Tag: Rowena’s Reviews

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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Joint Review: Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews

Posted September 14, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Joint Review: Clean Sweep by Ilona AndrewsReviewer: Holly & Rowena
Clean Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles, #1) by Ilona Andrews
Series: Innkeeper Chronicles #1
Also in this series: Clean Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles, #1)
Published by Self-Published
Publication Date: December 2nd 2013
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 235
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On the outside, Dina Demille is the epitome of normal. She runs a quaint Victorian Bed and Breakfast in a small Texas town, owns a Shih Tzu named Beast, and is a perfect neighbor, whose biggest problem should be what to serve her guests for breakfast. But Dina is...different: Her broom is a deadly weapon; her Inn is magic and thinks for itself. Meant to be a lodging for otherworldly visitors, the only permanent guest is a retired Galactic aristocrat who can’t leave the grounds because she’s responsible for the deaths of millions and someone might shoot her on sight. Under the circumstances, "normal" is a bit of a stretch for Dina.

And now, something with wicked claws and deepwater teeth has begun to hunt at night....Feeling responsible for her neighbors, Dina decides to get involved. Before long, she has to juggle dealing with the annoyingly attractive, ex-military, new neighbor, Sean Evans—an alpha-strain werewolf—and the equally arresting cosmic vampire soldier, Arland, while trying to keep her inn and its guests safe. But the enemy she’s facing is unlike anything she’s ever encountered before. It’s smart, vicious, and lethal, and putting herself between this creature and her neighbors might just cost her everything.

Holly: I read the Innkeeper Chronicles for the first time earlier this year. I’ve been bugging Rowena (and everyone else who will listen) to read the series ever since. I finally talked her into it, even though UF isn’t really her thing.

So, how did you feel about the book, Rowena? Did you enjoy the otherworldly stuff, or was it too out there for you?

Rowena: It was a lot different than I was expecting but…a good different. Magical inns and innkeepers? A sexy werewolf that was a thorn in the magical innkeeper’s side? A hot warrior vampire is thrown into the mix to make it a little spicy? Yeah, I’m in. I’m not much for urban fantasy or paranormal these days but I’m glad that Holly keeps making me read these books because they’re keeping me entertained.

Holly: I was so wrapped up in the world. This magical Inn and an Innkeeper with unimaginable power. The super werewolf. The warrior Vampires. I loved it. I loved all of it.

Rowena: I really liked Dina…I also liked the pictures that were included of the different characters. That was nice. Do we get those in the other books as well?

Holly: Yes, we get pictures of the characters in other books. They’re very helpful, aren’t they?

Rowena:  But back to Dina, I liked that she was strong and capable and brave. She didn’t back down from those that put her neighbors and herself in danger and I just enjoyed getting to know her. I also liked her interactions with Sean.

Holly: I really enjoyed Dina. I wasn’t sure of her at first, but she quickly shaped up into a strong woman. Caldenia, her permanent guest, was hilarious. I really enjoyed their interactions.

Rowena: Freaking Sean has got it going on and I really need to know if he comes back…so does he?

Holly: Yes, we’ll see Sean again.

Rowena: Yay! I’m glad that we’ll see Sean again and what about the vampire? We see him too, right? Do we get a background on where Sean’s been and what not?

Holly: We do see the Vampire again, and we find out where Sean has been and what he’s been up to. We also meet several more characters (including my favorite).

Rowena: Do the other books have gross villains like this one did? All of that slimy yuckiness was just…yuck.

Holly: The other books are pretty graphic, but I don’t think there’s a lot of slime and icky stuff in the other books. That stuff doesn’t bother me so I didn’t pay much attention, except to note the wicked amount of detail Andrews includes. I definitely felt like I was right inside the book.

Holly: How about Dina’s trip to Costco? I love that Sean came and rescued her. I’m such a sap.

Rowena: That trip to Costco was crazy but I liked how it ended…with Sean coming to her rescue and just taking care of her. swoon Seriously, I’m ready for the next one.

Holly: Do you want to live in the Inn?

Rowena: Heck yes I want to live in the inn! I loved that Dina could change whatever she wanted whenever she wanted. One day it could be a log cabin and the next day, a contemporary bachelor pad. That was really neat. I also enjoyed seeing her relationship with the house. How she was always protecting it and calming it down when things started popping off.

Holly: It would be so amazing to be able to change the shape, size and theme of a room with a thought. I need to find me an Inn and get some magic. Especially since it’s self-cleaning. Sign me up for that.

Rowena: This book was fun and it was interesting and I’m definitely interested in seeing what comes next for Dina, her inn and the people she’s starting to let into her life. I’d give this one a 4 out of 5. You?

Holly: I’m giving it a 4.25 out of 5. I love the world and the characters. I can’t wait for you to continue on with the series.

 

Rowena’s rating: 4 out of 5
Holly’s rating: 4.25 out of 5


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Retro-Review: Acheron by Sherrilyn Kenyon.

Posted September 13, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 15 Comments

Retro-Review: Acheron by Sherrilyn Kenyon.Reviewer: Rowena
Acheron (Dark-Hunter, #12) by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Series: Dark Hunter #12
Published by St. Martin's Paperbacks
Publication Date: March 31st 2009
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 806
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five-stars


Eleven thousand years ago, a god was born. Cursed into the body of a human, Acheron spent a lifetime of shame. But the strongest steel is forged from the fires of hell…

Acheron's human death unleashed an unspeakable horror that almost destroyed the earth. Then, brought back against his will, he became the sole defender of mankind. Only it was never that simple. For centuries, Acheron has fought for our survival and hidden a past he'll do anything to keep concealed. Until a lone woman who refuses to be intimidated by him threatens his very existence. Now his survival—and ours—hinges on hers, and old enemies reawaken and unite to kill them both. War has never been more deadly...or more fun.

*****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.

Holly: Rowena and I were both obsessed with the Dark Hunter series by Sherrilyn Kenyon, once upon a time. Even so, by the time this book was released I’d given up on the series. In fact, despite my love for the earlier books, I couldn’t even bring myself to read it. I was tempted after this review, but I just couldn’t do it.

This review was originally posted on August 11, 2008

Hero: Acheron Parthenopeaus
Heroine: You’ll have to read it to find out
Grade: 5 out of 5

…MAJOR SPOILERS WILL BE IN THIS REVIEW SO IF YOU DON’T WANT TO BE SPOILED, DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT READ THIS REVIEW UNTIL YOU ARE READY TO. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED THAT THERE WILL BE SPOILERS APLENTY IN THIS REVIEW AND YOU CAN’T BE MAD BECAUSE THIS BOLD ASS WARNING IS FOR YOU…

Wow.

There’s so much to cover in this review that I’m almost afraid to begin. Sherrilyn Kenyon does a remarkable job of pulling those emotional heartstrings inside you to drain every bit of emotion out of you. During the first part of the book, even though I was at work reading this (naughty wench that I am) tears streamed down my face as I read what turned Ash into the man that I know and love now. My heart seriously broke each and every time something new would come up and I just felt so hot damn bad for him.

Then there was Ryssa. Naive but courageous Ryssa, who only wanted to take care of him. The sister who loved Ash more than anyone ever dared to show and gosh, it got to a point while I was reading where it was almost too much for me to read. It was hard to push through that first part of the book because there was so much bad in it. So much that Ash suffered, so much crap that Ryssa unknowingly flinched his way just by caring about him. When it happened with Val and Zarek, I understood but in his book, I was mad at Zarek for being so hot damn mad at Val for trying to help him but in this book, I got so mad at Ryssa because as nice as she was to Ash….she only made things just THAT much worst for him. For every bit of kindness she showed him, he paid for it tenfold and I just wanted her to leave him in peace, the way that Ash wanted her to. I would get so mad each and every time that Ryssa would come around because I knew that something bad was going to happen to Ash and I couldn’t understand why she couldn’t see that loving Ash the way she did (even if she couldn’t help loving him) was hurting it far more than it was helping him.

I know that she wanted him to know that someone loved him, unconditionally, no matter what and I could appreciate that but I hated that she made things worst for Ash because ooh I wanted to kill her father and her other stupid ass brother, Styxx so frickin’ bad. I wanted their blood on my hands (bloodthirsty wench that I am) and don’t even get me started on their Uncle Estes.

sigh

I could get myself worked up over this book so easily which just goes to show how involved in this story I am, which also goes to show how good a job Sherrilyn Kenyon did with the first part of this book. There were times earlier in the book when I wished that Ryssa would just stay the hell away from Ash, she brought him more pain than anything and I just wanted him to have some kind of peace but she was always getting him into trouble and it was through Ryssa that I had an inkling for why Zarek hated Valerian because though Val meant well, he brought more bad than good and it had to have hurt badly and they just kept being nice and nice which made things so much worst for Ash and Zarek.

And OMGOSH Ash’s powers? Holy shit shit shit…damn damn damn, holy crap in the pants, are you frickin’ serious right now?

Wow.

…and dude, I LOVE APOLLYMI! The fierceness of her love for her son is to be admired, I mean I don’t agree with the way she took care of some of those problems she had but man, I couldn’t fault her reasoning.

And goodness, I loved seeing the beginning of Ash and Simi. It was seeing him with Simi that softened my heart toward him and made me love him more and more until I was near bursting with my love of his character. Goodness, Ash is seriously the best hero EVER written.

When we got to the present, I was glad for it because the past prepared me for what was to come and it explained so many of my questions (if not, all of them) from before. Questions that I have waited YEARS to get answers to and I’m so glad that I better understand Ash from before and Ash from now.

Soteria was a great heroine, I remember her from The Dream Hunter and I’m not mad about the pairing of her and Ash together because she completed Ash. She saw the Ash that we all know and love and she loved him like nobody else from this series ever could. I’m so glad that Ash’s heroine wasn’t Satara, like I thought before because I seriously hate that biznitch and am not mad at Nick, one bit.

There are so many things that I could say about this book but I don’t have enough time. There were so many great things about this book, seeing Ash finally realize that he’s not alone in anything anymore. He’s got the family that he’s always wanted in the Dark Hunters and their wives…and in Soteria. I can’t seem to call her Tory like she likes to be called because I don’t see where the hell they got Tory from Soteria? Tera? I can see that…but Tory? Nope, not seeing it at all but maybe that’s because I’m not Greek, who knows.

A lot of options were opened for the other characters in this book and I can’t wait to read the rest of the books to find out more about Savitar, Jaden and Nick because I’m thinking Nick is going to be Artemis’ next pet. I think he’s going to be the one to replace Ash and oh wow, that’s going to make for some interesting reading, for sure.

This book was really good, at first I thought that maybe it didn’t hold up to my expectations but then I changed my mind because I loved this book, a whole lot more than I was expecting to (because no mortal could have met my expectations of this book) and whether it held up to my expectations was moot since I loved everything about this book, I loved the old Ash, the new Ash, the story, the characters and I was over the moon to see everyone come together to get Ash’s back, even Savitar and Jaden did their little bests to help Ash out because he finally needed it. For so long, Ash stood alone and it was just good to see that he didn’t have to this time around.

LOVED IT! LOVE LOVE LOVED IT! And now I want more…haha. I’ve got to ask though, how many of you readers out there who have read Ash’s book, played Savin’ Me by Nickelback over and over after you read the book?

I DID! How many of you guys are listening to Saving Me right now?

I AM!

LOL.

5 out of 5

This book is available from St. Martin’s Press. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

five-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
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
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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