Reading Challenge: Rowena's 2019 TBR Challenge

Buddy Review: Love, Chloe by Alessandra Torre

Posted May 28, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Buddy Review: Love, Chloe by Alessandra TorreReviewer: Ames & Rowena
Love, Chloe by Alessandra Torre
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: March 14, 2016
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Chick Lit
Pages: 417
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2019 A-Z Reading Challenge, Rowena's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, Rowena's 2019 TBR Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars

From NYT Bestseller Alessandra Torre...

You know girls like me. You hate girls like me. The privileged blonde who skips her Ivy League classes when she's had too many Soho martinis. The one draped on the asshole's arm because he drives a Bugati and screws like a champ.

I was that girl. I loved being that girl.

Then, my door was broken in. Literally.

And in that moment? Everything changed.

WARNING: This sexy standalone has jaw-dropping moments, crazy sexual chemistry, and will make your cheeks hurt from smiling. Read at your own risk.

Love, Chloe by Alessandra Torre is a coming of age story with a protagonist that you won’t be able to help from rooting for. From beginning to end, Chloe goes through it. When her parents go down for committing all the crimes, the life Chloe Madison has goes up in flames. All of a sudden, she’s got bills to pay and money problems…and she’s on her own. Life is about to throw every curveball to Chloe and Chloe has to figure out what kind of person she is and wants to be.

Rowena: Man, I really liked this one. What did you think, Ames?

Ames: Good pick for our May buddy review! I enjoy Alessandra Torre’s writing so I knew I’d be in for a good read. I admit to having a few bits of anxiety over the crap that Chloe goes through. But she’s a trooper! I like how her change in circumstances really made her look at her life and realize she wanted to be better. And the whole book was interspersed with Instagram posts so I thought that was unique and cute dog pictures don’t hurt!

Rowena: This has been languishing on my TBR pile for years and I really wanted to finally read it so thanks for agreeing to read it with me.

Chloe is definitely someone I would want to follow on Instagram. She had such a positive attitude toward everything, and it wasn’t fake. I really dug that.

I loved that she wasn’t perfect and even when she made such stupid decisions, I didn’t hate her and I supported her through the good and the bad. I also really liked that her friends were an actual squad. They loved Chloe for Chloe and not because of money, fame, or who she was dating. She had an actual support system in her friends. That was dope.

Did you enjoy the romance in here? I did. I adored seeing them fumble their way toward that happy ending. They both were such great characters on their own but together, I loved them all the more. I also really enjoyed getting to know all of the other characters from Dante to Clarke, Hannah and Joey. Hahaha, oh Joey. What about you?

Ames: Chloe’s friends were the best! When her life completely changed due to her parents dropping her like a hot potato, they really stepped up. That also allowed Chloe some breathing room to figure out what she needed to do pronto (make money lol). Plus they were interesting characters too. They weren’t just props to the story, they added to it.

Chloe was an easy character to root for because although at the very beginning she was like a fish out of water and had to re-orient herself (she was part of the ‘help’ at her new job) she bounced back quickly and was a fast learner. She may have been spoiled in her previous life, but she comes around when she sees how the other side lives. And that world shift for her was done in a good way for the reader. Chloe was always a good person, she just didn’t live in the environment where it was obvious. And so we rooted for her.

The romance was very satisfactory as well. Chloe being torn between an ex and a guy she thinks isn’t right for her made for some good tension for her character. I liked her self-awareness when it came to her ex. She recognized her weakness. I like how her friends gave her shit about that too. LOL

What did you think of the romance?

Rowena: I agree about Chloe’s friends. I liked that they were an actual part of Chloe’s story because they were such a huge part of her life so kudos to Torre for letting us see and get to know the important people in Chloe’s life outside of her love interest and work people.

I really enjoyed Chloe’s romance with Carter. I thought they complimented each other well and I loved that he was all in once they decided to be together. There was no waffling back and forth. He knew the gem he had in Chloe and wanted her. I also thought Torre handled Chloe’s issues with her ex in a real way that didn’t take away from the blossoming romance she had going with Carter.

I liked that we learned all about Chloe as she was learning about herself as well. I thought that Torre took us on an emotionally charged journey that had lighter moments that I really appreciated. I really adored everything in this book aside from Chloe’s selfish ass parents. I’m glad that Chloe really found herself and made a family for herself with the people that were important to her and loved and supported her. She built a really nice life for herself that was hers and hers alone. It took some time for her to get there and she definitely made some bad choices along the way but she didn’t let those bad choices define her and I just really dug that…and this story. I give this one 4 out of 5 stars, you?

Ames: I also like that Carter didn’t even consider listening to his mom about Chloe. sigh And you are so right, Chloe made herself a great little family. Her parents sucked so I’m glad she had people in her corner.

I’m giving Love, Chloe 4 out of 5 as well.

Final Grades

Ames: 4 out of 5
Rowena: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs

Posted May 17, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Frost Burned by Patricia BriggsReviewer: Rowena
Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs
Series: Mercy Thompson #7
Also in this series: Frost Burned , Night Broken, Shifting Shadows, Blood Bound, Fire Touched, Silence Fallen , Moon Called, Blood Bound , Iron Kissed, Bone Crossed , River Marked , Storm Cursed
Publisher: Penguin, Ace
Publication Date: March 5, 2013
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 342
Add It: Goodreads
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Patricia Briggs's novel River Marked was praised as "an urban fantasy where our everyday world is believably twisted into the world of fey, werewolves, vampires, and myths made real." Now Mercy Thompson faces a shapeshifter's biggest fear as the realm she has embraced is thrown into chaos...

Mercy Thompson's life has undergone a seismic change. Becoming the mate of Adam Hauptman - the charismatic Alpha of the local werewolf pack - has made her a stepmother to his daughter Jesse, a relationship that brings moments of blissful normalcy to Mercy's life. But on the edges of humanity, a minor mishap on an ordinary day can turn into so much more...

After an accident in bumper-to-bumper traffic, Mercy and Jesse can't reach Adam - or anyone else in the pack for that matter. They've all been abducted.

Through their mating bond, all Mercy knows is that Adam is angry and in pain. But she fears Adam's disappearance may be related to the political battle the werewolves have been fighting to gain acceptance from the public - and that he and the pack are in serious danger. Outmatched and on her own, Mercy may be forced to seek assistance from any ally she can get, no matter how unlikely.

Frost Burned is the seventh book in the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs and it was another captivating story about the crazy shit that happens on the daily in Mercy Thompson’s life.

This book jumps off right at the beginning. Mercy is out shopping with her step-daughter Jesse when they get into a car accident. The accident delays them and that probably saved their lives because Mercy can feel that something isn’t right at home (through the pack bonds), before they can go home and find out what’s going on, they’re intercepted at Mercy’s shop by Ben and Gabriel, Ben is pack and Gabriel is Jesse’s friend who lives at Mercy’s old place. Adam and the rest of the pack were taken by some mysterious bad guy and Mercy scrambles to find out what happened, who is behind this and protect those that weren’t abducted but are still pack in her eyes.

I’m really enjoying how this series has made me love the heck out of every single character. Even when I’m super angry at someone in the pack for the way that they view and treat Mercy, they’re pack so when the chips are down, I’d still have their back and I think Briggs does a great job of making everyone family because it’s the same way with Mercy. Mercy’s pack goes far beyond just Adam’s pack. She’s got vampires, humans, and fae in her pack on top of all the werewolves and they’d do anything for her the same way that she’d do anything for them. I dig that so much.

This is also the book where we finally get Adam’s POV and I was so here for that. I also really like seeing how far Adam and Mercy have come from the first book. Their relationship is a huge part of why I enjoy this series so much. I adore both of them on their own but together? Together, they’re magic to me. Mercy didn’t completely overhaul her personality to be with Adam and it’s the same with Adam. I love that they have accepted each other as they are and they’re working to figure out how to be together with all of the shenanigans that are thrown their way.

This was another great story in Mercy’s world and though it wasn’t my favorite of the bunch that I’ve read so far, it was still solid storytelling on Briggs part and I’m pretty excited for the rest of the books. I definitely recommend.

Final Grade

4 out of 5

Mercy Thompson

four-stars


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Featured Review: Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews

Posted March 22, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Featured Review: Magic Bites by Ilona AndrewsReviewer: Casee, Holly, & Rowena
Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #1
Also in this series: Magic Shifts, Magic Shifts, Magic Binds, Magic Bites, Magic Strikes, Iron and Magic, Magic Triumphs, Magic Bleeds , Magic Burns, Magic Strikes , Magic Slays , Gunmetal Magic , Magic Rises
Publisher: Ace
Publication Date: March 29, 2009
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 386
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, Casee's 2019 TBR Challenge, Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 TBR Challenge, Rowena's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, Rowena's 2019 TBR Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-stars
Series Rating: four-half-stars

New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews invites you to experience the first novel in the “intriguing world” (Locus) of Kate Daniels with this special edition of Magic Bites...

Kate Daniels is a down-on-her-luck mercenary who makes her living cleaning up magical problems. But when Kate’s guardian is murdered, her quest for justice draws her into a power struggle between two strong factions within Atlanta’s magic circles. Pressured by both sides to find the killer, Kate realizes she’s way out of her league—but she wouldn't want it any other way…

This special edition includes in-depth information about the world of Kate Daniels, with descriptions of its characters and factions. Explore Kate’s Atlanta like never before with answers to FAQ and a quiz to find your place there. And don’t miss the prequel story “A Questionable Client,” as well as scenes of events in Magic Bites from Curran’s point of view.

Magic Bites is the first book in Ilona Andrews‘ wildly popular Kate Daniels series. The world was once filled with magic, until technology came and drown it out. Now magic has returned in waves, killing tech and causing strange happenings. They call this the Shift.

Here we’re introduced to Kate in post-shift Atlanta as she tries to discover who murdered her guardian.

Holly: I have to be honest, this isn’t a great introduction to the series. I feel it’s necessary to the world-building and to establish Kate’s position in Atlanta and her relationship with Curran and the Pack, but it’s pretty slow and bogged down with a lot of info.

Rowena: I didn’t even read the blurb before starting this book, I only know what I’ve read about the series as a whole on Twitter and around Blog Land but yeah, I agree with Holly. There were times in the first half of the book where I was bored to tears with what was going on…which was a whole lot of nothing. I didn’t understand what was going on, only that Kate was trying to find her guardian’s killer in a world that didn’t make a lick of sense to me. Once I got over that beginning hump and Curran comes on to the scene, things pick up and I started to piece together a little understanding so I didn’t hate the entire thing but yeah, that beginning was boring af.

I will say that the second half really takes off and I’m curious as hell to see where the next book takes us and I’m excited to see it all. I really loved Kate and Curran and Derek. They were freaking great.

Casee: I am definitely going to continue with the series, but I was bored to death while listening to this book. If I had tried to read it instead of listening to it, I never would have finished it. There were parts that I actually enjoyed, but I mostly found it boring and tedious. The only reason I continued on was because I’ve heard that this book is necessary to read if you’re planning on continuing the series.

What did you think of Kate? I found her annoying at the beginning.

Rowena: I thought both her and Curran were annoying at first but that changed over the course of the book. Kate is badass and I loved that she had a soft heart for those in need of help…when she wouldn’t let Curran harm Derek? She won me over completely.

Holly: I agree, both Kate and Curran were annoying at first. As the book went on they improved. It’s funny to go back now and read where they started from. Especially after reading Curran’s POV.

Rowena:Did you guys think that Crest was the bad guy? I did. LOL.

Holly: No, I never thought Crest was the bad guy. I pegged the real villain right away. I still liked watching Kate puzzle it out.

Casee: I didn’t think Crest was the bad guy because that would have been too easy. That was the only reason. I also had no idea who it was.

Holly: Although the beginning of this book moves slow, I can’t deny the attraction to the world. Kate, Curran, Derek and others really come to life, especially in later books. I can’t wait for you guys to read the rest.

Rowena: I’m not going to lie, for a huge chunk of this book, I looked like this while reading:

I was confused with all of the magic short-circuiting cars and phones and then vampires being actual undead and the bad guys, it’s a really different paranormal world than I’m used to and by the end of the book, I was here for it. I didn’t blink at the exploding creatures and Kate cutting creatures heads off and taking them back to her kitchen to investigate them. I was one with this world and seriously, I’m looking forward to digging into this world some more.

Even with the really slow beginning, I enjoyed this one but not nearly as much as I thought I was going to with all of the Kate Daniels love this series gets every damn where. Still, this gets 3 out of 5 stars from me. What about you guys?

Holly: Had I not had so many others telling me this series was amazing, I’d probably never have continued after this book. I do think the events here are necessary to what’s coming, though, so I’m glad you guys read it.

It gets 3 out of 5 from me, too.

Casee: This book was basically an info dump. I’ve been meaning to read it and I’m glad I did because I’m looking forward to continuing on. Despite being yawn inducing, I could definitely see the potential when I was finished reading.

I also give it a 3 out of 5.

Final Grades

Casee: 3 out of 5
Holly: 3 out of 5
Rowena: 3 out of 5

Kate Daniels

three-stars


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Review: Getting Lucky Number Seven by Cindi Madsen

Posted March 21, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

This month’s reading suggestion for the TBR Challenge was about choosing your favorite trope to read and I have a lot of favorites but I chose the best friend’s to lovers trope because that’s in the top of the tops list and this book fit the bill perfectly.

Review: Getting Lucky Number Seven by Cindi MadsenReviewer: Rowena
Getting Lucky Number Seven by Cindi Madsen
Series: Taking Shots #1
Publisher: Entangled, Entangled Embrace
Publication Date: April 28, 2015
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Romance Package
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: New Adult
Pages: 363
Length: 6 hours, 32 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, Rowena's 2019 New to Me Challenge, Rowena's 2019 TBR Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

What's your lucky number?

Lyla Wilder is done being the shy, chemistry nerd extraordinaire. While every other college student is out having fun, Lyla is studying. With her cat. Well, she's played it "safe" quite enough, thank you. So she creates a "College Bucket List"―with item #7 being a night of uninhibited, mind-blowing sex...

But she needs some help from her man-whore best friend.

Hockey player Beck Davenport thought Lyla's transformation would be subtle. Man, was he wrong. With every item she ticks off, Beck finds himself growing seriously hot for his sweet, brainiac best friend. And if he's not careful, he'll end up risking their friendship in order to convince Lyla that he might just be her lucky #7...

Getting Lucky Number Seven is the first book in the Taking Shots series by Cindi Madsen and this book has been sitting on my TBR list for years. Ames brought this to my attention and I remember her telling me that she enjoyed it so I purchased it not too long after that and then I never touched it. When I was browsing the Audible Romance Package titles, I came across this series and knew that I was going to read this one finally so I downloaded the audiobook and listened to the entire thing one day at work. I haven’t read anything by Cindi Madsen before but I was looking forward to reading her and I’m happy to report that I liked this one and will definitely be reading more from this author.

This book follows two best friends, Beck and Lilah as they grow closer when Lilah decides to stop being a hermit nerd and get out there and have college experiences that she only reads about in books. She’s tired of being the frumpy nerd that guys can’t connect with so after a really bad date, she heads to her best friend Beck’s house and tells him that she’s going to put together a college bucket list and she needs his help with it.

She’s got a bunch of stuff on her list already, kiss a handsome stranger, get drunk at a college party, stuff like that but as she starts to check things off her list, she starts to add things and Beck, who loves his best friend as she is, is starting to see her in a different light. In a romantic light and though he wants to be there for her while she goes through this list, it’s starting to get harder to deny his attraction to her. When he finds out that number seven on her list is to have mind-blowing sex, Beck wants in on that list item.

This was such an easy story to fall into. I really liked both Lilah and Beck. They were a fun couple to get to know and I really liked seeing the both of them come into their own. I loved that Lilah could be there for Beck with everything that he was going through and even when I wanted to smack Beck upside his head, I really liked him. He was genuine in his affection for Lilah and that was exactly what she needed in her life. Cindi Madsen worked her magic with these two and their romance and I’m glad that I finally gave it a chance. I’m definitely finishing out this series. I recommend.

Grade: 4 out of 5

Taking Shots

four-stars


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Review: River Marked by Patricia Briggs

Posted February 20, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

This month’s prompt for the TBR Challenge was Series so I chose to read River Marked by Patricia Briggs because I am determined to get that entire series read this year. I want to catch up by the time the next book comes out so wish me luck on that. Anyway, on with my review…

Review: River Marked by Patricia BriggsReviewer: Rowena
River Marked by Patricia Briggs
Series: Mercy Thompson #6
Also in this series: Frost Burned , Night Broken, Shifting Shadows, Blood Bound, Fire Touched, Silence Fallen , Moon Called, Blood Bound , Iron Kissed, Bone Crossed , Frost Burned, Storm Cursed
Publisher: Ace
Publication Date: March 1, 2011
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 337
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, Rowena's 2019 TBR Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Mercy Thompson is a shapeshifter, a talent she inherited from her long-gone father. And she's never known any others of her kind. Until now. As Mercy comes to terms with this new information, an evil is stirring in the depths of the Columbia River. Something deadly is coming, facts are thin on the ground and Mercy feels ill at ease.

Mercy Thompson brings the badass shenanigans again in River Marked. In this book, she finally marries hottie Alpha Adam Hauptman and they’re headed on their camping honeymoon where they will be completely alone and not have to deal with anyone’s problems…until they get to their campsite and have to deal with everyone else’s problems. The problem that they’re dealing with this time around is a river devil monster who is eating the people who are getting too close to her in the river. When Adam and Mercy happen upon an injured man in the boat and smell his fear, they can’t walk away and this river monster is unique and it is magic of the American Indian variety so Mercy and Adam find themselves getting acquainted with the local Indian tribes….and Mercy’s sort of maybe ghost of a father? Yeah, there’s a lot going on in this book and I thought Briggs did a great job of pulling this story together.

I really liked that there was a Charles and Anna partnership feel to Adam and Mercy in this one. They worked together to fight the bad guys and had only each other that they could trust completely and rely on. The wealth of love that they have for each other melts me at every turn and I just really love their love. Mercy’s letter to Adam at the end was the best way to end this book and honestly, I just can’t wait to continue this series. I’m low key annoyed at myself that I kept this on my TBR shelf for so long. But no more, 2019 is the year that I finish out this series. This was another fantastic addition to the Mercy Thompson series so I definitely recommend it if you started the series but haven’t gotten around to this one. It’s good stuff, I promise!

Grade: 4.25 out of 5

Mercy Thompson

four-stars


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