Tag: Sarah Dessen

The Wednesday Post (13)

Posted June 5, 2019 by Rowena in Books | 8 Comments

Can’t Wait Wednesday is hosted by Tessa over at Wishful Endings and it was based on Waiting on Wednesday that was hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme that is hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

I decided that I’m going to do a mashup of the Can’t Wait Wednesday and WWW Wednesday posts here on my blog. I’m bringing them together and calling it The Wednesday Post. Here’s what I’m up to this week.

WWW Wednesday

What did you recently finish reading?

Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin

This was great. It was colorful and had just the right amount of angst to go with charming and smart characters and really, it just rocked my socks. I’m so glad that I read it.

What are you currently reading?

If It Makes You Happy by Claire Kann

I didn’t get a chance to read last night or I would have been finished with this one but so far, I’m really liking it. Winnie is the bomb and her Mama Bear attitude is just fantastic. I’m so rooting for her right now.

What do you think you’ll read next?

The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen

I will always want to read more Sarah Dessen so I’m pretty stoked to finally jump into this one. I just know that I’m going to love it.

Can’t Wait Wednesday
The Wednesday Post (13)The Wallflower Wager by Tessa Dare
Series: Girl Meets Duke #3
Published by Harper Collins, Avon on August 13, 2019
Genres: Historical, Romance
Point of View: Alternating Third Person
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Add It: Goodreads

They call him the Duke of Ruin.

To an undaunted wallflower, he's just the beast next door.

Wealthy and ruthless, Gabriel Duke clawed his way from the lowliest slums to the pinnacle of high society—and now he wants to get even.

Loyal and passionate, Lady Penelope Campion never met a lost or wounded creature she wouldn’t take into her home and her heart.

When her imposing—and attractive—new neighbor demands she clear out the rescued animals, Penny sets him a challenge. She will part with her precious charges, if he can find them loving homes.

Done, Gabriel says. How hard can it be to find homes for a few kittens?

And a two-legged dog.

And a foul-mouthed parrot.

And a goat, an otter, a hedgehog . . .

Easier said than done, for a cold-blooded bastard who wouldn’t know a loving home from a workhouse. Soon he’s covered in cat hair, knee-deep in adorable, and bewitched by a shyly pretty spinster who defies his every attempt to resist. Now she’s set her mind and heart on saving him.

Not if he ruins her first.

Tessa Dare never steers me wrong with fantastic historical romances so I will probably always want to read her stuff. I’m really enjoying this series and I just know this book is going to be just as great as the other books in this series and I can’t wait to read it.

The Wallflower Wager comes out on August 13, 2019 so mark your calendars, lovely readers! I’m sure this book isn’t to be missed!

So, what are you reading this week? Anything good? Anything that you want to rant about?
Are you looking forward to The Wallflower Wager? What other books are you looking forward to releasing this year?

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The Wednesday Post (10)

Posted April 10, 2019 by Rowena in Books, Features | 2 Comments

Can’t Wait Wednesday is hosted by Tessa over at Wishful Endings and it was based on Waiting on Wednesday that was hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme that is hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

I decided that I’m going to do a mashup of the Can’t Wait Wednesday and WWW Wednesday posts here on my blog. I’m bringing them together and calling it The Wednesday Post. Here’s what I’m up to this week.

WWW Wednesday

What did you recently finish reading?

Fumbled by Alexa Martin | The Shameless Hour by Sarina Bowen

I finished Fumbled last night and The Shameless Hour the night before last night. Both books were great reads and I’m super glad that I requested Fumbled for review. Poppy could have been me. She even talks like me and I really enjoyed seeing her with Ace and Big Ace. The romance was fantastic, the dialogue was real and I really need to go back and read Intercepted. Alexa Martin has made herself nice and comfy on my auto-buy list with just this one book. Total score for me.

Ever since Sarina Bowen put her Ivy Years series on Kindle Unlimited, I’ve been binge reading these books during the day at work. I love this series and it continues to be a favorite of mine. I liked Bella’s story a lot more with this reading than I did the first time and I can’t wait to jump into my work re-read of DJ and Lianne.

What are you currently reading?

Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews | Hook Shot by Kennedy Ryan

What do you think you’ll read next?

Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs | The Bride Test by Helen Hoang

Can’t Wait Wednesday

I will always look forward to new releases by Sarah Dessen. She writes the kind of stories that I absolutely love and always want to read. This upcoming release sounds like a great addition to her back list and I can’t wait to dig into my review copy of it. Woot!

The Wednesday Post (10)The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen
Published by Harper Collins on June 4, 2019
Genres: Young Adult
Point of View: First Person
Pages: 400
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Amazon|Barnes & Noble
Add It: Goodreads

Emma Saylor doesn’t remember a lot about her mother, who died when she was ten. But she does remember the stories her mom told her about the big lake that went on forever, with cold, clear water and mossy trees at the edges.

Now it’s just Emma and her dad, and life is good, if a little predictable…until Emma is unexpectedly sent to spend the summer with her mother’s family—her grandmother and cousins she hasn’t seen since she was a little girl.

When Emma arrives at North Lake, she realizes there are actually two very different communities there. Her mother grew up in working class North Lake, while her dad spent summers in the wealthier Lake North resort. The more time Emma spends there, the more it starts to feel like she is divided into two people as well. To her father, she is Emma. But to her new family, she is Saylor, the name her mother always called her.

Then there’s Roo, the boy who was her very best friend when she was little. Roo holds the key to her family’s history, and slowly, he helps her put the pieces together about her past. It’s hard not to get caught up in the magic of North Lake—and Saylor finds herself falling under Roo’s spell as well.

For Saylor, it’s like a whole new world is opening up to her. But when it’s time to go back home, which side of her will win out?

So, what are you reading this week? Anything good? Anything that you want to rant about?
Are you looking forward to The Rest of the Story? What other books are you looking forward to releasing this year?

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Buddy Review: Once and For All by Sarah Dessen

Posted December 11, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Buddy Review: Once and For All by Sarah DessenOnce and for All by Sarah Dessen
Published by Penguin, Viking Books for Young Readers on June 6, 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Point of View: First Person
Pages: 358
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add It: Goodreads
four-stars

As bubbly as champagne and delectable as wedding cake, Once and for All, Sarah Dessen's thirteenth novel, is set in the world of wedding planning, where crises are routine.

Louna, daughter of famed wedding planner Natalie Barrett, has seen every sort of wedding: on the beach, at historic mansions, in fancy hotels and clubs. Perhaps that's why she's cynical about happily-ever-after endings, especially since her own first love ended tragically. When Louna meets charming, happy-go-lucky serial dater Ambrose, she holds him at arm's length. But Ambrose isn't about to be discouraged, now that he's met the one girl he really wants.

Sarah Dessen’s many, many fans will adore her latest, a richly satisfying, enormously entertaining story that has everything—humor, romance, and an ending both happy and imperfect, just like life itself.

You guys, before we jump into our monthly buddy review of Once and For All by Sarah Dessen, please join me in wishing one of my favorite book pimps, Ames, a very happy birthday as today is her special day!!

I hope you have a brilliant day because you’re a brilliant friend and deserve all the brilliant things in the world. Big hugs from California and don’t freeze too much in that Canadian madness that is winter. Love you long time, Ames!

Here’s some birthday Bana for you sweets!

Now…on to the review.

Louna Barrett is working the summer before her first year of college for her mother’s wedding planning business. She’s busy preparing for events and spending as much time with her high school friend Jilly before she’s off to another city for school. She is in no way looking for any kind of romantic entanglements, even though Jilly keeps trying to get her to put herself out there. Louna had an amazing boyfriend but that relationship ended in tragedy. But when Louna meets Ambrose at a wedding, will she be ready to open herself up to new possibilities?

Ames: All right Wena, what did you think of Once and For All.

Rowena: I enjoyed this one. I thought it was a good one to read after coming back from a long Sarah Dessen hiatus. I enjoyed getting to know Louna and while Ambrose was a bit much at times (all of that girl juggling), I still really liked him as a character. I thought he was good for Louna too. The bet was fun and meant to get them both out of their comfort zone, not meant to hurt anyone at all so I was okay with it.

What did you think?

Ames: I had mixed reactions to this. First of all, its been a looooong time since I read Sarah Dessen. Like maybe 3 or 4 years. But having starting this book, I felt like Louna was a ‘typical’ SD heroine – and by the end of the book she really is. However, I liked the world Sarah created for us, with Louna’s wedding planning mom and all that went along with it. I really enjoyed that. And Ambrose was a fun character. I love that he rescued a dog and I agree, the girl juggling was a bit much but he was a great guy underneath it all.

My main complaint comes with the relationship between Ambrose and Louna. Yes they had a bet (that was fun, I liked that) but I honestly didn’t feel any sparks between them. I didn’t see the way Ambrose acted towards her as a guy who was interested. So when the big reveal came at the end? I was like “WTH, for reals?” So I think if there had been a bit more there, I would have believed it more. Also, the way she freaked out? That was over the top for me.

Rowena: Yes, I agree about how interesting the world of wedding planning was and I thought Dessen captured that part of the book really well and you’re definitely right about Louna being a typical Sarah Dessen heroine because I felt the same way about her character. I remember thinking while I was reading the book, “Here we go, another Sarah Dessen heroine that is going to annoy the snot out of me” but in the end, I liked her so it was all good for me. I did think that the whole Ben thing was pretty dumb. Like, really, really dumb.

Other than that though, I could feel the vibes from Ambrose for Louna…or maybe my romance-loving heart pictured it all there because I wanted them to get together? *shrugs* Either way, I still enjoyed this one. Was there anything else that you didn’t care for?

Ames: Seriously, if I hadn’t read the blurb and realized Ambrose was supposed to be the love interest, I wouldn’t have expected it. I felt like William telling Louna that Ambrose was into her even made me realize he was…I honestly didn’t see it before William said something. AND what made Louna different to Ambrose from all the other girls? What made her someone he wanted to commit to instead of just enjoying all the beginning parts of a relationship…I wanted more in regards to that relationship. However, I didn’t hate the book.

I thought Crawford, Jilly’s younger brother, was super cute. The way he called out Jilly for not wanting to spend time with Ben and Louna had me cracking up.

I’m giving Once and For All a 3.75 out of 5. What about you?

Rowena: I thought Ambrose was taken with Louna from the very beginning. I could see his interest in her when she walked right up to him at his Mom’s wedding and dragged him away from that girl he was talking to. He wasn’t used to girls being mad at him, well girls that weren’t related to him so I bought his interest and crush on her from the jump. I think because the entire book is from Louna’s POV, it’s harder to get what Ambrose feels and what he thought. I would have liked Ambrose’s POV.

I adored Crawford and the rest of Jilly’s family. It would have been nice to get more from them as I thought they were more interesting than Louna’s family but all in all, I can’t complain. I enjoyed it all so I give this book a 4 out of 5 stars.

Final Grade

Ames: 3.75 out of 5
Rowena: 4 out of 5

four-stars

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Throwback Thursday: Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

Posted September 6, 2018 by Rowena in Features, Reviews | 4 Comments

Each week, I’ll be writing a review for an oldie but goodie that I’ve read through again to see if these books are holding up for me. I’m a different person than I was when I read these books, older and wiser (at least I hope) so I’m curious to see if books that I used to love can stand the test of time.

Throwback Thursday: Just Listen by Sarah DessenJust Listen by Sarah Dessen
Published by Penguin, Viking Books for Young Readers on April 6, 2006
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Point of View: First Person
Pages: 371
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add It: Goodreads
four-stars

Last year, Annabel was "the girl who has everything" — at least that's the part she played in the television commercial for Kopf's Department Store.

This year, she's the girl who has nothing: no best friend because mean-but-exciting Sophie dropped her, no peace at home since her older sister became anorexic, and no one to sit with at lunch. Until she meets Owen Armstrong.

Tall, dark, and music-obsessed, Owen is a reformed bad boy with a commitment to truth-telling. With Owen's help, maybe Annabel can face what happened the night she and Sophie stopped being friends.

This story follows Annabelle Greene as she makes her way back to school after a summer spent being away from everyone and anyone from school. Including her ex-best friend Sophie. Now she’s back at school and has to face everyone that she hasn’t seen in months and she also has to deal with the fact that nobody likes her anymore.

Annabelle’s life is anything but simple. She’s got family issues she’s dealing with and she’s got to deal with the fact that she has no friends at school anymore except for the kid who’s got anger issues, Owen Armstrong. Annabelle is known for playing popular girls on commercials who have it all together but her real life is anything but. She’s the youngest of three girls and she couldn’t be any more different from her sisters. Her older sister Kristen is the loud and outspoken sister while her sister Whitney is more reserved. Annabelle has the kind of personality where she can fade into the background without too much effort. She’s just there. She’s nice and friendly. She doesn’t do well with confrontation so she goes out of her way to avoid fights.

When her best friend Sophie gets mad at her, instead of trying to make things right or explain herself, she just lets Sophie be pissed off and she kind of caves into herself. She hides from everyone and it’s not until Owen Armstrong comes along and changes her slowly but surely that things start to look up for Annabelle.

Owen good for Annabelle. From his radio show to the cd’s that he made for her and just everything about him was good for her…until she messes things up and chases him away.

The thing about Sarah Dessen is she writes characters and conflict really well. Her stories stand out for me because every single one of her books feels real. I can see these kinds of things happening and in some cases, I have seen these things happen. The characters in her books suffer from the same things that I remember suffering from in high school and all I want is to give them a little nudge in the right direction. I love her characters and even though Annabelle drove me up the wall sometimes, I never once disliked her. She felt like a little sister to me and I just adored the hell out of her.

But what really made this book for me was Owen. Man but I loved that boy. I thought he was such a great character and wonderful addition to an already fantastic story. His radio station never failed to bring a smile to my face and I just adored him to pieces.

The bond that formed between Annabelle and Owen was too cute for words and while this is not my favorite Sarah Dessen book, it’s one of them and Owen was a huge part of that.

Buy the Book

AMAZON || BARNES AND NOBLE || GOOGLE BOOKS || KOBO || THE RIPPED BODICE

Final Grade

4 out of 5

four-stars

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Top 5 Wednesday: Gateway Books to Your Favorite Genre

Posted September 28, 2016 by Rowena in Features | 12 Comments

T5W

Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey at Ginger Reads Lainey but is hosted by Sam at Thoughts on Tomes. You can read more about this meme on the Goodreads Group here.

This weeks topic is:

September 28: Gateway Books to Your Favorite Genre

–What books do you think are good to introduce people to your favorite genre? If you have more than one favorite genre, feel free to split it up to cover both.

My favorite genre is contemporary romance. It doesn’t really matter if it’s Young Adult, New Adult or Adult. I just love contemporary romances so this was pretty easy for me. Here are the books I would place on my starter kits to introduce new readers to my favorite genre.

1. The Deal by Elle Kennedy (New Adult).

She’s about to make a deal with the college bad boy…

Hannah Wells has finally found someone who turns her on. But while she might be confident in every other area of her life, she’s carting around a full set of baggage when it comes to sex and seduction. If she wants to get her crush’s attention, she’ll have to step out of her comfort zone and make him take notice…even if it means tutoring the annoying, childish, cocky captain of the hockey team in exchange for a pretend date.

…and it’s going to be oh so good

All Garrett Graham has ever wanted is to play professional hockey after graduation, but his plummeting GPA is threatening everything he’s worked so hard for. If helping a sarcastic brunette make another guy jealous will help him secure his position on the team, he’s all for it. But when one unexpected kiss leads to the wildest sex of both their lives, it doesn’t take long for Garrett to realize that pretend isn’t going to cut it. Now he just has to convince Hannah that the man she wants looks a lot like him.

Is it really a surprise that this book is in my contemporary romance starter kit? I mean, I feel like I talk about this book every week. I would apologize to you guys but…eff it, I love this book and it belongs in my starter kit. I’ve started my friends off on their reading journey with this book and I haven’t had any complaints yet. Lots of love for this book, author and series.


2. Just the Sexiest Man Alive by Julie James (Adult).

No woman could resist him—except the one he wanted most…

Cool, Calm, Collected…

Nothing fazes Taylor Donovan. In the courtroom she never lets the opposition see her sweat. In her personal life, she never lets any man rattle her—not even her cheating ex-fiancé. So when she’s assigned to coach People’s “Sexiest Man Alive” for his role in his next big legal thriller, she refuses to fall for the Hollywood heartthrob’s charms. Even if he is the Jason Andrews.

Confident, Famous, Irresistible…

Jason Andrews is used to having women fall at his feet. When Taylor Donovan gives him the cold shoulder, he’s thrown for a loop. She’s unlike any other woman he’s ever met: uninterested in the limelight, seemingly immune to his advances, and shockingly capable of saying no to him. She’s the perfect challenge. And the more she rejects him, the more he begins to realize she may just be his perfect match.

This is a good choice for new to romance readers. Some people that love romantic comedy movies but don’t really know how they’d like those steamy sexy time scenes. This will introduce them to the character development that we love so much in romance novels without all of the steamy scenes. Some people need to work themselves up to that stuff and this works out perfectly for those guys.


3. The Truth about Forever by Sarah Dessen (Young Adult).

There are alternate cover editions for this ISBN here and here.

A long, hot summer…

That’s what Macy has to look forward to while her boyfriend, Jason, is away at Brain Camp. Days will be spent at a boring job in the library, evenings will be filled with vocabulary drills for the SATs, and spare time will be passed with her mother, the two of them sharing a silent grief at the traumatic loss of Macy’s father.

But sometimes, unexpected things can happen—things such as the catering job at Wish, with its fun-loving, chaotic crew. Or her sister’s project of renovating the neglected beach house, awakening long-buried memories. Things such as meeting Wes, a boy with a past, a taste for Truth-telling, and an amazing artistic talent, the kind of boy who could turn any girl’s world upside down. As Macy ventures out of her shell, she begins to question her sheltered life.

Is it really always better to be safe than sorry?

This book hits me in the feels every single time that I read it because it’s a character driven book that has a cute romance that gets me every time. It also makes me want to read more of the same every time I re-read it so it’s a favorite of mine to recommend because I’m always hopeful that others will love and want to read more books like it.


4. After the Kiss by Lauren Layne (Adult).

Lauren Layne kicks off her Sex, Love & Stiletto series with a delightful short novel! In After the Kiss, the star columnist of Stiletto magazine will do anything for a story. Anything . . . except fall in love.

Julie Greene loves flings. Loves steamy first dates, sizzling first kisses, and every now and then, that first sexy romp between the sheets. Comfy pants, sleepy Sundays, movie nights on the couch? Shudder. But when Julie gets assigned the hardest story of her career—a first-person account of that magical shift between dating and “I do”—she’ll need a man brave enough to give a total commitment-phobe a chance at more.

Normally, Mitchell Forbes would be exactly that man. A devastatingly hot workaholic who tends to stay in relationships for far too long, he should be the perfect subject for Julie’s “research.” But what Julie doesn’t know is that Mitchell is looking to cut loose for once in his life. And the leggy journalist notorious for avoiding love is exactly the type of no-strings fling he’s looking for. In other words, Mitchell is the polar opposite of what Julie needs right now. And, at the same time, he’s exactly what she wants.

Lauren Layne is an author that needs to be read by everyone interested in contemporary romances with compelling characters, strong friendships and all around great romance. She is one of my favoritest authors ever and she contemporary romance game stays strong with every new release. After the Kiss is a great place to start anyone Lauren Layne’s reading adventure.


5. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins (Young Adult).

Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris–until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Étienne has it all…including a serious girlfriend.

But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?

This is another fabulous contemporary romance for young readers that I fell in absolute love with. I highly recommend this book for any of you guys who wants a cute young love romance to read. So good!

What books would make it on to your gateway to your favorite genres list?

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