Tag: Mini Review Round Up

Mini Review Round Up (4)

Posted November 17, 2016 by Rowena in Features, Reviews | 8 Comments

irresistibly-yours
Irresistibly Yours by Lauren Layne
Series: Oxford #1
Release Date: October 6, 2015
Publisher: Random House, Loveswept
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 236
Format: eBook
Source: Bought
Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Meet the men of Oxford magazine! In the first captivating spin-off of Lauren Layne’s Sex, Love & Stiletto series, a not-so-friendly battle of the sexes turns into a scorching office romance.

Hotshot sports editor Cole Sharpe has been freelancing for Oxford for years, so when he hears about a staff position opening up, he figures he’s got the inside track. Then his boss drops a bombshell: Cole has competition. Female competition, in the form of a fresh-faced tomboy who can hang with the dudes—and write circles around them, too. Cole usually likes his women flirty and curvy, but he takes a special interest in his skinny, sassy rival, if only to keep an eye on her. And soon, he can’t take his eyes off her.

Penelope Pope knows all too well that she comes off as just one of the guys. Since she’s learned that wanting more usually leads to disappointment, Penelope’s resigned to sitting on the sidelines when it comes to love. So why does Cole make her want to get back in the game? The man is as arrogant as he is handsome. He probably sees her as nothing more than a barrier to his dream job. But when an unexpected kiss turns into a night of irresistible passion, Penelope has to figure out whether they’re just fooling around—or starting something real.

Includes a special message from the editor, as well as an excerpt from another Loveswept title.

With Someone Like You releasing just next month, I did some re-reading of the first two books in the Oxford series because I’m not ready to say goodbye to these guys. I also did the re-reading because I was slumping big time and needed something to dig me out. This book did the trick because I’ve been reading non-stop ever since.

So this book follows Cole Sharpe, a freelance writer for Oxford Magazine, as he battles for a permanent position at the magazine with Penelope Pope. Penelope Pope is moving to New York from Chicago and she’s basically running away from some drama that went down back there. She wanted a fresh start and thinks that Oxford is the place for all of that. When she interviews for the Oxford position, she feels good about it and she’s pretty excited to hopefully be a part of this team. When she meets Cole, she doesn’t think he’ll see her as anything other than a friend so she immediately friend zones herself even though she is crushing big time.

Pen’s experience with guys are…they friend zone her every single time. She’s a tomboy, she knows entirely too much about every sport there is and she can spout of sports stats like a freaking machine. The last guy that she dated ended up doing her dirty so she’s going to steer clear from men for the time being.

She strikes up a friendship with Cole and things are going great. Even though they’re competing for the same position at Oxford, they can’t stop hanging out with each other. Cole didn’t plan on getting buddy buddy with his competition but Penelope is fun. She’s cute and he wants to pick her brain so they become friends and they plant themselves into each others lives and I just really, really enjoyed their friendship that turns into more story.

Both Cole and Penelope are great characters who are great apart but better together. Lauren Layne really shines with writing characters that readers will cheer for and relate to. This was a fun contemporary romance that isn’t to be missed so if you haven’t read this book…fix that cause it’s fun!

My Rating


4.25 out of 5

i-wish-you-were-mine
I Wish You Were Mine by Lauren Layne
Series: Oxford #2
Release Date: February 2, 2016
Publisher: Random House, Loveswept
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 260
Format: eBook
Source: Gifted
Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Perfect for fans of Alice Clayton and Emma Chase, Lauren Layne’s Oxford series heats up in this story of forbidden desire as a brooding jock hoping for a comeback falls for a woman who’s strictly off-limits.

A year ago, Jackson Burke was married to the love of his life and playing quarterback for the Texas Redhawks. Now he’s retired, courtesy of the car accident that ruined his career—and single, after a nasty scandal torpedoed his marriage. Just as he’s starting to get used to his new life as a health and fitness columnist for Oxford magazine, his unpredictable ex shows up on his doorstep in Manhattan. Jackson should be thrilled. But he can’t stop thinking about the one person who’s always been there for him, the one girl he could never have: her younger sister.

Mollie Carrington can’t say no to Madison. After all, her older sister practically raised her. So when Madison begs for help in winning her ex-husband back, Mollie’s just glad she got over her own crush on Jackson ages ago—or so she thought. Because as Mollie reconnects with Jackson, she quickly forgets all her reasons to stay loyal to her sister. Tempted by Jackson’s mellow drawl and cowboy good looks, Mollie is sick and tired of coming in second place. But she can’t win if she doesn’t play the game.

I Wish You Were Mine is the second book in the Oxford Series and it’s a book that isn’t as popular as Layne’s other books but me? I loved it! I liked getting to know the new guy at Oxford and seeing him form attachments he didn’t even want to begin with.

I’m not normally a sister’s ex romance kind of reader but I was a fan of both Jackson and Mollie. I thought their story was sweet the first time I read this book but I loved them just as much the second time around.

Jackson Burke is a big time football player from Texas that has retired from the NFL. He was in a car accident that injured him and now he’s sidelined from the job he loved and is now working as a fitness writer for Oxford Magazine that is in New York, not Texas. He doesn’t know anyone in New York except his ex-wife’s sister, Mollie and even though they used to be close, they’re not so close anymore and Jackson is sorry about that because he misses her.

Mollie Carrington is over her long ago crush on her ex-brother in law (yes, you read that right) so she can definitely catch up with him over drinks and not fall in love with him all over again. She can totally do it.

Wrong. The more time they spend together, the harder they fall and…I loved them. I loved Jackson. I loved Mollie. I loved seeing them become eachothers champions and I really loved how each of them became home to the other. Their romance wasn’t an easy one, it’s another one of those friendships to lovers type of romances and I enjoy those so much. Lauren Layne hit me in my feels at every turn in this book because the romance wasn’t easy. These two were connected before and it was a messy connection but when all is said and done, you can’t help who you love and I loved that these two let go of what they should feel and went with how they really felt because *swoon* I just adored them together.

This was another fabulous contemporary romance by Lauren Layne and everyone should read and fall in love with them too. 🙂

My Rating


4.25 out of 5

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Mini Review Round Up (3)

Posted October 27, 2016 by Rowena in Features | 4 Comments

shadow-rider
Shadow Rider (Shadow #1) by Christine Feehan
Series: Shadow Series #1
Release Date: June 28, 2016
Publisher: Penguin, Berkley/NAL, Jove
Genres: Contemporary, Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 448
Format: eBook
Source: Gifted
Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

The #1 New York Times bestselling “queen of paranormal romance”* is back with a sexy new series starring a Chicago crime family that hides a dark, mystical secret…

Whether it’s fast cars or fast women, Stefano Ferraro gets what he wants. When he’s not fodder for the paparazzi, he commands Ferraro family businesses—both legitimate and illegitimate.

While their criminal activity is simply a rumor yet to be proven, no one knows the real truth. The Ferraros are a family of shadow riders capable of manipulating light and dark, an ability Stefano thought ran in his family alone—until now…

With little left to her name, Francesca Cappello has come to Chicago in hopes of a new life. She wasn’t expecting to attract the attention of a man with primal hunger in his eyes, driven to claim her as his to protect and to please. And if he discovers her secret, it could ruin her…

I read this book for book club and it was recommended to me by one of my book besties so I went with it. I haven’t read very many Christine Feehan books, only one comes to mind and I can’t even remember the title of that book.

There was a lot of promise with this book. I thought the idea behind this mafia type family that rode shadows to right wrongs and protect the weak was great but when I finished the book, I was still confused about all things Shadow Rider. I get what their purpose was but how did Shadow Riders come about? Why were they necessary? Where did their magic or whatever it is you call shadow riding come about? How exactly are they traveling through these shadows and what are these tunnels that they talk about but never really explain? I closed the book, feeling the way that Stefano’s Mom wanted Francesca to feel when she was berating Stefano for sharing family secrets with someone outside of the family.

My frustrations with the book didn’t end there either. I could not get on board the Stefano train. His extreme controlling nature was a complete turnoff for me. I get that he wanted to protect Francesca from the villain of the book, I even get that he wanted to protect her because she was his future wife that would bear his children and nurture them but holy cow, he dictated what she wore, where she would live and work and he even dictated when she could climax during their lovemaking. Give me a freaking break! There’s alpha man and then alpha dickhead and Stefano veered into the alpha dickhead camp far too often for my likes.

Francesca was not a very memorable heroine for me. She was fine but not someone that I’m going to remember a few months from now. My gripes with her were how submissive she was to Stefano right from the jump. She didn’t know this guy but within the span of a week, she’s moved in with him, got engaged to him, thought he worked for organized crime and then felt bad that she asked if he was in organized crime (I totally didn’t get this. She asked him a question based on his behavior and treatment of her since they met, why the hell was she feeling bad about that?). I wanted her to be stronger than how I portrayed her to be from reading the book and I wanted her to stand up for herself more, put her foot down and have some kind of say in her life but nope. That wasn’t to be.

The romance felt like it happened at warped speed for me but that didn’t bother me as much as everything else that frustrated me. I enjoyed the dynamic between the Ferraro siblings and I’m curious about where the rest of the series goes but all of that didn’t really save the story for me. On the upside, it was a hit for most of the members of my book club. I was the lone member who was left unimpressed. *shrugs* Oh well.

My Rating


2.5 out of 5

undecided
Undecided by Julianna Keyes
Series: Burnham College #1
Release Date: April 4, 2016
Publisher: Julianna Keyes
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Pages: 300
Format: eBook
Source: Bought
Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Nora Kincaid has one goal for her second year of college: be invisible. Last year’s all-party-no-study strategy resulted in three failed classes and two criminal charges, and if she messes up again she’ll lose her scholarship. But there’s one problem with her plan for invisibility, and his name is Crosbie Lucas: infamous party king, general hellraiser…and her new roommate’s best friend.

Crosbie’s reckless reputation and well-known sexcapades aren’t part of Nora’s studious new strategy, but as she’s quickly learning, her new plan is also really boring. When Crosbie’s unexpected gestures of friendship pull her head out of her books long enough to see past his cocky veneer, she’s surprised to find a flawed and funny guy beneath it all. The muscles don’t hurt, either.

But as Nora starts to fall for Crosbie, the weight of one of last year’s bad decisions grows even heavier. Because three failing grades and two misdemeanors are nothing compared to the one big secret she’s hiding…

I re-read this book while I was working on my Eye Candy Friday post for Crosbie, the hero in this book and I was reminded how great this book is.

Nora spent her freshman year in college, partying too hard and going buck wild so when she almost gets expelled for her party girl shenanigans, she swore that her sophomore year was going to be different. She was going to cut ties with her party girl image and friends and she was going to buckle down and get to work. She was going to get good grades, she was going to work hard and she was going to keep her head down. When she moves in with the gorgeous and big man on campus, Kellan, she thought things would be okay because he was looking for a roommate who wasn’t about partying and drama. He wanted a low-key roommate that could help keep him focused on his studies as well so really, they were the perfect solution to each other’s roommate problem.

Nora is serious about no distractions and no temptations so when Kellan’s best friend Crosbie Lucas starts coming around a lot with his distracting presence and his tempting bodies, Nora knows that she’s in trouble. She’s in trouble because Crosbie is a part of the scene that she’s trying to stay away from. He represents everything that went wrong with her freshman year but with each passing day, she sees different parts to his personality and she can’t help but fall a bit for him.

Crosbie loves the college life. He’s got a great best friend and he doesn’t have any trouble getting ladies even with being in the shadow of his campus celebrity best friend. He’s never been jealous of the spotlight that Kellan inhabits until he meets Nora. Nora is Kellan’s new roommate and for the first ever, Crosbie wants the girl. He wants a girl that he thinks is interested in Kellan and being around Nora is torture for him because he can’t help but think MINE every time he’s around her and the insecurities that pop up wherever she is, is new to him.

I loved watching these two circle each other. Their every interaction was filled with so much goodness that I grinned and couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. Even after reading it a second time, it was like reading it for the first. The romance between Crosbie and Nora was front and center and I adored it to pieces. I loved seeing them come into their own and then grow in their love for each other. There’s an incident involving Nora and Kellan that I thought was just flat out dumb but I chalked it up to them being in college and young enough to get away with dumb stuff.

Overall, this book was fun and the romance was sweet and I really enjoyed it. You should read it so you can enjoy it too. 🙂

My Rating


4.5 out of 5

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Mini Review Round Up (2)

Posted October 20, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 14 Comments


Results May Vary by Bethany Chase
Release Date: August 9, 2016
Publisher: Random House, Ballantine
Genres: Contemporary, Women’s Fiction
Pages: 336
Format: eBook
Source: Bought
Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Can you ever really know the person you love?

She never saw it coming. Without even a shiver of suspicion to warn her, Caroline Hammond discovers that her husband is having an affair with a man—a revelation that forces her to question their entire history together, from their early days as high school sweethearts through their ten years as a happily married couple. In her now upside-down world, Caroline begins envisioning her life without the relationship that has defined it: the loneliness of being an “I” instead of a “we”; the rekindled yet tenuous closeness with her younger sister; and the unexpected—and potentially disastrous—attraction she can’t get off her mind. Caroline always thought she knew her own love story, but as her husband’s other secrets emerge, she must decide whether that story’s ending will mean forgiving the man she’s loved for half her life, or facing her future without him.

Compassionate and uplifting, Results May Vary is a bittersweet celebration of the fact that in love and in life, we rarely get exactly what we bargained for.

Everyone and their Mom has read and loved this book so I was only too glad to buy the book so that I can read it and love it too. I was hopeful that I would enjoy the book as so many other book bloggers have and my hope paid off because I couldn’t put this book down.

Adam and Caroline have been married for ten years and have been together since high school. They were so very much in love until Caroline stumbles upon a secret that Adam has been hiding from her. He’s having an affair with another man. This shocks Caroline to her core because she never had an inkling that her husband was bi-sexual or well, gay. The betrayal guts her in a way nothing has before and she spends a lot of time going over their past and trying to find the signs that she missed. She also spends a lot of time being mad at Adam and even tries to move on but you can’t really move on from something as huge as marriage without facing some universal truths about yourself and your spouse.

This book had me captivated from the very first page and I finished it in no time because I couldn’t put it down. I was right there in the trenches with Caroline as she tried to figure out if she could forgive Adam, if she should take him back and where to go from here. Chase handles the many mixed emotions that Caroline had extremely well.

I’m used to reading romances where the focus is on the main characters falling in love with each other but with this book, the focus was on the growth that the main character goes through over the course of the book and I really liked that. I liked being right there with Caroline as she experiences everything after her life falls apart. It made the ending that much more satisfying and while there were times in the middle where the book kind of slows a bit (I thought the bits where she was meeting with the old schoolmate from high school was a bit slow), I still liked this book a great deal. Caroline was refreshingly honest with others and herself and that made me like her. She’s not perfect and that was another thing I liked about her. She was real. She made mistakes and her life was messy but she was getting through it.

This was a very satisfying read and I will definitely be reading more from this author.

My Rating


4 out of 5

addicted

Addicted by Elle Kennedy
Series: Outlaws #2
Release Date: June 28, 2016
Publisher: Penguin, Berkley/NAL, Jove
Genre: Dystopian, Romance
Pages: 368
Format: eBook
Source: Bought
Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

From the New York Times bestselling author of Claimed comes the second enticingly erotic novel set in a world on the brink of chaos.

Lennox used to live in a paradise on earth with his best friend Jamie, in a place where visitors came and went, allowing their desires to run free. But everything changes when a deadly attack forces them to take up with Connor Mackenzie’s band of Outlaws. Lennox knows Jamie is hung up on someone else, but he’s always believed he’s the man for her—and won’t let her go without a fight.

Even though Jamie is well aware that Lennox is one hot specimen of a man, she refuses to let sex ruin the most important relationship in her life. But when the object of her interest spurns her, she indulges in a little pleasure-filled revenge with her very magnetic, very willing best friend. One thrilling night with Lennox is enough to awaken Jamie’s unexpected desires for him. And now that she’s had a taste, she’s not sure she can ever give him up…

I should mention right off the bat that I don’t read a lot of erotica stuff and I don’t read very many dystopian romances either. I started this series strictly because Elle Kennedy wrote it. I didn’t know what to expect from the first book and I really enjoyed it so I was happy to continue the series.

To recap the series so far, the characters we meet in this series are all living the Outlaw life. They live in a world that is controlled by the government and if you don’t want to live by the rules of the government than you live outside the city limits and are outlaws. The outlaw life is pretty dangerous because there aren’t any rules. You’re scrapping by, surviving any way that you can and if you are fortunate enough to have the protection of someone like Connor Mackenzie (hero of the first book, Claimed) than you can sleep a little better at night because Connor handles any trouble that lands on their doorstep.

Lennox and Jamie have been best friends since they were kids. They lost everyone and everything close to them so it’s just them against the world. They have each other’s backs and their relationship is completely platonic. They’ve never hooked up because they don’t want to ruin their relationship. They’re all they have left and they didn’t want to ruin things with sex. They both sleep around but they’ve never settled down but one night, things go a lot further than they’ve ever gone and these two realize that they can’t go back.

It’s been a couple of days since I finished this book and I still can’t figure out what I thought about it. I liked it. I liked seeing everyone again and I liked meeting the new people and the romance between Lennox and Jamie was pretty steamy but I didn’t love it. For a lot of the book, nothing really happens except Lennox and Jamie yelling at each other and then having makeup sex. We also get Rylan getting rejected at every turn from the one woman he can’t have (set up to the next book in this series) and I spent a huge chunk of the book waiting for the book to really take off.

This book was slower in pace than the first book and I can’t really say that I really got to know Lennox and Jamie the same way that I felt I got to know Connor and Hudson. There’s a lot going on so maybe that’s why but I never fully connected with Lennox or Jamie. You’d think that because there was so much going on that the pacing would be a lot faster but it still felt like it took forever for stuff to happen. I’m hopeful that the next book will be better so I’m still excited for that one.

Overall, with the slow pacing and everything going on that took away from the romance between Jamie and Lennox, there’s still stuff to like about this read. There’s Rylan. There’s Hudson and Connor. The others at Connor’s camp. The steamy sex between…everyone. The new additions of the townfolks at Foxworth. The big mystery surrounding what Reese has planned. I think fans of Elle Kennedy’s work will enjoy this one.

My Rating


3.5 out of 5

Series Order


Claimed | Addicted | Ruled

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