Tag: Contemporary

Review: Isn’t She Lovely by Lauren Layne

Posted March 15, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 11 Comments

Review: Isn’t She Lovely by Lauren LayneIsn't She Lovely by Lauren Layne
Series: Redemption #0.5
Published by Random House, Flirt on January 1st 1970
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Pages: 288
Format: eBook
Source: Bought
Goodreads
four-half-stars
Reading Challenges: 2017 TBR Challenge

The rules are clear—until they're broken. Lauren Layne puts a New Adult spin on Pygmalion, also the inspiration for Pretty Woman, and gives the classic love story its edgiest twist yet.

"Who knew that pretending you're not falling for someone would be so much more difficult than pretending that you are?"

Stephanie Kendrick gave up her whole summer to ace her NYU film school screenwriting course, so she's pissed to be stuck with a preppy, spoiled frat boy as her writing partner. Then again, with her piercings, black-rimmed eyes, and Goth wardrobe, Stephanie isn't exactly Ethan Price's type, either. He's probably got his eye on some leggy blonde with a trust fund... or does he?

As the summer scene kicks off in the Hamptons, Ethan is desperate to make his snobbish mother forget the pedigreed girl who broke his heart. While Stephanie's a stretch as a decoy, the right makeover and a pastel cardigan just might do the trick. She may not love the idea of playing Ethan's brainless Barbie girlfriend, but the free rent and luxurious digs make a tempting offer. So does the promise of a ready-made screenplay idea inspired by their charade.

But when Stephanie steps into Ethan's privileged world, the "acting" begins to feel all too real. The kissing and touching that were intended to fool the Hamptons crowd wind up manipulating "them." And Stephanie faces a question she's too afraid to ask: Is Ethan falling for the real her or for the dolled-up princess he wants to see?

Super Librarian Wendy is hosting this year’s TBR Challenge and March’s prompt was: Comfort Read (Favorite Author? Favorite Trope? Favorite Sub Genre?) so I chose to finally start a series by one of my favorite authors that has been sitting on my bookshelves for a long ass time.

The Redemption series by Lauren Layne is a contemporary NA series that follows a trio of friends who are ripped apart by betrayal. They’re each trying to move on from the betrayal in the only way they know how and each book follows a different couple.

Ethan Price is taking a summer class at NYU, taught by his god-father, so that he doesn’t have to be around his father’s company, interning with his ex-girlfriend. He’s not ready to see Olivia and deal with the aftermath of their break-up. When Ethan meets Stephanie Kendrick, she’s the last person that he wants to spend the summer with. She’s moody and attitudey and she dresses like an extra on a Marilyn Manson video but she’s got a mouth on her that never fails to make him laugh and she’s got some pretty great boobs as well.

Stephanie Kendrick is taking a summer class to keep her from going to her father’s house for the summer. She doesn’t really feel like her father’s home is her home and she’ll do whatever it takes to not spend any time there. He’s got a new wife that is not her Mom and a step son that is okay but on principle, Stephanie hasn’t gotten too close to him. So she’s spending the summer in a screenwriting course and is paired up with rich, preppy boy Ethan Price who is too pretty for his own good but who can give as good as he gets when it comes to exchanging witty banter.

When Ethan and Stephanie are paired up to write a screenplay together, they become friends. Well, not really since they both still don’t like each other but Ethan needs someone to play his girlfriend and Stephanie needs a place to crash so…a bargain is made and the party begins.

Holy cow am I a bonehead for waiting so long to get this series read. I enjoyed the hell out of this book. The chemistry between Ethan and Stephanie was explosive and their banter was sexy and just so much fun. I zipped right through this book and if I were to name a gripe, it would probably be that the book ended. I enjoyed the ups, the downs, the getting to know you, the surprising jealousy and just every little thing in this book.

Ethan was a great hero and Stephanie was pretty fantastic herself. They were characters with flaws and issues that needed to be addressed and you really see the growth in both of them. Lauren Layne hit this one out of the park and the minute I finished it, I jumped right into the next book, Broken. This was a lot of fun and I highly recommend it.


4.5 out of 5

four-half-stars

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Review: Sustained by Emma Chase

Posted March 7, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 15 Comments

Review: Sustained by Emma ChaseSustained by Emma Chase
Series: Legal Briefs #2
Published by Simon & Schuster, Gallery Books on August 25th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 267
Format: eBook
Source: Bought
Goodreads
five-stars
Reading Challenges: The Totally Doable 2017 RBLB Reading Challenge

A knight in tarnished armor is still a knight.

When you’re a defense attorney in Washington, DC, you see firsthand how hard life can be, and that sometimes the only way to survive is to be harder. I, Jake Becker, have a reputation for being cold, callous, and intimidating—and that suits me just fine. In fact, it’s necessary when I’m breaking down a witness on the stand.

Complications don’t work for me—I’m a “need-to-know” type of man. If you’re my client, tell me the basic facts. If you’re my date, stick to what will turn you on. I’m not a therapist or Prince Charming—and I don’t pretend to be.

Then Chelsea McQuaid and her six orphaned nieces and nephews came along and complicated the ever-loving hell out of my life. Now I'm going to Mommy & Me classes, One Direction concerts, the emergency room, and arguing cases in the principal's office.

Chelsea’s too sweet, too innocent, and too gorgeous for her own good. She tries to be tough, but she’s not. She needs someone to help her, defend her…and the kids.

And that — that, I know how to do.

Sustained is the second book in the Legal Briefs series and the first book that I read for the 2017 Totally Doable Reading Challenge. It’s a book that I read for the first time in 2015 and gave 5 stars to. I was really surprised with how much I liked this book when I first read it because I hated the first book in the Legal Briefs series, Overruled, a lot. Like, a lot a lot. Stanton and Sofia drove me up the wall but Jake and Chelsea? Absolutely loved them.

Jake Becker is a defense attorney who just had an STD scare so he’s trying something new. He’s vetting his sleeping partners. Ha! He’s going to try dating girls before sleeping with them because he’s not trying to have another scare. He doesn’t understand it but with the help of his friends, he’s going to give it a shot. He’s got a date lined up and he’s anxious to get started. He’s appalled that his friends actually date the women that they sleep with because who the hell does that? Apparently, everyone but him. At the rate that he’s going, he won’t get laid for at least two more weeks and he’s not about that life.

Before his timeline can start he meets young Rory McQuaid who successfully picks his pocket but Jake isn’t about to let a young kid get the best of him so he gives chase and catches the little shit. When Jake takes him home to meet with his parents and rat his bad ass out, Jake meets Chelsea and the rest of Rory’s siblings and his life is never the same again.

Chelsea McQuaid is 26 years old and is raising her brother’s six kids on her own. She’s much too busy for a relationship but Jake Becker sneaks up on her in ways she wasn’t prepared for but isn’t exactly against. Sure, she’s got no time for sexy times with her Mom responsibilities overtaking her life but she’s all the kids have and they’re the priority but with Jake becoming more and more of a fixture in their lives, she’s thinking that they’ll be alright.

Of course, things aren’t as easy as she wants them to be but love is worth the trouble, right? Right. Chelsea and Jake were fantastic characters with a story that I eat up every single time that I read it. I read this book two years ago and it was a 5 star read then and this year, it’s a 5 star read still. I completely adored every single child and watching Jake fall for not only Chelsea but every single kid melted me at every turn. From Riley all the way down to Ronan, I was in love. I loved that Jake had a distinct relationship with every single kid. I loved seeing him with the girls just as much as I loved seeing him with the girls and my heart broke in two when things get hard for the family, Rory ran to Jake. I was a puddle of emotions by then.

Chelsea was a fantastic heroine. So strong and sure in the choices she made. From leaving school to jumping into being a Mom to her nieces and nephews, she sat on her own grief to be strong for the kids and my heart went out to her with every passing page. She was caring and she was loving and she was hot too so that was a plus. 🙂

There isn’t a thing that I didn’t love about this book and I understand that it makes this review a freaking fangirl review but it can’t be helped…I’m a total fangirl for Jake and Chelsea. This book man, it’s so damn good. If you haven’t read it for yourself, do yourself a favor and fix that because this book isn’t to be missed!

My Rating


5 out of 5

five-stars

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Buddy Review: Good Boy by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy

Posted February 21, 2017 by Rowena & Bookish Ames in Reviews | 14 Comments

Buddy Review: Good Boy by Sarina Bowen & Elle KennedyGood Boy by Sarina Bowen, Elle Kennedy
Series: WAGS #1
Published by Elle Kennedy on January 31st 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 269
Format: eBook
Source: Bought
Goodreads
four-stars

Hosting her brother’s wedding for an MVP guest list is the challenge of Jess Canning’s life. Already the family screw-up, she can’t afford to fail. And nobody (nobody!) can learn of the colossal mistake she made with the best man during a weak moment last spring. It was wrong, and there will not be a repeat. Absolutely not. Even if he is the sexiest thing on two legs.

Blake Riley sees the wedding as fate’s gift to him. Jess is the maid of honor and he’s the best man? Let the games begin. So what if he’s facing a little (fine, a lot) of resistance? He just needs to convince the stubborn blonde that he’s really a good boy with a bad rap. Luckily, every professional hockey player knows that you’ve got to make an effort if you want to score.

But Jess has more pressing issues to deal with than sexy-times with a giant man-child. Such as: Will the ceremony start on time, even though someone got grandma drunk? Does glitter ever belong at a wedding? And is it wrong to murder the best man?

Caution: May cause accidental aspiration of tea or coffee. Do not read in a public place where loud laughter is inappropriate. Contains hot but hilarious hockey players, puppy cuddling and a snarky pair of underwear.

Rowena: Month 2 of 2017 brings about our second buddy review of the year. Ames and I chose to read Good Boy by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy for February and we’re here to discuss it.

Good Boy kicks off a new series from Bowen & Kennedy. A spin-off from their Him series. The first book features Jamie’s sister Jessica and Wes’ teammate, Blake. They spent an explosive night together and Blake wants to continue the party but Jess has shut that shit down. Blake is a stubborn hockey player and he’s not going to give up so Jess is in for a rude awakening. He knows that she wants him just as much as he wants her and he’s going to keep poking around until she admits it. Should be fun, right?

Right.

This book was such fun for me. What did you think about it, Ames?

Ames: I really enjoyed Good Boy! With the opening scenes, Jess being paranoid over the wedding going off without a hitch and being uptight about any changes to her plans, I thought she was going to be an annoying heroine. And these days, that’s my number one peeve. However, Jess was a pleasant surprise. I really liked the push and pull between her and Blake.

And Blake? OMG he had me laughing out loud more than once. But my favorite bit of dialog involved him referring to his junk as a docking station. If I was drinking something at that moment I know I would have ruined my ereader. haha

Rowena: You know what’s funny? Is that Blake’s personality was so big right from the very beginning and I took a step back from this book because of that…so it was Blake that I was scared I wasn’t going to like but man, I was so wrong because I freaking loved him. He was just my very favorite thing about this entire book. I loved him, his struggles, his personality, his body and seriously, him. It was all him. I loved his docking station, too. Hahaha.

I know what you mean about Jess, though. There were times when I wished that she would just get over herself. Get out of her head and just go with the flow but I never hated her or thought she was dumb. I thought she was a solid heroine. The way that she stood up for Blake in the end? I was really happy with her growth throughout the story. She may not have been my favorite in the beginning but holy cow does she come through in the end. So good.

Do you know who’s book is next?

Ames: Jess does come through in the end! Her and Blake were a great match, their personalities just gelled. I liked how she had some figuring out to do yet with her life. Blake as a pro hockey player is set for the next decade at least but her, she was still figuring out who she was and how she fit in with her big family. And I liked that she wanted to do her schooling on her own. She definitely grew as a character.

I could go on and on about Blake though. He really was the greatest thing about that book. And so stand up! Like the whole deal with his ex? OMG. Just wow. And her? I wanted to smack her…and not because of the lie but because of the dog. LOL

I have two complaints. The dog on the cover and the teen girl with cancer. I’m not saying anything about the dog in the book and the dog on the cover. Just no. And the girl? I honestly wanted to see more of her. I thought there was something unfinished about that little part of the story.

I think Erickson’s book is next.

Rowena: I’m not a big pet person but even I was pissed at the ex about the dog. How dare she play the victim for EVERYTHING. I was annoyed with Blake’s sister Brenna though. Her loyalties should have always been with Blake so I didn’t like that she basically was all, “How could you be so insensitive?” Like, get over it. Jeez.

Yeah, did the teenager come out okay? Did Jess have to deliver the beanie to the little brother or was she miraculously saved by meeting Blake Riley? Some closure where that’s concerned would have been good. I knew you would pick up on the dog thing. You always do.

You’re right, Erickson is up next. I’m going to assume he’s getting back with his ex if the book is titled Stay? What do you think?

Overall, this was an entertaining book that I adored. There were minor things here and there that I didn’t care for but overall, I liked it. Like, really liked it. It was fun and I’m eager for more. I’m curious though, the series is called WAGs…why is that? I didn’t get a very big WAGS feel to this book so I don’t get it. Ha!

My grade for this one would be a 4 out of 5. You?​​

Ames: I agree with your guess about Erickson’s story. I don’t know how I feel about that though. I’m not the biggest fan of second chance stories these days. I’ll still read it since this author duo is the bomb. haha

I’m the same way about this series title! But if the authors are focusing on other team members and their stories, it’ll probably make more sense with the other books.

Like you I really enjoyed Good Boy. Great characters and a good story. I loved seeing so much of Jamie and Wes too. I’m giving this one a 4.25 out of 5.

Have you read Good Boy yet? If so, what did you think? If not, do you have plans to read it?

four-stars

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