December 5, 2013

'Girls Are Players' Blog Tour - Review, Excerpt + GIVEAWAY

December 5, 2013

I am excited to be a part of the tour, hosted by Oops I Read A Book Again, where I will be sharing a spoiler-free review, an excerpt, AND a giveaway! Ingrid Seymour's sequel in the G.A.P. series Girls Are Players is out now! It can be read as a standalone.

Title: Girls Are Players
Series: G.A.P. #2
Author: Ingrid Seymour
Publisher: PenDreams
Publication Date: December 4, 2013
Genre: New Adult
Purchase Link: Amazon 

Jessica Norton is a villain in the body of a gorgeous, rich, college girl. She cheats, lies, plays with people’s feelings, and purposely breaks unsuspecting hearts to avenge a personal loss. She’s the kind of girl people love to hate—even if it’s just because she has it all. Except . . . she doesn’t have it all. What she wants most is the love of her high school sweetheart, Taylor Drennon, the guy who got away, the one who left without telling her why and caused all her bitterness.

Not surprisingly, Jessica’s evil has made her a pariah. Alone, without friends or Taylor’s love, her college life is a nightmare. She’s haunted by her own mistakes and drowning in lack of direction. Something needs to change. So when the first opportunity to turn her life around presents itself, she takes it. Home for Christmas break, Jessica runs into Taylor. His unexpected friendliness seems like an invitation to rekindle their love. Inspired by a drastic idea that will both distance her from her heinous reputation and pull her closer to Taylor, she decides to transfer to OSU where he attends under a football scholarship.

Confident she can regain his heart, Jessica reenters Taylor’s life with a splash. Failing to naturally lure him closer, she is then forced to rely on her old games and underhanded scheming. Though Jessica’s heart is in the right place, it is hidden from Taylor by her blunders. More than once their powerful chemistry takes control, leading Jessica to believe she’s winning. But, it’s a hot and cold affair, and she’s not the only one to blame for their stormy love. If Jessica can only coax Taylor into explaining why he doesn’t want her, maybe she could finally walk away from him for good, maybe she could finally be happy.

I heaved a sigh as my chest tightened with a barrage of unexpected emotions. I should’ve known talking to Taylor would do this to me. All my life he’d been there, my best friend. There was too much between us, too few emotions we hadn’t already explored in the past. I couldn’t hide from him.
A hand fell on my shoulder, startling me. A wave of heat and chills ran across my back. Taylor was touching me. I felt like a beggar who gets handed a small piece of bread. His long fingers warmed my skin even through my cardigan. The same fingers that had once tangled in my hair as his hips rocked against mine. Heated flames lapped away what little courage I had. I looked at his hand hoping he would remove it. He didn’t.
Taylor pulled, a gentle tug that turned me in his direction, a lamb ready to face the wolf. The blood drained from my face, leaving my cheeks cold and clammy. What was the matter with me?
“Is everything okay? Are you . . . ?” he didn’t finish the question but let his words hang and stretch between us, his warm breath almost brushing my lips.
I’ve been told my eyes are beautiful, clear blue with a burst of yellow around the pupils. But blue is nothing special compared to the molten silver in Taylor’s irises. As I fell into his intense gaze, I realized, like so many times before, that he had power over me. That he could hold me in place even without touching me, that the ice storm that raged inside his silver eyes could trap me in its core, making whatever happened outside its vortex blur and fade away.

In the first book, I understand that Jessica Norton was was described as being vindictive and coming off as annoying. We get a taste of that in the beginning of Girls Are Players as well, but then see her mature afterward.

My thoughts about Jessica's character was in seesaw. I loved that it's the heroine who plays dirty and embodies a role as sort of the villain because it's different which made it exciting, but I hated that it makes her like a typical guy who does the same thing regularly. So I understand why she's the one people love to hate. But I like that her heart is still with the one who got away, as does the guys in her position. She's a tough one, but she does have an amount of vulnerability underneath that bitter facade. The thing about the one who got away returning to your life after some time is that it is not always a dream come true. It can get down right messy sometimes. It usually takes an impending wrong turn or tragedy to realize that you have to change your ways. Turning her life around seems appealing enough to take the opportunity by the reigns to do so and hope with all your heart to make it stick. Try as she might, old habits die hard for Jessica. Girls can be players too, if they play their cards right.

Jessica is a determined little one. She tried to get over Taylor, but to no avail. All attempts were proven futile. But it's no easy feat getting over your first love, especially without closure at the very least. Going to great lengths to find out why the one who caused her bitter attitude and wayward ways had left her some time ago without so much as a word. She wants answers. However, Taylor is not having it. He can play dirty too, which only leads to more confusion and hurt in their wake. It's not easy to explain the reason for leaving the one you love behind due to receiving a life-altering phone call, and have them understand when details cannot be shared for reasons.

Jessica and Taylor's chemistry is both explosively hot and cold as ice. It can go either way on a drop of a hat. You can tell that feel strongly for each other, but both are going through trials and tribulations, so it becomes a game of hot and cold between them. A lot of pushing and pulling. The inner turmoil they had gone through and continue going through will tug at your heartstrings for them. The stories of Jessica and Taylor individually, as well as together, are emotionally driven. I didn't expect to be so engaged in their lives and so in tuned with their feelings and struggles in life, with themselves, and with each other. It's not all emotions and troubling ways, this story had plenty of humor and underlying lessons. I laughed my arse off at times, shed a tear, and cheered them on. I also mentally slapped the characters a few times when their logic rivaled situations, or their true feelings for that matter. What happens when the chips are down and all bets are off?

Taylor was a puzzle. An enigma that was a bit frustrating to solve. He's the type who is nice at first, then angry badass, to a cryptic hot mess personified. You never know which side of him you're going to run into and when. Many encounters included seeing all of these sides. Seeing that many sides to the guy can make anyone question where his mind and heart truly lays, the guy he really is. It is wise to proceed with trepidation. In the end, I knew that underneath it all, he is a great guy with real feelings from deep within. There are just things he lets get in his way of letting it come to surface.

I know I talked a lot about the iffy romance part of the story, but this was truly a redemption story, not only for Jessica but for Taylor too. Ingrid Seymour's writing conveyed vivid details to every aspect and message she poured into this book. The angst threw me for a loop. I loved the unpredictability of this story that left me reeling. She knows how to plot twist that was carefully executed in the well-written storyline. I jumped into this book thinking that the usual jealousy and miscommunications would be thrown into the mix, but to my surprise there wasn't any. Their story was uniquely their own. Readers can expect a slew of unexpected emotions and underlying lessons of acceptance, growth, redemption and true love.

I want to thank Diane and Ingrid for providing an ARC, and Oops I Read A Book Again for letting me join the tour. Disclaimer: I received an ARC by the author for tour and review purposes, however, it does not influence my review in any way.

Purchase Girls Are Players

About the author

Ingrid Seymour loves, loves, loves to write. She's a young and new adult author. She writes in a variety of genres including romance, urban fantasy, paranormal and horror. She loves pizza and sushi, Sunkist and gum. She believes in vampires, witches, but not zombies (uh-uh, never!) She writes to loud music, daydreams constantly and spends too much time in twitter!! Find her there? ;) 

Ingrid has incredible fun doing what she does, but more than anything she enjoys hearing from her readers. It's a dream come true.

Catch up on the G.A.P. series

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Dec 5 

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Dec 6

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