Publisher: Random House Publishing Group

Review: Arm Candy by Jessica Lemmon

Posted September 6, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Review: Arm Candy by Jessica LemmonReviewer: Rowena
Arm Candy by Jessica Lemmon
Series: Real Love #2
Also in this series: Eye Candy, Eye Candy (Real Love, #1)
Published by Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept
Publication Date: September 5th, 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 220
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Last call! At the end of the night, a clean-cut hunk and a rebellious bartender act on their unlikely chemistry in this frisky standalone novel from the author of Eye Candy.

Davis:

I’ve had my eye on Grace Buchanan for a while now. Unlike the bubbly blondes I usually date, the feisty, flame-haired bartender both intrigues and bewilders me. Something about Grace—the tattoos? the nose ring?—makes every part of me sit up and beg. There’s only one problem: She hates me. Trading insults and one-liners has become our M.O. But when Grace bets me that I can’t get a date with a non-blonde if my life depends on it, I’m determined to prove her wrong by landing the ultimate non-blonde: her.

Grace:

I’m used to regulars hitting on me, and I’ve turned them all down, except for one: Davis Price. I like giving him a hard time, and he’s kind of cute in his suit and tie—if you’re into that kind of thing. Anyway, I don’t care how many blondes he takes home . . . until one of them sidles up to him in my bar. Nuh-uh. But after my little bet with Davis backfires, our first date lands us in the sack. So does the second. And the third. Neither of us wants more than the best sex of our lives. The trouble is, it’s not a question of what I want. It’s what I need. And what I need is Davis.

Arm Candy is the second book in the Real Love series by Jessica Lemmon. It’s also Davis’ book. Davis Price, the best friend of the hero from Book 1. I’ve been looking forward to reading this book because I enjoyed the little bits we got from Davis in Eye Candy. He was a good friend to both Vince and Jackie and I was looking forward to getting to know him better. There were little nuggets that we learn about Davis in the first book and I was looking forward to delving into all of that stuff and I’m happy to say that Jessica Lemmon did a fabulous job of writing Davis’ story, IMO.

Davis works from home so he likes to unwind at his favorite neighborhood bar and he really likes exchanging barbs with his favorite bartender, Grace. The attraction between the two of them is strong but neither of them act on it until Grace throws down the gauntlet in the form of a wager and Davis jumps on it. The bet? That Davis will ask the first non-blonde out that he sees and he jumps in and asks her out. Grace is a redhead and though she wasn’t talking about herself when she placed the bet, she’s not one to walk away from a dare so she agrees to go out with him.

One date ends up in bed and they keep ending up in bed so they spend some time together. They get to know each other outside of the bar and the more they get to know, the more they like each other. I really enjoyed seeing them fall in love with each other because they’re both flawed characters who have been burned by one thing or another and don’t have that much faith in relationships but seeing them take a chance on each other warmed my heart. Sure, things weren’t perfect and they fumbled their way to get to that happy ending but I really enjoyed their emotional ride.

Davis was just as great as I hoped he’d be. He did a lot of growing throughout the book and I really connected with his character. He learned a great deal about himself, about love and about what he wanted out of life. He was a grown man who handled his business and did whatever he felt needed to be done and I loved how honest he was. With Grace. With himself. With everyone. He wasn’t the most perfect of characters but he was real. He was a good person who realized his worth and loved with all he had. I appreciated that and I adored him. He was such a good character.

Gracie Lou was a great match for Davis. She came with her own baggage and she was dealing with them as best as she could. She fumbled a lot and there were times when I wanted to smack some sense into her but she doesn’t stay down for long. She was adult enough to acknowledge when she was wrong and in the end, all was well.

This was a great read from beginning to end. I loved the romance that blossomed between Davis and Grace and I adored seeing Vince and Jackie again, all loved up and happy. I’m looking forward to getting to know Dax, though it would have been nice to get a little more of him in this book so that I could have an idea of what’s to come in his book but that’s a really minor gripe. I enjoyed this one and can’t wait for more.

Grade: 4.25 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: Ready to Run by Lauren Layne

Posted August 15, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: Ready to Run by Lauren LayneReviewer: Rowena
Ready to Run by Lauren Layne
Series: I Do I Don't #1
Published by Loveswept
Publication Date: August 22nd, 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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three-half-stars

The Bachelor meets The Runaway Bride in this addictive romance novel about a reality TV producer falling for her would-be star: a Montana heartthrob who wants nothing to do with the show.

Jordan Carpenter thinks she’s finally found the perfect candidate for Jilted, a new dating show about runaway grooms: Luke Elliott, a playboy firefighter who’s left not one but three brides at the altar. The only problem? Luke refuses to answer Jordan’s emails or return her calls. Which is how she ends up on a flight to Montana to recruit him in person. It’s not Manhattan but at least the locals in Lucky Hollow seem friendly . . . except for Luke, who’s more intense—and way hotter—than the slick womanizer Jordan expected.

Eager to put the past behind him, Luke has zero intention of following this gorgeous, fast-talking city girl back to New York. But before he can send her packing, Jordan’s everywhere: at his favorite bar, the county fair, even his exes’ book club. Annoyingly, everyone in Lucky Hollow seems to like her—and deep down, she’s starting to grow on him too. But the more he fights her constant pestering, the more Luke finds himself wishing that Jordan would kick off her high heels and make herself comfortable in his arms.

Lauren Layne is writing a Bachelor type series and Ready to Run is the first book. It follows our heroine Jordan Carpenter as she makes her way to a small town Lucky Hollow in Montana to try to get firefighter Luke Elliot to join the cast of her upcoming Bachelor type reality show called Jilted…as the bachelor. Jilted is a reality show that will help runaway grooms find true love.

Jordan can’t figure out why this guy wouldn’t want to join the show. Who would walk away from that much money? Apparently, Luke Elliot has no problem walking away from the money and her. He just wants to live his life out of the limelight and wants nothing to do with a tv show, a big shot city slicker and he doesn’t want his personal life and the reasons he walked away from each of his exes to be public knowledge. He had a good life and he didn’t want strangers all up in his business.

Jordan is trying to make a name for herself in the television business and her boss is really excited about this new reality show. If she wants to move up the corporate business ladder, she’s got to land a heartthrob that viewers will connect with and Luke is the perfect candidate for that. It’s too bad he wants nothing to do with Jilted.

The romance between these two was kind of more of the same that you normally get from Lauren Layne. She writes a lot of those hate-to-love romances and while I liked Luke and Jordan, they weren’t my favorite hate-to-love couple of Layne’s. Jordan was chasing a guy for a tv show with no good reason for not giving up and moving on. She kept pressing this guy even though he made it plain that he wasn’t going to change his mind. She set up camp in his hometown and infiltrated his family, his friends and expected him to what? Be elated? Come on now…

Luke was not happy about the fact that he was attracted to this woman who wanted to turn his life into a freaking circus but damn, the attraction was there and it was strong as hell. The longer she stuck around, the more pissed off he became because the attraction wasn’t anything he planned on acting on but the more time that he spends trying to dodge her, the more he realizes that there’s more to this city girl than meets the eye. His interest in her grows and feelings creep up because this is a romance novel and even though this isn’t my favorite Lauren Layne novel, it still held the charm and warmth that I’ve come to expect from a Lauren Layne book.

I’m definitely interested in reading the other books in this series and I’ve got my fingers crossed that we’ll get to see some of my favorite characters from this book in those ones. I really did like the small town of Lucky Hollow.

Grade: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars


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Guest Review: Eye Candy by Jessica Lemmon

Posted August 2, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Eye Candy by Jessica LemmonReviewer: Tracy
Eye Candy (Real Love, #1) by Jessica Lemmon
Series: Real Love #1
Also in this series: Eye Candy, Arm Candy
Published by Loveswept
Publication Date: July 25th 2017
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars

Jacqueline: As an adult woman--and the vice president of a marketing firm--I shouldn't be waiting by my office window to ogle the mystery man who jogs by every morning at 11:45. Sure, he's a gorgeous, perfect specimen of the human race, but I can't bring myself to hit on a total stranger. However, my best friend-slash-colleague Vince Carson thinks I should do more than talk to the guy. In fact, he's borderline obsessive about "getting me laid." (His words.) But the more time we spend together, the more it's clear: The one I'm falling for is Vince.

Vince: Jackie Butler's got it bad for some pompous, over-pumped A-hole who struts his stuff past her window. That doesn't bother me. I know she deserves nice things. What does bother me is that she friend-zoned me big-time last year, so I can't ask her out myself. But what if I set her up with Mr. Steroids? Then, when he breaks her heart, I can swoop in and save her like the nice guy I am. Everything's going according to plan . . . until we share a ridiculously epic kiss. And suddenly anything is possible.

Jacqueline and Vince are best friends and co-workers.  Every day at a specific time Jackie stares out her window to ogle a runner who she thinks is hotter than hot.  Vince is jealous because even though he and Jackie are friends he wants to be more.  Despite his feelings he encourages Jackie to date runner guy because he thinks that she’ll see what a dolt the guy is and then he’ll have his opening.  Things don’t exactly work out that way.

Jackie is excited about dating the runner guy but she’s kind of having fantasies about her friend Vince and she’s not sure how he feels about that.  She’s getting mixed signals as he’s telling her what she should do with runner guy.  It’s all very confusing.  Soon Jackie is acting like a teenager and with Vince and she’s not sure how he feels about her.

This was a cute and sometimes funny book.  I like friends-to-lovers stories and I had some pretty high hopes with this one as I know what a great writer that Lemmon is.  Unfortunately this one just wasn’t what I was expecting.

Friends who become lovers – that’s a difficult and sometimes rocky road to take and that’s when the H/h are being honest with each other about their feelings.  That wasn’t the case here. Vince thought that if Jackie dated she would see that the dating world sucked and then he’d have his chance.  Jackie dated runner guy and eventually did see what an ass he was but since Vince was being so wishy washy it was hard for her to tell.  Then when Jackie did something completely childish, even though it was done in the heat of the moment, Vince gets extremely mad and stops talking to her.  I was completely floored at his actions and wanted to hit the man, quite frankly.  Between the hiding of their feelings and the huge miscommunication I found myself rolling my eyes instead of understanding what they were going through.  I wish I could say better things about this one but it just didn’t do it for me.

Rating: 2.5/3 out of 5

three-stars


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Review: Eye Candy by Jessica Lemmon

Posted July 24, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: Eye Candy by Jessica LemmonReviewer: Rowena
Eye Candy by Jessica Lemmon
Series: Real Love #1
Also in this series: Eye Candy (Real Love, #1), Arm Candy
Published by Random House, Loveswept
Publication Date: July 25th 2017
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Jacqueline: As an adult woman--and the vice president of a marketing firm--I shouldn't be waiting by my office window to ogle the mystery man who jogs by every morning at 11:45. Sure, he's a gorgeous, perfect specimen of the human race, but I can't bring myself to hit on a total stranger. However, my best friend-slash-colleague Vince Carson thinks I should do more than talk to the guy. In fact, he's borderline obsessive about "getting me laid." (His words.) But the more time we spend together, the more it's clear: The one I'm falling for is Vince.

Vince: Jackie Butler's got it bad for some pompous, over-pumped A-hole who struts his stuff past her window. That doesn't bother me. I know she deserves nice things. What does bother me is that she friend-zoned me big-time last year, so I can't ask her out myself. But what if I set her up with Mr. Steroids? Then, when he breaks her heart, I can swoop in and save her like the nice guy I am. Everything's going according to plan . . . until we share a ridiculously epic kiss. And suddenly anything is possible.

Eye Candy is the first book in a new series by Jessica Lemmon called Real Love. It follows Vince Carson as he tries to win his best friend Jackie Butler over into his life and his..bed.

Vince has got it bad for his best friend, Jackie. She kind of snuck up on him because he wasn’t looking for feelings to creep up on him since he swore off love after his ex-wife left him because he wasn’t successful enough for her. Jackie and Vince work together, they share the VP status at their marketing firm and it was Jackie that helped Vince get his shit together after the divorce. He was an emotional mess and talking things out with Jackie, who showed up at his house with fried chicken and beer helped get his life back on track and he was doing well now. He was done being an emotional basket case and he was moving on with his life. He was ready to date again and he wanted to date Jackie but she wasn’t ready for him.

Jackie came into the picture when she started working at the marketing firm that Vince worked at. She was fresh off a divorce herself but her divorce did a number on her because her ex-husband cheating and fell in love with someone else while still married to Jackie and she hasn’t really recovered from the rejection and betrayal. Vince was off limits when Jackie first meets him and it’s probably for the best because they’re really good as friends. Best friends, even. She saw herself in him when he was struggling to get through the days following his divorce and so she shows up at his house and helps him through everything. She listened to him when he needed to get all of his emotions off his chest. She helped him figure out his next move.

Vince is under the impression that if he were to ask Jackie out, that he would be her rebound and he doesn’t want to be that so when she starts drooling over the hot guy that runs by their office every day at 11:45am, Vince thinks it’s a good idea to become her dating coach. She needs to get back out there so that when the hot guy breaks her heart, Vince will be there to comfort her through the heartbreak.

What a dumbass plan. The whole plan that Vince concocts to win Jackie over was just plain ol’ dumb but for some reason, I kept reading the book. I enjoyed Vince as a character and I enjoyed getting to know Jackie but I still thought that they had a lot of dumb moments throughout the book. I’m not a fan of dating games and these two played a lot of them. They’re best friends, so I didn’t think that the games were necessary but let them both slide some because they were young enough to make those stupid mistakes.

The romance was pretty steamy and I’m mighty curious about the next book in this series so I’m definitely going to be continuuing on. I liked Davis and want to see him get the bartender….I’m also very curious to know where Grace went toward the end of this book. Why wasn’t she at the bar when the boys would go in there? Hmmm…

Overall, I thought this book was good. The characters were funny, the dialogue had me cracking up and I liked the hero. Sure, Vince did some stupid shit but I still really liked him. I liked him more than I liked Jackie. I wasn’t a fan of the whole JT thing but it led Vince and Jackie to each other so I got over it. Jessica Lemmon created a fun little world for these characters and I’m looking forward to meeting the rest of the gang in the next book. I’m in.

Grade: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars


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Review: I Knew You Were Trouble by Lauren Layne

Posted July 14, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: I Knew You Were Trouble by Lauren LayneReviewer: Rowena
I Knew You Were Trouble by Lauren Layne
Series: Oxford Series #4
Published by Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept
Publication Date: June 13th, 2017
Pages: 215
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

New York City’s hottest bachelors are stirring up trouble in this fun, flirty Oxford Novel, as a love triangle forces a feisty beauty to choose between winning back Mr. Right or giving in to Mr. Wrong.

Taylor Carr has it all—a sleek job in advertising, a stunning Manhattan apartment, and the perfect man to share it with: Bradley Calloway. Even after Bradley dumps her for a co-worker on move-in day, Taylor isn’t worried. She’ll get her man eventually. In the meantime, she needs a new roommate. Enter Nick Ballantine, career bartender, freelance writer—and longtime pain in Taylor’s ass. Sexy in a permanent five-o’clock-shadow kind of way, Nick knows how to push Taylor’s buttons, as if he could see right through to the real her.

Nick’s always trying to fix people, and nobody could use a good fixing more than Taylor. Sure, she’s gorgeous, with mesmerizing silver eyes, but it’s her vulnerability that kills him. Now that they’re shacking up together, the chemistry is out of control. Soon they’re putting every part of their two-bedroom apartment to good use. Then Taylor’s ex comes crawling back to her, and Nick figures she’ll jump at the chance to go back to her old life—unless he fights for the best thing that ever happened to him.

Don’t miss any of Lauren Layne’s juicy Oxford Novels:IRRESISTIBLY YOURS | I WISH YOU WERE MINE | SOMEONE LIKE YOU | I KNEW YOU WERE TROUBLE

“Irresistibly Yours has it all: fun banter, hot chemistry, and a couple that you just can’t help but want to be together!”—New York Times bestselling author Marquita Valentine “A smart, sexy, and absolutely irresistible read!”—USA Today bestselling author Mira Lyn Kelly, on I Wish You Were Mine

“Lauren Layne is a new auto-buy author for me. I can’t get enough of the men of Oxford!”—Christi Barth, author of the Naked Men series

And look for her exhilarating Sex, Love & Stiletto series:AFTER THE KISS | LOVE THE ONE YOU’RE WITH | JUST ONE NIGHT | THE TROUBLE WITH LOVE

I Knew You Were Trouble is the fourth book in the Oxford series by Lauren Layne and it’s a book that I’ve been pretty anxious for. I love all things Lauren Layne and I especially love all things Oxford so the minute this book found its way onto my Kindle, I dug in and finished the entire book in a day.

If you read the other books in the Oxford series then you’ll remember Nick Ballantine as the fill-in guy. He’s a freelance writer who fills in for Oxford writers who are on vacation or out sick or whatever. Lincoln Mathis isn’t a fan of Nick’s because he tried asking Daisy out in Someone Like You and Lincoln didn’t appreciate Nick trying to slide into his girl’s DM’s. So this book is that Nick’s book and while it wasn’t my favorite of the Oxford bunch, I still rather enjoyed it.

Nick’s heroine works at Oxford on the marketing side of the magazine and Taylor Carr is the real deal. She’s fierce and she’s sassy and Nick wants her bad. Too bad, she hates his guts and wants nothing to do with him. Their chemistry was off the chains and I enjoyed their work encounters. This hate to love story was so much fun for me. I enjoyed getting to know both Nick and Taylor and their story was a solid one.

There was a lot about Nick that we didn’t know in the other books and I’m glad that we got his backstory in this book. He’s been through a lot of heartbreak and man did I feel for him. I felt for him when we find out what happened with Kelsey and I wanted to wring Kelsey’s neck when she popped up on his doorstep like she had every right to.

Taylor was a bit extra at times but I never hated her. I understood where she was coming from when she would act crazy and I can’t say that I blamed her for moving on to Bradley the way that she did. In my opinion, the back and forth between Nick and Taylor had to happen for them to get to where they were in the end. They were in such a good place at the end and the ending scene had me smiling like a crazy lady because I was so happy for both of them.

I really like Lauren Layne’s writing style. Her characters are always smart, charming and just all around great people and you can’t help by cheer them on. These characters were no different than the editorial Oxford peeps. They felt like my friends and I was glad to see all of my favorite characters from the other Oxford books.

I can’t wait to read Brit’s book and I’m going to keep my fingers crossed that her man is the man I’m thinking about. I’m so ready for that book.

Overall, this was a great romance featuring two people who fought their way to true love and even though it wasn’t my favorite book, I still recommend it because it’s a solid story as all Lauren Layne stories seem to be for me. Nick and Taylor are great and if you missed the other Oxford folks, look no further than this book because they’re all back!

Grade: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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