Tag: Gallery Books

Buddy Review: Dating You, Hating You by Christina Lauren

Posted July 12, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 5 Comments

Buddy Review: Dating You, Hating You by Christina LaurenDating You / Hating You by Christina Lauren
Published by Simon & Schuster, Gallery Books on June 6th, 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 350
Format: eBook
Source: Gifted
Goodreads
four-stars

All’s fair in love and work. The first standalone romance by New York Times and #1 international bestselling author Christina Lauren (Beautiful Bastard) is a sexy, compulsively readable romantic comedy that dives headlong into the thrill and doubt of modern love.

Despite the odds against them from an embarrassing meet-awkward at a mutual friend’s Halloween party, Carter and Evie immediately hit it off. Even the realization that they’re both high-powered agents at competing firms in Hollywood isn’t enough to squash the fire.

But when their two agencies merge—causing the pair to vie for the same position—all bets are off. What could have been a beautiful, blossoming romance turns into an all-out war of sabotage. Carter and Evie are both thirtysomething professionals—so why can’t they act like it?

Can Carter stop trying to please everyone and see how their mutual boss is really playing the game? Can Evie put aside her competitive nature long enough to figure out what she really wants in life? Can their actor clients just be something close to human? Whether these two Hollywood love/hatebirds get the storybook Hollywood ending or just a dramedy of epic proportions, you will get to enjoy Christina Lauren’s heartfelt, raucous, and hilarious romance style at its finest.

Rowena: This month’s buddy review with my book bestie, Bookish Ames is Dating You, Hating You by Christina Lauren. I have never tried anything by Christina Lauren before and Ames thought that I should so I started my reading journey through Christina Lauren’s backlist with this one.

Dating You, Hating You follows Carter and Evie as they try to figure out how to be together while working together. They had their first date and it went well so they both were looking forward to seeing where dating would take them but when they show up for work on Monday, they find out that their companies have merged and they are now competing against each other to keep their jobs.

Lots and lots of shenanigans happen and overall, I enjoyed the book even though it wasn’t the most original of plots.

What did you think, Ames?

Ames: I agree. After their super meet cute (I loved how they met) and the sabotage shenanigans started I was reminded of the Hating Game by Sally Thorne. But you know what? I think that dynamic works for me. It creates a believable tension and it’s funny to see two characters match wits with each other. I do have a confession though. I never read the blurb for this book, so going into it blind, I thought it was a New Adult. haha Whoops. So when I started reading about a 30 year old woman I was like “WTF?”

Anyway. Speaking of Evie. I really liked her character. She lives in LA and works for an agency representing actors and actresses. For all that that industry puts a focus on looks, I liked Evie’s confidence. She didn’t focus on her looks and was all about getting the job done. And done well. She was great at her job. So I felt her frustration when her boss kept giving her the short end of the stick. And Carter was a good character too. He definitely had some growth happening with his character. Especially in regards to the sexism in their office. But he grew. And he was cute. These two really learned a lot about each other when they were fighting.

Rowena: I thought their Harry Potter meet-up was cute, too. There were lots of similarities between The Hating Game and Dating You, Hating You but the stories had enough differences that I had no problem enjoying them separately.

LOL, after seeing the cover, I thought it was a New Adult book but not after reading the blurb.

Like you, I enjoyed both Evie and Carter. I liked that Evie never questioned her worth at work once Carter came on board. She knew that she was good but she also knew that being a woman would not benefit her the way being a man benefited Carter. Her frustration was real to me and I even liked the way that Carter felt her frustration and understood it as well. I like the tension between them at work because they sure did light the sheets up after work. Haha.

I liked that in this story, Evie and Carter had already started dating and wanted to continue dating but didn’t know how to go about that in the new circumstances that they found themselves in. I liked that the conflict for Carter was about how to make it work with Evie because he wanted to. Because he really liked her.

This book was a lot of fun and I’m definitely going to read more from this author.

Any gripes?

Ames: Before I get into gripes, I want to talk about the secondary characters. Evie and Carter each had their own friends who I felt were flushed out characters that they had real interactions with. Evie getting upset over Carter’s shenanigans? Her friends would come over and help her drown her sorrows. Carter had friends that were a married couple that were always inserting themselves into his situation with Evie in a good way. Even Carter’s brother had a little bit of a story arc going on. I really liked how these characters made this a fuller story.

Now my gripe. As I’m reading this book, published in 2017, I had a very real WHAT THE FUCK moment over some racism that was very casually and VERY uselessly inserted into this story. There’s a scene at a party when one of Carter and Evie’s coworker made a reference to her and Evie being Eskimo sisters.

WTF

I haven’t heard this term before but I didn’t feel good reading it in that context. In Canada, we do not use the term Eskimo. We refer to our Northern brothers and sisters as Inuit. Second, the meaning behind this term (look it up on Urban Dictionary if you haven’t heard of it before) – its demeaning to Inuit people and to women. I was shocked to see this and it definitely pulled me out of the story. And I wonder how the editor/publisher didn’t flag this? I felt like the context in which this term was used was pretty useless to the story.

I don’t feel like this term was used in a malicious way, I think it just may be an awareness (or lack of awareness) issue on the authors’ behalf. Consider this a teachable moment and do better going forward.

What about you, any issues with story?

Rowena: I agree with you about the secondary characters. I enjoyed Evie and Carter’s friends and Carter’s brother. I liked that they had their own people and weren’t always in each other’s pockets and that those people felt real and fleshed out. I also liked that they had a friend in common, who didn’t want to take sides and was on both of their teams.

I was completely ignorant of that saying “Eskimo sisters” before you told me but in the context that it’s used in the book, I agree that it is racist and that it didn’t move the story along or add anything to the story as a whole so it wasn’t necessary to use.

As for me, aside from that, I can’t say that I had any gripes with the book. It was entertaining, the characters were well written and the romance was pretty steamy. All of that makes for a happy Rowena so, all in all, this was a great first book for me. I would give this one a 4 out of 5. You?

Ames: I agree with your rating, 4 out of 5. Despite that one WTF moment, I was really happy with the story overall. I liked the humor over the shenanigans and even the dog! Great characters and loved their sexual tension.

four-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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