Review: Open House by Ruby Lang

Posted December 9, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Open House by Ruby LangReviewer: Rowena
Open House by Ruby Lang
Series: Uptown #2
Publisher: Carina Press
Publication Date: November 11, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 165
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2019 New to Me Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Series Rating: four-stars

Love can take root where you least expect it.

Tyson Yang never imagined that one day he’d be the de facto spokesperson for an illegal community garden. But when the once-rat-infested-but-now-thriving Harlem lot goes up for sale, Ty can’t just let all their hard work get plowed under.

Even if he is irresistibly drawn to the lovely but infuriatingly stubborn real estate associate.

Magda Ferrer’s family is already convinced this new job will be yet another flop in her small but growing list of career path failures. But her student debt isn’t going anywhere, and selling her uncle’s historic townhouse and the lot nearby means a chance to get some breathing room.

Ty is her charming rival, her incorrigible nemesis, the handsome roadblock to her success.

Until one hot Harlem night blurs the hard line drawn between them, and the seeds of possibility in this rocky garden blossom into love…

This book is approximately 48,000 words

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the

Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!

Open House is the second book in Ruby Lang’s Uptown series but it is the first book that I’ve read by Lang and it won’t be the last. She’s got a charming writing style that I liked and I enjoyed the romance that blossomed between Ty and Magda. I also liked seeing Ty grow to really love the community garden and see the old ladies in the neighborhood take him under their wing at the same time that he took them all under his protection. I even enjoyed Ty’s sister and the relationship that they had between them. Magda’s family was a lot harder to like at first but they really did come around and when Magda finally stands up for herself and demands that they treat her like the adult she is, I cheered for her.

Magda was really trying to find herself over the course of this book and even though there were times when I wanted to smack some sense into her, I respected the hell out of her because she was trying. I liked that she understood why her family treated her the way that they did and I really liked how she was putting in the work to make something of herself without any influence from anyone. She was just a normal woman with normal problems that I related to and I connected with her character. Ruby Lang did a great job with Magda’s character and I appreciated her efforts.

Ty was another interesting character and even though there were times when I didn’t understand his thought processes, I never once hated him. Like Magda, Ty was a normal guy with normal problems and it was easy to relate to the stuff he was dealing with. I enjoyed seeing him come into his own and deal with the issues that have ruled his life so far. It was a nice perk to see him fall in love in a realistic way.

Magda and Ty had great chemistry and they were awesome on their own but better together. I enjoyed seeing them grow closer, and then battle to figure out how to be together with the different things in their lives that were pulling them apart. It wasn’t always easy for them because he was trying to save a garden that was on a lot that she was trying to sell. There’s some push and pull and while that was bothersome, they figure it out and all is well that ends well so even though I spent some time in this book rolling my eyes around the room, Ruby Lang still wrote a fun romance and I was still invested in what happened to everyone so all in all, this was a solid read. I recommend.

Final Grade

3.5 out of 5

Uptown Series


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Weekly Wrap Up: December 2 – December 8, 2019

Posted December 8, 2019 by Rowena in Features | 1 Comment

Sorry for disappearing on you guys last week. I was zonked for most of the day and never got around to typing up this post. I’m here today though and this is what you missed last week on Book Binge…

What We Reviewed

Casee reviewed Into the Dark by Karen Rose | 4.25 out of 5
Rowena reviewed Blitzed by Alexa Martin | 3.25 out of 5
Tracy reviewed A Madness of Sunshine by Nalini Singh | 3.5 out of 5
Holly reviewed The Governess Game by Tessa Dare | 3.75 out of 5
Casee reviewed Where Winter Finds by J.R. Ward | 2.5 out of 5

What We Posted

Monthly Reads: November 2019
Books to Binge On: December 2019
What Are You Reading? (508)
WTF Cover Saturday (338)

Current Giveaways

Sunday Spotlight: December 2019

Monthly Reads: November 2019

Giveaway Winners

It’s been quite a while since we’ve put this post together for you guys so we’ve got some catching up to do. This week, we’ll be announcing all of the Monthly Reads winners and then next week, we’ll move on to the next and the next week after that, until we’re all caught up.

Congratulations to the following…


Monthly Reads: July 2019

Anita Hui

Monthly Reads: August 2019


Monthly Reads: September 2019

KV Headen

Monthly Reads: October 2019


Blog Tour + Giveaway: Where Winter Finds You by J.R. Ward

Winners: An email will be sent to you shortly. Please let us know where you would like us to send your prize. You have two weeks to get back to us before we choose another winner. Check back on Sundays to see if you’re a winner in one of our giveaways.

That does it for this week’s weekly wrap up. How was your week in books? Hear any book news that you’d like to share? Get any new books you want to share? Review any books we should check out? Please share.

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Sunday Spotlight: Blitzed by Alexa Martin

Posted December 8, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 2 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Sunday Spotlight: Blitzed by Alexa MartinBlitzed by Alexa Martin
Series: The Playbook #3
Also in this series: Blitzed
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: December 3, 2019
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 320
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Series Rating: three-stars

Maxwell has finally met an opponent that he can't best in this new football romance from the author of Fumbled.

According to Brynn Larson, Maxwell Lewis is more trouble than he's worth. She doesn't care if he's a football god with a rock-hard body that brings most women to their knees. After an encounter that ends poorly, she's not interested in giving him a second chance. The last thing Brynn expects is for him to turn up at her bar months later, hat in hand. It doesn't matter if he brings more customers to her business--she's still not going on a date with him.

Maxwell knows he made a mistake. He'd been waiting to make his move on Brynn since the day he laid eyes on her and he was finally ready to go for it until he screwed up. He wishes he could tell her the truth about what happened that night, but he just can't. He can't tell anyone, so he'll make amends and hope she'll forgive him.

Brynn's not like other women, though. Playing for the Mustangs doesn't impress her and gifts make her scoff. Max will have to bring his A game if he hopes to win her over.


Some people call me a workaholic.

And they’re right.

But considering I own a bar, it’s the best kind of “holic” I could be. Plus, my job consists of listening to other people’s dramas and hanging out with my girls damn near every day.

“Oh my god! Brynn!” Vonnie’s eyes scrunch and her entire face twists into an abstract painting. “Did you put anything besides vodka in there?”

“Gin.” I wink and write the latest failed martini recipe down in my notebook.

“Why are we taste testing again?” Charli asks as she leans across the bar and grabs the martini from Vonnie. Vonnie narrows her eyes, probably ready to scold her for her table manners . . . but when Charli gives it a sniff, takes a deep sip, shrugs, and then finishes it, Vonnie’s eyes grow wide and her jaw drops.

“Damn, Charli!” I don’t know if I’m impressed or disturbed. “I didn’t know you had that in you!”

“Don’t worry.” Poppy snatches the glass away from Charli and walks it around the bar like she still works here even though she quit months ago to go to school and better herself like a selfish jerk. “Shawn’s on standby. Final roster cuts come in tomorrow and he’s been bracing Charli for bad news . . .” She leans in closer as she passes behind me.

“Something she’s clearly not handling well.”

Reason 8,634 I could never date a football player.

Basketball? Maybe. At least their contracts are guaranteed and they’re gone so often I’d barely have to see them. Baseball? Possibly. I do love sitting outside and eating pretzels and drinking beer. Hockey? Nope, it’s basically football on skates—with more broken noses and less teeth. Luckily for all these athletes I’d have to let down ever so gently, none of them know who I am.

“Your crazy ass better drink some water,” Vonnie, always the mom of the group, tells her. “Besides, I think Aviana is coming, and who knows if she’s still filming.”

“Oh, fucking fuck me,” Charli moans. “That damn show is going to be the death of me and I’m not even on it.”

I can see Charli is clearly in a fragile state of mind, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love everything about Love the Player. I kinda feel like, even though I’m not a cast member, I manifested the shit out of that show. I mean, the concept for HERS came to life as I was sitting on a shitty-ass date, watching a shitty-ass game, sipping shitty beer. All I wanted was to be out with my girls, drinking a fantastic specialty cocktail, and watching the latest Bravo reality show with a roomful of strangers.

And now, not only do we watch reality shows, HERS is a regular fucking setting for one. It just started to air, but the increase in customers is already noticeable. And people tried to tell me my love of trash television was a waste of my time. To that I say, HA!

“Speaking of the show, that’s what we’re doing here.” I push a much lighter, and brighter (hot-pink) cocktail down to Jacqueline, who, even though she’s always with us, is still the quietest person I know, and I’m pretty sure she thinks we’re all in need of serious therapy . . . which might be accurate. How Aviana talked her into starring in Love the Player is still a mystery. “I want to have a few cocktails named after the show ready.”

“Great, now the show gives me alcohol poisoning too.” Charli lays her head on the bar.

“You’re giving yourself alcohol poisoning.” Poppy pushes a glass of water to her and starts mixing up a drink of her own. “I know you and Shawn are smart with your money. If he gets cut, it won’t be the worst thing in the world. TK loves not playing anymore.”

I watch Jacqueline take a small sip of the drink, and almost do a happy dance when her eyes widen. She looks at the drink as if the recipe’s written in the cocktail, and takes another sip.

“Success, Jac?” I ask even though I already know her answer.

“So good, Brynn,” she says in her usual, muted voice.

“Yeah it is!” We do an air high five. “I’m naming that one Peter’s Angel. Wait . . . no!” I shout like she’s not right in front of me. “Fuck Peter. This is your drink. Model Behavior!”

The Playbook Series

Giveaway Alert

We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

Sunday Spotlight: December 2019

About Alexa Martin

Alexa Martin is a writer and stay at home mom. She lives in Colorado with her husband, a former NFL player who now coaches at the high school where they met, their four children, and a German Shepherd. When she's not telling her kids to put their shoes on...again, you can find her catching up with her latest book boyfriend or on Pinterest pinning meals she'll probably never make. Her first book, Intercepted, was inspired by the eight years she spent as an NFL wife.


WTF Cover Saturday (338)

Posted December 7, 2019 by Holly in Features | 1 Comment

I feel like we’ve been neglecting our Audiobook friends in this feature. There are some real gems to showcase, you know? Case in point, this lovely cover.

I know Langlais’ books are really popular, but this cover leaves a lot to be desired.

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What Are You Reading? (508)

Posted December 6, 2019 by Rowena in Features | 2 Comments

Casee: I’m between books right now. I finished Hero’s Haven by Rebecca Zanetti last night. I’m either going to read You Were There Too by Colleen Oakley or Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik. Spinning Silver is the book my book club chose for December. I can’t say I’m excited to read it even though the reviews are really great.

I’m listening to For You by Kristen Ashley. KA’s audiobooks are so long, but I still decided to give this one a listen. I’ve also been listening to the Guild Hunter series by Nalini Singh.

Holly: Last week I continued my Kristen Ashley re-reads with Soaring, The Time in Between, For You and Fairytale Come Alive. I also re-read Guardian Angel by Julie Garwood.

I tried to listen to The Beautiful Ashes by Jeaniene Frost, but the heroine annoyed the crap out of me and I ended up quitting about halfway through. I really enjoyed How to Run with a Naked Werewolf by Molly Harper and Laird Wolf by Vivian Arend. Both had some issues, but overall were sweet, fun romances.

I’m currently listening to The Fate of Mercy Alban by Wendy Webb. I’m still pretty early into it, but I’m enjoying the narrator and the gothic feel of the story, despite it being set in Modern Day America.

Rowena: I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving holiday if you’re in the states and celebrate that. If not, I hope you guys had a fabulous week and read all of the good books.

It’s been a pretty crazy Thanksgiving holiday for me with my entire family being in California for it but as crazy as it was, I had a great time bonding with them. Unfortunately, with everyone being in town and running around for my niece’s baby shower on Saturday (which came out super lovely) and my nephew’s CIF football game (boo! We lost the Championship game!), I didn’t any reading done.

This week is a new week though because I am reading two books. I’m just about done reading Lady Derring Takes a Lover by Julie Anne Long and I’m listening to The A.I. Who Loved Me by Alyssa Cole. Both books are great and I’m hopeful I’ll love them both by the time I’m done with them. After this, I’ll be reading The Kingmaker by Kennedy Ryan. For realsy.

What are you reading this week? Any new favorites or books that drove you crazy? Share!

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