Author: Rowena

Monthly Recap: March 2017

Posted April 4, 2017 by Rowena in Features | 6 Comments

The month of March came and went before I knew what was what. It brought about death and new life and lots and lots of great friends. All in all, it was a mostly good month though my heart goes out to my friend.

What I Did

A picture from my hike in Palos Verdes, CA

Started going on hikes: I started walking with my sisters after dinner each night and hiking with my co workers this month and I’m really liking both. I want to keep up with that even though things are probably going to get a lot busier for me in the coming months with all of Brenna’s senior activity and then graduation coming up. I’m going to be busy making a lot of candy leis too. Gah. Still, walking has become a daily part of my life and I want to keep that up.

Brenna Turned 18: We had a small birthday celebration for my kid turning 18 last month and that was fun. My brother bought dinner, I made a cake and a whole lot of kids showed up so I had to make another cake and we all ate, drank and were merry. In few short months, she will graduate from high school and I’m low key not ready for all of that.

Basketball Ended: The one thing that I was ready for was the end of basketball. I couldn’t stand Bren’s coach, I hated how mad I would get during games, after the games, during the week when Brenna would come home and catch me up on practices, what her coach would say to her and her coach is real brave when talking to minors who are scared of her.

My sister and her Grandson Caiden

Chloe had a baby!: Last year, my niece Chloe got married and her wedding was the most beautiful wedding that I’ve ever been to. My family still gets compliments about her wedding and all of the hard work that we put into it. Well, home girl works fast because she got knocked up not too long after her wedding and she had a beautiful and healthy baby boy named Caiden.

My first Strip Club Outing: I hung out with some old friends that I haven’t seen in a long ass time. The two friends that I used to get in trouble with all the time my freshman year in high school so it was not a surprise to anyone else that they took me to my first strip club. It sure was memorable. My stripper was a black young woman named Mulan and she spun real fast around the pole while completely trashed. That takes some serious skill.

What I Watched on TV

Taken: I glommed the first four episodes of this show and am definitely hooked. I need more episodes of this show pronto. Rollo (from Vikings) has won me over completely in this show.

Big Little Lies: Ames and Greg were talking about this show and they’re really the ones that brought this show to my attention. I watched the first two episodes with Ames and was drawn into the world of crazy Kindergarten parents and just everything. I’m definitely going to be watching more. Reese Witherspoon is the best!

Chicago Justice: I’m a huge fan of all of the Chicago shows and it’s no different with this show. I’m really enjoying the cases and getting to know the characters. I already love the hell out of Peter Stone. I can’t wait for more from these guys.

What Movies I Watched

1. The Edge of Seventeen (2017) | 2.5 out of 5
2. Love by the 10th Date (2017) | 2.5 out of 5
3. Beauty and the Beast (2017) | 5 out of 5
4. Logan (2017) | 4.5 out of 5

What I Read

1. Havoc (Mayhem #4) by Jamie Shaw | 4 out of 5
2. Off the Ice (Juniper Falls #1) by Julie Cross | 3.75 out of 5
3. When the Marquess Falls (Hellions of Havisham #3.5) by Lorraine Heath | 3.75 out of 5
4. Isn’t She Lovely (Redemption #0.5) by Lauren Layne | 4.5 out of 5
5. Broken (Redemption #1) by Lauren Layne | 4 out of 5
6. Crushed (Redemption #2) by Lauren Layne | 4.25 out of 5
7. Cold Hearted Rake (Ravenels #1) by Lisa Kleypas | 4 out of 5
8. Marrying Winterborne (Ravenels #2) by Lisa Kleypas | 3.75 out of 5
9. Devil in Spring (Ravenels #3) by Lisa Kleypas | 4.25 out of 5
10. Love in the Afternoon (Hathaways #5) by Lisa Kleypas (re-read) | 4.5 out of 5
11. How the Duke was Won (Disgraceful Dukes #1) by Lenora Bell | 3.75 out of 5
12. If I Only Had a Duke (Disgraceful Dukes #2) by Lenora Bell | 4.5 out of 5
13. Blame it on the Duke (Disgraceful Dukes #3) by Lenora Bell | 4 out of 5
14. Midnight Target (Killer Instincts #8) by Elle Kennedy | 4 out of 5
15. Walk of Shame (Love Unexpectedly #4) by Lauren Layne | 4.25 out of 5
16. Pipe Dreams (Brooklyn Bruisers #3) by Sarina Bowen | 4.25 out of 5
17. Frisk Me (New York’s Finest #1) by Lauren Layne | DNF
18. Overruled (Legal Briefs #1) by Emma Chase (re-read) | 1 out of 5
19. Appealed (Legal Briefs #3) by Emma Chase (re-read) | 4 out of 5
20. Charmed Thirds (Jessica Darling #3) by Megan McCafferty | DNF

What I Reviewed

Sustained by Emma Chase | 5 out of 5
Buddy Review with Holly – Archangel’s Kiss by Nalini Singh | 3.75 out of 5
When the Marquess Falls by Lorraine Heath | 4 out of 5
Havoc by Jamie Shaw | 4 out of 5
Buddy Review with Ames – Marrying Winterborne by Lisa Kleypas | 3.75 out of 5
Retro Review: Mr. Cavendish, I Presume by Julia Quinn | 4 out of 5

What I Bought/Was Gifted


What I Got for Review

What I Loved

Seeing and hanging out with old friends. At my friend Foti’s Dad’s funeral, I ran into so many of my childhood friends and we hung out, laughed the night away and reminisced about the good ol’ days. From ditching Sunday School and walking to 7-11 to having a ditching party at my sister’s house our freshman year in high school (and getting her to buy us pizza without knowing that so many people were going to come over after she went back to work, ha!) and just being little bad ass kids, we had the best childhood. We’re planning to stay in touch and I sincerely hope that we do because I have the best memories with these guys.

There you have it…the month that was March in my life. How was your month of March? Read anything good? Bad? Share with the class!

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Week in Review (55)

Posted April 3, 2017 by Rowena in Features | 5 Comments

This week was a pretty relaxing week when I wasn’t pissed to high heaven over little shits that can’t clean up after themselves and act like they’re above the rules.

To cap the week off, I had a birthday party to attend where I saw a bunch of family and friends that I haven’t talked to or seen in a while and that was nice. There was good food, great company and cake! Gotta love cake! Aside from the party and doing my nightly walks with my sisters, that’s really all I did this week.

Currently Reading

Corrupt (Devils Night #1) by Penelope Douglas

Erika

I was told that dreams were our heart’s desires. My nightmares, however, became my obsession.

His name is Michael Crist.

My boyfriend’s older brother is like that scary movie that you peek through your hand to watch. He is handsome, strong, and completely terrifying. The star of his college’s basketball team and now gone pro, he’s more concerned with the dirt on his shoe than me.

But I noticed him.

I saw him. I heard him. The things that he did, and the deeds that he hid…For years, I bit my nails, unable to look away.

Now, I’ve graduated high school and moved on to college, but I haven’t stopped watching Michael. He’s bad, and the dirt I’ve seen isn’t content to stay in my head anymore.

Because he’s finally noticed me.

Michael

Her name is Erika Fane, but everyone calls her Rika.

My brother’s girlfriend grew up hanging around my house and is always at our dinner table. She looks down when I enter a room and stills when I am close. I can always feel the fear rolling off of her, and while I haven’t had her body, I know that I have her mind. That’s all I really want anyway.

Until my brother leaves for the military, and I find Rika alone at college.

In my city.

Unprotected.

The opportunity is too good to be true as well as the timing. Because you see, three years ago she put a few of my high school friends in prison, and now they’re out.

We’ve waited. We’ve been patient. And now every last one of her nightmares will come true.

I started this book because I’m reading it for my Totally Doable Reading Challenge for April and it came highly recommended from different bloggers so I went in. I didn’t get very far because I’m kind of not into the attitude of the hero. I don’t know what he plans but the whole, “We’re going to make her pay” shit does not make me want to get to know him…especially since the feel I get from his squad is that they like their sex rough and they’re a bunch of violent assholes.

I’m not into rape, or the forced and rough seduction scene so…I’m on the fence on if I’m going to finish this book.

What I Read

Frisk Me by Lauren Layne | DNF
Charmed Thirds by Megan McCafferty | DNF
Overruled by Emma Chase (re-read) | 2 out of 5
Appealed by Emma Chase (re-read) | 4.25 out of 5

I did a lot of DNF-ing this week. I’m not sure what that’s all about but it happened and I was pretty shocked, especially because I DNF’d my very first Lauren Layne book. I wish I could say that it was a mood thing or what not but nope. I just hated the heroine’s bratty attitude and then I was annoyed that the cop hero let her get away with all of her bratty, bitchy shit. I wasn’t in the mood for stupid heroines so I gave that one up.

Charmed Thirds is a book that I’ve been meaning to read for years and I opened it on a whim while browsing through my kindle and about half way through, I was just meh about everything going on so I moved on to some re-reads for my book club meeting tonight.

I did read Overruled and Appealed by Emma Chase all the way through, both of which are re-reads. I needed to be prepared to host discussions on both books so I read those two and while I enjoyed Appealed, Kennedy still got on my nerves and I still hated Stanton and his hoe ass shenanigans.

Book Boyfriend of the Week


Brent Mason in Appealed by Emma Chase

Brent completely won me over the first time that I read his book and he did it again with my latest re-read. He really redeemed himself with Kennedy and I was glad to see that he was genuinely remorseful of his actions from when he was a teenager. Kennedy was hard to take and she really got on my nerves but Brent handled his interactions with her superbly and I just loved the hell out of him. I didn’t question his feelings for Kennedy the way that I did Stanton. Brent was a great friend, a great son and he was a great boyfriend. Love him.

What I Reviewed

Crushed by Lauren Layne | 4 out of 5

What I Posted

I really need to step my game up. Sheesh.

3/27: Week in Review (54)

What I Got

Nothing new this week. My bank account is happy with this news but me? Not so much. Haha. Maybe next week…

What I Watched on TV

I have one more episode to watch before I’m done with the season. I’m really enjoying it and am watching it with my kid which is a bonus. We don’t like very many of the same shows so it’s nice when we can watch something together and discuss. I don’t remember much from when I read the book so watching it was fresh. I only remembered what the general synopsis was and certain characters. Man, my heart hurts for Jeff. And holy cow, these kids are such assholes!

What Movies I Watched

None. I binge watched 13 Reasons Why and didn’t even try to watch any movies.

There you have it, my week in review. How was your week?

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Review: Crushed by Lauren Layne

Posted March 28, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 11 Comments

Review: Crushed by Lauren LayneCrushed by Lauren Layne
Series: Redemption #2
Also in this series: Isn't She Lovely
Published by Random House, Flirt on April 14th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Pages: 304
Format: eBook
Source: Bought
Goodreads
four-stars
Reading Challenges: The Totally Doable 2017 RBLB Reading Challenge

Lauren Layne’s latest novel about the healing power of redemption tells the story of a crush gone wickedly wrong, proving that what you want isn’t always what you need.

Growing up in New York, Michael St. Claire never expected to spend his twenties wearing cowboy boots. But that was before he learned about his real father, a total stranger with a family in Cedar Grove, Texas. Once in the Lone Star State, Michael meets Kristin Bellamy, who is exquisitely refined and everything Michael always thought he wanted in a woman. The only problem is that Kristin is dating Michael’s new half brother, Devon.

Kristin’s mouthy, curvy sister Chloe has always been in love with Devon Patterson. So when Michael offers to help Chloe break up Devon and Kristin, Chloe agrees to a deal that seems too good to be true. Before long, Chloe finally gets her man, only to make a startling discovery: She no longer wants the guy she had to fight for—she wants the one who stood by her side.

After all he and Chloe have been through, Michael swears he’s damaged goods. Can Chloe convince him that love is worth the risk?

Crushed is the last book in the Redemption series by Lauren Layne and it’s a book that’s been sitting on my TBR pile for a long time. It’s also my March entry into the 2017 Totally Doable Reading Challenge that I’m participating in. I kind of cheated because the prompt for March was finish a series you started and I just started this series but it’s been sitting on my TBR pile for a while so it needed to get read and I’m including it.

Michael St. Claire did the unthinkable. He fell in love with his best friend’s girl. He sat on that love for years and year because Olivia was Ethan’s girl but his feelings never went away. There wasn’t enough alcohol, girls or anything to distract him from where his heart belongs. When he finally can’t take it anymore, he kisses her and she kisses him back and things went to shit after that. On top of that, he learns some news that rocks his life right off its axis.

Just like Olivia, Michael leaves New York to figure some shit out. He sets out to find….his real Dad. His real Dad that lives in Texas, a long way from where he was born and raised. He’s not sure what he’s going to do with the information yet but he’s got the summer to figure things out and in the meantime, he’s taken on some jobs. He’s a part time tennis instructor, personal trainer, and bartender. Lots of things to keep him busy. Busy while he plans out how to get close to Devon Patterson….his half brother.

He’s got a couple of ways to go about this but the one way that holds the most appeal is through Devon’s girlfriend, Kristin Bellamy. Michael works that direction until he meets Kristin’s sister, Chloe. Chloe is nothing like her beautiful sister. She’s witty and she’s loud and Michael spends most of the time around her, wanting to shut her up but Chloe is in love with Devon and he figures that if they help each other out, he’ll get what he wants and she’ll get what she wants.

Michael has no plans on giving his heart away again because he’s been there, done that and he’s learned his lesson. That way only leads to heartbreak and he’s had enough heartbreak to last a lifetime.

Kristin is Michael’s usual kind of gal but Chloe is the sister that has captured Michael’s interest and nobody is more surprised by that than him.

Chloe has been in love with her sister’s boyfriend since they were kids. Since before Devon became popular. She’s loved him since he was the little nerd, poring through Harry Potter books with her but once the braces came off, the baby fat came off, Devon moved on to the popular crowd and Chloe has never really gotten over her crush. That crush has turned into a wild love that hurts Chloe at every turn to see him with her sister. Her sister doesn’t deserve him but until he sees that for himself, she can’t do anything else but…wait. When Michael St. Claire becomes her personal trainer and her cohort in trying to get Devon to see her as more than just his girlfriend’s sister, things take a turn she wasn’t expecting. The quiet bad boy that seems to go through the girls in her hometown is not a fixure in her life and feelings are growing.

This book is my second favorite book in the series. I took a break between Broken and Crushed because I wasn’t a fan of the premise of this story. The breaking up a couple, the fat heroine turned skinny but Lauren Layne takes care of us because I loved this book. I adored Michael and I loved Chloe. Chloe’s personality was bigger than her body and she was such a fantastic character that I couldn’t wait for her and Stephanie from Isn’t She Lovely to meet. I just knew that they were going to be fun together and I wasn’t wrong.

The romance hit me with all of the feels that I love feeling while reading my books and I just adored seeing Michael and Chloe come into their own at the same time that they were falling in love with each other. They had so much in common, things that they didn’t know about each other but the reader did and goodness, I just loved how Layne brought these two together. It was fun. It was passionate and I just couldn’t get enough of these guys…all of them, except Kristin. This book ended the series on a high note and I’m super glad that I decided to pick these up. I don’t know what I was waiting on. This was a fun series and I highly recommend it.

4.25 out of 5

four-stars

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