Publisher: Avon Impulse

Review: Havoc by Jamie Shaw

Posted March 21, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Havoc by Jamie ShawReviewer: Rowena
Havoc by Jamie Shaw
Series: Mayhem #4
Also in this series: Mayhem, Riot, Mayhem, Riot, Chaos
Published by Avon Impulse
Publication Date: February 21st 2017
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Pages: 496
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four-stars

When Hailey Harper left her family farm to enroll in veterinary school, she had a plan: keep her head down, ace her classes, and most importantly… don’t upset the uncle paying her tuition. Translation? Don’t piss off his dramatic, self-absorbed daughter, Danica, even if she’s a nightmare to live with.

Falling in love with her cousin’s rock star ex-boyfriend was definitely not part of the plan.

As the drummer of a now-famous rock band, Mike Madden could have any girl he wants. He’s sweet, funny, romantic, talented—and the only guy that’s ever made Hailey’s heart do cartwheels in her chest. The more she gets to know him, the harder she falls, but Hailey knows they can never be more than friends… because Danica wants him back, and she’ll fight dirty to win.

Mike is falling for Hailey too, but Danica’s threats and his rock star life—music video shoots, international tours, obsessed fans—could tear them apart before they’ve even begun. Hailey isn’t sure she’s the one for him, but Mike’s waited years for a girl like her… and he’ll do anything to prove it.

Havoc is the fourth book in the Mayhem series by Jamie Shaw and it features the drummer of the band, Mike Madden. If you read the other books in the series, you’ll remember Mike as the band member that doesn’t hook up with groupies. He spends his down time playing video games because he’s never really gotten over his ex-girlfriend from high school, Danica.

This book starts off with Danica and her cousin Haley trying to get backstage at one of Mike’s bands concerts to see Mike…after a long ass time apart. Actually, Danica is trying to get backstage and Haley is just along for the ride because Danica is her ride. She’s not a fan of her cousin and she’s not all that interested in anyone that would be interested in Danica because Danica is a horrible person. You know, you are the company you keep and all that. So while Mike and Danica reunite, Haley makes herself comfortable on the bands tour bus and gets to know Mike’s bandmates and their girlfriends…and she fits right in with the group.

When Mike and Danica’s reunion is done, Mike comes back to the tour bus and meets Danica’s cousin Haley who is kicking ass at a video game that he’s supposed to be working on and just like that, his awkward reunion with his ex-girlfriend is forgotten and a new friend is made.

Mike and Haley become fast friends and before Haley knows what is what, she’s got a big crush on a guy that just got back together with her horrible cousin. She knows that he deserves better than the likes of Danica and she doesn’t understand what he sees in her but she’s going to respect his wishes and keep her distance. It’s hard when Mike has become a huge part of her days and her nights but if she’s going to get over this crush, a girls gotta do what she’s gotta do.

Ahh, this book was a cute one. It was my favorite book of the bunch and Mike Madden was everything. Even when he was being a dumbass dating a girl that did him dirty, I loved him. I couldn’t wait for him to fix things and get back on track and that declaration??? Gah, I loved it.

I was a little disappointed that Haley didn’t come clean about her and Mike sooner but hell, when she finally does come clean…I was like, “That’s my girl!!!” and when she finally has it out with Danica, it was along time coming and I was pumped because Haley won. Ha!

This was a great ending to a great series and I was completely happy with the overall story. This series has made me a fan of Jamie Shaw’s and I’m looking forward to whatever comes next for her. Mike and Haley were great characters with a steamy romance that had me in my feels so yes, I recommend this one.

4 out of 5

four-stars

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Review: When the Marquess Falls by Lorraine Heath

Posted March 17, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: When the Marquess Falls by Lorraine HeathReviewer: Rowena
When the Marquess Falls by Lorraine Heath
Series: Hellions of Havisham #3.5
Also in this series: Falling into Bed with a Duke, The Earl Takes All, The Earl Takes All, The Viscount and the Vixen
Published by Avon Impulse
Publication Date: March 14th 2017
Genres: Historical, Romance
Pages: 128
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four-stars

The long-anticipated and utterly extraordinary tale of the Mad Marquess that proves love truly does last forever

The Marquess of Marsden always follows the rules. Expected from birth to adhere to decades of tradition, he plans to marry a proper young woman from a good family. But when a beautiful, and completely unsuitable, woman snags his heart, he begins to realize that to get what you want, sometimes you have to break the rules.

Linnie Connor dreams of the independence of running her very own bakery. And while she may be allowed to be a marquess’ childhood companion, the baker's daughter never ends up with the handsome nobleman. Determined to achieve at least one of her dreams, Linnie makes plans to leave her sleepy village for London, intent on purging him from her heart. And yet, when an invitation to the Marsden annual ball arrives, she can't refuse her one chance to waltz in his arms.

It will be a night that stirs the flames of forbidden desires and changes their lives forever.

Lorraine Heath did something with this story and I wasn’t even aware that I wanted this story until I picked it up for review. You see, this story is about the Mad Marquess of Marsden. The crazy man that walks the moors because he swears that his wife’s ghost is there with him. For three books, we’ve seen Marsden as an eccentric aristocrat who is just waiting for death to come so that he can reunite with his loving wife, Linnie.

This was a different sort of romance in the sense that we know what happens to the main couple later on and that casts a slight shade on the romance in this one but I don’t even care because Lorraine Heath did a great job of telling Marsden and Linnie’s story. While I was reading this short story, I wasn’t thinking about what is to come for these two. I was just enjoying the story of two best friends falling in love and finding a way to be together.

Linnie was everything that I was hoping she’d be from the descriptions of her from the other books in this series. Goodness, if only Locke had gotten to know his mother because she was freaking awesome but as awesome as it was to get to know her, it was Marsden that I was happy to get to know all over again. A young Marsden was a hunky piece of yumminess and I loved seeing him before he went mad for love of his wife. I also really enjoyed seeing Ash and the twin’s parents as well. All in all, this was a short bunch of sweetness that I loved from beginning to end. In the short amount of pages included in this story, I laughed and I even cried a little bit because gah…it was good stuff. You guys should definitely read this one. It’s the perfect ending to a fabulous series. I totally recommend!

4 out of 5

four-stars

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Review: One Snowy Night by Jill Shalvis

Posted November 29, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: One Snowy Night by Jill ShalvisReviewer: Rowena
One Snowy Night by Jill Shalvis
Series: Heartbreaker Bay #2.5
Also in this series: Sweet Little Lies, The Trouble with Mistletoe, The Trouble with Mistletoe, Accidentally on Purpose
Published by Harper Collins, Avon Impulse
Publication Date: November 8th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 160
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three-half-stars

New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis returns to Heartbreaker Bay with a fun and festive holiday novella!

It’s Christmas Eve and Rory Andrews is desperate to get home to the family she hasn’t seen in years. Problem is, her only ride to Lake Tahoe comes in the form of the annoyingly handsome Max Stranton, and his big, goofy, lovable dog Carl.

Hours stuck in a truck with the dead sexy Max sounds like a fate worse than death (not), but Rory’s out of options. She’s had a crush on Max since high school and she knows he’s attracted to her, too. But they have history… and Max is the only one who knows why it went south.

They’ve done a good job of ignoring their chemistry so far, but a long road trip in a massive blizzard might be just what they need to face their past… and one steamy, snowy night is all it takes to bring Max and Rory together at last.

This was a shorty but goodie. Ha, see what I did there?

This novella features Max Stranton and Rory Andrews. Max works with Archer (hero of Book 3) and Rory works with Willa (heroine of Book 2) and they don’t like each other. Rory goes out of her way to avoid Max when he brings his dog into her work for his pet care needs and she wonders why he keeps bringing Carl (Max’s dog) in for every little thing, even things he can do himself, especially if he doesn’t like her. Max can’t explain it either. He’s got some resentments that go back to their high school days so yeah, he doesn’t like her but he sees her all the time. Goes out of his way to see her.

When Rory finds herself looking for a ride home, Max volunteers to take her. They’re going to the same place, they might as well go together. Rory isn’t a fan of this plan but ends up going anyway. She’s expecting a long, awkward drive to their hometown but she’s in for a surprise because everything she was expecting goes right out the window once they hit the highway.

Max is drawn to Rory, despite the resentment he feels for her. He’s attracted to her but shoves his desire for her down at every turn because he’s not over what happened back in high school. Her actions back then changed the course of his life and he hasn’t really gotten over it. The thing that really chaps his hide is that she acts like she doesn’t even care about changing the course of his life with her actions and that, more anything is what he can’t forgive.

Rory has had a crush on Max since they shared classes in high school. She was never the girl that all of the boys crushed on so of course Max didn’t return her feelings and she spent so much time planning to get out of their small hometown that she splits the first chance she gets. She left a family behind and hasn’t been back to visit them in years. It’s going to be hard going back home but she’s making changes in her life and she’s going to be dependable for once.

The whole road trip serves as an epic clearing of the air between Max and Rory and I thought it was super cute. If I had a gripe, it would be that their story was far too short but overall, it was still a cute romance with an adorable dog that I loved the heck out of. The love that blossomed between Max and Rory happened pretty fast but was made okay for me by the fact that they shared a history. Jill Shalvis can write the heck out of a story and for me, it showed in this short one. I adored both Max and Rory and wished we could have gotten more from their individual stories (it would have been nice to meet and spend some time with their families, see what happened when Rory finally went home, etc..) but I’m hopeful that we’ll get more of them in Archer and Elle’s book.

This was a delightful romance that one would excpect from Jill Shalvis and it made me anxious for the next one.

3.75 out of 5

three-half-stars

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Guest Review: When a Marquess Loves a Woman by Vivienne Lorret

Posted November 16, 2016 by Tracy in Reviews | 3 Comments

Guest Review: When a Marquess Loves a Woman by Vivienne LorretReviewer: Tracy
When a Marquess Loves a Woman by Vivienne Lorret
Series: Season's Original #3
Also in this series: This Earl is on Fire (Season's Original #2)
Published by Avon Impulse
Publication Date: October 4th 2016
Genres: Historical, Romance
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four-stars

As a young, penniless gentleman, Maxwell Harwick knew he had little to offer Juliet White—the most beautiful debutante of the season—except his love, and one thoroughly scandalous kiss. But when they were discovered in a compromising position, a nearly ruined Juliet fled into the arms of a rich, older lord... taking Max’s heart with her.

Now a widow, Lady Juliet Granworth intends to use the fortune she inherited from her odious husband to build a new life in London. Five years have passed, but she’s never forgotten Max… or his soul-searing kiss. Yet it’s clear the newly-minted Marquess of Thayne has not forgiven her—after all, the infuriating man can barely stand the sight of her. But Juliet has endured far too much to give up without a fight and if it’s a battle of wills he wants, it’s a battle he’ll get.

He hates her for breaking his heart. She detests him for destroying her future. But beneath all the loathing simmers an intoxicating passion that neither can ignore… and the harder they resist, the harder they will inevitably fall.

Maxwell only has eyes for his friend and neighbor, Juliet.  Unfortunately Juliet only has eyes for Maxwell’s half-brother – a Marquess (different fathers).  When Juliet finds out from Max that his brother is going to marry someone else she takes his comfort in the form of a kiss but they are caught.  He leaves the house that night at her father’s bidding but returns in the morning with a ring and a plan to head to Gretna Green.  When he gets to her house she and her family are gone and she’s off to marry a titled gentleman.  Maxwell is pissed and plans to never forgive her.

Now it’s 6 years later and Juliet’s horrible husband is dead. Max inherited a title from a far off uncle and is now a Marquess. Juliet’s returned to London but Max will stop at nothing to get her out of his city.  Their mothers are friends so they put up a good front but they end up making a bet – whoever can name the season’s original will get to own the house that Juliet grew up in.  If she loses Juliet has to leave London forever.  The playing out of the bet puts Max and Juliet in close proximity of each other and they finally figure out what they thought was hate was actually love.

This is definitely a book that made me feel a varying range of emotions. I really liked Max and my heart hurt for him when he found Juliet and her family gone.  He loved her so much and I just felt so bad for his situation.  Now there is a fine line between never forgiving someone and outright hating them, at least in my opinion.  I guess the years had just let him stew and it had grown out of proportion.  I did like him quite a bit though and was happy that he turned out to be a much better man than he showed us when first seeing Juliet again.

Juliet – oh I felt horrible for her.  She was forced to marry her husband because of her father’s debt and her husband had only wanted her as an object he could possess.  He kept telling her that she wasn’t worth anything but what was on the outside and once that faded he’d throw her away.  Oh man that had to suck for her!  What a jackass.  Luckily for her she didn’t have to experience that (the throwing away) as he died not long after they got married.  I loved the way Lorret had Juliet slowly falling in love with Max and realizing that she always had been in love with him – not his brother.

The end was a bit convoluted but it still made me smile.  I really liked the HEA in this one and was happy to see Max and Juliet finally figure it all out.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars

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Review: Torch by Karen Erickson

Posted August 15, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Torch by Karen EricksonReviewer: Rowena
Torch by Karen Erickson
Series: Wildwood Series #3
Also in this series: Ignite, Smolder
Published by Avon Impulse
Publication Date: August 16th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 336
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three-half-stars

Tate Warren has never met a woman he couldn’t charm—until now.

Wren Gallagher won’t give him the time of day and it’s making him crazy.

But he won’t give up without a fight… because there’s one thing he knows for sure:

Enemies make the best lovers.

Most women swoon over Tate’s devilish grin and firefighter uniform. But Wren couldn’t be less impressed by his good looks and flirtatious banter—in fact, she seems to downright despise him. She thinks he’s a player, but his attraction to her is no game. Wren is unlike anyone he’s ever known and he isn’t about to let the feisty, gorgeous woman slip through his fingers.

Wooing Wren would be so much easier if she didn’t hate him…
Or does she?

Torch is the third book in the Wildwood series and it features the third Gallagher sibling, Wren. Wren is the last man standing in her family and in her circle of friends. It really sucks that her circle of friends went and got paired up with her brothers so there’s no escaping the love bug that has bitten everyone.

It’s hard to be happy for her friends and her brothers when she wants what they have and she feels so …lost. She isn’t living the life that she thought she’d be living when she was younger and she is feeling unfulfilled. The very last person she needs sniffing around her is the guy that gets on her hot damn nerves but Tate Warren isn’t going anywhere.

He’s made no qualms about letting her know that he wants her but because he hasn’t been tied down, he’s got the playboy reputation thing going for him and Wren isn’t interested in becoming one of his girls. Things take a turn when the arsonist that’s been hanging around, burning shit down since the first book gets to her house. She’s got no home and she doesn’t want to be a thorn in her brothers and friends lives and she doesn’t want to deal with her parents so when Tate offers her a home with him, she grudgingly takes it.

This book was a quick read and I really liked that the romance didn’t feel rushed or forced. Erickson does a great job of pulling the reader along with what’s going on with Wren and Tate, the arsonist, Levi coming back into town and she did it all without a lot of page time but everything fit together and the story didn’t suffer for it.

I knew that I was going to like Tate from the earlier books and I’m glad that he lived up to the Tate I was hoping he’d be. He was hot, strong and extremely sweet with Wren and I loved getting to know him. Wren was a great heroine too but there were times when I wanted to smack some sense into her. Like the way that she treated Tate when he took care of her or the whole thing with Levi coming back but in the end, I thought this was a solid story and I’m hoping that we’re not through with these folks because the story isn’t done. We don’t know everything yet.

Overall, this book was great and while I was a little frustrated with that abrupt ending, I still enjoyed the book and have my fingers crossed for more.

Grade: 3.75 out of 5

three-half-stars

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