Tag: 3.5 Reviews

Review: Lucky in Love by Kasie West

Posted July 27, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Lucky in Love by Kasie WestReviewer: Rowena
Lucky in Love by Kasie West
Published by Scholastic
Publication Date: July 25th 2017
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 333
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three-stars

In this new contemporary from YA star Kasie West, a girl who wins the lottery learns that money can cause more problems than it solves, especially when love comes into the picture.

Maddie doesn't believe in luck. She's all about hard work and planning ahead. But one night, on a whim, she buys a lottery ticket. And then, to her astonishment --

She wins!

In a flash, Maddie's life is unrecognizable. No more stressing about college scholarships. Suddenly, she's talking about renting a yacht. And being in the spotlight at school is fun... until rumors start flying, and random people ask her for loans. Now, Maddie isn't sure who she can trust.

Except for Seth Nguyen, her funny, charming coworker at the local zoo. Seth doesn't seem aware of Maddie's big news. And, for some reason, she doesn't want to tell him. But what will happen if he learns her secret?

With tons of humor and heart, Kasie West delivers a million-dollar tale of winning, losing, and falling in love.

Kasie West, for me, is the writer that writes cute contemporary YA romances. Her books are cute and funny and the romances are sweet. The perfect beach read, for me at least.

Lucky in Love follows young Maddie as she watches her old life go up in flames when she wins the lottery and becomes rich overnight. Her bickering parents and no plans brother have been stressing her out and she’s been limiting her options for college to those colleges close to home so that she can take care of her family from school. Money is tight and she needs to work hard and get scholarships so she’s been pretty busy with school work, with working at the zoo and keeping her family happy and functioning and quite frankly, that’s a lot of stress to put on someone as young as Maddie.

The story as a whole gave me a lot of anxiety. The amount of money that her family blew through and then Maddie making mistake after mistake before she finally starts to get things right took a lot out of me which is surprising considering Kasie West books have normally been such easy, breezy reads for me in the past. I had to keep putting this book down because the mother in me could not stand all of the meaningless spending that Maddie’s family did and then the whole secret keeping from Seth didn’t win me over (I hate secrets) not to mention the burden Maddie carried with her where her family was concerned. Her father wasn’t working and her mother was carrying their family financially and being completely resentful over that and their careless attitude toward fixing themselves, even after they’re not struggling for money anymore, it all bothered me.

Maddie’s character was a little on the hard side to like because I didn’t like a lot of the choices she makes but all is well in the end. My favorite part of this entire story was the love interest, Seth Nguyen. I thought he was adorable and understanding. I loved that though he had his own struggles, he didn’t try to make those struggles, Maddie’s struggles. I love that he was just there for her, to lend a listening ear, to help her through whatever she needed his help with and he did so much for her while being grounded with no phone. Ha.

West does a great job of bringing the story together. There’s a lot of wrong before the characters start to get it right and even though I got a lot of anxiety, I still enjoyed the book overall. It’s not my favorite book by Kasie West but it was still a pretty solid read. I think younger people will enjoy this book a lot more than I did but still, it was good.

Grade: 3.5 out of 5

three-stars


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Guest Review: Wired by Julie Garwood

Posted July 3, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Wired by Julie GarwoodReviewer: Tracy
Wired by Julie Garwood
Series: Buchanan-Renard Series #13
Also in this series: Wired, Wired
Published by Berkley
Publication Date: July 4th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romantic Suspense
Pages: 336
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three-half-stars

A beautiful computer hacker and a bad-boy FBI agent must collaborate—in more ways than one—in the sizzling new novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Julie Garwood.

Allison Trent doesn’t look like a hacker. In fact, when she’s not in college working on her degree, she models on the side. But behind her gorgeous face is a brilliant mind for computers and her real love is writing—and hacking—code. Her dream is to write a new security program that could revolutionize the tech industry.

Hotshot FBI agent Liam Scott has a problem: a leak deep within his own department. He needs the skills of a top-notch hacker to work on a highly sensitive project: to secretly break into the FBI servers and find out who the traitor is. But he can’t use one of his own. He finds the perfect candidate in Allison. Only, there’s one problem—she wants nothing to do with his job and turns him down flat.

What Liam doesn’t know is that Allison is hiding secrets that she doesn’t want the FBI to uncover. But Liam will do nearly anything to persuade her to join his team, even break a few rules if that’s what it takes. A temptation that could put his job—and both of their futures—on the line…and longing for more . . .

Allison is in college and is a brilliant computer hacker.  She’s feels that everything she does she does for the good of the people, but technically it’s still illegal.  When she is invited to explore a new FBI facility, that houses their cyber task force, with a friend of hers, she quickly accepts. Once at the facility Allison and her friend are separate and Allison is questioned.  She is freaking out thinking that they know about her hacking but they end up offering her a job – which she turns down.

When push comes to shove Allison accepts the job after the lead in a particular case, Liam Scott, agrees to get her cousin out of trouble – which will keep him out of prison.  While Allison is working on the job she gets closer with Liam and soon they’re inseparable.  Unfortunately Allison has no idea what’s in store for her future and since Liam is on the road 90% of his life she knows that it doesn’t lie with him.  Love, however, has a funny way of changing things around so Allison may get the future she truly wants.

This was a good book.  It’s been about six years since I’ve read a Garwood novel so I was looking forward to this one.  I can’t say that I loved it and I did have some issues with it but overall I enjoyed the story.

My issues : while I liked Liam and Allison I didn’t truly ever connect with either one of them.  They were pretty down to earth – although Garwood did make them seem, at times, that they were too good for me to read about.  Because I didn’t really connect with either character it was hard for me to get too into their romance.  I think THEY had a problem getting into their romance.  It was like they were together, but not.  Then Allison would think that Liam was out of her life and bam! He’d show up again and stay with her like nothing ever happened.  And she allowed it.  Why?  IDK.  I didn’t see the love growing so when it happened it was puzzling.

The hacking part of the story was decent.  I’m not a hacker so I have no idea if anything that was written was accurate or not but it sounded good to me. Lol

I liked Allison’s friends as well.  I hadn’t read any other books in this series but I didn’t feel like I needed to in order to read this one – it was a good standalone.

Overall a decent read.

Rating: 3/3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars


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Guest Review: Hard Stick by L.P. Dover

Posted June 30, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Hard Stick by L.P. DoverReviewer: Tracy
Hard Stick by L.P. Dover
Series: Breakaway Series #1
Published by Random House, Loveswept
Publication Date: June 13th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 225
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He carries a big stick. And he’s not afraid to use it.

On the ice, I’m Kellan Carter, powerhouse enforcer for the Charlotte Strikers. Off the ice, I’m just a regular guy. The last thing I want is to get mobbed by a bunch of groupies who are only after me for my fame and money. My ideal woman knows how to enjoy a little good, clean fun—and maybe some not-so-clean fun too. That’s the kind of girl I’d never let go.

When Kristen Robinson, the gorgeous, down-to-earth bartender I’ve been crushing on, agrees to let me take her out, I’m thrilled. We have an amazing night together, culminating in the most electrifying kiss of my life—and that’s it. Kristen tells me we can’t see each other again, but I know that kiss meant as much to her as it did to me. What I don’t know is that Kristen has a dangerous secret. . . .

I’ve proved to Kristen that she can trust me with her body and her heart. But when her past comes back to haunt her, I need to prove that she can trust me with her life. And I might have to get my hands dirty after all.

Kristen Robinson was in a relationship with a controlling asshole.  When she finds out that he had a hand in the death of her best friend she knows it’s time to get out.  The problem is that he can find her anywhere.  She enlists the help of a friend who have relatives that work with the FBI.  They get her new papers and hide her.  Kristen meets Kellan Carter because she is a bartender at the bar that him and his fellow ice hockey teammates go to.  They’re constantly asking Kristen out but she always declines.  She doesn’t want anyone else wrapped up in her mess.

When the FBI decides to fake Kristen’s death she feels like a weight has been lifted from her shoulders.  She actually accepts Kellan when he asks her out and that’s pretty much all she wrote.  They are incredibly happy together until Kristen’s past finds her once again.

I think I’m in the majority when I say that when I picked up this book I thought it was a hockey player romance.  Ok, it is that but mostly it’s about Kristen and her issues with her ex-boyfriend.  Yes, Kellan and Kristen get their romance and it’s very sweet but quite frankly Kellan could have had any job and the story wouldn’t have changed too much.  There was very little hockey involved and it definitely wasn’t the focus of the book.

Once Kristen’s death is faked she really lets herself breathe and Kellan is there to date her.  They are really quite cute together and I loved that they were so perfect for each other.  After everything that Kristen had gone through she needed someone who cared about her. Their romance was kind of a blow to the head for Kellan as it was unexpected but he didn’t question his luck and I loved that.

The end of the story was a bit much in the drama department but it worked.  I was happy that Kellan and Kristen got their HEA after everything that happened.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5


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Review: Black Tie Optional by Ann Marie Walker

Posted June 29, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Review: Black Tie Optional by Ann Marie WalkerReviewer: Rowena
Black Tie Optional by Ann Marie Walker
Series: Wild Weddings #1
Published by St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: May 30th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
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three-half-stars

Everything about Coleman Grant III oozes power and sex. And not the perfunctory kind either, but the sheet clawing, heart stopping, gasping for air after you’ve screamed so loud you can’t breathe kind. From his dark wavy hair that stands in an artfully rumpled mess, to the blue eyes that sear your skin, to his full, sensual lips - on the surface he’s pure perfection.

Too bad he's an asshole. An arrogant, uptight corporate raider hell bent on destroying the environment one species at a time.

Everything about Olivia Ramsey screams hippie humanitarian. From her blond hair tied in a sloppy bun, to her faded jeans with the Bonnaroo patch sewn on the thigh, to her combat boots still splattered with mud from the previous day’s site visit.

So it makes perfect sense that they would get married. In Vegas. Stone-cold sober.

Cole needs a wife. Olivia needs to save an endangered species. But what starts as a marriage of convenience soon turns into a battle of wills and sexual tension. Love is a game, and Olivia and Cole are ready to win.

Before reading this blurb, I had never heard of Ann Marie Walker. This book sounded good so I went ahead and requested it.

Coleman Grant III and Olivia Ramsey cannot stand each other. He’s a power hungry douchebag that doesn’t care about anything but making money and she’s a hippie humanitarian who is trying to save one endangered species at a time by annoying the ever living snot out of Cole. She hates everything that he stands for and he hates her morning trips to Starbucks to harass him into changing the locations on one of his projects to protect the bats.

When they head out to Vegas for a weekend away from real life, they were expecting a break from each other. They weren’t expecting to have a wild night together and then get married before heading back home. Cole needs a wife and Olivia wants to save the bats so getting married would solve both of their problems. Right? It was only supposed to last three months but true love doesn’t work like that.

This book was a pretty quick read for me. It was a pretty solid read even though there were times when I wanted to kick both the hero and the heroine in the shins. The dialogue was kind of hard to follow in the beginning too but overall, it was still enjoyable.

At first, I didn’t think I would like either Cole or Olivia all that much but that changed over the course of the book. They ended up being pretty great and I’m glad that I picked this up for review. The chemistry between Cole and Olivia was fantastic and I loved seeing them come together in love. The rest of the cast charmed me and I will definitely be reading more from this author. This was a fun read that is perfect for beach season.

Grade: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars


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Review: The Girl with the Make Believe Husband by Julia Quinn

Posted June 27, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 6 Comments

Review: The Girl with the Make Believe Husband by Julia QuinnReviewer: Rowena
The Girl with the Make Believe Husband by Julia Quinn
Series: Rokesbys Series #2
Published by Harper Collins, Avon
Publication Date: May 30th 2017
Genres: Romance
Pages: 384
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three-half-stars

While you were sleeping...

With her brother Thomas injured on the battlefront in the Colonies, orphaned Cecilia Harcourt has two unbearable choices: move in with a maiden aunt or marry a scheming cousin. Instead, she chooses option three and travels across the Atlantic, determined to nurse her brother back to health. But after a week of searching, she finds not her brother but his best friend, the handsome officer Edward Rokesby. He's unconscious and in desperate need of her care, and Cecilia vows that she will save this soldier's life, even if staying by his side means telling one little lie...

I told everyone I was your wife

When Edward comes to, he's more than a little confused. The blow to his head knocked out six months of his memory, but surely he would recall getting married. He knows who Cecilia Harcourt is—even if he does not recall her face—and with everyone calling her his wife, he decides it must be true, even though he'd always assumed he'd marry his neighbor back in England.

If only it were true...

Cecilia risks her entire future by giving herself—completely—to the man she loves. But when the truth comes out, Edward may have a few surprises of his own for the new Mrs. Rokesby.

We first hear about Edward Rokesby in the first book, Because of Miss Bridgerton. He’s the Rokesby brother that everyone thought was going to marry Billie Bridgerton. He’s the brother that is fighting in the war and though he doesn’t make an appearance in that book, we still got to know him through his family and I was pretty stoked to hear that we were going to finally meet him in this book so I couldn’t wait to get this book for review.

Edward was everything that I hoped he’d be. He was fun, flirty and a little rough around the edges. He was a good man at heart and he protected those close to him and he considered Cecelia close. He’s never met her in real life before but when he wakes up from an injury and finds out that she has been by his side for days now and that they’re…married, he doesn’t question it. He steps up and does what he can for Cecelia. She’s his best friend’s sister and she’s a good person so if she says they’re married then it must be true.

Only it’s not and the only person that knows that is Cecelia. Sure, she has a legit reason for telling everyone that they’re married and that reason is why she ran away from England but I have a hard time with secret plots and this particular secret messed with my enjoyment of the book as a whole because Cecelia took too long to come clean with Edward. I sympathized with her because she’s pretty much all alone in the world now and with a money hungry cousin sniffing around, I get that she felt like she had no choice but to lie but the longer she kept the lie from Edward is where I started having issues with her. I didn’t care about her lying to everyone else. That was necessary but when it became unnecessary for her to lie to Edward, she should have come clean and she didn’t.

I loved Edward’s character. I could totally see him fitting in perfectly with the rest of his family back home. I loved seeing him fall in love with Cecelia and seeing him keep his distance from her until she was comfortable with him made me laugh because he’d gone without female companionship for a long time and then to have Cecelia so close and not being able to touch her, his wife to boot, poor guy.

Cecelia’s love for her family was something I liked about her. She was a good person at heart and I still liked her as a person. I loved seeing her fall in love with Edward and just be there for him when he needed her was great to witness. She thought of the little things to make his life easier and I loved that she handled all of that stuff for him. When she wrote his family to make sure that they knew that he was okay was great and I loved reading her letters to both Thomas and then later, Edward. They were carrying torches for each other long before they met and I liked that Quinn added that to their romance.

My only real gripe with this story was how long it took Cecelia to come clean with Edward. Everything else was more of the same that I’ve come to love about reading a Julia Quinn book. She has a talent for writing humorous love stories that hit me in the feels and this book was no different. It wasn’t my favorite book by hers but it was still a quality read that I’m sure fans of her books will enjoy.

Grade: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars


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