New Release & Review: Menace by @JMDarhower

MENACE
Genre: Dark Romance, Mafia
Series: Scarlet Scars #1
Author: JM Darhower
Release Date: January 16, 2017

Once upon a time, there was a guy who got so fed up with life that he resorted to murder and mayhem just to feel alive.

Lorenzo Gambini is bored. So fucking bored. Most people either annoy him or avoid him, afraid to face him. Figuratively. Literally. With his face partially disfigured, scarred, he looks every bit the monster the stories make him out to be: the notorious menace they call Scar. They say he’s a sociopath. Maybe he’s a psychopath. Whatever path he’s on, people tend to stay far away from it.

Until one day, a young woman bumps right into him–a woman just as fed up with life, but for much different reasons. With a Scarlet Letter inked on her wrist and secrets buried deep in her soul, Morgan Myers is running from something… or maybe somebody. Lorenzo isn’t quite sure.

You can bet your ass he’s going to figure it out, though.

AMAZON

He’s excitement. He’s adrenaline.
He makes my heart do stupid shit.
Shit my heart shouldn’t be doing.
Because everything that turns me on about him could also snuff me out.

Want to know a recipe for a whole lot of awesome?

Take one part heroine that’s snarky, sarcastic, as strong as she is broken, can stand her own with anyone, has enough sass and backbone to make her awesome from start to finish.

Take one part anti-hero that’s as hot as he is totally f*cked up. Make him have an internal monologue that will have your cringing one minute and cracking up the next. As a matter of fact take one part Deadpool sort of snarky humor…

I’m starting to understand what everyone says about you.”
“And what, pray tell, do they say? Don’t leave me in suspense here.”
“That there’s something seriously wrong with you.”
“Oh, well, I could’ve told you that. There’s a lot wrong with me.”

and mix that with some mafia bad*ss!

Mix in a part of mystery.

Add a splash of plot twist.

Sprinkle in some super f*cked up secondary characters.

Get the beyond amazing JM Darhower to blend it all together with her signature mix of grit and sex.

And now, my friend, you got yourself one addicting little cocktail. Uhem.

If you’ve read Target on Our Backs, you’re already familiar with Lorenzo and his particular brand of crazy. And make no mistake, the man is definitely NUTS.

I seem to forever exist in a gray area of life, caught in a web somewhere between homicidal and suicidal

He’s violent, screwed up, borderline sociopath. His past demons don’t haunt his present because they’re probably scared shitless of a man that doesn’t fear death. Does he have a backstory? Absolutely. And it’s as devastating as it is f*cked up. Will you be panting for him throughout the entire book even knowing all that? Abso-freaking-lutely!

He stares at me, not a flicker of emotion showing on his face. There’s almost something inhuman about it.

Morgan aka “Scarlet” was easily my favorite heroine that this author has written to date. This is a woman that’s running but with a purpose and using any means possible to get what she wants. She’ll pick pockets, lie, and use her body if she has to. She’s full of nails and vinegar. She’s sassy, sarcastic, snarky and everything I love. She’s broken but not defeated. If anything her weakness just make her that much stronger. She was a fascinating combination vulnerable and deadly.

This is not a story of insta lust or insta anything. These two have a rocky start and an explosive continuation. And by explosive, I mean that in all sense of the word.

Holy fuck. This man and those hands… he doesn’t play fair. At all. He presses buttons he’s got no business pressing.

I loved her internal monologue almost as much as I loved Lorenzo’s

He curves his fingers, hitting that sweet spot deep inside. The unicorn found the fucking Holy Grail.
Didn’t even need a map.
He navigated right there.

Yeah. See what I mean?
This was told in dual POV and I gobbled it up! It was violent and gritty, taking you right into the underbelly of the worst sort of criminal organizations. It’s sexy with just the right amount of humor mixed it. I loved it is what I’m trying to tell you here. I’m already itching for the conclusion. ITCHING I tells ya!!!

I just think about how fucked up it is to realize that heroes are make-believe but monsters are real. That’s the world we live in. There’s no knight in shining out there. It’s just me, trapped in a world filled with fire-breathing dragons.


GRIEVOUS, book 2 in the Scarlet Scars and the conclusion, releases in February

Add it to your Goodreads now!

Review: Torture To Her Soul by J.M. Darhower

TORTURE TO HER SOUL
Series: Monster in His Eyes #2
Genre: Dark Romance
Author: J.M. Darhower
Release Date: September 29, 2014

Don’t say it unless you mean it…

It’s a simple concept, one I’ve said time and again, but something people don’t seem to comprehend. You should choose every syllable carefully, because you never know when somebody will hold you to your word.

Somebody like me.

I’m not a good man. I’m not. I know. I have enough darkness inside of me to rid the world of every stitch of light. But there’s one I could never harm, one light I couldn’t bring myself to snuff out.

Karissa.

She thinks I’m a monster, and maybe I am. I taunt her with my touch, get a thrill out of torturing her soul. But I’m not the only one. The world is full of monsters, and I’m not the most dangerous one out there.

Not even close…

God help me, I love her.

I do.

And God help anyone who tries to take her from me.

AMAZON 

We’re a tragedy in the making. The game of tug-of-war we’re playing will end up destroying us, because she doesn’t have it in her to surrender, and I can’t let go. It’s something else I love about her. There’s a fight in her. But it’s a fight that’ll be our downfall. Because I have that same fight in me. 


Can I just say how much I LOVED getting the conclusion entirely in Naz’s POV? Because NAZ!!! FREAKING NAZ!

Tell me how you want it to be. Tell me what you need from me.” I’ll give her anything. I’ll tear my fucking chest open with my bare hands, rip out my heart and hand it to her, if that’s what she needs. All she has to do is tell me. All she has to do is ask.

Sometimes the line between good and bad isn’t so black and white. Sometimes it’s somewhere in the very depths of gray. And that’s exactly what you get with Naz. This is a man that’s done plenty of bad things and makes no apologies for it. He fully accepts who he is and what he’s become. He’s a man driven by pain and revenge. A man that’s sold his soul to the devil for a chance at vengeance. But Karissa has changed him irrevocably. He’ll still go to war and cover the streets in blood, but now it’s all for her.

She’s trying to be unbreakable but I’m unshakeable. She’s going crazy, and I’m already goddamn insane. I clipped my jailbird’s wings so she couldn’t fly away from me, and then I wonder why the fuck I can’t make her soar.

Being inside his head was an experience of dark and darker. And while you know it’s wrong, you just can’t find it in you to care even a little bit.

Torture To Her Soul was exactly what I hoped and so much more. J.M. Darhower knows how to weave one hell of a story and she’s a master of words. She’s given me some of my favorite mafia anti-heroes and I hope she never stops.

Second chances don’t come easily. Most people don’t get them. Most people don’t know what it’s like to come back from the brink of death. It changes people. It certainly changed me.


DON’T MISS THE FIRST BOOK IN THIS SERIESAMAZON | MY REVIEW

Review: ★Monster In His Eyes★ by J.M. Darhower

Review-MihEMONSTER IN HIS EYES
Series: Monster in His Eyes #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Mafia
Author: J.M. Darhower
Release Date: April 27, 2014add-to-goodreads-button-2

MIHEFRONT

Ignazio Vitale is not a good man.

I suspect it, the first time I see him, sense the air of danger that surrounds the man. He has a way of commanding attention, of taking control, of knowing what I’m thinking before I even do.

It’s alarming and alluring. It’s dark and deadly. It’s everything I’ve ever wanted but the last thing I truly need. Obsession.

It doesn’t take him long to draw me into his web, charming me into his bed and trapping me in his life, a life I know nothing about until it’s too late. He has secrets, secrets I can’t fathom, secrets that make it so I can’t walk away, no matter how much I beg him to let me go. I see it sometimes in his eyes, a darkness that’s both terrifying and thrilling. He’s a monster, wrapped up in a pretty package, and what I find when I unmask him changes everything.

I want to hate him.

Sometimes, I do.

But it doesn’t stop me from loving him, too.

Buy LinksAMAZON | iBOOKS | B&NReview4 starsMIHE-DGR

He’s a whirlpool of darkness, and I feel myself getting sucked deeper and deeper into the depths of his abyss. I’m drowning in him.

As I sit here beating my head against the wall for my complete and utter stupidity, I have only one thought in mind: why in the ever loving hell did it take me so long to read it?
No, but seriously. I love anti-heroes. I love mafia romance. And I seriously love J.M. Drawer’s writing. So why did this book spend almost 2 lonely years collecting dust in my kindle? Because I’m an idiot, ladies and ovaries. Complete and utter idiot that’s currently kicking my own ass if it’s any consolation.

I told you, Karissa. I read people. You have the tendency to just go with the flow and see where the wind blows, so I picked somewhere decent for you to land.

I heard many things about Ignazio “Naz” Vitale. Some of them intriguing, some of them scary, and all of them utterly titillating and ovary tingling.

Monster In His Eyes is told entire in Karissa’s POV. Karissa is an 18 year old college student that’s struggling through a philosophy class. She’s a good girl; she’s not into the party scene, she talks to her mother daily, and she has a scholarship to her school which she needs to maintain with her grades. But then Karissa’s life takes a real turn when she meets the mysterious Naz; a man twice her age, rich, enigmatic, with just the right edge of dangerous.

He fucks me like he means it, like he needs it, like being inside of me is more important than anything inside of him, and every cell in my body calls out to him, craving more of it.

Naz is such a magnetic force. As a reader you know there’s something almost sinister and dark about him. You certainly know this way before the pieces begin clicking in Karissa’s head about the man she’s involved with.

At first I was a little concerned with Karissa being only 18, that she’d be too naive, idealistic and immature. And maybe she was those things in a way, but she also pulled it off. Or better yet, the author pulled it off. I’m not sure how she did that, but I connected with her right away.

As you’re reading, you know that there’s something much deeper involved than a chance meeting. Why? Because the prologue gives that little bit away. It gives you a vague piece of the puzzle that will keep you glued to the pages in eager anticipation for more details. Is it truly a chance meeting or the work of something more? What is it that Naz truly wants. What’s his end game and will Karissa survive it?

He’s a monster, wrapped up in a pretty package.
But I find myself wondering at times like this, when I feel the distance between us, if maybe in his eyes, the real monster is me.

Naz is a true force of nature. I fell head over ovaries for him right away. There’s this air of danger to him. But he’s also a perfectly balanced two sided coin. One side nurturing and caring, and the other side dangerous and depraved.

I’m the king of the jungle. I’m the predator.”
“Does that make me your prey?”
“That makes you my queen.”

You never know just what side you’ll get and yet you’re connected to each side equally. You crave that darkness even while you’re enjoying his sweetness. Though to be fair, there’s really nothing sweet about the man. But his treatment of Karissa is almost fervent.

While the romance is hot, what truly grips you is the intrigue behind Naz’s past and present. Who is he really? What does he want? And when the truth finally gets unveiled?
The only thing that kept this from a solid 5 star read for me was the super quick connection between Karissa and Naz. It wasn’t quite insta-love, but it wasn’t quite not either. There was a large chunk of the book centered around the everyday of their relationship which got a tad stale after a while. But then the second half more than made up for the slowness of the first.

JM Darhower crafts yet another addicting tale that’s utterly impossible to put down from beginning to finish. I read it cover to cover in one day. I was ready to cut someone for daring to interrupt me. This author has this way of sucking you right into the story and keeping you at the edge of your seat the entire time. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to dive straight into book two!

Graphic is stock purchased and created by me for DGR blog. Please don’t share without permission


MONSTER IN HIS EYES SERIES

MONSTER IN HIS EYES | TORTURE TO HER SOUL | TARGET ON OUR BACKS

ARC Review: ★By Any Other Name (Forbidden, 1)★ by @JMDarhower

By Any Other Name
Series: Forbidden #1
Author:  J.M. Darhower
Genre: New Adult
Release Date: February 23, 2015

A deadly rivalry.
Two families at war.
Nobody is safe, not even the innocent.
Especially the innocent.
Blood will be spilled.Genevieve “Genna” Galante knows a thing or two about causing trouble. After all, it’s engrained in her DNA. As the only daughter of Primo Galante, notorious boss of the Galante crime family, her life is dictated by a certain set of rules… rules Genna was never very good at following.

Matteo “Matty” Barsanti never wanted anything to do with the family business, but as the first-born Barsanti son, certain things are expected of him. It’s his duty, according to his father, to help take down the enemy… even if that enemy means something to him.

A chance encounter on an elevator changes the course of lives, causing the biggest trouble of Genna’s young life. The only good Barsanti is a dead Barsanti. She’s heard it said time and time again. So what happens when she falls in love with one of them?
The story of star-crossed lovers caught in the middle of the biggest rivalry New York has ever seen, determined to make it… if only they can survive their parents’ feud.

Buy Links
Review
4 stars

Shall I compare thee to a…uh…whatever the hell Shakespeare compares thee to.”
“A summer’s day, but I’m more like a winter storm.”
“Ice princess,” he joked, softly kissing her as he gripped her hips. “You feel warm to me.”

Are you sitting down for this? Because what I’m about to tell you here is so shocking, it’s crazy! *whispers* (this is the first J.M. Darhower book I’ve read) *pause for dramatic gasps* I know! I’m not sure what rock I’ve clearly been living on there, but I have found my way out and seen the light because I am definitely a huge fan after finishing this book

Their families didn’t just carry animosity- they were mortal enemies, hell-bent on destroying each other. The two of them were a disaster waiting to happen, and they had just been fooling themselves if they thought anything good could come out of this thing.”

Star crossed lovers on opposite ends of rivaling mafia families? Sign me right up!

Genevieve “Genna” Galante is the youngest child and only daughter of Primo Galante; the notorious and ruthless head of the Galante crime family. She may be daddy’s little girl, but she’s no innocent. If there’s trouble to cause, she’s in the thick of it. Her life is kept under tight control by her father and older brother who is set to take over the family business. Gemma may be a trouble maker that loves to break rules, but there’s one thing she knows

The only good Barsanti is a dead Barsanti.”

While her family has plenty of enemies, the most dangerous is the rivaling mafia family, the Brasanti’s. A deadly rivalry that began years ago. A rivalry where no one is spared, and Gemma knows the price her family paid that began the ruthless war between the two families.

Gemma longs to escape the rules, the life, the restrictions, the death of it all. Then one night she looks into a pair of the most striking blue eyes she’s ever seen, and is completely captivated by the man that owns them. Matty. But what she doesn’t realize is that the man that captures her heart in just a few short hours happens to be the first born son of her family’s rival.


This is what I want,” he said quietly. “What I get for winning.”
“What?”
“You.”
“You had me,” she whispered, cheeks flushing at the reminder.
“I did,” he agreed. “But the past isn’t what matters. I live in the present, Genna. I live in the NOW. I had you, yeah, but what I want is to HAVE you.”

Sure this had a little insta-something feel to it, but hey, you are reading a Romeo and Juliet-esk romance after all. I loved how the author managed to have that but also stretch it out and truly build up the chemistry between these two characters.


Can I ask you something?”
Matty’s brow furrowed. “Sure.”
“How do you fix your hair so your horns don’t show?”

I was afraid that with Gemma being only 18 years old, she may come off as too naive and annoying for my tastes, but that was never the case. While she may have been young, she had a sensibility to her that was beyond her years and circumstances.

I absolutely adored her and Matty together. It definitely helped that the story is told in alternating POVs (though I did find myself wishing it was in first person, as I felt it may have helped me to connect even more to the characters).


Feels different, doesn’t it?” he asked.
“It does,” she agreed, suddenly queasy as she admitted it out loud. “I feel kind of like Julia Roberts.”
“Pretty Woman?”
“Sleeping with the Enemy.”

The focus of the book was more so on the romance, though you do get bits and pieces of the history of these two families. You get a lot more from Gemma’s family than you do of Matty’s, however. There’s a few hints that are dropped here and there about what began the rivalry and there’s clearly a huge piece of the puzzle that is still missing from Matty’s side, but you won’t be getting much here. This book truly set up the romance aspect, while leaving the reader with plenty of questions to have you burning for the next book.

I loved all the secondary characters, and the plot had me glued to the pages from beginning to end. I think I spent the last 30% of the book with my heart in my throat, just waiting for that other shoe to drop. With stories of this nature, you just know that all shit is about to hit the fan sooner rather than later, but you just never know when or how. I was on the edge of my seat until the last page, and after that ending? I’m dying to know how everything concludes.

Copyright © 2015 · Dirty Girl Romance

%d bloggers like this: