Month: November 2016

Week in Books (42)

Posted November 21, 2016 by Rowena in Features | 8 Comments

Week in Books v2

For the last two weeks, my boss has been on his honeymoon so his work once again became mine and I’ve been super busy with everything under the sun that I’ve gone home so stinkin’ exhausted. He’s back in the office today and this is what I look like:

Last week was for getting my blog shit together. I’m taking the month off of Top 5 Wednesday because the topics this month are freaking hard and I can’t be bothered to put my thinking cap on for that madness so I’ll bring that back next month. I also caught up on my reading. The past couple of weeks, I only read 2 books but I’ve caught up on that this week. Thank goodness. My reading numbers were looking sad to end the year.

I also did my very first planner spread for the last week and I was super happy with the way that it came out. I’m building up my planner accessories collection so I’ve been on Etsy and at Michaels and planning a trip to Hobby Lobby (closest one to me is 45 minutes, wahh!) and watching YouTube videos and cyber stalking my favorite planner enthusiasts on IG. I’ve got it bad. I started a new IG to separate my blog stuff from my family stuff and my first post was this one:


Currently Reading

Idol (VIP #1) by Kristen Callihan.


I found Killian drunk and sprawled out on my lawn like some lost prince. With the face of a god and the arrogance to match, the pest won’t leave. Sexy, charming, and just a little bit dirty, he’s slowly wearing me down, making me crave more.

He could be mine if I dare to claim him. Problem is, the world thinks he’s theirs. How do you keep an idol when everyone is intent on taking him away?


As lead singer for the biggest rock band in the world, I lived a life of dreams. It all fell apart with one fateful decision. Now everything is in shambles.

Until Liberty. She’s grouchy, a recluse—and kind of cute. Scratch that. When I get my hands on her, she is scorching hot and more addictive than all the fans who’ve screamed my name.

The world is clamoring for me to get back on stage, but I’m not willing to leave her. I’ve got to find a way to coax the hermit from her shell and keep her with me. Because, with Libby, everything has changed. Everything.

My bestie Bookish Ames and I are going to buddy review one book together every month and next month’s book is Managed by Kristen Callihan. I’m so behind because I haven’t read Idol yet but I’m reading it now so I’ll get to Managed this week. So far, I’ve only read the first chapter but I’m hopeful that I’ll get some reading in tonight and that I’ll enjoy this one. I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve read by Callihan so far and I’m positive I’ll enjoy this one too.


Shut Up and Kiss Me (Lost Boys #2) by Jessica Lemmon | 4 out of 5
Downed (Gridiron #3) by Jen Frederick | 4.75 out of 5
First Step Forward (Grand Valley #1) by Liora Blake | 4 out of 5

My favorite read of the week goes to Downed by Jen Frederick. It was the book that I was hoping we’d get when I found out that we were getting Ace’s book. I loved hating Ace in Matty and Lucy’s book so I wasn’t ready to like him so soon but I need to have more faith in Frederick’s abilities because she wrote another fabulous contemporary NA romance that I ate right up. I loved it to pieces.

Book Boyfriend of the Week

Ace from Downed (Gridiron #3) by Jen Frederick.

Ace was my favorite hero of the week. I loved him to pieces and am really surprised to say that. I wasn’t expecting to love him as much as I did but I did. He was such an asshole in the last book that I wasn’t surprised when people were annoyed to be getting his book so soon but I liked the sort of branch out spin off from Western to Southern. Jen handled that wonderfully and Ace changed enough in the right way without taking too much away from who we know him to be to work for me and I just loved him.

His heroine is my book girlfriend of the week. Bryant was fabulous!


Irresistibly Yours by Lauren Layne | 4.25 out of 5
I Wish You Were Mine by Lauren Layne | 4.25 out of 5

Posts You May Have Missed

11/14: Week in Books (41)
11/18: Eye Candy Friday: Joshua Templeman from The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

New to My Bookshelves

Delicious (Marsdens #1) by Sherry Thomas
Act Like It by Lucy Parker
Love Lessons by Heidi Cullinan

New to My Review Shelf

Downed (Gridiron #3) by Jen Frederick
Bad Boy by Elliot Wake

There you have it, my week in books. How did your week go?

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Eye Candy Friday: Joshua Templeman from The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

Posted November 18, 2016 by Rowena in Features | 6 Comments


Hating Game

Joshua Templeman from The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

Nemesis (n.)
1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome;
2) A person’s undoing;
3) Joshua Templeman.

Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman hate each other. Not dislike. Not begrudgingly tolerate. Hate. And they have no problem displaying their feelings through a series of ritualistic passive aggressive maneuvers as they sit across from each other, executive assistants to co-CEOs of a publishing company. Lucy can’t understand Joshua’s joyless, uptight, meticulous approach to his job. Joshua is clearly baffled by Lucy’s overly bright clothes, quirkiness, and Pollyanna attitude.

Now up for the same promotion, their battle of wills has come to a head and Lucy refuses to back down when their latest game could cost her her dream job…But the tension between Lucy and Joshua has also reached its boiling point, and Lucy is discovering that maybe she doesn’t hate Joshua. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.

This week’s book boyfriend is someone that I enjoyed getting to know. When we first meet him, he’s so mean to the heroine and they battle wits all day long. They spend their work days one upping each other and it could have easily been so annoying but for some reason, I loved Joshua Templeman. I loved that he was described as:

Shyness takes so many different forms. Some people are shy and soft. Some, shy and hard. Or in Josh’s case, shy, and wrapped in military-grade armor.

I really wish that I could have seen him in the different colored button up shirts of the week. I just know that he would have had me drooling over my keyboard every day if we worked together. Especially since this is how I pictured him:



Who doesn’t love having a work crush as hot as Josh and then falling in love with him at the same time that he falls in love with you? This is the stuff of romance novels and I ate Josh’s story up. He was great. I loved how far he came throughout the book. At first, he’s all meanie spice but then he’s all:

“The Kissing Game goes like this, Shortcake. Press, retreat, tilt, breathe, repeat. Use your hands to angle just right. Loosen up until it’s a slow, wet slide. Hear the drum of blood in your own ears? Survive on tiny puffs of air. Do not stop. Don’t even think about it. Shudder a sigh, pull back, let your opponent catch you with lips or teeth and ease you back into something even deeper. Wetter. Feel your nerve endings crackle to life with each touch of tongue. Feel a new heaviness between your legs. The aim of the game is to do this for the rest of your life. Screw human civilization and all it entails. This elevator is home now. This is what we do now. Do not fucking stop.”


I just loved him to pieces and that is why he’s this week’s Eye Candy Friday man. If you haven’t read his book, you should fix that because…Josh is the bomb! 🙂

Buy the Book

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
August 9, 2016
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

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Mini Review Round Up (4)

Posted November 17, 2016 by Rowena in Features, Reviews | 8 Comments

Mini Review Round Up (4)Irresistibly Yours by Lauren Layne
Series: Oxford #1
Also in this series: I Think I Love You
Published by Random House, Loveswept on October 6, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Point of View: Alternating Third Person
Pages: 236
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased

Meet the men of Oxford magazine! In the first captivating spin-off of Lauren Layne’s Sex, Love & Stiletto series, a not-so-friendly battle of the sexes turns into a scorching office romance.

Hotshot sports editor Cole Sharpe has been freelancing for Oxford for years, so when he hears about a staff position opening up, he figures he’s got the inside track. Then his boss drops a bombshell: Cole has competition. Female competition, in the form of a fresh-faced tomboy who can hang with the dudes—and write circles around them, too. Cole usually likes his women flirty and curvy, but he takes a special interest in his skinny, sassy rival, if only to keep an eye on her. And soon, he can’t take his eyes off her.

Penelope Pope knows all too well that she comes off as just one of the guys. Since she’s learned that wanting more usually leads to disappointment, Penelope’s resigned to sitting on the sidelines when it comes to love. So why does Cole make her want to get back in the game? The man is as arrogant as he is handsome. He probably sees her as nothing more than a barrier to his dream job. But when an unexpected kiss turns into a night of irresistible passion, Penelope has to figure out whether they’re just fooling around—or starting something real.  Includes a special message from the editor, as well as an excerpt from another Loveswept title.

With Someone Like You releasing just next month, I did some re-reading of the first two books in the Oxford series because I’m not ready to say goodbye to these guys. I also did the re-reading because I was slumping big time and needed something to dig me out. This book did the trick because I’ve been reading non-stop ever since.

So this book follows Cole Sharpe, a freelance writer for Oxford Magazine, as he battles for a permanent position at the magazine with Penelope Pope. Penelope Pope is moving to New York from Chicago and she’s basically running away from some drama that went down back there. She wanted a fresh start and thinks that Oxford is the place for all of that. When she interviews for the Oxford position, she feels good about it and she’s pretty excited to hopefully be a part of this team. When she meets Cole, she doesn’t think he’ll see her as anything other than a friend so she immediately friend zones herself even though she is crushing big time.

Pen’s experience with guys are…they friend zone her every single time. She’s a tomboy, she knows entirely too much about every sport there is and she can spout of sports stats like a freaking machine. The last guy that she dated ended up doing her dirty so she’s going to steer clear from men for the time being.

She strikes up a friendship with Cole and things are going great. Even though they’re competing for the same position at Oxford, they can’t stop hanging out with each other. Cole didn’t plan on getting buddy buddy with his competition but Penelope is fun. She’s cute and he wants to pick her brain so they become friends and they plant themselves into each others lives and I just really, really enjoyed their friendship that turns into more story.

Both Cole and Penelope are great characters who are great apart but better together. Lauren Layne really shines with writing characters that readers will cheer for and relate to. This was a fun contemporary romance that isn’t to be missed so if you haven’t read this book…fix that cause it’s fun!

My Rating

4.25 out of 5

Mini Review Round Up (4)I Wish You Were Mine by Lauren Layne
Series: Oxford #2
Also in this series: I Think I Love You
Published by Random House, Loveswept on February 2, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Point of View: Alternating Third Person
Pages: 260
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased

Perfect for fans of Alice Clayton and Emma Chase, Lauren Layne’s Oxford series heats up in this story of forbidden desire as a brooding jock hoping for a comeback falls for a woman who’s strictly off-limits.

A year ago, Jackson Burke was married to the love of his life and playing quarterback for the Texas Redhawks. Now he’s retired, courtesy of the car accident that ruined his career—and single, after a nasty scandal torpedoed his marriage. Just as he’s starting to get used to his new life as a health and fitness columnist for Oxford magazine, his unpredictable ex shows up on his doorstep in Manhattan. Jackson should be thrilled. But he can’t stop thinking about the one person who’s always been there for him, the one girl he could never have: her younger sister.

Mollie Carrington can’t say no to Madison. After all, her older sister practically raised her. So when Madison begs for help in winning her ex-husband back, Mollie’s just glad she got over her own crush on Jackson ages ago—or so she thought. Because as Mollie reconnects with Jackson, she quickly forgets all her reasons to stay loyal to her sister. Tempted by Jackson’s mellow drawl and cowboy good looks, Mollie is sick and tired of coming in second place. But she can’t win if she doesn’t play the game.

I Wish You Were Mine is the second book in the Oxford Series and it’s a book that isn’t as popular as Layne’s other books but me? I loved it! I liked getting to know the new guy at Oxford and seeing him form attachments he didn’t even want to begin with.

I’m not normally a sister’s ex romance kind of reader but I was a fan of both Jackson and Mollie. I thought their story was sweet the first time I read this book but I loved them just as much the second time around.

Jackson Burke is a big time football player from Texas that has retired from the NFL. He was in a car accident that injured him and now he’s sidelined from the job he loved and is now working as a fitness writer for Oxford Magazine that is in New York, not Texas. He doesn’t know anyone in New York except his ex-wife’s sister, Mollie and even though they used to be close, they’re not so close anymore and Jackson is sorry about that because he misses her.

Mollie Carrington is over her long ago crush on her ex-brother in law (yes, you read that right) so she can definitely catch up with him over drinks and not fall in love with him all over again. She can totally do it.

Wrong. The more time they spend together, the harder they fall and…I loved them. I loved Jackson. I loved Mollie. I loved seeing them become eachothers champions and I really loved how each of them became home to the other. Their romance wasn’t an easy one, it’s another one of those friendships to lovers type of romances and I enjoy those so much. Lauren Layne hit me in my feels at every turn in this book because the romance wasn’t easy. These two were connected before and it was a messy connection but when all is said and done, you can’t help who you love and I loved that these two let go of what they should feel and went with how they really felt because *swoon* I just adored them together.

This was another fabulous contemporary romance by Lauren Layne and everyone should read and fall in love with them too. 🙂

My Rating

4.25 out of 5


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