Review: In Peace Lies Havoc by Amo Jones

IN PEACE LIES HAVOC
Series:
Midnight Mayhem #1
Genre: Dark Romance
Author: Amo Jones
Release Date: November 5, 2019

My name is Dove Hendry.

𝘔𝘪𝘯𝘦 𝘪𝘴 𝘒𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘯 𝘈𝘹𝘵𝘰𝘯.

I was captured by darkness.

𝘚𝘩𝘦 𝘩𝘢𝘴 𝘢𝘭𝘸𝘢𝘺𝘴 𝘣𝘦𝘦𝘯 𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘴…

They groomed me for Midnight Mayhem. Like a trained possession, weak against their control.

𝘚𝘩𝘦 𝘩𝘢𝘴 𝘣𝘦𝘦𝘯 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘥𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘦𝘥 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘣𝘭𝘰𝘰𝘥 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘺𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘴. 𝘚𝘩𝘦 𝘫𝘶𝘴𝘵 𝘥𝘰𝘦𝘴𝘯’𝘵 𝘬𝘯𝘰𝘸 𝘪𝘵 𝘺𝘦𝘵…

But Midnight Mayhem was the stained glass that concealed a very dark culture.

𝘈 𝘤𝘶𝘭𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘴𝘩𝘦 𝘪𝘴 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘵𝘰 𝘣𝘦𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘰𝘧.

The Brothers of Kiznitch come in fours, and they’re not happy about me being hustled into their acts.

𝘖𝘳 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘸𝘦? 𝘊𝘢𝘳𝘦𝘧𝘶𝘭, 𝘓𝘪𝘵𝘵𝘭𝘦 𝘉𝘪𝘳𝘥. 𝘈 𝘸𝘢𝘳𝘯𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘪𝘴 𝘢 𝘸𝘢𝘳𝘯𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘢 𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘰𝘯…

Mind-tricks.

Stunts.

Deceit.

𝘗𝘰𝘸𝘦𝘳.

But there’s something uglier that has been haunting me for years upon years. So ugly that I have never seen it’s face. I never had to. I’d hear his whispers through my internal screams, feel his shadow brush against my nightmares. He was my the monster that tormented me.

𝘈𝘯𝘥 𝘮𝘢𝘺𝘣𝘦 𝘭𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘥 𝘶𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘳 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘣𝘦𝘥…

When I started Midnight Mayhem, his presence faded.

His whispers were silenced.

His shadow dissolving without a trace.

I wondered why that was.

𝘚𝘩𝘦 𝘥𝘪𝘥𝘯’𝘵 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘸𝘰𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘳 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘭𝘰𝘯𝘨…

AMAZON


This is neither a circus nor a carnival. This is what happens when the clock strikes twelve and all of the monsters you thought never existed expose themselves.”

Well, hot damn, I did not expect this. I’ve been eyeing Amo Jones books for too long, and the blurb of this one just spoke to me. The second I read the blurb for this book, I knew this would be my first book by this author. And you know what? I’m completely hooked.

The story was so completely out of left field, and everything I never knew I wanted. I don’t even know how to begin categorizing this story. Dark? Fantasy? A total and complete mindf*ck? All of the above? Suffice it to say I spent the better part of the first half asking myself what the hell I was reading and what in the ever loving hell was happening. The first half was one convoluted mindf*ck, but yet I couldn’t tear my eyes away. I was completely captivated and riveted to the pages.

Love is a battlefield, and my knight is a villain.

Dove has been through plenty in her young love. After brutally losing her parents, she’s coasted from foster home to foster home, and is now making ends meet as a stripper. Dance has always been a love of hers, and this is the one form of it she can allow herself. But her living and waking nightmare has been haunted by a shadow; a presence that’s as threatening as it is alluring and mysterious.

You see, when I was a little girl, a shadow chased me. An entity. Instead of stepping out from behind it to feel the sun against my skin, this shadow ruined every expectation I had of seeing the light.

Then suddenly the presence that she’s felt in the dark corners constantly watching her isn’t just a figment of her mind. It’s all too real, when she finds herself taken and thrown into the dark and mysterious world of Midnight Mayhem. It’s not a circus, it’s not a carnival, it’s something altogether other, and at the heart of it are The Brothers of Kiznitch. All four are darkly handsome and hauntingly dangerous, but only one of them makes her heart beat a different rhythm every time he glares in her direction; King.

Now here’s the thing, at first I questioned the connection between these two. Dove was too much of a pushover for my particular tastes. She would cave at the simplest push when it came to the brothers. There was a backbone somewhere there, and I was desperately hoping that she would let it show sooner rather than later. But as the puzzle pieces began to click in place around the 70% mark, I began to have one ah ha moment after another. All of the questions I had in the first half began to get answered and I couldn’t tear myself way.

Now I will say that because I’m ultimately a picky shit, I did come across one too many continuity issues that bothered me. There were parts that also just didn’t make sense. Like in on one page we learn that Dove barely speaks due to trauma in her past and in the next breath she’s revealing this trauma and explaining her symptoms in perfect detail to a perfect stranger…and then it never comes up again. It’s like she never had it to begin with.

But here’s the thing, at the end of the day, I just couldn’t bring myself to care less about any of this because I was completely enraptured by this story. Amo Jones is clearly one devious mind, and knows how to weave one screwed up tale. And for this reader? It’s absolute catnip.

King was the ultimate villain and the anti-hero that I loved to hate. He runs hot and cold. He’s dangerous and brimming with barely restrained violence. I couldn’t get enough of him. There’s plenty of secondary characters that were equally enigmatic that I can’t wait to learn more about in the next books.

As for this one, while it may not have been prefect, it was entertaining AF! With every detail that was revealed, I fell further and further under the spell of Midnight Mayhem. Now if total alphaholes aren’t your thing, this book probably won’t hit all the right spots for you. But it sure as hell did for me. Dove came more out of her shell in the last part of the story and her behavior in the beginning certainly made more sense.

Amo Jones, you’re an evil genius, and I for one can’t wait to see what that devious brain of yours will think up next!

Review: Stealing Beauty by Julia Sykes

STEALING BEAUTY
Series:
Captive #2
Genre: Dark Romance
Author: Julia Sykes
Release Date: January 15, 2019

Valentina loathes me as much as I despise her. That doesn’t stop me from kidnapping her, stealing her away for myself.

She was brought into my home when we were teenagers, her virgin body sold to my father to pay a debt. She was meant to be his plaything, but I claimed her innocence for myself.

Now, ten years have separated us, and hatred has festered in my heart. The girl I once loved is a stunning woman, and she thinks she belongs to someone else.

As the most notorious, sadistic drug lord on the west coast, I thrive on power and control. Her defiance tempts and torments me, and I’ll never tire of devising devious punishments to keep her in line. She can’t escape my cruel touch and harsh discipline.

No one will take her from me. I’ll kill anyone who tries.

Valentina was always meant to be mine. Nothing will stop me from possessing her, body and soul.

Note: Stealing Beauty can be read as a standalone dark romance novel.

AMAZON

I could be sadistic, but that didn’t mean I loved her any less. If anything, my love for her was so obsessive that it drove me to the brink of madness.

Oh, this was so deliciously dark and captivating. I’ll admit that I really read this series backasswards, like I normally do. I started with Pretty Hostage (book 3) and then dove into this one. And everything that I felt was missing for me in book three, this book had in spades.

Adrián was EVERYTHING. He was intense, brimming with barely restrained violence, and positively oozing sex. I loved everything about this man. His possessiveness and protectiveness that goes right along with his rough edges and anger. Adrián and Valentina have a history of love and betrayal, but he knows just one small piece of everything that Valentina has been through and survived at the hands of her “husband”.

Valnetina has lived through hell over the last few years. Given as payment for a debt to a violent and brutal man, the only peace she knew was in the company of handsome boy. But then that boy was gone and she was left with a monster. Now Adrián is back, he’s kidnapped her from her captor, but he’s determined to make her pay for sins that she hasn’t committed.

I really loved the way that this story played out. I loved watching Adrián fall harder and harder for Valentina. I loved that Valentina is still a warrior and survivor even after everything she’s been through. I loved the two of them together. And I loved the dark edges of this story. Everything weaved together perfectly to make this an absolute page turner. It was dark and dangerous, sexy and turbulent. It was everything I enjoy in a dark romance and I can’t wait for the fourth book in this sinfully addictive series!

Review: Pretty Hostage by Julia Sykes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AMAZON

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dude.
Seriously?

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

Review: Damage by Natasha Knight

COLLATERAL
Series: Collateral Damage #2
Genre: An Arranged Marriage Mafia Romance
Author:
Natasha Knight
Release Date:
October 15, 2019

We’re a match made in hell, Stefan and I.

He took me to exact his revenge. I went from being a pawn to my father to being a pawn to Stefan. The only difference is I have a ring the size of a boulder on my finger and a husband I don’t want.

And the hardest part is I thought he was different. I thought I was falling in love.

I guess my father was right. I’m not a very smart girl.

Stefan is a powerful man. He doesn’t play nice, not if you’re his enemy. But I’ve learned one thing about my husband.

He takes care of what’s his.

And I am his.

His enemies have become my enemies, but he’ll never let anyone hurt me. He’s fiercely protective. It’s the predator inside that scares me.

AMAZON | iBOOKS | B&N | KOBO

It’s midnight when we’re back at the house and I carry her to my room. She doesn’t resist when I strip off her clothes, her underthings still damp, and put her in the shower under a flow of hot water. I strip too and step in beside her and there’s no resistance when I kiss her. When I take her in my arms and kiss her as the water washes sea salt from us.

She opens to me and I cup the back of her head. I don’t ever want to stop kissing her. Don’t ever want to stop holding her like this.

When the water begins to cool, I switch off the shower and dry her then myself before lifting her up and carrying her to my bed. I lay her down and lie down beside her, shifting so I’m on top of her but keeping most of my weight on my forearms so I don’t crush her.

I slide one hand down and cup the mound of her breast. I run my fingernail over her nipple, and she moans into my mouth. When I pull away, it’s to look at her.

She licks her lips, reaches up to touch my cheek, slides her hand down to my chest and sets it against my heart.

We don’t talk. We don’t say a single word. Not for a long while. We just kiss and kiss and look at each other. And I can’t get enough of touching her. Tasting her. Can’t get close enough to her.

“Christ, Gabriela,” I start. “I want you.” I roll off her and onto my side to slide my hand down over her belly.

She cups my cheek, touches her mouth to mine. “Kiss me again.”

I do.

But she is who she is. The devil’s daughter. And I just brokered my own deal. I’ve stolen her. And I’m not finished yet.

I’m pretty sure I almost had a damn heart attack after the cliffhanger in Collateral. I was absolutely hooked on the story and salivating for more. There was something so intense and addicting about this enemies to lovers romance. It was especially delicious considering how slow burn the romance was. Stefan and Gabriela burned up the pages together with their chemistry, and we didn’t even get a taste for the romance yet. So to say that I was anticipating the second and final book would be a mild understatement.

Damage starts off with a bang and is a non-stop, twisty, page turner full of dark secrets and betrayals. I was riveted to the pages and couldn’t wait to see how everything comes to a head. And let me tell you, people, there’s some real whoppers of twists in this one that had my head reeling. I love a good mafia romance, and this one spared no details on the dark underbelly of the world. I may have set the romance up too much in my head, because I was a little disappointed with how it concluded here. I just didn’t click with Gabi and Stafan here as much as I did in the first book. It seemed like they went from 0 to 60 in a turn of a page, and I had a hard time buying into it. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it, because I did. But I think my own personal bias was at play here and I just set up my expectations too high. This was still one high-octane and sizzling read, and I enjoyed it quite a bit.

USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance, Natasha Knight specializes in dark, tortured heroes. Happily-Ever-Afters are guaranteed, but she likes to put her characters through hell to get them there. She’s evil like that. 

Connect w/Natasha:

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New Release & Review: Collateral by Natasha Knight

COLLATERAL
Series: Collateral Damage #1
Genre: An Arranged Marriage Mafia Romance
Author:
Natasha Knight
Release Date:
September 23, 2019

Gabriela

Stefan Sabbioni showed up uninvited in my bedroom on my sixteenth birthday. He stood in the shadows smelling of whiskey and death and wrapped a broken, blood-crusted necklace around my neck. I thought he’d strangle me with it.

That night, he left a message for my father. He said he’d be back to take something precious.

I never delivered that message, though. I wonder if things would be different if I had because now, two years later, he’s back. And he’s not hiding in any shadows.

He’s come to make good on his promise.

He’s back to take that something precious.

Me.

Stefan

Marchese is the manipulator of my family’s tragedy. I won’t just bring him to his knees. I’ll bury him for what he did.

Taking his daughter is only the beginning. I’ll do it knowing I’m starting a war. I’ll do it knowing my enemies will become his allies. They’ll stop at nothing to destroy me and he’ll stop at nothing to get her back.

I’ve never shied away from war, though. I’m not one to play nice and I don’t share my toys. I’ll demolish you if you touch what’s mine.

And she is most definitely mine.

AMAZON | iBOOKS | B&N | KOBO

You’re in my world now. And in my world, I make the rules and you obey them. I. Own. You.”

The second I read the blurb to this book, I knew I had to get my grabby little hands on it as quickly as possible. I’m a sucker for a good arranged marriage trope, and when you add in a dark and gritty mafia romance, I’m practically frothing at the mouth in my need.

I’m ridiculously picky with my dark romance reads as of late. There’s just too many books out there  masquerading as dark, when they’re anything but. There’s just something about a well written dark romance that has a feeling to it, an electric current that transfers to the reader. And this book? Oh this book had it in spades. It practically vibrated with a dark electricity that made my fingers tingle with every turn of the page.

What I loved most about it was the utterly slow burn of the developing romance. Gabriela and Stefan are not exactly a love match. They’re a marriage of convenience, a convenience suitable only to Stefan. With years of bad blood between their families, there’s enough dark and hidden secrets that ensure everything ends in bloodshed. Gabriela has always been one thing in her life; a pawn. She was a pawn that her mafioso father used as needed and no one cared of her feelings about it. She’s been hidden away, but she’s not sheltered. She may only be 18 years old, but she’s no where near naive. She know who and what her father is and she’s made peace with her life. When she finds out that her father agreed to give her to Stefan in an agreement she doesn’t quite understand the intricacies of, she’s non too pleased. She may do as she’s told, but she won’t take her fate lying down.

I loved the dueling parts of vulnerability and strength that Gabriela has. It made for an incredibly enchanting and endearing character. This is a woman that has been through so much in her short life, and it certainly sharpened her edges and her tongue. I loved her fierceness. She fights for supremacy with Stefan, even while knowing that’s it’s a failing battle against his dark intensity.

While the romance is a pulse through the story, it doesn’t quite flesh out in this book, and I really loved that about it. It made it that much more believable. There’s just enough to make the reader feel the brewing chemistry between them and give enough of a taste to leave you begging for more.

I’m seriously itching to get my hands on the next book to see how it all comes to a head. BRING IT ON!

USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance, Natasha Knight specializes in dark, tortured heroes. Happily-Ever-Afters are guaranteed, but she likes to put her characters through hell to get them there. She’s evil like that. 

Connect w/Natasha:

Website | Facebook | Facebook Group | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Goodreads | Bookbub | Amazon | NL Signup

 

#DGRFave & Review: Absolution by Keri Lake

ABSOLUTION
Genre: Dark Romance
Author: Keri Lake
Release Date: August 27, 2019

 

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.

*The short story first appeared in the Wanted: An Outlaw Anthology. This is the full-sized novel, which includes the conclusion to Damon and Ivy’s story.

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!

This was originally published as a novella in a limited time anthology and it’s now been expanded to be a full length novel and it packs an even bigger punch. If you’ve read the novella, then you’ll definitely want to get your grabby little hands on this because it delivers on the satisfying conclusion that was missing in the novella. There has been an entire second half added that takes the reader beyond Ivy’s revenge and deep into the dark bowels of Damon’s.

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. Even more so in the second half. 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…

In her signature gritty style with an undercurrent of darkness, Keri delivers on the side of Damon we barely got a taste for in the novella. Here you get to know the man he used to be and the man he becomes along with the sacrifices he makes along the way. There’s so many twists and turns, it will leave your head reeling.

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. Trust me, people, if there’s one book you need to read right now, it’s THIS ONE!!!

Review: Convict by @AZavarellibooks

CONVICT
Series: Sin City Salvation #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Dark
Author: A. Zavarelli
Release Date: July 22, 2019

From the shadows, I’ve tracked her every move.

I was just supposed to watch her. But now, I can’t stop.

She’s my obsession. My addiction. My poison.

Watching her isn’t enough.

The savage in me won’t be satisfied until I take her and make her mine.

One taste and I’m hooked. Too bad for her… I’m never letting her go.

 

**

Stalked. Hunted. Captured.

He took me from my life and locked me away in his compound.

The ex-con. The big bad biker. Inked, bearded, and inhumanely sized.

And yet, every time he looks at me, I melt.

This broken beast hides demons behind those brutal eyes. I hate him… and I crave him. His touch, his words, his lips.

When my enemies come for me, he vows to protect me as long as I do what he says. I’ll be secure in this prison he created for me.

But who will protect me from him?

 
AMAZON

 

Birdie Blue was my fucking nightmare and salvation wrapped up into one terrifying package. She’d left her mark on me, branding it into my rusted up broken-down heart.

I’ve been itching for Birdie’s story ever since she was introduced in Confess, but I never expected for her story to blow me away quite like this. I was riveted to the pages. I was rabid in my need for more. I was addicted to the story and the characters and I couldn’t get enough. Convict was one deliciously gritty ride that was packed full of emotion and an unorthodox kind of romance that you can’t help but root for. It was freaking fantastic is what I’m trying to tell you here, people!!

Zavarelli is one of my go-to’s when it comes to dark romance. This series is somewhere in the middle. It’s dark, but not too dark. It’s gritty. But it’s certainly not a walk through the park either. It’s perfectly balanced and I loved that about it.

Ace owned my attention from the second he appeared on the pages of Confess, but when you get a peek inside his head? Stick a fork in me, I’m done! This beautifully broken man that’s damaged almost beyond repair stole my heart and I never want it back. You know that this man has been through something dark in his past, but nothing prepares you for the reality of it. He’s this perfectly imperfect character that you can’t help but fall for.

Birdie is quite the damaged character herself. If you’ve read the first book then you already have a pretty good idea about her dark childhood. But what you didn’t know and discover here, is the amount of depth she has. This is not quite the happy go lucky little sister that you think you know from the previous book. This is a woman with her own hidden demons and a heart of gold. She’s strong and a fighter and I connected with her from the very first page.

Now when you put the two of them together? Instant fireworks. Ace essentially kidnaps Birdie and keeps her on lockdown for her own protection. But there’s plenty of secrets that Birdie has that throw a few wrenches in those plans. There’s so much that happens here that I can’t even begin to describe nor do I want to, because you simply must experience it.

But what I’ll tell you is that it’s action packed and quick paced and darkly spell bounding. It was a page turner from beginning to finish. The chemistry between Ace and Birdie is incendiary. i couldn’t get enough of the two of them together and the author did an incredible job with the pacing and the development of their relationship. It was perfect. In short, I fucking LOVED this book!
Zavarelli is a USA Today and Amazon bestselling author.

She likes all things chocolate, books that come with warnings, and putting her characters through hell. Her tales have been known to flirt with darkness and sometimes court it unabashedly altogether. Revenge themes and tortured souls are her favorites to write and this gives her an excuse to watch bizarre and twisted documentaries in her spare time.

She currently lives in the Northwest with her lumberjack and an entire brood of fur babies.

Connect w/A. Zavarelli:

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New Release & Review: Fallen Saint by @monicajames81

BAD SAINT
Series: All The Pretty Things Trilogy, Volume Two
Genre: Dark Romance
Author: Monica James
Release Date: July 14, 2019

Just as this nightmare began, I once again find myself bound, destination unknown. However, this time, my kidnapper is the man who shattered my world beyond repair.

Aleksei Popov—Russia’s number one mobster, and the man I was sold to.

His intentions for me are clear—submit, obey him, and call him master—but I won’t surrender. I’m not like the other girls. Whether that’s a blessing or curse, I’ve yet to decide. The problem is, my disobedience intrigues my captor all the more.

When we arrive in Russia, the rules change.

Saint, the man who was once a sinner, is my only salvation. What was forbidden now gives me hope that there is light in the darkness. He will risk everything to set me free.

But behind these opulent walls, things aren’t what they seem, and when the fine line between pleasure and pain begins to blur, only one thing matters—saving my soul.

I will lie.

Cheat.

Steal.

I was once an angel, but now… I’m a fallen saint, ready to inflict my own pain and burn this hellhole to the ground.


AMAZON | B&N | KOBO | iBOOKS | BookBub

 

BAD SAINT Play List: 

A love-struck Juliet smitten with her bloodstained Romeo.

Do you see that somewhat bewildered reader currently trying to pick her jaw off of the floor while rocking herself in a corner? Yep. That’d be me. Because this book just freaking BLEW MY EVER LOVING MIND!

Holy. Crap.

Now look. I’m not really a trilogy girl. With my book ADD, by the time I get my hands on book two, I tend to lose interest by the end. Or, I end up feeling like I just read a bunch of filler to stretch the story out. This installment was neither of those things. It was nothing short of mind blowing. It was a quick paced, edge of your seat thrill ride, full of twists and turns that will leave your head reeling and your heart in your throat.

Fallen Saint takes off immediately where Bad Saint: Volume One left off. After being kidnapped on her wedding night, Willow has been through a lot. Captivity, being shipwrecked, and then inevitably falling for her captor. But Saint was not the man that was to become her new master. And Fallen Saint finally puts a face to the name that brought shivers down your spine; the mysterious Alek.

I went through so many up and downs when it came to my thoughts on this man. On the one hand, you want to hate him. He’s the bad guy. The villain. And yet, there’s just a small dose of humanity that the author lets you get a peek of every now and then that leaves you questioning everything you think you know.

Saint is continuing in his plan to free Willow and atone for his sins. You can’t help but fall fast and hard for this beautifully broken man. And he’s oh so tragically broken. But what do you do when all of the odds are stacked against you.

Admittedly, I struggled with Willow a bit in the first book. I don’t even know what it was specifically that took me so long to warm up to, but I had none of that in this book. I couldn’t help but connect to this woman that fights so fiercely in circumstances as dire as hers. This is not a woman that backs down from a threat of death.

There’s so much that happens in this book and all of it was one revelation after another. There’s so many twists, that you no longer know what side is up. And then when the cliffhanger hits you? Sweet mother of GAWD. I’m practically vibrating in my desperate need for the final installment.


MARK YOUR CALENDERS!

FOREVER MY SAINT, Volume Three is coming September 26th 2019!

Pre-Order Now:

AMAZON | B&N 

Monica James spent her youth devouring the works of Anne Rice, William Shakespeare, and Emily Dickinson.

When she is not writing, Monica is busy running her own business, but she always finds a balance between the two. She enjoys writing honest, heartfelt, and turbulent stories, hoping to leave an imprint on her readers. She draws her inspiration from life.

She is a bestselling author in the U.S.A., Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Israel, and the U.K.

Monica James resides in Melbourne, Australia, with her wonderful family, and menagerie of animals. She is slightly obsessed with cats, chucks, and lip gloss, and secretly wishes she was a ninja on the weekends.

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#DGRFave & Review: Manipulate by Pam Godwin

MANIPULATE
Series: Deliver #6
Genre: Dark Romance
Author: Pam Godwin
Release Date: June 25, 2019

Tula Gomez is in the most ruthless prison in Latin America.

She only drove to Mexico to help her sister. She did nothing wrong.
But her quiet life changed in an instant.

To survive the violent, cartel-controlled prison where men blend with women, she pledges her loyalty to the notorious leader in exchange for the one thing she needs most.
Protection.

When she agrees to seduce the suspicious new inmates, Martin Lockwood and Ricky Saldivar, she doesn’t expect to enjoy it. Sure, they’re gorgeous, irresistibly alpha, and insanely talented with their hands and mouths. But they’re the enemy. She can’t fall for them.

Torn between her cartel loyalties and two men who want her as deeply as they want each other, she questions who is manipulating whom. Her search for answers leads to a passionate ménage, a soul-crushing secret, and an impossible choice.

BOOK 6 in the DELIVER series.

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

They owned her. No matter what happened, she would always be theirs.

Devastatingly gritty, emotionally gripping, and stunningly dark, Manipulate was everything I’ve come to expect from the brilliant mind of Pam Godwin and SO. MUCH. MORE. This was an edge of your seat and keep you up well into the night sort of read.

Three hearts without walls fused into a single soul without bars. Lost and found. Locked up and freed. Together.

I’ve been waiting for Martin and Ricky’s book for what feels like forever. And man, was their book worth the wait. It was even better than my expectations. And that NEVER happens.

The book starts with the introduction of the heroine, a woman that we haven’t met yet in the series. Her story is full of twists and turns, and devastating experiences that mold her into the woman that she is today; someone locked up in one of the most violent prisons and completely on her own.

Martin and Ricky get put into the prison in order to gather information on a brutal cartel boss that runs one of the worst human trafficking and slave rings. The stunning beauty is not someone they saw coming when they entered the prison full of murders and the worst sort of human scum. But she may also be the one that has all of the answers that they seek.

On a squeaky rusted cot, in the most violent prison in South America, he experienced the best orgasm of his life.

The sexual tension in this book was EVERYTHING. As much as I was dying for more glimpses into Martin and Ricky together and exactly what makes Martin tick, I couldn’t get enough of they dynamic with Tula. She seemed to complete a puzzle piece that neither one of them thought was missing.

Holy fuck.” She moaned against his mouth…
“That’s right, baby. What’s my name?”
“Oh, God.” She clawed at his back.
“God is good, aren’t I?”
“So good.” She made him feel like a god. In her arms, under Martin’s heated gaze, he caught fire.

Martin was a beautifully broken enigma for a long time in this series. I was salivating for just a little more of a peek into what made him who he is today; a man that’s on a hair trigger when it comes to anything sexual. And let me tell you, when his whole history comes to light, I wanted to throw up. It was gut wrenchingly dark. Ricky was the light to his dark, even though he doesn’t exactly have an easy past himself after the painful tutelage of Van during his slave training years.

There’s so much that happens in this book that made it completely impossible to set it down for even a second. I love that Pam NEVER writes heroines that need rescuing. She writes these incredibly broken, yet strong and persevering women that you can’t help but connect with and root for. Tula was certainly not an exception to this. Her story was dark and painful and oh so twisty. I loved every page of it. I loved her and Martin and Ricky together. I was addicted to every page of this book and was dying for more when I finished. I can’t wait for the next installment after the revelation in the end.

Every touch was a sacrament, every caress a solicitation for more. Through it all, they held an impenetrable stare, eating each other with their eyes, wanting, panting, the need in their bodies growing voracious.

Review: Have Mercy by N.E. Henderson

HAVE MERCY
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Dark
Author: N.E. Henderson
Release Date: May 2, 2019

I never saw it coming.

It’s hard to get over that kind of betrayal. It leaves a mark on the heart. A slow bleed that never goes away. She was my girl. We were supposed to be partners. She was going to be the mother of my children down the road. The only girl to warm my bed. She was my forever girl.

Until she ran away.

I thought she felt the same. But if she did she wouldn’t have ditched me like I didn’t matter. All the plans we made meant nothing to her. She disappeared without so much as a goodbye. Those cuts are the deepest. A gaping hole that can’t be sealed. I could’ve stomached anything else—a meaningless one-night stand, drifting apart, vanishing love. But abandonment is a deadly strike that can’t be forgotten. It sticks with you forever.

Three months later she showed up, expecting me to welcome her back with open arms. Excuses, lies, not even her crying eyes could make me believe the manipulative bullshit coming out of her mouth. For months I felt like I was burning alive. She shattered my heart and stole my soul.

I moved on.

Now, eighteen years later, a nightmare unfolds. Every detail makes my stomach churn. Lies come to the light. The truth is uncovered. And the people I thought I knew become strangers. The heartbreak I felt was only a scratch compared to the sliced open heart in my chest.

Winning her back seems like an impossible feat. She may never forgive me, because the thing about mercy—you have to give to receive.

***Have Mercy is a 107K word standalone, second chance love story.***

AMAZON

Eighteen years have gone by and Elise Thomas still owns me like no other woman ever has—or ever will.

This review is extremely difficult for me to write. I have sat on my rating for it for a solid week and I’m still struggling with it. Why? Because I binge read this story. I’m talking glued to the pages, completely incapable of setting it down for even a second sort of binge here, people. It was like a rockstar soap opera. No lie. If OTT drama, angst, and alphahole heroes aren’t your jam, I’d say this book won’t be for you. But this reader? I froth at the mouth for it. Don’t you judge me either. I yam what I yam.

I think that had it been for different execution on a few plot devices and elements of this book, it would have been a no brainer 5 star. As it was, there were things in this story that I really hoped would be better wrapped up then they were at the end. But I’ll get to those in a minute.

First let me start with what I loved; the set up. DELICIOUS. A second chance romance 18 years in the making. Jamie and Jenna were each other’s world as teenagers. They loved and they loved hard, until they fell apart even harder. Eighteen years later and neither of them is much closer to any sort of closure from each other. Jamie is now divorced and still as bitter as he was back when he though Jenna betrayed him. Jenna has tried to move on from Jamie, but how do you forget the love of your life? But how do you ultimately pick up the pieces when you realize that everything you thought you knew was wrong. And the person you’ve hated for years is not at all who you thought they were and that you’re ultimately responsible for breaking you apart? That’s the premise of the book.

The story unravels in alternating flashbacks. These were cleverly written to give the reader the whole story crumble by crumble, until you’re utterly desperate for the whole picture. I loved the over the top angst and drama of this book. The antagonistic sort of back and forth between Jamie and Jenna was book crack. Jamie made a terrible decision those years ago that essentially got all the dominoes to fall. A decision made by a young and immature boy that didn’t yet have his head out of his own ego long enough to dig deeper. I didn’t hate him for it, but I can see a lot of readers having an issue with it. This reader, however, did not. I loved to hate Jamie. What can I say? I live for some book drama every now and then.

Jenna struck me a great and strong willed heroine at first. I loved her spark and the added edge of what she keeps hidden below the surface with the scars of her past. This is also where the story began to lose me. I wanted Jenna to keep holding on to that edge, but I couldn’t help but feel that she began to lose most of it with Jamie. She gives in so easily to his every whim. After the betrayal that lies between them, I just couldn’t wrap my head around this, no matter how much she still loves him. I wanted her to make him work for it. Make him beg, crawl on his knees! But she does none of those things. The only thing she does do is keep him on the edge by not sharing the full capacity of the truth with him. This ultimately drove me crazy. It just seemed like an unnecessary way to drive the plot forward where there were plenty of other moving wheels in the story to do so. It dragged on for way too long. I also absolutely hate when a heroine is celibate for years while the hero is anything but when they’re not together and have no hopes of being together.  It’s unrealistic and it’s a huge pet peeve of mine so unfortunately this played a big part in my rating.

There is a very heavy element of suspense around the mystery of what happened those years ago. Though to be fair, it’s only a mystery to the reader for a short part of the book. It continues to be a mystery to Jamie for longer. I also really disliked that Jamie continually kept jumping to the wrong conclusion of Jenna no matter how much evidence he had to the contrary. I wanted this man to GROVEL, and I do mean GROVEL. And all he continues to do is jump to conclusions and think the worst of her.

I liked the inclusion of the secondary characters and the kids, however, I didn’t feel it necessary to have their POVs. While it didn’t take away from the story, it did convolute it a bit with the continuous flashbacks.

I wanted Jenna to be as strong of a heroine with Jamie as she is with every other aspect of her life, and unfortunately for me, she just wasn’t. A betrayal of that caliber needs a huge grovel, and that didn’t happen either. I wanted to 5 star this book so much. It took me out of a huge book funk and kept me glued to the pages. Unfortunately I just couldn’t look past the many issues that I also had with it.

I’m definitely a huge fan of the author and will definitely read her future books. This one may not have been perfect, but it still hit the spot, so give it a shot and see for yourself.

Copyright © 2015 · Dirty Girl Romance

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