Review: Eyes on Me by Rachel Harris

Posted March 26, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Eyes on Me by Rachel HarrisReviewer: Rowena
Eyes on Me by Rachel Harris
Publisher: Entangled, Entangled Teen
Publication Date: March 26, 2019
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 320
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
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four-stars

Look up the word “nerd” and you’ll find Lily Bailey’s picture. She’s got one goal: first stop valedictorian, next stop Harvard. Until a stint in the hospital from too much stress lands her in the last place a klutz like her ever expected to be: salsa dance lessons.

Look up the word “popular” and you’ll find Stone Torres’s picture. His life seems perfect—star of the football team, small-town hero, lots of friends. But his family is struggling to make ends meet, so if pitching in at his mom's dance studio helps, he’ll do it.

When Lily’s dad offers Stone extra cash to volunteer as Lily’s permanent dance partner, he can’t refuse. But with each dip and turn, each moment her hand is in his, his side job starts to feel all too real. Lily shows Stone he's more than his impressive football stats, and he introduces her to a world outside of studying. But with the lines blurred, can their relationship survive the secret he's been hiding?

Rachel Harris has been a go-to for contemporary YA romances for me and every time I read one of her books, I enjoy the heck out of them. It took me no time at all to fall into this book and it was another one sitting read about two young students who fall in love with each other and the journey they take to get to that happy for now ending.

Lily is trying to get into Harvard and she’s working her butt off to make sure that she stands a chance of getting in. When she lands herself in the hospital for stressing the hell out, her Dad steps in and tells her that something needs to change. She either needs to give up some of her classes or she needs to take a day off from all things school, at least one day each week to do fun things. Anything that does not have anything to do with school. So to make her Dad happy, she signs up for a salsa class that brings her into contact with Stone Torres, the star football player from school.

Stone is the popular kid at school, the star quarterback that is living the life…only his parents are struggling with money, his girlfriend cheated on him and he’s stuck working at his mother’s dance studio for free when he could be making some actual money to help the family elsewhere. When he becomes Lily Bailey’s permanent dance partner while she’s taking classes at his Mom’s studio, things are looking up and he figures he’s got everything worked out until he starts getting to know Lily, starts liking Lily and then starts dating her. A tangled web of untruths threaten to blow up Stone’s world again and he’s not sure how to come out on top without damaging everything he’s come to hold dear.

There was a lot going on in this book but I thought everything was handled well. I liked seeing Lily and Stone become friends and then work their way toward becoming more. I wanted Stone to come clean about everything much sooner but understood why he didn’t and really, I thought Harris did a great job of showcasing a romance between the nerd and the jock that was sweet, fun and completely believable.

There was much to enjoy in this book outside of the romance between Stone and Lily too. The new friendship that blossomed between Angela, Lily, and Sidney. The potential of romance between Angela and Chase. The family dynamics are strong and overall, the story was just good and solid. There wasn’t much about the book that I didn’t enjoy. I mean, I didn’t like Cameron and Noah but they were such a small part of the story and everything else was great. I’m certainly glad that I picked this one up for review because Rachel Harris shines with these YA contemporary romances. So good!

Grade: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: The Dating Game by Kiley Roache

Posted March 25, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: The Dating Game by Kiley RoacheReviewer: Rowena
The Dating Game by Kiley Roache

Publication Date: April 1, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: New Adult
Pages: 304
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
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three-stars

The Social Network gets a romantic twist in this fresh and engaging new read from the author of Frat Girl, Kiley Roache. Experience the whirlwind ups and downs of college life in this authentic and entertaining new novel!

When a notoriously difficult class for future entrepreneurs leads to three freshmen developing the next “it” app for dating on college campuses, all hell breaks loose…

Type A control freak Sara lives by her color-coordinated Post-it notes.

Rich boy Braden wants out from under his billionaire father’s thumb.

Scholarship student Roberto can’t afford for his grades to drop.

When the three are forced to work together in one of the university’s most difficult classes, tension rises to the breaking point…until, shockingly, the silly dating app they create proves to be the most viable project in class. Late nights of app development, interest from investors and unexpected romance are woven into a true-to-life college drama that explores what it means to really connect online and IRL.

The Dating Game caught my eye while I was browsing Edelweiss because I liked the look of the cover and the blurb was interesting. It’s got The Social Network vibe working for it and I enjoyed that movie so I was mighty curious about this one. Three students come together for a group project, create a dating app that takes off and complicates the hell out of their lives? Yeah, count me in. While this book ended up being a solid read, it was also problematic for me and I just wasn’t a fan of the direction the author took one of the main leads.

So Roberto, Sara, and Braden are paired up together in class to create an app and they dive into creating a dating app that lets the user rate other users. The more swipe rights you get, the higher your profile is. While the three of them tackle this project, we get to know each of them and see them really go through it. Roberto’s got some family issues going on, Braden is a rich boy who is determined to not be like his father.

There’s a lot going on in this story. There are the individual situations at the same time that they’re working on their app and there’s also a budding romance because, of course, there’s one! I saw that love triangle a mile away and the way that it was handled low key rubbed me the wrong way. I just wasn’t a fan of that whole thing. I didn’t like that one had to completely change for the main romance to work. I also didn’t connect with each of the characters as much as I was hoping. I thought of the three characters, I would like Robbie’s character the most but his whole story low key felt flat for me. It felt very surface level and not as in depth so I didn’t connect with him and that bummed me out. Sara and Braden were fine until they weren’t fine and yeah, there was a whole lot of me hoping the author went in a different direction than the one she actually went on and because of that, my enjoyment suffered. I also thought the success of the app was a bit over the top, considering it wasn’t a very original idea but that was small potatoes. I did think that the author got the college experience right in this one. I thought that was handled well.

Overall, the story had a lot of promise and I was really looking forward to reading it but I didn’t fully connect with everything going on and with all of the characters so that bummed me out but still, I’d read something else from this author.

Grade: 3 out of 5

three-stars


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Sunday Spotlight: Bed of Roses by Nora Roberts

Posted March 24, 2019 by Rowena in Features, Giveaways | 4 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Lately, I’ve been looking through my personal library and reminiscing through all of my old favorite romances and this week’s feature came across my radar and I knew that I was going to feature it this month on a Sunday Spotlight. As much as I love featuring newer and upcoming romances, I like to take a little while and remind everyone (along with myself) about the older romances that used to light us up with joy. Bed of Roses by Nora Roberts is definitely worth the look back.

Sunday Spotlight: Bed of Roses by Nora RobertsBed of Roses by Nora Roberts
Series: The Bride Quartet #2
Publisher: Penguin, Berkley
Publication Date: November 1, 2009
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 335
Add It: Goodreads
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four-half-stars
Series Rating: five-stars

#1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts cordially invites you to meet childhood friends Parker, Emma, Laurel, and Mac—the founders of Vows, one of Connecticut’s premier wedding planning companies.

Wedding florist Emma Grant gets to play with flowers every day and work with her three best friends in the process. She couldn’t ask for a better job. And her love life seems to be thriving. Though men swarm around her, she still hasn’t found Mr. Right. And the last place she’s looking is right under her nose.

But that’s just where Jack Cooke is. He’s so close to the women of Vows that he’s practically family. Now though, the architect has begun to admit to himself that his feelings for Emma have developed into much more than friendship. And when Emma returns his passion—kiss for blistering kiss, they must trust in their history—and in their hearts…

Bed of Roses is the second book in Nora Roberts The Bride Quartet and it features Emma Grant and Jack Cooke. This one was such a good one and if you don’t know, you should fix that because Nora Roberts doesn’t just slay when she’s taking on plagiarists, she slays when writing romances too and this one is proof that she’s the real deal. Jack and Emma’s story is the bomb and I absolutely adore these two and know that you will too. Check out the little snippet of why I love them so much.

Excerpt

“One morning early, I couldn’t sleep, so I walked down to the beach. And I saw you. For a minute- I didn’t realize it was you. You were wearing this long scarf thing tied around your waist, lots of wild colors, and it blew around your legs. You had on a red bathing suit under it.”

“You…” She literally had to catch her breath. “You remember what I was wearing?”

“Yes I do. And I remember your hair was longer than it is now, halfway down your back. All those mad curls flying. Bare feet. All that golden skin, wild colors, mad curls. My heart just stopped. I thought: That’s the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen. And I wanted that woman, in a way I’d never wanted one before.”

He stopped, turned a little as she simply stared at him. “Then I saw it was you. You walked off, down the beach, the surf foaming up over your bare feet, your ankles, your calves. And I wanted you. I thought I’d lost my mind.”

The Bride Quartet

Giveaway Alert

We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

Sunday Spotlight: March 2019

Are you a fan of Nora Roberts like we are? Let us know what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

four-half-stars


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What Are You Reading? (+ Catherine Anderson Giveaway)

Posted March 22, 2019 by Casee in Features, Giveaways | 5 Comments

Casee: I am currently in between books. I finished Ride Steady (Chaos #3) by Kristen Ashley yesterday and OMG you guys. Joker. Sigh. I know he’s absolutely going to be in my top five heroes of 2019. I adored him. I haven’t had time to start a new book since I finished it, but I plan to start Sweet Dreams (Colorado Mountain #2) by Kristen Ashley today. I love/hate Kristen Ashley. I’m not even questioning it (much) anymore. I’m binging her.

I’m listening to Getting Schooled (Getting Some #1) by Emma Chase. I love this book. It is hysterical! Garrett is so freaking funny. I love his inner dialogue. It’s all so perfect. I have zero complaints about this book thus far and I’m almost finished with it. I’m going to start listening to Magic Burns (Kate Daniels #2) by Ilona Andrews after I’m finished with Getting Schooled. I plan on listening to several audiobooks over the next week as I’m going on a road trip. I’m excited.

Holly: I finished Magic Bites and immediately started Magic Burns on audio. Then went right into Magic Strikes. Curse Casee and Rowena for starting me down this path. I plan to take a break after this to read some new books, though. I haven’t read anything new since I finished xo, Zach by Kendall Ryan (it was pretty bad, the heroine got on my nerves something fierce). I’ve just been re-reading. I finished Ride Steady by Kristen Ashley and read the Curran POV shorts and 2 KD novellas. That’s it. I need to dedicate some serious time to reading this weekend.

Rowena: I’ve been in Utah this week for a short getaway from my real life. I’m spending time with my nephew Caiden who turned 2 yesterday. I thought I would have read a lot more since I’ve had a lot of time on my hands this week but that didn’t happen. I chose to spend as much time as I could with Caiden so I only finished Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton. I did start The Right Swipe (Modern Dating #1) by Alisha Rai. So far, it’s good so I’m hoping to finish it up this weekend. Wish me luck.

Giveaway Alert

We are very fortunate here at Book Binge. We have loads and loads of books to read and we want to share the wealth so each week, we’ll be tacking on a Freebie Friday giveaway to our What Are You Reading posts. This week, we’re giving away…

What Are You Reading? (+ Catherine Anderson Giveaway)The Christmas Room by Catherine Anderson
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: September 25, 2018
Format: Print
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 400
Add It: Goodreads
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From the New York Times bestselling author of the Mystic Creek series comes a standalone contemporary romance novel full of homespun holiday cheer--now in mass market!

Maddie McLendon hasn't had a new relationship since the loss of her beloved husband two years ago. Broken by grief and desperate for a new start, Maddie moves to Bitterroot Valley, Montana, with her adult son and her grandson. But despite the natural beauty of her new town, not every change in her life is a welcome one. Maddie's new next-door neighbor, Sam Conacher, used to be a pillar of the community, but he has driven old friends and new acquaintances away due to a recent heartbreak of his own. He seems to intrude on her life at every turn.

As Christmas draws closer, Sam's and Maddie's grown children begin to fall in love, but Maddie and Sam's interactions are punctuated by an increasingly bitter attitude. Under unexpected circumstances, the other townsfolk of Bitterroot Valley band together to show both Maddie and Sam that moving past their grief is possible, and burdens are lightened when you have someone else to depend on.

What Are You Reading: The Christmas Room

What are you reading this week? Any new favorites or books that drove you crazy? Share!


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