Tag: Rowena’s Reviews

Review: Making Up by Lucy Parker

Posted June 14, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: Making Up by Lucy ParkerReviewer: Rowena
Making Up (London Celebrities, #3) by Lucy Parker
Series: London Celebrities, #3
Also in this series: Pretty Face
Published by Carina Press
Publication Date: May 28, 2018
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 254
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars


Author of Act Like It and Pretty Face Lucy Parker returns readers to the West End, where it’s fireworks onstage and off in a sexy enemies-to-lovers showdown.

Once upon a time, circus artist Trix Lane was the best around. Her spark vanished with her confidence, though, and reclaiming either has proved…difficult. So when the star of The Festival of Masks is nixed and Trix is unexpectedly thrust into the spotlight, it’s exactly the push she needs. But the joy over her sudden elevation in status is cut short by a new hire on the makeup team.

Leo Magasiva: disgraced wizard of special effects. He of the beautiful voice and impressive beard. Complete dickhead and—in an unexpected twist—an enragingly good kisser.

To Leo, something about Trix is…different. Lovely. Beautiful, even though the pint-size, pink-haired former bane of his existence still spends most of her waking hours working to annoy him. They’ve barely been able to spend two minutes together for years, and now he can’t get enough of her. On stage. At home. In his bed.

When it comes to commitment, Trix has been there, done that, never wants to do it again. Leo’s this close to the job of a lifetime, which would take him away from London—and from Trix. Their past is a constant barrier between them.

It seems hopeless.

Utterly impossible.

And yet…

Making Up is the third book in Lucy Parker’s London Celebrities series and it was another enjoyable book that I ate right up. Leo and Trix were a wonderful couple and their story was solid.

Trix Lane’s role in her show has been upgraded and she’s elated at the same time that she’s terrified of messing up. The new role is more complicated, her routines a lot harder and though she knows the basics, she must up her game if she wants to keep the role but her confidence has taken a hit thanks to her no good piece of shit ex, the ex that tried to get between her and her best friend Lily in Lily’s book, Pretty Face. To make matters worse, someone from her past is back in her life working on her show as a makeup artist and he’s the last person that she wants to see around.

It doesn’t matter what she wants because Leo isn’t going anywhere and he’s always around because he’s renting one of the rooms in the housing unit that Trix lives in. Poor thing, haha. But Leo is trying to make some moves for himself professionally after a setback. Sure, he’s not all that excited to see Trix on a daily basis but he’s not going to let her derail his plans.

This was a great romance about two people who did not get along but fell in love anyway. Leo and Trix’s story started when they were in high school and didn’t know how to deal with their big time feelings. Things were said, feelings were hurt and a feud began. Every time they saw each other, they burned hot and everyone tried to get out of their blast zone. Seeing them work things out and then figure their things out together made for an enjoyable romance.

Lucy Parker does a great job of making the readers care about her characters. I cared so much for both Trix and Leo. I wanted the best for them throughout the entire book, even when they were both getting on my nerves. Their story was full of warmth, charm and the romance itself was steamy. Leo was really good in the sack, haha. The way that he couldn’t get enough of Trix melted my heart. I loved seeing them come into their feelings for each other and though it wasn’t the most perfect of journeys, it was a good one.

I’m pretty anxious to see if we get more books from this world and I’m hoping that we do because I’d love to read a story featuring Jono front and center. His character is interesting. Overall, this book was fun and though there were times that I wanted to strangle first Trix and then Leo and Cat wasn’t safe from these hands either, I still enjoyed the romance, the story and seeing Trix’s professional world first hand.

Leo was a strong hero who cared deeply for those close to him. Trix was a wonderful match for him and I really enjoyed their chemistry together. Kudos to Lucy Parker for another winner.

Grade: 4 out of 5

London Celebrities

four-stars


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Review: I Flipping Love You by Helena Hunting

Posted June 12, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: I Flipping Love You by Helena HuntingReviewer: Rowena
I Flipping Love You (Shacking Up, #3) by Helena Hunting
Series: Shacking Up #3
Published by St. Martin's Paperbacks
Publication Date: May 29, 2018
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 320
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four-stars

A new kind of love story about flipping houses, taking risks, and landing that special someone who’s move-in ready…

SHE’S GOT CURB APPEAL

Rian Sutter grew up with the finer things in life. Spending summers in The Hamptons was a normal occurrence for her until her parents lost everything years ago. Now Rian and her sister are getting their life, and finances, back on track through real estate. Not only do they buy and sell houses to the rich and famous, but they finally have the capital to flip their very own beachfront property. But when she inadvertently catches the attention of a sexy stranger who snaps up every house from under her, all bets are off…

HE’S A FIXER UPPER

Pierce Whitfield doesn’t normally demo kitchens, install dry wall, or tear apart a beautiful woman’s dreams. He’s just a down-on-his-luck lawyer who needed a break from the city and agreed to help his brother work on a few homes in the Hamptons. When he first meets Rian, the attraction is undeniable. But when they start competing for the same pieces of prime real estate, the early sparks turn into full-blown fireworks. Can these passionate rivals turn up the heat on their budding romance — without burning down the house?

I FLIPPING LOVE YOU, set in the Shacking Up world, follows two people, both working in real estate, who find themselves vying for the same properties in the Hamptons, leading to a sometimes-not-so-friendly competition.

I Flipping Love You is the latest addition to the Shacking Up series by Helena Hunting and it features Amalie’s brother Pierce. Readers of this series will remember Amalie from Hooking Up as she was the heroine in that book. Her brother is a lawyer in Manhattan but after a goof on his part, he’s taking some time off from work to let things cool down and work themselves out.

Now that he’s got a lot of spare time on his hands, he’s in the Hamptons helping his younger brother buy houses and flip them for profit. It is in the Hamptons where he meets Rian Sutter. Her sister hits his prized Tesla and then takes off so he’s been stalking the grocery store where the hit and run happened, in hopes of catching that woman that is responsible for $3k in damages to his car. He catches more than he expected and he’s glad for it because Rian Sutter??? He’s mighty interested in Rian Sutter.

Rian was a strong heroine that has plans. After being stripped of everything and then abandoned by her parents, Rian and her twin sister Marley have only had each other. They have great memories of their grandparents and their grandparent’s mansion in the Hamptons. Rian and Marley have chosen to make a life for themselves in the Hamptons, close to their grandparent’s mansion because Rian has a dream that they’ll work really hard and then the mansion will go up for sale and they’ll buy it and open a B&B. She’s been holding on to that dream for a long time because she wants to hold onto something good from her past. She’s got a secret that she doesn’t like to tell people and while I understood her reasons, it played a part in my annoyance with her character. I’ll get to that a little later.

Pierce has his own stuff going on but he’s focused on the here and the now. He’s really enjoying himself working on these flips with his brothers. They’re buying up beachfront properties, doing little flips on them and renting them out. Becoming a lawyer wasn’t really his idea, it was his father’s idea and he kind of fell into the career path and now that he’s had time away from his day job, he’s starting to think that going his own way is probably what he wants to do. Immediately though, he wants to get to know Rian Sutter. She keeps showing up everywhere that he is and he’s attracted as all get out. He’s not a quitter so he puts in the work.

Pierce and Rian were a fantastic couple and their story kept me laughing from beginning to end. Their story was so much fun. The chemistry was great, the romance was delicious and Pierce, well, he was hot as all get out. I completely adored him. I loved how determined he was where Rian was concerned and I loved getting to know him. He was a great brother, a hilarious man and a dedicated lover. What’s not to love about a guy bringing all of that to the party?

Things were going great in my reading adventure until Rian starts to get her cold feet and the way that she handles the shit that is thrown her way left a bad taste in my mouth and I got pretty pissed at her because she was an awesome heroine and then she went and did something so dumb that I wanted to pull her hair some. Alls well that ends well though because Pierce comes through and just bulldozes over her fears and let’s her know that she won’t be able to push him away because she needs him just as much as he needs her and I was glad that he, at least was able to stand firm in his feelings. He had a lot more faith in them then Rian but other than that, the book was fabulous. Great characters, a charming beachfront romance that will make you laugh, happy sigh and just enjoy the heck out of Helena Hunting’s written word. It would be a great summer read.

Grade: 4 out of 5

Shacking Up

four-stars


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Review: Airports, Exes, and Other Things I’d Like to Forget by Shani Petroff

Posted June 5, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Airports, Exes, and Other Things I’d Like to Forget by Shani PetroffReviewer: Rowena
Airports, Exes, and Other Things I'm Over by Shani Petroff
Published by Swoon Reads
Publication Date: May 15, 2018
Point-of-View: First Person
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 224
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three-half-stars

A bad storm, two canceled flights, stuck in an airport with a hot stranger and the guy who broke her heart... what could go wrong?

After Sari caught her boyfriend Zev cheating on her, their romantic Florida vacation was ruined. She can't get back to NYC soon enough. Unfortunately, mother nature may have different plans. A huge storm is brewing in the Northeast, and flights all over the country are getting canceled—including Sari's. She winds up stuck at the airport for hours. With Zev!

When another stranded passenger (a hot NYU guy) suggests a connecting flight to Boston, Sari jumps at the chance. But when her mom freaks out about her traveling alone, she has no choice—she has to include Zev, and somehow survive being trapped with the guy who broke her heart!

I haven’t read too many books from Swoon Reads but this one caught my eye. It sounded like a cute story about a young girl trying to find herself in the midst of heartbreak. This book was cute but the main character got on my nerves a lot while I was reading this book.

So, the book starts off with our young aspiring musician heroine, Sari at a concert with her best friend. Sari is hoping to one day grace the stage at the very venue she’s at. Plenty of her favorite local musicians got their start here and she’s hoping to be one. The concert she’s at was so good that she’s feeling great. She’s got no complaints about her life right now. She’s hanging with her bestie, listening to her favorite band and she’s got a great boyfriend who adores her. They’re leaving on a week-long vacation together and she is so excited. Or, she was excited until she shows up at the party her boyfriend is at and catches him in a lip-lock with his ex-girlfriend.

Just like that, her plans and her excitement and her world come crumbling down around her. The hurt and the betrayal are huge so she does what any self-respecting young lady would do. She shows up at the airport way earlier than planned and changes her flight so that she doesn’t have to travel with her cheating boyfriend and she does her best to move on. She doesn’t expect to move on immediately but she gives it a try anyway. It’s hard to enjoy a vacation away when your heart is broken and the guy that broke your heart keeps trying to contact you and then shows up at your Grandmother’s house to make amends.

The story really takes off when she meets a boy close to her age at her Grandmother’s senior living apartment complex. She may not want to jump into a new relationship or even be on board a rebound hookup but she could use a friend and Fitz quickly becomes a friend of hers. When the offer of a lifetime comes through, Sari will do whatever it takes to get home…and that includes riding home with her cheating ex-boyfriend and a bunch of strangers to make her show.

Most of this book takes place at the airport and on her drive home from Boston with three boys. Sari is desperate to get home and she’s trying her best to keep her shit together but being in close proximity to the guy that broke your heart is hard. It’s made even harder when her mother refuses to respect her wishes by not contacting Zev (the cheating ex) but on that end, if she didn’t want her Mom to keep texting Zev then she should have stayed more on top of keeping her parents in the loop on everything going on but since she didn’t…a parent’s got to do what a parent’s got to do.

I really sympathized with Sari’s situation throughout the whole book but far too often, she annoyed me. I was also really annoyed with Zev in that he just refused to go away. I spent far too much of this book rooting for a boy that did everything right but in the end, wasn’t rewarded. Sure, everything is wrapped up nicely in the end but it wasn’t necessarily the ending that I was rooting for. I felt like if we were supposed to be rooting for one boy then there shouldn’t have been so much of the other boy. But also, there shouldn’t have been so much of the other boy for us to love.

I thought that Sari was really lucky to have the support system that she had and while she kind of drove me crazy throughout the book, I did believe the growth in her character and even supported it. So while this book ended well, there were still things that I griped about but got over.

All in all, this book gets a 3.5 out of 5 from me.

Grade: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars


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Review: Speakeasy by Sarina Bowen

Posted May 31, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Speakeasy by Sarina BowenReviewer: Rowena
Speakeasy (True North, #5) by Sarina Bowen
Series: True North #5
Also in this series: Bittersweet, Steadfast (True North #2), Steadfast, Bittersweet, Keepsake, Bountiful (True North, #4)
Published by Rennie Road Books
Publication Date: May 29, 2018
Point-of-View: First Person
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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Goodreads
four-half-stars

Sometimes you fall for Mr. Right. And sometimes for Mr. Right Now…

May

Did you hear the one about the girl who walks into a bar and catches her live-in lover kissing someone else? No? You’re the only one in town who missed it. Luckily Alec is there to wrap me up in strong arms and carry me out the door before things get too ugly. And that’s not all Alec is good at. Our unexpected chemistry makes him the perfect rebound guy.

Alec

I should know better than to hook up with my rival’s little sister, but the fiery look in May’s eyes really turns my crank. She needs cheering up, and I’m just the guy for the job. It’s not like I’ll fall in love. Not even after a string of scorching hot trysts, and the realization that we’re good at the same things: wild nights and familial disappointment. I don’t do love, never have, never will. So this is the perfect arrangement, for both of us. Nobody would approve, but nobody has to know…

Sarina Bowen is always a welcome addition to my to be read pile. She is one of my favorites and May, the heroine of this book is one of my favorite people from Bowen’s True North series so I was stoked to read that she was getting her own book and even more excited when I got this one for review.

The last time we saw May, she was in a relationship with Daniela and it wasn’t the best of relationships for May. Daniela had no fans in May’s family and a huge reason why was how this book actually starts. With Daniela not treating May with the respect that May deserves. May finds out that Daniela is cheating on her when she stops by Alec’s bar because she saw Daniela’s car outside in the parking lot while she’s making her way home. She wasn’t expecting what she found in the Gin Mill and she sure as shit didn’t know what she would have done without Alec Rossi there to help her out of that jam.

Alec felt bad because he should have said something to May a week ago when he realized Daniela was using his bar to cheat on her. He let it go and now May is here and about to catch her girlfriend macking it down with another woman. That’s not a scene he wants May to be a part of so he tries to deflect her attention but isn’t quick enough. He’s a little late on being there for May but he can be there for May now so that night starts a friendship that he wasn’t prepared for and wasn’t expecting.

Alec wasn’t my favorite character in previous books. He came off as a little jerk-ish but I really came around with his character in this book. I connected with his character through every part of his story and that low key surprised me because early reviews of this book that I read, the bloggers weren’t huge fans of his so I went into this book, not expecting much but I’m glad that I read this for myself because I thought Alec was a wonderful hero and a fantastic partner for May. I thought the growth in his character was pretty spot on. He had a lot of crap that he was dealing with and he was so stubborn about a lot of it but boy was I glad to see him grow, learn and then really run with the opportunities presented to him.

I really enjoyed the friendship that blossomed between Alec and May. Seeing Alec be there for May and then realize how much he likes being around her was fun for me. They had the kind of chemistry that makes me happy and I ate their interactions together right up with each turn of the page.

Seeing May really come into her own was a treat because I feel like I’ve been rooting her on for such a long time and then for her to get the news about first Daniela and then Lark, she was catching no breaks. She was lucky to have stumbled into the friendship she had with Alec and when she finally stood up for herself with her family, I cheered because it was a long time coming. I loved Griff so much in his book, his grumpy self really worked for me but in this book, he annoyed me with the way that he treated Alec and then the way that he treated May. I wanted May to hurry up and stand up for herself and while it happened, it took a little while to get there and I was anxious about it.

Sarina Bowen has written wonderfully romantic stories for the characters in the True North series and they continue to hit me right in the feels. This book was no different and I closed this book with a huge smile on my face. I seriously cannot wait for more from these guys. I’m crossing my fingers for more books featuring Benito, Dylan, Daphne (though I can wait on theirs) and anyone else that Sarina Bowen can think of. I’m here for it all.

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

True North

four-half-stars


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Review: Rumor Has It by Jessica Lemmon

Posted May 30, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Rumor Has It by Jessica LemmonReviewer: Rowena
Rumor Has It (Real Love, #4) by Jessica Lemmon
Series: Real Love #4
Also in this series: Eye Candy, Eye Candy (Real Love, #1), Arm Candy, Man Candy (Real Love, #3)
Published by Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept
Publication Date: May 15th, 2018
Point-of-View: First Person
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 212
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

This is one bad boy who’s fit to print. A notorious jock tackles life—and love—after football with a type-A journalist in this sexy standalone from the author of Eye Candy.  

Barrett:

As a former pro football star, I’m used to playing the field. After injuries cut my NFL career short, my second act as a broadcaster ended on live television when a hot mic picked up a little verbal . . . indiscretion. But this latest publicity stunt might just land me back on top—much to the chagrin of Catarina Everhart, the prissy, beautiful journalist who’s been assigned to date a bad boy (i.e., me) and write about it. Catarina swears I’ll never touch her, let alone kiss those full lips of hers. Based on our chemistry, I’m not buying it. . . .

Catarina: Barrett Fox seems to be doing everything in his power to make me hate him. The cocky egomaniac is infamous for his bad behavior, and now, thanks to my boss’s harebrained schemes, he’s apparently my problem. As one fake date leads to another, I start to see a different side of Barrett. He’s close with his family. He does volunteer work. And, okay, he kisses like a dream. Am I really dating Barrett Fox? Or is he playing me? Because suddenly I’m risking my reputation—and my heart.

Real Love is the fourth book in Jessica Lemmon’s Real Love series and it’s another enjoyable contemporary romance that I ate right up. You’ll remember Barrett Fox from book 3, Man Candy as Dax Vaughn’s best friend who was crashing on his couch while Dax went off for some alone time. Barrett Fox is an ex-NFL player who is trying to get his job as a sports broadcaster back after the “incident” that pissed everyone off. His new job as a reporter puts him in the world of fake dating and his fake girlfriend is Catarina Everhart and she makes sure he knows exactly what she thinks of him.

Barrett is trying to clean up his image so that he can return to the world of broadcasting. Catarina is a writer and her boss wants to sell papers so fake dating Barrett is her assignment. She’s not all that happy about having a fake boyfriend when she already has a real one, especially when the fake boyfriend brings out a side of her that her real boyfriend has never done before. The more time they spend fake dating, the harder it gets to keep acting…especially when the fake dating is starting to feel so real.

Jessica Lemmon writes great contemporary romances and this was one of them. I had a good ol’ time getting to know Barrett and Catarina. Their banter, their chemistry was a lot of fun and I ate their story right up. One of the things that did bum me out is that Barrett has a friend that he knew from his football days named Jackson Burke and man, I thought he was the same Jackson Burke from Lauren Layne’s book I Wish You Were Mine but sigh, it’s not the same guy. From what I remember, Layne’s Jackson Burke was from Texas and this one is from Columbus, OH. Gah. Still, it would have been nice.

Barrett wasn’t the easiest hero to like because he did a lot of stupid shit in the beginning but the payoff is great if you stick it out with him. Catarina was stubborn and she was strong and I enjoyed her character very much. She was a great match for Barrett and while this isn’t my favorite book in this series, it’s still a good one. A totally solid romance that I definitely recommend.

Real Love

four-stars


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