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Friday, September 30, 2016

ARC Review: Loving Amber by Roya Carmen

Loving Amber is the first book that I have ever read from Roya Carmen, so I went into this one not really knowing what to expect. I loved the sound of the book though, so I knew I had to take a chance on this one. While there were things that I liked here, I also struggled with some things as well. Loving Amber is the first book in the Riverstone Estate Series, but it can be read as a standalone.

Amber grew up wanting to be nothing more than a part of her brothers' group of friends. But while she loved hanging out with most of the guys, Aiden constantly bullied her. While Aiden was a bully, she grew closer to Paul, going on to one day marry him and have their son Trevor. But when a tragedy steals not only Paul, but also her twin brother, Amber continues to go on for her son alone. Two years after losing them, Amber is finally ready to move forward with her life but just as she is about to start dating her safe friend Dave, Aiden returns to her life and changes everything once again. But can she risk her heart with Aiden or is it best to play it safe?

I will admit that I struggled a bit with the characters here. I didn't feel that connected to Amber and while I liked Aiden, I didn't fully understand his character. It was hard for me to reconcile their past versions with the present, and I didn't always understand their actions or choices. Aiden had bullied Amber as a kid, but it was easy to see that he had feelings for her. What I didn't quite get was why he hadn't said anything as they got a bit older. I understand later after she had married Paul, but before that it didn't make sense why he never said anything and continued to treat her the way he did. I also had a hard time really seeing their connection come through. I think that it was hard to believe some of their connection because the characters just seemed like completely different versions of themselves, so I just couldn't quite believe that things had changed so much when I really didn't see it ever happen. They had chemistry and I wanted them to be together, but I wish we had seen more of a connection actually form between them than we did here. There were just too many things that they each did that kind of hurt that for me. 

I also have to admit that a big problem here for me was something that came out later in the story, and while I kind of expected it to happen (it is a common plot twist in this kind of story unfortunately), I was upset that the author went there. I won't say what it is so as not to spoil the story, but it just felt cliché and unnecessary. It didn't really make sense to go there with the story for me, and felt like the author had done it strictly for the drama of it and to encourage the reader to feel a certain way about the characters. While there were still a lot of things I liked about the story, I wish that it hadn't gone where it did and that hurt how much I enjoyed the story. There was so much potential here, but overall this one was just okay for me when it felt like it could have been great. If it sounds like something you might like, I still encourage you to give it a shot. Just because it wasn't perfect for me won't mean that it won't be for you.

**ARC Provided by TRSOR Promotions**

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