Review: The Punk and the Plaything by B.B. Reid

THE PUNK AND THE PLAYTHING
Series:
When Rivals Play #3
Genre: New Adult Romance
Author: B.B. Reid
Release Date: December 9, 2019

From bestselling author B.B. Reid comes a riveting, second chance romance…

Never trust a nice ass and a smile. That girl is definitely poison.
When I first came to Blackwood Keep, I was just looking for a thrill.
Instead, I found a beautiful fraud—a tomboy my wildest dreams couldn’t conjure.
Bee didn’t just run with boys; she ran the boys. It was only a matter of time before I gave chase.
It took one summer for me to win her over and two to lose her forever.
My summer love turned ice queen. Without heart or thought, she ruined me.

Four years and an ocean between us, I still can’t forget that she chose my cousin…so I won’t.
When the clock strikes twelve, you’re mine, Cinderella.
It’s too late to turn back time.

Jameson and Barbette’s story.

Are the When Rivals Play books standalone?

Each novel depicts a unique romance; however, the plots connect. It’s recommended that you read them in order for the best experience.

AMAZON

Are the When Rivals Play books standalone?

Each novel depicts a different and completely unique romance. However, the stories and their plots are connected. It’s recommended that you read them in order for the full reading experience. 

It is strongly advised that you read The Peer and the Puppet and The Moth and the Flame before reading The Punk and the Plaything. Content suitable for ages 18+. 

Read The Peer and The Puppet today!

Available FREE to read with Kindle Unlimited.

AMAZON

Read The Moth and The Flame today!

Available FREE to read with Kindle Unlimited.

AMAZON

Read Evermore: A When Rivals Play novella

Available FREE to read with Kindle Unlimited.

AMAZON

“Well, isn’t this the most delicious surprise.”My head confirmed what my eyes were showing me, but my stubborn heart still refused to believe. Jamie was back from Ireland? Why hadn’t Ever told me? Neither of those answers seemed to matter as much as why Jamie was back.

The short sleeves of the button up he wore were rolled and bunched at the shoulders, displaying the muscles he’d grown since I’d last seen him four years ago. The white cotton only pronounced his tanned skin. He’d left the buttons undone, allowing anyone who laid eyes on him to see his hard chest and defined abs…and the many tattoos that covered them. Most of them were angry and aggressive, almost scary as if he were showing off his demons for anyone to see. Recalling my sweet Jamie from long ago, and what happened the last time I’d seen him, I knew I was responsible for every one of them.

Gone was the gentle boy next door with a full mop of hair, a lanky body, and an easy smile. This boy standing before me was darker, edgier…more tragic to my lonely, fragile heart. Was that yearning burning in the pit of my stomach or fear of the unknown? Because I didn’t know this Jamie, and judging by the wicked gleam in his eyes as he flashed that mocking grin, I didn’t want to know.

“What the hell are you doing back here?”

“Is that any way to greet your first love? I got to say”—his gaze slowly traced every dip and curve of my body—“I love how well you’ve grown up, Bette.”

“First love?” I scoffed, even though it felt like he’d stolen my breath. “You were hardly that.”

“Then what was I?” he challenged, backing me against the opposite wall. “I’m breathless to hear more of your lies.”

“You were nothing.”

He flashed me that sad, beautiful smile I hadn’t realized I’d missed so much. I stood perfectly still as his wolfish gaze ate me up. As close as he stood now, he wouldn’t miss a single fucking flaw. There were many, but no one dared looked close enough to see. I might as well have been Medusa. As he ran his gaze over me, I took the time to study him as well, noting the silver bar piercing his right brow and the small diamond in his right nostril. I could have sworn I’d even glimpse a flash of metal piercing his nipples. Jamie had taken all that sinful deliciousness he naturally possessed and multiplied it by ten thousand. As if the world didn’t already have enough injustices.

“You’re so beautiful. Did it hurt?” He kept his gaze on me as he turned his head and blew out smoke.

“Did what hurt?” I could feel the heat from Jamie’s cigarette when he defiantly brushed his thumb across my bottom lip. To Jamie’s knowledge, I belonged to his cousin now, but he clearly didn’t give a damn.

“When you fell from heaven, Satan.”

I slapped his hand away while telling myself to get a grip. Jamie might have surprised me, but he was nothing I couldn’t handle. “Get lost, Jameson.”

Tapping the end of his cigarette, he sprinkled ash onto my designer blouse. A piece of the flame had fallen, burning through the sheer material, scorching my skin. Before now, I’d never thought Jamie capable of hurting me. The truth was now so blatantly blazed into our history that it could never be unwritten.

Without warning, he pressed closer until I could see nothing but the angry blackness of his eyes. “I’m afraid I’m not going anywhere. By the time I’m done with you, Barbette Montgomery, you’ll be crawling back to me… but I doubt I’ll want my cousin’s sloppy thirds.”

“I wouldn’t hold your breath.” I wasted little time pushing him away. Tragically, the moment my hand connected with his warm skin, the electricity threatening to make my broken heart beat again became too obvious to ignore. I tried to run from it, but some inexplicable need to seal our fate had me spinning on my heel to face him again. “Better yet, Jameson, do us both the favor, won’t you?”

You preyed on the wrong McNamara, kitten. My trust fund has more zeroes. Dick’s bigger, too.”

You know that feeling when you read a book that you’ve been dying to get your hands on FOREVER and it doesn’t just live up to your expectations, but blows them out of the water? Because GAH! Y’all. This book. I can’t.

CRACKILICIOUS.

There’s just no other way I can describe it for you. I knew Jamie and Bette’s book would be epic, and I was not wrong. I went through wanting to chuck my kindle at the wall and rip my hair out, to giddy anticipation, to goofy grinning, back to ripping my hair out, and giddiness again. This book took me through the wringer. The angst. The sweet, sweet angst. I can still taste it.

I’ll admit, Barbette definitely wasn’t my favorite character when we first meet her in The Peer and the Puppet. BB Reid gives us an entire different outlook on her in this book. We not only get to be inside her head, but we get to know the young and rambunctious tom boy that she used to be before she became the beautiful ice queen. You get snippets of her history with Jamie, and piece by piece you see how the fell in love and inevitably fell apart. You get to experience the lies, secrets, and betrayals. You get to understand why they are who they are today.

Barbette was it for me—my slice of heaven and my one-way ticket to hell. I could never trust her with my heart again, but maybe I was kidding myself thinking I could stay away completely.

Jamie was a character that had my immediate attention from the first. I didn’t need to be inside his head to warm up to him, the guy set me on fire as a secondary character, so I already knew he’d be sizzling in his own book. And again, I was NOT wrong. Jamie is full of anger at Bette’s betrayal. While you learn the whole of it piece by piece throughout the book, you know that whatever happened between them was bad. Jamie may still be attracted to Bette, but now he just wants revenge for his broken heart, even if his cousin is the collateral.

Jamie was the kind of thrill every girl sought at least once in her life. Maybe that was all he’d been for me, too.

I devoured this book. I was completely incapable of setting it down for even a second. I was glued to the pages, totally invested, and completely riveted. There’s a few puzzle pieces that come together on the whole Fox mystery here. But for as many questions as are answered, there’s a hundred more that are left. Reid also throws out the most delicious of lures for the next book and OMG! I’m not sure I have the patience for it.

This was everything that I had hoped for and so much more. Angsty, sexy, with just the right amount of suspense to make it a perfect page turner. Did I want to jock punch Jamie more than a few times? Absolutely! But my inner cougar still wanted to bang him after, so it wasn’t all bad. (It’s fiction so stop judging me here. He was 18, ok?!)

Bette really grew on me and came into her own here. I love stories with strong females, and I loved watching Bette grow her backbone and turn it into steel. Her and Jamie were incendiary together. I loved catching up with past favorites too! My one quibble was a particular scene in the book that I felt blurred and confused more than anything. Was it hot? Absolutely. Was it necessary to the story? Maybe. But the way it came together just struck me as…well…odd. That aside, I absolutely LOVED the book. I’m utterly addicted to this series and I’m practically salivating to get my grabby little hands on the next book.

B.B. Reid is a bestselling author of new adult romance. She grew up the only daughter and middle child in a small town in North Carolina. After graduating with a Bachelors in Finance, she started her career at an investment research firm while continuing to serve in the National Guard. She currently resides in Charlotte with her moody cat and enjoys collecting Chuck Taylors and binge-eating chocolate.

Please visit her website for more information: www.bbreid.com

Connect with B.B. Reid:

Reiderville http://bit.ly/Reiderville

Facebook http://bit.ly/FB-BBREID

Instagram http://bit.ly/IG_BBREID

Twitter http://bit.ly/TWBBREID

Amazon http://bit.ly/amzbbreid

Bookbub http://bit.ly/bookbubbbreid

Newsletter http://bit.ly/NEWS-BBREID

Book + Main http://bit.ly/BMB-BBREID

Website www.bbreid.com

Review: Pretty Hostage by Julia Sykes

PRETTY HOSTAGE
Series:
Captive #3
Genre: Dark Romance
Author: Julia Sykes
Release Date: November 12, 2019

A Standalone Dark Romance
“She’s yours now.”

With those three words, my boss gives me a gift: permission to kidnap and keep the woman I’ve wanted for years.

Ever since we were teenagers, I’ve denied my desire for Sofia. Despite her father’s involvement in running our cocaine empire, Caesar Hernández has carefully sheltered her from the brutal realities of our world. She’s always been far too innocent and pure for me to drag her out of her charmed life and into my depravities.

But Caesar chose to betray my ruthless boss, Adrián Rodríguez. He’ll have to prove his loyalty once again if he doesn’t want any harm to come to his beloved daughter. I have her now, and he’s well aware of my sadistic proclivities.

I tried to save her from this, but I can’t fight my savage nature when Sofia is in my home and under my command. She’ll learn to obey me unquestioningly if she wants to earn any of her freedoms back. Sofia’s going to be my good girl, fulfilling all the dark fantasies I’ve suppressed for years.

I’ll do whatever it takes to keep my pretty hostage. If anyone tries to steal her from me, I’ll start a war to protect my most precious possession.

Sofia is mine, and I’ll never let her go.

AMAZON

By the time I was finished with her, she would beg to be mine.

I’ve been eyeing this series for a while. I’ve loved some of the older Julia Sykes books I’ve read, so I let my one-clicker loose on this series and in my usual back-asswards ways, started with book 3 firs. I’m sure my ‘must read everything in order’ book friends are having heart palpitations right now. But you know what?
Sadly, this one didn’t quite hit the spot as nicely as I was hoping. The blurb did all sorts of things for me. But when I started reading? Mostly a whole lot of meh feelings were floating up all around.

This felt like the non-darkiest dark romance I’ve read. Yes, I know darkiest isn’t a word, but just go with me here. The set up is delicious. Mateo is a ruthless enforcer for his even more ruthless crime boss. He’s been silently lusting after his boss’s business associate’s (Caesar) innocent daughter for years. And when that business associate makes the grave error of crossing Adrián and sets the wheels in motion for his woman to be taken by a rival, it’s an eye for an eye. Mateo has orders to kidnap and hold Caesar’s daughter, Sofia.

Sofia is beyond innocent and naive. In full disclosure, this tends to be my kryptonite in books. I typically can’t with the sweet and innocent daughters of ruthless crime lords that are completely blind to their father’s doings. She also has no idea that her beloved father has secretly promised her hand to a cartel boss in order to firm an alliance. Fortunately (or unfortunately) for her, Mateo has no intention of letting this happen.

Honestly, the dynamic of their relationship played a big hand in my meh feelings towards this romance. Mateo is much older and treats Sofia more like a disobedient toddler at times than a woman he lusts after. Yes, I get that he wants to protect her, but it’s just weird. Or at least it was to me. Here you have this ruthless badass that surpasses his baser urges and treats a woman he wants with kid gloves. I suppose it could have been romantic, but it did nothing for me.

I would fuck Sofia soon, but not before breakfast on her first day as my hostage.

Dude.
Seriously?

I still binge read this in one sitting, so it wasn’t all bad. It just didn’t hit the spot for me as much as I’d hoped it would after reading that blurb. Luckily it did the trick in hooking me on the series (I already read and loved the second book and salivating for the 4th).

Review: Dangerous Games by J.T. Geissinger

DANGEROUS GAMES
Series:
Dangerous Beauty #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: J.T. 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: Hook by Gina L. Maxwell

HOOK
Series:
Neverland #2
Genre: MM Romance
Author: Gina L. Maxwell
Release Date: October 29, 2019

Journey back to Neverland, NC with NYT & USA Today Bestselling Author Gina L. Maxwell as she turns your favorite villain into the hero you never knew you needed.

THEY CALL ME HOOK

I’m Captain of the Pirates; a villain by design and a loner by nature.

I don’t need anyone. More than that, I don’t want anyone. Especially Officer John Darling who insists on seeing the good in everything, including me. If there was ever any good inside of me, it was snuffed out long ago.

I’ve avoided him for years, but now I need his help to save my brother’s life and take down Fred Croc, the monster from my childhood and my current employer.

Now Darling is undercover in my crew, living in my loft and forever working out shirtless. Taking Croc’s operation down from the inside is dangerous as hell, but Darling’s probing gaze and the natural way he defers to my dominant side might just be the end of me.

But I’ve lived in the dark for too long, and no amount of light can save me. Not even one as bright as Johnathan Darling.

HE CALLS ME DARLING

I’m a Task Force Officer with the FBI; a protector of the innocent and a man in love with a villain.

Before I was even old enough to understand it, I had a crush on the broody teen called Captain Hook, following him around like a puppy and hoping he’d show me the slightest bit of attention.

He never did, though, not for years. Not until I became his only viable option for getting his crew member back and throwing Croc behind bars. Now he can’t ignore me, and he can’t hide the desire burning in his eyes when I sink to my knees, eager to serve my Captain however he needs.

But secrets are hard to keep in close quarters, and when I discover the darkness lurking in his past, eradicating the evil in Neverland is no longer my only mission. Come hell or high water, I’ll make Hook see that he’s never been the villain of this story…he’s the hero.

*Trigger Warning for readers sensitive to characters with sexual assault in their pasts. Please read the Author’s Note in the beginning of the book for more details.

AMAZON

He is my Captain. And for as long as he’ll have me, I am his.

If you know me or follow my reviews, than you already know just how much I love a good tortured hero. And let me tell you, it doesn’t get more tortured than James Hook. The man is tortured personified. He’s utterly broken in the most captivating way. The second he appeared on the pages of Pan, he stole the show, and I was counting down the days until I could get my hands on his story. I’ve read a few modern fairytale retellings, and I’ll say that this one stays pretty darn close to the details. I especially love the way that Gina incorporates little pieces of Peter Pan into this book. From the evil crime boss, Fred Croc, to his loudly ticking pocket watch, everything came together flawlessly.

Hook is the Captain, or essentially the boss of his merry band of bandits or pirates as he calls them. In order to save his little brother from the evil clutches of Croc, he made a deal with the devil, at the expense of his soul. From the very first, you know there’s something darker to Hook’s history, and while the author alludes to it in the first book, she throws you into the deep end of his painful past in this one. Hook is a man that you can’t help but love. You know that his callousness and hard exterior hides the soft heart of a wounded man that’s never known affection. Hook has known nothing but suffering, but he’ll take it ten times over in order to spare the others and his brother especially.

John Darling is a cop that has been crushing on Hook ever since they were boys and he followed his sister sneaking to the School of Lost Boys to see Pan. Now he’s a grown man and understands that the child’s crush he had runs much deeper. John is determined to bring Croc’s operation down, and he’s not above maneuvering Hook in order to set up his cover as his new pirate.

Now full disclosure, Gina does make a foreword letting the reader know to suspend your disbelief when it comes to procedural details of this book. I didn’t have any problems with that. But I did have one asshole reader moment over a detail that plagued me for the entire book. You have a cop working with the FBI that goes undercover to catch a ruthless crime boss, and he uses fake tattoos. Like the stuff that can flake off when he gets into a fight or sweats or showers. And try as I might, I just couldn’t get past it. I’m sorry, okay?! I love Gina’s words, but the struggle was real here. I was on the struggle bus for the entire undercover gig. I just couldn’t with this detail. I’m an asshole when it comes to certain details, and this just ate at me. Le sigh.

Having said that, it didn’t diminish my enjoyment of the book. The story that we get here is a beautifully and gripping, emotional and oh so steamy. Darling and Hook set the pages on fire with their chemistry. I absolutely loved them together. Gina treads the line of darkness by giving the reader just enough details of Hook’s past to build a devastating feel for why he is the way he is, without getting into the super gory details. She doesn’t spare your heart strings, though, and plays those like a violin. My whole heart!!!

I fell so hard for John and Hook’s story and romance and couldn’t get enough of them. I absolutely adored their road to a HEA and couldn’t have dreamed a better ending and epilogue. I’m so hooked on this series (see what I did there? *snorts*) and can’t wait for more!

Review: Chase The Butterflies by Monica James

CHASE THE BUTTERFLIES
Genre: Contemporary/Total WTF (snort laughs)
Author: Monica James
Release Date: December 3, 2019

“Victoria, will you marry me?”

Those words changed my life forever…just not in the way it would for most. I had it all until one fateful evening transformed my life in ways I never imagined.

Nine months later, I move to a sleepy little town, hoping to escape the demons of my past. As I attempt to claim back my life, Jude Montgomery enters my world, and things begin to change.

I thought running would appease the nightmares, but I soon discover my past won’t let go. Things are not what they seem, and I begin to question the world as I know it. Jude may hold the answers, but will my love for him blind me to the truth?

Does the flap of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil set off a tornado in Texas? In my case, yes, it does.

Will the truth set me free? Or will it imprison us both?

My name is Victoria Armstrong, and this is my story…I think.

AMAZON

I want to consume you just as you’ve consumed every…single…part of me.
Everything I am, I give to you. Mind. Body. Soul. You own every part of me. That’ll never change. Regardless of our circumstances, I’ll love you for eternity.”

So I…
yeah so…
This was…
And then it…
…Yeah, I got nothing. Seriously. I can’t even begin to process, let alone review what I just read. I have no idea. I really don’t. Total and complete mindf*ck.

How do I even categorize this for you? I don’t know what genre this would fall into. Unless there’s a mindf*ck genre. Is there? No? Dang. But seriously, though. I am floored. Shooketh. Utterly SHOOKETH. This book took me right out of my comfort zone and then took a sharp left somewhere off of the everything I thought path and veered right into OMG lane. No lie. I read it with bated breath. With my jaw on the floor. With tears in my eyes. And when I finished? I immediately went back to re-read it. Because it’s a story that’s meant to be experienced twice. This also needs to be a movie. IMMEDIATELY. Because wow. WOW!!!

There’s actual footage captured of me reading this book. Please find below for reference:




As you can clearly see, myself was SHOOKETH.

How do I even begin to review this book without spoiling it for you? I can’t. I don’t know how. This book needs to be experienced absolutely blind. Trust me. Tori and Jude’s story will be unlike anything you’ve ever read. It’s a story of undying love and redemption. It’s a story of soul mates and heartache. It’s a story that’s as riveting as it is unique. It’s heartbreaking and completely unforgettable.

Yes, my cynical self popped up every now and then. But the story was so unique that I was able to tell that bitch to stfu and sit back down so I can keep enjoying it.

If you’re looking for something that’s different an unlike anything you’ve ever read, do yourself a favor and read this book.

#DGRFave & Review: Kings of Carrion by Keri Lake

KINGS OF CARRION
Series: Juniper Unraveling #3
Genre: Dystopian Romance
Author: Keri Lake
Release Date: December 3, 2019

Decades have passed since our world was decimated by the Dredge. Some say it was an act of God. Others believe the devil himself breached the gates of hell and turned the masses into the mindless infected with an appetite for carnage.

Those of us who’ve survived the Calico experiments know the only thing more terrifying than the monsters that seek to ravage what’s left of us, are the men who created them. Ones too capable of hiding their true form, and burying their darkest secrets.

Somewhere beneath the facility lies the answers, a cure for our suffering. To reach it, we’ll have to open the haunting tomb, where man’s deadliest mistakes, the most violent mutations, lie trapped within its tunnels, waiting to be set free.

Our only hope in surviving them are the very Alphas who were designed to hunt us down. The titans forged by cruelty and pain.

Kings of carrion.

We taught them to love, and in turn, they vow to protect us. To deliver the cure for humanity’s sake. Except this world doesn’t give without taking, and any chance of saving us will require the greatest sacrifice of all.

SERIES ORDER:
Juniper Unraveling (Book 1)
Calico Descending (Book 2)
Kings of Carrion (Book 3)

AMAZON

In many ways, we’re the same, though. He’s still the scarred boy who touched my heart. And I’m the wounded little bird, whose wings he made fly again.

When was the last time a book ruined you? I’m talking utterly gutted you. Like wrung every single emotion out of you until you were an inconsolable mess only to stitch you back together piece by devastating piece? Because THIS BOOK. Y’all. I was lucky enough to beta read Kings of Carrion a few months back and I STILL can’t stop thinking about it. I worship at the evil genius feet of Keri Lake. If you’re looking for an utterly unforgettable read, you NEED this in your life.

Kings of Carrion was darkly captivating, emotionally devastating, and positively unforgettable. It owned me from beginning to end and I still can’t get over it. I’m RUINED. Completely ruined.

Full disclosure here, this story emotional eviscerated me. I spent the latter part of the book a hysterically blubbering mess. There was no consoling me. If there’s one thing that Keri Lake knows how to do, it’s to reach into the pits of her readers souls and rip their damn hearts out. This was no exception. This is not a standalone and you need to read Calico Descending first. This is the conclusion of the story that starts there. If you’ve also read Juniper Unraveling, then you’ll be thrilled to get more Six and Wren here.

If you loved Cali and Vladys in the first book, you will fall even harder for them here. I loved Cali’s fierceness and the way she fought for her beloved. I loved Valdys’s undying love for Cali. And everything that happens in between? Unforgettable.

Review: Lethal Balance by Cherise Sinclair

LETHAL BALANCE
Series: Sons of the Survivalist #2
Genre:
Contemporary Romance
Author:
Cherise Sinclair
Release Date:
November 26, 2019

His name means hunter.

Once the best assassin in black ops, Cazador is now the best at saving lives. His path has changed from seeking bloody vengeance to running a health clinic in Rescue, Alaska.

He will never again risk loving someone he can’t protect.

His mother and sister were murdered in front of him, his fiancée slaughtered in a war zone. Despite his popularity with women, he’s determined to remain unattached. His heart can bear no more loss.

Unfortunately, the universe isn’t listening.

First, his brother hires JJ, a fiery-haired, tough cop who lives on the edge of danger and has the biggest heart of anyone he knows. And then, his disreputable past returns in the shape of an adorable, foul-mouthed nine-year-old daughter. Now he has two loved ones to protect. An impossible task, because…

Life is dangerous. Especially in Alaska.

AMAZON

She needed to remember to keep her distance from Cazador, mentally and physically and every other way.

It doesn’t matter what genre it is, there’s one constant when it comes to Cherise Sinclair books: the woman can WRITE. Whether it’s writing tortured heroes with a heart of gold, or immeasurably strong heroines that are fully capable of fighting their own battles, Cherise just delivers each and every single time. This is a very different series from what I’m used to of hers. It’s a character driven contemporary with a splash of suspense and I’ve been in love with it since book one.

Lethal Balance brings the story of the second most tortured foster brother; Cazador. (I’m already dying for the most tortured, Hawk, to get his book. But I digress) Cazador became an orphan when he watched his beloved mother and sister get killed in front of his eyes when he was just a young boy. Later rescued from the system by an ex military survivalist, Caz grew up hard, but not without love. His foster siblings and father became the only family he needs. He’s refused to put his heart on the line for someone as vulnerable as a woman that he may not be able to protect. The lesson was further driven home when he lost his fiance in a war zone. Now he’s developed a rep in their small town as the love them and leave them type, but still women flock to him.

JJ has only ever wanted one thing; to be a cop. But when chauvinism in her police unit along with the egging on from her spiteful ex leave her questioning her safety while on duty, she has no other alternative but to turn to the small town in Alaska. Being hired on the police staff by Gabe, she soon discovers that not all men in power look down at women. She begins to see a life for herself in a place she last expected to find it in along with a man that she knows she needs to stay away from in order to shield her heart.

I love the fine balance of poignant and sensual that Sinclair creates in this story. Caz’s discovery of having a daughter melted my heart. I loved watching this rough and lethal man melt for his little girl and the way that he fought for her. I loved watching him fall slowly but surely for JJ. I loved the tie that binds the three of them together. And I absolutely loved watching their relationship blossom into something much more. The little girl was the perfect secondary character and I adored the parts we get in her POV. It broke and melted my heart all in one breath.

An emotional, heartwarming and sensual read that kept me glued to the pages from beginning to finish. I’m already itching for the next installment!

Review: The Beast of Beswick by Amalie Howard

THE BEAST OF BESWICK
Genre:
Historical Romance
Author:
Amalie Howard
Release Date:
November 26, 2019

The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare meets Taming of the Shrew in the start to a new Regency series from award-winning author Amalie Howard.

Lord Nathaniel Harte, the disagreeable Duke of Beswick, spends his days smashing porcelain, antagonizing his servants, and snarling at anyone who gets too close. With a ruined face like his, it’s hard to like much about the world. Especially smart-mouthed harpies―with lips better suited to kissing than speaking―who brave his castle with indecent proposals.

But Lady Astrid Everleigh will stop at nothing to see her younger sister safe from a notorious scoundrel, even if it means offering herself up on a silver platter to the forbidding Beast of Beswick himself. And by offer, she means what no highborn lady of sound and sensible mind would ever dream of―a tender of marriage with her as his bride.

AMAZON

Thane had never begged for a single thing in his life, but he’d drop to his knees for her in a heartbeat.

I usually hate when a blurb makes a comparison to another book that I adored. Because more often than not, it sets an entirely unrealistic expectation for the book that it never lives up for. But when it says that this is The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare meets Taming of the Shrew, it’s right on point. It’s like a historical Beauty And The Beast meets Duchess Deal if I were to describe it.

Now look, if you’re a die hard historical romance fan, I’ll warn you that this isn’t quite accurate as a true regency. It’s more of a modern spin on it, if I’m being honest. I didn’t mind this in the least, because the story had me so enraptured, I couldn’t be bothered to care. I will also say that if you’re a contemporary fan that wants to dip their toe in the historical romance pool, I can’t think of a more perfect book to start with.

Lady Astrid Everleigh is desperate to get out from her greedy uncle and aunt’s thumbs when she learns that they have agreed to a marriage of her younger sister to a man that was responsible for her public ruin. She’ll do anything to save her sister from the fate of being married to man with no scruples, even if it means that she’ll promise herself to a man far more fearsome. Lord Nathaniel Harte is the answer to all her troubles, if only he’d be more agreeable.

Thane isn’t known as the Beast of Beswick for no reason. He returns from the war horribly scarred, and with the disposition to match. He’s angry, grumpy, and a complete recluse. He just can’t fathom how a beauty like Astrid could truly want someone like him. There’s something about her that stokes his temper and fires his blood. She’s infuriating and beautiful, and it doesn’t take long for him to agree to a marriage in order to help. But the passion between them is no fake thing…

I don’t know who I loved more in this story, Thane or Astrid. Both of these characters were so perfect in their own way. Astrid with her sharp wit and even sharper tongue. Thane with his grumpy demeanor and underlying layer of vulnerability. Then you add in the electric secondary characters, and I was absolutely hooked. This was such a fun and sexy read that hit the spot for me just right. I’m a new fan of Amalie Howard, and will happily read any of her future books.

Review: The Fake by Rebecca Jenshak

THE FAKE
Series:
Smart Jocks #4
Genre:
New Adult, Sports Romance
Author:
Rebecca Jenshak
Release Date:
November 21, 2019

I’ve made a lot of dumb mistakes but none dumber than losing her.

Senior year. I should be partying and living it up with my friends before graduation, but one more mistake and I’m off the team.

Enter Chloe.

She comes into my life at a low point, but she becomes the bright spot I reach for every day.

She’s the kind of girl who makes a guy want to be a better man.

And for a while, I even start to believe I’ve changed enough to deserve her.

I’ve got my eye on the future, and I’m letting my past stay where it belongs.

But the thing about the past… it always comes back to bite you when you least expect it.

AMAZON

Catch up on the Smart Jocks series!

Book 1 – The Assist

AMAZON

Book 2 – The Fadeaway

AMAZON

Book 3 – The Tip-Off

AMAZON

I feel like we’re finally seeing each other without any pretenses or expectations, and us like this—as a real couple—we’re even better than I ever imagined when we’d been faking.


What is it about Rebecca Jenshak’s books that just make me giddily happy every time I finish one? She has this knack for writing completely addictive sport New Adult romance that I fall head over ovaries for and The Fake was no exception! I simply ADORED Nathan and Chloe’s story.

I’ve been a huge fan of this series since discovering it early this year, and it seems like it only keeps getting better with each book. Because I think The Fake was easily my favorite of the Smart Jocks. There’s just something so incredibly endearing about Nathan. He may have the looks and the talent on the outside, but he’s struggling to hold his family together and keep them afloat after the passing of his father. His desperate need for money leads him to a terrible decision that almost costs him everything. On the cusp of dealing with the repercussions, he meets Chloe, a girl dealing with her own personal demons.

Chloe is a recent transfer who’s desperate to make a name for herself on her volleyball team and gain the trust and respect of her teammates. Tarnished with her parent’s mistakes, she’s still struggling to prove her worth. Money has never been a concern for this rich Cali girl. But proving herself and stepping outside of the stain of of her parents money and privilege has been a struggle. Nathan is the perfect storm that she never saw coming. He holds the answers to what she needs. Her teammates love him and she’s desperate for her teammates acceptance. The answers? A fake relationship. Only it’s not as fake as she tries to make herself believe.

Nathan is such an incredibly sweet guy. He’s absolute perfection. I couldn’t get enough of him. He’s an endearing combination of cocky and vulnerable; sexy and sweet. His treatment of Chloe and the way that he was always there for her just warmed my heart. Chloe was wonderful in her own right. She’s strong, smart, and incredibly loyal. I loved all of the secondary characters along with past favorites that make cameos. The Fake delivered on the feels and the steam and I loved every single page of it. I’m obsessed with this series! If you haven’t read it yet, you’re seriously missing out.

The author is giving away a signed set of the Smart Jocks series (US only) and a $25 Amazon Gift Card (open international). ENTER HERE —> www.facebook.com/rebeccajenshak

Rebecca Jenshak is a self-proclaimed margarita addict, college basketball fanatic, and Hallmark channel devotee. A Midwest native transplanted to the desert, she likes being outdoors (drinking on patios) and singing (in the shower) when she isn’t writing books about hot guys and the girls who love them.

Stay up to date with all things Rebecca!

Newsletter | Website | Amazon | Bookbub | Facebook | Instagram | Join Rebecca’s Rad Romantics on FB

#DGRFave & Excerpt & Review: Outmatched by Kristen Callahan & Samantha Young

OUTMATCHED
Genre: Contemporary
Author: Kristen Callihan & Samantha Young
Release Date: November 19, 2019

What happens when a boxer finds chemistry with a geek?

Parker Brown can’t believe she needs to hire a fake boyfriend. When she landed her dream job in renewable energy, she thought she’d be entering a world at the forefront of progressive thinking. But the head boss prefers to promote employees who are “settled.” Thankfully, she’s found the perfect candidate, a fellow intellectual looking for some quick cash. What Parker gets is his protective big brother—Rhys Morgan. The tall, muscled ex-boxer with a foul mouth shows up just as her boss does, and now she’s stuck with the manipulative jerk.

Responsibility weighs heavily on Rhys. Now permanently out of the ring, he’s trying to hold together his late father’s gym and keep his younger brother, Dean, on the straight and narrow. To save Dean from himself, Rhys takes his place, ready to give this society girl a piece of his mind. Instead, he finds an opportunity. Even though they can hardly stand each other, posing as Parker’s boyfriend is a win-win deal. She gets to keep her job, and he’ll charm her star-struck boss into sponsoring his gym.

Problem is, they can barely keep their hands off each other. And what started as an easy deal isn’t so easy anymore. Because what future can a rough ex-boxer, afraid to open his heart, and a polished society geek, who has sworn off real relationships, possibly have?

They say opposites attract. These opposites are about to combust on impact.

AMAZON | KOBO | iBOOKS | B&N

AngryTink: Hey. This is Parker. Parker Brown.

My phone dinged loudly. I fumbled around my bed, finally finding the damn thing under a pillow. Wiping the sleep off my face, I rolled onto my back and read the text that had pulled me out of a pleasant sleep. I smiled. It was just so … Parker. Settling in, I answered her.

RhysThis: Don’t have to tell me who you are. Your number is programmed on my phone. What do you want?

AngryTink: Well, good morning to you too, Happy Pants.

My smile turned into an evil grin. The girl was always going to punch back and make it count.

RhysThis: That’s Mr. Happy Pants. Though, TBH, my pants aren’t too happy at the moment. Want to help me out with that?

AngryTink: Tempting. Truly. But, no.

RhysThis: RU sure? ‘Cuz Happy Pants Rhys is much more agreeable than Sad That He Had to Self-Satisfy Rhys.

AngryTink: Would you please behave?

RhysThis: I’m not the one who mentioned the emotional state of my pants.

AngryTink: ARGH!

A chuckle rumbled in my chest as my thumbs tapped out a response I knew would piss her off more.

RhysThis: Was that even English? Honestly, Ms. Brown, I thought you were educated.

She took a moment to answer. I could picture her, phone in hand, grinding her teeth.

AngryTink: You’re deliberately trying to annoy me, aren’t you?

RhysThis: You’re quick. I’ll give you that.

AngryTink: Mr. Morgan, I’m about ten seconds away from finding an alternate fake boyfriend. A goat on a rope would be a better candidate at this point.

It was cute she thought that was threatening.

RhysThis: Yeah, probably. But the goat doesn’t have a signed contract. I do, Tinker Bell.

AngryTink: ARGH@!!

RhysThis: You’re kind of cute when you talk pirate.

If we made it through this ruse with me going to prison for assault instead of murder, I’d call it a win. The guy really pushed my buttons. And I hadn’t even known I had any.

I. AM. SO. HAPPY. RIGHT. NOW.

Seriously. I don’t even know what to do with myself? What do you do when two of your favorite authors co-write a book together and not only does it live up to your RIDICULOUSLY BIG expectations but actually EXCEEDS it?!! You flail like the happy fangirl that you are and offer up an ovary on the chance that this will mark the first book in a series. What? It’s a totally normal reaction. Stop judging me. GOD.

If you love enemies to lovers and fake relationship tropes, this is your next obsession. Guys, I’m not even kidding. This book was everything. All of the things. Witty banter, humor, and all of the steam. And the characters? My god! Talk about opposites attract.

Parker Brown is a girl after my own heart. She comes from privilege but it certainly doesn’t define who she is. She’s a lot smart and with just the right amount of quirky. Desperate to make an impression on her boss’s misogynistic a-hole boss in order to secure the job of her dreams. Sounds easy right? Too bad it’s not her knowledge at work that matters, but the having a boyfriend. So what’s a girl to do? Hire one, of course!

Rhys Morgan is a retired boxer desperate to keep his gym afloat after the passing of his father. So when he learns that his brother got a job pimping himself out to some pretentious rich chick, he’s all too eager to put a kibosh on it. But when he stomps to meet her and put her in her place, he somehow ends up making an impression on her boss and offering to take his brother’s place. PLOT TWIST!!

The banter between these two was off the charts hot. SWEET BABY JEBUS! The banter was everything. Rhys and and Parker absolutely burn up the pages together. Their chemistry is incendiary. The slow building romance is packed with so much sexual tension that you feel like your fingers singe just turning the pages. The pages are full of witty banter and sizzling chemistry that I just couldn’t get enough of. Parker may have grown up privileged but she’s determined to make her own way. I just loved her. Then there’s the mouthy Boston boxer with a heart of gold. Together they set the book on fire. And that’s not even mentioning the incredible secondary characters that I’m desperately hoping will be getting their own books.

Basically, this book was freaking fantastic!! An absolute must read full of heart, humor, and steam!

About Kristen:

Kristen Callihan is an author because there is nothing else she’d rather be. She is a RITA winner and three-time nominee and winner of two RT Reviewer’s Choice awards. Her novels have garnered starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly and the Library Journal, as well as being awarded top picks by many reviewers. Her debut book FIRELIGHT received RT Magazine’s Seal of Excellence, was named a best book of the year by Library Journal, best book of Spring 2012 by Publisher’s Weekly, and was named the best romance book of 2012 by ALA RUSA. When she is not writing, she is reading.

Connect with Kristen:

Facebook | Twitter | WebsiteAmazonGoodreads  

About Samantha:

Samantha Young is a New York Times and #1 International bestselling author from Stirlingshire, Scotland. On Dublin Street was Samantha’s first adult contemporary romance series and has sold in thirty countries. She has since published over thirteen romance titles including the New York Times Bestsellers Into the Deep, Hero, and her most recent contemporary romance Play On. When writing Adult Paranormal romance she writes under the pen name S. Young.

Connect with Samantha:

FacebookWebsite | Instagram | Twitter | Pinterest | Amazon | Goodreads | Bookbub 

Copyright © 2015 · Dirty Girl Romance

%d bloggers like this: