Friday Favorites: Love Gone Wild & The Wedding Game by Amy Matayo


Friday Favorites is a weekly meme hosted here, that spotlights a favorite author, book, series, publisher, cover, blog, etc. Basically whatever bookish thing that you love, recommend, and want to tell others about. Just pick one and link up to my post each Friday to share. You can use the graphic I used above, the other one here, or your own.

I've been in a romantic mood lately and I really enjoyed these two books. There was plenty of romantic tension, humor, sweet moments, witty dialogue, heartache, engaging plots, characters I loved, and a great writing style. I've seen some reviews that weren't as positive and there are a few typos and mistakes (although especially for being self-published I would say these are very well done), but I still loved these stories and would definitely recommend them to romance lovers!

Love Gone Wild (Reality Show)Love Gone Wild
(Reality #2)
by Amy Matayo
Adult Romance
Paperback264 Pages
March 14th 2014 by Amy Matayo                  

Summary

Anna Lloyd’s life has been completely mapped out. As the daughter of a wealthy political family, she’s cultured, beautiful, dating her town’s most eligible bachelor, and is the perfect asset to her parent’s life in Chicago politics. So why is Anna unhappy? And why—when her boyfriend claims she’s nothing but a pampered socialite—does she do something as stupid as audition for an Alaskan survival show just to prove him wrong?

Jay Maddox wants one last chance at fun. After a lifetime of being responsible for siblings, mortgages, and a dysfunctional mother, he’s ready for a change. So when an opportunity to spend thirty days in Alaska with nothing but nature and nine other strangers comes along, he signs up. He’s young, loves a challenge, and winning comes with money—money that Jay could really use to get ahead in life. 

But when everyone arrives in Alaska to begin taping the show, the producers make a decision that throws everything into chaos and ruins Anna’s plan to prove herself. Now Jay and Anna are alone in the wilderness and forced into a partnership neither one expected. Just as they begin to care for each other and push for a win, they realize the game isn’t what it seems. Will the show’s outcome bring Jay and Anna together at last or ultimately be game over for the life they’ve always wanted?
 

My Review

I loved reading Love Gone Wild! I just crave a good Adult Romance once in a while and this definitely worked for me. There were lots of snarky dialogue that cracked me up, lots of sweet meaningful moments, some serious romantic tension, some heart-wrenching moments, characters I could get behind and cheer on, and a plot that kept things moving and engaged me.

I was rather skeptical at first about the two main characters, Anna and Jay, winning this whole ordeal and being the winners of their Alaskan survival reality show. As the story progressed, though, and hints were dropped here and there I began to see how things were going to work out. There was only one spot where they are trapped in a cave and the story skipped a little so that I really don't know how they got out that I questioned, but the rest of it worked for me. I've watched enough Survivor and Bear Grills to understand the reality show and camera work and such. There were some pretty terrifying moments for these characters where I really wasn't sure if they were going to make it.

You know how some books just go from event to event and there isn't even all that much dialogue, just a lot of page turning? Well, there is page turning in this book because some things are happening, but mostly I turned pages because the dialogue was so fun. It's really what made this book so great: the dialogue between Anna and Jay as well as their characters. I really loved Anna! I really wanted her to stand up for herself and take the chance she was being given. I loved how quick and smart she was and her fierce determination. I loved how she quoted movies all the time and played this game with Jay to see if he knew what she was quoting. Then Jay had his own game called "spill it" that was ongoing through their whole survival journey. He was such a good guy. He would make comments, tease, and flirt, but he was also a gentleman and saved Anna numerous times. He also really took a leap in putting his heart out there.

I still feel somewhat upset about Anna's parents and boyfriend and a choice that Anna makes towards the end. It just really galls me what some people will do for for their own selfish endeavors. I have to say that this huge contrast between characters really added to the story though. It just gave quite a contrast between characters, but at the same time made me want to yell at them or shake them. There were some rather painful moments that Ana had to deal with.

I would recommend Love Gone Wild to anyone who enjoys reading a good romance. I definitely can't wait to see what Amy writes next!!

Content: Clean (There is quite a bit of innuendo, but I would still consider this clean for the genre.)

Source: Purchased


The Wedding Game
The Wedding Game
(Reality #1)
by Amy Matayo
Adult Romance
Paperback280 Pages
November 16th 2013 by Createspace                  

Summary

Cannon James has a plan: Sign on as a contestant for his father’s new reality show, marry a blonde hand-picked by the producers, and walk away two million dollars richer. It’s all been arranged. Easy. Clean. No regrets. Until Ellie McAllister ruins everything by winning the viewer’s vote. Now he has to convince America that he’s head over heels in love with her. Not easy to do since she’s a walking disaster. Ellie McAllister has her own problems. She needs money, and she needs it now. Despite her parent’s objections and her belief that marriage is sacred, she signs on to The Wedding Game…and wins. Now she’s married to a guy she can’t stand, and if she wants her hands on the money, she has six months to make voters believe she loves him. Not easy to do since he’s the most arrogant man in America. It doesn’t take long for Ellie and Cannon to realize they’ve made a mess of things…even less time for their feelings for one another to change. But is it too late for them? More importantly, can the worst decision they've ever made actually become one of the best?
 

My Review

I can't remember how I ran across this author, but I'm really glad that I did! She is a great new voice in Adult/Inspirational Romance! There is plenty of romantic tension, but she keeps it clean and I really appreciate that!

If you love watching The Bachelor or any run-off shows then this is the book for you!! I actually don't watch those, but I have read a slue of those types of books. They are rather fun because it puts these characters in difficult, but interesting settings. They're in a commercial setting, but spending that much time with someone and leaving without ever learning to care for them would be really hard to do. It's rather comical how Cannon and Ellie start of their relationship. Cannon is excessively rude and Ellie doesn't lay down, but shoves it right back at him. They pretty much hate each other at the beginning of their marriage, which is definitely not the way to go.

I really loved quite a bit of the banter between Cannon and Ellie. Cannon was really quite arrogant and rude and it took me a while to like him. He eventually comes around and redeems himself, but he definitely takes awhile. Although, I did enjoy seeing how he matured and changed. Ellie, I loved! I loved how much she challenged him and just her personality overall. She's this sassy, smart, gorgeous gal with a great work ethic and a fabulous family that she loves.

I was pulled into the story right away and never lost interest. Even at points when I thought everything was going to work out and the tension was low, there would be a twist or something would happen and conflict would rise right back up. One thing I think this author does really well is connecting her characters with readers. I felt emotional about Ellie and the situation. The story just pulled me in and I felt all the highs and lows and got behind these two. I really wanted things to turn out well. I also loved how Ellie's faith in things and God affected her actions.

I would definitely recommend The Wedding Game to those who enjoy those type of Bachelor shows and reading romance.


Content: Clean (There is quite a bit of innuendo and some closed-door scenes - they are married - but I would definitely consider this clean for the genre.)

Source: Purchased


Amy Matayo, the author, was extremely generous and is giving away two ebooks of Love Gone Wild!!! You can enter below.

About the Author

Amy Matayo graduated from John Brown University with a degree in Journalism. Afterwards, she went to work at DaySpring Cards, where she worked for seven years. After the birth of her first child, she became a freelance writer for David C. Cook before pursuing novel writing full time. The Wedding Game won the 2012 ACFW Genesis award and is her first novel. Her second in the series—Love Gone Wild—releases March 1, 2014.

As the mother of four children with a husband immersed in political life, Amy has very little free time, preferring to spend that time enjoying intellectual pursuits such as: watching television with her feet propped up, watching movies with a bucket of popcorn, and watching her laundry pile high—with no desire to do anything about it.



Giveaway

- 2 ebooks of Love Gone Wild (Mobi or PDF)
- Ends April 28th

Please note that you must be at least 13 years old to enter. Please ensure that you correctly enter your email (and check your junk mail folder if I'm not on your contact list) so that I have a way to contact you. You can read my giveaway policy on my policies page. Void where prohibited by law. Enter via the Rafflecopter below.

17 comments

  1. Well they both sound great. Thanks for sharing :)

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  2. I am always up for a good romance and it sounds like these two are both ones that are worth checking out.

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  3. Check out my Friday Fav's here: www.becomingbooks.org/2014/04/friday-favorites-bookish-music-ya-on-ig.html


    Love Gone Wild Sounds like a good read!

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  4. I'm currently reading Love Gone Wild and am enjoying it so much! I loved The Wedding Game!

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  5. These books look amazing. I can't believe I've never heard of them or Amy Matayo before now.

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  6. These sound like really good books. I love that we live in a world now where there are so many fab self-published books to read. :)

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  7. They definitely met my craving. :)

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  8. I'm so glad! I think they're just great chick-lit! :D

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  9. There was enough sizzle, but still clean. I think you may like them.

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  10. It was my favorite of the two. She definitely lets her characters make mistakes, but that also makes them human.

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  11. Well, definitely check them out!!!

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  12. Yes, I agree! I think that authors are realizing that they can be self-published and still get an editor and have great covers. All that stuff is at everyone's fingertips, where it used not to be.

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  13. You always find great romance books! It is nice to see clean ones out there.

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  14. These were both great, but they are Adult, so there is some subject matter that is also, but still clean.

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  15. Yes! A glowing review. Won Love Gone Wild in Amy's giveaway so I'm VERY eager for it to arrive in my mailbox as I've heard lovely things. Like you, it's great to read a good adult romance now and again, and it sounds like this one is a keeper. :)

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  16. I know it pushes that clean line slightly with Jay's thoughts (he is a guy), but it was such a fun read overall. I hope you like it!

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