Genre: Contemporary

Eye Candy Friday: Kennedy Dawson from Huge Deal by Lauren Layne

Posted February 15, 2019 by Rowena in Books, Features | 8 Comments

Eye Candy Friday is all about the heroes that I’m loving and wanting to spotlight right now. Sometimes I’ll do full-on gush fest posts on why I love these guys, sometimes I’ll post pictures of what I think these guys look like and that’s it but if they’re featured here, the one thing that will be constant is I loved the hell out of these guys and want everyone to know. Thanks for coming along for the ride.

Eye Candy Friday: Kennedy Dawson from Huge Deal by Lauren LayneHuge Deal
by Lauren Layne
Series: 21 Wall Street #3
Published by Amazon, Montlake Romance on February 12, 2019
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Point of View:Alternating Third Person
Pages: 259
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add It: Goodreads
five-stars
Reading Challenges:2019 GoodReads Challenge

Even for a top-gun banker, temptation this hot is quite a gamble, in a sexy Wall Street romp from New York Times bestselling author Lauren Layne.

An alpha among the wolves of Wall Street, Kennedy Dawson rose to the top of the pack by striking the right contracts at the right times. But there’s one deal that’s been giving him a run for his money—a pact to never again let his assistant, Kate, get under his skin. She may be smart, gorgeous, and sharp as a whip, but she’s definitely off-limits.

Kate Henley isn’t a banker, but she knows a thing or two about risk management—specifically, about managing her attraction to her smolderingly sexy boss. She already fell once, and Kennedy showed no sign of paying a return on her investment. So when Kennedy’s brother starts pursuing her, Kate figures she has the best of both worlds. Jack is charming, rich, very attentive, and the spitting image of his older brother.

It’s also making Kennedy think twice. But to win Kate’s heart, he’ll have to broker the deal of a lifetime…and prove he’s worth the risk.

Today’s boyfriend is Kennedy Dawson from Huge Deal by Lauren Layne. Kennedy is the hero of the third book in Layne’s 21 Wall Street series and the book came out this week and I ate that shit up in one sitting because…I loved this guy. So, so much.
Hero Casting
This is the perfect Kennedy Dawson, IMO. I pictured this guy the entire time that I was reading and loving Kennedy in his book. He’s got the looks, the chin and just the rich boy air that I imagined Kennedy having. If you want to know why I loved Kennedy, you should read his book because he’s bomb as hell.

Buy the Book
AMAZON || BARNES & NOBLE || GOOGLE BOOKS
21 Wall Street Series

Have you read Huge Deal by Lauren Layne yet? If so, did you love Kennedy as much as I did? Did you love Jealous Kennedy even more?

five-stars

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Buddy Review: The Assist by Rebecca Jenshak

Posted February 14, 2019 by Rowena in Books, Reviews | 0 Comments

Buddy Review: The Assist by Rebecca JenshakThe Assist
by Rebecca Jenshak
Series: Smart Jocks #1
Published by Rebecca Jenshak on November 5, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Point of View:Alternating First Person
Pages: 270
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Add It: Goodreads
three-stars
Reading Challenges:2019 GoodReads Challenge

You know those stories where the smart girl tutors the dumb jock? This isn't it.

Blair What's the probability of insulting the one guy on campus I need to help me pass statistics? If I knew, I wouldn't be standing in front of Wes Reynolds begging him to tutor me.

Basketball player, sexy, arrogant, always sleeping through class... these are the things I knew about him. What I didn't know is that he is a seriously smart jock.

Wes What's the best way to get rid of the peppy and unrelenting girl that keeps asking me to tutor her? If I knew, I wouldn't be staring at her tan legs and attempting to teach her statistics.

Sorority girl, fine as f**k, determined, ball buster... these are the things I knew about her. What I didn't know is that she is all the things I didn't realize I wanted or needed.

Or that one semester with her would change everything.

The Assist is the first book in the Smart Jock’s series by Rebecca Jenshak. The Smart Jocks series is a set of New Adult romances that feature really smart jocks from Valley University in Arizona and the women they fall madly in love with. First up is Wes Reynolds, the starting point guard for the Valley University’s Men’s Basketball team and the girl from his statistics class, Blair Olson. Blair needs to get an A in her statistics class but after receiving a bad grade on her first test, she knows that she needs help. When she comes across Wes Reynolds grade, she fumbles her way into getting him to tutor her. Wes is not a fan of her assumption that just because he’s a jock, he couldn’t possibly have passed the test without help but it becomes fun seeing her genuinely sorry for her assumptions and before he knows what is what, he’s helping her with her classwork. Rowena: Now, I will admit that I was really hyped for this book because it featured a basketball hero. I’m from L.A. and L.A. is a basketball town so for me, this romance appealed to my inner basketball-loving heart. I really wish there were more basketball romances out there but I’ll take what I can get and while I really enjoyed the basketball aspect of this romance, there was something missing to make me completely love it. What did you think, Ames? Ames: I have to agree with you – I liked seeing basketball instead of hockey or football being the featured sport in this NA novel. And I was looking forward to the switch up of having a nerdy jock be the one to tutor someone. And this book had some promise but something just didn’t click for me. I liked Wes but Blair’s character was hard for me to grasp. Rowena: Yeah, I had trouble with Blair’s character as well. I was really mad at David for his shenanigans and I guess I was a bit disappointed that Blair let Wes save her from that. I wish she would have saved herself, stood up for herself and really let him have it. She didn’t do anything about anything involving him, Wes did and that bummed me out. She was so quick to help everyone else but she wouldn’t even help herself. There were also chunks of the book that moved slow. Like, I knew that what we were reading was leading somewhere but I struggled with staying in the story. It was just too easy for me to put the book down and do other things. I will say that I enjoyed the bromance between Wes and Z. I thought that was great. They genuinely cared for each other and when Z tells Wes that he didn’t care about anything but seeing if his friend was okay, I was super happy. I thought Wes handled his big hurdle so badly but I understood it and I got where he was coming from, I just wish that like Blair, he would have stepped up and shown the heart that he talked so much about with Blair in the beginning. I thought that whole thing was stupid. You don’t quit on your team because you’re hurt. You don’t stop being part of a team because you can’t play anymore. You find other ways to help your team and the way that he didn’t get in trouble for ditching games and practices? I thought that was completely dumb. Being around a lot of college athletes, who have been hurt with season-ending injuries, I just don’t see someone completely checking out the way that Wes did. That was another thing that messed with my enjoyment of the book. There were no consequences for Wes’ actions and that annoyed me. There were no consequences from his coach, no consequences from his teammates and that just didn’t make sense. Anyway, so Joel is getting his story next and I’m mighty curious about who his heroine is going to be. Do you think it’s someone new or…Gabby? I’m low key hoping it’s Gabby and I’m also wondering if Z is going to get a book now that he’s no longer a student at Valley University. Hmm. Are you planning on reading the rest of the books? Ames: Oh yes! That whole thing with David was so…such a let down! Especially in this day and age, for someone to so willingly remain a victim? And that website? If people knew about it how come it wasn’t reported before? She really should have stood up for herself. I felt like all the extra work she was doing for him was just swept under the rug too. I mean, I can understand why someone wouldn’t say something but this is fiction and this would have been a great opportunity to show some strength in a character instead of relying on a guy to confront that douche. I feel like there was a lot of telling with this book and not a lot of showing. So that’s where I felt a disconnect with the story. I liked the friendship Wes had with his roommates and especially Z as well. But like you said, the way he disconnected after his injury was something that true teammates and friends would have confronted him about. They would have dragged his ass to the gym and games. They wouldn’t have let him stay in his funk as long as they did. See Z had a moment when he looked at Gabby so that’s who I see pairing up in a subsequent book. And I would read Z’s book. I think he’s an interesting character. Especially as he goes pro. I’m not really interested in Joel’s story though. All right. This was Jenshak’s debut book and although there were some issues with it, overall it was ok. I’m giving it a 3 out of 5. What about you? Rowena: I did see the moment you’re talking about, I just didn’t think Z would be getting a book since he’s not going to be going to the college anymore. Maybe I’m wrong though. Maybe Joel’s girl will be the girl that he tutors in Spanish. I’d like to read Joel’s book. I liked the way that he stepped up and went to his Dad to try to help Blair out with the whole website thing. That showed promise for me. But yeah, as far as this is concerned. There was a lot of promise and I enjoyed the friendships but overall, it was just an okay reading experience for me too.
Final Grades
Ames: 3 out of 5 Rowena: 3 out of 5
three-stars

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The Wednesday Post (5)

Posted January 30, 2019 by Rowena in Books, Features | 4 Comments

So I’ve been playing around with things that I want to do on this blog and I’ve been wanting to do a mid-week check in so that I can chat about the books that I’m reading that week. What’s working for me and what’s not but I also want to keep a running list of books that I cannot wait to get my greedy little hands on. I decided that I’m going to do a mashup of the Can’t Wait Wednesday and WWW Wednesday posts here on my blog. Can’t Wait Wednesday is hosted by Tessa over at Wishful Endings and it was based on Waiting on Wednesday that was hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme that is hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.
WWW Wednesday
It’s been a pretty tame reading week so far but if I’m to make my numbers, I really need to challenge myself to get some reading done so here’s where I’m at so far this week.

What did you recently finish reading?

Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss by Kasie West
I finished this book the other day and thought it was pretty cute though a bit slow at times. I think this is the first time that I’ve felt a bit bored with a Kasie West, it surprised me.

What are you currently reading?

The Scoundrel in Her Bed (Sins of All Season #3) by Lorraine Heath
I’m reading Finn and Lady Lavinia’s book right now and it’s just as great as I knew it would be. Lorraine Heath never steers me wrong. She’s one of my keeper authors for a reason. She’s damn good at her job.

What do you think you’ll read next?

Devil’s Daughter (The Ravenels #5) by Lisa Kleypas
I got an eARC of this one last week and I’ve been super excited about that because I don’t do ARCs anymore and I didn’t think there were going to be any eARCs since Avon has been pretty choosey about Lisa Kleypas releases but I’m thrilled to have this one to read next. I can’t wait!
Can’t Wait Wednesday
The Wednesday Post (5)Then Came You
by Kate Meader
Series: Laws of Attraction #3
Published by Random House, Loveswept on May 7, 2019
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Point of View:Alternating First Person
Format: eBook
Add It: Goodreads

In the courtroom, they’re rivals. In the bedroom, they’re . . . divorced. But could the road trip from hell lead to a second chance at love?

Aubrey Gates is the hottest divorce lawyer in Chicago, a barb-tongued stiletto with legs that go on for miles. When her cool gray eyes meet mine across the battlefield, I want her like I’ve never wanted anyone or anything. Then I remember who she is: the woman who brought me to my knees. The woman who destroyed my faith in relationships.

The woman I used to call . . . wife.

And she needs a favor from me, Grant Lincoln.

It seems my ex forgot to mention the demise of our marriage to her dear old grammie, and now we’re both expected to attend her ninetieth birthday party. In Boston. And because it isn’t already awkward enough, Aubrey and I are driving there together from Chicago. That’s more than a thousand miles of tension, heartbreak, and barely concealed lust.

A little piece of paper might say we’re over, but this road trip is the true test. I intend to get my wife back . . . and I won’t stop until “I do.”

We’ve been teased with Grant and Aubrey’s relationship since book 1 of this series. I cannot wait to finally see all the chemistry that sizzles between these two front and center. I just know it’s going to be good.
So, what are you reading this week? Anything good? Anything that you want to rant about? Are you looking forward to Then Came You? What other books are you looking forward to releasing this year?

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The Wednesday Post (4)

Posted January 23, 2019 by Rowena in Books, Features | 10 Comments

So I’ve been playing around with things that I want to do on this blog and I’ve been wanting to do a mid-week check in so that I can chat about the books that I’m reading that week. What’s working for me and what’s not but I also want to keep a running list of books that I cannot wait to get my greedy little hands on. I decided that I’m going to do a mashup of the Can’t Wait Wednesday and WWW Wednesday posts here on my blog. Can’t Wait Wednesday is hosted by Tessa over at Wishful Endings and it was based on Waiting on Wednesday that was hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme that is hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. Now…on to the books.
WWW Wednesday

What did you recently finish reading?

One and Only (Bridesmaids Behaving Badly #1) by Jenny Holiday
Oh man, this was such a cute book. I loved seeing Cameron and Jane fall in love. Jenny Holiday is a new to me author that I discovered after seeing Nick of The Infinite Limits of Love review the first couple of books in this series. I just knew that I would enjoy this series and I wasn’t wrong. Nick never steers me wrong.

What are you currently reading?

It Takes Two (Bridesmaids Behaving Badly #2) by Jenny Holiday
I’m finishing up this book and I’m loving it more than I loved One and Only. Noah and Wendy’s story is hitting me all up in my feels. I just adore their bickering and my heart hurts for Wendy but also for Noah after he realizes the truth about prom night. Holy cow, Jenny Holiday is the bomb!

What do you think you’ll read next?

Merrily Ever After (Bridesmaids Behaving Badly #2.5) by Jenny Holiday
Of course I’ll be jumping right into this book right after I finish It Takes Two. How can I not? Crazy Bridezilla Elise? She needs her turn to shine and I’m so here for it!
Can’t Wait Wednesday
The Wednesday Post (4)Huge Deal
by Lauren Layne
Series: 21 Wall Street #3
Published by Amazon, Montlake Romance on February 12, 2019
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Point of View:Alternating Third Person
Format: eBook
Add It: Goodreads

Even for a top-gun banker, temptation this hot is quite a gamble, in a sexy Wall Street romp from New York Times bestselling author Lauren Layne.

An alpha among the wolves of Wall Street, Kennedy Dawson rose to the top of the pack by striking the right contracts at the right times. But there’s one deal that’s been giving him a run for his money—a pact to never again let his assistant, Kate, get under his skin. She may be smart, gorgeous, and sharp as a whip, but she’s definitely off-limits.

Kate Henley isn’t a banker, but she knows a thing or two about risk management—specifically, about managing her attraction to her smolderingly sexy boss. She already fell once, and Kennedy showed no sign of paying a return on her investment. So when Kennedy’s brother starts pursuing her, Kate figures she has the best of both worlds. Jack is charming, rich, very attentive, and the spitting image of his older brother.

It’s also making Kennedy think twice. But to win Kate’s heart, he’ll have to broker the deal of a lifetime…and prove he’s worth the risk.

I’m looking forward to a lot of books. I’m a book nerd, how can I not be? But for some reason, I’m looking forward to this book’s release the most. This series really snuck up on me. I was expecting to enjoy it, but I wasn’t expecting to love it as much or hell, even more than the Oxford series or even the Sex, Love, and Stiletto’s series. But man, the amount of pins and needles that I’m sitting on waiting for this book to come out is ridiculous. I cannot wait for Kennedy and Kate’s book. I need it more than I need anything else. Gah, I can’t wait! January needs to hurry up and be done so that we can get to February 12th. Once midnight strikes on February 12th, I’m reading this book.
So, what are you reading this week? Anything good? Anything that you want to rant about? Are you looking forward to Huge Deal by Lauren Layne? What other books are you looking forward to releasing this year?

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Buddy Review: Right Where I Want You by Jessica Hawkins

Posted January 22, 2019 by Rowena in Books, Reviews | 2 Comments

Buddy Review: Right Where I Want You by Jessica HawkinsRight Where I Want You
by Jessica Hawkins
Published by Indie Published, 518 Books Inc on December 28, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Point of View:Alternating First Person
Pages: 398
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add It: Goodreads
four-stars

There's a thin line between love and hate . . . and it cuts right through the middle of their office.

Bad boys? They run right over good girls like Georgina Keller. After a confidence-shattering breakup, she's determined not to let anyone at her new workplace push her around--least of all the brooding creative director, a "bad boy of publishing" who's made it clear she's enemy #1.

Sebastian Quinn's taste for fast cars, late nights, and beautiful women may have gotten him to the top of a leading New York magazine, but the reputation that made him is suddenly threatening to end his career.

Georgina can help Modern Man shed its bad reputation, but in order to do that, she'll have to start at the top--and no amount of rakish charm or inconvenient attraction will distract her.

Because if Sebastian gets her right where he wants her, it means she's going down.

It’s a brand spanking new year, which means more buddy reviews together with my favorite book peeps. Ames and I are going for 12 buddy reviews this year, to keep our long-standing buddy reads going. Right, Ames? First up on our review docket is Right Where I Want You by Jessica Hawkins. Georgina Keller is too nice, at least according to her best friend Luciano. After a disastrous relationship ends, Georgina realizes that to keep the peace with her ex-boyfriend, she became a bit of a pushover and is trying to become a stronger person, someone who says no and stands up for herself and those around her. She doesn’t have a problem being firm at work but outside of work? Not so much. When she meets Sebastian Quinn, things get turned all upside down. Sebastian Quinn has had a very tumultuous year. He went from being at the top of his game in his career as Creative Editor of Modern Men magazine to barely holding things together now. After being included in a not so nice article that was published and put the reputation of the magazine at risk, Sebastian comes to work to find out that someone has been brought in to fix the magazine and if he doesn’t shape up, he’ll be shipped out. Georgina and Sebastian battle at every turn but an attraction simmers below the surface with each turn and before they know what’s what, love is definitely in the air. Rowena: This is the first book that I’ve ever read by Jessica Hawkins and I’m happy to report that it will definitely not be my last. I enjoyed this one. What were your initial thoughts, Ames? Ames: I’m torn. I don’t know if it was my mood or if it was the book, but I just couldn’t get into this one. The writing was fine and I’ll definitely give this author another try, but I honestly couldn’t connect to the characters. I feel bad. It seriously had everything going for it though – taboo office-romance, enemies to lovers, a freaking DOG character that was fully fleshed out and not just a prop. All checks in the positive column…and yet I couldn’t get into it. But I did like Sebastian’s friend and co-worker, Justin. LOL I wish we had seen more of Georgina’s work at the magazine. I thought that was interesting but we didn’t get any depth. Rowena: Oh wow, you didn’t connect with the story or the characters? I enjoyed both George and Sebastian. I would have liked to get more from their lives outside of work. Like, it would have been fun to get more scenes with Luciano or even to get a scene or two with George and her family. I also would have liked to see more in-depth scenes with Sebastian and his friends and family. I felt like the entire book was all them, all the time but overall, I liked them so I wasn’t too mad about it. I agree about Justin and the dogs though. They were great additions to this story. Maybe it was a mood thing for you. I thought the writing was easy to fall into and though this is probably not going to be a favorite of mine for the year, it was still a solid romance. Ames: I feel you on the wanting more aspect of things. I feel like we got a glimpse of something happening and then we were moved onto the next scene. Honestly though, I think it just came down to Georgina and her character at the beginning of the book – I did not like how much of a doormat she was. Over coffee! First impressions you know. However Georgina’s character did improve but the damage had already been done in my mind. This book wasn’t bad, but it just wasn’t for me. I also felt like the sexism at the magazine wasn’t really tackled, or if it was it happened off page so we didn’t see if the guys were any better. Rowena: Yeah, you’re right about the sexism at the magazine. I wish we had gotten so much more than we did get. It would have been nice to see it all with our own eyes instead of taking Georgina’s word for it. I wish that the book wasn’t so focused on Georgina and Sebastian alone but like I said, I still thought it was a solid read. I enjoyed what we did get and even though I was left wanting more, this book is still a solid 4 out of 5 from me. What about you? Ames: This was a solid read so I agree with you there. I’m going to chalk this up to my mood. I’m going to give this one 3.5 out of 5.
Final Grades
Ames: 3.5 out of 5 Rowena: 4 out of 5
four-stars

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