Review: The Punk and the Plaything by B.B. Reid

THE PUNK AND THE PLAYTHING
Series:
When Rivals Play #3
Genre: New Adult Romance
Author: B.B. Reid
Release Date: December 9, 2019

From bestselling author B.B. Reid comes a riveting, second chance romance…

Never trust a nice ass and a smile. That girl is definitely poison.
When I first came to Blackwood Keep, I was just looking for a thrill.
Instead, I found a beautiful fraud—a tomboy my wildest dreams couldn’t conjure.
Bee didn’t just run with boys; she ran the boys. It was only a matter of time before I gave chase.
It took one summer for me to win her over and two to lose her forever.
My summer love turned ice queen. Without heart or thought, she ruined me.

Four years and an ocean between us, I still can’t forget that she chose my cousin…so I won’t.
When the clock strikes twelve, you’re mine, Cinderella.
It’s too late to turn back time.

Jameson and Barbette’s story.

Are the When Rivals Play books standalone?

Each novel depicts a unique romance; however, the plots connect. It’s recommended that you read them in order for the best experience.

AMAZON

Are the When Rivals Play books standalone?

Each novel depicts a different and completely unique romance. However, the stories and their plots are connected. It’s recommended that you read them in order for the full reading experience. 

It is strongly advised that you read The Peer and the Puppet and The Moth and the Flame before reading The Punk and the Plaything. Content suitable for ages 18+. 

Read The Peer and The Puppet today!

Available FREE to read with Kindle Unlimited.

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Read The Moth and The Flame today!

Available FREE to read with Kindle Unlimited.

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Read Evermore: A When Rivals Play novella

Available FREE to read with Kindle Unlimited.

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“Well, isn’t this the most delicious surprise.”My head confirmed what my eyes were showing me, but my stubborn heart still refused to believe. Jamie was back from Ireland? Why hadn’t Ever told me? Neither of those answers seemed to matter as much as why Jamie was back.

The short sleeves of the button up he wore were rolled and bunched at the shoulders, displaying the muscles he’d grown since I’d last seen him four years ago. The white cotton only pronounced his tanned skin. He’d left the buttons undone, allowing anyone who laid eyes on him to see his hard chest and defined abs…and the many tattoos that covered them. Most of them were angry and aggressive, almost scary as if he were showing off his demons for anyone to see. Recalling my sweet Jamie from long ago, and what happened the last time I’d seen him, I knew I was responsible for every one of them.

Gone was the gentle boy next door with a full mop of hair, a lanky body, and an easy smile. This boy standing before me was darker, edgier…more tragic to my lonely, fragile heart. Was that yearning burning in the pit of my stomach or fear of the unknown? Because I didn’t know this Jamie, and judging by the wicked gleam in his eyes as he flashed that mocking grin, I didn’t want to know.

“What the hell are you doing back here?”

“Is that any way to greet your first love? I got to say”—his gaze slowly traced every dip and curve of my body—“I love how well you’ve grown up, Bette.”

“First love?” I scoffed, even though it felt like he’d stolen my breath. “You were hardly that.”

“Then what was I?” he challenged, backing me against the opposite wall. “I’m breathless to hear more of your lies.”

“You were nothing.”

He flashed me that sad, beautiful smile I hadn’t realized I’d missed so much. I stood perfectly still as his wolfish gaze ate me up. As close as he stood now, he wouldn’t miss a single fucking flaw. There were many, but no one dared looked close enough to see. I might as well have been Medusa. As he ran his gaze over me, I took the time to study him as well, noting the silver bar piercing his right brow and the small diamond in his right nostril. I could have sworn I’d even glimpse a flash of metal piercing his nipples. Jamie had taken all that sinful deliciousness he naturally possessed and multiplied it by ten thousand. As if the world didn’t already have enough injustices.

“You’re so beautiful. Did it hurt?” He kept his gaze on me as he turned his head and blew out smoke.

“Did what hurt?” I could feel the heat from Jamie’s cigarette when he defiantly brushed his thumb across my bottom lip. To Jamie’s knowledge, I belonged to his cousin now, but he clearly didn’t give a damn.

“When you fell from heaven, Satan.”

I slapped his hand away while telling myself to get a grip. Jamie might have surprised me, but he was nothing I couldn’t handle. “Get lost, Jameson.”

Tapping the end of his cigarette, he sprinkled ash onto my designer blouse. A piece of the flame had fallen, burning through the sheer material, scorching my skin. Before now, I’d never thought Jamie capable of hurting me. The truth was now so blatantly blazed into our history that it could never be unwritten.

Without warning, he pressed closer until I could see nothing but the angry blackness of his eyes. “I’m afraid I’m not going anywhere. By the time I’m done with you, Barbette Montgomery, you’ll be crawling back to me… but I doubt I’ll want my cousin’s sloppy thirds.”

“I wouldn’t hold your breath.” I wasted little time pushing him away. Tragically, the moment my hand connected with his warm skin, the electricity threatening to make my broken heart beat again became too obvious to ignore. I tried to run from it, but some inexplicable need to seal our fate had me spinning on my heel to face him again. “Better yet, Jameson, do us both the favor, won’t you?”

You preyed on the wrong McNamara, kitten. My trust fund has more zeroes. Dick’s bigger, too.”

You know that feeling when you read a book that you’ve been dying to get your hands on FOREVER and it doesn’t just live up to your expectations, but blows them out of the water? Because GAH! Y’all. This book. I can’t.

CRACKILICIOUS.

There’s just no other way I can describe it for you. I knew Jamie and Bette’s book would be epic, and I was not wrong. I went through wanting to chuck my kindle at the wall and rip my hair out, to giddy anticipation, to goofy grinning, back to ripping my hair out, and giddiness again. This book took me through the wringer. The angst. The sweet, sweet angst. I can still taste it.

I’ll admit, Barbette definitely wasn’t my favorite character when we first meet her in The Peer and the Puppet. BB Reid gives us an entire different outlook on her in this book. We not only get to be inside her head, but we get to know the young and rambunctious tom boy that she used to be before she became the beautiful ice queen. You get snippets of her history with Jamie, and piece by piece you see how the fell in love and inevitably fell apart. You get to experience the lies, secrets, and betrayals. You get to understand why they are who they are today.

Barbette was it for me—my slice of heaven and my one-way ticket to hell. I could never trust her with my heart again, but maybe I was kidding myself thinking I could stay away completely.

Jamie was a character that had my immediate attention from the first. I didn’t need to be inside his head to warm up to him, the guy set me on fire as a secondary character, so I already knew he’d be sizzling in his own book. And again, I was NOT wrong. Jamie is full of anger at Bette’s betrayal. While you learn the whole of it piece by piece throughout the book, you know that whatever happened between them was bad. Jamie may still be attracted to Bette, but now he just wants revenge for his broken heart, even if his cousin is the collateral.

Jamie was the kind of thrill every girl sought at least once in her life. Maybe that was all he’d been for me, too.

I devoured this book. I was completely incapable of setting it down for even a second. I was glued to the pages, totally invested, and completely riveted. There’s a few puzzle pieces that come together on the whole Fox mystery here. But for as many questions as are answered, there’s a hundred more that are left. Reid also throws out the most delicious of lures for the next book and OMG! I’m not sure I have the patience for it.

This was everything that I had hoped for and so much more. Angsty, sexy, with just the right amount of suspense to make it a perfect page turner. Did I want to jock punch Jamie more than a few times? Absolutely! But my inner cougar still wanted to bang him after, so it wasn’t all bad. (It’s fiction so stop judging me here. He was 18, ok?!)

Bette really grew on me and came into her own here. I love stories with strong females, and I loved watching Bette grow her backbone and turn it into steel. Her and Jamie were incendiary together. I loved catching up with past favorites too! My one quibble was a particular scene in the book that I felt blurred and confused more than anything. Was it hot? Absolutely. Was it necessary to the story? Maybe. But the way it came together just struck me as…well…odd. That aside, I absolutely LOVED the book. I’m utterly addicted to this series and I’m practically salivating to get my grabby little hands on the next book.

B.B. Reid is a bestselling author of new adult romance. She grew up the only daughter and middle child in a small town in North Carolina. After graduating with a Bachelors in Finance, she started her career at an investment research firm while continuing to serve in the National Guard. She currently resides in Charlotte with her moody cat and enjoys collecting Chuck Taylors and binge-eating chocolate.

Please visit her website for more information: www.bbreid.com

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Review & Excerpt: Kiss And Break Up by Ella Fields

KISS AND BREAK UP
Genre: New Adult Romance
Author: Ella Fields
Release Date: March 8, 2019

Dashiell Thane wasn’t a nice guy.

He was an abrasive, demanding, conniving, intolerable brat.

Yet somehow, we’d been best friends our whole lives.

Until our senior year when I finally decided to dip my toes into the dating pool.

 

All it took was one kiss for jealousy, lies, and betrayal to sweep in and propel us heart first into dizzying, hostile depths.

 

You’re not supposed to kiss your best friend.

You’re definitely not supposed to kiss your best friend while you’re dating someone else.

And the absolute worst thing you could do is fall for your best friend.

Unless, of course, you want to ruin everything.

FREE in KU

AMAZON KINDLE | AMAZON PAPERBACK 

I fell to the bed just as a thump hit the exterior of the house, and Dash launched himself through the window.“Can you ever land gracefully?” Or you know, use the front door. For as long as we’d lived here, he’d snuck in. At first, it was due to being unsure whether my mom would still want us hanging out, but it didn’t take her long to figure out what he was doing.

She didn’t care. When I’d shaken like a mouse cornered in a kitchen, she’d smiled and told me she’d never stop us from being friends. Yet the window always remained unlocked.

Dash kicked off his boots, and they hit the aging floor with two bangs. “I’m all man, baby. Not a fucking cat.”

Hearing him say that reminded me of why he was here. I sprang to my feet, hurtling out into the hall and into the bathroom.

“What are you doing?”

Too busy gargling mouthwash, I didn’t answer and spat it into the sink as he appeared in the weathered mirror behind me.

“Seriously?” he asked. “You burp in my face after eating garlic pizza, so this is just fucking dumb.”

“You burped in my face first.” I put the cap back on the bottle, not meeting his gaze. I couldn’t. I headed back inside the safety of my room.

But I had to wonder, as I heard Dash gargling mouthwash too, if it would be considered safe again after this. Would this ruin everything by making it awkward?

“Dash,” I said, wringing my hands as I paced the floor of my room. “We probably shouldn’t be doing this. What if––”

“What if it’s awesome and you fall madly in love with me? Well, we already know I don’t do commitment.”

A tiny laugh skittered out. “No, what if it gets awkward? I don’t want anything to change.”

He took me by the shoulders in the middle of my rainbow knitted rug and leveled me with his vibrant eyes. “We’ve done some pretty awkward shit, so what’s a little mouth to mouth going to change?”

I nodded, exhaling slowly, then I frowned. “Why are you doing this? I mean, I know why I want to, but you? What do you even get out of it?”

He grinned. “You might be my best friend, but I’ve always wondered what it’d be like to stick my tongue down your throat.” He tipped a muscled shoulder. “Let’s just say you’ll be killing that curiosity.”

“You’ve always wondered?”

“I’ve got eyes, Freckles. And I don’t need my glasses to appreciate the sight of something beautiful.”

I blinked. “Wow. That was actually really swe––”

“Shut your inexperienced mouth and kiss me.”

I was still laughing when he grabbed my face, and then I squeaked as the world changed color, and his lips lowered over mine.

My heart became a trumpet, blaring in my ears at the first touch of his lips.

I pulled away, startled and still laughing. “Oh, my God.”

Dash’s hands were warm on my face. “That good? They barely even touched.”

“No,” I choked out, pushing his hands away. “It’s just … a little weird.”

“Weird?” His brows scrunched. “We’ve barely even begun.”

I blew out a shaky breath, unable to look at him as my hands flapped at my sides. I stared at his white shirt, looking at where the cotton met his tanned skin. “I don’t know, Dash.”

“Wanna try again?”

I looked at him then, at the eager glint in his blue eyes. “It’s not weird for you?”

He chewed his bottom lip which was a little fatter than the top. And it’d just been touching mine. Oh, how crazy. “Maybe a smidgen. I can just picture Margot Robbie, and I’ll be good.”

I froze. “Margot Robbie?”

He gestured to my hair. “The blonde hair helps.”

“Jesus.” I swiped my hands down my face. “This is dumb. Let’s just forget it.”

He stood there a moment, glancing around my room. “Why don’t you imagine someone? That guy from the Thor movie. You like him.”

“Chris Hemsworth?”

“Yeah. Imagine him.” Then he grinned, waggling his brows. “Pucker up, baby.”

“You didn’t just say that.” I laughed, plopping down on the edge of my bed.

“Whatever. Are we trying again or what?”

The thought of Byron and that mischievous twinkle in his green eyes, the way he’d wasted no time moving in to kiss me … yeah. I needed to do this.

“Okay.” I shook out my hands, bouncing a little on the bed. “Okay, let’s do this.”

Dash’s lips thinned. “This isn’t a cross meet. We’re only swapping germs.”

“You just had to say that, didn’t you?” My pep had officially vanished.

Dash tugged me off the bed. “Close your eyes and relax.”

I tried, but I was as stiff as a board when his mouth met mine again. He tasted like spearmint and cigarettes, but his hands were gentle as one held my chin and the other glided through my hair to the back of my head. Slowly, with the soft press of his lips on mine and the gentle exploration of their shape, my limbs loosened.

“Open,” he whispered, his voice threaded, rougher.

I did, expecting the invasion of his tongue, but the velvet feel of it only traced the inner edges of my mouth.

Out of all the things I’d expected to feel when he’d suggested this crazy idea, it wasn’t relaxed, and it certainly wasn’t the buzzing sensation currently warming my insides.

“This isn’t so bad,” I said when he pulled back, my voice a low exhalation.

“Good. Now repeat the same to me.” My eyes were about to spring open, but he growled. “Keep them closed. Don’t think, just do and feel.”

Drawing in a quick breath through my nose, I found his stubble-coated cheeks with my hands and lifted myself on my toes. I tried to do the same thing he did to me, but my tongue plunged deeper, meeting the warm softness of his. I licked it, stroking cautiously until I heard him hum, the sound vibrating up his throat and causing our lips to mash together.

His hands became firmer around my head, his tongue greedier, sweeping inside my mouth before my teeth found purchase on his plump bottom lip, and pulled.

He groaned, and it had me staggering back, my heart racing and my breath an unsteady, embarrassing sound.

Dash swallowed, then cleared his throat as he shifted on his feet. His eyes met mine, and I looked away, down to where my mint green toes were curling over the abrasive fabric of my rug.

Awkward. This was so awkward, and I prayed we hadn’t just made a huge mistake.

“So that’s how it’s done.” He grabbed the TV remote and plopped onto my bed. “Got any popcorn?”

I shook my head. “Wait, that’s um, it?”

He started flicking through Netflix. “Well, yeah. Not much else to it. We can practice again before your date if you want, but I’m fucking starving, and we need to re-watch the last season of GoT before the new one is out.”

“Oh, yeah,” I said, remembering I’d promised him that weeks ago. Hungry myself, I stepped outside, then scowled at him from the doorway. “Don’t put your socks near my pillow.”

He grumbled but shifted and moved over to the other side of the bed.

Who the hell do you think you are?”
“Yours, but apparently, it’s taking some time for you to get the memo.”

If you follow my reviews, then it’s no secret that I’m a sucker for angst. So then it really should be no surprise that I am obsessed with all things Ella Fields. The woman can write angst like no one’s business, and she’s not afraid to go there. She’s not afraid to write raw, unapologetically real, and truly broken characters and make her readers fall head over heels in love with them each and every time!

So when I saw she’s coming out with a brand new NA romance, I jumped on it like a sugar addict at a cake factory. Yes I know that’s not a phrase, but just go with me here.

The queen of angst strikes again with Kiss and Break Up and she knocked it straight out of the park! She hit the home run of angst! I’m talking teenage angst overload here, people!!! And. It. Was. Delicious.

Dash and Peggy have known each other since they were in diapers. And they’ve been best friends since Dash essentially decided it so and practically bullied Peggy into it. She’s never had a choice in the matter, but it’s not like she minds. The guy may be rude, crude, and completely tone deaf when it comes to proprietary, but he’s her best friend. Through thick and thin. And their senior year of high school definitely brings a change in their comfortable dynamic.

Peggy is a bit of a late bloomer. But with her braces off and a new haircut, suddenly she begins to see her own appeal. And with that appeal, she wants to experience dating like all girls her age have already done. But when a cute boy asks her out, she realizes that her inexperience is a crutch that she needs to get rid off. And in comes her knight in tarnished armor, Dash, with an offer she can’t refuse; practice with him.

Now, suddenly, the lines get blurred. Years of friendship begin to get lost behind repressed feelings, unexpected connections, and a bit of unrequited love. In a word? ANGST!!! All of the sweet, delicious angst.

Dash is a character that you will love to hate and hate to love. He’s far from perfect and he makes plenty of mistakes. As hard as you want to hate him for the decisions he makes sometimes, you also can’t help but fall for him anyway. Peggy was the perfect balance for him. She accepts him in all his imperfect glory, but she also doesn’t take any of his shit. I loved the dynamic of the guy pining after the girl who takes a while to truly understand her feelings for him. It’s a refreshing change of pace.

There’s several secondary characters that are introduced, that I’m practically salivating for a book for. The set up for their books is utterly delicious. I have zero chill with getting my grubby little hands on their stories.

As for this one? I DEVOURED it. I’m talking binge read, people! Binge. Read. I loved every maddening, frustrating, and emotional page of it. I couldn’t set it down for even a second. It was infuriating and completely unputdownable. It was everything I’ve come to expect from the immensely talented Emma Fields, and so much more! A huge rec for all my fellow angst lovers! My one quibble was I wished for a little more development and character fleshing out. I didn’t have an issue connecting with either Dash or Peggy, but I did feel like I was getting to know them on more of a surface level rather than a true deep dive.

 

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

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#DGRFave & Review: Pretty Venom by Ella Fields

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

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

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

Then one afternoon, he stole my first kiss.

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

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

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

Until I ruined everything with one stupid mistake.

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

But we weren’t kids anymore.

I could handle his brand of venom.

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

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

FREE in Kindle Unlimited
AMAZON

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

OH MY GOD! THIS BOOK.
I.
Can’t.
DEAL.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Review: Wait For It by @MollyOKwrites

WAIT FOR IT
Series: Everything I Left Unsaid #4
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Molly O’Keefe
Release Date: February 28, 2017

In a blistering novel of raw emotion and desire, a tormented woman teaches an alpha male that money can’t fix everything . . . but love can.

Tiffany : After fighting for a new life, I don’t want to play the victim anymore. However, with three kids to raise, I’m getting desperate enough to make a deal with the devil. My estranged brother-in-law, Blake, says he just wants to help, but he’s been trouble since I met him. I don’t know if I can believe this kinder, gentler Blake, and there’s a friction between us that has turned into the sweetest chemistry. He could be my salvation . . . or my downfall.

Blake : I haven’t always had Tiffany’s best interests at heart but I’m ready to make up for my sins. Besides, I can’t help admiring her: The girl’s a genuine survivor, tough and lean, with eyes of steel. But the more I get to know Tiffany, the more I want her. Every inch of her. Which means I’m about to make a bad situation a hell of a lot worse.

AMAZON | iBOOKS

I wanted her. Every bit of her. And every thorn between us. I wanted the sharp corners and the deep shadows.

Ever since Blake first hit my radar in The Truth About Him I’ve been itching to get my hands on his story. It’s no secret that I’m a sucker for the assholes, and let’s be frank, there’s no other word better to describe the man. He’s cold, ruthless, and will spare nothing and no one to get what he wants.

While you could technically read this book as a standalone, I wouldn’t recommend it. The author does an incredible job giving the reader plenty of backstory that you wouldn’t be lost, however, the intricacies of these characters that was slowly developed as the series progressed would be lost on you. I just don’t think you’d have the same appreciation for who they are and what they’ve been through without at lease reading the first two books.

Tiffany was a woman I didn’t click with until this book. While a part of me felt sorry for her and her situation, her actions at times made her easy to dislike. But somewhere beneath that loathing and pity, there was also a small beacon of hope that this is a woman that’s hiding her deeper layers, and boy did I get them here.

He stood there with the street lights throwing an icy light across him. He was beautiful. In a perfectly cold way.

Having survived an abusive marriage and having no one to turn to for help has turned her into a shell of the woman she once was. But even though she’s frail, she’s no where near broken. And when her husband’s estranged brother questions her morality and the paternity of their kids, she doesn’t hesitate to give as good as she gets.

To say that these two get off to a rocky start would be an understatement.

And I deserved both. Her want and her hate. It was the currency I’d dealt with. It was the currency I’d created. Because I could not figure out what to do with anything else.

Molly O’Keefe is a master of serving her readers up with characters that are almost irreparably broken and twining it all around a raw emotion that’s so gripping, it’s as riveting as it is heart rending. She really brought her A game with the story of Blake and Tiffany.

These two are as far from perfect as it gets. Both have a troubled past and demons that they hide from. They should be toxic together, and yet, there’s something about their individual broken pieces that almost…just barely…makes something whole.

I kissed her like she was the solution. My solution. Like she was everything I needed. And right now that was the truth. And I longed with my naked soul to be her solution.

Their means of getting together aren’t exactly orthodox, but knowing their backstories, it also made a certain kind of sense.

This is not a story of black and white, it was somewhere deep in the gray and it certainly wasn’t a light hearted read. It was painful, emotional, raw, gritty, everything I’ve come to expect from this amazingly talented author.

Wrapped in all of that was a sexual chemistry that was so hot, it was damn near explosive.

I can’t wait to fuck you,” he said. “I can’t wait to put my cock inside this hot greedy little body. I can’t wait to feel every inch of you against me, your pussy milking my cock until I can’t give you any more. I want you to scream and bite and claw. I want you to come so hard it hurts.”

There’s so much depth to both of these characters and their story is one of many layers that at first shouldn’t make sense, but yet, they do. It’s a story that may not click with every reader, but it definitely did with this one.

I would have loved for the hate lust between them to last longer, but that’s because I’m a glutton for punishment and loves me some angst.

If you’re looking for a romance full of raw emotion and sexual chemistry, this is one series you need to check out. I’ve been waiting a long time for Blake and Tiffany’s story, and I can say it was very much worth the wait.


READ THE REST OF THE SERIES

EVERYTHING I LEFT UNSAID 
Purchase | Read My Review

THE TRUTH ABOUT HIM
Purchase | Read My Review

BURN DOWN THE NIGHT
Purchase | Read My Review

Review: Twisted Palace by Erin Watt

review-twisted-palaceBROKEN PRINCE
Series: The Royals #3
Genre: NA/YA Romance
Author: Erin Watt
Release Date: October 17, 2016add-to-goodreads-button-2

twisted-palace

These Royals will ruin you…

From mortal enemies to unexpected allies, two teenagers try to protect everything that matters most.

Ella Harper has met every challenge that life has thrown her way. She’s tough, resilient, and willing to do whatever it takes to defend the people she loves, but the challenge of a long-lost father and a boyfriend whose life is on the line might be too much for even Ella to overcome.

Reed Royal has a quick temper and even faster fists. But his tendency to meet every obstacle with violence has finally caught up with him. If he wants to save himself and the girl he loves, he’ll need to rise above his tortured past and tarnished reputation.

No one believes Ella can survive the Royals. Everyone is sure Reed will destroy them all.
They may be right.

With everything and everyone conspiring to keep them apart, Ella and Reed must find a way to beat the law, save their families, and unravel all the secrets in their Twisted Palace.

Buy LinksAMAZON | iBOOKS

Review-DGR3.5 stars

The royals are like the apple in the fairy tale. Golden on the outside, but rotten to the core.

Well…damn. Color me conflicted. I struggled with my rating for two days after finishing it. Because see, the thing is, I’m freaking conflicted! Am I even making sense here? Of course I’m not! Because I’m conflicted I tells ya! Bah. Just bah.

To say that I’ve been anticipating this book as much as a virgin’s first orgasm would be an understatement. What? Is that not a saying? Well it should be. You get what I’m saying here, right? I. Needed. It. Erin Watt has been teasing us mercilessly for months. Ever since I finished Paper Princess, I’ve been practically foaming at the mouth for this conclusion. That book was my catnip. Teenage angst and drama mixed with enough sexual tension to make even a nun frustrated. What? Is that not a saying either?

In some small corner of my brain that is now in control, I feel like if I love him hard enough, long enough, I can keep him with me forever.

Basically, I’ve been building up the conclusion in my head for months. But in order to do the book and myself justice, I went in with zero expectations. Like none. Will I love it? I don’t know. Will I hate it? I don’t know. I left it all to the fates and jumped right in…

Loving Ella is one of the best things I’ve done in my short life.

So how do you make all of the teenage drama even more extreme? Throw in a murder mystery into the mix. It was basically like Gossip Girl meets Cruel Intentions meets Pretty Little Liars. Craziness ensues. But if you’ve read the previous books, this is nothing new.

I highly enjoyed the first 80% of the story. I loved Reed, I loved Easton, I wanted to throttle Dinah and punch Jordan in both ovaries. Nothing new. I was still just as invested in Reed and Ella finally doing it…I mean…their relationship. What? You get teased for two books and tell me your ovaries don’t turn blue. Quit judging.

Reed’s not the destroyer. He’s never destroyed anything in his life; he’s always been the protector, even at this moment when he battles his own lust for control.

Quit the battle and just give in, Reed! Be like Nike and JUST DO IT!

But I digress. This book was a solid 4 stars for me. Even with all the murder mystery and additional drama added to the mix, it was still a page turner. And then that ending happened…

Of all the crazy drama twists that can happen, I think that ending put most soap operas to shame.
It was so over the top, it was so crazy, that it totally killed everything for me. Le sigh. Don’t get me wrong, it certainly didn’t discount the fact that I enjoyed the majority of this book, because I totally did, but c’mon! Perhaps the argument can be that with the way the series progressed it’s only fair to make it finish out with this crazy bang, but I’m not of that mind. It was simply too OTT for my tastes.

Do I still consider this series to be one of my favorites? Absolutely! Do I wish it ended a little different? Sure. But that’s not to say I didn’t enjoy this crazy ride. Paper Princess is still one of my top reads of the year. Am I let down with the conclusion? Not really. Aside from the crazy drama of that ending, I still read it in one sitting. Am I still foaming at the mouth for more Royal brothers? ABSO-FUCKING-LUTELY!!

Ella Harper is all I’m ever going to see, because she’s my future. She’s my steel and my fire and my salvation. She’s my everything.


THE ROYALS TRILOGY 

PAPER PRINCESS
AMAZON | MY REVIEW

BROKEN PRINCE
AMAZON | MY REVIEW

Change Of Heart by Nicole Jacquelyn

Review-Change of HeartCHANGE OF HEART
Series: Unbreak My Heart #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Nicole Jacquelyn
Release Date: September 6, 2016add-to-goodreads-button-2

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They’ve spent their lives pushing each other away, but what will happen when they need each other most?

Anita Martin doesn’t expect much from life. Growing up on the street, bouncing from one foster home to another, she learned to rely only on herself. Even after she finally found a loving family to take her in, she was still an outsider-something Abraham, one of the family’s older sons, never let her forget.

Abraham Evans doesn’t know how Ani always manages to get under his skin, only that’s she’s been doing it since they were teens. She is-and always has been-undeniably gorgeous. But he’s never met anyone as pissed off at the world as Ani.

For fifteen years, Ani and Bram have agreed on exactly one thing: they can’t stand each other-until one night when their anger gives way to passion. Yet even as Ani and Bram begin to secretly seek comfort in one another’s arms, they remain emotionally worlds apart. When Ani’s life takes a dramatic turn and she realizes she needs more than Bram can give, their fragile, no-strings relationship unravels. One way or another, Ani is determined to survive. But when Bram finally admits his true feelings, he may discover Ani has moved on without him . . .

Buy LinksAMAZON | iBOOKS | B&N | KOBOReview-DGR4.5 starschange of heart-DGR teaser

You’re such a fucking pain in the ass,” Bram gasped, pressing against me as he kissed me hard. “Maybe if I just keep your mouth occupied…”
“Shut up,” I bitched, letting go of his back with one hand so I could grip his hair.

There’s something about this series that is entirely too addicting for me. I’m not even kidding; I’ll start the book, blink, and the next thing I know, I’m done. I devoured Unbreak My Heart in one sitting, and I’m thrilled to have a repeat offender with Change of Heart. Nicole Jacquelyn has brought her A game and delivers yet another sensual and angsty romance that will hit the readers straight in the feels. I’m talking make you rage then lust then rage all over again, only to make you swoon like a victorian maiden at the end. I tell you, it just doesn’t get better than this. And you all know that I love me some angst. And with that, this series has become my go-to must read.

I couldn’t tell if I should be dancing a jig or crying into a beer over the fact that I’d just had the best sex of my life in the back of a Toyota 4Runner with my foster sister.

As long time foster siblings, Ani and Bram’s relationship has been antagonistic at best. It’s a mixture of subtle lust covered by layers of snark, sarcasm and insults to the point where you’re just waiting for that final insult before they tear each other’s clothes off.

I loved Ani’s snarky spitfire ways. This is a girl that hides her insecurities well behind her smart mouth, and so you can’t help but feel for her. Bram can be a straight out asshole to her, but beneath his thinly veiled insults, there’s an insecurity he desperately tries to keep hidden.

I have to admit that while I absolutely loved Bram and his protective big brother act in Unbreak My Heart, I couldn’t wait for the man to be brought to his knees by a woman. He talks a big game, but you know what they say about those. Bram is stubborn, thick headed, and doesn’t think twice before throwing insults. But where in the first book you felt like you wanted to throttle Shane, Bram didn’t quite reach that level of douchebagery. There was always something so questioningly endearing to him. You want to hate him for some of the decisions he makes, and yet for some inexplicable reason, you just can’t.

For less than an hour, I’d forgotten what a bitch she was, but within minutes of getting her off, I remembered exactly why I couldn’t stand her.”

While there’s quite a bit of back and forth between these two, it wasn’t as dramatic as the first book. The angst is well balanced and the tension slowly develops and slowly dissipates. There are even bouts of well placed humor to ease some of the angst and does so flawlessly.

Stop,” he blurted, his gaze roaming up and down my nakedness. “I think I’m having an out-of-body experience.”
“Shut up.”
“You’re bringing me sandwiches. Naked. You might be the perfect woman.”
“These sandwiches are mine, fuckface. Feed yourself,” I replied as I climbed onto the bed.
“And the fantasy is gone,” he replied sadly.”

This was an amazing addition to what’s now become one of my favorite series. I’m already twitching for more and can only hope that Trevor will be next. Sure it packs quite a few heavy punches to the feels, but that’s exactly what I’ve come to love about these books…and the angst, of course. Can’t forget angst. Did I mention I love me some angst?

If you loved the first book, you’ll definitely love this one. And if you were over-angsted in the first book, then you might enjoy this one more. Basically, what I’m getting at here is you NEED TO READ THIS BOOK.


UNBREAK MY HEART (UNBREAK MY HEART #1) – My Review

★DGR’S Ultimate List of Angsty Romance★

DGR-Ultimate list of angst

Let’s talk angst.
angst
äNG(k)st/
noun
  1. a feeling of deep anxiety or dread, typically an unfocused one about the human condition or the state of the world in general.
    “adolescent angst”

ANGST just so happens to be pure catnip for this reader. I gobble it up like the starved addict that I am, and love every hair pulling second of it. If a book can make me feel like I want to throttle someone, scream at the ceiling and rip my hair out by the roots, I know I got myself a winner. What? Like you don’t have your vices? Sheesh. Judgy much?

This month you all voted for my Ultimate List of Angsty Romance, and that’s what I’m giving you. Fair warning, this will quite possibly be my longest list ever! We always chat about these lists in my FB group, so if you haven’t yet, join in on the inappropriate fun  HERE.

Since this list will be ridiculously long if I let it, I decided to limit my choices to the uber angsty book picks. These are some of my all time favorites and my go-to recs.

And if you’re new to my blog, this a monthly feature I do on the last Saturday of each month! Check out the previous features here:

★ULTIMATE LIST OF DIRTY TALKERS★

★ULTIMATE LIST OF ROCK STARS★

★ULTIMATE LIST OF FIGHTERS★

★ULTIMATE LIST OF ANTI-HEROES★

★ULTIMATE LIST OF HATE TO LOVE ROMANCE★

★ULTIMATE LIST OF SECOND CHANCE ROMANCE★

★ULTIMATE LIST OF MAFIA ROMANCE★

As always, I’d love to hear from you all in comments if you don’t see one of your favorites listed. You know I love me some book recs 😉

You’ll notice I’ll list some of these by author because I loved several of their books, some I’ll list by series, and some will be simply individual books. Now let’s do this thing!


THOUGHTLESS by S.C. Stephens
GOODREADS | AMAZON

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“What if I don’t choose you, Kellan? What will you do?”
He looked away, a tear rolling down his cheek. “I’ll leave, Kiera. I’ll leave, and you and Denny can have your happily ever after.” He looked back at me. “You wouldn’t even need to tell him about me. Eventually, the two of you…” his voice broke and another tear fell on his cheek, “the two of you would get married, and have children, and have a great life.”
I fought back a sob. “And you? What happens to you in that scenario?”
“I…get by. And I miss you, every day,” he whispered.”

Sweet mother of hair pulling, wanting to run the heroine over with my car, while rocking myself in a corner somewhere ANGST. GAH! GAH I tells ya! This freaking book. I don’t know how I even survived it. It put me off life triangles for years. And yet when I think of angst, this is the first one that pops into my head. Clearly it left an impression. And let’s be real here for a hot second, because it just doesn’t get much better than Kellan fucking Kyle *pervy sigh*

THE THOUGHTLESS SERIES
THOUGHTLESS | EFFORTLESS | RECKLESS | THOUGHTFUL | UNTAMED 


TRISTAN & DANIKA trilogy by R.K. Lilley
GOODREADS | AMAZON

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I knew we were going to be a dangerous combination. Bad things were going to happen if we spent too much time around each other.

First I read book one, and thought, well this isn’t so bad. Then I read book two and thought I’d been hit with a two by four full of feels, and then I barely BARELY survived book three because holy hell!!! I LOVED this trilogy. Absolutely loved it. It spans years and had one of the most memorable love stories I’ve read. The angst was in apoplectic proportions and I loved every single painful second of it. It was utterly delicious!

I convinced myself that it had all been passion, not true love.  True love was a myth, a misdirection from the solid things in life.  What I’d felt for Tristan had been big and all consuming, but I told myself, like a mantra in my head, that it had never been solid.   Even so, every little thing brought him to mind.  We’d had too much together, been through too much, felt too much, and every feeling had a memory.

THE TRISTAN & DANIKA SERIES
BAD THINGS | ROCK BOTTOM | LOVELY TRIGGER


CAROLINE & WEST duet by Robin York
GOODREADS | AMAZON

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I want you, and I don’t know how to stop wanting you. I want to get deep inside you, and then deeper, until I’m so deep I don’t even know what’s me anymore and what’s you.

What’s better than angst? New Adult kind of angst. Yum yum yum. This is one of my all time favorite duets. These books took me through the emotional wringer and I don’t regret it even a little. I adored the heroine and I loved to hate the hero. But who am I even kidding? I mostly loved him even when I wanted to hate him!

“I could tell you how much I’m hurting, or I could get out of the car, slam the door, hitchhike to the airport because fuck you, fuck you, West, how could you do this to me? How?

What I can’t do is pretend I don’t know what you did,” I say. “Or pretend I don’t still care about you.”

THE CAROLINE & WEST DUET
DEEPER | HARDER


BULLY by Penelope Douglas
GOODREADS | AMAZON

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“You were my tempest, my thunder cloud, my tree in the downpour. I loved all of those things, and I loved you. But now? You’re a fucking drought. I thought that all the assholes drove German cars, but it turns out that pricks in Mustangs can still leave scars.”

If you haven’t at least heard of this phenomenal series, odds are you’ve been living under a rock. Well climb on out from under there my friend, because you are seriously missing out. This is easily of my top favorite NA series and the angst is utterly delicious. I have a motto when it comes to books by Penelope Douglas; she writes them, I read them. Period. No exception.

Becoming hard at heart isn’t an intersection in your brain where you have a choice to turn left or right. It’s coming to a dead end, and you just keep going, over the cliff, unable to stop the inevitable, because the truth is you just don’t want to.
There is freedom in the fall.

THE FALL AWAY SERIES
BULLY | UNTIL YOU | RIVAL | FALLING AWAY | AFLAME


THE VINCENT BOYS by Abbi Glines
GOODREADS | AMAZON

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“ If I’d ever taken the time to wonder about my soul being as black as this town seemed to believe, I knew the moment Ashton stepped out of her little white Jetta looking like an angel from Heaven that my soul was damned to Hell. ”

I have a love hate relationship with Abbi Glines books. No really. See I love to hate them. No I don’t mean that in a hater sort of way. What I mean, is she’s a guilty pleasure author for me. I may not always love every book, I may want to throttle most of the heroines, and yet I still enjoy the ride. Kind sick saying it out loud lol. I’ve read her entire backlist, and I absolutely ADORED her Sea Breeze series. To date, that’s my favorite series by her.

But what began the obsession was this book. The Vincent Boys. And to be clear, I’m referring to the uncut edition, because let’s be real, if I’m forced to endure YA angst, I need steam to dilute it. I devour her books in one sitting. I adore every hero she’s written. What can I say? The struggle is real with this addiction I have and I’m not even sorry. Even when I hate the heroines, the heroes more than make up for it.

DGR’S ABBI GLINES FAVORITES (All angsty deliciousness)
WHILE IT LASTS | JUST FOR NOW | HOLD ON TIGHT | UNTIL THE END | FALLEN TOO FAR | NEVER TOO FAR


AN ORDINARY GIRL by Barbara Elsborg
GOODREADS | AMAZON

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“I can’t believe I’ve found someone that’s more fucked up than me.”

I don’t remember why I read this book exactly. I think I stumbled on it by pure chance actually. Something about that synopsis just hooked me. I ended up devouring it in one sitting! This author has a signature blend of angst and dry wit and humor that just calls to me. I love it! She’ll add a bit of OTT drama that also somehow just works and at times a dash of suspense and voila! Instant addiction. I went on a Barbara Elsborg binge right after this and the addiction still continues. Not only does she write great angst, but the steam level is through the roof! She writes amazing MM, scorching MMF, and deliciously dirty MF. I can’t recommend her enough!

DGR’S BARBARA ELSBORG FAVORITES (all angsty perfection)
STRANGERS (MF erotic) | TO KISS A FALLING STAR (MF erotic) | FALLING (MM) | BREAKING (MM)


THE UNWANTED WIFE
GOODREADS | AMAZON

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“I’m your husband…”
“No. You are not my husband,” she interrupted in a voice thickened with hatred and tears. “You have never been my husband. A husband loves, honours and cherishes! A husband is a lover and a champion….Look into the next room if you want to see what a real husband is, because you are no such thing!”

What would happen if you combined Harlequin presents with some crazy angst? This. Book. Holy mother! I loved it! I loved it so freaking much! Natasha Anders definitely has a signature style to her romance. I love watching her heroines grow into their own and stand up for themselves. I love seeing her royal alphaholes of heroes realize their mistakes and perform some epic kind of groveling. All of it just speaks to me and I can’t get enough!

DGR’S NATASHA ANDERS FAVORITES (all standalones and all angsty, of course)
A HUSBAND’S REGRET | A RUTHLESS PROPOSITION


THIS HEART OF MINE by Brenda Novak
GOODREADS | AMAZON

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She’d wanted him so badly seventeen years ago. And now that he wanted her, regardless of what anyone said, she wouldn’t come near him.

This was the first book I had read by this author and boy was I kicking myself for it after. Hard. If you love second chance romance and redemption stories, this is an absolute must read. It’s emotional, heart breaking, beautifully written, and completely unforgettable. While it is a part of a long-standing series, it can easily be read as a standalone.

No it’s not exactly the smutty smut that I normally gravitate to so if you’re expecting lots of steam, you’ll be sorely disappointed. But this book was not lacking it for me. Not even a little. The story was so emotionally powerful and the romance was so beautiful with just the right amount of tasteful love scenes, that I fell head over heels for This Heart of Mine.


THIS MUCH IS TRUE by Katherine Owen
GOODREADS | AMAZON

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LIFE CAN CHANGE in as little of fifteen seconds. I know this.
Fifteen seconds.
An SUV clips my car, kills my sister, and changes me and my life forever.

Thirty seconds.
The time it takes for a stranger to lift me up and carry me away and save me from the burning wreckage.
Thirty seconds.

One night.
The time it takes to fall in love with Lincoln Presley and forge promises that neither of us can keep.
One night.

Thirty seconds.
In thirty seconds, a heart can break.

If you like your angst to feel like you’ve been run over by the mac truck of feels, boy do I have a rec for you. Because this book? It will actually physically drain you. I’m not even a little kidding. It was fucking painful, people! I still have no idea how I survived it but I feel like I needed a cookie, a hug, a medal and all of the alcohol after it. In that exact order. This does end on a cliffhanger and I recommend reading the full trilogy to get a much deserved HEA.

THE TRUTH IN LIES TRILOGY
THIS MUCH IS TRUE | THE TRUTH ABOUT AIR & WATER | TELL ME SOMETHING TRUE


IF YOU LEAVE by Courtney Cole
GOODREADS | AMAZON

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“That day, that one day, changed me forever. It taught me that everything you love, everyone you love, even if you love them and hate them at the same time, can be taken away in a moment and there isn’t anything you can do to change it.”

The Beautifully Broken is a series of 4 books, but it wasn’t until this book, IF YOU LEAVE (book 2 in the series), that I fell in love with the series. If You Leave deals with many heart wrenching issues; the biggest being the hero, Gabriel’s, PTSD from his Army Ranger days. It’s an emotional romance filled with angst, feels, and enough steam to keep you panting.

I loved every book in this series, but 2 and 4 have to be my all time favorites. If you haven’t read these yet, I strongly recommend you check them out.

THE BEAUTIFULLY BROKEN SERIES
IF YOU STAYIF YOU LEAVE | BEFORE WE FALL | UNTIL WE FLY


THE EDUCATION Series by Jane Harvey-Berrick
GOODREADS | AMAZON

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“What do you think I’ve got here that I wouldn’t give up in a heartbeat to be with you? There’s nothing to keep me here: I’ll go anywhere, do anything to be with you.”

What happens when a 30-year-old woman stuck in a loveless marriage has an affair with her 17, soon to be 18-year-old neighbor? One of the most gripping, emotional and powerful romances that I have ever read. Book one is The Education of Sebastian and tells the heart wrenching story of how these two fell in love. The Education of Caroline takes place ten years later, when these two lovers finally reunite. If you haven’t read this series, it’s seriously an absolute must read.

“Be happy, Caro, because that’s what you deserve.
I love you, I have always loved you, and where I go after this world, I will always love you.
Sempre e per sempre.”

THE EDUCATION OF SERIES
THE EDUCATION OF SEBASTIAN | THE EDUCATION OF CAROLINE | SEMPER FI


UNBEAUTIFULLY by Madeline Sheehan
GOODREADS | AMAZON

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“Baby,” he said gruffly. “Man like me got no business with a girl like you. You’re nothin’ but a fuckin’ beauty and I’m a while lot of fuckin’ ugly who’s already halfway to hell.”

You want angst? You want grit with a big chunk of dark MC romance? Welcome to your next addiction! While I enjoyed every single book in this series, I have to say that UnBeautifully is easily my absolute favorite. There was just something so powerful about this beauty-and-the-beast romance that just spoke to me. It wasn’t an easy read and far from a light one. But it was an unforgettable ride from beginning to finish.

THE UNDENIABLE SERIES
UNDENIABLEUNBEAUTIFULLY | UNATTAINABLE | UNBELOVED


ROCK CHICK REGRET by Kristen Ashley
GOODREADS | AMAZON

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“No really,” I whispered, letting the sweet, peaceful feeling steal over me. “It only matters if there’s someone to care if you don’t wake up. It’s okay if I don’t wake up because there’s no one to care.”

I have three words for you: Hector OMG Chavez. That is all. No really. That’s all. If you’ve read this book, you know exactly what I mean. And if you haven’t? You need to get to reading it right freaking meow because MAN! So. Good.

This was probably the heaviest and most powerful book in the series for me (right up there with Stella and Mace in ROCK CHICK RECKONINGwhich is also a HUGE angsty rec). But there was just something about RCR that stayed with me for all these years. Maybe it’s what the heroine went through and watching her grow? Maybe it’s the story as a whole. Whatever the case may be, I simply adored it.


DREW + FABLE series by Monica Murphy
GOODREADS | AMAZON

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“Maybe it was a mistake leaving you.
And I don’t know how to make it right.
Regret fills me every single day.
So much of it builds up I
Hate myself for 
Missing you. Hurting you.
And I want you to know i…
Long for you
Love you
Others may come and go in our lives but…
We belong together”

New Adult angst? This has it. In spades. This was the book that made me fall in love with Monica Murphy’s writing. It was the first book that I read by her and I was hooked. I recommend reading them back to back because the cliffhanger in OWG will leave you so ragey, it’ll make you want to slap someone.

THE ONE WEEK GIRLFRIEND SERIES (these need to be read in order)
ONE WEEK GIRLFRIEND | SECOND CHANCE BOYFRIEND

OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES but with new characters
THREE BROKEN PROMISES | FOUR YEARS LATER


DESTROYED by Pepper Winters
GOODREADS | AMAZON

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“I was obsessed with finding redemption. Destroyed by love. Possessed by hope. Consumed by a past I couldn’t shake.”

So Pepper Winters advertises this as her “gray romance” but please don’t let that fool you. While this is certainly not quite on her usual dark scale it still packs a mean punch….straight to the mother effin feels. My. God. This book tore my heart to shreds and put it back together…barely. I was a damn mess reading it. I don’t remember the last time I cried that hard in a book but DAMN. Just DAMN.

This is a full standalone.


WICKED HEART by Leisa Reyven
GOODREADS | AMAZON

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“Heartache doesn’t teach you to be resilient. It teaches you to protect your fragility. It teaches you to fear love. And it draws a bright red circle around all the ways you’ve failed as a person and laughs while you cry.”

Ah…sweet sweet second chance romance angst. How I love thee. Let me count the ways….Liam, Liam, Liam…wait. That’s not right.

While a lot of my friends loved the first two books in this series, I struggled a little with them. But I continued with the series because not only did I love the writing style, but I saw where it was going and I knew it was only a matter of meeting the right characters for me to fall in love with the story. And Wicked Heart? It was exactly that book for me.

THE STAR-CROSSED SERIES
BAD ROMEO | BROKEN JULIET | WICKED HEARTS


UNFORGIVEN by Elizabeth Finn
GOODREADS | AMAZON

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You don’t fall in love with the person responsible for your greatest loss. And God help you if you do.

God help you indeed. This book was a crazy rollercoaster of emotion. It was almost physically painful to read at times. But man. MAN. What an incredibly powerful and angsty romance. To date, this is my favorite book by this author. And Elizabeth Finn happens to be one of my go to’s for angst, so I don’t make that statement lightly.

I’ll list some other notable favorites below. All are full standalones.

DGR’S FAVORITE ELIZABETH FINN BOOKS
THE FIGHT FOR US | KISSED | KANE’S HELL | THE DEVIL’S PAWN | THE RULES REGARDING GRAY | INAPPROPRIATE 


WORTH IT by Linda Kage
GOODREADS | AMAZON

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I craved every little second I got to see her, but I knew I should stay away. It was torment, the two cravings rivaling and constantly churning in me, playing tug-of-war between what my heart wanted and what I knew was best.

I’m seriously obsessed with this New Adult series and can’t recommend every book in it enough. I love it that much. Worth It had some darker undertones to it that the others didn’t. It wasn’t dark, just more emotional and a touch heavier if that makes sense. The whole series packs a good amount of angst and if sexy NA romance is your thing, prepare to binge.

THE FORBIDDEN MEN SERIES
PRICE OF A KISS| TO PROFESSOR WITH LOVE | BE MY HEROWITH EVERY HEARTBEATA PERFECT TENWORTH ITTHE GIRL’S GOT SECRETS | PRICELESS 


BEAUTIFUL DISASTER by Francette Phal
GOODREADS | AMAZON

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“Nicholas Grayson wasn’t a nice person. In fact one could call him an asshole and he wouldn’t dispute it. He was as jaded as they come, eighteen years old, with a moral compass fixed permanently on diabolical. … His goals in life were to piss off his parents, break a few laws and generally screw his way through life.”

Cruel Intention meets Soap Opera in this deliciously angsty YA romance and I gobbled up each page like the addict that I am. Holy crap, people! This book HURT. Complete with a mother of all cliffhangers. But no worries, because you do get a much deserved HEA in the conclusion, REDEMPTION.


FACADE by Nyrae Dawn
GOODREADS | AMAZON

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I don’t see the future; I just notice shit. When you’re seven years old and scared of your own shadow, too scared to get close to anyone like I used to be, you learn to pay attention. To study people’s loves because it’s the only way to feel like you’re living and to think about how differently you’d be doing if you had the balls to man up. Or, hell, if you hadn’t been given such a shitty hand to begin with. 

While I loved the entire Games series, Facade was easily my favorite. I couldn’t even tell you why exactly. It just was. Something about a broken boy finding love in the girl he least expected. I just loved it.

THE GAMES SERIES
CHARADE | FACADE | MASQUARADE 


A LUSH BETRAYAL by Selena Laurence
GOODREDS | AMAZON

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I know almost instantly- this is it- I’m done. This woman will either be my salvation or the death of me. There is no question. I’ve lost control now that I’ve touched her. There’s no going back, and she’s the most spectacular thing I’ve ever experienced.

Rockstars. Betrayals. Redemptions. Second chances. This book had it all. This was my first book by Selena and I was hooked. A Lush Betrayal is still free on amazon, so if you like the sounds of this one, you need to grab it quick!

THE LUSH ROCKSTAR SERIES
A LUSH BETRAYALLOVING A LUSH | LOWDOWN & LUSH | A LUSH REUNION


Twisted by Cari Quinn & Taryn Elliott
GOODREADS | AMAZON

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He could do anything, survive anything, but he couldn’t turn away from Jazz. She would sustain him where every other drug had failed.

It’s no secret that I love everything these authors write. I first fell in love with their Love In Oblivion series when I stumbled on ROCKED by pure chance. And from then, it was as they say, history. While each book focuses on a different member of the band, I don’t recommend reading it out-of-order. There is a story arc that continues throughout the series that you wouldn’t be able to appreciate having read the books out-of-order. I highly recommend starting with the prequel (SEDUCED) first. It really introduces the characters and gives you a taste of things to come.

THE LOST IN OBLIVION SERIES
SEDUCED | ROCKED | TWISTED | DESTROYED | SHATTERED | OWNED


TEN TINY BREATHS by K.A. Tucker
GOODREADS | AMAZON

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“Just breathe,” my mom would say.
“Ten tiny breaths…Seize them.
Feel them.Love them.”

Does this book even need an introduction or an explanation for being on my list? C’mon now!

“I don’t hate you. I could never hate you. Give me your heart, Kacey. I’ll take everything that comes with it.”

THE TEN TINY BREATHS SERIES
TEN TINY BREATHS | IN HER WAKE | ONE TINY LIE | FOUR SECONDS TO LOSE | FIVE WAYS TO FALL


THIN LOVE by Eden Butler
GOODREADS | AMAZON

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“I don’t want easy. I want the impossible. I want love so thick, I drown in it; it’s the only thing worth having and, I’m sorry Kona, you’re a nice guy when you’re not acting like an entitled jackass, but I really don’t think you’re capable of being anything more than that.”

To date, this is still one of my favorite second chance romances. The angst is in epic proportions and I do mean epic. This book will make you rip your hair out, it will make you sob hysterically, it will make you scream like a lunatic, but ultimately it will make you feel every single emotion right along with the characters and love every second of it.


UBEARABLE GUILT by Emma Grayson
GOODREADS | AMAZON

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I was ripped from heaven with an angel, and tossed into the fiery pit of hell by myself with no way out. I wouldn’t ever allow myself to be released from its relentless grip.

If you ask me how this book first came on my radar, I wouldn’t be able to tell you. All I remember is reading that synopsis and knowing that I had to read it. And boy was I glad that I did because I absolutely loved it! I mean….just read this:

Kane Archer hasn’t always been tormented; he hasn’t always hated himself or been full of rage. He hasn’t always lived his life with an overpowering sense of guilt that threatens to destroy him. There was a time when his life was different. He was optimistic; he smiled and laughed; he loved passionately; he had it all. Kane was content—until the unthinkable took it all away. Two and a half years later and still reeling from his fiancée’s death, Kane returns to the one place he vowed he’d never visit again—Camden—with the promise to find the men who killed her and bring them to justice, regardless of the cost. Emotionally numb, stricken by guilt, and haunted by the events preceding Aimee’s death, the last thing Kane wanted was to meet someone he connected with; someone who made him feel again. As Kane gets closer to those responsible for Aimee’s death, he is thrown a curveball when he discovers a secret so devastating it rocks his world and threatens to destroy his chance at happiness. Whitney Jareau packed up her life when tragedy struck her family, leaving everything behind. Finally free from the persistent and domineering family that insisted she do the one thing she couldn’t, Whitney found peace in Camden. Two years later, her family wants her to come home and will stop at nothing to get her there. Wearing her heart on her sleeve for Kane Archer, a man so gorgeous it hurts to see the pain he carries, Whitney fights her family and refuses to return home to carry out their wishes. Can Whitney stay strong without giving in to the demands of her family? Can Kane let go of the past and move forward with the woman who brought him back to life? Or, will he walk away from her and carry the burden of UNBEARABLE GUILT

This is book 2 in the Breathe Again series, but easily enjoyed as a standalone


BROKEN by Lauren Layne
GOODREADS | AMAZON

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I almost want to laugh at how messed up we are.
Two completely shattered souls doing a weird approach-and-recoil dance around each other.

A New Adult take on beauty and the beast by the super amazing Lauren Layne? Hell. Yes.

Lauren Layne first hit my radar when I read ISN’T SHE LOVELY which funnily enough turned out to be the prequel to this amazing series. But don’t be fooled, it’s not a novella. It’s a full length novel that introduces the characters, so I think that’s why it’s not considered the prequel? But it has its own fabulous HEA. Each book in the series is easily enjoyed as a standalone.

THE REDEMPTION SERIES
ISN’T SHE LOVELY | BROKENCRUSHED


WALK THROUGH FIRE by Kristen Ashley
GOODREADS | AMAZON

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“I gave you up, walking through fire to do it but I did…
I did it in the end. I gave you everything.”

Holy mother of ugly cries!!! I was a pathetic mess reading this book. Utterly pathetic I tells ya! I don’t remember the last time a book made me ugly cry to quite this caliber. I’m talking crocodile tears level here, people!

You already know I love me a second chance romance and Walk Through Fire had an absolutely epic one. As a matter of fact, I’ve re-read one particular scene in this book at least 4 times now and each time the water works start. It’s just that powerful. So. Good.


DIVIDED by Ivy Stone
GOODREADS | AMAZON

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He wasn’t supposed to show up on that bridge.
He wasn’t supposed to fill me with a slither of hope, for more, for different. But he did.

I first discovered Ivy Stone when I read the first book in her Unguarded series, EXPOSED. I fell in love with her writing style, her broken characters, and I knew I found myself a new author to stalk.

While each book in this series focuses on a different couple and their HEA, I highly recommend reading them in order because the backstory starts in the very beginning and you’d appreciate the story that much more having read each book.


BREAK EVEN by Lisa De Jong
GOODREADS | AMAZON

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To an outsider, I have it all- the job, the husband, and the house- but inside I’m nearly empty.

I’ll be honest, I was afraid to read this book. Utterly terrified. I’m not typically a reader that enjoys reading about a heroine that cheats, no matter what the circumstance. It’s a horrible double standard I have and I own it, because I’ll forgive the hero but not the heroine *hangs head in shame*

But this book is nothing like what I thought. It’s incredibly unpredictable, erotic, and utterly unputdownable. If you read any book by this author, please make it this one. Trust me. Take a chance on something outside your comfort zone. You will not regret it.


PAPER HEARTS by Claire Contreras
GOODREADS | AMAZON

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“How would you describe the #feeling of #love in 140 or less characters?
Answer : Like somebody is gripping your heart, but you don’t want them to let go because the ache would worsen without them.”

You already know that second chance romance is my crack of choice, so are you even a little surprised to see this book on my list? Really? Are you? Of course you’re not! I adored Kaleidoscope Hearts, but I loved Paper Hearts even more. If you’re a fan of angsty second chance romance and you haven’t read these books yet, you need to get on them right now. RIGHT. NOW.

THE HEARTS SERIES
KALEIDOSCOPE HEARTS | PAPER HEARTS | ELASTIC HEARTS


HOPELESS by Colleen Hoover
GOODREADS | AMAZON

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“Fuck all the firsts, Sky. The only thing that matters to me with you are the forevers.”

Um…I’m sorry, but do I even need to say anything here? I don’t think so. Carry on…

“The moment my lips touch yours, it will be your first kiss. Because if you’ve never felt anything when someone’s kissed you, then no one’s ever really kissed you. Not the way I plan on kissing you.”

“I live you, Sky,” he says against my lips. “I live you so much.”


FISHER’S LIGHT
GOODREADS | AMAZON

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I’m going to fix this. I have to fix this… I hate every moment that I’m away from her, but I will do whatever it takes to find the man she once loved and bring him back to her.”

Yet another second chance romance that I adored! I seriously loved every single angsty page of this! One of my top reads of that year.

How do I get that back when the darkness is hell bent on taking over, holding me in its clutches and making sure I never see the sunshine again?


TOXIC by Kim Karr
GOODREADS | AMAZON

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Jeremy McQueen.
He wasn’t just any boy- he was “the boy”. The only one I never should have met, and the one I’d never trade meeting for the world.

And since we’re on a second chance romance angst kick, how can I not mention this deliciousness?

I loved him once, even though I’d never told him I did. And as I looked at him, everything I’d ever felt for him came rushing back.

 


PAPER PRINCESS
GOODREADS | AMAZON

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“You should know whatever game you’re playing, you can’t win. Not against all of us.
If you leave now, you won’t be hurt. If you stay, we’ll break you so bad that you’ll be crawling away.”

Book. Crack.

Warning: this book will cause nervous break downs, eye ticks, random screaming episodes, cause you to perve on a 17 yr old alphahole and be glued to your kindle from beginning to finish. That is all. You’ve been warned.

This will never be my home. I don’t belong in splendor, I belong in squalor. That’s what I know. It’s what I’m comfortable with because squalor doesn’t lie to you. It’s not wrapped up in a pretty package. It is what it is.

THE ROYALS TRILOGY (Warning: Rage inducing cliffys ahead)
PAPER PRINCESS | BROKEN PRINCE | TWISTED PALACE


UNBREAK MY HEART by Jacquelyn 
GOODREADS | AMAZON

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I’d pushed her aside for so long that there was no foundation to build on. Just a mess of shattered pieces that I’d crushed with a sledgehammer every time she’d grown closer than I was comfortable with.

Quite easily my favorite angsty romance I’ve read all year. ALL OF THE ANGST!!! Oh man! If you love serious alphaholes, angst so thick you can choke on it, and a story so addicting that you can’t stop reading it for even a second? Read. This. Book.

For the past couple of nights when I’d lain down beside her, after she’d called asleep and I knew she couldn’t hear me, I’d promised her that she’d never have to forgive me again if she could do it one last time.


OTHER DGR ANGSTY FAVORITES

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The following are all book recommendations I’ve received (thanks to my favorite angst pusher, Carolin Jache)


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Release Blitz, DGR Top Fave Review, & Giveaway: ★Unbreak My Heart★ by @AuthorNicoleJ

Unbreak My Heart Blitz BannerUNBREAK MY HEART
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Nicole Jacquelyn
Release Date: June 7, 2016
Formats: Trade Paperback & eBook
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What do you do when your soul mate marries your best friend?

If you’re Kate Evans, you keep your friend Rachel, bond with her kids, and bury your feelings for her husband. The fact that Shane’s in the military and away for long periods helps-but when tragedy strikes, everything changes.

After Rachel, pregnant with her fourth child, dies in a car accident and the baby miraculously survives, Kate upends her entire life to share parenting duties. Then on the first anniversary of Rachel’s death, Kate and Shane take comfort in each other in a night that they both soon regret.

Shane’s been angry for a year, and now he feels guilty too – for sleeping with his wife’s best friend and liking it…liking her.  Kate’s ability to read him like a book may have once sent Shane running, but their lives are forever entwined and they are growing closer.

Now with Shane deployed for seven months, Kate is on her own and struggling with being a single parent. Shane is loving and supportive from thousands of miles away, but his homecoming brings a betrayal Kate never saw coming. So Kate’s only choice is to fight for the future she deserves – with or without Shane…

Buy LinksAmazon | B&N | B-A-M | Google Play | iBooks | Indiebound | Kobo | Powell’s

Excerpt

I don’t remember the drive to the hospital or even where I parked that afternoon. I can’t recall what the nurse looked like as she searched for Rachel’s name in their computer system or the walk toward the room where I waited for someone to speak to me.The first thing I remember clearly is the white-haired doctor’s kind face as he sat down across from me, and the young chaplain’s small smile as he chose the chair to my left. Their words became a litany that I would hear in my dreams for years.

My Rachel was gone, but her son was alive and in the NICU.

“Is there anyone you’d like for us to call? Any family or friends that you’d like to be here?”

The question jolted me out of the fog that seemed to be getting thicker and thicker around me. Dear God.

“I’ll make the calls,” I answered, looking blankly at the wall. “Can I have some privacy please?”

“Of course. I’ll be right outside if you need me,” the chaplain answered, reaching out to pat my hand. “I’ll take you up to the NICU when you’re ready.”

The room was silent after they left, and I fought the urge to scream at the top of my lungs just to hear it echo around me. I understood then why people hired mourners to wail at funerals. Sometimes the lack of sound is more painful than the anguished noise of a heart breaking.

My hands shook as I pulled my phone out of my front pocket and rested it on the table in front of me.

It only took a moment before the sound of ringing filled the room, and I rested my head in my hands as I stared at the name across the screen.

“Hello? Kate? What’s wrong?”

“Shane—” I said quietly, my voice hitching.

“What? Why are you calling me?” His voice was confused, but I could hear a small thread of panic in the urgency of his words.

“I need you to come to Tri-City Hospital,” I answered, tears rolling down my face and landing on the glass screen of my phone, distorting the letters and numbers.

“Who?” His voice was frantic, and I could hear him moving around, his breathing heavy.

“Rachel was in an accident.” I sobbed, covering my face to try and muffle the noise.

“No,” he argued desperately, as I heard two car doors shut almost simultaneously. “Is she okay?”

I shook my head, trying to catch my breath.

“Kate! Is she okay?” He screamed at me, his anguished voice filling the room as I’d wanted mine to just minutes before.

“No,” I answered through gritted teeth, feeling snot running down my upper lip as I heard him make a noise deep in his throat. “She’s gone.”

He didn’t say a word, and less than a second later, the connection was broken.

I rubbed at my forehead, trying to convince myself that it was all just a nightmare. Where was I supposed to be? What was I supposed to do now? My best friend in the entire world was there in that hospital, but not really. I couldn’t bear to see her. I couldn’t help her. Where the fuck was I supposed to go?”

I made my way to the NICU as quickly as I could, and within minutes, I was holding my new nephew in my arms. The nurses told me that he’d passed all of his tests with flying colors, and I was in awe as I sat down in a rocking chair, cradling him to my chest.

“You sure got a shitty beginning, little man,” I murmured against his fuzzy scalp, rocking back and forth gently. “I’m so sorry, buddy. You’re probably missing your mama and that warm bubble you’ve been in for so long. I can’t help you there.”

I sniffled, closing my eyes as tears rolled down my cheeks. My whole body ached, and even though I had that little boy in my arms, the whole day seemed like some sort of surreal dream, foggy in some parts and crystal clear in others. I wanted to hop up and take his sleeping, little form to Rachel, to tease her about the weird Mohawk thing he was sporting and make joking comments about how men always seem to sleep through the hard parts of life. I wanted to see her smile proudly at the sturdy boy she’d produced and grumble that I was hogging him.

I wanted everything to be different.

I hummed softly with my eyes closed for a long time, holding the baby close to me. It was quiet where we sat, nothing breaking up the stillness of the room until I heard someone open the door.

“There he is,” the nurse murmured from the doorway.

My eyes popped open to see Shane’s ravaged face just feet from me. He looked like he was barely holding on. I swallowed hard as his red rimmed eyes took in his son carefully before rising to meet mine.

“Is he okay?” he asked thickly, searching my face. I’d never seen him so frightened.

“He’s perfect,” I answered, my voice throbbing with emotion. “The nurses said he’s a rock star.”

He nodded twice, reaching up to cover his mouth with his hand, but before he could say another word, he was stumbling and falling to his knees with an almost inaudible sob.

Author InterviewDGR: What was your favorite scene to write in Unbreak My Heart and what is your favorite scene to read in Unbreak My Heart?

NJ: My favorite scene to write was probably the scene when Kate is singing to the kids over the phone. She was devastated but pulled it together to get her kids to sleep from a thousand miles away. That’s such a mom thing to do.

My favorite scene to read is when Shane is taking the kids back to California and Keller decides that he’s going to stay behind. He comes across as a bit of a brat in this story, but when the chips are down he’s worried about who’s going to be taking care of Kate. That’s Keller. He might not get his point across in a constructive way, but he feels things very deeply.

What can I say? I like the ones that seem to punch you right in the belly.


review-Unbreak My Heart5 starsUnbreak My Heart2-DGR

I’d pushed her aside for so long that there was no foundation to build on. Just a mess of shattered pieces that I’d crushed with a sledgehammer every time she’d grown closer than I was comfortable with.

God. GOD. This book. This heartbreaking, incredibly written, gut wrenching book. If it had any more of my favorite elements in it, I’d feel like it was custom written for me. I don’t remember the last time I read a book that gripped me the way this one did. To the point that I felt it on a visceral level. To the point that now days later after finishing it, I still can’t stop thinking about it. This was easily one of my top favorite reads this year. I picked it up and read it straight through because I couldn’t bear to put it down for even a second. I was an ugly crying, sniveling, raging mess the entire time and loved every painful second of it.
If The Unwanted Wife and Walk Through Fire had an angst baby, this book would be IT. I’m so book hungover right now, I can’t even form words.

Unbreak My Heart is an unbelievably gripping story of love and loss and second chances. This book absolutely owned my heart. It was a compelling, angst-filled, emotional, and completely unputdownable read from beginning to finish. You will love to hate this hero and then you’ll just flat out love him.

I don’t need you to save me…
I never needed you to fucking save me.”

Nicole Jacquelyn has a true gift with words because her characters are so incredibly compelling, you don’t just read about them, you experience them. There is not an ounce of telling in this book. Everything is shown, including the character descriptions. Yeah. I was blown away to say the least.

Shane is not an easy hero to love. As a matter of fact he will make you down right hate him. He will break your heart so many times over, you’ll wonder if there is a road back. But there is. Oh but there is.

I didn’t know how to be with someone like Kate. She’d demand more from me than anyone ever had before, and that was terrifying.

You may be asking yourself if it’s possible to write a book with a dead spouse and not make the heroine feel like a consolation prize prize. And to you I say, abso-freaking-lutely.

Kate is a character with so much depth. She takes so much emotional punishment throughout this book that you want to say that she may be too forgiving. But the author instills so much growth in her throughout the story that you’ll love her more and more with each page.

I won’t give you anything about the plot, because to be quite honest, everything you need to know is in the blurb. Anything more than that will be a spoiler. And if there’s one thing I can recommend is to go into this book absolutely blind with NO preconceived notions.

I couldn’t change the past, but hell if I didn’t want to be what Kate needed now.

Everything about this story is brilliant; from the feelings it will wrench from your very soul to the emotional mess it will leave you at the end of it. Shane and Kate’s story is not an easy one. It’s filled with pain and heart break but it’s also beautiful in its own right. You don’t read the characters’ journey, you experience it. Everything from the fundamental changes in their relationship to their feelings and everything in between.

For the past couple of nights when I’d lain down beside her, after she’d called asleep and I knew she couldn’t hear me, I’d promised her that she’d never have to forgive me again if she could do it one last time.

If you’re questioning picking this up, don’t! If you’re a fellow angst-whore like me, if there’s one book I can recommend you read, it’s this one! Grab some tissues and some alcohol and prepare to read the whole night through because I guarantee this book will own every piece of you by the time you’re finished.


About the Author

Nicole Jacquelyn NO CREDIT

 

When Nicole Jacquelyn was eight and people asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, she told them she wanted to be a mom. When she was 12, her answer changed to author. Her dreams stayed constant. First, she became a mom, and then during her senior year of college–with one daughter in first grade and the other in preschool–she sat down and wrote a story.

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Giveaway

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Review: ★Forgetting August★ by JL Berg

Review-Forgetting AugustForgetting August
Series: Lost & Found #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: J.L. Berg
Release Date: December 1, 2015add-to-goodreads-button-2

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She can forgive, but can she forget?

Some days, Everly still thinks she sees him. In the food court at the mall, or in a car speeding past as the light changes. It only lasts a second, but when it happens, she slips back to a time when she was ruled-and nearly ruined-by August Kincaid. And it doesn’t matter that she’s moved on, that she’s about to marry another man. In those moments the only thing she can do to regain control is take a deep breath and remind herself that August can’t hurt her-because he’s in a coma. Except that he’s not anymore.

August is awake. With no memories, he sets out to solve the mystery of his lost life. He unearths a photograph of a beautiful redhead named Everly and knows instinctively that she’s the key. But when he finds her, the August she describes is more monster than man.

Tortured by the thought of having hurt her, August wants only to become the man Everly deserves. As the new August emerges, Everly glimpses the person she first fell in love with. But can she trust that this August is real? When the final secret of their shared past is revealed, one of them will make a choice that changes their future forever

Buy LinksAmazon / iBook / B&N / Kobo

Review4 starsForgetting August-DGR

Because life really didn’t move on from a person such as August Kincaid.
No, you simply learned to adapt and above all, you survived.

When you read about a book a day, they all sort of begin to blend into each other. So when I stumble upon a book that’s as unique as Forgetting August, it’s a treat. This was unlike anything I’ve read in the past and I was immediately drawn into the story. It was just that good; the writing, the mystery, the angst, the romance, all of it wrapped together into one spellbinding unforgettable read.
Everly is happily engaged and planning a wedding to a wonderful man that loves her fiercely. But with one phone call and three little words, her carefully constructed world crumbles into chaos. He is awake.

August Kincaid awakes from a two year coma that no one expected him to wake up from with absolutely no recollection of who he is or who he was.

My former life was an endless tunnel of oblivion, where there was no beginning or end.

When a gorgeous redhead shows up at his hospital bed, he hopes that her clear knowledge of him may help him piece together the memories that he no longer has. But then only thing he sees in her eyes is pure unadulterated hate. Hate for the man that he once was, and hate for the man that clearly hurt this woman beyond repair.
forgetting August teaser2-DGRAugust took everything from her once; her love and her heart, and then he shattered it. Everly wants nothing to do with the man, even if he doesn’t remember who he is. She’s happy in her life now, but his memory continues to haunt her and she just can’t bring herself to look the other way. August is clearly struggling to put the pieces of his life back together, and if she can give him the missing puzzle pieces, she’ll do that. But she will never give him a piece of her heart.

Maybe sometimes love isn’t pure. Maybe sometimes it’s toxic- so toxic it consumes a person until they would do anything to have it.
Like a drug.

The story is told entirely in the present with quick memory lapses into the past. It’s not a past/present type thing. It’s written in such a way that you feel like you’re experiencing those flashes of memory right along Everly.

But the heart is a fickle thing. You can’t help who you fall for and once upon a time August was her everything. Now in the midst of helping him regain his memory by taking him to places he loved and hoping to ignite at least a spark of something, the one thing is manages to do is re-ignite the flame in her heart for August that never quite burned out.

Could the heart remember what the mind couldn’t?

Forgetting August is full of angst and emotion. It’s wonderfully written that left me wondering how I haven’t read anything by this author before. The mystery of the past and what ultimately led to August going into a coma is something that stretches for the entire book.

While I’m not usually one for love triangles, the one here simply worked for me. I think that had a lot to do with Everly and clearly seeing her struggle of moving on from her past and attempting to face her future. She loves her fiancé, but August was something else for her entirely.

Loving me destroyed you…”
“Loving you brought me back to life.”

FA teaser-DGR

If I gave my heart over to a man who then turned into my worst nightmare…?
Who would be there to pick up the broken pieces?
No one, because there would be nothing left to find.

Forgetting August is sexy but without the need for super gratuitous sex scenes, if that makes sense. I absolutely loved this story and the characters. But most of all, I loved the mystery behind everything. I was just as desperate for those flashes of memory as August was. And when one of the biggest puzzle pieces get revealed, the author hits you with the mother of all cliffhangers that had me howling at the ceiling.

They say time heals all wounds. But can it forgive?

If you’re looking for something different, this duet needs to be on your TBR. I usually avoid cliffhangers like a religion, but in the case here I’m glad I read it. Even as I die a little each day in my wait for the conclusion in Spring.


Releasing April 5, 2016

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Blog Tour, Review & #Giveaway: ★Thick Love★ by @EdenButler_

Title: Thick Love
Series: Thin Love #2
Author: Eden Butler
Genre: NA | Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 31, 2015
Hosted by As the Pages Turnadd-to-goodreads-button3

THICK_LOVE_COVER

 

He doesn’t ask their names.
He doesn’t
 deserve to know them.

Ransom Riley Hale’s friends think his life is charmed: first string as a freshman on a championship-winning college football team. A father with two Super Bowl rings. A mother with platinum albums and multiple Grammies under her belt. But that brilliant shine on the surface hides the darkness beneath; it’s all Ransom has ever known.

Despite the shadows he walked in, once there was a blinding light fracturing the darkness. It brought the promise of hope and happiness. He’d been careless, filled with pride and stupidity and lost that light. Ripped it from the world.

Now, the shadows are dimming again. Aly King surges into his life threatening to pull him from the darkness. She is everything Ransom can never be again. Her light feels too warm, promises him that there is more waiting for him beyond the shadows.

But the shadows are relentless, resurfacing when he thinks he is safe, and Ransom knows he must keep Aly from them too before he pulls her down into the darkness with him.

Buy-Links10

Pre-Order Links for THICK LOVE:

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TL Teaser #3Excerpt

“Dance with me,” I said. He only stared up at me blankly.“I don’t feel like practicing.”

“I’m not asking you to practice. I’m asking you to dance.”

Ransom’s body stiffened when I picked up his hand, but he didn’t fight me. “Just be here with me. Me and you and the music.”

We came together in the center of my living room with that slow, soothing music wrapping around us. There was no Kizomba, no prequel to a seduction we both wanted to avoid. There was just Ransom bending low, arms around me, hand taking mine to hold against his chest. After a few seconds, the tension lessened, and his body did not feel as rigid. It felt peaceful, and safe, and simple—just two people, holding each other, swaying to the music.

His mouth hovered near my forehead and as we moved together with no form or practiced steps, Ransom’s grip on my waist got tighter. “I wish I could breathe again. I want that so bad.” The words were whispered, low.

I closed my eyes, reminding myself that I couldn’t touch him.

“Ransom. You can.”

He looked down at me and right then I saw just how lost he was. This realization didn’t come from flippant comments he made to me or desperate excuses I overheard him make. It was all there right in his eyes—the loneliness, the pain, as though each mistake he’d made was etched into the rise of his cheekbones and the worried, faint lines on his forehead. He was still drifting; he had been drifting for so damn long.

The pain in his eyes drew me in. There was nothing I could say that would make his hurt lessen. There was nothing that would take him from the lingering sorrow he’d created for himself. So I didn’t speak, didn’t give him advice I knew he’d never take. I just watched Ransom’s eyes, and felt the slow way he moved. And then with my hand on the back of his neck, I pulled his face towards me, I took his lips, kissing him, pouring into that kiss everything I’d held back from him since we first met.

This is who I am. This is what I want. That voice came from someplace hidden and secret inside me.

It was minutes, minutes of nothing but my mouth on his, nothing but two people finding solace in each other, before I realized I’d messed up.

He didn’t seem to want me to pull away, but didn’t stop me when I did. Shaking my head, I smoothed the collar on his shirt, unable to look at him. “I’m…modi, Ransom, I’m sorry.”

Ransom pulled my chin up and smoothed his thumb over my cheek, down the slope of my chin before he returned his attention to my eyes. “I don’t think I am.”

It was a moment I thought I’d always wanted. Him looking at me like I was real, like he saw me, finally saw me. I’d seen that look once before, just as Ransom whispered my name and kissed me over and over the first time. It wasn’t the look of someone hopeless. It was open and raw and I realized right then that I’d give anything for Ransom to never stop looking at me.

But this was against our rules. This wasn’t how we were supposed to be. I took his hand, thought of pulling it away from my face but didn’t have the strength, liked how it felt on my face too much. “Friends don’t kiss, Ransom.”

A small nod, and his eyes narrowed. His grip around me tightened. The music around us swelled. “No, they don’t,” he said, still touching my face, inching closer and I knew, right then, he was definitely not my friend.

 Review4 starsThick Love-Dirty Girl Romance

Thick love is best. Thick love is…it’s when you KNOW.”
“It’s when you know what?”
“It’s when you know you’ve found the one that can pick up the pieces when you let your heart get broken.

Before I get to my review, let me get a few things out of the way with first.

(1) If a hero that you will want to strangle, then run over with your car, then back him the fuck over for good measure, then rush to him to fix all his boos boos because you can’t help but still love him in spite of everything doesn’t appeal; this book isn’t for you.
(2) If a hero being with other women (in explicit detail) before he meets the heroine isn’t something you can look past; this book isn’t for you.
(3) If angst that’s so THICK it’s borderline rage inducing sounds like it would cause you to stroke out; this book isn’t for you.

Eden Butler took a subject matter that is almost impossible to pull off and yet she did, and she did it effortlessly. Here’s the thing, it’s not often you’ll read about a first love lost where that love isn’t undermined in some way. Ransom never once devalues it and mourns it with his entire heart and soul. On the other hand, Aly never felt like his consolation prize. This, I believe, is the hardest to pull off. Aly was quite possibly my favorite part about this book. She’s not perfect and yet she has this undercurrent of strength. She wants to heal Ransom, but she’s no doormat.

In front of him, hidden behind that mask, the music, the sensation conjured by the dance, the rhythm of that melody ripped away my reason. It was an echo of who I was, one that I’d never let anyone see but who nevertheless lurked below my carefully controlled exterior.

I think that covers most bases here, so let’s get onto the review. Ever since I read Thin Love, I have been impatiently waiting for Ransom to get his book. I knew his story wasn’t going to be any easier than Keira and Kona’s, albeit in a much different way. I’ve been agonizing over my rating for a couple days now and I finally settled on one and I’ll explain it later in the review.
Thick Love teaser2-Dirty Girl RomanceNow look, I can sit here and pick apart every single one of Ransom’s stupid decisions, but at the end of the day I have to remind myself that I’m reading about someone that’s only 18 years old. Someone that’s dealing with a loss and guilt that he’s ill equipped to deal with properly at his young age. This is someone that punishes himself in hopes of atonement that he doesn’t think he deserves. He’s not an easy character to get, but for me, he was still easy to love. Sure, there are moments in this book that will make you want to reach through your kindle and cockpunch him so hard that he finally sees reason. But what’s a good redemption without some pain in the meantime?

She had some kind of effect on me that I didn’t understand. When I was near her, close to her, I forgot that she wasn’t my type. I forgot that I didn’t want her. I forgot that I didn’t deserve her.

The first half of the book is very much a slow burn, but it never drags. The angst and emotions truly have you riveted to the pages, it certainly did for me. My heart broke for Ransom and yet in the same breath I wanted to curse him to hell and back for his behavior. It was frustrating, it was maddening, it was disturbingly enrapturing.

With every note, Ransom poured whatever he kept to himself, all the things he would not say to the world into each strum.

I don’t want to give much away about the book because it’s just one of those things you need to experience for yourself. What I can say is I loved the route that Eden took with book and I was shocked as shit about it that I was. See, here’s the thing, I HATE a drawn out story that I think could have ended in one book. Cliffhangers drive me to drink and induce near homicidal thoughts when I finish reading it. Thick Love is part 1 of 2 books, and you know what? It’s best that way. This book was not about the epic love between Aly and Ransom. It was more about Ransom coming to terms with his guilt, healing his heart, and learning to move on. Both these characters have a lot of growing to do still and there’s no way this book would have been the same had it been all crammed into one book.

What’s the difference between past and present? It isn’t just time. It isn’t that memory haunts, that it can cripple. It’s the WAY we remember that marks the change.

As much as the bumps on the road to Aly and Ransom’s relationship drove me out of my ever loving mind, it also made me feel. This entire book, everything about it will do one thing, guaranteed; evoke emotion. Whether that be rage, tears, it will make you feel.

I’m not the bad boy who needs saving, Aly.”
“Non, cheri…
You’re a good man who needs to forgive himself.”

Thick Love teaser 2- Dirty Girl RomanceThe book was a solid five stars for me…until that damn epilogue. I’m not going to lie, my initial reaction was wanting to chuck my damn kindle out the nearest window than stomp to a corner and scream in rage. I felt like in just one short chapter, that epilogue managed to undermine the entire book and experiences that Ransom and Aly went through. But then I had some time to think about it…and think about it…and think about it some more.

What you do to my body, to the noise in my head, it makes me feel again. I can’t NOT feel what you do to me.”

He made music with his body, demanding I surrender. He kissed me like someone who always reached for something to hold onto and only ever got something that made him spin further out of control.

And I’ve managed to calm my tits about it…mostly. It helps knowing that this was a story meant to be told in 2 parts. There’s really no way around it. Most of the time you can see when an author throws a twist at you just for the sake of stretching out the story, and that’s not what I got here. Even Ransom himself said their love wasn’t epic….yet. So the bar is certainly set pretty high for the next book, that’s for sure. And while I still think that the story could have done without that epilogue and maybe leave it for the beginning of next one, I also have a feeling that there’s a reason to Eden’s madness. I also think there’s a lot more than what meets the eye and the roller coaster is still to come. While I can’t lie and say that the epilogue didn’t dour my enjoyment of the book slightly, I’m not going to judge it on that and I reserve the right to go back and change my rating to this book once I read the next one. I’m holding on to my judgment until I read the next book and confirm that what it seemed to be is truly what is was.

It’s okay to let someone love you.”
“I don’t deserve it.”
“I’m still gonna love you anyway.”

You may wonder if this book is as good as Thin Love and the answer is no. Not because it wasn’t but because it WASN’T Thin Love. Ransom’s story is different from Kona’s and so it’s impossible to compare. While it may not work for everyone, this angst whore enjoyed the hell out of it. I may have had a slight urge to stalk Eden down after that ending and demand answers, but I’ll attempt to be patient and see what the next book brings. And by that I mean I’ll give the woman 3 months and then I’m coming at her ass for answers LOL!

About the Author

 

Eden Butler Pic

Eden Butler is an editor and writer of New Adult Romance and SciFi and Fantasy novels and the nine-times great-granddaughter of an honest-to-God English pirate. This could explain her affinity for rule breaking and rum. Her debut novel, a New Adult, Contemporary (no cliffie) Romance, “Chasing Serenity” launched in October 2013 and quickly became an Amazon bestseller.

When she’s not writing or wondering about her possibly Jack Sparrowesque ancestor, Eden edits, reads and spends way too much time watching rugby, Doctor Who and New Orleans Saints football.

She is currently imprisoned under teenage rule alongside her husband in southeast Louisiana.

Please send help. 

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FOLLOW THE THICK LOVE BLOG TOUR

GiveawayEden is offering up the following prizes. The giveaway ends Sept 8th at 11:59 PM CST.

  • (1) $20 gift card (Amazon or B&N) (Intl)
  • (1) Signed set of Thin Love series (US only)
  • (1) eBook set of Thin Love series (Intl)

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