Review: The Sweetest Oblivion by Danielle Lori

THE SWEETEST OBLIVION 
Series: Made #1
Genre: Contemporary, Mafia Romance
Author: Danielle Lori
Release Date: June 20, 2018

She’s a romantic at heart, living in the most unromantic of worlds . . .

Nicknamed Sweet Abelli for her docile nature, Elena smiles on cue and has a charming response for everything. She’s the favored daughter, the perfect mafia principessa . . . or was.

Now, all she can see in the mirror’s reflection is blood staining her hands like crimson paint.

They say first impressions are everything . . .

In the murky waters of New York’s underworld, Elena’s sister is arranged to marry Nicolas Russo. A Made Man, a boss, a cheat—even measured against mafia standards. His reputation stretches far and wide and is darker than his black suits and ties. After his and Elena’s first encounter ends with an accidental glare on her part, she realizes he’s just as rude as he is handsome.

She doesn’t like the man or anything he stands for, though that doesn’t stop her heart from pattering like rain against glass when he’s near, nor the shiver that ghosts down her spine at the sound of his voice.

And he’s always near. Telling her what to do. Making her feel hotter than any future brother-in-law should. Elena may be the Sweet Abelli on the outside, but she’s beginning to learn she has a taste for the darkness, for rough hands, cigarettes, and whiskey-colored eyes. Having already escaped one scandal, however, she can hardly afford to be swept up in another.

Besides, even if he were hers, everyone knows you don’t fall in love with a Made Man . . . right?

This is a standalone forbidden romance.

AMAZON

I wanted to fuck her and ruin her for anyone else. I wanted to crush her wings and then put them back together again so she’d become dependent on me. I wanted her to need me. That dark, possessive, and dangerous feeling crawled through me every time she crossed my path. Elena Abelli was my vice, and fuck if I’d let it kill me.

How is this the only time that this book is hitting my radar? I’m very hesitant with new to me authors, because let’s face it, I’m a picky asshole. So I’m always scared to step out of the comfort zone of my tried and true authors. But boy am I kicking my own ass for waiting this long to read this. This book was recommended to me several times by someone in my Facebook group, so I finally took the plunge and one-clicked. And the rest, as they say, is history. I was immediately enraptured in this world and completely hypnotized by the words.

His presence soaked through my skin with each inhale. His touch and taste and smell sank so deep they filled the cracks of my heart. He was becoming a drug, an addiction I would have to feed every day.

I’ve read my fair share of mafia romance, so believe me when I say it takes a lot to hook me. I need those feels. The intensity. An alpha that will give me goosebumps. And this story had all of it. In spades!

Elena grew up in the mafia. She’s no stranger to the dark underbelly of made men and everything this life means for the women in their life. She’s the oldest daughter in a highly traditional family, but a mistake caused her to fall from grace. Now her younger sister is being promised to one of the most notorious and brutal dons while secretly in love with someone else. Elena is supposed to hate everything Nico means to her and her family now. But beneath the illusion she puts on, Nico makes her burn like no one else. His indifference and cold looks hide a sultry and dominating nature, but it’s a dangerous game they play with their intricate dance they play around each other.

Nico is just….GAH. Intense is an understatement. He may look indifferent to Elena, but he’s anything but. She tempts him and he hates her for it because he can’t have her. That doesn’t mean that he’d allow anyone else to have her, either. The man is possessive with a capital P. I loved his intensity almost as much as I loved the way he oozes sexuality from his every pore.

I wasn’t expecting to like Elena as much as I did. Docile heroines aren’t particularly my jam, but looks are deceiving with Sweet Abelli, because she’s certainly not as sweet or docile as she lets on. She’s not quite a tigress, but she’s not passive either. She gives as good as she takes when it comes to matching Nico barb for barb.

I suddenly knew I would lie, cheat, and steal for this man. I would burn the world for him. He was King of the Cosa Nostra. And he was all mine.

The sexual tension is off the charts here. A slow burn to beat all slow burns. GOD. It hurt so good. What I loved the most is that the author didn’t shy away from giving a dark and captivating view into her mafia world. The romance only added an intricate layer of appeal to an already captivating story.

The only quibble I had was a little too much repetitive internal dialogue from the heroine for my particular taste. But that aside, I was complete enraptured in this book. I am hooked, line and sinker on this series, and will be diving right into book two!

Review: In Peace Lies Havoc by Amo Jones

IN PEACE LIES HAVOC
Series:
Midnight Mayhem #1
Genre: Dark Romance
Author: Amo Jones
Release Date: November 5, 2019

My name is Dove Hendry.

𝘔𝘪𝘯𝘦 𝘪𝘴 𝘒𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘯 𝘈𝘹𝘵𝘰𝘯.

I was captured by darkness.

𝘚𝘩𝘦 𝘩𝘢𝘴 𝘢𝘭𝘸𝘢𝘺𝘴 𝘣𝘦𝘦𝘯 𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘴…

They groomed me for Midnight Mayhem. Like a trained possession, weak against their control.

𝘚𝘩𝘦 𝘩𝘢𝘴 𝘣𝘦𝘦𝘯 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘥𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘦𝘥 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘣𝘭𝘰𝘰𝘥 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘺𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘴. 𝘚𝘩𝘦 𝘫𝘶𝘴𝘵 𝘥𝘰𝘦𝘴𝘯’𝘵 𝘬𝘯𝘰𝘸 𝘪𝘵 𝘺𝘦𝘵…

But Midnight Mayhem was the stained glass that concealed a very dark culture.

𝘈 𝘤𝘶𝘭𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘴𝘩𝘦 𝘪𝘴 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘵𝘰 𝘣𝘦𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘰𝘧.

The Brothers of Kiznitch come in fours, and they’re not happy about me being hustled into their acts.

𝘖𝘳 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘸𝘦? 𝘊𝘢𝘳𝘦𝘧𝘶𝘭, 𝘓𝘪𝘵𝘵𝘭𝘦 𝘉𝘪𝘳𝘥. 𝘈 𝘸𝘢𝘳𝘯𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘪𝘴 𝘢 𝘸𝘢𝘳𝘯𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘢 𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘰𝘯…

Mind-tricks.

Stunts.

Deceit.

𝘗𝘰𝘸𝘦𝘳.

But there’s something uglier that has been haunting me for years upon years. So ugly that I have never seen it’s face. I never had to. I’d hear his whispers through my internal screams, feel his shadow brush against my nightmares. He was my the monster that tormented me.

𝘈𝘯𝘥 𝘮𝘢𝘺𝘣𝘦 𝘭𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘥 𝘶𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘳 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘣𝘦𝘥…

When I started Midnight Mayhem, his presence faded.

His whispers were silenced.

His shadow dissolving without a trace.

I wondered why that was.

𝘚𝘩𝘦 𝘥𝘪𝘥𝘯’𝘵 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘸𝘰𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘳 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘭𝘰𝘯𝘨…

AMAZON


This is neither a circus nor a carnival. This is what happens when the clock strikes twelve and all of the monsters you thought never existed expose themselves.”

Well, hot damn, I did not expect this. I’ve been eyeing Amo Jones books for too long, and the blurb of this one just spoke to me. The second I read the blurb for this book, I knew this would be my first book by this author. And you know what? I’m completely hooked.

The story was so completely out of left field, and everything I never knew I wanted. I don’t even know how to begin categorizing this story. Dark? Fantasy? A total and complete mindf*ck? All of the above? Suffice it to say I spent the better part of the first half asking myself what the hell I was reading and what in the ever loving hell was happening. The first half was one convoluted mindf*ck, but yet I couldn’t tear my eyes away. I was completely captivated and riveted to the pages.

Love is a battlefield, and my knight is a villain.

Dove has been through plenty in her young love. After brutally losing her parents, she’s coasted from foster home to foster home, and is now making ends meet as a stripper. Dance has always been a love of hers, and this is the one form of it she can allow herself. But her living and waking nightmare has been haunted by a shadow; a presence that’s as threatening as it is alluring and mysterious.

You see, when I was a little girl, a shadow chased me. An entity. Instead of stepping out from behind it to feel the sun against my skin, this shadow ruined every expectation I had of seeing the light.

Then suddenly the presence that she’s felt in the dark corners constantly watching her isn’t just a figment of her mind. It’s all too real, when she finds herself taken and thrown into the dark and mysterious world of Midnight Mayhem. It’s not a circus, it’s not a carnival, it’s something altogether other, and at the heart of it are The Brothers of Kiznitch. All four are darkly handsome and hauntingly dangerous, but only one of them makes her heart beat a different rhythm every time he glares in her direction; King.

Now here’s the thing, at first I questioned the connection between these two. Dove was too much of a pushover for my particular tastes. She would cave at the simplest push when it came to the brothers. There was a backbone somewhere there, and I was desperately hoping that she would let it show sooner rather than later. But as the puzzle pieces began to click in place around the 70% mark, I began to have one ah ha moment after another. All of the questions I had in the first half began to get answered and I couldn’t tear myself way.

Now I will say that because I’m ultimately a picky shit, I did come across one too many continuity issues that bothered me. There were parts that also just didn’t make sense. Like in on one page we learn that Dove barely speaks due to trauma in her past and in the next breath she’s revealing this trauma and explaining her symptoms in perfect detail to a perfect stranger…and then it never comes up again. It’s like she never had it to begin with.

But here’s the thing, at the end of the day, I just couldn’t bring myself to care less about any of this because I was completely enraptured by this story. Amo Jones is clearly one devious mind, and knows how to weave one screwed up tale. And for this reader? It’s absolute catnip.

King was the ultimate villain and the anti-hero that I loved to hate. He runs hot and cold. He’s dangerous and brimming with barely restrained violence. I couldn’t get enough of him. There’s plenty of secondary characters that were equally enigmatic that I can’t wait to learn more about in the next books.

As for this one, while it may not have been prefect, it was entertaining AF! With every detail that was revealed, I fell further and further under the spell of Midnight Mayhem. Now if total alphaholes aren’t your thing, this book probably won’t hit all the right spots for you. But it sure as hell did for me. Dove came more out of her shell in the last part of the story and her behavior in the beginning certainly made more sense.

Amo Jones, you’re an evil genius, and I for one can’t wait to see what that devious brain of yours will think up next!

Review: Stealing Beauty by Julia Sykes

STEALING BEAUTY
Series:
Captive #2
Genre: Dark Romance
Author: Julia Sykes
Release Date: January 15, 2019

Valentina loathes me as much as I despise her. That doesn’t stop me from kidnapping her, stealing her away for myself.

She was brought into my home when we were teenagers, her virgin body sold to my father to pay a debt. She was meant to be his plaything, but I claimed her innocence for myself.

Now, ten years have separated us, and hatred has festered in my heart. The girl I once loved is a stunning woman, and she thinks she belongs to someone else.

As the most notorious, sadistic drug lord on the west coast, I thrive on power and control. Her defiance tempts and torments me, and I’ll never tire of devising devious punishments to keep her in line. She can’t escape my cruel touch and harsh discipline.

No one will take her from me. I’ll kill anyone who tries.

Valentina was always meant to be mine. Nothing will stop me from possessing her, body and soul.

Note: Stealing Beauty can be read as a standalone dark romance novel.

AMAZON

I could be sadistic, but that didn’t mean I loved her any less. If anything, my love for her was so obsessive that it drove me to the brink of madness.

Oh, this was so deliciously dark and captivating. I’ll admit that I really read this series backasswards, like I normally do. I started with Pretty Hostage (book 3) and then dove into this one. And everything that I felt was missing for me in book three, this book had in spades.

Adrián was EVERYTHING. He was intense, brimming with barely restrained violence, and positively oozing sex. I loved everything about this man. His possessiveness and protectiveness that goes right along with his rough edges and anger. Adrián and Valentina have a history of love and betrayal, but he knows just one small piece of everything that Valentina has been through and survived at the hands of her “husband”.

Valnetina has lived through hell over the last few years. Given as payment for a debt to a violent and brutal man, the only peace she knew was in the company of handsome boy. But then that boy was gone and she was left with a monster. Now Adrián is back, he’s kidnapped her from her captor, but he’s determined to make her pay for sins that she hasn’t committed.

I really loved the way that this story played out. I loved watching Adrián fall harder and harder for Valentina. I loved that Valentina is still a warrior and survivor even after everything she’s been through. I loved the two of them together. And I loved the dark edges of this story. Everything weaved together perfectly to make this an absolute page turner. It was dark and dangerous, sexy and turbulent. It was everything I enjoy in a dark romance and I can’t wait for the fourth book in this sinfully addictive series!

Review: House of Scarlett by Meghan March

HOUSE OF SCARLETT
Series:
Legend Trilogy #2
Genre:
Contemporary Romance
Author:
Meghan March
Release Date:
December 10, 2019

New York Times bestselling author Meghan March continues the Legend Trilogy.

 

 

Gabriel Legend is unlike any other man I’ve ever met.

He came into my life like a hurricane, shattering all my assumptions and preconceived notions.

I wasn’t prepared for him. I wasn’t prepared for any of it.

But life doesn’t wait until you’re ready.

Whatever happens next, I know one thing for certain.

I will never be the same Scarlett I was before I met him.

House of Scarlett is the second book in the Legend Trilogy and should be read after The Fall of Legend, book one.

 

AMAZON | iBOOKS | B&N | KOBO | GOOGLE PLAY


Even if I don’t know how to be what she needs, I’m going to learn.


Know what I love more than a great alpha male? An alpha male that knows how to grovel. And after the epic f-up that Legend makes at the end of book one, you best believe that I wanted a good grovel. And boy did he deliver!

While the trilogy starts off slow, book two brought a much needed one two punch. Pun intended. Gabriel is working through all of the ways that he messed up with Scarlett. You get more insight into his tragic past while all of the puzzle pieces begin to click together even more.

We really get a deeper look into Scarlett in this one. I found myself much more connected to her character in this one than the previous book. Don’t get me wrong, she was fierce in the last book, but there’s something so endearing about seeing her work through the pain of what happened with Gabe along with plenty of daddy issues. You get to see her soft and vulnerable side here, as much as you see Gabe’s, and I loved that.

The chemistry between her and Gabe is absolutely incendiary in this book. I swear it just gets more and more potent and I couldn’t get enough of them. Gave really shows his sweet side here and it was the perfect balance to his badass alpha vibes. There’s still plenty of unanswered questions before the jaw dropping conclusion, that left me downright ravenous for the next book.

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

Sign up for Meghan’s newsletter and receive exclusive content that she saves for her subscribers:
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Review: Hook by Gina L. Maxwell

HOOK
Series:
Neverland #2
Genre: MM Romance
Author: Gina L. Maxwell
Release Date: October 29, 2019

Journey back to Neverland, NC with NYT & USA Today Bestselling Author Gina L. Maxwell as she turns your favorite villain into the hero you never knew you needed.

THEY CALL ME HOOK

I’m Captain of the Pirates; a villain by design and a loner by nature.

I don’t need anyone. More than that, I don’t want anyone. Especially Officer John Darling who insists on seeing the good in everything, including me. If there was ever any good inside of me, it was snuffed out long ago.

I’ve avoided him for years, but now I need his help to save my brother’s life and take down Fred Croc, the monster from my childhood and my current employer.

Now Darling is undercover in my crew, living in my loft and forever working out shirtless. Taking Croc’s operation down from the inside is dangerous as hell, but Darling’s probing gaze and the natural way he defers to my dominant side might just be the end of me.

But I’ve lived in the dark for too long, and no amount of light can save me. Not even one as bright as Johnathan Darling.

HE CALLS ME DARLING

I’m a Task Force Officer with the FBI; a protector of the innocent and a man in love with a villain.

Before I was even old enough to understand it, I had a crush on the broody teen called Captain Hook, following him around like a puppy and hoping he’d show me the slightest bit of attention.

He never did, though, not for years. Not until I became his only viable option for getting his crew member back and throwing Croc behind bars. Now he can’t ignore me, and he can’t hide the desire burning in his eyes when I sink to my knees, eager to serve my Captain however he needs.

But secrets are hard to keep in close quarters, and when I discover the darkness lurking in his past, eradicating the evil in Neverland is no longer my only mission. Come hell or high water, I’ll make Hook see that he’s never been the villain of this story…he’s the hero.

*Trigger Warning for readers sensitive to characters with sexual assault in their pasts. Please read the Author’s Note in the beginning of the book for more details.

AMAZON

He is my Captain. And for as long as he’ll have me, I am his.

If you know me or follow my reviews, than you already know just how much I love a good tortured hero. And let me tell you, it doesn’t get more tortured than James Hook. The man is tortured personified. He’s utterly broken in the most captivating way. The second he appeared on the pages of Pan, he stole the show, and I was counting down the days until I could get my hands on his story. I’ve read a few modern fairytale retellings, and I’ll say that this one stays pretty darn close to the details. I especially love the way that Gina incorporates little pieces of Peter Pan into this book. From the evil crime boss, Fred Croc, to his loudly ticking pocket watch, everything came together flawlessly.

Hook is the Captain, or essentially the boss of his merry band of bandits or pirates as he calls them. In order to save his little brother from the evil clutches of Croc, he made a deal with the devil, at the expense of his soul. From the very first, you know there’s something darker to Hook’s history, and while the author alludes to it in the first book, she throws you into the deep end of his painful past in this one. Hook is a man that you can’t help but love. You know that his callousness and hard exterior hides the soft heart of a wounded man that’s never known affection. Hook has known nothing but suffering, but he’ll take it ten times over in order to spare the others and his brother especially.

John Darling is a cop that has been crushing on Hook ever since they were boys and he followed his sister sneaking to the School of Lost Boys to see Pan. Now he’s a grown man and understands that the child’s crush he had runs much deeper. John is determined to bring Croc’s operation down, and he’s not above maneuvering Hook in order to set up his cover as his new pirate.

Now full disclosure, Gina does make a foreword letting the reader know to suspend your disbelief when it comes to procedural details of this book. I didn’t have any problems with that. But I did have one asshole reader moment over a detail that plagued me for the entire book. You have a cop working with the FBI that goes undercover to catch a ruthless crime boss, and he uses fake tattoos. Like the stuff that can flake off when he gets into a fight or sweats or showers. And try as I might, I just couldn’t get past it. I’m sorry, okay?! I love Gina’s words, but the struggle was real here. I was on the struggle bus for the entire undercover gig. I just couldn’t with this detail. I’m an asshole when it comes to certain details, and this just ate at me. Le sigh.

Having said that, it didn’t diminish my enjoyment of the book. The story that we get here is a beautifully and gripping, emotional and oh so steamy. Darling and Hook set the pages on fire with their chemistry. I absolutely loved them together. Gina treads the line of darkness by giving the reader just enough details of Hook’s past to build a devastating feel for why he is the way he is, without getting into the super gory details. She doesn’t spare your heart strings, though, and plays those like a violin. My whole heart!!!

I fell so hard for John and Hook’s story and romance and couldn’t get enough of them. I absolutely adored their road to a HEA and couldn’t have dreamed a better ending and epilogue. I’m so hooked on this series (see what I did there? *snorts*) and can’t wait for more!

Review: Lethal Balance by Cherise Sinclair

LETHAL BALANCE
Series: Sons of the Survivalist #2
Genre:
Contemporary Romance
Author:
Cherise Sinclair
Release Date:
November 26, 2019

His name means hunter.

Once the best assassin in black ops, Cazador is now the best at saving lives. His path has changed from seeking bloody vengeance to running a health clinic in Rescue, Alaska.

He will never again risk loving someone he can’t protect.

His mother and sister were murdered in front of him, his fiancée slaughtered in a war zone. Despite his popularity with women, he’s determined to remain unattached. His heart can bear no more loss.

Unfortunately, the universe isn’t listening.

First, his brother hires JJ, a fiery-haired, tough cop who lives on the edge of danger and has the biggest heart of anyone he knows. And then, his disreputable past returns in the shape of an adorable, foul-mouthed nine-year-old daughter. Now he has two loved ones to protect. An impossible task, because…

Life is dangerous. Especially in Alaska.

AMAZON

She needed to remember to keep her distance from Cazador, mentally and physically and every other way.

It doesn’t matter what genre it is, there’s one constant when it comes to Cherise Sinclair books: the woman can WRITE. Whether it’s writing tortured heroes with a heart of gold, or immeasurably strong heroines that are fully capable of fighting their own battles, Cherise just delivers each and every single time. This is a very different series from what I’m used to of hers. It’s a character driven contemporary with a splash of suspense and I’ve been in love with it since book one.

Lethal Balance brings the story of the second most tortured foster brother; Cazador. (I’m already dying for the most tortured, Hawk, to get his book. But I digress) Cazador became an orphan when he watched his beloved mother and sister get killed in front of his eyes when he was just a young boy. Later rescued from the system by an ex military survivalist, Caz grew up hard, but not without love. His foster siblings and father became the only family he needs. He’s refused to put his heart on the line for someone as vulnerable as a woman that he may not be able to protect. The lesson was further driven home when he lost his fiance in a war zone. Now he’s developed a rep in their small town as the love them and leave them type, but still women flock to him.

JJ has only ever wanted one thing; to be a cop. But when chauvinism in her police unit along with the egging on from her spiteful ex leave her questioning her safety while on duty, she has no other alternative but to turn to the small town in Alaska. Being hired on the police staff by Gabe, she soon discovers that not all men in power look down at women. She begins to see a life for herself in a place she last expected to find it in along with a man that she knows she needs to stay away from in order to shield her heart.

I love the fine balance of poignant and sensual that Sinclair creates in this story. Caz’s discovery of having a daughter melted my heart. I loved watching this rough and lethal man melt for his little girl and the way that he fought for her. I loved watching him fall slowly but surely for JJ. I loved the tie that binds the three of them together. And I absolutely loved watching their relationship blossom into something much more. The little girl was the perfect secondary character and I adored the parts we get in her POV. It broke and melted my heart all in one breath.

An emotional, heartwarming and sensual read that kept me glued to the pages from beginning to finish. I’m already itching for the next installment!

Review: The Beast of Beswick by Amalie Howard

THE BEAST OF BESWICK
Genre:
Historical Romance
Author:
Amalie Howard
Release Date:
November 26, 2019

The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare meets Taming of the Shrew in the start to a new Regency series from award-winning author Amalie Howard.

Lord Nathaniel Harte, the disagreeable Duke of Beswick, spends his days smashing porcelain, antagonizing his servants, and snarling at anyone who gets too close. With a ruined face like his, it’s hard to like much about the world. Especially smart-mouthed harpies―with lips better suited to kissing than speaking―who brave his castle with indecent proposals.

But Lady Astrid Everleigh will stop at nothing to see her younger sister safe from a notorious scoundrel, even if it means offering herself up on a silver platter to the forbidding Beast of Beswick himself. And by offer, she means what no highborn lady of sound and sensible mind would ever dream of―a tender of marriage with her as his bride.

AMAZON

Thane had never begged for a single thing in his life, but he’d drop to his knees for her in a heartbeat.

I usually hate when a blurb makes a comparison to another book that I adored. Because more often than not, it sets an entirely unrealistic expectation for the book that it never lives up for. But when it says that this is The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare meets Taming of the Shrew, it’s right on point. It’s like a historical Beauty And The Beast meets Duchess Deal if I were to describe it.

Now look, if you’re a die hard historical romance fan, I’ll warn you that this isn’t quite accurate as a true regency. It’s more of a modern spin on it, if I’m being honest. I didn’t mind this in the least, because the story had me so enraptured, I couldn’t be bothered to care. I will also say that if you’re a contemporary fan that wants to dip their toe in the historical romance pool, I can’t think of a more perfect book to start with.

Lady Astrid Everleigh is desperate to get out from her greedy uncle and aunt’s thumbs when she learns that they have agreed to a marriage of her younger sister to a man that was responsible for her public ruin. She’ll do anything to save her sister from the fate of being married to man with no scruples, even if it means that she’ll promise herself to a man far more fearsome. Lord Nathaniel Harte is the answer to all her troubles, if only he’d be more agreeable.

Thane isn’t known as the Beast of Beswick for no reason. He returns from the war horribly scarred, and with the disposition to match. He’s angry, grumpy, and a complete recluse. He just can’t fathom how a beauty like Astrid could truly want someone like him. There’s something about her that stokes his temper and fires his blood. She’s infuriating and beautiful, and it doesn’t take long for him to agree to a marriage in order to help. But the passion between them is no fake thing…

I don’t know who I loved more in this story, Thane or Astrid. Both of these characters were so perfect in their own way. Astrid with her sharp wit and even sharper tongue. Thane with his grumpy demeanor and underlying layer of vulnerability. Then you add in the electric secondary characters, and I was absolutely hooked. This was such a fun and sexy read that hit the spot for me just right. I’m a new fan of Amalie Howard, and will happily read any of her future books.

Review, Excerpt & Giveaway: Iron Crowne by CD Reiss

IRON CROWNE
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance
Author: CD Reiss
Release Date: November 15, 2019

A new enemies-to-lovers standalone.

Byron Crowne is a charming liar and a gorgeous monster.
I detest him.
I can’t resist him.
He’s awakened desires I didn’t know I had.
When he touches me, I need to fight him . . . and I need him to win.
Our one night stand bruises my skin and leaves dents in the walls, but the sheets aren’t the only thing we shred that night.
And suddenly, the stakes are higher than ever.

Olivia Monroe lights a fire in me that died a long time ago.
I’m a different man when I’m with her. I need to own her, take her, mark her as mine.
Everything changes when she might be pregnant and for the first time in my life…I’m powerless against this stubborn, untamable woman.
She’s the one in control and I have an impossible job:
Prove I’m worthy to be a father.

Download your copy today read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

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Narrated by: Elena Wolfe and Sebastian York

“Why should I sleep with you?” I cross-examined the witness. It was the only way to manage Byron.

He considered his cup as if committing to his goal, then studied the way my finger tapped the counter as if choosing a strategy, then pondered my face as he decided on his tactic.

“Because you’re wet already,” he said with a deep knowledge of what aroused women looked like. “Because you want what I can give you. Your head hasn’t even acknowledged it, but your body knows.”

“That’s—” I was going to end in a denial, but my nipples were hard. “—not relevant. You and I don’t make sense.”

“That’s correct.” He gulped tea. I left my cup on the counter, refusing the challenge. “We are a disaster. You despise me too much to want a relationship and just enough to turn you on. And from what I can tell, you don’t want to get involved enough to force an ethical quandary. So, if you agree in principal, I have a proposal.”

Agreeing in principle meant revealing how badly my body ached for him.

Disagreeing meant never satisfying that ache.

“I agree in principal.”

“My proposal is one night. One full night…”

I could commit to that, and I was about to when he continued.

“…where I own your body.”

“Wait.”

“You let me own you when we fuck. You come when I say. You obey me without hesitating. That’s what you want and you know it.”

My cheeks prickled, radiating the heat of my shame.

“No, then.” I pushed my cup away. “It’s never been like that. I’ve had three long relationships and a couple of flings but never—”

“—really enjoyed it.”

It was all lies… even when he spoke the truth, he lied.

He was a mixed message. A loophole in a rock-solid contract. The coexistence of lies and truths.


*looks around the room desperately*

Oh, excuse me. I can’t write my review right now. I’m too busy looking for my ovaries. Those suckers exploded about 40% into this book and I haven’t seen them since. I don’t know whether to send CD Reiss a thank you or my medical bill. I’m leaning towards the former, though, since the woman did give me Lord Byron. And oh hubbah hubbah! *insert drooling emoji here*

Oh how I’ve missed CD Reiss books. It’s been way too long since I indulged and this book really served as an incredible reminder about what made me fall in love with her writing in the first place. The woman can take pure filth and write it with poetic prose. She can also create some of the most enigmatic alpha men I’ve read to date. And let me tell you, it just doesn’t get more enigmatic than Byron Crowne.

Flattery is such a blunt tool, Mr. Crowne.”
“Call me Byron. Please.”
“You can call me Ms. Monroe.”

It’s no secret that I love me a good enemies to lovers romance and this one seriously delivered. You have two sharp witted adversaries pitted against each other in the line of their work. Olivia and Byron had an instant chemistry the second they appear on the pages together. Byron is everything I love in a good alpha; arrogant, demanding but with a shadowed painful past. Olivia is a woman after my own heart. She’s rabid when it comes to winning and pitted against the likes of Byron, the sparks fly immediately.

Friends, this story was hot. And I mean it was SERIOUSLY hot. Granted some of the descriptions were a tad out there for my persona tastes. But I couldn’t care less considering the story was riveting. Everything about this story sizzled; the characters like live wires drawn to each other while they both stand to lose everything.

But if you’re thinking there’s only one Crowne, you’re mistaken. There’s siblings. And I’m already rabid to get my hands on Logan’s book. But I digress. This book? Everything I could hope for from one of my favorite authors. A sizzling page turner that I absolutely devoured from beginning to end. I’m so here for this series, it’s not even funny. I can’t wait for more!

CD Reiss is a New York Times bestseller. She still has to chop wood and carry water, which was buried in the fine print. Her lawyer is working it out with God but in the meantime, if you call and she doesn’t pick up she’s at the well hauling buckets.

Born in New York City, she moved to Hollywood, California to get her master’s degree in screenwriting from USC. In case you want to know, that went nowhere but it did give her a big enough ego to write novels.

She’s frequently referred to as the Shakespeare of Smut which is flattering but hasn’t ever gotten her out of chopping that cord of wood.

If you meet her in person, you should call her Christine.

 

Connect with CD Reiss

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Review: Gypsy King by Devney Perry

GYPSY KING
Series: Tin Gypsy #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Devney Perry
Release Date: October 29, 2019

The former Tin Gypsy motorcycle club has everyone in Clifton Forge, Montana convinced they’ve locked their clubhouse doors and ripped off their patches. Everyone but Bryce Ryan. There’s more happening at the club’s garage than muscle car restorations and Harley rebuilds. Her instincts are screaming there’s a story—one she’s going to tell.

As the new owner of the small town’s newspaper, Bryce is hungry for more than birth announcements and obituaries. When a woman is brutally killed and all signs point to the Tin Gypsies, Bryce is determined to expose the club and their leader, Kingston “Dash” Slater, as murderers.

Bryce bests Dash match after match, disappointed her rugged and handsome opponent turns out to be an underwhelming adversary. Secrets are exposed. Truths defeat lies. Bryce is poised to win this battle in a landslide.

Then Dash breaks all the rules and tips the scales.

One kiss, and she’s fighting to save more than just her story. She’s fighting to save her heart from the Gypsy King.


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Regret was the driving force behind this Tin Gypsy story. Remorse was the reason it was so, so important.

I interrupt this very important review to bring you this breaking story:
“Blogger currently kicking her own butt for only now discovering the brilliance of Devney Perry”

Blogger was no available to comment as she was too busy mumbling about living under a rock and being a complete and total idiot. We assume that her next plan of action is to immediately purchase author’s entire backlist and plan a binge. More to come on this story later.

But all joking aside, holy moly! How is this my first book by this author? Because color me totally addicted. This series has completely hooked me and I’m desperate for more!

The second I saw the blurb for this book, I knew it would be my first book by Devney Perry. And let me tell you, I was not disappointed. There’s just something about a strong and sharp witted heroine that just does it for me. Bryce is back in her hometown after discovering that her career as a reporter wasn’t what she truly wanted. Her passion as a journalist returns working for her father’s newspaper. When she learns that Tin Gypsy, shut down their illegal doings years ago, she’s like a dog with a bone to learn the reason why they went legitimate. And when the president of Tin Gypsy is suddenly the main suspect in a brutal murder, she’s determined to break the story.

Dash is happily making a living as a mechanic and leaving the illegal life of Tin Gypsy behind. But then his father is arrested for murder and a sexy journalist is hounding his every step trying to learn his every secret. So what’s a man to do after going head to head with her doesn’t deter her? Work with her.

Dash and Bryce were absolutely sizzling together. The chemistry is instantaneous the second they meet. Bryce is sharp witted and determined and when her and Dash go head to head, sparks fly. What starts as an antagonistic relationship soon sparks into something much more as they investigate what really happened together.

I absolutely LOVED Dash. He’s this wonderful combination of alpha but with a sweet vulnerable side that you can’t help but connect with. Bryce may be tough, but she also hides a soft center that was incredibly endearing. I loved that she gave as hard as she got.

The mystery of the murder unfolds slowly, with plenty of twists and secrets along the way. The story is a bit slow paced in parts, and while it was a touch too slow for me in the mid mark, it picked up enough in the final half to more than make up for it. There’s quite a bit that happens here that doesn’t get fully resolved, so there’s definitely a continuous story arc in the series. I do wish that we got the closure here to make it a true standalone, but I can’t complain too much since I definitely plan to read the series religiously.

I fell in love with Devney Perry’s words and I’m a new fan! I plan on fully binging on her entire backlist, starting with Dash’s brother story in The Clover Chapel. Because second chance romance, YUM!


Devney is a USA Today bestselling author. 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 husband and two sons. 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. Devney loves hearing from readers! Connect with her on social media.

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Excerpt & Review: Reaper by Larissa Ione

REAPER
Series:
Demonica #19
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Author: Larissa Ione
Release Date: October 15, 2019

For love, he’ll watch the world burn.

For revenge, he’ll light the match.

New York Times bestselling author Larissa Ione returns to her fan favorite Demonica Series with REAPER, available now!

THE DEMONICA SERIES RETURNS…

He is the Keeper of Souls. Judge, jury, and executioner. He is death personified.

He is the Grim Reaper.

A fallen angel who commands the respect of both Heaven and Hell, Azagoth has presided over his own underworld realm for thousands of years. As the overlord of evil souls, he maintains balance crucial to the existence of life on Earth and beyond. But as all the realms gear up for the prophesied End of Days, the ties that bind him to Sheoul-gra have begun to chafe.

Now, with his beloved mate and unborn child the target of an ancient enemy, Azagoth will stop at nothing to save them, even if it means breaking blood oaths and shattering age-old alliances.

Even if it means destroying himself and setting the world on fire…

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Lilliana woke to someone tap dancing on her bladder.

Groaning, she rolled over and bumped into Azagoth. Pleasantly surprised that he was still in bed, she ignored her need to pee and curled up against him.

She’d missed this so much while she was gone.

“Good morning,” he murmured, his husky voice even more gravelly than usual.

“Morning.” She snuggled into his shoulder. “I’m surprised you’re not working.”

He yawned. “You wore me out last night.”

Smiling against his skin, she trailed her fingers along the hard ridges and deep valleys of his abs.

“I wanted to show you how grateful I was that you threw me a baby shower.” And she’d done it without getting too active. Eidolon couldn’t begrudge her one orgasm, right?

“Mmm.” He pressed a kiss into her hair. “You must have been very grateful.”

She slid her hand under the sheet and meandered her way to the curve of his hip. She might be a million months into her pregnancy, but her sex drive didn’t care in the least.

“I’m still grateful.”

He hissed as her knuckles brushed his shaft. “Not complaining.”

It truly had been sweet of him to gather together the denizens of Sheoul-gra for a big celebration of food, drink, and games in the traditions of people from the human, demon, and angelic cultures. She’d suffered two more bouts of intense nausea and some cramps, but they’d passed quickly. What hadn’t passed was Azagoth’s concern.

Which was probably why he was still in bed with her.

It was cute the way he hovered. Annoying at times, but cute.

“I just want you to know that you’re my life,” he said. “Without you, I’m a monster.”

“And what are you with me?”

He gave her a rare, boyish grin, made even more playful by his mop of bedhead. “A happy monster.”

“I’m very happy about the happy.” She rubbed her eyes and yawned.

“Things are good, Lil,” he said. “I never thought much about being a partner, let alone a parent, but I want to do these things with you.” He settled his hand on her belly and smiled with wonder. “This will be my first child born without a predetermined future. He or she can be anything. Do anything.”

“Incredible, isn’t it?” She pushed up on one elbow and leaned in to kiss his chest. She’d kissed every inch of him last night. Maybe she’d lick every inch of him this morning. “And our baby will be born to parents who love each other.”

Determined to show him how much she loved him, she kissed her way lower. Her lips whispered over his nipple, but before she could taste him, a cramp wrenched her insides. She sucked in a harsh breath, her hand going to her belly.

“What is it?” Azagoth jackknifed up, his expression dark with worry. “Is it the baby?”

Fierce heat swelled beneath the surface of her skin as her abdomen tightened. “I think it might be Braxton Hicks,” she said between panting breaths.

“What?”

“Cara had them.” Closing her eyes to stop the room from spinning, she eased back onto her pillow. “They’re like practice contractions.”

She didn’t remember Cara complaining about being hot and sweating buckets, though. Another cramp streaked through her, and she moaned. Cara had said they were painful, as if someone were squeezing her intestines.

This was more like someone was driving a red-hot blade through them.

“You’re white as a ghost, Lilli.”

Something’s wrong.

No, nothing was wrong. She was being paranoid.

Azagoth rested his palm on her forehead, testing her temperature. “Are these Hicks things supposed to be like this?”

She heard the panic in his voice but not the words. Her ears were buzzing. Her head was pounding. And, suddenly, a wave of agony wrapped around her and squeezed so hard she screamed. Vaguely, she heard Azagoth call out her name as a warm gush spread between her thighs.

“Lilliana? Lilliana!” His voice droned in and out as the room began to tilt. There was shouting. More pain. Her thoughts fragmented.

And then, finally…nothing.

 

For love, he’ll watch the world burn.
For revenge, he’ll light the match.

Holy christ on a cracker, that was intense!!! Wowza!

Admittedly I’m not a fan of additional books for characters that have already received their HEA, no matter how much I loved them. But that rule of mine goes out the window when Larissa Ione writes one. See, her and I have an understanding. If she writes it, I read it. Period. No exceptions. So when I saw that Azagoth will be getting another book, I don’t think I even blinked once before I jumped on it.

This is SO much more than just Azagoth’s book, though. If you haven’t read any of the other books in this series, I really don’t recommend starting with this one. It reads more like a saga and is not meant to be a standalone. There’s a lot of continuing story arcs that you get here and while the author does a great job reminding of past events for the reader, you simply won’t have the same appreciation for the events that happen here if you haven’t read the previous books and been introduced to some of the characters.

This was one epic book. It marks a somewhat story arc conclusion for one thing while launching a brand new story arc for what I’m hoping will be a brand new series (because OMG I need it to be!). If you’ve read Azagoth, then you’re familiar with Azagoth and his beloved mate, Lilliana. Throughout the last few books we got to see many things come to a head as Satan attempts to break free from his prison. Many of Azagoth’s children (Memitim) have been getting killed by a traitor that they can’t seem to identify. Well, the conclusion is one epic showdown with plenty of familiar faces making a cameo. There’s quite a few POVs but of course, the story arc of Azagoth and his mate is the center. A very pregnant Lili gets kidnapped by a dangerous enemy and Azagoth will do anything, kill anyone, and break every rule in Heaven’s handbook to get her back.

There’s so much that happens here that I can’t even begin to describe. But if you’ve read Azagoth’s book than you need to read this one. It’s an action packed thrill ride from beginning to finish. And that conclusion? Holy mother of mackerel! I am DEAD. If that’s the beginning of a new series, I’m desperate for more because GAH!!!!

Fans of Ione will not want to miss this epic conclusion!

Air Force veteran Larissa Ione traded in a career in meteorology to pursue her passion of writing. She has since published dozens of books, hit several bestseller lists, including the New York Times and USA Today, and has been nominated for a RITA award. She now spends her days in pajamas with her computer, strong coffee, and supernatural worlds. She believes in celebrating everything, and would never be caught without a bottle of Champagne chilling in the fridge…just in case. She currently lives in Wisconsin with her retired U.S. Coast Guard husband, her son, a rescue cat named Vegas, and her very own hellhounds, a King Shepherd named Hexe and a Belgian Malinois named Duvel.

 

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