Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Release Day Mini Review & Excerpt: Rival Hearts by Natalie Decker!

Title: Rival Hearts
Series: Rival Love #2
Author: Natalie Decker
Format: ebook
Pub. Date: December 23rd 2014
Source: Swoon Romance

Summary from Goodreads:

Caleb is ticked off. Skylar hasn’t answered any of his calls, texts, or emails since her move to New York, virtually cutting him out of her life without warning. So Caleb decides to go after her—and convince her to come back home.

But even when Skylar realizes her heart does belong at home with Caleb, her uncertainty lingers. Is it safe? Have things changed?

After the mysterious vandalism to the pool at Delmont High, everyone is desperate for answers they believe Skylar can provide. At first, she’s determined not to run. But when Caleb’s ex-girlfriend unleashes a vengeful surprise, Sky's love for Caleb is threatened.

Are these two rival hearts ready to fight for their love, or will they have to throw in the towel?

RIVAL HEARTS is the sequel to the bestselling teen romance novel RIVAL LOVE by Natalie Decker.


“Whoa, babycakes. Chill. I just wanted to make some conversation and maybe rock out a little.” He winks at me. “You’re feisty; I like that.”

He flicks his eyes to my nightstand. There are two photos there; first is one of Caleb and me. It was an unseasonably warm day in December, and we were fighting over the sponge we were using to wash our cars. He dumped suds in my hair and I sprayed him with the hose. I was the one washing my car first, then he just magically needed to clean his too. My swimming friend Kayla took it the picture and framed it for me before I left. The second photo is of Caleb, his uncle Brian, my mom, and me. Caleb is looking over at me with a smirk, and I’m glaring at him. Brian and my mom are smiling at the camera. My mom was so mad I put this photo in a frame, but it was a memory for me. The moment I started realizing my feelings for Caleb.


I cringe. “No! That’s definitely not my brother. The only sibling I have was in your lap about, I don’t know, five minutes ago.”

“Ah. Gotcha. So, wanna have lunch with me tomorrow?”

I shake my head. “No thanks.” I’ve been eating lunch in odd places like the library or stairway, because it’s easier. I’m not here to make friends. I’m here because I had nowhere else to go. Right now, I’d give anything to be back home with my mom, but that’s not going to happen.

He keeps inspecting my room and says, “Well, looks like I’m going to have to find another way to fit into your schedule.”

“Uh … I don’t have any slots for you. Sorry.” I fold my arms but it makes me wonder. If a girl suggested the same thing to Caleb, would he take them out? Does he think we’re still a couple? Would he move on? Could I move on? No. I’m pretty certain I’ll never get over Caleb. I’m not sure this whole long-distance relationship thing is a great idea but maybe I should try. I need to call him. He’s probably so pissed at me for ignoring him. I know I’d be pissed.

Malcom moves to the door. “Until next time, babycakes.” He winks, and walks out of my room.

I sneer at his nickname. “Uck.” I walk over to my door and close it, then flip the lock. I wish Caleb were here. And my depression starts up all over again



Three and a half stars.


I was really excited when I was invited to read this sequel to Rival Love, a book I read earlier this year and really enjoyed. This is a solid continuation of Caleb and Skylar's story that has the same great pacing and writing that readers loved in the first book.

I really enjoyed having the chance to see how Caleb and Skylar continued their relationship, since the first book just wasn't enough of the couple. It's nice seeing the characters grow and mature as they figure themselves and the rest of the world out. It's fairly easy to relate to, since growing up is something we all have to do. That being said, I wasn't as attached to them in this book as I was in the first one. I know that they have growing up to do (don't we all?), but they still seemed a bit immature for their age group. I felt like I was reading about kids who were younger than high school. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it is something that I noticed. This made me feel a bit more disjointed, and while I related to the book as a whole, it was harder to relate to namely Skylar as a single character. I did, however, continue to love Caleb. He's why I enjoyed book one so much, and he's vital to my liking of this book as well.

I also really love the cover. Look at how cute it is! It definitely drew me into the story and would look really cute on a physical shelf.

I think that fans of the first Rival Love book will enjoy this addition to the story. While I did find it a bit harder to connect to the characters, I'd still recommend this to fans of Rival Love as well as those who enjoy young adult romance in a contemporary setting. Thanks so much to Swoon Romance for giving me a copy to read for my honest opinions.


  1. This looks really good, I've wanted to read it for a while, both books actually. I love the cover, it's adorable. This sounds like a great story to get wrapped up in.