Review: Wait For It by @MollyOKwrites

WAIT FOR IT
Series: Everything I Left Unsaid #4
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Molly O’Keefe
Release Date: February 28, 2017

In a blistering novel of raw emotion and desire, a tormented woman teaches an alpha male that money can’t fix everything . . . but love can.

Tiffany : After fighting for a new life, I don’t want to play the victim anymore. However, with three kids to raise, I’m getting desperate enough to make a deal with the devil. My estranged brother-in-law, Blake, says he just wants to help, but he’s been trouble since I met him. I don’t know if I can believe this kinder, gentler Blake, and there’s a friction between us that has turned into the sweetest chemistry. He could be my salvation . . . or my downfall.

Blake : I haven’t always had Tiffany’s best interests at heart but I’m ready to make up for my sins. Besides, I can’t help admiring her: The girl’s a genuine survivor, tough and lean, with eyes of steel. But the more I get to know Tiffany, the more I want her. Every inch of her. Which means I’m about to make a bad situation a hell of a lot worse.

AMAZON | iBOOKS

I wanted her. Every bit of her. And every thorn between us. I wanted the sharp corners and the deep shadows.

Ever since Blake first hit my radar in The Truth About Him I’ve been itching to get my hands on his story. It’s no secret that I’m a sucker for the assholes, and let’s be frank, there’s no other word better to describe the man. He’s cold, ruthless, and will spare nothing and no one to get what he wants.

While you could technically read this book as a standalone, I wouldn’t recommend it. The author does an incredible job giving the reader plenty of backstory that you wouldn’t be lost, however, the intricacies of these characters that was slowly developed as the series progressed would be lost on you. I just don’t think you’d have the same appreciation for who they are and what they’ve been through without at lease reading the first two books.

Tiffany was a woman I didn’t click with until this book. While a part of me felt sorry for her and her situation, her actions at times made her easy to dislike. But somewhere beneath that loathing and pity, there was also a small beacon of hope that this is a woman that’s hiding her deeper layers, and boy did I get them here.

He stood there with the street lights throwing an icy light across him. He was beautiful. In a perfectly cold way.

Having survived an abusive marriage and having no one to turn to for help has turned her into a shell of the woman she once was. But even though she’s frail, she’s no where near broken. And when her husband’s estranged brother questions her morality and the paternity of their kids, she doesn’t hesitate to give as good as she gets.

To say that these two get off to a rocky start would be an understatement.

And I deserved both. Her want and her hate. It was the currency I’d dealt with. It was the currency I’d created. Because I could not figure out what to do with anything else.

Molly O’Keefe is a master of serving her readers up with characters that are almost irreparably broken and twining it all around a raw emotion that’s so gripping, it’s as riveting as it is heart rending. She really brought her A game with the story of Blake and Tiffany.

These two are as far from perfect as it gets. Both have a troubled past and demons that they hide from. They should be toxic together, and yet, there’s something about their individual broken pieces that almost…just barely…makes something whole.

I kissed her like she was the solution. My solution. Like she was everything I needed. And right now that was the truth. And I longed with my naked soul to be her solution.

Their means of getting together aren’t exactly orthodox, but knowing their backstories, it also made a certain kind of sense.

This is not a story of black and white, it was somewhere deep in the gray and it certainly wasn’t a light hearted read. It was painful, emotional, raw, gritty, everything I’ve come to expect from this amazingly talented author.

Wrapped in all of that was a sexual chemistry that was so hot, it was damn near explosive.

I can’t wait to fuck you,” he said. “I can’t wait to put my cock inside this hot greedy little body. I can’t wait to feel every inch of you against me, your pussy milking my cock until I can’t give you any more. I want you to scream and bite and claw. I want you to come so hard it hurts.”

There’s so much depth to both of these characters and their story is one of many layers that at first shouldn’t make sense, but yet, they do. It’s a story that may not click with every reader, but it definitely did with this one.

I would have loved for the hate lust between them to last longer, but that’s because I’m a glutton for punishment and loves me some angst.

If you’re looking for a romance full of raw emotion and sexual chemistry, this is one series you need to check out. I’ve been waiting a long time for Blake and Tiffany’s story, and I can say it was very much worth the wait.


READ THE REST OF THE SERIES

EVERYTHING I LEFT UNSAID 
Purchase | Read My Review

THE TRUTH ABOUT HIM
Purchase | Read My Review

BURN DOWN THE NIGHT
Purchase | Read My Review

Review: Twisted Palace by Erin Watt

review-twisted-palaceBROKEN PRINCE
Series: The Royals #3
Genre: NA/YA Romance
Author: Erin Watt
Release Date: October 17, 2016add-to-goodreads-button-2

twisted-palace

These Royals will ruin you…

From mortal enemies to unexpected allies, two teenagers try to protect everything that matters most.

Ella Harper has met every challenge that life has thrown her way. She’s tough, resilient, and willing to do whatever it takes to defend the people she loves, but the challenge of a long-lost father and a boyfriend whose life is on the line might be too much for even Ella to overcome.

Reed Royal has a quick temper and even faster fists. But his tendency to meet every obstacle with violence has finally caught up with him. If he wants to save himself and the girl he loves, he’ll need to rise above his tortured past and tarnished reputation.

No one believes Ella can survive the Royals. Everyone is sure Reed will destroy them all.
They may be right.

With everything and everyone conspiring to keep them apart, Ella and Reed must find a way to beat the law, save their families, and unravel all the secrets in their Twisted Palace.

Buy LinksAMAZON | iBOOKS

Review-DGR3.5 stars

The royals are like the apple in the fairy tale. Golden on the outside, but rotten to the core.

Well…damn. Color me conflicted. I struggled with my rating for two days after finishing it. Because see, the thing is, I’m freaking conflicted! Am I even making sense here? Of course I’m not! Because I’m conflicted I tells ya! Bah. Just bah.

To say that I’ve been anticipating this book as much as a virgin’s first orgasm would be an understatement. What? Is that not a saying? Well it should be. You get what I’m saying here, right? I. Needed. It. Erin Watt has been teasing us mercilessly for months. Ever since I finished Paper Princess, I’ve been practically foaming at the mouth for this conclusion. That book was my catnip. Teenage angst and drama mixed with enough sexual tension to make even a nun frustrated. What? Is that not a saying either?

In some small corner of my brain that is now in control, I feel like if I love him hard enough, long enough, I can keep him with me forever.

Basically, I’ve been building up the conclusion in my head for months. But in order to do the book and myself justice, I went in with zero expectations. Like none. Will I love it? I don’t know. Will I hate it? I don’t know. I left it all to the fates and jumped right in…

Loving Ella is one of the best things I’ve done in my short life.

So how do you make all of the teenage drama even more extreme? Throw in a murder mystery into the mix. It was basically like Gossip Girl meets Cruel Intentions meets Pretty Little Liars. Craziness ensues. But if you’ve read the previous books, this is nothing new.

I highly enjoyed the first 80% of the story. I loved Reed, I loved Easton, I wanted to throttle Dinah and punch Jordan in both ovaries. Nothing new. I was still just as invested in Reed and Ella finally doing it…I mean…their relationship. What? You get teased for two books and tell me your ovaries don’t turn blue. Quit judging.

Reed’s not the destroyer. He’s never destroyed anything in his life; he’s always been the protector, even at this moment when he battles his own lust for control.

Quit the battle and just give in, Reed! Be like Nike and JUST DO IT!

But I digress. This book was a solid 4 stars for me. Even with all the murder mystery and additional drama added to the mix, it was still a page turner. And then that ending happened…

Of all the crazy drama twists that can happen, I think that ending put most soap operas to shame.
It was so over the top, it was so crazy, that it totally killed everything for me. Le sigh. Don’t get me wrong, it certainly didn’t discount the fact that I enjoyed the majority of this book, because I totally did, but c’mon! Perhaps the argument can be that with the way the series progressed it’s only fair to make it finish out with this crazy bang, but I’m not of that mind. It was simply too OTT for my tastes.

Do I still consider this series to be one of my favorites? Absolutely! Do I wish it ended a little different? Sure. But that’s not to say I didn’t enjoy this crazy ride. Paper Princess is still one of my top reads of the year. Am I let down with the conclusion? Not really. Aside from the crazy drama of that ending, I still read it in one sitting. Am I still foaming at the mouth for more Royal brothers? ABSO-FUCKING-LUTELY!!

Ella Harper is all I’m ever going to see, because she’s my future. She’s my steel and my fire and my salvation. She’s my everything.


THE ROYALS TRILOGY 

PAPER PRINCESS
AMAZON | MY REVIEW

BROKEN PRINCE
AMAZON | MY REVIEW

Change Of Heart by Nicole Jacquelyn

Review-Change of HeartCHANGE OF HEART
Series: Unbreak My Heart #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Nicole Jacquelyn
Release Date: September 6, 2016add-to-goodreads-button-2

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They’ve spent their lives pushing each other away, but what will happen when they need each other most?

Anita Martin doesn’t expect much from life. Growing up on the street, bouncing from one foster home to another, she learned to rely only on herself. Even after she finally found a loving family to take her in, she was still an outsider-something Abraham, one of the family’s older sons, never let her forget.

Abraham Evans doesn’t know how Ani always manages to get under his skin, only that’s she’s been doing it since they were teens. She is-and always has been-undeniably gorgeous. But he’s never met anyone as pissed off at the world as Ani.

For fifteen years, Ani and Bram have agreed on exactly one thing: they can’t stand each other-until one night when their anger gives way to passion. Yet even as Ani and Bram begin to secretly seek comfort in one another’s arms, they remain emotionally worlds apart. When Ani’s life takes a dramatic turn and she realizes she needs more than Bram can give, their fragile, no-strings relationship unravels. One way or another, Ani is determined to survive. But when Bram finally admits his true feelings, he may discover Ani has moved on without him . . .

Buy LinksAMAZON | iBOOKS | B&N | KOBOReview-DGR4.5 starschange of heart-DGR teaser

You’re such a fucking pain in the ass,” Bram gasped, pressing against me as he kissed me hard. “Maybe if I just keep your mouth occupied…”
“Shut up,” I bitched, letting go of his back with one hand so I could grip his hair.

There’s something about this series that is entirely too addicting for me. I’m not even kidding; I’ll start the book, blink, and the next thing I know, I’m done. I devoured Unbreak My Heart in one sitting, and I’m thrilled to have a repeat offender with Change of Heart. Nicole Jacquelyn has brought her A game and delivers yet another sensual and angsty romance that will hit the readers straight in the feels. I’m talking make you rage then lust then rage all over again, only to make you swoon like a victorian maiden at the end. I tell you, it just doesn’t get better than this. And you all know that I love me some angst. And with that, this series has become my go-to must read.

I couldn’t tell if I should be dancing a jig or crying into a beer over the fact that I’d just had the best sex of my life in the back of a Toyota 4Runner with my foster sister.

As long time foster siblings, Ani and Bram’s relationship has been antagonistic at best. It’s a mixture of subtle lust covered by layers of snark, sarcasm and insults to the point where you’re just waiting for that final insult before they tear each other’s clothes off.

I loved Ani’s snarky spitfire ways. This is a girl that hides her insecurities well behind her smart mouth, and so you can’t help but feel for her. Bram can be a straight out asshole to her, but beneath his thinly veiled insults, there’s an insecurity he desperately tries to keep hidden.

I have to admit that while I absolutely loved Bram and his protective big brother act in Unbreak My Heart, I couldn’t wait for the man to be brought to his knees by a woman. He talks a big game, but you know what they say about those. Bram is stubborn, thick headed, and doesn’t think twice before throwing insults. But where in the first book you felt like you wanted to throttle Shane, Bram didn’t quite reach that level of douchebagery. There was always something so questioningly endearing to him. You want to hate him for some of the decisions he makes, and yet for some inexplicable reason, you just can’t.

For less than an hour, I’d forgotten what a bitch she was, but within minutes of getting her off, I remembered exactly why I couldn’t stand her.”

While there’s quite a bit of back and forth between these two, it wasn’t as dramatic as the first book. The angst is well balanced and the tension slowly develops and slowly dissipates. There are even bouts of well placed humor to ease some of the angst and does so flawlessly.

Stop,” he blurted, his gaze roaming up and down my nakedness. “I think I’m having an out-of-body experience.”
“Shut up.”
“You’re bringing me sandwiches. Naked. You might be the perfect woman.”
“These sandwiches are mine, fuckface. Feed yourself,” I replied as I climbed onto the bed.
“And the fantasy is gone,” he replied sadly.”

This was an amazing addition to what’s now become one of my favorite series. I’m already twitching for more and can only hope that Trevor will be next. Sure it packs quite a few heavy punches to the feels, but that’s exactly what I’ve come to love about these books…and the angst, of course. Can’t forget angst. Did I mention I love me some angst?

If you loved the first book, you’ll definitely love this one. And if you were over-angsted in the first book, then you might enjoy this one more. Basically, what I’m getting at here is you NEED TO READ THIS BOOK.


UNBREAK MY HEART (UNBREAK MY HEART #1) – My Review

★DGR’S Ultimate List of Angsty Romance★

DGR-Ultimate list of angst

Let’s talk angst.
angst
äNG(k)st/
noun
  1. a feeling of deep anxiety or dread, typically an unfocused one about the human condition or the state of the world in general.
    “adolescent angst”

ANGST just so happens to be pure catnip for this reader. I gobble it up like the starved addict that I am, and love every hair pulling second of it. If a book can make me feel like I want to throttle someone, scream at the ceiling and rip my hair out by the roots, I know I got myself a winner. What? Like you don’t have your vices? Sheesh. Judgy much?

This month you all voted for my Ultimate List of Angsty Romance, and that’s what I’m giving you. Fair warning, this will quite possibly be my longest list ever! We always chat about these lists in my FB group, so if you haven’t yet, join in on the inappropriate fun  HERE.

Since this list will be ridiculously long if I let it, I decided to limit my choices to the uber angsty book picks. These are some of my all time favorites and my go-to recs.

And if you’re new to my blog, this a monthly feature I do on the last Saturday of each month! Check out the previous features here:

★ULTIMATE LIST OF DIRTY TALKERS★

★ULTIMATE LIST OF ROCK STARS★

★ULTIMATE LIST OF FIGHTERS★

★ULTIMATE LIST OF ANTI-HEROES★

★ULTIMATE LIST OF HATE TO LOVE ROMANCE★

★ULTIMATE LIST OF SECOND CHANCE ROMANCE★

★ULTIMATE LIST OF MAFIA ROMANCE★

As always, I’d love to hear from you all in comments if you don’t see one of your favorites listed. You know I love me some book recs 😉

You’ll notice I’ll list some of these by author because I loved several of their books, some I’ll list by series, and some will be simply individual books. Now let’s do this thing!


THOUGHTLESS by S.C. Stephens
GOODREADS | AMAZON

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“What if I don’t choose you, Kellan? What will you do?”
He looked away, a tear rolling down his cheek. “I’ll leave, Kiera. I’ll leave, and you and Denny can have your happily ever after.” He looked back at me. “You wouldn’t even need to tell him about me. Eventually, the two of you…” his voice broke and another tear fell on his cheek, “the two of you would get married, and have children, and have a great life.”
I fought back a sob. “And you? What happens to you in that scenario?”
“I…get by. And I miss you, every day,” he whispered.”

Sweet mother of hair pulling, wanting to run the heroine over with my car, while rocking myself in a corner somewhere ANGST. GAH! GAH I tells ya! This freaking book. I don’t know how I even survived it. It put me off life triangles for years. And yet when I think of angst, this is the first one that pops into my head. Clearly it left an impression. And let’s be real here for a hot second, because it just doesn’t get much better than Kellan fucking Kyle *pervy sigh*

THE THOUGHTLESS SERIES
THOUGHTLESS | EFFORTLESS | RECKLESS | THOUGHTFUL | UNTAMED 


TRISTAN & DANIKA trilogy by R.K. Lilley
GOODREADS | AMAZON

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I knew we were going to be a dangerous combination. Bad things were going to happen if we spent too much time around each other.

First I read book one, and thought, well this isn’t so bad. Then I read book two and thought I’d been hit with a two by four full of feels, and then I barely BARELY survived book three because holy hell!!! I LOVED this trilogy. Absolutely loved it. It spans years and had one of the most memorable love stories I’ve read. The angst was in apoplectic proportions and I loved every single painful second of it. It was utterly delicious!

I convinced myself that it had all been passion, not true love.  True love was a myth, a misdirection from the solid things in life.  What I’d felt for Tristan had been big and all consuming, but I told myself, like a mantra in my head, that it had never been solid.   Even so, every little thing brought him to mind.  We’d had too much together, been through too much, felt too much, and every feeling had a memory.

THE TRISTAN & DANIKA SERIES
BAD THINGS | ROCK BOTTOM | LOVELY TRIGGER


CAROLINE & WEST duet by Robin York
GOODREADS | AMAZON

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I want you, and I don’t know how to stop wanting you. I want to get deep inside you, and then deeper, until I’m so deep I don’t even know what’s me anymore and what’s you.

What’s better than angst? New Adult kind of angst. Yum yum yum. This is one of my all time favorite duets. These books took me through the emotional wringer and I don’t regret it even a little. I adored the heroine and I loved to hate the hero. But who am I even kidding? I mostly loved him even when I wanted to hate him!

“I could tell you how much I’m hurting, or I could get out of the car, slam the door, hitchhike to the airport because fuck you, fuck you, West, how could you do this to me? How?

What I can’t do is pretend I don’t know what you did,” I say. “Or pretend I don’t still care about you.”

THE CAROLINE & WEST DUET
DEEPER | HARDER


BULLY by Penelope Douglas
GOODREADS | AMAZON

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“You were my tempest, my thunder cloud, my tree in the downpour. I loved all of those things, and I loved you. But now? You’re a fucking drought. I thought that all the assholes drove German cars, but it turns out that pricks in Mustangs can still leave scars.”

If you haven’t at least heard of this phenomenal series, odds are you’ve been living under a rock. Well climb on out from under there my friend, because you are seriously missing out. This is easily of my top favorite NA series and the angst is utterly delicious. I have a motto when it comes to books by Penelope Douglas; she writes them, I read them. Period. No exception.

Becoming hard at heart isn’t an intersection in your brain where you have a choice to turn left or right. It’s coming to a dead end, and you just keep going, over the cliff, unable to stop the inevitable, because the truth is you just don’t want to.
There is freedom in the fall.

THE FALL AWAY SERIES
BULLY | UNTIL YOU | RIVAL | FALLING AWAY | AFLAME


THE VINCENT BOYS by Abbi Glines
GOODREADS | AMAZON

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“ If I’d ever taken the time to wonder about my soul being as black as this town seemed to believe, I knew the moment Ashton stepped out of her little white Jetta looking like an angel from Heaven that my soul was damned to Hell. ”

I have a love hate relationship with Abbi Glines books. No really. See I love to hate them. No I don’t mean that in a hater sort of way. What I mean, is she’s a guilty pleasure author for me. I may not always love every book, I may want to throttle most of the heroines, and yet I still enjoy the ride. Kind sick saying it out loud lol. I’ve read her entire backlist, and I absolutely ADORED her Sea Breeze series. To date, that’s my favorite series by her.

But what began the obsession was this book. The Vincent Boys. And to be clear, I’m referring to the uncut edition, because let’s be real, if I’m forced to endure YA angst, I need steam to dilute it. I devour her books in one sitting. I adore every hero she’s written. What can I say? The struggle is real with this addiction I have and I’m not even sorry. Even when I hate the heroines, the heroes more than make up for it.

DGR’S ABBI GLINES FAVORITES (All angsty deliciousness)
WHILE IT LASTS | JUST FOR NOW | HOLD ON TIGHT | UNTIL THE END | FALLEN TOO FAR | NEVER TOO FAR


AN ORDINARY GIRL by Barbara Elsborg
GOODREADS | AMAZON

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“I can’t believe I’ve found someone that’s more fucked up than me.”

I don’t remember why I read this book exactly. I think I stumbled on it by pure chance actually. Something about that synopsis just hooked me. I ended up devouring it in one sitting! This author has a signature blend of angst and dry wit and humor that just calls to me. I love it! She’ll add a bit of OTT drama that also somehow just works and at times a dash of suspense and voila! Instant addiction. I went on a Barbara Elsborg binge right after this and the addiction still continues. Not only does she write great angst, but the steam level is through the roof! She writes amazing MM, scorching MMF, and deliciously dirty MF. I can’t recommend her enough!

DGR’S BARBARA ELSBORG FAVORITES (all angsty perfection)
STRANGERS (MF erotic) | TO KISS A FALLING STAR (MF erotic) | FALLING (MM) | BREAKING (MM)


THE UNWANTED WIFE
GOODREADS | AMAZON

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“I’m your husband…”
“No. You are not my husband,” she interrupted in a voice thickened with hatred and tears. “You have never been my husband. A husband loves, honours and cherishes! A husband is a lover and a champion….Look into the next room if you want to see what a real husband is, because you are no such thing!”

What would happen if you combined Harlequin presents with some crazy angst? This. Book. Holy mother! I loved it! I loved it so freaking much! Natasha Anders definitely has a signature style to her romance. I love watching her heroines grow into their own and stand up for themselves. I love seeing her royal alphaholes of heroes realize their mistakes and perform some epic kind of groveling. All of it just speaks to me and I can’t get enough!

DGR’S NATASHA ANDERS FAVORITES (all standalones and all angsty, of course)
A HUSBAND’S REGRET | A RUTHLESS PROPOSITION


THIS HEART OF MINE by Brenda Novak
GOODREADS | AMAZON

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She’d wanted him so badly seventeen years ago. And now that he wanted her, regardless of what anyone said, she wouldn’t come near him.

This was the first book I had read by this author and boy was I kicking myself for it after. Hard. If you love second chance romance and redemption stories, this is an absolute must read. It’s emotional, heart breaking, beautifully written, and completely unforgettable. While it is a part of a long-standing series, it can easily be read as a standalone.

No it’s not exactly the smutty smut that I normally gravitate to so if you’re expecting lots of steam, you’ll be sorely disappointed. But this book was not lacking it for me. Not even a little. The story was so emotionally powerful and the romance was so beautiful with just the right amount of tasteful love scenes, that I fell head over heels for This Heart of Mine.


THIS MUCH IS TRUE by Katherine Owen
GOODREADS | AMAZON

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LIFE CAN CHANGE in as little of fifteen seconds. I know this.
Fifteen seconds.
An SUV clips my car, kills my sister, and changes me and my life forever.

Thirty seconds.
The time it takes for a stranger to lift me up and carry me away and save me from the burning wreckage.
Thirty seconds.

One night.
The time it takes to fall in love with Lincoln Presley and forge promises that neither of us can keep.
One night.

Thirty seconds.
In thirty seconds, a heart can break.

If you like your angst to feel like you’ve been run over by the mac truck of feels, boy do I have a rec for you. Because this book? It will actually physically drain you. I’m not even a little kidding. It was fucking painful, people! I still have no idea how I survived it but I feel like I needed a cookie, a hug, a medal and all of the alcohol after it. In that exact order. This does end on a cliffhanger and I recommend reading the full trilogy to get a much deserved HEA.

THE TRUTH IN LIES TRILOGY
THIS MUCH IS TRUE | THE TRUTH ABOUT AIR & WATER | TELL ME SOMETHING TRUE


IF YOU LEAVE by Courtney Cole
GOODREADS | AMAZON

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“That day, that one day, changed me forever. It taught me that everything you love, everyone you love, even if you love them and hate them at the same time, can be taken away in a moment and there isn’t anything you can do to change it.”

The Beautifully Broken is a series of 4 books, but it wasn’t until this book, IF YOU LEAVE (book 2 in the series), that I fell in love with the series. If You Leave deals with many heart wrenching issues; the biggest being the hero, Gabriel’s, PTSD from his Army Ranger days. It’s an emotional romance filled with angst, feels, and enough steam to keep you panting.

I loved every book in this series, but 2 and 4 have to be my all time favorites. If you haven’t read these yet, I strongly recommend you check them out.

THE BEAUTIFULLY BROKEN SERIES
IF YOU STAYIF YOU LEAVE | BEFORE WE FALL | UNTIL WE FLY


THE EDUCATION Series by Jane Harvey-Berrick
GOODREADS | AMAZON

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“What do you think I’ve got here that I wouldn’t give up in a heartbeat to be with you? There’s nothing to keep me here: I’ll go anywhere, do anything to be with you.”

What happens when a 30-year-old woman stuck in a loveless marriage has an affair with her 17, soon to be 18-year-old neighbor? One of the most gripping, emotional and powerful romances that I have ever read. Book one is The Education of Sebastian and tells the heart wrenching story of how these two fell in love. The Education of Caroline takes place ten years later, when these two lovers finally reunite. If you haven’t read this series, it’s seriously an absolute must read.

“Be happy, Caro, because that’s what you deserve.
I love you, I have always loved you, and where I go after this world, I will always love you.
Sempre e per sempre.”

THE EDUCATION OF SERIES
THE EDUCATION OF SEBASTIAN | THE EDUCATION OF CAROLINE | SEMPER FI


UNBEAUTIFULLY by Madeline Sheehan
GOODREADS | AMAZON

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“Baby,” he said gruffly. “Man like me got no business with a girl like you. You’re nothin’ but a fuckin’ beauty and I’m a while lot of fuckin’ ugly who’s already halfway to hell.”

You want angst? You want grit with a big chunk of dark MC romance? Welcome to your next addiction! While I enjoyed every single book in this series, I have to say that UnBeautifully is easily my absolute favorite. There was just something so powerful about this beauty-and-the-beast romance that just spoke to me. It wasn’t an easy read and far from a light one. But it was an unforgettable ride from beginning to finish.

THE UNDENIABLE SERIES
UNDENIABLEUNBEAUTIFULLY | UNATTAINABLE | UNBELOVED


ROCK CHICK REGRET by Kristen Ashley
GOODREADS | AMAZON

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“No really,” I whispered, letting the sweet, peaceful feeling steal over me. “It only matters if there’s someone to care if you don’t wake up. It’s okay if I don’t wake up because there’s no one to care.”

I have three words for you: Hector OMG Chavez. That is all. No really. That’s all. If you’ve read this book, you know exactly what I mean. And if you haven’t? You need to get to reading it right freaking meow because MAN! So. Good.

This was probably the heaviest and most powerful book in the series for me (right up there with Stella and Mace in ROCK CHICK RECKONINGwhich is also a HUGE angsty rec). But there was just something about RCR that stayed with me for all these years. Maybe it’s what the heroine went through and watching her grow? Maybe it’s the story as a whole. Whatever the case may be, I simply adored it.


DREW + FABLE series by Monica Murphy
GOODREADS | AMAZON

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“Maybe it was a mistake leaving you.
And I don’t know how to make it right.
Regret fills me every single day.
So much of it builds up I
Hate myself for 
Missing you. Hurting you.
And I want you to know i…
Long for you
Love you
Others may come and go in our lives but…
We belong together”

New Adult angst? This has it. In spades. This was the book that made me fall in love with Monica Murphy’s writing. It was the first book that I read by her and I was hooked. I recommend reading them back to back because the cliffhanger in OWG will leave you so ragey, it’ll make you want to slap someone.

THE ONE WEEK GIRLFRIEND SERIES (these need to be read in order)
ONE WEEK GIRLFRIEND | SECOND CHANCE BOYFRIEND

OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES but with new characters
THREE BROKEN PROMISES | FOUR YEARS LATER


DESTROYED by Pepper Winters
GOODREADS | AMAZON

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“I was obsessed with finding redemption. Destroyed by love. Possessed by hope. Consumed by a past I couldn’t shake.”

So Pepper Winters advertises this as her “gray romance” but please don’t let that fool you. While this is certainly not quite on her usual dark scale it still packs a mean punch….straight to the mother effin feels. My. God. This book tore my heart to shreds and put it back together…barely. I was a damn mess reading it. I don’t remember the last time I cried that hard in a book but DAMN. Just DAMN.

This is a full standalone.


WICKED HEART by Leisa Reyven
GOODREADS | AMAZON

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“Heartache doesn’t teach you to be resilient. It teaches you to protect your fragility. It teaches you to fear love. And it draws a bright red circle around all the ways you’ve failed as a person and laughs while you cry.”

Ah…sweet sweet second chance romance angst. How I love thee. Let me count the ways….Liam, Liam, Liam…wait. That’s not right.

While a lot of my friends loved the first two books in this series, I struggled a little with them. But I continued with the series because not only did I love the writing style, but I saw where it was going and I knew it was only a matter of meeting the right characters for me to fall in love with the story. And Wicked Heart? It was exactly that book for me.

THE STAR-CROSSED SERIES
BAD ROMEO | BROKEN JULIET | WICKED HEARTS


UNFORGIVEN by Elizabeth Finn
GOODREADS | AMAZON

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You don’t fall in love with the person responsible for your greatest loss. And God help you if you do.

God help you indeed. This book was a crazy rollercoaster of emotion. It was almost physically painful to read at times. But man. MAN. What an incredibly powerful and angsty romance. To date, this is my favorite book by this author. And Elizabeth Finn happens to be one of my go to’s for angst, so I don’t make that statement lightly.

I’ll list some other notable favorites below. All are full standalones.

DGR’S FAVORITE ELIZABETH FINN BOOKS
THE FIGHT FOR US | KISSED | KANE’S HELL | THE DEVIL’S PAWN | THE RULES REGARDING GRAY | INAPPROPRIATE 


WORTH IT by Linda Kage
GOODREADS | AMAZON

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I craved every little second I got to see her, but I knew I should stay away. It was torment, the two cravings rivaling and constantly churning in me, playing tug-of-war between what my heart wanted and what I knew was best.

I’m seriously obsessed with this New Adult series and can’t recommend every book in it enough. I love it that much. Worth It had some darker undertones to it that the others didn’t. It wasn’t dark, just more emotional and a touch heavier if that makes sense. The whole series packs a good amount of angst and if sexy NA romance is your thing, prepare to binge.

THE FORBIDDEN MEN SERIES
PRICE OF A KISS| TO PROFESSOR WITH LOVE | BE MY HEROWITH EVERY HEARTBEATA PERFECT TENWORTH ITTHE GIRL’S GOT SECRETS | PRICELESS 


BEAUTIFUL DISASTER by Francette Phal
GOODREADS | AMAZON

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“Nicholas Grayson wasn’t a nice person. In fact one could call him an asshole and he wouldn’t dispute it. He was as jaded as they come, eighteen years old, with a moral compass fixed permanently on diabolical. … His goals in life were to piss off his parents, break a few laws and generally screw his way through life.”

Cruel Intention meets Soap Opera in this deliciously angsty YA romance and I gobbled up each page like the addict that I am. Holy crap, people! This book HURT. Complete with a mother of all cliffhangers. But no worries, because you do get a much deserved HEA in the conclusion, REDEMPTION.


FACADE by Nyrae Dawn
GOODREADS | AMAZON

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I don’t see the future; I just notice shit. When you’re seven years old and scared of your own shadow, too scared to get close to anyone like I used to be, you learn to pay attention. To study people’s loves because it’s the only way to feel like you’re living and to think about how differently you’d be doing if you had the balls to man up. Or, hell, if you hadn’t been given such a shitty hand to begin with. 

While I loved the entire Games series, Facade was easily my favorite. I couldn’t even tell you why exactly. It just was. Something about a broken boy finding love in the girl he least expected. I just loved it.

THE GAMES SERIES
CHARADE | FACADE | MASQUARADE 


A LUSH BETRAYAL by Selena Laurence
GOODREDS | AMAZON

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I know almost instantly- this is it- I’m done. This woman will either be my salvation or the death of me. There is no question. I’ve lost control now that I’ve touched her. There’s no going back, and she’s the most spectacular thing I’ve ever experienced.

Rockstars. Betrayals. Redemptions. Second chances. This book had it all. This was my first book by Selena and I was hooked. A Lush Betrayal is still free on amazon, so if you like the sounds of this one, you need to grab it quick!

THE LUSH ROCKSTAR SERIES
A LUSH BETRAYALLOVING A LUSH | LOWDOWN & LUSH | A LUSH REUNION


Twisted by Cari Quinn & Taryn Elliott
GOODREADS | AMAZON

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He could do anything, survive anything, but he couldn’t turn away from Jazz. She would sustain him where every other drug had failed.

It’s no secret that I love everything these authors write. I first fell in love with their Love In Oblivion series when I stumbled on ROCKED by pure chance. And from then, it was as they say, history. While each book focuses on a different member of the band, I don’t recommend reading it out-of-order. There is a story arc that continues throughout the series that you wouldn’t be able to appreciate having read the books out-of-order. I highly recommend starting with the prequel (SEDUCED) first. It really introduces the characters and gives you a taste of things to come.

THE LOST IN OBLIVION SERIES
SEDUCED | ROCKED | TWISTED | DESTROYED | SHATTERED | OWNED


TEN TINY BREATHS by K.A. Tucker
GOODREADS | AMAZON

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“Just breathe,” my mom would say.
“Ten tiny breaths…Seize them.
Feel them.Love them.”

Does this book even need an introduction or an explanation for being on my list? C’mon now!

“I don’t hate you. I could never hate you. Give me your heart, Kacey. I’ll take everything that comes with it.”

THE TEN TINY BREATHS SERIES
TEN TINY BREATHS | IN HER WAKE | ONE TINY LIE | FOUR SECONDS TO LOSE | FIVE WAYS TO FALL


THIN LOVE by Eden Butler
GOODREADS | AMAZON

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“I don’t want easy. I want the impossible. I want love so thick, I drown in it; it’s the only thing worth having and, I’m sorry Kona, you’re a nice guy when you’re not acting like an entitled jackass, but I really don’t think you’re capable of being anything more than that.”

To date, this is still one of my favorite second chance romances. The angst is in epic proportions and I do mean epic. This book will make you rip your hair out, it will make you sob hysterically, it will make you scream like a lunatic, but ultimately it will make you feel every single emotion right along with the characters and love every second of it.


UBEARABLE GUILT by Emma Grayson
GOODREADS | AMAZON

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I was ripped from heaven with an angel, and tossed into the fiery pit of hell by myself with no way out. I wouldn’t ever allow myself to be released from its relentless grip.

If you ask me how this book first came on my radar, I wouldn’t be able to tell you. All I remember is reading that synopsis and knowing that I had to read it. And boy was I glad that I did because I absolutely loved it! I mean….just read this:

Kane Archer hasn’t always been tormented; he hasn’t always hated himself or been full of rage. He hasn’t always lived his life with an overpowering sense of guilt that threatens to destroy him. There was a time when his life was different. He was optimistic; he smiled and laughed; he loved passionately; he had it all. Kane was content—until the unthinkable took it all away. Two and a half years later and still reeling from his fiancée’s death, Kane returns to the one place he vowed he’d never visit again—Camden—with the promise to find the men who killed her and bring them to justice, regardless of the cost. Emotionally numb, stricken by guilt, and haunted by the events preceding Aimee’s death, the last thing Kane wanted was to meet someone he connected with; someone who made him feel again. As Kane gets closer to those responsible for Aimee’s death, he is thrown a curveball when he discovers a secret so devastating it rocks his world and threatens to destroy his chance at happiness. Whitney Jareau packed up her life when tragedy struck her family, leaving everything behind. Finally free from the persistent and domineering family that insisted she do the one thing she couldn’t, Whitney found peace in Camden. Two years later, her family wants her to come home and will stop at nothing to get her there. Wearing her heart on her sleeve for Kane Archer, a man so gorgeous it hurts to see the pain he carries, Whitney fights her family and refuses to return home to carry out their wishes. Can Whitney stay strong without giving in to the demands of her family? Can Kane let go of the past and move forward with the woman who brought him back to life? Or, will he walk away from her and carry the burden of UNBEARABLE GUILT

This is book 2 in the Breathe Again series, but easily enjoyed as a standalone


BROKEN by Lauren Layne
GOODREADS | AMAZON

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I almost want to laugh at how messed up we are.
Two completely shattered souls doing a weird approach-and-recoil dance around each other.

A New Adult take on beauty and the beast by the super amazing Lauren Layne? Hell. Yes.

Lauren Layne first hit my radar when I read ISN’T SHE LOVELY which funnily enough turned out to be the prequel to this amazing series. But don’t be fooled, it’s not a novella. It’s a full length novel that introduces the characters, so I think that’s why it’s not considered the prequel? But it has its own fabulous HEA. Each book in the series is easily enjoyed as a standalone.

THE REDEMPTION SERIES
ISN’T SHE LOVELY | BROKENCRUSHED


WALK THROUGH FIRE by Kristen Ashley
GOODREADS | AMAZON

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“I gave you up, walking through fire to do it but I did…
I did it in the end. I gave you everything.”

Holy mother of ugly cries!!! I was a pathetic mess reading this book. Utterly pathetic I tells ya! I don’t remember the last time a book made me ugly cry to quite this caliber. I’m talking crocodile tears level here, people!

You already know I love me a second chance romance and Walk Through Fire had an absolutely epic one. As a matter of fact, I’ve re-read one particular scene in this book at least 4 times now and each time the water works start. It’s just that powerful. So. Good.


DIVIDED by Ivy Stone
GOODREADS | AMAZON

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He wasn’t supposed to show up on that bridge.
He wasn’t supposed to fill me with a slither of hope, for more, for different. But he did.

I first discovered Ivy Stone when I read the first book in her Unguarded series, EXPOSED. I fell in love with her writing style, her broken characters, and I knew I found myself a new author to stalk.

While each book in this series focuses on a different couple and their HEA, I highly recommend reading them in order because the backstory starts in the very beginning and you’d appreciate the story that much more having read each book.


BREAK EVEN by Lisa De Jong
GOODREADS | AMAZON

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To an outsider, I have it all- the job, the husband, and the house- but inside I’m nearly empty.

I’ll be honest, I was afraid to read this book. Utterly terrified. I’m not typically a reader that enjoys reading about a heroine that cheats, no matter what the circumstance. It’s a horrible double standard I have and I own it, because I’ll forgive the hero but not the heroine *hangs head in shame*

But this book is nothing like what I thought. It’s incredibly unpredictable, erotic, and utterly unputdownable. If you read any book by this author, please make it this one. Trust me. Take a chance on something outside your comfort zone. You will not regret it.


PAPER HEARTS by Claire Contreras
GOODREADS | AMAZON

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“How would you describe the #feeling of #love in 140 or less characters?
Answer : Like somebody is gripping your heart, but you don’t want them to let go because the ache would worsen without them.”

You already know that second chance romance is my crack of choice, so are you even a little surprised to see this book on my list? Really? Are you? Of course you’re not! I adored Kaleidoscope Hearts, but I loved Paper Hearts even more. If you’re a fan of angsty second chance romance and you haven’t read these books yet, you need to get on them right now. RIGHT. NOW.

THE HEARTS SERIES
KALEIDOSCOPE HEARTS | PAPER HEARTS | ELASTIC HEARTS


HOPELESS by Colleen Hoover
GOODREADS | AMAZON

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“Fuck all the firsts, Sky. The only thing that matters to me with you are the forevers.”

Um…I’m sorry, but do I even need to say anything here? I don’t think so. Carry on…

“The moment my lips touch yours, it will be your first kiss. Because if you’ve never felt anything when someone’s kissed you, then no one’s ever really kissed you. Not the way I plan on kissing you.”

“I live you, Sky,” he says against my lips. “I live you so much.”


FISHER’S LIGHT
GOODREADS | AMAZON

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I’m going to fix this. I have to fix this… I hate every moment that I’m away from her, but I will do whatever it takes to find the man she once loved and bring him back to her.”

Yet another second chance romance that I adored! I seriously loved every single angsty page of this! One of my top reads of that year.

How do I get that back when the darkness is hell bent on taking over, holding me in its clutches and making sure I never see the sunshine again?


TOXIC by Kim Karr
GOODREADS | AMAZON

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Jeremy McQueen.
He wasn’t just any boy- he was “the boy”. The only one I never should have met, and the one I’d never trade meeting for the world.

And since we’re on a second chance romance angst kick, how can I not mention this deliciousness?

I loved him once, even though I’d never told him I did. And as I looked at him, everything I’d ever felt for him came rushing back.

 


PAPER PRINCESS
GOODREADS | AMAZON

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“You should know whatever game you’re playing, you can’t win. Not against all of us.
If you leave now, you won’t be hurt. If you stay, we’ll break you so bad that you’ll be crawling away.”

Book. Crack.

Warning: this book will cause nervous break downs, eye ticks, random screaming episodes, cause you to perve on a 17 yr old alphahole and be glued to your kindle from beginning to finish. That is all. You’ve been warned.

This will never be my home. I don’t belong in splendor, I belong in squalor. That’s what I know. It’s what I’m comfortable with because squalor doesn’t lie to you. It’s not wrapped up in a pretty package. It is what it is.

THE ROYALS TRILOGY (Warning: Rage inducing cliffys ahead)
PAPER PRINCESS | BROKEN PRINCE | TWISTED PALACE


UNBREAK MY HEART by Jacquelyn 
GOODREADS | AMAZON

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I’d pushed her aside for so long that there was no foundation to build on. Just a mess of shattered pieces that I’d crushed with a sledgehammer every time she’d grown closer than I was comfortable with.

Quite easily my favorite angsty romance I’ve read all year. ALL OF THE ANGST!!! Oh man! If you love serious alphaholes, angst so thick you can choke on it, and a story so addicting that you can’t stop reading it for even a second? Read. This. Book.

For the past couple of nights when I’d lain down beside her, after she’d called asleep and I knew she couldn’t hear me, I’d promised her that she’d never have to forgive me again if she could do it one last time.


OTHER DGR ANGSTY FAVORITES

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The following are all book recommendations I’ve received (thanks to my favorite angst pusher, Carolin Jache)


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Release Blitz, DGR Top Fave Review, & Giveaway: ★Unbreak My Heart★ by @AuthorNicoleJ

Unbreak My Heart Blitz BannerUNBREAK MY HEART
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Nicole Jacquelyn
Release Date: June 7, 2016
Formats: Trade Paperback & eBook
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What do you do when your soul mate marries your best friend?

If you’re Kate Evans, you keep your friend Rachel, bond with her kids, and bury your feelings for her husband. The fact that Shane’s in the military and away for long periods helps-but when tragedy strikes, everything changes.

After Rachel, pregnant with her fourth child, dies in a car accident and the baby miraculously survives, Kate upends her entire life to share parenting duties. Then on the first anniversary of Rachel’s death, Kate and Shane take comfort in each other in a night that they both soon regret.

Shane’s been angry for a year, and now he feels guilty too – for sleeping with his wife’s best friend and liking it…liking her.  Kate’s ability to read him like a book may have once sent Shane running, but their lives are forever entwined and they are growing closer.

Now with Shane deployed for seven months, Kate is on her own and struggling with being a single parent. Shane is loving and supportive from thousands of miles away, but his homecoming brings a betrayal Kate never saw coming. So Kate’s only choice is to fight for the future she deserves – with or without Shane…

Buy LinksAmazon | B&N | B-A-M | Google Play | iBooks | Indiebound | Kobo | Powell’s

Excerpt

I don’t remember the drive to the hospital or even where I parked that afternoon. I can’t recall what the nurse looked like as she searched for Rachel’s name in their computer system or the walk toward the room where I waited for someone to speak to me.The first thing I remember clearly is the white-haired doctor’s kind face as he sat down across from me, and the young chaplain’s small smile as he chose the chair to my left. Their words became a litany that I would hear in my dreams for years.

My Rachel was gone, but her son was alive and in the NICU.

“Is there anyone you’d like for us to call? Any family or friends that you’d like to be here?”

The question jolted me out of the fog that seemed to be getting thicker and thicker around me. Dear God.

“I’ll make the calls,” I answered, looking blankly at the wall. “Can I have some privacy please?”

“Of course. I’ll be right outside if you need me,” the chaplain answered, reaching out to pat my hand. “I’ll take you up to the NICU when you’re ready.”

The room was silent after they left, and I fought the urge to scream at the top of my lungs just to hear it echo around me. I understood then why people hired mourners to wail at funerals. Sometimes the lack of sound is more painful than the anguished noise of a heart breaking.

My hands shook as I pulled my phone out of my front pocket and rested it on the table in front of me.

It only took a moment before the sound of ringing filled the room, and I rested my head in my hands as I stared at the name across the screen.

“Hello? Kate? What’s wrong?”

“Shane—” I said quietly, my voice hitching.

“What? Why are you calling me?” His voice was confused, but I could hear a small thread of panic in the urgency of his words.

“I need you to come to Tri-City Hospital,” I answered, tears rolling down my face and landing on the glass screen of my phone, distorting the letters and numbers.

“Who?” His voice was frantic, and I could hear him moving around, his breathing heavy.

“Rachel was in an accident.” I sobbed, covering my face to try and muffle the noise.

“No,” he argued desperately, as I heard two car doors shut almost simultaneously. “Is she okay?”

I shook my head, trying to catch my breath.

“Kate! Is she okay?” He screamed at me, his anguished voice filling the room as I’d wanted mine to just minutes before.

“No,” I answered through gritted teeth, feeling snot running down my upper lip as I heard him make a noise deep in his throat. “She’s gone.”

He didn’t say a word, and less than a second later, the connection was broken.

I rubbed at my forehead, trying to convince myself that it was all just a nightmare. Where was I supposed to be? What was I supposed to do now? My best friend in the entire world was there in that hospital, but not really. I couldn’t bear to see her. I couldn’t help her. Where the fuck was I supposed to go?”

I made my way to the NICU as quickly as I could, and within minutes, I was holding my new nephew in my arms. The nurses told me that he’d passed all of his tests with flying colors, and I was in awe as I sat down in a rocking chair, cradling him to my chest.

“You sure got a shitty beginning, little man,” I murmured against his fuzzy scalp, rocking back and forth gently. “I’m so sorry, buddy. You’re probably missing your mama and that warm bubble you’ve been in for so long. I can’t help you there.”

I sniffled, closing my eyes as tears rolled down my cheeks. My whole body ached, and even though I had that little boy in my arms, the whole day seemed like some sort of surreal dream, foggy in some parts and crystal clear in others. I wanted to hop up and take his sleeping, little form to Rachel, to tease her about the weird Mohawk thing he was sporting and make joking comments about how men always seem to sleep through the hard parts of life. I wanted to see her smile proudly at the sturdy boy she’d produced and grumble that I was hogging him.

I wanted everything to be different.

I hummed softly with my eyes closed for a long time, holding the baby close to me. It was quiet where we sat, nothing breaking up the stillness of the room until I heard someone open the door.

“There he is,” the nurse murmured from the doorway.

My eyes popped open to see Shane’s ravaged face just feet from me. He looked like he was barely holding on. I swallowed hard as his red rimmed eyes took in his son carefully before rising to meet mine.

“Is he okay?” he asked thickly, searching my face. I’d never seen him so frightened.

“He’s perfect,” I answered, my voice throbbing with emotion. “The nurses said he’s a rock star.”

He nodded twice, reaching up to cover his mouth with his hand, but before he could say another word, he was stumbling and falling to his knees with an almost inaudible sob.

Author InterviewDGR: What was your favorite scene to write in Unbreak My Heart and what is your favorite scene to read in Unbreak My Heart?

NJ: My favorite scene to write was probably the scene when Kate is singing to the kids over the phone. She was devastated but pulled it together to get her kids to sleep from a thousand miles away. That’s such a mom thing to do.

My favorite scene to read is when Shane is taking the kids back to California and Keller decides that he’s going to stay behind. He comes across as a bit of a brat in this story, but when the chips are down he’s worried about who’s going to be taking care of Kate. That’s Keller. He might not get his point across in a constructive way, but he feels things very deeply.

What can I say? I like the ones that seem to punch you right in the belly.


review-Unbreak My Heart5 starsUnbreak My Heart2-DGR

I’d pushed her aside for so long that there was no foundation to build on. Just a mess of shattered pieces that I’d crushed with a sledgehammer every time she’d grown closer than I was comfortable with.

God. GOD. This book. This heartbreaking, incredibly written, gut wrenching book. If it had any more of my favorite elements in it, I’d feel like it was custom written for me. I don’t remember the last time I read a book that gripped me the way this one did. To the point that I felt it on a visceral level. To the point that now days later after finishing it, I still can’t stop thinking about it. This was easily one of my top favorite reads this year. I picked it up and read it straight through because I couldn’t bear to put it down for even a second. I was an ugly crying, sniveling, raging mess the entire time and loved every painful second of it.
If The Unwanted Wife and Walk Through Fire had an angst baby, this book would be IT. I’m so book hungover right now, I can’t even form words.

Unbreak My Heart is an unbelievably gripping story of love and loss and second chances. This book absolutely owned my heart. It was a compelling, angst-filled, emotional, and completely unputdownable read from beginning to finish. You will love to hate this hero and then you’ll just flat out love him.

I don’t need you to save me…
I never needed you to fucking save me.”

Nicole Jacquelyn has a true gift with words because her characters are so incredibly compelling, you don’t just read about them, you experience them. There is not an ounce of telling in this book. Everything is shown, including the character descriptions. Yeah. I was blown away to say the least.

Shane is not an easy hero to love. As a matter of fact he will make you down right hate him. He will break your heart so many times over, you’ll wonder if there is a road back. But there is. Oh but there is.

I didn’t know how to be with someone like Kate. She’d demand more from me than anyone ever had before, and that was terrifying.

You may be asking yourself if it’s possible to write a book with a dead spouse and not make the heroine feel like a consolation prize prize. And to you I say, abso-freaking-lutely.

Kate is a character with so much depth. She takes so much emotional punishment throughout this book that you want to say that she may be too forgiving. But the author instills so much growth in her throughout the story that you’ll love her more and more with each page.

I won’t give you anything about the plot, because to be quite honest, everything you need to know is in the blurb. Anything more than that will be a spoiler. And if there’s one thing I can recommend is to go into this book absolutely blind with NO preconceived notions.

I couldn’t change the past, but hell if I didn’t want to be what Kate needed now.

Everything about this story is brilliant; from the feelings it will wrench from your very soul to the emotional mess it will leave you at the end of it. Shane and Kate’s story is not an easy one. It’s filled with pain and heart break but it’s also beautiful in its own right. You don’t read the characters’ journey, you experience it. Everything from the fundamental changes in their relationship to their feelings and everything in between.

For the past couple of nights when I’d lain down beside her, after she’d called asleep and I knew she couldn’t hear me, I’d promised her that she’d never have to forgive me again if she could do it one last time.

If you’re questioning picking this up, don’t! If you’re a fellow angst-whore like me, if there’s one book I can recommend you read, it’s this one! Grab some tissues and some alcohol and prepare to read the whole night through because I guarantee this book will own every piece of you by the time you’re finished.


About the Author

Nicole Jacquelyn NO CREDIT

 

When Nicole Jacquelyn was eight and people asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, she told them she wanted to be a mom. When she was 12, her answer changed to author. Her dreams stayed constant. First, she became a mom, and then during her senior year of college–with one daughter in first grade and the other in preschool–she sat down and wrote a story.

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Review: ★Forgetting August★ by JL Berg

Review-Forgetting AugustForgetting August
Series: Lost & Found #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: J.L. Berg
Release Date: December 1, 2015add-to-goodreads-button-2

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She can forgive, but can she forget?

Some days, Everly still thinks she sees him. In the food court at the mall, or in a car speeding past as the light changes. It only lasts a second, but when it happens, she slips back to a time when she was ruled-and nearly ruined-by August Kincaid. And it doesn’t matter that she’s moved on, that she’s about to marry another man. In those moments the only thing she can do to regain control is take a deep breath and remind herself that August can’t hurt her-because he’s in a coma. Except that he’s not anymore.

August is awake. With no memories, he sets out to solve the mystery of his lost life. He unearths a photograph of a beautiful redhead named Everly and knows instinctively that she’s the key. But when he finds her, the August she describes is more monster than man.

Tortured by the thought of having hurt her, August wants only to become the man Everly deserves. As the new August emerges, Everly glimpses the person she first fell in love with. But can she trust that this August is real? When the final secret of their shared past is revealed, one of them will make a choice that changes their future forever

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Review4 starsForgetting August-DGR

Because life really didn’t move on from a person such as August Kincaid.
No, you simply learned to adapt and above all, you survived.

When you read about a book a day, they all sort of begin to blend into each other. So when I stumble upon a book that’s as unique as Forgetting August, it’s a treat. This was unlike anything I’ve read in the past and I was immediately drawn into the story. It was just that good; the writing, the mystery, the angst, the romance, all of it wrapped together into one spellbinding unforgettable read.
Everly is happily engaged and planning a wedding to a wonderful man that loves her fiercely. But with one phone call and three little words, her carefully constructed world crumbles into chaos. He is awake.

August Kincaid awakes from a two year coma that no one expected him to wake up from with absolutely no recollection of who he is or who he was.

My former life was an endless tunnel of oblivion, where there was no beginning or end.

When a gorgeous redhead shows up at his hospital bed, he hopes that her clear knowledge of him may help him piece together the memories that he no longer has. But then only thing he sees in her eyes is pure unadulterated hate. Hate for the man that he once was, and hate for the man that clearly hurt this woman beyond repair.
forgetting August teaser2-DGRAugust took everything from her once; her love and her heart, and then he shattered it. Everly wants nothing to do with the man, even if he doesn’t remember who he is. She’s happy in her life now, but his memory continues to haunt her and she just can’t bring herself to look the other way. August is clearly struggling to put the pieces of his life back together, and if she can give him the missing puzzle pieces, she’ll do that. But she will never give him a piece of her heart.

Maybe sometimes love isn’t pure. Maybe sometimes it’s toxic- so toxic it consumes a person until they would do anything to have it.
Like a drug.

The story is told entirely in the present with quick memory lapses into the past. It’s not a past/present type thing. It’s written in such a way that you feel like you’re experiencing those flashes of memory right along Everly.

But the heart is a fickle thing. You can’t help who you fall for and once upon a time August was her everything. Now in the midst of helping him regain his memory by taking him to places he loved and hoping to ignite at least a spark of something, the one thing is manages to do is re-ignite the flame in her heart for August that never quite burned out.

Could the heart remember what the mind couldn’t?

Forgetting August is full of angst and emotion. It’s wonderfully written that left me wondering how I haven’t read anything by this author before. The mystery of the past and what ultimately led to August going into a coma is something that stretches for the entire book.

While I’m not usually one for love triangles, the one here simply worked for me. I think that had a lot to do with Everly and clearly seeing her struggle of moving on from her past and attempting to face her future. She loves her fiancé, but August was something else for her entirely.

Loving me destroyed you…”
“Loving you brought me back to life.”

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If I gave my heart over to a man who then turned into my worst nightmare…?
Who would be there to pick up the broken pieces?
No one, because there would be nothing left to find.

Forgetting August is sexy but without the need for super gratuitous sex scenes, if that makes sense. I absolutely loved this story and the characters. But most of all, I loved the mystery behind everything. I was just as desperate for those flashes of memory as August was. And when one of the biggest puzzle pieces get revealed, the author hits you with the mother of all cliffhangers that had me howling at the ceiling.

They say time heals all wounds. But can it forgive?

If you’re looking for something different, this duet needs to be on your TBR. I usually avoid cliffhangers like a religion, but in the case here I’m glad I read it. Even as I die a little each day in my wait for the conclusion in Spring.


Releasing April 5, 2016

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Blog Tour, Review & #Giveaway: ★Thick Love★ by @EdenButler_

Title: Thick Love
Series: Thin Love #2
Author: Eden Butler
Genre: NA | Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 31, 2015
Hosted by As the Pages Turnadd-to-goodreads-button3

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He doesn’t ask their names.
He doesn’t
 deserve to know them.

Ransom Riley Hale’s friends think his life is charmed: first string as a freshman on a championship-winning college football team. A father with two Super Bowl rings. A mother with platinum albums and multiple Grammies under her belt. But that brilliant shine on the surface hides the darkness beneath; it’s all Ransom has ever known.

Despite the shadows he walked in, once there was a blinding light fracturing the darkness. It brought the promise of hope and happiness. He’d been careless, filled with pride and stupidity and lost that light. Ripped it from the world.

Now, the shadows are dimming again. Aly King surges into his life threatening to pull him from the darkness. She is everything Ransom can never be again. Her light feels too warm, promises him that there is more waiting for him beyond the shadows.

But the shadows are relentless, resurfacing when he thinks he is safe, and Ransom knows he must keep Aly from them too before he pulls her down into the darkness with him.

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TL Teaser #3Excerpt

“Dance with me,” I said. He only stared up at me blankly.“I don’t feel like practicing.”

“I’m not asking you to practice. I’m asking you to dance.”

Ransom’s body stiffened when I picked up his hand, but he didn’t fight me. “Just be here with me. Me and you and the music.”

We came together in the center of my living room with that slow, soothing music wrapping around us. There was no Kizomba, no prequel to a seduction we both wanted to avoid. There was just Ransom bending low, arms around me, hand taking mine to hold against his chest. After a few seconds, the tension lessened, and his body did not feel as rigid. It felt peaceful, and safe, and simple—just two people, holding each other, swaying to the music.

His mouth hovered near my forehead and as we moved together with no form or practiced steps, Ransom’s grip on my waist got tighter. “I wish I could breathe again. I want that so bad.” The words were whispered, low.

I closed my eyes, reminding myself that I couldn’t touch him.

“Ransom. You can.”

He looked down at me and right then I saw just how lost he was. This realization didn’t come from flippant comments he made to me or desperate excuses I overheard him make. It was all there right in his eyes—the loneliness, the pain, as though each mistake he’d made was etched into the rise of his cheekbones and the worried, faint lines on his forehead. He was still drifting; he had been drifting for so damn long.

The pain in his eyes drew me in. There was nothing I could say that would make his hurt lessen. There was nothing that would take him from the lingering sorrow he’d created for himself. So I didn’t speak, didn’t give him advice I knew he’d never take. I just watched Ransom’s eyes, and felt the slow way he moved. And then with my hand on the back of his neck, I pulled his face towards me, I took his lips, kissing him, pouring into that kiss everything I’d held back from him since we first met.

This is who I am. This is what I want. That voice came from someplace hidden and secret inside me.

It was minutes, minutes of nothing but my mouth on his, nothing but two people finding solace in each other, before I realized I’d messed up.

He didn’t seem to want me to pull away, but didn’t stop me when I did. Shaking my head, I smoothed the collar on his shirt, unable to look at him. “I’m…modi, Ransom, I’m sorry.”

Ransom pulled my chin up and smoothed his thumb over my cheek, down the slope of my chin before he returned his attention to my eyes. “I don’t think I am.”

It was a moment I thought I’d always wanted. Him looking at me like I was real, like he saw me, finally saw me. I’d seen that look once before, just as Ransom whispered my name and kissed me over and over the first time. It wasn’t the look of someone hopeless. It was open and raw and I realized right then that I’d give anything for Ransom to never stop looking at me.

But this was against our rules. This wasn’t how we were supposed to be. I took his hand, thought of pulling it away from my face but didn’t have the strength, liked how it felt on my face too much. “Friends don’t kiss, Ransom.”

A small nod, and his eyes narrowed. His grip around me tightened. The music around us swelled. “No, they don’t,” he said, still touching my face, inching closer and I knew, right then, he was definitely not my friend.

 Review4 starsThick Love-Dirty Girl Romance

Thick love is best. Thick love is…it’s when you KNOW.”
“It’s when you know what?”
“It’s when you know you’ve found the one that can pick up the pieces when you let your heart get broken.

Before I get to my review, let me get a few things out of the way with first.

(1) If a hero that you will want to strangle, then run over with your car, then back him the fuck over for good measure, then rush to him to fix all his boos boos because you can’t help but still love him in spite of everything doesn’t appeal; this book isn’t for you.
(2) If a hero being with other women (in explicit detail) before he meets the heroine isn’t something you can look past; this book isn’t for you.
(3) If angst that’s so THICK it’s borderline rage inducing sounds like it would cause you to stroke out; this book isn’t for you.

Eden Butler took a subject matter that is almost impossible to pull off and yet she did, and she did it effortlessly. Here’s the thing, it’s not often you’ll read about a first love lost where that love isn’t undermined in some way. Ransom never once devalues it and mourns it with his entire heart and soul. On the other hand, Aly never felt like his consolation prize. This, I believe, is the hardest to pull off. Aly was quite possibly my favorite part about this book. She’s not perfect and yet she has this undercurrent of strength. She wants to heal Ransom, but she’s no doormat.

In front of him, hidden behind that mask, the music, the sensation conjured by the dance, the rhythm of that melody ripped away my reason. It was an echo of who I was, one that I’d never let anyone see but who nevertheless lurked below my carefully controlled exterior.

I think that covers most bases here, so let’s get onto the review. Ever since I read Thin Love, I have been impatiently waiting for Ransom to get his book. I knew his story wasn’t going to be any easier than Keira and Kona’s, albeit in a much different way. I’ve been agonizing over my rating for a couple days now and I finally settled on one and I’ll explain it later in the review.
Thick Love teaser2-Dirty Girl RomanceNow look, I can sit here and pick apart every single one of Ransom’s stupid decisions, but at the end of the day I have to remind myself that I’m reading about someone that’s only 18 years old. Someone that’s dealing with a loss and guilt that he’s ill equipped to deal with properly at his young age. This is someone that punishes himself in hopes of atonement that he doesn’t think he deserves. He’s not an easy character to get, but for me, he was still easy to love. Sure, there are moments in this book that will make you want to reach through your kindle and cockpunch him so hard that he finally sees reason. But what’s a good redemption without some pain in the meantime?

She had some kind of effect on me that I didn’t understand. When I was near her, close to her, I forgot that she wasn’t my type. I forgot that I didn’t want her. I forgot that I didn’t deserve her.

The first half of the book is very much a slow burn, but it never drags. The angst and emotions truly have you riveted to the pages, it certainly did for me. My heart broke for Ransom and yet in the same breath I wanted to curse him to hell and back for his behavior. It was frustrating, it was maddening, it was disturbingly enrapturing.

With every note, Ransom poured whatever he kept to himself, all the things he would not say to the world into each strum.

I don’t want to give much away about the book because it’s just one of those things you need to experience for yourself. What I can say is I loved the route that Eden took with book and I was shocked as shit about it that I was. See, here’s the thing, I HATE a drawn out story that I think could have ended in one book. Cliffhangers drive me to drink and induce near homicidal thoughts when I finish reading it. Thick Love is part 1 of 2 books, and you know what? It’s best that way. This book was not about the epic love between Aly and Ransom. It was more about Ransom coming to terms with his guilt, healing his heart, and learning to move on. Both these characters have a lot of growing to do still and there’s no way this book would have been the same had it been all crammed into one book.

What’s the difference between past and present? It isn’t just time. It isn’t that memory haunts, that it can cripple. It’s the WAY we remember that marks the change.

As much as the bumps on the road to Aly and Ransom’s relationship drove me out of my ever loving mind, it also made me feel. This entire book, everything about it will do one thing, guaranteed; evoke emotion. Whether that be rage, tears, it will make you feel.

I’m not the bad boy who needs saving, Aly.”
“Non, cheri…
You’re a good man who needs to forgive himself.”

Thick Love teaser 2- Dirty Girl RomanceThe book was a solid five stars for me…until that damn epilogue. I’m not going to lie, my initial reaction was wanting to chuck my damn kindle out the nearest window than stomp to a corner and scream in rage. I felt like in just one short chapter, that epilogue managed to undermine the entire book and experiences that Ransom and Aly went through. But then I had some time to think about it…and think about it…and think about it some more.

What you do to my body, to the noise in my head, it makes me feel again. I can’t NOT feel what you do to me.”

He made music with his body, demanding I surrender. He kissed me like someone who always reached for something to hold onto and only ever got something that made him spin further out of control.

And I’ve managed to calm my tits about it…mostly. It helps knowing that this was a story meant to be told in 2 parts. There’s really no way around it. Most of the time you can see when an author throws a twist at you just for the sake of stretching out the story, and that’s not what I got here. Even Ransom himself said their love wasn’t epic….yet. So the bar is certainly set pretty high for the next book, that’s for sure. And while I still think that the story could have done without that epilogue and maybe leave it for the beginning of next one, I also have a feeling that there’s a reason to Eden’s madness. I also think there’s a lot more than what meets the eye and the roller coaster is still to come. While I can’t lie and say that the epilogue didn’t dour my enjoyment of the book slightly, I’m not going to judge it on that and I reserve the right to go back and change my rating to this book once I read the next one. I’m holding on to my judgment until I read the next book and confirm that what it seemed to be is truly what is was.

It’s okay to let someone love you.”
“I don’t deserve it.”
“I’m still gonna love you anyway.”

You may wonder if this book is as good as Thin Love and the answer is no. Not because it wasn’t but because it WASN’T Thin Love. Ransom’s story is different from Kona’s and so it’s impossible to compare. While it may not work for everyone, this angst whore enjoyed the hell out of it. I may have had a slight urge to stalk Eden down after that ending and demand answers, but I’ll attempt to be patient and see what the next book brings. And by that I mean I’ll give the woman 3 months and then I’m coming at her ass for answers LOL!

About the Author

 

Eden Butler Pic

Eden Butler is an editor and writer of New Adult Romance and SciFi and Fantasy novels and the nine-times great-granddaughter of an honest-to-God English pirate. This could explain her affinity for rule breaking and rum. Her debut novel, a New Adult, Contemporary (no cliffie) Romance, “Chasing Serenity” launched in October 2013 and quickly became an Amazon bestseller.

When she’s not writing or wondering about her possibly Jack Sparrowesque ancestor, Eden edits, reads and spends way too much time watching rugby, Doctor Who and New Orleans Saints football.

She is currently imprisoned under teenage rule alongside her husband in southeast Louisiana.

Please send help. 

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GiveawayEden is offering up the following prizes. The giveaway ends Sept 8th at 11:59 PM CST.

  • (1) $20 gift card (Amazon or B&N) (Intl)
  • (1) Signed set of Thin Love series (US only)
  • (1) eBook set of Thin Love series (Intl)

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Review: ★Until You★ by @PenDouglas

Review-Until YouUNTIL YOU
Series: Fall Away #1.5
Genre: New Adult Romance
Author: Penelope Douglasadd-to-goodreads-button3

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From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Penelope Douglas comes a companion novel to Bully. 

This is Jared’s story.

Have you ever been so angry that hitting things felt good? Or numb to all emotions? The past few years have been like that for me. Traveling between fury and indifference with no stops in between. Some people hate me for it, while others are scared of me. But none of them can hurt me, because I don’t care about anything or anyone.

Except Tatum.

I love her so much that I hate her. I hate that I can’t let her go. We used to be friends, but I found out that I couldn’t trust her—or anyone else. So I hurt her. I pushed her away. But I still need her. She centers me. Engaging her, challenging her, pushing her—it’s the one last part of me that feels anything anymore.

But then she went and screwed everything up. She left for a year and came back a different girl. Now, when I push, she pushes back…and I’m not sure either one of us will ever be the same.

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Review

5 starsUntil You-DirtyGirlRomance

Becoming hard at heart isn’t an intersection in your brain where you have a choice to turn left or right. It’s coming to a dead end, and you just keep going, over the cliff, unable to stop the inevitable, because the truth is you just don’t want to.
There is freedom in the fall.

If I’m being perfectly honest, I was actually hesitant to read this. Last time I read a companion novel, the only thing it managed to do was make me hate the heroine with the fire of the worst kind of venereal disease. Not that I’d know what that felt like, but you catch my drift. What I mean to say, is more often then not you’re getting the same regurgitated novel you already read but in a different POV. Well this wasn’t that at all. Not even a little bit. Not even close. While this is essentially in Jared’s POV it’s a completely different book. So much so, that you can read it as a standalone, which I wouldn’t recommend since you need to see it from Tate’s POV first in Bully. You may be asking yourself, why wasn’t this just written as an alternating POV initially? Well you, my doubtful friend, clearly haven’t read the first book, because then you’d understand that no way would it have had the same effect if you got both their POVs in one book. Nope. This story was meant to be told in two books, it two different experiences, by two very different people.

I wanted her to hurt. I didn’t want her to hurt.
I hated her. I loved her.
I wanted to violate her body in a hundred different ways. I wanted to keep her safe.

I fell in love with Penelope Douglas’s storytelling in Bully, and the only thing this book managed to do was completely reaffirm that. Everything and I mean everything that I wanted more clarification and answers on in Bully was addressed here. While I adored that book, I found the reasons that Jared gave Tate for his behavior in it a little…weak. I felt like it had to be something more, something bigger for him to flip that switch and be the way he was with her. Until You delivered those answers in spades. Penelope truly allows the reader inside Jared’s head and you understand him and all his behavior so much more. Plus I loved getting more of him and Madoc and their banter together.

Anyone who sees the way you looks at her knows you don’t want to hook up with her. No, right now you’re looking at her like you want to tie her up and give her a big, fat spanking.”
Stupid ass.
I wasn’t into shit like that, or…I didn’t think I was. Never tried it. Might try it, I guess. You should try everything at least once.
Except crystal meth.

What I loved the most about Until You was that it was a totally different experience from Bully. You get to see everything from an entirely different perspective. You also get to see that year that Tate was away in France and the spiral that hit Jared. And get to experience all the events that finally lead up to his epiphany about his feelings for her.

Right at that moment, I wanted everything from Tate. Everything. Her anger and passion, her hate and lust, her body and soul.
I wanted control of all of it

Until You teaser-Dirty Girl RomanceI adored Tate in Bully and I was so happy that didn’t change seeing her from Jared’s eyes. If anything, it made me like her even more. But what this book managed to do, was endear the reader to Jared completely. The bully that you loved to hate and hated to love in the first book really lets loose his vulnerable side and you appreciate his behavior and the why’s of it so much more. It just clicks.

The hair, the outfit, it was the perfect blend of good girl and bad girl, of salvation and danger.
There was no point in lying to myself. As much as I hated her, I wanted a taste of her.

If you’re on the fence about reading this, you need to get the fuck off it! Seriously. The only thing this book will do is make you love Bully even more and fall in love with both these characters even deeper than before.
Until You teaser2-Dirty Girl RomanceAnd this is coming from a reader that has a shorter attention span than a fly. If I get a HEA in one book I’m not typically one to read a second book for them. I call it my book ADD. But this incredible book made me change my view on that completely. I’m so glad I experienced it because it only made me love their story that much more. I’m now a huge fan of this author and can safely say that absolutely anything she’ll write, I’ll read…without a second thought.

Read it. Love it. Trust me.


THE SERIES

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Fall Away #1

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Fall Away #1.5

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Fall Away #2

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Fall Away #3

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Fall Away #4

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Author Interview, Review & #Giveaway: ★Toxic★ by @authorkimkarr

Interview & Giveaway

Last week I read this book that made me want to rip my hair out and throw my kindle at the wall. If I could have done both at the same time, I’m pretty sure I would have. I was enraged…and I was entranced. Phoebe and Jeremy together was a train wreck that you just couldn’t tear your eyes away from. I loved each agonizing, made me want to curl into a ball of rage and scream to the ceiling second. I have the super fabulous Kim Karr on the blog today for an interview where I got to pick her brain about all things Toxic. Read on to read that along with my full review below. And don’t forget to scroll to the bottom to enter the giveaway for your chance to win a paperback of Toxic!
About The Book
TOXIC
Author: Kim Karr
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 7, 2015
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The New York Times bestselling author of the Connections novels turns up the heat in a sexy new romance about money, power, danger, and passion…

Sometimes you have to wonder if your life is just too good to be true.
Is it real or just an illusion?
Does the man lying beside you really love you like he says he does?
If the answer is yes, you’re meant to live happily ever after.
If the answer is no, you’re living my life…
and nothing will ever be the same.

I know I should walk away, but I can’t.

I’ll take whatever I can get for as long as it lasts.
I know when it’s over…
I’ll never find another man like him.

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Author Interview

If you haven’t added this deliciously angsty book to your TBR yet, I’m pretty sure this interview just may convince you 😉

DGR: Can we start out with a quick introduction for any readers out there that haven’t heard of you yet (if those even exist?)

KK: I’ll be 49 soon and can’t believe I’m one year away from 50. I don’t feel old at all and I hope to stay that way. I grew up in Rochester, NY and now live in Florida with my husband and four kids. I have always had a love for reading books and writing. Being an English major in college, I wanted to teach at the college level but that was not to be. I went on to receive an MBA and became a project manager until quitting to raise my family. I write romance books because I love to watch love blossom.

DGR: I’m a HUGE fan of the second chance romance. Do you have a favorite trope to write? Or is it more about when inspiration strikes you?
KK: I love second chance romances as well. That feeling you get in your stomach when it flips the first time they see each other again—it’s priceless.

DGR: Did you have any inspiration behind the story and/or the characters of Toxic?

KK: I’d read an article about underground nightclubs and thought it was such a cool idea. People show up in the oddest of places to party and then move to another. That transformed into Jeremy’s business in a more legit way. As for Phoebe and friends, I wanted to create a group that was somewhat against the grain of how we think of socialites.

DGR: Jeremy McQueen. The blurb describes him as a sexy, intense, sometimes brooding entrepreneur that goes after what he wants. I have to admit I was sold on the book from that alone. What else can you tell us about the brooding Jeremy?

KK: He was always the hired help’s son. A guy from the wrong side of the tracks so to say that turned his life into something good. He, like everyone, has issues and his stem from his childhood, from believing he was a bastard and then learning that wasn’t the case. All he wants is for someone to believe in him. However, sometimes his darkside makes it hard to do that. I just love him. Can you tell?

DGR: If you had to describe Phoebe St. Claire in 6 words or less, what would they be?

KK: As bold and delicate as a rose. I think that’s 7, oops.

DGR: What was your favorite part about writing this book?

KK: The intensity these two characters felt for each other. I felt it on every page. They were meant to be together.

DGR: Now without giving away any spoilers, what was one of your favorite scenes from Toxic?

KK: When Phoebe sees Jeremy after 5 long years. Here’s a peek: “Someone stepped between us. The distressed leather was the first thing my eyes were focused on when my skin started to tingle with a sense of familiarity. The tingling quickly turned into trembling as my gaze lifted and I saw the bluest of blue eyes.”

DGR:  If you had to describe the book to us in a twitter size type sum-up, what would you say?

KK: #Toxiclove I’m so not good at twitter. Sorry.

DGR: Any little teasers or excerpts you can entice us with? Pretty please?

Phoebe St. Claire
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Feeling a bit drunk and overwhelmed with so many and so few choices at the same time, I needed some time alone and snuck off toward the beach path.
I ran toward the ocean and twirled in the sand as the wind blew around me. Once I started to feel dizzy from twirling, I still wasn’t ready to head back to the party, so I took the path that would lead me to the large Olympic-sized pool. I tugged my sandals off with thoughts of putting my feet in the water to rinse the mud and sand away. As I approached the pool, I noticed how it glowed like it was lit by small pale fires. Lost in the enchantment of it, the sudden movement beneath the surface startled me.
A fair-haired boy emerged from the water. He pulled himself up and out so quickly that I was momentarily stunned. And then when he drank me in with his eyes, I shuddered.
I couldn’t help it, the way he looked at me just made me shiver. No one had ever looked at me like that before and I found myself gazing back into his intense eyes.
He was utterly beautiful. His bare chest was sculpted but not overly bulky like Danny or Jamie. They worked out every day pumping obnoxious amounts of iron to look the way they did. In contrast, the boy standing before me had a swimmer’s build.
He stood stoic and a cautious look crossed his face. He was long and lean in a pair of bright green neon swim trunks.
Right away I could tell he didn’t care what anyone thought about him.
I loved the idea of that.
So I smiled at him.
He shook his head and his hair fell into his eyes.
I wanted to reach out and push it away. It wasn’t long, but it wasn’t short. It was perfect.
“Hey,” he said, grabbing a towel off the ground.
It didn’t belong to the club. It was small, beige, and a bit worn—not the large hunter-green fluffy ones monogrammed in white I’d always gotten when I used to come here to swim as a kid.
“Hey,” I said back, swinging my sandals nervously.
He grabbed a pair of jeans that lay next to where the towel had been and walked right by me.
I turned to watch him as he strode into one of the cabanas and dropped his trunks. I froze and squeezed my eyes shut, thinking I shouldn’t be watching him but then opened them quickly when I couldn’t resist maybe catching a glimpse.
“Didn’t your parents ever tell you it isn’t polite to stare?” His voice was low and sexy, and it tugged me out of my own head.
I put my hands on my hips. “Didn’t your parents ever teach you not to get dressed in mixed company?”
He pulled his jeans on and laughed. “My mother might have mentioned that once or twice but I’ve never been good at following the rules.”
And it didn’t escape my notice that he didn’t put any underwear on first.
Hot. Totally and completely hot.
I didn’t see anything I shouldn’t have seen, it was too dark, but something inside me electrified at the thought of seeing him naked and I stepped closer. That’s when I noticed the scuffed-up black work boots on one of the lounges with a T-shirt thrown next to them.
I raised a brow. “Is this your changing room?”
He laughed again but this time added a smile and put his hands up. “Okay you caught me. I better get out of here before anyone else does.”
He was adorable and charming and my heart skipped a beat or two.
Then I stepped even closer and entered the cabana entrance, effectively blocking his way. “Why? You’re not doing anything wrong.”
He shrugged but he didn’t try to move around me. “I usually swim in the ocean but when the water is too rough, like tonight, I come here.”
I bit my lip in contemplation before speaking. “Does it really matter if you get caught?”
He crossed his arms over his bare chest. “Let’s just say it’s not just the swimming. It’s more that I’ve been caught doing a few too many things that I shouldn’t have been doing in the past.”
A bad boy.
The thought made my pulse thunder. “So you’re not a member at this club?”
He cleared his throat and shifted from foot to foot. “No,” he laughed but his laugh was anything but genuine. “Are you?”
I hesitated as I considered my answer. “No, I was just walking the beach and wanted to rinse my feet. I’m Phoebe,” I said extending my hand. Technically, I wasn’t lying. I wasn’t a member, my parents were. I hadn’t even been here in years. And I was out for a walk.
Amusement danced in his blue eyes. “Jeremy,” he said back.
When I chewed on my lower lip, I noticed how his eyes focused on it.
Mine focused on the entirety of his mouth—his strong, firm jaw, his sensuous lips, and his tongue that had snuck out to lick his lips.
That mouth.
It was almost too much.
Almost.

DGR: Anything else you’d like to leave the readers with?

KK: I hope you read Toxic and fall in love with Jeremy and Phoebe’s world. Enjoy!

Review

4 stars

Toxic-DGR

Jeremy McQueen.
He wasn’t just any boy- he was “the boy”. The only one I never should have met, and the one I’d never trade meeting for the world.

It’s been over a week since I read Toxic and it’s taken me this long to be able to sum my feelings and clear my head enough to rate it. If I can describe this book for you in one word, it would be exhausting. I was absolutely emotionally spent when I finished it. I spent a good 40% of it feeling like I want to rip my hair out. And this is coming from a self-professed angst whore, mind you.
But then here’s the thing; I liked it. Even though the constant back and forth between Phoebe and Jeremy left me feeling like they’re going to give me whiplash, I still liked it and gobbled it up like the angst starved junky that I am. Was it delicious? Heck no! I thought I may choke on it. But god help me, I still liked it. My favorite trope is the second chance romance and Toxic delivers it in spades.

It was emotionally draining, erotic, touching, and rage inducing all at once. Yeah. Try wrapping your head around that.

I loved him once, even though I’d never told him I did. And as I looked at him, everything I’d ever felt for him came rushing back.

Toxic1-DGRPhoebe and Jeremy first met as teenagers years ago. Phoebe was the rich girl with the golden spoon in her mouth and Jeremy was the bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks. Their connection was instantaneous and burned hot and bright, but then lies tore them apart. While Phoebe never got over the boy that once made her entire body and heart burn, she moved on. Now years later fate brings them together again, but he’s no longer the boy she once knew. He’s successful and rich but still invites everything in her like they never spent any years apart.

He took all my air away. I didn’t care- I didn’t need to breathe.

While both Phoebe and Jeremy know they may be toxic together, they can’t stay away from each other. Their chemistry practically crackles in electricity. There’s one thing that’s certain, Kim Karr can write some scorching sex scenes. But the lies between them are like poison that won’t leave. Much as they try to purge it from their relationship it remains that one toxic factor that brews the way for mistrust and mistakes. I think it would be safe to say that neither of these characters are perfect, far from it in fact. These two fuck up so many times it made me want to throttle them and chuck my kindle at the wall. It was rage inducing.

That’s the thing with jealousy- it festers and builds until there is nothing left.

There’s a wealth of secondary characters that were introduced that added to the story in a very significant way. Maybe that’s what helped dilute the angst between Jeremy and Phoebe? It made the book evolve like a movie in front of my eyes and it made me really connect to the characters’ lives. I’m not sure I’d be able to say the same thing if this happened in any other book, but in this one it just worked.

The focus of the story of course are Jeremy and Phoebe and their romance and road to forgiveness and maturity.

We were frantic for each other- time hadn’t done anything to quash what we felt physically for each other. In fact, it only fanned the flames and the fire was bigger than ever.

Toxic2-DGRI think I felt every emotion along with them and that really helped connecting with them. Kim Karr did an amazing job creating two imperfect characters that were imperfectly perfect together. Does that even make sense? In my head it does, but then again I’m still getting over this book. As much as I wanted to rip my hair out for the last 40% of the book, I also secretly loved it. I guess I’m just a masochist that way.

With my eyes closed, I felt the earth move and the sky shift. In my own darkness, I felt a million different things but I didn’t feel lost in him. I knew then for certain, I wouldn’t get lost in him. There was no way I could. Not when I had found myself in him.

If you’re looking for a book that will enrage you and enrapture you all in one, Toxic is that. It’s a make you want to rip your hair out while still rooting for the characters kind of second chance romance. It was far from perfect, but yet it worked. It may not be for everyone, but if you’re a reader that enjoys your angst in rage inducing proportions while getting an unforgettable second chance romance, Toxic is definitely a must read.

ARC courtesy of publisher in exchange for an honest review

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New Release & Review: ★Kane’s Hell★ by Elizabeth Finn

Kane’s Hell
Author: Elizabeth Finn
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance
Note: Trigger warning
Release Date: May 1, 2015

Kane and Helene were the best of friends until a nightmare devastated them… Hopes were destroyed, dreams shattered, a budding teenage love torn to pieces. Eleven years later their lives are nothing like they once were. Time has changed them … and not for the better.Helene is smart, driven, and accomplished—her education and achievements a smoke screen hiding the frigid and fragile child wounded long ago.Kane is equally obsessed with his coping mechanisms—fighting … drinking … screwing … compulsively destroying himself one vice at a time.When their paths collide again, their past becomes an obstacle no coping mechanism in the world can protect them from. But confronting the past so they can heal in the present is no easy task. Can Kane reach Helene and recapture what used to burn so warmly between them, or will his own self destructive demons pull her into his hell?

A woman determined to look forward. A man always looking back. A love desperate to be restored.

“You’re the brightest, warmest star in my universe. You’ll never be less than everything to me.”

WARNING: This book contains darker subject matter and violent content that may be difficult for some readers.

Buy Links
Review
4 stars

 

I need to be near you, and I DON’T know what that looks like. But I DO know I need it. Please give me another chance.

Fans of second chance romance prepare to get your hearts ripped out. I’m talking ‘reach through your throat, make you ugly cry in a corner and fuck you up’ kind of ripped out. It’s no secret that this author writes some ANGST, but nothing prepared me for this book. Let me start off with a disclaimer here; I don’t think this book is for everyone. There’s a particular scene in this book that’s a potential trigger and if you’re sensitive to that sort of thing, well, be advised. Being a huge fan of dark romance I’m fairly desensitized to most things, but this scene even made me cringe. It was very difficult to read even if it wasn’t overly descriptive. It broke my cold and black little heart dammit. I actually had to pause the book right after it just to get my shit together. Yeah. It was that effective.

Kane and Helene were best friends in high school and had a budding romance going which Kane was always hesitant to act on. But then one night and one event changed the course of their lives irrevocably. Prepare yourselves for one gut-wrenching read because this event? It was BAD. You don’t know what it is and it will be retold through present to past flashbacks in the first third of the story.

I needed you, and you left me. You left me in this place to deal with…everything on my own.

What happened made Helene a shell of the woman that she once was. It took her years to wade her way out of the pain and nightmares especially since Kane left right after it, but she did it through her focus on school. Now eleven years later, she’s teaching and working on her dissertation, using her education and her career to push back the devastating memories. The last person she expects to walk into her classroom is the only person that knows what happened those years ago and shared the nightmare with her.

Can’t we just forget about the monsters,” he whispered….
“All I want is to remember us.”

The last place Kane wants to be in is the one that reminds him of everything that he lost and the nightmares he barely keeps at bay. Where Helene uses her education and career to mask her pain, he uses self punishment in the form of fights, alcohol and sex. He craves the pain to punish himself. Back to care for his ailing father, he’s determined to finally get the only girl that’s ever had his heart.

I’m not good at much in this world. But I’m good at loving you.”

If you’ve come to love Elizabeth’s dirty talkers, Kane definitely delivers on that end. He also has that dash of asshole that you’ve come to expect from this author, though not overly so.

The story is told in 3 parts; the first third is told in alternating flashbacks of present to past, slowly retelling the nightmare that Hell and Kane shared together 11 years ago. The reader is given one small piece of the puzzle in each flashback until all the pieces begin to fit together into one devastating picture. The 2nd and 3rd part doesn’t have the flashbacks and is told all in the present and focuses on Hell and Kane attempting to put their broken pieces together again.

Everything about us is fragile- our relationship, the way we communicate, the way we fuck. I always feel like I’m two seconds away from letting you slip through my fingers. It’s all so very fucking fragile.

I did find the story dragging a little somewhere after the 40% mark and I found myself skimming through quite a few sex scenes. I can’t say that it read like a filler, not at all. But it was slower paced after the jaw dropping events of the first third.

I love you, Helene. I want you to know that. You’re the only person I have ever and will ever love in this lifetime. I’m so good at loving you. It’s the one thing I can safely say I will never falter at.

This was NOT a dark romance, but it certainly had much darker undertones than anything I had previously read by this author before. It had plenty of her trademark angst, dirty talk and hot as hell sex scenes. But beyond that it also had a beautifully painful second chance romance about two very broken people that slowly learn how to heal themselves and put back together their shattered pieces.

You are EVERYTHING to me,” I said emphatically.
“Sometimes nothing is enough- not even everything.”

It’s not an easy read for sure, but it’s certainly worth the pain for the beauty of their HEA at the end.

Copyright © 2015 · Dirty Girl Romance

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