Publisher: Loveswept

Can’t Wait Wednesday: Down with Love by Kate Meader

Posted July 11, 2018 by Rowena in Features | 6 Comments

Can’t Wait Wednesday is hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings and it was based on the meme Waiting on Wednesday that was hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. This week, I’m featuring a pretty new to me author but I’ve read every book in her Chicago Rebels series and became a fan of hers after I finished her last book in that series, Hooked on You. Her writing style is awesome and her characters know how to charm the socks right off of me so I’m pretty stoked for this new series to come out. The first book in Kate Meader’s new Love Wars series is called Down with Love and I’m so here for it. Can’t Wait Wednesday: Down with Love by Kate MeaderDown with Love
by Kate Meader
Series: Love Wars #1
Published by Random House, Loveswept on August 7, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 237
Add It: Goodreads

Sparks fly when the hot-shot divorce lawyer meets the high-powered wedding planner. The only question is, what kind?

If you ever get married, remember my name: Max Henderson. In my line of work, you acquire a certain perspective on supposedly everlasting unions. . . .

1. Pre-nups are your friend. 2. The person you married is not the person you’re divorcing. 3. And I hope you didn’t spend much on the wedding because that was one helluva waste of hard-earned cash, wasn’t it?

But some guys are willing to take a chance. Like my brother, who thinks he’s going to ride off into the sunset with the woman of his dreams in a haze of glitter on unicorns. And the wedding planner—the green-eyed beauty who makes a living convincing suckers to shell out thousands of dollars on centerpieces—is raking it in on this matrimonial monstrosity.

The thing is, Charlie Love is not unlike me. We’re both cogs in the wedding-industrial complex. As the best man, I know her game—and I can play it better than her. But after one scorching, unexpected kiss, I’m thinking I might just want to get played.

This new series sounds pretty different from the Chicago Rebels books and I’m a-okay with that. She won me over completely with the Chicago Rebels books so I’m looking forward to trying all of her books. A divorce attorney and a wedding planner? I can already feel the heat. I have every faith that this book will be a good one and I can’t wait to get my hands on it.
Pre-Order the Book
Down with Love (Love Wars #1) by Kate Meader Releases on August 7th, 2018 Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Google Books
Are you a fan of Kate Meaders? What are some of your favorite books by her? What books are you looking forward to this Wednesday? Anything I’d be interested in?

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Week in Review (87)

Posted April 30, 2018 by Rowena in Books, Features | 4 Comments

Not much is going on with me. My family did participate in the 2018 Relay for Life, a cancer fundraiser that is held each year and the Torrance one is set at South High School. My family walk for our family members who have survived or died from cancer and we started walking when my nephew RJ was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. He was a freshman in high school and once RJ was free and clear of the disease, my other nephew Chance signed us up for Relay for Life. We’ve been walking every year ever since. So not too long after Chance signed us up, both Chance and RJ left to serve their missions so they haven’t been back to a Relay for Life since that first year. RJ made a point to be here this year and I continue to be amazed and this young man. He goes to school in Idaho, had a wedding in Utah the day before Relay for Life started and he drove from Idaho to Utah, attended the wedding and then jumped in his car with my niece Chloe, her husband Markus and baby Caiden and drove to California for Relay before jumping back into his car on Sunday to return Chloe and her family to Utah and then driving on back to Idaho for his 7:45AM class on Monday. Love this guy! Now, onto the books…

What I’m Currently Reading

Week in Review (87)Rumor Has It (Real Love, #4)
by Jessica Lemmon
Series: Real Love #4
Published by Random House, Loveswept on May 15th, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 212
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher, NetGalley
Add It: Goodreads

This is one bad boy who’s fit to print. A notorious jock tackles life—and love—after football with a type-A journalist in this sexy standalone from the author of Eye Candy.

Barrett:

As a former pro football star, I’m used to playing the field. After injuries cut my NFL career short, my second act as a broadcaster ended on live television when a hot mic picked up a little verbal . . . indiscretion. But this latest publicity stunt might just land me back on top—much to the chagrin of Catarina Everhart, the prissy, beautiful journalist who’s been assigned to date a bad boy (i.e., me) and write about it. Catarina swears I’ll never touch her, let alone kiss those full lips of hers. Based on our chemistry, I’m not buying it. . . .

Catarina:

Barrett Fox seems to be doing everything in his power to make me hate him. The cocky egomaniac is infamous for his bad behavior, and now, thanks to my boss’s harebrained schemes, he’s apparently my problem. As one fake date leads to another, I start to see a different side of Barrett. He’s close with his family. He does volunteer work. And, okay, he kisses like a dream. Am I really dating Barrett Fox? Or is he playing me? Because suddenly I’m risking my reputation—and my heart.

I started this book this morning and so far, it’s okay. I’m not far enough into the story to know if I love or hate this book but I’m hopeful that this will be a good one. I really enjoy this series so I’ve got my fingers crossed.

What I Read

Dragon Actually by G.A. Aiken | 3 out of 5 Neanderthal Seeks Human by Penny Reid | 2.75 out of 5 Hot Asset (21 Wall Street #1) by Lauren Layne | 4.25 out of 5 The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo | 4 out of 5
I read a couple of books each week in the last couple of weeks. I read Dragon Actually for book club and I wasn’t as enthused about that one as everyone else was and same with Neanderthal Seeks Human. In both books, the heroine annoyed me. In Dragon Actually, the heroine came off as a freaking shrew and that sucks because she’s supposed to be such a strong person who leads armies into war. For me? She yelled too much and I hated the way that she treated the dragon. I guess it’s supposed to come off as strong-willed but meh. That’s not how it showed for me. In Neanderthal Seeks Human, the heroine is supposed to be super smart but she was super dumb about a lot of things. It didn’t work for me. Fortunately for me, things picked up last week on the reading front. I read both Hot Asset by Lauren Layne, and The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo. I really enjoyed both books so that was a come up from the previous week.

What I Reviewed

If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say by Leila Sales | 1 out of 5 Something about You (FBI/US Attorneys #1) by Julie James | 4.75 out of 5 The Love Coupon (Stubborn Hearts #2) by Ainslie Paton | 4.25 out of 5 Hot Response (Boston Fire #4) by Shannon Stacey | 4 out of 5 Undone by You (Chicago Rebels #3) by Kate Meader | 4 out of 5 One Fell Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles #3) by Ilona Andrews | 4.75 out of 5 Bayou Moon (The Edge #2) by Ilona Andrews | 4.25 out of 5 Everything, Everything (2017) | 3 out of 5

What I Posted

Week in Review (86) My Life in Books

What I Got

Just for You by Rosalind James The Real Thing by Cassie Mae The Bone Bearer by Lani Wendt Young The Water Burns by Lani Wendt Young

What I Got for Review

Hot Asset (21 Wall Street #1) by Lauren Layne Every Time You Go Away by Beth Harbison

What I Watched on TV

The Resident: The Resident is back this week and holy cow, you just know that it’s building to a dramatic as shit explosive finale because holy hot damn!! Grown-ish: Ugh, I’m still not over who she chose so ugh again. Suits: I’m not sure what I’m feeling about how this season ended. I’m happy that Meghan Markle can now jump into her new life as a real-life Princess without looking back. I’m just curious how this entire show is going to move on without Mike. Mike’s been the center, and the heart of this show so without him around, how the heck is that going to work? Katherine Heigl is going to replace Mike? Hahahahahahahaha, riiiggghhhtt.

What Movies I Watched

Guardians of Galaxy, vol. 2 (2017) | 4 out of 5 Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) | 4 out of 5 Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) | 4.75 out of 5 Avengers: Infinity War (2018) | 4 out of 5 12 Strong (2017) | 4 out of 5 Den of Thieves (2018) | 3.5 out of 5 A Quiet Place (2018) | 4 out of 5
You guys, I’m still not over Infinity War. Seriously, how, what, why?????
There you have it, my week in review. How was your week?

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Book Boyfriend of the Week: Gage Barrett

Posted February 23, 2018 by Rowena in Features | 0 Comments

Lauren Layne strikes again! She introduces another hero that made his way onto my favorites list with her new release, Runaway Groom. Gage Barrett was such a fun hero and there wasn’t much about him that I didn’t enjoy. Book Boyfriend of the Week: Gage BarrettRunaway Groom
by Lauren Layne
Series: I Do I Don't #2
Also in this series: Runaway Groom
Published by Random House, Loveswept on January 30th 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 217
Add It: Goodreads

For one charming playboy, getting cast on a Bachelor-esque reality TV show is the shock of a lifetime—until he finds love where he least expects it. And now the chase is on!

Gage Barrett’s reputation as a ladies’ man has been greatly exaggerated, but none of that matters after a drunken bet lands him on Jilted, a reality TV show that matches runaway grooms with wannabe brides. Now he’s stuck at a Hawaiian resort with nineteen women competing to drag him back to the altar—and one contestant who’s even more miserable than he is. Gage has no idea how feisty, independent Ellie Wright wound up in the cast, but it’s obvious she hates his guts. And if there’s one thing Gage likes, it’s a challenge. . . .

Ellie can’t believe she let her best friend talk her into exchanging her dignity for a glorified bikini contest. Still, she could use the exposure—her business is struggling—and she’ll probably be one of the first to get eliminated anyway. But Gage isn’t the shallow jerk Ellie anticipated—and he’s in no rush to send her home. As stolen kisses turn into secret trysts, she finds herself losing track of what’s real and what’s for the camera. With the wedding finale looming, this runaway groom is tempting Ellie to start believing in storybook endings.

Gage is the star on the Bachelor-type reality show called Jilted. He lost a bet and his best friend signed him up. He didn’t expect to actually fall in love with one of the contestants…but when he meets Ellie Wright, his world tilts. Trying to get her to realize that what he feels for her is real and not just part of the fictional show they’re on made for some great reading.
He blinks and I could have sworn I hurt his feelings. “I’m real, Ellie.” “You’re Hollywood,” I correct.
Gage brought the goods in this book and he’s definitely a hero that you’ll want to take notice of. He’s pretty great. Here’s who Lauren Layne has posted as her muse for Gage and that’s exactly how I saw him in my head. She’s so good at this stuff.

Buy the Book

Runaway Groom by Lauren Layne January 30, 2018 Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Series Order

Until next week…enjoy!

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Buddy Review: Runaway Groom by Lauren Layne

Posted February 21, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Buddy Review: Runaway Groom by Lauren LayneRunaway Groom
by Lauren Layne
Series: I Do I Don't #2
Published by Random House, Loveswept on January 30th 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Point of View:Alternating First Person
Pages: 217
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Buy It: Amazon|Barnes & Noble
Add It: Goodreads
five-stars

For one charming playboy, getting cast on a Bachelor-esque reality TV show is the shock of a lifetime—until he finds love where he least expects it. And now the chase is on!

Gage Barrett’s reputation as a ladies’ man has been greatly exaggerated, but none of that matters after a drunken bet lands him on Jilted, a reality TV show that matches runaway grooms with wannabe brides. Now he’s stuck at a Hawaiian resort with nineteen women competing to drag him back to the altar—and one contestant who’s even more miserable than he is. Gage has no idea how feisty, independent Ellie Wright wound up in the cast, but it’s obvious she hates his guts. And if there’s one thing Gage likes, it’s a challenge. . . .

Ellie can’t believe she let her best friend talk her into exchanging her dignity for a glorified bikini contest. Still, she could use the exposure—her business is struggling—and she’ll probably be one of the first to get eliminated anyway. But Gage isn’t the shallow jerk Ellie anticipated—and he’s in no rush to send her home. As stolen kisses turn into secret trysts, she finds herself losing track of what’s real and what’s for the camera. With the wedding finale looming, this runaway groom is tempting Ellie to start believing in storybook endings.

So, after not missing any months in 2017 and patting ourselves on the back for a job well done….we started off 2018 forgetting to do our buddy review so to make up for that, we’re reviewing two books together in February. Wish us luck! The first book of 2018 was Runaway Groom by Lauren Layne and it takes place mostly on the beautiful island of Maui at a beach resort in the thick of the reality show, Jilted. Jilted is a bachelor type reality show where one guy will date 20 girls over the course of the show and week after week, girls will be dropping like flies and going home. The last girl standing will be married to the Runaway Groom, Gage Barrett. Ellie Wright can’t believe she let her best friend talk her into auditioning to be one of the girls on Jilted. Gage Barrett can’t believe he lost a bet to his best friend, a bet that puts him right smack dab in the middle of a freaking reality show where girls will be competing to become his…wife. Both Gage and Ellie don’t want to be in Hawaii. They don’t want to be on the show and yet, somehow a friendship blossoms between them anyway. Will a fake romance turn into a real one? Rowena: Holy cow, this book was good. It was the perfect book to read after a really bad book because Gage and Ellie’s antics perked me right up and it was so good that I read the entire thing in one sitting. I can’t think of a single thing that I didn’t like about it. What about you, Ames? What did you think? Ames: Like you, I read this book in one sitting! I couldn’t put it down. The energy between Gage and Ellie was great and I had to find out what antics they’d get up to next. Their bantering and bickering was funny. I definitely lol’d a few times. So Ellie gets talked into the show as a way to promote her and her best friend’s t-shirt company. Right from the first episode that goal is met with visits to their website and sales of the shirt going up. So Ellie considers her job done and so she wants to go home. She really isn’t impressed by A-list actor Gage Barrett, his looks or his attitude, so she just acts like herself in all her interactions with him. And even though Gage himself doesn’t want to be on the show (he lost a bet!), Ellie’s don’t-give-a-shit attitude appeals to him. But it wasn’t only Gage and Ellie that made the book fun. I liked the other contestants on the show too. Of course they were a few crazies and cutthroat women who took the competition too seriously, but I liked how those other contestants balanced out the interactions between Gage and Ellie. And the humour. Really, that’s what kept me flipping pages. Quickly into the story Ellie tells Gage that she wants to go home and he promises her she’ll be on the chopping block to get eliminated…but things happen that make him break his promise and I loved Ellie’s rage every time that happened. LOL Rowena: Every single time that Gage sent someone home, I laughed out loud. I didn’t care that it was after midnight and my house was already asleep. I laughed out loud. The funniest one was when he sent Skylar home. Bwahahahaha, that poor girl got in the way so she had to go. You’re right. The energy between Gage and Ellie was fun and it was sweet and I ate it all up. YES! The other contestants cracked me up, too. From Evil Eden to Crazy LeAnn to side action Paisley, I enjoyed what each of them brought to the story. Oh man, the rage that Ellie had every time Gage couldn’t send her home was a freaking riot. Gosh, there was so much to like in this story that I’m pretty bummed we’re not getting another one. Normally, I can get pretty annoyed when characters don’t talk things out. In fact, in the last book that I read, I got really upset at the heroine for not opening her mouth and getting mad at the hero for things that happened before she came along but Lauren Layne did that in this book and she wrote it in a way that made me sit up and take notice. The first thing that came to mind was, “This is how it’s done. This is how you make a reader connect with how dumb the characters are acting right now” Layne did a great job of making us readers understand why Ellie didn’t speak up when she probably should have. She did a wonderful job of making it easy for me, as a reader to connect with Ellie’s character and her assumptions about Gage before she even knew him. I thought the way that she flushed out both Ellie and Gage’s personalities and their individual journeys made for a great reading adventure. I was seriously here for it all. This book drives home why I enjoy Lauren Layne books so much. Her stories are filled with humor, with fantastic chemistry and characters that can charm the socks off a dragon. Gage was such a fun hero and Ellie? Well, I want Ellie to be my best friend. I absolutely loved this story and there wasn’t one thing about it that I hated. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars. You? Ames: I agree that Lauren Layne writes great contemporary romances. Her characters really shine and I love her humour. And she writes her heroines very well. I need to be able to connect to heroine and understand her motivations and she knocked that out of the park with Ellie. Ellie was fun and her loyalty and friendship defined her as a person. This was also apparent in her budding friendship with Paisley. With a show that pits women against each other for a man, LL did an awesome job of not making all the women villains. Kudos to her. I’m giving Runaway Groom 4.25 out of 5. Thoroughly enjoyable and I have to say, reading about a book in Maui during this cold winter of mine (seriously, it’s been hellishly cold – think -40) was a nice bonus too.
I Do, I Don’t Series
Final Grades
Ames: 4 out of 5 Rowena: 5 out of 5
five-stars

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Week in Review (78)

Posted February 12, 2018 by Rowena in Books, Features | 0 Comments

This week was for, you guessed it, basketball. Bren and Ken played on Wednesday and Friday and Meghan played on Thursday and Saturday, and I went to all of their games. Bren and Ken won both of their games this week but Meghan’s team is struggling so they went 1-1 this week. This week, I also babysat for my brother and his wife who went to Vegas for the weekend to celebrate my sister in law’s birthday. I was babysitting this little guy here. We spent the day on Saturday in Costa Mesa for Meghan’s basketball game. He’s a giant ball of energy and he’s so smart and so funny. Caleb: Aunty! Did you know that April Ham Lincoln’s birthday is coming up and we don’t have school? Me: Who? Caleb: You know April Ham? He’s on the dollar bill. Bwahahahaha, he now says Abraham correctly but I had a good laugh at that one. On our way to breakfast yesterday, we had this conversation. To premise the conversation, Friday night, me and the kids fell asleep in the living room, on the couches. Saturday night, I didn’t sleep there because my back was hurting. Caleb: Aunty, so I was thinking. Do you know why your back hurts when you sleep on the couch and mine doesn’t? Me: No, why? Caleb: Because, my back is smaller, I’m young and I’m strong. You’re old and you’re weak. Me: Hahahahaha. Caleb: I’m serious. Bwahahahaha. This kid, man. Now, onto the books…

What I’m Currently Reading

Week in Review (78)Runaway Groom
by Lauren Layne
Series: I Do I Don't #2
Also in this series: Runaway Groom
Published by Random House, Loveswept on January 30th 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Point of View:Alternating First Person
Pages: 240
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add It: Goodreads

For one charming playboy, getting cast on a Bachelor-esque reality TV show is the shock of a lifetime—until he finds love where he least expects it. And now the chase is on!

Gage Barrett’s reputation as a ladies’ man has been greatly exaggerated, but none of that matters after a drunken bet lands him on Jilted, a reality TV show that matches runaway grooms with wannabe brides. Now he’s stuck at a Hawaiian resort with nineteen women competing to drag him back to the altar—and one contestant who’s even more miserable than he is. Gage has no idea how feisty, independent Ellie Wright wound up in the cast, but it’s obvious she hates his guts. And if there’s one thing Gage likes, it’s a challenge. . . .

Ellie can’t believe she let her best friend talk her into exchanging her dignity for a glorified bikini contest. Still, she could use the exposure—her business is struggling—and she’ll probably be one of the first to get eliminated anyway. But Gage isn’t the shallow jerk Ellie anticipated—and he’s in no rush to send her home. As stolen kisses turn into secret trysts, she finds herself losing track of what’s real and what’s for the camera. With the wedding finale looming, this runaway groom is tempting Ellie to start believing in storybook endings.

Ames and I missed reading our January book for our buddy review so we’re doubling up this month and the first book we’re reading is Runaway Groom by Lauren Layne and so far, I’m enjoying it a lot more than I enjoyed Ready to Run so I’m hopeful that this will continue to be awesome.

What I Read

So Over You (Chicago Rebels #2) by Kate Meader | 4.25 out of 5 Undone by You (Chicago Rebels #3) by Kate Meader | 4 out of 5 The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory | 4 out of 5

What I Reviewed

Breaking the Ice (Juniper Falls #2) by Julie Cross

What I Posted

Week in Review (77) Top Ten Tuesday: Books Still on My TBR Pile Movies I Want to See: February 2018 Throwback Thursday (29) Book Boyfriend of the Week: Rex Galbraith

What I Got for Review

Hot Response (Boston Fire #5) by Shannon Stacey Rumor Has It (Real Love #4) by Jessica Lemmon
There you have it, my week in review. How was your week?

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