Publisher: Entangled

Review: Eyes on Me by Rachel Harris

Posted March 26, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Eyes on Me by Rachel HarrisReviewer: Rowena
Eyes on Me by Rachel Harris
Publisher: Entangled, Entangled Teen
Publication Date: March 26, 2019
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 320
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
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four-stars

Look up the word “nerd” and you’ll find Lily Bailey’s picture. She’s got one goal: first stop valedictorian, next stop Harvard. Until a stint in the hospital from too much stress lands her in the last place a klutz like her ever expected to be: salsa dance lessons.

Look up the word “popular” and you’ll find Stone Torres’s picture. His life seems perfect—star of the football team, small-town hero, lots of friends. But his family is struggling to make ends meet, so if pitching in at his mom's dance studio helps, he’ll do it.

When Lily’s dad offers Stone extra cash to volunteer as Lily’s permanent dance partner, he can’t refuse. But with each dip and turn, each moment her hand is in his, his side job starts to feel all too real. Lily shows Stone he's more than his impressive football stats, and he introduces her to a world outside of studying. But with the lines blurred, can their relationship survive the secret he's been hiding?

Rachel Harris has been a go-to for contemporary YA romances for me and every time I read one of her books, I enjoy the heck out of them. It took me no time at all to fall into this book and it was another one sitting read about two young students who fall in love with each other and the journey they take to get to that happy for now ending.

Lily is trying to get into Harvard and she’s working her butt off to make sure that she stands a chance of getting in. When she lands herself in the hospital for stressing the hell out, her Dad steps in and tells her that something needs to change. She either needs to give up some of her classes or she needs to take a day off from all things school, at least one day each week to do fun things. Anything that does not have anything to do with school. So to make her Dad happy, she signs up for a salsa class that brings her into contact with Stone Torres, the star football player from school.

Stone is the popular kid at school, the star quarterback that is living the life…only his parents are struggling with money, his girlfriend cheated on him and he’s stuck working at his mother’s dance studio for free when he could be making some actual money to help the family elsewhere. When he becomes Lily Bailey’s permanent dance partner while she’s taking classes at his Mom’s studio, things are looking up and he figures he’s got everything worked out until he starts getting to know Lily, starts liking Lily and then starts dating her. A tangled web of untruths threaten to blow up Stone’s world again and he’s not sure how to come out on top without damaging everything he’s come to hold dear.

There was a lot going on in this book but I thought everything was handled well. I liked seeing Lily and Stone become friends and then work their way toward becoming more. I wanted Stone to come clean about everything much sooner but understood why he didn’t and really, I thought Harris did a great job of showcasing a romance between the nerd and the jock that was sweet, fun and completely believable.

There was much to enjoy in this book outside of the romance between Stone and Lily too. The new friendship that blossomed between Angela, Lily, and Sidney. The potential of romance between Angela and Chase. The family dynamics are strong and overall, the story was just good and solid. There wasn’t much about the book that I didn’t enjoy. I mean, I didn’t like Cameron and Noah but they were such a small part of the story and everything else was great. I’m certainly glad that I picked this one up for review because Rachel Harris shines with these YA contemporary romances. So good!

Grade: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: Getting Lucky Number Seven by Cindi Madsen

Posted March 21, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

This month’s reading suggestion for the TBR Challenge was about choosing your favorite trope to read and I have a lot of favorites but I chose the best friend’s to lovers trope because that’s in the top of the tops list and this book fit the bill perfectly.

Review: Getting Lucky Number Seven by Cindi MadsenReviewer: Rowena
Getting Lucky Number Seven by Cindi Madsen
Series: Taking Shots #1
Publisher: Entangled, Entangled Embrace
Publication Date: April 28, 2015
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Romance Package
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: New Adult
Pages: 363
Length: 6 hours, 32 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, Rowena's 2019 New to Me Challenge, Rowena's 2019 TBR Challenge
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

What's your lucky number?

Lyla Wilder is done being the shy, chemistry nerd extraordinaire. While every other college student is out having fun, Lyla is studying. With her cat. Well, she's played it "safe" quite enough, thank you. So she creates a "College Bucket List"―with item #7 being a night of uninhibited, mind-blowing sex...

But she needs some help from her man-whore best friend.

Hockey player Beck Davenport thought Lyla's transformation would be subtle. Man, was he wrong. With every item she ticks off, Beck finds himself growing seriously hot for his sweet, brainiac best friend. And if he's not careful, he'll end up risking their friendship in order to convince Lyla that he might just be her lucky #7...

Getting Lucky Number Seven is the first book in the Taking Shots series by Cindi Madsen and this book has been sitting on my TBR list for years. Ames brought this to my attention and I remember her telling me that she enjoyed it so I purchased it not too long after that and then I never touched it. When I was browsing the Audible Romance Package titles, I came across this series and knew that I was going to read this one finally so I downloaded the audiobook and listened to the entire thing one day at work. I haven’t read anything by Cindi Madsen before but I was looking forward to reading her and I’m happy to report that I liked this one and will definitely be reading more from this author.

This book follows two best friends, Beck and Lilah as they grow closer when Lilah decides to stop being a hermit nerd and get out there and have college experiences that she only reads about in books. She’s tired of being the frumpy nerd that guys can’t connect with so after a really bad date, she heads to her best friend Beck’s house and tells him that she’s going to put together a college bucket list and she needs his help with it.

She’s got a bunch of stuff on her list already, kiss a handsome stranger, get drunk at a college party, stuff like that but as she starts to check things off her list, she starts to add things and Beck, who loves his best friend as she is, is starting to see her in a different light. In a romantic light and though he wants to be there for her while she goes through this list, it’s starting to get harder to deny his attraction to her. When he finds out that number seven on her list is to have mind-blowing sex, Beck wants in on that list item.

This was such an easy story to fall into. I really liked both Lilah and Beck. They were a fun couple to get to know and I really liked seeing the both of them come into their own. I loved that Lilah could be there for Beck with everything that he was going through and even when I wanted to smack Beck upside his head, I really liked him. He was genuine in his affection for Lilah and that was exactly what she needed in her life. Cindi Madsen worked her magic with these two and their romance and I’m glad that I finally gave it a chance. I’m definitely finishing out this series. I recommend.

Grade: 4 out of 5

Taking Shots

four-stars


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Guest Review: One Wedding, Two Brides by Heidi Betts

Posted August 15, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: One Wedding, Two Brides by Heidi BettsReviewer: Tracy
One Wedding, Two Brides (Fairy Tale Bride #1) by Heidi Betts
Series: Fairy Tale Bride #1
Publisher: Entangled: Amara
Publication Date: Judy 23rd 2018
Format: eARC
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 263
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three-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

Jilted bride Monica Blair can’t believe it when she wakes up next to a blue-eyed, smooth-talking cowboy in the middle of nowhere and with a ring on her finger. It had sounded like a great plan at the time. Get married, get revenge, and get her money back. So why is she cleaning out stables and trying to keep her hands off the hot cowboy helping her?

Ryder Nash would have bet his best Stetson that you’d never see him walk down the aisle. But when the city girl with pink-streaked hair and a frog tattoo hatches a plan to expose the conman who married his sister, no idea is too crazy. And even though Monica might be the worst rancher’s wife he’s ever seen, he can’t stop thinking about the wedding night they never had.

What was supposed to be a temporary marriage for revenge is starting to feel a little too real...

Monica is devastated when she opens her Chicago paper and reads a wedding announcement for her fiancé, Matt.  But she’s not the bride in the announcement!  She hops on a plane and while she knows that she won’t make it to stop the wedding, she knows that she has to do something to let Matt know that she found out about the deception.  While on the way to Nevada she ends up getting drunk and crashes the reception and starts spouting off.  She’s hauled out by the bride’s brother, Ryder.

Monica tells Ryder that she needs to get back at Matt and let him know the huge mistake he made by marrying someone else.  The only way, according to her drunken mind, to do that is to get married as well. This will supposedly infuriate Matt because she’ll be the perfect wife.  (Yeah, it makes no sense to me either.)  She says she’ll pay Ryder $50,000 to marry her – a marriage of convenience, of course – and then they’ll get it annulled when she feels Matt has been bested (as he’s so competitive).  So, Ryder’s farm is failing and he needs money, desperately, so while he knows that marrying Monica isn’t smart he needs that money.

The next morning Monica wakes up and can’t remember anything.  She’s horrified that she married this man she didn’t know and then lets him know that she doesn’t have $50,000 because Matt stole it from her before he married Ryder’s sister. Ryder is shocked but determined to get the money back from Matt, so they decide to stay married and work together.

While I enjoyed this story at times, there were plenty of parts that annoyed me.  Ryder was one of them.  He was very concerned for his farm, I get that, but it made him seem pretty self-centered in the way he acted.  He went along with Monica’s schemes but never graciously.  Monica and I had a love/hate relationship as well.  I thought she was an idiot at the beginning, but she made up for it by the end of the book.

This is intended to be an overall light-hearted book and that’s what it is – there’s not a lot of depth.  It was cute and funny at times so that kind of made up for the parts where I found myself rolling my eyes.

Rating: 3 out of 5

three-stars


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Guest Review: Scotland or Bust by Kira Archer

Posted June 20, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Scotland or Bust by Kira ArcherReviewer: Tracy
Scotland or Bust by Kira Archer
Publisher: Entangled: Indulgence
Publication Date: June 11, 2018
Format: eARC
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 220
Add It: Goodreads
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three-stars

After dumping her boyfriend, Nicole Franklin impulsively jumps on a plane and heads to Europe. Sure, money and a job would have been nice to line up first. Even a visa, for that matter. So now she has to play tour guide at an Outlander experience for the most obnoxious man on the planet. Until she stumbles into the wrong bed in the middle of the night and wakes up in Harrison’s arms. Now his family thinks they’re engaged, and the entire village is betting on how long before she’ll be running for the hills.

Harrison Troy has a reputation in the town for burning through assistants. And the bubbly new one he’s just hired is likely no different. But his family quickly has them “engaged.” He should be upset, but she’s the perfect buffer for his interfering family. She says she doesn’t need another man in her life--even if he comes with a castle--and that’s fine with him. So why can’t he stop thinking about the woman who is charming everyone in the town, and maybe even him?

After dumping her boyfriend and quitting her accounting job, Nicole decides to finally take the trip to Europe her boyfriend had promise her – by herself. She buys a first-class one-way ticket to England and decides that she’s going to get a job and be an independent woman.  She is seatmates with Harrison Troy, a stuffed shirt that’s incredibly hot.  Nicole’s a talker and Harrison just wants to be left alone but Nic won’t let him be.  She even makes out with him upon lift off because she can see how anxiety ridden he is.

When the finally land Harrison finds out his assistant has quit and as he knows that Nicole has no job or place to stay, he offers her the position.  She takes the job and they head to his family’s ancestral home.  The home will be the first stop in the Outlander “experience” that Harrison has created in order to try to save his family’s dying travel business.  He’s a billionaire and really wants nothing to do with anything related to “the book and show that must not be named” but he loves his quirky family (despite not wanting to spend all that much time with them).

Because of a bedroom snafu Harrison’s family thinks that Nicole and Harrison are engaged which puts a bit of a strain on things.  Nicole’s a wonderful assistant but Harrison can’t seem to keep his hands off her.

I liked most of the characters in the story – the people of the village in the pub were funny, the friends who came to visit Harrison were great, the quirky/crazy family was even charming.  I liked Harrison although I thought he was a bit too stuffy, even near the end of the book (although he did loosen up some).  Nicole was cute at times but other times she made me nuts.  She just bought a one-way ticket but didn’t have anywhere to stay, hardly any money and just thought she’d get an under the table job and work her way around.  I guess there are people in the world who would do that, but Nicole didn’t seem the type at all.

The romance itself felt rushed.  It seemed as if Harrison and Nicole were just starting to explore their attraction and then boom! they were supposedly madly in love. What? I liked the part where Harrison was professing his love, it was very sweet, but where the heck did it come from?  The build-up of the relationship needed a lot more to it then what it was in order for me to believe these two were going to live happily ever after.

There were definitely parts that ha me rolling my eyes but overall I thought it was a cute book.

Rating: 3 out of 5

three-stars


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Guest Review: On Highland Time by Lexi Post

Posted June 1, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: On Highland Time by Lexi PostReviewer: Tracy
On Highland Time (Time Weavers Inc. #1) by Lexi Post
Series: Time Weavers Inc. #1
Publisher: Entangled: Amara
Publication Date: May 28, 2018
Format: eARC
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Time Travel
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three-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

For fans of sexy Scottish Highlanders who know how to treat a woman like a lady.

When someone changes history, affecting the future, Diana Montgomery, the most experienced agent of Time Weavers, Inc., travels back to 1306 Scotland to change it back. Her mission, to find the culprit and ensure a minor clan chief dies in battle as he originally had.

Diana is well-prepared to infiltrate the small MacPherson clan. What she’s not prepared for is Torr MacPherson, the ruggedly handsome warrior with a kind heart and a steadfast loyalty—the Laird she’s supposed to ensure dies.

Diana is a member of a group called TWI, Timer Weavers Inc.  When they are made aware of something that changed in the past, but wasn’t supposed to change, TWI steps in to put things back to normal.  When Diana wakes up one day and her mansion is pretty much in the middle of a slum, the group knows that something in history changed.  She gets instructions from the head of TWI to go back to medieval Scotland.  Apparently a Scottish Laird, Torr MacPherson, was supposed to die, but didn’t, and this changed everything.  There is another group that TWI calls Disruptors and they go around changing history. I had no clue by the end of the book why they disrupt anything, but I guess it’s job security for TWI.

Diana is sent back to 1306 Scotland where she is to ensure that the Laird does indeed die when he’s supposed to and to try to find out who the Disruptor is.  She sets herself up as a relative of someone in the clan that had passed and tries to stay inconspicuous.  Unfortunately, she catches the eye of the Laird and starts to have feelings for him and he for her.  How can she ensure that he dies when she wants to spend the rest of her life with him?  She can’t stay in 1306 Scotland as it will change the course of history forever.

This was a cute story that I enjoyed reading, to a point.  When I first began reading I kept thinking that I was missing something because the way it was written made it seem like there was maybe a previous book in the series, but that’s not the case.  Because I was a little lost the story didn’t flow well for me at first.  I don’t think it was ever explained how exactly Diana’s boss, the elusive Jules who only speaks to Diana telepathically and who Diana has never met, knows exactly when in history the changes are made by the Disruptors.  Diana woke up and saw her neighborhood was a slum.  Ok, but how does Jules know exactly which point in history caused this to happen?  I have no idea.  There are also a couple of other characters in TWI that were unexplained.  There was one guy, Arthur, who “downloaded” stuff into people’s brains.  What?  It was nuts, and frustrating to not know what was going on.  Why were these people blindly following this person they’ve never met?

The romance between Diana and Torr was kind of sweet but Diana was worrying so much the entire time it was hard for me to enjoy it fully.  Torr didn’t want to fall in love so that was a big obstacle.  Then something happens near the end of the book (that I can’t tell you about) and Torr gets so incredibly pissed at Diana I thought it was over.  Of course I would have been pissed at her too, so I felt his pain.  Unfortunately he got over being pissed way too quickly for me – I would have liked to have seen him take more time to think things over.  IDK, maybe it was just me.

Overall not a bad book but there was too much of the unknown for my liking.  I needed answers to a lot of questions by the time I ended this book.

Rating: 3 out of 5  

three-stars


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