Author: Rowena

Book Club: Own the Wind by Kristen Ashley

Posted May 4, 2016 by Rowena in Features | 2 Comments

Book Bunch 1

April’s book club meeting was the first meeting of the year that we had to postpone and surprisingly, that was my fault. Meghan’s basketball banquet was on the same day we planned to meet up for book club so I moved the date back and I’m hoping against hope that it won’t be an every month thing. We’re trying to keep things on track each month and I want to keep that going.

This month also marks the second month that I was a group picture failure. We didn’t take a group picture again this month. Ehh. I need to put Tasha in charge of making sure that we take pictures each month.

Book Club Book
Own the Wind
Own the Wind (Chaos #1) by Kristen Ashley.

Too hot to handle…

Tabitha Allen grew up in the thick of Chaos—the Chaos Motorcycle Club, that is. Her father is Chaos’ leader, and the club has always had her back. But one rider was different from the start. When Tabby was running wild, Shy Cage was there. When tragedy tore her life apart, he helped her piece it back together. And now, Tabby’s thinking about much more than friendship…

Tabby is everything Shy’s ever wanted, but everything he thinks he can’t have. She’s beautiful, smart, and as his friend’s daughter, untouchable. Shy never expected more than friendship, so when Tabby indicates she wants more—much more—he feels like the luckiest man alive. But even lucky men can crash and burn…

This month, we met up at Black Bear Diner in Signal Hill to get our discussion on and everyone was in attendance. We had a straight up discussion on what we thought about the book and as far as enjoyment went, we were split down the middle.

Lilo didn’t like the book at all, while B Nice said it wasn’t her favorite but Tasha and I? WE LOVED IT. Haha.

Book Club Thoughts

Hero: Tasha and I loved Shy while B Nice remained of the opinion that he wasn’t her favorite and Lilo hated him. Everything that Lilo hated Shy for are the very reasons that both Tasha and I loved him. Lilo thought Shy was an asshole who was too alpha and too dark for her tastes. She didn’t like the parade of women at the club house and the way that he broke Tabby’s heart. She felt that he was cruel. Tasha and I loved the fierceness of his feelings for Tabby…the way that he stood by her, the way that he comforted her when her fiance’ died and the way that he stood his ground when he was cast as the black sheep of the MC for daring to bang the president’s daughter. In my eyes, he was Jax Teller from Sons of Anarchy and just like with Jax, I forgave Shy everything. Both Tasha and I adored him.
Heroine: We were all in agreement that for a huge chunk of the book, Tabby was a freaking brat. When we first meet her and she’s being followed by the MC so they can watch her back and she keeps getting herself into trouble that the guys have to bail her out of, we were all not fans of that. But she does grow up and even though she still had her moments where she drove me nuts, we all liked when she stood her ground where Shy was concerned and we loved how she called both her father and Tyra on their shit.
Story: Tasha and I read this book a while ago and after reading it the first time, we were absolutely in love with the book. We were in love with everything about the book but after this last re-read, the story itself didn’t hold up to all the love we had for it the first time around. B Nice remains unchanged in her opinion that while she enjoyed the romance between Shy and Tabby, the story itself was a bit much for her. It was raw and gritty and that’s not really her thing. Lilo felt much the same way as B Nice but while B Nice was more “meh” about the story, Lilo was “ugh”.

We picked this book last month cause Tasha and I were curious to see if Lilo and B Nice would enjoy something like this…now we know. Haha.

Most Memorable Scene: Hmmm, we didn’t talk about this last night. Mostly we talked about the book as a whole.
Pimp Worthy: Even though Tasha and I didn’t LOVE the book as much this time around, we still thought the book was pimpworthy. Lilo and B Nice? Nah.

Book Club Next Book

Falling into Bed with a Duke and The Earl Takes All (Hellions of Havisham #1 & #2) by Lorraine Heath.

It would appear that my book club is all about the historical romances these days. B Nice is reading a bunch of them and loving them while Lilo was curious about this set of books so it was decided that these are the books we’re discussing next month.

I can’t freaking wait!

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Monthly Recap: April 2016

Posted May 3, 2016 by Rowena in Features | 2 Comments

Monthly Recap

I kept meaning to start this up at the beginning of the year but obviously that didn’t happen but better late than never right? I’ll just jump into it now. I’m going to take a page out of a blog that I like So Obsessed With and just kind of bullet point my way through last month.

What I Did

I actually went out and did stuff this month. Lots and lots of different stuff. April was a busy month for me but it was also a really fun month too.

1. Sammy J concert with the girls: I went to an island reggae concert that featured Sammy J from New Zealand or Australia (one of those) and Tenelle and The Late Onez from Southern California. I scream sang along to every single one of Sammy J’s songs and I fangirled all over him too. I wasn’t the only one either. Hanah did her fair share of scream singing and fangirling. She almost lost her voice too. Mulu was too scared to lose her beautiful Cleopatra looking headpiece so she just swayed to all of the music. Ha!

2. My first visit to The Ripped Bodice: My book pals Holly, Tracy and Kat came to town for lunch, book talk and a trip to The Ripped Bodice. The Ripped Bodice is a new bookstore in Culver City that is actually the only all romance bookstore in the nation. We got to see cardboard cut out Fabio, talk books in the prettiest bookstore I’ve ever been in and talk shop with the owners of the store. It was a great bookish outing. I loved it and plan to take all of my friends back.

3. Chloe’s Bridal Shower: The family came into town for our annual Relay for Life (Team RJ!) and while we had everyone here, we threw a bridal shower for Chloe since she’s getting married next month! Blanche overhauled the backyard, cleaned the house from top to bottom and we were all given jobs as far as food went. The turn out was good, the food was fantastic and the setting was beautiful. Lots and lots of fun!

What I Watched

I’m not much of a movie watcher. I watch TV shows and I read books but even with my TV shows, I’m losing interest and giving up on a lot but the shows that I’m still watching religiously are…

1. Chicago Fire: Every week this show finds a new way to make my heart hurt. The latest episode of this show with the detective and JJ and Kelly Severide and just everything. Love! I’m also low key shipping Jeremy Gilbert (sorry Borrelli, you’ll always be a Gilbert to me) and Sylvie Brett which is surprising since I wanted Brett to end up with Severide. *shrugs*

2. Chicago PD: I’m so here for Linstead. Every week, all the time. I’m also low key interested in where they take Burzek/Burman (is that Roman and Burgess’ ship name?) storyline because wow. Poor Adam. I’m all about the ships!

3. Chicago Med: I’m so here for Manstead. I’m also kind of low key shipping either Rhodes and Maggie then Choi and Reese. Loving all of the different shipping potentials but on top of that stuff, I really love each case that these guys work on. Even when I want to punch Will in the balls because he’s so “I know best” attitudey, I still love it. The whole show. Love!

4. Vampire Diaries: Season 7 hasn’t really panned out the way that I wanted it to but now that everything is coming together, it’s interesting but all of my ships are out of whack and I need that shit to be fixed, like pronto! Steroline! Bamon! Fix this please!

What I Listened To

1. Sammy J: Leading up to the concert and then after the concert, I listened to all things Sammy J. From Waiting to Hey to Leaving Me to Don’t Say Goodbye, I listened to it all. All month long. Brenna got tired of him real quick.

2. All I Ask by Adele: For the past couple of months I’ve been listening to this song a lot. I just love it so much. Like a whole lot of much.

3. She Caught the Train by UB40: Toward the end of April, I went on a UB40 kick. Talk about throwback. I love these guys!

What I Read

1. The Natural History of Us (Fine Art of Pretending #2) by Rachel Harris | 3.75 out of 5
2. Paper Princess (The Royals #1) by Erin Watt | 4 out of 5
3. Branded by Fire (Psy-Changelings #6) by Nalini Singh | 4.5 out of 5
4. Blaze of Memory (Psy-Changelings #7) by Nalini Singh | 3.5 out of 5
5. Own the Wind (Chaos #1) by Kristen Ashley (re-read) | 3.75 out of 5
6. Summer of Sloane by Erin L. Schneider | 3.5 out of 5
7. Sidebarred (Legal Briefs #3.5) by Emma Chase | 4.75 out of 5
8. The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson | 3.75 out of 5

What I Reviewed

Branded by Fire (Psy-Changelings #6) by Nalini Singh
The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata
The Natural History of Us (Fine Art of Pretending #2) by Rachel Harris
Once & Always (Sequels #1) by Judith McNaught
The Earl Takes All (Hellions of Havisham #2) by Lorraine Heath
Paper Princess (Royals #1) by Erin Watt
The Forbidden Temptation by Anne Mather
All Chained Up (Devils Rock #1) by Sophie Jordan
The Trouble with Love (Sex, Love & Stilettos #4) by Lauren Layne
Nobody But You (Cedar Ridge #3) by Jill Shalvis
Just One Night (Sex, Love & Stilettos #3) by Lauren Layne
Love the One You’re With (Sex, Love & Stilettos #2) by Lauren Layne
After the Kiss (Sex, Love & Stilettos #1) by Lauren Layne
Undecided by Juliana Keyes

What I Got

Holy cow that’s a lot of books to acquire in a month but I’m more than up for the challenge of reading them all eventually. Lots and lots of good stuff in that madness too. I love books!

What I Loved

Piano Tiles 2: This damn app has taken over my life. I’m not even that good but I play every chance that I get. I once stayed up until 2am just trying to get more songs to play. I love this shit!


Week in Books (19)

Posted May 3, 2016 by Rowena in Features | 0 Comments


What a month April turned out to be. I was running around like my head was cut off each and every weekend so it wasn’t very surprising that this past weekend, exhaustion overtook me and I did absolutely nothing. I wasn’t feeling good leading up to the weekend and I didn’t have any more sick days to take so I took a proper rest from everything and I totally vegged out at home. I caught up on my shows, I got some reading done but other than that? I never left my house. I’m feeling much better and I got tired of being home so I was glad to come to work yesterday.

Currently Reading

Troublemaker by Linda Howard.

A thrilling, fast-paced novel of romantic suspense from sensational New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Linda Howard.

For Morgan Yancy, an operative and team leader in a paramilitary group, nothing comes before his job. But when he’s ambushed and almost killed, his supervisor is determined to find out who’s after the members of his elite squad—and why. Due to worries that this unknown enemy will strike again, Morgan is sent to a remote location and told to lay low and stay vigilant. But between a tempting housemate he’s determined to protect and a deadly threat waiting in the shadows, keeping under the radar is proving to be his most dangerous mission yet.

The part-time police chief of a small West Virginian mountain town, Isabeau “Bo” Maran finally has her life figured out. She’s got friends, a dog, and a little money in the bank. Then Morgan Yancy shows up on her doorstep. Bo doesn’t need a mysterious man in her life—especially a troublemaker as enticing and secretive as Morgan.

The harder they fight the intense heat between them, the closer Morgan and Bo become, even though she knows he’s hiding from something. But discovering the truth could cost Bo more than she’s willing to give. And when Morgan’s cover is blown, it might just cost her life.

Holly read and enjoyed this book so I’m really looking forward to digging into this one. I haven’t gotten very far into it but I’m excited and that’s a good thing cause I haven’t been too excited about a Linda Howard release in a while.


Sidebarred (Legal Briefs #3.5) by Emma Chase | 5 out of 5
The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson | 3.5 out of 5

I enjoyed both books that I read this week but my favorite read of the week is hands down Sidebarred by Emma Chase. I loved getting a little extra from Jake, Chelsea and the kids. I also loved seeing Stanton, Sofia, Brent and Kennedy again too. I thought Sidebarred ended the series on an even higher note that Appealed did. I was completely happy with it.


Ignite (Wildwood #1) by Karen Erickson
Branded by Fire (Psy-Changelings #6) by Nalini Singh


For Review

I tried to buy some books this weekend but nothing was jumping out at me so I didn’t buy anything. Shocking!

Hell Breaks Loose (Devils Rock #2) by Sophie Jordan
Smolder (Wildwood #2) by Karen Erickson
The Trouble with Mistletoe (Heartbreaker Bay #2) by Jill Shalvis

I got some books for review though, some sequels to series that I started in the last couple of months so I’m stoked to jump into those soon.

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

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Man Crush Monday (11)

Posted May 2, 2016 by Rowena in Features | 2 Comments

Man Crush Monday

One of the few shows that I still watch religiously is Chicago Fire. Actually, I watch all of the Chicago shows every week but Chicago Fire and Vampire Diaries are probably my favorites. When Jeremy Gilbert died all those seasons ago, I was devastated. Ask my sister Ingrid who thought I was the dumbest broad alive when I texted her all about how sad I was that Jeremy was gone from my Vampire Diaries.

When I heard that Steven R. McQueen was joining the cast of Chicago Fire, I was quick to turn my frown upside down. Damn but Jeremy Gilbert looks good as a firefighter. He’s some serious eye candy and that is why he’s this week’s man candy.



Until next week…enjoy!

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Friday Five (8)

Posted April 29, 2016 by Rowena in Features | 0 Comments

Friday Five

It’s been a couple of weeks since Mamba Day happened and Kobe Bryant retired from the NBA. I’m still not over it. That night and that game will forever be special to me as a die hard Lakers fan but also as a Kobe Bryant fan. Going into that game, I was so sad because I grew up watching Kobe dominate on the court. I watched him win many games for the Lakers and I cheered him on for 20 years. Goodness, I can’t believe he played in the NBA for 20 years. It’s unheard of but if anyone was going to do it, it would be the Black Mamba.

Mamba OutAs much respect as I have for the Golden State Warriors and the Splash Brothers, I wasn’t going to pretend that I was going to watch them make history as the first team in the NBA to surpass the Chicago Bulls record of winning 73 games in a season.

That night was all about Kobe Bryant for me and for my family. I watched all things Kobe from the time I woke up until the wee hours of the morning following Kobe’s final game. I talked Kobe with my family, my friends and my co-workers. I’m sure my co-workers that aren’t basketball fans got tired of all of my Kobe everything but I couldn’t help it. Kobe was such a big part of my basketball loving life for so long so this week’s Friday Five will feature my Top 5 Kobe Bryant memories.

[1] Kobe tears his Achilles against the Golden State Warriors.

This was something that I’ve never seen before in an NBA game and I’m pretty certain we’ll never see again. Kobe Bryant tore his achilles tendon during a game against the Golden State Warriors and shouldn’t have been able to walk on but not only did he walk on the tear, he also shot two free throws, made them both to tie up the game and then walked himself off the court. He had to be in massive pain but he just walked off the court all calm as can be and was determined to come back even stronger.

In a game and time where superstars cry over the smallest fouls and have to be carted off the court in a wheelchair and then come back in the fourth quarter to play or be carried off the court by your teammates over something very minor, Kobe’s season ended in this game but he walked himself off the court….ON A TORN ACHILLES. He’s something else, our Kobe Bean.

[2] Kobe Bryant doesn’t flinch.

D’Angelo Russell is a rookie on our team this year and he likes to do this celebration dance when he’s on fire where he points to his forearm while running down the court, screaming, “I got ice in my veins” and while he’s a damn good basketball player, it’s really Kobe Bryant who has ice in his veins as we see in this video clip.

Matt Barnes is that player that I have hated on every team that he’s played on (well until he came to play for the Lakers) and I don’t think I ever hated him more than I hated him in this game. I remember watching this game with my family and laughing when Matt Barnes tried to get Kobe to flinch and Kobe didn’t bite. I don’t know anybody that wouldn’t have flinched but Kobe Bryant aint no bitch. He didn’t flinch.

[3] Kobe outscores entire Dallas Mavericks team with 62 points in 3 quarters.

I remember this game. Like most of the games, I watched it from home and I remember being so excited that Kobe outscored the entire Dallas Mavericks team through 3 quarters. The score was Kobe 62 – Mavs 61 at the end of the 3rd. Only someone with as much drive as Kobe would be able to do that.

I remember thinking about this game this past season when we were on the other side of the story. We’re playing Golden State and we’re losing bad. We’re losing so bad that one of the Lakers twitter accounts says, “If we were playing Klay Thompson, the game would be close.” and I remember asking my family, “Remember when Kobe outscored the entire Dallas team in three quarters?”

SMH…the good ol’ days.

[4] Kobe scores 2 clutch shots to win against Portland.

Kobe Bryant has completely spoiled Lakers fans with some amazing shots he put up over the course of his 20 year career. This is probably one of my favorite games where he saved the day for us. That first three he took to send the game into OT was one of probably the most amazing things I’ve ever witnessed in my life. I mean, take a look at that shot…I’ll wait. Fast forward to the 3:20 mark and watch that play. Holy freaking shit, how he made that shot (let alone took it) was one of my favorite things about him. He was not afraid to shoot the ball and do the impossible.

That first shot is proof of that. He’s walked into arenas and was booed from the beginning to end of games and he still played hard. His determination to win was why even the great Michael Jordan said he’d want him on his team.

[5] Mamba Out with 60 points.

Mamba Day fell on the fifth anniversary of my Mom’s death. I was prepared to be an emotional wreck the entire day as I remembered one of the most important people in my life and watched as one of my most favorite players EVER played in his final NBA game.

I woke up with my Mom on my mind and throughout the day, she was there always near the front of my thoughts and then I got out of bed and turned the TV on. Everyone and their Mom was talking about Kobe, Kobe’s career and his final game that night. I dreaded game time. I didn’t want this to end because Kobe has spoiled the hell out of us Lakers fans with years and years of amazing-ness. Game winning buzzer beaters, five championship banners to hang in the Staples Center and many hours of game footage for future players to learn from. He was special to us Lakers fans because he carried on the tradition of greatness in a basketball arena that us fans are used to.

We’ve had some of the greatest players play for our team and all of them have said that Kobe Bryant is special…because he is and his last game in a Lakers uniform proved it.

He scored 60 points!

I’ve heard and read all of the haters say that he was handed those points, that it was an exhibition game but nobody watching that game would think that. He played all four of those quarters and just gutted every point out. You could see his determination to give the fans this last show. He was dogged tired but he didn’t back down. You could see his teammates urging him to shoot the ball, urging him to go out on top and he wasn’t going to let anyone down. He reminded me of a gladiator, fighting until his final breath and he really did leave it all out on the floor.

As sad as I was that we weren’t going to get another Kobe Bryant show, Kobe himself wouldn’t let us be sad. The show he put on for us in that final game shows exactly what set him apart from everyone else. What made him so special. His love for the game, his love for the fans of L.A. is special and I won’t ever forget it.

As a die hard basketball fan, I’m glad that I got to witness Kobe Bryant’s career but I’m also grateful that Brenna was able to witness it too.

In the end, this is me…

Thank you, Kobe.

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