Hopeless Vows by Rachael Duncan

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Title: Hopeless Vows

Series: Stand-Alone

Author: Rachael Duncan

Format: Kindle E-book

Published: 2016

Rating:  51661516615166151661

Summary: It was a modern take on an arranged marriage that was supposed to lead to my happily ever after. The rules were simple:

1. Marry a complete stranger chosen for you by professionals.
2. Live together as man and wife for eight weeks while cameras record your every move.
3. Make a decision to stay together or get a divorce.

Call me crazy, but I had complete faith in the process, until I saw who was waiting for me at the end of the aisle.

Austin James has never met me, but that doesn’t mean I don’t know him. With no other choice, I say my vows and pray I can make it through the next eight weeks. Then I’ll leave. What connects us is my best kept secret, and I’ll protect it at all costs even if that means walking away from the only person I’ve ever cared about.

Review:

“I miss you. Three small words. Individually, they’re meaningless. Strung together, they cripple me.”

The first time I found this book on GoodReads I scrolled through some of the reviews and found one where another author claimed that she was a fan of a show with a similar premise and I remember thinking the premise isn’t similar… it is exactly the same. I believe the only difference [aside from names, including the name of the show] is that there were four couples instead of three. Did this make me not want to read it? Hell no. I wanted to read it more. I happen to like Married at First Sight and the reviews didn’t say that the book sucked so I went for it.

Thank god I did. I found myself enjoying this even more than the show.

In Married at First Sight you get to see three couples who have never met before and know nothing about each other meet for the first time as they are getting married. You get to see the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to them trying to figure out how to make a marriage work with a complete stranger.

In Hopeless Vows you get to see all of that which is being filmed for the show in the book, First Comes Marriage, and also everything behind the scenes which of course is where all the fun stuff happens. Jillian and Austin are matched together by the experts because they have similar backgrounds and because they fit well together personality wise. The only problem? Jillian seems… withdrawn. You might be too though if you find out that your new husband has something to do with your past that you never want him to find out. It’s only eight weeks though. Surely she can make it through without him finding out about her past. This book was full of ups and downs, a lot of steam, a fair amount of jealousy, and enough angst to bring it all together.

All in all I really liked this book. I really like the premise of getting married to a complete stranger through a program that seems to work [instead of it simply being arranged by parents for connections]. I would probably read it again if I was looking for a sweet guy and angsty plot and some well rounded characters.

Time Between Us [Time Between Us #1] by Tamara Ireland Stone

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Title: Time Between Us

Series: Time Between Us #1

Author: Tamara Ireland Stone

Format: Paperback

Published: 2012

Rating: 51661516615166151661

Summary: Anna and Bennett were never supposed to meet: she lives in 1995 Chicago and he lives in 2012 San Francisco. But Bennett has the unique ability to travel through time and space, which brings him into Anna’s life, and with him a new world of adventure and possibility.

As their relationship deepens, the two face the reality that time may knock Bennett back to where he belongs, even as a devastating crisis throws everything they believe into question. Against a ticking clock, Anna and Bennett are forced to ask themselves how far they can push the bounds of fate, what consequences they can bear in order to stay together, and whether their love can stand the test of time.

Review: 

“I don’t stay anywhere. I visit. I observe. I leave. I don’t ever stay.”

Time Between Us is one of those books those books that if you hadn’t read the back of the book [or forgot what you were reading] you wouldn’t have any idea what you were getting yourself into. Every once in a while I read a summary and it’s months before I can get around to reading said book and aside from knowing that I wanted to read it, I don’t always remember what it was about. Or, if I am crazy about the author, I don’t even bother to read the summary. For this one, I knew what I was getting myself into, knew that I should expect something along the lines of The Time Traveller’s Wife, but I was still looking forward to it.

Anna and Bennett are two kids from very different time periods who just so happen to end up falling in love despite the fact that she was born so many years ahead of him. The best part about the two of them in this particular book is that they are so relatable. They are just normal kids, who act and speak like normal kids. So often authors who are obviously not in their teens any longer write sixteen and seventeen year olds to either sound like they’re twelve, or like they are thirty, neither of which is realistic. But Anna and Bennett, along with their friends, were realistic and likeable. They were also not annoying Mary-Sue’s, which is always a plus. Two thumbs up to Tamara Ireland Stone!

My absolute favorite part [aside from the wonderful characters] was Stone didn’t make this one of those perfect love stories where nobody cares that the kid is time travelling and the laws of physics are against him, she made sure to bring up The Butterfly Effect and how Bennett unfortunately sometimes gets caught, gets stuck, or gets thrown back because the universe is righting itself. Every little decision effects everything around you. What if you left the house one minute earlier, or you had stopped for coffee, or had spoken to someone for even a moment? How would it affect the world around you? Everyone likes to think that peoples’ actions don’t affect you if they don’t directly affect you, but the truth is that everything affects everything and I love that Stone touched on that topic in her story.

I only gave the story a four star rating but that is mostly because while I really liked it, I don’t believe I would read it again. I have books on my shelf that I would [and have] read probably a dozen times, but this is one of those sweet romances that you read once and you are good with that. So if you’re looking for a love story with no silly or forced angst, no love triangles, and realistic, heart warming characters, then you should really give Time Between Us a chance. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

“Time is the longest distance between two places.”