Publisher: Random House

Throwback Thursday: Gone too Far by Suzanne Brockmann

Posted August 16, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 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: Gone too Far by Suzanne BrockmannGone too Far
by Suzanne Brockmann
Series: Troubleshooters #6
Published by Random House, Ballantine on March 2, 2004
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Romantic Suspense
Point of View:Alternating Third Person
Pages: 536
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add It: Goodreads
four-stars

In her sizzling, award-winning novels of suspense, bestselling author Suzanne Brockmann delves into the adrenaline-rushed world of counter terrorism–and taps into the real passions of its brave men and women. Now in her widely anticipated hardcover debut, she spins a story of action, intrigue, and romance, as a U.S. Navy SEAL and an FBI agent race to unravel a mystery–while confronting their own unresolved feelings for each other. . . .

In his career as one of America’s elite warriors, Lt. Sam Starrett can do no wrong. In his private life, Sam–the king of one night stands–has done little right. Now, he’s waiting for a divorce and determined to stay active in his young daughter’s life. But when Sam shows up at the door of his ex-wife’s home in Sarasota, Florida, he makes a grisly discovery. His daughter is gone and the body of a woman lies brutally murdered on the floor.

FBI agent Alyssa Locke’s relationship with Sam has been overwhelmingly intense and nearly catastrophic, yet it refuses to end. The last time she saw Sam was six months earlier, when they worked together to stop terrorists from assassinating the U.S. President. Much to her dismay, Alyssa is assigned to lead the murder investigation and once again the two are face to face. When explosive information surfaces linking Sam to the still unsolved assassination plot, the stakes are raised. With her reputation hanging in the balance, and her loyalties in question, Alyssa is faced with an impossible dilemma:arrest a man she believes to be innocent, or risk her career.

While Alyssa tries to fight their intense attraction, Sam is determined to heat things up between them once again. And the complex case pushes them both to the wrong side of the law–and on the run to discover the truth. As more agents step into the chase, and with Sam’s daughter still unaccounted for, neither Alyssa nor Sam can predict just how deadly hot this situation is about to become. . . .

A thrilling novel that ranges back into the days of World War II, into friendships, families, liaisons, betrayals, and the code of honor that binds the U.S. Navy SEALs, Gone Too Far is an electrifying experience in suspense–and a brilliant tale of lives lived on the edge.

From the Hardcover edition.

It’s been a long ass time since I’ve read this book and when I think back to how obsessed I used to be over the entire Troubleshooters world and with Sam Starrett in particular, I laugh because it was low key embarrassing. Not that I regret my obsession because Suz Brockmann is a legit author who wrote a fantastic romantic suspense series with characters that to this day, I’m still mad over and Sam Starrett is still one of my top ten favorite heroes of all time and I still don’t care what my friend Holly says about that. And him. Haha. Re-reading this book was like reading it for the first time because so much of what happened, I didn’t remember. That didn’t stop me from jumping right into the magic that is Sam and Alyssa though. There’s a lot going on in this book and in true Suz Brockmann fashion, she handles it all extremely well. I read the entire thing and was invested in what was happening with everything and everyone. I was taken right back to being scared that the person Sam finds when he shows up at Mary Lou’s house was her, worried about what happened with his daughter and happy when Alyssa shows up and the connection between her and Sam opens up again. There’s a lot of fast-paced action going on in this book, with Sam and Alyssa trying to get answers and Sam trying to find his daughter, Haley and ex-wife Mary Lou. Throughout the Troubleshooters series, Sam and Alyssa have circled each other and when wrenches were thrown into the mix, they part and try to move on. Alyssa is not happy that Sam Starrett refuses to stay out of her life but I really enjoyed their interactions with each other. I loved seeing them learn about what made them the people that they are now. They both have dark pasts that they overcame and I loved seeing them come to care and accept each other for who they are now and not who they were before. One of the things that I remember the most about this series is how Brockmann would tell many stories that bring the main story together and that wasn’t any different in this book. I enjoyed seeing Mary Lou use the smarts that she learned from Sam to keep her and Haley safe. I enjoyed the romance between Sam and Alyssa and I just really enjoyed the whole thing. If you’re a fan of romantic suspense novels and military romances then you should definitely give this book a go. It’s good stuff and though Sam Starrett can be hard to take at times, I promise he’s such a compelling and charming character that you won’t help but fall for. Alyssa is his perfect match and this story brings them together in such a great way that I was completely satisfied with the ending. So, so good.
Buy the Book
AMAZON || BARNES AND NOBLE || GOOGLE BOOKS || KOBO || THE RIPPED BODICE
Final Grade
4.25 out of 5
Troubleshooters Series
four-stars

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The Weekly Recap (98)

Posted August 13, 2018 by Rowena in Books, Features | 6 Comments

After my doctor’s appointment a couple of weeks ago, I started walking with my sisters and my best friend for 150 minutes a week. My sisters tried to get me to go with them for a while but it took my doctor telling me to join them to take them up on it. I’m currently on my third week and I have completed my work out minutes for the past two weeks so I’m pretty happy with the progress that I’m making on that front. Big ups to my best friend Theresa for coming over to my house every day to make sure that we get our walk on and our minutes done. She’s been a great support system for me and I’m sure my sisters appreciate her efforts in succeeding where they failed…haha. You guys, there are only 4 more days until we can finally watch TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE! Out of all the people that I made read the book, only one person has read it and she is just as obsessed as I am so I guess I’ll take it. Yay for my daughter Brenna loving Peter Kavinsky as much as I do. 🙂
Now, onto the books…
What I’m Currently Reading
The Weekly Recap (98)Down with Love
by Kate Meader
Series: Laws of Attraction #1
Published by Random House, Loveswept on August 7, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Point of View:First Person
Pages: 237
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher, NetGalley
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.

I didn’t get around to reading anything this weekend so I started this book this morning. I’ve only read the first two chapters and so far, it’s okay. I’m hoping that it picks up and that I’ll get over the hero’s attitude about love and marriage. Wish me luck! 🙂
What I Read
Grumpy Fake Boyfriend by Jackie Lau | DNF The Other Side of Lost by Jessi Kirby | 4.25 out of 5
Book Boyfriend
Colin “Fitzy” Fitzgerald The Chase by Elle Kennedy
What I Reviewed
Paradise by Judith McNaught The Chase by Elle Kennedy
What I Posted
The Weekly Recap (97) The Monthly Recap: July 2018 Can’t Wait Wednesday: Hot Winter Nights by Jill Shalvis
What I Got
Untamed by Pamela Clare
What I Got for Review
Fame, Fat and the First Kiss by Kasie West
There you have it, my week in review. How was your week?

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Throwback Thursday: Dying to Please by Linda Howard

Posted August 2, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 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. This week’s book is Dying to Please by Linda Howard. For my other book blog’s summer reading challenge, I was assigned with reading Midnight Rainbow by Linda Howard and instead of starting that one, I picked this one up instead. Throwback Thursday: Dying to Please by Linda HowardDying To Please
by Linda Howard
Published by Random House, Ballantine on November 4, 2003
Genres: Contemporary, Romantic Suspense
Point of View:Alternating Third Person
Pages: 416
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add It: Goodreads
four-stars

Alternate-cover edition can be found here

Loyal. Beautiful. Professional. Impeccably organized. Potentially lethal.

Sarah Stevens is a woman with many distinct qualities. First and foremost a butler par excellence, skilled at running large households smoothly and efficiently, she is also a trained bodyguard and expert marksman—indispensable to her elderly employer, a courtly gentleman whom Sarah has come to respect and love as a father. Then one night she thwarts an attempted burglary, a courageous act that awards Sarah her requisite “fifteen minutes of fame” with the local press. But the exposure is enough to catch the attention of a tortured soul who, unbeknownst to Sarah, will stop at nothing to have her for himself...

I’m really happy to report that even though I didn’t exactly LOVE this book the way that I did when I first read it, I was still really happy with the story that Linda Howard wrote for Cahill and Sarah. If you’re new to this book or haven’t read it then this story features Sarah Stevens and Thompson Cahill. Sarah Stevens is a modern day butler/bodyguard and when she comes home from her day off to find her boss dead, her life is thrown upside down. Cahill is the detective on the scene and meeting Sarah Stevens knocks him on his ass. Of course, the first time they meet and he finds out that she’s a butler, he assumes she’s the judge’s mistress or plaything and I loved seeing him wise up in all things Sarah. The mystery surrounds trying to find out who is killing all of Sarah’s employers and I’ll be honest, that part of the story is pretty weak. I knew who the killer was right away but that wasn’t what I loved about the book. I loved the romance that developed between Cahill and Sarah. I loved getting to know both of their characters and I still really love that wrestling scene. I remember loving how strong and resilient Sarah was and that didn’t change here. I also remembered how much I adored Cahill but this time around, it was all Sarah for me. She was the bomb and I still think she can take The Rock on and come out on top. She’s smart, she’s strong and what you see is what you get. She’s got that take no nonsense kind of attitude that could be taken so many different ways but for me, it really worked for her character. There was a warmth to her and I was completely charmed. I seriously want to be Sarah Stevens when I grow up. Cahill and Sarah made sense together and I really enjoyed each scene that they’re in together. Cahill’s honesty and Sarah’s take-charge attitude just worked for me and I loved how hot they were for each other. Linda Howard really shines at character development and I thought she did a nice job of letting us get to know these two. It’s a winner in my book and I definitely recommend if you’re in the mood for a little suspense, some hot loving and two strong characters that are just made for each other. This is a good one.
Buy the Book
AMAZON || BARNES AND NOBLE || GOOGLE BOOKS || iBOOKS || KOBO || THE RIPPED BODICE
Final Grade
4 out of 5
four-stars

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Review: I Think I Love You by Lauren Layne

Posted July 13, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: I Think I Love You by Lauren LayneI Think I Love You
by Lauren Layne
Series: Oxford #5
Also in this series: Irresistibly Yours, I Wish You Were Mine
Published by Random House, Loveswept on July 10, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Point of View:Alternating Third Person
Pages: 200
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Add It: Goodreads
four-half-stars

A game of seduction between two best friends goes deliciously wrong in an irresistible Oxford Novel that brims with wit and sexual tension. Library Journal hails Layne’s work as exemplary contemporary romance.”

Brit Robbins knows that dating in New York City is hard—she just hoped to have it mastered by age thirty. But after yet another promising suitor says they have no sparks, Brit decides it’s time to torch her dating game and try a new plan. And who better to coach Brit through the art of seduction than the guy who first gave her the “let’s be friends” card?

Hunter Cross has always figured there’s nothing his best friend Brit can do to surprise him. But Brit’s request is a surprise he doesn’t see coming—and one he’s definitely not prepared for. Hunter and Brit have always been careful to keep things perfectly platonic, but the fake dates and faux flirting are starting to feel like the real deal. And soon Hunter realizes he has taught Brit too well. Not only has she become an expert at seduction, the man becoming thoroughly seduced is him.

I Think I Love You is the final book in Lauren Layne’s Oxford series and on one hand, I’m super sad about that but on the other, another Oxford book! Lauren Layne strikes again with a sweet contemporary romance that I couldn’t put down. So this story follows Hunter Cross and Britt Robbins as they take their best friendship into forever love land. Britt has just been dumped again and she starts to wonder why every man on the planet seems content to keep her in the friend zone. Her friends are starting to pair off with their love matches and she’s feeling a little alone and wants to find her own person to settle down with. Or, she wants to make guys stop seeing her as their bestie and start seeing her as the girl they’d like to bang. Who better to help her learn the ways of lovin’ than her best friend, Hunter. Only Hunter doesn’t want any part of helping Britt learn how to seduce random men, especially since he’s starting to see her as more than friend. Seeing these two fumble their way from best friends to more than friends was fun and it was funny and I completely adored them. Hunter Cross is my book boyfriend of the week because I adored every single thing about him. I loved seeing him fall in love with his best friend. I loved seeing him with his family. I loved the brother he was to Malik and I really loved that he was the one that fell in love with Brit first. Sure, he was a complete bonehead in the way he dealt with those feelings and then the way that he tried to play the martyr where Brit was concerned at the end made me want to kick him in the nuts but holy cow, the way that these two came together made me so happy that I forgave Hunter for being dumb. I believed in him and his feelings for Britt and I knew that he loved her with all of his heart and that hit me right in the feels. Thanks to Lauren Layne’s awesome Pinterest boards, I didn’t have any trouble picturing Hunter in my head because this was her inspiration behind his character and holy cow, he’s perfect for Hunter. Super duper perfect. If you’re a fan of the Oxford and Sex, Love and Stilettos series then you should read this one because you’ll get a lot of those folks in this book and the story itself is a good one. Lauren Layne knows how to write the heck out of a romance and this one isn’t to be missed.
Final Grade
4.5 out of 5
Oxford Series
four-half-stars

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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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