Tag: 4.0 Reviews

Review: The Chase by Elle Kennedy

Posted August 10, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 6 Comments

Review: The Chase by Elle KennedyThe Chase by Elle Kennedy
Series: Briar U #1
Published by Elle Kennedy on August 4, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Point of View: Alternating First Person
Pages: 378
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add It: Goodreads
four-stars

A sexy standalone novel from New York Times and international bestselling author Elle Kennedy

Everyone says opposites attract. And they must be right, because there’s no logical reason why I’m so drawn to Colin Fitzgerald. I don’t usually go for tattoo-covered, video-gaming, hockey-playing nerd-jocks who think I’m flighty and superficial. His narrow view of me is the first strike against him. It doesn’t help that he’s buddy-buddy with my brother.

And that his best friend has a crush on me.

And that I just moved in with them.

Oh, did I not mention we’re roommates?

I suppose it doesn’t matter. Fitzy has made it clear he’s not interested in me, even though the sparks between us are liable to burn our house down. I’m not the kind of girl who chases after a man, though, and I’m not about to start. I’ve got my hands full dealing with a new school, a sleazy professor, and an uncertain future. So if my sexy brooding roomie wises up and realizes what he’s missing?

He knows where to find me.

The Chase kicks off the Off-Campus spin-off series, Briar U and it features some familiar characters in Summer Hayward-Di Laurentis and Colin Fitzgerald. We first meet Summer in her brother’s book, The Score. Summer comes to visit her brother Dean at school and takes one look at Fitzy and she wants him. She’s carried a huge ol’ crush on Fitzy around with her ever since and when she transfers from Brown to Briar, things get really interesting for her.

Fitzy is attracted to Summer, of course he is but he can’t go there because 1) She’s Dean’s sister and 2) She’s the exact opposite of everything he is and everything he has no interest in being. She’s outgoing and social where he’s more reserved and more comfortable alone and at home. Sure, he’s a hockey player and he does go out from time to time, but he really loves the quiet that comes from being alone with his art and video games.

Things really get going for them when Summer moves in with Fitzy and the rest of his roommates at the Off-Campus house. She needs a place to stay and they need a roommate so win-win right? Hahaha, oh the drama that comes with Summer moving in. The shenanigans that these two get into was so much fun.

Elle Kennedy does what she does best with this book. She brings together two characters in a way that will have you itching to keep turning the pages. There’s a lot of charm, a lot of OMG that didn’t just happen moments along with characters that will make you laugh and cheer for as you keep reading.

Summer was probably my favorite part of the book even though I did come to love Fitzy but I really enjoyed getting to know Summer because she seemed to be a lot of fun in Dean’s book and that was brought to the front of the class in this one. I loved how strong she was despite being so insecure about her learning disability. Having a daughter who has a learning disability, it made me appreciate Summer’s drive and her willingness to do whatever it took to stay on top of her course studies. I also really enjoyed how she didn’t let Fitzy get away with the shit that he tried to pull with her. Her friendship with Brenna was another thing that I absolutely loved about her. She seriously rocked and even though I thought she led Hunter on for a little bit, I still really liked her.

This week’s book boyfriend is definitely Colin Fitzgerald. As pissed off as he made me, I still loved the hell out of him and his love for Summer. There were times when I wanted to punch him in the junk but as the story continued, my love for him to started to shine through. I loved how he got his shit together and really fell into being Summer’s boyfriend.

He was smart and he was a guy trying to be good and failing miserably but I liked that he did work to turn things around.

This is who I pictured as Fitzy because I love me some Josh from Younger and he fits the image that I have of Colin Fitzgerald. The tats, the good looks, I can definitely see it.

I’m really looking forward to the other books in this series, especially the next book, The Risk. Brenna completely won me over in this book and I cannot wait to see her get her happily ever after. I sincerely hope that her love ends up being Harvard guy because I’m so here for all of the heckling she’ll be doing at his games and the sparks flew all over whenever they were around each other…seriously, their story would be so epic. He’s the star of the rival team, she’s the daughter to the coach of his rival team…they’re supposed to hate each other and yet, they fall in love instead. Who wouldn’t want that story???

Anyway, back to The Chase, this book had all of Elle Kennedy’s trademark humor and sexy story time that I enjoy but there were things that I didn’t care for (the whole thing with Hunter, the way that things were handled with the professor and assistant dean then all of the douche behavior from Fitzy). Still, it was a solid effort and I ended up enjoying the book so I’m planted firmly in the I can’t wait for the next book to come out camp. If you enjoy contemporary NA with compelling characters and a steamy romance then you’ll definitely enjoy this one.

Final Grade

4 out of 5

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Briar U Series

four-stars

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Throwback Thursday: Dying to Please by Linda Howard

Posted August 2, 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.

This week’s book is Dying to Please by Linda Howard. For my other book blog’s summer reading challenge, I was assigned with reading Midnight Rainbow by Linda Howard and instead of starting that one, I picked this one up instead.

Throwback Thursday: Dying to Please by Linda HowardDying To Please by Linda Howard
Published by Random House, Ballantine on November 4, 2003
Genres: Contemporary, Romantic Suspense
Point of View: Alternating Third Person
Pages: 416
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add It: Goodreads
four-stars

Alternate-cover edition can be found here

Loyal. Beautiful. Professional. Impeccably organized. Potentially lethal.

Sarah Stevens is a woman with many distinct qualities. First and foremost a butler par excellence, skilled at running large households smoothly and efficiently, she is also a trained bodyguard and expert marksman—indispensable to her elderly employer, a courtly gentleman whom Sarah has come to respect and love as a father. Then one night she thwarts an attempted burglary, a courageous act that awards Sarah her requisite “fifteen minutes of fame” with the local press. But the exposure is enough to catch the attention of a tortured soul who, unbeknownst to Sarah, will stop at nothing to have her for himself...

I’m really happy to report that even though I didn’t exactly LOVE this book the way that I did when I first read it, I was still really happy with the story that Linda Howard wrote for Cahill and Sarah.

If you’re new to this book or haven’t read it then this story features Sarah Stevens and Thompson Cahill. Sarah Stevens is a modern day butler/bodyguard and when she comes home from her day off to find her boss dead, her life is thrown upside down. Cahill is the detective on the scene and meeting Sarah Stevens knocks him on his ass. Of course, the first time they meet and he finds out that she’s a butler, he assumes she’s the judge’s mistress or plaything and I loved seeing him wise up in all things Sarah.

The mystery surrounds trying to find out who is killing all of Sarah’s employers and I’ll be honest, that part of the story is pretty weak. I knew who the killer was right away but that wasn’t what I loved about the book. I loved the romance that developed between Cahill and Sarah. I loved getting to know both of their characters and I still really love that wrestling scene.

I remember loving how strong and resilient Sarah was and that didn’t change here. I also remembered how much I adored Cahill but this time around, it was all Sarah for me. She was the bomb and I still think she can take The Rock on and come out on top. She’s smart, she’s strong and what you see is what you get. She’s got that take no nonsense kind of attitude that could be taken so many different ways but for me, it really worked for her character. There was a warmth to her and I was completely charmed. I seriously want to be Sarah Stevens when I grow up.

Cahill and Sarah made sense together and I really enjoyed each scene that they’re in together. Cahill’s honesty and Sarah’s take-charge attitude just worked for me and I loved how hot they were for each other. Linda Howard really shines at character development and I thought she did a nice job of letting us get to know these two. It’s a winner in my book and I definitely recommend if you’re in the mood for a little suspense, some hot loving and two strong characters that are just made for each other. This is a good one.

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Final Grade

4 out of 5

four-stars

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Throwback Thursday: Double Standards by Judith McNaught

Posted July 19, 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: Double Standards by Judith McNaughtDouble Standards by Judith McNaught
Published by Simon & Schuster, Pocket Books on January 15, 1991
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Point of View: Alternating Third Person
Pages: 310
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add It: Goodreads
four-half-stars

In the exclusive, glittering world of business superstars, Nick Sinclair was a legend...

The ruggedly handsome president of Global Industries handled his business the way he handled his women -- with charm, daring and ruthless self-control. A man used to the very best, Nick hired Lauren Danner, and assumed the proud beauty would soon be another easy conquest. But Lauren's flashing wit and rare spirit dazzled him -- and slowly, against his will, he was intrigued, challenged -- and in love.

Yet Lauren was living a lie, a charade that became more dangerous with every passing moment. Trapped in a web of deceit, she fought her growing love for Nick. Her secret could destroy his fragile trust -- and the promise of life with the most compelling man she had ever met!

It has been ages since I read this book and I was so confident that I would love this book forever and I’m surprised that after this quick re-read, I still do, in fact, love this book. Sure, I can see why others wouldn’t be as impressed with Nick Sinclair and this story but for me? I am still a fan of Nick and this book. My heart still went weak wherever he was concerned. Sure, he was a playboy and was a dick throughout some of this book and even his courtship of Lauren but man, I just knew he loved Lauren and his flirty attitude and overall confidence completely worked on me.

Nick Sinclair is at the top of his game, is one of the most wildly successful businessmen and Philip Whitworth is tired of losing to him. So after Philip loses yet another big money contract to Nick’s company, he hires Lauren Danner to spy on Nick and Lauren, who is under the impression that she’s doing a good thing accepts the job. She’ll find out who is spying for Nick and the money she is paid will go a long way in helping with her father’s medical bills. The set up for this story is pretty basic and low key unoriginal but it wasn’t the story that I was invested in. I was invested in Nick Sinclair’s character growth and the romance between him and Lauren. I’m also a fan of office romances and this was one of them.

One of the things that I remembered most about Lauren was how naive she was and how inexperienced she was and that didn’t change with this reading. I remembered being frustrated with her character and how little she understood about sex and life but this time around, I appreciated her moral compass and how brave she was when the shit hit the fan. Gosh, that scene when Nick finds out who she really is and what she was sent over to do and his love for her is sorely tested still gets to me to this day. My heart was beating fast and I was furious with Nick, furious with Lauren and just so damn happy when they finally get their shit together and make things right.

Nick wasn’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination but his feelings for Lauren were real and they were big and they completely melted me.

This book wasn’t easy to read and Judith McNaught writes those extra dramatic old school romances that hit me in my feels every time. I’m super happy that I read this book again and remembered my love for Nick Sinclair. It’s still going strong. Gah, such a great story.

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Final Grade

4 out of 5

four-half-stars

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Review: Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom

Posted July 10, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018)
Starring: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rafe Spall, Justice Smith, Daniella Pineda
Director: J.A. Bayona
Release Date: 22 June 2018
Rating: PG-13
Run Time: 2:08
Movie Type: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

Three years after the Jurassic World theme park was closed down, Owen and Claire return to Isla Nublar to save the dinosaurs when they learn that a once dormant volcano on the island is active and is threatening to extinguish all life there. Along the way, Owen sets out to find Blue, his lead raptor, and discovers a conspiracy that could disrupt the natural order of the entire planet. Life has found a way, again.

This week’s Tuesday $5 movie was for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and it was another fantabulously enjoyable movie. Not even the entire row of tweens that sat in front of us that were rude, loud, disruptive and got on my hot damn nerves from the time the movie started until the very end, could ruin my enjoyment of the movie. It was that much fun for me. I enjoyed the dinosaurs so much and even though my heart hurt for that long neck dinosaur, I still liked the movie.

The human stuff in this movie was a lot more interesting than the last one and the dinosaurs were off the chains great. It was good to see Claire and Owen back in action again and I was surprised with how much more I liked Claire this time around. Owen was still the same goofy but dinosaur caring person that I adored in the last movie so his addition to this movie was great for me.

My favorite part of the movie was Blue comes to Owen and Maisie’s rescue. What a smart dinosaur Blue was and he’s my absolute favorite thing about these movies. I loved Baby Blue and Grown-up Blue is just as great for me. The bond he has with Owen is real and I enjoyed seeing them together again.

The action and the dinosaurs really made this movie for me. I laughed, I got mad and then I rejoiced throughout this movie so overall, it was a solid movie in my opinion. The characters were charming and there were plenty of them to like and seeing what Claire wanted to do for the dinosaurs was sweet. Seeing her and Owen try to right the wrongs of the humans to give these dinosaurs their freedom was something that I could get behind. From beginning to end, I was invested in what was going on and while there were some parts that I thought were cheesy or flat out dumb, I still enjoyed the movie and would recommend.

Movie Trailer

My Rating

4 out of 5

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Review: The One You Can’t Forget by Roni Loren

Posted June 22, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 6 Comments

Review: The One You Can’t Forget by Roni LorenThe One You Can't Forget by Roni Loren
Series: The Ones that Got Away #2
Published by Sourcebooks on June 5, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Point of View: Alternating Third Person
Pages: 416
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Add It: Goodreads
four-stars

Most days Rebecca Lindt feels like an imposter...The world admires her as a survivor. But that impression would crumble if people knew her secret. She didn't deserve to be the one who got away. But nothing can change the past, so she's thrown herself into her work. She can't dwell if she never slows down.

Wes Garrett is trying to get back on his feet after losing his dream restaurant, his money, and half his damn mind in a vicious divorce. But when he intervenes in a mugging and saves Rebecca―the attorney who helped his ex ruin him―his simple life gets complicated.

Their attraction is inconvenient and neither wants more than a fling. But when Rebecca's secret is put at risk, both discover they could lose everything, including what they never realized they needed: each other

She laughed and kissed him. This morning she'd melted down. But somehow this man had her laughing and turned on only a few hours later. Everything inside her felt buoyed.

She felt...light.

She'd forgotten what that felt like.

The One You Can’t Forget is the second book in Roni Loren’s The Ones that Got Away series and it follows another one of the Long Acre school shooting survivors, Rebecca Lindt as she makes that journey towards true love with Chef Wes Garrett.

Their story was another well written sweet romance from Roni Loren. It just worked for me. I loved seeing Wes get his second chance at life building his dream restaurant and I really loved seeing Rebecca really come into her own. There’s a lot of growth in both of their characters and when Rebecca stands up to her father in the end, I was super happy because that scene, that moment, was such a long time coming.

This book charmed the socks right off of me and I’m super thrilled that we’re not done with these characters. I’m really looking forward to reading Taryn’s book and after that, I’m looking forward to finally getting some Kincaid action. I’m mighty curious about Kincaid and can’t wait for her story.

Wes Garrett is my book boyfriend for this week because I seriously adored everything about him. He was working toward becoming a better person than the one Rebecca knew from before and I really loved seeing the man he proved to be in the end. He was really good with the kids in his class and I loved seeing his passion for food and his desire to be a better man.

When the truth about what Rebecca thought about him and his marriage came out, I was super relieved because I’m not a huge fan of infidelity in my romances but all is well…Wes is just as swoony as we all hope our favorite heroes will be and I just loved seeing him fall for Bec and seeing the hope that blossomed all around him once his dream came close to being attainable.

“You see, Bec, you’ve got it all wrong. You didn’t pretend to be someone else around me. You gave me the best gift. You let yourself be who you really are with me. Underneath all this hurt and trauma, all the pressure and expectations, this is you. I got to meet that girl, and I’m so damn lucky for it.”

See? Gah, he’s such a dream boat. This is the guy that I pictured as Wes Garrett:

Overall, this book was solid though there were times when I got frustrated with both Rebecca and Wes. I thought Rebecca handled the whole Steven thing really well and Wes was just all around my guy. I definitely recommend.

Final Grade

4 out of 5

The Ones Who Got Away Series

four-stars

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