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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

RFTC Hall Pass Event with Monica Murphy

New York Times, USA Today and international bestselling author Monica Murphy is a native Californian who lives in the foothills below Yosemite with her husband and three children. She's a workaholic who loves her job. When she's not busy writing, she also loves to read and travel with her family. She writes new adult and contemporary romance and is published with Bantam and Avon. She also writes contemporary romance as USA Today bestselling author Karen Erickson.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

ARC Review: Stay for Me by Megan Smith

Stay for Me is a spin-off to the Love series by Megan Smith. You can easily read this book as a standalone, but I would recommend reading Let Me Love You since Jaylinn and Cooper play such a large part in this book. It isn't necessary to understand the story, but they happen at the same time and I think that you get a much better understanding of what is going on in both stories if you read them both. That being said, I am having a really hard time writing this review. I think that there are a lot of readers that are going to feel exactly as I do right now about this book, and that isn't necessarily a good thing.

Eli Sabatino has just opened up a a new club with his best friend Cooper. He hires Layla Del Luca as a bartender, but he never expected to feel the pull to her that he did. Layla has been trying to go to school, make money to support herself and her family, as well as avoid her abusive boyfriend Brian. As Eli and Layla get to know one another better they can't help but begin to feel more for each other than they know they should. Eli is determined to explore things between them, knowing that her boyfriend doesn't deserve her. But Layla has her reasons for sticking with Brian. Can Eli and Layla find a way for her to leave her past behind and move forward together, or will there be too many things standing in their way? 

I really liked Eli. I thought that he was really sweet and was a good guy. He was great with his niece and with Layla's sister Fallon. He genuinely cared about his friends and family and those that worked for him. He was always looking out for them and doing what he could to help them. I thought that he was really good for Layla. He showed her that it was okay to ask for help and to let someone in. I was glad that he didn't turn her away when she was finally able to see that she needed someone. Layla was struggling to do so many things at once, and her loyalty and love to her sister were amazing. She was determined that Fallon would have a better life than she had had, and I really liked that she tried to let Fallon not see how hard things were. She worked hard and did what she had to do. She had been so used to going it alone, that it was easy to see why it would be hard for her to let others in. I really liked seeing her open up to Eli though, and I loved that they were able to have fun together. They had their sweet moments, but they were also really hot together too. I was glad that their relationship developed slowly though, and that they didn't rush into bed together. 

I will say that I felt like while things progressed rather slowly over the first half of the book, that things seemed to rapidly pick up after about the half way mark. Things started to happen too quickly to me, and it felt pretty rushed. I kept wondering why things had changed pace so suddenly and then the ending happened and I saw what the author had been trying to do. I say trying, because it honestly didn't feel as though she had accomplished what she was meaning to. It felt rushed and unrealistic, and then the ending happened and changed everything. While I really liked this book for about the first 90% I have to say that the ending really killed that for me, which is why I am rating this book 3 stars. My rating would have been 4 stars, except for that ending. The ending made me want to give this book 2 stars, but I really felt that wasn't fair considering I had enjoyed the majority of this book. So I give it 3 stars, and call the fact that I didn't pull a Bradley Cooper in Silver Linings Playbook and chuck my Kindle out the window a huge success. I have no idea why the author felt the need to go where she did, and I didn't see any point in it. I have to admit that I am a bit skeptical about reading anything else from this author in the future after reading this book. I think that there are those that will read and enjoy this book, but for me this wasn't what I had been expecting or hoping for. I don't always need things to be completely wrapped up in a nice package, but I do expect things to have a satisfying ending and I just don't feel as though this ending achieved that.

**ARC Provided by Book Plug Promotions**

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ARC Review: Fall with Me by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Fall with Me is book four in the Wait for Me series by Jennifer L. Armentrout (J.Lynn). Each book in this series can be read as a standalone, but I would recommend reading these in order if you can. Not only are they great stories, but you get to see how each of the couples gets together without things being spoiled by skipping their books. I have to admit that I was a little scared to read this book. Stay with Me wasn't my favorite in this series, and I was really hoping that it was just a fluke with that book. While I did like Fall with Me better, I do have to say that I still had some issues with this book.

Roxy and Reece grew up next door to one another, and Roxy has been in love with Reece since she was fifteen. Nothing had ever happened between them though until eleven months ago. Since then they hardly speak to one another and Roxy tries to avoid him at all costs. When Roxy starts having weird things happen to her, she thinks that the person responsible is the same person that forever changed the life of her best friend Charlie. But when Reece gets involved in the case, he isn't convinced it is the same person. In order to keep Roxy safe, Reece convinces Roxy to stay at his place. But can Reece get to the bottom of what is happening before it's too late? And can he and Roxy put the past behind them and have a chance at something together? 

I liked Roxy and Reece together. These two had a lot of chemistry, and I liked that they also had a history of friendship. Though they had messed things up eleven months ago, before that they had always been close. I liked that Reece was such a straight forward guy. He didn't play games and he was always looking out for Roxy, even when they had their issues. He was alpha without being a total jerk, and I liked that he was a bit cocky but still easy to relate to. Roxy was a bit different for me. I liked things about her, but there were also things about her that drove me nuts. I loved her loyalty and how committed to her friendships she was. She never gave up on her best friend Charlie, and she always tried to do right by him and put on a brave face for him even when it was hard for her. But then at times she really annoyed me by doing absolutely stupid things. I also felt like she was almost completely to blame for the situation with Reece. While I understand why she felt some of what she did, I felt like she should have just been honest with him and talked things out. These two could have easily cleared up so much of their problem by having a single conversation. I hate misunderstandings like the one they had, especially when they were both suffering because of it. These two liked one another and yet they couldn't even talk to each other. It just felt crazy when they had enough drama elsewhere. 

I have to say that while I liked this book better than Stay with Me, I still wasn't entirely invested in the story. I think these last few books have just been missing what I had loved so much about Jase and Cam's stories. Those books were so fantastic, and I loved every bit of them. They were emotional and sweet, and yet were funny and entertaining. I think part of my issues with these last two books is the fact that this series has taken a turn into a different genre, and they are a little bit more of a suspense read than what I would consider a NA read. I'm just not feeling the suspense aspect, and I think that the relationship and romance is getting a bit lost in these books. These last two books just don't have the same feel as the first few books did, and I think that I had been expecting them to be similar to those. While I love JLA's writing style and how unique her characters and stories are, this book just wasn't all that I had been hoping for. I had a tough time rating this one because of my mixed feelings, and I would say that this is somewhere between a 3 and 4 star read for me. I know that I will read more from JLA in the future, I think I just need to accept that this series has taken a different direction and stop expecting it to be like the first few books were. It was nice to see familiar faces though, and am always really glad when we are given glimpses into the HEA's of previous characters.

**ARC Provided by Inkslinger PR**

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Feature and Giveaway: A Perfect Ten by Linda Kage

Let your hair down, Caroline, they said. It'll be fun, they said.

I know I've closed myself off in a major way in the past year, ever since “the incident” where I messed up my life completely. It's past time I try to live again or just give up completely. But this is quite possibly the craziest thing I've ever done. In a last ditch effort to invigorate myself, I'm standing outside Oren Tenning's bedroom, I just peeled off the sexiest pair of underwear I own, and my hand is already raised to knock. My brother would disown me for doing anything with his best friend, and he'd probably kill Oren. But if I play my cards right, no one will ever know about this. Not even Ten.

Maybe after tonight, I’ll finally get over this stupid, irrational crush I hate having on the biggest jerk I’ve ever met. Or maybe I’ll just end up falling for him even harder. Maybe I’ll discover there’s so much more to my crude, carefree hunk than meets the eye.

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Feature and Giveaway: Fall with Me by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Eleven months ago, bartender and weird-shirt-wearing extraordinaire Roxy and Officer Reece Anders had a one night stand. Well, kind of. She’s been in love with him since she was fifteen, and he wishes that night they shared never happened. She’s sworn him off forever, but the past and future collide, forcing her to rely on the one man who broke her heart not once, but twice.

Her best friend since birth has been in a long-term care facility since he became a victim of a hate crime years ago, and the person who put him in there is out of prison and wanting to make amends with him and Roxy. She’s not sure she has room for forgiveness in her and when she begins to receive frightening messages and is on the receiving end of escalating violence, she thinks she knows who is to blame. The man who already destroyed one life already.

But Reece isn’t convinced. The threats are too personal, and even if Roxy doesn’t believe him, he’s not willing to let anyone hurt her. Including himself. He’s already messed up more than once when it comes to Roxy and he’s not going to let history repeat itself.

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