Review: Riven Knight by Devney Perry

RIVEN KNIGHT
Series: Tin Gypsy #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Devney Perry
Release Date: January 21, 2020

Genevieve Daylee didn’t expect to be standing in front of a judge on her twenty-seventh birthday. But ever since her life became entangled with a former motorcycle gang, she’s learned not to expect anything but trouble.

Her mother, a woman she once admired and adored, is gone, leaving behind a trail of secrets and lies. She’s living in a tiny apartment above a garage owned by her brother, a man who loathes her very existence. And the father she met beside her mother’s grave is as much of a stranger as Isaiah Reynolds, the broken man with soulless eyes standing beside her in front of the judge.

Isaiah is her protector from the murderer at large in Clifton Forge. Though he’s more like a riven knight in dented armor than a prince on a white stallion. She knows next to nothing about him, other than he works as a mechanic. As of tonight, he’ll be sharing her bathroom.

And, according to the judge, Isaiah is now her husband.

AMAZON

Isaiah looked in the mirror and saw everlasting broken pieces, but maybe my broken pieces would fit with his. Together, maybe we’d make a whole.

Oh.
Oh wow.
My whole heart right now.
This story owned me from beginning to finish.

I remember a day when I used to devour MC romance. Now? Not so much. It all just kind of started blending into one another. Or it was filled with gratuitous violence and crazy plot twists for shock value. This book? This book reminded me all over again why I loved MC in the first place. But it’s so much more then that too. It’s a heart wrenching, heart pounding, and beautiful romance full of suspense and incredible depth.

She needed to leave this town and fade into a memory. Before I forgot that I didn’t deserve her.

You need to read this series in order. Even though Riven Knight is the story of a different couple, there’s an overarching story arc that continues from book one. This is the story of the mysterious Isaiah and Genevieve, and It. Was. Everything.

Isaiah has been the quiet and unassuming recent addition in the Tin Gypsies garage. The man is an ex-con, and you just know those soulful eyes of his hide some dark demons and pain. Genevieve is Dash’s half-sister that he didn’t know existed from an affair he’s still struggling to forgive his father for. But while Dash is dealing with her, she’s struggling just as much with her new reality. Her mother has been murdered, her killer is still on the lose, and the father she never knew about is suddenly wanting to get to know her. Add into this her sudden marriage to Isaiah for a secret that both of them are keeping close to the vest, and there’s a lot of things happening in this story.

The story is multi-layered and the characters even more so. Both Isaiah and Genevieve had so much depth, every new page revealed a new layer. I loved watching them unknowingly fall for each other during their fake marriage. I loved their road to happiness.

There’s a lot of events happening around The Warriors and Tin Gypsy, and plenty of twists and turns along the way. I don’t remember the last time a book was able to evoke so much emotion and reaction out of me. It gutted me, it broke me, and then it put me right back together again. I cannot wait for the next book. I’m so addicted to this series!

Review: Descent by Natasha Knight

DESCENT
Genre: Dark Romance
Author: Natasha Knight
Release Date: January 20, 2020

Persephone Abbot is in my debt.
Exactly the way I want it.

The sins of the father should not be inherited by the daughter. It’s unfair, I know, but since when has life been fair?

The events that brought us here began on Halloween night more than five years ago in that chapel ruin. I saved her that night. Carried her home through the storm that was the omen warning of what would come.

I didn’t know it then, but I do now.

Her father destroyed something precious. Someone innocent.
I don’t believe in an eye for an eye. I won’t just balance the scales of justice, I’ll tip them so far in my favor his legacy will topple.

I’ll take that which is most precious. His daughter. I’ll own her. Make her mine.

But I’m not the only monster lurking in the dark corners of her world. She’ll sleep in the bed of the beast but I’ll keep her safe. Protect her fiercely.

And maybe I’ll keep her.

Set in the Benedetti Mafia World, Descent is a brand new Standalone Enemies-to-Lovers Romance.

AMAZON

Persephone Abbot belongs to me. She always has. And now, she belongs in my bed, too. And I’ll make sure she stays there no matter what I have to do.

Natasha Knight books are like crack for me. I devour them in one sitting and can never get enough. Her stories are sexy and addictive, and Descent was no exception. It was deliciously sinful, gritty, and with a dark undercurrent that I was immediately hooked on.

Hades.
He was my savior once.
Twice.
Now he’s become my tormentor.
And I don’t ever want him to let me go.

Persephone is reeling in the aftermath of her beloved father tragic accident and trying to hold together the pieces of his crumbling empire. Hayden “Hades” is a boy that she was enraptured by in her past, but is now the man that threatens everything she holds dear. He now holds the key to her father’s company, house, and he’s not above making her beg for it. A deal is struck, Persephone, in exchange for her continuing to live in her family house that Hades now owns, and keep the name of her father’s company that now lies in Hades’s ownership as well.

Hades has a clear axe to grind with the Abbots, and Persephone is a convenient collateral. He’s wanted her for years, and now he intends to have her. Even if he has to buy her to do it. He knows something that Percy doesn’t about her father. But Percy also has secrets of her own. Dark secrets that could unravel everything.

Descent was a page turner full of secrets, plot twists, and sizzling romance. It was sinfully sexy and deliciously dark. There’s plenty of secrets that get unraveled here, but it also left me with quite a few questions. I’m not sure if the plot just wasn’t finished and may be continued in the next book, or if it was meant to be that way. It felt a little…rushed towards the end and there were some gaps that I had hoped would be addressed. But that aside, I enjoyed this story thoroughly. And can’t wait for more in this world!

Review: Twisted Hearts by Cora Reilly

TWISTED HEARTS
Series: The Camorra Chronicles #5
Genre: Dark Romance, Mafia
Author: Cora Reilly
Release Date: January 7, 2020

Savio Falcone has a few non-negotiable rules when it comes to girls.
They need to be hot as f*ck.
Spread their legs without much prompting.
And leave as soon as the fun is over. Preferably minus any bitching or tears.
With his easy-going bad boy attitude, a last name that rules over Las Vegas and a body to die for, girls have always been at Savio’s disposal.
Unfortunately, the hottest girl in Vegas comes with a price Savio isn’t willing to pay. For Savio to get Gemma he’d need to seal the deal and put a ring on her finger. Settling down is out of the question, no matter how hot a piece of ass waits at the altar.
Gemma Bazzoli has had a crush on Savio from the first moment she came face to face with his arrogant smile, but for him she was always his best friend’s annoying little sister—until her hard-earned curves catch even his attention.
But Savio likes it easy, and Gemma is anything but. When she’s promised to another man, Gemma resigns herself to the fact that the man she’s wanted all her life, doesn’t want her badly enough.
Savio has to decide how much work he’s willing to invest, because bending the rules in his usual style might not be enough to get the girl that haunts his wet dreams.
– Can be read as a standalone-

AMAZON

Gemma was the hottest girl in the city and didn’t even realize it. She was the girl I wanted most and couldn’t have.

Ever finish a book and you struggled to feel any which way about it? This was that book for me. I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it. It was something of that middle of the road story that I don’t enjoyed reading, but also would never be something I’d come back to either. Does that even make sense? I hope it does, because there’s no better way for me to describe how I felt about Twisted Hearts.

I love mafia romance. I love unconventional love stories with imperfect characters that make their fair share of mistakes. And it just doesn’t get more imperfect than womanizing Savio. Savio and Gemma have known each other since they were kids. Savio was Gemma’s older brother’s friend and a boy that she crushed had on. Her crush was so obvious and at times desperate when she was a teen, that it was almost uncomfortable to read at times, admittedly. Luckily, she doesn’t carry that into adulthood either. Gemma lives in a highly traditional world of old-world mafia family where the women are kept innocent and naive and marriages are a contract and not of love. That doesn’t stop her from hoping beyond hope that Savio will ask for her, since his family is one of the most powerful business alliances her father can make. But Savio is much too concerned with sowing his wild oats with every single available woman out there to even think of marriage. That is, until Gemma is promised to another.

Now I loved the fact that the author stayed true to her character with Savio and didn’t have him turning a complete 180 the second he decides he wants Gemma. He’s not a perfect character and I loved that about him. What didn’t gel for me was the lack of everything else outside of the back and forth he and Gemma go through. The world, the suspense, the story all kind of fell sideways and got lost in the frustrating back and forth of I want you but I can’t have you and I’ll have you but won’t give you all of me. It started off so strong and then all just sort of fizzled for me. I was skimming parts and growing more bored with each page. And while Gemma did grow a backbone in her adulthood, I did also found myself wishing that she made Savio work for it in a different way than she did. Although, I do respect the hell out of her for the way she did handle their relationship.

Ultimately, the romance just didn’t grab me. I didn’t fully buy into it and I just didn’t love Gemma and Savio. They were entertaining, sure, but just not memorable characters for me. Did I enjoy the book? Sure. Most definitely. Was I glued to the pages reading it? Not really. A fun read, but ultimately not an entirely memorable one. But hey, different strokes for different folks right? Give it a read and judge for yourself.

Review: The Fight For Forever by Meghan March

THE FALL OF LEGEND
Series:
Legend Trilogy #1
Genre:
Contemporary Romance
Author:
Meghan March
Release Date:
January 14, 2020

New York Times bestselling author Meghan March concludes the Legend Trilogy.

You can only keep what you can protect.

That’s all I’ve ever known.

It’s the way I’ve lived my life.

Now, everything I never knew I needed is at risk, and I’m not letting anyone take it from me.

I won’t let anyone take her from me.

They say love is a battlefield, so I’m ready for war.

This time, it’s the fight for forever.

 

The Fight for Forever is the third book in the Legend Trilogy and should be read after The Fall of Legend and House of Scarlett

AMAZON | iBOOKS | B&N | KOBO | GOOGLE PLAY


You aren’t broken. You never were. You don’t need me, Scarlett. But it’s the greatest privilege of my life to be with you.”

How does she continue to do this? How does she create an immensely satisfying conclusion for a story while leaving me a salivating mess for more with intriguing secondary characters? I don’t know and I don’t care. All I know is that I need it all! ALL OF IT!

I live for Meghan March alphas, but Legend’s book was different for me. Having read her entire backlist, I can attest that no one can create a sinfully sexy alpha male quite like March. And Gabriel Legend was definitely an alpha male. And while he’s got that edge that all of her male characters always have, he also had a softer side to him which I adore. You know that saying about the bigger they are, the harder they fall? Well, that saying couldn’t fit Legend any better. Because when this man loves, he loves HARD. And the way that he loves Scarlett made my heart happy. I love how supportive, sweet, and protective he is with her without also losing that delicious edge that he always has.

The conclusion of the trilogy brings with it plenty of intrigue and many answers. I was at the edge of my seat turning each page because I was desperate for answers. The mysterious Moses gets his page time here, and I’m so conflicted with his character it’s not even funny. Only Meghan can give us a villain while also leaving her readers desperate to know more about him.

There were plenty of secondary characters introduced in this trilogy that I’m desperately hoping will be getting their own books. *Cough* Q *cough*

But beyond that, it was a thrilling and riveting conclusion to a deliciously addictive trilogy. While answering plenty of questions, it also left one big one wide open. Which leaves me thinking that March will definitely be doing a spin off where we may get those answers. Or at least I’m being hopefully optimistic because I NEED THAT BOOK. But I digress. This was the perfect conclusion to Scarlett and Legend’s story, and I couldn’t have hoped for a more satisfying ending for them.

Making the jump from corporate lawyer to romance author was a leap of faith that New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author Meghan March will never regret. With over thirty titles published, she has sold millions of books in nearly a dozen languages to fellow romance-lovers around the world. A nomad at heart, she can currently be found in the woods of the Pacific Northwest, living her happily ever after with her real-life alpha hero.

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Review: The Maddest Obsession by Danielle Lori

THE MADDEST OBSESSION
Series: Made #2
Genre: Contemporary, Mafia Romance
Author: Danielle Lori
Release Date: April 15, 2019

She fears the dark.
He rules it.

Her dresses are too tight, her heels too tall. She laughs too loudly, eats without decorum, and mixes up most sayings in the book. Little do most know it’s just a sparkly disguise, there to hide one panic attack at a time.

Nobody can crack Gianna’s facade . . . no one anyway, until hecomes along.

Most see a paragon of morality; a special agent upholding the law. In the New York underworld, others know him as a hustler, a killer, his nature as cold as the heart of ice in his chest. Christian Allister has always followed the life plan he’d envisioned in his youth, beneath the harsh lights of a frigid, damp cell. With a proclivity for order and the number three, he’s never been tempted to veer off course. But perhaps one should never say never . . .

One winter night and their lives intertwine. She hates him—his stone-cold demeanor, his arrogance and too-perceptive eye—but over the years, even as their games consist of insulting each other’s looks and intelligence, she begins to live to play with him.

Nowhere in Christian’s plans had he ever prepared for Gianna. She’s chaos embodied, not his type, and married, but none of that can stop his eyes from following her wherever she goes.

All along, she doesn’t even know that she’s his—his frustration, his fascination.

His maddest obsession.

AMAZON

If you ran, Gianna . . .” The words were malicious yet somehow as soft and desperate as sex in a war-torn field. He pressed his lips to my ear. “I would find you.”

Where has this book been all my life?!!!! I’m talking about all of my favorite book crack in one story here, people! And it’s amazingly written. And it’s set in a world that I can’t get enough of. And it had Russian that was 100% correct. So for me, this was the holy grail of reads. Because let’s be honest here, I’m a ridiculously picky shit when it comes to Russian in books. But I digress.

Now I thought that I loved The Sweetest Oblivion, but nothing could prepare me for how obsessed I was going to be with this book. Ha! See what I did there? Ok, that was weak, but whatever. You see where I’m going here. The Maddest Obsession was addictive, enrapturing, and all consuming. One of those stories that you read that stay with you.

His eyes were what nightmares were made of, ice and fire, and filled with secrets no one wanted to know. He could only pass as normal because of his too-handsome face—otherwise, he’d be locked up somewhere, the world seeing him for what he really was.

A story with characters that are so vivid and unique, that they’re impossible to forget. And Gianna and Christian were definitely impossible to forget.

We all searched for strength in life. Unfortunately, mine just happened to lie at the end of a line of powder.

First of all, I highly recommend that you read The Sweetest Oblivion first. There are parts of the story here that run parallel to the events in the first one that are spoilers. You would certainly have a better appreciation for all the characters, if you read the series in order.

I was making a deal with the devil. And I couldn’t even find the grace to save myself.

If you read book one, then you definitely remember Gianna. Gianna grew up in the mafia life, and as such, she’s certainly been quickly broken of her innocence and nativity. She used to be Nico’s stepmother, while young enough to be his sister. Her husband’s infidelity and inability to care for anyone other than himself has ultimately broken her. She’s disillusioned by life and her role in it, and finds her oblivion in the additional hit of coke. But in her world, you don’t marry for love, and she’ll never put her heart on the line again.

He was cool, icy control. But something burned hot beneath the surface. Something shrouded by ice for so long. I wanted to watch it melt. To unravel him until I understood every layer. I knew it was dangerous. I even knew I wouldn’t win. But sometimes, even the best gambler doesn’t know when to quit.

If you thought Nico was intense, nothing can prepare you for the full effect of Christian. The man is a dark enigma. He’s cruelty and obsession all wrapped in one of the most deceptively handsome packages. A crooked fed that’s a law onto himself. He takes orders from no one, not the FBI, not the mob, and definitely not women. He has a rule of three when it comes to his lovers, and no one has ever tempted him to break his icy control.

It’s immediate sparks when Gianna first notices Christian. Their story spans many years, from her first husband to ultimately her second. Their relationship is complex game of cat and mouse, chock full of sexual tension, and witty barbs. They hate each other, seemingly. But beneath the glares and insults, there brews something intense and fiery.

I loved this story beyond words. Gianna was such a broken and imperfect heroine, and I couldn’t get enough of her. She may appear broken, but she has the heart of a lioness. She’s smart, strong, and gives as good as she takes. The woman has been through hell and back in her young life, but she doesn’t let it break her. She’s just shattered in parts.

Christian was just….GAH. My god. The man was everything. Intensity oozes from his every pore, almost as much as his sexuality does. And the two of them together? Sweet mother of all that’s holy. They’re incendiary.

The story was twisty, dark, and full of grit. It was a page turner, edge of your seat sort of read that I couldn’t bear to put down for even a second. This is a book that I would recommend for all mafia romance lovers out there. If you haven’t been introduced to Danielle Lori’s brand of awesome, you’re definitely missing out.

#DGRFave & Review: Love Her or Lose Her by Tessa Bailey

LOVE HER OR LOSE HER 
Series: Hot & Hammered 2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Tessa Bailey
Release Date: January 14, 2020

New York Times bestselling author Tessa Bailey returns with a unique, sexy romantic comedy about a young married couple whose rocky relationship needs a serious renovation.

Rosie and Dominic Vega are the perfect couple: high school sweethearts, best friends, madly in love. Well, they used to be anyway. Now Rosie’s lucky to get a caveman grunt from the ex-soldier every time she walks in the door. Dom is faithful and a great provider, but the man she fell in love with ten years ago is nowhere to be found. When her girlfriends encourage Rosie to demand more out of life and pursue her dream of opening a restaurant, she decides to demand more out of love, too. Three words: marriage boot camp.

Never in a million years did Rosie believe her stoic, too-manly-to-emote husband would actually agree to relationship rehab with a weed-smoking hippy. Dom talking about feelings? Sitting on pillows? Communing with nature? Learning love languages? Nope. But to her surprise, he’s all in, and it forces her to admit her own role in their cracked foundation. As they complete one ridiculous—yet surprisingly helpful—assignment after another, their remodeled relationship gets stronger than ever. Except just as they’re getting back on track, Rosie discovers Dom has a secret… and it could demolish everything.

AMAZON

I’ll do anything you ask me to do,” he said in a gravelly voice. “Except walk away.”

*Flails happily*
Y’all. This book. I can’t even right now.
I think this may be my favorite Tessa Bailey book to date. And that’s something something considering I’ve devoured the woman’s entire backlist.

The second Rosie and Dom appeared on the pages of Fix Her Up as secondary characters, I could practically taste the tension between them. I was dying to get my hands on their book, so the very second this landed in my grabby little hands, I devoured it in one delicious sitting. I couldn’t bear to put it down for even a second.

This was…I don’t even have words. Perfection! Swoony, sexy, and brimming with feels. It was everything I wanted in their story and yet so much more.

Rosie and Dominic are high school sweethearts. They fell in love fast and hard when they were teenagers. But as adults, that love is no longer enough to hold the pieces of their marriage together. Lack of communication, too many things left unsaid, too many assumption have all come together to leave Rosie feeling empty. She misses the man her husband used to be. Their marriage is crumbling around them and she has no idea how to hold it together.

All Dom ever wanted was Rosie. This is an inevitable fact and something that’s a constant in his life that will never change. So when his beloved wife tells him he’s leaving, he knows that he’ll do absolutely anything to save their marriage, and he’s not above fighting dirty. Withhold their physical connection until she agrees to come back to him? Check! Agree to see a quirky and borderline crazy marriage counselor? Check! Take every opportunity to remind her just why the fell in love? Check and CHECK.

GOD. You guys. I don’t even know how to begin to describe this to you. Dom was easily one of my favorite Bailey heroes. He’s a little troubled and a lot obsessed with his wife. He’s a dirty talking god, even if he doesn’t have much to say in his day to day. He’s quite, broody and intense. But the man is captivating and practically sizzling with sexual chemistry.

Rosie was perfection, too. This is not a woman that blames their crumbling marriage on her husband only. She takes full accountability for her faults as they fight to work through their issues. Add into this a kooky counselor, favorites from the previous book, and a brand new hero introduced to drive Bethany insane and I was HOOKED. Line and sinker. I was glued to the pages. Riveted. Captivated. And utterly charmed. I loved this story from beginning to finish. With the glimpses of the hate lust between Wes and Bethany, I’m already gagging for the next book. But if you’re looking for a swoony, sexy, and totally charming second chance romance, look no further. SO GOOD.

Review: Wait for Me by Tia Louise

WAIT FOR ME
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Tia Louise
Release Date: December 17, 2019

Dear Taron,
I should have told you this a long time ago…

Dear Taron,
Is there a time-limit on forgiveness?
If there is, I haven’t reached it…

Dear Taron,
I still love you…

A letter never sent.
Heck, I never even finished it.

Taron Rhodes was my brother’s best friend.
He was sexy as sin.
But he was more than that…
He was ponytail-pulling, ice down your shirt teasing, throw you in the lake screaming…
Strong, tanned arms and blue-green eyes over a heart-stopping, naughty grin…
Did I mention his tight end?
I gave him my first real kiss, my heart, my everything.
I said I’d wait for him…

I’m still waiting, because Taron Rhodes is still the man of my dreams,
And I have a secret that has his blue-green eyes.

Noel LaGrange stole my heart when she was only eighteen —pushing me off a flatbed and calling me a city slicker.
Her brother Sawyer would kick my ass if he knew how many times we made out that summer, how close we got.

Everything changed when Sawyer and I joined the military.
We were honorably discharged, but I didn’t go to her.
Instead, I went back to the city… where no amount of money, no amount of pills can heal this wound.
Only her whiskey eyes and dark hair, her slim arms and her sweet scent, give me hope.
I broke her heart just as surely as I broke mine, but I’m going back to make it right.
If she’s still waiting…

(WAIT FOR ME is a STAND-ALONE small-town, second-chance romance with a guaranteed HEA. No cheating. No cliffhangers.)

AMAZON

Heaven is finding the thing you can’t live without and being able to hold it. Hell is knowing you’ll have to let it go.

I love an emotional second chance romance, and when I read the blurb to this book, I was immediately hooked. Tia knows how to pack one heck of an emotional punch in her writing, so I knew I was in for plenty of feels.

Wait For Me is told in two halves; the first half telling the sweet and steamy story of Taron and Noel meeting and falling in love. Taron is best friends with Noel’s older brother and finds himself in their small town in the short interim before he takes off for the Marines. Noel is eighteen years old but really has an old soul to her. It doesn’t take long for these two to fall head over heels with Noel promising to wait for Taron. But unfortunately fate has other plans for them, and as beautifully as things first came together for them, they fall apart in a devastating and fiery crash.

As much as I loved the premise of the story and both Taron and Noel, I found myself wishing parts of both the first and second half were further fleshed out. I couldn’t help but feel like I was getting a very surface level of what this story could have been. I loved the first half of this book, but also wished for Taron’s characterization to take me a little deeper. Yes, they’re both young, and I can totally buy into their quick connection because of it. But I also wanted more. I can’t quite put my finger on what exactly, but something felt missing.

The second half is ultimately where it really fell short for me, though. The story moved quickly and I wanted parts to be more fleshed out; Taron’s issues being the epicenter of this. I felt like this was really just grazed over and couldn’t help but wish we got a deeper dive into what he went through. The second half of the story ultimately felt rushed and too quick paced. I wished it were flipped and we got to spend more time with them in the present rather than their past. This was such an emotional and touching part of their story, that I really wanted more from it. Ultimately, I still really enjoyed this story that still delivered on the emotional punch I was hoping for. There was plenty of steam and feels to make it for a page turning read.

Review: The Sweetest Oblivion by Danielle Lori

THE SWEETEST OBLIVION 
Series: Made #1
Genre: Contemporary, Mafia Romance
Author: Danielle Lori
Release Date: June 20, 2018

She’s a romantic at heart, living in the most unromantic of worlds . . .

Nicknamed Sweet Abelli for her docile nature, Elena smiles on cue and has a charming response for everything. She’s the favored daughter, the perfect mafia principessa . . . or was.

Now, all she can see in the mirror’s reflection is blood staining her hands like crimson paint.

They say first impressions are everything . . .

In the murky waters of New York’s underworld, Elena’s sister is arranged to marry Nicolas Russo. A Made Man, a boss, a cheat—even measured against mafia standards. His reputation stretches far and wide and is darker than his black suits and ties. After his and Elena’s first encounter ends with an accidental glare on her part, she realizes he’s just as rude as he is handsome.

She doesn’t like the man or anything he stands for, though that doesn’t stop her heart from pattering like rain against glass when he’s near, nor the shiver that ghosts down her spine at the sound of his voice.

And he’s always near. Telling her what to do. Making her feel hotter than any future brother-in-law should. Elena may be the Sweet Abelli on the outside, but she’s beginning to learn she has a taste for the darkness, for rough hands, cigarettes, and whiskey-colored eyes. Having already escaped one scandal, however, she can hardly afford to be swept up in another.

Besides, even if he were hers, everyone knows you don’t fall in love with a Made Man . . . right?

This is a standalone forbidden romance.

AMAZON

I wanted to fuck her and ruin her for anyone else. I wanted to crush her wings and then put them back together again so she’d become dependent on me. I wanted her to need me. That dark, possessive, and dangerous feeling crawled through me every time she crossed my path. Elena Abelli was my vice, and fuck if I’d let it kill me.

How is this the only time that this book is hitting my radar? I’m very hesitant with new to me authors, because let’s face it, I’m a picky asshole. So I’m always scared to step out of the comfort zone of my tried and true authors. But boy am I kicking my own ass for waiting this long to read this. This book was recommended to me several times by someone in my Facebook group, so I finally took the plunge and one-clicked. And the rest, as they say, is history. I was immediately enraptured in this world and completely hypnotized by the words.

His presence soaked through my skin with each inhale. His touch and taste and smell sank so deep they filled the cracks of my heart. He was becoming a drug, an addiction I would have to feed every day.

I’ve read my fair share of mafia romance, so believe me when I say it takes a lot to hook me. I need those feels. The intensity. An alpha that will give me goosebumps. And this story had all of it. In spades!

Elena grew up in the mafia. She’s no stranger to the dark underbelly of made men and everything this life means for the women in their life. She’s the oldest daughter in a highly traditional family, but a mistake caused her to fall from grace. Now her younger sister is being promised to one of the most notorious and brutal dons while secretly in love with someone else. Elena is supposed to hate everything Nico means to her and her family now. But beneath the illusion she puts on, Nico makes her burn like no one else. His indifference and cold looks hide a sultry and dominating nature, but it’s a dangerous game they play with their intricate dance they play around each other.

Nico is just….GAH. Intense is an understatement. He may look indifferent to Elena, but he’s anything but. She tempts him and he hates her for it because he can’t have her. That doesn’t mean that he’d allow anyone else to have her, either. The man is possessive with a capital P. I loved his intensity almost as much as I loved the way he oozes sexuality from his every pore.

I wasn’t expecting to like Elena as much as I did. Docile heroines aren’t particularly my jam, but looks are deceiving with Sweet Abelli, because she’s certainly not as sweet or docile as she lets on. She’s not quite a tigress, but she’s not passive either. She gives as good as she takes when it comes to matching Nico barb for barb.

I suddenly knew I would lie, cheat, and steal for this man. I would burn the world for him. He was King of the Cosa Nostra. And he was all mine.

The sexual tension is off the charts here. A slow burn to beat all slow burns. GOD. It hurt so good. What I loved the most is that the author didn’t shy away from giving a dark and captivating view into her mafia world. The romance only added an intricate layer of appeal to an already captivating story.

The only quibble I had was a little too much repetitive internal dialogue from the heroine for my particular taste. But that aside, I was complete enraptured in this book. I am hooked, line and sinker on this series, and will be diving right into book two!

Review: Release by Aly Martinez

RELEASE
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Aly Martinez
Release Date: January 5, 2020

From USA Today Bestselling Author Aly Martinez comes an all new standalone.

Growing up, Ramsey Stewart branded my soul in ways time could never heal.

At twelve, he asked me to be his girlfriend.
At thirteen, he gave me my first kiss.
By sixteen, we’d fallen in love, planned a future together, and had our eyes set on the horizon.

Love never fails, right?
But for Ramsey, it did.
Love failed him.
I failed him.
The entire world failed him.

At seventeen, Ramsey was convicted of killing the boy who assaulted me.

Move on, he wrote in his first and only letter from prison.
Start a new life, he urged.
I don’t love you anymore, he lied.

There was no such thing as giving up on Ramsey. Love may have been our curse, but he was mine—then, now, and forever.

So here I am, twelve long years later, waiting for a man I don’t even know to emerge from between the chain link gates.

AMAZON

“I can’t do this without you.”
“Do what?” I asked.
He lifted one shoulder in a half shrug. “Breathe.”

Aly Martinez is the queen of feels and plot twists. The woman will tug at every heart string you have and then turn your world upside down with a twist you never see coming. And Release brings both of those things in spades. MAN. My heart. My whole heart.

Thea and Ramsey owned my heart from the very first chapter. Martinez takes you on a spellbinding journey as they meet as children. What starts off as grudging friendship between two broken kids, slowly blooms into something much more potent. Ramsey and Thea meet at a time where they need each other the most, though Ramsey’s pain isn’t as obvious as Thea’s. Young Ramsey is undeterred by Thea’s hissing and swatting him away as kids. He slowly but surely weaves his way into her heart with his easy smile and sweet demeanor. But that easy smile hides painful secrets, secrets that young Thea doesn’t spot right away. Their friendship slowly blossoms into teenage love, but then one dark evening shatters their life as they know it.

Ramsey has spent the last twelve years behind bars for killing the boy that tainted what should have been the best night of their life. Thea has spent the last twelve years for Ramsey to finally come back to her. But the man that walks out of the prison isn’t the boy she fell in love with. He’s broken in ways that Thea isn’t sure she can put back together again.

I loved the two halves of a story this gives us. There was a sort of poetic justice in seeing Ramsey fight for Thea and do everything she doesn’t realize she needs in the first half as they were kids, to then watch Thea return the favor for Ramsey all those years later. She doesn’t shy away from his growling and convincing he doesn’t need her. She knows the heart beneath the new roughened exterior and she won’t rest until she proves that their love isn’t so easily forgotten.

My heart broke for Ramsey and everything that he went through. This was no light read. It was full of depth and emotion in a way that only Aly Martinez can write. It was slow paced but poignant. A sizzling slow burn that kept me riveted to the pages until the very end.

Review: Dangerous Games by J.T. Geissinger

DANGEROUS GAMES
Series:
Dangerous Beauty #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: JT 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.

Copyright © 2015 · Dirty Girl Romance

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