Reading Challenge: 2019 GoodReads Challenge

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 Weekly Recap (120)

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

It was another quiet week for me. Just basketball and nerdy reading tracker things that I’m doing because my freaking friend Holly drives me crazy (Love you, bitch). Now that I’ve started trying to bring this reading tracker to life, I don’t want to do much else until it is complete and functioning the way that Holly and I envisioned. Brenna and Kenna won both of their games this week and Meghan’s team split their two games. They won the game they were supposed to win but they lost the game that they needed to win. Oh well. Brenna was one of the top leading scorers for her last game and that’s always nice. Kenna led in assists on Friday and that’s pretty dope too because a lot of her dimes were so nice looking. Now, onto the books…
What I’m Currently Reading
The Weekly Recap (120)Devil's Daughter
by Lisa Kleypas
Series: The Ravenels #5
Also in this series: Marrying Winterborne
Published by Harper Collins, Avon on February 19, 2019
Genres: Historical, Romance
Point of View:Alternating Third Person
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher, Edelweiss
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges:2019 GoodReads Challenge

New York Times bestselling author Lisa Kleypas delivers a scintillating tale of a beautiful, young widow who finds passion with the one man she shouldn't...

Although beautiful young widow Phoebe, Lady Clare, has never met West Ravenel, she knows one thing for certain: he's a mean, rotten bully. Back in boarding school, he made her late husband's life a misery, and she'll never forgive him for it. But when Phoebe attends a family wedding, she encounters a dashing and impossibly charming stranger who sends a fire-and-ice jolt of attraction through her. And then he introduces himself...as none other than West Ravenel.

West is a man with a tarnished past. No apologies, no excuses. However, from the moment he meets Phoebe, West is consumed by irresistible desire...not to mention the bitter awareness that a woman like her is far out of his reach. What West doesn't bargain on is that Phoebe is no straitlaced aristocratic lady. She's the daughter of a strong-willed wallflower who long ago eloped with Sebastian, Lord St. Vincent—the most devilishly wicked rake in England.

Before long, Phoebe sets out to seduce the man who has awakened her fiery nature and shown her unimaginable pleasure. Will their overwhelming passion be enough to overcome the obstacles of the past?

Only the devil's daughter knows...

I meant to start this over the weekend but like all of the plans I make, this one fell through. I didn’t read much of anything over the weekend but I’m hoping to change that tonight because it’s West and Phoebe. I need to read their romance pronto!
What I Read
Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss by Kasie West | 3.75 out of 5 The Scoundrel in Her Bed (Sins for All Season #3) by Lorraine Heath | 4.5 out of 5
What I Reviewed
Blood Kiss (Black Dagger Legacy #1) by J.R. Ward | 4 out of 5 The Wrong Game by Kandi Steiner | 2.5 out of 5 Governess Gone Rogue (Dear Lady Truelove #3) by Laura Lee Guhrke | 4 out of 5
What I Posted
The Weekly Recap (119) The Wednesday Post (5) My TBR Pile: February 2019
What I Got
Free (Chaos #7) by Kristen Ashley
What I Got for Review
Nothing new this week.
What Made Me Laugh
There you have it, my week in review. How was your week?

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Buddy Review: Blood Kiss by J.R. Ward

Posted January 29, 2019 by Rowena in Books, Reviews | 0 Comments

Buddy Review: Blood Kiss by J.R. WardBlood Kiss
by J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Legacy #1
Published by Random House, Signet on December 1, 2015
Genres: Paranormal, Romance
Point of View:Alternating Third Person
Pages: 397
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add It: Goodreads
three-stars
Reading Challenges:2019 A-Z Challenge, 2019 GoodReads Challenge

The legacy of the Black Dagger Brotherhood continues in a spin-off series from the #1 New York Times bestselling author…

Paradise, blooded daughter of the king’s First Advisor, is ready to break free from the restrictive life of an aristocratic female. Her strategy? Join the Black Dagger Brotherhood’s training center program and learn to fight for herself, think for herself…be herself. It’s a good plan, until everything goes wrong. The schooling is unfathomably difficult, the other recruits feel more like enemies than allies, and it’s very clear that the Brother in charge, Butch O’Neal, a.k.a. the Dhestroyer, is having serious problems in his own life.

And that’s before she falls in love with a fellow classmate. Craeg, a common civilian, is nothing her father would ever want for her, but everything she could ask for in a male. As an act of violence threatens to tear apart the entire program, and the erotic pull between them grows irresistible, Paradise is tested in ways she never anticipated—and left wondering whether she’s strong enough to claim her own power…on the field, and off.

Rowena: Our first book club book of the year is Blood Kiss by J.R. Ward, which is the first book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood spin-off series, Black Dagger Legacy. In this series, we’ll be meeting new characters who are training to become soldiers in the Black Dagger army to help the brothers fight the war against the Lessers who threaten their very existence. First up, Paradise and Craeg. So let’s get this show on the road, ladies. What did you guys think? Tasha: I really enjoyed the story of Craeg and Paradise and the whole Training Program. Marissa’s story with Butch and her relationship with her brother Havers wasn’t one I was all that interested in. But I know it all came together in the end. Shy: I thought it was ok. A lot of missing pieces for me (I guess it’s probably because it’s a spin-off from another series?) I dig Craeg and his back story and thought it made sense with why he’s so cutthroat and why he goes off half-cocked. I don’t know how I feel about Paradise. I feel like her character was just way too sheltered and then to have her go through training… I don’t know it just didn’t work for me. I liked Butch and Marissa, they made more sense to me lol. Tasha: So Butch and Marissa are from the original Black Dagger Brotherhood series and I’ve read the first 9 books (out of 17) of the series. I can see where you’d feel like something was missing. I saw the aristocrats and the glymera as “the ton” from our historical reads. The women are basically raised to needlepoint, play musical instruments and host parties. And they couldn’t be in the company of other men without a proper escort or chaperone. That’s how I pictured Paradise’s upbringing. But what about her dad, Abalone? I so adored him!! As the Kings first advisor and of royal bloodline, he was such an understanding father. He didn’t come off as snobby and I really liked that he supported Paradise in whatever she decided to do. He wasn’t in the least worried about what their peers had to say. Shy: Thanks Tasha, I figured it had to be tied to another series because of the way some parts were written. I love Paradises dad, especially his response to Paradise and Craeg. Rowena: I enjoyed this one a lot more than I thought I would. I could have done without a lot of the Butch and Marissa stuff because having them sharing the spotlight with Craeg and Paradise took away from Craeg and Paradise. I get that this is a spin-off but why not let the new characters shine? How in the world are they supposed to shine when the older characters are everywhere? Aside from that, I did really enjoy this one. I thought the training sessions and seeing the trainees bond together was interesting and even though I know that I’ll probably not read anything else from this author, I rather enjoyed getting to know each trainee. I liked all of them….except Anslam. LOL. Tasha: I’m with Wena…more Craeg & Paradise, less Butch & Marissa. I mean, they had a whole book to themselves already. The re-read for me was okay and I found myself more annoyed with the side story (Butch & Marissa) this time around. I don’t know if I want to continue on with this series and see what happens with Xan, but who knows. At least this time, I can expect a side story of someone from the original BDB series. My rating for this 3.5 outta 5 stars. Rowena: I enjoyed the romance between Craeg and Paradise, I just wish we’d gotten more of them. There’s a lot going on with this book but it was really easy for me to pick up on who the bad guys were and that almost never happens with me. I need the bad guys to knock on my door and introduce themselves normally but not this time around. Haha. There is a lot to like about this story and even more to look forward to with this series but there were also things that I could have done without so for me? This one gets 3.5 out of 5 too. Shy: I think Paradise and Craeg’s story was ok, not really my favorite. It just felt both predictable and things didn’t add up (but I think that’s more because I’m new to this entire series). I just felt like a lot of it was cliché between Paradise and Craeg. I wish they were a lot more interesting or just… I don’t know, more lol. I still stand by Butch and Marissa, they helped make this story more enjoyable for someone like me who has no idea about the back story of this series. I know you both are annoyed with them mixing into this story but I’m glad they did reappear in this book. I give it 2.5 stars
Final Grades
Rowena: 3.5 out of 5 Shy: 2.5 out of 5 Tasha: 3.5 out of 5
Black Dagger Legacy Series
three-stars

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The Weekly Recap (119)

Posted January 28, 2019 by Rowena in Books, Features | 6 Comments

You guys, Brenna got her first start of this season (she was hurt in pre-season so the coaches were treating her with baby gloves when she got back) and…SHE WAS LEADING SCORER OF THE GAME!! I so happy for her because she’s got such a nice shot and she was finally able to let her shot fly on Friday against a pretty decent team in our conference and Kenna tied for second-leading scorer in the game so woo hoo for my girls! Meghan played in San Diego and then against a really trash team at home this week so I didn’t go to either of her games. She played well and was featured in her school’s article on the games so yay Meg! I didn’t do much but read and watch basketball games this week so that’s all I got for you guys on the real-life front of this post. Now, onto the books…
What I’m Currently Reading
The Weekly Recap (119)Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss
by Kasie West
Published by Harper Collins, Harper Teen on February 5, 2019
Genres: Young Adult
Point of View:First Person
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges:2019 GoodReads Challenge

Lacey Barnes has dreamt of being in a movie for as long as she can remember. However, while her dream did include working alongside the hottest actor in Hollywood, it didn’t involve having to finish up her senior year of high school at the same time she was getting her big break. Although that is nothing compared to Donavan, the straight-laced student her father hires to tutor her, who is a full-on nightmare.

As Lacey struggles to juggle her burgeoning career, some on-set sabotage, and an off-screen romance with the unlikeliest of leading men, she quickly learns that sometimes the best stories happen when you go off script.

I have two more books to read from my January TBR pile and this is the first book of the double feature for this week. So far, I’m not really feeling it but I’m going to push through this beginning hump and hopefully, the story will pick up and I’ll enjoy it. Wish me luck! I am really looking forward to the next book on my TBR list though…The Scoundrel in Her Bed by Lorraine Heath. FINN!! LAVINIA!! I CAN’T WAIT!!
What I Read
One and Only (Bridesmaids Behaving Badly #1) by Jenny Holiday (eBook) | 4.5 out of 5 It Takes Two (Bridesmaids Behaving Badly #2) by Jenny Holiday (eBook) | 4.75 out of 5 Merrily Ever After (Bridesmaids Behaving Badly #2.5) by Jenny Holiday (eBook) | 4.75 out of 5 Three Little Words (Bridesmaids Behaving Badly #3) by Jenny Holiday (eARC) | 4.5 out of 5 From Lukov with Love by Mariana Zapata (Audiobook) | 4.25 out of 5 Thirty Day Boyfriend by Whitney G. (Audiobook) | 3.5 out of 5
I listened to my first two audiobooks of the year (finally) and I have another one lined up for this week so that I can make my goal of at least 3 audiobooks a month. I read the entire Bridesmaids Behaving Badly series last week and that was such a wonderful reading experience. I loved every single book and was so sad when I finished Gia’s book. What a great group of lady friends who were serious squad goals. Jenny Holiday is a new to me author, my favorite of the year so far and I cannot wait to continue reading through her book log. I just adored every single book. My favorite read of the week is It Takes Two by Jenny Holiday. Wendy is my favorite gal from the Bridesmaid gang. I adored and connected with her so much. Her romance with Noah was such a good one, I loved it so much. My least favorite read of the week goes to Thirty Day Boyfriend by Whitney G. I liked it but the asshole boss thing that’s been featured in books lately just isn’t my favorite. The hero in this book does shit that pissed me off and the heroine kind of fell in line with his shit and while she does let her petty flag fly, I was still annoyed. Still, the ending was cute and I didn’t hate it when all was said and done.
Eye Candy Friday
Dr. Conrad Hawkins The Resident on FOX
What I Reviewed
Right Where I Want You by Jessica Hawkins | 3.5 & 4 out of 5 Playing for Keeps (Heartbreaker Bay #7) by Jill Shalvis | 4 out of 5 99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne | 4 out of 5
What I Posted
The Weekly Recap (118) The Wednesday Post (4) Eye Candy Friday: Conrad Hawkins from The Resident
What I Got
The Secret (Highland Lairds #1) by Julie Garwood Overnight Sensation (Brooklyn Bruisers #5) by Sarina Bowen Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton
What I Got for Review
When We Left Cuba by Chanel Cleeton The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren Hot to the Touch (Brotherhood by Fire #1) by Jaci Burton Eyes on Me by Rachel Harris
What Made Me Laugh
There you have it, my week in review. How was your week?

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Buddy Review: Right Where I Want You by Jessica Hawkins

Posted January 22, 2019 by Rowena in Books, Reviews | 2 Comments

Buddy Review: Right Where I Want You by Jessica HawkinsRight Where I Want You
by Jessica Hawkins
Published by Indie Published, 518 Books Inc on December 28, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Point of View:Alternating First Person
Pages: 398
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add It: Goodreads
four-stars

There's a thin line between love and hate . . . and it cuts right through the middle of their office.

Bad boys? They run right over good girls like Georgina Keller. After a confidence-shattering breakup, she's determined not to let anyone at her new workplace push her around--least of all the brooding creative director, a "bad boy of publishing" who's made it clear she's enemy #1.

Sebastian Quinn's taste for fast cars, late nights, and beautiful women may have gotten him to the top of a leading New York magazine, but the reputation that made him is suddenly threatening to end his career.

Georgina can help Modern Man shed its bad reputation, but in order to do that, she'll have to start at the top--and no amount of rakish charm or inconvenient attraction will distract her.

Because if Sebastian gets her right where he wants her, it means she's going down.

It’s a brand spanking new year, which means more buddy reviews together with my favorite book peeps. Ames and I are going for 12 buddy reviews this year, to keep our long-standing buddy reads going. Right, Ames? First up on our review docket is Right Where I Want You by Jessica Hawkins. Georgina Keller is too nice, at least according to her best friend Luciano. After a disastrous relationship ends, Georgina realizes that to keep the peace with her ex-boyfriend, she became a bit of a pushover and is trying to become a stronger person, someone who says no and stands up for herself and those around her. She doesn’t have a problem being firm at work but outside of work? Not so much. When she meets Sebastian Quinn, things get turned all upside down. Sebastian Quinn has had a very tumultuous year. He went from being at the top of his game in his career as Creative Editor of Modern Men magazine to barely holding things together now. After being included in a not so nice article that was published and put the reputation of the magazine at risk, Sebastian comes to work to find out that someone has been brought in to fix the magazine and if he doesn’t shape up, he’ll be shipped out. Georgina and Sebastian battle at every turn but an attraction simmers below the surface with each turn and before they know what’s what, love is definitely in the air. Rowena: This is the first book that I’ve ever read by Jessica Hawkins and I’m happy to report that it will definitely not be my last. I enjoyed this one. What were your initial thoughts, Ames? Ames: I’m torn. I don’t know if it was my mood or if it was the book, but I just couldn’t get into this one. The writing was fine and I’ll definitely give this author another try, but I honestly couldn’t connect to the characters. I feel bad. It seriously had everything going for it though – taboo office-romance, enemies to lovers, a freaking DOG character that was fully fleshed out and not just a prop. All checks in the positive column…and yet I couldn’t get into it. But I did like Sebastian’s friend and co-worker, Justin. LOL I wish we had seen more of Georgina’s work at the magazine. I thought that was interesting but we didn’t get any depth. Rowena: Oh wow, you didn’t connect with the story or the characters? I enjoyed both George and Sebastian. I would have liked to get more from their lives outside of work. Like, it would have been fun to get more scenes with Luciano or even to get a scene or two with George and her family. I also would have liked to see more in-depth scenes with Sebastian and his friends and family. I felt like the entire book was all them, all the time but overall, I liked them so I wasn’t too mad about it. I agree about Justin and the dogs though. They were great additions to this story. Maybe it was a mood thing for you. I thought the writing was easy to fall into and though this is probably not going to be a favorite of mine for the year, it was still a solid romance. Ames: I feel you on the wanting more aspect of things. I feel like we got a glimpse of something happening and then we were moved onto the next scene. Honestly though, I think it just came down to Georgina and her character at the beginning of the book – I did not like how much of a doormat she was. Over coffee! First impressions you know. However Georgina’s character did improve but the damage had already been done in my mind. This book wasn’t bad, but it just wasn’t for me. I also felt like the sexism at the magazine wasn’t really tackled, or if it was it happened off page so we didn’t see if the guys were any better. Rowena: Yeah, you’re right about the sexism at the magazine. I wish we had gotten so much more than we did get. It would have been nice to see it all with our own eyes instead of taking Georgina’s word for it. I wish that the book wasn’t so focused on Georgina and Sebastian alone but like I said, I still thought it was a solid read. I enjoyed what we did get and even though I was left wanting more, this book is still a solid 4 out of 5 from me. What about you? Ames: This was a solid read so I agree with you there. I’m going to chalk this up to my mood. I’m going to give this one 3.5 out of 5.
Final Grades
Ames: 3.5 out of 5 Rowena: 4 out of 5
four-stars

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