Tag: 4.75 Reviews

Review: The Rogue Not Taken by Sarah MacLean

Posted September 1, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 8 Comments

Review: The Rogue Not Taken by Sarah MacLeanReviewer: Rowena
The Rogue Not Taken by Sarah MacLean
Series: Scandal & Scoundrel #2
Published by Avon
Publication Date: December 29th 2015
Genres: Historical, Romance
Pages: 419
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five-stars

LADY SOPHIE'S SOCIETY SPLASH

The youngest of the infamous Talbot sisters scandalized society at the Liverpool Summer Soiree, striking her sister’s notoriously philandering husband and landing him backside-first in a goldfish pond. And we thought Sophie was the quiet one…

When she finds herself the target of very public aristocratic scorn, Sophie Talbot does what she must to escape the city and its judgment—she flees on the back of a carriage, vowing never to return to London…or to society. But the carriage isn’t saving her from ruin. It’s filled with it.

ROYAL ROGUE'S REIGN OF RAVISHMENT!

The Marquess of Eversley was espied descending a rose trellis—escaping an irate Earl and his once-future countess. No lady is safe from Eversley’s Engagement Ending Escapades!

Kingscote, the Marquess of Eversley, has never met a woman he couldn’t charm, a quality that results in a reputation far worse than the truth, a furious summons home, and a long, boring trip to the Scottish border. When King discovers stowaway Sophie, however, the trip becomes anything but boring.

WAR? OR MORE?

He thinks she’s trying to trick him into marriage. She wouldn’t have him if he were the last man on earth. But carriages bring close quarters, dark secrets, and unbearable temptation, and suddenly opposites are altogether too attractive…

Holy cow, this book!

I think this book entertained the socks off of me throughout the entire thing. Right from the very beginning, I was wrapped up in Sophie and King. Their first conversation? LOVED IT. When he realizes that she’s still around? LOVED IT. All of the bickering, all of the sexual tension, I ate it all up. I’m hard pressed to find something that I didn’t like though if I had to choose, it would probably be King taking Sophie to meet his father at his childhood home. That wasn’t a bundle of fun but it wasn’t supposed to be. I should probably mention the initial scandal that Sophie was part of as well. I wasn’t a fan of that either. That freaking brother in law of hers was such a dickhead that I’m glad she pushed in the pond.

This book had everything that I love in my romances so of course it was a winner in my book.

Sophie Talbot is the quiet one. She’s the Talbot sister that nobody pays much attention to because she’s not as glamorous as her other sisters or as scandalous. She’s kind of a wallflower and she despises all things that have to do with the ton but she is loyal and when she comes across her brother in law doing some shady shit with someone not her sister, she does what any loyal sister would do. She pushes him into a pond like a boss and then tells him off…in front of an audience. Needless to say, after that whole drama, Sophie is not popular amongst the aristocracy. She’s also in big trouble with her mother. Trying to escape the ball is turning out to be a whole lot of trouble.

Kingscote, the Marquess of Eversley meets Sophie Talbot when he’s climbing down a trellis of the very same ball where she caused quite a commotion of her own. He’s running from a woman’s fiance’ and she’s running from everyone else. Sophie asks King for a ride home and he said no. He thought that would be the end of his association with Sophie but haha, yeah right.

These two had me in fits throughout the entire book. They bickered like champs and the adventure they went on had me bent over laughing my ass off more than once. I loved watching them fall in love with each other at the same time that they were fighting with each other. They got on each other’s nerves but they couldn’t stay away from each other and I seriously adored the both of them.

This was a wonderfully written and completely charming historical romance that entertained the socks right off of me and made me want more from this world. I couldn’t wait to start the next book in this series. I’m hoping that we haven’t seen the last of Sera, Sophie’s sister. Highly recommend for fans of MacLean’s other works and for fans of the lighter historical romances like Julia Quinn, Tessa Dare and others like them.

Grade: 4.75 out of 5

five-stars

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Review: Bittersweet by Sarina Bowen

Posted June 20, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Bittersweet by Sarina BowenReviewer: Rowena
Bittersweet by Sarina Bowen
Series: True North #2
Also in this series: Steadfast, Steadfast, Bittersweet, Keepsake
Published by Rennie Road Books
Publication Date: June 14th 2016
Genres: Romance, Contemporary, New Adult
Pages: 300
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four-half-stars

Farmers make the earth move.

The last person Griffin Shipley expects to find stuck in a ditch on his Vermont country road is his ex-hookup. Five years ago they’d shared a couple of steamy nights together. But that was a lifetime ago. 
At twenty-seven, Griff is now the accidental patriarch of his family farm. Even his enormous shoulders feel the strain of supporting his mother, three siblings and a dotty grandfather. He doesn’t have time for the sorority girl who’s shown up expecting to buy his harvest at half price.

Vermont was never in Audrey Kidder’s travel plans. Neither was Griff Shipley. But she needs a second chance with the restaurant conglomerate employing her. Okay—a fifth chance. And no self-righteous lumbersexual farmer will stand in her way.

They’re adversaries. They want entirely different things from life. Too bad their sexual chemistry is as hot as Audrey’s top secret enchilada sauce, and then some.

Warning: Contains sexual situations, gourmet yumminess, a steamy outdoor shower and proof that farmers don't mind getting dirty.
Keywords: Vermont, sexy romance, lumbersexuals, not cowboys, hard cider, good times, steamy kisses and homemade ice cream.

Sarina Bowen does it again! She entertained the socks right off of me with her latest release, Bittersweet. Bittersweet is the first book in her new True North series and it features a grumpy farmer that melted me from the very first page.

Griffin Shipley hasn’t seen Audrey Kidder in five years, not since she disappeared after they hooked up a couple of times. He’s not all that wild about seeing her now with her car stuck in his road and a bunch of ridiculous prices on him and his neighbors crops she wants to buy for her big shot bosses back in Boston. The quicker he turns her down and fixes her car, the quicker she’ll be out of his hair again. He’s got enough to worry about to last him a lifetime. He does not need Audrey poking her nose around in his life.

Audrey Kidder needs to find some local Vermont produce at some decent prices if she’s going to save her job. She needs this dumb ass job to keep her in the running for winning the prize of a lifetime, her lifetime anyway, backing to open her own restaurant. She’s paying her dues and even if she’s miserable at this job, she’s going to keep plugging along because more than anything, she wants to run her own restaurant. The one thing standing in her way? A blast from the past farmer, Griffin Shipley.

The romance between Griff and Audrey was too freaking cute. I adored the both of them on their own, but I loved them even more together. I loved the way that Griff mellowed out whenever Audrey was around and I loved the way that Griffin was on Audrey’s side when she needed someone to tell her she wasn’t crazy for wanting the things that she wanted. The more I read this book, the more I fell in love with every single character.

From Griff’s family to Jude and Zack, even Zara and Griff’s cousins, they were all charming additions that fleshed the story out more and more.

I loved Griffin. I think he was my favorite part of the book. The glue to his family. The heart of Audrey’s life. The lifeline that Jude and Zack needed. I adored seeing him try to save each and every single person close to him. I loved seeing him worry about the farm’s finances, fall in love with Audrey and just be an all-around great guy. He was the strong presence his family needed after his father died and he was the shoulder Audrey needed after her life turned itself upside down. There wasn’t a thing about him that I didn’t like and I’m very much looking forward to seeing more of him in the other books in this series.

Audrey was great too. She was the sunshine that Griff needed and the helping hand that Griff’s mother needed. She brought joy to those around her and it was a bummer that it took her Mom so long to realize that. She had a great deal to be proud of and I’m glad that things worked out for her in the end.

This was a wonderfully sweet romance about two people who had a brief history in college who found each other again in the funniest and yet charming way. I can’t say enough good things about this book. If you haven’t already picked this up, do it. Find out why so many readers out there love this book. It’s a damn good story.

Jude, I’m so ready for you. July 12th needs to get here already.

Grade: 4.75 out of 5

four-half-stars

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Review: Appealed by Emma Chase

Posted February 17, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Appealed by Emma ChaseReviewer: Rowena
Appealed by Emma Chase
Series: Legal Briefs #3
Also in this series: Sidebarred
Published by Simon and Schuster
Publication Date: January 19th 2016
Genres: Romance, Contemporary
Pages: 304
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four-half-stars

The New York Times bestselling author of the Tangled books returns with the third standalone romance in the Legal Briefs series, a collection of sexy novels about first crushes, second chances, and the final verdict of the heart.

When Brent Mason looks at Kennedy Randolph, he doesn’t see the awkward, sweet girl who grew up next door. He sees a self-assured, stunning woman…who wants to crush the most intimate—and prized—parts of his anatomy beneath the heels of her Louboutins.

When Kennedy looks at Brent, all she sees is the selfish, Abercrombie & Fitch catalogue–worthy teenager who humiliated her in high school in order to join the popular crowd. A crowd that made those years a living hell for her.

But she’s not a lovesick social outcast anymore—she’s a Washington, DC, prosecutor with a long winning streak. Brent is the opposing attorney in her next case, and Kennedy thinks it’s time to put him through a little hell of his own.

But things aren’t exactly working out the way she planned. Brent has his sights set on Kennedy, and every fiery exchange only makes him want her more—and makes her wonder if he’s as passionate in the bedroom as he is in the courtroom. In the end, they may just find themselves in love…or in contempt of court.

Emma Chase delivered another cute romance with a main couple that rocked my socks. I was coming off the high that was Sustained and didn’t think another book could hold a candle to the awesome-ness that was that book but then we got Brent’s book and he just knocked me on my ass in the most delicious of ways.

Brent Mason is the last lone wolf in the circle of friends that we’ve come to know over the course of this series. He’s feeling the effects of being on his own now that his friends are all paired up and living the domestic life. He doesn’t necessarily want what his friends have but he’s bored…until he comes across a blast from the past.

Her name is Kennedy Randolph. Kennedy used to be his next door neighbor and he grew up with her. He was close friends with her. He was also a little bit in love with her until she broke his teenaged heart after rocking his mother freaking world. He knows that he wasn’t the best friend to Kennedy growing up but he wasn’t prepared for how much hatred she spewed every time they were in the courtroom together. He didn’t understand it but he had never been this excited to be across the courtroom from someone and he wasn’t going to let her slide right back out of his life. Not again.

Kennedy Randolph is back in her hometown, practicing law and winning cases. She’s come a long way from the young woman Brent used to know and she hasn’t forgotten what a shitty friend Brent was. All these years later and she’s just as angry at him now as she was back then and the humiliation she suffered all those years ago is fresh and the rage burns bright every time she sees him. She can’t wait to face off against him and tear his case to shreds. She’s stronger now. She’s more fierce and he’s going to rue the day he thought he could humiliate her and get away with it.

Watching these two battle wits and just flat out fight with each other throughout the book was on one hand funny but on the other hand, there were times I wanted to pull Kennedy’s hair because she acted like a spoiled brat…IN COURT. I got where she was coming from but I felt like there was a time and a place for her to spew her hatred for Brent and in court was not one of them. She gets better over the course of the book but we had a rough beginning, Kennedy and I.

As much as Kennedy got on my nerves in the beginning, it was Brent that I came to the party for. It was Brent that had me from hello. It was Brent that I couldn’t get enough of. He made this entire book. I loved seeing him realize and then try to make right on being such a shitty friend when they were kids. I loved seeing him fall in love with Kennedy and I loved how sure he was that they were going to be together. Even when I didn’t see it, he did and because he did, I wanted that for him. He knew that he had his work cut out for him and seeing him go to the lengths he did to make things right, to give her better memories made me all swoony.

I completely adored Brent Mason and with each passing book, I am more impressed with Emma Chase’s skill at writing from the male POV. Her male POV is so spot on. Often times, I read from a males POV and get the feeling that the author is writing what a woman thinks a man would think and say but I don’t get that with Chase’s books. Her male POV comes across as genuinely male and I really dig it.

This book had humor, a steamy romance and a hero that will knock your socks off. He will rock your world and leave you panting for more. I adored this story and am pretty anxious for more from this author. Kudos on a job well done, Emma Chase.

Grade: 4.75 out of 5

Reading Order:

Overruled
Sustained
Appealed

four-half-stars

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Review: Jock Blocked by Jen Frederick

Posted February 15, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Jock Blocked by Jen FrederickReviewer: Rowena
Jock Blocked by Jen Frederick
Series: Gridiron #2
Published by Self-Published
Publication Date: February 11, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Pages: 300
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five-stars

She’s always played it safe…

College junior Lucy Washington abides by one rule—avoid risk at all costs. She’s cautious in every aspect of her life, from her health, to her mock trial team, to the boring guys she dates. When a brash, gorgeous jock walks into the campus coffeeshop and turns his flirt on, Lucy is stunned by the force of attraction. For the first time ever, she’s willing to step out of her comfort zone, but can she really trust the guy who’s determined to sweep her off her feet?

He’s always played around…

Entering his last year of college eligibility, linebacker Matthew "Matty" Iverson has the team captaincy in his sights. And it’s his for the taking, if he can convince his quarterback Ace Anderson to give up the starting position. Luckily, Matty already has an edge—the hottie he’s lusting over just happens to be Ace’s childhood best friend. Getting Lucy on his side and in his bed? Hell yeah. Matty is more than confident he can have both, but when he falls hard for Lucy, it’s time for a new game plan: convince the woman of his dreams that she’s not sleeping with the enemy.

This is the second book in the Gridiron series and I’ve got to say that Jen Frederick is really coming into her own as a writer. Her writing just keeps getting better and better with each new release and I am one happy camper because of it.

I read this book in one sitting and then because I wasn’t ready to let go of these characters (even though it was almost 3am on a week night), I bought another copy of Sacked because my iPad died and I didn’t have a copy of the book on my phone…and then as if that wasn’t enough, I picked up the Woodlands series back up and have pretty much been glomming all of Jen Frederick’s back list because I can’t get enough of her stuff. All because I loved this book so much.

So Jock Blocked follows Matty Iverson, the linebacker for Western University as he tries to get the girl. He’s having a hard time of it because 1) the risk assessment isn’t in his favor and 2) her best friend has warned her off of him saying he’s bad news (what a hater) so it’s not looking good for Matty. It’s not like that’s going to stop Matty from trying to win her over because what hard-headed athlete would give up?

Not Matty.

Lucy Washington is a stickler for rules and risk. Her life kind of demands that she minimize any and all risks. She has to follow a strict diet because she’s diabetic and she’s not all that wild about getting her heart broken by a big time player, no matter how hot he is. It doesn’t matter if she was interested in Matty Iverson anyway because she’s got a pact with her best friend Ace. Ace is the starting Quarterback for the Western University Warriors and is one of Matty’s teammates. Luce and Ace have a pact that Ace won’t hook up with any of Lucy’s roommates if she doesn’t hook up with any of his teammates. It’s served them well and Lucy doesn’t have any plans to break that pact until Matty turns the charm on extra high.

They both have their own things that they’re battling over the course of the story and I found both of their conflicts interesting and I just gobbled this book right up.

Coach is looking at Matty to be a leader on the team, to be a Captain but in order for Matty to get the captaincy, he has to get their starting Quarterback Ace to switch positions and be a safety. The team is coming off a national championship and the star Quarterback isn’t going to want to give up his position to a incoming freshman but if Matty wants to be Captain, he better make that happen and he better find a way to make sure that everyone is good with that decision.

Talk about rock and a hard place for Matty. He knows that his defense will follow his lead on this but the offense is a different story. This whole thing was interesting to me because it wasn’t easy for Matty, because 1) he is not a fan of Ace and 2) Ace is Lucy’s best friend. He’s in the dog house no matter what he decides to do.

This was such a fun book. The romance was great, the characters were awesome and it just too stinkin’ cute. I really liked the way that Frederick wrote this story. Everything was dealt with but not in a lazy way. Frederick did a great job of pulling emotion after emotion out of me. She kept me on my toes and I connected with each and every single one of her characters…even Ace and he pissed me the freak off. I have every confidence that fans of sports romances will enjoy this book. I did. I laughed, I swooned. I rolled my eyes and when all was said and done, I was completely satisfied. This was a damn good book and I cannot wait for the next book in this series.

Grade: 4.75 out of 5

Reading Order:

Sacked
Jock Blocked

five-stars

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Review: Dukes Prefer Blondes by Loretta Chase

Posted January 14, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Dukes Prefer Blondes by Loretta ChaseReviewer: Rowena
Dukes Prefer Blondes by Loretta Chase
Published by Avon
Publication Date: December 29th 2015
Genres: Romance, Historical
Pages: 384
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
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four-half-stars

Biweekly marriage proposals from men who can't see beyond her (admittedly breathtaking) looks are starting to get on Lady Clara Fairfax's nerves. Desperate to be something more than ornamental, she escapes to her favorite charity. When a child is in trouble, she turns to tall, dark, and annoying barrister Oliver Radford.

Though he's unexpectedly found himself in line to inherit a dukedom, Radford's never been part of fashionable society, and the blonde beauty, though not entirely bereft of brains, isn't part of his plans. But Clara overwhelms even his infallible logic, and when wedlock looms, all he can do is try not to lose his head over her . . .

It's an inconvenient marriage by ordinary standards, but these two are far from ordinary. Can the ton's most adored heiress and London's most difficult bachelor fall victim to their own unruly desires?

I loved the other books in this series so I was really looking forward to this one and I was not disappointed one bit.

Lady Clara is finally getting her happy ending and I couldn’t be more excited for her. I liked seeing her blossom over the course of the series and I thought her book fit her personality well. I laughed a lot while reading this book and it reminded me of how I was when reading Lord of Scoundrels way back in the day.

The humor in this book is really dry but it completely worked for me. I guess because I worked with a lot of really smart guys who had no filter and spoke their minds, no matter how mean or obnoxious they sounded that Raven’s personality won me over. I read a couple of reviews before reading the book and thought that I would have a little trouble getting into the book but that didn’t happen at all.

Lady Clara is swayed into helping a young woman find her younger brother and save him from the gang life (I almost typed out thug life) but being a Lady of aristocratic birth, there’s not much she could do to help so she hires Oliver, one of the best barristers in England to help her. She remembers Oliver from her childhood and he remembers her. Lots of years have passed but their interaction at Lady Clara’s house when they were kids is pretty memorable so their shared history intrigues Oliver into helping Clara find young Toby and save him from the gang life.

The sparks that fly between Oliver and Lady Clara was great. I loved seeing them battle wits, loved seeing them argue over anything and everything under the sun. I loved how Lady Clara kept surprising Oliver at every turn and I loved that Lady Clara didn’t back down or hide her intelligence from Oliver. They really came together and ended up being a really strong unit.

There were some parts in the story that I thought dragged but for the most part, the story itself was entertaining. The romance won me over and while I would have liked more from the recurring characters, I didn’t feel like we missed out much not having the gang in the book more. Loretta Chase wrote a fantastic historical romance with great characters, witty banter and a story line that kept me invested throughout the entire story so I don’t have much to complain about. I definitely recommend this one.

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

Reading Order:

Silk is for Seduction
Scandal Wears Satin
Vixen in Velvet
Dukes Prefer Blondes

four-half-stars

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