#DGRFave & Review: Wicked Sexy by @JTGeissinger

WICKED SEXY
Series: Wicked Games #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Suspense
Author: J.T. Geissinger
Release Date: September 25, 2018

A badass ex-Special Ops officer and a smartass hacker fight a dangerous enemy…and a blistering attraction to each other.

Connor Hughes is an ex-special ops officer, CEO of Metrix Security, and bonafide badass. His private security firm is renowned for its effectiveness. He’s renowned for his lethal precision and iron self-control. But when the former Marine meets a gorgeous young hacker with a mouth as smart as her brain, his control unravels in ways he never could have predicted.

Tabitha West is a genius MIT dropout with a bad attitude, an obsession with Hello Kitty and piercings in unmentionable places. Tabby amuses herself by outwitting the most secure technology systems on the planet. Known in hacker circles as Polaroid due to her photographic memory, she’s as secretive as she is accustomed to working alone. So when Connor decides she’s the only one who can help him catch a cyber criminal intent on taking down one of his clients, she tells him exactly where he can stick it.

But when the cyber criminal turns out to be the Hannibal Lecter of computer crime—and a dark presence from Tabby’s past—Tabby and Connor are drawn into a dangerous game of cat and mouse. They quickly find themselves fighting not only their common enemy, but also an explosive desire that threatens to consume them.

When the stakes are this high and the game this deadly, will falling in love be the most dangerous move of all?

AMAZON

Should I jump to the ending? Spoiler alert: the hero saves her.”
Tabby looks over at me, her eyes shining like gems in the dark. “A real hero would teach the princess how to save herself.”

Where has this book been all my life?! I mean, you GUYS! The amount of love I had for this completely unputdownable story is so ridiculous, I lost count. It had everything. And I do mean EVERYTHING. A badass, take no prisoners, sharp witted and sassy heroine. Banter that will make your life. Sexual tension that will make you shiver. And a total badass, dirty talking hero that’s a doppelgänger for Dwayne Johnson
YES PLEASE AND THANK YOU!

Hacker extraordinaire and just overall badass, Tabby, was easily one of my favorite heroines.

I’m not weird. I’m limited edition.”

This woman made the book for me. Everything from her extremely quirky sense of style and love of hello kitty, to her piercings, and topped off with her sassy mouth just DID things for me. She’s a total ball buster and I couldn’t get enough of the way she gives as good as she gets.

When she first meets Connor in Wicked Beautiful, it’s (lusty) hate at first sight. Now, three years later, she’s no more thrilled to have the man breaking into her room and propositioning her with work. She hates everything about Connor, starting from his all black wardrobe, to his unnerving ability to get a rise out of her, and topped off with his ridiculous sexiness, she wants nothing to do with the man.

Let me tell you, the sexual tension between these two is so potent, I thought MY ovaries would explode. I’m talking fireworks here, people! These two together were everything. JUST EVERYTHING. I couldn’t get enough of their back and forth insults. Mainly because of the heavy underlaying cloak of lust that was in every sarcastic bard they threw at each other. God. GOD. It was utterly delicious.

Connor’s dirty mouth was almost as amazing as the incredibly sizzling love scenes and the slow building and potent romance.

With convulsions that shake the bed, she orgasms in my mouth.
Thunder booms. Lightning flashes. The first of the rain begins a soft, drumming song against the roof.
And for the first time in my adult life, I discover the true meaning of the word yearning.

Then you have the page-turning suspense that will keep you at the edge of your seat until the very last page, and you’ve got yourself one amazing read. I loved the mystery of Tabby’s past and the big baddie hacker that you’re practically ravenous to learn more about. This was an incredible fast-paced, action packed and damn near incendiary read that I can’t recommend enough. Chock full of passion, emotion, with fascinating multi-layered characters and a story that you never want to end, Wicked Sexy was absolutely everything I love about romance.

You’re beautiful, jarhead,” I say brokenly.
He pants, “I’m yours, princess.”

 

#DGRFave & Review: The Kiss Thief by LJ Shen

THE KISS THIEF
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: L.J. Shen
Release Date: January 10, 2019

They say your first kiss should be earned.

Mine was stolen by a devil in a masquerade mask under the black Chicago sky.

They say the vows you take on your wedding day are sacred.

Mine were broken before we left church.

They say your heart only beats for one man.

Mine split and bled for two rivals who fought for it until the bitter end.

I was promised to Angelo Bandini, the heir to one of the most powerful families in the Chicago Outfit.

Then taken by Senator Wolfe Keaton, who held my father’s sins over his head to force me into marriage.

They say that all great love stories have a happy ending.

I, Francesca Rossi, found myself erasing and rewriting mine until the very last chapter.

One kiss.
Two men.
Three lives.
Entwined together.

And somewhere between these two men, I had to find my forever.

AMAZON

Our hearts were tarnished. Stained. And guilty. Unpredictable to a fault. And bound to break.

I got two words for you here: Must. Read.

I know I say this each time I finish a book of hers, but this was my favorite LJ Shen book to date.

I was born into a glided cage.

If you like a modern day arranged marriage trope, welcome to your next addiction. This book? GAH! It had an anti-hero that only Shen can write; brutal and hard but completely redeemable. This is someone you won’t be able to help rooting for! This was like if Vicious and Sparrow had a baby, and that baby threw down the gauntlet of delicious angst and grit. A clashing of a ruthless politician and the mafia, and a young beauty used as a pawn that gets caught in the crosshairs of political agendas and blackmail.

Francesca Rossi was such a breath of fresh air. For someone so young, she had this endearing naiveté to her that was beneath her hardened persona. She’s not a doormat, even when dealing with an extremely dominant man. This is not a woman that takes things lying down. She’s sharp-witted and smart-mouthed. I absolutely loved her.

The Kiss Thief was a book that kept me riveted to the pages from beginning to end. It was unlike any book I’ve read in a long damn while and it was absolutely everything. EVERYTHING, I tells ya!

I know you’re thinking, Lana, you’re being vague as hell right now. But trust me, you don’t need or WANT to know more. This is a book that you NEED to go into absolutely blind, or you’ll do yourself a great disservice. So, you’re welcome 🙂

#DGRFave & Review: Faking It by K. Bromberg

FAKING IT
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: K. Bromberg
Release Date: January 8, 2019

Faking it never felt so good in this red-hot new standalone by New York Times bestselling author K. Bromberg—available in audio first!

Zane Phillips mistook me for his dog walker. It shouldn’t surprise me that the man with a suit more expensive than my rent would assume that I was there to serve him. The positive? I put him in his place. The negative? I missed my job interview because of it.

Now I find out he’s a rich Australian entrepreneur, and he wants to make up for tanking my interview. Yes, he’s impossibly hot – but he’s also an arrogant jackass—so . . . no thanks.

But after a little white lie I tell spirals out of control, I’m somehow offered the chance to play Zane’s girlfriend to help promote his new dating website – and the best part? He can’t say no because he’ll get caught in his lie too.

Little did I know this would entail sharing a tour bus with him for the next few months. The fact that the bus has just one bed isn’t the most ideal of circumstances, but this spokesperson gig might be the kick in the pants my career needs, so why not take a chance?

Famous last words.

Now I’m crisscrossing the country–and sharing that bed—with the one guy I can’t stand. And even worse, my traitorous body is wondering at every turn what it’s like to be down under the gorgeous Australian. But as the miles unfurl, so does our passion…and if I’m not careful, I might end up believing that fairytales really do come true.

AMAZON

Just face it, Harlow . . . you can’t resist me.”
“Resist you?” I laugh. “I can barely stand you.”

That hot cover and enticing blurb don’t even come close to doing this book justice. And that’s saying something because that cover and blurb are EVERYTHING. But this book is also so much more than just a relationship of convenience trope. It’s a swoony, humorous, perfectly paced, deliciously blended romance cake with plenty of sexual chemistry as the sprinkles on top! I loved the ever loving EVERYTHING out of this book. EVERYTHING!!!!

Harlow Nicks spells trouble for me in every sense of the word. She has my every wire crossed. And she’s made me hesitate to step over a line I thought would be a no brainer to cross: sleeping with her.

K. Bromberg has long been an automatic one-click for me, and Faking It just solidified why. The woman can write her heart out to deliver a bad boy hero that you can’t get enough of and a bold and smart-mouthed heroine that you’ll never stop rooting for. It’s an opposites attract romance that’s effortlessly developed and impeccably paced to deliver a one-two punch straight to the feels and have the reader hooked from beginning to finish.

Everything about Zane Phillips rubs me the wrong way. Even when I’m thinking about how good he can probably rub me the right way.

Now I love me a bad boy. Make that bad boy a self-made millionaire womanizer with a cockiness to boot? DROOLING! But then also make that bad boy something so much more? I’m putty in your hands. And that’s exactly what Zane was. He’s an irreverent womanizer. But there’s something more than meets the eye to him. There’s a depth to him that you only get glimpses of as the author sucks you deeper and deeper into his orbit. You begin to see there’s some much more to Zane than a bored playboy that’s trying to make his new business venture a success. A matchmaking site launched by a man that doesn’t believe in love? Color me intrigued.

As for Harlow? What’s not to love about a heroine that’s not afraid to put this bad boy in his place every chance she gets. This is a woman that doesn’t get played. She’s not afraid to throw the gauntlet and boy does she!

From their very first meeting, I was instantly hooked on this couple. I loved their banter, I loved the hate lust that was sparking out of every barb they threw at one another. I also loved the way that Harlow went after what she wanted. This is a woman that isn’t afraid to to play the player at his own game. But what starts out as a mutually beneficial agreement of a fake relationship until the successful launch of the business, soon begins to turn into something more. The lines get blurred and even when both of them do their best to try to ignore their feelings, it’s not long before they realize the chemistry that’s been slowly building between them from the start is about to become explosive.

I think the pacing was my absolute favorite part of this romance. It was a slow, delicious build up. The banter between Zane and Low serving as foreplay and I couldn’t get enough of it. I loved the fact that Harlow never shied away from being herself and saying what she wants. This is a woman that called Zane on all of his bull, and it was AWESOME.

If you’ve never read a K. Bromberg book before, you couldn’t find a better one to start with. Faking It was EVERYTHING! A light hearted, swoony romance with plenty of depth. It brought a goofy smile to my face for the entire time I was reading it, and I never wanted it to end. I devoured this book and loved every minute of it!!

DGR’s 2018 Favorites: Lana’s Picks


I can’t believe that 2018 is almost done. I swear, it went by even quicker than last year. We’ve had such an amazing year here with so many incredible reads. I had the hardest time narrowing down my list for this year’s top favorites post. Seriously, guys, it was almost impossible. I had so many amazing 5 star reads. But these sixteen definitely stand out among the best of the best. These are the books that I know will stay with me for long after and I’ll be shouting from the rooftops about. These are not just books that were released in 2018, but simply books that I read this year. Some are really oldies but they were new to me. So without further ado, behold my top 16 reads of 2018!


LANA’S FAVORITES OF 2018



ALMOST HEAVEN by Judith McNaught


“There are four steps separating us and a year and a half of wanting drawing us together,” he said. Elizabeth swallowed. “Couldn’t you meet me halfway?”

I’m ashamed to admit that I had never read this author prior to this year. And after I read my first book of hers, I went on a two-week long binge. I’m talking mad addiction here people! If you like historical romance that’s full of swoons, angst, and redeemable alphaholes, you need to experience the magic that is Judith McNaught.

But this book?

*flails happily*

This was easily my favorite of hers.

Almost Heaven is the story of a young beauty just entering London society in search for a husband that will save her beloved estate, and a man that’s always been the source of most gossip within it. Ian is known as a scoundrel, a gambler, anything but the titled husband Elizabeth needs. He’s also a beautifully dangerous enigma that draws her like a moth to a flame. Until she gets too close and they both get burned.

This was a delicious tale of secrets and betrayal, of mistakes and forgiveness, but ultimately of a love that prevails against all odds. It was WONDERFULLY swoony.

GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY REVIEW


KISS AN ANGEL by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

“I take thee… to be my awful wedded husband” 

Considering I’ve practically read this woman’s entire backlist, I was shocked to discover that the one book every SEP lover recommends wasn’t one of them. So I decided to rectify this mistake and dove right in.

And OMG you guys! I don’t have the words to describe everything this book was. It was magic. Pure SEP magic!

It is hands down my favorite contemporary romance, not only from this author, but period. Yes. It was THAT good.

Actually, no. It wasn’t just good. It was brilliant.

It was enchanting, sigh inducing, heartwarming, funny, swoony, PERFECTION.

If you love the arranged marriage trope, you will LOVE the story of Alex and Daisy.

GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY REVIEW


JOSH + HAZEL’S GUIDE TO NOT DATING by Christina Lauren

“Sometimes your lack of filter kills me,” he says. “It’s not even like you lack a filter; you lack a funnel.”

Oh my gosh! I loved this book! If you’re looking for a fun, quirky, put-a-smile-on-your-face-and-keep-it-there rom-com, this book is it!

I was immediately hooked from the first page and stayed glued to my kindle until the end. It was the most fun I’ve had reading in a while! Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating was a refreshingly different take on friends to lovers and I loved every adorably quirky page!

Seriously, guys. This book was SO much fun. The heroine was adorably quirky…and I really DO mean quirky. The woman was hilariously over the top, but man did I love that about her. Combine that with a serious hero, a one-of-a-kind friendship, and a slow burn romance? WINNING!

GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY REVIEW


BIRTHDAY GIRL by Penelope Douglas

 

“You make my heart pound so hard it hurts, Jordan. You, your mouth, and who you are, it all makes me want to touch you. It makes me not want to stop this.”

It’s no secret that I’m obsessed with all of the words Penelope Douglas ever writes. This woman can write angst like no other. And her new adult romance is my crack of choice.

Then she went and had a surprise release and entered the forbidden romance arena and I was a goner! GONER I tells ya! We’re talking falling for your boyfriend’s father here, people. I was salivating through every page.

Birthday Girl is a story of forbidden romance, yes. But it’s so much more than that, too. It’s a story of strength and forgiveness. Of making mistakes and learning how to write them. It was raw, and sexy, and unique. I loved every single page of it and cannot recommend it enough.

GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY REVIEW


THE FALL by Kristen Callihan


“Stella Button, the moment you ripped that ice cream out of my hand, you knocked me off-balance. All I could do was fall.”

This was, hands down, my favorite Kristen Callihan book to date.

A poignantly written, slow burn, friends to lovers romance that was brimming with emotion; Fall owned my heart from beginning to finish.

It sucked me in from the beginning and kept me glued to the pages with two incredibly multi-layered, raw, and endearing characters. Jax and Stella were everything. Simply everything!

Oh how I loved this book. If you haven’t read the VIP series, no worries, because you can easily enjoy this as a standalone. But I highly recommend the first two books simply because they’re fantastic!

GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY REVIEW


THE TRUTH ABOUT LIES by Aly Martinez

Lies—I needed them more than oxygen. I was never going to be able to survive the truth. Not again.

Look, there’s a reason this woman somehow manages to always make it onto my year favorites reads, and that’s because she can write the hell out of a book. I’ve loved her entire backlist for goodness sake! But I knew from the very first chapter, that this will be unlike any other book that I’ve read from this Aly. And having had read her entire backlist, that’s saying something.

The Truth About Lies is not a sweet story. It’s not a light and sunny romance. It’s spine-tingling good and oh so gritty. I had goosebumps from the first few pages, and that told me immediately that I was in for one emotional ride!

If you’ve ready any Aly Martinez book before, then you already know that she knows how to pack one hell of an emotional punch. Her duets absolutely slay you, but nothing prepared me for what I was about to experience with The Truth About Lies.

AMAZON | GOODREADS | MY REVIEW


BUCKLED by Pam Godwin

Wild and molten, wet and volatile, her fight is beautiful, but her surrender is goddamn exquisite. I consume it with everything inside me, feeding on it and fueling a desire that has never felt this out of control.

There is nothing that Pam Godwin can’t write that I won’t love. A love triangle? Yep. The sadist made me love it. Dark romance? Devour it. A suspenseful trilogy with kinky cowboys? OH MAMA!!!

Ever since I read Knotted, sparks flew, I was instantly hooked on Jarret. I couldn’t wait for his book. I knew it was going to be good, but I didn’t expect it to be as good as it was. I devoured this story in one sitting. It kept me squirming on the edge of my seat, starved for each new revelation and totally captivated by the story. It was this magnetic combination of mysterious and kinky with a dark edge that Pam Godwin is oh so good at weaving into her writing.

If you love a kinky enemies to lovers tale with a spunky heroine that has a smart mouth and a hero that knows exactly what to do with a rope, you need this book in your life! (Not meant to be a standalone. You need to read all three books in order)

GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY REVIEW


HEARTBREAK WARFARE by Kate Stewart

She’s handed my heart back to me, and I’m unsure of how I’ll handle its new broken rhythm. 

Kill me slowly with words, why don’t you, Kate and Heather! Because MY HEART! MY HEART!!!

This book WRECKED me. It absolutely wrecked me. It owned me, shattered me, and put me back together. It was one of the best books I read this year. PERIOD.

I love a story that can take me out of my comfort zone and make me feel. And Heartbreak Warfare is certainly a book that will make you feel. It’s a gut-wrenching, rip-your-heart-out, cry like a baby, unforgettable story that owned me from beginning to finish.

As a reader, I don’t like love triangles. I don’t enjoy fabricated angst and drama for the sake of drama. I hate rooting for the guy that turns out not to get the girl in the end. I just don’t do it. It makes me ragey. But in the case of this book? Man. I’m speechless. It totally worked here. I don’t care who you are or what your likes are, this is simply a must read.

GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY REVIEW


BANE by LJ Shen

We weren’t a boy and a girl. We were two lonely, fucked-up souls. It made wanting Bane in my life acceptable. I wanted him to fix me.

Look, there’s a reason that this author makes my list without fail every year. And that’s because she writes my crack of choice. LJ Shen can write angst like no other. And her alphaholes? OVARY TINGLING. And when I realized that the bad boy Bane will be getting a book? I didn’t even need a blurb before jumping on this book!

And the queen of angst did it once again. She gave me a hero that I fell head over ovaries for, and I couldn’t stop thinking about. Bane is so different from the heroes we’re used to from LJ Shen, but he’s no less potent. He’s not the typical alpha-hole that she writes oh-so-well. But he’s also not quite a nice guy either. Bane is that somewhere in the middle, that gray zone of sex appeal and criminal. And this girl absolutely loved it!

GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY REVIEW


NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH by Stylo Fantome

The man was trouble. Always would be. He was vice and sin wrapped into a ridiculously sexy package, with a healthy sprinkling of damaged-dickhead on top.

This year I read my very first Stylo Fantome book…

And promptly kicked my own ass for not reading her sooner. For someone who claims to love alphaholes and anti-heroes as much as I do, I’m as shocked as you are that I’ve only just discovered this author. But boy am I glad I did!

Landon Edenhoff is in a category all of his own. This man was the alphahole to beat all alphaholes, and he makes no qualms about it. He owns it. He knows it. He even enjoys it.

Neighborhood Watch was a deliciously sexy and utterly riveting story from beginning to end. If you like bad boys and watching them fall for sassy women that give as good as they get all wrapped around a gritty and addicting story, this book is simply not to be missed!

GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY REVIEW


THE GOVERNESS GAME by Tessa Dare

“You are the worst example of false advertising. I was led to believe I was hiring a prim scold. Then I learn you’re remarkable and bold and interesting.”

Historical Romance fans, this book is not to be missed. Seriously! It’s an absolute must read.

I absolutely LOVED The Duchess Deal, but I was so unprepared for just how phenomenal this book would be. I kept thinking nothing can top the first book for me, but this one managed to blow it right out of the water! The banter, the romance, the characters, I adored absolutely everything about it. This just may be my favorite Tessa Dare book now. I loved it so hard!

What starts as a bit of unrequited love with the heroine’s crush on a mysterious stranger she once bumped into at a book store, soon turns into one of the most sizzling romances. The Governess Game was one of my favorite historical romances of the year! It was everything! Just everything! Funny, swoony, and full of banter that’s sure to put a smile on your face. I loved every single page of it and cannot recommend it enough!

GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY REVIEW


THE KISS QUOTIENT by Helen Hoang

“I don’t want just a night or a week or a month with you. I want you all the time. I like you better than calculus, and math is the only thing that unites the universe.”

If ever there was a book that needed to be on absolutely everyone’s radar, it’s this one. Trust me. If you read just one book from my list, then let it be this one. You’ll thank me.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, it would have been hard to miss all of the raving about The Kiss Quotient. Well believe the hype, people, because this book was absolutely magnificent!

The Kiss Quotient was quite possibly the most charming, addictingly satisfying romance I’ve read all year! It was everything. ALL. OF. THE. THINGS. And I was on cloud 9 after finishing it!

GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY REVIEW


THE PAPER SWAN by Leylah Attar

“You can either choose love or you can choose hate, because where one lives, the other will die.”

How I only read this book this year, I have no idea. I was questioning all of my life choices after finishing it. I couldn’t believe I waited this long to read it.

And I didn’t just read a book, I experienced one. I fell head over heels for an all-encompassing, gritty and emotional romance that kept me glued to the pages from start to finish. I’m embarrassed to say I’ve had this phenomenal story on my kindle for over 2 years and only now just read it. I’m kicking myself for it fully for only now discovering the raw talent that is Leylah Attar writing. It was devastating, passionate, beautiful and dark. It was flawlessly written and entirely unforgettable.

The Paper Swan is a stunning story of vengeance and sacrifice, of regret and forgiveness. It was passionate. It was gritty and raw. It was absolutely, positively unforgettable and a story I’ll take with me for a long time to come.

GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY REVIEW


RUNAWAY GIRL by Tessa Bailey

This is it. This is the kiss I’ll think about for decades to come, maybe longer. I can feel it ruining me with every mash of his lips against mine…

A quirky & witty southern belle that’s as proper as she is endearing?

A grumpy, sexy and possessive Pouty Man Bear?

Enough sexual tension to makes your loins tighten?

A sweet and sizzling romance that will put a smile on your face and keep it there?

This book was everything I’ve come to expect from the amazing Tessa Bailey and so much more. I thought I loved Getaway Girl, but this book was even better. It was full of swoony feels, sizzling sexy times, incredibly endearing characters, and Bailey’s patented dirty talk that will make any ovary within a 50 mi radius quiver at the mere mention of Jason. True story. After meeting the heroine as the runaway bride in Getaway Girl, I couldn’t wait to get Naomi’s book and I’m happy to report it was EVERYTHING I hoped it would be and so much more!

GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY REVIEW


PRETTY VENOM by Ella Fields


If someone has control over your heart, the worst thing you could do was make an enemy out of them. And like a fool, I had.

Another new to me author that I was seriously kicking myself for not discovering sooner? Ella freaking Fields.

Holy mother of angst, this book!

I MEAN, THIS BOOK!
I.
Can’t.
EVEN

First of all, that warning is no joke. I wanted to cry, yell, rip my hair out, and throw my kindle at the wall. This book wrung every emotion out of me, most of all consuming rage. So much rage. Like ALL OF THE RAGE. But it was also all-consuming. This book took over my entire existence for the hours that it took me to devour it, completely unable to put it down for even a second. I’m a sucker for some devastating angst, and if the blurb didn’t lure me into reading my first Ella Fields book, that warning ultimately did the job.

I may have come out of it with stubs for nails and a bald spot on my head, but damn was it worth it!

GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY REVIEW


BALLISTIC by Keri Lake


We were as tragically beautiful and fragile as a dead rose. Two souls, broken beyond redemption.

Of course no top favorites list of mine would be complete without the queen of dark romance, Keri Lake. The woman managed to blow me away yet again with the much awaited and highly anticipated installment in her Vigilantes series. And if you guys follow my reviews, you know how obsessed I am with this series.

Ballistic was a dark and twisty page turner of a story filled with blood, vengeance, and a love amongst the ashes. It sucked me in right into the dark underbelly of the worst sort of underground crime imaginable and those that rose out of the ashes of the pain it brought. It was deliciously twisty. It had me a ball of anxiety with my heart in my throat the entire time. It made me cringe. It made me cry. It made shiver in anticipation. I loved that we had an anti-heroine for the revenge seeker in this story. And in a word? This book was UNPUTDOWNABLE!

GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY REVIEW


That makes it for me, dirty birds! I’d love to hear about some of your top year favorites in comments below. And may 2019 bring us all plenty of books to rave about.

#DGRFave & Review: Ballistic by @KeriLake

BALLISTIC
Series: Vigilantes #3
Genre: Dark, Contemporary Romance
Author: Keri Lake
Release Date: October 30, 2018add-to-goodreads-button-2

A life for a life.

On the streets of Detroit, it’s the code we live by. You take from me, I take from you. A balance of power, and a ceaseless war between rivals.

As a foster kid from the projects, I never had much, besides an unshakable addiction to women and drugs. Only took one glance into the amber eyes of a slave for me to realize my two worst vices could be one and the same.

And the woman behind those eyes quickly became my obsession.

Nicoleta is more than she seems. An enigma I’m determined to crack before time runs out and our enemies hunt her down. Except, she moves by her own trajectory, an unstoppable bullet on the warpath to track down the men who murdered a girl from her past.

Me? I’m the rogue whose path is less predictable. A junkie, fiending for the one thing I shouldn’t want: the only woman who gets me high. I want to keep her for myself, but when the unstoppable bullet finally hits her mark and secrets begin to unravel, another life must be paid.
A heart for a heart.

Buy LinksAMAZON 

Review5 stars

We were as tragically beautiful and fragile as a dead rose. Two souls, broken beyond redemption.

If you’ve read any book by Keri Lake, then you already know that the woman can write a dark, gritty and captivating story like no other. She has this amazing ability to suck the readers into the dark abyss that are her books and keep them at the edge of their seat from beginning to finish. She’ll throw twist after twist your way until you don’t know which side is up. But one thing you’ll know for sure is that you didn’t just read a book of hers, you experienced it.

I silenced his argument with a kiss, feeling his fingers curl into my flesh. His mouth tasted like whiskey and sorrow, wrapped in guilt. A familiar cocktail.

I’ve been waiting for Dax’s story for what feels like forever. Ever since he watched helplessly as a young girl was driven away by one of the criminals he’d been after. He’s been searching for her ever since, only to hit one dead end after another. Until finally he finds her. But Nicoleta is not at all what she seems. And Dax definitely never saw a storm like her coming.

…my Nicoleta. The embodiment of fortitude and resilience. A brand of beauty that couldn’t be replicated because one would have to walk through absolute hell to acquire it.

While this is set in the Vigilantes series, you can easily read it as a standalone. Though I highly recommend the other two books as some of the story arcs do carry over. Ballistic was a whole different beast in this series with Nicoleta being the one seeking revenge. I loved the way that Keri Lake balanced the scales with the two characters. Nicoleta really took the driver’s seat in a lot of the story, but Dax never blended into the background. He was no less alpha and no less intense in his need to be the tool she uses to mete out her punishment. I LOVED this delicious turn of roles.

Nicoleta was a mystery wrapped in nightmares; nightmares of a hell that she’s lived through and a past she barely remembers. This is a woman that’s absolutely shattered, but she’s not weak. She’s vengeance and hell, pain and retribution. She’s a fiery ball of hatred and passion, and she was the perfect balance to Dax’s intensity.

This was a dark and twisty page turner of a story filled with blood, vengeance, and a love amongst the ashes. It sucked me in right into the dark underbelly of the worst sort of underground crime imaginable and those that rose out of the ashes of the pain it brought. It was deliciously twisty. It had me a ball of anxiety with my heart in my throat the entire time. It made me cringe. It made me cry. It made shiver in anticipation. In a word? It was UNPUTDOWNABLE!


DON’T MISS THE REST OF THE SERIES

RICOCHET (Vigilantes #1)
READ MY 5 STAR REVIEW HERE

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The only sure way to destroy a man is to take what he cannot live without.

Three years ago, I had everything.

A beautiful wife.
A son.
A reason for living.

Until a ruthless task force, assembled under Mayor Michael Culling, with a brutal strategy to make the streets of Detroit ‘safe’, ripped away everything I loved in a deadly hunt called The Culling.

They tried to kill me, too. I wish they had. Now I’m cursed by the memories of that night, and the words I whispered to my dying wife.

A promise—to avenge the wrong and set it right.

I’m no longer Nick Ryder. I’m a masked vigilante. Faceless. Loveless. Fearless. A man with nothing left to lose—one who’s seen the dark and violent truth behind the city’s flawless veneer.

Michael Culling doesn’t know who I am. Or what I want. All he knows is that I’ve kidnapped his beautiful wife.

An eye for an eye—isn’t that how the saying goes? And Aubree Culling is the perfect pawn to destroy him.

If she doesn’t destroy me first.

Buy LinksAMAZON


BACKFIRE (Vigilantes #2)
READ MY 5 STAR REVIEW HERE

Backfire+FOR+WEB

This book is a standalone set in the same world as Ricochet.

No matter how unbreakable he may seem, every man has a weakness.

A year ago, my home became a bloodstained crime scene. That night marked the beginning of my hell—the same night I was tortured by my enemies and tossed into an underground prison to die.

They failed. I survived.

Now that I’m free, only one motive burns in my soul: revenge.

Lucky for me, they think Jase Hawkins is dead. Maybe I am. I’ve got nothing but a cold, merciless rage, and Black Betty, the sharp steel blade that never leaves my side.

Then she drifts into my life.

Lucia wants answers—so much so, she’s willing to fall into the darkness where my enemies lie in wait, to kill her for what she knows.

Or to take her for the depraved fantasies her body alone can rouse in a man’s mind.

Me? I want her for the fire in her touch that feeds my addiction, forces me to feel what has become numb, but my appetite for bloodshed runs deeper than flesh.

For my own sanity, I’ve vowed to stay away from her. Because she’s my only weakness, an obsession that leaves me craving more—one that could make even the most steadfast plan backfire.

Buy LinksAMAZON | iBOOKS

#DGRFave & Review: Fight Or Flight by Samantha Young

FIGHT OR FLIGHT
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Samantha Young
Release Date: October 9, 2018

A series of chance encounters leads to a sizzling new romance from the New York Times bestselling author of the On Dublin Street series.

The universe is conspiring against Ava Breevort. As if flying back to Phoenix to bury a childhood friend wasn’t hell enough, a cloud of volcanic ash traveling from overseas delayed her flight back home to Boston. Her last ditch attempt to salvage the trip was thwarted by an arrogant Scotsman, Caleb Scott, who steals a first class seat out from under her. Then over the course of their journey home, their antagonism somehow lands them in bed for the steamiest layover Ava’s ever had. And that’s all it was–until Caleb shows up on her doorstep.

When pure chance pulls Ava back into Caleb’s orbit, he proposes they enjoy their physical connection while he’s stranded in Boston. Ava agrees, knowing her heart’s in no danger since a) she barely likes Caleb and b) his existence in her life is temporary. Not long thereafter Ava realizes she’s made a terrible error because as it turns out Caleb Scott isn’t quite so unlikeable after all. When his stay in Boston becomes permanent, Ava must decide whether to fight her feelings for him or give into them. But even if she does decide to risk her heart on Caleb, there is no guarantee her stubborn Scot will want to risk his heart on her….

AMAZON | iBOOKS

Oh God, yes.”
“You keep calling me God, lass, and my ego might get out of control,” he murmured.

OH MY GOD.
THIS BOOK.
*flails happily*
I.
LOVED.
THIS.
BOOK.

So much. SO. MUCH.

This book is what enemies to lovers romance dreams are made out of. It was perfect. Absolutely perfect. I fell head over ovaries for The Bastard Scott. Everything about this book was perfection: the banter, the chemistry, the hate lust, the romance, and OMG the hate lust. These two were absolutely incendiary together and I couldn’t get enough of them.

Sparks fly when Ava and Caleb cross paths for the first time on a flight to Boston, and not of the sexual variety. The man steamrolls past her in line and gets her coveted first class seat. Then they end up sitting next to each other on the same flight, and the rude and crude Scott does nothing to hide his disdain for Ava. But underneath the side eyes and the insults is chemistry so potent, you can cut it with a knife. And this reader? I devoured it!!

Caleb is a bearded and tatted CFO of a successful company. He’s also insufferably blunt, downright rude, and infuriatingly sexy. Ava is already flying on frayed nerves after a visit back to her hometown brings back all the painful memories she left behind. So when Caleb first manages to piss her off, it’s no holds barred between them. But when the insult dust settles, the chemistry between them is undeniable. And when they realize that they’re both up for a no strings attached mutually satisfying relationship for Caleb’s short stay in Boston? Well, let’s just say that things get interesting. REALLY interesting.

Samantha Young keeps the tension going with Ava and Caleb for almost 80% of the book, and I absolutely loved that. It’s not a lets hate each other until we jump into bed together and then all is well sort of story. Both of these characters have hidden depth and even deeper hidden pain. And while Ava’s surfaces for the reader gradually, its a long and painful stretch before you get to Caleb’s. I loved the way that Ava was able to handle his gruff demeanor and give as good as she gets. I also loved watching Caleb fall for her through Ava’s eyes. The entire story is told in Ava’s POV, and while a part of me wished to be inside Caleb’s head if even for a second, I can’t deny that it made the story and tension that much better. You get to experience the mystery of this man through Ava’s eyes and experience their highs and lows right along with her.

This was easily my favorite book by this author to date. I adored this enemies to lovers romance. It kept me reading well into the night, completely incapable to set it down for even a minute. It owned me from beginning to finish and I cannot recommend it enough.

#DGRFave & Review: Runaway Girl by @mstessabailey

RUNAWAY GIRL
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Tessa Bailey
Release Date: September 24, 2018

It’s Naomi Clemons’s big day. Her dream wedding. And she’s outta here.

One moment. A chance meeting of gazes through the church window pane with someone familiar who radiates intrigue. Independence. It’s the final push Naomi needs to realize…she’s boring. A blonde, cookie cutter, well mannered trophy wife-to-be. How can she expect to lead a fulfilling married life when she’s never lived?

Special Forces diver Jason Bristow needs a beauty pageant coach. Not for himself—although the tattooed bruiser could definitely use some charm. For his little sister who he has returned to St. Augustine, Florida to raise. When a beautiful southern debutante lands on his doorstep, she awakens a hunger that won’t be ignored. If only she wasn’t planning on winning back the ex-fiancé she left at the altar…

Despite the potential for ruin, heat continues to build between Naomi and Jason beneath the sultry Florida sunshine, consuming them both. But they’re on borrowed time…and it’s about to run out.

AMAZON

This is it. This is the kiss I’ll think about for decades to come, maybe longer. I can feel it ruining me with every mash of his lips against mine…

A quirky & witty souther belle that’s as proper as she is endearing?

A grumpy, sexy and possessive Pouty Man Bear?

Enough sexual tension to makes your loins tighten?

A sweet and sizzling romance that will put a smile on your face and keep it there?

This book. Oh man. You guys, this book! It was everything I’ve come to expect from the amazing Tessa Bailey and so much more. I thought I loved Getaway Girl, but this book was even better. It was full of swoony feels, sizzling sexy times, incredibly endearing characters, and Bailey’s patented dirty talk that will make any ovary within a 50 mi radius quiver at the mere mention of Jason.

Actual footage of me reading this book:
And don’t you judge me either!

I’m ready to take what I want. What I need. And he’s right behind me, watching, needing me back. Ready for his own seismic shift.

If you read Getaway Girl, you may remember Naomi as Elija’s runaway bride. And while you know that appearances aren’t quite what they seem with her and she’s not the rich and prim southern belle that she first comes across at, you really get to know her here. And let me tell you, she’s an impossible heroine not to love. I’m not typically a fan of the prim and proper heroines, but there’s just something so endearing about Naomi. She’s this adorable combination of vulnerability and strength. I loved watching her grow from a woman that lives to please everyone else and keep up appearances to someone that takes what she wants.

I need her. I want to fucking drown in her.

Jason.
raaaaaaarrrrr
This man. YUM. He was absolutely delicious. Every grumpy and scowly inch of him. And let’s pretend that scowly is a word for the purposes of this review, mkay? Moving on. He’s a Special Forces diver that comes back to take care of his younger sister after a tragedy strikes his family. His sister enters a beauty pageant she has no hope of winning. Naomi is a pageant queen that’s in dire need of a job and no real skill set. Opportunity meet fate.

Sparks fly between Naomi and Jason immediately. And if you like a slow burn that will make you want to rip your arm hairs out one by one and have a smoke afterwards, you will LOVE this book. And I love me some slow burn. The sexual tension here is so thick, you can cut it with a knife and rub it all over your body. OK, I think I’m going too far here. But you know what I mean.

Wrap your thighs around me and hold on.
I don’t come like a gentleman.”

Did I mention the dirty talk? Because OMG the dirty talk!!

I loved everything about this book. I really loved Birdie and Jason’s relationship with his sister and seeing how much he’s willing to do for her. I loved the budding kinship form between Naomi and Birdie. And the romance? GAH! Perfection in a way that only Tessa Bailey can write. An absolute must read that’s full of humor, feels, and hot as sin sexy times!

#DGRFave & Review: Dirty Headlines by LJ Shen

DIRTY HEADLINES
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: LJ Shen
Release Date: September 7, 2018


Célian Laurent.
Manhattan royalty.
Notorious playboy.
Heir to a media empire.
…And my new boss.
I could have impressed him, if not for last month’s unforgettable one-night stand.
I left it with more than orgasms and a pleasant memory—namely, his wallet.
Now he’s staring me down like I’m the dirt under his Italian loafers, and I’m supposed to take it.
But the thing about being Judith “Jude” Humphry is I have nothing to lose.
Brooklyn girl.
Infamously quirky.
Heir to a stack of medical bills and a tattered couch.
When he looks at me from across the room, I see the glint in his eyes, and that makes us rivals.
He knows it.
So do I.
Every day in the newsroom is a battle.
Every night in his bed, war.
But it’s my heart at stake, and I fear I’ll be raising the white flag.

AMAZON

Part of me wanted to screw her, the other to spank her. Those two didn’t necessarily contradict one another.

An über alphahole, a chuck loving, sharp-witted heroine, laugh out loud humor, and a romance hot enough to set every ovary within a 100 mile radius aflame all blend together into another page-turner from the awesome LJ Shen! It was sinfully delicious with some of the HOTTEST sex scenes and one dirty talking mega asshole. *swoon*

Did I mention the alphahole part? Because I swear, no one writes a hot alphahole quite like LJ Shen.

How had this guy not been assassinated yet? He was a walking, talking personal offense.

Dirty Headlines was a refreshingly different tone than what we’re used to from this author. Yes, it had all of the sexy and yes it had that sizzling enemies to lovers vibe that she’s oh so good at. But it was a lighter and more fun book than her usual, and I loved it for that! There was no crazy angst, but it was still ridiculously addicting. So much so, that I never even missed the angst I’ve come to love from her. What it did have was perfectly timed and quirky humor that I couldn’t get enough of. I simply adored the voice she used to write this one, and gobbled it up like the Shen Addict that I am!

Judith “Jude” Humphry is a down on her luck, poor girl struggling to make ends meet for herself and her beloved ailing brother. She’s also a chuck loving sasshole and I loved her for it. This is a chick that speaks her mind and isn’t afraid to give as good as she gets. And when it comes to Célian Laurent, there’s a lot of taking. Uhem.

Célian is the ridiculously rich, too sexy for his own good heir to a media empire. He’s also Jude’s new boss. But before that, he was Jude’s one night stand and the man she left sleeping in a hotel room while making off with his wallet. Desperate times and even more desperate measures make a girl do some things she never thought she would. Sparks fly immediately between these two, but when they run back into each other in the newsroom? Hells fire but I was addicted! The antagonism is strong here, people. And the back and forth sharp witted banter with a HEAVY undercurrent of sexual tension? INCENDIARY!!!

Dirty Headlines is one of those books that will set your loins on fire while also putting a smile on your face. It’s fun, sexy, full of witty banter, and a page turner from beginning to finish. In a word? LOVED!!!!!

#DGRFave & Review: The Truth About Lies by Aly Martinez

THE TRUTH ABOUT LIES
Series: The Truth Duet #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Aly Martinez
Release Date: August 23, 2018

Truth: From over a thousand miles away, I watched on the screen of my phone as two men murdered my wife.

And I was helpless to save her.

Consumed by hate and rage, I spent four years running from my memories.

Until a shattered woman gave me a reason to stop.

Cora lived in a nightmare, but through sheer force of will, she’d turned it into something beautiful.

She had a smile that could pierce the darkest soul.

And with one glance, she shredded mine.

Lie: I was only there for a fresh start.

Lie: I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

Lie: There was nothing I could do to save her, either.

But that’s the thing about lies—you never know who to believe.

AMAZON

One in. One out.

This book! OH GOD! THIS. BOOK. I knew from the very first chapter, that this will be unlike any other book that I’ve read from this author. And having had read her entire backlist, that’s saying something. The Truth About Lies is not a sweet story. It’s not a light and sunny romance. It’s spine-tingling good and oh so gritty. I had goosebumps from the first few pages, and that told me immediately that I was in for one emotional ride!

I was the sinner in this story. With a heart filled to the brim with hate and a mind overflowing with vengeance and chaos.

If you’ve ready any Aly Martinez book before, then you already know that she knows how to pack one hell of an emotional punch. Her duets absolutely slay you, but nothing prepared me for what I was about to experience with The Truth About Lies.

Lies—I needed them more than oxygen. I was never going to be able to survive the truth. Not again.

This is a story of two people who have gone through their own personal hell. People who hide their pain and personal demons behind a smokey veil of lies; lies that are absolutely necessary for their own survival.

Cora is a heroine unlike any that Aly has written to date. This woman is a survivor. She’s got an inner core of strength that allows her to do anything she has to do to protect those that she cares about. And that’s ultimately what she is; a protector. This is a woman that cares and cares deeply. I couldn’t help but connect with her right away. She’s been through hell and back in her young life, but that doesn’t get her down. She’s the epitome of perseverance.

Then there’s Penn. This man is an enigma. He’s utterly magnetic. There’s this electric current to him that you feel when you read about him. I can’t even describe it to you, but every time you get one kernel of information about him, you’re also left desperate for more.

Sometimes lies are a necessary part of survival. Sometimes the truth hurts more than you can imagine. Sometimes what you think you know isn’t even what’s close to being reality. And sometimes, two lies crash into something incredibly real that has the power to send everything into a flame of betrayal and love.

The Truth About Lies was raw, gritty, emotional, and completely unputdownable. It was a smoke screen of half truths and lies, all wrapped around a gripping romance that owns your heart from beginning to end. I couldn’t get enough of it. I was utterly captivated, hypnotized, and totally enraptured with this story. And now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to rock myself in a corner until book two, because I still CAN’T EVEN!!!!

#DGRFave & Review: Pretty Venom by Ella Fields

PRETTY VENOM
Series: Gray Springs University #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Ella Fields
Release Date: August 3rd, 2018

Callum Welsh perfected the art of hating me when we were two kids who believed we’d be forced into marriage.

He thought I wanted it, but my only wish had been for him to leave me alone.

Then one afternoon, he stole my first kiss.

Despite all he’d done, everything changed after that.

As the years passed, our hearts thawed, and he no longer hated me.

In fact, he loved me enough to make me his wife.

Until I ruined everything with one stupid mistake.

That hatred returned in the form of cruel words and even crueler deeds.

But we weren’t kids anymore.

I could handle his brand of venom.

He would be mine again, even if it cost me the remains of my heart.

Warning: contains cheating and an anti-hero who might make you throw your kindle.

FREE in Kindle Unlimited
AMAZON

If someone has control over your heart, the worst thing you could do was make an enemy out of them. And like a fool, I had.

OH MY GOD! THIS BOOK.
I.
Can’t.
DEAL.

First of all, that warning is no joke. I wanted to cry, yell, rip my hair out, and throw my kindle at the wall. This book wrung every emotion out of me, most of all all consuming rage. So much rage. Like ALL OF THE RAGE. But it was also all consuming. This book took over my entire existence for the hours that it took me to devour it, completely unable to put it down for even a second. I’m a sucker for some devastating angst, and if the blurb didn’t lure me into reading my first Ella Fields book, that warning ultimately did the job.

His brand of assholery had a ricochet effect. Affecting other things in my life, piece by little piece.

The story takes a delicious turn from enemies to lovers and back again in this ulcer inducing romance, and this reader couldn’t get enough of it. Heartburn and bald spots and all.

You smell like peaches.” “And you smell like an asshole.

Renee and Callum have history going back to their early teens. They first meet when they’re in high school and their back and forth antagonism starts. Callum resents the fact that their parents are essentially planning their marriage already. And he takes special exception to Renee, by serving her to a daily dose of his special brand of douchebaggery. Renee is no wallflower, and she’s not shy about giving as hard as she gets. Their connection is tumultuous and antagonistic, with a heavy undecurrent of chemistry that they’re both too young to fully grasp and understand when they first meet. But then as the years pass, and their push and pull continues, it eventually begins to morph into something else. When Callum stops hiding how he truly feels behind cruel words and deeds, he goes after Renee with a completely different motivation, and a relationship blooms.

Being kids when they first get together, life doesn’t really prepare them for the obstacles they’ll face when they go off to college together. Then one mistake driven by hurt and anger changes everything.


I couldn’t do this, yet, at the same time, I couldn’t see a way out of this. Falling in love changed you bit by bit in a way you didn’t realize until that love had left you suffocating in the remaining pieces of who you once were. If this was what I had to live with, what I had to endure … I was afraid it’d kill me slowly. 

And this is where the angst really starts. Callum’s brand of punishment and cruelty truly takes a turn from painful to downright eviscerating. The man puts Renee through hell. Every move, word, and look is calculated for maximum pain. That warning is no lie, because the things he does makes you want to peel your skin off and throw it at him. But at the same time, knowing what he’s going through in his head, you get where the anger is coming from. You hate him for what he does, but you understand why he’s doing it. It’s a special sort of hell, because as much as it hurts, it’s also absolutely riveting.

If you make someone your world, do not complain when the ground crumbles beneath your feet.

Pretty Venom was an all consuming sort of story. It’s the sort of book that takes over your entire world when you read it. It’s gut wrenching, emotionally annihilating, and rip your hair out sort of angsty. Ella Fields is clearly a master of her craft, because she delivers two characters that are far from perfect, yet somehow relatable. They both make mistakes, and as much as you want to judge them for it, you simply can’t. You’re much too wrapped up in their pain to do anything else. It’s no lie that there’s a thin love between love and hate, and this book takes you through both extremes and then back again.

My enemy, my ally, my best friend. She was love in its rawest form. Everything I needed wrapped in one multilayered bow. One that I refused to let unravel ever again.

It was utterly delicious and I binged on it like the angst addict that I am. Ella Fields just went straight to my auto-buy list, no blurb required. This is an author that’s not afraid to write about the ugly side of human emotion, and Pretty Venom was certainly that. This book owned me and I’m seriously kicking myself for only reading this author now. I plan on rectifying my mistake immediately by reading the rest of the series.

Ella Fields is a mother and wife who lives in the land Down Under. While her kids are in school, you might find her talking about her characters and books to her two cats. She’s a notorious chocolate and notebook hoarder who enjoys creating hard-won happily ever afters.

Connect with Ella:

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