Publisher: Carina Press

Review: House Rules by Ruby Lang

Posted March 23, 2020 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: House Rules by Ruby LangReviewer: Rowena
House Rules by Ruby Lang
Series: Uptown #3
Also in this series: Open House
Publisher: Carina Press
Publication Date: February 10, 2020
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 152
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2020 Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

ROOMMATE WANTED to share a gorgeous sun-filled apartment in Central Harlem. Must love cats. No ex-husbands or wives need apply.

Seventeen years ago, different dreams pulled Simon Mizrahi and Lana Kuo apart. But when Lana takes a position as a chef back in Manhattan, her apartment search puts her right in her ex-husband’s path. Music teacher Simon is also hunting for a new place to live, and when Lana proposes they be platonic roomies, well…it’s not the worst idea he’s ever heard.

A sunny uptown two-bedroom sounds far more appealing than the cramped, noisy space where he’s currently struggling to work. Still, Simon has seen firsthand that Lana’s a flight risk, so he agrees on a trial basis.

Three months. With strict boundaries.

Living together again feels wonderfully nostalgic, but when the ex-couple’s lingering feelings rise to the surface, the rules go out the window.

Of course, chemistry was never their problem. But while Simon’s career feels back on solid footing, Lana is still sorting out what she wants. With their trial period soon coming to an end, they’ll have to decide if their living arrangement was merely a sexy trip down memory lane or a reunion meant to last.

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the

Carina Press Romance Promise

: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!

This book is approximately 47,000 words

House Rules is the third book in the Uptown series by Ruby Lang. It’s also a second chance romance that features a divorced couple who become roommates to share bills. I read the last book in this series and enjoyed it so I was looking forward to reading this one as well. Like Open House, this book was a really quick read but Ruby Lang did a great job of making me come to care for both Simon and Lana.

They were both normal people with normal people problems. Simon is a music teacher and he’s been living in the same apartment for most of his life. He wants to move on, find his own space in New York that wasn’t his father’s so he starts looking around but when his search makes him realize that he probably can’t afford to leave his late father’s rent secure apartment, he gets bummed out until he runs into Lana, who is back in New York and looking for her own space to rent. Running into Simon was the last thing that Lana wanted but knowing that they both need a place to live and can actually help each other with bills, Lana does the unthinkable. She asks Simon to be her roommate. Her strictly platonic roommate. They both live different lives and will be in the apartment at different times so they won’t even need to see each other or interact with each other to live with each other. So they do it. They sign the lease and they become roommates. Only there’s too much history and too many feelings that are still kicking around in each other their hearts so now they have to figure out where to go from here.

Ruby Lang has a great writing style that I enjoy very much. I plan on going back and reading the first book in this series because I haven’t yet. I really enjoyed a straight up romance with two characters that I was able to connect with. And I did. I connected with different aspects of Simon and Lana’s lives and I was right there with the both of them through all of their story. This was a charming contemporary romance that I ate right up from beginning to end. If you’re in the mood for a sweet second chance romance then look no further than this one. It’s super cute and perfect for some social distancing fun. I definitely recommend.

4 out of 5

Uptown

four-stars


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Review: One Last Chance by Therese Beharrie

Posted March 19, 2020 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: One Last Chance by Therese BeharrieReviewer: Rowena
One Last Chance by Therese Beharrie
Series: One Day to Forever #1
Publisher: Carina Press
Publication Date: February 17, 2020
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2020 Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Of all the charity events in all of Cape Town, Zoey Roux had to bump into her husband at this one

Six years ago, Zoey Roux secretly married her best friend Sawyer. But all that did was destroy the best relationship she’s ever had. They went their separate ways, but Zoey never could go through with a divorce. Seeing him again at her sister’s charity event is a shock, but also enlightening: no matter how much she still loves him, it’s time to let him go.

Zoey was Sawyer Wilson’s first love. She broke his heart, but his feelings never died. Love was never their issue—only timing. Seeing her again is a shock: in a perfect world, she would run back into his arms. Instead, she’s asking for a divorce.

But a lot can happen in twenty-four hours: old wounds can heal, first loves can be reunited. And a second chance might just lead to happily ever after.

This book is approximately 74,000 words

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!

One Last Chance is the first book that I’ve ever read by Therese Beharrie but it’s the third book in her One Day to Forever series. The series is about a trio of sisters who find their one true love. This book features the baby sister of Roux bunch, Zoey. It’s a second chance best friends to lovers romance and I liked it. Sawyer and Zoey were great characters and it was super easy for me to fall right in with their story.

Sawyer has been in love with his best friend, Zoey Roux for as long as he can remember. He waited her out, because he felt that she wasn’t ready for how powerful his feelings were for him. He knew that if he were to have told her how he felt, she would have run away from him and more than anything, he wanted her in his life. Any way that he can have her so he stayed in the friend zone until six years ago. Six years ago, Zoey found about Sawyer’s feelings and she returned them so even though Sawyer knew that Zoey was jumping into a relationship without really thinking, he jumped right in with her because his heart belonged to her anyway. They had a wonderful few months together before it all fell apart and then they both went their separate ways because it was too hard for Sawyer to be around her.

Fast forward and it’s six years later, and they run into each other. They’ve never really talked about what happened between them with their families so it’s big awkward when they run into each other. They spend the day trying to dodge each other, run away from the feelings that are still there and then dealing with their past, their present, and figure ou their future. This whole story is told in the present day in one day but there are chapters from their past sprinkled in between as well. I liked seeing where they are now and what happened to bring them to where they are now. Seeing the story unfold like this had me turning the pages as fast as I could read them.

There were times when I wanted to strangle both Zoey and Sawyer. Zoey for thinking she knew what was best for Sawyer and at Sawyer for not being upfront with Zoey about what happened, how he felt and what he wanted from her. He gave and gave and gave to everything to her but he never spoke up about what he wanted. Other than that, I liked seeing the other couples and I’m mighty interested in going back and reading their books. Even though this was the only book in the series that I read, I didn’t feel like I missed anything by not having read the other books so this one reads great as a standalone. Beharrie has a bubbly writing style that fit exactly what I was in the mood for so I’m glad that I read this one.

4 out of 5

One Day to Forever

four-stars


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Review: Headliners by Lucy Parker

Posted January 28, 2020 by Rowena in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: Headliners by Lucy ParkerReviewer: Rowena
Headliners by Lucy Parker
Series: London Celebrities #5
Also in this series: Pretty Face, Making Up , The Austen Playbook
Publisher: Carina Press
Publication Date: January 20, 2020
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 400
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2020 Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Series Rating: four-stars

Sparks fly when two feuding TV presenters are thrown together to host a live morning show in Lucy Parker’s latest enemies-to-lovers contemporary romance.

He might be the sexiest man in London, according to his fan site (which he definitely writes himself), but he’s also the most arrogant man she’s ever met.

She might have the longest legs he’s ever seen, but she also has the sharpest tongue.

For years, rival TV presenters Sabrina Carlton and Nick Davenport have traded barbs on their respective shows. The public can’t get enough of their feud, but after Nick airs Sabrina’s family scandals to all of Britain, the gloves are off. They can barely be in the same room together—but these longtime enemies are about to become the unlikeliest of cohosts.

With their reputations on the rocks, Sabrina and Nick have one last chance to save their careers. If they can resurrect a sinking morning show, they’ll still have a future in television. But with ratings at an all-time low and a Christmas Eve deadline to win back the nation’s favor, the clock is ticking—and someone on their staff doesn’t want them to succeed.

Small mishaps on set start adding up, and Sabrina and Nick find themselves—quelle horreur—working together to hunt down the saboteur…and discovering they might have more in common than they thought. When a fiery encounter is caught on camera, the public is convinced that the reluctant cohosts are secretly lusting after one another.

The public might not be wrong.

Their chemistry has always been explosive, but with hate turning to love, the stakes are rising and everything is on the line. Neither is sure if they can trust these new feelings…or if they’ll still have a job in the New Year.

Headliners is the fifth and I think it’s the final book in the London Celebrities series by Lucy Parker. This book follows Sabrina Carlton as she falls in love with the man she despises above all over men, Nick Davenport. They are rival TV presenters who bicker back and forth but their rivalry kicks into high gear when Nick drops a story that takes Sabrina’s family by the throat and squeezes. The story Nick drops hurts Sabrina’s family and it’s something that Sabrina hasn’t gotten over so when they’re forced to join forces on a morning TV show, in order to keep their jobs and neither of them is happy about it.

Nick’s career was on a fast track to him getting his own travel journalist gig where he would be writing investigative news. He would have followed in his father’s footsteps but nobody is more surprised as Nick to learn that he is actually enjoying hosting the morning show with Sabrina Carlton of all people. Sure, they had a rough start where anything that could go wrong, did go wrong but with Sabrina’s help, Nick is doing his own investigative journalism trying to figure out who is trying to wreck their show. It’s an inside job for sure and the deeper Nick and Sabrina dig to find out who the bad guy is, the closer they seem to get with each other.

I really enjoyed getting to know both Sabrina and Nick in this book. Seeing them both front and center was a lot of fun. I didn’t think that I would love Nick as much as I did because I couldn’t stand him at the end of the last book but Lucy Parker did a fantastic job of redeeming his character for me and I’m glad because I really, really loved him. He was probably my favorite part of the book. I loved him on his own, I loved him when he was with Sabrina. I loved seeing him with his niece, with his brother, and his mother. He was a fleshed out character that melted me at every turn and I just adored him.

Sabrina was a fantastic character on her own. She’s the big sister who loved and supported her sister in every way, but she struggled with her relationship with her father and I was glad to see that Lucy Parker included that relationship in Sabrina’s overall character arc. I was glad to see her and her father work through their issues and come out stronger on the other end. Sabrina was such a strong character and I really enjoyed seeing her work through her different issues within herself, with Nick, her father and I loved that through it all, she was still the Sabrina that we knew and loved. She was just so much more in the end.

The romance between Nick and Sabrina was hot and I was here for it all. I thought they complimented each other well and when they became each other’s person without realizing it at first, I was thrilled because I really enjoyed seeing them together. This was such a strong addition to this series and if it’s the end, I thought this story ended the series on a high note. I adored seeing everyone from the other books in this one and I have come to care about all of these characters so I will miss the hell out of them. All in all, this was a great book and if you haven’t read this series, I highly recommend that you change that. Everyone should know and love these characters, Nick and Sabrina will capture your heart just like they captured mine. So good!

Final Grade

4 out of 5

London Celebrities


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Sunday Spotlight: Headliners by Lucy Parker

Posted January 19, 2020 by Rowena in Features, Giveaways | 3 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. 🙂

Headliners is the fifth book in the London Celebrities series by Lucy Parker. I’m a pretty big fan of this series so I have been looking forward to this book for as long as I’ve known it was coming. I wasn’t too wild about Nick as the hero since he pissed me off in the last book but I’ve already dug into my eARC of this book and Lucy Parker’s redemption game is strong because by the end of this book, I loved Nick to pieces. I’m super stoked to share an excerpt from this book so that hopefully, you guys will be stoked for this release, right along with us. Check it out.

Sunday Spotlight: Headliners by Lucy ParkerHeadliners by Lucy Parker
Series: London Celebrities #5
Also in this series: Pretty Face, Making Up , The Austen Playbook, Headliners
Publisher: Carina Press
Publication Date: January 20, 2020
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 400
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Series Rating: four-stars

Sparks fly when two feuding TV presenters are thrown together to host a live morning show in Lucy Parker’s latest enemies-to-lovers contemporary romance.

He might be the sexiest man in London, according to his fan site (which he definitely writes himself), but he’s also the most arrogant man she’s ever met.

She might have the longest legs he’s ever seen, but she also has the sharpest tongue.

For years, rival TV presenters Sabrina Carlton and Nick Davenport have traded barbs on their respective shows. The public can’t get enough of their feud, but after Nick airs Sabrina’s family scandals to all of Britain, the gloves are off. They can barely be in the same room together—but these longtime enemies are about to become the unlikeliest of cohosts.

With their reputations on the rocks, Sabrina and Nick have one last chance to save their careers. If they can resurrect a sinking morning show, they’ll still have a future in television. But with ratings at an all-time low and a Christmas Eve deadline to win back the nation’s favor, the clock is ticking—and someone on their staff doesn’t want them to succeed.

Small mishaps on set start adding up, and Sabrina and Nick find themselves—quelle horreur—working together to hunt down the saboteur…and discovering they might have more in common than they thought. When a fiery encounter is caught on camera, the public is convinced that the reluctant cohosts are secretly lusting after one another.

The public might not be wrong.

Their chemistry has always been explosive, but with hate turning to love, the stakes are rising and everything is on the line. Neither is sure if they can trust these new feelings…or if they’ll still have a job in the New Year.

Excerpt

Blindfolded biscuit decorating.

Sabrina was rapidly becoming a lot less fond of Fenella Price.

Phil Meyer, one of the finalists for Ultimate Cakemaster, the current Sunday evening obsession around the country, was just about bent double so that Layla Johnson, his petite fellow contestant, could secure the length of black silk over his eyes. The pair of them had been chuckling and jostling one another, and obviously having a grand old time as they effortlessly produced a stack of perfectly browned, crisply shaped gingerbread people at their station.

They also looked far too unsurprised by this exciting turn of events; evidently, they’d been given a heads-up in the green room that things were going to take a farcical turn.

Sabrina winced as she glanced back at the pile of biscuits on the Carlton/Davenport station. Their lines of figures looked flat-out tragic. Several were missing limbs after she’d accidentally dropped a tray while trying to avoid bodily contact with Nick, and at least half of them were burnt, after the biscuit prince had forgotten to take them out of the oven. He claimed the temperature had been set too high.

And unlike the piping bottles at the opposite station, their royal icing had an interestingly crunchy texture, because Nick Davenport, usually a veritable Renaissance Man, had no idea how to crack an egg. He’d bounced the shell off the side of the bowl like he was slam-dunking a basketball.

“I thought you knew how to bake,” she muttered under her breath as she slipped the blindfold around Nick’s head. She was tall even without her heels, so they didn’t need to resort to Phil and Layla’s acrobatics. He made a quiet sound of protest when she pulled the tie too tight, and she slipped her fingers under it to loosen it. “Sorry.”

He’d managed to transform in the hour before they went live, and now looked as alert and dapper as ever in his crisp suit. She could smell him, this unusually close. His skin had a warm scent of oud from his cologne and, faintly, vanilla from the bottle of extract he’d spilt all over his hands. Sabrina could almost taste it in the back of her throat.

She smoothed the silken fabric into place over his short black curls. “What happened to the scion of the baking dynasty?”

For the first few minutes of the segment, she’d thought he was just embracing the direction to fudge things a bit, make sure their guests looked suitably expert. After she’d watched him poke curiously at the butter with the handle of a wooden spoon, and the acrid bitterness of burning sugar had reached her nostrils, she’d realised he wasn’t acting, he was just shite.

London Celebrities

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: January 2020

Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!


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Review: Open House by Ruby Lang

Posted December 9, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Open House by Ruby LangReviewer: Rowena
Open House by Ruby Lang
Series: Uptown #2
Also in this series: House Rules
Publisher: Carina Press
Publication Date: November 11, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 165
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2019 New to Me Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Love can take root where you least expect it.

Tyson Yang never imagined that one day he’d be the de facto spokesperson for an illegal community garden. But when the once-rat-infested-but-now-thriving Harlem lot goes up for sale, Ty can’t just let all their hard work get plowed under.

Even if he is irresistibly drawn to the lovely but infuriatingly stubborn real estate associate.

Magda Ferrer’s family is already convinced this new job will be yet another flop in her small but growing list of career path failures. But her student debt isn’t going anywhere, and selling her uncle’s historic townhouse and the lot nearby means a chance to get some breathing room.

Ty is her charming rival, her incorrigible nemesis, the handsome roadblock to her success.

Until one hot Harlem night blurs the hard line drawn between them, and the seeds of possibility in this rocky garden blossom into love…

This book is approximately 48,000 words

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the

Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!

Open House is the second book in Ruby Lang’s Uptown series but it is the first book that I’ve read by Lang and it won’t be the last. She’s got a charming writing style that I liked and I enjoyed the romance that blossomed between Ty and Magda. I also liked seeing Ty grow to really love the community garden and see the old ladies in the neighborhood take him under their wing at the same time that he took them all under his protection. I even enjoyed Ty’s sister and the relationship that they had between them. Magda’s family was a lot harder to like at first but they really did come around and when Magda finally stands up for herself and demands that they treat her like the adult she is, I cheered for her.

Magda was really trying to find herself over the course of this book and even though there were times when I wanted to smack some sense into her, I respected the hell out of her because she was trying. I liked that she understood why her family treated her the way that they did and I really liked how she was putting in the work to make something of herself without any influence from anyone. She was just a normal woman with normal problems that I related to and I connected with her character. Ruby Lang did a great job with Magda’s character and I appreciated her efforts.

Ty was another interesting character and even though there were times when I didn’t understand his thought processes, I never once hated him. Like Magda, Ty was a normal guy with normal problems and it was easy to relate to the stuff he was dealing with. I enjoyed seeing him come into his own and deal with the issues that have ruled his life so far. It was a nice perk to see him fall in love in a realistic way.

Magda and Ty had great chemistry and they were awesome on their own but better together. I enjoyed seeing them grow closer, and then battle to figure out how to be together with the different things in their lives that were pulling them apart. It wasn’t always easy for them because he was trying to save a garden that was on a lot that she was trying to sell. There’s some push and pull and while that was bothersome, they figure it out and all is well that ends well so even though I spent some time in this book rolling my eyes around the room, Ruby Lang still wrote a fun romance and I was still invested in what happened to everyone so all in all, this was a solid read. I recommend.

Final Grade

3.5 out of 5

Uptown Series

three-half-stars


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