Publisher: Indie Published

Eye Candy Friday: Dean Walker from Getting Played by Emma Chase

Posted October 25, 2019 by Rowena in Books, Features | 2 Comments

Eye Candy Friday is all about the heroes and heroines 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 they 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 them and want everyone to know. Thanks for coming along for the ride.

Today’s eye candy is Dean Walker from Emma Chase’s Getting Played. I listened to the audiobook and drooled my way through his entire book. He was everything that I hoped he’d be from the first book and maybe, even more. I loved the way that he fell in with Lainie. The way that the minute he decided he was all in, he didn’t waver from that decision…and he didn’t decide to be a part of his baby’s life. He decided to take on Lainie, Lainie’s son Jason and their new baby. He wanted them all and I loved how hard he tried to prove his love for them without actually saying the words. He tried to show them by his actions that they were it for him and I was here for all of that. He won me over so completely that it’s days later and I’m still thinking about him. He’s one of the good ones and that’s the main reason he’s this week’s Eye Candy Friday.

Book Details

Getting Played by Emma Chase
Series: Getting Some #2
Contemporary, Romance | Released on June 11, 2019

Getting Some Series

Getting Schooled
Getting Played

Have you read Getting Played? Did you love Dean Walker as much as I did? Who is your favorite character this week?

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The Weekly Recap (137)

Posted August 5, 2019 by Rowena in Books | 6 Comments

Hey everyone! Sorry I disappeared for a couple of weeks. I don’t have an excuse, I was just being lazy and trying (unsuccessfully) to catch up on my review pile. I did read some but not much. Brenna started her first job and she hates it but is trying to stick it out. Me, on the other hand, got a promotion! Well, I was approached about the promotion and I accepted it. I haven’t transitioned into the position yet but that should be changing in the next week or so. I’m pretty stoked about it because the position isn’t something that I’m completely ignorant about, I know how to do the job and I know it’ll be more intense than what I do now but I’m ready for a change and a pay raise, lol.

Now, onto the books…

What I’m Currently Reading
The Weekly Recap (137)The Kingpin of Camelot by Cassandra Gannon
Series: A Kinda Fairytale #3
Published by Indie Published, Star Turtle Publishing on July 31, 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Romance
Point of View: Third Person
Pages: 576
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Summer Reading Challenge

The Queen: Guinevere must save Camelot. Ever since Arthur died, the evil Scarecrow has been trying to marry her and gain the crown. If she and her daughter are going to survive his mad schemes, Gwen needs to find Merlyn’s wand. Fast. Unfortunately, the only man strong enough to help her on her quest is Kingpin Midas, a flashy, uneducated mobster dealing with a curse. Gwen is a logical, rational woman, though, and she can draft one hell of a contract. She’s pretty sure she can come up with an offer not even the kingdom’s greatest villain can refuse.

The Kingpin: Anything Midas touches turns to gold. Literally. The curse has helped him to rule Camelot’s underworld with an iron fist. He has more money and more power than anyone else in the kingdom. He’s convinced there’s nothing he can’t buy. One look at Gwen and Midas knows that he’s about to make his most brilliant purchase, yet. He’s about to own the one woman in the world he would give anything to possess. All he has to do to claim her is somehow win a war against the smartest man in Camelot, hide his growing feelings from Gwen, deal with his overprotective bodyguard’s paranoia about the queen’s hidden motivations, and adjust to a five year old demanding bedtime stories from a gangster. Simple, right?

The Contract: Gwen’s deal is simple: If Midas marries her, she’ll make him King of Camelot. It’s a fair bargain. Midas will keep her enemies away and she’ll give him the respectability that money can’t buy. She never expects Midas to agree so quickly. Or for their practical business arrangement to feel so… complicated. Midas isn’t the tawdry, feral animal that Arthur railed against. He’s a kind and gentle man, who clearly needs Gwen’s help just as much as she needs his. In fact, the longer she’s around Midas the more Gwen realizes that their “fake marriage” might be more real than she ever imagined.

I’m making my way through my summer reading challenge and this is the book that is next up on that list. I’ve only read the first chapter so I’m not sure if I like it or not but we’ll see. Wish me luck!

What I Read

Daisy’s Back in Town by Rachel Gibson (eBook) | 3.75 out of 5
Count to Ten (Romantic Suspense #6) by Karen Rose (eBook) | 4 out of 5
Like the Wind by J. Bengtsson (Audiobook) | 2.75 out of 5
How to Date Your Dragon (Mystic Bayou #1) by Molly Harper (Audiobook) | 4 out of 5
Brazen and the Beast (The Bareknuckle Bastards #2) by Sarah MacLean (eARC) | 4.5 out of 5
Written in Red (The Others #1) by Anne Bishop (Audiobook) | 4 out of 5
The Wallflower Wager (Girl Meets Duke #3) by Tessa Dare (eARC) | 4.25 out of 5
Never Have I Ever by Lauren Blakely (Audiobook) | 4.25 out of 5

What I Reviewed


Superfan (Brooklyn Bruisers #6) by Sarina Bowen | 4.25 out of 5
Wolf Rain (Psy-Changelings Trinity #3) by Nalini Singh | 4.25 out of 5
Call it What You Want by Brigid Kemmerer | 3.75 out of 5
Daisy’s Back in Town by Rachel Gibson | 3.75 out of 5
Night Broken (Mercy Thompson #8) by Patricia Briggs | 3.75 out of 5
Like the Wind by J. Bengtsson | 2.75 out of 5
Fire Touched (Mercy Thompson #9) by Patricia Briggs | 4 out of 5

What I Posted

The Weekly Recap (136)

What I Got

Written in Red (The Others #1) by Anne Bishop
Brazen and the Beast (Bareknuckle Bastards #2) by Sarah MacLean
Kill the Queen (Crown of Shards #1) by Jennifer Estep

What I Got for Review

Blitzed (Playbook #3) by Alexa Martin
A Madness of Sunshine by Nalini Singh

What Made Me Laugh

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

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The Weekly Recap (132)

Posted June 17, 2019 by Rowena in Books | 8 Comments

You guys!! Caiden is coming to California today. He’ll be here later tonight but he’s driving out this afternoon with his parents for more family fun and I cannot wait. We’re having a family week to kick off our summer and to celebrate our last family graduation of the year. We’ve got Leah’s graduation, a trip to Magic Mountain, and another sibling dinner planned and I’m super stoked about all the fun times to start even though it’s only been a week of quiet time since our last week of family fun things.

This week, my nephew RJ had his surgery that I mentioned on the blog a couple of weeks ago. He’s doing well though it’s going to be a long road to recovery for him. His recovery time is at least 12 weeks, non-weight bearing. He’s in good spirits though and we’re glad for him.

I managed to read some books but once again, it wasn’t all rainbows and sunshine.

Now, onto the books…

What I’m Currently Reading
The Weekly Recap (132)Highland Deception by Meggan Connors
Published by Indie Published, Soul Mate Publishing on March 17, 2014
Genres: Historical, Romance
Pages: 300
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: 2019 GoodReads Challenge

When Kenneth Mackay, long-banished rogue and thief, returns to the Mackay holding at the request of his brother, he has no idea what he might find. He certainly doesn’t expect to be confronted with his twin’s imminent death, or with the plan his brother has concocted.

Ten years before, Malcolm made a tragic mistake, and, to preserve the family name—and his own skin—he allowed Kenneth to take the fall. Now that he is dying without an heir, Malcolm plans to atone for his mistake: by giving Kenneth his life back. All Kenneth has to do is assume his brother’s identity. But complicating matters is the unexpected return of Lady Isobel Mackay, the daughter of an English marquess... and the wife Malcolm didn’t want.

Isobel barely knows the husband who abandoned her even before their marriage, and she'd long since given up on having a real marriage with him. Yet when she returns to the Mackay holding far earlier than expected, she finds her husband a changed man. Despite the hurt between them, Isobel's heart responds to this man who cares for his entire clan as if they were family. Who, for the first time since their marriage, cares for her as if she is, too.

Falling in love with her husband had never been part of Isobel’s plan. But when their future is suddenly in peril, Isobel must find a way to save him—from himself and from the deception threatening to tear them apart.

I’m trying to finish this book before I leave my office today because it’s book club night and I still haven’t finished our book. This reading slump of 2019 is really kicking my ass. I need to get my shit together. Wish me luck…though I will say that this book is a lot better than the other books I’ve tried reading this past week. Like, A LOT A LOT better.

What I Read

Superfan (Brooklyn Bruisers #6) by Sarina Bowen (eARC) | 4.25 out of 5
Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune by Roselle Lim (eARC) | 2 out of 5
Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfree (eARC) | 2 out of 5

Eye Candy Friday

Heidi Pepper
Overnight Sensation (Brooklyn Bruisers #5) by Sarina Bowen

What I Reviewed

Bridal Boot Camp by Meg Cabot | 3.75 out of 5
Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin | 4 out of 5
The Year We Hid Away by Sarina Bowen | 4.75 out of 5
The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren | 4.25 out of 5

What I Posted

The Weekly Recap (131)
TV Tuesday: For the People
The Wednesday Post (14)
Throwback Thursday: The Year We Hid Away by Sarina Bowen
Eye Candy Friday: Eye Candy Friday: Heidi Pepper from Overnight Sensation by Sarina Bowen

What I Got

Work in Progress by Staci Hart
Faking Ms. Right by Claire Kingsley

What I Got for Review

10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston

What Made Me Laugh

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

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Throwback Thursday: The Year We Fell Down by Sarina Bowen

Posted April 18, 2019 by Rowena in Books, Features, Reviews | 8 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.

Throwback Thursday: The Year We Fell Down by Sarina BowenThe Year We Fell Down by Sarina Bowen
Series: The Ivy Years #1
Published by Indie Published, Rennie Road Books on March 21, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Point of View: Alternating First Person
Pages: 268
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Add It: Goodreads
four-stars
Reading Challenges: 2019 GoodReads Challenge

The sport she loves is out of reach. The boy she loves has someone else. What now?

She expected to start Harkness College as a varsity ice hockey player. But a serious accident means that Corey Callahan will start school in a wheelchair instead.

Across the hall, in the other handicapped-accessible dorm room, lives the too-delicious-to-be real Adam Hartley, another would-be hockey star with his leg broken in two places. He's way out of Corey's league.

Also, he's taken.

Nevertheless, an unlikely alliance blooms between Corey and Hartley in the "gimp ghetto" of McHerrin Hall. Over tequila, perilously balanced dining hall trays, and video games, the two cope with disappointments that nobody else understands.

They're just friends, of course, until one night when things fall apart. Or fall together. All Corey knows is that she's falling. Hard.

But will Hartley set aside his trophy girl to love someone as broken as Corey? If he won't, she will need to find the courage to make a life for herself at Harkness—one which does not revolve around the sport she can no longer play, or the brown-eyed boy who's afraid to love her back.

When Sarina Bowen put these books on Kindle Unlimited, I had no plans to re-read them but I kept seeing this series mentioned everywhere so when I left my kindle at home one day, I downloaded these books onto my Kindle Library and read them on my computer at work. I have no regrets either because I absolutely adored my re-read of this series. Sarina Bowen tackles such heavy themes in each of these books and just like the last time I read these books, I loved them.

It had been such a long time since I read this book and with each reading, my love for both Adam Hartley and Corey Callahan grows and grows. Sarina Bowen does such a good job of writing young love and she handles the immaturity and growth between her New Adult characters so well. I hang on every word, every single time and it was no different this go around.

Corey Callahan starts her freshman year in college in a wheelchair. A really bad accident cut her playing days short and she’s got to work really hard to get back on her feet again. All of her plans for college are out and she’s trying to make the most of it but it’s hard and when she meets Adam Hartley, who is injured himself and living in the dorm across the hall, things get a lot harder for her because of course she develops a crush on him and of course he’s already got a girlfriend.

Adam Hartley is on the injured list and can’t play hockey until he’s all healed up. He’s on crutches and getting around is hard so he’s parked in the “gimp ghetto” of McHerrin Hall and he strikes up a friendship with his wheelchair-bound neighbor, Callahan. There’s a lot of things he can’t do these days so spending time with Corey keeps his spirits high. The more time that they spend together, the closer they get and before Hartley knows what’s what, he’s got a decision to make. Stay with his girlfriend or lose out on Callahan.

There’s a lot going on in this book. Both Corey and Hartley are working through their own personal issues so this book was heavy on character development, which I’m always down for. On top of them trying to figure out how to maneuver around campus and just get around town, they’re also falling for each other. Callahan falls first and she’s rocking that unrequited crush pretty hard for a long time. So long, in fact, that I wanted to strangle Hartley for taking so long to make up his damn mind. I still thought that he took entirely too long to break up with his girlfriend but in the end, I still loved the hell out of him. I loved the hell out of both of these characters and was super thrilled that they finally got their happy ending in the end.

Sarina Bowen writes college romances so well and I think I’ll be reading these books over and over again because I love them that much. They’re not perfect but they’re still pretty freaking awesome. If you haven’t read this series, I highly recommend them.

Final Grade

4.25 out of 5

The Ivy Years Series


four-stars

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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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