Review: The Maddest Obsession by Danielle Lori

THE MADDEST OBSESSION
Series: Made #2
Genre: Contemporary, Mafia Romance
Author: Danielle Lori
Release Date: April 15, 2019

She fears the dark.
He rules it.

Her dresses are too tight, her heels too tall. She laughs too loudly, eats without decorum, and mixes up most sayings in the book. Little do most know it’s just a sparkly disguise, there to hide one panic attack at a time.

Nobody can crack Gianna’s facade . . . no one anyway, until hecomes along.

Most see a paragon of morality; a special agent upholding the law. In the New York underworld, others know him as a hustler, a killer, his nature as cold as the heart of ice in his chest. Christian Allister has always followed the life plan he’d envisioned in his youth, beneath the harsh lights of a frigid, damp cell. With a proclivity for order and the number three, he’s never been tempted to veer off course. But perhaps one should never say never . . .

One winter night and their lives intertwine. She hates him—his stone-cold demeanor, his arrogance and too-perceptive eye—but over the years, even as their games consist of insulting each other’s looks and intelligence, she begins to live to play with him.

Nowhere in Christian’s plans had he ever prepared for Gianna. She’s chaos embodied, not his type, and married, but none of that can stop his eyes from following her wherever she goes.

All along, she doesn’t even know that she’s his—his frustration, his fascination.

His maddest obsession.

AMAZON

If you ran, Gianna . . .” The words were malicious yet somehow as soft and desperate as sex in a war-torn field. He pressed his lips to my ear. “I would find you.”

Where has this book been all my life?!!!! I’m talking about all of my favorite book crack in one story here, people! And it’s amazingly written. And it’s set in a world that I can’t get enough of. And it had Russian that was 100% correct. So for me, this was the holy grail of reads. Because let’s be honest here, I’m a ridiculously picky shit when it comes to Russian in books. But I digress.

Now I thought that I loved The Sweetest Oblivion, but nothing could prepare me for how obsessed I was going to be with this book. Ha! See what I did there? Ok, that was weak, but whatever. You see where I’m going here. The Maddest Obsession was addictive, enrapturing, and all consuming. One of those stories that you read that stay with you.

His eyes were what nightmares were made of, ice and fire, and filled with secrets no one wanted to know. He could only pass as normal because of his too-handsome face—otherwise, he’d be locked up somewhere, the world seeing him for what he really was.

A story with characters that are so vivid and unique, that they’re impossible to forget. And Gianna and Christian were definitely impossible to forget.

We all searched for strength in life. Unfortunately, mine just happened to lie at the end of a line of powder.

First of all, I highly recommend that you read The Sweetest Oblivion first. There are parts of the story here that run parallel to the events in the first one that are spoilers. You would certainly have a better appreciation for all the characters, if you read the series in order.

I was making a deal with the devil. And I couldn’t even find the grace to save myself.

If you read book one, then you definitely remember Gianna. Gianna grew up in the mafia life, and as such, she’s certainly been quickly broken of her innocence and nativity. She used to be Nico’s stepmother, while young enough to be his sister. Her husband’s infidelity and inability to care for anyone other than himself has ultimately broken her. She’s disillusioned by life and her role in it, and finds her oblivion in the additional hit of coke. But in her world, you don’t marry for love, and she’ll never put her heart on the line again.

He was cool, icy control. But something burned hot beneath the surface. Something shrouded by ice for so long. I wanted to watch it melt. To unravel him until I understood every layer. I knew it was dangerous. I even knew I wouldn’t win. But sometimes, even the best gambler doesn’t know when to quit.

If you thought Nico was intense, nothing can prepare you for the full effect of Christian. The man is a dark enigma. He’s cruelty and obsession all wrapped in one of the most deceptively handsome packages. A crooked fed that’s a law onto himself. He takes orders from no one, not the FBI, not the mob, and definitely not women. He has a rule of three when it comes to his lovers, and no one has ever tempted him to break his icy control.

It’s immediate sparks when Gianna first notices Christian. Their story spans many years, from her first husband to ultimately her second. Their relationship is complex game of cat and mouse, chock full of sexual tension, and witty barbs. They hate each other, seemingly. But beneath the glares and insults, there brews something intense and fiery.

I loved this story beyond words. Gianna was such a broken and imperfect heroine, and I couldn’t get enough of her. She may appear broken, but she has the heart of a lioness. She’s smart, strong, and gives as good as she takes. The woman has been through hell and back in her young life, but she doesn’t let it break her. She’s just shattered in parts.

Christian was just….GAH. My god. The man was everything. Intensity oozes from his every pore, almost as much as his sexuality does. And the two of them together? Sweet mother of all that’s holy. They’re incendiary.

The story was twisty, dark, and full of grit. It was a page turner, edge of your seat sort of read that I couldn’t bear to put down for even a second. This is a book that I would recommend for all mafia romance lovers out there. If you haven’t been introduced to Danielle Lori’s brand of awesome, you’re definitely missing out.

#DGRFave & Review: Love Her or Lose Her by Tessa Bailey

LOVE HER OR LOSE HER 
Series: Hot & Hammered 2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Tessa Bailey
Release Date: January 14, 2020

New York Times bestselling author Tessa Bailey returns with a unique, sexy romantic comedy about a young married couple whose rocky relationship needs a serious renovation.

Rosie and Dominic Vega are the perfect couple: high school sweethearts, best friends, madly in love. Well, they used to be anyway. Now Rosie’s lucky to get a caveman grunt from the ex-soldier every time she walks in the door. Dom is faithful and a great provider, but the man she fell in love with ten years ago is nowhere to be found. When her girlfriends encourage Rosie to demand more out of life and pursue her dream of opening a restaurant, she decides to demand more out of love, too. Three words: marriage boot camp.

Never in a million years did Rosie believe her stoic, too-manly-to-emote husband would actually agree to relationship rehab with a weed-smoking hippy. Dom talking about feelings? Sitting on pillows? Communing with nature? Learning love languages? Nope. But to her surprise, he’s all in, and it forces her to admit her own role in their cracked foundation. As they complete one ridiculous—yet surprisingly helpful—assignment after another, their remodeled relationship gets stronger than ever. Except just as they’re getting back on track, Rosie discovers Dom has a secret… and it could demolish everything.

AMAZON

I’ll do anything you ask me to do,” he said in a gravelly voice. “Except walk away.”

*Flails happily*
Y’all. This book. I can’t even right now.
I think this may be my favorite Tessa Bailey book to date. And that’s something something considering I’ve devoured the woman’s entire backlist.

The second Rosie and Dom appeared on the pages of Fix Her Up as secondary characters, I could practically taste the tension between them. I was dying to get my hands on their book, so the very second this landed in my grabby little hands, I devoured it in one delicious sitting. I couldn’t bear to put it down for even a second.

This was…I don’t even have words. Perfection! Swoony, sexy, and brimming with feels. It was everything I wanted in their story and yet so much more.

Rosie and Dominic are high school sweethearts. They fell in love fast and hard when they were teenagers. But as adults, that love is no longer enough to hold the pieces of their marriage together. Lack of communication, too many things left unsaid, too many assumption have all come together to leave Rosie feeling empty. She misses the man her husband used to be. Their marriage is crumbling around them and she has no idea how to hold it together.

All Dom ever wanted was Rosie. This is an inevitable fact and something that’s a constant in his life that will never change. So when his beloved wife tells him he’s leaving, he knows that he’ll do absolutely anything to save their marriage, and he’s not above fighting dirty. Withhold their physical connection until she agrees to come back to him? Check! Agree to see a quirky and borderline crazy marriage counselor? Check! Take every opportunity to remind her just why the fell in love? Check and CHECK.

GOD. You guys. I don’t even know how to begin to describe this to you. Dom was easily one of my favorite Bailey heroes. He’s a little troubled and a lot obsessed with his wife. He’s a dirty talking god, even if he doesn’t have much to say in his day to day. He’s quite, broody and intense. But the man is captivating and practically sizzling with sexual chemistry.

Rosie was perfection, too. This is not a woman that blames their crumbling marriage on her husband only. She takes full accountability for her faults as they fight to work through their issues. Add into this a kooky counselor, favorites from the previous book, and a brand new hero introduced to drive Bethany insane and I was HOOKED. Line and sinker. I was glued to the pages. Riveted. Captivated. And utterly charmed. I loved this story from beginning to finish. With the glimpses of the hate lust between Wes and Bethany, I’m already gagging for the next book. But if you’re looking for a swoony, sexy, and totally charming second chance romance, look no further. SO GOOD.

Review: Wait for Me by Tia Louise

WAIT FOR ME
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Tia Louise
Release Date: December 17, 2019

Dear Taron,
I should have told you this a long time ago…

Dear Taron,
Is there a time-limit on forgiveness?
If there is, I haven’t reached it…

Dear Taron,
I still love you…

A letter never sent.
Heck, I never even finished it.

Taron Rhodes was my brother’s best friend.
He was sexy as sin.
But he was more than that…
He was ponytail-pulling, ice down your shirt teasing, throw you in the lake screaming…
Strong, tanned arms and blue-green eyes over a heart-stopping, naughty grin…
Did I mention his tight end?
I gave him my first real kiss, my heart, my everything.
I said I’d wait for him…

I’m still waiting, because Taron Rhodes is still the man of my dreams,
And I have a secret that has his blue-green eyes.

Noel LaGrange stole my heart when she was only eighteen —pushing me off a flatbed and calling me a city slicker.
Her brother Sawyer would kick my ass if he knew how many times we made out that summer, how close we got.

Everything changed when Sawyer and I joined the military.
We were honorably discharged, but I didn’t go to her.
Instead, I went back to the city… where no amount of money, no amount of pills can heal this wound.
Only her whiskey eyes and dark hair, her slim arms and her sweet scent, give me hope.
I broke her heart just as surely as I broke mine, but I’m going back to make it right.
If she’s still waiting…

(WAIT FOR ME is a STAND-ALONE small-town, second-chance romance with a guaranteed HEA. No cheating. No cliffhangers.)

AMAZON

Heaven is finding the thing you can’t live without and being able to hold it. Hell is knowing you’ll have to let it go.

I love an emotional second chance romance, and when I read the blurb to this book, I was immediately hooked. Tia knows how to pack one heck of an emotional punch in her writing, so I knew I was in for plenty of feels.

Wait For Me is told in two halves; the first half telling the sweet and steamy story of Taron and Noel meeting and falling in love. Taron is best friends with Noel’s older brother and finds himself in their small town in the short interim before he takes off for the Marines. Noel is eighteen years old but really has an old soul to her. It doesn’t take long for these two to fall head over heels with Noel promising to wait for Taron. But unfortunately fate has other plans for them, and as beautifully as things first came together for them, they fall apart in a devastating and fiery crash.

As much as I loved the premise of the story and both Taron and Noel, I found myself wishing parts of both the first and second half were further fleshed out. I couldn’t help but feel like I was getting a very surface level of what this story could have been. I loved the first half of this book, but also wished for Taron’s characterization to take me a little deeper. Yes, they’re both young, and I can totally buy into their quick connection because of it. But I also wanted more. I can’t quite put my finger on what exactly, but something felt missing.

The second half is ultimately where it really fell short for me, though. The story moved quickly and I wanted parts to be more fleshed out; Taron’s issues being the epicenter of this. I felt like this was really just grazed over and couldn’t help but wish we got a deeper dive into what he went through. The second half of the story ultimately felt rushed and too quick paced. I wished it were flipped and we got to spend more time with them in the present rather than their past. This was such an emotional and touching part of their story, that I really wanted more from it. Ultimately, I still really enjoyed this story that still delivered on the emotional punch I was hoping for. There was plenty of steam and feels to make it for a page turning read.

Review: The Sweetest Oblivion by Danielle Lori

THE SWEETEST OBLIVION 
Series: Made #1
Genre: Contemporary, Mafia Romance
Author: Danielle Lori
Release Date: June 20, 2018

She’s a romantic at heart, living in the most unromantic of worlds . . .

Nicknamed Sweet Abelli for her docile nature, Elena smiles on cue and has a charming response for everything. She’s the favored daughter, the perfect mafia principessa . . . or was.

Now, all she can see in the mirror’s reflection is blood staining her hands like crimson paint.

They say first impressions are everything . . .

In the murky waters of New York’s underworld, Elena’s sister is arranged to marry Nicolas Russo. A Made Man, a boss, a cheat—even measured against mafia standards. His reputation stretches far and wide and is darker than his black suits and ties. After his and Elena’s first encounter ends with an accidental glare on her part, she realizes he’s just as rude as he is handsome.

She doesn’t like the man or anything he stands for, though that doesn’t stop her heart from pattering like rain against glass when he’s near, nor the shiver that ghosts down her spine at the sound of his voice.

And he’s always near. Telling her what to do. Making her feel hotter than any future brother-in-law should. Elena may be the Sweet Abelli on the outside, but she’s beginning to learn she has a taste for the darkness, for rough hands, cigarettes, and whiskey-colored eyes. Having already escaped one scandal, however, she can hardly afford to be swept up in another.

Besides, even if he were hers, everyone knows you don’t fall in love with a Made Man . . . right?

This is a standalone forbidden romance.

AMAZON

I wanted to fuck her and ruin her for anyone else. I wanted to crush her wings and then put them back together again so she’d become dependent on me. I wanted her to need me. That dark, possessive, and dangerous feeling crawled through me every time she crossed my path. Elena Abelli was my vice, and fuck if I’d let it kill me.

How is this the only time that this book is hitting my radar? I’m very hesitant with new to me authors, because let’s face it, I’m a picky asshole. So I’m always scared to step out of the comfort zone of my tried and true authors. But boy am I kicking my own ass for waiting this long to read this. This book was recommended to me several times by someone in my Facebook group, so I finally took the plunge and one-clicked. And the rest, as they say, is history. I was immediately enraptured in this world and completely hypnotized by the words.

His presence soaked through my skin with each inhale. His touch and taste and smell sank so deep they filled the cracks of my heart. He was becoming a drug, an addiction I would have to feed every day.

I’ve read my fair share of mafia romance, so believe me when I say it takes a lot to hook me. I need those feels. The intensity. An alpha that will give me goosebumps. And this story had all of it. In spades!

Elena grew up in the mafia. She’s no stranger to the dark underbelly of made men and everything this life means for the women in their life. She’s the oldest daughter in a highly traditional family, but a mistake caused her to fall from grace. Now her younger sister is being promised to one of the most notorious and brutal dons while secretly in love with someone else. Elena is supposed to hate everything Nico means to her and her family now. But beneath the illusion she puts on, Nico makes her burn like no one else. His indifference and cold looks hide a sultry and dominating nature, but it’s a dangerous game they play with their intricate dance they play around each other.

Nico is just….GAH. Intense is an understatement. He may look indifferent to Elena, but he’s anything but. She tempts him and he hates her for it because he can’t have her. That doesn’t mean that he’d allow anyone else to have her, either. The man is possessive with a capital P. I loved his intensity almost as much as I loved the way he oozes sexuality from his every pore.

I wasn’t expecting to like Elena as much as I did. Docile heroines aren’t particularly my jam, but looks are deceiving with Sweet Abelli, because she’s certainly not as sweet or docile as she lets on. She’s not quite a tigress, but she’s not passive either. She gives as good as she takes when it comes to matching Nico barb for barb.

I suddenly knew I would lie, cheat, and steal for this man. I would burn the world for him. He was King of the Cosa Nostra. And he was all mine.

The sexual tension is off the charts here. A slow burn to beat all slow burns. GOD. It hurt so good. What I loved the most is that the author didn’t shy away from giving a dark and captivating view into her mafia world. The romance only added an intricate layer of appeal to an already captivating story.

The only quibble I had was a little too much repetitive internal dialogue from the heroine for my particular taste. But that aside, I was complete enraptured in this book. I am hooked, line and sinker on this series, and will be diving right into book two!

Review: Siren Reborn by Lexi Blake

SIREN REBORN
Series:
Texas Sirens #8
Genre: Erotic Romance, MMF menage, Suspense
Author: Lexi Blake
Release Date: January 7, 2020

Re-released in a second edition. Re-edited but no substantial changes.

Cole Roberts and Mason Scott loved each other since childhood, but they needed something more to make them whole. They searched for a woman who could complete them, but a terrible accident tore them apart. Their perfect life shattered, they were each left angry and alone.

Kitten Taylor’s past is filled with heartache. She yearns to be part of a family she can call her own. When Cole takes her in, she hopes to finally find the place she belongs, but quickly realizes something is wrong. There is a chasm between them and every day it seems to get worse. When they are alone together, she can sense the wonderful bond they could share, but they can’t seem to find a way to connect.

Everything changes when Kitten meets Mason for the first time. She instantly feels a connection and realizes how perfect their lives could be if Mason and Cole could look beyond the past.

When a killer puts the trio in their crosshairs, Cole and Mason will have to put aside the betrayal and hurt they allowed to consume them in order to forge a future with the woman they love.

AMAZON

Kitten was the picture of innocence and Mason of decadence. His. They were fucking his. His to command. His to protect. His to fuck and pleasure. His to love. His to lose.

This was easily my favorite book in the series. Seriously. A sizzling hot MMF menage, a second chance romance, and a sweet wounded soul finally finding love with two men. This story was EVERYTHING.

Now as much as I love everything Lexi Blake writes, I was a little worried jumping into this book. Kitten, while a sweetly endearing secondary character in the previous books, just didn’t sell me as a heroine. I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about her. This is a woman that was almost broken beyond repair at the hands of an horrible man and she’s still dealing with it. Taken, beaten, raped, this man didn’t just steal Kitten’s innocence, but ultimately her identity. But this book was the story of her finding her voice and her identity and I loved that!

Mason and Cole, though. GAH. These two simply stole the show for me. I loved them so much. They were each other’s everything at one point. But then instead of a woman bringing them together, one ripped them apart. Cole walked away and he hasn’t been the same since. Mason is still dealing with Cole’s abandonment and everything that Cole doesn’t know or realized years after.

Kitten has been living with Cole as they test the boundaries of a potential contract and relationship. But Cole’s treatment of her with kid’s gloves is starting to widen the already big gap between them, no matter how much sexual chemistry they have together. When Kitten takes a call that turns out to be from the hospital because Mason still has Cole as his only emergency contact, she believes she’s doing right by her master to pick him up and take care of him. Suddenly Mason is back in Cole’s life and forcing him to deal with everything he caused those years ago with walking away. Mason is a wounded man seeking revenge, and what better one than to take his previous master’s girl.

But it doesn’t take long for them to realize that there’s something much deeper between them. Mason and Cole is everything that Kitten needs, and Cole begins to realize the depth of his mistakes and becomes desperate to right his wrongs with Mason. Mason is a switch to Cole’s Dom, and kitten is the ultimate submissive. Together, they’re absolutely incendiary. I loved this book from beginning to finish. A sizzling and emotional read, the way only Lexi Blake can write.

Review: Release by Aly Martinez

RELEASE
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Aly Martinez
Release Date: January 5, 2020

From USA Today Bestselling Author Aly Martinez comes an all new standalone.

Growing up, Ramsey Stewart branded my soul in ways time could never heal.

At twelve, he asked me to be his girlfriend.
At thirteen, he gave me my first kiss.
By sixteen, we’d fallen in love, planned a future together, and had our eyes set on the horizon.

Love never fails, right?
But for Ramsey, it did.
Love failed him.
I failed him.
The entire world failed him.

At seventeen, Ramsey was convicted of killing the boy who assaulted me.

Move on, he wrote in his first and only letter from prison.
Start a new life, he urged.
I don’t love you anymore, he lied.

There was no such thing as giving up on Ramsey. Love may have been our curse, but he was mine—then, now, and forever.

So here I am, twelve long years later, waiting for a man I don’t even know to emerge from between the chain link gates.

AMAZON

“I can’t do this without you.”
“Do what?” I asked.
He lifted one shoulder in a half shrug. “Breathe.”

Aly Martinez is the queen of feels and plot twists. The woman will tug at every heart string you have and then turn your world upside down with a twist you never see coming. And Release brings both of those things in spades. MAN. My heart. My whole heart.

Thea and Ramsey owned my heart from the very first chapter. Martinez takes you on a spellbinding journey as they meet as children. What starts off as grudging friendship between two broken kids, slowly blooms into something much more potent. Ramsey and Thea meet at a time where they need each other the most, though Ramsey’s pain isn’t as obvious as Thea’s. Young Ramsey is undeterred by Thea’s hissing and swatting him away as kids. He slowly but surely weaves his way into her heart with his easy smile and sweet demeanor. But that easy smile hides painful secrets, secrets that young Thea doesn’t spot right away. Their friendship slowly blossoms into teenage love, but then one dark evening shatters their life as they know it.

Ramsey has spent the last twelve years behind bars for killing the boy that tainted what should have been the best night of their life. Thea has spent the last twelve years for Ramsey to finally come back to her. But the man that walks out of the prison isn’t the boy she fell in love with. He’s broken in ways that Thea isn’t sure she can put back together again.

I loved the two halves of a story this gives us. There was a sort of poetic justice in seeing Ramsey fight for Thea and do everything she doesn’t realize she needs in the first half as they were kids, to then watch Thea return the favor for Ramsey all those years later. She doesn’t shy away from his growling and convincing he doesn’t need her. She knows the heart beneath the new roughened exterior and she won’t rest until she proves that their love isn’t so easily forgotten.

My heart broke for Ramsey and everything that he went through. This was no light read. It was full of depth and emotion in a way that only Aly Martinez can write. It was slow paced but poignant. A sizzling slow burn that kept me riveted to the pages until the very end.

Review: In Peace Lies Havoc by Amo Jones

IN PEACE LIES HAVOC
Series:
Midnight Mayhem #1
Genre: Dark Romance
Author: Amo Jones
Release Date: November 5, 2019

My name is Dove Hendry.

𝘔𝘪𝘯𝘦 𝘪𝘴 𝘒𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘯 𝘈𝘹𝘵𝘰𝘯.

I was captured by darkness.

𝘚𝘩𝘦 𝘩𝘢𝘴 𝘢𝘭𝘸𝘢𝘺𝘴 𝘣𝘦𝘦𝘯 𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘴…

They groomed me for Midnight Mayhem. Like a trained possession, weak against their control.

𝘚𝘩𝘦 𝘩𝘢𝘴 𝘣𝘦𝘦𝘯 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘥𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘦𝘥 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘣𝘭𝘰𝘰𝘥 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘺𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘴. 𝘚𝘩𝘦 𝘫𝘶𝘴𝘵 𝘥𝘰𝘦𝘴𝘯’𝘵 𝘬𝘯𝘰𝘸 𝘪𝘵 𝘺𝘦𝘵…

But Midnight Mayhem was the stained glass that concealed a very dark culture.

𝘈 𝘤𝘶𝘭𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘴𝘩𝘦 𝘪𝘴 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘵𝘰 𝘣𝘦𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘰𝘧.

The Brothers of Kiznitch come in fours, and they’re not happy about me being hustled into their acts.

𝘖𝘳 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘸𝘦? 𝘊𝘢𝘳𝘦𝘧𝘶𝘭, 𝘓𝘪𝘵𝘵𝘭𝘦 𝘉𝘪𝘳𝘥. 𝘈 𝘸𝘢𝘳𝘯𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘪𝘴 𝘢 𝘸𝘢𝘳𝘯𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘢 𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘰𝘯…

Mind-tricks.

Stunts.

Deceit.

𝘗𝘰𝘸𝘦𝘳.

But there’s something uglier that has been haunting me for years upon years. So ugly that I have never seen it’s face. I never had to. I’d hear his whispers through my internal screams, feel his shadow brush against my nightmares. He was my the monster that tormented me.

𝘈𝘯𝘥 𝘮𝘢𝘺𝘣𝘦 𝘭𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘥 𝘶𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘳 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘣𝘦𝘥…

When I started Midnight Mayhem, his presence faded.

His whispers were silenced.

His shadow dissolving without a trace.

I wondered why that was.

𝘚𝘩𝘦 𝘥𝘪𝘥𝘯’𝘵 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘸𝘰𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘳 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘭𝘰𝘯𝘨…

AMAZON


This is neither a circus nor a carnival. This is what happens when the clock strikes twelve and all of the monsters you thought never existed expose themselves.”

Well, hot damn, I did not expect this. I’ve been eyeing Amo Jones books for too long, and the blurb of this one just spoke to me. The second I read the blurb for this book, I knew this would be my first book by this author. And you know what? I’m completely hooked.

The story was so completely out of left field, and everything I never knew I wanted. I don’t even know how to begin categorizing this story. Dark? Fantasy? A total and complete mindf*ck? All of the above? Suffice it to say I spent the better part of the first half asking myself what the hell I was reading and what in the ever loving hell was happening. The first half was one convoluted mindf*ck, but yet I couldn’t tear my eyes away. I was completely captivated and riveted to the pages.

Love is a battlefield, and my knight is a villain.

Dove has been through plenty in her young love. After brutally losing her parents, she’s coasted from foster home to foster home, and is now making ends meet as a stripper. Dance has always been a love of hers, and this is the one form of it she can allow herself. But her living and waking nightmare has been haunted by a shadow; a presence that’s as threatening as it is alluring and mysterious.

You see, when I was a little girl, a shadow chased me. An entity. Instead of stepping out from behind it to feel the sun against my skin, this shadow ruined every expectation I had of seeing the light.

Then suddenly the presence that she’s felt in the dark corners constantly watching her isn’t just a figment of her mind. It’s all too real, when she finds herself taken and thrown into the dark and mysterious world of Midnight Mayhem. It’s not a circus, it’s not a carnival, it’s something altogether other, and at the heart of it are The Brothers of Kiznitch. All four are darkly handsome and hauntingly dangerous, but only one of them makes her heart beat a different rhythm every time he glares in her direction; King.

Now here’s the thing, at first I questioned the connection between these two. Dove was too much of a pushover for my particular tastes. She would cave at the simplest push when it came to the brothers. There was a backbone somewhere there, and I was desperately hoping that she would let it show sooner rather than later. But as the puzzle pieces began to click in place around the 70% mark, I began to have one ah ha moment after another. All of the questions I had in the first half began to get answered and I couldn’t tear myself way.

Now I will say that because I’m ultimately a picky shit, I did come across one too many continuity issues that bothered me. There were parts that also just didn’t make sense. Like in on one page we learn that Dove barely speaks due to trauma in her past and in the next breath she’s revealing this trauma and explaining her symptoms in perfect detail to a perfect stranger…and then it never comes up again. It’s like she never had it to begin with.

But here’s the thing, at the end of the day, I just couldn’t bring myself to care less about any of this because I was completely enraptured by this story. Amo Jones is clearly one devious mind, and knows how to weave one screwed up tale. And for this reader? It’s absolute catnip.

King was the ultimate villain and the anti-hero that I loved to hate. He runs hot and cold. He’s dangerous and brimming with barely restrained violence. I couldn’t get enough of him. There’s plenty of secondary characters that were equally enigmatic that I can’t wait to learn more about in the next books.

As for this one, while it may not have been prefect, it was entertaining AF! With every detail that was revealed, I fell further and further under the spell of Midnight Mayhem. Now if total alphaholes aren’t your thing, this book probably won’t hit all the right spots for you. But it sure as hell did for me. Dove came more out of her shell in the last part of the story and her behavior in the beginning certainly made more sense.

Amo Jones, you’re an evil genius, and I for one can’t wait to see what that devious brain of yours will think up next!

Review: Dangerous Games by J.T. Geissinger

DANGEROUS GAMES
Series:
Dangerous Beauty #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: JT Geissinger
Release Date: November 19, 2019

The epic conclusion to the thrilling Dangerous Beauty series.

The game isn’t over until somebody dies.

Eva knows what it’s like to be imprisoned by a man’s twisted obsessions. But after running, hiding, and finding refuge in a rescuer’s arms, she’s suddenly pulled back into the black hole of her past. Kidnapped by her sadistic ex, Dimitri, and with the love of her life left for dead, Eva is facing down the worst of her demons alone.

If Dimitri wants to play sick games, Eva’s ready. She already knows how dark they can get. But despite her fears, she hasn’t been abandoned. Naz is in hot pursuit. And the last thing Dimitri expects is for a dead man to come calling. For Eva and Naz, worlds apart yet bound by fierce and unbreakable passion, it’s time to beat the devil.

To do it they’ll have to be just as ruthless, seductive, and cunning. With every pulse of the heart, they must risk it all to play Dimitri’s final game to its harrowing end—and win.

PART 3 OF 3 (Not a standalone)

AMAZON

I once thought love was a foolish fancy. Like self-pity, something I couldn’t afford. But then I met a man who taught me that love isn’t foolish, it’s necessary. Elemental. The one thing without which we cannot truly live.

Talk about your epic conclusions! This book was EVERYTHING.

I am not a trilogy reader. I tend to grow bored with the characters or find that one or two of the three books are stretched out fillers. I’m a picky a-hole is basically what I’m trying to tell you here. So I don’t tend to gravitate towards trilogies much these days. But when it comes to JT Geissinger’s books, we have an unspoken rule; she writes it, I read it. Period. But let me now tell you, if ever there was a story that was MEANT to be a trilogy, this was it. Each book packs its own punch and reveals a new layer, and I can’t imagine it having the same effect had it been written as one standalone.

I was equally anticipating and dreading the conclusion to Naz and Eva’s story. It’s rare where the conclusion lives up to the promise of the story for me. But this one not only lived up to it, it exceeded any and all expectations that I had. It was EPIC.

What I love about Eva’s character is that she’s a survivor through and through. She’s been brutalized at the hands of an evil man for over 7 years, but she didn’t let that define her. She’s no one’s victim. She’s fierce and a warrior and this book just proved how much. There is nothing that I love more than a fierce heroine that doesn’t need a knight in shining armor to ride in to save the day. This was very much Eva’s book and I LOVED that.

Everything comes to a head here when Eva ends up back in the clutches of Dmitri, the man she’s tried to outrun for too long. She knows that she’ll do anything to protect the man she loves, even if it means that walking right back into the lion’s den. This book proved just how much of a survivor Eva is. It also showed that even after everything that she’s been through, it didn’t change her heart. Geissinger throws you right into the deep end without sparing a detail. You get to experience the pain, darkness and evil right along with her.

While Eva is going through hell, Naz is going through his own. I don’t want to tell you much here and spoil anything, but I will say that while the romance is mostly predominant in book 2, it’s put on a bit of a back burner here. Eva’s survival and journey takes center stage and I loved that. There’s still plenty of emotional and romantic elements here, it’s just not the front runner.

This was a heart pounding, action packed conclusion that was an absolute page turner!! The perfect conclusion to an addictive trilogy that I loved from beginning to finish. I am also willing to beg on my knees for a book for Killian because OMG!!!! KILLIAN. GAH. This man and enigma steals the show with his every small appearance. I NEED his story. NEED IT DESPERATELY.

Review: Stealing Beauty by Julia Sykes

STEALING BEAUTY
Series:
Captive #2
Genre: Dark Romance
Author: Julia Sykes
Release Date: January 15, 2019

Valentina loathes me as much as I despise her. That doesn’t stop me from kidnapping her, stealing her away for myself.

She was brought into my home when we were teenagers, her virgin body sold to my father to pay a debt. She was meant to be his plaything, but I claimed her innocence for myself.

Now, ten years have separated us, and hatred has festered in my heart. The girl I once loved is a stunning woman, and she thinks she belongs to someone else.

As the most notorious, sadistic drug lord on the west coast, I thrive on power and control. Her defiance tempts and torments me, and I’ll never tire of devising devious punishments to keep her in line. She can’t escape my cruel touch and harsh discipline.

No one will take her from me. I’ll kill anyone who tries.

Valentina was always meant to be mine. Nothing will stop me from possessing her, body and soul.

Note: Stealing Beauty can be read as a standalone dark romance novel.

AMAZON

I could be sadistic, but that didn’t mean I loved her any less. If anything, my love for her was so obsessive that it drove me to the brink of madness.

Oh, this was so deliciously dark and captivating. I’ll admit that I really read this series backasswards, like I normally do. I started with Pretty Hostage (book 3) and then dove into this one. And everything that I felt was missing for me in book three, this book had in spades.

Adrián was EVERYTHING. He was intense, brimming with barely restrained violence, and positively oozing sex. I loved everything about this man. His possessiveness and protectiveness that goes right along with his rough edges and anger. Adrián and Valentina have a history of love and betrayal, but he knows just one small piece of everything that Valentina has been through and survived at the hands of her “husband”.

Valnetina has lived through hell over the last few years. Given as payment for a debt to a violent and brutal man, the only peace she knew was in the company of handsome boy. But then that boy was gone and she was left with a monster. Now Adrián is back, he’s kidnapped her from her captor, but he’s determined to make her pay for sins that she hasn’t committed.

I really loved the way that this story played out. I loved watching Adrián fall harder and harder for Valentina. I loved that Valentina is still a warrior and survivor even after everything she’s been through. I loved the two of them together. And I loved the dark edges of this story. Everything weaved together perfectly to make this an absolute page turner. It was dark and dangerous, sexy and turbulent. It was everything I enjoy in a dark romance and I can’t wait for the fourth book in this sinfully addictive series!

Jennifer’s Review: Nothing But Wild by @PDanAuthor

NOTHING BUT WILD
Series: Malibu University #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: P. Dangelico
Release Date: December 15, 2019

Dallas Van Zant.

Water polo god.

Shameless flirt.

Beautiful disaster in the most literal sense of that label.

Trust me, it’s not hyperbole. He’s in big trouble with the law.

What does this have to do with me, you ask? Unfortunately, a lot. For some reason, which I still can’t quite wrap my brain around, I’ve been talked into driving him around as part of his plea deal.

Problem is, he makes me nervous. I’m not good with people, men in particular, popular athletes especially. I’ve worked really hard to get my disability under control and one minute in his company and all my hard work flies out the window.

To top it all off, I promised myself that I was going to make some serious changes this year. I’m tired of feeling awkward around boys. I’m tired of never having had a boyfriend. I’m tired of being lonely. And he’s wrecking my plans.

But I’m also not the type to turn away a person in need. So I’ll do what I must to help him out.

I’ll just pretend that I’m not enjoying his company. And I’ll ignore the fact that he’s sweet and funny. And I’ll tell myself every day that he’s out of my league.

Because I’m as inexperienced as they come. And Dallas Van Zant is nothing but wild.

AMAZON | iBOOKS | KOBO | B&N

Dora“What d-do you t-think you’re doing?”

“Watching out for you.”

“Hardly, y-you’re trying to r-ruin my good time!” I shout over the music. Taking my arm, he tugs me away, off the dance floor, and leads me to the wall on the far side where it’s only slightly quieter.

Leaning a shoulder against the wall, he crosses his arms and the t-shirt he’s wearing pulls tight, showcasing the complex network of muscles and veins of his arms. Thirsty. I’m very thirsty all of a sudden.

Next, his blue gaze goes soft and sensual. If he thinks I’m going to capitulate that easily, he’s seriously delusional.

“I have a deal for you.”

Not what I was expecting but whatever. “I d-don’t n-need a deal.”

“You don’t know what the deal is. How could you know you don’t need it?”

“Because I d-don’t n-need or want anything from you.”

“Well that’s not very fair. You haven’t even heard my proposal yet. How do you know you don’t want something you don’t know?”

“You’re not going to l-leave me alone tonight, are you?”

“Not until you hear what I have to say.”

“Fine. G-G-Get on with it so I c-can get back to dancing.”

“Let me be your wingman.”

I’m speechless. For the first time in my life I am legit speechless. One minute of silence passes. Two minutes pass. “I d-don’t get it…”

“You’re giving me rides to the shelter.” He shrugs like all this makes perfect sense. “In return, I’ll be your wingman.”

“My wingman?” I repeat. I don’t know if I should laugh. I mean, he’s funny. This proposal is hilarious. The scary thing is, I think he’s serious.

“You still working on that list? How many do you have left?” I say nothing. I admit nothing. “Huh…” He studies my face. “I take it that means all of them.”

“I g-got a makeover, didn’t I? And the Ferris wheel. I got that one d-done––” I snipe defensively. Yeah, I’m losing this argument or whatever you call this, this negotiation.

Reaching out, he takes a piece of my hair and tugs. “You look beautiful,” he says without missing a beat. “I like the makeover.”

Wait…did he just throw it out there that he thinks I’m beautiful? And I’m supposed to roll with it like the plate tectonics of the planet haven’t just shifted? What kind of game is he playing?

“What kinda g-game are you playing?”

He looks momentarily confused. “No game.” He leans in for a closer look, eyes narrowed. “Are you drunk?”

“No!”

“Then I’ll repeat myself because you’re hard of hearing tonight. I wanna help you.”

“You w-want to h-help me with m-my list…are you drunk?”

“You wanna be bad, right? I know bad.” He proudly pats his chest. “I’m the king of bad. All I’m sayin’ is––that’s my department. Let me help you be bad.”

I giggle because, dear me, he is serious.

He leans in, his mouth inches from my ear, and murmurs, “Say yes, Dora. I know you want to.” The silky purr slides over my skin, pebbles my nipples, and makes me shiver. Then he looks into my eyes and smiles. And that look, that devil-may-care look, seals the deal.

What do I have to lose? Except possibly my heart. But I’ve already tried it the safe way and it hasn’t worked in my favor. That’s why I throw caution to the wind.

“Okay…you’re on.”

“Good.” He takes my wrist and leads me away again.

“W-Where are we going?”

“To dance.”

And irrepressible smile grows on my face. I. Am. In. Trouble.

JENNIFER’S REVIEW

Me before reading this book: Wtf is water polo?
Me after reading this book: Water polo is the best sport in the whole world! Give me all the water polo God-like creatures!


Dallas.

Dallas Van Zant is the playboy we all love. And as usual, there are things underneath that he doesn’t let many people see. But he does SEE Dora. He sees the sexy girl in the corner, even though she is shy and curvy.

Dora.

There is nothing better than reading a heroine that I can relate to. I love the shy, stuttering Dora who loves Dallas from a distance. I love that her body is curvy and real.


Don’t get me wrong. I love a good insta-love, but I love that Dallas and Dora’s love built slowly. They became friends first. Sometimes it’s hard to believe when a playboy suddenly turns into a magical unicorn and stops sleeping with all the women, but I actually believed it when Dallas started falling for Dora. I love that the story is low-drama. It’s simple. It’s easy. It’s perfect.

This book has swoons coming out of its wavy pages. I knew I would love it because it’s written by P. Dangelico. Everything she writes is worth it.
Dangelico loves romance in all forms, cuddly creatures (four legged and two), really bloody sexy pulp, the NY Jets (although she’s reconsidering after this season), and to while away the day at the barn (apparently she does her best thinking shoveling horse crap). What she’s not enamored with is referring to herself in the third person and social media so don’t expect her to get on Twitter anytime soon. Oh, and although she was born in Italy, she’s been Jersey Strong since she turned six.

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