Tag: Book Reviews

Buddy Review: The Matchmaker’s Playbook by Rachel van Dyken

Posted December 28, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Buddy Review: The Matchmaker’s Playbook by Rachel van DykenThe Matchmaker's Playbook by Rachel Van Dyken
Series: Wingmen Inc. Series #1
Published by Indie Published, Skyscape on April 5th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Pages: 304
Format: eBook
Source: Bought
Goodreads

Wingman rule number one: don’t fall for a client.

After a career-ending accident, former NFL recruit Ian Hunter is back on campus—and he’s ready to get his new game on. As one of the masterminds behind Wingmen, Inc., a successful and secretive word-of-mouth dating service, he’s putting his extensive skills with women to work for the lovelorn. But when Blake Olson requests the services of Wingmen, Inc., Ian may have landed his most hopeless client yet.

From her frumpy athletic gear to her unfortunate choice of footwear, Blake is going to need a miracle if she wants to land her crush. At least with a professional matchmaker by her side she has a fighting chance. Ian knows that his advice and a makeover can turn Blake into another successful match. But as Blake begins the transformation from hot mess to smokin’ hot, Ian realizes he’s in danger of breaking his cardinal rule.…

Ian Hunter is half of the partnership behind Wingman, Inc. – a campus-based matchmaking service for women. Ian has business rules that he follows from preventing his female clients from falling for him. But when his best friend’s roommate hires him to win over a guy, none of his rules help him when he’s the one who starts to fall…

Ames: All right Wena! It’s almost the end of the year and we managed to review a book every month! Go us!

Ok…what did you think of the Matchmaker’s Playbook? I have to say, this one wasn’t a winner in my book.

Rowena: I’m so glad that we made an effort to read at least one book each month together and then buddy review it. Have we ever gone an entire year actually following through on this? I can’t remember. Anyway, yes, go us!

I didn’t exactly hate the book because even though I wasn’t the biggest fan of how shallow and conceited Ian was, the story itself was compelling and once I buckled down to read it, I just kept right on reading until I was done. I love NA romances and I don’t see that changing but I didn’t exactly love this book. Sure, I was interested in what was happening in the story but I didn’t exactly love the hero of this book and that almost never happens. It’s going to be interesting to see Ian come to life in the movie being produced by Passionflix.

What did you think?

Ames: I agree that Ian was shallow and conceited. And I had a big problem with how he treated women. I thought he was a douche to be honest. LOL The only redeeming thing about this book in my opinion was Blake’s character. She was a tomboy through and through and I liked that she had no clue how to be feminine. I almost dnf’d this book about 25% of the way in but I was curious to see if Ian’s character improved or changed and I wanted to see how things played out for Blake.

This was only the second Rachel Van Dyken book I’ve ever read and it was a disappointed compared to Fractured (which I LOVED). I am not giving up on this author but I’m going to be careful about which book of hers I’m reading.

It would have been nice to have a few scenes from Blake’s POV.

Rowena: The way that he treated women, the way that he thought women were dumb at the same time claiming to love ALL women. He really did come off as being a douche. Blake was probably the only thing that I liked about this book. Gaby yelled too much and so did Lex. I thought it was strange that they yelled all the freaking time. I wanted to tell them to shut up more than once.

What was also pretty interesting was in my copy of the book, I bought the interaction copy, I guess because every so often, there were little snippets of gif like videos (I don’t even know how to explain it) with Ian, Blake and of course there were little cameos from the author, Rachel van Dyken. Whatever was happening in the book was brought to life through those little snippets. At first, it threw me but I got used to it and I think that, more than anything, was what kept my interest but the guy cast in the book looks nothing like Nick Bateman, who was cast to play Ian in the Passionflix movie.

Overall, the book was just meh. I was disappointed that I didn’t really see Ian’s character grow. He was still the same selfish, shallow and super conceited douche canoe at the end as he was in the beginning. That was disappointing. I think I’d give it a 3 out of 5. What about you?

Ames: I am going to agree with you. But 2.75 out of 5. I really can’t get past Ian’s character. Just thinking about how he thought of his clients…*shudder*.

That’s too bad our final book of the year ended up being a dud, huh?

Final Grades


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Ames: 2.75 out of 5
Rowena: 3 out of 5

Wingmen Inc. Series


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Mini Review Round Up (8)

Posted October 26, 2017 by Rowena in Features, Reviews | 3 Comments

Lady Sophia’s Lover (Bow Street Runners #2) by Lisa Kleypas
Release Date: June 4, 2002
Publisher: Harper Collins, Avon
Genres: Historical, Romance
Pages: 37
Format: eBook
Source: Bought
Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Why is Lady Sophia looking for a lover?
And could she seduce the most marriageable man in London?

Lady Sophia Sydney would do anything to ensnare the unattainable Sir Ross Cannon. Her goal: to ruin his reputation and cause a scandal that would be the talk of all London. So she insinuates herself into his life by gaining his trust and living in his house.

Every morning, her lush presence tempts him beyond all reason . . . the way she bends over the table to serve him the meals she has prepared . . . the way her hands oh, so gently—yet sensuously—brush against him. Every night, she promises with her eyes—and her body—that the hours before dawn could be spent in unbridled passion instead of restless sleep—if only he’d let her share his bed.

She knows he is falling more in love with her each day. But she never counted on falling in love with him. And she never dreamed he might very respectably ask for her hand in marriage.

I’ve had this book on my TBR pile for the longest time. I’m talking years and years, this book has sat on my TBR and I just never read it. I don’t even know why since I adore Lisa Kleypas’ writing. Her books and her heroes are always so good so I’ve been a bum about her older books but not anymore. I read this book and just adored it. Sophia and Ross were wonderful characters and their romance was soo good.

Lady Sophia Sydney is out for revenge against Sir Ross Cannon because she holds him responsible for the death of her brother. Her plan is to get close to him, seduce him and then ruin him…only her plan starts to go awry the more time she spends with him. He’s not at all what she was expecting him to be and the plan was never to fall in love with him but now she’s gone and done it.

Sir Ross Cannon wants nothing to do with emotions of the heart. He’s had his fair share of that stuff when he was married and after his wife died but there’s something about Lady Sophia that calls to him and he doesn’t spend too much time fighting it.

Lisa Kleypas does such a great job of storytelling that with each and every single one of her books, I fall more and more in love with her writing. Her books are always full of humor, her characters full of charisma and her romances full of depth that for me, she gets it right every time. This book is a great showcase of that. Her talent shines in this book and even though it’s not my favorite book of hers, it’s still a damn good romance and I definitely recommend.

Bow Street Runners Series

My Rating


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4.25 out of 5

Suddenly You by Lisa Kleypas
Release Date: November 28, 2006
Publisher: Harper Collins, Avon
Genres: Historical, Romance
Pages: 384
Format: eBook
Source: Bought
Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Bestselling author Lisa Kleypas creates a beguiling story, set in a world where appearance means everything, passion simmers just below the surface, and a respectable Englishwoman is willing to risk scandal for one night of love.

She was unmarried, untouched and almost thirty, but novelist Amanda Briars wasn’t about to greet her next birthday without making love to a man. When he appeared at her door, she believed he was her gift to herself, hired for one night of passion. Unforgettably handsome, irresistibly virile, he tempted her in ways she never thought possible, but something stopped him from completely fulfilling her dream.

Jack Devlin’s determination to possess Amanda became greater when she discovered his true identity. But gently bred Amanda craved respectability more than she admitted, while Jack, the cast-off son of a nobleman and London’s most notorious businessman, refused to live by society’s rules. Yet when fate conspired for them to marry, their worlds collided with a passionate force neither had expected… but both soon craved.

I’ve been re-reading this book for the past couple of years. I read it at least once every year for the last three years, maybe? Each year, I’ve come away from the book just over the moon about it but this year was different. I re-read this book for book club this year and I had to prepare a discussion of it so I read the book, read through different people’s reviews on the book and then I read it again and I’ve got to say…the last re-read of the book was a different experience for me.

I will say that even with my eyes being open to just how manipulative some of the characters were in this book, Lisa Kleypas worked her magic because in the end…I still rather enjoyed the story.

So this book is about Jack Devlin and Amanda Briars falling in love with each other. They meet when Amanda orders herself a man for her thirtieth birthday and I thought that was awesome because why not? You do you, boo boo. So Jack shows up at Amanda’s house on her birthday and Amanda is like, you know what? I changed my mind. I don’t need a man but Jack worms his way in and gives her a night she’ll never forget and then he shows up at a party and is not even a hooker. He’s a publisher!! And he lied to her. So that doesn’t endear him to her at all but he’s all aboard the Amanda train and he’s not above using whatever weapons he has to win her over.

I really enjoyed the chemistry between Jack and Amanda because overall, that was undeniable. Those two had some serious feelings for each other and I enjoyed seeing them together but what I didn’t enjoy was how much manipulating Jack did to get whatever he wanted. He seduced Amanda into doing whatever he wanted and that wasn’t cool. Sure, Amanda was game for anything but there were times when I was like, come on Jack…get over it. But I still really enjoyed this book.

This book is another testament to how good Lisa Kleypas is. She can write the hell out of stories, out of characters and her romances are always steamy. This one is one of her steamier romances and I was all about it.

My Rating


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Grade: 4 out of 5


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Buddy Review: Played by Jen Frederick

Posted October 25, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 3 Comments

Played (Gridiron #4) by Jen Frederick
Release Date: October 6, 2017
Publisher: Indie Published, Pear Tree, LLC
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Pages: 317
Format: eBook
Source: Bought
Buy the Book: Amazon

She’s been playing it close…

Ara Martin and college football star Ty Masters have been best friends since the first day of school when Ty literally ran her over. She fell for him immediately, but having lived under the shadow of her famous father, she knows a relationship with irresistible Ty would only end in heartbreak. For four years, she’s kept her feelings hidden. But one drunken encounter weeks before graduation is about to expose Ara’s biggest secret and destroy her most treasured relationship.

He’s been playing for keeps…

Ty is about to be drafted into the NFL, but his personal life is a mess. He’s got an agent he doesn’t like, a brother who can’t stop offering his opinion, and a beautiful woman he craves but can’t have. He can fire his agent and ignore his brother, but he’s not sure what to do about Ara. Ty’s been able to run down every quarterback he’s faced, but his sexy, stubborn best friend keeps slipping through his fingers.

Luckily, he’s not one for giving up, and once he gets his hands on her, he’s never letting go.

Played by Jen Frederick is the fourth book in her Gridiron series and it’s the story of Knox’s twin brother, Ty as he falls madly in love with his best friend, Ara.

Ty Masters is on the verge of entering the NFL draft and he’s got a lot on his plates. He’s got an agent that he’s not a fan of, bad press following him everywhere he goes because of a jealous ex-girlfriend and some pent-up sexual frustration because he wants his best friend and she has made it more than crystal clear that he is staying in the friend zone. He’s also dealing with the pressure of measuring up or doing better than his twin brother did the year before. Everyone has an opinion and Ty is bound and determined to do it all on his own.

Ara Martin is the daughter of a famous artist and like Ty, she’s determined to make her own way in the world on her own merit. She’s got a lot on her plate as well but the biggest hurdle of her senior year seems to be holding her best friend in the friend zone.

Rowena: Alright, Ames. Let’s do this. Played was good but not my favorite of the Gridiron bunch. I loved Ty though. Like, a lot. Ha! What did you think?

Ames: Same, it wasn’t my fave of the series but I still enjoyed it. I liked Ty – he was so gone for Ara. I like that he didn’t give up on her. And when he walks back into her apartments and says “Fuck the friendship seal”?? SWOON. I loved that.

I like how blasé Ara was about telling the twins apart too. And I liked how they both grew. She was a coward but she ovaried up and he relied on his brother when he really needed to.

Rowena: OMG, ME TOO! When Ty storms out and then comes back?? I read that part twice before moving on in the book. Swoon for real. I especially loved it because he was mad at her but he loved her too. Gah. Homie was going to fight for his girl.

I really liked Fleur. She was a great friend and support system for Ara. She’s the friend that everyone needs in their corner. She was there when Ara needed to get drunk and forget her problems and she was also there when Ara needed a swift kick in the ass because she was being dumb. Seriously, I love Fleur.

Same, and what she tells Knox at the coffee house? I wanted to stand up and applaud her. She had great reasons for being blase about telling them apart. Ara frustrated me more than Ty as far as them getting together but I’m glad she ovaried up and I loved the part where she calls Remy to help her and he’s like, nope. When he told her that he’ll still wear black with her on Wednesday? I laughed out loud. I loved it.

Ames: I liked Remy! And Fleur. They were good secondary characters that made Ara and Ty get their heads on straight when they needed to. View Spoiler » That cracked me up.

Rowena: LOL, yep. I loved how pissed he was that nobody told him. And I love his text messages to her,

“I know you think this campus is big enough that you can hide from me until graduation but you’re wrong. You might as well come home and face the music.”

I seriously love friends to lovers storylines and Jen Frederick does this one justice.

Ames: I know. Haha It had some good moments but there was just something about it that didn’t fully hit the mark. Ty was freaking hot stuff though.

I think that’s a good quote to show how Ty could recognize Ara’s BS and call her on it. At the same time be alpha enough to be uber hot and not come off as a douche. LOL

All right, I’m giving Played a 4 out of 5. It’s a friend to lovers romance which is my ultimate fave and I liked the characters. There were swoony moments, LOL moments and good character growth. I know I said this wasn’t my favourite of the series but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a fun book to read. It totally was!

Rowena: I’d give Played a 4 out of 5 rating because it was still an enjoyable book despite not being my favorite. There’s plenty to recommend it. I laughed, I happy sighed and I fell in love with the characters all over again. Good stuff.

Gridiron Series


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