Review: Fortuna Sworn by KJ Sutton

FORTUNA SWORN
Series: Fortuna Sworn #1
Genre: Fantasy
Author: KJ Sutton
Release Date: July 1, 2019

We were meant to be seductive. We were designed to lure humans in.

Fortuna Sworn is the last of her kind.

Her brother disappeared two years ago, leaving her with no family or species to speak of. She hides among humans, spending her days working at a bar and her nights searching for him.

The bleak pattern goes on and on… until she catches the eye of a powerful faerie.

He makes no attempt to hide that he desires Fortuna. And in exchange for her, he offers something irresistible.

So Fortuna reluctantly leaves her safe existence behind to step back into a world of creatures and power.

It soon becomes clear that she may not have bargained with her heart, but her very life.

 

AMAZON


Nightmares may be lies, but we don’t have to be liars.”

Fortuna Sworn is book one of a new fantasy romance series by KJ Sutton. Right off the bat, I was intrigued by the blurb of this book.  Fortuna has been looking for her missing brother for two years so when she’s approached by a powerful faerie offering information about her brother in exchange for marriage, Fortuna went with him.

This book started off with a bang. Fortuna is a heroine with a really unique and scary power, and we are instantly treated to what she can do in the first chapter. I was intrigued and was instantly hooked especially when we meet Collith, the faerie king who seems to genuinely want to help her. It especially got interesting when Fortuna got to the Unseelie Court but this is also where pacing issues started to plague the book.

But aside from the pacing, I wasn’t too crazy about the drama and the fact that this could go into love triangle/love square territory. There isn’t one yet but the fact that there are 3 men vying for Fortuna’s attention, I could see it going that way. And while I don’t exactly hate it, I’m just over that trope. I’m tired of it because I would rather see other male characters be her friends and allies instead of her love interest?

It didn’t help that I disliked all three male lead characters at this point. I don’t know if this feeling will change in the next books but right now, I am somewhere between bored and actively hating all three of them. But this is just me being a hero-hater. I’ve seen other readers who’ve read this book loving and favoring one or two heroes vying for Fortuna’s attention.

That said, I enjoyed Fortuna’s trials immensely. It was, in my opinion, the best parts of the book because it showed readers her power and her potential to be a power player.

I won’t go into anymore details about the story but if you like faeries and faerie courts or love triangles, then I would recommend this book.

<i>Thanks to KJ Sutton for providing a copy of the book available for this review.</i>

 

Review: Good Guy by Kate Meader

GOOD GUY
Series: Rookie Rebels #1
Genre: Contemporary, Sports Romance
Author: Kate Meader
Release Date: July 30, 2019


He’s a Special Forces veteran making his pro hockey debut. She’s a dogged sports reporter determined to get a scoop. She’s also his best friend’s widow…

Fans can’t get enough of Levi Hunt, the Special Forces veteran who put his NHL career on hold to serve his country and fight the bad guys. So when his new Chicago Rebels bosses tell him to cooperate with the press on a profile, he’s ready to do his duty. Until he finds out who he has to work with: flame-haired, freckle-splashed, impossibly perky Jordan Cooke.

The woman he should not have kissed the night she buried her husband, Levi’s best friend in the service.

Hockey-stick-up-his-butt-serious Levi Hunt might despise Jordan for reasons she can’t fathom—okay, it’s to do with kissing—but her future in the cutthroat world of sports reporting hangs on delivering the goods on the league’s hottest, grumpiest rookie. So what if he’s not interested in having his life plated up for public consumption. Too bad. Jordan will have to play dirty to get her scoop and even dirtier to get her man. Only in winning the story, she might just lose her heart…

AMAZON

he was head over skates for her.

I adored Kate’s Chicago Rebels books and was super bummed to see that series come to an end. It became my go-to when I wanted a fun and sexy hockey romance. So when I saw that she’s writing a spin-off series I jumped on it quicker than you can say “puck”. What? Too cheesy? Whatever. You get what I’m saying here, ok?! But whatever. I digress. My point here is I was uber excited for a brand new sports series from one of my favorite authors. Plus have you SEEN that book blurb? Talk about your book crack.

I just so happen to love the broody grumps. And just when I thought no grump could out grump Bren St. James from Hooked On You, in skates Levi Hunt. The man was the most endearing grump I’ve read in a while. The man is a retired veteran, a Green Beret with battle scars and a heart of gold. With his military career behind him, he’s now become hockey’s oldest rookie. And just when he thinks he’s finally got things together, a blast from his past blows it all out of the water.

Jordan is a sports reporter that’s working her tail off in order to prove that a woman is just as deserving of a coveted reporting spot as a man. So when she sees a chance to use her history with Levi as an in to get the chance she’s been waiting for in her career, she’s not above using it. Jordan also happens to be the widow of Levi’s service teammate and best friend. But worse than that she’s always been the woman he coveted from afar but never allowed himself to get. At first she was his buddy’s wife and then she was his widow, so she’s always been hands off.

Levi wasn’t hard to love. The man just tugs at every heart string you have. And the more you learn about his connection with Jordan and peel back the grumpy layers, the more you fall for him. Jordan, admittedly, was a little harder to love. While I love that the relationship with her husband was never diminished, I also struggled with seeing her as a widow. She loved her husband, yes, but I struggled to feel that connection to her. And yes, it’s been 5 years since the loss, but I just never felt that grieving for her. Perhaps that makes it easier to see her move on, but I wished that I got little more emotion from her. She seemed almost standoffish to me at times. And I get that she put her career on the backseat for her husband’s military career those years ago, she was almost a little too…hard…with her career aspirations here. She reminded me a little bit of Harper when it came to how hard she was in order to prove herself, but I just had a tough time connecting to her. She did ultimately win me over, but it did take some time.

If you’ve read the Rebels series, you’ll definitely appreciate all of the cameos in this book. And if you haven’t, I highly recommend you check it out.

Good Guy was a sweet romance that shined a spotlight on several issues like gender inequality in sports, which I really enjoyed. And though the story wasn’t my favorite of Kate’s, it definitely did the trick of hooking me on a new series.

Review: More Than Anything by Natasha Anders

BroMORE THAN ANYTHING
Series:
Broken Pieces #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Natasha Anders
Release Date: June 11, 2019

Two lovers strive to trade a grim past for a bright future in this story of bittersweet yearning.

Tina Jenson belongs to the same social stratum as Harris Chapman, but he’s out of her league—at least that’s what she thinks before they jump in bed together. It’s the perfect night, but when she overhears crude, hurtful comments the next morning, she can’t get away fast enough.

Ten years later, Tina’s life is a mess. That night with Harris didn’t just hurt her feelings; it started a cascade of disappointment and heartbreak. Every time she bumps into Harris, her heart twists inside out. She still wants him, but she’s harboring a painful secret from their night together that she’s not ready to reveal.

Crossed signals, high-society whispers, and shame have kept Tina and Harris apart for years, but deep down, they’re hungry for each other and eager to write their own rules. Can they let go of the past and find their way back to each other, or are the barriers between them too high and too strong?

AMAZON

Some pain was just too huge to be self-soothed away…

I have a general rule when it comes to Natasha Anders books; she writes them, I read them. The woman can write a grovel like no one’s business. And she’s the queen of creating these perfectly imperfect and broken characters that you can’t help but fall for.

The second I read the blurb for this book, I was foaming at the mouth to get my hands on it. But I have to admit that it was not quite what I had expected. I thought I was going to read about a devastating hurt, and then a delicious grovel. And while this book was definitely one of those things, it wasn’t exactly. Confused? I was too. But let me explain.

Harris Chapman has been a boy that young Tina always had a crush on and who was entirely out of her league. Tina is a girl that was a slave to her own self consciousness about her looks and weights, and the cruel words of her classmates didn’t always help. One night with the boy of her dreams suddenly ended in the biggest heartbreak of her life. But Harris is not the cruel guy she’s made him out to be all these years. In actuality, Harris is a sweet, down to earth type of man that’s spent over ten years trying to make things right with Tina while she spent them avoiding him.

And while I enjoyed the story, I struggled quite a bit with liking Tina. To be perfectly frank, I never really warmed up to her. This is a woman that’s spent ten years in a spiral over something that could have been fixed over letting Harris have a second of her time and a conversation. Don’t get me wrong, this is a woman with some deep rooted pain and it’s no little thing. But I also wanted her to get her life together and finally shake herself out of her neurosis. She’s so scatterbrained and flighty, that it took almost the entirety of the book for me to connect to her. I felt for her, I really did. But I also wanted to shake her throughout most of the story.

Harris is so sweet and patient with her. He tries so hard, only to be shut down time and time again.

Now here’s the thing, though, while I struggled to connect with Tina, I still found myself enjoying the book. There’s a somewhat of a secondary plot that gets unraveled here with Harris’s twin brother and Tina’s best friend that I was dang near rabid to get more on. I loved the cute small town setting and the crossover with some of the previous characters we got in Natasha’s Alpha Men series. And even though Tina frustrated me, I still couldn’t put the book down and read it in practically one sitting. Was it my favorite story, probably not. But it sure set the stage for the next book and it did ultimately wrap up quite sweetly and made me finally see Tina in a different light.

Review: The Assist by Rebecca Jenshak

THE ASSIST
Series:
Smart Jocks #1
Genre: New Adult, Sports Romance
Author: Rebecca Jenshak
Release Date: June 11, 2019

You know those stories where the smart girl tutors the dumb jock? This isn’t it.

Blair
What’s the probability of insulting the one guy on campus I need to help me pass statistics? If I knew, I wouldn’t be standing in front of Wes Reynolds begging him to tutor me.

Basketball player, sexy, arrogant, always sleeping through class… these are the things I knew about him. What I didn’t know is that he is a seriously smart jock.

Wes
What’s the best way to get rid of the peppy and unrelenting girl that keeps asking me to tutor her? If I knew, I wouldn’t be staring at her tan legs and attempting to teach her statistics.

Sorority girl, fine as f**k, determined, ball buster… these are the things I knew about her. What I didn’t know is that she is all the things I didn’t realize I wanted or needed.

Or that one semester with her would change everything.

AMAZON

On the court, I saw everything. But off the court? I never saw her coming.

Sooo…would you judge me if I told you that the cover had a lot to do with me trying this book by a new to me author? Of course you wouldn’t! Because you’re probably drooling over it yourself right now, aren’t ya? Yeaaaaah you are. *grins evilly*

But in full disclosure, it was actually the series title that hooked me. Smart jocks? Sign me up. Rebecca Jenshak being a new to me author, I had no idea what to expect when starting this book and I’m happy to report that I was pleasantly surprised. This was really stinking cute. I’ve seen some comparison’s to Elle Kennedy’s books floating around in reviews, and I think that’s a disservice to this one. The one thing they have in common is that they’re college sports romance. But if you’re coming in with the expectation of Elle brand of romance, you won’t quite get it. I’m not saying it’s bad, I’m just saying it’s different, and I wouldn’t compare.

The Assist is the first in a series and introduces the quintessential sorority girl who misjudges a sexy basketball player who sleeps through a class that she’s failing miserably…and gets an eye without even batting an eyelash. Literally. So what’s a girl to do? Cajole, beg, and apologize until said jock agrees to tutor you, of course. Thus begins a bit of an unlikely friendship that soon begins to turn into something much more.

I really liked this book and the characters. Wes was everything I love in a college hero. He’s confident without being cocky and is just a nice guy, which is refreshing. Blair took a bit for me to really get connected to, but by the end of the book I was rooting for her. She’s a devoted friend, which I found really endearing. I wished she had stood up to her ex more without having others fight her battles a bit, but alas, you can’t get everything you want. This was a cute and sexy read and I’m definitely hooked enough to read the next book in this series. I couldn’t help but feel there was just a little something for me with this one that I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was exactly. Either way, it was an enjoyable read.

Review: Fearless King by Maya Hughes

FEARLESS KING
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Sports
Series: Kings of Rittenhouse  #4
Author: Maya Hughes
Release Date: May 30, 2019

My first crush. My first heartbreak. My brother’s best friend.

The butterflies in my stomach turned into full blown eagles the second our lips touched. A kiss under the stars that changed our relationship forever.

After a lifetime of wishing, I stared up into Ford’s eyes with his fingers caressing my cheek and my heart racing.

The evening ended with my heart bleeding on the ballroom floor.

He destroyed my heart two years ago…but now he wants back in my life.

This time I won’t fall under his spell. I’ll resist his sexy, scruffy beard, and panty-melting smirk.

I thought I was over him. Hell, I fully planned to wave to him through my rearview mirror…but with one text, in the middle of the night, I know I’m in over my head.

Ford: I need you.

AMAZON

Olivia was everything I wanted and everything I should’ve never dared to hope I’d have.

I’m a sucker for a good older brother’s best friend trope. Add into this a sexy hockey player that you can’t help but love and a strong heroine that you can’t help but relate to, and you’ve got yourself one delicious recipe for an enjoyable romance.

Fearless King is the story of Ford, the King’s goalie, and Olivia, his best friend’s younger sister. It’s very much a character driven story with plenty of angst and a touch of a forbidden romance to boot.

While this book is technically a standalone, I still feel like I came in with a big disadvantage having only read the previous book in this series. There’s a lot of character driven story arcs that seems to cross over throughout the series that I felt may have helped to tether me a little more to the story. As it was, I couldn’t help but feel like I was coming into this story halfway through. The true enormity of the stinted relationship he now has with Olivia’s older brother and his best friend unravels in pieces throughout the book.

The romance is very much a slow burn, and while I normally love that, it was a little too slow for me here. I wanted more romance. I felt like all the elements keeping Olivia and Ford apart began to almost overshadow the romance of the story.

Now don’t get me wrong, I still very much enjoyed the story. But I also couldn’t help but feel immensely frustrated by some of the things revolving around both Olivia and Ford’s siblings. I really hated Colm, Olivia’s brother, and his antagonistic behavior throughout the entire book. I wanted to shake him he made me so mad at times. But it also made me that much more rabid for his book which we’re getting next.

This was a wonderful read even though it wasn’t my favorite book of Maya’s, but considering I’ve loved the others I’ve read of hers, that’s not exactly a criticism. This is entirely subjective and definitely more of me than the book since it played against a few of my personal biases. I still really enjoyed the story of Ford and Olivia and I definitely can’t wait for the last book in this series.

Review: Then Came You by Kate Meader

THEN CAME YOU
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Laws of Attraction #3
Author: Kate Meader
Release Date: May 7, 2019

In the courtroom, they’re rivals. In the bedroom, they’re . . . divorced. But could the road trip from hell lead to a second chance at love?

Aubrey Gates is the hottest divorce lawyer in Chicago, a barb-tongued stiletto with legs that go on for miles. When her cool gray eyes meet mine across the battlefield, I want her like I’ve never wanted anyone or anything. Then I remember who she is: the woman who brought me to my knees. The woman who destroyed my faith in relationships.

The woman I used to call . . . wife.

And she needs a favor from me, Grant Lincoln.

It seems my ex forgot to mention the demise of our marriage to her dear old grammie, and now we’re both expected to attend her ninetieth birthday party. In Boston. And because it isn’t already awkward enough, Aubrey and I are driving there together from Chicago. That’s more than a thousand miles of tension, heartbreak, and barely concealed lust.

A little piece of paper might say we’re over, but this road trip is the true test. I intend to get my wife back . . . and I won’t stop until “I do.”

AMAZON

Pain is supposed to make you stronger, some idiot said. Love, too. With Aubrey, I feel nothing but fear and weakness, desire and longing. When do I reach the part about becoming a better person?

I adore all things Kate Meader, and the second I got a look at the blurb for this book, I knew I had to read it! It sounded like it would be a great combination of feels, angst and steam, and boy was it!

Aubrey gates is a successful divorce attorney, Boston blue blood society bred yet totally down to earth sort of woman. She’s sharp witted and strong…or at least on the surface. Below the sharply dressed exterior, the woman is still trying to pick up all of her shattered pieces.

Grant is a good ole’ souther boy with the manners and slow drawl to match. He’s Aubrey exact opposite. The boy who grew up on the wrong side of the tracks to her high society. The man that never quite belonged in her family. The sweet to her edgy. Her ex husband and the only man that’s capable of finally shattering the walls that Aubrey has built around her heart in one holiday road trip to visit her family.

I loved the premise of the story, but admittedly, I just didn’t feel like the root of the story was a full novel size. And while I really loved the chemistry between them, I struggled understanding the quick turnaround considering all their emotional issues. Grant tries so hard to get Aubrey to talk about their problems. And Aubrey is just as determined to leave it buried. This ultimately began to get extremely frustrating for me. Don’t get me wrong, I understood her issues and they why’s behind it, I really do. But I also struggled to connect to her stonewalling of a man that’s as incredible as Grant.

Ultimately, the kind of issue they had between them, didn’t seem like it was one that could have been resolved as quickly as it did considering their time apart, hence my saying the book could have worked better as a novella. I think some of the sexy times (and they WERE sexy) served more to keep the book going rather than drive the plot forward, if that makes sense.

Grant was absolute perfection and made the book for me. I adored him so much. And considering my gravitation towards alphaholes in books, that’s saying something. He was the ultimate nice guy and I loved him for it.

I really enjoyed Then Came You and loved Grant and Aubrey’s HEA, but it just didn’t pack as much of a punch for me as much as Kate’s book usually do. Do I think most would really enjoy this one? Absolutely! There’s plenty to love about this romance. It just didn’t check every box for this particularly picky reader.

Review: Unbroken by Jay Crownover

UNBROKEN
Series: Loveless, Texas #0.5
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Western
Author: Jay Crownover
Release Date: May 14, 2019

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Marked Men series comes a captivating novella about a rugged rodeo star who will do anything to protect the people he loves.

When rodeo star Crew Lawton loses everything in a bad bet, he has no choice but to take a new job to pay off his debts – even if it means becoming the face of an expensive male skincare line. Crew is used to getting sweaty and rustling in the dirt, not posing for photo shoots. And he’s certainly not used to being bossed around by a woman who doesn’t even know the difference between bulls and broncs. But Crew owes money to dangerous criminals, and he’ll do anything Della says in order to pay them back and keep them far away from his family in Loveless, Texas…

The launch of her new men’s line for her family’s company means everything to Della Deveaux, and she’s not willing to let some rugged, arrogant cowboy ruin her campaign. Crew Lawton is the last man she would have chosen to represent her chic, sophisticated brand. Unfortunately, her father already invested millions in Crew’s stupidly handsome face. Yet the more time they spend together, Della and Crew realize that opposites doattract. But when the time comes for Crew to face his past mistakes, will he be able to protect his family…and the woman he’s come to love?

AMAZON 

You can be my bad habit, Crew. You can be the entirety of my rebellious phase.”

Confession: it’s been a hot minute since I read a Jay Crownover book. I know, I know! I’m ashamed of myself and I don’t even know why it’s been so long. And it has been. TOO LONG. And this was the perfect novella to throw me right back into my Jay lovefest. Consider me hooked. Line and sinker. I’m frothing at the mouth for more of her Loveless series. FROTHING AT THE MOUTH I TELLS YA.

This was a short yet satisfying story to introduce readers to the Lawton siblings. Starting with the bad boy rodeo star, Crew. Crew has been drowning in his own mistakes for a long while under the water starts rising over his head and he realizes just how much trouble he’s in. When a deal that he would never jump on under any normal circumstances lands in his lap, he knows it’s his only way out.

Della Deveaux is Crew’s exact opposite. The good girl to the bad boy. The woman that’s never so much as stepped out of line and has worked her butt off to prove herself to her father and show him that she has the chops to run their company. The attraction between Della and Crew is inconvenient but undeniable and it’s not long before the sparks ignite into flames.

Now look, I hate to be one of those readers that knowingly picks up a novella and then complains that it was too short to be satisfying. But…I am. Because here’s the thing. I couldn’t help but feel that this story should have been a full length novel. There was so much that happens off page (Crew’s fall from grace specifically) as well as some other things that I would have loved to sink my teeth into. There are some stories out there that you know are better suited as a short novella. Yet this didn’t feel like one of them. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed it, and it was most definitely satisfying. But I also would have loved more. So much more!

I will definitely tell you that it did a heck of a job introducing and launching this new series. Because this reader is instantly hooked! If you’re looking for a quickie novella that has a little of everything, opposites attract, and some sexy cowboys, definitely give this one a go!

Review: Reclaiming Izabel by Victoria Paige

RECLAIMING IZABEL
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: Special Forces: Operation Alpha
Author: Victoria Paige
Release Date: November 13, 2018

Three years ago Izabel Maddox lost the love of her life.
Not long after, a cruel twist of fate ripped away the last part she had of him.
Grief and devastating loss almost broke her, but she survived.
Focusing on building her childhood dream was her lifeline.
But just when she thought her heart could move on, her past came barreling back, making her question if the struggles of the past were all for nothing.

Three years ago Drake Maddox made the toughest decision of his life.
To protect his wife and avenge his brothers, the Navy SEAL faked his death.
Injuries and the loss of his team marked his soul, but it was losing Izabel and their unborn child that nearly broke him.
Focusing all his time and skills on finding the enemy was his lifeline.
Returning to his wife had always been his dream, but reclaiming Izabel might prove to be his ultimate nightmare.
Because his wife may never forgive him for betraying their vows.

AMAZON

Three years … I fought my way back to you, Izabel, but I’m drowning here. I want my wife back.”

The second I read the blurb to this book, I was all over it. And I mean ALL over it. It reminded me of one of my favorite books with a similar situation, Wild Card by Lora Leigh. A wife that believes her military husband dead until he comes back to reclaim her three years later. YES, PLEASE!

This had several delicious elements that I absolutely love in my books; an OTT alpha that loves and loves hard being the main one. I love me a good alpha, and Drake was one hot alpha. This is a man that’s utterly obsessed and devoted to his wife. When a mission gone wrong forces him to fake his own death and let his wife believe it too, it completely breaks him. Coming back to her is the only thing that drives him during the three years it takes to complete the mission. And when he comes back to a shell shocked Izabel, he’s not beyond groveling to get back into her heart.

I really enjoyed the book and the story. The characters were great and I was completely invested. The only thing that kept me from rating a little higher was the slight detachment I couldn’t help but feel in the writing. It was such a strange combination to be invested in the characters but at the same time feeling like I’m being told about them rather than experiencing them. There was this choppiness to the story telling that made it slightly cold.

On the flip side, I loved the set up and Drake so much that it was pretty easy to look past that particular quibble. I love that Izabel really made him work for it. And I loved even more seeing this tough as nails alpha male turn to absolutely putty for his beloved wife.

The added element of suspense was great but I also couldn’t help but wish for a little more. It wrapped up pretty quickly and felt somewhat sudden. I wished it was more fleshed out.

As a whole, I definitely enjoyed this book and recommend it for fans of romantic suspense and intense alpha males. This was my first book from this author but definitely won’t be my last!

Review: In The Land of Gods and Monsters by Carmen Jenner

In the Land of Gods and Monsters
Series: Gods and Monsters #1
Author: Carmen Jenner
Genre: Dark Romance
Release Date: November 20, 2018
In the land of Gods and Monsters, she was a toy.
A plaything.
A pet.
His pet.
Taken, stolen, beaten, used.
Pet remembers nothing before his touch, and afterward, she craves nothing more.
Sinful and merciless, Ares is her God now.
He alone says when to beg, when to come, and when to kneel, but he never said anything about
leaving.
99c for a limited time!!

Ares leads me into the darkness, and I have no choice but to follow blindly.

The second I saw the blurb for this book, I’ve been chomping at the bit to get my grabby little hands on it. If I know one thing from my love affair with Carmen Jenner’s other books, the woman knows how to write some dark and gritty stuff. And this reader is RAVENOUS for it!

Now, I feel it fair to warn you that this book is most definitely not for the faint of heart. It’s not just dark, it’s DARK. It skates right past the edge of black and white and right into the gray void of human depravity.

Told in dual POVs, it throws you right into the deep end of the dark waters where pain and pleasure blur, and consent is not a thing that comes to mind. A famous ballerina, her career is all she cares about…until the night she’s taken and her identity is stripped from her along with her memory. She’s left stripped down to her basest urges and questioning everything she thinks she knows. Her captor is a violently captivating enigma. He’s not gentle or nice, but somewhere in the pits of his darkness we get a glimpse into someone else. But it never quite comes out. He’s the master and she’s the pet and their “relationship” is violence and sex.

One day, I’ll escape. I’ll be free, but my freedom will come at a price—Ares’ life. It seems a worthy exchange. After all, he stole my life. It’s only fair that I should take his.

I loved the first 40% of the book. I was at the edge of my seat and a ball of anxiety, both eager and terrified to turn the page. But then somewhere along the line, all of the punishments and sex scenes began to blur into each other. I felt like a good half of them could have been removed, and the story wouldn’t have suffered without them. I wanted more development on the story and the characters, and while that was definitely still there, I couldn’t help wanting more. I’m positive the next installment will ultimately bring the answers and more development, so I can’t wait for that. This installment felt a little stretched out, more so than necessary. It begins strong and ends with a bang. But the parts in the middle felt somewhat unnecessary. There were parts that were shocking, almost too much so. But you have to know to expect that. This felt more like dark erotica than romance, but there’s an undercurrent of something more. Something I’m sure we’ll get in the next book.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to rock myself in a corner in my wait for book two.

Review: Beautiful Sinner by Sophie Jordan

BEAUTIFUL LAWMAN
Series: Devil’s Rock #5
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Sophie Jordan
Release Date: October 30, 2018

Locked in with the town bad boy . . .

Most women would be scared, but Gabriella’s only worried about resisting Cruz Walsh, who’s even hotter than he was back in high school. Cruz was wrongly accused of the high-profile crime for which he was imprisoned; Gabriella’s desperate for the scoop that will get her career off the ground and get her out of Sweet Hill, where everyone still remembers her as “Flabby Gabby.” Being stuck in a supply closet with Cruz is the perfect opportunity to land an interview. What Bri doesn’t count on is Cruz taking “up-close and personal” to a whole new level.

If there’s a silver lining to the hell Cruz went through, it’s that losing his freedom put everything in perspective. Maybe starting over someplace new would be easier, but after years locked up, Cruz values his family—and his true friends—more than ever. So he’s back home, facing the gossip, dodging reporters . . . and face-to-face with Gabriella Rossi. They’ve both changed: Bri wants a story and Cruz just wants her. Another thing he’s learned? Don’t let a good thing slip away.

AMAZON | iBOOKS

Remembering him was easy. Forgetting less so.

I’ve been dying for Cruz’s book ever since I read Beautiful Lawman. There’s just something so deliciously angsty about a man that spends years in prison for a crime he didn’t come back only to come back to the small town in which he’s always been the boy from the wrong side of the tracks. Then the heroine is the cousin of the woman he was accused of murdering. Sign. Me. Up.

Admittedly Gabriella took a while for me to warm up to. She’s not my particular cuppa when it comes to heroines. She has deep rooted insecurities that date back to her high school years that even as an adult she hasn’t been able to kick. She allows everyone to walk all over her, ranging from her sister, to her a-hole ex and current boss, to the random mean girls from her high school days that still act like they’re sixteen. This wore on me at times.

But then somewhere around halfway through the book things took a turn for the better. Gabriella began to grow a spine and truly come into her own. She began to see her own appeal and not seek validation in any compliment thrown her way by Cruz.

Now Cruz.
*pervy sigh*
This man made the book for me.

So you have to realize that I’m going to ruin you for any other man. When we fuck, Rossi, it’s going to feel like the thing you need most in your life. Forget about food and water. Me. Between your legs. You’re going to need it like air to survive.

He was a sinful combination of intense, broody, and vulnerable. I absolutely adored him. My heart broke for what he endured to spare his sister and what he continues to endure in the small minded town he lives in. I loved his singleminded intent when it came to Gabriella. I also really enjoyed their connection that dates back to high school and a certain mysterious encounter.


He was the dream she never forgot.

The romance between them was a slow burn and perfectly paced. I really enjoyed watching Gabriella finally grow into a woman that can stand up for herself. And I especially loved the way she stood up for Cruz even when others didn’t. There was something almost childishly innocent about her, and yet it worked for me.

And while the romance was a slow burn, the story certainly wasn’t. I enjoyed the pacing and the way things unraveled even if I did find there to be a tad too much small town drama at times. Between the sister, the sister’s ex, the mean girls from high school, Gabriella’s self esteem issues, Cruz’s reputation, and everything with Gabriella’s boss, I couldn’t help but feel all of it wasn’t necessary. But it also didn’t bother me to take away from the story, so I can’t complain too much. Though I think the story would have still been solid enough with just half of those things.

Beautiful Sinner was a delicious slow burn romance of second chances and love against all odds. If you enjoy a good convict romance, this one will fit the bill quite nicely.


THE SERIES

ALL CHAINED UP | HELL BREAKS LOOSE | FURY ON FIRE | BEAUTIFUL LAWMAN

 

Copyright © 2015 · Dirty Girl Romance

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