Format: eBook

Buddy Review: Long Shot by Kennedy Ryan

Posted October 9, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Buddy Review: Long Shot by Kennedy RyanLong Shot by Kennedy Ryan
Series: Hoops #1
Published by Kennedy Ryan on March 22, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Point of View: Alternating First Person
Pages: 460
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Goodreads
five-stars

A FORBIDDEN LOVE SET IN THE EXPLOSIVE WORLD OF THE NBA...

Think you know what it's like being a baller's girl? You don't. My fairy tale is upside down. A happily never after. I kissed the prince and he turned into a fraud. I was a fool, and his love - fool's gold. Now there's a new player in the game, August West. One of the NBA's brightest stars. Fine. Forbidden. He wants me. I want him. But my past, my fraudulent prince, just won't let me go

*Certain aspects of this story may be sensitive for some readers.

Rowena: Our October buddy review book is a book that we both read last month but it’s also a book that both of us really enjoyed.

August West met the girl of his dreams the night before he played in the national championship game. He knew after that one conversation they had that she was his person, too bad she already had a boyfriend. He may have won on the court but he didn’t win the one thing that he wanted more than he wanted anything else.

Iris DuPree has plans for her future but when those plans go up in flames, she needs a new plan and time to make that plan happen. Her road to freedom becomes a lot harder than she anticipated and with each passing day, her freedom is bogged down with complications but she can’t mess up her escape so she fights day in and day out for the day when her and her daughter can get to freedom, safely.

August and Iris are dealing with a lot of things on their own but coming together again is inevitable because the heart wants what the heart wants.

Gah, this freaking book. What did you think, Ames?

Ames: This book gave me all the feels! I went into it with no expectations and I was blown away. I remember messaging you the morning after finishing this book. I’ve turned into an old lady these days and don’t sacrifice on my sleep. This book kept me up until 3am! Do you realize what that means? This book was amazing. Part thriller and full on epic romance this book was a roller coaster and I loved it all. Really, I don’t want to say anything more because it will just be fangirl gibberish at this point. LOL.

What did you think Ween?

Rowena: I agree. As much anxiety as I felt while reading this book, I couldn’t completely walk away because I needed to know that things would get better. That Iris would get the happy ending that she deserved and so desperately needed. Never have I ever wanted someone to get their happily ever after as much as I wanted Iris to have hers with August. I cried while reading this book and I couldn’t get enough. You’re right, it was pretty amazing and hard to read at the same time. Gah. I have so much love for this book, for these characters and for everything that they went through to get to that ending. So much love.

Ames: I agree that it was hard to read because you know what was coming wasn’t going to be easy. But I think we need to read books like this to shake things up from time to time. The topic here isn’t dealt with in a lot of contemps I read so I liked that it didn’t make it something that happened in her past that she got over – it was something happening to her NOW and that made us root for her and rejoice when she found that inner strength and rallied and made things better for her and her daughter. As much as this was a great romance between Iris and August (loved him!!) it was about Iris and her journey. This was a scary feel good book. It scares you and then you feel good. LOL

And kudos to Kennedy Ryan for writing such an amazing story. I know I tried reading one of her earlier books and I couldn’t finish it (this was years ago) but she’s come a long way and I can’t wait to read more by her.

Rowena: Yes, exactly what you said. I don’t think this story would have been as powerful for me if we weren’t right there with Iris while she’s going through everything. Seeing her motivation to be better for her daughter, seeing her fight for their freedom, it all made me anxious at the same time that it made me eager for her to finally get out on the other side. There wasn’t a moment of this book where I wasn’t invested in what was going on. This is my first Kennedy Ryan book but it won’t be my last.

I loved Iris but I also really loved August. I loved seeing how determined he was when he figured out that Iris was his person. I loved that he knew what he wanted and where his heart lay, he didn’t question the who, the how or the why. He just understood that Iris was his future and he was patient waiting for her to catch up to him. I loved the way that he was with Sarai and I loved Lotus too. Gah, so freaking good!

I give this one a 4.75 out of 5, you?

Ames: I liked that about August too. That he knew Iris was his person and that never wavered. This couple went through hell before they even got to be a couple and August’s steadfastness was great. And the love he felt for Sarai? Melt my heart! He wasn’t perfect and that’s what made him such a great character.

I hope Lotus gets a story. That would be even more epic if possible. LOL

Okay, I have to give this one a 4.75 as well. This was one of the best books I read this year. I highly recommend it.

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Final Grade

Ames: 4.75 out of 5
Rowena: 4.75 out of 5

Hoops Series

five-stars


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Throwback Thursday: The Gift by Julie Garwood

Posted September 27, 2018 by Rowena in Features, Reviews | 2 Comments

Each week, I’ll be writing a review for an oldie but goodie that I’ve read through again to see if these books are holding up for me. I’m a different person than I was when I read these books, older and wiser (at least I hope) so I’m curious to see if books that I used to love can stand the test of time.

Throwback Thursday: The Gift by Julie GarwoodThe Gift by Julie Garwood
Series: Crown's Spies #4
Also in this series: Castles, The Lion's Lady, Guardian Angel
Published by Simon & Schuster, Gallery Books on June 7, 2011
Genres: Historical, Romance
Point of View: Alternating Third Person
Pages: 388
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Goodreads
four-stars

A child bride, Sara Winchester had grown into a winsome beauty, joyfully anticipating the day when her husband Nathan, Marquess of St. James, would return to claim her heart at last. Charmingly innocent, she dismissed the ancient feud that divided Nathan's family from her own...and she was totally unaware of his past exploits as the notorious pirate, Pagan. The man who now stood before her was perplexing, arrogant and powerfully handsome...a warrior-gentleman whose gentle touch aroused her to the wildest, deepest pleasures of love.

Nathan had never bared his soul to any woman, but he was soon utterly beguiled and exasperated by Sara's sweet, defiant ways. Aboard his ship, The Seahawk, she was brave, imperious and determined to win his heart completely -- yet upon their return to England, her love would be sorely tested as a vile conspiracy tried to tear them apart. With their future at stake, they would discover the true destiny of their passion...for all time!

The Gift has always been my least favorite book in this series and it is for this reason that I’ve left this re-read for last. I went into this re-read thinking that I wasn’t going to love this book but I’m surprised to report that I enjoyed this book a lot more than I ever have before.

Julie Garwood has proven to stand the test of time with me. When I first read this book, I was much younger and a lot dumber than I am today and I didn’t appreciate this book as much but this time around, it was great.

Nathan St. James is Colin from Castles best friend and Jade from Guardian Angel’s brother. He’s been engaged to Sara Winchester since he was a kid thanks to the daft King and even though their families are feuding, he’s coming to collect his bride and when that happens, things happen.

This was such a fun book and every time Nathan said, “Dammit Sara” I laughed out loud. They were complete opposites, Nathan and Sara were. She was so sweet and so naive where as Nathan was gruff, reserved and worldly. That damn parasol had me dying. I don’t remember this book being so funny but the shenanigans that Sara got herself into had me laughing at every turn. The writing is top notch in this book and highlights why I’m such a huge fan of Julie Garwood’s older books. I remember why I read her books over and over again and discussed them at length every month with the ladies over at the Julie Garwood Bulletin Board back in the day.

Nathan and Sara’s romance made me happy and even though there were times when I wanted to knee Nathan in the junk and rolled my eyes at how naive Sara was, I still really enjoyed this book. It’s not my favorite book in this series (that is Castles), but it’s still such an enjoyable book that you’ll love for years and years, long after you’ve read it for the first time. To read this book is to enjoy it so I definitely recommend it.

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Final Grade

4 out of 5

Crown’s Spies Series

four-stars


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Buddy Review: The Duke Buys a Bride by Sophie Jordan

Posted September 25, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 6 Comments

Buddy Review: The Duke Buys a Bride by Sophie JordanThe Duke Buys a Bride by Sophie Jordan
Series: The Rogue Files #3
Published by Harper Collins, Avon on July 24, 2018
Genres: Historical, Romance
Point of View: Alternating Third Person
Pages: 368
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Goodreads
three-half-stars

A bride wasn’t in his plans . . .

The last thing Marcus, the Duke of Autenberry, expects to see after sleeping off a night’s drunken shenanigans is a woman being auctioned in the village square. Before he can think about the ramifications, he buys her, thinking he’s winning the girl her freedom. Instead, he discovers he’s bought a wife.

A duke wasn’t in hers . . .

Alyse Bell is almost rid of the shackles that bound her in a name-only marriage, but the day her friend promised to purchase her in a wife auction, he vanishes, leaving her to face a mob of unsavory bachelors intent on owning her body and soul. But the appearance of a wicked, wealthy stranger changes her path forever.

The road to ruin . . .

Marcus doesn’t know what to do with the impertinent chit who clearly isn’t duchess material! Insisting their marriage isn’t legitimate, they leave for his estate in Scotland, hoping to devise a plan to get rid of each other. However, on a journey fraught with misadventure, their attraction grows and Marcus realizes he’ll do anything to keep this fiery woman for his own.

I participate in a real-life book club that meets once a month to discuss a different romance novel with a bunch of my friends. It’s always a lot of fun but one of our members lives in Utah so she doesn’t get to meet up with us so we thought it would be great to still discuss the books with her. Each month, I’ll be doing a buddy review of our book club books with my book club homies Tasha and Shy. Please welcome my friends, everyone! 🙂 This month it’ll be just me and Tasha but next month, we’re hopeful that Shy will catch up and join us.

The first book that we’ll be reviewing together is The Duke Buys a Bride by Sophie Jordan, which is the third book in The Rogue Files series and it features Marcus Weatherton, the Duke of Autenberry as he purchases a wife at a street auction and falls in love with her on his way to Scotland.

Rowena: Alright Tash, let’s get this show on the road. What were your initial thoughts on this book?

Tasha: My initial thoughts…this was a frustrating read. I mean, the hero was really mean which made it hard for me to like him. As much as I wanted to like the heroine, she kept making me mad too, uggghhh. So yeah, frustrating, lol.

Rowena: I know what you mean. I thought that the premise of the story was really interesting. I mean, the hero buys the heroine at a street auction in an effort to free her and then while he’s escorting her to his home in Scotland so she can make a life of her own as his housekeeper, they grow close and fall in love but the hot and cold attitude that Marcus had where Alyse was concerned pissed me off. Every time he tried to throw the blame on Alyse for their attraction made me want to kick him in the balls. Hello?? It takes two to tango and his dumbass kept pissing me off. I was like, miss me with the bullshit sir. You like her, you want her, deal with it.

The part that pissed me off the most with Alyse was when they’re almost to Marcus’ house in the Highlands and Marcus is beat up and left for dead while Alyse is abducted. When Marcus gets to where she was taken and demands to get her back, she’s like, “Oh I release you, you are not obligated to me anymore” and he’s like, “I’m not going to leave you here. They beat me and left me for dead” and she’s all, “Oh, I’m sure they’re sorry they did that.”

WTF? Bitch are you for real? When that happened, I was ready for the book to be done.

Tasha: EXACTLY…THAT PART, RIGHT THERE!!! I believe they had already left his brothers castle where she had to stay until she got better. But the whole time she was sick, he was at her bedside like a lovesick puppy. Even then he was still in denial. He could’ve easily been done with her at that point, the way I see it but he was insistent upon taking her with him. Let’s not even get started on the event that took place in his room after she recovered from her illness. As soon as the ‘deed’ was done, he was quick to dismiss her and make it out to be as if it were her fault. Like you said, “it takes two to tango”. They’re both dumbasses, lol.

I think Marcus was just an arrogant prick who was used to getting his way. And Alyse was so naïve and as we Samoans say, “fiapoko” (know-it-all, smart-ass, etc.) haha!!

Rowena: Same. They were both so fiapoko! Also? I think that we would have benefitted from reading the other books in this series to really appreciate Marcus’ journey, at least I’m hoping that is the case because I felt like I was missing something throughout the whole book. Especially when we get to the brother’s house in Scotland so that Alyse can mend her illness. I’m like, so is someone going to fill us in on what the hell happened and why Marcus and his brother are estranged? Hello??? Is someone going to fill in the blanks on how Marcus’ sister in law went from being engaged to Marcus to married to his brother? Ehhh…

Overall, the actions of both the hero and the heroine had me rolling my eyes up and down the street so it’s hard for me to give this a higher grade than a 2.5 because while the writing style is completely readable, there was too much that pissed me off to warrant a higher grade. What about you? What would you grade this book and are you going to be reading the rest of the series or nah?

Tasha: You’re probably right. Maybe if I had read the previous books, I wouldn’t be so harsh towards Marcus. They did mention a little bit about Marcus being engaged to Poppy before she became his brother’s wife but not a lot. Yeah, I did get the feeling I was missing something and that something could’ve been found in the earlier books.

Would I go back and read this series from the beginning…..ummmm, I don’t think so. The writing itself was fine and I’ve read some really bad books. It’s because of the whole ‘bi-polar’ moments from Marcus and Alyse’s continuous dumb decisions, I cannot give this more than a 3 (and that’s being generous). Yes, the hero and heroine really frustrated me but in the end, I still got my HEA.

Final Grade

Rowena: 2.5 out of 5
Tasha: 3 out of 5

So there you have it guys, my very first book club discussion review with one of my good friends Tasha. Next month we’ll be discussing Never Seduce a Scot by Maya Banks. My sister Delene chose that book so nobody in our book club is at all surprised that we’re reading another historical romance. See you guys next month!

Buy the Book

AMAZON || BARNES & NOBLE || GOOGLE BOOKS || KOBO || THE RIPPED BODICE

The Rogue Files Series

three-half-stars


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