Genre: Contemporary Romance

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
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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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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
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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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Sunday Spotlight: Meet Cute by Helena Hunting

Posted April 14, 2019 by Holly in Features, Giveaways | 9 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. 🙂

Meet Cute by Helena Hunting is one of my most anticipated books of the year. Reunited friends-turned-lovers plus a single dad (well, brother acting as dad)? YES PLEASE!

Sunday Spotlight: Meet Cute by Helena HuntingMeet Cute by Helena Hunting
Publisher: Forever
Publication Date: April 9, 2019
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 384
Add It: Goodreads
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Talk about an embarrassing introduction. On her first day of law school, Kailyn ran - quite literally - into the actor she crushed on as a teenager, ending with him sprawled on top of her. Mortified to discover the Daxton Hughes was also a student in her class, her embarrassment over their meet-cute quickly turned into a friendship she never expected. Of course, she never saw his betrayal coming either...

Now, eight years later, Dax is in her office asking for legal advice. Despite her anger, Kailyn can't help feeling sorry for the devastated man who just became sole guardian to his thirteen-year-old sister. But when her boss gets wind of Kailyn's new celebrity client, there's even more at stake than Dax's custody issues: if she gets Dax to work at their firm, she'll be promoted to partner.

The more time Kailyn spends with Dax and his sister, the more she starts to feel like a family, and the more she realizes the chemistry they had all those years ago is as fresh as ever. But will they be able to forgive the mistakes of the past, or will one betrayal lead to another?

Excerpt

Tamponology 101

Kailyn

True to his word, Daxton is in the store, basket in hand, hovering between the cold and flu medication aisle and the sanitary napkins.

As soon as he spots me, he rushes over and hugs me, catching me off guard. Again. He and Emme sure do like to hug. I wonder if he’s going to do this every time he sees me. As I pat him awkwardly on the back, I consider how that might not be a terrible thing. He’s just so tall, and broad and muscular, but not in an overly bulky way. He’s lean and toned, rather than hulking scary. And he smells good. Too good. I take a step back.

“Thank you so much for coming. I really, really owe you, Kailyn. I’m beyond grateful.”

I glance at the contents of his basket. He has chips and chocolate bars in there, a decent start on the unhealthy snack food frontier. I grab for the box that most certainly does not belong and hold it up. “What’s this for?”

He blinks at me, eyes wide and slightly afraid. “They looked sturdy, and like they’d catch everything.”

“Sure, if you’re buying incontinence products for your grandmother.” I slap them against his chest and grab his elbow. “Follow me.”

He doesn’t have a choice but to come along, since I’m pretty much digging my nails into his arm. It’s a nice arm. Very firm. I need to stop noticing these things. We make a pit stop at the I-can-no-longer-do-jumping-jacks-without-peeing-my-pants section and return the box before I lead Daxton to the aisle with the right products.

I sweep a hand out. “Welcome to the Aisle of Red.”

He glances at me, frowning. “That’s awful.”

“You have absolutely no idea.” I tap my lip and survey the selection. “She’ll need a box of these for the last couple of days.” I toss in some light days. “And she’ll need these for heavier flow.” Dax cringes, possibly at my terminology. I roll my eyes and stop in front of the midflow ones.

“What the hell are these?” Dax taps a box of triangular-shaped, black pads.

“Those are light days for thongs.”

His confusion is almost adorable. “Thongs?”

“Will Emme need those?”

“What?”

“Does Emme wear thongs?”

His expression shifts to horror. “She’s thirteen.”

I raise a brow. “That doesn’t mean anything these days.”

“She better not be wearing thongs.” His sudden protective rage turns to inquisition as he looks me over. “Do you wear thongs?”

“I own a lot of pencil skirts, Dax. Have you ever seen any lines?” Oh God. I should not be entertaining this kind of banter. It’s dangerous and it blurs lines that already seemed blurred from day one when he hugged me in the conference room, and my little digs and comments since then.

A smile tugs at the right side of his mouth, and his eyes move over me. I’m wearing purple jeans tonight. Skinny jeans that hug all of my many curves. “I can’t say that I have.”

“You just admitted to checking out my ass, by the way.”

“It’s a pretty rockin’ ass. You can hardly blame me.”

I blush at the compliment and turn back to the products displayed before me. “What about tampons?”

“What about them?”

“Do you think she’ll want some?”

Daxton shrugs. “I don’t know. Maybe?”

“We’ll get them, just to be safe, and we’ll get the applicator and non-applicator varieties, just in case.”

“Non-applicator?”

“Yeah. One has an applicator, the other you just use your finger.”

He makes a gagging sound, and his horrified expression returns. This is far more fun than it should be for a Friday night at the CVS in the Aisle of Red.

He looks around, leans in, and drops his voice to a whisper. “But wouldn’t you get…stuff on your finger?”

“Stuff?”

“You know, period stuff.”

I grin at how uncomfortable he looks. “Yes, Dax, that would happen. However, most bathrooms come equipped with this magical product called toilet paper, and they have sinks and soap and water so you can wash your hands.”

“But why would you want to stick your finger…” He shakes his head, obviously confused.

“I don’t think it’s about wanting to. They’re just more compact. Discreet.” This is far too much sharing.

“Maybe we can forgo those ones for now.”

“Sure. We can come back to those another time.” Once we’re stocked up on all of the sanitary products, we stop in the painkiller aisle, where I explain what each bottle is for as I throw them into the basket. Then we double back to the candy aisle and toss in some more junk food because periods suck, and cravings are everything.

I stand in line at the checkout with Dax and help him unload the basket. By the time they finish ringing through all his purchases, it’s well over a hundred dollars. “It’s expensive to be a girl,” he mutters, handing over his Amex card.

via GIPHY

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: April 2019

Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About Helena Hunting

an author picture of Helena Hunting posed in front of trees

NTY and USA Today Bestselling author of The PUCKED Series, Helena Hunting lives outside of Toronto with her amazing family and her two awesome cats, who think the best place to sleep is her keyboard. Helena writes everything from contemporary romance to romance comedy, sports romance and angsty new adult romance.


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What Are You Reading? (+ Shelley Shepard Gray Giveaway)

Posted April 12, 2019 by Casee in Features, Giveaways | 6 Comments

Casee: I’m reading At the Pleasure of the President (Perfect Gentlemen #5) by Shayla Black and Lexi Blake. I haven’t had much time to read this week, but when I was able to pick it up for longer than five minutes, I was instantly pulled in. Zack Hayes. Sigh. I also read The Savior (Black Dagger Brotherhood #17) by J.R. Ward this week. Review to come.

I’m listening to More Than Want You (More Than Words #1) by Shayla Black. I don’t have very nice things to say about this book at the moment. If I was a quitter, I would have already DNF’d this book. Alas, I’ve invested too many hours into listening to give up now, but I have a feeling it won’t get much better. I still intend to listen to the second book in the series just to see if this one is a fluke. I really do enjoy Shayla Black.

Holly: I finished Touch of Frost by S.E. Smith. I really loved how capable the heroine was, but the story kind of went off the rails near the 70% mark. Still, I enjoyed it enough to seek out more books by the author in the future. I ended up re-reading the Hidden Legacy series by Ilona Andrews. I finished Burn for Me and White Hot, and I’m almost finished with Wildfire.

I started listening to Better Homes and Hauntings by Molly Harper, but I didn’t get very far before life got in the way. I also started reading American Witch by Thea Harrison, but didn’t get far in that either. I plan to finish both this weekend.

Rowena: This week, I read The Key to Happily Ever After by Tif Marcelo and Fumbled (The Playbook #2) by Alexa Martin. I enjoyed both books though I enjoyed Fumbled more. I adored TK, Poppy, and Ace. They were so much fun to read about and Alexa Martin writes a great romance so I’ll definitely be going back for more.

Now, I’m reading Magic Burns (Kate Daniels #2) by Ilona Andrews and Hook Shot (Hoops #3) by Kennedy Ryan. It’s slow going because I’ve had a bunch of stuff going on this week but so far, I’m enjoying both books. We’ll see how that goes as I keep reading though. I’m hopeful. After this, I plan on reading Frost Burned (Mercy Thompson #11) by Patricia Briggs for my TBR Challenge read for this month. Wish me luck!

Giveaway Alert

We are very fortunate here at Book Binge. We have loads and loads of books to read and we want to share the wealth so each week, we’ll be tacking on a Freebie Friday giveaway to our What Are You Reading posts. This week, we’re giving away…

What Are You Reading? (+ Shelley Shepard Gray Giveaway)His Promise by Shelley Shepard Gray
Series: The Amish of Hart County #6
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Publication Date: October 23, 2018
Format: Print
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 352
Add It: Goodreads
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New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray’s latest Christmas novel in her Amish of Hart County series.

It’s set to be a white Christmas in Hart County, and Grace King is pet-sitting in a beautiful home with only a difficult dachshund for company. Just as she starts to miss the bustle of her large Amish family, Grace runs into a familiar face. Living right next door is John Michael Miller. He’s a fireman now, but five years ago, he had courted her older sister, then broke her heart. Seeing him again stirs Grace’s anger, but also reminds her of deeper feelings she’s done her best to deny.

The infatuation John Michael once saw in Grace’s eyes is long gone, though his complicated attraction to her remains. He had walked away all those years ago when he realized he was falling in love with the wrong sister. Now, as suspicious fires are set in their community, that’s not an option. Grace dismisses his warnings, and John Michael vows to keep an eye on her. But he can’t help wondering if he’s reconnected with Grace, only to risk losing her again.

Now all John Michael wants for Christmas is to keep Grace safe, in the hopes that they can one day have a future together.

What Are You Reading: His Promise

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


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Throwback Thursday Review: Get a Clue by Jill Shalvis

Posted April 11, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 3 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: Get a Clue by Jill ShalvisReviewer: Casee
Get a Clue by Jill Shalvis
Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation
Publication Date: 2015-04
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 320
Add It: Goodreads
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four-stars

And You Think You've Had A Bad Day

City girl Breanne Mooreland gets left at the altar, takes the flight from hell to her honeymoon--alone--loses her luggage, and ends up snowed in at a Sierra mountains lodge run by the kookiest staff this side of the Addams Family. Oh, and there's a gorgeous naked man taking a shower in her suite who says he isn't going anywhere. That's just the first 24 hours. . .

Burned-out vice cop Cooper Scott is in serious need of this vacation, and he's not about to give up the only available room because an upset--okay, make that insane--woman is having a conniption fit. They'll just have to make the best of it--her side of the bed versus his. But when Cooper wakes up kissing the long, leggy Breanne, he wants to show her exactly what the honeymoon suite is intended for. But that will have to wait, because a screaming Breanne has just stumbled on a very dead body. So much for vacation. . .

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

This review was originally posted on Apil 1, 2008.

This was a really fast read for me. I read it over the 6-hour flight to warm Hawaii. Have I mentioned that it’s butt-ass cold in Boise?

I’ve read a few books by Jill Shalvis. I want to say that most of them were Harlequin’s, but I can’t say for sure.

Breanne was left at the altar but still determined to go on her honeymoon to lick her wounds. Arriving in the Sierra Nevada mountains at the beginning of a storm that would strand her, Breanne gets quite a surprise when she finds a naked man in the shower of her room. If that wasn’t bad enough, she finds herself attracted to Cooper Scott…after she’s sworn off men.

A burnt-out Vice cop, Cooper Scott has come to the mountains at the urging of his brother. Trying to do nothing more recharge, Cooper refuses to give his room up to Breanne. Wanting nothing more than a relaxing vacation, it doesn’t take Cooper long to figure out that relaxing around Breanne is pretty much impossible.

When Breanne literally stumbles upon a dead body, Cooper instantly goes into “cop mode”. Unfortunately he’s snowed in with a woman who is scared of the dark and hears strange noises, a butler who looks like he belongs in one of L.A.’s most dangerous gangs, a knife-wielding chef who looks like someone’s little sister, a handyman that can’t fix anything, and a housekeeper who looks like she stepped off the pages of Playboy. Which basically means that everyone is a suspect.

I really enjoyed this book. At the beginning of each chapter, there were short entries from Breanne’s journal, which she took everywhere with her. I read each one to my husband. He was suitably impressed. These are a few of my favorites:

I’ve heard that men are like fine wine. They begin as grapes, and it’s up to women to stomp the shit out of them until they turn into something acceptable to have dinner with. Me, I just want to do the stomping.

And…

Men exist because a vibrator can’t change a flat tire. On second thought, I should just buy a AAA card.

Last one…

Life is like a boner: long and hard.

Before you think that Breanne is a man-hating shrew, let me say that she’s not. She’s a woman that has had several hard knocks in life and still manages to find humor in them. Now she finally has a man that sees the real her. The problem is convincing herself that she’s finally found a good one.

This is a funny and enjoyable read. I recommend it to anyone that wants to read anything light.

Grade: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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