Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

Lightning Reviews: The Perfect Date by Evelyn Lozada & Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune by Roselle Lim

Posted July 15, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

I’m not really one to write lightning reviews but I got a couple of books for review that I thought I would like but ended up either not caring for or just flat out not liking and there’s not much to say outside of, “Nah, this ain’t for me.” so here are my lightning thoughts on The Perfect Date and Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune.

Lightning Reviews: The Perfect Date by Evelyn Lozada & Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune by Roselle LimReviewer: Rowena
The Perfect Date by Evelyn Lozada
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: June 11, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 288
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, Rowena's 2019 New to Me Challenge
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one-star

Angel Gomez only wants to get through nursing school and earn enough to support her mother and her son, Jose. Her bartending job helps bring in some extra cash, and the last thing she’s interested in is flirting or men in general.

Caleb “The Duke” Lewis is an up and coming star for the Yankees, known for getting around. However, his last breakup left him distracted and made him turn to drink. When he’s caught by the Yankees manager at a party instead of training, he’s suspended and sent back to the Bronx to get his head straight.

Angel and Duke’s worlds collide one night at the club and sparks fly. Though Angel wants nothing to do with Duke, he has no intention of letting her slip through his fingers. She isn’t star-struck by his fame, and this might be just what he needs to get things in order. He’ll do anything to convince her…even make her an offer she can’t refuse.

I ran across this book while browsing Netgalley a few months ago and since I’m a huge fan of baseball and diverse romances, I wanted in on this action. I got about halfway through this book before I stepped away for good. I couldn’t stand the heroine, the hero was a dick and I couldn’t connect with a damn thing in this romance. I thought that I would for sure connect with the heroine since she’s a struggling single Mom, trying to take care of her young son at any cost. She’s doing what she needs to do and she’s killing it as best as she could but holy cow did her attitude piss me off more than once. On top of that, the hero is a baseball player who acts likes a little bitch and I just couldn’t for the life of me believe that he was the actual hero. I mean, sure, he was good with Angel’s son Jose and he was a great teammate but for the most part, I wanted to bitch slap him into next week with every single page I turned. When I started feeling my blood pressure rise, I knew it was time for me to step away and move on to something else because hoo boy, this book was not for me. I do not recommend this one.

Final Grade

1 out of 5

Lightning Reviews: The Perfect Date by Evelyn Lozada & Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune by Roselle LimReviewer: Rowena
Natalie Tan's Book of Luck and Fortune by Roselle Lim
Publisher: Penguin, Berkley
Publication Date: June 11, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 305
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, Rowena's 2019 New to Me Challenge
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two-half-stars

At the news of her mother's death, Natalie Tan returns home. The two women hadn't spoken since Natalie left in anger seven years ago, when her mother refused to support her chosen career as a chef. Natalie is shocked to discover the vibrant neighborhood of San Francisco's Chinatown that she remembers from her childhood is fading, with businesses failing and families moving out. She's even more surprised to learn she has inherited her grandmother's restaurant.

The neighborhood seer reads the restaurant's fortune in the leaves: Natalie must cook three recipes from her grandmother's cookbook to aid her struggling neighbors before the restaurant will succeed. Unfortunately, Natalie has no desire to help them try to turn things around--she resents the local shopkeepers for leaving her alone to take care of her agoraphobic mother when she was growing up. But with the support of a surprising new friend and a budding romance, Natalie starts to realize that maybe her neighbors really have been there for her all along.

I came across this one while browsing Goodreads and it looked like something I would normally enjoy but for some reason, I just couldn’t connect with it. The story itself was really slow and Natalie Tan just wasn’t a character that I’ll remember much about. It took me foooorrreeeevvvverrrr to get this book read and when I finally finished, I was glad to finally be done with it. It was so easy for me to walk away from this book because, to be honest, I was bored. I thought that I’d enjoy it a lot more than I actually did. Sometimes the magical realism stuff works for me but for some reason, it didn’t completely work for me here. I did think parts of the book were interesting. I thought it was interesting that the state of the neighborhood was tied into how well Natalie’s grandma’s restaurant did. I also enjoyed seeing some of Natalie’s magic with the food but overall, this book was just okay to me. I’m seeing that a lot of people enjoyed this book but as much as I wanted that to be the case for me, it wasn’t and that bums me out.

Final Grade

2.5 out of 5

one-star


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What Are You Reading? (+ Opal Carew Giveaway)

Posted June 28, 2019 by Holly in Features, Giveaways | 8 Comments

Casee: I finished Archangel’s War by Nalini Singh last night. It slayed me. The Guild Hunter series is by far my favorite series out there. I read the first page of Lionheart by Thea Harrison last night so I think I’m going to go with that next.

I’m listening to Complicated by Kristen Ashley. It’s the first KA book I’ve listened to on audio and I’m really enjoying it so far. I listened to Hot Asset by Lauren Layne on audio this week and really enjoyed the narrators. I’m not sure about the series yet. I did love the hero.

Holly: I had a great reading week. I reread some Mercy Thompson books this week because of Rowena. Night Broken, Fire Touched and Silence Fallen. That series is so great. I haven’t decided if I’ll read Storm Cursed again or move on to something different…but I’ll probably read Storm Cursed again. I also re-read Sustained and Sidebarred by Emma Chase. That book (and novella) is so good. I love Jake and the McQuaid kids.

For new reads, I finished listening to The Knocked Up Plan by Lauren Blakely, then immediately started Come As You Are, the next book in the series. I really enjoyed The Knocked Up Plan, but I loved Come As You Are. I started Long Shot by Kennedy Ryan for our Summer Reading Challenge, but I wasn’t in the mood for something heavy, so I set it aside in favor of Hot Asset by Lauren Layne. I liked that one enough that I started Hard Sell, book 2 in the series, as soon as I finished. Both were good, but I enjoyed Hard Sell a bit more.

I haven’t decided if I’m going to finish the 21 Wall Street series and read book 3, Huge Deal, next, or if I’m going to read something else. I’ll probably listen to Storm Cursed by Patricia Briggs and read Marry Me by Jo Goodman.

Rowena: First of all, read Huge Deal, Holly. Haha. Alright, on to my reading week. Like Holly, I had a really great reading week and that makes me happy since the last couple of weeks have been really rough. Again, like Holly, I read Night Broken, Fire Touched and am finishing up Silence Fallen. I’m really glad that I read Night Broken with Holly because we had a really good discussion afterward and I’m super glad that the next book was already downloaded and ready to be read on my kindle since I was not a happy camper after finishing Night Broken. Not because it wasn’t good but because I was sorely disappointed in Adam and his pack and I needed him to make things better already.

I should be finished with Silence Fallen by lunchtime here in Southern California and immediately after, I plan on starting Storm Cursed. One of my goals for the reading year was to finish some of the series that I’ve been reading ever so slowly and Mercy Thompson was at the top of that list. The next series that I will be tackling is Kate Daniels and I can’t wait for that.

Giveaway Alert

We are very fortunate here at Book Binge. We have loads and loads of books to read and we want to share the wealth so each week, we’ll be tacking on a Freebie Friday giveaway to our What Are You Reading posts. This week, we’re giving away…

What Are You Reading? (+ Opal Carew Giveaway)X Marks the Spot by Opal Carew
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: April 3, 2018
Genres: Erotica, Contemporary Romance
Pages: 256
Add It: Goodreads
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Opal Carew takes desire to a whole new level in her latest erotic, standalone romance!

Abi has been in love with Del for years, but they never got around to acting on their mutual attraction. And then she met and married his best friend, Liam.

But when Abi and Liam's marriage falls apart, Abi decides to take control of her life and find her happily-ever-after with Del. So when they're all staying in a country inn for her brother's wedding, Abi decides to slip into Del's bed and seduce him...except she accidentally ends up in Liam's instead.

Liam never stopped loving Abi, and he plans to use every blazing hot trick in his book to keep her in his bed...even if it means sharing her with Del.

X Marks the Spot is emotional, sexy, and is Opal Carew at her best!

What Are You Reading: X Marks the Spot by Opal Carew

What are you reading this week? Any new favorites or books that drove you crazy? Share!


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Review: Dirty by Kylie Scott

Posted March 7, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: Dirty by Kylie ScottReviewer: Holly
Dirty by Kylie Scott
Narrator: Andi Arndt
Series: Dive Bar #1
Also in this series: Dirty, Dirty, Twist
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: April 19, 2016
Format: Audiobook, eBook
Source: Library
Point-of-View: First Person
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 275
Length: 8 hours and 17 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
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two-stars
Series Rating: four-stars


Love—on the rocks….

The last thing Vaughan Hewson expects to find when he returns to his childhood home is a broken hearted bride in his shower, let alone the drama and chaos that come with her.

Lydia Green doesn't know whether to scream or cry in a corner. Discovering the love of your life is having an affair on your wedding day is bad enough. Finding out it's with his best man is another thing all together.

Just when this runaway bride has nowhere left to turn, a handsome stranger offers her a broad, muscular shoulder to cry on. Vaughan is the exact opposite of the picture perfect, respected businessmen she's normally drawn to. This former musician-turned-bartender is rough around the edges and is facing his own crossroads. But Lydia's already tried Mr. Right and discovered he's all wrong--maybe it's time to give Mr. Right Now a chance.

After all, what's wrong with getting dirty?

Dirty is the first book in the Dive Bar series from bestselling author Kylie Scott.

I read the Stage Dive series the year it was released, but somehow I never read this spinoff series. After finishing Repeat on audio, I was in the mood for something else by Kylie Scott and decided to try this one. Sadly, it didn’t work for me at all. The short time frame of the story – two weeks total – really worked against it.

Lydia Green freaks out on her wedding day when she’s emailed a video of her groom having sex with his best man. She’s supposed to walk down the aisle in minutes, but she panics and runs instead. She hops over the neighbor’s fence and ends up crying in the bathtub..where Vaughn Hewson, the owner of the house, finds her.

Vaughn is down on his luck. His band recently split up and he’s broke. He’s come home to sell his parents’ house to his sister, but no way is he prepared to find a weeping woman in a wedding dress in his shower. Despite the circumstances – or maybe because of them – Vaughn and Lydia end up supporting each other as they deal with their own stuff. But Vaughn is only in town long enough to sell his house, and Lydia wants to settle down.

I had a lot of problems with this book. 1) Lydia made a lot of really questionable choices. She’d only been with her fiance 4 months, which even she acknowledges was rushing things. Yet within 48 hours she’s all in with Vaughn? Then she’s ready to make major life changes on whim? 2) Vaughn was a jerk to her half the time, but she still felt like she was falling for him? 3) The short time frame meant I didn’t believe for a minute they were actually solid enough to go the distance. 4) Vaughn’s decision at the end was ridiculous and made no sense.

I wanted to like this book, but I just couldn’t.

Rating: 2 out of 5

Dive Bar

two-stars


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Review: The Real Deal by Lauren Blakely

Posted August 2, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: The Real Deal by Lauren BlakelyReviewer: Rowena
The Real Deal by Lauren Blakely
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: July 10, 2018
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 368
Add It: Goodreads
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four-stars

Get ready for your next favorite romantic comedy, THE REAL DEAL!

April Hamilton wants you to know she hasn't been on Craigslist since that time she sold her futon after college. She doesn't even spend that much time online. And even if she did, she would not be looking up personal ads. But going home alone for her family's summer reunion is an invitation for every single relative to butt into her personal life. She simply can't handle another blind date with the butcher, the baker or the candlestick maker from her hometown. So when she finds the Craigslist ad for a boyfriend-for-hire, she's ready to pay to play.

Heading Home and Need a Buffer? I'm the REAL DEAL.

Theo Banks has been running from the past for years. He's this close to finally settling all his debts, and one more job as a boyfriend-for-hire will do the trick. He's no gigolo. Please. He's something of an actor, and he knows how to slip into any role, including pretending to be April's new beau -- the bad boy with the heart of gold.

Even if it means sleeping in close quarters in that tiny little bed in her parents' inn. Even if it means spinning tales of a romance that starts to feel all too true. What neither one of them counts on is that amid the egg toss, the arm wrestling, and a fierce game of Lawn Twister that has them tangled up together, they might be feeling the real deal.

She only wanted to show her family once and for all that she had no need to settle down.

He didn't expect to have the time of his life at her parent's home.

They didn't plan on loving every single second of the game.

But can a masterful game of pretend result in true love?

This is the first book that I’ve read by Lauren Blakley and it was a good one. Her writing style was comfortable and easy to follow along with and her characters charmed me right out of my socks, especially Theo.

So April and Theo meet when April hires Theo to be her boyfriend for her family reunion. She loves her family but their matchmaking shenanigans are driving her crazy so she figures if she brings a boyfriend to the family reunion, everyone will lay off. They mean well but they want her to move back home to their small town but she loves being in the big city and she loves the job that they don’t understand so she brings a buffer who ends up being way more than she thought.

Theo has bills to pay and his bill-collector is breathing down his neck so he bartends and does a lot of odds and ends jobs to keep everything together. This next job of pretending to be the bad boy boyfriend at a family reunion will make him enough to finally get over this hump he’s been and he’s eager to get started. He was expecting to play nice and he was expecting to be whatever the client needed but he wasn’t expecting to be so attracted to his client but when he meets April, he keeps forgetting that she’s a client. They’re so in tune with each other that their relationship feels real from the very beginning.

Overall, this story was sweet and I enjoyed getting to know both Theo and April. April’s personality really shined and I thought she was a great heroine. I adored Theo as well and wanted very much to hear his sexy voice. LOL. This book was a lot of fun and if I had a gripe, it would be that their romance never felt fake. Right up at the beginning when they showed up at the family reunion, sparks flew and they just fell in line with their story but even in the privacy of their bedroom, they acted like a real couple. They slept in the same bed like it wasn’t a big deal like it didn’t register with either of them that they were strangers. It was all, good night sweetie, I call first dibs on the shower in the morning. I was able to get over that (I do enjoy a fake romance story) because I was enjoying the chemistry and just them as people so it ended up not being a big deal but still…

This was a solid romance and I enjoyed it.

Grade: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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What Are You Reading? (+ Paranormal Giveaway)

Posted February 16, 2018 by Casee in Features, Giveaways | 11 Comments

WAYR-New

Casee: I’ve had a pretty good reading month so far. Well, compared to the past two month. I finished Blood Fury by JRW, which I really enjoyed. I am finally reading Archangel’s Viper by Nalini Singh. I can’t believe this book got buried so far down in my TBR pile. I am not ashamed to admit that the Guild Hunter series is my favorite series by Nalini. I usually devour everything she releases right when it comes out, but I missed this one somehow. I am really enjoying Venom and Holly’s story.

Next up is either Storm Gathering by Rebecca Zanetti or Kato: The Stone Warriors by D.B. Reynolds. I haven’t decided yet.

Holly: I had a book hangover from The Others series this week. Nothing I picked up after them really appealed, so I ended up going back and re-reading the series. I feel like I really zipped through them the first time, so it was good to go back and take my time with the stories. I also re-read Sweep in Peace by Ilona Andrews for a joint review with Rowena.

I’m currently reading The Darkling Bride by Laura Andersen (which is fabulous so far) and listening to Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase.

Rowena: This week was for reading The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory. I heard so many good things about it and I really zipped through the book the first time that I read it because there were things that annoyed me in that read that I didn’t think were a big deal until I started writing down my thoughts for my review. The things that annoyed me became much bigger and so I had to read it again, slowly to figure my mind out about it. In the end, I didn’t like it. There were parts that showed promise but overall? It wasn’t for me.

After reading The Wedding Date, I started and finished Runaway Groom by Lauren Layne and loved the hell out of that book. Gage and Ellie entertained the socks right off of me and I was wearing socks because it was cold that night. That was such a great book. I enjoyed it so much more than I enjoyed the first book in the series, Ready to Run. After that, I jumped into Sweep in Peace by Ilona Andrews and I’m finishing that up today so that I can jump into Living Out Loud by Staci Hart.

Giveaway Alert

We are very fortunate here at Book Binge. We have loads and loads of books to read and we want to share the wealth so each week, we’ll be tacking on a Freebie Friday giveaway to our What Are You Reading posts. This week, we’re giving away…

What Are You Reading? (+ Paranormal Giveaway)Thanks Fur Last Night by Eve Langlais, Milly Taiden, Kate Baxter
Series: Fur #1
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: January 30, 2018
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 400
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books

Bearing His Sin
Cole should have killed Anja the moment he realized she was his mate. Instead, he let her live and now they’re on the hunt, chasing the morons who think they can force her to marry another man. Like hell. And while this shapeshifting bear might have his share of sins, he’s not going to let little things like murder and mayhem prevent him from having the woman meant to be the keeper of his heart.

Bought by the Bear
Josilyn Martinez just needed the money to help raise her nephew. That's it. There's no other reason she would take a job posing as a shifter's mate so he can assure his grandmother he's settled down. There's no reason to stay at his place so they learn "more about each other." And there's definitely no good reason she should get involved with the hard, hot, and handsome shifter that's hired her.
Xander just needs a fake mate for a week to get his grandmother off his back. But what's a bear shifter to do when the impostor mate he hired turns out to be his actual mate? All sweet, luscious curves and a heart of gold, Xander's not going to let his mate get away. Now all he has to do is show her that they belong together, one kiss and touch at a time...

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What are you reading this week? Any new favorites or books that drove you crazy? Share!


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