Excerpt & Review: Pike by TM Frazier

PIKE
Series: The Pawn Duet #1
Genre: Dark Romance
Author: TM Frazier
Release Date: March 24, 2020

Pike, the first dark and fast-paced story in The Pawn Duet from USA Today bestselling author T.M. Frazier, is available now!

I was raised by the violent laws of the streets, spilling blood without the hindrance of useless emotions or connections.

Unfeeling. Unloved. Alone.

My life was perfect.

Until her.

While on a manhunt for a mysterious enemy, one hellbent on taking both my business and my life, I find Mickey. She’s covered in mud, rambling nonsense, and clearly out of her mind.

She’s also a distraction I don’t need.

That is until I discover a connection between the girl and my enemy.

Mickey isn’t a distraction anymore.

She’s the perfect weapon.

One I’ll use to exact my revenge.

The plan is an easy one, but there’s something about Mickey that’s making it more and more difficult.

A familiarity I can’t place. A need I can’t explain.

A want I have to deny.

After all, she’s not mine to keep. She’s a tool. My pawn.

My sacrifice.

AMAZON | iBOOKS | NOOK | KOBO 

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I raise the gun in both hands, aiming it at his chest. “I have to go. You can’t stop me,” I say, with all the resolve I have left. “You’re going to trade me and ambush them, but don’t you think they have the same plans for you? I have to go, and that way, fewer people will die. YOU won’t die. So, just let me leave. I have a plan. It will work. I’ll take them down for both of us.”“No.” Pike looks from me to the gun. “And as I’ve told you before, you’re not going anywhere.” His words are dark and menacing. An amused smile turns up the corners of his lips.

It’s infuriating. He’s infuriating.

I straighten my shoulders. “What’s so funny?” I ask, swallowing down the rising fear in my throat. I remind myself of one important fact to keep from choking on that fear.

I’m the one holding the gun.

Instead of freezing or retreating as one would do in this situation, Pike takes a bold step forward, catching me off guard. I stagger backward, but I’m not fast enough. He reaches out, and at first, I think he’s going for the weapon, but he doesn’t. He confuses me as he wraps his hands around mine, tightening my grip around the gun. He lifts my hands and bends slightly at the waist, forcefully pressing the barrel against his forehead. “You wanna shoot me, Mic? Then, fucking shoot me,” he dares, with wild blood shoot eyes.

My mouth drops open, but words don’t come out. I expected Pike to defend himself. To come at me. To step aside and let me leave, even though it was the least possible of all the outcomes. I didn’t plan for this.

I can do this. I have to do this.

“Not what you were expecting?” His tone is both mocking and rage-filled. “I know what that pretty brain of yours is thinking. You want me to attack you and make pulling the trigger easier on that conscious of yours.” He bites out a laugh. “Not gonna happen. If you want to do this, I’m not going to stand in your way, but you’re not fucking leaving either. So, come on. Shoot me. Go ahead. Do what you planned to do.” His eyes narrow with determination. My hands shake in his. “Pull the fucking trigger!”

The air around us is thick and charged. My skin breaks out in a sheen of sweat. My adrenaline spikes and I feel all too alert. Too aware of what’s taking place between us.

I grip the gun tighter and gaze into his dark eyes, his pupils are large and covering every hint of color within them. Behind the anger and determination, there’s something else that I didn’t expect. Something that I’m all too familiar with. Hurt. Pain that mirrors my own. Desperation that calls out to me like a piece of my soul trapped within Pike.

“Shoot me!” he cries, his face red with anger, teeth bared like a wild animal. “Fucking shoot me!”

With those words, my fiery resolve dissolves into ash.

I step back, needing to put some distance between us, but Pike doesn’t have the same thought. He follows me backward, keeping his grip tight on my hands and the gun between them.

“I…I can’t do this,” I whisper, releasing my grip on the gun.

Pike releases his hold on me, catching the gun before it can fall to the floor.

Shit.

I look to the window, but it’s too high, and Pike is directly in front of the only door. There’s no escape. So much for being brave. Instead, I’ve signed my own death warrant. My heart races erratically with the realization that this is it. It’s over.

I’m over.

“This was a really stupid fucking move for someone who claims to be so smart, ” Pike sneers. He raises the gun.

I pinch my eyes shut, waiting for the feel the bullet of his wrath to pierce my skin. I hear a thud, and my eyes fly open and land on the carpet where Pike’s tossed the gun to the floor.

My eyes meet his in silent question. Why?

He answers by charging, a one-man stampede I can’t avoid as he barrels toward me. His chest crashes against mine, and my head connects with the wall with a thud that rattles my bones. I’m dizzy as fear lands in my gut like a ball of fire. My pulse races as his closeness consumes me. The smell of cologne and cigarettes lingers between us—a trace of whiskey on his breath.

“You’re going to regret not pulling that trigger,” he sneers. The darkness in Pike’s eyes tells me that, gun or no gun, I’m not getting out of this unpunished.

Or possibly even alive.

I swallow hard.

He cages me in with his hands against the wall beside me, engulfing me in the heat and rage radiating from his hard body. I feel his heart beating fast beneath his chest now pressed against mine. “What to do with you now?” Pike muses, his breath ragged. His voice full of promise and warning. He brushes his lips over my temple. I tremble at the contact. “You’re going to pay for that little stunt, Mic.”

He’s close. Too close. I’m entirely rigid, frozen in place. This wasn’t supposed to happen. How did I let this happen? I’m the most terrified I’ve ever been, and yet there’s something else I can’t understand. Something else between us that’s charging the air, causing me to shake, and it’s not just from fear. Hatred mixed with need. The yearning I’ve denied for him is no longer lying dormant. It’s as real as the ache growing in my stomach, the wetness between my thighs. If I thought the room felt charged before, it’s damn near on fire now. The flames of desire and hate lick at the walls around us, setting everything ablaze, making the small room feel smaller, closing in around us.

My nipples harden as they brush against his chest. I suck in a gasp.

He doesn’t miss my reaction. He looks to where my nipples are straining against my shirt with heated eyes.

The only sound in the room is our mutual heavy breathing as he slowly pulls his gaze from my chest. His eyes lock on mine. For a few seconds, we just stare at each other—foreheads lined with confusion and anger.

A silent dare.

My mind, on the other hand, is anything but silent.

“Should I kill you or fuck you?” he muses. And I’m honestly not sure what scares me more. His anger or his desire. He brushes the backs of his knuckles against my jaw. “Maybe, both.”

“What do you—” I don’t have time to finish my question because his lips are on mine. He hoists me in the air, and my legs wrap around his waist on instinct.

It’s an angry joining of clacking teeth and biting lips. A war we are still fighting both with each other and ourselves. He growls at me when I pierce his lip, drawing blood. He licks the blood with his tongue then kisses me again, this time harder. A punishing kiss that has me growling at him in return. His coppery blood on my tongue tastes like victory. He licks his way between my lips, pushing his tongue into my mouth, licking and devouring with rough determined strokes. With a jerk of his hips, he presses the massive erection beneath his jeans between my legs, the pleasure that courses through me has me momentary seeing stars. I grind down on him in return.

He hisses in response, baring his teeth against my lips. “You’re going to pay for that, Mic,” he warns, taking my mouth in another kiss that has us grunting and growling at one another like starved animals fighting over the last scrap of food. But neither of us is about to give up. He pushes me back onto the bed, falling with me over my body, my legs splayed on both sides of his hips as he presses his cock again between my legs. I arch my back, needing to feel more. Needing for there to be nothing between us but desire. For each other, and to win. But, this is no longer a game we’re playing. It’s a battle. A war neither of us can win.

But, one in which we will both go down fighting.


Pike (The Pawn Duet, #1)Pike by T.M. Frazier
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4 STARS


When it comes to this girl, my instincts are at war. One tells me to punish. The other to protect. Only one can win.

It’s been a hot minute since I read a TM Frazier book and I can’t even tell you why. I love this woman’s brand of gritty and she knows how to deliver one deliciously dark romance that keeps you glued to the pages from beginning to finish.


Pike and I aren’t at war. We never were. We are what’s left over after the battle’s already been lost on both sides. We’re not soldiers. We’re carnage.

Pike and Mickey’s story absolutely owned me. Pike is not a good guy by any means. He’s a criminal who’s not above violence and torture to get what he wants. His past has painted his present, and he has no qualms about who he is.

Mickey is a survivor. The more you learn about her the more your heart breaks for everything that she’s been through. But it also makes you appreciate her tenacity and thirst for revenge. This is a woman that’s not afraid to fight her own battles and I loved that about her.

The story itself unravels almost like a movie reel before your eyes. Full of twists and turns it had me absolutely riveted. Pike was an anti-hero that I loved to hate and hate to love. He was perfection wrapped in barbed wire. I loved seeing all my previous faves (Preppy!! How I missed him) and many others make a cameo here.

There’s so much that happens and so much that’s left unanswered. Of course all of it is wrapped up with a killer cliffy that has you begging for more and desperate for the next book.

T.M. (Tracey Marie) Frazier never dreamed that a single person would ever read a word she wrote when she published her first book. Now, she is a five-time USA Today bestselling author and her books have been translated into numerous languages and published all around the world.

T.M. enjoys writing what she calls ‘sexy wrong side of the tracks romance’ with morally corrupt anti-heroes and ballsy heroines.

Her books have been described as raw, dark and gritty. Basically, what that means, is while some authors are great at describing a flower as it blooms, T.M. is better at describing it in the final stages of decay.

She loves meeting her readers, but if you see her at an event please don’t pinch her because she’s not ready to wake up from this amazing dream.

Connect with T.M. Frazier

Facebook: http://bit.ly/TMFRAZIERBOOKS

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Review: Queen of Lies by Whitney G.

QUEEN OF LIES
Series: Empire of Lies #2
Genre: Dark, Contemporary Romance
Author: Whitney
Release Date: February 17, 2020

Book 2 in the Empire of Lies trilogy.

 

The twists and turns in Michael & Meredith’s story continue…

The woman I fell in love with is a walking contradiction…

She’s sexy as hell, yet infuriating.

Hopelessly in love with me, but carefully plotting to get the hell away.

She honestly thinks that I’m the ‘king of lies’?

Well, she f-cking fooled you…

 

She’s the queen.

AMAZON 

She was a mere chapter in my book and this is our final page. No happily ever after included.

I’ll keep this short and sweet. I devoured the first book. I was so sucked into this story, it’s not even funny. It had the delicious vibes of the Whitney G books I fell in love with in Reasonable Doubt: Full Series.

I devoured this too, but it was also missing something. Ultimately, with the short length of these books, I was hoping that each installment would offer more depth. But that wasn’t quite the case here. The story continues to move forward, but it’s too quick paced. I struggled with buying into the connection between Michael and Meredith. There’s simply not enough meat here for me to get fully invested. The bones are there. But it’s missing quite a bit of backstory. I’m hoping the final installment will bring that, but I just couldn’t help but feel this one merely grazed the surface of what it could have been

Review: King of Lies by Whitney G.

QUEEN OF LIES
Series:
Empire of Lies #1
Genre: Dark, Contemporary Romance
Author: Whitney
Release Date: January 30, 2020

The man I fell in love with is a f*cking liar…

I don’t have much time to reveal all the details, but I will say this: The “Woman disappears after wedding” and “Woman flees before honeymoon” headlines are lying.

I’m not missing.

I didn’t run away after my wedding.

I would’ve never run away right before our scheduled honeymoon.

My husband has taken me.

No, correction: He’s kidnapped me because he claims that “it’s what’s best”. That I’m a mere pawn in his twisted game of chess.

Despite the fact that my heart is still tethered to his, or the fact that he’s still the most gorgeous and beautiful man I’ve ever met in my life (he can still make me wet with a single sentence), I have to focus on getting away from him.

I have to accept that he’s no longer the man I fell in love with.

He’s the king of lies

AMAZON 

The man I married no longer exists. The king of my heart is long gone, and he wears a new name. He’s the king of lies.

Heed the warning! The author makes it very clear that this is a different book than what we’re used to from her and ends on a major cliff. She ain’t lying, people. This is certainly edgier than anything I’ve read of hers in the past. And having read her entire backlist, I really do mean that. It also held notes of the vintage Whitney G that I’ve missed since reading Reasonable Doubt and Turbulence.

The story features a mysterious and enigmatic anti-hero with a sexual prowess that practically sparks off of the pages. And you know I’m all about that! This is a somewhat short read and the story is broken into what’s planned to be a trilogy. It doesn’t look like we’re going to have to wait long between books either with the next one releasing in March.

Now what can I tell you without disclosing any spoilers for you? Umm…almost nothing. *sheepish grin*

I’ll tell you that I read this in one sitting. The story seems a bit convoluted at first, but Whitney brings a lot of the pieces together at the end while still leaving you desperate for answers. It’s told in alternating POVs with parts in present and the rest in the past leading up to the current events. The story is fed to the reader in short somewhat hazy glimpses. The anti-hero is deliciously dirty, as only Whitney knows how to deliver. We know next to nothing about him, except for the few small bits that are slowly disclosed.

The heroine is pretty easy to like from the very beginning. Perhaps because she’s so open about her sexuality. She’s been in a bit of a dry spell and isn’t above using Tinder to find a spark that will keep her warm for a night. She’s also an heiress that gave it all up to live a life of her own, until everything as she knows it comes crashing down when a short affair with a gorgeous stranger turns her work upside down.

It’s tough to rate this one with so many questions still up in the air, but it kept me glued to the pages and left me desperate for more. I can’t wait for the next installment!

Review: In Fury Lies Mischief by Amo Jones

IN FURY LIES MISCHIEF
Series:
Midnight Mayhem #2
Genre: Dark Romance
Author: Amo Jones
Release Date: March 10, 2020

She was everything that I wanted.
He was everything that I despised.

Until she wasn’t.
Until he wasn’t.

Killian Cornelii was a walking calamity. He reached inside of me and touched every single inch of my ruined soul, but he didn’t just touch it. He caressed, petted, and captivated it. He tailored me to fit into the palm of his hands. The same hands that possess so much cruelty, were the very same that comforted me.
I thought I knew him.
He thought he knew me.
This isn’t a fairy tale, or some achingly beautiful story about two soul mates who instantly fall irrevocably in love with each other.
This is a story about a love so painful, so rich, that it destroys everything and everyone around it.
Including ourselves.

Midnight Mayhem is the platform to which Killian performs his tricks on, but the greatest trick wouldn’t come from him.
It would come from me.

Tricksters don’t have hearts.
They just pretend that they do.

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

Killian is the kind of wild you want to run away with, not cage. He’s an untamed animal, turbulent and vicious.

Holy hell! My brain right now! What. Just. Happened?!

I’ve come to the conclusion that when it comes to Amo Jones books, I need to completely suspend my disbelief, shut off my brain, grab a drink, brace myself, and enjoy the freaking ride. Because holy hell! I have no idea what I just read, but damn if I didn’t enjoy it.

The Midnight Mayhem world is still a bit of a blur to me as I try to wrap my mind around all of the craziness that surrounds it. But what I do know is that I can’t seem to get enough of it and the crazy characters that star in it. The Kiznitch is dark, mythical, and completely fucked up. And this reader just gobbles it up.

I’ve been itching to get my hands on Killian’s story. The trickster and his elusive fire bending beauty, Saskia, totally stole the show here. Admittedly, I’m not big on the dramatics when it came to Killian’s relationship with Maya and Callan, none of it seemed to deter from my enjoyment of this book.

Saskia and Kill were absolutely incendiary together. The two of them seemed to go from 0 to 60 in the span of a chapter, but I loved it. It felt almost weird at times because it seemed like part of their connection happened off the pages, but the more I read, the more things began to come together, and the more invested I was in the story.

There’s so much that happens here and at times it almost felt like my brain would explode. The final 30% of the story was a total and complete mind fuck. And surprise, surprise, but I loved that too.

The chemistry between Kill and Saskia was utterly delicious. I couldn’t get enough of their constant back and forth, push and pull. It should have almost been frustrating, but instead it just got me more sucked into their crazy madness.

Killian was every bit the maniac that King was, but with a bigger edge. I loved his menace that was hidden beneath the sexy smirks and snarky banter. The man was absolutely lethal. Saskia certainly wasn’t a wallflower herself. She gives as good as she gets, and boy did she make him work for it in parts. Did I mention how much I loved their push and pull dynamic of the I want you but I can’t have you? GAH.

I read this in one sitting and was left with my head reeling and desperate for my next fix. I’m completely obsessed with this series!

Amo Jones is a USA Today & Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author, totally winging this author thing (she’s probably doing it all wrong). She likes cake, loves wine, and her religion is magic (Slytherin). She’s a profound work-a-holic, but when she’s not writing, you can find her chilling with her kids & Husband at the nearest beach, with a cocktail in her hand.

New Zealand is not a state of Australia and rugby is the best sport ever played.

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Review: Bullseye by Monica James

BULLSEYE
Series:
The Monsters Within Duet #1
Genre: Dark Romance
Author: Monica James
Release Date: February 20, 2020

For twelve long years, I’ve breathed, I’ve bled for only one thing…

Revenge.

Four men took something from me, something which can never be replaced. That one night changed the lives of so many and taught me that monsters are real.

But I also learned I’m the biggest monster of them all.

Nothing and no one will stand in my way of redemption because those men…they’re now three. The fourth—he is the reason they call me Bullseye. They can run, but sooner or later, I’ll find them, just as I did with their friend. They’re already dead…they just don’t know it yet.

My plan was simple until I met her. A fierce tiger who had the power to break my heart. Lucky for me…she can’t break what’s already broken. I am no longer a man because the world is a jungle, and we’re all just animals—ready to tear one another apart.

AMAZON

This is me. A coldhearted bastard. A depraved animal. My story doesn’t end with Prince Charming saving the princess and living happily ever after with her because…I killed the fucking prince.

Holy hell, Monica James. I’m equal parts terrified and in awe of your author brain right now. Because this book? It was all sorts of f*cked up. And I. FREAKING. LOVED. IT.

You know what I love about a good dark romance? It’s that feeling that it gives you. You know the one? When you’re reading and you have this feeling in the pit of your stomach. When your gut churns and your throat gets tight and you’re almost scared to turn the page for fear of what happens next?

I want to watch the world burn with me. But the monster inside me has always lingered. It was just waiting for the right moment to slither out of hell.

This book was dark. I mean it was DARK. What I really loved about it is that Monica wasn’t afraid to go there. She takes the reader out of their comfort zone. Vividly. And keeps you at the edge of your seat until the end. I remember reading All The Pretty Things trilogy and thinking even though it was categorized as dark, it never got there. I loved those books, don’t get me wrong, but I was waiting for that…edge…that darker stories had. I got it with this one. Holy hell, y’all, it’s like James finally cut her teeth on dark romance with Saint and she came out swinging with Bullseye.

After serving twelve years for murder, Bullseye is out and only has one thing on his mind. Revenge. His mission is simple, find the men responsible for his greatest pain, and make them pay. He has no intention of going back to prison and no delusions of surviving his mission. He’s not the boy that went into prison. He’s a man with a dark void. Haunted by demons, blood, and pain. He’s a shell of a man and the only thing that drives him is vengeance and death.

Setting his plan in motion, he ends up working at a strip club where he meets Tiger Lily. Tiger is a complication that he can’t afford. She’s beautiful and innocent, even if she stirs all his demons to come out and play.

I’m possessing her, owning her, and she lets me.

Their relationship is a complex game of push and pull, hate and lust, pain and desire. Bullseye is vicious at times and downright cold at the others, but beneath his cruel exterior beats the heart of a man that yearns for things he can’t have.

Tiger is dealing with demons of her own past. She’s a single mom struggling to make ends meet for her and her son. Bullseye is everything that she doesn’t need, but there’s just something about him that calls to her.

This was an absolute page turner, filed with twists and turns and all of the chaos. It was dark, gritty, and suspenseful. I was glued to the pages from the beginning, but as the secrets begin to unravel, I was completely hooked. And then that ending happened and I was about ready to climb the walls in my need for the next book. If you’re looking for a dark romance with an anti-hero that you’ll love to hate almost as much as you’ll hate to love, you need to meet Bullseye.

Review: Kingpin’s Property by Julia Sykes

KINGPIN’S PROPERTY
Series:
Captive #4
Genre: Dark Romance
Author: Julia Sykes
Release Date: January 21, 2020

Carmen Ronaldo is my enemy, an influential player in a rival cartel. She’s also been the object of my twisted obsession for years. Her wickedly sharp mind and fierce demeanor have fascinated me for over a decade, but it’s her carefully concealed, sweetly innocent nature that I’ve come to covet. The thorny contempt she displays for me is nothing more than armor, a means of protecting her gentler soul from the monsters that inhabit our cruel criminal underworld.

Monsters like me.

When I decimate her organization, I’m not merciful enough to spare her. For too long, my ruthless instinct to possess Carmen has been denied. I want her sweetness all for myself, and I will mercilessly employ the most deviant methods to earn her surrender.

She’s my trophy, my prize of war. I intend to cage her and tame her; a symbol of my absolute victory and dominion over my newly conquered territory.

Carmen is no longer my enemy. She’s my pet, my plaything.

She’s just mine.

Note: Kingpin’s Property can be read as a standalone dark romance novel.

AMAZON

I won’t stop, not even when you beg me to. You will weep for mercy, and you’ll find that I have none. I will shatter you.” 

This series has quickly become one of my favorite guilty pleasures. There’s just something so satisfying about Julia Sykes intensely possessive antiheroes. And I mean INTENSELY POSSESSIVE. Kingpin’s Property is the story of Carmen and Stefano’s story.

Now I will say that pretty much every antihero in the Captive series is almost borderline sociopath with their lack of empathy and violent streaks, there’s just something so charmingly enigmatic about Stefano. While the previous men in the series have been dark, broody, and utterly terrifying, Stefano is different. Well, he’s still dark, broody, and utterly terrifying. But he’s also charming, in a borderline sociopathic way. Does that even make sense here? Roll with me on this. What I mean is, the man knows how to layer on the charm, while still being the violent and menacing cartel boss that he is.

This story picks up immediately where Pretty Hostage ended, with the siege of the Ronaldo cartel. Carmen thought that in exchange for her help to get Sofia away from the clutches of her cruel brother, she’d make a deal with the devil. She promised Adrián to help his men access their territory, allow them to kill her brother so that she may take over as the head of the cartel. Unfortunately, Adrián’s got a deal of his own with Stefano. And Stefano? He wants Carmen. To take her. To have her. To own her. But Carmen will not go easy.

What I really loved about this book was how fierce Carmen was. Faced with impossible odds and having survived horrors that still haunt her, the woman is a fighter until the bitter end. She gives as good as she gets and she’s not afraid to goad and torture Stefano, even if she thinks it’s to her death. Stefano is a bit of an enigma. He lacks empathy allowing him to be the deadly cartel boss that he is, but his feelings for Carmen confound him.

This was a delicious game of cat and mouse. Reaching the push and pull between these two was incredibly entertaining. There’s also two new secondary characters that are introduced and I’m so excited to get their book next. But as for this one? Satisfying to the last page.

Review: Descent by Natasha Knight

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

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

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

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

I didn’t know it then, but I do now.

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

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

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

And maybe I’ll keep her.

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

AMAZON

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

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

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

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

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

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

Review: 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).

Copyright © 2015 · Dirty Girl Romance

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