Month: March 2017

Buddy Review: Marrying Winterborne by Lisa Kleypas

Posted March 21, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 5 Comments

Buddy Review: Marrying Winterborne by Lisa KleypasMarrying Winterborne by Lisa Kleypas
Series: The Ravenels #2
Published by Harper Collins, Avon on May 31st 2016
Genres: Historical, Romance
Pages: 416
Format: eBook
Source: Gifted
Goodreads
four-stars

A ruthless tycoon

Savage ambition has brought common-born Rhys Winterborne vast wealth and success. In business and beyond, Rhys gets exactly what he wants. And from the moment he meets the shy, aristocratic Lady Helen Ravenel, he is determined to possess her. If he must take her virtue to ensure she marries him, so much the better…

A sheltered beauty

Helen has had little contact with the glittering, cynical world of London society. Yet Rhys’s determined seduction awakens an intense mutual passion. Helen’s gentle upbringing belies a stubborn conviction that only she can tame her unruly husband. As Rhys’s enemies conspire against them, Helen must trust him with her darkest secret. The risks are unthinkable… the reward, a lifetime of incomparable bliss. And it all begins with…

Marrying Mr. Winterborne

Rowena: Marrying Winterborne is the second book in the Ravenels series by Lisa Kleypas and its the book that Ames and I chose to buddy review for March.

This book follows Lady Helen Ravenel, as she falls in love with Mr. Rhys Winterborne. This book kicks off when Helen pays a visit to Rhys to let him know that she does not wish for their engagement to end. Rhys has been smarting ever since Helen’s sister in law came to him and told him that Helen wanted to end their engagement (without telling him herself) and that she didn’t want to ever see him again. Kathleen, Helen’s sister in law didn’t tell Helen what she was doing. She just took it upon herself to end Helen’s engagement without consulting with Helen or Helen’s guardian, her cousin Devon first. Now, I have my own thoughts about that and I would have stayed mad about how all of that came about but Kathleen apologized to Helen and like Helen, I forgave her.

So Helen has to talk to Rhys and explain to him what happened and literally propose to him to get him to agree to stay engaged to her and this was the start of Helen growing into her own. When we first meet Helen in the first book, she is quiet and reserved and always trying to keep the peace at the same time that she’s trying to stay in the background. It was only when Rhys came to her home, injured and in need of some tender caring that Helen came out of her shell to help take care of him and nurse him back to health.

Rhys, on the other hand wants Helen. He’s wanted her ever since he opened his eyes and laid them on her so he was pissed when her sister in law came to tell him that Helen doesn’t want to marry him. Rhys has issues with not being accepted by the aristocracy and you see him struggling to overcome those issues over the course of the book. I thought that Helen really brought out a more caring Rhys and I absolutely adored that.

So what about you, Ames. What did you think about this one?

Ames: I thoroughly enjoyed Marrying Winterborne! I was reminded at tiimes of Dreaming of You and that made me like this one even more. Helen is a gentle lady and Rhys was this big bold businessman who didn’t want to appear vulnerable in any way. But Helen was definitely his weakness! I love when the big tough guy is brought to his knees by his love for a woman. And that was Rhys. Helen definitely got under his skin. And I have to say, this book definitely starts with a bang! I like that Helen went to him to fix what Kathleen had said and that he jumped on that and sealed the deal. Helen can come across as a meek pushover but she had a core of steel and she definitely went toe to toe with him after that. She had a quiet strength that was what he needed. I loved Rhys character and him and Helen together were great.

I do have a complaint about Helen though. I was starting to get SO ANNOYED with her over her not telling Rhys her secret. Like how many chances did she have? I mean she more than made up for it with what she does what she does right after (rescuing you know who) but seriously, if she hadn’t of done that and kept wringing her hands over telling Rhys, I would not have enjoyed this book. But just as I was getting to the tipping point, Lisa Kleypas flips a switch and I got over it and loved Helen again. LOL

What did you think of Helen, Wena?

Rowena: Overall, I really liked Helen. I loved seeing why she was so reserved and getting to understand the burden that she has been carrying for a long time. I loved seeing her blossom into someone who didn’t need others to think or act on her behalf and seeing her go to Rhys in the beginning made me sit up and cheer for her because that took a lot of balls. I loved that she really came into her own person throughout this entire book but like you, I was hella annoyed that it took her so long to come clean with Rhys about her big ass secret.

Also like you, had Helen not done what she did, my enjoyment of the book would have suffered but Kleypas takes care of us and we should probably learn to trust her already. Sheesh. LOL.

Ames: I agree, we should trust her. But I really don’t like getting annoyed with characters so I was really bracing for the worst. haha But Helen also had a redeeming quality – I don’t like blackmail so I was very happy with how she handled that situation.

Overall, I loved Rhys and Helen’s story. These were two characters I could get behind and I enjoyed how their story played out. I’m giving Marrying Winterborne 4 out of 5.

Rowena: Between Helen taking so long to come clean and Rhys being a dickhead from time to time, I didn’t enjoy this one as much as the first one but it’s still a solid read. Lisa Kleypas writes wonderfully romantic stories and this is no exception. Rhys and Helen’s story was dramatic and passionate and I enjoyed it. I couldn’t wait to jump into the next book so that’s saying something. I give this one 3.75 out of 5.

four-stars

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Review: Isn’t She Lovely by Lauren Layne

Posted March 15, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 11 Comments

Review: Isn’t She Lovely by Lauren LayneIsn't She Lovely by Lauren Layne
Series: Redemption #0.5
Published by Random House, Flirt on January 1st 1970
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Pages: 288
Format: eBook
Source: Bought
Goodreads
four-half-stars
Reading Challenges: 2017 TBR Challenge

The rules are clear—until they're broken. Lauren Layne puts a New Adult spin on Pygmalion, also the inspiration for Pretty Woman, and gives the classic love story its edgiest twist yet.

"Who knew that pretending you're not falling for someone would be so much more difficult than pretending that you are?"

Stephanie Kendrick gave up her whole summer to ace her NYU film school screenwriting course, so she's pissed to be stuck with a preppy, spoiled frat boy as her writing partner. Then again, with her piercings, black-rimmed eyes, and Goth wardrobe, Stephanie isn't exactly Ethan Price's type, either. He's probably got his eye on some leggy blonde with a trust fund... or does he?

As the summer scene kicks off in the Hamptons, Ethan is desperate to make his snobbish mother forget the pedigreed girl who broke his heart. While Stephanie's a stretch as a decoy, the right makeover and a pastel cardigan just might do the trick. She may not love the idea of playing Ethan's brainless Barbie girlfriend, but the free rent and luxurious digs make a tempting offer. So does the promise of a ready-made screenplay idea inspired by their charade.

But when Stephanie steps into Ethan's privileged world, the "acting" begins to feel all too real. The kissing and touching that were intended to fool the Hamptons crowd wind up manipulating "them." And Stephanie faces a question she's too afraid to ask: Is Ethan falling for the real her or for the dolled-up princess he wants to see?

Super Librarian Wendy is hosting this year’s TBR Challenge and March’s prompt was: Comfort Read (Favorite Author? Favorite Trope? Favorite Sub Genre?) so I chose to finally start a series by one of my favorite authors that has been sitting on my bookshelves for a long ass time.

The Redemption series by Lauren Layne is a contemporary NA series that follows a trio of friends who are ripped apart by betrayal. They’re each trying to move on from the betrayal in the only way they know how and each book follows a different couple.

Ethan Price is taking a summer class at NYU, taught by his god-father, so that he doesn’t have to be around his father’s company, interning with his ex-girlfriend. He’s not ready to see Olivia and deal with the aftermath of their break-up. When Ethan meets Stephanie Kendrick, she’s the last person that he wants to spend the summer with. She’s moody and attitudey and she dresses like an extra on a Marilyn Manson video but she’s got a mouth on her that never fails to make him laugh and she’s got some pretty great boobs as well.

Stephanie Kendrick is taking a summer class to keep her from going to her father’s house for the summer. She doesn’t really feel like her father’s home is her home and she’ll do whatever it takes to not spend any time there. He’s got a new wife that is not her Mom and a step son that is okay but on principle, Stephanie hasn’t gotten too close to him. So she’s spending the summer in a screenwriting course and is paired up with rich, preppy boy Ethan Price who is too pretty for his own good but who can give as good as he gets when it comes to exchanging witty banter.

When Ethan and Stephanie are paired up to write a screenplay together, they become friends. Well, not really since they both still don’t like each other but Ethan needs someone to play his girlfriend and Stephanie needs a place to crash so…a bargain is made and the party begins.

Holy cow am I a bonehead for waiting so long to get this series read. I enjoyed the hell out of this book. The chemistry between Ethan and Stephanie was explosive and their banter was sexy and just so much fun. I zipped right through this book and if I were to name a gripe, it would probably be that the book ended. I enjoyed the ups, the downs, the getting to know you, the surprising jealousy and just every little thing in this book.

Ethan was a great hero and Stephanie was pretty fantastic herself. They were characters with flaws and issues that needed to be addressed and you really see the growth in both of them. Lauren Layne hit this one out of the park and the minute I finished it, I jumped right into the next book, Broken. This was a lot of fun and I highly recommend it.


4.5 out of 5

four-half-stars

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Week in Books (53)

Posted March 13, 2017 by Rowena in Features | 13 Comments

Week in Books v2

This week was a pretty relaxing week for me and if this is an indication of what life after basketball is going to be like, I’m going to be one happy camper. I love that I don’t have to rush from school to school during the week and on the weekends. I’m sure that I’ll miss it eventually but right now? It’s nice. It’s nice having time to read all of the books that I was too tired to read before now. It’s nice to not have a shit load of tv shows to catch up on every week. My laundry pile stays down. My room is a lot cleaner than it’s been in years. I could really get used to this.

With all of this free time on my hands, I was able to meet up with one of my co-workers for a hike in Palos Verdes (richy rich area with gorgeous Southern California views) and…I survived! I’ll be working out and going on more walks now that I’ve got the time and I’m pretty stoked about it. Now if I can stop eating all of the bad for me crap, I’ll really be on my way to a healthier me. Wish me luck!

Also…Happy Birthday Meghan! Today is my niece’s birthday and she’s 20 years old this year. Holy cow! Welcome to the old lady club, Meg! Love you, congratulations on your Player of the Year award!

Now, on with the books…

Currently Reading


How the Duke was Won (Disgraceful Dukes #1) by Lenora Bell.

The pleasure of your company is requested at Warbury Park. Four lovely ladies will arrive… but only one can become a duchess.

James, the scandalously uncivilized Duke of Harland, requires a bride with a spotless reputation for a strictly business arrangement. Lust is prohibited and love is out of the question.

Four ladies. Three days. What could go wrong?

She is not like the others…

Charlene Beckett, the unacknowledged daughter of an earl and a courtesan, has just been offered a life-altering fortune to pose as her half-sister, Lady Dorothea, and win the duke’s proposal. All she must do is:

* Be the perfect English rose [Ha!]

* Breathe, smile, and curtsy in impossibly tight gowns [blast Lady Dorothea’s sylph-like figure]

* Charm and seduce a wild duke [without appearing to try]

* Keep said duke far, far from her heart [no matter how tempting]

When secrets are revealed and passion overwhelms, James must decide if the last lady he should want is really everything he needs. And Charlene must decide if the promise of a new life is worth risking everything . . . including her heart.

I’ve got Book 3 of this series coming up for review so I need to jump in and get this series read to prepare myself for Book 3. I can’t wait.

What I Read

Crushed by Lauren Layne | 4.25 out of 5
Cold Hearted Rake by Lisa Kleypas | 4 out of 5
Marrying Winterborne by Lisa Kleypas | 3.75 out of 5
Devil in Spring by Lisa Kleypas | 4 out of 5

My favorite read of the week goes to Crushed by Lauren Layne. This was surprising because I’m not normally a fan of the fat heroine gets skinny and then gets the boy but Crushed was about more than that. Michael St. Claire was so much more than I thought he’d be and Chloe was a fantastic heroine. So much goodness with those two.

I don’t really have a least favorite of the week because I enjoyed all of the books that I read. The Ravenels series was just as good as I was thinking it’d be because well, Lisa Kleypas rocks at writing historical romances and Pandora is my favoritest of favorites. Gah, she rocks so hard!

Book Boyfriend of the Week


Michael St. Claire from Crushed by Lauren Layne

Yeah, I know. I thought Gabriel St. Vincent would be my boyfriend of the week and he was fantastic but Michael St. Claire won me over through and through this week with how freaking awesome he was. He took me by surprise because I didn’t think I’d enjoy his book or him as a character as much as I did but man…he was a good one. I’m so glad that I read his book.

What I Reviewed

Sustained by Emma Chase | 5 out of 5

What I Posted

Week in Books (53)

New to My Bookshelves

Marrying Winterborne by Lisa Kleypas

Holly is my favorite person this week because she gifted this book to me and I was so excited that I read it right away. *grins* Thanks Holly!

New to My Review Shelf

Revenge by Lexi Blake
Shadow Reaper by Christine Feehan

I’ve been looking forward to these books for a while now so I’m glad to finally get them to read and review. Bring on Drew’s book!

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

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