Review: Strong, Silent Cowboy by Lora Leigh & Veronica Chadwick


STRONG, SILENT COWBOY
Series: Moving Violations #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Lora Leigh & Veronica Chadwick
Release Date: March 9, 2021

He Will Do Anything…

Sallie Hamblen had three incredibly hot, sexy nights with Jacob Donovan, an undercover CIA agent, before he disappeared, leaving her broken hearted and forever yearning for the man she lost. Years later, Jacob doesn’t know that the beauty he’s about to seduce in a small town bar is the woman he held in his arms all those years ago… and that she’s on the run from her past.

 

To Keep Her Safe…

Former CIA agent turned cowboy, Jacob Donovan wants nothing more than a simple life. Just the ranch and occasionally someone warm and sweet in his bed. Until Sallie comes back into his life and all of a sudden he wants to be in her bed every night…all night. When he discovers that her life is in danger, he swears he’ll protect her.

 

Even when secrets are revealed that threaten everything between them, he will lay everything on the line to keep her in his arms.

AMAZON

This man was dangerous, and she knew it. Something about him warned her that he rarely played, but when he did, he played to win.

Lora Leigh books have been a guilty pleasure for years and will always be what I reach for when I want a super sultry story with an uber alpha.

This is book two in the series, but easily enjoyed as a standalone. I didn’t love book 1, but I did enjoy this one quite a bit.

I won’t spend too much time on the plot, because you can really gather most what you need from the blurb. Years ago, Sallie gave her virginity to a man that owned her, body and soul. They spent an unforgettable night between the sheets, only for him to disappear from her life. Sallie is also running for her life from a dangerous enemy while struggling to figure out why they’re after her. Hiding in the small town, she comes face to face with the man that stole her heart all those years ago. The problem? He doesn’t remember her.

Now if you’re looking for a super hot story, look no further. If there’s one thing that Leigh can write is one hot sexy scene. I also live for her uber alphas, and a CIA agent turned small town sheriff and with a filthy mouth is right up my alley. Sallie took me a bit to warm up to. She’s a bit hot and cold. She won’t give her heart away, but she can’t turn him down when he kisses her. She wants him, she can’t have him. She can’t put him in danger by sharing her secret, but she continues to sleep with him.

Ultimately, where the story dwindled a bit for me were on the details. Or really, the consistency of them. The years were jumbled and jumped all over the place. Three nights spent together or one night spent together. She spent 2 years on the run or 3 years on the run. It’s been 6 years or 3 years. I mean, it was all over the place and made me wonder if the published version will have this fixed.

There’s also some details that are left unanswered at the end that left me hanging. I had hoped the epilogue may touch on them, but ultimately, they were just left mostly unresolved.

All that aside, I did still enjoy this. The added suspense element kept me turning the pages, and the chemistry between Sallie and Jacob kept me invested. If you’re looking for a super steamy, suspenseful read, this one may do the trick.

Review: Enemy Dearest by Winter Renshaw

ENEMY DEAREST
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Winter Renshaw
Release Date: January 14, 2020

I loved him. I lost him. And now he’s back.

August Monreaux was a stormy sea of a man, the dark between the stars, an electric chill cutting through a crowded room—all wrapped into one wicked, beautiful package.

He was also off-limits.

My entire life, I was kept a safe distance from the notoriously virulent Monreauxs, banned from so much as breathing the same air. And like the good daughter I was, I obeyed those rules.

Until the one time I didn’t …

Only while I sampled him, he devoured me like the forbidden fruit that I was. And in the blink of an eye, my worst enemy became my first love. His poison became my antidote. His touch, my addiction.

After we severed our ill-fated ties, I thought I’d never see him again.

Until he crashed back into my life at the worst possible moment—and asked me to marry him.

But it wasn’t that simple.

It never is.

Turns out marrying a wealthy powerhouse of a man comes with a price.

But walking away, could cost me everything.

AMAZON

Sheridan is nothing more than a pretty little pawn. A means to an end. A heart I intend to shatter into a million jagged pieces. I won’t hurt her physically.
Frankly, that isn’t my style. But I will ruin her.
I’ll ruin her for any other man.

The second I read this blurb, I was salivating for this book. SALIVATING. I’m a sucker for a second chance romance and this one sounded utterly delicious. Admittedly, the blurb is deceiving. Because it wasn’t quite that. And while I did enjoy this book for the most part, there were a few parts that just didn’t live up to the promise of the blurb for me.

The premise of the story is amazing. Sheridan and August are the children of families with a long and dark history rooted in lies and pain. August is the youngest son and doesn’t take much seriously. But when he catches the daughter of his family’s enemy in his pool, he’s determined to make the best of it. He sets out to make her pay for what her father did to his family, or at least what he thinks he did. But it leads to something that neither of them expect.

Sheridan fights the allure of August for as long as she can. He’s the epitome of forbidden fruit to her. His family ruined hers, after all. But August is determined and chases her until she gives in. Thus begins their tumultuous secret relationship.

Now, I loved the complexity of their family history and both Sheridan and August’s characters. The secrets that lie between their families was alluring and had me turning the pages to figure it all out. What left me a bit disappointed was the timeline. August’s fall seemed sudden and quick. It wasn’t as satisfying as I had hoped considering the set up where he wants to make her pay and be the pawn. It seems the second he first sleeps with her, all of it is forgotten. It just didn’t seem fleshed out enough to be satisfying for me. I love when the bad boy falls, especially when it’s in spite of himself. And while the set up alludes to that, it didn’t end up that way.

The other piece of it is the blurb. The blurb alludes that they fall apart to crash back together. And while it did happen, sort of, it wasn’t quite as satisfying as it seems. Their separation is really over the span of a few pages and ultimately lasts just a few months. It’s barely fleshed out and happens in the blink of an eye towards the end of the story. I was hoping for a big falling out and a falling back together. But really, they reunite at the end and then just face some family drama. The blurb just felt a bit…deceiving to me. It set up my hopes to one story, but this turned out different.

Did I ultimately enjoy this book, yes. It wasn’t quite what I thought, but I did like it. It was my first book by this author but certainly won’t be my last. I had my quibbles with it, but those things aside, it was a nice read.

Review: About Tomorrow by Abbi Glines

ABOUT TOMORROW
Genre: New Adult Romance
Author: Abbi Glines
Release Date: December 14, 2020
About Tomorrow…I close my eyes as I hear him speak. I take one very long and deep breath hoping to calm the immediate butterflies that take flight in my stomach and hope to slow down the racing of my heart. The voice was slightly deeper but the timbre was one that was achingly familiar.
My actions did little to help, but then who was I kidding? A deep breath wasn’t going to fix the effect he had on me and my body’s inevitable reaction.
Even the memories that would forever haunt me couldn’t keep my emotions from triggering at the nearness of him once again.I used to pray that I’d find the strength to move on from him, from the pain that the end carried, from the emptiness in my chest, but ultimately move on from—the loss of Creed Sullivan and the death of his sister, Cora.The Sullivans had been the best part of my summers in New England.Deep down, I knew my ache for all that I had lost was the reason I returned…

But I hadn’t expected to see him again—especially not like this.

AMAZON

Creed didn’t just make me happy; he made me complete. Most of my life I had wandered through it never feeling like I belonged anywhere. Until Creed.

It’s been a hot minute since I last read an Abbi Glines book. Her books were a happy place for me whenever I needed a good dose of teenage drama and steamy romance. And when I read the blurb to this book, I had to have it. I’m a sucker for a second chance romance and this one sounded like it had all of the feels.

If you’re looking for a steamy and angsty second chance romance, this one definitely ticks all of the boxes. Sailor and Creed were childhood sweethearts and each other’s world once upon a time. Then tragedy pulled them apart and even though Sailor’s life moved along, she barely was able to move on from Creed. She’s met a wonderful new guy and now she’s moving back to the town that holds such bittersweet memories for her in order to take care of her gram’s house after her passing. It’s been years since she’s seen Creed but when she meets the cousin of her boyfriend’s roommate in their apartment, her world comes crashing down to realize it’s Creed.

This story deals with some heavy subjects and I loved the grittier undertones of it. Sailor is not perfect and neither is Creed. Their love is messy and broken and riddled with unresolved pain and haunting memories. Sailor is in a happy relationship and Creed is not the boy she once fell in love with. He’s darker, colder, but he’s still the same caring Creed she once knew.

While this book had so many elements that I loved, there were also some things that didn’t quite work for me. Specifically the flashbacks. They just didn’t flow. They felt quite random and didn’t blend into the story. They were also much too short to really add to the overall plot and serve as anything other than a distraction. My other quibble was the conflict at the end. It felt…blah. It just felt like the story was driving to something much bigger and impactful. It just didn’t fit. It felt like a quick way to add something but it didn’t deliver on the something big that the story really needed for me.

Ultimately I still did enjoy this book quite a bit and it gave me the Abbi Glines fix that I didn’t even know I was craving. If you’re looking for a steamy second chance with plenty of angst, this one definitely got it.

Review: What You See by Cherise Sinclair

WHAT YOU SEE
Series:
Sons of the Survivalist #3
Genre:
Contemporary Romance
Author:
Cherise Sinclair
Release Date:
December 8, 2020

She will risk everything to rescue her friend.

Frankie’s BFF and four-year-old son are trapped inside a fanatical militia’s compound. In Alaska, no less. Wilderness rescues are so not in the New Yorker’s skill set. But she’ll figure it out. She must.

Bull’s new roadhouse server is a mass of contradictions.

The city girl’s reasons for being in Alaska don’t add up. Bull’s been burned by liars before. So, why is he falling for this crap again? Maybe it’s her big brown eyes, exuberant personality—or her generous, compassionate heart. Whatever the reason is, he cares. If she’s in trouble, he’ll do his damnedest to get her out.

The huge Alaskan is terrifyingly compelling–and heartwarmingly concerned for her.

But Frankie refuses to involve Bull in the deadly mess. Her plan to rescue her bestie will work without anyone getting hurt. As she tries her best not to fall in love, she doggedly acquires each skill she’ll need.

Getting shot, though…that hadn’t been on her to-do list.

AMAZON

I adore all things Cherise. Her books are an auto buy for me always. And while I live for her emotionally charged BDSM, her suspenseful contemporary has been hitting the spot quite nicely for me.

I can’t say that I loved this book, but I did like it quite a bit. What I love is Sinclair’s ability to create these imperfect characters that have an amazing balance of flaws and inner strength. Bull is a bit of manwhore, and he has multiple failed marriages behind him that don’t exactly make him eager to try anything serious again. He’s definitely got some trust issues, but you can’t blame the man, knowing what he’s been through.

Frankie is a fierce heroine that puts her life on hold to help out her best friend who may be in a life threatening situation. Her friend and her son are stuck in an abusive relationship and Frankie may be their only hope and she pleads for her help. Frankie blows into the small town looking for answers but gets more than she expected when she meets Bull.

These two don’t get off to a good start and there’s definitely some false impressions that take place because of both of their histories. Frankie has trust issues because of her failed marriage and cheating husband. She thinks Bull is no better than her ex, until she gets to know him and sees the gentle heart beneath the smoldering and rough exterior.

There’s an added element of suspense with the story of Frankie’s bestie and her rescue from the Patriot Zealots. There’s also some additional voices that are added in (like one of my most anticipated characters, Hawk). What I love is how effortlessly these all blend together in the story. And while I loved the romance and suspense, I was also a little bored. There was just this zing that missing for me here. And I can’t place my finger on what it was exactly, only that this story didn’t really grab me. It’s not one that I’ll be thinking of later or coming back to. It was good, but it just wasn’t my favorite. Do I recommend this series? Absolutely. Will I be reading the next one? OMG. Without a doubt. The set up is AMAZING.

Review: Lies & Lullabies by Sarina Bowen

LIES & LULLABIES
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Hush Note #1
Author: Sarina Bowen
Release Date: September 22, 2020

Summer nights and star-crossed lovers! From USA Today bestselling author Sarina Bowen.

Once upon a time, he gave me a summer of friendship, followed by one perfect night. We shared a lot during our short time together. But he skipped a few crucial details.

I didn’t know he was a rock star.

I didn’t know his real name.

Neither of us knew I’d get pregnant.

And I sure never expected to see him again.

Five years later, his tour bus pulls up in Nest Lake, Maine.

My little world is about to be shattered by loud music and the pounding of my own foolish heart.

 AMAZON 

He’d been a charming diversion with enormous consequences.

I am a sucker for a second chance romance. I live for it. The angst. The emotion. All of the feels. Now it’s been a hot minute since I’ve read a Sarina Bowen book and I was so excited to get my hands on this one. This trope is my book crack so I was so here for it.

Kira and Jonas spent one unforgettable summer together. They were both in a place where they were looking for a connection and were a little lost. They gave each other something that changed them both irrevocably. Kira had no idea at the time they met that Jonas was a famous rockstar. Jonas fell hard for Kira but knew he couldn’t give her what she needed, so he left.

Five years later, their paths cross again. This time Jonas knows exactly what he wants, and he needs a second chance with the woman he never got over. What he doesn’t expect, is the secret that Kira has kept from him all these years in the form of an adorably rambunctious daughter.

Now I do love me some surprise baby trope as well. But it also has to have one thing for me to connect; a good reason for the baby to be a secret. And sadly, I didn’t feel that Kira had one. This ultimately began to grate on me, because I couldn’t help but judge her for it.

Jonas was everything. The man was swoon personified. I loved the way he manned up and was there for his girls. I loved the way he handled the reveal. And really, I just loved him.

The pacing was a bit off, and I did find myself growing bored. The flashbacks to their summer five years ago also felt lacking. I wanted a little more meat here. I really wish it was fleshed out further. Don’t get me wrong. While I didn’t love this story, I still enjoyed it. It may have been a little slow for my tastes, but it still hit the spot. The other band members really hooked me, but my favorite part of the book was Kira’s brother. The man was just GAH. I hope he gets a book of his own because I loved being in his head for the few short pages.

Review: The Truest Thing by Samantha Young

The Truest Thing
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Hart’s Boardwalk #4
Author: Samantha Young
Release Date: August 18, 2020

Nine years ago, Emery Saunders moved to Hartwell to start her life over as a bookstore owner. Her inability to trust people made it hard for her to find a place in the small community until Jessica Lawson moved to town and befriended the shy beauty.
But there was one person in Hartwell who tried to befriend Emery long before Jessica arrived…

Jack Devlin has his secrets. One of them is that he fell hard for Emery the moment she appeared in Hartwell. Another is that his father blackmailed him into covering up a dark family tragedy. It forced Jack to sever his relationships to protect the people he cared about. Yet, staying away from Emery has not been easy throughout the years and he hasn’t always succeeded. When Jack’s mixed signals hurt Emery once again, she puts him out of her heart for good.
Until the Devlin family secret is finally revealed, freeing Jack from his father’s machinations. What Jack wants more than anything is to repair his relationships, starting with Emery.

However, Emery isn’t ready to forgive and Jack’s not ready to give up.
And when the town’s latest scandal ties Jack and Emery together, Jack is not above using their new reality to prove to Emery once and for all that their love is worthy of the legend of Hart’s Boardwalk.

 AMAZON 

She was pure temptation. He couldn’t have her. But, fuck, did he want her.

I adore all things Samantha Young and I’ve absolutely adored her Hart’s Boardwalk series. But while I did ultimately enjoy this one, it certainly wasn’t my favorite in the series.

Jack and Emery’s story is not an easy one. It spans years and is riddled with dark secrets, betrayal, and pain. Emery was a character I wasn’t sure that I’d love at first. She’s painfully shy, timid, and blushes with a stiff wind. But there’s just something about her that you can’t help but click with. She’s a very complex character with so many layers that get peeled back with each new chapter.

The second she sets foot in the small town and locks eyes with Jack, they have an indescribable connection. She’s a young girl with plenty of secrets who struggles to make connections but with more years that she spends in the charming small town, the more that changes. She makes friends. She forms strong connection with the town and the people. But her connection with Jack only gets more and more complicated.

Jack is a tortured characters with some dark secrets in his past and some debilitating demons in his present. And while I liked him at first, that connection began to wane as the story progressed. While I understood (somewhat) the reasons for some of the decisions he made, I also hated them. I hated them so much that I had a hard time moving past them and struggled with how Emery could. Even though Emery does make him work for it in the end, some of these betrayals were almost too much for me. Their constant back and forth, I want her but I can’t have her also became too much. It wore me out. There’s just so much drama on top of drama happening here, that the relationship issues with these two became too much for me.

I feel conflicted because while I did have issues, I also enjoyed it. I loved Emery, and even though Jack wasn’t perfect, he did have his incredible moments too. His feelings for Emery were so deep and there was so much emotion packed into this. I just could have done without some of the decisions with women he made. Le sigh.

While it wasn’t my favorite in the series, it was still an enjoyable read. I do adore this series and look forward to more.

Review: Queen of Lies by Whitney G.

QUEEN OF LIES
Series: Empire of Lies #2
Genre: Dark, Contemporary Romance
Author: Whitney
Release Date: February 17, 2020

Book 2 in the Empire of Lies trilogy.

 

The twists and turns in Michael & Meredith’s story continue…

The woman I fell in love with is a walking contradiction…

She’s sexy as hell, yet infuriating.

Hopelessly in love with me, but carefully plotting to get the hell away.

She honestly thinks that I’m the ‘king of lies’?

Well, she f-cking fooled you…

 

She’s the queen.

AMAZON 

She was a mere chapter in my book and this is our final page. No happily ever after included.

I’ll keep this short and sweet. I devoured the first book. I was so sucked into this story, it’s not even funny. It had the delicious vibes of the Whitney G books I fell in love with in Reasonable Doubt: Full Series.

I devoured this too, but it was also missing something. Ultimately, with the short length of these books, I was hoping that each installment would offer more depth. But that wasn’t quite the case here. The story continues to move forward, but it’s too quick paced. I struggled with buying into the connection between Michael and Meredith. There’s simply not enough meat here for me to get fully invested. The bones are there. But it’s missing quite a bit of backstory. I’m hoping the final installment will bring that, but I just couldn’t help but feel this one merely grazed the surface of what it could have been

Review: Twisted Hearts by Cora Reilly

TWISTED HEARTS
Series: The Camorra Chronicles #5
Genre: Dark Romance, Mafia
Author: Cora Reilly
Release Date: January 7, 2020

Savio Falcone has a few non-negotiable rules when it comes to girls.
They need to be hot as f*ck.
Spread their legs without much prompting.
And leave as soon as the fun is over. Preferably minus any bitching or tears.
With his easy-going bad boy attitude, a last name that rules over Las Vegas and a body to die for, girls have always been at Savio’s disposal.
Unfortunately, the hottest girl in Vegas comes with a price Savio isn’t willing to pay. For Savio to get Gemma he’d need to seal the deal and put a ring on her finger. Settling down is out of the question, no matter how hot a piece of ass waits at the altar.
Gemma Bazzoli has had a crush on Savio from the first moment she came face to face with his arrogant smile, but for him she was always his best friend’s annoying little sister—until her hard-earned curves catch even his attention.
But Savio likes it easy, and Gemma is anything but. When she’s promised to another man, Gemma resigns herself to the fact that the man she’s wanted all her life, doesn’t want her badly enough.
Savio has to decide how much work he’s willing to invest, because bending the rules in his usual style might not be enough to get the girl that haunts his wet dreams.
– Can be read as a standalone-

AMAZON

Gemma was the hottest girl in the city and didn’t even realize it. She was the girl I wanted most and couldn’t have.

Ever finish a book and you struggled to feel any which way about it? This was that book for me. I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it. It was something of that middle of the road story that I don’t enjoyed reading, but also would never be something I’d come back to either. Does that even make sense? I hope it does, because there’s no better way for me to describe how I felt about Twisted Hearts.

I love mafia romance. I love unconventional love stories with imperfect characters that make their fair share of mistakes. And it just doesn’t get more imperfect than womanizing Savio. Savio and Gemma have known each other since they were kids. Savio was Gemma’s older brother’s friend and a boy that she crushed had on. Her crush was so obvious and at times desperate when she was a teen, that it was almost uncomfortable to read at times, admittedly. Luckily, she doesn’t carry that into adulthood either. Gemma lives in a highly traditional world of old-world mafia family where the women are kept innocent and naive and marriages are a contract and not of love. That doesn’t stop her from hoping beyond hope that Savio will ask for her, since his family is one of the most powerful business alliances her father can make. But Savio is much too concerned with sowing his wild oats with every single available woman out there to even think of marriage. That is, until Gemma is promised to another.

Now I loved the fact that the author stayed true to her character with Savio and didn’t have him turning a complete 180 the second he decides he wants Gemma. He’s not a perfect character and I loved that about him. What didn’t gel for me was the lack of everything else outside of the back and forth he and Gemma go through. The world, the suspense, the story all kind of fell sideways and got lost in the frustrating back and forth of I want you but I can’t have you and I’ll have you but won’t give you all of me. It started off so strong and then all just sort of fizzled for me. I was skimming parts and growing more bored with each page. And while Gemma did grow a backbone in her adulthood, I did also found myself wishing that she made Savio work for it in a different way than she did. Although, I do respect the hell out of her for the way she did handle their relationship.

Ultimately, the romance just didn’t grab me. I didn’t fully buy into it and I just didn’t love Gemma and Savio. They were entertaining, sure, but just not memorable characters for me. Did I enjoy the book? Sure. Most definitely. Was I glued to the pages reading it? Not really. A fun read, but ultimately not an entirely memorable one. But hey, different strokes for different folks right? Give it a read and judge for yourself.

Review: Wait for Me by Tia Louise

WAIT FOR ME
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Tia Louise
Release Date: December 17, 2019

Dear Taron,
I should have told you this a long time ago…

Dear Taron,
Is there a time-limit on forgiveness?
If there is, I haven’t reached it…

Dear Taron,
I still love you…

A letter never sent.
Heck, I never even finished it.

Taron Rhodes was my brother’s best friend.
He was sexy as sin.
But he was more than that…
He was ponytail-pulling, ice down your shirt teasing, throw you in the lake screaming…
Strong, tanned arms and blue-green eyes over a heart-stopping, naughty grin…
Did I mention his tight end?
I gave him my first real kiss, my heart, my everything.
I said I’d wait for him…

I’m still waiting, because Taron Rhodes is still the man of my dreams,
And I have a secret that has his blue-green eyes.

Noel LaGrange stole my heart when she was only eighteen —pushing me off a flatbed and calling me a city slicker.
Her brother Sawyer would kick my ass if he knew how many times we made out that summer, how close we got.

Everything changed when Sawyer and I joined the military.
We were honorably discharged, but I didn’t go to her.
Instead, I went back to the city… where no amount of money, no amount of pills can heal this wound.
Only her whiskey eyes and dark hair, her slim arms and her sweet scent, give me hope.
I broke her heart just as surely as I broke mine, but I’m going back to make it right.
If she’s still waiting…

(WAIT FOR ME is a STAND-ALONE small-town, second-chance romance with a guaranteed HEA. No cheating. No cliffhangers.)

AMAZON

Heaven is finding the thing you can’t live without and being able to hold it. Hell is knowing you’ll have to let it go.

I love an emotional second chance romance, and when I read the blurb to this book, I was immediately hooked. Tia knows how to pack one heck of an emotional punch in her writing, so I knew I was in for plenty of feels.

Wait For Me is told in two halves; the first half telling the sweet and steamy story of Taron and Noel meeting and falling in love. Taron is best friends with Noel’s older brother and finds himself in their small town in the short interim before he takes off for the Marines. Noel is eighteen years old but really has an old soul to her. It doesn’t take long for these two to fall head over heels with Noel promising to wait for Taron. But unfortunately fate has other plans for them, and as beautifully as things first came together for them, they fall apart in a devastating and fiery crash.

As much as I loved the premise of the story and both Taron and Noel, I found myself wishing parts of both the first and second half were further fleshed out. I couldn’t help but feel like I was getting a very surface level of what this story could have been. I loved the first half of this book, but also wished for Taron’s characterization to take me a little deeper. Yes, they’re both young, and I can totally buy into their quick connection because of it. But I also wanted more. I can’t quite put my finger on what exactly, but something felt missing.

The second half is ultimately where it really fell short for me, though. The story moved quickly and I wanted parts to be more fleshed out; Taron’s issues being the epicenter of this. I felt like this was really just grazed over and couldn’t help but wish we got a deeper dive into what he went through. The second half of the story ultimately felt rushed and too quick paced. I wished it were flipped and we got to spend more time with them in the present rather than their past. This was such an emotional and touching part of their story, that I really wanted more from it. Ultimately, I still really enjoyed this story that still delivered on the emotional punch I was hoping for. There was plenty of steam and feels to make it for a page turning read.

Review: Pretty Hostage by Julia Sykes

PRETTY HOSTAGE
Series:
Captive #3
Genre: Dark Romance
Author: Julia Sykes
Release Date: November 12, 2019

A Standalone Dark Romance
“She’s yours now.”

With those three words, my boss gives me a gift: permission to kidnap and keep the woman I’ve wanted for years.

Ever since we were teenagers, I’ve denied my desire for Sofia. Despite her father’s involvement in running our cocaine empire, Caesar Hernández has carefully sheltered her from the brutal realities of our world. She’s always been far too innocent and pure for me to drag her out of her charmed life and into my depravities.

But Caesar chose to betray my ruthless boss, Adrián Rodríguez. He’ll have to prove his loyalty once again if he doesn’t want any harm to come to his beloved daughter. I have her now, and he’s well aware of my sadistic proclivities.

I tried to save her from this, but I can’t fight my savage nature when Sofia is in my home and under my command. She’ll learn to obey me unquestioningly if she wants to earn any of her freedoms back. Sofia’s going to be my good girl, fulfilling all the dark fantasies I’ve suppressed for years.

I’ll do whatever it takes to keep my pretty hostage. If anyone tries to steal her from me, I’ll start a war to protect my most precious possession.

Sofia is mine, and I’ll never let her go.

AMAZON

By the time I was finished with her, she would beg to be mine.

I’ve been eyeing this series for a while. I’ve loved some of the older Julia Sykes books I’ve read, so I let my one-clicker loose on this series and in my usual back-asswards ways, started with book 3 firs. I’m sure my ‘must read everything in order’ book friends are having heart palpitations right now. But you know what?
Sadly, this one didn’t quite hit the spot as nicely as I was hoping. The blurb did all sorts of things for me. But when I started reading? Mostly a whole lot of meh feelings were floating up all around.

This felt like the non-darkiest dark romance I’ve read. Yes, I know darkiest isn’t a word, but just go with me here. The set up is delicious. Mateo is a ruthless enforcer for his even more ruthless crime boss. He’s been silently lusting after his boss’s business associate’s (Caesar) innocent daughter for years. And when that business associate makes the grave error of crossing Adrián and sets the wheels in motion for his woman to be taken by a rival, it’s an eye for an eye. Mateo has orders to kidnap and hold Caesar’s daughter, Sofia.

Sofia is beyond innocent and naive. In full disclosure, this tends to be my kryptonite in books. I typically can’t with the sweet and innocent daughters of ruthless crime lords that are completely blind to their father’s doings. She also has no idea that her beloved father has secretly promised her hand to a cartel boss in order to firm an alliance. Fortunately (or unfortunately) for her, Mateo has no intention of letting this happen.

Honestly, the dynamic of their relationship played a big hand in my meh feelings towards this romance. Mateo is much older and treats Sofia more like a disobedient toddler at times than a woman he lusts after. Yes, I get that he wants to protect her, but it’s just weird. Or at least it was to me. Here you have this ruthless badass that surpasses his baser urges and treats a woman he wants with kid gloves. I suppose it could have been romantic, but it did nothing for me.

I would fuck Sofia soon, but not before breakfast on her first day as my hostage.

Dude.
Seriously?

I still binge read this in one sitting, so it wasn’t all bad. It just didn’t hit the spot for me as much as I’d hoped it would after reading that blurb. Luckily it did the trick in hooking me on the series (I already read and loved the second book and salivating for the 4th).

Copyright © 2015 · Dirty Girl Romance

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