Review: Pretty When She Cries by A. Zavarelli

PRETTY WHEN SHE CRIES
Series: Black Mountain Academy
Genre: New Adult Romance
Author: A Zavarelli
Release Date: October 23, 2020

Your first kiss is supposed to be sweet. Ours was baptized in fire.

I was the new girl trying to find her place.

Landon was the brooding neighbor I tutored over the summer.

I didn’t know he was a legend at Black Mountain Academy.

I didn’t know they worshipped him like a religion.

But I fell for him before I knew those things.

To me, he was just the tortured soul who drew me in like a magnet.

And then he did something so unspeakable, so unforgivable, it shattered me.

I ran away then because I was weak, but I’ve shed my tears.

He stole my heart and my dignity, and I’m here to take it back.

The only problem is… he’s not giving it up without a fight.

 AMAZON

I guess it’s true what they say about forbidden fruit. Kailani is the sweetest poison.

Do you have authors that you don’t even bother to read the blurb from? A Zavarelli is one of mine. No matter what the woman writes, I know I’ll be gagging for it. Because she never fails to create some of the most captivating and memorable characters. And this installment in the Black Mountain Academy series was finger licking good. No joke. I honestly wanted to lick my fingers when I turned the last page. It was that delicious.

An angsty and gritty romance set in high school where the only thing the students have more than money is spite and crazy. GAH. Yasss girl. This was right up my alley. After an incident that turned her world upside down, Kailani ran back to Hawaii. She never quite fit it with the rich and entitled students of Black Mountain Academy. She’s a talented dancer whose mother married into money but for love. Now she’s back to exact revenge on all who took part in the events of that night, including the boy she never got over.

Landon is the infamous bad boy with a reputation that proceeds him. A child actor turned teenage heartthrob, all Landon has ever known is people’s dark sides. Everyone wants something from him, including his own family. He has deep rooted trust issues and a chip on his shoulder that’s a mile long. He’s also deliciously enigmatic, mysterious, and oh so sexy. He once fell hard for his beautiful and shy neighbor, but even she turned out to be not who he thought she was. And now that she’s back, he has a revenge of his own to exact.

This story was a delicious entanglement of drama and angst and I devoured every page of it. Suspend your disbelief here and prepare yourself for Cruel Intentions on crack. These teenagers are CRAZY. Revenge, secrets, and lies run rampant through the halls of Black Mountain. And while Landon and Kailani have their agenda, someone else has theirs, and that amounts for some insane twists and turns. Yes, some of them were high on the realm of believability, but I couldn’t seem to care less. I lived for the drama here. When drama is done right, it can be absolutely delicious, and it was here.

I loved the tension and chemistry between Kailani and Landon. I loved their push and pull and I especially loved the way Kailani gave as hard as she got. The girl spared no punches when it came to her enemies. She certainly wasn’t the naive girl she was before she came back. This girl had claws and she wasn’t afraid to use them.

If you’re looking for an angsty and gritty high school romance with plenty of steam and no shortage of drama, look no further. This will tick every box and leave you wanting more.

A Zavarelli is a USA Today and Amazon bestselling author of dark and contemporary romance.

When she’s not putting her characters through hell, she can usually be found watching bizarre and twisted documentaries in the name of research.

She currently lives in the Northwest with her lumberjack and an entire brood of fur babies. 

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Review: Rifts & Refrains by Devney Perry

RIFTS & REFRAINS Genre: Contemporary Romance Series: Hush Note #2 Author: Devney Perry Release Date: September 29, 2020

From the moment Quinn Montgomery sat behind her first snare and cymbal set, she was destined for fame and glory. As Hush Note’s infamous female drummer, she sets the rhythm for the band’s chart-toppings hits. When people tap their feet to their music, it’s to her pulse. Quinn is content to live in a world away from her family and the cage of her youth. Her only regret is leaving Graham Hayes behind without a goodbye. No matter how many sold-out stadiums she plays, no matter how many crowds sing her songs, his voice haunts her when the music stops. When a family tragedy forces her to return home to Montana, she plans to leave the second she’s paid her respects. But seeing Graham again turns her life upside down. As a boy, he wasn’t able to make her stay. As a man, he might be her future. If they can mend their rifts and find solace in the refrains.

 AMAZON 

You were supposed to let go when your first love ended. You were supposed to look at the past and smile at the memory. You weren’t supposed to hold it so close that it wound into your very existence, making every moment impossible to forget.
I’m a sucker for a second chance romance, and no one delivers on those feels quite like Devney Perry. A refreshingly different take on the rockstar second chance, Quinn and Graham’s story stole my heart. Unlike the typical rockstar books, we get a female rockstar that walked away from her love this time around. But Quinn didn’t walk away. Her path was riddled with plenty of pain. Growing up a preacher’s daughter was never easy for Quinn. Not when her dreams were bigger than the small town she lived in and not when her parent’s stifling expectations boxed her in. She ran to pursue her dreams but it cost her her family and the boy she loved. Now a famous rockstar, she’s forced back home for the funeral of her beloved Nan and the only family that kept in touch with her while she was away. Her only connection and person who always believed in her now gone, she’s forced to deal with the resentment and anger left behind. Facing her family may be hard, but facing her childhood sweetheart and his anger is almost impossible. Graham never forgave Quinn for leaving and he never moved past not being enough for her to stay. But the longer they’re forced together by the wishes of her nan in her will, the more they’re forced to realize things. Graham begins to see beyond his own anger. The connection between them is just as potent, even after all of these years. Neither Quinn nor Graham ever got over the other. But there’s plenty that was left unsaid. This book was a one two punch straight to the feels. I spent the entire time reading going from tearing up, to goofy smile, to tearing up again. There was so much depth and emotion that’s packed into this story, I never wanted it to end. I loved the small town setting but I loved Quinn and Graham even more. Quinn and Nix’s connection was so incredible too. I love these two friends. The way Nix is so messed up but is always there for her just melted my heart. I can’t wait for his book next. As for this one, if you love an emotional and steamy second chance romance, you need this book in your life!
Devney is a USA Today bestselling author who lives in Washington with her husband and two sons. Born and raised in Montana, she loves writing books set in her treasured home state. After working in the technology industry for nearly a decade, she abandoned conference calls and project schedules to enjoy a slower pace at home with her family. Writing one book, let alone many, was not something she ever expected to do. But now that she’s discovered her true passion for writing romance, she has no plans to ever stop.

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Review: Out Of Love by Jewel E. Ann

OUT OF LOVE
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Jewel E. Ann
Release Date: September 27, 2020

Conspiracies. Corruption. Serial killers.

You name it–I’m fascinated by it. My mom always blamed my overly curious and highly suspicious mind on my dad.

My incredibly overbearing dad.

Mr. No One Is Good Enough For My Daughter has been terrifying my dates since I turned fifteen.

College is my chance to be free from his control and date any guy I want.

I’m absolutely certain he would hate Slade Wylder–almost as certain as I am that I do too.

Since when have I shied away from trouble?

Slade fascinates me. He lives in a house I’m certain is haunted. His dog is trained as well as any guard I’ve ever seen. Rumor on campus is that he deals drugs. It would explain a lot.

But it doesn’t explain why he saves me from my darkest moment.

It doesn’t explain why I can’t stop thinking about him.

And the explanation I finally discover is far more dangerous than any rumor.

 AMAZON 

After their kissy-huggy greeting ended, they walked toward the house with Jericho in tow. I waited for him to glance back at me. He saw me. There was no way he passed me a few seconds earlier on the street and didn’t see me. Yet, he made no attempt to acknowledge me.Until …

My boy Jerry stopped abruptly and turned like he caught whiff of my scent. All the warm fuzzies filled my chest. A dog gave me more feels than any man had given me in a long time. Maybe ever.

Jericho liked me. Hell, maybe he loved me.

He protected me.

He smiled when he saw me—tongue out, tail in a low wag. I continued my way up the sidewalk, feigning surprise when he trotted toward me in spite of Slade barking his own command.

“Hey, Jerry.” I squatted down to give him double the love Miss Sophisticated gave him … and I had a treat in my pocket because part of me anticipated—hoped for—a chance encounter. “Oh, buddy … I love you too.” I closed my eyes and turned my face side to side while he showered me with kisses.

Slade cleared his throat.

I opened my eyes—noticing his friend must have gone inside. “Sorry.” I stood, sliding a treat into Jericho’s mouth along the way. “I know it’s hard for you to know he likes me more.” On a shrug, I bit my lips together to keep my shit-eating grin under control.

“Inside,” he said to Jericho while looking at me.

Jericho turned and headed to the back door.

“If you have a job to do … Jerry can hang with me tonight. I’m alone this evening.”

“Jericho. And he doesn’t need a babysitter.”

“Maybe I do.”

His brow tensed a fraction, contemplation settling into a slight frown for a few seconds, before he whistled and Jericho came running. “Send him home when your friends get back.”

Why was the only word that sat on the tip of my idle tongue? Why protect me?

“What are you going to do?” Okay, apparently “why” wasn’t the only word on the tip of my tongue after all. Six other words were in line first.

“Does it matter?”

Letting my gaze settle over his shoulder to the firehouse and images of Miss Sophisticated waiting for him, I lifted a single shoulder. “No. Just curious. Is she your girlfriend?”

“Does it matter?”

“I hate you.” I rolled my eyes. “Worst communication skills ever.”

“Good. Hate me. I prefer it.”

I recoiled. I didn’t really hate anyone. It wasn’t my personality to be hateful, vengeful, or hold grudges. Why did Slade Wylder want me to hate him? It was a joke. I hated his lack of sharing information.

“If you’re selling her some shit that will ruin her life, may I suggest you rethink that? Not cool, Wylder.”

“Noted.”

Tipping my chin up, I gave him several tiny nods. “Okay then. I’ll take Jerry to my house and spoil him. Maybe he comes back to you … maybe he doesn’t.”

Slade let his gaze slide down my body, a slow and easy trip. He didn’t do that when we met. Somewhere along the way, he decided it was okay. I wasn’t sure what reaction he desired from me.

Maybe nothing.

Maybe he did it out of pure selfish desire.

“I’m only allowing this because I love Jerry.”

Curious eyes met mine, slightly squinted.

I smirked. “Stripping me with those eyes of yours.”

Moments …

I collected moments in my mind, my heart, my soul, like Aubrey collected rare coins—my mom dying, my dad spending a few years thoroughly drunk. Mostly bad moments—permanent scars.

That moment I tucked into my memory forever as one of the first truly great moments.

Wylder …

The corners of his mouth quirked into pure sin. If Satan was hot as fuck, his name would have been Slade Wylder, and I would have been in a whole helluva lot of trouble.

Either you die, or you’re born again. But you’re never the same.”

Actual footage of me while reading this book:
Holy mother of all plot twists, what did I just read?!

So first of all, confession time. I’m a little nervous here because I know I’m going to get side eyes from all of you judgy jundgersons, but it is what it is. It’s been years since I’ve read a Jewel. E. Ann book. *hides* I’ll give you a minute to contain your shock. I know. I know. I don’t even know why myself. But just know that I’m already kicking my own ass for this sin. Because that’s what it was if this is the kind of books I’ve been missing out on.

Now I did go back and rectify it by reading the Jack and Jill series. Which is the world this book is set in. But that’s the only thing I’ll tell you about the connection. You’ll have to read the rest for yourself. Trust me on this.

Livy is one of the most vivacious, sexually positive heroines I’ve had the pleasure to read recently. This is a woman that’s not afraid to want what she wants and to go after it. And the second the grumpy and mysterious Slade and his dog appear in her orbit, nothing will ever be the same. Sade hates her at first sigh. He doesn’t exactly hide his hatred either. He barely spars her a glance and calls the cops on her on one occasion. This was enemies to lovers on a whole other level, people.

Slade Wylder reminded me of the Grim Reaper—minus the scythe—cloaked in black, right down to his car and its windows. Eyes so dark they appeared hollow from a distance.

But Liv is nothing if not determined, and she’s determined to wear the man down. What begins to unravel is one jaw dropping page after another. There’s plenty of secrets buried and when they begin to surface, you won’t have time to pick your jaw off of the floor before another one comes at you.

Live was this beautiful free spirit that loved and loved hard. Her over protective father did nothing to deter her from her boy chasing ways. But Slade is definitely not a boy and he’s certainly not at all what he seems.

I don’t even know what else to tell you about this book aside from the fact that I couldn’t put it down. The angst, the secrets, the suspense. All of it masterfully crafted and interwoven between one unforgettable romance that should have never happened but did. I’m desperately hoping that we’ll be getting more books set in this world because there’s one thing that is left hanging that I need a resolution for. Not even need. DESPERATE for.

Jewel is a Wall Street Journal & USA Today best selling author a with a quirky sense of humor. When she’s not saving the planet one tree at a time, you can find her role modeling questionable behavior to her three boys, binge-watching Netflix with her husband, and writing mind-bending romance.

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Review: Gold Mine by Skye Warren

GOLD MINE
Genre: Dark Romance
Series: The Diamond Trilogy #2
Author: Skye Warren
Release Date: September 15, 2020

Holly Frank is in trouble. The deadly kind.

She and her sister must evade the authorities and the criminals who want them dead. Including Elijah North. The man who took her heart in Paris, her body in a prison cell, and her trust without remorse.

He’s determined to keep her safe. Even if that means losing her forever.

Adam Bisset has his own dark agenda.

She’s caught between the two men, torn apart with every sensual push and pull. Each touch is a lie, each whispered tenderness a trap—but she can’t resist them.

Their lies are tearing her apart. Her enemies are catching up with her. And when she’s taken captive again, she finds out secrets to unravel it all.

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You can pretend you’re disgusted with me when I make you come so hard you see God.

How many times have you been able to say that book two in a trilogy was even better than book one? Because I can count how many times I’ve felt this on one finger. Yes, I said it. Because it never happens for me. Usually book one hooks me, and then book two is slow paced filler. Not this time. Gold Mine was EPIC. It was a deliciously erotic, heart-pounding thrill ride of one jaw dropping plot twist after another. And this girl gobbled it right up!

…I take what I want. It doesn’t have to be more complicated than that, Holly.”
“Have you heard of dating?”
He gives me a small, private smile. “This is better. I don’t want to ask you out. I don’t want to give you the illusion that you can say no, Holly. You’re mine.”

I thought I loved Elijah in Diamond in the Rough, but I was simply not prepared for the full dose of everything that is him in this one. Oh. My. GAWD. This man. He’s so incredibly complex but with a vein of darkness that pulses through him. And this time we finally get a peek beneath that mysterious curtain. The layers are peeled back and it made me fall even harder for him.

There’s also a delicious underlay of taboo here with a splash of dub con that I was drooling over. Elijah is a man that likes it hard and dirty and did I say OMG? Because OMG.

Holly is just as fierce as she was in the first book. She’s fiercely protective of her sister and she’s slowly coming to the realization that there’s something between her and Elijah when he finally catches her again. That something is a little dark, a little depraved, and a lot delicious. It’s unconventional and they’re both definitely struggling trying to understand it. Elijah’s cravings may run on the dark and depraved side, but Holly craves everything that he has to give.

There’s a lot more that gets revealed about the North brothers, so of course I’m already salivating for Josh’s book. But then the jaw dropping revelations for Adam happen and I’m absolutely desperate for his book too.

This installment was a non-stop trill ride that I couldn’t set down for even a minute. I devoured this book in one sitting and now I’m going through withdrawals until my next fix.

Skye Warren is the New York Times bestselling author of dangerous romance such as the Endgame trilogy. Her books have been featured in Jezebel, Buzzfeed, USA Today Happily Ever After, Glamour, and Elle Magazine. She makes her home in Texas with her loving family, sweet dogs, and evil cat.

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Review: Unholy Intent by Natasha Knight

UNHOLY INTENT
Seroes:
Unholy Union Duet #2
Genre: Dark Romance
Author: Natasha Knight
Release Date: September 15, 2020

Cristina

In this house of lies and liars, behind every locked door is a monster in wait.

Forced to marry a man I hate, I am now bound to Damian. There’s something between us that needs to be played out. I don’t know what it is. I don’t know that he does. But he and I are locked together for some strange, grim purpose.

Will we survive it?
He may since he’s the one pulling the strings.
But will I?

Damian

My brother will tell you that I usurped his throne and maybe I did, but that’s too bad.

I built our family up from the ashes. I put us back at the top of the food chain. And marrying Cristina was as much to cement my place as it was to keep her safe.

She doesn’t believe that last part yet, but I see how she clings to me in the darkness. And the lock on her door is as much to keep the monsters out as it is to keep her in.

I told her one lie, though. I made her a promise I’m not sure I ever meant to keep. I told her I’d let her go once I had what I wanted.

But in a world of monsters, I need her like man needs air. And I have no intention of letting her go.

 AMAZON

Even as I hate myself for it, I cling to him, my enemy. This monster who doesn’t hide in the dark. The one in whose bed I’ll sleep. My monster.

Raise your hand if you stayed up way past your bed time binging on this book and could barely function at work the next morning and no amount of coffee helped but yet you still couldn’t find two f’s to rub together because this book was totally worth it….
No but seriously though. I think this may have been my favorite from Natasha Knight to date. We already know that her antiheroes are my favorite sort of book crack. But Cristina and Damian’s story was simply on a whole other level.

First of all, I love when an author makes an antihero’s fall believable. And Damian was certainly no knight in shining armor in the first book. Heck he wasn’t even a knight in tarnished armor. He was a straight up villain with a devilish smile and unholy intentions. See what I did there? HA! But I digress. What I’m trying to say, is that Cristina and Damian are very much a slow burn. And where the first book develops the chemistry between them, this book sets that chemistry on fire that’s so hot, it practically singes your fingers with every turn of the page.

What I loved the most is how believable it was. Their relationship is turbulent at best and toxic at worst, but it’s also entirely addictive. Cristina is a fierce heroine. She’s not naive and sheltered as you may thing an eighteen year old would be. Though she may not have been fully privy to her reality and what her father was, she doesn’t take her situation as a victim. She fights tooth and nail and I loved that about her. This is a female that gives as good as she gets.

Damian was just…GAH. I loved him. He’s deliciously wicked. He may be a bad guy, but beneath the sexual depravity there is a hidden heart, and I loved seeing that get revealed more and more in this book.

This was a jaw dropping and unputdownable conclusion to one of the most addictive duets I’ve read. If you like dark romance with a fierce heroine and sinful antihero, you need this on your TBR. Trust me.

USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance, Natasha Knight specializes in dark, tortured heroes. Happily-Ever-Afters are almost always guaranteed, but she likes to put her characters through hell to get them there. She’s evil like that.

 

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Review: The Devil’s Crown by Monica James

THE DEVIL’S CROWN
Genre: Dark Romance
Series: All The Pretty Things Trilogy Spinoff #1
Author: Monica James
Release Date: July 21, 2020

**All The Pretty Things Trilogy Spin-Off**

I was feared.
Respected.
Worshiped.

But all of that changed when the impossible happened—I fell in love. Only those feelings weren’t reciprocated, because who could love a monster like me?

My empire crumbled. People died. I went from being a victorious leader to lurking in the shadows, planning revenge on my half-brother who now reigns in my place.

An orphanage is where I find sanctuary, but when she walks into my world and evokes a yearning I thought long dead, my demons are awakened and want what they can’t have—her. Sooner or later, I knew I’d need to feed the darkness inside me.

Mayhem, power, and control course through my veins. I will use them to regain my crown, my throne, and then claim her, despite what solemn vows she might’ve made.

I will break them…and her.

 AMAZON

I was once feared, respected among this land for being ruthless and cruel. But they haven’t seen anything yet. Love hurts, and now, it’s my turn to hurt love. 

You know what I love? Seemingly irredeemable villains. Anti-heroes that you almost don’t want to root for and yet you can’t help but ultimately fall head over ovaries for. And it just doesn’t get any more delicious than Aleksei Popov. The ultimate villain in Bad Saint who discovered he had a soul underneath all of that brutality in Forever My Saint. Now it’s no secret that I love me the baddies and Alek was the ultimate baddie. So suffice it to say I was almost rabid for his book from all of the glimpses we got of the man beneath the villain in All The Pretty Things trilogy. But nothing could have prepared me for the full impact of all the things that are Alek Popov.

I wasn’t her Prince Charming. And that’s okay.” I smirk viciously. “I much prefer to be the villain. They have all the fun.” 

Now first of all, if you haven’t yet read All The Pretty Things trilogy, I HIGHLY recommend that you do. Yes, this is a spin off with a new couple, but there’s a lot of story that carries over and you wouldn’t have the same appreciation for all those nuances if you haven’t read the trilogy first.

You’re magnetic, and you don’t even know it. You’re a villain…who has a heart. And what woman doesn’t want to try to fix a bad man?”

Alek once lost everything for love. His empire and his name all went out in a fiery blaze of bullets and betrayal. But Alek is not the same man he used to be either. Yes, he’s still the ruthless killer and calculating criminal. But beneath the cold stare and cigar smoke lies the heart of a man that no one expected, not even the man himself.

He’s trying to rebuild his empire, brick by brick, but when your own mother is working against you and your half-brother is determined to see you dead, it’s easier said than done.

I’m not going to summarize the book here for you, you really need to experience it for yourself. But what I will tell you, is brace yourself. The Devil’s Crown is one epic thrill ride full of twists and turns so dark and depraved, you never see them coming. It’s deliciously dark. It’s fast-paced and sizzlingly hot. It was all of the things. But ultimately, it was a total page-turner.

Monica James seriously brought her A Game with this story, so prepare to be owned by Alek. The man is an enigma of violence and passion and I couldn’t get enough of him. There’s just something so utterly broken about him and yet you can’t help but want to see him fixed. It’s not easy to redeem an ultimate villain like Alek, but damn if James didn’t do it. I am utterly desperate for the next book. Like legit desperate. I’m not sure if I’ll survive the wait but man was this book worth the pain.

Review: Hart To Handle by K. Bromberg

HARD TO HANDLE
Series: Play Hard #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: K. Bromberg
Release Date: June 30, 2020

At first, the request seemed simple—sign a new athlete to the agency.

Then I found out the new athlete was none other than the most wanted man in hockey today: Hunter Maddox

Gifted. Sexy. At the top of his game. And the only man who has ever broken my heart.
If signing him will help save our family business, I’ll swallow my pride and do what’s asked.

But when it becomes clear his uncharacteristic antics off the ice are a hint of something deeper, keeping things strictly professional between us becomes more than complicated.

But I know better than to cross that line.

I’ll never date a client. Not even for him.

***
Win the Stanley Cup and do it before time runs out.

Not a small feat, but it’s what’s motivated me since the start of my career.

And time is running out.

Enter Dekker Kincade.

Feisty. Dogged. Damn gorgeous. The one I let get away.

I have no idea why she’s traveling with the team, but hell if resisting her is going to be easy.

But I have a job to do, and I refuse to lose sight of that end game. Even if she confuses me. Even if she sees parts of me I’ve hidden from the world.

I can’t lose focus. Not even for her.

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I stare at Hunter. At his shirt plastered with sweat and how it clings to his body, despite the chill of the ice his skates are standing on. He has his warm-up pants on and is without a helmet, his hair curling at the ends from the sweat.

And all I see in his eyes is anger I didn’t put there. Or maybe I did. Rejection can do that to a man . . . but there’s something more here. Something I walked in on that doesn’t make sense.

“Don’t give me that look, Kincade,” Hunter mutters as he skates over to the penalty box where his electrolyte drink sits.

“What look?” I ask.

He half laughs, half snorts and meets my gaze across the distance. “Disappointment. Disproval. Disdain. I’m the king of all of them, so save your breath—or in this case—your glare, because it’s not going to work with me.”

“Are we working on emotions that start with the letter D today?” I ask. A hint of my embarrassment and anger over how I acted last night creeps into my voice, but I mask it with sarcasm. “If that’s the case, I’m more than impressed with your answers thus far.”

He clenches his jaw in response and then skates back over to line up more pucks so he can shoot them. And he does, one after another, each shot taken with laser precision and a healthy dose of fury behind it.

He goes through the first ten lined up and then stops to catch his breath.

His talent and skill are undeniable, but so is the beer bottle in my hand.

“Just because you’re the captain and star of this team, doesn’t mean management won’t frown upon this,” I say, unable to let this go.

“Screw the management.”

“No one likes a player who’s hard to handle and honestly, Hunter, you’re becoming hard to handle.”

“No one likes unsolicited advice from someone who has no bearing on his career, either,” he counters, the rebuke stinging but deserved.

The problem is, I do care about him. Doesn’t he get that’s where my hostility stems from?
And only a crazy person would say that, Dekker.

I put my hands up in surrender to both him and my own thoughts. “You know I only want the best for you.” I take a few steps in his direction in the first row of the stands. I’m close enough to catch the hitch of his movement and to see uncertainty flicker in his eyes. It’s almost as if he needs to talk but doesn’t see me as someone he can trust. I hate that. “What is it, Hunter?”

“Nothing. It’s . . . never mind.”

But I see it, and he knows I see it. The question is what do I see, though?

I knew that the minute I laid eyes on him. I knew that there was going to be a casualty in all of this. And most likely, it was going to be my heart.

GOD. Rip my heart out, why don’t ya, K. Bromberg. Holy hell. This story was a one two punch straight to the feels. I was expecting another amazing book from one of my favorite authors. What I was not expecting, was to blubber my way through every emotion it seemed to wrangle out of me. And oh my GOD, the emotion!

The premise of this new series is addictive. Four sisters who barely get along and couldn’t be more different are brought together by a common goal to save their father’s failing sports agency. First on the docket is Dekker who is assigned to win over a hockey super star from an agent that keeps stealing their clients out from under them. The only problem? The man she’s assigned to go after is also one that turned out to me more than she bargained for 3 years ago with what was only supposed to be sex.

Hunter Maddox is a hockey god. Captain of the team, he battles demons that no one knows about that are quickly causing him to spiral out of control in a cloud of rage and guilt. He may be an incredibly talented professional hockey star on the surface, but on the inside he’s burned out and hurting. He hasn’t seen Dekker since she walked out of his hotel room three years ago. They were only supposed to have hot sex between them, but it didn’t take long for it to become something more for him. He doesn’t know why she’s back in his orbit now, but he’ll be dammed if he’ll let her walk away before rekindling the fire that burned so hotly between them before.

I was instantly hooked on the story. I’m a sucker for a good second chance romance, especially one between a tortured pro hockey player and a ballsy sports agent. I loved Dekker’s smart mouth and stiff spine. Although admittedly, the longer she went without admitting to Hunter’s question on why she was there, the more frustrated I became with her. She was stuck between doing her job to sign him and save their agency and knowing she’s barely resisting the temptation of the man that stole her heart. It was a torture dance of frustration and wanting to shake her to just admit it to him.

Hunter was impossible not to love. My heart hurt so badly for him. Especially as we got more and more details on all that transpired to bring him to where he is today. His relationship with his family and his brother broke my heart. I blubbered like a baby through a good chunk of it.

This was the start of what is definitely going to be one incredible series, if this book is anything to go by. I was glued to the pages, put through the ringer of emotion, and SO FREAKING INVESTED. If you love a good sports romance, welcome to your next addiction! Seriously. This one is not to be missed!


New York Times Bestselling author K. Bromberg writes contemporary romance novels that contain a mixture of sweet, emotional, a whole lot of sexy, and a little bit of real. She likes to write strong heroines and damaged heroes who we love to hate but can’t help to love.

A mom of three, she plots her novels in between school runs and soccer practices, more often than not with her laptop in tow and her mind scattered in too many different directions.

Since publishing her first book on a whim in 2013, Kristy has sold over one and a half million copies of her books across eighteen different countries and has landed on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestsellers lists over thirty times. Her Driven trilogy (Driven, Fueled, and Crashed) is currently being adapted for film by the streaming platform, Passionflix, with the first movie (Driven) out now.

With her imagination always in overdrive, she is currently scheming, plotting, and swooning over her latest hero. You can find out more about him or chat with Kristy on any of her social media accounts.

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Review: Wild Highway by Devney Perry

WILD HIGHWAY
Series:
Runaway #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Devney Perry
Release Date: June 23, 2020

From USA Today Bestselling Author Devney Perry comes a small town, second chance romance.

Gemma Lane built an empire. Not a small feat, considering her home as a teenager was a makeshift tent in a California junkyard. She’s dedicated her life to turning pennies into millions. She has power, fortune and prestige.

And she’s leaving it all behind.

Gemma is headed across the country in her best friend’s Cadillac when a detour in Montana reunites her with old acquaintances and a man who hasn’t changed. Easton Greer challenges her every word and tests her every limit because he doesn’t believe she’s really abandoned her riches. She ignores his snide remarks and muttered censure—until the day she’s ready to return to the wild highway, and Easton taunts her to stay.

She’ll prove to him she’s not just running back to her wealthy life, that she’s more than her money. She’ll unlock her guarded heart and hope that this time around, he’ll treasure the key.

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That man . . . grr. I wanted to strangle him and kiss him and kick him and lick him all in the same moment.

I simply adore this series. I cannot get enough of it. I was immediately hooked the second I read Runaway Road, and it seems to only get better with each book!

If you know me or follow my reviews, then you already know I’m a sucker for a second chance romance. So suffice it to say that I gobbled this story up with a spoon and licked my fingers after for good measure. It was delicious!

If you’ve read the first book, then you know the premise already. If you haven’t, it’s about a group of teenage runaways that chase their happy as adults in the fixed up cadillac that they slept in as kids. Now it’s Gemma’s turn and I couldn’t wait to get beneath this woman’s layers. Gemma is the uber successful one of the group. She’s put everything into building her business and her empire. So much so, that she’s left every other aspect of her life on hold. Nothing gives her meaning anymore. She got her success but she still feels numb. So she sells her business, gets the cadillac from her friend, and drives to the sleepy town that was once a stopover that left an imprint on her soul.

Easton and Gemma shared one night together before she left him and the town in her rearview. But it was so much more. So much, in fact, that neither forgot about the other. And one Gemma is unnerved to see the handsome man again, Easton appears flat out mad and eager to chase her out. A dare causes her to stay and soon the chemistry between them doesn’t take long to rekindle.

I loved the push and pull between the two of them. Gemma has plenty of scars left on her soul from her past. And nothing was more satisfying then watching her let Easton in, little by little, until he fully gets through all her walls. Easton was as stubborn as they come and Gemma’s leaving hurt him more than he wants to admit.

Everything about this story was fantastic. The small town feel and its inhabitants. Easton’s family and the way they so easily bring Gemma back into their fold. Gemma’s reunion with her best friend that she left behind and making things right. And the romance between her and Easton? Perfection.

I’m obsessed with this series and I’m already craving the next book. Unrequited love? SIGN. Me. UP.

Review: Dirty Charmer by Emma Chase

DIRTY CHARMER
Series:
Royally #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Author: Emma Chase
Release Date: May19, 2020

“If I try to kiss you at midnight, when I’m off shift and you’re officially not a client anymore . . . would you let me?”

Abigail Haddock is stunning, sensible, and some would say . . . stuffy. But it’s not really her fault. She was raised in one of Wessco’s oldest, most affluent, aristocratic families—“stuffy” is their middle name. So is successful. Abby’s working overtime to distinguish herself as a top-notch physician, just as her family legacy demands.

She doesn’t have time for nonsense.

Tommy Sullivan’s all about nonsense.

Sure, he’s an elite bodyguard with lethal skills and co-owner of the renowned, S&S Securities Firm—protector of the wealthy and titled. But he’s also rowdy, fun and thoroughly irresistible.

Tommy knows how to have a good time, and he’s never seen someone more in need of a good time than Abby. The lass needs long, wet, filthy kisses—STAT—and he’s just the man for the job.

It doesn’t take long for a wildly sexy, sinfully satisfying, no-strings attached arrangement to turn into something more. Something sweet and addictive and real. But Tommy and Abby are too royally stubborn to admit it.

Opposites attract, everyone knows that. But can they last—can they love…for forever?

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Tommy Sullivan is a beautiful whirlwind that I can’t let myself get caught up in.

What happens when you put together an easy-going playboy bodyguard and a straight-laced and driven surgeon in training? The cutest stinking romance ever, that’s what! This was opposites attract perfection and I loved every page of it!

I’ve been chomping at the bit to get my grabby little hands on Tommy’s story. I loved him as a secondary characters, and I just knew that I was going to fall head over ovaries for him as a hero. And you know what? I was not wrong!

You know what they say about men with big brains, don’t you? We’re big everywhere.”
“Are you implying there’s a correlation between the size of your brain and the size of your genitals?”
His brow furrows. “Well, I wouldn’t have used those words—ever. But yeah, that’s what I’m saying.”

There’s just something so free spirited about Tommy. He’s always quick to joke and even quicker to smile. I loved his fun and outgoing personality. The man has zingers for days and I couldn’t get enough.

Abigail is his opposite in every way. In a family of overachievers, all she’s ever known was her need to be the best cardiac surgeon. She’s driven to a fault with only one thing in sight. Men don’t even factor into the equation. Even when they’re stupidly handsome and persistent as Tommy.

She’s a designer drug—cut just for me. Those qualities had me hooked from the very beginning, kept me coming back and back for another fix. And now they’ve got me strung out. Scraped raw over her.

I loved the romance between the two of them because it catches both of them off guard. Neither saw the other coming and there’s something so fun about watching them fall for each other. Where Tommy is quicker on the uptake, Abigail takes a little more time and convincing. I loved that in particular, because it’s a change of pace between the heroine trying to chase the playboy, and you have the playboy having to chase the woman and she definitely makes him work for it.

Their chemistry was through the roof! This put a smile on my face from the very first page and kept it there until the end. Simply delicious!


Emma Chase is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the hot and hilarious Tangled series and The Legal Briefs series. Emma lives in New Jersey with her husband, two children and two naughty (but really cute) dogs. She has a long-standing love/hate relationship with caffeine.

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Excerpt & Review: Wicked As Sin by Shayla Black

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

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

 

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

 

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

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Pre-order the stunning conclusion, Wicked Ever After!

Releasing April 7th

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

What could five minutes alone with the man hurt?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Brea?”

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

“No problem. How’s he doing now?”

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

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

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

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

“I’m not.”

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

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

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

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

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

He raised a dark brow. “Ever?”

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

“What about Cutter?”

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

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

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

“I find that hard to believe.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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