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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

In Your Arms by Shannyn Schroeder - Book Review, Guest Post & Giveaway

Book review
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Review by Suze
Sean likes having freedom. He doesn't care about having a steady job, he lives with his father and brothers so he doesn't have to pay rent and he doesn't want a relationship. When he meets Emma on the side of the road and helps her out he wants to spend more time with her, so he takes her to a bar to have a drink. Emma looks prim and proper, but that's just one side of her. She is a kindergarten teacher and is serious about her job. She's responsible and she's looking for a man to marry and start a family with. She does have a rebellious streak as well, only she tries to keep it in check. After two fun days Emma and Sean are supposed to say goodbye, but they decide there's no harm in meeting again.
While Sean and Emma aren't each other's ideal dates they keep hanging out. Sean is a mechanic and plays hockey. He has an active social life. Emma often goes out with her colleagues on Fridays and spends the rest of her free time working on lesson plans. While their worlds seem completely different Sean and Emma have more in common than they think. They could be great together, but the last thing Emma wants is becoming like her mother, still single while her children are grown up with an appalling taste in men. Sean's lifestyle makes him exactly like the guys Emma thinks she shouldn't date. Will they have a chance or are their differences too big to overcome?
When I saw the cover of In Your Arms I expected a sweet romantic story. Sean loves riding his bike, he works with cars when he feels like it, lives in a basement, likes drinking beer and isn't afraid to use his fists when defending Emma's honor. He's definitely a rebel and the same goes for Emma. While Sean is afraid of the word responsibility he is kind and can definitely be caring when he wants to. He and Emma both have their good and bad qualities, but sweet isn't what came to mind when reading this book at all. Emma is tough, she can take care of herself and she can stand her ground. Nothing about this book is cute or adorable. Sean might have one or two endearing moments, but that's as sweet as it gets.
Sean likes having a life without responsibilities and his behavior irritated me at first. I understood why Shannyn Schroeder made him the way he is though and it was great to see him grow up. I sometimes wanted to shake him as he risks the good things in his life because he wants to remain unattached and completely free of responsibilities. In Your Arms is a coming of age novel, but then with main characters who are in the second half of their twenties. There are plenty of them in real life too, so I like the idea of a story about this topic.
Shannyn Schroeder's writing is honest and sometimes crude. The beginning of the novel, particularly the soon and easy sex between Sean and Emma, astonished me, especially after seeing the cute cover. The idea behind the story is fun and in the last few chapters there's information about the first ones that I think gave them something extra, so that they made more sense, which is something I liked. The ending is nice and not overly romantic, but definitely fitting. What I liked best is that Shannyn Schroeder writes about her main characters in detail, which makes their personalities come to life really well. I loved being able to get to know them through and through. My favorite scenes were the ones set at Sean's hockey games. Shannyn Schroeder doesn't only describe an interesting game, she also uses it to add more meaning and emotion to her story. I love that her characters are completely themselves and know what they like and dislike and are very much aware of who they are and what they stand for. In Your Arms is a unique story with intriguing main characters.
In Your Arms isn't a cute story, it's more for readers who like reading about rebellious main characters who don't want to get attached and then fall hard for a girl, which catches them completely off guard.
About Shannyn Schroeder

Shannyn Schroeder is the author of the O’Leary series, contemporary romances centered around a large Irish-American family in Chicago and the Hot & Nerdy series about 3 nerdy friends finding love. Her new series (For Your Love) will release this summer with the first title Under Your Skin. When she’s not wrangling her three kids or writing, she watches a ton of TV and loves to bake cookies.

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 Guest post
Meet the Heroine – Emma Long
By: Shannyn Schroeder

I had a great time writing Emma Long. She came to me in pieces a while ago as a character. I thought about a Kindergarten teacher who normally has a potty-mouth, but limits how many times a day she can swear (five) and the rest of the time, she improvises (fudge monkey). At first I had no reason why she was like this or any of the rest of her backstory, but I wanted to know.

As I started thinking about Sean O’Malley, I knew she would be a good fit for him. The O’Malley boys use the word fuck in every other sentence, so pairing Sean with a woman who really tries not to swear would be fun.

But as I got to know Emma, there was so much more to her. She has an older brother, Nicky, who is completely unreliable. She was raised by a single mother, Brandi, who wasn’t the best provider. The only thing that Emma could count on as a kid was birthday cake on her birthday. As she says, it’s the one thing her mom got right. So now, birthday cake is comfort food for Emma.

Emma grew up as a wild child. School was hard, so she charmed her way through. Once she got out of high school, she worked random jobs, often at the same bars where her mother worked. The party lifestyle suited her.

Until they were evicted (again). Then Emma decided she wanted more out of life. In order to make that happen, she needed to change. She went back to school and became a teacher. She’s now the responsible member of the family and her brother and mother rely on her.

Emma wants everything she didn’t have growing up. She wants a husband, kids, and house with a backyard. She needs something she can count on and she’s working her ass off to make that happen. Unfortunately, she tends to be drawn to guys who don’t fit the bill.

When she meets Sean, she knows he’ll be great for a night, or maybe even a weekend, but she can’t count on him for the long haul. Or can she?


There are three wonderful prizes for three very lucky winners.


1) $10 Amazon or B&N gift card
2) Digital copy of Hot and Nerdy 2 anthology

Us only:

Signed copy of Under Your Skin


  1. Great review would love to read this book x

  2. I agree with your review comment that the cover does lead one to believe that this is a sweet romance. Nice to see that it's far more complex than that.