Review: Queen of Lies by Whitney G.

QUEEN OF LIES
Series: Empire of Lies #2
Genre: Dark, Contemporary Romance
Author: Whitney
Release Date: February 17, 2020

Book 2 in the Empire of Lies trilogy.

 

The twists and turns in Michael & Meredith’s story continue…

The woman I fell in love with is a walking contradiction…

She’s sexy as hell, yet infuriating.

Hopelessly in love with me, but carefully plotting to get the hell away.

She honestly thinks that I’m the ‘king of lies’?

Well, she f-cking fooled you…

 

She’s the queen.

AMAZON 

She was a mere chapter in my book and this is our final page. No happily ever after included.

I’ll keep this short and sweet. I devoured the first book. I was so sucked into this story, it’s not even funny. It had the delicious vibes of the Whitney G books I fell in love with in Reasonable Doubt: Full Series.

I devoured this too, but it was also missing something. Ultimately, with the short length of these books, I was hoping that each installment would offer more depth. But that wasn’t quite the case here. The story continues to move forward, but it’s too quick paced. I struggled with buying into the connection between Michael and Meredith. There’s simply not enough meat here for me to get fully invested. The bones are there. But it’s missing quite a bit of backstory. I’m hoping the final installment will bring that, but I just couldn’t help but feel this one merely grazed the surface of what it could have been

Review: King of Lies by Whitney G.

QUEEN OF LIES
Series:
Empire of Lies #1
Genre: Dark, Contemporary Romance
Author: Whitney
Release Date: January 30, 2020

The man I fell in love with is a f*cking liar…

I don’t have much time to reveal all the details, but I will say this: The “Woman disappears after wedding” and “Woman flees before honeymoon” headlines are lying.

I’m not missing.

I didn’t run away after my wedding.

I would’ve never run away right before our scheduled honeymoon.

My husband has taken me.

No, correction: He’s kidnapped me because he claims that “it’s what’s best”. That I’m a mere pawn in his twisted game of chess.

Despite the fact that my heart is still tethered to his, or the fact that he’s still the most gorgeous and beautiful man I’ve ever met in my life (he can still make me wet with a single sentence), I have to focus on getting away from him.

I have to accept that he’s no longer the man I fell in love with.

He’s the king of lies

AMAZON 

The man I married no longer exists. The king of my heart is long gone, and he wears a new name. He’s the king of lies.

Heed the warning! The author makes it very clear that this is a different book than what we’re used to from her and ends on a major cliff. She ain’t lying, people. This is certainly edgier than anything I’ve read of hers in the past. And having read her entire backlist, I really do mean that. It also held notes of the vintage Whitney G that I’ve missed since reading Reasonable Doubt and Turbulence.

The story features a mysterious and enigmatic anti-hero with a sexual prowess that practically sparks off of the pages. And you know I’m all about that! This is a somewhat short read and the story is broken into what’s planned to be a trilogy. It doesn’t look like we’re going to have to wait long between books either with the next one releasing in March.

Now what can I tell you without disclosing any spoilers for you? Umm…almost nothing. *sheepish grin*

I’ll tell you that I read this in one sitting. The story seems a bit convoluted at first, but Whitney brings a lot of the pieces together at the end while still leaving you desperate for answers. It’s told in alternating POVs with parts in present and the rest in the past leading up to the current events. The story is fed to the reader in short somewhat hazy glimpses. The anti-hero is deliciously dirty, as only Whitney knows how to deliver. We know next to nothing about him, except for the few small bits that are slowly disclosed.

The heroine is pretty easy to like from the very beginning. Perhaps because she’s so open about her sexuality. She’s been in a bit of a dry spell and isn’t above using Tinder to find a spark that will keep her warm for a night. She’s also an heiress that gave it all up to live a life of her own, until everything as she knows it comes crashing down when a short affair with a gorgeous stranger turns her work upside down.

It’s tough to rate this one with so many questions still up in the air, but it kept me glued to the pages and left me desperate for more. I can’t wait for the next installment!

Review & Excerpt: Mating Theory by Skye Warren

MATING THEORY
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Skye Warren
Release Date: March 17

A Trust Fund Standalone Novel by New York Times bestselling author, Skye Warren

Billionaire Sutton Mayfair has nothing left to lose…

My best friend is getting married to the woman I love. They say the nice guy finishes last. So what’s the point of being a goddamn gentleman?

Maybe I should take what I want.

Even that sexy little thing on the street corner.

She needs a hot meal and a place to sleep. Instead I’m taking her home to soothe the savage beast inside me. I was born a bastard, and for the first time in my life I act like one.

Except the more I use her, the more I need her.

I didn’t know I had someone left to lose.

But for a single heartbeat, I had her.

AMAZON | iBOOKS | NOOK | KOBO 

 

“Which one broke your heart?”I couldn’t describe the sledgehammer I’d taken to the brain when I met Christopher in a dimly lit private club. Too dark to be called lust or even love. Competitive and all-consuming. I couldn’t describe the desire that slammed through me when I met his stepsister.

There was no way I could choose between them, but it had not been a choice. They wanted each other. Electricity crackled in the air whenever they were in the same room.

Well, I could be happy for them.

That’s what a good man would do. A gentleman, and I’ve worked so fucking hard to pretend that’s what I am. Until the liquor stripped my skin away. Until this girl sat beside me, asking which one broke my heart. She watches me with clear eyes, her gaze impossibly wise. What does she see?

“Both of them.”

A sympathetic sound that feels like a stroke to my cock.

She doesn’t look shocked that I fell for a man, even though it shocked the hell out of me. I questioned my sexuality, fought with it—lost myself to it. Wanting Harper did not diminish wanting Christopher.

There’s something worldly in that dark gaze. Any other day I would find out what.

Tonight, I don’t care. She isn’t a person with wants and dreams and needs of her own. I’m going to use her body the same way they used mine. I’m going to take what they took from me.

“Your name,” I say, though it doesn’t really matter.

“Ashleigh.” She sounds uncertain for the first time tonight, her name drawn out into two parts. Ash, like the soot in a fireplace. And leigh, leigh, leigh. She’s beautiful, and I’m wasted.

“Come here, Ashleigh.” Except I don’t give her a chance to come here. She might use it to leave, to disappear down that metal staircase where I can’t follow.

My hand wraps behind her neck, pulling her close. My lips are harsh against hers, hungry and hard. I want to punish her for the emptiness inside me, except when she makes a little sound of fright, it fills me up with something else. Pleasure like black velvet, the kind of darkness I want to stroke my fingers over, back and forth, to feel the fibers pull against me.

Her shuddery breaths are like water, and I drink and drink. My tongue slides against hers. It’s a graphic act, this kiss. More obscene than actual sex could be. More invasive as I push her head back and explore her mouth, not waiting for permission, not leaving any place untouched.

I must taste like whiskey, but she doesn’t pull away.

I’m the one who breaks the kiss, panting hard. Liquid dark eyes stare up at me.

Surprise. More than that. There’s outright shock in her expression. Is she younger than I thought? More innocent than anyone I ever met? I should ask her about sex, but those aren’t the words that come out of my mouth. “Have you ever been in love, Ashleigh?”

A slow shake of her head. “No,” she whispers.

“Good. That’s good.”

“I can pretend.”

“What?”

“For a hundred dollars.”

There’s a drum in my head, pounding, pounding, telling me I’ve got something wrong. Really wrong. “A hundred dollars,” I repeat, wishing my veins weren’t running hot with liquor.

“For an hour. I know how much that suit costs. You can afford it.”

I pull back, moving careful so I don’t tip over. “What are you talking about?”

A cool breeze skates over us, and she shivers. I want to comfort her, but that’s not what this is about. A fast fuck on an abandoned rooftop while the sounds of a massive block party bounce off the buildings around us. And a hundred dollars, apparently. Jesus. I was about to fuck a prostitute.

What’s worse is that I still want to do it. More, because I know she’ll let me do anything.

For a price.

I want to fall in love. That’s what’s wrong with me, my fatal flaw. The insistent desire to enmesh myself with another human being.

How do you not fall head over heels for Sutton Mayfair? How, I ask you? The man is just so perfectly broken. Not only did he fall hard for the woman that his best friend wanted, but he fell for his best friend too. Now as their wedding day approaches, he’s nursing his broken heart through an alcohol fueled daze.

Ashleigh is barely keeping herself alive on the streets. A teen runaway, she’s turned to the only resort she has to make ends meet; selling her body. When she stumbles across a drunken Sutton on a rooftop, their story begins. Sutton is too broken hearted to look too deep into anything. He sees a beautiful woman that’s come on hard times and he’s not above giving her any cash she needs to find comfort in her body.

This may have been a short read, but it was filled with so much depth. Actually, I’m stunned at just how much depth Skye Warren fit into under 250 pages. It wasn’t a novella, but it read like one. Why? Because I devoured it in the time it would usually take me to read a novella. I couldn’t put it down.

There’s just something so incredibly endearing about Sutton. His unrequited love and coming to terms with moving on from a broken heart. Falling for a woman that’s selling her body to him no matter how much he fights it.

Ashleigh was one of the most endearing heroines as well. She’s damaged but not broken. She’s vulnerable but not weak. She’s this perfect balance of someone you want to shelter and protect while showing that she’s capable of fighting her own battles. I loved the two of them together and I loved this sexy and emotional story of two broken people finding shelter and love with each other.

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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Spotlight Exclusive Excerpt & Review: Kill For You by Ayden K. Morgen

KILL FOR YOU
Series:
A  Warrior For Her #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Multicultural & Interracial Romantic Suspense
Author: Ayden K. Morgen
Release Date: March 17, 2020

I never believed in angels until I saw her standing in the middle of a crime scene, covered in the blood of a girl she knew nothing about. One look and I knew I needed to know more. Turns out, Faith Donovan is the answer to a lot of prayers…and my one shot at taking down Los Zetas, the biggest drug cartel left in Los Angeles.

The way I feel about her has nothing to do with my job though. She makes me want to wrap her in my arms and keep her for myself. Too bad for me, she’s off limits.

Witness protection, they call it.

I call it a sentence in hell.

I’m allowed to look, but I’m not supposed to touch the woman who’s been abused by her mother and imprisoned by a gang for most of her twenty-one years. I’ve never been a rule-breaker…but that’s exactly what I want to do when she turns those big brown eyes in my direction.

When Los Zetas paint a target on her back, all bets are off. I’ll find a way to keep her safe and keep her to myself, even if I have to kill every single cartel member along the way.

My name is Detective Octavio Hernandez, and Faith Donovan belongs to me. Once I claim her, no one will ever touch her again.

Kill for You  is the second book in a series of interconnected full-length novels featuring law enforcement officers willing to do whatever it takes to protect the women who need them most. Each book can be read as a standalone, has no cheating, and a guaranteed HEA.

(This book deals with human trafficking and slavery and gun and gang violence. There are graphic scenes of violence).

AMAZON | B&NAPPLE | KOBO | SMASHWORDS | BOOKBUB

On March 17th, 100% of author proceeds from Kill for You will be donated to Operation Underground Railroad to aid in the rescue of child victims of human trafficking. Post release day, 10% of proceeds will continue to go to Operation Underground Railroad. To date, Operation Underground Railroad has rescued over 3,200 children from slavery and has helped prosecute over 1,800 human traffickers. Learn more about O.U.R. and pledge your support here.


“What is it, angel?” I ask.”I…I just wanted to say thank you,” she whispers. “For today, I mean.”

De nada, conejita.”

She stands there for a moment and then turns to leave, but I don’t want her to go.

“Did you have a good time? At the movie, I mean.”

She pauses, turning those wide eyes back to me. “I did,” she whispers. “The movie was good.” A shadow passes through her eyes. “Sad.”

“You mean Mufasa’s death,” I guess. She cried during the movie when Mufasa died, but I don’t think she wanted me to know it. I ached to dry her tears for her but didn’t. Every expression that crosses her face and every thought in her mind fascinates me. I want to know all of them. I want to be the one she turns to when she’s happy and when she’s sad. Hell, I just want her.

She nods.

“I’m sorry you lost your father so young, Faith.”

“Me too.” She bites her lip. “I’m sorry you lost your sister too.”

“So am I.”

“Can…can I ask you something?”

“Anything.”

“What happened to her?” she whispers.

“I don’t know.” I glance away from her for a brief moment, steeling myself against the inevitable rush of memories her question brings roaring to the surface. “Alivia was ten years older than me, but we were always close. When she left home for college, she decided to stay on campus with friends. She started dating a guy her junior year, but no one knew much about him. He didn’t attend school with them. They thought he was involved in a gang, but she swore he wasn’t. She left campus to meet him one night and never returned.”

“Oh no,” Faith whispers, her honey eyes swimming with sympathy. “Did…did you ever find her?”

“No.” I shake my head. “I believe the man she was seeing was a Zeta.”

Faith’s stricken eyes widen.

“He took her across the border into Nuevo Laredo. No one in Nuevo Laredo was willing to talk with the threat of the Zetas hanging like a sword over their heads. Leads dried up from there.” I scrub a hand through my hair, expelling a heavy breath. “I accepted long ago that I’d never know what happened to her.”

It’s not hard to guess though. They either killed her or sold her into slavery. It’s a horrible thing to hope your own sister is dead, but for her sake, I do hope it. It’s been twenty years. God only knows the horrors she would have lived as one of the Zetas’ sex slaves in that amount of time. I would wish that kind of pain on no one.

“What happened to your parents?” Faith asks.

“My mom had a fatal heart attack when I was nineteen. My father had a stroke three years later. He passed not long after.” I was a surprise baby, born late in life. Losing Alivia aged my parents considerably. They were never the same after she vanished. They never recovered. Eventually, the grief of loss and the pain of not knowing took them both.

“I’m so sorry, Octavio,” Faith whispers.

“No more than I am.”

“Was your dad a cop too?”

“No. He worked in the IT field. My mom was a pediatric nurse.”

“Is your sister the reason you went into law enforcement?”

“Yeah. I wanted to find out what happened to her, and I guess I wanted to help make sure no one else ever had to go through what my family went through.” I glance at the file in front of me before flipping it closed with a heavy sigh.

As Franklin suspected, our tipster might not have been wrong about Kincaid. I’m not sure where that leaves me, or what I’m going to do about it. Kincaid is a damn good cop, one Roman trusts. Hauling him in on charges is going to cause a lot of problems for this city, and I don’t know what to do about that. We need him on the streets…but can I really leave him there if he murdered three people?

“Can I ask you a question now?” I ask Faith.

“Yes.”

“If a good cop did something wrong a decade ago to avenge his family and you found out about it, what would you do?”

She tilts her head to the side, studying me. “How wrong?”

“He may have killed the people who murdered his family.”

“Was his family innocent?”

I nod.

She thinks over my question for a moment, considering it carefully. “I don’t know what I would do,” she admits, “but I think what you’re really asking is what you should do.”

I sigh. “I have no fucking clue what to do. If I pursue this case against him, a lot of people are going to get hurt. Including some that mean a lot to me. If I don’t pursue it, I’m essentially looking the other way when my instincts are telling me there’s something here.”

“You pride yourself on doing the right thing.”

“I took an oath to uphold the law and do the right thing, even if doing it isn’t the easy thing.” I scrub a hand through my hair, truly baffled. The world isn’t black and white, not even when murder is involved. I know that. I accept it. But this case has so many shades of gray I don’t know what the right thing to do is. “If I pursue this case and find out he did it, I’m not jeopardizing just his future. Roman believes we need him to help keep our gangs in line, and I don’t necessarily disagree with him.”

“Look into it,” Faith says, taking a step into my office. “You can always decide what to do when you have your answers, but if you never even look for them, I think it will always bother you. You don’t strike me as someone who is content to have only bits and pieces of the puzzle.”

“I’m not.”

She nods like she already knew that and takes another step toward my desk. “You’re a good cop, Octavio. You’ll know what to do when the time comes. Until then, follow the clues. Maybe you’ll find out you’re worrying for nothing.”

“Maybe.” I lean back in my chair, folding my hands together on my stomach to study her. “You think I’m a good cop?”

“Yes,” she whispers.

“But you don’t trust me.”

“I tr–”

I cock a brow, daring her to finish that lie, but she doesn’t. Having confirmation that she doesn’t trust me shouldn’t bother me, but it does anyway. It’s also my fault.

“I’m sorry I threatened to take your door off the hinges,” I murmur to her. “I shouldn’t have said that, no matter how frustrated I was. You should know that I didn’t check it. If you want to lock your door, that’s your right.”

She nods but doesn’t say anything.

“I’m going to earn your trust again someday, angel. One of these days, you’ll tell me what you’re trying so hard to keep from me. You’ll let me help you.”

“The only thing I need help with is getting the Zetas to stop looking for me so I can be free,” she mutters, refusing to meet my gaze. “The only thing I want is freedom.”

“You’re free with me, Faith.”

“No, I’m not.” She offers me a sad smile, turning for the door. “You may be nicer about it than they are, Detective, but I’m as much a prisoner here as I was there. My cage is more comfortable, and my captor is less of a brute, but any freedom I have is an illusion, as easily snatched away as ever.”

“That’s not true.”

“No? If I wanted to walk out the front door right now, you’d let me?” she asks.

I grind my teeth together, pissed because she’s right and we both know it. There’s no way in hell I would let her walk out that door. She thinks it’s because I need her help, but she’s wrong. I can’t let her go because I think it might actually kill me if something happened to her. If the Zetas found her or hurt her, it would tear my world apart. I already lost a sister to the bastardos. I won’t lose Faith too. But I can’t tell her that. She wouldn’t believe me even if I did.

“Oscar wants me back so badly because my mom and stepfather stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from him before they fled,” she whispers after a moment. “He’s certain she’ll come back for me someday, so he decided to keep me close to ensure she had to come to him to get to me.”

“Jesus Christ.”

“I know you care about what happens to me, but I’m a means to an end for you just like I was for him, Octavio. I don’t kid myself about that. Maybe you shouldn’t either.” She offers me another sad smile and then ducks out of my office. “Goodnight.”

I sit there for a long time after she leaves, staring into space. Every part of me wants to stomp after her and tell her that she’s wrong. I want her to know that I’m nothing like he is and that the only thing I want from her is whatever little crumbs she’s willing to give me.

My entire adult life, I’ve focused on finding out what happened to my sister. Even after my parents died without answers, I kept searching, hoping to piece together which of the Zetas took her and what happened to her. Eventually, I had to come to terms with the fact that I’d never know. I started focusing on finding a way to make them pay after that.

I want them out of this city so badly it borders on desperation. But I think I’d walk away from that mission if it meant keeping Faith. She’s been here for two weeks, and she’s already becoming something vital to me. Something irreplaceable.

Too damn bad for me, because to her, I’m just another man keeping her in a cage.

I sigh heavily and flip open the file on Kincaid again, reading through it from cover to cover. By the time I’m finished, I’m almost certain there’s something here. Something I have to pursue. I jot a few notes and then stow the file before opening the one on Faith and the Zetas, flipping through it without really seeing anything.

Why is Fuentes so sure her mom will come back for her?

Nothing I’ve found thus far holds any answers on that front. Her mom was physically and emotionally abusive. Not even Faith has any illusions about the woman having any soft feelings for her. I doubt Fuentes has any either. So what does he know that I don’t?

I have a feeling finding the answer to that question is the key to giving her the freedom she so desperately craves. It might tear my heart out of my chest to watch her walk away…but letting her go is the only way to prove to her that I’m nothing like Fuentes.

Más tira el amor que una yunta de bueyes,” I mutter the old idiom about love being a strong motivator, returning her file to the drawer and climbing to my feet to go to bed. I stop in shock right outside her bedroom.

For the first time in days, her door isn’t closed against me.

It’s standing wide open.

Octavio,” she whispers in her sleep, snuggling closer. I don’t intend for it to happen, but in that moment, she steals a little piece of my heart.

I’m on a mission this year to read as many new-to-me authors as I can. The second I read the blurb to this book, I knew Ayden K Morgen would be going straight on my list. And once I finished? Holy crap balls!!! How have I not read her before?

First of all, if you like gritty romance with plenty of suspense and a hero that’s a balance of swoony and lethal with an edge, you need this book!

Octavio and Faith’s story was utterly addicting. Octavio is a detective working to take down of the most dangerous cartel gangs in LA. A rival gang shootout at a bar lands him the middle of chaos when he spots Faith and realizes she may be his in in bringing the gang down.

Faith is young but what she’s lived through in her short life has been a pure nightmare. She’s been a prisoner of one of the most brutal gangs and her scar covered body tells a tale of horrifying torture and abuse. But Faith, beyond all else, is a survivor. It’s impossible not to fall in love with her character. She’s been through hell and back and even though she’s terrified, she knows she has to do the right thing and try to help the police bring the gang down. Even if it may come at the cost of her own life.

Their relationship quickly progresses from victim/witness and cop to something much more. Octavio is immediately drawn to Faith and knows that he’ll protect her no matter the cost, even if it’s no longer a part of his job.

I loved the gritty and suspenseful tone of this book. I also loved that Ayden is able to build a picture without going into truly gory details and miss none of the effect. I was immediately sucked into this world and know I’ll be going back to read the previous book along with Roman’s story in Devour Me. I already can’t wait for the next book.

This is a true standalone set in the same world and you can definitely see the crossover and interconnections. I didn’t have a problem reading this book without having read the first. But the few glimpses I had of the couple from book one in this one, I know I need to read their story next.

My only (very minor) quibble was with the slight overuse of endearments. It was cure in most parts and in some parts it was just a touch too flowery for my personal tastes. But this is entirely a personal bias. I loved how Octavio treated Faith like he absolutely worshipped her. The man truly looked at her like he wanted to protect her from the world and would die doing it. I loved that!

If you’re looking for something different, fast paced, sexy and completely addicting, you need to check this series out!

Ayden K. Morgen is the Amazon Bestselling author of the Ragnarök Prophesies series. She lives in the heart of Arkansas with her childhood sweetheart/husband of sixteen years, and their furry minions. When not writing, she spends her time hiking, reading, volunteering, causing mischief, and building a Spork army.

She graduated summa cum laude with her Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice and Forensic Psychology in 2009 before going on to complete her graduate degree in CJ and Law.

She puts her education to use as a 911 Dispatch Supervisor, where she’s responsible for leading a team of dispatchers as they watch over police, EMS, and firefighters for her county. Her books feature law enforcement officers, the women who love them, and the difficult cases that drive them.

Ayden has been published by Curiosity Quills Press, Limitless Publishing, Cobblestone Press, and Tirgearr Publishing. She also writes New Adult Fantasy as A.K. Morgen.

Author Links

Email: akmorgen@akmorgen.com

Website: http://akmorgen.com

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#DGRFave & Review: Creole Kingpin by Meghan March

CREOLE KINGPIN
Series:
Magnolia Duet #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Meghan March
Release Date: March 10, 2020

New York Times bestselling author Meghan March goes back to New Orleans and the world of Lachlan Mount with a dangerous and bold new anti-hero.

The thing about ghosts is they’re supposed to stay dead.

That’s exactly what I am, but I can’t stay away from Magnolia Marie Maison for one more day, let alone another year.

We’ve already got fifteen of those between us.

As it stands, she’ll want to kill me as soon as she lays eyes on me. And knowing her, she’s completely up to the task.

But I’m a man on a mission, and I’ve got everything riding on this.

So, here I come, Magnolia. This ghost is ready for whatever you got.

After all, there’s only one way I want this to end—’til death do us part.

AMAZON

Moses nearly broke me once. I won’t let him do it again.

I CANNOT EVEN RIGHT NOW. I SERIOUSLY CANNOT EVEN. This was…and I just…and all of it was…GAHHHHHH!!!!!!
This has been easily both my most anticipated and favorite Meghan March book to date. And having read the woman’s entire backlist, that’s saying something. Not only do we get the infamous madam’s story that we first met in The Anti-Heroes Trilogy (Mount), but we also get the most sinful anti-hero that was introduced in The Legend Trilogy. And then you put the two of them together and I CANNOT FREAKING DEAL.

If you wanna play, kitten,” a man’s voice says from over my shoulder, “I’ll make you purr.”
I turn around to look at him. “Kitten? Boy, I’m a goddamned lioness. Back the fuck off.” A dark chuckle leaves my lips at the sight of his shocked face, and I exit the club with a smile.

Magnolia Marie Maison is FIERCE. This woman grew up hard and turned into survivor. She’s a woman that learned to use her sensuality to get what she needs and grow an empire. She’ll never let a man define her, especially not the man that walked out of her life 15 years ago and hasn’t looked back. There’s just something so incredibly endearing about her sharp tongue and quick wit. She’s hardened, her life made her this way, but you also get glimpses of the vulnerable woman that hides behind the perfectly put together exterior.

I didn’t just come back for Magnolia. I came back for the fight that would come with winning her. Nothing worth having ever comes easy, especially a good woman.

Moses Gaspard. GAH. Just typing his name I get shivers. If you’ve read the Legend trilogy, then you know the mysterious criminal. But nothing prepares you for the full effect of everything that is Moses in this book. OH MY GOD. He was just everything. EVERYTHING. He walked away from Magnolia once, for reasons that remain a mystery. But now he’s back with only one purpose, make her his. And let me tell you, nothing is more delicious than a determined man going after his woman hard.

Because life doesn’t always work out the way you hope, when you hope. But if you’re lucky, sometimes you get a second fucking shot at the one thing you want more than anything else. This is me taking my shot, mama. And I don’t fucking miss.”

I mean, I’m fairly certain I came every single time he called her mama. No even kidding. My nether regions freaking tingled. TINGLED. But I digress.

This book was crack. It was addicting. It was all encompassing. It was completely unputdownable. I read it in one sitting and never wanted it to end. I think I had the shakes when I got to the end because I knew I’d be left a desperate mess in the wait for my next hit of Moses and Magnolia. It was a fast-paced thrill ride full of twists and turns and plenty of action. And did I mention we get even more Mount? Because freaking MOUNT. Suffice it to say I absolutely LOVED this book. I loved every page. I wanted to lick my fingers and my kindle once I finished. I AM NOT OK. NOT OK. I need the next book desperately here, people! If you need me, I’ll be rocking myself in a dark corner somewhere with all of the wine.

Review: Kiss The Stars by AL Jackson

KISS THE STARS
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: AL Jackson
Release Date: March 5, 2020

A Falling Stars STAND-ALONE NOVEL from NYT & USA Today Bestselling Author, A.L. Jackson…

A single mother.

An up-and-coming drummer with a sordid past.

Their paths never should have crossed.

But when a senseless crime rocks Mia West’s entire world, she agrees to spend the summer hiding out at her rock-star brother’s mansion in Savannah until the storm blows over.

What she never expected was the gorgeous, brooding drummer living in the guest house.

His darkness a lure.

His gaze a trap.

She knows better than to go after what will hurt her most.

Leif Godwin has two focuses in his life: his band, Carolina George, and seeking retribution for what was stolen from him.

Mia was never supposed to be a part of the equation.

Her eyes an appeal.

Her body a temptation.

Touching her is nothing but a sin.

But will loving her destroy them all . . .

You are the light I stopped believing existed.”

Whoa. I wasn’t expecting this book at all. It took me completely by surprise. In all honesty, rockstar romance isn’t really my thing any more. It’s just not the story I tend to gravitate towards. But being the huge fan of AL Jackson that I am, I decided to take a chance on this one, and I’m so glad I did. Because it wasn’t the typical rockstar romance at all. This story featured some of the characters from her other rockstar romance books which I haven’t had a chance to read yet, but fully intend to. Having said that, this is definitely easily enjoyed as a standalone and if you’re like me, you’ll have no problem being sucked right into this world.

There’s just something about a single mom meets reclusive rockstar that just sounds utterly delicious to me. And this certainly was that. Mainly because Leif is the furthest thing from the usual rockstar. He’s a talented drummer but he’s a recluse. He shies away from the limelight and all of the things that come with it. He’s hiding painful secrets from his past. But when Mia quite literally stumbles into his life, he can’t seem to stay away from her.

Mia is still reeling from the tragic and violent event in her past that has her in hiding on her famous rockstar brother’s estate. Leif is staying in the pool house as he’s working with her brother’s band. And even though he tells her that he’s bad at every turn, she can’t seem to stay away from him either.

There’s a lot more to this story than meets the eye at first. It’s full of twists and turns and a suspense that had me eagerly turning the pages long into the night. My one quibble is that the usual lyrical writing style that I enjoy with AL Jackson’s books just didn’t fit the genre of this one for me. It felt repetitive and a touch too purple prose in parts. There was a dark and gritty feeling to this book and I LOVED it. But the descriptive nature of the writing took a piece away from that for me.

Having said that, I still devoured this in one sitting. It was emotional and unexpected and full of twists I never saw coming. I loved the suspense element and the slightly grittier feel of the story.

Review: The Sinful King by Claire Contreras

THE SINFUL KING
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Claire Contreras
Release Date: March 5, 2020

If you had any ties to Marbella, it was impossible for you not to have heard the stories about Prince Elias and his debauchery.

Every summer he arrived with his security detail and friends in tow and rented out a row of cottages near the water.

Cottages that belonged to my family.

Each of those summers, my parents sent me away – summer camp and later, boarding school. Anything to keep me away from the royals and their partying.

I hadn’t been home in years, but when I finally come back for the summer, I see that not much has changed. Like all the summers I’d been gone, Prince Elias is back, but this time with an incognito security detail and no friends.

This time, there is no partying, no noise, no crowds. No reason at all to even think he was there.
I’m given strict orders not to talk to him, not to even look in his direction, but he makes this an impossible task.

I may be doing everything in my power to stay away from him, but there is no one in the world who can say no to the future King of France.

AMAZON

You don’t curtsy to me,” he said into my ear.
“Are you not my King?”
“Are you not my world?”

If you’re looking for an utterly romantic and swoony royal romance chock full of heart and brimming with passion, look no further. The Sinful King was all of those things. I greedily devoured it in one sitting. It was just one of those sweet, steamy and feel-good type of romances that’s easy on the angst but with plenty of feels.

Say it, Addie.”
“Say what?” I was already finding it hard to breathe and we hadn’t even started doing anything.
“You want to get f*cked by your king.

Adeline and Prince Elias’s story is full of surprises and passion. It’s basically a fairytale for the modern day woman, and I couldn’t get enough of it.

Adeline has always lived on the skirts of the royal family. Her father is in the King’s cabinet but has always been vocal in his views on the monarchy and what they stand for. In one night for herself, Adeline meets a handsome stranger and shares a passionate night with him. Only to find out when she leaves that she just shared the night with the future king of France. Years later, she’s back, on the tail end of a personal scandal. The last thing she needs is more spotlight. She’s looking to get her party planning business more successful and stay out of the camera’s flashes. But that’s difficult to do when the prince of France has his eyes set on you.

Gosh this book was dreamy. I loved the two of them together. I loved Adeline’s sweet naivety and Eli’s quiet intensity. I loved their chemistry and the way they just set the pages on fire. This was just one of those wonderfully satisfying standalones that leaves you with a smile on your face.

#DGRFave & Review: Runaway Road by Devney Perry

RUNAWAY ROAD
Series:
Runaway #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Devney Perry
Release Date: March 6, 2020

Londyn McCormack didn’t have a typical childhood. She ran away from home at sixteen, escaping parents more interested in drugs than their daughter. She doesn’t have loving siblings or an adorable pet. Her only family is the five other runaway kids who shared her junkyard home.

Life pulled them all in separate directions, taking her to Boston. For a short time, she thought she’d found something permanent. But after a devastating divorce, she’s running away again, this time to find a lost friend.
She’s driving across the country in her convertible. As a teenager, the rusty car was her shelter. As an adult, it’s her ride to freedom.

Except one flat tire derails her trip. Her life collides with Brooks Cohen. They walked away from the first crash. The second might destroy them both.

AMAZON

There was something fresh about her. Maybe it was her outlook on life or her spirit. Maybe it was that she had gone through so much and she hadn’t become jaded or cynical. Londyn intrigued me. She stirred my blood.

My heart feels so full right now. This book. GUYS. I just can’t. A lighthearted, feel-good romance full of swoons and feels. I devoured this book in one sitting. I kid you not. I sat down, opened my kindle, blinked, and I was already at 80%.

The wind whipped through my hair as I sped along the highway.
Just me and my cherry-red Cadillac.
On a runaway road.

I don’t think there was one thing I didn’t love about this story. The sweet and swoony hero. The slightly damaged but not broken heroine. The charming small town setting. The wonderfully vivid secondary characters. And the romance! OMG the romance! It was one of those things that just sneaks up on you. It wasn’t loud. It wasn’t angsty. It wasn’t quick and mighty. It was a beautiful slow burn full of emotion and it couldn’t have been more perfect.

Londyn McCormack thought she had everything she needed. A runaway teen that learned to survive on the streets, she married a rich husband and quickly lost herself. Now divorced, she yearns to move on and find herself. So she leaves her old life and her best friend behind to drive to California to find an old friend, but along the way things get complicated. A flat tire lands her in a sleepy small town where she meets a man that changes everything.

Brooks Cohen is one of the most swooniest heroes I’ve read in a long while. He’s sweet, caring, and patient. He’s everything that Londyn needs and nothing she thought she wanted. He’s unexpected but the chemistry between them is undeniable. They slowly get to know one another during casual dinners by the lake and it’s not long before they each weave their way into each other’s hearts.

I cannot gush enough about this story. I fell hard and fast for these characters and the premise of the series. A group of teen runaways that find themselves to happiness as adults? Yes, please and thank you! If you’re looking for an easy and light-hearted read that full of depth and emotion, this book is not to be missed.

Excerpt & Review: Wicked As Sin by Shayla Black

WICKED AS SIN
Series: Wicked & Devoted #1
Genre: Romantic Suspense, Contemporary Romance
Author: Shayla Black
Release Date: March 3, 2020

Pierce “One-Mile” Walker has always kept his heart under wraps and his head behind his sniper’s scope. Nothing about buttoned-up Brea Bell should appeal to him. But after a single glance at the pretty preacher’s daughter, he doesn’t care that his past is less than shiny, that he gets paid to end lives…or that she’s his teammate’s woman. He’ll do whatever it takes to steal her heart.

 

Brea has always been a dutiful daughter and a good girl…until she meets the dangerous warrior. He’s everything she shouldn’t want, especially after her best friend introduces her to his fellow operative as his girlfriend—to protect her from Pierce. But he’s a forbidden temptation she’s finding impossible to resist.

 

Then fate strikes, forcing Brea to beg Pierce to help solve a crisis. But his skills come at a price. When her innocent flirtations run headlong into his obsession, they cross the line into a passion so fiery she can’t say no. Soon, his past rears its head and a vendetta calls his name in a mission gone horribly wrong. Will he survive to fight his way back to the woman who claimed his soul?

AMAZON | iBOOKS | NOOK | KOBO | GOOGLE PLAY

Pre-order the stunning conclusion, Wicked Ever After!

Releasing April 7th

AMAZON | NOOK | KOBO | GOOGLE PLAY

What the devil was she doing here? Courting danger. Pierce Walker was more man than she could handle. She was likely to get herself in over her head.But Brea owed him her thanks. And, okay…she was dying to see him again.

What could five minutes alone with the man hurt?

Suddenly, the volume on the music dropped under a dull roar and heavy footfalls got louder as they headed her way. Then the door whipped open, and Pierce stood on the other side of the threshold, scowling.

He was covered in nothing but ink, body hair, and bulging muscle from the waist up. Well-washed jeans hung low on his hips. He dangled the neck of a half-empty beer in one hand. His bare feet were built like the rest of him—big and overwhelmingly masculine.

Brea sucked in a silent, shaking breath. “Hi.”

“Brea.” His scowl disappeared. “This is a surprise.”

How was it possible that his eyes had been on her a handful of seconds and she somehow felt naked?

“Sorry to drop by. I-I just wanted to thank you.” She held out the container to him.

He took the dish from her hands. “For what?”

As Pierce propped himself against the doorframe and stared, she nearly lost herself in his fathomless black eyes. She forced herself to blink, but her wayward gaze wandered down his body. A Marine crest tattoo covered his right pectoral. More dark ink enveloped both shoulders, emphasizing every ridge and swell of his sizable physique. Well-washed denim cupped the substantial bulge between his legs.

And she utterly forgot everything she’d planned to say.

“Brea?”

His deep voice jolted her. She jerked her gaze from places it didn’t belong and cleared her throat. “Um…helping me get to the hospital the day Daddy collapsed. And for bringing my car to me afterward. It was very kind of you.”

“No problem. How’s he doing now?”

“Recovering. His surgery went well. Since you thoughtfully left me your contact information in my console, I meant to come sooner to tell you how much I appreciated your help, but I’ve been taking care of him. I finally got a few minutes, so I-I brought you these cookies. Since I didn’t know what you liked, I baked a few different kinds…” She dropped her gaze to collect her thoughts and stop rambling, but her stare glued itself to him again, this time fixating on his ridiculously delineated twelve-pack abs. “But you don’t look like you eat many.”

He laughed. Pierce Walker was menacing when he scowled, but when he smiled he was stunning. Something wild and reckless quivered in her belly, urging her to put her hands on him, press herself against him, beg him to somehow stop this breathless, fluttery yearning she’d only ever felt with him.

“Because I don’t have anyone baking me cookies.” He peeled the lid off the top and peered down. “These look good.”

“I baked the chocolate chip without nuts. I didn’t know if you were allergic.”

“I’m not.”

“I also included checkerboard, cinnamon sugar, and gluten-free almond wafer.”

“Thank you.” He curled his fingers around her shoulder. They burned like a brand as he scooted her breathlessly close to his naked torso and locked the door behind them. “Why don’t you come in and let me get you something to drink?”

“I shouldn’t stay. I would never want to interrupt your…” Goodness, what had he been doing? It was a Friday night. Maybe he was getting ready to go out. Or heaven forbid, planning to stay in…with female company.

“Game of pool. You’re not interrupting. Stay. Like a lot of things, it’s a lot more fun when you’re not playing alone.” He winked.

His seemingly suggestive words sparked a reaction low in her belly. “I-I’ve never played.”

He raised a dark brow. “Ever?”

“Daddy isn’t much for games. My friends aren’t, either.”

“What about Cutter?”

She shrugged. “He’s never shown any interest.”

He sent her a stare that looked somewhere between stunned and dubious. “You sure? I’ve seen him play.”

That didn’t surprise Brea. Cutter had a whole life she barely knew about. “I’m sure he does, but not with me.”

“I find that hard to believe.”

Were they still talking about billiards? “Anyway, I won’t keep you…”

“Don’t go. One game.” He wrapped his arm around her middle and ushered her deeper into his house. “What do you say?”

She risked a glance up at him. “You’re sure I’m not in your way?”

“No. I’m thrilled as hell to have you here, pretty girl.”

That low, deep declaration of his did something to her insides. Heat crawled up her cheeks. She ran her tongue across her suddenly dry lips. “O-one game, then.”

After one look, I wanted you. But after one kiss, I knew I’d do anything to have you.”

I have been waiting for this moment all my life!!! OK, so maybe not my entire life. But it sure feels like it, dang it! Because Shayla Black has been tempting us with One-Mile and Brea’s story for too long and I’ve been chomping at the bit in my glee to get my grabby little hands on it. And the second this baby hit my kindle? I DEVOURED IT. I don’t think I even blinked. Or maybe I did blink. Once. And then I realized I was done. GAH.

She wanted to be his, even if it was for a night. Even if it was a sin. Even if she burned in hell for this desire. It couldn’t be any worse than twisting in agony without him.

Now I’ll be honest, usually the uber good girl heroine doesn’t do it for me. They tend to annoy me with their holier than thou everything. But Brea was my one exception to the rule. There’s just something so incredibly endearing to her sweet and innocent personality. She’s like this ray of sunshine that you can’t help but love. Or maybe it’s that perfect dynamic of One-Mile’s uber bad boy to her uber good girl? I dunno. But whatever it was, it worked, and I loved it.

If you’ve read Shayla’s Wicked or Devoted series than you’ve met these characters. And if you haven’t, you won’t have any problems diving right into this one. Brea is Cutter’s best friend from Devoted to Pleasure. I have to say, as much as I loved Cutter in his own book, I wanted to slap him here. His holier than thou attitude towards One-Mile drove me up the wall. He’s fiercly protective of Brea while Brea is inexplicably drawn to One-Mile. One-Mile thinks that she’s Cutter’s girlfriend, but that doesn’t stop his singleminded pursuit of her.

I want you to kiss me,” she whispered. “Now.”
He tensed. “You’re sure?”
“Yes.”
“Even though it’s wrong?”
“Yes.”
“Even though this could get out of control?”
“Yes.”
“Brea. Baby…” Desire darkened his expression. “Don’t say I didn’t warn you.”

One-Mile is one of the most endearing misunderstood characters. He’s painted to be the cold and aloof bad boy, but is he really? He’s a trained operative and and lethal sniper, but there’s so much more to him than that. I loved seeing his fuzzy side come out when he’s around Brea. But there’s also this edgy appeal to him that you can’t deny. Their chemistry was absolutely incendiary! And the story completely addicting with plenty of suspense to really keep the reader on their toes. I loved it from cover to cover!

Shayla Black is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of nearly eighty novels. For over twenty years, she’s written contemporary, erotic, paranormal, and historical romances via traditional, independent, foreign, and audio publishers. Her books have sold millions of copies and been published in a dozen languages.

Raised an only child, Shayla occupied herself with lots of daydreaming, much to the chagrin of her teachers. In college, she found her love for reading and realized that she could have a career publishing the stories spinning in her imagination. Though she graduated with a degree in Marketing/Advertising and embarked on a stint in corporate America to pay the bills, her heart has always been with her characters. She’s thrilled that she’s been living her dream as a full-time author for the past eight years.

Shayla currently lives in North Texas with her wonderfully supportive husband, her daughter, and two spoiled tabbies. In her “free” time, she enjoys reality TV, reading, and listening to an eclectic blend of music.

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Review: Crowne of Lies by CD Reiss

CROWNE OF LIES
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: CD Reiss
Release Date: February 28, 2020

Logan Crowne needs one year from Ella.

Twelve months living in his house, holding his hand, wearing his ring on her finger, and in exchange, she’ll get her father’s company in the divorce settlement.

They have one year to convince his skeptical parents that they’re happily in love, and he’s settled enough to run Crowne Industries.

Ella wants the company badly enough to live with a man who will never love her. She’ll sleep in his room and kiss him for show.

Her heart may melt whenever he’s around, and his touch may ignite a fire inside her, but surrender will break her heart.

She’s sure she can last a year without giving him her body.

She’s wrong.

AMAZON

Naughty was the wrong word for Logan. He was a completely and wonderfully debauched demon.

You know what I love about CD Reiss? The woman can write one heck of a sinfully sexy hero. I’m talking the cream of the crop here, people. A dirty talking god of a man. Logan Crowne was all of the things!

What’s in your head?”
“Getting my hand under your dress and finding out if you’re wet.”
“Logan,” I scolded in a hiss. “We just said—”
“We said no feelings.” He took me by the chin. “If I took you right now, f*cked you raw, gave you a dozen orgasms and came deep inside you, it would mean nothing to me.”
My panties were soaked through. “Me neither.”

I’ll give you a moment to compose yourself. Need a tissue? Some ice? All of the above. I’m telling you!!! The man damn near ruined me.

If you’re a fan of the marriage of convenience trope, this book is going to be your crack of choice.

What I love even more that Reiss’s dirty talking alpha males are her strong and sharp witted heroines. And boy did Ella check those boxes. She’s the polar opposite of proper and tightly wound Logan. She’s a free spirit, an artist, a woman that stands on her own two feet and will never let a man define her. But she’s also desperate to sustain her beloved father’s fashion label after his passing. She made a promise to him that is becoming increasingly difficult to keep with her step mother heading up the company. All she wants is enough money to buy the company outright, and the answer comes in the shape of an equally desperate Logan Crowne.

All Logan has known for years is work. Running himself thin has never been a problem, until his father ultimately gives him an ultimatum. His brother will run the company while Logan goes out there and lives his life. And when he finds happiness and a woman to settle down with, he’ll give him back the reins. Unfortunately Logan has no interest in love and happily ever afters like his parents’ marriage. So what’s a man to do? Pay a woman ten million dollars to marry him for a year. Ella challenges him at every turn. She’s nothing like what he needs, but he soon finds that she becomes everything he craves.

I loved the fiery chemistry between these characters. There’s just something so hot about a tightly wound man with a wicked tongue and a free spirited artist with sass and a nose ring. They’re polar opposites, but when they get together…FIREWORKS.

I gobbled this up in one sitting. I’ve become completely obsessed with this series. And the set up for the next book? I DIE!!! I need it!

Copyright © 2015 · Dirty Girl Romance

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