Happy Sunday! I have some reviews to share with you guys today. Enjoy!
The first book I have a review of is part of a series, which book three is part of a blog tour on the 21st February. Stay tune for that blog tour.
“Intimate Strangers“, written by Lasairiona E. McMaster, is the first book in the Lisa Millar Series, published on September 13th 2019 by Drama Llama Publishing.
I want to thank Rachel, at Rachel’s Random Resources, and Lasairiona E. McMaster for the eCopy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Is there such a thing as too perfect? Lisa Millar wasn’t supposed to fall in love with a guy on the Internet. But she did. Other than living over five thousand miles away in America, AJ Williams is seemingly her perfect match. Strikingly handsome, musically talented, plays hockey and has a typical college-guy life. In a moment of carpe diem, Lisa flies from Ireland to Alabama to surprise her internet-beau and finds herself face to face with an inconceivable reality that she couldn’t possibly have prepared for. How well can you truly know someone you meet online? Will true love win out, or will AJ’s secret life be too much for Lisa to bear?
Purchase Link: Amazon
Lasairiona McMaster grew up dreaming of an exciting life abroad, and, after graduating from Queens University, Belfast, that is exactly what she did – with her then-boyfriend, now husband of almost ten years. Having recently repatriated to Northern Ireland after a decade abroad spanned over two countries (seven and a half years in America and eighteen months in India), she now finds herself ‘home’, with itchy feet and dreams of her next expatriation. With a penchant for both travelling, and writing, she started a blog during her first relocation to Houston, Texas and, since repatriating to Northern Ireland, has decided to do as everyone has been telling her to do for years, and finally pen a book (or two) and get published while she tries to adjust to the people and place she left ten years ago, where nothing looks the same as it did when she left.
This was the first book I have ever read of this author and I was quite intrigued about the story after reading the synopsis, although I was still surprised at some scenes, that I will talk about in a second.
I did enjoy the story, and I enjoyed it more because I had the second and third books to read immediately after. There was a lot of emotions that I went through, from frustration to sympathy, from understanding to surprise. Some made me that an one minute break, so I could filter my thoughts and emotions and go back with a clearer head. Others were just part of the connecting with the story.
As someone that hasn’t been dating, a while back when I was in my teens, I did contemplate the online dating scene, but I felt awkward just thinking about it an gave up on the idea. Anyway, when I say that in the synopsis, I was very curious to know how they have met. And it kind of made sense, because it was thanks to friends in common and not just someone random.
This story follows Lisa Millar, and although the story is written in the third person, we get to see Lisa’s thoughts. And that was something that made me laugh at first. But, as I read more of this book I go used to it and it was a good way to truly understand her and her reasoning.
Then there is AJ. I’m writing this review after having read all three books, and thinking back to book one, I do see some things that could have led me to understand his personality. But since it was book one, I didn’t see it until book two. Nevertheless, that doesn’t matter for book one. AJ was just a fun character, and to be honest I like him and Jeremy more than I like Lisa.
Although things were a bit on the same pace and I had no idea what it would happen except that things had to go wrong at some point, because that’s life… Despite that feeling, I was not excepting things to unfold that way. Actually, there were a lot of moments and revelations that I wasn’t expecting.
I do have to say, at some points in the story, Lisa frustrated me. I just couldn’t deal with her any longer and had to stop reading for a second just to take a deep breath. Let me explain (without spoilers) why I felt that way. In those moments in book one, Lisa felt immature to me. And she and I don’t have a big age difference, still I had to take that second because I couldn’t believe she was acting without thinking.
Then, while I was thinking about what I had read before I continued the story, I remembered that I know some people that would react the exact same way she did. And thinking about that, made me find a way to connect with her. That had been my problem at first, and once I had that new perspective I went back to the book and I could see her actions in a different way.
Still, I know she’s the main character, but I still don’t love her. But after reading all three books I can now say I empathize a lot more than when I read book one. And I love that!
You may be asking at this point why I loved that. Sometimes we don’t like the main character, it has happened to me before with one of my favorite series. That doesn’t mean I won’t understand her and enjoy her story. I did enjoy all the cute moments, all the friendship and text messages, all the drama and revelation. And since this was the first book in a series, I knew Lisa was going to grow.
Lisa is young and love is crazy. Emotions sometimes get the best of us, and once I got that through my mind, I enjoyed the story a lot more, despite the immature and her “act first, think later” moments. Actually, I ended up laughing and feeling empathy, and the frustration disappeared. So, to me, the fact that the book made me feel, think and take a step back and let the storm calm down, is a good thing.
It is a NA romance novel, and I haven’t read that many NA books. It was quite a journey and at the end of the book, I found myself grabbing the second novel. If I hadn’t enjoy the story, believe me, I wouldn’t have jumped into the next one.
Also, all the traveling was just mind blowing and I’m so happy the author didn’t say numbers, because I saw the prices for a plain ticket from Portugal to the USA, can’t even imagine how much the characters spend on traveling back and forwards, but I don’t even care. I decided to focus on the characters and their relationships.
I wanted to know more, not only about AJ because I know there was a lot more to uncover in his life, but also, I wanted to see how Lisa’s development was going to be and what other dramas was going to happen in their lives.
Do I recommend the book? If you like NA novels, and if you like emotional books with lot’s of dramatic moments and twists… then this is for you. I do have to say, give the all series a chance because to me this first book is just a beginning and the characters do develop and change as the story goes.
Don’t forget to comment, don’t be stranger. If you have any book recommendation you can leave a message using the form on my Contact Me page.
If you are an author or publisher and want me to do a review of a book please check out my Request Review page to learn more about the reviewing policies.
I always welcome new books to add to my list and I’m always excited to do reviews and read books. And I’m open to debate and exchange opinions, so let’s talk.
Also, if you would like to join me as a guest on my blog, check out the Guests Post page to know more and contact me so we can start planing your visit.