Publisher: Random House Publishing Group

Review: The Hookup by Erin McCarthy

Posted May 9, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: The Hookup by Erin McCarthyReviewer: Rowena
The Hookup (Jordan Brothers, #1) by Erin McCarthy
Series: Jordan Brothers #1
Published by Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept
Publication Date: May 8th, 2018
Point-of-View: First Person
Genres: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Pages: 255
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

Is there an equation for the perfect hookup? Turns out it’s a lot more complicated than one plus one. . . .

Sophie: Numbers are my comfort zone, which explains why my sex life is a big fat zero. Then again, if I’m smart enough to earn a PhD, why can’t I calculate a way to get a guy into bed, just to see what all the fuss is about? With my prima donna sister, Bella, getting married in Maine, I figure her wedding is the perfect opportunity for my little experiment. And Cain Jordan seems hot enough—he’s certainly drunk enough—to show me what I’ve been missing. Judging by the body of evidence, it’s a lot. . . .

Cain:

Being stuck in the same town as my lying SOB twin brother, Christian—who may or may not be the father of the son I’m not allowed to see—is a hell of a reason to drink myself silly after the lobster boat docks each day. Any port in a storm. . . . But Sophie’s different. She doesn’t play around. And she’s becoming a habit I don’t want to break. Because the smartest woman I’ve ever met is also the sexiest—and the only one who makes me want to change.

Don’t miss Bella and Christian’s story in The Breakup!

The Hookup is the first book in Erin McCarthy’s new Jordan Brothers series and it follows the first Jordan Brother, Cain.

Cain spends his days on the water at work as a lobster fisherman and his nights in the bars, getting himself super drunk so that he can forget his brother’s betrayal. He’s an alcoholic for sure but he doesn’t care because drinking makes him forget that the little boy he thought might be his son is actually his nephew because his twin brother slept with his girlfriend. It’s a betrayal that he hasn’t gotten over and I couldn’t say I didn’t understand what drove him to forget. How could you not? So when Cain is in the bar, getting his drink on, he meets Sophie and man does she help him forget.

Sophie is in town for her sister’s wedding and she’s on a mission to get rid of her virginity because it’s become a thing and she wants to get rid of it. She wasn’t waiting for Mr. Right. She just got caught up in school and learning that she never took the time to let loose and lose it. So the time is now and when the guy in the bar that her body zeroes in on accepts her invitation, she thinks she’ll just bang it out and they’ll go their separate ways but what started as a one night stand ends up being a vacation fling and then they do the inevitable and fall in love thing.

Seeing the romance between Sophie and Cain go from hookup buddies to okay, just one more time to many more times after that and not being able to walk away from each other was fun. I enjoyed seeing them together and I really liked that Sophie could be her nerdy, logic before anything else self with Cain and it was okay. Cain liked her just the way that she was and that was great. On the other hand, Sophie didn’t pry too much into Cain’s life even when he spent most of the time that they were together, drunk. So that was a bone of contention that is dealt with and I thought McCarthy did a great job of writing that part of the story into the conflict.

The whole thing with Cain’s twin brother wasn’t really dealt with in this book so I’m hoping that we get more from that in Christian’s book because I’m mighty curious about how Christian ended up betraying his twin brother. Cain is so pissed off at Christian and we see it, I need to find out what that whole deal is before I can even contemplate forgiving Christian so I’m all aboard for reading the next one.

This was a really quick read that I read in one sitting and it was a lot of fun. Sure, the hero is an alcoholic and does a lot of sloppy things over the course of the story but things work themselves out and he does right by Sophie in the end which made me happy. I was left with a whole lot of questions that I’m sure we’ll get answers to in the next book so I’m hooked.

Grade: 4 out of 5

Jordan Brothers

four-stars


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Guest Review: The Hookup by Erin McCarthy

Posted May 7, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: The Hookup by Erin McCarthyReviewer: Tracy
The Hookup (The Jordan Brothers #1) by Erin McCarthy
Series: The Jordan Brothers #1
Published by Loveswept
Publication Date: May 8th 2018
Point-of-View: First Person
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 255
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Is there an equation for the perfect hookup? Turns out it’s a lot more complicated than one plus one. . . .

Sophie:
Numbers are my comfort zone, which explains why my sex life is a big fat zero. Then again, if I’m smart enough to earn a PhD, why can’t I calculate a way to get a guy into bed, just to see what all the fuss is about? With my prima donna sister, Bella, getting married in Maine, I figure her wedding is the perfect opportunity for my little experiment. And Cain Jordan seems hot enough—he’s certainly drunk enough—to show me what I’ve been missing. Judging by the body of evidence, it’s a lot. . . .

Cain:
Being stuck in the same town as my lying SOB twin brother, Christian—who may or may not be the father of the son I’m not allowed to see—is a hell of a reason to drink myself silly after the lobster boat docks each day. Any port in a storm. . . . But Sophie’s different. She doesn’t play around. And she’s becoming a habit I don’t want to break. Because the smartest woman I’ve ever met is also the sexiest—and the only one who makes me want to change.

Cain was betrayed by his twin brother and girlfriend at one point.  Since that time he’s been drinking his life away the minute he gets off the lobster boat he works on.  He doesn’t stop until he’s good and drunk.  He’s on his way to tying one on when Sophie and her sister Bella walk into the bar.  He is immediately attracted to Bella but the more he talks to Sophie the more he likes her and thinks she’s way prettier than Bella.  They have a one-night stand and that was supposed to be it.  But Sophie gets under Cain’s skin and soon he’s finding he can’t get through the day without her.

Sophie is a nerd, plain and simple.  She’s working on her master’s degree at Harvard and wouldn’t have left school if it wasn’t for her sister Bella’s wedding.  She’s off for a week and then she’s back to the numbers game.  Sophie is determined to get rid of her virginity.  When she sees Cain she knows he’s the one that she’ll sleep with.  She never imagined that she’d like the guy and want to spend more time with him. They each figure they’ll spend the week together and then go their separate ways.  Things don’t always work out the way we plan, however.

This was a cute book.  I liked Sophie and her nerdishness so much.  She cracked me up throughout the book.  Cain took a bit of time for me to like as he was an alcoholic.  I realized that he’d been betrayed but instead of fighting for the son that may or not be his, he chose to drink himself to death.  I can’t really respect that, ya know? (I’m also aware that there is a way to tell if the boy is Cain’s son, they just have to delve deeper into the DNA. It irritated me that it was never mentioned. but that’s just me :)) However, he did grow on me and he did try to be a better man for Sophie during the week they were together and I had to admire him for trying.

The book gets a bit darker as the story moves on and it’s not so light-hearted which was a bit strange, but it was what it was.  The alcoholism became a huge issues, obviously, and I was happy with what happened at the very end of the book, even though it felt rushed.  There is an HEA in the book, so don’t worry about that, it just takes some time to get there.

Overall I liked the book and will read book 2 when it comes out, despite not really liking Christian (the twin) all that much.  I have to admit that McCarthy got me curious about him so there’s that.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

The Jordan Brothers

three-half-stars


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Throwback Thursday Review: Cover of Night by Linda Howard

Posted April 5, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 15 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: Cover of Night by Linda HowardReviewer: Holly
Cover of Night by Linda Howard
Published by Random House Publishing Group
Publication Date: June 27th 2006
Genres: Fiction
Pages: 352
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Goodreads
two-half-stars

For breathless action, gripping suspense, and intense romance, bestselling author Linda Howard never misses a beat–and her thrilling new novel will have your heart racing.

In the charming rural town of Trail Stop, Idaho, accessible to the outside world by only a single road, young widow Cate Nightingale lives peacefully with her four-year-old twin boys, running a bed-and-breakfast. Though the overnight guests are few and far between–occasional hunters and lake fishermen–Cate always manages to make ends meet with the help of the local jack-of-all-trades, Calvin Harris, who can handle everything from carpentry to plumbing. But Calvin is not what he seems, and Cate’s luck is about to run out.

One morning, the B&B’s only guest inexplicably vanishes, leaving behind his personal effects. A few days later Cate is shocked when armed men storm the house, demanding the mystery man’s belongings. Fearing for her children’s lives, Cate agrees to cooperate–until Calvin saves the day, forcing the intruders to scatter into the surrounding woods.

The nightmare, however, is just beginning. Cate, Calvin, and their entire community find themselves cut off and alone with no means to call for help as the threat gathers intensity and first blood is drawn.
With their fellow residents trapped and the entire town held hostage, Cate and Calvin have no choice but to take the fight to their enemies under the cover of night. While reticent Cal becomes a fearless protector, Cate makes the most daring move of her life . . . into the very heart of danger.

From the Hardcover edition.

Every Thursday in 2018, we’ll be posting throwback reviews of our favorite and not-so-favorite books.

This review was originally posted on April 21, 2008.

How many of you have read Danielle Steel? I used to read her all the time when I was younger, but after awhile the repetitiveness of her writing started to wear on me and I gave up on her. I’m not talking about the constant reuse of key phrases, either, but the way she feels she has to explain the same point again and again and again.

That’s exactly what Linda Howard did in this novel. Contrary to popular belief, I am not an idiot. If you explain something to me once, I get it. I don’t need you to repeat the same point over and over. Truly.

Three years ago, Cate’s husband died of a Staph infection, leaving her a widow with very young twin boys. In an effort to provide financially for them and to escape all of the memories of Seattle, she moves to Trail Stop, Idaho, a very small community nestled in the mountains of Idaho and miles from everything. The town is surrounded on three sides by mountains and has only one road for access.

Life is pretty peaceful for her and her twins. She’s made some friends, though she’s mostly kept people at arms length. The local handyman, Calvin Harris, is at her house almost every day, because it’s an old Victorian and seems to need constant repairs. Otherwise, though, besides one women she considers a close friend, she doesn’t really socialize in town.

Our story begins when she has this guest come and stay who sneaks out the window during the day and leaves all his stuff behind. At first she’s irritated that he ditched out like that, then she’s worried about him, thinking he may have had an accident or something, then she goes back to being irritated when he’s still gone two days later.

In the meantime, we find out that the guest who skipped out the window is actually a CPA who stole some very incriminating evidence from some mobster and is attempting to extort an extreme amount of money from him. Well, as you can imagine, our mobster guy isn’t very happy about that, so he hires this shady PI/Contract Killer guy to go after him. They eventually track him to the B&B in Trail Stop…and this is where the story goes south. Wayyyy South.

The thing about this book is…it wasn’t that interesting BEFORE the contract killer shows up. But AFTER that? It was so over-the-top-unbelievable I was almost in stitches. Seriously.

Here’s the skinny. Contract Killer and his little minion decide to rent a room in Cate’s BB. They overhear Cate and her friend talking about how she’s suspicious of them, so rather than being all stealthy and searching for the things CPA boy left behind, they rush at her with guns and demand his stuff. She’s getting ready to comply when Cal the Handyman shows up to get the mail. She sends him on his way, but on the off chance that something isn’t right he circles back around and…saves the day.

Now, the thing is, up until this point, Cal can’t string two words together in Cate’s presence. He’s painfully shy around her and even turns BEAT ASS RED when he’s near her. I think LH was trying to make us see that he had different sides by throwing a few other scenes with him in it, but it didn’t work. Not for me anyway.

But back to my bitching review. So Cal figures out that Cate’s in trouble, circles around, knocks one of the Contract Killers on the head and takes the other one by surprise and disarms him. In the name of keeping things calm, he hands over CPA Boy’s suitcase and sends them on their way. Yeah, dumb but whatever.

Conveniently, Cate’s mom is visiting from Seattle, and wants the twins for a few weeks, so the next morning Cate sends them on their way, because she’s paranoid and wants them safe. Ok, that makes sense. But it was just too neat and tidy that her mom was there when this went down.

The twins hit the road and the Contract Killers check out the suitcase. Well, well, what do you know. Seems there isn’t any shaving stuff or personal toiletries in the bag, so they figure she’s holding out on them. So what do they do? Well, they decide to take the entire town hostage, of course.

stares

Yes, I said take the entire town hostage. Because Cate may or may not have a shaving kit that may or may not include the thing that Mobster Dude’s CPA stole from him. Is that not the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever heard?

From there on it was just dumb. The POV’s jumped around entirely too much, but we didn’t get hardly anything from the hero. We come to understand that he’s been in love with Cate since she moved there, and that he was formerly a Marine, so he’s well able to handle the situation, but that’s pretty much it. I really liked what I saw of him, and I liked Cate for the most part, too. Although she could have buckled in the face of such craziness, she rose to the occasion and did what needed to be done. But overall? The character development sucked, IMO. There just wasn’t enough focus on the two main protagonists to make them real characters to me. The twins were sort of cute, but since they only lasted like the first 20 pages or so I can’t really say they grabbed me.

Basically, the storyline was WAY over the top, we didn’t get to see enough from the hero’s POV and she jumped around WAY too much. During one chapter there were seven different POV’s, none of them the hero.

Overall, I wasn’t impressed. At all. It’s not the worst Linda Howard I’ve ever read (All That Glitters and The Independent Wife hold that title) but it was close.

2.5 out of 5

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

two-half-stars


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Cover Reveal: Down with Love by Kate Meader

Posted March 16, 2018 by Rowena in Promotions | 2 Comments

Cover Reveal

Kate Meader is a new to me author that I tried last month at the recommendation of many of my favorite book bloggers. I read and enjoyed the heck out of her Chicago Rebels series and was super excited to find out about her new series, the Love Wars series. I’m all thrilled to reveal the brand-spankin’ new cover for this book with you guys.

Check it out and happy Friday!

Cover Reveal: Down with Love by Kate MeaderDown with Love (Love Wars, #1) by Kate Meader
Series: Love Wars #1
Published by Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept
Publication Date: August 7th 2018
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads

Sparks fly when the hot-shot divorce lawyer meets the high-powered wedding planner. The only question is, what kind?

If you ever get married, remember my name: Max Henderson. In my line of work, you acquire a certain perspective on supposedly everlasting unions. . . .

1. Pre-nups are your friend.
2. The person you married is not the person you’re divorcing.
3. And I hope you didn’t spend much on the wedding because that was one helluva waste of hard-earned cash, wasn’t it?

But some guys are willing to take a chance. Like my brother, who thinks he’s going to ride off into the sunset with the woman of his dreams in a haze of glitter on unicorns. And the wedding planner—the green-eyed beauty who makes a living convincing suckers to shell out thousands of dollars on centerpieces—is raking it in on this matrimonial monstrosity.

The thing is, Charlie Love is not unlike me. We’re both cogs in the wedding-industrial complex. As the best man, I know her game—and I can play it better than her. But after one scorching, unexpected kiss, I’m thinking I might just want to get played.

The first book is called Down with Love and it features a wedding planner and a divorce attorney. I just know that Kate Meader is going to work her writing magic and write one hell of a romantic comedy and I cannot wait. How fabulous is this cover, too?

Down with Love by Kate Meader comes out on August 7th, 2018 and will be available wherever eBooks are sold so we’ve got a little bit of a wait but go on ahead and get your copy pre-ordered with the links provided below. Mark your calendars!

Pre-Order the Book:

AMAZON || BARNES AND NOBLE || GOOGLE || KOBO

Teaser

About the Author

Kate Meader

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST | GOODREADS

Originally from Ireland, USA Today bestselling author Kate Meader cut her romance reader teeth on Maeve Binchy and Jilly Cooper novels, with some Harlequins thrown in for variety. Give her tales about brooding mill owners, oversexed equestrians, and men who can rock an apron or a fire hose, and she’s there. Now based in Chicago, she writes sexy contemporary romance with alpha heroes and strong heroines who can match their men quip for quip.


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Guest Review: Lost to a Spy by Sharon Cullen

Posted March 14, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Lost to a Spy by Sharon CullenReviewer: Tracy
Lost to a Spy (All the Queen's Spies #3) by Sharon Cullen
Series: All the Queen's Spies #3
Also in this series: Wed to a Spy, Bound to a Spy
Published by Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept
Publication Date: March 13th 2018
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 222
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

Ladies in waiting can’t help noticing more than they let on. After so many years at the court of Mary, Queen of Scots, Emma Howard sees quite plainly that the royal couple is anything but happy. Reeling from a failed marriage herself, Emma sympathizes with her beloved queen. But the last thing she wants is for the king to be murdered, let alone to witness the shocking act herself. With her whole world turned upside-down, Emma is saved by the quick thinking of a lowly printer . . . who, unbeknownst to her, is one of England’s most daring spies.

At Queen Elizabeth’s behest, Tristan has been stirring discontent against the Scottish nobility. Now that the king is dead, his mission is even more critical. There’s only one complication: the exquisite courtier who’s unexpectedly fallen under Tristan’s protection. Emma rouses his body and his soul. But after she learns that he’s a traitor, the fate of two nations hangs on her response. Tristan’s prepared to risk his life in exchange for hers. Will Emma do the same for the man she’s come to love?

Emma Hamilton lives at Holyrood Palace and is close with Mary, Queen of Scots.  She feels safe there and Mary has been kind to her since her Emma’s evil husband died. She’s a Scot through and through and doesn’t plan on leaving the palace any time soon.

One night while walking home from dinner she witnesses what might be a murder but before she can think too long on it, there’s an explosion and Emma is knocked unconscious.  The sound rouses the Edinburgh residents from their homes, including printer Tristan Fitzherbert.  He finds Emma and takes her back to his home above the print shop to nurse her back to health.  He did this as he could tell she was nobility by how she was dressed and feared that she would be arrested when she was found as she was so close to the explosion site.

Emma fears all men after her husband treated her so badly during their marriage.  She’s frightened when she wakes up in a strange place but Tristan puts her at ease and soon she’s enjoying spending time with him. As the explosion killed the King consort, Lord Darnley, they talk a lot about that and Emma tries to sort out what she saw that night.  Tristan, for his part tries to get Emma to see that the Queen’s right-hand man, Bothwell, is most likely responsible for the death.  The more he talks, the more she sees things might not be as safe in Holyrood Palace as she thought.  In just a few days she starts to have feelings for Tristan and he for her.  Emma’s a smart girl, however, and soon figures out that Tristan isn’t necessarily who he says he is – a lowly printer.  More like an agent for Queen Elizabeth of England.  She fears for his safety when she hears about printers being gathered up and questioned for printing seditious placards but what can a woman do to help the man she loves?

This was another wonderfully intriguing book by Sharon Cullen.  I’m just loving this series so far and this book was no different.

Emma and Tristan were farther apart in station then I think the previous couples in the series were so that made it a bit more interesting for me.  They were so cute together!  The main part of the story takes place in the span of about 2 weeks which is a short time to fall in love, but I guess when you know, you know.  The pair just clicked from the first and of course Tristan’s protectiveness kicked in when Emma was hurt.

I’ve loved reading about all of the intrigue throughout this series.  When I first started I didn’t know much history about Mary, Queen of Scots but I’ve done a little reading up on her since then and I think Cullen has kept pretty closely with the actual events in history, taking just a little license with it all.

If you haven’t read any of the books in this series I definitely recommend them.

All the Queen’s Spies Series

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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