Tag: 5 Reviews

Review: Huge Deal by Lauren Layne

Posted February 20, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 9 Comments

Review: Huge Deal by Lauren LayneReviewer: Rowena
Huge Deal (21 Wall Street, #3) by Lauren Layne
Series: 21 Wall Street #3
Also in this series: Hot Asset (21 Wall Street, #1), Hard Sell (21 Wall Street, #2)
Publisher: Amazon Publishing, Montlake Romance
Publication Date: February 12, 2019
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third Person
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 259
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
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five-stars
Series Rating: five-stars

Even for a top-gun banker, temptation this hot is quite a gamble, in a sexy Wall Street romp from New York Times bestselling author Lauren Layne.

An alpha among the wolves of Wall Street, Kennedy Dawson rose to the top of the pack by striking the right contracts at the right times. But there’s one deal that’s been giving him a run for his money—a pact to never again let his assistant, Kate, get under his skin. She may be smart, gorgeous, and sharp as a whip, but she’s definitely off-limits.

Kate Henley isn’t a banker, but she knows a thing or two about risk management—specifically, about managing her attraction to her smolderingly sexy boss. She already fell once, and Kennedy showed no sign of paying a return on her investment. So when Kennedy’s brother starts pursuing her, Kate figures she has the best of both worlds. Jack is charming, rich, very attentive, and the spitting image of his older brother.

It’s also making Kennedy think twice. But to win Kate’s heart, he’ll have to broker the deal of a lifetime…and prove he’s worth the risk.

Huge Deal is the third book in Lauren Layne’s 21 Wall Street series and it is legit, my most anticipated release of the year. I have wanted Kennedy and Kate’s story since they were first introduced in Hot Asset. I pre-ordered this the minute I found out that it was up for pre-order and I read it in one sitting the night that it was delivered to my kindle. You guys will have to excuse me because I can’t help myself. I fangirl over everything that I read by Lauren Layne. Are we friends? Nope. Do I get paid to scream from the rooftops over my love of all things Lauren Layne? Nope. Do I hype myself up for all of her new releases? You betcha. Did she deliver a romance worthy of the hype that I gave this book in my head?

I am a sucker for the unrequited trope and Lauren Layne did such a fantastic job of showcasing that same trope for both Kennedy and Kate. We saw Kate’s feelings for Kennedy over the course of this series but in this book, we saw the tables turn and saw Kennedy waking up and catching on to what everyone already knew…that Kate was his lobster.

I think what I was most looking forward to in this book was seeing the usually staid and reserved Kennedy finally lose his cool over a woman, but not just any woman. No, I was looking forward to him losing his cool over the woman. Over Kate. The Kennedy that we know and love is low key a fuddy-duddy who is not exactly a prude but low key maybe is a prude? That probably doesn’t make sense to people who haven’t read this series but trust me, that’s Kennedy’s charm. From the jump, you can tell that Kate has a different relationship with one of her bosses. She’s got three but there’s only one that rubs her the wrong way. There’s only one that brings out the snarky personality in her…and for two books, I wanted to know the full background that explained the combative nature of Kate’s relationship with Kennedy.

Oh man, the waiting damn near killed me but boy did I eat up every single word of this book. I was here for all of the drama, all of the passion and I was definitely here for the explosion. Holy cow, Jealous Kennedy was a sight to behold. I freaking loved seeing Kennedy so jealous and not even realize that he’s jealous. I loved seeing him twisted up in knots over Kate being with anyone not him. I was over the moon when he finds Kate at his parent’s anniversary party on the boat. I had the biggest smile when Kate finally yells at him about the word she’d use to describe him. My feelings and my emotions were wrapped up from beginning to end and I thought Lauren Layne delivered a damn near perfect romance for two of my favorite characters of hers. She never fails to write the kind of romances that I need right now and that I read in one sitting. Is this book perfect? Probably not to everyone but it was damned perfect for me. Kate and Kennedy forever!

Grade: 5 out of 5

21 Wall Street

five-stars


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Joint Review: Dead Heat by Patricia Briggs

Posted December 6, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Joint Review: Dead Heat by Patricia BriggsReviewer: Holly & Rowena
Dead Heat by Patricia Briggs
Series: Alpha & Omega #4
Also in this series: Burn Bright, Burn Bright, Alpha & Omega, Cry Wolf, Burn Bright, Hunting Ground, Fair Game
Publisher: Ace
Publication Date: March 3, 2015
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 324
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four-half-stars

For once, mated werewolves Charles and Anna are not traveling because of Charles’s role as his father’s enforcer. This time, their trip to Arizona is purely personal--or at least it starts out that way...Charles and Anna soon discover that a dangerous Fae being is on the loose, replacing human children with simulacrums. The Fae’s cold war with humanity is about to heat up—and Charles and Anna are in the cross fire.

Holly: Last year I forced Rowena to read the Alpha and Omega series by Patricia Briggs because I love Charles and Anna and I knew she would, too. She read books 1-3, but stalled out before reading book 4, Dead Heat. I’ve been telling her all year she needs to read it and I was finally able to convince her.

I know a lot of people didn’t care for this book, but I loved it. It moved kind of slow in the middle, but I absolutely adored the way Charles and Anna worked together. What did you think?

Rowena: People thought this book moved slowly? I didn’t think that at any time during my reading of this book. I loved it all. Charles and Anna working together should have been boring with Anna doing whatever Charles needed without him telling her to do it. Charles being overly protective of Anna at every turn but holy cow, their dynamic together is anything but boring or slow, at least for me. I’m not going to get into how hot I thought it was that Charles would drop anything at the drop of a hat if he felt Anna needed him.

Holly: I heard a lot of complaints about this book when it was first released, but like you, I loved it. I especially loved the way Charles and Anna take care of each other. I was glad to see Anna dealing with some of her trauma here. I feel like she’s overcome a lot since she first mated with Charles, but as with all true abuse victims, there are going to be moments for her. This book really highlighted those, yet still showed her inner strength.

Rowena: On top of loving how great Charles and Anna worked together, I really enjoyed the overall story going on. The reunion between Charles and his second family, with Joe and Joe’s family. I loved seeing that Charles had people who loved and cared about him that weren’t Anna and Bran and Sam. I loved seeing Charles deal with past hurts and face what’s become of his human best friend. Joe is a lot older now and when Joe’s family is put in danger, I was so glad that Charles and Anna were on hand to find out what was going on and protect everyone. It’s what they’re good at. It’s what Charles is good at.

I also really liked how Hosteen reacted to Anna’s magic. LMAO! Served him right!

Holly: Oh man, I about died when Hosteen got drunk on Anna’s magic. Served him right indeed.

I also really loved the story featuring Chelsea, Hosteen’s daughter-in-law. Her fierceness as a mother and the way she did everything she could to keep her kids safe really got me in the feels.

Rowena: Yeah, Chelsea was awesome. I loved how fiercely protective she was over her kids. How she had the frame of mind to protect them from what was going on with her and man, that brings me back to more Anna love because I really loved the way that Anna handled watching over Chelsea’s kids. She was honest and forthcoming with whatever she could with Max and I appreciated that she didn’t try to hide what was going on because he had to deal with it and she was there to help him figure things out until his parents returned and took over the reins. With everything going on, Anna just kept right on rolling with the punches.

I thought that Patricia Briggs wrote another fabulously suspenseful novel with characters that I have come to love so much and introduced some other characters that warmed me right up. I cried in the end when the spirits boosted Joe up so that he can protect his grand-daughter until Charles got there to take over. I really love all of the faith everyone had in Charle’s abilities. I mean, I have the same faith but it was just so nice.

I give this book a 5 out of 5. You?

Holly: I agree. This was a wonderful novel, full of suspense and strong characters I came to love. I was sad to see it end. 4.5 out of 5

Holly: 4.5 out of 5
Rowena: 5 out of 5

Alpha & Omega

four-half-stars


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Review: Josh & Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren

Posted September 17, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: Josh & Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina LaurenReviewer: Rowena
Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: September 4, 2018
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 320
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five-stars

Hazel Camille Bradford knows she’s a lot to take—and frankly, most men aren’t up to the challenge. If her army of pets and thrill for the absurd don’t send them running, her lack of filter means she’ll say exactly the wrong thing in a delicate moment. Their loss. She’s a good soul in search of honest fun.

Josh Im has known Hazel since college, where her zany playfulness proved completely incompatible with his mellow restraint. From the first night they met—when she gracelessly threw up on his shoes—to when she sent him an unintelligible email while in a post-surgical haze, Josh has always thought of Hazel more as a spectacle than a peer. But now, ten years later, after a cheating girlfriend has turned his life upside down, going out with Hazel is a breath of fresh air.

Not that Josh and Hazel date. At least, not each other. Because setting each other up on progressively terrible double blind dates means there’s nothing between them...right?

I haven’t read very many books by Christina Lauren but the books that I did read, I enjoyed. I didn’t love them but they were solid contemporary romances that brought the goods. The time has come where they wrote a book that I absolutely adored.

Josh and Hazel went to college together and while they weren’t friends there, they were in each other’s orbits because Hazel was a hurricane of a young girl and Josh was a TA for one of Hazel’s classes. They’re complete opposites and even though Hazel has always a bit of a crush on Josh, she knows it’s not going to happen because she won’t ever change who she is for anyone, she settles for being Josh’s friend. They don’t become friends until after they run into each other 7 years after college but friends they become.

Josh is reserved and he’s careful and when he finds out that his long-distance girlfriend is cheating on him, he becomes single and his sister puts Hazel into his path to make sure that he has fun. He needs to have more fun in his life and there is nobody more fun than Hazel Bradford.

Hazel is a third-grade teacher who loves life. She’s eccentric, she’s bold, she’s loud and she knows that she’s a lot to take on so she’s not at all surprised that she’s single. She respects that she’s a lot to handle and doesn’t let that stop her from being her. She’s not for everybody and deep down, she hopes to find her person. Her person will be someone who accepts and loves her the way that she is. She sees the good in people and she doesn’t waste a lot of energy on negative shit so she’s just a ray of sunshine.

When Josh and Hazel become friends, we see their relationship form. For Josh, Hazel goes from being the loud and inappropriate young woman to the caring, will do anything for him best friend that he appreciates more and more with each passing day. She’s a lot of things, but she’s also one of the very best people that he knows. In an effort to help him move on from his cheating ex, Hazel starts setting him up on blind dates that Josh drags her along on with a blind date of her own. They choose dates for each other and then they go on these dates together and each date cracked me up.

I read this book in one sitting and throughout most of the book, I was laughing. I had a clear picture of both Josh and Hazel in my head (Jung from Kims Convenience for Josh and Jessica Day from New Girl for Hazel) so I could see each scene play out perfectly. Christina Lauren wrote a fabulous romantic comedy with a friendship that I was jealous of and a love that charmed the socks right off of me. Josh and Hazel made no sense and yet they were perfect for each other. I loved that Hazel could bring Josh out of his funk and I adored that Josh accepted and loved Hazel as she was. Their romance completely worked for me and I definitely recommend this book. This book isn’t being as well received by other readers but for me? I loved it all.

Grade: 5 out of 5

five-stars


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Review: The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

Posted June 27, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 9 Comments

Review: The Kiss Quotient by Helen HoangReviewer: Rowena
The Kiss Quotient (The Kiss Quotient, #1) by Helen Hoang
Series: The Kiss Quotient #1
Also in this series: The Bride Test
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: June 5, 2018
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 336
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five-stars
Series Rating: five-stars

A heartwarming and refreshing debut novel that proves one thing: there's not enough data in the world to predict what will make your heart tick.

Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases--a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.

It doesn't help that Stella has Asperger's and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice--with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can't afford to turn down Stella's offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan--from foreplay to more-than-missionary position...

Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but to crave all the other things he's making her feel. Soon, their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic...

The Kiss Quotient kicks off newcomer Helen Hoang’s The Kiss Quotient series and it features a high functioning autistic heroine and the male escort that falls madly in love with her.

The book starts off with our heroine, Stella Lane, having dinner with her parents and her Mom mentioning the fact that she would like grandchildren soon so that has Stella thinking. When a colleague at work brings up her lack of successful dating, Stella figures she needs to hire someone to teach her how to be good at having sex. Stella has Asperger’s and that makes things hard for her because her mind won’t turn off and she says the wrong thing and her partner always gets turned off and so she’s learned some things to get through sex but she doesn’t ever enjoy it herself. She needs professional help and that is when we meet my boo thang, Michael Phan.

Michael Phan is a dead ringer for Daniel Henney, much to his chagrin but it’s helped him in his undercover gig as a male escort so he can’t complain too much. He’s got his reasons for the way that his life turned out and while he doesn’t have regrets, he sometimes has them. He holds himself to a set of rules, a code of ethics, if you will that keeps his professional and his personal life separate. All of those rules seem to have gone right out the window with his latest client, Stella Lane because he’s breaking rules left and right.

Stella hires Michael to help her be more comfortable with sex…only, their first night together, they don’t get past second base so plans change and before either of them know what’s what, Michael and Stella are teaching each other all about love and intimacy. Stella can’t help her personality any more than Michael can help his financial situation. The more time that they spend together, the more they have to fight from falling in love with each other. Stella doesn’t think anyone would love her and all of her quirks while Michael feels the shame of his secret life-threatening to overwhelm the ever living shit out of him.

I loved the heck out of this story. I loved Stella. I loved Michael. I loved both of their families and I seriously could not get enough. I know that I love a story when I keep texting Holly in between scenes, explaining to her in detail why I’m loving the book so much. I texted Holly a lot while reading this book.

I loved Hoang’s writing style. I thought that the way she wrote Stella’s character, her struggles with being autistic and just the way that her personality was, it felt authentic and it was written in a way that I completely got what Stella was going through, what she was thinking and I just got it. I really, really loved Stella and how her moral compass was planted firmly in what she thought was right. I loved seeing her love Michael and I loved whenever she changed the plan because when she secretly changed the plan to seduce Michael, my heart sighed ever so happily. She was just a freaking great heroine that I loved oh so much.

Stella made the book fantastic but the addition of Michael Phan? OMG. I completely adored him. His devotion to his family, to his cousins, to his Mom’s business and just everything. The wealth of love coming from this man had me from the jump. I loved seeing him fall in love with Stella. From his confusion over what was happening to his crush and then to him realizing he was in love with her? OMG, so stinkin’ good.

For me, this book was a complete romance. I enjoyed every single minute of this book and I’m super anxious for the next book to come out. Helen Hoang did so well with this book and seriously, if you’ve been on the fence about reading this book, don’t be. You have no reason to fear you won’t enjoy this book. I have every confidence that you’ll love it.

Grade: 5 out of 5

The Kiss Quotient

five-stars


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Review: Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews

Posted March 26, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 10 Comments

Review: Burn for Me by Ilona AndrewsReviewer: Rowena
Burn for Me (Hidden Legacy, #1) by Ilona Andrews
Series: Hidden Legacy #1
Also in this series: Burn for Me (Hidden Legacy, #1), Wildfire, White Hot, White Hot (Hidden Legacy, #2), White Hot (Hidden Legacy, #2), Wildfire (Hidden Legacy, #3), Burn for Me (Hidden Legacy, #1), Wildfire (Hidden Legacy, #3), Diamond Fire (Hidden Legacy, #3.5)
Publisher: Harper Collins, Avon
Publication Date: October 28th 2014
Point-of-View: First Person
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 400
Add It: Goodreads
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five-stars
Series Rating: five-stars

#1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews launches a brand new Hidden Legacy series, in which one woman must place her trust in a seductive, dangerous man who sets off an even more dangerous desire…

Nevada Baylor is faced with the most challenging case of her detective career—a suicide mission to bring in a suspect in a volatile case. Nevada isn’t sure she has the chops. Her quarry is a Prime, the highest rank of magic user, who can set anyone and anything on fire.

Then she’s kidnapped by Connor “Mad” Rogan—a darkly tempting billionaire with equally devastating powers. Torn between wanting to run or surrender to their overwhelming attraction, Nevada must join forces with Rogan to stay alive.

Rogan’s after the same target, so he needs Nevada. But she’s getting under his skin, making him care about someone other than himself for a change. And, as Rogan has learned, love can be as perilous as death, especially in the magic world.

Burn for Me is the first book in Ilona Andrews Hidden Legacy series and it follows Nevada Baylor as she navigates the magical world that she’s thrown into but not really a part of.

Nevada Baylor is a private investigator who took over the reins of her family PI firm after her father died. She lives in a magical Houston, TX where the more magic you have, the more powerful your House is. She likes to keep her head down and do her job, because it’s hard work trying to stay afloat if you’re not a part of a House and don’t have any real magic. All of that changes when Nevada is forced to take on a case that she can’t possibly survive and being backed into a corner by the people that own her mortgage isn’t all that great either so Nevada has no choice but to take on a suicide mission and see where it takes her.

Adam Pierce is a bad guy who embraces being bad. When his family hires Nevada’s firm to find him and bring him home, Nevada is thrown into the mix of some pretty bad business and when Mad Rogan, a powerful Prime from one of the biggest Houses in Houston, kidnaps her for information, her life is thrown into a freaking mixer. Trying to stay alive becomes Nevada’s first priority because she has to take care of her family.

Burn for Me was a damn good book. I loved every minute of it. I loved getting to know Nevada and her family (every single member of her family) and then I loved getting to know Mad Rogan. Mad Rogan was everything. He flat out rocked my world. This entire book was so exciting and fun and I laughed so much throughout the entire reading. I also texted Holly a lot. It was just great. I loved when Rogan shows up with a bouquet of red carnations. I loved when he called Augustine Pancakes. I especially loved when he says, “Let’s dance” to Adam at the end. For most of the book, this is what I looked like whenever Mad Rogan was on the scene.

I have loved pretty much every single book that I’ve read by Ilona Andrews but I think I loved this one the most. Mad Rogan and Nevada’s relationship is going to be so much fun reading about and I am so here for it. I’m really interested in seeing Nevada learn more about herself and her magic (because you know she’s got some hidden magic up her sleeve) and I’m also really looking forward to seeing more from her family. Catalina, Arabella and even Bern and Leon.

This book was the bomb and I couldn’t start the next book fast enough. Thank goodness, I didn’t have to wait three years for the next book. How did anyone survive that wait? Sheesh, do I recommend this book? Hells year, bro. Read it, love it and jump on the next one as fast as you can. You won’t regret it.

Hidden Legacy

Grade: 5 out of 5

five-stars


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