Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Book Boyfriend: Josh Im from Josh & Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren

Posted September 7, 2018 by Rowena in Features, Reviews | 8 Comments

This feature keeps changing because I’m trying different things out and I haven’t decided on which format to keep. Thanks for coming along this ride until I figure out what the hell I want to do here. LOL. Book Boyfriend: Josh Im from Josh & Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina LaurenJosh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating
by Christina Lauren
Published by Simon & Schuster, Gallery Books on September 4, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Point of View:Alternating First Person
Pages: 320
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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five-stars

Hazel Camille Bradford knows she’s a lot to take—and frankly, most men aren’t up to the challenge. If her army of pets and thrill for the absurd don’t send them running, her lack of filter means she’ll say exactly the wrong thing in a delicate moment. Their loss. She’s a good soul in search of honest fun.

Josh Im has known Hazel since college, where her zany playfulness proved completely incompatible with his mellow restraint. From the first night they met—when she gracelessly threw up on his shoes—to when she sent him an unintelligible email while in a post-surgical haze, Josh has always thought of Hazel more as a spectacle than a peer. But now, ten years later, after a cheating girlfriend has turned his life upside down, going out with Hazel is a breath of fresh air.

Not that Josh and Hazel date. At least, not each other. Because setting each other up on progressively terrible double blind dates means there’s nothing between them...right?

I read a lot of books last week and my favorite guy from all of the books that I read was Josh Im from Josh & Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren. So he’s my book boyfriend for this week.
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I have a thing for hot guys who are quiet, reserved and serious. I definitely have a thing for Josh Im. Like Hazel, I had an immediate crush on him because he checked every box on my crush list. Hot Asian guys are my jam right now. Of course, I loved Josh for more than just because he’s a hot Asian guy. He was super sweet and I loved that he accepted crazy Hazie as she was and didn’t expect her to change for anything or anyone. I loved that he was open to new experiences and that he was super loyal to Hazel when others tried to tame the wildness in her or make her feel bad for being who she was. He was just so awesome and honestly, we need more Josh Ims in the world. This book was a lot of fun. It kept me laughing from beginning to end and while Hazel was the funny one of this pair, the stuff that Josh got himself into because of Hazel was a lot of fun to read about. I laughed through every single one of their dates (I can’t even choose a favorite date either, they were all great), my heart hurt when Josh decides that he loves Hazel and is unsure about how she feels for him. The insecurity, the self-doubt all made me want to cuddle him close.
Hero Casting
When I started reading this book, I immediately casted both Hazel and Josh in my head. Josh reminded me of Jung from Kim’s Convenience, a Canadian show that I watched on Netflix and Hazel reminded me so much of Jessica Day from New Girl so, throughout the entire book, it was those two that I saw in my head. I adore Jung and think he makes the perfect Josh Im. If you’re looking for a fun book to jump into, I would definitely recommend this one. You’ll want to drool over Josh Im with me, for sure. 🙂 Have you read this book? If so, did you enjoy it as much as I did and love Josh as much as I did? Who is your book boyfriend of the week?
five-stars

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Throwback Thursday: Castles by Julie Garwood

Posted August 30, 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: Castles by Julie GarwoodCastles
by Julie Garwood
Series: Crown's Spies #4
Also in this series: The Lion's Lady, Guardian Angel, The Gift
Published by Simon & Schuster, Pocket Books on November 4, 1996
Genres: Historical, Romance
Point of View:Alternating Third Person
Pages: 354
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add It: Goodreads
four-half-stars

Orphaned and besieged Princess Alesandra knew that only hasty marriage to an Englishman could protect her from the turmoil in her own land. To the amusement of her makeshift guardian, Colin, younger brother of the Marquess of Caineswood, the bold raven-haired beauty instantly captivated London society. But when Alesandra was nearly abducted by her unscrupulous countrymen, the fighting instincts that won Colin a knighthood for valor were rekindled.

Deceiving himself that he wanted only to protect her, Colin swept her into a union meant to be a marriage in name alone ... yet Alesandra's tender first kiss and hesitant caress ignited a wildfire in his soul. As the lovely princess dashed headlong into unforeseen dangers, Colin would follow, knowing he must claim her as his own forever. Now he would risk life itself before he would lose this sweet, tempestuous angel ...

Back in the day, I used to be a regular poster on Julie Garwood’s Bulletin Board and it was a lot of fun for me. I needed somewhere to go to discuss my passion for books and love of Julie Garwood heroes, heroines and books in general. The JGBB was the perfect place for that. Every month, we discussed a different JG book, we played online games and you could even compete to claim your own JG hero. Colin was the very first JG hero that I actually competed to claim as my own….and your girl won!!!
Haha, anyway this book was brought back onto my radar after Quinn brought it up on the discord app as one of her favorite Julie Garwood books and I just had to do it. I just had to open this sucker up and read it all in one sitting. I loved this book just as much as I have every other single time that I’ve read it. Colin and Alessandra are serious couples goals and Julie Garwood is second to none in capturing their romance, their humor and their motherfreaking charm because re-reading this book was a good time. Castles is the last book in Julie Garwood’s Crown’s Spies series and it follows Caine from Guardian Angel’s younger brother Colin as he finds love with orphaned Princess Alesandra. Colin’s parents are Alesandra’s guardians and they’re trying to protect her from the unwanted attention of the suitor’s variety. Everyone wants a piece of an orphaned Princess you know. When her life is thrown into constant danger because someone is trying to kidnap her, Colin steps in and takes over her protection…and that’s when the shenanigans begin. This book man, it’s always so much fun to dive into old school Julie Garwood books because the hero and the heroine get into some crazy stuff and seeing them come together in love with each other is the best. Colin and Alesandra were one of my favorites back in the day and reuniting with them and reading through that family dinner scene always hits me in my funny bone and gets me all up in my feels. I laughed just as much this time around as I always do and man, I can’t recommend this book enough. The series is a winner for me too so if you want to really get the dynamic of the group of Crown Spies featured in this book, you should start with The Lion’s Lady. All of the books were great and this one is my favorite of the bunch. There were so many things I had forgotten before re-reading this book. Like that Colin’s nickname is Dolphin. I forgot about Alesandra’s lists. What she did for Colin’s boots and his limp. That her bodyguard Raymond was hurt and just how refreshingly sweet Alessandra was. This was a really good book and if you’re in the mood for a fun historical romance then look no further than Castles because seriously, it’s a great book.
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Final Grade
4.5 out of 5
Crown’s Spies Series
four-half-stars

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Can’t Wait Wednesday: The Sweetest Thing by Judith McNaught

Posted August 22, 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. Can’t Wait Wednesday: The Sweetest Thing by Judith McNaughtThe Sweetest Thing
by Judith McNaught
Series: Foster Saga #2
Published by Simon & Schuster, Gallery Books on October 23, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Point of View:Third Person
Pages: 224
Add It: Goodreads

In a sweeping and enchanting tale of romance and second chances, Judith McNaught shows us yet again that love is the greatest gift of all and that she truly “is in a class by herself” (USA TODAY). From the sensational #1 New York Times bestselling author of Every Breath You Take and Paradise comes her first new novel in over a decade.

Corey Foster is the young creative genius and vision behind Foster’s Beautiful Living magazine and the enormous Foster lifestyle empire. While her stepsister Diana handles the business side of things, Corey is responsible for the distinctive look of the magazine. She is just beginning work on the pilot episode of their first wedding-based reality TV show when Diana lands the rights for them to film one of the most glamorous weddings of the year. But there’s a pretty big catch—the weekend will reunite Corey with an old flame. The one who got away. The one who incinerated her heart several years before.

Gah, I can’t believe that I’m including this book on this feature because I’m still high key annoyed at how much the eBook is. My issue is that this isn’t even a new book, I mean, sure McNaught went in and revamped the story but this is Spence and Corie’s story so they’re not new characters and I already read their original story so I’m not all happy that this eBook is going to cost $13.99. WTF is that even about?
Okay so even though I’m pissed off about this book, I’m still looking forward to it because I’m dumb and that’s how I roll.
Pre-Order the Book
The Sweetest Thing by Judith McNaught Releases on October 23, 2018 Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Google Books
Fosters Saga Series
Have you read Double Exposure by Judith McNaught, which is the novella that has been revamped into this book? Are you planning on reading this one? Share your thoughts!

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Throwback Thursday: Paradise by Judith McNaught

Posted August 9, 2018 by Rowena in Features, 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: Paradise by Judith McNaughtParadise
by Judith McNaught
Series: Second Opportunities #1
Published by Simon & Schuster, Pocket Books on July 1, 2003
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Point of View:Alternating Third Person
Pages: 709
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add It: Goodreads
four-half-stars

Corporate raider Matthew Farrell had come a long way from the poor, scruffy kid of Indiana's steel mills. A long way from the country club where, feeling like an outsider, he had dared to fall in love with a beautiful blonde named Meredith Bancroft, and known a once-in-a-lifetime passion and betrayal that still haunted his memory... Now world leaders courted him, the media watched his every move, and he was ready to move in on the Bancroft empire.

A cool, poised executive in her family's legendary department store chain, Meredith had once defied her father for the sexually magnetic, intense Matt Farrell -- and their brief, ill-fated marriage was the disastrous outcome. Now, as the Bancroft firm is threatened by a hostile takeover, Meredith is forced to confront Matt. As tensions build between them, bittersweet memories rise to the surface, leaving them suspicious, restless, and uncertain. Will they be able to believe in each other -- and grasp the tender miracle that is before them?

It’s been ages since I read Paradise for the first time and I was a totally different person back then. I was curious to see if this book would live up to the love that I had for it back in the day. Judith McNaught is really good at bringing the angst and that is evident in this one. Matt Farrell grew up on the wrong side of the tracks and fell in love with a girl far above him in station. When betrayal shakes him to his core, he works his ass off to become richer than any of those snobs at the country club he used to work at. Now, he’s a corporate raider who is at the top of the food chain and is treated like a King. Everything is different now, he’s not longer that poor boy that Meredith left behind all those years ago but when Meredith shows up in his life again, his life is all shaken up again. Matt and Meredith had a really intense and passionate romance when they were younger. When it was just the two of them, they were perfect. I enjoyed seeing them together again and just as before, I was a complete sucker for Matthew Farrell. The angst in this book really held up for me and that surprised me because though I don’t remember everything from my last re-read, I do remember Meredith getting on my nerves and though she did annoy me, for the most part, I was just wrapped up in their world all over again and it was lovely. When Meredith shows up in Indiana to tell Matt the truth about all of those years ago, my heart damn near burst out of my chest. I cried and cried and cried like she was confessing to me. Goodness, Matt’s reaction to all of that, gah, like I said, I was such a sucker for him. This scene gets me every time:
“If you’ll kiss me back,” he whispered huskily, brushing his lips along the curve of her jaw, “I’ll make it six million. If you’ll go to bed with me tonight,” he continued, losing himself in the scent of her perfume and the softness of her skin, “I’ll give you the world. But if you’ll move in with me,” he continued, dragging his mouth across her cheek to the corner of her lips, “I’ll do much better than that.” Unable to turn her face farther because his arm was in the way, and unable to turn her body because his body was in the way, Meredith tried to infuse disdain in her voice and simultaneously ignore the arousing touch of his tongue against her ear. “Six million dollars and the whole world!” she said in a slightly shaky voice. “What else could you possibly give me if I move in with you?” “Paradise.” Lifting his head, Matt took her chin between his thumb and forefinger and forced her to meet his gaze. In an aching, solemn voice he said, “I’ll give you paradise on a gold platter. Anything you want— everything you want. I come with it, of course. It’s a package deal.” Meredith swallowed audibly, mesmerized by the melting look in his silver eyes and the rich timbre of his deep voice. “We’ll be a family,” he continued, describing the paradise he was offering while he bent his head to her again. “We’ll have children … I’d like six,” he teased, his lips against her temple. “But I’ll settle for one. You don’t have to decide now.” She drew in a ragged breath and Matt decided he’d pushed matters as far as he dared for one night. Straightening abruptly, he chucked her under her chin. “Think about it,” he suggested with a grin.”
Gah, this book is an old school contemporary romance that will knock you on your ass and make you sit up and take notice of all things Judith McNaught. She’s an OG when it comes to writing romance novels and Matt Farrell is one of the many things that she did right. I absolutely love this book and though it’s not perfect, it’s still one of my favorites from McNaught. I definitely recommend.
Buy the Book
AMAZON || BARNES AND NOBLE || GOOGLE BOOKS || KOBO || THE RIPPED BODICE
Final Grade
4.5 out of 5
Second Opportunities Series
four-half-stars

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Review: Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han

Posted July 27, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Review: Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny HanAlways and Forever, Lara Jean
by Jenny Han
Series: To All the Boys I've Loved Before #3
Also in this series: To All the Boys I've Loved Before, P.S. I Still Love You
Published by Simon & Schuster, Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers on May 2, 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Point of View:First Person
Pages: 336
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
four-half-stars

Lara Jean is having the best senior year. And there’s still so much to look forward to: a class trip to New York City, prom with her boyfriend Peter, Beach Week after graduation, and her dad’s wedding to Ms. Rothschild. Then she’ll be off to college with Peter, at a school close enough for her to come home and bake chocolate chip cookies on the weekends.

Life couldn’t be more perfect!

At least, that’s what Lara Jean thinks…until she gets some unexpected news.

Now the girl who dreads change must rethink all her plans—but when your heart and your head are saying two different things, which one should you listen to?

Always and Forever, Lara Jean marks the end of the fun. I can’t believe it’s all over. No more Song sisters. No more Peter and Lara Jean. No more contracts. *sigh* No more Peter. Gah. I didn’t want it to end. I had hella anxiety reading this book but I kept pushing myself to finish it because even though I was scared for what was to come, I knew that Jenny Han was going to take care of us in the end and I was right. Jenny Han did take care of us. She wrote a very satisfying ending to such a fantastic series. In this book, everything is going so well for both Peter and Lara Jean. They’re young, they’re in love and they’re starting their senior year and have prom, senior trips and Beach week to look forward to. They’ve got plans for their future and nothing can bring them down…until Lara Jean gets some bad news that throws their plans out of whack. Then if you add family stuff on both of their sides, things get really complicated for my favorite YA couple in a long while. Jenny Han writes young love really well. Everything that Peter and Lara Jean went through felt so real and my heart hurt for them during the bad times and I rejoiced like crazy in the good times. These two have come so long and their love has been tested and put through the wringer and that didn’t stop with this book. Gah, they were so young and they acted and reacted like young people do and while that could drive me crazy, more than anything, I was rooting for these two to figure things out. Together. Because they’re Peter and Lara Jean. They’re each other’s lobsters and my romantic heart wouldn’t accept anything less than true happiness with the both of them together. There’s a lot of goodness in this book and a lot of OMG what’s going to happen moments. I’m glad to have experienced both emotions while reading this book. I loved the send off that Han gave us and thought it was the perfect ending for these guys. I loved Peter’s promposal, his birthday celebration for Lara Jean, his remembered memory of the first time he saw Lara Jean, his amended contract and just Peter. I loved Peter and Lara Jean was the perfect partner for him because her love for him matched his in equal measure. So, I did a lot of sneak reading of this book at work and these two made me freaking cry. I was an emotional mess while finishing up this book but holy cow was I satisfied with the ending. Peter is my book boyfriend for a second week in a row for that amended contract at the end of this book alone. I was a giddy mess at the end and I adored it and him so much. The determination he showed toward Lara Jean melts my heart. All of that feeling and angst?? Gah, I loved it. Peter Kavinsky in love is a site to behold. I’m so glad that Lara Jean knew the treasure she held in her hand day in and day out. Jenny Han gets all of my heart eyes this week because I just freaking loved this book. If you haven’t read it, fix that. You won’t be sorry, I promise.
Final Grade
4.75 out of 5
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before Series
four-half-stars

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