Tag: 3.25 Reviews

Buddy Review: Beginner’s Luck by Kate Clayborn

Posted August 12, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Buddy Review: Beginner’s Luck by Kate ClaybornReviewer: Ames, Holly, and Rowena
Beginner's Luck by Kate Clayborn
Series: Chance of a Lifetime #1
Publisher: Indie, Lyrical Shine
Publication Date: October 31, 2017
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 246
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Holly's 2019 New to Me Challenge, Rowena's 2019 New to Me Challenge, Rowena's 2019 TBR Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

When three friends impulsively buy a lottery ticket, they never suspect the many ways their lives will change—or that for each of them, love will be the biggest win of all.

Kit Averin is anything but a gambler. A scientist with a quiet, steady job at a university, Kit’s focus has always been maintaining the acceptable status quo. A sudden windfall doesn’t change that, with one exception: the fixer-upper she plans to buy, her first and only real home. It’s more than enough to keep her busy, until an unsettlingly handsome, charming, and determined corporate recruiter shows up in her lab—and manages to work his way into her heart...

Ben Tucker is surprised to find that the scientist he wants for Beaumont Materials is a young woman—and a beautiful, sharp-witted one at that. Talking her into a big-money position with his firm is harder than he expects, but he’s willing to put in the time, especially when sticking around for the summer gives him a chance to reconnect with his dad. But the longer he stays, the more questions he has about his own future—and who might be in it.

What begins as a chilly rebuff soon heats up into an attraction neither Kit nor Ben can deny—and finding themselves lucky in love might just be priceless...

Beginner’s Luck by Kate Clayborn is the first book in her Chance of a Lifetime series. This series follows three friends who bought a lottery ticket together on a whim..and won. The first book follows Kit Averin, a scientist who bought a house to make a home for herself since she grew up without any roots. Her hero, Ben Tucker, is in town helping his father get back on his feet after an accident. His work, as a recruiter brings him into Kit Averin’s life when he is chosen to try to recruit her away from her current job and move to Dallas, Texas to work for his company. Their romance starts off with a bunch of complications but the attraction sizzles and doesn’t go anywhere so of course their story jumps off on a promising note.

Rowena: Alright, what did you guys think?

Holly: I had a really hard time getting into this story. I don’t know if it was the writing or the story itself, but it was really easy for me to walk away from. I did eventually get into the story, but I have to admit I didn’t love it.

What about you?

Ames: It was the same for me. I was about a third of the way into the story before I felt a connection with the characters and the story.

Rowena: Yeah, I felt the same way in the beginning too. I don’t think it took me quite as long as it did for the both of you to connect with the characters and the story but it was low key slow to start. I did come to really like both main characters and all of the side characters (except Ben’s best friend, Jasper).
Ames: Jasper pissed me off too! However, even if Ben told him why Kit wasn’t interested and how NOT to try and sway her, I don’t think his character would have listened. Jasper wanted results ASAP.

Holly: I agree about Jasper. He would have gone ahead no matter what. I wonder if we’ll see a book for him in the future?

Rowena: Yeah, Jasper needed to go. I didn’t care for him at all…even when Kit shows up in the end and he tried to be all concerned about Ben. I was like, boy bye.

Holly: There isn’t a lot of hope for Jasper as far as I’m concerned.

Rowena: I liked how nerdy Kit was and how adamant she was about planting roots where she was. Considering how she grew up, I thought she did well for herself.

Ames: I did like that Kit was a scientist. It was different from a lot of the heroines I’ve been reading lately.

Holly: I liked that Kit was a scientist, too. But that aside, I didn’t really care for her. There was something kind of off-putting about the way she acted, especially toward the end. She made her decision to not hear Ben out as an act of self-care, but she really just came off as selfish. I understand why she was hurt, but all along it was about her. I feel like she didn’t look outside herself enough, didn’t focus on Ben enough.

Rowena: I do agree that Kit wasn’t nearly as forthcoming about herself, her past, her background and all of that with Ben and that could have come off as being selfish but I didn’t think she really had anything to apologize to Ben for. Maybe for not hearing him out when the shit hits the fan, but considering most of their relationship was spent with him consistently trying to get her to see how better off she’d be working with his company, I wasn’t mad at Kit for the way she reacted to all of that. I thought it made sense that she thought Ben was guilty of everything she thought he was guilty of.

Holly: Actually, you know what I think it is? I think it’s that Ben acknowledged to himself and to her that he made mistakes. He apologized and tried to make things right with her throughout the book. Kit never did. She didn’t seem to have the same sense of contrition that he did. Even at the end, when she shows back up unexpectedly, she never really apologized. He says he’s sorry and cuts her off, and she never really bothers to try to make it right. They just leave it there. If that makes sense.

Ames: I can see where both of you are coming from. Kit did withhold a lot of her past from Ben and I felt that left things unresolved for me when they finally got over themselves. Kit did take a leap and make some changes so I liked that about her character. She was afraid of change but after freaking out about it she used her logical brain and acted. LOL

I loved River and Ben’s dad. The secondary characters in this book were great. And I liked the salvage yard and how Ben was into historical objects.

Holly: I really liked Ben’s dad and River, too. And Sharon. She made me laugh. I didn’t ever come to like his mom or step-dad, though.

Rowena: So, do you guys think you’ll read the other stories in the series? I think I will, I’ve heard loads of good things about this series so I want to see how it all turns out. Kit’s brother Alex is the hero in the third book, Greer is his heroine. Are you guys surprised?

Holly: I’m definitely interested in Alex and Greer’s book. I’m not surprised at all that they’re ending up together. I’ll probably read the next book as well, because I’m kind of curious.

Ames: I’m not surprised that Greer is Alex’ heroine. I’m still going to read the other books in the series though. I enjoyed Clayborn’s writing enough and I liked the other two to want to continue on with their stories.

Rowena: As far as this book goes, I thought it was slow to start but I did end up enjoying it though, enough that I will be continuing to read more books by Clayborn so this book gets a 4 out of 5 stars from me, what about you guys?

Holly: I didn’t love this book. Though it did pick up for me in the second half I never fully warmed up to Kit. Plus, both of them frustrated me at times. I’m giving it 3.25 out of 5.

Ames: So slow beginning but there was a good story. I liked Kit although I found her a bit frustrating like you did Holly. I’m giving this a 3.75. I did enjoy it.

Final Grades

Ames: 3.75 out of 5
Holly: 3.25 out of 5
Rowena: 4 out of 5

Chance of a Lifetime

four-stars


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Review: Somewhere Only We Know by Maurene Goo

Posted June 6, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Somewhere Only We Know by Maurene GooReviewer: Rowena
Somewhere Only We Know by Maurene Goo
Publisher: Farrar Straus and Giroux
Publication Date: May 7, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: First
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 320
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
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three-half-stars

10 00 p.m.: Lucky is the biggest K-pop star on the scene, and she's just performed her hit song "Heartbeat" in Hong Kong to thousands of adoring fans. She's about to debut on The Tonight Show in America, hopefully a breakout performance for her career. But right now? She's in her fancy hotel, trying to fall asleep but dying for a hamburger.

11 00 p.m.: Jack is sneaking into a fancy hotel, on assignment for his tabloid job that he keeps secret from his parents. On his way out of the hotel, he runs into a girl wearing slippers, a girl who is single-mindedly determined to find a hamburger. She looks kind of familiar. She's very cute. He's maybe curious.

12:00 a.m.: Nothing will ever be the same.

Last year, I read Maurene Goo’s The Way You Make Me Feel and I really enjoyed that one so when I came across this book while browsing Netgalley, I knew that I was going to request to review it. I was mostly interested in seeing what Goo does with that fall in love in one day scenario and even though I didn’t read The Sun is Also a Star, I did see the movie and the whole scenario didn’t work well for me there. After reading this one, I’m thinking of going back and reading The Sun is Also a Star because, in my opinion, that scenario works better in print than it did on screen.

I will say that though I enjoyed the story, it took me a little bit to get into the story because to start things off, Lucky, the k-pop superstar decides to sneak out of her hotel room to grab a burger after she took some pills to help her sleep and she gets lost. She runs into Jack, who is, of course, trying to break into the paparazzo scene. At first, Jack doesn’t know who Lucky is so he helps her out because she seems to be struggling but once he found out who she was, he doesn’t reveal what he is and the night really kicks off because Lucky is really determined to get a hamburger. I will say that I was not a fan of this, it rubbed me wrong but over the course of the story, Goo does a great job of turning things around for me.

One of the things that I really enjoyed in The Way You Make Me Feel was how Goo brings L.A. to life. She does the same thing here. I’ve never been to Hong Kong but I could see everything that Jack and Lucky saw and taste everything that they ate while they explored the city so clearly. Goo does this really well and though I didn’t enjoy this book nearly as much as I liked The Way You Make Me Feel, I thought Goo did a great job of showing us readers the realities of being a k-pop star.

Overall, this was a quick read. The beginning was a little slow and there were times when I wanted to smack Jack and Lucky around but all in all, this was a cute read.

Final Grade

3.25 out of 5

three-half-stars


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Review: Hot to the Touch by Jaci Burton

Posted May 29, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Hot to the Touch by Jaci BurtonReviewer: Rowena
Hot to the Touch by Jaci Burton
Series: Brotherhood by Fire #1
Publisher: Penguin, Berkley
Publication Date: May 7, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 336
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
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three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Love burns white-hot in this first scorching romance in an all-new trilogy about a family of firefighters from the New York Times bestselling author of the Play-by-Play novels and the Hope series.

Firefighter Jackson Donovan doesn't look back—as a rule. So when his past comes roaring back to life in the form of not-so-damsel-in-distress Becks Benning, the last thing he wants to do is relive old times. No matter how tempting she makes it seem...

Now thanks to his two interfering brothers, Becks is living with them while she looks for a new place and tries to pick up the pieces of her tattoo business that went up in flames. Which means a grown up, smokin' hot Becks is in his house, sharing meals, and digging up old wounds. And despite his better judgement, the more time he spends with this smart, artistic, incredible woman the more he wants her in his bed—and his future.

Becks always had it bad for Jackson. Unfortunately for her, not much has changed—he's still honorable, hard-working, sexy as sin—and closed off. But there's more than one way to get to a man's heart and if Jackson doesn't want to recall old memories, she'll just have to help him make new ones. Because now that she's found Jackson again, she's not letting him go.

Hot to the Touch is the first book in Jaci Burton’s Brotherhood by Fire series. This series follows a brotherhood of firefighters and this book kicks off with three homeless kids who get caught in a house fire and the firefighter that saves them from the fire and then adopts them, making them a family. Jackson Donovan is the oldest of the trio and this is his story.

Jackson, Kal, and Rafe have come a long way from their lives on the streets. They’re all employed, have a roof over their heads and they have a family now. They’re one of the lucky ones, considering where they came from. The past is something that Jackson tries not to think about, in his head the past is better left in the past so when a fire rescue brings him into contact with Becks, someone they all knew from the streets, the last thing Jackson wants, is to help her get back on her feet. She’s a part of the past and Jackson just doesn’t look back, for anyone or for anything. His hesitation and attitude toward Becks when she first comes to stay with them is a lot of the reason that I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I thought I would. I just didn’t understand it, didn’t care for his attitude and this part of the story moved really slow for me.

Becks had a huge crush on Jackson when they were kids and living on the street. When they disappeared all those years ago, Becks and the rest of their street living squad wondered what happened to them so running into them all these years later, finding out that they are alive and well made Becks happy. She was glad to see her friends in a better place and she was also grateful when Kal and Rafe offered their place for her to crash at while she figures out her next step with her home and business burning down. The last thing Becks wants to do is get in the way at her new temporary home but no matter what she does to pull her weight, Jackson takes offense to it and makes living with them a lot harder for Becks…and honestly, I just didn’t get it.

The chemistry between Jackson and Becks is there but it took a while for me to get over how annoyed I was with Jackson for being such a dickhead to Becks. He’s got the hots for her but he treated her like shit and I wanted to knee him in the balls at every turn. I will say that eventually, the story picks up and my annoyance with Jackson goes away because in the end, I did like him and I was happy when him and Becks finally get to their happy ending. Jaci Burton created a world with a cast of characters that I’m interested in getting to know in upcoming books. I’m a fan of cops and firefighters and all other emergency responders so I’m really looking forward to the rest of this series. I think my issues with this book stemmed from the hero’s treatment of the heroine and how not much happened in the beginning of this book but once the romance picks up, the story picks up and I ended up liking it.

Final Grade

3.25 out of 5

three-half-stars


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Review: Getting Hot with the Scot by Melonie Johnson

Posted May 13, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Getting Hot with the Scot by Melonie JohnsonReviewer: Holly
Getting Hot with the Scot by Melonie Johnson
Series: Sometimes in Love #1
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: April 30, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 368
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
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three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

IT’S TIME TO FLIRT WITH A MAN IN A KILT

Cassie Crow, a pop-culture reporter for a TV talk show, is focused on becoming a “serious” journalist. But when she stumbles into a kilted Highlander with a killer accent, Cassie decides that taking one night off from work and spending it with a sexy Scot couldn’t hurt. . .

Logan Reid has built a career on his charm, hosting a series of off-the-wall hijinks on the Web. But when the Scottish prankster meets the all-American, equal parts intelligent and irresistible Cassie, Logan realizes that one night of fun won’t be enough. Could it be that this career-focused, commitment-phobic couple is finally ready to take a chance at true and lasting love?

Getting Hot with the Scot is the debut novel from author Melonie Johnson, and kicks off the Sometimes in Love series, which features 5 college friends who embark on an epic vacation, spanning 5 countries. Here we meet Cassie. She’s uptight and organized to the nth degree, but she decides to let loose during her vacation in Scotland when she comes across a sexy highlander. Logan is pretending to be a time-traveling laird of old as part of a skit for his online show when they meet. He wants her signature on a release form so he can use the clip, but Cassie is trying to move into serious journalism from the fluffier stuff she does now, so she refuses. She doesn’t turn him away from her bed, though, and she expects to have an enjoyable one-night-stand. Until Logan follows her to London, that is.

I liked the premise of this book, and it ended up being a cute read, but the heroine drove me batty for half the book. She kept jumping to conclusions and refusing to talk things out with the hero. Every time she got angry at him, she ran away. I really wanted to see her stay and fight. Logan had some issues stemming from losing his father, and I thought those were well done. I enjoyed the two of them together, but I thought they were both immature at times.

Still, while the story was somewhat predictable, I came to enjoy it in the end. I’m especially interested in reading about Cassie’s friends, so I’ll probably continue the series.

Rating: 3.25 out of 5

Sometimes in Love

three-half-stars


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Review: Dane’s Storm by Mia Sheridan

Posted May 3, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Dane’s Storm by Mia SheridanReviewer: Holly
Dane's Storm by Mia Sheridan
Narrator: Lance Greenfield, Erin Mallon
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: September 17, 2018
Format: eBook, Audiobook
Source: Kindle Unlimited, Audible Escape
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 370
Length: 8 hours and 54 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, New to Me Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-stars

A gripping, exquisitely romantic new standalone by New York Times bestselling author Mia Sheridan.

Dane was her first kiss and the only man she ever loved . . . until their marriage crashed and burned. Now Audra has built a quiet life for herself running a flower shop she's put her whole heart into. But Audra is left reeling when an unexpected circumstance brings Dane back into her world. He's still as breathtaking as he ever was, and he still affects her more than any man she's ever known. Yet learning to trust him again could be a matter of life and death . . .

When Dane offers to fly his ex-wife from California to Colorado to help correct a wrong, he never imagined the harrowing twist of fate awaiting them. When their plane goes down in the snowy mountain wilderness, Dane and Audra are stranded with no one to turn to but each other. Will their second crash end their lives—or save their souls?

THIS IS A STAND-ALONE SIGN OF LOVE NOVEL, INSPIRED BY CANCER. New Adult Contemporary Romance: Due to strong language and sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18.

I started listening to this audiobook, but gave up after a couple chapters because neither of the narrators worked for me. I can’t put my finger on just what the problem was, but I had a hard time following along. I was intrigued enough by the story to get the ebook, however. I’m glad I did. This second chance romance was just what I was in the mood for.

Dane and Mia were young and in love when they got married. He was from a very wealthy and influential family, while she grew up poor. The differences in their social status, plus pressure from his family put strain on their relationship. When tragedy struck, they weren’t able to hold up under the weight and they divorced. Ten years later, Mia receives notice from Dane’s grandmother that she’s to vacate the building she was granted in their divorce as it’s needed for an expansion project they have planned. Mia doesn’t know if Dane is aware of what his grandmother is doing, but even though it’s painful to see him, she knows she has to try.

Dane is shocked when he realizes what his grandmother is doing to Mia. Though they parted on bad terms, he’s always loved her and never wanted anything but the best for her. When she shows up in California to confront him, he offers to fly her back to Colorado in his personal plane (he’s a pilot) to speak to his grandmother in person and get everything straightened out. He’s hoping they have a chance to talk and find some closure while their at it. What neither of them planned on was the deep connection they still feel toward one another.

When the plane goes down in the mountains, they’ll have to rely on each other for survival. If they make it out alive, can they finally put their ghosts to rest?

Mia started out pretty timid and shy. I didn’t necessarily dislike her, but I felt like she was kind of a dishrag. I’m glad to report that she got stronger over the course of the novel. The way she stepped up during their crash gave her some much needed self-confidence, which made for a better reading experience for me. Their marriage failed in part because of lack of communication. I was glad to see them open up to each other and work through their problems.

Dane’s grandmother and her machinations was frustrating and, to be honest, pretty over the top. I didn’t understand why she did what she did, or how they put up with her. This is marked as a New Adult book in the description from the author, which I found puzzling since the characters were nearly 30. They did act rather immature for a lot of the book, however, so from that standpoint I guess I can see it.

There were some slow parts and I wasn’t fully satisfied with the resolution with Dane’s grandmother, but overall it was a sweet, light read.

Rating: 3.25 out of 5

three-stars


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