Tag: 4.25 Reviews

Review: Block Shot by Kennedy Ryan

Posted November 1, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Review: Block Shot by Kennedy RyanBlock Shot
by Kennedy Ryan
Series: Hoops #2
Also in this series: Long Shot
Published by Kennedy Ryan on September 10, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Point of View:Alternating First Person
Pages: 444
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add It: Goodreads
four-half-stars

๐˜ผ๐™ฃ ๐™š๐™ฃ๐™š๐™ข๐™ž๐™š๐™จ-๐™ฉ๐™ค-๐™ก๐™ค๐™ซ๐™š๐™ง๐™จ ๐™จ๐™š๐™˜๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™˜๐™๐™–๐™ฃ๐™˜๐™š ๐™จ๐™ฉ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™๐™–๐™ก๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™š ๐™ง๐™ค๐™ข๐™–๐™ฃ๐™˜๐™š ๐™จ๐™š๐™ฉ ๐™ž๐™ฃ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™˜๐™ช๐™ฉ๐™ฉ๐™๐™ง๐™ค๐™–๐™ฉ ๐™ฌ๐™ค๐™ง๐™ก๐™™ ๐™ค๐™› ๐™จ๐™ฅ๐™ค๐™ง๐™ฉ๐™จ ๐™ข๐™–๐™ฃ๐™–๐™œ๐™š๐™ข๐™š๐™ฃ๐™ฉ.

๐™๐™๐™š๐™ฎ'๐™ง๐™š ๐™ฉ๐™ฌ๐™ค ๐™จ๐™๐™–๐™ง๐™ ๐™จ ๐™ž๐™ฃ ๐™– ๐™›๐™ž๐™จ๐™ ๐™ฉ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™  . . .

๐—๐—”๐—ฅ๐—˜๐——

If I had a dollar for every time Banner Morales made my heart skip a beat... The heart everyone assumes is frozen over. Her anger is . . . arousing. Every glare from those fire-spitting eyes, every time she grits her teeth, gets me . . .well, you know. If I had a dollar for every time she's put me in my place, I'd be an even richer man. I'm a successful sports agent because I assume "no" means you'll think about it. I'm sure what you meant to say is "Coming right up.โ€ They say even rich men don't always get what they want, but those men don't know how to play the game. The trick is to keep them guessing. Take Banner. She assumes she's winning, but this game? She doesn't even know how to play.

๐—•๐—”๐—ก๐—ก๐—˜๐—ฅ

If I had a dollar for every time Jared Foster broke my heart, Iโ€™d have exactly one dollar. One night. One epic fail. One dollar . . . and I'm out. I've moved on. Iโ€™ve found success in a field ruled by men. Anything they can do, I have done better. They can keep the field while I call the shots, blocking them when I have to. And Jared has the nerve to think he gets a second chance? Boy, please. Go sit down. Have several seats. I'll just be over here ignoring the man carved from my fantasies with a lust-tipped chisel. Oh, I didn't say the struggle wasn't real. But I've got that one dollar, and Jared won't have me.

Block Shot is the second book in Kennedy Ryan’s Hoops series and it’s another enjoyable romance from this new to me author. After reading Long Shot and bawling my eyes throughout the entire book, I was expecting another gut punch with this book and while my heart hurt for both Jared and Banner in this book, it wasn’t the same kind of gut punch that I had for August and Iris. Jared and Banner went to college together and they were friends. Banner is a bigger girl and Jared is a hottie so she didn’t think she ever had a chance with him but Jared had a huge crush on Banner. He was head over heels in love with her. He was obsessed with how smart and determined she was, her weight never registered for him. He liked the way that she looked and wanted her body just as much as he loved her mind. When he finally shoots his shot, things go horribly wrong and Banner vows to never let Jared Foster in her life again. Years later, they’re both at the top of their field as sports agents and they still hate each other so much. They were able to avoid each other when Banner was on the east coast and Jared moving to the west coast but now Banner is running the Los Angeles office of her firm and Jared has moved his firm to Los Angeles after being in San Diego for a while. Of course, they were going to run into each other. One of her clients is Jared’s brother’s teammates. Seeing each other again after all these years stirs up resentment in Banner and lust in Jared. He’s over what happened even though Banner never gave him a chance to explain what happened. Sure, he was angry at her with that because she believed the worse in him but seeing her again has stirred up everything he knew and loved about her back in the day. Her brain is just as great now as he knew it was back in college and with every moment they spend in each other’s company now, Jared believes more and more that they belong together. Kennedy Ryan writes angst really well. I shouldn’t have loved Jared and Banner together in the present day so much because Banner was in a relationship. It was a good relationship too, her boyfriend wasn’t bad for her. He wasn’t mean or anything like that and yet, as much as I liked her boyfriend, it was Jared that I was rooting for. It was Jared that I wanted Banner to be with. What a difficult situation for Banner to be in. Her heart wanting one but that same heart not being able to let go of the other one because of…things. This book wrapped me up with feels from beginning to end. My heart hurt for both Jared and for Banner and seeing their journey through was hard and it was emotional but it was good. I enjoyed getting to know both Jared and Banner and loved that they were able to overcome a lot of their issues to be together and I really loved the way that they loved each other. They loved each other fiercely and passionately and they were perfect for each other. Kennedy Ryan has cemented herself on my auto-buy list with this book and I am looking forward to reading Hook Shot I just know that it will be just as good as the other books in this series.
Final Grade
4.25 out of 5
Hoops Series
four-half-stars

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Throwback Thursday: Guardian Angel by Julie Garwood

Posted September 20, 2018 by Rowena in Features, Reviews | 0 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: Guardian Angel by Julie GarwoodGuardian Angel
by Julie Garwood
Series: Crown's Spies #2
Also in this series: Castles, The Lion's Lady, The Gift
Published by Simon & Schuster, Gallery Books on May 10, 2011
Genres: Historical, Romance
Point of View:Alternating Third Person
Pages: 388
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add It: Goodreads
four-stars

New York Times bestselling author Julie Garwood takes breathless sensuality to thrilling heights in this unforgettable adventure of passion and intrigue.

The Emerald flew across the seas, carrying the pirate Pagan - despised by the ton, whose riches he plundered, and beloved by the poor, whose plight was eased by his gifts.

The Marquess of Cainewood vows to hunt down the pirate wretch in revenge for his brother's death. But when Jade, an enchanting vision of rippling red hair and eyes of jewel-green, appears at his door to beg desperately for his protection, the Marquess agrees to keep her safe from the villains who want her dead. Jade is infuriating, exasperating, and gorgeous; Caine is noble, strong-willed, and powerful. No woman has ever befuddled him so, nor so deeply aroused his desire. But as Jade answers his knowing caresses with an innocent, wild abandon, they are drawn into a web of treachery that will test the very heart of their love!

I’ve already re-read both Castles and The Lion’s Lady so might as well finish out the series, right? Right. I have fond memories of Caine and Jade. Memories of me laughing and just loving the hell out of both of them. They were stubborn and they were fiercely passionate and back in the day, I loved this book. The Marquess of Cainewood is on the hunt for Pagan, the man responsible for his brother Colin’s death. He’s having trouble locating this guy so to draw him out, Caine starts pretending to be him. Hoping to piss him off enough that he’ll come out of hiding to face Caine like a man. Instead of Pagan, he comes across a woman named Jade who wants to hire Pagan to kill…her. Caine is stunned but also a little intrigued so he keeps her close and the adventure takes off! Julie Garwood is known for her humor and there’s a whole lot of humor in this book. I laughed so much while reading this book again. From Jade trying to stay one step ahead of Caine, to Caine bulldozing over Jade’s stubbornness and even though there were times when I wanted to karate chop them both in the knee, I still quite adored them and their story. Caine was a little obsessive with Colin’s death and though I could understand it, I still rolled my eyes some and sighed a little over all of that. The romance between Jade and Caine was fantastic and whenever Jade would try to get away and Caine would find her and take her back, I just adored that so much. She was fighting a losing battle and I loved that Caine was always there to remind her that he’s the one for her. She was running away from herself just as much as she was running away from Caine and I loved that he had her back no matter what. She had issues that she was working through, trust issues and Caine won her over completely and I was so glad. I was glad because Jade was more than capable of taking care of herself but with Caine, she didn’t have to. I loved that he showed her that she wasn’t alone anymore, she didn’t need to keep running but if she did, he would run with her. Awwww, so cute. If you guys are looking for a sweet romance that will keep you laughing, this is the romance for you. To know Caine and Jade is to love them, I promise.
Buy the Book
AMAZON || BARNES AND NOBLE || GOOGLE BOOKS || KOBO || THE RIPPED BODICE
Final Grade
4.25 out of 5
Crown’s Spies Series
four-stars

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Throwback Thursday: The Lion’s Lady by Julie Garwood

Posted September 13, 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: The Lion’s Lady by Julie GarwoodThe Lion's Lady
by Julie Garwood
Series: Crown's Spies #1
Also in this series: Castles, Guardian Angel, The Gift
Published by Simon & Schuster, Gallery Books on March 1, 1991
Genres: Historical, Romance
Point of View:Alternating Third Person
Pages: 360
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add It: Goodreads
four-stars

Christina Bennett had taken London society by storm. The ravishing beauty guarded the secret of her mysterious past until the night Lyon, Marquis of Lyonwood, stole a searching, sensuous kiss. An arrogant nobleman with a pirate's passions, he tasted the wild fire smoldering beneath Christina's cool charm and swore to possess her...

But the feisty and defiant Christina would not be so easily conquered. Mistress of her heart and of her fortune, she resisted Lyon's sensuous caresses. She dared not surrender to his love...for then, she must also forsake her precious secret...and her promised destiny!

After reading and loving Castles again, I picked up the rest of the series last week just for funsies. I went back and read The Lions Lady at work because it’s what I do and The Lions Lady is the first book in Julie Garwood’s Crown’s Spies series. So this book follows Lyon, the Marquess of Lyonwood as he falls in love with the lovely Lady Christina Bennett. From beginning to end, this book had me deep in my feels. From Christina returning to London and slaying the game to Lyon thinking Christina was like every other person before he really gets to know her to all of the intrigue surrounding well, everyone and then there was the romance between Lyon and Christina. I loved it all. Julie Garwood worked her magic with this book and I honestly miss these kinds of books. We don’t get that many historicals (if any) from Garwood these days and if we do, they’re missing the magic of her older books. Lyon and Christina were a fabulous couple that kept me laughing throughout the entire story. Christina is nothing like you known before and she is seriously one of my favorite heroines. This conversation that Lyon has cracks me up every single time that I read it.
โ€œLyon knew she wasn’t aware she was being watched, either. She wouldn’t have eaten the leaf otherwise, or reached for another. โ€œSir, which one is Princess Christina?โ€ Andrew asked Lyon, just as Rhone started in choking on his laughter. Rhone has obviously been watching Christina, too. โ€œSir?โ€ โ€œThe blond-headed one,โ€ Lyon muttered, shaking his head. He watched in growing disbelief as Christina daintily popped another leaf into her mouth. โ€œWhich blond-headed one?โ€ Andrew persisted. โ€œThe one eating the shrubs.โ€
Overall, there is much to love about this book and I highly recommend it if you’re in the mood for an old school historical romance that will hit every single one of your feels. It will make you laugh, it will make you sigh and through it all, your heart will be engaged. It’s good stuff so if you haven’t tried this one, fix that. You won’t be sorry!
Buy the Book
AMAZON || BARNES AND NOBLE || GOOGLE BOOKS || KOBO || THE RIPPED BODICE
Final Grade
4.25 out of 5
Crown’s Spies Series
four-stars

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Buddy Review: Kulti by Mariana Zapata

Posted September 11, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Buddy Review: Kulti by Mariana ZapataKulti
by Mariana Zapata
Narrator: Callie Dalton
Published by Self-Published, Mariana Zapata on March 20, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Point of View:First Person
Pages: 570
Format: Audiobook, eBook
Source: Purchased
Add It: Goodreads
four-half-stars

16 hours and 13 minutes

โ€œTrust me, Iโ€™ve wanted to punch you in the face a time or five.โ€

When the man you worshipped as a kid becomes your coach, itโ€™s supposed to be the greatest thing in the world. Keywords: supposed to.

It didn't take a week for 27-year-old Sal Casillas to wonder what she'd seen in the international soccer icon - why she'd ever had his posters on her wall or ever envisioned marrying him and having super-playing soccer babies.

Sal had long ago gotten over the worst non-break-up in the history of imaginary relationships with a man who hadn't known she'd existed. So she isn't prepared for this version of Reiner Kulti who shows up to her team's season: a quiet, reclusive shadow of the explosive, passionate man he'd once been.

ยฉ2015 Mariana Zapata (P)2015 Tantor

The moment has arrived! Wena has read Kulti, my number one most favourite book of all time! LOL So the story: Salome Casillas is a professional soccer player on a west coast team. Soccer super star Reiner Kulti, after he retires from professionally playing, is hired on as an assistant coach for her team and Sal’s girlhood dreams come true. The number one player she always idolized will be coaching her team! Except Reiner Kulti is an asshole. He doesn’t talk to the players, he’s mean to Sal’s dad at a game and at first Sal was willing to let his behaviour go but after the incident with her dad, she decides to bring it on. Sal is fiercely loyal and her dad is the best man she’s ever known so there’s no way she’s letting that slide. When she confronts him about his behaviour it starts a chain of events that leads to a friendship she didn’t expect, but also puts her professional career in jeopardy. Ames: Ok, going into this read Wena, I know you knew this was one of my top favourite books but I tried to deflect any expectations you may have had by saying I hated this book. LOL Did it work? Did you have high expectations, were they met? Rowena: Of course it didn’t work. I know you, my friend, so I also know that you’ve reread this book so many times over the past couple of years that it could never be a book you didn’t like. I will admit to being confused when you said that though. Then I thought about it and knew you were lying. LOL. I didn’t go into the book with very many expectations. The only thing that I could remember thinking was, “Hot damn this is a long ass book” but I went in anyway, and holy cow, Mariana Zapata isn’t playing with her slow burn romances. Sheesh. I listened to the audiobook and it was over 15 hours long and at the 10 hour mark, they were still just friends! I wanted to push the two together already, sheesh. We finally got some action around the 12 hour mark! You read that right. !12 HOURS!! Still, I really enjoyed the narrator, the story and Sal. Kulti had to grow on me because I wanted to punch him in the dick so many times in the beginning but man did he win me over. I can see why you loved this book so much though. This is so your kind of book. Ames: I love slow burn romances as long as I go into it knowing that’s what I’m getting. And I was prepared with Kulti. It wasn’t the first Zapata book I read (I think it was the third) so I was good to go. I loved that we got to see all the little interactions between Sal and Kulti that led to them being friends and eventually falling in love. Most romances nowadays jump into the sexy times pretty quickly and I love that we got to see this relationship develop over time. It makes them coming together that much stronger. Kulti, he was intense. And hot. I can just imagine him. But the winner of the story for me is Sal. She’s so fierce and loyal and brave and she really was a kickass heroine I can get behind. Yeah she had a few kicks to her self-esteem (Amber and then the news about a trade) but she still kicked ass. And then she was unstoppable with Kulti in her corner. They were a solid team. Did any parts stick out in particular for you? I love his jealousy over the other men in her life (the other soccer player, the Spanish one, her ex-boyfriend and then Franz). The nicknames for each other and then when he called her on her crush on those older survivor tv show host guys. Those little details really stuck out for me. And hello, when he defends her when they’re playing baseball? Hot stuff. Rowena: I agree about Sal. She was my favorite part of the book. I loved how close she was with her family, how she dealt with real life issues and how honest she was with herself. She knew that she did a shitty thing (even though she didn’t know that it was a shitty thing at the time) and I loved how she didn’t let that one thing stop her from going after her dream. I also really loved how much faith Kulti had in her playing ability. He was so certain that she was going to be the best player in the world. I loved that Sal took that faith and worked her ass off to be the player that Kulti knew her to be. Gah, so good. I felt for Sal and everything she went through. From her issues with her siblings to the shit with Amber and then everything she went through with the Pipers, she was put through the wringer and I loved that Kulti was there for her to lift her up, to remind her that she’s amazing and things will work out in the end. Kulti man, I freaking love that guy! Yes, Kulti’s jealousy over every male that came into Sal’s life was hilarious and their nicknames for each other!! Every single time Sal called Kulti “German Chocolate Cake” I laughed out loud and when Kulti ordered tacos at her father’s birthday dinner, I about fell out of my chair. I really liked the humor that Zapata provided in this book, it added to my overall enjoyment. The stuff that stood out to me was how much both Kulti and Sal cared about each other. The way that she was always trying to hide him when they went out so that he could enjoy their time together without being mobbed by fans, the way that she kept his secrets and tried to protect him as best as she could (from her doctor, even from her Dad) and then the way that he took care of her. Flying his friends out to help her with her soccer camps, the way that he stood up for her with the higher-ups at her job, the way that he refused to let her buy her Dad some of his shoes for his birthday and then one-upped her and made her Dad’s entire year. I’m super glad that we chose to read this book for our buddy review this month. It was just flat out the bomb. There’s so much page time given to building their friendship and while I could have done without some of it (mainly to move the story along), I still rather enjoyed this one. I’d give it a 4.25 out of 5. You? Ames: I have a big smile on my face recounting all the things that stood out for you too. They were all good scenes. I like that Sal also said she was jealous. LOL And she did try to protect him, that’s so true. When they play Uno at the airport? I swear I remember everything about this book. I even liked when they fought! Remember what Sal’s mom said about the people you fight the most with. So when they take turns ignoring each others texts (during different fights) I like that. *sigh* This book had it all. Seriously. Kulti gets a 5 out of 5 from me. I know its long and its not perfect but this book is my catnip. I’ve reread this book so many times. Sal and Kulti rank right up there with some of my fave fictional couples. I’m so glad you finally read this one Wena. ๐Ÿ˜› Now to get you to read Wait for It. haha. Rowena: Yes, Sal’s Mom was right! Seriously, this book was great!
Final Grade
Ames Grade: 5 out of 5 Rowena’s Grade: 4.25 out of 5
four-half-stars

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Review: To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before

Posted August 17, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 6 Comments

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (2018) Starring: Lana Condor, Noah Centineo, Janel Parrish, Anna Cathcart Director: Susan Johnson Release Date: 17 August 2018 Rating: PG-13 Run Time: 1:39 Movie Type: Drama, Romance
Lara Jean Covey writes letters to all of her past loves, the letters are meant for her eyes only. Until one day when all the love letters are sent out to her previous loves. Her life is soon thrown into chaos when her foregoing loves confront her one by one.
Brenna and I have been super anxious for this movie to come out and once the clock hit midnight last night, we were prepared to watch it together. We both read the books (all of them) a couple of weeks ago and have been big ol’ nerds about all things Peter Kavinsky and this movie. The movie is quite a bit different from the book but both Brenna and I really enjoyed it. The casting is pretty spot on and we adored all things Peter Kavinsky. Lara Jean and the rest of the Song sisters were extra fabulous and Papa John Corbett was pretty great too. And Josh!!! Oh man, we loved Josh! There’s much to enjoy and love about this movie. I thought Netflix did a fabulous job of bringing Peter and Lara Jean’s story to life. I loved seeing how far they came from beginning to end. Seeing them go from faking dating to real feelings was so much fun. The book was super sweet and funny and all things that I love in a book and the movie was great but there were things missing from the movie that were my favorite parts of the book. Also, some of my favorite things that happened in the book were changed in the movie and that really bummed me out. I would start mentioning what those things are but I don’t want to spoil the movie too much so just know that the book and the movie are different but the movie did capture the charm and the heart of the book and they definitely got the characters right. Lana Condor was an outstanding Lara Jean and Noah Centineo was a perfect Peter Kavinsky. The movie has only been out for a handful of hours and I’ve already watched it twice. It was an enjoyable teen rom com, wayyyy better than The Kissing Booth and with that ending, THERE BETTER BE A SECOND MOVIE!!!
Movie Trailer
My Rating
Grade: 4.25 out of 5

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