Genre: Contemporary

TBR Challenge Review: Act Like It by Lucy Parker

Posted February 15, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 8 Comments

TBR Challenge Review: Act Like It by Lucy ParkerAct Like It
by Lucy Parker
Series: London Celebrities #1
Published by Harlequin, Carina Press on November 30th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Point of View:Alternating First Person
Pages: 199
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add It: Goodreads
four-stars

This just in: romance takes center stage as West End theatre's Richard Troy steps out with none other than castmate Elaine Graham

Richard Troy used to be the hottest actor in London, but the only thing firing up lately is his temper. We all love to love a bad boy, but Richard's antics have made him Enemy Number One, breaking the hearts of fans across the city.

Have the tides turned? Has English rose Lainie Graham made him into a new man?

Sources say the mismatched pair has been spotted at multiple events, arm in arm and hip to hip. From fits of jealousy to longing looks and heated whispers, onlookers are stunned by this blooming romance.

Could the rumors be right? Could this unlikely romance be the real thing? Or are these gifted stage actors playing us all?

I’m struggling to get my life together this month. I had all of these grand plans of all of the books that I was going to read and I didn’t do anything or read much of anything. February’s prompt for the 2017 TBR Reading Challenge was to read a new to me author. Boy was I lucky when Bookish Ames pointed out that I did read a book that fulfilled that prompt. I hadn’t realized. Duh. I’ve been wanting to read Lucy Parker ever since she came onto my radar. I’ve been seeing so many of my favorite book bloggers singing her praises and I knew that she was going to be an author that I enjoyed so when I opened up Act Like It, I was ready to be impressed…and I was. Richard Troy is a bastard. He takes no shit from anyone and he doesn’t mince words. He doesn’t tolerate dumbasses and he makes no apologies for who he is. Normally, he wouldn’t care what the tabloids but his bosses on the play he’s working on do and before he knows what’s what, he’s in a fake relationship with his co-star Lainey Graham. The plan is for her to use her good press and big heart to soften his reputation. Lainey Graham is being forced to play girlfriend to another asshole that she works with and she’s pretty much had it with asshole coworkers being her boyfriends. She just got out of a relationship with the other leading guy in the play and that didn’t end well because the asshole broke up with her by using the tabloids to tell her he’s moved on to someone else. Someone that he was seeing while they were still together. She may not be happy about playing the girlfriend to another castmate but she’ll do it because her bosses want her to. What started off as something that neither of them wanted begins to change into something they weren’t expecting at all and boy was I here for all of it. I enjoyed getting to know both Richard’s grumpy ass and Lainey’s too nice for her own good self. They were fantastic characters that I just fell in with. The beginning was a little slow but not enough to put me off. I’m glad that I pushed through because these two became such dear characters to me. Richard was a total asshole and he said and did things that I would never do myself but for some reason, it worked for me. I loved him through all of her assholey behavior. I loved seeing him fall in love with Lainey because even though he softened some, he was still the same asshole we met and fell in love with anyway. Kudos to Parker for making us fall in love with the asshole and not changing the asshole into a sap. That was great. Lainey was fun to get to know. I love how aggravated she would get with Richard because he was such a jerk. I loved seeing her with her bestie and I liked that she had a life outside of work. I loved when she tries to fix things between Richard and her when she messes up because it really showed how much she cared and really, it just showed the kind of person that she was. All in all, this was a great first read by an author that I will definitely be reading more from. I definitely recommend Richard and Lainey’s love story. It’s a good one.
4 out of 5
four-stars

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Buddy Review: Hollywood Dirt by Alessandra Torre

Posted January 31, 2017 by Rowena & Bookish Ames in Reviews | 0 Comments

Buddy Review: Hollywood Dirt by Alessandra TorreHollywood Dirt
by Alessandra Torre
Series: Hollywood Dirt #1
Published by Alessandra Torre on September 7th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Point of View:First Person
Pages: 414
Format: eBook
Source: Gifted
Add It: Goodreads

Cole Masten. Abandoned by his superstar wife, Hollywood’s Perfect Husband is now Hollywood’s Sexiest Bachelor: partying hard and screwing even harder. Watch out Los Angeles, there's a new bad boy in town.

Summer Jenkins. That’s me, a small town girl stuck in Quincy, Georgia. I cook some mean chicken and dumplins, can bluff a grown man out of his savings in poker, and was voted Most Friendly my senior year.

We were from different worlds. Our lives shouldn’t have collided. But then Cole Masten read a book about my small town. And six months later, his jet landed on our dusty airstrip, and he brought Hollywood with him.
From the start, I knew he was trouble. For our town. And for me.

Sometimes, opposites just aren’t meant to attract.

Ames: Ok Wena. What did you think of my pick for our January buddy review, Hollywood Dirt? I really enjoyed it and in fact this was my second time reading it. Rowena: I enjoyed it. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect since it was my first Alessandra Torre book but I was pleased with the book overall. Cole was a freaking douche in the beginning but I liked him and over the course of the book, I loved him more and more. Summer was a crack up and just all around funny character. I thought she was great and loved how sassy she was. I loved that she didn’t let Cole get away with anything even though she lusted after him something fierce. So much fun! Ames: It was so much fun! This was also my first Alessandra Torre book. I really liked the fish out of water element for Cole. He’s this big Hollywood star who has come to expect everything to be done for him and he’s going through this major personal upheaval in his life. He really met Summer at his lowest point. I like how she didn’t treat him any different just because he was a celebrity. And their chemistry was off the charts! I like that they danced around each other as long as they did. They really got to know each other first. Also, there’s a pet rooster. I honestly love this book for the pet rooster. That was used to sleeping in the house. LOL Okay, the reason I wanted to re-read this book and chose it for our buddy review was that I heard it was being made into a movie. The premise of this book is that Cole is in Summer’s small Georgia town to film a movie based on a book he read. So the movie will be based upon a book about a movie being made about a book. I love it! haha Rowena: YES! I really liked that they didn’t sleep together and then immediately were in love. I thought the way that they circled each other, kept their distance before giving in to the inevitable was great. I really loved that once Cole was all in, there wasn’t any changing of minds or trying to keep their relationship a secret from the masses. Cole was in. He didn’t care about the paparazzi, about Nadia. It was all about Summer, the small town girl who made everyone throw up at her engagement party. Haha. The scene where Cole goes to the pet shop and he’s asking questions about what he should get for Cocky, and the guy keeps looking at Cole like he’s dumb. “It’s a chicken!” Haha. I loved that Cole kept the rooster and kept him as a pet. LOL, that’s awesome! Have they done the casting yet? I’m curious to see who will be playing Cole and Summer. Overall, I really liked this book and all of the characters. I even liked that Summer went to her cheating ex to read over the contract that Cole sent her to sign before agreeing to be in the movie. Summer was freaking great! I adored Ben and Justin and even liked Summer’s Mom. My grade for this book would be 4.25 out of 5. You?​ Ames: Summer’s shenanigans with regards to her ex and her rehearsal dinner were hilarious. Summer was really a rebel but she made it work with her Southern upbringing. She was such a strong character and that’s really what made this book work for me. She definitely kept Cole guessing and working really hard. I liked her mom too! Okay, I am giving Hollywood Dirt 4.25 out of 5 as well. And I’m not sure if the movie process is at the casting stage yet or if the script is still being written. But it’s exciting. I think this would be a fun movie. And having been to Georgia, I could really picture this small town made of millionaires.

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Buddy Review: Managed by Kristen Callihan

Posted January 5, 2017 by Rowena & Bookish Ames in Reviews | 0 Comments

Buddy Review: Managed by Kristen CallihanManaged
by Kristen Callihan
Series: VIP Series #2
Published by Kristen Callihan on November 14th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Point of View:Alternating First Person
Pages: 348
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Buy It: Amazon|Barnes & Noble

It started off as a battle of wits. Me: the ordinary girl with a big mouth against Him: the sexy bastard with a big...ego.

I thought I’d hit the jackpot when I was upgraded to first class on my flight to London.

That is until HE sat next to me. Gabriel Scott: handsome as sin, cold as ice. Nothing and no one gets to him. Ever. He’s a legend in his own right, the manager of the biggest rock band in the world, and an arrogant ass who looks down his nose at me.

I thought I’d give him hell for one, long flight. I didn’t expect to like him. I didn’t expect to want him. But the biggest surprise? He wants me too. Only in a way I didn’t see coming.

If I accept his proposal, I leave myself open to falling for the one man I can’t manage. But I’m tempted to say yes. Because the real man beneath those perfect suits and that cool façade just might be the best thing that’s ever happened to me. And I just might be the only one who can melt the ice around his heart.

Let the battle begin…

Rowena: Our second buddy review will feature Managed by Kristen Callihan, the second book in Callihan’s VIP series. Managed follows Kill John’s manager, Gabriel Scott as he fumbles his way to his happily ever after with the band’s new social media manager, Sophie Darling. The band is on tour and lots of things are popping off left and right, like people falling in love. Scottie is the band manager and he’s the details man. He takes care of everything the boys need so that they can focus their energies on the music. Scottie has some issues that he works through in this book and Sophie Darling helps him with those issues. I thought it was kind of weird at first but their relationship was just so much fun that I was able to look past a lot of the weirdness that jumpstarted everything. But first things first, what did you think? Ames: I really enjoyed it. I like grumpy heroes and from Gabriel’s initial reaction to seeing Sophie in the seat beside his on the plane, I knew he was going to be a grumpus and Sophie was going to be just the woman to shake him up a bit. And she did! What did you think was weird at first? Rowena: I ended up really liking both Gabriel and Sophie but I thought it was weird…that Gabriel hired Sophie for that side job. I mean, I know that there are professionals that do that kind of stuff but it’s still pretty weird that hottie McHot Pants Scottie needed to hire someone to cuddle him so he can sleep in peace. But even with that weirdness, I still really enjoyed the romance and getting to know both Gabriel and Sophie. Gabriel had some serious issues that he worked throughout this book and I didn’t understand some of them (like how he needed to get away from Sophie after she was attacked) but I still enjoyed him as a person. He was one of the good ones and it broke my heart a little at how he didn’t think he mattered as much to everyone around him. The way that he held himself apart from everyone, to protect himself emotionally was just…sigh. Sophie Darling did him a solid by making him realize that he was a lot more important to his loved ones than he thought and when he finally realizes that, I cheered. Sophie was a fabulous heroine. She wasn’t perfect. She didn’t always do or say the right thing but always, her heart was in the right place. I loved her wit, her determination to do right after the wrong she pulled with Jax before. She was fun, caring and I hurt when Gabriel took off after she was hurt. Gabriel more than made up for all that when he got back. I loved their romance. I want to be the reason someone can sleep peacefully at night. Ha! What did you think of the romance and both the hero and heroine? Ames: Gabriel had to make it a business transaction to give himself some distance. That way it was about his need to sleep, not his craving for a connection with someone. He was afraid to let Sophie in. It was weird though. LOL I loved Sophie. She was the right balance between having a carefree spirit but caring for others. When we find out her connection to Jax at first, I was definitely thrown by that whole thing. But it shows how great all the characters were that they could forgive…and then finding out the truth about that night led to more healing for everyone. Gabriel. I know I said it but I love grumpy heroes. And he was that. Of course its all a front to keep people away. And you’re right, Sophie was great at showing him that his friends cared about them and that he could let them in. I like that he was willing to let her in. And I loved his loyalty. I could forgive him having a dumb moment at the end of the book. That’s actually a beef I have, that misunderstanding was so predictable. As soon as I read that what’s his name was asking about Sophie, I could see how it would play out and that’s the way it did. Other than that, I really enjoyed how their relationship developed. That scene where he fed her? Right when she joined the tour? Awwww. He was paying attention. ​Rowena: Yeah, I understood as I kept reading but my initial thought was…weird. Yeah, the whole misunderstanding was low key dumb. I mean, if he had just taken a moment to process, he would have known better but yeah, to immediately jump to that conclusion made me want to kick him. Still, I loved him. I loved Sophie and I loved everyone in their circle of friends. I can’t wait to read Brenna’s book. That one is going to be sizzling with sexual tension and I’m all about that. I think what I loved most about both Sophie and Gabriel was the amount of attention they paid to each other. They really grew to know each other and they cared deeply about each other even before they got involved romantically and I liked seeing their relationship evolve in the proper way. Overall, I enjoyed this book a lot more than I did the first book and it’s got me excited for more. Do we know who is getting their story told next? Whoever it is, I’m ready. Grade: 4 out of 5​ Ames: I really liked that they paid attention to each other as well. They really meshed as a couple. And I like the rock band setting. All the things that bothered me were minor so I have to give this one a 4 out of 5 as well. I want more from this series! I can’t wait for whoever the next book is about – I like all the characters!

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Mini Review Round Up (4)

Posted November 17, 2016 by Rowena in Features, Reviews | 8 Comments

Mini Review Round Up (4)Irresistibly Yours
by Lauren Layne
Series: Oxford #1
Also in this series: I Think I Love You
Published by Random House, Loveswept on October 6, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Point of View:Alternating Third Person
Pages: 236
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add It: Goodreads
four-stars

Meet the men of Oxford magazine! In the first captivating spin-off of Lauren Layne’s Sex, Love & Stiletto series, a not-so-friendly battle of the sexes turns into a scorching office romance.

Hotshot sports editor Cole Sharpe has been freelancing for Oxford for years, so when he hears about a staff position opening up, he figures he’s got the inside track. Then his boss drops a bombshell: Cole has competition. Female competition, in the form of a fresh-faced tomboy who can hang with the dudes—and write circles around them, too. Cole usually likes his women flirty and curvy, but he takes a special interest in his skinny, sassy rival, if only to keep an eye on her. And soon, he can’t take his eyes off her.

Penelope Pope knows all too well that she comes off as just one of the guys. Since she’s learned that wanting more usually leads to disappointment, Penelope’s resigned to sitting on the sidelines when it comes to love. So why does Cole make her want to get back in the game? The man is as arrogant as he is handsome. He probably sees her as nothing more than a barrier to his dream job. But when an unexpected kiss turns into a night of irresistible passion, Penelope has to figure out whether they’re just fooling around—or starting something real.  Includes a special message from the editor, as well as an excerpt from another Loveswept title.

With Someone Like You releasing just next month, I did some re-reading of the first two books in the Oxford series because I’m not ready to say goodbye to these guys. I also did the re-reading because I was slumping big time and needed something to dig me out. This book did the trick because I’ve been reading non-stop ever since. So this book follows Cole Sharpe, a freelance writer for Oxford Magazine, as he battles for a permanent position at the magazine with Penelope Pope. Penelope Pope is moving to New York from Chicago and she’s basically running away from some drama that went down back there. She wanted a fresh start and thinks that Oxford is the place for all of that. When she interviews for the Oxford position, she feels good about it and she’s pretty excited to hopefully be a part of this team. When she meets Cole, she doesn’t think he’ll see her as anything other than a friend so she immediately friend zones herself even though she is crushing big time. Pen’s experience with guys are…they friend zone her every single time. She’s a tomboy, she knows entirely too much about every sport there is and she can spout of sports stats like a freaking machine. The last guy that she dated ended up doing her dirty so she’s going to steer clear from men for the time being. She strikes up a friendship with Cole and things are going great. Even though they’re competing for the same position at Oxford, they can’t stop hanging out with each other. Cole didn’t plan on getting buddy buddy with his competition but Penelope is fun. She’s cute and he wants to pick her brain so they become friends and they plant themselves into each others lives and I just really, really enjoyed their friendship that turns into more story. Both Cole and Penelope are great characters who are great apart but better together. Lauren Layne really shines with writing characters that readers will cheer for and relate to. This was a fun contemporary romance that isn’t to be missed so if you haven’t read this book…fix that cause it’s fun!
My Rating
4.25 out of 5
Mini Review Round Up (4)I Wish You Were Mine
by Lauren Layne
Series: Oxford #2
Also in this series: I Think I Love You
Published by Random House, Loveswept on February 2, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Point of View:Alternating Third Person
Pages: 260
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add It: Goodreads
four-stars

Perfect for fans of Alice Clayton and Emma Chase, Lauren Layne’s Oxford series heats up in this story of forbidden desire as a brooding jock hoping for a comeback falls for a woman who’s strictly off-limits.

A year ago, Jackson Burke was married to the love of his life and playing quarterback for the Texas Redhawks. Now he’s retired, courtesy of the car accident that ruined his career—and single, after a nasty scandal torpedoed his marriage. Just as he’s starting to get used to his new life as a health and fitness columnist for Oxford magazine, his unpredictable ex shows up on his doorstep in Manhattan. Jackson should be thrilled. But he can’t stop thinking about the one person who’s always been there for him, the one girl he could never have: her younger sister.

Mollie Carrington can’t say no to Madison. After all, her older sister practically raised her. So when Madison begs for help in winning her ex-husband back, Mollie’s just glad she got over her own crush on Jackson ages ago—or so she thought. Because as Mollie reconnects with Jackson, she quickly forgets all her reasons to stay loyal to her sister. Tempted by Jackson’s mellow drawl and cowboy good looks, Mollie is sick and tired of coming in second place. But she can’t win if she doesn’t play the game.

I Wish You Were Mine is the second book in the Oxford Series and it’s a book that isn’t as popular as Layne’s other books but me? I loved it! I liked getting to know the new guy at Oxford and seeing him form attachments he didn’t even want to begin with. I’m not normally a sister’s ex romance kind of reader but I was a fan of both Jackson and Mollie. I thought their story was sweet the first time I read this book but I loved them just as much the second time around. Jackson Burke is a big time football player from Texas that has retired from the NFL. He was in a car accident that injured him and now he’s sidelined from the job he loved and is now working as a fitness writer for Oxford Magazine that is in New York, not Texas. He doesn’t know anyone in New York except his ex-wife’s sister, Mollie and even though they used to be close, they’re not so close anymore and Jackson is sorry about that because he misses her. Mollie Carrington is over her long ago crush on her ex-brother in law (yes, you read that right) so she can definitely catch up with him over drinks and not fall in love with him all over again. She can totally do it. Wrong. The more time they spend together, the harder they fall and…I loved them. I loved Jackson. I loved Mollie. I loved seeing them become eachothers champions and I really loved how each of them became home to the other. Their romance wasn’t an easy one, it’s another one of those friendships to lovers type of romances and I enjoy those so much. Lauren Layne hit me in my feels at every turn in this book because the romance wasn’t easy. These two were connected before and it was a messy connection but when all is said and done, you can’t help who you love and I loved that these two let go of what they should feel and went with how they really felt because *swoon* I just adored them together. This was another fabulous contemporary romance by Lauren Layne and everyone should read and fall in love with them too. 🙂
My Rating
4.25 out of 5
four-stars

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