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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