Genre: Romance

Buddy Review: The Matchmaker’s Playbook by Rachel van Dyken

Posted December 28, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Buddy Review: The Matchmaker’s Playbook by Rachel van DykenThe Matchmaker's Playbook by Rachel Van Dyken
Series: Wingmen Inc. Series #1
Published by Indie Published, Skyscape on April 5th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Pages: 304
Format: eBook
Source: Bought
Goodreads

Wingman rule number one: don’t fall for a client.

After a career-ending accident, former NFL recruit Ian Hunter is back on campus—and he’s ready to get his new game on. As one of the masterminds behind Wingmen, Inc., a successful and secretive word-of-mouth dating service, he’s putting his extensive skills with women to work for the lovelorn. But when Blake Olson requests the services of Wingmen, Inc., Ian may have landed his most hopeless client yet.

From her frumpy athletic gear to her unfortunate choice of footwear, Blake is going to need a miracle if she wants to land her crush. At least with a professional matchmaker by her side she has a fighting chance. Ian knows that his advice and a makeover can turn Blake into another successful match. But as Blake begins the transformation from hot mess to smokin’ hot, Ian realizes he’s in danger of breaking his cardinal rule.…

Ian Hunter is half of the partnership behind Wingman, Inc. – a campus-based matchmaking service for women. Ian has business rules that he follows from preventing his female clients from falling for him. But when his best friend’s roommate hires him to win over a guy, none of his rules help him when he’s the one who starts to fall…

Ames: All right Wena! It’s almost the end of the year and we managed to review a book every month! Go us!

Ok…what did you think of the Matchmaker’s Playbook? I have to say, this one wasn’t a winner in my book.

Rowena: I’m so glad that we made an effort to read at least one book each month together and then buddy review it. Have we ever gone an entire year actually following through on this? I can’t remember. Anyway, yes, go us!

I didn’t exactly hate the book because even though I wasn’t the biggest fan of how shallow and conceited Ian was, the story itself was compelling and once I buckled down to read it, I just kept right on reading until I was done. I love NA romances and I don’t see that changing but I didn’t exactly love this book. Sure, I was interested in what was happening in the story but I didn’t exactly love the hero of this book and that almost never happens. It’s going to be interesting to see Ian come to life in the movie being produced by Passionflix.

What did you think?

Ames: I agree that Ian was shallow and conceited. And I had a big problem with how he treated women. I thought he was a douche to be honest. LOL The only redeeming thing about this book in my opinion was Blake’s character. She was a tomboy through and through and I liked that she had no clue how to be feminine. I almost dnf’d this book about 25% of the way in but I was curious to see if Ian’s character improved or changed and I wanted to see how things played out for Blake.

This was only the second Rachel Van Dyken book I’ve ever read and it was a disappointed compared to Fractured (which I LOVED). I am not giving up on this author but I’m going to be careful about which book of hers I’m reading.

It would have been nice to have a few scenes from Blake’s POV.

Rowena: The way that he treated women, the way that he thought women were dumb at the same time claiming to love ALL women. He really did come off as being a douche. Blake was probably the only thing that I liked about this book. Gaby yelled too much and so did Lex. I thought it was strange that they yelled all the freaking time. I wanted to tell them to shut up more than once.

What was also pretty interesting was in my copy of the book, I bought the interaction copy, I guess because every so often, there were little snippets of gif like videos (I don’t even know how to explain it) with Ian, Blake and of course there were little cameos from the author, Rachel van Dyken. Whatever was happening in the book was brought to life through those little snippets. At first, it threw me but I got used to it and I think that, more than anything, was what kept my interest but the guy cast in the book looks nothing like Nick Bateman, who was cast to play Ian in the Passionflix movie.

Overall, the book was just meh. I was disappointed that I didn’t really see Ian’s character grow. He was still the same selfish, shallow and super conceited douche canoe at the end as he was in the beginning. That was disappointing. I think I’d give it a 3 out of 5. What about you?

Ames: I am going to agree with you. But 2.75 out of 5. I really can’t get past Ian’s character. Just thinking about how he thought of his clients…*shudder*.

That’s too bad our final book of the year ended up being a dud, huh?

Final Grades


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Ames: 2.75 out of 5
Rowena: 3 out of 5

Wingmen Inc. Series


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Buddy Review: Hooking Up by Helena Hunting

Posted December 5, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 3 Comments

Buddy Review: Hooking Up by Helena HuntingHooking Up by Helena Hunting
Published by Macmillan, Swerve on November 7th, 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 444
Format: eBook
Source: Gifted
Amazon|Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Amalie Whitfield is the picture of a blushing bride during her wedding reception–but for all the wrong reasons. Instead of proclaiming his undying love, her husband can be heard, by Amalie and their guests, getting off with someone else. She has every reason to freak out, and in a moment of insanity, she throws herself at the first hot-blooded male she sees. But he’s not interested in becoming her revenge screw.

Mortified and desperate to escape the post-wedding drama, Amalie decides to go on her honeymoon alone, only to find the man who rejected her also heading to the same tiny island for work. But this time he isn’t holding back. She should know better than to sleep with someone she knows, but she can’t seem to resist him.

They might agree that what happens on the island should stay on the island, but neither one can deny that their attraction is more than just physical.

Filled with hilariously scandalous situations and enough sexual chemistry to power an airplane from New York City to the South Pacific, Hooking Up is the next standalone, laugh-out-loud romantic comedy from Helena Hunting, the New York Times bestselling author of the Pucked series and Shacking Up.

Hooking Up is the second book in Helena Hunting’s Shacking Up series and it features Bancroft’s older brother, Lexington and Ruby’s best friend, Amalie.

Amalie is engaged to Bancroft and Lexington’s cousin, Armstrong and when she finds out what a piece of shit he is, Amelie goes on their honeymoon without him and runs into Lexington…a guy that keeps showing up everywhere she goes. He also has a tendency of taking care of her and Amelie is attracted big time to Lex but it’s inappropriate and she needs to keep him at arms length while she untangles herself from his cousin.

Lexington saw and wanted Amie first but his cousin slid into her DM’s when he wasn’t looking and Lex knows that Armstrong doesn’t deserve her and the day of their wedding, Armstrong proves it big time. Amie’s been through so much and when they meet up on her way to her honeymoon, Lex tries to be the friend she desperately needs only they end up becoming so much more…

Rowena: Gah, I’m so glad that you chose this book for review. I enjoyed it so much. There was a scene in the beginning of the book that I wasn’t too wild about but aside from that, I really enjoyed the back and forth between Lex and Amie. They were great characters a part from each other and I really enjoyed seeing them fall in love with each other. What a fun read this turned out to be.

What did you think, Ames?

Ames: I’m so glad you liked this book Wena! I’ve been a fan of Helena Hunting for a while now and I’m just tickled pink that you liked this book.

We first meet Amelie in Shacking Up and already in that book you know Armstrong is wrong for her. So although it was painful for her to find out how wrong he was for her, it definitely led to some personal growth for her because she was letting some bad choices from her past dictate her future…which also led to a bad choice (Armstrong). And I loved Lex. Just straight up loved him. I could see that his past with Armstrong would bite him in the ass when it came to Amie but it wasn’t dragged out and made into this whole big thing, so I really appreciated that. And I liked that they said they would be friends with benefits and stuck to it. Like she left. She hated to leave, but she left. She took some time for herself and I liked that.

Rowena: I thought Lex and Amie had a grown folks kind of romance and I was pleasantly surprised with it. I tried reading Pucked a while ago and couldn’t get into it so I was expecting more of the same with this one but I didn’t have the same reading experience. I enjoyed this one a lot more.

Lex was a great hero. Their first meeting was such a cute one and I was so bummed that Lex was caught slipping and Amie slipped through his fingers. Seeing him at Armstrong and Amie’s wedding and the shenanigans he got into there had me laughing and then raising my eyebrows and then laughing all over again. This was such a fun book!

Amie was a solid heroine too. The back and forth thing she had going with Lex was kind of annoying but more than anything, I understood it. She felt that considering everything she was wrapped up in, a relationship with Lex was inappropriate and I liked seeing her figure her shit out while lusting after Lex.

Their romance was fun, it was sexy and I really need to go back and read Bancroft and Ruby’s book. But dude, what is with all of the names in this series? Armstrong? Bancroft? Lexington? Those are all last names. Haha.

Ames: The Pucked series humor is a bit more…I don’t want to say raunchy but it is (and I love it). LOL So I know that series isn’t for everyone.

This romance was fun and sexy. Man did I ever want to go away to a tropical location. Especially now that its freaking cold here.

All right. I really enjoyed this book so I’m finding it difficult to say anything more. It’s so much easier to go on and on with books we don’t enjoy. Hooking Up gets a B+ from me. You?

Rowena: Same. It was a great romance with great characters. The writing style was great and the humor really shined for me so there isn’t much more to say that isn’t redundant. I give this book a 4.25 out of 5. That’s the same as a B+.

Final Ratings

Ames: B+
Rowena: 4.25 out of 5

Shacking Up Series

four-stars


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Buddy Review: Duke of My Heart by Kelly Bowen

Posted September 27, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Buddy Review: Duke of My Heart by Kelly BowenDuke of My Heart (Season for Scandal, #1) by Kelly Bowen
Series: Season for Scandal, #1
Published by Hachette, Forever on January 26th 2016
Genres: Historical, Romance
Pages: 368
Format: eBook
Source: Bought
Goodreads

Scandal can be handled...

Captain Maximus Harcourt, the unconventional tenth Duke of Alderidge, can deal with tropical storms, raging seas, and the fiercest of pirates. But he's returned home from his latest voyage to find a naked earl—quite inconveniently deceased—tied to his missing sister's bed. And he has only one place to turn. Now he's at the mercy of the captivating Miss Ivory Moore of Chegarre & Associates, known throughout London for smoothing over the most dire of scandals.

Miss Moore treats the crisis as though it were no more serious than a cup of spilt tea on an expensive rug. As though this sort of thing happened on the job every day. Max has never in all his life met a woman with such nerve. Her dark eyes are too wide, her mouth is too full, her cheekbones too sharp. Yet together, she's somehow...flawless. It's just like his love for her, imperfect, unexpected—yet absolutely true.

Rowena: September’s buddy review book went to Duke of My Heart (Season for Scandal #1) by Kelly Bowen and it was a book that I had high hopes for. You see, our heroine, Ivory Moore, is the Olivia Pope of her time.

She works for Chegarre & Associates and they specialize in making your scandals go away. They kill scandals and rumors and plant stories to put out there instead and everyone who needs a scandal killed, hire her, because she’s the best at what she does. Ivory’s latest case brings Maximus Harcourt, the Duke of Alderidge into her life. He also brings a mystery surrounding the disappearance of his sister and a bond that she wasn’t expecting or ready for.

Max has come home to find his sister gone, his Aunt panicking and a strange but beautiful woman acting like she’s in charge. To say that he’s a bit panicked himself, is putting things mildly but for someone who has never had anyone in charge of him, he’s hesitant to give up the control that his family needs him to give up. His sister needs him but he has to give over the finding of her to a stranger? Not bloody likely…though the farther his sister seems out of reach, the more he finds himself leaning on the stranger that is starting to become so much more than a stranger.

Alright, Ames….what are your immediate thoughts on this book? Did you like or not like it?

Ames: Great recap Wena!

Okay, to be completely honest, I enjoyed the book but wasn’t blown away by it. It didn’t ‘grab’ me right off the hop and it took to about 25% into the story before I was like ‘I can work with this.’ ​I don’t know if it was the book or the fact that I’ve been on a contemporary binge lately so just wasn’t feeling a historical? I am a big fan of Scandal so I liked that Ivory was a fixer.

Wow. That was rambling. LOL And you Wena, what did you think?

Rowena: Same. The book was really slow to pick up for me and because of that, I didn’t connect with either Ivory or Max for a long time. Not to mention, Lady Beatrice. So in the end, while I did enjoy it, I didn’t love it.

As far as romance goes, the chemistry between Ivory and Max was completely believable. The attraction, the interest, and all of that was done well but for some reason, I couldn’t completely connect with the characters or the book. I was a bit bored in the beginning which is weird, considering the book literally starts with a bang. A really big bang that goes south.

I feel like I’m rambling too but I can’t help it. Like you, the book didn’t grab me right from the jump and because I didn’t absolutely love everything that was going on, I kept reading just so that I can finish. Had I not been reading this book for this review, I probably would have DNF’d it.

Ames: I am just going to chalk this one up to me not being in the mood for a historical. I did like the relationship that developed between Ivory and Max. Max was a captain and was used to men following his orders. So when he deals with Ivory, who is also used to giving orders and not taking them, it was fun to see how he was the one who had to learn how to bend and make himself vulnerable to someone else for a change. Ivory knew things that he didn’t know and he had to trust her judgement.

Another thing I liked about Ivory was how different people were loyal to her. And she could take care of herself. She was a good strong heroine. I am usually all about heroes in my romances but in this book I was all about the heroine. She was good stuff!

Rowena: Haha, yes…I was half expecting Max to bend the knee to Ivory. I enjoyed getting to know them and I should probably chalk this one up to not being in the mood for historicals but that can’t be the case since I was reading hella Julie Garwood historicals at the same time. So…I’m thinking it wasn’t wasn’t that. Oh well, sometimes it just happens like that for me. I enjoyed this book but I didn’t love it.

I did enjoy that Ivory took care of others and in turn, they took care of her. They all lived by a code, those street workers and yet they all respected and were respected by Ivory. That was great.

Who are the other books about? I’m sure Alex and Miss DeVries will get a book, huh? Do you have plans to read the other books?

Ames: LMAO I love how you made a GoT reference in our review. 😛

I do have plans to read the rest of the series. I liked the characters Kelly Bowen brought to life in this story.

All right Wena, I’m going to grade this book a B-. Slow to start but the characters were great and the story did pick up.

Rowena: I give it a C (3 out of 5) because while it ended up being good, the slow beginning and my lukewarm connection to the story and characters just didn’t tip this one over into the B category.

Final Grades:

Ames: 4 out of 5
Rowena: 3 out of 5

We’re almost done with the year, and we’ve done a buddy review every single month. Woot! I don’t think that has ever happened. Anyway, we’ll be reading On a Tuesday by Whitney G. for next month’s buddy review so if anyone is interested in reading along with us, feel free. Everyone is welcome because the more the merrier!

Happy reading everyone!


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