Fake Marriage to a Baller by Aria Scott review

Sports Romance? Check.

Football? Check.

Famous player? Check

Bad boy? Check

Small town girl?  Check

Pretend / fake relationships? Check.

 It had all the elements and factors I mostly look for in a book that I place on my priority of ‘to read’, but this one just fell a little short of what I was expecting. It is really good, just that it seemed to be similar to several other stories out there.

Chase was really an ass most of the time. The only redeeming quality for Chase was the little romantic side you will read about in the book, but that’s all.

Aubrey is our typical heroine and also a bit stubborn.  And both characters’ pride was in the way.

What I loved about the book was the family and friends of the couple. They were really a great bunch and added more color to the book.

Even though I was let down by this one a bit, I look forward to the other brothers’ story. I can’t wait for the next book.  

If you want to read a quick, sports romance with steamy scenes, read this book.

4 stars

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Guilty by Nikki Chase review

“We tell ourselves a lot of lies. Like forever. Forever is a lie we tell ourselves so we can function.”

A filthy rich playboy and genius CEO is what drew me towards reading the book. So when the author asked me to review this one in exchange for an honest review, of course I accepted. What is really surprising for me is that this is her first novel which is not even released yet because it’s really good and very well-written.

Aside from the very obvious reasons why I read the book in the first place, this book had a lot of factors which I really liked. From the prologue, there’s a mystery to it that you just want to find out more and will keep you turning pages. The author did a pretty good job not revealing secrets and everything else at once which meant every chapter was like a treasure trove to solving these mysteries.

There’s certainly romance here, and very hot scenes if you like erotica. Plus, there’s the whole forbidden romance going on aside from the fact that the hero ended up being our heroine’s boss.

I did like Cole very much. He’s a bit confused in what he should do at first but out of the characters in the book, he was the most dedicated to his feelings. I also liked his brother, Caine. I wish he had a lot more cameo appearance on here than the one we’ve got.

However, I did not like Emily though she is a good enough heroine. It’s just that she’s really stuck to the past that it became annoying when the secret was out and all she did was whine and shout and saw no reason to a point it became a bit annoying.

Last but not the least, Cole’s father. I wish there’s a bit more justice done to him from what he did to Cole in the last part of the book, but also an explanation on his part where he was protecting his family’s name and reputation (which I think wasn’t that big of a deal) hiding stuff from the public that won’t really matter much if he did not hide it in the first place. It’s a bit of a weird situation they had here making a big fuss out of something that maybe their social circle does a lot and the public probably won’t care about.

If you want a fast paced, hot romance which is full of mystery, and a bit of fun – read this book. Trust me, it’s hard to put down.

⭐⭐⭐⭐

4  Guilty stars

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Bossman by Vi Keeland review

That’s not being afraid. Being afraid is when you let fear control your life, let it stop you from doing what you want. When you’re afraid, but you look your fear in the eye and live, that’s courageous.

Vi Keeland does it again. This one is a really fun and entertaining book. The book starts right off the bat with the hero and heroine meeting each other – and their fake childhood together was so ridiculous it won’t make you stop reading.

The first part of the book was full of the ‘chase’. And Chase Parker does not let his name down. Though Reese didn’t make it easy for him which made the book more enjoyable.

I really loved it, and the characters were pretty easy to love. My one problem with is may be the epilogue only. I loved the proposal and everything, but I felt robbed of the rest of the story – to have ended it like that.

Bossman is a very well-written, amusing book about fear, friendship, love, and moving on. If you want a sexy, hot, pleasing and romantic read – try this book.

Don’t focus on the what ifs. Focus on what is.

⭐⭐⭐⭐

4bossy stars

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The Sheriff’s Christmas Twins by Karen Kirst review

Now that I have finished the book, I looked into the author and found out it wasn’t the first in the series. 

I loved this book so much that I am most likely going to read the previous book in the series to find out more about the other couples which I have glimpsed in this book.

It has been a while since I’ve read a book in the mid-Western like setting, especially one which was specifically set in the 1880’s. I got to admit it was a bit refreshing. 
Nowadays, books are centered on gadgets, paragraphs about TV shows and other trivial things just to pass a few pages. In this book, there’s none of that. Gone are the gadgets – in their place, to pass their time, people had the good time to bond between board games and take a stroll about their town. It’s really a welcoming read since you don’t read much about these special things anymore, more so see it in real life. 

What is also good about this book was that it didn’t center on Love, Friendship and Family. This one had it ingrained from the first few chapters the Values and importance of Religion which made it a very easy read but at the same time, an emotional one. Another huge difference in the novels we spend reading today. No hot erotic scenes here but just the ‘wooing’ and ‘courting’ of women in a bit of traditional way – which I think is a good thing. 

In this very well-written novel, take a stroll in the past and look into Allison’s and Shane’s love story.

 

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

5 adorable stars

 

 

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Sidebarred by Emma Chase review

Jake may probably be one of my most favorite characters in any book to date!
And I am so glad he is getting this novella for a full-on epilogue.

Our characters have come so far since Sustained, and this novella is a look into how their marriage turned out with six kids and how the kids turned out with their guidance as well.

Epilogues are sometimes good and sometimes disappointing for a reader. And based on my experience, sometimes some are just not enough. The endings often dissatisfy their readers…
And I could gladly conclude that the ending in this novella did not disappoint! Not one bit. 

This was the ultimate happily ever after for Jake, Chelsea and the kids.

The other characters also make an appearance, but this is solely centered on Jake. 

This book is about family, friends, love, and life. It will surely warm your hearts and you’ll shed a tear here or there too. But don’t forget to read Sustained first before you read this! 😉

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

5 happily ever after stars

 

 

 

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Adorkable by Cookie O’Gorman review

This book had a lot of factors I look for in a plot. The best friend with a secret crush, the school’s or town’s golden boy, the “pretend relationship” element, and a bit of sports. I guess I am a bit picky with plots these days since encountering some DNF ones – and I am really happy that I found this book!

Adorkable, is just that – so freaking adorkable. The characters were really sweet, and so fun to get to know. I wish though that we had a bit of glimpse with Becks point of view, that would have made it more awesome. Anyhow, with or without that, this book is already fantastic – I couldn’t stop giggling.

The friendship, the chemistry, and the memories – you will adore this book! This is perfect for teens and the romantics. Seriously, as the author’s debut novel, there is no doubt that I will look forward to her next books (next of which she hints is about Ash) – I’m dying for a release date already.

5 adorkable stars

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

 

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The Bachelor Auction by Rachel Van Dyken review

Brock has always been a “Yes-man” when it comes to hid grandfather’s wishes. 
But now that he has a shot of being truly happy and found love, will he finally learn how to say ‘no’ to his grandfather? 

Rachel Van Dyken’s new book is a modern twist to the Cinderella-tale. A heroine with two evil sisters who cleans for a living, and a prince in the form of Brock, a multi-millionaire with twin brothers who tease him every step of the way. Add in a meddling fairy godmother and a fairy godfather, this book will tug in your fairy-tale loving hearts. 

The one thing I didn’t like in this book was that it got a bit cheesy towards the end. I mean, there’s a carriage, the glass shoes and all – I get the Cinderella reference, I do – but I thought that was a bit over-the-top. But one of the things I loved about this book was that Nadine was here, and she brings more color to the book. Too bad it was only until the last few chapters when she appeared.

This book is a part of a series of standalones. 
I cannot wait for the next installment of this series! Bentley and Brant’s stories are next since they were also sold at the auction. LOL.

 

4 stars

4 Bachelor stars

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Turbulent Intentions by Melody Anne review

“Dreams are meant to become reality. Don’t ever think you can’t do something because it’s difficult.”

A modern twist to the Cinderella tale – Melody Anne style.

The meddling is back with another four brothers, so we can look forward to another wonderful series. With pilots to boot! Of course, some surprise appearances by some Billionaire Bachelors too!

“In life there are always trials. We don’t necessarily understand why they happen, but eventually we see there’s a reason for them. Sometimes everything has to go wrong before it can turn around and start going right.”

The start of the story, we are given a glimpse of how the boys’ lives turned around. From how out of control and entitled they are, something needed to change so their dying father put some stipulations on his will that all four of them didn’t like.

Cooper and Stormy met at a wedding. The Cinderella aspect of the story started here. Two strangers swept by the romantic mystery. they didn’t even introduce themselves. Then by Morning, Cinderella went missing leaving behind something important.

The one thing I didn’t like was that years went by before they met again. I guess, it was to give them some time to grow up and everything, but it was just too long.

“I think we all start with a dream. It’s those who are brave enough to make their dreams realities who change the world.”

The fun started when they met again. Both witty and arrogant, they clashed in a coffee shop which got Stormy into trouble and made her resent their night a bit. Cooper didn’t recognize her, which added to her irritation.

And when circumstances leave Stormy homeless, the fairy godmother in the form of Uncle Sherman offers her a deal so hard to pass up – which was to live for a while at one of his nephews’ home -which much to Stormy’s disdain, ended up being Cooper’s house.

“Family is who we can count on when the rest of the world fades away. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for mine.”

I’ve read a lot of negative reviews about this book, but that didn’t stop me from reading this. Sure, the meddling and everything is still there, but that is Melody Anne’s sort of MO in her books, I guess. Only Melody Anne fans would know that. But to compare to Fifty Shades because of the same geographical location is going a bit too far. Billionaire Bachelors books started in Seattle too!

As far as endings go, this one didn’t disappoint. Who doesn’t like reading a bit of thrilling moments every now and then, right? I wish that we were given a bit of insight on what happened after the incident. With him as CEO of the company, was he sued? Or because he saved them, was he named a hero?

This was one very sweet romance, you won’t put it down. Add in the billionaire pilot, a man in uniform – you could never go wrong! Exciting, pleasing and very entertaining – I can’t wait to read the book on the next brother!

5 stars

5 heroic stars

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Harry Potter Warner Bros. Studio Tour London

If you ever find yourself in London, United Kingdom, you must stop and head over to Warner Bros. Studios London where you can go behind the scenes to ‘The Making of Harry Potter’. This is a must-see for book readers especially Harry Potter fans and the usual movie buffs who want to know what goes on behind the screen.

If you’re coming from London, you must travel a bit to get there. On the Warner Bros. website, there are several guides which tells you how you can get to the studio. My travel route was via Rail. I came from Kilburn Park- so I took a London Overground to London Euston for about 15 to 20 minutes. Then from that station, I think it was Watford Junction, you can ask around for where you can locate the Harry Potter bus or you can just head on to the parking area and you can see a very obvious “Harry Potter” bus. That bus will take you from the station to the studio for  £2.50/ person. It is also your ride back if you will travel back the same way you got there.

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You literally cannot miss the Harry Potter bus!

And whoa-la! The Harry Potter studio.

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I think it is advisable to pre-book tickets before you go on your journey here. They limit visitors per day because – there are really a LOT of people going here. Several bus loads at every hour arrive. The parking area is actually full – and people are allowed entry only at the time specified on their tours. I’m not sure if you can go in as a walk-in, but you can book your tickets online at their website. We booked 2 Adult Package Each Package containing 1 adult ticket, 1 paperback souvenir guide and 1 digital guide for £ 44.95 each.

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full blown photos of the cast can be seen all over upon entry, you just have to look up.

As I said before, you have to set the date and time of your tour when you book. Upon entry, I noticed a very long line where the start of the tour is. There is no time limit to the tour, and as stated on the tour the longest one had on the tour was actually 12hours! But the tour normally lasts about 3 hours only. Basically, it is really up to you to use your time as you see fit, of course that is only after you enter. We entered about 1PM, and ended around 4PM. The place is just like any other tourist attraction – I think there might be more people here than the palaces in London. So expect the place to be fully equipped to cater to all your needs. For other information, like accessibility and facilities, please go to their website. 

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You are given a digital guide  where you can get from a window (this is optional but I recommend you get one). There are several videos and commentaries here from the cast and crew you won’t find anywhere. The paperback guidebook can be claimed at the end of the tour at the gift shop.

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Cupboard under the stairs

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entry to the great hall

The Great Hall was overwhelming – you just might want to inspect every inch of the place. There were costumes and props everywhere.

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Everything you see, from the props to the costumes are very detailed.

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The Owl Podium

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Wands! Thousands of wands were said to be made for the films. Of course, several were destroyed in some scenes. You can get your own wand at their gift shop too!

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The Gryffindor Common Room

From the smallest prop the the biggest. And different sections of the sets can be seen here.

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Of course, there’s a section just for the Hogwarts Express. You can also go inside it and have your picture taken within.

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There’s a cafeteria area where you can also buy butterbeer! If you like sweet drinks, you will definitely love butterbeer!

then outside, you can see

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Then you go into another section, which will show you how detailed the crew went to create these movies and just how much work they put into these.

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Of course, they wouldn’t leave out Diagon Alley.

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And perhaps the most eye-catching of them all is this –

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It’s a very detailed Hogwarts Castle. They had to draw these, measure and built this model. From where I was standing, it was about 12 feet? I’m not sure of how big it is, but I’m thinking about there. This was said to be hand sculpted to scale. Now that is dedication!

There’s a lot more to see in the studio besides what I mentioned above. You can perform magic and even play quidditch in there.  I think I took nearly 500 photos just at that studio alone. I just shared a few above 😀

Oh! The Gift Shop. I was in awe of the many items I forgot to take a photo of the chaos in there, but they basically have everything from the Chocolate Frog, to wands, to tshirts, and even clapboards. You just need the money to get them all. LOL

 

“The stories we love best do live in us forever, so whether you come back by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.” ~J.K. Rowling

Customer Satisfaction: Very contented.

Customer Service/Support: A+++ Service and facilities all around.

Recommendation? A must see attraction! Highly suggested for Harry Potter fans and movie fanatics. So, again, if you ever find yourself in the UK, don’t forget to spend a day at Warner Bros. Studio.

Verdict? A very magical place no Harry Potter fan should miss!

Would I go back? Without a doubt, YES! 

(more travel photos, follow @hwangchinren at instagram )

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Is this the LBC Shipping Cart SCAM?

As a book lover and a collector of toys and whatever I fancy, I tend to order a LOT of stuff online because some stuff are just not available here in the Philippines. Online shopping is worldwide now, so we also spend a lot on shipping fees. Thankfully, we have several services which offer combined shipment for packages at cheaper costs.

I found LBC Shipping Cart from posts by friends and celebrities online, and I was curious and checked them out.

I tried it to check and compare shipping costs and maybe see if they might be faster as others claim – and since many celebrities have been endorsing them on their social media pages…. i tried it…

My experience?

I ordered books and 3pcs power banks.(And this is the first shipment, cause my other items arrived late)

I’m going to show you the screenshots for the power banks only.  (I’m blocking personal email information and tracking number information and etc to avoid some opportunistic souls who want to use them for personal gain)

ama 1 powerbank

 

sdasdasdasd

 

ama 123

It started out fine. My package was received, and although it took days to appear on my storage, I was willing to wait.

Then it got tricky.

I wanted to ship it via air cause it was faster… but I got a quote of about PHP 4000-6000+, take note this is for only 6 books and 3 power banks. So I thought that was kind of overpriced. If I had shipped it via amazon before, it would only cost me $6/book to ship and will arrive about 15-20 days or so and that is via air too. (what can I do? I already shipped the items and it was in their warehouse, no going back now.)

So my next option was Sea Cargo. Like I said, I don’t mind waiting. I was trying their services out for the first time anyway to see if there would be a future between me and LBC Shipping Cart. Sea Cargo cost about PHP 1700+ – That seems fair enough, so I chose that one, and PAID.

I have PAID for about 2 weeks – I was getting antsy. The status of my shipment haven’t changed. So I called their hotline. The thing about hotlines that people get pissed off about is they wait too long for someone to pick up. So I dialed their number, I asked for the one in charge of the Shipping Cart – I was put on hold. They asked for my number and said that they will call me back cause there was “only 1 personnel” handling the Shipping Cart on that day. So I gave them my information. I waited several hours, no one called. 

The next day, I called again. Same thing happened – this time I told them I will wait on the line for someone from Shipping Cart to answer relaying to them what happened the day before – I was put on hold, and luckily after several minutes, someone did pick up. I told the representative about my dilemma and they said that they would look into it. No update whatsoever.

So I called everyday since that day, I think about 3-5 days after they gave me a tracking number wherein when I tracked it – it was not found. So I called several times again, after several days – the status on my shipment finally changed to “In transit” and I could finally track the number they gave me.

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I got no complaints after that one, but there is something wrong with that kind of information when you track it, don’t you think? (It is August18, 2016 right now, that is the tracking info – August 23, 30 and Sept 1 2016 are indicated too) It’s supposed to give a real time update, like when you see on DHL or FedEx – but this one in LBC’s tracking record, it’s a prediction of some sort. That the shipment will arrive at this port then carried on to this port and so on. This is not tracking at all. They are showing us routes where our package will go through. The purpose of the tracking number must be lost to Shipping Cart. Tracking numbers are supposed to let the sender and receiver know where the package is currently located at REAL TIME – maybe not accurate in some cases – but it is most certainly not a prediction that of which we can view above.

(example here of a tracking number from DHL)

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See the difference? 

But then, just a day after the status changed to “IN TRANSIT” – I got this email.

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I was WTF-ing the situation until someone explained and picked up the hotline – who promised to get back to me and update me with the situation. This was August 5, 2016. I called their hotline several times, they took my details but no one got back to me regarding this matter. I called them  Aug 17, 2016 – and what did the CS rep say? They can refund me or try to check if they can find my item. From $80+ they are going to refund me only $30 because that’s the only insured value for it. WTF?! I told them I will not accept a refund, but I will accept a replacement of the same items – I can even give them the link to the products so they can be the ones to purchase them instead and ship to me. (I’m still waiting for update regarding this matter…)

I am no master or expert of shipping boxes and packages, but I have several times that even the post office people in our area know me by name already. I also have several OFW relatives who ship balikbayan boxes at least twice per year to know that these boxes are insured starting from at least $100 or more per closed box. So I was saving myself some money to try and insure them for $10 a piece (hoping and trusting LBC Shipping Cart to ship my package to me safely) but then-  POOF! They got lost. That was my mistake – declaring values lower, I own up to that one (and I’m sure I’m not the only one who did this, because as the insurance value goes higher, a consecutive charge is also added to their rates) – but that doesn’t mean that my items which were so carefully documented when they arrived at the warehouse suddenly got lost when they were packing and consolidating them for a shipment. They magically disappeared! From the warehouse up to shipping them to the Philippines, that is supposedly LBC Shipping Cart’s responsibility and no one else. Where else in their warehouse could it be?

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The receipt from amazon for the items was there, with a photo… how did they lose 3 power banks right? And why is it that only the devices got lost? I guess they don’t appreciate the books because they shipped those ahead.

And why, after weighing and after payment of the shipping fee, did they only inform me that the other items cannot be found? Plain Bull if you ask me.

I have also paid a shipment since August 3, 2016. Until now, the status is still “PAID”. No update whatsoever. What are they doing over there? (These were the items which didn’t arrive on time when I have paid the first shipment)

Did they deliberately lose the items so that they can refund the customer at a lesser price that they put on the insured value?

Is this the LBC Shipping Cart Scam?

If you try to check their FB page, the complaints of lost items keep on coming. I am not the only one. (And if you are one of these people, write your experience at the comment section below. What kind of item got lost? did you insure it properly? Via air or sea?) Attached are some screenshots of other people who experienced the same thing we did – blocked out the names and profile pictures for their privacy) You can check Shipping Cart’s page for more complaints: https://www.facebook.com/LBCShippingCart/

My complaints of the service?

  • inconsistent shipping fees
  • inaccurate weighing and measuring of items
  • overpriced shipping quotes
  • takes too long for stuff to be ‘accepted’ in their warehouse
  • takes too long for ‘accepted’ packages to appear on ‘storage’
  • takes too long for PAID shipments to be IN TRANSIT
  • tracking information is BS
  • hotline personnel do not update or get back to us like promised

 

Service RATING: 1/5 (they try, so 1 for effort)

Customer Satisfaction:  Disappointing. You have a long list of complaints to get through. I suggest you discontinue your service first right at this instant – resolve all cases before you ask people to try your service again.

Customer Hotline or Support: I suggest you hire more personnel and do what you say you would. You expect customers to call every now and then for an update – you do not call us instead. In this case, will you reimburse the phone bills of those in the provinces who call you everyday for an update?

Recommendation? I’d rather wait a long damn time than try LBC Shipping Cart again. I’d wait patiently than having to deal with lost items and incompetent service. 

Verdict? If you want to try LBC Shipping Cart, Think twice or DON’t. Just DON’T!

Will I use LBC Shipping Cart again in the future?  Never! Never again! 

 

Anyone know which government sector is in charge to have LBC liable for this kind of practice? Please do leave a suggestion below. The only option I have at the moment is DTI. 

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