Tag: 1.5 Reviews

Review: xo, Zach by Kendall Ryan

Posted March 27, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: xo, Zach by Kendall RyanReviewer: Holly
xo, Zach by Kendall Ryan
Narrator: Andi Arndt, Sebastian York
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: January 23, 2018
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Pages: 334
Length: 5 hours and 51 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: GoodReads Challenge, 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-half-stars

The first time we met was at a party.

Your ex arrived to show off the person he'd left you for last month, and you asked me to pretend to be your date.

I was more than happy to help. You were attractive, smart and witty--and that kiss we shared? It left me wanting you for days.

The second time we met was in my office on campus where we were both surprised to discover you were the new master’s degree student in poetry that I would be working with. You promised to be professional. I did no such thing.

The late nights and intense study sessions spent alongside you majorly throw me off my game. I want you, and I fight with myself daily over this fact.

I know I'm crass, that my sexual innuendos and dirty mouth annoy you, but I live for those two bright spots of color in your cheeks. If that's the only reaction I can get out of you, I'll gladly take it.

You hate Mondays so every Monday I slip an anonymous poem into your bag and your smile gets me through the week.

I think I'm falling for you, and I know it's wrong. I know that I'm only supposed to be the adviser to your program and nothing more, but here's the thing. I think you're falling for me too.

xo, Zach

Audible was a having a 2 for 1 Credit sale and this book was on the list of available options, so I decided to give it a try. This is my first book by Kendall Ryan. I love Andy Arndt and Sebastian York as narrators, they’re wonderful. As soon as I saw their names listed I knew I had to get this.

Poppy, who is recently single, goes to a party with a friend and sees her ex with another woman. In a moment of panic she approaches a stranger and asks him to pose as her date. They end up having a great conversation and sharing a really hot kiss. He asks for her number, but she isn’t quite ready to commit to seeing him again. She tells him if it’s meant to be they’ll find each other. She’s feeling really great about it until she meets with her new adviser Monday morning and it’s Zach, the really great kisser from the party.

Zach wants Poppy. He wants to get her in bed, yes, but he genuinely likes her and thinks they could have something special. He’s almost 30. Ready to settle down and looking for something long term. But he also has a potty mouth and doesn’t always remember to spell out what he’s thinking. This makes Poppy hesitate to start anything with, even though he’s all in.

I really liked Zach. He was sweet and caring, despite his potty mouth. The poems he wrote Poppy were cute and I liked that he wanted her for more than just her body. The first couple chapters had a lot of humor. I actually laughed out loud a couple times. Then things went downhill. There were a lot of things that bothered me after the first quarter.

1) Zach is Poppy’s adviser. She told him she wasn’t interested in a relationship and he pursued it anyway. They eventually had a discussion about how she was safe with him and their professional relationship would never be affected by personal stuff, but it came too little, too late. He was already creepily aggressive a couple times prior to that.

2) Poppy. I hated her. She started out funny and sweet, but by the third chapter she was already getting on my nerves. View Spoiler » It was the way she threw it up as a road block for their relationship (internally) that bugged me.

Plus, she blew really hot and cold with Zach. She kept leading him on. She would flirt with him, kiss him, let him go down on her, then bail. The next day she rejects him and makes it clear she wants nothing but a student/adviser relationship with him, then she throws a fit because he goes on a date with someone else and purposely flirts with someone, because “screw it”!?!? She doesn’t want him, but no one else can have him either? She’s mad he’s with someone else after she rejected him repeatedly, but it’s okay for her to flirt with someone else? She makes it clear she’s not comfortable being in a relationship with him because he’s her adviser, then kisses him?

More than that, it was the immaturity of her actions. She literally ducked into bathrooms and ran around corners to avoid him. She was 24, not 14. The longer the story went on the more angry at her I became. Every time she let him kiss her or go down on her then disappeared, my blood pressure rose.

4) Poppy’s friends were pretty awful. The minute they gave out her personal information to Zach – with her sitting right there telling them not to – they lost me. With friends like that who needs creepy enemies?

Although there were couple things I liked, they didn’t make up for the rest. Between this and Rowena’s experience with Baby Daddy, I don’t think I’ll be trying another Kendall Ryan book.

1.5 out of 5

one-half-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

Audiobook Review: The Hot One by Lauren Blakely

Posted October 26, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Audiobook Review: The Hot One by Lauren BlakelyReviewer: Holly
The Hot One (One Love, #3) by Lauren Blakely
Narrator: Zachary Webber, Andi Arndt
Series: One Love #3
Also in this series: The Sexy One (One Love, #1), The Only One (One Love #2)
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: February 25, 2017
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 300
Length: 6 hours and 21 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
dnf
Series Rating: two-stars

A sexy new standalone romance from #1 New York Times Bestselling Author Lauren Blakely...

Ever notice that sometimes a guy will do something really stupid, like let the love of his life slip through his fingers?

Yeah. I'm that guy. But the moment I run into the woman I once loved madly, I’ve got one goal and one goal only—a second chance. The plan? Go big or go home.

Fine, at first glance, stripping naked at my ex-girlfriend's place of work might not seem like the brightest way to win her heart again. But trust me on this count—she always liked me best without any clothes on. And you've got to play to your strengths when you're fighting an uphill battle. As a lawyer, I know how to fight, and I'm prepared to fight hard for her. Because sometimes you need a second chance at first love.

He's the one who got away . . . The nerve of Tyler Nichols to reappear like that at my job, showing off his rock-hard body that drove me wild far too many nights. That man with his knowing grin and mischievous eyes is nothing but a cocky jerk to saunter back into my life. Except, what if he's not . . .? I've tried like hell to forget him, but maybe I'm cursed to remember the guy I fell madly in love with eight years ago. Lord knows I’m not over him, so what's the harm in giving him a week to prove he's changed in the ways that matter?

After all, how do you resist the hot one…

I’ve been on a Lauren Blakely kick lately. I’m slowly working my way through her backlist at random. I read The Sexy One and figured I’d give The Hot One a try.

Tyler and Delaney fell in love their senior year of college. They planned to go to law school together, until a week before graduation when he broke up with her. For Delaney it was completely unexpected and really devastated her. It was also the catalyst that helped her realize law school wasn’t for her. 7 years later a chance encounter makes Delaney realize she may not be as done with Tyler and she thought. But she isn’t willing to give him the power to hurt her again.

Tyler has spent 7 years regretting his decision to end things with Delaney. When they run into each other again he knows this is his chance to make things right – and to win her back. He’ll go to any lengths to get her.

This started out well enough, but one of Delaney’s biggest issues with Tyler was how selfish he was. He didn’t consider her or her future when he broke up with him, only his own. When he contacts her again after their chance meeting in the present, it’s once again all about him. So when Tyler shows up at Delaney’s work and starts stripping, I couldn’t get past it (for context, she owns her own massage therapy spa. He booked a massage with her, so him getting naked isn’t strange as if, say, she worked in an office). It was such a dick thing to do. She was pissed at first, then distracted by his hot body and unable to stay mad. I suppose I should have taken my cue from her, but I just couldn’t. The longer the book went on and the more she let things slide, the more pissed I got. I ended up listening to about the 3/4 mark and I wasn’t able to go any further.

DNF

One Love

dnf


Tagged: , , , , , , , , , ,

Review: The Only One by Lauren Blakely

Posted October 24, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: The Only One by Lauren BlakelyReviewer: Holly
The Only One (One Love #2) by Lauren Blakely
Narrator: Zachary Webber, Andi Arndt
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: December 6, 2016
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 140
Length: 3 hours and 34 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
one-half-stars

From the NYT Bestselling author of THE SEXY ONE comes a romance about fate and second chances

Let’s say there was this guy. And he gave you the most mind-blowing night of sex in your life. And you never saw him again.Until ten years later.Now, it turns out he’s the ONLY ONE in all of Manhattan whose restaurant is available the night of my charity’s gala. The trouble is, he doesn’t recognize me.

***

This woman I’m working with is so damn alluring. The first time I set eyes on her, I’m captivated and I can’t get her out of my mind. Even if it’s risky to tango with someone I’m working with, she’s a risk I’m willing to take. The trouble is, she won’t give me the time of day. But I’m determined to change that.

Penelope and Gabriel spent 3 amazing days together one summer in Barcelona. They agreed to meet up a few weeks later in New York, but he never showed. She wouldn’t have thought 3 days with a man would ruin her so completely, but 10 years later she’s still smarting. When her assistant sets up an interview with him as a possible caterer for a charity event she’s organizing, she can’t decide if she wants to see him and get an explanation, or if she wants to stand him up. But in all the scenarios she imagined for their meeting, him not recognizing her never crossed her mind…

Gabriel is almost positive the Penny in front of him is his Penelope from 10 years ago. A comedy of errors kept him from meeting up with her that fateful day in New York, but he’s continued to think of her. Not wanting to embarrass either of them, he says she looks familiar and she denies ever meeting him. Since her name is different than the one he remembers, he figures his mind is playing tricks on him. But whether she’s his Penelope from 10 years ago or not, he can’t deny he’s attracted to her. If only she’d give him the time of day…

This started out pretty well, but quickly went downhill when Penny lied about the two of them knowing each other, then gave him a fake last name so he wouldn’t know it was her. She was a 31-year-old woman who had supposedly moved on from him, yet she lied to his face about them knowing each other because he “should have known it was me!” Let me just leave that right there. She was mad that he didn’t immediately KNOW IT WAS HER when he asked and SHE LIED. WTAF?? Then to continue the lie and feel justified for doing so because HE SHOULD HAVE KNOWN? No. Just no.

via GIPHY

The only reason I kept reading the story was because Gabriel, along with Penny’s friend Delaney, called her out on her bs. If not for them I would have DNF’d it. As it is, I didn’t care for her actions and she really ruined what could have been a sweet second chance lovers story.

1.5 out of 5

One Love

one-half-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

Summer Reading Challenge Review: Satisfaction by Lexi Blake

Posted September 14, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 2 Comments

Summer Reading Challenge Review: Satisfaction by Lexi BlakeReviewer: Holly
Satisfaction (Lawless, #2) by Lexi Blake
Series: Lawless #2
Also in this series: Ruthless, Satisfaction, Satisfaction (Lawless #2), Revenge, Revenge
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: January 3, 2017
Format: Print
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 384
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
one-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

The sizzling second novel in a sexy new contemporary romance series featuring the Lawless siblings—from New York Times bestselling author Lexi Blake.


Brandon Lawless is a man on a mission: obtain the information that will clear his father’s name. He’s willing to do whatever it takes—even seduce his enemy’s personal assistant, the beautiful and innocent Carly Hendricks. But with her beguiling smile and captivating intelligence, Brandon soon realizes he doesn’t want to deceive Carly, he wants to win her over—both in the boardroom and the bedroom.   Then a twisted crime leaves Carly vulnerable and Brandon finds himself reeling. The stakes of his mission are now life or death—Carly’s life. And Brandon realizes he’s lost his heart to an amazing woman and his plan must succeed, because the stakes are no longer just revenge, but a once in a lifetime love.

Satisfaction is the second book in Lexi Blake’s Lawless series. The series features four siblings who are on a quest to avenge their parents’ death and clear their father’s name.

Twenty years ago their father was accused of murdering their mother, then killing himself after setting fire to the house while the kids were inside it. Drew Lawless, the eldest, was able to get his siblings out, but he couldn’t save his parents. He knows his father didn’t kill himself or their mother, and he’s spent 20 years working to get in a place to prove his father’s innocence, and exact revenge on his four partners, who Drew believes murdered him and set him up. Bran, the youngest brother, got placed into foster care. Unlike his sister, Mia, who was adopted, Bran got shuffled around from place to place. Before Drew could get to him, something tragic happened and a girl lost her life. Bran holds himself responsible and, since then, has played knight-in-shining armor to down on their luck women – mostly strippers.

Drew’s latest focus is Patricia Cain, a formidable executive who runs a home and garden type magazine and cooking show. Drew’s plan is simple – seduce Patricia’s assistant, Carly, so they can get access to her home where her private files are stored. Only Bran has other ideas. After his sister-in-law was used, Bran wants to bring Carly in on their plan instead of pretending to be interested in her. He takes Drew’s place and tells Carly the whole story, hoping she’ll be willing to help.

Carly is stuck working for Patricia. Two years ago her now ex-husband embezzled a million dollars from Patricia’s company. He also set her younger sister up as a patsy. Patricia has been blackmailing Carly ever since. Because Carly isn’t just her personal assistant, she’s also the creative genius behind all of Patricia’s recipes. Carly can’t quit without Patricia having her sister arrested, but she can help the Lawless family get the proof they need to convict her.

Unfortunately, her ex-husband ran up some debt with the mafia before he went to prison, and they’re trying to collect from her. They make a deal – Carly will help Bran get access to Patricia if he’ll help her deal with her current situation. As they try to find proof of Patricia’s culpability and clear his father’s name, while trying to keep Carly safe, they also have to battle their attraction for one another. Carly isn’t interested in another relationship after she got so royally screwed the last time and Bran knows he isn’t worthy of more than a short term affair.

The first couple chapters of the book really pulled me in. Drew had set it up so he and Carly were matched on a dating site and Bran took his place at their first date. He was upfront and honest with her about why he was there, and I really liked how quick he was to bring her into the family fold. Unfortunately, it fell apart shortly after that. The suspense plot was weak, and both Carly and Bran made so many rookie mistakes it was like watching my six-year-old investigate a twenty year old murder. That wasn’t even the worst part, though. It was how immature, insecure and emotionally stunted they both were.

Bran doesn’t feel like he belongs with the family. He isn’t worthy to be a Lawless or have a relationship with his siblings – or anyone else for that matter – because of something that happened to him in one of the foster homes he was in. Despite everyone telling him they love him and want him around, he spends the entire book feeling sorry for himself and like no one wants him.

“He would never do that and you know it.” Because he felt guilty. They all did. Bran had gotten the short end of a shitty stick, and his siblings all felt bad about it. It was why they put up with him.

The.Entire.Effing.Book.

“Don’t worry about it, Bran. It’s going to be okay.” No, it wasn’t. Eventually everyone would get sick of putting up with his shit and he would be on his own again.

He’s either lashing out at everyone, getting into fist fights to “work out his anger” or feeling sad that no one wants him. He’s not 12, y’all. He’s a grown ass, 30-something man.

If that wasn’t bad enough, Carly was just as insecure and whiny. Her go-to was how everyone took advantage of her. Every time Bran looked at her, it was because she was fat and ugly and he was just pretending. Conversely, every time he didn’t look at her (or pay attention to her), it was because she was fat and ugly and he was just pretending.

“Did you think flirting with the fat chick was a public service? Is that how you view it?”

She does things like push him away, the try to kiss him. When he rolls away she throws a massive hissy fit because he doesn’t want her anymore.

“I tried to get you to make love to me and I got hurt when you pretty much jumped away as soon as you could.”

Uh..you kissed him once after you told him to leave you alone. That isn’t exactly trying to get him to make love to you.

“You haven’t touched me in a week. I get it. The physical part isn’t something you want anymore. Maybe you never did.”

She’s an adult, ffs. Yet she keeps jumping to all these conclusions and saying all this stupid shit. I swear I wanted to karate chop her in the throat.

And let’s not even get me started on how she kept thinking about him as a puppy. “Puppy needs some affection.” “Puppy needed to be domesticated.” WTAF?!?! Like he’s not a person?

The suspense plot surrounding the parents was predictable and, as I mentioned above, very poorly handled. They thought they were being sneaky and clever, but trust me. They weren’t. The plot twist at the end came as no surprise to me. I saw it coming from a mile away.

I’m low key curious about Drew and Shelby, a reporter Carly befriended who is also trying to take down Patricia Cain. But I have a feeling their story would frustrate me even more than this one did.

I’ll be honest, if I hadn’t committed to finishing the book for our Summer Reading Challenge, I would have DNF’d it less than halfway through.

1.5 out of 5 (the .5 because I liked some of the secondary characters)

Lawless

one-half-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , , , , ,

Review: Overruled by Emma Chase

Posted December 14, 2015 by Rowena in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: Overruled by Emma ChaseReviewer: Rowena
Overruled (The Legal Briefs, #1) by Emma Chase
Series: The Legal Briefs #1
Also in this series: Sustained (The Legal Briefs, #2), Appealed (The Legal Briefs, #3), Sidebarred (The Legal Briefs, #3.5), Sustained (The Legal Briefs, #2)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: April 28th 2015
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 288
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
one-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

As a DC defense attorney, Stanton Shaw keeps his head cool, his questions sharp, and his arguments irrefutable. They don’t call him the Jury Charmer for nothing – with his southern drawl, disarming smile and captivating green eyes – he’s a hard man to say no to. Men want to be him and women want to be thoroughly cross examined by him.

Stanton’s a man with a plan. And for a while, life was going according to that plan.

Until the day he receives an invitation to the wedding of his high school sweetheart and mother of his beloved ten-year old daughter. Jenny is getting married — to someone who isn’t him.

That's definitely not part of the plan.
***

Sofia Santos is a city raised, no-nonsense litigator who plans to become the most revered criminal defense attorney in the country. She doesn’t have time for relationships or distractions.

But when Stanton, her "friend with mind-blowing benefits" begs for help, she finds herself out of her element, out of her depth, and obviously out of her mind. Because she agrees to go with him – to The-Middle-Of-Nowhere, Mississippi – to do all she can to help Stanton win back the woman he loves.

Her head tells her she's crazy...and her heart says something else entirely.

*WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD! READ AT YOUR OWN RISK*

*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
This book, man.

I was looking forward to reading this because I wanted to read about lawyers falling in love but what I was expecting and what I got, were two different things. Ames warned me that this wasn’t a clean cut romance but I’m pretty easy to please so I didn’t think that it would be a big deal.

But then I started the book and….it was.

So the book starts with the hero, Stanton finding out that he got his girlfriend and love of his lifetime Jenny pregnant. The two of them are so young with bright plans ahead of them but with Jenny pregnant, she obviously can’t go to college but Stanton got into a good school and he was supposed to get a college degree and then make butt loads of money to take care of him and Jenny. How can he go through with that now? He wants to take a year off, be around when Jenny has the baby and figure things out from there but Jenny won’t let him do it. She won’t let Stanton walk away from their plan. So the new plan is for Jenny to stay behind, raise the baby with her parents and Stanton still goes away to college to get that degree to get a good job and take care of Jenny and the baby.

A reluctant Stanton agrees and goes away to college. Everything is going great until the time and distance start to become a thing. Then the plan changes to Stanton and Jenny being in an open relationship because St. Jenny doesn’t want to hold Stanton back from anything. She wants him to experience college and all it has to offer…until he bangs some other chick and Jenny realizes it hurts to have your boyfriend want someone else but before Stanton goes back to college, Jenny brings up the open relationship thing and it becomes a real thing between them.

While they’re apart, they can bang and hang with whoever they wanted but when Stanton was back in town, they were together and everyone was off limits. I didn’t understand that whole thing but when the book starts up again, it’s ten years later and Stanton is no longer in college anymore but he never went home either. He is a hot shot defense attorney in DC, making big bucks and sending money home to Jenny and their daughter Presley. He’s also banging one of his co-workers and their relationship is completely casual and he’s pretty content with his life.

Who wouldn’t be though? He’s got the freaking life. He’s got a great job, money in the bank, a loving girlfriend and daughter back home and he gets to live the bachelor life hundreds of miles away, banging anyone he wants. Everything is going great until he finds out that Jenny is getting married because guess what guys? Jenny isn’t the heroine of this book. His bang buddy from work, Sofia is.

Technically, Stanton never cheated but that didn’t stop me from thinking that he was a bit of a douche bag. I say that because when he finds out that Jenny is getting married, his first instinct is go back home and try to win her back. That would be fine and dandy if he didn’t drag his bang buddy from work with him. Why did he do that? Because he can’t win Jenny back without Sofia. Sofia will keep him focused and will help him do whatever it takes to win Jenny back.

[insert eye roll emoji here]

Of course Sofia goes with him and OF COURSE Sofia’s in love with Stanton but Stanton is so focused on what HE wants that he doesn’t see it. Sofia is so in love with Stanton that she can’t refuse him in his time of need and the angst from that alone could have made me melt but the way that Stanton went about it turned my stomach.

You see, when Stanton and Sofia get to Mississippi, Stanton immediately starts up trying to sabotage Jenny’s relationship and wedding. Each day, Stanton throws wrenches in Jenny’s plans and each night his plans fail, he returns home to…Sofia and they bang his failures away only for Stanton to wake up the next morning and try, try again with Jenny.

So for a huge chunk of the book, Stanton wants Jenny all the while he’s still banging Sofia and that’s gross. That shit got real old, real fast and the more they did it, the more pissed off I got at the both of them. Throughout the entire book, Stanton put Jenny first. It would have been understandable had he put Presley first, but no. It was Jenny first and foremost in his mind and that really pissed me off because even when he realizes that he loves Sofia and not Jenny, he didn’t put Sofia first. He stayed in Mississippi and attended Jenny’s wedding and then two days later, he went after Sofia.

Don’t even get me started on Sofia. I wanted to strangle her every time she caved to Stanton’s seductions. I wanted to strangle her even more when she didn’t make Stanton grovel a bit more at the end and him being pissed off at her for letting him get away with all of the shit she let him get away with did not make up for all of the shitty things he did to her.

I could see the potential in Stanton and knew that deep down, he wasn’t a bad guy but holy cow did that good guy do a whole bunch of shitty things that made me want to nut punch him. Sofia was great too but I wanted to smack some damn sense into her for far too long and then the wrap up at the end did little to appease the rage that consumed me throughout the book.

When I finally finished the book, I was glad to be done with it because I could finally move on to the book that I wanted to read all along. Sustained. It was the premise for that book that brought this book to my attention and I really loved the other characters in this book. From Presley to Stanton’s family to Jake and Brent, I loved them all and looked forward to getting to know Jake and Brent better in their books so while this book didn’t work for me, the promise of the other books did.

Grade: 1.5 out of 5

The Legal Briefs

one-half-stars


Tagged: , , , , , ,