Publisher: Penguin

The Weekly Recap (124)

Posted March 11, 2019 by Rowena in Books, Features | 4 Comments

We had a pretty bad scare over the weekend with Caiden and my heart still hasn’t returned to normal but we’re monitoring his fever, keeping it down and everything seems to be better with our little guy so that makes me happy. I read some books over the week but I didn’t get around to finishing all of my books from last week because I was distracted with family stuff but I’m hopeful that I’ll pick right back up this week and get all of the books read. Fingers crossed. Now, onto the books…
What I’m Currently Reading
The Weekly Recap (124)Magic Bites
by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #1
Published by Penguin, Berkley on March 27, 2007
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Point of View:First Person
Pages: 260
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges:2019 GoodReads Challenge, 2019 TBR Challenge

Atlanta would be a nice place to live, if it weren’t for the magic…

When the magic is up, rogue mages cast their spells and monsters appear, while guns refuse to fire and cars fail to start. But then technology returns, and the magic recedes as unpredictably as it arose, leaving all kinds of paranormal problems in its wake.

Kate Daniels is a down-on-her-luck mercenary who makes her living cleaning up these magical problems. But when Kate’s guardian is murdered, her quest for justice draws her into a power struggle between two strong factions within Atlanta’s magic circles.

The Masters of the Dead, necromancers who can control vampires, and the Pack, a paramilitary clan of shapechangers, blame each other for a series of bizarre killings—and the death of Kate’s guardian may be part of the same mystery. Pressured by both sides to find the killer, Kate realizes she’s way out of her league—but she wouldn’t have it any other way…

I’m buddy reading this with Casee and Holly on Book Binge and I’m really enjoying it. Kate Daniels is a fantastic character and I can’t wait to finish this one so that I can jump right into the next one.
What I Read
Overnight Sensation (Brooklyn Bruisers #5) by Sarina Bowen (eBook) | 4.5 out of 5 Team Player by Julianna Keyes (eARC) | 4 out of 5 Repeat by Kylie Scott (Audiobook) | 4 out of 5
What I Reviewed
Bad Bachelor (Bad Bachelors #1) by Stefanie London | 3.5 out of 5
What I Posted
The Weekly Recap (123) My TBR Pile: March 2019
What I Got
A Week to be Wicked (Spindle Cove #2) by Tessa Dare (eBook) Naked in Death (In Death #1) by J.D. Robb (eBook) Repeat by Kylie Scott (Audiobook)
What I Got for Review
If It Makes You Happy by Claire Kann Call It What You Want by Brigid Kemmerer
What Made Me Laugh
There you have it, my week in review. How was your week?

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The Wednesday Post (7)

Posted February 13, 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

What did you recently finish reading?

Huge Deal (21 Wall Street #3) by Lauren Layne
I just finished this book and I loved every freaking word. Kennedy and Kate were everything I was hoping for and I still can’t get over Jealous Kennedy. Jealous Kennedy is the best!

What are you currently reading?

River Marked (Mercy Thompson #6) by Patricia Briggs The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie (Mackenzies & McBrides #1) by Jennifer Ashley
I’m reading River Marked for my TBR Challenge this month. I’m really enjoying it so far so I’m hopeful that it will continue to rock my socks. Mercy Thompson, man, she continues to be my favorite! I’m also listening to The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie for my team buddy review over on Book Binge. That’s another wonderful historical romance. It’s a re-read for me but I feel like I’m reading it for the first time cause I had forgotten so much about it. I’m really enjoying both Ian and Beth and the other Mackenzie’s as well.

What do you think you’ll read next?

Only a Breath Apart by Katie McGarry
This is next up on my review pile. I need to get that pile down some because I keep requesting books even though I swore I wouldn’t. Oh well, I’ll get it done. I always do.
Can’t Wait Wednesday
The Wednesday Post (7)Wolf Rain
by Nalini Singh
Series: Psy-Changelings Trinity #3
Published by Penguin, Berkley on June 4, 2019
Genres: Paranormal, Romance
Point of View:Alternating Third Person
Pages: 416
Add It: Goodreads

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh takes us on a new adventure in this next novel of the Psy-Changeling Trinity series…

The end of Silence was supposed to create a better world for future generations. But trust is broken, and the alliance between Psy, Changeling, and human is thin. The problems that led to Silence are back in full force. Because Silence fixed nothing, just hid the problems.

This time, the Psy have to find a real answer to their problems–if one exists. Or their race will soon go extinct in a cascade of violence. The answer begins with an empath who is attuned to monsters–and who is going to charm a wolf into loving her despite his own demons.

Are you guys surprised that I’m featuring a contemporary romance on this week’s post? Haha, I do read other genres, not very often, but it’s been known to happen and the Psy-Changelings series is my favoritest paranormal romance series ever and the spin off is shaping up to be fun too. So, of course I’m looking forward to the next release.
So, what are you reading this week? Anything good? Anything that you want to rant about? Are you looking forward to Wolf Rain? What other books are you looking forward to releasing this year?

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The Weekly Recap (121)

Posted February 11, 2019 by Rowena in Books, Features | 6 Comments

Another quiet week for the books. I didn’t do much outside of read, attend basketball games and go to dinner with my sisters and the kids. On Friday, after Bren and Ken’s basketball game, we went to dinner with their team and that was nice. It was nice to try a new to me Italian place and get to know the coaches and their families better. On Saturday, my sisters, Bren and Ken and I drove up to Santa Barbara for Meghan’s basketball game and that was a really pretty drive. We drove through Calabasas, through Ventura and once we got close enough, we had the Pacific Ocean as a backdrop to our drive and that was super pretty. To make things even better, Meghan’s team won their game and Meghan especially had a really good game. We got home pretty late from Santa Barbara so I lazed around all day yesterday and didn’t do a damn thing but make dinner for my family. It was great. Now, onto the books…
What I’m Currently Reading
The Weekly Recap (121)The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie
by Jennifer Ashley
Narrator: Angela Dawe
Series: Mackenzies & McBrides #1
Published by Penguin, Berkley on May 1, 2009
Genres: Historical, Romance
Point of View:Alternating First Person
Pages: 320
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Romance Package
Length: 9 hours, 50 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges:2019 GoodReads Challenge

The year is 1881. Meet the Mackenzie family—rich, powerful, dangerous, eccentric. A lady couldn't be seen with them without ruin. Rumors surround them—of tragic violence, of their mistresses, of their dark appetites, of scandals that set England and Scotland abuzz.

The youngest brother, Ian, known as the Mad Mackenzie, spent most of his young life in an asylum, and everyone agrees he is decidedly odd. He's also hard and handsome and has a penchant for Ming pottery and beautiful women.

Beth Ackerley, widow, has recently come into a fortune. She has decided that she wants no more drama in her life. She was raised in drama—an alcoholic father who drove them into the workhouse, a frail mother she had to nurse until her death, a fussy old lady she became constant companion to. No, she wants to take her money and find peace, to travel, to learn art, to sit back and fondly remember her brief but happy marriage to her late husband.

And then Ian Mackenzie decides he wants her.

The first of a new historical series.

I’m diligently working through my TBR pile for this month and am making great progress on it. Right now, I’m listening to The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley for my team review over on Book Binge but I should be done with this one before I head home for the day. This is a re-read for me and I’m thoroughly enjoying this listen so I’m a happy camper right now.
Weekly Reading Stats
Books Read: 3 | Books DNF’d: 0 Books Purchased: 0 | Books Received for Review: 2 | Reviews Posted: 4 Highest Grade: 4.5 out of 5 | Lowest Grade: 3 out of 5
What I Read
Devil’s Daughter (The Ravenels #5) by Lisa Kleypas | 4.5 out of 5 The Risk (Briar U #2) by Elle Kennedy | 4.5 out of 5 The Assist (Smart Jocks #1) by Rebecca Jenshak | 3 out of 5
What I Reviewed
One and Only (Bridesmaids Behaving Badly #1) by Jenny Holiday | 4.5 out of 5 It Takes Two (Bridesmaids Behaving Badly #2) by Jenny Holiday | 4.75 out of 5 Merrily Ever After (Bridesmaids Behaving Badly #2.5) by Jenny Holiday | 4.75 out of 5 Three Little Words (Bridesmaids Behaving Badly #3) by Jenny Holiday | 4.5 out of 5
What I Posted
The Weekly Recap (120) The Monthly Recap: January 2019 The Wednesday Post (6) My 2019 Most Anticipated Reads
What I Got
Nothing this week though I’m expecting a new book tomorrow and I look like this waiting for it to appear on my kindle…
What I Got for Review
The Risk (Briar U #2) by Elle Kennedy The Right Swipe (Modern Love #1) by Alisha Rai
What Made Me Laugh
There you have it, my week in review. How was your week?

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The Wednesday Post (1)

Posted January 2, 2019 by Rowena in Books, Features | 12 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 lists 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 and I’m going to call it The Wednesday Post. 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. It’s a meme that let’s you chat about what you’re reading and planning to read this week.
WWW Wednesday

What did you recently finish reading?

99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne
In the last couple of weeks, my reading mojo has been non-existent so I’m trying to get myself out of that reading slump and this is the book that I picked up to jump start my 2019 reading. I finished it in no time so I’m hopeful that my reading for 2019 will be fantastic. This was another fabulous read by Sally Thorne and she has cemented herself on my auto-buy list. Great, great stuff!

What are you currently reading?

Governess Gone Rogue (Dear Lady Truelove #3) by Laura Lee Guhrke
I’m tackling books from my review pile and this book is up. I’m enjoying the book so far and this series is really shaping up to be a fun one. I enjoy Laura Lee Guhrke’s writing and I’m happy to report that this book is just as good as her others.

What do you think you’ll read next?

One and Only (Bridesmaids Behaving Badly #1) by Jenny Holiday
I have the third book in this series for review and it comes out in a few weeks so I need to get my ass in gear and get this read so that I can be ready for Three Little Words. I’ve been hearing such wonderful things about this series so I’m looking forward to digging in.
Can’t Wait Wednesday
The Wednesday Post (1)The Bride Test
by Helen Hoang
Series: The Kiss Quotient #2
Also in this series: The Kiss Quotient
Published by Penguin, Berkley on May 7, 2019
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 320
Add It: Goodreads

Khai Diep has no feelings. Well, he feels irritation when people move his things or contentment when ledgers balance down to the penny, but not big, important emotions—like grief. And love. He thinks he’s defective. His family knows better—that his autism means he just processes emotions differently. When he steadfastly avoids relationships, his mother takes matters into her own hands and returns to Vietnam to find him the perfect bride.

As a mixed-race girl living in the slums of Ho Chi Minh City, Esme Tran has always felt out of place. When the opportunity arises to come to America and meet a potential husband, she can’t turn it down, thinking this could be the break her family needs. Seducing Khai, however, doesn’t go as planned. Esme’s lessons in love seem to be working…but only on herself. She’s hopelessly smitten with a man who’s convinced he can never return her affection.

With Esme’s time in the United States dwindling, Khai is forced to understand he’s been wrong all along. And there’s more than one way to love.

We are a matter of months away from Helen Hoang’s next release The Bride Test and I’m super excited about that. Last year’s The Kiss Quotient was my favorite book of the entire year and Hoang’s writing style spoke to me so I’m looking forward to seeing what she does with Kwan’s book. If you remember TKQ, Kwan is Michael Phan’s (swoon) cousin and he’s going to be another interesting character, I just know it. I cannot freaking wait for this one. It’s like at the top of my wishlist.
So, what are you reading this week? Anything good? Anything that you want to rant about? Are you looking forward to The Bride Test? What other books are you looking forward to releasing this year?

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Buddy Review: Once and For All by Sarah Dessen

Posted December 11, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Buddy Review: Once and For All by Sarah DessenOnce and for All
by Sarah Dessen
Published by Penguin, Viking Books for Young Readers on June 6, 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Point of View:First Person
Pages: 358
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add It: Goodreads
four-stars

As bubbly as champagne and delectable as wedding cake, Once and for All, Sarah Dessen's thirteenth novel, is set in the world of wedding planning, where crises are routine.

Louna, daughter of famed wedding planner Natalie Barrett, has seen every sort of wedding: on the beach, at historic mansions, in fancy hotels and clubs. Perhaps that's why she's cynical about happily-ever-after endings, especially since her own first love ended tragically. When Louna meets charming, happy-go-lucky serial dater Ambrose, she holds him at arm's length. But Ambrose isn't about to be discouraged, now that he's met the one girl he really wants.

Sarah Dessen’s many, many fans will adore her latest, a richly satisfying, enormously entertaining story that has everything—humor, romance, and an ending both happy and imperfect, just like life itself.

You guys, before we jump into our monthly buddy review of Once and For All by Sarah Dessen, please join me in wishing one of my favorite book pimps, Ames, a very happy birthday as today is her special day!! I hope you have a brilliant day because you’re a brilliant friend and deserve all the brilliant things in the world. Big hugs from California and don’t freeze too much in that Canadian madness that is winter. Love you long time, Ames!
Here’s some birthday Bana for you sweets!
Now…on to the review. Louna Barrett is working the summer before her first year of college for her mother’s wedding planning business. She’s busy preparing for events and spending as much time with her high school friend Jilly before she’s off to another city for school. She is in no way looking for any kind of romantic entanglements, even though Jilly keeps trying to get her to put herself out there. Louna had an amazing boyfriend but that relationship ended in tragedy. But when Louna meets Ambrose at a wedding, will she be ready to open herself up to new possibilities? Ames: All right Wena, what did you think of Once and For All. Rowena: I enjoyed this one. I thought it was a good one to read after coming back from a long Sarah Dessen hiatus. I enjoyed getting to know Louna and while Ambrose was a bit much at times (all of that girl juggling), I still really liked him as a character. I thought he was good for Louna too. The bet was fun and meant to get them both out of their comfort zone, not meant to hurt anyone at all so I was okay with it. What did you think? Ames: I had mixed reactions to this. First of all, its been a looooong time since I read Sarah Dessen. Like maybe 3 or 4 years. But having starting this book, I felt like Louna was a ‘typical’ SD heroine – and by the end of the book she really is. However, I liked the world Sarah created for us, with Louna’s wedding planning mom and all that went along with it. I really enjoyed that. And Ambrose was a fun character. I love that he rescued a dog and I agree, the girl juggling was a bit much but he was a great guy underneath it all. My main complaint comes with the relationship between Ambrose and Louna. Yes they had a bet (that was fun, I liked that) but I honestly didn’t feel any sparks between them. I didn’t see the way Ambrose acted towards her as a guy who was interested. So when the big reveal came at the end? I was like “WTH, for reals?” So I think if there had been a bit more there, I would have believed it more. Also, the way she freaked out? That was over the top for me. Rowena: Yes, I agree about how interesting the world of wedding planning was and I thought Dessen captured that part of the book really well and you’re definitely right about Louna being a typical Sarah Dessen heroine because I felt the same way about her character. I remember thinking while I was reading the book, “Here we go, another Sarah Dessen heroine that is going to annoy the snot out of me” but in the end, I liked her so it was all good for me. I did think that the whole Ben thing was pretty dumb. Like, really, really dumb. Other than that though, I could feel the vibes from Ambrose for Louna…or maybe my romance-loving heart pictured it all there because I wanted them to get together? *shrugs* Either way, I still enjoyed this one. Was there anything else that you didn’t care for? Ames: Seriously, if I hadn’t read the blurb and realized Ambrose was supposed to be the love interest, I wouldn’t have expected it. I felt like William telling Louna that Ambrose was into her even made me realize he was…I honestly didn’t see it before William said something. AND what made Louna different to Ambrose from all the other girls? What made her someone he wanted to commit to instead of just enjoying all the beginning parts of a relationship…I wanted more in regards to that relationship. However, I didn’t hate the book. I thought Crawford, Jilly’s younger brother, was super cute. The way he called out Jilly for not wanting to spend time with Ben and Louna had me cracking up. I’m giving Once and For All a 3.75 out of 5. What about you? Rowena: I thought Ambrose was taken with Louna from the very beginning. I could see his interest in her when she walked right up to him at his Mom’s wedding and dragged him away from that girl he was talking to. He wasn’t used to girls being mad at him, well girls that weren’t related to him so I bought his interest and crush on her from the jump. I think because the entire book is from Louna’s POV, it’s harder to get what Ambrose feels and what he thought. I would have liked Ambrose’s POV. I adored Crawford and the rest of Jilly’s family. It would have been nice to get more from them as I thought they were more interesting than Louna’s family but all in all, I can’t complain. I enjoyed it all so I give this book a 4 out of 5 stars.
Final Grade
Ames: 3.75 out of 5 Rowena: 4 out of 5
four-stars

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