#DGRFave & Review: When The Time Is Right by M. Mabie & Aly Martinez

WHEN THE TIME IS RIGHT
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: M. Mabie & Aly Martinez
Release Date: July 30, 2020

Fate doesn’t always happen overnight.

Hudson Bradley is the cockiest, most stubborn, hard-headed man I’ve ever known. And for fifteen years, he’s been my brother’s best friend.

But lately, what I’m feeling for him isn’t friendship at all.

Why is my heart racing every time his blue eyes lock on mine?
Why does every word he rumbles in my ear make my body come alive?
And worst of all, why did I bet him that I could find a woman he and his son would both love?

If I hadn’t given up on love altogether, Hudson would have been perfect for me. After all, he was there the day my world fell apart. He’s spent the last six years piecing me back together.

There are a million reasons why we could never work, but after a single kiss, I can’t remember any of them.

Now that the time is right, I have to make him mine—before I lose him forever.

 AMAZON

He was Hudson. My brother’s best friend. My reluctant partner in crime—or at least the man there to bail me out when I was partnering in crime alone. He was…a really fucking good guy. Not to mention stupid hot and all that masculine energy I craved.

Excuse me? Can I have your undivided attention please? I have a big announcement to make.
*clears throat*
This was easily my favorite friends to lovers romance I have EVER read.
*pauses for dramatic effect*

I KNOW. Big statement, right? But let me just tell you. This book? It was absolute perfection. It was everything. All of the things. It was swoony and emotional. It was hilarious. It was full of the best banter and so many laugh out loud moments that my face still hurts from grinning like a loon the entire time I was reading. I don’t even have the words to describe to you all of the ways I loved this book. But I’m going to attempt to here. Because it deserves all of the words.

Hudson has been the rock for Alexis as long as she’s known him. He’s the stable, reliable, and always there for everyone kind of man. He’s her brother’s best friend, but he’s been her friend as well. He was there for her through the worst and helped piece her together in the after effects.

His best friend’s family has been the only family Hudson has truly ever known. He loves them like they’re his own. Hudson is a single father and an amazing daddy. He’s also not exactly winning it in the dating department. Hard to date when you’re a workaholic single father after all. But then he makes a bet with Alexis on who can set the other up on the best blind date…and things take a very interesting turn.

Now lets talk about the friends to lovers trope for a hot second here, shall we? Because the pacing from friends to the realization that there’s something more was pure perfection. I adore the way the authors handled the timing of everything. It just felt so genuine and authentic. It sort of snuck up on both Lex and Hud and hit them over the head but it didn’t come as a shock. I don’t know how to explain it to you without you experiencing it, but let’s just say that it was SO GOOD.

These two together was everything. I couldn’t get enough of their banter and their easy camaraderie. They love each other so much but they don’t see what everyone around them have seen for years, which is how perfect they are for each other.

I loved Lex’s fiery sass. The woman had attitude and zingers for days and I couldn’t get enough of it. She’s a spitfire but she’s also a fierce friend and I loved the way she loved Hudson. As for Hudson, I can’t even begin to describe all of his perfection. This single daddy with a heart of gold was just GAH. He was everyone’s rock. He’s there for his family and his friends when they need him and he’ll do anything for those he loves. His son was the most adorable secondary character every and the way Hud and Lex were with him just melted my heart.

There was no crazy drama but there were plenty of feels. It was just one of those utterly perfect feel good romances that just suck you right into its world and wrap you up in it like the coziest blankets. It was magical. It was swoony perfection. It put a smile on my face and kept it there until the very last page. I loved the hell out of this book. I didn’t want it to end. And if you’re a fan of friends to lovers, you simply need this book in your life. It was EVERYTHING. ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING. And I simply cannot recommend it enough.

#DGRFave: Flock by Kate Stewart

FLOCK
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Ravenhood Duet #1
Author: Kate Stewart
Release Date: July 28, 2020

𝐂𝐚𝐧 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐤𝐞𝐞𝐩 𝐚 𝐬𝐞𝐜𝐫𝐞𝐭?

I grew up sick.

Let me clarify.

I grew up believing that real love stories include a martyr or demand great sacrifice to be worthy.

Because of that, I believed it, because I made myself believe it, and I bred the most masochistic of romantic hearts, which resulted in my illness.

When I lived this story, my own twisted fairy tale, it was unbeknownst to me at the time because I was young and naïve. I gave into temptation and fed the beating beast, which grew thirstier with every slash, every strike, every blow.

Triple Falls wasn’t at all what it seemed, nor were the men that swept me under their wing. But in order to keep them, I had to be in on their secrets.

Secrets that cost us everything to keep.

That’s the novelty of fiction versus reality. You can’t re-live your own love story, because by the time you’ve realized you’re living it, it’s over. At least that was the case for me and the men I trusted my foolish heart to.

Looking back, I’m convinced I willed my story into existence due to my illness.

𝘈𝘯𝘥 𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘸𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘱𝘶𝘯𝘪𝘴𝘩𝘦𝘥.

 AMAZON

My greatest hope is to be in all-consuming love. My biggest fear is to be in all-consuming love.

Shut. The. Front. Door. TWICE.

I am totally and completely ruined. Dead. DEAD I tells ya. How do I even go on living after this book? HOW? I’ve been sitting in my room, staring blankly at the wall for the past 3 hours, just trying to figure out how to go on with my life. And I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s simply impossible. Until I have book two in my hands, the only existence is my currently over caffeinated and slightly manic state of OHMYGODWHATDIDIJUSTREAD!!!!

The only love I’ve ever known or craved is the kind that keeps me sick, sick with longing, sick with lust, sick with need, sick with grief. The distorted kind that leaves scars and jaded hearts.

I don’t know about you, but my love affair with Kate Stewart actually began with her books under her pen name. All I remember is cracking open Excess and falling head over ovaries for this woman’s words. Since then, I’ve been greedily devouring each of her releases without even bothering to read the blurb. This one being no exception. And if there’s one piece of advice I can give you, is that you do the same thing. Go in absolutely blind. Trust me on this and thank me later.

But back to my point and where I was going with this. When I learned that Angelica Chase was none other than Kate Stewart, it was like two worlds colliding for me. Angelica wrote twisty and erotic romances and Kate Stewart wrote unforgettable stories. So where am I going with this? Well, Flock happened to be the most amazing culmination of Kate and Angelica that I couldn’t even imagine in my dreams.

This book was….how do I even describe this to you. First of all, that blurb is vague AF. And as much as I want to give you more, I won’t. because this isn’t a story you read. It’s one you experience. And it’s one you need to experience to its full potency. It was a twisty and erotic masterpiece that sucks you in and doesn’t let you go. It’s a thrill ride of emotion and frustration as you grasp at straws to try to make sense of it all, only to fall victim to the author’s evil genius mind and realize you no longer know up from down and left from right.

All I know is I binged. BINGED y’all. I stayed up all night reading and while I can barely function this morning, I’m not even a little sorry because it was all worth it. Well. Maybe not my manic screaming when I got to the end and woke up my husband who preceded to look at me like I just lost my ever loving mind at 4 am. And you know what? He’s not wrong. Because I definitely did. And I won’t be sane until I get my answers in book two. And while it’s only a few days away, the wait for Exodus is the worst sort of torture.

So let me end my “review” (if you can even call it that) with this: if this book is not on your radar (you’ve been living under a rock), it NEEDS to be. If you’re not sure about reading it, dive in! If you read ANY book this year, make it this one. If you want a unique, captivating, and utterly unforgettable read, GET. THIS. BOOK.

That is all. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to rock myself in a corner somewhere (preferably with booze) in my wait for Exodus. And in case you’re wondering, no, I am most definitely NOT OKAY.

Review: Violence by Lily White

VIOLENCE
Genre: Contemporary Romance Romance
Series: Antihero Inferno #3
Author: Lily White
Release Date: July 29, 2020

Seventh Circle.
Violence.
Also Known As Ezra Cross.

He’s one of a pair. Identical twin to Damon.
And an enforcer for the Inferno if one is ever needed.

I knew better than to get involved with him.
With his aggression.
With the constant fights.
With the games the twins were known to play with every woman stupid enough to fall for them.

We made a mistake when we met again as adults.
I fell in love.
He fell in love.
His brother fell in love, too.

What used to be a good time is now a tragedy.

Our story is messy.
It’s cruel.
It’s forbidden.

Despite all that, Ezra refuses to let go.

*** Each novel in the series depicts a unique romance, but the plots through each book connect in one world. For the best experience, read the series in order.

Nine Ruthless Men. Nine Unrepentant Sinners. Nine Irresistible Manipulators.

 AMAZON

Because if Ezra has taught me anything in life, it’s that the worst kind of pain isn’t what we do to ourselves, it’s what the person your heart belongs to can do when he’s learned to hate you.

This series is the best sort of book crack that has ever existed and I cannot get enough of these Inferno boys!

First of all, if you’re thinking of reading this as a standalone. Stop. The series is a continuing story arc that features different couples, but needs to be read in order. And lucky for you, each book is deliciously addictive. Like five star sort of addictive. Thank god there’s only a month’s wait between the books, or I’m afraid I’d go through full on withdrawals.

Ezra is Violence, in life, in mind…in bed. And once this man loses control, he’s a wildfire that consumes without concern for what damage is caused.

Ezra is a live wire. The tortured and violent one who has dark secrets that even his friends don’t know about. Secrets that he and his identical twin, Damon, were forced to endure, but have irrevocably changed them both.

Emily is the woman that both him and his twin fell for, but she walked away from them both. Emily’s family has been preparing her for marriage to Mason since she was still a teen. To escape her grim reality of being forced to marry a man that hates her and she doesn’t want, she took a walk on the wild side, with twins who are as dangerously sexy as they are plain dangerous. But if you’re thinking this a love triangle, it’s not.

Ezra, much like the rest of the inferno is an ultimate alphahole. He fell for Emily in college, and she walked away from him for ten years. Now she’s back in his orbit and he’s determined to punish her for her sins. Even if his own brother wants to protect Emily from him, he won’t stop. But Emily has secrets of her own. Secrets that may break everyone around her.

I devoured and I mean DEVOURED this book. The romance was utterly delicious. Their angsty dance back and forth and their push and pull did everything for me. I loved their anger and their inability to stay away from each other, even when it was almost toxic for all the things left unsaid between them.

My only quibble is that while in the other two books we got some sort of resolution for either the couple or a secret unearthed, here we got…nothing. It was the worst sort of tease for me. I had hoped that we’d at least learn something, but aside from a few red herrings and a few teasing glimpses into what their secrets may be, we got nothing. It was frustratingly dissatisfying in that sense. Now don’t get me wrong. The book was still crazy good. I just wished we got slightly more resolution for some of the things. Now I’m just rabid for the next book and hoping that either the next book or Damon’s will give us some of the answers that I was desperate for here.

Review: The Devil’s Crown by Monica James

THE DEVIL’S CROWN
Genre: Dark Romance
Series: All The Pretty Things Trilogy Spinoff #1
Author: Monica James
Release Date: July 21, 2020

**All The Pretty Things Trilogy Spin-Off**

I was feared.
Respected.
Worshiped.

But all of that changed when the impossible happened—I fell in love. Only those feelings weren’t reciprocated, because who could love a monster like me?

My empire crumbled. People died. I went from being a victorious leader to lurking in the shadows, planning revenge on my half-brother who now reigns in my place.

An orphanage is where I find sanctuary, but when she walks into my world and evokes a yearning I thought long dead, my demons are awakened and want what they can’t have—her. Sooner or later, I knew I’d need to feed the darkness inside me.

Mayhem, power, and control course through my veins. I will use them to regain my crown, my throne, and then claim her, despite what solemn vows she might’ve made.

I will break them…and her.

 AMAZON

I was once feared, respected among this land for being ruthless and cruel. But they haven’t seen anything yet. Love hurts, and now, it’s my turn to hurt love. 

You know what I love? Seemingly irredeemable villains. Anti-heroes that you almost don’t want to root for and yet you can’t help but ultimately fall head over ovaries for. And it just doesn’t get any more delicious than Aleksei Popov. The ultimate villain in Bad Saint who discovered he had a soul underneath all of that brutality in Forever My Saint. Now it’s no secret that I love me the baddies and Alek was the ultimate baddie. So suffice it to say I was almost rabid for his book from all of the glimpses we got of the man beneath the villain in All The Pretty Things trilogy. But nothing could have prepared me for the full impact of all the things that are Alek Popov.

I wasn’t her Prince Charming. And that’s okay.” I smirk viciously. “I much prefer to be the villain. They have all the fun.” 

Now first of all, if you haven’t yet read All The Pretty Things trilogy, I HIGHLY recommend that you do. Yes, this is a spin off with a new couple, but there’s a lot of story that carries over and you wouldn’t have the same appreciation for all those nuances if you haven’t read the trilogy first.

You’re magnetic, and you don’t even know it. You’re a villain…who has a heart. And what woman doesn’t want to try to fix a bad man?”

Alek once lost everything for love. His empire and his name all went out in a fiery blaze of bullets and betrayal. But Alek is not the same man he used to be either. Yes, he’s still the ruthless killer and calculating criminal. But beneath the cold stare and cigar smoke lies the heart of a man that no one expected, not even the man himself.

He’s trying to rebuild his empire, brick by brick, but when your own mother is working against you and your half-brother is determined to see you dead, it’s easier said than done.

I’m not going to summarize the book here for you, you really need to experience it for yourself. But what I will tell you, is brace yourself. The Devil’s Crown is one epic thrill ride full of twists and turns so dark and depraved, you never see them coming. It’s deliciously dark. It’s fast-paced and sizzlingly hot. It was all of the things. But ultimately, it was a total page-turner.

Monica James seriously brought her A Game with this story, so prepare to be owned by Alek. The man is an enigma of violence and passion and I couldn’t get enough of him. There’s just something so utterly broken about him and yet you can’t help but want to see him fixed. It’s not easy to redeem an ultimate villain like Alek, but damn if James didn’t do it. I am utterly desperate for the next book. Like legit desperate. I’m not sure if I’ll survive the wait but man was this book worth the pain.

Review: Quarter Miles by Devney Perry

QUARTER MILES
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Runaway #3
Author: Devney Perry
Release Date: July 21, 2020

Katherine Gates has been in love with Cash Greer since the moment he saved her life from a runaway goat. According to Cash, she’s the little sister he never had, the greatest roommate in the world and his favorite coworker. They’re friends—best friends.

In the dark days of her youth, it was her friendships that kept her alive and made life in a junkyard worth living. So she’s learned to shove her feelings for Cash down deep, even if that means ignoring eyes that shine brighter than the Montana summer sun and the smile that illuminates the snowiest winter day.

Except with every passing year, the denial takes its toll on her wounded heart until one day Katherine decides to take an impulsive road trip to the Oregon coast. Alone. That is, until Cash cons his way into the passenger seat.

The farther they travel, the harder it is to pretend. And when she confesses her feelings, she learns that Cash has some secrets of his own. Secrets that will either bond them together.

Or rip them apart.

 AMAZON

Why was letting him go so hard? Why couldn’t he love me back?

I am so in love with this series, and I am beyond head over heels for this book!

If you love a swoony and emotional friends to lovers romance with a splash of unrequited love vibes, then prepare for the book hangover to beat all book hangovers. I’m not typically a reader that gravitates towards friends to lovers romance. I much prefer the angsty vibes of a good enemies to lovers trope. But this romance made a converter out of me. I don’t even have the words to describe to you all of the ways I adored everything about this story.

First of all, if you haven’t started this series, you, my friend, are seriously missing out. The series focuses on a group of friends that were teenage runaways and are now finding themselves through their own journeys in a car that solidified in their past. As they pass this car from one friend to another, another journey takes place. This time, it’s Katherine’s turn, and she’s desperate for an escape the crushing feeling of the man she’s in love with see her as nothing more than his best friend. Katherine hasn’t looked back since she got to the small town and built a new life for herself. The Greer’s have become a family that she’s always wanted. She has a successful career and everything to be happy for. Except the minor detail of being in love with the youngest Greer brother and knowing that he’ll never see her as more than his best friend. Desperate for an escape, she plans to take the cadillac on a trip to hopefully move past the crushing feeling of seeing him with someone else. But then Cash insists on going with her…

My god. Y’all. I can’t even begin to describe the rollercoaster of emotion this book took me on. There’s so much feeling that’s packed into this incredible story. Watching Cash come to realize his feelings. Watching them discover each other in a way that’s so much deeper than anything they know when Katherine begins to open up to Cash about her past. Watching them push and pull from each other as they fight their feelings afraid to lose the other and the years of friendship that’s bonded them. ALL OF IT. Absolutely indescribable in it’s potency. I was glued to the pages. I couldn’t get enough of it. Usually, insecurities like what Katherine harbored with Cash would drive me crazy. But with all of the emotion and character development that went into this, it was impossible to feel anything other than infatuated. I loved with them and I hurt with them and I rooted for them every page along the way.

This story was everything. Mesmerizing. Enchanting. Emotional. Utterly unforgettable.

An absolute must read for all the Devney Perry fans. And if you haven’t read her yet, this book will hook you. Though, I totally recommend reading the series in order. I’ve loved every book in this series so far, but I swear, they only get better with each new book. And the set up for the next one? I’m gagging for it. Absolutely desperate. NEED.

Review: The Proposal by Maya Hughes

THE PROPOSAL
Series: SWANK #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Maya Hughes
Release Date: July16, 2020

When I envisioned Zara Logan dropping to her knees in front of me, this wasn’t what I had in mind…

I was expecting a lot less glaring and a lot more moaning.

Instead, she’s proposing an enticing deal that I can’t bear to walk away from.

To land one of the city’s biggest clients, she wants us to put our differences aside and play fake fiancés for the next thirty days.

So, I slip the diamond ring onto her finger and agree to play the perfect fiancé. How hard can this be?

A hell of a lot harder than I thought…

She’s infuriatingly stubborn and she thinks I’m a cocky jerk with an enormous ego. (She’s right, but I can definitely back it up…)

As our long days stretch into even later nights, it’s getting harder to remember we’re only playing pretend, which means one thing.

She won’t be faking it for long…

AMAZON

Leo was the best distraction I’d ever discovered and I couldn’t wait for another taste. But what happened when we stopped playing pretend?

This was so stinking cute! I was super excited to learn that Maya Hughes has a brand new series coming out. And when I read that blurb? DEAD. I needed this book. I’m a sucker for a good enemies to lovers romance with a splash of fake engagement thrown in.

Zara is the definition of sassy. She is barely scraping by in a job that she hates. With deadbeat parents, she’s used to being the sole support for her little brother. She’s been scrimping and saving every penny for his education and support. If it’s meant denying herself, then that’s what it’s been. Zara is an incredibly supportive and loving older sister. This endeared her to me right away. She’s also sassy with a fiery temper and a get it done at any cost attitude. She’s pretty tough not to like.

The meet cute between her and Leo is anything but smooth. The man bumps her, spills her precious coffee, and tramples her croissant. In a pure accident of course, but it doesn’t save him from her temper. The icing on the cake is finding out that they now have to work together. Leo to save his beloved uncle’s company and Zara to finally prove herself to her boss. They have one goal, win over a tough client with their proposal. Even if they have to stop snapping at one another long enough to get it done.

As they work on the project together, the chemistry that’s been between them begins to burn hotter and hotter, and before they know it, the fake relationship is no longer as fake for them as they thought.

This was such a fun romance! I immediately fell for all of the secondary characters. Leo is an incredibly lovable hero. An injury cost him his pro football career and he’s been sort of floundering in the time since. He’s not a cocky jerk or a stereotypical jock. He’s a nice guy and I was rooting for him from page one to get past Zara’s walls. Though she certainly didn’t make it easy.

My one quibble with the book was the pacing. I’m not sure if it was the length or maybe some parts that I felt didn’t quite add to the story and wished it focused more on the main couple? There was some time spent building out and introducing the other characters and the couple would get a little lost in the background of that at parts. I found myself going in and out of the story. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it because I really did. But I also wasn’t riveted to the pages. Did it hook me on the series? Absolutely! I’m dying for the rest of it. Ultimately it was a cute and light hearted read that was perfect to spend the afternoon with.

Review: In Too Deep by Skye Jordan

IN TOO DEEP
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Wildfire Lake #1
Author: Skye Jordan
Release Date: July 6, 2020

A fresh and sexy new series from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Skye Jordan

I’ve got one hell of a life–the business of my dreams, a close-knit family, and the title of elusive but most-eligible bachelor in town.

The only thing I’m missing now is my heart. I gave it away as a teenager and never got it back.

I didn’t think I’d see that girl again. She was my best friend, my first love, the person I couldn’t wait to see arrive in June and couldn’t stand to see leave in September. But the summer she turned eighteen, she flew off to Paris and never looked back.

When she resurfaces twelve years later, I don’t want to want her. I don’t even want to care. I really just want my fucking heart back so I can move on with a normal life–marriage, kids. Hell, I’d settle for a cease-fire in my romantic life.

It turns out we’ve got a shared interest in her grandfather’s land. This could be the perfect opportunity to settle the past. Or it could be the biggest mistake of my life, the one that destroys my heart for good.

Books in the Wildfire Lake series can be read as stand alone novels.
IN TOO DEEP
GOING UNDER
SWEPT AWAY

AMAZON

Kissing her now after all this time only confirms what I already knew—she ruined me for other women. I gave my heart away as a teenager and never got it back.

Y’all know I’m a sucker for a second chance romance. Mix it with a scenic small town and a group of girlfriends with an unbreakable bond and I’m so here for it!

My best friend. My first love. She’s the only thing I’ve ever truly wanted in life.

Growing up Laiyla wanted for nothing; except the unconditional love and acceptance of her parents. She’s spent her entire life aspiring to be what her parents want her to be. Her career, her life, nothing feels like her own. The only time she knew peace and belonging is when she spent time with her grandfather in a small scenic town. It’s where she met the love of her life, and then walked away from him to continue the path laid out by her parents.

On a birthday trip, Laiyla meets two women and their bond is formed through a circumstance none of them will soon forget. They form a quick and immediate bond over a shared birth date. They couldn’t be more different, yet their bond is immediate. I adored this aspect of the story because I love a good girlfriend bond vs the cattiness that you find in a lot of books. Empowering females that are there for each other rock! But I digress.

Laiyla hasn’t been back to the small town that she cherished since she walked away from the town and the man she loved as a teenager. Now with her grandfather’s passing, she’s back and determined to revive the beloved home that has fallen to shambles in her absence. The only trouble is, the town and the residence aren’t exactly thrilled to see her. And the man that she never forgot? He’s still there and carries a mean grudge. And he’s no longer the boy she remembers. He’s so much more.

This was such a sweet and steamy romance full of great banter and plenty of sass. The chemistry between Laiyla and Levi was undeniable. The second they’re back in each other’s orbit, you can practically feel the sizzle. I loved the two of them together. Levi doesn’t play games, but he also doesn’t want to open his heart again to the woman that broke it years ago, knowing she’ll just be walking away when she’s done. I loved watching Laiyla’s growth throughout the story and seeing her finally find her voice with her parents. Granted, she probably should have found it before she turned 30, but better late than never.

As for the colorful town residents? I couldn’t get enough of them. The set up for he friends’ books sound equally as delicious. I can’t wait for the next one. Bring on Dr. Delicious and K.T.

Review: Diamond in the Rough by Skye Warren

Diamond In The Rough
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Suspense
Series: The Diamond Trilogy #1
Author: Skye Warren
Release Date: July 7, 2020

Finding yourself has never been so dangerous…

Diamond in the Rough by New York Times bestselling author, Skye Warren, is available now!

I’m stepping off a nine hour flight when it happens.

A white van.
A dark hood.
Every woman’s worst nightmare.

Now I’m trapped in an abandoned church.

The man who took me says I won’t be hurt.

The man in the cell next to me says that’s a lie.

I’ll fight with every ounce of strength, but there are secrets in these walls.

I’ll need every single one of them to survive.

 

DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH is a new dark romance from New York Times bestselling author Skye Warren.

 

This is a trilogy with cliffhangers.

 AmazonAmazon WorldwideAppleNookKobo

The dream comes to me before death.

I’ve seen it before. It comes to soldiers taking their last ragged breaths. They see their mothers kneeling over them in the middle of the godforsaken desert. They see a beloved wife holding their hand. I don’t have a mother or a wife. So it makes sense that the angel would come in the form of a stranger.

Except my angel begs me to let her go.

“I have money. And my family, they’ll pay a ransom.”

I walk through the conversation as if it’s a forest, touching the leaves and searching for animals beneath the foliage. She’s a puzzle, this angel, but she’s mine. I won’t give her up to die alone.

Adam comes downstairs. You can last seven minutes.

That’s when I know this is no strange dream. There is a woman in the cell with me. Christ. “Don’t listen to him,” I tell her, my voice low. The words echo off the damp stone walls. “Don’t fucking listen to a word he says.”

“You don’t want water?” Adam asks, taunting.

It’s painful how badly I need that goddamn water bottle he’s flaunting. But I have no illusions about my injuries. I’m going to die in this old French prison, and the part that pisses me off the most, the only thing that I really regret, is not taking Adam down with me. “He’s fucking with you.”

“I’ll do it,” the woman says, her voice brave and wavering at the same damn time.

I try to sit up, to stop her, to save her, but pain lashes my side. It blinds me. Ludicrous, the idea that I could save anyone in this state. “Don’t trust him. God, don’t let him—”

Don’t let him touch you.

If he kidnapped this woman, he’s going to do more than touch her.

There’s a squeak as the old metal protests its use.

Shuffling. Movement. The sounds filter through my haze of pain and hunger and the never-ending knife of thirst. They filter through with a bolt of goddamn outrage.

How dare he touch her? She’s my angel of death. Mine.

I shake my head against the cold concrete. No, that’s the blood loss speaking. She’s a real woman. Flesh and blood. And she’s going to get hurt.

“Let’s bring you into the light,” Adam says with his flawless, fake French accent.

It’s pitch-fucking-black down here, but somehow he finds a tiny shaft of light. The door is open a crack. Hope surges through me. No matter how unlikely escape, the human spirit won’t give up.

The woman cries out as she stumbles over something. Her back hits the bars with a clang. And then I can actually see her face in more than monochrome shadows. The delicate bridge of her nose, the eyes wide with fear. Blue. They’re blue. Her lips are a full, flawless pout, and my hope rips to shreds.

She’s beautiful. Incandescent, even in this hellhole. How will she ever survive?

“There we are,” Adam says, sounding very pleased with himself. He’s crowding her, one arm holding the bars, the other cupping her jaw. His perfectly tailored suit was made for this moment. It could be the picture of any man flirting with his date after dinner, stealing a kiss outside the restaurant.

Except he didn’t date her. He kidnapped her.

It’s something deeper than affection. Darker than love. She’s mine.

So who’s the idiot that completely missed that this is a trilogy because she didn’t even bother to read the blurb before diving in on a new Skye book?
Yeah.
Suffice it to say, there was a lot of colorful language and feet stomping that happened at the end.
Le sigh.

But guuuuuurl. I haven’t been this invested in one of Skye Warren’s stories since The Pawn. And I loved me some of that trilogy. And I swear to you, this one is even more delicious. There’s a dark thriller element to this that I gobbled right up and was left with a mind f*ck to end all mind f*cks.

Holly grew up in the shadow of her sister’s beauty, if only by her own insecurities. But one time when she’s a young girl, her heart gets stolen by a mysterious boy, only for it to be shattered. The encounter, although brief, leaves an unforgettable imprint on her heart, and a jaded after taste.

Now Holly is no longer the naive young girl she used to be. But the one constant, is her constantly running to her sister’s rescue. And when her sister goes radio silent, Holly’s fear finds her on a plane, and landing straight into hell. Kidnapped. Imprisoned. She has no idea what to believe or who to trust. There’s a man beaten half to death in her cage that tells her she can trust him. And a man keeping her in the cage that says he’s a liar. What begins is a mind game Holly never saw coming and doesn’t know how to get out of.

Now, if you’ve read Sonata, you’ll see quite a few welcome cameos here. And if you haven’t, you MUST.

As for the story, I simply won’t give you more than that. The blurb is vague AF and there’s a reason for it. You want to go in completely blind to experience the mind f*ck to it’s fullest. Trust me here. I loved Holly’s fierceness and fight. And the hero? Sweet baby jesus! Here! Hold my ovaries! But seriously. The man is intense with a capitol I. My only quibble is I wanted a little more detail with the sex. What? Stop looking at me like that. It was the mother of all sexual tensions and I wanted more, ok? Call me a greedy pervert here, whatever. I am what I am. But I digress. Aside from that one very minor quibble, I was completely invested and addicted to this story. I’m not sure if I’ll survive the wait for book two, but NEED!

Skye Warren is the New York Times bestselling author of dangerous romance such as the Endgame trilogy. Her books have been featured in Jezebel, Buzzfeed, USA Today Happily Ever After, Glamour, and Elle Magazine. She makes her home in Texas with her loving family, sweet dogs, and evil cat.

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Review: Hart To Handle by K. Bromberg

HARD TO HANDLE
Series: Play Hard #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: K. Bromberg
Release Date: June 30, 2020

At first, the request seemed simple—sign a new athlete to the agency.

Then I found out the new athlete was none other than the most wanted man in hockey today: Hunter Maddox

Gifted. Sexy. At the top of his game. And the only man who has ever broken my heart.
If signing him will help save our family business, I’ll swallow my pride and do what’s asked.

But when it becomes clear his uncharacteristic antics off the ice are a hint of something deeper, keeping things strictly professional between us becomes more than complicated.

But I know better than to cross that line.

I’ll never date a client. Not even for him.

***
Win the Stanley Cup and do it before time runs out.

Not a small feat, but it’s what’s motivated me since the start of my career.

And time is running out.

Enter Dekker Kincade.

Feisty. Dogged. Damn gorgeous. The one I let get away.

I have no idea why she’s traveling with the team, but hell if resisting her is going to be easy.

But I have a job to do, and I refuse to lose sight of that end game. Even if she confuses me. Even if she sees parts of me I’ve hidden from the world.

I can’t lose focus. Not even for her.

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I stare at Hunter. At his shirt plastered with sweat and how it clings to his body, despite the chill of the ice his skates are standing on. He has his warm-up pants on and is without a helmet, his hair curling at the ends from the sweat.

And all I see in his eyes is anger I didn’t put there. Or maybe I did. Rejection can do that to a man . . . but there’s something more here. Something I walked in on that doesn’t make sense.

“Don’t give me that look, Kincade,” Hunter mutters as he skates over to the penalty box where his electrolyte drink sits.

“What look?” I ask.

He half laughs, half snorts and meets my gaze across the distance. “Disappointment. Disproval. Disdain. I’m the king of all of them, so save your breath—or in this case—your glare, because it’s not going to work with me.”

“Are we working on emotions that start with the letter D today?” I ask. A hint of my embarrassment and anger over how I acted last night creeps into my voice, but I mask it with sarcasm. “If that’s the case, I’m more than impressed with your answers thus far.”

He clenches his jaw in response and then skates back over to line up more pucks so he can shoot them. And he does, one after another, each shot taken with laser precision and a healthy dose of fury behind it.

He goes through the first ten lined up and then stops to catch his breath.

His talent and skill are undeniable, but so is the beer bottle in my hand.

“Just because you’re the captain and star of this team, doesn’t mean management won’t frown upon this,” I say, unable to let this go.

“Screw the management.”

“No one likes a player who’s hard to handle and honestly, Hunter, you’re becoming hard to handle.”

“No one likes unsolicited advice from someone who has no bearing on his career, either,” he counters, the rebuke stinging but deserved.

The problem is, I do care about him. Doesn’t he get that’s where my hostility stems from?
And only a crazy person would say that, Dekker.

I put my hands up in surrender to both him and my own thoughts. “You know I only want the best for you.” I take a few steps in his direction in the first row of the stands. I’m close enough to catch the hitch of his movement and to see uncertainty flicker in his eyes. It’s almost as if he needs to talk but doesn’t see me as someone he can trust. I hate that. “What is it, Hunter?”

“Nothing. It’s . . . never mind.”

But I see it, and he knows I see it. The question is what do I see, though?

I knew that the minute I laid eyes on him. I knew that there was going to be a casualty in all of this. And most likely, it was going to be my heart.

GOD. Rip my heart out, why don’t ya, K. Bromberg. Holy hell. This story was a one two punch straight to the feels. I was expecting another amazing book from one of my favorite authors. What I was not expecting, was to blubber my way through every emotion it seemed to wrangle out of me. And oh my GOD, the emotion!

The premise of this new series is addictive. Four sisters who barely get along and couldn’t be more different are brought together by a common goal to save their father’s failing sports agency. First on the docket is Dekker who is assigned to win over a hockey super star from an agent that keeps stealing their clients out from under them. The only problem? The man she’s assigned to go after is also one that turned out to me more than she bargained for 3 years ago with what was only supposed to be sex.

Hunter Maddox is a hockey god. Captain of the team, he battles demons that no one knows about that are quickly causing him to spiral out of control in a cloud of rage and guilt. He may be an incredibly talented professional hockey star on the surface, but on the inside he’s burned out and hurting. He hasn’t seen Dekker since she walked out of his hotel room three years ago. They were only supposed to have hot sex between them, but it didn’t take long for it to become something more for him. He doesn’t know why she’s back in his orbit now, but he’ll be dammed if he’ll let her walk away before rekindling the fire that burned so hotly between them before.

I was instantly hooked on the story. I’m a sucker for a good second chance romance, especially one between a tortured pro hockey player and a ballsy sports agent. I loved Dekker’s smart mouth and stiff spine. Although admittedly, the longer she went without admitting to Hunter’s question on why she was there, the more frustrated I became with her. She was stuck between doing her job to sign him and save their agency and knowing she’s barely resisting the temptation of the man that stole her heart. It was a torture dance of frustration and wanting to shake her to just admit it to him.

Hunter was impossible not to love. My heart hurt so badly for him. Especially as we got more and more details on all that transpired to bring him to where he is today. His relationship with his family and his brother broke my heart. I blubbered like a baby through a good chunk of it.

This was the start of what is definitely going to be one incredible series, if this book is anything to go by. I was glued to the pages, put through the ringer of emotion, and SO FREAKING INVESTED. If you love a good sports romance, welcome to your next addiction! Seriously. This one is not to be missed!


New York Times Bestselling author K. Bromberg writes contemporary romance novels that contain a mixture of sweet, emotional, a whole lot of sexy, and a little bit of real. She likes to write strong heroines and damaged heroes who we love to hate but can’t help to love.

A mom of three, she plots her novels in between school runs and soccer practices, more often than not with her laptop in tow and her mind scattered in too many different directions.

Since publishing her first book on a whim in 2013, Kristy has sold over one and a half million copies of her books across eighteen different countries and has landed on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestsellers lists over thirty times. Her Driven trilogy (Driven, Fueled, and Crashed) is currently being adapted for film by the streaming platform, Passionflix, with the first movie (Driven) out now.

With her imagination always in overdrive, she is currently scheming, plotting, and swooning over her latest hero. You can find out more about him or chat with Kristy on any of her social media accounts.

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Review: Absolute Power by Jeana E. Mann

ABSOLUTE POWER
Series: Absolute Power Duet #1
Genre: Dark, Suspenseful Romance
Author: Jeana E. Mann
Release Date: June 30, 2020

The devil in my nightmares is the man of my dreams.

For the past three years, I’ve been running from a man I’ve never met. A man who carries a grudge. A man who specializes in revenge. I thought I had it all—a career and a new home in a sleepy small town. My world comes crashing down when a sexy gang member from the city arrives at my job, wrapped in tattoos and sinful smiles. Beneath his flirtatious facade beats the heart of an angry man. I’ve committed the one sin he can never forgive. I stole from him, and he won’t be satisfied until he’s repaid with the money or my life.

They say there are two kinds of power: power derived from fear and power obtained by acts of love. Cash Delacorte holds them both over my head. He’s everything I never wanted: dark, deceptive, and dedicated to a life of crime. He’s determined to pull me into the darkness with him, and the thing is—I want to go. Every kiss, every lie, every punishment propels me into a future I never dreamed possible.

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The epic conclusion—Absolute Trust—releases July 7th! Preorder now for only $.99! Price will go up on release day!

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The devil in my nightmares is the man of my dreams.

Oh Mr. Delacorte, I’ve been REALLY waiting for you.

If you’ve read Nicky and Calliope’s story in The Ruthless Knight, the name Cash will sound very familiar to you. Because he’s the bad boy boyfriend that Calliope stole from and skipped town. If you haven’t read it, no worries, because you will easily pick things up here.

Jagger is Callie’s younger sister. Just like her sister, Jagger is a talented thief, but she’s also one that’s trying to turn her life to the straight and narrow. She used the money her sister stole from Cash to restart her life, but it’s not long before her sister’s debts start calling int he form of a sinfully sexy and tatted up stranger that’s intent to turn her world upside down.

If there’s one thing that this author can do phenomenally well, it’s craft one intense alpha male. Cash is brooding and mysterious with an aura of dangerous that’s a one-two punch straight to the ovaries. I was instantly drawn to him and starving for every little detail of who this man really is. The secondary character, Gage, his friend, was equally magnetic. Cash is rich criminal with a dark history. He knows he can’t get to Callie so he’ll take his pound of flesh from her sister. The chemistry between them is instant and sizzling.

This is a quick read, and while I devoured every page, I also wished it was longer. The pacing was great, but there were some integral parts that were missing in both Jagger and Cash’s characterization. I would have loved for some of the story to be further fleshed out. As it was, the puzzle pieces and the why’s just didn’t quite click for me. One of my most anticipated scenes was when Jagger finally gives into Cash, but I felt like that chapter was taken out and instead we get diluted flashbacks. I couldn’t help but be frustrated with that. I suppose I just needed a little bit more from this story to fully connect to the why. It felt like chunks of the story were missing.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it quite a bit. Heck, I read it in one sitting. It was quick-paced and entertaining. I’m definitely curious to see how everything ends, especially with the plot twist at the end here. If you’re looking for something quick but satisfying, this will certainly hit the spot.


Jeana is a USA Today and Publishers Weekly Bestselling Author from Indiana. She gave up a career in the corporate world to write about sexy billionaires and alpha bad boys. With over twenty books and several awards beneath her belt, she’s never regretted her choice to live out her dream. She’s a free spirit, a wanderer at heart, and loves animals with a passion. When she’s not tripping over random objects, you’ll find her walking in the sunshine with her rambunctious dogs and dreaming about true love.

You can follow Jeana here:

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Text Alerts: Text the word “Jeana” without quotations to 21000

The author is giving away an EPIC giveaway of a Michael Kors purse, a $50 Amazon Gift Card and a signed set of Absolute Power and Absolute Trust. Stop by her page to enter! https://www.facebook.com/JeanaEMann/

 

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