Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Joint Review: Three Little Words by Jenny Holiday

Posted February 7, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Joint Review: Three Little Words by Jenny HolidayReviewer: Holly & Rowena
Three Little Words (Bridesmaids Behaving Badly #3) by Jenny Holiday
Series: Bridesmaids Behaving Badly #3
Also in this series: One and Only (Bridesmaids Behaving Badly #1), It Takes Two (Bridesmaids Behaving Badly #2), Merrily Ever After (Bridesmaids Behaving Badly, #2.5)
Publisher: Forever
Publication Date: January 29, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 384
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, Rowena's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Gia Gallo is officially in bridesmaid hell. Stranded in New York with her best friend's wedding dress, Gia has six days to make it to Florida in time for the ceremony. And oh-so-charming best man Bennett Buchanan has taken the last available rental car. Looks like she's in for one long road trip with the sexiest - and most irritating - Southern gentleman she's ever met...

Bennett's pretty sure that if there was ever a woman to break his "no flings" rule, Gia would be it. Sure, she's stubborn. She's also funny, smart, and the attraction between them is getting hotter with every state line they cross. While Bennett doesn't do casual, Gia doesn't do "relationships." But if they break the rules, this unlikely pair might discover that their impromptu road trip could turn out to be the best ride of their lives.

Three Little Words is the third book in Jenny Holiday’s Bridesmaids Behaving Badly series and it features the last woman standing, Gia Gallo as she road trips her way to her own happy ending with Noah’s best friend, Bennett Buchanan. Holly and I both got the book for review, so we decided to review it together.

Rowena: Alright Holly, let’s do this. What did you think?

Holly: I hated it. I can’t believe you forced me to read this awful book.

J/K

It was great. It was a quick, light read but really dealt with some darker themes. I loved Bennett so much. He was such a nice guy. What about you?

Rowena: Haha, I was going to say….

I adored this book. I adored this series, really. It was just such a feel-good bunch of books that really worked for me. I loved the friendships between all of the girls and the heroes that fall in love with them were no slouches either. Bennett and Gia were wonderful together and I loved seeing them come together the way that they did. In the beginning, we see Gia acting low key crazy at the airport and having read the other books in this series, that took me by surprise because the Gia that I knew from those books would not have been crazy like that…but then again, I was seeing Gia through the eyes of the people that loved her so it was different. What did you think of Gia right off the bat?

Holly: Since I didn’t read the other books in the series I didn’t have any expectations going in. I’m not going to lie, Gia turned me off in the beginning. Truthfully, I never really felt connected to her. My heart hurt for her at times, but I wasn’t really invested in her as a character. That’s not to say I didn’t like her, because I did. Her snark and attitude had me laughing, and I loved how sharp she was. Every time she spouted off some simple fix for what seemed to be giant problems for people, it made me smile. I guess I just didn’t really connect with where she was at in her life.

Rowena: I get that, especially because I had the same thoughts and I loved Gia. I was a bit disappointed that I connected with her character more in the other books but when Gia stops acting like a freaking brat, I was glad and really loved seeing her get her shit together.

Holly: What about Bennett? Did you love him? How did he compare to the other heroes from this series?

Rowena: Bennett was the bomb. I loved him in Wendy’s book and was super excited when I found out that he was Gia’s hero. He completely lived up to my expectations of him and my heart hurt for him when Gia takes him to Charleston because seeing him deal with the shit that was never fixed in his life made me all soft for him. He really turned his life around and seeing the guy that he was after everything he lived through just made him the freaking best.

Holly: Oh man, I got all melty for Bennett after they went to Charleston. He was such a stand-up guy. I wanted to see things work out for him. I’m glad he ended up with Gia and that she took such good care of him.

Rowena: Do you think that you’ll read the other books in this series?

Holly: I definitely want to read Wendy’s book. I’m not sure about the others. I don’t not want to read them, I’m just not as interested in them as I am Wendy.

Rowena: Honestly, there was a lot for me to love. I loved seeing everyone again and I loved seeing Bennett up close and personal. I also really loved how Gia and Bennett help each other with their individual problems and I’m not going to lie, I wanted Bennett to cook for me after finishing this book. I just know he’d be the bomb. I totally give this 4.5 out of 5, what about you?

Holly: I enjoyed the book overall. Gia wasn’t my favorite, and I wasn’t that invested in the other couples since I didn’t read any of the other books, but the friendships the girls (and the guys) had and the way Bennett was made the book for me. I’m giving it 3.75 out of 5.

Final Grades

Holly: 3.75 out of 5
Rowena: 4.5 out of 5

Bridesmaids Behaving Badly

four-stars


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Review: Merrily Ever After by Jenny Holiday

Posted February 6, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: Merrily Ever After by Jenny HolidayReviewer: Rowena
Merrily Ever After (Bridesmaids Behaving Badly, #2.5) by Jenny Holiday
Series: Bridesmaids Behaving Badly #2.5
Also in this series: One and Only (Bridesmaids Behaving Badly #1), It Takes Two (Bridesmaids Behaving Badly #2), Three Little Words (Bridesmaids Behaving Badly #3)
Publisher: Forever
Publication Date: December 4, 2018
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 104
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2019 A-Z Reading Challenge, Rowena's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Elise Maxwell is loving her first Christmas with her husband, Jay Smith. So far, newlywed life has been filled with laughter and lots of steamy marital "bliss." But when Elise discovers she's accidentally, against-all-odds pregnant, happily-ever-after screeches to a halt. Although she sees it as a Christmas miracle, Elise knows her new husband might not agree...

Jay never wanted to be a father. In fact, he's avoided it his entire life, worried he'd repeat the patterns of his own messed-up childhood. He's madly in love with Elise and, until now, he thought they were on the same page about not having children. But her surprise pregnancy changes everything. Elise is suddenly committed to parenthood, and Jay knows he can't lose her. Facing his deepest fears will be difficult, but with a little holiday magic, Jay might be able to prove to Elise that - as a family - they're destined to live merrily ever after.

Merrily Ever After is the third book in Jenny Holiday’s Bridesmaids Behaving Badly series but it’s a short romance so instead of being book 3, it’s actually book 2.5 in the series. Merrily Ever After is the Pinterest Bridezilla from One and Only‘s story. It’s not the story where we see Elise fall in love with Jay but it’s a story from after their wedding that was nicely tied into the rest of the other books.

Elise has endometriosis and because of this, she is thought to never be able to have children. It’s something that she was upfront with Jay about from the beginning and it was something that Jay was on board with considering he didn’t want to have kids anyway. Elise and Jay were secure in their love for each other and they were both on the same page about not ever having kids. Elise because she knew she couldn’t have them and Jay because of his past with both his father and Cam’s father. But somewhere along the way, Elise changed her mind and when the unthinkable happens, Elise is scared to shake the foundation of her relationship with Jay by telling him that…she’s pregnant.

Elise is equal parts shocked and happy with the news but she’s also pretty scared for Jay’s reaction. He’s made no qualms about his desire to never have kids and that hasn’t changed so that is what Elise is up against in this story and man did Jenny Holiday pack a punch with this one because I cried. Elise and Jay were a beautiful couple that I was so happy to see front and center since up until now, they’d been in the background but they definitely held their own. I was just as invested in their story as I was in all of the other ones and reading this one made me all the more excited for Gia’s story.

Holiday really worked her magic with this series. She has cemented herself on my auto-buy list so I welcome her to the party going on there. Elise and Jay were so much in love with each other and seeing them try to find their footing after the shock of where they are now hurt my heart but I trusted Jenny Holiday to fix my heart and was rewarded for my trust. She fixed me right up and had me smiling like a crazy person in the end.

This was a pretty great short story and kudos to Holiday for not making it feel like we were getting a rushed short romance. She did well with the amount of pages she had to get it all out there and I applaud her efforts. This was a damn good short story and seriously, I can’t wait to jump into the next one.

Grade: 4.75 out of 5

Bridesmaids Behaving Badly

four-half-stars


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Review: It Takes Two by Jenny Holiday

Posted February 5, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: It Takes Two by Jenny HolidayReviewer: Rowena
It Takes Two (Bridesmaids Behaving Badly #2) by Jenny Holiday
Series: Bridesmaids Behaving Badly #2
Also in this series: One and Only (Bridesmaids Behaving Badly #1), Merrily Ever After (Bridesmaids Behaving Badly, #2.5), Three Little Words (Bridesmaids Behaving Badly #3)
Publisher: Forever
Publication Date: June 26, 2018
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 385
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2019 A-Z Reading Challenge, Rowena's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

In this hilarious romantic comedy, USA Today bestselling author Jenny Holiday proves that what happens in Vegas doesn't always stay in Vegas...

All's fair in love and war

Wendy Liu should be delighted to be her best friend's maid of honor. But after years spent avoiding the bride's brother - aka the boy who once broke her heart - she's now trapped with him during an endless amount of wedding festivities. Luckily she's had time to perfect her poker face, and engaging Noah Denning in a little friendly competition might just prove that she's over him for good...

Noah Denning is determined to make his little sister's wedding memorable. But it seems Wendy is trying to outdo him at every turn. Challenging each other was always something he and Wendy did right, so when she proposes they compete to see who can throw the best bachelor or bachelorette party in Sin City, Noah takes the bait - and ups the stakes. Because, this time around, he wants Wendy for keeps. And when you're fighting for love, all bets are off.

It Takes Two is the second book in the Bridesmaids Behaving Badly series by Jenny Holiday and it’s another freaking winner for me. It’s Jane’s best friend Wendy’s book and they’ve been best friends since they were kids. Also? Wendy is in love with Jane’s older brother Noah. Wendy and Noah were close when they were young and they had a moment together that Wendy has never forgotten and her young heart was broken when Noah stood her up for the prom. She hasn’t ever gotten over the realization that he meant more to her than she’ll ever mean to him so she hardened herself to tender feelings for anyone and she distanced herself from Noah. Wendy is a drifter who travels from country to country and she’s planning a huge trip that will take her away from her work as a lawyer for six months but she’s pretty excited about it. But first, she has to get through Jane’s wedding and that is something she’s not as thrilled about because Jane’s wedding will bring Noah back into her world and she won’t be able to run away on a trip.

Noah left their hometown of Toronto behind when he got a full ride scholarship to NYU and even after he graduated from school and then law school, New York became his home and he never moved back to Toronto. After the death of his father, Noah had to grow up pretty fast and he became responsible for himself, for Jane and even their mother, who spiraled into depression. All he’s ever known in his life is responsibility and the only person who ever really understood why he was the way that he was, was Jane’s best friend, Wendy.

Being back home is a trip to Noah but a good one because he realizes how long it’d been since he really had a conversation with Wendy. He remembered how close they’d been as children but how distant Wendy was as an adult. Seeing these two circle each other throughout the book had me in my feelings so much.

Wendy was strong and she was a no-nonsense type of woman who didn’t suffer fools gently. She’s not the same little girl that Noah stood up at prom for an extra shift. She’s also still pretty pissed at Noah for standing her up, even after all of these years so seeing her snark at him and seeing him snark right back at her even as he didn’t understand where the snark was coming from made for an entertaining ride. This book was filled with so much drama and so much heart that I ate up every single word. I was so invested in Wendy and Noah’s story and I really, really loved seeing them both battle their way toward their happy ending. I really enjoyed One and Only but I freaking loved It Takes Two. I loved these characters so much that I immediately jumped into the next one. Seriously, this book is good stuff and the only reason this book doesn’t get a 5 star rating is because there were a few times in the story where I wanted to smack some sense into Wendy’s attitude toward Cam. I understood where she was coming from and even sympathized with her but Cam was an innocent and her attitude around him made me want to smack her because he didn’t deserve it. Other than that, I freaking loved Wendy. I freaking loved Noah. I freaking loved them all.

Grade: 4.75 out of 5

Bridesmaids Behaving Badly

four-half-stars


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Guest Review: The Fearless King by Katee Robert

Posted February 5, 2019 by Jen in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: The Fearless King by Katee RobertReviewer: Jen
The Fearless King (The Kings, #2) by Katee Robert
Series: The Kings #2
Also in this series: The Last King
Publisher: Forever
Publication Date: February 5, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 368
Add It: Goodreads
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four-stars
Series Rating: five-stars

Fake boyfriend. Real danger.

Journey King is an expert at managing the family business. But when her father returns to Houston hell-bent on making a play for the company, Journey will do anything to stop him, even if that means going to Frank Evans for help. Frank deals in information, the dirtier the better. Rugged and rock solid, he’s by far her best ally—and also the most dangerous.

Frank knows better than to get tangled up with the Kings. But something about Journey’s rare vulnerability drags him deep into enemy territory . . . and into her darkest past. Pretending to be her boyfriend may be necessary for their plan to work, but Frank soon finds helping Journey is much more than just another job—and he’ll do whatever it takes to keep her safe.

The Last King by Katee Robert was one of my favorite books of 2018, so I was beyond excited to get a hold of The Fearless King. I wasn’t disappointed!

Frank Evans appeared in book 1 as Beckett’s best friend. He’s a real estate mogul and general financial powerhouse in Houston, and he has an extensive network of information gathering and general badass employees across the city. In other words, he gets things done. Journey King is Beckett’s estranged cousin, and after Beckett drove her mother out of town in the last book, the energy company the family runs has been scrambling to adjust. Journey and Frank clearly have some unacknowledged attraction, but they try to stay far away from each other. When Journey’s father shows back up and puts their control of the company in jeopardy (and terrorizes Journey in the process), she turns to Frank for help.

This series is not too melodramatic or cheesy to be tolerated, but it does include piles of drama for a rich Texas family. For me, it strikes the right balance between soap opera and romantic suspense. You do have to suspend a bit of disbelief, however. You have to believe that these families could really be so cold and calculating, and you have to believe that there won’t be any serious legal or social consequences for anyone at the end of the book. I was down with it; you may not be.

Journey’s father is a straight up garbage human being. Trigger warning: Journey and her siblings were physically abused by their father as children. There are no graphic descriptions given; in fact, no one says much beyond acknowledging the abuse (and mentioning it was not sexual). The book is not abuse porn! In some ways, though, the lack of description makes it a bit harder to understand Journey’s terror. She is clearly terrified of her father and has suffered severely because of the abuse for her entire life. Her father’s mere presence sends her into an emotional and physical tailspin, which is what leads her to seek help from Frank. We just have to trust that something very, very messed up happened in Journey’s childhood.

My favorite part of the book is Journey’s growth. She starts the book constantly calling herself “the weakest link.” She believes she is broken and incapable of standing up to her father as a result of his emotional abuse. He conditioned her to believe she was weak. As the book goes on, however, Journey starts to believe in herself again. She realizes she has a role to play in protecting her family and Frank, and that gives her a sense of purpose and courage. I just loved seeing her transformation! I also love that while Frank’s support is a comfort and helps her see herself through new eyes, he is not the one who “fixes” her.

I also appreciated that this book acknowledges that Frank, an African American, faces racism, and that that racism has shaped his choices and his personality. His father went to prison unfairly because of a justice system biased against him, and Frank is always aware that no matter how much money he makes, he will always be looked down on by racist Houston socialites. Kudos to Katee Robert for not glossing over Frank’s skin color and for acknowledging that racism exists, even in Romancelandia.

While I’m not quite as in love with this book as I was with book 1, I am 100% here for the King family and this series.

Grade: 4 out of 5

The Kings

four-stars


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Review: One and Only by Jenny Holiday

Posted February 4, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 7 Comments

Review: One and Only by Jenny HolidayReviewer: Rowena
One and Only (Bridesmaids Behaving Badly #1) by Jenny Holiday
Series: Bridesmaids Behaving Badly #1
Also in this series: It Takes Two (Bridesmaids Behaving Badly #2), Merrily Ever After (Bridesmaids Behaving Badly, #2.5), Three Little Words (Bridesmaids Behaving Badly #3)
Publisher: Forever
Publication Date: February 27, 2018
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 337
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2019 A-Z Reading Challenge, Rowena's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Miss Responsibility meets Mr. Reckless

With her bridezilla friend on a DIY project rampage, bridesmaid Jane Denning will do anything to escape - even if it means babysitting the groom's troublemaker brother before the wedding. It should be a piece of cake, except the "cake" is a sarcastic former soldier who is 100% wicked hotness and absolutely off-limits.

Cameron MacKinnon is ready to let loose after returning from his deployment. But first he'll have to sweet talk the ultra-responsible Jane into taking a walk on the wild side. Turns out, riling her up is the best time he's had in years. But what happens when the fun and games start to turn into something real?

One and Only kicks off Jenny Holiday’s Bridesmaids Behaving Badly series and it was released early last year. I’d been hearing many great things about this series so I bought the books last year but never got around to actually reading them…until now. I’m kicking myself for waiting so long to read these because I really enjoyed Jenny Holiday’s writing, the characters she introduces us to in this series and the romances for each couple. I also really, really enjoyed the friendship between Jane, Wendy, Elise, and Gia. They were total squad goals.

So in this book, we get Jane’s romance. Jane is a bridesmaid for her friend Elise’s wedding and her normally sweet-tempered friend has turned into a Pinterest Bridezilla with a to-do list for her bridesmaids that is low key driving Jane insane. So when Elise starts going on and on about her fiance Jay’s bad boy brother coming to town and is sure that he is going to ruin their wedding, Jane jumps at the chance to babysit him for Jane. Babysitting the brother will get Jane out of Pinterest Wedding Hell and so she’s totally in.

Jane picks Cam up from the airport and already she can tell that he’s trouble. He looks like he’s bent on causing trouble and like he can’t wait for it all to happen but not on Jane’s watch. Jane is dedicated to becoming Cam’s cockblocker and she takes it seriously because Getting Married Elise is a scary person right now.

Cameron was a complex character who had a reputation that he wasn’t that proud of. I mean, technically, everything that was said about him was true but they weren’t the entire truth and after a while, defending yourself got tired so Cam let everyone think what they wanted to believe of him and in a way, he started to believe them too. After his latest screw up, he had every intention of coming back to Canada and tearing shit up. Of forgetting what his life had become…but meeting Jane is proving to be an even better distraction.

Over the course of the week leading up to Jay and Elise’s wedding, Cam and Jane spend a lot of time together and while they’re both dealing with their own internal issues, they spend a lot of time being there for each other and give each other the break from life that they both desperately need. I thought Jenny Holiday did a wonderful job of bringing these two together. I loved seeing them get to know and then understand what the other is going through and then become each other’s rock. They both needed each other and didn’t even know it. Their romance was a lot of fun and I could not wait to jump into the next romantic adventure of the next friend, Wendy. This was a good one!

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

Bridesmaids Behaving Badly

four-half-stars


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