Publisher: Berkley

Throwback Thursday: Sea Swept by Nora Roberts

Posted July 12, 2018 by Rowena in Features, Reviews | 4 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. First up? Sea Swept by Nora Roberts. Throwback Thursday: Sea Swept by Nora RobertsSea Swept
by Nora Roberts
Series: Chesapeake Bay Saga #1
Published by Penguin, Berkley on January 1, 1998
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Point of View:Alternating Third Person
Pages: 330
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add It: Goodreads
four-stars

A champion boat racer, Cameron Quinn traveled the world spending his winnings on champagne and women. But when his dying father called him home to care for Seth, a troubled young boy not unlike Cameron once was, his life changed overnight...

After years of independence, Cameron had to learn to live with his brothers again, while he struggled with cooking, cleaning, and caring for a difficult boy. Old rivalries and new resentments flared between Cameron and his brothers, but they tried to put aside their differences for Seth's sake. In the end, a social worker would decide Seth's fate, and as tough as she was beautiful, she had the power to bring the Quinns together--or tear them apart...

I used to read the hell out of Nora Roberts back in the day but not so much lately. I’m reading a lot of contemporary but not very many Roberts. I have very fond memories of this book so when I picked it up for a re-read, I was low key nervous because I wasn’t sure if I was ready to find out that Cam and Anna’s story didn’t shoot rainbows into the sky for me anymore. It didn’t take me long at all to jump right back into this story so I’m happy to report that this book is still easily readable and I’m still a fan of Nora Roberts writing style. I didn’t remember a lot of the little details of the book so reading this one again was almost like reading it for the first time. This book features Cam Quinn, the eldest of the Quinn boys coming home when disaster strikes his family. These days, Cam races his boat all over the world for money and he’s making a good living for himself doing that. He’s also living that fast life with fast women, fast cars and lots of, well, fast things. He loves his life but his way of life goes up in flames when he comes home and his father has adopted another young boy who looks strikingly like Ray Quinn to make people start to whisper about the paternity of this young boy. Ray and Stella Quinn, Cam’s adopted parents were happily married before Stella died and Seth’s age and his resemblance to the most stand up man that Cam has ever known put everything that Cam has ever known about his father and his mother and their family in a bad light. Ray makes Cam and his brothers promise to take care of their new brother. This stranger that none of the Quinn boys know but will protect with their lives because…he’s a Quinn now. Cam, Ethan, and Phillip have their work cut out for them because, in order to take care of their new brother, they all have to move home and figure things out. Enter Anna Spinelli. The social worker assigned to Seth Quinn’s case. Her job is to make sure that he will be okay living with Ray Quinn’s sons and to make sure that his living environment is a good one, a nurturing one and she’s got her doubts with three brothers who obviously haven’t lived or spent much time with young kids. They each have different lives in different cities but there’s something about each of them coming together at their father’s request to take on something that isn’t going to be a walk in the park. It’s not at all appropriate that the more time she spends with the Quinns, the more she crushes on the eldest Quinn, Cameron. I’m happy to say that this re-read lived up to my love of the Quinns, Anna and Cam and oh man, Seth. This book was just as emotional for me as the first time that I read it and I fell in love with all of the Quinns all over again. Cam and Anna’s romance was fabulous and I just adored reading this book again. Sure, there were times when I got frustrated with Cam, and even Ray in the ghostly bonding time that he had with Cam but it’s not hard to see why Nora Roberts is so popular. She can write the hell out of romances that will tug at your heart and make you fall in love with people and with places that you’ve never been to. Sea Swept starts the Chesapeake Bay series off with a bang and you will definitely fall in love with these books so I definitely recommend.
Buy the Book
AMAZON || BARNES AND NOBLE || GOOGLE BOOKS || KOBO || THE RIPPED BODICE
Final Grade
4.25 out of 5
Chesapeake Bay Saga
four-stars

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Review: The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

Posted July 6, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 8 Comments

Review: The Kiss Quotient by Helen HoangThe Kiss Quotient
by Helen Hoang
Series: The Kiss Quotient #1
Published by Penguin, Berkley on June 5, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Point of View:Alternating Third Person
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Add It: Goodreads
five-stars

A heartwarming and refreshing debut novel that proves one thing: there's not enough data in the world to predict what will make your heart tick.

Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases--a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.

It doesn't help that Stella has Asperger's and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice--with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can't afford to turn down Stella's offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan--from foreplay to more-than-missionary position...

Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but to crave all the other things he's making her feel. Soon, their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic...

It took me a really long time to read The Kiss Quotient and when I finally did, I wanted to kick myself in the tits because it was the most complete romance that I’ve read in a long time. Sure, I read and gave some 5 stars already this year but those books weren’t complete stories. Burn for Me was amazing and I adored it to pieces but the beginning was a little slow and there was so much information that it took me a while to figure things out but that wasn’t the case with The Kiss Quotient. Right from the very beginning, I was hooked. There were a lot of things that I wasn’t prepared for when we meet Stella Lane. She’s a high functioning autistic heroine and that’s a huge part of her and a big part of the story. The author does a great job of making the reader understand what a person with Aspergers goes through and lives with every day. She doesn’t bring it up and then brush it under the rug. The reader lives through Stella’s days and in her thoughts and I couldn’t help but connect with her. There was never any middle ground with her, she was either indifferent or obsessed and I found that understanding these things about Stella helped me to care about her a lot deeper than I thought I would.
“All the things that make you different make you perfect.”
My book boyfriend for this week goes straight to Michael Phan because he was everything that I hoped for and everything that I wish for in real life. I’m not going to lie and say that I wasn’t prepared to like a male escort hero as much as I did for reasons I don’t even know but Helen Hoang gave Michael a story that anybody would come to love. There’s a lot to love about Michael. He had dreams and he aspirations that he had to put on hold so that he could pick up the broken pieces of his family that his father left behind. He became the head of his family and took that position very seriously. He did whatever needed to be done to make sure that everyone he loved was safe, protected and well cared for. He put himself last at every turn and when Stella came into his life, he tried to do the same with her. I loved seeing Michael fall in love with Stella because it was slow and it was sure. He understood Stella a lot more than anyone else did and he loved every single thing about her. He was patient with her and he was careful with her and he just won me over at every turn. Here’s who I pictured as Michael Phan and I already know that it’s perfect because it’s mentioned in the book that he was a dead ringer for Daniel Henney and…*swoon* Overall, this was an amazing story about a high functioning autistic heroine and the male escort that fell in love with her. This Pretty Woman storyline worked its magic on me and I have every confidence that it will do the same to you. Give it a try, I don’t think you’ll regret it.
Final Grade
5 out of 5
Buy the Book
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Google Play
The Kiss Quotient Series
>
five-stars

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Week in Review (82)

Posted March 19, 2018 by Rowena in Books, Features | 0 Comments

First and foremost, happiest of birthdays to my nephew Luke. This little boy is such a joy to have in our family and I love him oh so much. Happy Birthday, Lukey!! What a week, what a week. It’s been a pretty busy week for my family but it was a fun week so I wasn’t too whiny about it. The week started off with my niece Meghan turning 21 so plans for a weekend getaway to Vegas are in the talks. I can’t wait. Meghan’s been busy at Nationals, playing game after game after game. Their season ended in the Elite Eight as they lost to some team, I forget their name. *shrugs* Friday night, I went to my niece’s Maleah and Makaela’s Multicultural Week show where they showcased their culture by performing Polynesian dance numbers for the following islands: Samoa, Hawaii, Tahiti and New Zealand. The dances were great and I really enjoyed the whole show. Our high school is very diverse and we saw dance performances for cultures from all over the globe. Vietnam, China, Japan, Korea, India, Africa, Philippines, Mexico, Cuba, and a whole lot of other countries were represented and overall, it was a really good show. After the Multicultural show, I went next door to the small gym where Brenna was on a cousin date with my niece Brooke. Brooke is in elementary school and her school held their Spring Jam Dance for the students and their families and the kids had a great time at that. I went to a wedding on Saturday for my co-worker and that was a lot of fun. The food was great, the dessert table was bomb as hell and my friend was a gorgeous bride. Sunday was for my book friends. I drove out to Victora Gardens (about an hour from where I live) to hang with my book friends Lori, Tracy, Rosie, Nikki, Wendy and Holly. Lots of book discussions were had and book recommendations and rants and just all over great book talk. We had great food as well. It’s always nice getting together with old friends and catching up. I love my book friends! Now, onto the books…

What I’m Currently Reading

Week in Review (82)Bayou Moon
by Ilona Andrews
Series: The Edge #2
Published by Penguin, Berkley, Ace on October 1st 2010
Genres: Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 447
Format: eBook
Source: Gifted
Add It: Goodreads

The Edge lies between worlds, on the border between the Broken, where people shop at Walmart and magic is a fairytale–and the Weird, where blueblood aristocrats rule, changelings roam, and the strength of your magic can change your destiny…

Cerise Mar and her unruly clan are cash poor but land rich, claiming a large swathe of the Mire, the Edge swamplands between the state of Louisiana and the Weird. When her parents vanish, her clan’s long-time rivals are suspect number one.

But all is not as it seems. Two nations of the Weird are waging a cold war fought by feint and espionage, and their conflict is about to spill over into the Edge—and Cerise’s life . William, a changeling soldier who left behind the politics of the Weird, has been forced back into service to track down a rival nation’s spymaster.

When William’s and Cerise’s missions lead them to cross paths, sparks fly—but they’ll have to work together if they want to succeed…and survive.

My reading to start off the week has been slow going but I do plan on jumping into this book tonight since Brenna and the rest of my family is celebrating Luke’s birthday. I’m a little salty at that, too. 🙁

What I Read

On the Edge by Ilona Andrews | 4.5 out of 5 On Hart’s Boardwalk by Samantha Young | 4 out of 5
It was a slow reading week for me because I chose to spend more time with baby Caiden since our time with him is coming to a close, faster and faster. Still, the books that I did read were good ones and I’m looking forward to digging into the next Edge book by Ilona Andrews.

What I Reviewed

Hurts to Love You by Alisha Rai | 4 out of 5 Love between Enemies by Molly E. Lee | 2.5 out of 5 A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux | 4 out of 5 for story, 1 out of 5 for ending Irresistible You by Kate Meader | 4 out of 5 Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews | 4.5 out of 5 and 5 out of 5

What I Posted

Week in Review (80) Bookish Thoughts: Santino Hassell, Sarah Lyons & Riptide Publishing, Crimson Romance and RWA Awards A Statement on Santino Hassell

What I Got

Switch Hitter by Sara Ney Bad Bachelor by Stephanie London

What I Got for Review

Hooked on You by Kate Meader The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
There you have it, my week in review. How was your week?

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Book Boyfriend of the Week: Valentin Nikolaev

Posted February 2, 2018 by Rowena in Features | 0 Comments

This week’s book boyfriend is one that I read about last year. I am a huge fan of Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changelings series. It’s my most favoritest paranormal series of all time and when Nalini announced that she was spinning the series off to focus on the Trinity, I was all in…especially since Silver Mercant was getting her story told first. What’s cool is that I went into this book planning to love the hell out of Silver but it was Valentin that stayed with me all these months. Total book boyfriend material. Book Boyfriend of the Week: Valentin NikolaevSilver Silence
by Nalini Singh
Series: Psy-Changelings #16, Psy-Changelings Trinity #1
Also in this series: Slave to Sensation
Published by Penguin, Berkley on June 13th 2017
Genres: Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 452
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Add It: Goodreads

Control. Precision. Family. These are the principles that drive Silver Mercant. At a time when the fledgling Trinity Accord seeks to unite a divided world, with Silver playing a crucial role as director of a worldwide emergency response network, wildness and chaos are the last things she needs in her life. But that's exactly what Valentin Nikolaev, alpha of the StoneWater bears, brings with him.

Valentin has never met a more fascinating woman. Though Silver is ruled by Silence--her mind clear of all emotion--Valentin senses a whisper of fire around her. That's what keeps him climbing apartment buildings to be near her. But when a shadow assassin almost succeeds in poisoning Silver, the stakes become deadly serious...and Silver finds herself in the heart of a powerful bear clan.

Her would-be assassin has no idea what their poison has unleashed...

I’m a sucker for a hero who is persistent in his pursuit of his woman…and Valentin is exactly that kind of guy. He’s a bear changeling and he was one giant softy teddy bear that I loved to death. The way that he pursued Silver and how persistent he was every time she turned him down. When Valentin realizes that Silver is his mate and we read this excerpt below, it cemented Valentin’s place on my book boyfriend list. He’s a keeper, for sure.
“Raw pain scored his insides, but the bear was in agreement with the man: as long as Silver lived, he could take the pain, take the loss that would haunt him always. He had this big body for a reason. It could take a lot of punishment. As long as she breathed, he’d survive. He’d watch over her from afar, and he’d survive because his mate was alive.”
*swoon*
Here’s who I pictured when reading all about Valentin: If you haven’t read this book and are curious about it, check out my review of this book here. It’s a good book because duh, Nalini Singh wrote it. If you haven’t read this one, you should fix that. You should also read the entire Psy-Changelings series because that’s a whole lot of goodness in one series. Don’t miss out.

Buy the Book

Silver Silence by Nalini Singh June 13th, 2017 Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Series Order

Until next time…enjoy!

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Week in Review (77)

Posted January 29, 2018 by Rowena in Books, Features | 0 Comments

This week was pretty relaxing but instead of reading a lot of books, I watched a lot of shows. I also drove out to Santa Barbara with my sisters to watch my niece and her team take on a good friend of ours from our club basketball days and her team. Meghan’s team got smashed and Lauren had a great game. Poor Vanguard. Poor Meghan. At least, she got a home cooked meal delivered to her dorm room the next day. Better luck next time, Meg! Now, onto the books…

What I’m Currently Reading

Week in Review (77)Shot on Gold
by Jaci Burton
Series: Play by Play #14
Published by Penguin, Berkley on February 13th 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley, Publisher
Add It: Goodreads

In the new Play-by-Play novel by the New York Times bestselling author of The Final Score, opposites attract when a figure skater and hockey player lace up their skates--and go for the gold...

Will "Mad Dog" Madigan is making his second trip to the Winter Games, and he couldn't be happier. Hockey is his life and playing for the U.S. team is a privilege. Then he meets U.S. figure skater Amber Sloane. She's beautiful, ambitious and driven--everything Will desires in a woman. He would love to show Amber how hot life off the ice can be.

Amber has skated her entire life, sacrificing everything in the hopes of one day winning gold. Now she's competing for the third and final time. She intends to win, and nothing's going to get in her way--until she meets Will. He's an irresistible charmer, and before long Amber is wondering if this sexy hockey player is the perfect guy to show her some moves outside the rink.

But after all the medals have been awarded, Will and Amber will have to decide if what they have together is just a fling or a real shot at true love.

I’m looking forward to digging into this book and continuing this series. I hope it’s as good as the last couple of books that I enjoyed from this series. Fingers crossed.

What I Read

Man Hands (Man Hands #1) by Sarina Bowen & Tanya Tby | DNF Brooklynaire (Brooklyn Bruisers #4) by Sarina Bowen | 4.75 out of 5
My favorite read of the week goes to Brooklynaire because that was a damn good romance. It was everything that I hoped it would be and Nate was the hero that I wanted him to be just as Becca was as great as I expected. I love the hell out of this series and this book held up that love. I hope that there will be more books for this series. I never want it to end. On the other hand, I tried to get into Man Hands without much success. I couldn’t get into it so after about a third of the book in, I called it quits. I wasn’t a fan of…anything really. The heroine cried too much, the other characters were just meh and I wasn’t all that interested in continuing so I quit. Can’t win them all, I guess.

What I Reviewed

About that Kiss by Jill Shalvis | 4 out of 5

What I Posted

Week in Review (76) Throwback Thursday (27) Book Boyfriend of the week: Mick Trewlove

What I Got

Nothing new this week. Need to focus on my review pile for the next little while.

What I Got for Review

Brooklynaire (Brooklyn Bruisers #4) by Sarina Bowen The Other Side of Lost by Jessi Kirby
There you have it, my week in review. How was your week?

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