Tag: 3.25 Reviews

Review: No Judgments by Meg Cabot

Posted October 17, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: No Judgments by Meg CabotReviewer: Rowena
No Judgments by Meg Cabot
Series: Little Bridge Island #1
Also in this series: Bridal Boot Camp
Publisher: Harper Collins, William Morrow Paperbacks
Publication Date: September 24, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Point-of-View: Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »

Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 384
Add It: Goodreads
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three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

The storm of the century is about to hit Little Bridge Island, Florida—and it’s sending waves crashing through Sabrina “Bree” Beckham’s love life…

When a massive hurricane severs all power and cell service to Little Bridge Island—as well as its connection to the mainland—twenty-five-year-old Bree Beckham isn’t worried . . . at first. She’s already escaped one storm—her emotionally abusive ex—so a hurricane seems like it will be a piece of cake.

But animal-loving Bree does become alarmed when she realizes how many islanders have been cut off from their beloved pets. Now it’s up to her to save as many of Little Bridge’s cats and dogs as she can . . . but to do so, she’s going to need help—help she has no choice but to accept from her boss’s sexy nephew, Drew Hartwell, the Mermaid Café’s most notorious heartbreaker.

But when Bree starts falling for Drew, just as Little Bridge’s power is restored and her penitent ex shows up, she has to ask herself if her island fling was only a result of the stormy weather, or if it could last during clear skies too.

I have been a big fan of Meg Cabot’s adult romances for ages now. I have loved pretty much everything that I’ve read by her so I was excited to jump into this book, even though I wasn’t that wild about the novella that came out before this one did. No Judgments is the first full-length book in Meg Cabot’s new Little Bridge Island series and it features a heroine who has moved to Little Bridge Island for a fresh start and the hero that stuck around Little Bridge Island instead of evacuating as everyone else did because of the huge hurricane that is coming right for them on the island.

So Bree moved to Little Bridge Island after dropping out of law school. She works as a waitress at the local diner and dyed her hair pink. She’s moving on from a bad breakup and she’s not turning back. She’s not turning back for anything or anyone. Not the hurricane that is coming straight for her new island home and not for the rich ex-boyfriend that offered her a ride on his private plane to get her out of harm’s way. Not even when her mother calls and tries to demand that Bree gets on that private plane. Bree’s not going anywhere and neither is Drew Hartwell.

So this book tackles life before, during, and then the aftermath of a big hurricane. In the beginning, we see everyone making arrangements to get to safety, off island and then we see the folks that stuck it out on the island, try to survive at the same time that they try to save as many animals that were left behind as they could. On top of all of that, Bree is dealing with a bunch of personal issues that are pretty serious in nature. There’s a death of a loved one and then there’s a sexual assault that nobody believed happened, except Bree knows that it did and she had to get away from the people that were supposed to believe her and take her side.

So as you can see, there’s a lot of stuff to unpack in this book and I usually enjoy all the things that Meg Cabot writes but this time around, I had trouble connecting with Bree, with Drew, with them as a couple and all of the people that left their animals to fend for themselves during a big ass hurricane. I will say that Meg Cabot does a great job of describing life on Little Bridge Island. I loved the small-town feel of the island and I loved that it was a place that welcomed Bree and gave her a safe space to heal from everything that happened in her life but I thought this book was a little too light to really tackle everything that Bree went through to my liking. I’m sure that I will give the next book a try but I’m bummed that I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I hoped I would have. This one started off well but it didn’t live up to the hype I gave it so this one gets 3.25 stars from me.

Final Grade

3.25 out of 5

Little Bridge Island

three-half-stars


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Buddy Review: Coming Up Roses by Staci Hart

Posted October 8, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Buddy Review: Coming Up Roses by Staci HartReviewer: Ames and Rowena
Coming Up Roses by Staci Hart
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: August 1, 2019
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: First

Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 293
Add It: Goodreads
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three-half-stars

Everyone hates parts of their job.

Maybe it’s the paperwork. Maybe it’s the day-to-day grind. Maybe it’s that client who never knows what they want, or the guy who always cooks fish in the microwave.

But not me. I love every corner of the Longbourne Flower Shop, every flower, every petal, every stem. I love the greenhouse, and I love Mrs. Bennet, my boss. I love creating, and I love being a florist. I don’t hate anything at all.

Except for Luke Bennet.

The Bennet brothers have come home to help their mom save the flower shop, and Luke is at the helm. His smile tells a tale of lust, loose and easy. He moves with the grace of a predator, feral and wild. A thing unbridled, without rules or constraint.

When he comes home to save Longbourne, I almost can’t be mad at him.

Almost.

He doesn’t remember that night I’ll never forget. That kiss, touched with whiskey and fire. It branded me like a red-hot iron. But it meant nothing to him.

Everyone hates part of their job, and I hate Luke Bennet.Because if I don’t, I’ll fall in love with him.

*Spinoff of The Austen Series

Rowena: Coming Up Roses is a standalone contemporary romance by Staci Hart and it’s the romance that Ames and I decided to read together last month. August was a busy month for me, so I let this review slide but I’m here to fix that now so better late than never, right? 🙂

So, it took me a while to warm up to this story because I didn’t connect with our main character, Tess, all that much. She annoyed the snot out of me in the beginning but when I started to warm up to her character, stupid things happened and I was kind of like, WTF? throughout the rest of the book but even with all of that said, I still enjoyed parts of this one. I loved Luke’s family, I loved seeing Luke and Tess grow closer together and save the shop together but there were quite a few things that made me roll my eyes all the way to San Diego.

What were your initial thoughts on this one, Ames?

Ames: Ween! We’re totally on the same page with this one! Tess needed to grow the hell up. She annoyed me too and I struggled to see what Luke saw in her. However I did enjoy Luke, his family and the whole florist shop idea and all what they did to save their family business. That was a good story. But Tess…she was too afraid. I felt like her character growth came too late to save her for me.

Rowena: Yeah, I would have liked this one more if the romance between Luke and Tess wasn’t bogged down with exes, stupid lies, and just unnecessary stuff. I thought that them coming together to save Luke’s family business, along with them fixing their own shit from their shared past would have been plenty of conflicts to carry the story without all of the shit that we got.

I agree with you that by the time Tess’ character growth came about, I was over her and if it wasn’t for Luke’s family, especially his sweet Mom and siblings, I would have DNF’d this one. But I wanted to see what came of the whole shop makeover and I wanted to find out how things ended up between Luke and Tess. I just wanted things to happen differently and because I didn’t get what I wanted, my enjoyment of this book suffered. Like, one of the things that I didn’t get was how quickly the ex is forgiven and dealt with after the shitty thing she did. Between Tess and Luke’s Mom, to welcome her the way that they did, as quickly as they did? Yeah, I wasn’t a fan. I wanted her to grovel a bit more. That, along with how quick Tess was to forgive Luke for their past after he gave her his magic D, I just…ugh. I couldn’t. I give this book a 2.5 because of that. What about you?

Ames: See, I don’t think Luke did anything that wasn’t so horrible that Tess was mad at him for ten years. She was really stuck in this immature place and that’s why I didn’t care for her. As for his business with his ex, ugh. That whole plot was unnecessary and very predictable. I agree with you that there was enough to the story without his ex needing to be thrown in for good measure.

I usually enjoy Staci’s writing but this book was a miss for me. I’m going to give it 3 out of 5.

I do have to point out that I love the cover. It’s gorgeous.

Final Grades

Ames: 3 out of 5
Rowena: 2.5 out of 5

three-half-stars


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Series Review: The Dirty Billionaire Trilogy by Meghan March

Posted September 25, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

I cannot stop reading/listening to Meghan March. Her stories are compelling. At the same time, they can be train wrecks. She just has something special.

Series Review: The Dirty Billionaire Trilogy by Meghan MarchReviewer: Casee
Dirty Billionaire by Meghan March
Narrator: Elena Wolfe, Sebastian York
Series: Dirty Billionaire Trilogy #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: December 8, 2015
Format: Audiobook
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Content Warning: View Spoiler »

Genres: Contemporary Romance
Length: 4 hours and 24 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

I've got a big dick and an even bigger bank account. That's pretty much where my bio ends. Honestly, I don't need to say anything else. I've just sold 99% of women on going home with me. Do I sound like an asshole to you? That's because I am. And guess what? It works for me just fine. Or at least it did. Until I met her. Books talk about sparks flying. Fuck that shit. With her, it was like emergency flares mixed with jet fuel. Or maybe just straight up napalm. Only one problem. She wouldn't tell me her name or her number when she disappeared from the hotel room after the hottest fucking night of my life. Now I've had a taste of unicorn pussy-the sweetest, rarest of all pussy-and I need it again. So what's an asshole to do? I took this problem to the street. A missed connection gone viral. And when I find her? I'm keeping her. Dirty Billionaire is the first book in The Dirty Billionaire Trilogy and is not a standalone. The story continues in Dirty Pleasures, which will release 12/29/2015, and Dirty Together, which will release on 1/12/2016. WARNING: If you can't handle a dirty-talking, dominant alpha male, The Dirty Billionaire Trilogy may not be for you. If you're looking for your newest filthy billionaire book boyfriend, I'd love to introduce you to Creighton Karas.

Creighton and Holly meet and have a steamy night together. Then Holly disappears. Creighton is an over-the-top alpha. When he decides he wants to see her again, he makes sure he finds her. When they meet again, it’s clear to Creighton that Holly needs a protector. So he does what he does…he protects what’s “his”.

Holly has enough problems of her own without adding Creighton Karas to the mix. Too bad he won’t take no for an answer.

I enjoyed this book even though Creighton was a little much. This book is trashy, which was exactly what I was in the mood to read at the time.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Series Review: The Dirty Billionaire Trilogy by Meghan MarchReviewer: Casee
Dirty Pleasures by Meghan March
Narrator: Elena Wolfe, Sebastian York
Series: Dirty Billionaire Trilogy #2
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: December 29, 2015
Format: Audiobook
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Content Warning: View Spoiler »

Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 177
Length: 3 hours and 51 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

I did it. I married a billionaire.

My reasons are my own, but the last thing I expected was to feel owned.

I may have taken vows, but I’m still determined to be me.

Now his rules are taking over my world, but I’m not the kind of girl to just obey.

There’s only one problem: I might actually be falling for him…

I have no idea how this marriage is going to go, but holding onto a piece of myself while succumbing to his dirty pleasures is shaping up to be the ride of a lifetime.

Dirty Pleasures is the second book in The Dirty Billionaire Trilogy. Dirty Together, the conclusion of this filthy trilogy, will release on 1/12/2016.

Holly, this is your fucking husband. Where the fuck are you? And if you think you’re fucking done with me, you’re dead wrong, sweetheart. Better get ready, because I’m fucking coming for you.”

Holly has decided that she’s had enough of Creighton. He claims that he wants to make their marriage work, but only seems to tell her what to do. That doesn’t work for her. When Creighton discovers Holly has left him, he’s not having it (see above).

This was a good second book in the trilogy. Holly hadn’t started to drive me crazy quite yet.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5.

Series Review: The Dirty Billionaire Trilogy by Meghan MarchReviewer: Casee
Dirty Together by Meghan March
Series: Dirty Billionaire Trilogy #3
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: January 12, 2016
Format: Audiobook
Point-of-View: Alternating First

Genres: Contemporary Romance
Length: 4 hours and 36 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

My wife.

I love saying those words.

She’s mine, and if she thinks I’m going to let her run without tracking her down and bringing her back to where she belongs—with me—then she’s about to be introduced to a new reality.

Because I’ll fight dirty to give her the happily ever after she deserves.

Dirty Together is the final book in The Dirty Billionaire Trilogy and should be read following Dirty Billionaire and Dirty Pleasures.

Holly decides (once again) that she’s going to leave Creighton. He’s everything she doesn’t want in a man. He’s pushy, bossy, and expects her to follow his rules. She’s not having it. Creighton (once again) has to track Holly down. Now he has everything to lose unless he convinces her that they were meant to be.

Holly drove me batty in this book. She just kept running. Get a spine, girl. Geez. Creighton was still his bad-ass self.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

four-stars


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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
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
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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