Thursday, August 4, 2016

Resisting the Rebel by Lisa Brown Roberts Blog Tour

Spirit committee leader Mandy Pennington is secretly in love with her best friend, Gus, but when he hooks up with her archenemy at a party, she decides to win him over once and for all. She just doesn’t know how. But who better to help than hot loner Caleb Torrs?

Caleb’s got his own problems, but when he sees Mandy pining over Gus at a party, he thinks she’s finally smoked the spirit stick and lost her mind. Maybe he has, too, because he just asked Mandy to be his fake girlfriend. She’ll get her loser friend’s attention, and he’ll get his stalker ex off his back. It’s a win-win.

But soon one fake date blends into the next and before he knows it, he actually wants to kiss Mandy. For real. Too bad their plan is working, and Gus is finally noticing the one girl Caleb just might be falling for…

Disclaimer: This book contains a villain pretending to be a hero, a hero pretending to be a villain, a disco-dancing heroine, two overprotective sidekicks, a little bit of bad language, and a whole lot of swoony kissing.

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After she and Caleb sat down, a group of guys sat on the other side of her, laughing loudly and fake punching each other until one of them noticed her.

“Yo babe, you need company? I got room on my lap.” He leered at her.

A swirling vortex of anxiety and anger shot through Mandy. She hated guys like this, who just invaded her space and made rude comments like she was some toy, not a real person. She turned away from the jerk hoping to ignore him, but instead she met Caleb’s stormy dark gaze. Uh oh.

Mandy put a restraining hand on Caleb’s arm but he ignored her, leaning over her to get in the guy’s face. “Shut your pie-hole, unless you want a taste of my fist.”

Mandy closed her eyes and sighed. Great. Now she had not two cavemen to deal with.

The other guy tensed up. His blue eyes, which looked glazed, met hers. “You with this asshole?”

Caleb leaned in close, his spicy scent overwhelming her as his voice rumbled in her ear. “Take your pick, Disco. The devil you know or the one you don’t.”

Holy crap. He was practically smoldering. She grabbed her soda and took a long drink, then glanced at the blue-eyed jerk.

“Yeah,” she finally said, “I’m with him.”

Blue Eyes shrugged. “Your loss.” He turned away, saying foul to his friends that she chose to ignore.

Caleb leaned forward again but she pushed him back, locking eyes with him. “Caleb. If you hang out with my friends, there’s basically one rule. Don’t be a jerk. And no fighting.” She was suddenly aware of her hands still on his chest. Muscles flexed underneath the fabric of his shirt.

“That’s two rules.” Caleb’s hands reached up to cover hers. His eyes narrowed. “You’d rather I let that guy harass you?” His grip tightened, flattening her palms against his chest. Cammie and J.T. goggled at them, open-mouthed, while Jiro smirked and Liam shook his head, smiling.

“I--I--um--” How could she possibly form a coherent sentence when Caleb was filling up her senses like this, his heartbeat racing under her hand? The theater darkened and the speakers vibrated with the soundtrack from the movie previews, but Mandy couldn’t see or hear anything except Caleb.

Caleb released her hands, shifting in his seat to drape his arm over her, his fingers tangling in her hair, then drifting across her neck before setting on her shoulder. Every nerve ending in her body roared to life, and she was pretty sure that fire really was his secret super power.

“W-what are you doing?” she managed to whisper.

In the dim light from the screen, she saw him tilt his chin toward Blue Eyes. “Being an excellent fake boyfriend. He keeps watching you. I want to make sure he gets the message to leave you alone.”

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Mandy has been pinning over Gus for years, but after witnessing him hook-up with her frenemy at a party, she's ready to win him over. Enter Caleb Torrs, hot loner bad-boy, who can't seem to shake his stalker ex. Caleb and Mandy find themselves faking a relationship as part of a mutually beneficial agreement. But suddenly, all the fake dating is starting to turn into real feelings.

This one was kind of a slow start for me and it took some time for me to warm up to the characters. In fact, Mandy, the female lead, kind of drove me bonkers at first. The whole disco-dancing, spirit committee, and all around joiner was a bit much. Also, Mandy suffers from ADHD and in the beginning of the story I felt like it was very evident, but once I got over that hill it was a little easier to get into the flow of things. In fact, she slowly started to grow on me and somewhere along the way, I actually started to feel more in sync with this disco girl! She was just such a nice down-to-earth character. On the other hand, Caleb, our bad boy male lead, totally had me won over. Resistance was futile. I was totally smitten with him!

Honestly, in the beginning I was worried I wasn't going to enjoy the book at all, but somewhere along the way I started to get more and more into it. Surprisingly, by the end I realized I actually liked it a lot more than I thought I would. I just found the whole thing to be quite charming and it gave me all the feels! All in all, it was a solid 4 stars for me and I look forward to seeing what Lisa Brown Roberts does next, and I think readers will too.

4 Teenage Angst Stars.

Lisa Brown Roberts is a new-to-me author, and I look forward to reading more of her works. The writing style flowed fluidly and at a nice pace, with age-appropriate behavior by the characters.

Mandy has ADHD and learning disabilities, and I give mad props to the author for showing how that isn't an indicator on intelligence. Mandy is a joiner, natural leader, and the masses follow her with smiles on their faces. Mandy was an enjoyable character to read, down-to-earth and level-headed (for the most part, but that is plot-related).

Caleb's an awesome, swoon-worthy leading man. Introspective and introverted, he's seen as the bad boy because he's not a joiner.

Opposites attract in the time-tested trope of 'let's play pretend to be together.' Caleb's being stalked by an ex, and Mandy wants her crush since kindergarten to notice her as more than just a friend, so they begin a faux-romance that feels very real for the both of them.

My only complaint is how Mandy believed Gus over her BFFs and boyfriend, and every girl she came into contact with. For a smart girl, she was purposefully being obtuse, but it was realistically done, no matter how frustrating it was to read. I wanted to shake Mandy several times and say, "Girl, I wish you had a momma who could tell you how to spot the signs of a player."

Overall, I think young adults will get the warm and fuzzies from Resisting the Rebel, and those young at heart will get an injection of first crushes and first loves.

Young adult age-range: 13+, parental discretion with a handful of swear words and the dubious actions of one of the characters, but not above the norm of true-to-life situations. Sexual content: kissing.

Lisa Brown Roberts still hasn’t recovered from the teenage trauma of nearly tweezing off both eyebrows and having to pencil them in for an entire school year. This and other angst-filled memories inspire her to write YA books about navigating life’s painful and funny dramas, and falling in love along the way.

Her almost forever home is Colorado, though she occasionally pines for the days when she lived within walking distance of the Pacific Ocean. Her house is full of books, boys, four-legged prima donnas, and lots of laughter.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Resisting the Rebel by Lisa Brown Roberts to read and review for this tour.

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