Tag: Bookish Ames

Buddy Review: Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews

Posted March 14, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Buddy Review: Burn for Me by Ilona AndrewsBurn for Me by Ilona Andrews
Series: Hidden Legacy #1
Published by Harper Collins, Avon on October 28th 2014
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 400
Format: eBook
Source: Gifted
Goodreads
four-half-stars

#1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews launches a brand new Hidden Legacy series, in which one woman must place her trust in a seductive, dangerous man who sets off an even more dangerous desire…

Nevada Baylor is faced with the most challenging case of her detective career—a suicide mission to bring in a suspect in a volatile case. Nevada isn’t sure she has the chops. Her quarry is a Prime, the highest rank of magic user, who can set anyone and anything on fire.

Then she’s kidnapped by Connor “Mad” Rogan—a darkly tempting billionaire with equally devastating powers. Torn between wanting to run or surrender to their overwhelming attraction, Nevada must join forces with Rogan to stay alive.

Rogan’s after the same target, so he needs Nevada. But she’s getting under his skin, making him care about someone other than himself for a change. And, as Rogan has learned, love can be as perilous as death, especially in the magic world.

Burn for Me is the first book in the Hidden Legacy series by Ilona Andrews and it really sets up this series nicely.

Nevada Baylor is a private investigator who takes her job very seriously. She’s the head of her family PI firm but when her employees are all in school, she’s the only full time employee that can actually do the work. Her latest case was forced on her and she hasn’t a prayer of surviving it but she has to try to figure things out anyway because her family is at stake. Nevada will do anything for her family.

When the case brings Mad Rogan into her life and he kidnaps her, Nevada finds herself partnered up with the head of House Rogan, who also happens to be Hurucan, the guy that can break cities. They’re partnered up and going after Adam Pierce, a Prime Pyrokinetic, who is trying to burn down Houston. Something bigger than Adam Pierce is going on and they’re determined to figure it out and stop the bad guys from harming anymore people.

Rowena: Alright, Ames….spill. How much did you freaking love this book and Mad Rogan?

Ames:: OMG I loved this book so much I jumped right into the second one…and as I’m writing this I’ve already started the third! haha

I love the Kate Daniels series and Ilona Andrews has definitely created another heroine I can get behind! For Nevada Baylor, family is everything. And that remains true for her character. She’s so strong and kick-ass and awesome. And every great heroine needs an awesome partner and Rogan definitely has the makings of a great hero. He’s a Prime…meaning super powerful and he’s definitely an alpha hero. But he’s in no way an alpha-hole. I heart Rogan. So bad. LOL Seriously, he gives me heart eyes.

But the book isn’t just about Nevada and Rogan. Nevada’s whole family plays a big part in the story and I loved all of them. Her 70 year old mechanic grandma, her sniper mother, her gifted cousins and younger sisters. They’re all awesome.

What about you Wena? I’m so glad you got me to read this book!

Rowena: Oh man, did I love this book. I’m super thrilled that Holly has been on me to get this book read because wasn’t it just the best book you’ve read this month? Gah, I loved the heck out of this book. There wasn’t much that I didn’t like about it.

I loved Nevada, Rogan, Nevada’s family and the way that they functioned as a unit. When we start to get to know Rogan better and better, I thought he was such an asshole but I still loved him to pieces. I wasn’t expecting how funny this book was going to be. I prefer my paranormal books to be on the more serious side and even though this isn’t a paranormal book, I thought that it would be a little more serious but holy cow, the humor had me up late into the night giggliing like a little school girl. Brenna came into my room and told me to knock it off because I was giggling so much that it was creeping her out. She was right. I was giggling a lot but I don’t care that I was creeping her out because I had a good ol’ time with this one.

When Rogan called Augustine Pancakes? I about died laughing. When he couldn’t get over her circle work? I couldn’t stop laughing. When they were flirting back and forth and she told him she wasn’t going to handle his snake? I laughed and laughed and laughed. Gah. I can’t say that I loved this book enough. It gets all of my heart eyes.

Ames: Oh yes, the humour was excellent! I liked that for sure. Even Rogan’s attitude about killing people – I know this is awful to say but it is fiction – it was somewhat funny, especially when he uses a building to get the job done. Like he just doesn’t give a shit. And that’s why this book works. Yes Rogan is all super-powerful but Nevada brings him back down to earth. She’s reminds me of his humanity and keeps it real for him. She’s equal in that way. The other thing is she keeps him on his toes. She’s full of surprises.

Honestly, I can’t think of anything about this book I didn’t like. Even the mystery surrounding Adam Pierce was engaging. The world-building was excellent and the way Andrews describes settings and scenes, I could picture everything so clearly in my head.

Rowena: I agree. It’s very easy for me to read quickly through scenes where there’s a lot of description, scenes that kind of set something up and I’ll gloss over scenes but I read every single word and enjoyed every single word that was written in this book. Ilona Andrews has the magic writing stick because I was wrapped up in everything from beginning to end.

Adam Pierce was an interesting antagonist and his whole story was interesting as well. I was really curious to read more about this shady business he was a part of because with the ending, you just know that there’s gonna be more drama to come. This stuff isn’t over and I’m so.here.for.it.

Overall, the book was wonderful. The world was magical and the characters were the best. I give this book a 5 out of 5. You?

Ames: Oh I liked that Adam’s story was wrapped up extremely satisfyingly but that there was a whole bigger arc to the story that joins all three books. I’m looking forward to finding out more in book 3!

I’m stingy with my 5s so I’m giving this one a 4.5 out of 5. Still a high recommendation from me!​

Final Grades

Ames: 4.5 out of 5
Rowena: 5 out of 5

four-half-stars


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Buddy Review: Living Out Loud by Staci Hart

Posted February 28, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Buddy Review: Living Out Loud by Staci HartLiving Out Loud by Staci Hart
Series: Austen Series #3
Published by Staci Hart on February 1st 2018
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Pages: 324
Format: eBook
Source: Bought
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Bestselling author Staci Hart brings you another installment of the Austen Series, inspired by the works of Jane Austen, with a heartfelt contemporary retelling of Sense and Sensibility.

When Annie Daschle arrives in New York City, the only thing she can control is her list.

Not her father’s death or the loss of her home. Not the hole in her heart or the defective valve that’s dictated so much of her life. But she can put pen to paper to make a list of all the ways she can live out loud, just like her dad would have wanted.

See the city from the top of the Empire State Building: Check.Eat hot dogs on the steps of The Met: Check.Get a job at Wasted Words: Check.

What wasn’t on her list: Greg Brandon. And just when she thinks she’s figured out where to put him, everything changes. In the span of a few staggering heartbeats, she finds herself caught in the middle of something she can’t find her way out of, with no clear answers and no rules.

List or no list, she realizes she can’t control anything at all, not even her heart.

Not the decisions it makes, and not the moment it stops.

​Living Out Loud is the third book in the Austen series by Staci Hart. The story follows Annie Daschle as she moves from a small town in Texas to the bright lights of New York City. After her father dies, Annie’s life is thrown for a loop and she’s determined to live every day like it’s her last so she makes a list of things she wants to do in New York.

Landing a job at Wasted Words, a coffee shop/bar/bookstore makes Annie super happy because she led such a sheltered life back in Texas and she’s hoping to come out of her shell here in New York and meeting Greg has helped with that goal. A friendship that Annie treasures sparks up between her and Greg and once she lets herself open up more, things start happening for her and she gets so wrapped up making memories and developing relationships that she spends a good chunk of the book trying to figure out what’s real and what’s not.

Rowena: Alright Ames, start us off. What did you think?

Ames: I have to be honest-I was all over the place with this one.l I really enjoy the original Sense and Sensibility and so when I realized who’s story Annie’s was based on I got nervous! But I loved Greg. He was a great guy. But Annie… Annie was 18 and grew up sheltered due to a heart condition and I felt like in some situations she really showed her immaturity and that annoyed me. But I was engrossed enough in the story to keep reading through the annoyance. Lol What did you think Wena?

Rowena: I was the same way. The beginning was slow for me and I kept waiting for something to happen instead of all that gloom and doom thoughts from Annie. Then once the story takes off, I started getting annoyed but then when Greg makes himself known, I cried. So yeah, I was all over the place too.

Overall though, I thought​ ​this book was just okay. It was much too fluffy for what I was in the mood for and everything just seemed to happen perfectly for Annie at the same time that everything was so dramatic and just…meh.

Ames: I agree, it was fluffy and that would have been ok but for Annie. She was just too…sunshine and rainbows for my taste. I have a really hard time believing that Greg who was ten years older than her would really have fallen for someone so naive and innocent. Despite that, I can see that he would be a good guy to grow up with. But it just seems unfair to him. The relationship could potentially be uneven, with him giving of himself all the time.

I was happy with the way every turned out though. Annie learned some lessons that weren’t too painful and we were introduced to the awesomeness that was Greg. Overall, Living out Loud was an ok read and I’m going to give it a 3.5 out of 5.

One last thing though, how awesome would it be to work at Wasted Words?

Rowena: I thought the same thing, too. I thought that Greg gave a lot to the relationship and that Annie…didn’t because she was much too young and naive and that kind of got on my nerves. Greg made the book for me though. I loved him. I thought he was a great hero and that I felt bad that he couldn’t catch a break where Annie was concerned. Imagine, never falling in love and then when you finally do, it’s with someone so much younger than you, someone in a different place in life than you but your heart wants what it wants and homegirl just kept right on messing with your plans?

Like I said, this book was not a bad book but it was a fluffy and much too sweet for what I wanted to read. Still, Greg was great and YESSSSS! I think it would be awesome to work at Wasted Words because that historical mixer? Loved it. I also loved that Annie was a huge Julia Quinn fan. Haha, that brightened me right up reading that.

I’m giving this book a 3 out of 5.

Austen Series

Final Ratings

Ames: 3.5 out of 5
Rowena: 3 out of 5

three-half-stars


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Buddy Review: Runaway Groom by Lauren Layne

Posted February 21, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Buddy Review: Runaway Groom by Lauren LayneRunaway Groom by Lauren Layne
Series: I Do I Don't #2
Published by Random House, Loveswept on January 30th 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 217
Format: eBook
Source: Bought
Amazon|Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
five-stars

For one charming playboy, getting cast on a Bachelor-esque reality TV show is the shock of a lifetime—until he finds love where he least expects it. And now the chase is on!

Gage Barrett’s reputation as a ladies’ man has been greatly exaggerated, but none of that matters after a drunken bet lands him on Jilted, a reality TV show that matches runaway grooms with wannabe brides. Now he’s stuck at a Hawaiian resort with nineteen women competing to drag him back to the altar—and one contestant who’s even more miserable than he is. Gage has no idea how feisty, independent Ellie Wright wound up in the cast, but it’s obvious she hates his guts. And if there’s one thing Gage likes, it’s a challenge. . . .

Ellie can’t believe she let her best friend talk her into exchanging her dignity for a glorified bikini contest. Still, she could use the exposure—her business is struggling—and she’ll probably be one of the first to get eliminated anyway. But Gage isn’t the shallow jerk Ellie anticipated—and he’s in no rush to send her home. As stolen kisses turn into secret trysts, she finds herself losing track of what’s real and what’s for the camera. With the wedding finale looming, this runaway groom is tempting Ellie to start believing in storybook endings.

So, after not missing any months in 2017 and patting ourselves on the back for a job well done….we started off 2018 forgetting to do our buddy review so to make up for that, we’re reviewing two books together in February. Wish us luck!

The first book of 2018 was Runaway Groom by Lauren Layne and it takes place mostly on the beautiful island of Maui at a beach resort in the thick of the reality show, Jilted. Jilted is a bachelor type reality show where one guy will date 20 girls over the course of the show and week after week, girls will be dropping like flies and going home. The last girl standing will be married to the Runaway Groom, Gage Barrett.

Ellie Wright can’t believe she let her best friend talk her into auditioning to be one of the girls on Jilted. Gage Barrett can’t believe he lost a bet to his best friend, a bet that puts him right smack dab in the middle of a freaking reality show where girls will be competing to become his…wife.

Both Gage and Ellie don’t want to be in Hawaii. They don’t want to be on the show and yet, somehow a friendship blossoms between them anyway. Will a fake romance turn into a real one?

Rowena: Holy cow, this book was good. It was the perfect book to read after a really bad book because Gage and Ellie’s antics perked me right up and it was so good that I read the entire thing in one sitting. I can’t think of a single thing that I didn’t like about it.

What about you, Ames? What did you think?

Ames: Like you, I read this book in one sitting! I couldn’t put it down. The energy between Gage and Ellie was great and I had to find out what antics they’d get up to next. Their bantering and bickering was funny. I definitely lol’d a few times.

So Ellie gets talked into the show as a way to promote her and her best friend’s t-shirt company. Right from the first episode that goal is met with visits to their website and sales of the shirt going up. So Ellie considers her job done and so she wants to go home. She really isn’t impressed by A-list actor Gage Barrett, his looks or his attitude, so she just acts like herself in all her interactions with him. And even though Gage himself doesn’t want to be on the show (he lost a bet!), Ellie’s don’t-give-a-shit attitude appeals to him.

But it wasn’t only Gage and Ellie that made the book fun. I liked the other contestants on the show too. Of course they were a few crazies and cutthroat women who took the competition too seriously, but I liked how those other contestants balanced out the interactions between Gage and Ellie.

And the humour. Really, that’s what kept me flipping pages. Quickly into the story Ellie tells Gage that she wants to go home and he promises her she’ll be on the chopping block to get eliminated…but things happen that make him break his promise and I loved Ellie’s rage every time that happened. LOL

Rowena: Every single time that Gage sent someone home, I laughed out loud. I didn’t care that it was after midnight and my house was already asleep. I laughed out loud. The funniest one was when he sent Skylar home. Bwahahahaha, that poor girl got in the way so she had to go. You’re right. The energy between Gage and Ellie was fun and it was sweet and I ate it all up.

YES! The other contestants cracked me up, too. From Evil Eden to Crazy LeAnn to side action Paisley, I enjoyed what each of them brought to the story. Oh man, the rage that Ellie had every time Gage couldn’t send her home was a freaking riot. Gosh, there was so much to like in this story that I’m pretty bummed we’re not getting another one.

Normally, I can get pretty annoyed when characters don’t talk things out. In fact, in the last book that I read, I got really upset at the heroine for not opening her mouth and getting mad at the hero for things that happened before she came along but Lauren Layne did that in this book and she wrote it in a way that made me sit up and take notice. The first thing that came to mind was, “This is how it’s done. This is how you make a reader connect with how dumb the characters are acting right now” Layne did a great job of making us readers understand why Ellie didn’t speak up when she probably should have. She did a wonderful job of making it easy for me, as a reader to connect with Ellie’s character and her assumptions about Gage before she even knew him. I thought the way that she flushed out both Ellie and Gage’s personalities and their individual journeys made for a great reading adventure.

I was seriously here for it all. This book drives home why I enjoy Lauren Layne books so much. Her stories are filled with humor, with fantastic chemistry and characters that can charm the socks off a dragon. Gage was such a fun hero and Ellie? Well, I want Ellie to be my best friend. I absolutely loved this story and there wasn’t one thing about it that I hated. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars. You?

Ames: I agree that Lauren Layne writes great contemporary romances. Her characters really shine and I love her humour. And she writes her heroines very well. I need to be able to connect to heroine and understand her motivations and she knocked that out of the park with Ellie. Ellie was fun and her loyalty and friendship defined her as a person. This was also apparent in her budding friendship with Paisley. With a show that pits women against each other for a man, LL did an awesome job of not making all the women villains. Kudos to her.

I’m giving Runaway Groom 4.25 out of 5. Thoroughly enjoyable and I have to say, reading about a book in Maui during this cold winter of mine (seriously, it’s been hellishly cold – think -40) was a nice bonus too.

I Do, I Don’t Series

Final Grades

Ames: 4 out of 5
Rowena: 5 out of 5

five-stars


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