#DGRFave & Geri’s Review: Rainy Day Friends by Jill Shalvis

RAINY DAY FRIENDS
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Contemporary Romance
Author: Jill Shalvis
Release Date: June 19, 2018

Following the USA Today bestselling author of Lost and Found Sisters comes Jill Shalvis’ moving story of heart, loss, betrayal, and friendship

Six months after Lanie Jacobs’ husband’s death, it’s hard to imagine anything could deepen her sense of pain and loss. But then Lanie discovers she isn’t the only one grieving his sudden passing. A serial adulterer, he left behind several other women who, like Lanie, each believe she was his legally wedded wife.

Rocked by the infidelity, Lanie is left to grapple with searing questions. How could she be so wrong about a man she thought she knew better than anyone? Will she ever be able to trust another person?  Can she even trust herself?

Desperate to make a fresh start, Lanie impulsively takes a job at the family-run Capriotti Winery. At first, she feels like an outsider among the boisterous Capriottis. With no real family of her own, she’s bewildered by how quickly they all take her under their wing and make her feel like she belongs. Especially Mark Capriotti, a gruffly handsome Air Force veteran turned deputy sheriff who manages to wind his way into Lanie’s cold, broken heart—along with the rest of the clan.

Everything is finally going well for her, but the arrival of River Brown changes all that. The fresh-faced twenty-one-year old seems as sweet as they come…until her dark secrets come to light—secrets that could destroy the new life Lanie’s only just begun to build.

AMAZON | B&N | iBOOKS

Jill Shalvis new Wildstone series have been all winners for me starting with Lost and Found Sisters, followed by Good Luck Sister, and now Rainy Day Friends.


I’ve learned that life is a crapshoot, and at any moment someone can walk into it and change it forever.” 

 

I loved this book. I loved it more than I expected I would. That sounds like a backhanded compliment but let me explain. This book was marketed as Women’s Fiction, a genre that I read but not exactly my go-to genre. There’s always a risk of WF to fall short on the romance aspect. Not so with this book. Yes, this book is definitely about Lanie dealing about the death of her husband and the fallout of his infidelities. But what really gave this book its emotional weight was the romance between Lanie and Mark Capriotti.

Their romance made me swoon! It was definitely a huge part of the book, and I’m so happy for that. I need a healthy dose of romance in my WF and Rainy Day Friends delivered. The romance between Lanie and Mark is mature, passionate and emotional. In other words, it has ALL THE FEELS! And you guys know I’m all about the FEELS!

And now he had her in his arms, this amazing, prickly, suspicious, hardheaded woman that he was falling for in spite of himself because she was also sweet and kind and had the biggest heart of anyone he’d ever met.”

Lanie is prickly and suspicious. She’s not there to become part of the Capriotti clan no matter how friendly and inclusive they are. She’s there to do her job and escape dealing with the mess her husband left her with. I love LOVE prickly heroines and Lanie is fits the description to a tee. She’s also hiding a very soft center underneath prickly exterior. I’ve always enjoyed Jill’s uber competent and complex heroines, but Lanie just might be my favorite Shalvis heroine yet. I LOVE HER! I related to her so much. I understood her motivations and her reaction to her husband’s betrayal and other things made sense to me.

Not only did Jill hit it out of the park with her heroine, she also hit a homerun with the hero, Mark. If you love single parent heroes, then you will love Mark! He’s a devoted family man who loves his twin daughters. And while he did the whole, “I’m not looking for love and can’t offer you anything,” shtick for a while, he changed his tune very quickly when he realized his feelings for Lanie might be deeper than he originally thought. His interactions with his twin daughters are some of the highlights in the book for me. So pure and so heart-wrenching, I shed a tear or two.

The chemistry between these two are off the charts. I realize I sound like a broken record but I love how their romance developed. Theirs enhanced Lanie’s journey and the conflict she’s facing, and honestly, it’s the perfect balance between family drama and romance.

He hadn’t seen it coming, he hadn’t seen her coming, but that didn’t mean he couldn’t recognize a good thing when he saw it.”

There’s also a secondary romance here, which I really liked but won’t get into. It’s there and it has its own charm but it didn’t overpower the main romance between Lanie and Mark.

One aspect that I loved about this book was the Capriotti family. I fell in love with the whole lot of them! They love as passionately as they fight. They’re not perfect which made them all the more interesting to read. I really hope Jill Shalvis will continue to write about their family in future books because they got me like they did Lanie. They were that irresistible.

This book also has one of the most emotionally intense confrontation I’ve read in a Jill Shalvis book. I cried for Lanie. My heart broke for her. And what I really liked about it is that it didn’t feel like I was manipulated. The conflict and the road to that confrontation was so well written that it really hits you when it happened. And it’s not just that one moment in particular, it’s the way Lanie processed her emotions when confronted with that something that got to me. That, in my opinion, is great writing.

This is one of the best I’ve read this year so far. Rainy Day Friends delivered on the romance and I’m so happy it did. I highly recommend this book. If you loved Jill Shalvis, then this is a must read. If you’re just starting out reading her books, this is a great book to start. And even though this is technically the third book in the series, it can be read as a standalone.

Her life had been a train in a dark tunnel for a very long time. But it was like she’d somehow changed course and now she could see a little bit of light.” 

 

#DGRFave & Lana’s Review: The Kiss Quotient by @HHoangWrites

THE KISS QUOTIENT
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Comedy
Author: Helen Hoang
Release Date: June 5, 2018

A heartwarming and refreshing debut novel that proves one thing: there’s not enough data in the world to predict what will make your heart tick.

Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases–a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.

It doesn’t help that Stella has Asperger’s and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice–with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan.

The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can’t afford to turn down Stella’s offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan–from foreplay to more-than-missionary position…

Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but to crave all the other things he’s making her feel.

Soon, their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic…

AMAZON | B&N

The Kiss Quotient (The Kiss Quotient, #1)The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

5+++++ STARS


I don’t want just a night or a week or a month with you. I want you all the time. I like you better than calculus, and math is the only thing that unites the universe.”


There’s only one way to summarize my feelings for this book, and that’s to tell you that it’s an ABSOLUTE FREAKING MUST READ. The Kiss Quotient was quite possibly the most charming, addictingly satisfying romance I’ve read all year! It was everything. ALL OF THE THINGS. And I’m on cloud 9 after finishing it! I don’t even know what I’ll do with myself now because nothing could ever compare to the ultimate perfection that was this unique and wonderful story full feels and steam. Nothing I could say could possibly do it justice, but I’ll try.

The heroine: Stella Lane
How I loved her. Here’s a female that’s the very antithesis of your typical romance heroine and she was PHENOMENAL. When I first read the blurb and saw that Stella has Asperger, I was so curious to see how the author would depict her. And I can tell you that I couldn’t be more satisfied. There’s just something so incredibly endearing and ultimately just…real, about Stella. She’s full of quirks, but she’s also vibrant in her own way. She has a fulfilling and successful career, but relationships and sex are such a foreign subject to her, that she continually suffers through terrible dates and unsatisfying sexual encounters. With her family’s constant pressure for her to finally settle down, she knows that she needs help. And so she gets that, when she hires an escort to guide her through the art of dating and relationships.

The hero: Michael Phan
Gah! JUST GAH! This man. I can’t even begin to describe all of the ways I adored him. Forced to work as an escort in order to help his family, Michael doesn’t exactly brag about being an escort. As a matter of fact, it’s more of his shameful secret. Used to women seeing him for just his looks, he’s almost jaded on relationships….until he meets beautiful and sexually clueless Stella. There’s just something about her that makes him question everything he thought he knew. Their connection is instant and so potent, I felt the energy of it sizzle on the pages. Here’s a man that’s not a playboy (escort aside), he’s not an a-hole either. There was also something so real about Michael to me. I adored his relationship with his quirky and colorful family. But I absolutely loved the way he was with Stella. He’s the perfect gentleman with a filthy mouth. God but I loved him. I loved him so freaking hard.

This book was simply amazing. It was unique and fresh and full of heart. It was unlike any other romance I’ve read and I couldn’t get enough of it. Helen Hoang has got an instant mega fan in this reader. I will blindly read ANYTHING she writes, no blurb required. She’s a talent that EVERYONE needs to discover and this book one that EVERYONE needs to fall in love with. Because that’s exactly what will happen when you meet Michael and Stella; you’ll fall head over heels for them same as I did. This romance will stay with you, it will engrain itself into your memory and make your heart feel full with it’s emotion. In a nutshell; read it, read it, JUST READ IT!!

_____________________________________________________________

ICYMI: You can check out Geri’s review of Kiss Quotient here: https://wp.me/p6sEtE-8m3

DGR Fave & Geri’s Review: The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

THE KISS QUOTIENT
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Comedy
Author: Helen Hoang
Release Date: June 5, 2018

A heartwarming and refreshing debut novel that proves one thing: there’s not enough data in the world to predict what will make your heart tick.

Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases–a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.

It doesn’t help that Stella has Asperger’s and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice–with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan.

The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can’t afford to turn down Stella’s offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan–from foreplay to more-than-missionary position…

Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but to crave all the other things he’s making her feel.

Soon, their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic…

AMAZON | B&N

All the things that make you different make you perfect.”

Oh my gosh, this book!

I’ve seen my friends gush about Helen Hoang’s debut for a month or so, and being a contrarian that I am, I tried to temper my expectations. I’ve been here before. Everyone I know loved a book and I’m like, ‘meh’. But that’s not the case here.

The Kiss Quotient not only met my expectations, IT EXCEEDED IT!

I finished this book with a huge grin on my face (always a good sign) and full heart. These characters that Hoang brought to life in the pages of her book made me laugh, cry, and fall in love with them.

You’re very good at the talking part.”
“I’ve had sex. There isn’t a talking part.”
A spark danced in his eyes. “There’s definitely a talking part.”

Stella Lane is magnificent as Hoang’s heroine. She’s beautiful, smart, and kind. Her motivations were so wonderfully written and explored by the author that there’s really nothing I can say except, WOW. I just fell in love with her character just like Michael did.

And speaking Michael? Oh man, easily one of the best romance heroes ever. And I don’t say this lightly. Michael Larsen is a cinnamon roll. Sweet and gooey and perfect for Stella! He might be the sweetest and softest hero but he also owns one of the dirtiest mouth out there. In other words, he’s perfect.

Love, he found, was a jail. It trapped, and it clipped wings. It dragged you down, forced you to places you didn’t want to go.

In all seriousness though, this book is definitely one of the best I’ve read this year. Everything about it worked for me. The romance was excellent. The characters were multi-dimensional, even the secondary ones (please give us Quan’s book, please?), were interesting and had motivations you can relate to.  And lastly, don’t let the pretty pastel cover fool you ’cause this book is super steamy in the best way possible.

So yeah, I dig everything about this book and I hope you would read it and dig it too.

 

#DGRFave & Review: Filthy Gods by R. Scarlett

 

 

 

FILTHY GODS
Series:
American Gods #0.5
Genre:
Contemporary Romance
Author:
R. Scarlett
Release Date: May 15, 2018

Prelude in the American Gods series.

Young. Wealthy. Elite. Attractive. The gentlemen’s secret society at Yale was filled with them.

And Nathaniel Radcliffe, the bane of my existence, was one of them.

As the right hand of the American Gods, he was conceited and arrogant. A dangerously handsome man in a tailored custom suit and shiny black oxford loafers.

The classroom was our battlefield. We made a sport out of arguing and debating, ready to do anything in order to win over the other.

Deadly opponents, deadlier minds.

I’d sworn I’d never give him the upper hand, until…

The secret I’ve been hiding for the last three years?

He just discovered it… and now he has all the power.

*35k Novella

AMAZON

He was a mere man, I knew that, but he and his friends were treated like gods. It didn’t help they looked like it, too. Intimidating, perfect and deadly. 

What if Paper Princess and The In Crowd had a book baby? A sexy, thrilling, and addicting book baby that will captivate you from the very first page and have you hooked on a new series of bad boys? Well, my friends, that would be this book and it would be this series. Because holy mother of book crack was this good!

There was something holy and unholy about the boys. Sacred and sinful all at once. Bastards of Grace. Fame, wealth and power poured out of them. They were the things of legends and myths.

A group of men so rich and powerful they can only be known as American Gods? Sign me up! This is a prequel to what’s set to be an amazing new series from R. Scarlett. And while it was a novella, it was wholly satisfying. Surprisingly so. I’m not usually a reader that gravitates towards novellas, because they always leave me wanting more. And don’t get me wrong, this book left me craving, but craving the rest of the series. The novella itself was a complete story, perfectly paced, and entirely satisfying.

Juliette is barely making ends meet. As the girl from the wrong side of the tracks, she’s desperately hiding her humble past while trying to make a name for herself at Yale among the wealthy and the entitled. And at the top of the food chain are the American Gods. Nathaniel Radcliffe may not be one of those bad boys, but he’s in with them. He’s wealthy, connected, powerful, and her biggest rival in school. Used to his calculated and educated debates with her in class, it’s unnerving to be on the receiving end of it outside of school. Especially when she finds out that the country club that she works at is also one that his family owes. And his silence is going to cost her. They agree to a summer fling to work their unwanted lust out of their system, but nothing is ever quite so simple.

I felt like delicate glass in his powerful hands. I fought him—thrust for thrust, kiss for kiss, nip for nip, and he met me each time, working each other to a pleasure so intense, I feared it would end us both.

The novella introduces the reader to a secret society of men. Men that are powerful, broken but deadly. I was salivating at the mere mention of the American Gods and practically shaking to get my hands on their books. Because the set up? DELICIOUS.

As for this book? It was fantastic! I loved the instant and undeniable chemistry between Nathaniel and Juliette. I loved how Juliette’s strength and perseverance shined through even when she submitted to his powerful presence. The book helped set the scene but it also gave us a deliciously filthy story. If you’re like me and love your angst with plenty of power dynamics and drama, this is an absolute must read!

#DGRFave & Review: Bane by LJ Shen

BANE
Series: Sinners of Saint #4
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: LJ Shen
Release Date: May 10, 2018

A COMPLETE standalone and a Sinners of Saint spin-off.

Bane
Naked surfer. Habitual pothead. A con, a liar, a thief and a fraud.
Last I heard, he was extorting the rich and screwing their wives for a living.
Which is why I’m more than a little surprised to find him at my threshold, looking for my friendship, my services, and most puzzling of all—looking humbled.
Thing is, I’m on a boycott. Literally—I cut boys from my life. Permanently.
Problem is, Bane is not a boy, he is all man, and I’m falling, crashing, drowning in his sweet, perfect lies.

Jesse Carter
Hot as hell, cold as ice.
I wasn’t aware of her existence until a fat, juicy deal landed in my lap.
She’s a part of it, a little plaything to kill some time.
She is collateral, a means to an end, and a side-bonus for striking a deal with her oil tycoon stepdad.
More than anything, Jesse Carter is a tough nut to crack.
Little does she know, I have the teeth for it.

AMAZON

We weren’t a boy and a girl. We were two lonely, fucked-up souls. It made wanting Bane in my life acceptable. I wanted him to fix me.

The queen of angst has done it once again. She’s given me a hero that I have fallen head over ovaries for, and I can’t stop thinking about. Bane is so different from the heroes we’re used to from LJ Shen, but he’s no less potent. He’s not the typical alpha-hole that she writes oh-so-well. But he’s also not quite a nice guy either. Bane is that somewhere in the middle, that gray zone of sex appeal and criminal. This book was EVERYTHING.

You’re poisoned. Sheltered. Yet, you’re no Snow White. Wanna know why?”
“Why?”
“Snow White waited for the prince. You’ll be the one saving yourself in this story.”

Jesse may have been one of my favorite LJ Shen heroines to date. This girl is so broken, yet her spirit shines through even through her shattered pieces. And I absolutely loved that Bane is one of the few people in her life that sees it. He sees beyond the frumpy clothes she tries to hide behind. He sees the fiery woman behind the disguise; a woman with scars but one that will fight with the ferocity of a tiger if ever cornered. Man but I loved their immediate chemistry and dynamic. This is a slow burn, and boy does Shen make you burn. She makes you crave every stolen look, every secret touch, every forbidden erotic moment. GAH. It was so freaking delicious.

He was cracking my heart with every touch, shattering it with every smile, and it didn’t make any sense, because how could he break something that was already broken?

Bane is not a nice guy, but he’s not quite a bad guy either. This is a man with many layers that are full of depth beyond what his bad boy appearance gives off. I was turning the pages well into the night, ravenous for another layer to be revealed. The tumultuous connection that he has to Jesse had me sitting at the edge of my seat just waiting for the other shoe to drop. You experience him unwillingly and unexpectedly fall for a girl that was supposed to be a tool in his arsenal. She was only supposed to be a pawn but soon began to turn into so much more.

I survived many things, but Roman Protsenko was probably not going to be one of them.

Bane was a delicious slow burn full of depth and emotion. It was a story of survival and finding love in the darkest most unexpected corner. It was angsty, sexy, and a page turner from beginning to finish.

#DGRFave & Review: Birthday Girl by Penelope Douglas

BIRTHDAY GIRL
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Penelope Douglas
Release Date: April 17, 2018

JORDAN

He took me in when I had nowhere else to go.

He doesn’t use me, hurt me, or forget about me. He doesn’t treat me like I’m nothing, take me for granted, or make me feel unsafe.

He remembers me, laughs with me, and looks at me. He listens to me, protects me, and sees me. I can feel his eyes on me over the breakfast table, and my heart pumps so hard when I hear him pull in the driveway after work.

I have to stop this. It can’t happen.

My sister once told me there are no good men, and if you find one, he’s probably unavailable.

Only Pike Lawson isn’t the unavailable one.

I am.

PIKE
I took her in, because I thought I was helping.

She’d cook a few meals and clean up a little. It was an easy arrangement.

As the days go by, though, it’s becoming anything but easy. I have to stop my mind from drifting to her and stop holding my breath every time I bump into her in the house. I can’t touch her, and I shouldn’t want to.

The more I find my path crossing hers, though, the more she’s becoming a part of me.

But we’re not free to give into this. She’s nineteen, and I’m thirty-eight.

And her boyfriend’s father.

Unfortunately, they both just moved into my house.

*BIRTHDAY GIRL is a stand-alone, contemporary romance suitable for ages 18+.

AMAZON

You make my heart pound so hard it hurts, Jordan. You, your mouth, and who you are, it all makes me want to touch you. It makes me not want to stop this.”

When I saw that Penelope Douglas was coming out with a surprise release, I didn’t even blink before adding the book. When I read the blurb, I think a small part of me cringed, while a bigger part of it was screaming GIMME!! See, I love a forbidden romance. But there’s something about the whole father thing that just gives me the blehs too. It takes an immensely talented author to pull off a story like this without making it torrid, pervy and cringe worthy. Luckily for me, Penelope Douglas is that rare unicorn of authors that can not only pull it off, but make you fall in love with it too.

And that’s what I am. Her boyfriend’s father. Nothing more. But deep in my heart, the small ember growing bigger and bigger every day knows that’s a lie.

Jordan is a heroine that’s impossible not to like. Mature beyond her years due to the way she grew up, this is not your typical 19 year old. With a mother that left years ago and a deadbeat trailer trash father, it’s been her and her older sister fending for themselves. With an adorable adoration of all things 80s, Jordan was easy to connect with. While her sister has no problem supporting herself and young child by being a stripper, Jordan wants more. Moving in with her boyfriend’s father rent free will allow her to save up enough to put herself on her feet and to get that more that she craves. But it also brings a whole lot more complications in the form of an interaction to her boyfriend’s young father that seems to only intensify over time.

I think what really made me connect with Jordan is how well Douglas handled this character’s development. There’s glimpses into a teenage girl; enough to make you remember her age. But at the same time, she’s not sheltered and naive. This is a woman that knows what she wants. She’s not shy and afraid to go after it. She’s solid. She’s mature beyond her years. But yet she’s still a young woman.

I simply adored the way the romance unraveled and developed between her and Pike. There was something so real and raw about it. It wasn’t torrid, even though it was forbidden. You understand their attraction. You believe in it. You yearn for it. The tantalizingly slow build makes it even better.

I know everything we’re doing is wrong, and I don’t know how I’m going to explain this to anyone, but right here—right now—I don’t want to be anywhere else. I wish I could die as happy as I am right now.

Pike is a man that was forced to grow up fast when he became a father at 19. Giving up on his dreams to support his new son was not something he ever gave a second thought about. This is clearly a man that wants a relationship with his son but due to circumstances, it’s a struggle. I don’t want to give too much away about the dynamics, but trust me when I tell you that you will understand. You’ll even root for him.

The romance and age difference is handled with tact and done incredibly well. The situation with the boyfriend is as well. There was simply nothing about this book that I didn’t love. This was clearly a book the author wanted to write and was meant to, and it came across vividly clear in the writing. I fell so hard for this story and these characters.

Birthday Girl is a story of forbidden romance, yes. But it’s so much more than that, too. It’s a story of strength and forgiveness. Of making mistakes and learning how to write them. It was raw, and sexy, and unique. I loved every single page of it and cannot recommend it enough.

#DGRFave & Review: The Real by Kate Stewart

THE REAL
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Kate Stewart
Release Date: April 12, 2018

They say it happens when you least expect it.

It did for me.

It started the moment I saw the simple message pop up on my computer screen:

Cameron’s Mac: Hi.

And when I met the eyes of the gorgeous man messaging me from across the coffee shop, I never thought my reply would lead to the most intense, sexual, and passionate relationship of my life.

We both agreed to check our bags at the door and put our future hopes and aspirations on the table.

It worked.

I fell in love with his no holds barred attitude, sexy smirk, and undeniably good heart . . . and for a while we forgot about our baggage. We happily tripped over it to get to the other, neither of us willing to show the contents of our pasts in the off chance it could ruin us.

We built our love on a foundation of gray.

It was life in black and white that threatened to tear us apart.

AMAZON

A kiss can be an introduction, statement, and a promise. I plan to make all three when you let me.

My heart. Oh my poor, cold black heart. It will never be the same again because Kate Stewart stole it with this incredible story. This is hands down, my favorite book by this author to date, and easily one of my favorite reads of the year. I still can’t stop thinking about it.

The Real was a poignant, emotional, and unforgettable romance. It was unique and beautiful. It was gripping and thought provoking. It was absolutely EVERYTHING. It tore my heart out and put it back together and I’ll never be the same again after experiencing it.

We’d spiraled from nothing into everything within a few months. It wasn’t just attraction. It was far more, both unspoken and admitted. And just as sure as I was standing on that porch, I wanted him to know.

Reeling from a terrible breakup with a man she grossly misjudged, Abbie is not eager to jump into another relationship any time soon. She’s afraid to trust again and worst of all, she’s afraid to trust her own judgement. But when a handsome stranger’s message air drops onto her Mac in a coffee shop, what begins is one of the most memorable meet cutes and wooing non-dates I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Cameron is devilishly handsome, patient, sweet and everything that Abbie wants but doesn’t trust herself to have. Their relationship isn’t rushed but the depth of it is unexpected for both of them.

There’s plenty of light hearted moments and giggles with the appearance of Abbie’s BFF who I’m fairly convinced is my spirit animal. The girl was a riot and I loved their friendship and the way she was always there for Abbie in her own quirky and super loud way.

Your resting bitch face is pretty but scary. And in the last year, it’s gotten worse. Your bitch face reads ‘Abandon all hope. You can’t stick your penis here.’ But, by the way, he just looked at you. I think it’s safe to say he gives no shits. He wants to put his penis into your vagina.”

The love between the MCs is a slow burn but it’s powerful and raw and real. It was such a pleasure to read the progression of their feelings. But of course nothing is so simple when it comes to the genius mind of Kate Stewart, and after she lulls you into a state of swoony bliss, she slams you with a two by four of feels.

But while the love between Cameron and Abbie may be real, it’s certainly not black and white. It’s a gray area of beauty and pain. Kate isn’t afraid to broach a subject matter that you don’t commonly find in romance novels and I have so much respect for her for going there. This book is so much more than a mere romance. It’s riveting and thought provoking.

My body his slave, I came apart as his name pushed out past my lips. It was his name that wrote itself across my heart; it was his eyes that spoke to my soul. It was Cameron. I lost myself, trusting him with every minute. His sex was my undoing.

I don’t have enough words to tell you all the ways I loved this book. It simply needs to be experienced. I can’t recommend it enough. This NEEDS to be on your TBR. It needs to be read. And it will surely be going on your favorites shelf right along mine.

#DGRFave & Review: The Paper Swan by @LeylahAttar

THE PAPER SWAN
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Suspense, Dark
Author: Leylah Attar
Release Date: August 4, 2015

They say it takes 21 days to form a habit.

They lie.

For 21 days she held on.

But on Day 22, she would have given anything for the sweet slumber of death.

Because on Day 22, she realizes that her only way out means certain death for one of the two men she loves.

A haunting tale of passion, loss, and redemption, The Paper Swan is a darkly intense yet heartwarming love story, textured with grit, intrigue, and suspense. Please note: This is NOT a love triangle.

A full-length, standalone novel, intended for mature audiences due to violence, sex and language. Subject matter may be disturbing for some readers.

AMAZON | iBOOKS

You can either choose love or you can choose hate, because where one lives, the other will die.”

This weekend I didn’t just read a book, I experienced one. I fell head over heels for an all encompassing, gritty and emotional romance that kept me glued to the pages from start to finish. I’m embarrassed to say I’ve had this phenomenal story on my kindle for over 2 years and only now just read it. I’m kicking myself for it fully for only now discovering the raw talent that is Leylah Attar writing. Because this book? This book was everything. EVERYTHING. It was devastating, passionate, beautiful and dark. It was flawlessly written and entirely unforgettable.

Vengeance only begets more vengeance, more chaos, more darkness.

What ultimately hooked me on the story was the writing. It’s this unicorn of writings styles that falls flawlessly between lyrical and gritty. I fell in love with Attar’s writing style. Her descriptions, her character development, all of it was so effortless yet absolutely stunning. I can’t say enough about it.

We are a question that hasn’t been answered yet, a hiding place that hasn’t been found yet, a battle that hasn’t been fought yet.”

The readers gets thrown right into the deep end from the beginning. Left breathless and eager for answers, the authors keeps you at the edge of your seat with each morsel of information that she slowly discloses. The pacing was absolute perfection.

I instantly connected with Skye. Although she’s lived a pampered, almost sheltered life, this is not a naive or spoiled woman. She’s someone with an inner core of strength that makes her shine from the pages. You can’t help but root for her and the impossible situation that she finds herself in. Kidnapped, held captive on a boat, being led to what she knows is her inevitable death by a man that leaves her with more questions than answers.

Damian had thieving, stealing contraband eyes, and when they fell on my mouth, they robbed me of all breath and thought.

Damian. Oh man. Damian. This was such an intense and complex anti-hero. You want to hate him for what he does, and then he gives you glimpses of something more vulnerable behind the mask he wears, and you can’t help but yearn for more of it. This is a character with so many layers, that even if you peeled them all back, you’d still not get to the center of it.

His lips found mine and he latched on with a hunger that left me breathless. He was an ocean of want and need. All the raging, submerged currents that he’d kept at bay unleashed themselves on me. I tried to keep afloat, clutching at him, but I didn’t stand a chance.

The Paper Swan is a stunning story of vengeance and sacrifice, of regret and forgiveness. It was passionate. It was gritty and raw. It was absolutely, positively unforgettable and a story I’ll take with me for a long time to come.

#DGRFave & Review: Neighborhood Watch by @StyloFantome

NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH
Series: Twin Estates #4
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Stylo Fantome
Release Date: March 17, 2018

Rules to Join The Neighborhood Watch:

1. If you see something, say something

2. Report all illegal activities to the authorities

3. Do not associate with criminals

4. And certainly don’t fall for them!

Tori Bellows is a really good friend. She’s always there when a shoulder is needed to cry on, to give dating advice, or for a good ol’ time. Now, though, Tori is the one who needs a shoulder to lean on when she’s in a tough spot. But all of her friends are too busy with their own lives.

Enter the Twin Estates’ resident bad boy, Landon Edenhoff. When he offers her an all expenses paid vacation, she’s immediately suspicious – he’s rarely nice and his intentions are never good. But she’s ready for a change of scenery and knows she can give as good as she gets from Mr. Rude & Nasty himself.

After all, how bad could this neighbor really be?

AMAZON 

The man was trouble. Always would be. He was vice and sin wrapped into a ridiculously sexy package, with a healthy sprinkling of damaged-dickhead on top.

If you follow my reviews or know me even a little, you probably already know my love for a good alphahole? And Landon Edenhoff is in a category all of his own. This man was the alphahole to beat all alphaholes, and he makes no qualms about it. He owns it. He knows it. He even enjoys it.

Stupid girl,” he breathed. “Don’t you know I’ll break you?”
“Yes,” she whispered back. “But maybe breaking me will help you fix yourself.”
“And you would offer yourself?”
“I would.”

First of all, I’m seriously kicking myself for not reading a Stylo Fantome book sooner. Because if this book is anything to go by, I already know I’ll be obsessed. And yes, judgy mcjudgerson, I did start this series with book 4. And you know what else? I’m not even sorry! While there is a clear backstory between all the secondary characters, I had no problem getting fully immersed in their world.

Tori Bellows has been lusting after her boss for way too long. She’s seen friend after friend settle down, and yearns for a HEA of her own. The problem is that her boss is now in love with someone that’s not her, and her drunken endeavor to finally tell him how she feels lands her in bed with his twin brother instead.

The only thing that Landon and Liam have in common is their face. Landon is rude, crude, and the epitome of a bad boy. He’s borderline criminal, actually. And if his sex appeal is anything to judge by, he should be arrested. He’s the exact opposite of the man that Tori should get involved with, but the raw sexual chemistry between them is just too powerful to resist.

So fucking wet,” he grunted as he moved so he was kneeling between her legs. “You’re a mess, dirty girl. I don’t know if you deserve this dick.”
“Maybe not,” she gasped. “But I want it.”
“How bad?”
“I think you can feel how bad,” she laughed.
His hand moved off her chest and clamped down over her mouth. “I didn’t ask you to make a fucking joke,” he growled. “I asked you to fucking beg for my cock.”

Both Tori and Landon are incredibly multilayered characters that I couldn’t get enough of. Watching the development and growth of Landon was one of the most satisfying things about this book for me. I loved watching him falling harder and harder for Tori, even when he does his best to resist. He doesn’t make excuses for himself, but beneath the demons on his forefront is the heart of a man that is desperate for redemption.

He was still, and probably always would be, a bad guy. But just maybe he wasn’t the worst guy.

There’s a gritty and dark undercurrent to this story that I enjoyed immensely. The progression of the characters and their relationship felt incredibly real and oh so satisfying. I loved that Tori gave as hard as she got, and was never hesitant to put Landon in his place. I loved watching Landon soften, ever so slightly, with his feelings for Tori.

I’m always gonna be an asshole,” he warned her. “But for you … for you, I’ll try to be a good guy.”

Neighborhood Watch was a deliciously sexy and utterly riveting story from beginning to end. It may have been my first book by this author, but it most definitely won’t be my last. I plan on binging on her entire backlist. If you like bad boys and watching them fall for sassy women that give as good as they get all wrapped around a gritty and addicting story, this book is simply not to be missed!

#DGRFave Review & Giveaway: Undone By You by @KittyMeader

UNDONE BY YOU
Series: Chicago Rebels #5
Genre: Contemporary MM Romance
Author: Kate Meader
Release Date: March 5, 2018

Dante Moretti has just landed his dream job: GM of the Chicago Rebels. And screw the haters who think there should be an asterisk next to his name because he’s the first out managing executive in pro hockey.

He’s earned the right to be here and nothing will topple him off that perch—especially not an incredibly inconvenient attraction to his star defenseman, Cade “Alamo” Burnett.

Cade has always been careful to keep his own desires on the down low, but his hot Italian boss proves to be a temptation he can’t resist.

Sure, they both have so much to lose, but no one will ever know…

As Dante and Cade’s taboo affair heats up off the ice and their relationship gets more and more intense, they’ll have to decide: is love worth risking their careers? Or is this romance destined to be forever benched?

AMAZON | iBOOKS

Cade Burnett was choosing to put himself out there, and Dante intended to reward him with the hottest experience of his life.


Sexy, emotional, and absolutely perfect! The first MM romance I’ve read from the uber talented Kate Meader and it was a HUGE winner!!

Dante is the GM of the Chicago Rebels hockey team. He’s also ridiculously good looking, mostly grumpy and openly gay. When he runs into one of his star defenseman in a gay club, he’s stunned. When the man he thought to be straight as an arrow and having a fling with one of the Chase sisters clearly propositions him, he’s equally shocked and tempted. Cade is super sexy, easy going, funny, and super off limits. But as determined as Dante is to resist Cade, Cade is just as determined to seduce him. Thus begins the most delicious game of cat and mouse and back and forth.

Dante is hesitant to get involved with a closeted hockey player. He’s had his heart broken in the past and he’s not looking to put it all on the line again. He’s put in blood, sweet and tears into his career, as well. It takes a lot for an openly gay man in the league to get the respect he deserves and Dante earned it the hard way. How can he put all of that at risk for a man that threatens everything, including his sanity. A relationship with a player is frowned upon. The fact that no one knows Cade is gay doesn’t help matters.

Cade was absolute perfection. He knows what he wants and he goes after it with a singleminded intent. He doesn’t shy away from a challenge and he’s not afraid to push all of Dante’s buttons. I loved his easy going nature. I especially loved the way these two alpha males balanced each other out with their completely different personalities.

Full of witty banter, incredible chemistry, and endearing characters, Undone By You totally owned my heart. I loved the connection between Dante and Cade. I loved the slow burn of their developing relationship. I especially loved the way that Cade handled his coming out and Dante and the rest of the team supported him. I loved all the interactions with the secondary characters. I just seriously loved this book and this story.

Originally from Ireland, Kate Meader cut her romance reader teeth on Maeve Binchy and Jilly Cooper novels, with some Harlequins thrown in for variety. Give her tales about brooding mill owners, oversexed equestrians, and men who can rock an apron, a fire hose, or a hockey stick, and she’s there. Now based in Chicago, she writes sexy contemporary romance with alpha heroes and strong heroines (and heroes) who can match their men quip for quip. Visit her at KateMeader.com.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Copyright © 2015 · Dirty Girl Romance

%d bloggers like this: