Blog Tour, Review & Giveaway: The Pledge (College Bound #1) by Laura Ward & Christine Manzari

Posted July 29, 2015 by Kim in Blog Tour / 2 Comments


Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Pledge by Laura Ward and Christine Manzari! Check out my review and don’t forget to enter the giveaway below.


Blog Tour, Review & Giveaway: The Pledge (College Bound #1) by Laura Ward & Christine ManzariThe Pledge by Laura Ward, Christine Manzari
Series: College Bound #1
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: July 27, 2015
Publisher: Self-Published
Format: eARC, 310 pages
How I got it: From the author
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
My rating:

Taren needs a do-over. She’s decided the best way to put the high school bullies behind her is to pledge a Taylor-Swift-lip-syncing, beer-guzzling, sorority. Sisterhood helps Taren find the acceptance she’s always craved, but not the love she needs.

Alec wants freedom. To escape his father’s iron fist and unrealistic expectations, he pledges a campus acrobatics club where he finds that drugs and alcohol aren't the only ways to get high. His addiction to danger helps him gain his independence, but it comes at a heavy price.

When the two cross paths, Alec fears his undeniable attraction to the party girl just might threaten everything he's worked so hard to earn. Taren hasn’t forgotten that Alec humiliated her back in high school, but she also can't deny the chemistry they share.

Alec and Taren have nothing in common, but fate is bound and determined to bring them together. They know falling in love is a risk, and yet it’s too hard to ignore. When their worlds clash and they both end up suffering, will they fight to stay together? Or are some pledges too hard to keep?


in review my thoughts

When I first heard Christine and Laura were collaborating on a new adult series, I was over the moon. Christine’s Hooked is one of my favorite books of 2015 so far and I thoroughly enjoyed Laura’s Past Heaven. I just knew these ladies would combine to make something special.

I was drawn to Taren and Alec immediately. (Alec probably more so because it’s a little tough for me to relate to the Greek lifestyle. But I digress.) I liked that they had history, even if it wasn’t necessarily pleasant history. But, I’m a sucker for a second chance story and I couldn’t wait to see them get theirs. I suspected there would be some drama and controversy as they were approaching college with completely different priorities – Taren’s focus being on parties and fun with her sisters and Alec’s being on remaining alcohol free and finally doing something HE enjoyed instead of what was always expected of him. Despite their differences, or perhaps because of them, they fit together really well. They balanced each other out and helped each other grow. And believe me, both characters matured and really came into their own during this book.

When I started The Pledge, I didn’t realize it was set at the University of Maryland. That was a surprise and I actually enjoyed the setting a lot more than I thought I would. (Sorry folks, WVU fan here. I take my rivalries seriously.) 😉 Since I live in the DC area, I’ve been to UMD a fair few times so it was easy to get the lay of the land, so to speak, and I find that always helps when I’m reading. (Otherwise I picture each campus looking like WVU and, well, that’s just not realistic. Ha!) I also loved the idea of the Acroletes (aka Gymkhana, which I was more or less unfamiliar with before this book) and would totally drive to College Park to see them. I just might have to, as a matter of fact. So, hooray for introducing me to new things!

At the risk of getting spoilery, but not too much… I was fascinated by the red string of fate. This, too, I was unfamiliar with before reading this book. (I’ve done a fair few internet searches since, however.) I really enjoyed this and liked how the authors wove it seamlessly into Taren and Alec’s story. There was *maybe* a bit more drama than I would’ve personally liked between these two characters, but it still worked for me. Sometimes it’s hard for me to put myself back in the shoes of the characters I’m reading when they’re that much younger than me. I often forget just how important and dramatic EVERYTHING was when I was that age, too. I just have to remember to read through that lens and not through the one of a 30+ lady who has a little more perspective now. (But just a little.) 😉

The Pledge is a great start to a new series. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and literally couldn’t put it down until I finished. It was totally a one-sitting read for me. I’m interested to see who gets the next book – I’m really hoping it’s Alexis. She caught my attention in this book, so I’m anxious to get her story. (And, if I’m honest, I had some problems with Julie. She totally rubbed me the wrong way, but that’s not to say that she can’t be redeemed somehow.) I guess I’ll just have to wait and see! Regardless I’ll read it because I adore these ladies and their work.

I received a copy of this book from the author(s) in exchange for an honest review.


About Laura Ward

Laura Ward lives in Maryland with her loud and very loving three children and husband. She married her college sweetheart and is endlessly grateful for the support he has given her through all their years together, and especially toward her goal of writing books. When not changing diapers, driving to lacrosse practice, or checking spelling homework, Laura is writing or reading romance novels.

About Christine Manzari

The first thing Christine does when she's getting ready to read a book is to crack the spine in at least five places. She wholeheartedly believes there is no place as comfy as the pages of a well-worn book. She's addicted to buying books, reading books, and writing books. Books, books, books. She also has a weakness for adventure, inappropriate humor, and coke (the caffeine-laden bubbly kind). Christine is from Forest Hill, Maryland where she lives with her husband, three kids, and her library of ugly spine books.



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2 responses to “Blog Tour, Review & Giveaway: The Pledge (College Bound #1) by Laura Ward & Christine Manzari

  1. Hi! I found your blog through my Bloglovin suggestions and was glad you’re a romance reader as well! I’m a new follower 😀

    This sounds like a really great book, though I’m not familiar with the authors. I’m going to have to look them up. I’m intrigued by how the red string of fate comes into the picture. Great review!