The New Guy – Kathryn Freeman

Welcome back everyone, after a few reviews for books in a series we’re back to a standalone contemporary romance set in London.

One of they key differences between this book and many other romances I read is that the woman is the one in a position of power in the relationship. Not only is it Sam that instigates a conversation with Ryan initially. She’s the one that sets out how their relationship plays out after that.

Throughout the book we read how Ryan is feeling, and it’s strangely insecure. Being a girl, I don’t know if many guys feel like this in relationships, but it was great to have such a strong male lead who was also so in touch with his emotions and what he wants from a relationship. While also being honest with himself about how he truly feels rather than trying to hide behind walls.

In many ways I respect what Sam has achieved and sympathise with what she’s had to go through thanks to Damien. Yet I also think she was a little silly to get involved with someone she worked with. Something my dad always told me growing up was to never get involved with someone I worked with because society always makes the woman out to be worse off.

At the same time, if you’re falling for someone that hard why should you have to deny your heart?

And then my logical business brain switches on being like “aren’t there laws against this in England?” coz I know there are here in Australia. Even for small businesses like Sam’s.

The way Kathryn wrote about both Ryan and Sam’s emotional turmoil and their insecurities kept me enraptured the whole way through. I kept wondering when they’d finally talk openly and honestly, what would happen after they’d done that? Would Ryan keep working for Sam? If he did, how would their relationship end up?

Rather than trying to sort through that minefield I think Kathryn did the right thing for the story and left it on a high. But also open for the reader to decide how they want their love story to play out. Does it end up a fully open office romance? Does it go down in flames? Is it a fairy-tale ending?

Who knows? You get to pick what you want!

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, on Friday I’ll be reviewing Jennifer Macaire’s final Alexander book, The Eternal Banquet. Continue to read further down to find out about the author.

Author Bio

A former pharmacist, I’m now a medical writer who also writes romance. Some days a racing heart is a medical condition, others it’s the reaction to a hunky hero.

With a husband who asks every Valentine’s Day whether he has to buy a card (yes, he does), any romance is all in my head. Then again, his unstinting support of my career change proves love isn’t always about hearts and flowers – and heroes come in many disguises.

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Game Changer – Lasairiona E. McMaster

Welcome back everyone, after finishing the Lisa Miller series earlier in the year I’m now starting the AJ Williams series. The same events, but from AJ’s perspective.

I was wondering how much this series could offer me as I’ve read a couple of books that were written after another book but from another character’s perspective. Normally I find these books quite repetitive and boring.

Somehow, Lasairionas writing makes it work. I think having most of the book focus on AJ’s thoughts or his interactions with people when Lisa wasn’t there made it work. Instead of rehashing what’s already been said from Lisa’s perspective, we get an insight into AJ’s mind, bipolar and all.

We also get an insight into AJ’s relationships with others. Especially Jeremey.

I’m honestly not sure how accurate AJ’s thoughts are of bipolar, never having suffered it myself, but I hope it’s as accurate as possible. Reading his thoughts go backwards and forwards, questioning, the self-doubt. It made him more relatable and it made me wonder about what I know is to come in future books.

Some of the major incidents in this book gave me a whole different view of what happened. Some of the things that happened, when explained from Lisa’s perspective left me confused. Meaning when I got to read what happened to AJ it made total sense. It also gave me a lot more empathy for him than I had when reading Lisa’s book.

I can’t wait until I get to read what happens next and how AJ handles it himself.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review; on Monday I’ll be reviewing The New Guy by Kathryn Freeman. Continue to read further down to find out about the author.

Author Bio

Lasairiona McMaster grew up dreaming of an exciting life abroad, and, after graduating from Queens University, Belfast, that is exactly what she did – with her then-boyfriend, now husband of almost ten years. Having recently repatriated to Northern Ireland after a decade abroad spanned over two countries (seven and a half years in America and eighteen months in India), she now finds herself ‘home’, with itchy feet and dreams of her next expatriation. With a penchant for both travelling, and writing, she started a blog during her first relocation to Houston, Texas and, since repatriating to Northern Ireland, has decided to do as everyone has been telling her to do for years, and finally pen a book (or two) and get published while she tries to adjust to the people and place she left ten years ago, where nothing looks the same as it did when she left.

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From Thailand with Love – Camilla Isley

Welcome back everyone, after having to force myself to finish the last book I read I had a great time jumping into the fifth book in the First Comes Love series. Of which I read and reviewed the 4th book, To the Stars and Back last year.

Within 2 pages I fell in love with Winter and the antics she was getting up to. By the time I finished reading the first day (can’t remember how many chapters that was…) I knew I was going to love this book. How could I not when I found myself laughing so much in such a short period of time?

As I got further and further into the story, I loved Winter more and more. She’s so sassy, confident and focussed against all odds. How could I not love it? Even some of her plotting had me cracking up coz it’s exactly what I’d do in her position.

Logan’s side also had me chuckling. Yet once they’re out on their expedition and the exciting stuff happens, I found myself loving him as well. I don’t want to ruin the book by talking about how exciting this is. But I’d like to compare it to Indiana Jones, maybe a bit of the Mummy in there too.

I flew through this book and didn’t even care that my partner wanted to watch a YouTube video and the next morning stay in bed rather than be with me while we were at a hotel celebrating our 8-year anniversary. Why? Coz it meant I got to read some more!

After finishing this book, I made the decision that I needed to read the rest of the series and went and bought the collection of the first three books. Sometime in the future you’ll see those reviews. I’m just not sure when that’ll happen just yet.

If you love romance, humour and action/drama in your stories then you need to go and buy this and read it RIGHT NOW. Each book in the series is a standalone. There is a minor detail in this book that would slightly (not really since it’s a romance) ruin the 4th book. But otherwise you don’t need to worry about reading them in order.

Just go and get this and read it now! GO!

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review; on Wednesday I’ll be introducing a new series of posts and on Friday I’ll be reviewing Breathe of Passion by Lisa Kessler. Continue to read further down to find out about the author and any extra giveaways available.

Author Bio

Camilla is an engineer turned writer after she quit her job to follow her husband on an adventure abroad.

She’s a cat lover, coffee addict, and shoe hoarder. Besides writing, she loves reading—duh!—cooking, watching bad TV, and going to the movies—popcorn, please. She’s a bit of a foodie, nothing too serious. A keen traveler, Camilla knows mosquitoes play a role in the ecosystem, and she doesn’t want to starve all those frog princes out there, but she could really live without them.

You can check out Camilla on her various social media accounts including BookBub and Pinterest.

Giveaway – Win a From Thailand with Love Tote Bag (open internationally)


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*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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When Polly met Olly – Zoe May

Welcome back everyone, I’ve got another Rach Random Resource tour for you today. And it’s another Zoe May novel.

I’m starting to get the feeling that Zoe is great at coming up with ideas and stories. But personally, I feel like the execution was a little lacking. I never found myself falling in love with this book. Pretty much the whole way through I found it wasn’t bad, but I wasn’t reading it coz I was loving it. I was reading it to bring you this review.

Technically speaking there’s nothing wrong.

You’ve got a strong female lead, Polly. You’ve got a male lead who’s in touch with his emotions, Olly. You’ve got a father figure that helps the female lead find her way and looks after her, Derek. You’ve got a gay best friend only looking out for the female lead and adds an element of flair, Gabe.

Yet I didn’t connect with or fall in love with any of these characters. In fact, I actually hated Gabe. I didn’t think he had a place in the story and felt his character needed more reason to be there other than to critique and push Polly. Even his critiquing and gayness annoyed me. He felt like the type of “friend” that I’d cut out of my life in 2 seconds flat and that he was gay just to have the representation in the book rather than adding value.

It felt like Olly had almost no story time. I think I was about halfway through and it felt like he’d had all of one meetings worth of air time. For a male lead I was expecting much more angst, drama and revelations to happen. When they did, it felt rushed and like it was maybe just meant to be there, but Zoe hadn’t had time to do it earlier.

Personally, what could’ve made this book great was having Olly’s side included in the story. Not every love story needs it. But a lot of the drama, angst and feeling that might have made me fall in love with the story and characters might have happened if Olly’s perspective was included.

For a light, easy to read romance that you don’t have to get too caught up in this is a great read. I just felt like it was missing something for my brain and heart to really engage. My only other issues with this book have hopefully been resolved (I’ve been told they have) and they were caused because I read an advanced copy not a final edit version. So, I won’t be taking those into account with my score.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review; on Friday I’ll be reviewing Street Magic by Tamora Pierce. Continue to read further down to find out about the author.

Author Bio

Zoe May lives in London and writes romantic comedies. Zoe has dreamt of being a novelist since she was a teenager. She spent her twenties living in London, where she worked in journalism and copywriting before writing her debut novel, Perfect Match. Having experienced the London dating scene first hand, Zoe could not resist writing a novel about dating, since it seems to supply endless amounts of weird and wonderful material!

Perfect Match was one of Apple’s top-selling books of 2018. It was also shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Joan Hessayon Award, with judges describing it as ‘a laugh out loud look at love and self-discovery – fresh and very funny’.

As well as writing, Zoe enjoys walking her dog, painting and, of course, reading.

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The Cottage on Wildflower Lane – Liz Davies

Welcome back everyone, we’re so close to the end of the month with just two more reviews due to come out. Man! What a busy month!

Liz has a way of writing her stories that just captures you in the moment and the feel of the quintessential English countryside. I’ve read one or two of her other books and I always feel like I’m in amongst the beautiful countryside. This one wasn’t any different.

The sight, smell and general vibe of well developed and established garden always has me instantly relaxing and getting back to nature. Liz was able to give me this vibe without leaving my couch. Her ability to describe the surroundings the characters are in is amazing and I love it. It makes the time reading it so much more relaxing and enjoyable.

The trials and tribulations Esther goes through in this time is pretty heart breaking. I can’t believe how horrible Josh is and yet his mum thinks Esther isn’t good enough for Josh? Seriously?! How delirious can some parents be?!

Kit on the other hand is amazing. What he goes through, what he does for Esther and how he makes it through these issues is far superior to Josh. He carries himself with such compassion, consideration and confidence (I totally didn’t mean to make that 3 C’s!), all of which make him highly attractive. Especially since he listens to explanations (mostly) which things seem a bit weird.

For the most part, I loved the build up and romance of this book were so sweet, and actually doesn’t focus on the obvious romantic element of the story. My problem with the romance came at the end. I think I would’ve preferred to end the story maybe a month or two after the second last chapter where they are seeing where the relationship is going rather than the ending it got. Especially because we don’t know how much later that final chapter is. Is it one year? Or more?

For a romance taking it slow, as they said, I’d think it’d be 2+ years later. But we don’t know which annoyed me just a little.

Otherwise, it was a great romance that followed in the footsteps of The Summer of Going Topless where there’s more to romance and relationships than just meeting someone and falling in love.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, on Wednesday I’ll be reviewing When Polly Met Olly by Zoe May. Continue to read further down to find out about the author.

Author Bio

Liz Davies writes feel-good, light-hearted stories with a hefty dose of romance, a smattering of humour, and a great deal of love.

She’s married to her best friend, has one grown-up daughter, and when she isn’t scribbling away in the notepad she carries with her everywhere (just in case inspiration strikes), you’ll find her searching for that perfect pair of shoes. She loves to cook but isn’t very good at it, and loves to eat – she’s much better at that! Liz also enjoys walking (preferably on the flat), cycling (also on the flat), and lots of sitting around in the garden on warm, sunny days.

She currently lives with her family in Wales, but would ideally love to buy a camper can and travel the world in it.

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Fateful Coincidence – Lasairiona E. McMaster

Welcome back everyone, we’re finally up to the final book in the Lisa Miller trilogy! Which, by the way, will be followed by a trilogy from AJ’s perspective!

The first and major thing I need to say about this final instalment is that it has all the feels. I don’t know how Lasairiona does it, but man she writes the feels well! I read most of this book outside on the couch with Bones and found myself needing his cuddles at multiple points as I slowly cried from everything Lisa had to experience.

I think I’ve mentioned this before. But I’m not a crier. That scene at the end of the Notebook? No tears. Any other moment in film history that typically sees people crying. No tears.

This book? Tears. At like 5 different points in time.

The strength Lisa had to have to get through all this is amazing. If I was in her position, I don’t think I could have coped as well as she did. Although she’s also got a much larger and available support system than I have.

Which brings me onto something I’m glad Lasairiona included. Which is how Lisa treats the men in her life. She’s lucky to have such amazing guys who want to be there to support her and help her trough everything she’s going through. But she’s kinda clueless and insensitive to what they’re feeling.

I can’t say how without ruining the book. But I did have a thought of “Really? I know he’s a great guy and won’t complain. But common decency says you shouldn’t lean on him for this. That’s just cruel and unusual punishment no one deserves.” So, it made me super happy when Chelsea brought it up and told her how selfish she was being.

The only other thing I want to say about this book (because, honestly, it’s genius and finish are too epic to put into words) is that Lisa has WAY better friends than I do! But I’m also older, less sociable, generally introverted and dump friends as soon as they show the first hint of being fair weather friends. How can I get friends like hers?

If this sounds like something you might like, make sure you check out the reviews for Intimate Strangers and The Good in Goodbye because this is a trilogy that MUST be read in order! Once I’ve read and reviewed AJ’s perspective, I might come back to discuss the best way to read the two trilogies. Coz I have a feeling my reading order might change once I’ve read them too.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, I’m back with my series review tomorrow, and then again on Monday with The Cottage on Wildflower Lane by Liz Davies. Continue to read further down to find out about the author.

Author Bio

Lasairiona McMaster grew up dreaming of an exciting life abroad, and, after graduating from Queens University, Belfast, that is exactly what she did – with her then-boyfriend, now husband of almost ten years. Having recently repatriated to Northern Ireland after a decade abroad spanned over two countries (seven and a half years in America and eighteen months in India), she now finds herself ‘home’, with itchy feet and dreams of her next expatriation.

With a penchant for both travelling, and writing, she started a blog during her first relocation to Houston, Texas and, since repatriating to Northern Ireland, has decided to do as everyone has been telling her to do for years, and finally pen a book (or two) and get published while she tries to adjust to the people and place she left ten years ago, where nothing looks the same as it did when she left.

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Erotic Fiction? – Hannah Lynn

Welcome back everyone, are you getting tired of all the tours yet. No? Great! Coz I have another one for you today.

I know this sounds like an erotic romance kinda style book based on the title. But it’s not. It’s really not. It’s more of a relationship development and comedy book.

Sarah and Andrew have been married for long enough to have a 5 yr old, 3 yr old and another one on the way. And let’s just say life hasn’t been all that kind to them financially. And this is the story of how they find their way back together and through their financial issues.

The main message I felt throughout this story was that of open communication and trust. It’s not like Sarah and Andrew don’t have honest conversations. It just felt like there was room for improvement in their communication overall.

Little things like how they felt about their house, how to try and make more money etc just didn’t quite line up between the two of them. Those are kind of important to get right in relationships. Those kinds of breakdown in communication can cause so many issues.

We even see this play out a little bit. Amongst other funny anecdotes. The post office one (you’ll know if when you read it) had me going “How is that the policy?!” I mean, I’ve gotta assume the whole “12 hours” thing was totally made up coz working people would never be able to meet that timeline.

For a quick, easy read that’s got some moments to laugh at this is a great book. I didn’t feel like there was a lot of depth or need to concentrate too much so it’s great for a break from life.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, tomorrow I’m reviewing the final instalment of the Lisa Miller trilogy, Fateful Coincidence by Lasairiona E. McMaster. Continue to read further down to find out about the author and any extra giveaways available.

Author Bio

Hannah Lynn is an award-winning novelist. Publishing her first book, Amendments – a dark, dystopian speculative fiction novel, in 2015, she has since gone on to write the multi award winning The Afterlife of Walter Augustus – a contemporary fiction novel with a supernatural twist, Fiona and the Whale – a thought provoking romantic comedy and the delightfully funny and poignant Peas and Carrots series.

While she freely moves between genres, her novels are recognisable for their character driven stories and wonderfully vivid description.

She is currently working on a YA Vampire series and a reimaging of a classic Greek myth.

Born in 1984, Hannah grew up in the Cotswolds, UK. After graduating from university, she has spent twelve years as a teacher of physics, first in the UK and then around Asia and Europe. It was during this time, inspired by the imaginations of the young people she taught, she began writing short stories for children, and later adult fiction. Now as a teacher, writer, wife and mother, she is currently living in the Jordan.

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When Adam Met Evie – Giulia Skye

Welcome back everyone, from sci-fi set in England’s cold countryside to the hot extremes of my homeland’s outback. What a change of pace!

I love reading books set in my homeland as I can imagine the landscape, the feel of the country, the people etc. Having forgotten that this one was set in the Aussie Kimberly region was a nice surprise for me when I started reading it.

But as usual when it’s not an Aussie writing it, I find little thing’s I’m not happy with when my country is written about. For one, why was there no camel tours mentioned when they were in Broome? Don’t they know that’s one of biggest tourist attractions for that area? A sunrise/sunset camel ride tour along the beach?

The arid feel, the dry landscape, the red earth. That was all pretty bang on. I liked that Giulia didn’t try to describe the landscape and its famous sites in too much detail as that’s something that’ll get caught out by someone who’s been there.

However. Right near the end of the book she tripped up by (and this is my interpretation of what was written) having Evie wake up at Uluru, take a brief walk along Kings Canyon and have breakfast at Alice Springs. FYI, Kings Canyon is a 4-hour drive north of Uluru with Alice Springs being another 4 hours northeast of Kings Canyon. Literally a quick check on Google Maps could have avoided that mix up.

I’m hoping this is corrected in the published version since I read an advance reading copy.

That’s a whole day of travelling just to get to Alice Springs from Uluru. If you have an early breakfast at Uluru, go to Kings Canyon for a walk around then continue to Alice Springs for a late dinner then yes it could be done in one day. But that’s not what I took from the way it was written.

Aside from that one little thing (which in the grand scheme of the book is nothing!) the writing was well done. I felt like I could feel the heat beating down on my skin and hear the birds and wildlife around me as if I was there with them.

We were given enough descriptions of the blossoming and developing romance to feel enraptured by it. But not enough for it to drag on. It was well balanced and perfectly mixed with the descriptions of the landscape to allow me to feel like I was on the journey with them. It’s exactly what you want when you want a destination romance read to take you away from your dreary life and see another place without leaving the comfort of your couch.

It even reinforced my desire to travel the top end properly like they did. It’s been a dream for a while and my partner and I have talked about getting a camping trailer and touring the country to see these remote places. It’s something I’m probably going to push for more than I have in the past.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, tomorrow I’ll be reviewing Rise of Gaia by Kristin Ward. Continue to read further down to find out about the author.

Author Bio

Italian-born Giulia Skye spent her childhood watching classic Hollywood films and thinking up her own romantic stories. After two decades working in TV production, she knew turning those stories into novels would be much more enjoyable – and far cheaper – than turning them into films. She still keeps her hand in TV production but is at her happiest being a stay-at-home mum, spending time with her family, growing her own vegetables and conjuring up sizzling stories about sexy heroes meeting fiesty heroines who aren’t always as they at first appear.  When Adam Met Evie is her first novel, Book 1 of her “Take a Holiday” series.

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A Shape on the Air – Julia Ibbotson

Welcome back everyone, after so many romances I’m ticking off my first sci-fi/time travel kinda book for the year.

When I signed up for this tour, I was very much on the fence about whether I’d love it or not. Now I’ve finished it, I can assure you that I managed to fall onto one side very easily. Even with a few things that I didn’t like, I still found myself really enjoying this novel.

I liked that Julia created a reason for the time-slipping and created her own rhyme, reason and method. It made this element uniquely hers. The fact that Viv was able to speak to others about what was happening and get their help and support through the confusing time was amazing.

Also, the slow build towards a relationship (remember, this is not a romance!) for Viv was really well done. It didn’t feel forced or weird like they sometimes can. If you’re not a fan of romance, then you don’t need to worry with this one. There’s only a couple of small sections that talk about the romance aspect that you can easily skip over as it doesn’t really impact the story.

There were a couple of things I wasn’t a fan of. Given how descriptive Julia’s writing is, I felt the naming of the friends in both times the same was a bit overkill. Julia could have named them differently in each time and let their personalities and loyalties do the talking. I actually found myself rolling my eyes and thinking “duh” when it was revealed because it was just too much.

Also, Pete’s actions in the early part of the book just felt odd to me. I’m luck enough to have never experienced domestic violence so I don’t know if my perception is off. But it felt like there would have been signs to point towards him acting the way he did. Even if that was a first and only time, it felt more like he’d been possessed, or someone had replaced his personality or something. Although that’s all based on limited knowledge and how it was written.

In the grand scheme of the book, those little annoyances were nothing. They had no real impact on the story. Only on my experience reading it.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, on Wednesday (I told you this was going to be a review heavy period, didn’t I?) I’ll be reviewing When Adam Met Evie by Giulia Skye. Continue to read further down to find out about the author and any extra giveaways available.

Author Bio

Acclaimed, award-winning author Julia Ibbotson is fascinated by the medieval world and concepts of time travel. She read English at Keele University, England (after a turbulent but exciting gap year in Ghana, West Africa) specialising in medieval language, literature and history, and has a PhD in socio-linguistics. She wrote her first novel at 10 years of age, but became a school teacher, then an academic as a senior university lecturer and researcher. As well as medieval time-slip, she has published a number of books, including memoir/history of food (The Old Rectory), children’s medieval fantasy (S.C.A.R.S), a trilogy opening in 1960s Ghana (Drumbeats), and many academic works. Apart from insatiable reading, she loves travelling the world, singing in choirs, swimming, yoga and walking in the countryside in England and Madeira where she and her husband divide their time.

Check out Julia on her socials and Pinterest.

Giveaway – Win a paperback copy of The Old Rectory, bookmark, postcard, key ring and handbag fob (UK only)

*Terms and Conditions –UK  entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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