Week in Review (54)

Posted March 27, 2017 by Rowena in Features | 13 Comments

I’m going to change this feature up a bit and review my entire week, not just my week in books. I’ll be recapping what I’ve read and what I’ve watched.

It’s been a pretty busy couple of weeks for me. I attended the funeral for one of my best friend’s Dad. The services were beautiful and very Greek. I’ve never been to a Greek funeral before so it was an experience for me. Lots of standing and sitting and praying. Kind of like a Catholic service but in Greek. Lots of people came to the services to pay their respects to the family and it was a reunion of sorts. I saw childhood friends that I haven’t seen or talked to in years and it was a sad way to come together but I was so happy to reconnect with old friends.

I also went to my first strip club and man was that an experience. My friends took me there on a Monday night so it wasn’t on and poppin’ or anything and I think I was grateful for that. The joint we went to was dark but not bad. It looked like the strip clubs you see in movies and on TV. My stripper was drunk af. I tried to make it rain for her but she popped her legs right in my face and I almost touched her vagina so I jerked back in my seat, all shocked. I was so embarrassed that I just chucked my dollar, dollar bills at her like a softball and ran back to my table. After she was done, she came to our table to give me a hug and hung out with us. I thought it was strange at first but then I just went with it and asked her everything I was interested in knowing. You know, things like, “How do you spin so fast on the pole when you’re this drunk?” and “Do you choreograph your own routines?” and “How did you get started in stripping”. I left the strip club knowing my strippers entire life history and my friends are probably never going to let me live it down but I don’t even care. It was a memorable experience and my stripper was really nice…and really drunk. Haha.

I also got really sick later on this past week and that wasn’t fun at all. I was nauseous and all things bad and because of that, I missed an author event that I was looking forward to attending with my friend Holly. Instead, I stayed home and tried to get better and for the most part, I’m okay. Fingers crossed that whatever I had is gone for good.

Currently Reading

Frisk Me by Lauren Layne

Officer Luc Moretti had no idea that his dive into the East River would have him drowning in a media frenzy. No matter how many times he tells reporters he was just doing his job, they’re determined to make him into NYC’s newest hero. Coming from a long line of NYPD’s finest, Luc knows that being a cop has nothing to do with headlines and viral videos, and he’s more than ready to get back to life away from the cameras—until he meets the gorgeous but jaded journalist assigned to film a TV special on him.

Ava Sims may be the only woman in NYC who isn’t in love with Officer Moretti. That’s why she’s going after the real story—to find out about the man behind the badge. Ava’s determined to keep things strictly professional, but the more time she spends around Luc, even she has to admit there’s something about a man in uniform . . . and she can’t wait to get him out of his.

I started this book last night because I wanted some more Lauren Layne goodness. I’m going to be so sad when I don’t have any more Lauren Layne books to read for the first time but holy goodness, the heroine is on my last nerve and I’m still in the beginning. The way that she is toward the hero makes me want to throat punch her because she’s bitchy and I’m just not feeling her attitude. I hope she turns things around. We’ll see.

What I Read


Love in the Afternoon by Lisa Kleypas (re-read) | 4.5 out of 5
How the Duke was Won by Lenora Bell | 3.75 out of 5
If I Only Had a Duke by Lenora Bell | 4.5 out of 5
Blame it on the Duke by Lenora Bell | 4 out of 5
Midnight Target by Elle Kennedy | 4 out of 5
Walk of Shame by Lauren Layne | 4.25 out of 5
Pipe Dreams by Sarina Bowen | 4.25 out of 5

Lots of good reading for me. I’m stoked about this!

Book Boyfriend of the Week


Mike Beacon in Pipe Dreams by Sarina Bowen and Dalton, Duke of Osborne in If I Only Had a Duke by Lenora Bell

This week is a lot harder for me to pick just one book boyfriend because I pretty much loved all of the guys I read about. But, I have two book boyfriends this week because both of these guys totally rocked my socks. I loved the both of them so much and drooled my way through both of their books. Beacon…the strength of his love for Lauren and the need for him to be there for the women in his life. Gah, totally got me. Dalton with the love he had for his family, the grief he went through day in and day out for his little brother and then the love that grew between him and Thea was just all kinds of great. Loved them both!

What I Reviewed

Archangels Kiss by Nalini Singh (Buddy Review with Holly) | 3.75 out of 5
When the Marquess Falls by Lorraine Heath | 4 out of 5
Havoc by Jamie Shaw | 4 out of 5
Marrying Winterborne by Lisa Kleypas (Buddy review with Ames) | 3.75 out of 5
Retro Review of Mr. Cavendish, I Presume by Julia Quinn | 4 out of 5

What I Got

The Impossible Vastness of Us by Samantha Young
Walk of Shame by Lauren Layne
Second Chance Season by Liora Blake
The Girl with the Make Believe Husband by Julia Quinn

Love Story by Lauren Layne
Undeclared by Julianna Keyes
Off Sides by Sawyer Bennett
Frisk Me by Lauren Layne
Steal Me by Lauren Layne
Cuff Me by Lauren Layne

What I Watched on TV

I’m enjoying every single one of these shows. They’re all so freaking good.

What Movies I Watched

Kenna and I walked to the movies to see Beauty and the Beast and we were looking pretty beat up, having come straight from Kenna’s basketball games but we didn’t even care because we both loved the movie. We’ve been waltzing to Beauty and the Beast around the house ever since. Haha.

I also Logan and holy cow did I love that movie. So freaking good. I cried so much and am so bummed about things that happened in the movie but even with all the crying, it was a damn good movie. Loved it!

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

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Buddy Review: Marrying Winterborne by Lisa Kleypas

Posted March 21, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 6 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 | 12 Comments

Review: Isn’t She Lovely by Lauren LayneIsn't She Lovely by Lauren Layne
Series: Redemption #0.5
Also in this series: Crushed
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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