Tag: Contemporary

Retro Review: Queen of Babble in the Big City by Meg Cabot.

Posted August 23, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Retro Review: Queen of Babble in the Big City by Meg Cabot.Reviewer: Rowena
Queen of Babble in the Big City (Queen of Babble #2) by Meg Cabot
Series: Queen of Babble #2
Published by Harper Collins
Publication Date: June 26th 2007
Genres: New Adult
Pages: 320
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four-half-stars

Lizzie Nichols is back, pounding the New York City pavement and looking for a job, a place to live, and her proper place in the universe (not necessarily in that order).

When "Summer Fling" Luke uses the L word (Living Together), Lizzie is only too happy to give up her plan of being postgrad roomies with best friend, Shari, in a one-room walk-up in exchange for cohabitation with the love of her life in his mother's Fifth Avenue pied-à-terre, complete with doorman and resident Renoir.

But Lizzie's not as lucky in her employment search. As Shari finds the perfect job, Lizzie struggles through one humiliating interview after another, being judged overqualified for the jobs in her chosen field—vintage-gown rehab—and underqualified for everything else. It's Shari's boyfriend Chaz to the rescue when he recommends Lizzie for a receptionist's position at his father's posh law firm. The nonpaying gig at a local wedding-gown shop Lizzie manages to land all on her own.

But Lizzie's notoriously big mouth begins to get her into trouble at work and at home almost at once—first at the law firm, where she becomes too chummy with Jill Higgins, a New York society bride with a troublesome future mother-in-law, and then back on Fifth Avenue, when she makes the mistake of bringing up the M word (Marriage) with commitment-shy Luke.

Soon Lizzie finds herself jobless as well as homeless all over again. Can Lizzie save herself—and the hapless Jill—and find career security (not to mention a mutually satisfying committed relationship) at last?

****As part of our 10 year anniversary celebration, we’ll be re-posting old reviews that make us cringe, laugh or sigh all over again.****

Rowena: Oh man, this series. I have fond memories of the first time that I read this series. It was at the recommendation of my friend Lexi (a friend that I haven’t spoken to in such a long time) and she was head over heels in love with Luke but me? I was Team Chaz. Hahahaha, I totally won that one because Chaz was awesome and so was this book.

This review was originally posted on March 12, 2008

Alright, this is the second book in the Queen of Babble series and I was not disappointed in the least.

Lizzie is back and she’s living in New York, almost going to really graduate from college and she’s living with her boyfriend from the first book, Luke Di Villiers, the very hot and very rich Luke Di Villiers. She’s jobless but determined to pay her part of the rent (and it doesn’t even matter that they don’t have to pay rent because it’s Luke’s Mom’s apartment.) She wants to work in the dress refurbishing business but she can’t get hired to save her life but then she does get a job at Monsieur Henri’s shop but she’s not getting paid to work there so she needs to find a paying job so that she can keep this non paying job that she really really wants.

And in true Lizzie fashion, she makes things happen.

Her and Luke are getting along and she’s loving her life..only not everyone in their life feels the same way. Chaz and Shari (Luke’s best friend and Lizzie’s best friend) are fighting all the time and on the verge of breaking up and then they do break up and things get crazy after all of that. I can’t say why everything gets crazy because you have to read for yourself but I will say that Meg Cabot delivers another winner for me to read through because I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

I loved the storyline, I loved seeing what happened to Luke and Lizzie after they left France, I loved seeing Lizzie make things happen for herself in the Big Apple and I loved seeing my new crush…Chaz.

My friend Lexi is madly in love with Luke Di Villiers and I love him too but I won’t fight her for him because my heart belongs to Charles Pendergrast who cleans up nicely in a monkey suit. Chaz has such a big heart and he’s got so much love to give that he just gives and gives and gives. He’s the perfect boyfriend and I want to see him with the lead in his own series, so Meg Cabot if by chance you’re reading this review, please make that happen…please let Chaz find his happy ending with …a brunette from the islands named Rowena, she’s got a sparkling personality and a love of reading and I’ll read and discuss any hot damn thing Chaz would like to discuss because I heart him…for real. =)

This book was well-written, at the end of the book, loose ends were tied and everything ended really neatly…well if you don’t count the way the book ends, but that just leaves questions for the next and sigh final book to answer.

I can’t wait to see what happens with Chaz, with Luke and Lizzie and with just about every hot damn body….this book was really good and I can’t wait to read the next one!

Must read next book NOW!

four-half-stars


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Guest Review: So Bad It Must Be Good by Nicole Helm

Posted August 17, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: So Bad It Must Be Good by Nicole HelmReviewer: Tracy
So Bad It Must Be Good by Nicole Helm
Published by Kensington Publishing Corp., Lyrical Press
Publication Date: August 22nd 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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three-half-stars

Wrong guy. Wrong situation. Might be right.

Free of her overbearing family and their dreams, not hers, Kayla Gallagher is living for herself instead of for her clan's successful restaurant. Step One: finally make her move on Aiden Patrick, the bad-boy son of Gallagher's long-time repairman. Too bad Aidan’s taciturn older brother shows up instead . . .

As the “responsible Patrick,” Liam has always made a conscious choice to do the right thing. He likes fixing things for people—whether it be a broken appliance or a bad situation. Which means he can’t just brush off the quiet Gallagher. Clearly, she needs a shoulder to lean on. But suddenly a shoulder becomes so much more, and Kayla isn’t the quiet little girl she used to be. She’s a vivid, down-for-anything woman showing Liam several sizzling ways to put passion first . . .

As things heat up between them, Liam’s family threatens to come apart for good. The only way Liam can set things right means giving up Kayla. But she’s not about to take no for an answer—or let their chance for something sweeter than desire crash-and burn without a fight.

Kayla has always worked for her family but she decided she’d been treated badly one too many times and quit.  Unfortunately she’d not really done anything since then.  She sees her old crush Aiden Patrick one day and he’s excited to see her.  Aiden asks Kayla out but when it comes time for the date Aiden isn’t around – is supposedly dealing with something – and asks his stoic brother, Liam, to go tell Kayla that he can’t make it.

Liam heads to the bar and ends up talking to Kayla (who’s pissed about Aiden) and even though they don’t touch each other that night they eventually start a relationship.  They’re so good together but Aiden is pissed at his brother for taking “his girl” and complains to mommy – who asks Liam to give Kayla up to keep the peace in the family.  Liam has to decide if he will go with his family’s wishes or stay with the woman he loves.

This was a pretty cute book.  It seemed to be a pretty fast read as Liam and Kayla get together and things move along at a pretty fast clip.  I liked Liam and Kayla together so reading their romance was a treat.

I hated the way that Liam’s family treated him – mostly his mother and brother.  Kayla hated it too and it was really the only thing they got into arguments about.  When Liam’s mom asks Liam to give her up because of Aiden, I was madder than a hornet! What mother does that?  Ugh!

Anyway, the romance was cute and I liked the characters in the story.  It was a pleasant read and I definitely liked it better than book one in this series.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars


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Guest Review: Don’t Call Me Sweetheart by Codi Gary

Posted August 10, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 3 Comments

Guest Review: Don’t Call Me Sweetheart by Codi GaryReviewer: Tracy
Don't Call Me Sweetheart by Codi Gary
Series: Something Borrowed #1
Published by Kensington Shine
Publication Date: August 15th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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three-half-stars

Weddings are big business in picturesque Sweetheart, California, and Something Borrowed’s rent-a-bridesmaid service is thriving among the Hollywood elite. For the women who work there, a walk down the aisle is just a paycheck—until the right guy makes it priceless . . .

RULE #1: GROOMSMEN ARE STRICTLY OFF LIMITS

Marley Stevenson never imagined her stint as a rented Maid of Honor would practically become a career. Then again, nothing in her life has gone according to plan. At least the money’s good—and she needs it to pay off student loans and help out her mom. But the job has rules, which have never been an issue . . . until one encounter with a gorgeous best man—and his swoon-worthy Southern accent—sends Marley reeling.

Determined to get through the weekend with her professional reputation intact, Marley grits her teeth and sends out her best “unavailable” vibes, but Luke Jessup doesn’t give up that easy. A former Marine and a current SWAT team officer, his focus is legendary—and it’s on Marley. Jeopardizing her job is bad enough, and starting a relationship based on half-truths is worse—yet Marley is beginning to wonder if certain risks are worth taking, especially in the name of true love . . .

Marley works at Something Borrowed – a rent-a-bridesmaid service.  She’s doing well and while she doesn’t love her work it pays the bills and lets her save money so that she can fulfill her dream of moving to New York and working for a large publishing house.

Marley meets Luke while he’s in town for his best friend’s wedding and she’s instantly attracted – until she finds out that he’s a groomsman in a wedding that she’s a hired bridesmaid.  Members of the bridal parties are strictly off-limits to employees of Something Borrowed. Marley can’t tell Luke the truth and the she has to act like the bridezilla is a friend of hers when all she wants to do is smack her. Marley does her best to steer clear of Luke but she ends up giving in.  She knows she might lose her job but she thinks she’s in love with him.  Of course she can’t be with him as he lives in LA and she’s moving to New York.

This was a cute story.  Gary does a great job at small town romance and this one hit that mark to a T.  I love small towns so I always wonder what’s so horrible in them that the characters always want to move away.  I guess if you grow up in one it becomes mundane.  Luckily Marley finally saw her town of Sweetheart for the wonderful place it was – it just took her a little while.

The romance in the book was a cute one.  It seemed to happen pretty quickly but it was hot and sexy.  There was a tragedy in this story – no one got hurt – that Marley blames herself for but that all gets worked out.  I liked the story and thought it was a good, entertaining read.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars


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Guest Review: Kissing Max Holden by Katy Upperman

Posted August 3, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Kissing Max Holden by Katy UppermanReviewer: Tracy
Kissing Max Holden by Katy Upperman
Published by Swoon Reads
Publication Date: August 1st 2017
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 304
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three-half-stars

Kissing Max Holden was a terrible idea...

After his father has a life-altering stroke, Max Holden isn't himself. As his long-time friend, Jillian Eldridge only wants to help him, but she doesn't know how. When Max climbs through her window one night, Jill knows that she shouldn't let him kiss her. But she can't resist, and when they're caught in the act by her dad, Jill swears it'll never happen again. Because kissing Max Holden is a terrible idea.

With a new baby sibling on the way, her parents fighting all the time, and her dream of culinary school up in the air, Jill starts spending more and more time with Max. And even though her father disapproves and Max still has a girlfriend, not kissing Max is easier said than done. Will Jill follow her heart and allow their friendship to blossom into something more, or will she listen to her head and stop kissing Max Holden once and for all?

Jillian and Max pretty much grew up together.  They were great friends until they got older and then grew apart.  Max was currently dating a horrible girl that treated him badly but yet he stayed with her.  Max is having family problems as his once vibrant father had a stroke and his whole world is in upheaval.  On Halloween night he knocks on Jillian’s window as he used to do and they talk.  Max is drunk (yes, he’s only 17) and then he ends up kissing her. She’s shocked but into it until her father finds them and is livid.  He kicks Max out and tells Jillian to stay away from Max as he’s no good.

Jillian’s not sure how to feel about Max.  She knows he has a girlfriend and she shouldn’t have feelings for him but she does.  Max comes clean to his girlfriend about the kiss and the girlfriend, Becky, actually treats Jillian worse than before, which she didn’t think was possible.  Jillian’s life at school and with Max is frustrating as she’s not sure how Max feels and all of the mixed signals he’s throwing her way.

As if the situation with Max wasn’t confusing enough her father and step-mother Meredith, who are expecting a child, are fighting constantly.  Her father is always gone at work and when he’s home he works on his computer or fights with Meredith.  Jillian finds out that her college money was spent and while she wants to hate the “leech-baby” as she calls it, she just can’t.  Jillian ends up being there for her step-mom when her father can’t be found and this creates a bond between the two that hadn’t been there before. Jill also ends up loving her little sister to death and that made me smile.  Oh, the power of an infant. 🙂  Meredith also understands about Max and feels that Jill should be with him if that’s what she wants.

This was a cute and sweet story about teenage angst.  To Max and Jillian trying to figure out the ins and outs of their relationship were major issues – and they were to the average teenager.  They were frustrating and unclear and while they were working them out it set them both into turmoil. I really liked how Jill was there for Max when he needed her.  She made him understand that his father having a stroke wasn’t his fault and that drinking himself into oblivion all the time wasn’t the answer.  Max truly had a good head on his shoulders, his emotions overwhelmed him regularly and that’s what sent him into his tailspins.

The issue with Jillian’s dad was, to me at least, quite obvious.  I was sad for Meredith as she was such an innocent in the whole situation.  I didn’t like that man at all and it was hard to see what Mer ever saw in him.  With the book being from Jillian’s POV only it was hard to look at it from other angles.

The POV was frustrating at times in this book.  When the book first starts and Max is knocking on Jill’s window it’s so out of character and something that he hasn’t done in a long while.  We never find out what he’s thinking or why he decided to knock at that time.  I wanted so badly to get into Max’s head, but alas it never happened.  Despite that I thought the author did a decent job of telling Max and Jill’s story and enjoyed the book overall.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 

three-half-stars


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Guest Review: Eye Candy by Jessica Lemmon

Posted August 2, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Eye Candy by Jessica LemmonReviewer: Tracy
Eye Candy (Real Love, #1) by Jessica Lemmon
Series: Real Love #1
Also in this series: Eye Candy
Published by Loveswept
Publication Date: July 25th 2017
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three-stars

Jacqueline: As an adult woman--and the vice president of a marketing firm--I shouldn't be waiting by my office window to ogle the mystery man who jogs by every morning at 11:45. Sure, he's a gorgeous, perfect specimen of the human race, but I can't bring myself to hit on a total stranger. However, my best friend-slash-colleague Vince Carson thinks I should do more than talk to the guy. In fact, he's borderline obsessive about "getting me laid." (His words.) But the more time we spend together, the more it's clear: The one I'm falling for is Vince.

Vince: Jackie Butler's got it bad for some pompous, over-pumped A-hole who struts his stuff past her window. That doesn't bother me. I know she deserves nice things. What does bother me is that she friend-zoned me big-time last year, so I can't ask her out myself. But what if I set her up with Mr. Steroids? Then, when he breaks her heart, I can swoop in and save her like the nice guy I am. Everything's going according to plan . . . until we share a ridiculously epic kiss. And suddenly anything is possible.

Jacqueline and Vince are best friends and co-workers.  Every day at a specific time Jackie stares out her window to ogle a runner who she thinks is hotter than hot.  Vince is jealous because even though he and Jackie are friends he wants to be more.  Despite his feelings he encourages Jackie to date runner guy because he thinks that she’ll see what a dolt the guy is and then he’ll have his opening.  Things don’t exactly work out that way.

Jackie is excited about dating the runner guy but she’s kind of having fantasies about her friend Vince and she’s not sure how he feels about that.  She’s getting mixed signals as he’s telling her what she should do with runner guy.  It’s all very confusing.  Soon Jackie is acting like a teenager and with Vince and she’s not sure how he feels about her.

This was a cute and sometimes funny book.  I like friends-to-lovers stories and I had some pretty high hopes with this one as I know what a great writer that Lemmon is.  Unfortunately this one just wasn’t what I was expecting.

Friends who become lovers – that’s a difficult and sometimes rocky road to take and that’s when the H/h are being honest with each other about their feelings.  That wasn’t the case here. Vince thought that if Jackie dated she would see that the dating world sucked and then he’d have his chance.  Jackie dated runner guy and eventually did see what an ass he was but since Vince was being so wishy washy it was hard for her to tell.  Then when Jackie did something completely childish, even though it was done in the heat of the moment, Vince gets extremely mad and stops talking to her.  I was completely floored at his actions and wanted to hit the man, quite frankly.  Between the hiding of their feelings and the huge miscommunication I found myself rolling my eyes instead of understanding what they were going through.  I wish I could say better things about this one but it just didn’t do it for me.

Rating: 2.5/3 out of 5

three-stars


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