Tag: Harper Collins

Review: Regrets Only by Erin Duffy

Posted May 23, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Regrets Only by Erin DuffyReviewer: Rowena
Regrets Only by Erin Duffy
Published by William Morrow Paperbacks
Publication Date: May 8, 2018
Point-of-View: First Person
Genres: Women's Fiction
Pages: 416
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
three-half-stars

From the author of Bond Girl and Lost Along the Way, comes a fiercely funny, insightful story of marriage, family, and the crooked path to figuring out who we really are.

Claire thought she had everything a woman was supposed to want—a loving husband, a newborn son, a beautiful home in the suburbs. Then she walks in on her husband canoodling with their realtor in their newly renovated kitchen, and in an instant, her perfect life comes crashing down.  

With her marriage heading for divorce, Claire knows it’s time to stop feeling sorry for herself. But how can she move on when she’s still stuck in the orbit of her husband’s world? For starters, she can get rid of her soon-to-be ex’s possessions—including his prized, gigantic foosball table—by dumping them onto the curb…until complaints from the neighbors get the police involved. Now Claire is busy dodging the mean mommies at story hour and hiding from her ex-husband’s girlfriend in the grocery store. But as Claire soon learns, suburbia still has a few surprises in store for her—surprises that will make her question her choices from the past, send her down an unexpected road to self-discovery, and maybe even lead to new love.

Desperate for a positive outlet to channel her frustrations, she turns to girlfriends Lissy and Antonia for help. Together they join forces to rebrand Lissy’s local stationery store and turn it into a thriving business. But as Claire soon learns, suburbia still has a few surprises in store for her—surprises that will make her question her choices from the past, send her down an unexpected road to self-discovery, and maybe even new love.

Featuring a second coming-of-age story, Regrets Only deftly explores the subtle nuances of marriage, family, friendship, and what it means to be a woman today while delighting readers as its unforgettable heroine acts on impulses we’ve all been guilty of having.

I found myself wanting to read something outside of the straight-up romance genre while browsing Edelweiss a few months ago and this book caught my eye. A second chance at life for a woman who walks in on her husband having an affair with an old high school girlfriend. This woman is pretty much all alone at first. She moved from her hometown to her husband’s hometown, they start a family and she leaves her job to be a stay at home Mom and then she forgets her wallet as she’s driving to the hotel her husband booked for her, to get a break from their little family. She was to relax and shop and go to the spa and it all sounded heavenly until she forgets her wallet and walks in on her husband and their realtor.

All at once, her world has exploded and she can’t even go home because their life is in Connecticut and she can’t take her son with her home to Chicago. So she’s stuck. She’s stuck in a town where her husband has a support group but she doesn’t. She’s stuck in a house that is a constant reminder of everything she no longer has with her husband and that same house is a constant reminder of the day that her life fell apart.

Claire really goes through the wringer in this book and I completely understood where she was coming from but in the beginning, it was hard to read her lashing out at her husband in the most childish of ways. The beginning and the middle of this book took a lot out of me because I spent so much of that part of the book, annoyed that Claire kept doing stupid things. I guess I wanted her to be above such stupid things and she wasn’t.

I didn’t completely hate her though. I understood why she did what she did and she does eventually grow as a person and I really bought her growth over the course of the book. It felt real and complete and I was glad that she was eventually able to move on. She really does come full circle and I was glad. This book was hard to get through at times and that kind of figured itself into my rating of this book. I was glad to finish it but I didn’t absolutely love the book as a whole. It had great moments but it lacked the depth that I was hoping for. Still, Clair was an engaging heroine and I was happy for her when all was said and done.

Grade: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars


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Sunday Spotlight: Pretending He’s Mine by Mia Sosa

Posted April 22, 2018 by Rowena in Features, Giveaways | 2 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Sunday Spotlight

Pretending He’s Mine by Mia Sosa is the second book in the Love on Cue series and we’ve been hearing such great things about both the author and this series. We’re pretty excited to share an excerpt from the book for you lovely readers so please enjoy!

Sunday Spotlight: Pretending He’s Mine by Mia SosaPretending He's Mine (Love on Cue, #2) by Mia Sosa
Series: Love on Cue #2
Published by Harper Collins, Avon Impulse
Publication Date: April 10, 2018
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 384
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads

Mia Sosa returns with another fun, flirty romance in her critically-acclaimed Love on Cue series!

For Hollywood agent Julian Hart, representing his best friend—megastar Carter Williamson—means it’s nearly impossible to keep his personal life and career separate. To make matters worse, Carter’s younger sister has been starring in Julian’s wildest fantasies more often than he’d care to admit. He knows she’s off-limits, but when Ashley shows up on his doorstep, needing a place to crash… suddenly his greatest temptation is sleeping down the hall.

Free-spirited Ashley Williamson doesn’t do commitment. Jobs, apartments, men… why let herself be tied down? But she’s had a crush on her older brother’s best friend for years and she’s committed to making Julian want her, one towel-clad midnight encounter at a time. But just as things start heating up, their steamy flirtation is interrupted by Carter’s east coast wedding. Ashley has no desire to go home and face her reputation as the family disappointment. But living with—dare she say dating?—a successful, sexy film agent could give them something else to talk about.

Julian can’t believe he agreed to fake a relationship with the one woman he can never have. And it’s going to take more than a little willpower to remember it's all pretend. Or is it? 

Order the Book:

AMAZON || BARNES AND NOBLE || GOOGLE PLAY || KOBO

Excerpt

PRETENDING HE’S MINE by Mia Sosa

Chapter One

A woman in my condo is experiencing a toe-curling orgasm—and to my knowledge, this is the first time I’m in no way responsible for it.

Because this dumpster fire needs more tinder, the person bringing herself pleasure within the confines of my not-so-humble abode is my best friend’s younger sister.

I’d prefer to sustain a thousand paper cuts than listen to her moans, the catch of her breath, the rustling of the sheets around her body. But she’s crashing at my place, and she left the door of the guest bedroom open—just a tiny, torturous crack. The sliver of soft light coming from the adjoining bathroom beckons like a portal to another world. Come, the deep, booming voice of James Earl Jones says. The embodiment of your hidden and fucked-up fantasies lies in this realm.

I squeeze my eyes shut. Dammit. This isn’t right. It’s a personal moment, and I shouldn’t be privy to it. Summoning what’s left of the self-control that’s served me well for more years than I’d care to admit, I turn away from the light and slink down the short hall to my kitchen. There, I refit my wireless headphones and find a tall glass for the water that brought me out of my room.

I’d resigned myself to remaining as far away from Ashley as possible while she stayed the night. Instead, an innocent trip to the fridge has left me thirsty for something else altogether. I’m not even sure why I took off my headphones as I passed her room. But I did. And now I know what she sounds like when she comes.

I need to shut down this line of thinking immediately. But hell, the portal is open, and despite my good intentions, I’m tempted to step through and explore this other world.

No. I shouldn’t. I really shouldn’t.

Picture her in pigtails and remember what it was like to help her stand after an epic fall on the bike she loved to ride.

Forget that she’s now a sexy woman, and banish any inappropriate thoughts about her to a parallel universe that will never intersect with this one.

Although temporary, the solution is simple. Fifty push-ups will round out my workout and help stifle my libido. With my get-over-my-lust-for-Ashley plan in place, I set the glass in the sink, cut the light switch, and spin around. A warm body skids into me, its owner’s soft mouth brushing against my bare shoulder.

She shrinks back and yelps.

Instinctively, I tug Ashley forward, steadying her and mentally unbalancing myself in the process. With my chest flush against hers, I try to memorize the way we fit together, greedy to gain something from this unexpected contact.

“Julian? Please tell me it’s you.”

The tremor in her voice pulls me out of my stupor. I breathe heavily through my nose as I drop my arms and step back slowly. Turning to the counter and grasping it for support, I eke out, “It’s me, Ashley.”

As she sighs in relief, the memory of her curves imprints itself in my brain like a freshly inked intricate tattoo, simultaneously mesmerizing and painful.

Fuck the fifty push-ups. I’m going to need a hundred.

From PRETENDING HE’S MINE. Used with permission of Avon Impulse. Copyright © 2018 by Mia Sosa.

Love on Cue

Giveaway Alert

We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About the Author

Mia Sosa

WEBSITE | TWITTER | GOODREADS

Mia Sosa is an award-winning contemporary romance writer and 2015 Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart® Finalist. Her books have received praise and recognition from Kirkus Reviews, Booklist, Library Journal, The Washington Post, Book Riot, Bustle, and more.

A former First Amendment and media lawyer, Mia practiced for more than a decade before trading her suits for loungewear (okay, okay, they’re sweatpants). Now she strives to write fun and flirty stories about imperfect characters finding their perfect match.

Mia lives in Maryland with her husband, their two daughters, and an adorable puppy that finally sleeps through the night.

To learn more about Mia and her books, visit www.miasosa.com.


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Release Day Spotlight: Pretending He’s Mine by Mia Sosa

Posted April 10, 2018 by Rowena in Promotions | 1 Comment

HAPPY RELEASE DAY TO MIA SOSA!

Mia Sosa is an author that made it onto my radar in the past couple of months and I’ve been hearing such great things about her books. She’s got a brand spanking new book out today and we are spotlighting it so you guys know all about it.

Release Day Spotlight: Pretending He’s Mine by Mia SosaPretending He's Mine (Love on Cue, #2) by Mia Sosa
Series: Love on Cue #2
Published by Harper Collins, Avon Impulse
Publication Date: April 10, 2018
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 384
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads

Mia Sosa returns with another fun, flirty romance in her critically-acclaimed Love on Cue series!

For Hollywood agent Julian Hart, representing his best friend—megastar Carter Williamson—means it’s nearly impossible to keep his personal life and career separate. To make matters worse, Carter’s younger sister has been starring in Julian’s wildest fantasies more often than he’d care to admit. He knows she’s off-limits, but when Ashley shows up on his doorstep, needing a place to crash… suddenly his greatest temptation is sleeping down the hall.

Free-spirited Ashley Williamson doesn’t do commitment. Jobs, apartments, men… why let herself be tied down? But she’s had a crush on her older brother’s best friend for years and she’s committed to making Julian want her, one towel-clad midnight encounter at a time. But just as things start heating up, their steamy flirtation is interrupted by Carter’s east coast wedding. Ashley has no desire to go home and face her reputation as the family disappointment. But living with—dare she say dating?—a successful, sexy film agent could give them something else to talk about.

Julian can’t believe he agreed to fake a relationship with the one woman he can never have. And it’s going to take more than a little willpower to remember it's all pretend. Or is it? 

Ooh, it’s a best friend’s little sister romance with a fake romance thrown in as well. I’m so here for that!! This book is out today so if you haven’t already, order your copy at any of the links provided below.

Order the Book:

AMAZON || BARNES AND NOBLE || GOOGLE || KOBO || THE RIPPED BODICE

Love on Cue

About the Author

Mia Sosa

WEBSITE | TWITTER | GOODREADS

Mia Sosa is an award-winning contemporary romance writer and 2015 Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart® Finalist. Her books have received praise and recognition from Kirkus Reviews, Booklist, Library Journal, The Washington Post, Book Riot, Bustle, and more.

A former First Amendment and media lawyer, Mia practiced for more than a decade before trading her suits for loungewear (okay, okay, they’re sweatpants). Now she strives to write fun and flirty stories about imperfect characters finding their perfect match.

Mia lives in Maryland with her husband, their two daughters, and an adorable puppy that finally sleeps through the night.

To learn more about Mia and her books, visit www.miasosa.com.


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Review: What a Difference a Duke Makes by Lenora Bell

Posted April 10, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Review: What a Difference a Duke Makes by Lenora BellReviewer: Rowena
What a Difference a Duke Makes (School for Dukes, #1) by Lenora Bell
Series: School for Dukes #1
Also in this series: What a Difference a Duke Makes (School for Dukes #1)
Published by Harper Collins, Avon
Publication Date: March 27th 2018
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 384
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

Wanted: Governess for duke's unruly children

Edgar Rochester, Duke of Banksford, is one of the wealthiest, most powerful men in England, but when it comes to raising twins alone, he knows he needs help. The only problem is the children have chased away half the governesses in London. Until the clever, bold, and far-too-enticing Miss Mari Perkins arrives.

Lost: One heart to an arrogant duke

Mari knows how to wrap even the most rebellious children around her finger. But their demanding, wickedly handsome father? He won't be quite so easy to control. And there's something else she can't seem to command. Her heart. The foolish thing beats so wildly every time the duke is near.

Found: A forbidden passion neither can deny

As his employee, Mari is strictly off-limits. But what if she's the one breaking all his rules? In the game of governess versus duke, how can Edgar maintain his defenses when the only thing he wants to do is let the tempting beauty win?

What a Difference a Duke Makes starts Lenora Bell’s School for Dukes series off with a bang. I have enjoyed every single book that I’ve read by Lenora Bell and after finishing this book, my enjoyment of her books hasn’t stopped.

Edgar Rochester is the Duke of Banksford and he has two kids out of wedlock that he just found out about and is now caring for. But he’s much too busy building a steam engine empire to care for them so he needs a governess to teach and care for them when he’s not around. The problem with that is his children have run off more governesses than he’d care to admit so finding one that will stick is proving to be difficult.

Miss Mari Perkins is out on her ear with no references and in desperate need of a job. She was promised a governess job but when that falls through, she hears about another job and uses her wiles to steal that job right from under her would be employer’s nose. Her plan is to dazzle her new employer, the Duke of Banksford with her awesome governessing skills that he’ll want to keep her on when the other shoe drops.

Neither Edgar or Mari was expecting the fierce attraction that bursts between them but when Mari starts proving herself to be a capable governess that the children have warmed up to, Edgar can’t turn her away. Keeping their space from each other seems to be the only way to go about this but the heart will always want what the heart wants and theirs want each other.

I really enjoy Lenora Bell’s writing style and this book was more proof that she can write the heck out of a story. Being a part of Edgar and Mari’s (rhymes with starry, hehe) romance was great fun. Their chemistry was strong and the other characters were pretty fabulous, too. I thoroughly enjoyed the shenanigans that the twins got into and I loved seeing their relationship blossom with their father but also with Mari. Their actions in the end melted me and I loved seeing Mari really grow into her own over the course of the story. I was super thrilled when she found out all about her family.

Overall, this was a wonderful historical romance that made me happy. I cannot wait to read India and Ravenwood’s book because I’m confident that they’ll keep the party going. Kudos to Lenora Bell on winning me over with yet another fabulous historical romance. What a Difference a Duke Makes is not to be missed.

Grade: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: Wildfire by Ilona Andrews

Posted March 28, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 5 Comments

Review: Wildfire by Ilona AndrewsReviewer: Rowena
Wildfire (Hidden Legacy, #3) by Ilona Andrews
Series: Hidden Legacy #3
Also in this series: Burn for Me (Hidden Legacy, #1), Wildfire, White Hot, White Hot (Hidden Legacy, #2), Burn for Me (Hidden Legacy, #1), White Hot (Hidden Legacy, #2)
Published by Harper Collins, Avon
Publication Date: July 25th 2017
Point-of-View: First Person
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 391
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Just when Nevada Baylor has finally come to accept the depths of her magical powers, she also realizes she’s fallen in love. Connor “Mad” Rogan is in many ways her equal when it comes to magic, but she’s completely out of her elements when it comes to her feelings for him. To make matters more complicated, an old flame comes back into Rogan’s life…

Rogan knows there’s nothing between him and his ex-fiance, Rynda Sherwood. But as Nevada begins to learn more about her past, her power, and her potential future, he knows she will be faced with choices she never dreamed of and the promise of a life spent without him.

As Nevada and Rogan race to discover the whereabouts of Rynda’s kidnapped husband and are forced to confront Nevada’s grandmother, who may or may not have evil motives, these two people must decide if they can trust in each other or allow everything to go up in smoke.

Wildfire is book 3 in the Hidden Legacy series by Ilona Andrews and it’s the last book in the series (I hope not forever). Everything that Nevada and Rogan have been fighting against since book 1 is still in the background of what is happening front and center in their lives. Nevada’s latest client is Rogan’s ex-fiancee and she hired Nevada to help find her missing husband.

The very last person that Nevada wants to spend time around is the woman that almost married her boyfriend but how could Nevada say no to someone who desperately needs help? The deeper that Nevada digs into this case, the more shady shit she finds and everything pretty much link back to the bigger fight that started in Book 1. So Nevada and Rogan are investigating different things but their cases keep bringing them back together.

On top of that, Nevada’s magic is getting stronger and stronger. She’s learning more about what she can do and her family is too. What a freaking powerhouse family she has. From Catalina to Arabella (damn girl) to freaking Leon, they’re going to be pretty legit once they each come into their own. I loved the dynamics between each family member. They fight fiercely but man do they come together like no other when they’re needed. Hell, even when they come together for the greater good, they fight like animals. Haha, they’re so great.

Nevada was pretty legit in the first book but in the third book, she’s come full circle and I loved her so much in this book. She handled the whole Rynda thing a lot better than I would have. I wouldn’t have been nearly as understanding and patient as Nevada was. One of my favorite quotes from the series is when she tells Rynda.

“If you continue to rely on others for that security, you will never find it. You’re a Prime, a woman, and a mother. Make yourself secure. Take charge of yourself. My circlework my be shaky and crooked, by it’s mine. I taught myself how to do it by studying books and now I’m using it. I didn’t ask Rogan to draw it for me, because I didn’t have to.”

Like I said, I wouldn’t have been nearly as patient and understanding with Rynda had I been in Nevada’s shoes but I love how loyal Rogan’s people were to him, but also to Nevada. When she said the above, I was all like…

I’m super sad that this book ends the series because holy crap, there was so much goodness in this one. Everything that I wanted to happen in this book, happened. Seeing more of Catalina, Leon and Arabella using their magic made me one happy camper. There were plenty of shocks and surprises that had my mouth dropping all over the place. This writing duo worked their magic once again and I ate every word up. I’m not ready to say goodbye to this world so I’m hoping against hope that we’ll see a spin off series that feature Nevada’s family. I’d love to see Catalina and the Italian Stallion that tested her. I’d love to see Leon’s future, as well as Arabella because holy shit, Arabella!! I laughed so much when Arabella shows up to kick ass and Nevada is like, “Mom is gonna kill me. Mom is gonna kill us. We can never go home.” Hahaha, oh this book was so good.

There’s a lot to love in this book. The action, the adventure, the romance between Rogan and Nevada was everything. Seeing them work through their issues had me all up in my feels. I loved how strong they were on their own but how they were even stronger together. I loved that Rogan put Nevada first every single time and I loved that Nevada loved Connor and how much faith they had in each other.

This series was such a fun reading adventure and I’m not all okay with the fact that I’m done with it. What am I even going to do with the rest of my life?

If you’re looking for a magical reading adventure that will hit all of your happy buttons, pick this series up because it’s the bomb. For real.

Hidden Legacy

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

four-half-stars


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