Tag: Romance (page 1 of 7)

BOOK REVIEW – I Knew You Were Trouble (Oxford #4) by Lauren Layne

BOOK REVIEW – I Knew You Were Trouble (Oxford #4) by Lauren LayneI Knew You Were Trouble (Oxford #4)
by Lauren Layne
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Taylor Carr has it all—a sleek job in advertising, a stunning Manhattan apartment, and the perfect man to share it with: Bradley Calloway. Even after Bradley dumps her for a co-worker on move-in day, Taylor isn’t worried. She’ll get her man eventually. In the meantime, she needs a new roommate. Enter Nick Ballantine, career bartender, freelance writer—and longtime pain in Taylor’s ass. Sexy in a permanent five-o’clock-shadow kind of way, Nick knows how to push Taylor’s buttons, as if he could see right through to the real her.

Nick’s always trying to fix people, and nobody could use a good fixing more than Taylor. Sure, she’s gorgeous, with mesmerizing silver eyes, but it’s her vulnerability that kills him. Now that they’re shacking up together, the chemistry is out of control. Soon they’re putting every part of their two-bedroom apartment to good use. Then Taylor’s ex comes crawling back to her, and Nick figures she’ll jump at the chance to go back to her old life—unless he fights for the best thing that ever happened to him.

I Knew You Were Trouble was flirty, sexy, angsty and absolutely fabulous!  This was a classic LL book, and I devoured it in one night.  And when I finished the epilogue, I was left feeling beyond ecstatic and happy.  I had the hugest smile on my face.  So if you are a fan of enemies to lovers, or if you have fallen for any of her past releases, then you definitely want to pick this one up!

“If you weren’t dating him, would you have dinner with me?”
“I don’t like you,” she whispered.
He eased closer until his mouth was inches from her ear. “Liar.”
It was a whisper, and it sent shivers down her spine and then back up again. The good kind of shivers, the kind that made her want to lean into him and beg him to put his mouth all over her.

I was suprised that the beginning started out a little bit different.  It was a brilliant idea that quickly connected me to all of the characters, and it made me feel like I’d known them forever.  So the first 6 “chapters” was a countdown from over a year ago in Taylor Carr’s life to present day.  We got to watch Taylor transition into the Oxford world, make friends, and interact with her coworkers.  We also got to see how her hate relationship with Nick Ballentine started, and we watched how Bradley Calloway became her boyfriend.  When the official first chapter started, I felt as though I completely understood and loved her inside out.

She hated being the newcomer— hated feeling vulnerable in any way for fear that someone would see right through her shield of confidence and call her out as a fraud. To expose her as what she really was on the inside: lonely. Maybe a little unlovable, if she wanted to get melodramatic about it.

Which I’m so thankful for, because I was a little nervous at first.  You see, I thought Taylor was going to be too harsh for me.  She could be so brutal at times, and I didn’t think I could relate or connect.  Oh how wrong I was!  While she portrayed herself as this tough, strong female, which she was, she was also so much more.  She was a kind, wonderful friend…..I adored the friendships she had with Brit and Daisy!  And I loved that she faltered, that she broke down and that she could be unsure of herself at times.  But what I loved most about Taylor, was how she threw fire and ice at Nick!

Damn, but she really was beautiful.
“And I don’t get to be happy?” she said. “Bitchy Taylor deserves to be miserable, is that it?”
“Nah,” he said quietly, studying her. “I’m just not sure you’d recognize actual happiness if it bit you in your perfectly shaped ass.”
She slapped his hand away from her face. “Get. Out.”
He did.
Not because she’d told him to. But because for one idiotic moment, Nick had wanted nothing more than to kiss all that pouty anger right off Taylor Carr’s saucy mouth.

You see, Nick knew how to push Taylor’s buttons.  And yes he could be a complete jerk at times.  But oh my gosh, the man was charming and oh so sexy.  Even when you didn’t want him to be.  And underneath it all, you got glimpses of his beautiful, kind heart.  So I was beyond ecstatic that Nick was going to move in with Taylor, since her boyfriend dumped her on move in day and she needed a roommate.  Because them moving in together meant that there would be even more fireworks.  And I also assumed that the sexual tension would get turned up a notch or ten.  And that’s exactly what happened.

He’d been kind to her last night— hell, he’d been kind to her a lot more often than she deserved. But he’d never shown any interest in her as a woman, and . . . well, it bothered her.

While they were a roller coaster of emotions that I definitely enjoyed riding, I also had fun watching them learn more about each other.  Especially since their enemy status almost started to look friendly at times.  And lucky for us, we got to know what both of them were thinking, since we spent chapters with both of them.  So yes, I definitely recommend this book!  And I’m going to hold out hope and think positive that Brit Robbins and Hunter Cross are going to get their own book some day!  Fingers crossed!!

PS I loved that Lincoln and Cassidy gave Nick advice from time to time.  I adore those Oxford men!

*ARC kindly provided by Random House Publishing – Loveswept via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

BOOK REVIEW – All the Stars Left Behind by Ashley Graham

BOOK REVIEW – All the Stars Left Behind by Ashley GrahamAll the Stars Left Behind by Ashley Graham
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Relocating to Arctic Norway would put a freeze on anyone’s social life. For Leda Lindgren, with her crutches and a chip on her shoulder the size of her former Manhattan home, the frozen tundra is just as boring as it sounds. Until she meets her uncle’s gorgeous employee.

Unfortunately, no matter how smoking hot the guy is, Roar comes with secrets as unnerving as his moving tattoos. And Leda doesn’t trust him.

Roar shouldn’t be drawn to the moody human girl with eyes that leave him weak in the knees. But when Leda gets shot by one of his enemies and survives, Roar finally understands why he’s drawn to her: Leda is exactly what he was sent to Earth to find. A weapon of immense power capable of saving his planet.

She just doesn’t know it yet.

All the Stars Left Behind had so much promise!  The premise was uniquely fascinating, the characters stood out and were original, and the parts about space travel and science blew my mind.  There was so much about this book that I loved.  Yet there’s a huge but.  It felt as though I was reading a beta copy.  Which means, I kept finding scenes that contradicted itself, moments where the ball was dropped, and things weren’t always fleshed out or made sense.  I don’t think I’ve ever re-read so many scenes just to figure out what was going on.  It was frustrating, because I wanted to enjoy the story.  Yet I found myself making a huge list of notes in regards to all of the issues.  And I’ve never done that before, unless I’m beta reading.  So if you’re not as picky as me, in regards to follow through and details, then you could have a lot of fun reading this book!  But if you want to take a peek at the list of issues I had with this book, then you can continue on below.  But be warned, there are spoilers since I talk about the problems in that corresponding chapter.

✩✮✩✮✩ Spoilers Below✩✮✩✮✩

Chapter 1

Uncle Arne tells Leda and Nils that he could use their help in his shop.  Yet when she gets out there, he never asks for her help.  

Chapter 2

Roar states – “He’d rather lie and work with the humans than become like the Woede.”  So how is his situation on Earth different than the Woede’s situation on Earth?  We aren’t told anywhere in the book how the Woede’s situation is worse.  Our does he just not want to be similar to the Woede in any way?  It wasn’t clear.

Chapter 4

Roar made Leda and himself move from the shop to her house.  One, we’re never explained how Roar made that happened.  Two, she just drops it.  Down the road, she questions about him appearing in front of a different house, but she never questions what happened between the two of them.  Also, the next time they hang out she doesn’t even mention it.

Chapter 5

Oline complains about Stein pulling a disappearing act in public.  That he’s taking risks.  Later on in the chapter Roar says “none of us are getting drunk and blowing cover.”  YET Roar and Petrus just did the exact same thing, blowing cover, at the end of Chapter 4!  

I don’t understand why they had to drug Petrus and Roar’s guardian.  This isn’t explained to us.  Why couldn’t they just tell him they’re missing a friend and will be out looking for him?  Or is there an instance in the past where their guardian didn’t grant them much freedom?  Why did they have to take the drug route?

Oline was so hot in the spaceship that she stripped down to her bra and underwear.  Then pages later it mentions her pulling a blanket up to her chin.  If she’s cold then why wouldn’t she put back on her clothes?  I don’t understand her actions, especially since it never mentions her grabbing a blanket.

While I love that we got to be in both of their heads, and it doesn’t bother me that sometimes we’re a few chapters with Leda before we go back to Roar, the transition felt choppy since I never know who we’re going to be with.  There’s no notice to who we are with.  Plus you never know if the next chapter is a continuation of the previous scene or if time has passed.  

Chapter 8

Why was Charlie hiding in the closet with Leda?  Why wouldn’t they be out in the open?  He knows Roar or Petrus will be coming home, so why hide in the closet?

Chapter 10

Roar calls her defective when talking to Leda’s mom.  It would have been better to say something like ‘you think your daughter is defective’.  That way the word isn’t associated with making Roar look horrible, but instead would just make her mom look horrible.

Her Grandma hints that she shouldn’t get close to Roar.  But then down the road, everyone is shocked about what happens with both of their bloods when combined.  And that seems like the reason they can’t be together.  So is that the reason her Grandma says she shouldn’t get close to Roar?  Beause if so, she never confirms she knew it.  And if not, she never once tells Leda the reason behind her statement.

Her blood changed color because she came into close contact with Roar.  Why?  Is it because of their genetics and what they are to each other?  Or is it because he’s the same type of alien as her?  If so, her Grandma and Uncle are new aliens to her, so why wouldn’t they activate it?  There’s no explanation for this phenomenon.

They talk about Nils being a bargaining chip, yet they never use him when they’re desperate down the road.  No one mentions it once when they’re trying to figure out what to do.  And Nils is barely even mentioned on the ship in the future too, which felt a little strange since him and Leda became good friends.

Chapter 11

Contradictory statements – Roar couldn’t be alone with Leda without her Grandma or Uncle right behind him, then the next page it states that he’s there with her all night alone, with no mention of her Grandma or Uncle checking in or being right behind him.

Chapter 12

How is the spaceship not captured or controlled by the government?  Because in Chapter 14 Leda’s mom and the interrogation person have no problem finding them up in the sky.  

Also, I know they came to Earth on an escape pod, so is that how they all got up to the spaceship?  Neither of those were explained. (Just found answer, explained in Chapter 23….. that’s quite a long time to wait to find out)

Chapter 14

Petrus asks to talk to Roar in private, so Roar has Stein take over the ship so he’s free, but then he walks away to find Leda.  Petrus’ request was forgotten.  Also, what did he want to warn Roar about Leda?  He doesn’t bring it up again.

Chapter 15

She never asked how her being a weapon worked, that sat a little weird with me.

Chapter 21

How did another ship get out of their planet if there was a web all around it not allowing anyone to get out.

We were never explained why Tulva tortures Leda.  Yes, Tulva says she wants answers, but she never asked Leda questions.  What was the point of torturing then?

Chapter 22

Their whole mission was to find Leda and bring her back.  So these words seem off –

“Oline wanted to head back to Aurelis. Abandon Leda and Stein to whatever fate they faced. Deep down, Roar knew it was the right thing to do, but returning home without the weapon meant they’d lost.”

How can it sit right with him when she’s his mission?  I can’t see how their planet needing them is above bringing back the weapon – aka completing their mission.

Chapter 27

Toorn stated –

“Activating the weapon doesn’t simply destroy the Woede, you know. Or perhaps no one mentioned that? Aurelites and Woede, we are connected in ways you might never imagine. Are you prepared to make that kind of sacrifice?”

But what doesn’t make sense is that that he’s taken over their planet and is killing people there.  So how does that work……he can murder many, but not all and his race will still be okay?

Chapter 28

It wasn’t very clear, but if she’s out in space without a suit and she’s with Roar (he has a suit on), then how did she not die?  Wouldn’t she run out of oxygen?

*ARC kindly provided by Entangled Publishing, LLC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

BOOK REVIEW: Windfall by Jennifer E Smith

BOOK REVIEW: Windfall by Jennifer E SmithWindfall Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Alice doesn’t believe in luck—at least, not the good kind. But she does believe in love, and for some time now, she’s been pining for her best friend, Teddy. On his eighteenth birthday—just when it seems they might be on the brink of something—she buys him a lottery ticket on a lark. To their astonishment, he wins $140 million, and in an instant, everything changes.

At first, it seems like a dream come true, especially since the two of them are no strangers to misfortune. As a kid, Alice won the worst kind of lottery possible when her parents died just over a year apart from each other. And Teddy’s father abandoned his family not long after that, leaving them to grapple with his gambling debts. Through it all, Teddy and Alice have leaned on each other. But now, as they negotiate the ripple effects of Teddy’s newfound wealth, a gulf opens between them. And soon, the money starts to feel like more of a curse than a windfall.

As they try to find their way back to each other, Alice learns more about herself than she ever could have imagined…and about the unexpected ways in which luck and love sometimes intersect.

Part of this is a ‘it’s you, not me’ thing, because the writing was lovely. The author clearly put her heart and soul into this book. Some of the conversations and inner monologue is breathtakingly heart-achingly beautiful.

A certain type of reader will probably hug this book to pieces and cry over it. For me, I’m not exactly a contemporary reader, and this book kinda reminded me why. I have a really hard time dealing with modern day issues because my own life has so many right now – so it’s just one of those things. For some reason, I was thinking this was more of a light hearted book, but it really wasn’t. It deals with loss, death, some aspects of poverty, and the romance part of it was just really sad IMO. I mean, the ending was cute and all, but I just feel kinda sad and depressed?

I’m not going to retype the synopsis or even summarize it aside from saying it’s about a girl who is a ‘do-gooder’ and her best friend Teddy (whom she’s in love with) wins the lottery and basically changes into a total jerk face (even if he realizes it eventually).

65% of the plot is basically us seeing the MC get her hopes up only to be shoved off and brushed over time and time again by Teddy. We watch him make a million dumb asshole mistakes before he finally comes around. SO much of me was raging at how selfish someone could be with the money aspect and the relationship aspects. It literally hurt to read.

There were definitely some pacing issues too. I read the book really fast because I did feel emotionally invested at some points, but over all, not a ton happened to be honest. It’s very much about the inner struggle vs. big events happening.

Trigger warning for anyone who has a hard time diving into the aftermath of painful deaths/etc.

It did have a great ending, but all in all, I just feel kinda empty after having read it. I’m glad the characters make some amazing discoveries and decisions, but blah. It just isn’t the type of story that works well for me.

I still recommend it to those who love contemporaries who make you think about life/etc.

Thank you to the publisher & blogging for books for giving me a copy of this book to review!

REVIEW + GIVEAWAY – Walk of Shame by Lauren Layne

REVIEW + GIVEAWAY – Walk of Shame by Lauren Layne

Walk of Shame is my FAVORITE Lauren Layne book to date! So check out my 5 Star review below and enter the giveaway! Enjoy!

REVIEW + GIVEAWAY – Walk of Shame by Lauren LayneWalk of Shame (Love Unexpectedly #4)
by Lauren Layne
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Pampered heiress Georgianna Watkins has a party-girl image to maintain, but all the shopping and clubbing is starting to feel a little bit hollow—and a whole lot lonely. Though Georgie would never admit it, the highlights of her week are the mornings when she comes home at the same time as her uptight, workaholic neighbor is leaving to hit the gym and put in a long day at the office. Teasing him is the most fun Georgie’s had in years—and the fuel for all her naughtiest daydreams.

Celebrity divorce attorney Andrew Mulroney doesn’t have much time for women, especially spoiled tabloid princesses who spend more time on Page Six than at an actual job. Although Georgie’s drop-dead gorgeous, she’s also everything Andrew resents: the type of girl who inherited her penthouse instead of earning it. But after Andrew caps one of their predawn sparring sessions with a surprise kiss—a kiss that’s caught on camera—all of Manhattan is gossiping about whether they’re a real couple. And nobody’s more surprised than Andrew to find that the answer just might be yes.

Review:

Walk of Shame was crazy addicting, laugh out loud hilarious and continually pulled at my heartstrings. And when I closed the book, I couldn’t stop the happy tears! Here’s a few reasons why this is definitely my new favorite LL book!

✮Fabulous Heroine –

I put on my widest, sparkliest smile, only because I know it drives him crazy.
As always, I see a muscle in his jaw twitch as I flutter my eyelashes.
“Good morning, Andrew,” I say sweetly.
“Georgiana.”

I loved Georgiana Watkin’s voice, aka Georgie, and that her happiness and friendliness was infectious. She was this honest, bubbly, hilarious women who had the most generous heart. She was such a good person…..even though she loved to get under Andrew’s skin. But besides all that, she talked directly to us readers, sporadically. It made me feel like Georgie was my bff and I happily listened as she poured her heart and soul out to me. I loved everything about Manhattan’s famous party girl!

✮Rigid Yet Sexy Hero –

I pop another piece of donut in my mouth and smile. “It’s fine. I won’t tell a soul you checked me out.”
“I wasn’t—” He clears his throat. “Forget it. You’re ridiculous.”
I’m grinning outright now, because that’s two you’re ridiculouses this morning, and when he takes to repeating himself, I know I’ve successfully gotten under his skin.
Georgie, one; Andrew Mulroney, Esquire, zero.

Andrew Mulroney, Esquire…a famous divorce attorney…. was structured, rigorous and completely no-nonsense. Yet he captivated me, especially when he had his morning squabbles with Georgie. It was so much fun watching Georgie push Andrew’s buttons, and getting glimpses into the other sides of him. Even if I was always left wanting to desperately know or learn more about the allusive Andrew. Because even though it seemed as though Andrew was always in control, he wasn’t always on his game and he was insanely hot when jealous! And I have to put this out there, but I truly believe that fans of Michael from After the Kiss, will fall just as hard for Andrew!!

✮Fun and Flirty Vibe –

If I had even a lick of sense, I’d forget him and this weird game we’re playing. Instead I keep coming back for more.
I’ve been thinking about why, and, well . . . I’m simply not used to people not liking me. And yes, I know how that sounds. Diva much? But really, usually people at least want to be my friend. He hated me on sight for no reason, and I seem to be having a wee bit of a difficult time letting it go.

Georgie’s party girl routine rubbed Andrew’s off to the gym and then the corner office vibe at 5am the wrong way. Their morning confrontation in their lobby was always entertaining and the electricity running between the two of them was scorching hot. Well actually anytime they were near each other I always found myself smiling, laughing and then wanting to shove them together lol. Besides Walk of Shame being so much fun, LL writes some of the best banter, and she hit gold with Georgie and Andrew!

This book about polar opposites had me a giddy, laughing, crying mess! And I don’t think I have ever happy cried so much, this book, oh, it made me a ridiculously emotional girl! *sigh* Walk of Shame was absolutely perfect! I loved it so much and I hope you do too!

*ARC kindly provided by Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

 

About Lauren Layne: 

Lauren Layne is the New York Times bestselling author of over a dozen romantic comedies.
A former e-commerce and web marketing manager from Seattle, Lauren relocated to New York City in 2011 to pursue a full-time writing career.
She lives in midtown Manhattan with her high-school sweetheart, where she writes smart romantic comedies with just enough sexy-times to make your mother blush. In LL’s ideal world, every stiletto-wearing, Kate Spade wielding woman would carry a Kindle stocked with Lauren Layne books.

 
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BOOK REVIEW: Duels and Deception

BOOK REVIEW: Duels and DeceptionDuels and Deception by Cindy Anstey
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Miss Lydia Whitfield, heiress to the family fortune, has her future entirely planned out. She will run the family estate until she marries the man of her late father's choosing, and then she will spend the rest of her days as a devoted wife. Confident in those arrangements, Lydia has tasked her young law clerk, Mr. Robert Newton, to begin drawing up the marriage contracts. Everything is going according to plan.

Until Lydia—and Robert along with her—is kidnapped. Someone is after her fortune and won't hesitate to destroy her reputation to get it. With Robert's help, Lydia strives to keep her family's good name intact and expose whoever is behind the devious plot. But as their investigation delves deeper and their affections for each other grow, Lydia starts to wonder whether her carefully planned future is in fact what she truly wants…

This book was totally cute. I’m realizing more and more how much I’m missing out on by not incorporating more regency romance into my diet. 

I think what I loved most were the array of personalities and the humor, though I’m a huge sucker for this time period. I always crack up on how scandalous things like “escorting a lady” or “showing a bit of ankle” were back then. 

The first half of the story was really fun. Lydia meets Robert in the first few pages – Lydia being a wealthy land owner and Robert being a lawyer on his way to her place to talk about the estate. Lydia is headstrong and intelligent, and the others that were set to help her manage her estate push back at her constantly. Hence, Robert comes in to take a look at what is really going on and to address any legal matters. Robert immediately finds himself in awe over Lydia and the two have instant chemistry in my opinion. He constantly is trying to make excuses to be around her. 

Anyway, not long after they meet, Lydia gets kidnapped along with Robert. That was probably my favorite bit – especially the way it was told.. I was laughing so much. Blah blah blah happens (I don’t want to spoil) and then they escape. The description of the book makes it sound like the whole kidnapping ordeal is most of the book, but be warned, that isn’t the case. That bit is over really quickly. 

My biggest complaint is that the story moved a bit slow in the middle and up until the end. It wasn’t exactly dull, I think I just was expecting a bit more action (hence the title). But things did finally pick back up and I loooved the ending! (Even though I guessed who was guilty right off the bat.) 

The best part was getting to read from both Lydia and Robert’s POVS. I loved being in Robert’s head.. he was so sweet and funny and just adored Lydia to pieces. He kept scolding himself for how much he kept thinking about her and my heart just swooned. 

 
Anyway, this gets a thumbs up for me! 
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