Tag: Romance

Buddy Review: Good Boy by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy

Posted February 21, 2017 by Rowena & Bookish Ames in Reviews | 0 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
Point of View:Alternating First Person
Pages: 269
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add It: 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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TBR Challenge Review: Act Like It by Lucy Parker

Posted February 15, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 8 Comments

TBR Challenge Review: Act Like It by Lucy ParkerAct Like It
by Lucy Parker
Series: London Celebrities #1
Published by Harlequin, Carina Press on November 30th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Point of View:Alternating First Person
Pages: 199
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add It: Goodreads
four-stars

This just in: romance takes center stage as West End theatre's Richard Troy steps out with none other than castmate Elaine Graham

Richard Troy used to be the hottest actor in London, but the only thing firing up lately is his temper. We all love to love a bad boy, but Richard's antics have made him Enemy Number One, breaking the hearts of fans across the city.

Have the tides turned? Has English rose Lainie Graham made him into a new man?

Sources say the mismatched pair has been spotted at multiple events, arm in arm and hip to hip. From fits of jealousy to longing looks and heated whispers, onlookers are stunned by this blooming romance.

Could the rumors be right? Could this unlikely romance be the real thing? Or are these gifted stage actors playing us all?

I’m struggling to get my life together this month. I had all of these grand plans of all of the books that I was going to read and I didn’t do anything or read much of anything. February’s prompt for the 2017 TBR Reading Challenge was to read a new to me author. Boy was I lucky when Bookish Ames pointed out that I did read a book that fulfilled that prompt. I hadn’t realized. Duh.

I’ve been wanting to read Lucy Parker ever since she came onto my radar. I’ve been seeing so many of my favorite book bloggers singing her praises and I knew that she was going to be an author that I enjoyed so when I opened up Act Like It, I was ready to be impressed…and I was.

Richard Troy is a bastard. He takes no shit from anyone and he doesn’t mince words. He doesn’t tolerate dumbasses and he makes no apologies for who he is. Normally, he wouldn’t care what the tabloids but his bosses on the play he’s working on do and before he knows what’s what, he’s in a fake relationship with his co-star Lainey Graham. The plan is for her to use her good press and big heart to soften his reputation.

Lainey Graham is being forced to play girlfriend to another asshole that she works with and she’s pretty much had it with asshole coworkers being her boyfriends. She just got out of a relationship with the other leading guy in the play and that didn’t end well because the asshole broke up with her by using the tabloids to tell her he’s moved on to someone else. Someone that he was seeing while they were still together. She may not be happy about playing the girlfriend to another castmate but she’ll do it because her bosses want her to.

What started off as something that neither of them wanted begins to change into something they weren’t expecting at all and boy was I here for all of it. I enjoyed getting to know both Richard’s grumpy ass and Lainey’s too nice for her own good self. They were fantastic characters that I just fell in with. The beginning was a little slow but not enough to put me off. I’m glad that I pushed through because these two became such dear characters to me.

Richard was a total asshole and he said and did things that I would never do myself but for some reason, it worked for me. I loved him through all of her assholey behavior. I loved seeing him fall in love with Lainey because even though he softened some, he was still the same asshole we met and fell in love with anyway. Kudos to Parker for making us fall in love with the asshole and not changing the asshole into a sap. That was great.

Lainey was fun to get to know. I love how aggravated she would get with Richard because he was such a jerk. I loved seeing her with her bestie and I liked that she had a life outside of work. I loved when she tries to fix things between Richard and her when she messes up because it really showed how much she cared and really, it just showed the kind of person that she was.

All in all, this was a great first read by an author that I will definitely be reading more from. I definitely recommend Richard and Lainey’s love story. It’s a good one.


4 out of 5

four-stars

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Review: Nine Rules to Break when Romancing a Rake by Sarah MacLean

Posted February 14, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 8 Comments

Review: Nine Rules to Break when Romancing a Rake by Sarah MacLeanNine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake
by Sarah MacLean
Series: Love by Numbers #1
Published by Harper Collins, Avon on March 30th 2010
Genres: Historical, Romance
Point of View:Alternating Third Person
Pages: 422
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add It: Goodreads
four-half-stars

A lady does not smoke cheroot. She does not ride astride. She does not fence or attend duels. She does not fire a pistol, and she never gambles at a gentlemen's club.

Lady Calpurnia Hartwell has always followed the rules, rules that have left her unmarried—and more than a little unsatisfied. And so she's vowed to break the rules and live the life of pleasure she's been missing.

But to dance every dance, to steal a midnight kiss—to do those things, Callie will need a willing partner. Someone who knows everything about rule-breaking. Someone like Gabriel St. John, the Marquess of Ralston—charming and devastatingly handsome, his wicked reputation matched only by his sinful smile.

If she's not careful, she'll break the most important rule of all—the one that says that pleasure-seekers should never fall hopelessly, desperately in love.

You guys, this freaking book.

One of my goals for this year is to write a review for every single book that I read from cover to cover, even re-reads and this was the first book that I re-read this year. It was last month’s book club discussion book but I also read it for my Totally Doable reading challenge and boy am I glad to have revisited these folks because seriously? This book was fantastic!

What a fun book this is. I laughed out loud, I swooned with delight, my heart broke a little bit and in the end, I rejoiced because gah…this book was just good swoony fun.

“I’ve spent twenty-eight years doing what everyone around me expected me to do…being what everyone around me has expected me to be. And it’s horrid to be someone else’s vision of yourself.”

Our Calpurnia, who is affectionately known as Callie is a fixture in the spinster seating section at every ball. She’s a wallflower that sits and watches other ladies dance the night away at the balls with other men. Her younger sister is engaged to a Duke and she was kind of resigned to her life as a spinster until she overhears her younger sisters conversation with her fiance’. Something about that conversation hurts Callie because it’s true? Between that conversation and one she had with her own brother, Callie yearns for adventure. She yearns to live. To be more than a spinster, so she makes a list. A list of adventures she wants to have.

The first item on her list? Kiss someone passionately. Of course, that leads her to the Marquess of Ralston’s home. Ralston is dealing with his own issues at the moment. He just found out that he’s got a long lost sister and the sister is under his care now. He has no idea what to do with this new sister, how to introduce her to society. How to get her ready to introduce her into society but the answer for all of that just showed up on his doorstep, asking for a kiss. Hmm.

Callie’s list cracked me up. From the very beginning, I was so on board with this list. Every single adventure she went on, every single time she got caught made me laugh and laugh and laugh because holy cow, Callie was brave. She was brave and she was determined and those are all things that I admire in a heroine. She put herself out there and she made memories, lived her life the way that she wanted without looking back. You have to admire that. Ralston did. On top of being brave and determined, Callie was extremely normal and incredibly witty. She was my very favorite part of this book and I was rooting for her at every turn. My heart hurt for her as she tried to brave her way through her feelings for Ralston. I just loved her so much.

Ralston was a grumpy hero who I saw great potential in from the very beginning. That scene where he makes a young Callie feel good about herself made me so thirsty to see the two of them fall in love. Don’t get me wrong, he was a cabbage-head from time to time but holy cow does he get right in the end. He won my heart over at the same time he won Callie over and I was rooting for him, too. Ralston was such a great fit for Callie because he didn’t want her to be anything aside from herself. He loved her and even when he was pissing me off by the things he would say and do, I still wanted him for Callie. I still adored him.

I loved the romance between Ralston and Callie because you saw the change in their relationship from friends to lovers. It was a gradual process that started with a bargain and ended with so much more. They were great a part but they were a force to be reckoned with together and I adored the two of them together so much. They were passionate, they were lively and they just worked. This is probably one of my favorite books by Sarah MacLean. It was true the first time I read it and all of these years later, it’s still true. If you haven’t read this book, you should definitely change that.


4.5 out of 5

four-half-stars

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Buddy Review: Hollywood Dirt by Alessandra Torre

Posted January 31, 2017 by Rowena & Bookish Ames in Reviews | 0 Comments

Buddy Review: Hollywood Dirt by Alessandra TorreHollywood Dirt
by Alessandra Torre
Series: Hollywood Dirt #1
Published by Alessandra Torre on September 7th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Point of View:First Person
Pages: 414
Format: eBook
Source: Gifted
Add It: Goodreads

Cole Masten. Abandoned by his superstar wife, Hollywood’s Perfect Husband is now Hollywood’s Sexiest Bachelor: partying hard and screwing even harder. Watch out Los Angeles, there's a new bad boy in town.

Summer Jenkins. That’s me, a small town girl stuck in Quincy, Georgia. I cook some mean chicken and dumplins, can bluff a grown man out of his savings in poker, and was voted Most Friendly my senior year.

We were from different worlds. Our lives shouldn’t have collided. But then Cole Masten read a book about my small town. And six months later, his jet landed on our dusty airstrip, and he brought Hollywood with him.
From the start, I knew he was trouble. For our town. And for me.

Sometimes, opposites just aren’t meant to attract.

Ames: Ok Wena. What did you think of my pick for our January buddy review, Hollywood Dirt? I really enjoyed it and in fact this was my second time reading it.

Rowena: I enjoyed it. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect since it was my first Alessandra Torre book but I was pleased with the book overall. Cole was a freaking douche in the beginning but I liked him and over the course of the book, I loved him more and more.

Summer was a crack up and just all around funny character. I thought she was great and loved how sassy she was. I loved that she didn’t let Cole get away with anything even though she lusted after him something fierce.

So much fun!

Ames: It was so much fun! This was also my first Alessandra Torre book.

I really liked the fish out of water element for Cole. He’s this big Hollywood star who has come to expect everything to be done for him and he’s going through this major personal upheaval in his life. He really met Summer at his lowest point. I like how she didn’t treat him any different just because he was a celebrity. And their chemistry was off the charts! I like that they danced around each other as long as they did. They really got to know each other first.

Also, there’s a pet rooster. I honestly love this book for the pet rooster. That was used to sleeping in the house. LOL

Okay, the reason I wanted to re-read this book and chose it for our buddy review was that I heard it was being made into a movie. The premise of this book is that Cole is in Summer’s small Georgia town to film a movie based on a book he read. So the movie will be based upon a book about a movie being made about a book. I love it! haha

Rowena: YES! I really liked that they didn’t sleep together and then immediately were in love. I thought the way that they circled each other, kept their distance before giving in to the inevitable was great. I really loved that once Cole was all in, there wasn’t any changing of minds or trying to keep their relationship a secret from the masses. Cole was in. He didn’t care about the paparazzi, about Nadia. It was all about Summer, the small town girl who made everyone throw up at her engagement party. Haha.

The scene where Cole goes to the pet shop and he’s asking questions about what he should get for Cocky, and the guy keeps looking at Cole like he’s dumb. “It’s a chicken!” Haha. I loved that Cole kept the rooster and kept him as a pet.

LOL, that’s awesome! Have they done the casting yet? I’m curious to see who will be playing Cole and Summer.

Overall, I really liked this book and all of the characters. I even liked that Summer went to her cheating ex to read over the contract that Cole sent her to sign before agreeing to be in the movie. Summer was freaking great! I adored Ben and Justin and even liked Summer’s Mom.

My grade for this book would be 4.25 out of 5. You?​

Ames: Summer’s shenanigans with regards to her ex and her rehearsal dinner were hilarious. Summer was really a rebel but she made it work with her Southern upbringing. She was such a strong character and that’s really what made this book work for me. She definitely kept Cole guessing and working really hard. I liked her mom too!

Okay, I am giving Hollywood Dirt 4.25 out of 5 as well.

And I’m not sure if the movie process is at the casting stage yet or if the script is still being written. But it’s exciting. I think this would be a fun movie. And having been to Georgia, I could really picture this small town made of millionaires.

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Buddy Review: Managed by Kristen Callihan

Posted January 5, 2017 by Rowena & Bookish Ames in Reviews | 0 Comments

Buddy Review: Managed by Kristen CallihanManaged
by Kristen Callihan
Series: VIP Series #2
Published by Kristen Callihan on November 14th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Point of View:Alternating First Person
Pages: 348
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Buy It: Amazon|Barnes & Noble

It started off as a battle of wits. Me: the ordinary girl with a big mouth against Him: the sexy bastard with a big...ego.

I thought I’d hit the jackpot when I was upgraded to first class on my flight to London.

That is until HE sat next to me. Gabriel Scott: handsome as sin, cold as ice. Nothing and no one gets to him. Ever. He’s a legend in his own right, the manager of the biggest rock band in the world, and an arrogant ass who looks down his nose at me.

I thought I’d give him hell for one, long flight. I didn’t expect to like him. I didn’t expect to want him. But the biggest surprise? He wants me too. Only in a way I didn’t see coming.

If I accept his proposal, I leave myself open to falling for the one man I can’t manage. But I’m tempted to say yes. Because the real man beneath those perfect suits and that cool façade just might be the best thing that’s ever happened to me. And I just might be the only one who can melt the ice around his heart.

Let the battle begin…

Rowena: Our second buddy review will feature Managed by Kristen Callihan, the second book in Callihan’s VIP series. Managed follows Kill John’s manager, Gabriel Scott as he fumbles his way to his happily ever after with the band’s new social media manager, Sophie Darling. The band is on tour and lots of things are popping off left and right, like people falling in love. Scottie is the band manager and he’s the details man. He takes care of everything the boys need so that they can focus their energies on the music.

Scottie has some issues that he works through in this book and Sophie Darling helps him with those issues. I thought it was kind of weird at first but their relationship was just so much fun that I was able to look past a lot of the weirdness that jumpstarted everything.

But first things first, what did you think?

Ames: I really enjoyed it. I like grumpy heroes and from Gabriel’s initial reaction to seeing Sophie in the seat beside his on the plane, I knew he was going to be a grumpus and Sophie was going to be just the woman to shake him up a bit. And she did!

What did you think was weird at first?

Rowena: I ended up really liking both Gabriel and Sophie but I thought it was weird…that Gabriel hired Sophie for that side job. I mean, I know that there are professionals that do that kind of stuff but it’s still pretty weird that hottie McHot Pants Scottie needed to hire someone to cuddle him so he can sleep in peace. But even with that weirdness, I still really enjoyed the romance and getting to know both Gabriel and Sophie.

Gabriel had some serious issues that he worked throughout this book and I didn’t understand some of them (like how he needed to get away from Sophie after she was attacked) but I still enjoyed him as a person. He was one of the good ones and it broke my heart a little at how he didn’t think he mattered as much to everyone around him. The way that he held himself apart from everyone, to protect himself emotionally was just…sigh. Sophie Darling did him a solid by making him realize that he was a lot more important to his loved ones than he thought and when he finally realizes that, I cheered.

Sophie was a fabulous heroine. She wasn’t perfect. She didn’t always do or say the right thing but always, her heart was in the right place. I loved her wit, her determination to do right after the wrong she pulled with Jax before. She was fun, caring and I hurt when Gabriel took off after she was hurt. Gabriel more than made up for all that when he got back. I loved their romance. I want to be the reason someone can sleep peacefully at night. Ha!

What did you think of the romance and both the hero and heroine?

Ames: Gabriel had to make it a business transaction to give himself some distance. That way it was about his need to sleep, not his craving for a connection with someone. He was afraid to let Sophie in. It was weird though. LOL

I loved Sophie. She was the right balance between having a carefree spirit but caring for others. When we find out her connection to Jax at first, I was definitely thrown by that whole thing. But it shows how great all the characters were that they could forgive…and then finding out the truth about that night led to more healing for everyone.

Gabriel. I know I said it but I love grumpy heroes. And he was that. Of course its all a front to keep people away. And you’re right, Sophie was great at showing him that his friends cared about them and that he could let them in. I like that he was willing to let her in. And I loved his loyalty. I could forgive him having a dumb moment at the end of the book. That’s actually a beef I have, that misunderstanding was so predictable. As soon as I read that what’s his name was asking about Sophie, I could see how it would play out and that’s the way it did.

Other than that, I really enjoyed how their relationship developed. That scene where he fed her? Right when she joined the tour? Awwww. He was paying attention.

​Rowena: Yeah, I understood as I kept reading but my initial thought was…weird.

Yeah, the whole misunderstanding was low key dumb. I mean, if he had just taken a moment to process, he would have known better but yeah, to immediately jump to that conclusion made me want to kick him. Still, I loved him. I loved Sophie and I loved everyone in their circle of friends. I can’t wait to read Brenna’s book. That one is going to be sizzling with sexual tension and I’m all about that.

I think what I loved most about both Sophie and Gabriel was the amount of attention they paid to each other. They really grew to know each other and they cared deeply about each other even before they got involved romantically and I liked seeing their relationship evolve in the proper way.

Overall, I enjoyed this book a lot more than I did the first book and it’s got me excited for more. Do we know who is getting their story told next? Whoever it is, I’m ready.

Grade: 4 out of 5​

Ames: I really liked that they paid attention to each other as well. They really meshed as a couple. And I like the rock band setting. All the things that bothered me were minor so I have to give this one a 4 out of 5 as well. I want more from this series! I can’t wait for whoever the next book is about – I like all the characters!

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