Tag: Simon & Schuster

Review: So Over You by Kate Meader

Posted March 19, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: So Over You by Kate MeaderReviewer: Rowena
So Over You (Chicago Rebels, #2) by Kate Meader
Series: Chicago Rebels #2
Published by Simon & Schuster, Pocket Star
Publication Date: December 4th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 400
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Three estranged sisters struggle to sustain their late father’s failing hockey franchise in Kate Meader’s sizzling Chicago Rebels series. In this second entry, middle sister Isobel is at a crossroads in her personal and professional lives. But both are about to get a significant boost with the addition of a domineering Russian powerhouse to the Rebels....

Isobel Chase knows hockey. She played NCAA, won Olympic silver, and made it thirty-seven minutes into the new National Women’s Hockey League before an injury sidelined her dreams. Those who can’t, coach, and a position as a skating consultant to her late father’s hockey franchise, the Chicago Rebels, seems like a perfect fit. Until she’s assigned her first job: the man who skated into her heart as a teen and relieved her of her pesky virginity. These days, left-winger Vadim Petrov is known as the Czar of Pleasure, a magnet for puck bunnies and the tabloids alike. But back then... let’s just say his inability to sink the puck left Isobel frustratingly scoreless.

Vadim has a first name that means “ruler,” and it doesn’t stop at his birth certificate. He dominates on the ice, the practice rink, and in the backseat of a limo. But a knee injury has produced a bad year, and bad years in the NHL don’t go unrewarded. His penance? To be traded to a troubled team where his personal coach is Isobel Chase, the woman who drove him wild years ago when they were hormonal teens. But apparently the feeling was not entirely mutual.

That Vadim might have failed to give Isobel the pleasure that was her right is intolerable, and he plans to make it up to her—one bone-melting orgasm at a time. After all, no player can perfect his game without a helluva lot of practice...

So Over You is the second book in Kate Meader’s Chicago Rebels series and what a great book it was. Kate Meader keeps getting better and better in my opinion and the more that I read from her, the more I want to read from her.

Isobel Chase was the apple of her father’s eye. She was the son that he never had and she strived every day of her life to please him but when her professional hockey career is cut extremely short, she feels like she let him down and she never really got over it. Her father was not the best father. He was a terrible human being and he broke her heart when he messed with the guy she lost her virginity to. Nobody has made her feel more like a failure than her father and when he keeps right on messing with her from the grave, Isobel is determined to do her own thing.

Vadim Petrov has been traded to the Chicago Rebels and he isn’t exactly thrilled about it because she’s there. It’s been years since he’s seen the young girl that he was crazy about when they were young but being with her cost him a promising career that he had to work hard to put back on track. He’s finally playing in the NHL like he always dreamed but now Isobel is back in his orbit, as his coach and it’s hard because on top of the new team, the new city, Vadim is dealing with a new sister he didn’t know existed until she needed some of his organs to stay alive. So on top of Isobel being back in his life, his long lost mother is too. He’s not sure how he feels about Isobel again but his mother? He wants nothing to do with her. There’s a lot of baggage with that and man, the more I got to know Vadim, the more that I loved him.

So this is a second chance romance and an office romance and a coach/player romance and I enjoyed all aspects of Vadim and Isobel’s story. I enjoyed getting to know them, their situations and I really loved seeing them bicker their way toward that happy ending.

Isobel was a great heroine. She was strong and she was grumpy but she was learning to be a part of a family outside of the family she had with her mother. She had strained relationships with both of her sisters and seeing them bond over the course of the book filled me to the brim with feels. Harper was a great character in her book so it was good to see her in a supporting role in this book. Violet’s book is going to be another fun one. I just know it. These Chase sisters are a force to be reckoned with and I can’t freaking wait to see more of them.

Vadim’s story was such a good one. He didn’t have an easy life even though he was rich as hell. He grew up alone and when he met and fell in love with Isobel, things didn’t work out the way that he hoped they would but seeing him fall for her again and everything was so, so good. He was a great brother and in the end, a terrific son….but he was also a great boyfriend. I want my very own Vadim…even though he has a Russian accent and the accent in my head sounded really bad, I don’t even care. I adored him and am going to be looking for him in all of the other books. He’s my favorite.

This was another great book in a series that is shaping out to be a fantastic one. I’m anxious for more and will be so sad when the ride is over. Kate Meader has made her way onto my auto-buy list. I can’t get enough of her stuff.

Chicago Rebels Series

Grade: 4.25 out of 5


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Review: Irresistible You by Kate Meader

Posted March 16, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Irresistible You by Kate MeaderReviewer: Rowena
Irresistible You (Chicago Rebels, #1) by Kate Meader
Series: Chicago Rebels #1
Also in this series: So Over You (Chicago Rebels, #2)
Published by Simon & Schuster, Pocket Star
Publication Date: August 14th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 400
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Hot in Chicago series author Kate Meader returns with her all new, scorching Chicago Rebels hockey series. Three estranged sisters inherit their late father’s failing hockey franchise and are forced to confront a man’s world, their family’s demons, and the battle-hardened ice warriors skating into their hearts.

Harper Chase has just become the most powerful woman in the NHL after the death of her father Clifford Chase, maverick owner of the Chicago Rebels. But the team is a hot mess—underfunded, overweight, and close to tapping out of the league. Hell-bent on turning the luckless franchise around, Harper won’t let anything stand in her way. Not her gender, not her sisters, and especially not a veteran player with an attitude problem, a chip on his shoulder, and a smoldering gaze designed to melt her ice-compacted defenses.

Veteran center Remy “Jinx” DuPre is on the downside of a career that’s seen him win big sponsorships, fans’ hearts, and more than a few notches on his stick. Only one goal has eluded him: the Stanley Cup. Sure, he’s been labeled as the unluckiest guy in the league, but with his recent streak of good play, he knows this is his year. So why the hell is he being shunted off to a failing hockey franchise run by a ball-buster in heels? And is she seriously expecting him to lead her band of misfit losers to a coveted spot in the playoffs?

He’d have a better chance of leading Harper on a merry skate to his bed…

After the rocky start with this series with In Skates Trouble, I’m glad that I stuck with this series because I really enjoyed Irresistible You.

Harper Chase is dealing with the death of her father but not in the way that you’d think. You see, Harper has worked her butt off to prove to her father (when he was alive) that she had what it takes to run his hockey team when he retired but no matter what she did, he didn’t see her potential. So when he dies and leaves the hockey team to, not just her, but her two estranged sisters, Harper wants to pull her hair out. But no, her father wasn’t done messing with her because on top of having to share the hockey team with her sisters, they have to jump through more of his insane hoops to keep the team at the end of the season. So Harper has to turn around a failing professional hockey organization and she doesn’t have a lot of time to do it.

Enter Remy DuPre. Veteran center who is on his way to finally getting his hands on that coveted Stanley Cup. He just has to stay healthy and play hard for the rest of the season and he’ll be holding that trophy over his head with his team in Boston…only, he’s traded to one of the worst teams in the league and his chances of getting that cup fall flat on its face and who does he blame for this mess? Harper freaking Chase.

Remy comes to Chicago kicking and screaming and Harper practically drags him there. They face off every chance they get and all of that fierceness is bound to thaw out and turn into a passion so strong, they don’t stand a chance against it. Seeing them bicker their way toward the thaw made for such a fun romance. Kate Meader is really bringing it with this series and I’m so glad that I continued it.

Remy was such a great hero. One that was caring at the same time that he was strong, loving and just an all around good guy. I loved how the veteran presence that he brought to the team when they needed it most and I loved seeing him so sure of how he felt for Harper.

Harper was so much more than I thought she’d be from In Skates Trouble. She was smart, she was strong and she was so damn good at what she did that it didn’t take long at all for me to jump on board the Harper train. I loved seeing the ice melt between her and her sisters. Things weren’t always perfect for Harper but in her heart of hearts, she always tried to do what was right for them and the team.

Seeing Remy and Harper together was a lot of fun. Each encounter that brought them closer was just one of the reasons that I enjoyed the book. I loved the way that Remy was with his nieces, with his entire family to be honest and I loved the way that he was with Harper. How he fed her, looked out for her, all while trying to respect her wishes of being and staying discreet. When he decides to woo Harper into his way of thinking, it was just too freaking sweet.

Harper had a lot going on in this book and I really liked the person she grew to be. Her hesitation to take her relationship with Remy public was completely understandable and I really liked how pissed she was at herself and at the whole situation. The way that she was with her sisters was a lot of fun to witness because they’re all so different from each other. I’m looking forward to reading the next book to get to know ice princess Isobel better. Bring on the Russian lovin’… 🙂

Overall, this was a wonderful contemporary romance that really kicks the series into high gear, at least for me. I enjoyed the characters, the chemistry between the main couple and the promise that the coming books bring with the set up in this one. It’s a great read.

Chicago Rebels Series

Grade: 4 out of 5


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Review: North to You by Tif Marcelo

Posted January 19, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: North to You by Tif MarceloReviewer: Rowena
North to You (Journey to the Heart #1) by Tif Marcelo
Series: Journey to the Heart #1
Published by Simon & Schuster, Pocket Star
Publication Date: June 5th, 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 315
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble

In this warmhearted and charming debut from Tif Marcelo, a food truck chef and her long lost Army love clash when they cross paths in San Francisco.

Camille Marino has got a full plate. As the sole guardian of her eighteen-year-old sister and the head chef and owner of a food truck, she’s used to life being a juggling act. With food to cook, social media accounts to manage, and a little sister to look after, she doesn’t have time for much else.

That is, until Drew Bautista walks back into her life.

Drew is Camille’s former high school crush and he returns to San Francisco to repair his relationship with his father before he ships out for deployment. By helping his father renovate his failing Filipino restaurant, he hopes to win back his respect. But when sparks fly between Drew and Camille—his father’s major competition and sworn enemy—Drew is conflicted. Should he join his father in the war against her food truck? Or surrender to the woman who’s given him a second chance at love?

North to You is the first book in Tif Marcelo’s Journey to the Heart series. I’ve been hearing great things about this series and about this book in particular so I was glad to see that I did enjoy the book.

Cami Marino owns a food truck called Luciano and she’s struggling to stay afloat. She’s struggling to keep the lights on at home and the wheels from falling off her truck and the very last thing that she needs is a blast from the past distracting her from all the things that she needs to do. As the sole provider for her younger sister, she’s got bills to pay and schooling to figure out. It doesn’t matter that seeing Drew again makes her heart beat a little faster, it doesn’t matter that Drew’s presence in her life again makes her happy. She’s got shit to do and not a lot of time to figure it out.

Drew Bautista is back home after being gone with the military. He left without a backward glance without his father’s blessing and he’s back to try to fix their strained relationship. He’s back in time to help his family out with the family business renovation. His family owns a Filipino restaurant that is in desperate need of updating and his family is gunning to get that done but when a food truck sets down right in front of their business and becomes a thorn in Drew’s father’s side, Drew is blown away when he finds out that the food truck belongs to Cami Marino. A girl from his past that he really wants to reacquaint himself with.

Things get really complicated, really fast between Cami and Drew because Drew takes it upon himself to try to fix things without telling anyone his plan and as you can guess, that doesn’t go as planned.

The relationship between Drew and Cami was cute and I really enjoyed their second chance romance. I thought Marcelo did a great job of bringing these two together. Their entire story was cute and it was funny and the characters were really charming. I’m really looking forward to the rest of the series. This is not going to be the last book that I read by Tif Marcelo. Good stuff.

Grade: 4 out of 5

Journey to the Heart Series

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Review: Small Admissions by Amy Poeppel (+ Giveaway)

Posted January 10, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Small Admissions by Amy Poeppel (+ Giveaway)Reviewer: Rowena
Small Admissions by Amy Poeppel
Published by Simon & Schuster, Atria Books, Emily Bestler Books
Publication Date: December 27th 2016
Pages: 368
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble

For fans of The Nanny Diaries and Sophie Kinsella comes a whip-smart and deliciously funny debut novel about Kate, a young woman unexpectedly thrust into the cutthroat world of New York City private school admissions as she attempts to understand city life, human nature, and falling in love.

Despite her innate ambition and Summa Cum Laude smarts, Kate Pearson has turned into a major slacker. After being unceremoniously dumped by her handsome, French “almost fiancé,” she abandons her grad school plans and instead spends her days lolling on the couch, watching reruns of Sex and the City, and leaving her apartment only when a dog-walking gig demands it. Her friends don’t know what to do other than pass tissues and hope for a comeback, while her practical sister, Angela, pushes every remedy she can think of, from trapeze class to therapy to job interviews.

Miraculously, and for reasons no one (least of all Kate) understands, she manages to land a job in the admissions department at the prestigious Hudson Day School. In her new position, Kate learns there’s no time for self-pity or nonsense during the height of the admissions season, or what her colleagues refer to as “the dark time.” As the process revs up, Kate meets smart kids who are unlikable, likeable kids who aren’t very smart, and Park Avenue parents who refuse to take no for an answer.

Meanwhile, Kate’s sister and her closest friends find themselves keeping secrets, hiding boyfriends, dropping bombshells, and fighting each other on how to keep Kate on her feet. On top of it all, her cranky, oddly charming, and irritatingly handsome downstairs neighbor is more than he seems. Through every dishy, page-turning twist, it seems that one person’s happiness leads to another’s misfortune, and suddenly everyone, including Kate, is looking for a way to turn rejection on its head, using any means necessary—including the truly unexpected.

This book made it onto my radar when it came through in my email and I immediately added it to my review pile. I took my time getting around to reading it but then Grace over at Rebel Mommy Book Blog reviewed the book and I was super excited to start the book and I’m happy to report that I enjoyed it.

Kate Pearson is our main character and the story follows her and the people in her life from her family, her friends and the people she comes across every day at her new job as an admissions director for Hudson, a private school in New York City. After a disastrous relationship, Kate falls into a deep depression that takes her out of commission for a while and when her sister sets up a job interview for her to kick her out of her funk, Kate goes along with it and is surprised when she finds so much more than a new job. She finds a purpose. She finds a new circle of people that come to mean the world to her.

The book follows quite a few different people. There is Kate, of course, but there is also her sister, her friends, her boss and some of the parents that are trying to get their kids into Hudson. This book was fun and it was interesting but I have to note that in the beginning, it was confusing as hell. At least it was for me. I couldn’t figure out why Chloe’s bit was in first person, while everyone else was in third person, including Kate’s bit since Kate is the main character. It was hard to keep everyone sorted in my head but I continued on and was glad for it because everything was sorted and the story really was a good time.

This book has a bit of everything to make it an enjoyable read. Crazy parents, bratty kids, bad friends, well meaning friends, supportive family members and a sister that thought she knew everything but made me want to smack her upside her head from time to time. Every time Victoria thought something bad about Kate, I wanted Kate to come out on top of something else that would drive Vicky crazy. Every time Silvia Blake came onto the scene, my eyes got bigger and bigger waiting to see what shenanigans she’d get herself into. Angela made me roll my eyes all over the place and Chloe frustrated me but I ended up really liking her. There was much to enjoy about this book. It made me laugh, it hurt my heart but in the end, everything worked out and I was entertained.

This was a good book and I definitely recommend it if you’re in the mood for a fun chick lit book.

Giveaway Alert!

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About the Author

Amy Poeppel


Amy Poeppel is a graduate of Wellesley College. Originally from Dallas, Texas, she lives with her husband and three sons in New York City, where she worked in the admissions department of an independent school. She workshopped a theatrical version of SMALL ADMISSIONS at the Actors Studio Playwrights/Directors Unit. She later expanded it into a novel.


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Review: Bad Boy by Elliot Wake

Posted December 6, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Bad Boy by Elliot WakeReviewer: Rowena
Bad Boy by Elliot Wake
Published by Simon & Schuster, Atria Books
Publication Date: December 6, 2016
Genres: New Adult
Pages: 256
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Vlog star Renard Grant has nothing to prove: he’s got a pretty face, chiseled body, and two million adoring video subscribers. Plus the scars on his chest and a prescription for testosterone. Because Ren is transgender: assigned female at birth, living now as male. He films his transition and shares it bravely with the world; his fans love his honesty and positivity.

But Ren has been living a double life.

Off-camera, he’s Cane, the muscle-bound enforcer for social justice vigilante group Black Iris. As Cane, he lets his dark side loose. Hurts those who prey on the disempowered. Indulges in the ugly side of masculinity. And his new partner, Tamsin Baylor, is a girl as rough and relentless as him. Together, they terrorize the trolls into silence.

But when a routine Black Iris job goes south, Ren is put in the crosshairs. Someone is out to ruin his life. He’s a bad boy, they say, guilty of what he punishes others for.

Just like every other guy: at heart, he’s a monster, too.

Now Ren’s got everything to prove. He has to clear his name, and show the world he’s a good man. But that requires facing demons he’s locked away for years. And it might mean discovering he’s not such a good guy after all.

I wanted to read this book because I was in the mood for something different and after reading the blurb, this one seemed to fit the bill. I thought it would be interesting to get to know a character that is a vlog star who filmed his transition and shared it on his blog for the world.

It wasn’t easy. It wasn’t all pretty roses and rainbows but I was very interested in Ren’s transition story. In Ren as a person. Getting into the story, I thought that I would feel a lot more for Ren as a person than I did but sadly, I didn’t. The story as a whole was interesting and it was what drove me to finish but Ren as a character was someone that I just couldn’t fully connect with. I’m not even sure why, he just, I don’t even know. He’s a pretty dark character, a character who has been through a hell of a lot but while I ended up okay with him, in the end, I still didn’t fully like him.

I wonder if I had read the other books before this one, if I would have felt different about it all because all of the Black Iris stuff had me rolling my eyes down the street. At first, I didn’t get it but the author did a good job in pulling it all together in the end. Once I was caught up with everything going on, I appreciated the story more so if I could recommend anything, it would be for readers to read Unteachable, Black Iris and Cam Girl.

I will say that Elliot Wake wrote a compelling story that was dark and twisted but necessary. The way that he made the dark and the light stuff in life come together was raw and gritty and that’s probably why I didn’t enjoy this book as much. I’m a fluffy contemporary romance reader at heart and the darkness in this book (and in Ren) was hard for me to get through, so while I’m glad that I gave this book a go, I probably won’t continue with the other books. This has nothing to do with the author or the book and everything to do with my reading preferences.

Grade: 2.75 out of 5

Giveaway Alert

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About the Author


Elliot Wake


Elliot Wake (formerly known as Leah Raeder) is a transgender author of four novels: Unteachable, Black Iris, Cam Girl, and Bad Boy. Aside from reading his brains out, Elliot enjoys video games, weightlifting, and perfecting his dapper style. He lives with his partner in Chicago.


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