Publisher: Berkley

Retro-Review: Savor the Moment by Nora Roberts.

Posted November 28, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 6 Comments

Retro-Review: Savor the Moment by Nora Roberts.Reviewer: Rowena
Savor the Moment (Bride Quartet, #3) by Nora Roberts
Series: Bride Quartet #3
Also in this series: Vision in White (Bride Quartet, #1), Happy Ever After (Bride Quartet, #4)
Published by Berkley
Publication Date: April 27th 2010
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 325
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

#1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts cordially invites you to meet childhood friends Parker, Emma, Laurel, and Mac — the founders of Vows, one of Connecticut’s premier wedding planning companies.

Laurel McBane has always relied on her friends for support, especially when her dream of attending culinary school was almost ruined by her parents’ financial problems. Now Laurel is repaying the kindness of her friends by creating extravagantly luscious tiers of cakes and other confectionary delights that add the perfect touch to their clients’ weddings. As for romance, Laurel believes in it — in theory. But she’s too low-key to appreciate all the luxuries that other women seem to long for. What she does appreciate is a strong, intelligent man, a man just like Parker’s older brother, Delaney Brown, on whom Laurel has had a mega crush since childhood.

But some infatuations last longer than others, and Laurel is convinced that the Ivy League lawyer is still out of her reach. Plus, Del is too protective of Laurel to ever cross the line with her, or so she thinks. When Laurel’s quick- silver moods get the better of her — leading to an angry, hot, altogether mind-blowing kiss with Del — she’ll have to quiet the doubts in her mind to turn a moment of passion into forever…

*****As part of our 10 year anniversary celebration, we’ll be re-posting old reviews and posts that make us cringe, laugh or sigh all over again.*****

This review was originally posted on April 27, 2010.

This is another series that I am absolutely in love with. I love that it’s a straight up contemporary series with just two human beings falling in love without be bitten by vampires or taken hostage by terrorists or anything else like that. They’re just two everyday, average, normal people falling in love over the course of time.

This book was good. It was but I didn’t enjoy it as much as I enjoyed Jack and Emma’s story. There were things about this book that I loved, like learning about Laurel’s side of the business, I’ve always been fascinated with baking and Laurel does it well so it was good to see that. I also enjoyed getting to know Del. I’ve always been interested in learning more about Del in the first two books and it was good to finally see Del getting some serious page time.

Laurel and Del’s attraction to each other started in the last book when they’re all at Emma’s family’s house for a bbq and you could tell that this was where that day was going to lead Del and Laurel. Their attraction seemed to simmer on low heat for a few weeks before it boiled right out of the pot. Del is trying to keep seeing Laurel as the little sister he’s always known her to be and Laurel is trying to get over her silly crush on the boy that will always look at her like a little sister. So in a last ditch effort to get Del out of her system, she shows him that she’s NOT his sister and that sets the tone for the rest of the book.

They’re playing this keep away game of Laurel’s shoes and Del is using the shoes to get to know Laurel better. He’s going for this and he’s going to see where it leads them. Watching these two grow closer and closer was cute. Seeing them bicker their way to love made me smile.

Del was a great hero, one who caring, thoughtful and adorable. I really liked him but I didn’t love Del the way that I loved Jack. Del was a good, solid hero but he didn’t make my heart sing the way that his best friend did.

Laurel was one of those feisty heroines who at times made me roll my eyes around the room. Her reasons for being mad at Del about the whole money didn’t make sense to me. She’s known Del most of her life, she’s friends with him. She should have known him enough to understand where he was coming from with the whole paying thing. I mean, she blew something so small into something so big and I just didn’t get it. So Del’s rich, so what? I just didn’t understand where all of her anger from him trying to give her money was coming from. It’s not like he thought she was this two bit loser who he felt sorry for and was trying to give her a break. I could see him doing the exact same thing to Emma and to Mac but Laurel blew that shit up like he was trying to strangle her or something.

Overall, this book was good but it’s not my favorite of the bunch. My favorite part of this book was getting to know Laurel while she was at work. I loved reading about all of her baking bits. Seeing her in action in the kitchen had me wanting to throw my apron on and see what kind of concoctions I could throw together in the kitchen. I love baking in any romance novel and it never fails to amaze me how Nora Roberts can take any occupation out there and make me curious about it. She’s a phenomenal writer and I’m such a fan!

It was good to see the gang all together again and I can’t wait for Parker and Mal’s story. I can’t wait to see how Mal wins her over. It’s going to be interesting because Mal is a fox and Parker is one tough cookie. I can already imagine the sparks that are going to fly. Woot!

Grade: 3.5 out of 5

The Bride Quartet

This book is available from Berkley Trade. You can buy it here.

four-stars


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Review: Changing the Game by Jaci Burton

Posted November 24, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Changing the Game by Jaci BurtonReviewer: Rowena
Changing the Game (Play by Play, #2) by Jaci Burton
Series: Play by Play #2
Also in this series: Holiday on Ice, Rules of Contact, The Final Score (Play by Play, #13)
Published by Penguin, Berkley
Publication Date: August 2nd 2011
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 310
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four-stars

Most people play by the rules. Gavin and Liz aren't most people....

Win at any cost. That's always been the mantra of sports agent Liz Darnell. When she carries things too far and risks losing her number-one client, baseball pro Gavin Riley, Liz realizes that she'll have to work extra innings to win him back. It might not be too much of a stretch. She's had a thing for this player's moves since she first laid eyes on him, and by the looks of it, he wants her just as bad.

Gavin's more than ready—especially when Liz is offering herself as part of the bargain. And as much of her as Gavin wants. For added thrills, he decides to throw a little curve ball Liz's way to see just how far she's truly willing to go to keep him as a client. But when love unexpectedly enters the playing field, neither Liz nor Gavin are ready for the biggest game-changer of them all.

Changing the Game is the second book in Jaci Burton’s Play by Play series and it features Gavin Riley, the hero of the first books brother. Gavin’s heroine is the villain from the first book and I didn’t know how I’d come around where Liz was concerned, knowing what she did to Mick, Tara and Nathan in The Perfect Play but Burton did a great job of redeeming her character in my eyes.

What surprised me was how much I wanted to knee Mick in the balls in this book. We really see him in the eyes of his brother and he was annoying as hell but alls well that ends well because in the end, he turns back into the man everyone loves.

Gavin Riley plays professional baseball in St. Louis and loves his life. He loves the freedom he has to be with whoever he wants, he spends his days training for or playing his favorite sport in the world and his life comes with a lot of perks. He knows that he shouldn’t be attracted to his agent, after the hell she put his brother and family through but he can’t help it. She creeps into his thoughts and he wants her. When she starts avoiding him, Gavin finds the right opportunity to clear the air between them…and maybe dirty up his sheets.

Liz Darnell has been in love with Gavin for years but he’ll never know that. She’s worked really hard at keeping her feelings for her client at bay and now that she royally screwed up with his brother (and her #1 client), she is waiting for Gavin to drop her as an agent just like Mick did. When Gavin corners her for a meeting and then that meeting turns into spending time together knocking boots, Liz is equal parts thrilled and scared to death because what is she going to do when he’s had his fill of her and moves on?

Watching the sparks fly between Gavin and Liz was fun. This wasn’t one of those books where there is major angst and so many things are happening at the same time that the main couple is falling in love. No, this book was simple romance where the story hinged on the reader connecting with the characters and for me, it totally worked. I wanted to read a baseball romance after being completely obsessed with the World Series and a pretty remarkable season from my Dodgers and this book really fit the bill.

Gavin was such a normal younger brother. Not wanting to live in his brother’s spotlight but wanting to shine on his own. I really enjoyed getting to know him and seeing him connect with Liz. I also really enjoyed seeing his own connection with his family. The Rileys were family goals and I loved seeing them again. Don’t get me wrong, there were times when I was right there with his parents and wanted to strangle him for being such a dumbass but he gets it right in the end and Liz’s love for him was strong and I was happy that he was able to make things right with her before it was too late.

Liz was such a strong heroine and getting to know her was great. She was remorseful for her actions in the trouble with Mick and his family and I loved that she learned her lesson and wanted to make things right for everyone involved. She was a damn grown up and handled everything that came her way the same way that I hope I would and I just admired the hell out of her when all was said and done. She was a good person, inside and out and she worked hard and loved deep and I was so happy when she finally got her happy ending because I truly thought she deserved it.

Overall, Burton did a great job of writing Gavin and Liz’s story and I’m low key mad at myself for waiting so long to read this book. It’s a good one and I definitely recommend it if you’re in the mood for a contemporary with a strong romance and a great secondary cast. This will hit you in the feels, I promise.

Grade: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Retro-Review: Table Manners by Mia King.

Posted November 22, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Retro-Review: Table Manners by Mia King.Reviewer: Rowena
Table Manners by Mia King
Published by Berkley
Publication Date: August 4th 2009
Pages: 336
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The star of Mia King's "entertaining"(Seattle Times) debut novel Good Things is back-and she's got a full plate.

Deidre McIntosh is everyone's favorite go-to person. She seems so successful, so capable, so just plain perfect, with a popular cooking show, her own line of cakes and cookies, and an ideal relationship with Kevin Johnson-considered one of the most desirable men in Seattle.

Then Kevin's ex-fiancée, sultry magazine publisher Sabine Durant, suddenly appears, and Deidre needs help. Already intimidated by Kevin's glamorous, moneyed world-and his sister, who wants Deidre out of Kevin's life-she fears she's no match for Sabine. And the go-to girl must figure out where to go next before the tablecloth is pulled out from under her...

*****As part of our 10 year anniversary celebration, we’ll be re-posting old reviews and posts that make us cringe, laugh or sigh all over again.*****

Holly: Rowena and I both read a lot of Women’s  Fiction in 2008 and 2009. I think we both grew out of it after that, though we both still dip our toes in occasionally. 

This review was originally posted on August 5, 2009.

I’m a big foodie fan so when I come across books that have bakers and chefs, I get a little (okay a lot) excited. Reading the blurb on this book was no different. I thought the cover was so simple, so cute and it added to my excitement of reading this book. So going into this book, there was a lot of things working in its favor and I’m glad to report that Mia King did a great job keeping me locked into her story.

The only thing that I’m pretty bummed about is that I didn’t take the time to read the book that came before this one, GOOD THINGS. The reason for that is because we meet Deirdre in that book and from what I can tell, her story really starts there. It would have been nice to read that book but I wasn’t completely lost in this story. I enjoyed it a whole bunch and as soon as I can, I’m going to track down that book and read it.

This book is about Deidre moving on from the drama that her life has been. She’s giving baking gourmet cookies a shot and she’s genuinely happy with her life. She’s got a great man by her side and her business is doing pretty well until everything starts to crumble around her. She needs to come up with new recipes for new cookies that will be a hit in five days, she doesn’t think she’ll do it and then she’s got to deal with her boyfriend’s evil sister who hates her guts and then, his ex pops back into their lives and Deirdre is about to lose her mind.

This book showed just how far Deirdre has come since everyone first met her in Good Things. She’s got a new life now, she’s not on TV anymore. She’s baking cookies. Her living arrangements have certainly come up and she’s seriously happy with the way that her life is going but to watch her struggle with this new life and then come face to face with the world that her boyfriend is from and not know where you actually fit in made for a great read. I enjoyed seeing Deirdre bumble her way toward the ending and I just genuinely liked her. I thought she was a great character and I really enjoyed the romance between her and Kevin.

I thought Kevin was such a stud. He was so good to Deirdre and he was just one of those stand up guys that is charming and you can’t help but love him. It was his sister Marla that I couldn’t frickin’ stand. Talk about someone swears her shit don’t stink. And then there was Sabine or Tabby as Kevin called her. She was that perfect woman that nobody can compare to and yet, I liked Deirdre better. I thought Deirdre was more down to earth and the person that I wanted to have as a friend. It was funny to see Tabby eyeing Deirdre, that made me laugh. The cast of characters all brought something to the story and I thought they were all well written.

I’m really glad that I read this book. I definitely recommend this book to those of you guys who are looking for something light but not so light that it’s fluffy. There’s a great story between these pages and I really think everyone should try it out. It was a really fast read and a read that left me feeling wistful and hopeful. A definite recommend.

4 out of 5

Check It Out

This book is available from Berkley Trade. You can buy it here or here in e-format.


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Review: Shadow Reaper by Christine Feehan

Posted October 12, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Shadow Reaper by Christine FeehanReviewer: Holly
Shadow Reaper (Shadow, #2) by Christine Feehan
Series: Shadow Riders #2
Also in this series: Shadow Reaper, Shadow Reaper
Published by Berkley
Publication Date: May 30, 2017
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 400
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three-stars

THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Christine Feehan returns to her scorching-hot series starring a Chicago crime family that has built its empire in the shadows...

Billionaire playboy Ricco Ferraro knows no other life. Being a shadow rider is in his blood--but so is a haunting desperation stemming from the secrets of his dark past. His recklessness puts not only his life at risk, but also the future of his entire family. To save them all, he must find a woman who can meet his every desire with a heat all her own...

Just when Ricco has given up hope, he meets her--a mysterious woman whose shadow connects with his. She's someone looking for a safe haven from the danger that has stalked her over the last several months. In Ricco's embrace, she finds one. But the darkness in which they so often find sanctuary can also consume them...

Shadow Reaper is the second book in Feehan’s Shadow series, featuring the Ferraros, a Chicago family who are Shadow Riders – they’re able to slide and travel via shadows. They’re thought to be a crime/mafia family, but in truth they’re vigilantes. As Shadow Riders, the Ferraro brothers and sister can only mate/marry someone who can also ride the shadows, otherwise they won’t be able to produce shadow-riding children.

Ricco is one of the wilder brothers. He’s known as a playboy who races cars and often goes crazy partying. He’s into the art of Shibari – Japanese erotic bondage. After a terrible crash takes him out of commission for awhile, he reevaluates his life and decides to focus more on Shibari and finding a mate, and less on acting the playboy. When the perfect woman answers his ad for a rope model, Ricco figures it’s too good to be true, but he can’t stop himself from falling for her.

I enjoyed the first book more. This one was slower paced and didn’t hold my attention as much. I really like the Ferraro family, along with their neighborhood. I liked the heroine and her backstory, but the romance wasn’t as exciting. Nor was the overall story. I wanted to like it, but I was mostly just bored.

Although this one didn’t work as well as the first, I’m hopeful the next book will pick up.

3 out of 5

three-stars


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Review: Pipe Dreams by Sarina Bowen

Posted September 21, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Pipe Dreams by Sarina BowenReviewer: Holly
Pipe Dreams (Brooklyn Bruisers, #3) by Sarina Bowen
Series: Brooklyn Bruisers #3
Also in this series: Rookie Move, Rookie Move, Hard Hitter, Rookie Move, Hard Hitter (Brooklyn Bruisers #2), Pipe Dreams, Pipe Dreams
Published by Berkley Books
Publication Date: May 2nd 2017
Pages: 336
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

A goalie has to trust his instincts, even when taking a shot to the heart…
Mike Beacon is a champion at defending the net, but off the ice, he’s not so lucky. A widower and a single father, he’s never forgotten Lauren Williams, the ex who gave him the best year of his life. When Lauren reappears in the Bruisers office during the playoffs, Beacon sees his chance to make things right.
Lauren hates that she’s forced to travel with the team she used to work for and the man who broke her heart. There’s still undeniable sexual tension running between her and Mike, but she won’t go down that road again. She’s focused on her plans for the future—she doesn’t need a man to make her dreams of motherhood come true.
Lauren plays her best defensive game, but she’s no match for the dark-eyed goalie. When the field of play moves to Florida, things heat up on the beach.
One of Mike’s biggest fans doesn’t approve—his teenage daughter. But a true competitor knows not to waste the perfect shot at love.

Pipe Dreams is book two in Sarina Bowen’s Brooklyn Bruisers series, a spinoff of The Ivy Years NA series. I think it’s my favorite of the series to date. Pipe Dreams is a second chance love story that hit all the high notes with me.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from Lauren, since she was pretty uptight in the previous books. I really came to enjoy her. Mike was a solid, stand-up kind of guy. He was easy to like, and to trust. I didn’t love the flashbacks in this story, but that comes down to a personal preference. I’d rather be told the backstory then get it in pieces via flashbacks.

Mike’s team, Lauren’s developing friendship with the WAGs (wives and girlfriends) and her co-workers, all of it really came together and made for a great read.

Bowen continues to hit big with this series.

4.25 out of 5

four-stars


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