Tag: 3.0 Reviews

Buddy Review: The Assist by Rebecca Jenshak

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Or that one semester with her would change everything.

The Assist is the first book in the Smart Jock’s series by Rebecca Jenshak. The Smart Jocks series is a set of New Adult romances that feature really smart jocks from Valley University in Arizona and the women they fall madly in love with. First up is Wes Reynolds, the starting point guard for the Valley University’s Men’s Basketball team and the girl from his statistics class, Blair Olson.

Blair needs to get an A in her statistics class but after receiving a bad grade on her first test, she knows that she needs help. When she comes across Wes Reynolds grade, she fumbles her way into getting him to tutor her. Wes is not a fan of her assumption that just because he’s a jock, he couldn’t possibly have passed the test without help but it becomes fun seeing her genuinely sorry for her assumptions and before he knows what is what, he’s helping her with her classwork.

Rowena: Now, I will admit that I was really hyped for this book because it featured a basketball hero. I’m from L.A. and L.A. is a basketball town so for me, this romance appealed to my inner basketball-loving heart. I really wish there were more basketball romances out there but I’ll take what I can get and while I really enjoyed the basketball aspect of this romance, there was something missing to make me completely love it.

What did you think, Ames?

Ames: I have to agree with you – I liked seeing basketball instead of hockey or football being the featured sport in this NA novel. And I was looking forward to the switch up of having a nerdy jock be the one to tutor someone. And this book had some promise but something just didn’t click for me. I liked Wes but Blair’s character was hard for me to grasp.

Rowena: Yeah, I had trouble with Blair’s character as well. I was really mad at David for his shenanigans and I guess I was a bit disappointed that Blair let Wes save her from that. I wish she would have saved herself, stood up for herself and really let him have it. She didn’t do anything about anything involving him, Wes did and that bummed me out. She was so quick to help everyone else but she wouldn’t even help herself.

There were also chunks of the book that moved slow. Like, I knew that what we were reading was leading somewhere but I struggled with staying in the story. It was just too easy for me to put the book down and do other things.

I will say that I enjoyed the bromance between Wes and Z. I thought that was great. They genuinely cared for each other and when Z tells Wes that he didn’t care about anything but seeing if his friend was okay, I was super happy. I thought Wes handled his big hurdle so badly but I understood it and I got where he was coming from, I just wish that like Blair, he would have stepped up and shown the heart that he talked so much about with Blair in the beginning. I thought that whole thing was stupid. You don’t quit on your team because you’re hurt. You don’t stop being part of a team because you can’t play anymore. You find other ways to help your team and the way that he didn’t get in trouble for ditching games and practices? I thought that was completely dumb. Being around a lot of college athletes, who have been hurt with season-ending injuries, I just don’t see someone completely checking out the way that Wes did. That was another thing that messed with my enjoyment of the book. There were no consequences for Wes’ actions and that annoyed me. There were no consequences from his coach, no consequences from his teammates and that just didn’t make sense.

Anyway, so Joel is getting his story next and I’m mighty curious about who his heroine is going to be. Do you think it’s someone new or…Gabby? I’m low key hoping it’s Gabby and I’m also wondering if Z is going to get a book now that he’s no longer a student at Valley University. Hmm. Are you planning on reading the rest of the books?

Ames: Oh yes! That whole thing with David was so…such a let down! Especially in this day and age, for someone to so willingly remain a victim? And that website? If people knew about it how come it wasn’t reported before? She really should have stood up for herself. I felt like all the extra work she was doing for him was just swept under the rug too. I mean, I can understand why someone wouldn’t say something but this is fiction and this would have been a great opportunity to show some strength in a character instead of relying on a guy to confront that douche.

I feel like there was a lot of telling with this book and not a lot of showing. So that’s where I felt a disconnect with the story.

I liked the friendship Wes had with his roommates and especially Z as well. But like you said, the way he disconnected after his injury was something that true teammates and friends would have confronted him about. They would have dragged his ass to the gym and games. They wouldn’t have let him stay in his funk as long as they did.

See Z had a moment when he looked at Gabby so that’s who I see pairing up in a subsequent book. And I would read Z’s book. I think he’s an interesting character. Especially as he goes pro. I’m not really interested in Joel’s story though.

All right. This was Jenshak’s debut book and although there were some issues with it, overall it was ok. I’m giving it a 3 out of 5. What about you?

Rowena: I did see the moment you’re talking about, I just didn’t think Z would be getting a book since he’s not going to be going to the college anymore. Maybe I’m wrong though. Maybe Joel’s girl will be the girl that he tutors in Spanish. I’d like to read Joel’s book. I liked the way that he stepped up and went to his Dad to try to help Blair out with the whole website thing. That showed promise for me. But yeah, as far as this is concerned. There was a lot of promise and I enjoyed the friendships but overall, it was just an okay reading experience for me too.

Final Grades

Ames: 3 out of 5
Rowena: 3 out of 5

three-stars

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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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Movie Review: Everything, Everything

Posted April 19, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Everything, Everything (2017)
Starring: Nick Robinson, Amandla Stenberg, Anika Noni Rose
Director: Stella Meghie
Release Date: 19 May 2017
Rating: PG-13
Run Time: 1:36
Movie Type: Drama, Romance

A 17 year old girl named Madeline Whittier has a rare disease that causes her to have to stay indoors 24/7 with her filtered air. Her whole life is basically books, her mom, and Carla (her nurse). One day, a moving truck pulls in next door. There she sees Olly. Olly Bright is Maddy’s new neighbor. They get to know each other through emails. The more they get to know each other, the more they fall in love. Olly starts to make Maddy realize that she isn’t really living. This starts the adventures of Maddy’s new life.

Brenna wanted to watch this movie so in one of our weekends where we had nothing going on, we watched it. Now, I should preface this review by saying that I didn’t read the book so I won’t be comparing the book to the movie or anything like that. This is strictly my thoughts on the movie. I should also preface this review by saying that I wasn’t all that interested in watching it but I did because Brenna wanted to.

So this is another a book that was turned into a movie and the book version of this story was written by Nicola Yoon. The book has gotten some great reviews from bloggers all over so I went into this movie thinking that I would love it and while I enjoyed it, I didn’t love it.

The movie is about a young girl named Maddy who has a disease that keeps her inside her home at all hours of the day. Leaving the sanctuary of her home and its filtered air is dangerous to her life so she stays inside with her nurse and her mother, the only two people she interacts with all day. Maddy wishes that things were different but she deals with it because what else could she do? When Olly moves into the house next door to her, Maddy is intrigued.

Olly is a cute boy and when they become friends, Maddy’s life is forever changed. Her desire to live outside o her home are increased and as I mentioned a little bit ago, that’s dangerous to her life. But seeing Maddy fall deeper and deeper in love with Olly was sweet and seeing how much Olly cared for Maddy was equally sweet but I don’t know, there were things in here, things that Maddy and Olly did together that the Mom in me rolled my eyes over.

While there were a few things that had my Mom meter beeping, the biggest one was their trip to Hawaii. The way that they pulled that off without a hitch made me laugh out loud and because of that, my enjoyment of the movie suffered. So while there were things I didn’t care for, I still enjoyed both Maddy and Olly’s character and I thought their acting skills were great. Brenna says that if I weren’t thinking so hard about stuff that are no big deal to younger people, I would have enjoyed the movie more.

This movie was good and I’m interested in reading the book still so that’s saying something. Brenna loved this movie so I think it’ll go over better with the younger audiences.

Movie Trailer

My Rating

3 out of 5

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Buddy Review: Living Out Loud by Staci Hart

Posted February 28, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Buddy Review: Living Out Loud by Staci HartLiving Out Loud by Staci Hart
Series: Austen Series #3
Published by Staci Hart on February 1st 2018
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Point of View: Alternating First Person
Pages: 324
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add It: Goodreads
three-half-stars

Bestselling author Staci Hart brings you another installment of the Austen Series, inspired by the works of Jane Austen, with a heartfelt contemporary retelling of Sense and Sensibility.

When Annie Daschle arrives in New York City, the only thing she can control is her list.

Not her father’s death or the loss of her home. Not the hole in her heart or the defective valve that’s dictated so much of her life. But she can put pen to paper to make a list of all the ways she can live out loud, just like her dad would have wanted.

See the city from the top of the Empire State Building: Check.Eat hot dogs on the steps of The Met: Check.Get a job at Wasted Words: Check.

What wasn’t on her list: Greg Brandon. And just when she thinks she’s figured out where to put him, everything changes. In the span of a few staggering heartbeats, she finds herself caught in the middle of something she can’t find her way out of, with no clear answers and no rules.

List or no list, she realizes she can’t control anything at all, not even her heart.

Not the decisions it makes, and not the moment it stops.

​Living Out Loud is the third book in the Austen series by Staci Hart. The story follows Annie Daschle as she moves from a small town in Texas to the bright lights of New York City. After her father dies, Annie’s life is thrown for a loop and she’s determined to live every day like it’s her last so she makes a list of things she wants to do in New York.

Landing a job at Wasted Words, a coffee shop/bar/bookstore makes Annie super happy because she led such a sheltered life back in Texas and she’s hoping to come out of her shell here in New York and meeting Greg has helped with that goal. A friendship that Annie treasures sparks up between her and Greg and once she lets herself open up more, things start happening for her and she gets so wrapped up making memories and developing relationships that she spends a good chunk of the book trying to figure out what’s real and what’s not.

Rowena: Alright Ames, start us off. What did you think?

Ames: I have to be honest-I was all over the place with this one.l I really enjoy the original Sense and Sensibility and so when I realized who’s story Annie’s was based on I got nervous! But I loved Greg. He was a great guy. But Annie… Annie was 18 and grew up sheltered due to a heart condition and I felt like in some situations she really showed her immaturity and that annoyed me. But I was engrossed enough in the story to keep reading through the annoyance. Lol What did you think Wena?

Rowena: I was the same way. The beginning was slow for me and I kept waiting for something to happen instead of all that gloom and doom thoughts from Annie. Then once the story takes off, I started getting annoyed but then when Greg makes himself known, I cried. So yeah, I was all over the place too.

Overall though, I thought​ ​this book was just okay. It was much too fluffy for what I was in the mood for and everything just seemed to happen perfectly for Annie at the same time that everything was so dramatic and just…meh.

Ames: I agree, it was fluffy and that would have been ok but for Annie. She was just too…sunshine and rainbows for my taste. I have a really hard time believing that Greg who was ten years older than her would really have fallen for someone so naive and innocent. Despite that, I can see that he would be a good guy to grow up with. But it just seems unfair to him. The relationship could potentially be uneven, with him giving of himself all the time.

I was happy with the way every turned out though. Annie learned some lessons that weren’t too painful and we were introduced to the awesomeness that was Greg. Overall, Living out Loud was an ok read and I’m going to give it a 3.5 out of 5.

One last thing though, how awesome would it be to work at Wasted Words?

Rowena: I thought the same thing, too. I thought that Greg gave a lot to the relationship and that Annie…didn’t because she was much too young and naive and that kind of got on my nerves. Greg made the book for me though. I loved him. I thought he was a great hero and that I felt bad that he couldn’t catch a break where Annie was concerned. Imagine, never falling in love and then when you finally do, it’s with someone so much younger than you, someone in a different place in life than you but your heart wants what it wants and homegirl just kept right on messing with your plans?

Like I said, this book was not a bad book but it was a fluffy and much too sweet for what I wanted to read. Still, Greg was great and YESSSSS! I think it would be awesome to work at Wasted Words because that historical mixer? Loved it. I also loved that Annie was a huge Julia Quinn fan. Haha, that brightened me right up reading that.

I’m giving this book a 3 out of 5.

Austen Series

Final Ratings

Ames: 3.5 out of 5
Rowena: 3 out of 5

three-half-stars

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Buddy Review: The Matchmaker’s Playbook by Rachel van Dyken

Posted December 28, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Buddy Review: The Matchmaker’s Playbook by Rachel van DykenThe Matchmaker's Playbook by Rachel Van Dyken
Series: Wingmen Inc. Series #1
Published by Indie Published, Skyscape on April 5th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Point of View: Alternating First Person
Pages: 304
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add It: Goodreads

Wingman rule number one: don’t fall for a client.

After a career-ending accident, former NFL recruit Ian Hunter is back on campus—and he’s ready to get his new game on. As one of the masterminds behind Wingmen, Inc., a successful and secretive word-of-mouth dating service, he’s putting his extensive skills with women to work for the lovelorn. But when Blake Olson requests the services of Wingmen, Inc., Ian may have landed his most hopeless client yet.

From her frumpy athletic gear to her unfortunate choice of footwear, Blake is going to need a miracle if she wants to land her crush. At least with a professional matchmaker by her side she has a fighting chance. Ian knows that his advice and a makeover can turn Blake into another successful match. But as Blake begins the transformation from hot mess to smokin’ hot, Ian realizes he’s in danger of breaking his cardinal rule.…

Ian Hunter is half of the partnership behind Wingman, Inc. – a campus-based matchmaking service for women. Ian has business rules that he follows from preventing his female clients from falling for him. But when his best friend’s roommate hires him to win over a guy, none of his rules help him when he’s the one who starts to fall…

Ames: All right Wena! It’s almost the end of the year and we managed to review a book every month! Go us!

Ok…what did you think of the Matchmaker’s Playbook? I have to say, this one wasn’t a winner in my book.

Rowena: I’m so glad that we made an effort to read at least one book each month together and then buddy review it. Have we ever gone an entire year actually following through on this? I can’t remember. Anyway, yes, go us!

I didn’t exactly hate the book because even though I wasn’t the biggest fan of how shallow and conceited Ian was, the story itself was compelling and once I buckled down to read it, I just kept right on reading until I was done. I love NA romances and I don’t see that changing but I didn’t exactly love this book. Sure, I was interested in what was happening in the story but I didn’t exactly love the hero of this book and that almost never happens. It’s going to be interesting to see Ian come to life in the movie being produced by Passionflix.

What did you think?

Ames: I agree that Ian was shallow and conceited. And I had a big problem with how he treated women. I thought he was a douche to be honest. LOL The only redeeming thing about this book in my opinion was Blake’s character. She was a tomboy through and through and I liked that she had no clue how to be feminine. I almost dnf’d this book about 25% of the way in but I was curious to see if Ian’s character improved or changed and I wanted to see how things played out for Blake.

This was only the second Rachel Van Dyken book I’ve ever read and it was a disappointed compared to Fractured (which I LOVED). I am not giving up on this author but I’m going to be careful about which book of hers I’m reading.

It would have been nice to have a few scenes from Blake’s POV.

Rowena: The way that he treated women, the way that he thought women were dumb at the same time claiming to love ALL women. He really did come off as being a douche. Blake was probably the only thing that I liked about this book. Gaby yelled too much and so did Lex. I thought it was strange that they yelled all the freaking time. I wanted to tell them to shut up more than once.

What was also pretty interesting was in my copy of the book, I bought the interaction copy, I guess because every so often, there were little snippets of gif like videos (I don’t even know how to explain it) with Ian, Blake and of course there were little cameos from the author, Rachel van Dyken. Whatever was happening in the book was brought to life through those little snippets. At first, it threw me but I got used to it and I think that, more than anything, was what kept my interest but the guy cast in the book looks nothing like Nick Bateman, who was cast to play Ian in the Passionflix movie.

Overall, the book was just meh. I was disappointed that I didn’t really see Ian’s character grow. He was still the same selfish, shallow and super conceited douche canoe at the end as he was in the beginning. That was disappointing. I think I’d give it a 3 out of 5. What about you?

Ames: I am going to agree with you. But 2.75 out of 5. I really can’t get past Ian’s character. Just thinking about how he thought of his clients…*shudder*.

That’s too bad our final book of the year ended up being a dud, huh?

Final Grades


gif credits

Ames: 2.75 out of 5
Rowena: 3 out of 5

Wingmen Inc. Series

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