Review: Ache by SM Soto

ACHE
Genre: New Adult, Abuse,
Author: SM Soto
Release Date: April 9, 2019

A second chance romance

What happens when you fall for the boy next door?

Bea Norwood had the market on normal.
Drama free life? Check.
A single-mother who doubled as her confidant and partner in crime? Check.
A neighbor and best friend she trusted more than anyone? Check.
But that was until the day her mother remarried. The day that changed everything.

When her best friend’s cousin, Liam Falcon, is sent to live with his aunt and uncle to clean up his act, Bea finds herself falling for the boy next door. With their hearts so infinitely entwined, Bea turns to Liam as her only escape from her new step-brother’s daily torment at home. Bea thought their love could conquer anything. But she was wrong. Love was for fools, and she was the biggest fool of them all. When Liam left Lakeport, he took her heart with him, shattering the organ to pieces.

Six years later, Liam takes a trip back to Lakeport to visit his family, and to see HER.
His first love.
The girl who holds his heart.
The same girl who shattered it six years ago without looking back.

Liam is hell-bent on seeing Bea again after six years, but what he finds tears his heart in half. Bea Norwood is a shell of the girl he fell in love with. Underneath the baggy clothes, and pale skin, he knows she’s still in there somewhere, he just needs to find her.
Liam will stop at nothing to win his girl back, but sometimes, ignorance is bliss, and Liam isn’t prepared for Bea’s truth.

Warning: Contains themes of abuse. May cause triggers.

AMAZON 

How do you save someone if you don’t know they need saving?

This book has been on my radar for so long that the second it released, I jumped on the chance to read it. Second chance romance is my catnip. The blurb made me damn near salivate because it sounded emotional and angsty.

Truth be told, I struggled with my rating. Because while there were a lot of things that didn’t work for me, it’s clear as day that this author has some real writing chops. I’m definitely a new fan and would eagerly read any of her other books. Unfortunately, not every book is for every reader, and this was that case for me.

First of all, I didn’t find this to be a romance at all. At best, this read like women’s lit with a bit of romance thrown in. But the romance is not center stage. It plays second fiddle to the abuse for practically the entire book. Now normally, I wouldn’t have a problem with that. But since I felt absolutely zero chemistry between the hero and the heroine, the romance did absolutely nothing for me. The way they got together in the beginning felt rushed and entirely unbelievable to me. And then the way they get together in the end felt rushed again.

The story is told in two parts, and I’m not really sure why it’s broken down that way. Aside from one part being set in the past and the second in the present, there’s still flashbacks that continue well into the second half. I suppose because they separate in the first half and reunite in the second? I don’t know. It felt a little…blah. But I digress. I struggled with Liam. As much as I wanted to love him, I just didn’t have enough of him to love. There was zero, and I mean zero character development to him. He just was. He felt extremely two dimensional, and considering that part of the book is in his POV, that was extremely disappointing.

Look guys, I will tell you to heed that trigger warning. It’s no joke. Practically the entirety of this book felt like it was about the abuse. I’m talking graphic, detailed, constantly happening abuse. It got to the point where I just couldn’t take it anymore. And not because I couldn’t handle the heavy subject matter, but because it was just so much that it stopped adding anything to the story. A story can be just as powerful without the repetitive reminders. It felt like that’s all there was to the story, to be quite honest. There’s a little of that second chance romance that’s slapped in there, but it just felt….off.

As for Bea. Man. I really REALLY wanted to love her. But sadly I just couldn’t. This girl was a victim. But as a survivor myself, I wanted to read about her finally finding her courage and being just that. A survivor. But she never came off as that. It takes someone else to constantly ride in to save her. It’s never her. And yes, she has one moment where she takes the leap with something. But it wasn’t enough. She was a victim until the very end to me. I hate stories like this where the man rides in to save the poor helpless little female. And that’s how this felt to me. It was so disappointing.

There’s a little romance that happens at the very end but it felt a little too late and definitely not enough. I think had I connected to the rest of the story, I may have felt different. But sadly, it is what it is. Ultimately there were too many character, plot and overall pacing gaps that just took me way out of the story. The author is an incredible story teller, and I enjoyed her writing style. It takes a lot to pull off a story like this, and I give her so much props for doing it. I’m sad that it didn’t work for me, but I’m sure I’ll be in the minority. So I suggest reading it and seeing for yourself. If you’re in the mood for an emotionally powerful book, this one will certainly fit the bill.

Review: Bad Saint by Monica James

BAD SAINT
Series: All The Pretty Things Trilogy #1
Genre: Dark Romance
Author: Monica James
Release Date: May 6, 2019

I was kidnapped on my honeymoon by three masked men.

Blindfolded.
Bound.
Destination unknown.

I was told to stay silent and abide by their rules. But they didn’t realize I wasn’t a victim…not anymore.

The open sea was my backdrop for nine torturous days. During that time, glimmers of my fate were revealed by a man with the mysterious chartreuse-colored eyes. He should have scared me, but he didn’t.

He intrigued me. And I intrigued him.

He punished me when I didn’t listen, which was every single day. But beneath his cruelty, I sensed he was guarding a grave secret.

I was sold.
And in a game of poker, no less.

My buyer? A Russian mobster who likes to collect pretty things. Now that I know the truth, I only have one choice.

Sink or swim.

And when one fateful night presents me the opportunity, I take it. I just never anticipated my actions would leave me shipwrecked with my kidnapper.

He needs me alive. I want him dead.

But as days turn into weeks, one thing becomes clear—I should hate him…but I don’t.

My name is Willow.
His name is Saint.

Ironic, isn’t it? He bears a name that denotes nothing but holiness yet delivers nothing but hell. However, if this is hell on earth…God, save my soul.

AMAZON 

He’s leading a lamb to the slaughter, but the one thing he doesn’t realize…is that I’m not a lamb. And I never will be.

Alright. Accountability time. Why have those of you that knew that I’ve never read a Monica James book not slapped me upside the head with one of her books yet? hmm? You should be ashamed of yourselves! Ashamed, I tells ya! Because this girl? Is currently kicking her own ass for only now discovering this author.

Let’s be real here. The mere second that I laid my eyes on that blurb and this cover, I knew this would be my first Monica James book. I’m a sucker for a dark romance. But add in a good captive scenario and stick a fork in me. I’m done!

Having never read this author, I had no idea what to expect from this book. I know that I tend to be ridiculously picky when it comes to dark romance and I was a little nervous with reading it from a new to me author. But my worries soon floated away on the waves of emotion that this story brought! Holy…WOW.

While you spend the majority of the book in Willow’s head, you also get an incredibly unique glimpse of Saint. And let me just tell you, friends, you will be frothing at the mouth for this man. He’s an incredible enigma of violence and hidden pain. Everything about him is shrouded in mystery and you’re utterly desperate to peel back all of his many layers and get an answer for the million questions that will be running through your head as you turn the pages.

I need the darkness to survive. It’s the only way I can live with what I’ve done.”

If you’re like me, and like your heroines to be fierce fighters that don’t give up in even the most dire of circumstances, you’re going to love Willow. Here’s a woman that gets kidnapped on her wedding night, thrown on a boat, threatened within an inch of her life, and told she’s going to be the property of some cruel Russian mobster, yet she never stops fighting. The more you learn about the puzzle pieces that led to her current picture, the more desperate you’ll be to get to the next page.

Saint is certainly no saint in Willow’s world. This is a man that’s responsible for her current circumstances. He’s cruel, cold, and conditioning her for a man that’s promised to be even worse. But beneath that rough masked exterior, there are glimpses of a man that’s something…more.

How do you fall for a criminal who you never even get to understand beyond his words and actions as seen through Willow’s eyes. I don’t know, but I know that I did. There’s just something so magnetic about Saint. Something so vulnerable that you can’t help but glimpse in his actions and words. You want to hate him for the things he does, but you just can’t.

There were a few parts of the story where I felt like the descriptions became too much and got in the way of the story’s pacing. But ultimately, I was just too invested in the story to pay it much mind.

Bad Saint was deliciously dark and utterly captivating. I was totally enraptured in this world and by the time the ending came, my emotions were so up and down, I didn’t know what to do with myself. And then that ending happened!!!! SWEET MOTHER OF ALL THAT’S HOLY I NEED THE NEXT BOOK!!

#DGRFave & Jenn’s Review: Debase by Rachel Van Dyken

DEBASE
Series:
Elite Bratva Brotherhood #1
Genre:
Contemporary Romance, Dark
Author:
Rachel Van Dyken
Release Date:
April 30, 2019

Debase, the final book in the Eagle Elite Series and the first new book in the Elite Bratva Brotherhood by #1 New York Times Bestselling Author Rachel Van Dyken.

With blood on my hands, I held her.

With death in my soul, I took from her.

With the devil in my heart, I coveted her.

There are many definitions of Hell.

My list was exhaustive, my definitions tragic.

Tonight I was adding something new to the very top.

Girl number six thirty-two.

She arrived on my birthday, the same day, every year, I play Russian Roulette and pull the trigger.

She was my omen.

My end game.

She made it personal.

And for the first time in my life, I gave in.

A virgin mob boss with no soul.

My name is Andrei Petrov.

They call me the devil.

All I want is for the pain to end.

All she wants is for me to share it.

I am the last remaining heir to a dynasty that should burn in Hell.

And my last wish remains for it to die with me.

AMAZON | NOOK | iBOOKS | KOBO | SMASHWORDS

I slid my tongue into her mouth. I tasted, I took, I was greedy with each kiss. With blood on my hands, I held her. With death in my soul, I drank from her.

With the devil in my heart, I coveted her.

I wanted closer.

More.

My gloves felt too hot for my hands.

My hands too big to contain the weeping leather as I pulled away from Alice and stared into her big blue eyes.

“You don’t want this,” I whispered.

She bit down on her swollen lip and reached for me, I stood still as her warm hands touched both of my cheeks. “Lie.”

I let out a hiss of air at her touch. “Walk. Away.”

“Kiss me again.”

“I can’t do that.” I needed to stop doing that.

“Can’t or won’t?”

I told myself one more kiss, one more touch. I told myself it would be okay, that I was still in control.

That I was above this.

That no woman had ever owned me.

No woman had ever taken everything.

My chest heaved as I stared at her mouth, unable to move, completely rooted to the floor.

Alice moved her hands to my jeans and slowly unbuttoned them. I didn’t stop her, I needed to fucking stop her, but it was like I’d drank this paralyzing poison from her lips and couldn’t function, could only watch her as my soul floated above my body, mocking my inaction, telling me that this would be the end of me.

The very end.

Letting her in.

Keeping her there.

I would give her everything.

And then I would lose control.

Lose my mind.

Lose my heart.

I would lose.

So would she.

“Alice…” My voice cracked. “I wish…” Her hands stilled on my jeans like she was ready to pull them down. “I can’t. I wish I could. I can’t.”

How could she possibly understand?

How could I explain the gut-wrenching fear of looking in the mirror and knowing that one choice kept me sane. One choice.

And that was sex.

He’d made that choice.

I wouldn’t.

I couldn’t.

I couldn’t trust myself, couldn’t trust it wouldn’t happen to me too, and hurt someone like her.

Someone so very… perfect.

Without blinking, Alice gripped my jeans, indecision etched on every pretty part of her face.

She was beautiful.

So damn beautiful.

I gripped her wrists with my hands and pulled them away from the very real temptation of getting completely naked and sinking into her, feeling her clench around me, her tight heat.

Shit.

I pulled her into my arms, and she rested her head on my shoulder. Just because I couldn’t let her touch me, couldn’t cross that line, didn’t mean I couldn’t make her happy, I would kill to watch her face in the throes of multiple orgasms.

I quickly gripped her by the hips and put her up on the cold granite countertop.

“Andrei what are you doing?” She looked down at me uncertainty in her blue eyes.

I moved my hands to her ass and pulled down the black leggings she’d been wearing, all the way down to her ankles, right along with a pair of lacy underwear that were bright pink, and perfect.

“Andrei?”

“Yes?”

“Seriously, what are you doing?”

I gripped her knees with my hands and then spread them wide. “What’s it look like I’m doing?” I smirked. “I’m feasting.”

Her eyes widened.

Never underestimate a virgin with an extremely vivid imagination and heightened sexual appetite.

I wasn’t a fucking monk.

I would like to think I knew more than most men, because I’d seen it all, watched it, inadvertently studied it.

If someone gave me a diagram of a woman, I could point out over twenty-two ways to get her off — with my tongue, a feather, my fingers, take your pick.

“You don’t have to—” She let out a gasp, gripping the edge of the granite, turning her hands white.

I chuckled darkly against her right thigh and bit. “I’m sorry, what was that? I don’t have to?”

“I’ve never, nobody has ever… done. This.”

“Tell me,” I asked gently before I dipped my tongue inside her and flicked.

Her entire body jerked.

“Tell me he never touched you like this, tell me nobody has ever touched you like this.”

“Never,” she rasped. “You.” That word was like a gunshot going off in my soul. “Only you, Andrei.”

“Me.” I flicked my tongue again, and gripped her by the ass, pulling her almost completely off the counter while I sat beneath her and sucked her off in the most primitive aggressive way I knew how.

With every ounce of energy I had in my physical body.

With my soul.

I used every weapon in my arsenal.

632 stars!!

Bear with me because this is series is hard to review without spoiling, but I promise no spoilers!

Dark. Twisted. Raw. And yet….Funny. How am I laughing during all this darkness? Because Rachel Van Dyken creates these terrible yet…loveable characters who embrace their darkness and just lie in it. I adore the banter between these guys from all of the previous books. I could read an entire book (or text message chain) of just these guys talking to each other!! Rachel takes all of her characters with her in this series, so we can follow them and always get more of each couple/character. Because I ALWAYS WANT MORE!!


Andrei. The tortured anti-hero. Well, and the anti-hero who also like to torture. Torture is his specialty. Andrei’s history is dark and unthinkable, but he is trying to come out of that darkness. Unfortunately, he has to endure it until he can be free of it completely. He has a plan to be free, but one girl is getting in his way, in his mind….and in his pants. Andrei is constantly wearing a mask, hiding who he really is and his scars. He doesn’t allow himself to trust others easily.

There is a clear comparison between Phoenix and Andrei. As a lover of everything Phoenix (He’s mine!), I quickly became obsessed with Andrei as well. They have a similar past, and Phoenix helps Andrei in his own twisted way, helping Andrei find some light in all of the darkness.


Alice. I love the heroine in this book. Much like the previous heroines, Alice is a strong woman. But unlike the previous heroines, she isn’t jaded. She has been through the unthinkable and struggles trusting people, especially men. But this doesn’t stop her from seeing the (potential) good in Andrei. Of course, Andrei is always pushing her away because he doesn’t want to taint her in any way, but he can only resist for so long. Andrei ends up having to protect her and the rest is for you to read and find out what happens. 😉

This is technically a spin-off of the Eagle Elite series, so I am uber excited about where she is going with this spin-off!! BUT I would definitely recommend reading the previous series because ALL of the characters are included in this book. I love the multiple points of views because there is always something happening, and she keeps you guessing the whole time!

Blood in. No out.

Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. When she’s not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor.

She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband, adorable son, and two snoring boxers! She loves to hear from readers!

Connect with Rachel:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RachelVanDyken
Website: http://rachelvandykenauthor.com
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Review: Twisted Pride by Cora Reilly

TWISTED PRIDE
Series: The Camorra Chronicles #3
Genre: Dark Romance, Mafia
Author: Cora Reilly
Release Date: April 16, 2019

Remo Falcone is beyond redemption.

As Capo of the Camorra he rules with a brutal hand over his territory – a territory the Chicago Outfit breached.

Now Remo is out for retribution.
A wedding is sacred, stealing a bride sacrilegious.

Serafina is the niece of the Boss of the Outfit, and her hand has been promised in marriage for years, but kidnapped in her wedding dress on her way to church by Remo, Serafina quickly realizes that she can’t hope for saving. Yet, even in the hands of the cruelest man she knows, she is determined to cling to her pride, and Remo soon understands that the woman at his mercy might not be as easy to break as he thought.

A ruthless man on a quest to destroy the Outfit by breaking someone they are supposed to protect.

A woman intent on bringing a monster to his knees.
Two families that will never be the same.

AMAZON

Pride was the only weapon I had, and I would hold on to it until the very end.

Mafia romance is my jam. The darker, the better. And when I first saw the blurb to this story, I knew this had to be my first Cora Reilly book.

After finishing, I’ll admit I have very conflicting emotions about how I feel about it. On the one hand, I struggled to connect to the heroine and the way she was painted to be so naive and complacent in the beginning. On the other hand, the more I read, the more connected I felt to the story.

What begins as a twisted game of revenge soon begins to turn into something more. Remo and Serafina both come from the same world but they live on opposite sides of it. Where Serafina has been sheltered, Remo has seem the depths of human depravity and violence. So much so, that it’s twisted and tainted him into the Capo that he is today. The dynamic between them was a delicious one, however. I loved the push and pull of their unwanted attraction. Serbian should be a means to an end to a man like Remo. He doesn’t care about anything but his family. But there’s something about her that reaches into the hidden depths of him. It’s not instant. It’s a slow burn of realization as he discovers that Serafina isn’t the sheltered and soft beauty that she seems. That she’s got a core of strength and a pride beneath that delicate exterior. That he yearns to break her in all ways possible.

Now here is also where I struggled with the book; the characterization. It soon became apparent that I did myself a great disservice by reading this book without reading the others. There’s clearly a continuing story arc that follows the brothers, and even though the author attempts to give the reader bits and pieces, it still felt like I was missing huge chunks of their backstory. The incredible amount of redundant descriptions of Remo were a huge irritant for me. I lost count of the amount of times that I read about his cruel smile, cold voice and brutal acts. I’m not even kidding. The word cruel is used over 60 times in the book to describe either his smile, his eyes, or his general being. And yes, I counted.

Don’t get me wrong, I still really enjoyed Remo’s dark depravity. But I also got tired of constantly being reminded of it. It felt like being slapped in the face with his personality. I get it! He’s cruel and brutal. Let his actions and behavior be the reminder. Not his description.

Aside from that, I really did enjoy the story. It was action-packed, gritty, and after the 30% mark, a complete page turner for me. And while I struggled with some parts, I still liked it enough to know I want to read the rest of this series. I definitely need Adamo’s story soon! That was a secondary character that I couldn’t get enough of.

Review: Nocturnes & Nightmares by Keri Lake

NOCTURNES & NIGHTMARES
Series: The Sandman Duet #1
Genre: Dark Thriller, Romantic Thriller
Author: Keri Lake
Release Date: April 29, 2019

The most terrifying monsters aren’t found in dreams …

Four young socialites have gone missing in the Chicago area. Two found dead, bearing the signature marks of a brutal serial killer. With the kind of tragedy that mars Nola Tensley’s past, she should be concerned, but without a pot to piss in, all the struggling single mom cares about is making a normal life for her son.

After all, she’s clearly not the murderer’s type.
Or is she?

When Rhett Voss, an enigmatic and handsome stranger, answers her ad for the outdated in-law suite at the back of her property, offering double her asking price, Nola really can’t refuse. Even though the supposed Wall Street Wolf seems better suited for a high-rise downtown—a suspicion that quickly turns into hindsight once she submits to the flirtations of her charming new tenant, and consequently, unearths a series of disturbing revelations.

Her curiosities lead her down the path of a madman, whose moniker, The Sandman, only hints at the grisly nature of his crimes. He’s smart. Evasive. A cunning psychopath with a twisted method of disposing his victims.

And his hunting grounds are hitting too close to home.

Author note: This book contains scenes of graphic sex and violence that some readers may find disturbing.

AMAZON

There’s something about this man I can’t quite put my finger on. Something wild and terrifying beneath that tightly composed mask he wears, like a thunderstorm behind the thin veil of a cloud.

A spine tingling, edge of your seat page turner!! This book was unlike anything I’ve read from Keri to date! I had goosebumps reading it. Honest to god goosebumps that only Keri’s words can elicit from me. The woman is an evil genius, crafting darker and darker tales that push the edge of every one of my boundaries and yet keeps me coming back for more like the addict that I am.

If the blurb doesn’t make it obvious enough, this book is NOT for the faint of heart. It’s dark. But more than that, it’s terrifying. It puts the reader inside the mind of a psychopath as they systematically and meticulously go on their killing spree. It introduces you to a serial killer that’s not just deranged, but smart in a way that’s allowed them to avoid being caught as more and more women fall into the deadly path.

It soon becomes apparent that in the center of the killer’s crosshairs is Nola Tensle, though she may not know it yet. As a single mom after the most devastating of tragedies, Nola is just trying to make it day by day and provide for her and her son. When an enigmatic stranger answers her ad for her rental in-suite, her life takes a sudden turn.

Now I have two words for you here: Rhett. Voss. Sweet mother! This man. GAH! Enigmatic and dark with a past shrouded in mystery and blood, this is an anti-hero like only Keri Lake can write. There’s a hidden depravity beneath the surface of the calm exterior that he presents to the world. And you can’t wait but finally get a taste for all the hidden desires that lurk just beneath his presence.

I would tell you that this is a dark thriller first and a romance second. The romance unravels organically in a way that’s realistic to the story, but you won’t be dissatisfied. However, the suspense will certainly take center stage in this first book.

This book kept me at the edge of my seat from beginning to finish. I had to sleep with the lights out for a solid week after finishing and I wouldn’t have it any other way. It was a hair raising sort of thriller that spun a dark web and kept you up all night. Love love LOVED IT!

#DGRFave & Review: Take by @pamgodwinbooks

TAKE
Series: Deliver #5
Genre: Dark Romance (anti-heroes, human sex trafficking, cartel)
Author: Pam Godwin
Release Date: April 2, 2019

He’s a notorious crime lord, a kidnapper, and an artist.

Scarification is his outlet, and he just captured a new canvas.

Kate refuses to surrender beneath his blade or the cruelty in his beautiful eyes.

But she’s drawn to the man inside the monster. A man who makes her ache with his touch. Who owns her with his kiss.

A man who worships her as deeply as he hurts her.

She can run, but there’s no escape from a bond carved in scars.

DELIVER series (HEAs with no cliffhangers – must be read in order):
Deliver #1
Vanquish #2
Disclaim #3
Devastate #4
Take #5
Manipulate #6
Unshackle #7
Dominate #8
Complicate #9

AMAZON 


Take (Deliver, #5)Take by Pam Godwin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

5 STARS


He was an aficionado of pain, and she was here to absorb the hurt, to wear the bruises of his art, until she escaped or died.


Top. Favorite. Dark. Romance. Of. The. Year.

Pam Godwin has a knack for redeeming the irredeemable, and she managed to outdo herself with Tiago. I never thought I’d love an anti-hero more than Van from Vanquish, but Tiago captured my heart with every heart wrenching page.


His love for her resembled a blade, a source of pain, but vital. He would always protect her, however she needed him, even when he was the cause of her suffering.

Take was everything I’ve come to expect from Pam and so much more. It was a story of pain and redemption. Unforgivable sins and irredeemable actions. It was dark and twisted, with an unlikely romance that bloomed like a rose on a grave. Tiago and Kate were captivating, magnetic, all encompassing, with an edge of wrong, wrapped with a unique sort of love that sneaks up on you and owns you.


Tiago was inside her, possessing her like a demon and cherishing her like a man.

This is not a book you read as a standalone. You really need to read it in order to truly understand the character dynamics. Tiago is a character that first came on the page as the villain in Devastate. He was a psychopath with a penchant for pain and yet there was a small glimpse of a heart beneath the darkly captivating criminal persona. The book ends with Kate’s disappearance, and Take tells the tale of what happened. The timelines of Take and Devastate overlap slightly. Kate is now the prisoner that has no hope of making it out of her captor’s hands alive. She’s a payment for a loss he had, and he has no intention of letting her go.

I really don’t want to tell you much more about the plot, because you really need to experience it for yourself. But Take was one twisty ride. Godwin has this way with her characters that just makes you fall for them no matter how wrong it seems. And with every layer that she peeled back from Tiago, the more you want to know about him.

Kate was the perfect heroine. She was tough with just a hint of vulnerability. She was fierce when it came to protecting her friends and even more fierce when it came to standing up to Tiago, no matter how dire her circumstances.

Tiago was the villain that you loved to hate in Devastate. But there was always that hint of something more to him. And boy did the author deliver on that here. (Heeee. see what I did there?) But back to the story. Tiago was the perfect anti-hero. He was cold, brutal, ruthless, and yet beneath all that beats a hidden heart that not many know about. This was such a multidimensional characters with so many layers. You want to hate him for who he is, but the more you find out about him, the more you understand. You begin to fall more and more for him. He’s easily my favorite anti-heroes of Godwin to date!

There are some cameos from my favorites (One in particular) that I loved getting more off. And then there’s the hook for the next book, and let me just tell you: IT. IS. DELICIOUS. Plus there’s the added surprise of a certain character getting his own book and I just about wet myself in excitement!

To put it shortly: I loved this book! Dark romance lovers, this is an absolute must read! You don’t want to miss this incredibly written, jaw dropping, and edge-of-your seat book! Trust me!

ARC courtesy of publisher in exchange for an honest review

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Deliver Series:

http://pamgodwin.com/book/deliver/

DELIVER (Book 1) | VANQUISH (Book 2) | DISCLAIM (Book 3) | DEVASTATE (Book 4) | TAKE (Book 5) | MANIPULATE (Book 6, releasing June 25, 2019)


DELIVER, Book #1

Deliver2500x1563

His name was Joshua Carter. Now it’s whatever she wants it to be.

She is a Deliverer.

She lures young men and delivers them to be sold. She delivers the strikes that enforce their obedience. She delivers the sexual training that determines their purchase price.

As long as she delivers, the arrangement that protects her family will hold.

Delivering is all she knows.

The one thing she can’t deliver is a captive from slavery.

Until him.

And her stubborn slave thinks he can deliver her…from herself.


Vanquish, Book #2

Her life is like a prison cell.
A self-made, to-hell-with-the-free-world existence that locks from the inside.
Stop judging. Her agoraphobia doesn’t define her. It simply keeps her safe.

He belongs in a prison cell.

The 6×8, make-me-your-bitch variety that locks from the outside.

But he’s free. To hunt. To take. To break.

And he just found a sexy new toy.

Capturing her is the easy part. Her fucked-up mind, however, makes him question everything he does next.

But he’s a determined bastard. If all goes his way, this will hurt like hell.


Disclaim, Book #3

Camila was seventeen when Van Quiso kidnapped her. Ten years after her escape, the shackles refuse to release her. Not while there are still slave traders preying on her city.
She will stop at nothing to end them.
Even if that means becoming a slave again.

Returning to chains is her worst fear—and only option. They won’t know who she is or what she intends to do. She’s prepared for every complication.
Except him.
The one who decimated her sixteen-year-old heart.

Matias is charming, gorgeous, and dangerously seductive. He’s also untrustworthy and enshrouded in secrets. After years of no contact, he finds her—on her knees, wrists bound, in the clutches of her enemy.
Will he sabotage her mission by needlessly saving her?
Or will he keep her in chains and never let her go?


Devastate, Book #4

“What is the price you’re willing to pay?”
“Money isn’t an issue.”
“I’m not talking about money.”

Tate is on the hunt to find his best friend’s sister.
Eleven years ago, Lucia Dias was abducted. Presumed dead. He never met her, so why does he care?
Some might call his efforts noble, but his motivation is more perverse, bordering on obsession.

When he follows a chilling lead to Venezuela’s Kidnap Alley, what he finds is neither a corpse nor a captive.

Amid poisonous lies and crippling depravity, the price of love is devastation.
And he pays.
With his body, his blood, and her life.


Deliver Series Audiobooks 

DELIVER #1: https://adbl.co/2D4839X
Narrated by Teddy Hamilton (Josh) and Abby Crayden (Liv)

VANQUISH #2: https://adbl.co/2X8g4Cq
Narrated by Ryan West (Van) and Jo Raylan (Amber)

DISCLAIM #3: https://adbl.co/2TzBWDR
Narrated by Christian Fox (Matias) and Emma Wilder (Camila)

DEVASTATE #4: Coming April 30
Narrated by J.F. Harding (Tate) and Tracy Marks (Lucia)

Books 5-9 TBA

Pam Godwin Books GrayScale

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author, Pam Godwin, lives in the Midwest with her husband, their two children, and a foulmouthed parrot. When she ran away, she traveled fourteen countries across five continents, attended three universities, and married the vocalist of her favorite rock band.
.
Java, tobacco, and dark romance novels are her favorite indulgences, and might be considered more unhealthy than her aversion to sleeping, eating meat, and dolls with blinking eyes.

Books by Pam Godwin

Tangled Lies Series

ONE IS A PROMISE (#1) – FREE
TWO IS A LIE (#2)
THREE IS A WAR (#3)

Deliver Series:

http://pamgodwin.com/book/deliver/

DELIVER | VANQUISH | DISCLAIM | DEVASTATE | TAKE | MANIPULATE

Trilogy of Eve Series:

http://pamgodwin.com/book/trilogyofeve/

DEAD OF EVE (#1) | HEART OF EVE (#1.5) | BLOOD OF EVE (#2) | DAWN OF EVE (#3)

DARK COWBOY ROMANCE

TRAILS OF SIN SERIES

Knotted #1 (FREE) | Buckled #2 | Booted #3

Stand-alones:

DARK NOTES

DIRTY TIES

BENEATH THE BURN

INCENTIVE

Review: Untouchable by Sam Mariano

UNTOUCHABLE
Genre: Dark Romance
Author: Sam Mariano
Release Date: December 16, 2018

The bully isn’t supposed to win.

Senior year was off to a rough start: lube in my locker, panties on my front porch, unimaginative name-calling. See, I got a player suspended from the football team for harassing me, and in my small Texas town, you don’t mess with the football players—even if they mess with you first.

I didn’t care if it was an unpopular thing to do; I stood up for myself… and in doing so, opened Pandora’s Box.

I never dreamed I would attract the attention of locally worshipped star quarterback, Carter Mahoney. Never imagined his coveted attention would turn out to be such a nightmare. Beneath his carefully constructed façade lurks a monster, a predator looking for the perfect prey to play with. Now, since I’m the girl no one likes or believes, I guess I’m the perfect target for his dark games and twisted desires.

After surviving my first encounter with his casual depravity, all I really want is for Carter to leave me alone.

But all he seems to want is me.

Warning: This book is provocative. It is categorized as DARK ROMANCE for a reason. It will not be for everyone. If you are a reader with certain triggers or sensitivities common to the dark romance genre, please heed the author’s note at the beginning of this book.

AMAZONSpoilers to follow…

It’s terrifying, his disregard for right and wrong. The pleasure he gets out of making me powerless.

I have sat on the rating for this book for a solid week, totally and completely conflicted. On the one hand, the writing is solid and the story interesting enough to have me continuing after the HOLY SHIT DID I JUST READ WHAT I THINK I DID in the first 5%. Yes, the warning does a good job of preparing the reader and making them understand that this is not a typical angsty high school romance. It’s dark (but not in the usual sense). Yes, the author does an incredible job of painting two very well developed characters that you can’t help but be curious about. Yes, it had me reading well into the night to see how it all ends.

But…and this is a big BUT. I’m talking about the but of all buts here, people. You may argue with me that this is fiction. You may argue with me that you have to suspend your disbelief because you’re reading a darker book. But here’s the thing, no matter how you spin it, FOR ME, this book romanticizes sexual abuse. It is not, I repeat, NOT a dub con. It is sexual abuse. Pure and simple. And there is nothing dark, interesting, captivating, or intriguing about the hero to me. He’s a rapey asshole. No matter how much the author tries to justify him, or explain his actions (and she does) at the end. He’s not an anti-hero I can get behind, because there is just nothing redeemable about him to me.

I’ll be honest, this is a book that you will either love, or hate. There is no middle ground. No gray area.

HIGHLIGHT TO VIEW SPOILER This “anti-hero” forces the heroine to give him a blowjob as part of sexual blackmail/bullying in the first 5% of the book. And no, it’s not the kind of blowjob where she secretly wants it but he can see through it. She hates it. She doesn’t want to do it. And he forces her into performing the act in front of his two other jock buddies that have been making her life miserable in high school after she reported one of them for touching her inappropriately and getting him kicked off the football team. END SPOILER

I’ll let you think on that for a second here. Is that a character you can read about? If so, you’ll fall into the side of readers that would love this book.

And if you’re like me and couldn’t see past this for the entirety of the book? Welp. I’ll tell you that this book just isn’t for you.

And here’s the thing. He CONTINUES this behavior for the entire fucking book.HIGHLIGHT TO VIEW SPOILER [He takes her virginity because HE decides that she’s ready even after she repeatedly asked him not to and told him she wants to wait. He repeatedly fucks her without a condom even when she begs him to wrap him up and is scared to be a teenage pregnancy statistic. END SPOILER

And the heroine? No matter how smart, sassy, strong willed, or backboned she is…just takes it all.
Again, you’ll say to me, but Lana, it’s fiction, calm your tits.

And I’ll say to you that what it is, is tone-deaf. It spins a tale of a completely fucked up rapey asshole and shows that all he needs, is to find a woman that “understands” him and doesn’t want to change him. Because that’s just who he is, and so long as she “gets him”, it’s all ok. And it’s all ok because he only does that to her. He doesn’t feel those urges towards any other unsuspecting female victims women. Just her.
And in the midst of the #MeToo movement, I’m quite honestly shocked that a book like this is written.

I’m not a delicate snowflake. I LOVE a dark romance and I’ve read my fair share. Just take a look at my shelves. But this book is just not one I can get behind. Nor do I even consider to be a dark romance. Aside from the rapey aspects of the book, there is nothing dark about it. Perhaps if it was written as a true dark romance, it would have been a different case entirely. The author is clearly a talented writer, and I’ll be trying some of her other books. Sometimes a character just isn’t for you, and this was that case for me. Again, it’s a matter of taste. And as I’ve said, you’ll either love or hate it. So read it and judge for yourself.

Review: Absolution by Keri Lake (found in Outlaw Anthology)

ABSOLUTION
Genre: Dark Romance
Author: Keri Lake
Release Date: January 8, 2018

 

Absolution is part of Wanted An Outlaw Anthology.

According to canon law, it is forbidden for a priest to betray the penitent for any reason. Even murder.

The consequences?

Excommunication.

For years, I’ve listened to your confessions. I know your darkest secrets, and have swallowed your sins in silence. In return, I’ve offered you forgiveness in His name. But behind the partition that separates us, I’m nothing more than a man who has long questioned his own faith.

Your contrition is my invitation: to mete out the kind of justice you pray will never come. I’m neither pious, nor merciful, despite what you see. I’m an imposter, an abomination to all I represent. A quiet executioner who’s kept below the radar.

Until her.

She’s seen what I’ve done. She knows the man beneath the cloth and my every mortal sin. She has witnessed the uncontrollable vices she hopes to use against me in order to get what she covets most.

Yet, I know her sins, too. Ones she doesn’t bother to confess. The kind, for which, there is no absolution.

AMAZON

C’mon, pécheresse, let me hear you scream.”
“Oh, God!”
“There is no God here, Ivy. Only me.”

Bless me, father, for I have sinned. Oh how I’ve sinned! I’ve sinned So. Freaking. Hard. And I’m not even a little sorry. Absolution was a deliciously thrilling ride that skirts the edge of propriety and was so good, it was downright sinful!

Moans muffle into the pillows, while she rolls her head and claws at the bedding as if possessed by demons. Maybe she is. Surely, God isn’t present here, while I f*ck her with the kind of reckless abandon that’ll land my soul in hell.

If you’ve never read anything by the immensely talented Keri Lake, then this is the story you need to start with to get a good taste of her addicting story telling. And if you’re a fan of taboo romance, that you definitely need this book in your life!

Father Damon is not all that he seems. There’s a dark undercurrent to this man of the cloth and a history riddled with demons that have followed him into his present. When a man steps into his confessional to describe a crime that’s horrific beyond words, it sends Damon into a tailspin of repressed anger and vengeance. Then a a beautiful woman with her own dark secrets puts his faith to a true test.

Absolution is a sizzling story full of grit and a dash of darkness with a heavy layer of taboo. It was a page turner from beginning to finish. A high paced thrill ride of vengeance with a deliciously sizzling romance.

Ivy is a character that I wasn’t sure I’d like at first but boy did she grow on me as the story progressed. Her reasons for getting to Damon aren’t exactly altruistic. This is a woman with a hidden agenda, but one made out of utter and complete helplessness. She’s desperate to get away from a demon of her own past and she’ll do anything to escape him. Even make a sinner out of Damon…

With plenty of mind-blowing twists and turns that I’ve come to love and expect from this author, Absolution was one unputdownable read that I recommend for any fans of gritty taboo romance.

Review: In The Land of Gods and Monsters by Carmen Jenner

In the Land of Gods and Monsters
Series: Gods and Monsters #1
Author: Carmen Jenner
Genre: Dark Romance
Release Date: November 20, 2018
In the land of Gods and Monsters, she was a toy.
A plaything.
A pet.
His pet.
Taken, stolen, beaten, used.
Pet remembers nothing before his touch, and afterward, she craves nothing more.
Sinful and merciless, Ares is her God now.
He alone says when to beg, when to come, and when to kneel, but he never said anything about
leaving.
99c for a limited time!!

Ares leads me into the darkness, and I have no choice but to follow blindly.

The second I saw the blurb for this book, I’ve been chomping at the bit to get my grabby little hands on it. If I know one thing from my love affair with Carmen Jenner’s other books, the woman knows how to write some dark and gritty stuff. And this reader is RAVENOUS for it!

Now, I feel it fair to warn you that this book is most definitely not for the faint of heart. It’s not just dark, it’s DARK. It skates right past the edge of black and white and right into the gray void of human depravity.

Told in dual POVs, it throws you right into the deep end of the dark waters where pain and pleasure blur, and consent is not a thing that comes to mind. A famous ballerina, her career is all she cares about…until the night she’s taken and her identity is stripped from her along with her memory. She’s left stripped down to her basest urges and questioning everything she thinks she knows. Her captor is a violently captivating enigma. He’s not gentle or nice, but somewhere in the pits of his darkness we get a glimpse into someone else. But it never quite comes out. He’s the master and she’s the pet and their “relationship” is violence and sex.

One day, I’ll escape. I’ll be free, but my freedom will come at a price—Ares’ life. It seems a worthy exchange. After all, he stole my life. It’s only fair that I should take his.

I loved the first 40% of the book. I was at the edge of my seat and a ball of anxiety, both eager and terrified to turn the page. But then somewhere along the line, all of the punishments and sex scenes began to blur into each other. I felt like a good half of them could have been removed, and the story wouldn’t have suffered without them. I wanted more development on the story and the characters, and while that was definitely still there, I couldn’t help wanting more. I’m positive the next installment will ultimately bring the answers and more development, so I can’t wait for that. This installment felt a little stretched out, more so than necessary. It begins strong and ends with a bang. But the parts in the middle felt somewhat unnecessary. There were parts that were shocking, almost too much so. But you have to know to expect that. This felt more like dark erotica than romance, but there’s an undercurrent of something more. Something I’m sure we’ll get in the next book.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to rock myself in a corner in my wait for book two.

Release Blitz & Giveaway: In The Land of Gods and Monsters by Carmen Jenner

In the Land of Gods and Monsters
Series: Gods and Monsters #1
Author: Carmen Jenner
Genre: Dark Romance
Release Date: November 20, 2018
In the land of Gods and Monsters, she was a toy.
A plaything.
A pet.
His pet.
Taken, stolen, beaten, used.
Pet remembers nothing before his touch, and afterward, she craves nothing more.
Sinful and merciless, Ares is her God now.
He alone says when to beg, when to come, and when to kneel, but he never said anything about
leaving.
99c for a limited time!!
“Beautiful, isn’t it?” He presses his front against my back, eliminating the space between us. My heart races as I feel his erection through his suit pants. I shiver.
“Will you hurt me in here, Sir?”
“Of course.”
“Will you make me cry?”
“I usually do.” I steel my jaw, because the way he talks about my pain, my torment, is just cruel. “Then what are you waiting for?”
“An audience,” he whispers, his tongue darting out to lick the space where my shoulder meets my neck. I close my eyes, bring my arm up behind his head, and slide my fingers into his hair as he devours my flesh. My body is electric, on fire, and buzzing with need. His words terrify me, and yet I’ve never been more turned on.

Carmen Jenner is a USA Today and international bestselling author.A hardcore red lipstick addict and a romantic at heart, Carmen strives to give her characters the HEA they deserve, but not before ruining their lives completely first … because what’s a happily ever after without a little torture?
Copyright © 2015 · Dirty Girl Romance

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