Tag: 1.0 Reviews

Review: A Scot in the Dark by Sarah MacLean

Posted September 13, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: A Scot in the Dark by Sarah MacLeanReviewer: Rowena
A Scot in the Dark by Sarah MacLean
Series: Scandal & Scoundrel #2
Published by Avon
Publication Date: August 30th 2016
Genres: Romance
Pages: 400
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Lonesome Lily Turned Scandalous Siren

Miss Lillian Hargrove has lived much of her life alone in a gilded cage, longing for love and companionship. When an artist offers her pretty promises and begs her to pose for a scandalous portrait, Lily doesn't hesitate...until the lying libertine leaves her in disgrace. With the painting now public, Lily has no choice but to turn to the one man who might save her from ruin.

Highland Devil turned Halfhearted Duke

The Duke of Warnick loathes all things English, none more so than the aristocracy. It does not matter that the imposing Scotsman has inherited one of the most venerable dukedoms in Britain—he wants nothing to do with it, especially when he discovers that the unwanted title comes with a troublesome ward, one who is far too old and far too beautiful to be his problem.

Tartan Comes to Town

Warnick arrives in London with a single goal: get the chit married and see her become someone else's problem, then return to a normal, quiet life in Scotland. It's the perfect plan, until Lily declares she'll only marry for love...and the Scot finds that there is one thing in England he likes far too much...

A Scot in the Dark is the second book in the Scandal & Scoundrel series by Sarah MacLean and it was a book that I was looking forward to. I loved the hell out of the first book in this series so I jumped into this book with both feet. I was so ready for more of the same with Warnick and Lily but sadly, that didn’t happen at all. At least, not for me.

So this story is about Warnick (King’s friend from The Rogue Not Taken), the newly appointed Duke of Warnick and Lillian Hargrove, his ward. Alec becomes the twenty-something Duke of Warnick and he really wants nothing to do with the title. He inherits the dukedom and everything that comes with it, including the ward of the dukedom. A young woman who is under his care and he knows nothing about her until she lands herself at the center of a huge scandal. He hails to London to try to figure things out and help out in whatever way that he can. Now, he may not want to be a Duke but that doesn’t change the fact that he is a Duke. I’ll explain what I mean about that in a minute.

Lillian Hargrove has been a ward of the Dukedom since she was eleven years old. Her mother died when she was a child and her father died a few years later, leaving her an orphan. Her fathers employer, a previous Duke of Warnick takes over the care of Lily so while she’s got a roof over her head and food to eat, she’s still all alone in the world. She doesn’t fit in with the servants, she’s not a lady of the ton so she exists somewhere in the middle where nobody really pays attention to her.

Lily was really hard to take in the beginning of this novel. I understood her anguish and her humiliation but her attitude toward Warnick when he shows up on the scene to try to help her out of the jam, made me want to punch her in the tits. Lily is the ward of the Duke of Warnick. She has a house over her head, a bed to sleep in and food to eat because he allows it so I find it very hard to believe a ward in a historical romance who just got caught up in a scandal would speak to and treat their guardian with as much disrespect as Lily treated Alec. She was a freaking brat and she doesn’t have the excuse of being a kid to fall on since she’s a grown ass woman!

But things turned around with Lily. I understood why she acted out and while I didn’t agree with her lashing out at every turn, she does come around. She does let Warnick in and she does begin to trust him and then it was Warnicks turn to get on my hot damn nerves.

They fall in love with each other but Warnick has a secret that he’s not telling Lily. The main reason he can’t and will not marry her, even though he wishes that he were the kind of man that could marry her. [Insert eye roll emoji here] He won’t marry her because she deserves better. So he tries to push her on someone who doesn’t love her and is only marrying her for the large dowry he’s giving him. So…she doesn’t deserve him but she does deserve someone who is only marrying her for money? WTF? He wishes he were a better man, someone deserving of her? Then be a freaking better man for her! Stop crying about old shit.

On top of that stuff, there were so many other things that disappointed me in this book. I was sorely disappointed in King and Sophie in this book. King and Warnick are supposed to be friends, good friends from their school days but how close could they have been if Warnick didn’t get a heads up that Peg (someone that King knew about) was at the ball that King and Sophie threw? Why was Derek Hawkins allowed entrance into their ball as well? They didn’t want to cause a scandal? I call bullshit on that since Sophie is a freaking Dangerous Daughter. Her family thrives on scandal. I mean, wasn’t Lily hurt enough by that point? I mean, I guess maybe King didn’t know Warnick’s secret but by then, it didn’t even matter because so many other things bothered me.

Overall, this was a disappointing read all around. I started the book disappointed in the bratty behavior of the heroine and ended the book disappointed with how dumb the hero acted.

Grade: 1 out of 5

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Review: The Forbidden Temptation by Anne Mather

Posted April 19, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: The Forbidden Temptation by Anne MatherReviewer: Rowena
A Forbidden Temptation by Anne Mather

Publication Date: March 1st 2016
Genres: Romance, Contemporary
Pages: 192
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An unwanted desire…

With the death of his wife still raw, Jack Connolly's mood is dark and dangerous. He's not looking for a woman, until he meets buttoned-up but beautiful Grace Spencer, who stirs his senses back to life. Yet Jack cannot act on his feelings, as Grace belongs to another!

An impossible affair…

Trapped in a fake relationship to safeguard her family, Grace knows crossing the line with Jack would risk everything she holds dear. Beneath the hunger she sees in Jack's eyes is the promise of something more…but is it enough for her to surrender to a taste of the forbidden?

Jack Connolly is living in England these days. His wife died in a car accident and it’s been two years of…talking to her ghost. He’s rebuilding a house in England and using the time and money he inherited from his late grandmother to fix his house up. He’s doing the work himself and he’s sailing around in his boat. His sister in law Deb keeps calling to check up on him and wondering when he’s coming back to his homeland of Ireland.

The thing is, he’s not returning.

When he meets Grace Spencer, attraction stirs within him. It’s been a long time since his interest has been caught but every time he sees Grace, the attraction grows and her having a boyfriend already hasn’t done away with the burning desire he has for her.

Grace does not have a boyfriend. The guy that she used to date is still known as her boyfriend because her father invested a lot of money in that guy’s website and it didn’t pan out so that boyfriend lost her father’s money and she’s keeping him around to ensure that he pays her father back. She doesn’t even like the guy so she’s suffering in silence because her mother has cancer and her parents have enough to worry about. They shouldn’t have to worry about the shit she brought to the family.

When she meets Jack, she thinks he’s a friend of her “boyfriend” so she’s not keen on meeting him or having anything to do with him. It doesn’t matter that he’s hot as shit. She can’t touch so she’s not…thing is, she wants him and that doesn’t go away.

I want to say that there was some part of this book that I liked but I can’t. I thought Jack was an okay hero, Grace got on my nerves in the beginning and I never warmed up to her even after finishing the book. I almost DNF’d this book three different times but pushed through to see if it got any better. The book was slow from beginning to end and it was such a short book. It just wasn’t my cup of tea.

Grade: 1 out of 5


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Guest Review: Every Time He Leaves by Anna Karington

Posted January 28, 2016 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Every Time He Leaves by Anna KaringtonReviewer: Tracy
Every Time He Leaves by Anna Karington
Series: The Raeven Sisters #1
Published by Self-Published
Publication Date: September 25th 2015
Genres: Contemporary
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I'm different now. I won't be that girl again. I'm in control. I'm the one who's going to leave him wishing he'd given me his everything when he had the chance...

Lana Raeven and Jarek Dean shared a night of passion, but the next morning, she woke up alone. Nine years later, Lana works as a successful event coordinator for a prestigious company. Bold and confident in every area but love, she hasn't ever recovered from Jarek's abandonment. However, a chance encounter with her former lover grants her an opportunity to take back her power.

Rather than chastising him for his cruelty, she plays unfazed and invites him back into her life. Using her ingenuity and sensuality as weapons, she draws him in with the intention of destroying him as he once destroyed her. But her plan for revenge isn't as simple as she initially believed, for the more time she spends with Jarek, the more she's reminded of why she loved him. And if she isn't careful, she could lose him all over again.

When Lana sees Jarek for the first time after nine years she’s shocked. He’s not the boy who left her sleeping in his bed while he took off and was never heard from again. He is definitely a man now and a millionaire to boot. Lana acts like his abandonment was no big deal and works out a plan to get back at him for breaking her heart. She tries to stay away but they find themselves in bed more often than not which is messing with her plan.

On top of all of this there are Lana’s sisters – one who thinks she can get Jarek for herself. She only wants his money and Lana’s not about to let that happen. The problem is that Lana never got over Jarek and now that he’s back she’s not sure she can give up the possibility of forever just to get revenge.

This book. Ugh! So frustrating. Lana was like this huge ball of rage because of Jarek and how she felt he wronged her but yet kept sleeping with him and then calling it revenge. She would think all of these things in her head but never say them which I found irritating. There was A LOT of stuff going on in Lana’s head and since the book is written in first person we get A LOT of introspection. Quite frankly I found myself skimming after a while because her thoughts just weren’t that interesting nor moved the book forward.

By the end of the book I disliked Lana more than when the book first started. I had no idea who Jarek really was as again, the book was in first person and we only saw what Lana was thinking about Jarek. Lana’s mother and older sister were both gold-diggers and her other sister had a drinking problem – which Lana helped get her off of (that part was ok).

I really have nothing good I can say about this book – it just didn’t work for me. I disliked the characters for the most part, I didn’t like Lana at all, the sex scenes were forgettable as there was no chemistry between the Lana and Jarek and by the time I was ¼ of the way through I didn’t care if anyone got their HEA.

Rating: 1 out of 5


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Review: Did I Mention I Love You? by Estelle Maskame

Posted January 13, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Review: Did I Mention I Love You? by Estelle MaskameReviewer: Rowena
Did I Mention I Love You? by Estelle Maskame
Published by Sourcebooks
Publication Date: December 1st 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Pages: 416
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Love is everything but expected.

Eden Monro came to California for a summer of sun, sand and celebrities what better way to forget about the drama back home? Until she meets her new family of strangers: a dad she hasn't seen in three years, a stepmonster and three stepbrothers.

Eden gets her own room in her dad's fancy house in Santa Monica. A room right next door to her oldest stepbrother, Tyler Bruce. Whom she cannot stand. He's got angry green eyes and ego bigger than a Beverly Hills mansion. She's never felt such intense dislike for someone. But the two are constantly thrown together as his group of friends pull her into their world of rule-breaking, partying and pier-hanging.

And the more she tries to understand what makes Tyler burn hotter than the California sun, the more Eden finds herself falling for the one person she shouldn't...

Did I Mention I Love You? is the addictive first book in Wattpad sensation Estelle Maskame's DIMILY trilogy: three unforgettable summers of secrets, heartbreak and forbidden romance.

My first thought upon finishing this book was, “Finally”. I started giving this book almost 3 stars but the more I thought about it, the more I disliked this book. I wanted to read this book because it’s set in Santa Monica, which isn’t too far from me but I barely paid any attention to the setting because the characters drove me absolutely bonkers.

I was not a fan of either Eden or Tyler.

Eden reminded me of Bella Swan. She was a normal teenaged girl but for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out what was so special about her. I didn’t connect with her on any kind of level and when all was said and done, I still felt nothing for her. She was a follower, she did whatever those around her did. Not necessarily because she wanted to but because everyone else was doing it. She didn’t really have any kind of drive to blaze her own path and if I’m going to invest my time in a character, I’d like the protagonist to stand for something. I didn’t feel like I got that from Eden. I didn’t understand why everyone thought she was so special. I just didn’t see it.

Eden’s father left years ago and she hasn’t seen him since. She had no interest in seeing him until she finds out that he lives in Santa Monica, California and because she’s interested in seeing where he lives, she agrees to spend the summer with him. Her father has a new wife, who came with three sons.

One of those sons is Tyler. He’s the oldest of her father’s step-sons and ugh. Just ugh. For a huge chunk of this book, Tyler is a total douche-wad. I couldn’t stand him. He was so mean, mean-spirited and just a complete asshole that I didn’t think I’d ever warm up to him. Yeah, he comes around and finally gets the help he needed but he wasn’t any kind of book boyfriend material for me. I spent too much time not liking him and thinking that he had no business sniffing around Eden that I was glad to finally be done with the book at the end.

There was a lot of casual teen behavior. Lots of drinking, drugs, sex and ugh. Just, ugh. I can’t think of a single thing that I liked about this book. I used to love reading YA books but I’m finding that the YA books that interest me, don’t win me over when I read them so I’m probably not going to read very many new to me YA authors this year.

Grade: 1 out of 5


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Review: A Million Times Goodnight by Kristina McBride

Posted July 30, 2015 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: A Million Times Goodnight by Kristina McBrideReviewer: Rowena
A Million Times Goodnight by Kristina McBride
Published by Egmont USA
Publication Date: July 28th 2015
Genres: Young Adult
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A teen Sliding Doors. One choice creates parallel dual narratives in this romantic contemporary mystery-thriller perfect for fans of Just Like Fate and Pivot Point.

One Night. Two Paths. Infinite Danger.

On the night of the big Spring Break party, Hadley "borrows" her boyfriend Ben's car without telling him. As payback, he posts a naked picture of her online for the entire senior class to see.

Now Hadley has a choice: go back to the party and force Ben to delete the picture or raise the stakes and take his beloved car on a road trip as far away from their hometown of Oak Grove, Ohio, as she can get.

Chapters alternate to reveal each possible future as Hadley, her ex-boyfriend, Josh, and her best friends embark on a night of reckless adventure where old feelings are rekindled, friendships are tested, and secrets are uncovered that are so much worse than a scandalous photo.

Like a teen Sliding Doors, A Million Times Goodnight is a fast-paced romantic contemporary thriller for fans of Just Like Fate and Pivot Point.

The last book that I read by McBride stayed with me for days, I want to say even weeks. The characters, the story line, everything about that book broke my heart and I just couldn’t move on. I didn’t love the book but it was compelling and interesting, that I couldn’t put it down. When I found out that she was coming out with another book, I knew that I was going to read it. How could I not? So when I finally picked this one up for review and opened the book to start, I was disappointed that right from the jump, I didn’t like it. I don’t even know why I kept reading because the book never got better for me.

Now, I haven’t seen Sliding Doors but I did read Pivot Point by Kasie West and enjoyed it so I thought that I would be okay while reading this book but I was confused for a huge chunk of the book. I’m not sure if it was the eARC that I got or the way that the book is written but for me, it was all over the place. I kept getting sucked out of the book because I had to go back and re-read what I just finished reading and put the pieces together in my mind so that I could figure out which timeline we were in. I didn’t think it was a seamless transition from one timeline to the other.

My disappointment kept mounting when Hadley would make stupid decision after stupid decision (in both timelines) and then everyone else in the book. I hated the way that everyone in town treated Josh, I hated the way that Hadley used Josh and basically forced him into it by telling him that he owed her. I think I kept reading because I wanted to find out what the hell happened the night Penny died and what exactly Josh was guilty of. There were even times when I wanted to punch Josh in the throat. Nobody was safe from me.

The whole Hadley stole Ben’s car to have a memorial moment with her friends over her best friend’s death (the night was the one year mark of Penny’s death so Hadley and her friends drove to the last place that Penny was alive for a moment of silence and to just remember her and miss her together) so a pissed off Ben posts a naked picture of Hadley on FB and the picture goes viral pissed me off. What a freaking asshole to do something like that. He knew that Hadley was coming back and I get that he was pissed but what he did had lasting effects on Hadley’s life. He got his car back. Nothing in his life was going to change but Hadley couldn’t say the same.

But holy cow, Hadley is stupid too. In one timelime, she steals Ben’s car and goes on a little road trip, bar hopping with her friends and Josh. WTF? Brooklyn’s older brother gets fake IDs for Brooklyn and her friends so that they can get drunk wherever they wanted (he got all of them fake ids so they could all drink – who the hell was going to drive them home after they were all drunk? Seriously, WTF?) but he was pissed that Josh was them? He gets all in Josh’s face because of what happened to Penny, but he’s okay with his underage little sister bar hopping and doing who knows what??? What a dickhead. In the other timeline, they all head back to the party and while I liked that timeline better, it didn’t come without it’s share of WTF-ness.

There were plenty of times that I almost DNF’d it but I wanted to know how this whole thing would turn out and I wanted to find out which timeline was the real timeline. I shouldn’t have bothered because I closed the damn book with a scowl on my face because I didn’t like it. Ugh.

Grade: 1 out of 5

This book is available from Egmont USA. You can purchase it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


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