Tag: 4.25 Reviews

Review: Crushed by Lauren Layne

Posted March 28, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 11 Comments

Review: Crushed by Lauren LayneCrushed by Lauren Layne
Series: Redemption #2
Also in this series: Isn't She Lovely
Published by Random House, Flirt on April 14th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Pages: 304
Format: eBook
Source: Bought
Goodreads
four-stars
Reading Challenges: The Totally Doable 2017 RBLB Reading Challenge

Lauren Layne’s latest novel about the healing power of redemption tells the story of a crush gone wickedly wrong, proving that what you want isn’t always what you need.

Growing up in New York, Michael St. Claire never expected to spend his twenties wearing cowboy boots. But that was before he learned about his real father, a total stranger with a family in Cedar Grove, Texas. Once in the Lone Star State, Michael meets Kristin Bellamy, who is exquisitely refined and everything Michael always thought he wanted in a woman. The only problem is that Kristin is dating Michael’s new half brother, Devon.

Kristin’s mouthy, curvy sister Chloe has always been in love with Devon Patterson. So when Michael offers to help Chloe break up Devon and Kristin, Chloe agrees to a deal that seems too good to be true. Before long, Chloe finally gets her man, only to make a startling discovery: She no longer wants the guy she had to fight for—she wants the one who stood by her side.

After all he and Chloe have been through, Michael swears he’s damaged goods. Can Chloe convince him that love is worth the risk?

Crushed is the last book in the Redemption series by Lauren Layne and it’s a book that’s been sitting on my TBR pile for a long time. It’s also my March entry into the 2017 Totally Doable Reading Challenge that I’m participating in. I kind of cheated because the prompt for March was finish a series you started and I just started this series but it’s been sitting on my TBR pile for a while so it needed to get read and I’m including it.

Michael St. Claire did the unthinkable. He fell in love with his best friend’s girl. He sat on that love for years and year because Olivia was Ethan’s girl but his feelings never went away. There wasn’t enough alcohol, girls or anything to distract him from where his heart belongs. When he finally can’t take it anymore, he kisses her and she kisses him back and things went to shit after that. On top of that, he learns some news that rocks his life right off its axis.

Just like Olivia, Michael leaves New York to figure some shit out. He sets out to find….his real Dad. His real Dad that lives in Texas, a long way from where he was born and raised. He’s not sure what he’s going to do with the information yet but he’s got the summer to figure things out and in the meantime, he’s taken on some jobs. He’s a part time tennis instructor, personal trainer, and bartender. Lots of things to keep him busy. Busy while he plans out how to get close to Devon Patterson….his half brother.

He’s got a couple of ways to go about this but the one way that holds the most appeal is through Devon’s girlfriend, Kristin Bellamy. Michael works that direction until he meets Kristin’s sister, Chloe. Chloe is nothing like her beautiful sister. She’s witty and she’s loud and Michael spends most of the time around her, wanting to shut her up but Chloe is in love with Devon and he figures that if they help each other out, he’ll get what he wants and she’ll get what she wants.

Michael has no plans on giving his heart away again because he’s been there, done that and he’s learned his lesson. That way only leads to heartbreak and he’s had enough heartbreak to last a lifetime.

Kristin is Michael’s usual kind of gal but Chloe is the sister that has captured Michael’s interest and nobody is more surprised by that than him.

Chloe has been in love with her sister’s boyfriend since they were kids. Since before Devon became popular. She’s loved him since he was the little nerd, poring through Harry Potter books with her but once the braces came off, the baby fat came off, Devon moved on to the popular crowd and Chloe has never really gotten over her crush. That crush has turned into a wild love that hurts Chloe at every turn to see him with her sister. Her sister doesn’t deserve him but until he sees that for himself, she can’t do anything else but…wait. When Michael St. Claire becomes her personal trainer and her cohort in trying to get Devon to see her as more than just his girlfriend’s sister, things take a turn she wasn’t expecting. The quiet bad boy that seems to go through the girls in her hometown is not a fixure in her life and feelings are growing.

This book is my second favorite book in the series. I took a break between Broken and Crushed because I wasn’t a fan of the premise of this story. The breaking up a couple, the fat heroine turned skinny but Lauren Layne takes care of us because I loved this book. I adored Michael and I loved Chloe. Chloe’s personality was bigger than her body and she was such a fantastic character that I couldn’t wait for her and Stephanie from Isn’t She Lovely to meet. I just knew that they were going to be fun together and I wasn’t wrong.

The romance hit me with all of the feels that I love feeling while reading my books and I just adored seeing Michael and Chloe come into their own at the same time that they were falling in love with each other. They had so much in common, things that they didn’t know about each other but the reader did and goodness, I just loved how Layne brought these two together. It was fun. It was passionate and I just couldn’t get enough of these guys…all of them, except Kristin. This book ended the series on a high note and I’m super glad that I decided to pick these up. I don’t know what I was waiting on. This was a fun series and I highly recommend it.

4.25 out of 5

four-stars

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Buddy Review: Good Boy by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy

Posted February 21, 2017 by Rowena & Bookish Ames in Reviews | 14 Comments

Buddy Review: Good Boy by Sarina Bowen & Elle KennedyGood Boy by Sarina Bowen, Elle Kennedy
Series: WAGS #1
Published by Elle Kennedy on January 31st 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 269
Format: eBook
Source: Bought
Goodreads
four-stars

Hosting her brother’s wedding for an MVP guest list is the challenge of Jess Canning’s life. Already the family screw-up, she can’t afford to fail. And nobody (nobody!) can learn of the colossal mistake she made with the best man during a weak moment last spring. It was wrong, and there will not be a repeat. Absolutely not. Even if he is the sexiest thing on two legs.

Blake Riley sees the wedding as fate’s gift to him. Jess is the maid of honor and he’s the best man? Let the games begin. So what if he’s facing a little (fine, a lot) of resistance? He just needs to convince the stubborn blonde that he’s really a good boy with a bad rap. Luckily, every professional hockey player knows that you’ve got to make an effort if you want to score.

But Jess has more pressing issues to deal with than sexy-times with a giant man-child. Such as: Will the ceremony start on time, even though someone got grandma drunk? Does glitter ever belong at a wedding? And is it wrong to murder the best man?

Caution: May cause accidental aspiration of tea or coffee. Do not read in a public place where loud laughter is inappropriate. Contains hot but hilarious hockey players, puppy cuddling and a snarky pair of underwear.

Rowena: Month 2 of 2017 brings about our second buddy review of the year. Ames and I chose to read Good Boy by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy for February and we’re here to discuss it.

Good Boy kicks off a new series from Bowen & Kennedy. A spin-off from their Him series. The first book features Jamie’s sister Jessica and Wes’ teammate, Blake. They spent an explosive night together and Blake wants to continue the party but Jess has shut that shit down. Blake is a stubborn hockey player and he’s not going to give up so Jess is in for a rude awakening. He knows that she wants him just as much as he wants her and he’s going to keep poking around until she admits it. Should be fun, right?

Right.

This book was such fun for me. What did you think about it, Ames?

Ames: I really enjoyed Good Boy! With the opening scenes, Jess being paranoid over the wedding going off without a hitch and being uptight about any changes to her plans, I thought she was going to be an annoying heroine. And these days, that’s my number one peeve. However, Jess was a pleasant surprise. I really liked the push and pull between her and Blake.

And Blake? OMG he had me laughing out loud more than once. But my favorite bit of dialog involved him referring to his junk as a docking station. If I was drinking something at that moment I know I would have ruined my ereader. haha

Rowena: You know what’s funny? Is that Blake’s personality was so big right from the very beginning and I took a step back from this book because of that…so it was Blake that I was scared I wasn’t going to like but man, I was so wrong because I freaking loved him. He was just my very favorite thing about this entire book. I loved him, his struggles, his personality, his body and seriously, him. It was all him. I loved his docking station, too. Hahaha.

I know what you mean about Jess, though. There were times when I wished that she would just get over herself. Get out of her head and just go with the flow but I never hated her or thought she was dumb. I thought she was a solid heroine. The way that she stood up for Blake in the end? I was really happy with her growth throughout the story. She may not have been my favorite in the beginning but holy cow does she come through in the end. So good.

Do you know who’s book is next?

Ames: Jess does come through in the end! Her and Blake were a great match, their personalities just gelled. I liked how she had some figuring out to do yet with her life. Blake as a pro hockey player is set for the next decade at least but her, she was still figuring out who she was and how she fit in with her big family. And I liked that she wanted to do her schooling on her own. She definitely grew as a character.

I could go on and on about Blake though. He really was the greatest thing about that book. And so stand up! Like the whole deal with his ex? OMG. Just wow. And her? I wanted to smack her…and not because of the lie but because of the dog. LOL

I have two complaints. The dog on the cover and the teen girl with cancer. I’m not saying anything about the dog in the book and the dog on the cover. Just no. And the girl? I honestly wanted to see more of her. I thought there was something unfinished about that little part of the story.

I think Erickson’s book is next.

Rowena: I’m not a big pet person but even I was pissed at the ex about the dog. How dare she play the victim for EVERYTHING. I was annoyed with Blake’s sister Brenna though. Her loyalties should have always been with Blake so I didn’t like that she basically was all, “How could you be so insensitive?” Like, get over it. Jeez.

Yeah, did the teenager come out okay? Did Jess have to deliver the beanie to the little brother or was she miraculously saved by meeting Blake Riley? Some closure where that’s concerned would have been good. I knew you would pick up on the dog thing. You always do.

You’re right, Erickson is up next. I’m going to assume he’s getting back with his ex if the book is titled Stay? What do you think?

Overall, this was an entertaining book that I adored. There were minor things here and there that I didn’t care for but overall, I liked it. Like, really liked it. It was fun and I’m eager for more. I’m curious though, the series is called WAGs…why is that? I didn’t get a very big WAGS feel to this book so I don’t get it. Ha!

My grade for this one would be a 4 out of 5. You?​​

Ames: I agree with your guess about Erickson’s story. I don’t know how I feel about that though. I’m not the biggest fan of second chance stories these days. I’ll still read it since this author duo is the bomb. haha

I’m the same way about this series title! But if the authors are focusing on other team members and their stories, it’ll probably make more sense with the other books.

Like you I really enjoyed Good Boy. Great characters and a good story. I loved seeing so much of Jamie and Wes too. I’m giving this one a 4.25 out of 5.

Have you read Good Boy yet? If so, what did you think? If not, do you have plans to read it?

four-stars

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Buddy Review: Hollywood Dirt by Alessandra Torre

Posted January 31, 2017 by Rowena & Bookish Ames in Reviews | 10 Comments

Buddy Review: Hollywood Dirt by Alessandra TorreHollywood Dirt by Alessandra Torre
Series: Hollywood Dirt #1
Published by Alessandra Torre on September 7th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 414
Format: eBook
Source: Gifted
Goodreads

Cole Masten. Abandoned by his superstar wife, Hollywood’s Perfect Husband is now Hollywood’s Sexiest Bachelor: partying hard and screwing even harder. Watch out Los Angeles, there's a new bad boy in town.

Summer Jenkins. That’s me, a small town girl stuck in Quincy, Georgia. I cook some mean chicken and dumplins, can bluff a grown man out of his savings in poker, and was voted Most Friendly my senior year.

We were from different worlds. Our lives shouldn’t have collided. But then Cole Masten read a book about my small town. And six months later, his jet landed on our dusty airstrip, and he brought Hollywood with him.
From the start, I knew he was trouble. For our town. And for me.

Sometimes, opposites just aren’t meant to attract.

Ames: Ok Wena. What did you think of my pick for our January buddy review, Hollywood Dirt? I really enjoyed it and in fact this was my second time reading it.

Rowena: I enjoyed it. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect since it was my first Alessandra Torre book but I was pleased with the book overall. Cole was a freaking douche in the beginning but I liked him and over the course of the book, I loved him more and more.

Summer was a crack up and just all around funny character. I thought she was great and loved how sassy she was. I loved that she didn’t let Cole get away with anything even though she lusted after him something fierce.

So much fun!

Ames: It was so much fun! This was also my first Alessandra Torre book.

I really liked the fish out of water element for Cole. He’s this big Hollywood star who has come to expect everything to be done for him and he’s going through this major personal upheaval in his life. He really met Summer at his lowest point. I like how she didn’t treat him any different just because he was a celebrity. And their chemistry was off the charts! I like that they danced around each other as long as they did. They really got to know each other first.

Also, there’s a pet rooster. I honestly love this book for the pet rooster. That was used to sleeping in the house. LOL

Okay, the reason I wanted to re-read this book and chose it for our buddy review was that I heard it was being made into a movie. The premise of this book is that Cole is in Summer’s small Georgia town to film a movie based on a book he read. So the movie will be based upon a book about a movie being made about a book. I love it! haha

Rowena: YES! I really liked that they didn’t sleep together and then immediately were in love. I thought the way that they circled each other, kept their distance before giving in to the inevitable was great. I really loved that once Cole was all in, there wasn’t any changing of minds or trying to keep their relationship a secret from the masses. Cole was in. He didn’t care about the paparazzi, about Nadia. It was all about Summer, the small town girl who made everyone throw up at her engagement party. Haha.

The scene where Cole goes to the pet shop and he’s asking questions about what he should get for Cocky, and the guy keeps looking at Cole like he’s dumb. “It’s a chicken!” Haha. I loved that Cole kept the rooster and kept him as a pet.

LOL, that’s awesome! Have they done the casting yet? I’m curious to see who will be playing Cole and Summer.

Overall, I really liked this book and all of the characters. I even liked that Summer went to her cheating ex to read over the contract that Cole sent her to sign before agreeing to be in the movie. Summer was freaking great! I adored Ben and Justin and even liked Summer’s Mom.

My grade for this book would be 4.25 out of 5. You?​

Ames: Summer’s shenanigans with regards to her ex and her rehearsal dinner were hilarious. Summer was really a rebel but she made it work with her Southern upbringing. She was such a strong character and that’s really what made this book work for me. She definitely kept Cole guessing and working really hard. I liked her mom too!

Okay, I am giving Hollywood Dirt 4.25 out of 5 as well.

And I’m not sure if the movie process is at the casting stage yet or if the script is still being written. But it’s exciting. I think this would be a fun movie. And having been to Georgia, I could really picture this small town made of millionaires.

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