Tag: Romance

Review: Royally Endowed by Emma Chase

Posted September 19, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 5 Comments

Review: Royally Endowed by Emma ChaseReviewer: Rowena
Royally Endowed (Royally, #3) by Emma Chase
Series: Royally Series #3
Also in this series: Royally Matched (Royally, #2)
Published by Self-Published
Publication Date: August 14th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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Logan St. James is a smoldering, sexy beast. Sure, he can be a little broody at times—but Ellie Hammond’s willing to overlook that. Because, have you seen him??

Sexy. As. Hell.

And Ellie’s perky enough for both of them.

For years, she’s had a crush on the intense, gorgeous royal security guard—but she doesn’t think he ever saw her, not really.

To Logan, Ellie was just part of the job—a relative of the royal family he’d sworn to protect. Now, at 22 years old and fresh out of college, she’s determined to put aside her X-rated dreams of pat-downs and pillow talk, and find a real life happily ever after.

The Queen of Wessco encourages Ellie to follow in her sister’s footsteps and settle down with a prince of her own. Or a duke, a marquis…a viscount would also do nicely.

But in the pursuit of a fairy tale ending, Ellie learns that the sweetest crushes can be the hardest to let go. ***Logan St. James grew up on the wrong side of the tracks, in a family on the wrong side of the law. But these days, he covers his tattoos and scars with a respectable suit. He’s handsome, loyal, brave, skilled with his hands and…other body parts.

Any woman would be proud to call him hers.

But there’s only one woman he wants.

For years he’s watched over her, protected her, held her hair back when she was sick, taught her how to throw a punch, and spot a liar.

He dreams of her. Would lay down his life for her.

But beautiful Ellie Hammond’s off-limits.

Everybody knows the bodyguard rules: Never lose focus, never let them out of your sight, and never, ever fall in love.

Logan and Elle’s story, woot!

This was another fabulous contemporary romance in this series. Is it realistic? I have no idea but I don’t even care because I had a good time reading this one. Logan and Elle were such a fantastic couple and I really liked getting to know them. Elle has grown into a wonderfully confident young woman and I’m glad that Logan finally fessed up to how he really felt about Elle all of these years.

Logan has been a part of Nick’s security team for years and he’s worked his way up in the ranks. He’s one of Nick’s most trusted security guards and he’s been struggling with being professional and giving into his feelings for Nick’s sister in law. It was a lot easier when he couldn’t do anything about how she makes him feel because she was too young but now that she’s an adult and as aware of him as he is of her? Things just got real complicated.

Their romance wasn’t easy. There were things to figure out, futures to decide and they couldn’t be together without huge changes in both of their lives. The Queen had plans for Elle and Logan couldn’t be with Elle without leaving his current job and so the complications just kept right on adding up. None of those complications lessened how they felt about each other and I enjoyed seeing them try to figure things out.

Emma Chase has written a fun, witty and sexy series featuring some royals that really rocked my world. This book was just another fabulous romance that I didn’t want to end and seeing everyone from the previous books come together in this book to help Logan and Elle figure their shit out was great. I really enjoyed seeing everyone again and I’m hoping that this isn’t the last that we’ll see of these folks. I definitely recommend.

Grade: 4 out of 5


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Review: Royally Matched by Emma Chase

Posted September 18, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Review: Royally Matched by Emma ChaseReviewer: Rowena
Royally Matched (Royally, #2) by Emma Chase
Series: Royally Series #2
Also in this series: Royally Endowed (Royally, #3)
Published by Self-Published
Publication Date: February 21st 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 276
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four-half-stars

Some men are born responsible, some men have responsibility thrust upon them. Henry John Edgar Thomas Pembrook, Prince of Wessco, just got the motherlode of all responsibility dumped in his regal lap.

He’s not handling it well.

Hoping to help her grandson to rise to the occasion, Queen Lenora agrees to give him "space"—but while the Queen’s away, the Prince will play. After a chance meeting with an American television producer, Henry finally makes a decision all on his own:

Welcome to Matched: Royal Edition.

A reality TV dating game show featuring twenty of the world's most beautiful blue bloods gathered in the same castle. Only one will win the diamond tiara, only one will capture the handsome prince’s heart.

While Henry revels in the sexy, raunchy antics of the contestants as they fight, literally, for his affection, it’s the quiet, bespectacled girl in the corner—with the voice of an angel and a body that would tempt a saint—who catches his eye.

The more Henry gets to know Sarah Mirabelle Zinnia Von Titebottum, the more enamored he becomes of her simple beauty, her strength, her kind spirit... and her naughty sense of humor.

But Rome wasn’t built in a day—and irresponsible royals aren’t reformed overnight.

As he endeavors to right his wrongs, old words take on whole new meanings for the dashing Prince. Words like, Duty, Honor and most of all—Love.

Matched is the second book in the Royally series and it’s probably my favorite story of the bunch. I just really enjoyed the romance between Henry and Sarah. Their relationship blossomed so sweetly and I just ate everything up.

Henry Pembrook is still reeling from the fact that his older brother abdicated the crown and he is now the heir to the throne of Wessco. He’s not handling things very well and there’s so much to learn and so much to do that he needs space to figure things out on his own. When he gets the Queen’s permission for some space, he kind of goes nuts. He plans a super hush-hush reality dating show to find himself a wife while hooking up with every eligible woman he can.

We met his heroine in the first book in this series and I was thrilled when I found out for sure that she was Henry’s girl. Why, you ask? Because she was adorable and bookish and nerdy and just…my kind of gal. She obviously has some stuff that she’s working through and I was mighty curious to find out what her deal was. Her name is Sarah and she’s one of Henry’s friend’s sisters.

Sarah accompanies her sister to be a part of Henry’s show and she’s supposed to serve as her sister’s moral compass. She’s supposed to pull her sister back when she’s trying to get too crazy. Penelope (the sister) is there to try to win Henry’s heart and capture his attention and wouldn’t you know that Henry’s attention is captured by someone who isn’t even on the show.

I adored how the friendship that sparked up between Henry and Sarah became so much more than either of them were expecting. I loved seeing how important they became to each other and I just adored their alone moments together. You really do see them grow individually and then together as the book progresses and I thought Emma Chase did a wonderful job of pulling the reader into their love story.

This was a fun contemporary romance with characters that really pulled at my heart strings. I adored the support system that both Henry and Sarah had in their family and friends. It was good to see my friends Nick and Olivia and Elle and Logan. They were a fun addition to an already fun book. I definitely recommend this book.

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

four-half-stars


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Review: The Final Score by Jaci Burton

Posted September 11, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: The Final Score by Jaci BurtonReviewer: Rowena
The Final Score (Play by Play, #13) by Jaci Burton
Series: Play by Play #13
Also in this series: Holiday on Ice, Rules of Contact
Published by Berkley
Publication Date: September 12, 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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four-stars

In the new Play-by-Play novel by the New York Times bestselling author of Rules of Contact, a star quarterback is torn between his love of the game—and the woman who may be the love of his life.

Nathan Riley is ready to follow in the footsteps of his famous football player father. He’s been drafted as quarterback for his dad’s former team, and his sports future is bright. When his friend Mia Cassidy moves to the same city, their years-long friendship suddenly sparks hot, reminding him of the one night they had together in college that he can never forget.

Like Nathan, Mia is from a sports dynasty family and embarking on an incredible new career—as founder of her own sports management company. Her friendship with Nathan means everything to her, and tossing sex into the mix again could jeopardize it all. But the chemistry between them has always sizzled, and it isn’t long before Mia realizes she wants more with Nathan than just late-night talks and pizza.

Passion has a funny way of changing the rules, and soon Nathan and Mia realize that to win it all, they’ll have to make an unexpected play for love.

The Final Score is the thirteenth book in the Play by Play series and it was another cute contemporary romance that made for a pleasant way to spend a few hours.

Nathan Riley and Mia Cassidy have been best friends since college. They’re good as friends. They’re supportive of each other, they care about each other and Nathan has wanted more for a long time. Mia has dug in her heels and has refused to risk their friendship on a relationship that she wasn’t sure would work out. His friendship meant too much to her and she didn’t want to rock the boat…even though they rocked the boat once in college. So they continue on as friends only and Nathan has put his feelings for his bestie on hold.

Fast forward a few years and they’ve graduated from college and are both working hard in their respective careers. Nathan is the new starting QB for his father’s team and he’s feeling the pressure to lead a team that has always been his father’s team. Mia, on the other hand, has opened up her own sports management business and she’s feeling her own pressure to make the business a success. She’s got employees who are relying on her to keep them employed and she’s doing everything she can to not let anyone down. They’re both busy, much too busy for a relationship but when Nathan brings up that they could be friends with benefits, Mia at first says no but Nathan keeps after it and before long, Mia has caved and the benefits begin.

I liked both Nathan and Mia as characters but my favorite part of this romance was how normal it was. Sure, both Nathan and Mia have high profile jobs but at their cores, they were normal everyday people who loved and wanted to be loved in return. I loved that Mia was a planner babe (I’m one too!) and I adored that Nathan was very upfront about what he wanted from Mia. He didn’t fight his feelings, he just waited for Mia to be ready for him. I totally respected that.

I didn’t understand a lot of Mia’s hangups about a relationship with Nathan. I wish she had more faith in him as a partner but those were just little gripes in an otherwise, perfectly put together contemporary romance. I enjoyed seeing all of Mia’s family and Nathan’s too. I’ve been itching for a baseball romance so I’m going to look into reading Mia’s brothers books since I haven’t gotten around to them yet.

Overall, this story was refreshingly simple. It wasn’t bogged down with angst and feelings and the characters didn’t have any of that annoying push and pull crap. It was a straight up romance about two friends who fall in to love with each other and find a way to make it work. It was perfect for what I was in the mood for so I enjoyed it.

Grade: 3.75 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: The Perfectly Imperfect Match by Kendra C. Highley

Posted August 29, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: The Perfectly Imperfect Match by Kendra C. HighleyReviewer: Rowena
The Perfectly Imperfect Match by Kendra C. Highley
Series: Suttonville Sentinels #3
Published by Entangled, Crush
Publication Date: July 10th 2017
Genres: Young Adult
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three-stars

Pitcher Dylan Dennings has his future all mapped out: make the minors straight out of high school, work his way up the farm system, and get called up to the majors by the time he’s twenty-three. The Plan has been his sole focus for years, and if making his dreams come true means instituting a strict “no girls” policy, so be it.

Lucy Foster, needlepoint ninja, big sister to an aspiring pitcher, and chicken advocate, likes a little mayhem. So what if she gets lost taking her brother to baseball camp…at her own high school? The pitching coach, some hotshot high school player, obviously thinks she’s a hot mess. Too bad he’s cute, because he’s so not her type.

Problem is, they keep running into each other, and every interaction sparks hotter than the last. But with Dylan’s future on the line, he has to decide whether some rules are made to be broken…

Disclaimer: This book contains a crazy night of moonlit skinny-dipping, a combustible crush, and kisses swoony enough to unwind even the most Type A athlete.

The Perfectly Imperfect Match is the third book in the Suttonville Sentinels series by Kendra C. Highley. As far as I can tell, the series follows different characters set in the same world that Highley has created for these Suttonville Sentinels.

This book follows the Suttonville High’s star pitcher, Dylan as he meets and falls in love with one of his baseball camp members sisters, Lucy. Lucy and Dylan are not supposed to see each other but sometimes, the right person comes along and they fit so perfectly in your life that you guys find a way to be together.

Dylan Dennings has plans for his future. He’s going to work hard in high school, go to the minors and then work his way up into the Majors. He’s got no time for girls or distractions. His baseball team is holding a camp at his school and he’s coaching young pitchers. He’s got a soft spot for one of his campers and is not at all happy that young Owen’s sister Lucy is always around him. For some reason, Dylan is drawn to Lucy and her quirky personality and even though Owen has requested that Dylan not date his sister, Dylan and Lucy can’t stand away from each other.

Lucy is busy. Her father is in the Army and is stationed overseas. Her mother is busy working at her sewing shop and in between school and work, Lucy is teaching classes at her Mom’s shop and fitting in her own orders. She’s a great seamstress whose work has great detail and she’s gaining a small client list of her own. She also watches after her younger brother Owen who is missing his father something fierce. He misses having a man around so when he meets Dylan, he calls dibs on him. Dylan is his friend so when Dylan and Lucy start getting close, Owen is understandably territorial. He doesn’t want to lose his new friend to his sister.

Dylan tries to respect Owen’s wishes but it’s hard when Lucy is driving him to distraction. The chemistry between them is hard to ignore and their romance was on one hand cute but on the other hand? It was frustrating. They bickered in the beginning and I wasn’t here for that. The dialogue was pure cheese when they were fighting and when they were being school-kids but things certainly picked up as soon as they stopped fighting and began kissing.

Overall, this was a fast read with characters that grew on me. In the beginning, I wanted to throttle everyone but over the course of the story, I softened in my attitude toward everyone. Kendra C. Highley has done a great job with this series and I finished this book, wanting to read the books in this series that came before this one. It’s a good one.

Grade: 3.25 out of 5

three-stars


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Guest Review: Devil in Spring by Lisa Kleypas

Posted August 11, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Devil in Spring by Lisa KleypasReviewer: Tracy
Devil in Spring by Lisa Kleypas
Series: The Ravenels #3
Also in this series: Cold-Hearted Rake, Devil in Spring
Published by Avon
Publication Date: February 21st 2017
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 370
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four-stars

An eccentric wallflower…

Most debutantes dream of finding a husband. Lady Pandora Ravenel has different plans. The ambitious young beauty would much rather stay at home and plot out her new board game business than take part in the London Season. But one night at a glittering society ball, she’s ensnared in a scandal with a wickedly handsome stranger.

A cynical rake…

After years of evading marital traps with ease, Gabriel, Lord St. Vincent, has finally been caught-by a rebellious girl who couldn’t be less suitable. In fact, she wants nothing to do with him. But Gabriel finds the high-spirited Pandora irresistible. He’ll do whatever it takes to possess her, even if their marriage of convenience turns out to be the devil’s own bargain.

A perilous plot…

After succumbing to Gabriel’s skilled and sensuous persuasion, Pandora agrees to become his bride. But soon she discovers that her entrepreneurial endeavors have accidentally involved her in a dangerous conspiracy—and only her husband can keep her safe. As Gabriel protects her from their unknown adversaries, they realize their devil’s bargain may just turn out to be a match made in heaven...

Business minded Pandora has no desire to get married.  She wants to be an independent woman and she’s doing that with the help of her brother-in-law, Rhys Winterbourne.  She makes board games and plans to build factories and employ lots of women.  If she got married she’d have to give up all control and money earned and she’s not about to do that. She hangs out at balls during her first season making up excuses to avoid dancing with men.  Unfortunately she gets caught in what is considered a compromising position with Lord St. Vincent and can’t seem to get out of it.

Gabriel isn’t thrilled with the thought of getting married and of course Pandora keeps telling him no.  The more he gets to know her, however, the more he thinks that being married to her would be amazing and he soon falls in love with her.  Pandora puts up a fight until the end but her heart is soon just as engaged as Gabriel’s.

This was a sweet romantic story.  Pandora is brusque and pushy but I truly admired her drive and ambition.  I know that wasn’t something that was admired back then but that made me like her even more.

Gabriel was a great character.  He is the son of Evie and Sebastian (from Devil in Winter) and has a good head on his shoulders.  He soon sees that Pandora isn’t like any other women and that’s a good thing, in his mind. He even goes so far as to get a dispensation from the Archbishop of Canterbury to have the word “obey” stricken from their marriage ceremony.  🙂

There was a bit of a mystery plot (I guess you’d call it mystery – maybe terrorist?) that was a bit odd.  It had to do with a printer that Pandora went to see about one of her board games.  I kind of felt that it was put in there just to put the heroine in peril and have us meet the detective, Ethan Ransom, (that may or may be attached to the Ravenels in some way) and that did nothing for me.  It ended up being a bit out there but wrapped up nicely.

Overall I really liked the book a lot.  I liked the characters and the romance and that was the main focus.  I’m anxious to see what the next book in the series brings.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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