Category: Reviews

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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Review: Sustained by Emma Chase

Posted March 7, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 15 Comments

Review: Sustained by Emma ChaseSustained by Emma Chase
Series: Legal Briefs #2
Published by Simon & Schuster, Gallery Books on August 25th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 267
Format: eBook
Source: Bought
Goodreads
five-stars
Reading Challenges: The Totally Doable 2017 RBLB Reading Challenge

A knight in tarnished armor is still a knight.

When you’re a defense attorney in Washington, DC, you see firsthand how hard life can be, and that sometimes the only way to survive is to be harder. I, Jake Becker, have a reputation for being cold, callous, and intimidating—and that suits me just fine. In fact, it’s necessary when I’m breaking down a witness on the stand.

Complications don’t work for me—I’m a “need-to-know” type of man. If you’re my client, tell me the basic facts. If you’re my date, stick to what will turn you on. I’m not a therapist or Prince Charming—and I don’t pretend to be.

Then Chelsea McQuaid and her six orphaned nieces and nephews came along and complicated the ever-loving hell out of my life. Now I'm going to Mommy & Me classes, One Direction concerts, the emergency room, and arguing cases in the principal's office.

Chelsea’s too sweet, too innocent, and too gorgeous for her own good. She tries to be tough, but she’s not. She needs someone to help her, defend her…and the kids.

And that — that, I know how to do.

Sustained is the second book in the Legal Briefs series and the first book that I read for the 2017 Totally Doable Reading Challenge. It’s a book that I read for the first time in 2015 and gave 5 stars to. I was really surprised with how much I liked this book when I first read it because I hated the first book in the Legal Briefs series, Overruled, a lot. Like, a lot a lot. Stanton and Sofia drove me up the wall but Jake and Chelsea? Absolutely loved them.

Jake Becker is a defense attorney who just had an STD scare so he’s trying something new. He’s vetting his sleeping partners. Ha! He’s going to try dating girls before sleeping with them because he’s not trying to have another scare. He doesn’t understand it but with the help of his friends, he’s going to give it a shot. He’s got a date lined up and he’s anxious to get started. He’s appalled that his friends actually date the women that they sleep with because who the hell does that? Apparently, everyone but him. At the rate that he’s going, he won’t get laid for at least two more weeks and he’s not about that life.

Before his timeline can start he meets young Rory McQuaid who successfully picks his pocket but Jake isn’t about to let a young kid get the best of him so he gives chase and catches the little shit. When Jake takes him home to meet with his parents and rat his bad ass out, Jake meets Chelsea and the rest of Rory’s siblings and his life is never the same again.

Chelsea McQuaid is 26 years old and is raising her brother’s six kids on her own. She’s much too busy for a relationship but Jake Becker sneaks up on her in ways she wasn’t prepared for but isn’t exactly against. Sure, she’s got no time for sexy times with her Mom responsibilities overtaking her life but she’s all the kids have and they’re the priority but with Jake becoming more and more of a fixture in their lives, she’s thinking that they’ll be alright.

Of course, things aren’t as easy as she wants them to be but love is worth the trouble, right? Right. Chelsea and Jake were fantastic characters with a story that I eat up every single time that I read it. I read this book two years ago and it was a 5 star read then and this year, it’s a 5 star read still. I completely adored every single child and watching Jake fall for not only Chelsea but every single kid melted me at every turn. From Riley all the way down to Ronan, I was in love. I loved that Jake had a distinct relationship with every single kid. I loved seeing him with the girls just as much as I loved seeing him with the girls and my heart broke in two when things get hard for the family, Rory ran to Jake. I was a puddle of emotions by then.

Chelsea was a fantastic heroine. So strong and sure in the choices she made. From leaving school to jumping into being a Mom to her nieces and nephews, she sat on her own grief to be strong for the kids and my heart went out to her with every passing page. She was caring and she was loving and she was hot too so that was a plus. 🙂

There isn’t a thing that I didn’t love about this book and I understand that it makes this review a freaking fangirl review but it can’t be helped…I’m a total fangirl for Jake and Chelsea. This book man, it’s so damn good. If you haven’t read it for yourself, do yourself a favor and fix that because this book isn’t to be missed!

My Rating


5 out of 5

five-stars

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