Tag: 4.25 Reviews

Throwback Thursday: The Year We Fell Down by Sarina Bowen

Posted April 18, 2019 by Rowena in Books, Features, Reviews | 8 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 Year We Fell Down by Sarina BowenThe Year We Fell Down
by Sarina Bowen
Series: The Ivy Years #1
Published by Indie Published, Rennie Road Books on March 21, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Point of View:Alternating First Person
Pages: 268
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Add It: Goodreads
four-stars
Reading Challenges:2019 GoodReads Challenge

The sport she loves is out of reach. The boy she loves has someone else. What now?

She expected to start Harkness College as a varsity ice hockey player. But a serious accident means that Corey Callahan will start school in a wheelchair instead.

Across the hall, in the other handicapped-accessible dorm room, lives the too-delicious-to-be real Adam Hartley, another would-be hockey star with his leg broken in two places. He's way out of Corey's league.

Also, he's taken.

Nevertheless, an unlikely alliance blooms between Corey and Hartley in the "gimp ghetto" of McHerrin Hall. Over tequila, perilously balanced dining hall trays, and video games, the two cope with disappointments that nobody else understands.

They're just friends, of course, until one night when things fall apart. Or fall together. All Corey knows is that she's falling. Hard.

But will Hartley set aside his trophy girl to love someone as broken as Corey? If he won't, she will need to find the courage to make a life for herself at Harkness—one which does not revolve around the sport she can no longer play, or the brown-eyed boy who's afraid to love her back.

When Sarina Bowen put these books on Kindle Unlimited, I had no plans to re-read them but I kept seeing this series mentioned everywhere so when I left my kindle at home one day, I downloaded these books onto my Kindle Library and read them on my computer at work. I have no regrets either because I absolutely adored my re-read of this series. Sarina Bowen tackles such heavy themes in each of these books and just like the last time I read these books, I loved them. It had been such a long time since I read this book and with each reading, my love for both Adam Hartley and Corey Callahan grows and grows. Sarina Bowen does such a good job of writing young love and she handles the immaturity and growth between her New Adult characters so well. I hang on every word, every single time and it was no different this go around. Corey Callahan starts her freshman year in college in a wheelchair. A really bad accident cut her playing days short and she’s got to work really hard to get back on her feet again. All of her plans for college are out and she’s trying to make the most of it but it’s hard and when she meets Adam Hartley, who is injured himself and living in the dorm across the hall, things get a lot harder for her because of course she develops a crush on him and of course he’s already got a girlfriend. Adam Hartley is on the injured list and can’t play hockey until he’s all healed up. He’s on crutches and getting around is hard so he’s parked in the “gimp ghetto” of McHerrin Hall and he strikes up a friendship with his wheelchair-bound neighbor, Callahan. There’s a lot of things he can’t do these days so spending time with Corey keeps his spirits high. The more time that they spend together, the closer they get and before Hartley knows what’s what, he’s got a decision to make. Stay with his girlfriend or lose out on Callahan. There’s a lot going on in this book. Both Corey and Hartley are working through their own personal issues so this book was heavy on character development, which I’m always down for. On top of them trying to figure out how to maneuver around campus and just get around town, they’re also falling for each other. Callahan falls first and she’s rocking that unrequited crush pretty hard for a long time. So long, in fact, that I wanted to strangle Hartley for taking so long to make up his damn mind. I still thought that he took entirely too long to break up with his girlfriend but in the end, I still loved the hell out of him. I loved the hell out of both of these characters and was super thrilled that they finally got their happy ending in the end. Sarina Bowen writes college romances so well and I think I’ll be reading these books over and over again because I love them that much. They’re not perfect but they’re still pretty freaking awesome. If you haven’t read this series, I highly recommend them.
Final Grade
4.25 out of 5
The Ivy Years Series
four-stars

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Christmas Movie Round Up

Posted December 18, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 10 Comments

It’s that time of year…the time of cheesy Christmas movies that I can’t get enough of. I haven’t been watching as many Christmas movies as I usually do but I’ve watched a few. Brenna has been watching a movie a night before she goes to bed so she’s got me beat but I’m sure I’ll fix that. Here’s a quick rundown on the movies that I’ve watched in the last week or two. The Holiday Calendar (2018) | Netflix Starring: Kat Graham, Quincy Brown, Ethan Peck Director: Bradley Walsh Rating: TV-PG Run Time: 1 hour, 35 minutes Genre: Drama, Romance Release Date: 2 November 2018 Rating: 4 out of 5
A struggling but talented photographer inherits an antique holiday advent calendar, the contents of which seem to predict the future. Will this magical calendar lead her to love this holiday season?
This was a super cute movie that had me grinning from beginning to end. Bonnie Bennett from Vampire Diaries and Derek from Star were the perfect best friends to lovers pair and though the premise of the movie was kind of cheesy, I thought Kat Graham did a wonderful job as the main lead. Quincy was a great love interest too. What a cutie! The Princess Switch 2018) | Netflix Starring: Vanessa Hudgens, Sam Palladio, Nick Sagar Director: Mike Rohl Rating: TV-PG Run Time: 1 hour, 41 minutes Genre: Romance Release Date: 16 November 2018 Rating: 4 out of 5
A Chicago baker (V.Hudgens) is competing in a Christmas baking competition in Belgravia. There she bumps into the prince’s fiancee. They look alike and switch for 2 days. “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”
I saw this movie just a couple of days ago and enjoyed it so much. I thought this movie was fun and it was great to see Gunnar from Nashville as a dashing young Prince in this movie. Vanessa’s British accent was a lot of fun too. I thought Kevin’s daughter was adorable and enjoyed both of the couples stories. It was so much fun watching them all fall in love. Cute! Christmas Wedding Planner (2017) | Harlequin Starring: Jocelyn Hudon, Stephen Huszar, Kelly Rutherford Director: Justin G. Dyck Rating: PG Run Time: 1 hour, 26 minutes Genre: Romance Release Date: December 2017 Rating: 3.25 out of 5
Wedding Planner, Kelsey Wilson, is about to have her big break: planning her beloved cousin’s lavish and exclusive wedding. Everything is going smoothly until Connor McClane, a devilishly handsome private investigator, shows up and turns Kelsey’s world upside-down. Hired by a secret source, Connor quickly disrupts the upcoming nuptials but wins Kelsey’s heart in the process.
I saw this movie on Netflix and I guess it’s a Harlequin movie, which…okayyy Harlequin. This was a quick watch with a cast that I haven’t seen in too many movies. Actually, I don’t think I’ve seen anyone in this movie outside of this movie. I thought the heroine was pretty extra over every little thing and the hero made me want to smack him upside his head a little bit there but for the most part, this was a cute movie. That ending though, talk about cheesy! Still, it was cute. Christmas with a View (2018) | Harlequin Starring: Kaitlyn Leeb, Scott Cavalheiro, Vivica A. Fox, Patrick Duffy Director: Justin G. Dyck Rating: TV-PG Run Time: 1 hour, 31 minutes Genre: Drama, Romance Release Date: December 2018 Rating: 3.25 out of 5
This Christmas, Thunder Mountain Ski Resort is abuzz when celebrity chef Shane Roarke is named the new head chef. Clara Garrison isn’t as excited and is instead focused on getting resettled after her failed attempt at opening a big city restaurant. With their paths constantly crossing, will their shared passion for cooking bring them together or will secrets keep them apart?
Another Harlequin movie, I didn’t even know that Harlequin made movies. Where the heck have I been? Anyway, this was another cheesy but cute movie that I had fun with. The two main leads were great though the heroine leaned toward silly from time to time but still, this was fun and I thought the hero’s backstory was cute. He went to the place that he knew his parents were and found love for himself there. Awww. Christmas Joy (2018) | Hallmark Starring: Danielle Panabaker, Matt Long, Lucia Walters Director: Monika Mitchell Rating: TV-G Run Time: 2 hours Genre: Family, Romance Release Date: 3 November 2018 Rating: 4.25 out of 5
Joy Holbrook is an intuitive market researcher in DC who has captured the attention of the account’s CEO and is about to get a sweet promotion, just in time for the holidays. She receives an urgent phone call from home and she rushes back to Crystal Falls, NC to help her Aunt recover from surgery and is reunited with her former crush, Ben. To keep her Aunt focused on healing, Joy volunteers to take Ruby’s place with the town’s legendary baking competition, the “Cookie Crawl,” much to the amusement of Ben who knows Joy has absolutely no idea of the Herculean task before her. Though Joy initially refuses Ben’s attempts to “co-captain,” she begins to soften and let him in, all the while remembering that there truly is no place like home.
This movie was so much fun. I adored most everything about this one. Killer Frost from Flash was such a treat in this one. I really like her acting and I thought she did a great job in this one. Both her and Jack from Jack & Bobby (old TV show) were fun to watch and I wanted them to win the Cookie Crawl too. There’s some cheese, some light-hearted moments and loads of fun that I didn’t mind the cheesy stuff. Cute! Have you watched any of these movies? What did you think of them? Any Christmas movies I should add to my watch list? Share your favorites in the comments below!

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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

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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.” 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.

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If I had a dollar for every time Jared Foster broke my heart, I’d have exactly one dollar. One night. One epic fail. One dollar . . . and I'm out. I've moved on. I’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.
“Lyon knew she wasn’t aware she was being watched, either. She wouldn’t have eaten the leaf otherwise, or reached for another. “Sir, which one is Princess Christina?” Andrew asked Lyon, just as Rhone started in choking on his laughter. Rhone has obviously been watching Christina, too. “Sir?” “The blond-headed one,” Lyon muttered, shaking his head. He watched in growing disbelief as Christina daintily popped another leaf into her mouth. “Which blond-headed one?” Andrew persisted. “The one eating the shrubs.”
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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