Whaddup readers, it’s time for another Fancast/Dreamcast post, and this time it’s for what has to be the spiciest, steamiest, sexiest set of books I’ve read this year! Neve Wilder totally gained a fan in me with how hot these books got, they’re seriously some of the best MM new adult romance I’ve read out there, not that my list is incredibly extensive in this regards, but someday!
BEWARE OF SPOILERS IF YOU HAVENT READ THESE YET
Each book featured a different couple, and book 1 actually started off as a collection of short stories in a newsletter that gained major popularity before being brought together and published as one full length novel. Nate and Eric star in book 1, Chet and Mark star in book 2, and Sam and Jesse star in book 3!
If you want some spicy MM romance action, I can’t recommend these books enough!
To see my review of book #1 – Want Me – Click HERE
To see my review of book #3 – Show Me – Click HERE
Here is my Fancast/Dreamcast for the Extracurricular Activities Trilogy:
Nate: Ryan Ball
Ryan is a model that is total eye candy on Instagram, and exactly how I imagine the down to earth and slightly awkward Nate to look like in book 1. If he looked like this, I can see why Eric became so into him!
Eric: Charlie Matthews
Eric is described as being dark haired with green eyes and a hot build even if he’s on the slimmer side, so this model Charlie Matthews is immediately who I thought of to play Eric!
Mark: Zane Phillips
I’ve recently discovered Zane Phillips, and I’m obsessed…He might be the only reason I have to check out The Legacies on the CW network, even though I believe The Vampire Diaries DID NOT need a second spin-off show! It also helps that he’s gay in real life too, so he’d be perfect for a role in these books if they were to make it into a film/show!
Chet: Eric Guilmette
I’m basically making this fancast into a men’s appreciation catalogue, but honestly who’s complaining??? I don’t remember much of what Chet is described as, but I’m obsessed with Eric over on Instagram, so I honestly just pictured him as Chet in my head. This one may or may not be all that accurate, but hey, I’m good with using Eric to my imagination with these books!
Sam: Matt O’Brien, or Andre Lamoglia
Sam is basically described LITERALLY as a human golden retriever/yellow lab, and whoever would play him needs to look the part! Matt is guy I found on social media who I imagine Sam looking like, BUT there’s also a new hottie named Ivan on the Spanish Netflix drama, Elite, who’s played by Andre, and I get serious heart-eyes whenever he smiles, just like how I’d imagine I would for Sam!
Jesse: Alex Espenshade
Jesse is a sassy skinny ginger who was also really hard to cast! No one came to mind right away for me as to who I could picture playing him! This male model has an adorable look to him that I could see Jesse as, but consider this a place holder until I find someone who I deem more perfect!
***Warning! This book contains spoilers for the previous books in the series, so continue reading this review at your own risk! You’ve officially been warned!***
To see my review for book #1 – Want Me – Click HERE
To see my review for book #2 – Try Me – Click HERE
Total Star Rating: 4.25 Stars
You’re ridiculously simple at times and incredibly complex at others. I can’t pin you at all.”
– Neve Wilder, “Show Me”
What It’s About:
The official blurb:
Two Roommates. One Camera. A whole lot of action.
I get crushes the way some people get seasonal allergies. And sharing a house with four hot roommates is like being stuck in permanent spring. Too bad I keep getting friend-zoned.
But it’s senior year now, and I’m done pining for the impossible. Time to live it up and go out with a bang. Or a lot of bangs.
And I’m definitely, definitely not getting attached to anyone. Especially not my straight, gym-loving, football-player roommate Sam whose impressively large… smile I caught a glimpse of once. Or several times.
That’s why, when Sam asks me for help with a very special, very NSFW project so he can make a little cash, of course I agree. In the name of friendship.
And if it turns out that Sam’s more than just muscles—that he’s sweet, and smart, and a little bit filthy, and a whole lot less straight than I thought—well, that’s neither here nor there, because this time I’m gonna be smart. This time, I’m friend-zoning myself.
We’ve got a list of deliciously hot scenarios, a camera, and Sam’s huge… smile. What could possibly go wrong?
From the author of Want Me comes the third new adult college romance in the Extracurricular Activities series. Expect low angst, high heat, plenty of laughs, a flustered redhead, a gentle giant of a football player, and enough BDE to power a mid-size city.
Sometimes you just need a book NOT because it’s some literary masterpiece or because it’s the latest trending title on social media or because it’s some epic, grand adventure with an exciting plot…readers like me sometimes just seek out books for the hot sex scenes! I have no shame in admitting I’m a spicy smut reader, and this trilogy has been just a total delight in this sense! Neve Wilder is now one of my go-to’s when it comes to me looking for sexier books that I know will have some absolutely scorching scenes to enjoy.
If you liked the first two books of these, you most likely will appreciate this one too, and I personally thought the author didn’t disappoint with this final installment into this college romance story.
This final book revolves around Jesse and Sam. There’s a prequel scene at the beginning of the guys back in freshman year, and Jesse discovers his boyfriend in a compromising position with someone else…thus making him to believe he has the absolute worst luck in love…It makes him twice as snarky, and The Great British Bakeoff fan vows to have a smutty good time when it’s back to present day, senior year, and all the other guys in the house have surprisingly all gotten in serious relationships but him. Then there’s Sam: large, boy next door, football player, seemingly straight, and literal human golden retriever who has a secret of his own that Jesse finds out about…
I especially enjoyed both Sam and Jesse equally, I think they both felt fleshed out and had great personalities that fit each other well. There was definitely some chemistry there from the get go that only becomes more obvious as they keep hanging out and become closer as friends and more.
Was this book as strong as the other books? Yes and No.
The sex was hot as all the other scenes, but if I’m being a little critical, the actual relationship didn’t feel as strong as Nate/Eric’s and Chet/Mark’s. There wasn’t as much actual ROMANCE involved or tender hearted moments to make you swoon. I’m not saying this is a bad thing at all, and like I said Sam and Jesse defs have some chemistry between them, I guess it’s more that the author just doesn’t really show it as well this time around. Heck, even some moments only fade to black in the back half of the book which didn’t make the most sense.
I would say as far as content goes: this book is right up there with the others in terms of spice rating (which it gets a 4 peppers from me), but if you’re someone who likes to see deeper connections and have your heart feel like its fluttering out of your chest and want to read relationships that make you think true love is real…this might not be the one.
Personally, I didn’t have a problem with that in this story because by this point I knew what to expect in the overall tone of these books, but I can see other readers maybe turning away because out of them all this feels like the weakest of the connections.
I guess you’ll have to read it yourself to see what you think! Besides the fade to blacks, I immensely enjoyed this book!
“You’re the first person I look for in any room. I hear you louder than anyone else. Even when you’re quiet. Sometimes especially when you’re quiet. I’ve never wanted to be with someone else as much as I want to be with you. Making you happy makes me happy. I’ve never felt that way with someone else either. Everything about you makes me feel impulsive and excitable, and it’s both scary and exhilarating as hell.“
– Neve Wilder, “Show Me”
What I Liked:
Neve Wilder Writes Really Good Smut! This author skyrocketed up my list of authors whom I know will add the fire and steam to their stories! And the fact that it’s MM makes it even better! If you’re looking for hot, graphic scenes between younger and eager college age guys, these are an excellent option!
Sam is Total Book Book Boyfriend Material! I totally adored Sam in this book! I’m a sucker for the big muscles, bigger smile, slight himbo jock vibes that he gives off and how he’s probably one of the most easy-going characters I’ve ever come across…I didn’t think much of him when he was a background character in the previous books, but once the spotlight shined upon him, oh did it ever shine so brightly!
Surprisingly No Angst About Queer Self Discovery! With Sam being so go-with-the-flow and super chill about literally everything, he was even this way during his journey of self discovery. Before him and Jesse start going at it, he’d never done anything with another guy or really even thought of it, but then he realized he had feelings and just kind of shrugged and went “Well… I guess I’m bi or whatever.”
What I Didn’t Like:
Either Needed to Be Shorter or It Needed More Conflict… If I’m going to be critical–I’m a Gemini and we ALWAYS have something to say–I would say maybe this book could be a little shorter, or if not shorter, maybe it could’ve actually added more angst or conflict to the story. I’m good if it’s not about gay discovery since Sam seemed actually pretty chill about all that, but maybe Neve could’ve added more drama with Jesse’s ex or something to maybe push the story a little faster?
Later Sex Scenes Were Fade to Black…the first chunk of the book is phenomenal, but then the last bit feels a little rushed in this sense and the spicy scenes start to fade into the background, literally…for some of the scenes, it felt like a real missed opportunity.
There’s Not Much Actual Romance…While there is a LOT of sex–no complaints there–there’s not actually a whole lot of softer moments that make you really believe that its a deeper, more serious relationship…Personally I didn’t mind this too much, but I can see other readers being disappointed by this.
Overall, this was another great addition to a smokin’ hot MM college romance series that Neve Wilder has come out with! Sam was an absolute favorite of mine, and Jesse was a great fit with him too with his sassy snark. It couldve ended on a stronger note, but I think this book is still perfectly fine for what it is: a spicy new adult college romance.
Neve Wilder has totally gained a fan in me for these books now, and you can definitely bet I’m going to be exploring other titles too!
Until we meet again. Until we can feel the rain on both our faces. There has to be a time for us in the next life. I don’t want any part of a heaven where I don’t see you.”
– Kate Stewart, “Exodus”
What It’s About:
The official synopsis:
Can you live a lie?
It’s a ghost town, this place that haunts me, the one that made me.
It’s clear to me that I’ll never outgrow Triple Falls or outlive the time I spent here.
I can still feel them all, my boys of summer.
Even when I’d sensed the danger, I gave in.
I didn’t heed a single warning. I let my sickness, my love, both rule and ruin me. I played my part, eyes wide open, tempting fate until it delivered.
There was never going to be an escape.
All of us are to blame for what happened. All of us serving our own sentences. We were careless and reckless, thinking our youth made us indestructible, exempt from our sins, and it cost us all.
I’m done pretending I didn’t leave the largest part of me between these hills and valleys, between the sea of trees that hold my secrets.
It’s the reason I’m back. To make peace with my fate.
And if I can’t grieve enough to cure myself in my time here, I’ll remain sick. That will be my curse.
But it’s time to confess, to myself more so than any other, that I’d hindered my chances because of the way I was built, and because of the men who built me.
At this point, I just want to make peace with who I am, no matter what ending I get.
Because I can no longer live a lie.
That’s my review of this book.
No I’m totally kidding!
…But in all honesty, I have NEVER needed a cigarette more than after I read this book…or therapy. And lets be clear: I DON’T SMOKE CANCER STICKS, but after this book…… I get it now!
I couldn’t wrap my head around all that happens in this book and the emotions it all brought with it. I started reading these books to hopefully get over this reading slump I’m in, but little did I know I was going to put myself in an even WORSE book hangover after this book! Holy Moly….
The last time I remember feeling this whack after taking in some sort of media (movie, tv show, book, etc) was when I watched the infamous Tiger King documentary series on Netflix and couldn’t help but crazy laugh to myself at how crazy the story got and wonder what could possibly happen next and how things could possibly get worse, but they somehow do!
This book immediately picks up where “Flock” left off where Cecilia and us meet the big head honcho in charge of the operation: The Frenchman. Everything we thought we had figured out from the first book is completely out the window and everything has changed. Like you literally have no idea what to expect if you’re going off just the previous book. It’s so chaotic and mindboggling!
At this point it’s almost needless to say Cecilia’s (and YOUR) lives are flipped upside down.
Kate Stewart really surprised me with this one; the tone was a lot darker and instead of a seemingly normal new adult summer romance, this all of sudden turned into a dark mafia story…that’s all I’m going to say about that. Actually, I’m going to say just a little bit more because honestly, it’s hard to talk about this book without getting spoilery, so really I say go check out what I liked and disliked but beware of spoilers….
We love rainy days don’t we baby?”
– Kate Stewart, “Exodus”
What I Liked:
The Tone Got More Urgent & Dark! The tone in this sequel got a lot darker and things are moving at a much faster speed and overall just so much more is happening…so much so that it’s actually a lot to take in. More than I was honestly expecting. All of a sudden I’m reading a dark mafia romance and there’s worry of people getting shot! It was chaotic, but I liked it! I was definitely hooked!
More Spice! Awwwwwww yeahhhhhh just what the dick-tor ordered! (I’ll see myself out for that one)
The Story Goes So Deep and EVERYTHING is Connected! I was majorly impressed with how well Kate Stewart connected everything within the story and how literally ALL the characters had a specific role in how things played out. I love it when you discover that every character served a purpose like that, even if it doesn’t happen in present time within the book.
What I Didn’t Like:
Weird How Dominic and Sean get Shafted…I liked Sean, and I was a sucker for Dom, but wow did I feel like they got the biggest brush-off in this book! The Frenchman, Tobias, swoops in and shakes things up even bigger than Rhysand did in A Court of Thorns and Roses, but luckily the two guys didn’t get reduced to being two Tamlins…still, I was hoping they’d play a bigger part in this book than what we actually got.
That Death…It was definitely one of those scenes where I had to triple check I’d just read what I actually read…this reminded me of when I first read Finnick Odair’s death in Mockingjay and part of me was inwardly panicking as to what just happened and if it was somehow not true….but it was, and wow did it hurt right in the chest.
I’m VERY Torn on Tobias…I’m just gonna start this one off and say that Tobias isn’t a good guy. And his relationship that develops with Cecilia is definitely toxic. I’m not sure if they’re actually meant to be, but damn does Kate Stewart write them to convince me that they are! Honestly, both of them are complete messes, but they certainly did have a unique kind of dynamic that I don’t see a whole lot of in books, so that was really refreshing! I loved the whole “hating you-to-loving you” dynamic with lots of spice. It was dark, but I was here for it. Tobias just was also a very unlikable character which is also interesting, and I was torn on whether I liked him or not. I both liked it and didn’t like it, but again, I did like how it kept me guessing on his motives and what his true feelings were. The romance genre is unfortunately a fairly predictable genre to read, so the fact that this book and this character were anything but did make me appreciate it more!
Overall, I was not prepared for how much this book was going to sweep the rug out from underneath me! I was warned by my #bookstagram friends that it will tear me apart, to which I was cynical about, but I will say this book really took more out of me than I was expecting. I wasn’t a weeping ball of emotions on the floor, but I started these books to try and cure a reading slump I feel like I’ve been in this whole year, and little did I know that this one was going to put me into a whole other book hangover…But I can say I did really enjoy these and absolutely plowed through them like they were a fresh meal placed right in front of me and I hadn’t eaten in about a week!
It’s really hard to say “If you liked _________, then you’ll like these books too!” I can’t say I’ve ever read romance books quite like these before. I guess I should say if you’re not afraid of darker themes and the relationships somewhat–putting that mildly–toxic, and the characters VERY morally grey and not entirely likable, then this will be right up your alley! Good luck with therapy….
The truth is, I do expect a lot out of my love story and the man I’ll share it with. I expect passion and butterflies, and one or two fairy tale moments. When we fight, I want it to hurt. When we fuck, I want to feel it with every fiber of my being. When a man confesses his love to me, I expect him to mean it. I don’t want to question the words’ authenticity. I want to be claimed and owned and ruled and possessed by love.”
– Kate Stewart, “Flock”
What It’s About:
The official synopsis:
Can you keep a secret? I grew up sick. Let me clarify. I grew up believing that real love stories include a martyr or demand great sacrifice to be worthy. Because of that, I believed it, because I made myself believe it, and I bred the most masochistic of romantic hearts, which resulted in my illness. When I lived this story, my own twisted fairy tale, it was unbeknownst to me at the time because I was young and naïve. I gave into temptation and fed the beating beast, which grew thirstier with every slash, every strike, every blow. Triple Falls wasn’t at all what it seemed, nor were the men that swept me under their wing. But in order to keep them, I had to be in on their secrets. Secrets that cost us everything to keep. That’s the novelty of fiction versus reality. You can’t re-live your own love story, because by the time you’ve realized you’re living it, it’s over. At least that was the case for me and the men I trusted my foolish heart to. Looking back, I’m convinced I willed my story into existence due to my illness. And all were punished.
Okay, so I can definitely see what the hype about with this book was all about!
I don’t remember when exactly, but it felt like not too long ago this trilogy made a big sweep into bookish social media and it was EVERYWHERE…so many people were all of a sudden talking about these books, but also how they tore open their chest and made them cry their eyes out and stole a piece of their soul….you know, normal stuff booklovers say. I even had friends send me pics of them bawling their eyes out from these books and I’m more like “okay……….consider me more intrigued!”
It was a fast read despite being a character-driven storyline; the fact that the main drive of the story is told through the perspective of the main character, and she’s constantly guessing what’s happening and is obviously being kept out of the loop on A LOT of things going on….and so of course, we as readers are too.
The story revolves around Cecilia moving to a small town named Triple Falls to move in with her estranged father. Things had been tense growing up as he’s abandoned her and her mother but suddenly wants to change all that and have her in his life. He is defs not winning any father of the year awards and remains cold and distant and even has her refer to him as “sir” whenever they actually speak amongst one another. Her father is the richest man in town and owns the largest factory where she’ll have to work for one whole year in order to get an inheritance and own the business herself one day. The reason she even decides to go with this ridiculous sounding plan is because her mom’s health is deteriorating, and Cecilia figures her father can pay them back for all he’s robbed them of since her birth.
Cecilia also meets two particular boys: Sean and Dominic. Sean is like a golden Cali-surfer boy without a care in the world, and Dominic at first feels like a very stereotypical teen romance love interest: stoic, broody, tall, dark, handsome, and a total asshole that the girl somehow still gets the hots for. Despite being polar opposites, both are drawn to Cecilia–oh and she’s feelin it too–and the book follows the three of them on what is an eventual summer for the three of them…in more ways than one!
The book was both intriguing and frustrating at the same time with the guessing, but I will admit it definitely keeps you wanting to read to see how the answers are laid out before you.
‘That’s the truth,’ I add, ‘people don’t want the brutal truth in love stories anymore, but that, there,’ I gesture at the screen, ‘is the brutal, ugly truth.’”
– Kate Stewart, “Flock”
What I Liked:
It Really Keeps You Guessing! The main drive of this story is that the author really does a wonderful job of keeping you out of the loop with what is all going down for so much of the story.
The Characters! Cecilia had some sass to her, which I can appreciate! She was very typical feisty teen heroine, but that’s honestly okay with me! She was still likable which is the most important part for a main character for me. The author made me care about her and root for her in the end!
The Spice! Insert pun about things heating up in the summer with this book! There’s a float scene that was very eyebrow raising and I wish more scenes like that appeared throughout!
What I Didn’t Like:
Not Much of an Outer Plot Until End of Book…Until you reach the near end of the book and an outer plot is finally revealed to you, most of this book is very character driven with it being told by Cecilia’s perspective with plenty of guessing games, but @chan on Goodreadssays it perfectly in her review: imagine if in Twilight when Edward is being all sketchy and shady and eventually reveals he’s a vampire…imagine if that was the end of the book and that’s kind of the situation here a little bit. Once the big reveal of Flock makes itself known, a lot of things start to make sense and things tie together and you become invested, but again…some readers might not enjoy that this doesn’t happen until 95% into the book.
The Guessing Got Tedious…Part of you definitely becomes frustrated alongside Cecilia when over and over again she asks questions and she gets no answers, or a lot of it is simply left up in the air. Most of it is even with Sean, who even says he’s more open and honest than most people so that felt really contradictory, and I feel like maybe even the author does this a little too much to drive the fact home about how well kept the secrets are and how tightly knit it all is. Or maybe not…I’m kind of torn on it. I think I’m not too annoyed about it, but I can see other readers really turned off by this. I’ll admit I got frustrated, but more in the sense that kept me wanting to read and get answers, so in a way it works! I guess this critique depends on the type of reader you are…
Overall, I easily got into this book and saw what the hype about it was! It kept me reading late into the night and can say I think this book is a great choice for anyone to read who is in a slump and just needs something to jolt themselves awake with their reading. It definitely did just that for me!
I was happy to say this book didn’t tear apart my insides and rip my heart from my chest and leave me a broken husk of a human…I’m still going strong!
Fair warning, there is a major cliffhanger at the end of the book so if you do start reading this, I do recommend having Exodus either close by or on the way in the mail because if you like this book, you’ll defs want to start the next one IMMEDIATELY!