Review: Darkest Sin by J. Saman

DARKEST SIN
Series: Las Vegas Sin #3
Genre: Dark, Romantic Suspense
Author: J. Saman
Release Date: June 22, 2020

Everyone has an ex who haunts them.

Mine shot me in the arm and told me to run or he’d kill everyone I ever loved. And then he’d kill me.

Years later, he’s made good on that promise. I’m the only one left.

He’s got his sights set on finding me, and my options on places to hide are quickly running out.

Until I meet a gorgeous assassin with an agenda of his own…putting not only my life, but my heart in danger.

With piercing green eyes and irresistible confidence, Gavin tells me not to be afraid. Promises he’s on my side. Swears he’s here to protect me instead of doing what he does best…kill.

The desire to trust him is tempting. The passion between us, even more so.

But when everything I thought I knew is suddenly flipped upside down, and all that’s dangerous and forbidden comes to light, I have to make a choice.

Continue to run and hide…

Or risk it all, including the man who somehow captured my heart.

AMAZON

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𝐓𝐨𝐮𝐜𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐒𝐢𝐧 𝐢𝐬 𝐅𝐑𝐄𝐄: http://mybook.to/touchingsin

𝐂𝐚𝐭𝐜𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐒𝐢𝐧 𝐢𝐬 𝐨𝐧 𝐒𝐀𝐋𝐄: http://mybook.to/catchingsin

His mere presence is a threat. A weapon I’d bet he wields meticulously yet unapologetically. He’s sinisterly beautiful. An intoxicating poison.

I told myself that 2020 will be the year that I try more new to me authors, and J Saman has been on my radar for way too long. So of course the second I saw the blurb to Darkest Sin, I knew this would be my first book by her. And after finishing, I can happily report that I’m hooked! And before you jump down my throat, yes, I started this series with book 3. If you’ve followed my reviews for even a hot minute, you should already know that I like to do things a bit backasswards. Quit judging. And while this novel certainly stands on it’s own and I had no trouble at all immediately diving into this world, I could definitely tell there were some story arcs that carried over from the previous two books. So I’ll definitely be going back to read those.

As for this book, I seriously enjoyed it. It was suspenseful, sexy, and totally addicting. I will warn you to suspend your disbelief here. There are some things that happen that are a bit out there and don’t get fully fleshed out and somewhat glossed over on the procedural side of things. But I also couldn’t find it in me to care. I was that sucked in. And this is coming from someone that reads a ton of suspense and is usually a stickler for these sort of details.

Gavin Moore…
Professional killer.
White knight and darkest sin.

Emma is on the run. The man she fell in love with is not at all the man she thought he was and has turned into her perfect nightmare. She’s lost everyone she’s ever loved and doesn’t spend long in any one place. used to constantly looking over her shoulder, she finds herself in Vegas, and in the crosshairs of someone else.

Gavin is not who he seems. While he wants Emma to believe he’s a perfect stranger that’s merely hitting on her for a date, he’s so much more. A professional killer and a man on a mission, he’s there for her but she doesn’t know why.

I won’t go too far into the story since you can get that from the blurb. But I will tell you that I was immediately hooked on Gavin. The man was sinfully delicious with an aura of danger that oozed from his every pore. GAH. And considering how much I dislike weak heroines, I was even more hooked on Emma. The woman is a fighter through and through. She’s not quite what she appears to be herself, and the more the layers were peeled back with her, the more intrigued I became. This is a woman that can fight her own battles and isn’t afraid to give as good as she gets. And considering that there’s a hit on her life, she doesn’t let the fear guide her. She takes everything head on, and I seriously loved that about her.

I had one minor quibble with the way that the dialogue is written, it was difficult to understand who was speaking in certain parts. But aside from that, I seriously enjoyed the writing. The story, was completely addicting. The mystery, the suspense, the non stop action made it a fast paced read that I couldn’t get enough of. And the romance? SIZZLING.

Suffice it to say, I’ve definitely found me a new author to add to my never ending TBR and plan on reading pretty much everything this woman writes (including the rest of this series).

To celebrate the release of Darkest Sin, J. Saman has a giveaway for you! Head here to enter: http://jsamanbooks.com/updates

J. Saman is a USA Today bestselling author who is addicted to Diet Coke, sour candy, and indie rock. She swears way too much (especially after a glass of wine) and has penchant for sarcasm (or so her husband and children like to tell her).

She’s an admitted lover of second chance romances, love triangles, and the perfect amount of angst. She is best known for writing contemporary romance filled with smart, strong women, and sexy alphas who have a softer side – especially for their women.

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Review: Hell Hath No Fury by RC Boldt

HELL HATH NO FURY
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Author: RC Boldt
Release Date: May 19, 2020

In Hell Hath No Fury, RC Boldt brings us an unforgettable tale of loss, betrayal, and revenge in this new romantic suspense standalone…

Seven years ago, they took everything from me.

My father. My husband. My child.

When they stole my chance at justice, I vowed to get revenge.

Then I met him.

He tempts that long-lost part of me, but his presence is a reminder that betrayal lurks around every corner.

Their biggest mistake is underestimating my commitment for vengeance.

They don’t realize that when it comes to a woman like me, hell hath no fury.

AMAZON

This story is about a woman who had everything taken from her. And how she took it all back.

The second I read this synopsis, I knew this would be my first RC Boldt book. Heck, the cover didn’t exactly talk me out of it either. A revenge plot AND a badass heroine all in one? Sign me the hell up!

Hell Hath No Fury was a non-stop thrill ride full of grit, vengeance, plot twists, and a sizzling romance in the backdrop of a heart-pounding suspense. In a word, it was DELICIOUS.

Now I love me a good revenge plot, but there’s something so much more delicious when the one wreaking the vengeance is a female. A female that lost her entire world in one heartbreaking and violent moment, and never recovered. A female that had all of the odds stacked against her, who tried to go up against an organization that has everyone in their pocket and it cost her even more. When she couldn’t get justice the legal way, she turned to a different way. A way that turned her into judge, jury, and executioner. And I was SO HERE FOR IT.

There was something equally vulnerable and badass about Caitlin that I couldn’t get enough of. She goes after her revenge knowing full well that she doesn’t walk out of it in the end. She wants justice for her family and the only way to get it is to go after those that took it from her and make them pay.

Now as for the hero? GAH. This man. GAH. I don’t even know what to tell you without spoiling it. But let’s just say he was the perfect balance to Caitlin’s badass, because he was just as big of one himself. He gives intense a new meaning. He was mysterious, enigmatic, secretive, and I fell hard and fast.

Now in all fairness, if you don’t read a lot of suspense, this book is dang near perfect. As a reader that reads a ton in this genre, there were a few plot…things that didn’t quite add up for me. Not plot holes, necessarily, but things that came together a little too perfectly without much explanation, that I wish we got a little more of. Like the seven years that Caitlin spent away and how she got there. We get most of it off the pages, but I would have loved more. I also didn’t quite love the twist at the end.

Now all that aside, I still devoured this book. It was addictive. The story was quick-paced and full of action and with a sizzling romance that I couldn’t get enough of. It was different, and unique, and I seriously loved it. I’m definitely a new RC Boldt fan and highly recommend this book if you’re looking for something that will keep you on your toes and reading well into the night.

Review: Madam Temptress by Meghan March

Madam Temptress
Series:
Magnolia Duet #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Meghan March
Release Date: April 14, 2020

I didn’t choose this path. No one would.

I played the cards I was dealt.

The life made me. The city made me.

I won’t apologize for who I’ve become.

Moses wouldn’t have me any other way.

He says he want forever, and I’m starting to believe him.
But I can’t outrun my past, and my sins are catching up with me.
It’s time to atone, I’ll gladly pay my penance.

We might be getting our second chance, but we have to make it out alive first.

Madam Temptress is the conclusion of the Magnolia Duet and should be read after Creole Kingpin.

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I’ll always find my way back to you, mama. That’s one thing I can guarantee.”

An epic conclusion to an epic romance!

I fell hard and fast for Moses and Magnolia in book one. I’m a sucker for a good second chance romance. And when that second chance comes for a baddie that played the villain in a previous series? Bring. It. On. I’m also a sucker for imperfect heroines, and Magnolia is definitely that. The woman fought and clawed her way through survival. She was a madam. She was a survivor. And she’s a woman that demands her man fights hard for her.

Admittedly, Moses and Magnolia took a little bit of a backseat for me in the first 70% of the book. I was so enraptured with all things Mount, that I lost a bit of focus with them. They were really settling into their love, and my angst craving heart was a bit disconnected from the romance bit. That’s not to say I wasn’t totally in love with them, because I couldn’t get enough. It was just a lower sizzle than it was in book one, which was understandable because they were moving on. The angst of the relationship passed and now they were focusing on the external threats of the danger to Magnolia’s life.

If there’s one thing March can do epically, it’s write one twisty and suspenseful tale. And the hunt for the mysterious man threatening Magnolia’s life was one twist after another. There was one bomb after another, until finally all hell breaks lose in the last 20% and OH MY GOD. It was brilliant. I was completely riveted to the pages.

Talk about your epic conclusion, y’all. This one had everything. And I do mean everything. Including some more Mount POV. What? I’m a sucker for this man. And I was a sucker for the perfect ending.

 

Making the jump from corporate lawyer to romance author was a leap of faith that New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author Meghan March will never regret. With over thirty titles published, she has sold millions of books in nearly a dozen languages to fellow romance-lovers around the world. A nomad at heart, she can currently be found in the woods of the Pacific Northwest, living her happily ever after with her real-life alpha hero.

Sign up for Meghan’s newsletter and receive exclusive content that she saves for her subscribers:   http://meghanmarch.com/subscribe

 

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Spotlight Exclusive Excerpt & Review: Kill For You by Ayden K. Morgen

KILL FOR YOU
Series:
A  Warrior For Her #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Multicultural & Interracial Romantic Suspense
Author: Ayden K. Morgen
Release Date: March 17, 2020

I never believed in angels until I saw her standing in the middle of a crime scene, covered in the blood of a girl she knew nothing about. One look and I knew I needed to know more. Turns out, Faith Donovan is the answer to a lot of prayers…and my one shot at taking down Los Zetas, the biggest drug cartel left in Los Angeles.

The way I feel about her has nothing to do with my job though. She makes me want to wrap her in my arms and keep her for myself. Too bad for me, she’s off limits.

Witness protection, they call it.

I call it a sentence in hell.

I’m allowed to look, but I’m not supposed to touch the woman who’s been abused by her mother and imprisoned by a gang for most of her twenty-one years. I’ve never been a rule-breaker…but that’s exactly what I want to do when she turns those big brown eyes in my direction.

When Los Zetas paint a target on her back, all bets are off. I’ll find a way to keep her safe and keep her to myself, even if I have to kill every single cartel member along the way.

My name is Detective Octavio Hernandez, and Faith Donovan belongs to me. Once I claim her, no one will ever touch her again.

Kill for You  is the second book in a series of interconnected full-length novels featuring law enforcement officers willing to do whatever it takes to protect the women who need them most. Each book can be read as a standalone, has no cheating, and a guaranteed HEA.

(This book deals with human trafficking and slavery and gun and gang violence. There are graphic scenes of violence).

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On March 17th, 100% of author proceeds from Kill for You will be donated to Operation Underground Railroad to aid in the rescue of child victims of human trafficking. Post release day, 10% of proceeds will continue to go to Operation Underground Railroad. To date, Operation Underground Railroad has rescued over 3,200 children from slavery and has helped prosecute over 1,800 human traffickers. Learn more about O.U.R. and pledge your support here.


“What is it, angel?” I ask.”I…I just wanted to say thank you,” she whispers. “For today, I mean.”

De nada, conejita.”

She stands there for a moment and then turns to leave, but I don’t want her to go.

“Did you have a good time? At the movie, I mean.”

She pauses, turning those wide eyes back to me. “I did,” she whispers. “The movie was good.” A shadow passes through her eyes. “Sad.”

“You mean Mufasa’s death,” I guess. She cried during the movie when Mufasa died, but I don’t think she wanted me to know it. I ached to dry her tears for her but didn’t. Every expression that crosses her face and every thought in her mind fascinates me. I want to know all of them. I want to be the one she turns to when she’s happy and when she’s sad. Hell, I just want her.

She nods.

“I’m sorry you lost your father so young, Faith.”

“Me too.” She bites her lip. “I’m sorry you lost your sister too.”

“So am I.”

“Can…can I ask you something?”

“Anything.”

“What happened to her?” she whispers.

“I don’t know.” I glance away from her for a brief moment, steeling myself against the inevitable rush of memories her question brings roaring to the surface. “Alivia was ten years older than me, but we were always close. When she left home for college, she decided to stay on campus with friends. She started dating a guy her junior year, but no one knew much about him. He didn’t attend school with them. They thought he was involved in a gang, but she swore he wasn’t. She left campus to meet him one night and never returned.”

“Oh no,” Faith whispers, her honey eyes swimming with sympathy. “Did…did you ever find her?”

“No.” I shake my head. “I believe the man she was seeing was a Zeta.”

Faith’s stricken eyes widen.

“He took her across the border into Nuevo Laredo. No one in Nuevo Laredo was willing to talk with the threat of the Zetas hanging like a sword over their heads. Leads dried up from there.” I scrub a hand through my hair, expelling a heavy breath. “I accepted long ago that I’d never know what happened to her.”

It’s not hard to guess though. They either killed her or sold her into slavery. It’s a horrible thing to hope your own sister is dead, but for her sake, I do hope it. It’s been twenty years. God only knows the horrors she would have lived as one of the Zetas’ sex slaves in that amount of time. I would wish that kind of pain on no one.

“What happened to your parents?” Faith asks.

“My mom had a fatal heart attack when I was nineteen. My father had a stroke three years later. He passed not long after.” I was a surprise baby, born late in life. Losing Alivia aged my parents considerably. They were never the same after she vanished. They never recovered. Eventually, the grief of loss and the pain of not knowing took them both.

“I’m so sorry, Octavio,” Faith whispers.

“No more than I am.”

“Was your dad a cop too?”

“No. He worked in the IT field. My mom was a pediatric nurse.”

“Is your sister the reason you went into law enforcement?”

“Yeah. I wanted to find out what happened to her, and I guess I wanted to help make sure no one else ever had to go through what my family went through.” I glance at the file in front of me before flipping it closed with a heavy sigh.

As Franklin suspected, our tipster might not have been wrong about Kincaid. I’m not sure where that leaves me, or what I’m going to do about it. Kincaid is a damn good cop, one Roman trusts. Hauling him in on charges is going to cause a lot of problems for this city, and I don’t know what to do about that. We need him on the streets…but can I really leave him there if he murdered three people?

“Can I ask you a question now?” I ask Faith.

“Yes.”

“If a good cop did something wrong a decade ago to avenge his family and you found out about it, what would you do?”

She tilts her head to the side, studying me. “How wrong?”

“He may have killed the people who murdered his family.”

“Was his family innocent?”

I nod.

She thinks over my question for a moment, considering it carefully. “I don’t know what I would do,” she admits, “but I think what you’re really asking is what you should do.”

I sigh. “I have no fucking clue what to do. If I pursue this case against him, a lot of people are going to get hurt. Including some that mean a lot to me. If I don’t pursue it, I’m essentially looking the other way when my instincts are telling me there’s something here.”

“You pride yourself on doing the right thing.”

“I took an oath to uphold the law and do the right thing, even if doing it isn’t the easy thing.” I scrub a hand through my hair, truly baffled. The world isn’t black and white, not even when murder is involved. I know that. I accept it. But this case has so many shades of gray I don’t know what the right thing to do is. “If I pursue this case and find out he did it, I’m not jeopardizing just his future. Roman believes we need him to help keep our gangs in line, and I don’t necessarily disagree with him.”

“Look into it,” Faith says, taking a step into my office. “You can always decide what to do when you have your answers, but if you never even look for them, I think it will always bother you. You don’t strike me as someone who is content to have only bits and pieces of the puzzle.”

“I’m not.”

She nods like she already knew that and takes another step toward my desk. “You’re a good cop, Octavio. You’ll know what to do when the time comes. Until then, follow the clues. Maybe you’ll find out you’re worrying for nothing.”

“Maybe.” I lean back in my chair, folding my hands together on my stomach to study her. “You think I’m a good cop?”

“Yes,” she whispers.

“But you don’t trust me.”

“I tr–”

I cock a brow, daring her to finish that lie, but she doesn’t. Having confirmation that she doesn’t trust me shouldn’t bother me, but it does anyway. It’s also my fault.

“I’m sorry I threatened to take your door off the hinges,” I murmur to her. “I shouldn’t have said that, no matter how frustrated I was. You should know that I didn’t check it. If you want to lock your door, that’s your right.”

She nods but doesn’t say anything.

“I’m going to earn your trust again someday, angel. One of these days, you’ll tell me what you’re trying so hard to keep from me. You’ll let me help you.”

“The only thing I need help with is getting the Zetas to stop looking for me so I can be free,” she mutters, refusing to meet my gaze. “The only thing I want is freedom.”

“You’re free with me, Faith.”

“No, I’m not.” She offers me a sad smile, turning for the door. “You may be nicer about it than they are, Detective, but I’m as much a prisoner here as I was there. My cage is more comfortable, and my captor is less of a brute, but any freedom I have is an illusion, as easily snatched away as ever.”

“That’s not true.”

“No? If I wanted to walk out the front door right now, you’d let me?” she asks.

I grind my teeth together, pissed because she’s right and we both know it. There’s no way in hell I would let her walk out that door. She thinks it’s because I need her help, but she’s wrong. I can’t let her go because I think it might actually kill me if something happened to her. If the Zetas found her or hurt her, it would tear my world apart. I already lost a sister to the bastardos. I won’t lose Faith too. But I can’t tell her that. She wouldn’t believe me even if I did.

“Oscar wants me back so badly because my mom and stepfather stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from him before they fled,” she whispers after a moment. “He’s certain she’ll come back for me someday, so he decided to keep me close to ensure she had to come to him to get to me.”

“Jesus Christ.”

“I know you care about what happens to me, but I’m a means to an end for you just like I was for him, Octavio. I don’t kid myself about that. Maybe you shouldn’t either.” She offers me another sad smile and then ducks out of my office. “Goodnight.”

I sit there for a long time after she leaves, staring into space. Every part of me wants to stomp after her and tell her that she’s wrong. I want her to know that I’m nothing like he is and that the only thing I want from her is whatever little crumbs she’s willing to give me.

My entire adult life, I’ve focused on finding out what happened to my sister. Even after my parents died without answers, I kept searching, hoping to piece together which of the Zetas took her and what happened to her. Eventually, I had to come to terms with the fact that I’d never know. I started focusing on finding a way to make them pay after that.

I want them out of this city so badly it borders on desperation. But I think I’d walk away from that mission if it meant keeping Faith. She’s been here for two weeks, and she’s already becoming something vital to me. Something irreplaceable.

Too damn bad for me, because to her, I’m just another man keeping her in a cage.

I sigh heavily and flip open the file on Kincaid again, reading through it from cover to cover. By the time I’m finished, I’m almost certain there’s something here. Something I have to pursue. I jot a few notes and then stow the file before opening the one on Faith and the Zetas, flipping through it without really seeing anything.

Why is Fuentes so sure her mom will come back for her?

Nothing I’ve found thus far holds any answers on that front. Her mom was physically and emotionally abusive. Not even Faith has any illusions about the woman having any soft feelings for her. I doubt Fuentes has any either. So what does he know that I don’t?

I have a feeling finding the answer to that question is the key to giving her the freedom she so desperately craves. It might tear my heart out of my chest to watch her walk away…but letting her go is the only way to prove to her that I’m nothing like Fuentes.

Más tira el amor que una yunta de bueyes,” I mutter the old idiom about love being a strong motivator, returning her file to the drawer and climbing to my feet to go to bed. I stop in shock right outside her bedroom.

For the first time in days, her door isn’t closed against me.

It’s standing wide open.

Octavio,” she whispers in her sleep, snuggling closer. I don’t intend for it to happen, but in that moment, she steals a little piece of my heart.

I’m on a mission this year to read as many new-to-me authors as I can. The second I read the blurb to this book, I knew Ayden K Morgen would be going straight on my list. And once I finished? Holy crap balls!!! How have I not read her before?

First of all, if you like gritty romance with plenty of suspense and a hero that’s a balance of swoony and lethal with an edge, you need this book!

Octavio and Faith’s story was utterly addicting. Octavio is a detective working to take down of the most dangerous cartel gangs in LA. A rival gang shootout at a bar lands him the middle of chaos when he spots Faith and realizes she may be his in in bringing the gang down.

Faith is young but what she’s lived through in her short life has been a pure nightmare. She’s been a prisoner of one of the most brutal gangs and her scar covered body tells a tale of horrifying torture and abuse. But Faith, beyond all else, is a survivor. It’s impossible not to fall in love with her character. She’s been through hell and back and even though she’s terrified, she knows she has to do the right thing and try to help the police bring the gang down. Even if it may come at the cost of her own life.

Their relationship quickly progresses from victim/witness and cop to something much more. Octavio is immediately drawn to Faith and knows that he’ll protect her no matter the cost, even if it’s no longer a part of his job.

I loved the gritty and suspenseful tone of this book. I also loved that Ayden is able to build a picture without going into truly gory details and miss none of the effect. I was immediately sucked into this world and know I’ll be going back to read the previous book along with Roman’s story in Devour Me. I already can’t wait for the next book.

This is a true standalone set in the same world and you can definitely see the crossover and interconnections. I didn’t have a problem reading this book without having read the first. But the few glimpses I had of the couple from book one in this one, I know I need to read their story next.

My only (very minor) quibble was with the slight overuse of endearments. It was cure in most parts and in some parts it was just a touch too flowery for my personal tastes. But this is entirely a personal bias. I loved how Octavio treated Faith like he absolutely worshipped her. The man truly looked at her like he wanted to protect her from the world and would die doing it. I loved that!

If you’re looking for something different, fast paced, sexy and completely addicting, you need to check this series out!

Ayden K. Morgen is the Amazon Bestselling author of the Ragnarök Prophesies series. She lives in the heart of Arkansas with her childhood sweetheart/husband of sixteen years, and their furry minions. When not writing, she spends her time hiking, reading, volunteering, causing mischief, and building a Spork army.

She graduated summa cum laude with her Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice and Forensic Psychology in 2009 before going on to complete her graduate degree in CJ and Law.

She puts her education to use as a 911 Dispatch Supervisor, where she’s responsible for leading a team of dispatchers as they watch over police, EMS, and firefighters for her county. Her books feature law enforcement officers, the women who love them, and the difficult cases that drive them.

Ayden has been published by Curiosity Quills Press, Limitless Publishing, Cobblestone Press, and Tirgearr Publishing. She also writes New Adult Fantasy as A.K. Morgen.

Author Links

Email: akmorgen@akmorgen.com

Website: http://akmorgen.com

Amazon: http://amazon.com/author/aydenmorgen

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/ayden-k-morgen

Facebook: http://facebook.com/akmorgen1

Twitter: http://twitter.com/akmorgen

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Excerpt & Review: Wicked As Sin by Shayla Black

WICKED AS SIN
Series: Wicked & Devoted #1
Genre: Romantic Suspense, Contemporary Romance
Author: Shayla Black
Release Date: March 3, 2020

Pierce “One-Mile” Walker has always kept his heart under wraps and his head behind his sniper’s scope. Nothing about buttoned-up Brea Bell should appeal to him. But after a single glance at the pretty preacher’s daughter, he doesn’t care that his past is less than shiny, that he gets paid to end lives…or that she’s his teammate’s woman. He’ll do whatever it takes to steal her heart.

 

Brea has always been a dutiful daughter and a good girl…until she meets the dangerous warrior. He’s everything she shouldn’t want, especially after her best friend introduces her to his fellow operative as his girlfriend—to protect her from Pierce. But he’s a forbidden temptation she’s finding impossible to resist.

 

Then fate strikes, forcing Brea to beg Pierce to help solve a crisis. But his skills come at a price. When her innocent flirtations run headlong into his obsession, they cross the line into a passion so fiery she can’t say no. Soon, his past rears its head and a vendetta calls his name in a mission gone horribly wrong. Will he survive to fight his way back to the woman who claimed his soul?

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Pre-order the stunning conclusion, Wicked Ever After!

Releasing April 7th

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What the devil was she doing here? Courting danger. Pierce Walker was more man than she could handle. She was likely to get herself in over her head.But Brea owed him her thanks. And, okay…she was dying to see him again.

What could five minutes alone with the man hurt?

Suddenly, the volume on the music dropped under a dull roar and heavy footfalls got louder as they headed her way. Then the door whipped open, and Pierce stood on the other side of the threshold, scowling.

He was covered in nothing but ink, body hair, and bulging muscle from the waist up. Well-washed jeans hung low on his hips. He dangled the neck of a half-empty beer in one hand. His bare feet were built like the rest of him—big and overwhelmingly masculine.

Brea sucked in a silent, shaking breath. “Hi.”

“Brea.” His scowl disappeared. “This is a surprise.”

How was it possible that his eyes had been on her a handful of seconds and she somehow felt naked?

“Sorry to drop by. I-I just wanted to thank you.” She held out the container to him.

He took the dish from her hands. “For what?”

As Pierce propped himself against the doorframe and stared, she nearly lost herself in his fathomless black eyes. She forced herself to blink, but her wayward gaze wandered down his body. A Marine crest tattoo covered his right pectoral. More dark ink enveloped both shoulders, emphasizing every ridge and swell of his sizable physique. Well-washed denim cupped the substantial bulge between his legs.

And she utterly forgot everything she’d planned to say.

“Brea?”

His deep voice jolted her. She jerked her gaze from places it didn’t belong and cleared her throat. “Um…helping me get to the hospital the day Daddy collapsed. And for bringing my car to me afterward. It was very kind of you.”

“No problem. How’s he doing now?”

“Recovering. His surgery went well. Since you thoughtfully left me your contact information in my console, I meant to come sooner to tell you how much I appreciated your help, but I’ve been taking care of him. I finally got a few minutes, so I-I brought you these cookies. Since I didn’t know what you liked, I baked a few different kinds…” She dropped her gaze to collect her thoughts and stop rambling, but her stare glued itself to him again, this time fixating on his ridiculously delineated twelve-pack abs. “But you don’t look like you eat many.”

He laughed. Pierce Walker was menacing when he scowled, but when he smiled he was stunning. Something wild and reckless quivered in her belly, urging her to put her hands on him, press herself against him, beg him to somehow stop this breathless, fluttery yearning she’d only ever felt with him.

“Because I don’t have anyone baking me cookies.” He peeled the lid off the top and peered down. “These look good.”

“I baked the chocolate chip without nuts. I didn’t know if you were allergic.”

“I’m not.”

“I also included checkerboard, cinnamon sugar, and gluten-free almond wafer.”

“Thank you.” He curled his fingers around her shoulder. They burned like a brand as he scooted her breathlessly close to his naked torso and locked the door behind them. “Why don’t you come in and let me get you something to drink?”

“I shouldn’t stay. I would never want to interrupt your…” Goodness, what had he been doing? It was a Friday night. Maybe he was getting ready to go out. Or heaven forbid, planning to stay in…with female company.

“Game of pool. You’re not interrupting. Stay. Like a lot of things, it’s a lot more fun when you’re not playing alone.” He winked.

His seemingly suggestive words sparked a reaction low in her belly. “I-I’ve never played.”

He raised a dark brow. “Ever?”

“Daddy isn’t much for games. My friends aren’t, either.”

“What about Cutter?”

She shrugged. “He’s never shown any interest.”

He sent her a stare that looked somewhere between stunned and dubious. “You sure? I’ve seen him play.”

That didn’t surprise Brea. Cutter had a whole life she barely knew about. “I’m sure he does, but not with me.”

“I find that hard to believe.”

Were they still talking about billiards? “Anyway, I won’t keep you…”

“Don’t go. One game.” He wrapped his arm around her middle and ushered her deeper into his house. “What do you say?”

She risked a glance up at him. “You’re sure I’m not in your way?”

“No. I’m thrilled as hell to have you here, pretty girl.”

That low, deep declaration of his did something to her insides. Heat crawled up her cheeks. She ran her tongue across her suddenly dry lips. “O-one game, then.”

After one look, I wanted you. But after one kiss, I knew I’d do anything to have you.”

I have been waiting for this moment all my life!!! OK, so maybe not my entire life. But it sure feels like it, dang it! Because Shayla Black has been tempting us with One-Mile and Brea’s story for too long and I’ve been chomping at the bit in my glee to get my grabby little hands on it. And the second this baby hit my kindle? I DEVOURED IT. I don’t think I even blinked. Or maybe I did blink. Once. And then I realized I was done. GAH.

She wanted to be his, even if it was for a night. Even if it was a sin. Even if she burned in hell for this desire. It couldn’t be any worse than twisting in agony without him.

Now I’ll be honest, usually the uber good girl heroine doesn’t do it for me. They tend to annoy me with their holier than thou everything. But Brea was my one exception to the rule. There’s just something so incredibly endearing to her sweet and innocent personality. She’s like this ray of sunshine that you can’t help but love. Or maybe it’s that perfect dynamic of One-Mile’s uber bad boy to her uber good girl? I dunno. But whatever it was, it worked, and I loved it.

If you’ve read Shayla’s Wicked or Devoted series than you’ve met these characters. And if you haven’t, you won’t have any problems diving right into this one. Brea is Cutter’s best friend from Devoted to Pleasure. I have to say, as much as I loved Cutter in his own book, I wanted to slap him here. His holier than thou attitude towards One-Mile drove me up the wall. He’s fiercly protective of Brea while Brea is inexplicably drawn to One-Mile. One-Mile thinks that she’s Cutter’s girlfriend, but that doesn’t stop his singleminded pursuit of her.

I want you to kiss me,” she whispered. “Now.”
He tensed. “You’re sure?”
“Yes.”
“Even though it’s wrong?”
“Yes.”
“Even though this could get out of control?”
“Yes.”
“Brea. Baby…” Desire darkened his expression. “Don’t say I didn’t warn you.”

One-Mile is one of the most endearing misunderstood characters. He’s painted to be the cold and aloof bad boy, but is he really? He’s a trained operative and and lethal sniper, but there’s so much more to him than that. I loved seeing his fuzzy side come out when he’s around Brea. But there’s also this edgy appeal to him that you can’t deny. Their chemistry was absolutely incendiary! And the story completely addicting with plenty of suspense to really keep the reader on their toes. I loved it from cover to cover!

Shayla Black is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of nearly eighty novels. For over twenty years, she’s written contemporary, erotic, paranormal, and historical romances via traditional, independent, foreign, and audio publishers. Her books have sold millions of copies and been published in a dozen languages.

Raised an only child, Shayla occupied herself with lots of daydreaming, much to the chagrin of her teachers. In college, she found her love for reading and realized that she could have a career publishing the stories spinning in her imagination. Though she graduated with a degree in Marketing/Advertising and embarked on a stint in corporate America to pay the bills, her heart has always been with her characters. She’s thrilled that she’s been living her dream as a full-time author for the past eight years.

Shayla currently lives in North Texas with her wonderfully supportive husband, her daughter, and two spoiled tabbies. In her “free” time, she enjoys reality TV, reading, and listening to an eclectic blend of music.

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Review: Long Lost by Lexi Blake

LONG LOST
Series:
Masters And Mercenaries: The Forgotten #4
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Author: Lexi Blake
Release Date: February 4, 2020

A stolen past

The only thing Tucker remembers of his past is pain. Used in a doctor’s evil experiments, his memories and identity were erased, and his freedom taken. He believed his nightmare was over when he was liberated by the men and women of McKay-Taggart, until he heard the name Steven Reasor. The idea that he could have been involved in the terrible experiments that cost his “brothers” everything crushed him. A desperate attempt to force him to remember the truth almost cost him his life. Now his world is in chaos and his only path to finally uncover the truth and atone for his sins leads to Veronica Croft.

A painful present

Veronica “Roni” Croft knew Dr. Steven Reasor was bad for her, but she also saw a side of the man that no one else knew. Even as she began to believe their employer was hiding something sinister, she was drawn to him like a moth to a flame. Their affair was passionate and intense, but also fraught with danger. When he disappeared under mysterious circumstances, she took her first chance to run and never looked back. She has stayed hidden ever since, running from forces she knows are too powerful to overcome. But now the man she believed was dead, the man she mourned, has returned and needs her help.

A dangerous future

As Tucker and Roni unravel the secrets of his past, a dark force rises and threatens to destroy them. Their only chance for survival will require them to join forces with the Lost Boys’ worst enemy. Only together can they finally unlock Tucker’s past. But as Tucker’s memories begin to come back, will it free them both or tear them apart forever?

Veronica. He wanted her. He needed her. She was the one and he needed time to make her see that they worked.

How does she keep doing it? How does Lexi Blake create one addictive read after another. I loved her Masters & Mercenaries series. Then I became addicted to her spin off with The Forgotten. And now the addiction continues. One of the biggest mysteries since the introduction of the Lost Boys back in Submission is Not Enough is the infamous Dr. Razor. Tucker has been desperate for answers about his life and his memories. At the end Lost in You he sacrifices himself for his brothers, but survives. He also gets a dosage of the supposed cure from Levi Green that sends him into a coma. Long Lost takes off immediately where the third book left off. The team is desperately seeking answers while Tucker is still in a coma. The biggest answer might be held by a woman he worked with in Dr. McDonald’s lab, Veronica “Roni” Croft.

At one point, Roni and Steven were starting what felt like the beginning of their future. But then everything came crumbling down. Steven disappeared and Roni was left to collect the ashes. Now she’s come face to face with him again, but he’s not the man she remembers. He’s Tucker, and while he knows that they share a deeper connection, his memories are still blank.

The race for answers is on in the midst of a dangerous spy game. There’s secrets, betrayals, high octane action. Tucker is slowly getting his memories back, as the rest of his life remains a blur. As each memory comes crashing on him, more and more is revealed, and all of it is mind blowing. I loved the sweet and vulnerable side to Tucker. Especially how it clashes with everything we know about Dr. Reasor. You’re as desperate for answers as the rest of these characters. The Roni of today definitely clicked with me more than the Roni of years ago. She’s grown a lot and is no longer the naive woman she was. Being on the run for her life for the past few years has certainly forced her to grow up fast. I also loved her ball busting mom.

What I love most about Lexi’s world, is that you become so addicted to her characters. It feels like you know them. You’re so incredibly invested in them and their lives. You can’t wait for more. And this book certainly fed my addiction while still leaving me crave more. Especially since we FINALLY get Solo and Ezra’s story next. As for this one, it was everything I had hoped it would be and more! If you’re a fun of sexy romantic suspense, espionage, and thrilling action, you can’t go wrong with this one. I don’t recommend reading out of order, because you’ll be missing a ton of backstory. There’s an overarching story arc that continues through each book. So while each book is a different couple, the story continues through the series.

Review: Lost In You by @authorlexiblake

LOST IN YOU
Series: Masters & Mercenaries: The Forgotten #3
Genre: Romantic Suspense, BDSM
Author: Lexi Blake
Release Date: August 6, 2019

Robert McClellan was forced to serve as a soldier in a war he didn’t understand. Liberated by McKay-Taggart, he struggles every day to reclaim the life he lost and do right by the men he calls his brothers, The Lost Boys. Only one thing is more important – Ariel Adisa. The gorgeous psychologist has plagued his dreams since the day they met. Even as their mission pushes him to his limits, he can’t stop thinking about taking his shot at finding a life beyond all this with her.

Ariel Adisa is a force to be reckoned with. Her performance in Toronto proved she’s more than just a brilliant mind, but Robert still acts as if she is a wilting flower who needs his protection. Joining him on the mission to Munich should be the perfect opportunity to test their skills and cement their relationship. She and Robert are an excellent match. But when a stunning secret from Robert’s past is revealed, their world is turned upside down and nothing will ever be the same again.

While they chase dark secrets across Europe, Robert and Ariel realize that the only thing worse than not knowing who you are could be discovering who you used to be…

AMAZON

I don’t know about your other patients. I’m sure many fall in love with you because you’re an angel, but I want to bring out the devil in you. I want the dirty, nasty Ariel who will rock my world not with the power of her mind—but with every drop of the sexuality I intend to bring out in you

That shocked reader there, the one currently picking her jaw off of the floor? No, not that one. The OTHER one. Yes, the one that’s currently stalking Lexi Blake for any breadcrumbs from the next book. No, not that one! The other one! The one that’s currently rocking in the corner while slobbering something incoherent that sounds like ‘I need the next book’. Yes. Yes, that one. The pathetic looking one that’s clutching her kindle to her chest. Yep. That’s me! And don’t you judge me either! Because this book blew me away! AWAY I tells ya!

This was, hands down, bar none, my absolute favorite book in the series so far. And yes, I know I also said that about the last book. So that’s saying something, mkay? So. Freaking. Good.

Robert and Ari have been desperate for each other for years. Ever since Robert was first rescued from the clutches of the evil Dr. McDonald. But he knew his violent urges and inability to control the darkness in his mind made him dangerous to the beautiful psychologist. But Ari is so much more than she seems.

I’ll tell you guys, that I was afraid I was going to be bored considering there’s such a substantial connection that’s already established with this couple through the first two books. And the fact that they get together quite quickly made me nervous. I’m a reader that likes my angst and enjoys that delicious burn of anticipation for the couple to finally get together. But of course Lexi Blake made me eat my words. Because the romance was phenomenal!

There’s so much that’s happening as the team continues to try and unearth the secrets of their pasts and prevent Levi Green from getting his hands on the mind erasing drug that took their past lives away from them. Lost In You was non stop action with so many twists and turns, it will leave your head reeling.

In the midst of all that high octane action, you also get more details about Solo and Ezra, which left me damn near rabid for their book. Think Ian and Charlotte times ten! YES. It’s that good. Then there’s the development behind Tucker’s past and who really is Dr. Razor. And boy oh boy, let me just tell you, it’s delicious!!! I’m practically dying for that book.

Ari and Robert together were incendiary. Their connection is so strong, but with the secrets that Ari is keeping and the hidden truth of Robert’s past still standing between them, it’s not an easy road for them. I devoured this book, y’all! Like downright devoured. I couldn’t put it down for even a second. There’s so much that happens. Secrets unearthed. Truth revealed. Twists thrown in. It was totally and completely unputdownable. I’m utterly rabid for the next book!!!

New Release & Review: Lies by Kylie Scott

LIES
Genre: Contemporary, Romantic Suspense
Author: Kylie Scott
Release Date: July 21, 2019

Betty Dawsey knows that breaking things off with Thom Lange is for the best. He’s nice, but boring, and their relationship has lost its spark. But steady and predictable Thom, suddenly doesn’t seem so steady and predictable when their condo explodes and she’s kidnapped by a couple of crazies claiming that Thom isn’t who he says he is.

Thom is having a hellish week. Not only is he hunting a double agent, but his fiancé dumped him, and thanks to his undercover life, she’s been kidnapped.

Turns out Thom is Operative Thom and he’s got more than a few secrets to share with Betty if he’s going to keep her alive. With both their lives on the line, their lackluster connection is suddenly replaced by an intense one. But in his line of work, feelings aren’t wanted or desired. Because feelings can be a lethal distraction.

AMAZON

Now I find out you’re some weird vigilante assassin ninja super-spy, I don’t even know what exactly.”
“Just ‘operative’ is fine. Fits onto a business card easier.”

This book was so much fun! It reminded me of the movie Knight & Day, except it was actually good. *smiles sheepishly* What? That movie was ridiculous. But I did love the concept. And Lies delivered on the delicious promise the blurb brought. Full of action, steam, and enough laugh out loud moments that kept you glued to the pages from beginning to finish!

The story is uniquely fun:
Girl meets boy.
Boy turns out to be a snoozefest.
Girl leaves boy because she doesn’t want to settle.
Her apartment blows up. She gets kidnapped. She gets thrown knee deep into a dangerous game of espionage and betrayal.
Girl finds out her safe and boring (ex)boyfriend is a super agent extraordinaire that’s been lying to her the entire time they were together. Boy turns out to be not so boring after all.
Girl’s entire world gets turned upside down.

Intrigued yet? You should be!

Betty and Thom were so much fun. I loved Thom’s intensity when the real him finally appears and his fierce protectiveness of Betty. This is one badass, people. This man kicks some ass and takes name, and barely breaks a sweat doing it. Man but I loved him.

Betty was one endearing ball of quirk. I loved her character. She’s fierce in her own right and she doesn’t exactly take it easy on Thom when she finds out the huge lie he’s been keeping from her. Plus, considering the woman is a civilian, she certainly handled the whole kidnapping by secret agents and being thrown into a dangerous game of spy kill spy rather well. I mean, I’d probably be peeing my pants in a corner somewhere. But this chick had some tough skin. She managed to come off both vulnerable and yet like she can handle her own and I loved that. She wasn’t perfect and those faults totally worked in her favor and completely endeared me to her.

The story is one action packed ride full of bullets, steam, and secrets and I loved it! If you’re looking for something different but with plenty of the signature Kylie Scott humor, definitely pick this one up!

Review: Once Upon A Time In Bliss by Lexi Blake

ONCE UPON A TIME IN BLISS
Series: Nights In Bliss #8
Genre: Erotic Romance, Menage, Suspense
Author: Lexi Blake
Release Date: July 16, 2019

CIA operative John Bishop arrived in Bliss, Colorado seeking a respite from the high stakes game of blood and lies that sent him to the worst corners of the world. A week playing the role of vacationing professor Henry Flanders would recharge his batteries, especially if he found a submissive plaything to occupy his time.

Nell Finn has spent her life focused on helping others, but when she meets the tall and mysterious Henry Flanders, she can’t stop imagining what he might do for her. When Nell and her mother are threatened, Henry comes to her offering his protection and comfort.

But as the threats escalate out of control, Henry discovers that the beautiful and innocent Nell is much more than a plaything. Can he save the woman he loves without exposing the secrets that would drive her away?

AMAZON

His real name was gone. Erased. He had no home. No family. No life. He was nothing. Nothing at all.

Hands down, my absolute favorite in the series so far!

The very second John Bishop appeared on the pages of Nobody Does It Better, I was desperate for his story. The mysterious agent that is as cold as he is ruthless just HAD to have a heart of gold beneath all of that brawn, right? And oh man did this deliver.

This is set in the past, so not only do you get the story of how Nell and “Henry” get together, but you get the additional backstory of some of Bliss’s favorite kinky residents, including teenage Logan. This was the perfect icing on the cake! But let’s not lose sight of the story, because Nell and Henry definitely stole the show.

I have to admit that I was a tiny bit afraid to read this book because while I loved Nell as the quirky side character, I wasn’t sure I’d enjoy a full dose of her. The vegan bleeding heart activist isn’t my typical cuppa of heroine. But the more I learned about her, the more I found myself falling more and more for her incredibly endearing quirks.

Doctors push every day to find new medical breakthroughs. Scientists push to invent new technology. And I push every day so this planet is a better place for everyone, and you can look down on me and call me a kook, but people like me are the reason we have a democracy. We’re the reason women can vote. We’re the reason we have words in our vocabulary like human rights. Philosophers, thinkers, activists are the reason for every breakthrough humanity has made in becoming a more fair place.

Nell and John together were downright incendiary. I loved watching her sweet and idealistic heart slowly thaw out John’s icy walls. I loved watching him fall more and more for Nell’s innocence and sunny disposition. They were the perfect balance for the other.

Of course, what what would it be in Bliss if there wasn’t a mystery and some action that ran along with the romance, and it was the perfect addition to the already wonderful story. It was quick paced, full of action and steam, and wonderfully swoony. I loved getting more John Bishop and young Tag. I loved learning more about the young citizens of Bliss before they settled down into their relationships. And I loved, and I mean loved Nell and Henry.

She was a mystery, and he wasn’t sure he could untangle her.

Yet another fantastic addition to a wonderful series that I’m completely addicted to. Now I can’t wait for Logan and Seth’s story!

New Release & Review: Black List by Lynn Raye Harris

BLACK LIST
Series: Black’s Bandits #1
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Author: Lynn Raye Harris
Release Date: April 23, 2019

Jace Kaiser is a man without a country, without connection. His only loyalty is to the group who saved him, and the man who leads them. 
Until her…

The assignment should have been easy. Capture a deadly assassin and take her to HQ. But flawed intel leads to disaster, and Jace abducts a beautiful art appraiser instead. Intrigued by her courage, he’s drawn to her in ways he can’t explain. Dr. Madeline Cole stood up to him, fought for her identity, and never backed down. She’s the kind of woman he could fall for if it wasn’t so dangerous–for her.

Then Maddy is targeted for elimination because she’s the sole person who can identify the mysterious female assassin–and the only thing standing between her and certain death is the sexy mercenary who swears he’ll die before he lets anything happen to her. As the passion between them ignites, it seems clear that keeping Maddy safe has become the most important assignment of Jace’s life.

Even then, protecting her might not be enough–because Jace has secrets that could destroy them both. And someone is determined to unmask them all…

AMAZON

I’m not safe,” he told her. Growled at her, really. “Don’t you know what this is, Maddy?”
She licked her lips. Shook her pretty head. Her eyes were wide. Not scared, but slightly shocked. She didn’t speak.
“It’s a seduction,” he told her. “I want you beneath me. On top of me. Surrounding me. I’ve never even kissed you, and I want you so badly my knees are weak with it.”

Well hot diggity damn! Looks like I’ve got myself another smokin’ hot spinoff to obsess over. See what I did there? HOT series? HOT Spinoff? Ha! I crack myself up sometimes. Quit judging me! It was funny in my head. But I digress.

If you’ve been a devoted Ian Black addict like me, you’ll be practically wetting yourself with excitement over this brand new series. Because we finally get a series for those covert mercenaries that we’ve seen make appearances in so many HOT books. And let me tell you, friends, they’re even hotter than I thought!

The first book brings us the story of the mysterious Jace Kaiser. The man is clouded in mystery like his boss. And if the prologue was anything to go by, you knew you were in for one hell of a ride with his story. A case of mistaken identity when hunting down a dangerous and lethal target, leads Jace down a path he never expected. I mean, it’s not everyday that you essentially kidnap a woman that you think is a lethal assassin only to discover she’s exactly who she says she is. And who she is tempts you like no other. Maddy was a bit too sweet for my tastes at times, but she balanced Jace’s edges nicely. Admittedly, I had a little bit of a hard time connecting to her because I like my heroines with a bit more of an edge, but this is totally a personal bias. Ultimately I loved her and Jace together.

But what REALLY stole the show for me here was the intro to one secondary character that I knew right away would be my catnip. And at the end of the book, I discovered I was not wrong. Holy hot damn! If they end up with who I think they end up with, I’m already salivating for that book. And if you were craving more Ian Black, not only do you get him here, but you even get a peek into his head with a few chapters in his POV. Suffice it to say, this reader was on book cloud 9! I can’t wait for more in this series!

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