Tag: Books

Buddy Review: When It’s Real by Erin Watt

Posted July 25, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Buddy Review: When It’s Real by Erin WattWhen It's Real by Erin Watt
Published by Harlequin Teen on May 30th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 413
Format: eBook
Source: Bought
Goodreads
four-stars

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?

Ames: Rowena and I were originally going to read Cora Carmack’s July new release, All Closed Off. But we had a little discussion about this book as it had already been delayed so we chose a back-up book, When It’s Real. Although it wasn’t released during July, it was a newish book that neither of us had read yet. I’m glad we decided on a back up book because All Closed Off was delayed again.

When It’s Real features the fake celebrity relationship trope. Vaughn is hired as the everyday girlfriend for young pop star Oakley Ford. Oakley needs a girlfriend for reasons. The only reason Vaughn goes along with this crazy scheme is to help her family out. They’re orphans after their parents died in an accident and they’ve been making ends meet but barely. Vaughn actually graduated from high school early so she could take some time off before heading to college. Oakley is only going along with the scheme to ingratiate himself with a producer he really wants to work with. He is not keen on this arrangement and at first he acts like a real ass with Vaughn. But Vaughn is not impressed with his fame or his attitude and Oakley comes around to acting like a human being. As they get to know each other, their fake relationship starts to feel real. But is it?

Okay Wena, what did you think of When It’s Real? I read this book right after I read another fake relationship book (with older adults) and let me tell you, this book was hands down the better read. I loved Vaughn and Oakley’s dynamic. I like that they didn’t like each other at first but then Vaughn slowly started to humanize Oakley. I really liked Vaughn. And to be honest, I pictured Harry Styles for Oakley. LOL That may not be where the authors were intending to go with his character, but that’s who I saw. And I may have listened to Sign of the Times a time or ten…million. haha

Rowena: What did I think? I adored this book and when I finished, I was bummed because I didn’t want the book to end. I thought Oakley and Vaughn were awesome characters and an adorable couple. I really liked how their relationship turned from hate to friendship then finally, to love.

I really like Jen Frederick and Elle Kennedy’s writing style. They write books together really well. I don’t think I’ve read a book that I haven’t been utterly obsessed with (whether I’ve been pissed off or in freaking love) and that wasn’t any different with this book. The flow of the story worked for me and the dialogue, man I loved the dialogue. You can always count on Frederick and Kennedy to pack on the drama and we got plenty of that here, lots and lots of drama that I could not get enough of.

Harry Styles is a great Oakley…well, without his accent but still, I could totally see it. I love Harry.

I’m really happy about our choice of buddy review book this month. It was so freaking good. It took the sting out of yet another delay for All Closed Off.

Ames: I didn’t want the book to end either! And it wasn’t just the main characters. I loved the secondary characters too, like Oak’s bodyguard buddy and Vaughn’s family. I like how Oak was with her younger brothers. And thought the secondary romance was very cute too.

My only complaint (and its a small one) is how the issue at the end of was dealt with, with the meddling into their relationship. Like it was kind of brushed aside (I’ll deal with you later!” kind of thing) but I wanted to see those people deal with the repercussions of what they did. It was so unprofessional, you know?

Rowena: Yeah. I really liked that the secondary characters held their own with my attention. There have been quite a few books where I couldn’t tell you much about the secondary characters but that wasn’t the case with Vaughn’s family and even Oakley’s. I liked seeing Oakley’s Mom trying to make things right with him and I liked seeing Oakley handle the situation with his Dad. I also liked seeing how he made a family for himself with his bodyguards.

Ugh, I wanted to punch Luke, the bassist so many times because he was such a terrible human being. I was glad when Oakley finally tossed his ass to the curb. The whole misunderstanding at the end should have had bigger consequences, considering who he was but it did make me wonder if that ever happened in real life. Do you think? Also, how did it end? Do we find out if they were punished, fired, or whatever?

Ames: Luke was the worst! And so was Oakley’s dad. I did like that his mom was redeemable.

And no, I don’t think we ever found out what happened! Do we know if there’s going to be a series or was this a stand-alone? I ask because maybe there would be some follow up in another book? I don’t know.

So I loved When It’s Real and really enjoyed it. So I’m giving this a 4.25 out of 5. I highly recommend this one.

Rowena: Yes!!! He totally was. It was nice that Oakley’s Mom actually wanted to fix their relationship and wasn’t as we thought she’d be after hearing about her from Oakley.

I don’t think there’s going to be another book or a series. I thought this was a standalone book.

This was a fun book that I really enjoyed and I’m so glad that we chose it. I adored Oakley and I loved Vaughn. I also loved that Vaughn was from El Segundo since that’s about 15 minutes from where I live and the day that I started this book, I was having dinner on Main Street in El Segundo so I had a little dorky moment while looking out the restaurant window, thinking about Oakley and Vaughn. Ha!

I give this book a 4.25 out of 5 as well. Such a great book!

four-stars


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Week in Review (60)

Posted July 17, 2017 by Rowena in Features | 6 Comments

Brenna is in Colorado right now and I have a lot more time than I know what to do with. I’ve been spending a lot of time hanging out with my friends and am really enjoying being in their company and just doing things that we haven’t done in ages. We tried the banana pudding at Magnolia Bakery that I’ve been bugging everyone to try with me. We’ve done a lot of walking at the beach and watching street shows and eating street food in Downtown L.A. We’ve done a lot of L.A. touristy things and I’m having a blast. I miss my kid like crazy though. I can’t wait for her to come home.

What I’m Currently Reading

The Duchess Deal (Girl Meets Duke #1) by Tessa Dare

When girl meets Duke, their marriage breaks all the rules…

Since his return from war, the Duke of Ashbury’s to-do list has been short and anything but sweet: brooding, glowering, menacing London ne’er-do-wells by night. Now there’s a new item on the list. He needs an heir—which means he needs a wife. When Emma Gladstone, a vicar’s daughter turned seamstress, appears in his library wearing a wedding gown, he decides on the spot that she’ll do.

His terms are simple:

– They will be husband and wife by night only.
– No lights, no kissing.
– No questions about his battle scars.
– Last, and most importantly… Once she’s pregnant with his heir, they need never share a bed again.

But Emma is no pushover. She has a few rules of her own:

– They will have dinner together every evening.
– With conversation.
– And unlimited teasing.
– Last, and most importantly… Once she’s seen the man beneath the scars, he can’t stop her from falling in love…

My reading has been slow going but I’m starting this book today so wish me luck. I’m hearing good things about it so I’m excited to read it.

What I Read

Ready to Run (I Do, I Don’t #1) by Lauren Layne | 3.75 out of 5
When Its Real by Erin Watt | 4.25 out of 5

My favorite read of the week goes to When It’s Real by Erin Watt. It was such a fun story about a superstar and the fan he falls in love with. I was really excited to read this one as it had fallen off my radar with my review pile taking up most of my time so thank goodness for us choosing to read this book together this month. It was good!

What I Reviewed

Coming Up for Air by Miranda Kenneally
I Knew You Were Trouble by Lauren Layne
Some Kind of Hero by Suzanne Brockmann
Dating You, Hating You by Christina Lauren
The Impossible Vastness of Us by Samantha Young
Second Chance Season by Liora Blake

What I Posted

Graduations, Vegas & Future Planning
Eye Candy Friday: Matt Erikkson from Stay by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy

What I Got

I’m sure I got some stuff but hell if I can remember what they are right now. I’ll update next week. For sure.

There you have it, my week in review. How was your week?


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Week in Review (59)

Posted June 19, 2017 by Rowena in Features | 2 Comments

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It’s graduation week so I’m going to be extremely busy doing all kinds of family stuff but I wanted to put up a post about what I’ve been up to…reading wise. Cause I’ve been reading. 🙂

What I’m Currently Reading

Some Kind of Hero (Troubleshooters #17) by Suzanne Brockmann

Navy men don’t come tougher than Lieutenant Peter Greene. Every day he whips hotshot SEAL wannabes into elite fighters. So why can’t he handle one fifteen-year-old girl? His ex’s death left him a single dad overnight, and very unprepared. Though he can’t relate to an angsty teen, he can at least keep Maddie safe—until the day she disappears. Though Pete’s lacking in fatherly intuition, his instinct for detecting danger is razor sharp. Maddie’s in trouble. Now he needs the Troubleshooters team at his back, along with an unconventional ally.

Romance writer Shayla Whitman never expected to be drawn into a real-world thriller—or to meet a hero who makes her pulse pound. Action on the page is one thing. Actually living it is another story. Shay’s not as bold as her heroines, but she’s a mother. She sees the panic in her new neighbor’s usually fearless blue eyes—and knows there’s no greater terror for a parent than having a child at risk. It’s an ordeal Shay won’t let Pete face alone. She’s no highly trained operative, but she’s smart, resourceful, and knows what makes teenagers tick.

Still, working alongside Pete has its own perils—like letting the heat between them rise out of control. Intimate emotions could mean dangerous, even deadly, consequences for their mission. No matter what, they must be on top of their game, and playing for keeps . . . or else Pete’s daughter may be gone for good.

I’m just about done with this book and while it’s not my favorite Troubleshooters book, I still enjoyed it. There were some points in the story where I wanted to strangle different people but overall, it was a good book. Right after I finish this book, I’m jumping into Stay (WAGs #2) by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy.

What I Read

Fantasy Lover by Sherrilyn Kenyon | 4 out of 5
I Knew You Were Trouble by Lauren Layne | 4 out of 5
Dating You, Hating You by Christina Lauren | 3.5 out of 5
Wired by Julie Garwood | 3.5 out of 5

My favorite read of the week goes to I Knew You Were Trouble by Lauren Layne. I enjoyed all of the books that I read this week but this one was my favorite. I just liked being in the Oxford world again and I enjoyed Nick and Taylor’s story. I’m seeing that it’s not getting a lot of love around the blogosphere but I liked it.

My least favorite read of the week is probably Dating You, Hating You by Christina Lauren. It was a good read, a solid first read for me by this author but I just enjoyed the other books that I read this week just a smidge more than this one. Also? This book offended my book bestie, Ames and that played into my feelings on the book. I agreed with her on that one thing so that’s why it’s my least favorite.

Book Boyfriend of the Week


Nick Ballantine from I Knew You Were Trouble by Lauren Layne

Of all of the guys that I read about this week, Nick is probably my favorite. His story kind of broke my heart and I loved seeing him fall in love with Taylor, even when she was being difficult. He wasn’t perfect by any means because I wanted to throttle him something fierce near the end of the book but after all was said done, I still loved the hell out of him so that’s why he’s this week’s book boyfriend of the week.

What I Reviewed

Silver Silence by Nalini Singh

What I Posted

Nothing. Gah. I’ve been so busy trying to bring my book blog, Book Binge back to life that I haven’t had any time to update this blog. I promise I’ll do better!

What I Got for Review

The Final Score by Jaci Burton
The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare
A Duke in Shining Armor by Loretta Chase
If There’s No Tomorrow by Jennifer L. Armentrout

What I Bought or was Gifted

I Knew You Were Trouble by Lauren Layne
Dating You/Hating You by Christina Lauren
Once and For All by Sarah Dessen
My Roommates Girl by Julianna Keyes

There you have it, my week in review. How was your week?


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