Saturday, March 1, 2014

Blog Tour: ARC Review + Giveaway: Fifty First Times: A New Adult Anthology edited by Julie Cross

Title: Fifty First Times: A New Adult Anthology
Authors: Gennifer Albin, Julie Cross, Lisa Desrochers, Cole Gibsen, Sharie Kohler, Melissa Landers, Lauren Layne, Roni Loren, Jennifer L. Armentrout, Molly Jester, Myra McEntire, Hannah Moskowitz, Lyla Payne, Mark Perini, Carrie Ryan, Andrew Shaffer, Alessandra Thomas, Melissa West, Tracy Wolff
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Publication date: February 25th 2014
Source: Received from publisher via Edelweiss
Buy the book: Amazon / Barnes and Noble

You always remember your first time...

Whether it's the couple who decides not to go through with it, the two boys who finally aren't ashamed, the newlyweds whose wedding night could very well be their last night together, the deaf pair who have no choice but to take body language to a new level--or, of course, the two young lovers fumbling and laughing, getting everything wrong. These are the memories that will never fade.

Join nineteen fantastic authors as they pull back the curtain and give you a peek inside that one intense moment in their characters' lives when everything changes and nothing will ever be the same again.

Featuring stories from some of the hottest names in New Adult, Young Adult, and Romance including New York Times Bestselling authors J.Lynn/Jennifer Armentrout, Molly McAdams, Sophie Jordan, and Carrie Ryan.

NOTE: These stories are works of fiction. If you want to know about our first times, you'll have to buy us a pet monkey first.


I've never really been a fan of anthologies because I feel like the stories are too rushed or lacking due to their length but the Fifty First Times anthology was pretty successful, in my opinion. There were stories I liked, loved and were okay with and I was thoroughly impressed by how some authors were really able to give emphasis to their characters' stories even though they only had a few pages to do so. I think that because it was a New Adult anthology that this book appealed to me more than the Paranormal ones I've read because when tackling Paranormal stories, you need a lot more grounding and world-building so that takes up a lot of time but when it's Contemporary Romance, there's not as much that needs to be done but writing short stories is already a feat in itself, so kudos to all the authors who participated. Here are my individual reviews of each short story:

The Corner of First and Second by Gennifer Albin - I really enjoyed this one, I liked the fact that there was a backstory between the characters, Jacqueline and Wes, and that there were no expectations when the deed finally happened. The story was simple, sweet and had a touch of humor that made it all the more enjoyable.

Daylight by Julie Cross - Honestly, I was pretty confused by this story, I didn't really understand what was going on. This was my first Julie Cross "story" and I don't know if she really writes vaguely or in a complicated manner but I just didn't get it. I did like the latter part of the story though. I only felt that there was too much mystery that needed to be explored and it was a shame that she tried to fit everything into this short story.

A Little Too Scarred by Lisa Desrochers - I didn't get much "feels" from this one compared to her other books from the series, I felt more of sympathy for the MC here. It was nice to see Rick get his redemption and that even though he was a total tool in A Little Too Far, he's actually pretty nice on the inside.

Once Bitten by Cole Gibsen - This is one of my favorites in the anthology because even though it was a short story, there was a legit story in it. It wasn't just a swoony romance, there was mystery, intrigue and a bit of thrill in it that wasn't forced or anything. And the Avery's, the MC, job was pretty cool. And awesome backstory between Avery and "Officer Wade".

Crash by Sophie Jordan - I actually found myself swooning in this one, I love the chemistry between Hunter and Brooke (a little too insta-love for my liking though). I liked how even though Brooke was attracted to Hunter she still said no to him and the fact that she had a really sad upbringing and Brooke trying to do her best to get out of the situation she was currently in made me like her all the more. Hunter.. he was just this smoldering hot guy that was definitely more than met the eyes.

Under the Seryn Moon by Melissa Landers - The concept of this story really intrigued me, Melissa Landers was the only one who deviated from actually people and used aliens, I presume and I really liked that. Unfortunately, the story of the lovers was a bit iffy for me. This story was supposed to be about an arranged marriage and finding love from there but I felt like it was too fast to fall in love with someone who you were arranged with. It just felt rushed but kudos to Melissa Landers for the great concept!

How to Be a Heart Breaker by Lauren Layne  - This one was a really nice and story but I felt that there was a bit too much internal monologue and got a bit draggy (there were some things that didn't seem to fit into the story) but as a whole, the story was great. Just the right amount of snark and swoon to really get your attention.

Two in the Morning by Roni Loren - I liked the fact that Roni Loren deviated from the girl-boy love story and went with a boy-boy romance but it felt a bit lacking. The concept was really interesting and quite dramatic but I was looking for something a bit more. The story was sweet though and I enjoyed it.

Believe in Me by J. Lynn - Kinda biased because I absolutely worship JLA and will love everything she writes but I really loved Ollie and Brit's story. It was a long time coming and when we finally got it, it was awesome. Brimming with JLA's signature steam and humor, fans of her Wait for You series will really enjoy this short story.

Sharing Firsts by Molly McAdams - This one almost made me cry which seems to be the norm with Molly McAdams but yeah, it was a great story. Very emotional and very enjoyable. I was impressed that even though the story was so short, Molly McAdams was still able to create a connection between the reader and the characters.

Strike Out by Myra McEntire - This one was just okay for me. There was nothing particularly remarkable about it but it was a relatively good story.

This is My Sign by Hannah Moskowitz - Okay, I felt that the story was interesting enough but oh my, I did not understand why she wrote it that way (when you see it, you'll understand). The story was pretty sad but the format of writing confused me because you will read it normally, there wasn't any added effect to the story...

Going for Broke by Lyla Payne - Can't decide if I liked it or I disliked it. The story was okay, it more about passion vs. comfort than anything. I didn't get awesome feelz from it but it was okay.

For the Sake of Science by Mark Perini - No, just no. Sorry but this one was the story that I did not connect with the most. It was boring and got me all confused.

Love in an Elevator by Carrie Ryan - I thought that this would be one of those cliched elevator stories but it wasn't. I absolutely enjoyed this one and it was one of my favorites in the anthology. I loved the twist that Carrie Ryan added to add more depth to the story. (Maybe she could written them as zombies too. Haha!)

Bunga Bunga by Andrew Shaffer - Bunga Bunga was filled with classic Andrew Shaffer humor so what's not to love? I found my self laughing at the dialogue and smiling at the scenes that played out between the two characters. It was a very fun read.

With the Light On by Alessandra Thomas - I am very familiar with Alessandra Thomas' writing so when I read this, I felt very comfortable with it. This was a great story with a beautiful lesson to be learned, that you need to be able to love yourself before you can love another and it was one of my favorites in the anthology as well. (Tal is my favorite guy in this whole anthology! <3)

Field Emotions by Melissa West - Was your average love story between a sweet jock (a virgin one) and a girl best friend. I think that they could have gotten to where they are now had they professed their feelings for each other earlier.

Grind by Trisha Wolff - I didn't particularly like the story because it was too fast for me and got a bit too cheesy. I felt that the author could have done a better job with this one.

Well, that it's it! There were stories that really stood out while others had to take a backseat but it was a pretty good anthology as a whole and I enjoyed it, so yay!


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