Tag: Sourcebooks

Review: Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe by Jenny Colgan

Posted October 23, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe by Jenny ColganReviewer: Rowena
Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe (At the Cupcake Cafe #1) by Jenny Colgan
Narrator: Michelle Ford
Series: At the Cupcake Cafe #1
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Publication Date: April 14, 2011
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 427
Length: 12 hours, 54 minutes
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two-half-stars

A sweet and satisfying novel of how delicious it is to discover your dreams

Issy Randall can bake. No, Issy can create stunning, mouthwateringly divine cakes. After a childhood spent in her beloved Grampa Joe's bakery, she has undoubtedly inherited his talent. She's much better at baking than she is a filing so when she's laid off from her desk job, Issy decides to open her own little café. But she soon learns that her piece-of-cake plan will take all of her courage and confectionary talent to avert disaster.

Funny and sharp, Meet Me at the Cupcake Café is about how life might not always taste like you expect, but there's always room for dessert!

Thanks to Holly, I’m really getting into the swing of this audiobook business. I signed up for the Audible Romance Package and I have been going to town on listening to multiple books a week while I’m at work. Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe is one of the books that I listened to and honestly, it was a bit of a snoozefest. I actually enjoyed the narrator’s accent but the story she was reading was super slow. It felt like nothing happens throughout most of the book. Izzy gets sacked, opens up a bakery and is trying to figure her way out with that whole thing at the same time that she’s starting to develop a crush on the guy from the bank but still hanging out with her ex boyfriend that did her dirty.

Now that I think about it though, there was a lot of stuff going on but none of it was all that interesting to me and because I wasn’t reading along in the book, I kept getting confused at the different POV’s thrown at me. It gave me a case of whiplash and still, I wasn’t fully invested in the characters, what was happening and the romance. I think because Izzy kept bouncing back to her ex-boyfriend who proved at the beginning to be a total asshat, it killed any excitement I had for her to move on to the bank dude. This had a bit of a chick lit feel to it because the actual romance took a back seat to everything and everyone else. At least that’s the way that it came off to me. I was much more invested in those recipes and am really curious about the Nutella cupcakes.

I also thought the ending left a lot to be desired as it felt rushed and was more a string that readers pulled to get more books. Though I didn’t hate this book, it was just okay to me and I doubt I’ll be finishing out the series.

Grade: 2.5 out of 5

two-half-stars


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Review: The One You Can’t Forget by Roni Loren

Posted June 25, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: The One You Can’t Forget by Roni LorenReviewer: Rowena
The One You Can't Forget (The Ones Who Got Away, #2) by Roni Loren
Series: The Ones that Got Away #2
Also in this series: The Ones Who Got Away (The Ones Who Got Away, #1)
Publisher: Sourcebooks, Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: June 5, 2018
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 416
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Most days Rebecca Lindt feels like an imposter...The world admires her as a survivor. But that impression would crumble if people knew her secret. She didn't deserve to be the one who got away. But nothing can change the past, so she's thrown herself into her work. She can't dwell if she never slows down.

Wes Garrett is trying to get back on his feet after losing his dream restaurant, his money, and half his damn mind in a vicious divorce. But when he intervenes in a mugging and saves Rebecca―the attorney who helped his ex ruin him―his simple life gets complicated.

Their attraction is inconvenient and neither wants more than a fling. But when Rebecca's secret is put at risk, both discover they could lose everything, including what they never realized they needed: each other

She laughed and kissed him. This morning she'd melted down. But somehow this man had her laughing and turned on only a few hours later. Everything inside her felt buoyed.

She felt...light.

She'd forgotten what that felt like.

The One You Can’t Forget is the second book in the The Ones that Got Away series by Roni Loren and it features Rebecca Lindt, one of the Long Acre High School shootings survivors. Rebecca was the middle-man in the couple from the first books romance. The hero from book 1 and Rebecca were a couple when Finn fell in love with Olivia. During the shooting, he left Olivia’s side to rush to protect Rebecca and even with all of the heroics from Finn, Rebecca was still shot in the leg.

Rebecca has moved on from Finn and though she likes to think that she has moved on from the shooting, she never fully dealt with the demons she carries from that night so the school shooting still haunts her. She’s a divorce attorney at her father’s firm and she deals with a lot of unhappy couples. When Rebecca is robbed at gunpoint on her walk home from work, she meets Wes Garrett, a guy that just happened to walk up on her being robbed and the robbers run off before any damage is done to her. A dog, who is her true hero, was shot in the process and Wes helps Rebecca get the dog to a vet (his brother) and helps Rebecca get situated at home.

Going into this book, I wasn’t really sure how to take Rebecca’s character. I didn’t know if I was going to fall in love with her as easily as I did the others because Rebecca is a lot more reserved. She holds all of her cards close to her chest so I didn’t know if I’d connect with her character all that much. I’m super glad to report that I really enjoyed Rebecca’s character. She’s not perfect and there were times when I was frustrated with her thought processes and her choices but in the end, she really comes full circle and when she finally stands up for herself and for Wes in the end with her father? I literally cheered for joy because holy cow, that scene was a long time coming.

Wes was fantastic. He was a new character and what made his character interesting was that he was trying to put his life back together after his ex-wife took him to the cleaners and put a stop on the dreams he was so close to fulfilling for himself. That Rebecca was the lawyer that helped his ex-wife steal that dream from him wasn’t an easy pill for him to swallow but the way that he handled finding out about who Rebecca was, I thought Roni Loren did a great job of writing that out realistically.

I thought that the romance was super sweet and the way that they came together was so organic and just all around real that I had no trouble jumping in and loving the hell out of the two of them. I cannot wait for Taryn’s book and I’m super anxious for Kincaid’s book so I’ll be waiting patiently for these to come out.

Overall, this book was solid. Rebecca and Wes were likable characters with interesting backgrounds that made reading about them interesting. There were times when I wanted to throttle Rebecca and even Wes but for the most part, I loved these two and their story. I definitely recommend.

Grade: 4 out of 5

The Ones That Got Away


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Review: The Ones that Got Away by Roni Loren

Posted January 3, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Review: The Ones that Got Away by Roni LorenReviewer: Rowena
The Ones Who Got Away (The Ones Who Got Away, #1) by Roni Loren
Series: The Ones that Got Away #1
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: January 2nd 2018
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 384
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Goodreads
four-stars

Liv's words cut off as Finn got closer. The man approaching was nothing like the boy she'd known. The bulky football muscles had streamlined into a harder, leaner package and the look in his deep green eyes held no trace of boyish innocence.

It's been twelve years since tragedy struck the senior class of Long Acre High School. Only a few students survived that fateful night—a group the media dubbed The Ones Who Got Away.

Liv Arias thought she'd never return to Long Acre—until a documentary brings her and the other survivors back home. Suddenly her old flame, Finn Dorsey, is closer than ever, and their attraction is still white-hot. When a searing kiss reignites their passion, Liv realizes this rough-around-the-edges cop might be exactly what she needs...

I’ve been pretty anxious to read this book ever since I read the blurb. What an interesting concept for a series and I’m totally glad to report that Roni Loren did a fantastic job setting this series up. This was my first book read by Loren and it won’t be my last.

Liv Arias and Finn Dorsey are two students that survived a school shooting and they’re back in the town to take part in a charity documentary that will benefit the families of the victims. It’s not going to be an easy thing to be back at the scene of the crime but for charity, they’ll go back. For any of the survivors, it would be hard to go back to the scene of the crime but for both Liv and Finn, their memories seriously broke my heart.

They were high school sweethearts. They were in love but Liv’s father was Finn’s father’s gardener and because of that, they kept their love a secret. Finn broke Liv’s heart when he asked Rebecca Lindt to prom because he wasn’t strong enough to love Liv out in the open and then he stomped on her heart in the janitor’s closet at prom when the shooting started and he left her in the closet to go and save Bec, leading the shooters right to Liv.

Talk about some angsty romance drama, right? Holy cow, the more I read into this story, the more my heart hurt for Liv but then there was Finn. Finn carries a lot of guilt over everything and seeing Liv again is stirring up the guilt all over again but the connection they had in high school is still alive and beating between them now so how do they move on from the memories? Where do they go from here?

I really enjoyed the romance between Finn and Liv. I thought they handled their coming together again really well. There was so much between them and seeing them struggle to find common ground after all of these years was heartbreaking but boy was I rooting them on. I don’t know that I would have been as forgiving as Liv was but who knows, when you love someone the way that Liv loved Finn, maybe I would.

Another thing that I really enjoyed was that Roni Loren didn’t shy away from making Finn own up to what he did back in high school. I’m glad that he really struggled with his actions back then and how that shaped him into the man that he was now. I liked that Loren made him work for his happy ending. I liked that Liv had to forgive him and they had to work through their past to get to their future.

There’s a lot to enjoy in this book and even more to look forward to. It was so nice to meet some of the other survivors and I liked Liv’s friends. I’m looking forward to more Kincaid, Rebecca and Taryn in future books. I will definitely be back for more so yes, I recommend this book to anyone in the mood for an emotional read about two survivors who find their way back to each other.

Grade: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: Coming Up for Air by Miranda Kenneally

Posted July 17, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Coming Up for Air by Miranda KenneallyReviewer: Rowena
Coming Up for Air by Miranda Kenneally
Series: Hundred Oaks #8
Also in this series: Stealing Parker (Hundred Oaks #2), Guys Do Not Do Secret Santa, Defending Taylor (Hundred Oaks #7)
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: July 1st 2017
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 320
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four-stars

Swim. Eat. Shower. School. Snack. Swim. Swim. Swim. Dinner. Homework. Bed. Repeat.

All of Maggie’s focus and free time is spent swimming. She’s not only striving to earn scholarships—she’s training to qualify for the Olympics. It helps that her best friend, Levi, is also on the team and cheers her on. But Levi’s already earned an Olympic try out, so she feels even more pressure to succeed. And it’s not until Maggie’s away on a college visit that she realizes how much of the “typical” high school experience she’s missed by being in the pool.

Not one to shy away from a challenge, Maggie decides to squeeze the most out of her senior year. First up? Making out with a guy. And Levi could be the perfect candidate. After all, they already spend a lot of time together. But as Maggie slowly starts to uncover new feelings for Levi, how much is she willing to lose to win?

It’s pretty amazing that this book is the eighth book in the Hundred Oaks series and I’m just as invested in these characters, from that high school as I was in the beginning. Sure, I’ve liked some books more than others but I’m still excited to read these books as if I’d read them for the first time.

This book follows Maggie and Levi. Best friends turned more than best friends. They’re competitive swimmers that grew up together, are always in each other’s pockets and with their schedules as jam packed as they are, they don’t really have much time for friends and relationships and what not. Normally that wouldn’t be a problem because Levi finds the time to hook up with girls and Maggie is too tired for anything more than swim and her weekly night out with her best friends. All of that is enough for Maggie until she goes on a college visit trip and becomes curious. She doesn’t have any experience with boys and now that the idea is in her head, she wants to hook up with someone. She wants to kiss and fool around and really, she wants more than just swimming.

Once that is decided, Maggie tries it on her own with disastrous results so she figures that she needs someone she trusts to help her out and who better than her bestie, Levi?

Levi is not excited about delving into this because Maggie is important to him and he doesn’t have the time and doesn’t want to risk what they have over kissing and hooking up. He’s scared of all of the normal things that will happen with other girls, things he doesn’t want to risk with Maggie but because he can’t say no to her, he goes along. He helps her out. They kiss. They make out. They learn from each other until things start to really heat up.

Maggie and Levi were adorable on their own and I really loved their friendship. They had a solid foundation as friends and I was glad that they were able to get back to that friendship once the waters were tested and their bond was shaken a little. Kenneally does a great job of telling both of their sides and helping them figure their stuff out and she does it all so easily. Not once was I bored. Not once was I frustrated with either Maggie or Levi and I really enjoyed seeing them come into their own while not losing what was between them. Sure, it wasn’t easy and their relationship wasn’t perfect but it was still pretty awesome and I really enjoyed being along for their journey.

Grade: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: This is Our Song by Samantha Chase

Posted January 26, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: This is Our Song by Samantha ChaseReviewer: Rowena
This Is Our Song by Samantha Chase
Publisher: Sourcebooks, Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: December 6th 2016
Pages: 339
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Goodreads
three-half-stars

She knows him by reputationRiley Shaughnessy knew that to stand out in his large family, he'd have to go big. Making a name for himself as a musician wasn't easy, but he followed his dreams to rock-star success. But the relentless expectations of fans is not helping the slump he's in now. So of course the person who attracts him is the woman who is not impressed by fame.

Which gives Riley Shaughnessy a lot to proveEntertainment reporter Savannah Daly is completely unfazed by pretty-boy rock stars. She's just here to get her interview and write her story. But spending an entire month with the Shaughnessys is going to show Savannah a side of Riley she never could have guessed.

This was my very first book read by Samantha Chase. It was a cute read and while I liked it, I didn’t absolutely love it. I liked that I went into the book completely blind to Chase’s writing style, the characters and previous books in this series but it didn’t take me long at all to catch up.

Riley Shaughnessy is struggling, creatively and he’s feeling the pressure from everyone to get his solo album done. When his managers push him into doing an in-depth interview for a big shot magazine, Riley is stuck. He’s not all that wild about reporters, so he’s not at all happy about spending time with entertainment reporter, Savannah Daly. The feeling is completely mutual where Savannah’s concerned. She’s not a fan of Riley’s music and she’s equally unimpressed with his persona.

That all changes once they meet. There’s an instant attraction on both sides and the more time they spend together, the harder it is for them to deny these feelings. Riley’s got some issues that he’s working through and Savannah has her own stuff to handle throughout this book and I found myself smiling throughout the entire time I was reading. This book is cute, with charming characters, a colorful cast of secondary characters and an adorable romance between two characters with loads of chemistry. There were some things that were predictable, situations that had me thinking “yeah right!” but for the most part, it was an entertaining read and I’m glad that I read it.

I need to get the rest of the series added to my TBR list and then read them. I’m mighty curious about the rest of the Shaugnessy brothers.

three-half-stars


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