Tag: 2.5 Reviews

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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Buddy Review: The Duke Buys a Bride by Sophie Jordan

Posted September 25, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 6 Comments

Buddy Review: The Duke Buys a Bride by Sophie JordanThe Duke Buys a Bride by Sophie Jordan
Series: The Rogue Files #3
Published by Harper Collins, Avon on July 24, 2018
Genres: Historical, Romance
Point of View: Alternating Third Person
Pages: 368
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add It: Goodreads
three-half-stars

A bride wasn’t in his plans . . .

The last thing Marcus, the Duke of Autenberry, expects to see after sleeping off a night’s drunken shenanigans is a woman being auctioned in the village square. Before he can think about the ramifications, he buys her, thinking he’s winning the girl her freedom. Instead, he discovers he’s bought a wife.

A duke wasn’t in hers . . .

Alyse Bell is almost rid of the shackles that bound her in a name-only marriage, but the day her friend promised to purchase her in a wife auction, he vanishes, leaving her to face a mob of unsavory bachelors intent on owning her body and soul. But the appearance of a wicked, wealthy stranger changes her path forever.

The road to ruin . . .

Marcus doesn’t know what to do with the impertinent chit who clearly isn’t duchess material! Insisting their marriage isn’t legitimate, they leave for his estate in Scotland, hoping to devise a plan to get rid of each other. However, on a journey fraught with misadventure, their attraction grows and Marcus realizes he’ll do anything to keep this fiery woman for his own.

I participate in a real-life book club that meets once a month to discuss a different romance novel with a bunch of my friends. It’s always a lot of fun but one of our members lives in Utah so she doesn’t get to meet up with us so we thought it would be great to still discuss the books with her. Each month, I’ll be doing a buddy review of our book club books with my book club homies Tasha and Shy. Please welcome my friends, everyone! 🙂 This month it’ll be just me and Tasha but next month, we’re hopeful that Shy will catch up and join us.

The first book that we’ll be reviewing together is The Duke Buys a Bride by Sophie Jordan, which is the third book in The Rogue Files series and it features Marcus Weatherton, the Duke of Autenberry as he purchases a wife at a street auction and falls in love with her on his way to Scotland.

Rowena: Alright Tash, let’s get this show on the road. What were your initial thoughts on this book?

Tasha: My initial thoughts…this was a frustrating read. I mean, the hero was really mean which made it hard for me to like him. As much as I wanted to like the heroine, she kept making me mad too, uggghhh. So yeah, frustrating, lol.

Rowena: I know what you mean. I thought that the premise of the story was really interesting. I mean, the hero buys the heroine at a street auction in an effort to free her and then while he’s escorting her to his home in Scotland so she can make a life of her own as his housekeeper, they grow close and fall in love but the hot and cold attitude that Marcus had where Alyse was concerned pissed me off. Every time he tried to throw the blame on Alyse for their attraction made me want to kick him in the balls. Hello?? It takes two to tango and his dumbass kept pissing me off. I was like, miss me with the bullshit sir. You like her, you want her, deal with it.

The part that pissed me off the most with Alyse was when they’re almost to Marcus’ house in the Highlands and Marcus is beat up and left for dead while Alyse is abducted. When Marcus gets to where she was taken and demands to get her back, she’s like, “Oh I release you, you are not obligated to me anymore” and he’s like, “I’m not going to leave you here. They beat me and left me for dead” and she’s all, “Oh, I’m sure they’re sorry they did that.”

WTF? Bitch are you for real? When that happened, I was ready for the book to be done.

Tasha: EXACTLY…THAT PART, RIGHT THERE!!! I believe they had already left his brothers castle where she had to stay until she got better. But the whole time she was sick, he was at her bedside like a lovesick puppy. Even then he was still in denial. He could’ve easily been done with her at that point, the way I see it but he was insistent upon taking her with him. Let’s not even get started on the event that took place in his room after she recovered from her illness. As soon as the ‘deed’ was done, he was quick to dismiss her and make it out to be as if it were her fault. Like you said, “it takes two to tango”. They’re both dumbasses, lol.

I think Marcus was just an arrogant prick who was used to getting his way. And Alyse was so naïve and as we Samoans say, “fiapoko” (know-it-all, smart-ass, etc.) haha!!

Rowena: Same. They were both so fiapoko! Also? I think that we would have benefitted from reading the other books in this series to really appreciate Marcus’ journey, at least I’m hoping that is the case because I felt like I was missing something throughout the whole book. Especially when we get to the brother’s house in Scotland so that Alyse can mend her illness. I’m like, so is someone going to fill us in on what the hell happened and why Marcus and his brother are estranged? Hello??? Is someone going to fill in the blanks on how Marcus’ sister in law went from being engaged to Marcus to married to his brother? Ehhh…

Overall, the actions of both the hero and the heroine had me rolling my eyes up and down the street so it’s hard for me to give this a higher grade than a 2.5 because while the writing style is completely readable, there was too much that pissed me off to warrant a higher grade. What about you? What would you grade this book and are you going to be reading the rest of the series or nah?

Tasha: You’re probably right. Maybe if I had read the previous books, I wouldn’t be so harsh towards Marcus. They did mention a little bit about Marcus being engaged to Poppy before she became his brother’s wife but not a lot. Yeah, I did get the feeling I was missing something and that something could’ve been found in the earlier books.

Would I go back and read this series from the beginning…..ummmm, I don’t think so. The writing itself was fine and I’ve read some really bad books. It’s because of the whole ‘bi-polar’ moments from Marcus and Alyse’s continuous dumb decisions, I cannot give this more than a 3 (and that’s being generous). Yes, the hero and heroine really frustrated me but in the end, I still got my HEA.

Final Grade

Rowena: 2.5 out of 5
Tasha: 3 out of 5

So there you have it guys, my very first book club discussion review with one of my good friends Tasha. Next month we’ll be discussing Never Seduce a Scot by Maya Banks. My sister Delene chose that book so nobody in our book club is at all surprised that we’re reading another historical romance. See you guys next month!

Buy the Book

AMAZON || BARNES & NOBLE || GOOGLE BOOKS || KOBO || THE RIPPED BODICE

The Rogue Files Series

three-half-stars

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Buddy Review: Two Weeks Notice by Whitney G.

Posted August 23, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 6 Comments

Buddy Review: Two Weeks Notice by Whitney G.Two Weeks Notice by Whitney G.
Published by Self-Published, Whitney G on July 19, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Point of View: First Person
Pages: 240
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add It: Goodreads
three-half-stars

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing this letter to formally announce my resignation from Parker International (& the arrogant, condescending CEO) effective two weeks from today.

This was a VERY EASY decision to make, as the past two years have been utterly miserable. I wish his next executive assistant all the luck in the world (she'll need it) and if my boss should need me to do anything over the next two weeks, kindly tell him that he can do it [his] goddamn self...

Sincerely (Not Really),Tara Lauren

That’s the version of my two weeks’ notice I should’ve sent to my boss, because the more professional version—the one where I said I was "grateful for all the opportunities," and "honored by all the rewarding experiences" over the years?

That letter was rejected with his sexy, trademark smirk and an “I highly suggest you read the fine print of your contract...”

So, I did.

And now I've realized that unless I fake my death, poison him, or find a way to renegotiate my impossible contract, I’m stuck working under one of the cockiest and most ruthless bosses in New York.

Then again, I thought that was the case until he called me late last night with an emergency proposition...

Rowena: Alright, Ames. What did you think?

Ames: Ok, I liked this more than Forget You, Ethan. I liked the dynamic between an employee who hates her boss, but is also attracted to him. However, the beginning did come off a bit familiar to me – familiar to another Whitney G title (Thirty Day Boss). But luckily it became its own story and I enjoyed it.

What about you?

Rowena: I did end up enjoying this book but it was the opposite for me. I enjoyed Forget You, Ethan more. I could not stand the way that Preston treated Tara as an employee but also as a person. He had no respect for her, her time and even her personal life. Sure he paid her handsomely but that didn’t make up for the way that he treated her and everyone else at his company. It was hard for me to take a lot of the time and when she tries to quit and he shows how shady his dealings were with the contract, I was pissed all over again. Seriously??? White ink?? What a douchebag!

I will like how strong Tara becomes over the course of the book and I really liked when she started standing up for herself but I don’t know that it made up for Preston. Hmm.

Ames: Too funny that we have the opposite reaction to this book. I must have a backward sense of humor because I found their interactions funny. I thought that if she was really serious about quitting, she would have stopped showing up to work – like that white ink wouldn’t stand up if he sued her for breach of contract (and he wouldn’t have). But they were just playing a really long game with each other – that was how I read it all. I liked that Tara had a very interesting job interview (he catches her stealing!) and from there I knew it was going to be a fun story. I liked how Tara came into her own as the story progressed but what really made this book fun for me was the introduction of a new character that showed the more human side to Preston. I liked their interactions and even how Tara dealt with the addition. I read this book in almost one sitting and I had a big smile on my face when it was all over. This is the type of humor I come to expect from Whitney G.

Rowena: I think I need to take a break from Whitney G books after this read because I was super annoyed with Rachel in Forget You, Ethan but I got over it and ended up liking her and whileI didn’t absolutely hate Preston, I came close. The way that Preston treated Tara was not funny to me and I wanted to slap his dumb ass rich boy face multiple times. Preston held too much power over Tara and the way that he wielded that power rubbed me the wrong way. He was oh so lucky when that new character that was introduced came onto the scene because who knows how it would have ended for him in my eyes. *shrugs*

What would you grade this book? I’d give it a 2.5 out of 5 because there were things that I liked about the book but the stuff that I hated colored my enjoyment for much of the book for me to overlook it.

Ames: I think this is the first book we’ve really disagreed about it! LOL I can see where you’re coming from with Preston but again, my interpretation of it was different. And side note, I agree that Rachel was super annoying in Forget You, Ethan.

Ok, I’m giving this one a 3.5 out of 5. I was amused, I liked the dynamic between the characters and I liked the little switch up that was introduced mid-way through the story.

Final Grade

Ames: 3.5 out of 5
Rowena: 2.5 out of 5

three-half-stars

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Buddy Review: Twisted Palace by Erin Watt

Posted November 3, 2016 by Rowena & Bookish Ames in Reviews | 6 Comments

twisted-palace

Bookish Ames is one of my best friends and we used to buddy review books together all the time. We’ve slowed down on that so I’m happy that we decided to bring it back on our blogs. Our very first buddy review book is Twisted Palace by Erin Watt because it’s a book that we were both pretty anxious for and it’s a discussion worthy book so here is our review.

Twisted Palace by Erin Watt
Series: The Royals #3
Release Date: October 17, 2017
Publisher: Erin Watt
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 370
Format: eBook
Source: Bought
Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo

These Royals will ruin you…

From mortal enemies to unexpected allies, two teenagers try to protect everything that matters most.

Ella Harper has met every challenge that life has thrown her way. She’s tough, resilient, and willing to do whatever it takes to defend the people she loves, but the challenge of a long-lost father and a boyfriend whose life is on the line might be too much for even Ella to overcome.

Reed Royal has a quick temper and even faster fists. But his tendency to meet every obstacle with violence has finally caught up with him. If he wants to save himself and the girl he loves, he’ll need to rise above his tortured past and tarnished reputation.

No one believes Ella can survive the Royals. Everyone is sure Reed will destroy them all.
They may be right.

With everything and everyone conspiring to keep them apart, Ella and Reed must find a way to beat the law, save their families, and unravel all the secrets in their Twisted Palace.

Rowena: Twisted Palace is the third and I think, concluding book in the Royals series by Erin Watt. The Royals have certainly taken us on a crazy reading adventure and after the cliff-hanger from the last book, Broken Prince, I was really looking forward to digging into this one.

When we last left off with this group of characters, people were dying and coming back from the dead and our favorite punk ass, Reed Royal was the main suspect in a murder. There was plenty to tackle in this book and I went in without any hesitation.

So, what were your initial thoughts of the book?

Ames: To be completely honest, I was disappointed. The first two books were such guilty fun pleasures to read that I was really looking forward to see how it would all get wrapped up. Especially with the cliffhangers at the end of book 2! I was wondering who the baby daddy was going to be and I had predicted that this person was going to be the murderer. And that wasn’t the case at all! Plus with the introduction of a certain character, it really changed the dynamic of the story and took page time away from Easton and the other Royals. I would have rather seen Ella’s relationship develop even further with the Royal brothers than what happened with the new character. That’s what made the first 2 books enjoyable to me. Ella’s relationship with the brothers.

What about you, what were your initial thoughts?

Rowena: Same. This book was a let down for me because my frustrations from the first two books was completely different from my frustrations with this one. The guilty fun pleasures from Paper Princess and Broken Prince were missing in this one and there were so many things that I wasn’t a fan of. I would keep going but I would just be repeating everything you said so I’ll just say this. Ditto to everything you said. I feel the same way.

What were your thoughts on Ella?

I thought she was not the same Ella that we’re used to. This girl lived on her own, as a stripper and survived that first year of school like a boss and then this guy shows up and all of a sudden, she’s not that girl anymore. She’s this stranger with no backbone that is all whiny. No. Ella is strong and she’s very vocal about what she wants and needs. She was never about money or living off the Royals. She was very adamant about working and making her own money and the Ella that I admired the hell out of from the first two books was gone.

It was disappointing to see Ella come so far and then regress so much in one book.

Ames: I agree with you about Ella. And that’s all to blame on a certain character. He screwed it all up. And that’s the thing, with the first two books, these teenagers had little oversight from parental units and they came across as more mature and not really kids. And then bam, in this book it’s shoved in our face that Ella is a teenager and I found that hard to deal with.

The other thing? Two characters, Jordan and Dinah, that came across as real villains in the first 2 books were also changed in this installment. I missed Ella and Jordan going head to head. Ella really came out shining after encounters with Jordan and she didn’t get that in this book. Especially with her sneaking around antics…there was nothing to root for for her. Not even with the murder. Just so frustrating.

Rowena: Can we talk about how immature and bratty two grown ass men who were also NAVY SEALS were? Gosh, I wanted to punch both of them! Mostly the guy that shall not be named. He came onto the scene and just kind of took over and I hated how everyone just let him. I would have been like, “No bitch, you don’t run things here.”

The book as a whole was just disappointing to me. From Ella’s lack of spine, the other Royal brothers not getting any page time and the big killer reveal, the whole thing just felt flat and was so different from what I was hoping the concluding story would be.

I will say that my favorite thing about the book was the growth that we see in Reed’s character. When we first met him, way back in book 1, I liked him but I kind of hated that I liked him because he was such a dickhead. Especially to Ella and when they kicked her out of the car and made her walk home, I wanted to punch both Reed and Easton in the nuts. I was so mad and yet so intrigued by all of the chaos and just royally messed up characters but in Twisted Palace, Reed came full circle for me. I really loved seeing the change and just the maturity of how he carried himself in this book. Even when he was flying off the handle and beating people up, I still thought that he showed a lot of restraint. Well, more than we’ve seen from him before.

What was your favorite thing about the book? Did you have any? 🙂

Ames: Reed did show some improvement. But how tough was that to read about all the people saying things about him? I hated that but it shows how he’s changed from that guy he used to be. But still at the core he didn’t change that much, he’s still a badass and don’t you dare say anything about those he loves!

So even though the main plot disappointed me, I still found Twisted Palace readable and I wanted to see what happened to all these characters. What I truly enjoyed was how Ella was growing a circle of friends who were truly there for her. She came from nothing and having to rely on herself to opening up and learning that there are people who will have her back, no matter what. I liked that.

Rowena: Yeah, that was nice. Seeing Ella realize that she’s not alone in the world anymore was nice. I just wish Jordan wasn’t really a part of that in this book. They spent so much time being enemies that I really hated that she would help Ella in any way…even if it was to show her dumb ass roots to further her popularity.

I didn’t have any trouble reading the book so it was definitely readable, I just didn’t like a lot that happened in the book aside from seeing the guy Reed has become. The authors were correct in that this series did ruin me and in a really good way, I just wish that this book had lived up to the hype that I had going for it in my head. Oh well, you can’t win everything.

Rowena’s Rating


2.5 out of 5

What would you rate it?

Ames’ Rating


3 out of 5

Ames: I would have to rate it a 3 out of 5. I still found it engrossing even though it wasn’t what I expected. I love the Royals!

Author News

Erin Watt has more YA goodness coming our way soon. The cover reveal dropped on Happy Ever After that their new writing adventure is a contemporary YA featuring a rock star and the girl he pays to be his girlfriend. Check it out here.

when-its-real

When It’s Real by Erin Watt
Release Date: May 30, 2017
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pre-Order the Book: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

From #1 New York Times bestselling author duo Erin Watt comes the addictive contemporary tale of a teen rock star in need of an image makeover and the teen girl hired to be his fake girlfriend.

Meet Oakley Ford-teen celebrity, renowned pop star, child of famous movie stars, hottie with millions of fangirls…and restless troublemaker. On the surface he has it all, but with his home life disintegrating, his music well suddenly running dry, and the tabloids having a field day over his outrageous exploits, Oakley’s team decides it’s time for an intervention. The result: an image overhaul, complete with a fake girlfriend meant to show the world he’s settled down.

Enter seventeen-year-old Vaughn Bennett-devoted sister, part-time waitress, the definition of “normal.” Under ordinary circumstances she’d never have taken this gig, but with her family strapped for cash, she doesn’t have much of a choice. And for the money Oakley’s team is paying her, she figures she can put up with outlandish Hollywood parties and a team of publicists watching her every move. So what if she thinks Oakley’s a shallow, self-centered jerk? It’s not like they’re going to fall for each other in real life…right?

Rowena: I’m so going to be reading this one. It sounds like another fabulous story!

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Mini Review Round Up (3)

Posted October 27, 2016 by Rowena in Features | 2 Comments

shadow-rider
Shadow Rider (Shadow #1) by Christine Feehan
Series: Shadow Series #1
Release Date: June 28, 2016
Publisher: Penguin, Berkley/NAL, Jove
Genres: Contemporary, Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 448
Format: eBook
Source: Gifted
Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

The #1 New York Times bestselling “queen of paranormal romance”* is back with a sexy new series starring a Chicago crime family that hides a dark, mystical secret…

Whether it’s fast cars or fast women, Stefano Ferraro gets what he wants. When he’s not fodder for the paparazzi, he commands Ferraro family businesses—both legitimate and illegitimate.

While their criminal activity is simply a rumor yet to be proven, no one knows the real truth. The Ferraros are a family of shadow riders capable of manipulating light and dark, an ability Stefano thought ran in his family alone—until now…

With little left to her name, Francesca Cappello has come to Chicago in hopes of a new life. She wasn’t expecting to attract the attention of a man with primal hunger in his eyes, driven to claim her as his to protect and to please. And if he discovers her secret, it could ruin her…

I read this book for book club and it was recommended to me by one of my book besties so I went with it. I haven’t read very many Christine Feehan books, only one comes to mind and I can’t even remember the title of that book.

There was a lot of promise with this book. I thought the idea behind this mafia type family that rode shadows to right wrongs and protect the weak was great but when I finished the book, I was still confused about all things Shadow Rider. I get what their purpose was but how did Shadow Riders come about? Why were they necessary? Where did their magic or whatever it is you call shadow riding come about? How exactly are they traveling through these shadows and what are these tunnels that they talk about but never really explain? I closed the book, feeling the way that Stefano’s Mom wanted Francesca to feel when she was berating Stefano for sharing family secrets with someone outside of the family.

My frustrations with the book didn’t end there either. I could not get on board the Stefano train. His extreme controlling nature was a complete turnoff for me. I get that he wanted to protect Francesca from the villain of the book, I even get that he wanted to protect her because she was his future wife that would bear his children and nurture them but holy cow, he dictated what she wore, where she would live and work and he even dictated when she could climax during their lovemaking. Give me a freaking break! There’s alpha man and then alpha dickhead and Stefano veered into the alpha dickhead camp far too often for my likes.

Francesca was not a very memorable heroine for me. She was fine but not someone that I’m going to remember a few months from now. My gripes with her were how submissive she was to Stefano right from the jump. She didn’t know this guy but within the span of a week, she’s moved in with him, got engaged to him, thought he worked for organized crime and then felt bad that she asked if he was in organized crime (I totally didn’t get this. She asked him a question based on his behavior and treatment of her since they met, why the hell was she feeling bad about that?). I wanted her to be stronger than how I portrayed her to be from reading the book and I wanted her to stand up for herself more, put her foot down and have some kind of say in her life but nope. That wasn’t to be.

The romance felt like it happened at warped speed for me but that didn’t bother me as much as everything else that frustrated me. I enjoyed the dynamic between the Ferraro siblings and I’m curious about where the rest of the series goes but all of that didn’t really save the story for me. On the upside, it was a hit for most of the members of my book club. I was the lone member who was left unimpressed. *shrugs* Oh well.

My Rating


2.5 out of 5

undecided
Undecided by Julianna Keyes
Series: Burnham College #1
Release Date: April 4, 2016
Publisher: Julianna Keyes
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Pages: 300
Format: eBook
Source: Bought
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Nora Kincaid has one goal for her second year of college: be invisible. Last year’s all-party-no-study strategy resulted in three failed classes and two criminal charges, and if she messes up again she’ll lose her scholarship. But there’s one problem with her plan for invisibility, and his name is Crosbie Lucas: infamous party king, general hellraiser…and her new roommate’s best friend.

Crosbie’s reckless reputation and well-known sexcapades aren’t part of Nora’s studious new strategy, but as she’s quickly learning, her new plan is also really boring. When Crosbie’s unexpected gestures of friendship pull her head out of her books long enough to see past his cocky veneer, she’s surprised to find a flawed and funny guy beneath it all. The muscles don’t hurt, either.

But as Nora starts to fall for Crosbie, the weight of one of last year’s bad decisions grows even heavier. Because three failing grades and two misdemeanors are nothing compared to the one big secret she’s hiding…

I re-read this book while I was working on my Eye Candy Friday post for Crosbie, the hero in this book and I was reminded how great this book is.

Nora spent her freshman year in college, partying too hard and going buck wild so when she almost gets expelled for her party girl shenanigans, she swore that her sophomore year was going to be different. She was going to cut ties with her party girl image and friends and she was going to buckle down and get to work. She was going to get good grades, she was going to work hard and she was going to keep her head down. When she moves in with the gorgeous and big man on campus, Kellan, she thought things would be okay because he was looking for a roommate who wasn’t about partying and drama. He wanted a low-key roommate that could help keep him focused on his studies as well so really, they were the perfect solution to each other’s roommate problem.

Nora is serious about no distractions and no temptations so when Kellan’s best friend Crosbie Lucas starts coming around a lot with his distracting presence and his tempting bodies, Nora knows that she’s in trouble. She’s in trouble because Crosbie is a part of the scene that she’s trying to stay away from. He represents everything that went wrong with her freshman year but with each passing day, she sees different parts to his personality and she can’t help but fall a bit for him.

Crosbie loves the college life. He’s got a great best friend and he doesn’t have any trouble getting ladies even with being in the shadow of his campus celebrity best friend. He’s never been jealous of the spotlight that Kellan inhabits until he meets Nora. Nora is Kellan’s new roommate and for the first ever, Crosbie wants the girl. He wants a girl that he thinks is interested in Kellan and being around Nora is torture for him because he can’t help but think MINE every time he’s around her and the insecurities that pop up wherever she is, is new to him.

I loved watching these two circle each other. Their every interaction was filled with so much goodness that I grinned and couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. Even after reading it a second time, it was like reading it for the first. The romance between Crosbie and Nora was front and center and I adored it to pieces. I loved seeing them come into their own and then grow in their love for each other. There’s an incident involving Nora and Kellan that I thought was just flat out dumb but I chalked it up to them being in college and young enough to get away with dumb stuff.

Overall, this book was fun and the romance was sweet and I really enjoyed it. You should read it so you can enjoy it too. 🙂

My Rating


4.5 out of 5

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