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Review Tour: Fair Game by Monica Murphy {Review+Giveaway}

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Welcome to my stop on the Fair Game review tour hosted by Wordsmith Publicity!
Today I am excited to share my review, as well as a giveaway with you all!

Fair Game (The Rules #1)
   by: Monica Murphy

Publication Date: May 12, 2015
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: New Adult
Source: e-ARC provided via Wordsmith Publicity in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Page Count: 315 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo
My Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Bad enough Jade Frost’s boyfriend drags her to a boring poker game. Even worse that he actually threw her into the betting pot during an intense round…and lost. Talk about the perfect excuse for Jade to make him her ex-boyfriend.

Now she supposedly belongs to the ultra rich, extremely gorgeous Shep Prescott. He could have anything he wants yet he seems to be in hot pursuit of her. No matter how rude, how snarky, how impossible she acts, it doesn’t stop him. More like her horrible behavior seems to make him want her more.

When she finds herself starting to fall for him, Jade’s confused. There’s more to Shep than the carefree rich charmer he portrays. No way could he want a serious relationship with her…or could he?

Having been a huge fan of Monica's Drew+Fable series, I was excited to see her idea for her latest contemporary college-set series. The series revolves around Shep (the male lead in this book), his cousin Tristan, and their friend Gabe- all wealthy, extremely attractive men who play by a certain set of rules when it comes to women. They don't do relationships, they don't form attachments. Each has their own set of reasons- Shep has had the example of his parents who are superficial and in a complete loveless marriage and Gabe just wants to have fun, before the figurative noose around his neck tightens after graduation- because with freedom comes responsibilities and Gabe has quite a bit of those. I couldn't really get a read on Tristan, however. At first he seemed like a big heartless douche, but I didn't find myself hating him in the end. Naturally, this series will follow these guys and the girls that manage to change their player ways.
Here we have Jade, a red-haired girl who just happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Having been dragged by her boyfriend to an illegal poker game, run by Shep and his boys, she finds herself in quite the situation as Shep bets on her... and wins. She is obviously angry about being treated that way and even more so that her so-called boyfriend didn't stop it from happening. I wasn't sure I was going to like Jade at first because she came off as a bit too abrasive. I am a big fan of enemies to lovers stories, but for some reason this one wasn't working for me initially. I struggled to find the connection between the two and I wasn't warming up to either Shep or Jade. However, I did find my stride about midway through the book and my feelings started to change. I ended up really liking Jade and I definitely understand her hesitation about getting involved with one of the most gorgeous guys on campus. Shep really had to go above and beyond to prove himself and that he wasn't just out for another hook up.
I ended up loving Shep by the end. In the beginning, it was all about the chase, the challenge, but by the end it was something completely more. The appeal of other women and hooking up just dissipates, especially when he can't get Jade off his mind. He does have his moments where he definitely plays the douche card, but overall he ended up being a good guy who wasn't afraid to stand up for her.
Murphy does such a great job at writing the romantic scenes and I definitely felt they were a win in this book as well. Even though I had a little trouble buying into their romance at first, I definitely felt it full force as the book progressed. I love that she incorporated so much kissing too. I feel like sometimes books forget the power of a really great kissing scene by jumping straight into sex.
Overall, I did enjoy this one and I will be looking forward to reading Gabe's story next, especially now that Shep has paved the way into relationship zone and throwing out the 'rules'.


Stuck spending the summer with his screwed up family, Gabriel Walker is bored out of his mind and looking for an adventure. And he seems to find it with the hot girl who lives next door. The attraction between them is instant. Electric. Soon they’re spending every stolen minute together. Talk about the perfect summer fling…

Lucy isn’t what she seems. She doesn’t live next door—she’s the maid who’s been hired to house sit for the summer while the family goes on a worldwide vacation. If Gabe wants to believe she’s a spoiled rich girl looking for some fun, she can go along with that. After the summer, she’ll never see him again.

They don’t count on running into each other at college. Now Lucy must keep up the pretense of being a rich girl—and it’s exhausting. She knows she’s falling in love with Gabe and she’s scared he feels the same. Will he still care about her when he discovers the truth?

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Newly broke girl Alexandria Asher just wants to live a normal life. After her parents are sent to prison on embezzlement charges, she enrolls in college under her mother’s maiden name and tries her best to pretend she’s someone else.

Tristan Chadwick is everything Alex is trying to avoid. A seemingly egotistical, lazy, rich jerk, she dumps her beer on his head when he comes on to her one night at a party. This only spurs Tristan into action. He loves nothing more than a challenge. And the beautiful Alex is exactly the type of challenge that intrigues him.

Despite her reluctance, Alex finds herself quickly involved with Tristan. Underneath that playboy exterior is a good guy, a sweet and sexy guy who she is undoubtedly falling for. What they both don’t realize is the actions of Alex’s parents are the reason for so much tragedy in Tristan’s family. And when Tristan discovers who Alex and her family really is, can he forgive and forget?

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New York Times, USA Today and international bestselling author Monica Murphy is a native Californian who lives in the foothills below Yosemite with her husband and three children. She's a workaholic who loves her job. When she's not busy writing, she also loves to read and travel with her family. She writes new adult and contemporary romance and is published with Bantam and Avon. She also writes romance as USA Today bestselling author Karen Erickson.

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  1. I really liked this one too. Glad you enjoyed it as well. I ended up liking Shep too, but Tristan...not so much! I can't wait to see what Monica does with his story because he really bugged me in this one.

    Great Review!

    Michelle @ Book Briefs

  2. YES! There needs to be more kissing in books! :)
    I'm glad you wound up enjoying this one overall, Jess. I think I'd struggle with the characters a little bit too from your description of them. I'm going to think before reading this one since I'm not really into NA at the moment but you know I love a good enemies to lovers romance. Those are always so much fun.
    Great review, Jess!

  3. Ohhh that is a crazy premise but I can definitely see why you would struggle with it in the beginning... it would take a while for me to get over the fact that he bet on her. Great review!

  4. I really enjoyed Fair Game, and glad that you liked it overall. I'm excited to get to Gabe and Tristan's stories!!! I have to agree with you on loving all of the kissing scenes. I agree authors at times jump in to the sex scenes too soon. Great Review Jess!

    Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

  5. Eh, I hate to say it but I don't think that this author is for me anymore. Which sucks since I loved One Week Girlfriend :(
    I just find these kind of plots so unreal, who bets their girlfriends? Glad you liked this one!

  6. I definitely enjoyed Fair Game. I, like you, struggled for a little while with Shep's character though. I wasn't sure I would ever end up really liking him, but I did. I'm actually surprised I liked it as much as I did because of the whole "betting your girlfriend away" setup. It raised my feminist hackles initially, but I enjoyed what Monica did with the story.

    Great review! I'm absolutely looking forward to Gabe's story!


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