Tag: 4.75 Reviews

Review: Hard Sell by Lauren Layne

Posted August 27, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 10 Comments

Review: Hard Sell by Lauren LayneReviewer: Rowena
Hard Sell (21 Wall Street, #2) by Lauren Layne
Series: 21 Wall Street #2
Also in this series: Hot Asset (21 Wall Street, #1)
Publisher: Amazon Publishing, Montlake Romance
Publication Date: September 4, 2018
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 252
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
five-stars

Brilliantly hot Matt Cannon doesn't mind his "boy wonder" nickname. At twenty-eight, he may be the youngest--and richest--broker at his firm, but the constant string of women in his bed know he's all man. When Matt's boss insists he clean up his image to land a potential investor, Matt knows just the woman to pose as his girlfriend.Sabrina Cross is Wall Street's go-to "fixer"--a chameleon of a woman who can be anything, to any man, for any reason, with just one rule: no touching. Matt and Sabrina have always been like oil and water, but their new arrangement lights a match to the animosity and leads to something altogether hotter.

Hard Sell is the second book in the 21 Wall Street series by Lauren Layne and I was so looking forward to jumping right in. Matt and Sabrina sure did make a splash in the first book, Hot Asset and I couldn’t wait to see the sparks take off in their own book.

So this book starts off with Matt arriving at work and finding out that his weekend of debauchery was captured and splashed all over the Wall Street Journal and his bosses want him to cool his heels, fix up his image or find another job. So what does Matt need to fix this mess? He needs a fixer and a girlfriend and he finds both of those in Sabrina Cross. Matt and Sabrina are close in the sense that they’re both in the same circle of friends but they don’t like each other so their interactions are always spicy. They have a colorful history and they hate-bang on occasion so really, their book was bound to be a good one.

Matt is a young numbers whiz and he’s good at what he does. Unfortunately for him, he’s also a really young kid that his clients find it really hard to stay loyal. His playboy attitude doesn’t help his cause so he needs to get his act together quickly so that they can stop trippin’ on giving him their money. Matt was my favorite in Hot Asset and I couldn’t wait to get to know him better and I thought Lauren Layne did a great job with his character. He was strong, he was sexy and oh so smart and he just really hit all of my happy buttons.

Sabrina is just as strong and capable and sexy as Matt is and I really enjoyed getting to know her as well. It would have been so easy for her to come off as cold but once again, Lauren Layne did a great job of making us readers connect with Sabrina’s story. I loved that she was completely aware of why she was the way that she was with Matt, even though nobody, Matt included, understood why she was so testy, she did and I completely got it.

As much as I enjoyed both Matt and Sabrina on their own, I really enjoyed seeing them together. It was like, they were better together or as that song says, “I like me better when I’m with you”, that’s how I felt with these two. The chemistry between them was off the charts but also the loyalty that they had for each other was pretty great. Seeing their relationship change from fake to real and their friendship really grow made for a pretty fantastic book and I was here for it all.

Hard Sell brings together two people that were not fans of the other but grew them into a pretty strong and solid unit and Lauren Layne did a rather fabulous job of giving us the goods on these two while at the same time, teasing us with more goodness to come with Kennedy and Kate. I can’t wait for Kennedy and Kate. Gah, I’m so gone for these characters. I love it and I definitely recommend it.

Grade: 4.75 out of 5

21 Wall Street

five-stars


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Throwback Thursday Review: Something About You by Julie James

Posted April 26, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 17 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: Something About You by Julie JamesReviewer: Rowena
Something About You by Julie James
Series: FBI/US Attorney #1
Also in this series: About That Night (FBI/US Attorney, #3), A Lot like Love (FBI/US Attorney, #2), Love Irresistibly, It Happened One Wedding, Suddenly One Summer, Suddenly One Summer, Suddenly One Summer

Publication Date: March 2, 2010
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 307
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Fate has thrown two sworn enemies...

Of all the hotel rooms rented by all the adulterous politicians in Chicago, female Assistant U.S. Attorney Cameron Lynde had to choose the one next to 1308, where some hot-and-heavy lovemaking ends with a death. And of all the FBI agents in Illinois, it had to be Special Agent Jack Pallas who gets assigned to this high-profile homicide. The same Jack Pallas who still blames Cameron for a botched crackdown three years ago—and for nearly ruining his career.

Into each other's arms...

Work with Cameron Lynde? Are they kidding? Maybe, Jack thinks, this is some kind of welcome-back prank after his stint away from Chicago. But it's no joke; the pair is going to have to put their rocky past behind them and focus on the case at hand. That is, if they can cut back on the razor-sharp jibes—and smother the flame of their sizzling-hot sexual tension.

Every Thursday in 2018, we’ll be posting throwback reviews of our favorite and not-so-favorite books.

This review was originally posted on February 24, 2010.

It just keeps getting better with each and every book. James has shown that she is definitely no one hit wonder with this latest installment into her backlist. Something About You was an entertaining read from cover to cover. It had everything you could want in a great contemporary setting. Characters that leaped off the page, a storyline that kept you interested and a hero that was just to smexy for words.

The chemistry between Jack and Cameron was crazy good. Even when they were hating each other, the chemistry was evident. They worked well together and they were just great characters that I came to love over the course of the book.

Cameron Lynde is an assistant U.S. Attorney who had floor troubles at home so she treated herself to sleeping in an upscale hotel room instead of on her friend’s couch or guest bed or something. She thought she was treating herself but she was actually treated to the loud sex going on in the room next door. Just when she thought she couldn’t take it anymore, the loud sex that was keeping her up all night stopped….only to start up again about an hour later. Fed up with all of the noise going on over there, Cameron calls the front desk and complains. She puts the phone down and waits for the security to come up and take care of her little noise problem but she hears thuds coming from the room, noises she didn’t hear before and then she hears the door open so she peeks through the peep hole and sees someone walk out of the room.

Turns out that she witnesses the murderer of the woman in the other room walking out after the murder and so the FBI turns up on her doorstep. One of the FBI agents that shows up to interview her is the one guy that she’d love to forget for the rest of her life. It’s none other than Jack Pallas, the FBI agent who told the entire nation that she had her head up her ass. They’re not fans of each other and Jack holds her responsible for his transfer to Nebraska. So when Jack shows up on Cameron’s hotel doorstep, to say that she’s annoyed is putting it mildly.

…and of all the hotel rooms to show up at, Jack had to land on Cameron Lynde’s hotel doorstep. Jack cannot stand Cameron because he felt like he wasted two years of his life gathering evidence and she wouldn’t prosecute. It pissed him off but he was a professional so he was going to get this job done, even if it killed him or he killed someone. Either or.

Watching these two battle their feelings and then come together was such a treat! First they hate each other and then they grow soft on each other and then their together. The transition from hating each other to loving each other made for an enjoyable ride that I was absolutely adored.

Jack was a great hero who was stubborn, arrogant and yet lovable. He was such a man. A man’s man who did man things and thought man things and I ate him up. He wasn’t the cookie cutter perfect hero because he assumed the worst in Cameron at every turn and yet I never once hated him. I never once thought, oh get over yourself because he the way that he protected Cameron was just too hot damn sexy that I’d forgive him anything. He was normal and the way that Julie wrote him made his character real. He was a very three dimensional character and I absolutely loved him.

Cameron was one of those heroines that I can appreciate. She was smart and she was capable but she wasn’t one of those heroines who thought she could do everything and tried to do it too. She didn’t need to prove herself to anyone, she knew her strengths and she did her best to let the professionals do their jobs. I loved that about her. She wasn’t the kind of heroine who hid from the bad guys and let everyone run her life but she wasn’t a pushover either. She didn’t think she needed to tell the FBI how to do their job and she trusted them enough to protect her and I admired her for that. She wasn’t that heroine who did the most. She did what she was supposed to and I loved her for that.

Overall, this book was really good. It was perfect for what I was in the mood for and I trusted Julie to entertain the socks off of me and I’m so happy that she did. She’s going to do big things in the publishing world and I’m so excited for her. The villain wasn’t scary or anything but as far as villains went, he fit the bill and I was pretty bummed that we didn’t get to see any scenes with Jack and his sister and nephew. Jack mentions that he wanted to spend more time with his sister and nephew now that he was back in Chicago but we didn’t get to see any interactions with them, I thought it would have been nice to get to know her since the only people on Jack’s side that we got to meet was his partner and his boss. It would have been nice to get some personal interactions but aside from that, I loved the book. I thought it was a great way to spend a few hours. James did a great job of keeping me interested in the romance budding between Jack and Cameron and she kept me entertain throughout the entire story which is exactly what I like in a book.

So really, kudos to Julie James on another winner and I think this is my favorite book by her so far. Would I recommend this? Heck yes!

Grade: 4.75 out of 5

FBI/US Attorney

four-half-stars


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Review: One Fell Sweep by Ilona Andrews

Posted April 18, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: One Fell Sweep by Ilona AndrewsReviewer: Rowena
One Fell Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles, #3) by Ilona Andrews
Series: Innkeeper Chronicles #3
Also in this series: Clean Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles, #1), Clean Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles, #1), Sweep in Peace (Innkeeper Chronicles, #2)
Publisher: Ilona Andrews
Publication Date: December 21st 2016
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 332
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Gertrude Hunt, the nicest Bed and Breakfast in Red Deer, Texas, is glad to have you. We cater to particular kind of guests, the ones most people don’t know about. The older lady sipping her Mello Yello is called Caldenia, although she prefers Your Grace. She has a sizable bounty on her head, so if you hear kinetic or laser fire, try not to stand close to the target. Our chef is a Quillonian. The claws are a little unsettling, but he is a consummate professional and truly is the best chef in the Galaxy. If you see a dark shadow in the orchard late at night, don’t worry. Someone is patrolling the grounds. Do beware of our dog.

Your safety and comfort is our first priority. The inn and your host, Dina Demille, will defend you at all costs. We ask only that you mind other guests and conduct yourself in a polite manner.

After finishing Sweep in Peace, I couldn’t start this book fast enough. Going into Sweep in Peace, I was a bit bummed that one of my favorite characters from Clean Sweep wasn’t in there all that much because he was out trying to find himself…but then he came back and all was right in my Innkeeper Chronicles world.

Sean is back and he’s trying to figure out how to live a normal life again. He’s not the same Sean that we know and love from Clean Sweep. He’s seen some things and has done some things that changes a person and not necessarily for the better. He’s a battle-tested soldier and seeing him try to figure things out with the darkness that haunts him and talk things out with Dina just melted my heart. I really love Dina and Sean’s relationship. It was pretty magical. They were my very favorite part of this entire series. I loved how honest they were with each other, and how sure they were of each other. It was a thing of beauty, their love for each other.

The story as a whole was another great adventure that I really enjoyed from beginning to end. My heart went out to the Hiru’s and their plight with the Draziri’s. I loved how seriously Dina took her job and I really enjoyed seeing her empathy toward all of her guests. Nothing is ever easy at Gertrude Hunt but seeing Dina put one foot forward each and every single day, with her loved ones and guests in mind made me admire the hell out of her. There wasn’t a job too big or too small for our Dina. She did whatever it took to ensure that those under her care were safe and protected, even if that meant her and Sean were on the outs because of it.

The world that Ilona Andrews created for these characters was so colorful and I felt like I was there in every scene. I love when an author can take the reader on an adventure and put them right smack in the middle of all of the action. One Fell Sweep is everything you’ll want in an adventurous story. The characters are real and compelling, the story will sweep you up and take you out of reality for a little bit and there’s even a romance that will warm your heart. I thoroughly enjoyed this one and cannot wait to read more from this author. I have a feeling that we haven’t seen the last of these characters and I’m so here for more Arland and Maud. I want more Arland, Maud, and Helen. I can’t wait for more Maud, Arland, and Helen. 🙂

If you’re in the mood for something different then look no further than the Innkeepers Chronicles series by Ilona Andrews. Each book is well written and fun and I have every confidence that you’ll fall in love with all of the characters the same way that I did. They’re a lot of fun and you seriously want to meet Sean Evans. He’s all that and a bag of chips. Dina is the bomb too. Don’t miss out. This book finishes up Sean and Dina’s story but leaves some things open for Maud and Arland to figure out and really, this book just flat out rocked so go forth and read the good stuff. I promise you won’t regret it.

Innkeeper Chronicles Series

4.75 out of 5

four-half-stars


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Throwback Thursday Review: Silk is For Seduction by Loretta Chase.

Posted March 8, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 9 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: Silk is For Seduction by Loretta Chase.Reviewer: Rowena
Silk Is for Seduction (The Dressmakers, #1) by Loretta Chase
Series: The Dressmakers #1
Also in this series: Silk Is for Seduction (The Dressmakers, #1), Scandal Wears Satin (The Dressmakers, #2), Dukes Prefer Blondes (The Dressmakers, #4), Dukes Prefer Blondes (The Dressmakers, #4)
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: June 28th 2011
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 371
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-half-stars

From the Design Book of Marcelline Noirot:The allure of the perfect gown should be twofold:ladies would die to wear it . . .and gentlemen would kill to remove it!

Brilliant and ambitious dressmaker Marcelline Noirot is London's rising star. And who better to benefit from her talent than the worst-dressed lady in the ton, the Duke of Clevedon's intended bride? Winning the future duchess's patronage means prestige and fortune for Marcelline and her sisters. To get to the lady, though, Marcelline must win over Clevedon, whose standards are as high as his morals are . . . not.

The prize seems well worth the risk—but this time Marcelline's met her match. Clevedon can design a seduction as irresistible as her dresses;and what begins as a flicker of desire between two of the most passionately stubborn charmers in London soon ignites into a delicious inferno . . . and a blazing scandal.

And now both their futures hang by an exquisite thread of silk . . .

***Every Thursday in 2018 we will be posting throwback reviews of our favorite and not-so-favorite books.

This review was originally posted on June 30, 2011.

I haven’t read all that many books by Loretta Chase but when I do read her books, I’m not disappointed. Chase has a way of telling a story that pulls the reader into the thick of it all and I’m always entertained. This book wasn’t any different.

This story tells the story of the Duke of Clevedon and Marcelline Noirot and what a story it was. I thoroughly enjoyed the book from the beginning all the way to the end. The chemistry between Clevedon and Marcelline was off the charts and it was such a delightful treat to read about these two. Watching their attraction grow and then seeing Clevedon unable to stay away from Marcelline and watching Marcelline melt under Clevedon’s charm was delicious.

Marcelline and her sisters own a dress shop and they’re trying to make a name for themselves in London. They’re also trying to nab some big clients and since they come from a family of thieves and con artists, they know exactly how to go about making all of their dreams come true. Each sister (there are three) has a job to complete and Marcelline’s job is to go to Paris where the Duke of Clevedon is and capture his attention so that he’ll bring his duchess to their shop and they’ll nab her as a client. Marcelline wasn’t expecting to be captured in a tug of war of lust with the Duke but she was and watching her ride it out made for some great reading.

Both the hero and the heroine were great characters in their own right and I loved how Marcelline was up front and honest with Clevedon right from the very beginning. I also adored how she was quick to tell Clevedon when he was being an ass and I enjoyed that despite how much of an idiot she thought Clevedon could be, she loved him anyway. Their romance was wonderfully entertaining and I’m really looking forward to the rest of the books in this series.

I loved Erroll/Lucie and I loved the relationship that blossomed between Clevedon and Lucie. The way that he went out of his way to not disappoint Erroll was too adorable and made me love Clevedon so much more. I thought he was being such a dumb ass where Lady Clara was concerned but I knew that he meant well and like Marcelline, I loved him anyway.

the one thing that I could have done without was the whole stealing my designs thing. If it was a bigger part of the story then it would have made sense but it wasn’t and I just didn’t see the point of it all since there was plenty to keep the storyline going without it but that’s just me. Overall, I adored this book. I adored the main characters, the secondary characters and really, I can’t wait for more.

Grade: 4.75 out of 5

four-half-stars


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Review: Brooklynaire by Sarina Bowen

Posted February 19, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 5 Comments

Review: Brooklynaire by Sarina BowenReviewer: Rowena
Brooklynaire (Brooklyn Bruisers #4) by Sarina Bowen
Series: Brooklyn Bruisers #4
Also in this series: Rookie Move, Rookie Move, Hard Hitter, Rookie Move, Hard Hitter (Brooklyn Bruisers #2), Pipe Dreams, Pipe Dreams, Pipe Dreams (Brooklyn Bruisers, #3)
Publisher: Rennie Road Books
Publication Date: February 12th 2018
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-half-stars

A sexy new standalone from USA Today bestseller Sarina Bowen.

You'd think a billion dollars, a professional hockey team and a six-bedroom mansion on the Promenade would satisfy a guy. You'd be wrong.

For seven years Rebecca has brightened my office with her wit and her smile. She manages both my hockey team and my sanity. I don't know when I started waking in the night, craving her. All I know is that one whiff of her perfume ruins my concentration. And her laugh makes me hard.

When Rebecca gets hurt, I step in to help. It's what friends do. But what friends don't do is rip off each others' clothes for a single, wild night together.

Now she's avoiding me. She says we're too different, and it can never happen again. So why can't we keep our hands off each other?

I couldn’t request this book for review fast enough. To say that I’ve been anxious for Becca and Nate’s story is putting it mildly because I did a happy dance the minute that I got the email that it was sent to my kindle and I stopped reading a book that I wasn’t all that interested in anyway to jump into this one. So, there was a lot of hype going in. A lot, a lot of hype. Sure it was all in my head but I needed this book to be perfect, especially since I had just DNF’d my very first book by this amazing author and…Sarina Bowen delivered, yet again.

Nathan Kattenberger is in love with Becca Rowley and has been for years. It doesn’t matter that he’s her boss. He flat out loves her and has been loving her from afar for so long. It’s getting harder and harder to keep his feelings for her at bay because when she gets hurt, Nate steps in to lend a helping hand because even though Becca works for him, she’s also one of his closest friends and has been with him since the beginning. She knew him before he became the billionaire that he is now, so he knows that she cares for him and not his money.

Becca is still smarting from Nathan transferring her to Brooklyn to manage his hockey team instead of keeping her in Manhattan, working for the company that she started off with. When he hired Lauren, a more sophisticated admin to run his software company, she was hurt because she loved her job in Manhattan but she went to Brooklyn because Nate wanted someone he trusted to run the office for the hockey team that he bought, the Brooklyn Bruisers. That was two years ago and even though Becca loves her job now, it still burns a bit. If Becca knew the real reason Nate transferred her, she’d be blown away because she has no clue that Nate has been carrying a torch for her, all these years. When she gets hurt and Nate starts taking care of her, things start to change and well, heat up.

In the last three books of this series, Becca and Nate have been on the outside of the story being told and they captured and held my interest in every single book. I wanted to know more about Nate’s feelings for Becca and I could not wait until Becca found out how Nate felt about her. I wanted them to be front and center for what feels like forever so getting this book was such a treat for me.

Nate was a fantastic hero. I loved how fierce his love for Becca was and how he tried to do right by her at every turn. He wasn’t the most perfect of heroes since he did get things wrong a lot of times but he proved to be a good listener and he respected Becca and learned from his mistakes. It was nice to see a different take on the boss and employee storyline and I thought Sarina Bowen did a fabulous telling Nate’s story. I really enjoyed seeing his friendship with Stew from beginning to end though I wish that we could have seen more of Stew in the book.

Becca was pretty great herself. She was capable and strong and she reacted to finding out about Nate and his feelings for her the same way that I imagine, I’d react. Completely blown away and then really uncomfortable with all of that money. I connected with Becca’s character and really loved getting to know her.

The romance between Nate and Becca was fantastic. It was sweet and it was steamy and it was everything that I hoped it would be. Sarina Bowen keeps winning me over with these stories and this series and I just never want it to end. I’m curious to see if we’ll be getting a story for Alex cause I’d love to see how her story turns out.

Yeah, I loved this one. So good!

Brooklyn Bruisers Series

Grade: 4.75 out of 5

four-half-stars


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