Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review: Roomies by Christina Lauren

Posted December 11, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 10 Comments

Review: Roomies by Christina LaurenReviewer: Rowena
Roomies by Christina Lauren
Published by Gallery Books
Publication Date: December 5th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 368
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four-stars

Marriages of convenience are so…inconvenient.

Rescued by Calvin McLoughlin from a would-be subway attacker, Holland Bakker pays the brilliant musician back by pulling some of her errand-girl strings and getting him an audition with a big-time musical director. When the tryout goes better than even Holland could have imagined, Calvin is set for a great entry into Broadway—until he admits his student visa has expired and he’s in the country illegally.

Holland impulsively offers to wed the Irishman to keep him in New York, her growing infatuation a secret only to him. As their relationship evolves from awkward roommates to besotted lovers, Calvin becomes the darling of Broadway. In the middle of the theatrics and the acting-not-acting, what will it take for Holland and Calvin to realise that they both stopped pretending a long time ago?

Roomies is the second book that I’ve read by Christina Lauren and it certainly won’t be my last. This book was a lot of fun, once the story took off. Unfortunately, for me, the book didn’t pick up until about 52% into the story. The beginning started off interesting but then for a long time, I read and read and read and waited for something to happen and felt like there was too much Holland and not enough moving the story along. That changed once the story took off and once it did, my enjoyment of the story picked up as well.

So Holland Bakker is a young woman living in New York City, trying to find herself. She’s working with her Uncle, who is a musical director for a Broadway show and she’s doing the little jobs that anyone can do while she figures herself out. She’s not particularly happy with her life, there’s some guilt over living off her Uncles and not really having a direction, or a purpose. She’s got a huge crush on this subway musician and when her uncle needs help finding a new musician to step in for his play, Holland brings her uncle and the subway musician together and things really take off from there because before Holland knows what’s what, she’s got a new roommate who is her husband and her new Irish husband is on his way to being in the states legally.

The whole story is about Holland finding her purpose and her way. She does a lot of growing up in this book and there were times when I wanted to strangle her. I thought she spent too much time in her head and not enough time expressing what she needed and wanted from Calvin, her new husband. It was great to see her and Calvin growing closer and closer but because of the situation that they were in, I felt that they didn’t communicate nearly as much as they should have. I mean, toward the end of the book and they were still not communicating clearly with each other and I kept thinking, “Ugh, not again!”

Aside from that, Hollands ends up being such a strong character in the end and I was glad for her. I was also glad that we got to see the growth in Calvin’s character as well. We only got Holland’s POV so Christina Lauren did a great job of showcasing the growth of the secondary characters as well. I adored Holland’s Uncles and the small bits that we got of her brother, Davis. I did not really care much for Holland’s friend, Lulu. I wanted to smack the shit out of her multiple times in this book because she was such a shit friend but alls well that ends well and even though she wasn’t my favorite person, she came around.

Overall, this was a solid story. It had likable characters, a heroine that young women will be able to connect with, a sexy musician hero and a story that makes things interesting. The beginning was a little slow but when it picks up, it really picks up and I’m not at all mad that I read this one. It wasn’t the most perfect of reads but it was entertaining and all in all, it was good. I recommend.

Grade: 3.75 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: Ready for Wild by Liora Blake

Posted October 31, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Ready for Wild by Liora BlakeReviewer: Rowena
Ready for Wild (Grand Valley #3) by Liora Blake
Series: Grand Valley #3
Also in this series: First Step Forward, First Step Forward, Second Chance Season, Second Chance Season
Published by Gallery Books
Publication Date: October 31st 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 320
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Featuring Liora Blake’s signature “funny, endearing, and more than a little hot” (Library Journal) style, the third novel in the Grand Valley series features a rough-talking game warden going toe-to-toe with a TV star who unexpectedly turns his life upside down.

Braden Montgomery is certain about three things: one, luck is for suckers; two, time spent outdoors is what keeps him sane; and, three, when it comes to sharing his bed, there’s only one female he’s willing to put up with—his Chesapeake Bay retriever, Charley. Braden’s constructed his life on these beliefs, and he’s quite content with the status quo.

But when a moment of bad luck lands Braden toe-to-toe with a blonde bombshell with her own television show, his stubbornly structured reality begins to unravel.

As for Amber Regan, her brand has been built on camo, cut-offs, and cleavage. With her own hunting show on the foremost sports channel and enough social media followers to garner her plenty of endorsement deals, Amber’s come a long way from the tomboy in a small Texas town she once was. Unfortunately, ratings are down and her contract for next season is in limbo, so she’s in desperate need of a reboot to save her show—and filming a rough and tough archery elk hunt in Colorado might be the way to do just that. Too bad the local game warden grunts more than he speaks, seems determined to despise her—and makes her heart race in all the most inconvenient ways.

Ready for Wild is the third book in the Grand Valley series by Liora Blake and it was another enjoyable romance in a series that I feel is quite underappreciated. I haven’t seen too many people reading this series around the internet but I’m rather liking this series.

So this book follows Garrett’s grumpy best friend Braden as he makes that journey toward true love. He falls hard for the girl he didn’t even want to come into town but when she got there, he was hardpressed to not take notice of her. Braden lives a solitary life and it suits him, until Amber shows up to film her hunting show on his trails and he’s roped into being her local guide.

Amber Regan needs to film a quality hunting show this season or she’s afraid her show will get axed by her tv network. She’s not afraid of hard work so heading out to the trails of Colorado to get some quality footage is her number one priority and she doesn’t give two shits what park ranger Braden Montgomery thinks about it. He can hate it all he wants, he just better not get in her way.

Liora Blake does a great job of capturing the chemistry between Braden and Amber in this one. From their physical interactions to their texting interactions, there’s a whole lot to enjoy. Braden turned out to be a whole lot of fun when he wasn’t growling at everyone and everything in his path and Amber was a great match for him because she just made herself comfortable in his life and kind of forced him to open up and let her in. That was exactly what he needed.

This was a great romance without a lot of angst. Just a sweet romance between two people who grew to be important parts of the others life. Between Amber’s friends and family and Braden’s, you’ll fall a little more in love with Grand Valley, CO and want to move there yourself. I know I do.

Grade: 4 out of 5


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Retro Review: A Hunger Like No Other by Kresley Cole.

Posted October 11, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 6 Comments

Retro Review: A Hunger Like No Other by Kresley Cole.Reviewer: Rowena
A Hunger Like No Other (Immortals After Dark #2) by Kresley Cole
Series: Immortals After Dark #2
Published by Pocket Star
Publication Date: April 1st 2006
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 356
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Acclaimed author Kresley Cole introduces a sizzling new series with this tale of a fierce werewolf and a bewitching vampire—unlikely soul mates whose passion will test the boundaries of life and death.

A mythic warrior who'll stop at nothing to possess her...

After enduring years of torture from the vampire horde, Lachlain MacRieve, leader of the Lykae Clan, is enraged to find the predestined mate he's waited millennia for is a vampire. Or partly one. This Emmaline is a small, ethereal half Valkyrie/half vampire, who somehow begins to soothe the fury burning within him.

A vampire captured by her wildest fantasy...

Sheltered Emmaline Troy finally sets out to uncover the truth about her deceased parents—until a powerful Lykae claims her as his mate and forces her back to his ancestral Scottish castle. There, her fear of the Lykae—and their notorious dark desires—ebbs as he begins a slow, wicked seduction to sate her own dark cravings.

An all-consuming desire...

Yet when an ancient evil from her past resurfaces, will their desire deepen into a love that can bring a proud warrior to his knees and turn a gentle beauty into the fighter she was born to be?

*****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 June 4, 2007.

So I took a break from the Crazy series because I left the next book at home and I had this one with me so I started reading it and man, I’ve got to publicly thank Lori for pimping this book to me a couple of weeks ago, because man did I devour this book on Saturday. This is the first book in the Immortals After Dark series by Kresley Cole.

The book is about the Lykae King who was captured and held captive by these mean bad ass vampires and tortured like you can’t even imagine and his never-ending quest to find his true mate. He’s searched high and low for this woman for the last roughly like 1100 years, to no avail until one day, he’s in chains and he scents her, above him and the guy goes a little crazy. He breaks his chains and rushes to find her, only to find out that his mate, his beloved mate is one of the things he detests most in this world…a vampire.

So you can only imagine how pissed off he was. I mean, he’s caught and held captive and then tortured within an inch of his life and then the one thing that gets him out of this mess, his mate turns out to be one of …them.

It’s been hundreds of years that he’s searched for her and he’s not going to let one little thing like her being a vampire stand in the way of him and his mate. Although he’s pissed to high heaven about this turn of events, he still kidnaps Emma and forces her to his will. He’s consumed with hatred for vampires and everything they’ve done to him and his family. He vows to never let her go back to her family and even though he hates everything she turned out to be, timid, shy and well, vampire …he still catches himself before actually hurting her because, there’s something about her…

He askes her to drive him to his family home, where he can finally get back to his own people and on the way, he softens toward her like it was no thang, by the time they’re home, she becomes so much more than just his mate. So now, he’s got to convince her to stay with him because she loves him and not because she’s too scared to leave. He’s got to convince her to stay before her Aunts come calling on them for a war, since he refuses to give her up.

Tempers flair and people change, but will it be enough for this Lykae King to finally be at peace with the mate he’s searched his whole life for?

You bet your bottom dollar it is, this is romance of course. =)

Man, this book was really good. I liked the passion with which Lachlain did everything. He never did anything by half measure, if he hated your guts, he hated you with everything that he was and made no move to hide his displeasure or hatred. If he loved you, he did all he could to keep you around and went to any lengths to make you see things his way. He was very demanding at the same time he was very patient. He was a man of his word and he was not to be taken lightly…ever. Lachlain was passionate and just so hot damn hot even with his regenerating leg, he was yum yum yum…even when he was being an ass. He did a lot of stupid things that I hated in the beginning but as he got to know Emma and care for her, I started to forgive him for all his wrongdoings in the beginning of the book.

Emma learned that Lachlain was a man who wasn’t above lying, cheating and using whatever was at his disposal to get what he wants and though she softened toward him at the end, he still had a lot to prove to her and I was so happy that she grew a pair to finally tell him where to shove his crap. I loved that each time she drank from him, she got so strong and she would smack the shit out of him and be all like, “Thats for pissing me off” and whatever else she would say, I loved it!

I loved how she stood up for herself and did the one thing that would unite her with the people she knows and loves. I loved that she took it upon herself to do that thing and it endeared her to me greatly.

The world that Kresley Cole created with all these demons and vampires, Lykae and Valkyrie intrigued me right from the very beginning, I couldn’t help but be pulled into the world with each word that I read in the beginning, I felt Lachlain’s hatred and I felt his haunted past trying to ruin everything he had with Emma and I love love loved how he fought to keep Emma by his side, regardless of who and what she was.

It was a true romance in every sense of the word and I just ate it all up. There were things in the beginning that I didn’t really care for but other than the way Lachlain and Emma meet and the way he treated her in the beginning, I really enjoyed this story. It was smooth reading and Kresley Cole’s voice in this story makes me look forward to more from her, this was a definite delight!

Read it!

Grade: 4 out of 5


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Review: Everything You Want Me to Be by Minda Mejia

Posted September 25, 2017 by Tina R in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Everything You Want Me to Be by Minda MejiaReviewer: Tina
Everything You Want Me to Be by Mindy Mejia
Published by Atria Books
Publication Date: January 3rd 2017
Genres: Women's Fiction
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No one knows who she really is…

Hattie Hoffman has spent her whole life playing many parts: the good student, the good daughter, the good girlfriend. But Hattie wants something more, something bigger, and ultimately something that turns out to be exceedingly dangerous. When she’s found brutally stabbed to death, the tragedy rips right through the fabric of her small-town community.

It soon comes to light that Hattie was engaged in a highly compromising and potentially explosive secret online relationship. The question is: Did anyone else know? And to what lengths might they have gone to end it? Hattie’s boyfriend seems distraught over her death, but had he fallen so deeply in love with her that she had become an obsession? Or did Hattie’s impulsive, daredevil nature simply put her in the wrong place at the wrong time, leading her to a violent death at the hands of a stranger?

Full of twists and turns, Everything You Want Me to Be reconstructs a year in the life of a dangerously mesmerizing young woman, during which a small town’s darkest secrets come to the forefront…and she inches closer and closer to death.

Evocative and razor-sharp, Everything You Want Me to Be challenges you to test the lines between innocence and culpability, identity and deception. Does love lead to self-discovery—or destruction?

If you are a huge fan of psychological thrillers like I am, you know that sometimes we struggle with finding “that” book. You know what I’m talking about, the one that keeps you turning the pages so fast you see sparks. It’s also the one that keeps you guessing until the very last page. The struggle to find that book is real my friends, but struggle no more – this is “that” book.

Everything You Want Me to Be by Mindy Mejia is the kind of book I immediately tell all my bibliophile friends about. From the first page this book got my attention and kept it. It is deliciously descriptive and so well-written that I couldn’t tear myself away. It is one of those books that you just can’t put down.

The story is presented from 3 different points of view. First by Hattie Hoffman, who is our 18 yr old protagonist, then by Del Goodman, who is a good friend of Hattie’s father and the town sheriff in charge of Hattie’s murder investigation. Last, we have Peter Lund, who is a recent transplant to the small town of Pine Valley, and the High School’s new English teacher. Through their eyes the story unfolds and thrusts the reader forward with all it’s suspenseful twists and turns.

You see, our girl Hattie loves to act. She has big dreams of leaving her small town and becoming a star in New York City. But, she doesn’t confine her acting abilities to the stage. Hattie is the girl everybody wants her to be; the good daughter, the model student, the best friend. She plays all her roles to perfection. And when she is found stabbed to death, the whole town is turned upside down that something like this could not only happen in their town, but to their golden girl.

There is so much to this story and the people who tell it. I could excitedly go on for an hour about it and tell you how fabulous it is, but instead I’ll just tell you this…..READ IT!!!!! I know about 3 other people who have, and we all agree that it is not to be missed.

Mindy Mejia is a fantastic storyteller. This lady knows her stuff! This book is SO good!! So if you love to be taken on a literary roller coaster ride you need to go out right now and find this book. And then you can thank me later.

I received an ARC through NetGalley for my honest review and would like to thank the publisher for allowing me to review this fantastic book. I will definitely be watching to see what Mindy Mejia comes up with next.

Grade: 5 out of 5


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Retro Review: The Truth About Lord Stoneville by Sabrina Jeffries

Posted August 16, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 7 Comments

Retro Review: The Truth About Lord Stoneville by Sabrina JeffriesReviewer: Holly
The Truth About Lord Stoneville by Sabrina Jeffries
Series: Hellions of Halstead Hall #1
Published by Simon & Schuster, Pocket Books
Publication Date: January 19th, 2010
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 392
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four-stars

Hellions of Halstead Hall

They're the scandalous Sharpes, five hell-raising siblings tainted by a shocking family legacy. Now each faces a daunting ultimatum: marry by year's end—or kiss their inheritance good-bye.

In the two decades since a tragic "accident" took the lives of his parents, Oliver Sharpe, the Marquess of Stoneville, has survived the scandal surrounding that fateful night by living as an unrepentant rakehell. And with his grandmother vowing to disinherit him if he doesn't settle down and wed, he plans to fulfill the bargain in true Sharpe style—by bringing home a fake fiancée from a brothel! But his scheme is derailed when he rescues an American beauty in a dire predicament instead.

Maria Butterfield came to London to track down her groom-to-be, who's gone missing, but her engagement won't stop Oliver from getting what he wants: her, in his bed. His rebellious masquerade may call his grandmother's bluff, but it's soon made all too real—by a love that tempts him to be a hellion no more.

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

Rowena: I love reading old reviews by Holly. She never fails to get her point across a lot more eloquently than I do. I remember putting this book on my TBR a long ass time ago and are you surprised that I never got around to reading it? Ha!

This review was originally posted on February 16, 2010.

Sabrina Jeffries can be hit or miss for me, but I really adored this book.

Oliver Sharpe, the Marquess of Stoneville, is being forced to marry. Though he’s titled, he’s broke and has 4 siblings to care for. Each of them acts scandalously, earning them the nickname the Hellions of Halstead. Their grandmother, determined to have great-grandchildren before her death, has issued an ultimatum: Either they all marry, or they’re all disinherited.

Oliver has no intention of marrying. He figures he can call his grandmother’s bluff by finding the most unsuitable bride ever. She comes in the form of one Maria Butterfield, an American heiress who has come to England to find her missing fiance. Not only is she American, but she’s from common origins and basically alone in the world.

Maria is only in England to find her missing fiance. Now that her father has passed away she needs her fiance to settle the terms of her father’s will. Unfortunately all of her money is tied up in her father’s shipping business, so she’s basically operating on a shoe-string budget. When her cousin is caught out and she’s forced to accept Stoneville’s wild scheme in order to protect them both, it seems like a nightmare; until he agrees to help her find her fiance while she puts on the charade for his grandmother. It seems easy enough…

..but neither are prepared for the attraction and genuine liking they share for one another. Not that anything can come of it, what with Maria having a fiance and Stoneville determined to never marry and become like his parents.

This was such a fun story. I was determined to dislike both Maria and Stoneville in the beginning; her because she’s such a stick-in-the-mud and him because he was so much the rake. They both grew on me, however, and it wasn’t long before I was wrapped up in both of them.

Maria wasn’t really as uptight as she seemed. Once she loosened up and relaxed I really felt like I connected with her. She didn’t let Oliver get away with anything, which I thought was great. I did think she forgave him a bit too easily on occasion, but I was able to move past it.

I really liked Oliver and the way he was with is family. Though he was determined to ruin his own life, when it came to his siblings he really stepped up and did the right thing. The way he was so confused over his feelings for Maria was hilarious.

His guilt over the death of his parents and his subsequent actions didn’t make a lot of sense to me. His mother caught him in a compromising position and lashed out, saying some nasty things to him. Later that evening his parents are discovered in a hunting lodge dead – it looks like she shot him and then herself. Oliver is convinced he’s the reason his mother finally lost it and killed his father. But from then on he went out of his way to act just like his father…which made no sense. If he hated everything his father was and how upset his mother always became, why did he act the same way?

Similarly, the way his grandmother acted about the incident with her daughter frustrated me to no end. Toward the end she talks about it a bit, but for most of the book I was just annoyed with her over it.

Despite that one issue, I really enjoyed all the secondary characters. Especially Oliver’s siblings and Maria’s cousin. They really added just the right amount of silliness to the story. I’m definitely looking forward to finding out more about them as the series continues.

This was a sweet love story with charming characters. I recommend it if you’re in the mood for a can’t-put-down historical romp.

4 out of 5

four-stars


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