Tag: Self-Published

Review: Repeat by Kylie Scott

Posted April 16, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Repeat by Kylie ScottReviewer: Rowena
Repeat by Kylie Scott
Narrator: Andi Arndt
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: January 7, 2019
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Romance Package
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Length: 6 hours, 47 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
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four-stars

From Audie Award winning, New York Times best-selling author Kylie Scott comes an irresistible new romance - available in audio first!

When a vicious attack leaves 25-year-old Clementine Johns with no memory, she's forced to start over. Now she has to figure out who she was and why she made the choices she did - which includes leaving the supposed love of her life, tattoo artist Ed Larsen, only a month before.

Ed can hardly believe it when his ex shows up at his tattoo parlor with no memory of their past, asking about the breakup that nearly destroyed him. The last thing he needs is more heartache, but he can't seem to let her go again.

Should they walk away for good, or does their love deserve a repeat performance?

Listening Length: 6 hours and 47 minutes

I’m not normally a fan of amnesia romances because I can’t stand the anxiety I get from the truth being revealed and the world exploding all around the characters but for some reason, I didn’t mind the amnesia in this book. This book came highly recommended by Holly so I knew that I was going to read it because if Holly is gushing about a book, the book is damn near perfect. And while I didn’t enjoy this book as much as she did, I still enjoyed it.

The amnesia thing didn’t bother me as much because so much of the story is about Clem’s journey to rediscovering who she was and who she wants to be. I really enjoyed that part of the story. For me, the romance took a backseat to Clem’s journey. I thought Kylie Scott did a really great job of showing us what Clem was feeling and how she was dealing with all of the changes in her life.

When we first meet Clem, she’s trying to figure some things out about herself. She’s finding out that people she once held near and dear, want nothing to do with her and from what she can gather, they have legit reasons for not wanting her to be a part of their lives anymore. Seeing her try to figure that out and repair the damage she doesn’t remember inflicting on these other people really amplified my enjoyment of the story. This wasn’t an easy book to read and there were times when I wanted to shake both Clem and Ed some but for the most part, I enjoyed seeing them reconnect and fall in love with the people they were today…and move on from their shady past.

I spotted the bad guy pretty early on so I would say that is the weakest part of this book but everything else was pretty solid. Clem really comes into her own and takes charge of the second chance she was given and I enjoyed seeing it all happen for her. The book is filled with a cast of charming characters that I came to love over the course of the book so yeah, if you’re looking for a second chance romance with an amnesia plot and a heroine surviving a pretty bad attack, blossoming into a kick-ass woman then you should definitely pick this one up.

Grade: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: Extra Credit by Sarina Bowen

Posted April 15, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Extra Credit by Sarina BowenReviewer: Rowena
Extra Credit by Sarina Bowen
Series: The Ivy Years #6
Also in this series: The Year We Hid Away , Blonde Date , The Year We Fell Down , The Understatement of the Year (The Ivy Years, #3), The Shameless Hour (The Ivy Years, #4), The Fifteenth Minute (The Ivy Years, #5), The Fifteenth Minute (The Ivy Years, #5), The Year We Hid Away (The Ivy Years, #2)
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: March 9th, 2019
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: New Adult
Pages: 234
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2019 A-Z Reading Challenge, Rowena's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Three novellas, including all new Ivy Years fun!

BLONDE DATE: A nervous sorority girl, a mean fraternity prank and an adorkable basketball player with a heart of gold. Blonde Date follows Katie and Andy’s first blind date…

STUDLY PERIOD: One hunky hockey player with a language barrier. Plus one awkward English tutor with a big crush. Equals hot, hilarious trouble! Study Period follows Pepe and his tutor Josie.

YESTERDAY: It’s been seven years since John Rikker left his childhood home in Michigan. Surely that’s long enough to scar over the wounds he received there. Or is it? Can Rikker survive a visit with his parents? And can Graham let him do it alone?

I’m a huge fan of Sarina Bowen’s Ivy Years series so when she announced that she was releasing Extra Credit, I couldn’t wait to read it. Extra Credit is a book that features three short stories featuring characters in the Ivy Years series. Two old stories and one brand spankin’ new one!

Blonde Date

Andy and Katie are set up on a blind date and while Katie has no clue who Andy is, Andy knows all too well who Katie is. They hit it off on their blind date and Katie learns that not all guys are assholes and she is worthy of being treated like a princess. I loved seeing these two get together all over again. I don’t think I’ll ever get over Andy being a Celtics fan but he was still a keeper. I think I’ve changed my mind over wanting Dash’s story. Eff that guy.

Katie was a fantastic heroine too. She was so normal and sweet. I loved seeing her have fun after what she went through with her ex-boyfriend Dash. I loved how strong and sure of herself she felt when she was with Andy, and I really loved how once she jumped in with Andy, she left all of the baggage from Dash in the past. It wasn’t worth her time and she showed it by not letting him ruin another day of her life. This was a sweet romance.

Grade: 4 out of 5

Studly Period

Studly Period is the novella that Sarina Bowen released as a weekly serial for her newsletter subscribers and I adored it when she released it week after week and I adored it all the more when I read it again. Pepe and Josie were too cute for words and I really enjoyed their story. I loved how shy and book nerdy Josie was and I loved how sweet and corny that Pepe was. Pepe was one of those characters that I didn’t think I needed to read about but I’m glad that Sarina wrote his story.

It was in this story that I realized how much I missed the characters from this series and it was while reading this story again for the second time that I decided to re-read this entire series. Seeing everyone again in this one made me happy and I got a little teary eyed when Josie thought Pepe ghosted her over vacation. Seeing them work their issues out was just too cute for words.

Grade: 4.25 out of 5

Yesterday

Ooh, we got a new short story for Rikker and Graham. Oh man, these two are the best! I loved seeing both of them in a good place, as a strong unit. They were solid in their relationship after all of the drama that they both went through and I was glad for it. Graham! My man Graham is really stepping into his new life and I just love him so much. He’s come such a long way from his book and seeing him stand up for both himself and for Rikker with his high school friends was something else.

Rikker’s part of this story made my heart hurt so much. He had such a harder time with his coming out then Graham did. He was never shown the kind of love and support from his family (outside of his grandmother) the way that Graham did but that didn’t stop him from loving with all that he was anyway. Seeing his parents up close and personal made me sorry for them because they couldn’t see past their worries to the amazing man their son grew up to be. I’m glad that when Rikker walked away, he walked away to somewhere that accepted and loved him just as he was. This might have been a short story, but it still packed the punch that I expect from Sarina Bowen. She didn’t disappoint. Graham and Rikker forever!

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

Final Grade

4.25 out of 5

The Ivy Years

four-stars


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Guest Review: Make Me Bad by R.S. Grey

Posted April 8, 2019 by Ames in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Make Me Bad by R.S. GreyReviewer: Ames
Make Me Bad by R.S. Grey
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: March 7, 2019
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 303
Add It: Goodreads
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three-half-stars

I was issued a warning: stay away from Ben Rosenberg.

As Clifton Cove’s resident “king”, he thinks he’s entitled to anyone and anything.

The trouble is, I’ve spent my whole life following the rules and playing it safe. I know what it feels like to be the good girl. I’m the police chief’s daughter and a librarian—for adorable children, no less. My wardrobe consists of colorful sundresses and baggy jeans. I might as well have a Post-it stuck to my forehead that reads: Yup, she’s a virgin.

An all-nighter with a fictional hunk is about as exciting as my life gets, until one day, fate decides to take pity on me and shove me straight into the path of Mr. Off-Limits himself.

Oof.

Just as I suspected, every inch of him promises to be my demise. Up close, he’s tall, menacing, dangerously handsome—the type of man who’s never spent a single moment worrying about the opinions of others. A well-behaved girl would do as she’s told and avoid him at all costs, but I’m overdue for a little rebellion.

No more Friday nights sprawled out on the couch in my comfiest pajamas. No more wishing I had the courage to misbehave.

Everyone thinks Ben is going to ruin me.They think he’ll chew me up and spit me out.

Well, Ben…go ahead.Tempt me. Taunt me.Make me bad.

This is the second book I’ve read by R.S. Grey. I read another book by this author last year and did not enjoy it but I’m glad I gave her writing another try. Make Me Bad ended up being a cute read.

Madison works in her small town’s library. She still lives at home with her police chief dad and she’s just celebrated a boring 25th birthday. She wishes for her next year to be different and on her walk home that night, her wish gets answered. She gets mugged. She’s rescued by the town’s golden son Ben Rosenberg, who’s on his way home from a bar fight. When he has a choice of where to serve his community service hours, he chooses the library. He runs into Madison there again and she jumps on the opportunity to use Ben’s popularity and way with the ladies to jumpstart her own love life. Of course Ben starts to fall for Madison as he helps break her out of her shell but her father and over-protective older brother hate Ben.

As I said earlier, I thought Make Me Bad was cute. I liked the balance of Madison’s introverted character to Ben’s extrovert. She has a sassy personality that she usually doesn’t let out and that surprises Ben. I also thought her hesitation around rocking the boat at home was well done and she eventually stands up to her dad and brother.

Ben was born with a silver spoon in his mouth but he’s not a horrible guy. He did get into hijinks as a teenager but he’s a lawyer now and aside from the bar fight, he’s not getting into trouble. He doesn’t really understand why Madison’s men-folk don’t like him. I like how he gave Madison little pushes to break her out of her comfort zone. Madison’s character definitely had the most growth and progression but Ben had room for improvement too and Madison was the one to bring that about. I thought these two were cute together.

I’m glad I gave Grey’s writing another chance.

Grade: 3.75 out of 5

three-half-stars


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Blog Tour: Hook Shot by Kennedy Ryan

Posted April 1, 2019 by Rowena in Promotions | 8 Comments

Kennedy Ryan’s third installment in her Hoops series is out and here at Book Binge, we’re super thrilled about that. Both of the previous books have hooked us good and we cannot wait to jump into Kenan and Lotus’ book. Their romance promises to be explosive and the early reviews have been nothing but good so we’re pretty anxious.

Blog Tour: Hook Shot by Kennedy RyanHook Shot by Kennedy Ryan
Series: Hoops #3
Also in this series: Hoops Holiday, Long Shot (Hoops, #1)
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: March 28, 2019
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 408
Add It: Goodreads
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Series Rating: five-stars

A deeply emotional standalone romance set in the worlds of professional basketball and high fashion.

Divorced. Single dad. Traded to a losing squad.

Cheated on, betrayed, exposed. My perfect life blew up in my face and I'm still picking up the pieces. The last thing I need is her. A wildflower. A storm. A woman I can't resist. Lotus DuPree is a kick to my gut and a wrench in my plans from the moment our eyes meet. I promised myself I wouldn't trust a woman again, but I've never wanted anyone the way I want Lo. She's not the plan I made, but she's the risk I have to take.

A warrior. A baller. The one they call Gladiator.

Kenan Ross charged into my life smelling all good, looking even better and snatching my breath from the moment we met. The last thing I need is him.I'm working on me. Facing my pain and conquering my demons.I've seen what trusting a man gets you.I. Don't. Have. Time. For. This. But he just keeps coming for me. Keeps knocking down my defenses and stealing my excuses one by one. He never gives up, and now...I'm not sure I want him to.

Kenan and Lotus’ have been circling each other since Long Shot and their romance is finally here. If you haven’t read the other books in this series, you really should because they’re emotional and raw and hard to get through but worth the emotional turmoil you’ll face while reading them. Kennedy Ryan does such a fantastic job of telling these stories and I want everyone to read them. Check out this excerpt!

Excerpt

After talking to Kenan for the last few minutes, and looking under his hood, so to speak, I’ve found that he’s a classic. They don’t make them like him anymore, and if I don’t change the subject, change the course of this conversation, I’ll fool myself that we don’t have to keep things simple and that we could be more than just friends, not just for the summer, but for a long time to come. As long as I’d like.

“Okay,” I say, switching gears without a clutch and pulling a tie off another of Amanda’s racks. “I think that shirt could work really well with this tie.”

He doesn’t look at the tie I’m holding up, but keeps his eyes fastened on me. He’s not playing along. I’ve boxed myself into a corner with him. And the quarters are too tight. His scent. His warmth. His intelligence. His thoughtfulness. He is pressing in on me, overtaking my good intentions in all the ways I never thought a man could.

“Try this on,” I say, blindly shoving the mint green shirt at him.

When I look at him, he’s already peeled one shirt off and is reaching for the one I chose. I didn’t think this through. Didn’t forecast that Kenan changing from one shirt into another would mean his naked chest. I lose my train of thought and all my chill. Besides my mouth dropping open at the sight of the sculpted terrain of his chest and abs, I give no other indication that he affects me. Taut, bronze skin stretches across his broad shoulders like supple canvas pulled over a frame, the foundation of a masterpiece. He’s a big man. Not bulky, but instead chiseled to the specifications of a master sculptor: arms roped with muscles, biceps like rocks under skin glowing with health. The forearms Chase raved about are lined with veins and sinew. And I die for a great chest. I’ve never seen one more spectacular than Kenan’s.

Two words.

Male. Nipples.

Jesus, my mouth is literally watering at the thought of tasting them, sucking them, licking them. And if that pectoral perfection weren’t enough, the two columns of muscles, four each, are stacked over his lean stomach arrowing down to a narrow waist and hips. I can’t look away. I lick my lips, imagining how he would feel under my mouth. How I’d lick around his nipples and drag my tongue down that shallow path bisecting his abdominal muscles. I’d slip that belt off and sink to my knees. Unzip those pants and take him out. God, hold him in my hands and then take him all the way to the back of my throat. I’d choke on him. A man this big . . . I’d be so tight around him.

“Lotus,” Kenan says, jarring me from my torso trance. “Should I go ahead and put this shirt on? Or did you need a little more time?”

I snap a glance up to his face, embarrassed to find him laughing at me. Oh, God. I’m as bad as Amanda. I turn to leave, but he catches my elbow with a gentle hand and turns me back around, walking us behind two of the racks. He bends until he’s almost eye level with me.

“Don’t be embarrassed,” he says, searching my face intently. “I’m glad you like my body.”

“I didn’t say I . . .” My words trail off at his knowing grin. “Okay. So you have a nice body. I work in fashion. Do you have any idea how many great bodies I see on a daily basis?”

“I’m sure many,” he says, his smile still firmly in place. “I can’t speak for any of them, only for the way you looked at me.”

“And how do you think I looked at you?” I ask defensively, forcing myself not to look away.

In the quiet that follows, his smile fades, and heat replaces the humor in his eyes. “You looked at me the way I bet I’ve looked at you every time you walk into a room,” he says, the timbre of his voice rolling over my sensitive skin like a caress. “Like I would eat you if I could. Head to toe, everything in between.”

“Kenan,” I protest, closing my eyes on a groan. “We said friends. We said simple. This is not how you start a simple friendship.”

His large hand cups my jaw and lifts my chin. I open my eyes, blinking dazedly at him. I wasn’t prepared for how his touch makes me feel. How I instantly crave more of it; want to lean into the warmth; to turn and trace his lifeline with my tongue. Tell him all the things I could discover just from reading his palm and looking into his eyes.

How can such a large hand feel so gentle, like it’s capable of treasuring, cherishing?

“Okay, Lotus,” he says, regret and reluctance woven around my name. “Simple. Friendship.”

Giveaway Alert

We’re giving away 3 e-copies of Hook Shot so make sure you enter, using the widget below. We’re excited for this release so we want to share the goods around with three lucky winners. Good luck!

Blog Tour: Hook Shot by Kennedy Ryan

About Kennedy Ryan

Kennedy Ryan is a Southern girl gone Southern California. A Top 100 Amazon Bestseller, Kennedy writes romance about remarkable women who find a way to thrive even in tough times, the love they find, and the men who cherish them.

She is a wife to her lifetime lover and mother to an extraordinary son. She has always leveraged her journalism background to write for charity and non-profit organizations, but enjoys writing to raise Autism awareness most. A contributor for Modern Mom Magazine, Kennedy’s writings have appeared in Chicken Soup for the Soul, USA Today and many others. The founder and executive director of a foundation serving Georgia families living with Autism, Kennedy has appeared on Headline News, Montel Williams, NPR and other outlets as a voice for families living with autism.


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Review: xo, Zach by Kendall Ryan

Posted March 27, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: xo, Zach by Kendall RyanReviewer: Holly
xo, Zach by Kendall Ryan
Narrator: Andi Arndt, Sebastian York
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: January 23, 2018
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Pages: 334
Length: 5 hours and 51 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 New to Me Challenge, New to Me Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
one-half-stars

The first time we met was at a party.

Your ex arrived to show off the person he'd left you for last month, and you asked me to pretend to be your date.

I was more than happy to help. You were attractive, smart and witty--and that kiss we shared? It left me wanting you for days.

The second time we met was in my office on campus where we were both surprised to discover you were the new master’s degree student in poetry that I would be working with. You promised to be professional. I did no such thing.

The late nights and intense study sessions spent alongside you majorly throw me off my game. I want you, and I fight with myself daily over this fact.

I know I'm crass, that my sexual innuendos and dirty mouth annoy you, but I live for those two bright spots of color in your cheeks. If that's the only reaction I can get out of you, I'll gladly take it.

You hate Mondays so every Monday I slip an anonymous poem into your bag and your smile gets me through the week.

I think I'm falling for you, and I know it's wrong. I know that I'm only supposed to be the adviser to your program and nothing more, but here's the thing. I think you're falling for me too.

xo, Zach

Audible was a having a 2 for 1 Credit sale and this book was on the list of available options, so I decided to give it a try. This is my first book by Kendall Ryan. I love Andy Arndt and Sebastian York as narrators, they’re wonderful. As soon as I saw their names listed I knew I had to get this.

Poppy, who is recently single, goes to a party with a friend and sees her ex with another woman. In a moment of panic she approaches a stranger and asks him to pose as her date. They end up having a great conversation and sharing a really hot kiss. He asks for her number, but she isn’t quite ready to commit to seeing him again. She tells him if it’s meant to be they’ll find each other. She’s feeling really great about it until she meets with her new adviser Monday morning and it’s Zach, the really great kisser from the party.

Zach wants Poppy. He wants to get her in bed, yes, but he genuinely likes her and thinks they could have something special. He’s almost 30. Ready to settle down and looking for something long term. But he also has a potty mouth and doesn’t always remember to spell out what he’s thinking. This makes Poppy hesitate to start anything with, even though he’s all in.

I really liked Zach. He was sweet and caring, despite his potty mouth. The poems he wrote Poppy were cute and I liked that he wanted her for more than just her body. The first couple chapters had a lot of humor. I actually laughed out loud a couple times. Then things went downhill. There were a lot of things that bothered me after the first quarter.

1) Zach is Poppy’s adviser. She told him she wasn’t interested in a relationship and he pursued it anyway. They eventually had a discussion about how she was safe with him and their professional relationship would never be affected by personal stuff, but it came too little, too late. He was already creepily aggressive a couple times prior to that.

2) Poppy. I hated her. She started out funny and sweet, but by the third chapter she was already getting on my nerves. View Spoiler » It was the way she threw it up as a road block for their relationship (internally) that bugged me.

Plus, she blew really hot and cold with Zach. She kept leading him on. She would flirt with him, kiss him, let him go down on her, then bail. The next day she rejects him and makes it clear she wants nothing but a student/adviser relationship with him, then she throws a fit because he goes on a date with someone else and purposely flirts with someone, because “screw it”!?!? She doesn’t want him, but no one else can have him either? She’s mad he’s with someone else after she rejected him repeatedly, but it’s okay for her to flirt with someone else? She makes it clear she’s not comfortable being in a relationship with him because he’s her adviser, then kisses him?

More than that, it was the immaturity of her actions. She literally ducked into bathrooms and ran around corners to avoid him. She was 24, not 14. The longer the story went on the more angry at her I became. Every time she let him kiss her or go down on her then disappeared, my blood pressure rose.

4) Poppy’s friends were pretty awful. The minute they gave out her personal information to Zach – with her sitting right there telling them not to – they lost me. With friends like that who needs creepy enemies?

Although there were couple things I liked, they didn’t make up for the rest. Between this and Rowena’s experience with Baby Daddy, I don’t think I’ll be trying another Kendall Ryan book.

1.5 out of 5

one-half-stars


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