Tag: 4.75 Reviews

Throwback Thursday: The Year We Hid Away by Sarina Bowen

Posted June 13, 2019 by Rowena in Books | 1 Comment

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 Hid Away by Sarina BowenThe Year We Hid Away by Sarina Bowen
Series: The Ivy Years #2
Also in this series: The Year We Fell Down
Published by Self-Published, Sarina Bowen on May 26, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Point of View: Alternating First Person
Pages: 274
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Add It: Goodreads
four-half-stars

She’s hiding something big. He’s hiding someone small. Bridger Macaulley used to be a player both on and off the ice. But now, while his teammates chase the next hockey victory, Bridger worries that the dean will discover he’s housing his eight-year-old sister in his dorm room. Juggling a full course load and a big secret, it’s only a matter of time until the other skate drops.

Scarlet Crowley is the only freshman at Harkness College who had to sneak past TV news trucks parked on her front lawn just to leave town. Her name is as new as the shiny student ID it’s printed on. The only way to survive college will be to conceal her identity, even if it means lying to the green-eyed boy she's falling for.

Bridget and Scarlet form a tentative relationship based on the understanding that some things must always be held back. But when grim developments threaten them both, going it alone just won't work anymore. And if they can't learn to trust one another now, the families who let them down will take everything they've struggled to keep.

When Sarina Bowen put her Ivy Years series on Kindle Unlimited, I read all of the books while I was at work and each book lived up to the love I had for it when I first read them. This book was no exception.

In this book, we get Bridger and Scarlet’s story. I fell in love with Bridger, Scarlet, and Lucy all over again. Bridger is one of Adam Hartley’s hockey teammates who is struggling with personal and family stuff. His mother leaves a lot to be desired in the parental department and if it was just him, he wouldn’t care but it isn’t just Bridger. His little sister Lucy is left, feeling the brunt of their mother’s life choices. Bridger is trying to handle everything on his own but it starts getting overwhelming and the only thing that brightens his weeks are his interactions with Scarlet.

Scarlet has her own issues that she’s trying to move on from. Her family life leaves a lot to be desired as well and the minute she could, she distanced herself from them because her parent’s life choices bleeding into her life isn’t something she wants any part of. It’s hard to pay for the sins of your parents and Scarlet made the choice to walk away from her past and build a better future for herself. She’s a loner by nature and necessity but the highlight of her weeks have been interactions with Bridger Macauley.

Sarina Bowen writes emotional New Adult romances really well. She’s really good at pulling your heartstrings one minute and then making you laugh like a loon the next. There were times in this book where I didn’t think I’d stop crying because my heart hurt for both Bridger and Scarlet and the hand life dealt them. Seriously, my coworkers were starting to get really worried about me but I couldn’t help it, Bridger just needed some help dammit.

Bowen tackles different situations that give this story a really intense feel but she does a great job of not bogging the entire story down with all of the seriousness of the issues facing both Bridger and Scarlet. This is probably my favorite book in the series and I just love it to pieces. It’s not perfect but it’s a damn good addition to this series and I highly recommend it.

Final Grade

4.75 out of 5

The Ivy Years Series


four-half-stars


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Buddy Review: Never Seduce a Scot by Maya Banks

Posted October 25, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 8 Comments

Buddy Review: Never Seduce a Scot by Maya BanksNever Seduce a Scot by Maya Banks
Series: The Montgomery's and Armstrongs #1
Also in this series: Highlander Most Wanted
Published by Random House, Ballantine on September 25, 2012
Genres: Historical, Romance
Point of View: Alternating Third Peson
Pages: 372
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add It: Goodreads

Eveline Armstrong is fiercely loved and protected by her powerful clan, but outsiders consider her “touched.” Beautiful, fey, with a level, intent gaze, she doesn’t speak. No one, not even her family, knows that she cannot hear. Content with her life of seclusion, Eveline has taught herself to read lips and allows the outside world to view her as daft. But when an arranged marriage into a rival clan makes Graeme Montgomery her husband, Eveline accepts her duty—unprepared for the delights to come. Graeme is a rugged warrior with a voice so deep and powerful that his new bride can hear it, and hands and kisses so tender and skilled that he stirs her deepest passions.

Graeme is intrigued by the mysterious Eveline, whose silent lips are ripe with temptation and whose bright, intelligent eyes can see into his soul. As intimacy deepens, he learns her secret. But when clan rivalries and dark deeds threaten the wife he has only begun to cherish, the Scottish warrior will move heaven and earth to save the woman who has awakened his heart to the beautiful song of a rare and magical love.

The Montgomery’s and the Armstrong’s have been feuding for as long as anyone can remember. Their families are fierce enemies and have grown up hating each other so when King Alexander gets fed up with the both of them, he forces an alliance by marriage between Laird of the Montgomery clan and the daughter of the Laird of the Armstrong clan and then…shenanigans.

Rowena: Welcome to our second book club buddy review. It’s our first review with Shy and we’re super happy to have her with us. This month’s book club choice was Never Seduce a Scot by Maya Banks and it was met with mad love from every single person in book club.

Alright guys, what did you guys think of Never Seduce a Scot by Maya Banks? Was this the first time that you guys read the book or was it a reread?

Shy: It was my first time reading Never Seduce a Scot and I loved it! It clever, witty and pretty funny.

Tasha: Even though this was a reread for me, I still enjoyed it as if it was my first time. There was a lot that I forgot and as the story went on, bits and pieces was coming back but not enough to ruin the ending.

Rowena: Like Shy, this was the first time that I had ever read the book and I thought it was the freaking bomb. From beginning to end, I was wrapped up in what was going on. My emotions were running high throughout the entire thing and I just thought the author did a really good job of engaging the reader.

Who wanted to fight all of the Montgomery women? I freaking did. I wanted to beat all of them over the head with that sword. What a bunch of meanies.

Tasha: That Kiersten chick was a total bitch to her from the beginning. I could not stand her. But I was most hurt by Nora’s actions. She was the one who ran the kitchen and the other Montgomery ladies kinda followed her lead. When Eveline decided to step out of her comfort zone and prove herself to them all, Nora completely took advantage and did poor Eveline wrong.

Shy: OMG I killed them at least 10 times while screaming Graeme you bloody bloke they’re abusing your Mrs!!! Those Montgomery women were so horrible (except Rory, she’s pretty funny). Eventually, I came to have a love-hate relationship with Nora (the head maid). I hated her up until her heartfelt apology, even then I wanted to punch her in the face.

Rowena: Same. I hated Kiersten right from the very first time she said “Armstrong bitch” to Eveline so I wasn’t surprised that I still hated her at the end. The bloodthirsty wench in me low key wanted Graeme to run her through with his sword but I consoled myself with the fact that Eveline won all of their lives in the end. But man, I was hit right in the gut when Eveline realized the depth of their hatred for her. When she realizes that all of her hard work to try to fit in with them was all for nothing. They were never going to accept her and man, I bawled like a baby for her.

I spent most of the beginning to middle of the book pissed off at the Montgomery’s but boy did Graeme totally win me over when he gathered the entire clan together and was going to fight them all. When he lashes out with, “Is that a challenge?” I about swooned into a puddle of lust for him.

Tasha: Yeah, I’m glad Graeme finally stepped up and addressed his people. I also appreciated the fact he talked to his brothers Bowen and Teague about the situation first. They understood where their clan was coming from, but they also loved their brother and laird and needed to show their support.

Shy: I have to agree with you both, I felt for Eveline when she came to realize that she wouldn’t be accepted by the Montgomery clan no matter how hard she tried. I loved Graeme when he finally laid it all out and started putting the women in their place. I’ve always respected the brothers for standing by Graeme. I really enjoyed when one of the brothers drew their sword on Nora’s husband. I was like, “Yaaaaassss off with his head! Let em all know that your chain hangs low (Don’t ask, I scream the most random things while I’m reading/listening to books)”.

Rowena: This whole book was just satisfying. From all of the crap that we learn about Eveline, what she went through before she got to the Montgomery’s, what she went through when she got to the Montgomery’s and then seeing her really come into herself and live her truth out in the open, it was all just so satisfying to me. I have so much love for the Montgomery’s, Graeme and his siblings, Eveline and her family. The entire story completely worked for me. The romance was the bomb. Graeme and Eveline saving each other at different points of the book was the bomb. I can’t wait for more.

I give this a 4.75 out of 5 stars, what about you guys?

Shy: I give it 5 out of 5 stars.

Also, did you gals feel like Eveline’s family let her down? No one attempted to at least dig a little deeper? I wanted to punch her parents in their faces, especially her dad.

Rowena: I did feel that her family let her down but when we saw how bad they felt when the truth came out, it was hard for me to hold on to that since it was evident that they loved her. They were drowning in enough guilt.

Tasha: LMBO & I AGREE with everything that was said, hahaha!!!

Looking back, I don’t think Eveline’s parents had any real reason to think Ian was going to do any harm. The McHugh’s and the Armstrong’s were cool and had no beef. So when she expressed her concerns to her Dad, of course, he just brushed it off. BUT also, how did she approach her dad about Ian? I’m sure if she was really scared and went as far as to tell her Mom & brothers, they would’ve looked further into it. In a way, that freak accident saved her from being with the sick monster Ian.

And yeah, I can see how guilty they felt. Not only did they brush off her concerns, but the poor girl was also willing to play dumb and be called “addled & touched” then to go through with everything.

Eveline is a very brave & smart lass and I’m so happy for her & Graeme. This book gets a bright 5 stars rating from me. 🙂

Final Grade

Shy: 5 out of 5
Tasha: 5 out of 5
Ween: 4.75 out of 5

The Montgomery’s and Armstrong’s Series


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Buddy Review: Long Shot by Kennedy Ryan

Posted October 9, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Buddy Review: Long Shot by Kennedy RyanLong Shot by Kennedy Ryan
Series: Hoops #1
Also in this series: Block Shot
Published by Kennedy Ryan on March 22, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Point of View: Alternating First Person
Pages: 460
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add It: Goodreads
five-stars

A FORBIDDEN LOVE SET IN THE EXPLOSIVE WORLD OF THE NBA...

Think you know what it's like being a baller's girl? You don't. My fairy tale is upside down. A happily never after. I kissed the prince and he turned into a fraud. I was a fool, and his love - fool's gold. Now there's a new player in the game, August West. One of the NBA's brightest stars. Fine. Forbidden. He wants me. I want him. But my past, my fraudulent prince, just won't let me go

*Certain aspects of this story may be sensitive for some readers.

Rowena: Our October buddy review book is a book that we both read last month but it’s also a book that both of us really enjoyed.

August West met the girl of his dreams the night before he played in the national championship game. He knew after that one conversation they had that she was his person, too bad she already had a boyfriend. He may have won on the court but he didn’t win the one thing that he wanted more than he wanted anything else.

Iris DuPree has plans for her future but when those plans go up in flames, she needs a new plan and time to make that plan happen. Her road to freedom becomes a lot harder than she anticipated and with each passing day, her freedom is bogged down with complications but she can’t mess up her escape so she fights day in and day out for the day when her and her daughter can get to freedom, safely.

August and Iris are dealing with a lot of things on their own but coming together again is inevitable because the heart wants what the heart wants.

Gah, this freaking book. What did you think, Ames?

Ames: This book gave me all the feels! I went into it with no expectations and I was blown away. I remember messaging you the morning after finishing this book. I’ve turned into an old lady these days and don’t sacrifice on my sleep. This book kept me up until 3am! Do you realize what that means? This book was amazing. Part thriller and full on epic romance this book was a roller coaster and I loved it all. Really, I don’t want to say anything more because it will just be fangirl gibberish at this point. LOL.

What did you think Ween?

Rowena: I agree. As much anxiety as I felt while reading this book, I couldn’t completely walk away because I needed to know that things would get better. That Iris would get the happy ending that she deserved and so desperately needed. Never have I ever wanted someone to get their happily ever after as much as I wanted Iris to have hers with August. I cried while reading this book and I couldn’t get enough. You’re right, it was pretty amazing and hard to read at the same time. Gah. I have so much love for this book, for these characters and for everything that they went through to get to that ending. So much love.

Ames: I agree that it was hard to read because you know what was coming wasn’t going to be easy. But I think we need to read books like this to shake things up from time to time. The topic here isn’t dealt with in a lot of contemps I read so I liked that it didn’t make it something that happened in her past that she got over – it was something happening to her NOW and that made us root for her and rejoice when she found that inner strength and rallied and made things better for her and her daughter. As much as this was a great romance between Iris and August (loved him!!) it was about Iris and her journey. This was a scary feel good book. It scares you and then you feel good. LOL

And kudos to Kennedy Ryan for writing such an amazing story. I know I tried reading one of her earlier books and I couldn’t finish it (this was years ago) but she’s come a long way and I can’t wait to read more by her.

Rowena: Yes, exactly what you said. I don’t think this story would have been as powerful for me if we weren’t right there with Iris while she’s going through everything. Seeing her motivation to be better for her daughter, seeing her fight for their freedom, it all made me anxious at the same time that it made me eager for her to finally get out on the other side. There wasn’t a moment of this book where I wasn’t invested in what was going on. This is my first Kennedy Ryan book but it won’t be my last.

I loved Iris but I also really loved August. I loved seeing how determined he was when he figured out that Iris was his person. I loved that he knew what he wanted and where his heart lay, he didn’t question the who, the how or the why. He just understood that Iris was his future and he was patient waiting for her to catch up to him. I loved the way that he was with Sarai and I loved Lotus too. Gah, so freaking good!

I give this one a 4.75 out of 5, you?

Ames: I liked that about August too. That he knew Iris was his person and that never wavered. This couple went through hell before they even got to be a couple and August’s steadfastness was great. And the love he felt for Sarai? Melt my heart! He wasn’t perfect and that’s what made him such a great character.

I hope Lotus gets a story. That would be even more epic if possible. LOL

Okay, I have to give this one a 4.75 as well. This was one of the best books I read this year. I highly recommend it.

Buy the Book

AMAZON || BARNES & NOBLE || GOOGLE BOOKS || KOBO || THE RIPPED BODICE

Final Grade

Ames: 4.75 out of 5
Rowena: 4.75 out of 5

Hoops Series

five-stars


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