Tag: 1.0 Reviews

Series Review: The Rossi Crime Family by J.L. Beck & C. Hallman

Posted July 27, 2020 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

I’m not going to lie, this series was pretty awful. I was reading it and wondering why I kept moving onto the next book. I just kept thinking that the series had to get better. Yeah, that was a no-go.

Series Review: The Rossi Crime Family by J.L. Beck & C. HallmanReviewer: Casee
Convict Me by J.L. Beck, C. Hallman
Series: The Rossi Crime Family #0.5
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: May 1, 2020
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 224
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Goodreads Challenge
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one-half-stars
Series Rating: two-stars

The day I meet Hero Miller I know he’s unlike anyone I’ve ever met before. Sheltered and raised around no one but my family all my life, his darkness draws me in.
He was raised with violence, it oozes from deep within him. I was raised by the bible my naiveness to save him proving just that.
He scares me and excites me all at once. He’s obsessed and guarded. He protects me and hurts me. He pushes and I pull, but only because he doesn’t think he’s good enough.
His warnings are clear. He tells me about his past, and the people he’s killed. He tells me about the things he wants to do to me…about the things he will do if I stay.
The goodness in me wants to cure the stain of dark on his heart, but I’m not strong enough. The closer I get to Hero the further I get dragged into his darkness and eventually it starts to swallow me whole.
Murder. Crime. Money. Sex. It surrounds us, and when Hero’s past comes barreling towards us it won’t be him that pays the ultimate price..it will be me.
**This is book one in the Broken Heroes Series. It contains a happily ever after and is a complete standalone. It contains dark themes such as dubious content, sexual themes, violence, and swearing.**

Hero Miller takes one look at his tutor and falls instantly in love. Like love at first sight. For real. Elyse is sheltered. She grew up in a “spare the rod, spoil the child” household. She’s finally gotten away from her parents. Living the college life has been a dream come true for Elyse. When she meets Hero, she’s instantly enamored but she knows he’s not the one for her. Or so she thinks.

This book really had no substance. Hero did what he wanted, when he wanted. He locked Elyse in his bedroom “for her own good” when he was trying to protect her. It was maddening. And she just kept going back.

Rating: 1.5 out of 5.

Series Review: The Rossi Crime Family by J.L. Beck & C. HallmanReviewer: Casee
Protect Me by J.L. Beck, C. Hallman
Series: The Rossi Crime Family #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: February 23, 2019
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 228
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Goodreads Challenge
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one-star
Series Rating: two-stars

Damon Rossi is a ruthless leader, and an even more ruthless man to my body, and heart. The moment I meet him I know he could kill me with nothing more than his hands. He controls the room, demands attention and when my brother is murdered for a debt he owes I’m forced into his protection. But that doesn’t mean he has to care about me.
Or pretend he values my life, which he doesn’t.
He’s a savage, over the top, and scary as hell, and even as I’m pushed further and further down the rabbit hole and into his dark dangerous world of criminals, thieves, and sex. I cling to him, knowing he’s the only one that can protect me from them all.
And yet when secrets are exposed, and lines are crossed Damon proves to me just how deep his protection for me goes… but his protection comes with a price that I cannot afford, and so I become his property making the chances of escaping this dark world slip further and further away from me.
Damon might protect me from his enemies but who’s to protect my heart from falling for him?
**This is book two in the Broken Heros Series. It contains a happily ever after and is a complete standalone. It contains dark themes such as dubious content, sexual themes, violence, and swearing. Do not read this book if you dislike antiheroes.*

When Keira’s brother is murdered, she goes to the one man that her brother trusted. Damon Rossi. He’s an alpha asshole to her from the beginning and she just falls into a puddle at his feet. I honestly don’t know why she even fell for him. His character did not improve at all.

Overall, I didn’t like Keira because she was a doormat and Damon was just a miserable piece of work.

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Series Review: The Rossi Crime Family by J.L. Beck & C. HallmanReviewer: Casee
Keep Me by J.L. Beck, C. Hallman
Series: The Rossi Crime Family #2
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: January 14, 2020
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Pages: 157
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Goodreads Challenge
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one-star
Series Rating: two-stars

She was my enemy… I was her new captor….
She was the enemy…a tiny little temptress of a woman that made my blood sing for vengeance. I should be punishing her…breaking her from the inside out after finding her in my father’s clutches.
But when I discover the truth that she is just as much as a victim of my father's wrongdoings as I am I can’t follow through.
I know then that I can’t break my little mouse...not after she’s lured me in with her big blue doe eyes, and strawberry blonde hair, and those pink painted lips that beg to be kissed again, and again.
I don't think things can get any better...but then she makes me an offer I can't refuse… her body, her virginity, and her complete submission, and she wants only one thing in return: help finding her sister.
What she fails to realize is that even after helping her find her sister I can't just let her go she knows too much, she's become a liability...but I have a plan to make certain she’ll never leave or escape me.
A plan that involves me filling her womb with my filthy seed until I make certain a piece of myself stick, and then I’ll make her the Queen of the Rossi Empire by putting a ring on her finger.
**This is book three in the series but it can be read as a complete standalone. It is a full-length novel that contains NO-CLIFFHANGERS, NO CHEATING, and has a HEA. It is a dark mafia/crime romance and contains subject matter not suitable for all readers. If you don't like alpha's, possessive and controlling over their leading ladies then skip this one.**

This is probably my favorite book in the series, which isn’t saying much. I really liked Xander and how unapologetic he was about his shortcomings. He was also an ass, but he never tried to be anything else. I really liked Ella too. I thought she was one of the stronger heroines in the series.

With all that, it was still over the top bad. Like how bad can Xander treat Ella before she decides to throw in the towel?

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Series Review: The Rossi Crime Family by J.L. Beck & C. HallmanReviewer: Casee
Guard Me by J.L. Beck, C. Hallman
Series: The Rossi Crime Family #3
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: April 2, 2020
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 294
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Goodreads Challenge
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two-half-stars
Series Rating: two-stars

She was a tiny little lamb that claimed my heart with one fearful look.
I was her captor, the man responsible for breaking her, for preparing her for auction.
She was taken, plucked right off the street and brought to me to be sold at the next auction.
Rescuing her from my men was never part of the deal, and neither was bringing her up to my room.
Yet, night after night I did this, refusing to give up the way she made me feel. When I’m with her I feel less like a monster. I can remember the man I used to be before the mob got to me, before all the bad tainted my soul.
But wanting her is forbidden, and keeping her unthinkable. If they find out what I’m doing they’ll kill both of us.
And still…
I want to save her.
I want to love her.
I want to cherish her.
When the time comes will I be able to let her go? Or will I risk both our lives for a love that I may not deserve?
**This is book four in the series but it can be read as a complete standalone. It is a full length novel (85k+ words) that contains NO-CLIFFHANGERS, NO CHEATING, and has a HEA. It is a dark mafia/crime romance and contains subject matter not suitable for all readers. **

Violet is on the block to be sold at a slave auction. Ivan is in charge of the auction. When he’s called down to the cells after being told one of the girls is refusing to eat, he’s instantly drawn to her. Too bad that isn’t enough for him to rescue her.

I hated this book. Ivan was a total asshole. He kept taking her back to her cell and told her that he couldn’t help her. But he could fuck her. Oh and Violet is Ella’s sister (see above).

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Series Review: The Rossi Crime Family by J.L. Beck & C. HallmanReviewer: Casee
Tame Me by J.L. Beck, C. Hallman
Series: The Rossi Crime Family #4
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: April 26, 2020
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Pages: 258
Add It: Goodreads
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dnf
Series Rating: two-stars

She was a broken angel that had the light beat right out of her.
I was the man responsible for her life, her protector…
Rescued by my brother and shoved into my arms I never expected to fall for the fragile woman, with soft eyes, and lips that begged to be kissed.
I know what she saw when she looked at me, a ruthless fighter, a man with a broken past, too far gone to be reached, sinking deeper and deeper into the darkness.
Still, somehow her light reached me, the innocence inside her called to me and the moment her soul touched mine I was tamed, ensnared in her love.
But love comes at a cost, and in our world, you pay with your life. With all the danger surrounding us, I don’t know if I can protect her. Not only from myself, but also from a past that refuses to let go.
**This is book four in the series but it can be read as a complete standalone. This is a full length novel. It contains NO-CLIFFHANGER, NO CHEATING, and has a HEA. It is a dark mafia/crime romance and contains subject matter not suitable for all readers.**

This book was a big fat DNF for me. I couldn’t stand the hero. The heroine was actually tolerable, but I still don’t know what she saw in him. That seems to be a recurring theme in this series.

Rating: DNF.

The Rossi Crime Family

one-half-stars


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Review: Devious Lies by Piper S. Huntington

Posted May 7, 2020 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Devious Lies by Piper S. HuntingtonReviewer: Rowena
Devious LiesNarrator: Sebastian York
Series: Cruel Crowns #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: December 15, 2019
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Length: 15 hours, 46 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Rowena's 2020 New to Me Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
one-star
Series Rating: one-star

From USA Today bestselling author Parker S. Huntington comes an enemies-to-lovers, slow-burn romance full of revenge and a dash of fate.

“She could enjoy her pretty, perfect world a little longer. Soon enough, everything she owned would be mine.”

I had a plan to escape the friend zone.

Step one: sneak into Reed’s room.
Step two: sleep with him.

But when the lights turned on, it wasn’t familiar blue eyes I saw. These were dark, angry, and full of demons. And they belonged to Reed’s much older brother.

Four years later, Nash Prescott is no longer the help’s angry son.I’m no longer the town’s prized princess.

At twenty-two, I’m broke, in need of a job. At thirty-two, he’s a billionaire, in need of revenge.

Who cares if my family ruined his? Who cares if he looks at me with pure loathing? Who cares if every task he assigns me is designed to torture?

I need the money. Simple as that.

I’ll suffer his cruelty in silence, knowing there’s one thing he wants more than revenge…Me.

Note: This is a 145,000-word standalone in the Cruel Crown world. Welcome to Eastridge. Enter if you dare.

So, I read this book for book club a couple of months ago and I’m finally getting around to reviewing it. It took me quite a while to get this book read because it drove me right up the wall. From beginning to end, I wanted to smack the shit out of everyone in this book. From the heroine’s parents (except her Dad) to the heroine and the hero and the hero’s brother and the heroine’s boss and just…EVERY SINGLE PERSON IN THIS BOOK.

So this book follows Emery Winthrop from being part of a family that was on top and seeing her now that her family has fallen from grace and are now in the poor house. Emery has always had a thing for her best friend, Reid. Reid’s parents work for Emery’s parents and Reid’s family live in a house on Emery’s family property so they’re basically the help and live in the helps quarters. When Emery finally decides to make her move on Reid, she creeps into his house after he announces that he broke up with his girlfriend (for real this time) and she seduces him. Only it’s not Reid that she seduces and sleeps with, it’s Reid’s older brother Nash. By the time they realize their mistake, it’s too late and the deed is already done so they both swear they will forget it and move on with their lives.

Fast forward, years later and Emery’s all grown up but she’s penniless, homeless and trying to figure things out. Her parents were found out to be some major criminals that were stealing from people, losing the company that they had and all of the money from their clients and employees as well. Emery is living with a lot of guilt because once the news broke about what her family’s company did, the stress on the employees that lost their entire life savings was too much for them. So Emery is in her early twenties and she’s trying to make things right as much as she could. She takes a job working at Nash’s company because of course the tables have turned and the rich folks are now poor and the poor folks are now rich.

Nash grew up to be a cold son of a bitch. He holds the Winthrop family responsible for his father’s death and he won’t ever let Emery forget it. He built a name for himself and his company is now bigger than the Winthrop company ever was. He’s known all over the place as a kind and generous business but he’s ruthless and I hated his stupid ass. He was mean to the wrong people, mad about the wrong thing and he was a terrible boss. I would have gone to jail for knocking this motherfucker out at the way that he thought he could talk to people that worked for him. He was a tyrant that I couldn’t stand from beginning to end and even when he calms his ass down, I never warmed up to his character and I couldn’t understand why Emery fell for him.

The romance between Emery and Nash was super annoying because Nash was such a douche. Emery wasn’t the best heroine either but she was at least trying to be a good person even though she knew that she wasn’t. She did a lot of stupid things that I wanted to wring her neck over and ultimately, she was very young and dumb but she wasn’t a mean person. At every turn, Nash tore Emery down and I just didn’t see anything worth redeeming from him.

Overall, this book was a hot mess for me and I didn’t enjoy much of it. I’m sure this kind of book has an audience that enjoys books with problematic characters and behaviors but that audience ain’t me. I put this book down so many different times that it took me twice as long as normal to finish. I’m glad that I had a doctor’s appointment not too long after I finished because I was sure that my blood pressure was never going to be the same. All is well though, my blood pressure is great and is probably the only thing that my doctor was happy about, haha. Anyway, I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone. I wasn’t a fan and I couldn’t wait to finish the book so that I can be done with it and know what the hell I’m bitching about at book club. I seem to be the only person that bitches about books at book club. Everyone else is always warm toward every book we read but not me. I think the last time I enjoyed a book club book was when I chose the book or when I chose the book for my friends. I think my book club friends need to step up their book club choice game because this book? This book ain’t the move so save yourself and stay away.

Grade: 1 out of 5

one-star


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Review: Aris by Sarah J. Stone

Posted October 21, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Caution: This book may include potentially sensitive content, including but not limited to: Sexual Violence or Abuse.
Review: Aris by Sarah J. StoneReviewer: Holly
Aris by Sarah J. Stone
Narrator: Connor Brown
Series: Stratham Dragons #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: January 19, 2017
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Escape
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Length: 3 hours and 17 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 New to Me Challenge, New to Me Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
one-star
Series Rating: one-star

Aris and his brothers have been sick their entire lives. Every day Aris comes closer to finding a cure. One day his visions show him that the key is a human woman in need of help. He must find her.

Sophie has spent the last seven years of her life locked away and abused by a man who promised to always take care of her. She’s nearly given up hope on ever getting free until she makes contact with the man of her dreams. Is he actually real or is she going crazy?

Can Aris save her from herself and help her heal before it’s too late for both of them?

Content Warning: Explicit love scenes, and piles of sexy shifters. Intended for mature audiences only.

I like how the content warning in the blurb doesn’t mention the massive amounts of on page abuse and sexual assault the female MC suffers.

Content Warning: Explicit love scenes, and piles of sexy shifters. Intended for mature audiences only.

TRIGGER WARNING! Sexual assault and abuse galore.

I found this while browsing the Audible Escape package and thought I’d give it a try. The narration, blurb and cover made me think this would be a lighter PNR, but that wasn’t the case. The book opens with the heroine trapped in a basement being sore abused by her step-father. She mentally connects with our hero, Aris, who turns out to be a dragon shifter suffering from some sort of illness.

He and his brothers-of-the-heart – five boys who banded together – are all suffering from the same thing, yet none of them know why or how to fix it. Aris connects with his biological mother in a dream and learns he’s a half-breed dragon – half Black dragon and half Golden. According to dream mom, until he accepts both halves of himself and finds the missing third part of his soul (the heroine, natch), he – and all his “brothers” – will die.

Sophie has been a captive for 7 years, since she was 14 (so it says in the beginning of the book) or 15 (end of the book). She’s been plotting her escape and trying to keep hope, but she’s almost at the end of her rope. She’s been dreaming of Aris (though she didn’t know his name) for years, but didn’t think he was real until they connect in a dream and he sees her as well. Now she’s determined to hang on until he can rescue her.

I liked the premise of this story, but honestly it was a hot mess. Inconsistencies galore. At first she was raped, then not. She was in the basement for 5 years, then 7. She was severely traumatized by her abuse (understandably so!), then she was strong so it didn’t matter. Things were glossed over or hinted at. Honestly, I could have let a lot of that go, but about halfway through we suddenly switched to the step-dad’s POV and that was just too much. I ended up finishing it, because I was curious to see what would happen with Aris’ illness, but I’m sorry I wasted my time.

At first the narrator bothered me, because he’d occasionally stumble or pause in strange ways/places, but after reading some of the reviews on GR, I’m convinced it was the poor writing in the book. Needless to say, I won’t be continuing with the series.

Rating: 1.0 out of 5

Stratham Dragons

one-star


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Review: Good Girl by Lauren Layne

Posted September 18, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Good Girl by Lauren LayneReviewer: Holly
Good Girl by Lauren Layne
Narrator: Loretta Rawlins, Eric Michael Summerer
Series: Love Unexpectedly #2
Also in this series: Good Girl, Walk of Shame, An Ex for Christmas (Love Unexpectedly)
Publisher: Loveswept
Publication Date: May 17, 2016
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Escape
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Pages: 217
Length: 7 hours and 54 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
one-star
Series Rating: three-stars

Lauren Layne brings all the unpredictable heat of her USA Today bestseller Blurred Lines to an all-new cast of characters! Country music’s favorite good girl is hiding away from the world—only to find herself bunking with a guy who makes her want to be a little bad.  

Jenny Dawson moved to Nashville to write music, not get famous. But when her latest record goes double platinum, Jenny’s suddenly one of the town’s biggest stars—and the center of a tabloid scandal connecting her with a pop star she’s barely even met. With paparazzi tracking her every move, Jenny flees to a remote mansion in Louisiana to write her next album. The only hiccup is the unexpected presence of a brooding young caretaker named Noah, whose foul mouth and snap judgments lead to constant bickering—and serious heat.  

Noah really should tell Jenny that he’s Preston Noah Maxwell Walcott, the owner of the estate where the feisty country singer has made her spoiled self at home. But the charade gives Noah a much-needed break from his own troubles, and before long, their verbal sparring is indistinguishable from foreplay. But as sizzling nights give way to quiet pillow talk, Noah begins to realize that Jenny’s almost as complicated as he is. To fit into each other’s lives, they’ll need the courage to face their problems together—before the outside world catches up to them.

Rowena told me not to read this book. She said I would hate the hero. She even wrote it in her review from two years ago:

This book was a fast read. It was cute and steamy and though the story might not work for everyone (because I know Holly and Nath’s reading tastes, I hesitate to recommend this book to you guys. I feel like you would want to burn Noah’s house down, Holly), I enjoyed this book.

Rowena knows me, and she knows what I like and don’t like. So why didn’t I listen to her about this book? I don’t even know. I started it before I realized it was the book she told me not to read. Then I couldn’t stop once I got going. I kept thinking Noah would get better. But he never did. Rowena was right. I wanted to burn his house down.

Jenny Dawson is a pop country star who is looking to get out of the spotlight for awhile until a scandal blows over. Another pop country star has claimed to have slept with her – which is annoying but not a big deal until his wife confirms it. Then several other jerks come forward and claim they, too, had affairs with her. Now America’s Good Girl is getting tarred and feathered. She isn’t really broken up about the rumors, because she knows the truth, but she also doesn’t want to deal with all the backlash. So she rents an old crumbling mansion in the middle of nowhere Louisiana where she spent summers as a kid, at a music camp. It’s where she wrote her first song, and a place she hopes to recapture her peace.

Noah Maxwell didn’t even realize he owned a falling down mansion in Louisiana until he got an email from Jenny asking if she could rent it. Now he’s stuck out there doing repairs and making it livable. The last thing he needs is some spoiled princess pop star showing up and demanding shit, but he does need to get away from his life for awhile and the mansion proves the perfect distraction to everything he doesn’t want to deal with.

When Jenny assumes his friend is actually the owner and that Noah is the caretaker, Noah doesn’t correct her. It’s kind of freeing not to be Preston Noah Maxwell Walcott, the Walcott heir with too much responsibility and too much money to ever be taken seriously. But once he admits he’s attracted to Jenny, telling her the truth becomes a bigger thing than it sound.

Here’s the thing, in the beginning Jenny and Noah’s back and forthing was kind of flirty and fun. They were trading barbs that, while loaded, still had the flavor of sexual tension, so they worked. Then shit changed. They had a sexual encounter and Noah turned into the world’s worst dick. Then he apologized (though what he said/did needed a helluva lot more than a simple apology). Then he was a dick again. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. For the rest of the fucking book. He would kiss her, or fuck her, then say something shitty that made her feel bad about herself or them. Then he would apologize and she’d forgive him. And then it would happen all over again.

But that’s not even the worst of it. The worst thing is this: He didn’t actually come clean about who he really was until THREE CHAPTERS FROM THE END. And even then it wasn’t his choice. Someone else outed him. I don’t get how he can spend 95% of the book being an absolute dick and lying about who he is, and the last 5% is supposed to make me forgive him. Newsflash: It didn’t.

Plus, I didn’t understand why Jenny kept forgiving him and going back for more. More insults, more sex, more whatever. The few flashes of decency we saw from him weren’t enough to make him worth common courtesy, much less all the kindness and love Jenny showed him. Not that she was all sweetness and light, but she was quick to forgive him every time he lashed out, and that didn’t make a lot of sense to me.

I admit the story was engaging. I kept wanting to stop, but couldn’t. I am kind of curious about Noah’s two friends, but not enough to actually brave another book in this series.

The moral of this story is, I need to listen to Rowena when she tells me I’ll hate a book. Because she’s usually right.

Rating: 1 out of 5

Love Unexpectedly

one-star


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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
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
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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