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BOOK REVIEW: Roommate by Sarina Bowen

BOOK REVIEW: Roommate by Sarina BowenRoommate by Sarina Bowen
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Wanted: One roommate to share a 3-bedroom house, split the rent, and ideally not be the guy I can’t stop thinking about.
I’m a man with too many secrets, so the last thing I need is a new roommate with a sexy smile and blue eyes that see right through me. Eight years ago, Roderick left town after high school. We’re not friends. I owe him nothing. But back then, I let one of my secrets slip, and he’s the only one who noticed.
Part of me knows I should run far, far away. But the other part wants him to come upstairs and spend the night. But if I let him in, I could lose everything.

Seeking: A room to rent in town. I’m tidy, have no pets, and I will feed you homemade bread.
I should probably add: Gay AF, and has no filter. It’s no wonder my new landlord is so wary of me.
A smarter man would ignore those hot glances from Kieran Shipley. The broody lumberjack wants more from me than another homemade pretzel, but if I push my luck, I’ll end up back on the street.
Too bad I’ve never been smart with my heart ...

Review

Woooo my first book of 2021!

I had been in a bit of a rut after re-reading the ACOTAR books in preparation for ACOSF and when this eARC showed up on my Kindle, I knew this was going to be exactly what I needed. Sarina Bowen comfort reading. I will start by saying that it had been a while since I read some of the True North books (this book is a standalone so you don’t have to read them to read this) so I had been thinking that Kieran had the personality of Kyle (LOL OOPS). Don’t worry, got that straight in my head right away.

This book was definitely an emotional one. Kieran doesn’t expressly know the exact terms of his sexuality but he DOES know that when he saw Roderick Waites under the bleachers in high school performing a super steamy act of sexiness to another guy he was super turned on, and it’s something he STILL thinks about today, eight years later. Imagine his mortification when Roderick shows up around town, asking for a job at the very coffee shop he works at. Already a quiet, and VERY private guy, he’s worried Roderick is going to out him immediately.

Enter Roderick, a guy who is very secure in his sexuality but who also has just exited an extremely toxic relationship with barely his car and the clothes on his back. When he’s offered a trial run at Zara’s coffee shop, you better he’s going to be on his best behavior in order to keep that job. Especially because he’s been sleeping in his car and it’s starting to get real cold at night. He needs every last paycheck he can get.

As we all know from the synopsis and even the title of the book, the two end up becoming roommates and Kieran eventually warms up to Roderick after he realizes he’s not going to say anything about their past. Roderick teaches Kieran to cook (which is so freaking cute) and their relationship keep on progressing from there.

I think the best part of this book was seeing Kieran gain confidence in himself. He sticks it to his boss’s son at work, he becomes enrolled in school in order to take more design classes, he gives in to his attraction to Roderick, and through a series of crazy and yes unfortunate events, FINALLY sorts out some crazy family stuff that he’s been sitting on for years and years. I loved Kieran’s solid and steady presence and how he never was truly worried about anyone finding out abut his relationship with Roderick even though this was his first relationship with another man. No, his insecurities always lay in keeping things private, especially when it came to family matters based on a secret he learned when he was very young. Roderick stole the show with his bright and sunny personality and of course, since this is a Sarina Bowen novel, his FOOD. I swear I always wind up hungry after finishing her books and want to try making all these new things, lol.

P.S. The second best part of this book was learning that Grandpa Shipley now has a girlfriend named Lydia LOLLL

Huge thanks to Tuxbury Publishing LLC for allowing me to read an eARC of this book in exchange for my honest review!♥

EXCERPT: Loverboy (The Company #2) by Sarina Bowen

I'm so excited to share an excerpt from Sarina Bowen's latest book, Loverboy, out December 1st. I loved Gunnar and Posy's bickering and banter and both their steamy tension and the constant mention of lattes and pie left hungry for more!

EXCERPT: Loverboy (The Company #2) by Sarina BowenLoverboy (The Company #2)
by Sarina Bowen
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Secrets, desires, and exquisite pie. It’s all in a day’s work at The Company.

Growing up, I was the rough guy from the wrong neighborhood who couldn’t catch a break. Posy was the pampered girl I tried to impress. But all she gave me was a single kiss before I had to skip town.
Now I’m back, and the tables are turned. Posy runs a struggling pie shop. I’m the VP of a secretive billion-dollar security company.
Not that I can tell her.
There’s a murderer on the loose in New York, and he seems to spend a lot of time at Posy’s shop. It’s my job to identify him before he can harm a hair on her pretty head.
Going undercover as Posy’s new barista wasn’t my idea. I don’t even drink coffee. But now I have to call her “boss,” and do everything the curvy perfectionist asks of me. I’d forgotten how much we infuriate each other, and that she somehow fills me with both irritation and desire in the same breath.
There’s nobody more skilled at stealth ops than me. I can bring this killer down. Right after I take a cold shower. And just as soon I figure out how to make a skinny peppermint latte with milk poured in the shape of a kitten...

Excerpt

Earlier, I’d spotted him even before he came into the bar. I watched him get out of that cab and then check the time. I saw him look toward the pub, weighing his choices.  

My heart had thumped along with only one word. Please.

Fine—not my heart. It was other parts of me who were doing all the begging. Silently, of course. Speaking up seems impossible right now. What if he laughs in my face? Or—this might even be worse—what if he says yes? And then we get naked and I can’t satisfy him? 

You’re not very adventurous, Spalding said. You’re not very good in bed.

My ex is the only person I’ve ever been naked with. And thanks to him, I’m afraid to try again with someone else. If another man tells me I’m no fun, I don’t know how I’d come back from that.

On the other hand, if I don’t get out of this rut, then Spalding wins. Maybe I sound melodramatic, but I don’t want to die before I experience terrific sex. 

It’s really no surprise that my drink disappears quickly. 

“Look, you don’t have to tell me what’s on your mind,” Gunnar muses, and I realize I’ve been silent for some time. “But something has you deep in thought.”

“Rhubarb,” I blurt. “It’s, uh, something I’ve used in springtime pies. But, um, I wonder if I could do better than strawberry rhubarb—that’s been done, you know?” 

His smile widens. “Is that an occupational hazard? You can’t eat or drink anything without reconfiguring it in your mind?”

“Yep.” I wave at the bartender. “Another round of these if you wouldn’t mind.”

“Are you trying to get me drunk?” Gunnar asks. “Please say yes.”

My pulse picks up, because it’s hard to miss the innuendo there. But I dodge the question, because I’ve never been brave. “As if two cocktails and a beer would put you under my spell.”

“Oh, I’m easy,” Gunnar says, giving me an intentionally sleazy wink. “Besides, your pies have already made me slow and agreeable. That key lime and Thai basil pie was amazing. That stuff is dangerous.”

“You like my key lime and Thai basil?” I ask, hearing pleasure in my own voice. It never gets old when people tell you how much they like the product. “And I guess it figures that you’d be one of those.”

“One of what?”

“You have an adventurous palate.” I prop an elbow on the bar and try to explain. “People fall into two distinct groups. There’re the ones who always order the weird flavors. And the Dutch apple pie crew, who always stick to the basics. They don’t cross over. It’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately.”

Thanks to Spalding. He basically accused me of being a Dutch apple pie in bed. The whole reason I’m reading my sister’s romance novels is to try to learn what the other flavors are like. 

“Huh,” Gunnar says. “So, you can just guess which other pies I’ve tried?”

“Sure, I can. Did you try the pine nut and salted honey?”

“Oh, hell yes.”

My smile grows wide. “How about the matcha green tea tart?”

“Well,” he shakes his head, “I gotta say I haven’t quite gone there yet. But I did enjoy the vinegar date pie.”

“Ah! And the ginger mango cream, right?” I press. 

“Yeah. Does that make me predictable?”

“A little bit,” I say, enjoying myself immensely. “Have you started doing that thing where you try to guess each customer’s guilty pleasure?”

He laughs. “Get out of my head. It’s my new favorite game.”

“How’s your accuracy?”

“Pretty bad. I started off trying to use clothing as a clue. I expected somebody wearing a navy blue suit and boring shoes to order the apple crumble. But that theory bombed. And then I tried to assume that people in workout clothes wouldn’t pick something sugary. But they totally do.”

“You have to look deep inside their souls,” I tease. “If you look at the shell of a person, you’ll never get their pie order right. In fact, you have to look at their auras.”

He snorts. “What color is my aura?”

“Indigo, like tattoo ink. But with a streak of red because you’re contrary.”

He narrows his eyes. “You’re just fucking with me now.”

“Maybe I am.” 

“Okay, lady. But I have an issue with something you said earlier.”

“What?”

Guilty pleasures.” He lays a hand over my wrist. “I don’t believe in those. I don’t think pleasure should make you feel guilty.”

“Oh.” He’s barely touching me, but goosebumps run up my arm anyway. Now would be a great time to make a joke and diffuse all the tension I’m suddenly feeling. But I feel too tongue-tied to pull it off.

Gunnar removes his hand, which is a disappointment. But the next thing he says stuns me back into goosebump territory. “You know, I always had it bad for you.”

“You … what?” I ask stupidly.

“Back when we were tending bar, I had a big crush on you. And sometimes I thought you were on the same page. I usually have good instincts about these things. But not that time. You ended up with Mr. Pretty Boy Preppy instead.”

My heart is thumping wildly now, and I take a sip of my cocktail to steady my nerves. The truth is that I don’t really trust this little revelation. We used to annoy each other, for one thing. But maybe that didn’t matter to Gunnar’s libido. He was a horny college boy. He probably had it bad for all the girls. 

Still. “What if I’m the one who has terrible instincts? Did you ever think of that? And did you miss the part where I divorced Mr. Preppy?”

“Mmm,” he says thoughtfully. “I suppose that might explain a few things.”

“You’re the one who left, anyway.” 

His eyes narrow. “Do you really think if I’d stuck around, things would have turned out differently? I spent three months giving you the fuck-me eyes, Paxton. But you didn’t take me up on it.”

Oh mother of God. His gaze is turning hot, and I think it might incinerate me. And then I remember why we never hooked up in the first place.

 

Vendors

🗝️ Amazon https://geni.us/Amazon-LB 

🗝️ Apple https://geni.us/Apple-LB 

🗝️ Kobo https://geni.us/Kobo-Lb 

🗝️ Nook https://geni.us/Nook-LB 

🗝️ Google (soon)

🗝️Audio: https://geni.us/LoverboyAudible

BOOK REVIEW: Loverboy (The Company #2) by Sarina Bowen

BOOK REVIEW: Loverboy (The Company #2) by Sarina BowenLoverboy (The Company #2)
by Sarina Bowen
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Secrets, desires, and exquisite pie. It’s all in a day’s work at The Company.

Growing up, I was the rough guy from the wrong neighborhood who couldn’t catch a break. Posy was the pampered girl I tried to impress. But all she gave me was a single kiss before I had to skip town.
Now I’m back, and the tables are turned. Posy runs a struggling pie shop. I’m the VP of a secretive billion-dollar security company.
Not that I can tell her.
There’s a murderer on the loose in New York, and he seems to spend a lot of time at Posy’s shop. It’s my job to identify him before he can harm a hair on her pretty head.
Going undercover as Posy’s new barista wasn’t my idea. I don’t even drink coffee. But now I have to call her “boss,” and do everything the curvy perfectionist asks of me. I’d forgotten how much we infuriate each other, and that she somehow fills me with both irritation and desire in the same breath.
There’s nobody more skilled at stealth ops than me. I can bring this killer down. Right after I take a cold shower. And just as soon I figure out how to make a skinny peppermint latte with milk poured in the shape of a kitten...

Review

Good lord I loved this. How does one author consistently write so many good books? By now there are so many within her universe of places/ made up sports teams/ characters that sometimes I forget that certain aspects just aren’t actually real (like what do you mean Katt phones aren’t readily available?!). Something about this one REALLY hit my sweet spot even more than the last few, too. Maybe it was because they talked about coffee drinks and pie so frequently and caffeine is my weakness. Or MAYBE it was because Gunnar and Posey were such stellar characters. We may never know.

Having met 15 years prior tending bar, they spent a whole summer trying to beat one another out for the bar manager’s job. Posey’s father owned the bar so even if Gunnar worked his ass off and knew way more about tending bar than she did, he was never going to get the job. Because of dear ole daddy being a dick, a misunderstanding ensues and the two part ways mad for reasons they shouldn’t have been.

Fast forward to now. Max, Gunnar’s boss, bestie, and head of ~The Company~, needs intel to help catch someone from his past. That involves Gunn learning to make lattes in less than 48 hours (lol the scene when Max calls basically the entire building up to make him practice crazy ass drinks is hilarious) and locking in a job at Posey’s cafe. She is so in need of help and his latte art is so artistic that she can’t help but hire him.

The two instantly fall back into their old bantering and flirty ways and I just loved it. I loved every second of it because I’m a girl who loves a story with two people that tend to have explosive arguments over stupid shit one second to heated, passionate make outs the next! I’m glad there wasn’t a huge falling out when she finds out what he was really doing there and what his real job is. And speaking of that real job, I actually am really loving the more serious spy/action-y aspect of this series. I think the next book, which I’m assuming will feature Max and Scout, (UM THAT CHAPTER FROM HER POV HAD ME SHOUTING, UM WHAT) will be really intense and really come to a head with catching certain bad guys and exploring the demons in Max’s past. I can’t wait. For now though, this was such a good installment, as always, and had me wanting more more more from Bowen, as always.

Huge thanks to the publisher for allowing me to read this eARC in exchange for my honest review! 

BOOK REVIEW: Lies & Lullabies (Hush Note #1) by Sarina Bowen

BOOK REVIEW: Lies & Lullabies (Hush Note #1) by Sarina BowenLies & Lullabies (Hush Note #1)
by Sarina Bowen
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Summer nights and star-crossed lovers! From USA Today bestselling author Sarina Bowen.

Once upon a time, he gave me a summer of friendship, followed by one perfect night. We shared a lot during our short time together. But he skipped a few crucial details.

I didn’t know he was a rock star.

I didn’t know his real name.

Neither of us knew I’d get pregnant.

And I sure never expected to see him again.

Five years later, his tour bus pulls up in Nest Lake, Maine. My little world is about to be shattered by loud music and the pounding of my own foolish heart.

Review

I’m not gonna lie, I tend to avoid the rock star trope because that scene really isn’t my type of thing. I do however, love anything and everything that Bowen writes so I figured why not give this a chance. Just like with all of her other books, the characters are what truly draw you in. Jonas and Kira are no different. Jonas meets Kira when he decides to take a summer away from it all in quiet Nest Lake, Maine. He gives her a different name, John, to keep some anonymity and they bond over her cooking. While the two try their best to keep it to a friendship (he having just gotten out of a toxic relationship and she having gone through a rape) we all know how the story goes….

Five years later he’s back, not even expecting to see Kira again and gets the surprise of a lifetime.
Let me tell you, it is so funny to me the kinds of stories you grow to like and dislike based on what season of life you are in. I used to never like any romances that had an unexpected pregnancy or child involved but here we are now, with two kids of my own, totally being fine with both of those things. This hasn’t been the first book I’ve read where the Hero leaves and comes back years later only to find out they’ve left behind not only their Heroine, but a baby besides. Sometimes it’s a pretty unbelievable situation that pisses me off but honestly that wasn’t really the case with this one. With Jonas being a rock star and with the things Kira had gone through in her past (and him not returning her letter) I don’t find it hard to believe that she had kept things quiet about Vivi. Is it incredibly sad that Jonas missed out on FIVE years of her life? Extremely. But that’s how things went and as we all know, we can’t turn back time.

I liked the flashbacks of Jonas and Kira meeting, getting to know each other, and the making of Vivi (lolllllll). I liked how simply they knit themselves back together and how quickly Jonas took to having a daughter even though he initially was thinking he was not father material. While this isn’t a TOP favorite of Bowen’s, I did thoroughly enjoy and sped through it in a few days. Her writing is just one of those comfortable things at this point that makes me happy and it was exactly what I needed!

P.S….I NEED to know more about Nixon…..
Huge thanks to Tuxbury Publishing LLC for the chance to read this eARC in exchange for my honest opinion! ♥

BOOK REVIEW: Heartland (True North #7) by Sarina Bowen

BOOK REVIEW: Heartland (True North #7) by Sarina BowenHeartland (True North #7)
by Sarina Bowen
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

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.

Review

If there were one fictional family that I would gladly want to be folded into, it would be the Shipley clan.  From the very first time we are introduced to all of them in Bittersweet, I knew that I was going to form a life-long attachment and love for the entire family.  I actually recently went and re-read that first book and I forgot how many little snippets we see of a younger Dylan that are just hilarious.  He still had that larger-than life, easygoing personality (especially compared to Griff).

Since most of the other books take place when the MCs are in their mid-to late-twenties or so, I enjoyed this one being set in college.  Since I’m an old woman now with almost two kids (har har, jk..kinda) I always get giddy and nostalgic thinking back to those easygoing times.  This book was no different.

I was also pretty excited to learn more about Chastity.  After Zach’s book when she shows up and it’s pretty evident that she has her own story to tell about how she got the hell out of there, I was eager to learn more about it and how she was going to fit in in a college setting.  Other than struggling with some of the class aspects of things though, I thought she really thrived.  She ate up those “normal” college experiences and craved more.  Of course I loved that Dylan helped tutor her.  What a sweetheart.  Really though, other than him having a filthy mouth and being this super brawny hunk of man meat (lolll) he may be the sweetest Shipley out there.  No, I take that back.  He definitely is.

My heart broke for him on numerous occasions because of the blame he was placing on himself for his father’s death.  It’s always easy to see from an outside perspective that there would have been absolutely NOTHING he could have done that day to make his father still be alive.  But he still couldn’t see that and of COURSE because he’s a stubborn male he couldn’t talk about it with anyone.  I was so happy when he finally was able to talk that out with his mom and brother *sobs*.

Hmmm what else?  Oh, the steamy scenes?  Yeah, you aren’t going to want to miss those.  The whole dynamic where the girl wants the more experienced guy to “teach her” the ways of things always gets me.  I mean, how can it not?  Especially when Dylan is so sweet to her and cares to make things as good for her as they possibly can be ~shivers~.  Highly, highly recommend, as always.


 

Extra Purchase Links

Kobo https://geni.us/HeartlandKobo 

Nook https://geni.us/HeartlandNook 

Google https://geni.us/HeartlandGoogle

About Sarina Bowen:

Sarina Bowen Bowen is the USA Today bestselling author of 30 books, including: the True North series, co-author of Him/Us and the WAGs series with Elle Kennedy, The Ivy Years series and the Brooklyn BruisersAnd more!
Are you looking for a friends-to-lovers story or maybe even a secret baby book? You can read a list of Sarina’s books broken out by trope and style.
Need to know what’s coming next ? Get all the latest news on Sarina’s website, and sign up for her newsletter so you don’t miss a book or a deal.

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