Tag: Book Reviews

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

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Final Grade

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

Hoops Series

five-stars

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Throwback Thursday: Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh

Posted October 4, 2018 by Rowena in Features, Reviews | 6 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: Slave to Sensation by Nalini SinghSlave to Sensation by Nalini Singh
Narrator: Angela Dawe
Series: Psy-Changelings #1
Published by Penguin, Berkley on September 1, 2010
Genres: Paranormal, Romance
Point of View: Alternating Third Person
Pages: 334
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Length: 9 hours, 39 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
five-stars

Nalini Singh dives into a world torn apart by a powerful race with phenomenal powers of the mind-and none of the heart.

In a world that denies emotions, where the ruling Psy punish any sign of desire, Sascha Duncan must conceal the feelings that brand her as flawed. To reveal them would be to sentence herself to the horror of "rehabilitation" - the complete psychic erasure of everything she ever was...

Both human and animal, Lucas Hunter is a changeling hungry for the very sensations the Psy disdain. After centuries of uneasy coexistence, these two races are now on the verge of war over the brutal murders of several changeling women. Lucas is determined to find the Psy killer who butchered his packmate, and Sascha is his ticket into their closely guarded society. But he soon discovers that this ice-cold Psy is very capable of passion - and that the animal in him is fascinated by her. Caught between their conflicting worlds, Lucas and Sascha must remain bound to their identities - or sacrifice everything for a taste of darkest temptation.

While browsing through the romance package on Audible the other day, I came across this audiobook and figured, “Why not?”. I needed something to listen to at work and I’m not sure if it’s because Halloween coming up or what, but I’m in the mood for paranormal, urban fantasy or just straight up fantasy books. Because most of my work is mindless and on the computer, I can get through an entire audiobook in one work day so I try to listen to at least 3 audiobooks every week.

It’s been a bit since I last read this book but man was it just as good as the first time I read it. I am just as intrigued with this series and the characters, the storyline and just everything about this book worked for me.

Lucas Hunter is the Alpha of the DarkRiver changeling pack and is overseeing the building of changelings housing when he’s approached from the Psy to build some housing they’re hoping to sell. His Psy liaison is Sascha Duncan and even though he doesn’t trust her as far as he can throw her, he’s attracted. Hella attracted to her and the more time that they spend together, the more he’s sure that he will have her. Things are complicated for him because he’s hunting a Psy serial killer who is attacking changelings and that more than anything else should be his top priority.

Sascha Duncan has a full plate of her own. As daughter to one of the Psy Council Members, she’s used to being under a microscope and because of that, it makes keeping her secret a lot harder but she does what she needs to do to survive and being around Lucas is making things even harder for her.

Gah, this is such a fantastic supernatural world to get lost in. Nalini Singh does such a great job of building a world that will grip you from beginning to end. I think I enjoyed this read a lot more this time around because I understand the world now. I didn’t spend any time trying to figure out what the hell a Psy is and who are all of the Changelings, stuff like that. I didn’t realize how much I missed this world until I started listening to this book.

This was such a great start to one of my all time favorite series and if you haven’t read this, you’re missing out. Nalini Singh is a magician and this book is only one of the reasons why. Lucas and Sascha will worm their way into your heart and all of their loved ones will too so you should really get this book, read it and love it right alongside me. I promise, it’s good. I’m SO glad I re-read this one.

Buy the Book

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

Final Grade

4.75 out of 5

Psy-Changeling Series

five-stars

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Throwback Thursday: The Gift by Julie Garwood

Posted September 27, 2018 by Rowena in Features, Reviews | 2 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 Gift by Julie GarwoodThe Gift by Julie Garwood
Series: Crown's Spies #4
Also in this series: Castles, The Lion's Lady, Guardian Angel
Published by Simon & Schuster, Gallery Books on June 7, 2011
Genres: Historical, Romance
Point of View: Alternating Third Person
Pages: 388
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add It: Goodreads
four-stars

A child bride, Sara Winchester had grown into a winsome beauty, joyfully anticipating the day when her husband Nathan, Marquess of St. James, would return to claim her heart at last. Charmingly innocent, she dismissed the ancient feud that divided Nathan's family from her own...and she was totally unaware of his past exploits as the notorious pirate, Pagan. The man who now stood before her was perplexing, arrogant and powerfully handsome...a warrior-gentleman whose gentle touch aroused her to the wildest, deepest pleasures of love.

Nathan had never bared his soul to any woman, but he was soon utterly beguiled and exasperated by Sara's sweet, defiant ways. Aboard his ship, The Seahawk, she was brave, imperious and determined to win his heart completely -- yet upon their return to England, her love would be sorely tested as a vile conspiracy tried to tear them apart. With their future at stake, they would discover the true destiny of their passion...for all time!

The Gift has always been my least favorite book in this series and it is for this reason that I’ve left this re-read for last. I went into this re-read thinking that I wasn’t going to love this book but I’m surprised to report that I enjoyed this book a lot more than I ever have before.

Julie Garwood has proven to stand the test of time with me. When I first read this book, I was much younger and a lot dumber than I am today and I didn’t appreciate this book as much but this time around, it was great.

Nathan St. James is Colin from Castles best friend and Jade from Guardian Angel’s brother. He’s been engaged to Sara Winchester since he was a kid thanks to the daft King and even though their families are feuding, he’s coming to collect his bride and when that happens, things happen.

This was such a fun book and every time Nathan said, “Dammit Sara” I laughed out loud. They were complete opposites, Nathan and Sara were. She was so sweet and so naive where as Nathan was gruff, reserved and worldly. That damn parasol had me dying. I don’t remember this book being so funny but the shenanigans that Sara got herself into had me laughing at every turn. The writing is top notch in this book and highlights why I’m such a huge fan of Julie Garwood’s older books. I remember why I read her books over and over again and discussed them at length every month with the ladies over at the Julie Garwood Bulletin Board back in the day.

Nathan and Sara’s romance made me happy and even though there were times when I wanted to knee Nathan in the junk and rolled my eyes at how naive Sara was, I still really enjoyed this book. It’s not my favorite book in this series (that is Castles), but it’s still such an enjoyable book that you’ll love for years and years, long after you’ve read it for the first time. To read this book is to enjoy it so I definitely recommend it.

Buy the Book

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Final Grade

4 out of 5

Crown’s Spies Series

four-stars

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Buddy Review: The Duke Buys a Bride by Sophie Jordan

Posted September 25, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 6 Comments

Buddy Review: The Duke Buys a Bride by Sophie JordanThe Duke Buys a Bride by Sophie Jordan
Series: The Rogue Files #3
Published by Harper Collins, Avon on July 24, 2018
Genres: Historical, Romance
Point of View: Alternating Third Person
Pages: 368
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add It: Goodreads
three-half-stars

A bride wasn’t in his plans . . .

The last thing Marcus, the Duke of Autenberry, expects to see after sleeping off a night’s drunken shenanigans is a woman being auctioned in the village square. Before he can think about the ramifications, he buys her, thinking he’s winning the girl her freedom. Instead, he discovers he’s bought a wife.

A duke wasn’t in hers . . .

Alyse Bell is almost rid of the shackles that bound her in a name-only marriage, but the day her friend promised to purchase her in a wife auction, he vanishes, leaving her to face a mob of unsavory bachelors intent on owning her body and soul. But the appearance of a wicked, wealthy stranger changes her path forever.

The road to ruin . . .

Marcus doesn’t know what to do with the impertinent chit who clearly isn’t duchess material! Insisting their marriage isn’t legitimate, they leave for his estate in Scotland, hoping to devise a plan to get rid of each other. However, on a journey fraught with misadventure, their attraction grows and Marcus realizes he’ll do anything to keep this fiery woman for his own.

I participate in a real-life book club that meets once a month to discuss a different romance novel with a bunch of my friends. It’s always a lot of fun but one of our members lives in Utah so she doesn’t get to meet up with us so we thought it would be great to still discuss the books with her. Each month, I’ll be doing a buddy review of our book club books with my book club homies Tasha and Shy. Please welcome my friends, everyone! 🙂 This month it’ll be just me and Tasha but next month, we’re hopeful that Shy will catch up and join us.

The first book that we’ll be reviewing together is The Duke Buys a Bride by Sophie Jordan, which is the third book in The Rogue Files series and it features Marcus Weatherton, the Duke of Autenberry as he purchases a wife at a street auction and falls in love with her on his way to Scotland.

Rowena: Alright Tash, let’s get this show on the road. What were your initial thoughts on this book?

Tasha: My initial thoughts…this was a frustrating read. I mean, the hero was really mean which made it hard for me to like him. As much as I wanted to like the heroine, she kept making me mad too, uggghhh. So yeah, frustrating, lol.

Rowena: I know what you mean. I thought that the premise of the story was really interesting. I mean, the hero buys the heroine at a street auction in an effort to free her and then while he’s escorting her to his home in Scotland so she can make a life of her own as his housekeeper, they grow close and fall in love but the hot and cold attitude that Marcus had where Alyse was concerned pissed me off. Every time he tried to throw the blame on Alyse for their attraction made me want to kick him in the balls. Hello?? It takes two to tango and his dumbass kept pissing me off. I was like, miss me with the bullshit sir. You like her, you want her, deal with it.

The part that pissed me off the most with Alyse was when they’re almost to Marcus’ house in the Highlands and Marcus is beat up and left for dead while Alyse is abducted. When Marcus gets to where she was taken and demands to get her back, she’s like, “Oh I release you, you are not obligated to me anymore” and he’s like, “I’m not going to leave you here. They beat me and left me for dead” and she’s all, “Oh, I’m sure they’re sorry they did that.”

WTF? Bitch are you for real? When that happened, I was ready for the book to be done.

Tasha: EXACTLY…THAT PART, RIGHT THERE!!! I believe they had already left his brothers castle where she had to stay until she got better. But the whole time she was sick, he was at her bedside like a lovesick puppy. Even then he was still in denial. He could’ve easily been done with her at that point, the way I see it but he was insistent upon taking her with him. Let’s not even get started on the event that took place in his room after she recovered from her illness. As soon as the ‘deed’ was done, he was quick to dismiss her and make it out to be as if it were her fault. Like you said, “it takes two to tango”. They’re both dumbasses, lol.

I think Marcus was just an arrogant prick who was used to getting his way. And Alyse was so naïve and as we Samoans say, “fiapoko” (know-it-all, smart-ass, etc.) haha!!

Rowena: Same. They were both so fiapoko! Also? I think that we would have benefitted from reading the other books in this series to really appreciate Marcus’ journey, at least I’m hoping that is the case because I felt like I was missing something throughout the whole book. Especially when we get to the brother’s house in Scotland so that Alyse can mend her illness. I’m like, so is someone going to fill us in on what the hell happened and why Marcus and his brother are estranged? Hello??? Is someone going to fill in the blanks on how Marcus’ sister in law went from being engaged to Marcus to married to his brother? Ehhh…

Overall, the actions of both the hero and the heroine had me rolling my eyes up and down the street so it’s hard for me to give this a higher grade than a 2.5 because while the writing style is completely readable, there was too much that pissed me off to warrant a higher grade. What about you? What would you grade this book and are you going to be reading the rest of the series or nah?

Tasha: You’re probably right. Maybe if I had read the previous books, I wouldn’t be so harsh towards Marcus. They did mention a little bit about Marcus being engaged to Poppy before she became his brother’s wife but not a lot. Yeah, I did get the feeling I was missing something and that something could’ve been found in the earlier books.

Would I go back and read this series from the beginning…..ummmm, I don’t think so. The writing itself was fine and I’ve read some really bad books. It’s because of the whole ‘bi-polar’ moments from Marcus and Alyse’s continuous dumb decisions, I cannot give this more than a 3 (and that’s being generous). Yes, the hero and heroine really frustrated me but in the end, I still got my HEA.

Final Grade

Rowena: 2.5 out of 5
Tasha: 3 out of 5

So there you have it guys, my very first book club discussion review with one of my good friends Tasha. Next month we’ll be discussing Never Seduce a Scot by Maya Banks. My sister Delene chose that book so nobody in our book club is at all surprised that we’re reading another historical romance. See you guys next month!

Buy the Book

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

The Rogue Files Series

three-half-stars

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