Saturday, April 30, 2016

ARC Review: Finding Fraser by KC Dyer

Emma Sheridan is looking for love, and not just any love. She is looking for her own version of James Fraser, the hero from the Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon. Having recently lost her job, and still brushing off any lingering sting from her latest disaster relationship, she finds herself wanting. Lonely, and in need of adventure, she sells all her belongings, and sets off for Scotland to find a Jamie (James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser). Her trip there is one of odd interferences, strange experiences, and a lot of humor. However, she manages to make it there, and in one piece.

Despite her sister Sophia’s constant nagging, and hurtful remarks, Emma refuses to give up. She goes to Scotland planning to initially stay in B&B’s and Hostels (since they’re cheaper than hotels), and copy Claire Fraser’s (previously known as Claire Beauchamp & Claire Randall; the heroine of the story Outlander) path throughout her journey in the books in hopes of finding her own kilted warrior. Along the way, she makes friends, delivers babies of the human and animal type, sees many sites, comes into contact with possibly a spirit, is heartbroken, and becomes a fascination to the loyal fans of her blog. Furthermore, and most importantly she finds herself on the way to finding love.

Okay, so naturally as a HUGE fan of Diana Gabaldon (I’ve even ordered personalized books from her), I was going to read this book regardless. Jamie Fraser is one of my FAVORITE book boyfriends, as well as plenty of other females out there. Then you add in the catchy plot. I mean come on, any book nerd who has fallen in love throughout their reading adventures would LOVE to find their own version of Mr. Right, or in this case Jamie Fraser. So, when the story is about a woman who takes a leap of faith and heads out on a daring adventure to find her own real-life happily-ever-after with the qualities of the man she loves out of book….it’s worth a read.

I think the author took a chance writing this book, but honestly, the plotline will register with any self-professed book lover of romance in any variety. Let’s face it people, it is hard to find a lover who measures up to those we fall in love with in the fictional world, so why not enjoy a story about someone finding it, and themselves in the process? Exactly; now I have you with my logic *laughs*.

Anyways, Emma definitely is a character of interest. She is very emotional, honest, loving, and introverted. I identify with her on many levels, as I’m sure others will. I enjoyed watching her scale the countryside looking for her Jamie. I laughed at her na├»ve innocence at times and her ability to overdo it as well. I also felt terrible for her when things went awry because she does have quite a bit of bad luck sometimes. I admired her, however, for her ability to keep pushing forward. She is a determined woman.

I loved the secondary characters….mostly, with the exception of Hamish, whom I never understood the ultimate fascination with. Actually, I am pretty sure this is the only part of the book I didn’t really enjoy. It was also predictable. I knew from the beginning of her first introduction to Hamish that he was a jerk. It was obvious that Emma was settling from the beginning of her romance with him out of her desperation to find someone to love who would love her back.

That is the only part of the book that burned me a little. I wanted to shake Emma furiously for taking so long to admit that she deserved better. After all, with her having experienced a few failed relationships in the past, I expected her to be a little more sure of herself in that regard. I understand her wanting to fall in love. I understand her desperation when it came to taking a HUGE risk. She was afraid of losing everything, and gaining nothing. With that said, I think she was too smart to have taken so long to acknowledge what was truly happening with the guy.

I also knew who the ultimate man for her was from the beginning. So a few things were predictable, BUT I liked the interesting and awkward way the author brought these two closer; slowly, and at the right time. So, this aspect of the book worked for me. Jack was my favorite character besides Emma (next to the mysterious HiHoKitty and Morag of course!) because he was always supportive of her. He also is a sweetheart, and a little on the vulnerable side, yet manly enough to know how to write sexually heated tidbits in his work. Hell, I wanted a Jack of my own!

I really liked the historical bits thrown in, especially the parts about William Wallace and Braveheart. I’ve been to Scotland, so I know that the Scots actually consider Robert the Bruce as their savior and that Braveheart was very inaccurate historically. Therefore, I appreciated the effort put into the facts stated in the book. Not just with the people mentioned either, but with the places themselves. There was enough slack in the description to put my own imagination to work, yet enough truth outlined in the description of the places to help guide me.

I also like the silly parts with Morag, Ashwin, and every scene involving Emma somehow always being thrown into moments of strange interactions with others. I liked her blog posts throughout the book, and I was always wishing I could read all the comments left on them (even though I knew it was fiction, and I couldn’t). So, it’s quite clear that this book was enjoyable for me to read despite the tiny weaknesses. Ultimately, I recommend this book, and I will be looking forward to reading another from KC.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

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ARC Review: Ladies Man by Katy Evans

I am so torn after finishing this book that I don't even really know exactly what to think. I was so excited to get Tahoe and Gina's story from Katy Evans after reading the first couple of Manwhore series books. I loved them and the chemistry between them promised some serious sparks. I have to say though that this is not entirely what I had been hoping for when it came to their story. There were some moments where I genuinely loved them and what was happening between them. But there were also a lot of things here that didn't work for me and left me feeling disappointed.

Tahoe and Gina met when their best friends Rachel and Saint met and fell in love. Tahoe is a cocky manwhore who loves having a good time, but doesn't do more than a night with anyone. He is used to getting any woman he wants and having as many as he wants. But Gina is different, and he knows that she deserves better than someone like him no matter how much he wishes that was different. Gina is looking for someone who will stay by her side and treat her like she deserves, and as much as she wishes that was Tahoe, she knows that it isn't. So Gina and Tahoe decide to be friends, though the closer they become the more that line begins to blur. But with Gina finding someone and trying to make it work, and Tahoe convinced that he isn't good enough for Gina, they both find themselves back wondering what would happen if they acted on the connection between them.

I really struggled throughout this book with both Tahoe and Gina. Gina came off as extremely insecure, whiny and weak at times and it was so hard to relate to her for me. Yes she had been hurt in the past, but I didn't really feel as though that explained her actions throughout this story. She frustrated me with her behavior and I just didn't feel 100% invested in her character and the outcome. Tahoe was cocky and sexy, and had some surprisingly sweet moments and in those I really loved him. But he was such a player and I really hated the fact that he was with so many different women throughout this entire book even knowing that he felt more for Gina. I kept waiting for that moment where he would wake up and stop screwing around, but it was so late in coming that I just found myself giving up on him. These two clearly had a connection and chemistry and they were great together, yet the fact that they were with others for about 80% of this book just killed any chance I had of being fully satisfied with any relationship between them. 

Overall, I think that there was so much potential for these two that just never was realized. They were so much fun together and had a lot of steam, yet I wasn't able to get over the constant parade of women Tahoe went through or the fact that Gina was trying to force a relationship with someone else. There was a scene towards the end that really solidified all that when Gina asked Tahoe not to sleep with someone else and he told her he was going to anyways. Not only did it make me angry, but it just ruined any chance I had at really believing that anything between these two could work out long term. The feelings between them clearly weren't an issue here, but it was the fact that they both acknowledged what was happening and yet Tahoe still went ahead with sleeping with another girl after Gina asked him not to. Between the character issues and the OM/OW drama here, this was just really disappointing and didn't live up to how I had hoped this story would play out. As much as I have loved books by Katy Evans, I have to say that this was not my favorite of hers and it made me sad to see these two vibrant and strong characters reduced to what they were here. I know I will read more from Katy Evans in the future, and I definitely look forward to the next in this series. Unfortunately though Ladies Man just didn't fully work for me.

**ARC Provided by Publisher**

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RFTC I've Got a Secret Event

We thought we would do things a bit differently today. We don't have any special guests or any secrets to share but we did want to share one last giveaway. It's been an AMAZING five years here at RFTC and when we started this blog, we never thought that we would be here five years celebrating with all you awesome people. As a THANK YOU for you all being so amazingly awesome and so damn supportive, we wanted to host a special giveaway. In keeping with the SECRET theme, we aren't going to tell you what the prize is, just that it's a SUPER SECRET PRIZE. So make sure to fill out the rafflecopter form to enter!

Friday, April 29, 2016

ARC Review: Without Borders by Amanda Heger

Without Borders is Amanda Heger's debut novel and the first book in her Wanderlove series. Knowing that this is her first book, I went into this one hopeful but not sure what to expect. I ended up with mixed feelings, and not entirely sure how I feel about this one. While I enjoyed the story for the most part and liked Heger's writing style, the ending of this one completely changed everything for me and unfortunately that was the last impression I have of the book.

Looking to gain acceptance to a top school, Annie London heads to Nicaragua for a month to help pad her application. But nothing could possibly prepare her for the attraction she feels for her best friend's older brother Felipe, who just so happens to be the doctor in charge of the trip. Felipe Gutierrez doesn't normally like the tourists masquerading as volunteers that help keep his family's clinic running, but when his old crush Annie shows up she quickly changes his mind. The more time they spend together, the more he realizes that she is nothing like the snobby Americans he is used to dealing with and the spark between them is one that neither of them can fight. But with Annie's time limited, will they be able to find something together or is their relationship over before it ever really has a chance to start? 

I liked both Annie and Felipe. I could feel the chemistry between them right away and I really liked seeing them spend time together in such an interesting setting. They had great banter and were a lot of fun. I will say though that both were immature at times, especially Annie. It got to be a bit old, especially considering that it seemed to come out at the worst possible times. Their communication was horrible at times also, and I just couldn't figure out why they couldn't just talk to one another. They did show growth though, and that was really good to see here. While it was nice to see them change as the story progressed, I would have liked to have seen more romance between them as this really felt like more of a coming of age story than a romance. 

My biggest issue here though was with the ending. All the good parts proceeding that ending were kind of ruined for me when it was all said and done. This ends with a HFN ending that was so anti-climactic. I was kind of shocked that after all that build up we had led up to the point it did. It wasn't very satisfying to me at all because honestly the situation they were in was one that I didn't really believe would work. The whole thing felt very temporary and I didn't really feel like we were left with any solid ground to stand on and that left me really disappointed after everything that we had gone through with Annie and Felipe. I also saw that the next book in this series is going to be Marisol's story (Annie's best friend/Felipe's sister), so I don't really feel like we will really be given proper resolution for these two even if they are more involved in Marisol's story. As much as I enjoyed parts of this book and was hopeful that this debut would live up to the promise it had, I didn't feel that it did and was disappointed with the ending. I'm not sure if I will read the next book to hope that we get more of Annie and Felipe, though I did like Marisol a lot. At this point I am still feeling really torn and don't want to become even more invested in these characters to be disappointed again. I did think that Heger did a great job of showing the environment they were in, and it felt very authentic and she clearly did her research. I think that this one could be a case of it being me rather than it being the author or story though, and if this sounds like one you might like I recommend giving it a shot. I think if I had gone in expecting it to be more fiction than romance I might have looked at things a little differently.

**ARC Provided by Publisher**

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ARC Review: Over the Line by Lisa Desrochers

Over the Line is the second book in the On the Run series by Lisa Desrochers. While this book could technically standalone, I wouldn't recommend it. Lisa Desrochers does give some of the backstory here, but I think in order to really get the full history and enjoyment out of this book it should be read after the first in the series, Outside the Lines. 

Over the Line is Lee Delgado's story. She never planned to fall in love with Oliver Savoca, especially since he was the son of a Chicago crime lord that just happened to be her family's rival. Having to run to protect their family, Lee and her siblings head to Florida in the witness protection program. But when Lee learns that there is a contract on her life, all signs point to it being Oliver and she must work with a federal agent to bring him down. But as she grows closer to Sean the agent while working with him, she can't help but realize that she is still in love with Oliver, despite his betrayal. 

Lee and Oliver's story was one I couldn't wait to get my hands on after first learning about them in Outside the Lines. I love forbidden romance stories, and theirs was one that I knew would be interesting since they never should have been with one another. Their families were rivals, giving them a bit of a Romeo and Juliet sort of story and I definitely wanted to know more. I will say that I wish we had been given a bit more of their backstory though, as I would have loved more of their past. Lee and Oliver were hot, and there was definitely more heat in this story than there was in the first despite this one being a bit of a slow build. The other thing I will warn readers about here is that there is a bit of a triangle going on here, so if that is something you dislike you might take that into consideration. 

All that being said though, I am enjoying this series. It is a bit on the slow side at times, but I think that these books are worth the read. I like the characters a lot and I find them all very interesting. I think that if you can stick with these through the slow parts that the series is one a lot of readers will enjoy. Lisa Desrochers delivered suspense and steam and this one entertained me, even if I didn't absolutely love it. I look forward to reading more from Lisa Desrochers and continuing this series. If you are looking for something with some suspense and heat, I would recommend giving this series a shot.

**ARC Provided by Publisher**

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RFTC I've Got a Secret Event with Author Alessandra Torre

Alessandra Torre is an award-winning New York Times bestselling author of twelve novels. Her books focus on romance and suspense, all with a strong undercurrent of sexuality. Torre has been featured in such publications as Elle and Elle UK, Dirty Sexy Funny with Jenny McCarthy, as well as guest blogged for the Huffington Post and RT Book Reviews. She is also the Bedroom Blogger for

Thursday, April 28, 2016

ARC Review: Hook by Elisabeth Grace

I’m always worried about hooker stories because I want the romantic semi-innocent little sex heroine who hooks up with the slutty alpha male. Whatever, judge me, you know you like it too. But another part of me loves the Cinderella/Pretty Woman story and this one does not disappoint.

The first chapter of Hook is a preview of the last chapter, the rest of the book is going back in time. When we meet the heroine, whose name is not revealed until much later in the book, she is a high class (if there be any such thing) escort in Vegas. She meets Marco, he’s a rich business man with a hard edge who retains her services. From there, it’s the pretty standard pretty woman story (even with the “no kissing” rule) but with some really fun twists. “Brandi” has a disabled son who is the reason she does what she does. Adding her son, Daniel, to the story really changes the way you view her from the get go. She is much more sympathetic than another hooker might be.

Marco is involved in some kind of business deal that we are not fully apprised of that results in him being at odds with the mob. There is something the mob wants that he absolutely cannot give up but we are not told what it is. As Marco gets closer to “Brandi” the situation with the mob escalates until it is necessary for her and her son to move in with Marco. I loved the interactions between Marco and Daniel, that whole thing would melt any mother’s heart.

The relationship between Marco and “Brandi” is insta-attraction but the development of their true love is slower going. Brandi keeps thinking of herself as a whore that no man would actually want for more than sex. I LOVE how Marco helped her to see herself like he saw her. I mean who doesn’t want a man who can see past your flaws to the better part of you?

The writing of this book is seamless and provocative. The only thing I wanted that I didn’t get was Marco’s POV. It’s been a long time since I read a book with a single POV, I mostly don’t do that anymore. The plot and writing in this book were good enough to carry it though. The book does end in a total cliffhanger so beware of that. I, however, can’t wait to see what comes next. This is on my highly recommended reading list.

**ARC provided by TRSoR Promotions**

Purchase: | Amazon |

ARC Review: Filthy Foreign Exchange by S.E. Hall & Angela Graham

I don't know exactly where to start with this review. I guess the first thing I should say is that I couldn't put Filthy Foreign Exchange by S.E. Hall and Angela Graham down. Once I started I felt invested right away and I really liked the characters. However I will say that I went into this one with the impression that this was a standalone story since there was absolutely no mention of a cliffhanger or a second book. So suffice it to say I was shocked with the ending and cliffhanger. I also have to say that the title is a bit misleading as well. This one was more YA/NA than the Filthy portion of the title implied, so I kept waiting for the steam and there wasn't a ton even though it was a good story. So while I enjoyed this book a lot, it wasn't exactly what I had been expecting. But I definitely can't wait to read the next one and I would recommend this book as long as the reader is a bit more prepared than I was before diving in. 

When Echo Kelly's brother Sebastian leaves as part of a study-abroad exchange program, Echo plans to throw herself into her studies and aerial artistry. She has no interest in entertaining the cocky foreign exchange student Kingston Hawthorne now staying in her brother's room. Kingston had everything that a twenty year old guy could want, until his father shipped him off to the states at a moment's notice. Now living with Echo and her family, Kingston finds himself drawn to Echo though he has been warned away from her. Though both of them have their reasons to stay away from each other, they can't find the attraction between them. What starts as them learning to tolerate each other quickly turns to more with each note he leaves her and the more time they spend together. 

I liked these two a lot. The chemistry was there right away and I loved their back and forth. The banter between them was so much fun and you could just feel the attraction. I also really loved how Kingston would leave Echo the notes in the bathroom, it was so cute and I liked that they had something that was just between them. I just couldn't get enough of these two and the connecting that was forming between them. Kingston was sexy and cocky, but in an attractive way rather than being a jerk. He was really great with Echo though and I liked that he saw her differently than anyone else. Echo was easy to like right from the start. She was smart and hard working, dedicating her spare time to school and her aerial artistry. I have never read about a heroine that did that, so I found it really fascinating. I also loved that she was so close with her brother, and you could tell how much she missed him. 

As I stated before, the ending was a complete shock for me and I wasn't expecting that cliffhanger. But I really enjoyed this story and I am looking forward to more. I need to know what happens next, and I can't wait to see what Hall and Graham have in store for these characters next. I think that if I had been better able to prepare myself for that ending and the shock of it that this book would have been a five star read for sure since I was captivated right away and couldn't put this book down. I just wish that it had been known to the reader ahead of time since the blurb didn't say anything about this one not being a standalone and it blindsided me. I do recommend this book though, and I am already anxious for the next one!

**ARC Provided by TRSOR Promotions**

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RFTC I've Got a Secret Event with Author Katee Robert

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Katee Robert learned to tell her stories at her grandpa’s knee. She found romance novels at age twelve and it changed her life. When not writing sexy contemporary and speculative fiction romance novels, she spends her time playing imaginary games with her wee ones, driving her husband batty with what-if questions, and planning for the inevitable zombie apocalypse.

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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

ARC Review: Promised to the Crown by Aime K. Runyan

"Promised to the Crown" by Aimie K. Runyan was a refreshing historical read. Runyan takes us to Quebec during the 17the Century. First, I loved learning about this time period that I knew so little about! Second, I had no idea that French women; mostly women who were either orphans or in nunneries were called on by the king of France to settle into the new colony in Quebec. Runyan takes us on this intense journey from France to Quebec with Rose, Nicole and Elizabeth. Through the eyes of these three women, we experience their personal struggles and catch a glimpse of what life was like during these very extreme times! Runyan is able to master three very distinct voices. I never felt like the characters were the same and each one had her own very personal story. I can't help but say that Roses story was so heartbreaking for me. I don't want to give too much away, but she had many obstacles to overcome. Despite all the hardship that these three women encounter prior to traveling to Canada and even after, the story felt like a story about survival and hope.

Although this is a historical work at the heart of their journey is true love. Each woman find their different love stories. One of the conditions that the “filles du Roi” had to fulfill is marriage. They were promised to a man and this meant that their life could be happy or miserable since these women were basically all alone in Quebec. They had to contend with harsh conditions and very underdeveloped areas were they could be very isolated if they did get along with their husband. Nicole, Elizabeth and Rose all finally find the men of their dreams, but each one has a very different path.

I hope that this is a time period that gets more attention because there were so many issues touched about: loyalty to the crown, a woman’s place in French society and then in the colonies, the obstacles of establishing life in a new frontier. Finally, and definitely not least, I want to credit Runyan for introducing Manon. She gives us insight into the indigenous of this area and I cannot wait to see what she has in store for her! Next book is out in October 2016, "Duty to the Crown."

**ARC provided by Publisher**

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ARC Review: Ride Hard by Laura Kaye

Ride Hard is the first book in the Raven Riders series from Laura Kaye. Fans of her Hard Ink series will recognize some familiar faces, but this is easily read as a standalone for those who haven't read those books. I would recommend reading Hard as Steel though if possible as it is a prequel novella that I think adds to the experience here. 

Ride Hard is the story of Dare Kenyon, Raven Riders MC President and Haven Randall. The Raven Riders are known for taking those in that can't defend themselves and protecting them. So when Haven shows up at their door fleeing from her controlling ex, Dare vows to keep her safe. But Dare is also intent on discovering Haven's secrets, while Haven is naturally suspicious after everything that she has been through. But as the attraction between them continues to grow, Haven finds herself wanting more with Dare. Can Dare and Haven explore what is happening between them, or will the past destroy everything before they ever have a chance at something together?

I liked both Dare and Haven. They were very different, and yet it was obvious right away that they fit well together. Dare is an alpha and lives his life with the club and loyalty being the most important things to him. They were his family and I really liked how he would do anything to protect them. Haven on the other hand was more reserved and quiet, and it was completely understandable after all that she had been through. But she was definitely strong and I could tell right away that she was just as good for Dare as he was for her. There was a ton of chemistry between them, and I really enjoyed seeing how things progressed for them as the book continued. 

One thing I will say is that this was a slow build, and there were times that my interest began to wane, especially for the first third of the book or so. I had a hard time getting into the book, and there were times I thought about just giving up. But being a fan of Laura's, I was determined to give it more time and I am glad I did. Things started to pick up a bit and I enjoyed the story. I liked the club and all they stood for, and I think that this was a really good start to the series. The only other thing that I noticed here was that the conflict was resolved a little quickly for my taste, and I had been hoping for a bit more, especially after how drawn out the story had been. But I will read more from Laura and continue the series because I did like how Dare and Haven were and how things were set up here for the next book. If you are a fan of Laura's Hard Ink series, you will definitely want to read this one and if you are new to her this is one worth checking out. Just keep in mind that it is a bit slow at times, but ultimately worth the read.

**ARC Provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | iTunes

RFTC I've Got a Secret Event with Author Roni Loren

Roni wrote her first romance novel at age fifteen when she discovered writing about boys was way easier than actually talking to them. Since then, her flirting skills haven’t improved, but she likes to think her storytelling ability has.

If she’s not working on her latest sexy story, you can find her cooking, watching reality television, or picking up another hobby she doesn't need--in other words, procrastinating like a boss. She is a former RITA award nominee and is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author.

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