Genre: Contemporary

Week in Review (87)

Posted April 30, 2018 by Rowena in Features | 2 Comments

Not much is going on with me. My family did participate in the 2018 Relay for Life, a cancer fundraiser that is held each year and the Torrance one is set at South High School. My family walk for our family members who have survived or died from cancer and we started walking when my nephew RJ was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. He was a freshman in high school and once RJ was free and clear of the disease, my other nephew Chance signed us up for Relay for Life. We’ve been walking every year ever since. So not too long after Chance signed us up, both Chance and RJ left to serve their missions so they haven’t been back to a Relay for Life since that first year.

RJ made a point to be here this year and I continue to be amazed and this young man. He goes to school in Idaho, had a wedding in Utah the day before Relay for Life started and he drove from Idaho to Utah, attended the wedding and then jumped in his car with my niece Chloe, her husband Markus and baby Caiden and drove to California for Relay before jumping back into his car on Sunday to return Chloe and her family to Utah and then driving on back to Idaho for his 7:45AM class on Monday. Love this guy!

Now, onto the books…

What I’m Currently Reading

Week in Review (87)Rumor Has It (Real Love, #4) by Jessica Lemmon
Series: Real Love #4
Published by Random House, Loveswept on May 15th, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 212
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher, NetGalley

This is one bad boy who’s fit to print. A notorious jock tackles life—and love—after football with a type-A journalist in this sexy standalone from the author of Eye Candy.


As a former pro football star, I’m used to playing the field. After injuries cut my NFL career short, my second act as a broadcaster ended on live television when a hot mic picked up a little verbal . . . indiscretion. But this latest publicity stunt might just land me back on top—much to the chagrin of Catarina Everhart, the prissy, beautiful journalist who’s been assigned to date a bad boy (i.e., me) and write about it. Catarina swears I’ll never touch her, let alone kiss those full lips of hers. Based on our chemistry, I’m not buying it. . . .


Barrett Fox seems to be doing everything in his power to make me hate him. The cocky egomaniac is infamous for his bad behavior, and now, thanks to my boss’s harebrained schemes, he’s apparently my problem. As one fake date leads to another, I start to see a different side of Barrett. He’s close with his family. He does volunteer work. And, okay, he kisses like a dream. Am I really dating Barrett Fox? Or is he playing me? Because suddenly I’m risking my reputation—and my heart.

I started this book this morning and so far, it’s okay. I’m not far enough into the story to know if I love or hate this book but I’m hopeful that this will be a good one. I really enjoy this series so I’ve got my fingers crossed.

What I Read

Dragon Actually by G.A. Aiken | 3 out of 5
Neanderthal Seeks Human by Penny Reid | 2.75 out of 5
Hot Asset (21 Wall Street #1) by Lauren Layne | 4.25 out of 5
The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo | 4 out of 5

I read a couple of books each week in the last couple of weeks. I read Dragon Actually for book club and I wasn’t as enthused about that one as everyone else was and same with Neanderthal Seeks Human. In both books, the heroine annoyed me. In Dragon Actually, the heroine came off as a freaking shrew and that sucks because she’s supposed to be such a strong person who leads armies into war. For me? She yelled too much and I hated the way that she treated the dragon. I guess it’s supposed to come off as strong-willed but meh. That’s not how it showed for me. In Neanderthal Seeks Human, the heroine is supposed to be super smart but she was super dumb about a lot of things. It didn’t work for me.

Fortunately for me, things picked up last week on the reading front. I read both Hot Asset by Lauren Layne, and The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo. I really enjoyed both books so that was a come up from the previous week.

What I Reviewed

If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say by Leila Sales | 1 out of 5
Something about You (FBI/US Attorneys #1) by Julie James | 4.75 out of 5
The Love Coupon (Stubborn Hearts #2) by Ainslie Paton | 4.25 out of 5
Hot Response (Boston Fire #4) by Shannon Stacey | 4 out of 5
Undone by You (Chicago Rebels #3) by Kate Meader | 4 out of 5
One Fell Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles #3) by Ilona Andrews | 4.75 out of 5
Bayou Moon (The Edge #2) by Ilona Andrews | 4.25 out of 5

Everything, Everything (2017) | 3 out of 5

What I Posted

Week in Review (86)
My Life in Books

What I Got

Just for You by Rosalind James
The Real Thing by Cassie Mae
The Bone Bearer by Lani Wendt Young
The Water Burns by Lani Wendt Young

What I Got for Review

Hot Asset (21 Wall Street #1) by Lauren Layne
Every Time You Go Away by Beth Harbison

What I Watched on TV

The Resident: The Resident is back this week and holy cow, you just know that it’s building to a dramatic as shit explosive finale because holy hot damn!!

Grown-ish: Ugh, I’m still not over who she chose so ugh again.

Suits: I’m not sure what I’m feeling about how this season ended. I’m happy that Meghan Markle can now jump into her new life as a real-life Princess without looking back. I’m just curious how this entire show is going to move on without Mike. Mike’s been the center, and the heart of this show so without him around, how the heck is that going to work? Katherine Heigl is going to replace Mike? Hahahahahahahaha, riiiggghhhtt.

What Movies I Watched

Guardians of Galaxy, vol. 2 (2017) | 4 out of 5
Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) | 4 out of 5
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) | 4.75 out of 5
Avengers: Infinity War (2018) | 4 out of 5
12 Strong (2017) | 4 out of 5
Den of Thieves (2018) | 3.5 out of 5
A Quiet Place (2018) | 4 out of 5

You guys, I’m still not over Infinity War. Seriously, how, what, why?????

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

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Book Review: If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say by Leila Sales

Posted April 18, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Book Review: If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say by Leila SalesIf You Don't Have Anything Nice to Say by Leila Sales
Published by Macmillan, Farrar Straus and Giroux on May 1, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 288
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher, NetGalley

Before we go any further, I want you to understand this: I am not a good person.

We all want to be seen. We all want to be heard. But what happens when we’re seen and heard saying or doing the wrong things? What then?

When Winter Halperin—former spelling bee champion, aspiring writer, and daughter of a parenting expert—gets caught saying the wrong thing online, her life explodes. All across the world, people knows what she’s done, and none of them will forgive her.

With her friends gone, her future plans cut short, and her identity in shambles, Winter is just trying to pick up the pieces without hurting anyone else. She knows she messed up, but does that mean it’s okay for people to send her hate mail and death threats? Does she deserve to lose all that she’s lost? And is “I’m sorry” ever good enough?

First and foremost a novel about public shaming in the internet age, If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say is also an exploration of the power of words, the cumulative destructiveness of microaggressions, and the pressing need for empathy.

I’ve been reading Leila Sales for a few years now and I’ve really enjoyed some of her books and didn’t enjoy one of the books that I’ve read by her. After reading this one, I have not enjoyed another one of her books. This was almost a DNF but I needed to know that things turned around for the main character, needed to know that she learned her lesson and I was really interested in seeing how it all ended.

I feel I should warn you guys that there will be hella spoilers in this review because I’ve got shit to say and I’m going to say it all here…so this is your warning.



So this book follows Winter Halperin, a former spelling bee champion who made a racist remark online and pays the price for that remark. Her past is blasted and made fun of online and needless to say, she’s devastated. She didn’t mean the remark the way that everyone took it but it was still a shitty thing to say and she is remorseful but in my opinion, she wasn’t remorseful for the right reasons. As I was explaining to my daughter while talking about this book with her, Winter didn’t deserve a lot of the shitty comments that were thrown her way (you know all of the, you should go ahead and kill yourself now because you’re stupid cow and the you should be raped for what you said – those comments) but she 100% deserved to be educated on just how privileged her way of thinking was.

I’m sorry but if your apology includes the word “but” in it, you ain’t sorry for shit and Jason, Winter’s black best friend wasn’t here for that kind of apology. He was hurt by her words and he had every right to be pissed at her. They were close friends and she said a shitty thing online that hurt his feelings but she didn’t get why her comment was so bad. Jason explains why he was so mad at her and she was adamant that she’s not like that. Her defense was, “I have black friends, I can’t be racist!” She really didn’t get why Jason was so mad at her. This part of the book had so much promise and it could have gone down in a way that taught Winter a really good lesson but what actually happens had me all…

Because no she didn’t make the white girl say a racist thing and then make the white girl the victim and then make her black best friend the bad guy by doing some shady shit. Jason deserved better than that and I almost stopped reading the book because I was getting mad but I needed to know that Winter turned her ass around and that she learned some important life lessons from all of this. I needed to see this happen with my own eyes and you guys…that didn’t happen. Or actually, it happens but it came with a whole lot of shit on shit on shit that kept knocking me on my ass.

So Winter went to a sort of rehab clinic and it was a safe space for her to finally take a long look at her way of thinking, to learn and grow from her past mistakes. That was probably the best thing for her because by the end of the book, Winter learns her lesson. She does eventually get where Jason was coming from, she learns to be genuinely remorseful for her actions and she does learn just how different her life is from Jason’s, how different her life is from the black girl in rehab but holy cow, the delivery sucked huge donkey balls for me.

Winter really comes into her own over the course of the story and when she finally gets it, I breathed a sigh of relief because, freaking finally, right? I was satisfied that the main character finally saw the light but one of the last things to happen in the book left me speechless, left a really bad taste in my mouth because I honestly didn’t think it was necessary. It took a huge shit on the message of the book.

So Winter learns her lesson, she’s back at home and she’s not googling herself twenty times an hour, she’s evolved as a person and genuinely wants to be a better, more enlightened person. She’s at peace. One of the things that she hasn’t given up is googling others that are going through what she went through. The latest victim? A happily married white man in his thirties who set up a dating profile on a gay dating app for the sole purpose of outing the men he met on there who work in politics in D.C. He’s a reporter and was doing all of this for the story. Needless to say, the online social media justice department went in on this guy and our newly enlightened and evolved protagonist wrote this asshat a letter that basically said, “I feel for you man. Just know that you’ll get through this and I’ll see you on the other side.”

I can’t imagine why that needed to be included in this book. What lesson was being pushed here? It doesn’t matter what your actions are, nobody deserves death threats? People don’t deserve to lose their livelihood after doing shitty things that hurt others? That lesson could have been taught without victimizing the asshole who violated so many people, willingly.

I closed this book and was so very angry that I don’t think I can ever come back from it. There aren’t too many books that have angered me as much as this book did and I honestly don’t think I’ll be reading anything by Leila Sales again. I would be too scared that I’d get another one of these and no. Just hell fucking no.

Grade: 1 out of 5


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Book Review: Suddenly Forbidden by Ella Fields

Posted April 11, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Book Review: Suddenly Forbidden by Ella FieldsSudden Forbidden by Ella Fields
Series: Gray Springs University #1
Published by Ella Fields on January 24th, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Pages: 295
Format: eBook
Source: Gifted

I thought he'd always be mine,even when I was forced to say goodbye.

We were never meant to let go, but it happened anyway. Too bad I didn’t know someone was waiting to take my place, or I would've held on a lot tighter.

Two years later, we were exactly where we'd always planned to be. I'd kept my promise.He'd forgotten all about his. Not only had he moved on, but the person he'd moved on with was my best friend, leaving me to begin college with a broken heart.

I guess this is the part where I’m supposed to tell you some other guy stepped in, repaired my shattered pieces, and made me smile again.

This isn't that kind of story.

My heart might have been broken, but it refused to fall out of love.

WARNING: this book contains cheating.

This book was brought to my attention by my friend Ames who blogs over at Bookish Ames. She really enjoyed this one and as she was describing it, it sounded like something I would enjoy as well. So I started the book just as soon as I could and I finished it rather quickly. I should preface this review by warning you that there is cheating in this book and though I’m not normally a fan of that kind of things in my romances, it wasn’t a deal breaker for me in this book.

Quinn and Daisy have been best friends since they were kids. When they were of age for their friendship to blossom into something more, they went there without second thoughts. They were young, they were in love and right before Daisy turns 16, her parents move her to the next state over and her blossoming relationship with Quinn suffers a huge blow. Promises that they made to each other are thrown into question and it’s two years later, Daisy shows up for her freshman year at Gray Springs University hoping that she runs into Quinn again and that they can try to get back to where they were when they lived next door to each other.

For a while, Daisy doesn’t see Quinn at all but when she finally does, her heart is shattered into a million pieces because Quinn isn’t alone anymore. He has a girlfriend and that girlfriend used to be Daisy’s other best friend, Alexis so the betrayal is strong but Daisy isn’t the only person who is shocked. Quinn hasn’t seen Daisy in years and he wasn’t prepared for the feelings that would storm him when he finally does see her again.

Once they finally see each other, they see each other everywhere. Quinn and Alexa are in love now and Daisy tries to stay away because she’s hurt, she’s angry at the both of them and she’s still in love with Quinn. No amount of staying away helps because he’s had her heart since she was a little girl and that’s not going to change.

So this is a second chance romance set at Gray Springs University and every time that Quinn sees Daisy, the past rushes back to him and bombards him with feelings that he’s having trouble controlling. He wants to do right by Alexis but even Alexis knows about him and Daisy. She was there through all of it. He’s screwed any way that he looks at it because the more that he sees Daisy around, the stronger their bond becomes and trying to outrun something that is in his blood isn’t going to last.

Seeing Quinn and Daisy interact with each other and trying to find a new normal was angsty and so full of promise that when they inevitably come together, I was disappointed but I was also not surprised. Quinn tries his best to try to make things right and Daisy suffers from so much guilt and I thought that Ella Fields handled this complicated mess in a way that made me feel for everyone involved. The story is well written and the emotions I felt were real and I just could not stop reading. In the end, this book turned me inside out and it ended the way that it was supposed to end. I’m anxious for the next book and have every faith that Toby and Pippa’s story will be just as angsty and good as this one was.

Gray Springs University Series

Bittersweet Always releases sometime this year and I’m so here for it.

Final Rating

4 out of 5


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