Tag: Sarina Bowen

My TBR Pile: March 2019

Posted March 5, 2019 by Rowena in Books, Features | 4 Comments

So, every month I put a list together of the books that I either need to read for review or the books that I want to get around to reading (finally). I’m also trying to be more responsible with my Kindle Unlimited and Audible Romance Package subscriptions so I’m going to post my TBR Pile on the blog so you guys can keep me honest. Before we get to my list for next month, let’s see how I did in February.

Previous Month Stats

Books to Read: 10
Books Read: 8
Books Unread: 2
Pages Read: 3,168 | Hours Listened: 18 hours, 86 minutes
Favorite Read: Huge Deal by Lauren Layne, Devil’s Daughter by Lisa Kleypas
Least Favorite Read: The Assist by Rebecca Jenshak

Once again, I read all but 2 books from my TBR pile for February. I was on track to read them all but I got really sick last week and took an unexpected week-long hiatus to get back on my feet. In that time, I didn’t read much so I fell behind some. Oh well, I’ll just tack those last two books onto my TBR pile for this month.

My favorite reads of the month go to Huge Deal by Lauren Layne, Devil’s Daughter by Lisa Kleypas, and The Risk by Elle Kennedy. I enjoyed all three of these books but I think I enjoyed the first two titles a smidge more than the last but still, all books were fabulous! Loved reading them all so much.

My least favorite read of the month goes to The Assist by Rebecca Jenshak. The writing was a little clunky for me and I didn’t connect with the characters and what happened in the book as much as I was hoping to though I am still planning on reading the next book in the series so that’s something.

I have loads of books to read in March and I’m barely hanging on to my GoodReads Challenge for this year so I need to up my game. I’m looking forward to challenging myself a lot more this coming month than I did last month. Here’s a list of books I plan on reading in March.

March’s TBR Pile

Team Player by Julianna Keyes
Releases on March 28, 2019
Publisher: Self Published
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 291
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley

Don’t hate the player…

BOTTOM NINE

Gwen Scott wants to love her job with the Charleston Thrashers, the MLB team she’s worshiped since she was a kid, but she can’t. Hateful colleagues and mind-numbing work make her days unbearable—until her head for baseball gets her exclusive access to the Thrashers’ clubhouse and she comes face-to-face with Tyler Ashe, the team’s sexy shortstop and baseball’s most ineligible bachelor.

BASES LOADED

Ty has sworn off relationships in order to focus on his all-star career, but with his best friend gone, his team struggling, and the press blaming him for every loss, the most recognizable man in the majors is in a slump. Until he starts spending his time off the field with a stern blonde who recites baseball stats for kicks and sees through his arrogant façade.

TWO OUT

As the Thrashers’ season gets into full swing and Gwen adjusts to her new job, their fun banter and friendly teasing turns into stolen kisses and countless steamy nights. The team’s strict policy against player-staff relationships throws a curve ball into the mix, but they can’t hide from their feelings any more than the most famous man in baseball can hide from the spotlight…

I need to play catch up this month on my review pile. I read some books outside of my TBR pile last month and then I went through a week or two of not reading much of anything which put me behind so this is going to be one of the first books I pick up off my review pile. I enjoyed the one book that I read by Keyes and this one sounds like my kind of romance so I’m all over this one.

Eyes on Me by Rachel Harris
Releases on March 26, 2019
Publisher: Entangled, Entangled Teen
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 320
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley

Look up the word “nerd” and you’ll find Lily Cooper’s picture. She’s got one goal: first stop valedictorian, next stop Harvard. Until a stint in the hospital from too much stress lands her in the last place a klutz like her ever expected to be: salsa dance lessons.

Look up the word “popular” and you’ll find Stone Torres’s picture. His life seems perfect—star of the football team, straight-A student, lots of friends. But his family is struggling to make ends meet, so if pitching in at the Torres dance studio helps, he’ll do it.

When Lily’s dad offers Stone extra cash to volunteer as Lily’s permanent dance partner, he can’t refuse. But with each dip and turn, each moment her hand is in his, his side job starts to feel all too real. But in dance, as in life, one wrong move and someone could get hurt.

I meant to read this last month but that didn’t happen and I’m blaming the time that I got royally sick over some issues I was having with my new prescription. That put me out of commission for an entire day and the rest of the week, I wasn’t feeling too hot so my desire to do anything was next to nil and reading was included in that mess. I’ll knock this one off this month, definitely.

The Austen Playbook (London Celebrities #4) by Lucy Parker
Releases on April 22, 2019
Publisher: Carina Press
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 400
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley

In which experienced West End actress Freddy Carlton takes on an Austen-inspired play, a scandal at a country estate, an enthusiastic search for a passion outside of acting…and the (some people might say icy*) heart of London’s most feared theater critic.

*if those people were being nice

Freddy Carlton knows she should be focusing on her lines for The Austen Playbook, a live-action TV event where viewers choose the outcome of each scene, but her concentration’s been blown. The palatial estate housing the endeavor is now run by the rude (brilliant) critic who’s consistently slammed her performances of late. James “Griff” Ford-Griffin has a penchant for sarcasm, a majestic nose and all the sensitivity of a sledgehammer.

She can’t take her eyes off him.

Griff can hardly focus with a contagious joy fairy flitting about near him, especially when Freddy looks at him like that. His only concern right now should be on shutting down his younger brother’s well-intentioned (disastrous) schemes—or at the very least on the production (not this one) that might save his family home from the banks.

Instead all he can think of is soft skin and vibrant curls.

As he’s reluctantly dragged into her quest to rediscover her passion for the stage and Freddy is drawn into his research on a legendary theater star, the adage about appearances being deceiving proves abundantly true. It’s the unlikely start of something enormous…but a single revelation about the past could derail it all.

We’re getting Freddy’s book and I’m super excited about it. This is on my review pile for March and I’m stoked because I’ve been looking forward to Freddy’s book since the last book in this series. This is a fun and pretty addicting series and I’m so looking forward to more.

You’d be Mine by Erin Hahn
Releases on April 2, 2019
Publisher: Indie Published
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 304
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley

Annie Mathers is America’s sweetheart and heir to a country music legacy full of all the things her Gran warned her about. Superstar Clay Coolidge is most definitely going to end up one of those things.

But unfortunately for Clay, if he can’t convince Annie to join his summer tour, his music label is going to drop him. That’s what happens when your bad boy image turns into bad boy reality. Annie has been avoiding the spotlight after her parents’ tragic death, except on her skyrocketing YouTube channel. Clay’s label wants to land Annie, and Clay has to make it happen.

Swayed by Clay’s undeniable charm and good looks, Annie and her band agree to join the tour. From the start fans want them to be more than just tour mates, and Annie and Clay can’t help but wonder if the fans are right. But if there’s one part of fame Annie wants nothing to do with, it’s a high-profile relationship. She had a front row seat to her parents’ volatile marriage and isn’t interested in repeating history. If only she could convince her heart that Clay, with his painful past and head over heels inducing tenor, isn’t worth the risk.

Erin Hahn’s thrilling debut, You’d Be Mine, asks: can the right song and the perfect summer on the road make two broken hearts whole?

I’ve had this book for review for a few months now and it’s time to get this one read. March is the month that this book will be read and reviewed.

When We Left Cuba by Chanel Cleeton
Releases on April 9, 2019
Publisher: Penguin, Berkley
Genres: Historical, Fiction
Pages: 368
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley

In 1960s Florida, a young Cuban exile will risk her life–and heart–to take back her country in this exhilarating historical novel from the author of Next Year in Havana, a Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick.

Beautiful. Daring. Deadly.

The Cuban Revolution took everything from sugar heiress Beatriz Perez–her family, her people, her country. Recruited by the CIA to infiltrate Fidel Castro’s inner circle and pulled into the dangerous world of espionage, Beatriz is consumed by her quest for revenge and her desire to reclaim the life she lost.

As the Cold War swells like a hurricane over the shores of the Florida Strait, Beatriz is caught between the clash of Cuban American politics and the perils of a forbidden affair with a powerful man driven by ambitions of his own. When the ever-changing tides of history threaten everything she has fought for, she must make a choice between her past and future–but the wrong move could cost Beatriz everything–not just the island she loves, but also the man who has stolen her heart…

Another review book but it’s also a book that I’ve been seeing such great early reviews for so I’m pretty stoked to be getting to this one. I’ll probably be reading the first book too. I can’t wait.

The Key to Happily Ever After by Tif Marcelo
Releases on April 23, 2019
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, Gallery
Genres: Contemporary, Women’s Fiction
Pages: 320
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley

A charming romantic comedy about three sisters who are struggling to keep the family wedding planning business afloat—all the while trying to write their own happily-ever-afters in the process.

All’s fair in love and business.

The de la Rosa family and their wedding planning business have been creating happily ever afters in the Washington, DC area for years, making even the most difficult bride’s day a fairytale. But when their parents announce their retirement, the sisters—Marisol, Janelyn, and Pearl—are determined to take over the business themselves.

But the sisters quickly discover that the wedding business isn’t all rings and roses. There are brides whose moods can change at the drop of a hat; grooms who want to control every part of the process; and couples who argue until their big day. As emotions run high, the de la Rosa sisters quickly realize one thing: even when disaster strikes—whether it’s a wardrobe malfunction or a snowmageddon in the middle of a spring wedding—they’ll always have each other.

Perfect for fans of the witty and engaging novels of Amy E. Reichert and Susan Mallery, The Key to Happily Ever After is a fresh romantic comedy that celebrates the crucial and profound power of sisterhood.

I’ve been looking forward to this book for some time as well and it’s up for review so I’ll be knocking this one out, hopefully.

Fumbled (Play Book #2) by Alexa Martin
Releases on April 23, 2019
Publisher: Penguin, Berkley
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 336
Format: earc
Source: NetGalley

A second chance doesn’t guarantee a touchdown in this new contemporary romance from the author of Intercepted.

Single-mother Poppy Patterson moved across the country when she was sixteen and pregnant to find a new normal. After years of hard work, she’s built a life she loves. It may include a job at a nightclub, weekend soccer games, and more stretch marks than she anticipated, but it’s all hers, and nobody can take that away. Well, except for one person.

T.K. Moore, the starting wide receiver for the Denver Mustangs, dreamt his entire life about being in the NFL. His world is football, parties, and women. Maybe at one point he thought his future would play out with his high school sweetheart by his side, but Poppy is long gone and he’s moved on.

When Poppy and TK cross paths in the most unlikely of places, emotions they’ve suppressed for years come rushing back. But with all the secrets they never told each other lying between them, they’ll need more than a dating playbook to help them navigate their relationship.

I love me some sports romances and this one sounds like a good one so I’m going to be all over this one, for sure. If I can fit in a read of the first book before I jump into this one, that will be ideal but more than anything, I need to read this one so wish me luck on that.

Overnight Sensation (Brooklyn Bruisers #5) by Sarina Bowen
Released on January 22, 2019
Publisher: Indie Published, Tuxbury Publishing LLC
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 338
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased

Everyone knows the girl is off limits. But it’s so good to be bad.

There’s this girl…

Heidi and I have been trading hungry looks all year, and everything she does makes me smile. But I don’t do girlfriends, and I certainly can’t get involved with the league commissioner’s daughter. I need shots on goal, not a hookup and a widely misunderstood paparazzi photo.

Can I resist her, though? The way she teases me should be a game penalty for interference with my libido.

There’s this guy…

Jason wants me, but he won’t admit it. That man looks at me the way a hockey player eyes the lunch buffet after practice—and I love it.

But when victory is finally within my grasp, I blow it and humiliate myself. Even then I can’t even avoid him—as the team intern, I’m in constant view of his hard body and cocky smile.
I need another chance. Jason Castro is about to learn the true meaning of an overnight sensation.

Holly and I will be reading and reviewing this book together on Book Binge next month so be on the lookout for that. I’ve been meaning to read this ever since it showed up on my kindle, on the release day but I never got around to it. Coulda, shoulda, woulda but didn’t but not anymore…I’m reading this shit in March.

The Right Swipe (Modern Love #1) by Alisha Rai
Releases on July 2, 2019
Publisher: Harper Collins
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss

Alisha Rai returns with the first book in her sizzling new Modern Love series, in which two rival dating app creators find themselves at odds in the boardroom but in sync in the bedroom.

Rhiannon Hunter may have revolutionized romance in the digital world, but in real life she only swipes right on her career—and the occasional hookup. The cynical dating app creator controls her love life with a few key rules:

– Nude pics are by invitation only
– If someone stands you up, block them with extreme prejudice
– Protect your heart

Only there aren’t any rules to govern her attraction to her newest match, former pro-football player Samson Lima. The sexy and seemingly sweet hunk woos her one magical night… and disappears.

Rhi thought she’d buried her hurt over Samson ghosting her, until he suddenly surfaces months later, still big, still beautiful—and in league with a business rival. He says he won’t fumble their second chance, but she’s wary. A temporary physical partnership is one thing, but a merger of hearts? Surely that’s too high a risk…

I’m putting this book on my TBR pile for March because dude, I didn’t know that the hero in this book was Samoan. I’m Samoan and I’ve been dying for romances with characters just like me so I’m making room for this one on my TBR pile for next month because finally, my brown folks are getting some love and I’m itching to see how this Samoan character plays out. I’m excited!

The Last Letter by Rebecca Yarros
Released on February 26, 2019
Publisher: Entangled, Entangled Amara
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 432
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased

Beckett,

If you’re reading this, well, you know the last-letter drill. You made it. I didn’t. Get off the guilt train, because I know if there was any chance you could have saved me, you would have.

I need one thing from you: get out of the army and get to Telluride.

My little sister Ella’s raising the twins alone. She’s too independent and won’t accept help easily, but she has lost our grandmother, our parents, and now me. It’s too much for anyone to endure. It’s not fair.

And here’s the kicker: there’s something else you don’t know that’s tearing her family apart. She’s going to need help.

So if I’m gone, that means I can’t be there for Ella. I can’t help them through this. But you can. So I’m begging you, as my best friend, go take care of my sister, my family.

Please don’t make her go through it alone.

Ryan

Ames and I will be reviewing this together here on this blog in the month of March as Ames has chosen it for our buddy review. I’d never heard of this book or this author before so it’ll be a new to me delight, fingers crossed. Stay tuned for that.

Magic Bites (Kate Daniels #1) by Ilona Andrews
Released on March 27, 2007
Publisher: Penguin, Ace
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 260
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased

Atlanta would be a nice place to live, if it weren’t for the magic…

When the magic is up, rogue mages cast their spells and monsters appear, while guns refuse to fire and cars fail to start. But then technology returns, and the magic recedes as unpredictably as it arose, leaving all kinds of paranormal problems in its wake.

Kate Daniels is a down-on-her-luck mercenary who makes her living cleaning up these magical problems. But when Kate’s guardian is murdered, her quest for justice draws her into a power struggle between two strong factions within Atlanta’s magic circles.

The Masters of the Dead, necromancers who can control vampires, and the Pack, a paramilitary clan of shapechangers, blame each other for a series of bizarre killings—and the death of Kate’s guardian may be part of the same mystery. Pressured by both sides to find the killer, Kate realizes she’s way out of her league—but she wouldn’t have it any other way…

The last book on my TBR pile for this month is my featured review book for Book Binge. Casee, Holly, and I will be reading and reviewing this together over there so I’ll definitely be reading this one. I’m pretty stoked about this read because I’ve been wanting to start the Kate Daniels series for ages and now I have to. Yippy skippy!

What books are on your TBR pile for March? Anything good that I should keep my eye out on? Please share the books you have on deck to read next month.


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Book Boyfriend: Benito Rossi from Fireworks by Sarina Bowen

Posted December 7, 2018 by Rowena in Features | 0 Comments

This feature keeps changing because I’m trying different things out but I think I’m going to stick with this format from here on out. Thanks for coming along this ride until I figure out what the hell I want to do here. LOL.

Book Boyfriend: Benito Rossi from Fireworks by Sarina BowenFireworks by Sarina Bowen
Series: True North #6
Also in this series: Speakeasy
Published by Indie Published, Tuxbury Publishing LLC on November 13, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Point of View: Alternating First Person
Pages: 343
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add It: Goodreads
four-half-stars

Skye Copeland is on paid leave from her broadcasting job after accidentally drawing a pecker on the traffic map.

Let that sink in. Like it’s her fault the traffic pattern that day created a perfect schlong?

Skye isn’t laughing. She needs this job. And that’s the only reason she’s agreed to chase down a story in her least favorite place—that hell on earth known as Vermont.

A quick trip. In and out. Much like - never mind. Skye can sneak into the town that once tried to break her, get the story and get back into the good graces of her producer. Easy peasy.

Except things go sideways even as she sets foot over the county line. Her step-sister is on the run from a violent drug dealer. And the cop on the case is none other than Benito Rossi, the man who broke her teenage heart.

His dark brown eyes still tear her apart. And even as she steels herself to finally tell him off after twelve years, the old fireworks are still there.

Things are about to go boom.

This week’s book boyfriend is Benito Rossi from Fireworks by Sarina Bowen. Benito is brother to Zara and Alec Rossi and he’s the one that has been holding a torch for the girl that got away. He served time in the military before returning home to become a detective. There hasn’t been a special someone for him because his person disappeared from his life on the night of his senior prom.

I knew that I would love Benito after meeting him in his siblings books. I knew that he was going to win me over in such a big way and Sarina Bowen delivered the goods because I wasn’t wrong. I adored Ben in his book so, so much.

When Ben sees Skye again for the first time since the night she disappeared from town, I was excited because he knew that he wasn’t going to let her run away again. They were due for some talking and he was going to make sure that it happened. He didn’t care that she had the worst possible timing or that she might be involved in an investigation he was heading up. This was Skye. His Skye and he wasn’t going to fail again.

Every single one of these quotes from Ben’s book had me swooning with delight because goodness, he was the bomb and I loved the way that he loved and cared about Skye. How he always cared about her.

“When Skye had come into my life, I’d wanted her from the first second. But we can’t always get what we want. I realized right away that Skye hadn’t needed a horny teenage boy trying to get under her skirt. She’d needed a friend and a protector. It had been easy to be her friend, and harder to keep her safe. Ultimately I’d failed at both, and that’s how I lost her. I can’t fail again.

But, Jesus Christ, the love of my life has the worst possible timing.”

“I will keep you safe and out of trouble if I can.”

I blink. It’s hard to focus on what he’s saying when our bodies are touching. He looks bigger and older but just the same, too. Except for that beard that briefly tickled my jaw. “What kind of trouble?”

“Doesn’t matter.” His voice is thick. “It never did. I’m here for that. I’m here for you.”

“I want the chance to prove you wrong. One chance. One night.”

“One night,” she says slowly. “For…” She doesn’t even finish the sentence. Sixteen-year-old Skye never said the word sex, and couldn’t refer to it without blushing. It appears that twenty-eight-year-old Skye is the same.

“Fireworks,” I whisper, trying not to scare her. “With me.”

If you’re looking for a great, steamy second chance romance, you should give this book a go. Sarina Bowen delivers the goods here and she’ll have you cheering for Benito and Skye to get together again. She’s really good at writing lovable characters with a sweet romance that will have you excited to turn the page. It’s no different with this book. Go forth and read…it’s good, I promise!

Hero Casting

Buy the Book

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

True North Series

Who is your book boyfriend this week? The guy that you have an insane crush on from the books you read? Do you love and adore Benito Rossi as much as I do?

four-half-stars


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Review: The Accidentals by Sarina Bowen

Posted August 14, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 8 Comments

Review: The Accidentals by Sarina BowenThe Accidentals by Sarina Bowen
Published by Indie Published, Tuxbury Publishing LLC on July 10, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Point of View: First Person
Pages: 320
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Add It: Goodreads
four-stars

A YA novel from USA Today bestselling author Sarina Bowen.

Never ask a question unless you’re sure you want the truth.

I’ve been listening to my father sing for my whole life. I carry him in my pocket on my mp3 player. It’s just that we’ve never met face to face.

My mother would never tell me how I came to be, or why my rock star father and I have never met. I thought it was her only secret. I was wrong.

When she dies, he finally appears. Suddenly I have a first class ticket into my father’s exclusive world. A world I don’t want any part of – not at this cost.

Only three things keep me going: my a cappella singing group, a swoony blue-eyed boy named Jake, and the burning questions in my soul.


There’s a secret shame that comes from being an unwanted child. It drags me down, and puts distance between me and the boy I love.

My father is the only one alive who knows my history. I need the truth, even if it scares me.

Sarina Bowen has been a staple on my go to authors for great contemporary romances as well as New Adult romances. Now she’s trying her hand at Young Adult stories and The Accidentals is her first shot out of that particular gate. I’m happy to report that Sarina Bowen continues to shine in whatever writing endeavor she undertakes because I really enjoyed The Accidentals.

Rachel’s father in one of the most popular country singers in the country and she knows every single song he’s ever released, she knows so many little tidbits about him but she’s never met him in real life until her mother dies and she is given over to his care. After years and years from watching her father from afar, she’s thrown into his world while she is grieving her dead mother and she’s floundering. The only thing holding her above water is her acceptance letter to the private school that her mother attended when she was her age. She has been looking forward to going to this school for years and now that she’s finally able to go, she’s hoping for a fresh start that will help her move on from the hurt and the awkwardness of getting to know the one person that should have been in your life the whole time.

This book is told in first person, from Rachel’s perspective and being inside her head wasn’t always easy. She’s going through some really personal things and my heart hurt for her at every turn in the beginning.

There was a lot to like in this book. Seeing Rachel grow into who she was meant to be was pretty great and seeing her find her way in a new place, surrounded by new people both at school and at home was neat too because it really showed how resilient she was. She wasn’t perfect in that I did find myself frustrated with her from time to time but in the end, when it mattered, I really liked her character and who she was.

Sarina Bowen introduced us to a great cast of characters that really made this story pop just that much more. From Haze to Jake to Henry and just everyone that we meet in this book brought something to the story and I was glad to have met them all. There was an interesting mix of characters and that was cool.

As an L.A. native who lives so very close to Manhattan Beach, it was great to see a setting so close to home and picture everything so perfectly in my mind. Sarina Bowen’s efforts with this one really paid off because I enjoyed this one from beginning to end. I definitely recommend.

Final Grade

4 out of 5

four-stars


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