Review: The Fourth Time Charm by Maya Hughes

THE FOURTH TIME CHARM
Series: Fulton U #4
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult Romance
Author: Maya Hughes
Release Date: January 7, 2020

“Are you sleeping with my daughter?”

Not the question I wanted to hear from my coach. The man holding my pro future in the palm of his hand.

The answer: No, sir.

The real answer: I’d sure as hell like to be.

Marisa’s been my best friend since third grade. And now she needs my help–and a place to stay. Senior year was supposed to be the year to keep some distance until the season finished and my draft prospects were safe.

But resisting her is becoming impossible. Movie Thursdays under the blankets. Study sessions on my bed. Wild party nights where I kept any guy interested at bay with a single glare.

Her dad can bench my ass for the entire season, so she’s off limits–for now.

She’s the only woman I’ve ever loved. And one heated night, I can’t stop fighting every cell in my body and can’t stop myself from sampling her sexy smile, her sweet smell, and her sultry curves.

We’re walking a tightrope with my future on the line. Let’s just make sure Coach doesn’t find out…

AMAZON

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Tonight, I’d hold her in my arms. Tomorrow, I’d figure out how to deal with being in love with the coach’s daughter.

Confession time, friends to lovers isn’t my usual choice of trope. Don’t ask me why. I have no idea. I’ll read it but it’s just not a trope I yearn for or gravitate towards. But when it came to LJ and Marisa’s story? I had to have it. I was downright ravenous for it. Ever since we met them as secondary characters in the beginning of this series, I’ve been dying to finally get to read their HEA. This book blew every expectation I had for their book away. I absolutely adored this story!

Sometimes it felt like I could disappear and no one would really care. It felt like I was a temporary fixture in someone’s life until they moved on. But with LJ I felt like I mattered—always.

LJ and Marisa have been friends since they were kids and their connection is one of the most heartwarming things I’ve ever read. They’re so solid together. Always there for each other. And while it could be a sibling sort of connection, there’s simply too much chemistry between them to ever think anything else. Unbeknownst to each other, both Marisa and LJ have feelings but think the other one wants nothing romantic. So if you want unrequited love angst, this has it.

LJ grew up with an amazing family, while Marisa’s parents definitely left something to be desired. Her recent reunion with her absentee father is anything but smooth. She wants nothing to do with him and she has no idea that he’s punishing LJ for their friendship and what he suspects may be going on between them. As much as I hated the coach for the majority of the book, it suddenly took a turn at the end, and I loved how Maya handled this particular story line.

LJ is absolute perfection of a man. He’s sweet, loyal, and doesn’t play games. He’s not interested in doing around even though his football god rep would more than ease that way. I loved how he’s always there for Marisa and their love for each other is so unique and sweet.

Marisa deals with a lot throughout the course of this story and at times it was tough to read. I’ll admit to shedding quite a few tears at the end of the book. My cold black heart broke a little for her.

I’m not going to lie, in parts these two frustrated me and I wanted to shake them to make them see reason and for LJ to just tell Marisa what’s been happening. But I also completely understood his reasoning and had so much respect for him because of it.

If you’re looking for a sweet and heartwarming friends to lovers romance, you won’t want to miss this. Now I’m slowly dying for a particularly mysterious male character to get his story next because it sounds like it’ll be a juicy one.

Maya Hughes, that’s me!, can often be found sneaking in another chapter while hiding in the bathroom from her kids! 🙂 I’m a romance writer who loves taking inspiration from everyday life, namely my husband and biggest fan. Inspiration also strikes when I hear a song, meet someone new or daydream while at soccer practice.

I love writing stories that capture the possibilities of the paths less travelled and enjoy experiencing life through my characters’ eyes. 

I’m the mom of three little ones, the wife to an amazing husband and also work full time. Some of my favorite things are cupcakes, cinnamon rolls, white wine, laughing until I can’t breathe, traveling with my family and Jeff Goldblum. 

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Review: Forsaken Trail by Devney Perry

FORSAKEN TRAIL
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Runaway #4
Author: Devney Perry
Release Date: December 29, 2020

Aria Saint-James has planned the perfect getaway: sweatpants, takeout and two weeks alone with her sister and nephew. Nowhere on that list is wearing a low-cut dress and uncomfortable heels to attend a wedding where she knows neither the bride nor the groom. Toss in her nemesis, Brody Carmichael, and her road trip to Arizona is officially a bust.

But at least there is champagne.

She blames the bubbly for falling into bed with Brody that night. Enemy or no, the billionaire is irresistible in a tux. But after their one-night tryst, Aria has no choice but to cut her vacation short, returning home to escape his devilish smile, vowing never to see Brody again.

Except Aria gets a surprise a few weeks later—she’s pregnant. When he learns that she’s carrying his child, Brody offers Aria the chance of a lifetime. The catch? She has to live under his roof until the baby is born.

Either they’ll kill each other in nine months. Or discover love buried beneath their hate.

 AMAZON | iBOOKS | NOOK | KOBO

One night of pretending. Then we’d go back to what we were good at. Hating.

I feel like I have been waiting for this story for so long! I’ve been completely enraptured with the Runaway series since book one, and the Cadillac saga continues with Aria’s road to a HEA.

Aria and Brody have been dancing around each other for years. They started off on the wrong foot and it’s only continued from there. There’s certainly no love lost between them but there’s plenty of chemistry. They crashed into each other’s orbit through Aria’s twin sister, who works for Brody. But while her sister and Brody are close, Aria can’t stand the man. She thinks he’s too arrogant for his own good and quick to throw his money and status around.

From the very first time they appear on the pages together, you can cut the sexual tension between them with a knife, and it was utterly delicious. Aria doesn’t mince words when it comes to Brody and is always quick to put him in his place. But then one night changes everything between them.

I love me a good surprise baby plot device, but it has to be done right. And it’s definitely done right in Forsaken Trail. I absolutely HATE when the heroine keeps the baby from the hero for whatever reason. Aria is not about that life. She tells Brody as soon as she knows. And even though there’s still plenty of unresolved issues between them, she doesn’t want to keep Brody away. Though she has doubts given her sister’s history with her baby daddy.

Brody is impossible not to love. The more you learn about his history, the more you love him. There’s a soft mushy center to this successful man and I adored it. He mans up right away when it comes to Aria and doesn’t play any games. Their road to a HEA was not a quick one but it was full of emotion and absolutely heart warming.

I did want a little bit more of the hate lust between them. It felt like they turned the corner really quick and a lot of their animosity was mentioned off the page and I would have loved more of that. But then again, I’m a sucker for that angsty enemies to lovers tension. This book is not quite that. It’s more feel good then angsty, and I didn’t mind that. It was satisfying from beginning to end and I adored Aria and Brody’s story. Now I’m eagerly waiting on Clara’s book next.

Devney is a USA Today bestselling author who lives in Washington with her husband and two sons. Born and raised in Montana, she loves writing books set in her treasured home state. After working in the technology industry for nearly a decade, she abandoned conference calls and project schedules to enjoy a slower pace at home with her family. Writing one book, let alone many, was not something she ever expected to do. But now that she’s discovered her true passion for writing romance, she has no plans to ever stop.

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Review: The Office Party by Whitney G.

THE OFFICE PARTY
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Whitney G
Release Date: December 18, 2020

I can’t believe that I pulled my boss’s name for our company’s annual Secret Santa tradition…

As the devil incarnate, this infuriating, cocky bastard never gives us the holidays off, and he honestly expects us to be grateful for his generous alternative: The Office Party.

It’s a mandatory, all-expenses trip for two weeks at a surprise luxury resort—where we still have to work twelve to fifteen hours a day.

I’m so over this…

So, I put zero percent effort into his gift. I tear the tag off whatever my sister gifts me, add a five-dollar amazon gift card, and hand it off to him.

It’s not until my sister sends me a text that I realize how terrible of a decision that was.

Georgia: Why haven’t you sent me a ‘LOL’ about the brand-new vibrator I got you? I really do hope that you use your boss’s face as a muse, like my note says. 🙂

If that’s not bad enough, this year’s “luxury trip” will be in my hometown–the place I’ve avoided for years. At the resort that my grandmother owns…

If the universe gets me out of this, I will never ‘regift’ anything ever again…

 AMAZON

For a few seconds, I forget that he’s Satan in the flesh—that he’s flown thirteen hours to confront me in another country.

If you’re looking for a quick, steamy and fun read, look no further. If there’s one thing I can say, is no matter the quibbles I may have, Whitney G always delivers on a fun and satisfying read, no matter the length.

I love a good enemies to lovers romance, but particularly when you have a sassy heroine give as good as she gets to the alphahole of a hero. And this one delivered that in spades! Garrett and Savannah have amazing chemistry and I loved the push and pull between them.

This could have been an amazing full length novel and had all of the ingredients to be one. While I love Whit’s sexy novellas, I couldn’t help thinking this would have been better as a full length. I would have loved more development for these characters and to see on the page what was described of their personalities off the page. Like Garrett’s satan boss antics. I would have loved more of that.

All that aside, this was still incredibly satisfying and hit the spot nicely. If you’re looking for a fun office romance with an enemies to lovers trope, definitely give this one a go.

Review: Silver Lining by Skye Warren

SILVER LINING
Series:
Diamond Trilogy #3
Genre:
Contemporary Romance
Author:
Skye Warren
Release Date:
December 15, 2020

Silver Lining by Skye Warren is now live!

 

Elijah North has survived starvation and torture.

 

Now he faces his darkest challenge: the possibility of life without Holly Frank. The woman he loves hangs in the balance.

 

 

The family he found mourns in the distance.

 

And the future he built crumbles in the wind.

SILVER LINING is the final book in Elijah and Holly’s story!

Amazon | Apple Books | Nook | Kobo

His eyes are a match, and I’m kindling. I’m ready to burn into a massive flame.

Talk about going out with a bang. I couldn’t have hoped for a better conclusion to this trilogy than Silver Lining.

You can’t fight the demons I fight when you have something to lose.

Since the major cliffhanger in Gold Mine, I’ve been waiting on the third and final book with bated breath. And it delivered on everything I had hoped and so much more. It was an intense thrill ride that I couldn’t put down for even a second. I binge read it in one sitting and was left with a goofy smile on my face.

If you loved Elijah in the previous two books, prepare to seriously fall head over ovaries for the man in this one. Because OMG! Nothing beats an uber protective alpha that will protect his woman at any cost. The only thing better is when that woman is a fierce warrior in her own right. And Holly was FIERCE. Her introduction to Elijah’s world was a baptism by fire, but nothing could have prepared her for everything that was to come. This story really brought everything to a head and then wrapped it up with a bow flawlessly.

I fell hard for Elijah and Holly all over again. There was not one chapter that dragged. And y’all, this never happens to me in a trilogy. Usually either book 2 or book 3 has some slower paced parts. Not this book, though. It was a thrill ride from cover to cover. And the fact that you get a two for one with the conclusion of Adam’s story? Icing on the top!

I live for Skye Warren’s books and this one is the perfect example of why. The woman is a master of combining sexy suspense with just the right amount of grit to make for one unputdownable read.

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

 

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Review: About Tomorrow by Abbi Glines

ABOUT TOMORROW
Genre: New Adult Romance
Author: Abbi Glines
Release Date: December 14, 2020
About Tomorrow…I close my eyes as I hear him speak. I take one very long and deep breath hoping to calm the immediate butterflies that take flight in my stomach and hope to slow down the racing of my heart. The voice was slightly deeper but the timbre was one that was achingly familiar.
My actions did little to help, but then who was I kidding? A deep breath wasn’t going to fix the effect he had on me and my body’s inevitable reaction.
Even the memories that would forever haunt me couldn’t keep my emotions from triggering at the nearness of him once again.I used to pray that I’d find the strength to move on from him, from the pain that the end carried, from the emptiness in my chest, but ultimately move on from—the loss of Creed Sullivan and the death of his sister, Cora.The Sullivans had been the best part of my summers in New England.Deep down, I knew my ache for all that I had lost was the reason I returned…

But I hadn’t expected to see him again—especially not like this.

AMAZON

Creed didn’t just make me happy; he made me complete. Most of my life I had wandered through it never feeling like I belonged anywhere. Until Creed.

It’s been a hot minute since I last read an Abbi Glines book. Her books were a happy place for me whenever I needed a good dose of teenage drama and steamy romance. And when I read the blurb to this book, I had to have it. I’m a sucker for a second chance romance and this one sounded like it had all of the feels.

If you’re looking for a steamy and angsty second chance romance, this one definitely ticks all of the boxes. Sailor and Creed were childhood sweethearts and each other’s world once upon a time. Then tragedy pulled them apart and even though Sailor’s life moved along, she barely was able to move on from Creed. She’s met a wonderful new guy and now she’s moving back to the town that holds such bittersweet memories for her in order to take care of her gram’s house after her passing. It’s been years since she’s seen Creed but when she meets the cousin of her boyfriend’s roommate in their apartment, her world comes crashing down to realize it’s Creed.

This story deals with some heavy subjects and I loved the grittier undertones of it. Sailor is not perfect and neither is Creed. Their love is messy and broken and riddled with unresolved pain and haunting memories. Sailor is in a happy relationship and Creed is not the boy she once fell in love with. He’s darker, colder, but he’s still the same caring Creed she once knew.

While this book had so many elements that I loved, there were also some things that didn’t quite work for me. Specifically the flashbacks. They just didn’t flow. They felt quite random and didn’t blend into the story. They were also much too short to really add to the overall plot and serve as anything other than a distraction. My other quibble was the conflict at the end. It felt…blah. It just felt like the story was driving to something much bigger and impactful. It just didn’t fit. It felt like a quick way to add something but it didn’t deliver on the something big that the story really needed for me.

Ultimately I still did enjoy this book quite a bit and it gave me the Abbi Glines fix that I didn’t even know I was craving. If you’re looking for a steamy second chance with plenty of angst, this one definitely got it.

Review: Trish, Just Trish by Lynda LeeAnne

TRISH, JUST TRISH
Series:
This Can’t Be Happening #2
Genre:
Contemporary Romance
Author:
Lynda LeeAnne
Release Date:
December 12, 2013

Patricia Grace Kincaid is haunted by her past and no matter what she does, the ghosts won’t stay away. A childhood incident nearly ruined her life. A mistake that she made two years ago ripped her to shreds. She isn’t the same feisty, fearless bitch she used to be… or is she?

What will happen when the person she screwed over storms back into her life? She freaks.

Is it for the reason she’s always hoped for… that Tony Lopez, the breathtakingly sexy Latino love of her life, has finally decided to forgive her? Hell no. Will he demand her complete submission? Yes. Will he make her life hell? Double yes.

Will she, in return, torture him? Hell-to-the-yes. Will her past come back to haunt her? Absolutely.

Author’s warning: Including, but not limited to: a deep, dark childhood, lots and lots of cussing (as in, A LOT), a ton of fighting, maybe hair pulling, a bitch with a vulnerable side, and last, but not least, über possessive, over obsessive, crazy hot alpha males on the verge of needing therapy… and maybe a tear or two.

AMAZON

It hurts to know that the person you want, also wants you, but will easily find what he needs from other women if he wants to.

Now if you follow my reviews, you’d realize just how rare it is that I would one star a book. As a matter of fact, I don’t remember the last time I’ve done it. But when I say that Tony is quite possibly one of the most vile “heroes” I have ever read, that’s saying something. Because this girl lives for a good alphahole and bully romance is my jam. But this? This book was rage inducing to say the least. Heck, I’ll just let my highlights speak for themselves here. Seriously, Tony.
I love a good second chance romance, so I was instantly curious about Trish and Tony’s book. Trish was such a vivacious secondary character in Lexi, Baby that I couldn’t wait to see her as a lead. Tony is introduced off the pages in book one until the end. And I knew I’d be jumping straight into book two because I was dying to know what I happened.

Spoilers to follow…

Trish has some tragic history and hides a lot of pain beneath her vivacious and outrageously outspoken behavior. She’s a fiercely protective bestie and in a moment of anger, she wanted to pay back the woman that her bestie’s boyfriend cheated on her with in high school. To do this, she staged a photo to make it look like she slept with the woman’s douchebag drunk fiancé. Tony just so happens to be the woman’s brother, so suffice it to say he took the photos quite literally and dropped Trish like a bad habit without allowing her to explain anything.

Now he’s back two years later after they haven’t spoken because Trish’s life is in danger through an unrelated event and he’s determined to protect her even though he still hates her. Oh, Tony is also a manwhore that manwhored his way through wooing Trish two years ago. Because what’s the best way to get a woman you want to realize she wants you? Throw all of your women under her nose to make her jealous. Duh.
What happens for 95% of the novel is one of the most toxic relationships I have ever read. And not like omg he’s such an asshole I want to bang him sort of toxic. But like I hope he gets run over by a bus and will never have another woman subjected to him sort of toxic. Trish turns into a doormat. She thinks she’s this fierce and sassy woman, but when push comes to shove, all Tony has to do is touch her and she forgets all about his complete douchebaggery.

Tony runs hot and cold for 99% of the book. He treats her like a whore. He wants her physically but still hasn’t forgiven her nor believe her when she tries to tell him what really happened two years ago.

I’ll never forgive you. Even if there was a chance that I could believe you, I’ll never forgive you,” he declared…
“Then the least you can do is stay away from me while I’m here. I’ll stay here…”
“Mi reina, as much as I hate you, as much as I don’t trust you, I won’t be able to stay away from you.”

But when poor Trish manages to stumble onto his angry side. OMG. This man went from alphahole to douchebag in one second flat.

Like when a “punishment” goes too far and trigger Trish, this was his reaction.

Please don’t hurt me. Don’t touch me. I’m begging you.” “What the fuck is wrong with you?” Tony shouted, and I winced. Not until he threw himself away from me did I look at him. His body vibrated with rage. “You’re a fuckin’ bitch, you know that? One minute you act like you want it, the next you won’t even let me touch you. I haven’t the slightest idea why I wasted my fuckin’ time with you!” he shouted and it was too much to bear.

This story was like a bad train wreck. I know I should have looked away and DNFd but I couldn’t. So I pushed myself through only to discover Tony finally pulling his head out of his ass in the last 2%. But by then it was definitely a case of too little too late. The man didn’t do nearly amount of groveling to redeem himself from the sheer amount of damage that he created. Suffice it to say I wished that he was killed off and Trish ended up with Adam for her HEA because the only H that Tony deserved was Herpes.

Review: Lexi, Baby by Lynda LeeAnne

LEXI, BABY
Series:
This Can’t Be Happening #1
Genre:
Contemporary Romance
Author: Lynda LeeAnne

Release Date:
November 15, 2012

Alexis Sky Martine thinks of herself as the average girl-next-door who does what she has to do to get by, have fun and enjoy life.

She is madly in love with her sexy, drop-your-panties-at-first-sight, hottie boyfriend who is equally in love with her; more like downright obsessed. He treats her like she is his heart; like he needs her to exist; like he would do anything in his power to make her happy.
Lexi knows Landyn James loves her just as much as she loves him, if not more. Deep down, she also knows high school sweethearts aren’t expected to last, but their relationship is different. They are soul mates. Their connection is unbreakable.

What could possibly go wrong when you have love like that…?
Everything.
What will the future hold…?
Only time will tell.

Author’s Note: Contains Adult Content – Namely, a teenager-turned-woman with a very dirty mouth and fiery temper that may or may not know how to throw a punch. Also includes hot and steamy scenes, and a small glimpse into physical/verbal abuse.

AMAZON

I hated him with every fiber of my being. I would always love him, but I hated him with so much passion that I knew I would never be able to forgive him.

I recently fell down the KU rabbit hole and binge read on all of the books that I’ve been wanting to read for a few years now. This was at the top of my list. Why? The cheating. What? I’m weird like that, okay. I love me some cheating angst. But the cheating has to be written well. Like really well. There has to be a reason I can connect with. There has to be a grovel. Like epic grovel. Like a grovel to beat all grovels. And this book? Well….
I love alpha males. I love imperfect, broody, alpha holes. But toxic men? Not my cuppa. And Landyn felt toxic to me. He was possessive and broody, sure. But beyond that? Meh.

All things considered, I could have still liked it. But then there was Alexis. Annoying heroines are my kryptonite and I simply couldn’t stand Alexis. Spoilers to follow
(view spoiler)
Suffice it to say, I really disliked her for that.

Then there’s her toxic boyfriend that seriously spirals out of control and all of the victim blaming that happens. Oh he had a right to manhandle me because this happened and he was mad.
There was really no dealing with things between her and Landyn. Just a whole lot of sex. And I don’t mind me some sexy times, but a little less freaky deaky and a little more conversation wouldn’t have been amiss.

Between that, the amount of over the top ridiculous drama, grammatical errors, and really juvenile characters and dialogue and I completely checked out of the story. Though it did still hook me enough to be curious to read the next book to see how Trish and Tony’s story plays out.

Maybe if I read this book when it first released, I would have felt differently? But my reading tastes have changes quite a bit over the years and I’ll admit my expectations got different for my books. Sadly this one wasn’t my cuppa.

Review: What You See by Cherise Sinclair

WHAT YOU SEE
Series:
Sons of the Survivalist #3
Genre:
Contemporary Romance
Author:
Cherise Sinclair
Release Date:
December 8, 2020

She will risk everything to rescue her friend.

Frankie’s BFF and four-year-old son are trapped inside a fanatical militia’s compound. In Alaska, no less. Wilderness rescues are so not in the New Yorker’s skill set. But she’ll figure it out. She must.

Bull’s new roadhouse server is a mass of contradictions.

The city girl’s reasons for being in Alaska don’t add up. Bull’s been burned by liars before. So, why is he falling for this crap again? Maybe it’s her big brown eyes, exuberant personality—or her generous, compassionate heart. Whatever the reason is, he cares. If she’s in trouble, he’ll do his damnedest to get her out.

The huge Alaskan is terrifyingly compelling–and heartwarmingly concerned for her.

But Frankie refuses to involve Bull in the deadly mess. Her plan to rescue her bestie will work without anyone getting hurt. As she tries her best not to fall in love, she doggedly acquires each skill she’ll need.

Getting shot, though…that hadn’t been on her to-do list.

AMAZON

I adore all things Cherise. Her books are an auto buy for me always. And while I live for her emotionally charged BDSM, her suspenseful contemporary has been hitting the spot quite nicely for me.

I can’t say that I loved this book, but I did like it quite a bit. What I love is Sinclair’s ability to create these imperfect characters that have an amazing balance of flaws and inner strength. Bull is a bit of manwhore, and he has multiple failed marriages behind him that don’t exactly make him eager to try anything serious again. He’s definitely got some trust issues, but you can’t blame the man, knowing what he’s been through.

Frankie is a fierce heroine that puts her life on hold to help out her best friend who may be in a life threatening situation. Her friend and her son are stuck in an abusive relationship and Frankie may be their only hope and she pleads for her help. Frankie blows into the small town looking for answers but gets more than she expected when she meets Bull.

These two don’t get off to a good start and there’s definitely some false impressions that take place because of both of their histories. Frankie has trust issues because of her failed marriage and cheating husband. She thinks Bull is no better than her ex, until she gets to know him and sees the gentle heart beneath the smoldering and rough exterior.

There’s an added element of suspense with the story of Frankie’s bestie and her rescue from the Patriot Zealots. There’s also some additional voices that are added in (like one of my most anticipated characters, Hawk). What I love is how effortlessly these all blend together in the story. And while I loved the romance and suspense, I was also a little bored. There was just this zing that missing for me here. And I can’t place my finger on what it was exactly, only that this story didn’t really grab me. It’s not one that I’ll be thinking of later or coming back to. It was good, but it just wasn’t my favorite. Do I recommend this series? Absolutely. Will I be reading the next one? OMG. Without a doubt. The set up is AMAZING.

#DGRFave & Review: The Darkest Temptation by Danielle Lori

THE DARKEST TEMPTATION
Series:
Made #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Danielle Lori
Release Date: December 12, 2020

A fortune teller once told Mila she’d find a man who would take her breath away. She refrained from telling her it would be literally while Mila ran for her life.

Having always done what is expected of her, Mila dresses the part, only dates college boys with exemplary backgrounds, and doesn’t ask questions. Not about her papa’s absences or his refusal to let her set foot in her birthplace—Russia.

Suffocated by the rules and unanswered questions, Mila does what she’s always wanted to. She boards a plane to Moscow.

She never expected to fall for a man on the way. One with unexplained wealth, tattoos on his hands, and secrets in his eyes. But it doesn’t take long for his caress to become a rough grasp muffling her screams.

Revenge is a dish best served cold. Unfortunately, a Russian winter is the coldest of them all, and Mila soon learns the only way to escape intact is to do the impossible and thaw her captor’s heart.

 AMAZON 

He was a monster dressed like a gentleman.

When I tell you that I am obsessed with this series, I’m saying I AM OBSESSED WITH THIS SERIES. If you have been sleeping on this author and haven’t yet been introduced to her brilliance, allow me to give you the swift kick in the @ss that you obviously need. READ. THIS. BOOK.

Now if you haven’t read the first two books in this series, you’re seriously missing out, however, you can easily read this as a standalone. Ronan is Christian Allister’s brother from The Maddest Obsession and when I tell you that NOTHING will prepare you for his story, I mean NOTHING will prepare you for his story. This book isn’t quite dark, but it’s gritty AF. It skates the edge of darkness with a splash of dub-con and this girl LIVED for it.

She gave me her forgiveness. I had nothing to give her but vengeance

Ronan is the ultimate anti-hero and Mila is his innocent and slightly naive unsuspecting victim in his plot for revenge. Oh and did I mention the age gap? Because GAH. Delish! But I digress. One of my favorite things about this book was the development of both of these characters. It was watching Mila go from a young, naive, and sheltered young woman to someone that’s fierce and has a spine of steel, even when facing off with the devil of Moscow. She’s searching for answers and freedom and lands in the lap of her family’s ultimate enemy.

Ronan’s name gets whispered in fear throughout Moscow. The devil of Moscow, as he’s so eloquently called, is a ruthless and brutal crime boss. He has a hidden agenda when the beautiful Mila lands so perfectly in his clutches, one she never sees coming. But the more time Mila spends in his captivity, the more the plot twists. Because the cold and unfeeling devil soon begins to feel.

When I tell you I lived for this book, I mean I LIVED for this book. This was my most anticipated and favorite book in the series. Hands down. The tension. The grit. The slow burn. The character development. All of it so flawlessly combined to create a completely unputdownable and unforgettable story. These characters will stay with me for a long while and will be my ultimate rec for anyone looking for a great mafia read. This book was EVERYTHING. Sexually charged, quick paced, and full of twists and turns. I devoured it from cover to cover. Danielle seriously outdid herself with Mila and Ronan’s story.

#DGRFave & Review: The Villain by LJ Shen

THE VILLAIN
Series:
Boston Belles #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: LJ Shen
Release Date: December 16, 2020

Cruel. Coldblooded. Hades in a Brioni suit.

Cillian Fitzpatrick has been dubbed every wicked thing on planet earth.

To the media, he is The Villain.

To me, he is the man who (reluctantly) saved my life.

Now I need him to do me another, small solid.

Bail me out of the mess my husband got me into.

What’s a hundred grand to one of the wealthiest men in America, anyway?

Only Cillian doesn’t hand out free favors.

The price for the money, it turns out, is my freedom.

Now I’m the eldest Fitzpatrick brother’s little toy.

To play, to mold, to break.

Too bad Cillian forgot one, tiny detail.

Persephone wasn’t only the goddess of spring; she was also the queen of death.

He thinks I’ll buckle under the weight of his mind games.

He is about to find out the most lethal poison is also the sweetest

 AMAZON 

It’s never too late to change the name of the prince in your story. Just as long as you don’t end up with the villain.”

No one, and I mean NO ONE writes a true alphahole quite like LJ Shen. And she seriously outdid herself with The Villain. Because this alphahole? GOD. I loved to hate him and hated to love him and just plain wanted to have his babies. What? I like my fictional men mean, ok? Like MEAN. Gah. Makes my ovaries go all aflutter.

Nothing will prepare you for the delicious angst ride of this romance. It was heart wrenchingly good and tear your hair our frustrating. An unputdownable and mesmerizing story from beginning to finish. It hurt so good that I never wanted it to end. It was everything I adore about Shen’s books and so much more.

Now if you know me or follow my reviews, you know that I love my heroes mean. Like so mean it makes me want to punch them while also wanting to have their babies mean. And Cillian? The man is cold, calculating, unfeeling, and blunt to the point of rudeness.

Welcome to the dark side, Persephone. Leave your heart at the door.”

Now allow me to address the elephant in the room.
*cough*
Persephone
*cough*
When I tell you that she couldn’t have been a better heroine for Cillian, I mean she couldn’t have been more perfect for him. She was perfection. Seeing her growth throughout the book from infatuated belle to a woman that really stands up for herself and what she deserves was deliciously satisfying. And seeing Kill unwittingly fall for her, even more so.

The tension was absolute perfection. What I simply adore in Shen’s books is her ability to really stay true to her characters while giving them so much heart. This was the epitome of Kill for me. The man is calculated and unfeeling, yet you see him slowly thaw for the woman he never saw coming. His fall is realistic and it makes it that much more satisfying. I thought I loved Hunter, but that was nothing in comparison to my feelings for Cillian and Persy. This book was everything I hoped for and nothing I expected. A flawed hero, a blooming wallflower that comes into her own heroine, and a love that is absolutely EPIC. I loved this HARD.

Copyright © 2015 · Dirty Girl Romance

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