Saturday, May 13, 2017

My Favorite Things Event Winners

There are many winners to announce but before we do so, we just wanted to take the time and say a SUPER BIG THANK YOU to each and every author that helped us celebrate RFTC's 6th bloggerversary. We loved having you all come by to share some of your favorite things. Thank you so, so much. =)

Guest Post with Author Juliet Lyons and Giveaway

JULIET LYONS is a paranormal romance author from the UK. She holds a degree in Spanish and Latin American studies and works part-time in a local primary school where she spends far too much time discussing Harry Potter. Since joining global storytelling site Wattpad in 2014, her work has received millions of hits online and gained a legion of fans from all over the world. When she is not writing, Juliet enjoys reading and spending time with her family. 

ARC Review: The Playboy Bachelor by Rachel Van Dyken

I really thought I would like this book a lot more but I just didn't. I'm giving this 3 stars because I get it. I get how you romance readers out there who love all the feels might really get into this book. For me, the amount of angst emanating from both of these characters was just too much. The book wound up being more depressing than anything else.

Margot and Bentley were best friends in high school. Margot gets into a really bad car accident and Bentley disappears. 9 or 10 years later, Margot's grandmother (who was my favorite character in this book) "buys" Bentley from a charity auction and sends him to cheer up her granddaughter for the weekend. Bentley, during the 9 or so years that he ignored Margot, has become a complete male whore.  Bentley has been sleeping his way through the population in an effort to battle his demons. So here's the beginning of my issues.

I didn't get Bentley. Other than just having a fragile mental state, why was Bentley such a wreck? His reaction to Margot's accident was just...ridiculous? And the fact that he left his best friend alone for years after she was catastrophically injured and orphaned just didn't score him any book boyfriend points. And then, when Bentley shows up on Margot's doorstep, he's an idiot. He isn't aware of the extent of her injuries and he doesn't have the self control not to say mean things to her that make her feel even worse.

As for Margot...Maybe anyone in her situation would react to life the way she has but dear Lord, it made me want to get drunk. Margot stays shut in a room in her gated mansion. She gets mad when Bentley attempts to open the curtains. That's how closed off she is from the world. Margot isn't even 30 and she is bitter and and angry without much apparent hope for a happy future. Margot just isn't pleasant to read about. She is justified in being the way she is based on the things that happened in her life but, ugh, who wants to read about two super miserable characters.  

The other problem I have with this book is the amount of internal monologues. There is far to much repetitive introspection where both characters beat themselves up repeatedly about the very issues that they won't change in the future. It just isn't my idea of a good time to be stuck inside the head of two miserable people.  Lastly, I didn't understand how or why Bentley just got to move into Margot's house.  I understood how Bentley's grandfather was pulling his strings but what was the hook that got Margot to agree to letting someone she seemed to hate stay in her house? I just didn't get it. Oh well. All you angst lovers, knock yourselves out on this one but it wasn't the right book for me.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

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

Friday, May 12, 2017

ARC Review: The Perfect Illusion by Winter Renshaw

The Perfect Illusion is not the perfect book. Something is missing that would give this book the extra boost from a pretty decent romance to a memorable story. As it is, this book is ok and a good read but not great and far from epic.

Hudson is exactly what you would expect from the hero billionaire CEO. So, he's a jerk. Hudson is abrasive to his employees and even intentionally calls them the wrong name to prevent any emotional bridges from being built. Hudson is obsessed with work and in general getting what he wants. Mari is his beleaguered assistant who is fed up with the BS. And even though Mari really really needs a job, she decides to quit. Hudson ask her for one last favor as she is on her way out the door- to be his fake fiance and real wife.

So, that's one thing that's different about this book. Hudson tells Mari that he needs to really marry her to keep his family from marrying him off to another heiress to whom he had been promised if he didn't get married by the time he was 30. This is not the usual fake engagement story, nope. Hudson wants Mari to actually marry him (on paper) and stay that way until the other chick gets married to someone else.

I don't really want to go into the details because there are a couple of twists that would make it hard to do without spoilers and also because I just don't care enough. Mari is hiding a secret that is a ticking time bomb in the story. Mari and Hudson start to feel more than their "fake" relationship should allow. The other chick causes all sorts of problems and it turns out that Hudson has secrets of his own. I don't know, I just didn't like the way the plot was put together and I really didn't like the end of the book. The sex scenes were just ok and even though I got through this book with no issues it was just a giant OK. I haven't read other books by this author but I get the impression that she is probably worth reading. I will check out some of the other books by her because this one was a perfect disillusion.

**ARC provided by Ardent PRose**

Purchase: | Amazon |

Feature and Giveaway: By the Hour by Roni Loren

From the New York Times bestselling author of Off the Clock comes a story of love, hate, and the fire that ignites when the two collide...

Dr. Elle McCray has a plan. Work hard. Be the best. And do it alone. After her ex-husband’s betrayal, she’s learned being feared is a hell of a lot easier than being humiliated. So when trouble personified, Lane Cannon, dares to flirt with her, she shuts him down cold. Too gorgeous. Too cocky. And his job as The Grove’s sexual surrogate is to sleep with patients. No, thank you.

Former escort Lane Cannon has spent enough years with people looking down on him. Stupid. Trailer trash. Rent boy. He’s heard it all. He’s worked too hard to shed his past to let some haughty doctor cut him down. But something about Elle’s ice queen act has his dominant instincts perking up and his body taking notice. He can’t walk away.

After an evening of verbal sparring turns into a night of steamy hate sex, Lane’s ready for round two. But Elle proposes a business deal. How better to keep things strictly physical than to pay him for his services?

Lane wants her, not her money. But he’ll play along in exchange for one thing—all the control. It’s only supposed to be a dirty little fling between colleagues, but these two are about to learn a lesson in love…by the hour.

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

Thursday, May 11, 2017

ARC Review: Marry in Haste by Anne Gracie

Marry in Haste is the beginning of a new series featuring marriages of convenience by Anne Gracie. 

Cal comes back to England from the continent on the search of an assassin he has a hunch is English. The assassin killed his friend right in front of him, and his whole goal becomes finding justice. However, when he returns to England, he discovers some road blocks. His older brother has passed away leaving Cal the new Lord Ashendon. With the new title, he is now in charge of his two younger half sisters. These two young women are quite a handful, and Cal finds himself torn between caring for them and finding the assassin.

Emmaline is a teacher at a school for girls in Bath. She has a history of some sort of scandal that sent her back to the school she attended as a girl. When Cal comes to the school looking for help with his sisters, he sees her there handling the young ladies with finesse. The school refuses to accept his sisters back because they're too old, and the headmistress remembers them as trouble makers. Cal doesn't know what to do other than try to steal and employ Emm from the school to help him with his sisters.

I was very disappointed with the first half of this book. The two lead characters interact maybe four times total. Otherwise, it's just complete backstory, and I was quite bored. I was also a little frustrated with Cal and his sisters. I did love Emm from the start, but her presence is pretty scarce in the first half. Once I broke the halfway point, things began picking up. We even see a cameo of one of the Chance sisters which I loved! 

So in all, I disliked the beginning half to where I would have rated it between a 1 and 2. However, the backstory was necessary to the book, and who knows? It may be necessary to the whole series. The second half of the book brought a little romance and better communication. I would have rated it at 4 stars. So I met in the middle with the total rating of 3 stars. I'm still a huge Anne Gracie fan, it was a good book and I think the rest of the series will be even better.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

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

ARC Review: By the Hour by Roni Loren

I am such a huge fan of Roni Loren's that I couldn't wait to get my hands on this book right after finishing Off the Clock. If you haven't read Off the Clock though, each of these is a standalone story so you can easily enjoy them without reading in order. I do recommend reading these in order if you can though as they are fantastic and you get to know some back story that I find adds to the experience.

By the Hour is Elle's story, and if I am honest I really disliked her in the first book. I knew that Roni could definitely change my mind though and that definitely happened here. Elle McCray throws herself into her work after being betrayed by her ex-husband. Now she puts everything she has into her career, choosing to shut others out and be feared rather than risk humiliation. So when former escort Lane Cannon flirts with her, she shuts him down. Lane has done everything he can to overcome his past, but he isn't about to let her get away with shutting him down. When things turn steamy one night, Lane has no intention of letting it be a one time thing. Elle proposes a business deal to keep it strictly physical, but Lane will only agree if he is the one in control. But what starts out as a business deal quickly becomes more, and soon they both realize that neither of them are able to control everything the way they thought they could.

I was a bit skeptical on Elle, but I was so glad that I gave her a chance! So much was brought to light here, explaining why Elle was the way she was. I felt like I really got to understand her here and it made me not only understand her but really come to like her. I felt for her and I was really hoping that she would get her HEA and everything that she deserved. I loved Lane too. He had a past that he had worked hard to overcome, and I loved that he did it on his terms. He saw beneath Elle's tough exterior and made her a better person. These two were super hot together, and their chemistry was off the charts. I loved seeing them get to know one another and explore all that was between them.

Overall, another fantastic story from Roni Loren that I can't recommend enough! I have loved everything I have read from her, and this was no exception. The Pleasure Principle series is one that has become a favorite, though honestly you cannot go wrong with anything from Roni Loren. She knows how to write a super sexy erotic romance that has plenty of story to go along with the heat. By the Hour is definitely one of my favorites I have read from Roni Loren, and I highly recommend this one and Off the Clock if you haven't read them yet. If you are looking for something sexy with a great story, this is a must read.

**ARC Provided by Author**

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

Feature and Giveaway: The Boss by Melissa Schroeder

Sick of the spy game, former CIA operative Vic Walker takes time off from his security firm to figure out just what he wants out of life. But peace and quiet isn’t in the cards with a former business partner and ex-lover like MacKenzie Donovan.

Mac doesn’t like asking for help from anyone, but this latest case has her in a little over her head. She crashes back into Vic’s life with the CIA, the Russian Mob, and the FBI, on her tail after a job goes south.

But even as old feelings rise to the surface while they’re busy dodging bullets, the authorities, and mobsters, they’ll need to get out alive before they can have a second chance at love.

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

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

ARC Review: Chance Encounters by Jessica Prince

This is for all the fairy tale lovers out there who root for the underdog and live to see the tables turn in life. This book touched on every romantic bone that I have and because it is well written, witty and entertaining, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

Melany has had it rough. She was verbally abused by her Mother in a horrifying fashion and abandoned by her Father. She was mocked by the guys she liked as a teenager and publicly humiliated and more than one occasion. When Melany is first introduced in this book, she is this nervous, stuttering mess. And at first I was like, OMG, not one of these heroines who bites their lip all the time and can't put together a complete sentence. But that was not at all the whole story with Melany. The author was so good at putting together the story of Melany's history and what led to her being the way that she was that I was enthusiastically rooting for her through most of the book.

Melany meets Chance while she is literally pining away for Logan who she has been in secret love with for years. Chance is not at all put off by Melany's stuttering or her penchant for extreme rambling. Like, Melany would pick a topic and just go off. Where most people found it weird, Chance found it endearing. Chance is a great guy who has been unlucky in love. Every woman he has wanted has been into someone else. Even with that history, Chance decides to accept Melany's request guessed it, help her get with someone else- Logan.

Melany and Chance develop a really strong friendship in which Chance helps Melany to accentuate her positive features and stop dwelling on her anxiety. Here's the interesting thing though- Melany changing her "look" wasn't what ultimately led to her internal change. It was having Chance supporting her and even though she didn't realize it, loving her, that gave her the courage to start facing real life. The problem is that Chance doesn't think Melany can handle knowing that he is in love with her because when he first met Melany she couldn't handle anything. For Melany's part, she is still so used to being the ugly duckling that nobody wants that she can't believe that Chance would want her. Melany spends almost the entire book believing that Chance is trying to help her get another guy...even though he is possessive of her and oh yeah, having wild monkey sex with her at every turn, lol. The girl was seriously clueless.

This book is the best of character development and storytelling. The author also does an outstanding job using supporting characters. The friends of both Chance and Melany add a lot to the story without overshadowing the plot. There are many hilarious moments in this book involving Melany's best friend's 3 sons and all of the other characters. I actually laughed out loud several times while reading this story.  I'm not saying that there is anything groundbreaking in this book. It is a play on a popular Cinderella trope but i don't care. I really loved this book and I definitely want to see what else this author has to offer.

**ARC provided by Social Butterfly PR**

Purchase: | Amazon |

ARC Review: The Boy Next Door by Ella James

I am really torn with how I feel about The Boy Next Door by Ella James. On the one hand, I couldn't put this book down. I read it in pretty much one sitting, only stopping because I had to go to bed so I could go to work the next day. I had to know how everything would play out for these two and I didn't want to stop reading. On the other hand though, there were some things that just didn't work for me and that is what kept me from being able to really love this one. 

Dash was Amelia's hero from the moment they met, when he saved her on one of the worst days of her life. She quickly became best friends with his sister and the three of them grew almost inseparable. One night everything changed between them though, and Amelia's world was once again turned upside down when he left and broke her heart. Now years later Amelia has landed an internship that could turn into her dream job at a film studio, but the lead animator on the project is none other than Dash. He is no longer the boy next door though, and his secrets could ruin them both.  
I felt the connection between Dash and Amelia right off. These two had a lot of chemistry and it was clear that they had very strong feelings for one another. The problem for me though was how weak both of them were. Amelia let Dash walk all over her, forgiving him with little to no remorse or consequences for the way he treated her. Dash was a bit depressing if I am honest, and spent the whole book being propped up by a character who was almost as weak as he was. Amelia let him get away with so much and was beyond understanding and gave him so many chances, yet he continued to be unable to let her in or even be honest with her. While they had chemistry and things were hot between them, I really felt like the chemistry and connection wasn't enough here. I just wanted more substance. I also really wanted to see more light hearted and sweet moments between these two. Things were so serious and depressing at times that the mood on this one was kind of a drag. I wanted to see some scenes that would have shown them growing close again in a sweet or fun way to sort of break up the super emotional stuff. 

The other big thing that kept me from loving this book was this huge secret that had been kept all book long. It didn't come out until the very end of the book, which felt far too little too late for my taste. Not only did I not really feel sorry for Dash like I feel I was supposed to (he was old enough to grasp what he was doing and his excuses were just that...excuses) but I also felt like because it came out so late it was basically just brushed aside as though all that had happened was no big deal. Of course Amelia just got over it super quick and everything was tied up in a neat little bow. It just didn't feel genuine and I found the entire thing to be a let down after so much build up. Like I said though, this book was one I didn't want to put down and Ella James is a great writer. She knows how to draw you in and keep you turning pages until you have devoured the entire book. That being said though, this wasn't my favorite book of hers.

**ARC Provided by The Next Step PR**

Purchase: | Amazon | 

Guest Post with Author Victoria Denault and Giveaway

Victoria Denault loves long walks on the beach, cinnamon dolce lattes and writing angst-filled romance. She lives in L.A. but grew up in Montreal, which is why she is fluent in English, French and hockey.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

ARC Review: The Girl Who Knew Too Much by Amanda Quick

Amanda Quick takes a break from Victorian era England to visit the glitz and glamour of the 1930’s era. To me, it’s a fantastic murder mystery in the same vein as Agatha Christie and M.M. Kaye with the wonderful style that is none other than classic Amanda Quick. It’s an entertaining and exciting read and a good change of pace from what we’ve read in the past by AQ. As per her usual style we have a head strong female lead and the man willing to do anything to protect her as she rushes head first into dangerous situations. The two main characters I loved, Irene is a journalist trying to uncover the truth about a friends murder all the while trying to hide her past. Oliver is a retired magician (I really love that) who turned hotel resort owner. Something about Irene makes Oliver want to protect her he wants to find out the truth also but he needs to protect her even more. The side characters are very interesting also and it has me wanting this to turn into a series with them the main focus.

Anna Harris was an orphan who found herself working as a secretary for a woman of wealth, but one night Anna finds her boss dead with a message written in blood, “run”. Anna also finds her boss’ stash of money and a notebook filled with what looked like gibberish in a bag in her room along with a note saying she needs to run and take the notebook and to not trust anyone. Anna runs as far as she can go reinvents herself and takes up a job in a local gossip rag in Hollywood California. Four months later under the new name Irene Glasson, she finds herself once again the victim of circumstance. There is something fishy about up and coming actor Nick Tremayne, one of Irene’s coworkers started to uncover some dirt on him and was later found dead in her bathtub, next a former lover of Nick’s winds up dead in the pool of a celebrity getaway resort. Irene is determined to prove the Nick is behind these deaths as well as another murder up in Oregon.

Oliver just wanted a quiet life after being a world famous magician whose career ended in disaster. But the murder of an actress in his resort’s pool throws a monkey wrench in that plan especially since the journalist who found her body won’t stop sticking her nose into trouble and that her past has come back with a vengeance. Oliver is the only one who can keep her out of trouble and safe, or can he? One murder leads to the movie studio threatening Irene who ends up losing her job and home; there is another murder and several attempts on Irene’s life as she digs in deeper to Nick’s past to uncover the truth. As Irene’s past and present collide she finally has to trust someone with the truth, her growing feelings for Oliver and his devotion to his friends and family prove that he is the right one to confide in. But can he save her from her past as well as her present?

Overall, I really enjoyed this one. It had that 30’s murder mystery feel it without it being too obvious. I really hope Amanda Quick continues with this I would love to see Raina and Luther to get their own story (I’m jumping to conclusion there) and definitely want more.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

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

Feature and Giveaway: Payback by Christina Phillips


I don't fuck girls who work for me, but as soon as Amelia turns those big green eyes on me I know she's trouble. I can't keep my hands off her, and the almost-but-not-quite-sex we share in the kitchen is the hottest thing I've ever had. Except she calls it quits, before we've even started.

Instead of moving on, she’s all I can think about and that's bad news. I'm breaking all my rules for her, and don't even care.

Until I find out who she is and what she really wants. She's after payback, but there's no way she's going to get it. No way in hell...

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