen and truly expresses her feelings for Ace, but he is afraid to let his walls down, and as a result, we see the dynamic of the friendship group change.

At the same time, the group goes to Evan and confronts him that he needs to be a better father to his kids, and he takes the opening now that he’s single again to try to eek his way back into Amelia’s life. She’s not there for it, but he prays on moments of weakness to try to find his in.

That’s a train wreck waiting to happen if i’m honest.

Then there’s Blade. The 5th wheel so to speak and it’s his turn to have his story. He finally finds a girl that he’s interested in, attracted to and inspired by, and when he takes her out and sees how amazing she is, he falls fast. the problem though is that she’s french and spends half the year in Paris so he thinks there’s no hope. He’s hurting the relationship even before it has a chance to get started.

So in this second installment, we actually spend most of the time in relationship bliss with everyone in their happy worlds until the last 25% or so when things all come crashing down for EVERYONE. i can’t wait to see how things play out to be honest. Cypress and Bree are basically over AGAIN, Ace and Amelia’s chance has come and gone, Evan’s working his way back into the family and Blade has just given up. so…i’m now going to search for book 3 to see how this turns out. Enjoy!

Review: 400 First Kisses (First #1) by E. L. Todd

Title: 400 First Kisses
Author:  E.L. Todd
Publisher/Year:  CreateSpace Publishing 9/13/17
Length:  270 Pages
Series:  First #1

Overview

The man I hate lives next door.

He must have just moved in, even though I never saw the moving truck.

He’s just as arrogant as I remember, mowing the lawn without a shirt and grinning like an idiot. When he catches me staring at him through the window, he winks.

So cocky.

He flirts with me like he never broke my heart.

And then he tells me something I just can’t believe.

We’re married.

My Thoughts

The title should have given the impression that this was going to be like 50 First Dates, but i sadly didn’t pick up on that at first. It took me about 2 chapters to get into realizing this and then it all made sense. What we have here is a story that actually breaks my heart. We have Bree – our main character who we come to learn was hit by a car about 18 months prior and every day resets for her. She’s not able to remember anything that happens from the day prior and iit’s the same thing everyday, although some days are good and some are not.

She has the love and support of her sister Amelia, her friends Blade and Ace (great names huh?) and her sexy neighbor Cypress – who we quickly learn is her ex-boyfriend who cheated on her and…..her husband. It’s a dynamic that’s more painful than you can imagine for sooo many different reasons.

Every day, when Bree sees him, all she remembers is the day that she walked in on him cheating on her. What she doesn’t remember is how he fought to win her back and how he succeeded and they had the kind of love you only read about or see in movies. They were happy and then the accident happened and they weren’t. Cypress on the other hand is SO devoted to her that he moved next store, suffers through the replay of every day because he’s beyond in love with her. he needs her in order to survive and it makes you really want to love him.

When Bree falls and hits her head, things change in an instant. She’s able to remember past one day – she’s able to reengage with the world and she’s able to get her life back. the problem though is that even with her friends and family telling her how happy she was in her marriage, she can’t get past her last memory. She doesn’t remember at all that he won her back and that he’s a changed man, and it seems like it’s a losing battle. We spend the entirety of this book watching him do his best work to get another shot with her.

There’s also as secondary story in here – with Amelia at the center. She’s Bree’s sister, she’s divorced and she has two young girls. She’s also got a crush on Ace that’s making their friendship complicated. We watch these two dance around each other, we watch Ace truly be the amazing guy that we want for her, and for her girls, but we also watch him tell her that he’s not ready to settle down. So it’s really a roller coaster of small wins and big losses with them.

Where we net out in the end of this fist book is a place where we have no answers. We don’t know which couples will be together and we don’t know the factors that will get them to a better place all around. It’s so sad to watch since there’s more struggle than moments of happiness in this one. I can’t wait to see what the next installment brings for us. On that note – ENJOY!