Tag: 2.0 Reviews

Review: This One Moment by Stina Lindenblatt

Posted May 23, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: This One Moment by Stina LindenblattReviewer: Rowena
This One Moment by Stina Lindenblatt
Series: Pushing Limits #1
Published by Loveswept
Publication Date: April 5, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Pages: 264
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two-stars

Fame, fortune, and stadiums full of screaming fans are right around the corner for the rock band at the heart of Stina Lindenblatt’s steamy, intense Pushing Limits series. But it’s an epic love affair that steals the show in this opening act.

When Nolan Kincaid skipped town to chase the music career of his dreams, he knew he wouldn’t miss the reminders of his broken family—he wasn’t so sure he could forget the girl he left behind. Now his band is touring nonstop, the recording sessions go all night, and the groupies are crazed. But when he hears that Hailey Wilkins is in trouble, he drops everything.

Hailey thought she’d missed her chance with Nolan. Five years ago, the moment she realized she loved him was the moment he decided to leave. Now, when a brutal assault lands her in the ICU, Nolan flies straight to her bedside, acting like nothing’s changed. What’s a rock star like him doing, canceling shows and risking his record deal, just to nurse an old friend back to health? And why should Hailey believe he’ll stay this time?

With her attacker still at large, Nolan’s ready to rise to the occasion. He knows he let Hailey down once before, but he’s ready to give her everything, heart and soul—and he’ll fight for the chance to prove it.

READ AT YOUR OWN RISK. THERE WILL BE SPOILERS

The blurb for this book caught my attention since I love rock star romances and one with a hero that drops everything and rushes back to the girl he’s always loved because she was attacked and is in a coma? I was definitely interested in reading that one. I was curious to find out why he left the girl behind. I wanted to see this best friends to lovers romance come to life and while the book started off interesting, too much happened in the book that pissed me off. I kept reading, hoping that things would turn around but it never did. Gah.

Nolan Kincaid skipped town as soon as he could to chase his dreams of becoming a rock star. He left everything and everyone behind, including his best friend and the only girl he’s ever loved, Hailey. He lives in Los Angeles and left Nolan Kincaid in his past. He’s known as Tyler now and has no plans to ever go back to being Nolan until he gets a phone call from the one person he stayed in contact with from his past. Hailey has been attacked and is in a coma so Nolan runs back home to be with his girl.

In the beginning of the book, I enjoyed seeing how anxious Nolan was to get to Hailey. A lot of things were thrown on his plate right before his band went on stage but the one thing that he couldn’t get past was Hailey being in a coma. He rushed to the hospital as quickly as he could and stayed by her side until he felt she was safe.

Everything was going great until Hailey woke up and then everything happened at warped speed. Hailey opens her eyes and immediately lays into Nolan for being gone so long and for cutting her out of his life. Like, no big deal. I was just attacked, almost killed and woke up from a coma but I’m well enough to give my best friend hell for being a dick for the last five years. Really? Then she’s released and doesn’t seem to care that her attacker is still out running the streets. She almost just died but she’s not scared of her killer coming back to finish the job, she’s not even hurt anymore. She’s mad that Nolan thinks he’s staying at her house with her. I’m sorry but if I was attacked the way that Hailey was, so bad that the guy almost killed me, I’d be a lot more scared of my shadow than Hailey seemed to be. Don’t even get me started on her parents. They freaking still went on their planned vacation and left Hailey all alone. WTF kind of parent does that shit? I’m sorry but I’m stuck to my daughter’s side like glue until the attacker is behind bars or six feet in the ground. I’m not sipping mai tais on the fucking Carnival cruise ship.

Dafuq

There were a lot of things that ticked me off while I was reading this book. The way that Nolan handled his relationship with Hailey coming out to the public. The way that Nolan was the only person that seemed to care that Hailey’s attacker was still out there and then when he should have been with Hailey, he wasn’t and Hailey almost paid for that. The whole freaking time I was reading this book, I kept hoping that things would turn around. That Nolan would get his shit together and that Hailey would stop being a dumbass about everything but that never really happened.

The whole mystery behind who the attacker was? Yeah, I knew exactly who it was and what happened. So when I finally finished the book, I was glad to be done with it all because when all was said and done and they finally get their shit together, I wasn’t satisfied so I’m not planning on reading any further in this series.

2 out of 5

two-stars

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Guest Review: How to Deceive a Duke by Lecia Cornwall

Posted March 28, 2016 by Whitley B in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: How to Deceive a Duke by Lecia CornwallReviewer: Whitley
How to Deceive a Duke by Lecia Cornwall
Published by Avon
Publication Date: November 27th 2012
Genres: Romance, Historical
Pages: 384
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two-stars

Lecia Cornwell wowed readers with her historical romance debut, Secrets of a Proper Countess, which Publishers Weekly called a "seductive read." This hugely talented author has launched an enchanting new series with How to Deceive a Duke, a captivating Regency romance featuring a lady who stands in for her runaway sister as the Duke of Temberly's bride—a deception the duke will exact a passionate price for from his new wife!

Writing in the tradition of bestselling authors such as Lorraine Heath and Elizabeth Hoyt, Lecia Cornwell is sure to satisfy fans of sensual and smart historical romance.

This book started off great, I loved it so much. I especially loved so many things about Meg. But then, about halfway through the book…it became pretty clear that what you see on the summary is about all the book has. Once the deception/wedding night goes down, the rest of the book just sort of flounders around aimlessly, grasping at subplots.

It’s a shame, because that first half is so good. It has, hands down, the best virgin sex scene I’ve read in this genre. Meg was getting married out of desperation, but also from the start she was eager and curious when it comes to marital relations. And on the night in question, she, ah, carried on with the curiosity. ^_~ I loved her mix of ‘learn-by-imitation’ and naivety.

Nick…Nick had some interesting potential. I really loved the internal conflict set up for him – he was a layabout wommanizer but after going off to war and growing up he finds he’s chaffing under his old reputation. He gets himself in a lot of trouble by churlishly assuming everyone else is assuming things about him. That’s a fun set up to play with. But he…just was way too mean to Meg at the start for it to be just a bout of peeves, as the book wants to imply. And then after the wedding, he only got worse and worse, treating Meg like crap and even abandoning her! (For the war, but still! You don’t! Go to war! Without! Telling! Your WIFE! Who you supposedly love by this point!)

So, yeah, Meg will always be one of my favorite heroines, but I wish she’d been given a better book to play in.

Rating: 2 out of 5

two-stars

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Review: Sweet Seduction by Daire St. Denis

Posted March 10, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Sweet Seduction by Daire St. DenisReviewer: Rowena
Sweet Seduction by Daire St. Denis
Published by Harlequin
Publication Date: March 1st 2016
Genres: Romance, Contemporary
Pages: 224
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two-stars

All it takes is one sweet taste…

Daisy Sinclair knows how to make a guy moan with raw pleasure. She should, as owner of the best damn bakery in Chicago. Her cinnamon buns are borderline orgasmic! Of course, standing in front of the city's biggest (and sexy-as-hell) food critic in her skivvies isn't the most professional first impression. Especially when he has a wicked glint in his eye…

Jamie Forsythe isn't exactly a food critic; his twin brother is. One look at Daisy's mouthwatering curves, and Jamie knows only that he wants to have his cake and Daisy, too. Attraction mixed with deception is a recipe for disaster—the naughtiest, hottest kind imaginable. And there's no way Jamie can resist being sent to bed…with Daisy as dessert!

This was a quick read that I was expecting to like because a bakery is front and center and that’s kind of my thing but after all was said and done, I’m not quite sure what to think.

Daisy is going through an intense divorce and her soon to be ex-husband wants half of the bakery that Daisy inherited from her grandmother. The bakery was everything to Daisy. She grew up there, she learned how to bake there and if she doesn’t come up with a whole lot of money, she’s going to lose the bakery.

Jamie is introduced into the story when he pretends to be his twin brother (a food critic) to write an article on Daisy’s bakery. He is intrigued by the sexy baker and wants to explore the chemistry simmering between them. The deception that is mentioned in the summary of this book involves Jamie and Daisy and for me, the deception wasn’t Jamie pretending to be his twin when he first meets Daisy, for me the deception was everything that came after that. When we find out exactly who Jamie is and his role in the turn that Daisy’s life took.

I couldn’t get over it.

I don’t even know why I continued reading on because I could not let go of that and because of that, my enjoyment of the book never took off. I wanted Jamie to do something to change the outcome of what happened. I wanted Daisy to fight harder and that never happened.

Was there potential? Of course. But the way that the book played out just didn’t work for me and because of the short page time, there wasn’t enough time to turn the story around.

I loved the beginning. Daisy and Jamie’s first meet was silly and cheesy enough to work for me. I loved Jamie’s flirting and then seeing Daisy try to brave her way through the encounter was great. But as the story unfolded and we learn things, everything just fell flat for me and never really recovered. The whole divorce thing, the stuff with her Mom, the fundraiser, everything just didn’t work for me so while I loved the beginning, and enjoyed the romance before everything went to shit, my enjoyment of the book didn’t last and that bummed me out.

Grade: 2 out of 5

two-stars

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Review: Game On by Katie McCoy

Posted November 11, 2015 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Game On by Katie McCoyReviewer: Rowena
Game On by Katie McCoy
Published by Self-Published
Publication Date: October 21, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, New Adult
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two-stars

Rule of reporting 101-- don't bang your subject.

Sophie Hall has just gotten the opportunity of a lifetime--to profile Nathan Ryder, the hottest baseball player since A-Rod, for her first solo assignment as a reporter. Rumor has it Nathan is going to be drafted to the Major league, and yet he still fits an intense training regime around volunteering at a animal shelter. He's a prodigy with a heart of gold, as American as apple pie and has an ass that deserves a trophy all its own. He may be the country's heartthrob, but Sophie isn't going to fall for that. She just has to remain objective and cover the story.

But she didn't bet on Nathan's gorgeous green eyes or the way his arms flex with muscle when he's holding a bat. And she certainly didn't think he'd be witty and smart and caring. Nathan is completely untouchable, but she can't help it if those lingering gazes turn into something more. How could she not fall at the thought of the hottest guy she's ever met devoting his limited free time to saving kittens?

When Sophie's scoop turns into Nathan's scandal, Nathan needs her more than ever. With both of their careers on the line will they strike out - or hit a home run?

I love sports romances. I love athletes and so when this book came across my radar, I wanted to read it. I’m not too wild about journalist heroines but in this book, it wasn’t Sophie that drove me nuts, it was most everything else.

Sophie never went to college, she got a job as a journalist and has to work her butt off to get where she is today. Her hard work has gotten her as far as she’s gotten so far and when she’s assigned a profile of star baseball player Nathan Ryder, she’s determined to do a good job.

Their first meeting was great and I finished that scene thinking that this story had potential but as the story progressed, I couldn’t help but feel that this book was bogged down with too many cliches. I know that contemporary romances are formulaic so for me, the characters have to pop and while I enjoyed both Nathan and Sophie, they weren’t very memorable to me. They were cookie cutter characters that didn’t really do anything for me. Add to that the token dickhead man co-worker who is out to get Sophie fired from her job and just all around cheesiness – it all just didn’t work for me.

I did like some parts of the book, like the friendship that blossomed between Sophie and Mandy. Sometimes you just click with another person and a friendship is almost instaneous so that friendship was believable. I would have liked to have gotten to know Mandy more as I thought she was an interesting character and I thought her crush on Chris was adorable but apart from that, I just couldn’t get into anything else in this story.

The romance happened at warped speed. Now, a friendship happening that quickly, I can get it but a romance between the hero and heroine? It can happen, I’m not saying that it couldn’t but I didn’t buy how quickly Nathan and Sophie went from lusting after each other to loving each other and wanting to spend the rest of their lives together. So while there were snippets of the story that I liked, for the most part, this book didn’t work for me and that bummed me out because I was looking forward to loving the hell out of a new baseball player. Sadly, that didn’t happen for me.

Grade: 2 out of 5

two-stars

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Guest Post: The Captive by Grace Burrowes

Posted October 29, 2015 by Whitley B in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Post: The Captive by Grace BurrowesReviewer: Whitley
The Captive by Grace Burrowes
Series: Captive Hearts #1
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: July 1, 2014
Genres: Historical
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two-stars

As a young boy, British-born Sebastian St. Clair was abandoned in France and forced to join the French army in order to survive.

Now that the war is over, he has returned home to his beloved England, and is determined to live a quiet life as a country gentleman. He believes that his wish is about to come true when he begins to fall for his elderly aunt’s lovely companion, Miss Millicent Danforth.

But the French are not quite ready to let him go, and they’ve devised a devious plot that could destroy everything that Sebastian holds dear. He will have to use all of his wits if he plans on escaping this scheme with his life…and his love.

Whitley’s review of The Captive by Grace Burrowes.

This was my first Grace Burrowes book, and I’m not sure if it’ll be my last or not. I really didn’t like the writing style of it, but she comes up with such enticing premises that I don’t know if I’ll be able to stay away. (Then again, nothing bad happens if I give in, so it’s not much of a problem.)

Still, if you’re like me and prefer your romances easy to read, this one might not be for you. I had to slog through a narration that was so dense with compound-nouns and modifiers and convoluted sentences that it felt like a chore. Some of her turns of phrase were pretty enough, but most of the time it just felt like trying too hard to sound…old. It wasn’t particularly difficult to understand, just dense in a way that didn’t really add anything to the experience. I’ve read plenty other historical romances that kept that toff tone to the narration without stuffing the word count quite that much.

Still, even though it wasn’t to my taste, the writing was smooth enough and the premise was engrossing. Sebastian was a nice tortured hero with just the right balance of angst and hope to keep me rooting for him. He was sweet to his lady, distinctly non-ass-ish, though I liked his interactions with his former captives a lot more than his interactions with Milly. There were a lot of layers and nuance and angst in there that I really appreciated and enjoyed reading about.

The romance was rather lacking in this book. I appreciated that they got married halfway through and didn’t let the wedding bells stand in for “all our problems are over now!” On the other hand, they didn’t seem to have much impediment to their feelings. It was pretty straight forward. “I think you’re hot. You think I’m hot. We got caught kissing. Time to get married!” They put up a nominal resistance at first, which only served to make their coming together feel abrupt. Weak circumstances kept them apart, and equally weak circumstances brought them together. If a couple is kept apart by circumstance, it really should be personal perseverance that overcomes that, not another coincidence, or else the couple’s feelings get left right out of the equation. I just didn’t get any feelings of longing from Milly and Sebastian before the wedding, and then an overabundance of that immediately after.

And I know not everyone reads romance for the sex, but I do, so a comment on that: it’s very vague, thanks to the meandering language. They would kiss, then the narration would hare off for several lines about a metaphor, to the point where I wasn’t sure if they were even still kissing or just had a little peck on the lips. Very little in the way of visceral descriptions.

Overall, a good premise and an interesting hero and side characters, but lacking in real warmth or connection. Definitely one more for the mind than the heart.

Rating: 2 out of 5

two-stars

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