Tag: 4.25 Reviews

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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Review: A Duke by Default by Alyssa Cole

Posted August 3, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 10 Comments

Review: A Duke by Default by Alyssa ColeA Duke by Default by Alyssa Cole
Series: Reluctant Royals #2
Published by Harper Collins, Avon on July 31, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Point of View: Alternating Third Person
Pages: 374
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Add It: Goodreads

Award-winning author Alyssa Cole’s Reluctant Royals series continues with a woman on a quest to be the heroine of her own story and the duke in shining armor she rescues along the way

New York City socialite and perpetual hot mess Portia Hobbs is tired of disappointing her family, friends, and—most importantly—herself. An apprenticeship with a struggling swordmaker in Scotland is a chance to use her expertise and discover what she’s capable of. Turns out she excels at aggravating her gruff silver fox boss…when she’s not having inappropriate fantasies about his sexy Scottish burr.

Tavish McKenzie doesn’t need a rich, spoiled American telling him how to run his armory…even if she is infuriatingly good at it. Tav tries to rebuff his apprentice, and his attraction to her, but when Portia accidentally discovers that he’s the secret son of a duke, rough-around-the-edges Tav becomes her newest makeover project.

Forging metal into weapons and armor is one thing, but when desire burns out of control and the media spotlight gets too hot to bear, can a commoner turned duke and his posh apprentice find lasting love?

I got this book for review and was looking forward to digging into the story because it was receiving so many great reviews all over the place. Add on top of all that, it was a diverse romance and I was all in.

Portia Hobbs is on her way to Scotland for an apprenticeship with a swordsman that will hopefully make her grow into the kind of person that has her shit together. She wants to stop being such a disappointment to her family, to her friends and most importantly, to herself. It’s long past the time that she grew up and started making her own way in life and she’s hoping that her thirst for knowledge, along with helping this struggling armory will help her with that plan.

Meeting Tavish McKenzie, getting to know Tav and helping him through a life change that she brought about took Portia by surprise. Never in a million years did she think she’d fall head over heels in love with a brutish Scotsman who overwhelmed her senses at every turn but that’s what happened and boy did I enjoy watching Portia grow and fall in love with the man that would end up being her forever person.

Tavish knows full out that he’s not the easiest person to get along with and his attraction to the apprentice he didn’t even want is a thorn in his side but hell if he knows how to get out from under all of the desire he has for Portia. He’s a small town lad who wants to do all that he can for the people in his town so when Portia finds out that he’s the actual Duke of Edinburg, his life takes on even more complications that have far-reaching consequences. Learning all that he can so that he can protect those that mean the world to him has become his biggest priority and boy did I love the hell out of him for that.

Tavish is my book boyfriend of the week because holy hell, he was the bomb. On top of the fact that he was super sexy with a Scottish accent that melted me at the knees? He was also a really stand up guy who was loved and who loved hard. He was also the kind of guy that was quick to try to make up for being a dumbass and I really appreciated his thought processes when he realizes how big a bonehead he is. There was no long ass separation that made me want to pull my hair out and when Tavish realizes he is in love with Portia, the way that he went about making sure she knew made my heart melt.

I absolutely adored the way that he declared his love for her and the way that he apologized for being an asshole. He was a great Duke and I loved the changes he was making in the modern aristocracy.

This is who I pictured when casting Tavish in the movie of this book (because of course I think there should be a movie for this book)…I think it’s pretty damn perfect.

Overall, this book was a great introduction into Alyssa Cole’s work and I’m pretty stoked to read more books by her. I enjoy her writing style and the way that I connected with her characters. I loved Portia just as much as I loved Tav and I also really loved her sister and friends. They were a great support system and Johan? Gah, I can’t wait for him and Nya to meet.

The only thing that I wished we got from this book before it ended was more of a resolution with Portia and her parents. I wish we had gotten a scene where she told her parents off about how they made her feel instead of just Reggie but other than that, this book is a great book and I definitely recommend.

Final Grade

4.25 out of 5

Buy the Book


Reluctant Royals Series


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Throwback Thursday: Sea Swept by Nora Roberts

Posted July 12, 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. First up? Sea Swept by Nora Roberts.

Throwback Thursday: Sea Swept by Nora RobertsSea Swept by Nora Roberts
Series: Chesapeake Bay Saga #1
Published by Penguin, Berkley on January 1, 1998
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Point of View: Alternating Third Person
Pages: 330
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add It: Goodreads

A champion boat racer, Cameron Quinn traveled the world spending his winnings on champagne and women. But when his dying father called him home to care for Seth, a troubled young boy not unlike Cameron once was, his life changed overnight...

After years of independence, Cameron had to learn to live with his brothers again, while he struggled with cooking, cleaning, and caring for a difficult boy. Old rivalries and new resentments flared between Cameron and his brothers, but they tried to put aside their differences for Seth's sake. In the end, a social worker would decide Seth's fate, and as tough as she was beautiful, she had the power to bring the Quinns together--or tear them apart...

I used to read the hell out of Nora Roberts back in the day but not so much lately. I’m reading a lot of contemporary but not very many Roberts. I have very fond memories of this book so when I picked it up for a re-read, I was low key nervous because I wasn’t sure if I was ready to find out that Cam and Anna’s story didn’t shoot rainbows into the sky for me anymore.

It didn’t take me long at all to jump right back into this story so I’m happy to report that this book is still easily readable and I’m still a fan of Nora Roberts writing style. I didn’t remember a lot of the little details of the book so reading this one again was almost like reading it for the first time.

This book features Cam Quinn, the eldest of the Quinn boys coming home when disaster strikes his family. These days, Cam races his boat all over the world for money and he’s making a good living for himself doing that. He’s also living that fast life with fast women, fast cars and lots of, well, fast things. He loves his life but his way of life goes up in flames when he comes home and his father has adopted another young boy who looks strikingly like Ray Quinn to make people start to whisper about the paternity of this young boy. Ray and Stella Quinn, Cam’s adopted parents were happily married before Stella died and Seth’s age and his resemblance to the most stand up man that Cam has ever known put everything that Cam has ever known about his father and his mother and their family in a bad light.

Ray makes Cam and his brothers promise to take care of their new brother. This stranger that none of the Quinn boys know but will protect with their lives because…he’s a Quinn now. Cam, Ethan, and Phillip have their work cut out for them because, in order to take care of their new brother, they all have to move home and figure things out.

Enter Anna Spinelli. The social worker assigned to Seth Quinn’s case. Her job is to make sure that he will be okay living with Ray Quinn’s sons and to make sure that his living environment is a good one, a nurturing one and she’s got her doubts with three brothers who obviously haven’t lived or spent much time with young kids. They each have different lives in different cities but there’s something about each of them coming together at their father’s request to take on something that isn’t going to be a walk in the park. It’s not at all appropriate that the more time she spends with the Quinns, the more she crushes on the eldest Quinn, Cameron.

I’m happy to say that this re-read lived up to my love of the Quinns, Anna and Cam and oh man, Seth. This book was just as emotional for me as the first time that I read it and I fell in love with all of the Quinns all over again. Cam and Anna’s romance was fabulous and I just adored reading this book again. Sure, there were times when I got frustrated with Cam, and even Ray in the ghostly bonding time that he had with Cam but it’s not hard to see why Nora Roberts is so popular. She can write the hell out of romances that will tug at your heart and make you fall in love with people and with places that you’ve never been to.

Sea Swept starts the Chesapeake Bay series off with a bang and you will definitely fall in love with these books so I definitely recommend.

Buy the Book


Final Grade

4.25 out of 5

Chesapeake Bay Saga


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