Publisher: Self-Published

The Weekly Recap (143)

Posted January 6, 2020 by Rowena in Books, Features | 0 Comments

Hello! My name is Rowena and I used to blog on this thing a lot. It’s a new year, so hopefully, some new blogging hobbies will reappear in my life. Ha! Anyway, I’m back! I’ve written up some posts to keep this blog running and though it’s a personal blog (that is very bookish), I’m happy to have everyone here. 🙂 I missed y’all! Also…

I’m hoping that 2020 treats us all better than 2019 did and that we’ll all read our next favorite book this year. Like, that book. I hope everyone had a great end of the year celebration and that you guys are all ready to kick 2020’s ass. Make it a good year, folks!

Now, onto the books…

What I’m Currently Reading
The Weekly Recap (143)The Rebel King by Kennedy Ryan
Series: All the Kings Men #2
Published by Self-Published, Kennedy Ryan on November 18, 2019
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Point of View: First Person
Pages: 348
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: 2020 Goodreads Challenge

Ambition. Revenge. Love.

Raised to resist. Bred to fight. Survival is in my blood and surrender is never an option.

Though surrender is what Maxim Cade demanded of my body and heart, I had other plans. We were fast-burning fascination and combustible chemistry, but the man I trusted with everything was a trickster. A thief who stole my love. If what we had was a lie, why did it feel so real? The man I swore to hate will have it all, and wants me at his side. But power is a game, and we're the pawns and players.

Facing insurmountable odds, will we win the world, or will we lose it all?

Rita Award-winning author Kennedy Ryan delivers the gripping conclusion to the All the King's Men Duet.

I have caught up on all of my review books, well I should say that I’m current on all of my review books so now I can jump back into the world that Kennedy Ryan created for Maxim Cade and Lennix Hunter…and I can’t wait. This is what I’m reading today.

What I Read

Grumpy Jake by Melissa Blue (eBook) | 4 out of 5
Grand Theft N.Y.E. (Holiday Heist #1) by Katrina Jackson (eBook) | 4 out of 5
The One for You (The Ones Who Got Away #4) by Roni Loren (eARC) | 5 out of 5
Love Lettering by Kate Clayborn (eBook) | 3.75 out of 5
Headliners (London Celebrities #5) by Lucy Parker (eARC) | 4 out of 5

What I Reviewed

Lady Derring Takes a Lover (The Palace of Rogues #1) by Julie Anne Long | 4.25 out of 5
Getting Played (Getting Some #2) by Emma Chase | 4.25 out of 5

What I Got

Love Lettering by Kate Clayborn
Grand Theft N.Y.E. (Holiday Heist #1) by Katrina Jackson
Every New Year (Love at Last #1) by Katrina Jackson

What I Got for Review

Chasing Cassandra (The Ravenels #6) by Lisa Kleypas

What Made Me Laugh

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

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Eye Candy Friday: Eric Bayer from Moonlighter by Sarina Bowen

Posted October 18, 2019 by Rowena in Books, Features | 6 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.

Eye Candy Friday: Eric Bayer from Moonlighter by Sarina BowenMoonlighter by Sarina Bowen
Series: The Company #1
Published by Self-Published, Sarina Bowen on October 22, 2019
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Point of View: Alternating First Person
Pages: 370
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Add It: Goodreads
four-stars

Only in my family could a professional hockey player earning seven million dollars a year be considered a slacker.

I’m at the height of my athletic career. Yet my arrogant brother is always trying to recruit me into the family business: a global security company so secretive that I don’t even know its name.

Pass, thanks. I don’t need a summer job.

But the jerk ambushes me with a damsel in distress. That damsel is Alex, the competitive, sassy girl I knew when we were kids. Now she’s a drop-dead gorgeous woman in deep trouble.

So guess who’s on a flight to Hawaii?

It’s going to be a long week in paradise. My job is keeping Alex safe, while her job is torturing me with her tiny bikinis. Or maybe we’re torturing each other. It’s all snark and flirting until the threat against Alex gets serious. And this jock must become her major league protector.

Moonlighter is a stand-alone novel. No cliffhangers, no prior experience necessary. Contains: hackers, hockey players, and a hotel room with only one bed.

Today’s eye candy is Eric Bayer from the Brooklyn Bruisers and now, The Company series. He gets his true love in Sarina Bowen’s upcoming release Moonlighter. I can’t wait for you guys to read his book. It’s good and exactly what I wanted for Bayer. I just adored him to pieces.

Hero Casting

This is how I pictured Bayer when he was escorting Alex in Hawaii. All put together nicely and drool-worthy.

The Company Series

Have you read Moonlighter yet? If no, are you looking forward to reading Moonlighter? Do you love Eric Bayer as much as I did? Who is your favorite character this week?

four-stars

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The Wednesday Post (19)

Posted October 16, 2019 by Rowena in Books, Features | 10 Comments

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.

I decided that I’m going to do a mashup of the Can’t Wait Wednesday and WWW Wednesday posts here on my blog. I’m bringing them together and calling it The Wednesday Post. Here’s what I’m up to this week.

WWW Wednesday

What did you recently finish reading?

The Bromance Book Club (The Bromance Book Club #1) by Lyssa Kay Adams

Monday was Grace’s birthday and Lauren from Bookmark Lit put together a beautiful way for everyone to honor out friend. Yesterday, everyone read a book from Grace’s TBR List, her Favorites List, any book that reminded us of Grace and for an entire day, we all #ReadforGrace. I read The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams for Grace and I enjoyed it a great deal. I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would enjoy it and I know that Grace would have enjoyed it too.

Huge Deal (21 Wall Street #3) by Lauren Layne

I read this book when it first came out and loved it to pieces. This kind of romance, the unrequited love trope always hits different and with Lauren Layne writing this one, I just knew that I was going to love it. This time around though, I listened to the audiobook. This is our book discussion book for book club and book club meets on Monday so I had to get this read so that I can prepare to kick my book club friends butts at our monthly trivia game. I loved it all over again. This is seriously my kind of book.

What are you currently reading?

Marriage on Madison Avenue (The Central Park Pact #3) by Lauren Layne

It’s a Lauren Layne kind of week for me. I got this book for review last week and I don’t think I could wait to read it so I’m not going to bother. I’m reading this book next and I can’t wait to dig into a best friends to lovers book, especially when that book is Audrey’s book. Squee!

What do you think you’ll read next?

Blitzed (The Playbook #3) by Alexa Martin
Four Days of You and Me by Miranda Kenneally

Next up for me are these two books. More books from my review pile and more books that I’m much too anxious to wait to read. I can’t wait to jump into these two books and I won’t have to wait for too much longer. Soon, I’ll be saying, “Come to mama” to these.

Can’t Wait Wednesday
The Wednesday Post (19)Outmatched by Kristen Callihan, Samantha Young
Published by Self-Published on November 19, 2019
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Format: eBook
Add It: Goodreads

What happens when a boxer finds chemistry with a geek?

Parker Brown can’t believe she needs to hire a fake boyfriend. When she landed her dream job in renewable energy, she thought she’d be entering a world at the forefront of progressive thinking. But the head boss prefers to promote employees who are “settled.” Thankfully, she’s found the perfect candidate, a fellow intellectual looking for some quick cash. What Parker gets is his protective big brother—Rhys Morgan. The tall, muscled ex-boxer with a foul mouth shows up just as her boss does, and now she’s stuck with the manipulative jerk.

Responsibility weighs heavily on Rhys. Now permanently out of the ring, he’s trying to hold together his late father’s gym and keep his younger brother, Dean, on the straight and narrow. To save Dean from himself, Rhys takes his place, ready to give this society girl a piece of his mind. Instead, he finds an opportunity. Even though they can hardly stand each other, posing as Parker’s boyfriend is a win-win deal. She gets to keep her job, and he’ll charm her star-struck boss into sponsoring his gym.

Problem is, they can barely keep their hands off each other. And what started as an easy deal isn’t so easy anymore. Because what future can a rough ex-boxer, afraid to open his heart, and a polished society geek, who has sworn off real relationships, possibly have?

They say opposites attract. These opposites are about to combust on impact.

I just barely came across this book over the weekend and already, I’m anxious to read it. A romance by two awesome authors that I enjoy a great deal? Yeah, count me in! Especially with a fake boyfriend trope. I’m trash for that kind of story. Bring it on! This book comes out on November 19th so mark your calendar, lovely readers. There isn’t much of a wait…yeah, there are only just under 3 months left in the year. Where has the time gone?

So, what are you reading this week? Anything good? Anything that you want to rant about?
Are you looking forward to Outmatched? What other books are you looking forward to releasing this year?

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Eye Candy Friday: Chloe Madison from Love, Chloe by Alessandra Torre

Posted June 28, 2019 by Rowena in Books | 0 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.

Eye Candy Friday: Chloe Madison from Love, Chloe by Alessandra TorreLove, Chloe by Alessandra Torre
Published by Self-Published, Alessandra Torre on March 14, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Point of View: First Person
Pages: 417
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add It: Goodreads
four-stars

You know girls like me. You hate girls like me. The privileged blonde who skips her Ivy League classes when she's had too many Soho martinis. The one draped on the asshole's arm because he drives a Bugati and screws like a champ.

I was that girl. I loved being that girl.

Then, my door was broken in. Literally.

And in that moment? Everything changed.

Today’s eye candy is Chloe Madison from Love, Chloe by Alessandra Torre. It’s a contemporary New Adult story about Chloe Madison, a very rich girl who becomes a very poor girl overnight. The book is a coming of age story and it follows Chloe try to figure out what she’s going to do to support herself and to figure out who she is without her parent’s money. I’ve never been rich before but that didn’t stop me from connecting with Chloe.

She really goes through it and she stumbles a lot but man was she an enjoyable character to root for. If you haven’t read her book, you should because Alessandra Torre did a great job of making the reader connect with Chloe and the people in her life. Torre weaved a strong story for Chloe and I just adored Chloe to pieces. That’s why she’s this week’s eye candy. She’s the bomb, y’all!

I buddy reviewed this book with Ames and you can read our review, here. 🙂

Heroine Casting

Lauren Conrad would make a great Chloe, I think. They have the same look and Lauren kind of lived the same kind of life that Chloe enjoyed before her parents lost all of their money. I connected with Lauren on all of her shows even though I didn’t have a thing in common with her, the same way that I did Chloe and to me, that makes her perfect.

Buy the Book

AMAZON || BARNES & NOBLE || THE RIPPED BODICE

Have you read Love, Chloe by Alessandra Torre? Did you love Chloe as much as I did? Who is your favorite character right now?

four-stars

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Throwback Thursday: The Understatement of the Year by Sarina Bowen

Posted June 20, 2019 by Rowena in Books | 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: The Understatement of the Year by Sarina BowenThe Understatement of the Year by Sarina Bowen
Series: The Ivy Years #3
Also in this series: The Year We Fell Down
Published by Self-Published, Sarina Bowen on September 29, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Point of View: Alternating First Person
Pages: 310
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Add It: Goodreads
four-half-stars

What happened in high school stayed in high school. Until now.

Five years ago, Michael Graham betrayed the only person who ever really knew him. Since then, he’s made an art of hiding his sexuality from everyone. Including himself.

So it’s a shock when his past strolls right into the Harkness College locker room, sporting a bag of hockey gear and the same slow smile that had always rendered Graham defenseless. For Graham, there is only one possible reaction: total, debilitating panic. With one loose word, the team’s new left wing could destroy Graham’s life as he knows it.

John Rikker is stuck being the new guy. Again. And it’s worse than usual, because the media has latched onto the story of the only “out” player in Division One hockey. As the satellite trucks line the sidewalk outside the rink, his new teammates are not amused.

And one player in particular looks sick every time he enters the room.

Rikker didn’t exactly expect a warm welcome from Graham. But the guy won’t even meet his eyes. From the looks of it, his former… best friend / boyfriend / whatever isn’t doing so well. He drinks too much and can’t focus during practice.

Either the two loneliest guys on the team will self destruct from all the new pressures in their lives, or they can navigate the pain to find a way back to one another. To say that it won’t be easy is the Understatement of the Year.

Warning: unlike the other books in this series, this heartbreaking love story is about two guys. Contains sexual situations, dance music, snarky t-shirts and a poker-playing grandmother.

As you may recall, I read the entire Ivy Years series when Sarina Bowen put them on Kindle Unlimited and I was shook when I read this book because I didn’t remember much of anything that happened. Reading this book again was like reading it for the first time and I really dug that. This book was also the very first m/m romance that I read and come to think of it, the only m/m romances that I have read were probably written by Sarina Bowen. She writes them well.

John Rikker just transferred to Harkness to play hockey with a new team after a bunch of drama at his old school. Turns out that not a lot of teams want to play with a gay hockey player. When he gets to Harkness, he’s expecting the worse but what he’s not expecting is the blast from the past, Michael Graham. Rikker and Graham were best buddies growing up, until an incident occurs and Rikker is sent to the hospital then moved away to live with his grandmother, out of town. It’s been years and years since they’ve seen each other and by the way that Graham is freaking out, Rikker realizes the boy is still so far deep in the closet that he’s not touching those issues when he’s got so much of his own to contend with.

Michael Graham is shook when he sees Rikker walk in. He hasn’t seen Rikker in years but he looks the same though there’s no way he in any way resembles the boy that Graham knew growing up. How could he when Graham isn’t the same guy himself. Seeing Rikker again brings up everything that happened the last time that he saw him and the guilt that Graham has carried since then has all come flooding back and Graham is drowning. Even after Rikker assures him that he didn’t come to Harkness to destroy Graham’s life, Graham worries. There’s no way that they could keep out of each other’s way since they go to the same school and they play on the same hockey team so of course, they grow closer.

Man did my heart hurt for these two. They both struggle with different things and they’re both linked by so much hate thrown their way and I just don’t understand it. I don’t understand why so many people care if a man loves another man or if a woman loves another woman. I grew up in a religious household but it wouldn’t be very Christlike for me to judge anyone or hate anyone or treat anyone differently just because they’re gay. Love is love and other people’s love ain’t none of my business. I don’t understand how Rikker’s parents could love him any less just because he was gay. That’s not Christlike at all. If anything, I judged the hell out of his parents and anyone else that had issues with Rikker’s sexuality. Grrr.

I really loved seeing Rikker and Graham come together in love. Their road is a long one and an emotional one and I loved how strong both of them were in the end, both separately and together. Sarina Bowen once again knocks this story out of the park and it’s one of those lasting stories that will continue to be good every single time that you read it. I definitely recommend this one.

Final Grade

4.5 out of 5

The Ivy Years Series


four-half-stars

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