Tag: Book Reviews

My Review of Someone Like You by Lauren Layne…

Posted December 16, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

…went live this morning on my book blog, Book Binge.

Someone Like You by Lauren Layne
Series: Oxford #3
Release Date: December 6, 2016
Publisher: Random House, Loveswept
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 228
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher, Netgalley
Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo

Lauren Layne’s bestselling Oxford Series continues with the poignant, heartwarming story of New York’s most eligible bachelor, Lincoln Mathis, a man who’s living a lie—until his dream woman takes away the pain.

Lincoln Mathis doesn’t hide his reputation as Manhattan’s ultimate playboy. In fact, he cultivates it. But behind every flirtatious smile, each provocative quip, there’s a secret that Lincoln’s hiding from even his closest friends—a tragedy from his past that holds his heart quietly captive. Lincoln knows what he wants: someone like Daisy Sinclair, the sassy, off-limits bridesmaid he can’t take his eyes off at his best friend’s wedding. He also knows that she’s everything he can never have.

After a devastating divorce, Daisy doesn’t need anyone to warn her off the charming best man at her sister’s wedding. One look at the breathtakingly hot Lincoln Mathis and she knows that he’s exactly the type of man she should avoid. But when Daisy stumbles upon Lincoln’s secret, she realizes there’s more to the charming playboy than meets the eye. And suddenly Daisy and Lincoln find their lives helplessly entwined in a journey that will either heal their damaged souls . . . or destroy them forever.

Check out my review here:

SOMEONE LIKE YOU BY LAUREN LAYNE

Happy Friday!


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Mini Review Round Up (4)

Posted November 17, 2016 by Rowena in Features, Reviews | 8 Comments

Mini Review Round Up (4)Irresistibly Yours by Lauren Layne
Series: Oxford #1
Also in this series: I Think I Love You
Published by Random House, Loveswept on October 6, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Point of View: Alternating Third Person
Pages: 236
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add It: Goodreads
four-stars

Meet the men of Oxford magazine! In the first captivating spin-off of Lauren Layne’s Sex, Love & Stiletto series, a not-so-friendly battle of the sexes turns into a scorching office romance.

Hotshot sports editor Cole Sharpe has been freelancing for Oxford for years, so when he hears about a staff position opening up, he figures he’s got the inside track. Then his boss drops a bombshell: Cole has competition. Female competition, in the form of a fresh-faced tomboy who can hang with the dudes—and write circles around them, too. Cole usually likes his women flirty and curvy, but he takes a special interest in his skinny, sassy rival, if only to keep an eye on her. And soon, he can’t take his eyes off her.

Penelope Pope knows all too well that she comes off as just one of the guys. Since she’s learned that wanting more usually leads to disappointment, Penelope’s resigned to sitting on the sidelines when it comes to love. So why does Cole make her want to get back in the game? The man is as arrogant as he is handsome. He probably sees her as nothing more than a barrier to his dream job. But when an unexpected kiss turns into a night of irresistible passion, Penelope has to figure out whether they’re just fooling around—or starting something real.  Includes a special message from the editor, as well as an excerpt from another Loveswept title.

With Someone Like You releasing just next month, I did some re-reading of the first two books in the Oxford series because I’m not ready to say goodbye to these guys. I also did the re-reading because I was slumping big time and needed something to dig me out. This book did the trick because I’ve been reading non-stop ever since.

So this book follows Cole Sharpe, a freelance writer for Oxford Magazine, as he battles for a permanent position at the magazine with Penelope Pope. Penelope Pope is moving to New York from Chicago and she’s basically running away from some drama that went down back there. She wanted a fresh start and thinks that Oxford is the place for all of that. When she interviews for the Oxford position, she feels good about it and she’s pretty excited to hopefully be a part of this team. When she meets Cole, she doesn’t think he’ll see her as anything other than a friend so she immediately friend zones herself even though she is crushing big time.

Pen’s experience with guys are…they friend zone her every single time. She’s a tomboy, she knows entirely too much about every sport there is and she can spout of sports stats like a freaking machine. The last guy that she dated ended up doing her dirty so she’s going to steer clear from men for the time being.

She strikes up a friendship with Cole and things are going great. Even though they’re competing for the same position at Oxford, they can’t stop hanging out with each other. Cole didn’t plan on getting buddy buddy with his competition but Penelope is fun. She’s cute and he wants to pick her brain so they become friends and they plant themselves into each others lives and I just really, really enjoyed their friendship that turns into more story.

Both Cole and Penelope are great characters who are great apart but better together. Lauren Layne really shines with writing characters that readers will cheer for and relate to. This was a fun contemporary romance that isn’t to be missed so if you haven’t read this book…fix that cause it’s fun!

My Rating

4.25 out of 5

Mini Review Round Up (4)I Wish You Were Mine by Lauren Layne
Series: Oxford #2
Also in this series: I Think I Love You
Published by Random House, Loveswept on February 2, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Point of View: Alternating Third Person
Pages: 260
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add It: Goodreads
four-stars

Perfect for fans of Alice Clayton and Emma Chase, Lauren Layne’s Oxford series heats up in this story of forbidden desire as a brooding jock hoping for a comeback falls for a woman who’s strictly off-limits.

A year ago, Jackson Burke was married to the love of his life and playing quarterback for the Texas Redhawks. Now he’s retired, courtesy of the car accident that ruined his career—and single, after a nasty scandal torpedoed his marriage. Just as he’s starting to get used to his new life as a health and fitness columnist for Oxford magazine, his unpredictable ex shows up on his doorstep in Manhattan. Jackson should be thrilled. But he can’t stop thinking about the one person who’s always been there for him, the one girl he could never have: her younger sister.

Mollie Carrington can’t say no to Madison. After all, her older sister practically raised her. So when Madison begs for help in winning her ex-husband back, Mollie’s just glad she got over her own crush on Jackson ages ago—or so she thought. Because as Mollie reconnects with Jackson, she quickly forgets all her reasons to stay loyal to her sister. Tempted by Jackson’s mellow drawl and cowboy good looks, Mollie is sick and tired of coming in second place. But she can’t win if she doesn’t play the game.

I Wish You Were Mine is the second book in the Oxford Series and it’s a book that isn’t as popular as Layne’s other books but me? I loved it! I liked getting to know the new guy at Oxford and seeing him form attachments he didn’t even want to begin with.

I’m not normally a sister’s ex romance kind of reader but I was a fan of both Jackson and Mollie. I thought their story was sweet the first time I read this book but I loved them just as much the second time around.

Jackson Burke is a big time football player from Texas that has retired from the NFL. He was in a car accident that injured him and now he’s sidelined from the job he loved and is now working as a fitness writer for Oxford Magazine that is in New York, not Texas. He doesn’t know anyone in New York except his ex-wife’s sister, Mollie and even though they used to be close, they’re not so close anymore and Jackson is sorry about that because he misses her.

Mollie Carrington is over her long ago crush on her ex-brother in law (yes, you read that right) so she can definitely catch up with him over drinks and not fall in love with him all over again. She can totally do it.

Wrong. The more time they spend together, the harder they fall and…I loved them. I loved Jackson. I loved Mollie. I loved seeing them become eachothers champions and I really loved how each of them became home to the other. Their romance wasn’t an easy one, it’s another one of those friendships to lovers type of romances and I enjoy those so much. Lauren Layne hit me in my feels at every turn in this book because the romance wasn’t easy. These two were connected before and it was a messy connection but when all is said and done, you can’t help who you love and I loved that these two let go of what they should feel and went with how they really felt because *swoon* I just adored them together.

This was another fabulous contemporary romance by Lauren Layne and everyone should read and fall in love with them too. 🙂

My Rating

4.25 out of 5

four-stars


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Buddy Review: Twisted Palace by Erin Watt

Posted November 3, 2016 by Rowena & Bookish Ames in Reviews | 6 Comments

twisted-palace

Bookish Ames is one of my best friends and we used to buddy review books together all the time. We’ve slowed down on that so I’m happy that we decided to bring it back on our blogs. Our very first buddy review book is Twisted Palace by Erin Watt because it’s a book that we were both pretty anxious for and it’s a discussion worthy book so here is our review.

Twisted Palace by Erin Watt
Series: The Royals #3
Release Date: October 17, 2017
Publisher: Erin Watt
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 370
Format: eBook
Source: Bought
Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo

These Royals will ruin you…

From mortal enemies to unexpected allies, two teenagers try to protect everything that matters most.

Ella Harper has met every challenge that life has thrown her way. She’s tough, resilient, and willing to do whatever it takes to defend the people she loves, but the challenge of a long-lost father and a boyfriend whose life is on the line might be too much for even Ella to overcome.

Reed Royal has a quick temper and even faster fists. But his tendency to meet every obstacle with violence has finally caught up with him. If he wants to save himself and the girl he loves, he’ll need to rise above his tortured past and tarnished reputation.

No one believes Ella can survive the Royals. Everyone is sure Reed will destroy them all.
They may be right.

With everything and everyone conspiring to keep them apart, Ella and Reed must find a way to beat the law, save their families, and unravel all the secrets in their Twisted Palace.

Rowena: Twisted Palace is the third and I think, concluding book in the Royals series by Erin Watt. The Royals have certainly taken us on a crazy reading adventure and after the cliff-hanger from the last book, Broken Prince, I was really looking forward to digging into this one.

When we last left off with this group of characters, people were dying and coming back from the dead and our favorite punk ass, Reed Royal was the main suspect in a murder. There was plenty to tackle in this book and I went in without any hesitation.

So, what were your initial thoughts of the book?

Ames: To be completely honest, I was disappointed. The first two books were such guilty fun pleasures to read that I was really looking forward to see how it would all get wrapped up. Especially with the cliffhangers at the end of book 2! I was wondering who the baby daddy was going to be and I had predicted that this person was going to be the murderer. And that wasn’t the case at all! Plus with the introduction of a certain character, it really changed the dynamic of the story and took page time away from Easton and the other Royals. I would have rather seen Ella’s relationship develop even further with the Royal brothers than what happened with the new character. That’s what made the first 2 books enjoyable to me. Ella’s relationship with the brothers.

What about you, what were your initial thoughts?

Rowena: Same. This book was a let down for me because my frustrations from the first two books was completely different from my frustrations with this one. The guilty fun pleasures from Paper Princess and Broken Prince were missing in this one and there were so many things that I wasn’t a fan of. I would keep going but I would just be repeating everything you said so I’ll just say this. Ditto to everything you said. I feel the same way.

What were your thoughts on Ella?

I thought she was not the same Ella that we’re used to. This girl lived on her own, as a stripper and survived that first year of school like a boss and then this guy shows up and all of a sudden, she’s not that girl anymore. She’s this stranger with no backbone that is all whiny. No. Ella is strong and she’s very vocal about what she wants and needs. She was never about money or living off the Royals. She was very adamant about working and making her own money and the Ella that I admired the hell out of from the first two books was gone.

It was disappointing to see Ella come so far and then regress so much in one book.

Ames: I agree with you about Ella. And that’s all to blame on a certain character. He screwed it all up. And that’s the thing, with the first two books, these teenagers had little oversight from parental units and they came across as more mature and not really kids. And then bam, in this book it’s shoved in our face that Ella is a teenager and I found that hard to deal with.

The other thing? Two characters, Jordan and Dinah, that came across as real villains in the first 2 books were also changed in this installment. I missed Ella and Jordan going head to head. Ella really came out shining after encounters with Jordan and she didn’t get that in this book. Especially with her sneaking around antics…there was nothing to root for for her. Not even with the murder. Just so frustrating.

Rowena: Can we talk about how immature and bratty two grown ass men who were also NAVY SEALS were? Gosh, I wanted to punch both of them! Mostly the guy that shall not be named. He came onto the scene and just kind of took over and I hated how everyone just let him. I would have been like, “No bitch, you don’t run things here.”

The book as a whole was just disappointing to me. From Ella’s lack of spine, the other Royal brothers not getting any page time and the big killer reveal, the whole thing just felt flat and was so different from what I was hoping the concluding story would be.

I will say that my favorite thing about the book was the growth that we see in Reed’s character. When we first met him, way back in book 1, I liked him but I kind of hated that I liked him because he was such a dickhead. Especially to Ella and when they kicked her out of the car and made her walk home, I wanted to punch both Reed and Easton in the nuts. I was so mad and yet so intrigued by all of the chaos and just royally messed up characters but in Twisted Palace, Reed came full circle for me. I really loved seeing the change and just the maturity of how he carried himself in this book. Even when he was flying off the handle and beating people up, I still thought that he showed a lot of restraint. Well, more than we’ve seen from him before.

What was your favorite thing about the book? Did you have any? 🙂

Ames: Reed did show some improvement. But how tough was that to read about all the people saying things about him? I hated that but it shows how he’s changed from that guy he used to be. But still at the core he didn’t change that much, he’s still a badass and don’t you dare say anything about those he loves!

So even though the main plot disappointed me, I still found Twisted Palace readable and I wanted to see what happened to all these characters. What I truly enjoyed was how Ella was growing a circle of friends who were truly there for her. She came from nothing and having to rely on herself to opening up and learning that there are people who will have her back, no matter what. I liked that.

Rowena: Yeah, that was nice. Seeing Ella realize that she’s not alone in the world anymore was nice. I just wish Jordan wasn’t really a part of that in this book. They spent so much time being enemies that I really hated that she would help Ella in any way…even if it was to show her dumb ass roots to further her popularity.

I didn’t have any trouble reading the book so it was definitely readable, I just didn’t like a lot that happened in the book aside from seeing the guy Reed has become. The authors were correct in that this series did ruin me and in a really good way, I just wish that this book had lived up to the hype that I had going for it in my head. Oh well, you can’t win everything.

Rowena’s Rating


2.5 out of 5

What would you rate it?

Ames’ Rating


3 out of 5

Ames: I would have to rate it a 3 out of 5. I still found it engrossing even though it wasn’t what I expected. I love the Royals!

Author News

Erin Watt has more YA goodness coming our way soon. The cover reveal dropped on Happy Ever After that their new writing adventure is a contemporary YA featuring a rock star and the girl he pays to be his girlfriend. Check it out here.

when-its-real

When It’s Real by Erin Watt
Release Date: May 30, 2017
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pre-Order the Book: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

From #1 New York Times bestselling author duo Erin Watt comes the addictive contemporary tale of a teen rock star in need of an image makeover and the teen girl hired to be his fake girlfriend.

Meet Oakley Ford-teen celebrity, renowned pop star, child of famous movie stars, hottie with millions of fangirls…and restless troublemaker. On the surface he has it all, but with his home life disintegrating, his music well suddenly running dry, and the tabloids having a field day over his outrageous exploits, Oakley’s team decides it’s time for an intervention. The result: an image overhaul, complete with a fake girlfriend meant to show the world he’s settled down.

Enter seventeen-year-old Vaughn Bennett-devoted sister, part-time waitress, the definition of “normal.” Under ordinary circumstances she’d never have taken this gig, but with her family strapped for cash, she doesn’t have much of a choice. And for the money Oakley’s team is paying her, she figures she can put up with outlandish Hollywood parties and a team of publicists watching her every move. So what if she thinks Oakley’s a shallow, self-centered jerk? It’s not like they’re going to fall for each other in real life…right?

Rowena: I’m so going to be reading this one. It sounds like another fabulous story!


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