Author: Rowena

Review: The Risk by Elle Kennedy

Posted February 18, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: The Risk by Elle KennedyReviewer: Rowena
The Risk (Briar U #2) by Elle Kennedy
Series: Briar U #2
Also in this series: The Chase (Briar U, #1)
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: February 18, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: New Adult
Pages: 392
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

A sexy standalone novel from New York Times and international bestselling author Elle Kennedy. THE RISK takes you back to the world of hot hockey players, feisty heroines, bro banter, and steamy scenes...

Everyone says I’m a bad girl. They’re only partly right—I don’t let fear rule me, and I certainly don’t care what people think. But I draw the line at sleeping with the enemy. As the daughter of Briar’s head hockey coach, I’d be vilified if I hooked up with a player from a rival team.

And that’s who Jake Connelly is. Harvard’s star forward is arrogant, annoying, and too attractive for his own good. But fate is cruel—I require his help to secure a much-coveted internship, and the sexy jerk isn’t making it easy for me.

I need Connelly to be my fake boyfriend.

For every fake date…he wants a real one.

Which means this bad girl is in big trouble. Nothing good can come from sneaking around with Jake Connelly. My father would kill me, my friends will revolt, and my post-college career is on the line. But while it’s getting harder and harder to resist Jake’s oozing sex appeal and cocky grin, I refuse to fall for him.

That’s the one risk I’m not willing to take.

The Risk is the second book in Elle Kennedy’s Briar U series and it features our favorite smart ass Brenna from The Chase and the enemy, Jake Connelly. I have been looking forward to reading Brenna’s story since we first met her in Summer and Fitz’ story. She has a sparkly personality that I wanted to know more and Jake was just as wonderfully charming as I hoped he would be.

Brenna’s Dad is the coach for the Briar University’s hockey team. Jake Connelly is the star player for the Harvard hockey team. They’re going to face each other in their conference finals so tempers are high and the very last thing that Brenna needs is to get involved with Jake, of all people…but when an internship is on the line, she needs Jake to help her land this and so she asks him to do her a solid by going on a fake date with her and he agrees but only if she’ll go on a real date with him for every fake date they go on.

The chemistry was pretty strong between these two in The Chase so I was not at all surprised when we found out that Jake was Brenna’s hero. I thought that they would be pretty good together but I was wrong because they were freaking perfect for each other. I really loved seeing them battle wits and grow close with each passing page. I’m telling you guys, Elle Kennedy does great dialogue. The dialogue between her characters always feels natural and that’s something that I appreciate because not everyone can do it well and it takes me out of the story every time that I read bad dialogue. I was wrapped up in Brenna and Jake’s bubble from beginning to end. They had me laughing, sighing and just feeling all of the feels. I loved seeing them go from strangers attracted to each other to confiding their secret confidences with each other. Brenna didn’t trust easy and seeing her open up to Jake was just so rewarding for me. I loved it.

There was a part of the story where I wanted to knee Jake in the nuts but man does he make up for pissing me off and I was low key mad at Brenna for forgiving him so quickly but like Bren, I got over it and gosh, he was just…swoon I’m not even gonna lie, during the big Briar vs. Harvard game, I was low key Team Harvard…

Sorry, Briar folks but next book, I’ll definitely be Team Briar U again. LOL.

This book was everything I was hoping it would be. Elle Kennedy brought her A-Game with this one and I was so here for everything going on. I loved getting to know both Brenna and Jake. I loved seeing Brenna and her father work on their issues that they had with each other. I loved seeing Jake’s parents come out and support him, but also acknowledge that they should have supported him more. I wish we’d gotten more from Brenna’s other friends, Audrey and Elisa. I wanted to see more Hazel too until we got more Hazel and then I wanted her gone. LOL.

Overall, this bomb was the bomb. Elle Kennedy delivers a modern New Adult romance that will rock all of your socks, I just know it. Hell yes, you should read this one.

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

Briar U

four-stars


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Weekly Wrap Up: February 11 – February 17, 2019

Posted February 17, 2019 by Rowena in Features, Giveaway Winners | 1 Comment

Here’s what you missed this week on Book Binge…

What We Reviewed

Rowena reviewed Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss by Kasie West | 3 out of 5
Tracy reviewed How to Run with a Naked Werewolf (Naked Werewolf #3) by Molly Harper | 4 out of 5
Holly reviewed Lake Silence (The Others #6) by Anne Bishop | 4 out of 5
Holly reviewed Ghosts of Boyfriends Past by Vivi Andrews | 3.5 out of 5
Holly reviewed Wild Hunger (The Phoenix Pack #7) by Suzanne Wright | 4.25 out of 5
Casee reviewed Long Shot (Hoops #1) by Kennedy Ryan | 4.5 out of 5
Rowena reviewed Thirty Day Boyfriend by Whitney G. | 3 out of 5
Rowena reviewed From Lukov, with Love by Mariana Zapata | 4.25 out of 5
Holly reviewed Free (Chaos #6) by Kristen Ashley | 2 out of 5

What We Posted

What Are You Reading? (+ Anna Bennett Giveaway)
WTF Cover Saturday (299)
Sunday Spotlight: When He was Wicked by Julia Quinn

Current Giveaways

Sunday Spotlight: February 2019

What Are You Reading? (+ Anna Bennett Giveaway)

Happy Valentine’s Day from Book Binge (+ Giveaway)

Release Day Spotlight: Huge Deal by Lauren Layne (+ Giveaway)

Monthly Reads: January 2019

Giveaway Winners

We have some winners to announce this week! Congratulations to the following…

Kareni

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: When He was Wicked by Julia Quinn

Posted February 17, 2019 by Rowena in Features, Giveaways | 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. 🙂

Julia Quinn has been writing fabulous historical romances for as long as I can remember. Each book that I read from her delivers a delightful romance that I can’t get enough of and I want to remind you why she’s so great.

Sunday Spotlight: When He was Wicked by Julia QuinnWhen He Was Wicked (Bridgertons, #6) by Julia Quinn
Series: Bridgertons #6
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: June 29, 2004
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 368
Add It: Goodreads
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four-half-stars
Series Rating: five-stars

Everything was so much simpler... when he was wicked.

In every life there is a turning point. A moment so tremendous, so sharp and breathtaking, that one knows one's life will never be the same. For Michael Stirling, London's most infamous rake, that moment came the first time he laid eyes on Francesca Bridgerton.

After a lifetime of chasing women, of smiling slyly as they chased him, of allowing himself to be caught but never permitting his heart to become engaged, he took one look at Francesca Bridgerton and fell so fast and hard into love it was a wonder he managed to remain standing. Unfortunately for Michael, however, Francesca's surname was to remain Bridgerton for only a mere thirty-six hours longer—the occasion of their meeting was, lamentably, a supper celebrating her imminent wedding to his cousin.

But that was then... Now Michael is the earl and Francesca is free, but still she thinks of him as nothing other than her dear friend and confidant. Michael dares not speak to her of his love... until one dangerous night, when she steps innocently into his arms, and passion proves stronger than even the most wicked of secrets...

When I read my first Bridgertons book, I had so much love for this family. They made me laugh, they made me cry and every single one of the first books were so lighthearted and just all around happy books that I easily fell into each of them. Then I read When He was Wicked and it wasn’t the happy go lucky, lighthearted romance that I was used to. It was a darker, more angsty romance and yet it fits perfectly with Francesca Bridgerton’s personality. At least, the way that I saw her. She was a lot more serious than her sisters but man was she just as awesome as they were…and that is why I’m spotlighting her book today.

I remember so much angst in this book. The forbidden love that Michael carried for Francesca all those years. The sadness of Francesca losing her husband and then the angst of falling in love with his cousin? Gah, it gets me every single time.

Order the Book

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

Memorable Scenes

Here are some memorable scenes and quotes that hit me right in my feels every time that I read the book or come across these quotes online. These are some of my favorites.

“Tell me something wicked.”

sigh

Yes, be wicked!

“In every life there is a turning point. A moment so tremendous, so sharp and clear that one feels as if one’s been hit in the chest, all the breath knocked out, and one knows, absolutely knows without the merest hint of a shadow of a doubt that one’s life will never be the same.”

“Oh, God, Francesca. Now there’s a good one. Why? Why? Why?” He gave each one a different tenor as if he were testing out the word, asking it to different people.

“Why?” he asked again, this time with increased volume as he turned around to face her.

“Why? It’s because I love you, damn me to hell. Because I’ve always loved you. Because I loved you when you were with John, and I loved you when I was in India, and God only knows I don’t deserve you, but I love you, anyway.”

Francesca sagged against the door.

“How’s that for a witty little joke?” he mocked. “I love you. I love you, my cousin’s wife. I love you, the one woman I can never have. I love you, Francesca Bridgerton Stirling.”

If you haven’t read this book, I recommend that you fix that because this book is a forbidden romance that will melt your heart at every turn. Quinn does such a fabulous job of making us feel for these characters and Michael Stirling is one of the best heroes out there. Francesca is one lucky wench!

The Bridgertons

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: January 2019

Do you love Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series as much as we do? Let us know in the comments and let us know what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

four-half-stars


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Review: From Lukov, with Love by Mariana Zapata

Posted February 14, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: From Lukov, with Love by Mariana ZapataReviewer: Rowena
From Lukov with Love by Mariana Zapata
Narrator: Callie Dalton, Teddy Hamilton
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: February 1, 2018
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Romance Package
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 524
Length: 14 hours, 55 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2019 A-Z Reading Challenge, Rowena's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-half-stars

If someone were to ask Jasmine Santos to describe the last few years of her life with a single word, it would definitely be a four-letter one.

After seventeen years—and countless broken bones and broken promises—she knows her window to compete in figure skating is coming to a close.

But when the offer of a lifetime comes in from an arrogant idiot she’s spent the last decade dreaming about pushing in the way of a moving bus, Jasmine might have to reconsider everything.

Including Ivan Lukov.

I had a really quiet weekend at home so I listened to a couple of audiobooks and this was the first of them. I have enjoyed pretty much all of the Mariana Zapata books that I’ve read so far and that didn’t change with this one. I adored Ivan Lukov and loved getting to know Jasmine Santos, or as Ivan referred to her, “Meatball”. I really enjoyed their banter back and forth and the way that they bickered with each other over everything under the sun. They had that hate vibe going pretty strong for a good chunk of this book and I was so here for it.

We hear this book through Jasmine’s POV so early on, we are not fans of Ivan Lukov. He’s arrogant and an asshole and he gives not one shit that he pisses Jasmine off. In fact, he seems to enjoy pissing her off. Jasmine and Ivan are professional ice skaters who skate doubles but at the moment, they don’t have partners so when Ivan approaches Jasmine to skate with him for a year, she balks because, hell no. She doesn’t even like this punk ass…but holy cow, Ivan presents an opportunity for Jasmine to go after the dream that has been out of her reach since her last partner left her in the most humiliating way possible. He is giving her a chance to win with him, a decorated Olympian in her corner and even though she doesn’t trust him, she’s in. OMG, she’s in.

A huge chunk of this story is told while Jasmine and Ivan are practicing. They have a lot of work to do in not a lot of time so immediately, they get to work. They practice and practice and practice and when they’re not practicing, they hang out and they become friends. They still bicker back and forth but there isn’t the edge of hate surrounding it so it’s easier for the two of them to be around each other. Jasmine doesn’t have a lot of friends but one of her best friends is Ivan’s sister and while Jasmine’s family knew and loved the sister, they didn’t know Ivan but Ivan becomes more than Jasmine’s partner in the short time that they’ve become partners. He’s become her best friend and what a ride it was, seeing them come full circle with each other.

This was such a fun romance. I thought Mariana Zapata did such a fine job of bringing Jasmine and Ivan together. They came so far with each other and when they finally get together, it was so satisfying and I absolutely loved that their bickering didn’t end when they both realized that they loved each other. They kept right on bickering over every little thing because they could. Because that was their way.

There were times when I thought Jasmine was really stubborn and shouldn’t have been but when all was said and done, I really liked her. I liked her smart mouth and prickly personality. I loved the way that she was with Ivan, with her siblings and with her Mom. My heart hurt for her where things were concerned with her father but I thought Zapata did well in making us understand her way of thinking and I loved that she wanted to be better for her family. Everything that she went through in her life humbled her and I loved that she knew that she was going to get it right this time around when she makes the decision to partner up with Ivan.

Then there was Ivan. swoon I wanted to kick him in the nuts for a good chunk of the beginning of the book but when he wins me over, he completely won me over. Getting to know him was such a treat and seeing him with all of his pets and then seeing him with Jasmine and coming to realize how much Jasmine meant to him? Gah, I was a sucker for all of it. I was a sucker for him. Gah, he was a great hero and this was a great romance. I’m not the biggest fan of professional ice skating but I’ll be watching the next Winter Olympics just so that I can picture Ivan and Jasmine skating around and winning shit.

Mariana Zapata delivers another fabulous contemporary romance featuring two ice skating champs that I really enjoyed. I should also mention that I really loved the narrators for this audiobook. Kudos to Callie Dalton and Teddy Hamilton. I loved that Teddy Hamilton read for the parts of Ivan and that Callie Dalton read for most of the book since the book was in Jasmine’s POV. The entire story flowed so well with the two of them narrating and it made for a very enjoyable reading experience. I definitely recommend this one to everyone.

Grade: 4.25 out of 5

four-half-stars


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Happy Valentine’s Day from Book Binge (+ Giveaway)

Posted February 14, 2019 by Rowena in Giveaways | 12 Comments

Happy Valentines Day, everyone!

It is the day of love and we hope that you guys are having a fantabulous day filled with hearts and all the love your heart desires. Today, we are here to provide one lucky reader with some books to steam up their nights.

Here is what we’re giving away:

Governess Gone Rogue (Dear Lady Truelove #3) by Laura Lee Guhrke
A Duke Changes Everything (Duke’s Den #1) by Christy Carlyle
Dirty Little Secret (Wild Rose Ranch #1) by Jennifer Ryan

Please use the widget below to enter the giveaway.

Valentine’s Day Giveaway

Good luck!


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