STARFISH: a rockstar romance by Lisa M. Becker | #bookreview

Happy Friday, book-dragons! It’s been a long time since I have been around, but I’ve struggle to type with one hand as I injured my right hand in a foolish accident. I am back now so going to kick off my return with a book review to one of my favorite romances of 2019: Starfish: a rockstar romance by Lisa M. Becker.

*Thanks to Lisa for sending me a copy for review consideration – opinions my own [like always]*

Genre: romance
Year Of Publication: 21.05.2019
Pages: 359
My rating: 5 stars

“Ambitious graduate Marin Collins accepts a four-month internship at a prestigious public relations firm to work on a tech account, but her plans are derailed when she’s assigned to go on the road with touring rock band Kings Quarters, hailed by Rolling Stone as the next big thing. Enter Brad Osterhauser, the reluctant rock star who would rather be coding computer games than penning Grammy-nominated songs.

Traveling by bus, city to city with a group of practical joking bandmates and a greedy manager, Marin and Brad forge a friendship and forbidden romance over a shared love of Seinfeld episodes, stolen moments and Red Vines.

But when Marin’s accused of betraying her company and the band, will Brad come to her defense or believe she was disloyal to him for the sake of her career?”
[goodreads blurb]

You guys, I have loved this book SOOOO MUCH! It is hands down one of my favorite romance novels of this year. The plot, the characters, the execution were so well done that I was left satisfied at the end. One of my big gripes when reading a romance is not enough angst, but boy! this novel did not have an issue with that at all!

Marin and Brad had a beautiful story arc as a couple, but also individually as we can see them grow and develop as individuals too. Their romance is not rushed at all and I enjoyed greatly reading about their budding friendship and what follows; they were sooooo sweet! Although the story obviously focuses on the main characters we also get to know the others, connect with them and understand them better; it is so refreshing for the “extras” to not be cookie-cut characters just for the sake of the protagonists to have someone else to talk to. Props also to Marin’s best friend – she wasn’t just a crutch to support the main character, she was funny, adorable and a really good friend. Marin and Grace’s relationship was absolute #SQUADGOALS! And this is what I wanted & needed!

“This body is a temple,” replies Jase, holding his arms out and shrugging his shoulder. “Temple of doom, maybe,” fumes Oliver.

Lisa Becker, Starfish: A Rock Star Romance

I did not know what to expect in terms of the writing style as it can be a hit or miss with romance, however I found myself drawn in and unable to put it down! Lisa has a talent to draw the reader in and captivate them with good characters and interesting plot. The plot was well done and I experienced a lot of emotions whilst reading this novel.

I totally recommend this novel, I had a lot of fun reading it and Lisa is one of them authors that I will keep my eyes out for!

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Summer Escape with the Tycoon (Destination Brides #1) by Donna Alward | #bookreview @MillsandBoon

So… it’s been quiet here in a few days as I fractured my right hand and writing is not easy, but I cannot help myself as I absolutely loved Summer Escape with the Tycoon which I read mostly whilst I was waiting in A&E (pointlessly because it would’ve been 5h+ to be seen), and finished it whilst I was waiting in Urgent Care the following day.

Genre: Romance
Year Of Publication: 16 May 2019
Publisher: Mills & Boon
Pages: 192
My rating: 4.5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“In this Destination Brides story, bidding on a Canadian adventure vacation results in the trip of a lifetime for divorce lawyer Molly Quinn in more ways than one… Paired up with gorgeous tycoon Eric Chambault, they’re pushed out of their comfort zones and closer together, until Molly can’t resist embarking on a fling. But as their vacation comes to an end, will their summer romance work in the real world?” [Goodreads]


Molly is a divorce lawyer and for the first time in her life takes an unexpected adventure break in Canada and that’s where she meets -again – Eric, a rich businessman that recently divorced. Although the characters sat at opposite ends, the chemistry between them felt real and it sparkled. Both Molly and Eric felt like real humans with real problems trying to figure out life and where to go from there. The characters grew a lot through the story and I really liked that there was no silly miscommunication trope happening and discussed like adults and it made the angst even more potent as real feelings were in the way, and old perceptions.

This book was written with maturity and I was glued until the end, needing to know how it all ended. It was easy to relate to the characters and I felt an emotional connection to both of them. The backdrop of the story was beautiful as well, transporting me to places I have never been.

I will happily read more from this author and recommend it to the Romance enthusiasts! Not one to miss!!

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Untamed Billionaire’s Innocent Bride by Caitlin Crews | #BookReview

Happy weekend, book dragons! What are you currently reading? I made a return to romance, because ya girl is kinda addicted to Mills and Boon… and discovered this little jem. The title is kind of corny, however the novel was surprisingly good.

“Dedicated personal assistant Lauren Clarke always does as she’s asked. Her latest task? To prevent a media scandal, she needs to find reclusive Dominik James – her boss’s estranged brother – and convince him to marry her! But in Hungary’s darkest forests she discovers more than just an untamed billionaire…Dominik’s brooding masculinity awakens Lauren’s long-dormant desire. Once they’ve exchanged their convenient ‘I do’s’, will innocent Lauren accept that their hunger can’t be denied…?”


Genre: Romance
Year Of Publication: 20/05/2019
Publisher: Mills&Boon
My rating: 4 ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Review copy via Netgalley – Thank you Mills&boon

I adored the chemistry between this two, there is no denying that sparks are flying whenever these two are on the page. Lauren absolutely rocked my world in her high heels and no-nonsense attitude and I had a lot of respect for her, being able to stand up like that for herself. Yes, she wasn’t perfect, bending to her boss’s wishes and whims, but she wore her flaws like an armor. The image of Lauren striding through the forest in her tall heels, ignoring the pain because she does not believe in flat shoes will forever be etched in my mind, and I wish I’d be a little more like her (unfortunately I like my flats because being comfortable is my thing).

Now Dominik is just like the big bad wolf come alive from the fairy tales and she’s his little Red Riding Hood. He’s got all the attributes of my favorite heartthrob: tall, dark and handsome, but his wit and attitude are a great added bonus. Dominik is not the usual type of billionaire, he’s living a simple life in the forest, away from people until Lauren arrives at his doorstep and he is too tempted of her to resist the offer.

I lapped this story up with so much hunger it’s unreal. I swore myself a long time ago that no more reading until late at night on a work night… well, that went out of the window because I couldn’t and didn’t want to put it down.

By no means it’s not a perfect book, I wished for the ending to be a bit more different, I wanted Dominik to be more active since he demanded so much of her, but in the end I was still happy, especially after reading that epilogue. I also reallllly loved the Red Riding Hood references and the dark vibes.

If you are a fan of romance, totally recommend this one!

Xoxo
Jane

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#BookReview:Her brooding Scottish heir by Ella Hayes

Her brooding Scottish heir was a fun, light read and I did enjoy reading it, although I did have some issues with it, mainly stemming from the plot, lack of character development and pacing issues.

Genre: romance
Year Of Publication: 27.12.2018
Publisher: Mills&Boons True Love
My rating: 2.5 stars


A kiss under the Northern Lights…
Running from her broken engagement artist Milla O’Brien retreats to the Scottish Highlands. Only to arrive during a lavish wedding on the estate!
She finds the bride’s brother and brooding heir, Cormac Buchanan. Could they heal each other’s hearts?

(Goodreads blurb)

At the heart of a romance novel (for me) are the two main characters so it’s very important for me to get to know them, love them and understand their motivations, goals and background story. In this novel, I felt that I did not get to know the main characters as much as I would’ve wanted to, we get to know why they are the way they are, but everything seems to be linked only in terms of the romance, rather than them as a person on their own right. Milla was slightly annoying on a lot of occasions when she was offered help, but for the sake of the plot, she was being more difficult than it was called for. I do not like it when I can see the plot creeping into what the characters say or do as it has to serve a purpose – hate that. Cormac had his own moments, especially towards the end when he falls into the usual tropes!

The plot was convenient and simplistic, “forcing” the romance the romance between the two main characters most of the time. There were also some pacing issues in there as well; for example, the “dark moment” when all is lost and no turning back was resolved in 2 pages and rushed to a happy ending that felt so unrealistic I wanted to scream. I could forgive a lot more, but I was very disappointed with the climax and resolution of this story. 2.5 stars.

I think that with some more editing and solving those plot and pacing issues, it would be a good novel because the writing was not bad at all, actually. I enjoyed the dialogue between the characters and the descriptive parts of it.

What’s your favourite romance novel?

XOXO
Jane

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#BookReview: Unscripted by Minnie Adams

38880478The downside of reading a lot is having to write a lot of reviews which takes an insane amount of time, but I love to share with you my thoughts on the books that I am reading and hopefully giving you a better idea of what you would and would not enjoy reading.

On this particular occasion, I believe you would enjoy reading Unscripted; I know I truly loved it and I believe it took me two, three days of reading to finish it. I was sooooooo hooked!

Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Year Of Publication: February 2018
Publisher: Ubiquitous Books
Pages: 308
My rating:4.5 stars

*thanks to Ubiquitous books for sending me a copy for an honest review*

Who knew sticking your tongue out at a total stranger could change your life? Andromeda Hart doesn’t feel confident or pretty enough to carry off her big fancy name. In fact she feels messy, inelegant and out of control. With the rest of her life coming up fast, she’s terrified she’ll forever be all over the place. When a chance meeting in a crowded pub changes everything, can she face the challenges love, and the movie business, have in store for her? [Goodreads blurb]

CHARACTERS & PLOT

Andromeda, or Andi for short, has a pretty simple life and in the beginning of the book giphyshe lacks self-esteem and confidence, and so she sticks her tongue out at an attractive stranger checking her out. Unbeknown to her, this handsome stranger is a famous actor, unhappy with his life and his career path. Joseph was handsome and successful, but of late he has been feeling empty, bored with his life. So when the two of them are thrown in together, sparks start flying.

I really liked Andi, especially in the beginning, she was funny and her inner monologue was smart and interesting. Her flaws made her endearing and more human, however as the story progressed I felt that she continued to be stuck with her low self-esteem especially when everyone is telling her how awesome she is; this was particularly important as the plot also tried to capture issues around sexual harassment in the film industry.

Joseph is successful and charming, yet he lives an empty life, wanting more than the action roles he’s been cast in Hollywood. When he and Andi are thrown together, he finds the spark that was missing from his life and begins to dream again. He is generally likeable, however, on a few occasions, his misplaced jealousy and his inability to tell her he loved her, irked me more than once. The problem with this is that it didn’t feel like an issue of the character, but more of a plot design to keep the tension going. If he would’ve told her he loved her, many things would’ve been avoided, so I really wanted to strangle him for that. I loved him for the most, but wanted to strangle him there!

Overall, the plot carried well, minus some of the issues I’ve mentioned above. I really appreciated the different topics the novel attempted to carry, such as sexual harassment and female friendship.

THE WRITING…

The writing style was clear and easy to follow. I loved Andi’s voice and her internal monologue; for me, this was the highlight. As a debut author, Minnie has a distinct voice and a way with words that I found it was pulling me back into the story whenever my attention would wane. I will definitely watch this space!

THE ENJOYMENT…

I really enjoyed this novel! I initially gave it 4.5 stars because I was buzzing after finishing reading it. I definitely enjoyed it however, since I finished reading it and had a little bit more time to reflect, I feel that 4 stars would be a more accurate rating.

I definitely recommend this novel, and I am not usually a contemporary romance/fiction reader!

Xoxo

Jane

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#BookReview: How to steal a Highlander by Olivia Norem | A modern thief & A 16th Century Laird & A wicked curse

How To Steal Highlander Ebook COVER

I have been soooooo excited to receive an ARC of How to steal a Highlander by Olivia Norem ever since I read last year His Viking bride (which I want to re-read sometime soon!!) and I am so happy to have been given a copy by Olivia! As soon as I received it I devoured it in two days! TWO DAYS!

There’s something about Olivia’s writing that draws me in and doesn’t let go, and I love it, so needless to say, I am really excited to share with you guys how much I loved reading this book!

Big thank you! to Olivia for sending me this ARC!!!

 

“Katherine lands in Scotland to boost some relics before they are unveiled at a museum exhibit. But what she discovers is shocking — nothing in the experience of this notorious thief has prepared her to collide with a dark, rakish man wearing plaid — who happens to be trapped inside a mirror.”

Genre: Romance / Fantasy /Time-Travel
Year Of Publication: June 2018
Pages: E-book, 258 pages
My rating: 4.5 Stars

 

THE CHARACTERS….

7a49d88faad5e2edd0d23d66e0a7eec9The main characters, Katharine and Simeon have an incredible chemistry and I liked being with them. Katharine is a strong female, with a unique set of skills and she proves this time and time again. She knows what she wants and is not afraid to go and get it. She is also very practical in the way in which she is aware of the effects her interaction with Simeon could pose on her lifestyle that she is not willing to give up. From the beginning, we get to know Katherine pretty well and have an understanding of what makes her Katherine; this is explored time and time again throughout. She has the space and ability to reflect on her situation and change course accordingly. She grows as a character and realises along the way that what she wants and what she needs might not be one and the same. I really liked how she was portrayed, with strengths and weaknesses that are so human without being falling into the usual tropes pit.

23722282._SY540_Simeon is a protector, a man from the 16th Century thrown into the modern, he struggles to understand these modern times, so it is understandable the reasoning behind his (sometimes) caveman-type behaviour towards Katharine. He struggles to understand that she is a woman that can protect herself. He struggles to understand how much times have changed since he has been imprisoned in the mirror and to adapt to change. He is a pretty straightforward guy, no bullshit if he needs something done he just gets on and does it. And along the way, his character unfolds and we get to learn more aboutimages (1) what he is capable of and his character’s depths. His identity, who he is now in the modern time, this was his biggest struggle, and it was so well written that I felt his journey. He is also very hot, just saying.

Some of the side characters that we meet have pretty good characterisation and you get the sense that their actions are in line with what their characters would do. They supported well the main characters and were not simply puppets in the main show.

THE PLOT…

The story has a good flow to it and I thought that the main plot engine and the romance engine married really well, moving the story along at a good pace and keeping this reader very, very invested. “One more chapter…” that was a real issue with me and this book because I struggled to call it a night. The first day I read until 1 AM because I was so hooked in!pnir2q0.gifTHE WRITING…

Olivia has real talent in writing characters that move you and I have noticed how much she grew as a writer from His Viking Bride (and I loved that book!) to How to steal a Highlander both in regards to her grasp of character building and style of writing.

If I would to say anything that I wasn’t that crazy about was how a few things concluded, but that’s just my personal taste. I also would’ve wanted to know a little bit more about the villain of the story, but again that’s me being picky!

THE ENJOYMENT…

Read it in two days! Loved it!

4-5-star

You can purchase it at:Steal A Highlander TWITTER PREORDER 99

Yes, You can be social with Olivia 💁

#MiniReview: Not if I save you first by Ally Carter

Hi, bookworms! I am back from Center Parcs! I had 5 days of chill and adventure (not sure how I can put these two in a sentence, but there you go) and now that I am home I need to tell you guys about what I read when I was away. Yeah, I took books with me and I read when others were watching movies or chilling or after everyone went to bed.

So whilst I was away, I picked up Not if I save you first by Ally Carter, courtesy of NetGalley.

Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this novel! As always, my unbiased review.
Genre:  Young Adult, Romance
Year Of Publication: 27 March 2018
Publisher: Orchard Books
Pages: 320
My rating: 3.5 – 4 stars

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After Maddie’s Secret Service dad takes a bullet for the president, he takes Maddie somewhere he thinks they’ll be safe – far away from the White House and the president’s son, Logan.

But when Logan comes to Alaska, so does the danger.

If there’s one thing Alaska has taught Maddie, it’s how to survive. And now her best friend’s life depends on it …

#MINIREVIEW:

What I liked about the story:
-the setting is spectacular as most of the story happens in Alaska.
-Maddie actually proves that she has the skills to survive and face all the things that have been thrown at her.
-the girl saves boy premise.
-interesting and funny characters; the dialogue was well done and generally enjoyed listening to the characters talk.
-highly entertaining and unputdownable.

What it didn’t like about the book:
-the plot was overly simplistic and sometimes I doubted their ability to not die of hypothermia; at some point, it felt like the story forgot that she was injured and all of a sudden remembered about it, and she collapsed. How was she able to do all of that if injured?
-Logan and the letters… I was like WTF?!
-although it is meant as girl saves the boy, but the boy also saves girl quite a bit…
-the flashback to their lives as 10-year-olds was cute and all, but I felt that it was a bit too long for my liking and impacted on the pacing of the plot.
-I would’ve wanted to know more about teenager Logan, I didn’t feel like I knew his motivations and what happened to him besides the fact that “he stopped trying”. Why?
-the villain’s motivations were like so average, it hurt my head. It was not something that I have not read before and always thought it to be a bit lame.

However, overall, I did enjoy it. It took me two days to read it and struggled to put it down as I wanted to know what would happen next, which is why I would rate this book at 3.5 stars.

3-5-stars

Happy Reading

Xoxo

Jane

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