Publisher: Self-Published

Buddy Review: The Assist by Rebecca Jenshak

Posted February 14, 2019 by Rowena in Books, Reviews | 0 Comments

Buddy Review: The Assist by Rebecca JenshakThe Assist
by Rebecca Jenshak
Series: Smart Jocks #1
Published by Rebecca Jenshak on November 5, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Point of View:Alternating First Person
Pages: 270
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Add It: Goodreads
three-stars
Reading Challenges:2019 GoodReads Challenge

You know those stories where the smart girl tutors the dumb jock? This isn't it.

Blair What's the probability of insulting the one guy on campus I need to help me pass statistics? If I knew, I wouldn't be standing in front of Wes Reynolds begging him to tutor me.

Basketball player, sexy, arrogant, always sleeping through class... these are the things I knew about him. What I didn't know is that he is a seriously smart jock.

Wes What's the best way to get rid of the peppy and unrelenting girl that keeps asking me to tutor her? If I knew, I wouldn't be staring at her tan legs and attempting to teach her statistics.

Sorority girl, fine as f**k, determined, ball buster... these are the things I knew about her. What I didn't know is that she is all the things I didn't realize I wanted or needed.

Or that one semester with her would change everything.

The Assist is the first book in the Smart Jock’s series by Rebecca Jenshak. The Smart Jocks series is a set of New Adult romances that feature really smart jocks from Valley University in Arizona and the women they fall madly in love with. First up is Wes Reynolds, the starting point guard for the Valley University’s Men’s Basketball team and the girl from his statistics class, Blair Olson. Blair needs to get an A in her statistics class but after receiving a bad grade on her first test, she knows that she needs help. When she comes across Wes Reynolds grade, she fumbles her way into getting him to tutor her. Wes is not a fan of her assumption that just because he’s a jock, he couldn’t possibly have passed the test without help but it becomes fun seeing her genuinely sorry for her assumptions and before he knows what is what, he’s helping her with her classwork. Rowena: Now, I will admit that I was really hyped for this book because it featured a basketball hero. I’m from L.A. and L.A. is a basketball town so for me, this romance appealed to my inner basketball-loving heart. I really wish there were more basketball romances out there but I’ll take what I can get and while I really enjoyed the basketball aspect of this romance, there was something missing to make me completely love it. What did you think, Ames? Ames: I have to agree with you – I liked seeing basketball instead of hockey or football being the featured sport in this NA novel. And I was looking forward to the switch up of having a nerdy jock be the one to tutor someone. And this book had some promise but something just didn’t click for me. I liked Wes but Blair’s character was hard for me to grasp. Rowena: Yeah, I had trouble with Blair’s character as well. I was really mad at David for his shenanigans and I guess I was a bit disappointed that Blair let Wes save her from that. I wish she would have saved herself, stood up for herself and really let him have it. She didn’t do anything about anything involving him, Wes did and that bummed me out. She was so quick to help everyone else but she wouldn’t even help herself. There were also chunks of the book that moved slow. Like, I knew that what we were reading was leading somewhere but I struggled with staying in the story. It was just too easy for me to put the book down and do other things. I will say that I enjoyed the bromance between Wes and Z. I thought that was great. They genuinely cared for each other and when Z tells Wes that he didn’t care about anything but seeing if his friend was okay, I was super happy. I thought Wes handled his big hurdle so badly but I understood it and I got where he was coming from, I just wish that like Blair, he would have stepped up and shown the heart that he talked so much about with Blair in the beginning. I thought that whole thing was stupid. You don’t quit on your team because you’re hurt. You don’t stop being part of a team because you can’t play anymore. You find other ways to help your team and the way that he didn’t get in trouble for ditching games and practices? I thought that was completely dumb. Being around a lot of college athletes, who have been hurt with season-ending injuries, I just don’t see someone completely checking out the way that Wes did. That was another thing that messed with my enjoyment of the book. There were no consequences for Wes’ actions and that annoyed me. There were no consequences from his coach, no consequences from his teammates and that just didn’t make sense. Anyway, so Joel is getting his story next and I’m mighty curious about who his heroine is going to be. Do you think it’s someone new or…Gabby? I’m low key hoping it’s Gabby and I’m also wondering if Z is going to get a book now that he’s no longer a student at Valley University. Hmm. Are you planning on reading the rest of the books? Ames: Oh yes! That whole thing with David was so…such a let down! Especially in this day and age, for someone to so willingly remain a victim? And that website? If people knew about it how come it wasn’t reported before? She really should have stood up for herself. I felt like all the extra work she was doing for him was just swept under the rug too. I mean, I can understand why someone wouldn’t say something but this is fiction and this would have been a great opportunity to show some strength in a character instead of relying on a guy to confront that douche. I feel like there was a lot of telling with this book and not a lot of showing. So that’s where I felt a disconnect with the story. I liked the friendship Wes had with his roommates and especially Z as well. But like you said, the way he disconnected after his injury was something that true teammates and friends would have confronted him about. They would have dragged his ass to the gym and games. They wouldn’t have let him stay in his funk as long as they did. See Z had a moment when he looked at Gabby so that’s who I see pairing up in a subsequent book. And I would read Z’s book. I think he’s an interesting character. Especially as he goes pro. I’m not really interested in Joel’s story though. All right. This was Jenshak’s debut book and although there were some issues with it, overall it was ok. I’m giving it a 3 out of 5. What about you? Rowena: I did see the moment you’re talking about, I just didn’t think Z would be getting a book since he’s not going to be going to the college anymore. Maybe I’m wrong though. Maybe Joel’s girl will be the girl that he tutors in Spanish. I’d like to read Joel’s book. I liked the way that he stepped up and went to his Dad to try to help Blair out with the whole website thing. That showed promise for me. But yeah, as far as this is concerned. There was a lot of promise and I enjoyed the friendships but overall, it was just an okay reading experience for me too.
Final Grades
Ames: 3 out of 5 Rowena: 3 out of 5
three-stars

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Eye Candy Friday: Garrett Daniel from Getting Schooled by Emma Chase

Posted January 18, 2019 by Rowena in Books, Features | 14 Comments

As I mentioned last week, I’m making certain changes (or returning to my older ways) to the features that I want to track and do each week. Going back to Eye Candy Friday instead of Book Boyfriends will let me feature other boyfriends that I’m loving and wanting to spotlight right now. So this is the first of those posts. I promise, no more changing. This is it! Thanks for coming along for the ride.

Eye Candy Friday: Garrett Daniel from Getting Schooled by Emma ChaseGetting Schooled
by Emma Chase
Series: Getting Some #1
Published by Emma Chase on June 26, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Point of View:Alternating First Person
Pages: 300
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Add It: Goodreads
four-stars

Head of the class...

Garrett Daniels has this whole life thing figured out.

The cocky, charismatic former high school star quarterback is an idolized football coach and "cool" teacher in the hometown where he's not just a golden boy—he's platinum. He has good friends, a great house on the lake, and the best damn sidekick a man could ask for: Snoopy, the albino beagle.

Then...Callie Carpenter comes home.

And knocks him right on his tight end zone.

Back to school...

Callie has a pretty sweet life herself...on the other side of the country. But circumstances—that she'd prefer to never speak of again—have brought her back home, helping out her parents and substitute teaching at her old high school.

Now she's facing bickering, raging hormones, constant gossip, awkward weirdness, and drama galore...and that's just the teachers.

Just like old times...

When Garrett offers to show his former high school sweetheart the secrets of his winning teacher ways, Callie jumps at the chance—and then has to stop herself from jumping him.

Good friends are all they can ever be.

Or...these teachers just might end up getting schooled—hard—by love.

Today’s boyfriend is Garrett Daniels from Emma Chase’s Getting Schooled, the first book in her Getting Some series. Garrett Daniels is a high school football coach, who is teaching and coaching at his old high school and living his best life. He’s considered the best thing since sliced bread in his hometown and has created a pretty decent life for himself there. He’s happy, or at least as happy as he lets himself be until the one that got away, comes back home…and shakes up his life.

Garrett has a lot of Coach Taylor from Friday Night Lights qualities to him and I freaking loved the hell out of him. I loved seeing him as a coach, a teacher and then as a man falling in love again with the girl that left him behind to chase her dreams.

There wasn’t a complicated past or even anything super extra about Garrett. He was just a regular man who lived his life the way that he wanted, did what he thought was right and did right by those he loved and cared about. Callie, the girl that broke his heart, was included in that…even after all of these years.

Here are some quotes from Garrett’s book that showcase just why I adored him so much. It’ll paint a better picture of just how awesome Garrett is.

“You were always my girl, Callie. Even after you weren’t anymore.”
“I have feelings for him. I always have … But these aren’t just leftover echoes of a sweet first love. This is something new. A throbbing, breathless attraction to the amazing man he’s become. I want to be near him, to know him, inside and out all over again.

And he feels the same way. Garret wants this version of me as much as he always did. Maybe even more.”
“What is this to you? What are we doing? What do you want?” Garrett smiles that easy smile that makes me want to lick every single inch of his skin. “This is you and me. The reboot. We’ll talk and laugh and fuck until we can’t move, and probably fight at some point, too. And we’ll… be.” I reach for him. He releases my arms and rolls us to the side, my hands around his neck, my leg draped across his hip. “As for what I want. I want you, Callie. For as long as you’re here. For as long as you’ll let me have you. I want all of you.”

Hero Casting
Buy the Book
AMAZON || BARNES & NOBLE || GOOGLE BOOKS || THE RIPPED BODICE

Have you read Getting Schooled by Emma Chase? If so, do you love Garrett Daniels as much as I do? Share your comments below.

four-stars

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The Weekly Recap (117)

Posted January 14, 2019 by Rowena in Books, Features | 10 Comments

It was a pretty quiet week for me. I didn’t do much because the weather in L.A. is pretty dreary. Bren and Ken did have a game on Friday that I went to and I got into it with some punk ass white boy who was talking shit about Kenna like he knew anything about her. Calling her a lazy ass who doesn’t help her teammates like it was Kenna’s fault that his girlfriend can’t break a damn press. The thing about it though was she couldn’t get past one person who was guarding her really close. That girl was eating her up and stripping the ball from her time and time again. It is not Kenna’s fault that his girlfriend is a trash point guard and exposes herself with every game. The only bad thing about all of that was I went off on him about how his girlfriend is trash and his girlfriend’s family was sitting a few rows in front of me so now they know that I think their daughter sucks ass but *shrugs* it can’t be helped now. I meant it too but because her Mom has been nothing but nice to me, I felt a little bad. Oh well. Don’t start nothing, won’t be nothing. The thing about it was the boyfriend stood right in back of me, talking all of his shit about Kenna. Like he blamed Kenna for the loss but nope, that was a team loss and Kenna didn’t lead that game in turnovers so he better go somewhere with his dumbass. And why in the hell would you talk all this shit directly in back of Kenna’s family? How disrespectful is that? And Kenna would eat his girlfriend up if they were to go one on one so honestly…he’s an idiot. He was also analyzing the game like he was a coach or something and the fool doesn’t even play anywhere except the local parks and rec league.
Anyway, onto the books…
What I’m Currently Reading
The Weekly Recap (117)The Wrong Game
by Kandi Steiner
Published by Kandi Steiner on October 18, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Point of View:Alternating First Person
Pages: 393
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges:2019 GoodReads Challenge

Two season tickets. One genius idea. Zero interest in a relationship.

The plan is simple: a brand new, hot, preferably funny, definitely single male will fill one of those seats for every Bears game at Soldier Field. And I’ll fill the other.

I can’t think of a better way to use the season passes I’d bought for my ex-husband. I am a woman of plans, and this one’s foolproof.

Until Zach Bowen offers to be my practice round.

He’s infuriating. Presumptuous and overbearing. And absolutely, undeniably gorgeous. Any woman with a heartbeat would be attracted to him, and mine picks up speed every time he speaks.

But as I said, I’m a woman of plans — and I’m not backing down on this one.

One night. One game. And then, his time’s up.

He can try to change the rules, but here’s the truth: he can’t win if he’s playing the wrong game.

The Wrong Game is a stand-alone, angsty, enemies-to-lovers sports romance.

I’m about halfway through this book and am enjoying it though I’m not seeing what is presented in the blurb. I’m going to be reviewing this one with Holly so you’ll see what I end up thinking of the book as a whole on Book Binge soon. I hope this one continues to be good.
What I Read
Governess Gone Rogue (Dear Lady Truelove #3) by Laura Lee Guhrke (eARC) | 4 out of 5 Hoops Holiday (Hoops #2.5) by Kennedy Ryan (Kindle Unlimited) | 4.25 out of 5 Right Where I Want You by Jessica Hawkins (eBook) | 4 out of 5
My favorite read of the week goes to Hoops Holiday by Kennedy Ryan. It was such a sweet and fun romance between two people that were perfect for each other. There’s some angst and even though the book was super short, the romance was done in a believable way and I just adored it to pieces.
What I Reviewed
Hate Notes by Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward | 4 out of 5 Famous in a Small Town by Emma Mills | 4 out of 5
What I Posted
The Weekly Recap (116) The Monthly Recap: December 2018 The Wednesday Post (2) My Personal and Blogging Goals for 2019
What I Got
Nothing new this week. I’m trying to get the books I already have read first.
What I Got for Review
Bad Influence (Bad Bachelors #3) by Stefanie London Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin
What Made Me Laugh
There you have it, my week in review. How was your week?

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Book Boyfriend: Jax Blackwood from Fall by Kristen Callihan

Posted January 4, 2019 by Rowena in Books, Features | 6 Comments

Each week, I’ll be spotlighting a different book boyfriend from the books that I read. Some book boyfriends will be new to me book boyfriends and some will be oldie but goodie book boyfriends. I’ll be showing all of the love to these book boyfriends and you’ll read all about these guys here. This week’s boyfriend is Jax Blackwood from Fall by Kristen Callihan. Jax is one of the founding members of the popular band, Kill John. He sings alongside the lead singer, Killian James. If you’ve read Idol and Managed then you’ll remember Jax as the band member that suffers from depression. I was super curious about how this book would turn out for me because it deals with something that I’ve dealt with in my personal life and I was low key scared going into it. I’m happy to report that Kristen Callihan really nails the issue of depression and the toll it takes on the person suffering from depression but also the people in their lives. Jax was severely depressed and I thought Callihan did a really great job of making the readers understand and love Jax through the ups and the downs. Book Boyfriend: Jax Blackwood from Fall by Kristen CallihanFall (VIP, #3)
by Kristen Callihan
Published by Kristen Callihan on October 23, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Point of View:Alternating First Person
Pages: 436
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add It: Goodreads
four-stars

The first time I met Jax Blackwood things went a little sideways.

In my defense, I didn’t know he was Jax Blackwood—who expects a legendary rock star to be shopping for groceries? More importantly, a blizzard was coming and he was about to grab the last carton of mint-chocolate chip.

Still, I might have walked away, but then he smugly dared me to try and take the coveted ice cream. So I kissed him. And distracted that mint-chip right out of his hands.

Okay, it was a dirty move, but desperate times and all that. Besides, I never expected he’d be my new neighbor.

An annoying neighbor who takes great pleasure in reminding me that I owe him ice cream but would happily accept more kisses as payment. An irresistible neighbor who keeps me up while playing guitar naked–spectacularly naked–in his living room.

Clearly, avoidance is key. Except nothing about Jax is easy to ignore—not the way he makes me laugh, or that his particular brand of darkness matches mine, or how one look from him melts me faster than butter under a hot sun.

Neither of us believes in love or forever. Yet we’re quickly becoming each other’s addiction. But we could be more. We could be everything.

All we have to do is trust enough to fall.

From the very jump, I was rooting for Jax because he really goes through it and we only saw a tiny bit of it all in the previous books. We really see how Jax’s actions affect the other band members along with the band’s team of managers, publicists and what not. So going into Jax’s book, I was really excited to get what it’s like for him. Then when we meet his heroine and witness their meet cute, I was super pumped to get their story. I thought it was the cutest thing ever and when Stella lays one on Jax, taking him by surprise, I laughed out loud. What I really liked about Jax was how far he comes from the beginning of this series until now. It was not easy for him and seeing him during his highs and his lows brought back memories of my friend David so yeah, I cried a lot while reading this book but it’s okay because it was really good. I loved seeing Jax come full circle and really heal from everything. I’m glad that he really fixes things with his bandmates, Killian in particular and this scene, right here. I really loved it.
“I don’t need you to fix me, Stella. I need you for everything else. I need your smiles, your laughter. I need you to be my best friend, my lover, my all. I need to take care of you, touch your skin, make you dinner, give you pleasure whenever you’re in need.” I lean in, emotion clogging my throat. “You are the best thing that has ever happened to me, and I’d happily spend the rest of my life trying to be the best thing that has ever happened to you too.”
This book made me cry but Kristen Callihan does such a great job of putting the reader back together that I was not even mad that I looked like I went ten rounds with Mike Tyson in the ring after I finished this one. Jax is sensitive and he really puts you through the wringer (as he does with Stella) but I really loved the support group that he had and that he made sure that he got better for himself but also for the people in his life. I loved that he didn’t need Stella to fix him in the end, that he was working on fixing himself and seriously, this book was a good one so if you’re a fan of the other books in this series and haven’t read this one yet. Fix that. It’s great, I promise!
Hero Casting
This guy really is the perfect casting for Jax. I pictured this guy every time Jax was on the scene so yeah, I didn’t need to re-cast him to a new celebrity or model. This guy is perfect.
Buy the Book
AMAZON || BARNES & NOBLE || GOOGLE BOOKS || THE RIPPED BODICE
VIP Series
Are you a fan of Jax Blackwood? What do you think about him and his book? Who is your favorite book boyfriend this week?
four-stars

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Book Boyfriend: Dallas Walker from Wait for It by Mariana Zapata

Posted December 21, 2018 by Rowena in Books, Features | 10 Comments

This feature keeps changing because I’m trying different things out but I think I’m going to stick with this format from here on out. Thanks for coming along this ride until I figure out what the hell I want to do here. LOL. Book Boyfriend: Dallas Walker from Wait for It by Mariana ZapataWait for It
by Mariana Zapata
Published by Mariana Zapata on December 7, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Point of View:First Person
Pages: 670
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add It: Goodreads
four-half-stars

If anyone ever said being an adult was easy, they hadn't been one long enough. Diana Casillas can admit it: she doesn't know what the hell she's doing half the time. How she's made it through the last two years of her life without killing anyone is nothing short of a miracle. Being a grown-up wasn't supposed to be so hard. With a new house, two little boys she inherited the most painful possible way, a giant dog, a job she usually loves, more than enough family, and friends, she has almost everything she could ever ask for. Except for a boyfriend. Or a husband. But who needs either one of those?

As we close out the year, I’ve been thinking back on the books that I’m reading and the characters that have wormed their way into my heart over the year and Dallas Walker is definitely a part of my favorites list. I loved that he was mysterious and sexy and broody and just everything that I love in a hero. I loved the dedication he showed with the boys, the baseball team and the patience he had with what he was feeling for Diana. There were loads of complications between him and Diana and he took the time to make things right before he took that step with her. The slow burn was real in this one because Dallas made Diana wake and seeing them become friends before moving further was a treat. Dallas was a protector and caring man that came into both Louie and Josh’s lives. I loved that he stuck around to be a father figure to Josh and how he really loved being there for them. He loved helping them and needing them as much as they needed him. Dallas was an overall great guy and just my kind of hero. Diana was lucky to have him but he was also really lucky to have them. What a great guy this one was!
“Don’t put me into that position because I know she”-he tipped his head toward me-“only bites when she has to, and I will always take her side. Are we clear on that?”
This scene right here got me right in my feels. Diana was having a hard time with the parents of the boys on Josh’s new baseball team and Dallas, the coach, got things right this time around. Gah, so freaking good! I feel a re-read coming on. His book is pretty damn good too so if you haven’t read it, you should. Don’t let the length of the novel scare you. I read the entire thing in one sitting, it was that good. The story moves fast and the characters will take up residence in your heart. It’s such a great read and you can read my review of the book with my buddy Ames here. So good, I promise!
Hero Casting
This is who I pictured whenever Zapata described Dallas with his too short haircut, his stocky build, his overall sexiness.
Buy the Book
AMAZON || BARNES & NOBLE || THE RIPPED BODICE
Have you read Wait for It by Mariana Zapata? Did you love Dallas as much as I did? Share your love in the comments!
four-half-stars

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