Tag: 4.0 Reviews

Throwback Thursday: The Gift by Julie Garwood

Posted September 27, 2018 by Rowena in Features, Reviews | 2 Comments

Each week, I’ll be writing a review for an oldie but goodie that I’ve read through again to see if these books are holding up for me. I’m a different person than I was when I read these books, older and wiser (at least I hope) so I’m curious to see if books that I used to love can stand the test of time.

Throwback Thursday: The Gift by Julie GarwoodThe Gift by Julie Garwood
Series: Crown's Spies #4
Also in this series: Castles, The Lion's Lady, Guardian Angel
Published by Simon & Schuster, Gallery Books on June 7, 2011
Genres: Historical, Romance
Point of View: Alternating Third Person
Pages: 388
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Goodreads
four-stars

A child bride, Sara Winchester had grown into a winsome beauty, joyfully anticipating the day when her husband Nathan, Marquess of St. James, would return to claim her heart at last. Charmingly innocent, she dismissed the ancient feud that divided Nathan's family from her own...and she was totally unaware of his past exploits as the notorious pirate, Pagan. The man who now stood before her was perplexing, arrogant and powerfully handsome...a warrior-gentleman whose gentle touch aroused her to the wildest, deepest pleasures of love.

Nathan had never bared his soul to any woman, but he was soon utterly beguiled and exasperated by Sara's sweet, defiant ways. Aboard his ship, The Seahawk, she was brave, imperious and determined to win his heart completely -- yet upon their return to England, her love would be sorely tested as a vile conspiracy tried to tear them apart. With their future at stake, they would discover the true destiny of their passion...for all time!

The Gift has always been my least favorite book in this series and it is for this reason that I’ve left this re-read for last. I went into this re-read thinking that I wasn’t going to love this book but I’m surprised to report that I enjoyed this book a lot more than I ever have before.

Julie Garwood has proven to stand the test of time with me. When I first read this book, I was much younger and a lot dumber than I am today and I didn’t appreciate this book as much but this time around, it was great.

Nathan St. James is Colin from Castles best friend and Jade from Guardian Angel’s brother. He’s been engaged to Sara Winchester since he was a kid thanks to the daft King and even though their families are feuding, he’s coming to collect his bride and when that happens, things happen.

This was such a fun book and every time Nathan said, “Dammit Sara” I laughed out loud. They were complete opposites, Nathan and Sara were. She was so sweet and so naive where as Nathan was gruff, reserved and worldly. That damn parasol had me dying. I don’t remember this book being so funny but the shenanigans that Sara got herself into had me laughing at every turn. The writing is top notch in this book and highlights why I’m such a huge fan of Julie Garwood’s older books. I remember why I read her books over and over again and discussed them at length every month with the ladies over at the Julie Garwood Bulletin Board back in the day.

Nathan and Sara’s romance made me happy and even though there were times when I wanted to knee Nathan in the junk and rolled my eyes at how naive Sara was, I still really enjoyed this book. It’s not my favorite book in this series (that is Castles), but it’s still such an enjoyable book that you’ll love for years and years, long after you’ve read it for the first time. To read this book is to enjoy it so I definitely recommend it.

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Final Grade

4 out of 5

Crown’s Spies Series

four-stars


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Throwback Thursday: Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

Posted September 6, 2018 by Rowena in Features, Reviews | 4 Comments

Each week, I’ll be writing a review for an oldie but goodie that I’ve read through again to see if these books are holding up for me. I’m a different person than I was when I read these books, older and wiser (at least I hope) so I’m curious to see if books that I used to love can stand the test of time.

Throwback Thursday: Just Listen by Sarah DessenJust Listen by Sarah Dessen
Published by Penguin, Viking Books for Young Readers on April 6, 2006
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Point of View: First Person
Pages: 371
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Goodreads
four-stars

Last year, Annabel was "the girl who has everything" — at least that's the part she played in the television commercial for Kopf's Department Store.

This year, she's the girl who has nothing: no best friend because mean-but-exciting Sophie dropped her, no peace at home since her older sister became anorexic, and no one to sit with at lunch. Until she meets Owen Armstrong.

Tall, dark, and music-obsessed, Owen is a reformed bad boy with a commitment to truth-telling. With Owen's help, maybe Annabel can face what happened the night she and Sophie stopped being friends.

This story follows Annabelle Greene as she makes her way back to school after a summer spent being away from everyone and anyone from school. Including her ex-best friend Sophie. Now she’s back at school and has to face everyone that she hasn’t seen in months and she also has to deal with the fact that nobody likes her anymore.

Annabelle’s life is anything but simple. She’s got family issues she’s dealing with and she’s got to deal with the fact that she has no friends at school anymore except for the kid who’s got anger issues, Owen Armstrong. Annabelle is known for playing popular girls on commercials who have it all together but her real life is anything but. She’s the youngest of three girls and she couldn’t be any more different from her sisters. Her older sister Kristen is the loud and outspoken sister while her sister Whitney is more reserved. Annabelle has the kind of personality where she can fade into the background without too much effort. She’s just there. She’s nice and friendly. She doesn’t do well with confrontation so she goes out of her way to avoid fights.

When her best friend Sophie gets mad at her, instead of trying to make things right or explain herself, she just lets Sophie be pissed off and she kind of caves into herself. She hides from everyone and it’s not until Owen Armstrong comes along and changes her slowly but surely that things start to look up for Annabelle.

Owen good for Annabelle. From his radio show to the cd’s that he made for her and just everything about him was good for her…until she messes things up and chases him away.

The thing about Sarah Dessen is she writes characters and conflict really well. Her stories stand out for me because every single one of her books feels real. I can see these kinds of things happening and in some cases, I have seen these things happen. The characters in her books suffer from the same things that I remember suffering from in high school and all I want is to give them a little nudge in the right direction. I love her characters and even though Annabelle drove me up the wall sometimes, I never once disliked her. She felt like a little sister to me and I just adored the hell out of her.

But what really made this book for me was Owen. Man but I loved that boy. I thought he was such a great character and wonderful addition to an already fantastic story. His radio station never failed to bring a smile to my face and I just adored him to pieces.

The bond that formed between Annabelle and Owen was too cute for words and while this is not my favorite Sarah Dessen book, it’s one of them and Owen was a huge part of that.

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Final Grade

4 out of 5

four-stars


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Throwback Thursday: Gone too Far by Suzanne Brockmann

Posted August 16, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Each week, I’ll be writing a review for an oldie but goodie that I’ve read through again to see if these books are holding up for me. I’m a different person than I was when I read these books, older and wiser (at least I hope) so I’m curious to see if books that I used to love can stand the test of time.

Throwback Thursday: Gone too Far by Suzanne BrockmannGone too Far by Suzanne Brockmann
Series: Troubleshooters #6
Published by Random House, Ballantine on March 2, 2004
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Romantic Suspense
Point of View: Alternating Third Person
Pages: 536
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Goodreads
four-stars

In her sizzling, award-winning novels of suspense, bestselling author Suzanne Brockmann delves into the adrenaline-rushed world of counter terrorism–and taps into the real passions of its brave men and women. Now in her widely anticipated hardcover debut, she spins a story of action, intrigue, and romance, as a U.S. Navy SEAL and an FBI agent race to unravel a mystery–while confronting their own unresolved feelings for each other. . . .

In his career as one of America’s elite warriors, Lt. Sam Starrett can do no wrong. In his private life, Sam–the king of one night stands–has done little right. Now, he’s waiting for a divorce and determined to stay active in his young daughter’s life. But when Sam shows up at the door of his ex-wife’s home in Sarasota, Florida, he makes a grisly discovery. His daughter is gone and the body of a woman lies brutally murdered on the floor.

FBI agent Alyssa Locke’s relationship with Sam has been overwhelmingly intense and nearly catastrophic, yet it refuses to end. The last time she saw Sam was six months earlier, when they worked together to stop terrorists from assassinating the U.S. President. Much to her dismay, Alyssa is assigned to lead the murder investigation and once again the two are face to face. When explosive information surfaces linking Sam to the still unsolved assassination plot, the stakes are raised. With her reputation hanging in the balance, and her loyalties in question, Alyssa is faced with an impossible dilemma:arrest a man she believes to be innocent, or risk her career.

While Alyssa tries to fight their intense attraction, Sam is determined to heat things up between them once again. And the complex case pushes them both to the wrong side of the law–and on the run to discover the truth. As more agents step into the chase, and with Sam’s daughter still unaccounted for, neither Alyssa nor Sam can predict just how deadly hot this situation is about to become. . . .

A thrilling novel that ranges back into the days of World War II, into friendships, families, liaisons, betrayals, and the code of honor that binds the U.S. Navy SEALs, Gone Too Far is an electrifying experience in suspense–and a brilliant tale of lives lived on the edge.

From the Hardcover edition.

It’s been a long ass time since I’ve read this book and when I think back to how obsessed I used to be over the entire Troubleshooters world and with Sam Starrett in particular, I laugh because it was low key embarrassing. Not that I regret my obsession because Suz Brockmann is a legit author who wrote a fantastic romantic suspense series with characters that to this day, I’m still mad over and Sam Starrett is still one of my top ten favorite heroes of all time and I still don’t care what my friend Holly says about that. And him. Haha.

Re-reading this book was like reading it for the first time because so much of what happened, I didn’t remember. That didn’t stop me from jumping right into the magic that is Sam and Alyssa though. There’s a lot going on in this book and in true Suz Brockmann fashion, she handles it all extremely well. I read the entire thing and was invested in what was happening with everything and everyone. I was taken right back to being scared that the person Sam finds when he shows up at Mary Lou’s house was her, worried about what happened with his daughter and happy when Alyssa shows up and the connection between her and Sam opens up again.

There’s a lot of fast-paced action going on in this book, with Sam and Alyssa trying to get answers and Sam trying to find his daughter, Haley and ex-wife Mary Lou. Throughout the Troubleshooters series, Sam and Alyssa have circled each other and when wrenches were thrown into the mix, they part and try to move on. Alyssa is not happy that Sam Starrett refuses to stay out of her life but I really enjoyed their interactions with each other. I loved seeing them learn about what made them the people that they are now. They both have dark pasts that they overcame and I loved seeing them come to care and accept each other for who they are now and not who they were before.

One of the things that I remember the most about this series is how Brockmann would tell many stories that bring the main story together and that wasn’t any different in this book. I enjoyed seeing Mary Lou use the smarts that she learned from Sam to keep her and Haley safe. I enjoyed the romance between Sam and Alyssa and I just really enjoyed the whole thing. If you’re a fan of romantic suspense novels and military romances then you should definitely give this book a go. It’s good stuff and though Sam Starrett can be hard to take at times, I promise he’s such a compelling and charming character that you won’t help but fall for. Alyssa is his perfect match and this story brings them together in such a great way that I was completely satisfied with the ending. So, so good.

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Final Grade

4.25 out of 5

Troubleshooters Series

four-stars


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