#DGRFave & Review: Angry God by LJ Shen

ANGRY GOD
Series: All Saints High #3
Genre: New Adult Romance
Author: L.J. Shen
Release Date: February 18, 2020

Vaughn Spencer.
They call him an angry god.
To me, he is nothing but a heartless prince.

His parents rule this town, its police, every citizen and boutique on Main Street.

All I own is a nice, juicy grudge against him for that time he almost killed me.

Between hooking up with a different girl every weekend, breaking hearts, noses and rules, Vaughn also finds the time to bully little ole’ me.

I fight back, tooth and nail, never expecting him to chase me across the ocean after we graduate high school.

But here he is, living with me in a dark, looming castle on the outskirts of London.

A fellow intern. A prodigal sculptor. A bloody genius.

They say this place is haunted, and it is.

Carlisle Castle hides two of our most awful secrets.

Vaughn thinks he can kill the ghosts of his past, but what he doesn’t know? It’s my heart he’s slaying.

AMAZON

We were an unfinished business, personal and always walking the tight rope between love and hate.

Let’s talk about angst for a hot second here. Because this book? Mother. Of. All. Angst. Would you expect anything less from any kid of Vicious?

This book. This book was EVERYTHING. It’s not for the faint of heart. It was gritty, painful, and downright captivating. It was deliciously angsty and rip your hair out frustrating. It was all of the things. Full of depth and emotion, layered with an angst only Shen can deliver, and characters that you won’t be forgetting any time soon.

I knew that LJ was going to be saving the best for last, and she did not disappoint. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve loved the previous books, but there was just something about this one that felt different. it was…more. It was like a live wire under your skin the entire time you were reading it. We’ve seen glimpses of Vaughn in the previous books, and it’s no secret that the guy is all sorts of messed up. His story unravels all those layers to bring you to the heart of who he is. And who he is, is deep, multi-layered, and oh so broken.

I was born with an insatiable appetite for destruction.

What I loved most about this book is how the characters balance each other. Vaughn may be all sorts of screwed up, but Lenora doesn’t just take it lying down. She gives as good as she gets, and in some parts, even better. I loved that about her. The girl has grit. She’s got a spine of steal and a smart mouth to go along with it. The two of them together were instant sparks.

There’s a lot of back and forth and their road is definitely not an easy one. It’s angsty, gritty, and dark. And I do mean DARK. This book is much darker than the rest of the series and it definitely fits. But don’t go into it expecting butterflies and rainbows. Your heart will break. It will bleed. It will ache. And at the end you’ll be thankful for it.

Angry God was everything I hoped it would be and so much more. Shen has given us one of her most tortured heroes to date, and I was SO HERE FOR IT!!!

Jennifer & Lana’s Review: The Rules of Engagement by JT Geissinger

THE RULES OF ENGAGEMENT
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romcom
Author: JT Geissinger
Release Date: January 28, 2020

Love is a battlefield for a quirky matchmaker and the cocky football star who hires her to find him a wife.

As the owner of Perfect Pairings matchmaking service, Maddie McRae earns her living helping others fall in love. And one thing the sweet Southern belle knows for sure is that the foundation of wedded bliss is built on similarities: opposites might attract, but they don’t stay together.

Enter Mason Spark.

Rude, arrogant, and notoriously allergic to monogamy, the hottest quarterback in the NFL is Maddie’s polar opposite. He’s also her new client. Her gorgeous, infuriating new client who’s paying her an outrageous sum of money to find him a wife. With his multi-million dollar contract on the line due to his behavior on and off the field, bad boy Mason is willing to pretend to settle down.

But when he starts to fall for the adorkable matchmaker who can’t stand him, the playboy finds himself in the game of his life to keep something he never thought he’d lose—his heart.

Eyes blazing, she says, “You know, before I met you, I hadn’t argued with anyone in fifteen years.”
“Doubtful. That tongue of yours is way too sharp to be outta practice.”

OH MY GOD. My face actually hurts from smiling so much. This was the most fun I’ve had reading a book in a while. It had the perfect amount of humor all wrapped around witty and fun banter, all anchored by a sizzling slow burn romance that I couldn’t get enough of.

My mistake was presenting lovely, intelligent, gracious single women who desired to meet equally lovely, intelligent, gracious single men. What Mason Spark needs is a lady gorilla.

J.T. Geissinger is an auto-read author for me. I don’t even bother reading the blurbs to her books because I already know I’m going to read them. But when I saw she’s coming out with something different from her usual, you know I had to read the blurb. And when I read the blurb to this, it gave me total Match Me If You Can vibes. And in case it’s not obvious, I loved Match Me If You Can. Yet this is not exactly the type of trope you find often. Now don’t get me wrong, this book totally stood out in its own unique right, and it hit every spot I never even knew I had.

It’s too bad the man has the personality of a chupacabra, because he’s actually very good-looking.

Mason is a football superstar, and a royal grump. I’m talking the king of grumps here. He’s a bit of a recluse and the only kind of woman he likes is a temporary one. But his agent is convinced that the only thing that would pull his terrible rep out of the pits of hell is a woman. Or a wife specifically. There’s just one problem, Mason has the temperament of a bear with a thorn in his paw. In comes Maddie, matchmaker extraordinaire. She’s a little prissy, a lot proper, with souther charm, a love of pink and mouth full of sass. The two of them set off instant fireworks, and so begins the best banter of all time.

Mason doesn’t believe in love where Maddie loves love. She’s determined to find Mason the perfect woman while he’s convinced she doesn’t exist. They snipe and snarl at each other at every step, and soon Maddie realizes that Mason doesn’t just need a matchmaker, he needs a dating coach. And off they go. You guys. These two had some of the funniest, cutest, and witty banter I’ve read in a while. The two of them set the pages on fire with their chemistry. And yet the slow burn sizzled so good, it actually made my ovaries hurt. True story.

Maddie is the perfect southern belle to Mason’s grump. GOD. He was so grumpy. I loved him. I loved her even more. Enter the most perfect secondary characters with Maddie’s aunt and Mason’s agent, and everything was just GAH. I couldn’t get enough of this story. Like I never wanted it to end. It was the cutest, quirkiest, sassiest, swooniest thing EVER. SO stinking good. If you’re looking for a lighthearted, witty, and feel-good romcom, this will hit every spot for you. TRUST ME.


JENNIFER’S REVIEW

This book is a super sweet read with a big dollop of sexual tension. It was sexual tension at first sight! It had me grinning through the whole thing, and I enjoyed every second of it.


Mason.

He is just so grumpy! And delicious! I love him! He’s got some PR issues, so his manager connects him with a matchmaker. He doesn’t want one, but he goes along with it. From the moment he meets Maddie, there are sparks and chemistry and delightful frustration. Mason has some anger management to deal with (along with basic dating etiquette), and Maddie is there to keep him in check and determined to find the right match for him, despite all of his outward emotional flaws.

Maddie.

She runs a matchmaking business and believes in true love. She’s got the sexy librarian look going on, but she is a tough pink cookie. Despite Maddie being the polar opposite of Mason, she still sees the good in him. She goes toe-to-toe with him in every verbal battle, and I loved her.

Mason and Maddie have both been hurt in the past in different ways (I appreciate that the author didn’t spend too much time on this), which makes them connect on a deeper level and need each other that much more.

It’s the perfect haters to lovers romance. The sweet sexual tension. The slow burn. I’m not usually a fan of slow burns, but this one had me hooked and I just couldn’t stop reading because of all the grinning.

I’ll read anything J.T. writes.

p.s. I didn’t care for the multiple points of view (match-making behind the scenes). It was cute, but it just wasn’t for me.

J.T. Geissinger is a bestselling author of emotionally charged romance and women’s fiction. Ranging from funny, feisty rom coms to intense, edgy suspense, her books have sold more than one million copies and been translated into several languages.

She is the recipient of the Prism Award for Best First Book, the Golden Quill Award for Best Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, and is a two-time finalist for the RITA® Award from the Romance Writers of America®. She has also been a finalist in the Booksellers’ Best, National Readers’ Choice, and Daphne du Maurier Awards.

Her first novel was published in 2012. Since then she’s written eighteen more novels. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, drinking wine, surfing the internet, and daydreaming about all the things she’s going to be when she grows up. She lives near the beach in Los Angeles with her husband and deaf/demented rescue kitty, Ginger.

Connect with J.T. Geissinger

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#DGRFave & Review: The Third Best Thing by Maya Hughes

THE THIRD BEST THING
Series: Fulton U #3
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult, Sports Romance
Author: Maya Hughes
Release Date: January 30, 2020

Dear Letter Girl, I need to see you. When can we meet?

Her response never came. My secret pen pal with a dirty mind has ghosted me. I’ve roped Jules, my sweet as pie next door neighbor, to help me track her down.

There’s only one problem–I’m falling for her. The tortoise shell glasses, out of this world curves and delicious treats are making the search for The Letter Girl even harder.

My notes were supposed to be a one time thing.

A little too much wine and naughty thoughts on a winter’s night. I never thought Berk would write back. I wanted to tell him it was me, but the fear of rejection kept my lips sealed.

Now he’s enlisted my help to track down The Letter Girl and our search has him hot on my, ahem, her trail.

She’s the girl next door.

He’s my secret pen pal.

Truth is on a collision course with their hearts and it’s only a matter of time before one of them gets wrecked…

She was an indescribable kind of perfect for me. The kind that made my heart ache that I’d only just found her and was ready to get down on my knees so I didn’t have to wait another day without knowing her beauty.

Be. Still. My. Heart.
It’s so full right now. I can’t stop grinning. This book was one of the most satisfying, feel-good, keep you swooning from beginning to finish kind of reads. My absolute favorite in the series and favorite Maya Hughes book to date!! It was, simply, EVERYTHING. Like all of the things. Perfection between the pages. I never wanted it to end.

Everything about her made me want to never let her go. She was the kind of woman I’d dreamed of one day being at my side. Beautiful. So warm and caring, and with a hint of a potty mouth.

Berk has been one of the most fun secondary characters in this series. He’s the goofball that always has an easy smile on his face. But you just know that beneath the smiles and easy going attitude there are some hidden layers, and boy were those deep. As a hero, this man was beyond multi-layered. Berk is a character with a tremendous amount of depth. he’s a guy that hides his pain and difficult childhood behind easy smiles and fun loving attitude. But beneath the college football superstar persona, is just a boy that wants love.

Jules has been crushing on Berk for over a year. What first started as a way for her to get her feelings out by writing him anonymous letters, soon turned into more when they began to write each other. But while Jules knows exactly who the letters are going to, Berk only knows her as the mysterious Letter Girl that he’s desperate to know the identity of. Living next door to each other they develop a sweet friendship. And while Berk adores Jules for everything that she is, Jules struggles with self esteem issues and can’t imagine someone like Berk ever going for someone like her.

I have to say that I loved both of these characters so much. Both Berk and Jules were incredibly multilayered with their own broken pieces. I loved how they filled in the broken pieces for each other in their friendship. I loved seeing Jules through Berk’s eyes, and I loved even more watching their friendship blossom into something so much more. Berk is a hero that’s simply impossible not to love. He’s vulnerable and tough, and oh so endearing.

Jules, even though her crazy family has certainly added to a lot of her self esteem issues is still a tough cookie. I loved watching her grow into herself throughout the book. She’s not a damsel and I loved that about her. And together? GAH. PERFECTION. I couldn’t get enough of the two of them. If you’re looking for a New Adult romance that has one of the most memorable friends to lovers tropes I’ve ever read, you need this book in your life. I’m addicted to this series. Simply addicted.


ALSO AVAILABLE IN THE FULTON U SERIES

And FREE to Read with Kindle Unlimited
#1 The Perfect First
US: https://amzn.to/2uU4n96
 #2 The Second We Met
US: https://amzn.to/31hczw4

Maya Hughes can often be found sneaking in another chapter while hiding in the bathroom from her kids! 🙂 I’m a romance writer who loves taking inspiration from everyday life, namely my husband and biggest fan. Inspiration also strikes when I hear a song, meet someone new or daydream while at soccer practice.
I’m the mom of three little ones, the wife to an amazing husband and also work full time. Some of my favorite things are cinnamon rolls, white wine, laughing until I can’t breathe and traveling with my family.

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#DGRFave & Excerpt, Review & Giveaway: A Favor for a Favor by @helenahunting

A FAVOR FOR A FAVOR
Series: All In #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Sports
Author: Helena Hunting
Release Date: January 28, 2020

From the New York Times bestselling author of Pucked and A Lie for a Lie, a new stand-alone romance about trading favors, battling wills, and winning love.

When I joined Seattle’s NHL expansion team, I thought it was the start of something great. But nothing ever goes the way you expect. Take my introduction to my new neighbor. She came rolling in on the hot mess express at midnight, making a racket while she tried to get into my team captain’s apartment. Did I mention that he’s married to a woman who definitely was not her?

Imagine my surprise when I end up with an injury that has me out of the game for weeks, and she’s the one to offer to help me. I should probably add that she’s not the captain’s mistress. She’s his sexy, pastel-haired younger sister.

So we come up with an arrangement: she rehabs me so that I can get back on the ice sooner, and she can add a professional athlete that isn’t her brother to her client list. Seems simple enough. As long as I can keep my hands to myself and my hormones in check.

AMAZON

“Say you were taking a woman to a formal work function. Would you get her flowers or something?” I’ve gone on my fair share of dates, had a few relationships, but I’ve never been one for hearts and flowers or any of that bull. I’m thinking I might need to do that with Stevie, though, since she’s been screwed over pretty hard.“Is this a date or a favor for a friend?”

“I guess she thinks I’m doing her a favor.” At least that was the impression that I got when I offered to go with her.

“Is that actually what you’re doing?”

“Yes and no.”

“Can you give me a little more to go on?”

“Her ex is going to be there and I don’t want her to go alone.”

“You don’t want her to go alone because you’re worried he’ll be a jerk or he’ll try to take advantage of her?”

“Sure, yeah, that’s part of the reason.”

“Instead of me dragging the information out of you, why don’t you lay it down for me?”

“So, Stevie—”

“Hold up, we’re back to Rook’s little sister?”

“Who else would I be talking about?”

“I thought you said there isn’t anything going on between you, and now you’re taking her to some kind of work function? That’s not a favor; that’s a date. Does Rook know?”

“It’s none of his damn business.”

“I’m not sure he’ll see it that way.”

“Well, he doesn’t have control over her or what she does, or what I do.” I’m agitated now. “She’s not going to that thing alone. I don’t trust that ex of hers, and I don’t want her to end up in a situation she doesn’t like.”

Kingston tips his head to the side. “Dang.”

“What?”

“You like her.”

“Well, yeah, I like her.” What’s not to like? She’s gorgeous, and she’s funny and feisty; her body is rockin’; and she’s fun to be around, super chill, and genuinely selfless.

“Like you actually want to date her, though.”

I shrug, because what am I going to say? The answer to that is yes, I want to date her, but the timing needs to be right. “I don’t want the ex thinking he has another chance.“

“You really love complicated situations, don’t you?”

“They just tend to find me, is all.”

“When’s this event you’re supposed to take her to?” King asks.

“Saturday.”

He frowns. “We get back at noon on Saturday.”

“It’s in the evening.”

“You better hope our flight isn’t delayed.”

I hadn’t considered a delay. The only reason that would happen is if the weather isn’t good. “It doesn’t start until five. I should have plenty of time to get home and throw a suit on.”

Kingston nods and taps restlessly on the edge of the pool. “So would you call this your first date?”

“We hang out all the time.”

“‘Hang out’ meaning what?”

“Other than PT sessions, we watch hockey, eat pizza, stuff like that.”

Kingston blinks several times in rapid succession. “That’s it?”

“I pick her up from work a lot.”

“Have you ever bought her flowers before? Brought her any gifts?”

“I brought her over an aloe plant once. But, like I said, it hasn’t been like that.” I don’t get why he’s so hung up on the flowers.

“Again, please try not to take offense, but are you sure you haven’t inadvertently put yourself in the friend zone?”

“How do I know if I’m in the friend zone?” I haven’t had a lot of friends who are girls. Actually, I don’t think I’ve ever had a friend who’s a girl who isn’t related to me. And I only have two female cousins, whom I see a couple of times a year at family functions. They’re significantly younger than me, so mostly I avoid them.

It’s Kingston’s turn to blow out a long breath. “If you put your arm around her and she gets all snuggly but doesn’t try to take it any further, it could mean you’re in the friend zone.”

I don’t know what my expression must be, but the panic I feel inside quite possibly reaches my face. I feel like it should be obvious that I’m interested. A guy doesn’t spend endless hours with a gorgeous woman who combines weird pizza toppings for shits and giggles. But then again, I haven’t attempted to make a move on her since the almost-kiss. And any conversation I’ve tried to have with her about it has been shut down. In fact, she wants to pretend it didn’t happen. I hadn’t considered that this might be because she actually didn’t want it to happen at all. She seemed just as into it as I was. Or maybe I’ve been misreading the whole thing. “If I’m in the friend zone, how the hell do I get out?”

I need you to stop touching me!” It’s stupid because I’m still holding on to her, not the other way around.
“Why are you yelling at me?” she shouts back.
“Because you’re half-undressed in my tub,and I’m a guy, and apparently my dick is a fucking sadist. It honestly feels like my balls are on fire right now. A semi has literally never been this painful.” “Well, close your damn eyes and think about dead things.”

FAVORITE. HELENA HUNTING BOOK. EVER.

How do you even top this? This book was EVERYTHING. The blurb was amazing but it didn’t even begin to do this justice. I loved the first in the series, but this story just owned me. It was enemies to lovers with a slow burn to beat all slow burns. It was full of banter and humor and all of the sizzle. GAH! I seriously can’t right now with all of my feels!!

These two were easily my favorite characters that Helena Hunting has created to date.

Stevie is RJ’s younger sister from A Lie for a Lie. She’s feisty, sharp-witted, and currently trying to move on from walking in on her boyfriend having sex with another woman in their bed. The bed in the apartment they just moved into together. The apartment that they got because of a job they both got and will be working together at. Good times. As she runs away to lick her wounds, looking a hot mess, her brother offers up his condo to her. So of course as fate would have it, what happens when everything that can go wrong does and you’re looking a hot mess trying to get the key to work to your temporary new gigs? You run into your ridiculously good looking but terribly tempered neighbor.

To say that these two get off on the wrong foot would be a serious understatement. While Stevie is dealing with her new normal, she now has to deal with her grumpy new neighbor that happens to assume that she’s his married teammate’s sidepiece. So suffice it to say, he’s not that happy to see her. No matter that the relationship between RJ and Bishop is antagonistic at best.

These two begin an intricate dance of antagonism laced with enough sexual tension to set their condo building on fire. It’s enemies to lovers at it’s very best. With amazing banter, sizzling chemistry, and all of the funny barbs and one-liners. When Bishop gets dangerously hurt during a game, he’s desperate to get back on his feet. And then Stevie offers him her help. She’s a physiotherapist specializing in sports therapy. It’s a great arrangement. A favor for a favor. She’d help get him back on the ice, and he’d give her the chance to work with her first professional athlete and make a name for herself without her brother’s help. Thus begins an even more intricate dance of denying their chemistry as they’re forced in tight quarters and to be around each other a lot more often.

Bishop was such an amazing hero. This man is brooding, and while looks are deceiving, he’s not the typical man-whoring athlete. He takes care of his younger brother and focuses on his career. He has no time for a woman, until one quite literally stumbles into his life.

This was such a delicious story. I don’t even have all of the words to describe how good. The chemistry was incendiary, the humor was on point, and the story was addictive. Pure perfection on pages. I can’t recommend it enough. If you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t read a Helena Hunting book yet, then this is the perfect one to hook you with!

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Helena Hunting lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. Helena writes everything from contemporary romance with all the feels to romantic comedies that will have you laughing until you cry.
 
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Review: The Maddest Obsession by Danielle Lori

THE MADDEST OBSESSION
Series: Made #2
Genre: Contemporary, Mafia Romance
Author: Danielle Lori
Release Date: April 15, 2019

She fears the dark.
He rules it.

Her dresses are too tight, her heels too tall. She laughs too loudly, eats without decorum, and mixes up most sayings in the book. Little do most know it’s just a sparkly disguise, there to hide one panic attack at a time.

Nobody can crack Gianna’s facade . . . no one anyway, until hecomes along.

Most see a paragon of morality; a special agent upholding the law. In the New York underworld, others know him as a hustler, a killer, his nature as cold as the heart of ice in his chest. Christian Allister has always followed the life plan he’d envisioned in his youth, beneath the harsh lights of a frigid, damp cell. With a proclivity for order and the number three, he’s never been tempted to veer off course. But perhaps one should never say never . . .

One winter night and their lives intertwine. She hates him—his stone-cold demeanor, his arrogance and too-perceptive eye—but over the years, even as their games consist of insulting each other’s looks and intelligence, she begins to live to play with him.

Nowhere in Christian’s plans had he ever prepared for Gianna. She’s chaos embodied, not his type, and married, but none of that can stop his eyes from following her wherever she goes.

All along, she doesn’t even know that she’s his—his frustration, his fascination.

His maddest obsession.

AMAZON

If you ran, Gianna . . .” The words were malicious yet somehow as soft and desperate as sex in a war-torn field. He pressed his lips to my ear. “I would find you.”

Where has this book been all my life?!!!! I’m talking about all of my favorite book crack in one story here, people! And it’s amazingly written. And it’s set in a world that I can’t get enough of. And it had Russian that was 100% correct. So for me, this was the holy grail of reads. Because let’s be honest here, I’m a ridiculously picky shit when it comes to Russian in books. But I digress.

Now I thought that I loved The Sweetest Oblivion, but nothing could prepare me for how obsessed I was going to be with this book. Ha! See what I did there? Ok, that was weak, but whatever. You see where I’m going here. The Maddest Obsession was addictive, enrapturing, and all consuming. One of those stories that you read that stay with you.

His eyes were what nightmares were made of, ice and fire, and filled with secrets no one wanted to know. He could only pass as normal because of his too-handsome face—otherwise, he’d be locked up somewhere, the world seeing him for what he really was.

A story with characters that are so vivid and unique, that they’re impossible to forget. And Gianna and Christian were definitely impossible to forget.

We all searched for strength in life. Unfortunately, mine just happened to lie at the end of a line of powder.

First of all, I highly recommend that you read The Sweetest Oblivion first. There are parts of the story here that run parallel to the events in the first one that are spoilers. You would certainly have a better appreciation for all the characters, if you read the series in order.

I was making a deal with the devil. And I couldn’t even find the grace to save myself.

If you read book one, then you definitely remember Gianna. Gianna grew up in the mafia life, and as such, she’s certainly been quickly broken of her innocence and nativity. She used to be Nico’s stepmother, while young enough to be his sister. Her husband’s infidelity and inability to care for anyone other than himself has ultimately broken her. She’s disillusioned by life and her role in it, and finds her oblivion in the additional hit of coke. But in her world, you don’t marry for love, and she’ll never put her heart on the line again.

He was cool, icy control. But something burned hot beneath the surface. Something shrouded by ice for so long. I wanted to watch it melt. To unravel him until I understood every layer. I knew it was dangerous. I even knew I wouldn’t win. But sometimes, even the best gambler doesn’t know when to quit.

If you thought Nico was intense, nothing can prepare you for the full effect of Christian. The man is a dark enigma. He’s cruelty and obsession all wrapped in one of the most deceptively handsome packages. A crooked fed that’s a law onto himself. He takes orders from no one, not the FBI, not the mob, and definitely not women. He has a rule of three when it comes to his lovers, and no one has ever tempted him to break his icy control.

It’s immediate sparks when Gianna first notices Christian. Their story spans many years, from her first husband to ultimately her second. Their relationship is complex game of cat and mouse, chock full of sexual tension, and witty barbs. They hate each other, seemingly. But beneath the glares and insults, there brews something intense and fiery.

I loved this story beyond words. Gianna was such a broken and imperfect heroine, and I couldn’t get enough of her. She may appear broken, but she has the heart of a lioness. She’s smart, strong, and gives as good as she takes. The woman has been through hell and back in her young life, but she doesn’t let it break her. She’s just shattered in parts.

Christian was just….GAH. My god. The man was everything. Intensity oozes from his every pore, almost as much as his sexuality does. And the two of them together? Sweet mother of all that’s holy. They’re incendiary.

The story was twisty, dark, and full of grit. It was a page turner, edge of your seat sort of read that I couldn’t bear to put down for even a second. This is a book that I would recommend for all mafia romance lovers out there. If you haven’t been introduced to Danielle Lori’s brand of awesome, you’re definitely missing out.

#DGRFave & Review: Love Her or Lose Her by Tessa Bailey

LOVE HER OR LOSE HER 
Series: Hot & Hammered 2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Tessa Bailey
Release Date: January 14, 2020

New York Times bestselling author Tessa Bailey returns with a unique, sexy romantic comedy about a young married couple whose rocky relationship needs a serious renovation.

Rosie and Dominic Vega are the perfect couple: high school sweethearts, best friends, madly in love. Well, they used to be anyway. Now Rosie’s lucky to get a caveman grunt from the ex-soldier every time she walks in the door. Dom is faithful and a great provider, but the man she fell in love with ten years ago is nowhere to be found. When her girlfriends encourage Rosie to demand more out of life and pursue her dream of opening a restaurant, she decides to demand more out of love, too. Three words: marriage boot camp.

Never in a million years did Rosie believe her stoic, too-manly-to-emote husband would actually agree to relationship rehab with a weed-smoking hippy. Dom talking about feelings? Sitting on pillows? Communing with nature? Learning love languages? Nope. But to her surprise, he’s all in, and it forces her to admit her own role in their cracked foundation. As they complete one ridiculous—yet surprisingly helpful—assignment after another, their remodeled relationship gets stronger than ever. Except just as they’re getting back on track, Rosie discovers Dom has a secret… and it could demolish everything.

AMAZON

I’ll do anything you ask me to do,” he said in a gravelly voice. “Except walk away.”

*Flails happily*
Y’all. This book. I can’t even right now.
I think this may be my favorite Tessa Bailey book to date. And that’s something something considering I’ve devoured the woman’s entire backlist.

The second Rosie and Dom appeared on the pages of Fix Her Up as secondary characters, I could practically taste the tension between them. I was dying to get my hands on their book, so the very second this landed in my grabby little hands, I devoured it in one delicious sitting. I couldn’t bear to put it down for even a second.

This was…I don’t even have words. Perfection! Swoony, sexy, and brimming with feels. It was everything I wanted in their story and yet so much more.

Rosie and Dominic are high school sweethearts. They fell in love fast and hard when they were teenagers. But as adults, that love is no longer enough to hold the pieces of their marriage together. Lack of communication, too many things left unsaid, too many assumption have all come together to leave Rosie feeling empty. She misses the man her husband used to be. Their marriage is crumbling around them and she has no idea how to hold it together.

All Dom ever wanted was Rosie. This is an inevitable fact and something that’s a constant in his life that will never change. So when his beloved wife tells him he’s leaving, he knows that he’ll do absolutely anything to save their marriage, and he’s not above fighting dirty. Withhold their physical connection until she agrees to come back to him? Check! Agree to see a quirky and borderline crazy marriage counselor? Check! Take every opportunity to remind her just why the fell in love? Check and CHECK.

GOD. You guys. I don’t even know how to begin to describe this to you. Dom was easily one of my favorite Bailey heroes. He’s a little troubled and a lot obsessed with his wife. He’s a dirty talking god, even if he doesn’t have much to say in his day to day. He’s quite, broody and intense. But the man is captivating and practically sizzling with sexual chemistry.

Rosie was perfection, too. This is not a woman that blames their crumbling marriage on her husband only. She takes full accountability for her faults as they fight to work through their issues. Add into this a kooky counselor, favorites from the previous book, and a brand new hero introduced to drive Bethany insane and I was HOOKED. Line and sinker. I was glued to the pages. Riveted. Captivated. And utterly charmed. I loved this story from beginning to finish. With the glimpses of the hate lust between Wes and Bethany, I’m already gagging for the next book. But if you’re looking for a swoony, sexy, and totally charming second chance romance, look no further. SO GOOD.

Review: Dangerous Games by J.T. Geissinger

DANGEROUS GAMES
Series:
Dangerous Beauty #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: JT Geissinger
Release Date: November 19, 2019

The epic conclusion to the thrilling Dangerous Beauty series.

The game isn’t over until somebody dies.

Eva knows what it’s like to be imprisoned by a man’s twisted obsessions. But after running, hiding, and finding refuge in a rescuer’s arms, she’s suddenly pulled back into the black hole of her past. Kidnapped by her sadistic ex, Dimitri, and with the love of her life left for dead, Eva is facing down the worst of her demons alone.

If Dimitri wants to play sick games, Eva’s ready. She already knows how dark they can get. But despite her fears, she hasn’t been abandoned. Naz is in hot pursuit. And the last thing Dimitri expects is for a dead man to come calling. For Eva and Naz, worlds apart yet bound by fierce and unbreakable passion, it’s time to beat the devil.

To do it they’ll have to be just as ruthless, seductive, and cunning. With every pulse of the heart, they must risk it all to play Dimitri’s final game to its harrowing end—and win.

PART 3 OF 3 (Not a standalone)

AMAZON

I once thought love was a foolish fancy. Like self-pity, something I couldn’t afford. But then I met a man who taught me that love isn’t foolish, it’s necessary. Elemental. The one thing without which we cannot truly live.

Talk about your epic conclusions! This book was EVERYTHING.

I am not a trilogy reader. I tend to grow bored with the characters or find that one or two of the three books are stretched out fillers. I’m a picky a-hole is basically what I’m trying to tell you here. So I don’t tend to gravitate towards trilogies much these days. But when it comes to JT Geissinger’s books, we have an unspoken rule; she writes it, I read it. Period. But let me now tell you, if ever there was a story that was MEANT to be a trilogy, this was it. Each book packs its own punch and reveals a new layer, and I can’t imagine it having the same effect had it been written as one standalone.

I was equally anticipating and dreading the conclusion to Naz and Eva’s story. It’s rare where the conclusion lives up to the promise of the story for me. But this one not only lived up to it, it exceeded any and all expectations that I had. It was EPIC.

What I love about Eva’s character is that she’s a survivor through and through. She’s been brutalized at the hands of an evil man for over 7 years, but she didn’t let that define her. She’s no one’s victim. She’s fierce and a warrior and this book just proved how much. There is nothing that I love more than a fierce heroine that doesn’t need a knight in shining armor to ride in to save the day. This was very much Eva’s book and I LOVED that.

Everything comes to a head here when Eva ends up back in the clutches of Dmitri, the man she’s tried to outrun for too long. She knows that she’ll do anything to protect the man she loves, even if it means that walking right back into the lion’s den. This book proved just how much of a survivor Eva is. It also showed that even after everything that she’s been through, it didn’t change her heart. Geissinger throws you right into the deep end without sparing a detail. You get to experience the pain, darkness and evil right along with her.

While Eva is going through hell, Naz is going through his own. I don’t want to tell you much here and spoil anything, but I will say that while the romance is mostly predominant in book 2, it’s put on a bit of a back burner here. Eva’s survival and journey takes center stage and I loved that. There’s still plenty of emotional and romantic elements here, it’s just not the front runner.

This was a heart pounding, action packed conclusion that was an absolute page turner!! The perfect conclusion to an addictive trilogy that I loved from beginning to finish. I am also willing to beg on my knees for a book for Killian because OMG!!!! KILLIAN. GAH. This man and enigma steals the show with his every small appearance. I NEED his story. NEED IT DESPERATELY.

Jennifer’s Review: Nothing But Wild by @PDanAuthor

NOTHING BUT WILD
Series: Malibu University #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: P. Dangelico
Release Date: December 15, 2019

Dallas Van Zant.

Water polo god.

Shameless flirt.

Beautiful disaster in the most literal sense of that label.

Trust me, it’s not hyperbole. He’s in big trouble with the law.

What does this have to do with me, you ask? Unfortunately, a lot. For some reason, which I still can’t quite wrap my brain around, I’ve been talked into driving him around as part of his plea deal.

Problem is, he makes me nervous. I’m not good with people, men in particular, popular athletes especially. I’ve worked really hard to get my disability under control and one minute in his company and all my hard work flies out the window.

To top it all off, I promised myself that I was going to make some serious changes this year. I’m tired of feeling awkward around boys. I’m tired of never having had a boyfriend. I’m tired of being lonely. And he’s wrecking my plans.

But I’m also not the type to turn away a person in need. So I’ll do what I must to help him out.

I’ll just pretend that I’m not enjoying his company. And I’ll ignore the fact that he’s sweet and funny. And I’ll tell myself every day that he’s out of my league.

Because I’m as inexperienced as they come. And Dallas Van Zant is nothing but wild.

AMAZON | iBOOKS | KOBO | B&N

Dora“What d-do you t-think you’re doing?”

“Watching out for you.”

“Hardly, y-you’re trying to r-ruin my good time!” I shout over the music. Taking my arm, he tugs me away, off the dance floor, and leads me to the wall on the far side where it’s only slightly quieter.

Leaning a shoulder against the wall, he crosses his arms and the t-shirt he’s wearing pulls tight, showcasing the complex network of muscles and veins of his arms. Thirsty. I’m very thirsty all of a sudden.

Next, his blue gaze goes soft and sensual. If he thinks I’m going to capitulate that easily, he’s seriously delusional.

“I have a deal for you.”

Not what I was expecting but whatever. “I d-don’t n-need a deal.”

“You don’t know what the deal is. How could you know you don’t need it?”

“Because I d-don’t n-need or want anything from you.”

“Well that’s not very fair. You haven’t even heard my proposal yet. How do you know you don’t want something you don’t know?”

“You’re not going to l-leave me alone tonight, are you?”

“Not until you hear what I have to say.”

“Fine. G-G-Get on with it so I c-can get back to dancing.”

“Let me be your wingman.”

I’m speechless. For the first time in my life I am legit speechless. One minute of silence passes. Two minutes pass. “I d-don’t get it…”

“You’re giving me rides to the shelter.” He shrugs like all this makes perfect sense. “In return, I’ll be your wingman.”

“My wingman?” I repeat. I don’t know if I should laugh. I mean, he’s funny. This proposal is hilarious. The scary thing is, I think he’s serious.

“You still working on that list? How many do you have left?” I say nothing. I admit nothing. “Huh…” He studies my face. “I take it that means all of them.”

“I g-got a makeover, didn’t I? And the Ferris wheel. I got that one d-done––” I snipe defensively. Yeah, I’m losing this argument or whatever you call this, this negotiation.

Reaching out, he takes a piece of my hair and tugs. “You look beautiful,” he says without missing a beat. “I like the makeover.”

Wait…did he just throw it out there that he thinks I’m beautiful? And I’m supposed to roll with it like the plate tectonics of the planet haven’t just shifted? What kind of game is he playing?

“What kinda g-game are you playing?”

He looks momentarily confused. “No game.” He leans in for a closer look, eyes narrowed. “Are you drunk?”

“No!”

“Then I’ll repeat myself because you’re hard of hearing tonight. I wanna help you.”

“You w-want to h-help me with m-my list…are you drunk?”

“You wanna be bad, right? I know bad.” He proudly pats his chest. “I’m the king of bad. All I’m sayin’ is––that’s my department. Let me help you be bad.”

I giggle because, dear me, he is serious.

He leans in, his mouth inches from my ear, and murmurs, “Say yes, Dora. I know you want to.” The silky purr slides over my skin, pebbles my nipples, and makes me shiver. Then he looks into my eyes and smiles. And that look, that devil-may-care look, seals the deal.

What do I have to lose? Except possibly my heart. But I’ve already tried it the safe way and it hasn’t worked in my favor. That’s why I throw caution to the wind.

“Okay…you’re on.”

“Good.” He takes my wrist and leads me away again.

“W-Where are we going?”

“To dance.”

And irrepressible smile grows on my face. I. Am. In. Trouble.

JENNIFER’S REVIEW

Me before reading this book: Wtf is water polo?
Me after reading this book: Water polo is the best sport in the whole world! Give me all the water polo God-like creatures!


Dallas.

Dallas Van Zant is the playboy we all love. And as usual, there are things underneath that he doesn’t let many people see. But he does SEE Dora. He sees the sexy girl in the corner, even though she is shy and curvy.

Dora.

There is nothing better than reading a heroine that I can relate to. I love the shy, stuttering Dora who loves Dallas from a distance. I love that her body is curvy and real.


Don’t get me wrong. I love a good insta-love, but I love that Dallas and Dora’s love built slowly. They became friends first. Sometimes it’s hard to believe when a playboy suddenly turns into a magical unicorn and stops sleeping with all the women, but I actually believed it when Dallas started falling for Dora. I love that the story is low-drama. It’s simple. It’s easy. It’s perfect.

This book has swoons coming out of its wavy pages. I knew I would love it because it’s written by P. Dangelico. Everything she writes is worth it.
Dangelico loves romance in all forms, cuddly creatures (four legged and two), really bloody sexy pulp, the NY Jets (although she’s reconsidering after this season), and to while away the day at the barn (apparently she does her best thinking shoveling horse crap). What she’s not enamored with is referring to herself in the third person and social media so don’t expect her to get on Twitter anytime soon. Oh, and although she was born in Italy, she’s been Jersey Strong since she turned six.

Connect with P. Dangelico:

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Website 
Stay up to date with all things P. Dangelico. Join her mailing list, today: https://www.pdangelico.com/contact

Review: Dangerous Games by J.T. Geissinger

DANGEROUS GAMES
Series:
Dangerous Beauty #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: J.T. Geissinger
Release Date: November 19, 2019

The epic conclusion to the thrilling Dangerous Beauty series.

The game isn’t over until somebody dies.

Eva knows what it’s like to be imprisoned by a man’s twisted obsessions. But after running, hiding, and finding refuge in a rescuer’s arms, she’s suddenly pulled back into the black hole of her past. Kidnapped by her sadistic ex, Dimitri, and with the love of her life left for dead, Eva is facing down the worst of her demons alone.

If Dimitri wants to play sick games, Eva’s ready. She already knows how dark they can get. But despite her fears, she hasn’t been abandoned. Naz is in hot pursuit. And the last thing Dimitri expects is for a dead man to come calling. For Eva and Naz, worlds apart yet bound by fierce and unbreakable passion, it’s time to beat the devil.

To do it they’ll have to be just as ruthless, seductive, and cunning. With every pulse of the heart, they must risk it all to play Dimitri’s final game to its harrowing end—and win.

PART 3 OF 3 (Not a standalone)

AMAZON

I once thought love was a foolish fancy. Like self-pity, something I couldn’t afford. But then I met a man who taught me that love isn’t foolish, it’s necessary. Elemental. The one thing without which we cannot truly live.

Talk about your epic conclusions! This book was EVERYTHING.

I am not a trilogy reader. I tend to grow bored with the characters or find that one or two of the three books are stretched out fillers. I’m a picky a-hole is basically what I’m trying to tell you here. So I don’t tend to gravitate towards trilogies much these days. But when it comes to JT Geissinger’s books, we have an unspoken rule; she writes it, I read it. Period. But let me now tell you, if ever there was a story that was MEANT to be a trilogy, this was it. Each book packs its own punch and reveals a new layer, and I can’t imagine it having the same effect had it been written as one standalone.

I was equally anticipating and dreading the conclusion to Naz and Eva’s story. It’s rare where the conclusion lives up to the promise of the story for me. But this one not only lived up to it, it exceeded any and all expectations that I had. It was EPIC.

What I love about Eva’s character is that she’s a survivor through and through. She’s been brutalized at the hands of an evil man for over 7 years, but she didn’t let that define her. She’s no one’s victim. She’s fierce and a warrior and this book just proved how much. There is nothing that I love more than a fierce heroine that doesn’t need a knight in shining armor to ride in to save the day. This was very much Eva’s book and I LOVED that.

Everything comes to a head here when Eva ends up back in the clutches of Dmitri, the man she’s tried to outrun for too long. She knows that she’ll do anything to protect the man she loves, even if it means that walking right back into the lion’s den. This book proved just how much of a survivor Eva is. It also showed that even after everything that she’s been through, it didn’t change her heart. Geissinger throws you right into the deep end without sparing a detail. You get to experience the pain, darkness and evil right along with her.

While Eva is going through hell, Naz is going through his own. I don’t want to tell you much here and spoil anything, but I will say that while the romance is mostly predominant in book 2, it’s put on a bit of a back burner here. Eva’s survival and journey takes center stage and I loved that. There’s still plenty of emotional and romantic elements here, it’s just not the front runner.

This was a heart pounding, action packed conclusion that was an absolute page turner!! The perfect conclusion to an addictive trilogy that I loved from beginning to finish. I am also willing to beg on my knees for a book for Killian because OMG!!!! KILLIAN. GAH. This man and enigma steals the show with his every small appearance. I NEED his story. NEED IT DESPERATELY.

#DGRFave & Review: Kings of Carrion by Keri Lake

KINGS OF CARRION
Series: Juniper Unraveling #3
Genre: Dystopian Romance
Author: Keri Lake
Release Date: December 3, 2019

Decades have passed since our world was decimated by the Dredge. Some say it was an act of God. Others believe the devil himself breached the gates of hell and turned the masses into the mindless infected with an appetite for carnage.

Those of us who’ve survived the Calico experiments know the only thing more terrifying than the monsters that seek to ravage what’s left of us, are the men who created them. Ones too capable of hiding their true form, and burying their darkest secrets.

Somewhere beneath the facility lies the answers, a cure for our suffering. To reach it, we’ll have to open the haunting tomb, where man’s deadliest mistakes, the most violent mutations, lie trapped within its tunnels, waiting to be set free.

Our only hope in surviving them are the very Alphas who were designed to hunt us down. The titans forged by cruelty and pain.

Kings of carrion.

We taught them to love, and in turn, they vow to protect us. To deliver the cure for humanity’s sake. Except this world doesn’t give without taking, and any chance of saving us will require the greatest sacrifice of all.

SERIES ORDER:
Juniper Unraveling (Book 1)
Calico Descending (Book 2)
Kings of Carrion (Book 3)

AMAZON

In many ways, we’re the same, though. He’s still the scarred boy who touched my heart. And I’m the wounded little bird, whose wings he made fly again.

When was the last time a book ruined you? I’m talking utterly gutted you. Like wrung every single emotion out of you until you were an inconsolable mess only to stitch you back together piece by devastating piece? Because THIS BOOK. Y’all. I was lucky enough to beta read Kings of Carrion a few months back and I STILL can’t stop thinking about it. I worship at the evil genius feet of Keri Lake. If you’re looking for an utterly unforgettable read, you NEED this in your life.

Kings of Carrion was darkly captivating, emotionally devastating, and positively unforgettable. It owned me from beginning to end and I still can’t get over it. I’m RUINED. Completely ruined.

Full disclosure here, this story emotional eviscerated me. I spent the latter part of the book a hysterically blubbering mess. There was no consoling me. If there’s one thing that Keri Lake knows how to do, it’s to reach into the pits of her readers souls and rip their damn hearts out. This was no exception. This is not a standalone and you need to read Calico Descending first. This is the conclusion of the story that starts there. If you’ve also read Juniper Unraveling, then you’ll be thrilled to get more Six and Wren here.

If you loved Cali and Vladys in the first book, you will fall even harder for them here. I loved Cali’s fierceness and the way she fought for her beloved. I loved Valdys’s undying love for Cali. And everything that happens in between? Unforgettable.

Copyright © 2015 · Dirty Girl Romance

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