Tag: Book Reviews

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
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
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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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
Goodreads
four-half-stars

16 hours and 13 minutes

“Trust me, I’ve wanted to punch you in the face a time or five.”

When the man you worshipped as a kid becomes your coach, it’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.

©2015 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. 😛 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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Book Boyfriend: Josh Im from Josh & Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren

Posted September 7, 2018 by Rowena in Features, Reviews | 8 Comments

This feature keeps changing because I’m trying different things out and I haven’t decided on which format to keep. Thanks for coming along this ride until I figure out what the hell I want to do here. LOL.

Book Boyfriend: Josh Im from Josh & Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina LaurenJosh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren
Published by Simon & Schuster, Gallery Books on September 4, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Point of View: Alternating First Person
Pages: 320
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Goodreads
five-stars

Hazel Camille Bradford knows she’s a lot to take—and frankly, most men aren’t up to the challenge. If her army of pets and thrill for the absurd don’t send them running, her lack of filter means she’ll say exactly the wrong thing in a delicate moment. Their loss. She’s a good soul in search of honest fun.

Josh Im has known Hazel since college, where her zany playfulness proved completely incompatible with his mellow restraint. From the first night they met—when she gracelessly threw up on his shoes—to when she sent him an unintelligible email while in a post-surgical haze, Josh has always thought of Hazel more as a spectacle than a peer. But now, ten years later, after a cheating girlfriend has turned his life upside down, going out with Hazel is a breath of fresh air.

Not that Josh and Hazel date. At least, not each other. Because setting each other up on progressively terrible double blind dates means there’s nothing between them...right?

I read a lot of books last week and my favorite guy from all of the books that I read was Josh Im from Josh & Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren.

So he’s my book boyfriend for this week.

Buy the Book

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

I have a thing for hot guys who are quiet, reserved and serious. I definitely have a thing for Josh Im. Like Hazel, I had an immediate crush on him because he checked every box on my crush list. Hot Asian guys are my jam right now. Of course, I loved Josh for more than just because he’s a hot Asian guy. He was super sweet and I loved that he accepted crazy Hazie as she was and didn’t expect her to change for anything or anyone. I loved that he was open to new experiences and that he was super loyal to Hazel when others tried to tame the wildness in her or make her feel bad for being who she was.

He was just so awesome and honestly, we need more Josh Ims in the world.

This book was a lot of fun. It kept me laughing from beginning to end and while Hazel was the funny one of this pair, the stuff that Josh got himself into because of Hazel was a lot of fun to read about. I laughed through every single one of their dates (I can’t even choose a favorite date either, they were all great), my heart hurt when Josh decides that he loves Hazel and is unsure about how she feels for him. The insecurity, the self-doubt all made me want to cuddle him close.

Hero Casting

When I started reading this book, I immediately casted both Hazel and Josh in my head. Josh reminded me of Jung from Kim’s Convenience, a Canadian show that I watched on Netflix and Hazel reminded me so much of Jessica Day from New Girl so, throughout the entire book, it was those two that I saw in my head. I adore Jung and think he makes the perfect Josh Im.

If you’re looking for a fun book to jump into, I would definitely recommend this one. You’ll want to drool over Josh Im with me, for sure. 🙂

Have you read this book? If so, did you enjoy it as much as I did and love Josh as much as I did? Who is your book boyfriend of the week?

five-stars


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