Review: What Lies Between Us by H.D. Carlton

WHAT LIES BETWEEN US
Series:
Heartless Heroes Anthology
Genre: MM Romance, Dark Romance
Author: H.D. Carlton
Release Date: September 13, 2022

Some heroes want to save the world. Some will burn it down for the one they love.
Call them villains, anti-heroes, criminals, and monsters.
But these dark men love deeply and fiercely, and are ready to go to the ends of the earth to save their soulmate.

They will tempt you.
Captivate you.
Drag you into darkness, and leave you breathless.
They’ll show you how good love can be in the dark.

There’s a spark between these pages, and these Heartless Heroes will set your world on fire.

Morally grey is the favorite color of these twenty new and bestselling authors. Grab your copy now to read all the dark shades of love painted by these Heartless Heroes.

Authors in this set include:
J.L. Beck & C. Hallman, Sahara Roberts & Dori Pulitano, Sonya Jesus, H. D. Carlton & CE Ricci, Lola West, D.S. Wrights, Elizabeth Miller, Lily Wildhart, Morgan James, A.R. Breck, Brynn Ford, Indie Black & Sienna Cousins, Isabella Phoenix & Victoria Pauley, Suki Williams, Ashley Gee, D.W. Marshall, M.L. Philpitt, and Ember Evans

AMAZON

Review for What Lies Between Us by H.D. Carlton

“Which makes you angrier, golden boy? The fact that you want to fuck your sister’s ex-boyfriend or that you want to fuck her murderer?”

The second that I saw H.D. Carlton is writing a dark MM romance, I was immediately salivating. But I was not at all prepared for the savage chokehold this story would have on me.

This is a novella and a bit of preview to what will be a full length novel for Link and Echo. But what I loved is how H.D. is able to give us a deliciously addictive hook and have it be equally satisfying while still making you salivate for more. She gave readers just enough to get them hooked on this story, but didn’t drop your typical shock value cliffhanger and I could kiss her for it.

The set up for this story? OHMYGAWD! If I was more hooked I’d be hunting her ass down at her house and standing over her shoulder glaring menacingly until she finished the story and immediately gave it to her. What? The woman created Zade, I think she wouldn’t mind this. But I digress.

Echo is whispered about through the halls of the Godric University. But it isn’t for his sinful good looks or manwhore ways. He’s the guy who brutally killed his ex girlfriend and got away with it. Or so everyone thinks, even though he was found innocent. He’s used to the whispers, but they’re no less hard. Especially when he’s forced to deal with the violent hate from his ex’s twin bother and ex best friend. Who he kinda, sorta also has the hots for. Talk about complicated.

But I’m making too light of what this story was. Because it was full of signature dark and creepy undercurrent that only HD can write so well. There’s a dark mystery that runs parallel to the chemistry between Link and Echo of who truly killed Link’s twin and getting Link to see the truth of what Echo is saying.

The novella was enough to immediately hook you and I do mean immediately. I loved a dark academia romance and this one ticked all the boxes. I’m seriously salivating for the full dose of this story because the whodunnit mystery just may kill me in the wait.

Review: Brainwashed by Nyla K

BRAINWASHED
Series:
Alabaster Penitentiary #3
Genre: Dark, Erotic MM Romance
Author: Nyla K
Release Date:
July 7, 2022

 

Monster.
That’s what they call me.
Lock your doors, hold your loved ones tight. The Carver is on the loose.
Except I’m not. I was caught.
The days of allowing my inner depravity to run wild are over. I’ve been sent to prison for good, something of a celebrity in this dark, dank hell-hole they call Alabaster Penitentiary.
The only thing I have left to offer the world is my story, and unfortunately for me, the Warden has the rest of my life to get it out of me.
Being poked and prodded, examined and tested on isn’t something I enjoy very much. Until they send him…
The new doctor is here to study me and my crimes. And I’m beginning to think we might not be as different as it seems. He craves knowledge the way I crave the blood of my victims. Despite his robotic nature, there’s just something about him… Something I want.
But I’ll have to be careful not to smother it to death.
After all… It’s kind of my thing.


** Brainwashed is a dark MM doctor-patient romance with content that may be disturbing/triggering to some readers. Our protagonist is a sociopath. Please proceed with caution. While this story follows a new couple, it is strongly recommended to read Volumes 1-2 first, to avoid spoilers. **

AMAZON 

Felix Darcey is exactly that. A dangerous animal behind bars. And I just can’t help wanting to step inside his cage.

It’s official, this series is total CRACK. CRACK. Crack I tells ya. It’s sick, depraved, dark, disturbing, toe curling, finger licking GOOD. I mean, it’s just…GAH. I’m obsessed more than Felix was with his psychiatrist.

You know what it looks like?” I ask, turning my face to his.
“What’s that?” He breathes with my mouth hovering over his.
“It looks like I own you, sick boy.” My lips brush his and he quivers. “You’re my monster.”

Now if you’re thinking of reading this as a standalone, don’t. Trust me. While each book stands on it’s own, it’s all a puzzle piece of one uniquely fucked up world, and you need to read it in order. You will learn to appreciate every nod and nuance in the previous books as you read the next one. And I love the amount of thought Nyla put in the plotting of this because it shines like a beacon. And this reader? Devoured it!

Felix Darcy is the infamous serial killer known as The Carver. Do I have to tell you what he does to earn that nickname or can you use your imagination? The second the man arrived in Alabaster Penitentiary, he’s been a unique mystery. He’s a brutal killer to some, and a thoughtful friend to others. The fact that we’re introduced to him through his friendship with Dascha in Distorted really helped set the foundation of this character. But nothing prepared me for the full force that was him as the main character.

Dr Love is the antithesis to his last name. He’s a psychiatrist whose luck with love is worse than his believe in it. He’s also very straight. Until a very sick little monster tilts his world on its axis.

This is so much more than a dark romance. This is a twisted tale full of complex layers, secrets, betrayals, and enigmas known as The Warden. This is like the Hansel and Gretel of dark romance. There are bread crumbs dropped everywhere, you just have to keep your eyes peeled to pick them up. And when you do? Oh man. Addictive.

I loved the romance was deliciously satisfying. I loved watching Dr Love fall for his patient, in spite of his dark rep. I loved seeing the softer side to Felix. And I loved getting more and more of the gaps I had from books one and two be filled in this one.

But in typical Nyla fashion, for each of the gaps that she fills, she leaves the reader with at least double the questions. I’m already salivating for the next book because GAH. I’m addicted. Completely addicted.

DGRFave & Review: Joyless by Nyla K

JOYLESS
Series:
Alabaster Penitentiary #2
Genre: Dark, Erotic MMF Romance
Author: Nyla K
Release Date:
September 30, 2021

Alabaster Penitentiary, Volume 2

Correctional officers get a bad rep. But in our case, it’s fully justified.
We’re not 𝘨𝘰𝘰𝘥 people… We’re guard dogs. As twisted as the inmates we patrol, courtesy of the monster who created us.

Prisoners ourselves on an island of manipulation, we’ve spent years drowning in vices to dull reality. If these walls could talk, I’m telling you… they’d scream.
They call me Velle, but that’s 𝘖𝘧𝘧𝘪𝘤𝘦𝘳 𝘊𝘩𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘭𝘭𝘦 to you. Hands dirtier than my mind, I have no qualms with staying ruthless to keep these creatures in line.
And I’m not alone.

𝘑𝘰𝘺 𝘑𝘢𝘮𝘦𝘴𝘰𝘯 is my partner in crime, and my ex. Together we rule Alabaster Isle like Bonnie and Clyde, only prettier and far more dangerous. It’s the two of us against this wicked, secluded world.
Until he shows up…

Although we need him, the rookie is a problem. Flipping me upside down, using my own hidden desires to tempt me.
𝘙𝘰𝘰𝘬… with his green eyes and country boy smile…
He has no business luring me into something that will get everyone hurt.

Let it be known, denying myself and dominating this role is my default setting. But with him in the picture, I’m struggling to keep it intact.
The mask is slipping, control I can’t lose wavering as we welcome our newest psycho to the roster.

Let’s hope, for all our sakes, 𝙄𝙣𝙢𝙖𝙩𝙚 #101 doesn’t do anything stupid.

**Joyless is a MMF romance with its own HEA, and while it explores new characters, it is highly recommended that you read Volume 1 first, as the timeline mirrors that of Distorted and there will be references to Distorted in Joyless that could spoil book 1.**

AMAZON 

 

You’re like a rollercoaster, baby. Scary as fuck, but just the best shot of adrenaline.”

Holy.
Fucking.
Shit.

This book. I don’t even have the words right now. Gimme a minute here.

Being a self professed erotic romance addict for many years, I went on record a few years ago to state that I have steel plated ovaries. Like a book can be hot, but it’s not going to get me that hot because I’m desensitized to it. Ok. It’s what I thought. So what did I do? I read this fucking book in public. I was cocky and I miscalculated. Bite me.

So there I was. Squirming uncomfortably in the waiting room while getting my oil changed. Paranoid as fuck that everyone in the room and also outside of it knew exactly what I was reading. With my loins burning and my ovaries hurting, rethinking my stupid steel plated ovaries statement to hell and back. But I digress. Let’s talk about the fuckery that is this book for a hot second, kay?

Welcome to Hell, rookie.”

Do not, and I repeat, DO NOT read this as a standalone. Yes it has different characters from Distorted, but just trust me. You want to appreciate what is Nyla K’s deeply twisted, depraved, evil genius mind by reading this series in order. The time lines overlap and you will miss some huge plot nuances and do yourself a big disservice by not reading Distorted first.

So what’s this book? It’s a super sizzling, super fucked up, super dirty and deliciously kinky MMF menage. And this bitch? I WAS SO HERE FOR IT.

The second Velle made an appearance in Distorted, I knew I had to have his story. The big, bad, tatted and pierced prison guard that takes no shit just had to have a good story arc, right? Wrong. It wasn’t just good, it was fucking amazing. MY GOD. But I digress again.

So what can I tell you without spoiling anything? This book brought it, ok. It bought it big time. The revelations. The secrets. The backstories of Velle and Joy and how they came to be guards at Alabaster Penitentiary really lays the foundation. We get more glimpses at the mysteriously evil Warden, and when I say I never thought I’d hear myself say that I’m desperate for that man’s book, well let’s just say I’m still shocked as shit. But here I digressed again. FOCUS. GOD. OKAY.

One of my favorite things about this story was the dynamic between Rook, Joy, and Velle. How neither one of them are what they seem on the surface. I loved Joy’s sexual freedom and how she just owns her sexuality. This is a woman that’s not shy about her sex drive, her body, or her desires, and we need more heroines like this in romance. But Velle. Oh my baby Velle. He was the most dynamic, multi-layered of the three. Velle with his dark secrets and darker desires. He completely stole my heart.

A-are you gonna… lick me?” My breathing is truly out of control. “No.” He bites his lip. “I’m gonna eat you alive.”

Now this is not a story for the faint of heart. And what I appreciate about Nyla’s story telling is that she’s not afraid to go there. She’s not afraid to really dive right into the pits of true depravity if it’s what her characters demand, and it just WORKS. This is a book that if anyone else wrote it, I’d say had way too much sex. But when I tell you that EVERY SINGLE sex scene added something to the story, well that’s talent, folks. Because there was a lot of sex. A LOT. It was hot. It was incendiary. Seriously. It was fucking sizzling as hell. My loins are still burning.

There’s also nuances that get revealed from Distorted, and hints dropped about future characters. And just OMG. I FUCKING LOVED THIS BOOK.

It’s dark. It’s fucked up. It’s seriously fucked up. And I loved every depraved page of it. And the set up for the next one? HOLY SHIT!!!

So if you like your book dark as hell, sizzling enough to set ovaries on fire, and fucked up enough to make you uncomfy while reading it? READ THIS FUCKING BOOK.

That is all. I’m now off to calm my tits. And I thank you,

Review: Saint by Sierra Simone

SAINT
Series:
Priest #3
Genre: Contemporary, Forbidden Romance
Author: Sierra Simone
Release Date:
September 7,  2021

 

I can’t have Elijah Iverson.

I can’t have him because he’s my older brother’s best friend. I can’t have him because I broke his heart five years ago; because he’s now engaged to someone else—someone kind and dependable who deserves his whiskey eyes, his soft mouth, his fierce intellect.

I can’t have Elijah because I’ve chosen God instead.

The Bell brothers, though . . . well, we don’t exactly have the greatest track record with vows. But I’m determined to do this monk thing right—to pledge myself to a cloistered life and spend the rest of my years in chastity and prayer. But now Elijah’s here. He’s here and he’s coming with me on my European monastery road trip, and between the whispered confessions and the stolen kisses and the moments bent over an ancient altar, my vows are feeling flimsier by the day.

And vows or not, I know in my heart that it would take more than a good and holy monk to resist Elijah Iverson right now. It would take a saint.

And we all know that I’m no saint.

(This is the third full-length standalone in the Priest Collection, featuring Father Bell’s brother, Aiden Bell. You do not have to read Priest or Sinner to read Saint.)

AMAZON

I can’t stop the tender shoots and slender, seeking roots of him, and I am his garden, his soil, his place, and it would be wonderful if I wasn’t supposed to be the garden of my god instead.

I live for the Bell siblings. We’ve met Tyler Bell, the priest. We’ve met manwhore extraordinaire, Sean Bell who fell for a nun and his best friend’s younger sister. And now it’s Aiden’s turn. If you’ve read the previous two books, then you remember Aiden is the wild younger sibling. And if you’ve read Sinner, then you’d also remember the shocker of learning that he’s been having a secret affair with his brother’s best friend. That was definitely a delicious plot twist when I read it.

And now we meet Aiden Bell five years later, as a monk but also a man that never got over the love of his life.

Aiden,” he says softly, and I relish hearing my secular name from him, because it was the name that belonged to him, to his lips and thoughts and even his fingers when he was scolding or flirting over text or email.

If you’ve read anything by Sierra Simone than you know this author’s incredible ability to pack a heck of an emotional story that’s interwoven into scorching romance. This book was no different. The sexual charge between Aiden and Elijah is woven into every page, especially because it’s forbidden. Elijah may have loved Aiden once and had his heart broken by him, but he’s now an engaged man. And Aiden has given himself to god.

It was clear the amount of research that Sierra put into this book with her detailed story telling. However, I also felt like parts of the book did drag a bit for me and had a little more detail than needed. I found myself skimming a bit about midway through the book.

The romance, in typical Sierra Simone fashion, was EVERYTHING. It was packed with emotion, it was erotic, it was sensual, it was beautiful, and it was so satisfying. I found myself hurting with them. I found myself grieving their relationship with them. And I found myself loving with them.

This was easily my favorite book in the series so far. But nothing, and I mean NOTHING, prepared me for the twist and reveal at the end. And now I’m desperately hoping that we get a certain someone’s book next because OMG!!

Sierra Simone is a USA Today Bestselling former librarian (who spent too much time reading romance novels at the information desk.) She lives with her husband and family in Kansas City

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Review: Distorted by Nyla K

DISTORTED
Series: Alabaster Penitentiary #1
Genre: Dark, MM Romance
Author: Nyla K
Release Date: March 18,  2021

This is Alabaster Penitentiary…
Where they send you when the world thinks you’re dead. And trust me, you’ll wish you were.
We’re the stain on society. The freaks, the creeps, your favorite Netflix documentaries come to life.
They lock us up and throw away the key, because we deserve it.
But not me. I’m just a lowly bank robber. I don’t belong here, surrounded by psychopaths and killers with no remorse… At least, I don’t think I do.
Getting by unscathed is my top priority. Unfortunately for me and my fellow prisoners, those in charge are more dangerous than we are.
You see, the guards run the show, and I seem to have caught the attention of the most twisted one.
He has a name, but it might as well be Officer. We move around one another like a sun and a moon, revolving in an axis of confused lust and torment until the truth is distorted, and the thing I once feared becomes that which I crave; my vile addiction, somehow so exquisite.
Reality warps in the dungeon, and I’m left wondering which prison is worse… the one holding my body, or my mind.

**Distorted is the first book in the Alabaster Penitentiary series. It is a full M/M romance, with HEA. Each book in this series is technically a standalone, though they are interconnected, so it will be recommended to read in order, as references to this story will be made in future books.

Distorted is intended for mature audiences and open-minded readers ONLY! If you prefer the same old story, this book won’t be for you. This story is dark, probably darker for some than others, so please proceed with caution, and if you’re easily triggered, steer clear.

AMAZON

If you’re stuck in Hell for eternity, it’d be wise not to poke the Devil.”

Oh.
MY.
GOD.

What in the ever loving hell did I just read? Why am I only now discovering this author? And how the hell are more of you not reading her?

Because holy hell. HOLY HELL Y’ALL!!!!

First of all, if you like a dark, taboo MM read with an epic mind fuck thrown in, READ THIS BOOK!
Oh my god! Why are you not running to grab this immediately?
I’m about to go violent recommendation on all of your asses here, people! DO IT!

But I digress. First of all, I’m seriously kicking myself for not discovering this author sooner and super grateful to my lovely friend Francis for telling me she’d be right up my alley. And being a huge lover of all things dark and twisted, I couldn’t agree more. This was one of the most epic mind fucks I’ve read in a long while, and I’m already desperate for my next hit in this series. But I digress.

This book. THIS BOOK. A convict falling for a prison guard with plenty of dub con thrown in. GAH. Be still my heart. I can actually feel my ovaries fluttering. But I digress again.

Dash is the furthest thing from normal as you can get. He has his issues and plenty of them and he’s no stranger to criminal activities. But one risky robbery finally lands him in prison, and it’s a hell unlike any other, reserved for the worst of humanity, and he’s convinced it’s a mistake. As days begin to bleed together, the one sanity that he realizes he has, is his personal tormentor who he knows only as Officer.

Now let me tell you guys, this book is dark. Like seriously DARK, okay. There’s triggers for a good reason, so if you’re sensitive to those things, you’ve been warned. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart. It’s twisted. It’s perverse. It’s DELICIOUS. What else it is, is completely unputdownable. It’s 450+ pages of unpredictable story with a romance so delicious, you don’t even see it coming. To say I’m hooked on this series is an understatement. This series is crack and Nyla K just became my favorite dealer.

Review: Missing In Action by Kate Canterbary

MISSING IN ACTION
Genre: MM Romance
Author: Kate Canterbary
Release Date: March 30, 2020

Former Navy SEAL turned covert agent Wes Halsted spent his days—and weeks and months—being someone else. But with his cover blown and his injuries requiring months of recuperation, he must learn how to be himself again.

Only…he’d rather save his issues for another day and get to know a stressed-out, suited-up businessman instead.

Tom Esbeck has everything under control. Meal plans, workout plans, project plans, five-year plans. A plan for everything and everything according to plan.

Except there’s no plan for a surprise—and shirtless—encounter with the built-for-sin spy he’d crushed on years ago.

But crushes—and spies—burn out fast.

MISSING IN ACTION is a full-length steamy contemporary romance standalone with strong ties to the Walsh Series.

AMAZON 

I want to be the man who gets to love you …
I want that job. I want the right to call you mine and I want to be yours, and I want to do this with you.”

If you’re a fan of character driven romance, this one is truly cream of the crop. This is only my second book by Kate, but I can safely say that the woman knows how to write some of the most multilayered characters I’ve ever read.

Wes is a covert agent who’s currently recovering from an almost lethal injury after his op went bad. His job is all he’s ever known. He’s used to the shadows and the secrecy that comes with his daily life, and now being normal is a struggle. Being around his happily married and meddling brother is another struggle. But worst of all, it’s his sister in law’s incredibly handsome business associate that’s the problem, because he wants him beyond reason.

Tom is the definition of buttoned up. His life is all about order, where Wes is pure chaos. Tom has everything planned from his days to his meals, and he doesn’t deviate. Their attraction is instant, and their connection is the definition of opposites attracting. The story is a slow burn romance that peels back the layers on both of these characters, and they have many layers. Tom may be all about order in his life, but that doesn’t mean his life has been perfect. How can he be with a man that makes it clear he has no intention of staying? Wes is a man that’s struggling with what his new normal may be when he comes to terms that his covert career may be blown to smithereens.

I really enjoyed the story, though admittedly, I did skim a bit through parts. I like a good character driven story, but I was bored in some parts. Luckily the story does come together beautifully, and I can happily say that I enjoyed it quite a bit,

Review: Hook by Gina L. Maxwell

HOOK
Series:
Neverland #2
Genre: MM Romance
Author: Gina L. Maxwell
Release Date: October 29, 2019

Journey back to Neverland, NC with NYT & USA Today Bestselling Author Gina L. Maxwell as she turns your favorite villain into the hero you never knew you needed.

THEY CALL ME HOOK

I’m Captain of the Pirates; a villain by design and a loner by nature.

I don’t need anyone. More than that, I don’t want anyone. Especially Officer John Darling who insists on seeing the good in everything, including me. If there was ever any good inside of me, it was snuffed out long ago.

I’ve avoided him for years, but now I need his help to save my brother’s life and take down Fred Croc, the monster from my childhood and my current employer.

Now Darling is undercover in my crew, living in my loft and forever working out shirtless. Taking Croc’s operation down from the inside is dangerous as hell, but Darling’s probing gaze and the natural way he defers to my dominant side might just be the end of me.

But I’ve lived in the dark for too long, and no amount of light can save me. Not even one as bright as Johnathan Darling.

HE CALLS ME DARLING

I’m a Task Force Officer with the FBI; a protector of the innocent and a man in love with a villain.

Before I was even old enough to understand it, I had a crush on the broody teen called Captain Hook, following him around like a puppy and hoping he’d show me the slightest bit of attention.

He never did, though, not for years. Not until I became his only viable option for getting his crew member back and throwing Croc behind bars. Now he can’t ignore me, and he can’t hide the desire burning in his eyes when I sink to my knees, eager to serve my Captain however he needs.

But secrets are hard to keep in close quarters, and when I discover the darkness lurking in his past, eradicating the evil in Neverland is no longer my only mission. Come hell or high water, I’ll make Hook see that he’s never been the villain of this story…he’s the hero.

*Trigger Warning for readers sensitive to characters with sexual assault in their pasts. Please read the Author’s Note in the beginning of the book for more details.

AMAZON

He is my Captain. And for as long as he’ll have me, I am his.

If you know me or follow my reviews, than you already know just how much I love a good tortured hero. And let me tell you, it doesn’t get more tortured than James Hook. The man is tortured personified. He’s utterly broken in the most captivating way. The second he appeared on the pages of Pan, he stole the show, and I was counting down the days until I could get my hands on his story. I’ve read a few modern fairytale retellings, and I’ll say that this one stays pretty darn close to the details. I especially love the way that Gina incorporates little pieces of Peter Pan into this book. From the evil crime boss, Fred Croc, to his loudly ticking pocket watch, everything came together flawlessly.

Hook is the Captain, or essentially the boss of his merry band of bandits or pirates as he calls them. In order to save his little brother from the evil clutches of Croc, he made a deal with the devil, at the expense of his soul. From the very first, you know there’s something darker to Hook’s history, and while the author alludes to it in the first book, she throws you into the deep end of his painful past in this one. Hook is a man that you can’t help but love. You know that his callousness and hard exterior hides the soft heart of a wounded man that’s never known affection. Hook has known nothing but suffering, but he’ll take it ten times over in order to spare the others and his brother especially.

John Darling is a cop that has been crushing on Hook ever since they were boys and he followed his sister sneaking to the School of Lost Boys to see Pan. Now he’s a grown man and understands that the child’s crush he had runs much deeper. John is determined to bring Croc’s operation down, and he’s not above maneuvering Hook in order to set up his cover as his new pirate.

Now full disclosure, Gina does make a foreword letting the reader know to suspend your disbelief when it comes to procedural details of this book. I didn’t have any problems with that. But I did have one asshole reader moment over a detail that plagued me for the entire book. You have a cop working with the FBI that goes undercover to catch a ruthless crime boss, and he uses fake tattoos. Like the stuff that can flake off when he gets into a fight or sweats or showers. And try as I might, I just couldn’t get past it. I’m sorry, okay?! I love Gina’s words, but the struggle was real here. I was on the struggle bus for the entire undercover gig. I just couldn’t with this detail. I’m an asshole when it comes to certain details, and this just ate at me. Le sigh.

Having said that, it didn’t diminish my enjoyment of the book. The story that we get here is a beautifully and gripping, emotional and oh so steamy. Darling and Hook set the pages on fire with their chemistry. I absolutely loved them together. Gina treads the line of darkness by giving the reader just enough details of Hook’s past to build a devastating feel for why he is the way he is, without getting into the super gory details. She doesn’t spare your heart strings, though, and plays those like a violin. My whole heart!!!

I fell so hard for John and Hook’s story and romance and couldn’t get enough of them. I absolutely adored their road to a HEA and couldn’t have dreamed a better ending and epilogue. I’m so hooked on this series (see what I did there? *snorts*) and can’t wait for more!

Review: Goalie Interference by Avon Gale & Piper Vaughn

GOALIE INTERFERENCE
Series:
Hat Trick #2
Genre: Contemporary, MM Romance
Author: Avon Gale & Piper Vaughn
Release Date: September 30, 2019

It’s goalie vs. goalie in this brand-new enemies-to-lovers hockey romance from Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn…

Ryu Mori has had a stellar season as goalie for the Atlanta Venom. So when he’s called into management’s office, he’s expecting to hear he’s the new starting goalie for the team, not that some new guy—an incredibly hot, annoyingly bratty rookie—is here to compete for his spot.

Not everyone gets to play in the best league in the world. Emmitt Armstrong knows that, and he’s not about to waste the opportunity after grinding his way from the bottom to the top. If the Venom is looking for a meek, mild-mannered pushover, they’ve got the wrong guy.

Ryu doesn’t want to admit the other goalie’s smart mouth turns him on. Beating Armstrong at practice feels good, sure, but there are other, more fun ways to shut his rival up.

In this league, it’s winner takes all. But there’s more to life than winning, and if Emmitt and Ryu can get past their egos and competitive natures, they might just discover they work better as partners than they ever imagined possible.

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!

AMAZON 

 

Ryu was in love—head over skates in love—with his teammate. His competition.

If it’s enemies-to-lovers, color me all over it. This trope is my catnip, and when it’s a smokin’ hot MM and hockey romance to boot? Stick a fork in me, I’m done for.

The premise to the story is seriously finger licking good; two goalies after the coveted spot on the team. Emmitt is the rookie with everything to prove, and Ryu is the seasoned player fighting to keep his spot. Sound delicious? Because it was. What made it even more enticing was the fact that both characters were not white. In a white bread world of sports romance, this was such a refreshing change of pace of not just one but both of the characters adding diversity into the mix.

The rivalry between these two is almost as hot as the undercurrent of attraction that runs between them. But where Emmitt doesn’t hide the fact that he’s bi, no one knows that Ryu is gay, not even his parents. This was a sizzling slow burn that was a bit diluted by too much internal monologue at times, but I still loved it. I loved Emmitt’s vulnerable and playful side almost as much as I loved Ryu’s grumpy and temperamental one. Talk about your opposites attracting. And you know what they say about the quiet ones, right? Because when you finally get a peek into Ryu’s intensity in the bedroom, it makes you think twice about the man’s quiet and unassuming personality out of it.

I really enjoyed this and it was a solid 4 stars for me until the ending. It felt a bit abrupt and rushed and gave me none of the resolution I was hoping for. It was a satisfying HFN on the one hand, but I was desperately wishing for an epilogue too. I have a feeling we may be getting more of these two in the next book of this series, but I still couldn’t help but feel a little of my enjoyment fizzle. But that aside, this was still a fantastic and enjoyable read and I’m definitely hooked on the series.

Review: Riven by Roan Parrish

RIVEN
Genre: Contemporary MM Romance
Author: Roan Parrish
Release Date: May 29, 2018

Theo Decker might be the lead singer of Riven, but he hates being a rock star. The paparazzi, the endless tours, being recognized everywhere he goes—it all makes him squirm. The only thing he doesn’t hate is the music. Feeling an audience’s energy as they lose themselves in Riven’s music is a rush unlike anything else . . . until he meets Caleb Blake Whitman. Caleb is rough and damaged, yet his fingers on his guitar are pure poetry. And his hands on Theo? They’re all he can think about. But Caleb’s no groupie—and one night with him won’t be enough.

Just when Caleb is accepting his new life as a loner, Theo Decker slinks into it and turns his world upside-down. Theo’s sexy and brilliant and addictively vulnerable, and all Caleb wants is another hit. And another. That’s how he knows Theo’s trouble. Caleb can’t even handle performing these days. How the hell is he going to survive an affair with a tabloid superstar? But after Caleb sees the man behind the rock star, he begins to wonder if Theo might be his chance at a future he thought he’d lost forever.

AMAZON

He was lust and heat and power and I fucking loved it.

Have you ever read a book for the cover alone? What? Now don’t look at me like that. Have you seen this cover? There’s just something about it that’s utterly magnetic. It lures you in. And then you read the blurb, and INSTANT HOOK!

This was my second book by Roan Parrish and I’m definitely a fan. Riven is an emotional, character driven story that was as gripping as it was raw. Now normally, I don’t really enjoy a romance where the main characters hook up in less than 20% of the book. But that’s what happened when Theo first stumbles onto Caleb. The unwilling rockstar that’s trying to escape his reality meets a brooding recovering addict and sparks fly immediately. After no more than some conversation over their love of music and a romantic walk, they fall into bed together. But yet somehow it totally worked in this story.

The chemistry between Theo and Caleb may have been instant, but it also progresses over the course of their courtship. Caleb struggles daily with his sobriety. He was such an endearingly imperfect character. This is a man that’s as far from perfect as it gets, and he knows it. After several failed stints in rehab, he hopes his third will be the charm. Cutting himself off fully from his previous life is the only way he sees of serving sobriety this time around. And Theo and his fame threatens everything he’s worked so hard for.

Theo was absolutely adorable. There was something so vulnerable about him that you can’t help but fall for him. He wears his heart on his sleeve and his emotions all over his face. He’s one of the most genuine characters I’ve read in a long while. His fame is still a shock to him and something he struggles with. He loves music, but hates the notoriety that has come with it and the weird vibe that he seems to have with his bandmates. Caleb is his escape from his own gloom reality.

Theo had burrowed deeper than I’d realized, dug barbs into me. And when he’d ripped away—when I’d pushed him away—it had felt like they all tore loose at once.

This was a bit slower paced than I normally like, but it still worked for me. I loved the characters, and I absolutely loved the story. It may not have been my normal cuppa, but it was one I enjoyed from beginning to finish. Caleb and Theo were adorable together and oh so sexy. If you’re looking for an emotionally charged, character driven story, this is a definite must read.

#DGRFave Review & Giveaway: Undone By You by @KittyMeader

UNDONE BY YOU
Series: Chicago Rebels #5
Genre: Contemporary MM Romance
Author: Kate Meader
Release Date: March 5, 2018

Dante Moretti has just landed his dream job: GM of the Chicago Rebels. And screw the haters who think there should be an asterisk next to his name because he’s the first out managing executive in pro hockey.

He’s earned the right to be here and nothing will topple him off that perch—especially not an incredibly inconvenient attraction to his star defenseman, Cade “Alamo” Burnett.

Cade has always been careful to keep his own desires on the down low, but his hot Italian boss proves to be a temptation he can’t resist.

Sure, they both have so much to lose, but no one will ever know…

As Dante and Cade’s taboo affair heats up off the ice and their relationship gets more and more intense, they’ll have to decide: is love worth risking their careers? Or is this romance destined to be forever benched?

AMAZON | iBOOKS

Cade Burnett was choosing to put himself out there, and Dante intended to reward him with the hottest experience of his life.


Sexy, emotional, and absolutely perfect! The first MM romance I’ve read from the uber talented Kate Meader and it was a HUGE winner!!

Dante is the GM of the Chicago Rebels hockey team. He’s also ridiculously good looking, mostly grumpy and openly gay. When he runs into one of his star defenseman in a gay club, he’s stunned. When the man he thought to be straight as an arrow and having a fling with one of the Chase sisters clearly propositions him, he’s equally shocked and tempted. Cade is super sexy, easy going, funny, and super off limits. But as determined as Dante is to resist Cade, Cade is just as determined to seduce him. Thus begins the most delicious game of cat and mouse and back and forth.

Dante is hesitant to get involved with a closeted hockey player. He’s had his heart broken in the past and he’s not looking to put it all on the line again. He’s put in blood, sweet and tears into his career, as well. It takes a lot for an openly gay man in the league to get the respect he deserves and Dante earned it the hard way. How can he put all of that at risk for a man that threatens everything, including his sanity. A relationship with a player is frowned upon. The fact that no one knows Cade is gay doesn’t help matters.

Cade was absolute perfection. He knows what he wants and he goes after it with a singleminded intent. He doesn’t shy away from a challenge and he’s not afraid to push all of Dante’s buttons. I loved his easy going nature. I especially loved the way these two alpha males balanced each other out with their completely different personalities.

Full of witty banter, incredible chemistry, and endearing characters, Undone By You totally owned my heart. I loved the connection between Dante and Cade. I loved the slow burn of their developing relationship. I especially loved the way that Cade handled his coming out and Dante and the rest of the team supported him. I loved all the interactions with the secondary characters. I just seriously loved this book and this story.

Originally from Ireland, Kate Meader cut her romance reader teeth on Maeve Binchy and Jilly Cooper novels, with some Harlequins thrown in for variety. Give her tales about brooding mill owners, oversexed equestrians, and men who can rock an apron, a fire hose, or a hockey stick, and she’s there. Now based in Chicago, she writes sexy contemporary romance with alpha heroes and strong heroines (and heroes) who can match their men quip for quip. Visit her at KateMeader.com.

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