Tag: Self Published

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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Book Boyfriend: Raj Sen from Rebel Hard by Nalini Singh

Posted November 2, 2018 by Rowena in Features | 10 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: Raj Sen from Rebel Hard by Nalini SinghRebel Hard by Nalini Singh
Series: Hard Play #2
Published by Nalini Singh on September 18, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Point of View: Alternating Third Person
Pages: 409
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add It: Goodreads
four-stars

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh continues her Hard Play series with a sweet, sexy romance featuring big, fat, OTT weddings, a meddling grandma, and a too-serious hero who needs to be unbuttoned…

Nayna Sharma agreed to an arranged marriage in the hope it would heal the fractures in her beloved family… only to realize too late that a traditional marriage is her personal nightmare. Panicked, she throws caution to the winds, puts on the tiniest dress she can find, and ends up in the arms of a tall, rough-edged hunk of a man who has abs of steel—and who she manages to mortally insult between one kiss and the next.

Abandoned as a child, then adopted into a loving family, Raj Sen believes in tradition, in continuity. Some might call him stiff and old-fashioned, but he knows what he wants—and it’s a life defined by rules… yet he can’t stop thinking about the infuriating and sexy woman who kissed him in the moonlight then disappeared. When his parents spring an introduction on him, the last woman he expects is her. Beautiful. Maddening. A rulebreaker in the making.

He’s all wrong for her. She’s all wrong for him. And love is about to make rebels of them both.

This week’s book boyfriend is Raj Sen from Rebel Hard by Nalini Singh. Rebel Hard is the second book in Singh’s Hard Play series and he’s my book boyfriend this week because I read this book weeks ago and Raj is still one of my favorite heroes that I read in the month of October.

Rebel Hard is a diverse romance that I connected with on so many levels. The Indian culture and the Polynesian culture are kind of similar in the way that they treat their elders and the way that they think about their spouses and futures. Raj’s sense of tradition and his longing to wed an Indian woman and lead a traditional Indian life is something that I understood. I know a lot of Samoans who want to marry other Samoans to lead and bring up their kids in the Samoan way. I really admired Raj for how much he came to love Nayna and his attitude toward the kind of future they could have together.

There wasn’t anything that he wouldn’t do for her and I loved the lengths that he went to, to make sure she knew that her future was safe and hers to choose. All he wanted was to be by her side through it all. There’s a part in the book where Raj thinks this:

Raj watched Nayna sleep that night and knew he might be the architect of his own heartbreak. The Nayna she was now wanted him, but the Nayna she became as she found her wings… that Nayna might decide a man so rooted in tradition and culture wasn’t the man she wanted by her side.

Man, it hurt my heart to see him thinking these things because he didn’t think he was enough for Nayna and I wanted to smack Nayna upside her head for not seeing what was right in front of her for so long. The angst was real in this book and Raj just kept right on winning me over left and right. The way that he wouldn’t let her parents or his parents rush Nayna into coming to accept him and a marriage between them on her own and without outside influence. The way that he supported her hopes and her dreams made me swoon into a puddle of love for him. He was honestly such a great guy and I wanted so much for him to get the happy ending he wanted and was thrilled when he finally did.

On top of being one of the sweetest heroes that I’ve read about in a long time, Raj was always a Mr. Sexy Pants. He worked hard and his hard work paid off with a body that was sculpted from the Gods. I completely adored everything about him and if you haven’t met him yet, you should change that because Raj Sen is such a great hero and I know that you love him.

Hero Casting

This is who I pictured in my head while I was getting to know Raj. I think he fits the description well and I adore the hell out of this guy.

Buy the Book

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

Hard Play Series

four-stars

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Review: Block Shot by Kennedy Ryan

Posted November 1, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Review: Block Shot by Kennedy RyanBlock Shot by Kennedy Ryan
Series: Hoops #2
Also in this series: Long Shot
Published by Kennedy Ryan on September 10, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Point of View: Alternating First Person
Pages: 444
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add It: Goodreads
four-half-stars

𝘼𝙣 𝙚𝙣𝙚𝙢𝙞𝙚𝙨-𝙩𝙤-𝙡𝙤𝙫𝙚𝙧𝙨 𝙨𝙚𝙘𝙤𝙣𝙙 𝙘𝙝𝙖𝙣𝙘𝙚 𝙨𝙩𝙖𝙣𝙙𝙖𝙡𝙤𝙣𝙚 𝙧𝙤𝙢𝙖𝙣𝙘𝙚 𝙨𝙚𝙩 𝙞𝙣 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙘𝙪𝙩𝙩𝙝𝙧𝙤𝙖𝙩 𝙬𝙤𝙧𝙡𝙙 𝙤𝙛 𝙨𝙥𝙤𝙧𝙩𝙨 𝙢𝙖𝙣𝙖𝙜𝙚𝙢𝙚𝙣𝙩.

𝙏𝙝𝙚𝙮'𝙧𝙚 𝙩𝙬𝙤 𝙨𝙝𝙖𝙧𝙠𝙨 𝙞𝙣 𝙖 𝙛𝙞𝙨𝙝 𝙩𝙖𝙣𝙠 . . .

𝗝𝗔𝗥𝗘𝗗

If I had a dollar for every time Banner Morales made my heart skip a beat... The heart everyone assumes is frozen over. Her anger is . . . arousing. Every glare from those fire-spitting eyes, every time she grits her teeth, gets me . . .well, you know. If I had a dollar for every time she's put me in my place, I'd be an even richer man. I'm a successful sports agent because I assume "no" means you'll think about it. I'm sure what you meant to say is "Coming right up.” They say even rich men don't always get what they want, but those men don't know how to play the game. The trick is to keep them guessing. Take Banner. She assumes she's winning, but this game? She doesn't even know how to play.

𝗕𝗔𝗡𝗡𝗘𝗥

If I had a dollar for every time Jared Foster broke my heart, I’d have exactly one dollar. One night. One epic fail. One dollar . . . and I'm out. I've moved on. I’ve found success in a field ruled by men. Anything they can do, I have done better. They can keep the field while I call the shots, blocking them when I have to. And Jared has the nerve to think he gets a second chance? Boy, please. Go sit down. Have several seats. I'll just be over here ignoring the man carved from my fantasies with a lust-tipped chisel. Oh, I didn't say the struggle wasn't real. But I've got that one dollar, and Jared won't have me.

Block Shot is the second book in Kennedy Ryan’s Hoops series and it’s another enjoyable romance from this new to me author. After reading Long Shot and bawling my eyes throughout the entire book, I was expecting another gut punch with this book and while my heart hurt for both Jared and Banner in this book, it wasn’t the same kind of gut punch that I had for August and Iris.

Jared and Banner went to college together and they were friends. Banner is a bigger girl and Jared is a hottie so she didn’t think she ever had a chance with him but Jared had a huge crush on Banner. He was head over heels in love with her. He was obsessed with how smart and determined she was, her weight never registered for him. He liked the way that she looked and wanted her body just as much as he loved her mind. When he finally shoots his shot, things go horribly wrong and Banner vows to never let Jared Foster in her life again.

Years later, they’re both at the top of their field as sports agents and they still hate each other so much. They were able to avoid each other when Banner was on the east coast and Jared moving to the west coast but now Banner is running the Los Angeles office of her firm and Jared has moved his firm to Los Angeles after being in San Diego for a while. Of course, they were going to run into each other. One of her clients is Jared’s brother’s teammates.

Seeing each other again after all these years stirs up resentment in Banner and lust in Jared. He’s over what happened even though Banner never gave him a chance to explain what happened. Sure, he was angry at her with that because she believed the worse in him but seeing her again has stirred up everything he knew and loved about her back in the day. Her brain is just as great now as he knew it was back in college and with every moment they spend in each other’s company now, Jared believes more and more that they belong together.

Kennedy Ryan writes angst really well. I shouldn’t have loved Jared and Banner together in the present day so much because Banner was in a relationship. It was a good relationship too, her boyfriend wasn’t bad for her. He wasn’t mean or anything like that and yet, as much as I liked her boyfriend, it was Jared that I was rooting for. It was Jared that I wanted Banner to be with. What a difficult situation for Banner to be in. Her heart wanting one but that same heart not being able to let go of the other one because of…things.

This book wrapped me up with feels from beginning to end. My heart hurt for both Jared and for Banner and seeing their journey through was hard and it was emotional but it was good. I enjoyed getting to know both Jared and Banner and loved that they were able to overcome a lot of their issues to be together and I really loved the way that they loved each other. They loved each other fiercely and passionately and they were perfect for each other. Kennedy Ryan has cemented herself on my auto-buy list with this book and I am looking forward to reading Hook Shot I just know that it will be just as good as the other books in this series.

Final Grade

4.25 out of 5

Hoops Series

four-half-stars

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Buddy Review: Long Shot by Kennedy Ryan

Posted October 9, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Buddy Review: Long Shot by Kennedy RyanLong Shot by Kennedy Ryan
Series: Hoops #1
Also in this series: Block Shot
Published by Kennedy Ryan on March 22, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Point of View: Alternating First Person
Pages: 460
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add It: Goodreads
five-stars

A FORBIDDEN LOVE SET IN THE EXPLOSIVE WORLD OF THE NBA...

Think you know what it's like being a baller's girl? You don't. My fairy tale is upside down. A happily never after. I kissed the prince and he turned into a fraud. I was a fool, and his love - fool's gold. Now there's a new player in the game, August West. One of the NBA's brightest stars. Fine. Forbidden. He wants me. I want him. But my past, my fraudulent prince, just won't let me go

*Certain aspects of this story may be sensitive for some readers.

Rowena: Our October buddy review book is a book that we both read last month but it’s also a book that both of us really enjoyed.

August West met the girl of his dreams the night before he played in the national championship game. He knew after that one conversation they had that she was his person, too bad she already had a boyfriend. He may have won on the court but he didn’t win the one thing that he wanted more than he wanted anything else.

Iris DuPree has plans for her future but when those plans go up in flames, she needs a new plan and time to make that plan happen. Her road to freedom becomes a lot harder than she anticipated and with each passing day, her freedom is bogged down with complications but she can’t mess up her escape so she fights day in and day out for the day when her and her daughter can get to freedom, safely.

August and Iris are dealing with a lot of things on their own but coming together again is inevitable because the heart wants what the heart wants.

Gah, this freaking book. What did you think, Ames?

Ames: This book gave me all the feels! I went into it with no expectations and I was blown away. I remember messaging you the morning after finishing this book. I’ve turned into an old lady these days and don’t sacrifice on my sleep. This book kept me up until 3am! Do you realize what that means? This book was amazing. Part thriller and full on epic romance this book was a roller coaster and I loved it all. Really, I don’t want to say anything more because it will just be fangirl gibberish at this point. LOL.

What did you think Ween?

Rowena: I agree. As much anxiety as I felt while reading this book, I couldn’t completely walk away because I needed to know that things would get better. That Iris would get the happy ending that she deserved and so desperately needed. Never have I ever wanted someone to get their happily ever after as much as I wanted Iris to have hers with August. I cried while reading this book and I couldn’t get enough. You’re right, it was pretty amazing and hard to read at the same time. Gah. I have so much love for this book, for these characters and for everything that they went through to get to that ending. So much love.

Ames: I agree that it was hard to read because you know what was coming wasn’t going to be easy. But I think we need to read books like this to shake things up from time to time. The topic here isn’t dealt with in a lot of contemps I read so I liked that it didn’t make it something that happened in her past that she got over – it was something happening to her NOW and that made us root for her and rejoice when she found that inner strength and rallied and made things better for her and her daughter. As much as this was a great romance between Iris and August (loved him!!) it was about Iris and her journey. This was a scary feel good book. It scares you and then you feel good. LOL

And kudos to Kennedy Ryan for writing such an amazing story. I know I tried reading one of her earlier books and I couldn’t finish it (this was years ago) but she’s come a long way and I can’t wait to read more by her.

Rowena: Yes, exactly what you said. I don’t think this story would have been as powerful for me if we weren’t right there with Iris while she’s going through everything. Seeing her motivation to be better for her daughter, seeing her fight for their freedom, it all made me anxious at the same time that it made me eager for her to finally get out on the other side. There wasn’t a moment of this book where I wasn’t invested in what was going on. This is my first Kennedy Ryan book but it won’t be my last.

I loved Iris but I also really loved August. I loved seeing how determined he was when he figured out that Iris was his person. I loved that he knew what he wanted and where his heart lay, he didn’t question the who, the how or the why. He just understood that Iris was his future and he was patient waiting for her to catch up to him. I loved the way that he was with Sarai and I loved Lotus too. Gah, so freaking good!

I give this one a 4.75 out of 5, you?

Ames: I liked that about August too. That he knew Iris was his person and that never wavered. This couple went through hell before they even got to be a couple and August’s steadfastness was great. And the love he felt for Sarai? Melt my heart! He wasn’t perfect and that’s what made him such a great character.

I hope Lotus gets a story. That would be even more epic if possible. LOL

Okay, I have to give this one a 4.75 as well. This was one of the best books I read this year. I highly recommend it.

Buy the Book

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

Final Grade

Ames: 4.75 out of 5
Rowena: 4.75 out of 5

Hoops Series

five-stars

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Book Boyfriend: August West from Long Shot by Kennedy Ryan

Posted September 14, 2018 by Rowena in Features | 6 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: August West from Long Shot by Kennedy RyanLong Shot by Kennedy Ryan
Series: Hoops #1
Also in this series: Long Shot, Block Shot
Published by Kennedy Ryan on March 22, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Point of View: Alternating First Person
Pages: 460
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add It: Goodreads
five-stars

A FORBIDDEN LOVE SET IN THE EXPLOSIVE WORLD OF THE NBA...

Think you know what it's like being a baller's girl? You don't. My fairy tale is upside down. A happily never after. I kissed the prince and he turned into a fraud. I was a fool, and his love - fool's gold. Now there's a new player in the game, August West. One of the NBA's brightest stars. Fine. Forbidden. He wants me. I want him. But my past, my fraudulent prince, just won't let me go

*Certain aspects of this story may be sensitive for some readers.

It took me a long time to read this book and when I finally did, I was in love with August West. It’s really easy for me to love a basketball player because they love the game of basketball just as much, if not more, than I do. And I love basketball a lot. I grew up a huge Los Angeles Lakers fan and even though we haven’t been a contending team in years, they’re still my team. I still love them just as much now as I did when I was little. So I was already won over when we find out that Iris DuPree, the heroine of this book is a huge Lakers fan.

I’ll discuss my thoughts on the book when I review it with Ames but for this post, I want to focus on my love for August West.

From the moment that August West met our heroine, Iris DuPress, he knew that he found his person. Too bad, circumstances kept them apart for years and yet, his faith that they would end up together kept him going and he was true to those feelings. He tried to get over it but once he realizes that there will never be another person for him, shit starts getting real for him. When a window of opportunity comes his way, he jumps on this chance to be with Iris and when she disappears for reasons he doesn’t know or understand, he stands by those feelings and boy did I stand by him.

What really took the cake for me and won me completely over was when he tells Iris this:

“If you were mine, I’d play you at the 5.”

I didn’t need the author to explain this to me because as a basketball lover, I knew. I knew what he meant and holy cow did he melt me with these words because the #5 position is the center. A center is normally your biggest position player because they’re in charge of protecting everything in the middle, and he said that she’d be his center. The center of his body is his heart. <3<3<3 He believed it and he wanted it so bad to come true that he didn't give up on her. Gah, to find a love like that in this day and age? How can you not fall in love with August West? This is why August is my book boyfriend for this week. For this reason but for so many other reasons that I won't even get into because you should read the book for yourself.

Hero Casting

That’s exactly who I pictured while reading this story. The curls, his coloring, it’s all perfect and cover boy is beautiful, exactly how I pictured August to be. August is just a small portion of why I loved this book. Check back soon for all the reasons why you should read this book.

Buy the Book

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

Hoops Series

Have you read this book? If so, did you enjoy it as much as I did and love August as much as I did? Who is your book boyfriend of the week?

five-stars

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