#DGRFave & Review: The Isle of Sin & Shadow by Keri Lake

THE ISLE OF SIN AND SHADOWS
Genre: Gothic Romance
Author: Keri Lake
Release Date: March 16,  2021

This island alone boasts more ghost stories than all of Louisiana combined.
And I’m one of them.

In the Louisiana swamplands, ghost stories are as much a part of childhood as chasing fireflies and crawfishing. They never much scared me, though, nor the possibility of evil out to do me harm. Until the night I watched shadows come to life and butcher everything I loved.

With a stranger’s help, I managed to escape to an isolated place miles north, and, in time, became my own ghost story. A cautionary tale for the locals.

Nearly a decade passed, before I returned to my birthplace, in hopes of unearthing long-awaited answers. Instead, I found something I wasn’t looking for. Someone. A remedy for my loneliness.

Or so I thought.

Turns out, Thierry Bergeron is no elixir. He’s a deadly poison, cursed by the demons of his past, and feared by those who call him the elusive Rougarou of the bayou. A devious rogue, whose seductive whispers and rough hands haunt my dreams. The big bad wolf that defiles me without apology, or remorse.

I should resist him, but I can’t.

And when the shadows return to stake their claim on me, his darkness is the only safe place to hide.

AMAZON

This island alone boasts more ghost stories than all of Louisiana combined. And I’m one of them.

Spine tingling, suspenseful, and utterly mesmerizing. The Isle Of Sin and Shadows was unlike anything I’ve read and a story I won’t be forgetting any time soon.

When Keri Lake announced that she’s writing another gothic romance, I knew I was in for a treat. But nothing, and I mean NOTHING prepared me for the absolute thrill ride that was this book. I mean MY GOD.

This unbearable ache inside of me has a name: Thierry Bergeron. He’s what I desire more than anything. The exquisite poison that’s sure to destroy my heart this time.

If you want a mystery that will send chills down your spine, possibly cause a few nightmares, and own you from beginning to finish…well, look no further.

Céleste has spent years both running from her past and seeking answers. Her mind is a jumbled mess of broken memories and horrors that haunt her living nightmares. After barely escaping with her life when she’s a little girl, the grown woman needs answers. She’s back to the town and her childhood home and all of the haunting memories that come along with it in her desperate search for answers about her family’s gruesome death. She’s fierce, feisty, and everything that I would expect from the brilliant mind of Keri Lake.

Thierry Bergeron is a mystery wrapped in barbed wire. He’s the owner of an exclusive adult club and a cold blooded killer for hire for a ruthless cartel. His history is shadowed at best, but one thing is for sure. This is not a man that you want to cross. And when the young Céleste stumbles into his crosshairs, he’s determined to learn her secrets. But nothing prepares him for the dark web that spins around this woman’s past and just how dangerously close she is to his own present.

The romance is flawlessly and effortlessly interwoven into the dark mystery and suspense. It’s a slow burn that hurts so good and when it finally explodes, it’s downright incendiary. But beyond the romance, the story is completely unputdownable. The mystery unravels piece by agonizing piece, and nothing prepares you for the plot twists that hit you over the head like a two by four. Keri is the queen of dark suspense, I swear, but this was something altogether ELSE. I can’t even begin to describe it to you. All I know is that it played out in my mind like a movie and at times left me completely shell shocked.

This was a book unlike any I’ve read in a long LONG time and if you’re looking for a dark, gothic romance to take you out of your comfort zone and stay in your memory, look no further!

Review: Complicate by Pam Godwin

COMPLICATE
Series: Deliver #9
Genre: Dark Romance
Author: Pam Godwin
Release Date: March 9, 2021

The heart-pounding conclusion of the DELIVER series.

Cole Hartman is a mystery.
He works alone, sleeps alone, and satisfies his aches…alone. He hasn’t touched a woman in seven years.
No one will ever compare to the one who broke his heart.
Until he stares into the seductive eyes of his enemy.

He finally meets his match in the redheaded Russian spy.
But she’s a dangerous risk. His obsession with her leaves him only one choice.

If you love something, let it go.
If it doesn’t kill you, hunt it down and take it.

——

This is Cole Hartman’s story.
But it’s not his beginning.
The saga of Cole, Danni, and Trace starts in the TANGLED LIES trilogy.

You don’t have to read TANGLED LIES, but if you want to read it, do so before reading this book.

RECOMMENDED READING ORDER
ONE IS A PROMISE (#1) (FREE)
TWO IS A LIE (#2)
THREE IS A WAR (#3)
DELIVER (#1) (FREE)
VANQUISH (#2)
DISCLAIM (#3)
DEVASTATE (#4)
TAKE (#5)
MANIPULATE (#6)
UNSHACKLE (#7)
DOMINATE (#8)
COMPLICATE (#9)

The books in the DELIVER series are standalones, but they must be read in order.

AMAZON

 

I’m addicted to you,” she breathed.
“I don’t want to be an addiction. I want to be the love of your life.”

Reading this book was the most bittersweet moment. I’ve spent years completely obsessed with this series. And I’ve spent what feels like forever waiting for Cole Hartman’s book.

Now if you haven’t read the Tangled Lies trilogy yet. I highly recommend you do it before reading this book. Trust me. I remember the devastation of Tangled Lies and also the sense of understanding with how it ended. I also remember hoping beyond hope for a HEA for Cole, even though it didn’t seem there would ever be a woman that would help him move past the love of his life. So I was equally excited for this book and utterly terrified that it wouldn’t live up to my expectations.

The second Lydia appeared on the page, I knew I was in for a hell of a ride. It is no small feat to take a love like what Cole had for Danni and give him a HEA that feels right. What’s even harder, is keeping that love for Danni but giving him a woman that is so much more fitting for him without diminishing what he had with Danni. For that alone, I bow down to the brilliance of Pam Godwin.

Don’t worry, sweetheart. I’m going to fuck you. I’ll fuck you so completely that shit on your face will smear and drip off. You’ll lose the fake eyelashes like the piercing in your lip. I’m going to fuck you until there are holes in your stockings, tangles in your hair, and bite marks marring those creamy tits. I’m going to ravage you, ruin you, and I’ll do it all while my hands are still bound in rope.”

Now I will say that the romance really took centerpiece of this book for me. This being the final book in the Deliver series, of course there’s a dark suspense element that also plays out. And in true Pam Godwin fashion, it was filled with plenty of jaw dropping plot twists that bring the story to a full circle.

Lydia and and Cole’s story spans over quite some time and full of pain and heartache. And I was so here for it! I will say that the ending did feel a little anticlimactic to me as a lot of it happened off the pages. However, the romance was so satisfying, that I couldn’t really find it in me to care. And the epilogue? SO. STINKING. GOOD.

In all my expectations, I didn’t think of a HEA this satisfying for Cole. If you’re thinking of reading this as a standalone, do yourself a favor and don’t. This series is meant to be read in order for the truly fulfilling experience. And you absolutely should read the Tangled Lies trilogy for the true one two punch of feels.

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.
Join my Facebook Reader Group: here

Other 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
DELIVER (#1) – FREE
VANQUISH (#2)
DISCLAIM (#3)
DEVASTATE (#4)
TAKE (#5)
Manipulate (#6)
UNSHACKLE (#7)
DOMINATE (#8)

Trilogy of Eve
HEART OF EVE – FREE
DEAD OF EVE (#1)
BLOOD OF EVE (#2)
DAWN OF EVE (#3)

Stand-alones

🎼 STUDENT-TEACHER ROMANCE 🎼
DARK NOTES

🏍️ ROMANTIC SUSPENSE 🏍️
DIRTY TIES

🎸 ROCK-STAR DARK ROMANCE 🎸
BENEATH THE BURN

👄 CELEBRITY ROMANCE 👄
INCENTIVE

 

Review: I Thee Take by Natasha Knight

I THEE TAKE
Series: To Have and To Hold Duet #2
Genre: Arranged Marriage Mafia Romance
Author: Natasha Knight
Release Date: February 23, 2021 

Scarlett

Cristiano is my enemy. He’s also the only man with whom I’ve ever felt safe. Protected.

But I have to remember that he married me with one purpose in mind. Revenge. I would be the bridge to his real enemies.

I can’t let myself forget that he isn’t the hero of this story. His hands are covered in blood. I saw that with my own eyes.

Cristiano

I thought I knew Scarlett’s past, but I didn’t know anything.

I thought I knew the worst of monsters, but I hadn’t seen anything yet.

Sometimes you have to lie to yourself to survive.

Sometimes it’s those closest to you who will bury their knives in your back.

Too many times it’s the innocents who pay for your mistakes. For your refusal to see.

I can’t let Scarlett pay for mine.

But I may be too late to stop it.

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

ALSO AVAILABLE

#1 With This Ring


He pulls the blankets around us and I feel safe for the first time in too long to care that I’m lying in the arms of the man who should be my enemy.

Talk about ending on a bang! This was a heart racing, non stop thrill ride that I devoured in one engrossing sitting.

I Thee Take was the epic conclusion to what’s come to be my favorite duet from Natasha Knight! Revenge, betrayal, secrets, and a marriage of convenience? Yes, please and thank you!

I fell hard for Scarlett and Cristiano in book one. Cristiano spent the majority of the first book as the hard and untouchable surviving member of a rival mafia family. And he really showed his ass at the end of the book only to regret it severely in this one.

In this one, we finally get to see his softer, fiercely protective side towards Scarlett. When her life is in danger, he stops at nothing to save her. His single minded intent and devotion towards her really explodes here, and I couldn’t get enough of it. There’s just something about a hard and ruthless mafia boss that has a soft side for the woman he loves that just does it for me. And what I love is seeing that softer side towards Scarlett without having him lose any of his edge. Because he never did.

Scarlett was even better in this book than the first one. The woman is a survivor. SHe’s been through hell and she never stopped fighting, even when all of the odds are stacked against her.

There’s so much to unpack with this book. But while I saw the ultimate reveal coming a mile away, there’s a plot twist that came out of left field that left me reeling and hoping we get more in this world. Because holy hook batman!

If you’re looking for a steamy and thrilling mafia romance, look no further. This one had it all!

Natasha Knight is the USA Today Bestselling author of Romantic Suspense and Dark Romance Novels. She has sold over half a million books and is translated into six languages. She currently lives in The Netherlands with her husband and two daughters and when she’s not writing, she’s walking in the woods listening to a book, sitting in a corner reading or off exploring the world as often as she can get away.

 

AUTHOR LINKS

Website | Bookbub | Amazon  | Facebook | Facebook Group | Newsletter | Instagram 

 

Review: With This Ring by Natasha Knight

Title: WITH THIS RING
Series: To Have and To Hold Duet #1
Author: Natasha Knight
Genre: Dark Mafia Romance
Release Date: February 2, 2021

When I rescued Scarlett De La Cruz from her tower it’s not like her prospects were looking so great. 

You’d think she’d show a little gratitude. Thank me for putting my ring on her finger and marking her as mafia property.

My property.

I’ll keep her safe. And the trade-off isn’t so bad. Most women would jump at the chance to sleep in my bed. 

Not Scarlett, though.

My Cartel Princess has a big mouth and an even bigger attitude. But it’s her furious caramel eyes that keep me coming back for more. That and the way her body bends to mine like it already knows it belongs to me.

Scarlett is my enemy. She’s also the one woman I can’t keep my hands off. 

But if I don’t keep my head on straight, everything I’ve worked for all these years will have been for nothing. 

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

Lace falls across my face. It’s yellowed over the years and the smell that clings to it is musty. Old. But it’s my mother’s. The one she wore on her wedding day. Baby’s breath and discarded lilies litter the stone floor as the woman grumbles behind me. She’s annoyed at having to work with the old veil when a brand new, prettier one sits unused in its box. I move my foot, crush the delicate baby’s breath, impaling the fallen petal of a pale pink lily with my heel. 

Funeral flowers for a wedding. An omen. 

Not that I need one. 

The stink of them turns my stomach. This isn’t how I imagined my wedding day. 

“Finished,” the woman announces. 

I stand, the petal sticking to my heel. I don’t care. I look up to meet my reflection in the mirror. 

“He won’t like the veil,” she says. She’s a blur beside me. 

I shift my gaze, letting my eyes focus on her. She’s plump and short and has a wart on the side of her face with a thick black hair growing out of it. Don’t judge a book by its cover has nothing on this one. She is as much a bitch inside as she looks on the outside.

“I guess he’ll have to get over it.” 

“You should wear the one he sent.”

I don’t bother to answer her, although I agree. The veil was a gift from my brothers. 

Gift. 

No, not a gift. 

Just another cruelty to make me wear my mother’s veil for this sham wedding. 

She snorts, turns to gather up the dress, the keys jangling on her belt. I could take them. Overpower her. That part would be easy. It’s the men with the guns outside the door who’d be the problem. 

Noisy footsteps on the hundred stairs announce the approach of soldiers to my tower room. 

A tower. They locked me in a fucking tower. My own fucking brothers. 

From the sound of things, they’re expecting me to put up a fight. They’ll take me kicking and screaming if I do. Besides, I know better than to waste my energy on them. I’ll need it after. For the wedding night. 

A man says something, another one laughs, just before I hear a loud crash, like something smashing hard against the wall.

It’s then that it happens. Gunfire explodes just beyond my room. A bullet splinters its way through the thick wooden door and shatters the mirror, breaking my reflection into a thousand pieces, sending me backward into the stone wall.

The woman with the wart screams.

I right myself. Touching the back of my head with one hand, I somehow still manage to keep hold of the lilies. Suddenly, the door is kicked in, banging against the wall as heavily armed men in military fatigues raid my room. A cloud of smoke follows behind them, seeping into my circular tower.

They fan out, a dozen of them and I don’t recognize a single one. These aren’t my brothers’ men. 

The woman is on the floor blubbering something, sobbing. 

I just stare at the door as another set of footsteps approach, quieter now. This one isn’t in a hurry.  And I know the instant he steps into my line of vision that he’s in charge. 

He’s the one to worry about. The only one who’s masked. 

He stops just inside the room, surveys it, eyeing every soldier, every stone, every cobweb. And when deep blue eyes land on me, a weight drops in my belly, a hundred-pound cement block. 

The woman with the keys stands, tripping over her words as she walks toward him. He looks down at her like he’s irritated, and she doesn’t get far. An echo of bullets shuts her down, splattering blood like paint on my neck, my face. The shots put her back on the floor. 

Fuck.

I don’t spare her a glance. I don’t need to, to know she’s dead. 

The man’s eyes return to mine. They narrow. And when he takes a step toward me, I take one back, knocking the chair behind me to the floor, panicking then. Animated then. 

I turn to run but see a dozen sets of eyes staring back at me. The masked intruder, the biggest of them all, blocks the only exit. I can’t even jump from the window. They’re barred. Suicide was never an option, not for my brothers. They needed me.

But something’s gone wrong. 

And before I can decide what to do, before I can make up my mind to try to charge him, to risk bullets putting me down like they did the woman on the floor, he’s got my wrist in his right hand and he’s squeezing it. 

My hand opens. Flowers scatter to the floor. I watch them, then watch him lift my hand to his face. His thumb comes to my ring finger where the hideous diamond catches the waning sun. For a moment I think he’s going to break my finger. But he twists and forces it off. It’s tight but he manages. He pockets the ring then shifts his gaze to mine again. 

I swallow hard. 

He cocks his head to the side, one hand still locked around my wrist. He spins me around.

I scream as he jerks me to him, his body a solid wall at my back. 

He releases my wrist and bands his arm beneath my breasts. With the other, he pushes the veil off my neck, his hand rough against my skin, fingers digging, bruising. I think he’s going to snap my neck. One quick twist is all it would take. He’s a fucking giant. 

But he doesn’t.

Instead, the moment I turn my face up to his, he squeezes and instantly, my knees give out. My arms drop uselessly to my sides. He shifts his grip and as I slip, he lifts me up, hauling me over his shoulder, turning the room upside down before it goes black.

Are you afraid of me?” he asks more quietly but no more gently. “Yes.”
He leans in close, inhales deeply. “Good. Because you should be,” he says, his lips brushing my cheek, the corner of my mouth when he does. “Because you don’t know what I want to do to you.”

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; Natasha Knight books are my crack. She writes some of the most sizzling and addictive mafia romance and this one may be my favorite of hers to date!

Cristiano is a man set on bloody revenge and Scarlett the beautiful woman that gets caught in the crosshairs of a year old war in the making.

What I love about Knight’s duets, is the way she really sets the stage with book one. The slow burn, the tension, the secrets, the questions that are burning through your brain. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough.

Scarlett has been collateral for ruthless man for almost all of her life. Being forced to marry a man she hates by her vicious brothers is one thing. But being rescued out of the marriage only to see another guided cage is another thing.

Cristiano has been waiting to avenge the murder of his family for years and now the cards are finally falling into place for him. Even if it means a marriage to the woman whose family took center stage in the ruination of his. It doesn’t matter that she’s an innocent. He’ll use her for what he needs.

There’s just enough character development in this book to get you completely hooked on both characters while still leaving you burning with questions on their past. The tension between Cristiano and Scarlett is so thick, you can practically taste it. This is the ultimate enemies to lovers catnip. Scarlett may be young, and her past may be riddled in pain and demons that she tries to forget, but she’s a fighter through and through. She protects her youngest brother with a type of ferocity that a mafia princess should have. But she’s no princess. She’s been through hell, even if we haven’t fully learned the extent of it.

THis story had me eagerly turning the pages well into the night only to be slammed with a cliffhangers to beat all cliffhanger and desperate for my next hit. I can’t wait to get my hands on the conclusion. This had everything I love in a mafia romance; grit with just enough dose of darkness, sexual tension, plenty of action, secrets and betrayal. I need the final book IMMEDIATELY!


COMING SOON

#2 I Thee Take – Releasing February 23

AMAZON | B&N | KOBO | iBOOKS 

Natasha Knight is the USA Today Bestselling author of Romantic Suspense and Dark Romance Novels. She has sold over half a million books and is translated into six languages. She currently lives in The Netherlands with her husband and two daughters and when she’s not writing, she’s walking in the woods listening to a book, sitting in a corner reading or off exploring the world as often as she can get away.

AUTHOR LINKS

Website | Bookbub | Amazon  | Facebook | Facebook Group | Newsletter | Instagram 

Review: Hate Me by A. Jade

HATE ME
Genre: Dark Bully Romance
Series: (Standalone in the BLACK MOUNTAIN ACADEMY)
Author: A. Jade
Release Date: January 28, 2020

A Stepbrother Bully Romance

I’m the whispers in the dark you can’t ignore.

The bully you can’t run away from.

I’m the tormentor who makes your life a living hell.

The villain you love to hate.

I’m the vicious stepbrother sleeping in the next room.

The one who knows all your secrets.

And I’ll stop at nothing to make you pay.

 

 

WARNING: This book is recommended for mature readers due to graphic language, sexual content, and dark elements.

AMAZON

Sheridan is nothing more than a pretty little pawn. A means to an end. A heart I intend to shatter into a million jagged pieces. I won’t hurt her physically.
Frankly, that isn’t my style. But I will ruin her.
I’ll ruin her for any other man.

The second I read this blurb, I was salivating for this book. SALIVATING. I’m a sucker for a second chance romance and this one sounded utterly delicious. Admittedly, the blurb is deceiving. Because it wasn’t quite that. And while I did enjoy this book for the most part, there were a few parts that just didn’t live up to the promise of the blurb for me.

The premise of the story is amazing. Sheridan and August are the children of families with a long and dark history rooted in lies and pain. August is the youngest son and doesn’t take much seriously. But when he catches the daughter of his family’s enemy in his pool, he’s determined to make the best of it. He sets out to make her pay for what her father did to his family, or at least what he thinks he did. But it leads to something that neither of them expect.

Sheridan fights the allure of August for as long as she can. He’s the epitome of forbidden fruit to her. His family ruined hers, after all. But August is determined and chases her until she gives in. Thus begins their tumultuous secret relationship.

Now, I loved the complexity of their family history and both Sheridan and August’s characters. The secrets that lie between their families was alluring and had me turning the pages to figure it all out. What left me a bit disappointed was the timeline. August’s fall seemed sudden and quick. It wasn’t as satisfying as I had hoped considering the set up where he wants to make her pay and be the pawn. It seems the second he first sleeps with her, all of it is forgotten. It just didn’t seem fleshed out enough to be satisfying for me. I love when the bad boy falls, especially when it’s in spite of himself. And while the set up alludes to that, it didn’t end up that way.

The other piece of it is the blurb. The blurb alludes that they fall apart to crash back together. And while it did happen, sort of, it wasn’t quite as satisfying as it seems. Their separation is really over the span of a few pages and ultimately lasts just a few months. It’s barely fleshed out and happens in the blink of an eye towards the end of the story. I was hoping for a big falling out and a falling back together. But really, they reunite at the end and then just face some family drama. The blurb just felt a bit…deceiving to me. It set up my hopes to one story, but this turned out different.

Did I ultimately enjoy this book, yes. It wasn’t quite what I thought, but I did like it. It was my first book by this author but certainly won’t be my last. I had my quibbles with it, but those things aside, it was a nice read.

Review: Dominate by Pam Godwin

DOMINATE
Series: Deliver #8
Genre: Dark Romance
Author: Pam Godwin
Release Date: January 26, 2020

There are many reasons to jump off a bridge, but Rylee Sutton only needs one.
Her husband’s betrayal.
Just before she leaps, she receives an email from a stranger.
The boy’s message is meant for his dead girlfriend, but his anguish speaks to Rylee.
It saves her life.

Over the next decade, Tomas Dine continues to email his dead girl. As he evolves from a teenager into a hardened, vicious criminal, Rylee is there, reading every intimate word.
He doesn’t know she exists.

When she comes forward, he despises her, his cruelty unforgivable. But she doesn’t back down. In a carnal battle of punishment and passion, hatred dominates.
Until he loses her.
Amid looming danger and unsolved murders rises a devotion forged in strife.
Love is lethal in his ruthless world. To survive it, they must fight for answers—and each other.

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

 

Lethally gorgeous. Impossible to look away. He was violence and sex and salvation.
Salvation for trafficked women, not for her.
For her, he was corruption.
Damnation.
Death wasn’t off the table.

This series has quickly become an obsession for me. I live for Pam’s dark and gritty words. Tommy’s book has been a much anticipated one for me. Partly because it’s an age gap with an older woman, and partly because I’m not THIS much closer to Cole’s story.

Interestingly enough, I found this book to be the least dark out of the entire series. And considering how dark the rest of this series is, don’t think this one is sunshine and butterflies. It had just the right amount of intensity to it, but without the pit in the stomach feeling I normally get.

Before Tommy was a ruthless vigilante, he was a 17 year old boy that lost his beloved girlfriend and broke in a way only a teenage boy could break. The only thing that kept him going through it all were the secret emails that he kept sending to his long dead girlfriend. The last thing he expected was for those emails to end up in the possession of another woman, but fate had other plans. Rylee was older and reeling on the betrayal of her husband. About to take her life, the email of a then 17 year old Tommy made her realize that maybe it’s not all bad. Years later, those emails have kept her going but she’s never been foolish enough to give her heart away again. She’s ready to make contact, determined to help Tommy in his mission. And while she expects his anger and resistance, nothing could prepare her for his response.

The one thing that I love about Pam’s writing, is that all of her alpha males have this electric sort of intensity to them. They practically crackle on the pages and Tommy was no exception.

This virile, handsome devil was a dangerous vigilante and killer. He was also a sexual deviant, a kinky freak with an insatiable appetite, who’d lured hundreds of unsuspecting women into his bed.

Pam is also the queen of redeeming the irredeemable. And what Tommy does in this story could surely be just that. Completely irredeemable. He puts Rylee through hell in his search of answers. But through it all, there’s a sexual tension that sizzles between them. And the fourteen year age gap just adds a little spice to the mix. Because while Tommy may be the younger man, he more than makes up for it in dominance and intensity.

I struggled with my rating on this one in all honesty. Like all of Pam’s books, this was a book I devoured in one sitting. It kept me turning the pages well into 3 am and I couldn’t stop. The one quibble that I did have was the relationship development. It went from one extreme to the other in what seemed to be the blink of an eye. Truth be told, I struggled with this a bit. I couldn’t fully buy Tommy’s turnaround. He went from being her captor to being in love and there just didn’t seem enough progression in between to land him there. Rylee also forgave him way too quick for everything that happened.

But ultimately, even with my quibble, I could barely find enough in me to care. Because I was simply that invested in this story and all of the revelations that happened. There’s so many secrets that get revealed, and if you’re a die hard Cole fan like me, you’ll be foaming at the mouth by the end. And the preview into his book? I. AM. DYING.

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.
Join my Facebook Reader Group: here

Other 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
DELIVER (#1) – FREE
VANQUISH (#2)
DISCLAIM (#3)
DEVASTATE (#4)
TAKE (#5)
Manipulate (#6)
UNSHACKLE (#7)

Trilogy of Eve
HEART OF EVE – FREE
DEAD OF EVE (#1)
BLOOD OF EVE (#2)
DAWN OF EVE (#3)

Stand-alones

🎼 STUDENT-TEACHER ROMANCE 🎼
DARK NOTES

🏍️ ROMANTIC SUSPENSE 🏍️
DIRTY TIES

🎸 ROCK-STAR DARK ROMANCE 🎸
BENEATH THE BURN

👄 CELEBRITY ROMANCE 👄
INCENTIVE

 

Review: Bound by Honor by Cora Reilly

BOUND BY HONOR
Series: Born in Blood Mafia Chronicles #1
Genre: Mafia Romance
Author: Cora Reilly
Release Date: December 14, 2014

Born into one of the leading Mob families in Chicago, Aria Scuderi struggles to find her own path in a world where no choices are given. Aria was only fifteen when her parents betrothed her to Luca – The Vice – Vitiello, the oldest son of the head of the New York Cosa Nostra to ensure peace between the two families.

Now with eighteen, the day Aria has been dreading for years is looming dangerously: her wedding to Luca.
Aria is terrified of marrying a man she hardly knows, especially someone like Luca who got his nickname ‘the Vice’ for crushing a man’s throat with his bare hands. Luca might be one of the most sought after men in New York thanks to his good looks, wealth and predator-like charisma that radiates power, but the society girls throwing themselves at him don’t know what Aria does: that the bad boy aura isn’t just a game; blood and death lurk beneath Luca’s striking gray eyes and arrogant smile.

In her world a handsome exterior often hides the monster within; a monster who can just as easily kill as kiss you.

The only way to escape the marriage to Luca would be to run away and leave everything she’s ever known behind but Aria can’t bear the thought of never seeing her family again.
Despite her fear, she decides to go through with the marriage; Aria has grown up among predators like Luca and knows that even most cold-hearted bastards have a heart and she has every intention of working her way into Luca’s.

Books in the Born in Blood Mafia Chronicles:
Bound By Honor
Bound By Duty
Bound By Hatred
Bound By Temptation
Bound By Vengeance
Bound By Love

AMAZON

I’ll burn down the world if I have to. I’ll kill and maim and blackmail. I’ll do anything for you.

Confession time: I totally read this book for the cheating.
What? Don’t you judge me. It’s an enticing hook. But I digress.

Truth be told, this book has set on my kindle for way too long. I’m not sure why I’m only getting around to it now since it’s been on my radar forever. I first tried Cora’s books Twisted Pride and was left….a touch underwhelmed. Then I tried a few of her other recent releases, and felt much the same way. The forgettable heroines. The lackluster romance. The somewhat formulaic plot. It just didn’t entice me to read her earlier books. But I’m certainly kicking myself for it now. Because this book was totally right up my alley.

I love a mafia romance. Make it gritty, raw, and a touch dark and I’m all over it. I think that’s what I really appreciated about this book, the rawness of it. Aria is promised to Luca when she’s 15 and married at 18. She may not be naive to the reality of being a mafia daughter, but she’s still young and naive to her ultimate reality of being married to one of the most feared men and soon to be head of New York Cosa Nostra. Theirs is not a love written in the stars. Theirs is a reality born of duty and alliance.

What I loved about the story is that Luca doesn’t change. I think that’s what I really appreciated about the author here. She took a risk writing a hero that’s imperfect but she stayed true to her characters. I simply wouldn’t buy it if it was any other way. I loved the push and pull dynamic between the two of them. I love that Aria may fear him but also doesn’t back down or cow down to Luca. She doesn’t just take her reality sitting down, and for an 18 year old, this was truly refreshing. I loved seeing her grow into her own and slowly fall for this capo. I also loved watching the cold and unfeeling Luca slowly fall for his young bride. There’s a bit that’s left open ended here which I’m assuming is later addressed in Bound by Love. One thing that’s for sure, I’ll definitely be reading the rest of this series.

Review: Unshackle by Pam Godwin

UNSHACKLE
Series: Deliver #7
Genre: Dark Romance
Author: Pam Godwin
Release Date: November 30, 2020

No woman can resist Luke Sanch’s chiseled features, honed physique, auburn hair, and intense green eyes.
While deadly in combat, he’s an indomitable weapon in bed. He can coax an explosive release with only his mouth and annihilate with insidious, mind-blowing pleasure.

When he infiltrates La Rocha Cartel, he must seduce Vera Gomez to determine whether to rescue her.
Or kill her.

Nothing can distract his icy, lethal focus.
Except the cartel’s most feral captive.

The nameless, raven-haired beauty is his key to dismantling Vera Gomez. But the ferocious little fighter challenges him at every turn and unknowingly battles her way into his heart.
A battle that delivers him, physically and emotionally, into shackles.

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

AMAZON

He wanted this tiny little warrior with a ferocity that felt foreign. Inexplicable. Completely out of his depth.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. This is hands down, one of my favorite dark romance series to date. I’m absolutely obsessed with it and somehow it only keeps getting better and better with each book. Captivatingly dark and erotically charged, this story owned me. I read it with a pit in my stomach and a sense of dread with every turn of the page just waiting for the other page to turn. Because one thing about Godwin’s writing, is the woman is completely unpredictable and isn’t afraid to go to the very pits of human depravity and darkness. You never know what you’ll get, and this book is proof of that. Godwin is an evil genius and I will never be the same again.

His stare wasn’t a stare. It was a labyrinth. All high walls, dark corners, and confusing dead ends.

Unshackle is Luke’s story. As a secondary character, Luke was quite unassuming to me. He never really stood out as a character that I was dying to know more about. And then this book came around and tilted my world on it’s axis because his story completely owned me. Luke’s beauty and charm is widely known. This is why he’s the one that’s sent to infiltrate the La Rocha cartel and seduce answers out of Vera Gomez. If you’ve read Manipulate, then you’ll remember Tula’s lost sister, Vera.

Nothing is ever as it seems in this world, and soon Luke’s mission takes a turn when his attention is grabbed by a fierce captive forced to fight in the ring for everyone’s entertainment. He knows the dark reality of the captive women in the compound and knows he can’t save them all, but something about this nameless beauty draws him like no other.

The feelings she unleashed in him were unwieldy. Monstrous. Impossible to tame.

I won’t give you much more details about the plot, but prepare yourself for an all-nighter. Because this book is completely impossible to put down. With every twist and turn, with every new revelation and secret revealed, you get sucked deeper and deeper. My heart bled for these characters and everything they go through. Godwin spares no punches with her gut wrenching details that I found myself almost sick to my stomach reading parts of the story. It was devastating and never failed to invoke a sense of emotion; whether it was anger, lust, or absolute terror. I lived for these characters and I I live for this series. And the set up for the next one? I. DIE. I absolutely DIE. I need the next book BAD. Although not entirely as bad as the last book because OH MY GAWD. I feel like I’ve been waiting forever for the enigma that is him and I need my HEA!!!

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.
Join my Facebook Reader Group: here

Other 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
DELIVER (#1) – FREE
VANQUISH (#2)
DISCLAIM (#3)
DEVASTATE (#4)
TAKE (#5)
Manipulate (#6)
UNSHACKLE (#7)

Trilogy of Eve
HEART OF EVE – FREE
DEAD OF EVE (#1)
BLOOD OF EVE (#2)
DAWN OF EVE (#3)

Stand-alones

🎼 STUDENT-TEACHER ROMANCE 🎼
DARK NOTES

🏍️ ROMANTIC SUSPENSE 🏍️
DIRTY TIES

🎸 ROCK-STAR DARK ROMANCE 🎸
BENEATH THE BURN

👄 CELEBRITY ROMANCE 👄
INCENTIVE

 

Review: Ruthless Savior by Julia Sykes

RUTHLESS SAVIOR
Series: Captive #5
Genre: Dark Romance
Author: Julia Sykes
Release Date: November 17, 2020

My pretty little captive thinks she can run from me. She doesn’t understand how ruthless I truly am…

Guarding my lovely hostage has become my obsession. I protect Marisol from the vicious men in my brutal cartel, including myself. I’ve kept the promise I made to my boss on the night of her capture: No one touches her.

But she runs from me at the first opportunity, escaping the safe cage I built for her.

I’ve denied myself for far too long. She’s made the mistake of believing I’m gentle and forgiving. There’s nothing gentle about what I intend to do to her once I catch her, and she’ll have to beg for my forgiveness.

I’ve spent endless nights imagining so many delicious ways to torment her.

Now that she’s defied the cartel, I can indulge all of my twisted desires.

I’ll never let her escape me again. Marisol is mine


AMAZON 

My dark affinity for dangerous men would be my ruin.

The Captive series is one of my favorite guilty pleasure reads. I’m a sucker for a good captive romance, and Julia Sykes writes some of the most delicious antiheroes. They’re ruthless criminals that become borderline obsessive and uber protective when it comes to their females and I am so here for it.

Ruthless Savior is the story of Marisol and Ruel, who we met in Wicked King. Marisol was Carmen’s maid and a long time captive of the cartel. She yearns for freedom but seems to always get in the crosshairs of dangerous and ruthless men. This time her captor is Stefano’s right hand man, Raul.

Raul is fiercely protective of Marisol, but he’s no different than all other men in Marisol’s life; he wants to own her. She’s been planning an escape and when she finally takes it, she knows he’ll stop at nothing to bring her back. And when he does catch up to her, he won’t let her out of his sight again. She becomes his captive and even though he vows to protect her at all costs, she still knows that he won’t let her leave. Haunted by her past mistakes with dangerous men, Marisol can’t stop fighting for her freedom. her past haunts her and her dark urges for Raul terrify her.

If you like dark romance to dip your toe into the genre, this is the series. It has just the right amount of danger and darkness to be delicious, without being overwhelming. Raul is fiercely protective and dangerously lethal. But there’s enough characterization to humanize this cartel criminal that you also feel for him. I love how Sykes captures that in all her romances. This was a sexy romance full of grit and danger and just the right amount of suspense. I’m already salivating for my next fix in this series.


Julia Sykes is the USA Today bestselling author of the Impossible Series. She has always kept dark stories tucked away in her mind, so she was thrilled when she discovered that other people actually want to read them. Her books blend romance, suspense, and BDSM.

You can usually find Julia in Starbucks with a venti iced coffee clutched in her hand (two pumps of mocha, liberal half and half). If she’s not in Starbucks, you will find her with a glass of prosecco in hand, probably reading Harry Potter. Again.

Connect with Julia
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorjuliasykes/
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/julia-sykes
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2LWBDzZ
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6469571.Julia_Sykes
Twitter: @JuliaSykes193
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorjuliasykes/
Website: http://www.julia-sykes.com/
Subscribe to Julia’s newsletter: Julia-sykes.com/connect

Review: Morally Corrupt by Veronica Lancet

MORALLY CORRUPT
Series: Morally Questionable #1
Genre: Dark Romance
Author: Veronica Lancet
Release Date: November 1, 2020

The first time I saw him I knew he was mine.

I pretended to be innocent, sweet, pure.

It couldn’t be further from the truth.

I lied to him. I married him.

And now he knows.

Hooker. Assassin. Junkie.

I am rotten to the core.

I am morally corrupt.

Bianca Ashby, a certified sociopath with an obsession for her husband, tries to juggle two lives – the demure NYPD Chief Commissioner wife, and the perfect Bratva assassin; all the while keeping her husband safe and blissfully unaware.

But when high-level corruption and a personal vendetta raise the stakes, no one is who they say they are; least of all Bianca’s perfectly dull husband Theo.

From glitzy New York ballrooms and charity events to underground sex rings, drugs, and illegal fights, the best pretender wins it all.

Morally Corrupt is book one of the Morally Questionable series but can be read as a standalone.
Warning: This book explores questionable moral behaviors and includes graphic violence and adult situations that may trigger some readers. Please proceed with caution

 AMAZON

Sometimes, maybe even monsters deserve some redemption.” 

I’m what you’d call trigger shy when it comes to new to me or debut authors. (See what I did there? Assassin? Trigger? Ha! Whatever, it was funnier in my head). I’m such a picky reader, that I’m always hesitant to try a new author for fear that my nitpicking brain will kick in and won’t shut off. Yes, I’m one of those. I own it. But when I read the blurb to Morally Corrupt, I knew that blurb was simply too delicious for me not to give it a try. And you know what? I am so happy I did because I just may have found myself a new author to follow.

I’m a sucker for a dark and gritty read, and when you add into the mix incredibly unconventional characters? I’m putty in your hands. PUTTEH I tells ya! And it just doesn’t get more unconventional than a certified sociopath heroine who is obsessed beyond reason with her husband and happens to moonlight as a Bratva assassin behind his back.
Bianca Ashby was a character that’s vivid and multi-layered. Her quirks hook the reader immediately. Here’s a woman that grew up in glitz and glam, with some daddy issues on the side, and is one of the deadliest assassins out there with absolutely no moral compass. And the only thing beyond her job that she’s more obsessed with is her NYPD Chief Commissioner who treats her like spun glass when all she wants him to do is the opposite. Then you have her husband Theo, who is not quite all that he seems. GAH. Delicious.

Now that’s about all you’ll get out of me regarding this story, because you simply need to experience it for yourself.

What I will tell you, is while this is an author to watch out for. For a debut, this blew me away. It was an action packed thrill ride full of intrigue, secrets, murder, and suspense. Warring mafia families, twisted bonds, a sizzling romance, all of it cleverly crafted to keep the reader at the edge of their seats from beginning to finish. There were some parts that were a bit drawn out, and some details that felt a bit much at times. However, I wasn’t going into a debut book expecting it to be perfect, so it did nothing to distract from the story. I was obsessed. I was obsessed not only with the main characters, but with some of the most intriguing secondary characters. Luckily we’re getting the book for one of them next, but I’m pretty sure if we don’t get Vlad’s book right after that, I may cry a little.

What can I tell you. This book was deliciously morbid. It was dark, gritty, and sucked you right into the dark underbelly of NY’s crime underbelly. The romance was the exact icing on the cake the story needed and I devoured it! Simply devoured it. Told in dual first person POV, it was filled with enough twists and turns to leave her head reeling. Do yourself a favor and read this. Trust me on this. This is one debut you’ll want to check out.

Copyright © 2015 · Dirty Girl Romance

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