Month: November 2016

Week in Books (41)

Posted November 14, 2016 by Rowena in Features | 6 Comments

Week in Books v2

Sorry I disappeared for a week but I needed to step back and take stock of myself and my reality outside of my blog because well, I needed it. In the time that I stayed away from the blog, my family celebrated my Dad’s 75th birthday, my nephew’s 21st birthday, and yesterday I turned 36. Yikes. Lots and lots of stuff going on but now that I’ve come to terms with just about everything, I’m back and I’m stoked to be here again. I’ve missed this space.

Now on to the books…

Currently Reading


First Step Forward (Grand Valley #1) by Liora Blake.

Pro-football player Cooper Lowry is off the field and into some trouble—in the form of a very alluring, very free-spirited apple orchard owner named Whitney Reed—in the first installment in Liora Blake’s all new Grand Valley series.

After eight seasons playing pro-football, Cooper Lowry knows all the right answers.

Is he stubborn, short-tempered, and impatient? Yes. Are jersey chasers more trouble than they’re worth? Absolutely. Has he ever imagined a life beyond the game? Nope.

Cooper has built an enviable career—the result of staying focused, working hard, and keeping his head on straight—even as his body takes the brunt. So when a hard hit during a Sunday home game leaves him in a dazed heap on the field, it’s nothing more than another day at the office. The only thing that’s different about this Sunday is a chance encounter with a certain fascinating, beautiful free-spirited woman. And some sternly-worded instructions from his coach to take a little time off and give his body the TLC it craves—before he does lasting damage.

Whitney Reed is a few months away from losing the organic fruit orchard she bought three years ago in the tiny town of Hotchkiss, Colorado. At the time, she was just looking for a place to get lost. Instead, she found a home, somewhere she could finally put down roots. Now foreclosure is knocking on her door—along with a grumpy, gorgeous football player who might be just what she never knew she needed.

I haven’t been reading all that much and I’m hoping to end the year on a better note so seriously, wish me luck. I finished Fighting for Devlin by Jessica Lemmon and enjoyed that book much better than I did The Other Sister by Dianne Dixon. I’m going to start First Step Forward as soon as I get home from work today and I’m ready for something different. My friend Tracy enjoyed this one so I’m hopeful that I will too.

Read

The Other Sister by Dianne Dixon | 2.5 out of 5
Fighting for Devlin by Jessica Lemmon | 4 out of 5

I only read two books in the last two weeks. How sad is that? But I did enjoy Fighting for Devlin, a book that I read because I have the next book in the series coming up for review. The Other Sister was another book filled with unlikable characters that I wanted to kick in the butt at every turn of the page. Gah. Let’s cross our fingers I have a better reading week this week. 🙂

Reviewed

Keepsake by Sarina Bowen
Buddy Review with Bookish Ames: Twisted Palace by Erin Watt
Ruled by Elle Kennedy
The Goal by Elle Kennedy

Posts You May Have Missed

10/31: Week in Books (40)
11/01: Monthly Recap: October 2016
11/02: Top 5 Wednesday: Recent Additions to My Wishlist
11/04: Eye Candy Friday: Riley Lawless by Lexi Blake

New to My Bookshelves

Managed by Kristen Callihan

New to My Review Shelf

Nothing in the last couple of weeks. I have enough on my review pile to concentrate on.

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


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Eye Candy Friday: Riley Lawless from Ruthless by Lexi Blake

Posted November 4, 2016 by Rowena in Features | 8 Comments

ECF

Man, I’m still reeling from the fact that we’re already in November. I’m almost to my one year mark on this blog and boy have I come a long way since the beginning of Weendizzle. There have been some features that came and some that have gone but one of the staples of my personal blogs has always been Eye Candy Friday. The feature looks a lot different these days but I love it just as much.

This week’s eye candy is from my book club book of the month, Ruthless by Lexi Blake. His name is Riley Lawless but in the book, he goes by Riley Lang because he’s going undercover to bring down the families responsible for murdering his parents.

Here is his book information:

Ruthless by Lexi Blake
Series: Lawless Series #1
Release Date: August 9, 2016
Publisher: Penguin, Berkley
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 352

The first in a sexy contemporary romance series featuring the Lawless siblings—from New York Times bestselling author Lexi Blake.

The Lawless siblings are bound by vengeance. Riley, Drew, Brandon, and Mia believe the CEO of StratCast orchestrated their parents’ murder twenty years ago to steal their father’s software program. And there’s only one way Riley can find some solid evidence…

Heir to the StratCast legacy, Ellie Stratton hires a new attorney to handle a delicate business matter—and she’s shocked by her attraction to him. Over the course of a few weeks, Riley becomes her lover, her friend, her everything. But when her life is threatened, Ellie discovers that Riley is more obsessed with settling an old score than in the love she thought they were building. And Riley must choose between a revenge he’s prepared for all his life and the woman he’s sure he can’t live without…

Riley was a very smart and charming hero but because of his role in his family revenge plot, I thought it was going to be a lot harder to like him. He was put into an impossible situation because he’s falling for his mark and the people that he’s letting down by dragging his feet on everything are not his co workers or his team mates but his actual family.

I can’t imagine growing up the way that Riley and his siblings did. They were all home when their parents were killed and then they were split up but they’re back together again and they’re out for vengeance. So seeing Riley struggle with what to do over the course of the book made me like him more and more. I felt his struggles and I felt his emotional ties tearing him up and I just really liked the way that he came through with what he thought was right.

There wasn’t a quick fix it for Riley when the crap hit the fan. He struggled with trying to make things right, trying to make things up to everyone and really fighting for his right to feel the way that he feels for both Ellie but also his siblings. There were consequences and Riley came out on top of all of it with my love for him strong and true. 🙂

This talk with his brother really cemented my love for Riley Lawless.

“Some things are worth getting hurt over. And she does love me. I know she does. She’s a little like that story Mom used to read us. You remember? The one with the dragon.”

“Sleeping Beauty. I always wanted the dragon to win.”

Because the dragon was the coolest part for a bunch of boys. Mia had loved the princess.

“Ellie’s asleep right now. She’s buried this integral part of herself because I hurt her. I hurt her badly.

She’s got her defenses up, but eventually she’ll let them go because that’s who she is. Some prince will come and kiss her and wake her up again. I’m the fucking dragon who will scare all of them off and kiss her myself. Prince Charming was a wimp. She needs a dragon to protect her.”

He worked really hard for everyone around him and even when it was hard, he didn’t give up on love. You gotta love and respect that.

Here’s my Riley Lawless.

riley-lawless

riley-lawless-2

If you haven’t read this book, I suggest you change that. This was a damn good romance.

Buy the Book


Ruthless by Lexi Blake
August 9, 2016
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Series Order

Lawless
Satisfaction (releases January 3, 2017)
Revenge (releases June 20, 2017)


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Buddy Review: Twisted Palace by Erin Watt

Posted November 3, 2016 by Rowena & Bookish Ames in Reviews | 7 Comments

twisted-palace

Bookish Ames is one of my best friends and we used to buddy review books together all the time. We’ve slowed down on that so I’m happy that we decided to bring it back on our blogs. Our very first buddy review book is Twisted Palace by Erin Watt because it’s a book that we were both pretty anxious for and it’s a discussion worthy book so here is our review.

Twisted Palace by Erin Watt
Series: The Royals #3
Release Date: October 17, 2017
Publisher: Erin Watt
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 370
Format: eBook
Source: Bought
Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo

These Royals will ruin you…

From mortal enemies to unexpected allies, two teenagers try to protect everything that matters most.

Ella Harper has met every challenge that life has thrown her way. She’s tough, resilient, and willing to do whatever it takes to defend the people she loves, but the challenge of a long-lost father and a boyfriend whose life is on the line might be too much for even Ella to overcome.

Reed Royal has a quick temper and even faster fists. But his tendency to meet every obstacle with violence has finally caught up with him. If he wants to save himself and the girl he loves, he’ll need to rise above his tortured past and tarnished reputation.

No one believes Ella can survive the Royals. Everyone is sure Reed will destroy them all.
They may be right.

With everything and everyone conspiring to keep them apart, Ella and Reed must find a way to beat the law, save their families, and unravel all the secrets in their Twisted Palace.

Rowena: Twisted Palace is the third and I think, concluding book in the Royals series by Erin Watt. The Royals have certainly taken us on a crazy reading adventure and after the cliff-hanger from the last book, Broken Prince, I was really looking forward to digging into this one.

When we last left off with this group of characters, people were dying and coming back from the dead and our favorite punk ass, Reed Royal was the main suspect in a murder. There was plenty to tackle in this book and I went in without any hesitation.

So, what were your initial thoughts of the book?

Ames: To be completely honest, I was disappointed. The first two books were such guilty fun pleasures to read that I was really looking forward to see how it would all get wrapped up. Especially with the cliffhangers at the end of book 2! I was wondering who the baby daddy was going to be and I had predicted that this person was going to be the murderer. And that wasn’t the case at all! Plus with the introduction of a certain character, it really changed the dynamic of the story and took page time away from Easton and the other Royals. I would have rather seen Ella’s relationship develop even further with the Royal brothers than what happened with the new character. That’s what made the first 2 books enjoyable to me. Ella’s relationship with the brothers.

What about you, what were your initial thoughts?

Rowena: Same. This book was a let down for me because my frustrations from the first two books was completely different from my frustrations with this one. The guilty fun pleasures from Paper Princess and Broken Prince were missing in this one and there were so many things that I wasn’t a fan of. I would keep going but I would just be repeating everything you said so I’ll just say this. Ditto to everything you said. I feel the same way.

What were your thoughts on Ella?

I thought she was not the same Ella that we’re used to. This girl lived on her own, as a stripper and survived that first year of school like a boss and then this guy shows up and all of a sudden, she’s not that girl anymore. She’s this stranger with no backbone that is all whiny. No. Ella is strong and she’s very vocal about what she wants and needs. She was never about money or living off the Royals. She was very adamant about working and making her own money and the Ella that I admired the hell out of from the first two books was gone.

It was disappointing to see Ella come so far and then regress so much in one book.

Ames: I agree with you about Ella. And that’s all to blame on a certain character. He screwed it all up. And that’s the thing, with the first two books, these teenagers had little oversight from parental units and they came across as more mature and not really kids. And then bam, in this book it’s shoved in our face that Ella is a teenager and I found that hard to deal with.

The other thing? Two characters, Jordan and Dinah, that came across as real villains in the first 2 books were also changed in this installment. I missed Ella and Jordan going head to head. Ella really came out shining after encounters with Jordan and she didn’t get that in this book. Especially with her sneaking around antics…there was nothing to root for for her. Not even with the murder. Just so frustrating.

Rowena: Can we talk about how immature and bratty two grown ass men who were also NAVY SEALS were? Gosh, I wanted to punch both of them! Mostly the guy that shall not be named. He came onto the scene and just kind of took over and I hated how everyone just let him. I would have been like, “No bitch, you don’t run things here.”

The book as a whole was just disappointing to me. From Ella’s lack of spine, the other Royal brothers not getting any page time and the big killer reveal, the whole thing just felt flat and was so different from what I was hoping the concluding story would be.

I will say that my favorite thing about the book was the growth that we see in Reed’s character. When we first met him, way back in book 1, I liked him but I kind of hated that I liked him because he was such a dickhead. Especially to Ella and when they kicked her out of the car and made her walk home, I wanted to punch both Reed and Easton in the nuts. I was so mad and yet so intrigued by all of the chaos and just royally messed up characters but in Twisted Palace, Reed came full circle for me. I really loved seeing the change and just the maturity of how he carried himself in this book. Even when he was flying off the handle and beating people up, I still thought that he showed a lot of restraint. Well, more than we’ve seen from him before.

What was your favorite thing about the book? Did you have any? 🙂

Ames: Reed did show some improvement. But how tough was that to read about all the people saying things about him? I hated that but it shows how he’s changed from that guy he used to be. But still at the core he didn’t change that much, he’s still a badass and don’t you dare say anything about those he loves!

So even though the main plot disappointed me, I still found Twisted Palace readable and I wanted to see what happened to all these characters. What I truly enjoyed was how Ella was growing a circle of friends who were truly there for her. She came from nothing and having to rely on herself to opening up and learning that there are people who will have her back, no matter what. I liked that.

Rowena: Yeah, that was nice. Seeing Ella realize that she’s not alone in the world anymore was nice. I just wish Jordan wasn’t really a part of that in this book. They spent so much time being enemies that I really hated that she would help Ella in any way…even if it was to show her dumb ass roots to further her popularity.

I didn’t have any trouble reading the book so it was definitely readable, I just didn’t like a lot that happened in the book aside from seeing the guy Reed has become. The authors were correct in that this series did ruin me and in a really good way, I just wish that this book had lived up to the hype that I had going for it in my head. Oh well, you can’t win everything.

Rowena’s Rating


2.5 out of 5

What would you rate it?

Ames’ Rating


3 out of 5

Ames: I would have to rate it a 3 out of 5. I still found it engrossing even though it wasn’t what I expected. I love the Royals!

Author News

Erin Watt has more YA goodness coming our way soon. The cover reveal dropped on Happy Ever After that their new writing adventure is a contemporary YA featuring a rock star and the girl he pays to be his girlfriend. Check it out here.

when-its-real

When It’s Real by Erin Watt
Release Date: May 30, 2017
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pre-Order the Book: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

From #1 New York Times bestselling author duo Erin Watt comes the addictive contemporary tale of a teen rock star in need of an image makeover and the teen girl hired to be his fake girlfriend.

Meet Oakley Ford-teen celebrity, renowned pop star, child of famous movie stars, hottie with millions of fangirls…and restless troublemaker. On the surface he has it all, but with his home life disintegrating, his music well suddenly running dry, and the tabloids having a field day over his outrageous exploits, Oakley’s team decides it’s time for an intervention. The result: an image overhaul, complete with a fake girlfriend meant to show the world he’s settled down.

Enter seventeen-year-old Vaughn Bennett-devoted sister, part-time waitress, the definition of “normal.” Under ordinary circumstances she’d never have taken this gig, but with her family strapped for cash, she doesn’t have much of a choice. And for the money Oakley’s team is paying her, she figures she can put up with outlandish Hollywood parties and a team of publicists watching her every move. So what if she thinks Oakley’s a shallow, self-centered jerk? It’s not like they’re going to fall for each other in real life…right?

Rowena: I’m so going to be reading this one. It sounds like another fabulous story!


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