Tag: Weekly Reread

Retro Review: A Kingdom of Dreams by Judith McNaught.

Posted January 11, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 44 Comments

Retro Review: A Kingdom of Dreams by Judith McNaught.Reviewer: Rowena
A Kingdom of Dreams by Judith McNaught
Series: Westmorelands #1
Published by Simon & Schuster, Pocket Books
Publication Date: July 1st 2003
Pages: 438
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Abducted from her convent school, headstrong Scottish beauty Jennifer Merrick does not easily surrender to Royce Westmoreland, Duke of Claymore. Known as "The Wolf"; his very name strikes terror in the hearts of his enemies. But proud Jennifer will have nothing to do with the fierce English warrior who holds her captive, this handsome rogue who taunts her with his blazing arrogance. Boldly she challenges his will . . . until the night he takes her in his powerful embrace, awakening in her an irresistible hunger. And suddenly Jennifer finds herself ensnared in a bewildering web . . . a seductive, dangerous trap of pride, passion, loyalty, and overwhelming love.

***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.

This week, we’re going back to the author that started my love of romance novels, Judith McNaught. I remember this review and all of the fighting commenting we did in the comments. What a lively bunch we are…ha! Oh man, the memories…***

This review was originally posted on May 29, 2007.

Okay so this weekend, while I was in the midst of reading all these books while waiting to read my book book, I did a reread of this book, A Kingdom of Dreams by Judith McNaught.

Now in our little circle of friends, this is the book that brings out the claws. I kid you not, we have gotten into some serious fight emails (in ALL CAPS y’all) about this book and the heroine. While some of us think that Jenny was a stupid beeyatch who deserved all the crap that she got, we still think she was redeemable in the end, there are others who think otherwise. They’re the ones that think Jenny should have died a slow death where she was tortured, hanging over a fire pit, being slow roasted.


And as I was reading this book, this past weekend I found myself being just as absorbed in this story as I was the many other times I’ve read this book.

I found myself falling deeper and deeper under the Royce Westmoreland spell and I thought this book was fantastically written. The emotions Judith McNaught envoked in the readers toward the characters, pulled them deep into the story and made them apart of it, made them hate the bad guys (and the good guys) and made them hungry with the thirst of justice (for poor Thor and William) and I’ve got to say that Judith McNaught sure knows what she’s doing when she writes these books.

She’s a master at weaving a world that sparks such interesting topics and discussions. I mean, I’ve never fought with anyone like I did with Izzy and Holly over the whole Jenny thing and I admit to poking fun at them, deliberately provoking them into getting all huffy and puffy about Jenny and her actions.

It’s really fun, to read this book and roll my eyes and get that nervous twitch in my stomach when I knew Jenny was going to do something stupid, like sew the soldiers clothes shut or carve Royce’s face with his own knife, then you know, THE scene where she did what she did to Thor? And then when she hesitated over Royce’s lance when he approached her for her ribbon?


These are the things that made me so angry at Jenny but I didn’t wish Royce ended up with anyone else. I mean, she was stupid but she was very repentant at the end. Yeah, Royce was nearly dead before she got her wits around her to go and put a stop to the slaughtering of her husband, but she DID do it and she truly showed that she did in fact love him with all that she was…

Royce’s speech when he brought Jenny back to his home and introduced him to the servants, sigh I just love it…so much so that I’m going to type it out for you.

Behold your new mistress, my wife. And know that when she bids you, I have bidden you; what service you render her, you are rendering me, what loyalty you give or withhold from her, you give or withhold from me.


Man but this was a good book, a fantastic book and even though Jenny was a stupid ass, I still loved this book and I will continue to read it over and over again because it’s just that great.

Go on, bring on the vicious words for Jenny, I know you’re just dying to say them…LOL.

Grade: 4.75 out of 5

This book is available from Pocket Books. You can purchase it here.


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Review: The Prize by Julie Garwood.

Posted March 11, 2008 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: The Prize by Julie Garwood.Reviewer: Rowena
The Prize by Julie Garwood
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: July 5th 2011
Pages: 403
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In the resplendence of William the Conqueror's London court, the lovely Saxon captive, Nicholaa was forced to choose a husband from the assembled Norman nobles. She chose Royce, a baron warrior whose fierce demeanor could not conceal his chivalrous and tender heart. Resourceful, rebellious and utterly naive, Nicholaa vowed to bend Royce to her will, despite the whirlwind of feelings he aroused in her.

Ferocious in battle, seasoned in passion, Royce was surprised by the depth of his emotion whenever he caressed his charming bride.
In a climate of utmost treachery, where Saxons still intrigued against their Norman invaders, Royce and Nicholaa revelled in their precious new love...a fervent bond soon to be disrupted by the call of blood, kin and country!

Alright this one is going out to Carolyn Jean.

I had this book in my office so during my lunch hour break, I did a quick reread of it and thought I’d put up a review about why I love this book so much. In this book, we have Baron Royce who was sent by the King to capture the headstrong Lady Nicholaa and bring her back to London so that he can wed her to one of his most deserving knights.

Irritated that he’s sent on this little adventure to capture a woman who has outwitted three other of his peers who came before him, Baron Royce does his duty and takes off to get this smart little chit. She tricks and she plots but even her best plot didn’t save her from Baron Royce. He could plot and twist plots with the best of them and it becomes this little game where each of them try to outwit the other with Lady Nicholaa trying to get away from Baron Royce and Baron Royce trying to keep his captive under his watchful eye until they get back to King William’s court. Reading about their journey to London made me laugh a lot. Seeing that Baron Royce would use whatever he could to get Lady Nicholaa out of the convent made me cringe but also made me realize that he was determined to get his job done….at whatever measures he had to take. So anyway, they finally get to London and King William decides that the prize (Lady Nicholaa) will be allowed to choose her groom.

Baron Royce isn’t the most handsome of all lads in England so he knows that Lady Nicholaa would not choose him. He’s so convinced of this that he stands at the back of the grand room and waits for the decision to be made. There’s this big attraction going on between Nicholaa and Royce but they haven’t acknowledged it, nor would they have acknowledged it if Lady Nicholaa wasn’t given this golden oppurtunity to strike back at Baron Royce which she promptly takes advantage of.

When Lady Nicholaa walks up to Baron Royce, leaving Baron Guy in the dust, a smile creased my face and never left it. When she walks up to him and says, “Checkmate.” I nearly died of laughter.

This is what I love most about Julie Garwood, she can entertain the socks right off of you, I promise that. She’s got those one liners to start off her chapters and to end her chapters that you can’t help but love and laugh and love her books all the more.

Watching Lady Nicholaa try to make Royce fall in love with her and watching Royce fall in love with Nicholaa made this book great for me. Some could argue that this book was left with so many open ended storylines with the whole Thurston ordeal and Baby Ulric and all of that but for me, I chose to see this as a golden opportunity for Julie Garwood to continue these character’s stories…and I’d still read them should she ever write them regardless of how much everyone hated Shadow Music. =)

I’m a big time Justin fan, Nicholaa’s younger brother. He was the reason why I loved this book so much. To see him from the broken young warrior he was at the beginning of the book and to see the growth in his character and the bond he formed with his “enemy” and to see him finally acknowledge Royce as his brother, it was just the best thing, for me, about this book. I loved watching Justin’s character wild and unruly in the beginning because by the end of the book, he was a different person, he was a different man and he was a different brother to Nicholaa. His character was such a strong one that I find that as much as I love Royce, I’ll always love Justin a little more and will forever wait for his story to be told. I loved his friends that he made in his new home and I seriously loved the scene at the end where he tells Royce that he wasn’t thanking his leader, he was thanking his brother.


As corny as it is, I love this stuff!

I still stand by what I said before (in my many discussions I’ve had on this story) I’d be willing to see what kind of character Julie Garwood would write for Thurston. I didn’t care for him at all in this story, I didn’t forgive him for what he did to Justin (you’ll have to read the book to find out) and the whole thing with Baby Ulric made my insides twist because I wanted to know what kind of life Thurston would give him…it would be really interesting to see what JG would do with that story, there’s so much to cover that she’d have so much storyline for a new book…I just wish she’d write it.


As a whole, this book is really good. I enjoyed the heck out of it the first time I read it and I find new things to enjoy every time I read it after that. You’ll fall in love with the characters and the storyline is just light enough and just funny enough that the pages will keep turning until you’re done with the book and kinda sad that the journey had to end, but you should definitely check this book Carolyn Jean, so many people have enjoyed it that I’ve no doubt that you’ll enjoy it as well.


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Weekly Reread: Boy Meets Girl by Meg Cabot

Posted September 19, 2007 by Rowena in Reviews | 6 Comments

Weekly Reread: Boy Meets Girl by Meg CabotReviewer: Rowena
Boy Meets Girl (Boys #2) by Meg Cabot
Series: Boys Series #2
Also in this series: The Boy Next Door (Boys #1), The Boy is Back
Published by Harper Collins, Avon
Publication Date: January 6th 2004
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 383
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Meet Kate Mackenzie. She:

* works for the T.O.D. (short for Tyrannical Office Despot, also known as Amy Jenkins, Director of the Human Resources Division at the New York Journal)
* is sleeping on the couch because her boyfriend of ten years refuses to commit
* can't find an affordable studio apartment anywhere in New York City
* thinks things can't get any worse

They can. Because:

* The T.O.D. is making her fire the most popular employee in the paper's senior staff dining room
* that employee is now suing Kate for wrongful termination, and
* now Kate has to give a deposition in front of Mitch Hertzog, the scion of one of Manhattan's wealthiest law families, who embraces everything Kate most despises ... but also happens to have a nice smile and a killer bod.

The last thing anybody—least of all Kate Mackenzie—expects to find in a legal arbitration is love. But that's the kind of this that can happen when ... BOY MEETS GIRL.

I reread another Meg Cabot book this week and I’m telling you, I didn’t lie when I said that I’m a Meg Cabot fangirl. I seriously LOVE that woman and thank my lucky stars that I picked up The Boy Next Door all those many months ago because I’ve got some serious issues when all I want to read are Meg Cabot books…haha. I picked up Boy Meets Girl a few days ago because I wanted to reread Mitch and Kate’s story. I wanted to feel their love again and I totally did and I realized that I felt exactly the same way this time around that I did the first time I read it and I know this because I read the review I did for this book on Sanctuary’s Finest, so I’m just going to copy that review and post it here…hehe. Ghetto, huh? Well, what can I say? I’M GHETTO! haha.

Kate MacKenzie who moved to New York from Kentucky with her soon to be Rock Star Boyfriend, who won’t commit to her and the hero of the book is Mitch Hertzog, who’s actually John Trent’s sister in law, Stacy’s little brother. Remember the hormonal sister in law from the numerous emails from John to his brother Jason’s wife? Well, it’s her little brother, Mitch’s story and I’ve got to say that Mitch is just adorable.

As much as I loved this little quirky little story about Kate and Mitch Hertzog, told through the hilarious IM’s between Kate and her best friend, Jen Sadler and numerous emails from Mitch and every single member of his family, I’ve got to say that I enjoyed and loved The Boy Next Door a little more. I mean, don’t get me wrong Boy Meets Girl was a great, fun and quick read, but it lacked the character development or relationship development, I should say that John Trent and Melissa Fuller had in The Boy Next Door. Mitch and Kate are a great match and Kate is your usual, good girl next door who cares about everyone and Mitch is the perfect guy in which he’s a tough guy lawyer who wears cartoon character ties that his nieces give him (his nieces being Brittany and Hailey, the same nieces that email John Trent in The Boy Next Door, hehe), he volunteers at the Y to play wheelchair basketball with the paraplegic (sp?) and he’s really a public defender who works for those that can’t afford the big time fees of a big shot lawyer and he’s a really good lawyer as well, he goes to whatever lengths possible to fight for his clients, to make sure that the good guys always win. He’s really a dreamboat and seriously? If it was possible to fall in love with a guy through emails, I’d be in total love with Mitch Hertzog, despite having that impossibly annoying last name.

You see, Mitch’s brother, Stuart Hertzog is the biggest ass in the whole world, and Mitch knows it. So when he has his fiance, Amy Jenkins (you’ll remember this heiffer from TBND, she’s the HR Director for the New York Journal and Kate’s boss) fire the food cart lady, who is nothing but a sweet old lady because she refused to serve Stuart any key lime pie, they’re all in for a surprise when Mrs. Lopez sues them for breach of contract. Kate is drawn into all of this because she’s the one that was put to the task of actually firing Mrs. Lopez and she’s thrown for a loop when Amy tries to frame her with all kinds of nonsense, when Kate is honest and forthcoming with any kind of information that paints the NY Journal is a bad light, Amy fires her and thats when all the fun begins.

Mitch is besides himself because it was his fault that Kate got fired so he decides that he’s going to go for his future sister in law’s throat, he’s going to bring her down and she was going to be sorry that she messed with Mitch and Kate.

Oh gosh, the things that happen throughout the book, the jealousy Mitch shows for Kate and her many “boyfriends” is so cute and the things he does for Kate is uber cute and I was totally smitten throughout the entire book with him.I really enjoyed the emails between Mitch’s family and Kate and Jen had me cracking up until about midnight this morning, right up until I closed the book. Although, the ending was abrupt, I enjoyed the rest of the book to let that get to me. There were a few things that got on my nerves like Kate’s ability to whine about the way her life is and her constant calling herself a loser was a bit much, but not so much that I didn’t enjoy the story. It was a good story and I enjoyed it very much, I think you guys will too.

But I’m warning you now, if you’re expecting some deep dialogue, an intense storyline, this isn’t the book for you. This book is very light, entertaining and funny…that’s all there is to it.

Grade: 4 out of 5


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Weekly Reread: The Boy Next Door by Meg Cabot

Posted August 29, 2007 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Weekly Reread: The Boy Next Door by Meg CabotReviewer: Rowena
The Boy Next Door (Boys #1) by Meg Cabot
Series: Boys Series #1
Also in this series: Boy Meets Girl (Boys #2), The Boy is Back
Published by Harper Collins, Avon
Publication Date: October 11th 2002
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 374
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To: You (you)From: Human Resources (human.resources@thenyjournal.com) Subject: This Book

Dear Reader,

This is an automated message from the Human Resources Division of the New York Journal, New York City's leading photo-newspaper. Please be aware that according to our records you have not yet read this book. What exactly are you waiting for? This book has it all:

*Humor*Romance*Cooking tips*Great Danes*Heroine in peril*Dolphin-shaped driftwood sculptures

If you wish to read about any of the above, please do not hesitate to head to the checkout counter, where you will be paired with a sales associate who will work to help you buy this book.

We here at the New York Journal are a team. We win as a team, and lose as one as well. Don't you want to be on the winning team?

Human Resources DivisionNew York Journal

Please note that failure to read this book may result in suspension or dismissal from this store.

*********This e-mail is confidential and should not be used by anyone who is not the original intended recipient. If you have received this e-mail in error please inform the sender and delete it from your mailbox or any other storage mechanism.*********

I swear, I need to read a new Meg Cabot book like every few months because I HEART HER! I didn’t have any new Meg Cabot books to read (Daphne, let’s fix that this weekend, what do you say?) so I took out a book of hers that I read last year and holy hannah, I enjoyed the hell out of the book all over again…it was as my cousin Dovie would say, “SO THE BUSINESS!”

I’m hella loving the whole email, IM, letter storytelling. Meg Cabot had me cracking the heck up with all of the emails from Mel and her best friend Nadine, the emails from the coworkers who were trying to hook up with Mel’s left overs and then the whole hot damn HR department threatening to write Mel up for being tardy to work, yet again.

All the emails and all the activity running around this book should have confused the socks off of me but it didn’t. I was so wrapped up in this story, laughing and just breezing right through this book that I finished it not too long after I started it…such a good, fast paced, solid story. I mean, I still think that Mel was a bit harsh in her punishment to John after she found out just who he really was or whatever, but aside from that, the story flowed well, kept the laughs coming and I really enjoyed it all over again.

Melissa Fuller is a gossip columnist from New York and she lives next to this old lady who is attacked in her apartment, Mel being the kind hearted heroine that she is, calls 911 to report the accident and then she risks losing her job because she stays behind to oversee everything that needs looking after in the old lady’s apartment.

The old lady has a nephew who is supposed to come through and take care of things while she’s recovering in the hospital, only the guy that Mel thinks is the old lady’s nephew, really isn’t the sleazebag Max Friedwhatever, the real Max is in the islands sexing up a really hot model. He called in a favor from an old college mate who owed him to come and dog sit and be the water plant guy for his aunts apartment so he doesn’t get disinherited and all that madness.

I really hated that Max freak. Like, wanted to do him bodily harm hated him. I wanted him to contract a tropical sexually transmitted disease and then I wanted him to melt away like the wicked witch did in the movie with Dorothy and Toto.

I loved Mel and I loved John. I hated that John had a lie to upkeep and I cringed when the truth came flying out and John was trying to do damage control. I hated reading through all of that but the light at the end of the tunnel was shining brightly and I pushed right through it all and was glad for my trouble because man was this a good book. I’m still kind of irritated with Mel for the punishment she inflicted on John but overall, I was really happy with this book the second time around.

It was just a funny, laugh a minute book that kept me turning and turning trying to find out what hilarioius email, IM or whatever else I was going to read. You would think that a story like this wouldn’t work, would be confusing to follow along with but it’s anything but, Meg Cabot sure did toot ‘dat thang with this book because the book was hecka enjoyable and just all around good, I really really recommend this book, like for real!

I hella loved John’s family. His two nieces (who’s names have totally slipped my mind, goodness I’m getting old) had me rollin’ when reading their letters and emails to him, his sister in law who was seriously on pakalolo stuff was a funny one but my favorite emails were the emails between Jason and John. The brothers. Man, the emails these two sent to each other never failed to crack me the hell up because they remind me of my brothers, they’re such manly emails and just all around funny.

Man but this was a good book, seriously….GO GET IT AND READ IT, you’ll enjoy it if you’re looking for something light, fluffy and hilarious.

This is all you need! =)


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Weekly Reread: Seaswept by Nora Roberts

Posted May 10, 2007 by Rowena in Reviews | 9 Comments

Weekly Reread: Seaswept by Nora RobertsReviewer: Rowena
Sea Swept (Chesapeake Bay #1) by Nora Roberts
Series: Chesapeake Bay #1
Also in this series: Sea Swept, Rising Tides, Inner Harbor, Chesapeake Blue
Published by Penguin, Jove
Publication Date: January 1st, 1998
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 356
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books

Nora Roberts presents the first novel in a stunning new trilogy of three men bound by the love of the extraordinary couple who took them in and raised them as brothers. Now grown and living on their own, the Quinn brothers must return to the family home on the Maryland shore, to honor their father's last request.

A champion boat racer, Cameron Quinn traveled the world spending his winnings on champagne and women. But when his dying father called him home to care for Seth, a troubled young boy not unlike Cameron once was, his life changed overnight...

After years of independence, Cameron had to learn to live with his brothers again, while he struggled with cooking, cleaning, and caring for a difficult boy. Old rivalries and new resentments flared between Cameron and his brothers, but they tried to put aside their differences for Seth's sake. In the end, a social worker would decide Seth's fate, and as tough as she was beautiful, she had the power to bring the Quinns together—or tear them apart...

Hands down, this book is my favorite Nora Roberts book.

I saw this book sitting on my dresser and thought, wow it’s been a long time since I read this book. I remember taking it out because I was supposed to read it a couple of months ago for a discussion on a board that I post at but I never got around to reading it again.

Well I fixed that this past weekend (long after the book discussion is done, mind you, LOL). Being wrapped up in the Quinn’s world again was such a great walk down memory lane. Throughout this series, I love how Nora Roberts was able to capture each story and tell it in the personality of the main characters in it. Like Cam Quinn is an action loving man who lives his life in the fast lane, a man who races through life with all the speed and agility that racers tend to have. His story was told in that fast paced, action packed way that had me engrossed right from the very beginning.

Not only are the characters rich and charming in this series but the sense of family is strong and that is one thing that I’m such a sucker for.

I love stories, series that revolve around families and this series is most definitely one of my favorites from any author.

The way that the Quinn brothers came together and were formed into the family that we read about in this series warmed my heart and made me giddy to read each and every one of their stories.

In this book, we’re gifted with the eldest Quinn brother, Cam’s story. He was the first boy to be adopted by Ray and Stella Quinn and together, Ray and Stella changed Cam’s life for the better. They gave him a life and a future to look forward to. They gave him a sense of worth and a sense of purpose and Cam grew to be a man who appreciated them and their love.

So when disaster strikes and the man that Cam has known as Dad dies, he rushes home to the family that is left.

His brothers.

Plus one.

Rumors are flying all over the place about his Father’s faithfulness to his Mother and together, as a family, the Quinn brothers need to sift through what happened to their Father and find out just who this little boy that Ray Quinn left behind is and they have to deal with keeping their promise to their Dad about sticking together and keeping the boy with them, no matter what they’ve got going on in their personal lives and no matter what misgivings they have.

The stories that unfold from this book are so great that this is a book that I revist at least once a year just because I love the stories and these characters.

Cam Quinn is my favorite Quinn. He’s tall, dark and handsome, he’s brash and flashy and just everything a celebrity would be and it’s great to see him come to grips with his father’s death and the rumors surrounding his death and it’s absolutely wonderful to see him try to keep his family together, no matter what he has to do. He’s the funniest housewife EVER and one of the bestest brothers ever too. I loved the way he fell for Anna Spinelli and I loved his confidence and arrogance and really, I just loved him. He made this book so much more fun and memorable.

A great hero.

Anna Spinelli was fantastic herself. She was fun, sexy and smart. She had a way with people that made me smile and she was witty and vibrant, everything that Cam needed. She complimented him well and she fit right in with the other Quinns. I loved how she took to Seth and cuddled him close and did everything in her power to keep him where he belonged.

The journey and the adventures these guys go through to find themselves, to find love and to stay together was a great treat for me and continues to be, long after I’ve finished reading this book for the first time.

If y’all haven’t read this series, I totally recommend that you fix that pronto because you won’t be disappointed, these guys are great!

Grade: 5 out of 5


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