Review: Sweet Mercy by Nina West

SWEET MERCY
Genre: Erotic Romance, Mafia
Series: Dirty Empire #1
Author: Nina West
Release Date: March 27, 2019

From internationally bestselling author K.A. Tucker, writing as Nina West, comes the dark and steamy Dirty Empire trilogy.

One visit to my father in prison—convicted for a murder he didn’t commit—and I’ve attracted the attention of the last man I’d ever want knowing that I exist.

Gabriel Easton.

Son of an infamous crime boss. Deplorable womanizer. Scoundrel to the core.

Worse, he has figured out how desperate I am to protect my father from brutality behind bars. He has the power to grant that protection, and he has offered it … for a price.

Me.

I am to become a “guest” in his mansion, to live with him until he tires of having me around.
I’ll do anything for my father, including agree to Gabriel’s cruel game. But I won’t comply with his every whim and wish.

Not when he taunts me with that ruthless spark in his cold blue eyes.

Not when he requires that I share his bedroom at night.

Unfortunately for me, I think my loathing for him is what he’s enjoying most.

That’s fine. By the time I’m through with him, he’ll be crying my name.

Mercy.

 AMAZON 

My name on this woman’s lips will be my downfall.

First of all, if we’re friends and you’ve read this book and didn’t scream at me that I need to read it immediately? Yeah. I’m reevaluating our friendship. You are no friend of mine. Because if you were and you read this, then you’d know that this was so much my catnip, I’d want to name both of my ovaries Gabriel.
This is book one in one of the most addictive trilogies I’ve read in a long time. And I’m not a reader that gravitates to trilogies? But having devoured this book in one sitting, I can already confirm that book two is giving me the same vibes.

Gabriel is the ultimate bad boy. The man is the son of an infamous gangster whose mere name makes grown men quake. He and his brother have lived a life of debauchery and no expense spared but don’t exactly what to be in their father’s shadow.

Gabriel is also used to getting any woman he wants to fall at his knees at the snap of a sexy finger.

Mercy has had her entire world turned upside down when her father gets sent to prison for the murder of a man that attacked her. She’s desperate to get him out and fight his unfair conviction. Especially since his life is in constant danger. Gabriel lays his sights on the beauty while visiting his own father and is determined to have her. But he doesn’t exactly make a convincing argument when he offers his protection in exchange for her dropping to her knees.

Now if you’re not a fan of alphaholes, you won’t like this. But if you’re like me and like them mean and extra cocky, prepare for ovary explosion, friends. Because Gabriel is all of the things. And I think what makes this as good as it was was watching his fall for Mercy. Mercy may be a good girl, but she takes no sh*t and isn’t afraid to put Gabriel in his place and makes him work for it. The sexual tension is UNREAL You can practically taste their chemistry.

I devoured and I mean DEVOURED this book. It was deliciously dirty and completely addictive.

Review: The Pool Boy by Nikki Sloane

THE POOL BOY
Genre: Erotic Romance
Series: Nashville Neighborhood #2
Author: Nikki Sloane
Release Date: August 11, 2020


Nothing says happy birthday like catching your husband in a compromising position with his boss.

His male boss.

Why, hello, midlife crisis. I’m starting over, but this time I’m doing it right. Or at least I’m doing what I want.

Taking the day off from work to hang out poolside? Yup. Do I leave the swimsuit in my house? Sure.

Does my very hot, twenty-something pool boy happen to catch me naked? Oh, yeah, he does. And he likes what he sees… a lot.

My best friend keeps telling me to have a fling and get back out there. But I’m not so sure she meant for me to do it with her son.

 AMAZON | iBOOKS | NOOK | KOBO | GOOGLE PLAY

If he had a flavor, it was just like his music. Sinfully rich and hot.

Every now and then a girl just wants a fun and smutty romance with a dash of taboo/forbidden mixed in. And whenever I’m craving this, Nikki Sloane is my no-brainer go-to. The woman can write a steamy erotica like no other. But she’ll also infuse it with a fun story and plenty of feels to make it immensely satisfying.

Now I’m going to admit something to you and I’m prepared for the judgy looks I’ll get. *whispers* I have a double standard. *grins sheepishly* What? I own it. I know I do. Because while I love me a good age gap romance with an older man, I don’t particularly gravitate towards the reverse. I know, I know. It’s not a bias I have in life. But for some reason, I do have it in books. Which is ridiculous, now that I think about it, because some of my favorite age gaps have been with a younger guy. Huh. I’m having an epiphany here. But I digress. What I’m trying to say here, is it’s not my go to, but if Nikki writes it? I’m all over it.

I devoured Erika and Troy’s book. Beyond the age gap, there’s also a big dash of forbidden, because Troy just happens to be Erika’s best friend’s son.
Erika is a recent divorce still dealing with discovering her husband’s long term affair…with his male boss.
I know! The plot twists! Craziness. But I digress again.

Troy is Erika’s best friend’s son and also her pool boy. Troy has also been harboring a huge crush on his mom’s friend for years. When he stumbles upon Erika sunbathing at her pool topless, well, let’s just say his reaction is not easy to hide. And seeing her best friend’s son all grown up staring at her with some very adult lust in his eyes? Well let’s just say Erika has an epiphany of her own. Thus begins their incredibly hot but also forbidden affair. And I was SO HERE FOR IT.

This story was so much more than just hot sex. Even though it was hot. I mean, smoking hot. SCORCHING. But really, there was so much more to it. I loved the way that Erika fought for Troy’s dreams even when his own parents didn’t see them. Troy was absolutely delicious. He’s sweet and caring and he’s all in with Erika. He’s not a stereotypical 20 year old playboy. He knows what he wants and he doesn’t need years of playing the field to know that it’s Erika and he could care less about their twenty year age difference. I absolutely loved the two of them together.

This was such a fun, quick paced read that I devoured in one hot Sunday afternoon and finished with a smile on my face. It was the perfect steamy read to get my mind off of all the crazy happening in our world right now. I also immediately went and purchased book one in this series to read about the good Dr and his son’s ex girlfriend. Because Yum. If you’re looking for a super steamy but wonderfully developed and immensely satisfying erotic romance, this is definitely a must read.

USA Today bestselling author Nikki Sloane landed in graphic design after her careers as a waitress, a screenwriter, and a ballroom dance instructor fell through. For eight years she worked for a design firm in that extremely tall, black, and tiered building in Chicago that went through an unfortunate name change during her time there.

 

Now she lives in Kentucky, is married and has two sons. She is a three-time Romance Writers of America RITA© Finalist, a Passionate Plume winner, a two-time HOLT Medallion finalist, and couldn’t be any happier that people enjoy reading her sexy words.

Connect with Nikki

Amazon | FacebookTwitter | Instagram | Bookbub | Goodreads | Joining her mailing list

Review: Kiss My Cupcake by Helena Hunting

KISS MY CUPCAKE
Genre: Contemporary Romance, RomCom
Author: Helena Hunting
Release Date: August 11, 2020

As two neighborhood shop owners battle for business, they prove opposites attract in this outrageously funny romantic comedy from the USA Today bestselling author of Meet Cute.

Blaire Calloway has planned every Instagram-worthy moment of her cupcake and cocktails shop launch down to the tiniest detail. What she didn’t plan on? Ronan Knight and his old-school sports bar next door opening on the very same day. He may be super swoony, but Blaire hasn’t spent years obsessing over buttercream and bourbon to have him ruin her chance at success.

From axe throwing (his place) to frosting contests (hers), Blaire and Ronan are constantly trying to one-up each other in a battle to win new customers. But with every clash, there’s also an undeniable chemistry. When an even bigger threat to their business comes to town, they’re forced to call a temporary time-out on their own war and work together. And the more time Blaire spends getting to know the real Ronan, the more she wonders if it’s possible to have her cupcake and eat it too.

 AMAZON

What’re you doing?”
“I want to see what I’m dealing with.”
“You can touch him, he doesn’t bite.”
“Him?” She peeks up, her expression amused. “Does he have a name?”
I scoff. “Of course not.” I call him The Sword of Destiny in my head, though.

I finished this good with a ridiculous craving of cupcakes and a goofy grin on my face. This was just so stinking cute, y’all. SO CUTE. This was opposites attract perfection with a splash of enemies to lovers and all the feels.

You may have started the war, but I’ll be the one taking you down, one sweet treat at a time.”

What happens when a sexy and tatted lumberjack meets a sassy and fiery baker with a penchant for retro fashion and insults. Basically, this was a recipe for amazing from the very first page.

Blaire is intent on making her boozy bakery a success. Combining sweet treats with fun drinks is her thing, much to the dismay of her very kooky but gourmet family. She’s intent to prove to them that she can make it on her own and without their financial help. But then she gets a new work neighbor that turns everything upside down. Ronan runs the bar next door and his renovations have been giving Blaire grief. So suffice it to say their first meeting isn’t exactly cordial. The chemistry between these two was EVERYTHING. And I seriously mean everything. You can literally see the sparks fly between them each time they go head to head.

At first they’re business rivals, each trying to one up the other when they’re not trading barbs and insults with a strong undercurrent of sexual tension. Then an unlikely friendship forms. I seriously loved the two of them together. Blaire has the kookiest family that made for some highly entertaining secondary characters. She’s also fun and fiery with a temper but a caring heart. I simply adored her. I cannot tell you how much I loved Ronan. He was perfection covered in tattoos. He’s sweet and loyal and I loved the relationship he has with his grandfather.

The romance here was a delicious slow burn that I couldn’t get enough of. I was eagerly turning the pages just waiting for that moment when Ronan and Blaire finally give into the chemistry between them. And when they finally did? YOWZA. Perfection.

If you’re looking for a fun, light-hearted romcom with a delicious sizzle and plenty of feels, look no further!

#DGRFave & Review: Exodus by Kate Stewart

EXODUS
Genre: Contemporary Romance (maybe. I don’t even know. My brain hurts, OK?!)
Series: Ravenhood Duet #2
Author: Kate Stewart
Release Date: July 28, 2020

Can you live a lie?

It’s a ghost town, this place that haunts me, the one that made me.

It’s clear to me that I’ll never outgrow Triple Falls or outlive the time I spent here.

I can still feel them all, my boys of summer.

Even when I’d sensed the danger, I gave in.

I didn’t heed a single warning. I let my sickness, my love, both rule and ruin me. I played my part, eyes wide open, tempting fate until it delivered.

There was never going to be an escape.

All of us are to blame for what happened. All of us serving our own sentences. We were careless and reckless, thinking our youth made us indestructible, exempt from our sins, and it cost us all.

I’m done pretending I didn’t leave the largest part of me between these hills and valleys, between the sea of trees that hold my secrets.

It’s the reason I’m back. To make peace with my fate.

And if I can’t grieve enough to cure myself in my time here, I’ll remain sick. That will be my curse.

But it’s time to confess, to myself more so than any other, that I’d hindered my chances because of the way I was built, and because of the men who built me.

At this point, I just want to make peace with who I am, no matter what ending I get.

Because I can no longer live a lie.

 AMAZON

Once upon a time, I was a lonely girl who met a lonely king, and we both suffered from too much pride and oh, how the reckless have fallen.

Do you see that crazy person staring blankly at the wall while clutching a bottle of wine and babbling to herself? Great. Now mind your business because she is NOT OK. She is me. OK? Alright? I am not ok. How do you even go on after this duet? How do you read anything else after it? How do you gather the remnants of sanity long enough to write a coherent review? You don’t! So don’t be expecting anything like that here, because you won’t get it. What you will get is incoherent babbling in bouts of full body sobbing and maniacal laughter. In that exact order. I said mind your business! I feel like I’ve just been hit by a mac truck of feels.

How do I even describe this duet to you? Soul shattering. All encompassing. Heart wrenching. Erotic. Utterly unforgettable. PHENOMENAL.

He didn’t want to feel anything, and instead, he felt everything. We’ve just ruined ourselves with our hate for the other.

Full disclosure, I must have spent a good 60% of this book hysterically sobbing. Like to the point of full body shakes when my husband finally looked at me like I’ve gone and lost it completely. And you know what? He was not wrong. God damn but Stewart can write. The woman can wring emotion out of her readers like nobody’s business but she seriously hit it out of the ballpark with this story.

Let’s talk about Cecelia for a second, because as many may judge her, I loved her. It’s not often you read about such a sex positive heroine that owns her desire and what she wants and I loved her for it. She’s a fighter and she’s magnificent in her fight. This is a woman that doesn’t take things lying down and isn’t afraid to rage and fight for what she wants.

Now as for the rest of it, you’ll get nothing. Absolutely nothing from me. Because this is just one of those books that you need to experience totally blind. I thought I was a pretty open minded reader, but this story took me so far out of my comfort zone, I was lost at sea. Drifting in an ocean of emotion so potent, I could practically taste it. But that’s also what I loved about this story. The fact that it was unlike anything else I’d ever read. It was one of those books that I will never forget. Ever. And this is coming from someone that barely remembers what she had for breakfast. Puny memory here, people.

Do yourself a favor and go in blind. Don’t seek out spoilers. Don’t read in depth reviews. Just trust me on this.

Is it an easy read? Not even a little. But what I appreciate about Kate Stewart’s raw talent is nothing was for shock value. There’s hints throughout the very first pages of what’s to come and the story unravels like the most enrapturing mystery. It was gritty and all encompassing. This book owned me. Cold black heart and soul. It will be a book I’ll be singing the praises of for years to come. It will be the book I recommend to anyone and everyone. It will be a book I will never, ever forget. It’s one of my top reads of the year. Magical. All encompassing. Unique. A one of a kind experience that broke me and put me back together again. INCREDIBLE.

Review: Inked In Lies by Giana Darling

INKED IN LIES
Genre: MC Romance, Contemporary
Series: Fallen Men #5
Author: Giana Darling
Release Date: July 31https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/50256015-inked-in-lies?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=DabMWCzZCp&rank=1, 2020

He moved in next door.

Handsome as sin, older in a way that meant forbidden.

He had tattoos on his hands and wickedness tucked in his grin.

I was a goner as girl to a man they called Casanova for a reason. He would never love me, at least not the way I needed him to.

I tried to move on. But I couldn’t turn my back on him or The Fallen MC.

So when they needed me most, I offered the only thing of value I could use to help them.

My body.

And when helping them meant putting my life on the line, Nova had to decide just how much he was willing to do to get me out alive.

A standalone romance in The Fallen Men series.

 AMAZON

He was it. My dream man wrapped up in a sinful package. And he was still completely and utterly forbidden.

I’m a sucker for unrequited love tropes and gritty MC and this book was the best of both worlds.

She was mine. And I was hers in the way a wolf is owned by his moon, elementally, fuckin’ irrevocably.

Nova and Lila’s story was not an easy one. It was full of angst, frustration, and pain. They first meet when Lila is only a little girl and Nova quickly becomes her everything. His family becoming Lila’s escape when all she’s known in her young life have been liars and criminals. Lila’s childhood is anything but pretty or easy. It’s full of loss, pain, and lies. But what starts as a bit of hero worship soon bleeds into something so much more as Lila grows older.

Nova is the pretty playboy of the Fallen Men. He’s quick to smile and isn’t above using his good looks to get what he wants. He’s perfectly content spending each night with a different woman and has no illusions that he would ever want more. But not all is as it seems with Nova. He’s a true wolf in sheep’s clothing. His easy smile hides some very dark demons. Lila has always been like a foster sister to him but there’s also something more that pulses between them when she gets older. He knows he can’t be what he wants and he pushes her away, cruelly and bluntly. Theirs is a dance of push and pull that will drive you to the brink of madness at times, but it hurts so good!

There’s so much that happens in this book; secrets unravel with so many twists and turns, it will leave your head reeling. The romance is gritty, frustrating, and oh so delicious. Lila, even if she does forgive Nova too easily in parts, is still a force to be reckoned with and I really loved her fire. Nova was impossible not to love, even when you wanted to hate him. His decisions in parts had me wanting to shake him and rip my hair out. But there’s just something so addictive about this man.
hight=”50″ width=”50″ />Loving someone shouldn’t be contingent on them returning that affection. Loving someone existed apart from reciprocation.

I loved the story and the gritty feels of it. Lived for it. But it was missing some polish. There were some minor continuity and timeline issues. There were also some very minor characterization issues. For example, 17 year old Nova sounded exactly like 30 year old Nova biker, which wasn’t a huge thing in the grand scheme of things, but still noticeable. The other thing was all the fallen men sound the same. same intonations, same turn of phrases and lack of constants. Don’t get me wrong, the biker speak is great, and I loved the Kristen Ashley feel of it in parts. But in the same breath, it was tough to read when it was also in their inner monologues. Like I would have to re-read sentences 3 times before it finally clicked what they were saying. Sorry, y’all, I simply couldn’t shut off my picky brain long enough to look past it. Le sigh. This series has a very strong KA feel to it, which I love. But the lack of constants and the blurring of words like “all of the” for: “alla the brothers” or “you think you can handle alla that” became a bit grating for me.

Clearly I still really enjoyed the book so please take my nitpicking with a grain of salt. Because it’s just that; nitpicking. The story was great and I devoured it. After Welcome to the Dark Side it has now become my second favorite book in the series. If you love gritty MC, it’s definitely not to be missed. Giana is a talented author that can weave an addictive tale full of twists and turns that will have you glued to the pages.

#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.

Copyright © 2015 · Dirty Girl Romance

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