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.

Facebook | Twitter  | Goodreads | Instagram | Website | Pinterest | BookBub | Amazon | Reader Group

#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.

Review: A Cruel Love by SM Soto

A CRUEL LOVE
Genre: Dark Romance, Mafia
Author: SM Soto
Release Date: May 9, 2019

As a hitman for hire, Percivale is no stranger to violence.
From the moment he saw Blossom Jaymes through the window of her bakery, he knew he was in too deep. Not only was she as sweet as her perfectly crafted treats, but she was a soft-spoken, golden-haired angel that shone like a bright beacon in his dark world. And Percivale didn’t deal in angels. He dealt in death and crime. The even bigger issue? Percivale’s next hit is on said sweet little baker who doesn’t seem to realize how much danger lurks around her with each passing day.
If he doesn’t get the job done, who will?

When Percivale has to decide what’s more important to him—the life of a woman who may very well be innocent or getting his revenge on the men who murdered his family—the lines become blurred. Morals are twisted and a deathly chase ensues that can only result in one thing—Blossom buried six feet under.

Or can it?

Can Percivale let his lust for revenge go in order to save Blossom from the bounty on her head, or will the power she unknowingly holds over him be what gets her killed?

AMAZON

I’m going to enjoy breaking you, Blossom. Piece by fucking piece”

I hate myself a little right now as I write this review. Because here’s the thing; I really REALLY wanted to lovethis book. The blurb and the cover hooked my attention right away, and I was SO ready for a gritty and dark mafia romance. Sadly, that’s not what I got. And you know what? It seriously sucks being the black sheep that didn’t enjoy a book that so many others clearly did. Le sigh.

Now look, if you haven’t read very many mafia or even dark romance books before, I have a feeling you’ll really enjoy this. As for me? I’ve read enough to be extremely picky. And A Cruel Love was rough for me from start to finish. My first clue should have been that I had no problem putting it down. As a matter of fact, I stopped reading it at 5% originally. Then I picked it back up and stopped at 30%. Then I decided to try and power through it, while that annoying inner voice of mine kept screaming “I told you so” the entire freaking time.

The story and the characters were one giant cliche after another. None of it made sense to me. The characterization was so inconsistent that it made my head spin. Here you have a mousy, introverted, scared out of her whits heroine that gets kidnapped by a stranger after shooting a man that tried to rape her point blank in the head in front of her. Said man is also a mafia hit man that was sent by his boss to kill her because she’s been asking too many questions about her missing (actually now dead) neighbor. So this heroine then goes from crying hysterically, trying to make a run for it, being threatened to die by our hero at every turn, crying hysterically, having odd sassy outbursts that revert just as suddenly back to her crying outbursts, to lecturing the man threatening to kill her about his motel room choices and second hand smoke.
Oh and through all this, and Percivale’s constant hot and cold behavior, cruel treatment of her, shackling her to the bed and leaving her for hours on end, and constant reminders that he’ll kill her if she so much as steps out of line, she still can’t help but be sexually drawn to him. I just didn’t buy it. Here’s a woman that’s basically been shying away from anything sexual since a terrible assault in high school, yet a man that’s killed several people in cold blood in front her get her engine revving.

Through all this, Percivale’s characterization is incredibly inconsistent as well. I couldn’t help but feel he was just one giant dark romance cliche. The constant cigarette smoking, the smirks, the reminders of his cruelty and darkness. And then he also discloses to Blossom what happened to his family years ago to make him into who he is today. At a point of the story where it made absolutely ZERO sense for him to disclose such a hugely personal and private detail. He also uses the term “seed”. *shudders* I didn’t buy the reasons for the hit on Blossom. It was weak and hard to believe. I also struggled to connect to them as a couple since I feel like that wasn’t as developed as it could be. It struck me as being very sudden.

There’s too much necessarily obvious descriptions when it comes to the darkness of this book. Like this:

We’re the Cavalieri Della Morte. We surround ourselves with danger, and we’re all the same, violent and deadly.”

And way too many things that are so far out of the realm of believability that I struggled to keep reading. Like a point of the story where Percivale gets stabbed in the stomach and then proceeds to fight in 5 back to back fights to the death. I mean….yeah.

I get that it’s fiction and I should suspend my disbelief somewhat. But there still has to be a hint of SOME believability for me to buy it and connect to it. And sadly this book skated on the skirts of it until finally skating right out of the rink entirely.

The characters were such extremes that it felt cliche. The sweet, somewhat innocent, good heroine that lectures a hit man about second hand smoke and hasn’t seen the right end of a razor in her female area for years. The extremely dark, super violent and cruel hitman with a penchant for chain smoking. It was all just too much for this reader.

I wanted to love this book, guys. I really, really did. But sadly, I’m just way too picky when it comes to my mafia and dark romances, that I spent the majority of the book picking apart almost everything. It’s a problem. I know. But I just couldn’t help myself.

Do I think the majority of readers would enjoy this book? Absolutely. I’m just a picky asshole here. Clearly. So take what I said with a grain of salt and read it and judge for yourself.

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
Newsletter: http://bit.ly/RVDNewsletter
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rachvd
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RachVD
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2cNVwL9
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/RVDGR
Rachel’s Rockin’ Readers: http://bit.ly/RachelsRockinReaders

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

Find me on:
Follow me on facebook Follow Me on Twitter blog

View all my reviews


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

Copyright © 2015 · Dirty Girl Romance

%d bloggers like this: