Source: Edelweiss

Review: Bridal Boot Camp by Meg Cabot

Posted June 10, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Bridal Boot Camp by Meg CabotReviewer: Rowena
Bridal Boot Camp by Meg Cabot
Series: Little Bridge Island #0.5
Publisher: Harper Collins, Avon Impulse
Publication Date: May 28, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Point-of-View: First, Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 96
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
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three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Meg Cabot comes the first story in her Little Bridge Island series—which also includes an excerpt from her forthcoming new full-length novel No Judgments!

Looking for a tropical escape?

Welcome to Little Bridge, one of the smallest—and most beautiful—islands in the Florida Keys, home to sandy white beaches, salt-rimmed margaritas, stunning sunsets, and some of the quirkiest—but also kindest and most resourceful—people you’ll ever meet.

Physical trainer Roberta “Rob” James moved to Little Bridge hoping she’d found paradise, but things haven’t turned out quite as she’d hoped. The closest Rob has come to her “happily ever after” is happy hour at the Mermaid Café with her buddy Bree, the bartender slash waitress who’s got romance problems of her own.

But Rob’s situation suddenly changes when sheriff’s deputy Ryan Martinez accidentally enrolls in her bridal boot camp class. Turning mush into metal in time for the big day is Rob’s passion (because even the happiest bride could use a little toning).

But what happens when a guy who’s all mush meets a girl who’s all metal?

They discover they have a lot to learn . . . about each other, themselves, and the island paradise they’ve come to call home.

This was a really short story but I don’t even care because it’s a Meg Cabot and I will probably always read new Meg Cabot books (her adult books, anyway) until the day I die. I enjoy her books that much. I can’t say that I absolutely loved this book but that had more to do with there isn’t much of a romance here. Sure, there’s a story but I wanted so much more than what we got.

So in this book, Roberta James meets Ryan Martinez when he shows up for her bridal boot camp aerobics class. He’s there trying to join a yoga class because he needs to work on his anger issues. His boss thinks that yoga will do the trick but when Ryan shows up at Rob’s gym, he wasn’t expecting to enjoy the aerobics class so much…and he wasn’t expecting to like his instructor so much either.

So because this is such a short story, everything happens at warped speed and so much of that didn’t work for me. They fell too hard, too fast but even though this book had a lot of that insta love going on, I still enjoyed reading it and I’m looking forward to reading the bartender, Bree with the sad eyes, story in the first book in this series, No Judgments. If we had another 100 pages or so to fully appreciate Robbie and Ryan, I think I would have liked this one more but oh well. I’m still interested in the others so it wasn’t that bad.

Final Grade

3.75 out of 5

Little Bridge Island

three-half-stars


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Guest Review: The Trouble with Vampires by Lynsay Sands

Posted May 21, 2019 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: The Trouble with Vampires by Lynsay SandsReviewer: Tracy
The Trouble With Vampires by Lynsay Sands
Series: Argeneau #29
Also in this series: Immortal Ever After (Argeneau #18), Runaway Vampire, Immortal Nights, Immortal Unchained, Twice Bitten
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: April 23, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Point-of-View: Third
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 380
Add It: Goodreads
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three-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

For close to three thousand years the imposing, impossibly handsome Santo Notte has fought in armies across the world and battled his own, more personal enemies. Of all the places he might expect to encounter his life mate, a quiet corner of upstate New York doesn’t seem likely. But as soon as he makes contact with history professor Petronella Stone, while hunting down a suspected rogue immortal, he knows that she will be the greatest adventure of his eternal life.

He expects her to be surprised, confused, even overwhelmed. What he doesn’t expect is that Pet has a secret history of her own. There’s no mistaking the mind-blowing, mutual pleasure they share. But as Pet struggles to protect her nephew from a danger lurking too close to home, Santo realizes there’s another threat to her safety—him. And claiming their passionate future will be impossible until he leaves his past behind, forever…

Petronella is babysitting her nephew when someone tries to break into her sister’s house.  She is saved by the guests staying at the house next door, but she recognizes them as immortals and doesn’t trust them at all.  What she really doesn’t expect is that the immortal named Santo would really be someone she fell in love with.

The immortals are at the house next door because they have followed a rogue vampire to a house on that street. When Santo can’t “read” Pet he’s shocked that he’s finally found his life-mate.  He’s even more shocked when he finds out that she knows about immortals.  Unfortunately the only experience she’s had with immortals is bad.  It takes some time to convince Pet that not all immortals are evil like the ones she experienced and that he can protect her and his nephew from the rogue.  What he can’t do is woo her properly because he has no experience.  He may fumble his way through but Santo finally wins the girl.

This was a cute story in the Argeneau series.  I liked the fact that Pet knew about immortals – even though she didn’t have all the facts.  Some things needed to be explained to her but for the most part she was in the know.  This was something different in the series and I liked that.  Santo and Pet were cute together.  I liked how protective they both were of her young nephew.

What I didn’t care for in this book, and what shocked me, was how dark a part of it was.  I’ve never read a Sands book that has dark undertones, and I truly don’t want to again.  It not only described the horrible way in which Pet’s sister & mother died, which was absolutely horrible, but then it went onto Santo and how his entire family was murdered.  OMG, both stories were horrific, but getting both in one book? No, thank you.  I read Sands because I know I’m going to get light romance – that was not this book and I didn’t care for it.

Except for those two parts of the book the rest was pretty light and I liked it.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Argeneau

three-stars


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Review: The Dating Game by Kiley Roache

Posted March 25, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: The Dating Game by Kiley RoacheReviewer: Rowena
The Dating Game by Kiley Roache
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Publication Date: April 1, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: New Adult
Pages: 304
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
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three-stars

The Social Network gets a romantic twist in this fresh and engaging new read from the author of Frat Girl, Kiley Roache. Experience the whirlwind ups and downs of college life in this authentic and entertaining new novel!

When a notoriously difficult class for future entrepreneurs leads to three freshmen developing the next “it” app for dating on college campuses, all hell breaks loose…

Type A control freak Sara lives by her color-coordinated Post-it notes.

Rich boy Braden wants out from under his billionaire father’s thumb.

Scholarship student Roberto can’t afford for his grades to drop.

When the three are forced to work together in one of the university’s most difficult classes, tension rises to the breaking point…until, shockingly, the silly dating app they create proves to be the most viable project in class. Late nights of app development, interest from investors and unexpected romance are woven into a true-to-life college drama that explores what it means to really connect online and IRL.

The Dating Game caught my eye while I was browsing Edelweiss because I liked the look of the cover and the blurb was interesting. It’s got The Social Network vibe working for it and I enjoyed that movie so I was mighty curious about this one. Three students come together for a group project, create a dating app that takes off and complicates the hell out of their lives? Yeah, count me in. While this book ended up being a solid read, it was also problematic for me and I just wasn’t a fan of the direction the author took one of the main leads.

So Roberto, Sara, and Braden are paired up together in class to create an app and they dive into creating a dating app that lets the user rate other users. The more swipe rights you get, the higher your profile is. While the three of them tackle this project, we get to know each of them and see them really go through it. Roberto’s got some family issues going on, Braden is a rich boy who is determined to not be like his father.

There’s a lot going on in this story. There are the individual situations at the same time that they’re working on their app and there’s also a budding romance because, of course, there’s one! I saw that love triangle a mile away and the way that it was handled low key rubbed me the wrong way. I just wasn’t a fan of that whole thing. I didn’t like that one had to completely change for the main romance to work. I also didn’t connect with each of the characters as much as I was hoping. I thought of the three characters, I would like Robbie’s character the most but his whole story low key felt flat for me. It felt very surface level and not as in depth so I didn’t connect with him and that bummed me out. Sara and Braden were fine until they weren’t fine and yeah, there was a whole lot of me hoping the author went in a different direction than the one she actually went on and because of that, my enjoyment suffered. I also thought the success of the app was a bit over the top, considering it wasn’t a very original idea but that was small potatoes. I did think that the author got the college experience right in this one. I thought that was handled well.

Overall, the story had a lot of promise and I was really looking forward to reading it but I didn’t fully connect with everything going on and with all of the characters so that bummed me out but still, I’d read something else from this author.

Grade: 3 out of 5

three-stars


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Review: The Scoundrel in Her Bed by Lorraine Heath

Posted February 26, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: The Scoundrel in Her Bed by Lorraine HeathReviewer: Rowena
The Scoundrel in Her Bed (Sins for All Seasons, #3) by Lorraine Heath
Series: Sins for All Seasons #3
Also in this series: Beyond Scandal and Desire, Beyond Scandal and Desire, When a Duke Loves a Woman, When a Duke Loves a Woman (Sins for All Seasons, #2)
Publisher: Harper Collins, Avon
Publication Date: February 26, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 400
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
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four-half-stars
Series Rating: five-stars

The third electrifying romance in Lorraine Heath's USA Today bestselling Sins of all Seasons series.

The bastard son of a nobleman, Finn Trewlove was a shameful secret raised by a stranger. As Finn came of age, he had secrets, too—the clandestine nights spent with an earl's daughter. But her promise of forever ended in betrayal.

Driven by a past that haunts her, Lady Lavinia Kent seeks redemption in London's underworld, engaged in a daring cause inspired by the young man to whom she gave her innocence, and who then proved himself a scoundrel by abandoning her.

When their paths cross again, they can't deny the yearning and desire that still burns. As they discover the truth behind the deceptions that tore them apart, Finn and Lavinia must fight to reclaim what they've lost, no matter how dangerous—because love is worth the risk...

Honestly, Lorraine Heath just keeps right on bringing the heat with this series. I have loved every single book that she’s put out for these characters and with each passing book, I become more and more interested in the whole baby farming thing. In When a Duke Loves a Woman, I was mighty curious to find out what the heck Lady Lavinia was up to running away from her wedding to Thorne and then hiding out in Whitechapel, near where Gillie’s family lived. I knew she was connected to Finn so you’d think that there wouldn’t have been much left for me to be surprised about from them holy cow, there were plot twists all over the damn place and my heart soared and plummeted so many times, I thought I’d have to go to the ER.

In this book, we get two stories. The story of Finn and Lavinia when they were young and falling in love for the first time and the story of Finn and Lavinia as grown adults, years after they were torn apart and falling in love all over again. The young love portion of this book showed us how they met, how they kept meeting until they were so in love with each other that they were planning on doing anything they could to be together forever and then real life crashing in on them. The adult portion of this book showed us just how much chemistry the two of them had despite all of the bad history between them. Their love wasn’t an easy one but man was it a satisfying one. I don’t think I’ve read a couple this year that were as meant to be as these two were.

There is a lot going on in this book. We have the romance between Finn and Lavinia, Lavinia’s new mission in life and trying to piece together everything that happened to both Finn and Lavinia in the years since they parted ways. There’s a lot of resentment, lots of family secrets and then the secret shame between the two of them. I thought that I would be overwhelmed with everything going on but Heath does a fantastic job of making it easy for the reader to be a part of all of it.

I can’t talk about a lot of things that I want to talk about without spoiling the fun for you guys so I’ll just keep this one simple. If you enjoyed the other books in this series, you’re going to love this one. If you enjoy historical romances with compelling characters, you’re going to love this one. If you enjoy emotional reunions and second chance romances, you’re going to love this one so seriously, pick this one up. You’re going to love it. 😉

Grade: 4.75 out of 5

Sins for All Seasons

four-half-stars


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Review: Devil’s Daughter by Lisa Kleypas

Posted February 21, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Devil’s Daughter by Lisa KleypasReviewer: Holly
Devil's Daughter by Lisa Kleypas
Series: The Ravenels #5
Also in this series: Cold-Hearted Rake, Devil in Spring, Devil in Spring, Hello Stranger, Devil in Spring (The Ravenels, #3), Devil's Daughter (The Ravenels #5)
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: February 19, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 384
Add It: Goodreads
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four-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

New York Times bestselling author Lisa Kleypas delivers a scintillating tale of a beautiful, young widow who finds passion with the one man she shouldn't...

Although beautiful young widow Phoebe, Lady Clare, has never met West Ravenel, she knows one thing for certain: he's a mean, rotten bully. Back in boarding school, he made her late husband's life a misery, and she'll never forgive him for it. But when Phoebe attends a family wedding, she encounters a dashing and impossibly charming stranger who sends a fire-and-ice jolt of attraction through her. And then he introduces himself...as none other than West Ravenel.

West is a man with a tarnished past. No apologies, no excuses. However, from the moment he meets Phoebe, West is consumed by irresistible desire...not to mention the bitter awareness that a woman like her is far out of his reach. What West doesn't bargain on is that Phoebe is no straitlaced aristocratic lady. She's the daughter of a strong-willed wallflower who long ago eloped with Sebastian, Lord St. Vincent—the most devilishly wicked rake in England.

Before long, Phoebe sets out to seduce the man who has awakened her fiery nature and shown her unimaginable pleasure. Will their overwhelming passion be enough to overcome the obstacles of the past?

Only the devil's daughter knows...

Devil’s Daughter is the 5th book in Lisa KleypasRavenels series. I’ve been anxiously awaiting West’s story since we met him in the first book. His transformation from disreputable rake to responsible land manager has been a favorite throughout the series for me. I’m happy to report he was just as amazing here as I expected him to be. I loved everything about the way he was with Phoebe, Lady Clare and her two sons. My heart melted every time he interacted with the boys. He was playful and managed to teach them without being stern. His candor and openness about his past made my heart hurt at times. I did struggle with his doubts and the way he continued to punish himself for his past sins. I wanted to see him let that go sooner than he did.

Phoebe was an amazing heroine. She was strong, yet vulnerable. Brave, yet scared. I loved the contradictions and how well they played into the person she’d become since her husband died. I also loved how she was as a mother.

Together West and Phoebe had great chemistry. Their banter and wit had me in stitches, and I loved how well they understood one anther. West accepted Phoebe for who she was now, yet still pushed her out of her comfort zone. I loved what a progressive he was, and how he challenged her to think outside her narrow box. I also loved how accepting she was of him and his past. My heart melted when West told her to send for him if needed. They were so lovely together.

I loved seeing previous characters and having them play a part in the story, mostly because Klyepas is a master at keeping them in the background. Their presence didn’t detract from Phoebe and West in the slightest, and in fact having them there enriched the story.

Honestly, this may have been a 5 star read for me if not for West’s constant self-flagellation and the abrupt ending. Seriously, it ended way too quickly. At 92% I was low key anxious about where the story was at. The novel really needed an extra chapter or an epilogue.

Devil’s Daughter is another emotionally charged, engrossing tale of redemption and love. Another must read from Kleypas.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

The Ravenels

four-half-stars


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