Tag: 2.5 Reviews

Review: Scorched by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Posted January 26, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Scorched by Jennifer L. ArmentroutReviewer: Rowena
Scorched by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Published by Spencer Hill Press
Publication Date: June 16th 2015
Genres: Romance, Contemporary, New Adult
Pages: 248
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Jennifer L. Armentrout (also known as J. Lynn), New York Times bestselling author of the Wait for You series, presents her latest book, Scorched.
Sometimes life leaves a mark...

Most days, Andrea doesn't know whether she wants to kiss Tanner or punch him in the gut. He is seriously hot, with legit bedroom eyes and that firefighter body of his, but he's a major player, and they can't get along for more than a handful of minutes. Until now.

Tanner knows he and Andrea have had an epic love/hate relationship for as long as he can remember, but he wants more love than hate from her. He wants her. Now. Tomorrow. But the more he gets to know her, the more it becomes obvious that Andrea has a problem. She's teetering on the edge, and every time he tries to catch her, she slips through his fingers.

Andrea's life is spiraling out of control, and it doesn't matter that Tanner wants to save her, because when everything falls apart and she's speeding toward rock-bottom, only she can save herself.

Sometimes life makes you work for that happily ever after...

-- Jennifer L. Armentrout

Scorched is the companion novel to Frigid and it follows Kyler and Sidney’s friends as they fumble their way to their happily for now ending. Andrea and Tanner have bickered like immature teenagers since the first book in this series but over time, that shit got old.

I knew that Andrea had a thing for Tanner and wanted them to get together when I first read Frigid so I was glad to finally get this book but after finishing it, I’m still not quite sure where my thoughts are. Did I enjoy it? For a good chunk of the book, yes but there were things that I did not enjoy. Things that were choppy and drove me crazy.

First things first, Andrea’s best friend and Tanner’s best friends are together. Kyler and Sidney want to get out of town for a week to unwind and just relax and they want their best friends to go with them. It’s not a secret that said best friends don’t like each other but they all decide to go on the trip anyway….together.

Before they decide to go up to a cabin for some much needed R&R, Tanner and Andrea get into another argument where things go a little farther than either of them anticipated. As always, they bring out the worst in each other and Tanner knows that he was out of line and things changed for him. In an effort to make peace before heading out, Tanner takes Andrea home after a night out at the bar where Andrea gets really drunk. He’s not quite sure how it happened but she stopped being Sid’s best friend and before he knows what’s what, he realizes that he wants to really get to know Andrea. He wants to be more to Andrea and that’s easier said than done because 1) she doesn’t trust him and 2) she only seems to want him when she’s drunk.

Tanner thinks that Andrea drinks too much and has a substance abuse problem. Andrea disagrees. When she’s not drinking, they get along great but when Andrea gets alcohol into her system, she turns into freaking Medusa and Tanner doesn’t know how to deal with that. All he knows is that he wants her, his heart has chosen her and he’s not going away without a fight.

Andrea, for her part has always wanted Tanner but he doesn’t remember her and she can’t get over the past so it’s hard for her to let that go and truly be with him. She wants to be with him but she doesn’t know how to be. She knows that holding the past against him is dumb, considering he doesn’t even remember it but she can’t help it. But her troubles with Tanner aren’t the only troubles she’s got and it’s the other trouble that keeps the story going.

Andrea’s journey throughout the book was hard to get through and I didn’t completely understand her problems or her illness so it made liking her, let alone connecting with her hard. I spent a lot of time pissed at her for the hot and cold act she had going with Tanner. The whole drinking thing pissed me off because once again, I was ignorant to what her problem actually was…even when the shit hit the fan at the end, I didn’t understand it and was still completely pissed off at her. I wanted her to be stronger. I wanted her to get her shit together and in the end, I was glad that she finally did. But by then, too much time had passed and I spent so much time being pissed off at her that I didn’t understand why Tanner stuck around or what he saw in her.

I will say that the book was interesting but my reservations with Andrea and my inability to connect and understand her made my enjoyment of this book suffer. So while there were good moments, this isn’t one of my favorite books from Armentrout.

Grade: 2.5 out of 5

Reading Order:

Frigid
Scorched

Review: Saving Grace by Kristen Proby

Posted January 6, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Saving Grace by Kristen ProbyReviewer: Rowena
Saving Grace by Kristen Proby
Published by Pocket Star
Publication Date: November 30, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
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two-half-stars

Sparks fly like snowflakes when a klutzy but gorgeous novice crosses skis with a hot resort owner in this tempting tie-in to New York Times bestselling author Kristen Proby’s popular Love Under the Big Sky series!

Grace Douglas is on a practice run for her friend Cara Donovan’s bachelorette party ski weekend in Aspen. The problem is, despite living in rugged and picturesque Cunningham Falls, Montana, Grace is the clumsiest person ever born. To prepare for the trip, she is taking lessons at a local ski resort. She just prays that they have an ambulance on standby.

Sexy hotelier Jacob Berkley is ready to play ski instructor, but he quickly discovers that the best place on the mountain for Grace is in the lodge with a hot toddy. Her sense of humor and easy laugh quickly pull him in, and soon he’s determined to help her get off the bunny slope for a fun vacation with her friends. He just didn’t expect their steamy chemistry to trigger an avalanche of desire straight to his heart.

This was a short contemporary romance that didn’t take me very long to dig in to.

The story starts out with the heroine and a bunch of her friends are hanging out and her friends have gotten the klutzy heroine some ski lessons at the local resort so that she can learn how to ski from a professional before they turn her loose in Aspen for one of their bachelorette weekend away.

So our heroine, Grace heads up the mountain for her weekend ski lessons and is really impressed with her ski instructor. He’s hot, he’s got good hands and he’s really helping her get a hold on this skiing business. She’s just about ready for that trip to Aspen.

When Bax asks her out to dinner, Grace is hesitant because she really shouldn’t but he’s sexy and he’s mighty interested in her so she caves because….why not?

Bax is intrigued with the girl who mistakes him for her ski instructor. Right from the very beginning, he’s interested in everything about this girl so when he asks her out and she turns him down, he’s bummed. But she changes her mind and Bax realizes that he doesn’t want to stop seeing this girl so he ups the charm.

I’m not really sure where to begin with this review. I mean, I liked it but I didn’t love it. I’m not sure if I couldn’t connect with both Grace and Bax because there wasn’t enough page time to do it or what but for some reason, Grace’s clumsiness and her sassy personality made me roll my eyes and then there was Bax. He’s a super rich guy who owns the resort and some hot to trot lady comes up and he’s so taken with her that he immediately wants in…on everything.

Things just happened so fast and the cheese came on so strong with this story that I spent pretty much the entire book rolling my eyes. I just didn’t buy the instant romance, the clumsy/sassy heroine didn’t do it for me and while it wasn’t a bad premise, I feel like this book would have been so much better with a longer story. Everything was too wham, bam, thank you ma’am for me.

Grade: 2.5 out of 5

two-half-stars

Guest Review: Until Forever Comes by Cardeno C.

Posted September 10, 2015 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Until Forever Comes by Cardeno C.Tracy’s review of Until Forever Comes (Mates #2) by Cardeno C.

Plagued by pain and weakness all his life, Ethan Abbatt is a wolf shifter who can’t shift. Hoping to find an honorable death by joining his pack mates in a vampire attack, Ethan instead learns two things: draining his blood releases his pain and his wolf, and he has a true mate—a vampire named Miguel.

Over four centuries old, strong, powerful, and vicious, Miguel Rodriguez walks through life as a shadow, without happiness or affection. When a young shifter tells Miguel they’re true mates, destined to be together, Miguel sends him away. But Ethan is persistent and being with him comes so naturally that Miguel can’t resist for long. Their challenge is staying alive so they can be together until forever comes.

Ethan is a shifter who can’t shift. He’s a small man and is not well thought of in his pack. He tries to give himself an honorable death by going with members of his pack to kill some vampires that have recently moved into the area. He almost does die but is saved at the last minute by one of the vampires for unknown reasons. At that time Ethan has lost a ton of blood but suddenly shifts into his wolf form.

Ethan knows that the vampire that let him live, Miguel, is his true mate. He goes back to town and tries to explain things to him but Miguel is having none of it. Eventually Ethan leaves home and moves into town to be with Miguel. Miguel is attracted to Ethan as well but vampires and shifters normally loathe each other. Ethan tries to explain to Miguel that they’re true mates but Miguel just thinks they’ll have some fun in bed and then go their separate ways. The longer the pair are together the more Miguel sees that Ethan isn’t someone he wants out of his life but other vampires and other shifters start to get involved to tear them apart and that causes bunches of trouble.

The story in this one had a good premise and had a pretty good start but what began as a sweet story soon didn’t end up working for me.

First of all Ethan is at deaths door and about to be eviscerated by a vampire in a nasty alley when he sees Miguel. Knowing that he’s his true mate actually turns Ethan on and when Miguel actually looks him in the eye Ethan spontaneously climaxes. WTF? That was just really weird to me. I can understand getting a cockstand but coming when he looks at you? Come on, I know it’s paranormal but that’s just weird.

Despite that less than auspicious beginning the story between Miguel and Ethan became very sweet. I liked them together and Miguel’s growing possessiveness and protectiveness toward Ethan wasn’t too annoying. I liked that they got that way about each other. Unfortunately there wasn’t much more to the story than that. The majority of the book was Ethan and Miguel spending their days in a dark warehouse room on a mattress having sex – and we got to read about every time. It got old really quickly and besides people trying to separate them at one point, nothing much else happened. I liked Cardeno C.’s writing so I read to the end but the second part of the book was sadly lacking imho.

My other issue with the book was the way that Ethan and his family spoke. It was uneducated hick and became hard to read very quickly. They didn’t seem uneducated but that’s the way they spoke. I couldn’t get a handle on what year it was or the setting – I thought that might explain things if it was, say, the 60’s or 70’s in the Ozark’s or something like that. The first book in the series didn’t have the characters speaking that way and I’m hoping book three won’t be like that either. Cross fingers.

Rating: 2.5/3 out of 5

This title is available from The Romance Authors. You can buy it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Review: A Summer Like No Other by Elodie Nowodazkij

Posted August 6, 2015 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: A Summer Like No Other by Elodie NowodazkijReviewer: Rowena
A Summer Like No Other by Elodie Nowodazkij
Series: Broken Dreams #1.5
Published by Elodie Nowodazkij
Publication Date: July 30, 2015
Genres: Coming of Age, Contemporary, Young Adult
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two-half-stars

She’s his best friend’s little sister. He’s the biggest player of them all.

They shouldn’t be together. But this summer’s just too tempting.

Sixteen-year-old Emilia Moretti’s goal for the summer is simple: forget her brother’s best friend—Nick Grawsky—ever existed. It should be easy: He’s spending his summer in the Hamptons, adding girls in tiny bikinis to his list of broken hearts. Guarantee he won’t be telling them they’re like his little sisters. This summer, Emilia won’t stay awake at night thinking about him. She’ll need flawless ballet movements to have a shot at next year’s showcase, and she’s finally ready to search for her birth parents. But when Nick decides to stay in the city, Emilia’s resolve disappears in a pirouette. Maybe it’s the spin they needed to be together. As long as she doesn’t get stuck believing in happily ever after…

Nick is tired of pretending to be the happy, let’s-have-fun guy. His father wants him to change his career from professional dancer to…lawyer. He needs to put all of his focus on dancing to prove to Daddy Dearest he’s good enough to make it big. And he may have a case of the bluest balls in history courtesy of Emilia. She’s off-limits: The bro code with Roberto even forbids the dirty thoughts he has about her. Besides, he’s not boyfriend material. He only has time for flings, for girls who don’t expect much, for girls he doesn’t want to kiss goodnight. He knows he should resist her, but he’s not sure he wants to…

At least for this summer.

It’s going to be a summer like no other.

This was a quick read.

I wanted to read this one because it sounded like a cute summer read that I could sink into for a couple of hours and wouldn’t bog me down with angst and what not. I thought I could dive right in and enjoy a cute story and while I did like it, I didn’t exactly love it.

Em’s father got fired from his job so their summers in the Hamptons are a thing of the past. She’s stuck in the city for the summer and can’t stop thinking about her brother’s best friend, Nick who is probably sun-bathing and flirting with every girl in a bikini nearby – out in the Hamptons. She’s shocked as all get out when Nick walks into her rehearsal room to practice his own dancing. Turns out, Nick didn’t head out to the Hamptons either and when he starts showing genuine interest in Em, things get interesting.

This is a short story so things happened pretty fast. It’s implied that Em and Nick have a history together. A history of friendship with crushes on both parts. A crush that Em thinks is not returned and a crush that Nick can’t act on because of promises made to Em’s brother Roberto. For such a short story, there’s a lot going on. There’s the relationship brewing between Em and Nick, there’s the secrets that Nick doesn’t tell Em about then there’s the secrets that Nick and Em’s fathers are keeping about Em’s real mother. See? Lots of things going on…and when all is said and done, I don’t feel like much of anything got resolved. The ending felt more of the “read the next book to see what happens” kind of ending and I didn’t really dig that. It’s one thing to tease but this felt more like a build up that just stopped.

I also wasn’t much of a fan of Nick keeping that Jen secret, Nick’s Dad and then all of the secrets that both his Dad and Em’s Dad kept from…everyone.

This book wasn’t a bad book, it was a solid story with characters that were interesting but more than anything, I was left wanting more and not in a good way. Does that make sense?

Grade: 2.5 out of 5

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

two-half-stars

Review: Open Road Summer by Emery Lord

Posted July 23, 2015 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Open Road Summer by Emery LordReviewer: Rowena
Open Road Summer by Emery Lord
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing USA
Publication Date: April 15th 2014
Genres: Young Adult, Music
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two-half-stars

After breaking up with her bad-news boyfriend, Reagan O'Neill is ready to leave her rebellious ways behind. . . and her best friend, country superstar Lilah Montgomery, is nursing a broken heart of her own. Fortunately, Lilah's 24-city tour is about to kick off, offering a perfect opportunity for a girls-only summer of break-up ballads and healing hearts. But when Matt Finch joins the tour as its opening act, his boy-next-door charm proves difficult for Reagan to resist, despite her vow to live a drama-free existence. This summer, Reagan and Lilah will navigate the ups and downs of fame and friendship as they come to see that giving your heart to the right person is always a risk worth taking. A fresh new voice in contemporary romance, Emery Lord's gorgeous writing hits all the right notes.

I’ve been hearing great things about Emery Lord’s writing so I’ve been wanting to try her books out for a while now. I got to dig right into this book after I caught up on all of my review books for the month so I was pretty stoked.

This book follows Reagan as she spends the summer with her country superstar best friend Lilah Montgomery on the road for her summer tour. The summer was meant to be a best friends summer because Reagan was making some changes in her life and spending time with Dee, going from city to city was supposed to help her move on from the past she so desperately wants to leave behind. When Matt Finch joins the tour and starts hanging out with them, Reagan didn’t plan on liking him. She didn’t want to like him because he’s supposed to be playing the role of Dee’s boyfriend for the media (even though they’re not together) and she’s not the kind of person that will bring trouble to her best friend. But like Selena Gomez said, the heart wants what it wa-a-a-a-ants. And Reagan and Matt want each other.

I’m not exactly sure what I was expecting but I wasn’t expecting it to be so hard to like Reagan. Holy cow did she get on my nerves for a whole chunk of this book. I get that she’s been burned and treated badly but it was disappointing to see someone who was slut-shamed by others, slut-shame and judge the hell out of girls who approached Matt. Umm, you hated when those girls judged and shamed you at school so why would you do the same to random, means nothing to Matt girls? Reagan was very immature and her personality got on my nerves. I did like that she was super loyal to Dee (aka Lilah Montomery to the masses) but that loyalty didn’t really help with everything else that bothered me about her. Her snap judgments and her stubbornness got on my nerves and that stubbornness was still present at the end of the book, which was frustrating.

Matt was a good love interest. He was cute and swoony and everything that a pop star should be but I didn’t understand his attraction to Reagan. She was so mean and cold to him, not to mention how hot and cold she ran. One minute she was all swoony and all over him and the next, she’s pretending he doesn’t exist and ugh. When they finally do get together, I liked that all of the games Reagan played seemed to fall away.

The story progressed at a nice and steady pace and even though I was frustrated with Reagan, I wasn’t ever bored with the story. I liked getting a behind the scenes look at life on the road for a big summer tour. I liked seeing everything that went into being Lilah Montgomery and to be honest, I really liked and probably would have preferred reading about Dee and Jimmy. Their story was interesting, the big superstar and the guy she left behind…still in love but can’t be together…what happens? When they get back to Nashville and Dee goes to see Jimmy? That hug? Happy sigh. It was good stuff.

Anyway, the book as a whole had a lot that kept me interested but Reagan got on my nerves so I stayed frustrated throughout the entire reading. The whole bit with Matt’s best friend and Reagan, I wasn’t a fan of that. It felt forced and so obvious. I would have liked for something else to be the road block in their friendship and not something so contrived as that. But overall, I’m not mad that I read this book. I will probably read more from this author, I’ve already bought her other book so I’m sure I’ll get to it eventually.

Grade: 2.5 out of 5

This book is available from Walker. You can purchase it here or here in e-format.

two-half-stars