Author: Rowena

Throwback Thursday Review: Mine Till Midnight by Lisa Kleypas

Posted April 18, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 6 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: Mine Till Midnight by Lisa KleypasReviewer: Rowena
Mine Till Midnight by Lisa Kleypas
Series: The Hathaways #1
Also in this series: Tempt Me at Twilight, Married By Morning, Love In The Afternoon
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: October 2nd 2007
Format: Print
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 376
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

When an unexpected inheritance elevates her family to the ranks of the aristocracy, Amelia Hathaway discovers that tending to her younger sisters and wayward brother was easy compared to navigating the intricacies of the ton. Even more challenging: the attraction she feels for the tall, dark, and dangerously handsome Cam Rohan.

Wealthy beyond most men’s dreams, Cam has tired of society’s petty restrictions and longs to return to his “uncivilized” Gypsy roots. When the delectable Amelia appeals to him for help, he intends to offer only friendship—but intentions are no match for the desire that blindsides them both. But can a man who spurns tradition be tempted into that most time-honored arrangement: marriage? Life in London society is about to get a whole lot hotter...

Every Thursday, we’ll be posting throwback reviews of our favorite and not-so-favorite books. Enjoy!

This review was originally posted on October 24, 2007.

In Mine till Midnight, Cam Rohan, the sexy Gypsy man from Devil in Winter get his happily ever after. I remember meeting Cam in DIW, trying to seduce my favorite Wallflower, Daisy. I knew that Cam wasn’t right for Daisy but I knew that he was a man that I wanted to read about in a later book…and that book came a few weeks ago when I picked up this book for Holly and myself at our So Cal Blogger Meet Up. Man, but I was a happy camper when I finally got to sit down and read another Lisa Kleypas book.

Like Meg Cabot, I heart Lisa Kleypas.

She totally rocks my socks.

Lisa scores again big time in my book because she wrote a wonderfully entertaining story about two characters who were so perfect for each other.

Casee already reviewed this book and gave a rundown of the book, here so check hers out, here, I’m going to just jump right into the review…

I already knew I was going to love Cam Rohan and I totally did in this book. I mean, Cam was everything a hero should be. Strong and dependable, sexy as all get out and charming too. I loved the way he loved Amelia, the sweet things he would whisper to her in bed in his native language. I loved the way he took care of her, whisked her problems off of her shoulders and just handled it. He was a man’s man and he took care of his woman and hot damn that is just so effing sexy. I loved the way he was with Amelia’s sisters and most especially, Amelia’s brother, Leo. He dragged Leo where Leo needed to and I just loved how he swooped right into this family and took care of them as if they were already his family. I loved that he did all of that, simply for Amelia.

Say it with me now…..Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!

I loved Cam’s jealousy over Christopher Frost, I loved the way Cam was always around to take care of Amelia but also to show her how sexy she was because she totally didn’t see herself the way others did and it was good that Cam brought out her inner wanton wench, hehe. I seriously loved these two.

Amelia was a bossy bit of goods with the weight of the world on her shoulders. She took it upon herself to take care of her younger sisters and to look out for her grieving brother after her parents died and when her brother inherited the Ramsey title. She was so perfect for Cam because he needed a family to take care of, a family to call his own and she, well she needed someone to take care of her for once…and that’s where Cam came in.

I enjoyed the heck out of the Hathaway clan and even though Leo was a major pain in the behind, I liked him. I would enjoy a story between Merripen or “Kev” and Win. They deserve a bit of happiness together, don’t you think? I also rather enjoyed the younger sisters, Beatrix and Poppy, although I did feel bad for Poppy because what kind of name is that? It makes me think of muffins for breakfast, not a beautiful young debutante…but hey, whatever rocks your socks, Amelia’s parents.

Anyway, Lisa Kleypas did a great job of pulling me into this story and taking me on an enjoyable ride. I enjoyed the story, the banter between the hero and the heroine, I enjoyed the secondary characters and storylines and really, I just enjoyed the hell out of this book and I totally recommend this book to those of you guys who have read the Wallflower series, it’s a great addition and lots of fun to read. It was also great to see some recurring characters from the other books in this story as well, even if it wasn’t Derek….hehe.

Kudos to LK for a job well done on this book because it’s a keeper for me for sure!

Grade: 4 out of 5

The Hathaways

four-stars


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Review: The Key to Happily Ever After by Tif Marcelo

Posted April 18, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: The Key to Happily Ever After by Tif MarceloReviewer: Rowena
The Key to Happily Ever After by Tif Marcelo
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, Gallery Books
Publication Date: May 14, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction
Pages: 320
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars

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’m a sucker for family drama’s and though I thought this book would be a lot lighter than the book actually was, it was still an enjoyable reading adventure. This book follows the de la Rosa sisters, Mari, Jane, and Pearl as they take on the running of the family wedding planning business. The story focuses on the dynamics between the sisters, and we also get a small love story for each of them. There’s a lot going on with this and I thought Marcelo did a nice job of weaving all of the little side stuff into the bigger story being told. Between the family business in crisis and the romances, there’s a lot of things to focus on without the book as a whole being crammed.

Mari is the oldest and she’s the controlling sister. The one that sets rules and bosses everyone around. Jane is the middle sister who is the peacemaker and then there’s the creative artist, Pearl. Pearl is the youngest sister who nobody trusts to get the job done. They’re all going through their own personal struggles and I was really invested in their lives. I wanted to know everything and fix everything for all of them. I thought Marcelo did a really great job of fleshing out each character because they were all super different but they were also flawed and just real, and raw. They each took turns getting on my nerves but I felt for each sister, how I feel for my own sisters. I loved each of them and wanted them to find their happy endings.

There’s loads of drama but there’s also humor and a whole lot of charm mixed in for good measure. I’m glad that I read this book and I will definitely be reading more from Tif Marcelo. I think I enjoyed this book a lot more than I enjoyed the contemporary romances that I read by her last year. She’s got great stuff and I’m adding the rest of her books to my TBR pile. I definitely recommend this book if you’re in the mood for family drama, bridezillas, and love. This one packs in all of that.

Grade: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Our Favorite Office Romances

Posted April 17, 2019 by Rowena in Discussions | 6 Comments

Rowena: I freaking LOVE office romances. I love boss/secretary romances, the battle for promotion between co-workers romances, hate to love coworker romances, and really, any kind of romance that takes place in an office. Sure, in real life, office romances aren’t my thing but in fiction? I can’t get enough so we’re going to be sharing our Top 10 favorite office romances with you lovely readers today.

While putting this list together, we realized that we all have different thoughts on what makes a romance, an office romance. For me, an office romance is set in an office between two people who work together so those are the kinds of office romances you’ll see in this post.

Here’s our list given in true Book Binge fashion. Since we couldn’t agree on a set ten because reading is subjective and Holly hated all of the books Casee and I chose, each of us took turns listing our favorite books with comments from the peanut gallery. Enjoy! (H: Hey! I didn’t hate them all…just most of them) (C: Uh-huh)

Straight couple posed in an embrace with woman fixing man's tie
Practice Makes Perfect by Julie James

Behind closed doors, they’re laying down the law.

When it comes to the laws of attraction…

Payton Kendall and J.D. Jameson are lawyers who know the meaning of objection. A feminist to the bone, Payton has fought hard to succeed in a profession dominated by men. Born wealthy, privileged, and cocky, J.D. has fought hard to ignore her. Face-to-face, they’re perfectly civil. They have to be. For eight years they have kept a safe distance and tolerated each other as coworkers for one reason: to make partner at the firm.

…There are no rules.

But all bets are off when they’re asked to join forces on a major case. Though apprehensive at first, they begin to appreciate each other’s dedication to the law—and the sparks between them quickly turn into attraction. But the increasingly hot connection does not last long when they discover that only one of them will be named partner. Now it’s an all-out war. And the battle between the sexes is bound to make these lawyers hot under the collar…

Rowena: Man do I miss Julie James books. Practice Makes Perfect is the second book that Julie James released and it’s one that I adore so much. The competition between Peyton and J.D., the sizzling chemistry between the two of them made for such a fabulous romance. Julie James does excellent office romance and this one is top notch.

Holly: It’s funny, because everyone always raves about this book, but I’m not a huge fan. I didn’t hate the book, but it certainly isn’t my favorite by James. Still, I can see why Rowena included it on this list.

A red book cover with leaves in the background
Double Standards by Judith McNaught

In the exclusive, glittering world of business superstars, Nick Sinclair was a legend…

The ruggedly handsome president of Global Industries handled his business the way he handled his women — with charm, daring and ruthless self-control. A man used to the very best, Nick hired Lauren Danner, and assumed the proud beauty would soon be another easy conquest. But Lauren’s flashing wit and rare spirit dazzled him — and slowly, against his will, he was intrigued, challenged — and in love.

Yet Lauren was living a lie, a charade that became more dangerous with every passing moment. Trapped in a web of deceit, she fought her growing love for Nick. Her secret could destroy his fragile trust — and the promise of life with the most compelling man she had ever met!

Rowena: Is this book problematic? Sure….but that doesn’t stop me from loving the hell out of this book anyway. Double Standards is one of those books that shouldn’t have held up because my reading tastes have changed and a lot of things that happen in this book would piss me off in real life and in other books but for some reason, I absolutely love this one and I probably always will. Don’t listen to Holly. Don’t listen to Casee either.

Holly: Y’all. Sometimes I think Rowena should be committed. This book isn’t just problematic. It’s downright awful. He sent her outside in Chicago in the middle of winter without a coat. She literally got on her knees and begged him to listen to her and he just sent her away. My blood boils every time I think about it. There’s a whole lot of nope from me on this one.

Casee: For once I agree with Holly (go buy a lottery ticket!). This book wasn’t just problematic. It’s horrendously bad. As stated above, she got down on her knees and begged him. Then sent her away into a storm without a coat. I know I’m just repeating what Holly has said, but these were all the things that bothered me as well. Including the fact that Lauren actually forgave him. Ugh.

Rowena: She was sent to spy on him and cripple his entire life’s work. She never came clean and he found out about her betrayal and reacted. Considering his past and who she was working for? I would have kicked her ass to the curb too. She was fired. She was escorted out. It just happened to be winter. Give me a break.


Huge Deal (21 Wall Street #3) by Lauren Layne

Even for a top-gun banker, temptation this hot is quite a gamble, in a sexy Wall Street romp from New York Times bestselling author Lauren Layne.

An alpha among the wolves of Wall Street, Kennedy Dawson rose to the top of the pack by striking the right contracts at the right times. But there’s one deal that’s been giving him a run for his money—a pact to never again let his assistant, Kate, get under his skin. She may be smart, gorgeous, and sharp as a whip, but she’s definitely off-limits.

Kate Henley isn’t a banker, but she knows a thing or two about risk management—specifically, about managing her attraction to her smolderingly sexy boss. She already fell once, and Kennedy showed no sign of paying a return on her investment. So when Kennedy’s brother starts pursuing her, Kate figures she has the best of both worlds. Jack is charming, rich, very attentive, and the spitting image of his older brother.

It’s also making Kennedy think twice. But to win Kate’s heart, he’ll have to broker the deal of a lifetime…and prove he’s worth the risk.

Rowena: The lead up to this book was fantastic. We meet these two in book 1. The heroine is the hero’s administrative assistant but there’s a history that’s hinted in the previous books that had me thirsty to get their story. Lauren Layne does not disappoint. This book was everything that I wanted Kennedy and Kate’s story to be and I can’t wait to re-read it…it was that good for me.

sexy man in glasses with the word brooklynaire across the length of the picture
Brooklynaire (Brooklyn Bruisers #4) by Sarina Bowen

A sexy new standalone from USA Today bestseller Sarina Bowen.

You’d think a billion dollars, a professional hockey team and a six-bedroom mansion on the Promenade would satisfy a guy. You’d be wrong.

For seven years Rebecca has brightened my office with her wit and her smile. She manages both my hockey team and my sanity. I don’t know when I started waking in the night, craving her. All I know is that one whiff of her perfume ruins my concentration. And her laugh makes me hard.

When Rebecca gets hurt, I step in to help. It’s what friends do. But what friends don’t do is rip off each others’ clothes for a single, wild night together.

Now she’s avoiding me. She says we’re too different, and it can never happen again. So why can’t we keep our hands off each other?

Rowena: Nate and Becca’s book was such a sweet romance and it’s got a spin on the old boss and secretary office romance trope. This time around, the boss is mad for the secretary and seeing him try to win her over at every turn while trying to give her the world made for such a fantastic romance. Sarina Bowen hit it out of the park for me with this one. I loved it!

Holly: I loved this one, too. Bowen teased us with Becca and Nate’s flirty little romance for ages and I wasn’t disappointed when we finally got the real deal.

Hate Notes by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward Book Cover
Hate Notes by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward

From New York Times bestselling authors Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward comes an unexpected love story of secondhand hearts and second chances…

It all started with a mysterious blue note sewn into a wedding dress.

Something blue.

I’d gone to sell my own unworn bridal gown at a vintage clothing store. That’s when I found another bride’s “something old.”

Stitched into the lining of a fabulously feathered design was the loveliest message I’d ever read: Thank you for making all of my dreams come true.

The name embossed on the blue stationery: Reed Eastwood, obviously the most romantic man who ever lived. I also discovered he’s the most gorgeous. If only my true-love fantasies had stopped there. Because I’ve since found out something else about Mr. Starry-Eyed.

He’s arrogant, cynical, and demanding. I should know. Thanks to a twist of fate, he’s my new boss. But that’s not going to stop me from discovering the story behind his last love letter. A love letter that did not result in a happily ever after.

But that story is nothing compared to the one unfolding between us. It’s getting hotter, sweeter, and more surprising than anything I could have imagined.

Something new.

But I have no idea how this one is going to end…

Casee: I actually enjoyed this book until Holly started picking it apart. Reed was a jerk, but what hero isn’t?

Holly: Ugh. No. Reed, the hero, was such a jerk. For the entire book he was a jerk. Did I say no?

Rowena: I didn’t hate this book though I do agree that Reed was a dickhead. This isn’t a favorite of mine by any means but in the end, Reed’s character came around for me.

Rock Hard by Nalini Singh Book Cover
Rock Hard (Rock Kiss #2) by Nalini Singh

In New York Times Bestselling author Nalini Singh’s newest contemporary romance, passion ignites between a gorgeous, sinfully sexy man who built himself up from nothing and a shy woman who has a terrible secret in her past…

Wealthy businessman Gabriel Bishop rules the boardroom with the same determination and ruthlessness that made him a rock star on the rugby field. He knows what he wants, and he’ll go after it no-holds-barred.

And what he wants is Charlotte Baird.

Charlotte knows she’s a mouse. Emotionally scarred and painfully shy, she just wants to do her job and remain as invisible as possible. But the new CEO—a brilliant, broad-shouldered T-Rex of a man who growls and storms through the office, leaving carnage in his wake—clearly has other plans. Plans that may be equal parts business and bedroom.

If Charlotte intends to survive this battle of wits and hearts, the mouse will have to learn to wrangle the T-Rex. Game on.

Rowena: This is another fabulous boss/secretary office romance. I loved seeing Gabriel and Charlie battle wits and I especially loved seeing Charlie grow strong over the course of the book and Gabriel win her over. Nalini Singh really killed it with this one and I so adored every minute of this book.

Casee: While this isn’t my favorite book of the Rock Kiss series, I really did enjoy seeing Charlie come out of her shell.


Can You Keep a Secret? by Sophie Kinsella

Meet Emma Corrigan, a young woman with a huge heart, an irrepressible spirit, and a few little secrets.

Secrets from her boyfriend: I’ve always thought Connor looks a bit like Ken. As in Barbie and Ken. Secrets from her mother: I lost my virginity in the spare bedroom with Danny Nussbaum while Mum and Dad were downstairs watching Ben-Hur.
Secrets she wouldn’t share with anyone in the world: I have no idea what NATO stands for. Or even what it is.

Until she spills them all to a handsome stranger on a plane. At least, she thought he was a stranger.…Until Emma comes face-to-face with Jack Harper, the company’s elusive CEO, a man who knows every single humiliating detail about her…

Rowena: This book cracked me up from beginning to end. I loved getting to know both Emma and Jack. Emma was such a delightful character and Jack was a total babe. Sophie Kinsella delivered a charming rom com that had me laughing at every turn….it’s one of my favorites to re-read.

Holly: You guys, I love this book. SO much. Kinsella definitely delivered with this book. I haven’t read it in ages, but I remember it fondly.

A cartoon cover with woman in yellow dress and hand on her hip, looking at a man in a white button down shirt fixing his tie
The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

Nemesis (n.) 1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome.
2) A person’s undoing
3) Joshua Templeman

Lucy Hutton has always been certain that the nice girl can get the corner office. She’s charming and accommodating and prides herself on being loved by everyone at Bexley & Gamin. Everyone except for coldly efficient, impeccably attired, physically intimidating Joshua Templeman. And the feeling is mutual.

Trapped in a shared office together 40 (OK, 50 or 60) hours a week, they’ve become entrenched in an addictive, ridiculous never-ending game of one-upmanship. There’s the Staring Game. The Mirror Game. The HR Game. Lucy can’t let Joshua beat her at anything—especially when a huge new promotion goes up for the taking.

If Lucy wins this game, she’ll be Joshua’s boss. If she loses, she’ll resign. So why is she suddenly having steamy dreams about Joshua, and dressing for work like she’s got a hot date? After a perfectly innocent elevator ride ends with an earth-shattering kiss, Lucy starts to wonder whether she’s got Joshua Templeman all wrong.

Maybe Lucy Hutton doesn’t hate Joshua Templeman. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.

Rowena: Gah, I love this one. Josh and Lucy are coworkers who hate each other. They do things that annoy each other every single day and when they’re both up for a promotion, the one-upmanship kicks into high gear. This book was so much fun and I adored both Josh and Lucy so much. Sally Thorne did her thing with this one and I ate it all up. So good!

Shirtless Man holding a woman's leg with a black stiletto up
The Trouble with Love (Sex, Love & Stilettos #4) by Lauren Layne

As Lauren Layne’s salacious Sex, Love & Stiletto series returns, a jaded columnist discovers a steamy way to get over an old flame: falling for him all over again.

As Stiletto magazine’s authority on all things breakup-and-heartache, Emma Sinclair writes from personal experience. Five years ago, Emma was Charlotte, North Carolina’s darling debutante and a blushing bride-to-be. Now she’s the ice queen of the Manhattan dating scene. Emma left her sultry Southern drawl behind, but not even her closest friends know that with it she left her heart. Now Emma’s latest article forces her to face her demons—namely, the devilishly sexy guy who ditched her at the altar.

After giving up everything for a pro-soccer career, Alex Cassidy watches his dreams crumble as a knee injury sidelines him for good. Now he’s hanging up his cleats and giving journalism a shot. It’s just a coincidence that he happens to pick a job in the same field, and the same city, as his former fiancée . . . right? But when Emma moves in next door, it’s no accident. It’s research. And Alex can’t help wondering what might have been. Unlike the innocent girl he remembers, this Emma is chic, sophisticated, and assertive—and she wants absolutely nothing to do with him. The trouble is, Alex has never wanted her more.

Rowena: Lauren Layne is my favorite author right now. She writes office romances like a champ! Alex and Emma’s story began before they worked together and the chemistry between these two was super steamy. I loved this book to pieces and will always, always pimp it out at every turn.

Holly: I haven’t read many books by Layne, but this was a great office romance. I loved the dynamic between the two and how much chemistry they had.

Casee: I really need to read this one. I loved the Oxford series.

Wanderlust by Lauren Blakely Book Cover
Wanderlust by Lauren Blakely

A charming British hero, the woman who tempts him, and a hands-off arrangement that’s oh-so-hard to maintain.

My bags are packed and I’m ready to go. All I have to do is board a plane, and I’ll be on my way to fulfilling a promise I made long ago. Bonus points — my last week in Paris looks to be even better when I meet a gorgeous, clever American woman and make plans to take her back to my flat that night.

But before we can get together for what would surely be a fantastic final fling, my boss hits me with a double whammy. My previous client didn’t pay, so there’s no trip, and the new client I now desperately need is none other than the tempting American I’m about to take home.

Have I mentioned this timing bloody sucks?

***

I’ll admit it — I have a big weakness for a hot British accent. As in, they make me swoon, sigh, and want to toss my panties. Good thing I can avoid that kind of temptation in Paris. So it’s just my luck that the man who’s the key to success in my new job is the man whose voice makes me melt. Oh, and we have to spend all our days together for work.

Thanks a lot, fate.

To top it off, I quickly learn he’s witty, kind and has a heart and mind I’m falling for fast.

All I have to do is resist him every single freaking day. That’s so easy. Not.

But then I learn that’s nothing compared to the real hurdle we face.

What could go wrong with falling in love in Paris? Nearly everything, it seems…

Casee: I absolutely adored this book. I loved Joy and Griffin. I loved how there was none of the usual drama between the characters, but their love came through loud and clear. It’s one of the best books that I’ve listened to this year.

Holly: This is one of the best books I read in 2018. I absolutely loved both Joy and Griffin, and bonus! Richard Armitage narrated the audio. ::swoon::

Did any of your favorite office romances make our list? Which ones?
What do you consider office romances?


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Review: Anatomy of a Player by Cindi Madsen

Posted April 17, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Anatomy of a Player by Cindi MadsenReviewer: Rowena
Anatomy of a Player by Cindi Madsen
Narrator: Joe Arden, Kristin Watson Heintz
Series: Taking Shots #2
Also in this series: Getting Lucky Number Seven
Publisher: Entangled, Entangled Embrace
Publication Date: January 25, 2016
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Romance Package
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: New Adult
Length: 9 hours, 52 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

A new adult romance from Entangled's Embrace imprint...

This bad boy is about to get played…

After getting her heart broken by a player again, Whitney Porter is done with men. She's focusing on her future career and her first assignment at the college newspaper: Posing as a sports writer for an exposé on the extra perks jocks receive. But Hudson Decker, the bad boy of the hockey team, is about to test her resolve. To keep herself from breaking her no-sex rule with the temptingly tattooed athlete, she decides to use him for a side project: Anatomy of a Player, to help Whitney—and women everywhere—spot a player, learn what makes him tick, and how to avoid falling for one.

With his life spiraling out of control, Hudson Decker's looking for a distraction. When his teammates bet him that he can't land the gorgeous but prickly new reporter, he accepts the challenge, boasting he'll have her in bed by the end of the semester. But Whitney is so much more than Hudson expected, and soon enough, he's in too deep. The last thing he needs is another complication, but staying away isn't an option. One thing's for certain: this girl totally throws him off his game.

Anatomy of a Player is the second book in Cindi Madsen’s Taking Shots series and it was another quick listen for me. I listened to the entire book in a day and let the drama between Hudson and Whitney take me away for a while. I will say right off the bat that I enjoyed the first book in this series more than I did this one. The best friends trope gets me every time but on top of that, both Hudson and Whitney got on my nerves quite a bit while listening to their story.

After Whitney gets dumped yet again, she swears off boys and promises herself that she’s going to focus on school and get her journalism degree poppin’ by joining the school paper but the only job at the paper that she can get is as the reporter covering the hockey team. She also pitches a story that will expose the athletes at the school, the hockey team in particular, of breezing through school while the rest of the non-athletes bust their asses to stay afloat. Her job is to get as close as she can to the team, develop friendships so that they’ll tell her all of their secrets and she can bust their trust in her wide open when she betrays them all…for the glory of a story. This was my least favorite part of the story. I’m not a fan of journalist heroines and I was prepared to be annoyed as shit over Whitney’s plan but it wasn’t Whitney’s plan that I hated most about her. It was how immature she was that annoyed the snot out of me.

Hudson had his own stuff that he was working through and he annoyed me with the immature way that he handled his problems (he didn’t, he just partied too hard to distract himself) but over the course of the book, you see him grow into his own and when he finally starts to deal with his issues and everything in his life, Whitney included, I really liked the person he became.

The romance between Hudson and Whitney was solid and I did root for them, at the same time that I wanted to strangle them both but I chalked up their immaturity to their age and was able to let a lot of things slide and enjoy the story, them as characters, and just everything. Cindi Madsen’s writing style is easy to follow along with and I appreciated that. Hudson and Whitney did grow on me and I was satisfied with the way that their romance came together in the end. It was believable and I’m definitely interested in continuing the story.

Grade: 3.5 out of 5

Taking Shots

three-half-stars


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Review: Repeat by Kylie Scott

Posted April 16, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Repeat by Kylie ScottReviewer: Rowena
Repeat by Kylie Scott
Narrator: Andi Arndt
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: January 7, 2019
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Romance Package
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Length: 6 hours, 47 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars

From Audie Award winning, New York Times best-selling author Kylie Scott comes an irresistible new romance - available in audio first!

When a vicious attack leaves 25-year-old Clementine Johns with no memory, she's forced to start over. Now she has to figure out who she was and why she made the choices she did - which includes leaving the supposed love of her life, tattoo artist Ed Larsen, only a month before.

Ed can hardly believe it when his ex shows up at his tattoo parlor with no memory of their past, asking about the breakup that nearly destroyed him. The last thing he needs is more heartache, but he can't seem to let her go again.

Should they walk away for good, or does their love deserve a repeat performance?

Listening Length: 6 hours and 47 minutes

I’m not normally a fan of amnesia romances because I can’t stand the anxiety I get from the truth being revealed and the world exploding all around the characters but for some reason, I didn’t mind the amnesia in this book. This book came highly recommended by Holly so I knew that I was going to read it because if Holly is gushing about a book, the book is damn near perfect. And while I didn’t enjoy this book as much as she did, I still enjoyed it.

The amnesia thing didn’t bother me as much because so much of the story is about Clem’s journey to rediscovering who she was and who she wants to be. I really enjoyed that part of the story. For me, the romance took a backseat to Clem’s journey. I thought Kylie Scott did a really great job of showing us what Clem was feeling and how she was dealing with all of the changes in her life.

When we first meet Clem, she’s trying to figure some things out about herself. She’s finding out that people she once held near and dear, want nothing to do with her and from what she can gather, they have legit reasons for not wanting her to be a part of their lives anymore. Seeing her try to figure that out and repair the damage she doesn’t remember inflicting on these other people really amplified my enjoyment of the story. This wasn’t an easy book to read and there were times when I wanted to shake both Clem and Ed some but for the most part, I enjoyed seeing them reconnect and fall in love with the people they were today…and move on from their shady past.

I spotted the bad guy pretty early on so I would say that is the weakest part of this book but everything else was pretty solid. Clem really comes into her own and takes charge of the second chance she was given and I enjoyed seeing it all happen for her. The book is filled with a cast of charming characters that I came to love over the course of the book so yeah, if you’re looking for a second chance romance with an amnesia plot and a heroine surviving a pretty bad attack, blossoming into a kick-ass woman then you should definitely pick this one up.

Grade: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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