Tag: 4.0 Reviews

Buddy Review: Managed by Kristen Callihan

Posted January 5, 2017 by Rowena & Bookish Ames in Reviews | 0 Comments

Buddy Review: Managed by Kristen CallihanManaged by Kristen Callihan
Series: VIP Series #2
Published by Kristen Callihan on November 14th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Point of View: Alternating First Person
Pages: 348
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Amazon|Barnes & Noble

It started off as a battle of wits. Me: the ordinary girl with a big mouth against Him: the sexy bastard with a big...ego.

I thought I’d hit the jackpot when I was upgraded to first class on my flight to London.

That is until HE sat next to me. Gabriel Scott: handsome as sin, cold as ice. Nothing and no one gets to him. Ever. He’s a legend in his own right, the manager of the biggest rock band in the world, and an arrogant ass who looks down his nose at me.

I thought I’d give him hell for one, long flight. I didn’t expect to like him. I didn’t expect to want him. But the biggest surprise? He wants me too. Only in a way I didn’t see coming.

If I accept his proposal, I leave myself open to falling for the one man I can’t manage. But I’m tempted to say yes. Because the real man beneath those perfect suits and that cool façade just might be the best thing that’s ever happened to me. And I just might be the only one who can melt the ice around his heart.

Let the battle begin…

Rowena: Our second buddy review will feature Managed by Kristen Callihan, the second book in Callihan’s VIP series. Managed follows Kill John’s manager, Gabriel Scott as he fumbles his way to his happily ever after with the band’s new social media manager, Sophie Darling. The band is on tour and lots of things are popping off left and right, like people falling in love. Scottie is the band manager and he’s the details man. He takes care of everything the boys need so that they can focus their energies on the music.

Scottie has some issues that he works through in this book and Sophie Darling helps him with those issues. I thought it was kind of weird at first but their relationship was just so much fun that I was able to look past a lot of the weirdness that jumpstarted everything.

But first things first, what did you think?

Ames: I really enjoyed it. I like grumpy heroes and from Gabriel’s initial reaction to seeing Sophie in the seat beside his on the plane, I knew he was going to be a grumpus and Sophie was going to be just the woman to shake him up a bit. And she did!

What did you think was weird at first?

Rowena: I ended up really liking both Gabriel and Sophie but I thought it was weird…that Gabriel hired Sophie for that side job. I mean, I know that there are professionals that do that kind of stuff but it’s still pretty weird that hottie McHot Pants Scottie needed to hire someone to cuddle him so he can sleep in peace. But even with that weirdness, I still really enjoyed the romance and getting to know both Gabriel and Sophie.

Gabriel had some serious issues that he worked throughout this book and I didn’t understand some of them (like how he needed to get away from Sophie after she was attacked) but I still enjoyed him as a person. He was one of the good ones and it broke my heart a little at how he didn’t think he mattered as much to everyone around him. The way that he held himself apart from everyone, to protect himself emotionally was just…sigh. Sophie Darling did him a solid by making him realize that he was a lot more important to his loved ones than he thought and when he finally realizes that, I cheered.

Sophie was a fabulous heroine. She wasn’t perfect. She didn’t always do or say the right thing but always, her heart was in the right place. I loved her wit, her determination to do right after the wrong she pulled with Jax before. She was fun, caring and I hurt when Gabriel took off after she was hurt. Gabriel more than made up for all that when he got back. I loved their romance. I want to be the reason someone can sleep peacefully at night. Ha!

What did you think of the romance and both the hero and heroine?

Ames: Gabriel had to make it a business transaction to give himself some distance. That way it was about his need to sleep, not his craving for a connection with someone. He was afraid to let Sophie in. It was weird though. LOL

I loved Sophie. She was the right balance between having a carefree spirit but caring for others. When we find out her connection to Jax at first, I was definitely thrown by that whole thing. But it shows how great all the characters were that they could forgive…and then finding out the truth about that night led to more healing for everyone.

Gabriel. I know I said it but I love grumpy heroes. And he was that. Of course its all a front to keep people away. And you’re right, Sophie was great at showing him that his friends cared about them and that he could let them in. I like that he was willing to let her in. And I loved his loyalty. I could forgive him having a dumb moment at the end of the book. That’s actually a beef I have, that misunderstanding was so predictable. As soon as I read that what’s his name was asking about Sophie, I could see how it would play out and that’s the way it did.

Other than that, I really enjoyed how their relationship developed. That scene where he fed her? Right when she joined the tour? Awwww. He was paying attention.

​Rowena: Yeah, I understood as I kept reading but my initial thought was…weird.

Yeah, the whole misunderstanding was low key dumb. I mean, if he had just taken a moment to process, he would have known better but yeah, to immediately jump to that conclusion made me want to kick him. Still, I loved him. I loved Sophie and I loved everyone in their circle of friends. I can’t wait to read Brenna’s book. That one is going to be sizzling with sexual tension and I’m all about that.

I think what I loved most about both Sophie and Gabriel was the amount of attention they paid to each other. They really grew to know each other and they cared deeply about each other even before they got involved romantically and I liked seeing their relationship evolve in the proper way.

Overall, I enjoyed this book a lot more than I did the first book and it’s got me excited for more. Do we know who is getting their story told next? Whoever it is, I’m ready.

Grade: 4 out of 5​

Ames: I really liked that they paid attention to each other as well. They really meshed as a couple. And I like the rock band setting. All the things that bothered me were minor so I have to give this one a 4 out of 5 as well. I want more from this series! I can’t wait for whoever the next book is about – I like all the characters!


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Mini Review Round Up (2)

Posted October 20, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 14 Comments


Results May Vary by Bethany Chase
Release Date: August 9, 2016
Publisher: Random House, Ballantine
Genres: Contemporary, Women’s Fiction
Pages: 336
Format: eBook
Source: Bought
Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Can you ever really know the person you love?

She never saw it coming. Without even a shiver of suspicion to warn her, Caroline Hammond discovers that her husband is having an affair with a man—a revelation that forces her to question their entire history together, from their early days as high school sweethearts through their ten years as a happily married couple. In her now upside-down world, Caroline begins envisioning her life without the relationship that has defined it: the loneliness of being an “I” instead of a “we”; the rekindled yet tenuous closeness with her younger sister; and the unexpected—and potentially disastrous—attraction she can’t get off her mind. Caroline always thought she knew her own love story, but as her husband’s other secrets emerge, she must decide whether that story’s ending will mean forgiving the man she’s loved for half her life, or facing her future without him.

Compassionate and uplifting, Results May Vary is a bittersweet celebration of the fact that in love and in life, we rarely get exactly what we bargained for.

Everyone and their Mom has read and loved this book so I was only too glad to buy the book so that I can read it and love it too. I was hopeful that I would enjoy the book as so many other book bloggers have and my hope paid off because I couldn’t put this book down.

Adam and Caroline have been married for ten years and have been together since high school. They were so very much in love until Caroline stumbles upon a secret that Adam has been hiding from her. He’s having an affair with another man. This shocks Caroline to her core because she never had an inkling that her husband was bi-sexual or well, gay. The betrayal guts her in a way nothing has before and she spends a lot of time going over their past and trying to find the signs that she missed. She also spends a lot of time being mad at Adam and even tries to move on but you can’t really move on from something as huge as marriage without facing some universal truths about yourself and your spouse.

This book had me captivated from the very first page and I finished it in no time because I couldn’t put it down. I was right there in the trenches with Caroline as she tried to figure out if she could forgive Adam, if she should take him back and where to go from here. Chase handles the many mixed emotions that Caroline had extremely well.

I’m used to reading romances where the focus is on the main characters falling in love with each other but with this book, the focus was on the growth that the main character goes through over the course of the book and I really liked that. I liked being right there with Caroline as she experiences everything after her life falls apart. It made the ending that much more satisfying and while there were times in the middle where the book kind of slows a bit (I thought the bits where she was meeting with the old schoolmate from high school was a bit slow), I still liked this book a great deal. Caroline was refreshingly honest with others and herself and that made me like her. She’s not perfect and that was another thing I liked about her. She was real. She made mistakes and her life was messy but she was getting through it.

This was a very satisfying read and I will definitely be reading more from this author.

My Rating


4 out of 5

addicted

Addicted by Elle Kennedy
Series: Outlaws #2
Release Date: June 28, 2016
Publisher: Penguin, Berkley/NAL, Jove
Genre: Dystopian, Romance
Pages: 368
Format: eBook
Source: Bought
Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

From the New York Times bestselling author of Claimed comes the second enticingly erotic novel set in a world on the brink of chaos.

Lennox used to live in a paradise on earth with his best friend Jamie, in a place where visitors came and went, allowing their desires to run free. But everything changes when a deadly attack forces them to take up with Connor Mackenzie’s band of Outlaws. Lennox knows Jamie is hung up on someone else, but he’s always believed he’s the man for her—and won’t let her go without a fight.

Even though Jamie is well aware that Lennox is one hot specimen of a man, she refuses to let sex ruin the most important relationship in her life. But when the object of her interest spurns her, she indulges in a little pleasure-filled revenge with her very magnetic, very willing best friend. One thrilling night with Lennox is enough to awaken Jamie’s unexpected desires for him. And now that she’s had a taste, she’s not sure she can ever give him up…

I should mention right off the bat that I don’t read a lot of erotica stuff and I don’t read very many dystopian romances either. I started this series strictly because Elle Kennedy wrote it. I didn’t know what to expect from the first book and I really enjoyed it so I was happy to continue the series.

To recap the series so far, the characters we meet in this series are all living the Outlaw life. They live in a world that is controlled by the government and if you don’t want to live by the rules of the government than you live outside the city limits and are outlaws. The outlaw life is pretty dangerous because there aren’t any rules. You’re scrapping by, surviving any way that you can and if you are fortunate enough to have the protection of someone like Connor Mackenzie (hero of the first book, Claimed) than you can sleep a little better at night because Connor handles any trouble that lands on their doorstep.

Lennox and Jamie have been best friends since they were kids. They lost everyone and everything close to them so it’s just them against the world. They have each other’s backs and their relationship is completely platonic. They’ve never hooked up because they don’t want to ruin their relationship. They’re all they have left and they didn’t want to ruin things with sex. They both sleep around but they’ve never settled down but one night, things go a lot further than they’ve ever gone and these two realize that they can’t go back.

It’s been a couple of days since I finished this book and I still can’t figure out what I thought about it. I liked it. I liked seeing everyone again and I liked meeting the new people and the romance between Lennox and Jamie was pretty steamy but I didn’t love it. For a lot of the book, nothing really happens except Lennox and Jamie yelling at each other and then having makeup sex. We also get Rylan getting rejected at every turn from the one woman he can’t have (set up to the next book in this series) and I spent a huge chunk of the book waiting for the book to really take off.

This book was slower in pace than the first book and I can’t really say that I really got to know Lennox and Jamie the same way that I felt I got to know Connor and Hudson. There’s a lot going on so maybe that’s why but I never fully connected with Lennox or Jamie. You’d think that because there was so much going on that the pacing would be a lot faster but it still felt like it took forever for stuff to happen. I’m hopeful that the next book will be better so I’m still excited for that one.

Overall, with the slow pacing and everything going on that took away from the romance between Jamie and Lennox, there’s still stuff to like about this read. There’s Rylan. There’s Hudson and Connor. The others at Connor’s camp. The steamy sex between…everyone. The new additions of the townfolks at Foxworth. The big mystery surrounding what Reese has planned. I think fans of Elle Kennedy’s work will enjoy this one.

My Rating


3.5 out of 5

Series Order


Claimed | Addicted | Ruled


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Mini Review Round Up (1)

Posted October 13, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 12 Comments

Each week, I’ll do mini reviews of the books I’m reading to keep everyone who doesn’t read my other blog up to date on my thoughts on the books that I’m reading. Enjoy!

PS I Like You
P.S. I Like You by Kasie West
Release Date: July 26, 2017
Publisher: Scholastic, Point
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 330
Format: eBook
Source: Gifted
Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Signed, sealed, delivered…

While spacing out in chemistry class, Lily scribbles some of her favorite song lyrics onto her desk. The next day, she finds that someone has continued the lyrics on the desk and added a message to her. Intrigue!

Soon, Lily and her anonymous pen pal are exchanging full-on letters—sharing secrets, recommending bands, and opening up to each other. Lily realizes she’s kind of falling for this letter writer. Only, who is he? As Lily attempts to unravel the mystery and juggle school, friends, crushes, and her crazy family, she discovers that matters of the heart can’t always be spelled out…

This should have been a really fast read for me but I was in a weird reading funk so it took me quite a while to finish this one but it was super cute. It’s not my favorite from Kasie West but it was still really good. The main character, Lily, was a little hard to take at times with her constant assumptions where the love interest was concerned but she came around and she apologized for being a punk so I didn’t hold any grudges. I thought the love interest (which I spotted a mile away) ended up being really cute and I really liked him.

Kasie West really shines writing contemporary young adult romances and I hope she never stops writing books because she’s one of my favorite contemporary YA authors. P.S. I Like You was cute and fluffy and perfect for when you want something light instead of something deeper and all angsty. I’m super looking forward to reading her next release, By Your Side.

My Rating


4 out of 5

Hating Game
The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
Release Date: August 9, 2016
Publisher: Harper Collins, William Morrow Paperbacks
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 384
Format: eBook
Source: Gifted
Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Debut author Sally Thorne bursts on the scene with a hilarious and sexy workplace comedy all about that thin, fine line between hate and love.

Nemesis (n.) 1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome.
2) A person’s undoing
3) Joshua Templeman

Lucy Hutton has always been certain that the nice girl can get the corner office. She’s charming and accommodating and prides herself on being loved by everyone at Bexley & Gamin. Everyone except for coldly efficient, impeccably attired, physically intimidating Joshua Templeman. And the feeling is mutual.

Trapped in a shared office together 40 (OK, 50 or 60) hours a week, they’ve become entrenched in an addictive, ridiculous never-ending game of one-upmanship. There’s the Staring Game. The Mirror Game. The HR Game. Lucy can’t let Joshua beat her at anything—especially when a huge new promotion goes up for the taking.

If Lucy wins this game, she’ll be Joshua’s boss. If she loses, she’ll resign. So why is she suddenly having steamy dreams about Joshua, and dressing for work like she’s got a hot date? After a perfectly innocent elevator ride ends with an earth shattering kiss, Lucy starts to wonder whether she’s got Joshua Templeman all wrong.

Maybe Lucy Hutton doesn’t hate Joshua Templeman. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game?

I wanted to read this book because it sounded good and early reviews were very positive but then I read a review that made me not want to read it. I talked that over with my friend Ames and she gifted me the book so I could give it a try (she really liked it) but I didn’t read it until last week and holy cow am I glad that I didn’t let that one bad review stop me from reading this one because…I really liked it too.

I loved seeing the change in both Josh and Lucy’s relationship. I loved that it was a gradual change and not that insta-love business. I enjoyed their bickering, their games and then seeing them have eachothers backs. My favorite scenes in the book were probably the office paintball competition and then Lucy letting Josh’s Dad have it. When she went on Xena Warrior Princess on Josh’s Dad, I wanted to stand up and applaud.

The romance felt real, the feelings that crept up for both characters made me laugh and then happy sigh so you know that I enjoyed this one. I did catch the things that the bad review complained about but they were such small parts of the story. The thing that kept throwing me out of the story was the authors use of CVs instead of resumes. I thought the story was set in the US so when Lily and Josh talked about updating their CVs, that threw me off because I don’t know of anyone in the US that refers to their resumes as CVs but then Ames told me that the author is from Australia and that made sense. Still, this was a great book and I will definitely be reading more from this author.

My Rating


4 out of 5


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,