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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

New Release: Hopeless Vows by Rachael Duncan

Title: Hopeless Vows 
Author: Rachael Duncan
Genre: Contemporary Romance Standalone
Release Date: February 22, 2016 Photographer: Perrywinkle Photography
Cover Designer: Cover Me Darling

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.


The story of Jillian and Austin is based on a reality TV show, where two couples agree to get married, stay married for at least 8 weeks, without having met. When Jillian signs up to participate and the day arrives to walk down the aisle, it's clear to the reader that Jillian knows him, although we are not privy to why or what happened in the past. Both of them are mutually attracted to each other from the start, but Jillian keeps telling herself that once the 8 weeks are up, she will have to leave him. Austin talks about a future with her.

"It's crazy since we've only known each other a month, but I've never felt this way before. No woman has ever had me so captivated, wanting to give my whole self to them, but I do with you." 
Jillian's "best friend" is someone I disliked from the beginning. Some of her comments made me raise my eyebrows thinking really, would your best friend say something like that?? And then let's throw in Chloe, a woman from Austin's past to really shake things up.

As their 8 weeks progress, both Jillian and Austin seem to be falling more for each other.

The longer this experiment goes on, the more I fall for him, and the more the deceit eats at me. When I lie awake some nights, it crawls up my body, tickling my skin, reminding me that underneath, I'm a horrible human being. Deceitful. Cowardly. Manipulative. Selfish. All negative adjectives, and all describe me.

And then the book blows up and you discover what her past is, as does Austin. I felt awful for Jillian as she really wasn't to blame, but the wrath of Austin was like a slap in my face. From here on out, it's a roller coaster of a read and one I loved!! I would highly recommend.

I received this copy in exchange for my honest review.

~ Stephanie, WTMO Reviewer ~


Lately I have been watching Married at First Sight, so when I saw this book I was all about reading it and boy am I glad! This is the first book by Rachael Duncan’s that I’ve read and it is a good place to start. I thought I knew what was going on, thought I had pieced the puzzle together, but I had NO idea. Ms. Duncan is very good with the plot twist, very good indeed. This book is sexy, intriguing, unpredictable, and a damn good read. Hold on tight, it’s a wee bit bumpy, but well worth the ride. I give this book 5 stars and highly recommend it.

~ Donna, WTMO Reviewer ~


This storyline is intriguing. I think most of us have a morbid fascination with TV reality shows. The more outrageous and jaw dropping the better. This has to be the ultimate in reality show matchmaking. Jillian and Austin are matched by the experts as perfect partners to be married in a social experiment where two strangers agree to marry for eight weeks then must decide whether to stay together or divorce. Also to be followed and filmed by a camera crew for fourteen hours a day.

Both Jillian and Austin have suffered horrific tragedies in their pasts though neither could have foreseen how the past can destroy you years later. Jillian realizes as soon as she walks down the aisle that her secret cannot be revealed to Austin. She tries not to get too involved with Austin but they both are falling for each other. Sparks fly with sexual attraction. Austin feels he has found the one for him but knows Jillian is hiding something. Can their relationship survive the twists and bombshells that are dropped. Lies and betrayal cause devastation. Both Jillian and Austin must face the demons from their pasts before all hope for a future together is lost. There are many twists and turns to this story which are unexpected. I was caught up from the start. From the first page I wanted to read more. The characters are very appealing too. You want to cheer them on or give them a shake at others. I really enjoyed this tale and will be looking out for more books by this author. I was given an ARC of this book in return for an honest review on behalf of WTMO Bloggers.

~ Helen, WTMO Reviewer ~

"This is the first book I've read by Rachael Duncan, but it won't be my last. I absolutely loved this book from start to finish." - A.M. Madden, Amazon and Barnes & Noble Best Selling Romance Author
"I can't rate Hopeless Vows high enough and I honestly feel like this will be Rachael's breakthrough novel that will take her places and have her name known all around this community. Brilliant job!" -Swoon Worthy Book Blog
"I haven't had a book hangover in so long and after reading Hopeless Vows, I did. This book is beyond good." -Joanne Schwehm, author of the Prescott Series
"What did I think? I'm honestly not sure I can convey what I think right now. I feel like no matter what words I put down that it won't do this book justice." - Books, Chocolate, and Lipgloss
"Jillian and Austin literally sizzled on the pages. The chemistry was palpable. The characters were well-developed and the plot was so much more than I thought it would be." -Casey L. Bond, author of The Sin Series
"I love the way her writing balances sexiness, humor and hurt, and I find myself able to relate to her characters, no matter how outlandish or unconventional their circumstances." -Give Me Books
"As an author, it's hard for me to find a book that is unpredictable for me. Usually, I can see twists and turns coming from a mile away, but Rachael had a couple for me I never saw coming." -JB McGee, Best Selling Author
The longer this experiment goes on, the more I fall for him, and the more the deceit eats at me. When I lie awake some nights, it crawls up my body, tickling my skin, reminding me that underneath, I’m a horrible human being. Deceitful. Cowardly. Manipulative. Selfish. All negative adjectives, and all describe me. He’ll never find out, taunts an inner voice. What’s worse is that it also tells me it’s okay to keep this from him. That the two of us can live out this fantasy unscathed and content. As delusional as my inner voice is, I find myself clinging to it like a leech, feasting on the lie.

Rachael Duncan is an Army wife to her amazing husband, Steven, and mother to their beautiful daughters, Natalie and Zoe. She grew up in Nashville, Tennessee and went off to graduate from the University of Tennessee with a bachelor's degree in political science. With initial plans to work in politics, she moved to Washington, D.C. and worked on Capitol Hill for a House Representative. After a short time, she realized it wasn't for her and began pursuing other careers until she started writing. She's author of Tackled by Love and The Lies and Truth Duet.


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