Tag: Self-Published

Joint Review: Getting Schooled by Christina C. Jones

Posted February 7, 2020 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Joint Review: Getting Schooled by Christina C. JonesReviewer: Ames, Holly, and Rowena
Getting Schooled by Christina C. Jones
Series: The Wright Brothers #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: January 11, 2016
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 334
Add It: Goodreads
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

When 26 year old Reese accepts a position as a grad assistant, she has no idea an unpleasant encounter with a student will lead to the discovery of what she calls “the trifecta”: fine, intellectual, and a little bit rude – three qualities she finds irresistible in a man. She has no intention of doing anything with that discovery – nothing long term, at least. But everybody knows what happens to best laid plans. Jason is a grown man. 28 years old, seasoned and scarred by his real-life experience in the world, he’s at Blakewood State University to finish his degree and move on. The last thing he’s interested in is the female population on campus… but sexy, infuriating Reese might be a notable exception. This isn’t a story of opposites attract. More like counterparts clash. Neither of them is afraid to do battle, and neither is willing to back down. Love and war, win or lose… somebody’s gonna end up getting schooled.

Holly, Rowena and I took a bit of a break with our buddy reviews in 2019 but we’re back for 2020. Our first book is Getting Schooled by Christina C. Jones. Reese is a grad assistant at Blakewood State University and she develops a nerd-crush on one of the student’s writing. Imagine her surprise when the student in question turns out to be Jason ‘Jay’ Wright, a smart-ass who pushes her buttons and likes to verbally spar with her.

Ames: All right you two, what did you think of Reese and Jay?

Rowena: I thought this was a super fun romance. There were times when I thought Reese was super extra but as the book progressed, so did my feelings toward Reese. She was strong, she was smart and seeing her fall for Jay was great. I had a good ol’ time with this book. I was just bummed that I read this one so fast. It was a short but sweet read.

Holly: I thought it was really cute. I liked Jay and Reese, though I agree Reese was super extra sometimes. I didn’t really get frustrated with Jay as much, but she annoyed me at times. Still, this was a quick, light read and I’m really looking forward to reading more about the Wright brothers.

Ames: I love that she was attracted to his writing at first. I can get behind that! Lol But yes like you two I really enjoyed this one. I liked that he was a vet and was older. How cute was the subplot with their parents? And I could see the Grayson thing coming a mile away!

Rowena: Same! I loved that they developed little crushes on each other through their emails too. I just enjoyed the whole thing. Their parents little dating story was cute and I loved seeing Reese with her mother. Their relationship was a lot of fun and I just thought the whole story was super cute.

I’m so ready to jump into the other Wright brothers books. I thought the pacing was good, the romance was steamy and I was left mighty curious about the doctor brother and Devyn.

This one gets 4 out of 5 from me. What about you guys?

Holly: I thought the parents’ dating story was cute, too. There were a couple typos that pulled me out of the story and a couple times Reese got on my nerves, but otherwise this was just a fun, cute read. Nothing super heavy, but really engaging.

4 out of 5 from me, too.

Ames: I’m giving this one a 4 out of 5 as well. It was a good introduction to a new-to-me author and I’ll definitely be checking out more by her.

Final Grade

Ames: 4 out of 5
Holly: 4 out of 5
Rowena: 4 out of 5

The Wright Brothers

four-stars


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Guest Review: Pregnancy Plan by Tina Gayle

Posted February 5, 2020 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Pregnancy Plan by Tina GayleReviewer: Tracy
Pregnancy Plan by Tina Gayle
Publisher: Tina Gayle
Publication Date: November 9, 2011
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 208
Add It: Goodreads
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two-half-stars

A full-length contemporary romance
Pregnant shopkeeper Jillian Wilson prepares for single parenthood until high-risk security specialist Derrick Harris, the baby’s father, is caught in an explosion that changes everything.
Confused, Derrick returns to the States with amnesia. Jillian believes she has it all a husband, a baby, a perfect life, to bad that her dreams hang on Derrick’s faulty memory and a lie.

Jillian is excited to start a new phase of her life.  She wants to have a baby but doesn’t want to wait for the right guy to come around.  She tells her brother’s best friend, Jason, about it so when she calls him to tell him she’s in town, she just says, “Don’t worry, I’m not pregnant.” When Jason’s brother, Derrick, picks up the answering machine message he’s livid.  He dated Jillian about a year earlier and she was definitely pro “get married before you have sex”.  Believing that she was now having an affair with his engaged brother, he storms to her hotel room to tell her to back off of Jason.

Jillian’s not thrilled to see Derrick as he had ghosted her a year earlier after a few dates.  He said it was because he was out of the country, but she wasn’t falling for that.  Jillian laughs when Derrick states why he’s there.  Jillian explains what she meant by the pregnancy comment and lays out her plans.  Derrick wants to know how she’ll accomplish getting pregnant and she gives him her options.  Derrick decides, quite quickly I might add, that he wants to be the one to get Jillian pregnant.  This was a little surprising to Jillian (and me as the reader) but she goes along with it.  They spend a weekend wrapped in each other’s arms and it’s wonderful.  When Monday comes around Derrick insists they get married, which was not something that had been mentioned or had been on Jillian’s radar.

Derrick leaves for the Middle East which is where his next job is located.  When Derrick is on his mission (he works for a security company and is out of the country more than he’s home) he is the victim of a bombing.  He lives, but can’t remember some things.  He tells his brother that he’s married to Jillian, and she says to Jason, yes, that’s true.  Derrick arrives home and Jillian takes him home for his recovery.  They start their life as a married couple and work together well, but Derrick has a hard time with emotion now, and definitely a hard time communicating, which puts a strain on their relationship.  What also puts a strain on the relationship?  The fact that they’re not actually married and Jillian is lying to Derrick and everyone else.

This was a quick read and one that I found to be just ok.  Everything with Jillian and Derrick moved so fast from moment one, and I couldn’t understand why Jillian was going for it.  She wasn’t the impulsive type so it didn’t make sense.  They did say she was a people pleaser and wanted to make everyone happy, so maybe that had something to do with it.  IDK, it was odd though.

When Derrick gets home after being injured, he seemed emotionless and remained this way for most of the book.  He never actually turned back into his fun-loving self and that wasn’t great.  I knew it would take time, but it wasn’t ever shown to us in the book.  I can’t say I loved his reaction to the news that he wasn’t actually married, but the problem wasn’t drawn out and was rectified quickly, which was nice.

I do have to say that Jillian annoyed me a bit with her meddling. Because of the people pleaser aspect of her personality, she was always in other people’s business. I found that a truly annoying part of the book.  She had enough issues with her own relationship, she needed to deal with that and stay out of everyone else’s problems.

The story wasn’t my cup of tea, but I know that some people will like it. I think if I would have liked Jillian better I might have liked the story a bit more, but I still wouldn’t have loved it.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

two-half-stars


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Review: Heartland by Sarina Bowen

Posted February 4, 2020 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Heartland by Sarina BowenReviewer: Rowena
Heartland by Sarina Bowen
Series: True North #7
Also in this series: Bittersweet, Steadfast, Steadfast, Bittersweet, Keepsake, Bountiful, Speakeasy, Bittersweet, Steadfast, Fireworks, Keepsake, Bountiful, Fireworks
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: January 28, 2020
Format: eARC
Source: Author
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: New Adult
Pages: 329
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2020 Goodreads Challenge
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

An emotional friends to lovers romance full of risky secrets and late-night lessons in seduction.

Dylan is my best friend, and the only person in my life who understands me. He doesn’t mind my social awkwardness or my weird history. The only glitch? He doesn’t know that I’ve been hopelessly, desperately in love with him since the first day we picked apples together in his family’s orchard.But I know better than to confess.Now that we’re both in college together, I’m seeing a new side of him. College Dylan drinks and has a lot of sex. None of it with me.Until the night I foolishly ask him to tutor me in more than algebra…and he actually says yes.

But the cool morning light shows me how badly I’ve endangered our friendship. And I don’t know if anything will be the same again.

Heartland is the seventh book in Sarina Bowen’s True North series and she just keeps bringing on the happy sighs and cute romances, doesn’t she? I really enjoyed this one and am keeping my fingers crossed that we’ll keep getting books for this series for a long time to come. I’m pretty anxious for Daphne’s story.

So Heartland follows Dylan Shipley and Chastity Campbell to college. They’re both going through different things. Dylan is going through a frustrating phase with his growly older brother and Chastity is still trying to catch up to the rest of the world after spending years living in a cult. To add to Chass’s plate, she’s got an unrequited crush on Dylan Shipley and he has no clue. It sucks for her though because she’s around to see him work his charm on every girl on campus, every girl, but her. Right now, he worked his charm right into her awful roommates pants and it’s become a thing. A thing she hates to witness because she knows Dylan. She knows that he’s a kind-hearted person and so she doesn’t understand why he has such bad taste in women. Things start to get really interesting when Chass brings up making some money together. Their new business adventure features the leftover goat milk from Dylan’s family farm that Dylan needs to move. Making caramel together brings them a lot closer and feelings spring forth, feelings that they don’t know what to do with.

Dylan was exactly the lovable nerdy hero that I hoped he would be when we first met him, as a young high schooler in Bittersweet. I thought he was super sweet to Chastity and when he finally gets his head out of his ass about Kaitlyn, I was glad. I wanted to smack some damn sense into him a time or two while reading this book but overall, I loved him. He was a good person who loved his family and struggled with trying to figure out his place in his family, in their family business and in his future. I loved seeing him grow into the man that he was in the end. It wasn’t easy for him but when he finally stood up for himself, I was so relieved because he needed to get all of that shit out so that he can figure out where to go from here. I loved seeing him work through his feelings about his future and his feelings about Chass.

Chass was a great heroine on her own but she was also a perfect match for Dylan. She was kind, she was strong and she was super smart even though she had trouble with her classes in school. I really felt for her when she was stuck seeing Dylan, the object of her affections, with everyone but her and seeing her find her way at school, at home and everywhere in between was a lot of fun for me. She really comes into her own and I was rooting for her from the very beginning. I loved seeing her make friends outside of Dylan at school and even when she was trying to move on from Dylan, and hurting Dylan’s feelings in the process, I just loved it.

Sarina Bowen writes light moments in angsty romances and I just adore her writing style. I will read whatever she writes because she writes the kind of books that I want to read. Heartland was another fabulous addition to this series and if you’re a fan of the other books, I’m confident that you guys will be fans of this book. Dylan and Chastity have what it takes to carry a romance on their own and I have every confidence that you guys will enjoy this one. Do yourself a favor and read this one! 🙂

Final Grade

4.25 out of 5

True North

four-stars


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Review: The Governess Affair by Courtney Milan

Posted February 3, 2020 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: The Governess Affair by Courtney MilanReviewer: Holly
The Governess Affair by Courtney Milan
Series: The Brothers Sinister #0.5
Also in this series: The Duchess War
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: April 21, 2012
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 152
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Historical Challenge, Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 Historical Challenge
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

She will not give up…
Three months ago, governess Serena Barton was let go from her position. Unable to find new work, she’s demanding compensation from the man who got her sacked: a petty, selfish, swinish duke. But it’s not the duke she fears. It’s his merciless man of business—the man known as the Wolf of Clermont. The formidable former pugilist has a black reputation for handling all the duke’s dirty business, and when the duke turns her case over to him, she doesn’t stand a chance. But she can’t stop trying—not with her entire future at stake.
He cannot give in…
Hugo Marshall is a man of ruthless ambition—a characteristic that has served him well, elevating the coal miner’s son to the right hand man of a duke. When his employer orders him to get rid of the pestering governess by fair means or foul, it’s just another day at the office. Unfortunately, fair means don’t work on Serena, and as he comes to know her, he discovers that he can’t bear to use foul ones. But everything he has worked for depends upon seeing her gone. He’ll have to choose between the life that he needs, and the woman he is coming to love…

The Governess Affair by Courtney Milan is a prequel novella to The Brothers Sinister series. After I finished The Duchess War, Tracy told me this novella was a prequel, so I knew I had to read it. I really enjoyed the story. It was interesting to see how Serena and Hugo came to be, and some of the events in real time I’d read about in TDW.

I liked Serena’s strength and her determination to stand up for herself. I also like Hugo and the way he came to care for her. Though the story is short, it packed quite a punch. I was fully wrapped up in their battle of wills and anxious to see how things would turn out.

Although this is a novella, it was fully fleshed out and felt like a full-length read. I came away from it very satisfied and even more anxious to read the rest of the series.

Rating: 4 out of 5

the Brothers Sinister

Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover

four-stars


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Guest Review: Sin & Spirit by K. F. Breene

Posted January 31, 2020 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Sin & Spirit by K. F. BreeneReviewer: Tracy
Sin & Spirit by K.F. Breene
Series: Demigods of San Francisco #4
Also in this series: Sin & Chocolate , Sin & Magic , Sin & Salvation
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: December 31, 2019
Format: eBook
Source: Gifted
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 296
Add It: Goodreads
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Kieran has stepped up to take his place as the ruler of magical San Francisco. As his girlfriend, that unfortunately means I'm under the magnifying glass. Everything I do is noticed, from how I act to how I style my hair. Most notably, of course, is how little I know about my magic.

The Hades Demigods want me on their team, and they don’t plan to ask nicely. Kieran and I are both under fire. They will kill him to get to me, and they'll take me by force if necessary. It is essential I learn more of my magic.

With no other options, I do what scares me the most - I summon the last Spirit Walker to help train me. Except, he's a loose cannon with looser morals and learning spirit is treacherous. I might evade the Demigods only to be lost in spirit forever.

As it says in the blurb, Kieran has stepped up to take over San Francisco, but Lexi hasn’t quite found her place yet.  She has an office in the government building, but she insisted that she not get a huge office just because she’s Kieran’s girlfriend.  She has a small office and does charity work from there.  She’s having a hard time adjusting to being in the spotlight and “dressing” the part.  She just wants to be herself and go with jeans and t-shirts, but she can’t do that as the woman who stands beside the Demigod of San Francisco.

While finding her way through her job, she also is still trying to learn how to be a Spirit Walker and better control her magic. The last SW she knows of is dead and was an assassin, but desperate times and all.  She brings his spirit back and he tries to teach her some things.  She’s a natural of course, but some things are just hard for her to wrap her head around.

As if this isn’t enough drama in her life, Kieran and Lexi get attacked by one of the Demigod of Hades – of which there are 3 biggies.  One of those is her father, whom she’s never met.  He has killed off all of his children so Lexi’s not really anxious to meet the guy.  When the battle gets intense, and finally over, they realize that people are hurt, missing and sadly, dead.  This puts the couple and their group of friends on a mission with a deadline and they’re not sure they’ll make it in time to save everyone.

This was another great book in the Demigods of San Francisco series.  I really like what Breene has done with the relationship between Kieran and Lexi and can’t wait to watch it develop more in future books. This story, however, was a sad book and for me, lacked the humor that made the previous three books.  I know you can’t have a ton of humor when you’re working with death, obviously, but until that occurred in the book I wish there had just been a lighter side to it all.  I’m not sure how to explain it.

Overall, I really loved this book and can’t wait to read book 5 in the series.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Demigod of San Francisco

four-stars


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