Opposites Attract – Camilla Isley

This book contains:

  • teen alcohol use
  • blackmail and bullying.

Vivian is our female lead. As a divorce attorney with a teenage daughter and the father isn’t in the picture. Thanks to the father’s actions she’s extremely tough on men and struggles to trust them.

On the other hand, Lucas is our male lead and he’s a couple’s therapist. Unfortunately, they don’t have the best of meetings when they end up with offices right next to each other.

We start with Lucas and discover that he’s a lovely guy who’s off to a bad start to his morning. The cause of his bad start?

Vivian.

When we swap to her side, we miss everything that Lucas has already experience and enter the mind of an extremely self-centred, strong, independent woman who doesn’t take crap from anyone.

Since they have offices next to each other we see their hate grow until it’s palpable. It finally reaches a head when it turns out Lucas poaches one of her clients and interferes with her daughter. Only, they have a bet about who can find love first, yet Lucas finds he’s not interested in the bet anymore as soon as he realises he might lose.

A hate to love trope done really well. Once Vivian calms down enough to be a normal human being rather than a semi-murderous psychopath I found myself starting to root for her. But it was a struggle getting through the first roughly third of the book with her because her personality really isn’t one you can take a liking to.

Lucas on the other hand was every woman’s dream man. How could she possibly hate him?!

He’s good looking, friendly, he can listen (why is this such a hard skill for men?) and he stand by his promises. He’s a lot of women’s dream man which is partly why it’s so much harder to like Vivian.

By about the halfway mark we start to really understand why Vivian is the way she is, which makes a lot of sense. But I also don’t think anyone should think it’s ok to behave that way (especially a mother of a teenager) and think blaming it on their past is an excuse. Sorry, no. You’re an adult, grow up and learn how to play nicely.

My only other concern (because the love story playing out was excellent and perfectly timed!) was how they tackled the daddy issue. I really wished both Vivian and her daughter had done that in person. But I also respect the restraint they displayed by doing it the way they did.

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.

Giveaway – Win 3 x e-copies of the Beach Reads box set (open internationally)

*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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The Duke’s Runaway Bride – Jenni Fletcher

This book contains:

  • family violence in the form of control, both financially and mentally.

Quinton is the Duke of Howden and has been for about a year. Three to four months prior to the when the book starts, he marries Beatrix for her fortune since his family is dead broke thanks to his father wanting to leave them penniless. Not to mention all the other drama and emotional abuse he dolled out to Quinton’s whole family over the years.

Beatrix on the other hand has spent the past 12 years almost entirely confined to her room by her aunt and uncle after her parents pass on. The abuse she felt throughout that time shaped her actions and her view of the world from the moment she married Quinton.

Beatrix ran away on her wedding day (after marrying Quinton) to create a life of freedom. Only, she needs to get rid of her husband so she can truly be free and let him be free to find a new wife. The big hitch in that plan is that Quinton isn’t playing ball and instead convinces her to trial being married to him for 6 weeks.

During that time, they get to know each other, learn why the other behaved the way they did and show the world what a strong marriage looks like. But they still need to figure out how to communicate what they’re feeling at the end of the 6 weeks if they’re going to make the right decisions.

I’m really glad Jenni stayed true to the time period (she always does) and delved into how men treated their families in those times. I think to brush over it as if it never happened paints an inaccurate picture of how family violence has progress over the years and as if it’s a modern problem.

Yes, I wish it wasn’t something anyone had to worry about ever. But the truth is, in some way, shape or form, family violence has been perpetuated throughout history. To pretend like it hasn’t and like society as a whole has always objected to it (like I know some authors have done) doesn’t help anyone. So, thank you Jenni for always staying true to history and what actually happened!

Those kinds of details, even in other less obvious areas are what makes her books amazing to read. You know she’s put in the time and effort to research and be as true to the time as possible while still giving us a great romance and female empowering story.

Author Bio

Jenni Fletcher was born in Scotland and now lives in Yorkshire where she writes historical romance novels ranging from the Roman to late Victorian eras. She studied English at Cambridge and Hull and has been nominated for 4 RoNA awards, winning for Short Romantic Fiction in 2020. She teaches Creative Writing at a university in the north of England and her favourite hobbies are baking and, of course, reading.

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The Modified Blueprint – Kellyn Thompson

This book contains:

  • Prisoner of war type treatment of one group of people
  • Attempted murder

Chris and Cameron are back, this time as a team.

Cameron is in on the job. This time as the key asset. She’s forced with facing the reality of where she would have been as a Purebred if her family wasn’t rich. Not only that, but she’s forced to face her remaining family and what the loss of them means to her. The emotional turmoil challenges her in ways she hasn’t been challenged before.

Right in time to set her up for her next challenge in what sounds like a third book coming! Chris is back in the field to support Cameron as she enters a Purebred Community, and as she confronts her family, what they’ve done in the past and what their legacy is continuing to do. Unlike in The Unexpected Inlander, Chris is the secondary character with Cameron taking centre stage. Although his character does give us some insight into how the government of the Sectors operates and gives us clues of some potential issues before facing a crisis of his own identity.

Chris and his team discover a new item for sale that worries them. To help them find out what it is, Cameron is enlisted. She’s sent into a Purebred Community where she’s able to help them find the information they need to chase down and recover the Cipher.

Through two states they chase down and negotiate for the cryptic Cipher. They have no idea what it is, all they know is that they must get it for the safety of the Sectors. In doing so they learn some unfortunate truths about their families and themselves. These truths are so dramatic but come so late they feel like they’re setting up for a third book rather than really impacting the storyline of this one.

I really enjoyed myself reading this one. I thought The Unexpected Inlander was a stand-alone book, so this sequel came as a bit of a surprise for me. Who knew so much drama and intrigue could happen in one family? Especially when almost all of them are already dead?!

Unlike the first book, as we get towards the end of this one it starts setting up some things that I’m assuming will come to light in a third book. When those hints follow up so much drama, emotional turmoil and intrigue, what will we be in for in the next book?

I’m really looking forward to the next one to see what will happen next for these two!

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A Match for the Rebellious Earl – Lara Temple

Thank you Lara for reaching out to me to review this. You remembered I loved Return of the Disappearing Duke, and I’m so thankful you thought of me to review this for you.

Throughout the book we swap between Kit Carrington (the new Lord Westford) and Genny Maitland’s perspectives. Both characters met when Genny travelled with her grandfather’s army regiment several years earlier, however, were never close and weren’t in contact once they separated ways.

Kit is reluctant to take the mantle of Lord Westford, especially because of how his cousins treated him. The only reason he’s back is because his half-sister is getting married and she wants him there. His plan is to sort out the family business, attend his sister’s wedding and set sail again! Genny is in a different position. With no family, her sister’s dead husband left them with a lot of debt and no way to support themselves. On top of that, they’re stuck living with Kit’s horrible grandmother who torments them every chance she gets.

Genny is trying to find a way to clear her sister’s husbands’ debts and find a new life for them, free from the Dowager Westford. To get what she wants she uses the skills her grandfather nurtured to form alliances and manipulate people and situations to achieve everyone’s goals.

One such alliance is with Kit, the goal of which is to find suitable husbands for Genny’s sister and Kit’s step-mum. While working with Kit to organise everything to her liking, they discover their attraction to each other. As they execute each part of their plan, they’re fighting their attraction for each other, without letting anyone realise what’s happening.

I’m a fan of Lara’s works and always enjoy a story with a strong female lead. Throughout this story I was left wondering how they’d get their happily ever after. They fought it every step of the way, which for some reason made me all the more determined that they should get it!

I got so invested in their relationship that I found myself stressing that maybe this would be the book where they didn’t get a happily ever after.

The fact that in the end, it was Kit’s maturity that helped them bridge the gap and move forward was awesome. The fact that you could tell how nervous he was, how he didn’t want to risk his heart but at the same time knew he had to put himself out there, it made that moment so much more believable.

All their interactions leading up to that moment allowed it to feel so much more alive and real. Every time they’d come close to maybe admitting their feeling one or both had shied away. So that moment where they both finally put it all on the table had me cheering them on.

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Let Me Love You – Lasairiona E. McMaster

This book contains:

  • grief for parents
  • mentions of suicide attempts and racial violence

Jeremy Lewis is the centre of this story while we follow his grief, injury and recovery and attempts to convince Chelsea Davis to go out with him while at College in Alabama. Jeremy is an “only child” who lost his parents in Four Letter Feelings and has yet to experience all the firsts, their first birthday’s, first Christmas and the first anniversary of their death. He also experiences a bad injury that adds to his already vulnerable mental health that he needs to work through.

Chelsea on the other hand lives in Iowa, works full time, travels to Alabama a fair bit and has a rule to never date jocks, especially hockey players. And Jeremy is a total jock and star hockey player.

We pick up where the previous book, Four Letter Feelings, ends. Jeremy has come back from summer holidays; it’s the first game of the year and Jeremy takes a bad fall on the ice and gets injured. During his recovery he has ups and downs, emotional turmoil as he’s experiencing all the firsts since his parent’s death in the first book and the struggle to accept Chelsea’s decisions.

It felt like this focussed more on Jeremy’s mental health and recovery from his knee injury than anything else. Maybe it was my expectations that this would be a romance, but it did feel like the romance with Chelsea was secondary to everything else Jeremy was going through.

I can see how all of that leads to their relationship, and everything we’ve already read about in Lisa and AJ’s trilogy’s, I just wasn’t expecting it and I think I would’ve preferred a little more romance, but then I don’t know how that’d impact the overall story.

Author Bio

Lasairiona McMaster writes sassy, classy and badassy women and strong, yet vulnerable men. She challenges reader’s expectations by openly dealing with mental health issues, often exploring tough-to-handle topics and ‘taboos’ and books with a whole lotta heart.

She can either be found enjoying a gin and lemonade by the Irish sea, or baking sweet treats in her kitchen while singing at the top of her lungs. When she’s ‘home’ in Texas, and isn’t eating fresh-popped popcorn while buying things she has absolutely no need for in Target, she can be found at Chuys eating her body weight in chips and queso and washing it down with a margarita swirl. She loves to make friends out of strangers.

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The Lake House – Christie Barlow

This book contains:

  • a victim of a con-artist
  • teen alcohol addiction
  • death caused by alcohol overdose

This story follows Ella as she recovers from discovering she’s fallen victim to a con-artist as she moves to Heartcross. With no money, Ella is left with thousands of dollars of debt, no family, no friends and needing to get back onto her feet.

Roman, her love interest, is The Lakehouse water taxi driver. With a difficult past that slowly gets exposed as Ella gets to know him better, we understand why Roman is making the choices he is and why they’re so important to him.

Ella moves to Heartcross when her friend, Callie, organises for her to become a waitress at the newly opened restaurant, The Lakehouse, to help her recover from the debt her ex-con-artist-fiancé left her with. Almost as soon as she arrives, she meets Dolores and Roman, along with all the other character’s we’ve gotten to know in Heartcross.

Before she even begins her first day of work, she learns the restaurant isn’t doing too well financially and if more bookings don’t start coming in soon it’ll need to close its doors again. Joining the Heartcross community spirit, Ella jumps in with a grand idea to showcase the venue and the community spirit and is immediately given free reign to make it happen within two weeks.

The story spends most of it’s time on Ella and Roman’s relationship, however Dolores is a large feature that helps them come together and grow to become the couple they end up being. Not to mention her own reunited love story.

I was surprised that neither of the characters in this were one’s we’d met before, but Christie makes it work so beautifully. For such a surprising installment in the series I absolutely loved it!

Christie has a theme in each book that she follows, and I’m glad she’s continued that in this book. I love how she makes it so real and continues to show the impact these themes have on not just the one’s who experienced it, but those around them.

I can’t wait to see what she brings next!

Author Bio

Christie Barlow is the author of ten bestselling romantic comedies including A Home at Honeysuckle Farm, Love Heart Lane and Clover Cottage. She lives in a ramshackle cottage in a quaint village in the heart of Staffordshire with her four children and two dogs.

Her writing career has come as a lovely surprise when Christie decided to write a book to teach her children a valuable life lesson and show them that they are capable of achieving their dreams. Christie’s dream was to become a writer and the book she wrote to prove a point went on to become a #1 bestseller in the UK, USA, Canada and Australia.

When Christie isn’t writing she enjoys playing the piano, is a keen gardener and loves to paint and upcycle furniture.

Christie is an ambassador for the @ZuriProject alongside Patron of the charity, Emmerdale’s Bhasker Patel. They raise money and awareness for communities in Uganda.

Christie loves to hear from her readers and you can get in touch via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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A Christmas Wedding at the Castle – Eliza J. Scott

Welcome back everyone, we’re back on the Moors a year after we first met Livvie and Zander in A Christmas Kiss.

In series like this one where each book follows a new couple it’s highly unusual for a second book in the same series to follow a couple we’ve already met. But at the same time, I love that I got to see them through to the wedding.

Interestingly, this book also spans 6 months from their engagement right through to their wedding just before Christmas. The trials and tribulations Livvie and Zander face seem to be never ending and yet their love for each other never seems to waver.

One secret I guessed, one I got partially right and one I didn’t see coming!

The final few surprises I didn’t see coming but I feel like they were just perfect. They made the perfect ending to all the drama, all the uncertainty and showed that sometimes things happen for a reason.

Given the year we’ve all had to deal with, this little feel good moment was perfect! I don’t think I could have planned a better ending if I’d tried. I even think we have a couple of contenders for the next book in the series!

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review; I’ll be taking a very short break so I can meet a couple of commitments I have in early December. But I’ll be back with a review for Tempted by the Tycoon’s Proposal by Rachael Stewart. Continue to read further down to find out about the author.

Author Bio

Eliza is proud to be a member of the RNA. She lives in a village in the North Yorkshire Moors with her husband, their two daughters and two mischievous black Labradors. When she’s not writing, she can usually be found with her nose in a book/glued to her Kindle or working in her garden, fighting a losing battle against the weeds.

When she’s not reading or gardening, Eliza also enjoys bracing walks in the countryside, rounded off by a visit to a teashop where she can indulge in another two of her favourite things: tea and cake.

Her biggest weakness is ginger biscuits dunked in tea.

Eliza is inspired by her beautiful surroundings and loves to write heartwarming romance stories with relatable female characters. She enjoys exploring the dynamics of female friendship, with a key feature of her books being how women pull together and support one another when things get tough.

Eliza’s novels will always have happy endings.

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Unwrapping the Best Man – Rachael Stewart

Welcome back everyone, Rachel is back with a follow up novel to Getting Dirty and it’s amazing!

I was really hoping there’d be a sequel to Getting Dirty and I had my wishes granted in a way I wasn’t expecting! Who knew the bartender was hiding so much and it’d take the PR queen to get it out of him?!

We start off at a wedding in Scotland where Cait finally convinces Jackson to sleep with her. And this is when we start to discover the issues that Jackson has struggled with for years. We had no idea about any of this until now and it’s exactly up the alley of Rachael’s style to bring in difficult topics.

If this was the first of her books I’d read I’d think she was copying 50 Shades of Grey, but I know better. Although the Mrs Robinson vibe is still there with an underage boy being seduced by a married woman, there were marked differences between those cases and Jackson.

In this case, Cait and Jackson work through his issues together over months and in ways I wasn’t expecting. Who knew so much could happen in just 6 months and in the way that they did?

I have a couple of fav bits including the car scene and the very last chapter. I don’t want to say more than that coz it might ruin it for you, but I felt like those were major breakthrough moments for them. Jackson more so given everything he’d been through, how he felt about it and the lasting impacts on his mental and emotional health.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review; on Monday I’ll be reviewing A Christmas Wedding at the Castle by Eliza J. Scott. Continue to read further down to find out about the author and any extra giveaways available.

Author Bio

Rachael Stewart adores conjuring up stories for the readers of Harlequin Mills & Boon and Deep Desires Press, with tales varying from the heartwarmingly romantic to the wildly erotic.

She’s been writing since she could put pen to paper as the stacks of scrawled on A4 sheets in her loft will attest to, and the lovingly bound short stories that her father would run off at work and proudly share out with his colleagues. Thinking it was a pipe dream to be published one day, she pursued a sensible career in business but she was really play-acting, achieving the appropriate degree and spending many years in the corporate world where she never truly belonged. Always happiest when she was sat at her laptop in the quiet hours tapping out a story or two. And so here she is, a published author, her full-time pleasure, a dream come true.

A Welsh lass at heart, she now lives in Yorkshire with her husband and three children, and if she’s not glued to her laptop, she’s wrapped up in them or enjoying the great outdoors seeking out inspiration.

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Seduced – Zoe Ashwood

Welcome back everyone, the third and final instalment of the Sea Dragons of Amber Bay trilogy is here!

I’ve been waiting a while to get this and even bugged Zoe for it coz I was looking forward to it so much. In a way it was a little bit of a letdown, but it’s amazingness in other areas well and truly made up for it.

Adrian really bugged me with his inability to commit to them but refusing to let Skye leave or anything to happen to her. Like it’s great that he was so into showing her how he felt, but did he have to fight against it for so long?

I was really hoping this book would be about the four of them fighting together against the world. Not a mixture of still figuring out their relationship and fighting against the world.

The other areas that were amazing, included Adrian trying to figure out how to impress Skye, Jack and Ty fighting to make their life with Skye and Skye learning about her magic and the community. Reading about how Skye was figuring things out was amazing and I loved her thought process.

Although I beat her to the anchor thing.

The ending to the trilogy was very satisfying, although I’m surprised with the turn that Zoe took to get us there. I also kinda wish the epilogue was set further into the future coz there’s a couple of things I really wanted to hear about that would only need a chapter to cover off.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review; on Monday I’ll be reviewing It’s Raining Men by Rich Amooi.

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